Grilled Sesame Zucchini

2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1-1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1-1/2 tablespoons canola oil [or vegetable oil]
4 medium-sized zucchini
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Toast sesame seeds in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently or shaking the skillet to keep them from burning. You?ll know they?re done when they begin to color slightly and one or two of them ?pop.? You should also smell a lovely sesame fragrance. Transfer to a small bowl to cool and set aside.

Combine sesame oil and canola oil in a large bowl. Rinse the zucchini, pat dry with a paper towel and slice them on the diagonal into 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Using a wooden spoon, gently toss zucchini slices with oil mixture to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss some more.

Grill the zucchini. Working quickly with tongs, arrange zucchini slices directly over coals, shaking off oil as you remove them from the bowl to minimize flare-ups. Grill for just about 2 minutes per side. Essentially, once you get them all on the grill, start turning the ones you placed there first. And after you?ve turned all of them, you can start transferring them to a large, shallow bowl.

Just before serving, sprinkle the zucchini with the toasted sesame seeds and toss lightly. Doing this at the last minute helps the sesame seeds retain their nutty crunchiness.

You can grill this dish ahead and serve room temperature or grill at the last minute to serve hot.

Vietnamese Grilled Chops

3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons canola oil [or vegetable oil]
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper [optional]
4 thick bone-in pork chops, about 8 ounces each
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 whole star anise, lightly toasted in a dry pan for 3 minutes


Combine ginger, garlic, oil, soy sauce, sugar, turmeric, five-spice powder, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Pat pork chops dry with paper towel and place in 9?13-inch glass baking dish. Spoon marinade over chops and turn several times to coat them evenly. Cover dish with plastic wrap and marinate chops in the refrigerator for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or more.

Prepare a charcoal grill or gas grill for indirect grilling [with the coals or heat on one side of the grill]. Thirty minutes before the grill is ready, grind the toasted star anise to a powder in a spice grinder or with mortar and pestle. Add powder to the marinating chops, turning to coat meat evenly and set aside, allowing chops to come to room temperature.

Lightly oil the grill and place chops so they are not directly over the coals or heat source. Cover the grill and cook for about 10 minutes. Turn chops, cover grill and cook on second side for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads about 140?F when inserted into the thickest part of the chop [be careful to avoid the bone, which heats up faster and will give you a false reading]. Move chops over the coals and cook uncovered for about 2 minutes per side to brown slightly. Watch the grill carefully at this point; even though much of the fat of the chops will have been rendered during the indirect grilling, you may still get a flare-up or two. Move chops away from any flames as they finish. The extra time over the coals will bring the internal temperature of the meat up to at least 145F, what most cooks consider safe these days. Don?t overcook.

Transfer chops to platter, tent with foil and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Asian Slaw

2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 medium [about 5 inches long] unwaxed cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
1/3 cup finely diced shallot
1/4 cup jalapeno peppers, seeded, finely sliced into rings, then the rings cut in half
About 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass, or more, tough outer layers removed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup grape tomatoes or a mix of grape and cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped


Place the cut-up carrot, cucumber, shallot, jalapeno and lemongrass in a flat glass baking dish.

Separately, in a small bowl mix the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. When the sugar is dissolved, pour the sauce over the vegetables. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Remove from the fridge. Add the tomatoes and stir gently. Let stand for a couple of minutes.

Drain the entire thing in a colander. The sauce has already flavored everything, and you want most of the liquid to just go away. That is how to ensure this dish will be crisp, fresh and light, and not weighed down in feel. Once it is drained, gently shift the mixture to a bowl. Sprinkle on the basil, toss gently and serve.

Asian Grilled Pork Chops

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper [according to taste]
4 bone-in pork chops, about 8 ounces each

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl to make the marinade. [Quick tip: To mince stubbornly fibrous ginger, cut it into 1/4-inch slices. Once you’ve peeled the slice, quarter it and bash each piece with the side of a knife. This will pulverize it into little 1/4-inch threads, easy to separate with a quick mince. You can also grate fresh ginger?just peel the piece you’re grating first.] Arrange chops in a single layer in a 9?13-inch glass baking dish. Spoon/brush/smear marinade on both sides of chops to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning chops a time or two while they marinate. Remove from fridge 20 to 30 minutes before you?re ready to put them on the grill to allow chops to come to room temperature.


Mix the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl to make the marinade. [Quick tip:

Arrange chops in a single layer in a 9?13-inch glass baking dish.

Spoon/brush/smear marinade on both sides of chops to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning chops a time or two while they marinate.

Remove from fridge 20 to 30 minutes before you?re ready to put them on the grill to allow chops to come to room temperature.

Grill until center temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Snickerdoodles

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 stick or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400?, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine. At this point, I chilled the dough for an hour (or you can overnight) before scooping it, because I otherwise found it too difficult to scoop into balls and roll but the original recipe doesn?t find this step neccessary.

Once dough has chilled, in a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small ice-cream scoop* to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. In theory, they can be stored in an airtight container up to one week, but I say good luck wtih that.

* Martha recommends a size 30 (1 1/4 ounce) ice cream scoop but I used a size 40 (3/4 ounce) and they came out 3 to 4 inches across, or plenty huge.


Preheat the oven to 400, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.

(You may chilled the dough for an hour [or overnight] so it is less difficult to scoop into balls and roll.)

Once dough has chilled, in a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small ice-cream scoop* to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack.
Makes three dozen 3 to 4-inch cookies. Your mileage will vary by the size scoop you use. Original recipe recommends a size 30 (1 1/4 ounce) ice cream scoop.

Thai Red Curry Paste (SITCA recipe)

1 large dried red chili (for color)
7 dried red-hot chilies
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp finely chopped shallots
2 finely chopped fresh kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp finely chopped lemon grass
1 tsp finely chopped fresh galangal
1/2 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp shrimp paste
1/4 tsp salt


Cut the dried large red chili into tiny strips with a scissors, soak the strips in warm water for 5-10 minutes and then drain.

Soak the dried chillies in warm water for 5-10 minutes and then drain.

Put the black pepper and salt in a mortar and pestle and grind to a powder.

Add the chilies and grind to a smooth paste.

Add the galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and grind to a smooth paste.

Add the garlic, shallots and shrimp paste and grind until smooth again.
NOTE: If making a larger quantity of curry paste to keep for a long time, after grinding, save the unused portion in a plastic bag or container in the freezer.

44-Cloves-of-Garlic Soup

26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 1/4 cups sliced onions
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
4 lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 350 F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

Do ahead: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Crumb Cake

4 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, and a little more for the pan
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Confectioners? sugar for dusting (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Cream 1 1/4 sticks butter and the cup of granulated sugar until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment).

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.

Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and sour cream; beat just until combined.

Make the crumb topping: Whisk together the remaining 3 cups flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoons (or perhaps a bit less) salt. Cut in the remaining 3 1/2 sticks butter until large, moist clumps form. (You can also mix the topping in a food processor).

Topping can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, Before serving, dust with confectioners? sugar if desired.
Makes one 13-by-9-inch cake (16-32 servings).

Apple War Cake

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
5 tablespoons of canola oil
1 cup cold water (not iced)
1 cup of diced Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored (1 medium-sized apple).
1/2 cup of chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in flour sifter and sift into an ungreased 8×8 square or a 9-inch round baking pan. You can also use a 9-inch cast-iron skillet.

Poke three holes into the flour mixture. In the first hole, pour the vinegar. In the second hole, pour the vanilla. In the third hole, pour the oil.

Then pour one cup of water into the pan and mix very well.

Stir in the apples and pecans.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or less, until done.

Cut in squares and sprinkle top with powdered sugar.

War Cake

Wacky cake
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup cold water (not iced)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in flour sifter and sift into an ungreased 8×8 square or a 9-inch round baking pan. You can also use a 9-inch cast-iron skillet.

Poke three holes into the flour mixture. In the first hole, or the vinegar. In the second hole, pour the vanilla. In the third hole, pour the oil.

