25 Budget-Friendly Dinner Ideas Under $20

25 Budget-Friendly Dinner Ideas Under

Now that it requires taking out a second mortgage just to buy a carton of eggs and a gallon of milk, Americans (and people the world over) are rethinking their food budgets and shopping smarter. But being frugal about the cost of a meal doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality ingredients or ambitious menus. After all, some of the more highly regarded dishes in the world—paella, cassoulet, and lobster—were once considered “peasant foods” born out of the need to make do with what was economical and plentiful.

In my own household of two, I’ve imposed the same austerity measures I relied on in my first years in New York at the height of the Great Recession. Today’s whole roasted chicken (which I typically serve with inexpensive vegetables and roasted sweet potatoes) is tomorrow’s chicken noodle soup. Anchovies straight out of the tin, served atop a baguette with a generous dollop of room-temperature French butter, make for an excellent lunch when served with a hefty salad. Chicken lettuce cups, shrimp and grits, and all manner of schnitzel make a regular appearance at our dinner table—as do rice bowls and sheet-pan dishes. And of course, there will always be pasta: Amatriciana, puttanesca, and Marcela Hazan’s celebrated four-ingredient tomato sauce all cost less than $20 to make.

Of course, it’s not always easy to serve inspired, easy-to-execute meals that also happen to be budget-friendly. So to help start 2023 on the right fork, I enlisted the help of more than 20 chefs and food personalities to plan delicious dinners with simple ingredients for under $20—all of which serve at least two. Now all you have to do is break out a reasonably priced bottle of wine (there are many), and you’ve got yourself an extraordinary restaurant-quality dinner to thoroughly enjoy. As M.F.K Fisher once wrote in her wartime tome, How to Cook A Wolf: “…one of the most dignified ways we are capable of, to assert then reassert our dignity in the face of poverty and war’s fears and pains, is to nourish ourselves with all possible skill, delicacy, and ever increasing enjoyment.”



“This dish has all the comforts of spaghetti and meatballs but with the pleasant chewiness of farro. The pork meatballs come together quickly and can be frozen if you want to make enough for a second meal later on. You can also replace the meatballs with a few pieces of bacon or pancetta if there’s no ground pork on hand, both of which are equally as economical.” —Abra Berens, executive chef of Granor Farm and James Beard-nominated cookbook author


1 pound ground pork

1 egg

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup breadcrumbs (optional)

1 tsp. salt, plus more as needed

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¾ tsp. herbes de Provence or dried oregano

Neutral oil

1 onion (about 8 oz.), thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups pearled farro

14 ¼ oz. canned ground tomato

2 oz. Parmesan or pecorino for grating (optional)

5 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped (optional)


  • In a medium bowl, combine the pork, egg, cream, breadcrumbs, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, and dried herbs. With your hands or a wooden spoon, mix until slightly tacky. Pinch off a little bit and fry it to check the seasoning and adjust as you like.
  • Scoop approximately 25 tablespoon-size balls onto a baking sheet, then lightly roll them to make balls that hold their shape. In a large frying pan, heat a glug of neutral oil over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides until just cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F or so). Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  • Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and keep it simmering.
  • In the frying pan with the fat rendered from browning the meatballs, add the onion and garlic with a big pinch of salt and sweat over low heat until soft, 5 minutes or so. Add the farro and toast until fragrant, 1–2 minutes.
  • Add the ground tomatoes and stir regularly until the tomatoes have started to bubble and the liquid has started to absorb. Add a ladleful of the boiling water and stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the water, a ladleful at a time, stirring regularly, until the farro is tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
  • To serve, portion the farrisotto into serving dishes. Top with the mini-meatballs and a hefty grating of cheese, and sprinkle with the chopped parsley (if using).

Reprinted with permission from Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens, © 2021. Published by Chronicle Books. Photographs © EE Berger


“If you are looking for healthy comfort food, kitchari is your answer. This creamy, light, and soothing one-pot meal is the Ayurveda superstar—easy to make, inexpensive, delicious, and teeming with health benefits. In India, people call kitchari a ‘poor man’s feast’ because it is affordable and yet very nourishing, delicious and satisfying. Plus, you can make many varieties of it by using different vegetables and playing with the spices. Kitchari is so versatile—you can have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I like to serve it with condiments such as marinated chili peppers or a chutney (as shown on the image). Whether you’re trying to lighten up your body or need to prepare a complete meal in forty minutes, kitchari is there for you, any day of the year.” —Divya Alter, chef,author and founder of Divya’s


2 tbsps. ghee or olive oil, divided

½ tbsp. ground turmeric

6 fresh curry leaves or 2 dried bay leaves

1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 small green Indian or Thai chili, seeded and minced

½ cup yellow split mung dal, rinsed, soaked in water for 30 to 60 minutes, rinsed again, and drained

½ cup white basmati, washed and drained

2 cups medium diced vegetables (carrots, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, daikon radish, and asparagus, to name a few)

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon ground fennel

2 handfuls chopped spinach, kale, chard, or arugula


Olive oil or ghee

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsps. chopped fresh cilantro, thyme, or basil leaves

1 slice of lime per serving


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over low heat. Add the turmeric and toast for 10 seconds, then add the curry leaves, ginger, and chile and continue to toast until they crisp up, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils and rice and stir frequently until the moisture of the lentils and grains dries up, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables, salt, ground fennel, and 4 cups water. (Add quick-cooking vegetables such as zucchini and asparagus 20 minutes into the cooking.) Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the lentils begin to dissolve, the rice is soft, and the vegetables are cooked. If the kitchari dries out too much and begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, add more hot water; you’re looking for a creamy, moist consistency.
  • Turn off the heat and fold in the leafy greens and the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee. Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, a couple of turns of the peppermill, and the cilantro. Serve hot with a slice of lime on the side (to be squeezed and the juice mixed into the kitchari before eating).

