Lemon Sesame Seed Pound Cake! An unconventional combination which really works. Buttermilk keeps the cake tender, and lemon in the cake, syrup and glaze gives it a triple lemon tang.
I discovered this afternoon why I love buttermilk.
At my grandparents’ house, the small conservatory at the back was where we’d hang out on a summer’s day. It was walled with sofas, chairs and cabinets, as well as their vinyl collection and record player. I didn’t have any interest in most of the music, but they also had some comedy records — daft 1950s British singles by Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins and Terry Scott — and a couple of American albums, one of which included Bob Newhart’s one-sided telephone conversations. In retrospect, it was probably the first time I’d heard a genuine American accent other than on the occasional episode of Dallas or Dynasty. The last joke on the Bob Newhart* album was just called “Buttermilk” and was about 20 seconds long and went like this: “I discovered this afternoon … (pause) … why … (pause) I don’t like buttermilk.” (Long pause for laughter) “… It’s the way the glass looks when you’re through drinking it.”
Crispy tortillas filled with spicy chorizo and gooey cheese, these quesadillas are balanced by the fresh, unusual flavor of a radish and fennel salsa. It’s a sophisticated pairing that elevates a familiar comfort food.
Note: this recipe also appears on Serious Eats!
There are days when you absolutely crave a quesadilla that is, in food-marketing parlance, “fully loaded.” But the more ingredients you put in your quesadilla, the more prep work and cooking you have to do, and some nights you just don’t have time for that. To keep this version under 20 minutes, we limited ourselves to two main ingredients in the tortilla itself, and paired it with a tart, crunchy chopped salsa that balances the richness of the quesadilla and elevates it from standard sports-TV fare. It may not be fully loaded with ingredients, but it’s definitely fully loaded with flavor.
We roasted eggplant until it became soft and silky and topped it with Chermoula (a North African spice mix with garlic and preserved lemon). Sprinkled with tart feta cheese and fresh herbs.
This dish is adapted from a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s brilliant cookbook, Jerusalem. Ottolenghi is an Israeli-born British chef who, among other things, writes one of my favorite recipe columns in the Guardian. He’s a master of incredibly flavorful vegetable dishes, and has a particular knack for eggplant.
Eggplant can be controversial: some love it, some hate it. If you’re on the hate side, it might be because you haven’t had it cooked well. Too much oil and it can be greasy, not enough and it turns rubbery. But grilled with a miso glaze, or roasted with Middle Eastern spices, it’s absolutely delicious.
We spiced up our one-pot mussels with Thai curry sauce to make this red curry mussels recipe. It’s cheap, it’s delicious, and best of all, it’s ready in 20 minutes!
Note: you can also find this recipe on Serious Eats!
Mussels are perhaps not everyone’s first choice for a quick weeknight supper, but that assessment deserves to be challenged. They cook quickly and excel in simple recipes like this one. Most people have probably made a variation on moules à la provençale (mussels in a garlic-tomato sauce) or moules marinières (with white wine and butter). Today we’re using a Thai-style red curry paste and a quick vegetable sauté to create a bold, spicy broth that pairs perfectly with briny mussels. Add some easy rice stick noodles and you’ve got a complete meal on your hands in 20 minutes or less.
Sweet corn and smoky bacon make a delicious filling to this quick cooking frittata. Studded with cheesy nuggets of gruyere and spicy jalapeños, this is the type of quick dinner you’ll want to make all the time.
***Note: Matt and I are thrilled to announce that we are now contributors at one of our favorite food blogs of all time, Serious Eats! I’m sure most of you are familiar with them but if you’re not, definitely check them out. I love their approach to cooking because they question everything (and just because something is always done a certain way, doesn’t mean that it’s always the best way). They test and test to make sure that recipes result in the best tasting dishes, with the most efficient and fool-proof techniques.
TL;DR1 They’re even nerdier about cooking than we are!
If the egg is the versatile gymnast of the culinary world, the star of a thousand different techniques and dishes, the frittata is probably its signature move. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can throw almost anything into it and come up with a winning recipe. You can whip one up in under 20 minutes, so it’s ideal for a quick weekday breakfast or weekend brunch, but we’re betting it will score a place in your dinner rotation, too.