Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s crunch time. It is oh twenty four hundred hours till you are stuffing your face with friends and family and strangers. Hopefully you’ve been invited to someone’s house and are only responsible for “bringing yourselves” which really means
# of people x 2 = bottles of wine to bring.
But perhaps your creative, all inclusive and generous hosts have asked you to bring something!!! Oh, the horror! But not to fear, the Kitchen Princess is here! And I’ve got a slew of recipes for you, from the simple, fool-proof roasted Brussels sprouts to the drop dead gorgeous pear chanterelle stuffing.
My first question is, how much time do you have? Lets play a little game.
1. It’s Wednesday morning, you have the day off and are excited to get in the kitchen. You…scroll down to Pear and Chanterelle Stuffing.
2. It’s Wednesday afternoon, you’ve just come home from a half-day at work, you are looking for something impressive to bring but you don’t want to drop a lot of cash. Kohlrabi is cheap and with a mandoline, you are in business. You…scroll down to Kohlrabi Gratin.
3. It’s Wednesday night, you’ve just come home from work and you’re tired but there’s a gourmet grocery on your way home. Excellent, you pick up some prosciutto and fingerlings and…scroll down to Fingerling Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary, wrapped in Prosciutto.
4. It’s Thursday morning and you are in bed watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. You planned on making a green bean casserole last night but all of your friends were gathered back in town. You suddenly remember that you bought a spaghetti squash at the farmers market last weekend so you…scroll down to Spaghetti Squash with Cumin and Parsley.
5. It’s 2pm on Thursday. You are in def con 5 panic mode. You are supposed to be in Harlem at 6 and you are screwed. Everything is closed except the Chinese bodega. You track town some Brussels and…scroll down to Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
Pear and Chanterelle Stuffing
Time: One hour plus 24 hours for drying bread
1 large loaf Pullman or other firm white bread (I used cheap while pre-sliced Italian from Walmart…shhhhh)
1 pound chanterelle mushrooms (shitakes work well…and have a cooler name)
1/3 pound pancetta, diced small
10 tablespoons butter, more for greasing muffin tins (seriously?)
1 large chopped onion
1/4 cup minced shallots (about three)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups diced pears (about four or five firm, ripe varieties like Bartlett or Anjou) plus one whole pear
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup minced chives (I skipped the chives)
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 cups turkey stock. (low sodium chicken broth was on sale for $00.33 so I used that, also I hate turkey as you probably already know)
1. Tear bread into small pieces (you should have about 16 cups) No way…I had about 10 cups. and set in roasting pan or bowl. To dry bread, cover with paper towels and leave out overnight. Or, place on a baking sheet in batches and lightly toast. Set aside. (I think I screwed this part up, since my stuffins weren’t as crispy as the times’)
2. Wipe mushrooms with a clean, damp towel. Trim tough ends. Slice some thickly, chop others. Set aside. Place pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook slowly until fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Remove to a large plate.
3. Add 2 tablespoons butter to fat in pan and turn heat to medium high. Add onion and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft. Do not brown. Remove to plate holding pancetta.
4. Add 3 tablespoons butter to pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and quickly sauté until starting to brown. Remove and add to plate.
5. Add wine to pan and deglaze over medium high heat, cooking until wine reduces by about half. Pour remaining liquid over mushrooms. Wipe out pan and add remaining butter. Add pears and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Sauté pears, in batches if necessary, over medium high heat until they begin to brown slightly.
6. In a large bowl or roasting pan, add sautéed ingredients to bread. Toss lightly to combine. Add herbs and toss again. Slowly pour one cup stock over mixture and toss. Add more broth to make a very moist stuffing. (I think I added too much broth, I’d say skip this step) Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. If you are stuffing a brined turkey, remember that the bird will add a bit more salt. Ew, I hate stuffing from inside a turkey.
8. Just before roasting turkey, place some room-temperature stuffing lightly inside a prepared bird. Place whole pear in opening of cavity to help hold stuffing in the bird. NOPE
9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter muffin tins and fill each with stuffing, pressing down so each cup is well filled. Top each with one tablespoon stock. (forgot to do this) Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until a golden crust forms on bottom. (The actual cooking time was much closer to 40 miuntes and I still never got that golden crust right) To serve, use a butter knife to remove each stuffing muffin and invert onto the plate.
Yield: Enough stuffing for a 12- to 14-pound turkey and a dozen muffin tins. If not stuffing a turkey, recipe will fill two dozen muffin tins or a small casserole dish.
Kohlrabi Gratin with Shallots and Garlic
You will need:
3 lbs. Kohlrabi (about 12 small ones or 6 large ones)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
2 large shallots
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
A small round casserole dish (le cruset)
1. Preheat your oven to 360. Chop the onion and garlic very finely. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until they start to brown. Add the chicken broth and cook for 3 minutes in high, then turn the flame down to a simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. You may want to add some salt if you used low-sodium chicken broth.
2. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of the pot. Using a peeler and knife, remove the outer skin and dark green layer of the kohlrabi. Then, using a mandolin, slice each vegetable into paper thin pieces. Add a thin layer of them on the bottom of pot so they resemble fish scales. Drizzle 2 Tbs of the mixture on top of the first layer, then repeat with a second layer fo kohlrabi slices. Continue this process until you have 6 layers or you run out oh kholrabi. If you run out of sauce, quickly fry up some garlic in olive oil and add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
3. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and bake, with the lid on for 35 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese forms a nice crust.
Fingerling Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary, wrapped in Prosciutto
Serves 4 as a side dish
Note: You can leave out the lavender if you can’t find it.
You will need:
2 pounds of fingerling potatoes (about 16 potatoes)
1 package thinly-sliced prosciutto (you will need 16 2inch x 6inch strips)
2 Tablespoons very finely chopped lavender
2 Tablespoons very finely chopped rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil + a bit more for drizzling
pinch of salt
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes then drain and set aside to cool. You don’t want to cook them completely, so no fork testing nonsense.
2. Preheat your oven to 425. Once you can pick up a potato without burning yourself, add the finely chopped herbs to a small bowl with the olive oil. Coat each potato in the herb/oil mixture and place on a cookie sheet or roasting pan (which has a small drizzle of olive oil). Roast at 425 for about 15 minutes or until you see some brown color on the bottoms.
They should look like this:
3. Flip the potatoes over and roast on the other side for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Cut the prosciutto into 2 inch x 6 inch strips. Wrap each potato in a slice like the picture below. The potatoes will be hot, but use the prosciutto as protection.
5. Place the wrapped potatoes back on the baking sheet and put back in the oven for an additional 5-8 minutes until the prosciutto is JUST crispy (don’t burn it!). There should be some excess olive oil on the baking sheet, so use a spoon to coat the potatoes in and serve right away.
Spaghetti Squash with Cilantro and Cumin
You will need:
1 medium sized spaghetti squash.
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs chopped cilantro (or any fresh herb like rosemary, thyme, parsley, tarragon would be nice)
1/4 Tsp cumin
1 Tbs lemon juice
1. Take a fork and prick the squash all over. I mean all over and deep. Otherwise you will have exploding starchy squash and no one wants that. Make a few knife slits just in case. Put in on a microwave-safe plate and cook for 7 minutes. Turn the squash over and cook for another 7 minutes until it’s tender. It will be very very hot so be careful removing it. Let the squash cool for a while so you don’t get steam burns.
2. Once the squash is slightly cool….the real fun begins. With a sharp knife, cut the squash in half the long way and remove the seeds. Taking one half at a time, use a fork to remove the sinewy goodness as you would pulled pork.
3. In a saucepan, heat the butter and add the squash. Cook for two minutes and add the cumin. Take off the heat and toss in a bowl with the cumin and cilantro. Add salt and pepper and voila!
Roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta-garlic sauce
My Brussels sprouts are famous among friends and family and really there isn’t a trick. Okay, maybe there is a bit of a trick.
You will need:
1 pound of smallish Brussels sprouts
1/t tsp Maldon salt or other extremely fancy and flaky or chunky sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil (this is an estimate, but I know it’s quite a lot)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut the sprouts in half and toss in a bowl with some of the olive oil so they are just coated. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on them.
3. Smear about a table spoon of the oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Spill the sprouts out and flip them over so at least 85% of them are facing inside up (round side down).
4. Pour lots and lots (or drizzle if you must) of olive oil on the sprouts and sprinkle with tons of Maldon. Bake for about 40 minutes or until they look like they are burning. Burning is good.
(OPTIONAL) PANCETTA-GARLIC SAUCE
You will need:
3 gloves garlic
1 1/4 inch thick slice of pancetta
2 tbs olive oil
1. Chop the shallot and garlic cloves into very tiny pieces. Cut the pancetta into small cubes.
2. Fry together in a pan with the olive oil