Carne con Chile Rojo (Chuck Braised in Chile)

FOR THE BRAISED MEAT:
2 tablespoons maple or raw sugar
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
2 pounds boneless bison or beef chuck roast
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
2 ripe tomatoes
1/2 medium white onion
10 dried California or New Mexico chiles (2 1/2 ounces)
2 fresh sage sprigs
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

FOR THE CHILE ROJO:
10 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 medium white onion
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

To make the bison: Heat oven to 275 degrees.

Sprinkle the sugar and salt all over the roast. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add the roast and sear until dark brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and reduce the heat to medium. Carefully add 1 cup broth (the hot fat will spatter) and scrape up all the browned bits from the pan. Return the roast and any accumulated juices to the Dutch oven and add the tomatoes, onion, chiles, sage, bay leaves, syrup and remaining 3 cups broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the center of the oven.

Braise until the meat is very tender, about 3 1/2 hours. A fork should slide through easily. Uncover and cool for 15 minutes, then transfer the roast to a large bowl. Finely shred the meat using your hands if cool enough to handle or with two forks. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve.

To make the chile rojo: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add all of the dried chiles, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer steadily until softened and lighter in color, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a blender, along with the garlic, onion, salt and 2 cups of the braising liquid. Save any remaining braising liquid for another use (see Tip). Blend until very smooth.
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Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat until shimmering. Carefully add the chile sauce (it will splatter) and immediately reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened and brick red, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the shredded meat and any accumulated juices and stir to evenly coat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature to use as a filling for tamales. The sauced braised meat can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

One-Hour Texas Chili

6 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 dried chipotle chiles, or substitute canned chipotle chiles and forgo soaking them
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or rendered bacon fat
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds ground beef chuck, preferably coarsely ground passed through the large holes of a grinder only once
4 dried pequin chiles or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt
pepper
2 teaspoons masa harina, or as needed
2 tablespoons lime juice
Grated Cheddar cheese, for garnish
Diced onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapeños, sliced, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish

In a large heavy skillet, heat the dried ancho and chipotle chiles on medium-high heat about a minute on each side. Turn off the heat, cover the chiles with water and soak them until rehydrated, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or bacon fat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Transfer to a blender.

Form the ground beef into balls the size of marbles. Return the Dutch oven to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or bacon fat and, when it is hot, add the meatballs. Stir occasionally until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Drain the chiles well, and remove and discard stems and seeds. Add the chiles to the blender. Add the canned chipotles, if using, pequin chiles or cayenne, cumin, oregano, cloves, cinnamon and 1 cup water. Blend until smooth. Add to the Dutch oven with the browned meatballs along with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If the chili looks too thin, slowly stir in the masa harina. Add the lime juice, and simmer for 15 minutes more. Serve topped with grated cheese, diced onions, pickled jalapeños and sour cream.

Or serve as Frito pie: For each serving, mound 1 cup Fritos in a bowl and top with 1 cup chili, 1/4 cup grated cheese, 1 tablespoon diced onions, sliced jalapeños and sour cream.

Classic Chili Con Carne

FOR THE CHILE POWDER
3 medium dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed, spread flat
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

FOR THE CHILI
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
8 ounces bacon
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, buffalo or venison, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 pound (2 medium) white onions, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 cups beef broth
1 28-ounce can puréed tomatoes
2 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed

For the chile powder: Place the chiles flat in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and cook, turning as needed, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool. Put the cumin seeds in the hot pan and stir until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Using scissors, cut the chiles into small strips. Using a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder, grind in batches into a powder. Pour into a bowl. Grind the cumin seeds into a powder and add to the bowl. Add the oregano and garlic powder. If the mixture is still coarse, grind again until fine. Reserve 3 1/2 tablespoons for the chili; save the rest in a jar.

For the chili: In a Dutch oven over medium heat, stir the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour onto a work surface and using a small, heavy skillet, crush them coarsely. Set aside.
Return the pot to medium-high heat, add the bacon and fry until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Increase the heat to high. Working in small batches, add the beef cubes to the pot and cook, stirring, until well browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions to the remaining bacon drippings and sauté until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the crushed cumin, reserved chili powder, paprika, oregano, black pepper, thyme, salt and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Crumble in the bacon and add the broth, tomatoes, 1 cup water, anchos and the browned beef. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low, cover partly and simmer for 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Add water as needed to maintain a good chili consistency.

