Classic Rice Pudding

1/2 cup (100 grams) long-grain rice, preferably jasmine
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 quart (946 ml.) whole milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup (50-67 grams) sugar (to taste)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Rinse the rice under cold running water, then turn it into a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Add the salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain.

Rinse the saucepan with cold water, shake out excess (don’t dry) and pour in the milk and sugar. If you’re using a vanilla bean, scrape the pulp into the pan and drop in the pod (if you’re using extract, you’ll add it later).

Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stay close: Milk is notorious for bubbling over.

Lower the heat, stir in the rice and cook at a steady simmer, stirring frequently (especially at the start) for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is very tender, the pudding feels just a little thick as you stir it and most of the milk has been absorbed (the pudding will have cooked down by about half). It’s hard to give an exact time because it depends on the rice, the size of the pan and the amount of heat beneath it.

Scrape the pudding into a heatproof bowl, and remove the vanilla bean, if you’ve used it. If you’re using extract, stir it in now.

Cover (if you want to avoid a skin, press plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding), and cool to room temperature or refrigerate. Tightly covered, the pudding will keep in the fridge for about four days; serve cold or at room temperature.

New Mexico Hot Dish

1 pound ground beef
Flour
Salt
Chopped onion
Chopped garlic
Chopped jalapeno
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Oregano
Chopped tomatoes
Corn tortillas
Grated American and cheddar cheese
Raw onions, sour cream, and salsa for serving

First, sauté a pound or so of ground beef in a splash of oil, with a little flour and a pinch of salt, then set it aside.

Use the same pan to cook chopped onion, garlic and jalapeño.

Return the meat to the pan, and hit it with chile powder, ground cumin and oregano, to taste. Add chopped tomatoes and a little water to loosen everything up. Let it reduce a little.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425, and grab a casserole dish. You’ll need corn tortillas as well, and grated cheese mixture of Cheddar and American.

Put a little chili in the bottom of the casserole, warm tortillas in a dry skillet and lay them across the chili as if building the first layer of a lasagna.

Do that again and again, and finish with the remaining chili and cheese.

Bake in the oven until everything’s bubbling.

Serve with chopped raw onions, sour cream and salsa on the side.

Green Summer Mole with Tomatillos and Pistachios

FOR THE SQUASH:
3 to 4 zucchini or any variety of summer squashes, cut into 1-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and black pepper

FOR THE MOLE:
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 small white onion, roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, sliced
1 poblano chile, sliced
1 güero chile, banana pepper or New Mexico yellow chile, sliced
1 cup finely diced tomatillos
1 cup roasted shelled pistachios
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 fresh or dried hoja santa leaves
1/2 cup baby spinach

FOR SERVING:
1 cup assorted greens, such as cilantro leaves, amaranth leaves or purslane
2 cups cooked white rice
Corn tortillas

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast until lightly brown, about 15 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the mole: In a pot, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatillos and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add ? cup water and the pistachios and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender along with the cilantro, hoja santa and spinach. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Serve the mole warm, with the roasted zucchini. Top with greens and serve rice and tortillas alongside.

Tip
Leftover mole can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. To reheat, add a bit of water and warm in a pot over medium heat.

Garlic-Ginger Chicken Breasts with Mint and Cilantro

8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder), optional
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder, like ground cayenne
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Make the marinade: Add the garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons oil to a large resealable bag. Seal the bag and massage to combine the ingredients into a paste. Add the coriander, turmeric, amchur (if using), red chile powder and salt, and seal the bag. Shake or massage to combine.

Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and seal the bag tightly. Use your hands to gently massage the marinade onto the chicken breasts until each breast is coated. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Warm a large lidded skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is quite hot, add the oil, swirling the pan to coat the entire surface. Reduce the heat to medium, remove the chicken from the marinade and shake gently to remove any excess marinade. Add it to the pan. Working in batches if necessary, cook the breasts, undisturbed, until lightly golden underneath, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip them and cook until lightly golden on the second side, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook the chicken for 10 minutes (no peeking!). Turn off the heat (if you have an electric stove, take the pan off the heat) and let the chicken sit, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts. Don’t lift the lid, or you’ll release the hot steam that finishes cooking the chicken.

Check to make sure the breasts are cooked through: There shouldn’t be any pink in the middle. If you have a meat thermometer, the chicken should register at least 165 degrees. Place the chicken on a cutting board, and slice each breast into strips. Garnish with mint and cilantro.

Tomato Rice with Cheddar

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small Indian green chile or Serrano chile, finely chopped
10 plum tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups cooked basmati rice (from about 1 cup dry rice)
1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese

Adjust an oven rack to the highest position and heat the oven to 500 degrees.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and chile, spread them out in an even layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent and starts to lightly char, 5 to 7 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes, using the back of a wooden spoon to lightly crush them. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down into a chunky sauce, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the salt and remove from heat.

Stir in the cooked rice and transfer to an 8-inch square (or similar size) baking dish. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top in an even layer.

