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17 Sleeper Hit Recipes You May Have Forgotten About—But We Didn’t

Carla Lalli Music submitted a recipe that slides under the radar because it’s TOO BEAUTIFUL. “I don’t understand why more people don’t make this,” she said. “Oh wait, maybe it’s because you have to perfectly slice a bunch of potatoes, par-cook them in batches with homemade clarified butter, then shingle them in a mesmerizing spiral pattern, working in layers and drizzling with more butter all the time. Once that’s accomplished, you have to cook it in stages, first on the stovetop and finally in the oven. But: My word. When this thing comes out of the oven it is a testament to everything holy about potatoes, butter, and salt, and why they belong together, forever.”


This Wedding Cookie Recipe Is the Only Married Thing About Me

About seven years into my partnered unmarried life, I made these brown butter wedding cookies. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to a Zola registry, and for that, I’m relieved. I like to keep my distance. From institutions, not cookies! I like to be close to cookies. Very close.

In the powdered sugar-strewn timeline of desserts, there have been many variations on these cookies: Mexican wedding cakes, Italian wedding cookies, butterballs, Russian tea cakes…Regina Schrambling at the Los Angeles Times traces the buttery trail here. But the common link is this: a melt-in-your-mouth cookie made with a shocking amount of butter, powdered sugar, nuts, flour, and vanilla. A double layer of powdered sugar gives them a velvet coating that dissolves on the tongue like a freshly fallen snowflake. Scenic much?

Nutty Browned Butter Wedding Cookies

Because this is Basically, our recipe is a pared-down, simple version that doesn’t tinker and tweak with added extracts, zests, or alt-flours. However, we do start with brown butter instead of normal butter, which adds a caramel-y, nutty flavor to the already-nutty cookie. Double nut fun! If you’ve never made brown butter, now’s your chance to learn and have a whole cookie universe opened up to you. (It’s a game-changer in chocolate chip cookies too.)

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Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Judy Mancini

Brown butter looks like this, if ya wanna know.

Once you’ve made the brown butter (TWO STICKS, BABY!), you chill it ‘til it’s solid, then cream it with powdered sugar using an electric mixer until it’s all fluffy. After that you mix in the flour, and fold in chopped walnuts and vanilla. That’s your cookie dough—pause to lick spatula clean. After that you MUST chill the dough. Two hours-ish. This cookie dough is pretty much sugared butter and we need that fat to solidify so that when the cookie balls hit the oven, they don’t spread and lose their snowball shape.

Basically Brown Butter Wedding Cookies 01

Powdered sugar bath.

Roll the cold dough into balls, or shape them gently with your fingers (what I did because my were pretty crumbly and not so easy to roll, Play-Doh style). They bake for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven sitch, but what’s tricky is knowing when they’re done, because we don’t want them browned and golden like choc chips. Notice how doughy, soft, and sticky the raw dough looks, and then keep an eye out to see them firm up and almost look dried out. When they’re still warm, roll them in a powdered sugar bath, let them fully cool, and roll one more time before serving—or stashing, because they’re even better the next day.

My cookies came out looking less like perfect snowballs and more like prehistoric rocks, but that’s really the story of my life. The final texture was spot-on, though, with that soft sugar blanket giving way to smooth, shortbread butterballs with crunchy walnut specks. I’d take a bite of cookie, sip of coffee, bite of cookie—and then next thing you know, seven years have gone by and people have finally stopped asking me if I’m just going to marry the cookies already. Nah, we’re good. We’re very happy like this.

Get the recipe:



Sheet-Pan Chicken That’s Dinner Party-Worthy? It’s All About the Marinade

Let’s start with a fact, because facts are all we can count on in this cruel world (kind of). The fact is this: Yogurt is the best meat marinade there is. Why? Well, science. Unlike some acidic marinades—your vinegars, your citrus juices—yogurt contains microbes and lactic acid, which peerlessly break down proteins and tenderize meat (no weird serrated hammers required) rather than toughening it. See, when you cook meat coated in a snuggly little blanket of yogurt, the heat caramelizes the milk solids in said yogurt, creating a crisp, smoky exterior and a hyper-tender interior, thanks to all the juices that get locked inside.

