1 400g block firm tofu, cut into sticks approximately 2 inches long and ½ inch square
¼ cup canola oil
1 large carrot, julienned
1 handful pea greens, torn if large leaves
Assorted fresh herbs, such as cilantro, mint, and Thai basil
Finely sliced Thai bird or serrano chili peppers (optional)
20 dried spring roll rice paper wrappers
½ cup shelled peanuts
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 medium cloves garlic
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
Dry chili flakes, to taste (optional)
1. Place tofu in a large colander and set in the sink. Pour 1 quart boiling water over tofu sticks and let rest for 1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel–lined tray and press dry. Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add tofu and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp on all surfaces, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
2. Make the dipping sauce: Toast peanuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375°F oven until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Combine sugar and garlic in the mortar and pound with the pestle into a smooth paste. Add peanuts and pound to form a chunky paste. Add soy sauce, sambal oelek, peanut butter, and tamarind concentrate and firmly stir until a chunky mixture is formed. Add canola oil and stir to combine. Add water to thin to a pourable but still thick consistency. Adjust heat with chili flakes, if desired.
3. Transfer drained tofu to a large bowl and add 5 tablespoons peanut-tamarind sauce. Toss to coat tofu.
4. Transfer tofu, carrots, greens, herbs, peanuts, peppers, and remaining dipping sauce to serving platters. Serve with rice paper wrappers and a bowl of warm water.
5. To assemble: dip a rice paper wrapper in warm water until moist on all surfaces, then transfer to your plate. Place a small amount of desired fillings in the center. Roll the front edge of the wrapper over the filling away from you, then fold the right side over toward the center. Continue rolling until a tight roll with one open end has formed. Dip spring roll in dipping sauce as you eat.
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 4- to 4½-pound chicken
1. To prepare rub: Combine chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, salt, paprika, garlic powder, ginger and cayenne in a small bowl.
2. To prepare chicken: Remove giblets from chicken and trim any excess skin and fat. Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard. Place the chicken cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand.
3. Rub the dry rub mixture under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat and rub a little on the skin. Let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
4. To grill chicken: Place 2 foil-wrapped bricks or a heavy pan on the grill rack. Preheat a gas grill to medium. Turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill). Oil the grill rack. Wearing oven mitts, remove the hot bricks and set the chicken on the rack, skin-side down, over the unlit portion of the grill. Place one brick on each half of the chicken, close the lid and grill until the skin is well marked and golden around the edges, 28 to 30 minutes.
5. Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove the bricks. Using a large spatula, carefully turn the chicken over. Replace the bricks, close the lid and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, 28 to 30 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before carving.
1 large cucumber, split lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄3 cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 habanero pepper, seeded and julienned
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and julienned
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. feta, cut into ½” pieces (optional)
1⁄3 cup roughly chopped basil
1. Toss cucumber and salt in a colander set over a bowl; let drain for 15 minutes.
2. Spread cucumber onto paper towels and pat dry.
3. Whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl. Add cucumbers, peppers, onion, feta, if using, and basil; toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 very ripe peaches
2 liters club soda
16 fresh mint leaves
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring 1 cup water, sugar, and ginger to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove simple syrup from heat, cover, and steep for about 30 minutes.
2. Over a medium bowl, pour syrup through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing minced ginger against sieve with the back of a spoon to extract flavor. Discard ginger. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled.
3. Evenly distribute peach slices among 8 tall glasses. For each glass, lightly press peaches with the back of a wooden spoon to release their juice.
4. Pour about 2 tablespoons chilled syrup over peaches. (Store remaining syrup in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)
5. Add ice cubes; then top with seltzer. Stir to distribute syrup, peach juice, and seltzer evenly. Garnish with 2 mint leaves.