StuffingtonPost 2014- Cornbread Celery Apple

My favorite. Make 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing as directed. Separately, in a large skillet, in a little olive oil, brown one sweet onion, coarsely chopped. Add 2 cups peeled, cored, chopped tart green apples, 2 cups thickly sliced celery stalks until lightly browned. Add ground black pepper, garlic powder to taste. Blend into cornbread stuffing. Put in a baking dish in 375 degree oven covered until heated through, uncover ’til crispy on top.

StuffingtonPost 2014- Sausage Mushroom

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add one large sweet onion, coarsely chopped, and a bunch of scallions, thickly sliced. Sauté until translucent. Add crumbled Italian sausage meat, taken out of casings; from 3 large sweet, 3 large spicy. Homemade from Frigo’s. Brown. Add 4 cups Crimini mushroom caps, quartered. Brown. Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry red wine. Stir. Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder to taste. Stir and remove from heat. Let stand to room temp.

Make your favorite bread stuffing as directed. I use Pepperidge Farm, 2-4 bags. When cooled, add the sausage, mushroom mixture and gently blend together. Pour into baking dish. Divide into 2 dishes if necessary for quicker heating. Pop in the oven, covered to heat through, then uncover until crispy on top.

Stuffed Pepper Halves

Stuffed bell peppers are comfort food. This method of cutting the peppers lengthwise in half is easy and cooks more evenly. For the stuffing, it’s from whatever leftovers in the fridge. All veggie or with meat. Tonight I did it this way:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bell peppers of whatever color in half. Lengthwise, not across. Core and de-seed. Place halves in a roasting pan.

For the stuffing: Mix together leftover cooked hamburgers crumbled, veal chop cut into small pieces, crumbled croutons, small onion chopped, large zucchini peeled and chopped, chunky salsa, barbecue sauce and egg to bind. Blend well and scoop into pepper halves so loose and in a mound. Top with garlic powder and drizzled olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

Stuffing browned, peppers soft and sweet.

Lidia’s Table

Lidia Bastianich is one of my favorite chefs. I have several of her cookbooks and use them often. We recently visited her Del Posto in New York. She is co-owner with a group including her son Joe and Mario BataliIt features products from Lidia’s homeland, the northeastern region of Italy bordering Slovenia. Here is what we selected from a tasting menu with wine pairings.

Tutti a tavola a mangiare:

Vitello Tonnato~ Veal with creamy tuna sauce, olive crostone, capers, lime cells and lemon basil w/ Marcarini Roero Arneis 2013 Piemonte

Lobster alla Cesare~ Grilled romaine, pane grattato, sweet & sour onions w/ Franz Gojer Kerner 2013 Alto Adige

Spaghetti Dungeness Crab~ Sliced jalapeño, minced scallion w/ Bastianich Refosco 2012 Friuli

Orecchiette Lamb Neck Ragù~ Orange carrots, toasted rye w/ Girolamo Russo Etna Rosso “a Rina” 2012 Sicilia

Broiled Veal Chop alla Rossini~ Foraged mushrooms, braised red endive w/ Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Martinenga” 2008 Piemonte

Baked Striped Bass Scorzonera~ Chicories, fumetto al tartufo w/ Edi Simcic Chardonnay 2010 Slovenia

Livorno Style Cacciucco~ Seafood stew, garlic bread crostini, kelp cured cod w/ San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico 2012 Toscana

Desserts:

Pecorino Romano Cake~ Honey gelato, roasted pears
Browned Butter Panna Cotta~ Greenmarket apples, pasta frolla
Sfera di Caprino~ Celery sorbetto, fig agrodolce

Potages d’Octobre

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These soups are rich and fragrant, meant for sipping from a small glass.

Potato Turnip Leek Soup

Peel and cut into small chunks: 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, 1 medium turnip. Put into large saucepan, cover with water and season with cracked black pepper. Bring to boil and then simmer until tender. Drain in a colander and bring to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim and clean 3 leeks. Cut lengthwise and put on cookie sheet, cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, garlic powder and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool to room temperature. Chop into small pieces.

When everything is cool, put half the potatoes, turnips, leeks into a blender with 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon horseradish. Pulse until smooth. Pour into a refrigerator container. Blend the other half of the potatoes, turnips, another cup broth and teaspoon horseradish until smooth. Pour into same container. Add the other half of the leeks (not blended, just chopped) and stir. Refrigerate until ready to heat and eat. Garnish with chives.


Red Cabbage Apple Soup

Shred one medium red cabbage with tender pieces only. Chop one sweet yellow onion. Julienne one small orange bell pepper. In a stock pot, heat 1 tbs. each canola oil and butter and add chopped onion. Cook until translucent. Season with 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 2 tbs. sesame seeds, 1 tbs. garlic powder. Stir and blend. Add the shredded cabbage and bell pepper and cook until wilted, tender. Season with salt to taste and add 1 tbs. maple syrup. Stir. Add 4 cups water. Bring to boil. Cover. Simmer 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, peel, core and slice 4 tart apples. Add to the stock. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover for 15 minutes or longer for thicker. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt.

Autumnal Roast Chicken

Consistently succulent methodologies borrowed from Alfred Portale and Jacques Pépin. Moist with crispy skin. Secret is drying thoroughly and refrigerating with sea salt in the cavity. Then, rotating in the oven.

4 lb. farm fresh whole chicken with giblets. Rinse chicken and giblets. Put in roasting pan with paper towels on the bottom. Pat dry chicken all around and shake sea salt into the cavity. Refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to cook, take chicken out of refrigerator while oven preheats to 425 degrees. Remove paper towels from the pan stand chicken cavity side up. Cut top off whole garlic head and place in cavity. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze juice on giblets and put remaining cores into cavity. Sprinkle dried thyme or place a fresh thyme sprig into cavity. Place chicken onto its side with giblets in a corner of the pan.

Slice a sweet onion and place behind chicken back and over giblets. When oven is at 425 degrees, drizzle olive oil over leg, wing, side of chicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Place on middle rack of preheated oven for 30 minutes. Take out chicken, turn to the other side, drizzle with olive oil over leg, wing, side and cover with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Place back into oven for another 30 minutes. Take out chicken and place so breast side is up. Baste with juices all over. Put back into oven for another 30 minutes.

Take out and cover with aluminum foil for 15 minutes. Onions and giblets crispy. Skin, too. Moist meat. Eat!

Roasted Squash Couscous

Cut 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash into lengthwise quarters. Trim ends. Place in a pie pan seed-sides up. Drizzle olive oil over them, sprinkle with generous amount of cracked black pepper and garlic powder. Put in oven and turn to 400 degrees convect. When oven hits 400, turn off. Take out the squash after another 5 minutes. Let cool. Cut into small bite-sized chunks.

Make couscous. Use casserole dish with tight fitting cover. Put 1 cup dry couscous in the casserole dish. Add squash chunks. Boil one cup chicken broth and a couple pats of butter. Pour boiling broth over the couscous and squash. Cover and shake a bit to distribute liquid. Let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Sriracha Pork Steaks

1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin. Cut into quarters across the loin. Pound the pieces to tenderize, but keep steaks thick as possible. Marinade in Sriracha sauce, just enough to coat both sides and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Julienne one bell pepper, 2 jalapeño peppers, 2 long chile peppers. Sauté peppers in a little olive oil in a large fry pan. Add pork steaks and sear on both sides. Then turn heat down to cook until pork is pink in the middle. Pounding and marinade make meat tender.

Serve with roasted squash couscous.

Mashed Potatoes & Parsnips

Late summer farm stand fare. Delish. Peel and quarter 4-6 local Valley potatoes. Peel and slice 3 parsnips into small diagonal chunks. Cover with water in a large saucepan. Season with a generous amount of cracked black peppercorns and a little kosher salt. Cover and bring to boil until potatoes and parsnips are very tender. Uncover and simmer until water is almost gone. Add 3+ tablespoons butter and chives to taste. Let simmer until water is evaporated and vegetables brown up a bit. Mash with a hand tool until blended. Savory side dish.