Roast Curried Cauliflower

1 medium cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
1 white onion, large dice
1 1/2 cup chickpeas (1 can, drained and rinsed)
2/3 cups olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon double-concentrated tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pinch cayenne
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put cauliflower florets, onion and chickpeas in large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, tomato paste, curry powder, paprika, cayenne, and salt. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in a single layer onto a sheet pan. Roast vegetables until tender and roasty-toasty, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Taste vegetables and add salt if needed.Mix in fresh cilantro and serve.
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Soy-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oil for greasing the pan
1¼ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Black pepper

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 13- by 18-inch baking sheet. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the peanut oil, soy sauce, mustard, and a little black pepper. Transfer to the greased baking sheet in an even layer and roast until the sprouts are partially tender, about 15 minutes. Stir and raise the oven temperature to 400°F. Continue to roast, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the sprouts are browned and fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

David Chang’s Brussels Sprouts

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
1/4 pound thick-cut bacon
Butter (optional)
Sriracha hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

With a knife, trim the hard, woody ends of the sprouts, then slice in half lengthwise through the core.

Cut the bacon into small chunks and cook in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat till crispy, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Drain most of the fat from the pan and add the sprouts, cut-side down. Raise the heat to medium high and sear until the sprouts begin to sizzle. Put the skillet in the oven and roast until the sprouts are deeply browned, 8 minutes or so, then shake the pan to redistribute them and ?ip them over. Pull the pan from the oven when the sprouts are bright green and fairly tender (taste one to check), about 10 minutes more, depending on how large they are.

Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat. Stir in the bacon and, if you want, a pat or two of butter. Swirl till incorporated.

Place in a bowl. Add a few squirts of sriracha hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it, and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve with anything.

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Roasted Pork with Prunes


3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice berries, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
2 bay leaves
Few thyme branches
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed, about 1 pound

4 ounces pitted prunes, about 16 large
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 to 4 large shallots, finely diced, about 1/3 cup
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Madeira or port, optional
2 teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water.

To brine the pork: Dissolve the salt and brown sugar in 2 cups cold water in a glass or stainless steel bowl large enough to hold the tenderloin. Add the allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. Submerge the meat, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours (overnight is better). Before cooking, remove the tenderloin, pat dry and bring to room temperature. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

To make the sauce and roast: Simmer the prunes in the red wine until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the ginger and orange zest, and steep for 10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the tenderloin, about 3 minutes per side. (Turn off heat and use the same pan to make the sauce.) Transfer the tenderloin to a small roasting pan. Roast uncovered for about 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. (Residual heat will cause the meat to continue to cook a bit while resting.)

To finish the sauce, melt the butter in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and thyme, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened, stirring with a wooden spoon. Scrape up any browned bits to enrich the sauce. Add chicken broth, turn up the heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in the prunes and wine, and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the Madeira if using. Taste and correct the seasoning, then add the potato starch mixture and cook for another minute to thicken. Spoon sauce and prunes over the sliced tenderloin.

Brined Pork Tenderloin

1 cup hard apple cider, such as Woodchuck Amber or Granny Smith
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise pod, or ½ teaspoon anise seed or fennel seed
½ teaspoon allspice berries
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, briefly rolled between hands to release oils
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the cider, salt, and brown sugar in a medium glass or stainless steel bowl with 2 cups lukewarm water. Whisk until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.

Gently crush the cinnamon stick, star anise, allspice berries, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle until fragrant and crumbly. (You can also put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy skillet, or you can pulse them 2 or 3 times in a spice grinder.) Add the spices to the brine, along with the bay leaves and thyme, and stir gently to distribute evenly.

Submerge the tenderloin in the brine, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat the oven to 400°F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the tenderloin from the brine, pick off and discard any spice shards, and pat completely dry with paper towels. Allow to return to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Put the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the tenderloin and cook, turning every 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total.

Transfer the tenderloin to the baking sheet, and roast until its juices run clear and/or a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest point reads 140°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the tenderloin from the oven, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut into medallions on a bias, and serve. (Store leftover tenderloin wrapped in foil or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to a few days.)

Maple Pecan Blondies

Makes one 9×13 pan blondies (about 30 2×2 servings).
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces maple sugar candy, chopped

Maple Butter Glaze
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper so that the ends fall over the long sides of the pan. Grease very lightly with butter or baking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, chopped pecans, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl or large measuring pitcher, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold together quickly and firmly until completely combined. Fold in the chopped maple sugar candy.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan. It will be quite thick and sticky. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the center is just barely cooked and set. The blondies should be very soft still.

While the blondies are baking, make the maple butter glaze: Melt the butter in a small saucepan then stir in the maple syrup and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat (watch out that it doesn’t boil over) and cook at a full boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Drizzle the warm glaze over the blondies. Reserve any leftover glaze and refrigerate, well covered. It will last for at least a week in the refrigerator, and can be used for serving the blondies, or drizzled over ice cream.

Set the blondies aside to cool for at least a full hour. Lift out of the pan using the parchment to lift them straight up. Cut into small squares to serve.

Pimentón Roast Chicken and Potatoes

For chickens:

8 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
2 3 1/2–4-pound whole chickens
2 large bunches fresh thyme
For potatoes:

2-3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
Smoked paprika (for dusting)

Rinse and VERY thoroughly dry chickens. Mix garlic, salt, oil, and both paprikas in a small bowl; mix to blend well. Using your hands, smear paste all over outside of chickens, rubbing to coat the skin. It will be clumpy, don’t worry. Place 1 bunch of thyme inside the cavity of each bird. Chill, uncovered, for at least 6 hours or overnight (for more flavor).

Let chickens stand at room temperature for 1 hour. If paste has clumped, rub to evenly distribute. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then lengthwise into 4 thick wedges (steak-fry style). Place in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle in oil and, using your hands, toss well to coat. Spread potatoes in a single layer in a large roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Place chickens side by side atop potatoes in roasting pan.

Roast chickens and potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; turn potatoes, rearranging chickens if needed. Reduce oven heat to 425°F. Continue roasting chickens and potatoes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thighs registers 165° F, 20-35 minutes longer. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving chicken. Keep potatoes warm in oven until chicken is carved and ready to be served.

Transfer potatoes to 1–2 platters; sprinkle with parsley and scallions. Arrange chickens on top of potatoes. Dust lightly with smoked paprika.

Spice-Infused Milk

aromatics: Ginger, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Star Anise, Cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg, Chiles

Heat milk with the spices and aromatics in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring once or twice, just until steaming. Cover pan, and let spices steep in milk for 1 hour. Strain, and reheat if necessary. Or refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days; reheat gently before using.

Ideas for using Spiced-Infused Milk:

Oatmeal: Infuse 2 cups whole milk with 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1 cinnamon stick, or the pod and seeds of half a vanilla bean. Add to oatmeal.

Swedish coffee: Steep 18 lightly crushed green cardamom pods in 2 cups whole milk. Add to coffee.

Hot chocolate: For spicy Mexican-inspired cocoa, infuse 2 cups whole milk with 1 or 2 dried chiles along with 1 cinnamon stick and the pod and seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean. Mix with cocoa.

Chai tea: Steep thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece), 6 whole cloves, 3 star anise, 18 lightly crushed green cardamom pods, and 2 cinnamon sticks in 2 cups whole milk. Mix with black tea.

Beef Stew over Mashed Potatoes

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 pounds Beef Stew Meat (chuck Roast Cut Into Chunks)
Salt And Pepper
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
4 ounces, weight Tomato Paste
4 cups Low Sodium Beef Stock Or Broth, More If Needed For Thinning
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
4 whole Carrots, Peeled And Diced
2 whole Turnips, Peeled And Diced
2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
Mashed Potatoes
5 pounds Russet Potatoes (peeled)
1 package (8 Ounce) Cream Cheese, Softened
1 stick Butter, Softened
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Preparation Instructions

Salt and pepper stew meat. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add butter, and as soon as it melts, brown half the stew meat until the outside gets nice and brown, about 2 minutes. (Turn it as it browns.) Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate. Add the rest of the meat to the pot and brown it, too. Remove it to the same plate. Set the meat aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the pot, stirring it to coat it in all the brown bits in the bottom of the pot. Cook for two minutes, then add the tomato paste to the pot. Stir it into the onions and let it cook for two more minutes.

