TTBOOK FOOD SERIES
1. Odessa Piper. Mashed Potatoes.
(Used with permission by Odessa Piper.)
L'ETOILE'S TIPS FOR GREAT MASHED POTATOES
(Serves a hearty eightrecipe may be halved.)
The genius of great mashed potatoes and other white
root vegetables is their capacity to partner with soul-satisfying
quantities of butter and cream. It starts with getting the right
potatoes, then choosing the highest quality butter and cream.
4 lbs. Potatoes
Salt for water,
2 Cups heavy cream or creme freshe (sour cream)
8 ounces unsalted butter (and more to taste)
Flake sea salt to finish
Freshly fine ground black pepper
TIPS ON ROOT SELECTION
Yukon gold potatoes and other waxy potatoes render a dense buttery
mix. Starchy, white-fleshed Russet potatoes will make puree fluffier.
You can also substitute any where from 20 to 40% by weight with
any combination of the following roots, but be mindful that the
substitutions will result in new flavors and textures. Celery root,
parsnip, parsley root, Jerusalem artichoke, rutabaga, turnip, Salsify.
TIPS ON COOKING
Peel and cut everything into roughly even 1&1/2 inch by 1&1/2
inch chunks. Keep covered with cold water after peeling, so that
pieces won't change color. Transfer cut pieces into a large pot,
and add enough fresh cold water to cover by one inch. Add 1&1/2
teaspoon salt for every quart of water. Bring pot to a rolling boil,
and then adjust temperature to a moderate boil. After about 15 minutes,
start testing for doneness by piercing largest pieces with a fork.
You are looking for "tender resistance." Overcooked pieces
become waterlogged, making a gummy, flat puree. Undercooked pieces
will make the puree lumpy. Take piece and try slicing it through
with the side of a fork. If it gives only light resistance, and
steams and flakes from the center, it's done.
TIPS ON COMBINING WITH BUTTER AND CREAM
Drain cooked roots in a colander and thoroughly shake off excess
water. Spread roots out on a baking sheet lined with parchment and
dry them out in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Shake pan contents once or twice while baking to expose more surfaces
for evaporation. For best absorption of butter, the roots must be
completely dried out, and all ingredients should be incorporated
while piping hot. Melt the butter and cream in separate pots while
the potatoes are drying out in the oven. Pass potatoes through a
food mill or ricer, adding the hot melted butter as you push them
through. When finished combining potatoes and melted butter, work
in the hot cream, followed by sea salt and freshly fine ground black
pepper to taste.
Serve perfect mashed potatoes with a generous pat
of unsalted butter topped with a pinch of crunchy sea salt flakes.
Alternately grate fresh horseradish root into your mashed potatoes
and garnish with more creme freche.
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2. Andreas Viestad from his
cookbook, "The Kitchen of Light: New Scandinavian Cooking with
(Used with permission by Artisan Publishers.)
LAMB AND CABBAGE STEW
Serves 8 to 10
6 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into
approximately 11/2-inch pieces
4 pounds green cabbage
(11/2 heads), shredded
1 to 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups cold water
Fine sea salt
Layer the meat and cabbage in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the
black peppercorns, the bay leaves, and butter. Sprinkle with the
flour and add the water. Cover and slowly bring to a boil over medium-low
heat. Cook for 2 hours over low to medium-low heat, until the meat
is very tender and the cabbage is soft. If you want the stew to
be a bit spicier, add 1 more tablespoon black peppercorns and cook
for another 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
Remove the bay leaves and serve the stew in the pot or a deep serving
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3. Aaron Sanchez's recipe for Huitlacoche Salsa.
(Used with permission by Aaron Sanchez.)
2 tablespoons olive or corn oil
1 red onion, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely minced
2 (6-ounce) cans huitlacoche or 1/2 pound fresh huitlacoche
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
Serving suggestion: serve with chicken or other poultry
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, peppers,
and jalapeno, and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the huitlacoche, deglaze with the vinegar and oil, and season
with salt and pepper.
Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. When the mixture has cooled, mix
in the scallions and cilantro.
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4. Susan Mello,
Sutter Home Winery 2003 Build A Better Burger Grand Prize Winner
(used with permission by Trinchero Family Estates)
MY BIG FAT GRECO-INSPIRED BURGER
Tzatziki with feta
1 small cucumber
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 clove minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh dill weed
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large eggplant
2 pounds ground lamb
3/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
Oil for brushing on grill rack
6 small pita breads
3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
Prepare an open grill for moderate direct-heat cooking.
Seed and chop the cucumber. In a medium bowl, stir together the
cucumber, yogurt, garlic, dill, and feta. Put aside and chill for
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Whisk in oil until thick and well blended. Cut the eggplant into
1/2-inch-thick rounds. Arrange in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish;
coat well with dressing. Grill eggplant until tender, about 3 minutes
on each side. Keep warm.
In a large bowl, blend lamb, mint, cumin, and salt and pepper to
taste. Form into 6 patties.
Before grilling burgers, brush the grill rack with oil. Place the
patties on the rack, turning once, 4 minutes on each side.
Cut pitas horizontally and lightly toast over indirect heat.
Assemble each burger as follows: pita bottom, shredded lettuce,
burger patty topped generously with tzatziki, a slice of grilled
eggplant, and the top of the pita.
Makes 6 burgers
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5. Paula Wolfert from her book
"The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen:
Recipes for the Passionate Cook"
(used with permission from Wiley Books.)
TUNISIAN EGG AND PARSLEY TAGINE
Many visitors to this site are familiar with Moroccan
tagines---stews of meat, poultry, or fish smothered with one or
two vegetables or fruits, cooked in an earthenware dish with a conical
Tunisian tagines are different. Tunisian cooks, when speaking of
tagines, will refer to their having a "beginning," a "middle,"
and an "end."
The "beginning" is usually a mini-stew of veal or lamb
cut into very small pieces and cooked with onions and spices such
as sweet-smelling dried rosebuds and cinnamon or a robust combination
of ground coriander and caraway. Then something starchy is added
to thicken the juices---white beans, chick-peas, bread crumbs or
cubed potatoes. When the meat is tender, it is combined with whatever
ingredient has been chosen to be the dominant flavoring---fresh
parsley, dried mint, cheese, stewed vegetables, or even stewed calf's
The "middle" part is the enrichment of the stew with cheese
The "end" is the final baking in a deep pie dish, either
on the stove or int he oven until both top and bottom are crisply
cooked and the eggs are just set, somewhat like an Italian frittata.
When the tagine is ready, it is turned out onto a plate and sliced
into squares, accompanied by wedges of lemon.
In rural parts of Tunisia, home cooks place a shallow earthenware
dish over glowing olive wood, fill it, cover it with a flat earthen
pan, and then pile hot coals on top. The resulting tagine is crusty
on top and bottom, moist within, and is infused with a subtle smoky
Traditionally this tagine is served with a salad of peppers, onions,
garlic cloves and tomatoes roasted in the embers (see recipe below)
Serves 8 as part of a Tunisian Buffet. 1/4 cup dried white beans,
soaked overnight 3 packed cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces lean boneless lamb shoulder, coarsely ground 1/2 cup soft
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 ounces Gruyere cheese,
cubed (about 1 cup)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon Tunisian bharat (dried
rosebuds rubbed through a sieve and mixed with ground cinnamon)
1/2 cup minced onion 6 large eggs
2 teaspoons tomato paste 6 lemon wedges
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1. Drain the beans, cover with fresh water, and cook
until they are half tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the
lamb into 1/2-inch cubes and toss with salt and pepper.2. Heat 1
1/4 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch skillet. Cook the onion until translucent,
add the meat, and saute for 5 minutes. Cover the skillet and cook
over low heat until the meat gives off its moisture and reabsorbs
it. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lamb cubes are
well coated. Add cayenne, the beans, and about 1 cup of the bean
cooking liquid. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for
20 minutes longer, or until the meat and beans are fully cooked
and the juices are thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
(Up to this point the dish can be made 1 day in advance. Return
to room temperature before proceeding.)
3. Place the oven rack in the second highest position and preheat
the oven to 350 degrees.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the contents of the skillet, the parsley,
1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, and cubed Gruyere,
mixing well. Season highly with salt, pepper, and sieved bharat.
Beat the eggs to a froth and add to the mixture.
5. Use the remaining oil to coat the bottom and sides of a 5- or
6-cup baking dish, or an attractive 9-inch well-seasoned oven proof
skillet. Place the prepared mixture in the dish, sprinkle with reserved
bread crumbs and set in the oven to bake for 12 minutes. Raise the
oven heat to the highest setting, remove the tagine from the oven,
tilt the dish so that the oil collects in one place, then brush
this oil over the surface of the tagine. Return the dish to the
oven and bake for 8 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature from
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6. Timothy Castle from his
book "The Perfect Cup: A Coffee-Lover's Guide to Buying, Brewing,
(Used with permission by Perseus Books)
GRILLED COFFEE-MARINATED LAMB CHOPS
Coffee beans are highly flammable due to the natural
aromatic oils they contain. In this recipe, most of the air is closed
off to the grill so that the beans smoke but don't burn. You can
substitute any of your favorite barbecue meats for the lamb chops.
Just keep in mind that the flavor of the smoking will be much stronger
for lighter meats such as chicken or turkey.
6 to 8 lamb chops, cut 1 ½ inches thick
4 cups warm strong black coffee
1 pound Kenyan or other acidic coffee beans
Marinate the lamb chops in the coffee for 3 hours.
After 2 hours, start a fire on a covered grill with half charcoal
and half mesquite. Set the grill about 1 ½ inches above the
coals. When the coals are covered with white ashes, place the lamb
on the middle of the grill. Have the lid to the grill ready and
close the vents most of the way. Quickly sprinkle half of the coffee
beans around the outer edge of the fire on top of the coals and
cover the grill immediately.
After 5 to 10 minutes for rare or medium-rare, turn
the chops and add the remaining beans. The coffee will contribute
a smooth yet very hearty smoked flavor.
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7. Anne Strainchamps. Strainchamps
(used with permission by Anne Strainchamps)
STRAINCHAMPS FAMILY CORNBREAD
preheat oven to 425 degrees
1 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or oil
combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, eggs and butter
or oil. Beat till smooth. Bake in a greased round 9 inch baking
tin for 20 - 25 minutes, until top is golden and beginning to brown.
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8. Dorie Greenspan
from her book "Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's
Best Pastry Shops."
(Used with permission from Broadway Books.)
KOROVA COOKIES / SABLÉS
Adapted from Pierre Hermé Paris
Makes about 36 cookies
These easy-to-make, easy-to-love chocolate-chocolate chip cookies
are from Pierre Hermé, the man Vogue called "The Picasso
of Pastry." They are cocoa dark, not very sweet, chock-full
of chocolate bits, melt-on-your-tongue buttery, just crumbly enough
to be true sablés, or sand cookies, and just salty enough
to catch you off guard. IN fact, the combination fo chocolate and
salt (Pierre uses the somewhat exotic fleur de sel, sea salt from
the Guerandé) makes these cookies fatally appealing: I don't
trust myself not to finish the batch in a sitting, and I'll bet
you'll find yourself in the same spot a warning to make these
when you're certain not to be alone. Indeed, these are the easiest
cookies to make for company because, despite their très French
flavor, they are essentially American slice-and-bake icebox cookies.
The dough is mixed in a flash, rolled into logs, and chilled, then
cut into rounds and baked in minutes.
About the name: Korova was the name of the milk bar
in Stanley Kubrick's classic film, A Clockwork Orange. It was also
the name of a restaurant off the Champs-Élysées for
which Pierre Hermé created these cookies. The restaurant
is gone, but the cookies are still a specialty at Pierre's patisserie
11/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (5 ½ ounces; 150 grams) unsalted
butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (120 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
½ teaspoon fleur de sel of 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits
1. Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together
and keep close at hand. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted
with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter
is soft and creamy. (Alternatively, you can do this and all subsequent
steps by hand, working with a sturdy rubber spatula.) Add both sugars,
the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifter dry ingredients.
Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated the dough
will look crumbly, and that's just right. For the best texture,
you want to work the dough as little as possibly once the flour
is added. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface and squeeze it
so that it sticks together in large clumps. Gather the dough into
a ball, divide it in half, and working with one half at a time,
shape the dough into logs that are 1 ½ inches (4 cm) in diameter.
(Cookie-dough logs have a way of ending up with hollow centers,
so as you're shaping each log, flatten it once or twice and roll
it up from one long side to the other, just to make certain you
haven't got an air channel.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill
them for at least 1 hour. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated
for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)
3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep them close
4. Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the logs into rounds
that are ½ inch (1.5 cm) thick. (Don't be upset if the rounds
break; just squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie.) Place
the cookies on the parchment-lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch
(2.5 cm) spread space between them.
5. Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time, and back each sheet
for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, not will they be
firm, bit that's just the way they should be. Transfer the baking
sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies stand until they are
only just warm or until they reach room temperature it's
your call. Repeat with the second sheet of cookies.
Keeping: The dough can be made ahead and chilled or
frozen. If you've frozen the dough, you needn't defrost it before
baking just slice it the logs and bake the cookies 1 minute
longer. Packed airtight, baked cookies will keep at room temperature
for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 1 month.
An American in Paris: In moments of over-the-topness,
I've added chopped toasted pecans, plumped currants, and a pinch
of cinnamon to the dough and loved it. And I've been known to cheat
on the chocolate bits. On the sad (but fortunately seldom) occasions
when my cupboard is bare of Valrhona Guanaja (Pierre's choice for
these cookies, and one of my favorite chocolates), I've even used
store-bought chocolate chips.
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9. Pat Willard from her book "Saffron: The
Vagabond Life of the World's Most Seductive Spice."
(Used with permission by Beacon Books.)
Nothing takes the chill off the guests or makes a cold sufferer
feel better or well tended faster than this consommé.
5 pounds veal bones (including a knuckle), cracked
2 pounds chicken parts (backs, wings, or necks)
1 pound stewing veal, cuts into 2-inch cubes
3 quarts water
1 large carrot, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 rib celery with tops, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium leek, trimmed, cleaned, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, peeled and halved
6 sprigs parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Put the bones, chicken, and veal into a large, 8-stockpot.
Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat,
and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse bones and meat under cold water to
remove all the scum. Rinse and wipe the inside of the stockpot.
Return meat and bones to the stockpot and add the 3 quarts of water.
Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming often. Add the remaining
ingredients. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer gently
for 3 hours. Skim occasionally.
Strain the stock through a double layer of cheesecloth.
The stock keeps, refrigerated and covered, for 3 to 4 days; or it
can be frozen for up to 6 months. Skim the fat from the surface
2 tablespoons grated onion
6 cups white stock, chilled and thoroughly skimmed of fat
2 large egg whites
2 eggshells, crushed
½ teaspoon saffron threads or 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the grated onion in a fine sieve over a small
bowl and press down on it with the back of a spoon to extract the
juices. Measure and set aside 1 teaspoon of the onion juice. Discard
In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over
high heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg whites until
frothy. When the stock is boiling, stir in the egg whites and eggshells,
reduce the heat, and simmer gently, without stirring, for about
20 minutes. Strain the stock into a slightly smaller stockpot through
a large sieve lined with several thicknesses of rinsed cheesecloth.
Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and stir in the reserved onion
If you are using saffron threads, crush them between
your fingers and place in a small dish. Add about 1/4 cup of the
hot stock, stir gently to dissolve the saffron, the pour the mixture
into the simmering stock. If you are using ground saffron, whisk
directly into the simmering stock.
Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes more to let the flavor develop.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 6 servings.
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10. Deborah Madison from her book, "Local
Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets."
(Used with permission by Broadway Books.)
RAISED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH BLACK LENTILS AND RED
This dish is for when you want to fuss a bit and make
a celebration of root vegetables or for when you want an impressive
vegetarian meal. It involves four elements: the sauce, the vegetables,
the lentils, and some form of mashed potatoes or root vegetable
puree. None of the parts are difficult or even terribly time consuming
in and of themselves. However, you might choose to cook them over
the course of 2 days. Only the potato-based puree is best made at
the last minute, and even it can be held for an hour or so in a
If making the dish from start to finish, start with the sauce, adding
trimmings, such as carrot ends and parsnip cores, as you work. While
it's simmering, prepare the vegetables and cook the lentils. You
can have the potatoes scrubbed, cut and waiting in a pot of cold
water to cook close to serving.
The Red Wine Sauce:
1/3 cup dried porcini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
5 mushroom and/or mushroom trimmings
parsnip tips and cores, from the vegetables, below
4 garlic cloves, smashed
aromatics: 2 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, 1(2-inch) rosemary sprig
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups Merlot
1 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce, more or less
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Cover the porcini with 1 quart warm water and set
aside. Heat the oil in a wide soup pot. Add the vegetables, garlic,
and aromatics. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally,
until the vegetables are well browned, about 20 minutes. Season
with 1 teaspoon salt and a little pepper.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and flour, then pour in
the wine plus the dried mushrooms and their soaking liquid. Vigorously
scrape the bottom of the pot to work in the juices, then bring to
a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Strain
into a 1-quart measure. You should have about 3 cups. Return it
to the pan and simmer until reduced to 2 ½ cups, 15 to 20
minutes. Add the mushrooms soy sauce, then taste for salt and season
with pepper. Whish in the butter. Set aside.
18 to 24 shallots or red pearl onions
3 large or 6 medium parsnips
6 medium carrots or 18 small carrots
5 large mushrooms
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
aromatics: 1 bay leaf, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 ½ teaspoons minced
3 tablespoons chopped parsley, chopped with 1 garlic cloves
1. Peel the shallots and separate them where their
natural divisions occur. If using pearl onions, parboil for 1 minutes,
the drain and peel, keeping the root end intact.
2. Peel the parsnips and trim off the skinny tips. Cut the remaining
vegetable into 3 segments of equal length. Quarter the thickest
section and remove a portion of the core. Halve the middle section
and keep the last section whole. (Use the tips and cores in the
sauce as directed.)
3. Peel the carrots and cut them into 2- to 3-inch lengths. If they're
tapered, cut the thick ends into quarters, cut the middles into
halves and keep the last skinny pieces whole. If they're the same
diameter from tip to tail, simply halve them lengthwise. Thickly
slice the mushrooms.
4. Heat the oil and butter in a wide skillet of Dutch oven. Add
the carrots and shallots and cook over medium-high heat, turning
occasionally, until well browned in places, about 10 minutes. Season
with 1 teaspoon salt, then add the herbs. Pour in 1 cup of the sauce
and 1 cup water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer
until the vegetables are tender when pierced, 20 to 25 minutes.
(Add more water if needed there should be some moisture in
the pan.) Season with pepper and set aside until needed.
½ cup "Caviar" Beluga of French green lentils,
sorted and rinsed
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Cover the lentils with 3 cups water, add the salt,
and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, then stir in the
butter and 1 cup of the sauce.
Parsley Root and Potato Puree
1 bunch (½ dozen or so) parsley roots
handful of the parsley root greens or flat-leaf parsley
1 pound Yellow Finn or other waxy golden potatoes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
cream or half-and-half, optional
1. Peel the parsley roots. Wash the greens. Scrub
and peel the potatoes. Coarsely chop the vegetables, then put them
in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a
boil, then simmer until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Drain, but reserve the liquid.
2. Return the vegetables to the pan and mash them, using the reserved
cooking water to thin the mixture as needed. When smooth, stir in
butter and cream, if using, to taste.
3. Finely chop the parsley, then stir them into the puree. Taste
for salt, season with pepper, and serve.
Finishing the Dish
Prepare the puree. Reheat the vegetables with the remaining sauce.
Mound the puree in the center of 6 pasta plates. Place 2 or 3 spoonfuls
of lentils around the potatoes, then fill in with the vegetables.
Spoon extra sauce around and over the vegetables and lentils, then
garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.
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TTBOOK FOOD SERIES
graphic art by Amanda Hanlon: http://www.amandahanlon.com
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