Asian Cabbage Salad with Shrimp

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
1 small shallot, very finely chopped
1/2 small green cabbage, cored and finely shredded (6 packed cups)
2 carrots, julienned
2 Kirby cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook until pink and curled, about 1 minute. Drain the shrimp and transfer them to the ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry.

In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, red curry paste and shallot. Add the cabbage, carrots, cucumbers and shrimp and toss until evenly coated. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, until the cabbage is very slightly wilted. Toss the salad, top with the peanuts and cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with Peanut-Lime Dressing

4 cups shredded red cabbage
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
1/2 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
Zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, combine the red and green cabbage, carrots, and cilantro.

In another bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, chili flakes, honey, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir in the water until the dressing is smooth and set aside.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Garnish with chopped peanuts and serve chilled.

Basic Grilled Shrimp

1 large clove garlic
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ to 2 pounds shrimp, in the 15-to-18-a-pound range (or smaller, if skewered), peeled, rinsed and dried
Lemon wedges to serve

Start a charcoal or gas grill, or heat the broiler. Make the fire as hot as it will get, and put the rack close to the heat source.

Mince garlic with salt; mix with cayenne and paprika, then make into a paste with olive oil and lemon juice. Smear paste on shrimp. Grill or broil shrimp, 2 to 3 minutes a side, turning once. Serve immediately or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

Crispy Rice with Shrimp, Bacon, and Corn

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, patted very dry
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 strips bacon
3 ears corn
6 scallions
1 cup grape tomatoes, or 1 large chopped juicy tomato
4 cups cooked rice

Heat oil in large cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet over high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add to the hot oil in a single layer and sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Turn heat down to medium-low and add the bacon in a single layer. Cook, turning to evenly brown, until crisp, about 10 minutes.

While the bacon browns, shuck the corn and cut off the kernels. You should end up with about 3 1/2 cups. Thinly slice the scallions and set aside some greens for garnish. Cut the tomatoes in half. (If the bacon is done cooking before you’re finished slicing, remove the pan from the heat for a moment.)
Drain the bacon on paper towels, leaving as much liquid as possible in the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the corn, scallions, and a pinch of salt to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the scallions just wilt, about 1 minute.

Add the rice and stir until well-mixed and heated through, about 3 minutes. Press the rice evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Let cook, without stirring, as the rice and corn begin to crackle, until you smell a toasty scent and the rice browns, about 5 minutes. You can lift up a section of rice to peek and see if a golden brown crust has developed.
Remove from the heat and divide the rice mixture among four bowls, scattering the tomatoes, shrimp and accumulated juices on top of each. (Alternatively, serve rice directly from the pan, with tomatoes and shrimp on top.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Crumble the bacon all over and garnish with the reserved scallions.

Slaw with Tomatoes and Blistered Peanuts

1 1/2 cups unsalted raw peanuts
1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
1 basket of tiny cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon + fine-grain sea salt
honey, to taste

Blister the Peanuts
In a skillet or oven (350F) roast the peanuts for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice along the way, until golden and blistered.

Prepare the Coleslaw Ingredients
Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite-sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half. Combine the cabbage, tomatoes, jalapeno (opt), and cilantro in a bowl.

Make the Dressing
In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt. Taste, and whisk in a teaspoon or two of honey if the lime is too strong for you. Add to the cabbage mixture and gently stir to combine. Just before serving fold in the peanuts (add them too earl and they lose some of their crunch). Taste and adjust the flavor with more salt if needed.

Notes: Go ahead and leave out the jalapeño if you like it milder. I also thought about adding shredded, baked tortilla chips (like the ones from the tortilla soup recipe). Also, I’ve mentioned this before – I try to seek out organic peanuts. As far as the choice of cabbage goes, you can use green cabbage, or a blend of purple and green. If you like a more creamy coleslaw, go ahead and add a dollop of mayo, or Greek yogurt.

Tempeh Rice Lettuce Wraps with Garlic and Lime

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1- inch segment of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup almond, cashew, or coconut milk
scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
8 ounces plain tempeh, crumbled
1 1/2 cups / 6 ounces leftover rice
1 teaspoon soy sauce or shoyu
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small cucumber, deseeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
a handful of sliced herbs, cilantro, basil, mint
10 – 12 whole lettuce leaves, romaine, little gems, etc.
to serve (all optional):
extra lime, serrano vinegar*, shallot oil, a favorite curry paste

Use a mortar and pestle to smash the garlic and ginger into a paste. Heat 1/4 cup of the nut milk in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir in the ginger-garlic paste along with the salt, and barely simmer for a minute of two before adding the tempeh. Stir until well-coated, cover, and allow to cook for about five minutes, stirring once or twice along the way. Add the rice, stir, and allow it to heat.
In the mean time add the soy sauce, and lime juice to the remaining nut milk, stir well, and add to the saucepan as well. Transfer to a serving bowl, and stir in the cucumber. Top with the grated carrot, and herbs, and give a light final toss.

To serve, spoon a generous amount of the rice mixture into a lettuce leaf. If you want to make them extra special do any/all of the following. Spread a whisper thin layer of curry paste across the lettuce, top with the rice mixture, and finish with a spoonful of serrano chile vi

Corn and Coconut Salad

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears of corn, shucked
fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup / 1 1/2 oz / 40 g big coconut flakes, well toasted
1 cup / 3 oz / 85 g sliced almonds, well toasted
3 tablespoons chopped red onions
big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and stir well, you want all the corn to be coated. Cook for just a minute, until the corn looses its raw edge, stir in half the thyme, and then transfer the corn to a large serving bowl.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add most of the coconut flakes, most of the almonds, the rest of the thyme, red onions, and citrus juice. Stir well. Taste, season with more salt, to taste, and serve topped with the remaining coconut and almonds (and another jolt of juice if needed!).

Bhindi Masala

1 1lb okra/bhindi
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly or ? cup sliced onions
1 large tomato, chopped or ½ cup chopped tomatoes
2 green chilies, slit
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste or ½ inch ginger along with 3 to 4 medium garlic crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
1/4 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1/4 tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder/jeera powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder/amchur
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
salt as required

Rinse the bhindi/okra in water. then wipe dry them with a kitchen towel or just allow to dry them naturally in a plate. (making sure they are completely dry eliminates the gelatinous texture of okra)

Slice off the crown and tip of each bhindi. then slice them vertically.
also slice 1 medium onion. chop 1 large tomato and slit 2 green chilies. crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar-pestle.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed shallow frying pan. add the sliced onions.
saute them till they start turning light brown.

Add 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste and the green chilies. Saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

Add the chopped tomatoes. stir well.

Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin and dry mango powder. Mix the spices with the rest of the onion-tomato masala. Saute this mixture till the tomatoes become pulpy and you see oil releasing from the sides.

Add the chopped bhindi/okra, season with salt, and stir very well. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook on a low flame or simmer. Check after 4 to 5 minutes a couple of times. Continue to cook the bhindi fry on a low flame till the bhindi is done. You will have to check after every 4 to 5 minutes so that the bhindi does not get too browned or burnt. Stir every time when you check it. If the okra is becoming too browned or getting burnt, then sprinkle 1 to 1.5 tbsp water all over. stir, cover and continue to cook.

Once the bhindi is done, add garam masala powder and kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, and cilantro, and stir well.

Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala )

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
4 dried red chilies chopped into large chunks
1 large onion finely diced
2 15 oz. chickpeas cans (drained)
Salt to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.

Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chilies for around 30 seconds until you hear the seeds pop.

Add the onions and cook until soft and golden.

Stir through the chickpeas and add salt to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until heated through.

Serve warm as a snack or as a side to your meal.

Beef and Tomato Salad

1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Pepper
1 1/2 pounds cherry and medium-size heirloom tomatoes—cherry tomatoes halved, heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
1 pound leftover grilled steak, cut into strips
2 medium avocados—peeled, pitted and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup snipped dill
1/3 cup tarragon leaves

In a large bowl, whisk the red onion with the Champagne vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, beef and avocados and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Fold in the dill and tarragon and serve right away.