Switch the oven to broil and place the baking dish on the oven rack closest to the broiler. Broil until the top bubbles and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Indian-Seasoned Baked Potatoes

1 pound small new potatoes or baby red potatoes
Kosher salt
3/4 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
2 small Indian green chiles or Serrano chiles, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chaat masala
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro stems and leaves, for garnish

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes cool until they can be handled.
Without cutting all the way through to the bottom, slice each potato lengthwise and crosswise into four sections. Use your hands to push down and pull apart the four sections like a blooming flower. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of each potato, followed by a dollop of sour cream.

Evenly divide the ginger, onion, green chiles, and chaat masala among the potatoes. Make it rain with chopped cilantro and serve.

Curried Chicken Salad with Mango Chutney

3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup mango chutney
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 small rotisserie chicken—meat shredded, skin and bones discarded (4 cups)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup baby arugula leaves 4 brioche rolls or other rolls, split (optional, for sandwiches)

In a food processor, pulse the yogurt, chutney, lime juice and curry until blended but not completely smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl, add the shredded chicken, scallions and cilantro and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the arugula on the rolls, spoon the pulled chicken salad on top and serve.

Chicken and Biscuits

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, cut into 1/3-inch chunks
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon self-rising flour
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large Dutch oven or enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the shallots and carrot chunks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the shallots and mushrooms are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the 1 tablespoon of flour and the broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken and peas.

In a food processor, combine the remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the chopped sage and thyme; pulse 5 times. Add the milk; pulse just until a soft dough forms.

Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop 20 balls of dough over the chicken stew. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken Tacos with Cabbage and Cilantro Cream

1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small red cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), halved, cored and finely shredded
2 pickled jalapeños, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 small rotisserie chicken, meat shredded, skin and bones discarded
Warm corn tortillas, for serving

In a blender, puree the cilantro with the sour cream, lime juice and olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the red cabbage with the jalapeños, scallions and the cilantro dressing. Let stand for 15 minutes, until the cabbage just begins to wilt. Add the chicken and toss until it is coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm corn tortillas.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 serrano chile with seeds, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
Salt
4 cups finely shredded green cabbage (from 1/2 small head)
2 carrots, finely shredded
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (from 1/2 chicken)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, water, chile and garlic and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the dressing stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the shallots on paper towels; reserve the oil for another use. Sprinkle the shallots with salt and let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, red onion, cilantro, mint and shredded chicken. Add the olive oil and the dressing and toss. Sprinkle with the peanuts and fried shallots and serve the chicken salad with lime wedges.

Pulled Chicken

2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
One 3 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken

4 hamburger buns, split (for sandwiches)
1 cup prepared coleslaw

In a medium saucepan, combine the cider vinegar with the water, white wine, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, sweet paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and boil over high heat until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Remove the warm vinegar sauce from the heat.

Meanwhile, remove all of the meat from the chicken and shred it. Discard the skin. Add the chicken to the warm vinegar sauce and heat through, stirring gently. Pile the pulled chicken on the buns and drizzle with extra vinegar sauce. Top with the coleslaw, close the sandwiches and serve right away.

Chicken with Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Fruit

Rotisserie chicken
Rice
Butter
Sliced onion
Prunes, raisins, dried currents, or a combination
Slivered almonds
Salt and pepper

First, melt a knob of butter in a pot, then sauté a sliced onion in it until translucent.

Add rice, as much as you want to cook, and stir it around, then add water in its usual ratio to the rice, and cook as you always do.

At the end, add some chopped prunes, or currants, or raisins, or all three, along with a handful of slivered almonds and salt and pepper. Fluff the rice to mix everything together. Put the top back on the pot, and let the rice and mix-ins mellow out for a few minutes.

Serve alongside a store-bought roast chicken, the legs and thighs separated and the breasts cut on the bias and fanned out for show.

Chicken Salad with Avocado and Herbs

Rotisserie chicken
Arugula
Sliced scallions
Chopped cilantro
Avocado or two
Lime
Chopped garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Pick up a heat-lamp roast chicken at the market on the way home — it’s O.K.! — and tear it apart to feed four, or half of it for two, shredding the meat with your fingers.

Mix the chicken with a few handfuls of baby arugula, a large handful of sliced scallions and a lot of chopped cilantro.

Cut an avocado or two into the mix if you have them on hand.

Then make a dressing out of lime juice — one juicy squeezed lime will do — a pressed garlic clove and a few glugs of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Drizzle that over the top and serve. Dinner in 15 minutes, tops.

Chicken Panzanella

Rotisserie chicken
Tomatoes
Arugula or watercress
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Salt
Pepper
Toasted bread

Grab a super-tanned rotisserie chicken on the way home. Tear the meat into strips, then cut a few smallish supermarket tomatoes (or better, if you’ve got them) into wedges and marinate them in oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.

Pay a few bills or fold some laundry, then turn the whole thing into panzanella by mixing together the chicken, the tomatoes, some fresh watercress and some chunks of stale or toasted bread, then showering the salad with freshly ground black pepper and a spray of kosher salt.

