Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion are the authors of Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen. Below are three recipes from their book that are sure to rescue many a dreary weekday meal.
Makes about 1 Cup
This piquant, vibrant green sauce is said to have originated in Argentina, but is popular in many Latin and South American countries. We use it as a marinade for, or accompaniment to, grilled, broiled, or roasted meats, fish, or vegetables. It’s also wonderful stirred into white or black beans, on crostini or boiled potatoes, and for sprucing up store-bought rotisserie chicken. There are lots of variations, but we’re partial to this one. When we served it at a barbecue recently, one friend said it was so good she wanted to stick her head in the bowl and drink it.
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 shallot, halved
Large handful of flat-leaf parsley
Large handful of cilantro
Small handful of mint leaves
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra, if needed
— In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, shallots, parsley, cilantro, mint, pepper flakes, vinegar, honey, and a pinch of salt. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until it resembles a thin pesto. (If the sauce is too thick and you’ve added all the oil, add a little more.) Process until combined and a uniform green color, but be careful not to overdo it. You want the sauce to have some texture.
— Check the seasonings. If the sauce needs more acid, add a bit more vinegar and whir again; if it needs more sweetness, add a bit more honey. The Chimichurri Sauce will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
● Drizzle on any grilled or roasted meat, fish, or vegetables
● Stir into cooked white beans
● Toss with roasted potatoes
● Top crostini
MAKES ABOUT 1/2 CUP
Juicy steak topped with a silky mustard butter sauce is a French bistro classic we adore. This mustardy compound butter is much simpler to prepare, but still gets raves. The butter can be made well in advance and also pairs well with salmon, chicken, pork, lamb, green beans, or asparagus. (For more compound butters, see page 162.)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves (optional)
— In a small bowl, mash the butter with the two mustards and a splash of lemon juice until combined. Stir in the shallots, tarragon (if using), and a small pinch of salt. Check the seasonings. The Mustard Butter will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week or in the freezer for about 2 months.
● Top grilled or roasted meats, salmon, white-fleshed fish, or vegetables
● Stir into mashed potatoes
● Toss with boiled or steamed green beans, asparagus, pearl onions, potatoes, or egg noodles
MAKES ABOUT 1/2 CUP
The inspiration for this lip-smacking condiment is a miso mayonnaise we discovered at a fancy pants food shop that quickly became habit forming. After tiring of schlepping to the store for our fix (and always leaving with a cartful of items we had no intention of buying), we created our own version, which we like even better. Store it in a squirt bottle (recycle a plastic mayonnaise or ketchup container) and put it on basically EVERYTHING: burgers, sandwiches, eggs, crudités, rice dishes, grilled steak or fish, directly into your mouth. . . . You can double or triple the recipe depending on how much you fall for it.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white miso paste
Fresh lime juice
— In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, miso, and a squeeze of lime juice until smooth. Check the seasonings. The Magic Miso-Mayo will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.
● Top any kind of burger (it’s particularly good on salmon or tuna burgers) or sandwich
● Serve with roasted or grilled pork
● Stir in some Sriracha for a spicy
● Use as dip for boiled or roasted shrimp
● Spread on grilled tofu or steak tenderloin
● Add to deviled eggs
● Mix with leftover roast or rotisserie condiment chicken for chicken salad