It’s no secret that BA editors cook a lot for work. So it should come as no surprise that we cook a lot during our off hours too. Here are the recipes we’re whipping up this month to get dinner on the table, entertain our friends, satisfy a sweet tooth, use up leftovers, and everything in between. For even more staff favorites, click here.
Syrupy, custardy tofu
After trying out Michelle Tchea’s douhua in the test kitchen, I went home with a bounty of silken tofu and a pint container of ginger syrup tucked away in my backpack. More than enough to feed a large family—or so I thought. Through the next few days, through an exceptionally hot week, I worked my way through not one, not two, but four blocks of tofu on my own. Cold, sweet, refreshing, and with basically no prep required, it was my go-to late-night snack, midday pick-me-up, and a work-from-home lunch that I slurped up between Zoom meetings. —Antara Sinha, associate cooking editor
Khichdi is major comfort food for me. In the early days of the pandemic my mom shipped me a batched mix of dal and rice to make it when we couldn’t find lentils in the grocery stores near us. But I never thought about it as a good option to add to my lunch rotation until I saw food editor Shilpa Uskokovic’s recipe. Shilpa takes the flexible format (equal parts dal and rice, brightened up with some veg and spices, and cooked together until uniformly soft) and ladens it with spinach, casting a beautiful dark green health halo over the dish. The recipe makes a lot of khichdi, maybe enough for 6–8 depending on how you’re serving it. And it’s filling. I froze half and still had enough for three days of lunch. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor
Simple Spinach KhichdiShilpa Uskokovic
Spiced chickpea stew
The notion for some that cooking is meditative or therapeutic is pretty much lost on me. Often I’m too busy reading and rereading instructions, making sure I added the right thing at the right time, or pulling apart my spice drawer looking for that jar of mustard powder that I could have sworn was back there somewhere. That is with the exception of this Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric. I’ve made this recipe so many times, I have it completely memorized. So I’m free to let my mind wander about the laundry that needs washing or the rent that needs paying. When I have less on my to-do list, I’m able to luxuriate in the actual process of cooking. —Carly Westerfield, recipe production assistant
Gochujang salmon poke bowl
It might be September, but we are definitely still in that terribly hot phase of the year when you want to get dinner on the table without turning on your oven or stove. This recipe from Lara Lee’s new cookbook A Splash of Soy: Everyday Food from Asia accomplishes that goal and still feels high-effort enough for a Friday night. The salmon gets cubed up and tossed in Tabasco, sesame oil, gochujang, and sesame seeds to cure for five minutes while you assemble the other components. I let my inner food stylist come alive to match the recipe photo, sprinkling the top with togarashi and crumbled seaweed. I managed to save some salmon, avocado, and rice for lunch the next day which I ate with nori sheets. My takeaway: Tabasco and gochujang are good on their own, but even better together. —Kate Kassin, editorial operations manager
A Splash of Soy: Everyday Food from Asia
Almost-instant tuna spaghetti
As soon as I tried Megan Litt’s boyfriend’s family’s tuna spaghetti in the test kitchen, I knew it would become a regular at home. All you need are those two ingredients, plus a lot of butter and some salt and pepper. It takes literal minutes to pull off, just right mid-work week when even grabbing takeout sounds tiring. That pasta, a big bowl of vinegary arugula, and I have the perfect TV dinner to accompany my latest Alone episode. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor
Movie-night pumpkin cake
My friends and I take turns hosting unhinged double-feature movie nights. (A particularly memorable pairing: the 1922 silent German Expressionist horror film Nosferatu, and tween comedy New York Minute starring Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen.) To usher in fall this month, we all agreed on the relatively tame movie combo of Twilight and When Harry Met Sally. This Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake is the snack for the occasion. Easy to make, fun to assemble, and with the ideal crumb-to-cake ratio—which we can all agree is one-to-one—it’s what to bake when you’re ready for your whole apartment to smell like autumn. —AS
Pumpkin Spice Crumb CakeEmma Laperruque
Zesty upside-down cake
Plums are my favorite stone fruit—sweet-tart with just enough of that firm bite you don’t get from a nectarine or peach. I have never been good at caramel, but the lime caramel in this recipe is foolproof and gives the cake a zesty, gooey tang. It’s a great cake to bring to a gathering: relatively easy to make but still looks impressive because it’s, well, upside-down. —Urmila Ramakrishnan, associate director of social media
Plum and Lime Upside-Down CakeRachel Gurjar
Whipped feta dip
I didn’t feel like committing to a block of feta at the supermarket, and made the cursed decision to buy crumbles instead. Instant regret. They’re dry, tough, and have none of the briny, squeaky qualities that make feta so great. Senior cooking editor Kelsey Youngman gave me the bright idea to blitz it into a dip, like this charred scallion whipped feta dip by contributor and cookbook author Alexis deBoschnek, and it salvaged the whole container. For my version of girl dinner, I topped the bowl with some sautéed veggies, and enjoyed it scooped onto crusty baguette slices. —Antara Sinha, associate cooking editor
Never-dry pork chops
I have made these pork chops at least three times in the last month. The marinade really seeps into the meat when you let it sit in the fridge for the recommended 12 hours. I’ve also tried marinating them for 2 hours, finishing them in a carbon steal pan, and using the marinade as a basting sauce. Both ways give you that savory, sweet flavor with juicy, never-dry pork chops. As for the pickled radishes, I used the same pickling vinegar on shallots and thinly sliced cucumbers, and the results were just as stellar. —U.R.