Remove the anchos, purée them in a food processor or blender and return the purée to the pot. Stir well, simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors and serve.

Hearty Bean Nachos With Spicy Salsa

FOR THE SALSA:
1 1/2 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes (about 5 or 6)
1/2 pound tomatillos (about 3 or 4), husked and rinsed
1 to 2 jalapeños, destemmed
1 to 2 chiles de árbol, destemmed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, leaves and upper stems, plus 1 cup reserved for garnish
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

FOR THE BEANS AND VEGETABLES:
3 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled carrot or sweet potato (or a combination)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion, plus 1/2 cup reserved for garnish
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups cooked, drained pinto beans (from about 3/4 cup dried beans or a 15-ounce can)

FOR ASSEMBLY:
1 to 1 1/2 pounds store-bought or Homemade Tortilla Chips (see recipe)
1 pound shredded cheese (any combination of Oaxaca, Monterey Jack and Cheddar)
1 cup Mexican crema

Prepare the salsa: Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeños, chiles de árbol and garlic in a medium saucepan. Cover with at least 6 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the tomatoes and tomatillos are cooked through and mushy, the jalapeños have softened and the chiles de árbol have plumped up, about 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables to a blender, setting aside the cooking liquid. Add the cilantro, cumin and 3/4 teaspoon salt to the blender; purée until smooth.
Prepare the vegetables: Bring the reserved vegetable cooking liquid back to a simmer over medium-high heat and season generously with salt. Once it comes to a boil, add the carrots or sweet potatoes, or both, and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Pour the cooked vegetables into a colander, discarding liquid, and set aside.

Wipe the saucepan dry, then add 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium. Once the oil is hot, pour in the salsa, partly cover it with the lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the color has deepened, 8 to 10 minutes. Set salsa aside.

Prepare the beans: In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium. Once hot, add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, until completely softened. Raise the heat to high, add the cooked carrots and/or sweet potatoes, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring a couple times, until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the pinto beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed, another 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt, then remove from the heat.

Assemble the nachos: Set a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400 degrees. Place all the tortilla chips in a half sheet pan or large baking sheet. Cover the chips with the bean mixture, ladle the salsa all over the top and cover with shredded cheese. Bake until cheese has completely melted, about 10 minutes.
Spoon the crema over the top and garnish with reserved cilantro and chopped white onion. Serve hot!

Enfrijoladas Pintos

FOR THE PICKLED RED ONION:
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 dried bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
Pinch black pepper

FOR THE ENFRIJOLADAS:
1 whole dried chipotle morita or meco chile
1 3/4 to 2 cups drained pinto beans, from 1 (15-ounce) can or homemade
1 1/4 to 3 cups vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, plus more as needed
12 corn tortillas
4 tablespoons sour cream, vegan if you’d like
4 tablespoons roasted salted pepitas
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 ripe medium Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced

Make the pickled onion: Combine the onion, lemon juice, oregano, red-pepper flakes, bay leaf, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the onion to soften. The onion can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 to 5 days before serving.

Make the enfrijoladas: Place the chipotle in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover (see Tip). Let stand to rehydrate for 10 minutes. Once rehydrated and pliable, drain and remove the stem. To a blender or food processor, add the beans, 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid, and the softened chipotle. Blend until completely smooth. Add more of the broth, 1/4 cup at a time as needed, to make a smooth bean sauce. Season to taste with salt.

Heat a medium pot over medium-low. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat, then add the bean mixture. Stir to incorporate; the mixture may sizzle and spatter. Allow the mixture to come to a low simmer and reduce heat to low to keep warm. Add additional liquid as needed to thin to a cheese-sauce consistency.

Heat a comal or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil, then add 1 to 2 tortillas and lightly fry until softened and blistered, 30 to 60 seconds per side. Transfer the fried tortillas to a plate, and continue to add more oil to the comal as needed to cook all the tortillas.

