Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Salt
8 ounces (about) rice noodles (vermicelli or sticks, as you like)
8 ounces bean sprouts
4 eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
2 small hot red chiles (like Thai bird or Fresno), seeded if you like and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
Lime wedges

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put the noodles in a large bowl. When the water boils, add enough water to the bowl to cover, stir, then let the noodles soak until they are soft and pliable. Start checking after 3 minutes; thicker noodles could take up to 15.

When the noodles are nearly tender, add the sprouts to soak for a minute or reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid, then transfer everything to a colander, run under cold water for 1 minute, and shake off any excess water.

Meanwhile, bring the remaining water back to a boil, carefully add the eggs, cover, and turn off the heat. Steep the eggs for 9 minutes, then drain and run under cold water until cool.

Whisk together the peanut butter, sugar, fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of the chiles, and the lime juice in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid and continue to whisk. The dressing should easily coat the back of a spoon. If it’s too thick, whisk in more hot water 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lime juice, chiles, and salt if you’d like.

Combine the noodles and sprouts with half the dressing in a large bowl and toss gently with 2 forks.

Peel the eggs and halve lengthwise.

Garnish the noodles with the eggs, scallions, and peanuts and serve at room temperature, passing the lime wedges and the remaining dressing and chiles at the table.

Smacked Zucchini Salad With Chile Oil & Black Vinegar

4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chile crisp (or chile oil with its sediment)
2 teaspoons black vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 large garlic clove, Microplaned or minced
2 zucchinis (totaling at about 12 ounces)
1 pinch kosher or flaky salt (if needed)

Combine the soy sauce, chile crisp, black vinegar, sugar, and garlic in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.

Lay the zucchinis on a cutting board and smack with a rolling pin until they split, like a dropped watermelon at the grocery store. Now chop the smacked zucchinis into bite-size pieces with a knife. Add the zucchini to the bowl with the dressing and toss.

Taste and adjust as needed. Maybe you want the salt, or not. Maybe you want more soy sauce, or chile crisp, or vinegar, or sugar, or garlic. Adjust until it tastes very, very good to you. The longer it sits, the softer the zucchini will get, and the saucier.

Oi Muchim (Korean Marinated Cucumbers)

ngredients
4 Persian cucumbers (about 10 1/2 ounces; 300g), sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon (8g) coarse ground gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (5g) sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce
1 medium garlic clove (5g), very finely minced or grated
3 tablespoons (45ml) toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon (10g) toasted sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, combine cucumbers, gochugaru, salt, and sugar. Using clean hands, massage cucumbers, squeezing and tossing them with seasoning, until cucumber is well-coated on all sides and begins to release liquid and color of gochugaru brightens to vibrant orange-red, about 1 minute.

Transfer cucumbers to a colander, then set colander inside bowl used to season cucumbers. Cut a round of parchment paper large enough to cover surface of cucumbers, and place over cucumbers. Then place a weight on top of parchment to press down on cucumbers (canned goods, a cast iron skillet, a mixing bowl filled with water, or a Chef’s Press all make for good weights). Set aside to drain for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and garlic. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in sesame oil until emulsified.

Once cucumbers have drained, remove weight and discard parchment paper. Using clean hands, squeeze cucumbers to get rid of excess moisture, then transfer to bowl with dressing; discard accumulated cucumber liquid. Toss cucumbers with dressing until well-coated all over, about 30 seconds. Add sesame seeds and toss to combine. Divide between small individual serving bowls and serve, or transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Cucumber Salad with Mustard Oil

1/2 cup (2 oz; 60g) raw hazelnuts or peanuts, skinned
2 English cucumbers (25 oz; 700g)
2 tablespoons (30ml) mustard oil
2 tablespoons (30ml) lime juice, from 1 lime
2 teaspoons (1/8 oz; 4g) red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

In a small dry saucepan, toast hazelnuts over medium-high heat, until they just start to brown and become fragrant, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately transfer to mortar and crush with pestle to form coarse powder. (Alternatively, use a spice grinder.)

Trim and discard ends of cucumbers. Cut each cucumber in half lengthwise and then into thin slices. Place sliced cucumbers in a medium mixing bowl.

