Indian Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

2 tsp oil divided
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 lb brussels sprouts
1/2 cup (80 g) chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 green chili
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala or use spices and blends like curry powder, jamaican curry powder, ethiopian berbere for variation
1/3 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt divided
1 (182 g) large tomato diced
1/2 cup (118.29 ml) or more water
cilantro pepper flakes, lemon juice for garnish

Remove outer leaves and tough stems from the brussels sprouts.

Slice into half if large.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add cumin seeds and mix for a few seconds. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 4-5 minutes or until brown on some sides. Stir, Then cover and steam for a minute. Remove carefully from skillet.

Add 1 tsp oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chili and a good pinch of salt. Cook until translucent.

Add the spices and 1/4 tsp salt and mix in. Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup water and cook until tender. Mash the larger tomato pieces.

Add the brussels, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup more water. Mix well, cover and cook to steam for 4 to 5 mins. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add more sal or garam masala as needed. Steam for a bit longer if the brussels are not cooked to preference.

Take off heat. Garnish with cilantro, pepper flakes, lime and serve. Serve with a curry of choice such as chickpea coconut curry.

Store: Refrigerate for upto 3 days.

Notes:
For saucier: Double the sauce ingredients except cayenne.

For creamier sauce: Fold in 1/4 cup cashew cream in the sauce and simmer.

Bhutanese Ema Datshi

10 oz. chili peppers (a combination of jalapeño, serrano, anaheim or red chilies)
1 red onions, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 oz cheese, grated (see note)
Salt to taste
1 cup water (to cook the veggies)

Heat a pan and add butter. Add the sliced onion, tomato and chillies. Give them a quick toss and the water. Season them with salt. Cover and cook until the peppers become tender.

Turn off the flame and add the cheese and let it melt in the residual heat.
Serve it over a bed of red or white rice.

Notes:
You can use any type of cheese especially one that melts. Avoid using stringy cheese like mozzarella. A combination of feta, cheddar or farmers cheese is good.

Bong Eats recommends quartering jalapenos and leaving the serranos whole with slits in them. It also recommends serving this with chilli pork, which is similar to the Bhutanese pork dishes.

Bhutanese Potatoes and Cheese (Kewa Datshi)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as desired
4 chile peppers, slit and coarsely chopped, or more to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water, or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon chile pepper powder
Salt or to taste
1 cup grated fresh cheese (see note)
1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat; cook and stir chile peppers and garlic until golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir potatoes into onion mixture until potatoes are coated in oil.

Pour water over potato mixture and season with chile pepper powder and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, adding more water if needed but keeping the gravy thick, 10 to 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and sprinkle fresh cheese over the gravy; slowly stir until cheese melts and spreads evenly, about 5 minutes. Garnish dish with red pepper flakes.

Notes:
You can use any type of cheese especially one that melts. Avoid using stringy cheese like mozzarella. A combination of feta, cheddar or farmers cheese is good.

Bhutanese Pork with Potatoes (Kewa Phagsha)

3/4 pound pork chopped into small chunks
2 potatoes peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 pieces each
3 green chilies cut in half
1/2 onion diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 piece Ginger minced
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
Szechuan pepper to taste
Cilantro, for serving

In a sauce pan put in the pork and cover with 1 3/4 cups of water and a pinch of salt.

Cook pork through about 20 minutes.

Add in the chilies, potato, onion and canola oil.

Cook until the potato is just shy of fork tender.

Add in remaining ingredients and cook for three more minutes.

Add in some Szechuan pepper and cilantro to taste.

Bhutanese Pork Stew (Phaksha Paa)

2 Tbsp cooking oil
5 shallots (peeled and finely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
1 thumb-size ginger (grated)
2 red or green bird’s eye chili (seeded and chopped)
2 lbs pork loin (cut into thin slices)
1/2 lb Chinese radish/ daikon (peeled and slice thinly)
1 tsp paprika powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 large tomato (cut into small pieces)
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Few sprigs of cilantro leaves for garnish

Preheat a wok or skillet. Add in 2 Tbsp of oil. Tip in the shallots, ginger, garlic, and chili and stir-fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the pork slices and stir fry until the pork just turn color.

