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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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 – 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.
Common wisdom dictates that if you want to create complex flavors, you need to put in the work and combine lots of ingredients. Well, common wisdom needs to step off his high-horse and taste these eggs. They include just one other ingredient (apart from oil and garnishings) and have more uncommon flavor than common wisdom would know what to do with.
The secret is the secret ingredient: kimchi, the fermented preparation of cabbage, scallions, radishes, and spicy chili powder that is the pride of any self-respecting Korean cook. The fermentation process builds deep, complex flavors as well as probiotics that are great for human digestion. We get our kimchi from J&H Farm in Brooklyn, a local bodega that sells a variety of home-made kimchi prepared by either grandma, ma, and son – and labeled accordingly. (If you're ever in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, get some of their kimchi).
Once you have the kimchi, this recipe takes about as much time and work as frying up an ordinary egg. But, oh the flavor! If your mom is the adventurous type and likes things a bit spicy, make it for her this Sunday. It'll be a brunch she won't soon forget.
As a lifelong latke zealot this is a hard for me to admit: pakoras are possibly the best veggie fritters ever. They hail from the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, and much like latkes usually include potatoes and onions. But the similarity ends there.
Where the latke layers on more neutral ingredients like egg and corn starch, this pakora recipe hits the pedal with chilies, cilantro, ginger, a half dozen spices, and eggplant and then binds them all together with earthy chickpea flour. That might sound a little complicated but unlike latkes, pakoras don't require you to squeeze out excess water from the vegetables, which significantly reduced the overall prep-time and mess. The first pakoras will start emerging from the oil 15-20 minutes after you begin. And the result: a herbaceous, spicy wonder of a mouthful that will make you feel very accomplished without much effort. If Indian cooking has a gateway drug this, my friends, is it.
Marcella Hazan, our North Star for all foods Italian, gave us this simple and inspired recipe for pasta, herbs, and tomatoes. Herbaceous and aromatic, it makes for a great light dinner, especially as the weather heats up and the thought of a lush but heavy tomato sauce begins to lose some appeal. Save some leftovers for lunch the next day, served warmed or at room temperature. And feel free to play around with the combination of herbs; just make sure to use the most flavorful tomatoes around, be they big beefsteaks or little cherries. Buon appetito.