Nam Prik Ong (Pork, Tomato, and Chile Dip)

For the Paste:
10 to 15 dried spur chiles (15g) (see note)
2 plum tomatoes (about 100g)
1 disc (15g) tua nao (optional, see note)
1 stalk lemongrass, bottom 4 to 5 inches only, outer leaves discarded, tender core thinly sliced into rounds (about 10g sliced lemongrass)
10 small garlic cloves (30g)
5 small shallots (80g)
2 teaspoons (20g) Thai shrimp paste

For the Seasoning Sauce:
1/2 cup (120ml) water
2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce
1 tablespoon (15g) Thai fermented soybean paste
2 teaspoons (10ml) Thai thin soy sauce or light soy sauce
Pinch sugar

For the Pork:
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
1 pound (450g) ground pork
8 ounces (1 1/2 cups; 225g) cherry tomatoes

For Serving:
Assorted raw vegetables such as cucumbers, green cabbage, lettuce, Thai eggplant, long beans, and more, cut for dipping
Assorted steamed or blanched vegetables such as winter squash, okra, and more, cut for dipping (optional)
Hard-boiled eggs, halved (optional)
Unflavored pork rinds (optional)
Cooked jasmine or sticky rice

For the Paste: Place spur chiles in a dry wok or carbon steel or cast iron skillet, and toast over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until chiles are fragrant and turn a deeper shade of dark red, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer chiles to a plate to cool slightly; wipe out wok or skillet and return to stovetop. Once cool enough to handle, remove stems from chiles and transfer to a granite mortar and pestle; set plate and mortar and pestle aside.

Meanwhile, place plum tomatoes in now-empty wok or skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until charred all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to now-empty plate and set aside to cool.

If using tua nao, use tongs to grab disc and hold about 2 inches above low flame on a gas burner. Flip disc every 5 seconds until tua nao is toasted to a hazelnut brown color, with little leopard spots all over on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer tua nao to plate with tomatoes to cool; set aside.

Pound chiles in mortar and pestle to a coarse powder, 3 to 5 minutes. Add lemongrass and pound fine, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and pound to a coarse paste with a few large pieces remaining, 3 to 5 minutes. Add shrimp paste and tua nao (if using) and pound until well-incorporated. Add charred plum tomatoes and gently pound until broken down and incorporated into paste, about 2 minutes. Transfer paste to a small bowl and set aside.

For the Seasoning Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together water, fish sauce, soybean paste, soy sauce, and sugar until well-combined and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

For the Pork: In a wok or 3-quart saucier, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chile-tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until paste is aromatic and turns dark red, about 3 minutes. Add the pork, stir to combine, and cook, using a wok spatula or wooden spoon to break meat up and scrape up any bits that stick to the bottom of the pan, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Add cherry tomatoes, stir to combine, and continue to cook until tomatoes begin to burst, 3 to 5 minutes. You can coax the tomatoes into bursting by pressing down on them with a wok spatula or wooden spoon, and you can decide whether to lightly crush all of them or leave some whole for juicy pops of tomato flavor in the finished dip. Stir in seasoning sauce and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to a saucy consistency and oil begins to separate from emulsion, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, at which point nam prik ong can be served or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

For Serving: Transfer nam prik ong to a serving bowl and serve with assorted raw and steamed vegetables, hard-boiled eggs (if using), pork rinds (if using), and rice.

Baked Sriracha-Mango Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower mine was small-medium-ish size

Batter
1 cup (250 ml) water
3/4 cup (94 g) + 2 Tbsp flour (I used half whole wheat + half white , (use 1/2 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup or more rice flour to make gf)
3/4 to 1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) each of smoked paprika, chili powder/cayenne
a very generous dash of black pepper
2 tsp oil optional

Mango Sriracha Glaze
1 cup (340 g) mango jam or preserves or use orange marmalade or grape jelly for variations
1/4 cup (60 ml) Sriracha sauce or to taste ?
1 Tbsp or more hot sauce or to taste I used Frank’s red hot
1/4 cup (62 ml) Orange juice or apple juice more juice if you like a thinner glaze
a generous pinch of garlic powder
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) ginger powder

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F / 230ºc. Chop the cauliflower into 1.5-2 inch pieces. Mix everything under batter in a bowl until smooth and thick enough batter that can coat the cauliflower pieces well.(add more flour if needed). Dip cauliflower in the batter and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Line the sheet with parchment or grease very well. Bake for 20 minutes.

