Quinoa is a satisfying and healthy alternative when you're craving a big bowl of pasta. Try this Quinoa Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Pistachio from our February Top Pick in cookbooks, The Tucci Table, for a quick and filling meal or side dish that won't cost you extra time at the gym.
Quinoa Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Pistachio
Felicity introduced me to this healthy alternative to pasta and bread—the staples of the Tucci family diet. Quinoa is a fantastic base to which so many other flavors can be added, like dates, avocado or grilled halloumi cheese. Nutty, delicious and good for you, this quinoa salad blends the sharpness of the feta, the sweetness of the pomegranate and the crunch of the nuts. It can be served as a side or a main.
Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
1. Soak the quinoa in cold water to remove its bitterness. Each brand is different, so check the instructions on the package. Then rinse it thoroughly.
2. Bring 3 to 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The quinoa is done when the germ separates from the seed. It should have a little bite to it, too. Strain if necessary. Dress with the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.
3. Gently mix the pomegranate seeds, pistachios or pine nuts and scallions into the quinoa. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Place the mixture in a serving dish and place the feta cheese on top. Scatter the last 2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds over the top, gently break up the feta, and serve.
This is delicious served with some sliced blood oranges dressed with extra virgin olive oil.
In need of a hearty, healthy meal you can whip up in just a few minutes after work? Molly Gilbert has you covered with this recipe for 'Quick Chicken & Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce' from her new cookbook, Sheet Pan Suppers.
Quick Chicken & Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce is like the chocolate sauce of dinnertime. I’m pretty sure I’d eat my shoe if it were covered in enough of it. This satay-inspired dish pairs my beloved peanut sauce with thinly sliced chicken and baby broccoli charred under the broiler. The whole dish cooks in only about 10 minutes but results in juicy chicken, tender broccolini and thick, bubbly sauce. It’s addicting. Keep it away from your shoes.
I’ve seen packaged thin-cut chicken breasts or cutlets at some grocery stores, but you can easily make your own by slicing a regular chicken breast in half horizontally to create two thin-cut pieces.
1. Preheat the oven to broil, with a rack 4 inches from the heat. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or mist it with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together the brown sugar, peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar, water and lime juice in a medium-size bowl until smooth. Set aside ¼ cup of the peanut sauce for serving.
3. Rub the broccolini and chicken with the remaining peanut sauce to thickly coat, and arrange them in a tight single layer on the prepared pan. Broil, keeping a close eye on the pan to prevent burning, and flipping the chicken halfway through, until the chicken is just cooked through, the broccolini is well charred and the sauce is bubbly and deeply browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Serve the chicken and broccolini hot from the oven with the reserved dipping sauce alongside.
Excerpted from Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert. Copyright © 2014 by Molly Gilbert. Excerpted with permission by Workman Publishing. Read our review of this book.
Following the opening weekend of Fifty Shades of Grey, we're busy thinking about which book to film adaptations we're most excited to see next! Here's a list of the biggest books coming to screens this Spring.
Next up in theaters is a hilarious and all-too-honest adaptation of YA hit The Duff by Kody Keplinger. Coming to screens on February 20, the cast includes Parenthood star Mae Whitman as Bianca Piper, the awkward "designated ugly fat friend" who is often overshadowed by her traditionally beautiful, skinny best friends . . . until she meets Wesley Rush at a party.
Headed to the screen on March 13 is the adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea. Directed by Ron Howard and sporting an all-star cast that inlcudes Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy and Ben Wishaw, this terrifying and true account of the sinking of a New England whaling ship in 1820 is sure to be one of the year's biggest films. The attacker, an enraged sperm whale, and the aftermath later served as inspiration for Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick.
The sequel to Veronica Roth's best-selling YA novel Divergent is coming to theaters March 20. Starring Shailene Woodley—whom you may recognize from other hit film adaptations such as The Decendents and The Fault in Our Stars—as Tris Prior, Insurgent is sure to deliver plenty of heart-stopping sci-fi action as her life in a dystopian Chicago is further shaken by an escalating war between her society's factions.
Fans have been waiting a while for Ron Rash's historical Appalachian epic Serena to make its screen debut, but the film finally has a solid release date of March 27. Starring the highly-lauded acting pair of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as George and Serena Pemberton, this film is sure to deliver smoldering romance and a shocking quest for revenge.
What could be better suited for a big-screen treatment than an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery set in Stalin's Russia? Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 hits theaters April 17, with Tom Hardy at the helm as civil servant Leo Demidov who is doggedly investigating a serial killer. The problem is, how is Leo supposed to get to the bottom of an investigation of a crime Stalin refuses to admit even exists in his perfect society?
When was the last time you heard of a more perfect casting than Carrie Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene, the brilliant and independent heroine of Thomas Hardy's classic romance, Far From the Madding Crowd? The lush and beautifully directed film will be in theaters May 1. Prepare to have your box of tissues at the ready!
What do you think, readers? Which adaptations are you most excited to see in theaters?
You may know celebrated actor Stanley Tucci from his roles in The Lovely Bones and Road to Perdition, but he is also quite a formidable and knowledgable home cook! Co-authored with his wife Felicity Blunt, his second cookbook, The Tucci Table, is a "comfortable, easy-to-approach" guide to an array of Italian, American and British dishes.
Serves 4 to 6
This is a combination of my mother's eggplant Parmigiana and a French tian. With the addition of the potato, this makes a great vegetarian main course or a single side dish that combines a starch and a vegetable.
1. Preheat the broiler to medium-high.
2. Spread the eggplant, potato (if using), and zucchini slices on individual baking sheets, one for each ingredient, coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt. Then place them under the broiler until they start to color, 3 to 5 minutes. This will evaporate some of their water so that they don’t go soggy in the final dish.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Combine the bread crumbs, half of the chopped herbs, half of the grated cheese and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
5. Combine the remaining herb mixture, grated cheese, all of the garlic and a dash of salt and pepper in another bowl.
6. Coat the bottom and sides of a rectangular baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
7. From one short side of the dish, stack the eggplant, zucchini, potato (if using), and tomatoes so that they stand upright on edge against one another. Sprinkle a little of the chopped herb, garlic and cheese mixture in between some of the layers as you work your way across the baking dish.
8. When completed, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the bread-crumb mixture.
9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Check it just before the end of the baking time. If it looks a little dry, drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature, not hot.
Valentine's Day is coming up this weekend, and regardless of how you're celebrating (wine and Netflix, natch) it's a great time to read a romantic book. If traditional Romance isn't your cup of tea, then check out Roger Rosenblatt's short and playful look at love through a series of fictional vignettes in The Book of Love. The best-selling author (Making Toast and Unless It Moves the Human Heart) offers an often poetic and captivating exploration of the subject without running into cliché or sappy territory. This just might be the book on love for the cynics and romantics alike.
I thought of you tonight, as the moon was turning its face, the way you turn away at one of my contrived displays of wit. Embarrassed for me, who lacks the wite to be embarrased for myself. What is that? Why are you prepared to bear my slightest burden? I, the tropical ceiling fan, wheeling in my faux aristocratic self-confidence. You, with the serene sense to look beyond the slats of the casa shutters to the mango trees, the bougainvillea, and beyond those, to the sea. So steady, you eyesight. But tonight was different. The past had changed, as it does sometimes, and instead of the self-regard I have worn like a white linen suit, I saw only you, and the strawberries, and the windfall of light on your hair.
What are you reading today?
Molly Gilbert makes cooking (and cleanup!) a breeze with 120 sheet pan recipes in her new cookbook, Sheet Pan Suppers. This simple, homey recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies is sure to become one of your go-to's.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 25 cookies
This is a tweaked version of a recipe I got from my friend Jen King, who co-owns Liddabit Sweets, an artisanal confectionery in Brooklyn. They don’t do anything just plain ordinary at Liddabit (hand-dipped candy bars and caramels with beer and pretzels inside, hello) so needless to say, this is one good cookie.
