Archive | Entrees

Roasted Rutabaga and  Artisan Handcrafted Sausage Stuffing

Photo by Carol Sullivan

Photo by Carol Sullivan

Serves 12 to 16

Roasted Vegetables
1 (2 ½-pound) rutabaga, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound red beets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut diagonally into ½-inch pieces
1 small onion, cut into ⅓-inch wedges
5 garlic cloves, peeled
Either ½ tablespoon fresh minced rosemary (optional) or ½ tablespoon fresh minced sage or thyme (optional)
Kosher salt and pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Vermont honey, or to taste

1- to 1½-pound loaf artisan bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound artisan handcrafted sausage, such as red wine and garlic pork sausage from Artisan Meats of VT, casings removed
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 (4-ounce) log chevre cheese
Zest of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, or as needed

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.

Place the rutabaga, beets, carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary, sage (if using) and thyme (if using) in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and honey and toss to combine, making sure to coat all the vegetables well.

Spread the vegetable mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside.

Transfer the bread cubes to a baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the bread cubes are toasting, cook the sausage. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a fork, until just browned and slightly pink in the center, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Mash the garlic with the back of a fork or spoon. Add the vegetable mixture, including the mashed garlic, to the bread stuffing. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bread stuffing. Stir in the eggs, chevre, lemon zest and parsley. Gently mix all the ingredients together; do not overmix. Season with salt pepper to taste. Pour the stuffing into the prepared baking dish. Pour the stock over the surface of the stuffing. If the mixture seems too dry, add more stock until the desired consistency is achieved.

Lightly coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the stuffing and continue to bake until the top is crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let stuffing rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Sirloin–Eggplant–Onion Kabobs


Few meals are easier than kabobs. I paired up some Boyden sirloin with late-summer eggplant and onions since cooking times are fairly similar. To give it some kick, I made a parsley pesto, inspired by the Argentinian chimichurri sauce that often accompanies steak in South America. Use some of the sauce as a marinade for the kabobs, letting them sit for an hour before grilling, and then serve the rest on the side. Serve with rice, farro or couscous.

  • Sirloin, cubed (estimate ⅓–½ pound per person)
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into large cubes
  • 1 red onion, quartered

Parsley sauce:

  • 1 cup Italian parsley, rinsed, stems removed
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons chives
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons capers

Alternate the beef, eggplant and onions on a skewer. Season with salt and pepper.

Place ingredients for parsley sauce in a food processor or blender and purée. Marinate the kabobs with the sauce for an hour before grilling, then serve the rest on the side. Estimated cooking time for kabobs is about 5 minutes a side on medium-high.

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Sweet and Sour Braised Beef with Kohlrabi Slaw


With late-summer heat in mind, I went to the web to research some Caribbean-style braises. Many times over, a Cuban or Puerto Rican recipe would be written by a well-meaning cook out of New York or Kansas followed by snippy commentary from readers about inaccurate technique or ingredients. So I am putting my disclaimer out front and center: I am a New England WASP, with a background in classic French cuisine, cooking for young children who don’t tolerate hot peppers. I created this recipe pulling together flavors of the Caribbean and ingredients available from a Vermont farm in August. Feel free to throw in as many hot peppers as you please.

Serves 4

For the beef:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ pounds London broil or chuck
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 head or 6 large cloves garlic, separated, peeled and chopped
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste (If you don’t have any tamarind, add an extra tablespoon of vinegar.)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 star anise, whole
  • Hot peppers, chopped, to taste (optional)

For the slaw:

  • 2 kohlrabi, peeled and grated
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt

To serve:

  • Sesame hamburger buns

Heat the oil in a pan, season the meat and then brown on both sides. Take your time to get a good sear since it will add depth and flavor to the final sauce. Add the onions and garlic and cook another few minutes.

Transfer all to the slow cooker and add remaining ingredients for the braise. Set the cooker for 4–6 hours, checking occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid to come halfway up the meat, adding a little water if necessary.

When the meat is falling-apart tender, remove from the cooker. Shred the meat with a fork. Return the remaining braising sauce to the stove, simmer until thick and add it back to the meat.

While the beef is braising, toss together all the ingredients of the kohlrabi slaw and put it in the fridge to let the flavors meld.

When ready to eat, put a large spoonful of beef on a bun, top with the slaw and serve.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash


This dish is a representation of the complementary flavors of autumn.

