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Tempura Shishito Peppers

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by chef Zaz Suffy of the Cohn Restaurant Group.

• Canola or vegetable oil, for deep-frying

• 1 c. all-purpose flour

• 1/2 c. plus 1 tbsp. cornstarch, divided

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 c. cold soda water, more if desired

• 24 shishito peppers

• Sriracha salt (see recipe)

Directions

Fill a large heavy-bottom pot with enough oil to come up the sides by about 3 inches. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, the baking soda and salt. Whisk in the soda water to form a batter. Thin the batter, if desired, with a little more soda water.

Toss the peppers with the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dusting off any excess. Dunk the peppers, 1 at a time, into the batter, then place in the fryer.

Deep-fry the peppers, a few at a time, until the batter is puffed and lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Season the peppers with the Sriracha Salt and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 255 Fat 17 g Sodium 415 mg

Carbohydrates 23 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 2 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 starch, 3 ½ fat.

Sriracha Salt

Makes about 1 cup.

Note: Plan ahead as this requires two to three hours of drying time. Adapted from chef Zaz Suffy of the Cohn Restaurant Group.

• 1 c. (1/2 lb.) kosher salt

• 1/4 c. (2 oz.) Sriracha sauce

Directions

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, mix together the salt and Sriracha until the salt is evenly coated with the sauce.

Spread the salt out in a very thin, even layer. Place the salt in the oven and toast until the salt is completely dried, 2 to 3 hours. Remove from heat and cool.

Pulse the salt in a food processor to break up the large chunks. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to several weeks.

Spicy Shishitos With Crispy Quinoa

Serves 2 to 4.

Note: The quinoa needs to soak overnight. Bottarga is available at United Noodles in Minneapolis. Adapted from Jason Bowlin, chef de cuisine at Redbird in Los Angeles.

• 3 generous tbsp.(1 oz.) red quinoa

• 2 to 4 tbsp. canola oil

• 12 shishito peppers

• 2 tbsp. fish sauce

• 2 tbsp. citrus juice (an equal combination of lemon, orange and lime)

• Bottarga, shaved (salted, cured fish roe), for garnish (see Note)

• Coarse sea salt, preferably Maldon, for garnish

Directions

Soak the quinoa in water overnight to soften. The next day, drain the quinoa well.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, and coat with a thin film of canola oil. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the quinoa to paper towels to drain and cool.

Heat a large heavy-bottom sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the remaining oil, and when it begins to shimmer, carefully add the peppers, blistering them on all sides.

Carefully stir in the fish sauce and citrus juice, tossing the peppers to coat thoroughly. Remove from heat.

Using tongs, remove the peppers (leave the oil and liquid in the pan) to a serving plate. Garnish with the crispy quinoa, shaved bottarga and salt. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per each of 4 servings:

Calories 115 Fat 8 g Sodium 540 mg

Carbohydrates 9 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 3 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 15 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: ½ carb, ½ lean protein, 1 ½ fat.

Shishito Grilled Cheese

Makes 1 sandwich.

Note: Use a combination of crumbled fresh goat and part-skim mozzarella cheeses for a delicious combo. From Noelle Carter.

• 8 shishito peppers

• 2 large slices French or Italian bread

• 6 to 8 tbsp. mayonnaise, more if needed

• 3 oz. cheese (see note)

• 1/3 c. drained Quick-Pickled Carrots and Daikon, or as desired (see recipe)

• Fresh sprigs cilantro

Directions

Heat a griddle or cast iron pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the shishito peppers and toast until softened and blistered on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes, rotating frequently. Remove from heat and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Spread mayonnaise on 1 side of each of the slices of bread. Top each slice with half of the cheese. On top of 1 slice, arrange the shishito peppers, then the drained pickles and cilantro sprigs. Top with the inverted second slice of bread to form a sandwich, pressing gently so everything stays together.

Heat the griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Meanwhile, spread mayonnaise on the outside of one side of the sandwich.

Invert the sandwich onto the hot griddle, and spread mayonnaise on the second (top) side. Grill the sandwich until the bread is crisp and golden-brown, and the cheese is starting to melt. Flip the sandwich and repeat with the second side. Remove from heat.

Slice the sandwich and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 1,280 Fat 93 g Sodium 1,960 mg

Carbohydrates 78 g Saturated fat 26 g Total sugars 16 g

Protein 35 g Cholesterol 120 mg Dietary fiber 8 g

Exchanges per serving: 4 starch, 1 carb, 3 high-fat protein, 13 fat.

Quick-Pickled Carrots and Daikon

Makes 3 cups drained pickles.

Note: From Noelle Carter.

• 3/4 lb. carrots (about 4)

• 3/4 lb. daikon radish root

• 3/4 c. sugar

• 1 c. rice wine vinegar

• 1 tbsp. kosher salt

Directions

Peel and finely julienne the carrot and daikon, and place in a glass or nonreactive container or bowl.

In a saucepan, heat the sugar, 1 cup water, vinegar and salt over high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Continue heating just until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the vegetables.

Stir the mixture, coating the vegetables and making sure they are submerged (if necessary, weight them down to keep them under the liquid). Set aside for 1/2 to 1 hour to quickly pickle, then cover and refrigerate. This will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition information per ¼ cup:

Calories 25 Fat 0 g Sodium 140 mg

Carbohydrates 6 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: ½ carb.