Winter Vegetable Stew

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bulb fennel, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 leeks, chopped
1 large carrot, diced small
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small napa cabbage, sliced thin
2 to 3 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Cassoulet beans with some broth

In a large pot, heat the olive over medium heat until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, fennel, kale, leeks, and carrot. Salt lightly and stir. Allow them to cook for about 10 minutes until they’re soft but not quite done. Add the cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add water to barely cover the mixture, about 5 or 6 cups, depending on the pot you’re using and the state of the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a gentle simmer over medium to medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are cooked through.

Add the beans and adjust the salt. Add a generous amount of pepper and bring back to a simmer.

Ladle into large bowls and drizzle each serving with extra-virgin olive oil.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
2 cups (10 ounces) diced onion, 1 large
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 cups (16 ounces) cauliflower florets, 1 medium
2 cups (16 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 cup dark beer, such as Guinness
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese

In a 5-quart stock pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt, stir and cook until the onion turns slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower, stir everything together to coat with the oil, cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid is just simmering. Cover the pot and cook until the cauliflower is fork-tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

While the cauliflower cooks, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until foaming. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk until smooth, forming a roux. Reduce the heat and continue to whisk until the roux turns golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add the warmed milk in a stream, whisking until thick and smooth. Add the beer, whisking until smooth, and bring to a simmer, warming just until the bubbles have dispersed, 2 to 3 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the beer sauce into the soup and stir until smooth. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, the thyme, Worcestershire, mustard, black pepper and cheese. Stir and heat until a silky cheese soup surrounds the cauliflower, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.

Pork Chops and Cabbage with Mustard Cream Sauce

4 thin center-cut boneless pork chops (about 1 pound total)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1/2 large onion) is
4 cups rough chopped green cabbage (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Pat the pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chops and cook until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the chops and cook until browned on the other side, about 3 minutes. (If the chops are browning too quickly, lower the heat.) Transfer the chops to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the onion to the skillet and stir, cooking until the onion is softened and nearly translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and cook until the cabbage is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the butter, if using, and toss to coat the cabbage. (If the chops are lean, butter will enhance the flavor.) Transfer the cabbage mixture to a serving platter and cover to keep warm.

Lower the heat to medium. Add the cream and mustard to the skillet and stir until the mustard is fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and white pepper; stir to combine

Add the chops back to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes, basting the chops with the sauce.

Place the chops on top of the cabbage on the serving platter. Drizzle the chops and cabbage with the remaining sauce, garnish with the parsley and serve.

Steamed Mussels With ‘Nduja

For the Mussels:
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots (3 ounces; 85g), thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves (10g), thinly sliced
Kosher salt
2 ounces (1/4 cup; 60g) ‘nduja (see note)
1 cup (240ml) dry white wine
2 pounds (900g) mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see note)
1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice and 1 teaspoon (2g) finely grated zest from one lemon

For Serving:
1 loaf rustic sourdough bread, thickly sliced, drizzled with olive oil, and broiled until heavily toasted

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and garlic, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add ‘nduja and, using a wooden spoon, break it into pieces and stir vigorously to combine with shallots and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fat from ‘nduja separates and shallots and garlic are stained red and fully coated with ‘nduja, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add wine, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. Cook just until all the mussels are open, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and using tongs, quickly transfer mussels to a warmed heatproof serving bowl. Cover mussels with saucepan lid to keep warm. Add parsley, lemon juice, and zest to saucepan and stir to combine. Taste the liquid, and adjust seasoning with salt if needed.

For Serving: Remove lid from the serving bowl, and pour contents of saucepan over mussels. Serve immediately, passing toasted bread at the table along with a large empty bowl for collecting spent mussel shells.

Pressure Cooker Polenta

1 cup (173 grams) coarse polenta
4 1/2 cups cups (1,023 grams) water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bonuses (optional):
1/2 to 1 cups grated or crumbled cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Parmesan, pecorino, Gouda, blue), for stirring in and sprinkling on top.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, for stirring in and sprinkling on top, or another ground spice to taste
Fresh herbs (such as minced chives, thyme leaves, finely chopped sage, or roughly chopped parsley), for stirring in and/or sprinkling on top.

Combine the polenta, water, and salt in the Instant Pot and whisk. Secure the lid and adjust the pressure release to Sealing. Pressure cook on High for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes, then carefully move the pressure release to Venting.

Whisk the polenta to smooth out, then add the butter and whisk again until incorporated. At this point, you can stir in any cheese or spices, and adjust the salt to taste. You can also close the lid and use the Keep Warm feature until you’re ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into bowls or onto plates, then sprinkle with any additional cheese, spices, or herbs.

Cucumber Salad with Mustard Oil

1/2 cup (2 oz; 60g) raw hazelnuts or peanuts, skinned
2 English cucumbers (25 oz; 700g)
2 tablespoons (30ml) mustard oil
2 tablespoons (30ml) lime juice, from 1 lime
2 teaspoons (1/8 oz; 4g) red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

In a small dry saucepan, toast hazelnuts over medium-high heat, until they just start to brown and become fragrant, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to mortar and crush with pestle to form coarse powder. (Alternatively, use a spice grinder.)

