Cashew Chicken and Greens Stir-Fry
Takeout won’t tempt you when this recipe is practically as quick and far healthier. Cornstarch is the secret ingredient here. When you toss chicken thighs in a couple tablespoons and cook them in a skillet, they’ll turn magically crispy and golden brown. In fact, the results remind us a little of fried chicken, minus the hassle of frying and the side of guilt. Sautéed collard greens bulk out this dish, but feel free to replace them with another hearty green (such as kale) if you have it on hand. We recommend dishing up this dinner in bowls and pairing it with crisp lager.
Southern Sweet Iced Tea
Few things are more refreshing at a mid-day meal than a tall glass of sweet tea. But too often, what arrives at lunch is an overly bitter glass of brown brew or a pale and watery pour. We like to make our own so we can control the strength and the sweetness. When brewed strong and sweetened, tea can get cloudy, but our friends in Birmingham tipped us off to a secret ingredient that not only cuts the bitterness but also makes clear tea. And it’s already in your pantry (or maybe your fridge): baking soda. Just an eighth of a teaspoon is enough to clarify 8 cups of tea.
The Easiest Way to Make Eggs for a Crowd
We love the idea of breakfast sandwiches for a crowd, but short-order cooks we are not, nor are we interested in becoming. Instead, we figured out a genius way (if we do say so ourselves) to cook two dozen eggs all at once. We whipped them up in a blender so they were nice and evenly emulsified then poured them into a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Fifteen minutes later, we topped them with cheese, cut them into squares, and slapped them on a toasted bun. Assembly is fast and easy work for you and a friend, but if you want to keep this casual, you could put the baking sheet out and let folks assemble their own.
Crispy Oven-Baked Buffalo Wings
There have been times in our lives when we tried to resist the pull of Buffalo wings. Take ‘em or leave ‘em, we’d say. But one bite of crispy, spicy, buttery chicken and we’re instantly hooked. How is it we’re not making these on the regular? Well, frying, for one. Classic Buffalo wings are typically deep fried, then tossed in a finger-licking potion of butter and hot sauce. But we found if you toss the wings in a mixture of salt and baking soda, let them air-chill in the fridge overnight before baking—that’s right, baking—they’re as crispy and intoxicating as the real deal. Psst: this trick helps to crisp up roast chicken skin too.
Baja Shrimp Tacos With Creamy Slaw
We love a crispy fried fish taco. But we might like this sweet shrimp version even better than the original. A tangy cabbage slaw helps to balance the richness of the fried shrimp but we took extra steps to keep the batter light. Cutting the flour with a little cornstarch prevents it from getting tough (because cornstarch has no gluten), but you can substitute rice flour or arrowroot if you have it. The bubbles in the seltzer add air so the batter stays crisp and light. Pro tip: whisking your batter over an ice bath will preserve more seltzer bubbles. Keep it cold until ready to use.
Pickle Compound Butter
If you haven’t tried making compound butter yet, now’s the time to start. The name may sound fancy, but compound butter is just a a fancy way to say butter with stuff stirred into it. In this version we folded in chopped dill pickles, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and pepper. Store it in any airtight container or do it restaurant-style: spoon the mixture onto wax paper, shape it into a 1-inch thick log, roll it up and twist the ends. When it firms up in the refrigerator you can slice it into round pats for serving on top of hot grilled steak, chicken, or veggies.
Creamy Zucchini Toasts
Look no further for a speedy appetizer that everyone will want to gobble up. These two-bite open-facers are pleasingly retro. Although you can use thin toast like pumpernickel, rye, or whole wheat, we actually prefer good old sliced white bread. The toasts are spread with a mixture that tastes a little like creamy spinach dip (minus the spinach). Magic happens in the oven: the thinly sliced zucchini softens while the cheese bubbles and the bread crisps. The results get topped with a bit of sliced scallion right before serving for an extra touch of freshness.
Tomatoes With Ricotta and Herbs
While summer has us chomping at the bit for a perfectly constructed BLT, we prefer to put our tomatoes center stage. Tomato season is so fleeting that our favorite way to enjoy the fruit is with some good olive oil and flaky salt. Granted, sometimes that can get a little redundant, so this recipe adds a creamy ricotta spread and fresh tender herbs to complement the sweet tomato flavor without overwhelming it. We recommend serving this on a big platter. If you’re feeding a number of hungry mouths you might even want to double the recipe, it’s that good.
Spanish Tortilla With Harissa Sauce
“Potato perfection” isn’t exactly a common saying, but this recipe will bring it into your vernacular. Think of this dish like a giant potato pancake. It’s crispy and golden brown on the outside and tender and creamy on the inside. Slice it into wedges like a pie and serve it with your favorite salad. A quick homemade harissa aioli adds a ton of flavor and bright color. Harissa is sold in jars or tubes in most grocery stores in the international aisle but make sure to use one that’s appropriate to your heat preference: some of them can be very spicy.