Singapore Chili Sauce

2 or 3 large red chiles, such as Fresno, cayenne, or long chile, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 hot Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chicken poaching broth

Put all of the ingredients into a small electric mini chopper and process to a semi-coarse sauce. Transfer to a dipping sauce dish.

Golden Egg Fried Rice

1 large or jumbo egg
1 scant tablespoon chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon MSG
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
Brimming 2 cups cooked long grain rice, at room temperature
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon neutral oil or bacon dripping

In a bowl and with a fork, beat together the egg, green onion, MSG, salt, and sherry. Add the rice and stir vigorously to combine well.

Heat a medium (10-inch) well-seasoned carbon steel or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil (or bacon dripping). When shimmering, dump in the rice. Stir and fold constantly for 3 to 4 minutes to cook evenly and separate the grains. The rice will be sticky and clump together at first but eventually separate.

When the grains have separated and pale yellow, you’re done! Serve on a plate to share or in individual bowls.
Notes

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Thai chile, stemmed and minced

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1?2 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and chile, and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool completely before serving. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Thai Satay (Chicken, Beef, or Pork)

1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breast, beef, or pork
1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3-4 shallots, peeled and sliced thin crosswise
1 stalk fresh lemon grass, sliced thin crosswise
1/4 inch piece of fresh galangal
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. sugar
20 bamboo skewers
2 Tbsp. cooking oil, canola or peanut

Slice meat into long thin slices, approximately 1/4″ thick and 2″ in length. Pat dry with paper towels.

Dry roast coriander seeds for a minute or two in a wok over medium heat to roast lightly, stirring often.

Grind the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder (reserved for spices).

Combine all the spices with the shallot, lemon grass, galangal and garlic together in a bowl.

Add meat to the marinade and mix well to cover meat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Before cooking, soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes, so that they will not burn.

Skewer 2 to 3 pieces of meat onto each stick. Grill over a hot fire until cooked through. Baste with cooking oil after turning.

Serve with rice and a cucumber salad.

Yellow Curry Paste (Nam Prik Kaeng Karee)

12 dried Thai chilis
2 tsp sea salt (or coarse salt)
2 shallots, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 thick slice fresh galangal (or dried galangal soaked in water until softened)
1 stalk lemon grass, sliced crosswise (discard tough outer leaves and the root end)
1 thick slice peeled ginger root
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp shrimp paste (kapee)

Dry roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant over low flame in a heavy bottom pan (be careful not to burn). Set aside. See a more detailed explanation of dry roasting spices.

Pound in a mortar and pestle or process in a small blender/food processor container in the following order: dried chilis, sea salt, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and ginger root. Process or pound until smooth but some small pieces can still be seen.

Now add the roasted spices and curry powder. Process or pound again until the seeds are completely broken up into powder and the paste is blended through. Last add the shrimp paste and gently blend in, using the mortar or processor

Red Curry Paste (Nam Phrik Kaeng Phet)

1 Tblsp coriander seeds, roasted until brown
2 cardamom pods, roasted until brown
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt
10 big dried red chilies, seeds removed and soaked in water for at least 10 minutes and then finely chopped
1 tsp (5 grams) galangal, skin removed, chopped
2 tsp (5 grams) lemongrass, lower third only, chopped
1 tsp (5 grams) kaffir lime peel, chopped
1 Tblsp (10 grams) coriander root, chopped
3 Tblsp (15 grams) shallots, chopped
3 Tblsp (15 grams) garlic, crushed
1 tsp (5 grams) Thai shrimp paste
10 small fresh red chili peppers (prik kee noo)

Put the coriander seeds, cardamom pods and black peppercorns in a granite mortar and grind into a powder with a pestle. Add the rest of the ingredients and pound using a pestle for about 10 minutes until the paste is smooth. All the ingredients for the paste can also be put into a blender and liquidized. If the paste is too dry, you may need to add a bit of water.

Kroeung (Cambodian Curry Paste)

6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1?2 tbsp. prahok
18 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and sliced into very thin ribbons
12 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 shallots, roughly chopped
6 stalks lemongrass, inner cores only, roughly chopped
1 (4-inch) piece fresh galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (4-inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium. In a large bowl, mix the prahok with the kaffir lime leaves, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric. Scrape the aromatics into the wok and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the ingredients are soft and beginning to lightly brown, about 14 minutes.

Scrape the ingredients into a food processor and let cool completely. Process the ingredients into a lightly chunky paste, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the food processor as you go, and then scrape the curry paste into a container.

Seal the container and store the curry paste in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Hmong Chile-Peanut Dipping Sauce

2 T fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp MSG, optional
1-2 fresh red chile peppers, minced
1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
4 green onions, white and green parts
1 small tomato, chopped (or 6 cherry tomatoes or 15 grape tomatoes)
2 T chopped raw peanuts
1 T peanut butter

In a small bowl, mix fish sauce, lime juice, salt, sugar and MSG if you are using it. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

Next, add the chile peppers, cilantro, green onions, tomatoes and peanuts. add the peanut butter and stir until the sauce is of uniform consistency.

Light and Crispy Waffles

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk 1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pure maple syrup, for serving

Preheat the oven to 200°. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a glass measuring cup, blend the buttermilk, vegetable oil and milk. Beat in the egg yolk.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg white to soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until firm and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the beaten egg white until just incorporated.

Preheat an 8-inch square waffle iron and oil it lightly. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the waffle batter into the preheated waffle iron and gently smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 4 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Transfer the waffles to the oven rack to keep warm and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve at once with maple syrup.

Minimalist Barbecue Sauce

1 generously heaped tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce of your choice, such as Sriracha or Tabasco, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire or fish sauce, plus more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk everything in a bowl, taste, add more of ingredients to taste, and seasoning as needed. More ketchup, for example, will make for a less intense sauce that’s closer to what you’d have in a bottle from a grocery store. The amount above makes 1/4 cup; scale it up as needed.

To make chicken skewers, cut 2 1/2 pounds of large, thick chicken breast cutlets into large chunks (about 1 to 2 inches). In a bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over it, just to thinly coat each piece. Thread them on skewers and grill on a very hot grill, rotating only when lightly charred underneath on each side, and continuing to rotate until they cooked evenly, about 7 to 10 minutes total, brushing occasionally with another tablespoon or so of sauce as they cook.

To make “fake baked beans”: Mince 1/4 of a onion and sauté slowly in 1 tablespoon of oil in the bottom of a medium saucepan, until soft. Add one 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) small white navy beans, drained and rinsed, plus the ingredients for one yield of the sauce above. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and gently simmer the mixture together for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if it gets to dry, and adjusting seasonings to taste.

Fried Rice with XO Sauce

1 tablespoon oil
4 cups cold rice, preferably day-old
5 eggs, well-beaten with 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons XO sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili oil, optional
Any other stir-fried ingredient-meat, seafood, vegetables, anything
Sliced scallions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until smoking, then add the eggs and stir-fry over high heat, until almost cooked through. Remove from the wok.

Add the XO sauce to the wok. Turn the heat to medium-low, then add the rice and stir-fry, breaking up clumps. Add the soy sauce and chili oil. Taste and add more condiments as needed. Add the eggs and whatever else you are using, and stir to mix well. Serve immediately, garnishing with scallions.

Garlic Naan

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water, room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Cooking oil, for the bowl 1 stick melted unsalted butter
Kosher salt

In a glass measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar, and water and let sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl.

Whisk together the yeast mixture, yogurt, and milk, and stir into the dry ingredients. Knead with your hands until the dough forms a smooth, soft ball, about 2 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl and turn onto a well-floured surface. Knead it briefly and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll it into 1/4-inch thick ovals, approximately 6 inches wide.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over moderately high heat. Sprinkle each portion with minced garlic and press it into the dough. Brush the dough with melted butter and place in skillet. Cook for about one minute, until the dough puffs up. Flip, cover the pan, and cook for one more minute. Remove from the pan and brush both sides with butter and sprinkle with salt. Place in a towel-lined bowl until ready to serve.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

2 pounds Roma tomatoes (or similar), cut in half lengthwise
1 medium white onion, cut into six wedges
1 large garlic clove, halved
a couple pinches of finely ground sea salt
2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium dried guajillo chile pepper, soaked in boiling water until softened, and then drained
1 -2 chipotles in adobo sauce (canned)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat oven to 400F degrees. Now gently tossed the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and salt with the olive oil in a large bowl. After they are nicely coated arrange in a single layer, tomatoes cut-side facing up, across a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions begin to caramelize a bit. Remove from the oven.

Puree the chiles (both the guajillo and chipotles) with the roasted garlic and two roasted tomato halves. Chop the remaining tomatoes by hand (once they’ve cooled a bit). Chop and add the onions as well. Season with salt generously, and stir in the cilantro.

Cheese Grits

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup old-fashioned grits
4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil.

Add the garlic and slowly stir in the grits.

Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are tender, 20 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter and cream.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Smoked Trout Rillettes

1/2 pound smoked salmon or trout, skin and bones removed
2 tablespoons sour cream or creme fraiche
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of a lemon
2 tablespoons minced chives or parsley
About 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, or to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pickled mustard seeds or trout caviar (optional)

Break up the trout salmon and place in bowl, along with the sour cream, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and chives. Use a heavy fork to mash everything together. You want a rough spread, not a smooth pate. Add more butter if the rillettes look dry.

Add salt, pepper and horseradish to taste.

Cover the rillettes with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for an hour or so before serving. Spoon over some pickled mustard seeds or caviar when you serve.

Once made, pack the rillettes tightly into jars; try to get as many air pockets out as you can. Once packed, melt some butter over the top of the rillettes, cover and store in the fridge. It will keep for at least a week this way, and up to 2 weeks if you keep resealing the butter cap between each use. You can also freeze the finished rillettes for several months.

Chicken Fajitas

1 teaspoon pure chile powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 green bell pepper—cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
8 flour tortillas, warmed in the microwave
Shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream, for serving

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chile powder with the salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken, bell pepper and onion, seal and knead gently to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.

Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl and serve with the warmed tortillas, lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.

Shrimp and Grits

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups milk
3 cups water
1 cup grits
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, finely grated
8 ounces bacon, chopped
20 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup scallion, chopped
Salt and pepper

Add the butter and olive oil to a saucepan set over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Turn the heat to high and pour in the milk and water. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in the grits. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. When done, dump in the cheese and stir until it is melted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Add the bacon to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook until golden browned and crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Pour out all but 3 tablespoons of the oil.

Set the skillet back over medium-high heat and when nearly smoking, add the shrimp. Cook until pink, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Scoop some of the cheese grits into a bowl and top with the shrimp, chopped bacon, and scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.