Then pour one cup of water into the
pan and mix very well.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or less, until done.

Cut in squares and sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
Notes: You can jazz this basic wacky cake with cinnamon, ancho powder, brown sugar and by using coffee instead of water. You can also use nut oils to give it a different flavor. If you don’t want a chocolate cake, omit the cocoa and add another teaspoon of vanilla. As you can see, wacky cake is very, very malleable to what you desire and the only limit is your imagination!

Hatch Chili Potato Casserole

1 medium yellow onion diced
2 Hatch chiles, diced (Can use Anaheim chiles if Hatch chiles are unavailable)
4 tablespoons of butter, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
A pinch of Cayenne pepper
2 pounds of Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large cast-iron skillet set on medium-low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter and then cook onion and chiles until onions start to brown a bit, about fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat.

Mix together the garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper and Cayenne pepper.

Add the diced potatoes to the skillet and mix with the onions and peppers. Stir in the garlic and spice mixture.

Pour the cream over the potatoes and cover skillet with foil. Bake for one hour.

After an hour, cut up remaining two tablespoons of butter and dot on top of cooked potatoes. Place skillet under the broiler for two minutes or until butter has melted and potatoes are starting to brown on top.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

For the crust:
35 ginger snaps, crushed
1/4 cup of pecans, finely chopped
1 stick of butter (113.4 grams), melted

For the cheesecake:
3 8oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of flour

For the topping:
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

To make the crust, mix together the crushed ginger snaps, chopped pecans and melted butter.

Press the crust into a 9-inch spring-form pan, evenly covering the bottom and going up the sides about 1/4 of an inch.

Place in the fridge or in near an open window with a cold breeze.

To make the batter, using a mixer or a strong blender, throw in the softened cream cheese and eggs. Mix until smooth and combined.

Add the sugar, the maple syrup, the sweet potato, the spices and the flour, and blend until smooth. (Don?t mix it too long or too many cracks will appear on top when it bakes.)

Pour into spring-form pan, and bake for 45 minutes. Cheesecake will be done when the sides are set and the center is still a big jiggly. Turn off the oven, and then leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door open for about half an hour.

To make the topping while the cheesecake bakes, place 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in a heated dry iron skillet, and toast for about five minutes.

Mix the sour cream, vanilla, spices, syrup and sugar together. Add the pecans.

Take cheesecake out of the oven, spread on the topping, and let sit for another half hour.

Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours and then serve.

Notes: A 1-pound sweet potato cooked in the oven at 425 degrees for a little over an hour will yield enough for the recipe. Alternatively, you can use canned sweet potato. The topping and crust are purely optional. If you bake without a crust, baking time will be about 35 minutes.

Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3 beaten eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup evaporated milk (one 12 oz. can)

2 9-inch pie shells

Ginger whipped cream
Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of ground ginger


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a mixer or blender. (A mixer will leave a few small delectable chunks of sweet potato.)

Pour mixture into two nine-inch pie shells.

Bake 55 minutes.

Cool before serving. Garnish with whipped cream as desired. Makes two pies.

Ginger whipped cream:
In a chilled bowl, beat all ingredients with mixer, whisk or egg beater until soft peaks form.

BBQ White Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


In large bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend well. Use as a marinade, baste, or dipping sauce. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Soy-Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

3-4 pounds pork tenderloin
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bunch cilantro


Combine the soy sauce, sugar, cumin, and garlic in a Ziploc bag or other marinating vessel. Rinse and dry the tenderloin and add to the bag. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare coals or preheat a gas grill. Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving it. Grill the tenderloin over medium-high heat with the grill covered until cooked through, but still tender and juicy, turning occasionally, 7 to 10 minutes depending on thickness. Allow to rest for a couple minutes before slicing.

In the meantime, pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce for a few minutes to make a sauce for the pork once it’s off the grill. This step is optional?just for a little more flavor.

Roughly tear the top of the cilantro bunch, discarding the large stems, and scatter over a serving platter. Top with the cooked pork and serve.