Popular French Dish with Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

1/2 lb chestnuts
1/2 cup milk
1-1/4 lb small tender Brussels sprouts
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp dry white wine

Method

  1. Using a small knife, score a cross in the base of each chestnut. Over a medium-high heat, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, drop in the chestnuts and boil for 6-8 minutes. Remove the pan from heat.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove a few chestnuts, leaving the others immersed in water until ready to peel. Holding them in a tea towel, remove the outer shell with a knife and then peel off the inner skin.
  3. Rinse the pan, return the peeled chestnuts to it and add the milk. Top up with enough water to completely cover the chestnuts. Simmer over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes until the chestnuts are just tender. Drain and set aside.
  4. Remove any wilted or yellow leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Trim the root end but leave intact or the leaves will separate. Using a small knife, score a cross in the base of each sprout so they cook evenly.
  5. In a large heavy frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the chopped shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes until just softened, then add the Brussels sprouts and wine. Cook, covered, over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally, adding a little more water if necessary.
  6. Add the poached chestnuts and toss gently to combine, then cover and cook for 3-5 minutes more until the chestnuts and Brussels sprouts are tender.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: French Cuisine Made Easy

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Italian-style Roasted Pork with White Wine

Ingredients

6-1/2 lb boned, rolled shoulder of pork
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon crushed dried chilies
6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine

To serve, your choice of:

sauteed potatoes and salad
mashed potatoes and green beans

Method

  1. Cut deep slits in the roast with a sharp knife. Grind the fennel seeds, salt, peppercorns, and chiles using a pestle and mortar. Add the chopped garlic and pound to a rough paste. Using your hands, smother the paste all over the pork working it into the slits. Put the pork on a wire rack and place it over a roasting pan. Cook, skin side up in a preheated oven at 450°F for 30 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and reduce the heat to 225°F.
  2. Turn the pork over and pour half the lemon juice and all of the olive oil over it. Return the pork to the oven and cook for at least 7 hours, checking it every couple of hours. You should be aware that the meat is cooking—it should be sizzling quietly. Ovens vary, so you may want to increase the temperature slightly.
  3. About halfway through the cooking time, spoon off the excess fat and squeeze the remaining lemon juice over the meat. About 30 minutes before the pork is due to be cooked, remove it from the oven and increase the heat to 4257. Transfer the pork, fat side up, to a clean ovenproof dish and when the oven is hot, return the pork to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes to crisp up the crackling. Remove from the oven and let rest.
  4. Pour off any excess fat from the original roasting pan and add the wine and ‘/, cup water. Heat gently on the top of the stove, working off any sticky burnt-on bits from the edges of the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the juices through a sieve and keep them warm.
  5. Carve the pork into thick slices. Put a few slices on each of 8 warmed plates and pour some of the pan juices over the top. You could serve this with sauteed potatoes and salad, or mashed potatoes and green beans.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Razor Clams with Saffron Mayonnaise

Ingredients

30 razor clams
250 ml dry sherry
1/2 tsp saffron infused in 1 tbsp boiling water and left to cool
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, cut into 0.5 cm slices.
6 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 star anise
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 strip shaved orange rind
5 g chopped parsley
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
salt

Method

  1. Wash the clams in cold water, gently scrubbing the shells, until the water runs clear, drain and set aside.
  2. Pour the sherry into a large sauté pan, cover and place on a high heat. Bring to a boil, then add the clams, cover again, shake the pan and steam for two to three minutes, until the shells open.
  3. Remove from the heat and lift out the clams with a slotted spoon.
  4. When cool enough to handle, detach them from their shells, cut out and discard the central brown intestinal sac, and trim off the dark-tipped end. Slice the remaining clam into 1.5 cm pieces and set aside.
  5. Strain the cooking liquids through muslin and pour 250 ml into a jug. Add half the saffron and set aside.
  6. Put the remaining saffron in a small bowl, stir in the mayo and refrigerate.
  7. Wipe clean the pan, add a tablespoon and a half of oil and put on a medium-high heat. Add half the fennel and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and sauté for three minutes, turning so it colours on both sides.
  8. Add another tablespoon of oil and repeat with the remaining fennel. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  9. Add the remaining oil to the pan and return to a medium heat. Add the shallots, star anise, garlic and chillies, and cook for six minutes, until the shallots are soft.
  10. Pour in the saffron liquid, add the orange rind and cook to reduce by half – about three minutes.
  11. Return the clams and fennel to the pot, cook for a minute, just to warm through, stir in the parsley and divide between serving bowls. Spoon over the saffron mayo, finish with the fennel seeds and serve at once.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Ottolenhi

Baked Fish with Wine and Vegetables Wrapped in Paper

Ingredients

8 oz mixed vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, sugar snap peas, green beans, or baby carrots
light olive oil, for greasing
2 thick sea bass fillets, about 4-1/2 oz each
2 teaspoons mixed fresh herbs, such as chives, chervil, and dill
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into slices
4 tablespoons dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large pieces of parchment paper, about 11-inch square

Method

  1. Chop the vegetables into large, even-sized pieces.
  2. Lay out 2 pieces of parchment paper one on top of the other and grease the top layer lightly with a few drops of olive oil.
  3. Lay 1 sea bass fillet on top of the paper and surround it with half the vegetables. Sprinkle with half the herbs, dot with half the butter, and season with salt and pepper. Pull up the sides of the foil or parchment paper and add 2 tablespoons wine to the package. Carefully pull the sides together around the fish and vegetables, leaving a space around them, but sealing the package tightly at the top so the juices can’t escape. Repeat to make a second package.
  4. Put the 2 packages on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove the packages from the oven and open them carefully. Transfer the fish and vegetables to 2 warm plates, pour over the juices, and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Vegetarian Casserole with Green Bean and Millet

Ingredients

1 cup cooked millet
6 cups canola oil (for frying millet)
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
chopped fresh parsley and thyme leaves (optional)

Method

  1. Line a jelly-roll pan with several layers of paper towels. Spread cooked millet out into a thin layer on paper towels. Let stand 1 to 2 hours to dry out surface moisture, stirring grains occasionally.
  2. Heat canola oil in a large Dutch oven to 375ºF (check with a submerged thermometer).
  3. Add 1/2 of the millet to the oil. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until the millet are browned and crisp (do not let the oil drop below 350ºF). Remove with a fine wire mesh ladle. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Fry the remaining millet as in step 3. Set the fried millet aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  6. Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling water 5 to 6 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and plunge into ice water. Drain and pat dry.
  7. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add onion and shallots, cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high. Cook 8 minutes or until mushroom liquid evaporates.
  9. Stir in thyme. Combine sherry and soy sauce. Add sherry mixture to pan and cook 4 minutes or until liquid evaporates.
  10. Combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk. Stir milk mixture into pan. Cook 2 minutes or until bubbly and thick, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Add green beans. Toss gently to coat.
  12. Spoon mixture into a 3-quart glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle fried millet evenly over top. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly. Garnish with parsley and thyme leaves, if desired.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: Everyday Whole Grains