Skillet Brownies, and Other Melissa Clark Must-Makes

October 13, 2023
Dining & Wine
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Now that we have dessert (or our 3 p.m. snack) sorted, let’s talk dinner. If you have shrimp in the freezer and gnocchi in your pantry, you’ve already got 25 percent of what you need for Melissa’s one-pan shrimp scampi with crispy gnocchi. This dish is equal parts reviving and comforting, with the assertive jolts of lemon balancing the sweet shrimp and chewy gnocchi pillows. It’s another Melissa must-make: “I made this last night exactly as written,” writes Joan, a reader. “Because I have total faith in Melissa’s recipes, I invited friends for dinner. We were not disappointed!”

Or perhaps it’s more of an eggs-for-dinner kind of evening. Joan Nathan’s menemen — Turkish scrambled eggs with tomato — provide the perfect home for the season’s very last fresh tomatoes and peppers. (You can definitely use canned tomatoes if the selection at your store has already gone from magnificent to meh.) Add feta cheese or sausage for oomph, fresh herbs or chiles for brightness.

For something with a bit more heft, there’s this easy roast chicken with tangy yogurt sauce by Kay Chun, a recipe inspired by the spiced chicken and rice you can find at halal carts across Manhattan. Golden cumin-coated chicken thighs, roasted until caramelized, are piled into a pita with crisp shredded iceberg, diced tomato, a generous pour of garlicky white sauce and splodges of hot sauce. The hot sauce is optional, but not really.

And because crisp weather means casseroles: Here’s a plush panful of arroz con maiz y crema. Our intrepid food reporter Christina Morales — of recent Marry Me Chicken fame — adapted this recipe from Sandra A. Gutierrez, the author of “Latinísimo: Home Recipes from the 21 Countries of Latin America.” Chock-full of corn, rice and melty cheese, it’s tangy, creamy and cozy — the sort of dish to bring to a potluck dinner party and watch disappear.

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