Use tongs to slightly submerge each fried tortilla in the hot bean mixture one at a time. Flip the tortilla over to coat the second side, then fold the tortilla in half, pull out of the pot and place on a dinner plate. Continue this process until all the tortillas are coated in the enfrijolada sauce, dividing them among 4 plates. Spoon any remaining bean sauce over the top of the tortillas. Garnish with the sour cream, pickled red onion, pepitas, cilantro and avocado.

Tip:
If making a fresh pot of beans, add the dried chipotle to the simmering bean to soften.

Shortcut Chilaquiles

1 small red or yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more if desired
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and sliced into 1-inch wedges
1 small Serrano or jalapeño chile, seeds removed if you like, finely chopped (optional)
6 ounces tortilla chips or tostadas, broken up into chip-size pieces
4 large eggs
4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
1 cup cilantro, tender leaves and stems
1/2 cup crema (or sour cream, thinned with a bit of water)(optional)

Place half the onions in a small bowl and cover with lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, toss and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet (12-inch works well) over medium-high heat. Add remaining onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until they are tender and starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and half of chile (if using) and season with salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have started to burst and simmer in their own juices, 5 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and continue to simmer until tomatoes are totally softened and melted down, another 5 to 8 minutes; larger bits of the skin are O.K., but they should feel mostly broken down into a nice, thick sauce.

Add chips and toss to coat evenly. Simmer a minute or two and remove the pan from the heat while you fry the eggs.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, undisturbed, until the whites of the egg are fried and lightly crisped but the yolks are still bright orange and runny, about 2 minutes.

Divide chips among plates and top with fried egg, queso fresco, cilantro, crema, remaining green chile, reserved red onions and a squeeze of lime if you like.

Chilaquiles with Eggs

2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or you can use all bacon fat)
4 to 6 dry tortillas, of the kind described as having ‘‘seen better days, quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped small
1/2 red or yellow pepper, chopped small
1 to 2 teaspoons coarse salt, to taste
4 to 4 1/2 cups large chopped fresh or canned tomatoes (no juice if from can)
1/2 tablespoon pickled spicy chiles, or a few dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
4 eggs
1 full cup cilantro or mint, stems removed, left as leaves
2 limes
Grated or crumbled Cheddar or queso blanco (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. In a heavy low-sided casserole, heat the bacon fat and vegetable oil (or just bacon fat) over medium-high heat, until a speck of salt just sizzles if dropped in.

Fry tortilla pieces in 2 batches until just lightly browned, removing to a plate.

Lower heat to low, and add the garlic, onion, chopped pepper and salt. Cook about 3 minutes, until onion has started to become translucent.

Add tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, for fresh tomatoes. If you’re using canned, add a drizzle of water, and cook 8 minutes, until they have become lightly stewy. Add pickled chiles. Add fried tortillas, and stir. Add a drizzle of water now, to keep them from sticking. Lower heat, and partly cover the pot for about 20 minutes, opening to stir every few minutes.
When the stew has been cooking about 15 minutes, remove a tortilla, and taste a sliver. Cook until the tortillas are completely tender. Make 4 little wells in the stew.

Crack eggs, one by one, into a teacup or ramekin, then tip each into a well. Salt yolks and white lightly.

Put egg-topped stew into oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until whites are set and yolks still very slightly runny.

Remove, top with fresh herbs and serve in a casserole or pot, with wedges of lime for each person to squeeze. Serve cheese alongside, if you want.

Green Chilaquiles With Eggs

1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 to 4 jalapeño or serrano chiles, stemmed, to taste (seeded for a milder salsa)
12 cilantro sprigs, plus 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 small white onion, quartered and thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced onion)
Salt
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
6 large eggs
12 thick corn tortillas, cut into wedges and deep-fried or microwaved until crisp (see note), or 1/2-pound thick tortilla chips from a Mexican grocery
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta

Heat broiler. Place tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet and set about 4 inches below broiler. Roast until dark and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip over and roast on other side until tomatillos are soft and charred in spots and chiles are soft all the way through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer tomatillos and chiles to a blender along with juices on baking sheet. Add cilantro sprigs, then blend to a coarse purée.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large, wide casserole or saucepan and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add a little salt, stir in garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Turn heat to medium-high and add tomatillo purée. Cook, stirring often, until salsa thickens and leaves a canal when you run a wooden spoon down the middle. Add broth, bring to a simmer, and simmer 10 minutes or until salsa coats the back of a spoon.
Beat eggs in a bowl and season with a little salt. Turn heat to low and stir eggs into salsa. Add chopped cilantro and stir until eggs are set. Mixture should be creamy.

