Beef Fried Rice

2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 lb (225 g) ground beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce , separated
3 eggs , beaten
4 green onions , chopped
3 cups cooked rice , chilled
1 cup frozen veggies (broccoli, carrot, corn, and/or peas)
1 bell pepper , diced
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick (or carbon steel paover medium-high heat until hot. Add the ground beef and quickly spread it across the pan with your spatula to form a thin layer. Let the bottom cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle with soy sauce. Flip the beef and chop it into smaller pieces with your spatula. When the beef is almost cooked through, move it to one side of the pan.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and green onions onto the empty side of the pan. Stir a few times.

Add the rice and pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce over the rice. Stir and cook for 30 seconds until evenly mixed. Stir everything together.

Add the frozen veggies, bell pepper, cumin powder, chili flakes, and sprinkle with the salt. Stir and cook for a minute. Move everything to one side of the pan.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil onto the other side of the pan. Add the beaten eggs onto the oil. Let them cook for a few seconds until the bottom sets. Scramble the eggs using your spatula, cut them into smaller pieces, and mix them with everything else.

Transfer everything to a plate and serve hot as a main or side dish. Enjoy!

Asian Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber, about 8 oz
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Korean chili powder or regular chili powder
1 teaspoon chili oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
sesame seeds for garnishing

Rinse the cucumber thoroughly and slice it into pieces. Add the salt to the cucumber, stir gently to combine well. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Combine the garlic, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, chili oil, and sesame oil together, stir to mix well. Make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved.

Drain the salt water from the cucumber. Add the dressing to the cucumber, toss well. Top with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Jerk Chicken with Pickled Bananas

MARINADE:
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Guinness stout
1 medium red onion (about 9 ounces), finely chopped
8 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Tabasco sauce
1 large nutmeg seed, freshly grated (about 4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup whole allspice berries, ground (about 3 tablespoons)
6 large garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 jalapeƱo, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 habanero chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
3 dried bay leaves
12 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

FOR THE PICKLED BANANAS:
6 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 branches fresh thyme
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 habanero chile, split, seeds and stem intact
6 cloves
6 just-ripe bananas

PREPARATION
In a small skillet, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Let cool, then grind in a spice grinder until pulverized.

Add to a large bowl along with all other marinade ingredients (everything but the chicken). Add 1 cup water and whisk to combine. Alternatively, working in two batches, place all marinade ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine.

Place chicken in a large container big enough for all pieces plus marinade. Reserve 3/4 cup marinade for later use, and pour remaining marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate 1 or 2 days (chicken can be stored for up to 5 days).

Prepare the pickled bananas: Add all ingredients except for the bananas to a nonreactive saucepan and boil over high, 10 minutes. Chill completely. Once brine is chilled, peel and slice the bananas on the bias. Add to the brine and chill, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Heat grill to medium-low. Remove chicken from marinade and temper at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place chicken on the grill, skin-side down. Every minute or so, rotate the chicken a half turn so that the skin develops a deep, dark mahogany char and has been slightly crisped and rendered, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Turn chicken over to finish cooking, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, skin side up. Brush the reserved marinade on the skin side. Remove bananas from brine and serve with jerk chicken.