Fresh Tomatillo Sauce

1 lb Tomatillos, husked, rinsed ( in warm water) and quartered
1/2 bunch cilantro- leaves and tender stems OK ( 1 cup, packed)
1–2 jalapeno (or more, for more spicy) or 1–2 serano chilis ( I like 2 seranos)
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup diced white or yellow onion
3 tablespoons lime juice plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon sugar ( or agave or honey)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T olive oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until uniformly combined.

Taste, then adjust salt, heat and lime. ( I find it helpful to taste with a chip, or whatever you are serving this with.)

Refrigerate until serving.

notes

This fresh tomatillo salsa will keep 4 days in the fridge.

If you like extra heat, serrano chilies are a great option.

If it ends up too spicy for your taste, you can temper it by adding cucumber or more tomatillo. Re-adjust with salt and lime.

Poblano Pepita Sauce

1 large poblano pepper
1 cup cilantro ( small stems ok)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
squeeze of lime

Roast the poblano chili directly over a gas flame on the stovetop, until blackened and blistered on all sides – or broil (or roast at 450F) in the oven, turning often, until skins blister.

Place in a paper bag or wrap in a towel to steam for 10 minutes (this will help soften the chili).

Remove the stem and seeds and most of the charred bits- a little char is good here.

Place in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients- cilantro, pumpkin seeds, oil, water, garlic, salt, coriander and a tiny squeeze of lime.

Pulse and blend until uniformly combined but not too smooth. A little texture is good here.

Taste. Adjust lime and salt. If your pepper happens to be too spicy ( they very in spicy level) you can mitigate the heat by adding more pumpkin seeds, water, oil, and then remember to reseason with more salt and lime.

Place in a bowl and serve at room temp.

notes

If making ahead, place in a sealed container and refrigerate for 2-3 days. The top (exposed to air) may discolor over time, so if making ahead, I like to pour a little olive oil over top to keep the herbs submerged and preserve the color.

Mexican Pinto Beans

1 lb dry pinto beans (2 1/2 cups dry), soaked 6-12 hours, then drained
1 teaspoon salt
——-
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1 dry Mexican Guajillo Chile (optional, see notes), seeds removed, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves (optional)
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)

Place pinto beans in a med bowl, and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and let soak overnight – or for a minimum of 6 hours. Drain.

After soaking: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Add the dried chili, cinnamon stick and all the spices. Saute one minute to toast the spices. Add the water, tomato paste and DRAINED beans. Stir in the 1/2 salt and bring to a rapid boil.

Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer (on low or medium low) and simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes, until beans are tender.

Stir in the tablespoon of Chipotle Adobo Sauce and the vinegar.

Taste, adjusting salt if needed.

Notes:
Feel free to substite 1-2 canned chipotle peppers (chopped) instead of the dried Mexican chili. Or leave out both for a milder version. Or experiment with other dried Mexican chilies taking not of heat level. One Guajillo chili makes this MEDIUM SPICY.

Using the The Adobo sauce from the Canned Chipotle Peppers really elevates and adds a lovely smokiness to the whole dish. Freeze the leftover chipotle chilies (individually) for later use!
You could also use a little smoked paprika for the smoky flavor without the spiciness.

INSTANT POT: Cook according to above, using the saute function for sauteeing. Reduce water to 4 cups. Pressure cook the soaked pinto beans on high for 25 minutes, naturally release. If you’d like to reduce liquid further, cook on saute function for a few minutes until it thickens up.

HAM HOCK: Feel free to add a smoked ham hock to the top of the simmering beans. After it’s tender, shred the meat and stir into the beans.

Basic Roasted Vegetables

2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved into half-moons
2 parsnips, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved
1/2 – 1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks, or wedges
1 sweet potato cut into ¾ inch cubes
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
generous, 5 finger pinch of salt and pepper
optional additions: other veggies of course, fresh herbs -thyme, rosemary, sage

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Cut veggies and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If your sheet pans are small, use 2 pans.
Cut veggies and place them in rows.

drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and using tongs give a light toss.
Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotate, toss again, and continue cooking until fork tender, another 10-15 minutes.

Place in a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Tips:

Choose veggies that take roughly the same amount of time to roast. Root veggies (vegetables that grow underground) like carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, are relatively dense compared to other veggies and take the longest to roast, 30-50 minutes, depending on what size you cut them. Winter squash are medium-dense so take less time, when peeled and diced.

If someone were to ask me which veggies are best to roast? I would say, hands-down, root vegetables! Their natural sweetness and earthiness both get enhanced and elevated through roasting.
Cut veggies so they are the same thickness. This ensures they roast quickly and uniformly. I try to keep root veggies at ½ inch thick.

Roast vegetables on a parchment-lined sheet pan – and use an extra-large one! Or use two! They like space.

Group different veggies separately on the sheet pan (instead of mixing them all together) just in case you need to remove some and not others.

Keep it simple, with a light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkling of salt and pepper. This allows the flavors of the veggies to really shine.

Use a hot, 425 F oven, middle rack.

Check at 15 minutes, rotate pan and give a quick toss, continue cooking 5-15 minutes or until fork tender.

I always like to include an onion and bell pepper for flavor. (Just a personal preference)
Of course you can add a herb – thyme, rosemary, sage- all work well.

Cilantro-Lime Rice

3 tablespoons olive oil
one small white onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
2 cups white basmati rice (see notes for brown basmati rice)
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1–2 limes- zest and juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, leaves and tender stems
3 scallions, sliced

Over medium heat, using a lidded saute pan or wide pot, saute onion and garlic in oil until fragrant and tender, 4-5 minutes. Add rice, saute 1-2 more minute, coating each grain, then add coriander, 1 tablespoon of the lime zest (save rest for garnish) and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Give a stir and add the water. Bring to a rapid boil. Cover, lower heat to low (gently simmering).

Cook 20-22 minutes or until all the water evaporates.

Fluff with fork, squeeze with lime juice (3-5 tablespoons) and right before serving, toss in the chopped cilantro and scallions.

Fluff again, taste and adjust salt and lime to taste.

Enjoy!

notes

If making ahead, add cilantro and scallions right before serving!

If using Brown Basmati Rice, plan on almost double the cooking time… 35-40 minutes (unless you soak the rice beforhand). Make sure to read package directions adjusting the liquid if need be.

Kohlrabi Slaw with Cilantro, Jalapeño, and Lime

6 cups kohlrabi -cut into matchsticks or grated in a food processor -about three x 4 inch bulbs (or you could substitute sliced fennel, apple, jicama, cucumber, or cabbage for part of the kohlrabi for more diversity)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro ( one small bunch)
half of a jalapeno -minced
1/4 cup chopped scallion
orange zest from one orange, and juice
lime zest from one lime, and juice

Citrus Dressing :

1/4 Cup olive oil
¼ Cup fresh orange juice ( juice form one orange)
1/8 Cup lime juice plus 1 T ( juice from one large lime), more to taste
1/4 Cup honey ( or agave syrup)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Trim and peel kohlrabi. ( I normally have to peel twice to get thru the thick skin). Cut off two ends. Cut in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice, rotate and slice again, making 1/4 inch matchsticks.

Place in large bowl with chopped cilantro, scallions, finly chopped jalapeño ( 1/2), lime zest and orange zest.

Whisk dressing together in a small bowl. Toss with salad. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with zest and cilantro. This tastes goo the next day too.

Cabbage Mango Slaw

3 cups shredded cabbage (½ of small purple cabbage)
1 large mango (ripe but firm, not soft)
1/2 cup cilantro chopped, thin stems ok
1/4 C finely diced or thinly sliced red onion
1/2 to 1 jalapeno- finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 orange (zest and juice)
1 lime
1/2 tsp salt

Slice or shred cabbage very thinly- Add to large bowl.

Peel mango with a vegetable peeler, then slice into thin strips, or cut into cubes and place in the bowl.

Add onion, cilantro, jalapeno.

Zest one orange and add the zest to the bowl. Add the juice of half the orange, and half the lime
Add oil and salt and mix gently to combine.

Taste and adjust salt, heat and citrus. Often I will squeeze in the other half of the orange.
Refrigerate until ready to serve!

notes

This will keep up to 2 days in the fridge. If using a soft mango, serve right away. Firmer mangos will last longer.

Sheet Pan Chicken and Yam Bowl with Salsa Macha (with Tofu Variation)

SALSA MACHA RECIPE:

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup raw nuts or seeds- pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts or almonds
4–6 cloves garlic- whole
1 shallot, sliced
4 dry Guajillo Peppers (1 ¼ ounces) or sub other dried mild to medium peppers.
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander ( optional)
1 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional, add to taste for heat)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds ( optional)

SALSA MACHA BOWLS:

1 medium yam-diced into ½ inch thick cubes
1 red bell pepper- sliced into 1 inch thick wedges ( or use poblano peppers)
1/2 red onion- into 1/2 inch thick half moons
2 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, or use tofu filets
drizzle of olive oil, generous sprinkle salt, pepper and cumin

Optional Bowl Bases- Seasoned Black Beans, Black Rice, Cooked Rice, Cauliflower Rice, Greens

Bowl Toppings- avocado, sprouts, cilantro, lime, sesame seeds

Salsa Macha: (see notes)

Discard stems and seeds from chilies and break them into smaller one inch pieces.