Add paprika powder, daikon slices, and chicken broth. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil and then lower it and let it simmer gently until the daikon is tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with few cilantro leaves.

Serve with a bowl or steamed rice.

Stir-Fried Garlic Scapes with Pork, Chicken, or Beef

8 ounces pork shoulder (cut into thin, 2-inch strips; can also use pork loin, pork butt, or even pork belly)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

FOR THE REST OF THE DISH:

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
(divided)
5 dried chili peppers (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger (finely julienned)
1 medium carrot (julienned into 2 x 1/4-inch lengths)
10 ounces garlic scapes (cut into 2-inch pieces)
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1/3 cup chicken stock or water
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons light soy sauce (or to taste)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

In a medium bowl, add the pork, cornstarch, water, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and vegetable oil. Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes.

Place the wok over high heat until it is just starting to smoke. Spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok. Spread the pork on the wok in one layer, and sear for 1 minute on each side. Remove the pork from the wok, and set aside. (For more tips on searing meat, see Judy’s post on how to keep food from sticking to your wok.)

Add ½ tablespoon oil to the wok. Add the dried chilies, ginger, carrots, and garlic scapes. Stir-fry over medium high heat for 1 minute to give the scapes a good sear. Add the Shaoxing wine. Continue to stir-fry for another 20 seconds.
Add the chicken stock or water, and increase the heat to high. Push everything into the middle of the wok, cover, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the cover and stir the vegetables around the super hot perimeter of the wok to create some wok hei.

Next, add the cooked pork and its juices, along with the ground white pepper, sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Continue to stir-fry at high heat for another 20 seconds. Give it a taste and re-season according to your own taste.

Add the cornstarch slurry, being sure to pour it directly into the standing liquid, and stir-fry for another 15 seconds. Transfer to a serving plate. Served with

Chinese Beef and Asparagus Stir Fry

12 oz. flank steak or sirloin steak (340g, sliced)
1 teaspoon oil (plus more for cooking)
5 teaspoons light soy sauce (divided)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound fresh asparagus
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup hot chicken stock (or water)
3 tablespoons shaoxing wine
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed into a slurry with 2 tablespoons water)
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

In a small bowl, combine the sliced beef with 1 teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon light soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Wash your asparagus, and cut about an inch off the bottom ends, depending on how tender they are. You can also use a vegetable peeler to peel the bottom of each stalk. Slice into 2-inch pieces on an angle.

Next combine the salt, sugar, the rest of the light soy sauce (4 teaspoons), dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and stock or water into a bowl. Mix well and set aside. Have your wine measured out, garlic ready, and the cornstarch slurry mixed up before you begin cooking, because this is all going to happen very fast!

Heat your wok until smoking. Add a couple tablespoons of oil and swirl it around to coat your wok. Quickly spread the beef slices around the wok in an even layer. Let it sear for 15-30 seconds without stirring. Then give it a quick stir to sear the other side. The meat should be browned and no sticking should happen if you got the wok hot enough! Take the meat out of the pan and set aside.

Keep the wok on high heat and add another tablespoon of oil into the wok. Stir in your garlic and asparagus. Stir for about 10 seconds and add the shaoxing wine around the rim of the wok. Cover, leaving the heat on high. Let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the cover and add the sauce mixture and white pepper. Add the beef back to the pan and stir. Let the liquid bubble up. Stir up your cornstarch slurry to make sure the starch is dissolved and pour in about half of it. Stir for a few seconds. If the sauce is still thin, add more slurry. If it’s too thick, add a little water or stock. Plate and serve immediately!

Chinese Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

For the chicken & marinade:
12 ounces chicken breast (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon oil (any neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil)
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

For the rest of the dish:
1/2 cup water (or low sodium chicken stock)
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons oil (any neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 pound asparagus (end trimmed and sliced on a sharp angle into 2-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

In a medium bowl, combine the sliced chicken, water, cornstarch, oil, and oyster sauce. Mix until the liquid has been absorbed by the chicken. Set aside to marinate for 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the water (or chicken stock), cornstarch, white pepper, sugar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.

Heat your wok over high heat until it just starts to smoke, and add 1 tablespoon of oil to coat. Spread the chicken evenly in one layer, and allow it to sear undisturbed for 30 seconds. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds, or until about 75% cooked. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, along with the minced garlic. Cook for 15 seconds, and add the asparagus. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the Shaoxing wine and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, mix your sauce mixture to ensure the cornstarch is fully incorporated. Add it to the wok, and bring to a simmer.

Add the chicken back to the wok, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon, and the asparagus should be crisp-tender.
Taste for seasoning and add additional salt to taste if needed. Serve over rice.

Sheet-Pan Gnocchi With Asparagus, Leeks and Peas

2 (12-ounce) packages gnocchi (preferably fresh, refrigerated, precooked gnocchi)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into thirds
2 small leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 2 cups)
2 shallots, trimmed and sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or fresh peas)
1 lemon, scrubbed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup sliced fresh chives or parsley (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss gnocchi with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

On another rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus, leeks and shallots with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few generous grinds of pepper.

Put both pans in the oven, with the gnocchi on the bottom rack and the vegetables above. Stir the gnocchi and vegetables after 5 minutes to distribute the butter. Stir the vegetables once or twice more, but leave the gnocchi undisturbed. Roast until vegetables are golden and getting crispy on the edges, about 15 minutes total, and the gnocchi are golden brown on one side, 20 to 25 minutes total. Stir the peas into the vegetables in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Combine the gnocchi and vegetables on one tray, then grate the lemon zest over the top. Sprinkle with half the Parmesan and chives, if using, saving some for serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and chives, and serve immediately.

Lemony Asparagus Salad With Shaved Manchego and Nuts

3/4 cup pistachios or other nuts
1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons soft herbs, such as dill, parsley and tarragon, or a combination
3 tablespoons minced shallots, red onion or scallion
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or cider vinegar)
Large pinch of kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
3/4 cup coarsely grated cheese (1 1/2 ounces), preferably a young sheep’s milk, such as pecorino or Manchego, but any firm cheese works, plus more for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread pistachios in an even layer and toast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle, then roughly chop.

Meanwhile, fill a large skillet with 1-inch water. Place steam basket on top, cover and bring to a simmer. Steam asparagus until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Finely chop 3 tablespoons mixed soft herbs. In a medium bowl, combine shallot, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and the pepper, and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk in oil, then stir in pistachios, cheese and chopped herbs.

To serve, drizzle asparagus with oil and salt to taste. Dollop with dressing, tear remaining 1/2 cup herbs on top, and sprinkle generously with more cheese. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Miso Butter

4 tablespoons oil or rendered pork or bacon fat
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled if necessary
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup not-too-salty miso, preferably white
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
2 poached (or warm-bath-cooked) eggs

Put oil or fat in skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Add as much asparagus as will fit in a layer, add salt and pepper to taste, and toss and stir until browned and shriveled, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, over low heat in a small saucepan, warm and whisk together miso and butter, so they combine, and butter softens but does not melt. Whisk in vinegar and keep warm. Warm a serving plate.

When asparagus is done, put some miso butter on bottom of serving plate. Blot excess fat from asparagus if you like, put on top of the miso butter, and top with poached eggs. Serve immediately.

Spring Green Soup with Leeks and Peas

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced into half-moons (about 3 cups)
12 ounces waxy potatoes, such as new potatoes or creamers, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups (10 ounces) sweet green peas, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost)
2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill

Note: Feel free to vary the vegetables based on what you have on hand, swapping onion for the leeks, parsnips or carrots for the potato, or using snow peas, baby kale, and basil for the green vegetables and herbs, for example.

dill

In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, salt and pepper. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the peas and continue to simmer until they turn bright green and just tender, 2 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted but still bright green, 30 seconds. Stir in the herbs, then ladle into bowls and serve hot.

