When it comes to cooking, I love recipes best that serve as an overall guide rather than hard and fast rules you have to follow or else the dish won’t come out. While some plates absolutely should not be messed with as chefs have taken years to develop them, I think it’s most fun and relaxing to cook if you can adapt the dish based on your current mood and cravings – if you want to use lime instead of lemon, go for it! Add tomatoes, throw in some extra onion, use no onion at all (not my move, but I’m not judging you), drizzle a splash of balsamic vinegar (always my move) — you’re the one who’s eating it, so what you say goes! That said, these are a few of my favorite recipes that result in a few of my favorite things to eat ever, and methods/ flavor combinations that I use again and again to make me feel like a real home chef. Bon appetit!
Now more than ever, beans are having a real moment and I love it – they’re an affordable and delicious form of protein that’s super versatile and easy to use. This dish is essentially just the free bean appetizer they give you at Supper – one of my favorite restaurants in NYC – and literally takes less than 10 minutes to make. It’s perfect to whip up when you have friends over or keeps well as leftovers if you make it for yourself. The more beans the merrier!
This dish is from Half Baked Harvest, which is one of my favorite recipe Instagrams because it’s easy to follow, looks beautiful, and of course, tastes amazing. I love this because it seems like a restaurant appetizer that you’d pay $15 dollars and finish in 3 bites, but now you can easily make it at home, all.the.time. It’s also a fun recipe to swap components or add other ingredients based on your preferences.
This is only my third time contributing to the Chill Times and in 2 of these 3 articles I am proclaiming my love for Bon Appetit magazine BUT I just love this dish and video. While I admit that I usually watch their videos for entertainment rather than recipe guides, this is a perfect dish to make at home. Again, the flavors are just simple and delicious and easy to make your own. Though he charrs the bread on the grill, I think it works just as well in the same pan you cook the tomatoes in making this a one pan dish – ideal for small kitchens everywhere!
While I’ve always loved seafood, I was intimidated to try to make it for myself but this recipe showed me that there’s little to fear when it comes to cooking salmon. There is really not much more to this than throwing it in the oven and as long as you keep an eye on it and don’t overcook it, it will be delicious every time. The marinade also consists of things that are easy to always keep on hand so aside from picking up the salmon, it’s quick and affordable to make.
This dish is essentially Bistek Tagalog or Filipino Beef Steak which was one of my favorite things my grandma would make me growing up. My grandma would never use a recipe and just throw everything based on what felt right to her, which you can absolutely do once you’ve made it one time or even just read through the recipe a few times. When I make it, I add garlic, honey, and a little chili paste to the marinade.
I really think there is nothing better than lemon pasta. Pasta, butter, lemon, cheese — what else could you ever want? I love both of these recipes and you can choose which one you like based on if you’re in the mood for something a little heavier or a little lighter. Again, once you do it one time, it feels a little like second nature and you can adjust everything based on your taste.
Though I know I keep saying how I love recipes you can adapt, I would truly not change a thing about this carbonara — a recipe that Pia Baroncini and her husband, Davide, shared on Instagram which seems as though it’s been handed down through generations so I’m not here to take any credit for trying to make it my own. It’s rich without being heavy and simple and even relaxing to cook. Plus her cooking videos are so sweet, please keep them coming Pia!!
I love this as a side because of its versatility, in that I think it tastes good paired with most mains. Though it’s inspired by Sichuan dry-fried string beans, I think they work as a side to Italian-inspired dishes as well. Personally, I’m not a fan of capers (I really wish I could get into them, I just can’t!), so I use a little bit more salt and squeeze lemon on top.
This is a recipe that originally came from Chrissy Teigan’s Cravings cookbook and this link is just someone who copied it online, so thank you for that! I love rice a whole lot, and this simple recipe is an easy way to elevate classic jasmine rice. It’s delicious with both the salmon recipe and ginger beef stir-fry I mentioned above.
Feature Image via Camille Shaw for CB2 x The Chill Times