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Frywall Recipes

Potato Leek Latkes

Leek latkes
Latkes are fried potato pancakes and a quintessential Hanukkah food for Eastern European Jews. I've rarely met a latke I didn't like. As long as it's fresh and not too laden with oil (the result, typically, of under-heated oil), it's almost always delicious. Some prefer their latke eggy, thick and substantial, with the specific gravity of seat cushions. Others esteem latkes that are light, billowy, and full of crunch. We're neutral on this issue, but this week's recipe for leek latkes is decidedly in the camp of crisp. The leeks, holding less water than traditional onions, help in this regard, while also lending a more refined flavor and a bit of visual variety. Bring them to your next holiday party, and let this year's latke debate begin!

Squid With Cannellini Beans And Chimichurri

Calamari with beans and pesto
Building complex, interesting flavors usually requires a bit of time and patience. But not always. This elegant pan-seared squid is done in way under 30 minutes, including the preparation of our bright, slightly spicy chimichurri sauce, the herbaceous condiment that Argentinians use on grilled meet but that also marries beautifully with seafood.

If you typically eat squid as fried calamari, you may be surprised by how much flavor these critters attain when cooked quickly over high heat and coated in a vinegar reduction. We love deep fried calamari rings but squid have a whole other side to their flavor personality, and it's worth exploring. One other bonus with this recipe: you'll have plenty of left over chimichurri sauce for any grilled or roasted meats you might be having later in the week.

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo – Filipino cooking
Filipino food has yet to hit it big in the U.S. the way, say, Chinese, Thai, or Japanese food has. When it does, chicken adobo may be the breakout dish. It's bold, intense, easy to love, and like nothing else you've ever tasted. The recipe's secret weapon is a simple one: conviction. The key flavoring agents – soy sauce, white vinegar, garlic – can't get more common. The trick is to use them like you mean it: a whole head of garlic and almost a cup each of soy sauce and white vinegar. That's more than most cooks use in a week's worth of dinners. 

The result is magical, a concentrated flavor potion in which individual ingredients announce themselves clearly yet combine into a whole that's both more and distinct from the sum of the parts. We love, love, love this dish.

One word of caution. The sauce is on the salty side. So don't add any salt to the accompanying rice. The sodium level will be just right when you ladle the adobo sauce on top. 


Flautas Mexicanas
This one is more a method than a recipe. We made flautas, the crisp and tightly-rolled tortillas that are as versatile as they are delicious.

Sometimes known as taquitos here in the States, flautas – literally "flutes" – are a staple Mexican snack food that can be filled with just about anything. Traditionally, flautas are made with corn tortillas and filled with cooked chopped meats like beef, pork, or chicken. You can also use flour tortillas and stuff them with refried beans, cheese, or avocado.

Flautas are perfect for entertaining a crowd while watching the big game on TV, but they're also a fantastic way to make use of leftovers. We stuffed ours with last night's chopped carnitas, some refried beans, and a filling of ricotta with chopped cilantro.

Chipotle Chicken Wings

Chipotle Chicken Wings

A big game deserves big flavor, and boy, do these wings have it. Smoky, spicy, vinegary, and slightly sweet, they pack more excitement and intensity than many a Super Bowl. The key ingredient, as the title suggests, is chipotle chile, specifically the canned kind that comes enrobed in adobo sauce. It's intensely flavorful and quite spicy, but also nicely rounded once combined with other ingredients. If you've never cooked with it, let this be the opportunity.

Chipotle in adobo is available in most groceries (usually under the La Morena brand), and you probably already have the other ingredients you need, apart from the wings. I can almost guarantee these little suckers will be the best chicken wings you've ever tasted, at home or anywhere else. 

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore
It's getting to the end of the week. A cold wind blows through a mostly empty refrigerator. The pantry looks Soviet, the prospects for a home cooked dinner, dim. But you don't give up. You seek. And then you find them, a package or two of chicken in your freezer, a can of tomatoes back of the cupboard, a few tablespoons of wine at bottle's bottom. And for this night's meal, that's almost all you will need. But don't let the simplicity of the ingredient list or the preparation fool you. Chicken cacciatore is a beloved classic for its flavor more than its simplicity, and while it can benefit from additional vegetables such as carrots and peppers, they're not necessary and can be omitted without embarrassment. Now sound the horn and let the hunt for the side dish begin! 