Thai-Style Sweet and Salty Shrimp (or Chicken, or Tofu)

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts, finely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Pat the shrimp very dry and lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a simmer, add the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Add the peanuts, scallions, lime juice and red-pepper flakes and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes: Add a quick cooking vegetable, like peas, thinly sliced asparagus or bean sprouts, with the shrimp, or substitute tofu or cubed boneless chicken thighs for the shrimp.

Serve over shredded cabbage, rice, a roasted sweet potato or rice noodles.

Roasted Squash with Turmeric-Ginger Chickpeas and Greens

Note: You could swap in other roasted vegetables for the squash in this recipe. Broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes would all work. Or just increase the chickpeas and greens.

2 pounds squash, such as butternut, honeynut, acorn or kabocha, seeds removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1 cup mixed torn fresh herbs, such as mint, cilantro, parsley and-or dill
4 cups spicy salad greens, such as arugula or mizuna
1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash and thyme with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer. Roast until the squash is tender and just beginning to turn golden-brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

As squash roasts, toss the onion, vinegar, garlic, turmeric and ginger in a large bowl; let marinate at least 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and the remaining 1/4 cup oil and stir to coat. Toss in half the herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the salad greens among 4 bowls and top with the roasted squash. Serve with a generous amount of the marinated chickpeas, and a dollop of yogurt. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, if using, and the remaining torn herbs.

Roasted Asparagus With Buttered Almonds, Capers and Dill

1 1/3 pounds/600 grams asparagus, woody ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons/30 grams unsalted butter
Scant 1/4 cup/20 grams sliced (flaked) almonds
3 tablespoons/30 grams baby capers, patted dry on paper towels (kitchen paper)
1/4 to 1/2 cup/5 to 10 grams roughly chopped dill

Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit/220 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet (baking tray) with parchment paper.

In a large bowl or on a work surface, use your hands or tongs to toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Arrange asparagus in the paper-lined pan, spaced well apart, and roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan.

In a small or medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes (reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching). Pour almonds and butter evenly over asparagus.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry, stirring continuously, until they have opened up and become crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove capers from the oil and sprinkle over the asparagus. Add dill. Using tongs or two spoons, mix gently to combine, transfer to a large plate and serve warm.

Baked Polenta with Corn and Eggs

Heat your oven to 350 degrees, and melt 2 or 3 tablespoons butter in an ovenproof skillet (9 or so inches). If you like, you can let the butter melt, bubble and turn brown, about 5 minutes.

When the butter is melted, stir in about 1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen, fresh, canned or leave the corn out entirely). Let sizzle for a few minutes, then add a quart of liquid (some kind of broth or water), 1 cup polenta (not the instant kind) and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on your love of salt and whether your broth was salted.

Whisk until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

At this point, you’ve got options. Add a handful of chopped herbs and a couple of sliced scallions or a shallot, or skip it. Two or three cups of chopped greens (spinach, kale, broccoli rabe) is also nice if you want more vegetables. Cheese lovers can stir in 1/2 cup crumbled feta or blue cheese, or grated Parmesan (or another firm grating cheese). Or stir in some sliced olives or roasted red peppers or marinated artichokes.

Cover the pan. (Aluminum foil or a pasta pot lid will work if you don’t have a covered skillet.) Bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and give the mush a good stir with a whisk. Cover once more, and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the polenta is tender. At this point, it makes a great side dish.

To turn this into a meal, you can add some eggs. Use a spoon to make four to six divots in the polenta, and crack an egg in each one. Return the pan to the oven and bake uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to taste.
Crack lots of pepper on top, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and strew with herbs and maybe more cheese before serving. Serve with a cool, crisp salad on the side, especially as these late spring evenings continue to warm up.

Toasted Coconut Rice with Fried Eggs and Bok Choy

4 large eggs
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups jasmine or other medium-grain rice (12 ounces), rinsed and drained
Kosher salt
8 ounces bok choy
6 ounces green beans
Toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and Sriracha, for serving

Take your eggs out of the fridge so they won’t be ice-cold when you fry them.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the rice, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the grains start to look translucent and smell toasty, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and steam for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the bok choy and green beans. If the bok choy are large, halve them lengthwise, then cut into 3-inch pieces crosswise. Scatter the green beans over the rice (the water will be mostly absorbed) and sprinkle with salt.

Spread the bok choy on top of the beans and season with salt. Drizzle or dollop 1 tablespoon oil over the greens. Cover and steam until the greens and rice are tender, about 10 minutes.

When the rice is almost done, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Crack the eggs into the pan and fry until the whites are set and the yolks runny, 3 to 4 minutes.

Divide the rice and vegetables among 4 dishes. Slide an egg onto each. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and season to taste with soy sauce and Sriracha.

Coronation Chickpeas

2 tablespoons mild Indian curry paste (such as Patak’s brand)
3 1/2 cups cooked or canned no-salt-added chickpeas (from two 15-ounce cans), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mango chutney
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted if desired (see NOTE)
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more whole leaves for optional garnish
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until aromatic, for 1 minute. Stir in the chickpeas until well-coated, then remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Stir in the mayonnaise, yogurt, chutney, celery, apricots, almonds, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper until combined. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves, if desired.

NOTE: To toast the slivered almonds, position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Scatter the almonds on a small, rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer the nuts to a plate to avoid burning them.

Traditional Coronation Chicken

Ingredients
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white onion (or 1 shallot) finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp double-concentrated tomato paste
60 ml red wine
60 ml water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp brown sugar
250 gr mayonnaise
250 gr creme fraiche (or unsweetened whipped cream)
1 tbsp dried apricots finely chopped
2 large skinless chicken breasts cooked and cut into chunks
Salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp toasted almond flakes (optional)

Instructions
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.
Add in the onion, bay leaf and curry powder and gently cook for 2 minutes.
Add in the tomato paste, red wine and water and bring to a gentle boil.
Add in the lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, then season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Simmer for 2 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced, then remove from the heat. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and allow it to cool.
In a large bowl mix together the prepared sauce with the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and finely chopped apricots.
Add in the chicken breast chunks and mix gently all the ingredients together. Fold in toasted almond flakes if you like.
Serve the coronation chicken with a salad, rice or as a filling for jacket potatoes and sandwiches. Enjoy!
Notes
How to cook the chicken: You can simply grill or steam the skinless chicken breasts (you can also use skinless and boneless thighs if you like).
How To Store: You can store coronation chicken leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to two days. I don’t recommend storing it in the freezer.
How to serve: There are endless ways to serve it! Here are a few of my favourite ways:
in a sandwich
over a bed of salad leaves
with basmati rice
with grilled veggies
as a topping for a baked potato

Once you have mastered the basics, feel free to add a few extra ingredients:

– finely chopped celery
– toasted almond flakes
– a little bit of mango chutney
– a little bit of fresh finely chopped coriander
– few drops of Tabasco

Modern Coronation Chicken

2 cups cooked chicken cubed or shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder use more or less depending on your taste
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons Major Grey chutney Dice the large pieces
3 Tablespoons apricot jam
1 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red or green grapes halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
1 Tablespoons oil neutral flavored, a mild olive oil or coconut oil
3 Tablespoons diced shallot onion can be substituted.

Dice the large pieces of the chutney. Sometimes there are large chunks in the jar.

Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat until oil shimmers. Add the chopped shallots and saute just a minute or two. Add curry powder to allow it to “bloom” for another minute or two while stirring.

Turn off heat and add chutney, apricot jam, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk.

In a large bowl, whisk together, mayonnaise and curry and chutney mixture. In a food processor or blender, pulse the mixture once or twice to make a smooth paste. Check seasoning, adding additional salt, black pepper, lemon juice or curry powder to taste if needed.

When it’s just tasty enough, fold in chicken, grapes and almonds. Remember that the addition of the chicken, grapes and almonds will dilute the flavor, so re-season accordingly.

Serve as a filling in a sandwich or on a bed of lettuce.

