Fregola, the pearl-size Sardinian pasta that is quite similar to couscous, makes a terrific substitute for rice in this paella-style dish; it soaks up a lot of the cooking liquid from the seafood, tomato and chorizo stew and still stays nicely chewy. For such an impressive main course, it can be prepared surprisingly quickly.
This is a terrific all-in-one meal and an inventive use for salmon: Grace Parisi nestles the fillets in crunchy hunks of ciabatta bread tossed with tomatoes, capers and superthin slices of lemon, then bakes the dish until the salmon is just cooked.
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Raisins
The late Armenian cookbook author Arto der Haroutunian, who taught Paula Wolfert this dish, caramelized cauliflower on the stove before baking it with eastern Mediterranean flavorings: chopped tomatoes, plumped raisins and Marash red pepper flakes. You can use any cazuela or flameware pot, but Wolfert likes the unglazed black La Chamba roasting pan from Colombia, which she says imparts sweetness to the dish.
This spicy Mexican-style stew is loaded with vegetables, including carrots, an excellent source of vitamins A and K. Andrew Murray makes it for his employees around harvest time. “It’s our comfort food at the winery,” he says. “And it’s a nice excuse to stop for a few minutes and eat together, even when we’re busy.”
Ground pork, rice, bell peppers, and shiitake mushrooms are cooked in a single pan and flavored with soy sauce, lime juice, and cayenne. Quick, delicious, and easy to clean up after—what more could you want in a dish?
For shrimp saganaki, Greeks sauté shrimp in a pan with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese, then serve it right out of the skillet with bread to soak up all the delicious juices. Grace Parisi stirs fresh dill into her quick version to brighten the flavor.
When Ethan Stowell was growing up, his father was the family cook; beef stew was one of his specialties. Unlike his dad, who favored rump roast, Stowell uses short ribs, a marbled cut that turns fabulously succulent and tender when slow-simmered.
Yucatán Pork Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime Juice
Tia Harrison breaks down a pig each week at Avedano’s and finds making stew a versatile way to use cuts like pork shoulder, shanks and belly. Here she cooks the stew with pleasantly bitter ancho chiles.
Sam Clark uses homemade fish stock in this smoky stew, which he sometimes cooks in a cazuela (a glazed terra-cotta dish from Spain). To make it even easier, prepare the stew in a lidded casserole, replacing the fish stock with water.
When making most stews, cooks typically brown the meat before braising it; here, Ethan Stowell skips that step, which simplifies the Moroccan recipe and gives the lamb a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth texture. The dish is vibrantly flavored with ginger, cumin, coriander, olives and lemon; the broth is delicious over couscous.
This asopao (stew) is Trinidad-inspired, but it fits neatly into the Flo-ribbean cooking genre. The southeastern zeitgeist is all about Creole and Amer-Indian style meeting Florida’s amazing multiple growing seasons and all of the Gulf’s impressive bounty from the sea, sky and land. Don’t be shy about passing plenty of extra limes and hot chile sauce at the table.—Andrew Zimmern
Chef Laurence Jossel created this stripped-down version of the classic French stew, with creamy white beans, luscious store-bought duck confit, smoky French garlic sausage and slab bacon. Letting the beans rest overnight develops their flavors.
To give this Moroccan stew flavor without much fat, chef Joël Robuchon simmers it in a spiced broth. Artichoke hearts add a lovely spring flavor; they’re also one of the best vegetable sources of antioxidants.
Chili first made its appearance in the early 1800s as “chili con carne.” It was billed as a favorite dish in Mexico, although it originated in the American Southwest and was reportedly loathed by Mexicans. Chili rose to great popularity in the 1930s, after World War I had made all-American foods stylish.
Though some of the fat has been cut from this version of the elaborate rice pilaf called biryani, the saffron–infused milk and the drizzle of melted butter over the top make it a dish fit for Shah Jahan, the creator of the Taj Mahal. The rice is cooked with whole spices, which are not meant to be eaten.
Root Vegetable and Cauliflower Tagine with Parsley Yogurt
For Aida Mollenkamp, spiced Moroccan tagines are a dinner-party staple because they can be made in advance. “In case something impromptu happens,” she says, “you’re not stressed about the main dish.” And tagines are incredibly versatile. This version is vegetarian, but lamb or chicken could be added.
There are many variations on pozole, a traditional hominy-based Mexican stew closely associated with the Pacific-coast state of Guerrero. Anya von Bremzen’s version, a green pozole, derives much of its flavor from tangy ingredients like tomatillos, cilantro and green chiles.