Milk Street’s Moroccan Lemon-Ginger Chicken Skewers

Milk Street’s Moroccan Lemon-Ginger Chicken Skewers

This is a relatively easy recipe that can be prepared quickly and results in incredibly flavorful chicken. It is from the cookbook - Milk Street: Tuesday Nights: More than 200 Simple Weeknight Suppers that Deliver Bold Flavor, Fast. It’s filled with easy to follow recipes that are simple enough for the middle of the week, but still deliver big, bold flavors. Timing is everything with this recipe, so prep your ingredients, and start your grill just as you begin to marinate the chicken. Any leftover chicken works great in a wrap or on a salad the next day.

Download Milk Street’s Moroccan Ginger-Lemon Chicken Skewers recipe

 

3 lemons

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons honey, divided

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or mint (or combo of all 3)

  1. With a Microplane rasp grater, use 1 lemon to grate 1 tablespoon of zest and squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice into a large bowl and then add the olive oil, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the honey; stir ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Cut each chicken thigh crosswise into 3 strips. Add the chicken to the marinade, toss and set aside for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. For a charcoal grill, spread a large chimney three-quarters full of hot coals evenly over the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, set all burners to high. Heat the grill, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate. If using gas, reduce the burners to medium-high just before adding the chicken.
  4. Thread the chicken onto four 12-inch metal skewers, scrunching multiple pieces onto each skewer. Cut the remaining 2 lemons in half. Grill the chicken and lemon halves (cut side down) until the chicken is well charred all over, 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove the lemons once their cut sides are nicely charred.
  5. Transfer the skewers and lemon halves to a platter. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of honey over the cut sides of the lemons. Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon half over the chicken, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cilantro, parsley or mint. Serve with the remaining lemon halves on the side.

 

Milk Street’s Moroccan Lemon-Ginger Chicken Skewers prep 

Milk Street’s Moroccan Lemon-Ginger Chicken Skewers grill


Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna For Two

Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna serving

Generally, lasagna is reserved for large gatherings, but this scaled down recipe makes a mini version that serves two generous portions. Using jarred tomato sauce saves time, but you can use your favorite homemade if you have it on hand.

Download Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna For Two

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces 85% lean ground beef

2 cups jarred tomato sauce, Rao’s or Muir Glenn, or homemade

4 ounces whole-milk or part-skim ricotta cheese

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

1 large egg, lightly beaten

⅛ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon pepper

4 no-boil Barilla lasagna noodles

4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in tomato sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper in bowl and set aside.

5. Cover bottom of 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with 1/2 cup sauce. Top with 1 noodle and spread one-third of ricotta mixture evenly over noodle. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella and cover with 1/2 cup sauce. Repeat twice, beginning with noodle and ending with sauce. Top with remaining 1 noodle, remaining 1 cup sauce, remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella, and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

6. Cover pan tightly with foil sprayed with vegetable oil spray and bake until bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard foil and continue to bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped basil or parsley. Serve.

Quick Loaf Pan Lasagna recipe


Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes

Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes

These pancakes might be my favorite – fluffy, tender, flavorful, satisfying, and somewhat healthier than most recipes. It is from a great cookbook called Nutritious Delicious (currently on sale at America’s Test Kitchen!) which features a collection of “bright, fresh-tasting dishes that takes healthy cooking to a new level” and promises to “leave everyone at the table satisfied".

Download Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes recipe

Makes about 16 four-inch pancakes (or you can easily cut recipe in half to serve 2)

2 cups buttermilk, plus extra as needed

1 cup (3 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill Oats)

1½ cups (4½ ounces) oat flour

½ cup (2½ ounces) all-purpose flour

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

7½ ounces (1½ cups) blueberries

*BEFORE YOU BEGIN

Bob’s Red Mill Oat flour works best here, as it has a very fine grind and creates the most fluffy pancakes, but you can make your own in a pinch: Grind 1½ cups (4½ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor to a fine meal, about 2 minutes; note pancakes will be denser if using ground oats. Do not use toasted oat flour, or quick, instant, or thick-cut oats in this recipe. Serve with maple syrup and additional blueberries if desired.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Combine 1 cup buttermilk and oats in bowl and let sit at room temperature until softened, about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg together in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk remaining 1 cup buttermilk, eggs, 3 tablespoons oil (or cooled melted butter), sugar, and vanilla together until frothy, about 1 minute. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in oat-buttermilk mixture.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat until shimmering, 3 to 5 minutes. Using paper towels, wipe out oil, leaving thin film in pan. Using ¼-cup measure, portion batter into pan, spreading each into 4-inch round using back of spoon. Sprinkle each pancake with 1 tablespoon blueberries. Cook until edges are set and first side is golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Flip pancakes and cook until second side is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve or transfer to wire rack in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, whisking additional buttermilk into batter as needed to loosen, and adding remaining oil to pan as necessary.

Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes ingredients


Festive Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool Flutes

Fool is a popular British dessert that is similar to Eton Mess but without the crumbled meringue shells. It is super easy to throw together – any combination of berries and cream will work, but they look particularly festive in tall stemmed glasses. This version based on an old recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Rhubarb Fool features rhubarb, which is a classic pairing with strawberries, and great to use during its peak season. If you have a bigger crowd, the recipe easily doubles, and you might make them easy to serve by using stemless wine glasses.

Download Festive Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool recipe

Serves 4

FILLING:

½ pound fresh rhubarb, trimmed of ends and cut into 6-inch lengths

8 ounces fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled; each berry quartered (about 6 or 7 large berries)

3 tablespoons orange juice

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

CREAM/TOPPING:

1 cup heavy cream (cold)

¼ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

4 Carr's Whole Wheat Crackers or Graham Crackers, finely crushed (about 1/4 cup)

4 sprigs fresh mint leaves (optional)

1. Soak rhubarb in a one-quart cold water for 20 minutes. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and cut rhubarb crosswise into slices 1/2-inch thick.

2. Bring orange juice, 6 tablespoons sugar, and salt to boil in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rhubarb and strawberries and return to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring only 2 or 3 times (frequent stirring causes rhubarb to become mushy), until rhubarb begins to break down and is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer rhubarb and strawberries to nonreactive bowl, cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

3. Place cream, sour cream, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in chilled bowl of stand mixer. Beat on low speed until bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high; continue beating until mixture has nearly doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks, about 30 seconds.

4. To assemble fool, spoon 1/4 of the rhubarb and strawberries into each of two 8-ounce glasses, then spoon in about 1/4 of the whipped cream (you can also use a piping bag to help keep edges clean. Repeat, ending with dollop of cream. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and garnish with mint sprigs, if using. Serve or can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 6 hours.


Classic British Bakewell Tart (Almond Frangipane Jam Tart)

Classic British Bakewell Tart Almond Frangipane Jam Tart sliced

If you’re a fan of The Great British Baking Show, you may remember this recipe from an episode where the bakers are challenged by Mary Berry to make a Bakewell Tart,   an English confection consisting of a short pastry shell beneath layers of jam, frangipane, and a topping of sliced almonds. Recently, pastry chef/author Gesine Prado posted a helpful instructional video on the King Arthur Facebook page  demonstrating her take on the King Arthur recipe for this wonderful dessert. She made it look so easy, that I decided to give it a try. Watching the video allays any fear one might have when tackling a new recipe, and the result is spectacular. I made a couple of minor changes to the crust and filling recipe, but otherwise followed the recipe as printed, and followed Gesine’s mixing tips for the filling.

Download Classic British Almond-Jam Tart Bakewell Tart recipe

Crust:

1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz/180g) unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup (2 oz/60g) confectioners’ sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (4 oz/113g) cold unsalted butter

1 large egg yolk; reserve the white for the filling

2 tablespoons heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla

Frangipane filling:

1 1/4 cups (4 ¼ oz/120g) almond flour

1/2 cup (3.5 oz/99g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (28g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 large egg white

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

8 tablespoons (113g) soft unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces

¼ cup (2¾ oz/80g) seedless raspberry jam

½ cup (43g) sliced almonds

Confectioners’ sugar and raspberries, for decorating, if desired

FOR THE CRUST:

  1. Whisk together yolk, cream, and vanilla in small bowl. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor with four 1-second pulses. Scatter cold butter pieces over flour mixture; pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal, about twenty 1-second pulses. With machine running, add egg mixture and process until dough comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and press into 6-inch disk; wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Unwrap and roll on a lightly floured work surface into a 12” circle. Gently transfer the dough circle to a 9” tart pan, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough with kitchen scissors so that you’re left with just 1/2” of overhanging dough around the perimeter of the tart. Fold the overhang down to reinforce the sides of the pastry then use the tines of a fork to poke holes across the bottom.
  3. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  4. Line the crust with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights, rice, or your favorite blind-baking weights.
  5. Bake the crust on a baking sheet (to catch any butter drips) with the weights for 20 minutes then remove the parchment or foil with the weights and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until the edges and bottom of the crust are lightly golden.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool while you prepare the filling.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F

FOR THE FILLING:

  1. Add almond flour, sugar, flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3- times to combine. Add egg and egg white, almond and vanilla extracts; process until combined, about 10 seconds. Add butter and process until no lumps remain, about 10 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula and process to combine thoroughly, about 10 seconds longer. (Can be refrigerated in airtight container up to 3 days. Before using, let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes to soften, stirring 3 or 4 times.)
  2. Spread the raspberry jam evenly into the bottom of the slightly cooled crust. Using a piping bag (or use a plastic freezer bag and cut a ½” opening in the corner) pipe the almond filling in a circular motion to cover the jam. Alternatively, you can spoon the almond mixture over the jam, but be careful not to mix the jam into the almond filling. Once the jam is covered, gently spread it to the edges of the tart, and smooth out the surface. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly on top.
  3. Bake the tart on the baking sheet for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a rack. Transfer to serving plate and dust with powdered sugar and decorate with fresh raspberries, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Classic British Bakewell Tart Almond Frangipane Jam Tart crust 

Classic British Bakewell Tart Almond Frangipane Jam Tart filling 

Classic British Bakewell Tart Almond Frangipane Jam Tart photo
Classic British Bakewell Tart Almond Frangipane Jam Tart photo


Ina Garten’s Quick and Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese plate

This recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook – How is Easy is That? - gets rave reviews online, but some reason I had yet to make it. I thought that a good Bolognese needed hours to make, but this streamlined version manages to nearly rival the depth and richness of a long-cooked version. It comes together fast, with readily available ingredients, making it an easy at home recipe.

Download Ina Garten’s Quick and Easy Weeknight Bolognese recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground sirloin (90%)

4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1¼ cups dry red wine, divided

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

¼ cup heavy cream

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. 
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, and hot red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Pour the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1½ teaspoons ground pepper, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.
  4. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, chopped basil, cream and add the remaining ¼ cup of wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, transfer it with a slotted spoon or sieve to the pan with the sauce, saving the ½ cup of the pasta liquid.  Cook for one minute, adding pasta water, a bit at a time, if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta
Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta
Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta


King Arthur Flour Super Easy Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza

I’ve seen this recipe posted so often recently, with rave reviews, that I decided I’d better make it and see for myself. One bite of this crispy, crunchy, cheesy pizza and you will understand why it is King Arthur Flour’s recipe of the year. It’s similar to a Chicago deep dish, but the crust is so soft and tender, like focaccia, and the mozzarella melts around the edges, forming a deliciously crusty edge. Kristen Miglore from Food 52 posted a great video that shows how easy this recipe is to make at home, you can view it here

Download King Arthur Flour Super Easy Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza recipe

For the Crust:

2 cups (240g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast or active dry yeast

3/4 cup (170g) lukewarm water

1 tablespoon (13g) olive oil + 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil for the pan

For the Topping:

6 ounces (170g) mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups, loosely packed)

1/3 to 1/2 cup (74g to 113g) tomato sauce or pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought (Rao’s or Muir Glen Pizza Sauce are both good options)

*freshly grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and/or fresh herbs for sprinkling on top after baking, optional

