Cauliflower Chick Pea Curry

1 Tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
2 teaspoons of yellow curry powder
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and then sliced across the grain (about 1 1/2 cups sliced onion)
1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated (1 teaspoon grated)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (a 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
1 head cauliflower, cored, florets separated
1 15-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (packed) roughly chopped cilantro (leaves and young stems)
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves

Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pot (with lid) on medium heat. Add the curry powder to the oil and let cook for a minute until fragrant. Add the sliced onion, toss with the curried oil. Let cook until softened about 6 to 8 minutes.

Once the onions have softened, add the ginger and the chickpeas, toss to coat with everything. Add the tomatoes, shredding the whole tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pot. Include any tomato juice from the can. Add the cauliflower florets, the salt, pepper, bay leaf, and water. Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cover. Cook 15 to 18 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through and tender.

Remove from heat. Toss with fresh chopped cilantro and minced mint.

Serve with rice or rice pilaf. If you want dollop a little sour cream or plain yogurt over it (non-vegan option).

Mediterranean Potato Salad

4 pounds small new potatoes or fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean
Salted water (1 1/2 teaspoons salt for every quart of water) for cooking the potatoes
1 pound of fresh, tender green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups prepped green beans)
3 large roasted red bell peppers*, core removed, flesh cut into 2 x 1/4-inch strips (about 2 cups, or a 16 ounce jar, drained)
3/4 cup minced red onion
1 cup minced, pitted Kalamata and green olives (mini-chopper works well for this)
A large handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
A large handful of fresh baby arugula leaves

Dressing:

2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or herbes de provence)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil

* To roast bell peppers, rub with a little olive oil, place on an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan under a broiler, broil until all sides are completely blackened, turning as needed. Place the blackened bell peppers in a bowl and cover with a plate until they cool. Then peel off the blackened bits. For more details on various methods to roast bell peppers see: Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers.

Place whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, an inch above the level of the potatoes. Add salt (1 1/2 teaspoons for every quart of water used). Bring to a simmer on high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (or more, depending on the size of the potatoes), until pierced easily with the tines of a fork or a sharp knife. Check frequently for doneness. Once done, drain and place potatoes on a sheet pan to cool. Let cool to room temperature or slightly warm. (You can speed up cooling by placing in the refrigerator if you have space.)

While the potatoes are cooking, bring another pot of salted water to a rolling boil (2 quarts of water, 1 Tbsp salt). Add the green beans. Blanch for 4 to 5 minutes, more or less depending on the age and toughness of the beans. Once cooked until tender, drain and place in a bowl of ice water to shock and stop the cooking.

While the potatoes and green beans are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together in a bowl the mustard, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and olive oil.

Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them into 3/4-inch to 1-inch bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl.

To the bowl add the green beans, strips of roasted peppers, red onion, and olives. Toss with the vinaigrette. Let marinate until ready to serve. Once ready to serve, toss with the parsley and arugula.

Can easily make ahead. Lasts several days in the fridge.

Stir-Fried Pork with Chinese Chives

1 pound pork loin, cut into 2-inch matchsticks less than a quarter inch thick
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, divided
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine, divided
2 tablespoon light soy sauce, divided
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
1/4 pound yellow chives, cut into 2-inch segments
1/4 pounds Chinese chives, cut into 2-inch segments
Kosher salt
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, finely minced

Combine pork, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon wine, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, sesame oil, baking soda, and cornstarch in a medium bowl and toss with fingers until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 15 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

When ready to cook, heat 1 oil in a wok over high heat until heavily smoking. Add yellow chives and Chinese chives and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, until brightly colored and barely tender, about 1 minute. Season with salt. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out wok.

Add another tablespoon oil to the wok and heat over high heat until smoking. Add half of pork, spread into a single layer, and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Cook, tossing and stirring frequently until barely cooked through, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer to bowl with chives. Wipe out wok.

Heat remaining tablessoon oil to the wok and heat over high heat until smoking. Add remaining pork, spread into a single layer, and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Cook, tossing and stirring frequently until barely cooked through, about 30 seconds longer. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions, and cook, tossing constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return other half of pork and chives to the wok and clear a small space in the center. Add remaining wine and soy sauce. Add white pepper. Toss to combine. Season to taste with more salt if necessary. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Thai Chicken Curry and Noodles

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (great) or breasts (okay)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup coconut cream (from the top of a can of coconut milk)
2 tablespoons red curry paste, store-bought or homemade
2 tablespoons kari (“yellow”) curry paste, store-bought or homemade
2 tablespoons packed grated palm sugar or 1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 cups sodium-free chicken stock
6 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into matchsticks 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide and thick
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 ounces mung bean sprouts (about 4 cups)
8 ounces dried rice sticks, 3 millimeters (about 1/8 inch) wide
1/4 cup finely chopped preserved radish (optional)
1/4 cup fried shallots
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts
2 hard- or medium-boiled eggs peeled and halved lengthwise

Table Seasonings
2 or 3 limes, cut into wedges
Fish sauce
Granulated sugar
Red chile powder

Cut the chicken against the grain and on the diagonal into thin, bite-size pieces. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

In a 1-gallon saucepan, combine the vegetable oil, coconut cream, and curry pastes, and stir over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and stir for about 1 minute, until the chicken is coated with the curry paste. Add the sugar, fish sauce, coconut milk, and stock, stir well, and bring to a very gentle boil. When the chicken is cooked through, after 3 to 4 minutes, stir in the tofu and curry powder, mixing well to distribute the curry powder evenly. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting; keep the curry warm.

Have ready 4 large individual serving bowls. Half fill another 1-gallon saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the bean sprouts, stir, and then immediately fish the bean sprouts out of the water with a wire-mesh skimmer, shaking off the excess water. Divide the bean sprouts evenly among the bowls. While the water is still boiling, add the dried noodles, stir to submerge, and cook until they have softened through, about 15 minutes. Taste a strand to make sure they are ready. Drain the cooked noodles through a large colander placed in the sink and rinse off all starchy liquid that clings to them with running hot tap water. Shake off the water. Divide the noodles evenly among the bowls.

Immediately ladle the curry over the noodles, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle each serving with an equal amount of the radish, fried shallots, cilantro, and peanuts. Top each serving with an egg half. Serve immediately with the limes, fish sauce, sugar, and red chile powder for adding as desired.

Red Thai Curry Paste

1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant (about 1 minute)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant (about 1 minute)
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
7 dried Thai long chiles, seeded, soaked in hot water until soft, and drained
10 dried bird’s eye chiles, seeded, soaked in hot water until soft, and drained
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped galangal
2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass
2 teaspoons finely chopped kaffir lime rind
2 teaspoons shrimp paste
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro roots or stems
10 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sliced shallots

Puree everything in a food processor until smooth.

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
3 dried red Thai long chiles, seeded, soaked in hot water to cover until soft, and drained
5 dried bird’s eye chiles, seeded, soaked in hot water to cover until soft, and drained
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped galangal
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
2 teaspoons finely chopped kaffir lime rind
2 teaspoons shrimp paste
4-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro roots
10 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sliced shallots

Puree everything together in a food processor until smooth.