Lao Gan Ma Noodles

2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 tablespoons minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite “godmother” sauce (lao gan ma), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped za-cai (pickled radish)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup raw peanuts
200 grams dried rice noodles (this makes a big single serving or two small servings)
A large handful of your leafy greens of choice
A small handful chopped cilantro

First prepare the sauce base in a large bowl by mixing together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, scallion, ginger, garlic, “godmother” sauce, sesame oil, za-cai, and sesame seeds.

Heat the oil in a wok using medium heat, and wok fry the peanuts for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through. Take out the peanuts and drizzle the hot oil left in the wok into the sauce base.

Boil the rice noodles per package instructions. Once the rice noodles are a minute away from done, add in the leafy greens to blanch. Cook for the remaining minute, and then drain the noodles and the greens. Pour the sauce base over the noodles, stir to combine, and top with chopped cilantro.

Brownies

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inches overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.

Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

From Bon Appetit

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour, sifted
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cups egg whites (from 12–14 large eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Berries and whipped cream (for serving)

A 10″ tube pan

Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-low speed to break up egg whites, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until whites are very foamy and barely form soft peaks, about 45 seconds longer. Gradually add granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed until whites are firm and glossy and hold stiff peaks (if you overbeat, the meringue will look dry, grainy, and curdled). Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.

Remove bowl from mixer. Sift one-third of dry ingredients over meringue. Return bowl to mixer and beat on low speed until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer again and repeat sifting and mixing process 2 more times. Remove bowl again and fold batter several times with a large flexible spatula, scraping and lifting batter from the bottom to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Scrape about half of batter into ungreased tube pan. Using a spoon or small offset spatula, push batter around bottom of pan, into corners, and up sides and center tube (this helps form smooth sides and eliminate air pockets); it’s okay if batter forms a little bit of a trough, with the center at a lower level than the outer edges. Scrape remaining batter into pan, spreading evenly and smoothing top.

Bake cake until top is puffed, split, golden, and springs back firmly when touched and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35–40 minutes. Immediately invert pan, placing hollow part of tube over a long-necked wine or other glass bottle to elevate it (if your pan has feet, simply rest upside-down on feet). Let cool at least 1 hour, then turn right side up. The upside-down cooling is key for a cake that doesn’t deflate and sink onto itself. Using a thin metal spatula, cut around sides and loosen cake. Pull on tube to release cake from pan, then cut around tube. Using thin metal spatula, loosen cake from bottom. Invert cake onto a plate or cake stand and remove bottom. Serve with berries and whipped cream.

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.

From Bon Appetit

Bread Pudding (with Variations)

1/2-large (2-pound) loaf challah bread, torn into 1½–2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3-inch strip orange zest
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for pan
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 300°. Spread torn bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing halfway through and reducing oven temperature if bread is getting too golden, until pieces are very dry and slightly toasted, 25–35 minutes. (Dry bread will absorb the custard without disintegrating, which is why this step is important.) Let cool, then transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat cinnamon, vanilla bean, cream, milk, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. As soon as mixture starts to boil (watch closely or milk will boil over top of pot!), remove from heat. Whisk in orange zest and 2 Tbsp. butter and let steep 30 minutes. Pluck out and discard cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and orange zest.

Brush a 1½–2-qt. baking dish with butter. Pour milk mixture into a blender. Add egg and egg yolks and blend, starting on low and increasing speed to high, until mixture is light and foamy, 20–30 seconds. Pour over reserved bread and toss to coat. Scrape into prepared pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours and up to 12; this gives bread time to evenly soak up custard.

Arrange a rack in center of oven; preheat to 300°. Brush remaining 2 Tbsp. butter over cold bread pieces. Sprinkle with raw sugar, then top with almonds, if using. Bake bread pudding until lightly golden, puffed, pulling away from edges of pan, and butter is bubbling, 30–40 minutes. Let cool 1 hour before serving.

Do Ahead: Bread pudding can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

For Chocolate Bread Pudding

Add 6 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao or higher) and 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder to scalded milk mixture instead of butter and whisk until melted and smooth.

