Sweet Patatas Bravas

2 pounds sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Morton’s)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove (or 2 small), minced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into large (roughly 1 1/2-inch) chunks. Add to a naked, rimmed sheet tray, then toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the salt. Roast—stirring the potatoes halfway through—until they’re just tender and beginning to brown, about 24 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the tomato paste, sherry vinegar, hot sauce, and smoked paprika in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, garlic, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. (Both sauces can be prepared days in advance, then refrigerated!)

When the potatoes are done, let them hang out for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with the tomato dressing and gently toss. Transfer to a platter and zigzag with the garlicky mayo. Serve warm.

Basic Chana Masala

Soak 160 grams who,e chickpeas overnight.
Boil until soft. Set aside.
Mash 300 grams tomato in a mixer. Set aside.
Heat 5 teaspoons ghee. Saute a medium sized chopoed onion and 1 teaspoon chopped green chili until brown.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger paste and 1 teaspoon garlic paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomato puree and pinch of tumeric. Saute until cooked through.
Add cooked chickpeas, 2 teaspoons channa masala, salt to taste, and about 200 mL water to get desired consistency. Simmer 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and julienned ginger.
Serve hot with rice.

Basic Chana Dal Masala

Boil 200 grams chana dal in 800 mL water until tender. Set aside.
Fry 80 grams chopped onions in 40 grams oil until tender.
Add 100 grams chopped tomatoes and 15 grams chana dal masala. Stir for 4-5 minutes until it becomes paste.
Take 1 part of tge boiled dal and add to paste. Mix well, then add remaining dal.
Check seasonings, then simmer for five minutes.
Serve with rice or roti.

Garlic Herb Cheese Bombs

2 cans (7.5 oz. each) refrigerated biscuits
4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, cut into 20 cubes
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Some fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
A tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Open the biscuit cans and separate the biscuits. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wrap the cheese bombs by placing one cube of the cheese in the center of each biscuit. Carefully wrap the biscuit dough around the cheese, pinch the biscuit to close and seal tight. Place the seam part down and arrange the biscuits so they are at least 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until the surfface turn golden brown.

While the biscuits are baked in the oven, mix the butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley leaves together. Set aside.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush with the butter mixture immediately. Serve warm.

Sweeney Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more butter for the pan
1 cup sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Put potatoes in a large heavy-bottomed pot and cover with cold water. Set on stove over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow potatoes to simmer until they have just started to soften, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine cream cheese, melted butter and sour cream in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add enough milk so that the mixture is creamy but not soupy. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Add potatoes to bowl and stir gently to combine.

Generously grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Tip half the potatoes into the dish and spread to the edges, then scatter half the grated cheese over the top. Add remaining potatoes and spread to the edges, then top with remaining cheese.

Apple-Fennel Salad with Walnuts

3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandoline
2 Granny Smith apples, halved and cored, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1/3 cup fennel fronds or roughly chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
2 1/2 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler (about 2/3 cup)

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil, continuously whisking, until dressing is emulsified. Taste and add more lemon juice and/or salt if needed.

In a large bowl, toss the dressing with fennel, apple and celery. Fold in fennel fronds or parsley and walnuts. Top with Parmesan just before serving.

Sweet Potato and Gruyere Gratin

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, for pan and foil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
3 cups heavy cream (or half-and-half)
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 fat cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large or 5 medium), peeled
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 2/3 cups/6 1/2 ounces grated Gruyère
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees and generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or shallow gratin dish. Butter a piece of foil large enough to cover top of pan. Sprinkle Parmesan all over bottom of pan.

In a medium pot, bring cream, sage, rosemary, garlic, nutmeg and a pinch of salt to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by 1/4, about 10 minutes.

In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk eggs just enough to break them up. Slowly pour hot cream into eggs to combine, whisking while pouring, and reserve the mixture.

Meanwhile, using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.

Place 1 layer of potatoes in the pan, slightly overlapping as you go, using about a third of the slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then pour 1/3 of the egg mixture over potatoes. Top with 1/2 cup Gruyère.

Repeat with another layer of potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper and 1/3 egg mixture. Top with 1/2 cup Gruyère.

Top with remaining potatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and remaining egg mixture (but not the remaining cheese). Press down to compact the potatoes.

Cover with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes, then remove foil, sprinkle top with remaining 2/3 cup Gruyère and parmesan and bake until browned and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve.

Sichuan Chicken in Chili Oil (Kou Shui Ji)

3 tablespoon plain roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon red chili flakes or dried red chilis, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 a 1/2 cup oil
3 scallions, cut into large sections
4 slices ginger
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 star anise
1 small cinnamon stick
1 1/2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns

For Step 2:
2 chicken leg quarters, deboned with skin still on (try asking your butcher to do this for you)
2 scallions
2 slices ginger

For Step 3:
1 tablespoon sesame paste
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chicken stock

Put chopped peanuts, roasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and salt into a medium bowl and set it aside.

Heat your oil in pan over low heat, and add the scallions, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick, and Sichuan peppercorns. Allow these aromatics to slowly infuse into the oil, until everything is kind of browned and wrinkly and fragrant. Discard the spices and pour the hot infused oil into the peanut mixture. Give everything a stir and cover the bowl with a plate to seal everything inside. Walk away and don’t come back until everything else is ready!

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil (there should be enough water to submerge the chicken) along with the ginger and scallion. Once it’s boiling, add the chicken (once it’s added the water will probably stop boiling because of the temperature change).

Bring the water to a boil again, and after a minute, cover the pot and immediately turn off the heat. Let it sit on the stove for 20 minutes to slowly poach the chicken.

In the meantime, prepare a small ice bath for chicken. After 20 minutes, take the chicken out of the pot and plunge it in the ice bath and let the chicken cool completely. Slice the chicken and place it on your serving plate.

Mix all of the Step 3 ingredients in a bowl. Now combine the mixture you just made with the peanut mixture you made in Step

Pour as much as you want over the chicken. Use about two thirds and save the rest for a cold noodle lunch the next day (a highly recommended action!).

Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/4 pounds baby brussels sprouts or regular brussels sprouts halved lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup Grade A pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (6 ounces)
1 tablespoon walnut oil

Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until shimmering. Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper, then cook over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 minutes. Add the unsalted butter and brown sugar and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cider vinegar. Add the chestnuts and walnut oil and cook until hot.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and serve.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

2 slices of day-old bread (about 50g), crusts removed
A little milk
500g minced beef
2 eggs, lightly beaten
A small garlic clove
A sprig of parsley
Salt and black pepper

For the sauce
750g ripe, fresh tomatoes
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1–2 garlic cloves, peeled or crushed
A pinch of red chilli flakes (optional)
A tin of peeled plum tomatoes, chopped roughly in the tin
1 tbsp tomato puree (optional)
Salt

Rip the bread and soak in a little milk until soft, and easily crumbled. Squeeze out excess milk. Put the crumbs in a large bowl along with the beef and lightly beaten eggs.

Peel and chop the garlic very finely along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Add to the meat, then use your hands to mix everything together.

Divide the mixture into 12 meatballs: if the mixture is very sticky, flour your hands lightly. Let the meatballs rest.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Peel the fresh tomatoes by plunging them first in boiling water, then in cold, at which point the skins should slip off. Then chop them roughly.

Peel the garlic and crush for a milder flavour or finely chop for stronger. Put 4 tbsp of the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan or cassarole and cook the garlic gently over a low heat until it is fragrant. At this point you can remove the whole garlic if you wish.

Add the chopped tomatoes and chilli. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the final 2 tbsp oil and the tinned tomatoes. Add 1 tbsp tomato puree if you feel it needs it. Cook for 20–40 minutes, or until the sauce is rich and thick.

Drop the meatballs in the sauce, making sure they are submerged. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and poach for 15 minutes, by which time the meatballs should be cooked through but still tender.

Pasta e Piselli

1.3kg peas in their pods, or 350g frozen
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A small knob of butter or 50g pancetta or guanciale, diced
3 large or 6 small spring onions, chopped
A celery stalk, chopped
A sprig of mint
Salt
1 tbsp tomato puree (optional)
A parmesan rind
300g fresh egg pasta or 200g dried pasta
Pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated

If the peas are in their pods, pod them and set aside. Warm the olive oil in a large pan and fry the pancetta, onion, celery and mint with a pinch of salt, until soft and translucent. Stir in the tomato puree, if using, then add the peas, stir and cook for a few minutes.

Add 1.3 litres of cold water and the parmesan rind. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.

Once the peas are tender, remove the mint, add another small pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook, stirring regularly, until the pasta is al dente. Leave to sit for a couple of minutes, stir in 2 tbsp grated cheese, taste and check for salt (it shouldn’t need it). Divide between bowls and serve, handing round more cheese for those who want it.

Sicilian Chicken in Breadcrumbs

4 medium-sized chicken breasts
Plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
100g seasoned breadcrumbs (fine and dry, or craggy and fresh)
Butter and olive oil, for frying
Peperonata, lemons, marinated aubergines and bread rolls for serving

Open up the chicken breasts, then, using a sharp knife or scissors, cut them into thick strips the size of fat thumbs. Dip the chicken in flour, then the egg, then dredge in the crumbs.

Warm a nut of butter and about 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Once the butter is foaming gently, lay the chicken in the pan. Fry for a good few minutes until a golden crust has formed on one side, then turn and cook the other side. Add a bit more butter to the pan if it looks dry.

Serve hot, with peperonata, lemons, marinated aubergines and bread rolls.

