Stir-Fried Thai-Style Beef with Chiles and Shallots

Stir-fried dishes are one of our favorite go-to meals. You can basically add whatever ingredients that suits your fancy—or in an effort to use up some fresh vegetables.

For a sophisticated Thai beef recipe using available ingredients and requiring minimal cooking time, you can use an inexpensive blade steak, which offers both tenderness and robust flavor. With a marinade made of fish sauce, white pepper, citrusy coriander, and a little light brown sugar, the beef needs to marinated for only 15 minutes to develop full flavor.

To add heat to this stir-fried Thai beef recipe, use an easily controlled heat source—Asian chili-garlic paste—that also adds toasty garlicky flavors along with heat.

If you cannot find blade steaks, use flank steak (our choice). To cut a flank steak into the proper-sized slices for stir-frying, first cut the steak with the grain into 1 1/2-inch strips, then cut the strips against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see photo below). White pepper lends this stir-fry a unique flavor (black pepper is not a good substitute). Serve the stir-fry with steamed jasmine rice.

Stir-Fried Thai-Style Beef with Chiles and Shallots

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Beef and Marinade

  • ¾ tsp. ground coriander
  • ⅛ tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 lbs. blade or flank steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips


  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Asian chili-garlic paste
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 Serrano chiles or jalapeño chiles, halved, seeds and ribs removed, chiles cut crosswise ⅛ inch thick
  • 3 medium shallots, trimmed of ends, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and layers separated
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, large leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ⅓ cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts and lime wedges for serving


  1. FOR THE BEEF AND MARINADE: Combine coriander, white pepper, brown sugar, and fish sauce in large bowl. Add beef, toss well to combine; marinate 15 minutes.
  2. FOR THE STIR-FRY: In small bowl, stir together fish sauce, vinegar, water, brown sugar, and chili-garlic paste until sugar dissolves; set aside.
  3. In small bowl, mix garlic with 1 teaspoon oil; set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet (or use a wok like we did) over high heat until smoking; add one-third of beef to skillet in even layer. Cook, without stirring, until well browned, about 2 minutes, then stir and continue cooking until beef is browned around edges and no longer pink in the center, about 30 seconds.
  4. Transfer beef to medium bowl. Repeat with additional oil and remaining meat in 2 more batches.
  5. After transferring last batch of beef to bowl, reduce heat to medium; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to now-empty skillet and swirl to coat. Add chiles and shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Push chile-shallot mixture to sides of skillet to clear center; add garlic to clearing and cook, mashing mixture with spoon, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir to combine garlic with chile-shallot mixture.
  7. Add fish sauce mixture to skillet; increase heat to high and cook until slightly reduced and thickened, about 30 seconds.
  8. Return beef and any accumulated juices to skillet, toss well to combine and coat with sauce, stir in half of mint and cilantro; serve immediately, sprinkling individual servings with portion of peanuts and remaining herbs, and passing lime wedges separately.

Adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated

Huli Huli Chicken

To transport yourself back to the tropics, try this grilled Huli Huli Chicken dinner, made with a minimum of everyday pantry ingredients.

Aloha my friends! As the story goes: “In 1955, Ernest Morgado, a Honolulu businessman, served a group of farmers grilled chicken that had been marinated in his mother’s teriyaki-style sauce. It was such a hit that he decided to market it with the name “huli huli.” Huli means “turn” in Hawaiian and refers to how it’s prepared: grilled between two racks and turned halfway through cooking.”

This simplified version from NY Times Cooking calls for chicken pieces and a standard grill. The original recipe is a trade secret, but you can find many slightly different variations on the internet, most all containing ginger, garlic, soy sauce, something sweet (honey, brown sugar or maple syrup) and something acidic (vinegar, white wine, lime juice or pineapple juice).

This recipe is adapted from “Aloha Kitchen: Recipes from Hawai‘i” by Alana Kysar. It also works beautifully with boneless chicken thighs, but adjust your cooking time accordingly.

