Spicy-Sweet Grilled Chicken and More Recipes BA Staff Made This Week

·12 min read

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, to entertain our friends, to satisfy a sweet tooth, to use up leftovers, and everything in between. For even more staff favorites, click here.

May 26

Street-food-inspired chicken salad

When the summer heat kicks in, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. Enter: Zaynab’s Halal Cart Chicken Salad. This recipe transforms store-bought rotisserie chicken—thanks to a spiced oil of coriander, cumin, and turmeric—into a meal reminiscent of the street food favorite. Iceberg lettuce provides a cool, crisp, and sturdy bed for the chicken, salty pita chips, and a rich yogurt dressing that gives off white sauce vibes. Honestly, it’s my new go-to summer salad because ’tis the season for cold food. I have used romaine lettuce in a pinch. It works. But trust Zaynab: Iceberg lettuce is best here. —Esra Erol, senior social media manager

Halal Cart Chicken Salad

Zaynab Issa

Chinese-bakery-style whipped cream cake

When I first divided the batter of this extremely easy cake recipe into the pans, I was worried I’d mismeasured. The batter is quite thin and I wondered if my scale was off—no way this could set into an actual cake. I was wrong. In just about 20 minutes, that thin batter puffs into the lightest sponge imaginable. Sandwiched with a whipped cream frosting and fresh fruit (I used raspberries, blackberries, and kiwi), this supremely tender cake is ideal for spring and summer birthdays—or any holiday parties you’ve got coming up for that matter. —Joe Sevier, SEO editor, cooking

Crowd-pleasing grilled chicken

In the blink of an eye, my son completed his first year at college. To celebrate, I invited his best friend from high school along with his family for Sunday dinner. I knew they were picky eaters so I planned on an absolute crowd-pleaser, Jessie YuChen’s Five-Spice Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken. As the title suggests, it is chicken rubbed with salt, brown sugar, and five-spice powder, with a wash of rice wine vinegar and soy poured atop after it’s been taken off the grill. They devoured it. The mom, acknowledging that her “picky boys loved it,” even asked for the recipe. —Dawn Davis, editor in chief

Five-Spice Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken

Jessie YuChen

Sweet, peppery strawberry salad

I had extra strawberries this weekend, so I scrolled through the Epicurious app looking for a fun, non-dessert use for them and landed on this salad. Berries sliced and macerated in a vinegar-honey-black-pepper mix makes up the sweet and tangy base of the dressing. If you were feeding a group, you could build the salad right into the same bowl, as the recipe states, but we dressed our salad separately and had plenty of leftover berry vinaigrette for lunches through the week. Sadly, I didn’t have feta to make the croutons, but I can’t stop thinking about them, which means I’ll definitely be buying a surplus of strawberries again next time I go to the market. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor

Pretty-in-pink rhubarb juice

Working in food media means buying rhubarb at the farmers market. I don’t know why but, as soon as I see those ruby stalks, I throw them in my basket on autopilot. Then I get home and wonder how I got there: Did I even want rhubarb? Do I even like rhubarb? Some years, I am not sure. It is beloved for baking (see this custardy cake or these brown butter bars) yet, on my off hours, I rarely bake. Fortunately, Abra Berens’s newest cookbook, Pulp, had the solution: rhubarb juice (just blend rhubarb and strain), to turn into a shrub with sugar and vinegar. Topped off with seltzer, it’s the afternoon pick-me-up I’ve been looking forward to all week. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit

$35.00, Amazon

May 19

Smoked trout dip

I devoured Tin to Table in a matter of days. By Epicurious's senior editor Anna Hezel, it’s packed with bright recipes (like Clam Garlic Bread and Mackerel Onigiri), shopping recs (don’t miss Herman’s next time you are in Philly), and expert tips (did you know you’re supposed to refrigerate your anchovies?). Lucky for me, I had just the excuse to make a double-batch of Smoked Trout Dip: my grandma’s 93rd birthday. With many bottles of bubbly and a giant bowl of potato chips, it was a total hit. And even luckier for me, there was enough left over to spread on a bagel the next day. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Tin to Table

$25.00, Amazon

Refreshing, brunch-ready mule

My mom requested a “fun nonalcoholic drink” for brunch this weekend, and I went straight to the Epicurious app to find one. I landed on this easy Blackberry-Cucumber Mule (swapping in nonalcoholic gin), which turned out so refreshing and delicious that even the Bloody Mary drinkers among us switched course. We didn’t have a shaker but muddling and shaking in a mason jar worked totally fine, and I’ll definitely be making this time and again this summer. (And for more cocktail inspiration from Epi, head here.) —Sonia Chopra, executive editor

