Baked Shells with Cauliflower and Taleggio

Salt
1 medium head of cauliflower (1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons minced rosemary
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (6 ounces)
1/2 pound Taleggio cheese—rind discarded, cheese cubed
1 pound large shells, such as conchiglioni
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 450°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with cold water. Boil the cauliflower until tender, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower to the cold water and let cool slightly. Drain and pat dry; keep the cooking water hot.

In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and rosemary, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and boil until evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cream, 1 cup of the Parmigiano and the Taleggio.

Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Scrape the cauliflower and cheese sauce into the pasta and toss well. Spread half of the pasta into a 3-quart baking dish and top with 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs. Top with the remaining pasta, 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of Parmigiano.

Bake the pasta for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden and crisp. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead: The unbaked assembled pasta dish can be refrigerated overnight. Return the pasta to room temperature before baking.

Sheet Pan Sausage with Grapes an Onions

1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups seedless red grapes (1 1/4 pounds), destemmed
1 teaspoon fennel, coriander, cumin or caraway seeds, lightly crushed
1 pound any sausages, poked all over with a fork
1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons rice vinegar or sherry vinegar, plus more to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a large (13-by-18-inch) rimmed baking sheet, toss together onion slices, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper, and spread in an even layer. Roast for 8 to 12 minutes, until the onions turn translucent and the thinnest pieces take on a pale gold color at the edges.

After 10 minutes, add grapes, seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan with onions, and toss well. Spread in an even layer and nestle sausage into the mixture.

Roast until sausage has browned, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping sausage and tossing grapes and onions halfway through.

Transfer sausages to a platter or to individual plates. Add parsley and chives to pan with grapes and onions and gently toss (this warms up and wilts the herbs). Use a slotted spoon to transfer grapes and onions to plates with the sausages.

Add vinegar to rimmed baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits on the tray. Drizzle pan juices over the grapes and sausages, taste, and sprinkle more salt or vinegar on top, if desired.

Note:

You can use any kind of sausages in this cozy, autumnal dish, filled with roasted sweet grapes and vinegar-spiked onions. Spicy Italian sausages made from pork, chicken or turkey, fresh chorizo or merguez, will give the dish a kick, while milder sausages like chicken and apple, bratwurst or Weisswurst make for a gentler meal. Serve this on a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes, or with some crusty bread to sop up the vinegary, sausage-rich pan juices, and a green salad on the side. If you want to halve this recipe, reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees; otherwise the smaller amount of food in the pan might get too brown.

Sheet Pan Sausage and Butternut Squash

1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 pound spicy sausage (fresh chorizo, Italian, Andouille or otherwise)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as desired
Flaky salt, as desired

Heat the oven to 425 degrees and stick a large baking sheet in the oven. Prep the squash and sausage: Cut the squash into ½-inch-thick slices, then cut the slices crosswise in half. Transfer to a large bowl. Score the sausages in a few places on both sides, making sure not to cut all the way through. Transfer to the bowl with the squash, then stir to coat with the olive oil and fat pinches of salt and pepper.

When the oven comes to temperature, carefully dump the squash and sausage mixture onto the hot baking sheet and spread it out into a single layer. Roast, stirring every so often to coat the squash in the rendered fat, until the squash is tender and sausages are crisp and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. (To add some color, put them under the broiler for a minute or two.) Let cool slightly while you prepare the parsley.

In a small bowl, mix together the parsley and lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste. Slice the sausage diagonally in thirds. Serve the sausage and squash on a platter with a pile of parsley on top and sprinkled with an extra squeeze of lemon and flaky salt, if desired.

Tip
The squash and sausage can be roasted 3 days in advance. Reheat in a low oven before serving.

Feel free to switch up the squash for carrots, broccoli, potatoes: Any vegetables that are good roasted will work well in that liquid gold. If the meal seems light, bulk it up by topping with a cup of feta or rinsed canned chickpeas, adding arugula or watercress to the parsley, or serving it all on a bed of kale or mustard greens, like a warm salad.

Pork Milanese

FOR THE GRIBICHE

4 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons finely chopped drained capers
2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons (about 4)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE PORK

Canola oil, for frying (about 3 cups)
Four (5-ounce) pork shoulder cutlets, pounded thin between 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving

FOR THE SALAD

Generous 4 cups (3 ounces) baby mustard greens or baby arugula
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more as needed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Make the gribiche: Place the eggs in a small saucepan, cover them with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Cook the eggs at a rapid boil for 9 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath. Let the eggs cool for about 5 minutes, then peel.

Finely chop the eggs and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, shallot, capers, cornichons, parsley, mustard and vinegar and mix well to combine; the gribiche should be the consistency of paste. If the gribiche is too thick, stir in 1 tablespoon of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Make the pork: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat 3 cups canola oil over medium heat until it reaches 400 degrees.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels and, using a meat mallet, pound each pork cutlet to a 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness between two large pieces of parchment paper. If necessary, pat the pork dry again.

Put the flour, eggs and panko in 3 separate shallow containers and set them in a row.

Season the pork with salt and pepper and lightly dip in the flour, just to coat. Dip the cutlets in the egg and then in the panko, pressing to help the crumbs adhere. Let the cutlets sit, undisturbed, for about 10 minutes — this helps the panko absorb the egg.

When the oil is ready, working in batches, fry the pork cutlets, turning once, until golden and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and immediately sprinkle with kosher salt.

Make the salad: In a large bowl, gently toss the mustard greens with lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of flaky salt until combined. Taste and season with more lemon juice or salt, if desired.

Serve with a dollop of the gribiche, the mustard greens, and lemon wedges for squeezing over the meat.

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.

Pork Chops Puttanesca

3 cloves garlic, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 12-ounce rib pork chops, preferably heritage, about 1 1/4-inch thick
1 small red onion, finely chopped
8 ounces ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and mashed
2 tablespoons pitted oil-cured black olives, chopped
1/2 tablespoon capers in vinegar, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, minced

Mash 1 clove garlic with dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon chile flakes and salt to a paste in a mortar. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and the vinegar. Spread this mixture on both sides of the pork. Set aside. Heat grill. Heat oven to 225 degrees.

Heat remaining oil in a small skillet, add onion and sauté until translucent. Mince remaining garlic and stir in. Add tomatoes, anchovies, remaining chile flakes, olives, capers and raisins. Stir in wine and cook on low until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Grill pork close to source of heat, turning once, until nicely browned but not cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. (You can also cook the chops in a grill pan or skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes per side). Transfer pork to a baking dish, slather with tomato mixture and place in oven for 45 minutes for medium, longer for more well done. Arrange pork on a serving platter, spoon any pan juices over it, scatter with oregano and serve.

Penne or other modest macaroni dressed with just olive oil and chile flakes is excellent alongside, to share the sauce with the meat.

Pork Chops with Pipian

FOR THE PORK CHOPS
4 medium-thick pork chops, bone-in or boneless
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons neutral oil

FOR THE PIPIAN SAUCE
8 chiles de árbol
3 plum tomatoes
1 small onion, peeled and thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup raw, hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
1/3 cup hulled sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (or 2 allspice berries)
1 canned chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons neutral oil, lard or chicken fat
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Make the sauce: Remove the stems from the chiles de árbol, and gently roll the chiles between your fingers to remove the seeds. Discard seeds. Set a bare skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, then add the chiles. Toast until they are darkened and fragrant, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Place them in a bowl, cover with 2 cups boiling or very hot water, and set aside to soak.

Return the skillet to high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic, and cook, turning occasionally, until charred, approximately 10 minutes. Put the vegetables on a plate, and set aside to cool, then slip the skins off the cloves of garlic.

Return the skillet to medium-low heat. Place the pumpkin seeds, peanuts and sesame seeds in the skillet, and cook, stirring and shaking the pan continuously, until they are toasted and fragrant, approximately 2 to 4 minutes. Put the seeds and nuts in a bowl, and stir in the cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

Put the chiles and soaking liquid in a blender with the tomatoes, onion, garlic, the nut-seed mixture and the chipotle. Purée until smooth.

Add the oil, lard or chicken fat to a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and heat over medium heat until it is nearly smoking. Add the purée. It will sputter a lot. Lower the heat, and stir, cooking the mixture down to a thick paste. It will continue to sputter and pop. Add the broth to the paste, and stir, then season with the salt, sugar and vinegar, and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until it resembles a thick, creamy soup. Lower heat to a bare simmer.

Make the pork chops: Season the pork chops aggressively with salt and pepper, and dust them with the flour. Add the oil to the skillet, and heat over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Add the chops, and let them cook undisturbed, in batches if necessary, until crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Set them aside to rest for 5 minutes or so. Serve a chop per person on a generous amount of sauce, with tortillas to mop it up. Extra sauce can be used to braise chicken, lamb or more pork, or as a topping for enchiladas

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.

Sheet Pan Pork Loin with Maple, Butternut Squash, and Potatoes

Ingredients send grocery list
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/2 cup white wine
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast or tenderloin
2 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
1 pound baby potatoes, scrubbed clean and dried
Olive oil, salt, and pepper, as needed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary, white wine, salt, and pepper.

Optional step: Brown the pork roast in a pan with some olive oil. Deglaze the pan with an additional 1/2 cup of white wine. Pour the wine over the roast after placing it on the sheet pan.

Put the pork roast in the middle of the sheet pan and scatter the butternut squash cubes and potatoes around it.

Pour the balsamic mixture over the pork roast and the vegetables. Drizzle a little olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F. The vegetables should be cooked through at this point. If the veggies need more time, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and put the tray back in the oven to continue cooking while the pork rests.

Remove from oven and let the pork rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. Serve with vegetables and pan juices.

Thai Spicy Steak Salad

1 pound steak (flank, top sirloin)
1 to 2 fresh red chilies (bird’s eye preferred)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 packet chives, sliced into 1-inch lengths
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped

In a pan or on the grill, sear the unseasoned steak until browned well on both sides, and cook to medium rare or desired temperature. Allow the steak to rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic and chilies to create a paste. Scrape the paste into a large bowl, and add the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add the thinly sliced onions, chives, and cilantro, and toss well to combine. Next, slice the steak into thin, even slices across the grain, and add to the salad. Mix again thoroughly and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Serve with freshly steamed rice.

Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccolini

1 pound store-bought gnocchi
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cooked Italian sausage, sliced
1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until the pasta floats to the surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the gnocchi.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Add the sausage and cook until it begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and chicken broth, and bring to a simmer.

Continue to cook, tossing frequently, until the broccoli rabe is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes (if desired).

Stir in the gnocchi, Parmesan and parsley, and toss well until combined. Serve immediately.

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.

Calabrian Carbonara with ‘Nduja

6 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces ‘nduja (see Note)
Kosher salt
Pepper
Dried oregano, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg and the 1/2 cup of grated cheese.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the ‘nduja and cook over moderate heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the fat is rendered, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the hot pasta with the ‘nduja. Add the egg mixture and the reserved pasta cooking water and toss aggressively until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to shallow bowls or a platter and sprinkle with dried oregano. Serve, passing more cheese at the table.

Tartiflette (Warm Potatoes with Onions, Bacon and Cheese)

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
Salt
1/4 pound thickly sliced bacon, cut crosswise into strips
2 large onions, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
One chilled 5-ounce whole Reblochon or Pont-l’Évêque cheese, rind removed, cheese halved horizontally

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes; drain well.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over low heat, stirring, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 minutes. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Place the 2 cheese halves on the bottom of a roasting pan and spoon the potatoes and onions on top. Pour the wine into the pan and bake for 12 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Using 2 metal spatulas, gently stir the potatoes to coat with melted cheese, sprinkle with pepper and serve at once.

Note: In the French Alps, cooks garnish this hearty side dish, known as tartiflette, with thin slices of the local Reblochon cheese. Any leftovers make a great omelet filling.

Pork Chops with Salted Plums

2 bone-in pork chops (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch thick, about 1 1/2 pounds total)
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1 pound medium plums, pitted and sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar or fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Olive oil, for drizzling

Season pork with salt and pepper; set aside.

Combine the plums and onion in a medium bowl along with vinegar and fish sauce, if using. Season with salt and pepper and try a plum; they should be relatively tangy and salty. Add more vinegar or salt, if needed, and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and cook, without moving, until well browned on one side, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip chops and cook until well browned on the other side, another 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer pork chops to a cutting board to rest. Add plum and onion mixture to the skillet and remove from heat. Give everything a toss, just to deglaze the skillet and scrape up any of those browned bits, slightly wilting the onion and letting some of those plum juices run free.

Slice pork chops to your desired thickness and transfer to a large serving platter. Scatter with plum mixture, top with mint and give everything a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

Seared Skirt Steak With Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Polenta

1 1/2 pounds skirt or flank steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons), divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup coarse-ground polenta (corn meal)
1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
1 quart cherry tomatoes
2 small red chilies such as Fresno or Thai bird, thinly sliced
3 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Chopped chives, scallion greens, or parsley, for garnish

Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Rub with 2 minced cloves garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside at room temperature.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until butter is foaming. Add 2 minced cloves garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add polenta in a thin stream. Reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until polenta is completely tender and creamy, about 40 minutes, adding water as necessary to keep it loose.