(from Joy of Balance, by Divya Alter (Rizzoli, 2022); photography by Rachel Vanni)


“When I was young, my mom would make a version of this dish for us all the time and I remember just how cozy it made the house smell and how each and every single bite was absolutely delicious. Using ground meat is inexpensive, flavorful, and a really great way to deliver satisfying umami meatiness throughout the dish without actually having to use that much of it. I’m using ground turkey here, but feel free to use just about any kind of ground meat for this recipe.” —Ronnie Woo, author, chef, and television personality

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and diced

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

1 pound ground turkey

4 tbsps. tomato paste

2 tbsps. curry powder or garam masala

2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

114-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk

5 oz. of baby spinach

4–6 cups of cooked rice

2 tbsps. chopped cilantro, garnish


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the sweet potatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and ground black pepper. Give everything a gentle toss and arrange the sweet potatoes in an even layer. Roast until tender and lightly browned in the edges, 18 to 22 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the ground turkey and season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook until the turkey is browned and caramelized on the edges, 6 to 8 minutes, making sure to break up any large chunks.
  • Add the tomato paste, curry powder, ginger, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted 2–3 minutes.To serve, divide the rice into 4 serving bowls and top with the ground turkey curry, and roasted sweet potatoes, and garnish with cilantro.


“I love a good one-pot meal. This is a classic chili with a twist! I use a little bit of my Sweet July coffee to tenderize the meat and give it a deep, rich flavor. Your family will love it.” —Ayesha Curry, CEO and founder of Sweet July


2 tbsps. olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

½ cup strong coffee

½ onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 tbsp. maple syrup

3 tbsps. chili powder

½ tsp. red chili flakes

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. cumin

2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and carefully brown breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Remove the beef using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and add the onion and bell pepper to the leftover beef fat in the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened then add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Stir in the spices and bay leaves and let cook for 2 minutes, allowing the spices to slightly toast and become fragrant.
  • Add the beef back in along with the beans, tomatoes, coffee, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and let simmer and reduce an additional 15 minutes. Serve with desired toppings—we recommend sharp cheddar cheese, sliced green onion, and a dollop of sour cream.


“This is one of my favorite childhood dishes. I just loved the sweet and salty balance of this dish. My mother would stir in some gochujang (fermented chili paste) into it too, but here I changed the recipe around so it’s not so spicy and you won’t have to go out and search for gochujang if it’s not already in your pantry. I love this dish because it’s fairly easy to make—it’s basically a straightforward chicken stew dish, but it doesn’t require a separate stock and soy sauce brings so much flavor. I learned to appreciate all the vegetables in this dish as well as the chicken, making it a bit healthier. I love to eat mine with some rice, but it will also do so well with some noodles like Korean sweet potato noodles, egg noodles or short pasta. The whole dish came together just over $17. The potatoes and vegetables add a lot of volume and nutrients too. I say it will serve 2 big portions, but it can easily serve a family of four with rice and noodles. Eating on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or nutrients.” —Ji Hye Kim, chef and owner of Miss Kim, Ann Arbor, Michigan



2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 ½–2 pounds)

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. brown sugar

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbsps. flour

3 tbsps. canola or neutral cooking oil


12 oz. red skin potatoes

10 oz. carrots

10 oz. pearl onions (can substitute Spanish onions)

2 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms (you can use crimini mushrooms)

1 red bell pepper

1–2 jalapeño peppers

Braising Sauce

1 cup water

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup scallions, chopped

3 tbsps. honey

3 tbsps. brown sugar

4 tbsps. garlic, finely minced

2 tbsps. ginger, finely minced

½ tsp. ground black pepper


3 tbsps. unsalted butter, cubed small

1 tbsp. scallions, chopped

1 tsp. sesame seeds, optional


  • Season the chicken thighs by rubbing in the kosher salt, brown sugar, ground black pepper evenly on all sides. Place it in the fridge. Prep your vegetables by washing, peeling as needed, and cutting them into bite-size pieces. Cut the potatoes into inch pieces, leaving the skin on. Peel the carrots and cut into 2-inch long pieces or 1-inch cubes. For the shiitake, cut off the stem, slice it into half if the mushrooms are bigger than 1 ½ inch in diameter. For the carrots, peel them and cut into 2-inch long pieces or 1-inch cubes. Seed the red bell peppers and cut it into inch pieces. If you prefer the jalapeno peppers to be less spicy, you can remove its seeds, If not, leave it as is and slice it into ¼ inch pieces.
  • For the braising sauce, prep your vegetables for the sauces—garlic and ginger finely minced, scallions chopped. Save a tablespoonful of chopped scallions for garnish later. Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir well until the sugar is dissolved and honey is well incorporated.
  • In making the braised chicken, take it out of the and coat it with flour evenly. Place a wide-bottomed pot over medium heat on the stove. Wait until the pan is hot, then add the cooking oil. Place the chicken skin side down into the pot and sear until golden brown. Flip the chicken to the other side and sear until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes on each side.
  • Pour all the braising sauce into the pot. Using a rubber spatula, scrap the bottom of the pot for any brown bits. Add in potatoes, carrots, and pearl onions. Leave the chicken skin side down. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, covered.
  • Open the lid, and flip the chicken to the skin side up. Stir the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 20 more minutes, covered. Open the lid and stir the bottom of the pan. Add in the bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and mushrooms.
  • Let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir the cubed butter into the sauce until it’s dissolved. Serve the chicken with all the vegetables and sauce. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds if desired. Serve with rice or noodles.


“In this dish, the powerful flavor of sauteed wild mushrooms is complemented with refreshing and naturally sweet sugar snap peas. The snap peas are barely cooked to retain their freshness and crunchiness, it goes perfectly well with the piquant ginger honey and lite soy sauce combination and adds a lovely contrast to the tender velvety mushrooms. This served as a side or as an appetizer will even impress hardcore carnivores.” —Chai Trivedi, executive chef at Hidden Leaf, New York City

Ingredients (Serves 1)

4 oz. assorted mushroom sampler $3.99

8 oz. sugar snap peas

8 oz. ginger

Light soy sauce

1 bunch scallions

1 sprig thyme

1 bulb garlic




Extra virgin olive oil


  • Prepare the ginger honey: Microplane the ginger. Heat honey and mix in the ginger. Mix well with the honey.
  • For the roasted wild mushroom, toss the mushrooms with garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and EVOO. Roast in an oven at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until crispy. In boiling water, blanch the snap peas until tender. Sautee the roasted mushrooms and snap peas in a pan along with the soy sauce and butter to deglaze. Coat with the ginger honey. Add chopped scallions. Arrange mushrooms and snap peas on a plate.


“This is my version of mujaddara, a classic Lebanese lentil stew nuanced with caramelized onions. The dish showcases how beautiful simple food can be; it is both hearty and filling, but won’t break the bank. There are multiple ways to prepare mujadara, and this is the less common version that my family has always made, using bulgur wheat instead of rice. For a gluten-free version, simply substitute long-grain rice for the bulgur wheat, add the rice and an additional cup of water or vegetable stock when you add the lentils.” —Victoria Shore, executive sous chef of Fleeting at Thompson Savannah, Savannah, Georgia

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 large yellow onions

½ cup olive oil

2 cups brown lentils

3 cups vegetable broth (or water will work just fine)

1 cup bulgur wheat, preferably coarse/#2 grind

1 tbsp. salt

Greek yogurt, to serve


  • Remove the top, bottom, and skin of the onions. Cut them in half vertically, and then cut them into thin (⅛-inch) slices. When cooking onions, always be sure to slice them with the grain (from top to bottom) rather than into half-moons (like a Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar).
  • Heat half of the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the sliced onions and turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are meltingly soft and a rich golden brown, about 20 minutes. The further along the onions are, the more likely they are to burn as they release their sugars, so stir more frequently later in the cooking process. If you feel like the pan is too dry, add more olive oil as needed. And if you do get a little scorch spot, don’t panic. Just add a few tablespoons of water and stir with a wooden spoon to “deglaze” the dark spot from the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove half of the onions from the pot and set aside to top your stew. Add your lentils, vegetable broth, and salt. Stir together and bring the stock up to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. During the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in the bulgur wheat. If you’re unsure, taste the lentils, if they are al dente, then it’s time to add the bulgur. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Portion into bowls and top with reserved caramelized onions. Serve with plain Greek yogurt and greens wilted with a little lemon juice and vegetable broth. Pro tip: Make it your own with an on-point garnish game. Mediterranean meals are often served with a variety of pickles and small side salads. A bite of salt and acid really highlights this rich stew. I would recommend finding some cornichons, Lebanese pickled turnips, and pickled cauliflower. Cut the pickles into little pieces and arrange them with torn mint and Greek yogurt on top of each bowl of mujadarra. If you like it hot, a fresh chili paste such as sambal would also be an ace move.


“This recipe is a quick and easy weeknight staple for my family of five. I created it for my newest Cookbook, Healthy in a Hurry, in an effort to bring gluten-free and healthy recipes to every kitchen regardless of skill level. This delicious meal works in a variety of ways—make it for lettuce cups, rice bowls, or serve over some sauteed veggies!” —Danielle Walker, New York Times bestselling author and heath & wellness advocate


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado oil

1 ½ pounds ground chicken (dark meat)

4 green onions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced, with white and green separated, plus more for serving

1 small orange bell pepper, seeded and diced

8 oz. white button mushrooms, minced

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 (8-ounce) jar water chestnuts, drained and diced

¼ cup stir-fry sauce

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsps. hoisin sauce, plus more for serving

1 head butter or iceberg lettuce, separated into lettuce cups

Red pepper flakes, for serving

Stir Fry Sauce

2 cups coconut aminos (can use gluten-free soy sauce to minimize cost)

2 tbsps. plus 2 tsp. fish sauce

2 tbsps. plus 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar, or 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon white pepper


  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and frequently stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Push the chicken to one side of the skillet and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the empty side. When the oil is hot, add the white parts of the green onions, the bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic powder, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions and mushrooms have softened and any liquid has evaporated. Stir the water chestnuts and the green parts of the green onions into the vegetable mixture and sauté for about 30 seconds, until heated through. Stir together the chicken and vegetables, add the stir-fry sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the hoisin sauce. Spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of each lettuce leaf. Top with red pepper flakes and green onions and serve with the hoisin on the side.
  • To make the stir fry sauce, combine the coconut aminos, fish sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large jar. Cap tightly and shake vigorously to mix well. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Reprinted from Healthy in a Hurry by Danielle Walker. Copyright © 2022 by Simple Writing Holdings, LLC. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC


“This best-seller at Madame Vo comes from Papa Vo’s side of the family. My wife Yen Vo’s father would make these marinated and double-fried wings every year for Super Bowl parties. We love sports, and so we take our game-day food seriously. Seasoned with fish sauce and sambal oelek, they’re an instant crowd pleaser that are easy to replicate at home.” —Jimmy Ly, head chef and owner of Madame Vo and Monsieur Vo, New York City


8 medium to large wingettes

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. fish sauce (such as Three Crab or Red Boat)

4 tbsps. sugar

1 tbsp. sambal chili sauce

1 tbsp. chopped scallions

Pinch of black pepper

Directions: Without coating or dredging the wings, deep fry them to a crisp at 350°F for 15 minutes. After the meat is completely cooked, set the wings aside and heat the oil until it reaches 450°F. Fry the wings again for 3–4 minutes for even more crispiness. After the wings are fried to a crisp, heat a wok over a high flame and add vegetable oil. Add the garlic and wings to the wok and toss until the garlic is light brown. Add the fish sauce, sambal chili sauce, sugar, and black pepper. Continue tossing the wings on high heat until the sauce caramelizes. When the wings are ready, serve topped with chopped scallions.