Stir in tortilla chips, making sure they are completely submerged, and remove from heat. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and serve at once.

Tip
To make tortilla chips, cut tortillas into wedges and leave out so they dry for an hour or more. Heat 1 to 1 1/2 inches vegetable or canola oil in a wide, deep skillet or wok to 375 degrees. Add tortilla wedges a handful at a time and fry, stirring constantly with a skimmer or heatproof spatula, until dark brown and the bubbling has subsided, 45 seconds to a minute. Remove from the oil with a skimmer and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining tortilla wedges.

Red Chilaquiles With Chicken

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes
1 jalapeño chile, or 2 serranos, seeded for a milder sauce and chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion, soaked for a few minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 to 1 cup water, chicken or vegetable stock, as needed
Salt to taste
1 large chicken breast, poached and shredded about 2 cups shredded meat
8 corn tortillas, toasted and coarsely broken up, or 2 cups baked tortilla chips

FOR THE GARNISH
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 small red or white onion, cut into thick rings, soaked for five minutes in cold water, then drained, rinsed and dried on paper towels

Combine the tomatoes, chiles, chopped onion and garlic in a blender, and blend until coarsely pureed.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet or a wide saucepan over medium-high heat, and add a drop of the puree. It should sizzle. Add all of the tomato puree, and cook, stirring, for about five to ten minutes, until the sauce darkens, thickens and begins to stick to the pan. Add water or stock if the mixture seems dry, and season to taste with salt. Turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, until the sauce coats the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust salt.

Stir in the chicken and heat through. Stir in the tortilla chips or pieces, stir together for a half minute, and remove from the heat. Spinkle the cheese, cilantro and sliced onion over the top, and serve.

Tip
Advance preparation: The poached, shredded chicken breast will keep for three days in the refrigerator. You can make this dish ahead through step 2 and remove from the heat. Reheat gently and proceed with step 3, then serve right away

Sheet-Pan Chicken Chilaquiles

6 Roma tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), quartered
1 small yellow onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 jalapeño, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 dried Guajillo chile peppers (1 ounce), stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces
1/4 cup safflower or canola oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
8 ounces corn tortilla chips
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (from 1 whole chicken)
Finely chopped white onion, sliced radishes, chopped avocado, crumbled queso fresco, sour cream, chopped cilantro and pickled jalapeños, for serving

Place a rack 6 inches from the broiler heat source and heat to high. On a sheet pan, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeño, and broil until lightly charred in spots, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes for the garlic and 15 to 20 minutes for the tomatoes, onion and jalapeño. (They should be lightly charred around the edges, but not all over). Transfer to a blender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the broth and dried chiles, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand while the tomatoes and vegetables broil.
To the blender add the rehydrated chiles with broth, oil, salt and coriander, and purée until smooth.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. On the same sheet pan (no need to wash), toss chips with 2 cups of the sauce and spread in an even layer. Toss the chicken with the remaining sauce and arrange on top of the chips. Roast until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with preferred toppings, and serve warm.

Reader comments include: If you can find them, Chilaca chilis are probably the signiture chilis for this dish. They are also great in green pipian. The skin doesn’t require peeling, have low to medium heat, great flavor. Also nice in shakshuka, or fritata.

Also: This dish is not made with tortilla chips but with corn tortillas. It’s what you do with your old tortillas after they’ve started falling apart. Tortilla chips might add crunch but also too much salt and oil.

30-Minute Mole

3 cups unsalted vegetable broth or water
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola
3 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted roasted natural peanut butter or almond butter
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
2 tablespoons cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 6-inch corn tortilla, toasted, or 1 tostada
Salt and pepper
Seared cauliflower or other vegetables or proteins, for serving

Heat broth in a small saucepan over medium-high until steaming; remove from heat. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium. Add all the dried chiles and sear until darkened, turning constantly so they don’t burn and become bitter, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer chiles to the hot broth to rehydrate for 10 minutes. Set a bowl over the chiles to keep them submerged.