METHOD

  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  2. Place the flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon (13g) of the olive oil in medium/large bowl.
  3. Stir everything together with wooden spoon or rubber spatula to make a shaggy, sticky mass of dough with no dry patches of flour. about 1 minute by hand. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to gather the dough into a rough ball; cover the bowl with towel or plastic wrap.
  4. After 5 minutes, uncover the bowl and reach a bowl scraper or your wet hand down between the side of the bowl and the dough, as though you were going to lift the dough out. Instead of lifting, stretch the bottom of the dough up and over its top. Repeat three more times, turning the bowl 90° each time. This process of four stretches, which takes the place of kneading, is called a fold.
  5. Re-cover the bowl, and after 5 minutes do another fold. Wait 5 minutes and repeat; then another 5 minutes and do a fourth and final fold. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest, undisturbed, for 40 minutes. Then refrigerate it for a minimum of 12 hours, or up to 72 hours. It'll rise slowly as it chills, developing flavor; this long rise will also add flexibility to your schedule.
  6. About 3 hours before you want to serve your pizza, prepare your pan. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) olive oil into a well-seasoned cast iron skillet that’s 10” to 11” diameter across the top, and about 9” across the bottom. Heavy, dark cast iron will give you a superb crust; but if you don’t have it, use another oven-safe heavy-bottomed skillet of similar size, or a 10” round cake pan or 9” square pan. Tilt the pan to spread the oil across the bottom, and use your fingers or a paper towel to spread some oil up the edges, as well.
  7. Transfer the dough to the pan and turn it once to coat both sides with the oil. After coating the dough in oil, press the dough to the edges of the pan, dimpling it using the tips of your fingers in the process. The dough may start to resist and shrink back; that’s OK, just cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes, then repeat the dimpling/pressing. At this point the dough should reach the edges of the pan; if it doesn’t, give it one more 15-minute rest before dimpling/pressing a third and final time.
  8. Cover the crust and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The fully risen dough will look soft and pillowy and will jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
  9. About 30 minutes before baking, place one rack at the bottom of the oven and one toward the top (about 4" to 5" from the top heating element). Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  10. When you’re ready to bake the pizza, sprinkle about three-quarters of the mozzarella (a scant 1 cup) evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust, no bare dough showing; this will yield caramelized edges. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese; laying the cheese down first like this will prevent the sauce from seeping into the crust and making it soggy. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
  11. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are a rich golden brown (use a spatula to check the bottom). If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 2 to 4 minutes longer. On the other hand, if the top seems fine but the bottom's not browned to your liking, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for another 2 to 4 minutes. Home ovens can vary a lot, so use the visual cues and your own preferences to gauge when you’ve achieved the perfect bake.
  12. Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a heatproof surface. Carefully run a table knife or spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. Let the pizza cool very briefly; as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, carefully transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  13. Serve the pizza anywhere from medium-hot to warm. Use a large serrated knife to gently cut through pizza, using sawing motion. Sprinkle with optional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, red pepper flakes, herbs and serve.

King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball
King Arthur Flour Super Easy Cheesy Pan Pizza dough ball


Quick Skillet Paella for Two

Quick Skillet Paella for Two final

Some may scoff at the idea of a “shortcut” paella that tastes great, but this recipe really delivers amazing flavor in record time. A few key ingredients lend to the authentic flavor – saffron, smoked paprika, and Spanish chorizo – all add tremendous flavor. Everything is cooked in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, but a well-seasoned 12” cast iron skillet will work too, and either pan will produce the paella’s signature crispy bottom crust called soccarat.

Download Quick Skillet Paella Two recipe

6 ounces extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 small onion, chopped

½ red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

¼ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 bay leaf

¾ cup Valencia or Arborio rice

Salt and pepper

2 ¾ cups chicken broth

3 ounces Spanish dry-cured chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Pinch saffron threads (optional)

