Five Ways to Cook Asparagus | Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper

Today there seems to be less time to shop and cook, and yet the time eating together seems more important than ever. Five Ways to Make Asparagus is about making dinner in real time and under real conditions. Peter Miller argues that no matter how busy your day has been that you can still cook and eat well. The only difficulty is to recognise the possibilities.

Using the number five as a reference, Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (and Other Recipes) is built around a hypothetical five day workweek, offering a plan to make the best use of your time, materials and interest in good, healthy food. To help simplify the process of deciding what to cook and how, there are five exceptional ways to cook asparagus that best represent and celebrate the asparagus. The recipes range from the extremely basic, allowing the ingredient to truly shine, to more nuanced preparations. If you try them, you will know more about asparagus, and it will become a more versatile character in your plans for cooking – and so forth, with broccoli and cauliflower, with quinoa and lentils.

Peter has carefully selected a group of specific foods, focusing on vegetables, grains and legumes. As some of the most versatile and healthy foods, they form an easily adaptable arsenal that can be quickly converted into simple, delicious meals. While his recipes are vegetable centric, he also offers select preparations for incorporating fish and meat.

This week why not try out his recipe for Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper:

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus
© 2017 Hirsheimer & Hamilton

Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper

SERVES 4

At the very start of the spring season, you can get fresh, skinny asparagus, and you can cook it with a particular, sprightly abandon. Once the asparagus matures, you can still make the dish, but it will not have the same flourish as in the early first days. The same, of course, is true of spring garlic, or the first wild mushrooms, or the early beans and peas.

1 pound (455 g) skinny asparagus, trimmed, soaked, and drained (see below)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter

1 shallot or 2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 small dried red chile

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

6 to 8 cherry tomatoes

¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock, at a simmer

¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro or basil leaves

First, trim the asparagus, cutting 1 or 2 inches (2.5 or 5 cm) off the woody ends. With a swivel peeler, shave the bottom 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) of the stalks, taking off the harder outer skin. As you work, set the peeled asparagus in a shallow dish filled with cold water. Soak it for 5 minutes, then drain. (This seems to rehydrate the asparagus and help it cook more quickly.)

Heat a big pot of water to a boil and toss the asparagus in. When the water comes back to a boil, quickly pull out and drain the asparagus.

Heat a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the olive oil, half the butter, and the shallot. After a minute, crush the dried red pepper into the pan and add the garlic. Toss and stir so the parts mix, then throw in the asparagus. Cook for no more than 3 minutes. The sauté cycle is a flash of exuberance for the first of the asparagus. You must shake the pan vigorously to get the asparagus to touch all the other elements. Add a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Throw in the tomatoes and stock and shake the pan even more, above the heat, to get the parts in contact. The stock will loosen and deglaze the pan’s contents, and the tomatoes will create even more disorder as they split and leak.

Add the last of the butter, swirl for a second, then lay the asparagus in a jumble on a warmed platter. Sprinkle with the cilantro and give one last grind of black pepper.


 

Five Ways to Cook

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (and Other Recipes): The Art and Practice of Making Dinner by Peter Miller (Abrams, out April 11, £18.99)

Offering more than 75 recipes, adjustable menus, tips for giving new life to leftovers and detailed information on sourcing ingredients, with Five Ways to Make Asparagus you can cook a dinner with only one or two fresh ingredients and you can be confident that that will be more than enough.

 

Budapest Bowl | Recipe from Bowls!: Recipes and Inspirations for Healthful One-Dish Meals by Molly Watson

Budapest Bowl
© 2017 by Nicole Franzen

Budapest Bowl

Mushroom barley pilaf + paprika-braised chicken + dilled white beans + sweet pepper slaw + sour cream + dill

ORDER OF OPERATIONS

  1. Cook the chicken
  2. Make the pilaf
  3. Make the slaw
  4. Heat the beans
  5. Assemble the bowls
Paprika-braised chicken
  • 1 lb [455 g] boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp mild Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp hot paprika, or 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup [240 ml] chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth
Mushroom barley pilaf
  • 8 oz [230 g] button or cremini mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup [180 g] pearled barley, rinsed
  • 3 cups [720 ml] chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth
Sweet pepper slaw
  • 3 bell peppers (a mix of red, orange and yellow is nice)
  • 3 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper dilled white beans
  • One 141⁄2-oz [415-g] can white beans, rinsed and drained, or 13⁄4 cups [420 g] drained homecooked white beans
  • 1⁄2 cup [20 g] chopped fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup [120 ml] sour cream
  • Chopped fresh dill for garnish

FOR THE CHICKEN: Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C]. Pat the chicken dry. In a large frying pan or sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, undisturbed, until it starts to brown on the underside, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and brown on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the butter to the same pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about

3 minutes. Add the mild and hot paprika and cook, stirring, to coat the onion. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.

Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake the chicken until it is very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover, and use a wooden spoon to separate the chicken into shreds (that’s how tender it should be). Place the pan on the stove top over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by one-third, about 20 minutes.


FOR THE PILAF: Begin the pilaf while the chicken is in the oven. Trim off the stem ends from the mushrooms, then cut off the stems. Finely chop the stems and thinly slice the caps. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the mushroom stems and caps, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes.

Add the barley and stir to mix everything well. Pour in the broth and stir again to mix. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover partially, and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. If the liquid is absorbed before the barley is tender, add up to 1 cup [240 ml] water, 1⁄4 cup [60 ml] at a time.


FOR THE SLAW: Seed and thinly slice the peppers. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the peppers and toss to combine.


FOR THE BEANS: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the beans until hot (or put them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them in the microwave). Add the dill, season with pepper, and toss to mix well. 


TO ASSEMBLE: Divide the pilaf among four bowls. Arrange the chicken, beans, and slaw in three separate and equal sections on top of the pilaf. Dollop the sour cream on the chicken and sprinkle everything with the dill.


NOTE: Want to gild the comfort lily? Try this with Mashed Potatoes instead of barley pilaf.


This recipe is from Bowls!: Recipes and Inspirations for Healthful One-Dish Meals by Molly Watson, published by Chronicle Books (£13.99)

Bowls

Pancake Day!

Branch out this Pancake Day, rather than lemon and sugar try these Lemony Ricotta Pancakes from The Short Stack Cookbook.

Lemony Ricotta Pancakes from The Short Stack Cookbook
Photograph © 2016 Noah Fecks

The following recipe is from The Short Stack Cookbook by Nick Fauchald and Kaitlyn Goalen • Abrams Books • Out Now

MAKES ABOUT 12 PANCAKES

  • 1 cup (245 g) ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (330 g) hulled sliced
  • strawberries (from about 4 cups/ 580 g strawberries)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
  • 11/4 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter or canola oil, for the pan

These puffy pancakes are a fixture on the brunch menu at Porsena, the Manhattan restaurant run by Sara Jenkins (Vol. 14: Prosciutto di Parma). Where normal pancake batter would get weighed down by ricotta cheese, here, beating the egg yolks and whites separately – as you would in a soufflé – makes the batter puff and rise as it cooks, yielding a very fluffy pancake with an extra-crisp exterior. Lemon – juiced into the batter and zested throughout – lightens these fluffy pancakes even further.

Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a small bowl. Add the ricotta and let it drain for 15 minutes; set aside.

In a small bowl, toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar and the lemon juice. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, the baking powder and salt.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, milk, lemon zest and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Whisk in the flour mixture until a smooth batter forms.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or bowl and handheld mixer, beat the egg whites and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar at low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium high and beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff and glossy. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.

Heat a cast-iron griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a spoonful of butter and heat until the foaming subsides. Working in batches, drop 1/3 cup (75 ml) of pancake batter onto the hot griddle and cook over medium heat until the tops of the pancakes are bubbling and slightly dry and their bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook through until browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a platter and repeat with the remaining batter.

Spoon the strawberries and their juices over the top of the pancakes, zest some lemon over the top and serve.

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and VOILÁ pancakes worthy of the day!

Share pictures of your pancake-masterpieces with us, we are on Twitter and Instagram @abramschronicle.

The Short Stack Cookbook

Recipe | Lime and Coconut Energy Balls

Lime and Coconut Energy Balls
 2017 Christal Sczebel

High energy, high flavour, low calorie – it is time to try ENERGY BALLS!

The following recipe was extracted from Energy Balls by Christal Sczebel

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Lime and Coconut

Craving some refreshing tropical flavours? These delicious balls contain vitamin C from the lime, which enhances immune function and serotonin production. Enjoying some vitamin C at bedtime is especially helpful, as it may improve the brain chemistry that is essential for restful sleep. Along with the benefits of the lime, these balls are loaded with coconut which is high in fibre, selenium, and vitamin B₆, also known as pyridoxine, which helps the body produce more serotonin for a sound night’s sleep.

Serving size: 1 ball

  • Calories 101 kcal
  • Protein 2g
  • Fat 5g
  • Carbohydrate 12g
  • Sugar 8g
  • Dietary fiber 3g
  • Vitamins B₂, B₆, C, E
  • Minerals magnesium, manganese phosphorus, selenium

Makes 12 balls

  • ½ cup [60 g] almond meal or ground almonds
  • ½ cup [50 g] coconut flour
  • ½ cup [40 g] unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 2 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice, plus 2 tsp finely grated zest
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk 10 pitted dates

1 In a food processor, combine the almond meal, coconut flour, ½ cup [40 g] shredded coconut, maple syrup, lime juice, almond milk, and 1 tsp of the lime zest, and process for 1 to 2 minutes until a crumbly mass forms. Add the dates and process for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until a sticky but slightly crumbly mass forms.

2 In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbsp shredded coconut with the remaining 1 tsp lime zest then spread on a large plate.

3 Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture and, with clean slightly wet hands, shape the mixture into a ball between your palms. Roll the ball in the coconut and zest mixture to lightly coat, and set on a plate. Repeat with the remaining mixture until you have 12 balls slightly smaller than a golf ball.

4 Place the balls in the freezer to set for 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator until required.

Try this! Chocolate-Coated Lime Add the desire-enhancing benefits of dark chocolate to these balls. While the shaped balls set in the freezer, combine [50 g] chopped dark chocolate and ½ Tbsp coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Place one of the frozen balls on the end of a skewer or toothpick. Holding the skewer, roll the ball in the melted chocolate mixture until it is coated. Repeat with the remaining balls. Return the balls to the freezer for another 30 minutes to set.

Energy Balls

Festive Favourites from Erin Gleeson

Festive Favourites

Embrace the festive feeling, whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati or even Festivus with some delicious wintery treats from master foodie Erin Gleeson: author of The Forest Feast, The Forest Feast Gatherings and The Forest Feast For Kids.

Sweet Potato Latkes

Sweet Potato Latkes
Image © Erin Gleeson

Holiday Cider Mule

Holiday Cider Mule
Image © Erin Gleeson
Festive Cabin
Image © Erin Gleeson
DIY Citrus Menorah
Image © Erin Gleeson

Happy (Early) Hanukkah Erin!

What are you favourite festive traditions? Let us know on Twitter #FestiveFavourites.

Aunt Renee’s Chicken Soup

Aunt Renee’s Chicken Soup
© 2016 by Gentl + Hyers

Aunt Renee’s Chicken Soup

SERVES 6

My dearly departed Aunt Renee, who was quite a character, was famous for many things (from her fake Louis Vuitton bags to her stories about working in the hair salon in the basement of her Brooklyn apartment building), but her chicken soup looms large. When she left us, I put an obituary in the New York Times that read simply, “I will take care of the soup.” Here it is. It is unequivocally my favorite food in the world. The small victory here is not just carrying on traditions, but also learning how to make a good chicken soup; because in doing so, you learn to make chicken stock—the backbone (no pun intended) for so many things in the kitchen. You can put a whole chicken directly in the pot, but I like to separate it so that the white meat is easy to retrieve early on and, also, the whole pot is easier to stir during cooking.

  • One 4-lb [1.8-kg] chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 legs), backbone reserved
  • 1 lb [455 g] chicken wings
  • 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally so that the cloves are exposed
  • A handful of fresh Italian parsley sprigs, stems reserved and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-in [5-cm] pieces
  • 3 qt [2.8 L] water
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-in [5-cm] pieces
  • A handful of roughly chopped fresh dill

In the largest pot you have, combine the chicken pieces, chicken wings, onions, celery, garlic, parsley stems, peppercorns, and 1 Tbsp salt. Add half of the carrots to the pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the top, until the chicken breasts are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts from the pot and set them aside in a bowl. Continue simmering the stock, stirring it every so often and skimming any foam that rises to the top, until everything in the pot has given up all of its structural integrity (the vegetables should be totally soft and the chicken should look well past its prime—this is all great, it means these things have given all of their flavor to the water) and the stock is a rich golden color, about 3 hours.

While the stock is simmering, let the chicken breasts cool to room temperature, and then discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones (discard the bones), and shred the meat. Set the meat aside.

Ladle the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot (or, if you don’t have another large pot, ladle it into a bowl, clean the pot you started with, and return the stock to the pot). Discard the contents of the sieve (everything in it will have given all it can by this point).

Bring the stock back to a boil and season to taste with salt (be bold, it will need quite a bit!).

Add the remaining carrots and the parsnips, lower the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved chicken breast meat to the soup and let it warm up for a minute or two. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each with some of the chopped parsley and dill. Serve immediately.

Note: This soup is even better the next day. Do not discard the hardened fat that will have formed on top after the soup has been refrigerated. The rich pools of chicken fat on top of your soup are essential (at least in my book, but no hard feelings if you would rather discard the fat).

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SPIN-OFFS

FOR ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP, leave out the parsnips and extra carrots and save the cooked chicken breasts for something else. Poach little meatballs in the soup and wilt in some chopped escarole right before serving. Each bowl should get lots of grated Parmesan cheese.

FOR THAI CHICKEN SOUP, add a crushed large piece of fresh ginger, a bunch of scallions, some cilantro stems, and a chopped chile to the broth. Adjust the water to 10 cups [2.4 L] and add a 13½-oz [398-ml] can of full-fat coconut milk. Leave out the parsnips and extra carrots and simply serve the broth with the shredded chicken. Top with sliced scallions and cilantro leaves.

My Colombian friend Luz Gerstein serves a grand meal of chicken soup known as AJIACO with assorted toppings. To serve your own, set your table with bowls of shredded chicken from the broth, fried onions, rounds of cooked corn on the cob, cubed boiled potatoes (regular and/or sweet potatoes), diced avocadoes, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges and then give every guest a large bowl of the hot chicken broth. Everyone can adorn their soup to their liking. Also put a small pitcher of cream on the table for anyone who wants to swirl a bit into their soup. This is a really fun meal, and everything can be done ahead of time.

FOR CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE SOUP, simply add whatever kinds of vegetables you like to the strained broth (with or without the parsnips and extra carrots). Add the shredded white meat or save it for something else, like chicken salad sandwiches. Some of my favorite combinations include diced beets and shredded red cabbage (stunning!), finely diced leeks and roughly chopped potatoes, and shredded Savoy cabbage with chopped tomatoes (serve with grated Parmesan).


 

This recipe is extracted from Small Victories by Julia Turshen.

“I can’t wait to cook my way through this amazing new book,” Ina Garten writes in the foreword to this cookbook of more than 400 recipes and variations from Julia Turshen, writer, go-to recipe developer, co-author for best-selling cook- books such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, Mario Batali’s Spain…on the Road Again, and Dana Cowin’s Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen.

The process of truly great home cooking is demystified via more than a hundred lessons called out as “small victories” in the funny, encouraging headnotes; these are lessons learned by Julia through a lifetime of cooking thousands of meals. This beautifully curated, deeply personal collection of what Chef April Bloomfield calls “simple, achievable recipes” emphasises bold-flavoured, honest food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. More than 160 mouth-watering photographs from acclaimed photographers Gentl + Hyers provide beautiful instruction and inspiration, and a gingham spine elevates this entertaining and essential kitchen resource into a covetable gift for both beginners and accomplished home cooks.

Small Victories by Julia Turshen

Happy National Cookie Day!

Celebrate National Cookie Day with a Christmasy treat from the Cookie Advent Cookbook.

Brandy Snaps from Cookie Advent

Brandy Snaps

4 Tbsp [55 g] unsalted butter

1 cup [100 g] firmly packed light brown sugar

1⁄4 cup [60 ml] light corn syrup

1⁄2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 cup [140 g] sifted all-purpose flour

1⁄2 tsp brandy

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Have ready a wooden spoon with a long, round handle for shaping the cookies.
  1. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and ginger, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugar have melted and all the ingredients are combined, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and brandy. The batter will be medium-thick.

  1. Spoon a heaping 1 tsp of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter into a circle about 3 inches [7.5 cm] in diameter. Repeat, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches [5 cm] apart. Make only four cookies at a time, because they must be hot when they are rolled.
  1. Bake in the center of the oven just until the cookies begin to firm up, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Working quickly and using a spatula, lift a cookie from the cookie sheet and wrap it in a spiral around the handle of the wooden spoon. Let cool for 20 seconds, then slide the cookie off the spoon handle onto a wire rack to cool completely. (If the cookies harden too much to remove them from the cookie sheet and shape them, return the cookie sheet to the oven for about 1 minute. They will soften again.) Repeat with the remaining batter, regreasing the cookie sheet as necessary.
  1. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20 cookies

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This recipe is an extract from Cookie Advent Cookbook: With 24 festive recipes by Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt

Inspired by the Cookie Advent held every December at Chronicle Books, here is a unique twist on the traditional Advent calendar. Starting on December 1 through Christmas Eve, the cover of the book invites readers to peek under an ornament flap to discover the cookie of the day—then turn the pages to find the appropriate recipe. Beginner and experienced bakers alike will enjoy these simple recipes for beautifully decorated homemade cookies counting down to December 25. With its mix of familiar and global Christmas treats and entirely new ones, this festive calendar and cookbook will create new cookie-baking traditions, bringing tidings of great family and community joy.

Cookie Advent

The British Table | Venison and Beef Pie

Grab that apron and make yourself a true British classic – Venison and Beef Pie.

Venison & Beef Pie
© 2016 Hirsheimer & Hamilton

Venison and Beef Pie

Serves 4

The best wild-shot venison comes from Scotland, so it’s not surprising that Scottish-born chefs, like Jeremy Lee of Quo Vadis in London, like to use the meat in their savory pies, as in this recipe. American cooks don’t have access to domestically shot wild venison unless they hunt it themselves. The alternatives are meat from Asian deer species raised and slaughtered by Broken Arrow Ranch, a huge game preserve in Texas, or that imported from New Zealand and sometimes Scotland, usually frozen but occasionally fresh in season.

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1¾ pounds (800 g) venison, cut into large pieces
  • ⅔ pound (300 g) beef brisket, cut into large chunks
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 10 to 12 pieces
  • 1 (4-ounce / 120-g) piece thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm) cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon red currant jelly
  • 2½ cups (600 ml) good-quality red wine
  • 12 ounces (340 g) puff pastry, store-bought (thawed, if frozen) or homemade
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Heat half the oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet with a cover over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the venison and the brisket, turning the pieces frequently with tongs until they are well browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Set the meat aside as it is done.

Add the rest of the oil to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the bacon and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Season generously with salt and pepper, then add the bay leaf and stir in the red currant jelly and the wine.

Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the  heat to low, return the meat to the pot, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

Spoon the meat into four individual baking dishes or one large one.

If using individual dishes, divide the puff pastry into four equal parts and roll out each part to form a round just large enough to fit over the top of a baking dish. If using one large baking dish, roll out the puff pastry to form a round just large enough to fit over its top. Gently lay to pastry over the top of each baking dish. Decorate the pastry with any trimmings, if you like. Make a small hole in the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape, then brush the beaten egg over the top.

Bake the pies or pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (175ºC) and bake for 30 minutes more, or until the pastry has risen and turned golden brown.

This recipe was extracted from The British Table by Colman Andrews, published by Abrams | Out now.

The British Table

 

The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales celebrates the best of British cuisine old and new. Drawing on a vast number of sources both historical and modern, the book includes more than 125 recipes, from traditional regional specialties to modern gastropub reinventions of rustic fare. Dishes like chicken pie, mackerel with sorrel sauce and a pastry shop full of simple, irresistible desserts have found their way onto modern British menus—delicious reminders of the depth and breadth of Britain’s culinary heritage. The book blends these tradition-based reinventions, by some of the finest chefs in England, Scotland and Wales, with forgotten dishes of the past worthy of rediscovery.

A Year Between Friends | Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits
© 2016 Stephanie Barnes and Maria Vettese

From SCB

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Adapted from a recipe I found in an issue of Martha Stewart Living years ago, these sweet and buttery biscuits are always a hit with the extended family at Thanksgiving but are also a staple at my house year-round. I serve them with cranberry butter, which is just 1/4 cup (60 ml) cranberry sauce blended in a food processor with 1/4 cup (55 g) softened butter. I almost always double the recipe and freeze half the biscuit dough, cut out and arranged on parchment-lined trays then sealed in a freezer bag. On a night when I need something to go with a pot of soup, I can pull them out of the freezer and bake as few or as many as I need.

Makes 18 small biscuits

  • 1 pound (455 g) sweet potatoes or yams
  • (1 large potato is usually sufficient)
  • 21/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205°C).

Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them directly on a rack in the oven. Bake until soft to the touch, about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely. Slice the potatoes in half, scoop the flesh from the skin, and pass it through a food mill or potato ricer (or use a potato masher—you want a nice even mash, not a gummy puree). You should have about 2 scant cups (scant 480 ml) of mash. Stir together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or use your fingers) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix the milk with the sweet potato mash and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Mix the dough, just to incorporate (I use my hands). If the dough is really sticky, add a touch more flour.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat or roll it out into a ½-inch (12-mm) thick round. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass. I find that smaller biscuits cook more evenly, so I keep them around 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter (for Thanksgiving, I share my love with a heart-shaped cutter). Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake until the biscuits rise and are slightly brown, 10 to 12 minutes (bake longer for larger or frozen biscuits). Serve warm.

This recipe was extracted from A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart by Maria Vettese and Stephanie Barnes, published by Abrams | Out Now.

A Year Between Friends

The Good Fork Cookbook | Manchego Cheese Fritters with tomato jam

Snack food extraordinaire: Manchego Cheese Fritters with tomato jam

Try your hand at making this delicious recipe from The Good Fork Cookbook.

Manchego Cheese Fritters with tomato jam
Photographs copyright © 2016, Burcu Avsar and Zach Desart

Makes 45 fritters; serves 12 to 15

Like the bread puddings on pages 107 and 170, this is one of many ways I like to use up leftover bread. You might think they would be heavy, but in fact they are lighter than most fritters. The bread disappears into these fluffy orbs that are deeply flavored with two intense salty cheeses. They are fantastic, but in all honesty what really makes this dish is the tomato jam, which your friends will want to eat with a spoon. It is great on anything—such as biscuits or served with bread and cheese.

For the fritters
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
  • 8 cups (280 g) 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes ciabatta or French bread
  • 1 1/2 cups (165 g) grated Manchego cheese
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup (13 g) chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups (160 g) panko
  • Canola or safflower oil, for frying
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped mint leaves, for garnish
For the tomato jam
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces/794 g) whole canned plum tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make the batter the day before you plan to serve the fritters. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and milk. Add the bread cubes, both cheeses, and the herbs and stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Make the tomato jam: In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they fall apart and are slightly caramelized, about 12 minutes. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, and thyme. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is glossy and jam-like, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Make the fritters: Shape the dough into 1½-inch (4-cm) balls, roll them in the panko, and set them on a plate or baking sheet. Heat 2 inches (5 cm) of frying oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot to 365°F (185°C) or until a breadcrumb sizzles when you drop it in. Place a wire rack on another baking sheet. Fry the fritters in batches, monitoring the temperature of the oil and making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook each batch until it is dark golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon to the wire rack.

Sprinkle pepper and chopped mint over the fritters and serve them while they are still hot, accompanied by warmed or room temperature tomato jam.

 

Text copyright © 2016, Sohui Kim and Ben Schneider | Photographs copyright © 2016, Burcu Avsar and Zach Desart

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This recipe is taken from The Good Fork Cookbook by Sohui Kim| Abrams Books | Available Now.

 

The Good Fork Cookbook

For more than 10 years, The Good Fork has been one of Brooklyn’s favourite restaurants. It’s a neighbourhood spot that offers a rare treat in the crowded, slick New York food scene: a restaurant that feels like home. Chef Sohui Kim and her husband live down the block, blurring the lines between their kitchen at home and the kitchen at the restaurant.

The Good Fork Cookbook is packed with Sohui’s recipes for flavourful globally inspired cuisine that a home cook can make any night of the week. Her influences and techniques range from French and Italian to American and Korean, but every dish is comforting, unfussy: Pork Dumplings; Korean Style Steak and Eggs with Kimchee Rice and Fried Eggs; Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles; Miso Butterscotch Ice Cream; and more. The Good Fork Cookbook shares the recipes that made The Good Fork Brooklyn’s favourite mum-and-pop shop.