20 Rainy Day Cooking Projects to Tackle This Weekend

Dig into your own puff pastry, DIY yogurt, and all-day stews

Frenzied weeknights are all about getting dinner on the table, rainy days and weekends are the time to tackle some projects.

Instead of running out to your local cafe for a pain au chocolat, why not try making a batch at home? Or set some time aside for a batch of DIY yogurt and stews and sauces that taste like they've been simmering all day—because they have.

So pour yourself a cup of tea and grab your notebook, because these are the recipes to dig into with both hands.

Beef Short Ribs Empanadas
Beef Short Ribs Empanadas

In his version of Chilean empanadas, chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó replaces lean ground chuck with rich beef short ribs, which make each bite tender. Get the recipe for Beef Short Ribs Empanadas »

Homemade Yogurt

Make It: Homemade Yogurt

Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

These are made using a collagen-rich pork stock that gels as it cools; the jelly can then be sliced and mixed with ground pork and aromatics and used as filling. Get the recipe for Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) »

Leonard's Bakery Hawaii Malasadas

Butter, milk, and half & half give these Portuguese-style donuts their distinctive richness and luscious texture. Get the recipe for Leonard’s Bakery Hawaii Malasadas »

Swedish Cured Salmon (Gravadlax)

A salt and sugar cure flavored with fresh dill transforms salmon into gravadlax, silky ribbons of fish ready to be piled atop slices of rustic brown bread or crunchy rye crispbread for a Swedish Midsummer feast.

Homemade Ricotta
Homemade Ricotta

This recipe comes courtesy of Jenn Louis, chef-owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern in Portland, Oregon. We featured Louis’ ricotta gnocchi in our April 2015 issue, and we can’t stop making this super-creamy ricotta—to add to gnocchi and everything else—because it’s so easy and so darn good. Get the recipe for Homemade Ricotta »

Baked White Bean and Duck Casserole (Cassoulet au Canard)

Baked White Bean and Duck Casserole (Cassoulet au Canard)

Indian Samosas
Indian Samosas

Triangular deep-fried pastries stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas are an iconic Indian snack. Pair them with tangy tamarind chutney or herbaceous coconut-cilantro chutney for dipping.

Homemade Mallomars
Homemade Mallomars

The recipe for these chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies was created by Nicole Lang to satisfy a craving for packaged Mallomars, which are only available from September through March in most of the country—and not available at all at her home in Richmond, Virginia. With a dense chocolate coating and a soft, cakelike cookie base, we think they’re even better than the original.

Braised Short Ribs with Celery Root Purée

Cocoa powder enriches these braised beef short ribs from Manhattan-based chef Melissa Muller Daka.

Pain au Chocolat

Beautiful homemade croissants, each containing a bar of high-quality dark chocolate, make for an impressive and indulgent addition to a breakfast spread.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pate
Strawberry Rhubarb Pate de Fruit

One of the best ways to preserve fresh rhubarb and strawberries? Turn it into candy. Get the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pate de Fruit »

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Nougat Squares

These decadent candies taste best with a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.

Roast Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)

Char siu bao (roast pork bun) is a Cantonese specialty consisting of marinated pork encased in a spongy dough that’s then steamed or baked. The best are filled with the stir-fried trimmings of marinated and roasted pork butt—a slightly fatty cut that stays tender during roasting. There are dozens of varieties of buns in China, but char siu bao remains among the most popular on dim sum carts—and my favorite. —Corinne Trang Get the recipe for Roast Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) »

Buttery Pie Dough
Buttery Pie Dough

This butter-rich, flaky crust is easy to make and works well as the foundation for pies with fruit, custard, or mousse fillings.

Adam Ford's Floral Citrus Vermouth

For this aromatic homemade vermouth, Adam Ford, founder of Atsby vermouth, uses an array of fragrant flowers, herbs, and spices, like lavender, rosebuds, chamomile, and vanilla, plus smoky tea leaves and lemon peel. Its complex flavors are a great complement to a rye Manhattan or other vermouth-heavy cocktail, but to get a sense of its true flavor, try it on the rocks with a splash of soda water.

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda

This hearty pork roast, rubbed with coriander, thyme, and allspice, gets a shot of brightness from a vinegary herb bagna cauda. Get the recipe for Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda »

Crispy Philippine Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (Bellychon)
Crispy Philippine Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (Bellychon)

“This is my modern take on the traditional Lechon, which is a whole roasted pig. While many of us don’t have the space or equipment to roast a whole pig on a spit over coals, this recipe gives you the ability to recreate the idea and flavors.” – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao Get the recipe for Crispy Philippine Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (Bellychon) »

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