Tomato Rice with Cheddar

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small Indian green chile or Serrano chile, finely chopped
10 plum tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups cooked basmati rice (from about 1 cup dry rice)
1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese

Adjust an oven rack to the highest position and heat the oven to 500 degrees.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and chile, spread them out in an even layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent and starts to lightly char, 5 to 7 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes, using the back of a wooden spoon to lightly crush them. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down into a chunky sauce, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the salt and remove from heat.

Stir in the cooked rice and transfer to an 8-inch square (or similar size) baking dish. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top in an even layer.

Switch the oven to broil and place the baking dish on the oven rack closest to the broiler. Broil until the top bubbles and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pulled Chicken

2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
One 3 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken

4 hamburger buns, split (for sandwiches)
1 cup prepared coleslaw

In a medium saucepan, combine the cider vinegar with the water, white wine, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, sweet paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and boil over high heat until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Remove the warm vinegar sauce from the heat.

Meanwhile, remove all of the meat from the chicken and shred it. Discard the skin. Add the chicken to the warm vinegar sauce and heat through, stirring gently. Pile the pulled chicken on the buns and drizzle with extra vinegar sauce. Top with the coleslaw, close the sandwiches and serve right away.

New Orleans-Style Barbecued Shrimp

Shrimp
Diced shallots
Butter
Worcestershire sauce
Thyme
Paprika
Cayenne
Cream
Salt
Black pepper

Rice, green beans, and crusty bread for serving

Crank the oven to 450 degrees and make a sauce on the stovetop: diced shallots sautéed in butter, a healthy quarter-cup or so of Worcestershire, a little thyme, paprika and cayenne, some salt and then a whole lot more butter, cut into the pan a knob at a time and whisked into velvet.

Add to that a splash of cream and a few more healthy cranks of black pepper.

Roast the shrimp on a greased pan in the oven under a shower of salt and yet more pepper, and serve it on a warm platter with the sauce spooned over the top. Rice, green beans and plenty of good, crusty bread for mopping up make it an ambrosial meal.

Pork Chops with Gochujang and Peanuts

Thin pork chops
Dry roasted peanuts
Sesame oil
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
Gochujang
Orange juice
Mirin
Chopped scallions
Rice, for serving

Secure the thinnest chops you can find at the store — that’s crucial for the quick-broil part.

Throw a few handfuls of dry-roasted peanuts in a pan set over medium-high heat with a glug of sesame oil. Let those go until they’re fragrant and just beginning to darken, then take them off the heat and toss with a few shakes of chile powder. Set the peanuts aside and heat your broiler.

Line a sheet pan with foil, and oil it lightly. Salt and pepper your chops, lay them out on the pan, and slide them into the oven. Cook the chops for around four minutes, then flip them over to finish.

Meanwhile, mix a tablespoon or so of gochujang, the Korean red-pepper paste, with a healthy splash of orange juice and a wisp of mirin. Taste. Adjust. Pour into a deep serving dish or platter.

When the chops are well crusted and brown, slide them into the sauce for a toss. Top with the peanuts and some chopped scallions if you have any. Rice on the side.

Pull-Apart Pepperoni Knots

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 ounces sliced pepperoni, cut into 1/4-inch squares
Pinch red pepper flakes
6 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
Flour for dusting
1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough (see note)
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Homemade or store-bought pizza sauce for serving

Heat butter and oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until butter melts and foaming subsides. Add pepperoni and cook, stirring, until pepperoni begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add pepper flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add parsley and chives and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese. Do not wipe out skillet.

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into two even pieces. Working one piece at a time, roll or stretch into an oblong about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. With a bench scraper or knife, cut crosswise into 12 strips. Repeat with other half of dough.

Tie each strip into a knot and transfer to bowl with pepperoni/garlic mixture. Toss and fold with your hands until every knot is thoroughly coated in mixture. Transfer the knots to the skillet in a single layer. Drizzle with more olive oil, cover tightly with plastic, and set aside until doubled in size, about 4 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until doubled in size, 12 to 16 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F and adjust oven rack to center position. Unwrap garlic knots. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately brush with more extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle lightly with more Parmesan. Serve right away with warmed sauce on the side.

Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard

1 pound penne, rigatoni or medium shells
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 hot Italian sausages, meat removed from casings and crumbled (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced basil

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the sausage meat and brown over moderately high heat, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Add the cream, mustard and crushed red pepper and simmer for 2 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add the pasta and basil and toss to coat. Serve at once.