Almond Sponge Cake

[makes two 8-inch cakes]

4 cups ground almond
1 cup all purpose flour
10 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoons almond extract
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
10 eggs
2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 30°F/ 170°C.

Separate the egg whites and yolks. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix on high speed until pale yellow, about 10 minutes.

Fold the ground almonds into the flour with a rubber spatula. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add one third of the flour mixture to the yolk mixture. Add the next third and incorporate well, then add the rest.

In another large dry bowl, with a clean whisk, bring the egg whites to foam. Once they are white and frothy, add the remaining the sugar and continue to whip until firm.

Using a large rubber spatula, fold a quarter of the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in with the spatula, then add the rest of the whites and fold in. Stop as soon as the whites are incorporated.

Add the melted butter and gently fold in with the spatula until well incorporated.

Transfer the batter to 2 greased 8-inch baking pans and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the cakes are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Note: these two cakes make 4 layers.

[Adapted from the book Laduree Sucre]

7 tb /100g butter
3/4 cup / 100 g confectioners’ sugar
1 cup / 100 g ground almonds
1 tb (10g) cornstarch
2 eggs
1 tb almond extract
1 tb rum
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Cut the butter into small pieces and put in a large heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water or in the microwave to soften until creamy, without allowing it to melt.

Incorporate the remaining ingredients into the butter, making sure to mix well after each addition: confectioner’ sugar, ground almonds, cornstarch, eggs, almond extract, rum and condensed milk.

Chicken Pot Pie with Chive Biscuits

2 chicken breasts, split with bone and skin on
4 carrots, 1-inch dice
8 small red potatoes, 1-inch dice
2 tbs of olive oil
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
4 tbs of butter
4 tbs of flour
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of half-and-half
1 cup of frozen peas

1 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of chives
1/2 stick of butter
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup of milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Start by placing the chicken breasts on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then salt & pepper. On another sheet pan, place the carrots and potatoes and also drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Roast them in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on thickness of the chicken breast.

In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-low heat stir in flour, whisking until smooth. Let the flour and butter cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock and continue to whisk over low heat until smooth.

Add in the half-and-half. Whisk until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until thick and bubbly – whisk constantly, or at lease every minute to keep it from burning on the bottom. When it is thick, turn off the heat.

When the vegetables and chicken have finished roasting, let them cool for 3-5 minutes. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and chop it up into 1-inch cubes. Add the chicken, carrots and potatoes into the cream sauce. Add the peas. Pour the mixture into a pie plate or other oven proof dish.

In a mixer, combine flour, baking powder, chives and salt using the paddle attachment. Cut the cold butter into 1/2 inch pieces. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until the butter is mixed in and is the size of peas. In a separate bowl, mix together egg and milk with a fork. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the milk and egg mixture. Turn off the mixer once added.

Put some flour on the counter. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Add some flour onto the top of the dough, then roll it out into a disk – about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut the disk into 6 biscuits, using a biscuit cutter or glass.

Place the biscuits on top of the chicken stew.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cups Finely Diced Onion
½ cups Finely Diced Carrot
½ cups Finely Diced Celery
3 cups Shredded Cooked Chicken Or Turkey
¼ cups Flour
3 cups Low-sodium Chicken Broth, Plus More If Needed
Splash Of White Wine (optional)
¼ teaspoons Turmeric
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Chopped Fresh Thyme To Taste
¼ cups Half-and-half Or Cream
1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust
1 whole Egg
2 Tablespoons Water

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Stir them around until the onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the chicken or turkey and then sprinkle the flour over the top and stir it until it’s all combined with the turkey and vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, then pour in the chicken broth (and wine if using) and stir it around and let it cook and thicken.

Once it starts to thicken add the turmeric, salt, pepper, and thyme.

Add the half-and-half or cream, then stir the mixture and let it bubble up and thicken, about 3 minutes. If it seems overly thick, splash in a little more broth. Turn off the heat.

Pour the filling into a 2-quart baking dish. Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface and lay it over the top of the dish. Press the dough so that the edges stick to the outside of the pan. Use a knife to cut little vents here and there in the surface of the dough.

Mix together the egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush it all over the surface of the crust. (You will have some egg wash left over.)

Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly. To prevent the crust from getting too brown, you might want to cover it lightly with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking time.

Thai Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
2 teaspoons ?sh sauce (nam pla)
1 fresh hot red or green pepper, preferably Thai, deseeded and ?nely sliced

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly. Mix 1/4 cup (65 ml) of the syrup with the ginger, lime juice, vinegar, ?sh sauce, and chili in a small bowl. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Discard the remaining syrup.

Soft Apricots with Riesling and Vanilla Bean

2 tablespoons (24 grams) sugar
7 or 8 apricots (450 grams, or 1 pound), halved and pitted
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped free
1/2 cup off-dry riesling

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Measure the sugar into a saucer or a small plate. Press the apricot halves, cut side down, into the sugar: each one should wind up with a nice sugar crust on one side. Arrange the apricots, skin side down, in a baking dish that will comfortably hold them all in a single layer. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the baking dish – don’t worry if they clump – and wiggle the vanilla bean down between the apricots. Pour the riesling into the dish, taking care to pour it between the apricots, so that you don’t wash away the sugar.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the apricots are tender. [Alternatively, you can do this all on the stove, placing the apricots in a large skillet with a lid and cooking them very gently over very low heat, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes.] Sometimes they start to fall apart, and that’s okay, but I like them best when they maintain their shape and barely resist the fork. Allow them to cool, and then carefully layer them in a jar, and pour the syrupy juices over the top. Chill thoroughly. They’re best eaten icy cold, and as long as they’re covered in syrup, they’ll keep for more than a week.

Serve the apricots with a drizzle of their vanilla-flecked syrup, or with a scoop of ice cream (salted caramel is very good) or a spoonful of plain yogurt.

Grilled Chicken with Apricot Miso Glaze

For the chicken:
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Vegetable oil

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and grated on a microplane (or crushed in a garlic press)
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water

Place the chicken thighs in a bowl. Drizzle with a little oil and season with salt. Mix to coat each piece and set aside in the refrigerator.

Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. While it is heating, make the glaze in a small saucepan. Warm the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until sizzling and fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently, and remove from heat.

Place the chicken thighs on the hot grill and let cook undisturbed until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip chicken and brush the tops with the warm glaze. Grill until browned on the second side. Flip, brush again with the glaze and grill for about one minute. Repeat two more times, so that each side has two coatings of glaze. Flip and grill for about one minute after the final glazing. Thighs should be slightly charred and cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Remove from grill and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes
This glaze would work equally well on other chicken cuts, such as drumsticks, breasts, and bone-in chicken thighs. Adjust the initial cooking time so that the chicken is almost cooked through before you brush on the glaze.

Other types of miso paste, stone fruit jam and vinegar would be just as tasty. A couple ideas: yellow miso paste + peach jam + sherry vinegar, red miso paste + plum jam + red wine vinegar.

Yogurt Raita with Chile and Mint

1 1/2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon finely diced red chile, like Fresno or red jalapeño
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons chopped mint

Put yogurt in a bowl. Stir in ginger, diced chile and salt.

Put oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds and let sizzle until seeds begin to pop, about 1 minute. Carefully stir hot contents of skillet into yogurt.

Add chopped mint, cover and let flavors mingle for at least 15 minutes. Raita may be prepared several hours before serving.

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Corn

2 cups Basmati rice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch saffron
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cardamom pods
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears corn)
1 cup golden raisins
2 cups chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1/4 cup roasted cashews (optional)

Put rice in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Swish with fingers, then pour off water. Repeat 2 or 3 times, until water runs clear. Cover again with cold water and soak 20 minutes, then drain.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter or ghee in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, saffron, coriander, cumin, cloves, peppercorns and cardamom, and stir to coat. Let sizzle a bit, then add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter or ghee, the rice and the corn, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add raisins and 2 cups broth or water and bring to brisk simmer. Taste cooking liquid for salt and adjust if necessary.

Cover with tightfitting lid, turn heat to low and let cook 15 minutes. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes off heat. Fluff rice and transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro, scallions and cashews, if desired. Serve with yogurt raita.

Quick Sesame Noodles

12 ounces, fluid Thin Noodles, Cooked And Drained

1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
4 Tablespoons Canola Oil

4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin (for serving)

Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.

Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

Serve in a bowl with chopsticks

Orange Vanilla Monkey Bread

3 cans (7.5 Ounces Each) Buttermilk Biscuits (not The Flaky Kind), Cold
1 cup Sugar
2 whole Oranges, Zested
1 dash Salt
2 sticks Salted Butter
3/4 cups Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Preparation Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

First, make sure all the biscuit cans are very cold.

Open all the cans of biscuits and cut the biscuits into quarters. Fill a large Ziplock bag with the granulated sugar, the orange zest, and the dash of salt. Seal the bag and shake it around until the zest and the sugar are totally combined. Add the biscuit pieces to the bag, seal it and shake/toss it around until all the biscuit pieces are coated in the orange sugar. Pour the pieces into a bundt or tube pan and set it aside.

In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the butter then stir in the brown sugar and vanilla until just barely combined. Pour the mixture all over the biscuit pieces, scraping the pan to get all the butter/brown sugar out of there. Let it settle for a second, then place the pan in the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top of the biscuits are golden brown. Then remove the pan from the oven and set it on a rack. Let the pan sit for at least 10 minutes (but no more than 15), then turn the cake out of the pan onto a cake plate.

Note: When it first comes out of the pan, the melted sugar/caramel will be a little on the hot side. Wait a few minutes after turning it out before serving.

Potato Soup with Cheddar and Bacon

6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
3 stalks Celery, Diced
6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender.

Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine.

Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.

Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.

Sour Cream Pancakes

1 cup Sour Cream
7 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 whole Large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Butter, For Frying And Serving
Warm Syrup, For serving

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream with the dry ingredients until just barely combined (don’t overmix.) Whisk in the egg mixture until just combined.

Heat a griddle over medium-low heat and melt some butter in the pan. Drop batter by 1/4 cup servings onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles start to form on the surface and edges are starting to brown. Flip to the other side and cook for another minute. (Pancakes will be a little on the soft side.)

Serve with softened butter and syrup.

Beef and Snow Peas

1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and toss with hands. Reserve the other half of the liquid. Set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chili Sauce

1 pound brussels sprouts, stem trimmed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Heat the oven to 400F. On a baking sheet, toss the brussels sprouts in cooking oil to coat evenly. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing them halfway so they cook evenly. Remove brussels sprouts from the oven and turn on oven broiler to high, with the oven rack positioned in the top third of the oven.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the brussels sprouts, tossing to coat evenly. Broil the brussels sprouts for 5 minutes or until the sugar in the chili sauce is bubbling and caramelizing. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn! Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Pork and Pumpkin Stew

2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. chicken demi-glace
2 tsp. tomato paste
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 Tbs. cider vinegar
3 Tbs. applesauce
9 oz. canned diced tomatoes with juices
1 lb. peeled and diced (3/4-inch dice) pumpkin or winter squash, such as kabocha
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
4 tsp. chicken stock concentrate mixed with 2 cups water, or 2 cups chicken stock
Mashed potatoes for serving (see related recipe at left)
Sautéed broccoli rabe for serving
Preheat an oven to 325°F.

Season the pork with salt and black pepper. In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, demi-glace, tomato paste, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, applesauce, tomatoes with their juices, pumpkin, sage, stock and pork. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the pork is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Skim the fat off the sauce. Serve the stew over mashed potatoes and pass sautéed broccoli rabe alongside. Serves 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Vietnamese Beef Salad

For the spicy marinade:
2 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 Thai chili, seeded and thinly sliced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1 flank steak, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lb., trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into small pieces
1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and shredded
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. minced fresh basil, plus small leaves for garnish
2 Tbs. minced fresh mint, plus small leaves for garnish
2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro, plus small leaves for garnish
1 lb. Asian cellophane noodles, soaked in water until soft, then drained
To make the marinade, in a bowl, whisk together the ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, green onions, shallot, chili, lime zest and lime juice. Spoon half of the marinade into a small serving bowl and set aside.

Using a sharp knife, score the steak on both sides in a crosshatch pattern, cutting no more than 1/2 inch deep. Place the steak in a shallow dish, pour the remaining marinade over the top and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

Remove the steak from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the dish; discard the marinade. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the steak on the grill directly over the heat and cook, turning once and brushing with some of the reserved marinade, until done to your liking. Transfer to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Assemble the salad in individual bowls by dividing equal portions of the lettuces, carrot, cucumber, red onion, minced basil, mint, cilantro and noodles among them. Pour 1 Tbs. of the reserved marinade over each portion.

Slice the steak across the grain into thin strips and place on top of the noodles and salad greens. Garnish with the basil, mint and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately, passing the remaining marinade at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2012).

Flank Steak Salad with Romesco

For the smoked paprika marinade:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1 Tbs. Spanish sweet smoked paprika
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves

1 beef flank steak, 2 3/4 lb.
2 small red onions
3 bell peppers (1 each yellow, red and orange)
4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbs. fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp. Spanish sweet smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 jarred piquillo peppers
1 1/2 Tbs. chopped blanched almonds
1/2 large head green leaf lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
To make the smoked paprika marinade, in a nonreactive bowl, stir together the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, paprika, garlic and oregano until blended.

Lay the flank steak in a nonreactive baking dish and add the marinade. Turn the steak a few times to coat it with the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight, turning once or twice.

About 1 hour before cooking, remove the flank steak from the refrigerator. Cut the onions crosswise into rounds 1/2 inch thick (do not separate the layers). Cut the bell peppers into wide planks, removing and discarding the stems, seeds and ribs. Brush the vegetables with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Prepare a grill for direct-heat grilling over medium-high heat.

In a food processor, combine the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, the orange juice, vinegar, paprika, garlic, piquillo peppers, almonds, a scant 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Process until a relatively smooth dressing forms, about 15 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.

Grill the onions and peppers, turning once, until softened and lightly charred on both sides, 7 to 10 minutes for the onions and about 15 minutes for the peppers. Transfer to a plate.

Remove the meat from the marinade and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until browned on both sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 130°F for medium-rare, 10 to 15 minutes total, or until cooked to your liking.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Cut the peppers into 1/2-inch-wide strips and separate the onion slices into rings.

In a bowl, toss the lettuce with 1/8 tsp. salt. Divide the lettuce among individual plates. Thinly slice the steak on the diagonal. Top each mound of lettuce with an equal amount of the steak, onion and peppers. Spoon the dressing over each salad, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with a little parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salads, by Dina Cheney (Oxmoor House, 2009).

Flank Steak with Radicchio and Plums

1 lb. trimmed flank steak
Kosher salt, to taste
2 cups red wine
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head radicchio, sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
3 plums (just underripe is best), cut in half, pitted and thinly sliced
3/4 cup thinky sliced red onion, soaked in cold water for at least half an hour
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Season the steak with salt. Let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill.

Place the steak on the grill directly over the heat and cook for 1 minute per side. Move the steak so it is as far away from the heat as possible. Cover the grill and cook for 8 minutes, then flip the steak and cook for 4 minutes more. Depending on the heat of your fire, the steak should be about medium-rare at this point. If this is the desired doneness for you (which is recommended), remove the steak and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. If you prefer your steak cooked longer, allow 4 minutes more for medium, 7 for medium-well and 10 for well-done; remember that these times are approximate, depending on the heat of your fire.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the wine and vinegar. Boil over high heat until the mixture has reduced to 3 to 4 Tbs. Remove it from the heat, add honey, salt, and pepper, and whisk in the olive oil.

To serve, in a bowl, mix the radicchio, most of the plums, and parsley. Toss with 3/4 of the vinaigrette. Season with a little salt and toss to combine. Arrange the salad on a large platter. Using a very sharp knife, slice the steak on a slight bias against the grain. Fan the steak slices around the platter. Toss the onions and remaining plums on top. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salad and steak and then sprinkle a few gratings of nutmeg (you can use a nutmeg grater or Microplane for this) over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Pappardelle with Bolognese

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/4 lb. (625 g) ground beef
1 1/4 lb. (625 g) ground pork
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 oz. (125 g) pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) tomato paste
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) dry red wine
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) milk
2 cans (each 28 oz./875 g) whole tomatoes, passed through a
food mill
2 bay leaves
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
1 lb. (500 g) pappardelle, cooked until al dente and drained
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the ground beef and pork, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the ground meats, pancetta, milk, tomatoes, bay leaves and cheese rind. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Cover partially, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves and cheese rind.

Toss the pasta with about 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) of the sauce (reserve the remaining sauce for another use). Sprinkle cheese on top. Serve immediately and pass additional cheese alongside. Serves 4 to 6.