Pour in the beef stock, stirring constantly. Add the beef back to the pot, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.

After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, add the diced turnips and carrots to the pot. Stir to combine, put the lid back on the pot, and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be very thick, but if it seems overly so, splash in some beef broth until it thins it up enough. Feel free to add beef broth as needed!

When the carrots and turnips are tender, stir in minced parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve piping hot in a bowl with mashed potatoes, letting the juice run all over everything. Sprinkle with extra minced parsley at the end.


Cut the potatoes into quarters and cover with water in a large pot. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 25-30 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then put them back into the same pot. With the heat on low, mash the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes to release as much steam as possible.

Turn off heat, then add cream cheese, butter, cream, seasoned salt, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve potatoes immediately or spread them into a buttered baking dish to be reheated later. To reheat, put them in a 375 degree oven, covered in foil, until hot.

Yellow Lentil Cakes with Poached Eggs

3/4 cup yellow lentils, rinsed three times in cold water and drained
1 tsp fine sea salt, plus more for the eggs
6 eggs (4 are to poach)
1/3 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
1 medium green onion, sliced into thin pieces
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 ounce finely grated Idiazabal cheese (you can use Manchego or Parmesan)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Red peppercorns, to top the eggs

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add the yellow lentils. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes until tender, but not too mushy. Drain the lentils and transfer to a large bowl.

Lightly whisk 2 of the eggs and add to the lentils along with the breadcrumbs, green onion, chopped herbs, Idiazabal, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Take about 1/4 cup of mixture, roll into balls and then gently flatten the ball slightly to form the cakes.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and add the lentil cakes to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the cakes take on a golden brown color. Turn the cakes over and finish cooking on the other side. Finish cooking all the cakes and keep them in a heated oven or warming drawer.

In the meantime, fill a medium saucepan with about 5 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat and add the white wine vinegar. Crack the eggs into a clean shallow bowl. With the help of a wooden spoon, stir the water in a circular motion and as the water is swirling, gently add the eggs in the water. Make sure the water is boiling lightly but we don’t want it to boil too briskly. Reduce heat if needed. With a slotted spoon, turn the eggs slightly so the egg white encases the yolk. Cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes until the white is cooked but the yolk is still liquid. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain the excess water. Serve them immediately over the lentil cakes and sprinkle a bit more sea salt on top and some red peppercorn flakes.

The lentil cakes can also be frozen and heated in the oven.

Strange-Flavor Eggplant


1 to 1 1/2 pound eggplant
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes (or to taste)

3 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot water

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Remove the leaves from the eggplant and prick in several places. Bake, turning once, until fork-tender, 20 – 40 minutes. Remove eggplant from oven and slit lengthwise to speed cooling.

While still warm, remove the stem end and peel, scraping off the pulp and reserving. Process the pulp in a food processor until nearly smooth.

Combine aromatics in a small bowl. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

In a large skillet over med-high heat, add oil and swirl to coat. Cook aromatics until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the sauce and simmer briefly (30 seconds?). Add eggplant puree to skillet and stir well to blend and heat through.

Remove from heat, taste and adjust chile flakes, sugar or vinegar to achieve a well-balanced flavor. Stir in sesame oil. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld. Serve at room temperature.

Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale

1/2 cup olive oil, divided
4 large links of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I used half of this, preferring the sausage to not dominate the soup’s flavor)
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced or diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons or diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced (reserve half for later in recipe)
Kosher salt
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 cups shredded or thinly ribboned Swiss chard leaves or kale
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese to finish

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pot) in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrots, first two garlic cloves, a pinch fo salt, and if you like your soup spicy, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook with the sausage until the vegetables soften a bit, another 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, water, more salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. (It might be necessary to add more water if the soup gets too thick, though we preferred ours on the thick side.)

When the lentils are cooked, add the chard and cook until the leaves are tender, just a few minutes more. Discard the bay leaves.

To finish, divide soup among bowls, then add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 garlic cloves to a small skillet and heat over medium until the garlic softens and hisses. Drizzle this over soup bowls, and top with fresh Romano, passing more at the table. Leftovers will keep for several days in the fridge.