Vegetable Yaki Udon

12 ozUdon Noodles

Sauce:
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Stir Fry:
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 onion , diced
1 bell pepper , sliced
1/2 cup carrot , cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup snow peas , sliced
1 can (5 oz) water chestnuts , sliced

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, snow peas, and water chestnuts. Cook and stir for another 30 seconds, until the veggies just start to turn tender.

Add the noodles over the vegetables, followed by 2 tablespoons of water. Gently break apart the noodles using a pair of chopsticks (or a pair of tongs) while the water cooks off. Then add the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir everything together.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and noodles. Stir and mix until the noodles and vegetables are evenly coated. Cook for another minute until the vegetables are cooked through but remain crisp. Taste the noodles carefully, add a pinch of salt to your taste if needed.

Serve hot as a main or side dish.

Kung Pao Tofu

1 medium or small head cauliflower , cut into small florets
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 bell pepper , cut into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces
4 green onions , cut into bite-sized pieces (*Footnote 1)

Sauce:
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns , crushed
6 dried Chinese chili peppers
1 ” (2.5 cm) ginger , minced
4 cloves garlic , minced

Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and spray with a light coating of cooking spray.

Combine the Chinkiang vinegar, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.

Dry the cauliflower thoroughly with paper towels. Add the cauliflower florets to a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss a few times. Add the flour and toss until the the florets are coated. Pour in the milk and toss again. Add the cornstarch and toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated. Spread the coated cauliflower on to the lined baking tray, making sure the pieces are evenly spaced out with gaps in between (*Footnote 2). Bake for 25 minutes in total. Check the cauliflower at the 15- and 20-minute marks. If the bottom is browned, flip the cauliflower. Once the baking is finished, the cauliflower should turn golden brown spotly and crispy throughout.

While the cauliflower is baking, make the sauce. Add the oil, peppercorns, and dried chilis to a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Once they become fragrant, about 1 minute, add the ginger and garlic. Cook until they are just starting to brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the sauce again to re-dissolve the cornstarch completely and add it to the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil. Boil until the sauce is just thickened. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside.

After the cauliflower has baked for 25 minutes, pull the tray out and turn the heat to 500°F. Add the peanuts, peppers, and green onions. Put the tray back in the oven and cook for another 5 minutes, until the peppers are lightly cooked.

Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and gently toss to coat (*Footnote 3). Serve immediately as a side or a main.

Notes
It’s important to cut the cauliflower to the right size to ensure even roasting and browning. See the blog post above to see how to cut the cauliflower.

It’s very important to leave some space between the cauliflower florets, so the cauliflower will release steam and turn crispy once baked. If your baking tray does not have enough space, bake the rest in a separate tray. You can bake both trays at the same time by place the smaller tray on a different rack.

If you’re not serving the dish immediately, let the cauliflower cool off for a bit before tossing in the sauce. The cauliflower will stay crispy better this way.

Chinese Eggplant and Garlic Sauce

2 (10 oz. / 300 g) small Chinese long eggplant , chopped to bite-size pieces (*Footnote 1)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce (*footnote 2):
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (*see footnote 3)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Stir-fry:
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon ginger , minced
3 cloves garlic , chopped

(Option 1) Place eggplant in a large bowl and add water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

(Option 2) Spread the sliced eggplant out on a paper towel. Sprinkle Kosher salt on both sides of the eggplant slices. Allow to rest for 45-60 minutes. Pat dry without rinsing.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, mix well.

Sprinkle eggplant with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with with a thin layer of cornstarch.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to a big nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until hot. Spread eggplant across the bottom of the skillet without overlapping. Cook the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant turns soft, 8 to 10 minutes in total. Transfer the eggplants to a plate. If the skillet gets too hot and starts to smoke, turn to medium heat.

Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil, the ginger and garlic into the same skillet. Stir a few times until fragrant. Add all the eggplant back into the skillet. Mix the sauce again until cornstarch is fully dissolved and pour it over the eggplant. Immediately stir a few times, until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens. Transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as a side or as main over steamed rice or noodles.

Home Style Tofu with Peppers

1 block (14 oz/396 g) soft or medium firm tofu , cut into 1 cm thick triangles (Footnote 1)
1 cup vegetable oil , for deep frying
4 cloves garlic , sliced
1 ” (2.5 cm) ginger , thinly sliced into strips
3 green onions , cut into 1″ pieces, white and green parts separated
1 tablespoon doubanjiang
1/2 carrot , sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 bell pepper , cut into 1” diamonds
1 (8-oz / 226 g) can sliced bamboo shoots , or 1 bamboo shoot, sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Sauce:
3 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetarian oyster sauce (or sweet bean paste) (Footnote 2)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water (or vegetable stock)

Slurry:
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Add the slurry ingredients into a small bowl and stir to mix well.

In a high-walled skillet or pot, heat the oil to 375°F (190°C). Carefully add the tofu. Fry until both sides turn golden, about 3 minutes. Flip once or twice to ensure even cooking. Remove the tofu from the oil and transfer it to a big plate.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan (alternatively, you can heat 1 tablespoon of oil in another large skillet).

Add the garlic, ginger, green onion (white part), and doubanjiang to the pan. Turn the heat to medium. Stir fry to release the fragrance until the oil turns red, about 2 minutes.

Add the fried tofu, carrots, bell peppers, and bamboo. Stir fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Pour in the sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, gently flipping occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the green onion (green part). Mix the slurry again so the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Pour in the slurry and mix with a spatula until the sauce thickens.

Drizzle in a teaspoon of sesame oil to finish up.

Serve hot over steamed rice as a main dish.

General Tso’s Tofu

Tofu:
1 block (16 oz / 450 g) extra firm tofu (or medium firm tofu)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or agave nectar)
5 to 6 tablespoons cornstarch

Sauce:
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
3 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Stir fry:
3 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 teaspoons whole Sichuan peppercorns (Optional)
4 to 5 dried chili peppers
1 tablespoon garlic , minced
1 tablespoon ginger , minced
2 teaspoons doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste) (Footnote 1) (Optional)
4 green onions , roughly chopped
1 bell pepper , chopped
1/3 cup fried peanuts

Cut tofu into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a large ziploc bag. Add soy sauce and maple syrup. Gently flip the bag a few times to coat tofu with the liquid. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mix all the sauce ingredients with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

When tofu is marinated, open the bag just a little bit without letting the tofu fall out. Drain the liquid and discard it. Add cornstarch, a tablespoon at a time, and gently toss the bag to coat the tofu. It is OK if the tofu isn’t coated evenly.

Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add the tofu with your hand (or a pair of tongs), shaking off any extra cornstarch. Let cook without moving for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden. Flip to brown the other side. If the pan gets too hot, turn to medium or medium low heat. Transfer cooked tofu to a plate. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the Sichuan peppercorns. Cook and stir until the peppercorns turn dark (but not black). Remove the Sichuan peppercorns and discard them.

Add the chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and doubanjiang. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds to release the fragrance.

Add the bell pepper and green onion. Stir for 20 seconds.

Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Pour into the pan. Stir a few times until the sauce thickens.

Add back the cooked tofu. Gently toss to coat with sauce. Add the peanuts and give it a quick stir. Immediately transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as main with steamed rice.

Baked Crispy Tofu

1 (14 oz/ 396 g) extra firm tofu (or firm tofu)

Batter:
1/2 cup soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons parsley , dried (or Italian seasoning blend)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt

Coating:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal

Serving options:
Thai sweet chili sauce, ketchup, Sriracha sauce, or mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 400 degree F (200 C). Spray a thin layer of oil onto a baking tray.

Carefully press the tofu with your hands. Wrap a few layers of kitchen paper towels (or cheesecloth) around it to absorb the extra liquid. Cut tofu into squares that are about 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick and 2 inches (4 cm) long.

Mix the batter in a large bowl. Mix the panko and cornmeal in another bowl.

Set up your workstation by placing the batter, plate of panko mixture, and the baking tray all in a row.

Pick up a piece of tofu with your hand and dunk it into the batter. Then place it into the panko bowl, flip to coat the other side, then transfer it onto the baking tray. Repeat the process with the remaining tofu.

Spray tofu with a thin layer of oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once in between, until both surfaces turn golden.

Serve hot or cold with homemade sweet chili sauce, ketchup.

Crispy Tofu with Garlic Sauce

Crispy tofu:
1 12-oz. / 340-g block extra firm tofu
Salt

Garlic sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free option
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 green onion chopped (*Footnote 1)
Optional Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Optional Sriracha sauce for serving

Crispy tofu:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Line a baking tray with parchment.

Press the water out of the tofu while heating up the oven. Carefully press the tofu with your hands. Slice the tofu into two even-thickness pieces. Wrap a few layers of cheesecloth (or kitchen paper towel) outside the tofu, and place a small tray with a heavy weight on top. The weight can be a jar of pickles or canned tomatoes.

When the oven is heated, cut the tofu into 1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces. (*Footnote 2)
Season both sides with salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the tofu turns golden and the surface puffs.

Now you can use it in stir fries or serve the tofu with sauce.

Garlic sauce:

Prepare the garlic sauce while baking the tofu. Whisk the soy sauce, sugar, water, and cornstarch in a small bowl until completely dissolved.

Heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and green onions. Stir for 20 seconds to release the aroma.

Stir the sauce again to make sure the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour into the pan. Stir constantly for 10 to 20 seconds, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer immediately into a small bowl, so the sauce won’t overcook in the residual heat.

When the tofu is baked, drizzle the sauce over the tofu. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if using.

Serve immediately as a snack or appetizer.

Notes:
Use the white part to cook the sauce and save the green part to garnish the tofu before serving.
It is OK to cut the tofu slightly larger, up to 3/4-inch (1.5-cm) thick. It will take longer for the pieces to crisp up, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Crispy Marinated Tofu

1 block (14 oz / 400 g) extra-firm or firm tofu
Optional 3 to 4 green onions, coarsely sliced to fill the marinade (*Footnote 1), reserve green parts for garnish
Vegetable oil for pan frying

Marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons chili paste (or hot sauce you like) (*Footnote 2)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, grated

Coating:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt (Skip the salt if using doubanjiang in the marinade)
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Marinate (4 hr to overnight)
(Optional) Press the tofu gently using your hands or a few layers of paper towel to get rid of excess water. Use this step if you’re short on time and need to use less time to marinate the tofu. You can skip this step if you’re going to marinate the tofu overnight.

Prepare a container that’s slightly bigger than the block of tofu. Combine all the sauce ingredients in the container. Stir to mix well. Transfer 2 to 3 tablespoons of the marinade into a separate small bowl to use as a dipping sauce later.

Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, then into half-inch-thick squares. Transfer the pieces into the container by making them “stand”, so it helps the marinade to disperse evenly (see the blog post above to see how to arrange the tofu). Use your hand to gently separate the tofu slices, so all the surfaces will be in touch with the marinade. If the marinade cannot cover all the tofu, use some green onion (or white onion) to fill up the empty space in the container, so the marinade covers most of the tofu.

Cover to seal the container. Gently shake it. Marinate overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for at least 4 hours.

Cook
When you’re ready to cook, remove the tofu from the marinade and lay it on a few layers of paper towels to drain the extra liquid.

Combine the coating ingredients in a plate. Stir to mix well.

Prepare a big plate with a few layers of paper towels, for the cooked tofu.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a nonstick (or carbon steel) pan over medium-high heat until hot.
You might need to cook the tofu in batches depending on your pan size. While heating up the pan, coat each piece of tofu with the coating mixture and place it on a plate. You should only coat the pieces you’re going to fry immediately.

Carefully add the coated tofu pieces into the pan. Cook without moving until the bottom is browned, 2 minutes or so. Flip to cook the other side until browned, another 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium if the pan gets too hot and the oil starts to smoke. Repeat the process until you’ve fried all the tofu pieces.

Transfer the fried tofu onto the paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil.

Serve the fried tofu with the reserved dipping sauce on the side and garnish it with chopped green onion. Enjoy!

Notes:
I put green onion in the marinade container so the liquid would rise high enough to cover the tofu. You can skip it if the marinade covers the tofu already.

Sriracha, Thai chili paste, doubanjiang, and any other type of hot sauce will work in this recipe. Note, if you use doubanjiang, skip the salt in the coating since doubanjiang contains a lot of salt already.

The nutrition facts were calculated based on an estimate of the amount of marinade that gets absorbed by the tofu.

Chinese Deviled Eggs

6 extra large eggs
5 tablespoons mayonnaise (or to taste)
1 heaping teaspoon wasabi or Chinese hot mustard (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons zha cai Chinese pickled mustard greens, diced (Optional)
1 green onion , thinly sliced
Chinese chili flakes (or your favorite chili sauce)

To boil the eggs, fill a pot with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then slowly lower the eggs using a ladle. Boil for 12 minutes, stirring the water in a circular motion with a spoon for the first minute (to keep the egg yolk in the center). Once the eggs are done, run them under cold tap water to stop cooking.

Once the eggs are cooled, peel them and slice them in half lengthwise.

Gently pop out the cooked yolks into a big bowl using a small spoon. Mash them with the backside of a spoon. Make sure to mash them as finely as you can, so the finished filling will be smooth.
Add the mayonnaise, wasabi or mustard, and rice vinegar to the bowl. Mix with a spatula (or an immersion blender) just until it forms a smooth paste. You can adjust the taste by adding more mayo, wasabi, or vinegar.

Add the zha cai pickles, if using. Mix again to distribute throughout the yolk mixture.

Transfer the yolk mixture to a piping bag with a large star tip, or a small ziplock bag with a corner cut off.

Pipe the yolks into the halved egg white cups.

Garnish the eggs with chili flakes (or hot sauce) and green onions. Serve as an appetizer.

These eggs can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days.

