Today's recipe of the week comes from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table (HMH)—October's Cookbook of the Month. A cook whose "culinary talents are limitless," according to our own Sybil Pratt, Greenspan has amassed a delicious collection of recipes providing her take on French classics, like this week's quiche.
When you see the word maraîchère, you know market-fresh produce is in the mix. Here it’s in a quiche packed to the brim with celery, leeks, carrots, and little squares of red pepper. It’s an unusual quiche in that it’s got lots more vegetables than custard and the cheese is on top of it, not inside.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into small dice
2 slender leeks, white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise, washed, and thinly sliced
2 slender carrots, trimmed, peeled, and finely diced
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 9- to 9½-inch tart shell made from Tart Dough, partially baked and cooled
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2/3 cup grated cheese, preferably Gruyère (cheddar is good too)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Toss in the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper, then scrape the vegetables into a bowl and let cool.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the crust on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Spoon the vegetables into the tart shell and spread them out — they will just about fill the crust. Whisk the cream, egg, and egg yolk together, season with salt and pepper, and carefully pour over the vegetables. Depending on how your crust baked, you may have too much custard — don’t push it. Pour in as much custard as you can without it overflowing and wait a few minutes until it’s settled into the crannies, then, if you think it will take it, pour in a little more. Very carefully slide the baking sheet into the oven. (If it’s easier for you, put the quiche into the oven without the custard, then pour it in.)
Bake the quiche for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and, most important, the filling is uniformly puffed (wait for the center to puff ), browned, and set. Transfer the quiche to a rack, remove the sides of the pan, and cool until it’s only just warm or until it reaches room temperature before serving.
If you’re serving the quiche for lunch or as a starter to a light dinner, accompany it with a salad. If it’s going to be a nibble with drinks, cut it into wedges that can be eaten as finger food.
Because this quiche is so good at room temperature, you can make it a few hours ahead and leave it out on the counter. Leftover quiche can be wrapped, refrigerated, and eaten the next day — either warm it briefly in the oven or let it come to room temperature.
Recipe reprinted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), with permission from the publishers. Copyright 2010, all rights reserved.
The new cookbook from Bobby Flay is taken from his popular TV show: The author/chef goes to the best of the best in their field and tries his own recipe for a particular dish against the time-tested creation of his competitor. Only one can be the winner. Our cookbook columnist says Bobby Flay's Throwdown! holds "a trove of winning recipes," and though a victor is declared in each case, readers at home can make their own decision after making both versions.
Today we're giving you two recipes for Muffuletta. A note about the winner is at the bottom, but we won't give it away here if you want to have your own challenge at home. Ready, set—cook!
1. To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, olives, peppers, garlic, anchovies, onion, oregano, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth (it should be a little chunky); season with salt and pepper.
2. Slice the bread in half horizontally. Remove a little of the inside of the top crust; then slather the bottom and top halves of the bread with the dressing. Layer the meats and cheese on the bottom half of the bread and cover with the top half.
3. Wrap the sandwich tightly in foil and place on a baking sheet. Put a heavy sauté pan on top,and put a few cans inside the pan to weight it down. Refrigerate for at least 4 and up to 24 hours. Serve at room temperature.
Marco Pierre White was the first British chef (and at the time, the youngest chef anywhere in the world) to win three Michelin Stars. In his new cookbook, Wild Food from Land and Sea (Melville House)—which cooking columnist Sybil Pratt deems full of "serious, sophisticated cooking"—the chef shares some recipes for complicated French classics. Today's recipe is for a luscious lemon tart.
A lemon tart cannot be served straightaway, as the middle will still be quite wet and runny. It needs to rest and set for at least an hour; when it will still be warm—the best way to serve it. However, it also tastes good cold a day later.
1. Roll out the pastry to ¼-inch thick, and use to line a 8-inch tart ring on a baking sheet, or a tin with a removable base. The ring or tin should be 1 ½-inchesdeep. Do not cut off excess pastry at the top at this stage.
2. Rest for at least an hour in the fridge to ensure the pastry will not shrink, then bake blind—lined with wax paper or foil and baking beans—in the oven pre-heated to 350°F for about 15 minutes, or until all visible pastry is thoroughly cooked. Remove the foil or paper and beans, leave to settle for a moment or two, then continue cooking for about 5 minutes more, until nice and golden. Keep in the ring. Reduce the oven temperature to 260°F. Check that there are no holes in the pastry shell.