Glaze
In a pan, mix all the ingredients under glaze and heat on medium. Taste and adjust spice, sweet and tang if needed(add sugar or vinegar for extra sweet or tang). You can also use fresh or frozen ripe mango puree + maple/sugar instead of preserves(as suggested by some readers who made these already).

Once the glaze is hot, taste and adjust spice + sweet. add the baked cauliflower to it. Toss well to coat carefully and let the glaze come to a boil. 1-2 minutes. You can use a large pan that can fit all the florets or do 2 batches. do not toss/move the florets too much. Remove from pan and Serve hot as is, or with rice/grains or with any creamy cool dips like vegan ranch. Alternatively, bring the sauce ingredients to a boil and pour over the baked cauliflower, mix to coat and serve.

Notes
Variations: Use grape jelly or Orange preserves. Add a 1/4 cup ketchup to the glaze.Use Barbecue sauce or sweet and sour sauce.To make buffalo wings, mix in enough hot sauce with melted vegan butter or oil (2:1 ratio) and toss the baked cauliflower in it, bake for a few minutes and seve.

Spicy Baked Cauliflower (or Potato Wedges)

For the batter:
2 to 3 Tbsp (2 to 3 tbsp) hot sauce
1 Tbsp evoo
1/2 to 3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne/ red chili powder
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp onion powder
1.5 to 2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp (0.75 tsp) salt
3 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
1/3 cup (41.67 g) flour
1/2 cup (113 ml) coconut milk canned, preferably full fat
1/4 cup (62.5 ml) water
3.5 to 4 cups (1160 to 1300 g) cauliflower florets

Breadcrumb coating:
3/4 cup (81 g) bread crumbs
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) cayenne
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) onion powder
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) garlic
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) paprika
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) salt

In a bowl, mix everything except cauliflower for the batter. if the batter is too thin, add more flour or starch.

In another shallow bowl, mix everything under breadcrumb coating.

Dip cauliflower in the batter, then coat in breadcrumbs and place on parchment lined sheet.(use gloves or a fork. the batter is spicy)

Drizzle any remaining batter on the cauliflower. Spray oil.

Bake at pre-heated 425 degrees F / 220ºc for 25 minutes or until a toothpick goes through the cauliflower easily. Serve warm with ranch dressing.

Crispy Kung Pao Cauliflower

For the Baked Crispy Cauliflower
5 tbsp corn starch or other starch
6 tbsp bread crumbs use gluten-free crumbs to make gf
5 tbsp or more water
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) cayenne use a 1/3 tsp for less heat
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) salt
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) roasted sesame oil
1 tsp oil
1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets

For the Kung Pao sauce:
1 tsp oil
8 to 10 (8 to 10 ) dried red chilies chinese red chilies, or arbol or cayenne, or use california red for less heat
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) coarsely crushed sichuan peppercorns or use a mix of coarsely crushed black pepper and red pepper flakes
2 to 3 tbsp chopped cashews or peanuts
4 to 5 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch ginger minced
2 tbsp scallions chopped

Sauce mix
2.5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce/tamari use certified gluten-free sauce to make gf
1.5 to 2 tbsp (1.5 to 1 tbsp) rice vinegar
1 tsp chinese rice wine optional
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup (63 ml) + 2 tbsp water use 1/2 cup for more sauce
1 tsp cornstarch

Chop up the cauliflower and keep aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F / 220ºc. Mix the cornstarch breadcrumbs, and the rest of the ingredients to make a batter. Let the batter sit for 10 seconds to thicken if it isn’t thick. The cornstarch continues to thicken the batter, so as soon as it is a good not too watery consistency, start dipping the cauliflower in the batter, tap to drop excess and place on parchment lined baking sheet. If the batter thickens too much while working, add a tsp or more water and mix in and continue.

