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Make-ahead meals: Curtis Stone's seared strip steak, pork chops and more

Curtis Stone is cooking some delicious comfort food on TODAY that you can make ahead so you can have more time in your day. The celebrity chef is sharing his recipe for grilled New York strip with caramelized Brussels sprouts, orecchiette with brown butter, broccoli, pine buts and basil as well as pork chops with sage-onion gravy and winter squash smash — the dish you voted for him to make.Grill

Curtis Stone is cooking some delicious comfort food on TODAY that you can make ahead so you can have more time in your day. The celebrity chef is sharing his recipe for grilled New York strip with caramelized Brussels sprouts, orecchiette with brown butter, broccoli, pine buts and basil as well as pork chops with sage-onion gravy and winter squash smash — the dish you voted for him to make.

Grilled New York strip with caramelized Brussels sprouts

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes

Make-Ahead: The Brussels sprouts can be boiled, cooled, and cut in half 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Ingredients

Steak:

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • Four 8-ounce New York strip steaks (each about 1-inch thick)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon

Brussels sprouts

  • 12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

To grill the steaks: Preheat a large grill pan with high sides over high heat. 

Using a mortar and pestle, coarsely crush the peppercorns. Season both sides of the steaks generously with salt and sprinkle the coarsely crushed peppercorns over both sides of the steaks, patting to adhere. 

Using a sharp knife, score the fat that runs down the long side of the steaks. Place the steaks, fat side down, on the grill pan and cook until the fat is golden brown and partially rendered, about 3 minutes. If your pan is not large enough to fit all four steaks without crowding them, cook 2 steaks at a time. 

Grill both meaty sides of the steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness. 

Add the wine to the pan and simmer 30 seconds. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest. Continue simmering the wine until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes.

To prepare the Brussels sprouts: Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the sprouts until bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain the Brussels sprouts and transfer them to a large bowl of ice water. When cool, remove the Brussels sprouts from the cold water, drain well, and cut them in half lengthwise.

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sprouts and increase the heat to high. Sauté until the Brussels sprouts are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

To serve: Place the Brussels sprouts on plates. Slice the steaks diagonally across the grain and arrange the steak slices alongside the Brussels sprouts. Spoon the pan juices over the steaks and serve.

Pork chops with sage-onion gravy and winter squash smash
Let your humble pork chops warm you right up with a thick n’ hearty sage-onion gravy and a side of creamy mash-up of butternut squash and parsnips. Steer clear of mess by cooking up the chops and gravy in one pan for a no-fuss, mid-week dish overflowing with winter comfort.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Make-Ahead: The smashed vegetables can be made up to one day ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated. Reheat the smashed vegetables, covered, over medium-low heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces (2 medium) parsnips, peeled, inner core removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 pork loin chops (about 1-inch thick)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

To make the smashed root vegetables: In a large heavy pot, combine the squash and parsnips, and add enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Season the water with salt. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender enough to mash.

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While the vegetables cook, in a small heavy saucepan, combine the cream and sage. Simmer over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover, and steep for about 5 minutes to infuse the flavors. Remove the sage.

Strain the vegetables and place the strainer over the hot saucepan to evaporate the excess steam. Put the vegetables in the saucepan, and reduce the heat to low. Coarsely smash the vegetables with a potato masher. Stir two-thirds of the sage cream into the smashed vegetables; set the remaining cream aside. Season the smashed vegetables to taste with salt. Cover to keep warm.

To make the pork and gravy: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and 2 tablespoons of oil, and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until deeply caramelized and nearly cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan.

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Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the onion. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften and brown. Sprinkle the flour over everything and stir to combine. Pour in the stock and boil for about 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the reserved sage cream. Return the pork to the pan and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake the pork for about 5 minutes or until it is cooked through. You can continue simmering the mixture very gently for about 5 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through but still juicy and the gravy has thickened slightly. Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Serve with the smashed vegetables.

Orecchiette with brown butter, broccoli, pine nuts and basil

Today

Brown butter is butter that is cooked until it takes on an amber color and nutty flavor. There’s nothing to it, but you’ll be amazed at what this extra step does for a simple pasta dish. Of course, the basil — which has the ability to take a good recipe and make it better — doesn't hurt, either. Cooked shrimp or chicken can be added to the pasta.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Make-Ahead: The broccoli and orecchiette can be pre-cooked up to 4 hours ahead, cooled, covered separately and refrigerated. Be sure to reserve the pasta water, too.

  • 13 ounces broccoli florets with 1-inch stems (about 6 cups)
  • 1 pound orecchiette

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook for about 2 minutes, or just until bright green. Using a mesh spoon or sieve, scoop the broccoli out of the water, draining it well, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.

Return the water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook, stirring often to ensure it doesn't stick together, for about 8 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Scoop out and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the orecchiette.

Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and stir for about 2 minutes, or until it has turned hazelnut brown. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring often, for about 1 minute, or until hot.

Add the pasta to the broccoli mixture and stir gently to combine. Stir in the basil, pine nuts and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in enough of the reserved cooking water to moisten the pasta as necessary.

Divide the pasta among four pasta bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Get more of Curtis Stone's make-ahead cooking tips