One-Bowl Skyr Cheesecake

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup (133 grams) plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
2 cups (16 ounces/453 grams) plain low-fat skyr (Icelandic yogurt), at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Wrap the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with foil and place it on a large, rimmed baking sheet.

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer (or in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until very smooth, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer, add 2/3 cup of the sugar and beat, starting on medium-low speed and increasing to medium-high until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the skyr, vanilla and lemon zest and beat on medium until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions, and beat until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 15 minutes, then, keeping the cake in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until the cake is just set but still jiggles a little in the middle. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour. Then, keeping the cake in the pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, in a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and the lemon juice. Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan before unmolding. Serve each slice of cheesecake topped with a mound of the strawberries.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Pesto

FOR THE CAULIFLOWER:
1 head cauliflower, preferably orange (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small yellow onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper

FOR THE PESTO:
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro and flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw shelled pistachios
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper

Make the cauliflower: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the cauliflower, making sure the stem is cut flush with the head so it sits flat. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until translucent and turning golden on the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup water and remove from the heat.

Rub the cauliflower with the remaining tablespoon oil then with the pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Clear the center of the skillet and place the cauliflower in it. Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in the center of the oven. Bake until a paring knife meets no resistance when inserted into the cauliflower, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pesto: Reserve a bit of lemon zest for garnish. Place the rest in a food processor, along with the herbs, oil, pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined.

Turn oven to 450 degrees on the regular setting or, if you have a convection option, 425 degrees. Uncover the cauliflower and baste with some of the pan juices. Cook, basting occasionally and adding 1/4 cup of water to the pan if it threatens to dry out, until nicely browned, 20 to 30 minutes more. Spoon the pesto over top, sprinkle with reserved lemon zest and more herbs, and serve.

Yogurt Parfait with Warmed Strawberries

2 cups strawberries, quartered 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
Granola, as much as you desire
Whip cream, as much as you desire

Slice the strawberries into quarters.

Line the air fryer basket with perforated parchment paper (optional) and place the strawberries in the air fryer. Sprinkle the sugar on the strawberries and air fry at 400°F for 8 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, add in the yogurt, honey, mixing to combine.

Place the yogurt and honey mixture in small glasses, filling the glass 1?4 of the way full. Add the same amount of strawberries and granola on top. Repeat those steps until the glasses are full.

Place whip cream at the very top.

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

5 cups Cauliflower chopped, about one large head
6 cloves Garlic peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

FOR THE SAUCE
1/3 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons Butter or coconut oil for vegan
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

FOR THE AIR FRYER
Chop the cauliflower into evenly-sized florets and put them in a large bowl.

Cut each garlic clove into 3 pieces and smash them down with the side of your knife. Don’t be shy about smashing the garlic. You want to expose as much of the garlicky surface area as possible so that it roasts well. Add this to the cauliflower.

Pour over the oil and add salt. Mix well until the cauliflower is well-coated with the oil and salt.
Turn your air fryer to 400F for 20 minutes and add the cauliflower, flipping once at the halfway mark.

MAKE THE SAUCE
While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, butter, and Worcestershire sauce.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, place it into a large serving bowl. Pour the hot sauce over the cauliflower and mix well.

Place the cauliflower back into the air fryer. Set it to 400F for 3-4 minutes to let the sauce set a little.

Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

FOR THE OVEN
Chop the cauliflower into evenly-sized florets and put them in a large bowl.

Cut each garlic clove into 3 pieces and smash them down with the side of your knife. Don’t be shy about smashing the garlic. You want to expose as much of the garlicky surface area as possible so that it roasts well. Add this to the cauliflower.

Pour over the oil and add salt. Mix well until the cauliflower is well-coated with the oil and salt. Don’t be shy about the oil when cooking in the oven, and maybe add another tablespoon of oil to be safe.

Broil on HIGH for 10-15 minutes, checking and stirring often.

MAKE THE SAUCE
While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, butter, and Worcestershire sauce.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, place it into a large serving bowl. Pour the hot sauce over the cauliflower and mix well.

Place the cauliflower back into the oven. Set it to 400F for 1-2 minutes to let the sauce set a little.

Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

Tips and Tricks for Making Buffalo Cauliflower:

Crisp. Everyone loves crispy wings, so don’t undercook these Cauliflower Hot Wings. You want them crispy!

Heat. Don’t want them too spicy? Easily customize this recipe by using the brand of hot sauce you love the most.

Dip. Don’t be afraid to pair these with some delicious dips like some Blue Cheese, Ranch Dressing, or any of these Keto Salad Dressings.

Frozen. If using frozen cauliflower, thaw completely, then drain the liquid and pat down for best results.

Sauce. Mix it up and make these with gochujang mayo.

Cauliflower Adobo

1 large cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons raw or light brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 bay leaves
1 Thai chile, halved lengthwise, or 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving

Trim leaves and woody stalk from the cauliflower, then cut through the root into 8 wedges. Season both sides of each wedge with salt and pepper. Reserve any loose cauliflower pieces.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place one layer of the wedges in the skillet cut-side down and cook without moving them until well browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and continue until all the cauliflower is seared, adding more oil as needed. Return all the cauliflower to the pan with uncooked side facing down.

Add 1/4 cup water, any loose cauliflower pieces, 2 teaspoons black pepper, rice-wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, bay leaves and Thai chile. Cover and let simmer over medium heat until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Uncover, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook, basting the cauliflower occasionally with the sauce, until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve the cauliflower with plenty of sauce and a sprinkle of scallions.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Halloumi and Arugula

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Aleppo or 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small shallot, minced (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 large preserved lemon, seeded, halved, seeded, then very thinly sliced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 (8-ounce) block halloumi
6 ounces baby arugula (about 8 packed cups)
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted and diced
1 cup torn fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender sprigs

Heat oven to 425 degrees and set a large rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the Aleppo, coriander, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to the hot baking sheet, spread in an even layer and roast until browned in spots and crisp-tender, tossing once halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, stir together the shallot, raisins, preserved lemon, vinegar and honey with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the halloumi: Cut the halloumi into 3/4-inch cubes and pat dry using a kitchen towel or paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add the halloumi cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (You’ll want to be fairly attentive, flipping frequently, as you want to make sure the cubes toast without burning or melting.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with pepper.

Toss the arugula with half the vinaigrette until lightly coated and divide among plates or shallow bowls. Top with the cauliflower, halloumi and avocado. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Buffalo Cauliflower

FOR THE CAULIFLOWER:
1 large head cauliflower, cut into medium and large florets (about 8 cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

FOR THE BUFFALO SAUCE:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup Buffalo-style hot sauce

FOR THE YOGURT RANCH (OPTIONAL):
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill, parsley, and-or chives
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, grated
Kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees, and place a rack close to the broiler and another in the middle of the oven. (If your broiler is in a drawer below the oven, no need to move the racks.)

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil to evenly coat, then season with salt and pepper. Spread out the cauliflower on a baking sheet in an even layer (arrange flat edges pan-side down for extra browning). Bake the cauliflower on the middle rack, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15 minutes.

As cauliflower roasts, make the sauce: Melt the butter with the hot sauce in a medium saucepan or skillet over low heat, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once melted, turn off the heat, but keep the saucepan on the stove.

Make the yogurt ranch (optional): Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Pull the cauliflower out of the oven, and turn on the broiler. Transfer the cauliflower to the hot sauce-butter mixture, stirring the cauliflower to fully coat with the sauce. Then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower back to the baking sheet in an even layer.

Broil until the cauliflower is singed in spots and cooked throughout, about 5 minutes. (Depending on your broiler, you may need to rotate the pan after 2 or 3 minutes for even cooking.) Serve with yogurt ranch for dipping or drizzling, if desired.

Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken (or Tofu or Pork) with Asparagus

3 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar or soy sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together 1/4 cup water with the honey, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set honey mixture aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken and toss until coated.

In a medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until the turmeric is fragrant and the chicken is golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the asparagus, season with salt, stir to combine and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the honey mixture and cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime squeezed over top, if you like.