José Andrés's Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce recipe by José Andrés
When it come to tomato sauce, Marcella Hazan's will always be my first, true love. But I've lately started seeing another tomato sauce on the side. My new one comes from José Andrés's quirky new vegetarian cookbook, Vegetables Unleashed. Andrés's sauce is not as buttery or suave or simple to make as Hazan's, but I love its intensity and the umami notes it develops from the patient frying of the skinned tomatoes. When preparing summer vegetables like green beans and eggplants, this is the dance partner you want. But don't wait for summer. Make it this weekend and serve it over pasta, and summer will seem like it's already here.

Mediterranean Cod with Garlic, Lemon, Butter & Olive Oil

Mediterranean Cod with Garlic, Lemon, Butter & Olive Oil
Like most of you, we've spent the last few weeks holed up in our home. Worrying about our loved ones. Worrying about all the essential workers who risk their lives to keep us safe. Worrying about all the people, around the world, whose lives have been riven by grief and economic hardship. This is not the spring any of us imagined. 

But that doesn't mean it can't have its silver linings. In my family, we made a pact: to treat each other more kindly, to be more patient, to make our time together count, and to find ways to grow. In that spirit, my wife Nicole and I have started cooking together, which is harder than it sounds given how tyrannical I can be in the kitchen.

This bold, brightly flavored cod recipe is where we started. It was happy-dance delicious and for a moment transported us to a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. We returned to our home, and the third week of lockdown, to do the dishes.

By the way, if you happen to live in Brooklyn, you should try our new favorite fish supplier, Pierless Fish. They use to distribute exclusive to high-end restaurants, but they're now delivering directly to people's doors. Some of the freshest, most delicious fish we've ever had. Be kind, be safe, and enjoy the small things.

Chopped Steak with Onions and Mushrooms

Chopped Steak with Onions and Mushrooms
Chopped steak is an old-school diner classic, and deservedly so. Well prepared, in a rich gravy of onions and mushrooms, it offers many of the pleasures of a fussed-over braise, at a fraction of the time and cost. Yet its treatment in the native diner environment can sometimes be unkind. Canned and condensed onion soup often constitutes the gravy base, which is thickened unto gloppiness by an excess of flour. Let it sit too long and it'll jiggle whenever you jostle the table.

The dish deserves better. We make ours with fresh ingredients and we thicken the sauce with tangy-sweet tomato paste instead of flour. The resulting sauce is a little thinner than traditional gravy but tangier and more dimensional, yet just as happy draped over mashed potatoes or sopped up by crusty bread. Yum. If there's a straighter, quicker path to flavor and comfort, I'd sure like to find it. 

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas
In the garden here at Frywall HQ, the kale is verdant and hearty. We're enjoying the prime days of summer both by eating what's fresh and making good use of pantry ingredients. This salad is tossed with an authentic Caesar dressing and topped with crunchy fried chickpeas. If you've ever tried frying chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans, you know that they can create quite a mess when they sizzle and pop in the hot oil. Never to fear – Frywall is here.

We like this salad served in generous portions as a complete light lunch, but it could work just as well as a course in a more elaborate meal.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken - Frywall
Frywall Fridays has returned! After a brief hiatus to spruce up our test kitchen (can you believe the reno ran late?! Who ever heard of contractors missing a deadline?!), we're back with a bang. Or rather a pao.

Kung Pao Chicken is a staple of Chinese restaurants in America, but don't be fooled. It's the real deal that traces back to China. The heat in the dish comes from fiery dried red chiles and the singular, mentholated bite of Sichuan peppercorns. Throw in some soy sauce for saltiness, a hint of honey for sweetness, and black vinegar and rice wine for sourness, and you have a balanced and aromatic dish that's done in under 30 minutes. But how spicy is it? Well, you decide. Use five chiles for relatively mild, ten chiles for relatively painful, fifteen chiles for call the relatives, I'm dying.

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel - Gluten Free
Wiener schnitzel – thin cutlets of breaded and fried veal – is a classic Austrian dish that has made its way to restaurants all over Europe and around the world. But it's a breeze to make at home, taking all of 15 minutes and requiring ingredients, apart from the veal, that are probably already in your kitchen.

If you prefer not to use veal, the same preparation can be made with thinly sliced and pounded chicken breast, pork, or another cut of beef. In the German-speaking world, this is called Schnitzel Wiener Art, or Viennese-style cutlets. But any way you cook it, it's a hearty and delicious main course to make at home.