When ready to bake, top bread pudding with 1 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate. Sprinkle with raw sugar, then top with ¼ cup chopped pecans instead of almonds. Bake as directed.

For Coconut Bread Pudding

Add one 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk instead of heavy cream to whole milk mixture. As soon as mixture bubbles, remove from heat and whisk in 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil instead of butter and a strip of lime zest instead of orange. Let steep 30 minutes. Pluck out and discard cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and lime zest.

Brush baking dish with 2 Tbsp. melted virgin coconut oil instead of butter. Brush 2 Tbsp. melted virgin coconut oil instead of butter over cold bread pieces. Sprinkle with raw sugar, then top with 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes instead of almonds. Bake as directed.

From Bon Appetit

Rice Pudding

Boozy Fruit:

1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup raisins, dried cherries, or chopped dried apricots

Rice Pudding

4 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup arborio or sushi rice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1” piece orange peel
Kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 large egg yolk

Boozy Fruit

Combine brown sugar, rum, orange juice, and a splash of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and cook until liquid is syrupy, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool.

Rice Pudding

Combine milk, rice, cream, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Bring to a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure mixture doesn’t stick to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping all the way down to the bottom of the pot to make sure mixture doesn’t stick or scorch, until rice is tender and mixture is thickened, 20–25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Discard vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel. Quickly and thoroughly stir in egg yolk until completely incorporated. Keep pudding warm, covered, or let cool, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely. Serve warm or chilled, topped with boozy fruit.

DO AHEAD: Rice pudding and boozy fruit can be made up to 2 days ahead. Reheat pudding over medium heat, with a splash of milk or cream.

From Bon Appetit

Patty Melt

caramelized onions:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced

patties and Assembly:

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck (20% fat)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 slices seeded rye bread (preferably Levy’s)
4 ounces aged sharp cheddar, thinly sliced
4 ounces Swiss cheese (such as Emmenthal), thinly sliced
8 teaspoons mayonnaise

caramelized onions

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook onions, stirring often and adding water as needed to prevent burning, until deep golden brown and very soft, 20–25 minutes. Set aside.

patties and assembly

Gently mix onion, beef, ketchup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, in a medium bowl. Divide into 4 portions and press each between 2 pieces of parchment or waxed paper until about ¼” thick (you want them roughly the same dimensions as the bread you’re using.)

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook patties, pressing gently, until browned but still pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out skillet and reduce heat to medium. Top 4 slices of bread with cheddar, then beef patties, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese. Close up sandwiches and spread each top with 1 tsp. mayonnaise. Place in pan, mayonnaise side down, and weight with a foil-covered heavy pan. Cook until bottom slice is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove weighted pan and spread the top of each sandwich with 1 tsp. mayonnaise. Flip and weight again. Cook until other side is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Patties can be formed 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

From: Bon Appetit

Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta
Kosher salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer, then whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely. Serve topped with pepper and more cheese.

From Bon Appetit.

Shrimp and Grits

Grits

1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Shrimp

1/2 cup 1/3′ cubes tasso, andouille sausage, or bacon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
16 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined
1/4 cup (or more) beer
1/4 cup low-salt chicken stock
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Grits

Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 1 hour. Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeño, then cream. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Shrimp

Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add tasso; sauté until fat begins to render, about 5 minutes (if tasso is very lean, add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet). Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; swirl to melt and cover bottom of pan. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Divide grits among bowls, forming a well in center. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.

From Bon Appetit.

Classic French Toast

6 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
6 3/4 inch-thick slices challah, brioche, or Pullman loaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Pure maple syrup, jam, or powdered sugar (for serving)

Preheat oven to 250°. Lightly beat eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a large shallow baking dish (a lasagna pan is perfect). Add bread, turn to coat, then press down gently on bread until you feel it start to soak up custard mixture—this is key for a luscious, not dry, texture. Let soak, 10 minutes.

Flip bread and soak on second side, pressing down gently from time to time, until bread is saturated but not soggy, another 10 minutes or so.

Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, carefully lift 3 slices of bread from custard, letting excess drip back into dish, and cook in skillet until golden brown and center of toast springs back when pressed, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer toast to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven while you cook remaining slices of bread with 1 Tbsp. butter and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

Serve French toast with butter, maple syrup, jam, and/or powdered sugar.

From Bon Appetit.

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil (for griddle)
Pure maple syrup (for serving)

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and butter in a medium bowl; stir into dry ingredients until just combined (some lumps are okay).

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium; brush with oil. Working in batches, scoop ?-cupfuls of batter onto griddle. Cook pancakes until bottoms are golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through and other side of pancakes are golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Serve pancakes with maple syrup.

From Bon Appetit.

Perfect Scrambled Eggs (with Variations)

4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Flaky sea salt (for serving)

Crack eggs into a medium bowl and add kosher salt. Using an immersion blender or whisk, whip eggs until completely homogenous and pale yellow in color, about 30 seconds.

Cook butter in an 8″ nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. When foam subsides, add eggs and cook, undisturbed, until a thin layer of cooked egg appears around the edge of the skillet. Using a rubber spatula and broad sweeping motions, push eggs all the way around the circumference of the skillet, then across the bottom. Continue to push eggs around and across skillet until fluffy and barely set, about 2 minutes; they should still look runny on top. Immediately divide between 2 plates and sprinkle with sea salt.

Feta and Za’atar

Stir 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta and 1/4 tsp. za’atar into eggs halfway through cooking. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and more za’atar just before serving.

Parmesan and Basil

Stir 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan and 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil into eggs halfway through cooking. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and more basil just before serving.

Soy and Scallion

Add ½ tsp. soy sauce to eggs before whipping. Stir 2 trimmed, thinly sliced scallions into eggs halfway through cooking. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt just before serving.

Cream Cheese and Chives

Stir 1 Tbsp. cream cheese and 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives into eggs halfway through cooking. Top with flaky sea salt and more chives just before serving.

Hot Cheddar

Stir 2 Tbsp. grated cheddar into eggs halfway through cooking. Top with flaky sea salt and hot sauce just before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup Wondra or all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. carrots (about 6 small), peeled, chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded chicken meat (from 1 small rotisserie chicken)
1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 1/2 tcups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Hot sauce
Worcestershire sauce
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package or half of 17.3-oz. package), thawed in refrigerator
1 large egg, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and thyme and cook, stirring often, until shallot is translucent and golden, about 4 minutes. Add ? cup flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is pale golden and smells like popcorn, 5–8 minutes.

Whisk in broth ½-cupful at a time, incorporating completely before adding more. Whisk in milk; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, 10–15 minutes. Add carrots and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Mix in chicken, onions, peas, and parsley; season with hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Unfold pastry and gently roll out on a lightly floured work surface just to smooth creases and make large enough to fit over dish, if needed. Drape over baking dish and trim pastry so it is slightly larger than the dish (you want a little overhang). Brush with egg and make 2 or 3 slits in the pastry with a sharp knife.

Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any filling that may drip over) and bake until puff pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling through slits in pastry, 20–25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake until puff pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through, 30–35 minutes longer. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Pressure Cooker North Carolina Pulled Pork

Pork

2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup beer (such as lager, Pilsner, or amber)

Vinegar Sauce

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
4 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Mix first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add pork and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Press Warm; set timer for 30 minutes (add or subtract time as needed) and press Start to heat the pressure cooker. Heat oil in pot. Working in batches, add pork and cook until browned; transfer to plate. Add broth, beer, and browned pork, with any juices from the plate, to pot. Lock lid in place, making sure vent is sealed. Press Warm; set timer for 42 minutes and press Start to cook.

Release pressure manually by opening vent. Remove lid. Transfer pork to a platter and let cool. Discard cooking liquid.

Vinegar Sauce

Combine all ingredients in the cleaned pot. Press Warm; set timer for 15 minutes and press Start. Bring to a simmer; cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, shred pork with your fingers. Serve with vinegar sauce.

From Bon Appetit.

