Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark takes on one of the biggest dilemmas of busy people: what are we going to eat? In each episode, you’ll join cookbook author and New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark in her kitchen, working through one of her favorite recipes and offering helpful advice for both beginners and seasoned cooks. It’s a practical guide for weeknight eating, from the makers of The Splendid Table. Follow along and get more recipes at weeknightkitchen.org. Produced by American Public Media.
Epic Thanksgiving Potatoes
This week’s recipe for Scalloped Potato Skillet Gratin with Gruyère, Leeks, and Black Pepper is not exactly weeknight friendly, as Melissa readily admits. However, it is the lushest, cheesiest potato dish ever and perfect for the Thanksgiving table. Pour yourself a beverage, put on some music and begin. Plus, mandoline basics, how to check seasoning with your hands, and tips on tempering eggs. And did we mention that you can make this ahead? Related Links: Mandoline, Mandoline Gloves, Microplane, 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Instant Pot Mommy Food
Melissa makes her simple and slightly sinful Lemon Vanilla Rice Pudding with Whipped Cream for her mom – in the Instant Pot. She also weighs in on how to best separate eggs, plus what to do with those extra egg whites and vanilla beans. And finally, someone answers the question, can pressure cookers really blow up? Related Links: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, Porcelain Bowl Set
Grown-Up Chicken Tenders
For all of you parents who have snuck a bite off your toddler’s chicken finger, Melissa is looking out for you with her recipe for Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Kumquats and Cranberries. Plus, mise en place in real life, why you should always spice in layers, why the order you dip is essential, an amazing frying technique, and yet another reason for a trip to IKEA. Related Links: Cuisinart Stainless 5 1/2-Quart Sautè Pan, Panko Bread Crumbs, Porcelain Wide Rim Bowl Set
Dueling Sheet Pans
If one sheet pan is good, then two is better, as proved by this week’s recipe for Roasted Sausage and Cauliflower with Cumin and Turkish Pepper. Melissa explains the method behind the potential madness of the double sheet-pan approach, why you should think about how big your bite is, the diversity of doneness, and the times when Greek yogurt just won’t cut it. Related Links: Sheet Pans, Silicone Brush Set, Turkish Red Pepper / Aleppo Pepper, Kitchen Tongs, Silicone Oven Mitts.
Shake Your Way to a Better Salad
Melissa is joined in the kitchen by her pal, celebrity photographer Melanie Dunea, for a lesson in making the perfect Simplest Green Salad. Melanie asks the real questions: do you wash the prewashed greens? What’s the best way to mince garlic? What’s the best tool for tossing? Together she and Melissa mix up a “shaky-shake” salad dressing that will last a week in the fridge. This episode makes it easy to get a salad on your table every single night of the week. Related Links: My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals (by Melanie Dunea), OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
You will not believe what happens to a block of extra-firm tofu when you shred it on a grater. Melissa’s recipe for Shredded Tofu with Spicy Ground Chicken and Edamame comes together in less than 15 minutes and is a master technique for the weeknight cook. The ground chicken is a seasoning here, not the main event and a good lesson in how paying attention to the details of an ingredient, here the texture, can change the way you use it. Also, other unexpected ideas for shredded tofu, the importance of heating a pan before sautéing – and stop stirring!
Related Links: Heidi Swanson books, Cuisinart Boxed grater, All-Clad classic 3-quart, 10 1/2-inch, straight-sided sauté pan with lid