When polenta is fully cooked, stir in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add steak in a single layer and cook, turning frequently, until well browned on both sides and center of steak registers 110°F for medium-rare or 115°F for medium, 6 to 8 minutes total. 1 minute before steak is done, add tomatoes to pan. Remove steaks and set aside. Add chilies, scallions, and remaining 2 minced cloves garlic to pan. Add 1/4 cup water and scrape up browned bits. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until tomatoes burst and release their juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon juice and soy sauce off heat, adding water as necessary to reach a creamy sauce-like consistency.

To serve, transfer polenta to a pre-heated plate. Slice steak thinly against the grain. Transfer to polenta, top with blistered tomatoes and pan sauce, sprinkle with herbs, and serve.

Pica Pau (Portuguese Steak with Olives and Pickled Onions)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 12- to 14-ounce beef strip steaks, each about 1 inch thick, trimmed of fat and gristle, patted dry
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds
3/4 cup dry white wine
5 bay leaves
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Piri-piri oil, to serve (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Season both sides of each steak with the mixture, rubbing it into the meat. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, olives, vinegar and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let the steaks and onion mixture stand for 30 minutes, stirring the onion mixture once halfway through.

In a nonstick 10-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until barely smoking. Add the steaks and cook without disturbing until well browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until well browned on the second sides and the centers reach 120°F (for medium-rare), another 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Pour off and discard the fat from the skillet, then wipe out the pan. Set over medium-high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and chili. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and bay, then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 2 to 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in the butter until melted.

Transfer the steaks to a cutting board. Cut each steak lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Add the parsley and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Drain off and discard the liquid from the onion mixture and transfer to a platter. Pour the steak mixture over the onions, then drizzle with piri-piri oil, if using.

Note: The dish, eaten with toothpicks, is served as as appetizer or small plate with crusty bread and cold beer as accompaniments. Pickled cauliflower and carrots are often, but not always, included. The bed of vinegar-marinated red onions and olives balance the beef’s richness.

Ravioli Lasagna

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 sweet Italian pork or turkey sausages (12 ounces), casings removed
One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup water
Two 14-ounce packages fresh cheese ravioli
One 14-ounce package fresh spinach-and-cheese ravioli
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (3 cups)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 pounds mixed roasted or grilled vegetables, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 375°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the sausage meat and cook over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and the water and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the packages of fresh ravioli to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the ravioli and return them to the pot. Add the sausage marinara and toss gently with the ravioli to coat.

Spoon one-third of the ravioli and sauce into a 3-quart baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan. Layer another one-third of the ravioli on top, followed by all of the vegetables, 1 cup of mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan. Top with the remaining ravioli, spooning on any remaining sauce and sausage. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan on top and cover with foil.

Bake the ravioli lasagna for 30 minutes, until bubbling. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, until lightly browned and bubbling. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead: The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. The baked lasagna can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

BLT Egg and Cheese

4 thick slices of bacon
2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
2 thick slices of rustic white bread, toasted and hot
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 tomato slices
2 leaves of butter lettuce
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 large egg

In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Set the Monterey Jack slices on 1 piece of toast. Spread the mayonnaise on the other slice of toast, then top with the bacon, tomato and lettuce.

Grilled Duck Breasts with Raspberry

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 quart blackberries
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Ten 6-ounce boneless Pekin duck breast halves, with skin
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

In a medium saucepan, boil the vinegar over high heat until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add the blackberries and cook, stirring very gently, until they are just softened, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the blackberries to a bowl. Boil the liquid over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 3 minutes. Carefully pour the accumulated juices from the blackberries into the saucepan and boil for about 30 seconds longer. Season the reduction with salt and pepper and pour it over the softened blackberries.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Using a sharp knife, score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern. In a small bowl, mix the ancho powder with the coriander, cumin and mustard powder. Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper and rub the spice mixture into the skin. Grill the duck breasts skin side down over moderate heat until lightly charred and crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook for about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare meat. Transfer the duck to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

The blackberry sauce can be refrigerated overnight; reheat gently before serving. The spice-rubbed duck breasts can be refrigerated overnight; bring to room temperature before grilling.