Simple and Fast Recipes
Chicken in Tarragon-Mustard Cream Sauce
F&W's Grace Parisi steals the flavors from a classic French pan sauce (mustard, tarragon, white wine and cream) for this quick chicken sauté.
Beer-and-Cheddar SoupBeer-and-Cheddar Soup
When Jonathon Erdeljac opened his new restaurant, Jonathon's Oak Cliff, in Dallas, he knew he wanted to serve this rich soup. It's a favorite of his, especially with jalapeños and smoky bacon stirred in.
Italian-Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach
Using sausage in burgers is a smart shortcut, because the meat is already seasoned.
Steamed Lobster with Lemon Thyme Butter
Jeremy Sewall steams his lobsters over seaweed, but if that's hard to get, use large leaves of romaine (or even just a metal colander) to keep the lobsters from becoming submerged in the water. Lemon thyme, a type of thyme with a lemony taste, adds a fresh flavor to the melted butter for the lobsters.
Spicy Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas are rich in both types of dietary fiber, which are important for maintaining heart health and for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Pam Anderson uses them as the base for this Indian-flavored creamy (though cream-free) soup, which she prepares by first pureeing it, then simmering it, to save time. "Pureed beans give you richness without having to enrich the soup," she says.
Buttered Noodles with Toasted Sage
While Parmigiano-Reggiano is wonderful in this simple pasta dish, Tory Miller prefers to use Wisconsin's own SarVecchio Parmesan, which is made according to many of the Italian original's exacting standards. Another idea he borrows from Italy: adding leftover Parmesan rinds to stocks for added flavor.
Boston Lettuce Salad with Herbs
The herbed vinaigrette here would be lovely on any summer lettuces.
Baby Brioches with Chicken Salad and Bacon
The classic chicken salad can be bolstered with any number of seasonings, from curry powder or mustard to harissa. To turn these two-bite snacks into mini sandwiches, cut the brioche rolls in half, mound the chicken salad, tomato and bacon inside, and secure with a toothpick.
As if the chocolate-hazelnut spread gianduja isn't delicious enough straight off the spoon, Grace Parisi has folded in whipped cream and crème fraîche to create a truly decadent (and ridiculously easy) mousse. For a supereasy ice cream sandwich, spoon the mousse between chocolate wafers and freeze overnight.
Mexican Spice-Rubbed Rib Eyes with Lime Butter
For this intensely flavorful rib eye steak from chef Bernie Kantak, restaurateur Peter Kasperski skips the obvious choice—Cabernet—in favor of an Argentinean Malbec.
Cabbage, Kielbasa and Rice Soup
Good sausage is an excellent time-saver, because the links are already spiced and seasoned. The slices of Polish kielbasa in this soup add a wonderfully smoky, peppery, garlicky flavor.
Chicken-and-Rice Salad with Pesto Yogurt Dressing
Dinner doesn't get much simpler than this: Boil some rice and toss it with pesto, yogurt, and rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. Leftover cooked chicken or turkey will work just fine, too.
Sugar Snap Peas with Soffrito, Hot Pepper and Mint
"It's hard to improve upon a perfect sugar snap pea," says Gjelina chef Travis Lett. "The question for the chef is, how do you not screw it up?" Lett's answer is to keep things simple, by cooking the sweet peas with fresh mint, crushed red pepper and soffrito (an aromatic Italian mix of sautéed minced vegetables, usually used to flavor soups and sauces).
Broccoli with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Ranch Dressing
This salad would also be delicious with Broccolini, which is similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer stems.
The farm behind La Provence raises heritage Mangalitsa pigs; John Besh uses the well-marbled ham for his swordfish. For home cooks, wrapping prosciutto or serrano ham around swordfish keeps the seafood moist and flavorful.
Skirt Steak with Moroccan Spice Rub and Yogurt Sauce
Moroccan cuisine is known for lamb, not beef, but Grace Parisi loves the way a Moroccan spice rub tastes with a good, juicy skirt steak.
Avocado, Orange and Jicama Salad
Feta is a fun, briny addition to this salad's Mexican mix of jicama, avocado and cilantro.
Olive-Mint Pesto Meatballs with Fettuccine
Some cooks are surprised when Grace Parisi tells them she mixes pesto into meatballs to add flavor quickly. If you're pressed for time, good store-bought pesto works too.
No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies
Grace Parisi's crumbly, ultra-peanutty cookies require only four ingredients: puffed-corn cereal, peanut butter cups, peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles. The powdery texture of the ground cereal prevents the cookies from feeling sticky.
Spicy Pork Po'Boys
In Louisiana, a po'boy is a soft baguette filled with either fried seafood or meat. Melissa Rubel Jacobson makes her po'boys with juicy grilled pork patties, topped with lettuce, tomato and a crunchy-creamy pickle-and-shallot mayonnaise.
Rigatoni with Sea Bass and Tomatoes
Marc Vetri uses oversize paccherri for this seafood pasta, but rigatoni works just as well with the juicy tomato sauce and fish.
Seared Tuna Steaks with Citrusy Soy Sauce
A former Greek philosophy professor, Abe Schoener of The Scholium Project in Suisun Valley, California, has a cult following for his experimental methods. One of Schoener's famous wines is The Prince in His Caves, a Sauvignon Blanc he ferments on its skins, then ages in oak. Wine director John Locke of Soif in Santa Cruz, California, thinks the luscious, funky wine is best with funky flavors, like in the citrusy soy sauce here.
Best-Ever Banana Splits
What makes these banana splits from Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica, California, so good is the insanely fudgy chocolate sauce coupled with the light, crunchy almond topping.
Curried Cod and Mussels
Alain Ducasse cooks mussels, then removes the top half of each shell before serving them with haddock and a curry sauce with mussel jus. Home cooks can serve the mussels with both of their shells and replace the haddock with easier-to-find cod.
Chicken Meatball–and–Orzo Soup
Melissa Rubel Jacobson cleverly uses chicken sausage here: removing the casings, shaping the meat into balls, browning them and simmering them in chicken broth. If you have leftover cooked rice on hand, feel free to substitute it for the orzo.
Quick Three-Bean Chili
Some chilis need to simmer for a long time to help the flavors develop. This one doesn't because Melissa Rubel Jacobson, F&W Test Kitchen Associate, mixes in a little bit of bacon, which instantly adds meatiness and a nice smoky flavor.
Manhattan Ice Cream Float
At Spire, Gabriel Frasca makes his own bourbon ice cream and cherry syrup for this clever riff on a Manhattan. For his superquick version, he blends vanilla ice cream with bourbon and uses a high-quality black cherry soda like Stewart's or IBC.
Tipsy Plums & Raspberries
Marcia Kiesel loves serving cold Japanese plum wine as an after-dinner drink. Here, she uses it to quick-soak plums.