Posole Blanco

For the broth:

1 whole chicken, cut into parts, including the back
1 yellow or white onion, sliced
4–6 garlic cloves, cut in half (skins on is fine)
3 bay leaves
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 stick Rancho Gordo Canela/Soft Cinnamon
3 cloves
3 whole allspice
3 whole peppercorns
Salt

For the hominy:

1 pound Rancho Gordo Posole/Prepared Hominy, soaked for 6–10 hours
3 slices of white or yellow onion

For the Chile Manzano Salsa:

4 Manzano chiles, seeded and finely sliced
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 tablespoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio
1/4 cup Rancho Gordo Pineapple Vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

For serving:

Chile Manzano salsa
Thinly sliced radishes
Shredded lettuce
Quartered limes (optional)
Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
White onion, finely chopped (optional)
Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio or Mexican Oregano (optional)
Rancho Gordo New Mexican Red Chile Powder (optional)

Add the chicken to a large stockpot and add 2–3 quarts of water. Turn the heat to high. Once the water starts to boil, reduce to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer. After about 5 minutes, check for scum on top of the water and remove with a small sieve or slotted spoon. Add the rest of the broth ingredients and continue simmering until the individual chicken pieces are cooked through. Remove the breasts after about 20 minutes; thighs, drumsticks and wings will take about 40 minutes.

Allow the chicken pieces to cool. Remove any remaining skin and shred the meat with your hands. Strain the broth and reserve. You should have one bowl of shredded chicken and one large amount of broth.

While the chicken cooks, in a large stockpot, combine the hominy, onion and 3 quarts of water and bring to a full boil over high heat; boil for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the corn kernels are tender, 2–3 hours. Once the hominy is cooked, strain it, reserving both the corn and the liquid.

For the salsa, in a serving bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss well. Check for seasoning and add salt to taste. Let rest while the chicken and hominy cook.

When all the preparations are done, add the cooked hominy and shredded chicken to your pot. Add a total of 2 quarts plus 1 cup of liquid from the chicken broth and the hominy water (1 quart plus 1 cup of chicken broth added to 1 quart of hominy water is a good suggestion but some people prefer all chicken or all hominy).

Cover the pot and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Once warmed through, serve in individual bowls and allow guests to dress up their bowls with radishes, lettuce and the Chile Manzano Salsa, along with whatever else you choose.

Gigante Bean Bowl

1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup chopped leeks
8 stalks of celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon caraway seed, crushed
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 lb. cooked white beans (Such as giant corona)
7 cups of water
2-3+ teaspoons fine grain sea salt, or to taste

1 cup basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil

to serve: cilantro or radish flowers (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat place the olive oil, red onion, leeks, and a pinch of salt. Stir well, and cook until the leeks begin to take on a hint of color.

At this point stir in the celery, caraway, and chiles, then saute, stirring regularly, until everything begins to caramelize and take on color.

Stir in the tomatoes, followed by the beans, and then the water. There should be more than enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a simmer for at least ten minutes, although I like to simmer it longer if I have the time. Stir in the salt, and adjust if needed.

While the soup is simmering use a mortar and pestle (or chop by hand) to smash the basil and salt into a paste – the smoother the better. Add the Parmesan and olive oil, a bit at a time, and work into a green drizzle.

Serve each bowl of soup topped with a generous drizzle of the pistou. And a bit of cilantro or edible flowers to finish.

Serves 6.

Chocolate Calypso Beans

1 lb. calypso or Jacob’s Cattle beans
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2T. ground, dried red chilies (I used med-hot Chimayo)
1 1/2 T ground cumin
2+ t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground allspice
4 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 12 oz. bottle Negro Modelo Mexican beer
1 1/2 discs Ibarra Mexican chocolate

Rinse the beans, pick out any pebbles or dirt. Rehydrate beans by soaking overnight, or start soaking them in the morning if you are cooking later in the evening. Drain and rinse.

In a large stock pot saute the onion, red pepper, and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the spices and saute for another minute or so.

To the sauteed ingredients/spices add drained beans, water or stock, and beer. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, roughly two hours, stirring gently every 15 minutes or so.

When beans are done stir in the chocolate and generously add salt to taste.

