When a hardworking pot or pan says, “I’ve got this,” your evening gets infinitely easier.

Fire up fajitas on a baking sheet, cook tomato-eggplant gnocchi in a skillet or simmer salmon chowder in your trusty dutch oven. Then raise a glass to the single life.


8 flour tortillas (each 6 inches)

3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 green and 1 yellow), cut into ½-inch strips

1 large white onion, cut into ½-inch rounds

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded ½ inch thick

1 lime, halved, plus wedges for serving

Sliced avocado, sour cream, salsa and fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat broiler, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Stack tortillas and wrap in parchment-lined foil; place on lower rack. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss vegetables with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons chile powder. Arrange in a single layer and broil on upper rack, flipping once, until just charred and softened, about 8 minutes.

Drizzle chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, season with salt and sprinkle with remaining 1½ teaspoons chile powder. Push vegetables to edges of sheet; arrange chicken in a single layer in center. Broil, flipping once, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove tortillas and sheet from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; slice into strips. Return to sheet; squeeze lime halves over vegetables and chicken. Serve with tortillas and accompaniments.

Active time: 25 minutes; total time: 40 minutes; makes 4 servings.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ¼-inch rounds

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears), or 10 ounces frozen

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces

½ cup heavy cream

4 ounces hot-smoked salmon, skin removed, cut into ½-inch pieces

Oyster crackers, for serving

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot; season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add potatoes, broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add corn and zucchini; simmer, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream and fish. Season with pepper and serve with oyster crackers.

Active time: 25 minutes; total time: 45 minutes; makes 4 servings.


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces andouille sausage, thinly sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large tomatoes, cored and diced

1 cup long-grain white rice

1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (from 2), for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high. Add sausage; cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium; add remaining oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and golden, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes and rice; cook over high heat, stirring, 1 minute. Return sausage with any juices to skillet. Stir in broth; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender, 20 minutes. Season shrimp with salt and pepper; arrange in a single layer atop rice. Cover; cook until bright pink, 4 minutes. Uncover; let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and sprinkle with scallions.

Active time: 30 minutes; total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes; makes 4 servings.


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 large eggplant (1 pound), stem removed, cut into ½-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1½ pounds large tomatoes (3 to 4), cored and diced

1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

½ cup ricotta

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium. Add eggplant, season generously with salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Return eggplant with any juices to skillet; season with salt. Add gnocchi in a single layer atop eggplant, cover and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes (or, if using frozen, about 1 minute more). Sprinkle with basil and serve, topped with a spoonful of ricotta, more basil leaves, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Active time: 20 minutes; total time: 35 minutes; makes 4 servings.

Sullivan and Bocar write for Martha Stewart Living, Meredith Corporation. Questions may be addressed to Ask Martha, care of Letters Department, Martha Stewart Living, 805 Third Ave., 25th floor, New York, NY 10022. Questions may also be sent by e-mail to askmartha@marthastewart.com. Letters should include a name, address and daytime telephone number.

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