Six Recipes That Got Us Through Another Week – Eater Staff

Serving dish with four asparagus and puff pastry pastries within.
Patty Diez/Eater

A cacio e pepe upgrade, an easy but impressive use for asparagus, and a major dessert extravaganza

It’s week trazillion-and-fifteen of pandemic cooking, and you’ve hit a rut. Nay, a trench. You’ve done all the things one can do to a bean, and while the digital cook-o-sphere is loaded with ideas, there are just too many of them. You scroll a few blogs, flip through some cookbooks, and give up. Beany Thursday strikes again.

We’ve been there. We are there. But help is here. To sort through the noise of TikTok tortilla wraps and feta pastas, Eater has compiled a handful of the recipes — from blogs, magazines, publications, and cookbooks — that put the pep back in our pans this week and that we hope will do the same for you. These are the dishes that Eater editors from across the country actually made recently, and we’re passing along any firsthand tips, hacks, or dietary substitutions that, hey, worked for us. Here, then, are this week’s must-try recipes from Eater’s very-much-average but highly enthusiastic home cooks.


May 15, 2021

Asparagus and Brie Puff Pastry with Thyme Honey

Tieghan Gerard, Half-Baked Harvest

My oldest sister sent me this Half-Baked Harvest recipe three times ahead of Mother’s Day — when another sister and I would be making brunch for our family. I was happy to oblige since I could tell from photos that this is just the kind of recipe that would appear involved and a “wow” to my beloved family, but be incredibly easy for me to put together. As ever, this HBH recipe was straightforward and quick, and I followed it word-for-word with two exceptions: I skipped the red pepper flakes since my mom and abuela are anti-spice; and didn’t care to melt the honey, butter, and thyme in a saucepan for the pastry glaze — opting instead for a bowl in the microwave. Sure enough, my family immediately raved about the buttery, flaky pastry and its gooey brie and roasted asparagus filling. I’d suggest going for thin sprigs and overdoing it on the egg wash; it’s also a must that these be served right out of the oven. I’ve already been asked to make these again for Father’s Day brunch. — Patty Diez, Eater project manager

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Danielle Oron, NYT Cooking

Cookies really have become my go-to baking project this year. Last week’s were this salted tahini chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I chose partially for myself, and partially to give away to two friends (sharing is caring and baking is caring). I ended up using much more tahini than the recipe called for because I wanted to finish off the jar I had. I like to think that it caused the cookie to be more cake-like, which I was into. At the last minute, I decided to throw in peanut butter chips as a pantry-clearing move. The resulting combination of tahini, peanut butter, and chocolate plus the slight flaky salt was on-point. I liked that the recipe required an overnight chill, which gave me reason to prep the dough ahead of time. — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor

Cured Egg Yolks atop Cacio e Pepe

Christopher Kostow, Bon Appétit and Gimme Some Oven

The inspiration for this combo began on a Friday night after making tequila sours. Not wanting to waste the fancy farmers market egg yolks I had leftover after making the beverage, I decided to try out this surprisingly easy Bon Appétit recipe for cured egg yolks. After four days, the semi-firm, salty yolks were cured and dried. (Instead of drying them out in the oven, I actually wrapped mine in a cheese cloth and hung them from a cabinet for a few days like in this video.) I decided the best thing to add them to would be Gimme Some Oven’s cacio e pepe recipe. For the pasta, I ended up using perciatelli noodles, which seemed larger than our local grocery store’s bucatini and therefore more effective for holding onto all of that cheesy sauce and grated cured egg yolk. In the end, the yolk added an additional layer of soft texture (think finely grated gruyere) and loads of umami. — Terri Ciccone, Eater audience development manager

Gif of a cured egg yolk behind grated atop a plate of pasta.Terri Ciccone

Croquembouche

Claire Saffitz, Vice Munchies

As for many, baking got me through the pandemic. I learned how to make all kinds of pastries, breads, and desserts, and upped my game on a few baking techniques I already had in my back pocket. At some point, I realized that I had all the skills to tackle a multilayered, over-the-top baking project — nay, extravaganza: the very special-occasion croquembouche. For Mother’s Day, my brother suggested that we try baking something together to present to our mom, a gift that she would appreciate because it meant we had worked together. Claire Saffitz’s croquembouche, which she explains in great detail in not one but two very helpful videos, was the move. I made the puffs and creme patisserie in advance, but on assembly day, it was all me and Shane. Not burning yourself with the caramel is a feat, as is the assembly, but I had the baking skills and Shane had the organizational skills to actually pull it off. I dipped while Shane constructed the ’bouche, and in the end, we were both stunned by how structurally sound and extremely delicious it was. (Our mom was also very impressed.)

