Colicchio’s Dinner Rolls

Dough:
3/4 cup warm milk about 110F
1 tsp instant or dry active yeast
1 tsp Barley malt or 2/3 tsp molasses
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp coarse Kosher salt, or 1 tsp fine table salt *reduce if using salted butter
2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened

Topping:
Melted butter for brushing
Finishing Salt such as Fleur de Sel or Maldon’s

Stir together milk, yeast, and malt syrup in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add to milk mixture along with softened butter and stir with a wooden spoon or mix with mixer until a dough forms. Knead 5-6 minutes, adding additional flour as needed, to produce a smooth, moist dough.

Remove to a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 – 3 hours. *Trust your eyes here and not the clock. You will want to let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, however long that takes. I find it helpful to rise in an 8-cup glass measuring cup, so it’s easy to see when it has doubled.

Punch down dough and let rise again until doubled again, about 2 hours (or until doubled in size).

Meanwhile, melt a bit of butter and brush on a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Remove dough to a floured surface and divide into 8-10 equal sized pieces. Form pieces into balls and place into the buttered 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (4 or 5 rows of two rolls, spaced evenly in the pan).

Cover pan with a clean tea towel and let rise until puffy and about doubled, about 2 hours more.

Preheat oven to 350F. When rolls are risen, brush with melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from oven. Let stand a minute, then remove from pan to a cooling rack.

Brush with more melted butter and sprinkle tops with finishing salt.

Remove from pan and serve warm.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz dry macaroni (1 2/3 cups measured in a 2 cup glass liquid measure. Note that this measure will only work for macaroni and probably not a larger pasta shape. Weighing is recommended.)

Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
7 oz Good aged white crumbly cheddar crumbled
3 oz Another variety orange sharp cheddar or cold-packed cheddar grated or crumbled
1/2 tsp kosher salt little less if using table salt
1/4 tsp regular chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Topping:
1/2 oz aged cheddar grated
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder

Add water and a bit of salt to a large pot and place over high heat for the pasta. While it’s heating, prepare the cheese sauce.

For the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk and cook for about 2 minutes.

Very slowly add the milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the milk has been added, cook, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. (Don’t rush this step. The mixture will not be thick, but will noticeably thicken after 8-10 minutes of cooking).

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the cheese, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. (If the cheese isn’t melted completely after about 3 minutes, you can put the pan back on low heat and stir until it is melted). Set aside for a minute.

Preheat oven to 350F (175C) with rack in the centre of the oven. Oil or butter an 8-inch square baking dish, an 8-inch cast-iron skillet or individual baking dishes.

When the pasta water is boiling, add the macaroni and cook for 2 minutes less than the package directions indicate. (The noodles will finish cooking in the sauce in the oven). When the pasta is cooked, drain and immediately rinse well with cold water. Make sure your pasta is well drained.

Add the cooked pasta and to the cheese sauce and mix gently, but thoroughly. (It might look like too much sauce or too little pasta, but trust me, it will all be good in the end).

Spoon or ladle the mixture into a prepared baking dish or individual dishes. Sprinkle the top of each with a bit of additional grated sharp cheddar cheese (you don’t need a lot here, as there is plenty in the sauce), then sprinkle with the chipotle chili powder.

Bake in the preheated 350F (175C) oven uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce has bubbled up around the edges and the top has a nice golden crust. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Chinese Pork Fried Rice

2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil) (*Footnote 1)
1 lbs (450 g) ground pork
3 tablespoons oyster sauce , separated
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 green onions , chopped
3 cloves garlic , minced
3 eggs , beaten
1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn)
3 cups leftover steamed rice
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the ground pork. Stir and cook until browned, 2 minutes.

Add the green onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oyster sauce. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add the rice. Cook and stir to mix everything together. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir to mix the sauce with the other ingredients.

Add the mixed vegetables. Stir everything together and cook until the vegetables defrost, 1 minute or so.

Move everything to one side of the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the other side of the pan. Add the beaten eggs. Let the bottom set for a couple seconds. Then scramble the eggs and use your spatula to cut them into small pieces. Then mix the eggs with the other ingredients.

Taste the rice and add salt to adjust the seasoning, if needed, then mix well again. If you like slightly crispy rice, let the rice sit on the hot pan for 20 to 30 without stirring.

Add the sesame oil and mix everything again. Transfer the fried rice onto serving plates.

Serve hot as a main or side dish.

Thai Pork Fried Rice

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon white sugar
4 cups cooked and chilled jasmine rice
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced, reserved separately
1 large shallot, minced (4 tablespoons)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced cucumber and lime wedges, to serve

In a bowl, stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar. Set aside. Use your hands to break up the rice so no clumps remain. Set aside.

Heat a wok over medium-high until a drop of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, about 3 minutes. Swirl in the oil, then pour in the eggs. Cook, stirring, until just set. Transfer the eggs to a plate. Add the pancetta to the wok and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the plate with the eggs.

Return the wok to medium-high until just smoking. Add the scallion whites, shallot and garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry until softened, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Stir the fish sauce mixture to recombine, then pour in a thin stream along the sides of the wok. Stir-fry until well mixed. Stir in the pancetta, egg (breaking up the egg) and cilantro. Transfer to a large platter and sprinkle with scallion greens. Serve with cucumber and lime wedges.

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.