Grill Smoked Salmon

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 (6- to 8-ounce) center-cut skin-on salmon fillets
  • 2 cups wood chips
  1. Combine sugar and salt in bowl. Set salmon on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle flesh side evenly with sugar mixture. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour. With paper towels, brush any excess salt and sugar from salmon and blot dry. Return fish on wire rack to refrigerator, uncovered, while preparing grill.
  2. Combine soaked and unsoaked chips. Use large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap chips into foil packet and cut several vent holes in top. Place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Turn primary burner to high (leave other burners off), cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips begin to smoke, 15 to 25 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium. (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of 275 to 300 degrees.)
  3. Clean and oil cooking grate. Fold piece of heavy-duty foil into 18 by 6-inch rectangle. Place foil rectangle over cool side of grill and place salmon pieces on foil, spaced at least ½ inch apart. Cover grill (positioning lid vent over fish if using charcoal) and cook until center of thickest part of fillet registers 125 degrees and is still translucent when cut into with paring knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve, or allow to cool to room temperature.

Cauliflower soup

  • 1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4½ – 5 cups water
  • ½ tsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh chives
  1. Pull off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stem. Using paring knife, cut around core to remove; thinly slice core and reserve. Cut heaping 1 cup of ½-inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower crosswise into ½-inch thick slices.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt; cook, stirring frequently, until leek and onion are softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; add 4 ½ cups water, sliced core, and half of sliced cauliflower; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining sliced cauliflower, return to simmer, and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
  4. [Optional] While soup simmers, melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring frequently, until florets are golden brown and butter is browned and imparts nutty aroma, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and use slotted spoon to transfer florets to small bowl. Toss florets with vinegar and season with salt to taste. Pour browned butter in skillet into small bowl and reserve for garnishing.
  5. Process soup in blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. Rinse out pan. Return pureed soup to pan and return to simmer over medium heat, adjusting consistency with remaining water as needed (soup should have thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred) and seasoning with salt to taste. Serve, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, drizzle of browned butter, and chives and seasoning with pepper to taste.

Oxtail stew

  • 3 lbs oxtails, cut into 2 to 3 inch thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 half-inch thick slices of fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 pieces of star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ cup Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rock sugar 
  • 2-5 cups of water, to cover
  • 3-5 Daikon, cubed into 1.5″ pieces
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Clean the oxtails and pat them dry. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and brown them on all sides.
  2. Remove the oxtails and put in slow cooker. To the pot, add the ginger, garlic, star anise, cloves, and bay leaves. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add cooking wine to deglaze. Add dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, rock sugar, water, and salt. Add daikon. Bring to boil.
  4. Add to slow cooker on low. Add enough boiling water to cover. Simmer for 4 hours, until the meat is tender. Add additional water if necessary to avoid sticking. 

Cauliflower Stew

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large cauliflower, cored, broken into florets, and sliced about ½ inch thick
  • ½ of 14-oz can of black olives , rinsed, cut in half (optional)
  • 1 to 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  1. In a pot or skillet large enough to hold all the cauliflower, sautee the onions in olive oil until soft
  2. Add the garlic and stir together for a minute or two more, until the garlic is fragrant, then add the tomatoes and their juice, the cinnamon, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is reduced slightly and fragrant.
  3. Add the cauliflower and olives and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Serve with grains, with the feta sprinkled on top if desired.

Lemon Curd

  • ⅓ cup lemon juice, from 2 lemons (strained, so there is no pulp)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • ½ cup sugar (3 ½ ounces)
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
  1. Heat lemon juice in small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolk in medium nonreactive bowl; gradually whisk in sugar. 
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon juice into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until mixture registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to cling to spoon, about 3 minutes (see photos, below).
  3. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in cold butter until incorporated; stir in cream, vanilla, and salt, then pour curd through fine-mesh strainer into small nonreactive bowl. Cover surface of curd directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until needed.

Lemon Bars

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 77 grams all-purpose flour
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • 12 grams confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons/71 grams coldunsalted butter, cut into cubes

FOR THE CURD:

  • 2-3 lemons
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 1 large eggs plus 1.5 yolks
  • ¾ teaspoons/2.5 grams cornstarch
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons/28 grams butter
  • 1/8 cup/30 milliliters fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling