The Best Dishes Bon Appétit Staffers Cooked in January 2023

Best cooking recipe

It’s no secret that BA editors cook a lot for the job. So it should come as no surprise that we also cook a lot during our free hours. Here are the recipes we make to put dinner on the table, to entertain our friends, to satisfy the sweet tooth, to use leftovers and everything else.

January may be all about new beginnings and new beginnings, but one thing hasn’t changed for us: how much we cook. From cozy comfort meals to help us through the colder weeks to brilliant treats that highlight the best of seasonal citrus, here’s the roundup of our favorite recipes we cooked this week, outside of work.

January 27

As a self-proclaimed soup girlie, I’ve been in meal prep soups for weekly lunches. I make a large batch of the soup base for the week and prepare the grain or noodles separately for quick lunches between Zoom meetings. I’ve been making this chicken soup for the past three weeks. Ginger and curry powder make me feel like I’m eating Maggi masala, but on a deeper, richer level. The first week, I used soba noodles. This week I batched the base with a couple of add-ons, like cabbage and Thai chili peppers for an extra kick. This will always be in my regular rotation. —Urmila Ramakrishnan, associate director of social media

Last weekend I had to plan for a 16th birthday crowd and the NFL playoffs, which sent me looking for that dish that crowd always likes: chicken wings. I searched our Epicurious app, where there are dozens and dozens of wing recipes, and was immediately drawn to Donna Hay’s crispy baked chicken wings. The ingredient list is short, including one of my favorite spices, the five-spice Chinese powder. That, mixed with cornstarch, makes a good rind in the chicken. It’s the kind of thing you can quickly put together, easily double in size, and bake knowing there won’t be leftovers to discard. —Dawn Davis, editor-in-chief


got into the easy and satisfying joy of eating cauliflower tacos as a weekday meal with a recipe from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, but it had been a while since I used this tool in the arsenal. I was excited to see the recipe from associate food editor Zaynab Issa that uses a can of chipotles in marinade, an ingredient I had never used at home, and now it’s my new pantry staple. It’s rich, it’s smoky, it’s spicy, but critically, it’s not my tender stomach will suffer spicy tomorrow. You don’t want to skip the lime sour cream dressing, it’s essential for balance. My other tip: Buy fresh corn tortillas at a local restaurant. It will make everything feel worthy of a restaurant with a weekday cooking time. —Serena Dai, editorial director

Well, folks, it’s three weeks away from January and I’ve already spent my entire grocery budget for the month (I blame the $10 egg carton). Dinner time came this weekend and all I had to work on was half a bag of frozen spinach, an open sack of red lentils, and a slice of frozen sourdough. But desperation has a way of bringing out the best cook in me, and I remembered this lentil-covered vegetable recipe, which my sister emphatically endorsed a few weeks ago. A gift was waiting for me. The vegetables practically melt with the smoked lentils and intensely garlic, which are cooked in just 10 minutes. I put it on top of a thick slice of grilled sourdough with olive oil for vegetarian and careless vibes, but this would be just as good with rice or quinoa. 10/10 will do again, even when it’s not rental week. —Zoe Denenberg, associate editor of SEO

Roasting a whole chicken may seem intense, or trigger Thanksgiving turkey flashbacks for those reluctant to whole birds, but the reality is quite the opposite. On Sunday morning I seasoned my chicken and brushed it with this spicy, sticky marinade. Then, a few hours later, I dropped it on a bed of potatoes and put the pan in a low oven along with salted vegetables (cooked under the bird, for a combined grill for roasting and a complementary dish). By dinner time I had enough food for a double date with my roommate and our partners. Serve with kimchi for a pickle. —Nico Avalle, Digital Production Associate

I love a bowl of great-tasting beans, and that’s exactly what you get from DeVonn Francis’ recipe. It’s easy to make, pantry-friendly, and doable for any night of the week. The soul of this recipe comes from the ginger and tamari marinade, which I folded for added delight into the tofu and Brussels sprouts. —Esra Erol, Senior Social Media Manager

January 20

I wanted a simple meal but with a bit of depth. With my son still visiting from college (that winter break is long, but I’m not complaining!), I marinated a steak in some soybeans, brown sugar, lime, olive oil and salt and made a double serving of braised vegetables with garlic and parmesan from Chris Morocco. Divide a head of garlic, cut it with the side down in the pot with some onions, salt and pepper. After a quick stir-fry, add the vegetables of your choice. I used collard greens, but kale or Swiss chard would work too. The recipe calls for grated Parmesan at the end, but I opted for a crust, which I put on about 20 minutes after adding broth (instead of water). He added thrust without overwhelming the greens. Delicious! “

