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Sunday, December 16

Roasted butternut squash soup

Butternut squash, whole,
halved, seeds removed
4 pounds
Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons +
2 tablespoons
Apple, Granny Smith, peeled, cored, diced
1
Onion, yellow, diced
½
Sage, fresh leaves
8
Vegetable or chicken broth, low-sodium
2 ½ cups
Water
2 ½ cups
Salt
1 ½ teaspoon
Pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon
Cream, heavy
2/3 cup
Pine nuts, toasted
½ cup
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F, and arrange a rack in the center; line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Arrange squash pieces cut-side up, and brush thoroughly with 2 tablespoons melted butter; season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until knife tender, about 50 to 60 minutes; cool on wire rack.
  4. While the squash roasts, melt the remaining butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  5. Add apple, onion, sage, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes; remove from heat, and set aside until the squash is ready.
  7. When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop the flesh into the pan with the apple-onion mixture; discard the squash skins.
  8. Add the broth, water, measured salt and pepper, and stir to combine over medium-high heat until the soup boils.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large squash pieces, for about 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat, and add the cream.
  11. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth.
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper; garnish with toasted pine nuts.

Friday, December 14

Salmon & spinach cakes

Potatoes, Yukon Gold
1 ½ pounds
Baby spinach
5 ounces
Mayonnaise
½ cup
Jalapeño, seeded, minced
1
Dill, chopped
3 tablespoons +
garnish sprigs
Salt

Salmon fillet, skinless,
cut into ½-inch pieces
1 ½ pounds
Cream, heavy
¼ cup +
2 tablespoons
Onion, minced
¼ cup
Vegetable oil for frying

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water.
  2. Simmer over moderately high heat until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes; drain and let them cool.
  3. Peel the potatoes, and cut them into ¼-inch dice; transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons water over moderately high heat.
  5. Add the spinach in batches, and cook until wilted.
  6. Drain, squeeze dry, and coarsely chop the spinach; set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, jalapeño, and chopped dill; season with salt, and set aside.
  8. Place the salmon in a food processor, and pulse a few times to chop.
  9. Add the cream using the pulse setting until incorporated.
  10. Transfer the salmon to the bowl with potatoes, add the spinach and onion, and combine.
  11. Form mixture into 12 patties.
  12. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1/8 inch of oil at moderately high heat.
  13. Add half the cakes, and fry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes, turn, and cook 3 minutes more, until browned; repeat with the remaining cakes, adding oil as needed.
  14. Garnish cakes with dill sprigs, and serve with the sauce.

Asparagus soup with parmesan shortbread

Shortbread
Flour, all-purpose
1 ½ cups
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 ½ cups
(6 ounces)
Thyme, dried
1 teaspoon
Salt, kosher
1 teaspoon
Butter, unsalted, softened
¾ cup
Egg yolks
2
Soup
Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons
Onions, medium, thinly sliced
1
Asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ pounds
Chicken broth, low sodium
1 quart
Tarragon leaves
¼ cup +
garnish
Parsley, flat-leaf
1 tablespoon
Cream, heavy
¾ cup
Peas
½ cup
Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

Lemon zest
garnish
Shortbread
  1. In a standing mixing with the paddle fitted, combine the flour, cheese, thyme, and salt.
  2. Add the butter and egg yolks, and beat at medium speed until lightly moistened crumbs form.
  3. Gather crumbs, and knead to form a 2-inch-thick log.
  4. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate about 30 minutes to chill.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Slice 1/4 inch thick, and arrange on the baking sheets.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden around the edges; let cool on sheets.
Soup
  1. In a large pot, melt the butter.
  2. Add the onion, cover, and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the asparagus, and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the broth, and simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tarragon and parsley leaves.
  6. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.
  7. Return the soup to the pot, add the cream and peas, and rewarm.
  8. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with lemon zest and tarragon leaves.
  9. Serve with Parmesan shortbread.

Wednesday, December 12

Sweet onion & corn soup

Water
3 quarts
Corn, shucked
9 ears
Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons +
1 tablespoon
Onions, sweet, thinly sliced
1 pound
Sugar
2 teaspoons
Potato, Yukon Gold, medium sized, peeled, cut into ½-inch dice
1
Wine, dry white
½ cup
Thyme
1 sprig
Cream, heavy
½ cup
Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil, add corn, cover, and continue cooking over moderately high heat until barely tender, about 5 minutes; transfer to corn to bowl to cool. 
  2. Cut kernels from the cobs, set aside the kernels and return the cobs to the pot; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  3. Discard the cobs, and reserve the corn broth: you should have about 4 cups. 
  4. In another large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter, add onions, cover, and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. 
  5. Add the sugar, and cook over moderate heat until the onions are caramelized, about 4 minutes. 
  6. Reserve 1 cup of corn kernels, and add the remaining with the potato to the onions in the pot. 
  7. Add the wine, and simmer over moderately high heat until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. 
  8. Add the corn broth, thyme, and cream, cover, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes; discard the thyme. 
  9. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, and return to the pot; season with salt and pepper. 
  10. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. 
  11. Add the reserved corn kernels, cover, and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned, about 3 minutes; season with salt. 
  12. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with the sautéed corn.

Sunday, December 9

Chicken with candied cashews

Sugar, granulated
¼ cup
Water
¼ cup
Cashews, unsalted, roasted
¾ cup
Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
Scallion, minced
1
Ginger, fresh, minced
1 tablespoon
Soy sauce
3 tablespoons
Sugar, light brown
1 tablespoon
Cornstarch dissolved in water
¾ teaspoon +
2 teaspoons H20
Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon +
½ teaspoon
Salt

Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons
Olive oil, extra virgin
¼ cup +
drizzling
Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
4
Pepper, freshly ground

Onion powder
¼ teaspoon
Garlic powder
¼ teaspoon
Celery seeds
½ teaspoon
Celery ribs, tender stalks, thinly sliced
¼ cup
Celery leaves
¼ cup
Rice, steamed

  1. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and ¼ cup water. 
  3. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, swirling the pan, until a rich brown caramel forms, about 4 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the cashews until coated. 
  5. Quickly spread the nuts on the baking sheet, keeping the separate; let cool. 
  6. Break off any large pieces of caramel, and reserve for a snack. 
  7. In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable oil, garlic, scallion, and ginger. 
  8. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 minute. 
  9. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. 
  10. Strain the oil through a coarse strainer into a medium skillet, pressing on the solids. 
  11. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, and ¼ cup water, and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. 
  12. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and simmer over low heat, whisking until thickened, about 30 seconds. 
  13. Remove from heat, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and lightly season with salt. 
  14. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in ¼ cup olive oil. 
  15. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the saucepan.
  16. Cook over moderate heat, turning, until white throughout, about 5 minutes. 
  17. In a small bowl, combine the onion and garlic powders, celery seeds, and ½ teaspoon salt. 
  18. In another small bowl, toss the sliced celery and leaves with the remaining ½ teaspoon lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. 
  19. Transfer the chicken to shallow bowls, spooning the sauce over the chicken; top with candied cashews, and season with celery salt. 
  20. Scatter the celery salad on top, and serve with rice.