The croquembouche is an exciting presentation dessert, worth your time if you’re looking for some pizzazz at a post-pandemic gathering or an edible gift for a loved one. Saffitz’s recipe explains everything in great detail, which makes it feel less intimidating, but if you have someone who can do the whole thing with you, it’ll be twice as good. — Dayna Evans, Eater Philly editor

Littleneck Clams in the Style of Escargot

Mary-Frances Heck, Food & Wine

I moved to a new apartment in March, but I’m still unearthing moving box gems like three-year-old food magazines. I flipped through a 2019 Food & Wine pile and found a fortuitous recipe for littleneck clams cooked in the style of escargot — fortuitous because it was Monday and my boyfriend and I had clams from the Friday farmers market in our fridge. The recipe encourages using an old Italian trick to literally purge the clams of sand that might be trapped within them, which involves giving them an ice bath as you prep the buttery, shalloty, parsley-flecked mixture that goes into the clam shells once they open in the oven. We didn’t have an escargot dish, so just used our old faithful Han Solo Le Creuset roasting pan (it works fine). Once the clams opened in our screaming-hot oven, we stuffed in little orbs of the escargot-ish mixture: butter, dry white wine (we used sauvignon blanc we had on hand), minced garlic, and shallots (we subbed in shallot-shaped yellow onions from the farmers market), salt, pepper, flat-leaf parsley. You broil that for a few minutes and get plump, lightly browned clams and slightly caramelized butter-broth that you could drink out a flute glass, but probably shouldn’t. — Nicole Adlman, cities manager

Asparagus, goat cheese, and lemon pasta

Smitten Kitchen

I love when recipes can be boiled down to one simple, convenient premise. The premise of this recipe is: Turn a log of goat cheese into a pasta sauce — which is exactly what I wanted to do because I thought it would liven up the pasta and peas I was planning to make for my baby and then eat for lunch over the next couple days. Because I was making this to share with my baby and wasn’t willing to pick up any groceries specifically for it, I ended up making several tweaks: I used frozen peas instead of fresh asparagus; I didn’t use any salt; I used Banza (pasta made from chickpea flour); and to be extra sure the goat cheese didn’t get at all clumpy, I blitzed it through my food processor with olive oil before warming it up in the pot. My 11-month-old loved this dinner; I really enjoyed it the next day as a cold pasta salad, too. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurant editor


May 7, 2021

Paella in a pan.Ellen Fort

Paella Mixta

Pickled Ramps

  • Claire Saffitz, Bon Appétit

Chicken Katsu

  • Kay Chun, NYT Cooking

Farro With Blistered Tomatoes, Pesto and Spinach

  • Yasmin Fahr, NYT Cooking

Neapolitan Pie

  • Bill Clark, A Piece of Cake

Rustic Buckwheat Apple Ginger Cake

  • Melissa Clark, Dinner in French

April 30, 2021

Neapolitan Cookies

  • Sarah Kieffer, 100 Cookies/The Vanilla Bean Blog

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken with Fried Basil

  • Sue Li, NYT Cooking

Picadillo

  • Rick Martinez, Bon Appétit

Smoked Brisket

  • Danielle Bennett, Traeger Grills

Conveyor Belt Chicken

  • Samin Nosrat, Salt Fat Acid Heat

Roasted Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

  • Jake Cohen, Jew-Ish (excerpted by the Pioneer Woman)

April 23, 2021

 Missy Frederick

Sourdough English Muffins

  • King Arthur Baking

Prakas’ Rib-Eye

  • Kris Yenbamroong, Food & Wine

Green Rice with Tomatoes, Eggs, and Almonds

  • David Tamarkin, Epicurious

Overnight Chia Pudding

  • Solid Starts

Butter Mochi

  • Sheldon Simeon, Cook Real Hawaiʻi

Zoe’s Devil’s Food Cake

  • Zoe François, Zoe Bakes

April 16, 2021

Chocolate Thumbprints

  • Martha Stewart

Farro Salad with Leeks, Chickpeas, and Currants

  • Melissa Clark, NYT Cooking

Blueberry Crumb Cake

  • Maida Heatter, Happiness Is Baking: Cakes, Pies, Tarts, Muffins, Brownies, Cookies: Favorite Desserts from the Queen of Cake

Lamb Chops with Red Lentils

  • Nik Sharma, Sunset

Simple Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

  • Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit

Whole Roasted Gochujang Cauliflower with Smashed Roasted Butter Beans


For the complete list of everything Eater editors have enjoyed cooking so far this year (pizza babka! air-fryer ube cheesecake! spiced coconut chicken and rice!), head to the archive.

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