comscore 2020 favorite recipes chosen by readers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2020 favorite recipes chosen by readers

                                Alison Roman’s white bean stew with broccoli rabe.


    Alison Roman’s white bean stew with broccoli rabe.

                                Roasted cauliflower with pancetta, olives and crisp parmesan.


    Roasted cauliflower with pancetta, olives and crisp parmesan.

                                Melissa Clark’ mushroom bourguignon.


    Melissa Clark’ mushroom bourguignon.

                                Alison Roman’s caramelized shallot pasta.


    Alison Roman’s caramelized shallot pasta.

                                Ali Slagle’s ginger-lime chicken.


    Ali Slagle’s ginger-lime chicken.

Recipes that struck a chord with home cooks this year reflect traditional favorite flavors, but also trends born of the pandemic kitchen. Comfort foods are many, as well as recipes that use pantry staples such as beans and pasta. The New York Times determined the most popular recipes from its food staff this year — those most clicked on by users of the NYT Cooking site.

Mushroom Bourguignon

Melissa Clark

Meaty mushrooms simmered with pearl onions, wine and carrots make for a rich, wintry Bourguignon-style stew. The quality of the stock here makes a big difference, so if you’re not using homemade, buy a good brand.

If you’re a meat eater, beef broth adds a familiar brawny character to this dish, but a mushroom or vegetable broth would work just as well, especially because the whole dish is rounded out with tamari for depth.

For the best flavor, use as many kinds of mushrooms as you can get, and let them really brown when searing; that caramelization adds a lot of depth to the sauce. Maitake mushrooms give this a brisketlike texture, in a very good way.

  • 6 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as portobello, cremini, white button, shiitake or oyster, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 10 cups)
  • 8 ounces peeled pearl onions (2 cups), larger ones cut in half
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large leek or 2 small leeks, white and light green parts, diced (1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves (2 minced, 1 grated to a paste), divided
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups beef, mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 3 large fresh thyme branches or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 to 4 ounces chanterelle or oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • Smoked paprika, for serving
  • Polenta, egg noodles or mashed potatoes, for serving
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a large Dutch oven or pot set over medium. Stir in half the mushrooms and half the pearl onions. (If it doesn’t all fit in the pot in 1 layer, you might have to do this in 3 batches, rather than 2.) Without moving them around too much, cook mushrooms until they are brown on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Stir and let them brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Transfer mushrooms and onions to a large bowl or plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with another 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining mushrooms and pearl onions, seasoning them as you go.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add another 1 tablespoon butter or oil to pan. Add leeks and carrot and saute until leeks turn lightly golden and start to soften, 5 minutes.

Add the 2 minced garlic cloves and saute 1 minute longer. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add wine, broth, tamari, thyme and bay leaf, scraping up brown bits at bottom of pot.

Add reserved cooked mushrooms and pearl onions back to pot and bring to a simmer. Partly cover pot and simmer on low until carrots and onions are tender and sauce is thick, 30 to 40 minutes. Taste; add more salt and tamari if needed. Stir in grated garlic.

Just before serving, heat a small skillet over high and add 1/2 tablespoon butter or oil. Add half the chanterelles or oyster mushrooms and let cook without moving until crisp and brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and paprika. Repeat with remaining butter and mushrooms. Serve over polenta, noodles or mashed potatoes, topped with fried mushrooms and parsley.

Ginger-Lime Chicken

Ali Slagle

This may have been the year of the boneless, skinless chicken breast on NYT Cooking. This version uses mayonnaise as a marinade, to yield a particularly moist result, while the ginger and lime give the chicken big flavor.

The mayo technique is one that chef J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has advocated. When slathered on boneless chicken and cooked, the beloved condiment carries flavor, sticks to the meat well, encourages browning and prevents the pieces of lime zest and ginger — or whatever seasonings you choose — from burning. And no, you won’t taste the mayo.

Try this technique first with ginger and lime zest, then experiment with grated garlic, jalapeno, lemon, Parmesan and whatever else you can imagine.

Though this may look like regular old chicken, don’t be fooled: It’s buzzing with bright flavors. Best of all? It’s ready in 15 minutes. The four-ingredient recipe (not counting salt and pepper) is a weeknight gift. Serve with a pile of white rice and a fresh green salad topped with thinly sliced avocado.

  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (from about 2 limes), plus lime wedges, for serving
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • Black pepper, to taste

Pat chicken dry and season all over with salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lime zest and ginger; season with more salt and pepper. Add chicken; stir to coat. (Chicken can sit in marinade up to 8 hours in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before cooking.)

To grill: Heat a grill to medium-high. Grill chicken over direct heat until cooked through and juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side for thighs; 4 minutes per side for breasts, turning to avoid burning.

To cook in a skillet: Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Cook chicken until juices run clear (same timing as for grilling).

Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Caramelized Shallot Pasta

Alison Roman

An entire tube of tomato paste and a whole tin of anchovy fillets play support to a half-dozen caramelized shallots in this rich pasta. Double the sauce, and keep it around for weeks to come.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 large shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves: 4 thinly sliced, 1 finely chopped, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets (about 12), drained
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) tube or (6-ounce) can of tomato paste (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  • 10 ounces pasta
  • 1 cup parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt, for finishing

Heat olive oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high. Add shallots and sliced garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add red-pepper flakes and anchovies. Stir to melt anchovies into shallots, about 2 minutes.

Add tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until tomato paste has started to cook in the oil, caramelizing at edges and turning a deep brick red, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer about half to a resealable container to use later: over roasted vegetables, spooned over fried eggs or under crispy chicken thighs.

To serve, cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until very al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta. Transfer pasta to Dutch oven with remaining shallot mixture and reserved pasta water. Cook over medium-high, swirling skillet to coat each piece of pasta, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits on the bottom, until pasta is thick and sauce has reduced and is sticky, but not saucy, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine parsley and finely chopped garlic clove; season with flaky salt and pepper. Top pasta with parsley mixture and a bit more red-pepper flakes, if you like. Serves 4.

Roasted Cauliflower With Pancetta, Olives and Crisp Parmesan

Melissa Clark

Using meat sparingly in your cooking is a way to bring oomph to a dish that’s mostly vegetables. A little pancetta (or bacon) goes a long way here, adding deep flavor to a recipe that’s already rich with it. (Of course, you can leave out the meat altogether.) This could be a side dish, but it has enough heartiness to be a main, perhaps with some farro or another grain or your favorite starch.

  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 1-3/4 pounds), trimmed and cut into bite-size florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon, cut into 1/8-inch cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin or caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded (not ground) Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or mint leaves and tender stems, for serving

>> Olive dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olives, crushed, pitted and chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely grated or minced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt until well coated. Roast 15 minutes.

Add pancetta and cumin seeds to pan and gently mix to combine. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and roast another 15 to 20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender, pancetta rendered and cheese is golden brown and crunchy.

Meanwhile, make olive dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olives, garlic, lemon juice, red-pepper flakes and large pinch salt. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking well.

Spoon dressing over roasted cauliflower while still hot; toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, red-pepper flakes or lemon juice, if needed. Scatter parsley over top of dish before serving. Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

Spicy White Bean Stew With Broccoli Raab

Allison Roman

This extremely flexible stew can use up much of what you’ve got on hand. It’s vegetarian by nature, but feel free to start the pot with sausage, slab bacon or leftover ham if you’re feeling more omnivorous. If you can’t find harissa, use tomato paste and a pinch of red-pepper flakes for spiciness.

  • 1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) broccoli raab or kale, thick stems separated from the leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons harissa (chile pepper paste) or tomato paste
  • Red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans large white beans, such as cannellini, butter or great Northern, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced, or 1 lemon, halved, for squeezing
  • 2 ounces feta or other salty cheese, such as queso fresco or pecorino, crumbled
  • 1 cup parsley or cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • Fried or medium-boiled eggs, for serving (optional)

Tear broccoli raab or kale leaves into bite-size pieces; set aside. Chop stems into about 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium. Add garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and sizzled at edges, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add harissa (if substituting tomato paste add a pinch of red-pepper flakes); stir to coat in the oil. Cook until harissa is a nice brick -red and oil turns a vibrant fiery orange, about 2 minutes.

Add beans; season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, crush a few beans to release creamy interiors.

Add broth and reserved broccoli raab or kale stems; season with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and cook to desired consistency (less time for a brothier soup, more for a thicker stew), 15 to 20 minutes.

Add broccoli raab or kale leaves with preserved lemon or lemon juice; stir to wilt greens. Season with salt, pepper and more red-pepper flakes if you want it spicier.

Serve with feta and parsley, and with eggs, if you like. Serves 4.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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