This, friends, is the key to creating your new favorite all-in-one sheet-pan chicken dinner: Sheet-Pan Garam Masala Chicken, a dish so easy to make and so rewarding to eat that it’ll break through your self-imposed salad-only post-Thanksgiving diet and get you back in front of your neglected oven (that romaine’s poison anyway, y’all).

Sheet Pan Garam Masala Chicken

The first step to mastering this dish is an important one: You have to get the oven hot enough. This dish takes its inspiration from India, where meat marinated in spices and yogurt is sometimes cooked in a cylindrical clay oven called a tandoor, which is heated to temperatures up to 900 degrees. In our case, we’re not getting quite that hot. But if you preheat your home oven to 425 and move one of the racks to the upper third, you’ll still get the burnished, blistered skin and deep caramelization that makes tandoor cooking so delish.

Next, it’s marinade time. Grate up a three-inch piece of fresh ginger (definitely scrub it clean, but peeling is now officially optional), put one teaspoon aside, and dump the rest in a resealable plastic bag with two cups of whole milk Greek yogurt (I repeat! Whole milk!). Squeeze in a lemon’s worth of juice, cayenne pepper, and garam masala—which you can buy off the shelf or make yourself. Then seal up that bag and shake it, sh-shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture—seriously, classic white person Outkast reference aside, this is a good time to work out some rage and dance alone in your kitchen, a practice I recommend to all of you at least once a week.

Now it’s time to season your chicken pieces GENEROUSLY with kosher salt, stick ‘em in that bag, and return to your bag-shaking dance—working in batches if you need to (I did, which just meant more time for dancing). Once the chicken’s good and covered, set it aside to marinate, at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to four hours in the fridge. Meanwhile, chop up a big ol’ head of cauliflower, drizzle ‘n’ toss with salt ‘n’ olive oil, and arrange it all evenly across a large, rimmed, foil-lined sheet pan. Part of the great joy of this dish is that it only requires one pan which means not only that you 🚨ONLY HAVE TO WASH ONE PAN 🚨but also that you can get away with not adding any exciting seasonings to the cauliflower—it’ll get its true flavor from what happens next, which is nestling your marinated chicken pieces in the middle of that cauliflower forest. As the chicken cooks, the cauliflower will soak up all the spiced chicken-y juices that come out. Mmmmm, spiced chicken-y juices.

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Serve this juicy yogurt-marinated chicken to the squad, or keep it all to yourself.

So yeah, stick that baby in the oven and let it go until the chicken skin is blistered, the meat is tender to the bone, and the cauliflower is good and charred. You’ll want to turn the pan halfway through and move the chicken with tongs occasionally so it browns evenly, but the whole process shouldn’t taken more than 40 minutes. Spend that time dancing. That’s not a request. Your mom called me. She says you need it. It’s been awhile. Times are hard.

Okay well, you also need to spend some of those minutes preparing your chutney. But that’s easy. Just be sure to rinse your onion in cold water after you chop it to tone down the harshness.

At this point, your kitchen will be smelling real good because your one-pan dinner is ready to party. Your chicken should be crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and a wee bit spicy all over. Dolloping it with that zesty-zingy chutney lends contrast, keeping the meat-n-veg from tasting one-note and bringing the whole meal together with balance. Now all you have to do is eat up, then pat yourself on the back. For we should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one yogurt-marinated chicken.

Winner, winner, sheet-pan chicken dinner!



If You Care About Thanksgiving Leftovers, You Need to Make an Extra Turkey Breast

If you want the best leftover turkey sandwich of your life, you have to make an extra turkey breast. That’s just how it works. It sounds like turkey overdose, but we promise you, you’ll thank us when you take the first bite of the sandwich that will change your day-after Thanksgiving tradition forever.

The ultimate flaw of the next-day turkey sandwich is that the turkey breast that was sliced from your beautiful bird has dried out even more in the fridge. Your mouth is going to be walking through a poultry desert no matter how much mayo you slather on that thing. That’s why you take out the ultimate turkey insurance policy. You roast a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast in addition to whatever else you’re making for Thanksgiving.

Wait, turkey breast that’s attached to the bone? But not to the turkey?

Yes, precisely. Cooking turkey breast by itself is the perfect move for turkey sandwich obsessives, because it lets you concentrate on cooking the turkey breast to perfection, without worrying about whether or not the dark meat off to the sides has finished cooking. And if you’re unfamiliar with the cut, have no fear, because a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast isn’t hard to find at your grocery store, especially around the holidays.

