Chocolate Pudding Cake

Butter, room temperature, for baking dish
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for baking dish
6 large eggs, room temperature, separated
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and set a kettle of water to boil. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish; coat with granulated sugar, tapping out excess.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with granulated sugar until lightened in color. Whisk in melted chocolate; set aside.

In a large, clean bowl, using an electric mixer on high, beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Whisk 1/3 of whites into chocolate mixture. Add remaining whites, and gently fold with a rubber spatula just until combined (do not overmix).
4. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish. Set dish in a roasting pan, and pour enough boiling water into pan to come about 1 inch up side of dish. Bake until puffed and just set (center of cake should barely move when jiggled), 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Cherry Almond Cake

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pie plate
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pie plate
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 bag (12 ounces) frozen cherries, thawed and dried
1/2 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (4-cup capacity); set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract. With mixer on low, blend in flour mixture (do not overmix).

Transfer batter to prepared pie plate; scatter cherries and almonds on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Pear Cranberry Crisp

4 to 6 firm pears (6 cups), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chilled (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
Pinch of salt
Vanilla ice cream (if desired)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut 4 to 6 firm pears into 3/4-inch pieces to yield 6 cups. In a large bowl, toss pears with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Add 1 1/2 cups cranberries and 1/3 cup sugar; toss well.

Transfer to six 8-ounce ramekins (or a 3-quart baking dish). Sprinkle with topping; bake until fruit is tender and topping is golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

To make Oatmeal Crisp Topping: In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter until pea-size clumps form. Add 1/4 cup each granulated and light-brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup rolled oats, and a pinch of salt; pulse until large, moist clumps form, about 10 times.

Warm Chocolate Puddings

4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ice cream (any flavor), for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place four 6- to 8-ounce ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally just until melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; mix in 2 tablespoons sugar, then egg yolks and vanilla. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Still beating, gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until mixture is stiff and glossy.

Using a rubber spatula, mix about 1/3 egg-white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture just until combined. Divide among bowls. (Puddings can be prepared in advance up to this point; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 day.)

Bake until tops are puffed and cracked but insides are still quite soft (a toothpick inserted in center will come out gooey), 20 to 25 minutes, or 25 to 30 minutes if puddings were previously refrigerated. Serve, warm or at room temperature (puddings may sink as they cool), topped with ice cream, if desired.

Apple Crisp

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
* 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
* 3 pounds apples, such as Empire, Gala, or Braeburn, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Transfer to freezer to chill while you prepare apples.

In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Barbecue Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in mustard powder and red-pepper flakes; cook 30 seconds.

Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, molasses, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Individual Grilled New England Seafood Bake

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 small garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces red new potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 pound skinless cod fillet, cut into four equal pieces
8 ounces frozen uncooked medium shrimp (peeled and deveined), thawed
2 ears corn, quartered
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 hard rolls, halved


Heat grill to medium. In a small bowl, combine butter, dill, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Fold four 14-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half, forming 4 rectangles. Assemble packets: On one half of each of four folded pieces of heavy-duty foil, dividing ingredients evenly, arrange potatoes in a single layer; top with cod, then shrimp. Place 2 pieces of corn on the side. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the butter mixtures and two lemon slices. Fold foil over ingredients, and crimp edges tightly to seal.

Place packets on grill, with potato layer on the bottom. Cook, rotating (but not flipping) packets occasionally, until fish is just cooked through and potatoes are tender, 12 to 14 minutes.

Remove from grill. Slit packets open, and transfer contents to serving bowls. Garnish with dill sprigs; serve with rolls.

Southern Pulled Pork Sandwiches

1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 4 equal pieces
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 soft sandwich rolls, split
Store-bought barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in lower and upper positions. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Place pork in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot; rub with spice mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, and 1/2 cup water; pour over pork. Cover pot, and place in oven on lower rack. Bake until pork is very tender and separates easily when pulled with a fork, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer pork to a work surface, reserving pan juices. With two forks, shred meat. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with pan juices to moisten (you may not need all the juices). Pile pork on rolls, and top with barbecue sauce, if desired.

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
coarse salt and ground pepper
3-pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat

6 crusty white rolls, split in half horizontally


In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together 1/2 cup ketchup, sugar, garlic, sage, oregano, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cut pork in half lengthwise; add to slow cooker, turning to coat. Cover, and cook on low until meat is very tender and falling apart, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours). Meanwhile, prepare Tangy Red Cabbage, if desired.

Transfer pork to a large bowl. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from surface of cooking liquid. With two forks, pull meat apart until shredded. Pour any juices from slow cooker over pork, add remaining cup ketchup, and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Spoon meat onto bottom half of rolls; add red cabbage, if desired, and top of roll.

Balsamic Steak with Polenta and Grape Tomatoes

2 pints grape tomatoes
6 scallions, white and green parts separated and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (cut into 2 or more pieces, if necessary, to fit in skillet)
1 cup balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, set 4 cups water to boil. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes with scallion whites and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are tender and some skins have split, 12 to 15 minutes; toss with scallion greens.

