Archive | Entrees


tomato and mozzarella tart

The Pastry:

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits
  • 4 tablespoons ice water

The Filling:

  • ⅓ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 10 medium-sized, firm, ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare pastry by combining flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and combine until it has a coarse crumb consistency. With the machine running, add the water. Form into a ball. Roll out into a circle large enough to fit into a 10-inch tart pan, about ⅛ inch thick.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Brush mustard over the bottom of the pastry shell. Top mustard with mozzarella slices.

Beginning at outer edge of shell, make a layered overlapping row of the tomato slices. Make a second row and then fill the center with a final circle of tomatoes.

Sprinkle top evenly with garlic and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle the olive oil over all.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

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Braised Tuscan Meatballs
Photo by Brent Harewyn


Chris Alberti likes to braise these meatballs—a mix of beef, pork and turkey—in a dry, unoaked Pinot Grigio. “Choose something affordable with a little acidity,” he says. He serves the meatballs with broccoli rabe sautéed with garlic and a hunk of crusty bread to soak up the winey braising liquid.

Serves 8, as a main course

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1½ pounds ground beef, 80–90% lean
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground turkey
2 cups grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 large eggs, beaten
Olive oil, for cooking
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 to 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ bottle Pinot Grigio, for cooking

Soak the breadcrumbs in about a ½ cup of water to moisten.

Combine the beef, pork and turkey in a large bowl and knead gently with your hands. Squeeze excess water out of the soaked bread and add to the meat along with the cheese, parsley and garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the eggs and knead to combine.

Dividing evenly, form the meat into 20 to 25 meatballs, depending on your size preference. Refrigerate the meatballs for at least an hour.

Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add the meatballs without crowding the pan and cook until the meatballs are browned on one side. The meatballs will release naturally from the pan when they are sufficiently browned. You may need to lower the heat to prevent burning. Turn the meatballs over and brown them on the other side. Remove to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and continue to cook the meatballs in batches until they are browned, adding additional olive oil to the skillet as necessary.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet and add the onions and rosemary sprigs; cook, stirring often, until the onions are quite soft and starting to brown. Add the wine; scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Once the wine has started to reduce, add the meatballs back to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is reduced by about half.

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Meat Pies
Photo by Carol Sullivan


Cumberland Sauce is a traditional condiment made with port wine and black or red currant jelly. Created in the 19th century, and purportedly named after the Duke of Cumberland, it is used to balance the rich flavor of game meat. Though Cumberland Sauce is definitively English, the French adopted it to serve alongside some of their rich meals such as pâté en croûte. This recipe steers it back to the English side while still giving credit to the French for a very good idea; the sauce is perfect served with a meat pie. These would be perfect as finger food at a party since they are best served at room temperature

You can use store-bought jelly or syrup or make your own by simmering one part fresh currants to one part sugar for 10 minutes and then straining out the solids.

⅓ cup currant jelly or syrup
½ cup port
3 tablespoons shallots, chopped fine
1 orange
1 lemon
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of salt
12 ounces uncooked, uncased pork sausage
1 package prepared piecrust or recipe for two homemade crusts
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375°. Remove the rind (colored part only) from the orange and lemon and cut the rind into fine julienne. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the rind for 1 minute and then drain. Juice the whole orange and half the lemon and then set the juice and rind aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan bring the port, currant jelly/syrup and shallots to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon and orange juice and the blanched rinds. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens a bit (about 8 more minutes). Add the mustard, ginger and salt, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

For the meat pies, use a 3½-inch pastry ring to cut circles out of the pie dough. You should be able to get eight circles from each side for a total of 16 circles. Place eight circles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Brush lightly with egg wash. Place a spoonful (roughly 2 tablespoons) of sausage in the middle of the dough. Place another circle on top and gently press the two sides together. When they are all formed, using a knife, put a small hole in the top of each pie to let steam escape. Brush with additional egg wash on top.

Place the pies in the oven and bake for 5 minutes at 375°. Lower the heat to 350° and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve pies and Cumberland Sauce at room temperature.

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Like many recipes from Bella Farm, this polenta was inspired by seasonal abundance. In this case, the cherry tomatoes came into season and suddenly showed up in everything they cooked! This dish is quick, easy and satisfying.

Serves 4

4 cups water
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup coarse- or medium-ground polenta
½ teaspoon olive oil
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
½ cup freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea or kosher salt
Freshly chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, bring water, salt and butter to a boil over medium-high heat.

Whisking constantly, add the polenta in a slow, steady stream. Continue stirring until water returns to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until thickened, about 35 to 40 minutes. Polenta should pull away from side of pan.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the tomatoes and sage and sauté for approximately 3 minutes. Stir tomatoes, sage and cheese into warm polenta. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese and parsley.

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Farmer’s Cheese

Yield: 22–24 ounces

1 gallon milk (you’ll get better results using raw milk, or whole milk from the grocery store)
¼ cup white vinegar

Heat milk to 185°–195° F. Turn off the heat, add vinegar and mix thoroughly. You’ll see the milk start to curdle. Let
set for 15 minutes. Drain through cheesecloth or muslin.

Farmer’s Cheese Pancakes

¼ cup farmer’s cheese
½ cup oats
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together. Cook slowly on nonpreheated griddle. Turn to brown the other side. Serves 1.

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This quiche recipe showcases the beautiful Araucana egg variety. The rich, creamy filling is studded with baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and Gruyere cheese.

8 servings

1½ tablespoons butter
⅔ cup chopped shallots (about 3 medium)
1½ cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
Coarse salt and ground white pepper, to taste
6 large farm-fresh eggs, beaten, such as Araucana
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme, plus thyme sprigs for garnish
1 (9-inch) refrigerated prepared whole-wheat piecrust
1½ cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
8 cherry tomatoes, halved

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. When cool enough to handle, transfer spinach to a paper towel and squeeze out any excess water. Set aside. Whisk together eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread spinach mixture evenly over bottom of piecrust. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on top of spinach and carefully pour egg mixture over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and arrange tomatoes over filling. Bake until egg mixture is still slightly wiggly in center, approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
  4. Cut into wedges and serve garnished with thyme sprigs.
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Shredded pork shoulder on steamed buns

Asian steamed buns are sometimes filled with spicy pork, but in this recipe, Aaron and Nate make them into succulent sandwiches.

Serves 4 to 6

Braised Pork

1 (3-pound) bone-in pork shoulder
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sriracha (Thai hot chili sauce)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 cups water

Steamed Buns

Makes 8 to 10, depending on size of bun

2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, at 110°
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon shortening or lard
1½ teaspoons baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 300°; place pork shoulder in a large Dutch oven.
  2. Combine soy, sriracha, hoisin and water and pour over shoulder. Cover and cook, basting every 20 minutes, until the pork is very tender and looks lacquered, about 3 to 4 hours. If you start to lose too much braising liquid or if the liquid gets too dark—and the pork is still not finished cooking—add water, ¼ cup at a time.
  3. Cool pork in braising liquid. When it is cool enough to handle, pull the meat apart and add enough of the marinade to moisten the meat to your taste.
  4. Dissolve sugar and yeast in water; let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes, until foamy. Place flour, shortening and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix at medium speed to combine. With mixer running at medium speed, slowly incorporate yeast mixture until the dough comes together into a ball and is smooth and elastic. (If your dough won’t come together in the mixer, knead it a few times by hand.)
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise for about 1½ hours, or until it doubles in size. Punch the dough down and divide into 8 to 10 equalsized pieces. Form into balls and place on an oiled baking sheet to rise again, uncovered, until doubled.
  6. Meanwhile, place a metal steamer basket in a large, wide pot, adding enough water to just skim the bottom of the basket (or, use a bamboo steamer if you have one). Place 3 or 4 buns (as many as will fit at once without touching), cover and steam until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove the buns from the steamer and cook the remaining buns.


Steamed buns (recipe above)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha, or more to taste
Pickles (Nate and Aaron like pickled cucumbers, onions and shitakes)
Fresh cilantro leaves

Cut the cooked buns in half and griddle them, cut side down, on a lightly oiled griddle, nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Combine mayonnaise with sriracha and spread a generous amount on each grilled bun. Add a small forkful of purchased kimchi and a few pickles. Top with shredded pork and a few fresh cilantro leaves. Enjoy.

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½ tablespoon butter
1½ cups finely diced rhubarb
2 small yellow onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 eggs
1 pound ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease liberally.
  2. In a medium pan, sauté together the rhubarb, butter, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, salt and black pepper over medium heat until the vegetables are soft.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until well combined. Add the ground beef, breadcrumbs and vegetable and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Roll the mixture into approximately 26 evenly sized 1½-inch balls and space out evenly on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake the meatballs for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through, rotating the tray once at about 15 minutes.
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