Braised Chick Peas with Tomatoes and Almond Pesto

500g chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 24 hours, or 2 x 400g tins
2 bay leaves
1 garlic clove, unpeeled
6 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
500g fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper

For the pesto
50g blanched almonds
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 garlic cloves

1 Drain the soaked or tinned chickpeas, put in a heavy-based pan and cover with 2 litres of cold water. Add the bay leaves and garlic, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the chickpeas are very tender. Pull from the heat, add salt to taste, and leave to cool in the cooking liquid.

2 Warm the oil and fry the onion until soft. Add 1 tbsp chopped parsley and the tomatoes. Simmer, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Cook until saucy. Dilute with a ladleful of chickpea broth, then add the chickpeas, leaving some broth remaining. Simmer for 10 minutes.

3 Make the pesto by pounding/blending the almonds, pine nuts and garlic into a paste. Stir into the chickpeas. Cook for another 10 minutes, adding more broth if you want. Stir in the last of the parsley. Serve with bread and cheese.

Paste e Ceci

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (from one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) uncooked ditalini pasta (or another small shape; I use annelini)
2 cups (275 ml) boiling water

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (estimate 1 per serving)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and red pepper flakes

In a medium-large heavy-bottomed pot or deep saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until it shimmers.

Add 2 smashed cloves of garlic and cook, stirring until it becomes lightly, barely browned but very fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and pepper and cook them with the garlic for 30 seconds or so.

Add the chickpeas, pasta, and boiling water. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is cooked and a lot of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and ladle into bowls.

Make finishing oil: Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauce- or frying pan over medium-low heat with remaining clove of garlic, rosemary, a pinch or two of salt and pepper flakes, until sizzling; pull it off the heat as soon as the garlic is going to start taking on color. Drizzle this over bowls of pasta e ceci and eat it right away.

Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and chopped
1 small stalk celery, chopped
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 quart water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
black pepper
minced chives for garnish

Select the sauce feature, medium heat, and preheat the cooking bowl. Heat the butter until just foaming, then add the leeks and celery. Sauce until softened but not browned, 5-7 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except cream and stir to combine.

Select pressure cook and adjust time to 10 minutes.

When cooking has completed, remove bay leaf and thyme and blend soup until smooth. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Served garnished with chives.

Pressure Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 pounds tomatoes, cored, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped basil
3/4 cup cream or milk

Select the sauce feature and high heat to preheat the cooking bowl. heat the butter until just foaming, then add the onion and carrot. Sauce until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, and stock. Stir to combine.

Select the pressure cook soup feature and adjust cooking time to 10 minutes.

When the cooking has completed, remove and discard the thyme. Add the basil and blend soup until smooth. Stir in cream and season to taste.

Quick Sesame Noodles (Single Serving)

4 oz. fresh wheat noodles (or 1 serving of dried noodles)
1/2 tablespoon sesame paste / tahini
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons rice vinegar (optional to taste)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons hot water (or braised meat sauce)
A small handful of chopped scallion
Chili oil (optional)

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

While the noodles are cooking, make the sauce by mixing together the sesame paste, peanut butter, light soy sauce, rice vinegar (optional), vegetable oil, sugar, and water. Stir in one direction until it turns into a smooth, even paste.

Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and toss with the prepared sauce, chopped scallions, and chili oil (if desired).

Green and Wax Beans with Tomato Vinaigrette

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
1 overripe large tomato
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus more as needed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup thinly sliced pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Drop green and wax beans into boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice bath. When cool, drain and dry with a towel and place in a large bowl.

Cut tomato in half across its equator and squeeze out seeds (use for another purpose or discard). Using the largest hole on a box grater, grate the tomato flesh. Discard skin and transfer grated flesh to a medium bowl. You should have about 1/2 cup.

Stir in vinegar and salt, then stir in olive oil and garlic. Taste and adjust vinegar and salt as needed.

Add just enough vinaigrette to coat beans, add olives, then toss well. Let sit for at least 10 minutes (and up to 4 hours) before serving. Add torn basil and serve.

Roast Beef for Sandwiches

2 small garlic cloves, grated
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef top loin (top sirloin) roast (leave the fat on top)
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Spread the paste all over the meat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to prepare the meat, remove it from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.

Coat the roast lightly with olive oil. Transfer to the wire rack and roast for 75 to 95 minutes, until an instant thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 125 to 130 degrees for medium-rare.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let cool completely before carving (trim off the fat cap if you plan to serve it cold). The meat can be roasted three days ahead; cool completely before refrigerating.

German Potato Salad

2 pounds boiling potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
4 strips bacon
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into thin slices, including some of the green
1/2 cup minced celery, including some leaves
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Cut the potatoes in half if they are large, put them in a pot and add enough lightly salted water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and boil gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until just tender. Drain.

While the potatoes are still warm, peel and slice, or cube them, into a large serving bowl.

In a skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Add scallions and celery, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Mix with potato pieces.

In the same skillet, mix 1/4 cup of water with cider vinegar, sugar, salt, paprika and dry mustard. Stirring with a whisk, bring to a boil and pour over salad. Crumble bacon over the top, and serve warm.