Add the remaining tablespoon oil and the onion to the same medium pot (no need to wash). Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until browned and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a blender, along with the chiles and their soaking liquid, the peanut butter, tahini, sugar, cacao, chocolate, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and toasted tortilla. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the mole back into the same medium pot and set over high heat. Once the mole starts to bubble, lower heat to medium and simmer, stirring every couple of minutes to make sure the mole isn’t burning or sticking to the pot, until the flavors marry, at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Serve with cauliflower or vegetable or protein of your choice.

Cilantro Rice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated, both finely chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice, such as jasmine or basmati
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more to taste
1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus more to taste

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, then stir in the onion powder and cilantro stems until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir until oil-slicked, just a few seconds.

Add 1 1/2 cups water, raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and cook until all of the water is absorbed, 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice sit, covered, to steam for 10 more minutes.
Fold in the salt, cilantro leaves, jalapeño and lime juice. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and lime juice as desired.

Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground sage (optional)
1 pound dried red kidney beans (no need to soak)
12 ounces smoked pork sausage, preferably Andouille, sliced into 1-inch-thick coins
1 smoked ham hock (about 10 ounces)
3 dried bay leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Cooked rice, for serving
Sliced scallions, for serving
Louisiana-style hot sauce, for serving

Turn on the sauté setting of a 6- to 8-quart electric pressure cooker and heat the oil. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until limp and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the celery and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and sage (if using); grind in a generous amount of black pepper and add 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, then turn off the sauté setting.

Add the beans, sausage, ham hock, bay leaves, thyme and 5 1/2 cups water. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Cook on high pressure until the beans are creamy, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Turn off the pressure cooker and allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid. Taste the beans to make sure they are tender, and add salt and cayenne to taste.

Using a fork, mash some of the beans against the side of the pressure cooker to make the mixture creamy; you can turn on the sauté setting and let the mixture bubble for a few minutes to thicken, if you like, but it will also continue to thicken as it sits. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and pick the meat off the ham hock if you like.

Top the beans with hot cooked rice and scallions; serve with hot sauce.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground sage (optional)
1 pound dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
3 dried bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
12 ounces smoked pork sausage, preferably Andouille, sliced into 1-inch-thick coins
1 smoked ham hock (about 10 ounces)
Cooked rice, for serving
Sliced scallions, for serving
Louisiana-style hot sauce, for serving

Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion is limp and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and sage (if using); grind in a generous amount of black pepper and add 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Stir well to combine all the ingredients, then remove from the heat and scrape the mixture into a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker.
Add the beans, bay leaves, thyme, sausage, ham hock and 6 cups water. Cook on high until the beans are very tender and creamy, about 7 hours.

Before serving, add salt or cayenne to taste. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the slow cooker to make the mixture slightly creamy. (It will continue to thicken as it sits.) Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs; you can pick the meat off the ham hock if you like. Top the beans with hot cooked rice and scallions; serve with hot sauce.

Pressure Cooker Vegan Red Beans and Rice

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground sage (optional)
1 pound dried red kidney beans (no need to soak)
3 dried bay leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Cooked rice, for serving
Sliced scallions, for serving
Louisiana-style hot sauce

Turn on the sauté setting of a 6- to 8-quart electric pressure cooker and heat the oil. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until limp and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the celery and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the chopped garlic, miso paste, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and sage (if using). Grind in a generous amount of black pepper and add 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, then turn off the sauté setting.

Add the beans, bay leaves, thyme and 5 1/2 cups water. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Cook on high pressure until the beans are creamy, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Turn off the pressure cooker and allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

Add the soy sauce, and season to taste with salt and cayenne. Using a fork, mash some of the beans against the side of the pressure cooker to make the mixture creamy. It will continue to thicken as it sits, or you can turn on the sauté setting and let the mixture bubble for a few minutes to thicken.

Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Top the beans with hot cooked rice and scallions; serve with hot sauce.

