Holiday Recipes from Bay Area ChefsDec 06, 2017 01:38PM ● By Cale Finta
Holiday Recipes from Bay Area Chefs
As the leaves fall to create a collage of abundance, winter squashes, spinach, and bright persimmons load tables at local farmers’ market, and a bounty of these seasonal ingredients come alive in comforting recipes.
CURRIED MUSHROOM AND SQUASH SOUP
CHEF ALISON NEGRIN, CHEFALISONNEGRIN.COM
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup sliced assorted fresh mushrooms (crimini, oyster, button)
1 T plus ¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp curry powder
1 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp cinnamon
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 ½ cups diced butternut squash
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
3 oz. orange juice
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Plain yogurt for garnish
Toss squash with olive oil, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan and roast in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté onions and mushrooms until soft in ¼ cup olive oil. Add grated ginger and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add curry powder, cayenne, mustard, and cinnamon, then carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add roasted squash, orange juice, and chicken broth to cover. Cook for 1 hour. Soup can be pureed or served as prepared. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with yogurt on the side.
ROASTED WINTER SQUASH & SPINACH SALAD
DOWNTOWN WALNUT CREEK FARMERS’ MARKET
1 (roughly 2lb) winter squash (butternut or acorn), cut into generous bite sized cubes
2 T Bistro Blends extra virgin olive oil with orange flavor
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp butter
10 cups fresh baby spinach
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread onto a parchment or foil lined baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast on center rack in 400 degree oven. Turn halfway through roasting. Cook until tender, about 25minutes. Toast walnuts in skillet on stove with small amount of butter. Cook on low heat for a few minutes. Toss spinach with olive oil. Add squash, walnuts, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
DUNGENESS CRAB MAC N’ CHEESE
1 pound Dungeness crab meat
2 pounds elbow macaroni pasta
½ pound unsalted butter
¾ cup flour
½ gallon whole milk
½ gallon heavy cream
2 leeks, white part only, sliced
1 cup Point Reyes Toma cheese, shredded
1 cup Spring Hill Cheddar, shredded
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
Fresh lemon juice (¼ lemon)
Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Toasted breadcrumbs (for garnish)
In a large pot bring three gallons of water to a boil. Add pasta and boil, 6-8 minutes. Add to a large mixing bowl and set aside. In another large pot begin melting butter. Add leeks and sauté 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add flour. Stir constantly; cook until mixtures bubbles, 2-3 minutes. Add milk and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer. Allow mixture to reduce while simmering, approximately 5 minutes. Add cream and again allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add all the cheese, whisk until incorporated. Add salt to taste, 3-5 drops of Tabasco, and lemon juice. Pour over pasta and add crab meat, stirring to incorporate. Serve with toasted breadcrumbs and parsley.
LAMB SHANKS WITH CREAMY POLENTA
EXECUTIVE CHEF MIKE WARD, THE RESTAURANT AT WENTE VINEYARDS
(For best results, make lamb shanks the day ahead of when you plan to serve them.)
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups heavy cream or half & half
½ stick butter
2 cups yellow polenta
1 cup Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring chicken stock, and cream to a boil and add polenta. Stir constantly for thirty minutes. When polenta is soft add parmesan and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Braised Lamb Shanks
Season 10 lamb shanks heavily with salt and pepper. Sear on the flat top until you have achieved a nice golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.
6 quarts beef stock
2 quarts blended 74/40 canned tomato
8 jumbo yellow onions
Blend stock and tomato together and season heavily with salt. Meanwhile, chop onions to a large dice and sear in a sauté pan until charred.
Make a sachet out of cheesecloth, fill it with herbs, and tie together with butcher’s twine.
2 T black peppercorn
2 T yellow mustard seed
2 T fennel seed
1 T clove
2 pieces whole nutmeg (crushed)
2 cinnamon sticks (crushed)
½ bunch thyme
1 bunch parsley
15 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs rosemary
2 heads garlic
Place lamb shanks in pan with sachet. Place onions over shanks, then add liquid. Cook for 3 hours in a 280-degree oven, covered in foil with crimped edges. Cool shanks. For best results, keep covered overnight so they retain their proper moisture and absorb flavors from herbs and spices. Next day: discard solidified fat, reheat lamb braise until liquid again. Serve with creamy polenta.
CARAMELIZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
BLUESTEM BRASSERIE FOR CUESA FARMERS’ MARKET
1-1½ quarts Brussels sprouts, split and blanched
½ cup dates, pitted and chopped
1½ cups pancetta, diced ¼ inch
1 T grapeseed oil
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 cups chicken stock
Banyuls wine vinegar
½ bunch tarragon, 1 T minced and the rest stemmed
½ bunch parsley, 1 T minced and the rest stemmed
2½ ounces Aleppo pepper
To blanch Brussels Sprouts: Set a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, submerge halved sprouts in water for about 60 seconds, until bright green. Strain and plunge sprouts in ice water. Let drain overnight or for several hours in the refrigerator (this helps them brown better).
In a cast iron pan over medium-high heat, cook pancetta until crispy. Remove from pan, put aside.
Add sprouts hot pan and caramelize with grapeseed oil and pancetta fat. Remove once caramelized and set aside. Add Fresno chilies and dates to pan and mash with back of a fork. Add chicken stock and simmer the sauce. As chicken stock reduces, add vinegar, minced herbs, Aleppo pepper and sprouts, as well as some of the pancetta. Season with salt as needed.
To serve: sprinkle a bit of additional pancetta on top and garnish with herb leaves.