Chinese-Barbecue-Style Pork ChopsShuai Wang
My husband and I haven’t given each other birthday gifts in years—highly recommend—but I always look forward to making a whatever-he-wants meal. This weekend, it was grilled ribeyes with BA-reader-favorite chimichurri, plus garlic-buttered corn and vinegary tomatoes, with editorial assistant Nina Moskowitz’s staff-adored ice cream cake for dessert. I swapped in coffee ice cream (Trader Joe’s can’t be beat, IMHO) and accordingly lowered the instant espresso quantity. It was such a hit, I have a hunch it’ll be on the menu next year too. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor
Crowd-favorite ice cream cake
I also made Nina’s cocoa-crunchy-adorned ice cream cake this weekend—two of them actually, as we had about 50 guests over for a barbecue—and I too swapped in coffee ice cream. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dessert fly off the table and into people’s mouths so fast. I polished off my own slice and was back for seconds within minutes, only to find that both cakes were long gone. All the more reason to make another one (or two or three) ASAP. —Alaina Chou, commerce producer
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream CakeNina Moskowitz
Halloumi and watermelon salad
My mom turned me onto this watermelon salad recipe from the Wall Street Journal: The dressing is built on coriander bloomed in oil, then mixed with dried mint and honey. Pour it over watermelon and halloumi dotted with pistachios and lime zest and you have a side salad that will—if your family is anything like mine—be gone in seconds. I’ve used feta and fresh herbs (mint and basil) and it’s still turned out great. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor
Saucy cumin noodles
This recipe by Bon Appétit contributor Zaynab Issa has been on my list for a long time. It’s a dinner recipe that feels complete, homey, and the perfect homage to Xi’an’s Famous Foods’ popular menu item. I was lucky enough to be spared a trip to the grocery store thanks to some ground lamb and mint I had on hand, and I swapped in pappardelle for udon. The result was so bouncy-chewy and flavorful. And the leftovers were a fantastic lunch situation the next day. —U.R.
Slicked and Spicy Lamb NoodlesZaynab Issa
Oven-only eggplant parm
I love eggplant parm, but I do not love frying things, so I bookmarked this all-oven recipe from Eric Kim at the New York Times as soon as I saw it. You bread the eggplant and bake it, then layer it with heated-through (jarred!) marinara sauce and cheese. It takes about 90 minutes start to finish, but the majority of that time is extremely hands off, and the recipe is forgiving: It’s not even close to the end of the world if you only have parm or use thick slices of mozz from the ball in your fridge or mix and match marinara sauces based on whatever’s in your pantry. Next time I’ll add some more veggies. Maybe. —S.C.
Better-with-time olive oil cake
I’ve had my eye on this recipe for olive oil cake from Bon Appétit contributor Claire Saffitz basically all summer, and I used a dinner party over the weekend as the perfect occasion to try it out. The cake itself has the most incredible texture that only improves with time—Saffitz recommends making it a day in advance to allow the cake to cure. If, like me, you can’t wait that long, it’s still excellent to dig into right away. —Carly Westerfield, recipe production assistant
Olive Oil CakeClaire Saffitz
It’s the last few weeks of the summer hurrah at New Jersey farmers markets. I’m not sure if it’s a just-me problem. But knowing that I have limited time to enjoy the overwhelming produce options puts me into a panic state of buying. It often results with amazing produce that I never had a plan for before I walked into the parking lot of vendors. One stall, in particular, is the mushroom guy. This week he had lobster mushrooms and chanterelles. I did what I did best and anxiety-bought them both. Thankfully, this simple recipe from Rick Martinez was a great way to both grill on a Sunday and eat fungi in a fun way. —U.R.
Like so many of our readers, I simply had to make Kendra Vaculin’s Tomatoes and Feta With Chickpeas. (It was our most popular recipe of last month—no small feat.) After roasting in the oven, even not-sandwich-worthy tomatoes taste spectacular. Then you add cumin-and-paprika-spiced chickpeas, slabs of salty feta, and broil the whole thing until it’s bubbly and blistered. A handful of vinegary arugula at the end makes it a one-dish dinner. And while you could spoon the mixture onto a bowl of grains, I found it Monday-thrilling to grab a warm flatbread and eat straight from the sheet pan. —E.L.
Tomatoes and Feta With ChickpeasKendra Vaculin
I have this fun habit of buying a full watermelon, eating a few slices, then staring with dread at the remaining half-melon in my fridge, clueless on what to do with it. Enter: This savory watermelon salad, which also happens to be a great use for some surplus of heirlooms. A savory, warmly spiced oil melds into bites of refreshing melon and juicy tomatoes. It truly is a match made in heaven. —Zoe Denenberg, associate cooking & SEO editor
Silky, fluffy migas
Yes, cherry tomatoes are reliable year-round, but they’re never sweeter, plumper, or cuter than they are right now. Shilpa Uskokovic’s migas recipe is my new favorite way to put them to great use. The tomatoes’ tangy juiciness is the ideal foil to eggy tortillas, refried beans, and buttery avocado. Hot sauce not optional. —E.L.
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit