Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Thyme

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
2 lemons, as needed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
Torn basil or mint leaves, as needed

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound each to an even thickness of 1/2 inch. Do not make them any thinner or they could dry out.

Place chicken in a large bowl and toss with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Mix in olive oil. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Remove chicken from fridge while you heat the grill.

Light the grill, building a hot fire, or heat your gas grill to high. Once grill is fully heated, brush breasts lightly with olive oil and place chicken on the grill. Cook until undersides are browned and chicken is about halfway cooked, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip breasts and grill until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to a platter. Drizzle with oil and garnish with additional lemon juice, olive oil and basil or mint leaves.

Pressure Cooker Chickpea Coconut Curry

1/4 cup water or broth or use 1 tsp oil
1/2 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 hot green chili ,chopped (such as serrano, jalapeno) or use mild chili or omit
1 tsp each ground cumin, , ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp each cinnamon , ground cardamom
1/3 tsp cayenne or to taste
1/4 tsp grouond sage or dried oregano
1 red bell pepper ,chopped or sliced
1 tbsp minced ginger
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup dry uncooked chickpeas ,soaked for atleast 30 mins in boiling hot water (4 hours to overnight soaking works best)
13.5 oz can coconut milk , reserve 2 tbsp for garnishing
1 cups water ,depends on curry consistency preference., use 1/2 cup for thicker, 1.5 cups for soupier
lemon/lime juice , cilantro, pepper flakes for garnish

Press saute on the Instant Pot. Add onion, garlic, chili and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 3 to 4 mins until translucent. Deglaze with more broth if needed. (See notes for saucepan)

Add the spices and mix in. (You can add spice blends of choice here such as curry powder, garam masala, berbere or jamaican curry powder, or curry pastes instead of listed spices).

Add the bell pepper and ginger and mix in. Drain the chickpeas and add to the pot. Add salt, coconut milk and water and give it a good mix to pick up any stuck bits.

Cancel saute, Close the lid to sealing. Pressure cook at high pressure for 40 to 45 mins (30 mins for overnight soak)**. Let the pressure release naturally then open the lid.

Taste and adjust salt and flavor, add more spices if needed. If the mixture is thin, Mash some of the chickpeas to thicken or blend half cup of the curry and mix in, saute for a few mins if needed. (Fold in some baby spinach at this point while the chickpeas are still hot).

Garnish with lemon, pepper flakes, remaining coconut milk and cilantro and serve over rice or grains.

Notes
Saucepan (dried chickpeas): Soak the chickpeas overnight or atleast 4 hours and drain. Follow steps 1,2,3 in a saucepan over medium heat. Add only half the salt, add 1 to 1.5 cups water. Cook partially covered for 50 minutes. Then check the chickpeas for doneness. Add more salt, more water if needed and continue to cook for another 10-15 mins.

Saucepan(canned/pre-cooked) chickpeas: Follow steps 1,2,3 in a saucepan over medium heat. Add only 1/4 cup water and 2.5 cups cooked chickpeas. Partially cover and cook for 20 mins. Taste and adjust flavor, mash some chickpeas to thicken and serve.

Instant Pot (Canned Chickpeas): Follow steps 1,2.3. Use just 1/4 cup water, 2.5 to 3 cups cooked chickpeas and pressure cook for 5 mins.

Variations: Use other beans such as brown chickpeas (pressure cook 50 mins), black eyed peas(pressure cook 30 mins), kidney beans or white beans(pressure cook for 45 mins).
Add a cup of chopped tomatoes with the chickpeas.

** times are for creamy curry with soft chickpeas. Chickpeas that are just done have a bite and clash with the creamy profile i am going for. Adjust the times based on preference if needed.

Pressure Cooker Creamy Moong Dal

1 1/2 cups mung lentils (split yellow moong dal, without the skin)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 green chile peppers (like serrano, split down the middle)
1 tbsp ginger (grated)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
10 cloves garlic (you can use more for an even more garlicky dal.
Peel the garlic cloves and crush the whole cloves with the flat portion of the knife. Chop roughly–there should be some large pieces of garlic in the dal)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cilantro (optional. Chopped, for garnish)

Wash the lentils in running water, then place in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot with the turmeric, chile peppers and ginger. Add water to cover by two inches. Cook the lentils for three whistles in the pressure cooker or 10 minutes in the Instant Pot set to manual pressure.

