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Walnut Creek Magazine


Nov 18, 2020 12:19PM ● By Pam Kessler
By Walnut Creek Downtown Farmers’ Market
1 (roughly 2lb) winter squash (butternut or acorn), cut into generous bite-sized cubes 
2 T extra virgin olive oil 
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp butter
10 cups fresh baby spinach
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Directions: 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 a skillet on the stove with a 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.

By Chef Josh Thomsen
Serves 10
3 garlic cloves
3 oz butter
2 ½ pounds peeled sweet potatoes cut in thin rounds
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 T. cognac
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated gruyere
1 T. chopped Italian parsley
2 T. toasted pecans, chopped parsley
Directions: Rub a baking dish (approximately 8x 6) with garlic cloves and brush with melted butter. Steam potatoes until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix the cream with Dijon mustard and cognac and set aside. Layer potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Pour the cream over the gratin, top with gruyere or parmesan. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Garnish with chopped toasted pecans and fresh parsley. Enjoy!



1 (12-14 pound) whole turkey
3/4 cup olive oil
3 T. minced garlic
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 T. chopped fresh basil
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, mix olive oil with herbs and seasonings. Set aside. Wash turkey inside and out; pat dry. Loosen skin from the breast by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin. With your hand, spread a generous amount of rosemary mixture under the turkey skin. Rub the outside of the bird with a thin layer of olive oil. Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of broth to the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly in foil and roast for 3 hours. Remove foil and roast bird for 1 more hour uncovered, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let sit loosely covered for 45 minutes before carving.

By Bluestem Brasserie
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
Splash red 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 or crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
Directions: Blanch sprouts in a pot of salted boiling water, for about 60 seconds, until bright green. Strain and plunge sprouts in ice water. Let drain 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 to the hot pan and caramelize with grapeseed oil and pancetta fat. Remove once caramelized and set aside. Add Fresno chilies and dates to the pan and mash with a fork. Add chicken stock and simmer. As the sauce reduces, add vinegar, minced herbs, Aleppo pepper, sprouts, and some of the pancetta. Season with salt. Sprinkle with additional pancetta on top and garnish with herb leaves.
By Chef Cindy Gershen
Root Vegetables such as beets, butternut squash, carrots, onions, parsnips, rutabaga
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Sea salt
Directions: Rinse all vegetables. Cut into 2-inch “jungle cut” chunks. Place vegetables into a glass baking dish, but do not let them touch or veggies will steam. Drizzle with EVOO and salt. Pop in the oven for about 40-45minutes at 375/400 degrees. Note: Roasted root veggies are done when they are tender and you can pierce the chunks through with a fork and it doesn’t get stuck.

By Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes
4 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons minced chives, for garnish
Directions: The nutty flavor from the brown butter adds a new dimension to mashed potatoes.
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Heat over medium-high heat until simmering. Meanwhile, place butter in a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits, until golden brown color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour heavy cream and whole milk into a small saucepan, heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. When potatoes are tender enough to mash, drain in a colander. Place pot back on medium heat. Add cooked potatoes and mash on low heat. Drizzle hot cream slowly into potatoes, mixing constantly with a wooden spoon, until reaching desired consistency. Gently fold in brown butter and mix. Season with salt and white pepper. Place in a large serving bowl and top with minced chives. Serve immediately.





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