Skillet Soda Bread
Makes 1 loaf.
If you do not have a cast iron pan the bread can be baked on a baking sheet although the crust won’t be quite as crunchy. Soda bread is best eaten on the day it is baked but does keep well covered and stored at room temperature for a couple of days after which time it will become dry.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon melted butter , optional
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and adjust a rack to the center position. Place the flours, soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour using your fingers until it is completely incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Work the liquid into the flour mixture using a fork until the dough comes together in large clumps. Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead briefly until the loose flour is just moistened. The dough will still be scrappy and uneven.
2. Form the dough into a round about 6 to 7 inches in diameter and place in a cast iron skillet. Score a deep cross on top of the loaf and place in the heated oven. Bake until nicely browned and a tested comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with a tablespoon of melted butter if desired. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Serves 3 to 4.
Many supermarkets sell prepackaged steel-cut oats, but we found they were often stale and always expensive. A better option is to purchase them in the bulk section of a natural food store. To double the recipe, use a large skillet to toast the oats; increase the cooking time to 10 to 15 minutes once the salt has been added. If desired, pass maple syrup or brown sugar separately when serving, or try the honeyed fig topping (see related recipe).
3 cups water
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1. Bring water and milk to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat until just beginning to foam; add oats and toast, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until golden and fragrant with butterscotch-like aroma, 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
2. Stir toasted oats into the simmering liquid, reduce heat to medium-low; simmer gently, until mixture thickens and resembles gravy, about 20 minutes. Add salt and stir lightly with spoon handle. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon handle, until oats absorb almost all liquid and oatmeal is thick and creamy, with a pudding-like consistency, about 7 to 10 minutes. Off heat, let oatmeal stand uncovered 5 minutes. Serve immediately, with the following topping, if desired.
Glazed Meat Loaf
Both ground sirloin and ground chuck work well here, but avoid ground round—it is gristly and bland.
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 onion , chopped fine
2 garlic cloves , minced
2/3 cup Saltine crackers , crushed (about 17 crackers)
1/3 cup whole milk
1 pound 90-percent lean ground beef (see note)
1 pound ground pork
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1. MAKE GLAZE Whisk all ingredients in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Reserve ¼ cup glaze mixture, then simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
2. COOK VEGETABLES Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook onion until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to large bowl.
3. PROCESS MEAT Process saltines and milk in food processor until smooth. Add beef and pork and pulse until well combined, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer meat mixture to bowl with cooled onion mixture. Add eggs and yolk, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper to bowl and mix with hands until combined.
4. BROIL Adjust oven racks to upper (about 4 inches away from broiler element) and middle positions and heat broiler. Transfer meat mixture to prepared baking sheet and shape into 9- by 5-inch loaf. Broil on upper rack until well browned, about 5 minutes. Brush 2 tablespoons uncooked glaze over top and sides of loaf and then return to oven and broil until glaze begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
5. BAKE Transfer meat loaf to middle rack and brush with remaining uncooked glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until meat loaf registers 160 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to carving board, tent with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Slice and serve, passing cooked glaze at table.
Chicken in a Pot
The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound bird. A 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours. We developed this recipe to work with a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. If using a 5-quart pot, do not cook a chicken larger than 5 pounds. Use the best chicken available, such as a Bell & Evans. If using a kosher chicken, reduce the kosher salt to 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt). If you choose not to serve the skin with the chicken, simply remove it before carving. The amount of jus will vary depending on the size of the chicken; season it with about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for every 1/4 cup.
1 whole roasting chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back (see note)
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion , chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
1 small stalk celery , chopped medium (about 1/4 cup)
6 medium garlic cloves , peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary (if using) around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 110 minutes.
2. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste. Serve chicken, passing jus at table.
If you can’t find the lamb shoulder chops, substitute 1 1/2 pounds of lamb stew meat or beef chuck stew meat.
Serves 6 to 8
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
6 lamb shoulder chops (6 to 8 ounces each), about 1/2 inch thick (see note)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 onions , chopped
2 garlic cloves , minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Yukon Gold potatoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups baby lima beans
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1. BROWN MEAT Pat chicken and lamb dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to plate. Pour off fat from pan and reserve. (You should have about 3 tablespoons fat; if you have less, supplement with vegetable oil.) Add 1 tablespoon reserved fat to Dutch oven and heat until just smoking. Brown half of chops, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to plate. Repeat with additional 1 tablespoon fat and remaining chops.
2. COOK AROMATICS Add remaining fat and onions to now-empty pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and Worcestershire, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon. Return chicken and lamb to pot and bring to boil.
3. SIMMER MEATS Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate. When cool enough to handle, pull chicken into bite-sized pieces and reserve in refrigerator; discard bones and skin. Continue to simmer stew until lamb is tender, about 40 minutes longer. Transfer lamb to plate. When cool enough to handle, pull lamb into bite-sized pieces and reserve in refrigerator; discard bones.
4. ADD VEGETABLES Add potatoes to pot and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Add corn, lima beans, reserved chicken, and reserved lamb and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Season with salt. Skim fat, if necessary. Serve.
The pudding may be flavored with a couple of teaspoons of rum and/or maple syrup and served with whipped cream, or even vanilla ice cream.
4 cups whole milk plus 2 additional tablespoons
1/2 cup mild molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 275 degrees. Lightly coat a 2-quart casserole dish or 9-inch soufflé dish with vegetable oil spray. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a dish towel. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
2. Bring 4 cups of milk, the molasses, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened and the whisk leaves trails when stirred, about 15 minutes.
3. Whisk the eggs, cornstarch, and remaining 2 tablespoons of milk together until smooth, then slowly whisk into the cornmeal mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until large bubbles rise to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Pour the cornmeal mixture into the prepared dish, wrap tightly in foil, and set inside the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour the boiling water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake until the pudding is no longer runny and has gently set, about 2 hours.
5. Remove the baking dish from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving.
To Make Ahead
The baked pudding can be cooled at room temperature for up to 3 hours before serving.