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Each dish, as amazing as it can possibly be

Each dish, as amazing as it can possibly be
For a moist and remarkably tender turkey, Judy Rodgers recommends brining the bird for two days, then roasting it. It’s important to let it rest after cooking. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)


Each (4-ounce)serving: 264 calories; 32 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrate; 0 fiber; 14 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 101 mg. cholesterol; 543 mg. sodium.

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Potato gratin forestière

Total time:

1 hour, 50 minutes

Servings:

6 to 8

Note:

From "Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook," by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan

1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, separated by variety, cleaned, trimmed and sliced

2 tablespoons (approximately) unsalted butter, divided

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

2 cloves garlic, peeled, split, germ removed, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves

3 cups heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated

nutmeg

4 pounds Idaho or other russet potatoes

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a medium sauté pan

or skillet over medium heat, sauté each variety of mushroom in just enough butter to keep the mushrooms from sticking. Season each batch with about one-eighth teaspoon salt and a pinch of white pepper and cook, stirring, just until the mushrooms are tender but not colored, a few minutes for each batch. When one type of mushroom is cooked, drain, turn it into a large bowl and repeat with the next type. You need to sauté the mushrooms separately because each type has a different cooking time.

2. Mix the cooked mushrooms

together in the bowl. Stir in the garlic and thyme and set aside at room temperature until needed. (The mushrooms can be sautéed up to 2 hours ahead and kept covered with plastic wrap at room temperature.)

3. Place a rack

in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch baking dish.

4. Pour the cream

into a large bowl and whisk in 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, one-half teaspoon white pepper and the nutmeg. (Add more salt than you might normally add because the potatoes will need it.)

5. Peel the potatoes

and slice them into one-eighth-inch thick rounds using a mandoline, the thinnest slicing blade on the food processor or a knife. Toss the potatoes into the cream as you slice them.

6. Using your hands,

remove enough potato slices from the cream to make a single layer on the bottom of the pan, arranging the slices in even, overlapping concentric circles. Make a second layer of potato slices and then pour some cream over the layers. Press down on the potatoes to compact the layers — when you do this, some of the cream should rise up between the slices.

7. Spread the mushrooms

(minus whatever liquid may have accumulated in the bowl) over the potatoes and pour in more cream, again using your hands to press down on the ingredients and bring the cream to the top. Arrange the remaining potatoes in layers over the mushrooms, pouring in cream and pressing down as you finish each layer. You may not need all of the cream; you've added enough when, without pressing down, you see cream at the edges.

8. Dust the gratin

evenly with the Parmesan cheese and place the gratin on a foil-lined baking sheet.

9. Bake the gratin

45 minutes, then check that it's not getting too brown. If necessary, lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees to keep the gratin from coloring too much. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until you can easily pass a slender knife through the layers.

10. Remove the gratin

from the oven and keep it warm about 20 minutes to allow the potatoes to soak up more cream. To serve, cut into wedges.


Each of 8 servings: 522 calories; 9 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 37 grams fat; 23 grams saturated fat; 132 mg. cholesterol; 870 mg. sodium.

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My father's cranberry sauce

Total time:

25 minutes, plus

2 hours chilling

Servings:

Makes 6 cups

Note:

From Lydia Shire

2 cinnamon sticks

30 whole cloves

8 whole allspice

3 cups water

3 (12-ounce) bags cranberries

3 cups sugar

1. Place the cinnamon sticks,

cloves and allspice in a cheesecloth bag and tie it shut.

2. In a large pot,

bring the water to a boil and add the spices and cranberries. Simmer until they are soft and beginning to jell, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Place a strainer

over a large bowl. Remove the bag of spices and pour the cranberries into the strainer, pressing them through with the back of a spoon and scraping from time to time to clear the mesh. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Discard the solids in the strainer.

4. In a clean pot,

combine the strained cranberries and the sugar and bring the mixture to a rapid boil and cook until it begins to set, about 2 minutes or so. Pour into a serving dish or dishes. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.


Each tablespoon: 29 calories; 0 protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 0 sodium.

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Duxelles-stuffed Savoy cabbage

Total time:

1 hour, 55 minutes

Servings:

12

Note:

From Michel Richard

1 to 3 heads Savoy cabbage (enough for 12 large leaves)

1 tablespoon hazelnut oil

(or olive oil)

2 pounds mixed mushrooms (button, shiitake and

portabello), finely chopped

1 teaspoon curry powder

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups chicken stock

1. Remove the outer leaves

of the cabbage, choosing 12 of the largest. Blanch the leaves in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until they soften, about 2 minutes. Immediately remove them from the water and shock them in a bowl full of ice water to stop the cooking. Press them dry between sheets of paper towel. Cut away the thick white spine from the centers of the leaves and set aside.