Meanwhile, add 1 teaspoon salt to boiling water; gradually whisk in cornmeal. Simmer very gently over low heat, whisking occasionally, until polenta is thickened and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Whisk in butter and Parmesan, and keep warm over very low heat (whisk in some water just before serving if polenta becomes too thick).

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high. Season steak with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest, 5 to 10 minutes (reserve skillet).

Add vinegar to skillet, and boil over high until reduced to 1/2 cup, 5 to 7 minutes; stir in any juices from resting steak. Slice steak, and serve with vinegar sauce, polenta, and tomatoes.

Steak Fajitas

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound skirt steak, cut crosswise into 2 equal pieces (if too large for skillet, cut into smaller pieces)
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), halved and thinly sliced
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 to 2 jalapeno chiles (ribs and seeds removed), very thinly sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
sour cream and lime wedges, for serving


In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub steaks all over with spice mixture.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high; add meat (if crowded, cook in two batches). Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board. Tent steaks with aluminum foil, and let rest at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, reduce heat to medium; add bell peppers, onion, and chiles; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add lime juice, and stir, scraping up browned bits in skillet.

Stack tortillas, and wrap in a damp paper towel or kitchen towel. Microwave on high 1 minute. Thinly slice steaks crosswise, and serve with tortillas, peppers, onion, and chiles, along with sour cream and lime wedges.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Lime and Soy

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for grates
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), excess fat and silver skin removed


In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, oil, and ginger. Add pork to marinade, turning to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate, up to overnight).

Heat grill to medium-low; lightly oil grates. Lift tenderloin from marinade; discard marinade. Grill, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork registers 145, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from grill. Tent loosely with aluminum foil; let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Pork Tenderloin with Garlic and Thyme

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 pounds), tied with kitchen twine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together garlic, sage, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over pork.

Heat a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil. Add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven. Roast pork, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 145 degrees to 150 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board; tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Balsamic Glazed Pork (or Sandwiches)

Olive oil, for roasting pan
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 pork tenderloins (3/4 pound each)
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 country rolls, or other small rolls, split
1 large red onion, sliced into thin rounds


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan; set aside. In a small bowl, mix oregano, coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub mixture evenly over pork tenderloins. Place pork in prepared pan.

In a small saucepan, bring vinegar and brown sugar to a boil over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Roast pork 5 minutes; brush with 1/3 of balsamic mixture, coating entirely. Roast another 5 minutes; brush with remaining balsamic mixture. Continue roasting until internal temperature registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes more. Remove from pan. Let rest 10 minutes; slice 1/4 inch thick.

Spread mustard over split rolls, then layer half with pork and onions. Top with remaining bread halves.

Pork Tenderloin with Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

1 pound red new potatoes, thinly sliced
2 pints brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together potatoes, brussels sprouts, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing once.

Meanwhile, combine apricots, shallot, and jam in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Place pork on a work surface. Holding a chef’s knife parallel to work surface, make a pocket by cutting lengthwise down center of tenderloin, stopping about 1/2 inch from other side (avoid cutting all the way through). Open, and stuff with apricot mixture. Spacing evenly, tie 3 to 4 pieces of kitchen twine around pork to close pocket. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove baking sheet from the oven when sprouts and potatoes have roasted 15 minutes. Toss, and push to sides of baking sheet, then place pork in center. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest park of pork (avoiding stuffing) registers 145 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Leeks

2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat and silver skin
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 Gala apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices and halved crosswise
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar


Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. On a broilerproof rimmed baking sheet, rub pork with 1 tablespoon oil; generously season with salt and pepper. Broil, until pork registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest, 10 minutes (temperature will rise about 5 degrees as it sits).

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium. Add leeks and fennel seeds; cook, stirring occaionally, until leeks are tender, about 6 minutes. Add apples, and cook, tossing, until just beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in honey and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice pork, and serve with apples and leeks.

Pork Tenderloin with Honey

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a Dutch oven or ovenproof skillet, heat butter and honey over medium heat, stirring to melt butter. Season pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and place in pan. Cook until underside is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn pork, and cook until other side is browned, about 5 minutes more. Lower the heat if the honey begins to burn.

Put pan in the oven, and roast until pork is just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate.

Add water to the pan, and stir over medium heat to scrape up all the browned bits. Add any accumulated pork juices from the plate, and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Slice pork on the diagonal, and serve drizzled with sauce.

Jerk Chicken with Pineapple

2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (20 ounces each) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 scallions, thinly sliced
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
Cooked rice, for serving


In a small bowl, combine thyme, allspice, cayenne, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set spice mixture aside. In a medium bowl, stir together pineapple, lime juice, scallions, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Season stuffing with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Lay chicken flat on a work surface. With a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slit in the thick side of each breast; insert knife, and pivot inside chicken without enlarging opening, carefully forming a deep pocket (make sure not to pierce the opposite side). Dividing evenly, tightly pack each breast with stuffing; rub exterior with oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture.

Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; arrange chicken on sheet. Broil until chicken is opaque throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into stuffing reads 165, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve stuffed chicken with rice.