Bake for 30 minutes or longer until the florets are cooked through. Check with a toothpick/knife
Meanwhile make the sauce. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the red chilies and peppercorns and cook until the red chilies are fragrant, but not overly brown, or someone starts sneezing. (For more heat, break some of the chilies into half and add to the skillet.)

Add the nuts and mix for a few seconds. Add the ginger, garlic, reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until the garlic is golden. 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add in the scallions, and 2 to 3 tbsp finely chopped green peppers or other veggies if using and mix in. Increase heat to medium. Cook for a minute.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and add to the skillet. Continue to cook until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens slightly. 2 mins. Carefully taste and adjust salt, sweet and spice. If the sauce is not hot enough, break a few of the chilies open or add in red pepper flakes to taste and mix in.
Arrange the baked cauliflower in a shallow bowl in one layer. When ready to serve, Drizzle the sauce over each floret. Serve.

To store, store the baked cauliflower and sauce separately. Heat the sauce, pour over the florets. To serve with rice/cooked grains, double the sauce mix and bring to a boil to thicken, toss in the cauliflower and serve immediately over rice.

Nashville Cauliflower Wings

1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets

Batter:
1/3 cup (78.67 ml) almond or soy milk
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) garlic powder
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) onion powder
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) salt
1/4 cup (31.25 g) flour (all purpose, or use rice flour for gluten-free)
3 tbsp starch (I use cornstarch, arrowroot or potato starch works too)
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) baking powder
1 tsp oil

Nashville style hot chicken sauce:
1 tbsp oil or melted butter
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) cayenne , use 1/4 tsp for less heat
1 tsp black pepper , use 1//2 tsp for less heat
1 tsp sugar or maple syrup
1 tsp sweet paprika , use more if omitting cayenne
2 tbsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) garlic powder
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) poultry seasoning ( or use sage + onion powder)
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp water

Chop the cauliflower and set aside. Line a baking dish with parchment. Preheat the oven to 425 deg F ( 220 C).

Make the batter by whisking all the ingredients under batter. The batter will start to thicken after half a minute, so work quickly.

Add cauliflower florets and toss well to coat. It will take a minute for the thick batter to coat the florets well. Some uncoated cauliflower edges are ok. Drop on parchment lined baking dish. Spray oil on top. (You can also sprinkle 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs on the florets in the dish for extra crispyness).
Bake at 425 deg F for 25 mins (35 mins if serving the bites with hot sauce on the side) . In the meantime, make the nashville hot sauce mixture in large bowl. You can double this sauce easily for larger cauliflower.

Remove the dish from the oven and cool for 5 mins. Add the baked cauliflower to the sauce bowl and gently toss to coat.

Drop back into the baking dish and bake for 15 mins or longer at 400 deg F. Serve with cooling dips such as vegan ranch and some pickles.

Notes

Cajun Roasted Cauliflower with Chimichurri

Cajun Cauliflower:
1 small head of cauliflower, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices or chopped into medium size florets
2 tbsp cajun spice blend (2 tsp sweet paprika, 1/3 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp oregano, 1.5 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp onion powder, dash of pepper flakes
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt (if using store bought cajun blend, it might already be salted, so you will need only 1/4 tsp)
2 tsp oil
1 tsp lemon juice

Chimichurri sauce:
1 cup (60 g) packed parsley or one bunch parsley leaves and tender stems, chopped
1/4 cup (0.25 g) basil packed or use cilantro
6 cloves (6 cloves ) of raw garlic more the merrier
2 tbsp (2 tbsp ) extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp (1 tsp ) vinegar apple cider or balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp ) salt
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp ) black pepper
2 tbsp (2 tbsp ) or more avocado for creamyness optional

Slice the cauliflower or chop into florets. Blend the chimichurri sauce with a few tbsp of water and set aside. Line a baking dish with parchment. Preheat the oven to 425 deg F ( 220 C )
Rub oil and lemon juice all over the slices or florets.

Sprinkle the cajun spice + salt on both sides of the slices and rub lightly. Then sprinkle more on the open side. (If using florets, sprinkle spice + salt, then toss well to coat). For Crispyness, mix 2 tbsp breadcrumbs in the spice mix and salt and then sprinkle all over.

Spray oil lightly on the spiced cauliflower to seal the spices in, Bake at 425 deg F for 20 to 25 mins. Broil for a minute to sear if needed.

Cauliflower tends to soften depending on the moisture content after cooking. So serve immediately. Sprinkle some more spice if needed. Cajun can be hot, so add another cooling dressing of choice if needed.

Serve with a side salad of cherry tomatoes/tomatoes, onion, chickpeas/beans, salt, pepper and chimichurri/lemon with these.

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

Sesame Soy Sauce:
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic , minced
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sriracha
2 tsp cornstarch or 1.5 tsp tapioca starch
1/4 cup (59.15 ml) cold water

Cauliflower:
1/2 cup rice flour
3 tbsp tapioca or corn starch.
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper and cayenne
1/2 cup (118.29 ml) water
2 tsp sesame oil
1 (265 g) small head of cauliflower, chopped into equal size florets

Garnish: sesame seeds and scallions

Sticky Sesame Sauce: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Cook the garlic ginger for a minute. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple and bring to boil. Mix cornstarch in the water and add this cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil to thicken, Take off heat.

Cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425 deg F ( 220 C). Line a baking sheet or dish with parchment. In a large bowl add the dry ingredients for the batter and whisk well. Add the wet ingredients and min until smooth.

Add the cauliflower and mix to coat. This batter keeps thickening as it sits, so mix and toss quickly.

Transfer to the the lined baking sheet. and bake for 30 mins. Make the sticky sauce in the meanwhile if you havent yet.

Once baked, you can do one of the following:

1. Brush the sauce over the cauliflower florets and bake for additional 10 to 15 mins (time depends on how crisp and sticky you want the sauce)

2. Wait for a few mins then transfer the florets to the sauce. Mix gently to coat. Serve immediately or transfer to the baking sheet to bake for 10 to 15 mins.

Sprinkle black and white sesame seeds and chopped scallions and serve as is, or over rice or in lettuce wraps.

Note: you can substitute tofu for some of the cauliflower.

Chicken Mei Fun

FOR THE RICE NOODLES:

7 ounces dried thin rice vermicelli noodles
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce

FOR THE CHICKEN:

7 ounces chicken breast (cut into strips)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 pinch five spice powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

FOR THE REST OF THE DISH:

2 slices ginger (julienned)
4-5 small shallots (thinly sliced)
1 medium carrot (julienned)
5 oz. cabbage (shredded)
3 scallions (cut into 2-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
2 tablespoons water (optional)

Soak the dried rice noodles as per the instructions on the back of the package. To test whether or not they’ve been soaked enough, take a noodle and chew on it to make sure it’s no longer hard/dry. Drain thoroughly, shaking off the noodles to get rid of excess water.

In a large bowl, mix the rice noodles with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce until evenly coated. Set aside.

Add the chicken to a medium bowl, along with the cornstarch, water, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, five spice, and vegetable oil. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the ginger, shallots, carrot, cabbage, and scallions. Have everything ready to go before you turn on the stove.

Heat your wok over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil, followed by the ginger and chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through. Add the shallots, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the cabbage and carrots, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

Season everything with 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. Mix well.

Finally, add the prepared rice noodles along with the scallions. Turn the heat down to medium and stir-fry everything together to heat the noodles through and distribute the chicken and vegetables. Salt to taste.

If you like more al dente noodles, you can serve immediately. If you like softer noodles, add 2 tablespoons of water to the wok, cover, and cook for a minute over low heat before serving.

Pad Thai

For the Pad Thai sauce:
1.5 ounces tamarind pulp (plus 1/2 cup boiling water)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai black soy sauce (look for the “Healthy Boy” brand)
1 teaspoon Thai sweet soy sauce (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (to taste)

For the rest of the dish:
8 ounces dried Pad Thai rice noodles
8 ounces chicken breast (thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon Thai thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup small dried shrimp (minced or processed into a coarse powder)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
2 large shallots (thinly sliced; can substitute red onion)
2 tablespoons preserved Thai salted radish (preferred) or Chinese mustard stem (rinsed in warm water and julienned; optional — preserved salted radish is a product of Thailand; if you can’t find it, zha cai, works well)
3 large eggs (beaten, preferably at room temperature)
2 cups mung bean sprouts (washed and drained)
1 cup Chinese garlic chives (cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (finely chopped)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)

First, make the sauce. Take the tamarind pulp (a block about 1 x 2 in (2.5 x 5 cm) and mix it with ½ cup boiling water (you can add a little more if needed to dissolve the paste). Break up the pulp in the hot water, and then press the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer. Discard the solids. To the liquid tamarind concentrate you just made, add the sugar, fish sauce, Thai black soy sauce, Thai sweet soy sauce (if using), and white pepper. Set aside.

Soak the pad thai noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes, and drain in a colander. If the noodles are in really long strands, you will want to cut them into 10- to 12-inch lengths to make stir-frying easier.

Marinate the sliced chicken by combining it with 1 teaspoon each of Thai thin soy sauce, cornstarch, and water. Set aside.

Next, prepare the dried shrimp, mincing them down into a coarse powder (we used a food processor). Prepare the garlic, shallots/red onion, preserved Chinese mustard stems (zha cai), eggs, mung bean sprouts, garlic chives, and peanuts. You want to have everything ready to go before you turn on the stove.

Now you’re ready to cook! Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, and sear until golden and just cooked through. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the wok. Over medium heat, add the shrimp powder. Fry until fragrant and crisp, 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and zha cai. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

Turn the heat up to high, and add the noodles and sauce. Stir-fry to combine, lifting the noodles with your wok spatula to spread them out and break them up.

Make a space on the side of the wok, pushing the noodles to one side. Drizzle 1 more tablespoon of oil in the open space, and pour in the beaten eggs. Use your spatula to fold them gently, scrambling them without breaking up the egg too much. When the eggs are about 70% done, stir-fry to distribute them into the noodles.

Next, add the bean sprouts and the chives. Stir-fry to combine, letting the chives wilt. Add the chicken back in, and stir-fry to combine until everything is incorporated. Plate, top with the

Sheet Pan Patatas Bravas with Chorizo and Kale

1 (28-ounce) bag small, multicolored potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package chorizo links, or 4 sausages of any kind
2 bunches lacinato kale, washed
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut potatoes into quarters, place in a large bowl; toss in olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Cut sausages into ½-inch rounds, and place rounds on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until sausages are golden brown. Remove sausage, set aside, and use a spatula to flip potatoes. Return to oven and continue roasting until potatoes are crispy and golden, about 15 more minutes.

While the potatoes roast, prepare the kale: Remove the thick, center rib from kale leaves, and cut the leaves into ¼-inch strips. The easiest way to do this is to stack your de-ribbed kale leaves, then roll the stacked leaves and slice, creating ribbons. Set kale aside.

Prepare your sauce: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and sriracha, and taste. Add more sriracha to your own spice preference and thin with a little water, if necessary, to make it easier to drizzle.

When potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, then transfer potatoes to a bowl. Place the kale on the baking sheet and use a pair of tongs to coat the kale ribbons in the oil leftover on the pan from the sausages and potatoes. Once coated, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the apple cider vinegar and continue mixing, using hands to squeeze and massage kale, until fully coated. Spread into an even layer, top with potatoes and sausage pieces, then drizzle with the mayonnaise mixture. Serve.

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.

Potato, Corn, and Scallion Tikki

For the tikkis:
3 russet potatoes (about 600 grams / 1 pound, 5 ounces), peeled and diced
200 grams (7 ounces) cooked corn, either stripped from 2 to 3 steamed fresh ears or drained from one can
6 scallions, chopped finely
1 green chile (such as jalapeño or serrano), finely minced
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 splash neutral oil, like sunflower, vegetable, or canola

For the chutney:
100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
100 grams (3 1/2 oz) fresh mint, leaves only
2 green chiles (such as jalapeño or serrano), stemmed and halved
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed

For the tikkis:
Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until soft. Drain well, then mash thoroughly in a bowl. Leave ?to cool.

Add all the remaining ingredients, except the oil, to ?the cooled mash and use your hands to mix well.

Take lime-sized portions of the mixture and shape them into flat oval patties. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan or flat griddle over a medium heat. Once hot, add the tikkis (working ?in batches as necessary) and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Serve warm ?or at room temperature.

These will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days. Reheat in ?a pan or hot oven before serving.

For the chutney:
Put all the ingredients into a blender, grind to a smooth paste, and serve.

This will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar for 3–4 days.

Gobi Musallam – Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Makhani Sauce

1 Cauliflower head leaves and tough stem removed and washed
Water to blanch
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) turmeric
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) chili powder optional

Sauce/gravy:
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 (0.5 ) medium red onion chopped
1 inch ginger chopped
5-6 cloves (5 cloves) of garlic chopped
1 dry red chili or chili flakes to taste
3 medium tomatoes chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) turmeric powder
1 Tablespoon dried Fenugreek Leaves kasuri methi
3/4 cup (169.5 ml) coconut milk from can
1/4 cup (59.15 g) ground cashew or 1/3 cup soaked cashews
3/4 teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) salt
1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) raw sugar or 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Use enough water so all of the cauliflower can be immersed in it.
Add salt, turmeric and chili and blanch/cook the whole cauliflower.

Cover and cook for 4 minutes on each side(top and bottom. Flip after 4 minutes)

Sauce:
In a pan, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until golden, 6-7 minutes
Add ginger, garlic chili and saute for another 2 minutes.Add the spices and mix.

Add tomatoes, salt, sugar, fenugreek leaves, mix and cook covered until tender. Mash the larger pieces. 8-10 minutes.

Cool slightly, then blend with coconut milk and cashews into a smooth thick puree.Taste and adjust salt, spice.

Bake:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200ºc. Oil the baking dish if desired. Place the blanched cauliflower in a baking dish. Slowly drop the puree on top to cover the entire head of the cauliflower. Some sauce will fall on the side.

Keep about a 1/3 of the sauce to serve on the side later.

Bake in pre-heated 400 degrees F / 200ºc for 40-45 minutes till the cauliflower is dry to touch and sauce thickens a bit. Turn the dish around after 30 minutes.

Heat the remaining sauce to just about a boil so it thickens and serve on the side.Serve hot with flat breads(Naan/Roti), or salads or quinoa.Chop and fill up wraps or a hoagie roll(to make gobi meatball sub).

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Chimichurri

1 whole cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh oregano
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
How to Make Oven Baked Cauliflower

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).

Rinse the cauliflower, then use 1/4 cup of olive oil, to coat the whole head, top to bottom, of cauliflower.

Place in a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove aluminum foil and cook for an additional 60 minutes. The cauliflower will be golden brown when fully cooked.

Meanwhile, in a small food processor, combine the remaining olive oil, herbs, garlic, and spices. Blitz till combined, but still slightly chunky.

Remove cauliflower from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before topping with chimichurri sauce and serving.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Shawarma and Harissa

1 large head cauliflower
2 Tbsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp shawarma spice blend (or curry powder, plus more for exterior)
1-2 tsp harissa paste (optional)
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more for exterior)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Also fill a small baking pan halfway with water and set on the floor (bottom) of the oven. This will provide steam to help the cauliflower cook more evenly.

Rinse and dry the head of cauliflower and carefully cut off the bottom stalk without removing too much of the core. You want the entire head intact for baking. Peel away any remaining green leaves and place in a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan).

In a mixing bowl, mix together avocado oil or melted coconut oil, water, shawarma spice blend, harissa paste (optional), maple syrup, and salt. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more shawarma for smoky flavor, harissa paste (optional) for spiciness, maple syrup for sweetness, or salt for more intense overall flavor.

Flip your cauliflower upside down and pour on most of the sauce. Let the sauce pour down the core, shake it around so it infuses the center, and then flip the cauliflower over and use a brush to rub the leftover sauce (including any that seeped into the pan) all over the exterior for maximum flavor. Place cauliflower core-side down before baking and add an extra pinch of salt and spice blend to the exterior for extra flavor.

Place skillet in oven and roast for 35-50 minutes (depending on size of cauliflower) or until a knife easily pierces the core. If you prefer softer cauliflower, then roast for longer. For cauliflower with a little bite, roast for less time.

To brown the exterior, increase heat to high broil and roast 2-4 more minutes, watching carefully as not to burn.

Remove from oven and enjoy as is or garnish with desired sauces and sides.

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until hot.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Parmesan

1 head Cauliflower
1/3 cup Olive oil
3 cloves Garlic (crushed)
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
1 tsp Dried basil
1 tsp Dried parsley
1 tsp Dried thyme
1/2 tsp Sea salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

Rinse the cauliflower head and pat dry. Remove the outer leaves. Carefully cut off the bottom so that it’s flat and most of the woody stem is removed, being careful not to cut off so much that it falls apart. Be sure the head stays intact.

In a small bowl, make the garlic Parmesan sauce. Stir together the olive oil, minced garlic, 2 tablespoons (28.3 grams) grated Parmesan (half of the total amount), basil, parsley, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper.

Place the trimmed cauliflower head upside down (core side up) onto a 6-quart (5.6 liters) dutch oven. Drizzle 1/2 of the sauce over the cauliflower, tilting it to let it drip down the core and all around. Flip over and drizzle the remaining sauce over the top. Use a pastry brush to brush on any that had dripped down to the pan or didn’t spread well.

Cover the dutch oven with a lid and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and pierces easily with a skewer, knife or fork.

Remove the lid. Sprinkle the top of the cauliflower with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese. Place the cauliflower under the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is browned.

Gobhi Musallam (Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tomatoes)

2 tablespoon(s) ghee or vegetable oil
2 large tomatoes, cut in four pieces
2 medium bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) turmeric
teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon(s) dried coconut
1 large cauliflower (about 900 gram)
2/3 cup(s) water
1/2 cup(s) chopped cilantro, to garnish
1 Whole lemon, sliced in several pieces
1 teaspoon(s) salt, or as desired

Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a deep saucepan and sauté tomatoes until their juices run.

Add bay leaves, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt and coconut and stir thoroughly for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove leaves and stem from cauliflower, turn it floret-side down, and place over cooking mixture.
Pour water, cover pan, and simmer about 30 minutes. From time to time, remove cover and baste cauliflower with cooking mixture.

When cauliflower is tender, remove from heat and transfer the whole cauliflower together with the remaining liquid onto a serving dish.

Garnish with coriander and lemon and serve hot.

Spiced Ginger Shrimp with Burst Tomatoes

About 1 1/2 teaspoons aromatic spice blend, such as garam masala, Baharat, five-spice, curry powder, or a mild chili powder blend (see Note), plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
3 scallions, thinly sliced, greens and whites separated
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup small (or halved large) cherry tomatoes, preferably yellow Sungold tomatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn or roughly chopped

In a medium bowl, combine spice blend, ginger, garlic, scallion whites, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add shrimp and toss well. Heat a large skillet over high heat, then add the oil. Add the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the whole tomatoes burst and the halved ones start to wrinkle, about 2 minutes.

Add shrimp mixture and sauté for another 2 to 4 minutes, turning the shrimp, until they are pink all over.
Gently stir in butter and cook for another minute, until the shrimp are cooked through. Remove from heat and add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Taste and add more salt and spices, if needed. Garnish with mint and scallion greens and serve immediately.

Note: You can use any aromatic spice mix you have on hand here, or use 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander plus 1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne and cinnamon.

Vadouvan Shrimp

4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3-4 tablespoons vadouvan
2/3 cup orange or mango juice
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1Melt the butter in a saute pan until golden.

Add the vadouvan and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the juice, and increase the heat to a boil. Reduce the liquid by about half, until syrupy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the shrimp, and saute until cooked, about 5 minutes. Serve over rice.

Fried Green Tomatoes

3 fresh green tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1/8-1/4 teaspoon paprika optional- go up to 1/4 teaspoon if you like spicy foods
oil for frying

Liberally season green tomato slices with salt and pepper on both sides.
Add flour and eggs to two separate small bowls.

Combine cornmeal, panko crumbs and paprika into another small bowl and whisk together.
Begin by dipping each seasoned tomato slice into flour coating on both sides.
Next add floured tomato slice to eggs coating on both sides.

Lastly dip into cornmeal and crumb mixture and set aside finished slice on baking sheet.
Repeat dredging process, starting with flour, until all slices are coated.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.

Fry tomato slices on both sides until golden brown and drain on paper towels.

Serve warm.