I prefer oatmeal cookies with plentiful chocolate chips, but feel free to substitute raisins if you’re that guy—no judgments. Well, a few judgments. I hope we can still be friends.
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats in a medium-size bowl.
3. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, on high speed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
4. Add the flour mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoonful onto the pans, leaving about an inch of space between cookies. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand (see Note).
6. Bake the cookies until they are slightly puffed and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
7. Let the cookies cool slightly before enjoying warm.
The cookies will keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, for about 1 week.
Note: After you flatten the cookies in Step 4, they may be frozen until solid on the sheet pan, about 30 minutes. Transfer them to a heavy-duty zip-top bag for storage. Bake them right from frozen when you want some; they may take an extra few minutes.
Is getting hitched on your horizon? Take some of the stress and expense out of your planning with DK's Style Your Perfect Wedding. Need some hanging floral decorations or centerpieces for your reception tables? With your favorite color of hydrangea on hand, this simple project can be completed in just three steps.
You will need...
Step 1 Immerse the foam ring in water for about three minutes, until no more bubbles rise and the foam is soaked through and feels heavy. Start adding the hydrangeas to the ring. For the inner and outer edges, insert the florets at an upward angle. For the top of the ring push them in vertically.
Step 2 Build up each section.
Step 3 Fill in any gaps.
These beautiful wreaths make a perfect surround for a pillar candle in a glass container. Use them as centerpieces for your tables.
How deep does you bacon allegiance run? Are you ready to take it to the next level and learn how to cure your own at home? Cathy Barrow makes it all too easy with her recipe for Maple-Bourbon Bacon from her newest cookbook, Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry. Your dreams of all-bacon everything are about to become a reality.
makes: 11/2 pounds
active time: 30 minutes
curing time: 7 days plus 2 hours
cooking time: 1 hour
When I first made bacon, the taste of good pork was the first flavor I encountered—not salt. And there were no nagging concerns about how the pork was raised, because I had purchased the pork belly from a farmer I knew. There are a million reasons to make bacon at home but you need to know only one: it will be better than any bacon you have ever eaten.
I regularly make two styles of bacon. This one, cured with maple syrup, bourbon and coffee, has a dash of the sweet and smoky booze as an undertone. I think the bourbon makes it sing Hallelujah, but omit it if you are not a fan. The other version is cured with plenty of black pepper, rosemary and garlic and then smoked. I store both in the freezer in vacuum-sealed 4-ounce packets, sliced the way I like it, thick and ready to line up on top of the sliced tomato in a BLT or to serve with sunny-side up eggs for breakfast. I cut up any pieces that can’t slice into pretty rashers and store them in 2-ounce packets, to be crisped and scattered on top of soup or salad.
And that’s just the beginning of why bacon should always be part of your practical pantry. Use it to garnish deviled eggs, pan-roasted fish or chicken. Candy it (see page 296). Add it to baked goods like muffins or scones. Be weekend or brunch-ready.
1. Wearing gloves, mix the salts in a small bowl. Rub the salt cure all over the pork belly and place it in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag in a single layer (cut the meat into 2 large pieces if necessary). Stir together the coffee, maple syrup and liquor in a small bowl and add to the bag. Seal the bag and smoosh the liquid around. Open the bag slightly and press out the excess air, then zip it closed and lay it flat on a middle shelf in the refrigerator.
2. Let the bacon cure for 7 days. Every day, turn the bag over to redistribute the cure, and rub the belly through the bag, introducing all those nice flavors. Over the course of the week, the meat will exude juice and the cure will move through the cells of the meat; turning the bag ensures an even cure. Count the days and imagine the bacon.