Indian Gremolata

3/4 cup cilantro leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons jalapeño, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 easpoon salt

Mix all ingredients together and top soups, grains, veggies, or meats with the New Indian Gremolata. The gremolata keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: all’Amatriciana

1/2 pound of unsliced pancetta or prosciutto
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds canned tomatoes, preferably imported Italian
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino, romano or Parmesan cheese

Cut the pancetta or prosciutto into chunks less than one-half inch thick. Place in a saucepan with the olive oil and fry over low heat for 15 minutes, until all the fat has been rendered out and the meat is very crisp. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium heat for five minutes.

Drain the tomatoes, finely chop them and add to the onion in the pan. Season with red-pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over eggs topped with cheese.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

1/2 pound of unsliced pancetta or prosciutto
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds canned tomatoes, preferably imported Italian
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried bucatini or perciatelli
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino, romano or Parmesan cheese

Cut the pancetta or prosciutto into chunks less than one-half inch thick. Place in a saucepan with the olive oil and fry over low heat for 15 minutes, until all the fat has been rendered out and the meat is very crisp. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium heat for five minutes.

Drain the tomatoes, finely chop them and add to the onion in the pan. Season with red-pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of cold water to a boil and add salt to taste. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 to 12 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain well.

Transfer the cooked sauce to a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and the reserved meat and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the cheese and mix very well. Transfer the pasta to a warm platter and serve immediately.

Potato and White Bean Puttanesca Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup black olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 pound Yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems (or fresh basil leaves)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper

Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onion, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1/4 cup black olives, 1 tablespoon capers and the garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the garlic is lightly golden.

Add the tomatoes and sugar, and cook over medium heat until mixture is bubbling and tomatoes have thickened slightly, 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes, cannellini beans, red-pepper flakes and stock; stir and cover. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

As potatoes cook, prepare the topping for your soup: Place the remaining 1/4 cup olives, 1 tablespoon capers and the parsley on a cutting board, and chop everything together.

Once the potatoes are tender, add the balsamic vinegar. Using the back of a large wooden spoon, roughly crush or mash about a quarter of the potatoes and beans against the side of the pot. This will thicken the soup. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the caper-olive-parsley topping. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. This soup can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. This will deepen the flavors.

Gruyere Puff

3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese (about 3 ounces)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper in bowl until smooth. Stir in cheese.

In 9-inch ovenproof skillet, melt butter. Swirl to coat all sides. Pour in batter. Transfer to oven. Bake until puffed and dark golden, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, serve hot.

Ancho-Lime Butter

2 stemmed and seeded ancho chiles
4 ounces softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 grated garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Toast ancho chiles in a small skillet over medium, turning often, until they start to blister, about 4 minutes. Transfer chiles to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain well and finely chop.

Mash butter with chopped chiles, chives, lime zest, salt, garlic, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Roll butter in parchment; freeze until firm.

Notes
Grate over chicken noodle soup or roasted tri-tip.

Roasted Chili Butter (for Grilled Vegetables)

5 red Fresno chiles or jalapeños
1/2 teaspoon minced Scotch Bonnet chile or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced chives

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the Fresno chiles over high heat, turning, until blackened and softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool slightly. Peel, seed and mince the chiles and return them to the bowl. Add the Scotch Bonnet, butter and chives and stir until combined.

Serve with grilled vegetables.

Grilled Tenderloin and Toast with Ancho-Jalapeno Butter

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 medium shallots, minced
2 jalapeños, minced
3 teaspoons ancho chile powder
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

One 2 1/2-pound beef tenderloin, tied
8 thick slices of crusty bread

Set up a grill for indirect grilling, with the coals on one side, and heat to 450°. In a bowl, mix the butter, shallots, jalapeños and chile powder; season with salt. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 1 1/2-inch-thick log; refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, paprika, pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt. Rub the beef with the spice mixture. Oil the grate and grill the beef directly over the coals, turning, until charred, 12 minutes.

Move the beef away from the coals. Cover and grill for 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the beef registers 130°. Transfer to a carving board; let rest for 10 minutes.

Grill the bread directly over the coals until toasted. Spread the bread with half of the ancho-jalapeño butter. Slice the remaining butter and transfer to a plate.

Slice the beef and serve with the toasts and ancho-jalapeño butter.

Parmesan Corn Butter

1 ear of corn, shucked
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt

Grilled fish, chicken steak, or vegetables for serving

In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the corn over high heat, turning, until charred in spots, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Cut the kernels off the cob and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the butter, cheese, lime zest and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled fish, chicken or steak.

Make Ahead
The corn butter can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Bucatini Cacio e Pepe with Cherry Tomatoes

1 pound bucatini, broken in half
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon very coarsely ground white pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped cherry tomatoes
1 3/4 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (6 ounces)
Salt

Cook the bucatini in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the bucatini and return it to the pot. Add the olive oil, black and white pepper and the reserved pasta water. Add the cherry tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, season with salt and toss well. Transfer to a large, warmed pasta bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Serve at once.