Storm the Cassoulet

New England Clam Chowder

 Ingredients

1 1/4 pound canned clams, minced, juices reserved

2-3 cups bottled clam juice

2 bacon slices, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped

1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced

3 cups heavy cream or half and half

6 tablespoons dry sherry, or to taste

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Tabasco sauce, to taste

Worcestershire sauce, to taste

Oyster or saltine crackers, as needed

 Method

Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.

Cook the bacon slowly in a soup pot over medium heat until lightly crisp, about 8 minutes.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes.

Whisk in the clam juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add more clam juice to adjust the consistency. Add the bay leaf and fresh thyme.

Add the potatoes and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the clams and cream in saucepan and simmer together until the clams are cooked, about 5-8 minutes.

When the potatoes are tender, add the clams and cream to the soup base. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the sherry. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Serve in bowls with the crackers on the side.

From Gourmet Meals in Minutes by The Culinary Institute of America, (C) 2004 Lebhar-Friedman Books

 

 

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Mexican Chocolate Cake

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ngredients:

Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or ground Mexican chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold water

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

6 tablespoons water

10 small fresh strawberries

Method:

Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat an 8-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray.

Combine all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Pour into the pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. When the cake has cooled, whisk together the first three glaze ingredients. Dip each strawberry into the glaze and set aside. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and arrange the strawberries on top. Set aside to dry, about 30 minutes.

 

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Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce

Ingredients:

2 pounds filet mignon Salt and black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard 1/2 pound prosciutto di Parma 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon whole milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  (If using individual filets, see cooking time note below).

Pat filet mignon dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and black pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the filet mignon and brown from 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. You want to create a nice sear on the outside of the steak but leave the inside raw. Remove from heat and place on a cutting board to cool.

Cover cooled filet with Dijon mustard.  Spread the pate or the mushroom duxelles over the beef. Lay out the prosciutto on top of the pate/duxelles.

Lay out a clean, long piece of plastic wrap. Gently roll out puff pastry until it is a 1/4-inch thin. Place the wrapped steak on one end of the puff pastry and wrap. Pinch the ends closed and trim off any excess puff pastry. Use the plastic wrap to tightly seal the puff pastry. Pop it in the fridge for about 5 minutes to let it firm up again.

In a bowl, mix together egg yolk and milk.  Place a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Remove Wellington from fridge, remove the plastic wrap, and lay the Wellington seam-side down on the baking sheet. Baste the top of the puff pastry with the egg wash.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 more minutes.  Pastry should be a rich, golden brown, and the beef medium-rare.   Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing into medallions. Serve warm with the Madeira sauce.

Individual filets:  Bake about 12 minutes for rare, 16 minutes for medium, or 20 minutes for well done.

 

Madeira Sauce

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of Madeira wine

2 cans of Campbell’s Beef Consommé

2 stalks of celery

1 onion quartered

1 smashed garlic clove

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Method:

In a sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of Madeira wine, 2 cans of Campbell’s Beef Consume 2 stalks of celery 1 onion quartered and one smashed garlic clove. Bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes.  In a separate bowl mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of Madeira wine. Blend into sauce pan with consume. this is a thin type of Au Jus rather than a thick and heavy gravy.  (Add any reserved juices from cooking the Beef Wellington.)

 

Mushroom Duxelles (in lieu of pate)

Ingredients:

1 pound cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Method:

To make mushroom duxelles: Add mushrooms to a food processor and process until completely smooth. The consistency is similar to wet hummus.

In a pan over medium heat, add mushroom paste, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface and cook on a medium-low heat until the moisture in the paste has reduced and the mixture has the consistency of a spreadable pâté. Remove from heat and let cool.

 

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Crème Brûlée

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Ingredients:

4 cups heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

6 egg yolks

1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup in mixture and 1/2 cup for crust

HOT water to fill roasting pan

Method:

Heat heavy cream and vanilla extract in a sauce pan until hot, but not boiling.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until well mixed. Pour in the hot cream gradually, mixing continually.

Place six (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins into a large roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan to come roughly halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Pour the egg mixture into the ramekins and bake at 325˚F / 165˚C for 45 – 50 minutes. The crème brûlée should be set, but still a little jiggly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to three days.

Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top. Spread a tablespoon of sugar on top of each crème brûlée. Using a torch, melt the sugar to for a crispy top. If you don’t have a torch, you can broil the crème brûlée to melt the sugar. Keep an eye on it, to make sure you don’t over cook it. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least five minutes before serving.

 

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Curtis Stone’s Cajun-Roasted Turkey

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Ingredients

CAJUN SPICE MIXTURE

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

4 teaspoons cayenne pepper

TURKEY AND GRAVY

6 quarts cold water

One 12-ounce bottle amber ale beer, room temperature

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 rosemary sprigs, divided

One 14- to 16-pound whole turkey

3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

2 green bell peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped

2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided

4 cups homemade turkey stock or reduced-sodium chicken stock

3 thyme sprigs

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Method

To make the Cajun spice mixture:

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients to blend.

To brine the turkey:

In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beer, salt, sugar, and 1/3 cup of the spice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 rosemary sprigs and remove from the heat.

Pour the hot brine into a container large enough to hold the turkey and add the remaining 5 quarts of cold water to cool the brine. Place the turkey into the brine, making sure it is entirely submerged. Cover the container tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 12 hours or overnight.

To roast the turkey:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine, reserving the rosemary sprigs, and then pat the turkey skin dry with a clean towel. Stuff the main turkey cavity with half of the chopped celery, bell pepper, onion, and reserved brined rosemary sprigs, and tie the turkey legs together with butcher’s twine.

In a small heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture.

Place the remaining celery, bell pepper, and onion in a large roasting pan with a rack. Set the roasting rack in the pan and place the turkey on the rack. Brush some of the spiced butter all over the turkey.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast the turkey for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Baste the turkey and continue roasting uncovered for about 1 hour and 20 minutes longer, or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F when inserted into the part of the thigh nearest to the thigh and hip joint.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board (do not clean out the roasting pan), and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, to make the gravy:

Set the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock, thyme sprigs, and remaining rosemary sprig to the pan drippings in the roasting pan, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often to scrape up the brown bits. Strain the pan juices, and discard all the solids. Spoon off the fat that has settled to the top of the pan juices.

In a medium heavy saucepan, melt the remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter over medium heat. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture (reserve any extra spice mixture for another use) and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant and toasted. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the pan juices and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the gravy thickens slightly. Season the gravy to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve:

Carve the turkey and serve it with the gravy.

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Mustard-Roasted Fish

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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

Ingredients:

4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces crème fraîche
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons drained capers

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Method:

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the crème fraîche, two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it’s barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it’s done.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.

 

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Pastor Ryan’s Homemade Pasta

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(Pioneer Woman)

 Ingredients:

6 whole Eggs

3 cups All-purpose Flour

Method:

Rule of thumb: Two eggs per one cup of flour

Make a well in the center of your pile of flour and crack in your eggs. Slowly mix together with your hands. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead (roll, punch, push, etc.) by hand until dough becomes smooth and pliable, adding flour to the board as necessary.

Let the dough rest for a little while before rolling it out. You can sort of figure on one egg per person to determine how much dough to make. Example: Two eggs and one cup of flour would make enough pasta dough for a dinner for two.

When you’re ready, roll it out on a floured surface as thinly as it’ll go. The noodles will plump up quite a bit when they boil in the water, so the thinner you can roll it, the better. Cut the noodles really thin. You can use a sharp knife (if you can keep it in a straight line), a pizza wheel, or a long pizza/bread cutter.

To cook the noodles, just boil them in salted water (very important!) for probably two minutes. They cook lightning fast, so don’t let ‘em go too long.

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White Cake with Cranberry Filling and Orange Buttercream

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Recipe from Southern Living

Ingredients:

FILLING

1 (12-oz.) jar cherry preserves

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 1/2 cups fresh cranberries*

 BUTTERCREAM

1 cup butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 Tbsp. milk (optional)

Additional:

Basic White Cake Layers

Method:

Prepare Filling: Bring first 3 ingredients and 3 cups cranberries to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Transfer 1 cup cranberry mixture to a small bowl, and stir in remaining 1/2 cup whole cranberries. (This will be the Cranberry Topping.) Transfer remaining hot Cranberry Filling mixture to another small bowl. Cool both mixtures completely (1 hour). Cover; chill 8 hours.

Prepare Buttercream: Beat butter and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with orange juice. Beat at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla. If desired, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, beating until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Place 1 Basic White Cake layer on a serving platter. Spoon 1 1/2 cups buttercream into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe a ring of frosting around cake layer just inside the top edge. Spread cake layer with half of chilled Cranberry Filling (without whole berries), spreading to edge of piped frosting. Top with second cake layer. Repeat procedure with frosting and remaining Cranberry Filling (without whole berries). Top with third layer. Spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake. Pipe a ring of frosting around top cake layer just inside the top edge. Spread Cranberry Topping (with whole berries) over top cake layer, spreading to edge of piped frosting.

*Frozen cranberries, thawed, may be substituted.

 

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Tres Leche Cake

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By Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled, plus more for baking dish

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

5 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 cup whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

5 cups fresh fruit (optional), such as oranges or berries, for serving

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs and 3/4 cup sugar on high until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. With a rubber spatula, fold in melted butter until incorporated. Transfer batter to dish and bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating dish halfway through. LET THE CAKE COOL A BIT.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milks. Poke warm cake all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick, then pour milk mixture over top and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Whip cream and 1/4 cup sugar to medium peaks. To serve, spread whipped cream evenly over cooled cake. Top with fruit if desired.

 

 

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How to make PORK CHOPS

PORK CHOP

(Recipe below)

HINTS:

Pork is Pork is Pork

This is true with all meat and fish, but especially with pork: There is a huge difference in taste between your typical grocery store pork and well-raised, well-fed heritage pork. It’s worth the extra couple bucks. Here’s why.

Boneless is Better

Generally, we like our meat and poultry to be bone-in. There are a couple of reasons: First, it slows down the meat’s cooking, so it gives you a little more leeway to get a good, crispy sear on your chop. Second, the bone gives the meat a richer flavor. Yeah, you should keep that bone in there.

A Little Salt, a Little Pepper

No. A LOT of salt. A LOT of pepper. As with all meat, you want to season that sucker so much that you can see the salt and pepper on the surface when you’re standing a couple feet away. This will make your crust incredibly flavorful—the combination of salt, caramelized meat, and fat will push your chop over the top.

From Fridge to Frying Pan

Let your chops sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before you begin to cook them. If the meat is too cold, the outside will overcook while the inside comes to the right temperature. Giving the pork a little time to warm up will ensure a nice crust on the outside, with a tender center. (Well, if you follow the next few pieces of advice, that is…)

Let That Pan Rip

For chops, we like to get our pan screaming hot…then take it down to medium. That first blast of heat helps get a good golden crust. But, if you keep it that high, the chop won’t cook evenly through the middle. Medium heat helps keep the outer edges of the meat tender while the center reaches the perfect temperature.

Trust Your Recipe’s Cooking Time

With all meat and poultry—but especially pork chops—use your thermometer to tell when the meat is done cooking. A recipe’s timing is usually a ballpark estimate. Cook your chop until it’s around 135 degrees, then transfer it to a cutting board—the residual heat will bring it to the USDA’s recommended 145 degrees. Pork is pretty easy to dry out, so making sure it’s not a degree over 145 is the best way to get juicy, tender meat.

Trim the Fat

Most pork chops have a little layer of fat around the perimeter—take advantage of it! Instead of cutting it off before or after the chop is cooked, stand the chop on its side in the pan with your tongs and get that fat rendered, brown, and crispy. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Dig Right In

After you get your pork on the cutting board, don’t touch it for 10 minutes. If you cut into it right away, all its juices will run onto the board instead of getting redistributed into the meat. Don’t let all that delicious liquid run away!

PAN-ROASTED BRINED PORK CHOP

Ingredients:

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon juniper berries

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 unpeeled cloves for basting

2 large sprigs thyme

1 2-inch-thick bone-in pork chop (2 ribs; about 1 1/4 lb.)

2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Flaky or coarse sea salt

Preparation:

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add kosher salt, sugar, juniper berries, peppercorns, halved head of garlic, and 1 thyme sprig; stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 5 cups ice cubes. Stir until brine is cool. Add pork chop; cover and chill for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 450°. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Remove chop from brine; pat dry. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet. Cook chop until beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook until second side is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Keep turning chop every 2 minutes until both sides are deep golden brown, 10-12 minutes total.

Transfer skillet to oven and roast chop, turning every 2 minutes to prevent it from browning too quickly, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 135°, about 14 minutes. (Chop will continue to cook during basting and resting.)

Carefully drain fat from skillet and place over medium heat. Add butter, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, and remaining thyme sprig; cook until butter is foamy. Carefully tip skillet and, using a large spoon, baste chop repeatedly with butter until butter is brown and smells nutty, 2-3 minutes.

Transfer pork chop to prepared rack and let rest, turning often to ensure juices are evenly distributed, for 15 minutes. Cut pork from bones, slice, and sprinkle with sea salt.

 

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