If you don’t have an IP or pressure cooker, you can cook the dal on the stovetop. Place the lentils in a pan with the ginger, turmeric and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and let the lentils simmer until done. Check frequently and add more water if it starts to look dry.

Once the lentils have cooked, remove half of them to a blender and puree until creamy. Add water if needed. This is not absolutely necessary but it gives the dal a really creamy, velvety texture that’s amazing.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the black mustard seeds and, when they sputter, add the garlic. Saute the garlic over medium-low heat until it begins to turn golden-brown and fragrant, but don’t let it burn. Stir constantly.

Once the garlic turns brown, add the cooked moong–both the blended and non-blended portions. Mix well and add more water if needed. Dal should be a little runny and soupy–it shouldn’t be too thick and gloppy.

Bring the dal to boil and add salt to taste. Let the dal continue cooking another 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and garnish with cilantro. The dal thickens quite a bit as it stands, so add water if it thickens too much before serving. Always check for salt and add more if needed after you add water to the dal.

Fish Skewers With Herbs and Lime

2 garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound thick, dense fish steaks, such as tuna or swordfish, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Lime wedges, for serving
2 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped dill, mint, parsley

Heat the grill to high. In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, fish sauce and red-pepper flakes. Whisk in oil. Add fish cubes and gently toss to evenly coat. Let marinate while the grill heats up.

Thread marinated fish onto metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers (see Tip), pushing them up so they touch. This keeps them from overcooking.

When the grill is hot, lightly brush the grates with oil and add the skewers. Cook until slightly charred in places, about 2 to 4 minutes, rotating them carefully halfway through.

Transfer to a serving platter, and immediately squeeze 2 or 3 lime wedges on top of the fish while still hot. Garnish fish with scallions and herbs, and serve with more lime wedges on the side.

Tip:
Using traditional flat metal skewers is best, but not necessary. If using bamboo skewers, they must be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent flare-ups. Place bamboo skewers flat on a rimmed sheet pan and add enough water to cover.

Honey-Lime Shrimp

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chili powder and paprika.

Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in vegetable or chicken stock, honey, lime juice and lime zest, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and remaining 2 tablespoons butter until melted.

Serve immediately.

Grilled Swordfish

4 center-cut swordfish steaks, about 6 ounces each, one-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
4 sprigs rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat a charcoal grill or broiler, or heat a grill pan.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Place oil in a flat dish, and add soy sauce, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, coriander, cumin, lemon rind and pepper flakes. Blend well. Place fish steaks in marinade, coat well on both sides, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

If the swordfish is to be cooked on a grill (or grill pan), place fish on grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook for 3 minutes more. Cook longer if desired. If it is to be cooked under a broiler, place fish on a rack and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve with a string bean salad.

Hot Sauce Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined or shell-on
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 tablespoon hot sauce, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons neutral oil (like vegetable or grapeseed), plus more as needed
6 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts cut crosswise into 1-inch segments

Pat the shrimp dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Put the butter and hot sauce in a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over high. Add the scallions and cook until softened and browned in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the scallions to the bowl with the butter and hot sauce.

Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more oil if the pan is dry. Flip and cook until opaque all the way through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Transfer the shrimp and any juices to the butter, hot sauce and scallions. Toss vigorously until the butter is melted and the shrimp is glossy. Taste, and add more hot sauce and salt as needed.

Spicy Citrus Skirt Steak

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (see Tips)
8 tangerines, satsumas or mandarin oranges, washed and halved horizontally
6 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal oelek or Sriracha, plus more as needed
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Kosher salt and black pepper

Neutral oil, such as Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for two-zone cooking over high heat: For a charcoal grill, pour the coals onto one half of the grill. For a gas grill, heat all the burners, then turn off one of the end burners. (See Tips.)

While the grill is heating, pat the steak dry and cut into 5- to 6-inch pieces with the grain. (This makes it easier to fit on the grill.) Set aside to air-dry while you make the sauce: Squeeze 1 cup of juice from about 6 tangerines into a bowl or rimmed dish large enough to hold the steak after it’s grilled. (Set aside the remaining unjuiced halves on a sheet pan.) Add the spent tangerine halves to the juice. Smash the halves with a spoon to release the rind’s oils (as if you’re muddling a cocktail). To the juice and spent tangerine halves, add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sambal oelek, ginger and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

When you’re ready to grill, add the steak to the sheet pan of unjuiced tangerine halves and lightly coat everything with neutral oil. Season generously with salt. Bring the sheet pan of tangerine halves and steak, sauce, a tightly folded paper towel soaked with oil, and tongs to the grill. Clean the grates with a grill brush, then oil the grates with the paper towel. Grill the steak over direct heat, flipping halfway through, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Grill the tangerines over direct heat, flipping halfway through, until blackened, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

As the steak and tangerine halves finish, add them to the sauce and turn to coat. Squeeze the charred citrus with your tongs to release the juice and the peels into the dish. Let rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 30. Slice the steak against the grain and serve with the sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sambal oelek.

Tips:
You can dry-brine the steak in advance, which seasons the meat and locks in the juices. Pat the steak dry, season with 1 teaspoon salt, and refrigerate uncovered overnight. Let come to room temperature before cooking. (No need to season with salt again before grilling.)

High is above 450 degrees. You should be able to hold your hand 4 to 5 inches above the grates for 2 to 3 seconds.

Ginger-Mint Grilled Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
Kosher salt
Olive oil
1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled
1 cup firmly packed mint leaves
1 small lime

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for two-zone cooking over high heat: For a charcoal grill, pour the coals onto one half of the grill. For a gas grill, heat all the burners, then turn off one of the end burners. (See Tips.)

Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry, then transfer to a medium bowl and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and lightly coat with olive oil. Set aside. Coarsely chop the ginger, then add the mint and a pinch of salt. Finely chop the ginger and mint together until homogenous. Transfer to a small bowl, finely grate 1/2 teaspoon lime zest into the bowl, and mix to combine. Cut the lime into wedges for serving.

When you’re ready to grill, take the shrimp, mint-ginger mixture, lime wedges, a tightly folded paper towel soaked in olive oil, a serving platter and tongs to the grill. Clean the grates with a grill brush, then oil the grates with the paper towel. Add the shrimp perpendicular to the grates over the flame and cook until well browned, about 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes. (See Tips.)

Transfer the shrimp to the platter and toss with the mint-ginger mixture and a squeeze of lime.

Tips:
High is above 450 degrees. You should be able to hold your hand 4 to 5 inches above the grates for 2 to 3 seconds.

If flare-ups occur, move the chicken to an area of the grill where there are no flames underneath. For a gas grill, close the lid between flips, listening and keeping an eye out for flare-ups.

Hanoi Grilled Pork Satay

2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup sugar
1 star anise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup Shaoxing rice wine (may substitute dry vermouth, sake, sherry or white wine)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) pineapple juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably dark
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Vegetable oil
Fresh mint, Thai basil and cilantro leaves or sprigs, for serving (optional)

Have skewers ready. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 to 30 minutes before using.

Cut the pork into strips about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide or into bite-size chunks. In a shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the sugar, star anise, cinnamon, pepper, salt, wine, pineapple juice, soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir or shake to combine. Add the pork and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.

Preheat the grill or broiler.

Lightly oil the skewers. Thread the pork onto the skewers, reserving the marinade. If the pork was cut into strips, weave them onto the skewer so they are punctured by the skewers at least 3 times; if using chunks, space them about 1 inch apart. Transfer the skewers to a plate; set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the marinade to a boil. Remove from the heat; set aside.

Generously coat the grill or broiler rack with vegetable oil. Grill the pork skewers, turning occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred, 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the flame and the size of the pork. Baste the pork with the marinade during the last couple of minutes of grilling. Serve warm.

Mexican Papaya Salad

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2–3 large handfuls arugula (or other salad greens, or add some shredded cabbage)
1/2 large ripe papaya, cubed (about 3–4 cups)
1–2 small Turkish cucumbers, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup toasted coconut, optional
1 tablespoon thinly sliced jalapeno (optional)

Cilantro Lime Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1 tablespoon lime zest
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped scallion (optional)
2 teaspoons honey, agave, or sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch chili flakes or Aleppo (optional)

If sensitive to onions, or to remove their “bite”, soak thinly sliced onions in salted water while you make the salad. ( 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water)
Halve, seed, peel and cube one half of the papaya, saving the other half for another use. You should have 3-4 cups of 3/4 inch cubes.

Place the greens in a large, wide, serving bowl or on a large platter. Toss with 1/2 of the onions.

Place the papaya on top of the greens.

Slice the cucumber and scatter over the papaya along with remaining onions. (At this point, you could refrigerate and serve later that evening.)

Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl or jar. (Spoon it over the salad right before serving, gently tossing.)
Sprinkle with cilantro leaves, optional jalapeno and toasted coconut.

Taste, add more lime if you like.

Notes: serve with grilled chicken or fish. Avocado is also a nice addition.

Grilled Pineapple and Shrimp Skewers with Chipotle

1 pound large raw, peeled and deveined shrimp ( 21–15 or 16–20 size)
1 pound pineapple chunks- cut to same thickness as shrimp ( about 3/4 inch thick)

Marinade:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime – 1/8 cup lime juice and it’s zest
1 orange- 1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey or maple
3 cloves rough chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, more for spicy ( or ½ of a canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce)
Garnish – limes, cilantro, Jicama Mango Slaw

Soak skewers if using wood.

Place shrimp in a bowl or ziplock bag.

Blend marinade ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Pour marinade over shrimp and marinate 30 minutes or overnight. Prep pineapple.

Pre-heat grill to medium.

Drain the marinade from the bag or bowl into a small sauce pan.

Skewer shrimp and pineapple, alternating on skewers ( Skewer pineapple the flat way so shrimp and pineapple are about the same wide, and both lay flat on the grill. That way you will have good grill marks on both. This should make 10-12 x 10 inch skewers.

Give the marinade a quick simmer, until it thickens and darkens a bit. Turn heat off.

Grease the grill well.

Lay the skewers down, grilling each side about 3 minutes, or until good grill marks develop, and shrimp is cooked, but not overcooked.

Place on a serving platter. Drizzle with reduced marinade or lime.

Serve immediately.

Mexican Grilled Chipotle Chicken

2 lbs chicken thighs or breasts ( boneless, skinless)
Chipotle Marinade:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 chipotle peppers (canned) plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce ( juice from can)
4 garlic cloves
1 shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt ( 1 teaspoon per pound)

Garnish: lime juice and cilantro

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Place marinade ingredients in a food processor and process into a paste. Place the chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag and massage well to mix and coat all sides well. (Or brush all sides well with marinade and place in a container.) Marinate 20 mins or up to 3 days.

Grill each side of chicken 6-7 minutes, or until good grill marks appear. Lower heat and move chicken to cooler side of the grill and continue to grill until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165F.

Let it rest 5-10 mins before serving and squeeze with lime. Sprinkle with optional cilantro.

Notes

These can be grilled ahead and will keep 3-4 days in the fridge. Or marinated ahead for up to 3 days

Grilled Sesame Lime Chicken Breasts

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Asian-style fish sauce
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 limes, as needed
2 tablespoons peanut oil, more for grill
Sesame oil, as needed
Coarsely chopped cilantro, for garnish
Thinly sliced red or green chilies, seeded, for garnish (optional)

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound each to an even thickness of 1/2 inch. Do not make them any thinner or they could dry out.

In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger and garlic. Grate in zest of 1 lime and squeeze in its juice. Whisk in peanut oil. Place chicken breasts in bowl and turn breasts well to evenly coat with mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Remove chicken from fridge while you heat the grill.

Light the grill, building a hot fire, or heat your gas grill to high. Once grill is fully heated, brush breasts lightly with peanut oil and place chicken on the grill. Cook until undersides are browned and chicken is about halfway cooked, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip breasts and grill until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to a platter. Drizzle with sesame oil; garnish with lime juice and cilantro, and chiles if desired.

Pineapple-Marinated Chicken Breasts

3 packed tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup diced fresh pineapple (1/2-inch chunks)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh pineapple, including accumulated juices
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
Cooked white rice, for serving

In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, garlic powder, ground cayenne and black pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of this marinade mixture to a separate medium bowl and add the diced pineapple, red onion and cilantro. This is your salsa; toss until well mixed and set aside.

Add the grated pineapple and its juices to the marinade mixture in the large bowl, then add the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes (and no longer).

Once the chicken is done marinating, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken pieces, leaving any marinade behind, in a single layer so that they don’t touch and let cook until the bottoms are browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides and no longer pink on the inside, 4 to 5 minutes more.

Serve the chicken over rice and top with the reserved pineapple salsa.

Virgin Islands Fungi

1/3 cup sliced fresh or frozen okra
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into chunks

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil over medium-high.
When water reaches a rolling boil, add okra and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook over medium-high until softened, about 4 minutes.

Slowly and carefully, pour half the cornmeal into the water while whisking to prevent lumps. It will get very thick very quickly.

Once the mixture is smooth, add the remaining cornmeal and the butter, whisking vigorously to combine.

When smooth, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you’d like it a little thinner, whisk additional water into the mixture. Serve hot.

Virgin Islands Pan-Fried Snapper with Creole Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
4 teaspoons seasoning salt, such as Creole seasoning or Lawry’s
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium until shimmering. Add the onions, red and green bell peppers and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce, thyme and 1 3/4 cups water; bring to a boil over high.
Stir in the white vinegar and seasoning salt, reduce the temperature to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

To serve with pan-fried snapper:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt, such as Creole seasoning or Lawry’s
4 skin-on red snapper fillets (about 6 ounces each)
Hot sauce (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium. On a large plate, mix the flour and seasoning salt with a fork.

Pat the snapper fillets dry using paper towels, and season 2 fillets with salt and pepper before dipping them into the flour mixture until coated on both sides.
Once the oil is shimmering, gently lay the floured fillets in the hot oil, skin-side down, and cook until skin is crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip fillets and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through.

Transfer the fish to a large paper-towel-lined plate. Cover loosely with foil and repeat with the remaining fillets.

Divide fish among plates, skin side up, over fungi, and top with the Creole sauce. Serve immediately, passing hot sauce at the table.

Coconut-Ginger Black Beans

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin or coriander
1 (3-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (about 3 tablespoons)
1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup plantain chips or toasted coconut flakes
1 teaspoon lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice (from 1 lime)
Hot sauce, for serving

Rinse 1 can of black beans, and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium. Add the cumin and half of the ginger and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rinsed black beans and the remaining whole can of black beans (including the liquid), and the coconut milk; season generously with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and the mixture is flavorful, 15 to 20 minutes. (If you want a thicker consistency, smash some of beans with the back of a spoon as the mixture cooks, and simmer longer.)

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, crumble the plantain chips into bite-size pieces. Add the lime zest and a few generous grinds of black pepper, and stir to combine.
Remove the beans from the heat. Stir in the remaining ginger and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the lime juice a little at a time until the beans taste bright but the coconut flavor is still rich. Top with the seasoned plantain chips and serve with hot sauce for more kick.

One-Pot Beans and Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup long-grain rice
1 (15.5-ounce) can black or pinto beans
Lime wedges or cilantro leaves, for serving

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, cover and bring to a boil.

Add the salt, rice and beans (including the liquid). Stir just to combine, then cover.

Turn the heat down as low as it will go, then let simmer, undisturbed, for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 4 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, then garnish with lime or cilantro as you wish.

Note: For an extra kick, sauté chopped jalapeño with the onions, or add 1/4 cup salsa with the stock.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Breasts

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound each to an even thickness of 1/2 inch. Do not make them any thinner or they could dry out.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, coriander, salt, mustard powder and cayenne. Place chicken breasts in a bowl and rub well with spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Remove chicken from fridge while you heat the grill.

Light the grill, building a hot fire, or heat your gas grill to high. Once grill is fully heated, brush breasts lightly with olive oil and place chicken on the grill. Cook until undersides are browned and chicken is about halfway cooked, 3 to 5 minutes.

Flip breasts and grill until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to a platter.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard and chives. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Serve chicken with mustard for dipping.