Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
- 35-40 cm (large) pumpkin, top cut off (reserve) and seeds removed
- 1 stick butter
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- ½ loaf white bread, diced
- 3 bulbs garlic, chopped
- 3-4 shallots, diced
- ½ pound mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 pounds bacon, diced
- 16 oz comté (or gruyère or similar cheese), grated
- 2-6 tbsp pumpkin jam (optional)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups crème fraîche
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Sauté the parsley and bread in 4 tbsp butter in a large sauté pan until browned. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and sauté the shallots and mushrooms in the remaining butter until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a clean bowl and cook the bacon in the pan until browned.
In the pumpkin, layer in the following order: bread, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, pumpkin jam. Repeat the layers until the pumpkin is almost full. Add the wine and crème fraîche, stopping 2cm from the top. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Cut a small vent hole in the lid of the pumpkin and place it on top. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for 2-3 hours or until the pumpkin is soft and the filling is bubbling through the lid. Remove carefully from the oven!
Stir the stuffing inside the pumpkin and serve each scoop of stuffing with a portion of flesh from the inside of the pumkin.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Not too long ago I decided to finally make "The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies." I don't claim any credit for how perfect these cookies are; the idea really came from this article in the NY Times back in July. The recipe is a little bit involved (takes a couple of days and is probably best if you use a scale instead of measuring cups), but it's definitely worth it. They really are that good and not for the chocolate-faint-of-heart. Soft, chewy, gooey, crispy around the edges...Mary Poppins perfect.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
A friend recently brought me two smoked duck breasts and told me to make salads with them. Not being someone who often cooks with duck, I hopped on to Epicurious.com to find a salad recipe that used smoked duck breast. The recipe I found called for a mix of winter greens that were somewhat unfamiliar to me. I was surprised to find that not only were these greens available, they were beautiful and in-season. The market I visited had a number of beautiful chicories that I blindly grabbed and decided to figure out what to do with when I got home. After turning to the bible that is Chez Panisse Vegetables, I identified my purple chicories as Rossa di Treviso and Rossa di Verona. I also picked up some Belgian endive, frisée, and watercress.
- 1/3 cup fresh tangerine juice or orange juice
- 1/4 cup walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 5 tangerines or 3 oranges
- 3 heads of Belgian endive, trimmed, thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 cups bite-size pieces frisée lettuce
- 3 cups bite-size pieces radicchio
- 1 bunch watercress, thick stems trimmed
- 4 ounces smoked duck breast* or smoked turkey breast, cut into thin strips
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
- 2/3 cup walnut halves, toasted
- 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Whisk first 9 ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and whisk before using.)
If using tangerines, remove peel; separate into segments. If using oranges, cut off peel and white pith; cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Toss endive, frisée, radicchio, and watercress in large bowl with enough dressing to coat.
Divide salad among 8 plates. Top each with smoked duck, onion rings, and tangerine or orange segments. Sprinkle with walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with some of remaining dressing.