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TODAY recipes
updated 11/21/2013 5:26:07 PM ET 2013-11-21T22:26:07

Recipe: Fig toasties

  • 1/2 cup fig jam
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 slices white sandwich bread
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix jam, red pepper flakes, and vinegar in a small bowl; season with salt. Set half of spicy fig jam aside.

Spread 6 slices of bread with remaining spicy fig jam and top with cheddar and remaining 6 slices of bread. Spread outside of sandwiches with butter. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, cook sandwiches, pressing down firmly, until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet and keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles and serve with reserved spicy fig jam for dipping.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Spicy glazed pork ribs

  • 1/2 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 pounds baby back pork ribs, separated into individual ribs

Whisk gochujang, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl until smooth; season with salt.

Toss ribs and half of marinade in a 13x9-inch baking dish; set aside remaining marinade. Cover ribs with foil and chill at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake ribs, covered, until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Uncover and increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Roast, turning occasionally and brushing with reserved marinade during last 5 minutes, until ribs are deeply browned, glazed, and fork-tender, 40 to 45 minutes longer.

Do ahead: Ribs can be marinated 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Recipe: Shrimp and grits

  • For shrimp and sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/4 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 pound tasso or andouille sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, shells reserved
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • For grits and assembly:
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 1 cup grits (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Shrimp and sauce:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and tasso and cook, stirring often, until bacon is crisp and fat is rendered, 5 to 7 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add reserved shrimp shells and cook, stirring and mashing shells occasionally, until shells are browned and softened, about 4 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add thyme sprig and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Add orange and lemon juice, wine, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into a medium saucepan; discard solids.

Cover and keep sauce warm.

Heat butter and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to skillet and cook until golden brown and opaque in the centers, about 1 minute per side. Add peas and cook, tossing occasionally, until heated through, about 1 minute. Add reserved bacon and tasso and toss to coat.             

Do ahead: Bacon and tasso and sauce can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature; reheat before using.           

Grits and assembly:

While sauce is cooking, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons salt and slowly whisk in grits. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until thick and creamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in mascarpone and butter. Season with salt.

Serve grits topped with shrimp mixture and warm sauce.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

Recipe: Coconut-chia pudding

  • 2 cups unsweetened nut or coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons black or white chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for serving
  • Maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup (for serving)
  • Dried fruit and chopped nuts (for serving)

Combine nut milk, chia seeds, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons coconut in a medium bowl or large jar. Whisk or cover and shake to combine. 

Let sit, whisking or shaking occasionally, 5 minutes (this prevents clumps from forming). Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Serve pudding in bowls, drizzled with maple syrup and topped with dried fruit, nuts, and more coconut.

Do ahead: Pudding can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Serving Size

Makes 2 servings

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