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Oct 26, 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

By the Book: Mark Bittman’s Chicken and Dumplings with Lots of Peas

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

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You don’t argue with Mark Bittman. The longtime New York Times food columnist literally wrote the book on how to cook everything (along with more than a dozen other titles) and how he’s back with his latest culinary textbook, How to Cook Everything Fast.

Here’s Bittman’s claim: you can make just about anything – from beef stew to shrimp paella – in 45 minutes or less with a few simple adjustments. In this 1,054-page tome, breakfasts, salads, soups, stews, meat and more are all sped up, without resorting to packaged mixes or precooked, preservative-packed shortcuts.

As with most of his books in the How to Cook Everything lineage, a good 40 pages at the beginning are not focused on recipes or inspirations, but good old kitchen know-how. Never learned how to peel and slice a mango? How many pans do you actually need in your kitchen? Bittman never forgets that at the end of the day, he’s writing for the home cook and that everyone has to start somewhere. He’s even got tips for the most efficient way to organize your kitchen (if you’re Type A like that).

 

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Unlike traditional cookbooks, Bittman insists that home cooks throw mise en place – that most revered of professional chef prep techniques – out the window. “(Mise en place) is also completely impractical when you’re working along or even have a little help. Doing all the prep ahead of time often leaves you twiddling your thumbs, waiting for food to cook,” he writes. Instead, Bittman advocates “real-time cooking,” combining ingredient prep and cooking in the most efficent order while preparing a dish. To that end, his recipes are color-coded; black text means cook, and blue text means prep while cooking. Since many dishes require bringing water to boil, simmering vegetables or occasionally stirring, it makes sense to multitask during this time. Watched pots never boil, after all.

 

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Chicken and dumplings are a fall favorite in my family, but seldom do we take the time to actually make it at home. Simmering a chicken stew and creating our own pillowy dumplings is time-consuming and definitely not an option on a weeknight after an hour in traffic. But Bittman insisted I could get this done, from scratch, in 45 minutes or less. Challenge accepted.

 

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Bittman employs a few time-saving tricks for the traditional chicken and dumplings recipe. First, cut the chicken up into bite-sized pieces instead of letting whole breasts and thighs poach slowly. To get that all-day simmered flavor, invest in great chicken stock or break out some of your DIY stock from the freezer.

 

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After simmering the vegetables and the chicken until cooked through (only about five minutes, thanks to their small size), the recipe instructs you to remove them from the stock and set aside. This gives the dumplings plenty of room to puff up and steam in the liquid.

 

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It’s tempting to skip the dumplings and use a quick box mix or frozen; don’t. These came together in a snap, and all the ingredients (flour, butter, yogurt, baking powder and baking soda) were already in my kitchen. However, pay close attention to the liquid. Bittman advises maintaining a gentle bubble, but in my zeal to be efficient, I started washing dishes and that bubble turned to boil. Thankfully, half of the puffy dumplings survived and the ones that didn’t made a wonderful thickening agent.

 

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The vegetables and chicken are tucked back under the dumplings along with three hefty cups of frozen peas (and in my case, chopped mushrooms by special request). Once the peas have warmed through, it’s ready to serve. The hearty stew was thick and packed with vegetables and chicken thanks to the rich stock (and, admittedly, my dumplings-turned-roux). The dumplings were amazing; light as a feather with a gentle tang from the yogurt. It was, as Bittman said, comfort in a bowl – and it all came together in 45 minutes on a Thursday night.

 

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Chicken and Dumplings with Lots of Peas
4 servings

6 cups chicken stock
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
1 celery stalk
1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour, plus more as needed
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. butter (keep it in the fridge)
½ cup yogurt or buttermilk
3 cups frozen peas

• Put 6 cups chicken stock in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Trim, peel and chop the onion; add it to the pot.
Trim, peel and slice the carrots and chop the celery; add them to the pot.
Chop the chicken and add it to the pot.
• Add 4 sprigs thyme, a sprinkle of salt, and lots of pepper to the pot. When it boils, adjust the heat so the mixture simmers gently but steadily. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes.
• Combine 1 cup flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, and ½ teaspoon baking soda in a food processor. Cut up 3 tablespoons cold butter and add to the food processor.
• Pulse a few times to blend the butter into the flour mixture. Add ½ cup yogurt or buttermilk and pulse until the mixture just forms a ball. Sprinkle a little flour onto your cutting board, turn out the dough and knead it 10 times.
• When the chicken and vegetables are done, transfer them to a bowl with a mesh strainer or slotted spoon (fish out the thyme). Adjust the heat so the stock bubbles gently and never boils.
• Drop about 8 heaping tablespoons of biscuit dough into the stock and cover. Cook, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle bubble, until the dumplings are puffed and cooked through (a toothpick will come out clean), 12 to 15 minutes.
• Nestle the chicken and vegetables underneath the dumplings and add 3 cups frozen peas. Cook until the peas are warmed through, a minute or 2, taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

What’s your trick to speed up your cooking process? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of How to Cook Everything Fast.

 

 

 

A Look Back on a Month of Pie

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

This month, we went all out for our favorite summer dessert: pie. Before we launch into our September issue (and our annual Guide to Drinking!) here’s a look back at all the pie love we shared in August.

 

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Pie showed up on all our favorite things, from onesies to tea towels; we gave you fillings for every season; the list of our top 10 pies to try made us crave them all over again; Baked went savory with a tomato galette and and sweet with a no-bake mango pie; we played with a healthy(ish) pie using whole grains and natural sweeteners; a classic peach pie couldn’t be beat in mid-August; pies were baked into bowls; our favorite campfire treat found its way into our ovens; I Scream Cakes showed us how to cool off with ice cream pies in the dog days of summer;  we cheered for our favorite pie movie moments on screen; the pros showed us how to lattice in three easy steps; we learned how to bake quick pies on the fly; and the even the gluten-free fans got a taste with raw carrot pie.

 

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: Sangria, Red or White

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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Just in case you forgot what summer in St. Louis is supposed to feel like, it’s back with a vengeance. This weekend is going to be hot. Like triple-digit heat index hot. It’s time to quench your thirst with a classic summer sipper. Here, we set you up with sangria two ways, whether you like bold, fruity reds or delicate, floral whites.

For the red wine crowd, mix a robust Burgundy or cabernet sauvignon with brandy, triple sec, peach schnapps, blood orange and liqueurs, fresh fruit puree, citrus juices and club soda. Get the recipe for this powerful, fruity sangria here.

Not a red wine drinker? Go light and bright with a few bottles of dry Spanish white wine. Stir it up with apples, orange slices, lemons, limes, peach schnapps, orange juice, brandy, triple sec and sugar to sweeten the pot. Get the recipe here.

6 green dishes (and 2 green drinks) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 17th, 2014

All of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities and have us thinking – and eating – green. If you’re not a fan of corned beef and cabbage (though this recipe may change your mind), colcannon or Irish soda bread, you can still inspire a little luck of the Irish with six dishes (and two drinks) as green as a shamrock.

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1. A light, refreshing Cucumber Avocado Soup is made silky smooth with buttermilk.

2. Those rubber-banded bunches of asparagus stems are one of the first signs that spring really is on its way. Celebrate its vibrancy on this Asparagus and Green Onion Pizza.

 

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3. Get rid of those last few bunches of kale with the snack that launched the craze: Kale Chips.

4. Corned beef isn’t the only protein option today. Go vegetarian with DIY Lentil, Chickpea & Quinoa Burger loaded with avocado and cilantro garlic cream.

 

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5. Got a vegetable peeler and a zucchini? We’ve got a Shaved Zucchini Salad.

6. A little green food coloring goes a long way with these adorable Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.

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And if you had your fill of Irish ales, whiskey and Irish cream this weekend, lighten up your drinking regime with The Subcontinental (pictured) or a Lean and Green.

-Soup photo by Laura Miller; kale photo by Ashley Gieseking; zucchini photo by Greg Rannells; cocktail photo by Geoff Cardin

13 Gluttonous Mardi Gras Recipes

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Mardi Gras: that one holiday of the year devoted to entirely to excess. We love it so much that we spread that decadence out over a full weekend of gastronomical indulgences. So before you commit to Lenten promises that will torture you until Easter, here are 14 decadent dishes worth the guilt.

 

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1. Combining Creole seasoning with dark beer, this Everything-in-the-Crisper Jambalaya is perfect for a Mardi Gras-themed meal or a stick-to-your gut dinner before an evening of drinking.

2. Surely one pound of sprouts is enough to redeem this Parmesan-garnished Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pasta, right?

3. Three ingredients make the Peanut Butter Bacon Sandwich of your drunken dreams.

 

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4. Southern Fried Chicken takes a three-day process to complete, but that crispy, Creole-spiced skin is so worth it.

5. Too lazy to butcher? Try a Deep-Fried Whole Chicken.

6. St. Louis weather is still a far cry from spring. Warm up with these tender Braised Short Ribs served over savory hominy stew.

 

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7. True, this creamy Fonduta Mac-n-Cheese made with Riesling and lobster meat is not your mom’s mac-n-cheese. It’s better.

8. Go ahead, have a beer with dinner … then a slurp a Budweiser Milkshake for dessert.

9. Spice up your after-dinner indulgence with a peanut-butter Oreo treat that features a kick of cumin, cayenne and spicy toppings like chocolate-chipotle sauce. This PBJ Blaster Pie may blast a hole in your diet, but you’ve got 40 days to make it up to yourself.

 

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10. Challenge yourself to make a dessert of Caramelized Apples with Foie Gras Ice Cream and spiced walnuts, then reward yourself with sweet, spicy, creamy, crunchy seconds.

11. Brownie mix, booze, bacon and caramel make for a Bacon-Bourbon Brownies for the novice baker. Do you really want to give up chocolate for Lent?

 

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12. If Serendipity’s house-made toasted marshmallow ice cream isn’t enough to convince you, indulge in a Gimme S’mores St. Louis Sundae topped with oatmeal cookie crumbles, hot fudge and vanilla toasted marshmallows. I see you reaching for your spoon.

13. We can’t promise you won’t regret this Cinnamon Bread Pudding chock-full of raisins and cranberries and topped with a glaze of maple syrup and Jack Daniels. But after all, isn’t that the point of Mardi Gras?

-Jambalaya, fried chicken, caramelized apples and mac-n-cheese photos by Carmen Troesser; s’mores sundae photo by Greg Rannells 

 

 

 

Touchdown! 7 ways to fuel your Super Bowl party

Friday, January 31st, 2014

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{Honey Sriracha wings}

Huddle up, team. It’s two days until America’s biggest sporting event of the year, and you’ve got a pack of hungry fans about to takeover your living room. How will you sate their ravenous appetites? With a sad tray of dried-out veggies and a bag of frozen hot wings? Not in this house. You’re going to dig deep, pull out that slow cooker, fire up that grill and get to chopping, searing and melting until you have a buffet worthy of the Super Bowl.

Show us what you’re made of; share your game day dishes on Instagram. Follow @saucemag, then share a photo and description your recipe with hashtag #saucesuperbowl for a chance to win a copy of The Great American Slow Cooker Book. We’ll pick our favorite Instagram and announce the winner Monday, Feb. 3.

Need a little inspiration? We’ve got 18 recipes to feed every fan from carnivores to vegans. Check out our favorites for a football feast:

 

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{Szechwan eggplant dip}

1. A fan cannot live on guac alone. Dish out other scoop-ables like this spicy Szechwan eggplant or smoky roasted red pepper and curry number.

2. Bowls of chips and salsa should always be within reach. But since this is the Super Bowl, that salsa’s gotta be homemade. Raise the salsa bar with black beans, jalepenos or tuna and anchovies (yes, really).

 

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{Root beer pulled pork}

 

3. “Pass the pigskin” takes on new meaning with a dish like root beer pulled pork. Your vegan friends won’t left out; they can pass the jackfruit with vegan carnitas.

4. What’s football without chicken wings? Everyone has a recipe, and our two picks – spiked with harissa or with the ever-popular red rooster – both rely on honey to tone down the heat.

 

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{Bill’s Burger Miester Burger}

 

5. It’s time to build a better burger. No sad frozen patties here. We turn to Bill Cardwell’s recipe for Burger Miester Burger, the definition of what a cheeseburger should be.  Scale down your patties for mini-Miester sliders and serve them alongside falafel sliders for your veg-heads.

6. We all love a good squirt of Heinz, but go for the extra point with DIY ketchup, mustard and mayo.

 

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{Salt and pepper}

7. Just when your guests think they’ve sampled the entire spread, bust out bowls of popable bar bites to get through the last quarter. We go for spice-roasted chickpeas, pad thai popcorn and a twist on salt and pepper.

-eggplant dip, burger, and salt and pepper photos by Carmen Troesser; pulled pork photo by Greg Rannells

 

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgivukkah – Part 2

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

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{Beth Boggiano Sorrell’s L’Chaim, It’s Turkey Time}

 

Thanksgivukkah, the Turkey Day/Festival of Lights hybrid currently enthralling the social media world, promises some truly original (and hopefully delicious) holiday spreads. In the first part of our ultimate guide to these festivities, we dished on what chefs local and national are dreaming up to commemorate the occasion. Today, we plan out your Thanksgivukkah table, from pumpkin challah to sweet-and-sour braised brisket with cranberries and pomegranate seeds.

Many home cooks are heading straight for an obvious crowd-pleaser: sweet potato latkes with a suggested condiment of homemade cranberry sauce or cranberry applesauce. Jewish cooking maven Joan Nathan suggests a curried sweet potato latke, amongst other ideas.

Ambitious bloggers have created entire Thanksgivukkah menus. BuzzFeed’s Christine Byrne dreamed up Manischewitz-brined roast turkey, sweet potato-bourbon noodle kugel, roasted Brussels sprouts with pastrami and pickled red onion, horseradish mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie with a caraway rye crust, and pecan pie rugelach.

Tasty-looking desserts include a scrumptious pumpkin-custard kugel and caramelized corn, thyme and onion doughnut holes at the Joy of Kosher website. Sweet doughnuts might include sweet potato-spiced sufganiyot (Hebrew for jelly doughnuts).

St. Louis blogger Stefani “Cupcake Project” Pollack turned tzimmes, a Jewish warm-fruit compote, into a Thanksgivukkah Tzimmes Pie for Parade Magazine. Still not finished, Pollack whipped up both sweet potato-casserole marshmallows and Manischewitz-Concord grape marshmallows in Hanukkah shapes.

Through project that has literally helped turned Thanksgivukkah into the national buzzword it’s become, Pollack dreamed up a Thanksgivukkah Blogger Potluck that motivated 18 fellow food bloggers nationwide to cook up dishes like chocolate cranberry cake with gelt glaze, pumpkin-glazed cronuts, a nervy onion-bagel and bacon stuffing, challah-cranberry doughnut holes and challah stuffing with turkey sausage, leeks and cherries.

One person Pollack appealed to for ideas was Slow Food St. Louis co-leader Kimberly Henricks-Friedhoff, whose Rhubarb and Honey blog featured a sweet potato noodle kugel that was featured online on Good Morning America.

Even Operation Food Search director of development Karen Klaus intends to carve a Star of David from a gelatinous log of cranberry sauce. It’s low budget, but it has a certain, primitive charm. And St. Louis’ only kosher deli, Kohn’s, is selling a challah-cornbread dressing for the occasion.

On the beverage side, mixologist Beth Boggiano Sorrell of Cocktails Are Go! catering and the STL Libation Lab professionals’ guild has developed two Thanksgivukkah cocktails that are equal parts hilarity and holiday salute. The no-pressure Shiksa Spritzer calls for 1½ ounces rye whisky, ½ ounce Manischewitz and a squeeze of lemon to be added to a tall glass. Then add ice and fill to the top with ginger ale.

L’Chaim, It’s Turkey Time is slightly more involved. Stack 1½ ounces rye whiskey, 1 ounce Manischewitz, ½ ounce Goldschlager, ¼ ounce lemon juice and 2 dashes Jerry Thomas bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist. This concoction will literally add sparkle to Thanksgivukkah – and quite possibly dizziness, too.

From the crafts department, Brooke Pratt of STL’s Sucre Shop has created biodegradable birchwood utensils printed “Happy Thanksgivukkah.”  Chabad of Greater St. Louis is offering its annual free Menorah Workshop on Nov. 24 at the Home Depot of Brentwood with several Thanksgiving touches. The event includes Thanksgiving-themed decorations for participants to use in crafting their menorah, a snack of latkes with cranberry sauce, and a Thanksgiving canned-food drive to assist the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry.

Before you know it, Thanksgivukkah will be over. But wait! In 2014, Purim comes a day before St. Patrick’s Day; hamentaschen made with whiskey-soaked prunes, anyone?

 

 

By the Book: Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s Pipette or Elbows with Sweet Potatoes, Parsley and Capers

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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I had a plan. After a leisurely Sunday afternoon browsing through Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Kitchen, I would cook up an Italian feast. Maybe try my hand at homemade pasta (She offers wonderfully simple instructions with or without a pasta roller.). Or I’d give her Pepperadelle with Turkey Rolls a go. Maybe I’d bake something.

Then the wind picked up. In the next 10 minutes, rain blew sideways; branches crashed into the street; hail pelted the driveway. My lights flickered once, twice, and then died completely. And they remained off for the next 36 hours. Instead of preparing for my feast, I spent the limited hours of daylight purging my freezer of dripping ice cream and thawing leftovers. I ferried all my precious dairy products – half-and-half, milk, the good cheese – to the refrigerator at my office.

 

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With deadline – and darkness – approaching on Monday, I called my parents and offered to cook dinner in exchange for their kitchen. Then I flipped open the book again, this time hunting for something simple and fast. Luckily, Lidia Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali’s recipes are delicious and as touted, based on common sense. After a quick trip to the grocery store for some fennel, leeks, a sweet potato and some quality cheese, I whipped up a filling meal.

 

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Bastianich’s Pipette or Elbows with Sweet Potatoes, Parsley and Capers was a great seasonal pasta dish that warmed us up on a cold night. Bright orange sweet potatoes and soft green leeks studded the pan sauce, bulked up with plenty of pancetta. Fresh parsley and capers brightened it up, and the whole thing coated the elbow macaroni without weighing it down. A note of caution: Use a light hand when seasoning. With all the pancetta, capers, pasta water and cheese, the dish didn’t need another pinch of sodium.

 

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The bonus dish – Baked Fennel with Sage – was the surprise hit of the night. As I sliced and blanched the bulbs, the potent smell was a tad off-putting to some (Exact words: “It smells like my old fish tank.”). But baking the fennel in a hot oven (and smothering it in fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano), turned the strong, licorice-y vegetable into a mild, earthy side dish that screamed for a slice of rustic bread to sop up all that gooey cheese.

 

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Each dish took only about 20 minutes of active cooking time, and the instructions encouraged home cooks to trust their instincts. But the best part? I returned home to a well-lit apartment where I stored my leftover ingredients in a nice, chilly fridge. Now back to that grand Italian meal…

 

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Pipette or Elbows with Sweet Potatoes, Parsley and Capers
6 Servings

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. thick-sliced bacon or pancetta, cut into julienne strips
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 fresh sage leaves
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced (about 2 cups)
¼ cup rinsed small capers (optional)
½ tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for the pot
¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. pipette or elbow pasta
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano

• Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta.
• In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and add the bacon or pancetta, the garlic and the sage. Cook until fat has rendered, about 3 to 4 minutes.
• Add the sweet potatoes and leeks and cook, stirring continuously, until both begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the capers, if using. Season with the salt and crushed red pepper.
• Ladle in 1 cup of pasta water and simmer rapidly until the sweet potatoes and leeks are very tender but the sweet potatoes retain their shape, about 7 to 8 minutes, adding more pasta water if necessary to keep it saucy.
• Meanwhile, cook the pipette until al dente. When the pipette are done, remove with a spider directly to the sauce.
• Add the parsley and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Increase the heat and boil 1 minute if the sauce is too thin or add a little more pasta water if it is too thick.
• Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve.

 

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Baked Fennel with Sage
6 Servings

½ tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for the pot
3 bulbs fennel, trimmed (about 2 lbs.)
8 oz. grated Italian fontina
½ cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 large fresh sage leaves, chopped

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large lot of salted water to a boil.
• Halve and core the fennel and slice it ½-inch thick. Add the slices of fennel to the boiling water and blanch until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and rinse.
• In a medium bowl, toss together the fontina and grated Grana Padano.
• Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread in the blanched fennel and season with the salt. Scatter the chopped sage over the top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
• Bake until browned and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Alfred Knopf Publishing

Power outages, broken ovens, hungry dogs… What’s the biggest obstacle that was interfered with your cooking plans? How did you adapt? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Sue, whose answer on last week’s By the Book has won a copy of Roberta‘s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hay, Chris Parachini and Katherine Wheelock. Sue, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

Thanksgiving Inspiration: Side Dishes

Monday, November 18th, 2013

 grainssalad{Seven-Grain Salad with Italian Sausage, Peppers and Capers}

 

Thanksgiving may be all about that big, beautiful bird, but sometimes a great side dish can steal the show. Over the years, we’ve whipped up dishes both traditional and out of the ordinary, aiming to please everyone from your vegan cousin to your carnivorous uncle. We’ve roasted, stuffed, sauteed, dressed and seasoned a slew of dressings, vegetables and casseroles. And we prepared potatoes every which way, from mashed to stuffed to wasabi-spiked (yes, really).

Check out recipes for some our favorite sides:
Seven-Grain Salad with Italian Sausage, Peppers and Capers
Wild Rice and Sage Stuffing
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Mushroom Bread Pudding
Oyster Root Dressing
Roasted Fall Vegetables

Oh, and don’t forget the gravy!

Still hungry? Check out our recipe database for even more great dishes perfect for feeding a crowd at the holidays.

Thanksgiving Inspiration: Pies

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

111313_pie{Simone Faure’s Our Crack Pie}

 

If you were assigned to bring the pie for Thanksgiving, you’re either the family baker (We should all be so lucky to have one.), or you can be relied on to hit up a local bakery to supplement your lackluster kitchen skills.

This year, shake up your traditional offering, be it your homemade pumpkin pie or Marie Callender’s, and experiment with some of these pie recipes. You may just find a new family favorite. Not a pie person? We’ve got tons of other great desserts to tempt every palate. And remember, while practice makes perfect, when it comes to baked goods, practice makes lots of friends, too.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

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