Herbed Bean and Sausage Stew

  • 1 pound Italian (or any kind of ground) sausage – removed from casing
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-4 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2-4 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through, soaked 3-10 hours
  • 6 cups water or broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 4 thyme sprigs + 2 large rosemary sprig tied together in a bundle with kitchen twine
  • 2 bay leaf
  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a separate bowl.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans, 6 cups broth/water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged.
  4. When beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Optional: puree a cup of beans for thicker stew texture.
  6. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Adjustments for Instant Pot

  • Remove half of veggies before adding tomato paste and cumin. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Add veggies with tomato paste and cumin, beans, broth, herbs, salt into Instant Pot. High Pressure 30 minutes with natural release.
  • Add reserved veggies and sausage. High Press 5 minutes.

Adjustments for Canned Beans

  • 2.5 cans (36 oz) canned beans, preferably white, chickpea or kidney, drained and rinsed
  • In step 3, only simmer gently for 30 minutes
  • Add 4 cups of water/broth at first, up to 6 cups, since canned beans do not absorb water

Chinese sticky ribs

  • 1 (6-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup Chinese rice wine, Xiaoshing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 5 – 6 pounds pork spareribs (2 racks, 2 1/2- to 3-pounds each), preferably St. Louis-style, cut into individual ribs
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  1. Pulse ginger and garlic in food processor until finely chopped, 10 to 12 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer ginger-garlic mixture to Dutch oven. Add honey; hoisin; soy sauce; ½ cup water; rice wine; five-spice powder; and pepper and whisk until combined. Add ribs and stir to coat (ribs will not be fully submerged). Bring to simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally.
    Instant pot: add above ingredients and ribs, stir to coat, then pressure cook high for 15-18 minutes.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Using tongs, transfer ribs to large bowl. Strain braising liquid through fine-mesh strainer set over large container, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Let cooking liquid settle for 10 minutes. Using wide, shallow spoon, skim fat from surface and discard.
  3. Return braising liquid to pot and add sesame oil. Bring to boil over high heat and cook until syrupy and reduced to 2½ cups, 16 to 20 minutes.
    Instant pot: add sesame oil to braising liquid in Instant Pot. Sautee function until liquid is syrupy, 4-8 minutes.
  4. Set wire rack in aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet and pour ½ cup water into sheet. Transfer half of ribs to pot with braising liquid and toss to coat. Arrange ribs, bone sides up, on prepared rack, letting excess glaze drip off. Roast until edges of ribs start to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip ribs and continue to roast until second side starts to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Transfer ribs to serving platter; repeat process with remaining ribs. Serve.

Moqueca – Brazilian fish stew

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow, red or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds (optional)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 6-ounce skinless cod fillets (or any white fish), or 12 oz shrimp or other mix seafood
  • 1 Tbsp grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup clam juice or fish broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick soup pot over medium until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, chili, zucchini, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in half the garlic, the paprika, tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the fish, lime zest and juice, the remaining garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Turn to coat on all sides, then set aside at room temperature until ready to use. Do not marinade for more than 15 minutes or fish meat will break down.
  3. Add the clam juice or fish broth, coconut milk to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the fish (or seafood) with its marinade. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Gently flip the fish and continue to cook until the fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork, about another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro, breaking the fish into chunks as you stir. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Coconut Tapioca

  • 3/4 cup tapioca
  • 1/2 – 3/4 sugar
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (7 oz)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water or 1 cup whole milk
  1. Soak tapioca for 20 minutes before cooking. Drain.
  2. Bring about the same amount of water as tapioca to a rolling boil. Add tapioca. Return to a boil, then turn off and cover with a lid off-heat for 10 minutes until tapioca is clear through the middle.
  3. Add sugar, coconut milk and milk to tapioca pot. Heat over medium, stir to dissolve, heat through. Serve.

Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce

Serves 2

  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced

Heat oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until anchovies break down and garlic is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar to saucepan and stir to combine. Cover and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, without stirring, for 7-9 minutes. Off heat, stir in butter.

Toss with pasta water and pasta to serve. Top with basil.

Pesto

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pound basil to release oils. Put all ingredients, except cheese, in food processor and process/scrape until uniform. Stir in cheese by hand. Salt to taste.

Store with a thin layer of oil on top, or with plastic wrap pressed against the surface.

Pickled corn

  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (~2-3 ears) corn kernels
  • 1 large shallot, sliced thin
  • 2-4 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded (some seeds reserved for spice)

Bring water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat and add corn, shallot, and jalapenos. Let steep for at least 45 minutes, up to 3-4 hours. Drain. Pickled corn mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Corn bread

  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (3 3/4 ounces)
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal (3 3/4 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (can substitute half yogurt/sour cream and half water)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until uniform. Stir in the butter until just combined.

Spread evenly in a greased cake or springform pan. Bake 450*F until the cornbread is cooked through in the center, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve.

Maple Nut Banana Muffins

  • 3 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted buttersoftened
  • 1/4 cup maple sugaror brown sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed nuts (walnut or pecan)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 12 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Mash bananas in a bowl, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl cream butter and 1/4 cup maple sugar (or brown sugar) with an electric mixer.
  5. Add egg whites, mashed bananas, maple syrup, apple sauce and vanilla; beat at medium speed until mixed well, scraping down sides of the bowl.
  6. Add flour mixture, stir until just combined. Fold in crushed nuts.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Spread the pecans evenly over the muffins.
  8. Bake the muffins on the center rack for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.