the brussels sprouts that will make you like brussels sprouts

See that one that's missing? I couldn't even wait to take the picture to try one.

If you hate brussels sprouts or think there just "meh" then you clearly haven't had them cooked like this. I stumbled upon Mark Bittman's recipe a while back after making some lackluster sprouts, and it turns out I was cooking them all wrong. This way is not only easy, but they turn out so amazingly good I was eating them like candy before they even hit the plate. Mark said it best himself: "the crisp outside leaves and tender, almost artichoke-like interior cannot be beat."

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint brussels sprouts (about a pound)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to coat bottom of pan
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Trim bottom of brussels sprouts, and slice each in half top to bottom. Heat oil in cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers; put sprouts cut side down in one layer in pan. Put in garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook, undisturbed, until sprouts begin to brown on bottom, and transfer to oven. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sprouts are quite brown and tender, about 1/2 hour.
  3. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in balsamic vinegar, and serve hot or warm.

Recipe from The New York Times.

chocolate chip perfection

nyt chocolate chip cookies

If you're on Pinterest, you've likely seen a pin floating around for what is supposed to be "the BEST" chocolate chip cookie recipe. It was first published in the New York Times about 4 years ago, and has taken on near legendary status since then. (Fun fact about me: if you put the words the best in front of something, I will nearly always say back to you challenge accepted. Best mac 'n cheese, ice cream, cupcake, chicken parm? I'll be the judge of that, thank you very much.) So I decided to finally try out this famous recipe for myself last weekend, and I'm pleased to report that it very much lived up to the hype. The secret? You let the dough rest for at least 24 hours. This apparently enables the egg to fully saturate the dough and therefore the cookies bake more evenly, and well - perfectly.

In full disclosure, I'm a loyal fan of the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chip bag. It's a classic, and hard to beat in my opinion. But this recipe is like the adult version of the Tollhouse recipe... the Big to Tollhouse's Aidan. They're classier, more substantial, and worth the wait.

The part of the recipe that really blew my mind was this "Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day." You mean I can just make enough for myself and Jared? I don't have to make them all at once, inevitably taking the extras to work so that they can be enjoyed before going stale? Sorry, coworkers. They're all for me! (Okay, me and Jared.)

New York Times' Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter (or Vegan Buttery Sticks if making dairy-free)
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
  • Sea salt.

Directions:

  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

Recipe from The New York Times