Colu Henry is an outstanding recipe developer, writer and cooking contributor for The New York Times who keeps me excited to continue cooking through her inspiring Instagram. This week, she shares her top 5 favorite dishes to make at home with Artful Living. Happy cooking!
Back Pocket Pasta
I am a woman of my word and am trying to avoid the store right now. So whatever is on its last legs gets sautéed in some olive oil, lots of garlic, some sort of allium and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. I’m lucky to have tinned fish in the house as well, so ingredients like tuna, anchovies and sardines make their way into the rotation. The pasta is tossed together in the pan with everything else, along with some butter and a ladleful or so of the starchy pasta water until emulsified. Shower this with some roughly chopped parsley and some lemon zest, and I’m a happy gal.
I’ve been roasting a lot of chickens lately. We’ll eat some of the chicken for dinner, some for lunch the next day then I’ll make broth with the bones. If there is any leftover meat, it gets incorporated into a soup with grains like farro, barley or beans. There’s usually still enough broth to make another meal such as risotto or to use to braise meat or vegetables.
A Pot of Beans
Most Sundays, I’ll make a pot of beans and work them into meals throughout the week. For lunch, I’ll eat them warmed over toast with some of their broth or serve them in a salad tossed with wilty greens and a punchy vinaigrette. For dinner, I’ll serve them in tacos, in some sort of bean stew or as a side drizzled with herb oil. If I happen not to finish the whole pot, I freeze what’s left in the broth. It’ll last for a few months and is a gem when you’re ransacking your freezer trying to put together dinner.
My husband, Chad, is the pizzaiolo in our house. He uses Chris Bianco’s dough recipe and generally doubles it so we have one to freeze and use at a later date. I stockpile canned tomatoes, and coincidentally, Chris makes the best brand of those, too. We’ll top it with some cheese, onion and whatever cured meat we’ve got — or not. For a side, I make a simple salad of radicchio and fennel, and call it a day.
Slow roasted pork shoulder is my favorite thing to make. You need to be home all day, so now is the perfect time! I salt and pepper mine well and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. I’ll take it out about an hour before I roast it and add in a splash of liquid to the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t scorch. I cook the roast covered at 250 degrees until it’s falling off the bone, which could be anywhere from four to six hours. Before serving, I’ll remove the lid and crank up the heat to brown the top. We’ll use it for numerous meals, such as chili, tacos, a quick ragu for pasta, a topping for nachos — you name it. No piece of pork goes to waste.