“I have two kids at home and we love to take pantry staples and turn them into quick, fun meals. At Cornman Farms we have a delicious pancake mix that can be used to make other great kid friendly foods like cupcakes and corn dogs. When we make these corn dogs at home, we round out the meal with baked beans and lots of yellow mustard (for the kids) and HP Sauce (for me). Try it with your favorite pancake mix and hot dogs for a quick, inexpensive meal that the whole family can make together!” —Kieron Hales, owner and chef at Cornman Farms, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ingredients (Makes 6)

½ cup whole milk

1 whole egg

1 cup Cornman Farms Pancake Mix

1 ½ tbsps. unsalted butter, melted

3 hotdogs, cut in half

4 tbsps. cornmeal

½ tsp. onion powder (optional)

½ tsp. garlic powder (optional)

1 cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil for frying


  • Cut hotdogs in half. Insert a 6-inch skewer into the cut side of the hotdog about ¾ way through. Set aside.
  • Pour vegetable oil (not olive oil) into a heavy frying pan or skillet. Heat over medium-high until it starts to shimmer.
  • Whisk together milk and eggs in your mixing bowl. Gradually add the pancake mix, whisking until the batter just comes together. Whisk in cornmeal and optional onion powder and garlic powder. Slowly add melted butter, stirring gently to incorporate for 3 minutes.
  • Fill one glass jar with your batter. Fill the other glass jar with all-purpose flour. Insert the skewered hot dog into the flour jar and coat fully. Shake off the excess flour and place it in the batter jar. Make sure it is fully covered.
  • Pull up slowly and allow to drip for 5 seconds to remove excess.
  • Slowly place the battered hot dog into the oil about halfway and count to 5 seconds, then gently lower the rest of the corn dog into the oil. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oil with tongs and place on a paper towel to cool. Repeat with remaining hot dogs. You may need to refill your batter jar as needed.


“When we were creating the menu for the opening of Figaro Café, we felt that it needed a good vegan dish, but not a traditional one. We tried different combinations and flavors, but one day Marta (one of the restaurant’s cofounders) was eating an impossible burger and she asked me if I had ever tried one. I am not a fan of vegan meats, but I tried it and it was very good. It got me thinking, so I went to the kitchen and started experimenting with the flavors. After a week we came out with this dish, which offers a nice balance between the impossible meat and mushrooms to make a delicious ragu. Since then it has become one of the best and most popular dishes we have on the menu. It is very easy and fun to make for cooking at home at the weekend; a nice and flavorful meal for under $20.” —Giovani Varela, head chef at Figaro Café, New York City

Ingredients (Serves 5):

6 oz. impossible meat

6 oz. white button mushrooms, chopped

1 oz. white onion

2 oz. tomato paste


1 cup cooking red wine


1 stem thyme

¼ tsp. granulated garlic

Wonton wrappers


  • Sauté the onions and the meat until it gets a nice brown color, add tomato paste and mix well, add mushrooms, thyme, sugar, salt, and garlic. Once everything is well cooked, add red wine and let it reduce until all the alcohol is evaporated. Cut the stems from the mushrooms and boil them for 20 mins to make a broth, set aside.
  • To assemble the dumplings, take one sheet of dumpling wrapper, place one tablespoon of impossible meat ragu inside, and with the tip of your finger put water over all the edge of the dumpling sheet and close, making sure it is well sealed so no water can get inside. Dust with rice flour and store in the fridge. Cook the dumplings in boiling water for 40 seconds, then sear them with olive oil in a nonstick pan until each side of the dumpling is golden brown and crispy.
  • Warm the mushroom stock and place ¼ cup on the plate first, then place the dumplings on top. Garnish with micro basil and high-quality extra virgin olive oil.


“This easy-to-make recipe brings the nostalgia of travel to the table, showcasing international flavors with traditional ingredients. The original airline chicken recipe was served on planes due to the serving of the chicken with the wing intact. This dish will transport diners through a combination of flavor profiles, is easy to make and the curry sauce can be frozen and used in additional dishes.” —Omar Martinez, executive chef at Icebox Café, Miami


32 oz. heavy whipping cream (40{d2b09b03d44633acb673e8080360919f91e60962656af8ade0305d5d8b7e4889} ESL)

2 oz. curry powder

2 oz. unsalted butter

1 ea. boneless chicken breast, frenched (10 oz.)

4 oz. squash zucchini medium

4 oz. squash yellow medium

4 oz. eggplant

2 oz. jumbo red onion

2 oz. red bell peppper

0.40 oz. Jasmie rice

1 oz. olive oil


  • To make the curry sauce, bring heavy cream, 1.5 oz (reserve the rest for marinating the chicken) curry, and butter to a simmer, over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until sauce coats the back of a spoon. You will only need about 4 oz. for this dish. Reserve the rest in an airtight container in your fridge, for up to a week.
  • For the airline chicken (you can use chicken thighs or breasts instead): In a bowl, marinate chicken breast with remaining curry powder, and a ¼ teaspoon of oil. Place on a nonstick baking sheet and place into a 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until internal temperature is 160 degrees. While the chicken bakes, dice all veggies into ¼ inch dice, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. On a separate rack, roast at 350°F for 15–20 minutes (depending on how dark you like your vegetables. To cook the rice, bring 1 cup of salted water to a boil. Stir in ½ cup of Jasmine rice, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until the rice is tender.
  • To assemble, place rice on the bottom of the plate. Add roasted vegetables on top. Heat chicken up in a small saucepan with curry sauce. Place sauced chicken on top of vegetables as the final layer and top with desired amount of extra curry sauce and enjoy!


“A Middle Eastern dish that uses warm and bold flavors wrapped in warm crispy flatbread topped with an easy yogurt sauce. I love using chicken thighs because they are a tender cut of meat and half the cost of chicken breasts. A quick hack to save costs on your pantry: instead of buying individual spices buy a spice blend. For this recipe, I use a Moroccan spice blend that consists of cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and other spices.” —Alexandra Hill, founder of Just Add Hot Sauce

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Chicken Marinade

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 tsp. Moroccan spice blend (or a mix of cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and cardamom)

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil


3 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

½ red onion, thinly sliced

½ romaine heart, roughly chopped

1 pack flatbread (6 pieces)

Hot sauce, optional

Yogurt Sauce

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

½ lemon, juiced

½ cup whole greek yogurt

½ tsp. Moroccan spice blend

¼ tsp. sugar

Splash of white vinegar


  • In a bowl, season the chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, the moroccan spice blend and a little extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to get the marinate all over the chicken and let marinate for at least 6 hours (even better if it’s 24 hours).
  • For the yogurt sauce, combine everything in a bowl and whisk together. Set it aside so the flavors enhance more.
  • In a cast iron pan, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat and add the marinated chicken thighs to the pan. Let cook for 3–4 minutes on each side until done. Remove and let rest.
  • Assemble your shawarma with toasted flatbread, sliced chicken thighs, lettuce, red onion and tomatoes. Drizzle over the yogurt sauce and dashes of hot sauce for some heat!


“Branzino is a beautiful, mild, and flaky white fish that goes for about $12–17 per pound (which would give you about four filets). This is a great budget meal because it’s impressive, delicious, nutritious, and light. It’s packed with flavors and easy enough to make any night of the week. Pachadi is likened to a slaw, so it does require a bit of skill—but it’s not overcomplicated.” —Sameer Kuthe, chef de cuisine at Baar Baar, New York City



4 Branzino fillets

3 tsp. ginger and garlic paste

3 tbsps. coconut oil

2 sprigs curry leaves, chopped

1 tsp. turmeric

3 tsp. red chili powder

3 tsp. coriander powder

1 tsp. roasted jeera powder (cumin powder)

2 lemons, juiced

¼ cup chickpea flour

¼ cup rice flour

Beetroot Pachadi

¼ cup onion, sliced

¼ cup beetroot, sliced

½ tsp green chili

½ lemon, juiced

1 tsp. cilantro

1 tsp. salt

¼ cup yogurt


  • Take your fillet and add oil, lemon juice, and ginger and garlic paste. Add in spices and marinate for 15 minutes. Dust filet with chickpea and rice flour, then shallow fry until it’s crispy and turns a reddish-golden color. Serve with fried curry leaves, lemon, and beetroot pachadi*
  • For the beetroot pachadi, combine all ingredients then add yogurt and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.


“This simple and inexpensive chicken dish is my go-to whenever I want something easy but delicious. Born out of finding a way to use up leftover bread for dinner, my favorite part of this dish is how the bread soaks up all the chicken drippings while getting crispy in the pan. A piece of this combined with the rosemary-marinated chicken and salsa verde is the perfect bite. A small chicken, fennel, and some fresh herbs generally total less than $20—so this makes a great meal for two people. Pro tip: use the bones to make a chicken stock to use for future meals.” —Mary Attea, executive chef at The Musket Room

Ingredients (Yields 1 chicken)

1 4-pound chicken, spatchcocked (remove backbone)

1–2 thick slices of day-old sourdough or country bread

½ cup chicken stock


2 tbsps. finely chopped garlic

2 tbsps. chopped rosemary

Olive oil to cover

Salsa Verde

1 cup parsley

1 cup basil

2 tbsps. chives

1 clove of garlic

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Olive oil to cover

Salt to taste

1 fennel bulb cut into 6 pieces (keeping the root intact)

Herb Salad



Fennel fronds

Lemon zest

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. olive oil


½ grilled or charred lemon


  • 1–2 days before serving, marinate chicken with rosemary and garlic. Liberally season the skin with salt. It is best to let sit uncovered for 1 to 2 nights if possible to dry out the skin.
  • Make salsa verde by finely chopping herbs and garlic. Mix with olive oil, Dijon mustard, and salt to taste until everything is incorporated. This can be made ahead of time, up to 1-2 days.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Season fennel with salt and olive oil. Put on a sheet tray and roast until golden brown and tender, about 8–12 minutes. Reserve for plating with chicken.
  • Using a large cast iron, heat 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking. Season the flesh side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken skin side down and sear until the skin starts turning golden and slightly crispy. Put in the oven for about 8–10 minutes so the skin can continue to crisp up. Pull the pan from the oven and very carefully remove the chicken, and put it on a tray or rack. Place the sourdough slice(s) into the pan and place the chicken on top of the bread with the skin side facing up. Pour the chicken stock into the pan but be careful as it may splatter. Return the chicken to the oven and cook for about­­ 10–­12 minutes. The bread should start to crisp up on the bottom as well as absorb the chicken stock and juices from the chicken. Check that the chicken is cooked through but not dried out. The juices will run clear from the leg, and the internal temperature will be around 160°F.
  • Let the chicken rest atop the bread for 10 minutes. Reheat the fennel in the oven. Mix the herb salad with olive­­ oil, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Slice the chicken breast into 3 pieces and cut the leg from the thigh. Cut the bread into large pieces and serve the chicken on top. Drizzle the salsa verde over the top and then garnish with the herb salad and fennel. Squeeze the charred/seared lemon over it all. Enjoy!