I got almost three pounds of mussels for $12,” my excited boyfriend sent me Sunday night, reporting live from Eataly. In addition to their quick cooking time and the fun that comes with eating them, mussels are also perhaps the best deal on the seafood counter. The last time we made this Melissa Clark recipe, the sauce was so good that we ate the huge pot along with a baguette. This time we poured a generous portion of cooked rice and vegetables into the remaining sauce and ate every last spicy bite of coconut. As usual, I was light with the garlic and shallots (thanks, allium sensitive belly) and tossed some mint leaves for a fresh bite. —Kate Kassin, editorial operations associate

A friend and I hosted a casual dinner over the long weekend, and built our menu around Sohui Kim’s red wine and soy-stewed ribs. After giving the huge pile of beautifully marbled ribs and flanked style a good shake, we let them simmer all day while we cook some applications, side dishes and desserts. Meanwhile, the intoxicating aroma swirled around us like a mockery, a promise of good things to come. The recipe calls for you to add pieces of daikon to the pot an hour before it’s ready, which absorb the color and flavor of the sauce as they become tender; I also threw away some carrots, just in case. The moment he was serving dinner, the meat glided anxiously from the bone as he took each piece out of the pot and carried it to his bed of root vegetable puree. Along with a citrus and chicory salad, it was the perfect meal to enjoy with friends on a chilly night. —Alaina Chou, trade producer

I’m a creature of habit, so all I cook these days is Hetty McKinnon’s tomato-egg noodle soup or this curry, tomato-coconut lentil soup: it’s cold, everyone is sick, and they’re fast. But this week I added Ali Slagle’s grilled cheese sandwiches to the table, and honestly? I don’t think I’ll ever make grilled cheese on the stove again. The ability to cook four sandwiches at once, and hands-free!, is key, and you get the crispy exterior and lace edges that all the best grilled cheeses have. —Sonia Chopra, Executive Editor

While the controversy over gas stoves intensified this week, I turned my attention to the oven function of my range when I did Rebekah Peppler’s Seven-Hour Bestofed Leg of Lamb. I love how the apartment smells: herbaceous and gamey, with some floral notes of the rosé in which it is stewed. In the time it takes me to cook, I can run errands, read a book, or catch up with my friends. Note: The time varies depending on the size. You’ll want a thermometer. Peppler, author of À Table: Recipes for Cooking + Eating the French Way, entertains a lot in her Parisian apartment, which explains why this is a treat for those lamb lovers who want every Sunday to feel like a holiday. —D.D.

There are many Reese lovers in my life, so when I came across these cookies while flipping through the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook, I knew I had to make them as soon as possible. Although I was worried about logistics (sometimes you just want an easy cookie, you know?) these were much simpler than I had imagined. The resulting goodies not too sweet, deeply chocolatey and full of peanut butter will definitely add to my regular rotation. —S.C.

I’m trying to get better at cooking meals on weekdays, and this supremely easy Teriyaki chicken lived up to its name. I made some adjustments based on how I like to eat: the cornstarch went straight over bite-sized raw chicken chunks to get some crunchiness, along with salt and a pinch of white pepper instead of black. I also didn’t feel like making any other dishes, so when the chicken was ready and sauced, I threw out a bunch of spinach that looked like it might be on its last day to get some veggies. Don’t skip the part where the recipe says to leave the chicken undisturbed for a while. I poured the sweet and sticky result over a bowl of rice and congratulated myself on putting food on the table. —Serena Dai, editorial director

January 13

I was

having one of those nights when my refrigerator was especially sparse, but I didn’t have the stamina for a full grocery replenishment trip. These Gochujang-Sesame noodles were the move: all I took from the store was some broccoli and basil to make it happen, and the rest of the ingredients I was lucky enough to have already in my pantry. I also added some medium firmness tofu to the creaminess pockets, I didn’t even bother cutting them into nice cubes, I just crumbled it straight into the pan. It was exactly the spicy, spicy, accidentally vegan food I needed, and leftovers carried me for days. —Antara Sinha, associate chef editor