2. Chop enough

of the inner leaves to make 2 cups.

3. Heat the hazelnut oil

in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and curry powder and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Season with three-quarters of a teaspoon salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper, or to taste, and set aside to cool briefly.

4. Heat the oven

to 325 degrees and grease a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish with olive oil. Spread one of the blanched cabbage leaves flat on a work surface with the outside of the leaf facing down. Season it lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the cooked mushroom mixture into the middle of the leaf and wrap the leaf around it to make a little package. Place it in the glass dish seam side down.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon

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olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, the reserved 2 cups of chopped cabbage and the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes.

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6. Let the mixture

cool slightly. Ladle the mixture into a food processor and purée it, then pour the mixture over the cabbage rolls. Bake uncovered 60 minutes, occasionally spooning the cooking juices over the top. Serve immediately.


Each serving: 50 calories; 3 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 1 mg. cholesterol; 125 mg. sodium.

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Collard greens and lentils

Total time:

20 minutes, plus 2 hours, 15 minutes simmering time

Servings:

6

Note:

From Michel Richard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1/4 pound bacon, cut in thin strips

1 pound collard greens or mixed collard and mustard greens, ribs removed, chopped

2 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup green Le Puy lentils or other lentils

Salt and pepper

Balsamic vinegar

1. Heat the oven

to 250 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot and sauté the onion over medium heat until it becomes translucent and begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the bacon and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and remove any excess oil by patting the bacon and onion with a paper towel.

2. Return the pot

to the heat and add half the greens. This will fill the pot, but as you cook, stirring frequently, the leaves will wilt and shrink. When there is enough room, add the remaining greens and the chicken stock. Stir to mix evenly.

3. Cover the pot

and place it in the oven to cook until the greens are well stewed and deeply fragrant, about 1 1/2 hours.

4. Add the lentils,

stir, cover and return the pot to the oven until the lentils are tender but still a little chewy, about 40 to 45 minutes.

5. Season to taste

with salt and pepper and stir in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Taste and add a little more vinegar if necessary. Serve immediately.


Each serving: 198 calories; 12 grams protein; 21 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 7 mg. cholesterol; 147 mg. sodium.

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Shrimp with avocado salsa

Total time:

55 minutes, plus chilling time

Servings:

12 canapes

Note:

Adapted from "The French Laundry Cookbook" by Thomas Keller

Avocado salsa

3 tablespoons very finely diced red onion

3 tablespoons peeled, seeded and very finely diced cucumber

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons very finely diced avocado

1 teaspoon olive oil

Squeeze of lemon juice

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl,

mix together the red onion and cucumber. Carefully fold in the avocado, taking care not to crush it.

2. Add the oil.

Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Shrimp and assembly

1 quart water

1 carrot, cut in 1/2 -inch rounds

3/4 cup coarsely chopped onions

1 leek, split lengthwise, washed and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces (about 1/2 cup), outer leaves reserved

1/2 medium fennel bulb, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 green outer leek leaves

3 sprigs Italian parsley

2 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

3 black peppercorns

1/2 cup crisp, dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 lemon

6 large shrimp, in their shells

Avocado salsa

1. In a large pot,

add the water, carrots, onions, leek and fennel. Make a bouquet garni by tying together the leek leaves, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and add to the pot. Add the peppercorns and bring the mixture to a boil.

2. Reduce to a simmer

and add the white wine and vinegar. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the rind to the pot too. Simmer 20 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp

to the simmering pot and cook 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat. Place the shrimp in a large glass bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled or for up to a day.

4. Peel the shrimp,

removing the shells but keeping the tail tips intact. Dry the shrimp on paper towels. Cut each shrimp lengthwise in half down the back, and use a paring knife to remove the vein that runs the length of the shrimp.

5. Spear each shrimp half

on the tip of a fork. Arrange the forks on a platter and place a spoonful of salsa on the fork behind each shrimp.


Each serving: 15 calories; 1 gram protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 7 mg. sodium.

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Salmon rillettes

Total time:

45 minutes, plus 60 minutes marinating and at least 1 hour chilling time

Servings:

10 to 12 (makes about 3 1/4 cups)

Note:

From "Bouchon" by Thomas Keller. More clarified butter may be needed depending on the size of the serving bowls.

1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed

2 tablespoons Pernod

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

1/2 cup minced shallots

1 tablespoon crème fraîche

1/2 pound unsliced smoked salmon, chilled, skin and dark layer removed if necessary, cut into 1/4 -inch dice and brought to room temperature

2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/4 cup minced chives

1. Trim and discard

any dark flesh from the salmon fillet. Place the fish in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle each side with 1 tablespoon of the Pernod, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and one-fourth teaspoon white pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes, turning the fish over halfway through the marination.

2. Bring water to a simmer

in the bottom of a steamer. Remove the salmon from the baking dish and place it in the steamer and cover with the lid. Steam gently for 5 to 8 minutes; if you see steam pouring out the sides of the steamer, lower the heat. Check the salmon by separating the flesh with the tip of a knife and peering at the center. It should be medium-rare. When it is cooked, remove from the steamer.

3. Meanwhile,

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melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the shallots have softened but not browned. Remove from the heat.

4. Put 7 tablespoons butter

in a small bowl and beat with a rubber spatula until it is smooth and resembles mayonnaise in consistency. Stir in the crème fraîche. Set aside.

5. Put the cooked salmon

in a large bowl and stir to break it into large chunks. Because you will be stirring in the remaining ingredients, you don't want to break up the pieces too much. Stir in the smoked salmon, shallots, lemon juice, olive oil and egg yolks. Season assertively with one-fourth teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon white pepper, since this will be served cold. Fold in the butter mixture.

6. Transfer the rillettes

to 2 ceramic or glass serving bowls, leaving at least one-half-inch of space at the top. Smooth the top of the rillettes and wipe the inside rims clean. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, until cold. Pour a one-fourth-inch-thick layer of clarified butter over the top of the rillettes to seal. (To clarify butter, melt the remaining one-half cup — 1 stick — butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Do not let it brown. Remove it from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. A white foam will collect on top. Using a large spoon, remove the foam. Carefully and with a steady hand, pour off the clear yellowish liquid, leaving the milky solids at the bottom. )

7. Cover the bowls

and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. To serve, break through the butter layer and remove it. Spread the rillettes on toast or crackers and sprinkle with chives. (Once the butter is removed, eat the rillettes within 2 days.)


Each tablespoon: 69 calories; 4 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 32 mg. cholesterol; 168 mg. sodium.

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Cranberry-pecan bread salad

Total time:

45 minutes

Servings:

12

Note:

From Judy Rodgers. She notes that "the bread should be made from unbleached white flour, water, salt, yeast and nothing else. No seeds, dairy or any other flours." The steps in this recipe are timed to coincide with roasting a turkey but the salad could be made independently.

1 1/2 pounds slightly stale, open-crumbed, chewy, peasant-style bread (not sourdough); ciabatta is best

1 cup plus 4 tablespoons mild olive oil, divided

1/2 cup Champagne vinegar

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dried cranberries

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 cup warm water

3/4 cup pecans, broken into large pieces

12 garlic cloves, slivered

4 to 5 bunches green onions, (2 cups) slivered, including a little of the green part

1/4 cup turkey stock or lightly salted water

12 cups arugula or torn red mustard greens, washed and dried

1. Heat the broiler.

Cut the bread into large chunks. Cut off the bottom crust and most of the top and side crusts. Brush the bread with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Broil briefly to crisp and lightly color the surface. Turn the bread chunks over and crisp the other side. Trim any charred tips and tear the chunks into irregular pieces, a combination of: 2-inch pieces, some that are bite-sized and some that are no more than fat crumbs. You should have about 12 cups.

2. Combine 1 cup olive oil

with the Champagne vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper. Toss about three-fourths of this vinaigrette with the torn bread in a wide bowl (reserve the remaining vinaigrette). The bread will be unevenly dressed. Taste one of the more saturated pieces and if it is bland, season to taste with a little more salt and pepper and toss again.

3. Place the cranberries

in a bowl and moisten them with the red wine vinegar and warm water and set aside.

4. While the turkey is roasting,

place the pecans in a small baking pan and set them in the oven to warm through. Add them to the bread.

5. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil

in a small skillet; add the garlic and scallions and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until softened, about 3 minutes. Don't let them color. Scrape these into the bread and fold to combine.

5. Drain and fold

in

the cranberries. Dribble the turkey stock or lightly salted water over all and fold again. Taste a few pieces of the bread, a fairly saturated one and a dryish one. If either is bland, season to taste with salt, pepper or a few drops of vinegar, then toss well again.

6. Pile the bread salad

in a large baking dish and tent it very loosely with aluminum foil. Place it in the 350-degree oven when you remove the roasted turkey to rest. Turn off the oven and leave it in for 20 to 30 minutes. Set a wide salad bowl in a warm spot. Remove the salad greens from the refrigerator so they will be at room temperature when you add them to the bread salad.

7. Just after you carve

the turkey, tip the bread salad into the wide salad bowl. It will be steamy hot; a mixture of soft, moist wads, crispy-on-the-outside-but-moist-in-the-middle wads, and a few downright crispy ones. Add the greens, a drizzle of the reserved vinaigrette and fold. Taste again before serving and adjust seasoning.


Each serving: 429 calories; 6 grams protein; 37 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 300 mg. sodium.

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Spiced sweet potato purée

Total time:

1 hour, 20 minutes

Servings:

10 to 12

Note:

From Daniel Boulud

1 (1 1/2 -inch) cinnamon stick

3 whole allspice

3 whole cloves

1 star anise

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 small bay leaf

1 (1- by 2-inch) piece of orange peel

1/2 medium butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out

1/2 large acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out

Salt

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Pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes

1/2 medium banana, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch slices

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 potatoes) peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

2 cups milk

2 cups cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter, divided

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1. Heat the oven

to 375 degrees. Place the cinnamon stick, the allspice, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf and orange peel on a length of cheesecloth, and tie it up into a sachet. Set aside.

2. Place the butternut

and acorn squashes cut side up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Set aside.

3. While they're roasting,

heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the onion, apple and banana, sprinkle with the sugar, and sweat them until caramelized, about 10 minutes.

4. Deglaze the pan

by pouring in the orange juice, stirring and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any bits. Add the sweet potato, and stir to coat.

5. Pour in the milk

and cream, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and the sachet. Bring to a gentle simmer, and poach the sweet potatoes over medium heat until they're very tender, about 45 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes, reserving the poaching liquid. Discard the sachet.

6. Scoop the roasted squash

out of its shells, and place the flesh in a potato ricer. Add the sweet potatoes and press through. You may need to do this in batches. Then pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a large saucepan.

7. Add enough poaching liquid

to yield a silky purée, along with the remaining butter. Season with the sea salt and white pepper. May be prepared ahead up to this point, and reheated on low heat.


Each of 12 servings: 359 calories; 4 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber;25 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 81 mg. cholesterol; 237 mg. sodium.

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Triple silken pumpkin torte

Total time:

2 hours, 15 minutes plus cooling time

Servings:

8 to 10 servings

Note:

From Sherry Yard. Use your own pie crust recipe to make the dough for the bottom layer described in the first step.

Pumpkin custard layer

Dough for 1 (9-inch) pie crust

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup plain canned pumpkin (without spices)

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons brandy

1. Roll out the pie crust dough

to a 10-inch circle (one-fourth-inch thick) and press it in the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. The extra dough on the sides will compensate for shrinkage. Bake at the temperature your recipe indicates until golden brown and cooked through. Cool completely before filling with custard.

2. Heat the oven

to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the brown sugar, pumpkin, sour cream, heavy cream and brandy.

2. Pour the mixture

into the springform pan on top of the cooled pastry. Cover the pan with buttered aluminum foil and bake until the custard is just set, about 1 hour.

3. Remove from the oven

and cool at room temperature. The recipe can be prepared to this point 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

Cream layer

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup crème fraîche

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons maple sugar

1. Combine the heavy cream

and crème fraiche in a large mixing bowl and beat until it starts to thicken and swell. Add the sugar and maple sugar and continue beating until stiff.

2. Spread in an even layer

on top of the pumpkin custard and refrigerate.

Caramel pumpkin chiboust

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water, divided

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin

3/4 cup plain canned pumpkin (no spices)

3 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 tablespoons sugar, divided



1. Whip the cream

until it forms soft peaks. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Combine the brown sugar,

cinnamon and ginger in a mixing bowl. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and the lemon juice and cook over high heat until the mixture turns caramel color, at about 335 degrees. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Place the remaining

2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir, then let it sit for 1 minute.

4. Remove the caramel

from the stove and stir the brown sugar mixture into it. Add the softened gelatin and stir to dissolve. Whisk in the canned pumpkin and set aside.

5. Using an electric mixer,

beat the egg whites until they foam. Add the cream of tartar and about 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat. Continue to beat, adding the remaining sugar in a slow, steady stream. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and shiny, about 2 minutes.

6. Lighten the warm pumpkin

mixture by folding in one-third of the beaten egg whites using a balloon whisk. Pour the remaining egg whites over the top and carefully fold them into the pumpkin mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold in the whipped cream.

7. Carefully pour

the chiboust mixture over the whipped cream layer and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours until set. This can be made a day in advance.

8. To serve,

gently unmold the torte from the springform pan and set it on a plate. Garnish with additional whipped cream if desired.


Each of 10 servings: 459 calories; 5 grams protein; 48 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 28 grams fat; 16 grams saturated fat; 118 mg. cholesterol; 148 mg. sodium.

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