Macaroni and Cheese

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more
8 ounces cavatappi or other short curly pasta
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Gruyère, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon English mustard powder (such as Colman’s)
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 6–8 minutes (make sure to get them toasty brown; they won’t darken much during baking). Transfer to a small bowl and toss with Parmesan, thyme leaves, and ¼ tsp. salt.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (the noodles will continue to cook in the cheese sauce, so take them out a minute or two before you think they’re actually done). Drain pasta; let cool while you make the sauce.

Bring milk to a bare simmer in a small saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to stick to bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add warm milk in a few additions, whisking to combine after each addition.

Bring béchamel sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until sauce is thickened and doesn’t feel grainy when a little bit is rubbed between your fingers, 6–8 minutes (cooking the flour thoroughly at this stage ensures a creamy sauce). Add Fontina, Gruyère, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and ¾ tsp. salt and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and mix in pasta; transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish.

Bake 10 minutes. Top with Parmesan breadcrumbs and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges, 8–10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Green Bean Casserole

2 pounds green beans
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 large sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup French’s fried onions

Preheat oven to 375°. Working in batches, cook green beans a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and halfway to tenderness, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain and let cool; trim stem ends.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook half of mushrooms, without stirring, until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes more.

Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 thyme sprigs to pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until butter browns and mushrooms are dark brown and very tender, about 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and transfer to a plate.

Repeat with 2 Tbsp. butter, salt, and remaining oil, mushrooms, and thyme.

Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-low. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until roux is golden brown and smells mildly nutty, about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk and cream. Increase heat and bring to a simmer, whisking often, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in garlic and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange green beans and mushrooms in a 2-qt. baking dish. Pour sauce over (it may not look like enough, but it will get saucier as it bakes). Cover tightly with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, 25–30 minutes.

Uncover and continue to bake until casserole is lightly browned on top and around the edges, 15–20 minutes longer. Top with fried onions and continue to bake just until onions are slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Let sit 10 minutes to set before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 bunch spinach, thick stems trimmed
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 10-oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Crackers, chips, or toasted baguette (for serving)

Preheat oven to 400°. Cook spinach in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain spinach, squeezing out excess liquid, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel and use the towel to wring out as much liquid as possible. Be thorough and use some muscle; water from the spinach will make the dip thin and runny (not what you want). Transfer spinach to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until pan begins to look dry, about 2 minutes; season spinach with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Pulse cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a food processor, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until combined and smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and fold in artichoke hearts, Parmesan, and spinach mixture; season with salt and pepper.

Scrape mixture into a 1-qt. baking dish and bake until golden brown on top, 20–25 minutes. Let dip cool slightly. Serve with crackers, chips, toast, or—dare we say it?—a vegetable.

From Bon Appetit

New England Clam Chowder

8 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed
1 tbsp unsalted butter
8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, minced
1 large onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh chives
Oyster crackers or Vermont Common Crackers

Bring clams and 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Cook until clams just open, 8-10 minutes (discard any that do not open). Using a large slotted spoon, transfer clams to a large rimmed baking sheet; set broth aside. Let clams cool slightly, then pull meat from shells; discard shells.

Chop clams into bite-size pieces. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Add water if needed to measure 6 cups. DO AHEAD: Clams and broth can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.

Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add celery, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add reserved broth (or 6 cups bottled clam juice), potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf.

Bring chowder base to a simmer; cook until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.

Stir cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form a slurry. Stir slurry into chowder base; return to a boil to thicken. DO AHEAD: Base can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Keep clams chilled. Bring base to a simmer before continuing.

Remove base from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in reserved clams (or two 10-ounce cans baby clams) and cream. Season with salt, if needed (clams’ brininess varies), and pepper.

Divide chowder among bowls. Garnish with chives and oyster crackers.

