Shadae Williams is a huge fan of cooking in the oven. Her hot take (pun intended)? "It takes away the hard work. You just set the temp and time, which leaves you available to do other things." Here, the home cook and content creator (@shadaewilliams) shares a bevy of her favorite oven-baked recipes: pesto focaccia, spinach artichoke dip, tomato confit, and pesto chicken pasta salad.
Does the dish you're sharing today have a story behind it? Who taught you how to make it?
I learned to make them myself after seeing them all over my social media! Apart from the spinach and artichoke dip, which was inspired by my dad’s recipe.
How would you describe your relationship to home cooking?
Everything is better with cast iron because it holds heat better than most skillets. And I love how heavy the cast iron Always Pan is. It’s definitely my favorite skillet now! I love it!
What do you like about cooking in the oven?
It takes away the hard work of continuously checking your food. You just set the temp and time which leaves you available to do other things.
Are there any recipes or dishes that are just better made in the oven?
Any pork recipe! It can cook slowly allowing all the flavors to be marinated for longer!
What's special to you about the new Ovenware set?
I love how the roasting pan also doubles as a griddle and is large enough to serve a crowd.
Tell us about a meal that makes you feel connected to your heritage or loved ones.
Porridge always makes me feel connected to my family and especially my mom, because she makes the best cornmeal porridge!
If you could only cook (and then eat!) one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Oxtail with rice and peas is a great option! It just never gets old.
Shadae's Pesto Focaccia
YOU NEED5 c. flour
2 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/4 oz. sachet of active dry yeast
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp. sea salt flakes
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- Add the sachet of yeast to a cup of warm water. Add honey to activate yeast and stir. Leave covered for 15 minutes.
- Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Create a well in the center of the flour-salt mix and pour in yeast mixture.
- Stir with a wooden spatula to form a wet dough.
- In a clean bowl, add olive oil and coat the bowl.
- Add dough to bowl and oil hands to fold dough over itself a few times.
- Let rest covered at room temperature for at least 4 hours.
- Transfer to the Oven Pan and stretch to corners. Leave to rest for another hour.
- Add pesto to dough and rub in. Dimple the dough and top with salt flakes.
- Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
Shadae’s Spinach Artichoke Dip
16 oz. chopped artichokes, drained
1/2 c. heavy cream
12 oz. cream cheese
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. parmesan cheese
Add olive oil and spinach to your Always Pan and sauté.Add chopped artichokes, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to the pan.
- Add heavy cream and stir. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to your Side Bake dish. Add cream cheese and fold well into the mixture.
- Fold in 3 oz. of parmesan cheese, then top the dip with the remainder.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. When done, broil at 450°F to brown the top.
Shadae's Tomato Confit
YOU NEED1 lb. campari tomatoes
12 oz. grape tomatoes
6 oz. peeled garlic
1 1/2 c. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
Add tomatoes and garlic to your Tiny Bake dish.
- Sprinkle mixture with salt and other seasonings you like.
- Bake at 300°F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Shadae's Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad
YOU NEED16 oz. cascatelli or bowtie pasta
6 oz. grape tomatoes
6 oz. pesto (homemade or store bought)
1.98 oz. (one bag) parmesan crisps
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 chicken breast
Cook pasta al dente, then strain.
- Halve grape tomatoes.
- Add pasta, chicken breast, tomatoes and pesto to your Main Bake dish and combine well.
- Gently fold parmesan crisps into the pasta.
- Top with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then enjoy!