In my house, the post-holiday season is also peak soup season. This year I kicked it off with this popular Mexican-style soup from Epicurious. Soft green chili peppers add earthy heat, while cherry tomatoes, added at the end of cooking, give it bursts of shine. The recipe calls for summer squash, but I swapped it for frozen okra, which is a great thickener for all kinds of vegetable soups. There is also potato weight, but the surprise star is the cheese, which is heated in the loaded broth. It’s the kind of cheese that doesn’t melt in the heat, but adds satisfyingly chewy chunks that make this soup feel like a full meal. —Joe Sevier, editor, SEO and cooking

I have made this recipe so many times, but always with feta, the change of choice from Priya Krishna to the classic paneer. Farokh Talatati’s superb guide to making paneer from scratch inspired me to change it. After straining and pressing, the cheese was slicable but tender. Bonus: you end up with a bunch of spicy whey. Talati always keeps this liquid golden, pouring it “instead of broth or water in the kitchen, particularly dals and curry.” I did exactly that for the saag, using it to dilute the spinach sauce. With a mountain of fluffy rice, it was a dream dinner (and even better lunch the next day). —Emma Laperruque, Senior Kitchen Editor

I recently moved across the country, but all of our stuff is still stuck in a truck somewhere between New York City and Salt Lake City. Womp. This means I only have an Amazon-ordered pan to cook for the foreseeable future. Luckily for me (and you), recipe developer and cookbook author Ali Slagle gets the appeal and need for one-pot meals. Earlier this week, I spent less than 30 minutes preparing these extremely comforting, mozzarella-topped baked beans from NYT Cooking. I added pearl couscous to the mixture for weight and sliced green beans for health. The result was a bubbly, ugly pile of tasty porridge that, yes, I ate with the same disposable fork I’ve been washing meticulously for a week. —Ali Francis, staff writer

To make this çilbir-inspired recipe more breakfast friendly on weekdays, I have to confess that I don’t poach, but frizz the eggs until the edges are golden and fitted and the yolk is freshly laid. The creamy Greek yogurt, brown butter, crispy garlic, and a handful of fresh herbs, all picked with fried bread, make for a tasty and appetizing breakfast that I turn to again and again. —A.S.

January 6

Sometimes I have

such a different and persuasive desire that I have no choice but to go ahead with making that fantasy come true. That’s why I cooked the famous Veselka Borscht on New Year’s Day. The vinegar makes for a deliciously spicy broth, and the vibrant fuschia color is pleasant. You can also find out what “beet water” is, as doing that is a step in the recipe. Definitely a project, so plan ahead, but oh baby, this project delivers. Top with a large tablespoon of sour cream before serving. Almost as good as being back on Second Avenue. Almost. —Jen Choi, print editor

As a part-time vegetarian who is too enthusiastic about (1) green curry and (2) lentils, I can’t believe she never cooked Christina Chaey’s green curry lentil soup until last night. I’m so glad I did it because I have a feeling this recipe will hook a place in my weeknight rotation. Green curry paste combined with a tasty vegetable broth creates layered, rich flavors that might fool you into thinking it’s simmering for hours, but it only takes 30 minutes. I like my soup a little thicker in consistency, so I used three cups of broth instead of four. The final addition of coconut milk adds a satisfying boost of wealth. It’s heating up; it is healthy; It’s January; And this soup makes me feel like a new person. —Zoe Denenberg, Associate SEO Editor

With such a small ingredient list, NYT Cooking’s Crisp Fettuccine Alfredo Chile is a recipe I know I’ll come back to again and again. I halved the amounts to feed my younger family, but left spinach anyway, so there was enough plant matter to skip a side dish altogether. —E.L.

After traveling for the holidays and flying home during one of the busiest weekends of the year, I wanted something simple but homemade for dinner, and a dish that didn’t require shopping. I decided to riff on our chicken from a pan with buttery orzo. Using the recipe as a model, I improvised. First, I covered the chicken with lemon zest about halfway through roasting, adding a bright, citrus fragrance. I used shallots instead of leeks and skipped fennel as I didn’t have any. Instead, I took a bunch of kale and roasted half to give it texture and threw the other half with the orzo. This was so good, we were fighting over the toasted orzo stuck to the bottom of the pan. —D.D.

This vibrant vegetarian sandwich inspired me to finally use the pumpkin that had been sitting on my counter, staring at me, for weeks. Especially if you roast the pumpkin and pickle the onion in advance, this is an obvious weekday dinner. The fries on the side are listed as optional, but in my house they are absolutely mandatory. —E.L. Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

Related Posts