Low Country Hoppin’ John

Peas:

2 quarts Pork Stock or Chicken Stock
1 cup Anson Mills Sea Island Red Peas, soaked in a pot of water in the refrigerator overnight
1 1/2 cups medium dice onions
1 cup medium dice peeled carrots
1 1/2 cups medium dice celery
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 fresh bay leaf
10 thyme sprigs
1/2 jalapeño, chopped
Kosher salt

Rice:

4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Red Pea Gravy:

Reserved 1 cup cooked red peas
Reserved 2 cups cooking liquid from the peas
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Cider vinegar
Sliced chives or scallions for garnish

For the peas:

Bring the stock to a simmer in a small pot. Drain the peas and add to the stock, along with all of the remaining ingredients except the salt. Cook the peas, partially covered, over low heat until they are soft, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt. (The peas can be cooked ahead and refrigerated in their liquid for up to 3 days; reheat, covered, over low heat before proceeding.)

Drain the peas, reserving their cooking liquid, and measure out 1 cup peas and 2 cups liquid for the gravy; return the rest of the peas and liquid to the pot and keep warm.

Meanwhile, for the rice:

About 45 minutes before the peas are cooked, preheat the oven to 300°F.

Bring the water, salt, and cayenne pepper to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the rice, stir once, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes.

Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water. Spread the rice out on a rimmed baking sheet. Dry the rice in the oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Scatter the butter evenly over the rice and continue to dry it, stirring every few minutes, for about 5 minutes longer. All excess moisture should have evaporated and the grains should be dry and separate.

For the gravy:

Put the 1 cup peas, 2 cups cooking liquid, and the butter in a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add cider vinegar to taste.

(The gravy can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept in a covered container in the refrigerator; reheat, covered, over the lowest possible heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.)

To complete:

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peas to a large serving bowl. Add the rice and carefully toss the rice and peas together. Pour the gravy over them, sprinkle with chives or scallions, and serve.

Garlic Herb Cheese Bombs

2 cans (7.5 oz. each) refrigerated biscuits
4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, cut into 20 cubes
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Some fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
A tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Open the biscuit cans and separate the biscuits. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wrap the cheese bombs by placing one cube of the cheese in the center of each biscuit. Carefully wrap the biscuit dough around the cheese, pinch the biscuit to close and seal tight. Place the seam part down and arrange the biscuits so they are at least 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until the surfface turn golden brown.

While the biscuits are baked in the oven, mix the butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley leaves together. Set aside.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush with the butter mixture immediately. Serve warm.

Agrodolce Sauce

2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Bring chiles, vinegar, honey, raisins, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until syrupy, 8–10 minutes.

Just before serving, reheat agrodolce, adding a splash of water if needed to loosen.

This stuff would be great with any roasted vegetable—think cipollini onions and eggplant—and makes a seriously good glaze for grilled pork chops or chicken thighs or wings(!!). A schmear on a sandwich, a drizzle over cut fruit, or a dollop on a cheese plate wouldn’t suck, either.

It’s also fun to treat the agrodolce recipe as a basic formula to be riffed upon. Try swapping out the red wine vinegar for another acid like cider or sherry vinegar, or switching honey for another sweetener; we like the complex dark notes that brown sugar or good maple syrup brings to the table. And the golden raisins? Any dried fruit—chopped apricots, tart cherries, currants—is welcome.

Sweet Potato and Gruyere Gratin

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, for pan and foil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
3 cups heavy cream (or half-and-half)
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 fat cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large or 5 medium), peeled
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 2/3 cups/6 1/2 ounces grated Gruyère
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees and generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or shallow gratin dish. Butter a piece of foil large enough to cover top of pan. Sprinkle Parmesan all over bottom of pan.

In a medium pot, bring cream, sage, rosemary, garlic, nutmeg and a pinch of salt to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by 1/4, about 10 minutes.

In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk eggs just enough to break them up. Slowly pour hot cream into eggs to combine, whisking while pouring, and reserve the mixture.

Meanwhile, using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.

Place 1 layer of potatoes in the pan, slightly overlapping as you go, using about a third of the slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then pour 1/3 of the egg mixture over potatoes. Top with 1/2 cup Gruyère.

Repeat with another layer of potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper and 1/3 egg mixture. Top with 1/2 cup Gruyère.

