I was inspired by something I saw on Twitter this week (I know, strange): Podcast host and author Linda Holmes wrote that, after a pandemic stretch of ordering in and PB&Js, she wanted to reset her relationship with her kitchen. She issued herself a cooking challenge, choosing eight New York Times Cooking recipes and making them over the course of one week. This made me realize that I, too, need a reboot.
Sheet-Pan Shrimp Boil
There is absolutely nothing like a shrimp boil, but this flavorful recipe captures its essence by roasting the ingredients on a sheet tray instead of simmering them in a pot of broth. Serve it on its own or tossed with pasta. The slight char brings out seafood’s sweetness, so for contrast, serve with tart lemons or a tangy cocktail sauce
By: Millie Peartree
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Total time: 50 minutes
For the Roasted Potatoes:
1 pound baby red or yellow potatoes, halved (or quartered, if large)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
For the Broiled Corn:
4 ears fresh corn, husked, cut into 4 segments
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the Broiled Shrimp:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay, or Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds peeled and deveined tail-on jumbo shrimp, fresh or frozen and thawed, patted dry
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place a rack in the center of the oven.
2. Prepare the potatoes: In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil and garlic until coated. Season with salt and pepper, then pour onto a large baking sheet and set aside.
3. Prepare the corn: Spread each piece of corn with some of the butter and set aside.
4. Prepare the shrimp: In the same big bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, seafood or Cajun seasoning, paprika, cayenne and pepper. Add the shrimp and stir to coat evenly. Set aside.
5. Bake the potatoes until golden brown and fork tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven, set the rack in the middle of the oven and switch oven to broil. Scatter the corn over the potatoes and broil 3 to 4 minutes, or until kernels begin to brown slightly.
6. Remove the pan from the oven, and flip the corn. Scatter shrimp all over the pan and broil for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp have curled and turned pink.
7. Turn the shrimp, scatter the lemon wedges on top and broil 2 more minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over everything and sprinkle with parsley, if using. Serve immediately, on its own or tossed with pasta.
Grilled Za’atar Chicken With Garlic Yogurt and Cilantro
This garlicky, herby chicken is full-flavored and very tender, thanks to its piquant yogurt marinade. It’s flexible, too — marinate the meat for as little as a couple of hours, or as long as overnight. And the chicken is just as good cooked under the broiler as it is on the grill. You can serve this dish with almost anything, but it’s especially nice with pita or other flatbread and a big cucumber and tomato salad. And if you’re looking to substitute chicken breasts for the thighs, you can. Just watch them carefully; they’re likely to cook faster than the dark meat.
By: Melissa Clark
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Total time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
6 garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed, or minced
2 lemons, zested
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1. In a large bowl or container, stir together 5 of the grated garlic cloves, half the lemon zest, 1/3 cup yogurt, the cilantro, oil, za’atar, oregano or marjoram, salt and black pepper. Add chicken and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. When ready to cook, light the grill to medium or heat your broiler with the rack 3 inches from the heat source. Remove chicken from bowl, shaking off any excess marinade, and grill or broil on one side until charred in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill or broil for another 5 to 8 minutes, until just cooked through.
3. While the chicken is cooking, place remaining 2/3 cup yogurt in a small bowl. Stir in the reserve grated garlic clove and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut one zested lemon in half and set aside for serving (save the other zested lemon for another use).
4. To serve, place chicken on a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil and a large squeeze of the zested lemon. Top with cilantro and oregano or marjoram sprigs and serve with yogurt sauce.
TIP: If you’re broiling instead of grilling, you can line your sheet pan with foil for easier clean up. Don’t use parchment paper, it may burn.
Skirt Steak Bulgogi
Neobiani, a dish of broad, thin slices of beef tenderized with shallow slits from a knife, was a feature of royal court cuisine during the Joseon dynasty in Korea (1392 to 1910) and a predecessor to today’s beloved bulgogi of very thinly sliced marinated grilled meat. This variation borrows from neobani, but doesn’t require knife skills: Well-marbled skirt steak is pounded thin and marinated in a tenderizing sweet purée of Asian pear, onion, soy sauce and maple syrup. Bulgogi, which means “fire meat,” is best with the flame-licked char from a grill, but a hot skillet on the stovetop would work in a pinch.
By: Eric Kim
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Total time: 30 minutes, plus marinating
2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4-inch-long pieces
1 medium Asian pear or Fuji apple (about 8 ounces), peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped yellow onion, plus 1 large yellow onion, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
10 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
2 bunches scallions
Neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola, for grilling
Steamed white rice, for serving
1. On a large cutting board, pound the steak until it is 1/8-inch thick using a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. In a food processor or blender, blitz the pear, chopped onion, the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Pour the wet mixture over the steak, cover tightly and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
3. When ready to cook, prepare a charcoal grill for direct high-heat cooking, or heat a gas grill to high. On a sheet pan, coat the sliced onions and the scallions with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Carefully grease the grill grate: Use tongs to grip a wadded paper towel dipped in oil and then rub the grates with the oiled towel. Wipe off any marinade clinging to the steaks and place the steaks on the hot, greased grate, along with the onion rounds and scallions. Grill the steak until charred and caramelized at the edges, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Grill the onions and scallions until charred but still crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side. If using a gas grill, close the lid between flips. Discard any remaining marinade. (See Tip for stovetop method.)
5. Arrange the steaks on a large platter, and top with the grilled onions and scallions. Serve family-style with steamed rice.
TIP: Alternatively, you can cook the steaks and onions on the stovetop in batches in a lightly oiled large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sear the steaks until charred and caramelized at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cook the onions and scallions next, until charred but still crunchy, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Discard any remaining marinade.
Orecchiette With Corn, Jalapeño, Feta and Basil
Sweet, peak season corn is at the heart of this flavorful and simple-to-make summer pasta. The jalapeño offers a pleasant kick, and the feta cheese tossed in at the end melts slightly, giving the sauce a silky texture. It’s worth seeking out orecchiette here, as it nicely catches the corn kernels, creating perfect bites. If you can’t find it, fusilli or farfalle would work in its place. Serve with a bright, simple salad alongside and fresh fruit for dessert.
By: Colu Henry
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 30 minutes
1 pound orecchiette
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
5 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed (about 3 1/2 to 4 cups kernels)
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup torn basil leaves, plus more for serving
Flaky salt, for serving (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until it is just short of al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
2. While pasta cooks, make the sauce: In a 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add jalapeño, and cook until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook until it begins to brown in spots, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt. Add 1/4 cup of pasta water and bring to simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add pasta to skillet, tossing to coat with sauce. Add feta cheese and an additional 1/4 cup of pasta water, tossing until pasta is slick and glossy with sauce. If needed, add in another 1/4 cup pasta water. Stir in basil. Transfer to a large bowl and scatter with remaining basil. Season with flaky salt, if desired.
(This article originally appeared in The New York Times.)