Lao Gan Ma Noodles

2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 tablespoons minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite “godmother” sauce (lao gan ma), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped za-cai (pickled radish)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup raw peanuts
200 grams dried rice noodles (this makes a big single serving or two small servings)
A large handful of your leafy greens of choice
A small handful chopped cilantro

First prepare the sauce base in a large bowl by mixing together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, scallion, ginger, garlic, “godmother” sauce, sesame oil, za-cai, and sesame seeds.

Heat the oil in a wok using medium heat, and wok fry the peanuts for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through. Take out the peanuts and drizzle the hot oil left in the wok into the sauce base.

Boil the rice noodles per package instructions. Once the rice noodles are a minute away from done, add in the leafy greens to blanch. Cook for the remaining minute, and then drain the noodles and the greens. Pour the sauce base over the noodles, stir to combine, and top with chopped cilantro.

Sha Cha Chicken Stir Fry

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced (can also substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs)
1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoons minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sha Cha Sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
5 scallions, cut on an angle into 2-inch lengths

In a medium bowl, add the sliced chicken breast, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Mix well.

Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and sear the chicken until it just turns opaque (it can still be slightly pink). Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add another couple tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, sha cha sauce, and sugar, and fry this mixture for 2 minutes.

Then add the chicken back to the wok along with the scallions and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Increase the heat to high, and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the scallions are wilted. Serve immediately with steamed rice!

Sha Cha Beef Stir Fry

1 pound beef, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoons minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sacha Sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
5 scallions, cut on an angle into 2-inch lengths

To the beef, add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Mix well. Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and sear the beef until it just turns opaque (it can still be slightly pink). Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add another couple tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, sacha sauce, and sugar, and fry this mixture for 2 minutes.

Add the scallions and beef back to the wok, along with the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Increase the heat to high, and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the scallions are wilted.

Pressure Cooker Soy Sauce Chicken

2 teaspoons oil
7 slices ginger
2 scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 whole star anise
(3/4) 1 1/2 cups rose-flavored rice wine (mei kwei lu) or shaoxing wine
(3/4) 1 1/2 cups light soy sauce
(2/3) 1 1/4 cups dark soy sauce
(1/2) 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
(1) 2 teaspoons salt
(5) 8 cups water
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

Grab your instant pot. Turn on the sauté setting, and add the oil and ginger. Let it caramelize for about 30 seconds. Then add the scallions and cook another 30 seconds. Add the star anise, rice wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, salt, and water.

Close the lid of the instant pot, and make sure you have your vent set so it is not venting. Cook for 5 minutes on the high pressure cooking setting.

Safely release pressure, open the lid, and carefully lower the chicken thighs into the instant pot.

Cook the chicken for 15 minutes on the high pressure setting. Carefully release the vent when the timer is up. As soon as all the steam has escaped, you can open the instant pot.

Use two forks to shred the chicken into big chunks and serve over rice with sauce spooned over the top. Let the braising liquid cool, and store it in containers in the freezer. When you need it again, let it thaw in the refrigerator and throw it back in the instant pot with more chicken.

Here’s a quick set of guidelines:

If making the full recipe, you can freeze the reserved liquid and use it again 3 to 4 times.
If you halve the recipe, you’ll have less liquid, which is good for 1 to 2 additional uses.
When reusing the liquid, just add more water, more ginger and scallion, and an additional teaspoon of salt, if desired.
If you’d rather use chicken on the bone, you could also make this recipe with bone-in chicken thighs, chicken legs, wings, and/or chicken leg quarters.

Chicken Stir Fry with Nam Prik Pao

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, sliced into ¼-inch thick pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
5 scallions, sliced at an angle into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Thai Chili Sauce (Namprik Pao)
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Add the chicken to a bowl, along with the 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon oil. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, and the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken for 1-2 minutes, until well-seared.

Add the garlic, chilies (if using), bell pepper, scallions, chili sauce, and fish sauce. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Red Curry Noodles with Chicken

8 oz. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 pound fresh cooked egg noodles
1/2 of a red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
5 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
Lime wedges
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts (optional)

Combine the raw chicken with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a wok over medium high heat, and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, along with the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken until opaque, remove from the pan, and set aside.

Add the red curry paste. Fry for one minute, and add the coconut milk. Add the noodles and stir-fry, loosening up the noodles as you go.

Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cooked chicken, bean sprouts and scallions and cook for another 2 minutes, until the scallions are wilted.

Serve with lime wedges, and garnish with chopped peanuts if using.

