Herbed Anasazi Beans

2 cups dried Anasazi beans
olive oil
1 bunch fresh oregano, stems removed, leaves chopped
6 cloves minced garlic
sea salt
fresh lemon juice
white balsamic vinegar
chile powder to taste

Rinse beans, cover with water and soak over night. Add more water, bring to boil and simmer until beans are tender. (Time will vary depending on how long the beans soaked, how many beans you have and your elevation. But I found these beans to cook very quickly, in about 25 minutes.) When beans are the desired tenderness, remove from heat and rinse. Let cool.

Meanwhile, saute garlic in oil until golden. Add garlic to beans and mix with olive oil (enough to give the beans a luscious texture), oregano, salt, a twist of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of white balsamic vinegar. Add chile and mix again (I used hot Kashmiri, but any will do).

Feel free to use different herbs. Rosemary is a wonderful accompaniment to beans such as these. Dunk the sprigs into boiled water for a moment to release the herb’s aroma. Chop and add to beans as you would the oregano.

Serve at room temperature. And think of the ancient ones

Harissa Butter

Mix 2 tablespoons harissa with 2 to 3 tablespoons softened, salted butter

Slather on blanched broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower.

Or, stir harissa butter into a pot of bulgur, couscous or pasta and blend with feta and chopped arugula for an easy meal.

Or dollop harissa butter onto resting steaks, chops or roast chicken where it can mix with the meat’s juices for an instant sauce.

Light and Crispy Waffles

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk 1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pure maple syrup, for serving

Preheat the oven to 200°. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a glass measuring cup, blend the buttermilk, vegetable oil and milk. Beat in the egg yolk.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg white to soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until firm and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the beaten egg white until just incorporated.

Preheat an 8-inch square waffle iron and oil it lightly. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the waffle batter into the preheated waffle iron and gently smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 4 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Transfer the waffles to the oven rack to keep warm and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve at once with maple syrup.

Burmese Beans

2 1/2 cups / 535 grams dried beans, such as pinto, navy, or cannellini
Salt
1/3 cup peanut or vegetable oil, plus more for finishing
1 sliced yellow onion
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and minced (about 1/3 cup)
3 tomatoes, diced
Pinch of chile flakes
2 green onions, sliced (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

Rinse the beans well in a colander. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with 2 inches of cool water, and let soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Drain the beans, transfer to a 4- to 6-quart pot, and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.

Remove from the heat, stir in 2 teaspoons salt, and let the beans stand in their cooking liquid for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate them in their cooking liquid and finish the dish the next day). Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid (you’ll have about 4 cups).

In the same pot used to cook the beans, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and cook until the onion has softened, about 6 minutes. While cooking, mash the garlic against the side of the pot to break it down.

Stir in the ginger and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and chile flakes and cook until the tomatoes have softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the beans, another teaspoon of salt, and 2 cups of the saved cooking liquid. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the beans achieve a creamy consistency. Taste, adding more salt as desired (beans do need a fair amount, so don’t shy away from the salt if they taste flat). If the beans are too thick, stir in a little more of the cooking water and continue to cook.

Remove from the heat. (At this point, the beans can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Reheat gently before serving.) Drizzle peanut oil on top to serve, if desired. Serve with lime wedges if you want the beans to taste a bit brighter

Coffee Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cups Strong Brewed Coffee
1 cup Ketchup
3/4 cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cups Finely Chopped Shallots
1/2 cups Sweet Red Chili Sauce
2 cloves Garlic, Grated
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Sriracha Or Tabasco Sauce

Stir all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to simmer then reduce the heat to low until flavor melds, about 40 minutes, occasionally stirring the sauce. Cool to room temperature and serve. Will keep for about 2 weeks or more in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon creole mustard
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a week.

This sauce is perfect as a baste (just use near the end of cooking) or even as a dipping sauce for chicken, turkey, or pork. It’s great on a pulled pork sandwich, too!

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup yellow ballpark-style mustard, like French’s
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup water

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil on low heat until soft and transparent. Whisk in remaining ingredients, cook on low heat for 30 minutes stirring often. Thin sauce if necessary with additional water. Add more red pepper flakes if you want it spicier. Cool then refrigerate

Use on ribs, chicken, or pulled pork.

Minimalist Barbecue Sauce

1 generously heaped tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce of your choice, such as Sriracha or Tabasco, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire or fish sauce, plus more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk everything in a bowl, taste, add more of ingredients to taste, and seasoning as needed. More ketchup, for example, will make for a less intense sauce that’s closer to what you’d have in a bottle from a grocery store. The amount above makes 1/4 cup; scale it up as needed.