Lentil Soup with Saffron Yogurt

2 cups black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
3 cups of a big leafy green (chard, kale, etc), rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped

Saffron Yogurt
a pinch of saffron (30-40 threads)
1 tablespoon boiling water
two pinches of salt
1/2 cup 2 percent Greek Yogurt

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

While the lentils are cooking, make the saffron yogurt by combining the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron steep for a few minutes. Now stir the saffron along with the liquid into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and salt and saute until tender, a couple minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and water and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a dollop of the saffron yogurt.

Serves 6 to 8.

Variations:

– You can serve it with a poached egg on top,
– or crunchy, fried shallots,
– with a drizzle of chive infused cream,
– or with chunks of tiny pan-fried butternut squash cubes.

– Make a thicker version by using just a bit of water, and then spoon it over an omelette in the morning.

– Have some cooked farro or wheat berries around? Toss some in. Millet might be good too.

– You can finish the soup by adding your favorite spices or spice blends. Smoked paprika, crushed chiles, toasted cumin, would all work nicely.

New Year Noodle Soup with Chickpeas, Beans, and Lentils

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 long red chili OR green serrano, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 1/2 cups / 2 liters good-tasting vegetable stock/broth

100g / 3.5 oz yellow split peas or brown lentils
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed if using canned
2 cups / 350g cooked borlotti beans

fine grain sea salt

120 g thin egg noodles, fresh or dried
3 1/2 oz / 100g fresh spinach leaves, finely shredded
1/2 cup finely shredded cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
juice of one lime

Toppings:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
100 ml sour cream or creme fraiche
50g / scant 2 ounces of toasted, chopped walnuts

Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the chile and cook until they soften, a few minutes. Add the spices and cook for another thirty seconds, just long enough for them to toast a bit, then stir in the stock. Bring to a boil and add the split peas/lentils to the pot. Cook until they are just tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and borlotti beans. Once the beans have heated throughout, season with salt to taste.

In the meantime, you can prepare the toppings. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat along with a couple big pinches of salt. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, 8 – 10+ minutes. Set aside.

Just before you’re ready to eat, add the noodles to the simmering soup and cook until al dente. Stir in the spinach, and cilantro and dill. Add a big squeeze of lime to the pot or serve wedges along with each bowl of soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Serve right away, each bowl topped with a big spoonful of caramelized onions, some creme fraiche, and a sprinkling of walnuts.

Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut Milk and Turmeric

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup mint leaves, for serving
Yogurt, for serving (optional)
Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add turmeric, red-pepper flakes and chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.

Add coconut milk and stock to the remaining chickpeas in the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened and flavors have started to come together, 30 to 35 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to taste as delicious as possible.)

Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook a few minutes so they wilt and soften, 3 to 7 minutes, depending on what you’re using. (Swiss chard and spinach will wilt and soften much faster than kale or collard greens.) Season again with salt and pepper.

Divide among bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of red-pepper flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside yogurt and toasted pita if using; dust the yogurt with turmeric if you’d like.

Italian Meatball Soup

1 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 cup carrots diced 1/4-inch
1/2 cup celery diced 1/4-inch
1/4 cup onion finely diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste optional
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
28 oz can diced tomatoes undrained,preferably fire-roasted
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning or 1 tsp basil and 1/4 tsp of thyme and oregano leaves
Parmesan rind or 3/4-inch cube of Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground pepper
20 frozen, fully cooked Italian meatballs about 1 inch *see notes
3/4 cup ditalini pasta or other small pasta
4 cups baby spinach
Freshly grated Parmesan for serving

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat on the stovetop. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, if using and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender (taste to be sure). Discard bay leaf.
Pour in can of tomatoes. Add Italian seasoning, Parmesan rind, if using, and a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir to combine. Add meatballs. Continue simmering soup another 15 minutes, to allow the flavours to come together.
Add pasta and simmer a further 15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper and/or Italian seasoning, as needed. Remove from heat and stir in baby spinach until wilted.
Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.

Recipe Notes
Leftovers will thicken in the fridge. Thin when reheating with a little more chicken stock or water.

If you can’t find fully cooked frozen Italian meatballs, you can use fresh and pre-cook them before adding to soup.

Crockpot option! Add all ingredients except pasta and spinach to your slow cooker. Cook covered on low for 5-6 hours. Add pasta and cook, covered an additional 15-20 minutes. Stir in baby spinach until wilted, then serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.

If you want to up the fibre quotient, some white or red kidney beans would not be out of place in this soup.

Like some heat with your warm soup? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes when you are sauteeing the vegetables.

Stir-fried Cabbage (with Pork or Chicken)

2 tablespoons oil
6 oz. pork belly, pork loin, or chicken, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and cut in half
5 dried red chilies, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 1/2 lb. cabbage, hand-shredded into bite sized pieces, washed, and thoroughly dried
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths

In a wok over high heat, add the oil. Sear the meat until caramelized. Add the garlic and chili, turn down the heat to medium, and stir-fry for a minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Add the cabbage, wine, soy sauce, sugar, and water. Turn up the heat to high, cover the lid and let the cabbage cook for 1-2 minutes. Uncover the lid, and stir in the dark vinegar, scallions, and salt to taste. The cabbage should be wilted, but still slightly crunchy and caramelized. Serve hot!

Stir-fried Cabbage with Glass Noodles

2 small bundles of dried glass noodles
1 1/2 pounds cabbage, thinly julienned
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 slices ginger, julienned
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3-4 dried red chilies, roughly chopped (optional)
Salt, to taste
2 scallions, chopped

Soak 2 small bundles of dried glass noodles in cold water for 5 minutes until slightly softened. Drain and cut the glass noodles in half lengthwise. Set aside.

Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing together 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dark vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 cup water.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Cook the ginger and garlic until the garlic has browned lightly.

Add the cabbage, and turn the heat to the highest setting. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Add the dried chilies (if using).

Add the prepared sauce and the glass noodles. Stir and mix everything well, turning down the heat a bit if the dish is becoming too dry and risks getting burned. Salt to taste and add the scallions. Stir to combine once more, and serve!

Potato, Leek, and Fennel Soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small fennel bulb—halved, cored and chopped
1 medium celery rib, thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 thyme sprig
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt 8 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
1 cup heavy cream
White pepper

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the leek, onion, fennel, celery, shallot, thyme, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the stock, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.

Add the cream to the saucepan and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon each of parsley and tarragon and season the soup with salt and white pepper; discard the thyme sprig.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Shnghainese Lion’s Head Meatballs

For the bok choy:
1 1/2 pounds bok choy (Shanghai baby bok choy is my favorite, but larger varieties will work too)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely sliced scallions (about 3-4 scallions)
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine or sake
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup vegetable or other neutral oil, or as much as needed to fry

Prep the bok choy: Thoroughly wash and clean the bok choy, aiming to leave the heads more or less intact, save for trimming the very ends of the stems. (This method is best for small, Shanghai baby bok choy—if you are using larger and tougher bok choy, feel free to separate the leaves.)

Place the bok choy in a large 4-quart heavy-bottomed pot. It should more or less fill the pot all the way to the top, which looks like a lot, but will be just right once the bok choy steams and wilts. It will amaze you how much they shrink. Drizzle the bok choy with soy sauce and sesame oil, and sprinkle with salt. Set the pot aside.

For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, scallions, ginger, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, and salt and stir with chopsticks or a wooden spoon until well-blended.

Next, add the eggs and mix vigorously until well-combined. The mixture will seem extremely liquid—this is okay.

Add the cornstarch and mix again until the mixture forms a thick, porridge-like consistency, like a thick muffin batter.

Pour the oil into a large wok or nonstick skillet, or enough to coat the bottom with about a half-inch of oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and give the oil a few minutes to warm up.

When the oil reaches about 375 to 400 degrees, or a chopstick bubbles energetically when inserted into the oil, use a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a large ice cream scoop to drop balls of the pork mixture into the wok in a single layer. I usually fit about 4 or 5, and end up frying in two or three batches. Let sizzle in the pan until nicely browned, about 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side, another 3 minutes or so. It does not need to cook through, since we’ll be steaming the meatballs to finish.

Once the meatball is browned on both sides, remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the prepared bok choy. Repeat with the remaining pork mixture.

Once all the meatballs are browned and nestled on top of the bok choy, cover the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Let the bok choy and meatballs steam for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bok choy leaves have wilted and the stems are tender. When meatballs are cooked through and bok choy is done to your liking, enjoy warm, with plenty of rice.

Alternative: sub ground turkey instead of pork and add one more egg. Use just a tablespoon or so of oil in a large skillet and fry into thin patties, rather than large meatballs, flipping once and cooking until brown on both sides. Serve with steamed veggies and rice.

Lomo Saltado

1 1/2 pounds sirloin tips, trimmed, cut into 3-inch pieces and sliced against the grain into 1/2-inch strips
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
1 large red onion, halved and cut into ½-inch half rings
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

In a medium bowl, combine the steak, cumin, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes. Pat the meat dry and transfer to a plate.

In a 12-inch skillet over high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until smoking. Add half of the meat in a single layer and cook, turning once, until well browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and the remaining meat.

In the same pan over medium-high, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until just starting to soften, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and remaining soy sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.

Cook for 1 minute until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook until the meat is just warmed through, 30 seconds. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Tip: Don’t cook the beef without patting it dry. Marinating in soy sauce adds flavor, but also moisture. Drying the beef helps ensure that the slices sear nicely, rather than steam. Also, cook in two batches; crowding the pan inhibits browning.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz dry macaroni (1 2/3 cups measured in a 2 cup glass liquid measure. Note that this measure will only work for macaroni and probably not a larger pasta shape. Weighing is recommended.)

Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
7 oz Good aged white crumbly cheddar crumbled
3 oz Another variety orange sharp cheddar or cold-packed cheddar grated or crumbled
1/2 tsp kosher salt little less if using table salt
1/4 tsp regular chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Topping:
1/2 oz aged cheddar grated
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder

Add water and a bit of salt to a large pot and place over high heat for the pasta. While it’s heating, prepare the cheese sauce.

For the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk and cook for about 2 minutes.

Very slowly add the milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the milk has been added, cook, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. (Don’t rush this step. The mixture will not be thick, but will noticeably thicken after 8-10 minutes of cooking).

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the cheese, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. (If the cheese isn’t melted completely after about 3 minutes, you can put the pan back on low heat and stir until it is melted). Set aside for a minute.

Preheat oven to 350F (175C) with rack in the centre of the oven. Oil or butter an 8-inch square baking dish, an 8-inch cast-iron skillet or individual baking dishes.

When the pasta water is boiling, add the macaroni and cook for 2 minutes less than the package directions indicate. (The noodles will finish cooking in the sauce in the oven). When the pasta is cooked, drain and immediately rinse well with cold water. Make sure your pasta is well drained.

Add the cooked pasta and to the cheese sauce and mix gently, but thoroughly. (It might look like too much sauce or too little pasta, but trust me, it will all be good in the end).

Spoon or ladle the mixture into a prepared baking dish or individual dishes. Sprinkle the top of each with a bit of additional grated sharp cheddar cheese (you don’t need a lot here, as there is plenty in the sauce), then sprinkle with the chipotle chili powder.

Bake in the preheated 350F (175C) oven uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce has bubbled up around the edges and the top has a nice golden crust. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Pork and Ricotta Meatball Noodle Soup

Meatballs:
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp nutmeg grated
1 tsp Kosher salt less if using fine salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 lbs ground pork

Soup:
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 3-by-1-by-1 inch piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 3 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1 inch thick
1 cup frozen peas thawed
2 cups baby spinach
For serving
Warm cooked egg noodles
Shaved, crumbled Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Start water boiling in a large pot for egg noodles.

In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta and 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano.

Add the egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, salt, pepper and water. Add the pork and stir to combine well. Form into 15-18 approx. two-inch diameter meatballs.

In a large pot (preferably non-stick), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook the bottom until well browned.

Using a spoon, gently flip the meatballs over and brown that side well. Again, using a spoon, flip the meatballs on their sides and brown all sides to seal the meatball well.

Pour in the broth and add the the piece of cheese. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the broth very gently, stirring once or twice (so the Parmesan doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan), until the meatballs are cooked through and the broth is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the thawed peas and spinach. Taste, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the peas are warmed through.

Meanwhile, cook egg noodles in boiling water per the package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Place some warm cooked egg noodles in the bottom of shallow bowls. Spoon the meatballs and broth over the egg noodles. Garnish with additional grated Parmigiano and serve.

Recipe Notes
As the meatballs are quite moist and soft, cooking them in a non-stick pan will make life easier. If you don’t have a larger non-stick pot, you can cook them off in a non-stick skillet, then move them to a larger pot to finish cooking the soup. A non-stick skillet will give you extra room for flipping, as well.

Roast Chicken with Black Pepper-Maple Glaze

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Coarsely ground pepper
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Two 3 1/2-pound organic chickens

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of coarsely ground pepper. Remove the glaze from the heat.

On a large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, toss the sliced onions with the olive oil. Season the onions with salt and pepper and spread in an even layer. Season the chickens inside and out with salt, then arrange them on top of the onions. Loosely tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string.

Roast the chickens for 45 minutes. Brush the chickens all over with half of the maple glaze and continue roasting them for 1 hour longer. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Generously brush the chickens with the remaining glaze and roast for 15 minutes longer, or until the cavity juices run clear and the chickens are richly browned.

Transfer the chickens to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Pour the onions and pan juices into a large glass measuring cup and skim the fat from the surface. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the chickens.

Orange Chili Pork

1 pork tenderloin,trimmed and sliced into thin slices
6-8 baby bok choy or shanghai choy
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce, sambal oelek or siracha (1 tsp. for moderate spice or 2 tsp. for spicy-lovers. Can omit if you don’t want heat)
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Garnish:
Toasted sesame seeds
1-2 green onions, sliced
Small red pepper, thinly sliced

Remove silverskin and trim any fat from pork tenderloin and cut into thin slices. Set aside. (*Tip: to easily remove silver-skin, make a slice into it with a sharp knife and them use a paper towel to pull it off. Repeat until it’s all removed). Remove ends from bok choy and wash. Chop, if desired or leave in whole stalks. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until no pink remains. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Scatter bok choy over top and continue cooking, tossing, until bok choy is tender, but still a nice, bright green. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, red pepper slices (if usinand sliced green onions.

Serve as is, or over rice.

Sheet Pan Thai Chicken Salad with Red Curry Butternut Squash

For the roasted butternut squash and chicken:
1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1/4-inch chunks (feel free to substitute sweet potato or any other kind of winter squash like kabocha, acorn, etc.)
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
About half of a 4-ounce can of Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
About 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper to sprinkle over the squash and the chicken

For the salad:
1 handful torn mint
1 handful torn cilantro
Baby kale and baby mesclun greens
1 small red onion, sliced very thinly
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or light olive oil
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spread the butternut squash on the pan, leaving space for 2 chicken breasts in the center.
Mix 2 ounces of Thai red curry paste with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spoon a little less than half over the chicken breasts and spread evenly all over the chicken. Pour the rest over the butternut squash and toss to coat.
Roast the butternut squash for 30 min. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees F. Place the marinated chicken breasts on the pan with the squash and continue to roast for 35 min (the internal temperature should read 165F).
When the cooking time is almost complete, assemble the salad. Toss some torn mint, cilantro, and your preferred salad mix into a bowl with 1 small thinly sliced red onion.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 minced garlic clove, and ? cup mild-flavored oil until it’s emulsified into a salad dressing. Season with salt to taste.
Shred the chicken, and toss it with butternut squash, greens, and dressing for a warm Thai chicken salad.
You can also simply enjoy the butternut squash and chicken with some hearty sauteed fall greens like kale or collards on the side!

Red Curry Chicken with Pineapple

1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces (or start with about 2 cups of leftover cooked and cubed chicken )
1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks
1 medium red pepper cored and cut into matchsticks
1/2 small onion cut into thin slices
1/4 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 heaping Tbsp red curry paste
14 oz can full fat coconut milk – about 1 3/4 cups
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce, for vegetarian
1/3 cup canned bamboo shoots cut into matchsticks
1/3 cup canned pineapple chunks each chunk cut into 2 or 3 pieces
2 cups baby spinach or other greens such as chopped baby bok choy leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Chopped basil or cilantro leaves and lime quarters, for juicing over finished dish

Start your rice cooking.

(Skip if you are starting with pre-cooked chicken) Heat 1/2 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add uncooked chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and bamboo shoots, cutting all into matchsticks of equal length (about 2-inches long). Assemble your other ingredients.

When the chicken is cooked, remove to a bowl and set aside.

Heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil in skillet and raise heat to medium high. Add carrots first, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.

Add red peppers and onion and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, but carrots and red peppers are just tender crisp.

Add the ginger, red curry paste and a tablespoon of the cream from the top of the coconut milk to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the rest of the can of coconut milk, the lime juice, brown sugar and fish sauce.

Return the cooked chicken to the pan (or add cooked chicken, if you are starting with pre-cooked chicken).

Add the bamboo shoots and pineapple. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat, until chicken is heated through and carrots are softened a bit more, about 3-5 minutes.

*Note: Thai curries have a sauce that’s very soup-like, so the sauce won’t be thick. The curry is typically served in bowls, to be spooned over hot rice.

Taste sauce and season with a bit of salt and pepper, as needed. You can also add a bit more curry paste at this point, if you feel it needs more.

Remove skillet from heat. Scatter spinach (or other chopped greens) overtop. Let stand 30 seconds, then stir in to curry until greens have wilted.

Serve with jasmine or basmati rice, garnished with chopped basil or cilantro and lime wedges for drizzling.

Orange Chicken

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast cut into small chunks (about 3 large breasts)
2 tsp oil

Sauce:
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice (or use 1/4 cup more orange juice, if you don’t have lemons on hand)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp finely diced orange peel DIVIDED (*see note below)
3/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 tsp minced fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger)
1 Tbsp Asian Chili Garlic Sauce (or more, to taste)

To thicken sauce: (mix the add in increments at end, as needed)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp water

Start rice cooking.

* Using a vegetable peeler, peel a couple of thin strips from the side of the orange. (Using a vegetable peeler allows you to just take the peel and none of the bitter pith). Finely dice peel (about 1/8-inch squareuntil you have about 1 1/2 Tbsp. Add 1 Tbsp. of the diced orange peel to your sauce. Reserve the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. to stir fry with your chicken.

Prepare sauce by combining sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.

Heat oil in skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and reserved diced orange peel and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through. If using additional vegetables, add them after chicken is partially cooked. Add sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer while your rice/veg cooks (5-10 minutes).

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Add about half of it to simmering sauce and cook, stirring regularly, until sauce thickens. If not thick enough, add more, as needed, until sauce is as thick as you’d like. Serve over rice.

If you’d like to try velveting your chicken, combine the following ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour over cut, raw chicken chunks. Stir, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp. veg oil
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. salt

After 30 minutes, drain. Heat 4 inches of water to boiling in a medium/large saucepan. Once boiling, add drained chicken chunks and cook until opaque, about 1 minute. Remove to a plate, then proceed with recipe.

Kung Pao Chicken (or Pork or Shrimp)

Marinade:
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 medium)

Sauce:
3 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch

For Stir fry:
2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
6-8 fresh small, thin red chili peppers, whole (Thai)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp dried crushed chili flakes
3 green onions white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
Black or yellow sesame seeds for garnish

In a medium bowl, stir together the marinade ingredients. Add chicken cubes and toss to coat. Let sit on the counter while you prepare the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and stir well until smooth. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh red peppers and cook, stirring, until they start to brown in spots. Add red pepper flakes, white part of green onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until onion softens, about 45-60 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, until chicken is just cooked through and no longer pink. Stir sauce and then add to the hot skillet. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens. Add peanuts and 1/2 of the green part of the green onion. Stir to combine.

The red peppers aren’t intended to be eaten, as they are extremely hot, even after cooking. Their role is to infuse the heat in to the dish only. You can eat around them or simply discard before serving.

Serve over noodles or rice, if you like, with vegetables on the side. Garnish with remaining green onion and sesame seeds.