3. After 7 days, remove the pork belly from the bag. It will be firmer than it was a week ago, a sign the cure has worked. Rinse the meat thoroughly and dry with paper towels. (Discard the cure.) Place the soon-to-be bacon on a rack set over a baking sheet and place it, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This resting period helps move the cure through the meat and equalize the salt and flavors.
4. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting, usually around 200°F.
5. Place the bacon, still on the rack on the baking sheet, in the center of the oven and cook for about 1 hour, until the internal temperature measures 150°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool, then wrap well in butcher’s paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
6. Once the bacon has chilled, slice it thick or thin, as you like it. Stack the slices on butcher’s paper or parchment, then vacuum-seal or place in zip-lock bags in portion sizes to suit your household. Bacon is always cooked before eating.
The bacon will keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Both lamb and goat belly make terrific, deeply flavored bacon. Sometimes this cut is called breast—the current fondness for pork belly has some people renaming parts. The cut is thinner, with less fat, so it requires only 4 days in the salt and spices before cooking or smoking.
TIP: Salty Like the (Dead) Sea
Oops? Did you cure your meat or fish longer than you should have? Put it in a bowl, cover with cool water, soak it for about 8 hours, changing the water two or three times. Drain and dry well, then roast or smoke as directed. That should fix it.
Looking for a hearty, soul-warming staple to get you through the final weeks of winter? Then try this Italian-inspired recipe for Hunter's Chicken Stew from our January Top Pick in Cookbooks, The Pollan Family Table.
Hunter’s Chicken Stew with Tomatoes and Mushrooms
FROM THE MARKET
FROM THE PANTRY
Our hunter's stew is an Italian take on the classic Polish dish, with chicken as a stand-in for pork. The tender morsels of chicken are smothered in a luscious gravy, making this a dish that the family loves.
1 whole chicken (3½ to 4 pounds), giblets and backbone removed, cut into 8 serving pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
8 cremini or baby bella mushroom caps, thickly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 bay leaf
Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven or a large ovenproof pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 4 of the chicken pieces, skin side down. Cook undisturbed until the skin is golden, about 7 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces and cook until brown, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken. Set aside.
Wipe the Dutch oven clean with paper towels and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is thoroughly mixed with the onion and mushrooms, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high and stir in the wine, scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and their juice, thyme, sage, the bay leaf, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the browned chicken and any accumulated juices, submerging the pieces into the liquid. Cover and place the pot in the oven.
Bake until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Take off the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and, using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. Return the pot to the burner, turn the heat to high, and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the chicken and serve.
Cathy Barrow encourages healthy, local eating for all seasons with her easy recipes for DIY preserving in her newest cookbook, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving. This quick and no-fuss recipe for Fennel, Orange, and Olive Refrigerator Pickles is a great place for the uninitiated to dive into the world of canning.
Fennel, Orange, and Olive Refrigerator Pickles
makes: one 24-ounce jar
active time: 20 minutes
standing time: 2 days
This piquant pickle was inspired by a plate of olives, caper berries and bitter oranges served with sherry at an outdoor cafe in Seville. A wide-mouth jar will make this job a little easier. So will long tweezers or a chopstick, if you want to get fancy.
Serve with salty Marcona almonds.
1. Trim the stalks from the fennel and peel away the tough outer sections of the bulb. (Put these parts in a bag in the freezer to make vegetable broth or add to a batch of chicken stock.) Remove about ½ inch of the root end of each fennel bulb, then slice vertically down the center. Set the fennel cut side down on the cutting board and slice wedges from the bulbs.
2. Wash the orange well. Slice into slim 1⁄4-inch rounds, rind and all. Remove any seeds. Cut the slices into half-moons. Press the oranges against the inside of the jar, then fit the fennel wedges into the center of the jar, adding a few olives here and there as you go.
3. In a small saucepan, warm the vinegar, salt, sugar and tarragon, stirring just until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add the ice cubes and stir until cool.
4. Pour the cooled brine into the jar. Cover and place in a cool, dark spot for 2 days.
5. Chill the pickles before serving. They will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator.