New-Fashioned Corn Pudding

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the onions
2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and minced
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4 cobs)
3/4 cup grated sharp-as-possible cheddar
6 tablespoons cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Set a medium skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it’s melted, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Turn off the heat.

Add the garlic and mustard, and stir. Let cool while you tend to the rest of the recipe.

Heat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9×9 inch baking dish (or other 1 1/2 quart–sized baking dish).

Combine the cream, buttermilk, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and hot sauce in a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk with a fork until smooth.

Combine the corn kernels, cheddar, cornmeal, and baking powder in another, larger bowl. Stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until combined.

Add the cooled onion mixture and stir. Add the liquid mixture and stir.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes until the casserole has puffed up, is deeply browned along the edges, and browning on top. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

Paneer Bhurjee with English Peas

For the onion masala with English peas:

4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds
3 cups freshly diced onions
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
1 tablespoon cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups blanched English peas
1 tablespoon fresh chilies, sliced

Homemade paneer (recipe below)
1/4 cup cilantro chiffonade
1/4 cup mint chiffonade

Place a large sauté pan over moderate heat and add the canola oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they pop like popcorn.

Add the onions and continue to cook over moderate heat until they cook down and start to caramelize.

Add the ginger and garlic to the pan, cooking for about 4 minutes.

Add the cumin, cayenne, and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes.

Then, add the tomatoes and cook until the entire mixture thickens.

Season with salt, to taste. (This mixture can be pre-made and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Stir in the English peas and fresh chilies, combining until they heat up in the mixture.

Finally, stir in the homemade paneer, mint, and cilantro. Mix well and season with salt, to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

For the homemade paneer:

1 gallon organic whole fat milk
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup lime or lemon juice
3 cups ice

In a large pan, slow bring the milk to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Once the milk is boiling, stir in the salt.

Add the lime juice gradually, gently stirring to curdle the milk.

Once the curd separates, let cook for 1 minute.

Shock the mixture with ice, then drain into a single layer of cheese cloth. The paneer should be soft, moist, and creamy.

(For firmer paneer: Drain it for longer. For solid paneer: Place it into a muslin cloth and into a paneer mold; press it with a lid and put a water-filled jar or bowl on top to apply pressure; remove the paneer from the mold after 1-2 hours.) If you don’t plan on using the paneer right away, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Claypot Chicken and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 thumb ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
4 chicken thigh fillets, each cut into 6 pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons basmati rice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
250ml chicken stock

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and gently soften the onion.

Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute.

Put the brown sugar, rice and fish sauce into the pan, give it all a good stir then add the chicken and the stock.

Simmer gently for 12-15 minutes until the chicken and the rice is cooked.

Serve with a little chilli sauce if desired.

Khao Suey (Burmese Curry Noodle Soup)

For the curry base

2 tablespoons oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken, cubed
2 teaspoons powdered coriander
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1/2 cup puréed tomatoes (optional)
2 tablespoons tamari
3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup coconut milk
1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped cauliflower
6 ounces rice noodles (medium thickness), preferably fresh
1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

To garnish

1/4 cup oil for frying
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Sliced jalapeno peppers
Sliced scallions
Thinly sliced carrots

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil, add the red onion, and cook for about five minutes, until soft and wilted. Keep stirring until the onion begins to turn pale golden at the edges.

Add the finely grated ginger and the garlic and mix well.

Add the chicken, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red cayenne pepper and mix well. Cook the chicken for about 2 minutes, until no longer pink.

Add in the puréed tomatoes if using and the tamari or soy sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Mix in the broth and the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini, red bell pepper, and the cauliflower and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add in the noodles and cook until they’re al dente (if using fresh rice noodles, this will only take a couple of minutes).

While the soup is cooking, heat the oil and fry the garlic until crisp and golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

Add the thinly sliced shallots to the hot oil and fry until crisp and place in a bowl.

Arrange the remaining garnishes in individual bowls and serve with the noodle soup. Cut the lime, squeeze the juice into the soup, and add in the chopped cilantro. Serve with the garnishes.

Burmese Tomato Salad

250 grams tomatoes (approx. 2-3 medium), cut into bite size chunks
1 shallot, medium, thinly sliced
20 grams garlic, peeled
5 grams green chilis (Thai bird chilis), roughly chopped
15 grams roasted peanuts (Planters work just fine), coarsely crushed. Choose your weapon to crush: mortar and pestle, rolling pin, can of soup.
1-2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced into hair-like shreds
1 handful cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped
1/2 tablespoon chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan), toasted. Easily found in Indian stores, Asian stores, or other specialty stores.
2 tablespoons “tep say an lien” or crisp-fried, seasoned tiny shrimp (easily found in Asian stores in the ready to eat snacks aisle)
1 tablespoon peanut oil or vegetable oil
pinches kosher salt to taste

Begin by toasting 1/2 a cup of chickpea flour in a cast iron pan or skillet set on medium heat. Keep stirring every 2 minutes or so. At the 7-8 minute mark, it’ll start to change color and your nose will start to pick up a wonderful, nutty aroma. At this point, stir every 30 seconds or so for an additional 3-4 minutes, until it resembles the color of finely powdered graham crackers. Remove pan off the heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container and use any extra in Burmese-style vegetable salads or as a thickener/base in soups and curries.

Next, put garlic and green chilis in a blender and pulse a couple of times to get a chunky mix with easily distinguishable pieces of garlic and chili; at no point should it become a paste.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small wok and cook the garlic-chili blend in it until it turns an even golden brown.
Carefully remove the fried garlic-chili blend gently pressing against the side of the wok as you do, so as to leave most of the oil in the wok. Wait for the wok to cool down a bit.

Next, add a 1/2 tablespoon of toasted chickpea flour into the residual oil in the wok and stir it in to instantly form an emulsified dressing of sort. Follow with tomatoes, shallot, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro and give it a good mix. At this point, you can stick it into the refrigerator for a couple of hours until ready to eat.

This salad can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold. Remember to salt only when ready to eat. After salting, garnish with fried garlic-chili blend, crushed peanuts, and crisp-fried dried shrimp.