Bang Bang Chicken

1 large chicken breast (or 2 smaller ones), about ½ lb
3 slices ginger
1 scallion, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/2 seedless cucumber, julienned
1/2 cup chicken stock (i.e., the cooking water from the chicken)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 teaspoons Chinese dark vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chili oil (or to taste)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon salt

First, poach the chicken. In a small pot, add 2 cups water, 3 slices ginger and 1 scallion. Bring it to a boil, then add in the chicken breast. Once the water boils again, put the lid on and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 10-12 minutes. The chicken breast is done if the juice comes out clear when you poke the middle with a chopstick. Transfer the chicken breast to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and keep the chicken moist. Don’t discard the cooking water, as we’ll be using it later in the recipe.

Second, assemble the plate. Julienne the cucumber and spread it in an even layer on a shallow plate. Now, hammer the chicken with a rolling pin to flatten the meat and break it up into shreds. Layer the chicken on top of the cucumber.

Third, prepare the sauce. Mix together the following: 1/2 cup chicken stock (i.e., the cooking water from the chicken), 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 4 teaspoons Chinese dark vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon chili oil (or to taste), 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions.

Finally, pour the sauce over the chicken and cucumber, and serve. Toss the chicken and cucumber to coat with the sauce just before you’re ready to dig in!

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Chicken

For the chicken & marinade:
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the nuoc cham sauce:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white vinegar
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 red chili, de-seeded and sliced (or substitute 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or Sriracha)
1/2 cup cold water

To assemble the bowls:
200g dried rice vermicelli noodles
Vegetable oil
2 cups bean sprouts
1 large carrot, julienned
1 seedless cucumber, julienned
6 leaves romaine lettuce, finely julienned
Mint
Cilantro

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken thighs with your marinade ingredients, and set aside for 30 mins to an hour while you prepare the other salad ingredients.

Combine all the nuoc cham ingredients and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved into the sauce. Taste and adjust any of the ingredients if desired.

Boil the rice vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside in a colander.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. You could also heat a grill pan or grill for this. Sear the chicken for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Set aside on a plate.

To assemble the salad, combine the rice noodles with bean sprouts, julienned carrots and cucumber, romaine lettuce, mint, and cilantro. Slice the chicken thighs and add to the salad. Serve with your nuoc cham sauce.

Pina Coladas

1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cut into 1½-inch pieces
6 ounces sweetened cream of coconut (preferably Coco López)
2 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
8 ounces white rum
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 ounces dark rum (optional)
Maraschino cherries and lime wedges (for serving)

Place pineapple pieces in a resealable plastic bag, laying them flat. Freeze until solid, at least 3 hours.

Shake cream of coconut and coconut milk in their cans before measuring. Purée pineapple, cream of coconut, coconut milk, white rum, lime juice, and 3 cups ice (about 15 oz.) in a blender until smooth. Transfer blender cup to freezer and freeze until mixture is thickened (it should be the consistency of a milkshake), 25–35 minutes.

Blend again until mixture is the perfect slushy frozen drink consistency. Divide among glasses. Top off each with ½ oz. dark rum, if using, and garnish each with a cherry and lime wedge.

Do Ahead: Pineapple can be chopped 3 months ahead. Keep frozen.

From Bon Appetit

Margaritas

Kosher salt (for serving)
1/2 thick lime wheel (for serving)
2 oz. tequila blanco
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup

Place some salt on a small plate. Rub rim of an old-fashioned or rocks glass with lime (reserve for serving); dip in salt. Fill with ice and set aside.

Combine tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.

Strain cocktail through a Hawthorne strainer or a slotted spoon into reserved glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

From Bon Appetit

Brownies

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inches overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.

Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

From Bon Appetit

Key Lime Pie

Crust

14 graham crackers (about 1½ sleeves)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling and Assembly

4 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
3/4 cup fresh key lime (or regular lime) juice
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

Crust

Preheat oven to 325°. Using your hands, crush graham crackers in a large bowl until coarsely ground (you could do this in a food processor if you’d like, just be sure not to process too finely; you want some texture in the larger pieces). Add butter, coconut oil, sugar, and salt and mix until well blended (mixture will resemble wet sand). Transfer to a 9″ pie dish. Using your fingers and the underside of a flat measuring cup, press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of dish. Bake crust, rotating once halfway through, until golden brown on top and crumbs are set, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.

Filling and Assembly

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg yolks and condensed milk in a large bowl until paler and almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 tsp. lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Pour into cooled crust. Bake pie until filling no longer jiggles and is starting to slightly puff around the edges, 15–20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Whip cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently whisk in yogurt and rum, if using. Dollop onto cooled pie, creating dramatic peaks and valleys with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Garnish with lime zest.

Do Ahead: Crust can be baked 2 days ahead; pie without whipped topping can be made 2 days ahead; pie can be assembled (with topping) 4 hours ahead.

