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TODAY recipes
updated 1/19/2009 12:06:15 PM ET 2009-01-19T17:06:15

Recipe: Seafood stew

  • 1 gallon court bouillon: water, lemon juice, bay leaf, black peppercorns, salt, and 1 onion and 1 fennel bulb roughly chopped
  • 6 (1 pound) Maine lobsters *
  • 20 medium-size sea scallops *
  • 36 large shrimp, peel, cleaned and tail removed; about 2 pounds *
  • 10 (1 ounce) pieces of black cod *
  • 1/2 cup small dice carrots
  • 1/2 cup small dice celery
  • 1/2 cup small dice leek
  • 1/2 cup small dice russet potato
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper or black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 cup dry vermouth (optional)
  • 10 (5") puff pastry rounds
  • Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1. Bring court bouillon to a boil, add lobsters and allow bouillon to return to a simmer. Poach lobsters until just cooked through, about 8-9 minutes, and remove to a sheet pan to cool. Repeat the poaching and cooling process with the shrimp, then black cod and lastly with the scallops. Reserve cooking liquid and cut cooled seafood into bite-size pieces.

2. Return court bouillon to a boil. Blanch each type of vegetable individually by dropping them into the boiling liquid and removing to an ice bath when tender. When the vegetables are done, allow the liquid to continue boiling until reduced to 1 quart. This reduction will serve as the base for your sauce.

1. Bring court bouillon reduction back to a boil, add the vermouth and heavy cream and reduce by half or until sauce will coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste. Set aside to cool.

To assemble and finish
1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.

2. Fold seafood and vegetables into sauce, being careful not to break up the seafood. Scoop mixture into baking dishes.

3. Cover terrines with puff pastry rounds, sealing around the outside of the dish. Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake the terrines until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Terrines can be cooked ahead of time and kept warm at 150° F.


10 (3 1/2") terrines/ramekins or other ovenproof dish of your choice
Pastry brush

*Any seafood can be substituted for those listed depending on personal tastes and availability.

Serving Size

Yield: 10 servings

Recipe: Duck breast with cherry chuntey

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 small)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper (1/2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 can bing cherries, quartered, (3 cups), Oregon brand suggested
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 10 (6 ounce) boneless duck breasts with skin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or chives

Glaze and chutney
1. Heat oil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion, garlic, and shallot, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste, black pepper, cumin, hot pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in wine, vinegar (to taste), sugar and simmer approx. 5 minutes. Stir in mustard, 1 1/2 cups cherries, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly and reserve all but 1/4 cup of the mix to the side.

3. Place 1/4 cup mix in a blender and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute (use caution when blending hot liquids). Reserve for glazing duck.

4. To finish the chutney, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cherries, tarragon, chives and all the golden raisins. Can be prepared 1 day ahead.

Cooking the duck
1. Preheat oven to 450° F and place rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Score duck skin in a crosshatch pattern with a small sharp knife and season duck all over with salt and pepper. Heat water in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over low heat until hot. Add duck, skin side down and cook, uncovered, over low heat without turning, until most of fat is rendered (melted) and skin is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

3. Transfer duck to a plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Brush duck all over with cherry glaze and return to skillet, skin side up. Roast duck in oven until thermometer registers 135° F, about 8 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Holding a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, cut duck into slices. Serve with cherry chutney and molasses whipped sweet potato.

Serving Size

Yield: 10 servings

Recipe: Herb roasted pheasant with wild rice stuffing

  • 10 pheasant breasts* with skin, boneless, tenders removed and reserved for stuffing
  • 1/2 cup olive oil with chopped rosemary, thyme and sage
  • 1 pound wild rice, long grain
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or bouillon
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 2 carrots, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons pepper or to taste

1. Boil the rice with the chicken stock and salt until soft and most of the liquid is gone. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and apricot cook until the vegetables are soft and all liquid has been absorbed. Refrigerate rice mixture until cold. While rice is cooling, in a food processor, puree pheasant tenders to a paste consistency to use as a binder for rice mix.

2. When rice is cool, combine well with the pheasant puree. Season filling with salt and pepper and return to refrigerator until ready to stuff the breasts.

To assemble and finish
1. Preheat oven to 400° F and position rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Create a pocket in each pheasant breast by making a cut lengthwise down the side of the breast, leaving at least 1" uncut on the other side and on the ends. Gently stuff each breast with the filling, careful not to overstuff.

3. Rub herb olive oil on outside of each breast and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 8-10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 180° F.


*Pheasant can be substituted with chicken.

Serving Size

Yield: 10 portions

Recipe: Molasses whipped sweet potatoes

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, about 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

Peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes while still hot. By hand or mixer smash potatoes until smooth and all large chunks are gone. Combine the potatoes, butter, salt, orange juice, brown sugar, ground cumin, molasses and maple syrup in a large bowl. Continue to mix all together until well combined. Adjust seasonings to taste. Can be made one day ahead.

Serving Size

Yield: 2 quarts

Recipe: Winter vegetables

  • 2 bunches asparagus, green, bottom 1/3 of stem removed*
  • 2 pound carrots, peeled, cut oblong or large dice
  • 1 pound baby brussels sprouts, fresh (cleaned) or frozen if unavailable
  • 1 pound wax beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Zest from one orange
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat grill or large heavy-bottom sauté pan. Rub 2 tablespoons of olive oil on asparagus and season with pinch of salt and pepper.

2. Lay flat on grill or sauté pan until lightly browned. Using long fork or tongs, rotate the asparagus to brown other sides, usually 2 or 3 minutes per side. The asparagus is done when you can use a fork to cut through. Keep warm until ready to serve.

1. Bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil, add carrots to water and cook until fork-tender.

2. Toss carrots with 1 tablespoon butter and orange zest until evenly coated and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Brussels sprouts
1. Bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil. For fresh brussels spouts, cut into the stem of the sprout with a pairing knife to create an ‘X’ on the bottom. This will allow the stem to cook more evenly. Drop into the boiling water. For frozen sprouts, put them straight from the freezer into the boiling water and remove once they are hot, as they have already been cooked.

2. When sprouts are tender and easy to cut with a knife, remove from water and allow all water to drain completely. If some are very large, cut them in half.

3. Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add brussels sprouts to the pan, seasoning with salt and pepper and tossing to brown evenly. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Wax beans
1. Bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil. Add trimmed wax beans to water and allow to cook until fork-tender or to your liking of doneness. Remove from water and toss with 1 tablespoon butter and season with salt and pepper.


* Vegetables can be substituted with any seasonal or local vegetable available and that suit personal tastes.

Serving Size

Yield: 10 servings

Recipe: Cinnamon apple sponge cake

  • Apple filing
  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Bread crust
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter; 1 stick melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 34 slices brioche bread, or white bread will work too
  • 10 each ceramic baking ramekins or metal molds, 3” diameter
  • Sauce
  • 2 cups caramel sauce (store bought)
  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced small
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. Melt butter in 6-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add apples and caramelize, add water, cook covered, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are completely soft. Remove cover and add sugar, nutmeg and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook, stirring apples frequently, until liquid has completely evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, apple sauce and vanilla. Set aside to cool while making crust. The filling can be made one day ahead.

To assemble and bake
1. Preheat oven to 425° F and position rack in lower third of the oven. Grease 8 ceramic dishes with 1-2 tablespoons solid butter. Sprinkle sugar in dish and tilt to coat bottom and sides. Tap out excess sugar and set aside.

2. Using a bread knife, remove crusts from bread. Center the bottom of your mold over one of the bread squares to use as a guide to cut a round piece of bread that will fit into the mold. Cut 20 round pieces in this way. Ten will be for the bottom and 10 will be used for the top of each cake. Dip each piece in melted butter and place one at the bottom of each mold and reserving the remaining ten.

3. Cut each of the 15 remaining slices of bread into four rectangular pieces. Dip one side of each strip in the melted butter and arrange strips, upright, around the inside of your molds, buttered-sides against mold and overlapping each other by about 1/2". Vertically shingle 6 of the rectangles in this way to completely line each mold.

4. Spoon the apple filling into bread-lined molds, mounding it slightly in center.

5. Place the remaining 10 rounds of bread on top of filling, buttered-sides up. Press down lightly.

6. Bake cakes for 30 minutes uncovered, then cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and side slices are golden brown (slide a thin-bladed knife between bread and molds to check). Remove from oven, uncover, and let rest for 15 minutes on wire rack. Run thin-bladed knife around edges of molds to be able to flip the cake out onto your serving plates.


1. For the apple cinnamon caramel sauce, sauté 1 cup of peeled and diced Granny Smith apple in 2 tablespoons butter, and add a pinch of sugar and cinnamon. Allow to cook until apples are lightly browned and all sugars have dissolved. Remove from heat and add 2 cups caramel sauce to the apples, stirring to coat apples.


Pour caramel apple sauce over warmed Apple Cakes and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream

Serving Size

Yield: 10 servings


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