Thick, creamy blueberry smoothie

I whipped up this extra-easy blueberry smoothie recipe after yoga class on Saturday morning (okay, health queen!). I used old-fashioned Greek yogurt instead of tahini, because this girlie loves dairy, and added a touch of honey for sweetness. The combination of warming cinnamon and cooling blueberries worked so well, but it’s the texture that really won me over: so thick and creamy that I ate it with a spoon, pretending it was a Dairy Queen blizzard. With a dollop of almond butter blended in and a generous sprinkle of granola on top, this smoothie actually kept me full until lunchtime. —Zoe Denenberg, associate cooking & SEO editor

Banana-Blueberry Smoothie With Tahini

Kendra Vaculin

Savory Dutch baby

After the scare of failing my first gestational diabetes test—I am diabetes-free, thank goodness—I decided to take my doctor’s advice and still try to limit meals where the majority is carbs. That knocks out my go-to pastas, as well as the bread- and rice-based dishes I usually make when in a crunch. Instead, I scoured the Bon Appétit archives for a savory Dutch baby that might work with what I have in my scant fridge (which somehow didn’t have fresh herbs or a full pack of eggs). Thankfully, this oldie by Claire Saffitz requires just three eggs and allows for whatever else is in the fridge to top it. I threw a chunk of cheddar into the blender and topped the final product with lots of stir-fried asparagus and frozen peas. —Serena Dai, editorial director

Spicy, rich rajas

I’m so obsessed with food editor Shilpa Uskokovic’s papas con rajas. I got to cross-test it when she was developing the recipe which really sealed the deal for me. It was my first time making rajas, and when I got to experience first hand just how easy, how delicious, and how versatile it is. It all comes together in one pan; it’s tangy, spicy, and rich; and it’s incredibly versatile, right at home on tacos, in rice bowls, and as a stand-alone side dish. This recipe is now a regular part of my repertoire. Often I make it exactly as written, with potatoes for tender bulk, but this week I left the potatoes out and subbed a sprinkling of adobo seasoning in for the bouillon. Alongside spiced rice and crispy mushrooms, it was the Monday night dinner of my dreams. —Kendra Vaculin, associate food editor

Papas con Rajas

Shilpa Uskokovic

May 12

Scissor-cut noodles and tofu

For my first stab at our editorial director Serena Dai’s staff-famous scissor-cut noodles, I stuck with the recipe as written, almost. Instead of chicken, I swapped in extra-firm tofu, which I tore into chunks. It worked beautifully—I am guessing because anything would taste good in this three-cup sauce, with rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil. The homemade noodles were chewy, ruffled, and, as promised, impossible to mess up. If you can use a pair of scissors, you can make scissor-cut noodles. Now I am plotting which saucy topping to treat them toward next. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Three-Cup Chicken With Scissor-Cut Noodles

Serena Dai

Rich, spicy daiquiri

After hearing my colleague Maggie Hoffman gush about the Rum Club Daiquiri for a couple of weeks, I finally made one (or three) this weekend. Make no mistake, unless you have a really well-stocked bar, this is no last-minute cocktail. When I went to my local shop to pick up the maraschino liqueur and Herbsaint required, the owner stopped me in my tracks and asked what I was making. After describing the drink's spicy, rich, sweet components, he said, “Oh, I’ll be having one of those tonight, too, thanks. Where’d you get the recipe?” Over on Epicurious, folks—my go-to cocktail haven of late. After mixing and tasting the drink, I can confirm: Maggie’s praise was absolutely warranted. —Joe Sevier, SEO editor, cooking

Brothy, hearty ’shrooms on toast

Crispy mushrooms? Yes. Fried toast? Yes. Fresh ricotta? Yes. Vinegary gremolata? Yes. There is a ton to love about this recipe from associate food editor Kendra Vaculin, but the part that haunts me (in a good way) is the broth. It is the reward from rehydrating dried shiitakes for 20-ish minutes. Then you add a little soy sauce and sherry vinegar, and it tastes better than a chicken stock that simmered for hours. Technically the yield is enough for four people to slurp, but I drank almost the entire thing myself. —E.L.