From Bon Appetit

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour, sifted
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cups egg whites (from 12–14 large eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Berries and whipped cream (for serving)

A 10″ tube pan

Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-low speed to break up egg whites, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until whites are very foamy and barely form soft peaks, about 45 seconds longer. Gradually add granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed until whites are firm and glossy and hold stiff peaks (if you overbeat, the meringue will look dry, grainy, and curdled). Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.

Remove bowl from mixer. Sift one-third of dry ingredients over meringue. Return bowl to mixer and beat on low speed until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer again and repeat sifting and mixing process 2 more times. Remove bowl again and fold batter several times with a large flexible spatula, scraping and lifting batter from the bottom to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Scrape about half of batter into ungreased tube pan. Using a spoon or small offset spatula, push batter around bottom of pan, into corners, and up sides and center tube (this helps form smooth sides and eliminate air pockets); it’s okay if batter forms a little bit of a trough, with the center at a lower level than the outer edges. Scrape remaining batter into pan, spreading evenly and smoothing top.

Bake cake until top is puffed, split, golden, and springs back firmly when touched and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35–40 minutes. Immediately invert pan, placing hollow part of tube over a long-necked wine or other glass bottle to elevate it (if your pan has feet, simply rest upside-down on feet). Let cool at least 1 hour, then turn right side up. The upside-down cooling is key for a cake that doesn’t deflate and sink onto itself. Using a thin metal spatula, cut around sides and loosen cake. Pull on tube to release cake from pan, then cut around tube. Using thin metal spatula, loosen cake from bottom. Invert cake onto a plate or cake stand and remove bottom. Serve with berries and whipped cream.

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.

From Bon Appetit

Bread Pudding (with Variations)

1/2-large (2-pound) loaf challah bread, torn into 1½–2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3-inch strip orange zest
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for pan
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 300°. Spread torn bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing halfway through and reducing oven temperature if bread is getting too golden, until pieces are very dry and slightly toasted, 25–35 minutes. (Dry bread will absorb the custard without disintegrating, which is why this step is important.) Let cool, then transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat cinnamon, vanilla bean, cream, milk, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. As soon as mixture starts to boil (watch closely or milk will boil over top of pot!), remove from heat. Whisk in orange zest and 2 Tbsp. butter and let steep 30 minutes. Pluck out and discard cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and orange zest.

Brush a 1½–2-qt. baking dish with butter. Pour milk mixture into a blender. Add egg and egg yolks and blend, starting on low and increasing speed to high, until mixture is light and foamy, 20–30 seconds. Pour over reserved bread and toss to coat. Scrape into prepared pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours and up to 12; this gives bread time to evenly soak up custard.

Arrange a rack in center of oven; preheat to 300°. Brush remaining 2 Tbsp. butter over cold bread pieces. Sprinkle with raw sugar, then top with almonds, if using. Bake bread pudding until lightly golden, puffed, pulling away from edges of pan, and butter is bubbling, 30–40 minutes. Let cool 1 hour before serving.

Do Ahead: Bread pudding can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

For Chocolate Bread Pudding

Add 6 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao or higher) and 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder to scalded milk mixture instead of butter and whisk until melted and smooth.

When ready to bake, top bread pudding with 1 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate. Sprinkle with raw sugar, then top with ¼ cup chopped pecans instead of almonds. Bake as directed.

For Coconut Bread Pudding

Add one 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk instead of heavy cream to whole milk mixture. As soon as mixture bubbles, remove from heat and whisk in 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil instead of butter and a strip of lime zest instead of orange. Let steep 30 minutes. Pluck out and discard cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and lime zest.

Brush baking dish with 2 Tbsp. melted virgin coconut oil instead of butter. Brush 2 Tbsp. melted virgin coconut oil instead of butter over cold bread pieces. Sprinkle with raw sugar, then top with 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes instead of almonds. Bake as directed.

From Bon Appetit

Rice Pudding

Boozy Fruit:

1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup raisins, dried cherries, or chopped dried apricots

Rice Pudding

4 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup arborio or sushi rice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1” piece orange peel
Kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 large egg yolk

Boozy Fruit

Combine brown sugar, rum, orange juice, and a splash of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and cook until liquid is syrupy, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool.

Rice Pudding

Combine milk, rice, cream, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Bring to a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure mixture doesn’t stick to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping all the way down to the bottom of the pot to make sure mixture doesn’t stick or scorch, until rice is tender and mixture is thickened, 20–25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Discard vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel. Quickly and thoroughly stir in egg yolk until completely incorporated. Keep pudding warm, covered, or let cool, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely. Serve warm or chilled, topped with boozy fruit.

