African-Style Chicken in Onion Gravy


If you are desperately seeking a break from the same old thing, try this take on yassa, a traditional celebratory dish originating in Senegal. It’s very simple — chicken braised in a blanket of onions and seasoned stock — but the results are seductive.

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New World Leek and Pepper Soup




I call this soup “new world” because it’s a variation on the classic French leek and potato soup, using sweet potatoes and peppers, two ingredients that Christopher Columbus introduced to Europe during his explorations of the Americas. Serve small quantities as a prelude to a celebratory meal, or add a tossed green salad for a light supper.

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Poached Salmon



Although I love salmon cooked almost any way, poaching produces the moistest result. The problem is, successfully poaching a large piece of salmon used to require a fish poacher, a piece of kitchen equipment that was rarely used yet relatively costly and cumbersome to store. A large oval slow cooker is the ideal solution. It produces great results with little fuss. 

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Louisiana Ratatouille


Eggplant, tomato and okra stew is a classic Southern dish, which probably owes its origins to the famous Mediterranean mélange ratatouille, a mouthwatering combination of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, peppers and often mushrooms and zucchini. Hence the name of this tasty variation. The secret to a successful result, even on top of the stove, is not overcooking the okra, which should be added after the other ingredients have melded.

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Classic Beef Stew




When I was growing up. One of my favorite dishes was my mother’s beef stew. There was nothing fancy about it —just basic meat and vegetable combinations— but the house always smelled so good while it was cooking. This is the stew I’ve tried to capture in this recipe. That said, even Mon’s stew can be improved upon with the addition of mushrooms cooked in Madeira (see Variations, below).

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Classic French Onion Soup



On a chilly day, there’s nothing more appetizing than a bowl of steaming hot onion soup bubbling away under a blanket of browned cheese. Normally, caramelizing the onions for this masterpiece is a laborious process that may involve an hour of almost constant stirring. Fortunately, your slow cooker can now do most of this tiresome work for you.Continue reading