Simple, quick dishes make up the majority of our everyday cooking. But when we’re not rushed, it’s wonderful to linger a bit in the kitchen and turn out a recipe that requires a bit more hands-on time, like a loaf of homemade bread, a complex dessert, or a slow-cooked leg of lamb. Here are our favorite project recipes for long weekends, lazy Sundays, or special occasions.
A collagen-rich pork stock is the key to making soup dumplings. It’s solid when cold, letting you wrap it in dough. Once steamed, it liquifies into a soup.
Get the recipe for Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) »
Baked Alaska first made its way into print in Fannie Farmer’s 1896_ Boston Cooking-School Cook Book,_ but the idea of baking ice cream inside cake and meringue had been around for much of the century. The way was paved in the early 1800s by that genius of thermodynamics Benjamin Thompson, with his work on the resistance of egg whites to heat.
This traditional Jewish brisket is braised in an aromatic tomato-based chicken broth, and tastes even better the day after you’ve made it.
Literally named “crunch in the mouth,” croquembouche is an edible monument of caramelized pastry.
These banana leaf-wrapped tamales are covered with an outer layer of foil, which ensures that they stay closed when steamed. Alternatively, the foil may be omitted and the tamales tied with kitchen twine. (Parchment paper may be substituted for the banana leaves, as well.)
Get the recipe for Guatemalan Tamales with Ancho Chile Sauce »
This luscious, Caribbean-inspired preparation for garlicky roast pork works especially well with the cut known as picnic shoulder.
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.
This is an easy and tasty recipe for oven-roasted pulled pork.
Golden on the outside, with a feathery, rich-tasting interior, the brioche is a perfect showcase for butter. The French name of this type of brioche (tete means head) refers to the confection’s shape: a large sphere topped with a smaller one (the “head”).
Get the recipe for Brioche a Tete »
Home curing is easy and yields a far more flavorful bacon than the store-bought kind. What’s more, you can season the bacon any way you like; this recipe calls for a rub of fennel, caraway, rosemary, and thyme.
A regional dish from the Italian province of Parma, these plump spinach gnocchi are excellent sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb
Slow-cooking a leg of lamb in wine with garlic and herbs transforms the meat into an ultra-tender entrée that goes marvelously with stewed white beans.
Get the recipe for Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb »
Salt cod is a staple in South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. This recipe comes from Neide Rigo, a Brazilian food blogger.
The recipe for this traditional Hungarian dessert was inspired by one from Budapest food blogger Eszter Bodrogi and calls for four layers of jammy filling between sheets of pastry.
Tuna mayonnaise gives April Bloomfield’s roast pork sandwich at John Dory Oyster Bar in New York City a savory boost.
This sweet, fizzy Concord grape soda is set to bubbling with a purchased culture of champagne yeast, which gives it a pronounced effervescence.
These soft and chewy cousins of bagels are a stalwart of Polish bakeries, where their hole-less centers are filled with caramelized onions and poppy seeds.
Get the recipe »
No Middle Eastern meal is complete without fresh, fluffy pita.
In this recipe from Daniel Leader of Bread Alone, an airy loaf with a nice crust is produced similar to a ciabatta. It’s made with a lightly fermented traditional Italian starter, called a
biga, that’s started nine hours before baking.
Traditional baguettes are 24 to 30 inches long and are baked in ovens that produce steam, which delays crust formation so the loaves can fully rise.
Made 10 days in advance with a hearty whole spelt flour starter, this loaf has rich caramel undertones and a pleasant sourness. Top slices with creamy, funky cheeses and cured or smoked meats and fish.
Apple Cider Levain Loaf
Beautiful homemade croissants, each containing a bar of high-quality dark chocolate, make for an impressive and indulgent addition to a breakfast spread.
Tender, braised beef brisket is combined with raisins, sherry, pine nuts, and spicy chile powder in the fragrant filling for sugar-dusted, savory-sweet empanadas.
Get the recipe for Beef Brisket and Picadillo-Stuffed Empanadas »
Instead of searing the meat before cooking it in liquid, as is done with a Western-style braise, beef rendang reverses the process. Slowly simmering beef chuck with Indonesian spice paste, coconut milk, and lemongrass yields an amazingly tender, rich dish that’s great with both white rice or crusty bread.
Get the recipe for Beef Rendang »
The classic Argentine empanada is shaped like a half-moon, but the pattern of its seal differs to indicate the unique flavors inside. This recipe, with a braided crimp and a spicy beef filling, is baked rather than fried in Argentine style.
Duck legs are dry-brined and braised in an aromatic stock, then shredded and mixed with armagnac and spices and sealed into a serving dish with duck fat, making a delectable spread for a toasted baguette.
Get the recipe for Duck Rillettes »
Homemade chicken stock has an altogether deeper, richer flavor than anything you can buy in a store. Usually making stock calls for simmering the ingredients for hours on the stovetop; here, a pressure cooker speeds up the process to just about an hour.