DO AHEAD: Rice pudding and boozy fruit can be made up to 2 days ahead. Reheat pudding over medium heat, with a splash of milk or cream.

From Bon Appetit

Patty Melt

caramelized onions:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced

patties and Assembly:

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck (20% fat)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 slices seeded rye bread (preferably Levy’s)
4 ounces aged sharp cheddar, thinly sliced
4 ounces Swiss cheese (such as Emmenthal), thinly sliced
8 teaspoons mayonnaise

caramelized onions

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook onions, stirring often and adding water as needed to prevent burning, until deep golden brown and very soft, 20–25 minutes. Set aside.

patties and assembly

Gently mix onion, beef, ketchup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, in a medium bowl. Divide into 4 portions and press each between 2 pieces of parchment or waxed paper until about ¼” thick (you want them roughly the same dimensions as the bread you’re using.)

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook patties, pressing gently, until browned but still pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out skillet and reduce heat to medium. Top 4 slices of bread with cheddar, then beef patties, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese. Close up sandwiches and spread each top with 1 tsp. mayonnaise. Place in pan, mayonnaise side down, and weight with a foil-covered heavy pan. Cook until bottom slice is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove weighted pan and spread the top of each sandwich with 1 tsp. mayonnaise. Flip and weight again. Cook until other side is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Patties can be formed 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

From: Bon Appetit

Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta
Kosher salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer, then whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely. Serve topped with pepper and more cheese.

From Bon Appetit.

Shrimp and Grits

Grits

1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Shrimp

1/2 cup 1/3′ cubes tasso, andouille sausage, or bacon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
16 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined
1/4 cup (or more) beer
1/4 cup low-salt chicken stock
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Grits

Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 1 hour. Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeño, then cream. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Shrimp

Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add tasso; sauté until fat begins to render, about 5 minutes (if tasso is very lean, add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet). Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; swirl to melt and cover bottom of pan. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Divide grits among bowls, forming a well in center. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.

From Bon Appetit.

English Muffins

1 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk, warmed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, divided, plus more
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Cornmeal (for dusting)

Whisk yeast, sugar, and 1 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add buttermilk, butter, oil, salt, and 3½ cups flour and beat on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Increase speed to medium and beat until dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, but is very wet and sticky, about 5 minutes.

Spray a medium bowl with nonstick spray, transfer dough to greased bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill overnight (the cold rise makes the dough easier to handle, produces better flavor, and creates more nooks and crannies).

Dust 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets generously with cornmeal (you want to cover all the parchment). Spray a clean work surface with nonstick spray, turn out dough, then spray dough. Using a bench scraper, divide dough into 12 equal pieces (they should be about 3 oz. each). Working with 1 piece at a time and using bench scraper, fold dough inward onto itself on 4 sides. Turn dough over with bench scraper so that folds are underneath and transfer to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing evenly on sheets.

Sprinkle each piece with cornmeal. Spray plastic wrap with nonstick spray and loosely cover baking sheets, oiled side down. Let sit at room temperature until dough is nearly doubled in size, 60–70 minutes.

Heat a large skillet or griddle, preferably cast iron, over low. Place another rimmed baking sheet in the center of oven and preheat to 350°. Working in 2–3 batches and keeping remaining dough covered, slide 2 thin metal spatulas from opposite sides underneath dough, also getting underneath cornmeal to avoid sticking or deflating dough, and transfer to skillet (do not overcrowd). Cook until bottoms are dark golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is dark golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Using spatula, transfer muffins to preheated sheet in oven and bake until cooked through and sides are dry to the touch but still spring back, 5–10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let muffins cool at least 30 minutes before splitting with a fork and serving.

Do Ahead: English muffins can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool and store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature. Toast lightly before serving.

Classic French Toast

6 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
6 3/4 inch-thick slices challah, brioche, or Pullman loaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Pure maple syrup, jam, or powdered sugar (for serving)

Preheat oven to 250°. Lightly beat eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a large shallow baking dish (a lasagna pan is perfect). Add bread, turn to coat, then press down gently on bread until you feel it start to soak up custard mixture—this is key for a luscious, not dry, texture. Let soak, 10 minutes.

Flip bread and soak on second side, pressing down gently from time to time, until bread is saturated but not soggy, another 10 minutes or so.

Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, carefully lift 3 slices of bread from custard, letting excess drip back into dish, and cook in skillet until golden brown and center of toast springs back when pressed, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer toast to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven while you cook remaining slices of bread with 1 Tbsp. butter and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

Serve French toast with butter, maple syrup, jam, and/or powdered sugar.

From Bon Appetit.