Miso Roasted Eggplant

Small japanese eggplants
Neutral flavored oil
White miso
Sesame oil
Rice wine
Soy sauce
Black pepper
Sesame seeds

Grab some small eggplants — the Japanese variety is a good option — and cut them on the bias into little steaks.

Drizzle them with neutral oil and roast in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or so, turning them once or twice, until they’re soft.

Then crank the oven to broil, and paint them with white miso that’s been cut with splashes of sesame oil and rice wine, a smaller splash of soy and a few grinds of black pepper.

Let that get going until the skin begins to pop, then serve those little vegetarian flavor steaks over rice, with a spray of sesame seeds over the top.

New Orleans-Style Barbecued Shrimp

Shrimp
Diced shallots
Butter
Worcestershire sauce
Thyme
Paprika
Cayenne
Cream
Salt
Black pepper

Rice, green beans, and crusty bread for serving

Crank the oven to 450 degrees and make a sauce on the stovetop: diced shallots sautéed in butter, a healthy quarter-cup or so of Worcestershire, a little thyme, paprika and cayenne, some salt and then a whole lot more butter, cut into the pan a knob at a time and whisked into velvet.

Add to that a splash of cream and a few more healthy cranks of black pepper.

Roast the shrimp on a greased pan in the oven under a shower of salt and yet more pepper, and serve it on a warm platter with the sauce spooned over the top. Rice, green beans and plenty of good, crusty bread for mopping up make it an ambrosial meal.

Grilled Broccoli with Soy Sauce, Maple Syrup, and Balsamic Vinegar

Broccoli florets
Soy sauce
Balsamic vinegar
Maple syrup
Neutral-flavored oil
Red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds or furikake
Rice, for serving

Toss broccoli florets in equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, a generous dash of maple syrup and a splash of neutral oil, then grill (or broil) until they’re soft and crunchy.

Serve them under a scattering of red-pepper flakes and sesame seeds, or use furikake.

Serve over rice by itself or alongside with any meat.

Pork Chops with Gochujang and Peanuts

Thin pork chops
Dry roasted peanuts
Sesame oil
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
Gochujang
Orange juice
Mirin
Chopped scallions
Rice, for serving

Secure the thinnest chops you can find at the store — that’s crucial for the quick-broil part.

Throw a few handfuls of dry-roasted peanuts in a pan set over medium-high heat with a glug of sesame oil. Let those go until they’re fragrant and just beginning to darken, then take them off the heat and toss with a few shakes of chile powder. Set the peanuts aside and heat your broiler.

Line a sheet pan with foil, and oil it lightly. Salt and pepper your chops, lay them out on the pan, and slide them into the oven. Cook the chops for around four minutes, then flip them over to finish.

Meanwhile, mix a tablespoon or so of gochujang, the Korean red-pepper paste, with a healthy splash of orange juice and a wisp of mirin. Taste. Adjust. Pour into a deep serving dish or platter.

When the chops are well crusted and brown, slide them into the sauce for a toss. Top with the peanuts and some chopped scallions if you have any. Rice on the side.

Sloppy Joes

Chopped onions
Diced celery
Diced jalapeno
Diced red pepper
Minced garlic
Half pound ground beef
Tomato paste
Pureed canned tomatoes
Worcestershire sauce
Potato buns

Put a Dutch oven over medium-high heat on your stove, then add a glug of olive oil and sauté in it a handful of chopped onions, a couple diced ribs of celery, a diced jalapeño and a small diced red pepper.

When the mixture is supersoft, add a few cloves of minced garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, then dump a pound and a half of ground beef into the pot — ideally the sort that is 20 percent fat — and stir and sizzle until it is well browned, about 10 minutes.

Bring the heat down a bit and add a lot of tomato paste — say 3 tablespoons, maybe 4 — and let it get a little toasty before adding a cup or more of puréed canned tomatoes. Cook that down for a few minutes, then add quite a few glugs of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to taste, and continue cooking until the mixture is quite thick, another 15 or 20 minutes.

Season to taste and serve on toasted potato buns.

Roasted Fish with Soy, Ginger, and Scallions

White fish fillets
Soy sauce
Rice wine
Lots of grated ginger
Lots of chopped scallions
Chopped garlic (optional)
Sesame or chili oil (optional)

Rice and greens for serving

Buy a few fillets of the white-fleshed fish you like best, then put a sheet pan in a 425-degree oven and let it get hot.

Make a sauce in a small bowl: a few tablespoons of soy sauce for each one of rice wine or sherry, and a heap of minced or grated ginger, and plenty of thinly sliced scallions. You could put some garlic in there, if you like, and a dash of hot chile oil or sesame oil.

Salt and pepper the fish, then pull the hot sheet pan out of the oven and get some neutral oil on it. Add the fish to the hot pan carefully, put it in the oven and roast for a minute or so, then paint the sauce onto the fillets and cook for a minute or so longer, until the fish has just cooked through.

Serve with rice and greens.