Pasta With Wild Mushroom, Tomato and Eggplant Sauce

This luscious vegan linguine is easy to halve, easy to double for a crowd, and easy to love. It takes a while to cook but it’s mostly hands off—and the sauce tastes better the second day. I served it over a frittata and grilled fish to great accolades. Eggplant prep is polarizing: some cooks salt before cooking and rinse; others eschew this step. Some even soak it in milk to reduce any natural bitterness. Eggplants have been cultivated to be less bitter over time. Notwithstanding that, I am a salter. I love that it softens and starts the “cooking,” or denaturing process, which helps prevents undercooked eggplant. If you are a salter, too, allow an hour to salt the eggplant before you begin cooking. See Kitchen Tips for a full discussion of the eggplant conundrum.

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Chewy Oatmeal Cookie Bars

These chewy and delicious homemade cookie bars are great for cooking with kids. Let them use their (clean) hands to mix the dough and flatten it in the pan. It’s like working with safely edible playdough! These dairy-free bars were designed to be the base for a homemade dairy-free ice cream sandwich, but they were so darn good, we kept eating them alone. Chock full of nuts and grains, they’re loaded with nutrition.

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Puff Pastry Spinach Pie

The idea for this originally came from a recipe in Fine Cooking. Using puff pastry instead of phyllo eliminates many messy steps. I fill the puff pastry with my aunt’s family recipe for spanakopita. The recipe is still fairly time consuming, but the pastries can be individually wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month. Remove a few from the freezer and pop them in the toaster oven when you need a quick meal or side. They’re a great way to get kids to eat their leafy greens.

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Mexican Beef Burger

Just a few herbal notes from “south of the border” make these burgers a simply delicious. They’re even better with our Guajillo Chili Barbecue Ketchup. If you are serving a crowd for a barbecue, you can easily double or triple the recipe.

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Korean Beef Skewers

Korean beef skewers are ideal for a backyard barbecue, or for a weeknight dinner. The sweet and salty marinade transforms the beef into pure deliciousness when it hits the grill. Be sure to allow time for marinating the beef and if you are using wooden skewers, to soak them in water for 30 minutes before use to ensure that they don’t catch fire on the grill.

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Mac and Cheese With Broccoli

This ultra-creamy version of the classic dish is so indulgent! Down south where my mother’s family is from, they use ingredients like dry mustard and evaporated skim milk. Want to get real down home? Top it with crushed corn flakes. The broccoli and red pepper gives this rich recipe nutritional virtue.

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Memphis Style Barbecue Sauce

Memphis barbecue is unique and oh-so regionally wonderful. Don’t expect the acidic or mustardy sauces of the Carolinas, the ferocious sweetness of Kansas City, or the huskiness of Texas. This sauce showcases the thin, tangy-sweet tomato flavors that define Memphis sauces. You might think at first blush that this sauce is marinara-esque and it is, but instead of wine, it’s got a generous dose of aged, woody whiskey.

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Memphis-Style Rub Recipe

For any oven-baked chicken, ribs, tofu, tempeh or even a brisket, using this dry rub will have you imagining your stay in Memphis—planning your trip to Graceland, dreaming of the downtown trolley cars that take you to the Beale Street bars and thinking about your visit to the Civil Rights Museum. Now, if you are a smoker maven and you plan on smoking your meat, go for it! Simply omit the smoked paprika and substitute more traditional paprika, and then hot-smoke over very low, indirect heat so that the sugar will not burn, but subtly caramelize. The secret to this rub is the tamarind powder, a key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce. It adds a tang that just can’t be replicated by anything else. You can find it online and in Indian, Caribbean, and Asian markets.

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Memphis Style Bbq Chicken

This is not a traditional Memphis-rubbed chicken. It has not been sitting and juicing up in a smoker for hours. (Don’t start yelling! All y’all calm down!) This dish is inspired by the flavor-rich, dry-rubbed meats of Memphis. The chicken is flavored with a dry rub, cooked on the grill, and served with a sauce that is definitely sweet and tart—all directly influenced by the Memphis, Tennessee barbecue pit sauces. But the kicker here? I kid you not, it’s all served over spaghetti.

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Chestnut Crepes With Mascarpone and Honey

This gluten-free chestnut crepe is easy to make ahead. Start the filling at least three hours or up to two days before, make the crepes and freeze if you’d like. It’s a great way to end a meal, fancy up a brunch or even, I kid you not—jazz up an after-school snack. It’s also terrific fall holiday fare—a light way to break fast, and brings in a hint of Italian-Jewish dessert cookery to your table. And btw, it’s always been gluten free. Allow 25 to 35 minutes for the batter to rest before you start to cook.

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