“Every Sunday morning, my friends always know they can come to my NYC apartment and enjoy some Chilaquiles. The Chilaquiles are the perfect way to refuel after a night out, and share fun anecdotes about the weekend!” —Oscar Hernandez, culinary director and master taquero at Tacombi

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 pound fresh Roma tomatoes

3 jalapeño or serrano chiles, seeded

8 cilantro sprigs

⅓ cup chopped cilantro

4 tbsps. of avocado oil

½ red onion, sliced

1 cup white onion, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 bag of Vista Hermosa Totopos

½ cup crumbled queso fresco, farmers or cotija cheese

2 avocados


Directions: On a large saute pan, place the oil, tomatoes, half onion cut in quarts, and chiles; fry for 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes, onion, and chiles to a blender. Add cilantro sprigs and garlic and 2 tablespoons of avocado oil; season with salt then blend into a coarse purée. Bring your salsa into the saute pan and add some oil over medium heat, with salt if needed. Cook, stirring often until salsa thickens and leaves a canal when you run a wooden spoon down the middle; simmer for 5 minutes or until salsa coats the back of a spoon. Add the Vista Hermosa Totopos to your saute pan; stir and mix with the salsa on low fire for 2 minutes, and your Chilaquiles are ready! Serve some of your chilaquiles on a plate; add sliced red onion, chopped cilantro, and crumbled cheese; finish your plate with sliced avocado on top.


“I love making this crispy panko pork recipe because it’s quick, easy, and uses ingredients that I typically have on hand at home. The end result is always delicious and never lacks in flavor so you would never know that it costs less than $20 to make!” —Emshika Alberini, owner and chef of Chang Thai Cafe (Littleton, NH)

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 pound boneless pork loin

½ cup vegetable oil

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. of black pepper

1 cup of panko bread crumb

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup purple sliced cabbage

All-purpose flour

½ tsp. garlic powder

Directions: Tenderize meat with a meat tenderizer. Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add all-purpose flour into the large bowl and beat your egg in another bowl. Add panko into the third bowl. Evenly put the pork loin into the flour, then egg and panko. Heat oil over medium heat and deep fry on each side for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Remove and transfer to a paper towel-lined to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with ketchup and spicy mayo that you could find in your refrigerator


“Feeding five growing kids in Chicago can get expensive, which is why, in my house, pasta is always the go-to, and nothing hits better than fried chicken mac and cheese. Even the chicken colonel had to create a bowl and put it on the menu. mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and adding fried chicken to the mix never fails to impress!” —Corey Rice, executive chef at Freehand Chicago


Cheese Sauce

4 tbsps. of butter

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

3 cups heavy cream

4 cups of gourmet shredded cheese (Vermont white cheddar, New York cheddar, Wisconsin cheddar)

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

2 tbsps. hot sauce

16 oz. of cavatappi, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cool water

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts or thighs

2 cups of buttermilk

2 cups of flour

½ tbsp. of salt

½ tbsp. of pepper

½ tbsp. of garlic powder

½ tbsp. of onion powder

½ tbsp. of smoked paprika

vegetable oil to fry


  • To make the cheese sauce, first, make a roux by heating a large pot over medium-high heat. Add butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until the butter and flour form a crumble or paste. Slowly add heavy cream to the pot; stir continuously. Continue to stir the roux over medium-high heat for about 4–6 minutes, or until the roux thickens. Remove the pot from the heat once the roux has thickened and add 3 cups of the gourmet cheese blend. Whisk until the cheese blends and has a smooth texture. Add the garlic, onion powder, and 2 tablespoons of hot sauce, along with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Next, combine ½ cup of the remaining gourmet cheese blend with your mac and cheese sauce and cavatappi noodles. Mix thoroughly, and set aside.
  • For the buttermilk fried chicken, cut the chicken into tender-size pieces and marinate in buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of hot sauce for 30 minutes. Make sure you mix well. Add oil to a large frying pan and cook on medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 350°F.
  • If you’re using an air fryer, skip this step: In a mixing bowl, add the flour and other dry spices; mix well until you have a nice blend. Shake each tender piece to allow the extra buttermilk to drip off the tenders before adding them to the mix. Full coat each tender and remove it, shaking the tender piece over the mixing bowl to allow the extra flour to fall off, then lay the pieces on a dry plate. Continue this process until all tenders are coated. Add the tenders to the hot oil and fry for 15 minutes, or until the tenders are golden brown and cooked through. Remove and let the extra oil drip on paper towels. Air fryer cooks can set their air fryer to 375°F for 15 minutes. Spray your coated tenders evenly with avocado oil and place them in the air fryer to cook. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter or oil your baking dish. Take the remainder of the Mac and Cheese Sauce and add it to the noodles, making sure the mix is creamy. Add the mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly. Take the remainder of the gourmet shredded cheese to top the dish. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges have a golden crust. Remove from the oven and let the dish sit for 3–4 minutes. Add the chicken tenders before serving.


