Creamed Corn

6 ears fresh corn
2 tablespoons butter
Sliver of garlic
Sea salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Fresh sage leaves or chopped parsley, for garnish

Scrape corn kernels from cobs, running knife edge along cobs to squeeze out juices. (If the corn is not very fresh, then blanch in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes before scraping kernels from cobs.)
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Drop in butter and melt until foamy. Add corn, garlic and juices. Season with salt and cook until kernels become tender. Pour in milk and simmer until milk is almost gone. Pour in cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve.

Notes: Fresh corn is best for this, but frozen corn would work as well. If using the latter, add a bit of water when cooking before you add the milk.

Homemade Rice Noodles

1 1/4cups rice flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (plus more for brushing)

Add the rice flour, tapioca starch (or cornstarch), salt and water to a mixing bowl. Mix and dissolve everything together well. Add 1 teaspoon of oil, and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into another bowl. Cover the liquid and let rest for 30 minutes.

While the mixture is resting, fill your wok (make sure that your flat-bottomed pan fits comfortably inside first!) with water. If you don’t have a wok, use a large, deep cooking vessel with a wide opening and a lid. Bring the water to a boil. (You might need to add more water throughout the cooking process. The goal is to have the pan float on top of the boiling water.)
Brush a light coating of oil on the bottom of the flat-bottom pan, put the pan on top of the boiling water, and add a 1/4 cup of the rice liquid to the pan. Tilt it a little so the rice liquid covers the bottom of the pan.

Now, cover with the pot/wok lid and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. If the flat bottom pan you use has a thicker bottom, e.g., Pyrex, increase the cooking time to 7 or 8 minutes. While it’s cooking, brush the second pan lightly with oil.

After 5 minutes, remove the lid, take out the 1st pan, and set aside. Put the 2nd pan on top of the water in the wok, add a 1/4 cup of the rice mixture. Tilt it a little so the rice liquid evenly covers the bottom, cover, and let cook.

While it’s cooking, attend to the first pan. We’re going to lift the noodle sheet out and place it onto a cutting board. Brush the cutting board with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking. Then, use a rubber spatula to loosen all sides of the sheet of noodle, and slowly lift it up and off the pan. Lay it flat on your cutting board. By now, your second pan is probably ready. Remember to brush the first layer with a thin layer of oil before layering the second sheet on top to prevent sticking.
Now brush the bottom of the 1st pan with some oil and get ready to make your 3rd batch. Repeat the above steps until all of the noodle batter is gone. Once all of the noodle sheets are made, I cut the noodle sheets into 1/3-inch wide pieces, but feel free to cut them in whatever sizes and shapes you like. I then toss the noodles, loosening each layer to separate them. Now the rice noodles are ready to be used!

You can store these noodles in the refrigerator for a day or two. They might harden slightly, but they should bounce back nicely once heated. Enjoy your homemade noodles!

Ranch Dressing Mix

1/2 cup dry buttermilk
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried chives
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse buttermilk, parsley, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper until well combined about 1-2 minutes.

NOTES:

3 tablespoons is equivalent to 1 (1.0-ounce) package Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix.

To make the Ranch dressing, combine 1 cup milk and 1 cup mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mix.

To Make Dressing:
Add 3 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream and 3/4 cup milk. Stir until well combined and refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Or: Mix together 1/2 cup ranch seasoning mix with 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1/2 cup buttermilk.

To Make Dip:
Combine 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, with 1/2 cup mayonnaise & 1/2 cup sour cream. Add up to 1/2 cup milk to reach desired consistency. Stir will and refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Or: Mix together 1/4 cup of ranch seasoning mix with 1 cup of sour cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk.

Ranch Chicken Fingers:
When dredging chicken tenders in flour, egg, and cornflakes, add 2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning mix to the flour to give more flavor.

Ranch Popcorn:
Toss 8 cups of popcorn with 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix.

Roasted Ranch Potato Wedges:
Toss 1 pound of potato wedges with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix. Roast at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, until tender.

Chicken Soup (with Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker Variations)

1–2 tablespoons olive oil
one large onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots, or two leeks)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
4–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped (I like 8)
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or use regular)
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ( or use breasts- if very large, cut in half)
——–
lemon juice to taste
pinch chili flakes
scallions, cilantro or Italian parsley
drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional, tasty)

Optional: 2-3 cups of cooked grain or starch of your choice like… Quinoa, rice or soba noodles, pasta, rice, 1 can whitebeans.

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to med- low and continue sauteeing until golden, 3-4 more minutes.

Add the chicken stock, water, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and skinless chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat so it’s gently simmering, covered for 20 mintues. If using breasts, check at 15.

Test a piece of chicken for doneness by pulling meat apart with two forks. It should come apart easily and look opaque. If done, shred the rest of the chicken, then return to the pot and simmer gently for 5 more minutes.

Squeeze with lemon, taste and adjust broth. You can add more salt of needed, or if too salty for your taste, water down with a little water. I prefer ours salty, lemony and unctuous, especially if adding a starch (like rice, noodles or beans) which will temper the salt quite a bit. Up to you. If the soup tastes bland, it needs salt.

Ladle it over cooked rice or noodles or just on it’s own.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro (or both) a drizzle of sesame oil if you like and chili flakes (or chili paste or sriracha). Or you could add some cooked or leftover rice or quinoa. You could add white beans or cooked pasta.

Or if going low-carb- leave all the starch and grains out keep it simple and keto-friendly. Cauliflower rice would also work well here too!

Notes:

Soup will keep 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

You could ladle it over a mound of rice noodles, then finish with sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro

Feel free to add 1/2 cup rice or quinoa to simmering soup. Or add a can of whitebeans. You can also add pasta ( about 4 ounces) but I prefer to cook pasta and rice noodles separate and ladel the soup overtop cooked noodles. Up to you. Feel free to toss in veggies, kale, spinach, etc.

Instant Pot: Set Instant pot to “saute” function and heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, bay, white pepper and chicken thighs, give a stir. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. (If using breasts, pressure cook 8-10 minutes depending on size). Manually release. Shred chicken with two forks. Season with lemon juice. Taste, adust salt. Follow the rest of the instuctions above.

For a slow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on High for 3 hours.

Quick Pickled Zucchini and Summer Squash

1 lb patty pan, crookneck or zucchini squash-or enough to fill four small 4 oz jars- (pick squash no bigger in diameter than the width of the jars you will be using).
1 small onion or shallot, sliced thin
1 tablespoon salt
1 garlic clove, sliced – per jar
1 T fresh dill -per jar
1 tsp mustard seeds– per jar
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns– per jar
1 small red chile, sliced thin

Pickling Liquid

1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or sub more white vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Using a mandolin, carefully slice the summer squash. If using a knife, make sure to cut pieces as evenly as possible, to the same thickness. Thicker slices will result in a crunchier pickle. Paper-thin will be softer.

Slice the small onion, or shallot. Toss both onion and squash in a bowl with a tablespoon of salt and let drain in a colander or strainer over a bowl for 2 hours or overnight. Pat dry.

Make the pickling solution: In a small pot, bring white wine vinegar, water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, let cool slightly.

In each 4 oz jar, add about a tablespoon of fresh dill, a teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, a few slices of chile pepper and sliced garlic cloves. You could also try experimenting with other seeds like whole coriander, cumin, or fennel seed. Then layer the squash and onion in jars, and top off with the pickling liquid.

Press down on the squash. Seal, and let cool in the fridge.

notes

These will keep for up to 2-3 weeks.

Harissa Paste (Regular and Quick)

4 oz dried chilies – (an assortment mild, med, hot, smoked)
6–8 garlic cloves
1 T cumin seeds
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 T coriander seeds
3 T olive oil
1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 T fresh lemon juice ( or finely minced preserved lemon, and you can add more to taste)
1 tsp smoked paprika ( optional)

Bring chilies to a boil in a large pot of water, turn heat off, cover, let sit 1 hour or overnight.

Toast spices and grind them. When the chilies are soft and rehydrated, drain and remove seeds and stems ( you can rinse them under running water to get them cleaned up . Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. If you like a “looser” style add more oil.