We deconstructed a whole chicken, ending up with unused body parts (back, neck, etc.) for our “body bag” of poultry pieces kept in the freezer for making homemade chicken stock. To add another layer of flavor, grill some pineapple slices. Buy them already sliced, and grill for about 3-4 minutes each side with a bit of the marinade brushed on.

To complete the meal, spoon some warmed baked beans onto your plate.

Huli Huli Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
  • 3½ to 4 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • Grapeseed or canola oil, for brushing the grill grate


  1. In a large bowl or a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, combine the ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic, and stir or shake until combined. Reserve and refrigerate ½ cup of the mixture for basting the chicken later.
  2. Add the chicken to the remaining mixture, and stir or shake until evenly coated. If using a bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours, turning the chicken at least once.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, oil your grill grates well. Heat the grill to medium (for charcoal, the grill is ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the coals for 5 to 7 seconds). Add the chicken to the grill, cover, and cook 25 to 35 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to keep the chicken from burning, and basting it with the reserved marinade after you turn it, until cooked through. (Cook times will vary depending on sizes and cuts of chicken pieces, so be sure to check for doneness: Meat should not be pink and the juices should run clear.)
  4. When the chicken is pretty much to temperature, move the meat to the indirect side of the grill, and place the pineapple slices over the direct heat. Baste with the marinade and cook for 3 minutes each side to show char marks. Plate with the grilled chicken.
  5. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Alana Kysar for NYTimes Cooking

Toasted Noodles with Shrimp

Also known as Rossejat de Fideus, this Toasted Noodles with Shrimp dish is similar to paella, but instead of rice, uses slender noodles that have been toasted until richly browned. Here capellini pasta (aka angel hair) is used. Break it by hand into rough 1-inch pieces (do this over a bowl to keep the pieces contained).

Toasting brings out the nutty-wheaty notes of the pasta, which then is simmered in broth instead of water. You will need a broiler-safe 12-inch skillet for this recipe, as the noodles are first cooked on the stovetop, then browned under the broiler. This dish is traditionally served with aioli, a garlicky mayonnaise. The recipe below makes a quick, extra-lemony version using store-bought mayonnaise. We decided to use up an open jar of Stonewall brand garlic aioli.

Don’t use regular paprika. Smoked paprika gives this dish a very Spanish flavor profile. Before broiling the noodles, make sure most of the liquid has been absorbed; too much moisture in the pan will prevent the surface from crisping and browning. Don’t forget that the skillet handle will be hot after broiling; use a potholder or oven mitt.

Typically, we would incorporate our homemade chicken stock, but we were completely out, so we used a boxed brand. Then it hit us halfway through making the dish, we should have used our homemade seafood stock!!

Toasted Noodles with Shrimp

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, 1 finely grated, plus 2 thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. extra-large (21/25 per lb.) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 oz. capellini pasta, broken into rough 1-inch pieces (see note)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, cored and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth or seafood stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice and the grated garlic. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Or use a store-bought brand.)
  2. Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the heat. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 teaspoon paprika, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; set aside.
  3. In a broiler-safe 12-inch skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside; wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
  4. Return the skillet to medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil until barely smoking. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook without stirring until deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp and continue to cook until opaque, another 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate, tent with foil and set aside.
  5. In the same skillet over medium, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the onion, the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and the sliced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in the toasted pasta, the broth and the saffron. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the surface is crisp and the tips of the noodles begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from the broiler, then top with the shrimp and drizzle with the accumulated juices. Spoon on some of the mayonnaise and sprinkle with the parsley; serve the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the side.

Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Spanish Rice and Beans

Spanish rice and beans is a quick and easy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free weeknight dinner. Serve as a side dish, vegan main dish, or top with baked chicken or shrimp for a little extra protein. It’s ready in just 30-minutes and made with pantry staples like rice, kidney beans, and olives.

This dish is the definition of versatile: it’s flavorful enough to stand on its own, but mild enough to complement the flavors of a wide variety of dishes. Rice and beans are a complete protein: they’re high in nutritional value, essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, they’re super filling, inexpensive, easy to store, and delicious! What more could you ask for in a vegan recipe?

Confession. Ours was not vegetarian because we used some of our homemade chicken stock and a 3-inch piece of Mexican chorizo that was finely minced. Both of them added another dimension of flavor.

As far as the timing, our rice was still a bit crunchy after 20 minutes, so we cooked it another 5 minutes, took it off the burner, left it covered, and let it sit for another 10 minutes, at which point it was perfect.

Spanish Rice and Beans

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cups basmati rice or similar long grain rice, rinsed very well
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup sliced green olives, optional, for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional, for garnish


  1. Saute the onion and pepper: In a large, deep pan heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and season with a big pinch of kosher salt. Cook, tossing regularly until the vegetables soften a bit.
  2. Add the garlic and spices: Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 more seconds.
  3. Add the rice, beans and tomatoes: Add the rice and season with another pinch of kosher salt. Toss to combine, then add the beans and fire roasted tomatoes. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix the tomato paste and broth together, then add it to the rice mixture.
  4. Boil then simmer: Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. You want it to simmer gently. Cover with a tight fitting lid and allow the rice to cook until its tender and the liquid is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  5. Garnish and serve: Garnish with the olives and parsley, if using, and serve.

Recipe from Suzy Karadsheh

Spicy Pork and Oyster Sauce Noodles

This simplified version of Sichuan spicy pork noodles starts with the fiery, savory sauce that is the hallmark of dan dan mian. To have a bit more body, something that would help it truly cling to and coat the noodles, Milk Street found the answer in another simple classic—peanut butter.

This is pulled off with a few key high-impact condiments: Soy sauce adds fermented depth in addition to salinity, while oyster sauce packs a sweet-savory punch. Whisking them together with peanut butter creates a luscious, creamy sauce.

The meat is sautéed with a splash of flavor-­boosting balsamic vinegar—we substituted the more traditional Chinese black vinegar—which offers a mellow acidity. For bright, complex heat, chili garlic sauce or Sriracha is added.

You can luxe up the finished dish with any number of garnishes, be it a handful of chopped peanuts, a scattering of scallions, chopped cilantro (our choices), cucumber matchsticks, or a rich, runny-yolked fried egg. Oh, and we doubled the amount of ground pork to one pound.

It was a delicious, quick weeknight meal!

Spicy Pork and Oyster Sauce Noodles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 lb. spaghetti OR linguine OR dried udon noodles
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy OR crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, plus more if needed
  • 3 Tbsp. oyster sauce OR hoisin sauce
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 8 oz. ground pork OR turkey OR beef
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced OR 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated OR both
  • 2 Tbsp. Chinese black vinegar OR balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. chili-garlic sauce OR 1½ Tbsp. Sriracha sauce OR ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Optional garnish: Chopped roasted peanuts OR chili oil OR cucumber matchsticks OR toasted sesame oil OR thinly sliced scallions OR a combination


  1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Reserve ½ cup of the hot water. Add the pasta to the pot, then cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. When the pasta is done, drain; set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, oyster sauce, ½ teaspoon pepper and the reserved water.
  3. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork and cook, breaking the meat into little bits, until no longer pink, 1 to 1½ minutes. Add the garlic, vinegar and chili-garlic sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the pork is browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the peanut butter mixture, followed by the pasta. Cook, stirring and tossing with tongs, until the pasta is shiny and the sauce clings, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Off heat, taste and season with additional soy sauce and black pepper.

Adapted from a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Ditalini

This simple weeknight pasta features a classic southern Italian combination of ingredients. Each contributes unique character, fruity olive oil, pungent garlic, spicy pepper flakes, bitter broccoli rabe, creamy white beans, wheaty pasta, funky pecorino cheese and tangy lemon juice. For ease, we use canned beans and cook everything together in a single pot—no need to boil the pasta separately.

Don’t discard the leaves from the broccoli rabe unless they’re bruised or damaged. The leaves are tender and flavorful, so leave them attached and cut them into 2-inch pieces with the stalks.

A couple of things we did differently was stir in the entire cup of grated parm instead of half, as noted in Step 3. Then we put a lid on it and let it sit for 10 minutes which allowed the moisture to get sucked up into the ditalini. Additional parmesan was available to top the dish, if desired.

Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Ditalini

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) ditalini pasta
  • 15 1/2 oz. can cannellini OR great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice


  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, combine the oil, garlic, pepper flakes and broccoli rabe. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rabe leaves begin to wilt, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in 3 cups water and bring to a boil, then stir in the ditalini, beans, ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Return to a boil, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the ditalini is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in half of the cheese and the lemon juice; if the mixture appears dry, stir in water as needed.
  4. Taste and season with salt and black pepper. Serve drizzled with additional oil and sprinkled with the remaining cheese.

Adapted by Rose Attabaugh for Milk Street

Saumon Aux Lentilles (Pan-Seared Salmon with Braised Lentilles Du Puy)

For this version of a classic French pairing, you start by building a flavorful base for the lentils, by gently cooking onion, carrots, and celery in olive oil until soft. Fruity tomato paste and plenty of garlic add even more depth before the lentils and water go in.

When the lentils are fully softened and most of the moisture in the pot has either evaporated or been absorbed, set them aside to focus on the salmon, which is briefly brined in a saltwater solution to season the fish and to ensure that it retained plenty of moisture as it cooked.

Unconventionally, the salmon skin is placed side down in a cold nonstick skillet that had been strewn with salt and pepper. As the pan heated up, the salmon began to release some of the fat that lies just beneath the skin, crisping it, and enabling us to cook the fish without any additional fat.

A bit of mustard and sherry vinegar stirred into the lentils brightens their flavor, making them an ideal pairing for the rich fish, and a final addition of extra-virgin olive oil adds grassy top notes.

NOTES: To ensure uniform cooking, buy a 1½-pound center-cut salmon fillet and cut it into four pieces. Using skin-on salmon is important here, as we rely on the fat underneath the skin as the cooking medium. If using wild salmon, check for doneness earlier and cook it until it registers 120 degrees. Small, olive-green lentilles du Puy are worth seeking out for their meaty texture, but if you can’t find them, substitute another small green lentil. Do not use red or brown lentils.

Saumon Aux Lentilles (Pan-Seared Salmon with Braised Lentilles Du Puy)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
  • ¾ tsp. table salt
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 cup dried lentilles du Puy (French green lentils), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard


  • ¾ tsp. table salt, divided,
  • plus ¼ cup for brining fish
  • ¾ tsp. pepper, divided4 (6-oz.) skin-on salmon fillets


  1. FOR THE LENTILS: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, carrot, and salt and stir to coat vegetables. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in water and lentils. Increase heat and bring to boil. Adjust heat to simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy and have consistency of thick risotto, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered.
  3. FOR THE SALMON: While lentils are cooking, dissolve ¼ cup salt in 1 quart water in narrow container. Submerge salmon in brine and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove salmon from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Allow to stand while lentils finish cooking.
  4. Sprinkle bottom of 12-inch nonstick skillet evenly with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place fillets, skin side down, in skillet and sprinkle tops of fillets with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and cook fillets, without moving them, until fat begins to render, skin begins to brown, and bottom ¼ inch of fillets turns opaque, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Using tongs and thin spatula, flip fillets and continue to cook without moving them until centers are still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and register 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 5 to 8 minutes longer. Transfer fillets, skin side up, to clean plate.
  6. Warm lentils briefly if necessary. Stir in vinegar, mustard, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Divide lentils among wide, shallow serving bowls. Arrange salmon skin side up on lentils and serve.

Recipe by Andrea Geary for Cook’s Illustrated

Skirt Steak Saltimbocca

This company-worthy recipe puts a tasty spin on traditional Italian Saltimbocca with thinly pounded skirt steak, wrapped in sage and prosciutto for a delicious variation. Typically, this dish is usually made with veal, but if desired, you could also make this recipe with chicken breasts or pork tenderloin.

Instead of veal, this classic Italian dish uses thinly pounded skirt steak (or in our case, flat iron steak) to create a remarkably tender and flavorful variation that cooks in just minutes. The prosciutto’s crispy and salty flavor pairs nicely with the tender and juicy steak, while the sage provides an earthy and slightly peppery flavor.

The sauce, made with chicken broth, white wine, and butter, is rich and creamy, making it an ideal match for the savory steak. And it was also wonderful poured over our side of orzo.

We cut a 12-ounce piece of flat iron in half crosswise; and pounded each half to a 1/4 inch thick. After which, we seasoned the steak and laid 3 sage leaves across each one. Then 3 ultra-thin slices of prosciutto were wrapped around front and back.

Skirt Steak Saltimbocca

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 (12-oz.) skirt steak (about 1 inch thick), trimmed
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 12 fresh sage leaves, divided
  • 6 thin slices prosciutto 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or 2 oz. if searing only two pieces of steak)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves (unpeeled to prevent burning), crushed
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter


  1. Cut steak crosswise into 4 (3-ounce) pieces; lightly pound each piece between 2 pieces of plastic wrap using a meat mallet or rolling pin until each piece is about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper evenly over steaks. Place 2 sage leaves on each steak. Wrap 1 piece of prosciutto around each steak, pressing to adhere. (Prosciutto should cover the sage leaves.)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add garlic cloves and remaining 4 sage leaves; cook, stirring often, until garlic is lightly browned and sage is crispy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer to paper towels to drain; remove garlic peels, and set garlic cloves and sage aside. Pour half of oil in skillet into a heatproof bowl, and set aside; reserve remaining half of oil in skillet.
  4. Transfer to paper towels to drain; remove garlic peels, and set garlic cloves and sage aside. Pour half of oil in skillet into a heatproof bowl, and set aside; reserve remaining half of oil in skillet.
  5. Reheat oil in skillet over medium-high. Add 2 steak pieces, and cook, undisturbed, until prosciutto is browned and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip steaks, and cook until prosciutto is crispy and steaks are cooked to desired degree of doneness, about 2 minutes for medium-rare.
  6. Transfer  to a plate, and let rest. Discard oil in skillet. Add reserved oil to skillet, and repeat cooking process with remaining 2 steaks. Transfer to plate with reserved steaks. Do not wipe skillet clean.
  7. Add broth and wine to skillet, and cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet using a wooden spoon, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk in butter until emulsified and creamy, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve steaks immediately with sauce, and garnish with reserved crispy sage and garlic cloves.

Adapted from a recipe by Justin Chapple for Food & Wine

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Asparagus in Garlic Sauce

You’ll need to start this dish by tossing the shrimp with a little salt and sugar and letting them sit for 30 minutes. This not only seasons the shrimp but also helps them retain moisture during cooking. When the shrimp are almost ready, quickly cook the vegetable component and set it aside.

Then, rather than stir-fry the shrimp in a hot skillet as most recipes call for, add the sauce to the pan and poach the shrimp gently in the liquid, covered, to ensure that they stay moist. The sauce is a flavorful base of soy sauce, sherry, and sherry vinegar. A little cornstarch ensures that the sauce thickens to just the right shrimp- and vegetable-coating consistency.

If your asparagus stalks are thicker than usual, be sure to cut off any woody bottoms or even peel away the outer portions on the lower part of with a potato peeler.

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Asparagus in Garlic Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 lb. extra-large (21-25) shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Asian broad bean chili paste
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 3 large scallions, white parts chopped fine, green parts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut on bias into 2-inch lengths


  1. Combine shrimp, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk 1/3 cup sherry, soy sauce, chili paste, and vinegar together in bowl. Whisk cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons sherry together in second bowl.
  3. Combine shrimp, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Whisk 1/3 cup sherry, soy sauce, chili paste, and vinegar together in bowl. Whisk cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons sherry together in second bowl.
  5. Heat oil and garlic in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until garlic is just beginning to brown at edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat to high, add scallion whites and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add asparagus and scallion greens, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to bowl.
  7. Add sherry–soy sauce mixture and shrimp to skillet and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Whisk sherry-cornstarch mixture to recombine and add to skillet; increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Return vegetable mixture to skillet and toss to combine. Transfer to serving dish and serve.

Adapted from a recipe by Andrew Janjigian for Cook’s Illustrated

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Beer and Grainy Mustard

The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but we had been eating a lot of meals using chicken thighs, so we opted to use pork rib chops instead. The sauce was just fantastic on the meat as well as a great companion for our side of roasted Brussels sprouts!

With no lager readily available, we substituted a canned beer which didn’t seem to noticeably alter the flavor profile. It is always preferable to use a homemade chicken stock, but in a pinch, the Better Than Boullion brand is a decent choice.

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Beer and Grainy Mustard

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 pork rib chops, 2 to 2 1⁄2 lbs. total
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 12 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup amber lager beer
  • 12 cup chicken broth
  • 12 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Season the pork chops all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-duty ovenproof 12-inch skillet (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Swirl to coat the pan bottom. Arrange the chops in the pan in a single layer (it will likely be a snug fit), cover with an ovenproof splatter screen (if you have one) and cook until they are deep golden-brown, about 6 minutes.
  3. Turn the pork and transfer the skillet and splatter screen, if using, to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chops registers 145°F, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  4. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet. Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour until combined. Stir in the beer, chicken broth, maple syrup, and thyme. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the skillet with a wooden spoon.
  5. Simmer vigorously until reduced to about 1 cup, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, then the butter. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange rib chops on a platter, drizzle pan sauce over, and garnish with the thyme. Serve immediately.

Adapted from a recipe in Make-It-Tonite for Fine Cooking

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Flank Steak and Cumin Cauliflower

Flank steak, with its deep beefy flavor and standout striations that soak up rubs and marinades, it should be on everybody’s list of favorite grilling cuts. So when you’re craving a little barbecue flavor anytime of year, this recipe does the trick. The beauty of flank steak is that it absorbs the flavors of any rub or marinade easily.

One of the tastiest, and potentially toughest cuts of meat you’ll ever eat, there are two opposite cooking choices with flank. You either cook it hot and fast, or long and slow by braising. The purpose is to break down the connective tissues by cutting thin slices or by heat and moisture. Clearly we are doing the fast method here.

Using cumin as the common seasoning on both the meat and the cauliflower make them pair together well.

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Flank Steak and Cumin Cauliflower

  • Servings: Yield: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 lb. flank steak


  1. Position an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine 1 tsp. of the oil, garlic, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add the chipotle and honey and stir until heated through about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and zest.
  3. Rub the flank steak with the remaining 1 tsp. oil and season generously with salt. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and broil, turning once, until slightly browned and cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for an internal temperature of 140°F.
  4. Spread the glaze over the top of the steak and broil until it begins to bubble and darken in places, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.

Cumin Roasted Cauliflower


  • 1 medium cauliflower, broken down into florets
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, cumin seeds, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Spread the cauliflower on a large sheet pan and roast in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes turning halfway through cooking (cauliflower should be browned in spots and tender).

Recipes by Julissa Roberts for Fine Cooking

Gunpowder Potatoes

Here, new potatoes are transformed into a culinary powerhouse with toasted spices, butter, cilantro and green chilies. Gunpowder potatoes are the ideal recipe: a bit of crunch, a touch of herbiness, a dash of tang and a pop of heat, all married to a foundation of creamy potatoes. My mouth waters just thinking about them.

The term “gunpowder” refers to a spice mix that has many variations. This version hails from Parsi cuisine and contains coarsely ground toasted cumin, coriander and fennel seeds with a finishing dusting of a “kabab masala,” which is made with fenugreek, chili powder, chaat masala and garam masala. Kind in mind, like much Indian food, the spices are bold.

Start by parcooking new potatoes with their skins on. Next, either grille or broil, then split them open. The potatoes are mixed with the gunpowder spice mixture, along with butter, spring onions, cilantro and green chilies. Finish them with lime juice, flaky salt and a teaspoon or two of the kabab masala, and serve them with a cooling yogurt raita.

For this adaptation, the ingredient list was pared down while maximizing flavor, and focusing on getting deeply browned, crusty potatoes without a grill. The crushed spices are cooked in butter to bloom their flavor and the parcooked potatoes are flattened before roasting them in a 500°F oven. And, in a nod to kabab masala, fenugreek is included, a touch that adds a distinctive maple-like flavor.

Our potatoes were on the larger size for this recipe (about the size of a lime), so they couldn’t be tossed in a bowl with the butter spice mixture. Instead, the baked potatoes were placed on a platter with the spiced butter poured over the top. Another addition would be to make the Raita as an accompaniment, recipe follows.

Gunpowder Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 1⁄2 lbs. Yukon gold or red potatoes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 jalapeños chillies, stemmed and thinly sliced into thin rings
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3⁄4 tsp. ground fenugreek
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Lime wedges and/or raita (recipe below) to serve


  1. In a large pot, combine the potatoes, 3 tablespoons salt, and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the potatoes meets no resistance, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the middle position.
  3. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and toss with oil. Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup or ramekin, press down on each potato so it flattens slightly and splits open but remains intact.
  4. Roast, without stirring for 20 minutes, then sprinkle evenly with chiles. Continue to roast without stirring until the potatoes are crisp and well-browned, another 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a spice grinder, combine the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds; pulse until coarsely ground.
  6. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ground seeds and fenugreek, and cook, swirling the pan, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes; set aside off heat.
  7. When the potatoes are done, use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a large bowl. Add the spiced butter, and toss to coat.
  8. Fold in the scallions and cilantro; taste for salt and pepper; serve with lime wedges and/or raita.



  • Servings: makes 1 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 jalapeño chili (stemmed and minced)
  • 1 scallion (thinly sliced)
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper


In a small bowl, stir together whole-milk Greek yogurt, finely chopped fresh cilantro, lime juice, water, jalapeño chilis, scallions and kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

Recipes from Milk Street

Butter-Basted Spiced Cod with Polenta

Our Monday dinner menu often includes a fish dish or something vegetarian. So Fine Cooking’s “Make It Tonight” Series came through again with this Butter-Basted Spiced Cod with Polenta by Ronne Day. Yes, we’ve made it before, but that was years ago and we were ready for a rehash.

As mentioned in an earlier post, baking cod in melted butter adds a richness to the fish that nicely balances the heat from the harissa, a yummy North African paste made of ground dried chile peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices. Harissa comes in mild or spicy. Other uses for the condiment include stirring into couscous, stews, soups and pastas. You’ll find it packaged in cans, tubes and jars at well-stocked grocery stores and specialty markets.

We cut back on the amount of cod to one pound, enough for two 6-ounce fillets; although we used the full amounts of the remaining ingredients. A refreshing orange, fennel and red pepper salad with mint and lemon completed our meal.

Butter-Basted Spiced Cod with Polenta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1-1/2 tsp. crushed whole coriander seeds or ground coriander
  • 2 medium lemons, 1 finely grated to yield 1/2 tsp. zest and squeezed for 2 Tbsp. juice, the other cut into wedges
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 4 6-oz. pieces cod loin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. harissa paste
  • 2 tsp. coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the coriander and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add 3 cups of water, the lemon zest, and 1 tsp. salt; turn the heat up to medium high.
  4. Whisk in the cornmeal and cook, stirring often, until thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. (If the polenta gets too thick, loosen with a little hot water.)
  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper and arrange in a 9×13 baking dish with space between each piece.
  6. Remove the butter from the heat, stir in the harissa and lemon juice, and pour it over the fish.
  7. Bake, basting every 5 minutes or so, until cooked through (the fish will flake easily), about 15 minutes. If necessary, cover with foil to keep warm.
  8. Divide the polenta among 4 shallow bowls or plates. Top with the fish and spoon the butter over the fish.
  9. Top with the cilantro or parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

Original recipe from Fine Cooking

Roast Tarragon-Cognac Chicken

Chef/author Melissa Clark tell us “The sophisticated, French flavors of brandy, butter and tarragon season this golden-skinned roast chicken, adding panache to what is otherwise an easy and straightforward recipe.”

