Archive for November 2012

Thanksgiving! Pecan pie

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From Cook’s Illustrated. We also made roasted broccoli, stuffing (Pepperidge Farm), garlic mashed potatoes (peeled and steamed then riced 5 lbs Yukon White potatoes; toasted 2 heads of garlic in a dry pan and riced it in, along with butter, cream, salt, pepper), gravy, classic green bean casserole with frozen green beans, and no-knead bread.


Published November 1, 1995. 


Chop the toasted pecans by hand or the best texture; a food processor will grind them too small. The filling should be added to the pie shell right after it comes out of the oven. Therefore, start step 5 about 20 minutes after the pie shell goes in the oven.


  • Crust
  • 1 1/4cup (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 3tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening
  • 4tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 – 5tablespoons ice water
  • Filling
  • 6tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1cup (7 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 3large eggs
  • 3/4cup light corn syrup
  • 1tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2cups whole pecans (8 ounces), toasted and chopped into small pieces


  1. 1. FOR THE CRUST: Mix flour, sugar, and salt in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter and shortening over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds. Turn mixture into medium bowl.
  2. 2. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together. Shape dough into ball with hands, then flatten into 4-inch disk. Dust dough lightly with flour, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  3. 3. Roll dough on lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle and transfer to 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass. Press dough into corners and sides of pan, being careful not to stretch dough. Trim edges of dough to make 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck overhanging dough under so that folded edge is flush with rim of pan. Flute edge, (see illustration 1).
  4. 4. Chill shell until firm, about 1 hour. Prick sides and bottom with fork and line entire shell with heavy-duty aluminum foil, pressing foil firmly against shell and extending it over fluted rim (illustration 2). Prick foil with fork (illustration 3) and return shell to refrigerator while oven is heating.
  5. 5. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, pressing once or twice with mitt-protected hands, if necessary, to flatten any puffing, until crust is firmly set, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until bottom begins to color, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, brush sides and bottom with egg yolk, and return to oven until yolk glazes over, about 1 minute longer. Remove from oven, and set aside while preparing the filling.
  6. 6. Lower oven temperature to 275 degrees. Place pie shell in oven if not still warm.
  7. 7. FOR THE FILLING: Melt butter in medium heatproof bowl set in skillet of water maintained at just below simmer. Remove bowl from skillet; mix in sugar and salt with wooden spoon until butter is absorbed. Beat in eggs, then corn syrup and vanilla. Return bowl to hot water; stir until mixture is shiny and warm to the touch, about 130 degrees. Remove from heat; stir in pecans.
  8. 8. Pour mixture into warm shell; bake until center feels set yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pie to rack; let cool completely, at least 4 hours. Serve pie at room temperature or warm, with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
  9. TO MAKE AHEAD: The pie can be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in foil, for up to 2 days. If you prefer to serve the pie warm, cool the pie thoroughly so that it sets completely, then rewarm it in a 250-degree oven for about 15 minutes.Crust:


    Published November 1, 2007.  From Cook’s Illustrated.

    WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:Since water bonds with flour to form gluten, too much of it makes a crust tough. But rolling out dry dough is difficult. For a pie dough recipe that baked up tender and flaky and rolled out easily every time, we found a magic ingredient: vodka…(more)


    Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor—do not substitute. This dough will be moister and more supple than most standard pie doughs and will require more flour to roll out (up to 1/4 cup).


    • 1 1/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
    • 1/2teaspoon table salt
    • 1tablespoon sugar
    • 6tablespoons cold unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 1/4-inch slices
    • 1/4cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
    • 2tablespoons vodka, cold
    • 2tablespoons cold water


    1. 1. Process 3/4 cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
    2. 2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
    3. 3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
    4. 4. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute dough or press the tines of a fork against dough to flatten it against rim of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
    5. 5. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp.Gravy


      Published November 1, 2001. 

      WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:A high-roast turkey doesn’t yield drippings for a gravy. To develop our gravy recipe for high-roast butterflied turkey, we roasted carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to build flavor. We then simmered the roasted vegetables with white wine and…(more)


      To roast the trimmings and vegetables, it’s best to use a roasting pan that can sit on the stovetop. If you don’t own one, a broiler pan bottom will work; when setting it on the stovetop, however, use medium heat instead of high heat and add only half the amount of chicken broth before scraping up the drippings; add the other half of the chicken broth to the saucepan along with the wine.


      • Reserved turkey giblets, neck, and backbone, hacked into 2-inch pieces
      • 1medium carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
      • 1rib celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
      • 2small onions, chopped coarse
      • 6cloves garlic, unpeeled
      • 3 1/2cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth (two 14 1/2-ounce cans)
      • 2cups dry white wine
      • 6sprigs fresh thyme
      • 1/4cup unbleached all-purpose flour
      • Salt and ground black pepper


      1. 1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place turkey trimmings, carrot, celery, onions, and garlic in large flameproof roasting pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray and toss to combine. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until well-browned, 40 to 50 minutes.
      2. 2. Remove roasting pan from oven, and place over burner(s) set at high heat; add chicken stock and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan with wooden spoon.
      3. 3. Transfer contents of roasting pan to large saucepan. Add wine, 3 cups water, and thyme; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain stock into large measuring cup or container. Cool to room temperature; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fat congeals, at least 1 hour.
      4. 4. To finish gravy, skim fat from stock using soup spoon; reserve fat. Pour stock through fine-mesh strainer to remove remaining bits of fat; discard bits in strainer. Bring stock to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. In second medium saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons reserved turkey fat over medium-high heat until bubbling; whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until combined and honey-colored, about 2 minutes. Continuing to whisk constantly, gradually add hot stock; bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with turkey. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days; reheat in medium saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 8 minutes.)

      Green Bean Casserole (made with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, too)

      Classic Green Bean Casserole

      Overall rating
      4.1 / 5
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      It’s the dish everyone’s expecting on the holidays, but it’s so easy to make, you can serve it any day. What makes our green bean casserole so good?  A secret ingredient – cream of mushroom soup.

      At a glance


      10 min.


      40 min.



      Servings: about 3/4 cup each

      Bake: 30 min.

      Made With

      • Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

        Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

      What You’ll Need

      1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)
      1/2 cup milk
      1 teaspoon soy sauce
      Dash ground black pepper
      4 cups cooked cut green beans
      1 1/3 cups French’s® French Fried Onions

      How to Make It

      • 1Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
      • 2Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
      • 3Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.


        GARLIC MASHED POTATOES (we peeled and steamed the potatoes rather than leaving skin on)

        Published September 1, 2000. 


        WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:Cooking the potatoes in their skins and peeling them after cooking for rich, earthy flavor was the first step toward our ultimate garlic mashed potatoes recipe. For richness and great garlic flavor, we used plenty of melted butter, stirred in …(more)

        SERVES 4

        Avoid using unusually large garlic cloves, which will not soften adequately during toasting. Yukon Gold, red, russet, or white potatoes can be used–each turns out a different texture. For smooth mashed potatoes, a food mill or potato ricer fitted with the finest disk is the best choice. For chunky mashed potatoes, use a potato masher, decrease the half-and-half to 3/4 cup, and mash the garlic to a paste with a fork before you add it to the potatoes.


        • 22cloves garlic (small to medium-large, about 3 ounces, or 2/3 cup), from 2 medium heads garlic, skins left on
        • 2pounds potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
        • 8tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
        • 1cup half-and-half, (warm)
        • 1 1/2teaspoons table salt
        • Ground black pepper


        1. 1. Toast garlic, covered, in small skillet over lowest possible heat, shaking pan frequently, until cloves are dark spotty brown and slightly softened, about 22 minutes. Off heat, let stand, covered, until fully softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Peel cloves and, with paring knife, cut off woody root end (see illustration 1, below). Set aside.
        2. 2. While garlic is toasting, place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with 1 inch water. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potatoes with very little resistance), 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.
        3. 3. Set food mill or ricer over now empty but still warm saucepan. Spear potato with dinner fork, then peel back skin with paring knife (illustration 2, below). Working in batches, cut peeled potatoes into rough chunks and drop into hopper of food mill or potato ricer along with peeled garlic (illustration 3). Process or rice potatoes into saucepan.
        4. 4. Stir in butter with wooden spoon until incorporated; gently whisk in half-and-half, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Written by orata

November 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Momofuku roasted brussels sprouts

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Made these for dinner, along with roasted butternut squash, carrots, and onions and some grilled chicken breast, seasoned with 21 Seasoning Salute. 

For breakfast, I made Indian hash browns… fried mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil, then cooked hash browns in it along with a couple of eggs. 

For the sprouts, I had to use freeze-dried cilantro instead of fresh, and I topped it with almonds instead of the original recipe’s crispy chili rice.


Momofuku Roasted Brussel Sprouts

For Brussels sprouts

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts (about 2 pounds), trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For topping

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Rice Krispies or other puffed rice cereal
  • 1/4 teaspoon togarashi or cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

For vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small red chile, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint

Prepare Brussels sprouts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix the Brussels sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil and salt. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.

Prepare topping

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the Rice Krispies and togarashi or cayenne pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned, about 30 seconds. Season with salt. Remove from heat and set aside.


Prepare vinaigrette


In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, water, sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic and chile and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cilantro and mint.

Assemble Brussels sprouts


Transfer the roasted Brussels Sprouts into a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Just before serving, sprinkle the “Spice Krispies” on top and serve right away.

Serves 4 to 6.

Written by orata

November 11, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Roasted eggplant and almond pasta

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Cube 1 eggplant and 1 small yellow onion. 

Mix together:

Apple cider vinegar


Smoked paprika


Key lime juice




Grapeseed oil

Toss with the vegetables, throw onto a silicone baking sheet, and roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

In the meantime, cook a pot of rotini pasta.

When the vegetables are done, drain the pasta and add to the baking pan along with about 1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds, a handful of chopped fresh parsley and green onions, and generous spoonfuls of fat-free cottage cheese and Greek yogurt for creaminess. 

Sweet and sour and smoky, a bit crunchy and toothsome from the almonds, meaty from the eggplant, creamy from the dairy. 

Written by orata

November 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized