Archive for November, 2011

From Dish Danielle:

I had the pleasure of being served this dish a few weeks back.

‘Ohmygoodness this is amazing. I NEED to make this…tell me how!’ I exclaimed to Yewande moments after I took my first bite. Although Yewande isn’t a contributor to this site, she is one Saucy. Little. Dish. She works for Saveur and Bon Appetit in recipe R&D, so it’s no wonder that her casserole was met with rave reviews.

Here is my rendition of Miss Yewande Komolafe’s recipe, told to me as I stood in the kitchen, gobbling up her delicious dish. She made hers in a round cast iron skillet, which I also recommend using if you have one.

5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (be brave and use a mandolin if you can)
2c heavy cream
1c whole milk
6oz grated gruyere
3-4 garlic cloves
1 bunch thyme, pruned
1-2 tsp grated nutmeg
6 oz grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Start by placing a layer of potato slices on the bottom of your dish.

In a small saucepan, place the cream, milk, most of the gruyere (reserve 1/3c for later), and most of the thyme (save 1-2 tbsp for later), over low heat. Whisk periodically to mix cheese & milk thoroughly. Using a micro-plane, grate the garlic into the liquid. Season with S&P. Taste. Adjust until you get the seasoning just right.

Once liquid is ready, pour a bit atop the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle a layer of parm as well. Then arrange another layer of potatoes atop that and repeat until you’ve filled the dish. I recommend adding liquid in small increments until it reaches about halfway up the pan, even if that means not pouring liquid over the last layer or two of potatoes. Too much liquid results in a soggy casserole, which is exactly what I got the first time I cooked this. Once you’ve filled the dish, finish with the remaining parm, gruyere, and thyme and bake for 45min-1hr, or until the top layer has browned a bit. Let it rest for a good 20 minutes before serving to make sure it sets properly.

I served this on Thanksgiving day as one of my contributions to a wonderful Turkey Day potluck.

Archie & Emily of Neighbor Supperclub hosted us, and our entire meal was outstanding!

So much to be thankful for this year. Reflect, eat, enjoy, repeat. I hope you all had a lovely holiday.

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From Dish Erin:

I know what you’re expecting. Some sort of pie or Autumnal side dish for Thanksgiving. But I’m forgoing the obvious this month and taking a trip to Korea. Think of it as a healthy way to prep for the holiday overindulgence that’s about to happen.

Korean restaurants are sort of like dry cleaners in NYC–there’s one on every corner. It’s a cuisine with really distinct flavor components, thanks to the liberal use of chili paste and intense flavors (which is always the key to my heart). One of the most ubiquitous Korean dishes is Beef Bulgogi, which literally translates to “fire meat.” Thin slices of meat are marinated in a mixture of spices and sauces that create a salty/sweet/spicy flavor that’s uniquely Korean. I was craving it tonight, but since I had a hamburger for dinner last night, I opted for salmon instead of beef.

For marinade
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 scallion, chopped roughly
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice vinegar
1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce like sri-racha

2 salmon fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 shallot, minced
cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
2 cups baby bok choy, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips

Blend all marinade ingredients in mini processor. Pour into a medium sized bowl, nestle the salmon in, and marinate about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange fish, with some marinade still clinging, on rimmed baking sheet. Transfer any marinade in dish to small saucepan. Roast fish until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Bring marinade in saucepan to boil; set aside and reserve for glaze.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add shallot and using garlic press, press in last remaining garlic clove. Cook for about 1 minute. Add bok choy and mushrooms. Stir-fry until mushrooms are tender and bok choy is wilted, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide vegetables among plates. Top with salmon and brush with remaining glaze.

Enjoy and express your gratitude for being able to recreate Korean delights in your American kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll!

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From Dish Nicole:

As soon as the leaves start to change, I get very excited for all things pumpkin. What is cozier than a warm house with a hint of pumpkin spice wafting through the air? Not a whole lot. The boyfriend and I just recently moved into a new apartment and we couldn’t wait to have our first dinner party to make it really feel like home. So when Dish Danielle’s mother, Laurel, came to town, I couldn’t think of a better reason to christen our apartment with friends and food. (Side note: Danielle and I have been friends since 4th grade and Laurel was like a second mom to me). Pumpkin lasagna was the first dish that came to mind. I had made a vegetarian version of this recipe last fall for some friends and they loved it, so this time I decided to spice things up with some spicy Italian sausage. In addition to this recipe being delicious/a crowd pleaser, it’s extremely easy (thanks to the greatest invention: no boil lasagna noodles). I have once again perused many variations and cherry-picked what I think are the best ingredients and came up with my own recipe. So let’s get started:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lasagna Ingredients:
15 ounces of pureed pumpkin
15 ounces of ricotta cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 boxes of no boil lasagna noodles (1 should be enough but buy 2 just to be safe)
1 medium onion diced
1.5 lbs spicy Italian sausage- removed from casings
3 medium sized zucchini – peeled into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Béchamel Sauce ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
3 tbsp butter
¼ cup flour
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by preheating your oven and prepping your ingredients. The next step is to cook the onion and sausage in a sauté pan over medium heat. You will want to chop up the sausage into pieces while cooking. Once the sausage is no longer pink, set aside for later use.

In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, pumpkin puree and salt and pepper and set aside as well.

For the béchamel sauce you will want to start by melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute then add in the milk. Whisk constantly being careful not to let it burn to the bottom. Whisk in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. The sauce will start to thicken at which point you can remove from heat.

Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna, which is the best part! Start by ladling about 3tbs of the béchamel sauce onto a casserole dish. Add a layer of noodles and top with a generous portion of the ricotta/pumpkin mixture.

Next add a layer of the zucchini and top that with a layer of sausage and onion.
Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process one more time. The last layer will just be the noodles sprinkled with remaining mozzarella, remaining béchamel and top off with the parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes covered with foil. Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes or until the lasagna starts to become golden brown.

With the above recipe I had enough ingredients left over to make a mini vegetarian version on the side. (In all honesty, the sausage version was the crowd favorite.)

I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. The house was brimming with delicious smells, laughter and love.

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