From Bon Appetit

Matzo Ball Soup

Chicken stock

1 4–5-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 pound chicken wings, necks, and/or backs
2 large yellow onions, unpeeled, quartered
6 celery stalks, cut into 1″ pieces
4 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
1 large shallot, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Matzo ball Mixture

3 large eggs, beaten to blend
3/4 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup schmaltz (chicken fat), melted
3 tablespoons club soda
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Assembly

2 small carrots, peeled, sliced 1/4 thick on a diagonal
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper

Bring all ingredients and 12 cups cold water to a boil in a very large (at least 12-qt.) stockpot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken breasts are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Transfer breasts to a plate (remaining chicken parts are strictly for stock). Let breasts cool slightly, then remove meat and return bones to stock. Shred meat. Let cool, tightly wrap, and chill.

Continue to simmer stock, skimming surface occasionally, until reduced by one-third, about 2 hours. Strain chicken stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan (or airtight container, if not using right away); discard solids. You should have about 8 cups.

DO AHEAD: Stock can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Keep reserved chicken meat chilled.
Matzo Ball mixture

Mix eggs, matzo meal, schmaltz, club soda, and salt in a medium bowl (mixture will resemble wet sand; it will firm up as it rests). Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

DO AHEAD: Mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
assembly

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, 5–7 minutes. Remove from heat, add reserved breast meat, and cover. Set soup aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Scoop out 2-tablespoonful portions matzo ball mixture and, using wet hands, gently roll into balls.

Add matzo balls to water and reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer (too much bouncing around will break them up). Cover pot and cook matzo balls until cooked through and starting to sink, 20–25 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Using a slotted spoon, transfer matzo balls to bowls. Ladle soup over, top with dill, and season with pepper.

From Bon Appetit.

Best Lasagna

Ragù Bolognese

2 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef chuck (20% fat)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz. pancetta or slab bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
Béchamel

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 cups whole milk
4 oz. Parmesan, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 lb. dried lasagna noodles (we like De Cecco since they are wide and short)
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil (for greasing)

Ragù Bolognese

Preheat oven to 225°. Mix pork and beef with your hands in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper, then mix again. Form into about 18 large meatballs (they don’t need to be perfect—you’ll be mashing them later).

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook meatballs, turning occasionally and reducing heat if bottom of pot looks in danger of scorching, until browned all over, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet as they’re done.

Reduce heat to medium. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6–8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste darkens, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly completely evaporated, 4–5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is jammy and reduced by about half, 8–10 minutes. Add broth and milk and return meat to pot. Bring to a simmer. Cover pot, leaving lid slightly ajar, and transfer to oven. Bake sauce (no need to stir, but check after 1–2 hours to ensure liquid is at a low simmer, adjusting oven temperature as needed) until meatballs are falling-apart tender, 3–4 hours.

Using a potato masher, break meatballs apart and incorporate into liquid (you should have about 8 cups ragù); season with salt and pepper. Reduce over medium-low heat if needed to thicken.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 4 days ahead; let cool, then cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.
Béchamel

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until flour begins to smell a bit nutty, about 4 minutes. Quickly whisk in milk and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, until béchamel thickens, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking occasionally, until smooth and velvety, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Parmesan, cayenne, and nutmeg (you should have about 6 cups); season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and use within 1 hour or chill.

Do Ahead: Béchamel can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Rewarm just enough to loosen before using.
Assembly

Preheat oven to 325°. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally and separating noodles so they don’t stick to each other, until just starting to soften but still snap in half rather than bend when folded; 3 minutes is the magic number. They will be so firm it will just seem all wrong, but this is what separates al dente lasagna layers from gummy ones. Transfer noodles to a large bowl of cold water to cool. Drain and lie flat in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, separated by parchment or wax paper.

Lightly oil a 13×9″ glass or ceramic baking dish. Spread 1½ cups ragù in dish. Lay a single layer of noodles over ragù (you will need to cut some noodles in half in order to fill all gaps). Spoon 1¼ cups béchamel over noodles, spreading in an even layer with a small offset spatula. Top béchamel with 1½ cups ragù. Repeat, creating 5 layers of pasta (or 6, depending on how deep your pan is) and ending with remaining 1 cup béchamel. It should come right to the top edge of the dish, and the top layer of pasta will get super crunchy when baked.