“I love this dish for many reasons. It’s heartwarming, nourishing, and perfect for vegetarians,vegans, or omnivores—it always amazes me how many vegetarian and vegan foods there are in Mexican cuisineFor this recipe in particular, the use of spinach is comparable to the use of quelites, or edible herbs which grow wild all over Mexico and are then sauteed or grilled by street vendors. We do eat tons of greens in Mexican food but they are incorporated differently than in American dishes. Additionally, the use of mushroom comes from street vendor quesadillas, which often included quelites, and mushrooms. So I wanted to create my own version of this filling that could work well in enchiladas.” —Roberto Santibañez, author of Truly Mexican and chef at Fonda

Ingredients (Serves 8)

Spinach and Mushrooms

¼ cup mild olive oil or vegetable oil

1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

¾ pound mixed or button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1–2 fresh jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced, including seeds

¼ teaspoon fine salt, or ½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 large bunches of spinach, stems discarded, and leaves well rinsed and spun dry

Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste


2 cups sautéed spinach and mushrooms

2 cups roasted tomato salsa with chipotle and habanero chiles or green salsa

Water (if necessary)

2–4 tablespoons mild olive or vegetable oil

8 corn tortillas

¼ cup Mexican crema, créme fraîche, or sour cream, thinned slightly with water, if necessary; for drizzling (may be omitted for vegan/vegetarian diets), garnish

¼ cup finely chopped white onion, garnish

¼ cup chopped cilantro, garnish


  • Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the onion, mushrooms, and chiles, stirring frequently until the mushrooms and onion are softened and any liquid in the mushrooms has evaporated —about 5 to 8 minutes. Add salt and the spinach by the handful, stirring or tossing to wilt it until it all fits in the skillet. Then cover and cook until all the spinach is just wilted—about 1 minute. Season to taste with lime juice and additional salt.
  • For the Enchiladas, heat salsa in a saucepan over medium-low heat until heated through, adding chicken stock or water, if necessary, to maintain a velvety consistency that is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, but not gloppy. Soften your tortillas in oil then fill them with spinach and mushrooms. Arrange them next to each other in a baking pan or a heatproof serving dish, and reheat in the oven for 10 minutes. Spoon salsa generously over them. Drizzle with the crema, and top with cheese, onion, and cilantro (optional step for vegan/vegetarian diets).


“I love dishes that come from opening your kitchen cabinet and poof! you can create something delicious. No need to go to the store, or some specialty market to source your ingredients. This is exactly that. Balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil…basic staples just reworked!” —Tara Lazar, chef, restaurateur, and hotelier behind F10 Hospitality


4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

12 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup balsamic

½ cup olive oil

Directions: Pour 2 tbsps. olive oil into smoking hot pan (cast iron preferred). Cook chicken skin side down for 6 minutes. Flip and transfer to 475°F oven. Cook in oven 4 more minutes, then transfer back to stove. Add minced garlic, oil, and vinegar. Cook another minute until sauce thickens. Spoon sauce generously over chicken.


“Kimchi grilled cheese and rich tomato soup is a satisfying and incredibly affordable meal if you make the soup, bread, and kimchi from scratch—but realistically most people are tight on time, in addition to money. To address this, and still come in under $5 per serving, I recommend buying in bulk the quality ingredients that require limited prep, when possible. When you purchase seven Kitsby Rich Tomato Soup bases, for example, you get three additional packs free. Just add hot water and it becomes a delicious, instant soup perfect for dunking! Likewise, one of my favorite New York-made kimchis, Bing Gre Kim Chee Pride, comes in affordable half-gallon jars, and you can get reasonably priced 2-pound blocks of good cheddar like Cabot Seriously Sharp at most grocery stores. With these savings on long-lasting staples, it’s easier to spend a bit more on a great loaf of fresh bread, which really elevates a simple sandwich.” —Amy Hsiao, founder and VP of operations at Kitsby


Kitsby Rich Tomato Soup Base + water

Kimchi, such as Bing Gre Kim Chee Pride

Cheddar cheese, such as Cabot Seriously Sharp

Fresh bread

Butter (room temperature)

Directions: Slice and butter bread on both sides. Layer slices of cheddar cheese and kimchi between slices of bread. Heat pan over medium heat. Grill sandwich—relatively low and slow to melt the cheese and achieve an even, golden-brown color. Add boiling water to Kitsby Rich Tomato Soup base and mix to make a delicious, instant-rich tomato soup. Cut finished kimchi grilled cheese into triangles and serve alongside a bowl of rich tomato soup.


“Looking for an effective yet delicious way to feed my family of eight, my wife, myself, and our six children led me to develop this recipe, which takes simple and inexpensive ingredients and turns them into a meal for a large group that looks more expensive than it is. My children love this dish so much that they named it for me – ‘Fancy’ Ramen. It contains ramen noodles, marinated pork loin, teriyaki hard boiled eggs, mushrooms and green onions. Chicken Thighs can be substituted for the pork at a slightly higher price point.” —Michael DeHaven, executive chef at CUT 132

Ingredients (Serves 6–8)

Ramen noodles

Whole eggs

Teriyaki sauce

Marinated pork loin

1 bunch green onions

Whole mushrooms


  • Prepare pork: Preheat Oven to 375. Bake Pork loin until it reaches 145 degrees. Pull from oven and rest.
  • Prepare teriyaki eggs: Place pot of water over high heat, place raw eggs into the water, once water starts to boil, turn off heat. Let eggs sit in the water for 10–12 minutes. Run cold water over the eggs and peel. Once eggs are peeled, place them in cool pot, cover with teriyaki sauce. Add a dash of water if the sauce is too thick. Bring to a low boil and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Make mushrooms: In a sauté pan, sauté Mushrooms with oil, salt and pepper. Once mushrooms become tender, add in some of the teriyaki sauce.
  • Assemble ramen: Chop green onions, add to mushroom mix. Thinly slice pork tenderloin. Cut eggs in half. Plate ramen in center, add pork to one side, eggs next to it add your mushrooms next to your pork, garnish with green onions.


