Here’s a satisfying company meal that makes you glad you’ve cooked at home rather than gone out to eat.
This Greek chicken stew, a simple, robust dish of chicken, tomatoes, herbs and Kalamata olives, simmers in the oven with little attention from the cook. Make it a day or two ahead so the flavors can develop. Served with short macaroni with fresh dill and green onion butter, it’s real comfort food.
Dessert takes a nod from baklava, the sweet Greek pastry dessert. A spiced honey-lemon syrup is brushed over pears as they roast until just tender. Easily reheated at serving time, they are served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnished with toasted walnuts.
For dessert, brush halved pears with 1/2 cup honey, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and bake at 400 degrees until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, basting twice. Scoop out the seeds and fill with walnuts toasted 5 to 6 minutes at 350 degrees; serve with ice cream.
Mandel is a cookbook author.