Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Red Lobster Biscuits)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

FOR THE TOPPING

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and butter. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Gently fold in cheese.

Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the batter evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
For the topping, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl. Working one at a time, brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture.

Serve immediately.

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.

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.

Avgolemono (Chicken Soup with Rice)

4 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked white rice, warmed
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from the bones and coarsely shredded (1 pound)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

In a large saucepan, season the stock with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Transfer 1 cup of the hot stock to a blender.

Add 1/2 cup of the rice, the egg yolks and the lemon juice and puree until smooth.

Stir the puree into the simmering stock along with the chicken and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of rice and simmer until thickened slightly, 10 minutes.
Stir in the dill and serve.

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.

Macaroni and Cheese with Crispy Topping

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound Colby cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the half-and-half and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add one-half of the Cheddar and Colby cheeses and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Stir in the mustard, nutmeg and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain very well. Return the macaroni to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and the remaining cheese and stir until combined. Spread the macaroni in the prepared baking dish.

Meatloaf

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Salt
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons ketchup, plus more for glazing
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (or whipped cream cheese)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Heat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has begun to soften and lightly caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and continue to cook until both the onion and garlic are soft and golden brown (be careful not to burn the garlic), about another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except for the eggs. Add a few good pinches of salt. Then mix it with two forks, combining thoroughly but not overmixing.

Gently stir in the eggs and the browned onions and garlic, mixing just until combined.

Gently shape the mixture into a rough football and nestle it snugly into a loaf pan, patting it down so the top is fairly flat. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes, then brush the top lightly with ketchup and return to the oven for 10 to 20 more minutes. The meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches about 145°F.

Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Matzo Ball Soup

For the soup

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
2 large onions (whole, unpeeled)
4 parsnips
2 stalks celery
6 carrots
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 tablespoons snipped dill, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Put the chicken and enough water to cover by two inches (about 4 quarts) in a large pot and bring the water to a boil. Skim off the froth as it rises to the top.

Add the onions, parsnips, celery, carrots, parsley, 4 tablespoons of the dill, and the salt and pepper. Half-cover and simmer for at least an hour and up to 2 hours, adjusting the seasoning to taste.

Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight so the liquid solidifies. When the fat rises to the top, skim it off and reserve for the matzo balls.

For the matzo balls

4 large eggs
4 tablespoons schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or vegetable oil
4 tablespoons chicken stock
1 cup matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, dill, or cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Using a spoon, gently mix the eggs, schmaltz, stock, matzo meal, nutmeg, ginger, and parsley, dill, or cilantro in a large bowl. Season with salt and 2 to 3 grinds of pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour or overnight.

To shape and cook the matzo balls, bring a wide, deep pot of lightly salted water to a boil. With wet hands, take some of the mix and mold it into the size and shape of a golf ball. Gently drop it into the boiling water, repeating until all the mix is used. Cover the pan, reducing heat to a lively simmer.

Cook for about 20 minutes for al dente matzo balls, or closer to 45 for lighter matzo balls. To test their readiness, remove one with a slotted spoon and cut in half. The matzo ball should be the same color and texture throughout.

Strain the soup. Set aside the chicken for chicken salad and discard the vegetables.

Just before serving, reheat the soup. Spoon a matzo ball into each bowl, pour soup over each matzo ball, and sprinkle with the remaining snipped dill.

Classic Tandoori Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (light and dark meat; see headnote)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder (may substitute a combination of 1/2 teaspoon each paprika and cayenne pepper; see headnote)
6 tablespoons plain, full-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons garam masala, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek, or more as needed
Vegetable oil, for basting

Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts in the thickest part of the chicken.

Combine the lime juice and salt in a bowl large enough to hold all the chicken pieces; add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Uncover; add the chile powder, yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala and fenugreek, tossing well to coat and distribute evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (or hotter)

Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers, season with a little more garam masala or fenugreek, if desired. Roast (middle rack) for 5 to 6 minutes. Baste with a little oil and continue roasting for 3 to 4 minutes.

Check if the chicken is done by cutting into one of the larger pieces. If it is still pink in the middle, roast for another 3 to 5 minutes and check again.

Blender Tomato Soup

1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove ga1/2 cup chopped onion
1 slice white or whole-wheat bread (crusts removed), torn into 1-inch pieces
28 ounces canned, no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes, plus their juices
1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
1 teaspoon seasoning blend, such as Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the oil, garlic, onion, bread pieces, the tomatoes and their juices, the broth and seasoning blend in a blender; begin to blend on low, then gradually increase to high until pureed and smooth.

Pour into a medium saucepan; cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Serve warm.

Meatballs and Sauce

FOR THE MEATBALLS
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for your hands
1 small onion, cut into small dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 slices white/country bread, preferably crusts removed, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk
2 pounds ground veal
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
1 pound ground pork shoulder (butt)
8 ounces finely chopped or ground prosciutto
1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, preferably homemade (see related recipe)
6 large eggs
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups “00” flour, for dusting

FOR THE SAUCE
28 ounces canned whole San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)

For the meatballs: Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion, garlic, dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook just until the onion and garlic have softened but not browned; transfer to a very large mixing bowl.

Combine the bread pieces and milk in a medium bowl; let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the milk is completely absorbed.

Add to the large bowl the ground veal, ground beef, ground pork shoulder, prosciutto, pecorino-Romano, ricotta, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and the soaked bread pieces; use your clean hands to blend the mixture until well incorporated.

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the “00” flour in a wide, shallow bowl.

Grease your hands with a little oil. Form the meatball mixture into 65 meatballs of equal size (shell-on walnuts). Coat each one lightly with “00” flour, dividing them between two parchment-paper-lined rimmed baking sheets. Roast on the upper and lower racks for 10 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until the meatballs are browned and cooked through. Discard any remaining flour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Use a food mill to puree the tomatoes. Discard the seeds; reserve the can juices for another use, if desired.

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Cook just until the garlic starts to brown, then stir in the tomato puree. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, then taste, and season lightly with kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper. Stir in 6 to 8 basil leaves, if desired. Turn off the heat. Transfer 30 of the meatballs to the saucepan, turning them until coated. Cool and reserve the remaining meatballs for another use.

Mattar Paneer

2 teaspoons oil (use peanut oil if possible as it has a higher smoke point)
1/8 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (grind coriander and cumin together if you’d like)
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup Indian paneer
1/2 cup half & half , 1/2 c fat-free evaporated milk

Pour oil into a pan that has a well-fitting lid.

As the oil starts to smoke, put in the mustard and cumin seeds. Wait for a minute or two until they start to pop and sound like popcorn popping.

Put in the chopped onion and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until the onion softens and the edges get brown.

Add chopped tomatoes and 1/2 c of water and stir the mixture well.

Add all remaining spices and mix. Let it come to a boil for the flavors to meld.

Pour in half & half or evaporated milk and mix well over low heat until the sauce melds together.

Put in frozen peas and thawed paneer. Cover and cook over gentle heat until heated through.

Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired and enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Japanese Curry

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 pound chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cups onion sliced thick
4 red potatoes quartered
2 carrots chopped thick
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 package Japanese (or House Vermont) Curry Paste (6 squares)
1/2 cup coconut milk

Add all ingredients except the coconut milk into the inner liner of your pressure cooker. Place the curry paste on the top to prevent scorching.

Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, and then release pressure quickly.
Stir well and mix in the coconut milk, stirring until well incorporated.

Serve with rice or noodles, or with a side salad.

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig

3 bacon slices
5 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
5 peeled garlic cloves (optional)
1½ tablespoons Alaea Red Hawaiian Coarse Sea Salt (or ~1 tablespoon Alaea Red Hawaiian Fine Sea Salt)
1 cup water
1 cabbage, cored, and cut into 6 wedges

Drape three pieces of bacon on the bottom of tge pot. Press the “Sauté” button and in about a minute, your bacon will start sizzling. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker instead, line it with three pieces of bacon, crank the burner to medium, and start frying your bacon.)

Slice the pork roast into three equal pieces. If you’ve got some garlic on hand, use it! With a sharp paring knife, stab a few slits in each piece of pork, and tuck in the garlic cloves.

Carefully measure out the amount of salt you use. For this recipe, follow Judy Rodger’s rule of thumb: use 3/4 teaspoon of medium-coarse salt for every 1 pound of meat. (Using fine salt? Use about half that amount.)

Sprinkle the salt evenly over the pork. As you’re seasoning the pork, you’ll hear the bacon sputtering in the pressure cooker. Don’t forget to flip the slices, and turn off the heat when the bacon is browned on both sides.

Place the salted pork on top of the bacon, keeping the meat in a single layer.
Pour in the water. Check your pressure cooker manual to see what the minimum amount of liquid is for your particular model, and adjust accordingly.

Cover and lock the lid.

If you’re using an Instant Pot, select the “Manual” button and press the “+” button until you hit 90 minutes under high pressure. Once the pot is programmed, walk away.

If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then, reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure for about 75 minutes.

When the stew is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to its “Keep Warm” mode. If you’re at home, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the cooker and let the pressure come down naturally quicker.

If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, remove the pot from the heat. In either case, let the pressure release naturally (which will take about 15 minutes).

Once the cooker is depressurized, check that the pork is fork-tender. If the meat’s not yet fall-apart tender, you can always cook the pork under pressure for another 5-10 minutes to get the right texture.

Transfer the cooked pork to a large bowl, and taste the cooking liquid remaining in the pot. Adjust the seasoning with water or salt if needed.

Chop the cabbage head into six wedges and add them to the cooking liquid.

Replace the lid and cook the cabbage under high pressure for 3-5 minutes. When the cabbage is done cooking, activate the quick release valve to release the pressure.

While the cabbage is cooking, shred the pork. Once the cabbage is cooked, pile it on the pork and serve.

Notes

The leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 4 days or frozen up to several months. Pro-tip: Crisp up the leftover pork in a skillet for a crunchy, porky delight!

courses dinner

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt, more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoons crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
1 medium orange (I like using Cara Cara)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon ghee, avocado oil, lard, or favorite high temperature cooking fat (optional)
1 small white onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed and spun dry (Siete’s grain-free tortillas are awesome as well.)
2 Hass avocados, peeled and sliced
1-2 radishes, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, sliced (optional)
1 cup salsa
3 limes, quartered
Instructions

Grab your boneless pork shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt) and cut it into 2-inch cubes.

Plop the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss well to coat. Then, transfer the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot insert.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface, making sure you don’t peel into the white pith, ’cause that stuff is bitter. Add the strips of orange zest to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, quartered yellow onion, and bay leaf.

Cut the bald orange in half and juice it. Pour the juice into the Instant Pot insert and stir to distribute.

Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Make sure the valve on the lid is pointed at the “Sealing” position. Press the “Manual” button and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. (Stovetop pressure cooker users should cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.) Then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes).

If the pressure hasn’t completely released after 20 minutes and you’re hungry, manually vent the pressure by turning the release valve on the lid. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. You can shred and serve the pork as-is, or store it in the fridge (with all the liquid/fat) for up to 4 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).

If you prefer crispy carnitas, heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat.

Grab the pork out of the fridge and dig out the pieces of carnitas. Shred the meat up with your fingers.

Once the pan is hot, add the pork and fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired crispness.

While the pork is getting crispy, combine the diced white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Also, wash some butter lettuce leaves, slice up the avocados, radishes, and jalapeños. Grab your favorite salsa, and cut up some lime wedges.

Last but not least, grab your plate and assemble your own delicious tacos!

Pressure Cooker Ground Beef Chili

1 tablespoon avocado oil, ghee, or cooking fat of choice
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves,minced
2 pounds ground beef (85% lean, 15% fat)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup chicken broth or bone broth
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)

Toppings:
Sliced avocado
Slivered scallions
Finely diced white onions + minced cilantro
Unsweetened coconut yogurt
Lime wedges

Press the sauté button on the and wait for the metal insert to heat up. Once the insert is hot, add 1 tablespoon of fat and swirl it around.

As soon as the oil is shimmering, add the onions and bell peppers with a sprinkle of salt.

Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened.

Stir in the tomato paste and minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add in the ground beef along with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Brown the meat and break it up with a spatula.

When most of the ground beef is no longer pink (5 to 7 minutes), stir in the chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper (optional).

Combine well to distribute the fragrant spices.

Toss in the drained diced tomatoes, broth, and fish sauce.

Stir everything well, making sure the liquid reaches the bottom of the insert.

Lock the lid and cook under high pressure for 15 minutes. (In other words, press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and set the time for 15 minutes under high pressure.)

When the chili is finished cooking, release the pressure manually if you’re itching to eat it right away. Otherwise, you can let the pressure come down naturally and chow down when you’re ready.

Sprinkle on some extra salt and stir in the apple cider vinegar, if desired. Taste again to see if you need to punch up the flavors.

Ladle up the chili and serve with your favorite toppings, like sliced avocado, white onion, and cilantro!

Matzo Balls

4 large eggs
1/4 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), coconut oil or vegetable oil (kosher for Passover)
1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, dill or cilantro
1 teaspoon salt, more for cooking
Black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, schmaltz, stock, matzo meal, nutmeg, ginger and parsley. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Gently mix with a whisk or spoon. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours or overnight.

To shape and cook the matzo balls, fill a wide, deep pan with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. With wet hands, take some of the mix and mold it into the size and shape of a Ping-Pong ball. Gently drop it into the boiling water, repeating until all the mix is used.

Cover the pan, reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook matzo balls about 30 to 40 minutes for al dente, longer for light. If desired, the cooked matzo balls can be transferred to chicken or vegetable soup and served immediately.

Alternatively, they may be placed on a baking sheet and frozen, then transferred to a freezer bag and kept frozen until a few hours before serving; reheat in chicken or vegetable soup or broth.

Meatloaf

1 cup chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 pounds ground beef sirloin
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 egg
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups Heinz chili sauce
3 slices bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, saute the celery and onion in the butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a large mixing bowl and cool.

When the onions are cool enough to handle, add the meats, parsley, sour cream, bread crumbs, thyme, marjoram and salt and pepper to the bowl. Whisk the egg with the Worcestershire sauce and add to the mixture. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, combine the mixture and mold into the shape of a loaf.

Place the meatloaf in the prepared pan. Top with the chili sauce and bacon slices. Bake until firm and nicely browned, about 1 hour.

Basic Crepes

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk (10 fluid ounces; 280ml)
1 cup flour (5 ounces; 140g)
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil (1/2 ounce; 15ml), plus more for cooking
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon (8g) sugar, if making sweet crepes
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chervil, or chives (optional; for savory crepes)

For the Batter: Combine eggs, milk, flour, melted butter or oil, salt, and sugar (if using) in a blender. Start blender on low speed and increase to high. Blend until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add herbs (if using) and pulse to combine. (Alternatively, you can combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until smooth.)

To Cook: Heat a 10-inch nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron or carbon steel skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Lightly grease with oil or butter, using a paper towel to wipe out the excess.

Hold the pan’s handle in one hand and pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60ml) batter, swirling and tilting pan immediately to spread batter in a thin, even layer over bottom of pan.

Let cook until top looks dry, about 20 seconds. Using a thin metal or nylon spatula, lift one edge of crepe. Grab that edge with the fingers of both hands and flip crepe. Cook on second side for 10 seconds, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Fill crepes as desired (such as with butter, sugar, and lemon juice; with butter and jam; with ham, cheese, and eggs; or with spinach and feta) and serve. Crepes can also be made ahead and stored, unfilled and wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a nonstick pan to serve.

Cheesy Grits

1 1/2 cups grits (not instant)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces sharp white Cheddar, shredded
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hot pepper sauce

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are tender and resemble a porridge, 15–20 minutes. Stir in butter and cheese until melted. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.