  • 2 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 shallot or very small onion, medium dice
  • 1 medium apple, medium dice
  • 2 small parsnips, peeled, medium dice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (about 3 leaves) fresh sage, rough chopped
  • ½ cup spinach leaves, rough chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup blue cheese (optional)

Brush the inside of the squash halves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Place these, cut side down, on a greased baking sheet and roast for 30–40 minutes in a 400° oven. The squash halves are done when a fork passes easily through skin and flesh. Remove them from the oven, turn them over with a spatula and set aside.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and cook the shallot and parsnips over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the parsnips are soft. Add the apple and cook for 5 more minutes.

Once the pieces of apple are tender, remove the mixture from the heat. Mix in the spinach, sage and cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the cooked squash halves, top with cheese (if desired) and return them to the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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“Tamales are a lot of work,” admits Matt Sargent. But they are so worth it, especially since they freeze well. Matt suggests taking a rainy day to make the tamales. Once you get into the rhythm, the time will fly by.

Makes 50 tamales

For the pork:

1 (3- to 4-pound) pork shoulder
2 medium plus 1 large onion
7 cloves garlic, divided
1 tablespoon chile powder
2 tablespoons cumin, divided
1 (12-ounce) bottle IPA, such as Lawson’s
3 to 4 dried ancho chiles
Olive oil, for sautéing onions
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper

For the tamales:

3 to 4 cups masa harina, plus more as necessary
⅓ cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons chile powder
1 tablespoon each cumin and garlic powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
15 to 20 dried, or 5 to 6 fresh, apricots, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 packages corn husks, soaked in very hot water for 1 hour

The day before you want to serve the tamales, prepare the pork. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the pork in a large heavy-bottomed pot and cover with water. Chop the 2 medium onions and 4 cloves of the garlic and place in the pot with the pork along with the chile powder, 1 tablespoon of the cumin and the IPA. Simmer, uncovered, on low heat for at least 4 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork. If using a pressure cooker, bring the pork, water and aromatics to full pressure and cook for about an hour.

While the pork cooks, soak the ancho chiles in very hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove the seeds and stems and chop the chiles.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Chop the remaining large onion and 3 cloves of garlic and sauté until soft. Add the remaining tablespoon of cumin and the cinnamon and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chopped ancho chiles and ½ cup of the reserved ancho soaking liquid. Cook, stirring, until the liquid reduces by about ¼, about 15 minutes. Cool this mixture slightly, then purée in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding additional ancho chile water as needed for the right consistency.

Remove the cooled pork from the cooking liquid. Carefully purée the cooking liquid and aromatics in a blender until smooth. Shred the pork into bite-size pieces with 2 forks and combine with the ancho chile sauce. Add enough of the puréed pork cooking liquid as needed. You want the mixture moist but not runny.

Assemble the tamales: In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder and baking soda; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the shortening and mix well with a fork until well incorporated. Add enough of the puréed pork cooking liquid to form a soft, wellmoistened dough. It should hold together easily without crumbling or falling apart. Let the masa harina mixture sit in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.

Drain the soaked corn husks. Lay 1 husk flat on the counter. Press a small golf-ballsize piece of the masa harina mixture onto the husk and flatten it with your hands to ⅛-inch thickness, leaving a ½-inch edge on the sides and top and a 1½-inch edge along the bottom. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the pork mixture into the center of the tamale and top with a few apricots. Fold the sides onto the center of the tamale then fold up the bottom. Leave the top open. Some tamales may require a double husk. When the tamales are wrapped, carefully place them in a large stockpot containing 2 inches of water and fitted with a steamer, loosely stacking them on top of one another. Cover and steam for 40 minutes.

While the tamales steam, make this quick sauce to serve alongside them: Blend 2 large, seeded and peeled roasted red bell peppers with 3 to 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon cayenne and salt and pepper to taste until smooth.

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Matt Sargent uses a classic restaurant technique to get the smoothest, silkiest black bean purée. After running the cooked beans through the food processor he passes them through a fine-mesh sieve. I could have eaten an entire bowl of the stuff.