To make chicken skewers, cut 2 1/2 pounds of large, thick chicken breast cutlets into large chunks (about 1 to 2 inches). In a bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over it, just to thinly coat each piece. Thread them on skewers and grill on a very hot grill, rotating only when lightly charred underneath on each side, and continuing to rotate until they cooked evenly, about 7 to 10 minutes total, brushing occasionally with another tablespoon or so of sauce as they cook.

To make “fake baked beans”: Mince 1/4 of a onion and sauté slowly in 1 tablespoon of oil in the bottom of a medium saucepan, until soft. Add one 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) small white navy beans, drained and rinsed, plus the ingredients for one yield of the sauce above. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and gently simmer the mixture together for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if it gets to dry, and adjusting seasonings to taste.

Fried Rice with XO Sauce

1 tablespoon oil
4 cups cold rice, preferably day-old
5 eggs, well-beaten with 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons XO sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili oil, optional
Any other stir-fried ingredient-meat, seafood, vegetables, anything
Sliced scallions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until smoking, then add the eggs and stir-fry over high heat, until almost cooked through. Remove from the wok.

Add the XO sauce to the wok. Turn the heat to medium-low, then add the rice and stir-fry, breaking up clumps. Add the soy sauce and chili oil. Taste and add more condiments as needed. Add the eggs and whatever else you are using, and stir to mix well. Serve immediately, garnishing with scallions.

Grilled Rib-eyes with XO Chimichurri

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup cilantro
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons XO sauce
1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (1 lb) rib eye steaks

Finely chop parsley and cilantro then stir herbs together with oil, XO, chile flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat grill.

Season steaks with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then grill, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes total for medium rare. Let steak rest 10 minutes then slice and serve with XO chimichurri.

Sous Vide Fish with XO Sauce

2 mulloway or barramundi fillets
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 green onion, sliced diagonally
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp XO sauce
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder (or 1/2 tsp of a crushed stock cube) mixed with 1/2 cup hot water

Cook the fish fillets sous vide at 131F (55C) for 30 minutes.

When the fish is finished cooking sous vide, heat up vegetable oil in a small pot over a medium heat and fry the ginger for 1 minute, then add the stock, soy and XO sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Put the fish in serving bowls, pour the sauce over the fish and serve with sliced green onion scattered on top.

Black Pepper Chicken

1 pound (450 grams) chicken breasts or thighs, sliced against the grain into 1/4-inch (5-mm) thick pieces

Marinade
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir fry
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped mixed colors)

Combine chicken, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl. Gently mix by hand until the chicken is coated with a thin layer of the mixture. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Chop the aromatics and vegetables. Add the ginger and garlic to a small bowl. Add the onion and all the chopped peppers to another bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok (or nonstick pan) over high heat. When oil is hot, add the chicken. Immediately spread the chicken into a single layer using a spatula. Sear for 30 seconds or so, until the bottom is lightly browned. Flip the chicken. Let cook for 15 to 20 seconds. Stir occasionally, until both sides are browned but still a bit pink inside. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil into the wok. Add the ginger and garlic. Give it a quick stir until fragrant. Add the white onion and peppers. Stir and cook for 20 seconds.

Stir the sauce mixture until the cornstarch is dissolved completely, and pour it into the skillet. Stir with a spatula immediately and cook until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, a few seconds. Add back the cooked chicken. Quickly stir a few times to coat everything with the sauce. Turn off heat and remove the skillet from the stove. Immediately transfer everything to a big plate so the ingredients won’t keep cooking in the hot skillet.

Serve hot with steamed rice or on top of boiled noodles.

Pesto all Trapanese (Sicilian Almond Pesto)

3 medium cloves garlic
Kosher salt
2 ounces toasted blanched almonds (60g; about 1/2 cup); see note
35 large basil leaves (about 4 sprigs, weighing 25g total)
2 to 4 mint leaves (optional)
3 1/2 ounces (100g) grated cheese, preferably a milder aged pecorino or a 50/50 mix of Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
1 pound (450g) plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 pound (450g) linguine

If Using a Mortar and Pestle: Crush the garlic in the mortar with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Add almonds and beat and crush into a rough paste. Work in basil leaves and mint (if using), pounding and crushing into tiny bits. Smash in cheese, followed by tomatoes and olive oil. The final sauce should be a rough paste. Season with salt.

If Using a Food Processor: Pulse garlic with almonds until roughly chopped. Add basil, mint (if using), cheese, tomatoes, and olive oil and process to a rough paste. Season with salt.

Transfer two-thirds of the sauce to a large heatproof serving bowl.