Using a whisk or fork, thoroughly mix mustard oil and lime juice in small bowl and pour over cucumbers. Add toasted hazelnuts and pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower, Grape, and Cheddar Salad

1 large head cauliflower broken into bite sized florets
6 tablespoons sunflower or other light oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly crushed
2/3 cup seedless red grapes, halved
3 oz aged Cheddar cheese, coarsely crumbled
2/3 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss the cauliflower florets with half of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons oil with the vinegar, mustard, honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the raisins and let them marinade for at least 10 minutes.

Just before serving, transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and add the hazelnuts, grapes, Cheddar and parsley. Pour the raisins and dressing over the top, toss together, transfer to a large platter, and serve.

Cambodian Beef Salad

?1 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and sliced about 1/8 inch thick (see note)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice, plus lime wedges to serve
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil, preferably toasted, plus more to serve
1/2 small head red cabbage, finely shredded (about 4 cups)
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

In a medium bowl, toss the beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. In a large saucepan, stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, oil and 1/4 cup water.

Bring to a simmer over high, then add the beef and cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes; the beef will release liquid as it cooks. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cucumber and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables with your hands, rubbing in the salt, until they just begin to wilt. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to the bowl with the vegetables, then add the chili and scallions.

Add 1/4 cup of the beef cooking liquid and toss to combine. Taste and, if desired, toss in additional cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until the salad is dressed to your liking. Transfer to a serving bowl, then top with the peanuts and drizzle with additional oil. Serve with lime wedges.

Curried Chicken Salad with Mango Chutney

3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup mango chutney
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 small rotisserie chicken—meat shredded, skin and bones discarded (4 cups)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup baby arugula leaves 4 brioche rolls or other rolls, split (optional, for sandwiches)

In a food processor, pulse the yogurt, chutney, lime juice and curry until blended but not completely smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl, add the shredded chicken, scallions and cilantro and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the arugula on the rolls, spoon the pulled chicken salad on top and serve.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 serrano chile with seeds, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
Salt
4 cups finely shredded green cabbage (from 1/2 small head)
2 carrots, finely shredded
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (from 1/2 chicken)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, water, chile and garlic and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the dressing stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the shallots on paper towels; reserve the oil for another use. Sprinkle the shallots with salt and let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, red onion, cilantro, mint and shredded chicken. Add the olive oil and the dressing and toss. Sprinkle with the peanuts and fried shallots and serve the chicken salad with lime wedges.

Chicken Salad with Avocado and Herbs

Rotisserie chicken
Arugula
Sliced scallions
Chopped cilantro
Avocado or two
Lime
Chopped garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Pick up a heat-lamp roast chicken at the market on the way home — it’s O.K.! — and tear it apart to feed four, or half of it for two, shredding the meat with your fingers.

Mix the chicken with a few handfuls of baby arugula, a large handful of sliced scallions and a lot of chopped cilantro.

Cut an avocado or two into the mix if you have them on hand.

Then make a dressing out of lime juice — one juicy squeezed lime will do — a pressed garlic clove and a few glugs of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Drizzle that over the top and serve. Dinner in 15 minutes, tops.

Chicken Panzanella

Rotisserie chicken
Tomatoes
Arugula or watercress
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Salt
Pepper
Toasted bread

Grab a super-tanned rotisserie chicken on the way home. Tear the meat into strips, then cut a few smallish supermarket tomatoes (or better, if you’ve got them) into wedges and marinate them in oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.

Pay a few bills or fold some laundry, then turn the whole thing into panzanella by mixing together the chicken, the tomatoes, some fresh watercress and some chunks of stale or toasted bread, then showering the salad with freshly ground black pepper and a spray of kosher salt.

Aloo Chaat

4 medium-sized Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons cilantro chutney, for serving
3 teaspoons sweet tamarind chutney, for serving
1/2 cup plain yogurt, mixed well with a spoon
1/2 cup sev
3 teaspoons chopped cilantro, for garnish

Peel potatoes and cut them into pieces about 1/2″ wide and 1/2″ long. Place them in a microwaveable bowl and fill with water in such a way that all the potatoes are submerged in water. Microwave for 3 minutes.

Pour the potatoes carefully in a sieve and drain the water. After the potatoes have cooled down, wipe them dry on a kitchen towel or paper napkin.

Heat a cast-iron or any thick-bottomed skillet. Pour half the vegetable oil. Divide the potatoes into two batches to ensure that the pieces get heated in a single layer without crowding each other. Insert the potatoes in the cast-iron pan.

Sauté the potatoes and stir every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent them from sticking to the pan. The goal is for the potatoes to acquire a taut, golden-brown skin on all the surfaces. This takes about 15 to 18 minutes. Repeat the process with the next batch.

Put the roasted potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add salt, red chile powder, cumin powder, and chaat masala. Mix well. Add cilantro chutney and sweet tamarind chutney. Mix well.

Divide potatoes between two serving plates. Pour the yogurt on the potatoes. Layer sev on top and garnish with cilantro. Serve right away.

Note: Potatoes can also be oven roasted.

Thai Spicy Steak Salad

1 pound steak (flank, top sirloin)
1 to 2 fresh red chilies (bird’s eye preferred)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 packet chives, sliced into 1-inch lengths
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped

In a pan or on the grill, sear the unseasoned steak until browned well on both sides, and cook to medium rare or desired temperature. Allow the steak to rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic and chilies to create a paste. Scrape the paste into a large bowl, and add the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add the thinly sliced onions, chives, and cilantro, and toss well to combine. Next, slice the steak into thin, even slices across the grain, and add to the salad. Mix again thoroughly and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Serve with freshly steamed rice.

Butternut Squash and Fusilli with Hazelnut Oil

One 2-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces ?(6 cups)?
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar?
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil?
1 tablespoon honey?
Kosher salt
Pepper?
3/4 pound whole-wheat fusilli?
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unrefined hazelnut oil?
1 head of Treviso or 1/2 a small head of radicchio, thinly sliced?
1/2 cup packed parsley leaves?
Shaved Pecorino Tuscano or Romano, for serving?

Preheat the oven to 425. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 1/4 cup of the vinegar, the olive oil and honey and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about ?35 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and glazed.?

Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the hazelnut oil

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ?2 tablespoons each of vinegar and hazelnut oil. Stir in the squash, Treviso and parsley, then fold in the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with shaved pecorino.

The pasta salad can be refrigerated overnight. Stir in the Treviso and parsely before serving.?

Peking Duck and Mandarin Pancakes

For the duck:
4 boneless duck breasts (about 6-7 oz./170-200g each with the skin on; rinsed and thoroughly patted dry with a paper towel)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/8 teaspoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon oil

For the mandarin pancakes:
1 1/2 cups flour (200g)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup boiling water (160 ml)
1 teaspoon oil

For the fixings:
1 cucumber (de-seeded and julienned)
1/2 cup cantaloupe (julienned, optional)
2 scallions (julienned)
3 cloves garlic (finely minced and mixed with 1 teaspoon oil to make a paste, optional)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Marinate the duck:

Mix the salt, soy sauce, wine, and five spice powder in a small bowl and massage into the duck. Leave the duck breasts skin side up on a plate uncovered, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight to marinate and to let the skin dry out. (If you don’t want to wait overnight, reduce the marinating time to 30 minutes).

Prepare mandarin pancakes:
Mix the flour and salt in a heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling hot water into the flour mixture and use chopsticks or a spatula to mix until a dough ball forms. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead the dough for 8 minutes until smooth, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.

Cover with plastic and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Roll the dough into a cylinder and cut into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a dough ball, then flatten them out into a small disc about 2 inches in diameter. Lightly brush 6 of the discs with oil, ensuring the sides of the discs are also brushed with oil.

Layer the remaining 6 discs over the 6 oiled discs so you have 6 pieces, each comprised of 2 discs.

Use a rolling pin to roll the discs into 7-inch circles, flipping the pancakes frequently so both of the dough discs are rolled into the same size.

Heat a wok or frying pan over medium low heat, and place one pancake into the pan. After 30 to 45 seconds, you should see air pockets begin to form between the two pancakes. Flip the pancake; it should be white with just a couple of faint brown patches. Any more than that, and they are overcooked.

After another 30 seconds, the air pockets should be large enough to separate the two pancakes. Remove the pancake to a plate, and let it cool for another 30 seconds. Now carefully pull apart the two pancakes at the seams. Place finished pancakes onto a plate and cover with a warm kitchen towel. Repeat until all pancakes are done.