Serves 6 to 8

For the Black Bean Purée:

1 pound dried black beans, soaked in water overnight
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 slices smoky bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon each black pepper, cumin and chile powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt, to taste

For the Steak:

1 (1- to 1½-pound) flank steak
2 very ripe plantains, halved lengthwise
Olive oil, for roasting plantains and searing steak
1 each red and green bell pepper, cut into
¼-inch-thick slices
Kosher salt and black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Cook the beans:

Drain the beans and combine all of the ingredients except the salt in a large, heavybottomed pot. Fill the pot with water 2 inches above the top of the beans and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Cook until the beans are soft and tender, about 2 to 3 hours. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat: Low and slow is best for beans. Season the cooked beans to taste with a generous pinch of salt. Cool the beans in their liquid. Using a blender or food processor, purée the beans until smooth. If you want an even smoother purée, pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Reheat the beans gently over low heat, adding water as needed.

Prepare the steak:

Lay the steak lengthwise in front of you on a cutting board. Going with the grain, cut the steak in half. Take each half of steak and slice it in half horizontally starting at the cut side and moving your knife slowly and carefully through the middle of the steak towards the edge, leaving about ¾ inch of the meat connected.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat the plantains lightly with olive oil and place them cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast until they are nicely browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool completely on the pan. Keep the oven on.

Heat a medium pot of salted water over high heat. Blanch the sliced bell peppers briefly (about 45 seconds) then shock them immediately in an ice water bath to cool completely. Dry thoroughly.

Assemble the steak:

Lay each piece of steak on a cutting board and open it up like a book. Season the inside generously with salt and pepper. Lay 2 halved plantains lengthwise on the steak and top with the green and red peppers. Roll the steaks up tightly lengthwise like a cigar; tie the rolled steaks every 2 inches with butcher’s twine. Trim the ends of the rolls. Season the outside of the steak rolls generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Sear the steak rolls on all sides until well browned. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook to medium rare, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice the steak between the pieces of twine into 2-inch-thick pieces. Serve the steak with a spoonful of the bean purée and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

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Quiche is one of those one-recipe-fits-all dishes. It can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner, and no one would bat an eye like he or she might if you served, say, a meatloaf at breakfast.

This recipe is one that my mother makes, and one I assumed took hours of preparation to create before I learned how to make it myself.

½ to 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced
6 to 8 Baby Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium plum tomato, thinly sliced
4 to 5 eggs
⅔ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup sharp Cheddar, shredded
1 dash of pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Your favorite piecrust

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs. Mix in yogurt.

Spread your favorite piecrust in a glass pie plate, pinching the edges for a pretty, doily look. Fill piecrust with layers of zucchini and mushroom, and egg-andyogurt mixture. Top with tomato slices, add cracked pepper and nutmeg and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.

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Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a light lunch

2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2½ teaspoons sugar
1 pound ripe cherry tomatoes, large tomatoes halved or quartered, small tomatoes left whole
½ large seedless cucumber, peeled and sliced into
½-inch-thick pieces
½ large jalapeño, thinly sliced
¼ cup each fresh mint and basil leaves

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, oil and sugar; whisk until the sugar dissolves. Gently toss the tomatoes, cucumber and jalapeño in a medium bowl with the dressing; let the salad marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the fresh herbs and gently toss again to combine.

Photo by Emily McKenna

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Guild & Company’s Braised Vermont Rabbit with Apple Brandy


Serves 4

Guild & Company’s cocktail manager Michael Buonocore suggests serving this dish with the restaurant’s Applejack Rabbit cocktail, which combines Flag Hill Farm Apple Brandy with Grade B Vermont maple syrup and a splash of fresh orange and lemon juice. “Drinks with acidity, such as the Applejack Rabbit, pair well with food. The brandy and fresh citrus complement the gaminess of the rabbit with a refreshing brightness, while the maple syrup adds texture and an appropriate sweet accent. For once, apples and oranges do make sense together.”

For the cure:

  • 4 rabbit legs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground juniper berries

For the braise:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 small carrots, cut into a large dice
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into a large dice
  • 1 medium onion, cut into a large dice
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme stems, leaves removed and reserved
  • 1 cup apple brandy
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

For the jus:

  • Reserved braising liquid
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Reserved thyme leaves, finely chopped

For the purée:

  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled, cored and cut into a large dice
  • ¼ pound unsalted butter
  • ½ cup crème fraîche

For the salad:

  • 1 medium watermelon radish, julienned
  • 1 medium apple, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, cut into an extrafine chiffonade
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Cure the rabbit: Combine the salt, fennel, pepper and juniper in a small bowl; rub onto the rabbit legs. Place in a casserole, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours.

Overnight is best.

Braise the rabbit: Preheat oven to 325°.

Remove the rabbit from the cure, brush off any remaining seasoning and pat dry. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed stainless-steel sauté pan; sear the rabbit evenly on all sides until dark golden brown. Remove to a plate.

Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan; cook until the vegetables are golden brown and caramelized. Add the thyme stems to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Carefully deglaze the pan with the brandy. Cook until the brandy is reduced by three quarters. Add the chicken stock, salt and rabbit legs to the pan. Bring to a boil; carefully transfer everything to a casserole dish. If you can use the same pan for this whole process, do. The legs should be covered by two thirds with braising liquid. If you do not have enough braising liquid, add chicken stock. Cover the casserole tightly with foil and braise for 1½ hours. Carefully remove the rabbit from the casserole and strain the liquid into a large container. Place the rabbit legs back into the casserole dish and cover with the strained braising liquid. Refrigerate overnight.

While the rabbit cools, wrap the shallot halves in foil and roast until very tender, about 45 minutes. Cool the shallots and cut each half into 2 equal pieces. Wrap in foil and refrigerate.

Finish dish: Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove the cooled rabbit legs from the braising liquid. Place the braising liquid in a saucepan and simmer gently over medium heat until reduced by three quarters.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil; cook the parsnips until tender. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. Mash the parsnips with the butter and crème fraiche; pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. This will give you an ultra-smooth purée.

In another medium bowl, combine the salad ingredients and toss gently to combine.

Place the rabbit legs, reduced braising liquid, roasted shallots and thyme leaves in a casserole dish; heat in the oven until warmed through. When ready to serve, crisp the tops of the rabbit legs under the broiler.

Spoon the parsnip purée onto heated plates. Place 1 rabbit leg and 1 quartered shallot on top of the purée. Divide the jus among each plate and top with the radish and apple salad. Serve immediately.

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The Common Man’s Vodka- and Gin-Cured Salmon


Serves 4 to 6

Many recipes for cured salmon call for aquavit, a Scandinavian spirit flavored with caraway, cumin, anise and citrus. Adam Longworth, the chef and co-owner of the Common Man, wanted to use a local Vermont spirit and eventually settled on equal parts of Vermont Spirits’ Vermont Vodka and Caledonia Spirits’ Barr Hill Gin. The salmon is purchased from Wood Mountain, which sources fish directly from the docks in Boston from purveyors that practice the highest standards of aquaculture.

The company places an emphasis on the shortest channel from producer to chef to table. Lorien Wroten, Adam’s partner, suggests serving the salmon with a very dry Riesling. Note: You will need a scale to measure the salt and sugar in this recipe.

  • 1 pound salmon, skin-on, preferably a piece cut from the top half of the fish
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Vermont Spirits’ Vermont Gold Vodka
  • 2 teaspoons Caledonia Spirits’ Barr Hill Gin, preferably Old Tom style
  • ¾ ounce table salt
  • ½ ounce sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds
  • ½ cup fresh, chopped dill
  • ½ cup fresh chervil, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving: Grilled, sliced country bread, horseradish-flavored crème fraîche, blanched haricots verts, sliced apple and red onion

Mix the lime juice, orange juice and zest, olive oil, vodka and gin together in a small bowl. Mix the salt, sugar, fennel, coriander, dill, chervil, tarragon and pepper together in another medium-sized bowl. Choose a small nonreactive baking pan long enough to hold the salmon and line it with plastic wrap, leaving plenty of wrap hanging over all four sides.

Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with ¼ of the herb mixture and form it into the shape of the salmon. Place the salmon skin side down on top of the herb mixture. Pour the liquid mixture on top of the salmon. Pack the remaining herb mixture on top and around the salmon. Take the excess plastic wrap hanging over the sides of the pan and wrap the salmon tightly, packing the herb mixture onto the salmon and covering it as best as you can with the curing mixture.

Place the pan in the refrigerator; cure for 4 days. After the fourth day, remove the fish from the plastic wrap, wipe off the herb mixture and pat dry. Slice the salmon and serve as desired.

At the Common Man, Adam slices the salmon into paper-thin pieces and piles it atop sliced country bread that has been brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled. He tops this with horseradish-flavored crème fraîche, sliced red onion, sliced apple and blanched haricots verts.

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