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook linguine until al dente. Transfer pasta to serving bowl, reserving some of the pasta-cooking water. Toss well, adding more olive oil and pasta-cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time each, until a creamy sauce forms that’s not dry but also not soupy. Season with salt, if needed. If the sauce gets too dry at any point, simply add more pasta-cooking water to loosen it.

Serve, spooning remaining sauce on top of each portion and adding more cheese as desired.

Caramelized Coconut Green Beans

Kosher salt
1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen coconut chunks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 red Thai chiles, split lengthwise
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and cracked
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans; cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain beans and rinse under cold water until chilled; pat dry with a paper towel.?

Melt coconut oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add coconut slices, and cook until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Stir to loosen coconut; add garlic, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Cook, stirring often, until mustard seeds pop, about 30 seconds. Stir in onion and chiles. Cook, stirring often, until onion and coconut are golden around edges, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add green beans to skillet, and fold to coat. Cook until green beans are heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and top with coriander seeds and flaky sea salt.

Garlic Naan

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water, room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Cooking oil, for the bowl 1 stick melted unsalted butter
Kosher salt

In a glass measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar, and water and let sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl.

Whisk together the yeast mixture, yogurt, and milk, and stir into the dry ingredients. Knead with your hands until the dough forms a smooth, soft ball, about 2 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl and turn onto a well-floured surface. Knead it briefly and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll it into 1/4-inch thick ovals, approximately 6 inches wide.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over moderately high heat. Sprinkle each portion with minced garlic and press it into the dough. Brush the dough with melted butter and place in skillet. Cook for about one minute, until the dough puffs up. Flip, cover the pan, and cook for one more minute. Remove from the pan and brush both sides with butter and sprinkle with salt. Place in a towel-lined bowl until ready to serve.

Kulcha

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup minced shallots
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons minced serrano with seeds
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Ghee or clarified butter, for brushing

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the yogurt, water and oil until the dough starts to come together. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.

In a medium bowl, mix the shallots with the scallions, serrano, ginger, sesame seeds, fennel, cumin and oregano.

Unwrap the dough and roll it into an 8-inch log, then cut the log into 8 pieces. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle. Work with one piece of dough at a time: Roll out a piece of dough to an 8-inch round. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the shallot mixture in the center of the round. Fold the edges of the dough into the center, covering the filling. Using your palm, gently press to flatten. Carefully roll out the filled dough to a 7-inch round.

Brush the kulcha with ghee and add to the hot skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until puffed and charred in spots, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and shallot mixture. Serve warm.

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or trimmed thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Steamed rice, for serving

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 3 minutes.

Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, 3 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.

Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, top with the sliced scallion and serve with rice.

Thai Corn Salad

1 to 2 red Thai bird’s eye chiles (depending on your tolerance for heat), stemmed, seeded and cut into ½ -inch slices
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ounces green beans, cut into
1-inch pieces (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, or more as needed
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 or 3 limes)
2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
3 medium carrots, coarsely grated
2 1/2 cups cooked corn kernels (from 3 cobs; see NOTE)
1 3/4 cups roasted, unsalted cashews

Combine the chiles (to taste) and garlic in a gallon zip-top bag and zip it almost all the way closed, leaving an inch or two unzipped. Use a rolling pin to pound the chiles and garlic through the plastic and form a rough paste. Add the beans and pound briefly to crush them a little. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce and lime juice.

Add the tomatoes and pound briefly, just to flatten them. Stir in the carrots and corn; pound gently, just to help the flavors incorporate. Taste, and add more soy sauce as needed.

Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the cashews and serve right away.

NOTE: For an easy way to briefly cook corn that makes it easy to husk and de-silk, dip the three cobs, husks and all, in water (just to moisten them). Microwave on HIGH for 4 to 5 minutes, until very hot. Remove, let cool for a bit, then use a sharp knife to cut crosswise through the husk and cob an inch or two from the wide end (opposite from the end with the tassel of silk). Hold the silk end, and push the corn out. To cut off the kernels, let the cobs cool until easy to handle. Cut the cobs in half crosswise, stand each half on one end and cut off the kernels from each side.

Coconut Corn Salad

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears of corn, shucked
fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup big coconut flakes, well toasted
1 cup sliced almonds, well toasted
3 tablespoons chopped red onions
big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and stir well, you want all the corn to be coated. Cook for just a minute, until the corn looses its raw edge, stir in half the thyme, and then transfer the corn to a large serving bowl.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add most of the coconut flakes, most of the almonds, the rest of the thyme, red onions, and citrus juice. Stir well. Taste, season with more salt, to taste, and serve topped with the remaining coconut and almonds (and another jolt of juice if needed!).