To store, place in sealable jar and drizzle olive oil over top after each use, to preserve. It will last 1-2 months in the fridge.As long as it’s covered with a layer of oil , it should keep well.

notes

The preserved lemon, is especially authentic and delicious if you can find it.

FOR a Quick harissa paste, simply mix the following together in a bowl. Not authentic, but a tasty quick option!

3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar (apple cider, red or white wine)
2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons smoked paprika
1 3/4 teaspoons cayenne or chipotle powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
10 garlic cloves, finely minced

Quick Pickled Vegetables

Enough Fresh Raw Veggies to fill 2 Quart size mason jars (about 5-6 cups)- beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, cucumbers, okra, green beans, asparagus, red onion, zucchini or summer squash, cauliflower florets, bell peppers, garlic scapes, fennel bulbs, cabbage, rainbow chard stems

1 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoons mustard seeds
6– 10 cloves garlic- sliced thickly
1/2 an onion sliced (optional)
few sprigs fresh dill ( optional) or other herbs

Other optional additions- whole cloves, dill seeds, whole allspice, fresh ginger slices, fresh chilies or chili flakes, celery seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, star anise, other fresh herbs.

Pickling liquid:

2 Cups vinegar- white, red wine, rice wine, apple cider (any of these, or a combination)
2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
4–6 Tablespoons sugar ( sugar is added for flavor, so feel free to cut back you like)

Prep your veggies. Wash them well and slice, quarter, or cut into spears, or leave whole ( like with green beans, asparagus, okra etc)

Bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil in a small pot, and in the mean time pack the jars with the prepped veggies.

In two quart size mason jars, divide the garlic and whole spices.

Begin adding the veggies and if your are including the onion ( which I recommend), layer a few slices in with the veggies along with any fresh herbs you would like to include ( you can also layer the garlic this way too, or put it in first, your choice) leaving about an inch at the top of the jar.
Using a funnel, carefully pour the hot liquid into the jars, making sure to submerge all the veggies, pressing down on them with the end of a wooden spoon. You may be able to add more veggies at this point, just make sure the liquid completely covers the veggies leaving at least a half inch of room between the liquid and lid.

Cover and let sit on the counter to cool, and after an hour or two, place in the fridge. These will taste good after 6-8 hours, but much better after a couple days.

notes

These keep up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

If pickling firmer veggies like carrots or beets, feel free to simmer the veggies in the pickling liquid (in a pot) for a few minutes to soften them slightly. Don’t over cook them!

If you are planning to can your pickles for long-term storage, bring a large pot of water to a boil and sterilize 2 wide-mouth pint jars and their metal lids.

Place the pickling liquid in saucepan over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the brine over the veggies filling each jar to within 1/2-inch of the top. Remove any air bubbles. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling liquid if necessary. Tighten the lids. Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight. For longer storage, place the filled jars in a boiling pot of water to can them. When the water comes back to a boil, boil the filled jars for 5 minutes then remove the jars immediately. Make sure the lids pop down.

Pickled Red Onions (with Variations)

1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar, or use apple cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 –2 tablespoons sugar (or honey or other substitute)
1–2 teaspoons whole spices (optional- one or any combination of peppercorns, fennel seed, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, caraway, star anise, juniper, allspice.)
optional additions:
1–2 garlic cloves, cut in half
a couple bay leaves
a teaspoon dried or fresh oregano ( if using on Mexican food)

Thinly slice 1/2 red onion. (Feel free to double the batch).

Place the onion along with the vinegar, water, salt, sugar and whole spices and any optional additions in a small pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. Simmer 1 minute, stirring.

Remove from the stove and let cool.

Place onions and liquid in a clean jar and store in the fridge.

Add fresh herbs if you like.

This will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

notes:

For a Mexican version of pickled onions, add sliced jalapeno and whole cumin and coriander seeds plus Mexican oregano to the pickling liquid.

For a Nordic version of pickled red onions, add fresh dill, caraway and peppercorns.

For an Indian version of pickled onions add fennel seeds, coriander and either fenugreek or cilantro!

