What’s for Dinner: Family Recipes We Love


Photo by Jennifer Causey

It’s easy to get stuck in the same dinner routine (meatloaf Mondays, taco Tuesdays…) but food writer Jenny Rosenstrach is here to get you out of your food rut. She founded the Dinner: A Love Story blog and has shared two of her favorite recipes (below) from her book of the same name. After reading these no-fuss recipes, we’re starving! We bet your little chef will love helping you in the kitchen, too. Can’t wait to dig in with our kids.

Chicken and Orzo Soup, serves 4

This works in my house even though I have one pasta-hater and one soup hater. For the pasta hater, I set aside a bowl before the orzo goes in. For the soup-hater, I just use a slotted spoon and give her what she thinks is pasta with chicken and carrots. Nice bonus: This freezes well. I freeze in single-serving batches and have for weekend lunches or quick-thaw dinners. Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1⁄2 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock, plus up to 2 cups more as needed
1 1⁄2 to 2 pounds boneless or bone-in chicken breasts, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 4-inch chunks
Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 1⁄2 cups orzo
1⁄4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Parmesan cheese, for serving
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1⁄2 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock, plus up to 2 cups more as needed
1 1⁄2 to 2 pounds boneless or bone-in chicken breasts, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 4-inch chunks
Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 1⁄2 cups orzo
1⁄4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions
In a large stockpot over medium-low heat, sauté the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper in the oil for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine and turn up the heat to high; until the liquid has completely reduced. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Add the chicken and parmesan rind (if using) and bring the soup to a boil. Add more stock, if necessary, to make sure the chicken is fully immersed. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

After the chicken has thoroughly cooked through, using two forks, shred the cubes of chicken while it’s in the pot. Just before serving, bring the soup back up to a boil and season with salt. Add the orzo and cook for another 7 minutes, until it is al dente. If the soup gets too thick from the pasta starch, add up to 2 more cups of stock until it reaches the desired consistency. Remove the rind and serve with parsley, pepper, oil, Parmesan cheese, and big hunks of crusty bread.

Pomegranate Pork Loin with Cabbage, serves 4

Braising is a parent’s best friend because it involves a little bit of hands-on time (it can definitely be assembled during a nap) and a lot of hands-off time (go play some soccer in the backyard!). Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 boneless pork loin (21⁄2 to 3 pounds), patted dry and salted and peppered
1 large onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice (optional)
Dash or two of soy sauce
Salt and pepper
About 3 cups of any combination of red wine, pomegranate juice, and chicken broth, (I usually do a third/a third/a third)
1⁄2 head red cabbage, shredded

Instructions
In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, add the oil. Brown the pork loin on all sides so you get a nice golden crust, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Add the onion, garlic, Chinese Five Spice (if using), and salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Return the pork to the pot. Add the soy sauce and your combination of red wine, pomegranate juice, and broth to allow the liquid to come a third of the way up the loin.

Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, flipping once halfway through. (Monitor the liquid level to make sure a third of loin is always submerged—add more juice or wine if not.) The longer it simmers, the better.

About 10 minutes before you serve, add the red cabbage to the pot. Remove the pork and slice. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and cook until it is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. (It won’t get syrupy because there is not enough fat in the meat.) Serve the pork with the braising liquid and cabbage spooned on top.

 

 

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