Coconut Rice Pudding

1/4+cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, plus more to serve
1 13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk
1/2 cup Arborio rice, briefly rinsed, then drained
4 inch strip orange zest, white pith removed (see note)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, salt and cardamom; set aside. In a large (6- to 8-quart) Dutch oven, stir together the coconut milk and 2½ cups water.

Bring to a boil over medium-high, then stir in the rice, sugar mixture and orange zest. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake until the rice is tender and the pudding is creamy, about 50 minutes.

Stir in the vanilla, transfer to a bowl and cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days (let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving). Sprinkle individual bowls with pistachios and dust with additional cardamom just before serving.

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.

Mexican Grilled Pork (Cecina Enchilada)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, sugar and garlic. Microwave on high until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute. Measure out 3 tablespoons of the seasoned oil, including some of the solids, into a large baking dish.

Cut the tenderloin in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Using a meat pounder, pound each piece to an even ?-inch thickness, then place in the baking dish, turning to coat on all sides with the oil mixture. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce and prepare the grill.

Into the remaining oil mixture, whisk 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Cover and heat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes for charcoal or about 15 minutes for gas, then clean and oil the cooking grate.

Place the pork in a single layer on the grill (on the hot side if using charcoal) and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip each piece and cook for 1 minute. Transfer browned side up to a platter. Stir the sauce to recombine, then drizzle 1 tablespoon over each cutlet. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Tip: Don’t grill the second sides of the cutlets for more than about 1 minute or they will overcook. Aim to get charring on only the first sides, then serve the pork charred side up.

Miso-Ginger Chicken Salad

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup white miso
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, divided
1/3 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (see note)
6 medium scallions, thinly sliced (½ cup)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced (1 cup)

In a blender, combine the water, miso, ginger, ? cup of the almonds, the lime juice, mustard, honey and ½ teaspoon white pepper.

Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the oil and blend until the dressing is thick, about 1 minute. Transfer to a jar, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, scallions, cilantro, cucumber and remaining ? cup almonds. Add 1 cup of the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

Chicken with Garlic, Chilies, and Peanuts

2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 5- to 6-ounce chicken breast cutlets, pounded to an even 1/4-inch thickness
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 2 pieces

In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the chicken, turning to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels, then season with pepper.

In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering.

Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total, flipping once halfway through. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Allow the pan to cool for a couple minutes, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and scallion whites. Cook over medium, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Off heat, add the sherry, the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, half the peanuts and any accumulated juices from the chicken.

Return to medium and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, add the butter and stir until fully incorporated. Pour the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with scallion greens and the remaining peanuts.

Stir-Fried Beef and Herbs

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 pound 80 to 85 percent lean ground beef (not extra lean)
3 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh mint, roughly chopped
3/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, cornstarch and sugar. Set aside. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium, heat the oil until shimmering.

Add the beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces, until mostly browned but some pink still remains, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the chilies and soy sauce mixture, then cook, stirring, until no pink remains and the meat is evenly coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint and cilantro.

Mujaddara (Rice and Lentils with Caramelized Onions)

4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
4 bay leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup peanut oil
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Plain whole-milk yogurt, to serve

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, combine 5 cups water, the garlic, bay, cumin, allspice, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils and reduce to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to maintain a simmer, until the lentils are softened but still quite firm at the center, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the rice and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce to medium-low and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils and rice are tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring only occasionally at the start then more frequently once browning begins at the edges of the pan, until the onions are deeply caramelized and crisped, 10 to 15 minutes; adjust the heat if the onions brown too quickly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a paper towel–lined plate and spread evenly. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and set aside; the onions will crisp as they cool.

When the lentils and rice are tender, remove the pot from the heat. Uncover and lay a kitchen towel across the pan, then replace the lid and let stand for 10 minutes.

Using a fork, fluff the lentils and rice, removing and discarding the bay. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in half the scallions, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the fried onions and remaining scallions. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with yogurt on the side.

Burmese Coconut Cashew Cake (Sanwin Makin)

One 14-ounce can coconut milk (do not use light)
1 cup(170 grams) semolina flour
1/4cup(30 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
1 generous packed cup (218 grams) light brown sugar
4 tablespoons(57 grams; 1/2 stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons(8 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon(2 grams) ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon(3 grams) kosher salt
1/4 cup(32 grams) roasted unsalted cashews, chopped
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of your 9-inch round cake pan with cooking oil spray. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, then grease the paper’s surface with the cooking oil spray.

Pour the coconut milk and all its solidified fat into a mixing bowl, whisking thoroughly to emulsify it, as needed.

Combine the semolina and 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet, spreading them in an even layer. Toast (middle rack) for 10 to 12 minutes, until the coconut is fragrant and golden at the edges, stirring halfway through the oven time. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the coconut milk and whisk to incorporate. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, cardamom and salt to the semolina mixture, whisking to form a thin batter. Pour into the prepared pan, then scatter the cashews and the remaining 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut evenly over the surface.

Bake (middle rack) for 28 to 33 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. The cake’s surface may crack a bit; that’s okay. Cool (in the pan) on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then run a round-edged knife around the edges to loosen it. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the pan and paper. Turn the cake right side up, onto a serving plate.

Serve warm, or at room temperature, with the whipped cream, if desired.

Cambodian Beef and Ginger Fry (Saiko Cha K’nye)

1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin tips or flank steak, cut into 3-inch pieces with the grain, then sliced ½ inch thick against the grain
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
6 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into very thin coins (generous 1 cup)
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons white sugar

Note: The ginger is not just a flavoring here—it’s treated almost as a vegetable. A full cup of thinly sliced fresh ginger gives the dish substance; its spiciness and pungency is tamed by cooking. A mandoline makes quick work of slicing the ginger, but a chef’s knife works, too.

In a medium bowl, toss the steak with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a 12-inch skillet over high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until barely smoking. Add half the meat in a single layer and cook until well browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total, turning the slices only once. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and the remaining meat.

In the same skillet over medium, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the scallions, fish sauce and sugar, then return the meat and accumulated juices to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is slightly thickened and the ginger is tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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.

Spanish Almond Cake (Torta de Santiago)

240 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) white sugar
3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 grams (2 1/2 cups) blanched almond flour
35 grams (3 tablespoons) turbinado or demerara sugar
37 grams (1/3 cup) sliced almonds, chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with a round of kitchen parchment, then mist the parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the white sugar, whole eggs and egg whites, salt and both extracts. Whisk vigorously until well combined, 30 to 45 seconds; the mixture will be slightly frothy and the sugar will not be fully dissolved. Add the almond flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle evenly with the turbinado sugar and chopped almonds. Bake until deeply browned and the crust feels firm when gently pressed with a finger, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of the cake, then invert onto a plate. Remove the pan and parchment then re-invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool completely before serving.
Tip: Don’t underbake the cake. Rather than use a skewer or toothpick to test the center for doneness, check the browning and crust development. The cake is ready when the surface is deeply browned and the crust feels firm when gently pressed with a finger. Don’t serve the cake warm. Its texture is best when fully cooled.

Miso-Sesame Steak Marinade

3 tablespoons red miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into 5- to 6-inch pieces, patted dry
2 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
5 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Measure 2 teaspoons of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Add the steak to the remaining mixture, turn to coat and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, to the reserved 2 teaspoons, stir in the vinegar and 3 teaspoons of the grapeseed oil, then set aside.

Remove the steak from the bowl an pat dry with paper towels. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil until barely smoking. Add half the steak in a single layer and cook without disturbing until well browned and the center of the thickest piece reaches 125°F for medium-rare, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter, then repeat with the remaining steak, using the fat in the pan. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Stir any accumulated juices on the platter into the reserved miso mixture. Cut the steak against the grain on the bias into thin slices and return to the platter. Serve with the miso sauce.

Pasta con Fagioli

8 ounces campanelle or other short pasta
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see note), drained but not rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 ounces Pecorino romano cheese, grated (1 cup)

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve 2 cups of cooking water, then drain and rinse with cold water until cool; set aside.

Wipe out the pot and return it medium-high. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil until barely smoking. Add the tomatoes, then cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and have burst, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, sliced fennel and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds and pepper flakes, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the beans, broth and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce is creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. If needed, add the remaining reserved cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach the proper consistency. Off heat, stir in the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the cheese and additional oil for drizzling.

Libyan Beef and Chickpea Soup

1 1/2 slices hearty white sandwich bread (2 ounces)
8 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef
Kosher salt
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
14 1/2 -ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
1/3 to 1/2 cup harissa, plus more to serve
1 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1 cup mashed
Lemon wedges, to serve

In a medium bowl, combine the bread and 3 tablespoons water. Let stand until the bread absorbs the water, about 5 minutes, then use a fork to mash to a smooth paste. Add the ground beef, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup of mint. Use your hands to mix well, then form into 20 balls (1 tablespoon each) and place on a large plate. Refrigerate until needed.

In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes with juices and the harissa, then cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and whole and mashed chickpeas, bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Add the meatballs and stir gently to distribute. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low and cook until the meatballs are no longer pink at the center, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in the remaining ½ cup mint. Taste and season with salt. Serve with lemon wedges and additional harissa.
Tip: Don’t forget to mash 1 cup of the drained chickpeas; the chickpeas’ starch lends body to the soup. A potato masher or fork works best. After adding the meatballs to the pot, don’t stir vigorously or they will break apart.

Thai Pork Fried Rice

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon white sugar
4 cups cooked and chilled jasmine rice
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced, reserved separately
1 large shallot, minced (4 tablespoons)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced cucumber and lime wedges, to serve

In a bowl, stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar. Set aside. Use your hands to break up the rice so no clumps remain. Set aside.

Heat a wok over medium-high until a drop of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, about 3 minutes. Swirl in the oil, then pour in the eggs. Cook, stirring, until just set. Transfer the eggs to a plate. Add the pancetta to the wok and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the plate with the eggs.

Return the wok to medium-high until just smoking. Add the scallion whites, shallot and garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry until softened, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Stir the fish sauce mixture to recombine, then pour in a thin stream along the sides of the wok. Stir-fry until well mixed. Stir in the pancetta, egg (breaking up the egg) and cilantro. Transfer to a large platter and sprinkle with scallion greens. Serve with cucumber and lime wedges.

Moroccan Meatballs

1/3 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
10 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup panko
1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 large eggs, cracked into a small bowl

In a small bowl, stir together the olives and lemon zest; set aside.

In a blender, puree the tomatoes with their juice until smooth, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium, melt the butter. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and pepper flakes, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Transfer 1/2 cup of the onion mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium and add the broth and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cover and cook until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Remove from the heat.

While the sauce simmers, stir the panko and 1/2 cup water into the reserved onion mixture. Let stand until the panko softens, about 5 minutes, then use your hands to mash to a smooth paste.

Add the beef, 1/2 cup of cilantro, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Divide into 16 (2-tablespoon) portions, rolling them into smooth balls. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Return the sauce to medium and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs in a single layer, then spoon sauce over each. Cover, reduce to low and cook for 15 minutes. Flip each meatball, then continue to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Push the meatballs to the sides of the skillet. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Gently pour the eggs into the center, cover and cook over medium-low until the egg whites are barely set and yolks are still runny, 4 to 5 minutes.

Off heat, sprinkle the olive mixture and remaining ½ cup cilantro over the tagine.

Tip: Don’t use ground beef less than 90 percent lean or the sauce will be greasy. Also, don’t overcook the eggs; the yolks should remain runny so they mix with the sauce.

Harissa Butter

Mix 2 tablespoons harissa with 2 to 3 tablespoons softened, salted butter

Slather on blanched broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower.

Or, stir harissa butter into a pot of bulgur, couscous or pasta and blend with feta and chopped arugula for an easy meal.

Or dollop harissa butter onto resting steaks, chops or roast chicken where it can mix with the meat’s juices for an instant sauce.

Pasta alla Norma

1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12 ounces penne rigate or mezze rigatoni pasta
8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pints grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 ounces ricotta salata, shredded

Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the upper-middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 1½ teaspoons salt and 4 tablespoons of the oil. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast until browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring once.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt; cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

While the eggplant roasts and the water heats, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 1½ teaspoons salt, then cover and cook, occasionally shaking the pan, until the tomatoes begin to release their liquid, about 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar, then use the back of a large spoon to crush the tomatoes. Cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring, until the mixture breaks down into a lightly thickened sauce, 8 to 9 minutes.

Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

3 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
1 pound ground pork
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus sprigs, to serve
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green parts thinly sliced
5 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons white sugar, divided
1/2 cup lime juice
1-2 serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
Lettuce leaves, to serve

Coat a large plate with 1 teaspoon of the oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, 3 tablespoons water, cilantro, pepper, minced scallions, 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and the 2 teaspoons sugar.

Mix vigorously with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined, 20 to 30 seconds. The mixture will be soft and sticky. With lightly moistened hands, form the mixture into 20 balls and place them on the prepared plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, the 3 remaining tablespoons fish sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the chilies until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Line another plate with paper towels. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until beginning to smoke. Add the meatballs and cook undisturbed until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a spatula, turn each meatball and continue to cook, adjusting the heat as needed and occasionally turning the meatballs, until golden brown all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss the shredded carrots with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice sauce. Serve the meatballs with the carrots, cilantro sprigs, sliced scallions and lettuce leaves for wrapping. The remaining sauce can be spooned onto the wraps.