Top with remaining potatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and remaining egg mixture (but not the remaining cheese). Press down to compact the potatoes.

Cover with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes, then remove foil, sprinkle top with remaining 2/3 cup Gruyère and parmesan and bake until browned and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve.

Lemon Souffle

About 1 teaspoon unsalted butter for the dish
1 cup sugar, plus some for the dish
6 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon minced or grated lemon or orange zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice or Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
Pinch salt

Butter a 2-quart soufflé or other deep baking dish. Sprinkle the dish with sugar, invert it, and tap to remove excess sugar. Set aside and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar until light and very thick; the mixture will fall in a ribbon from the ends of the beaters when it is ready. Beat in the flavorings and set aside.

Beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold soft peaks; continue to beat, gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, until they are very stiff but still glossy. Stir a good spoonful of them thoroughly into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites, using a rubber spatula or your hand.

Transfer to the prepared soufflé dish(es) and bake until the center is nearly set, 25 to 35 minutes (15 to 25 minutes for individual soufflés). Serve immediately.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

2 1/2 lb Ground beef
1/2 large Onion (chopped)
8 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 15-oz can Diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 6-oz can Tomato paste
1 4-oz can Green chiles (with liquid)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Chili powder
2 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Dried oregano
2 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 medium Bay leaf (optional)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chopped onion for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Transfer the ground beef mixture into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, and stir until combined. Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.
Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.

Instant Pot pressure cooker instructions

Select the “Sauté” setting on the pressure cooker (this part is done without the lid). Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, to the Instant Pot and stir until combined. Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.

Close the lid. Press “Keep Warm/Cancel” to stop the saute cycle. Select the “Meat/Stew” setting (35 minutes) to start pressure cooking.

Wait for the natural release if you can, or turn the valve to “vent” for quick release if you’re short on time. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.

Pasta e Fagioli

170g dried borlotti
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
A sprig of fresh rosemary
300-500g fresh tomatoes
Salt and black pepper
180g fresh egg pasta, cut into small, misshapen squares or 220g dried small pasta, or broken tagliatelle

If you are using dried beans, soak them for 12 hours or overnight. Drain, cover them with enough cold water that it comes at least 3 inches/10cm above the beans and cook at a simmer until tender, which usually takes about an hour and a half. Leave the beans to cool in their cooking liquid.
If you are using fresh beans, pod them, then cover them with enough cold water that it comes at least 10cm above the beans. Bring to a very gentle boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Leave the beans to cool in their cooking liquid. If you are using tinned beans, drain and rinse them.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep sauté pan or casserole, warm the olive oil over a low flame, add the peeled and gently crushed garlic cloves and rosemary, then fry them gently until fragrant. If desired, you can remove the garlic at this point. Peel the tomatoes, if you like, then roughly chop them and add them to the pan. Raise the heat just a little and cook the tomatoes for 10 minutes, or until soft and saucy. Add the beans and a couple generous ladlefuls of bean cooking water, then let the pan bubble away for another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt. At this point you may like to blend half the soup for a creamier consistency.

Add another couple of ladlefuls of bean cooking water and then the pasta. Continue cooking, stirring attentively until the pasta is tender. You may need to add a little more bean cooking water. Serve immediately.

Baked Gobi Manchurian

4 cups chopped cauliflower
1 cup chopped onions
1 large bell pepper chopped or eight small little ones
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric

For the sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce

Line a sheet pan with foil and turn on your broiler.

Sprinkle the veggies with oil, salt, and turmeric.

Mix well and place veggies on foil-lined sheet.

Broil for 30 minutes or so until the veggies are cooked.

Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds. Let this sit while the veggies cook.

When the veggies are done, remove from the oven and pour sauce on them, mixing as you go.

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, preferably dark meat (if using white meat, cut cooking time by 2 minutes)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock, preferably homemade
Chopped fresh parsley or celery leaves, for serving

FOR THE DUMPLINGS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup minced fresh chive (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk

Braised Eggplant with Minced Pork

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 pounds eggplant, cubed
8 ounces ground pork
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (divided)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
10 ounces dried spaghetti or noodles
1 tablespoon, plus 3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red chili, chopped
2 tablespoons ground bean sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt into 8 cups of water in a large bowl. Soak the cubed eggplant in the salt water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the eggplant, and use your hands or a clean dish towel to squeeze the water out of it. Set aside. This step helps the eggplant cook faster and absorb less oil later on.

In a separate bowl, mix the ground pork with 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine, 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, 2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons water. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.
Next, cook the spaghetti (or noodles) according to the package instructions. Drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a clean wok over medium heat, and cook the bell pepper for about a minute. Transfer the peppers to a dish, and set aside.

Next, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok over low heat. Cook the ginger and garlic for about a minute. Add the chili, and cook for another minute. Add the ground bean sauce, and cook for another minute. Then add the pork, and turn up the heat. When the pork is browned, add the eggplant, and stir-fry everything together thoroughly.

Cook for a couple of minutes before adding 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, and 2 cups water. Mix everything together well, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat, or until the eggplant is tender. At this point in the cooking process, there should be plenty of sauce in the wok. The starch from the spaghetti or noodles will help thicken it.

Lastly, add the bell pepper, cooked noodles, and chopped cilantro to the wok (if using). Mix everything well, add salt to taste, and serve immediately!

Stewed Okra and Peppers

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound okra, cut into 1/2-inch-wide rings
Sea salt
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup julienned red bell pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
2 cups peeled and diced roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmery-hot, add the okra and a pinch of sea salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, until the okra develops some color.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, until aromatic, and then add the shallots and bell peppers. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until the shallots become translucent.

Season with a generous pinch of sea salt and add the bay leaf, toasted cumin seeds, and tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes soften.

Remove the bay leaf, add the lemon zest and juice, and adjust the seasoning with more sea salt if needed. Serve warm.

This is a side that loves to be pushed against some steamed rice, eaten with gusto, and washed down with a very cold beer.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Lemongrass Creamed Corn

4 ears fresh corn, shucked
1/2 cup chicken stock, chilled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemongrass, from the tender interior
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
4 “airline” chicken breasts (about 7 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Using a knife or a corn cutter, remove the kernels from the corn cobs, dropping them into a large bowl. Run the dull side of your knife down each cob to press out the corn milk, adding it to the bowl. Place half of the corn kernels and corn milk into a blender, add the cold chicken stock, and puree until very smooth. Set aside.

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. When it bubbles and froths, add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, until translucent. Then add the remaining whole corn kernels and corn milk, the lemongrass, and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the pureed corn. Cook for 5 minutes, until it thickens. Then stir in the crème fraîche and season with kosher salt to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm on the back of the stove, away from direct heat, while the chicken cooks.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place a large cast-iron sauté pan over medium heat and heat it for about 5 minutes. Pour the olive oil into the hot pan, quickly season the chicken breasts all over with kosher salt, and place them, skin side down, in the pan. Press them down for a second with your hand so the skin doesn’t buckle from the heat. You’ll feel all cheffy.

Let the chicken breasts cook without fussing with them for 10 minutes. Then turn them over, place the pan in the oven, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the internal temperature at the thickest point reads 150°F. The chicken will still cook a bit after it comes out of the oven, and by all means we are trying to avoid the heresy of overcooked chicken. Remove the breasts from the oven and let them rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing.

If needed, reheat the corn to warm it through while you slice the chicken. Serve the chicken with the corn and sprinkle on thyme leaves. Eat.

Chinese Chicken Curry

12 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 medium onion, halved and sliced into small wedges
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt

In a medium bowl, combine the sliced chicken breast, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.

Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add a couple tablespoons of oil, and then add the chicken to the pan in one layer. Stir-fry the chicken just until it turns opaque, and remove from the wok.

Set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, and add the onions. Stir-fry for one minute, then stir in the chicken stock, curry powder, turmeric, sugar, and salt to taste.

Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water and mix until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir it into the curry and stock mixture, and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. If the sauce isn’t thick enough, add more cornstarch slurry. If it’s too thick, add more chicken stock.

Add the cooked chicken back to the wok, and stir for another 30 seconds.

Serve with steamed rice and a big spoon.

Caramel Chicken

For the caramel
8 ounces (235g) palm sugar
2/3 cup (160ml) fish sauce
2 Thai chiles, sliced lengthwise
For the chicken
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds (700g) boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 inch (5cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
3 medium shallots (about 2 ounces, total, 60g) shallots, peeled and sliced into rings
fresh cilantro, for garnish

To make the caramel, melt the palm sugar over low heat in a medium-to-large saucepan or skillet, stirring frequently (and breaking it up) to encourage it to melt. It’ll take about 10 minutes to liquefy completely. Similarly, you can place the palm sugar in a large glass heatproof measuring cup or bowl and melt the palm sugar in a microwave oven, which will take about 20 to 30 seconds.

