Squab with Orange and Almond

Ingredients

2 tablespoons duck fat or unsalted butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 squab, each about 1 pound, wing tips removed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart veal or chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/4 cup port wine
zest and juice of 3 navel oranges; grate the zest of 1 orange and sliver the zest of the other 2 for garnish
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 oranges, peeled and divided into segments (optional)
4 sprigs orange blossoms or leaves, for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. In a large, deep pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the duck fat over high heat. When hot, reduce the heat to medium-high, add the celery, carrots, and onion, and cook, stirring, until the onions are tender and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the squab and thyme and cook until the squab are lightly browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes, turning the squab once during browning.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the stock, port, and grated orange zest and stir gently to mix. Cover and cook until the squab are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  4. Lift the squab from the pot and set aside to rest on a plate. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, immediately reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the liquid reduces by half, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the orange juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and nearly as thick as heavy cream, 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Pour the warm sauce into shallow bowls and top with a squab. Garnish with the slivered orange zest, almonds, and orange segments and orange blossoms or leaves, if using.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: So Good

Languedoc Beef Stew with Red Wine, Herbs, and Olives

Ingredients

2-1/4 lb thickly sliced braising or stewing beef
2 tablespoons flour
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1-1/4 cups Faugeres or other full-bodied fruity red wine
1/2 cup homemade or organic beef broth
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 thin strip of unwaxed orange zest
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup black olives
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slow-roasted Carrots

1 lb carrots
a pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Trim any excess fat from the beef, then cut the meat into large cubes. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Dip the cubes of beef in the flour to coat.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, add the beef, and saute on all sides until the meat is browned — you will need to do this in batches, adding extra oil as you go. Transfer the beef to a cast-iron casserole.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, add the onion, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until softened but not browned.
  4. Add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  5. Add 1 cup of the wine, the broth, herbes de Provence, orange zest, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then pour the sauce into the casserole.
  6. Heat the casserole over medium heat and bring the sauce back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer very gently for 2-1/2 to 3 hours until the meat is completely tender. Check the contents of the casserole occasionally to ensure there is enough liquid (add a little extra broth or water if it’s dry).
  7. About two-thirds of the way through the cooking time, prepare the slow-roasted carrots. Cut the carrots into long, thick diagonal slices. Put the carrots, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large, shallow ovenproof dish, pour the oil over, and toss well. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 45 to 60 minutes until the carrots are soft and their edges are caramelized.
  8. About 30 minutes before the stew should be ready, stir in the olives. Just before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and the remaining wine, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve with the slow-roasted carrots.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Asparagus Omelette with Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

1 kg white asparagus salt
1 pinch sugar
1 teaspoon butter
8 eggs
4 tablespoons cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter
300 g smoked salmon in thin slices

Hollandaise Sauce with Herbs

1 shallot
5 white peppercorns
1 tablespoon white wine-vinegar yolks of 3 eggs
250 g butter
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill

Method

  1. Peel the asparagus, remove the woody ends and boil in salted water with a pinch of sugar and a teaspoon of butter for 20 minutes until done.
  2. To make the herb hollandaise sauce: peel the shallots and chop finely. Add to the crushed peppercorns, vinegar and 5 tablespoons of water and boil to reduce it slightly. Rub through a fine sieve into a bowl, then beat in the egg yolk. Put the bowl in a container of hot water. Whisk the shallot and egg mixture continuously until it is creamy and thick. Remove the bowl from the hot water container and add melted butter – not too hot – while stirring constantly. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and stir in the chopped herbs.
  3. For the omelette, beat the eggs and cream together. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and make four omelettes in butter.
  4. Remove the asparagus from the water and drain. Stuff the omelette with asparagus, salmon and hollandaise sauce with herbs.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking with Asparagus

Middle Eastern-style Freekeh and Leek Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

1 Tbsp + 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup freekeh
1 cup canned (drained and rinsed) or cooked chickpeas
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/3 cup sliced dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 green onions, green and white parts. sliced
4 red bell peppers
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp za’atar spice mixture
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. In medium-sized saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add leek and salt, cook until leek is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. In another saucepan, add 1-1/2 cups water and freekeh, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until freekeh is tender and water has absorbed, about 16 minutes. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes, and then fluff with fork. Stir in softened leeks and garlic, chickpeas, carrot, apricots, and pistachios.
  4. In small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add green onions and let sizzle just until green parts darken slightly, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer mixture to blender and let cool. Puree with 2 Tbsp water and a couple pinches of salt until as smooth as possible.
  6. Halve each bell pepper lengthwise, from stem to base, removing white veins and seeds.
  7. Place peppers on microwavable dish, cut sides up, cover with paper towel, and microwave on High for 5 minutes, or until tender.
  8. Stir together yogurt, lemon juice, za’atar, and cayenne.
  9. Stuff bell pepper halves with freekeh mixture and top with dollops of yogurt. Drizzle on onion oil and garnish with parsley before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Classic Apple Pie

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp salt
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Filling

1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
5 cups Washington State apple slices
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp butter or margarine

Method

  1. To make the short pastry, preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Cream the shortening with boiling water until well mixed, either by hand or with an electric mixer.
  3. Add the salt and flour all at once and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Form into a ball and chill in a covered container for at least an hour. Roll out half the dough for a single shell. Fit into a pie pan and then prick generously with a fork around edges and on bottom. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes for a single crust. Dough may be kept for at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Makes pastry for two 9-inch pie crusts.
  5. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  6. Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate.
  7. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon rind in a bowl. Add the apples and toss to coat evenly.
  8. Arrange the apples in the pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter.
  9. Roll out the remaining pastry and place over the apples. Cut air vents in the top. Trim the pastry and flute the edge, trimming any excess pastry.
  10. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Makes 1 pie.

Source: The Creative Cooking Course