Tamarind Spiced Cashews with Mint

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate or paste
1 pound roasted unsalted cashews
70 grams unsweetened coconut flakes (about 1 cup)
Large pinch cayenne, plus more to taste
10 grams ground garam masala, preferably freshly toasted and ground (about 1 tablespoon)
8 grams coarse kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling (about 1 1/4 teaspoons)
Chopped fresh mint, for serving

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium pot, melt butter, honey, brown sugar, tomato paste and tamarind. Add nuts, coconut, cayenne, garam masala and salt and toss until coated. Spread on baking sheet.

Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is toasted and sugars have begun to caramelize. Sprinkle nuts lightly with salt and let cool completely. Before serving, break up nuts and sprinkle with mint. (Nuts can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, but don’t add mint until serving.)

Italian Pantry Soup

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced fennel or celery
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 large thyme sprig
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
2 pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks (or beans or lentils)
8 ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into 1/2-inch ribbons (about 4 cups total)
1/2 pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Other options: for example, more vegetables, like celery and carrot; some tomato, a little or a lot; bacon or pancetta or ham; or beef or chicken broth.

In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and fennel, stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes.

Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil. Pass extra Parmesan at the table.

Classic Butter Chicken

The dish was created as a way to keep cooked/leftover tandoori chicken from drying out. In case you have not already made Tandoori Chicken (see related recipe), this recipe includes simple instructions for cooking the chicken. The result is not as good as if you make the proper Tandoori Chicken first, but it is simpler.

Serve with finely chopped cilantro, chopped green chile peppers, naan, rice and a good Indian chutney.

Make Ahead: The dish tastes even better after a day’s refrigeration; you may need to add a little cream or water to thin the sauce, which will thicken when once it’s chilled.

FOR THE CHICKEN
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (white and/or dark meat), cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder (may substitute a combination of 2 teaspoons paprika and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger root

FOR THE SAUCE
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, hulled and chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons peeled minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon bright red chili powder, such as Kashmiri chili powder (may substitute a combination of chili powder and paprika; see headnote)
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream

For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil spray.

Combine the chicken meat with lime juice, chili powder, garam masala, salt, yogurt, garlic and ginger in a mixing bowl, then spread evenly over the baking sheet. Roast (middle rack) for 15 to 18 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the tomato; cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

Use a spatula to press the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer back into the pot, or puree with an immersion (stick) blender right in the pot. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chile powder, garam masala and cumin until well blended, then add the chicken, stirring to coat it with sauce. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, just until heated through.

Just before serving, add the butter. Once it has melted, stir in the cream, until well incorporated. Immediately remove from the heat; serve warm.

Classic Tandoori Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (light and dark meat; see headnote)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder (may substitute a combination of 1/2 teaspoon each paprika and cayenne pepper; see headnote)
6 tablespoons plain, full-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons garam masala, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek, or more as needed
Vegetable oil, for basting

Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts in the thickest part of the chicken.

Combine the lime juice and salt in a bowl large enough to hold all the chicken pieces; add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Uncover; add the chile powder, yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala and fenugreek, tossing well to coat and distribute evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (or hotter)

Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers, season with a little more garam masala or fenugreek, if desired. Roast (middle rack) for 5 to 6 minutes. Baste with a little oil and continue roasting for 3 to 4 minutes.

Check if the chicken is done by cutting into one of the larger pieces. If it is still pink in the middle, roast for another 3 to 5 minutes and check again.

Pressure Cooker Pernil Asado

MARINADE:
1/2 cup coarsely chopped garlic (from about 1 medium head)
Leaves from 8 to 10 stems fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh sour orange juice (from about 2 medium; may substitute a 50-50 blend of fresh lemon juice and fresh grapefruit juice)
1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup water, or more as needed
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil

PORK:
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
One 4-pound, bone-in pork shoulder

For the marinade: Combine the garlic, cilantro, citrus juices, oregano and water in a blender; puree to form a smooth, thick liquid. With the motor running, add the oils in a slow, steady stream until evenly incorporated.

For the pork: Combine the salt, oregano and pepper in a small bowl.

Rinse the pork with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Use a sharp knife to cut the skin and/or fat cap on your pork shoulder in a crosshatch pattern, leaving about an inch of space between the cuts. Be sure to slice through the layer of fat below the skin, but not into the meat itself.

Rub the pork all over with the salt mixture, then place in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Add the marinade, pushing it into the nooks and crannies and pressing out as much air as possible, and seal. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 12 to 24 hours.

Let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Reserve the marinade.

Place the pork shoulder fat-cap side up in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 3/4 cup of the marinade and the water. Cover and roast (middle rack) for 3 to 5 hours, until the meat is fork-tender. Use tongs or large forks to flip the roast every hour or so, and use some of the marinade mixture to baste the meat. Add a tablespoon of water or two if the pan is dry. Finish cooking for last hour with fat-cap side up.

To help crisp the fat cap on top of the pork and further brown the meat, uncover the pot and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the meat in a large bowl or on a large cutting board with a channel that can catch the juices. Use two forks to shred the roast pork into bite-size pieces. Add 1/2 cup of the pan juices (or as much as you like), and stir to incorporate.

VARIATION: To make the pernil in an Instant Pot, ask the butcher to remove the bone from pork shoulder and cut the meat into four equal pieces; reserve the bone. Follow the marinating directions above.

Remove the shoulder from the marinade and shake dry; reserve the marinade.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the Instant Pot. Set to SAUTE on high heat; add the hunks of meat and sear them on all sides, about 3 minutes per piece, in batches, then transfer them to a plate.

Add 1 cup of the reserved marinade to the Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape away any blackened bits. Turn off the heat.

Arrange the hunks of pork around in the pot, then baste with the reserved marinade.

Add the bone, cover and cook at high pressure for 80 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cook the marinade over medium heat until slightly reduced; skim fat and season, as needed.

Add the pork and shred it with forks.

Crisp the pork under the broiler, if desired.