When the sugar is melted and bubbling, remove from heat and stir the fish sauce into the liquefied palm sugar. (If you have a hood fan, you may wish to turn it on before adding the fish sauce.) It may also bubble up a bit, so be careful. Add the chiles and set aside.

To cook the chicken, heat the oil in a medium-to-large sauté or wide braising pan, or regular-sized Dutch oven. Add the ginger and shallots and cook until they start to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the chicken and the caramel, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat until the sauce is just simmering. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. (The original recipe said to cook the chicken for 20 minutes, but mine was done sooner.)

Serving: Serve the chicken with rice.

Storage: The chicken is best eaten right after it’s made. The sauce can be made up to one month ahead, and refrigerated. Rewarm until liquified before using.

Miso Glazed Grilled Duck Breasts with Mango and Greens

4 large duck breasts (about 2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons red miso
2 tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon sake or mirin
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
6 ounces small green beans, topped and tailed
Lettuce leaves, for serving
1 large mango, peeled and sliced
Watercress sprigs, for garnish (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped scallions

Trim duck breasts of extraneous fat (or ask your butcher to trim them) and score the skin. Season very lightly with salt and generously with coarsely ground pepper.

Make the marinade: In a mixing bowl, whisk together miso, soy sauce, sake, orange zest, ginger, garlic, cayenne and sesame oil. Remove 1/4 cup of the marinade and combine it with 2 tablespoons orange juice to make a dressing; set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice to the marinade in the mixing bowl.

Lay duck in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over, making sure meat is well coated. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. If you wish, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Prepare a bed of medium-hot coals in a grill, or heat a stovetop grill or cast-iron pan to medium hot. Cook duck breasts skin-side down for 8 to 10 minutes, until fat is rendered and skin is nicely colored. (See note.) Turn and cook on the other side for 3 or 4 minutes, until internal temperature registers 125 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook green beans for 1 to 2 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain green beans and rinse with cool water; blot dry.

Slice duck crosswise about 1/8-inch thick. Line a platter with lettuce leaves. Place several slices of duck on each leaf, along with a couple of mango slices. Arrange green beans over the top and garnish with watercress, if using. Drizzle reserved dressing over everything, sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Rice Noodles with Spicy Pork and Herbs

1 pound thin, round rice noodles
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon black vinegar
1 tablespoon chile oil (like Lao Gan Ma brand)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
1/2 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, chopped
2 scallions, light parts chopped, green parts reserved for garnish
1 tablespoon yacai (Sichuan preserved vegetables, optional)
Handful of herbs like mint, basil and cilantro leaves, washed
1/4 cup salted, roasted peanuts, chopped
4 breakfast radishes, sliced (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook noodles according to instructions. Drain noodles while running under cold water, until they are cool to the touch. Set aside. Mix dressing by whisking rice vinegar, soy sauce, black vinegar, chile oil and sugar until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Cook the pork topping: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, and add ground pork and salt. Pan-fry, breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no pink parts and no liquid remain in the pan, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger and scallion whites, and stir occasionally until the raw smell has disappeared and the meat is starting to brown in places, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetables, if using, along with a tablespoon of water, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more, or until mixture is darkened and thick. Set aside.

When you’re ready to serve, divide cool, drained noodles into four individual bowls, and top each with a tablespoon of vinegar dressing followed by a pile of ground pork, herbs, peanuts and radishes, to taste. Serve with any remaining garnish, and additional chile oil and chile-oil solids, on the side.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri

1 bunch of parsley
1 bulb of garlic
2/3 cup neutral oil (such as canola oil, light olive oil, or grapeseed oil)
1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
juice of half a lime
Skirt steak (Make however much you want! You’ll have plenty of chimichurri to go with it.)

Pick the leaves off your bunch of parsley, and finely chop them. Peel all your garlic cloves and mince finely. You can use a food processor, garlic press, or an old fashioned knife and cutting board.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, oil, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and lime juice. Stir well to combine.

Fire up your grill to preheat. Season your steak with salt and pepper. When your grill is extremely hot (if you have a thermometer on your grill, it should be in the range of 500-600F), lay the steaks on the grill. Skirt steaks are very thin, so this process will be quick. Do not close the grill, and don’t walk away!

When the first side has been on the grill for about 1 minute, rotate the steaks to get some solid grill marks. After another minute, flip the steak, letting cook for 1 minute, then rotating, then letting cook for another minute or two. Once you’ve established a solid criss-cross, you can start moving around a little bit more erratically. This will ensure that you get a delicious uniform grill crust. These instructions are for medium rare, which is in our opinion the best way to enjoy your steak. If you like it more or less well done, add or subtract cooking time.

When the steak is cooked, transfer to a plate and let rest for a solid 10 minutes. Don’t cut into it before then. Serve as large steaks or slice against the grain and top with generous amounts of chimichurri.

Tangy Steak and Watercress

2 teaspoons Chinese hot mustard powder or English mustard powder (such as Colman’s)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon demerara or light brown sugar, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1–1 1/2 pounds boneless rib eye
1 red Thai chile, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch watercress, tough stems trimmed (about 6 cups)
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup salted, dry-roasted peanuts, lightly crushed

Whisk mustard powder, fish sauce, 1/2 tsp. demerara sugar, and 1 Tbsp. very hot water in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved; season with salt and plenty of pepper. Add steak to bowl and turn several times to coat. Let sit while you make the vinaigrette.

Whisk chile, lime juice, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and remaining ½ tsp. demerara sugar in a large bowl; set vinaigrette aside.
Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Add steak and cook, turning every couple of minutes, until nicely browned and medium-rare, 7–10 minutes. Add butter to skillet, then tilt skillet toward you and use a large spoon to baste steak with foaming butter for a minute longer. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add watercress, cucumbers, and mint leaves to bowl with reserved vinaigrette and toss to combine; season salad with salt and pepper. Top with peanuts and drizzle with olive oil.

Slice steak and serve with salad.

Roast Beef with Basil Oil

1 1/2-pound beef eye of round roast
1/2 cup mix of finely chopped rosemary, mint and tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 475. Generously coat the roast with half of the chopped herb mixture and season with salt and pepper.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the roast and lightly brown it on all sides, about 3 minutes. Wipe out the skillet, return the meat to it and roast in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 110, about 25 minutes. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and season again with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Blanch the basil in the saucepan for 15 seconds. Transfer the basil to the ice water; drain well and squeeze out all of the excess water. Transfer the basil to a blender. Add the remaining 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and blend thoroughly.

Thinly slice the roast and drizzle each portion with 1/2 tablespoon basil oil. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped herbs and serve.

Beef and Egg Rice Bowls

For the beef, you’ll need:
8 ounces flank steak, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of baking soda

For the rest of the dish, you’ll need:
1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or beef stock
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground white pepper
Cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Prepare the beef–a good tip is to slice it when it’s still slightly frozen, but soft enough to cut. This makes slicing perfectly uniform pieces quick and easy!

Toss the beef with 1 teaspoon of oil, the soy sauce, cornstarch, and baking soda, until the beef is well-coated. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. If you’re starting with slightly frozen beef, it should come down to room temperature. You can also do this step in advance!

Heat your wok until just smoking, and spread 1 tablespoon of oil around the perimeter. Immediately add the beef, and spread it in an even layer across the wok. Sear for 30 seconds, and give the beef a stir to ensure it cooks evenly.

Add the garlic and a small handful of the white parts of the scallion. Quickly stir-fry to combine. Next, add the Shaoxing wine, and stir for another 20 seconds.

Add the chicken stock, salt, sugar, soy sauces, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and fresh ground white pepper, and let everything come up to a low boil.

Make the cornstarch slurry, and stir it into the sauce. Let the sauce simmer and thicken until it coats a spoon. If you like your sauce thicker, add more cornstarch and water; if you like your sauce thinner, add more stock. You’re the cook, so make it the way you like it!

Next, pour the lightly beaten eggs over the mixture, and use your spatula to fold it gently into the sauce so the egg cooks in ribbons rather than in large clumps. After about 10 seconds, add in the rest of the scallions and continue folding the egg into the sauce for another 5 seconds. Serve over steamed rice!