We like the breast to have the skin on and the bone attached, because it offers a bit of insulation for the meat, giving you a juicer, more tender turkey when you roast it. (You can definitely fry or grill the breast, but the evenly distributed heat of an oven will cook your turkey more gently—especially when you follow our method right here.) They also offer the meat an extra dose of flavor as it cooks, since they’re filled with fat, proteins, and collagen.



Always cut against the grain!

And while we’re on the subject of flavor, you should absolutely be seasoning your turkey breast with a dry-brine. A dry-brine will deliver flavor quickly and efficiently, while taking up less space than the large, turkey-sized tub of wet brine that would be sitting in your fridge. We’re really into the dry-brine from this dry-rubbed turkey breast recipe, which is packed with coriander, fennel, kosher salt, brown sugar, and black pepper. Plus, all that salt helps break down the tough turkey fibers a bit, again helping keep everything nice and moist.

Having an untouched, perfectly-cooked breast makes slicing up meat for a turkey club the next day effortless. But it also offers a couple other options: You can serve it the night of Thanksgiving as the star of your platter—or as backup, should the breast on your main turkey end up dry. Roasting a skin-on, bone-in breast is also a great move if you’re only cooking for a couple people, or have never roasted a turkey before. It’s a more approachable, less intimidating way to get that bird on the table.

Yeah, maybe the idea of roasting an extra turkey breast seems gratuitous. But this is Thanksgiving. It comes once a year, and you better be bringing your A-game. The turkey breast is insurance that you will. Do it for yourself. Do it for your guests. But also, more importantly, do it for the sandwich.

Get the recipe:



This Glazed and Flaky Apple Tart Will Make You Forget All About Pie

I’ve heard you should never wait until the day of a big, fancy dinner to try out a recipe you’ve never made before. And yet, that’s never stopped me from baking a brand new (at least to me) dessert from Bon Appétit each Thanksgiving, much to my family’s chagrin. There was the year I over-pulsed the hazelnuts for this Pumpkin-Caramel Tart and spent half an hour carefully blotting away the nut grease that kept seeping out of my oily baked crust. Then there was the time I opted for this Cranberry-Lime Pie, which looked GREAT until I tried to slice it. Can you even cut something the consistency of pudding? But on my quest for redemption in 2018, I picked this new Glazed and Flaky Apple Tart and then proceeded to break my own rule by testing it out first.

This is the part where I’m supposed to convince you that you NEED to make this apple tart, and honestly I’m not even sure where to begin. So I’ll say this: It’s likely one of the only times you’ll feel extreme satisfaction while watching something you’ve spent hours making completely crumble apart.

apple tart poached apples

Michael Graydon

Apples, face down in a complex maple syrup–brandy–vanilla situation.

If that’s not convincing, there’s this: The apples are halved and cored (no chopping! No slicing!), then roasted in a maple syrup-brandy-vanilla mixture that infuses the fruit with lots of complex, toasty flavor. These tender apples then get laid atop a delightfully crunchy bed of stir-together almond streusel. But the real pièce de résistance is that you make your own freakin’ amazing PUFF PASTRY, like some kind of dough god.

True puff pastry is made via a technique called lamination, in which pastry dough is repeatedly layered with butter then folded and rolled again and again until you end up with endless layers that tower and puff up as they bake—this is what gives croissants, palmiers, and turnovers their irresistibly buttery-crisp texture. This recipe’s streamlined method requires far fewer fold-and-rolls, but achieves a similarly impressive effect. I have no better baking skills than your hobbyist cake baker, but I came out of this tart-making experience feeling like I could school Pierre Hermé in a croissant-off, which is how I imagine this tart’s genius mastermind, Claire Saffitz, feels every day. Here’s the thing I never realized until I made this recipe: If you can make pie crust, you can make puff pastry.

apple tart process 3

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

To create layers and layers of flaky pastry, fold the dough into thirds like a letter then roll out into a smooth sheet with a rolling pin.