Cover with a lightly oiled piece of foil and set on a rimmed baking sheet (just to catch drips). Bake lasagna until bubbling gently around the edges, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 425°; carefully place rack in top of oven. Uncover and continue to bake until top is browned and crisp around the edges, 10–15 minutes.

Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Bon Appetit

Lasagna Bolognese

Bolognese Sauce

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
4 oz. pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk
1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
Fresh Pasta Dough and Noodles

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more
4 large eggs, room temperature

Béchamel

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, warmed
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Kosher salt
Assembly

Kosher salt
Unsalted butter, room temperature (for dish)
2 cups finely grated Parmesan

Bolognese Sauce

Pulse onion, carrot, and celery in a food processor until finely chopped.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add beef, pork, pancetta, and vegetables; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until moisture is almost completely evaporated and meat is well browned, 25–30 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Add wine to pot and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until moisture is almost completely evaporated, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes and 2 cups broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, adding water by ½-cupfuls if sauce looks dry, until flavors meld and sauce thickens, 2½–3 hours.

Let sauce cool, then cover and chill at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. (Letting the sauce sit will give it a deeper, richer flavor.)

DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Fresh Pasta Dough and Noodles

Whisk salt and 3 cups flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and crack eggs into well. Mix eggs with a fork, then slowly mix in flour until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if sticky, until smooth, about 5 minutes (it will be fairly stiff). Wrap in plastic; let sit until dough holds an indentation when pressed, 1–2 hours.

Set pasta maker to thickest setting; dust lightly with flour. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping remaining dough wrapped in plastic as you work, flatten dough into a narrow rectangle (no wider than mouth of machine); pass through rollers. Fold dough as needed to fit and run through again. Repeat without folding, adjusting machine to thinner settings after every pass and dusting with flour if sticky, until pasta sheet is 1/16” thick (setting 8 on most machines). Place pasta sheets on a lightly floured surface and cut crosswise into 16 8”-long noodles.

DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 1 day ahead; chill. Bring to room temperature before rolling out, about 1 hour. Noodles can be made 1 day ahead. Stack on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper between each layer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
Béchamel

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in warm milk, ½-cupful at a time. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking often, until the consistency of cream, 8–10 minutes; add nutmeg and season with salt. Remove from heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and press plastic wrap directly onto surface; let cool slightly.

DO AHEAD: Béchamel can be made 1 day ahead. Keep covered and chill.

Reheat the sauces. Combine Bolognese sauce and remaining 1 cup broth in a large saucepan over medium heat, and heat until sauce is warmed through.

Meanwhile, if you made the béchamel ahead of time, heat in a medium saucepan over low heat just until warmed through (you don’t want to let it boil).

Working in batches, cook fresh lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until just softened, about 10 seconds. Remove carefully with tongs and transfer to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain noodles and stack on a baking sheet, with paper towels between each layer, making sure noodles don’t touch (they’ll stick together).

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13×9” baking dish with butter.

Spread 1/4 cup béchamel in the prepared baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles, spread over a scant 3/4 cup Bolognese sauce, then 1/2 cup béchamel, and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat process 7 more times, starting with noodles and ending with Parmesan, for a total of 8 layers. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake lasagna until bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 50–60 minutes. Let lasagna sit 45 minutes before serving.

DO AHEAD: Lasagna can be assembled 12 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours before baking. Cook, covered with foil until the last 20 minutes, then finish cooking uncovered.

Homemade pasta is great: It’s rich and can be rolled very thin. But of course it’s not your only option: Fresh store-bought: Available in the refrigerated section of specialty stores and Italian grocers. Usually a bit thicker than what our recipe calls for but still a good choice. Buy 1 1/2 pounds. Sizes vary by shop; if needed, trim the noodles during assembly to fill the pan without much overlap. Dried: If you spot imported dried egg noodles, they’re worth the splurge, but standard supermarket durum wheat will work just fine (avoid no-boil, though). Supermarket noodles are thicker, so make fewer layers. Cook 24 noodles (1–1½ boxes) per package instructions; divide sauces evenly among 6 layers. Trim noodles as needed.

Source: Bon Appetit