Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or trimmed thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Steamed rice, for serving

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 3 minutes.

Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, 3 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.

Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, top with the sliced scallion and serve with rice.

Dhaba Chicken Curry

3 onions, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup tomato sauce
Four 6-ounce chicken breast halves on the bone, skinned
Salt
1 cup water
Garam masala, for sprinkling
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

In a food processor, chop the onions. Add the garlic and ginger and process until they are finely chopped.

In a medium, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the vegetable oil. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion mixture and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the turmeric and tomato sauce and simmer over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and add them to the casserole. Coat the chicken with the sauce. Add the water, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, turning a few times, until the chicken is white throughout, about 10 minutes. Season the chicken curry with salt.

Transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving bowl. Sprinkle garam masala on top, garnish with the cilantro and serve.
Serve With

Basmati rice or naan.

Pasta alla Norma

1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12 ounces penne rigate or mezze rigatoni pasta
8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pints grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 ounces ricotta salata, shredded

Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the upper-middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 1½ teaspoons salt and 4 tablespoons of the oil. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast until browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring once.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt; cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

While the eggplant roasts and the water heats, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 1½ teaspoons salt, then cover and cook, occasionally shaking the pan, until the tomatoes begin to release their liquid, about 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar, then use the back of a large spoon to crush the tomatoes. Cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring, until the mixture breaks down into a lightly thickened sauce, 8 to 9 minutes.

Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits

CHEESE GRITS
4 1/2 cup water
1 cup stoneground grits
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

SHRIMP
3 bacon strips, chopped
Peanut oil, as needed
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons flour
4 ounces sliced mushroom (1 1/4 cups)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, plus more for garnish

Grits:

Bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Whisk in the grits and salt, reduce heat to low, and cook at a gently simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until the grits are thick, stirring occasionally. Stir more often as the grits thicken.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheddar, parmesan, butter, pepper, and Tabasco, and stir until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm over very low heat.

Shrimp:

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon for 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels and leave the fat in the skillet. If there is less than 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon fat, make up the difference with peanut oil.

Toss the shrimp with the flour until lightly coated, shaking off any excess. In the skillet with the reserved fat, cook the shrimp over medium-high heat for 1 minute or until they begin to turn pink.

Add the mushrooms and bacon and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds (do not let the garlic brown). Stir in the hot sauce, lemon juice, and scallions and remove from the heat.

Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls and top with the shrimp mixture. Garnish with additional scallions and serve at once.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Bowl

Marinade:
1/4 cup stirred coconut milk (You will use the rest of a 14 oz./400 ml can in the stock flavouring below)
3 Tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
2 Tbsp sambal oelek
8 skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs

Stock:
2 cups Chicken stock
5 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
2 pieces large carrots, cut in to 4 pieces
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

Stock flavouring:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
5 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup stirred coconut milk (or remainder of 14oz/400ml can)

To serve:
8 oz rice noodles
2 cups thinly sliced English cucumber
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (or flat parsley) leaves
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, salted or unsalted
slices fresh lime
Sambal oelek

Marinate the chicken: In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup coconut milk, lemongrass and sambal oelek and stir to combine. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and discard. (Use a paper towel to grab an edge and pull off). Place thighs in a large plastic storage bag and pour in marinade, tossing to coat chicken. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 8 hours).

Once chicken has marinated, remove chicken from marinade (you can discard marinade), and place chicken in a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove-top. Add the stock ingredients – the chicken stock, garlic, carrots, onion and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low (just enough to maintain a slow simmer), COVER and allow to barely for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, checking once in a while to make sure it’s just barely simmering, until chicken falls apart easily.

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Place chicken and stock ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 7 hours. Proceed as detailed below.

Remove chicken from stock and set aside. Strain remaining broth, discarding the solids and returning the clear broth to the pot. Add the stock flavouring ingredients – the soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and coconut milk. Stir to combine. Keep stock warm over low heat.

Remove meat from chicken and discard bones. Shred chicken in to bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

To serve: Divide noodles between serving bowls. Arrange sections on top of chicken, cucumber slices and peanuts. Garnish with green onion and cilantro. Pour 1/2 cup of the stock over-top of each bowl. Garnish with fresh lime slices and a dollop of Sambal Oelek in the middle for a little heat, if you’d like.

Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

3 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
1 pound ground pork
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus sprigs, to serve
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green parts thinly sliced
5 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons white sugar, divided
1/2 cup lime juice
1-2 serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
Lettuce leaves, to serve

Coat a large plate with 1 teaspoon of the oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, 3 tablespoons water, cilantro, pepper, minced scallions, 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and the 2 teaspoons sugar.

Mix vigorously with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined, 20 to 30 seconds. The mixture will be soft and sticky. With lightly moistened hands, form the mixture into 20 balls and place them on the prepared plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, the 3 remaining tablespoons fish sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the chilies until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Line another plate with paper towels. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until beginning to smoke. Add the meatballs and cook undisturbed until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a spatula, turn each meatball and continue to cook, adjusting the heat as needed and occasionally turning the meatballs, until golden brown all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss the shredded carrots with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice sauce. Serve the meatballs with the carrots, cilantro sprigs, sliced scallions and lettuce leaves for wrapping. The remaining sauce can be spooned onto the wraps.

Thai Skirt Steak with Tomatoes (Yam Neua)

1 large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons lime juice from 2 limes
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

In a large bowl, combine the shallots and lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of sugar, the salt, and white pepper.
Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then rub all over with the sugar-salt mixture.

Prepare a grill for very high heat. For a charcoal grill, spread a full chimney of hot coals evenly over half of the grill bed. For a gas grill, set all burners to an even, high flame. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.

Meanwhile, add the fish sauce, pepper flakes, and remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the shallot-lime juice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain, then transfer to the bowl along with any accumulated juices.

Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and mint and fold to combine.

Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired, and serve.

Grill the steak (directly over the coals, if using a charcoal grill) until charred all over and cooked to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steak). Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the fish sauce, pepper flakes, and remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the shallot-lime juice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Thinly slice the steak against the grain, then transfer to the bowl along with any accumulated juices.

Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and mint and fold to combine.

Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired, and serve.

Okra Stew

2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic
8 teaspoons olive oil
1 quart vegetable stock
5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon freshly sliced ginger
4 cups chopped okra
Fresh chopped cilantro for garnishing
4-6 whole orange or yellow chili peppers (optional)

In a large pot, simmer the onions, garlic and olive oil on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

Add the vegetable stock and tomatoes. Stir to combine and let simmer for a few minutes.

Add the cinnamon sticks, ginger and okra.

Cook for 10 minutes, remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.

Serve with warm couscous and chopped chili peppers on the side, if you prefer a little heat. Serves four.

Serve with Sticky Cinnamon Couscous:

1 cup of whole-wheat couscous
4 teaspoons olive oil or ?1?4 cup ghee (for a richer version with healthy fats)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper

In a pot, add the vegetable stock, olive oil or ghee, and couscous. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil, add cinnamon sticks and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat when most of the water is gone and the couscous is sticky and moist. Serves four.

Peanut Noodles

1 pound spaghetti or Chinese egg noodles
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, plus more for garnish
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Asian chili paste or to taste (optional)
2 tablespoons light or dark light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (may use natural peanut butter)
2 to 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (optional)
6 to 10 tablespoons hot water
Salt, as needed
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Cucumber slices
Carrot sticks
Red, orange or yellow bell pepper slices
Fresh cilantro or mint leaves

Cook the pasta according to package directions, and drain it well. If a cold dish is desired, rinse the pasta under cold running water to cool, and drain again.

Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium-low heat, heat the peanut oil. Add the scallions, ginger, garlic and, if desired, chili paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar if desired and 6 tablespoons hot water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture smooths out.

Remove from the heat. If necessary, add additional hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and add more soy sauce or salt, as needed.

Return the hot or cold noodles to the pot in which they were cooked, add the sesame oil and toss to coat. Add as much of the peanut sauce as desired and toss again to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual plates and sprinkle with additional scallions, sesame seeds, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper and cilantro or mint. (May cover and refrigerate up to several hours.)

Note: You can toss raw, julienne carrots and bell peppers or steamed snow peas and broccoli with the noodles and peanut sauce. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated and served with cooked rice and raw or cooked vegetables.

Smoked Trout Rillettes

1/2 pound smoked salmon or trout, skin and bones removed
2 tablespoons sour cream or creme fraiche
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of a lemon
2 tablespoons minced chives or parsley
About 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, or to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pickled mustard seeds or trout caviar (optional)

Break up the trout salmon and place in bowl, along with the sour cream, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and chives. Use a heavy fork to mash everything together. You want a rough spread, not a smooth pate. Add more butter if the rillettes look dry.

Add salt, pepper and horseradish to taste.

Cover the rillettes with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for an hour or so before serving. Spoon over some pickled mustard seeds or caviar when you serve.

Once made, pack the rillettes tightly into jars; try to get as many air pockets out as you can. Once packed, melt some butter over the top of the rillettes, cover and store in the fridge. It will keep for at least a week this way, and up to 2 weeks if you keep resealing the butter cap between each use. You can also freeze the finished rillettes for several months.

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.

Spicy Chinese Chicken Salad

2 tablespoons sesame paste
2 tablespoons chili oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 cooked rotisserie chicken, de-boned and shredded
8 oz. mixed salad greens
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
Instructions

In a medium bowl, stir together the sesame paste, chili oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, scallions, and sesame seeds.

Add the chicken to a serving bowl, and spoon on some of the dressing.

Toss with the salad greens and herbs, and serve with any additional dressing on the side.

Quick Thai (or Holy) Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow)

3 to 4 tablespoons oil
3 Thai bird or holland chilies, de-seeded (if desired) and thinly sliced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound ground chicken
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth or water
1 bunch holy or Thai basil leaves

In a wok over high heat, add the oil, chilies, shallots and garlic, and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the ground chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes, breaking up the chicken into small bits.

Add the sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Stir-fry for another minute and deglaze the pan with the broth. Because your pan is over high heat, the liquid should cook off very quickly. Add the basil, and stir-fry until wilted. Serve over rice.

Sichuan Roasted Chili Eggplant (Liang Ban Qie Zi)

1 pound small Asian eggplant
1/2 pound mildly spicy green chilies (er jing tiao, large jalapeno, poblano)
1 tablespoon minced (not pureed) garlic (about 4 medium cloves)
4 tablespoons white rice vinegar
6 tablespoons canola or rapeseed oil
6 tablespoons Chinese light soy sauce
3 tablespoons green Sichuan pepper oil (qing hua jiao or teng jiao oil)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning sauce
1 tablespoon chili oil (don’t include flakes)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
handful cilantro, chopped

Bring water to a boil in a steamer. Cut the eggplant in half horizontally, place in a bowl and carefully place bowl into steamer when water begins to boil. Steam for about 20 minutes. You want the eggplant to be luxuriously soft and creamy. Remove from steamer and let cool, then cut each piece in half vertically and into large bite-size pieces.

While eggplant is steaming, roast the green chilies. This can be done directly over a stovetop fire, in a hot, dry pan or under a broiler. Turn the chilies so that all of the skin gets charred and the chili blackens almost entirely, as larger chilies will need to cook that long to be roasted. Put blackened chilies in a plastic bag and let them sweat for a few minutes so the skin will be easier to remove. When cool, peel the skin off, remove the seeds and dice the chilies into small cubes.

In a bowl or large mixing cup add the garlic and white rice vinegar and let the garlic soak for a few minutes to tame the heat. Then add the other sauce ingredients: oil, soy sauce, Sichuan pepper oil, oyster sauce, Maggi seasoning, chili oil and sugar. Whisk ingredients together until well blended and emulsified. Add diced green chilies to the sauce.

Arrange eggplant pieces in a shallow serving bowl and pour the green chili sauce over them. Garnish with green onion and cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Chicken with Nam Prik Pao

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, sliced into ¼-inch thick pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
5 scallions, sliced at an angle into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Thai Chili Sauce (Namprik Pao)
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Add the chicken to a bowl, along with the 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon oil. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, and the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken for 1-2 minutes, until well-seared.

Add the garlic, chilies (if using), bell pepper, scallions, chili sauce, and fish sauce. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Miso-Marinated Skirt Steak

3 tablespoons red miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into 5- to 6-inch pieces, patted dry
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
5 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic until the sugar dissolves. Measure 2 teaspoons of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Add the steak to the remaining mixture, turn to coat and let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, to the reserved 2 teaspoons, add the vinegar and 3 teaspoons of the oil. Stir to combine and set aside. Remove the steak from the bowl and pat dry with paper towels.

In a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil until beginning to smoke. Add half of the steak in a single layer and cook without disturbing until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Flip the pieces and cook until the second sides are well browned and the center of the thickest piece reaches 125°F for medium-rare or 130°F for medium, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter, then repeat with the remaining steak, using the fat in the pan. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Stir any accumulated juices on the platter into the reserved miso mixture. Cut the steak against the grain on the bias into thin slices and return to the platter. Serve with the miso sauce.

Dry-Fried Sichuan Beef

3 tablespoons oil
12 ounces flank steak, cut into ? inch thick strips
5 slices ginger, julienned
1 heaping tablespoon spicy bean sauce
1-2 stalks celery, julienned
1 small carrot, julienned
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn
A pinch of chili flakes (optional)
2 scallions, julienned

Heat the wok over high heat until it starts to smoke.

Add 1 tablespoon oil, and coat the wok before adding the beef. Immediately spread the beef in a single layer. (This step will prevent the beef from sticking to your wok.)

Brown the beef until the liquid cooks off and the meat is well-seared. This step should take about 2-3 minutes.

Remove the beef from the wok, and set aside.

Turn the heat down to low, and add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok.

Crisp the ginger, and add the spicy bean sauce. Cook for about a minute until the oil turns red, adjusting the heat as needed to avoid burning.

Next, add the celery, carrot, and cooked beef. Turn the heat up to high, and stir to mix well.

Immediately add the Shaoxing wine, sugar, light soy sauce, sesame oil, ground Sichuan peppercorn, chili flakes (optional), and the scallions.

Stir quickly for about a minute and mix everything well.

Transfer to a dish and serve with plenty of rice! You’ll need it.

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.

Pressure Cooker Spicy Cauliflower Soup

2 cups cauliflower florets cut into 3″-4″ pieces
1.5 cups water
1 large onion cut into thick, 2″ pieces
1 cup carrots, turnips, or potatoes cut into thick 2″ pieces
1 cup canned tomatoes
2.5 cups water
1-1.5 tsp Sambhar powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric

Pour all ingredients into the inner liner of your pressure cooker and stir well.

Cook on LOW pressure for 3 minutes. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes and then release all remaining pressure.

Open the pot, stir to mix and serve.

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.