Basic Roasted Vegetables

2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved into half-moons
2 parsnips, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved
1/2 – 1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks, or wedges
1 sweet potato cut into ¾ inch cubes
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
generous, 5 finger pinch of salt and pepper
optional additions: other veggies of course, fresh herbs -thyme, rosemary, sage

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Cut veggies and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If your sheet pans are small, use 2 pans.
Cut veggies and place them in rows.

drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and using tongs give a light toss.
Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotate, toss again, and continue cooking until fork tender, another 10-15 minutes.

Place in a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Tips:

Choose veggies that take roughly the same amount of time to roast. Root veggies (vegetables that grow underground) like carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, are relatively dense compared to other veggies and take the longest to roast, 30-50 minutes, depending on what size you cut them. Winter squash are medium-dense so take less time, when peeled and diced.

If someone were to ask me which veggies are best to roast? I would say, hands-down, root vegetables! Their natural sweetness and earthiness both get enhanced and elevated through roasting.
Cut veggies so they are the same thickness. This ensures they roast quickly and uniformly. I try to keep root veggies at ½ inch thick.

Roast vegetables on a parchment-lined sheet pan – and use an extra-large one! Or use two! They like space.

Group different veggies separately on the sheet pan (instead of mixing them all together) just in case you need to remove some and not others.

Keep it simple, with a light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkling of salt and pepper. This allows the flavors of the veggies to really shine.

Use a hot, 425 F oven, middle rack.

Check at 15 minutes, rotate pan and give a quick toss, continue cooking 5-15 minutes or until fork tender.

I always like to include an onion and bell pepper for flavor. (Just a personal preference)
Of course you can add a herb – thyme, rosemary, sage- all work well.

Basic Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Variations

1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
2–3 garlic cloves ( optional, or sub 1–2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder)
1 shallot, finely chopped ( optional)
pinch salt and pepper
zest from one small lemon
1/8 cup fresh chopped parsley (or thyme, cilantro or basil, or sub other herbs, see below)

Trim the leaves and stem off the cauliflower and cut into smaller pieces. (If using a box grater, cut into quarters and see notes)

Working in 2 batches, place 1/2 the cauliflower pieces into a food processor and pulse until it is uniformly and coursely ground. Place in a large bowl, lined with paper towels. Repeat with the second half.

Pat the top with paper towels, squeezing out any excess water.

To cook, either roast or saute.

To roast, preheat oven to 425 F. Remove the paper towels and place the cauliflower on a parchment lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, chopped shallot, finely minced garlic and the zest of one lemon. Toss and spread out. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden, giving it good toss halfway though. Garnish with fresh parsley.

To saute on the stove top, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until golden and fragrant. Add cauliflower, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes until you begin to smell the garlic. Turn heat down to low, cover and let this steam a bit until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Uncover, continue stirring, and add lemon zest. Cook until it starts to get golden. Sprinkle with herbs right before serving.

Feel free to make other variations to go with your meals:

Mexican – lime zest, cilantro, chili powder, cumin or coriander
Spanish – add smoked paprika
French – fresh thyme
Italian – garlic and basil
Indian – add curry powder
Asian – garlic and ginger, a small splash of soy and srircha at the end ( or Szechuan Sauce)

Zhoug (with Yogurt Variation)

1–3 whole jalapenos, sliced ( start with one, if unsure)
2 fat garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro, small stems ok
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon ( or whole, see notes)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/3 cup olive oil, more to desired consistency
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (Aleppo chili is nice), more to taste (optional)

Place all ingredients ( except oil) in a food processor and pulse until it’s uniformly chopped. Add oil and lemon juice process into a coarse paste. For a looser version, add a bit more oil.

Taste for salt and heat, adding more if necessary. Add chili flakes if you like.

Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week.

notes

Feel free to use whole cardamon seeds, whole cumin seeds and peppercorns– toasting and grinding. Caraway seeds are a nice touch too. Jalapeños are not traditional, yet produce a very consistent and milder heat. You can swap them out for hotter chilies. Feel free to swap out the cilantro for flat-leaf parsley, or even fresh mint. You can also do a blend of all three! The cardamom is the star here, so make sure you use enough so you can taste it.
To Make Zhoug Yogurt, mix 1-2 tablespoons with a cup of yogurt. Taste, adjust salt.

Chimichurri

1/4 cup red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh chilis, diced (jalapeno, red chilies, or feel free to omit for a milder version)
1 cup Cilantro, tiny stems OK
1 cup Parsley, thin stems OK
1 tablespoon fresh oregano ( or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1–2 limes) or use red wine vinegar (or use half lime and half vinegar)
3/4 cup olive oil, add more to the desired consistency
1 tsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika– (optional –only if you like smokey flavor)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, more or to taste

Finely mince everything and place it in a medium bowl along with remaining ingredients. (Or, alternatively, use a food processor: Place onion, garlic, and fresh chili if using, and pulse several times until very finely chopped. Add cilantro ( tender stems are fine) Italian parsley, and oregano, pulse again until chopped. Add olive oil, lime juice, smoked paprika (optional), salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times, until well combined (but not too smooth). If the mixture seems thick add a little more oil to loosen it up.)

Taste, adjust salt, lime and heat ( add more chilies or chili flakes) to your liking. If it tastes bitter, check your olive oil.

Sprinkle with chili flakes and few cilantro leaves.

This will keep up to 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

notes

For a spicier version add fresh jalapeño!

Tarter Sauce

1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons roughly chopped cornichon pickles
2 tablespoons roughly chopped capers
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or white wine vinegar

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 months.

Streusel Topping

250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
250 grams (2 1/2 cups) hazelnut flour
250 grams (1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
6 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) fleur de sel
250 grams (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Make the streusel dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a spatula), combine the all-purpose flour, hazelnut flour, sugar, and fleur de sel. Add the butter and mix to combine. Using your fingers, break up the streusel dough into pieces about the size of marbles. (Alternatively, push the dough through the holes of a wire rack to get pieces of a more uniform size.)

Bake the streusel: Spread the streusel over the prepared pan and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. The edges should be crunchy and the inside still soft. Let cool completely.

If you can’t find hazelnut flour, pulse 250 grams (3 cups) whole hazelnuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground. You can also substitute almond, pistachio, or walnut flour.

Shawarma Blend

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom (or cloves)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper // amount as original recipe is written)
Instructions

Add all spices to a small jar and shake or stir to combine. Will keep at room temperature for several months.

Pressure Cooker Basics: Rice

For all rice other than Black and Arborio, the ratio of water to rice when using a pressure cooker is 1:1. For Arborio and Black rice, the ratio will be 1 cup rice and 1.5 cups water.

Rinse and drain rice well. Consider using 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of ghee, Niter Kibbeh, or oil.

For basmati & Jasmine Rice, 1c water + 1 cup rice. 4 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For brown rice: 1 cup brown rice + 1 cup water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For Arborio rice, 1 cup arborio rice + 1.5 cups water: 5 mins HP, 10 mins NPR minutes + more liquid after cooking

For sushi rice, 1 cup sushi rice, 1.25 cups water, 10 mins HP, 10 mins NPR.

For black rice: 1 cup black rice + 1.5 cups water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR + more liquid after cooking. Alternatively, try one to one rice, 18 HP, 10 minutes NPR.

For red rice: 1 cup red rice + 1 cup water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For congee rice: 1 cup glutinous rice + 4 cup water: 20 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For wild rice blend, 1 cup Wild Rice Blend + 1 cup water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

Troubleshooting:

If the rice is too mushy, reduce the water then, if need be, reduce the time.

If it’s too chewy, try increasing the cooking time first and if that doesn’t work, try increasing the liquid.

If the center of the rice is hard but the outer portion isn’t, try increasing the water by a tad and if need be, increase the cooking time.

Always ensure you’re doing a 10-minute NPR (natural pressure release).

If the rice is sticking to the bottom, try adding ghee or butter first, then reduce the cooking and NPR time or try using a ceramic liner.

Perfect Chicken Tenders (and Honey Mustard Sauce)

Peanut oil, for frying
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Honey Mustard, recipe follows

Honey Mustard:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

Cut the chicken breasts into long strips and set aside.

Beat the 3 eggs in a separate bowl and measure the flour into another separate dish.
Measure the panko into a pie plate or shallow bowl and season with garlic powder, lemon-pepper, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Dip the chicken strips into the flour, the beaten egg and then dredge them into the seasoned panko.
Fry in the hot peanut oil for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown, and remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Serve with Honey Mustard sauce.

Honey Mustard:

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. The sauce can be held in the refrigerator for 1 week.

All-Purpose Peanut Sauce

2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger (minced or grated)
1/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky are both fine; 1/3 cup = 80g)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce (omit to make this vegan or substitute with vegan fish sauce)
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (or to taste)
2-3 tablespoons hot water (to your desired consistency)

Optional Add-ins
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon chili oil
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha
Instructions

Add all of the ingredients into a small bowl. Add the hot water, and stir to combine until you have a smooth sauce. Alternatively, you can make this in a food processor for a smoother consistency.

Enjoy this sauce on noodles, veggie noodles, tofu, grilled meats, vegetables, wontons or dumplings, salads, summer rolls, and more!

Perfect Egg Fried Rice

3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable or other neutral oil
3 large eggs, thoroughly beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups (about 1 pound/450g) cooked rice (see note)
2 teaspoons (10ml) light soy sauce
3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise

Preheat a wok over high heat until lightly smoking. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. If cooking on a powerful outdoor wok burner, reduce heat to minimum. If using a standard Western burner, keep heat on high throughout cooking. Add eggs to center of wok and cook, swirling wok until eggs are puffy and lightly browned on the bottom, about 10 seconds on a powerful burner or 30 seconds on a standard burner. Flip eggs and lightly brown on second side. Push eggs up to the side of the wok.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and swirl to coat. Add rice to center of wok. Flip eggs on top of rice, then using a wok spatula, break the rice and eggs up, tossing and stirring as you break them. Stir-fry until rice starts to pop and jump on its own when you set the wok down, about 1 minute on a powerful burner or 2 to 3 minutes on a standard burner.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil around the rim of the wok, then add the soy sauce to the same spot. Stir-fry until rice and eggs are evenly coated in the soy sauce (the rice should be more or less broken up into distinct grains without any large clumps). Add scallions. Remove from heat and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Chinese Cold Dressing

4 cloves garlic (minced; 4 cloves = about 15g)
3 thin slices ginger (minced; 3 thin slices = about 8g)
2 scallions (chopped, with the green and white parts separated)
3 Thai chilies (chopped)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or to taste)
2 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
1/2-1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped; or to taste)

In a large heat-proof bowl, arrange the minced garlic, minced ginger, the white parts of the chopped scallion, and chopped Thai chilies so they are adjacent to each other at the bottom of the bowl (don’t messily pile them all on top of each other).

Now infuse the Sichuan peppercorns in oil. In a small pot, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil with the Sichuan peppercorns over low heat until fragrant, taking care not to burn the peppercorns.
After about 10 minutes, remove the peppercorns using a fine meshed strainer or slotted spoon. Heat the infused oil just until it begins to smoke. Pour it carefully over the arranged aromatics in the bowl. It will bubble and sizzle! Carefully stir to evenly distribute the heat.

Now add in the sugar, vinegar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt and five spice powder. Mix well.

Finally add in the green parts of the chopped scallion and the cilantro. (If pre-making the sauce, leave these last ingredients out and add them right before serving.)

This all-purpose Chinese Cold “salad” dressing is ready to add flavor to blanched or steamed vegetables, tofu, seaweed, noodles, etc. With this sauce, you can make a variety of refreshing, cooling dishes during the warmer months, and use it for anything you have on hand.

Simply blanch or steam some vegetables, say: carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, string beans, even mushrooms. You could also include some traditional Chinese add-ins like tofu, seitan, five-spiced tofu, bean threads, seaweed, wood ears, noodles, etc.

This dressing will make your dinner planning that much easier. Make double, triple or quadruple this recipe and keep it refrigerated to be used throughout the week.