Balinese Pork Satay (Sate Babi) With Sweet Soy Glaze and Peanut Sauce

For the Spice Paste:
One (1-inch) knob fresh turmeric, peeled (about 10g), or 1 teaspoon (4g) ground turmeric
2 stalks lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only, outer layers and root removed, thinly sliced (about 80g)
8 medium cloves garlic, sliced (about 60g)
2 small shallots, sliced (about 75g)
3 whole dried pasilla or guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped (about 40g)
2 tablespoons (about 30g) palm sugar or brown sugar
2 teaspoons (about 6g) whole coriander seed
1 tablespoon (about 9g) whole white peppercorns
Kosher salt
2 pounds (1kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

For the Glaze:
1 cup kecap manis (8 ounces; 240ml)
1/4 cup sugar (about 2 ounces; 50g), plus more if needed
One (2-inch) knob ginger, roughly chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped

For the Dipping Sauce:
10 ounces roasted peanuts (285g; about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 ounce (30g) tamarind pulp, soaked and strained (see note), or 2 teaspoons (10ml) tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon (15ml) kecap manis or fish sauce
Water, as necessary
Sugar, to taste

For the Spice Paste: Combine turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, chilies, sugar, coriander, white peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons (8g) kosher salt using a mortar and pestle, working in batches if necessary. Pound into a fine paste. (For an easier method, pound with the mortar and pestle until a rough paste is formed, then transfer to a food processor to reduce to a fine paste. I do not recommend using the food processor alone if you want maximum flavor.) Divide mixture into thirds.

Combine pork and one-third of spice paste in a large bowl and toss with your hands until all of pork is thoroughly coated in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to overnight. Thread pork onto skewers. To do this efficiently, cut an onion or potato in half and place it on your cutting board. Place a piece of pork on top of it and push through it with the skewer. Repeat until each skewer has about 6 inches of pork threaded onto it. Pork should be pushed together quite tightly. Discard onion half (or grill it) after use. Keep pork skewers refrigerated until ready to cook.

For the Glaze: Meanwhile, combine kecap manis, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in one-third of spice paste and adjust seasoning with more sugar as necessary. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Leftover glaze can be stored indefinitely in a covered container in the refrigerator.

For the Dipping Sauce: Pound peanuts with the mortar and pestle until reduced to a rough powder. Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add remaining third of spice paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peanuts, tamarind juice, remaining oil, kecap manis or fish sauce, and 1/2 cup (120ml) water. Stir to combine. Once liquid comes to a simmer and turns creamy, adjust consistency with more water as necessary to produce a creamy sauce that just barely flows. Season to taste with a little sugar if desired. Leftover sauce can be stored for several weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator.

To Cook: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Working in batches as necessary, place pork directly over hot side of grill. Immediately start fanning coals or flames with a large piece of cardboard or with the hose of a Shop-Vac to prevent flare-ups. Cook, fanning constantly and turning pork occasionally, until pork is cooked through and browned on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer pork to cooler side of grill and brush on all sides with glaze. Return to hot side of grill and cook, turning, just until glaze starts to bubble and get sticky, about 45 seconds. Transfer skewers to a serving platter and repeat until all pork is cooked.

Brush pork with another layer of glaze just before serving and serve with peanut sauce on the side or spooned on top.

Penne with Roasted Eggplant, Chile, and Mint

1 and 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 4 medium), cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
1 very large ripe tomato, cored and diced (1 and 1/2 cups)
1/2 pound dried penne
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 anchovy fillets
Large pinch chile flakes
2 tablespoons drained capers
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Heat oven to 400 degrees. On rimmed baking sheet, toss together eggplant, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread into one layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until the eggplant is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Place tomato in large bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne to al dente according to package instructions; drain well.

While pasta cooks, heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir in garlic, anchovies and chile flakes, and cook until golden and soft, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and, using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to cutting board. Let garlic cool for a few minutes, then chop up and add back to the oil. Pour garlic-chile into bowl with tomatoes. Add eggplant and capers, and toss well.

Add pasta to bowl with eggplant and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste, and drizzle generously with oil. Toss in herbs and serve warm or at room temperature.