Chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons

Regular followers have probably noticed that I don’t cook much meat or poultry. In part, this is due to cost and environmental reasons.

But it’s also due to taste. I cook for leftovers, because I, like many of us, am too busy to cook multiple nights each week. And I often find meat leftovers…uninspiring. How do you reheat them without them drying out? (Does everyone know something about this that I don’t?) Plus, soups, grain salads, vegetarian stews, and so on all get better after a night in the fridge, rather than worse.

For me, the one exception to this rule is any meat or poultry that can be reheated in a sauce. The sauce helps keep the meat moist while it reheats.

That’s where this recipe comes in. Continue reading “Chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons”

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Brussels sprouts with bacon and figs

Like most children in America, my brother and I hated Brussels sprouts when we were growing up. My dad didn’t care for them either. For years after my mom stopped cooking them, “Brussels sprouts” were synonymous with “disgusting” in our house.

Then along came this recipe, and we all had to eat our words. Instead of halving the sprouts, you slice them. Then you sauté the sprouts with a generous portion of bacon and figs. The whole thing is finished by deglazing the pan with a bit of balsamic vinegar. The result is the perfect gateway recipe: each bite of sprouts is balanced by salty bacon and sweet figs. Continue reading “Brussels sprouts with bacon and figs”

Five-hour, three-meat ragu

Most of my meals are vegetarian or vegan-ish. I have no problem with eating meat. But I usually cook for leftovers, and the idea of eating red meat every night for the rest of the week feels a bit…heavy. So most weeks, my my menu includes a big batches of a great soup and a hearty grain salad.

But them sometimes—sometimes I eat ragù. And oh my, it is about as far from a hearty grain salad as one can get. The way the braised meat practically melts over the pasta–the umami of the meat and cooked tomatoes–a glass of red wine on the side–it’s a visceral experience. Continue reading “Five-hour, three-meat ragu”