Nothing like a fabulous meal using a limited number of ingredients. We decided to include about a dozen shallots to surround the poultry and add the beloved allium flavor. As they roast with the chicken, the shallots become all soft and jammy.

Serving the chicken with mashed potatoes or polenta, provide a soft bed to absorb all the heady, buttery juices. But we were jonesing to try the “Gunpowder Potatoes” in this case. If you choose the mashed potatoes idea, go ahead and make a flavorful pan sauce, especially if you add those shallots.

Oh, and if you’re not a tarragon fan, fresh thyme makes an excellent, milder substitute.

Roast Tarragon-Cognac Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 4-lb. whole chicken
  • 10-12 shallots, trimmed and peeled
  • 2 tsp. coarse gray sea salt or 2½ teaspoons kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon, leaves and tender stems coarsely chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 Tbsp.s Cognac
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pat the chicken dry and salt the bird inside and out. Transfer to a plate or baking dish, preferably on a rack, and refrigerate uncovered for at least 1 hour or overnight. (Ours was in the fridge for 4 hours.)
  2. When ready to cook the chicken, heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a small bowl, combine butter, tarragon, 1 tablespoon Cognac and the pepper. Rub mixture inside the chicken cavity and over and under the chicken skin.
  4. Place chicken on a rimmed sheet pan or in a large, ovenproof skillet. Roast, breast side up, until the skin is golden and crisp, and the juices run clear when you insert a fork in the thickest part of the thigh (165 degrees), about 1 hour.
  5. Turn off the oven — don’t skip this step, or the Cognac may overheat and catch fire — and transfer the pan with the chicken to the stovetop. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon Cognac over the bird and baste with some of the buttery pan juices. Immediately return the chicken to the turned-off oven and let rest there for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Adapted from a recipe by Melissa Clark for NYTimes Cooking

Romanian Pork and White Bean Soup with Vinegar and Caraway

The original Romanian soup is called ciorbă de porc, which features beef, pork, sausage, meatballs or even just vegetables. Beans and smoked meat are a common pairing, and that is included in this version.

No matter the headlining ingredient, the defining characteristic of ciorbă is a distinct tanginess that comes from the addition of a souring agent. Here, white wine vinegar is used, but other options include pickle brine, sauerkraut liquid, or even the juice of sour plums. Quick-pickled red onion garnishes individual bowlfuls of this ciorbă, adding a sharp, punchy flourish. Make the pickles a day ahead or while the soup simmers so the onion has time to steep in the vinegar mixture.

Don’t forget to soak the beans, as directed in the first step of the recipe, for at least 12 hours before you plan to begin cooking. Soaking the beans in water that is salted tenderizes them as wells as seasons them throughout.

It is recommended smoking the sausage at home in a roasting pan, but for ease, go ahead and use a smoked ham hock and bulk out the soup with the meat from a half-rack of baby back ribs. Topped with quick-­pickled onions and fresh dill, this bright, brothy stew encompasses the hallmarks of Romanian cuisine—tangy, smoky and rich with flavor.

Romanian Pork and White Bean Soup with Vinegar and Caraway

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. dried great northern beans
  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1-lb. smoked ham hock, OR 1 lb. smoked pork neck
  • 1 1/2 lbs. pork baby back ribs (½ rack), cut between the bones into 3 sections
  • 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, finely crushed by hand
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 qt. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Pickled red onions to serve, if desired


  1. First, soak the beans. In a large bowl, combine 3 quarts water, 1½ teaspoons salt and the beans. Stir until the salt dissolves, then soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain the beans and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions, celery, carrots and bell pepper, then cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the soaked beans, ham hock, ribs, tomatoes with juices, caraway, broth and 1 quart water; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high, then cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the beans are tender and a paring knife inserted into the meat between the rib bones meets no resistance, about 2 hours.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat. Using tongs, transfer the ham hock and ribs to a large plate. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from both and shred into bite-size pieces; discard the bones, fat and gristle.
  5. Return the meat to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, then stir in the dill and vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with pickled red onions, if desired.

Original recipe by Diane Unger for Milk Street