In A Generous Meal, Christine Flynn shows us—contrary to popular belief—that you don’t need a lot of time, money, or know-how to make good food. A simple potato can transform a so-so day into something special, a soup can warm you in more ways than one, and baking a chocolate cake is just another way of shouting, “I love you!” at the top of your lungs.
A Generous Meal is a modern cookbook of over 100 recipes that anyone—from a novice to an experienced chef like Christine—can use to whip up restaurant-quality meals with ease.
Maybe you are having people over and want to put out some crusty bread and serve an array of simple starters like Butter Beans in Salsa Verde or Warm Chorizo in Sidra that will get everyone nibbling. Or, perhaps you’re looking for a vegetable-forward weeknight meal like Spicy Oven Charred Cabbage and Lemons. Seafood dishes, including Herb Stuffed Rainbow Trout or Cod and Zucchini in Curry Coconut Broth, offer good variety, and meaty mains like Crispy Chicken Thighs over Vinegar Beans or Lamb Loin Chops over Minty Pistachio Butter are perfect any day of the week—and just as impressive to serve to guests.
And what is a meal without the possibility of dessert? Satisfy your post-dinner sweet tooth cravings with recipes like Caramel Pecan Ice Cream Crumble Cake or Polenta Biscuits with Sweet Corn Cream and Strawberries.
The recipes in A Generous Meal are fresh, comforting, easy to follow, and the best part? They are enjoyable to cook and eat.
A Generous Meal: Modern Recipes for Dinner by
Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pecorino
I grew up eating Brussels sprouts that had been boiled to an anemic state, each with a deep “X” cut into its base. It wasn’t until I was a student in New York and tried my first deep-fried Brussels sprout at a David Chang restaurant that I realized I had been missing out on an incredibly versatile and flavourful vegetable. Although this recipe sidesteps the deep fryer, cooking the Brussels sprouts in a cast iron skillet really brings out their texture and nuttiness. Lemon and pecorino cheese make this dish bright, and adding pistachios makes it so craveable and moreish that it never lasts long.
¼ cup (60 mL) neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
1½ pounds (675 g) Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard Pinch of dried red chilies
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon (15 mL) pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup (60 mL) toasted pistachios, chopped (see Toasted Nuts, below)
1 cup (250 mL) finely grated pecorino cheese
In a medium cast iron skillet, heat about half of the neutral oil over high heat, until it starts to shimmer. Add about half of the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with about half of the salt. Let the sprouts caramelize over high heat without stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, reducing the heat if they start to look too dark. Stir once. Continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until the sprouts are charred but still crunchy. Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl or platter. Repeat with the remaining oil, Brussels sprouts, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon, chilies, lemon juice, and pistachio oil. Drizzle the mixture over the sprouts. Add the pistachios and about half of the pecorino. Toss well to combine. Top with the remaining pecorino. Serve immediately.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
2 cups (500 mL) shelled raw nuts, such as hazelnuts, walnuts, or pistachios
I don’t think a nut exists that doesn’t benefit from a quick ride in the oven. Toasting nuts intensifies their flavour and dries them out just a touch so that they grow a little more delicious and a little crunchier as well. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference, and so I do recommend, if you have the time and the oven space—and most importantly the inclination—that you toast your nuts. What follows is less a recipe and more of a loose method, since the nut you choose will determine your exact toasting time. If you want to toast a few different nuts together, make sure they are all the same general size or else their toasting times will be different.
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the nuts in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes (or 6 minutes if they are very small nuts like pine nuts). Remove the baking sheet from the oven, give the nuts a stir, and check to see if they are golden and smell nuttier than they did before they went in the oven. You’re going to have to use your judgment here, but I find 8 minutes to be a good amount of time for a light toast on a medium-sized nut. For a darker toast, or a larger nut, return to the oven for 2 to 4 minutes and then check again. Repeat as necessary, until your nuts are perfectly golden brown. Let cool.
Store the toasted nuts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Excerpted from A Generous Meal by Christine Flynn. Copyright © 2023 Christine Flynn. Photographs by Suech and Beck. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.