- Parmesan Cheese Puffs, Gourmet December 2006
- Dinner Rolls, Cooks Illustrated #95, Nov/Dec 2008
- Crown Roast of Pork with Winter Fruits and Port Sauce, Gourmet December 2008
- Wild Rice with Wild Mushrooms
- Green Beans with fresh herbs and Lemon
- Brussels Sprouts with Fried Shallots and Wild Mushrooms, Gourmet November 2006
The Pork Roast is a variation of a Gourmet recipe from this December's issue. Instead of a straight roast, I use a crown cut, which really just means it was trimmed in order to be tied into a circle for impressive presentation. Here's picture prior to cooking.
This recipe is quite nice - a blend of apricots, prunes and granny smith apples is combined with shallot, onion and port, then stuffed into a cavity in the center of the roast. A port / shallot reduction becomes the sauce, which would be better thickened in another manner than cornstarch. But very nice nonetheless, and a GREAT presentation. In the first picture above, you'll see the circle of stuffed fruit in the middle of the chop.
The parmesan puff appetizer is totally simple and delicious. The only downside is the mess (and hassle) of deep frying. I used a very shallow depth of oil in a pretty small pan to reduce the amount of oil. The only way I committed to frying was that I used the same oil for frying shallots for the Brussels sprouts dish. Unless I kept a mini deep fryer around, I don't have much desire to fry. But if you've got oil going, this is a good recipe to add to a menu.
Wild rice and mushrooms were standard - roast mushrooms in high heat with garlic and oil, added them to wild rice cooked with sauteed onion, thyme and chicken stock. Solid complement to this menu, as were the simple green beans to please the kids (few sprouts eaten by the younger crown in this house). It's a risk to add herbs and lemon zest, but sometimes I can get away with it at a holiday meal.
The Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms recipe is totally awesome - and simple if you skip the fried shallots. I didn't think they were worth the extra effort, and will continue to simply roast shallot slices with the sprouts or mushrooms. Instead of sauteing the mushrooms separately, I also roast them in the oven, separately from the sprouts but same technique. Toss with thyme and finish with some butter. To match the recipe, a quick saute of shallot, reduced white wine and thyme could be tossed to finish this dish.