I learned a few more tricks from Claire that made my finished tart look like it belonged behind the display case at a high-end bakery. 1) She suggests using a melon baller for the most neatly cored apple halves, but I haven’t seen a melon baller since 2002 and have found that a round teaspoon also works perfectly. w) Use a ruler when slicing off thin dough strips from the sides of your tart dough to create the neatest border. 3) And don’t worry about arranging your roasted apple halves in a perfect 3×4 grid within your tart—in fact, the more askew and random they are, the prettier and more natural the final effect. As my test-run tart baked in the Test Kitchen oven at 6:30 p.m. a few weeks ago, scenting the entire room with maple and vanilla as it cooked, I kept cracking open the oven door and screaming at Claire over my shoulder, “It’s WORKING!!!”

apple tart streusel

Michael Graydon

A crunchy bed of streusel before it’s topped with baked apples.

There are few things I’ll do differently when I make this for Thanksgiving. One of them is to use medium apples as, uh, the recipes calls for, and not the cute, slightly-too-tiny apples I acquired during an apple-picking sojourn. I’ll also break up the project over the course of a couple of days. Making it all in a single day is an excellent way to procrastinate for 6 hours at work, but it wasn’t the most effective way of going about the recipe. Next time, I’ll make the dough and roast the apples a day ahead (though you can make them up to two days ahead) and assemble and bake on Thanksgiving day. I’ll then cut it into slabs and serve it with scoops of vanilla ice cream. I’ll probably eat seconds standing up in the kitchen watching my dad do the dishes and start his turkey-corn chowder with all the leftover meat. And if I’m lucky enough to wake up to thirds for breakfast, well, there’s a high chance that last night’s pint of ice cream will be joining me at the table.


Chef Angie Mar Learned Everything About Shrimp Scampi from Ina Garten

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In honor of Ina Garten’s guest editing week, we asked chefs and celebrity fans to share their favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes as part of our series “How Easy Is That?” Below, Angie Mar, chef-owner of The Beatrice Inn in New York City, recounts making shrimp scampi for her family when she was 15.


I come from a very large family of food lovers and restaurateurs, so food is something I’ve always been interested in. I’ve loved Ina since I was a teenager, and gravitated toward watching Barefoot Contessa because her style of cooking very much reflects how a lot of the women in my family approach it. Unlike a lot of semi-homemade BS cooking shows, she actually cooks real food for her friends and Jeffrey. So I watched her, and then I did the same for my family.

When I was 15, I saw her make linguine with shrimp scampi, so I scribbled down the ingredients, went to the store, and just cooked it. I have always been an instinctual cook, so I don’t think I followed the recipe to a T, but picking up tips, like not fully draining your pasta water, were hugely valuable to me. I was tasked with making after-school meals for me and my two younger brothers, and this was always a highly requested recipe. It was easy and quick to make, and we all fell in love with it. We’d often sit on the sofa and eat it while watching Ina on TV and doing—or not doing—our homework.

It was also a source of inspiration for future meals. I often made other versions of this dish, adding clams or squid into it, or whatever the market had that looked good. That’s something fantastic about a tried-and-true recipe—it’s always there for you to rely on, even if you change some of the components.

I connect with Ina because we both relish our time in the kitchen and focus on using simple ingredients—while making sure they are the best ingredients possible. At the end of the day, no matter how complicated our recipes are at The Beatrice Inn, when I go home, that’s how I like to cook. I live in New York and have a small kitchen, so I want things that will be super easy and won’t require a lot of cleanup, but I don’t mind taking the time to make something delicious.

Although I haven’t made this particular recipe in a very long time, I am writing a cookbook right now and there’s a langoustine and spaghetti that very much stems from all of that after-school cooking of Ina’s recipe: an homage to the same shrimp scampi that I made when I was 15.

As told to Alyse Whitney


Ina Garten’s Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

From Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Serves 6

I wrote this recipe for my column in Martha Stewart Living magazine called “Entertaining Is Fun.” Except for the shrimp, you probably have most of the ingredients around the house and when you’re late from work, it’s a quick meal to pull together for dinner. Buy peeled and deveined shrimp and it’s even faster!

Vegetable oil

Kosher salt

1½ pounds linguine

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

5 tablespoons good olive oil

3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)

2 pounds large shrimp (about 32 shrimp), peeled and deveined

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup chopped fresh parsley

Grated zest of 1 lemon

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)

½ lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds

¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of salt, and the pepper and sauté until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

Recipe reprinted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family. Copyright © 2002 by Ina Garten. Photographs copyright © 2002 Maura McEvoy. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.