Pressure Cooker Polenta

Ingredients
1 cup polenta rough-ground cornmeal/
4 cups Chicken Broth
Salt
3-4 teaspoons Butter
1/2 cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
1/4 cup half and half

Turn Instant Pot on sauté and add the chicken broth and polenta and whisk together.

As soon as it starts to boil, place and seal the lid, and set your Instant Pot on high pressure for 7 minutes and allow it to release pressure naturally when done.

When you open the lid there will be some excess water in it. Using your whisk, blend in the butter, cheese, and half and half. The polenta will thicken as you whisk it all together. Allow it to rest for a little longer.

Pressure Cooker Polenta Cacio e Pepe

1 cup polenta (not quick-cooking)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces Pecorino and/or Parmesan, finely grated, plus more

Whisk polenta and 4 cups water in Instant Pot until combined. Season with 1 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high, whisk again, then seal pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s directions. Cook at high pressure for 9 minutes. When timer goes off, manually release pressure. Carefully open lid and whisk polenta until homogenous and creamy.

Whisk butter into polenta, then gradually add 4 oz. Pecorino, whisking until melted. Taste and season with more salt, if needed, and lots of pepper.

Transfer polenta to a wide shallow bowl. Top with more cheese and coarsely grind more pepper over.

Indian-Seasoned Baked Potatoes

1 pound small new potatoes or baby red potatoes
Kosher salt
3/4 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
2 small Indian green chiles or Serrano chiles, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chaat masala
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro stems and leaves, for garnish

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes cool until they can be handled.
Without cutting all the way through to the bottom, slice each potato lengthwise and crosswise into four sections. Use your hands to push down and pull apart the four sections like a blooming flower. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of each potato, followed by a dollop of sour cream.

Evenly divide the ginger, onion, green chiles, and chaat masala among the potatoes. Make it rain with chopped cilantro 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 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.

Miso Roasted Eggplant

Small japanese eggplants
Neutral flavored oil
White miso
Sesame oil
Rice wine
Soy sauce
Black pepper
Sesame seeds

Grab some small eggplants — the Japanese variety is a good option — and cut them on the bias into little steaks.

Drizzle them with neutral oil and roast in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or so, turning them once or twice, until they’re soft.

Then crank the oven to broil, and paint them with white miso that’s been cut with splashes of sesame oil and rice wine, a smaller splash of soy and a few grinds of black pepper.

Let that get going until the skin begins to pop, then serve those little vegetarian flavor steaks over rice, with a spray of sesame seeds over the top.

Grilled Broccoli with Soy Sauce, Maple Syrup, and Balsamic Vinegar

Broccoli florets
Soy sauce
Balsamic vinegar
Maple syrup
Neutral-flavored oil
Red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds or furikake
Rice, for serving

Toss broccoli florets in equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, a generous dash of maple syrup and a splash of neutral oil, then grill (or broil) until they’re soft and crunchy.

Serve them under a scattering of red-pepper flakes and sesame seeds, or use furikake.

Serve over rice by itself or alongside with any meat.

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.

English Roasties

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 to 10 red potatoes (2 to 3 pounds total), preferably similar in size, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch chunks
2 tablespoons flour
2 to 3 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional; okay to substitute dried rosemary)
3 to 4 chopped cloves garlic (optional)
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle. Add the oil to a rimmed sheet pan (13-by-18-inches) and place it in the oven.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and sprinkle with the flour. Shake the colander to distribute the flour evenly.

Carefully remove the pan with the hot oil from the oven. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer in the hot pan. The potatoes should sizzle upon making contact with the hot oil. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast the potatoes for about 1 hour, until golden brown. Every 15 to 20 minutes, flip the potato pieces, ensuring that all sides brown evenly. About 45 minutes into cooking, sprinkle the potatoes with the rosemary and/or the garlic, if using. Transfer to a cooling rack and generously season with the salt and serve.

Chipotle-Maple Sweet Potato Mash

4 large sweet potatoes (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1 cup milk
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Wash sweet potatoes and fork prick all sides. Microwave until cooked through. Once cooled enough, remove the skins. Then put the cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl.

In a food processor or using an immersion blender (my choice) pulse the milk and chipotle together. In a saucepan bring the milk and chipotle mixture to a simmer on low. Then add the maple syrup, sour cream, butter, and salt and pepper to the milk mixture.

Pour the milk mixture over the cooked sweet potatoes and again use the immersion blender or a hand mixer to mix the ingredients together.

Maple Sweet Potato Mash with Coconut Milk

5 to 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped roughly (about 3 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup cup coconut milk, full fat
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ginger, grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the sweet potatoes and boil for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

Drain the potatoes and transfer them back to the pot, or another large, flat-bottomed container. Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper. Mash the potatoes until they’re tender, adding more coconut milk as needed until they’ve reached a desired consistency. Stir in the maple syrup and ginger, if using. Potatoes will keep, refrigerated, for up to four days.

Colcannon

2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
6 tablespoons butter, divided (I used unsalted, but you can use whatever you have)
1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced and cut into about 2 1/2 inch strips
3 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions

Bring a pot of water with the potatoes to boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain.

In the meantime, combine the milk/cream, garlic, and peppercorns in a small saucepan. Bring just to a simmer, then remove from the heat, stir in the sugar and salt and allow to infuse while the potatoes cook.

In a large frying pan, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter over medium-high heat until foaming, then add the cabbage, stirring occasionally, and cook until softened and starting to get nicely browned in places. Remove from the heat.

Cut 3 of the remaining Tbs. of butter into chunks and place them in the bottom of a bowl. Strain the infused milk/cream into the bowl. Then, using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes into the bowl. Gently fold the potatoes, cream and butter together with a wooden spoon. Then gently stir in the cabbage and the chives/green onions. Season with more salt to taste.

Divide into bowls. Make a little divot in the potato-cabbage mixture in each bowl and add a pat of the remaining butter to each.

If you have any leftovers, you can make them into potato-cabbage cakes the next day. Just stir in 1 beaten egg per cup of leftovers. Mix just until combined, then gently form the mixture into patties. Fry in butter until golden brown on each side, then serve. Yum.

Asparagus with Pancetta and Leeks

4 ounces pancetta, cut into 3/8 inch to 1/4 inch dice
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced into 2 inch pieces on the bias
1 1/4 cups leek, thinly sliced crosswise (white and pale green parts only)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped (more to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large non-stick pan, sauté pancetta, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until crisp and lightly golden.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan. Add asparagus pieces and leek and sauté until asparagus is tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes.

Add garlic, lemon and orange zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt and serve immediately.

Roasted Winter Squash with Yogurt and Pistachios

1 winter squash (about 2 pounds), preferably kabocha, red kuri or acorn
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup raw shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 to 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the middle.

Using a large, sharp knife, stab the squash in the middle and carefully work the knife down to cut the squash in half, going through the stem. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp, and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the squash halves into 1 1/2-inch wedges, leaving the peel on.

On a large, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the squash with the olive oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until the squash is very tender and golden brown with caramelized bits.

Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has browned and started to foam, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pistachios, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and pinch of red pepper flakes, if using. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, taste, and add more salt, if needed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Spread the yogurt sauce over a large serving platter or bowl. Arrange the squash on the sauce and spoon the buttered pistachios over everything. Sprinkle with another pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.

Roasted Kabocha Squash with Maple Syrup

3 pounds kabocha squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
6 thyme sprigs, plus thyme leaves for garnish
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 450°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash wedges with the maple syrup, olive oil, ginger, thyme sprigs and salt. Arrange the squash in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes. Flip and roast for 15 minutes longer, until golden and tender. Discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the squash to a serving platter and garnish with thyme leaves.

Spice Roasted Butternut Squash

One 3-pound butternut squash-peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil, cumin, coriander and cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, until tender and lightly browned, tossing once halfway through. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard

1 pound penne, rigatoni or medium shells
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 hot Italian sausages, meat removed from casings and crumbled (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced basil

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the sausage meat and brown over moderately high heat, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Add the cream, mustard and crushed red pepper and simmer for 2 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add the pasta and basil and toss to coat. Serve at once.

Oven Fries with Roasted Garlic

3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (1 3/4 pounds), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
8 unpeeled garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1/4 cup parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 425°.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes and garlic cloves with the olive oil. Spread the potatoes in an even layer, cut sides down. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chopped thyme.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned on the bottom and very crisp.

Peel the garlic cloves. Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a platter, sprinkle with the parsley leaves and serve.

Potatoes Spiced with Panch Phoron (Aloo Bhaji)

1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon panch phoron (see Note) or 1/4 teaspoon each of fennel, cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds
2 dried red chiles
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch matchsticks
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt

In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the panch phoron, cover and cook over high heat until the spices crackle, about 20 seconds.

Add the dried chiles and cook, shaking the pan, for 20 seconds longer.

Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, just until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

Add the turmeric and season with salt.

Cover tightly and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through and lightly browned, about 15 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Tartiflette (Warm Potatoes with Onions, Bacon and Cheese)

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
Salt
1/4 pound thickly sliced bacon, cut crosswise into strips
2 large onions, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
One chilled 5-ounce whole Reblochon or Pont-l’Évêque cheese, rind removed, cheese halved horizontally

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes; drain well.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over low heat, stirring, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 minutes. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Place the 2 cheese halves on the bottom of a roasting pan and spoon the potatoes and onions on top. Pour the wine into the pan and bake for 12 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Using 2 metal spatulas, gently stir the potatoes to coat with melted cheese, sprinkle with pepper and serve at once.

Note: In the French Alps, cooks garnish this hearty side dish, known as tartiflette, with thin slices of the local Reblochon cheese. Any leftovers make a great omelet filling.