Smoky and Creamy Corn Chowder with Shrimp

When the cold evenings get you thinking about a warming supper, but there’s still farm fresh corn in the market, corn chowder is our favorite way to ease into autumn. This version combines sweet corn and smoky bacon in a creamy broth, dotted with lightly poached shrimp and  sliced jalapeños to soothe the end-of-summer blues.

What happened to summer? It seems as though the season just started, and its bounty had only yesterday begun to fill the supermarket shelves. Just like that, it’s all done for another year. Fortunately, even the Northeast still has plenty of farm fresh corn to offer – a cornucopia, you might even say – and we’ll take up our supermarket’s “12 corn cobs for $4!” offer as long as we can. This aren’t the tiny, young cobs from July that we could almost eat raw – at the end of the season, while corn is still pretty tasty, but not really at its peak, it’s a fantastic ingredient in a soup or stew. Hence: shrimp and corn chowder.

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Phyllo Pot Pie with Creamy Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Swiss Chard

Phyllo Pot Pie with Creamy Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Swiss Chard Tender chicken, caramelized onions and Swiss chard in a creamy garlic sauce, topped with a blanket of buttery, flaky, ultra-crisp phyllo dough. This is comfort food pretty enough for the fanciest dinner party, but tasty enough for a relaxed family meal. 

(Note: This would also be a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving or holiday turkey. Chop or shred the cooked leftovers and fold into the sauce and vegetables before adding the pastry top.)

I think it was probably about 12 years ago that my mom bought us our first piece of really good cookware, a 5-quart Le Creuset dutch oven. At that point, we were still using a cheap, thin-gauge pan set I had bought in college, which burned pretty much anything that got near it, even if the oven wasn’t on. Being the weirdo that I am, I even remember the first thing I made in it, Duck Leg Ragu. I remember it, not because it was particularly amazing, but because while I was cooking it, something miraculous happened … The bottom of the pan didn’t scorch before the duck had browned. There wasn’t a blackened ring of sauce in the exact same shape as the burner. It was a red-sauce miracle!  That’s when I realized that investing in a few items of really special, well-made cookware was much better than having a crappy set of pans in every size. Since then, our special collection has slowly grown, and I love each piece. We cook a lot (I know you’re shocked) and I use these skillets, fry pans, and grill pans almost daily. The great thing is, well-made cookware lasts for generations so if you have kids, tell them whoever helps in the kitchen inherits the good stuff.

Phyllo Pot Pie with Creamy Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Swiss Chard
Super crispy phyllo tops a comforting, creamy chicken stew.

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Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Garlic-Herb Yogurt Dip

Crispy Oven-baked Chicken Tenders with Herb Yogurt Dip

Crispy, crunchy oven-fried chicken tenders might look like kid food, but these are packed with enough flavor to keep the grown ups just as happy. We serve them with a garlicky, lemony, herb-packed yogurt dip. 

If someone took a quick glance at our blog, they might get the impression that we’re fancy people. We are not. Prime example: Matt’s desert island dish is probably butterscotch pudding (the kind made from a packet, mind you). And mine is probably tater tots. Yes, frozen potato nuggets, baked on a tray. See? Not fancy. 

Yes, we like to cook up some nice grub but it’s mostly simple stuff, just made (hopefully) with good ingredients and a little technique. Same goes for this recipe, our crispy, crunchy baked oven-fried chicken tenders.

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French Onion Strata – a savory bread pudding

French onion strata

The flavors of French onion soup transported into a hearty, cheesy strata. The heart of bread pudding paired with the soul of a classic soup – synergy on a plate.

We’re big fans of bread pudding of almost every stripe. With one basic method and either a savory or a sweet set of ingredients, you can throw together a wide variety of dishes with bread, eggs, and milk: the framework. We generally reserve the term “bread pudding” for a sweet variation, and “strata” for the savory version where there’s usually more eggs involved. It works so well, for the last few years we’ve exclusively used a strata as a Thanksgiving-day stuffing. We liked the technique so much, we wanted to find out what else we could do with it.

French Onion Strata - a savory bread pudding
Cheesy, gooey deliciousness.

Note: This recipe is part of our ongoing series with Serious Eats. You can also find this recipe, and many other great ones on their site.

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Gamush: Easy Weeknight Pasta Bolognese

A plate of pasta in sauce

Easy Weeknight Pasta Bolognese

It’s been a while since we blogged about a recipe with family history. We’ve been doing quite a bit of commissioned work for Serious Eats, and they’re a professional outfit you know, and you can’t just submit any old tosh on their site (ahem). Their readers are a refined, questing bunch, wanting to get to the nitty gritty of a recipe without having to weed-whack through paragraphs of us arse-ing around talking about our chickens, or what kind of expression our dog is making (bored, if you must know), or that time we tried to juggle seven lemons. As you know, we leave all the old tosh for our own site, so it is with a familiar thud that I dust off the book of Nerds Family History and tell you all about gamush.

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Easy Baked Brie With Honey And Pistachios

Easy Baked Brie with Honey and Pistachios

Offering maximum impact with minimal effort, a baked Brie turns a mild-mannered cheese into the superhero of a gathering: a warm, gooey communal comfort food. This version keeps things easy and delicious—it’s baked simply, then topped with pistachios and honey.

Serve it with crackers, sliced apples or good bread.

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