Trim and discard ends of cucumbers. Cut each cucumber in half lengthwise and then into thin slices. Place sliced cucumbers in a medium mixing bowl.

Using a whisk or fork, thoroughly mix mustard oil and lime juice in small bowl and pour over cucumbers. Add toasted hazelnuts and pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.

Creamy White Beans With ‘Nduja, Kale, and Gremolata Breadcrumbs

For the Beans:
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 large shallots (4 1/2 ounces; 125g), thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves (10g), thinly sliced
Kosher salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup; 113g) ‘nduja (see note)
3 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium white beans (cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
1 quart (950ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 bunch (8 ounces; 225g) lacinato kale, tough stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces (see note)
1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice (from one lemon; zest finely grated and set aside before juicing fruit)
For the Gremolata Breadcrumbs: (optional)
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (1 1/4 ounces; 35g) panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Finely grated zest from one lemon

For the Beans: In large, straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and garlic, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add ‘nduja and, using a wooden spoon, break it into pieces and stir vigorously to combine with shallots and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fat from ‘nduja separates, and shallots and garlic are stained red and fully coated with ‘nduja, 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Add beans. Use wooden spoon to crush roughly 1/4 of the beans against sides and bottom of the pan. Stir until beans are fully incorporated and coated in ‘nduja-shallot mixture.

Add chicken stock, season lightly with salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a creamy, stew-like consistency, with some beans just poking out on the surface, about 15 minutes.

Add kale, and stir to incorporate and very lightly wilt the greens, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and season to taste with salt.

For the Gremolata Breadcrumbs: While the beans simmer, combine oil and breadcrumbs in medium skillet, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add parsley and lemon zest, season lightly with salt, stir to combine, and continue to cook until parsley begins to sizzle and mixture is very fragrant of citrus, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer breadcrumb mixture to small bowl and set aside until you are ready to serve.

For Serving: Divide beans between individual serving bowls and sprinkle with gremolata breadcrumbs. Serve immediately, passing more breadcrumbs at the table.

Gobi Manchurian

750 grams cauliflower cut to medium size florets
Oil for frying
90 grams corn flour
3 tbsp plain flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of salt
150 mls water

for the sauce:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 spring onions thinly sliced (save the greens for garnish)
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tbsp ginger chopped
3 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
150 mls water
chopped green chillies (optional)

In a mixing bowl add the corn flour, plain flour, black pepper and salt. Add the water a little at a time making sure to stir well to rid of any lumps. Add the florets to the batter and mix well.

Heat oil for deep frying over a medium heat. Add the cauliflower in batches and fry for 5-6 minutes. Make sure to heat is not too high as you want the cauliflower to cook all the way through.

Fry as they go crispy and light brown and drain of kitchen paper. Keep warm while you make the sauce.

For the gravy heat the oil in a wok or kadhai over a medium heat. Add the white part of the spring onion and fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Add the chilli garlic sauce, soy and ketchup, stir over a low heat for 1 minute. Now add the vinegar, sugar and black pepper. Season to taste.

Add the water and simmer for 2 minutes as the gravy thickens. Add the fried cauliflower florets and stir well coating them in the sauce. Warm through for a minute and turn the heat off and rest for a few minutes as the cauliflower soaks all the gravy flavour. Serve warm with egg fried rice or noodles.

Vegetable Jalfrezi

1.5 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 stalks green onion, chopped
1 green chili, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 large tomato, sliced
1 large carrot, cut into rounds
1/4 cup green peas
3/4 cup paneer cubes, 120 grams
3/4 cup water, 6 oz
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3 cup tomato puree, store bought, canned
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 inch ginger , cut into julienne
cilantro, to garnish

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let then sizzle. The add the onions, green chili and saute them for 2 to 3 minutes until softened.

Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 minute. Then add the sliced tomato, carrot, peas and paneer. Add water (you might need only 1/2 cup of water while making this on stove-top).

Also add turmeric, cardamom, chili powder, garam masala, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, salt and tomato puree.

Stir and cover the pan with a lid. Let the veggies cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

Then add the green peppers and ginger julienne. Cover and simmer for 3 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Cauliflower, Grape, and Cheddar Salad

1 large head cauliflower broken into bite sized florets
6 tablespoons sunflower or other light oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly crushed
2/3 cup seedless red grapes, halved
3 oz aged Cheddar cheese, coarsely crumbled
2/3 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss the cauliflower florets with half of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons oil with the vinegar, mustard, honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the raisins and let them marinade for at least 10 minutes.

Just before serving, transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and add the hazelnuts, grapes, Cheddar and parsley. Pour the raisins and dressing over the top, toss together, transfer to a large platter, and serve.