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Video: Cooking with fresh spring vegetables

TODAY recipes
updated 5/1/2012 3:05:50 PM ET 2012-05-01T19:05:50

Recipe: Sautéed chicken thighs with spring peas and tarragon cream sauce

  • 4 pounds chicken thighs
  • 4 large fresh tarragon sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound fresh spring peas, shelled
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup parmesan-reggiano, grated
  • 1 tablespoon, fresh lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse chicken thoroughly. Pat dry. Rub butter all over each thigh and place skin-side up in roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place tarragon in sprigs around. Pour 1/2 cup water into roasting pan. Roast chicken until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175 degrees F and juices run clear when thigh is pierced, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 45 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter; cover with foil while making sauce. Transfer pan juices to medium saucepan. Freeze until fat rises to top, about 10 minutes. Spoon off fat; discard.

Add vermouth to pan juices in saucepan. Boil until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add cream and boil until mixture thickens to sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add peas and season sauce with salt and pepper.

To serve: Arrange chicken on a platter and pour sauce over top. Garnish with parmesan, fresh tarragon and lemon zest.

Serving Size

Serves 6

Recipe: Pappardelle with asparagus and morel mushroom sauce

  • 8 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup (packed) sliced shallots
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 12 ounces pappardelle
  • 1 cup grated parmesan-reggiano cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Meyer lemon zest for garnish

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and morels; sauté until shallots are tender, about 6 minutes. Add asparagus and 1 1/4 cups broth. Bring to boil, cover, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in cream and 2 tablespoons. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens slightly, about 4 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and sauce; toss. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with remaining parsley and lemon zest. Serve with remaining parmesan cheese.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Strawberry and rhubarb pie with vanilla bean mascarpone

  • Crust
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 10 tablespoons (about) ice water
  • Filling
  • 3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
  • 1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
  • Topping
  • 2 cups mascarpone
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Make crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

Make filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter flass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang. Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inchwide strips.

Spoon filling into crust: Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal.

Crimp edges decoratively. Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

Make topping: Combine mascarpone with scraped vanilla bean and powdered sugar.

To serve: Cut pie into 8 slices and serve with dollop of mascarpone.

Serving Size

Serves 8

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