In a large skillet add the oil and heat it over medium high heat. Add garlic, shallot and nuts, and stir until golden, about 4-5 minutes.

Turn heat to low, add crushed chilies, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat off and cool 5-10 minutes. Add salt and vinegar and coriander.

Place all in food processor (or blender) and blend until well combined, but not overly smooth. Taste for spice and add chipotle powder to taste. I added about 1 teaspoon, but start conservatively. You can also add canned chipotle peppers to taste or the adobo sauce they come in, for a nice smokiness.
Pour into a jar, and stir in toasted sesame seeds.

To store: cover with a layer of olive oil before storing the jar in the fridge. This will last 3-4 weeks in the fridge.

To make the BOWLS

Pre heat oven to 425F

Place prepped yams, onions and peppers on a parchement-lined sheet pan.

Place chicken or tofu on the side of the sheet pan.

Drizzle with oil, gently tossing veggies, then chicken and tofu. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check doneness, and continue cooking if need be.

Assemble Bowls. If using a Bowl Base like rice or beans, divide it among two bowls. Top it with roasted chicken or tofu, veggies. Add avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Spoon on the Salsa Macha and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

notes

Salsa Macha Notes:
Feel free to use different chilies, or mix of dried chilies, taking care to pay attention to heat levels. Add Chilies de Arbol for heat or dried Chipotles for depth and smokiness.

You can also make the Salsa Macha first and use it as the marinade – coating the chicken or tofu before baking. To save time, here I have you make this while the chicken/tofu is baking, then spoon it on after. It’s great either way!

Caribbean Bowl with Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken (or Tofu)

16 ounces chicken breasts or tofu filets ( or use some of each)
1 diced yam ( 3/4 inch dice), or try sliced plantains!
1 sliced onion
1 red or yellow bell pepper -cut into one inch wedges
1/2-cabbage ( cut into wedges) or sub parsnips or carrots
1 can black beans ( or sub cooked grains)
1 ripe mango
1 lime
2 scallions, sliced

Caribbean Marinade:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest
2 teaspoons soy sauce or Gluten free Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
2 teaspoons honey, maple or agave
5 fat garlic cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste ( after)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove ( or sub nutmeg)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or chili flakes or alleppo ( optional)

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Place marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Place tofu and/or chicken on a parchment lined sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Pour some marinade over top, brushing and turning them over to get both sides coated well.

Prep the veggies and place on the sheet pan in a single layer alongside the tofu/ chicken ( or use another sheet pan) and either use any extra marinade to lightly coat the veggies, or season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. You may have extra marinade depending on how many servings you make.

Place sheet pan in a hot oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Give the veggies a quick toss after 15 minutes , for more even cooking.
Slice the mango and scallions and heat the beans in a small pot.

Season the beans with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of cumin.

Divide the seasoned warm beans among 2-4 bowls, arrange with the roasted veggies and tofu or chicken. Add sliced fresh mango, squeeze with lime and sprinkle with scallions.

Oaxacan Bowl with Sheet Pan Roasted Peppers and Sweet Potatoes

Spice Rub

2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle ( or swap out a mix of smoked paprika and chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Sheet Pan ingredients

1/2 a red onion, cut in ½ inch wedges
1 medium yam or sweet potato- diced into ¾ inch cubes ( leave skin on)
8 baby bell peppers, cut in half (or 1 regular red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips )
½ cup pecans
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 15-16 ounce can Seasoned Black Beans ( Cuban style or Mexican style) or use regular black beans ( see notes)
Garnish: Avocado, cilantro, scallions, Cabbage Slaw, Mexican Secret Sauce or Vegan Avocado Sauce

Quick Cabbage Slaw

1/2 of a a red cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or scallions or both
1 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
instructions
Preheat oven to 400F

Mix cumin, chipotle and salt together in a small bowl.

Place onion, sweet potato and peppers on a parchment lined sheet pan. Drizzle onion and potato with a little olive oil and sprinkle generously with spice mix, tossing to coat all sides well. Use about ½ or 2/3 of the spice.

Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

On another smaller parchment-lined pan, toss the pecans with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of the spice mix. Place in the oven (on a lower rack) for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. When you pull it out, give nuts a quick toss to loosen them up and “fluffen” them, so when they cool, they are easy to remove.

Heat the seasoned beans in a small pot on the stove ( see notes) and make the slaw. Finely chop or shred the cabbage and place in a medium bowl with the rest of the ingredients, toss. Taste, adjust lime and salt.

Slice the avocado.

When the veggies are fork tender, assemble the bowls. Divide the beans among 2-3 bowls. Divide all the veggies, placing them over the beans, and top with slaw and add the avocado.

Serve with the Chipotle Mayo ( vegan-adaptable) or Vegan Avocado sauce if you like, or sour cream and hot sauce– it’s fine without though too. ?

Sheet Pan Smoky Cauliflower with Chimichurri (for Bowls or Tacos)

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower:

one head cauliflower, cut into small florets
red bell pepper, cut in half
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Seasoned Black beans:

1 x 14-ounce can black beans ( serves 2-3, feel free to double) rinsed, drained
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
drizzle olive oil

2 cups cooked rice (optional, or sub quinoa or black rice)

Mexican Slaw (or sub shredded cabbage or radishes)

Chimichurri Sauce

Other toppings: sliced avocado, pickled red onions, cilantro, sprouts.

Heat oven to 425F.

If making rice or quinoa, cook it according to directions first.

Roast the Cauliflower: Toss Cauliflower with olive oil, salt and spices in a large bowl, and place in a single layer, on parchement-lined sheet pans (you may need two. Cut the bell pepper in half and place on the same sheet pan open side down. Roast 12 minutes, turn cauliflower over, rotating racks ( top rack will cook faster) and cook another 12-15 minutes, until nice and golden, and fork-tender.

Make the Chimichurri Sauce, optional Mexican slaw and optional pickled onions.

Season the blackbeans: Warm up the black beans in a small pot on the stove, adding water, spices, salt and oil.

Assemble Bowls: Layer rice and beans, top with roasted cauliflower. Drizzle with a little chimichurri sauce and garnish with the slaw, avocado, pickled onions, sprouts and cilantro.
notes

Repurpose these into tacos. Fold the warm cauliflower into warm tortillas, add chimichurri sauce, Mexican Slaw, avocado, seasoned black beans if you like, and your favorite hot sauce! Yum!!!

These also taste great as a wrap or burrito.

Perfect Chicken Tenders (and Honey Mustard Sauce)

Peanut oil, for frying
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Honey Mustard, recipe follows

Honey Mustard:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

Cut the chicken breasts into long strips and set aside.

Beat the 3 eggs in a separate bowl and measure the flour into another separate dish.
Measure the panko into a pie plate or shallow bowl and season with garlic powder, lemon-pepper, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Dip the chicken strips into the flour, the beaten egg and then dredge them into the seasoned panko.
Fry in the hot peanut oil for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown, and remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Serve with Honey Mustard sauce.

Honey Mustard:

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. The sauce can be held in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Basic Baked Chicken Breasts

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
3 dashes ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 400° F. Pat dry the boneless chicken breasts with paper towels. Score the bottom of the chicken.

Drizzle the olive oil on the chicken, add the minced garlic and rub all over the chicken breasts.

Add honey, smoked paprika, lemon juice, salt and ground black pepper to the chicken. Stir to combine well with the chicken. Set aside and marinate for 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken breasts to a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake at for 15-18 minutes, or until the inside of the chicken breasts are cooked through.

Change the oven setting to Broil and broil the chicken for 1 – 2 minutes or until the surface becomes slightly charred. Remove from oven, top with chopped parsley and serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges. (DO NOT discard the juice seeping out of the chicken. Serve the chicken with the juice.)

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.

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.

Grilled Vegetables with Agrodolce and Burrata

FOR THE AGRODOLCE SAUCE:
1/4 cup chopped raisins, preferably golden, or dried apricots
2/3 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar (or a combination)
2 tablespoons honey, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce or colatura (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Pinch of fine sea salt

FOR THE VEGETABLES (USE ANY OR ALL):
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 bell peppers, quartered, stems and seeds removed
1 to 2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
2 to 4 ears yellow corn, shucked
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and halved or quartered
1 bunch thick asparagus, ends snapped
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, preferably still on the vine

FOR SERVING:
2 small burrata or fresh mozzarella balls, or 2 cups fresh ricotta
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basil or mint leaves, for serving
Crusty bread slices

Make the sauce: Put raisins or apricots in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, fish sauce or colatura (if using), red-pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the mixture reduces slightly, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour over the raisins and let cool. Taste and stir in a little more honey if the sauce is too harsh. (Sauce can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)

Prepare the vegetables: Oil the grill grate and light the grill. Have a serving platter at the ready.

Grill the peppers, zucchini, eggplant and corn directly on the grate, in batches if necessary, and turning them as needed. Move them around the grate so they cook evenly. Cook until they are lightly charred, watching them carefully, 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the vegetable.

To grill the mushrooms and asparagus, place them in a grilling basket if you have one, or put directly on the grill. (Arrange the asparagus perpendicular to the grates so they don’t fall through.) Grill, turning as needed, until charred all over, 6 to 10 minutes. Grill the cherry tomatoes, using the vine as a handle if possible, for 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to burst and char slightly. Transfer all the vegetables as they cook directly to the serving platter.

Add the cheese to the platter next to the vegetables. Immediately drizzle everything with some of the sauce, stirring it up to get the raisins, and with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper and scatter the herbs generously on top. Serve the extra sauce and the bread alongside for making crostini with some of the vegetables and more of the tangy sauce.

Tip:
To make this using a broiler, spread the vegetables on a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle with oil and broil until browned on top, then flip and broil until browned on the other side. The timing will depend on the vegetable, so stick with one kind per baking pan. You’ll need to do this in batches. You can also use a grill pan.

Angel Corn Casserole

Ingredients send grocery list
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen corn (or about 4 1/2 to 5 cups fresh corn kernels)
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, plus more for optional garnish
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus a heaping 1/3 cup crumbled Ritz crackers, divided
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large 9×13-inch casserole dish.
If using frozen corn, steam and drain the kernels. If using fresh, scrape kernels off the cob.

Beat the egg, cream, and brown sugar in a large bowl until just blended. Stir in chives and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in corn kernels.

Combine 1 cup of the crumbled Ritz crackers with 6 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add to the corn mixture. Stir until combined. Pour into the casserole dish.

Toss remaining cracker crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Sprinkle buttered crumbs over the top of the pudding.

Bake uncovered until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch, about 45 minutes.

Optional: Garnish with more snipped fresh chives.

Tomato Rice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Salt
1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup long grain brown rice

Heat the butter in a medium heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and pepper and a large pinch of salt and stir to coat. Cook gently, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. (Do not let the vegetables brown — if necessary, add a splash of water to prevent this.)

Add the tomatoes and another large pinch of salt to the pan and stir to combine. Raise the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until you have what resembles a thick sauce.

Stir in the rice, 2 1/2 cups cold water and a couple more pinches of salt. Bring to a brisk simmer and cook uncovered for 5 to 8 minutes without stirring, until the liquid on the surface is mostly gone. Stir the rice briefly, cover and turn the heat down as low as it will go. Cook the rice, without removing the lid, for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

6 ounces (170g) elbow macaroni
Salt
6 ounces (180ml) evaporated milk
6 ounces (170g) grated mild or medium cheddar cheese, or any good melting cheese, such as Fontina, Gruyère, or Jack

Place macaroni in a medium saucepan or skillet and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Continue to cook, stirring, until water has been almost completely absorbed and macaroni is just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.

Immediately add evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Add cheese. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until cheese is melted and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with more salt and serve immediately.

Pressure Cooker Polenta

1 cup (173 grams) coarse polenta
4 1/2 cups cups (1,023 grams) water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bonuses (optional):
1/2 to 1 cups grated or crumbled cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Parmesan, pecorino, Gouda, blue), for stirring in and sprinkling on top.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, for stirring in and sprinkling on top, or another ground spice to taste
Fresh herbs (such as minced chives, thyme leaves, finely chopped sage, or roughly chopped parsley), for stirring in and/or sprinkling on top.

Combine the polenta, water, and salt in the Instant Pot and whisk. Secure the lid and adjust the pressure release to Sealing. Pressure cook on High for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes, then carefully move the pressure release to Venting.

Whisk the polenta to smooth out, then add the butter and whisk again until incorporated. At this point, you can stir in any cheese or spices, and adjust the salt to taste. You can also close the lid and use the Keep Warm feature until you’re ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into bowls or onto plates, then sprinkle with any additional cheese, spices, or herbs.