3. Finely grate the zest from four of the lemons, and squeeze the juice from them all. Set aside.
4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together thoroughly in abowl, then add the lemon juice and zest. Stir in thecream.
5. Pour the lemon mixture into the pastry case and cook in the oven preheated to 260°F for 30–40 minutes,until starting to set in the center.
6. Remove from the oven, and trim and rest.
Recipe from Wild Food from Land and Sea by Marco Pierre White reprinted with permission from the publisher, Melville House. All rights reserved. Author photo by Granada Productions; book cover design by Kelly Blair.
We can't get enough of the delicious recipes from our Cookbook of the Month, Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite (Hyperion). Clark's family version of this traditional Eastern European dish makes a tasty and comforting addition to any table.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Fit a food processor with a medium grating blade. With the motor running, alternate pushing the potato and onion chunks through the feed tube. Transfer the mixture to a dish towel–lined colander. Wrap the mixture in the towel and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, 1/4 cup oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a 9-inch, slope-sided skillet. Add the shallots in a single layer over high heat. Let sit several minutes before stirring. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are crispy and dark brown, about 7 minutes total.
5. Fold the potato mixture and shallots in the egg mixture. Return the skillet to high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Tilt the skillet to grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Carefully press the potato mixture into the pan. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes (this will help sear the bottom crust of the kugel). Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the potatoes are tender and the top of the kugel is golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
6. Place the kugel under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to form a crisp crust on top (watch carefully to see that it does not burn). Run an offset spatula around the edges and bottom of the kugel and carefullyinvert it onto a large plate or platter. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
Recipe from IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE by Melissa Clark, published September 7, 2010 by Hyperion. Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
This week's recipe is another delectable dessert option from The Perfect Finish, by Bill Yosses, a cook "so skilled at making divine desserts that he crosses party lines with impunity," [Read our full review here]. If you are looking to run for office, you could definitely get a few votes with this sinfully rich pudding.
Special Equipment: Sifter, food processor, 8 (6-ounce) ramekins or teacups, ?or a large decorative bowl
Softly whipped cream, for serving
About ½ pound bittersweet chocolate for curls
1. Sift the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Place the egg and yolks in a bowl, sprinkle the sugar mixture over them, and whisk to combine. Add a few tablespoons of milk to soften the mixture.
2. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the chocolate until it is finely chopped.
3. Over medium heat, bring the milk and vanilla bean seeds or vanilla extract to a boil. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk over the egg mixture. Return this liquid to the saucepan, continuing to whisk constantly, and cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture has thickened and just begun to bubble, about 5 minutes (one visible bubble is sufficient!).
4. Immediately pour this custard into the food processor with the chocolate, add the butter, and run until smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Pour the pudding into eight 6-ounce ramekins or teacups, or one large decorative bowl. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days, and serve with whipped cream or chocolate curls.
Reprinted from The Perfect Finish by Bill Yossas (c) 2010. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
This week's recipe comes from our cookbook of the month, the deliciously titled In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite (Hyperion) by Melissa Clark. Sybil Pratt says "the stories that preface each recipe and chapter burble with her love of food, culinary improv and the memories that a dish conjures up"—and I can see plenty of memories being made over plates of the delectable dish described below. Dig in!
8 strips bacon (8 ounces), halved
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
11 or 12 figs, halved or quartered if large
12 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons vermouth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain, but don’t drain the fat from the skillet. Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute or so, until the slices are pale golden. Transfer them to the plate along with the bacon.
2. Rinse the chicken legs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high until the fat begins to smoke, and cook the chicken until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and brown the other side, about 3 minutes.
3. Scatter the figs and thyme over the chicken and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, and stir the vermouth and lemon juice into the skillet, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom (be careful when touching the skillet handle; it will be hot). Place the skillet over medium heat until the juices thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour the juices over the chicken, garnish with the bacon and garlic, and serve.
Recipe from IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE by Melissa Clark, published September 7, 2010 by Hyperion. Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold. Photo credit Matthew Benson.
Eat like a president with this delicious dessert recipe from The Perfect Finish (Norton), a new cookbook by White House Pastry Chef Bill Yossas. In her review, Sybil Pratt says that each of these desserts "deserves your full attention" and I think you'll agree once you read the following. Bon appetit!
An adaptation of the tender, very buttery little almond flour cakes called financiers, this is a dessert I learned to make while working at Au Vieux Four, an old wood-fired bakery in Tours, France. The owner, a ninth-generation baker named Jacques Mahou, who mentored me, primarily made bread, but he had a little sideline of super desserts, including this one. It’s very much the type of straightforward, quickly mixed dessert a French bread maker bakes along with the bread. Before serving, it is garnished with fresh fruit, which makes this very transportable dessert colorful and light at any time of year. Replace the raspberries used here with seasonal fruits in the spring, summer, and fall, or with imported tropical fruits in the winter.
Chef’s Note: It’s always a good idea to bring materials for touch-ups, such as extra confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle over a travel-worn cake such as this one.
Special Equipment: Food processor (if using ground almonds), ?9-inch springform pan, cake tester, sifter
Get ready for a refreshing, relaxing recipe this week from our cookbook of the month, Rick Bayless' Fiesta at Rick's [read our full review here]. These watermelon mojitos are perfect for your weekend barbeque.
Set out eight tall 12-ounce glasses. Put the leaves stripped off a single sprig of mint into each glass—you’ll need about 10 leaves for each drink—and top with 1/2 cup watermelon cubes. Divide the Simple Syrup among the glasses (1 tablespoon per glass). Use a muddler (or the handle of a wooden spoon or a long-handle ice tea spoon—though neither is anywhere near as effective) to crush the mint and watermelon, releasing their flavor into the syrup—the more muddling, the fuller the flavors. Fill each glass with ice. Measure in the rum (2 ounces per glass) and the lime juice (1 tablespoon per glass). Use a long-handle ice tea spoon to mix everything together. Top off each glass with a little sparkling water or soda and you’re ready to serve.
"Rick Bayless is the undisputed Big Enchilada of Mexican cooking north of the border," says Sybil Pratt in her review of Fiesta at Rick's (our August Cookbook of the month). Now you can be the judge: prepare this cool, delicious end-of-summer appetizer.
One of my summer favorites: two tropical flavors—creamy avocados and juicy, fragrant mangos—with the sweet crunch of red onion and just enough sparkly lime and cilantro. Other than procuring ripe avocados and mango, there’s almost nothing to this preparation.
Cut around each avocado from stem to blossom end and back up again, then twist the halves apart. Dislodge the pit. Scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl. Coarsely mash the avocado with a large fork or potato masher. Scoop the onion into a small strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water and mix into the avocado along with serrano, cilantro, lime juice and 2/3 of the diced mango. Taste and season with salt, usually about 3?4 teaspoon. If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate—best if served within a couple of hours.
When you’re ready to serve, scoop the guacamole into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining diced mango and a few cilantro leaves if you’re so inclined. Serve with tortilla chips or slices of cucumber or jícama.
Reprinted from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless (c) 2010. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Eating well is taken seriously by Commissario Brunetti, hero of Donna Leon's popular mystery series set in Venice. His wife, Paola, concocts meals for Brunetti in every book, and "these succulent lunches and dinners have become so central to the series that fans have been clamoring for the recipes," says cooking columnist Sybil Pratt. With the publication of Brunetti's Cookbook, they now have them, and today we're sharing one with you. Read on for a delicious and easy pasta dish full of Italian flavor.
Penne Rigate with Tomatoes, Bacon, Onions and Chilli
Penne rigate con pomodoro, pancetta, cipolla, peperoncino
10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 fresh chillies, cut into small pieces
4 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
3½ fl oz dry white wine
12oz penne rigate
5 slices mild bacon, diced
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan or casserole and add the onion, 1sprig of rosemary, a pinch of salt, the chillies, and a little water. Cook gently until the onion becomes transparent, gradually adding the tomatoes and wine to make a thick, smooth sauce. Adjust the seasoning with salt.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water and drain.
Meanwhile put the diced bacon, the second sprig of rosemary and the bay leaf into a small pan and cook over a low heat until the bacon is crisp. Drain the pasta and toss gently with the sauce and bacon, then sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.
Recipe from Brunetti's Cookbook by Roberta Pianaro and Donna Leon, copyright 2010; used with permission of Grove/Atlantic Publishers. All rights reserved.