Knife-and-Fork Egg Salad Sandwiches with Chives

Knife-and-Fork Egg Salad Sandwiches with Chives
I like to serve this egg salad on slices of brown bread made according to the classic recipe found in James Beard’s Beard on Bread (Knopf, 1973), though it’s equally delicious atop any bread or even eaten on its own.
Serves: 4
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup finely chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped celery leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 4 large slices pumpernickel bread
  • 1½ tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 small bunch watercress, stems trimmed
  1. Arrange eggs in a single layer in a medium pot and cover with cold water by 1″. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately remove pot from heat. Cover and let rest for 8–10 minutes undisturbed. Drain eggs, leaving them in the pot; shake the pot to crack their shells. Cover eggs with cold water, swish around, then drain. Cover again, this time with icy-cold water (add a few ice cubes if necessary), and set aside to let chill for 20 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop eggs.
  2. Combine eggs, half the chives, celery leaves, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl and fold together gently to combine. Add mayonnaise and vinegar, and fold again, being careful not to mash up the eggs.
  3. Toast bread lightly, then butter each slice on one side. Arrange a bit of the watercress on top of each piece of toast, buttered side up. Dollop each piece with a generous scoop of egg salad. Transfer the sandwiches to plates. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve immediately.


Honey Walnut Plum Cake

Honey Walnut Plum Cake
This cake needs no icing, although I sometimes drizzle a thread of warmed honey over each slice before serving. I also like to serve it with a dollop of honey-sweetened whipped cream, Greek yogurt or luxurious mascarpone. To truly gild the lily, add a few honey-coated walnut halves or honey-candied orange zest. Besides lending a wonderful flavor to this appealing cake, honey increases its keeping properties. Well-wrapped and unrefrigerated, this cake keeps for several days. Makes one 9-inch cake
Serves: Makes one 9-inch cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces (about 1⅓ cups) walnut pieces, lightly toasted
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup honey, preferably a floral or citrus variety
  • ¼ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon grated tangerine zest
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons brandy, preferably Armagnac or Cognac (or ½ teaspoon vanilla)
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) dried plums (prunes), chopped into ¼-inch bits
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and set a rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, add about half the flour mixture (this prevents the nuts from becoming oily), and grind the nuts until powdery. Add the remaining flour, and whir to combine.
  4. In a mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon, cream together the butter, honey and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the tangerine zest, and mix to combine. One by one, add the eggs, mixing well after each addition. Add the brandy. Add the dry ingredients, mixing gently until incorporated. Stir in the plums. Spread the batter into the cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edge, turn it out and let it cool, right side up, on a cake rack.


Braised Lamb Shanks Provençal

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Braised Lamb Shanks Provençal
Braising meaty lamb shanks in a piquant mix of sour lemons, black olives, and fresh tomatoes offsets their rich, gamy flavor. If you make this in early autumn when the first nips of cold air wake up your appetite for slow-cooked meats, look for the last of the local ripe plum tomatoes in the market. If good fresh tomatoes are unavailable, use canned. The dish will be every bit as satisfying. Serve with soft polenta or buttery mashed potatoes.
Serves: 6
  • 6 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each)
  • All-purpose flour for dredging (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions (about 1 pound total), chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or one 14½-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
  • 1 cup chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 small or 2 large bay leaves
  • ½cup pitted and coarsely chopped oil-cured black olives, such as Nyons or Moroccan
  • ¼cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Trimming the lamb shanks: If the shanks are covered in a tough parchment-like outer layer (called the fell), trim this away by inserting a thin knife under it to loosen and peeling back this layer. Remove any excess fat as well, but don’t fuss with trying to peel off any of the thin membrane—this holds the shank together and will melt down during braising.
  3. Dredging the lamb shanks: Pour the flour into a shallow dish and stir in 1 tablespoon of the paprika. Season the shanks all over with salt and pepper. Roll half the shanks in the flour, lifting them out one by one and patting to remove any excess, and set them on a large plate or tray, without touching.
  4. Browning the lamb shanks: Heat the oil in a large heavy-based braising pot (6- to 7- quart) over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the 3 flour-dredged shanks (you’re searing in two batches so as not to crowd the pot). Cook, turning the shanks with tongs, until they are gently browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the shanks to a plate or tray, without stacking or crowding. Dredge the remaining shanks in flour, patting to remove any excess, and brown them. Set beside the already browned shanks, and discard the remaining flour.
  5. The aromatics and braising liquid: Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot and return the pot to the heat. If the bottom of the pot is at all blackened, wipe it out with a damp paper towel, being careful to leave behind any tasty caramelized drippings. Add the onions, tomatoes with their juice, and the garlic and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are mostly tender. Pour in the wine and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the pot that will contribute flavor to the liquid. Simmer for 3 minutes. Pour in the stock, stir and scrape the bottom again, and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, zest the lemon: Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from half of 1 lemon, being careful to remove only the outermost yellow zest, not the bitter-tasting white pith; reserve the lemon. Add the zest to the pot, along with the bay leaves.
  7. The braise: Arrange the lamb shanks on top of the vegetables. The shanks should fit fairly snugly in the pot, but you may need to arrange them “head-to-toe” so they fit more evenly. Don’t worry if they are stacked in two layers. Cover the pot with parchment paper, pressing down so that it nearly touches the lamb and the edges of the paper extend about an inch over the side of the pot. Set the lid in place, slide the pot into the lower part of the oven, and braise for about 2½hours. Check the shanks every 35 to 45 minutes, turning them with tongs and moving those on top to the bottom and vice versa, and making sure that there is still plenty of braising liquid. If the liquid seems to be simmering too aggressively at any point, lower the oven heat by 10 to 15 degrees. If the liquid threatens to dry out, add ⅓cup water. The shanks are done when the meat is entirely tender and they slide off a meat fork when you try to spear them.
  8. Segmenting the lemon: While the shanks braise, use a thin-bladed knife (a boning knife works well) to carve the entire peel from the 2 lemons. The easiest way to do this is to first cut off the stem and blossom end of each one so the lemon is flat on the top and bottom. Then stand the lemon up and carve off the peel and white pith beneath it with arcing slices to expose the fruit. Trim away any bits of pith or membrane that you’ve left behind, until you have a whole naked lemon. Now, working over a small bowl to collect the juices, hold a lemon in one hand and cut out the individual segments, leaving as much of the membrane behind as you can. Drop the segments into the bowl, and pick out the seeds as you go. When you finish, you should be holding a random star-shaped membrane with very little fruit pulp attached. Give this a squeeze into the bowl and discard. Repeat with the second lemon.
  9. The finish: Transfer the shanks to a tray to catch any juices, and cover with foil to keep warm. Using a wide spoon, skim as much surface fat from the cooking liquid as possible. Lamb shanks tend to throw off quite a bit of fat: continue skimming (tilting the pot to gather all the liquid in one corner makes it easier) until you are satisfied. Set the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the lemon segments, olives, and parsley. Taste for salt and pepper. Return the shanks to the braising liquid to reheat for a minute or two. Serve with plenty of sauce spooned over each shank.


Orange-Scented Mediterranean Shrimp Braise

Orange-Scented Mediterranean Shrimp Braise
The braising liquid for this dish consists of a colorful mix of tomatoes, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery that I brighten with the zests and juice of orange and lime. I also include small potatoes to turn this into a satisfying one-dish meal. The shrimp get tossed in just a few minutes before serving, making the finished dish a real cornucopia of seafood and vegetables. Since this braise comes out rather soupy, serve it in shallow pasta bowls. If you’ve got guests with raging appetites, ladle the braise over linguine or rice.
Serves: 4
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 /2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about ½ small onion)
  • 1 /2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 small carrot)
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery (1/2 stalk)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
  • 2 strips orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler (each about 3 inches by ¾inch)
  • 1 strip lime zest, removed with a vegetable peeler (about 2 inches by ½inch)
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • One 14½-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped (or 1⅓cups chopped, peeled, and seeded ripe plum tomatoes)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¾ pound small potatoes, preferably fingerlings or white creamers
  • ¼ cup small green olives, such as Picholine, not pitted
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ pound large shrimp (30 to 35 count per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces (optional)
  1. The aromatics and braising liquid: Heat the oil in a large deep lidded skillet (13-inch works well) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and sauté until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté another minute more. Add the white wine, orange and lime zests, and orange and lime juices, and let the liquid simmer vigorously until reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Return to a simmer.
  2. The braise: Turn the heat to very low, cover, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes, olives, and capers. Stir so the potatoes are evenly distributed, replace the cover, and continue to simmer until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, another 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. The finish: Add the shrimp, leave the pan uncovered, and adjust the heat so the liquid simmers gently. Simmer just until the shrimp are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, and taste. If the sauce tastes too acidic or too sharp, stir in the butter. The small bit of butter will soften the acidity nicely. Taste again for salt and pepper. Remove the zests if you like, and serve in shallow bowls.



Penne with Grilled Zucchini and Mint

Penne with Grilled Zucchini and Mint
Penne with Grilled Zucchini and mint is the perfect summer pasta — few ingredients, easy prep, big flavors. Ricotta salata is a firm cheese with a mildly salty flavor. It’s available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores, and at Italian markets.
Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds small zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (for brushing)
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound penne or ziti pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup crumbled ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta cheese; about 3 ounces)
  1. Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Arrange zucchini on rimmed baking sheet; brush all over with oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Grill zucchini until tender, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place in large serving bowl. Add vinegar, mint, and crushed red pepper; set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Add pasta to zucchini mixture, then add 3 tablespoons olive oil and ricotta salata and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Asparagus-Ricotta Tart with Comte Cheese

Asparagus-Ricotta Tart with Comte Cheese
There’s pure asparagus flavor in each bite of this elegant tart. Comté cheese is a semifirm, Gruyère-style cow’s-milk cheese. It is available at some supermarkets, cheese shops, and specialty foods stores.
Serves: Makes 6 to 8 appetizer or 4 main-course servings
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten to blend
  • 1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed
  • ½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ ounces thinly sliced soppressata or other salami, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ⅔ cup grated Comté cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out pastry on floured surface to 13×10-inch rectangle. Cut off ½-inch-wide strip from all 4 sides. Brush strips on 1 side with some of beaten egg, then press strips, egg side down, onto edges of pastry to adhere, forming raised border. Brush border with egg; reserve remaining beaten egg. Transfer to baking sheet. Chill while preparing filling.
  2. Steam asparagus just until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Cut off top 2 to 3 inches of asparagus tops; set aside. Coarsely puree remaining asparagus stalks in processor. Add remaining beaten egg, ricotta, 3 teaspoons oil, and salt;process until thick puree forms. Transfer to bowl; stir in salami and ⅓ cup Comté cheese; season with pepper. Spread mixture evenly over pastry. Sprinkle with remaining ⅓ cup Comté cheese. Toss asparagus tips with remaining 1 teaspoon oil; arrange tips over filling.
  3. Bake tart until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Sausages & Plums Braised in Red Wine

Sausages & Plums Braised in Red Wine
As you’re cutting up the plums for this recipe, taste a piece. If the plums are on the sour side (as some early-season varieties are), add a pinch of sugar to the braise to bring out their sweetness. If plums aren’t in season make the dish with grapes (see the variation that follows). Since there’s no stock in the braising liquid to round out the flavor of the wine, it’s important here to use a wine that really tastes good to you. I particularly like using a lightly fruity but dry Beaujolais—a real Beaujolais, not the raw-tasting Nouveau Beaujolais that shows up every November. Serve with polenta or sautéed potatoes and a baguette or other crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the gorgeous magenta-hued sauce. It’s too good to leave any behind. Pass a simple tossed arugula or spinach salad at the table.
  • 1 pound ripe purple or red plums, such as Santa Rosa or Italian (or grapes, see variation that follows)
  • 1¾ to 2 pounds sweet Italian sausages (with or without fennel seed)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 3 scant tablespoons)
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh sage or ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar, if needed
  • ⅔ cup light, fruity dry red wine, such as Beaujolais, Dolcetto, or Pinot Noir
  1. The plums: Working over a bowl to collect the juices, cut the plums into ½-inch wedges, tasting a piece to judge their sweetness, and letting them drop into the bowl. If the plums are not freestone, you’ll have to cut the flesh away from the pits with a knife. Set aside.
  2. Browning the sausages: If the sausages are linked together, separate the links with a sharp paring knife or a pair of scissors. Prick each link in several places with the tip of a sharp knife (this will prevent the sausages from exploding). Heat the oil in a large lidded skillet or shallow braising pan (12-inch is a good choice) over medium-high heat until the oil slides easily across the pan. Add the sausages and fry them, turning frequently with tongs, until a medium brown crust has formed on at least three sides, 10 to 12 minutes total. Using tongs, so as not to pierce the casings further, transfer the sausages to a large plate, without stacking.
  3. The aromatics: Depending on how fatty the sausages are, there may or may not be an excess of fat in the pan. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon, return the pan to medium heat, and add the shallot. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon, and sauté just until the shallot begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and sage, stir again, and sauté until fragrant, another 30 seconds or so. Add the plums and all of their juices. Season with salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar if the plums tasted tart. Stir and sauté until the juices begin to sizzle, about 2 minutes.
  4. The braising liquid: Pour in the wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any precious cooked-on bits that will enrich the flavor of the braising liquid. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to meld the flavors some.
  5. The braise: Return the sausages to the pan, nestling them down so they are surrounded by the plums. Add any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer. Check after 5 minutes to make sure that the wine is not simmering too excitedly. If it is, lower the heat or put a heat diffuser beneath the pan. Continue braising gently, turning the sausages after 15 minutes, until the sausages are cooked all the way through, 25 to 30 minutes total. Check for doneness by piercing a sausage with a skewer or meat fork to see if the juices run clear. If you are unsure, nick a sausage with a small knife and peer inside to see that there is no pink left.
  6. The finish: Transfer the sausages with tongs to a serving platter. Lift the plums from the pan with a slotted spoon and arrange them around the sausages. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Return the braising liquid to the stove. Taste and evaluate the sauce. Depending on how juicy the plums and sausages were, you may or may not need to reduce the sauce: it should be the consistency of a thick vinaigrette. If necessary, bring to a strong simmer over medium-high heat, and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes to thicken and concentrate the flavor. I don’t bother skimming this sauce, since the fat from the sausages is integral in balancing the taste, but it never tastes oily or fatty. Taste for salt and pepper. The sauce is meant to be slightly sharp to offset the rich taste of the pork sausage. Pour the sauce over the sausages and plums, and serve.

Substitute whole seedless red or purple table grapes for the plums. Add them in place of the plums in Step 3. Most grapes are sweet enough on their own so as not to need the pinch of sugar. Taste and judge for yourself.


Basic Roast Chicken

Basic Roast Chicken
This is what I make when I want a straight-up, no-fuss delicious roast chicken: I season the chicken (in advance if there’s time), set it on a few thick slices of onion or lemon (my choice is usually based on what I have on hand) in a skillet or gratin dish, and pop it in a hot oven and just wait for it to be done. The slices in the bottom of the pan eliminate the need for a roasting rack while keeping the skin from sticking to the bottom pan. They also add a bit of flavor to the drippings, the lemon adding some brightness and the onion a little savory sweetness. (You can even use both together, though you’ll have half a lemon and half an onion leftover.) The best tasting, juiciest chicken starts at the market. I cannot emphasize enough that your roast chicken can only be as good as the bird itself. This means avoiding chicken from the big-name commodity producers whose intentions are to raise poultry as quickly as possible for the least amount of expense and instead looking for a chicken from a smaller producer who cares about flavor and quality. The next step is to salt the bird (Step 1 below) at least 8 hours (and up to 48 hours) before roasting. The salt not only adds flavor, but it also works wonders to make the chicken more tender.
  • One 3½- to 4½-pound chicken, preferably not a factory-farmed one
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 lemon or 1 medium onion, ends cut off, cut into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, softened
  1. Season the chicken, preferably at least 8 hours (and up to 48 hours) in advance. Over the sink, remove the giblets (they are usually tucked into the cavity), and discard or reserve for another use. Hold the chicken over the drain and let any juices run out. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. With your fingers, pull away and discard any large deposits of fat from the neck or body cavity opening. Sprinkle the salt all over the surface of the chicken, including the back, thighs and drumsticks, and put a little into the cavity as well. Arrange the salted chicken on a wire rack (a cake cooling rack or roasting rack works well) set in a baking dish or some kind of tray to catch any drips. (The rack allows the air to circulate and promotes a crisper skin all over, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If space is tight or you don’t have a rack that fits, just set the chicken in a dish.) Refrigerate, ideally uncovered but a loose covering of plastic wrap is fine, for at least 8 and up to 48 hours.
  2. Heat the oven. Center an oven rack and heat the oven to 400 degrees (375 degrees convection). Let the chicken stand at room temperature while the oven heats.
  3. Roast the chicken. Arrange the lemon or onion slices in a single layer in the center of a large ovenproof skillet or a gratin dish (11- to 12-inch works well; you can also use a small, low-sided roasting pan). Place the chicken on top of the lemon or onion, and tuck the wing tips back so they are secure under the neck bone. Rub the olive oil or butter evenly over the breast and legs, and roast, with the legs facing the rear of the oven until the juices run clear with only a trace of pink when you prick the thigh, and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) registers 170 degrees, for a total of 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken and the strength of your oven. Lift the chicken with a meat fork or sturdy tongs inserted in the cavity, and carefully tilt to pour the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan.
  4. Rest and carve. Transfer the chicken to a carving board (preferably one with a trough to catch the drippings) and let the chicken rest for 10 to 20 minutes before caring and serving


Tunisian-Style Harissa


Tunisian-Style Harissa
Tunisian-style harissa is a thick, brick-red paste of sun-dried chiles, sun-dried tomatoes, freshly ground spices, garlic and fruity olive oil. (The more familiar Moroccan harissa, by contrast, is thinner and contains only chiles, tomato paste and salt.) The best you can buy comes from Les Moulins Mahjoub and is available at Zingerman’s. You can also make a very good harissa at home, but I often leave out the sun-dried tomatoes for a simpler version. If you have good olive-oil packed sun-dried tomatoes on hand (the ones from Les Moulins Majhoub are also excellent), add a scant ¼ cup and expect the recipe to make closer to 1 cup of harissa.
Serves: Makes about ¾ cup
  • 2 ounces dried chiles, preferably a mix of guajillo and New Mexico or pasillas
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  1. Soak the chiles. Put the chiles in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. If the chiles float, weight them down with a small plate. Let them sit until softened, about 25 minutes.
  2. Toast the spices. Combine the coriander, cumin, and caraway in a small, dry skillet and heat over medium, shaking the pan to prevent burning, until fragrant and beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar or spice grinder, let cool, and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Make the paste. Outfit a food processor with a chopping blade, and, with the motor running, drop the garlic cloves into the feed tube. Process until finely minced. Drain the chiles, and tear them into medium-small pieces, removing and discarding the seeds and stems. Add the chiles to the food processor along with the ground spices and the salt. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides, to make a course puree. Add the olive oil, and process briefly to incorporate (avoid overworking the olive oil, as that can turn it bitter).
  4. Pack in a jar. Transfer the paste to a clean glass jar—the paste may discolor plastic containers—packing it down with a small rubber spatula. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the surface (this preserves the flavor and color). Put a lid on the jar, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Top off with olive oil after each use.