I have two recipes that incorporate chili crisp to share. This saucy dish was subtly spicy and very creamy from the tahini. It had a deep sesame flavor. Next time, I may add a bit more soy sauce and rice vinegar to the sauce.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kendra Vaculin. It was a perfect springtime meal.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
5 T (1/3 cup) chili crisp
5 T (1/3 cup) tahini
3 T soy sauce, plus more, to taste
3 T unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more, to taste
12 to 12.8 oz dried soba noodles
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2″ pieces
2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 lb ground pork
thinly sliced scallions and/or cilantro, for serving
1/2 T to 1 T sesame seeds, toasted, for serving
Whisk chili crisp, tahini, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set sauce aside.
Toast sesame seeds in a 350 degree oven until fragrant and lightly browned, stirring once or twice, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Cook soba noodles in a large pot of boiling water until almost cooked, about 2 minutes.
Add asparagus pieces; cook until noodles are al dente and asparagus is crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Rinse noodles and asparagus under cool running water; reserve pot.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high.
Cook ground pork in an even layer, undisturbed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. (Use a splatter screen!)
Add reserved sauce and cook, scraping up browned bits, 1 minute.
Transfer pork mixture, noodles, and asparagus to reserved pot. Add 2/3 cup cooking liquid; cook over medium heat, stirring gently with spoon and adding more cooking liquid if needed, until noodles and meat are well coated, about 2 minutes.
Serve topped with thinly sliced scallions, cilantro (if using), and toasted sesame seeds.
This quick weeknight dish was packed with flavor. The seasonings had a great balance too. The original recipe notes that tofu can be substituted for the pork to make a vegetarian version.
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Dawn Yanagihara. I reduced the amount of kimchi and increased the amount of garlic. This dish could definitely gobble up more kimchi- I may incorporate the full amount next time. I served it over brown Basmati rice to make a complete meal. Wonderful!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin (can substitute 14 oz extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups Napa cabbage kimchi, drained, large pieces chopped, with 2 T reserved juice (I used 10.6oz jar of Trader Joe’s kimchi)
2 1/2 T soy sauce, divided (I used reduced sodium soy sauce)
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional (I used 1 cup rice cooked in 2 cups stock)
Cut the tenderloin in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise about 1/4-inch thick.
In a medium bowl, stir together the pork, 1 tablespoon of the reserved kimchi juice, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
In a 12 or 14-inch skillet over high, heat 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil until beginning to smoke. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the pork and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl.
In the same pan over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil until beginning to smoke.
Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid released by the mushrooms has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, if necessary (I omitted it), and the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Return the pork to the pan with any accumulated juices and cook until the juices evaporate, 30 to 60 seconds.
Add the kimchi, mirin, the remaining 1 tablespoon kimchi juice and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the kimchi is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the sesame oil, half of the sesame seeds and half of the scallions.
Transfer to a bowl or platter, over rice, if desired. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and sesame seeds. Serve.
This was a great side dish to prepare with my CSA Napa cabbage and scallions. We ate it with spicy pork kebabs and brown Basmati rice. The original recipe recommends serving it with rice to soak up the wonderful sauce. I agree!
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Kate Winslow. I used crushed red pepper flakes instead of Korean hot red-pepper flakes. It would be a great accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
4 cloves garlic—two chopped and two minced
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes or crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
One 1 1/2-pound head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (I used 1/2 of a large head ~about 2 pounds)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, toasted
Mince and mash the 2 cloves of chopped garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt.
In a mini food processor, mince the scallions and remaining 2 cloves of garlic.
Stir together the garlic paste, minced scallions, minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, water, hot red-pepper flakes and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the cabbage, season with a pinch of salt, and stir-fry, using tongs to stir, until the cabbage is just wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss gently to combine.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds.
Note: The sauce can be made 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.
*Korean hot red-pepper flakes are available at Korean markets. Store any leftover flakes, tightly sealed, in the freezer.
This is an another amazing vegetarian chili variation. Hearty too. It was especially wonderful for me as well because it incorporated a lot of flavors typically used in a traditional Mexican mole, one of my absolute loves.
This recipe was adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 Brand-New Recipes from the Natural Foods Restaurant that Revolutionized Eating in America from the Moosewood Collective. I doubled the recipe, increased the garlic, and omitted the ground fennel. We ate it with corn muffins and a green salad. Fabulous!
Yield: Serves 8 to 12
4 T olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onions (I used 2 large onions)
10-12 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground fennel seeds, optional
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T chopped fresh thyme of 2 tsp dried thyme
3 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 cup seeded and chopped poblano peppers (can substitute cubanelle peppers)
3 cups seeded and chopped red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (I used 2 red, 1 yellow, & 1 orange)
6 cups diced butternut squash (bite-size cubes), from 1 medium butternut squash
28-oz can diced tomatoes
2 2/3 cups water
6 T pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 T sesame seeds
2 15-oz cans red kidney beans, drained
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped, or to taste
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 72% cacao dark chocolate)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
sour cream, for garnish
thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
In a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat, warm the oil. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the onions, garlic, fennel, cinnamon, thyme, salt, and black pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions soften, stirring often to prevent sticking.
Add the celery, poblano peppers, and bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes until the peppers brighten and become fragrant.
Stir in the squash and cook for a minute or two more.
Add the tomatoes and water to the pot, cover, bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Using a spice grinder, mini food processor, or a mortar and pestle, finely grind the pepitas and sesame seeds.
When the squash is tender, stir the ground seeds, kidney beans, chipotles to taste, and chocolate into the stew. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro.
Garnish with more cilantro, sliced scallions, and/or sour cream, as desired.
Oh my, this dish has been waiting in the wings for quite some time. After my last post featuring my bounty of bok choy, it’s finally the perfect time to share it.
I paired this chicken dish with the sautéed bok choy. Both recipes were adapted from Bon Appetit. The chicken dish was contributed by Chris Morocco. The original chicken recipe was intended for kebabs on the grill; I modified to cook whole pieces under a broiler. The bok choy dish was contributed by Sara Dickerman and Marissa Lippert. I increased the garlic. Nice!
Yield: Serves 4
For the Sesame-Citrus Sprinkle:
2 T toasted white and/or black sesame seeds
1 T thinly sliced chives or 2 scallions
1 tsp Aleppo-style pepper or other mild red pepper flakes (I used Ancho Chile Powder)
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
For the Chicken And Assembly:
⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugars
⅓ cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1¼ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I used 5 thighs)
Make the Sesame-Citrus Sprinkle:
Mix sesame seeds, chives, Aleppo-style pepper, and lemon zest in a small bowl to combine; season with salt.
Prepare the Chicken:
Combine brown sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and vinegar in a small saucepan.
Transfer ¼ cup mixture to a large resealable plastic bag.
Add chicken thighs to bag with marinade and massage marinade into chicken. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
Meanwhile, bring remaining marinade to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until reduced by half and slightly thickened (just shy of syrupy), 8–10 minutes. Remove glaze from heat.
Preheat a broiler. (I set mine to Convection Broil +Max at 500 degrees.) (Alternatively, Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Oil grates.)
Lightly season the chicken with salt and place under the broiler, until browned and beginning to char in spots, about 4 minutes. Turn over, baste with additional glaze, and cook until the other side is also beginning to char, about 4 to 5 additional minutes.
Serve chicken topped with sesame-citrus sprinkle.
Do Ahead: Glaze can be made 12 hours ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
For the Bok Choy:
1 T vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, cut into quarters, with core intact (I used 4 baby bok choy)
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add bok choy, soy sauce, and 2 T water and cover immediately. Cook 1 minute.
Uncover and toss, then cover and cook until bok choy is tender at the core, about 3 more minutes.
This was such a lovely dinner, I felt like I should have been making it for a dinner party! My family and I did enjoy it… and we didn’t have to share. 😉 We ate this main dish along with Spicy Israeli Couscous with Summer Squash. Great.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Grace Parisi. I made my own za’atar blend and included the ingredients and instructions below.
1 T sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet and coarsely pulsed in a spice grinder
1 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp coarse salt
To Finish the Dish:
1/4 cup canola oil
coarse Kosher salt
Two 12-ounce pork tenderloins, sliced crosswise 1 1/2 inches thick and pounded 1/2 inch thick
2 poblano peppers
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Make the Za’atar: Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until lightly toasted. Pulse in a spice grinder until a powder is formed. Combine with sumac, thyme, and coarse salt.
In a medium bowl, combine the za’atar with the oil. Add the pork, turn to coat and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning frequently, until blackened; transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool slightly. Peel and seed the chiles; cut into thin strips.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pork marinade. Add the pork and cook over high heat, turning once, until white throughout and lightly browned, 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a platter.
Add any remaining marinade oil to the skillet. Add the onion and poblano and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and toss. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the tomatoes are just softened, 4 minutes.
Spoon the tomato-poblano sauce over the pork and serve.
This dish was a labor of love. Rick Bayless titled it “Simple” Red Mole, but I took the “Simple” away from my title. 🙂 The method is simple, but there were so many steps required to make this ultra-FABULOUS sauce I couldn’t describe the dish as simple. Every step was completely worth it! Mole is my absolute favorite and this is a wonderful version. When tasting the sauce for seasoning, I could have gobbled up the entire pot! I did simplify the recipe by using shredded rotisserie chicken in the filling. This recipe is from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless and Jean Marie Brownson. We ate the enchiladas with rice, refried beans, and sautéed kale with spinach and garlic on the side.
Yield: Serves 6 to 9, with about 6 cups of sauce
For the Essential Sweet-and-Spicy Ancho Seasoning Paste:
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
8 medium (about 4 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
scant 1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
6 cups chicken stock, divided
To Finish the Dish:
3 T vegetable oil, plus a little more if needed
2 oz (about 1/2 cup) whole raw almonds (with or without skins)
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/8-inch thick, divided
1/4 cup raisins
2-3 ripe plum tomatoes
scant 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) roughly chopped Mexican chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s 72% cacao Belgian dark chocolate)
2 slices firm white bread, toasted
coarse salt, about 2 1/2 tsp, depending on saltiness of stock
granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon
18 corn tortillas (plus a few extra in case some break)
a spoonful or two of sesame seeds, for garnish
3 cups cooked, coarsely shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
rice, for serving, optional
refried beans, for serving, optional
Make the Essential Sweet-and-Spicy Ancho Seasoning Paste:
Roast the unpeeled garlic directly on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet (I used a cast-iron skillet) over medium heat until soft (they’ll blacken in spots), about 10 minutes; cool and peel.
While the garlic is roasting, toast the chiles on another side of the griddle or skillet: 1 or 2 at a time, open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula; in a few seconds, when they crackle, even send up a wisp of smoke, flip them and press down to toast the other side.
In a bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.
Combine the oregano, black pepper, cumin, and clove in a food processor along with the chiles, garlic, and 2/3 cup of the stock. Process to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. If the mixture won’t go through the blender blades, add a little more liquid. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
Make the Mole:
In a medium-size (4 to 6-quart) pot (I used an enameled cast iron pot), heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Add the almonds and cook, stirring regularly, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the almonds to a food processor.
Add half of the sliced onion to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until richly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to scoop the onions in with the almonds, leaving behind as much oil as possible. (If needed, add a little more oil or lard to the pan, let heat, then continue.)
Add the raisins, stir for a minute as they puff, then use the slotted spoon to scoop them in with the almonds.
Roast the tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip them over and roast the other side.
Once the tomatoes are cool, peel and add to the almond mixture in the food processor, along with the cinnamon, chocolate and toasted bread. Add 1 cup of the stock and blend to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds.
Return the pot to medium-high heat, and, if necessary, add a little more oil or lard to coat the bottom lightly. When very hot, add the ancho mixture and cook, stirring almost constantly, until darker and very thick, about 5 minutes.
Add the pureed almond mixture and cook, stirring constantly for another few minutes, until very thick once again.
Stir in the remaining 4 1/3 cups stock, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium-low for 45 minutes. Taste and season with salt and sugar. (The sugar balances the strong flavors.)
Finish the Enchiladas:
Warm a plate for each person in a warming drawer or in the oven on the lowest setting.
Warm the tortillas: I put 6 to 8 tortillas at a time on a microwave safe dish (I have a tortilla warmer) covered with a damp paper towel and lid or plastic wrap. Heat for 1 minute or until warm, soft and pliable.
Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet, stirring frequently, over medium heat until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
In a medium-size saucepan, combine the chicken with 1 1/2 cups of the mole and warm over medium heat. Bring the remaining mole to a simmer.
To serve: Quickly make the enchiladas by scooping 2 generous tablespoons of chicken onto a tortilla, rolling it up and placing it on a warm dinner plate. Continue making enchiladas, arranging 2 or 3 per plate, then douse them liberally with the hot mole. Strew with the remaining sliced onion and toasted sesame seeds.
The finished mole will keep for several days, covered and refrigerated; it also freezes well. Reheat, taste and adjust the seasonings before finishing the dish.
Leftover chicken, pork, shredded roast, turkey, grilled steak, or even roasted squash or sweet potato mixed with grilled onion and/or blanched greens would also be wonderful fillings.
The sauce could be served over poached chicken with rice on the side as an alternative special dinner.