Gruyere bruleed mashed potatoes
You will need:
- 2 pounds of peeled yukon gold potatoes that are equal in size.
- 8 oz. butter (or more if you prefer) soft at room temperature
- 4 oz. heavy cream
- 8 oz. shredded gruyere cheese
- 1 small bunch of chives, cut very fine
- Salt and pepper
- A clean, heat-safe, food-safe cast iron serving container
- A broiler or a food safe blow torch.
- Put the peeled potatoes in a pot and submerge them with cold water.
- Put the pot on medium heat, salt the water with about 1 table spoon.
- Simmer the potatoes until and knife can slide through the center with ease.
- Remove the potatoes from the pot and transfer to a kitchen aid mixer set with the whisk attachment. Be sure there is no water in the bowl.
- Gently break up the potatoes on low speed. Once broken, increase the speed to medium to incorporate the butter in two parts.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and drizzle in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Right before serving, transfer the hot potatoes to the cast iron, sprinkle the cheese on top. Carefully brulee (or deliciously burn) the cheese into a caramelized topping with the blow torch.
- Sprinkle chives on top.
NOTE: If you cook the potatoes to the right point, they should be very smooth after this process, but if you happen to have a strainer with a larger net, you can press the mash through with a rubber spatula for extra smooth potatoes.
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If you don't have a torch, most home stoves come equipped with a broiler beneath your oven. Just a few monitored moments under that flame should do the trick.
Delicata squash salad
You will need:
For the roasted delicata squash:
- 3 delicata squash, washed, cut in half, seeds removed.
- Agrumato lemon oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (not specific)
- salt and pepper
- For the brown butter seeds: (this recipe will make extra)
- 1 cup white sesame seeds
- 1 cup raw pepitas
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 pound of butter
- Wooden spoon
For the squash puree: (this recipe will make extra)
- 2 large delicata squash, washed, cut in half, seeds removed.
- 1 cup finished brown butter seeds (see above)
- 2 cups hot vegetable stock
- 1 oz. maple syrup
- 1 oz. brown sugar
- 3 oz. olive oil
For the garnish:
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves picked
- 1 bunch mint leaves picked
- Agrumato lemon oil
- 2 fresh lemons, cut in half
For the roasted squashes:
- After the delicata are washed, cut in half and seeds removed. Cut them into half moons about the width of your index finger. Lay they flat on a baking sheet, drizzle them with lemon oil, salt, pepper and brown sugar.
- Roast them in a preheated oven at 350 until tender, allow them to cool.
For the brown butter seeds:
- Mix the seeds together in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat, while its heating, cube the butter.
- Have the bowl of seeds at your side and then add the butter to the pot. Don't walk away! It's important that you control how dark your butter gets, but don't be nervous! Allow the butter to cook to a wooden brown color, and when you see fat sticking to the bottom of the pan, use the wooden spoon to scrap it off. Once your butter is nutty and brown, pour it directly over the seeds.
- Spread the seeds out on a baking tray. Toast the seeds until aromatic, golden brown at a preheated 325 degrees. Set a timer for 10 minute intervals where you can stir the seeds to guarantee even toasting. Let them cool at room temperature, and store them at room temperature.
For the squash puree:
- Roast the squashes at a preheated 350 degrees until soft. Remove and cool.
- Dice the cooled squashes and transfer half of all ingredients to a blender. Blend everything in 2 batches on high speed until smooth. The texture should be thick much like a hummus, if you have a hard time getting it to blend, feel free to add more stock or water, but make sure that the puree isn't runny.
- Season with salt and pepper, set aside to cool, serve at room temperature.
- Place the squashes into the oven to make them hot again.
- The squash puree can be smeared on the bottom of a plate or serving tray with an offset spatula.
- Hot squashes can be arranged on top of the squash puree
- Sprinkle generous amounts of brown butter seeds into the squashes
- Liberally garnish the top of the squashes with the mint and cilantro, these are in effect to be eaten like salad greens, so to speak.
- Drizzle the salad with lemon oil, and very liberally with fresh squeeze lemon juice.
NOTE: This salad can be deliciously highlighted with fresh burrata cheese. It adds a light, soft texture and can also balance the salt and acid within the dish. If you choose to use burrata, make sure you season the burrata with salt and pepper.
Confit turkey stuffing
You will need:
- 2 turkey legs
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 gallon vegeteble oil
- 1 loaf of brioche
- 4 ribs of celery
- 1 large carrot
- 2 white onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- about 1 qt of vegetable broth, chicken or turkey broth
- 10 sage leaves
- 1/2 pound of butter
- Salt and pepper
- Save yourself the time, work and dry Thanksgiving bird by having your butcher break down your turkey for you. Roasting turkey breasts off the body will cook them faster, and they will retain more juices.
- The day before you plan on making your stuffing, place the turkey legs into a deep, oven safe braising pan. Add the thyme and bay leaves, completely cover with the oil. Place in the oven at 250 degrees and braise for about 8 hours, or until the meat can be easily pulled from the bone with a fork.
- Pick the turkey from the bone and be careful to remove all of the sinew, fat and cartilage. Discard the bones, strain and save the fat.
- Dice the bread into 1-inch-by-1-inch cubes and toast at 325 degrees until golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Dice the celery, carrots, onion into small cubes.
- Mince the garlic.
- Chop the sage, but you should actually use a slicing motion. That way you don't smash the leaves and make the sage bitter.
- Heat a saute pan over medium heat, then saute the vegetables and garlic in the butter until tender. Do not saute the sage. Season lightly with salt.
- Place the bread, pickled turkey meat, sauteed vegetables and chopped sage into a mixing bowl.
- In small increments, mix in the broth, being careful that you aren't adding too much. The stuffing should be thick, not loose. You'll have to decide how moist it should be.
- Drizzle in a few tablespoon of the turkey fat to additional seasoning.
- Season with salt and pepper per your taste.
- Mix until all items are evenly distributed and give it a taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Transfer to a heat and food safe serving container. Set aside until closer to dinner time.
- Heat in the oven before serving.
NOTE: You're going to have a deliciously flavored oil left over from the confit process. This is a great cooking fat for roasting your turkey breasts and preparing other vegetables. Please note that you should not sear in this oil, as it has particles that will burn, but it will be great as a cooking fat for other lower-heat procedures.