Welcome to What We’re Cooking This Week, a weekly love letter from our recipe developer Emma Laperruque, all about what the Food52 team is cooking and craving off-hours (with a few snacks for thought, too).
After moving to the suburbs in May, I fully expected Halloween to be the worst craziest day of my life. So my husband and I bought hundreds of individually-wrapped, bite-sized Reese’s cups, then stayed near the door for hours, bracing ourselves for a tidal wave of spooky ghosts and Ariana Grande dopplegängers.
Fast-forward to me watching Grey’s Anatomy, surrounded by mountains of peanut butter cups, with a sinking sense that I failed the children, or the children failed me. Kids these days... Anyway, if you know any recipes that use up leftover candy, let me know in the comments.
For now, let’s dive into this week’s recipes, none of which involve Reese’s.
Banana Bread, but Make It the Best
Our test kitchen’s best banana bread is the banana-iest, of course. It’s also sweet (but not so sweet that you can’t eat it for breakfast), grainy and nutty (thanks to whole-wheat flour and toasted walnuts), and equal parts tender and moist (shoutout to oil versus butter and a scoop of whole-milk yogurt). Happy baking season!
I know what you’re thinking: Emma, you featured thispasta with braised onion saucelast week! And you’re right. (So glad you’re regularly reading this letter!) However, there’s a reason this dish is getting special treatment, and it’s because it’s our...recipe of the month! (Cue a shower of confetti, your best friend jumping out of a cake, fireworks exploding in the sky.) I’m also starting to feel like I’m the only person on our editorial team who hasn’t made it yet (probably because, um, I am the only person on our editorial team who hasn’t made it yet), which is why I’m making it on Monday. Come hang out with me on Instagram.
"I'm feeling very inspired by Kristen's squash content," our director of revenue operations Azora Zoe Paknad told me. Aren't we all? This week, our resident Genius Kristen Miglore learned something wild from cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi: If you’re roasting squash (which, ahem, it’s November, you should be!), skip the peeling—aka, the worst—part. She showcases this trick in a recipe for squash with chile yogurt and cilantro sauce, but I’ll be paying it forward to every squash recipe I can get my paws on.
“I'm going apple picking with friends in Boston this weekend,” announced our executive editor Joanna Sciarrino. Fun! “So we'll definitely be making something sweet and apple-y, like Teddie's Apple Cake, which might as well be the most perfect cake ever.” If you’re feeling like something savory instead (or if you picked waaay too many apples), make a big batch of apple chutney—this one’s got a boatload of good stuff, like fennel, caraway seeds, golden raisins, horseradish, and red wine. Especially dreamy with parsnip latkes.
What are you cooking and reading right now? And how many trick-or-treaters did you get?
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.