Slow Cooker Vegan Red Beans and Rice

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground sage (optional)
1 pound dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
3 dried bay leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Cooked rice, for serving
Sliced scallions, for serving
Louisiana-style hot sauce, for serving

Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion is limp and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the chopped garlic, miso paste, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and sage, if using. Grind in a generous amount of black pepper and add 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine until the miso has dissolved, then remove from the heat and scrape the mixture into a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker.

Add the beans, bay leaves, thyme and 6 cups water. Cook on high until the beans are very tender and creamy, about 7 hours.

If your beans are not bubbling at all by the time they are done cooking, turn the heat up to high and let them bubble for about 10 minutes, to make them easier to digest.

Before serving, add the soy sauce, and season to taste with salt and cayenne. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the slow cooker to make the mixture slightly creamy. (It will continue to thicken as it sits.)

Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Top the beans with hot cooked rice and scallions; serve with hot sauce.

Steakhouse Sirloin Tips

1/3 cup soy sauce (I used reduced-sodium)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon paprika (I reduced to about 2/3)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I reduced to 1/8)
1 (2 1/2-pound) beef flap meat*

*Flap meat is sold as whole steaks, strips, and pieces. For even pieces, buy a whole steak of uniform size and cut it up yourself.

Whisk soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, pepper, and cayenne together in bowl until sugar dissolves; transfer to zipper-lock bag. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Prick beef all over with fork and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces. Add meat to bag with soy mixture and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

For a charcoal grill: Open bottom grill vents completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vents completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.

Clean and oil cooking grate. Cook beef (covered if using gas) until charred and registers 130 to 135°F (for medium), 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to platter, tent loosely with foil, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Note: Author flipped the steaks at 4 minutes, and they were temperature ready at 8 minutes.

Sirloin Tips with Caramelized Onions

For the Marinade

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Coca-Cola or water (see note)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup A-1 Sauce
1 1/3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds sirloin or rib eye trimmed and cut into large cuts as big as 2 to 3 inches square
1 large onion, cut into thick strips vertically
1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

In a medium sauce pan, place all marinade ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Trim any gristle or large pieces of fat from beef. Cut into large pieces; about 2-3 inches square. Place cut beef in a zip lock bag. Pour cooled marinade over beef, seal and marinate 8-24 hours.

In a medium sauté pan over low heat melt butter in olive oil and place onions, salt, pepper and sugar and cook stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until onions are caramelized but not cooked down too much. Start cooking tips as the onions get close to finishing.

When you are ready to grill, drain all marinade and heat a ribbed grill pan over extremely high heat or heat your outdoor BBQ grill to the highest setting.

Lightly oil or spray pan or grill and place beef onto grill or pan not touching each other and cook untouched for 2-3 minutes (Depending on how thick they are and how hot your grill or stove gets, the timing will need to be monitored). If you are not certain, cut into one and check for doneness. Turn once and cook for another 1-2 minutes for medium rare.

Remove to a platter and serve with the caramelized onions.

Sirloin Tips

2 pounds sirloin steak tips
1 tablespoon Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons Catalina dressing
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder

Cut the beef into large pieces if they are not already cut into tips.

Mix all other ingredients in a bowl but only use half the oil, salt and pepper. Reserve the remainder for just before grilling.
In a zip lock bag, place tips and marinade and marinate overnight or at least six hours.

Prior to grilling, drain well and discard marinade. Dry the tips with paper towels.

Pre-heat grill to medium high.

Coat tips in remaining oil (2 tablespoons), salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon) and grill about two minutes on each side for medium rare. (Note: Cooking time may vary depending on the heat output of your grill and/or if you cook these in a grillpan on the stove.)

Garlic Butter Sirloin Tips

4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 pounds thick-cut New York strip steaks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Mince 4 garlic cloves. Transfer to a bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Chop until you have 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, then transfer to a small bowl.

Cut 2 pounds New York strip steak into 1-inch cubes, then season them with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium high-heat.

Add the steak cubes and sear until browned, flipping them halfway through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Add the garlic and pepper and cook for 1 minute more.

Remove from the heat and garnish with the parsley.