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

¼ cup frozen peas, thawed, optional

Lemon wedges

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and ground pepper, set aside until needed.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and red pepper and cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in wine, tomato paste, garlic, paprika, and bay leaf and cook until liquid evaporates, and mixture looks oily, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in rice and cook until grains are well coated with tomato mixture, about 1 minute. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in broth, Spanish chorizo, saffron, (if using); chicken; and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  5. Bring to strong simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, over medium heat until liquid level falls just below surface of rice but paella still looks wet, 10 to 14 minutes. (After first 5 minutes of simmering, do not stir or paella will become starchy.)
  6. Add shrimp to pan and nestle halfway into rice. Continue to cook until shrimp are mostly pink, and all liquid has been absorbed, 4 to 7 minutes longer (paella will crackle and pop when liquid is absorbed).
  7. To develop crust (socarrat) on bottom of paella, continue to cook until crackling and popping sounds become more pronounced, while occasionally rotating skillet over the burner for even browning, 3 to 5 minutes. At this point, shrimp should be almost completely pink, and paella should look dry on top.
  8. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with peas and parsley, cover, and let warm through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and s.erve with lemon wedges and drizzle with extra oil.

Quick Skillet Paella arborio rice
Quick Skillet Paella arborio rice 

Quick Skillet Paella shrimp layer
Quick Skillet Paella shrimp layer


Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie

Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie 

If you love banana cream pie, this is the only recipe you will ever need - luxurious pastry cream surrounds sliced bananas and lathered in freshly whipped cream. The filling’s banana flavor in heightened by infusing the pastry cream with sautéed bananas. I prefer the taste of a homemade flaky butter crust, but you can use a ready-made pie crust, or graham cracker crust. Cook’s Country developed this recipe back in 2012 and I’ve yet to find one that beats it. They included some helpful notes with the original recipe: Use all-yellow to lightly spotted, not green-topped or all-brown bananas for this recipe. Peel and slice the bananas just before using to help prevent browning. When straining the half-and-half in step 2, do not press on the bananas or the custard will turn gray as it sits. The pie can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Because the mixture in step 3 is very thick, the temperature varies a bit from place to place in the pot; be sure to check the temperature in various locations before removing the pot from heat.

Download Blue-Ribbon Banana Cream Pie recipe

5 ripe bananas (see note above)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)

2 ½ cups half-and-half

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 large egg yolks

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 9” prebaked pie shell, or graham cracker crust

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  1. Peel 2 bananas and slice into ½-inch-thick pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sliced bananas and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add half-and-half, bring to boil, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 40 minutes.
  2. Whisk granulated sugar, egg yolks, and salt together in large bowl until smooth. Whisk in cornstarch. Strain cooled half-and-half mixture through fine-mesh strainer into yolk mixture—do not press on bananas—and whisk until incorporated; discard cooked bananas.
  3. Transfer mixture to clean medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and registering 180 to 185 degrees, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat; whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to bowl, press greased parchment paper directly against surface, and let cool for about 1 hour.
  4. Peel and slice remaining 3 bananas ¼ inch thick and toss with orange juice. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spread half over bottom of cooled pie shell. Arrange sliced bananas on pastry cream. Top with remaining pastry cream.
  5. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread whipped cream evenly over top of pie. Refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. Serve.

Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie bananas
Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie bananas
Blue Ribbon Banana Cream Pie bananas


Thin Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies 

Salted Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies Jar

Most people love big chewy oatmeal cookies, but I’m partial to this thin, crispy, buttery version from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Perfect Cookie -  They stay crisp for days in a sealed container, or you can freeze them and enjoy whenever you’re in the mood for one. I prefer them frozen, extra crunchy – they’re addictive!  

Download Thin Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies recipe

Makes 24 cookies

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon table salt

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), softened but still cool, about 65 degrees

1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)

¼ cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (see note)

½ teaspoon flaked sea salt

*BEFORE YOU BEGIN

To ensure that the cookies bake evenly and are crisp throughout, bake them 1 tray at a time. Place them on the baking sheet in 3 rows, with 3 cookies in the outer rows and 2 cookies in the center row. If you reuse a baking sheet, allow the cookies on it to cool at least 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack, then reline the sheet with fresh parchment before baking more cookies.

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl
  2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth, 10 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated, 20 seconds. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain, and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons (or use #30 cookie scoop), then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2-1/2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet. Using fingertips, gently press each dough ball to 3/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, and centers yield to slight pressure when pressed, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack, cool cookies completely on sheet.

Salted Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies sheet
Salted Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies sheet