Cilantro-Mint Chutney

2 cups loosely-packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup loosely-packed fresh mint leaves
1 jalapeno pepper seeded
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
3 to 4 cloves garlic peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 – 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pureé until smooth. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if desired.

Rajas Con Creama (Roasted Poblanos with Cream)

1 1/4 pounds fresh poblano chiles (about 3 large)
Generous 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Generous 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cup Mexican crema or crème fraîche
Generous 1 tablespoon finely chopped epazote leaves, or 1?2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

?Turn two stove-top burners to high and roast the poblano chiles on the racks of the burners (or directly on the element of an electric stove), turning frequently with tongs, until they are blistered and charred all over, 4 to 6 minutes. Put the poblanos in a bowl and cover with a plate to sweat for 15 to 20 minutes.

?Rub off the skin from the roasted poblanos with a paper towel or your fingers (do notrun the poblanos under water), then cut them open lengthwise. Cut out the stems, seed pods, and veins, and lay the chiles flat. Wipe the chiles clean of seeds, discard the seeds, and slice the chiles into long 1/4-inch-thick strips.

?Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat until the oil shimmers, then add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a minute, then add the poblanos along with the remaining 1?4 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 3 minutes or so, then add the crema and epazote.

?Let it come to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the crema thickens slightly and coats the poblanos, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
?
Serve alongside 8 warm corn tortillas and top with crumbled queso fresco and smoky tomato salsa.

Chinese Sweet Soy Sauce

2 cups soy sauce
3/4 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
1/2 cup (115 grams) rock sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 big thumb ginger, coarsely chopped
6 green onions
3 bay leaves
1 star anise pod
1 small cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cloves
1 Cao Guo (or black cardamon)

Add soy sauce into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until boiling.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook until the sugar completely dissolves and the liquid starts to simmer again.

Turn to medium low heat. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about two-thirds of the original volume, and the soy sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Check on the pan every 15 minutes. It could take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than one hour, depending on the heat and the pan you use. Remove the pan from the stove.

Line a sieve over an airtight glass container or a jar and pour in the soy sauce. Discard all the solid ingredients.

Let the soy sauce cool completely. It is ready to use. Or you can store it covered in the fridge for a year.

Coconut Slaw

1 head of green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
2 red bell peppers, julienned
1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 cups toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
1 can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Mix vegetables and coconut evenly.

Blend dressing ingredients until smooth.

Combine dressing with slaw mix. Salt to taste.

Mint-Pomegranate Pesto

1 cup [30 g] chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup [55 g] pomegranate seeds
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 cup [240 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp finely grated lime zest, plus 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove
Kosher salt

In a small bowl, combine the mint, pomegranate seeds, shallot, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, Parmesan, and lime zest. Using a Microplane grater, grate the garlic into the mixture, stir to combine, and season with salt. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature, and stir in the lime juice just before serving.

Spiced Yogurt

1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup [240 ml] Greek-style yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt
3 Tbsp water, or as needed

In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds just until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool before grinding to a powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

In a food processor, combine the yogurt with the ground coriander and cumin, cilantro, and mint. Process until the herbs are broken down and the yogurt is tinted green, about 5 seconds.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice and pulse just until incorporated. Taste and season with salt. Stir in the water, a little bit at a time, stopping when the yogurt is still thick but thin enough to drizzle from a spoon.

Over time, the lemon juice can cause the yogurt to break and lose its creamy texture, so make just a small amount and use it right away

Red Pepper Walnut Relish

1/4 cup walnuts
2 red bell peppers (about 1 lb.)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon (or more) Aleppo pepper or ½ hot smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darker, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Heat broiler. Broil bell peppers on a broilerproof rimmed baking sheet, turning occasionally, until softened and skins are blackened in spots, 20–25 minutes. Transfer bell peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam 15 minutes. Peel peppers, seed, and chop.

Toss bell peppers, garlic, mint, oil, Aleppo pepper, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and walnuts in a small bowl; season with salt, black pepper, and more Aleppo pepper and lemon juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Relish can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

A spoonful of this sweet, earthy condiment perks up eggs, grain dishes, and simply prepared proteins.

Green Tahini Sauce

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
1 bunch watercress, thick stems trimmed
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

Cook garlic in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until slightly softened, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a bowl of ice water; let cool.

Return water in saucepan to a boil. Cook watercress, mint, and parsley just until wilted, about 15 seconds; drain. Transfer watercress and herbs to ice water; let cool. Drain watercress, herbs, and garlic and squeeze between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible; coarsely chop.

Purée watercress, herbs, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, 1 tsp. salt, and ¾ cup water in a blender until smooth, thinning with more water as needed to reach desired consistency; season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Shake before using.

Red Chile Hot Sauce

20 red Fresno chiles, seeds removed
8 red habanero chiles, seeds removed
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 cup white distilled vinegar

Pulse Fresno and habanero chiles, garlic, and 2 Tbsp. salt in a food processor until very finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and let sit at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours (this will both develop the chile flavor and soften the flesh, resulting in a smooth flavorful sauce when puréed).

Purée chile mixture and vinegar in a blender until smooth. Season with salt.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 2 months ahead. Cover and chill.

Pickled Daikon and Carrot

4 pounds carrots, julienne
5 pounds daikon, julienne
1 cup onions, thin slices
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and salt with hot water, stir until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Add vinegar, stir to combine.

Add sliced onions and julienned carrots and daikon. Gently mix, taking care not to break the pretty matchsticks of daikon and carrots. Let the vegetables sit in brine for at least 2 hours. The pickle can last a week in the fridge.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon serrano chile, sliced
1/2 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup rau ram/hot mint
2 pounds medium green tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick (beefsteaks are best for pickling)

Combine in a pot white wine vinegar, water, kosher salt and brown sugar. Bring brine to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside.

In a Mason jar, or any high-walled container with a lid, pack in sliced green tomatoes, then add serrano chiles, onions and hot mint. Add brine, leaving an inch of head space.

Place a small shallow ramekin inside the jar to depress the contents in the brine. If necessary, add more brine, leaving just 1/2 inch of head space. Fasten the lid and let pickle for at least 3 days.

Cilantro-Maggi Mayo

2 cups cilantro stems, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 small serrano, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Maggi sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 egg yolks, room temperature
4 cups oil

In a food processor, add the chopped cilantro stems, shallot and serrano. Process until the mixture becomes a paste. Add Maggi sauce and vinegar and process for another 2 minutes. What you’re looking for is a smooth paste in which there are no discernible bits of serrano or shallots.

Add the egg yolks and process until the yolks emulsify with the cilantro-Maggi paste, about 2 minutes. With the processor still on, add the oil in batches, 1/2 a cup at a time.

Keep processing 2 minutes after the last batch of oil, to make sure all the oil is incorporated and the emulsion is stable.

Taste and adjust by adding more Maggi or vinegar. Mayo can last for 3 days in the fridge.

Matt’s Kimchi

2 large heads napa cabbage (3 1/4 pounds each)—halved, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 head bok choy or 2 heads of baby bok choy, cut into 2-inch pieces
2/3 cup kosher salt
10 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 small onion, chopped
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1/2 pound daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 bunch scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 bunch carrots, cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup gochugaru (Korean coarse red pepper powder)

In each of 2 very large bowls, layer the cabbage and bok choy with the salt. Let stand for 45 minutes. Toss the cabbage well and let stand for 45 minutes longer.

Fill a sink with cold water. Swirl the cabbage and bok choy in it to remove the salt; drain and repeat. Drain well, lightly pat dry with paper towels and transfer to a very large bowl.

In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, onion, ginger and sugar and puree. Add the fish sauce and process until blended.

Add the daikon, scallions, and carrots to the cabbage and bok choy and toss.

Add the garlic mixture and the red pepper powder and toss thoroughly.

Pack the cabbage into three 1-quart jars. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the kimchi and put the caps on loosely.

Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, until the cabbage is tangy and bubbling.

Store in the refrigerator. The kimchi can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.

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.

Red Wine Cranberry Sauce

2 (12-ounce) packages fresh cranberries (6 cups)
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons honey
4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh gingerroot, smashed
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, red wine, 1/2 cup water, honey, ginger and salt. Simmer gently until most of the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thick and syrupy, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the black pepper. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Set aside.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Use a brush dipped in cold water and brush the inside of the saucepan, brushing just about the level of the simmering sauce.

Cook over high heat until the mixture is golden brown.

Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the reserved cream.

Return to the boil and cook over low heat for two to three minutes.

Stir in the vanilla.

Spiced Brandied Cherries

1 cup sugar
2 whole cloves
1 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
1 quart sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 cup Cognac or other aged brandy

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and spices with a cup of water. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and add cherries and brandy to pot. Let cool, then store mixture in a jar in refrigerator for at least 2 days before eating, and up to several months. These are great over ice cream.

Magic Shell

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Melt the chocolate in a small metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Stir in the coconut oil and heat until dissolved, about 1 minute.

Keep the liquid lukewarm until ready to pour over the ice cream.

Chocolate will harden into a shell within a few seconds when spooned over ice cream.