“My grandma and dad (both are great cooks) always said,You can combine different cuisines but never take away the traditional flavor. My chicken afritada tacos pay homage to that idea! A tip for this recipe: If you take the time to sauté the garlic and onion, the overall flavor of the dish becomes more delicious and aromatic.” —VJ Navarro, chef and owner of Mucho Sarap at Canal Street Market


1 ½-pound chicken (boneless such as thigh, cut into pieces)

1 red bell pepper

1 medium carrot

1 8 oz. tomato sauce

1 tbsp. tomato paste

2 dried bay leaves

1 small onion

4 cloves garlic

1 ½ cup chicken stock

3 tbsps. cooking oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with corn tortillas


  • Chop red bell pepper, carrot, onion and garlic before setting aside.
  • Heat the oil in a cooking pot. Sauté the garlic, onion and ginger until fragrant and soft. Add the chicken pieces, cooking on both sides until it turns light brown.
  • Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and chicken stock. Stir and bring it to a boil before adding the bay leaves. Stir, cover and cook on low to medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken gets tender.
  • Add the carrot and bell peppers. Stir. Cover and cook for 12 minutes. Season with salt + black pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the chicken meat to a serving bowl or plate. Let the meat rest and come down in temperature before shredding with your hands or a fork.
  • Blend the remaining veggies and liquid that remain in the pot until the consistency is smooth. Put the shredded chicken meat back into the sauce, simmer for 5 minutes or until the meat absorbs the majority of the liquid.
  • To serve, heat up tortillas in a pan then top with chicken apritada. You can garnish with cilantro, white onion, or queso fresco. Serve and enjoy!


“Frugality was always a piece of my New England heritage, and growing and having all these amazing ingredients so close at hand meant that we probably had to buy only the cream and whatever pork product was easily available. I grow leeks and thyme pretty much year-round in the garden, and clams are the one thing you can always count on, year-round. And clam chowder is such a great comfort food. It’s really popular on our menus at Grand Banks and Pilot, among others!” —Kerry Heffernan, culinary director at Grand Banks, New York City

Ingredients (serves 4 as a hearty ragout)

Clam Stock

3 dozen chowder clams, scrubbed clean

Greens of 8 leeks, washed and chopped (reserve whites)

8–10 thyme sprigs

1 cup water

1 ½ cups white wine

Chowder Base

2 tbsps. unsalted butter

Whites of 4 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced

4 cups clam stock

2 small russet or gold potatoes, peeled and small diced

8–10 thyme sprigs, tied with kitchen twine

Clam Cream

Clam meat of 3 dozen chowder clams (reserved from stock), abductor muscles removed and clam meat chopped

2 cups heavy cream

Andouille-Potato Mix

2 small russet or gold potatoes, peeled, small diced and boiled in salted water until just cooked, drain and reserve

2 tbsps. unsalted butter

2 links andouille sausage, small diced

Clam Stock:

  • Clean clams thoroughly under cold water, scrubbing as you go. Be mindful to remove as much of the dirt as possible. Add clams to a large pot, along with remaining ingredients. Cover, and bring to a brisk simmer, checking periodically.
  • As the clams begin to open up, remove them from the pot and reserve them on the side they may need to be done in several batches depending on the size of the clams and your pot. It is very important to watch them carefully and remove with tongs each clam as it opens to prevent over cooking and reserve clams on the side
  • Once you have removed all of the clams, remove the pot from the heat. Strain the remaining liquid and reserve, should be about 4 cups, remove the clam meat from the shells when they are cool enough to handle, reserve the clam meat for the clam cream and discard the shells

Chowder Base: Heat butter over medium heat until melted and foamy. Add leeks and sauté until translucent. Add clam stock, potatoes and thyme. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender. (Note: The goal here is to cook the potatoes as quickly as possible to avoid over-reducing the stock). Remove from the heat, remove thyme, and allow the mixture to cool. Puree in a blender, in batches if necessary. Reserve.

Clam Cream: Combine chopped clams and cream in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat just until the outside starts to bubble. Remove from heat, strain, and reserve clam cream and clam meat separately.

Assembly: Combine the potato puree mixture and clam cream, and heat to just below boiling. Check seasoning and adjust as needed to taste with salt and pepper. While the mixture is heating gently sauté the andouille in the 2 tbsps. butter, add boiled diced potato, and strained clams, heating briefly so as not to break up potatoes or toughen the clams. Then divide equally among 4 warmed soup plates, pour hot clam cream potato leek mixture around and garnish with toasted buttered baguette slices


“This recipe is a Louisiana staple. My father traveled a lot when I was growing up and would often return home having experienced a culture outside of the one we had living in Wisconsin. He often put my stepmother to the test of cooking foreign dishes for the family. I was out of the house at the young age of 17 and had moved to Madison, Wisconsin. I adapted recipes from my childhood memories to fit my current budget, which was very slim. I actually ate red beans and rice three times a day while I worked one summer at a canning company in the nearby town of Lodi, Wisconsin. These days of eating the same meal were definitely a driving force into my endeavors as a chef, I still however make this recipe once a year in the fall, simply because it’s delicious and filling. Here is the original recipe, perfect for a college student or someone starting out.” —Grayson Altenberg, chef at The Ivory Peacock, New York City

Ingredients (Serves 2–4)

1 pkg. dry red beans

2 pkgs. kielbasa, sliced

1 ½ large onion, chopped

6 celery stalks, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

4 bay leaves

1 jar medium salsa

½ tbsp. cayenne pepper

Tabasco to taste

1 tbsp. Sugar

1 can beer

2 tbsps. garlic

Directions: Soak beans overnight with enough water to go up to the first knuckle. Slice kielbasa and brown in a non-stick pan. Add all ingredients to a large pot and simmer all day.