The pancakes can be reheated in a steamer for about a minute when ready to serve. They also keep in the freezer for up to 3 weeks if you decide to make a larger batch.

Cook the duck and assemble:

Next, preheat the oven broiler on low heat. Heat an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil to coat the pan.

Sear the duck breasts, skin side down. Move them frequently so the skin crisps up and fries in the duck fat that renders out.

After 8 minutes, or when the duck skin is golden brown and a little bit crispy, carefully drain off the duck fat and discard (or save for later application to other recipes). In the pan, flip the duck breasts (so they are skin side up), and transfer them to the broiler for about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the skin, which at this point should be a bit crispy.

Remove the duck from the broiler and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The duck will be cooked about medium well and will be very juicy. Transfer to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut into thin slices.

Serve the duck with your warmed pancakes, fixings, and sauce.

Grilled Zucchini with Fresh Mozzarella

3 zucchini (about 1 pound), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 pound salted fresh mozzarella, cut into thick slices

Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill or broil the zucchini, turning once, until tender and golden, about 5 minutes per side. Put the zucchini back in the bowl.

Toss the zucchini with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, the vinegar, garlic, and parsley. Let cool.

Put the mozzarella slices on a serving plate, fanning them out to form a circle. Drizzle them with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and sprinkle them with a pinch of pepper. Fold the zucchini slices in half and tuck them between the pieces of cheese.

Grilled Apricots (or Plums, Peaches, or Pears) with Burrata, Country Ham, and Arugula

1 1/4 pounds apricots, halved and pitted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
5 ounces baby arugula
1/2 pound burrata cheese, shredded
4 ounces shaved country ham 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the apricots with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, cut sides down, just until lightly charred, 5 minutes. Let cool.

In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the 1/4 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss in the apricots, radicchio and arugula. Transfer to a platter and top with the burrata, ham and vinegar. Serve.

Melon-and-Peach Salad with Prosciutto and Mozzarella

One 1 1/2-pound honeydew melon—seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
1 peach, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vin cotto or balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped marjoram
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, chopped
8 thin slices of prosciutto (2 ounces)

In a bowl, toss the melon and peach with the oil and vin cotto; season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and cheese. Transfer the salad to a platter, top with the prosciutto and serve.

Mozzarella with Summer Squash and Olive Puree

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 pound fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into wedges
1 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, very thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Flaky sea salt, freshly ground white pepper and piment d’Espelette or hot paprika, for sprinkling

In a mini processor, puree the olives. Strain the puree through a fine sieve; you should have about 1/4 cup. Spread the olive puree on plates and arrange the mozzarella wedges and zucchini and squash slices on top. Drizzle olive oil over the cheese and sprinkle with salt, white pepper and piment d’Espelette.

Persimmon and Burrata Salad with Sesame Brittle

For sesame brittle:
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
Salt

For salad:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons minced shallot
Pepper
5 ounces baby arugula
1/2 pound burrata cheese (2 small balls), drained and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 firm Fuyu persimmons, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar over moderate heat, undisturbed, until melted and light golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds and a pinch of salt and immediately scrape onto a parchment paper–lined plate. Let cool completely, then break the candy into small pieces.

In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar, maple syrup and shallot; season with salt and pepper. Mound the arugula on a platter and scatter the burrata, persimmons, sesame candy and pomegranate seeds on top. Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

6 cloves garlic (minced very finely, almost like a paste)
3 tablespoons oil
2 English cucumbers (or 6-8 Persian cucumbers; if you can’t find seedless cucumbers like these, just de-seed regular cucumbers)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon MSG (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

First prepare the garlic. When you’ve minced all of the garlic, set aside the equivalent of 1 clove.

Mix the oil and the rest of the garlic together, and set over medium-heat in a saucepan. Cook lightly for 2-3 minutes. Some foam will appear as the water in the garlic escapes. Do not let the garlic brown! This process takes about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Chop the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise and then into ½-inch chunks. Transfer to a bowl. Add the garlic oil, salt, sugar, pinch of MSG if using, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Finally, add the reserved minced raw garlic. Stir thoroughly to coat everything.

For the best results, let sit for at least 20 in the refrigerator to let flavors meld.