Crispy Mushroom Toast With Ricotta

Kendra Vaculin

Speedy breakfast tacos

I was determined to be a smoothie-for-breakfast girlie, but that lasted all of two weeks, when I realized my stomach was already rumbling by the first meeting of the morning. This week I gave breakfast tacos a try, riffing on this speedy Chris Morocco number. Instead of labneh, I use the Greek yogurt in my fridge left over from smoothies past. I ran out of sambal, so I use chili crisp instead. And I don’t sweat it if instead of perfectly frizzled eggs, I end up with something closer to a scramble. My 10 a.m. grumbling stomach, banished. —Antara Sinha, associate cooking editor

Sick-day soup

I’ve never understood the “make yourself soup when you’re sick” initiative because usually, when I’m under the weather, I simply do not have the stamina to cook. This Andy Baraghani chicken and rice soup proved me wrong in its ease. Chicken thighs poach in just water, belly-warming ginger, and sinus-clearing garlic, making for an aromatic broth with no need for the boxed stuff. The whole recipe is remarkably hands-off, and I had minced garlic and ginger in my freezer which made the whole process even faster. After a day of sipping on this soup and sleeping, I felt markedly better the next day. —A.S.

Feel-Better Chicken and Rice Soup

Andy Baraghani

May 5

Veggie-forward carbonara

In my corner of New Jersey, the first farmers market of the season coincided with a downpour, but that did not deter me. I needed half-sour pickles. I needed spring onions. And, most of all, I needed asparagus. Of the many asparagus recipes I aspire to make this year, I started with Vegetarian Carbonara—an eggy, cheesy pasta that encapsulates the irony of northeast spring, when the flowers are in bloom, yet you still need your winter coat. Instead of guanciale, the stalks add snappy greenery, and I didn’t miss the pork one bit. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Vegetarian Carbonara

Carla Lalli Music

Boxed cake mix, leveled up

After reading all the ways to make boxed cake better, I felt inspired to pull out the almost-expired box of yellow cake from the back of my pantry to make something of it. I swapped the neutral oil for a punchy olive oil. I took out the Microplane to zest 2 lemons into the batter, added ¼ cup of yogurt and topped it all off with some plump blackberries. The result was a cake I later ate for dessert, breakfast, and as a glorious snacking cake any time of day. —Urmila Ramakrishnan, associate director of social media

Creamy spring chowder

Spring in New York this year has been chilly, rainy, and overcast almost every day. Determined to cook with the season in mind, while satisfying my need for something comforting, I made Kendra Vaculin’s Potato and Pea Chowder. This did the trick. The warming, creamy broth and potatoes were indeed comforting, as requested, while the sweet peas and fresh dill reminded me that warmer days are ahead. —Carly Westerfield, recipe production assistant

Potato and Pea Chowder

Kendra Vaculin

Shawarma without the spit

It’s rare but there are times when I stop the scroll on my FYP and jump into “I must make that” mode. This was one of those times. This homemade chicken shawarma recipe from Ahmad Alzahabi (@thegoldenbalance on TikTok) uses some natural charcoal to replicate the smoky flavor you’d get from the rotisserie or spit, but without the equipment, and in just a couple minutes. Be warned: The toum is for the garlickiest of garlic girls, but it’s so rich and good. I’m never not making homemade shawarma this way. —U.R.

Seedy, nutty, giftable cookies

I’ve been waiting for a reason to make these lactation cookies. A close friend gave birth a little more than a week ago and I seized the opportunity. After tasting them though, I don’t plan on waiting around for a second baby before making them again. Oats, coconut, flax, and chocolate chunks combine to make a stellar cookie that anybody can love. Pro tip: I replaced the dried fruit with chopped dates and highly recommend doing the same. Heartier than a classic chocolate chip cookie, it’s the perfect 3 p.m. pick-me-up, whether you’re nursing or absolutely not nursing. —Joe Sevier, SEO editor, cooking

Lactation Cookies

Zaynab Issa

Vacation-inspired pasta

After reviewing the proof for our Portugal article that ran in our travel issue in April, I was so smitten, I booked the Portugal trip I’d long dreamed of. If you’re a pescatarian, you’ll eat well there. Clams, John Dory, turbot, shrimp, and beyond could be had at almost every meal. Back home, I longed for a dish that would remind me of what was a perfect vacation and turned to Shilpa Uskovicvic’s Shrimp and Salami Pasta, which was inspired by her travels in Portugal.  Crisped up salami gets added to a quick sauce of butter (Shilpa’s not modest with the butter), lemon zest, garlic, red pepper, and fennel seeds. The shrimp are thrown in at the last minute and a delicious Mediterranean-inflected meal is on the table in no time. —Dawn Davis, editor in chief

Shrimp and Salami Pasta

Shilpa Uskokovic

Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit