Stuffed White Mushrooms
Serves 6 to 8
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
21⁄2 pounds large white mushrooms, stems on
3⁄4 cup dry vermouth
1⁄2 cup full-fat sour cream
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1⁄4 cup panko bread crumbs, toasted
Make the stuffing: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and thyme sprigs, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the stems of about 3⁄4 pound of the mushrooms and slice them thinly. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1⁄4 cup of the vermouth and cook until the mushrooms are tender and a lot of their liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs. Add the sour cream and allow it to melt over the mushrooms. Then add the lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, and the tarragon. Taste for seasoning and transfer the stuffing to a bowl.
Cook the whole mushrooms: Rinse and wipe out the skillet and return it to medium heat. Add the butter and all of the remaining mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1⁄2 cup vermouth and cook until the mushrooms are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking sheet to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Stuff and bake the mushrooms: Remove the mushroom stems, set the caps aside, and coarsely chop the stems. Toss the chopped stems and 1⁄4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano with the stuffing. Fill each mushroom cap with stuffing, packing it in firmly. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Mix the bread crumbs with the remaining 1⁄4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and use it to top the mushrooms. Bake in the oven until they are hot inside and lightly browned on the top, 5 to 8 minutes. Then run the mushrooms under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes as a finishing touch. Sprinkle the remaining lemon juice over them, and serve immediately.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound Brussels sprouts
6 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
Juice of 2 lemons
2 medium shallots, minced
3 cups canola oil
1⁄4 cup medium to small fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
1⁄2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Prepare the Brussels sprouts: Remove and discard any damaged outer leaves. Then peel away the outer layers from each Brussels sprout to yield a total of 2 cups. Set those leaves aside. Thinly slice the remaining core pieces of the Brussels sprouts, and set them aside separately.
Cook the bacon: Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1⁄2 cup water and the bacon slices. Cook until all of the water evaporates and the bacon becomes crispy, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a kitchen towel to drain, reserving the fat in the pan.
Make the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat with the olive oil, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Stir in the shallots. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
Heat the oil: Pour the canola oil into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and heat it slowly to 375°F. (Use a deep-frying thermometer to monitor the temperature.) Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel and set it aside.
Fry the Brussels sprouts: Carefully drop the Brussels sprout leaves, in small batches, into the hot oil. They will hiss and splatter when you drop them in, so stand back! Fry the leaves, turning them over with a metal slotted spoon, until they are crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the leaves to the lined baking sheet to drain, and season them immediately with salt.
Assemble the salad: In the large bowl holding the vinaigrette, toss the reserved thinly sliced Brussels sprout cores with the mint and parsley leaves. Season with salt. Stir in the bacon and the warm fried Brussels sprout leaves. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6
2 medium rutabagas (about 11⁄2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the rutabagas: In a large saucepan, arrange the rutabaga cubes in a single layer and add water just to cover. Season with 2 tablespoons salt and bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat and continue to simmer the rutabagas until the pieces are completely tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid from the rutabagas.
Mash the rutabagas: Put a food mill fitted with a fine disk over a large bowl and add the rutabagas. Turn the handle of the mill back and forth until all of the rutabaga is mashed. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the cream, butter, molasses, ginger, allspice, and pepper, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Pour the mixture over the mashed rutabaga and stir to combine, but do not overmix. Taste for seasoning, and serve hot.