As I begin gearing up for the holiday season, I’m thinking about one of the easiest cooking methods for proteins and cold-weather produce. Roasting is a hands-off method that melds spices and seasonings with whole ingredients, giving food an impressive depth of flavor and also making your home smell divine.
And if you’re planning menus for Thanksgiving and winter holidays down the road, why not take the first half of the month to test out some new recipes for roasted side dishes? Roasted vegetables can make a delightful anchor for a winter salad. And you can also look to roasting when thinking about what to serve for dessert.
by Moosewood Collective
“Roasted vegetables, cucumbers, rosemary. and olive oil are typical ingredients in Armenian cuisine, but then many countries of the Near East and Mediterranean may lay claim to succulent, big flavored salads like this. It’s a beautiful dish, glossy and colorful, and the soft roasted vegetables and crunchy celery make for an interesting texture. It’s typical of dishes created by our partner and talented cook Laura Branca, who brings her Armenian heritage to our literal and figurative “table.” Picture a small, beautiful woman mixing an enormous bowl of some pilaf or other and coming up with a lovely, perfectly seasoned dish every time.”
- The Moosewood Collective
Can you believe we’re halfway through October already? As the days get shorter, the amount we hope to pack into them can start to feel overwhelming, and the big food holidays are starting to loom. Add to that a goal of getting dinner on the table every night, and you can be setting yourself up for disappointment. I’ve been following with a lot of interest the recent debate over cooking at home – whether it’s a feasible job or even a worthy one, or just another way to make us (mostly, make moms) feel like we’re falling short.
At Cookstr, of course, we believe in the power of cooking to nurture us creatively and emotionally as well as calorically. We believe there is great value in learning to cook and in learning to cook well, from the experts, from the chefs and cookbooks that paved the way and from those up-and-comers who continue to explore and innovate. In many ways, our approach to cooking is informed quite directly by that queen of the kitchen, Julia Child. Her simple recipes, classic techniques and uproarious sense of humor always delight us.
by Julia Child
This recipe remains one of the most popular on Cookstr, which used to mystify me a little. Aren’t mashed potatoes pretty straightforward? But the longer I spend with the Cookstr recipes and community, the more I get it. We make mashed potatoes on big, important holidays, for celebration, for comfort, for a treat, to make someone’s day a little bit better. You don’t want just any mashed potatoes – you want the mashed potatoes. That’s what we aim for in the recipes we feature on Cookstr. To deliver just the right recipe, by a chef or cookbook author we trust, right when you need it.
Jamie Oliver is one of our longtime favorite chefs at Cookstr, and we’re so impressed with how he’s inspired and empowered people across the globe of so many different ages, backgrounds, and levels of culinary ability to spend more enjoyable time in the kitchen.
Here are ten of our favorite Jamie Oliver recipes for simple, hearty food that’s a joy to cook and to eat together.
by Jamie Oliver
A lesson in how a simple smattering of ingredients can create kitchen alchemy, this recipe is perfect for a late-night craving, a quick lunch in the middle of a busy day, or a last-minute dinner when you need to go grocery shopping. An emulsion of lemon, olive oil, and Parmesan forms a creamy sauce to coat the linguine, and the basil and arugula wilt gently when they hit the hot pasta. It’s not difficult, but it is delicious, as the best recipes should be.
When I’m asked my favorite food, it’s a tough call. Osso buco? Mashed potatoes? Spaghetti and meatballs? But if asked my favorite ingredient, I don’t think I’d have to hesitate too long before settling on garlic. Across cuisines and seasons, fresh garlic provides a nutty, sweet, bitter, umami punch that can brighten a salad or give a kick in the gremolata, or melt in a slow-cooked, braised, or roasted dish into something deeply comforting and satisfying.
When I think about it, probably all my favorite foods include or pair well with garlic, from Caesar salads to mushroom soup. Braised meats, stews, soups, and other fall foods are ideal fits for the rich flavor that garlic offers.
by Kimberly Mathai
I can’t get enough of coconut milk as an ingredient. When cooking for dairy-free friends and family, I’m entirely reliant on its richness and texture in both desserts and savory dishes. Coconut milk, with its rich sweetness, is a perfect counterbalance for garlic’s intensity. In this surprisingly simple soup, both the garlic and fresh ginger are grated or pureed and then sautéed for a toasty flavor. Bok choy and bell pepper provide a tender crunch against the creamy backdrop of the coconut-enriched broth.
The Jewish New Year, and its coincidence with the start of a new school year and the beginning of the fall holidays, is an ideal opportunity to rediscover the joys of roasted meats and vegetables, baking bread at home, and the way that crisp apples melt into cake batter.
Whether you’re celebrating the new year next week or simply looking for a roster of comforting, balanced weeknight meals for the cooler weeks ahead, this menu has plenty to offer. And if you’d like even more tips and tricks from great chefs and cookbook authors, check out the Clever Cookstr podcast every Wednesday.
by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso
“This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate shop, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives, and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It’s good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious appetizer.
The overnight marination is essential to the moistness of the finished product: The chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration…Since Chicken Marbella is such a spectacular party dish, we give quantities to serve 10 or 12, but the recipe can successfully be divided to make a smaller amount if you wish.”
As the first leaves start to fall and it’s no longer unbearable to turn the oven on, I’m starting to think about fall baking. The coming months will bring plenty of birthday parties, family dinners, Rosh Hashanah, and Thanksgiving, which means cakes, cookies, and quickbreads.
By all means, let’s dust off those tried and true favorites, but I’m also taking time to experiment with new ingredients and techniques to debut at holiday gatherings this season. But don’t worry, friends – I promise I’ll still make that pumpkin cake at least once.
|Cinnamon Crumb Surprise|
by Rose Levy Berenbaum
“Topped with fragrant cinnamon crumbs, this golden loaf has a hidden treat in the middle: a tart layer of buttery apple slices, nestled inside a layer of cinnamon crumbs. This is a real favorite in our house, perfect with coffee or tea; I also enjoy it with a glass of cold milk.”
- Rose Levy Berenbaum
If I’m going to splurge, it’s likely not going to be on this-season designer jeans or a shiny new gadget. It’ll probably be on a set of dry-aged rib eyes, or some really spectacular chocolate, or a must-have cheese. My splurges are usually edible, and I enjoy them for all they’re worth. But most nights, I’m just trying to get a delicious, inventive, and inexpensive dinner on the table.
These recipes will help. At under ten dollars a plate, they’re not just plain old spaghetti, but they certainly won’t break the bank. So you can save up for those fall fashions…or, if you’re like me, maybe some truffle oil.
|Swiss Chard, Rotini, and Cannellini Beans in Parmesan Broth|
by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord
“All too often, people toss away the rinds from their Parmesan, not realizing what flavorful bounty they are. Just like the greens from leeks or the bones of a chicken, these scraps have tons of flavor if you know how to coax it out. Stuff a chicken with Parmesan rinds before roasting; toast them under a broiler and use them as Parmesan “croutons”; or pop them into a pot and simmer them to make a hypnotic Parmesan broth. This aromatic brew is sure to lure anyone nearby into the kitchen. The flavor is salty, nutty, and unmistakably cheesy. Fortified with a bit of pasta, hearty Swiss chard, and cannellini beans, it results in a soup that is satisfying, inexpensive, and easy to make.“
- Stephanie Stiavetti & Garrett McCord