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