Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

A One-Pot Middle Eastern Chicken For the Win

A complete meal -- all made in one pot in the oven.
A complete meal — all made in one pot in the oven.

Molly Baz says this just might be her favorite recipe in her newest cookbook.

One taste, and you’ll be nodding in immediate agreement.

“One-Pot Chicken Mujadara,” is her take on the warmly scented Middle Eastern dish of rice and lentils in which she cooks them together in a Dutch oven with a whole chicken that turns to blissful, fall-apart tenderness.

The recipe is from her “More Is More” (Clarkson Potter, 2023) of which I received a review copy.

Baz is the Los Angeles girl wonder — the New York Times bestselling cookbook author; founder of the natural wine company, Drink This Wine; and creator of the YouTube series “Hit, The Kitch.”

These sunny, easy-breezy recipes in the book include many with QR codes to scan for step-by-step tutorials and recipe videos, too.

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Lidia Bastianich’s Spicy Vinegar Ribs and Potatoes

Italian-style ribs and potatoes -- all cooked in one roasting pan in the oven.
Italian-style ribs and potatoes — all cooked in one roasting pan in the oven.

Whenever I found myself mindlessly channel surfing while growing up, I would immediately be transfixed whenever I hit channel 9 to find Lidia Matticchio Bastianich cooking up something — anything — in her kitchen.

She has a knack for making cooking seem so natural, so effortless, and so achievable. And her Italian warmth just makes you want to pull up a chair to her table and stay a long while.

Her newest cookbook embodies that spirit. “Lidia’s From Our Family Table to Yours” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2023), of which I received a review copy, was written by the incomparable Emmy Award-winning public television host, best-selling cookbook author, and restaurateur. With her son, Joe Bastianich and business partner Oscar Farinetti, she also opened Eataly, the famous Italian food-and-wine emporium in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Toronto, San Jose, Dallas, and Sao Paulo.

She co-wrote the book with her daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, who spearheads the production of her mother’s television series, and is a co-partner in the Italian sandwich shop, All’Antico Vinaio in New York City.

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A Clever, Distinctive Riff on Lasagna

Get ready for the incredible dan dan lasagna.
Get ready for the incredible dan dan lasagna.

Chances are this will be the most unique lasagna you’ve ever sunk your teeth into.

That’s because in this version, the classic Italian dish veers Chinese — big-time.

The expected wide, frilly noodles with tomato sauce, abundant ground pork, and loads of stretchy cheese are there. But so are numbing Sichuan peppercorns, spicy chili oil, fragrant five-spice powder, and salty, funky preserved mustard greens.

Meet you new bestie, “Dan Dan Lasagna.”

This inventive recipe is from “Kung Food” (Clarkson Potter, 2023), of which I received a review copy. It was written by culinary content creator, and TikTok, YouTube and Instagram sensation, Jon Kung.

Born in Los Angeles, raised in Hong Kong and Toronto, and now living in Detroit, he pivoted from hosting pop-ups during the pandemic to growing a social media presence. His food emanates from what he calls his third-culture kitchen, seasoned and flavored by his personal experience as the child of immigrants who grew up in a new culture adopted by his parents. Feeling neither wholly American or Chinese, Kung considers his cooking American Chinese, or Third-Culture Chinese, a blend unique to his own upbringing.

The result is a collection of 100 recipes that tantalize with fun and flair, such as “SELT (Spam, Egg, Lettuce, and Tomato)” sandwich, “Spaghetti and Lion’s Head Meatballs,” “A Clay Pot Inspired By Jollof Rice,” “Hong Kong Chicken and Waffles,” and “Chile Chipotle Mango Pudding.”

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Cozy Up To Chicken and Rye Dumplings

Chicken stew with fluffy dumplings made with rye flour.
Chicken stew with fluffy dumplings made with rye flour.

It may be Lunar New Year, when all eyes and stomachs turn to devouring dumplings for their pouch-like shape that signifies fortune and prosperity.

Me? As someone who considers themself inclusive, I endorse broadening that range, After all, I don’t think I’ve ever met a dumpling of any origin that I didn’t like.

That’s especially true when it comes to “Chicken & Rye Dumplings.”

This is a seriously comforting dish, one with a soulful poultry taste, substantial amounts of veggies like homemade “Chunky Soup,” and a raft of fluffy, nutty tasting dumplings galore.

The recipe is from “The Complete Beans and Grains Cookbook,” of which I received a review copy, by America’s Test Kitchen.

You’ll find more than 450 recipes for beans and grains, those economical, nutritious, and versatile staples that do a body good, especially when combined together for a punch of protein-packed carbs.

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Kung Pao Sweet Potatoes to Usher In the Lunar New Year

Sweet potatoes get swapped in for chicken in this clever take on Kung Pao.
Sweet potatoes get swapped in for chicken in this clever take on Kung Pao.

Start the Year of the Dragon off with a bang with something fiery and inspired.

“Kung Pao Sweet Potatoes” certainly isn’t traditional fare for the Lunar New Year, which starts on Saturday. But the dish certainly makes for an exciting and enticing new addition to the celebratory feast. Plus, it’s perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone who enjoys twists on the classics.

This fun recipe is from “Veg-Table” (Chronicle Books, 2023), of which I received a review copy. It’s the newest cookbook by Los Angeles-based Nik Sharma, a former molecular biologist turned James Beard Award-winning, best-selling cookbook author, photographer, and recipe developer.

He brings his scientific background, precision for recipes, and love of big, bold flavors to bear on this collection of vegetable-focused recipes. It’s not a strictly vegetarian cookbook, but even when animal proteins are included, they play a more supporting rather than starring role.

The cookbook features more than 50 types of vegetables with recipes organized by plant family, including such temptations as “Kimchi Creamed Corn,” “Crispy Salmon with Green Curry Spinach,” “Cauliflower Bolognese,” and “Carrot, Apple, and Harissa Soup.”

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