Archive | Entrees

EGGPLANT GRATIN WITH SAFFRON CUSTARD

By Chef Linton Hopkins

2 pounds Globe or Japanese eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅔ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon savory or oregano
2½ pounds peeled, seeded, chopped tomato
2 eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
¾ cup cream
2 milliliters or ½ teaspoon saffron threads
4 ounces Parmesan
10 leaves fresh basil
3 ounces pecorino Romano

Peel and slice eggplant ¼ inch thick. Lightly baste with olive oil on both sides and bake at 460° for 4–5 minutes on a mesh tray. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the sauce, sauté onion, garlic and herbs in olive oil. Add tomato and cook until thick. Season with salt and pepper. To prepare the custard, beat eggs; add ricotta, cream, saffron and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble starting with a little tomato sauce on bottom of pan. Then layer eggplant, sauce, pecorino and basil. The top layer should be just eggplant. Pour custard over all. Allow to set and bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

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MIXED GRILL: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CHICKEN AND BLUE BURGERS

Serves 8

For the chicken:

½ cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup canola oil, more for the grill
3 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

For the burgers:

3 pounds ground beef
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces crumbled bleu cheese
8 buns, toasted, for serving
Sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce, very thinly sliced Vidalia onion, for serving

Combine the water, vinegar, oil, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and garlic powder in a large bowl. Remove about ¼ cup of the marinade and set aside. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the remaining marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate while you prepare the burgers and the grill.

Place the ground beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 8 equal patties. Make a depression in the center of each patty and place 1 tablespoon cheese in the center of the meat. Form meat around the cheese to enclose it. Then, gently press down on the center … Read More

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SARDINIAN SAUSAGE SPIEDINI

Spiedini is Italian for skewers or kebabs. It’s one of my favorite ways to cook on the grill. I just love the idea of threading a few of my favorite flavors onto a skewer for that one perfect bite. This recipe was inspired by Chef Anne Quatrano’s offerings at her famed local eatery and specialty food store, Star Provisions. Star expertly cures its own meat. Sardinian sausage was a special of the day when I stopped by. Slightly spicy and sweet, it’s the perfect kind of fresh sausage to use for this recipe. If it’s not available, a traditional Italian-style sausage will be a wonderful substitute.

2 links Sardinian sausage
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head fresh fennel
1 cup cubed rosemary focaccia
Roasted red peppers, cut into ½-inch squares or slices
10–12 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Cut the sausage links into 2-inch pieces and set aside. Cut the fennel into quarters. Placing the fennel quarters on their sides, cut out the tough core and discard or save for soup. Cut into ½-inch slices. Toss the fennel slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Toss the focaccia cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Thread the skewers with a piece … Read More

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WILD ONION AND LAMBS QUARTERS PIZZA

Prepared or store-bought uncooked pizza dough

1 batch lambs quarters and walnut pesto (recipe here)
Cornmeal
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (freshly shredded is best)
Wild onions, washed and trimmed to 2 inches from bulb
Wild plant leaves such as chickweed, sorrel or purslane to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 500°. Insert a pizza stone into the oven to heat while the oven warms. Heat cast-iron skillet to medium-high. Once skillet is hot, sear the onions by grasping the handle and rolling them in the dry pan until onions are lightly blackened. Set aside. Roll pizza dough to a very thin crust and transfer to a pizza peel (or cutting board) coated in cornmeal. Using the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of pesto to the edges of the dough. Sprinkle with a stingy handful of good mozzarella so as not to overwhelm the pesto. Add as many onions as your heart desires. Place on heated pizza stone and bake for 8–12 minutes, depending on the behavior of your oven. Garnish with some chopped chickweed, sorrel or purslane.

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LAMBS QUARTERS AND WALNUT PESTO

1 cup lambs quarters leaves (can substitute spinach)
¾ cup olive oil
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup walnuts
2 whole lemons, juiced
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked pepper

Rinse and dry lambs quarters.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the green leaves have been thoroughly macerated and the pesto is well blended. Use within 3 days or freeze.

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CARAMELIZED ONION AND GOAT CHEESE PIZZA

Homemade pizza crust

  • 2 large onions, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 1 large North Georgia apple or local pear
  • 2 links organic chicken sausage
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 ounces Capra Gia goat cheese (red pepper, herb, onion or 7-pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and white pepper to taste
  • Fresh arugula
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Sauté onions in 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil, add ¼ cup brown sugar and cook until they are limp, brown and almost crispy. Just before they are finished add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Sauté the organic chicken sausage and add sliced green apples or pears just before the sausage is brown around the edges. Layer the onions, sausage and apples on top of the homemade pizza dough. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and Capra Gia’s goat cheese. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and white pepper.

Heat pizza in a pre-heated 400° oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Top with fresh arugula that has been lightly dressed in a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive … Read More

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recipeSevenHourLamb

SEVEN-HOUR LEG OF LAMB PROVENCAL

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 (6-pound) bone-in leg of lamb
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry white wine
  • 2 leeks, white and pale green only, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, peeled, about 12 cloves
  • 5 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 2½ quarts (12 cups) homemade chicken stock or reduced-fat low-sodium chicken broth, more if needed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 300°. Rub lamb with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat a large roasting pan over mediumhigh heat. Add lamb and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. While the lamb is cooking, add the halved lemons as well, and cook, flesh side down. (Alternatively, you can heat the oven to broil, and broil the lamb and lemons, turning occasionally, until the lamb is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler. Then reduce the heat to 300°.)

Once the lamb is browned on all sides, add the wine, leeks, garlic and herbs.

Using tongs, remove the lemons to cool slightly, then squeeze the lemons over the lamb. … Read More

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recipeMushroomRagout

MUSHROOM RAGOUT WITH A POACHED YARD EGG

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 pounds mixed mushrooms (such as chanterelle, morel, portobello, cremini, oyster and shiitake), ends trimmed
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
  • ½ cup homemade chicken stock or reduced- fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon and sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons freshly shaved Parmigiano- Reggiano
  • Grilled bread, for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the poached eggs, fill a large bowl with water and set aside (use hot water if serving them immediately, cold if making the eggs ahead). Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water, add the white vinegar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Break one of the eggs into a ramekin or teacup. Using the handle (not the bowl) of a wooden spoon, swirl the water to create a whirlpool, which will help the eggs hold their shape.

Decrease the heat to medium-low so the water is at a gentle boil and slide the egg into the center. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to keep the water just at a bare … Read More

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GARLICKY PASTA AND KALE

This recipe is great with kale or any spring greens. It is so simple yet satisfying.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2–10 fresh garlic cloves, chopped (use as much as you like)
  • Pinch of salt, pepper and crushed red pepper
  • ½ pound kale, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces of your favorite pasta, cooked

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat, add garlic, salt, pepper and crushed pepper. Add kale, stir to combine and cover. Turn heat off and allow to steam for 2 to 3 minutes. Combine with cooked pasta and add a little more olive oil if necessary for texture.

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recipeGrilledShrimp

GRILLED SHRIMP SPIEDINI WITH SALSA VERDE

The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

This recipe calls for shrimp, but it’s also delicious as a sauce for salmon, scallops, chicken or lamb.

  • 1 pound fresh local shrimp
  • Salsa verde (see accompanying recipe)

Remove the shells from the shrimp, with the exception of the tail. Toss the shrimp with just enough of the salsa verde to evenly coat the shrimp, reserving the remaining salsa verde as a dipping sauce. Skewer the shrimp on small skewers that have been soaked (if wooden) or on long stems of rosemary branches. Grill the shrimp on both sides just until opaque and cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp.

Salsa Verde

  • ½ cup parsley, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon champagne wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the salsa … Read More

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