Steakhouse Sirloin Tips

1/3 cup soy sauce (I used reduced-sodium)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon paprika (I reduced to about 2/3)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I reduced to 1/8)
1 (2 1/2-pound) beef flap meat*

*Flap meat is sold as whole steaks, strips, and pieces. For even pieces, buy a whole steak of uniform size and cut it up yourself.

Whisk soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, pepper, and cayenne together in bowl until sugar dissolves; transfer to zipper-lock bag. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Prick beef all over with fork and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces. Add meat to bag with soy mixture and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

For a charcoal grill: Open bottom grill vents completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vents completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.

Clean and oil cooking grate. Cook beef (covered if using gas) until charred and registers 130 to 135°F (for medium), 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to platter, tent loosely with foil, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Note: Author flipped the steaks at 4 minutes, and they were temperature ready at 8 minutes.

Garlic Butter Sirloin Tips

4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 pounds thick-cut New York strip steaks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Mince 4 garlic cloves. Transfer to a bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Chop until you have 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, then transfer to a small bowl.

Cut 2 pounds New York strip steak into 1-inch cubes, then season them with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium high-heat.

Add the steak cubes and sear until browned, flipping them halfway through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Add the garlic and pepper and cook for 1 minute more.

Remove from the heat and garnish with the parsley.

Balsamic Glazed Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms

For the steak:

1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak tips, flap meat, or flank steak, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the mushrooms:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

Marinate the steak: Place the steak in a single layer in a 9×13-inch baking dish or in a resealable gallon plastic bag; set aside. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the steak and turn the steak to coat. Cover the baking dish or seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Cook the steak and mushrooms: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. While the oil is heating, remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Add the steak pieces to the pan (it’s okay to crowd the pan as long as they’re in a single layer) and sear until browned and the thickest piece registers 120°F to 125°F for medium-rare steak, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (Or cook to 130°F to 135°F for medium steak, and 140°F to 145°F for medium-well steak — add a minute or two for every 10 degrees needed.) Transfer to a serving platter and set aside in a warm place or cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat if needed, until tender, about 5 minutes — they will release a lot of liquid. Add the vinegar and simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the butter, and stir until melted and the sauce in the pan is glossy. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Pour over the steak, top with the parsley if desired, and serve.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Marinade: The marinade can be made and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Rewhisk before using.

Sirloin Tips with Peppers and Onions

3 lb sirloin steak cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup Teriyaki or Soy sauce
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp olive oil plus additional for cooking
2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley or cilantro
3 clove garlic minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp steak seasoning divided [i.e., Mesquite/Montreal/Chicago/ Kansas City your preference]
1 red bell pepper seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper seeded and sliced
1 large sweet onion cut into thin wedges
Black pepper to taste

Rinse, pat dry and cut the sirloin steaks into 1-inch pieces.
Whisk together the sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, chopped parsley, 3 clove minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Place into a plastic storage bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To prepare, remove the sirloin tips from the marinade. Discard the marinade.

Heat a few drizzles of olive oil in a large cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sirloin tips. Cook for 5-7 minutes until browned and to your preferred doneness. Season with 1 tsp of steak seasoning. Remove from the pan to a platter to rest.

Add the sliced bell peppers and onion wedges to the pan. Season with 1 tsp steak seasoning and black pepper to your taste. Add additional olive oil if needed. Cook for 5 minutes scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until browned and crisp tender.

Add the sirloin beef tips back to the pan. Stir until heated through then serve.

Variations:

Use a fajita seasoning place of the steak seasoning for fajitas.

Use an Asian-style marinade:

3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced shallot or red onion
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Sheet-Pan Sausage Meatballs With Tomatoes and Broccoli

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 head broccoli florets or 2 bunches broccolini, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Kosher salt
3/4 pound bulk spicy or sweet Italian sausage (or fresh sausages removed from casing)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 loaf soft Italian bread, split lengthwise
3 to 5 small garlic cloves, grated or minced

Heat the oven to 400 degrees with one rack in the lower third and one in the upper. On one sheet pan, combine the tomatoes, broccoli and mushrooms with 1/4 cup oil. Season with 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes and salt to taste. Toss to combine, then arrange the tomatoes so they are cut-side up. Roll the sausage into 1-inch balls. (There should be about 30.) Distribute them around the vegetables. Sprinkle the entire sheet pan with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the cut sides of the bread with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil. Spread the grated garlic on the bread, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and salt to taste. Cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces. Grease another sheet pan with olive oil, then place the bread on the pan, cut-side up.

After 15 minutes, gently shake the pan to flip the meatballs. Sprinkle the entire pan with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, concentrating your efforts on the tomatoes and the empty pan edges so that some Parmesan has room to crisp. Return the meatball sheet pan to the lowest rack and place the bread sheet pan on the higher rack. Roast until the bread is golden at the edges, the broccoli tips are crispy and the meatballs are cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. (If the broccoli and meatballs need a little more time, remove the bread from the oven, cover loosely with foil and continue to roast the other sheet pan for 5 more minutes.)

Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any cheese that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Serve everything with the garlic bread and more grated cheese.

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

1 (4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeño
2 pounds ground chicken
1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped, a few whole leaves reserved for serving
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil, plus more as needed
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
Steamed white or brown rice, for serving

Using the small holes of a box grater, or a Microplane, grate the ginger, garlic and jalapeño (or finely chop them by hand). Transfer half to a large bowl and set the rest aside. To the large bowl, add the chicken, finely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Use your hands or a fork to fully combine but do not overmix.

Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form 2-inch meatballs (about 2 ounces each). In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, flipping halfway through, until golden brown on two sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat, adding oil as needed.

Once all the meatballs are browned and out of the pot, if the oil is burned, wipe it out and add a bit more to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the reserved ginger mixture and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and any juices from the plate, and simmer until the flavors come together and the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the spinach and lime juice. Divide rice among bowls, then top with meatballs, broth and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

3/4 cup crumbled firm tofu (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup ricotta (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red bell peppers, cored and sliced lengthwise 1/2-inch-thick
3 cups marinara sauce (about 24 ounces)
6 ounces sliced provolone cheese,
Cooked egg noodles or other pasta, for serving
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine tofu, ricotta, Parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and mix until well combined. Add chicken and gently mix to incorporate. Lightly wet hands to prevent meatball mixture from sticking, then roll into 24 (1 1/2-inch) golf ball-size rounds.

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add marinara sauce and meatballs, and stir gently to coat the meatballs in the sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven to bake until meatballs are cooked through, 20 minutes.

Top with provolone slices, slightly overlapping, and bake until cheese melts, about 3 minutes longer.

Serve meatballs, peppers and sauce over egg noodles. Garnish with parsley, if using.

Note: The unexpected secret to these tender meatballs is tofu, which keeps them juicy. Simply press pieces of tofu between your fingertips to create small crumbles that resemble ground meat. The addition of ricotta creates a creamy texture, as well as great flavor. The meatballs are simmered in marinara sauce with red bell peppers, which infuse the sauce with fresh flavor and natural sweetness. Sharp and tangy provolone completes the dish, although mozzarella could be used for milder flavor. Enjoy over buttered egg noodles, or with crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, more for serving, if desired
1/2 cup panko or other plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup chopped chives or basil
2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane or minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2-pounds ground turkey, very cold
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
3 cups marinara sauce, more to taste

In a large bowl, combine cheese, bread crumbs, onion, chives, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes, if using, and mix well. Add turkey and egg and blend with your hands until well mixed. If you’ve got time, cover mixture and chill for an hour or up to 24 hours. These are easiest to form into balls while very cold. Form into 28 meatballs, each about 1 1/4-inches in diameter.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan. When hot, add enough of the meatballs to fit in one layer without crowding, and brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate, add another tablespoon of oil to pan and brown another layer of meatballs, transferring them to the plate as they brown. Repeat until all meatballs are browned, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

When meatballs are all browned, add marinara sauce to pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Return meatballs and their juices to pan, shake pan to cover the meatballs with sauce, and lower heat. Partly cover pan and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve hot, drizzled with more olive oil and sprinkled with more cheese, if you like.

Note: Tender meatballs filled with onions and Parmesan, bathed in plenty of tomato sauce, are classics in every way except for one: They call for turkey instead of the usual beef (or beef-veal-pork combination). Serve them over spaghetti or polenta, or stuff them into a hero roll for a sandwich. Try to use ground dark meat turkey here if you can, it has a deeper, richer flavor than ground white meat.

Goulash

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika and caraway seeds and cook 1 minute more. In a bowl, toss the beef with the flour to coat well. Add the beef to the onion mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot. Gradually stir in the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over wide egg noodles.

Simple Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
2 (28-ounce) cans whole or diced plum tomatoes
2 sprigs basil or 1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add garlic and cook until just lightly golden. Add chile flakes if desired and cook 30 seconds.

Stir in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf, and salt and pepper.

Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer. If using whole plum tomatoes, mash them up with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help them break down. Remove sauce from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.

Pork and Ricotta Meatballs (and a Meatball Ratio)

INGREDIENTS
½ cup/4 ounces whole-milk ricotta
½ cup/2 ounces grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
½ cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 pound ground pork

PREPARATION
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and use your hands to gently mix.
Shape the meat into 12 equally sized balls (about 2 1/4 inches in diameter). Arrange on a greased rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Tip
Leftover meatballs freeze well; simply reheat in the oven at 375 degrees until warmed through (about 20 minutes).

Notes:

Serve these plain, with a marinara sauce for dipping, or simmer the meatballs in tomato sauce for serving over spaghetti.

Ground chicken or turkey is a great alternative and will yield cheesier tasting meatballs.

Reader comments:

The ratio here is 10 parts mince to 2 parts ricotta and 1 part parmesan, plus one egg and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (fresh) per 500g (about one pound) of mixture.

Some people found these a little salty and cut the salt in half.

Added garlic, basil, oregano, majorum to give a bit more flavor.

Added grated garlic and grated onion. After forming into balls, I refrigerated for 45 minutes, baked 20 minutes at 400 degrees then simmered gently in sauce 10 minutes. Served over faro, great tender and light meatballs,

Cook meatballs on a rack over foil.

Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Seared Halloumi

FOR THE CROUTONS:
1 pound slightly stale sourdough or country bread, thickly sliced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

FOR THE SALAD:
4 to 5 cups cucumber chunks, preferably thin-skinned, such as Kirby or Persian
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
8 to 12 ounces halloumi or bread cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion or scallions, plus more to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

Make the croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each slice of bread into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear each strip into 1-inch pieces, removing the crust as you go if it is very thick. Transfer to a large baking sheet (or use 2 sheets, if necessary to prevent crowding). Drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.

Bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet and turning the croutons halfway through so they brown evenly, and checking them every few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Make the salad: In a colander in the sink, toss the cucumbers with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place a bag of ice cubes or an ice pack on top to chill and firm the cucumbers. Let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice the halloumi about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-size strips. Smash and peel the garlic cloves and combine with 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl to steep.

Pour off excess liquid from the bowl holding the tomatoes. Add drained cucumbers, red onion or scallions, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons vinegar to tomatoes and toss well. Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the extra-virgin olive oil, add the oil to tomatoes and mix well. (If desired, the salad can be made up until this point and refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl before proceeding.)

When ready to serve, add about half the croutons to the salad and toss so they can absorb the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Cook the halloumi: Line a plate with paper towels and lightly coat a nonstick skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high until rippling. Working in batches, cook the halloumi strips on both sides until golden-brown and crusty, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate to drain.

Taste and add more croutons to salad as desired. (If there are too many, the salad will be starchy; too few, and it will be wet.) At the last minute, toss in the halloumi, add another good glug of extra-virgin olive oil, mix gently and serve immediately. (If desired, transfer to a clean bowl or platter for serving.)

Matt’s Grilled Salmon

Salmon
Salt
Cedar plank
Lemon slices
Dill

Salt salmon liberally and place in a ziploc bag. Brine for one hour in the refrigerator.

Rinse salmon thoroughly, dry it, then return it to the bag. Sous vide salmon for one hour at 120. While salmon is sous viding, soak the cedar plank in lukewarm water and heat a two-zone grill to 300-350.

Golden Cauliflower Dal with Spinach and Coconut

1 cup split red lentils (masoor dal) see notes on “timing”
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons ghee (or for vegan use coconut oil) ( ***see note at bottom!)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2–3 fat shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, grated or finely minced (or use ginger paste)
2–4 fresh or dried chilies (optional, for heat)
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 large head of cauliflower, broken into large florets (about 2 lbs), stems ok.
couple handfuls baby spinach

Cover the split lentils with 2 cups boiling water, set aside.

In an extra-large saute pan or Dutch oven, heat the ghee over medium heat, add the crushed coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and stir for one minute.

Add the shallots, garlic and ginger and optional chilies, and saute until fragrant and golden, lowering the heat to med-low, if need be, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir in the lentils along with the 2 cups of hot water. Add the salt and fenugreek. Give a good stir.

Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate, then add the cauliflower florets, coating them well. Give the pan a shake to allow any lentils to slip back into the liquid. Increase heat, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently over med-low heat, until lentils are softened and cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove lid and let some of the liquid cook off, about 3-4 more minutes. Carefully stir in spinach. Taste, adjust seasonings. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like.

Garnish with cilantro or scallions and if you made the extra tempering oil ( see notes), spoon this over top before serving.

Serve with naan bread or basmati rice, or on its own in a bowl like a stew.

Notes

***For extra flavor (as is, this is “gently” spiced) create a tempering oil. Double the ghee and double the whole seeds. After sauteing the seeds in the oil or ghee, spoon half of this into a small bowl and set aside -to drizzle over the finished dish (this is the “tempering oil”) super tasty!

Timing: If your lentils seem extra-large, or your cauliflower florets seem extra small, cook the lentils a few minutes before adding the cauliflower, so the cauliflower doesn’t get overcooked. ****I used tiny lentils and extra-large florets.

You could also, roast off the cauliflower separately (toss with oil, salt and pepper at 400F until tender) and stir into the cooked lentils.

Dijon and Cognac Stew

1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup Cognac
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons Pommery mustard or other whole-grain Dijon mustard
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
1/4 cup red wine

Place salt pork in a Dutch oven over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and discard. Raise heat, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.

If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pot. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pot, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and the crust comes loose. Add stock, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pot. Lower heat, partly cover, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Add carrots, and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until slices are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high, and sauté mushrooms until browned.

Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

Tip:
For a slow-cooker version, render the salt pork in a large sauté pan, then sear the flour-dusted beef cubes in the fat. While the beef is browning, add onions, shallots, carrots, mushrooms and red wine to the slow cooker, along with the browned beef. Add Cognac to the empty pan, and deglaze. Add 1 cup stock (instead of 2), Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons Pommery mustard and warm through before serving.

Spicy Peanut Stew With Ginger and Tomato

1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 to 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 small (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably roasted
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 medium-size zucchini, 6 to 8 ounces, cut in quarters lengthwise, then sliced 1/2 -inch thick
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving
Chopped roasted salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt; set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne; set aside.

In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fry, stirring often, until soft, crisp and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a large bowl, leaving oil in pot.

Raise heat to high and add eggplant. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shallots.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and chilies and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.

Add spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add onion and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add diced tomatoes, stock or water, eggplant, shallots and a sprinkling of salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl, add one or two ladlefuls of hot soup, and stir until emulsified, then pour mixture back into soup.

Reduce heat to a simmer, add zucchini, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with rice, garnished with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.

Eggplant Ravaiya

1 cup roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), or cane or turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced Serrano chile (if you like less heat, you can remove the seeds and pith)
Pinch asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon chickpea flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 baby eggplants (see note)

Put all ingredients except for the olive oil and eggplants in a food processor, and pulse until the peanuts are ground. Add oil and pulse to combine; the mixture will resemble damp sand. Set aside.

Cut a crosshatch in the bottom of the eggplant about three-quarters of the way up the fruit, leaving the stem intact. (In other words, you’re making a deep plus-sign shape in the bulbous part of the fruit, so you can stuff it with the peanut filling.) Repeat with the remaining eggplants.

Stuff each eggplant with a little of the peanut mixture, just enough to fill the hole. You should have some peanut mixture left over.

Place the stuffed eggplants on their sides in a single layer on the bottom of a large pot or saucepan with a lid. The eggplants can overlap a little, but ideally they will all fit on the bottom of the pot. Dollop the leftover peanut mixture on top of and around the eggplants, and add 1 cup of water. Turn heat to medium and cover the pot. Let the eggplant cook at a simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the eggplants are just tender when you poke them at the stem end with the tip of a knife.

Taste the sauce for salt, and serve hot with basmati rice or Indian flatbreads.

Tip
It’s best to use baby eggplants (about 4 inches long) shaped like teardrops. The chef Niven Patel uses an Indian variety, but this shape is also grown in Italy and elsewhere, so you can find it at farmers’ markets and some supermarkets too. Or use long skinny Japanese eggplants, and cut them into about 4-inch pieces, then make two slits in each piece as you would for a whole teardrop eggplant. They will break down a bit more but will still taste good.

Sweet and Salty Grilled Steak With Cucumber Salad

1/2 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon packed lime zest
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 large jalapeño, seeds and veins removed if desired, minced
1 flank steak, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 small seedless English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 large bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon vegetable, peanut or olive oil (optional)
Cooked rice noodles or rice, for serving (optional)
Sesame seeds or crushed roasted peanuts, for serving (optional)
Fresh mint leaves or cilantro, for serving (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and jalapeño. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the flank steak and let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 24 hours). Let meat come to room temperature before cooking if necessary.

Combine the cucumber, radishes and scallions. Pour in just enough of the marinade sauce to coat.

Light the grill or heat the broiler to high. Pat steak dry with paper towels.

If grilling, cook until done to taste, about 3 minutes per side for rare. If broiling, heat a 10-inch skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add oil to pan and sear the meat for 2 minutes. Flip meat and immediately transfer pan directly to top shelf of oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes for rare, or longer for more well-done meat. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes covered in foil.

Thinly slice steak and serve over cooked rice noodles or rice if desired, and top with the cucumber salad. Garnish with sesame seeds and plenty of herbs if using and serve with remaining marinade as a sauce.

Jalapeño Grilled Pork Chops

FOR THE PORK CHOPS:
5 large jalapeños, stemmed
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 bunch cilantro stems, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 packed cup)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for cooking
1 tablespoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
8 thin-cut, bone-in pork loin chops (1/2-inch thick)

FOR THE RELISH:
1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish
Cilantro rice or cooked white rice, for serving (optional)

Make the pork chops: In a food processor, blitz the jalapeños, garlic, cilantro stems, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and sugar until smooth. Place the pork chops in a large bowl or resealable container and pour the marinade over them; turn the chops to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

While the chops marinate, prepare a charcoal grill for direct high-heat cooking, or heat a gas grill to medium-high.
Make the relish: In a small bowl, toss the jalapeño, red onion, rice vinegar, salt, sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Set aside to quick-pickle until ready to serve, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Carefully grease the grill grate: Use tongs to grip a wadded paper towel dipped in oil and then rub the grates with the oiled towel. With the marinade clinging to them, place the pork chops on the hot greased grate. Grill until the chops are charred at the edges and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The meat is ready to flip when it releases easily from the grates. (If using a gas grill, close the lid between flips.) Alternatively, cook the chops on the stovetop in batches. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, and heat until shimmering. Add the chops, with the marinade clinging to them, to the pan. Sear until browned and caramelized at the edges and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Discard any remaining marinade.

Serve the chops with the relish and cilantro on top. If you’d like, serve rice alongside.

Sweet and Salty Grilled Pork With Citrus and Herbs

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sambal chile paste (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 lime, halved crosswise, plus 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
1 orange or tangerine, halved crosswise (optional)
Cooked rice noodles or rice, for serving (optional)
1 head Boston lettuce or escarole, torn into large pieces
6 mint sprigs
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 shallot, thinly sliced into rings

Using a sharp knife, slice pork shoulder crosswise into 1-inch-thick steaks. (Depending on the shape and cut of your shoulder, some pieces may not stay together in a steak shape; this is O.K.) Season pork with salt and pepper and place in a shallow baking dish (a 9-by-13 works best) or resealable plastic bag.

Combine fish sauce, light brown sugar, sambal (if using), garlic and 1/2 cup lime juice in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour half of the mixture over the pork and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes while you prepare the grill, using tongs to turn pork once or twice to make sure all of it is getting enough attention from the marinade. (There’s no need to refrigerate, unless you are working ahead, in which case you should refrigerate until ready to grill.)

If you’re using a charcoal grill, build the fire so it’s screaming hot. This pork is to be cooked hot and fast, so the hotter the better. If you’re using a gas grill, heat it on high. Bring a clean baking dish out to the grill for the pork to rest in after cooking.

Once the grill is sufficiently hot, grill the pork until deeply browned and lightly charred on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side (this will happen faster on a charcoal grill), moving the pork around as needed to prevent excessive flare-ups, which, depending on how fatty your pork is, will happen with varying severity. Grill the lime and orange, if using, cut-side down, until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the pork and lime from the grill and let rest a minute or two in that same large baking dish to catch the juices. Drizzle the remaining lime dressing over the sliced pork and let it rest for a few minutes so the juices mix with the dressing.

Slice the pork about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange rice noodles or rice, if using, on a large platter and top with lettuce, along with some of the mint, cilantro and shallots. Top with sliced pork and remaining herbs and shallots. Spoon the juices from the bottom of the baking dish over everything, and serve with the grilled citrus for squeezing.