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Beef Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Bacon, Parsnips, and Pearl Onions
Serves 6

If braising and serving the ribs on the same day, bypass cooling the ribs in the braising liquid; instead, remove them from the pot straight out of the oven, strain the liquid, then let it settle so that the fat separates to the top. With a wide shallow spoon, skim off as much fat as possible and continue with the recipe. Though this recipe calls for widely available English-style short ribs, it will also work with flanken-style short ribs.

6 pounds bone-in English-style short ribs, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin, or bone-in flanken-style beef short ribs
3 cups dry red wine (full-bodied)
3 large onions, chopped medium
2 medium carrots, chopped medium
1 large rib celery, chopped medium
9 medium cloves garlic, chopped (about 3 TBSP)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1.5 TBSP minced fresh rosemary
1 TBSP minced fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
1 tsp tomato paste

Bacon, Pearl Onion, and Parsnip Garnish:
6 slices bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4" pieces
8 oz. frozen pearl onions (do not thaw)
4 medium parsnips (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
6 TBSP chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange short ribs bone-side down in single layer in large flameproof roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until meat is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer. (With flanken-style short ribs, arrange ribs in single layer in large roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until mean begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until browned, about 8 minutes; using tongs, flip each piece and cook until second side is browned, about 8 minutes longer.) Transfer ribs to large plate; set aside. Drain off fat to small bowl and reserve. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Place roasting pan on two stovetop burners set at medium heat; add wine and bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon. Set roasting pan with wine aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved fat in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour until combined, about 45 seconds. Stir in wine from roasting pan, chicken stock, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and add short ribs, completely submerging meat in liquid; return to boil, cover, place in oven, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Transfer pot to wire rack and cool, partially covered, until warm, about 2 hours.
3. Transfer ribs from pot to large plate, removing excess vegetables that may cling to meat; discard loose bones that have fallen away from meat. Strain braising liquid into medium bowl, pressing out liquid from solids; discard solids. Cover ribs and liquid separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)
4. To prepare garnish and finish dish: In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; remove with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towel. Add to Dutch oven pearl onions, parsnips, sugar, and salt; increase heat to high and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Spoon off and discard solidified fat from reserved braising liquid. Add defatted liquid and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Submerge ribs in liquid, return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until ribs are heated through and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer; gently stir in bacon. Divide ribs and sauce among individual bowls, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.

From Cook's Illustrated, January 1, 2000

Bagna Cauda

A traditional fall and winter dish from the Piedmont area of Italy, this originally was made with only olive oil, anchovies and garlic, but these days some red pepper and sometimes rosemary is often included. Some recipes call for using 1 cup of oil and 1 stick of butter, instead of all oil, which of course makes a richer dish.

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 anchovy fillets (no need to chop, as they will disintegrate when heated in the oil)
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 sprigs (about 4") fresh rosemary (optional)
Raw vegetables for dipping: celery sticks, red and/or yellow bell pepper strips, carrot sticks, fennel strips, cherry tomatoes, small mushrooms (all chilled)
Steamed vegetables for dipping: asparagus spears, artichokes (trimmed with choke removed and sliced), broccoli, cauliflower (all chilled)
Crusty Italian style bread, sliced (not cubed), or focaccia, cut into 2" squares

1. In a saucepan or metal fondue pot, heat 2 TBSP of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and cook, stirring, until fragrant and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining oil, rosemary and red pepper flakes and lower the heat to low, and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
2. Arrange the vegetables on a large platter and season lightly with salt. Reheat the bagna cauda over low heat until just warm. If you used a saucepan to cook it, transfer to a fondue pot and keep warm.
3. Serve immediately with long handled forks for dipping the vegetables into the sauce. Be sure to supply your guests with individual plates. The dipped vegetables can be hot and may need to cool a bit before eating!

Sukiyaki Hot Pot

Sukiyaki Stock:
2 cups quick Asian beef stock (see below)
⅓ cup Japanese soy sauce
⅓ cup sake or dry sherry
1 TBSP sugar

The Platter (all except bean threads can be prepared in advance):
2 lbs. beef tenderloin, thinly sliced
1 large onion, sliced into half-moons and browned in vegetable oil about 7 minutes
6 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
8 fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 oz. firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
4 oz. canned sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
1 (6 oz.) bunch watercress or young spinach, touch stems removed
2 skeins bean threads, softened in hot water about 10 minutes, and snipped with kitchen scissors
Hot cooked rice

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the beef stock, soy sauce, sake and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Transfer to a hot pot or metal fondue pot and keep at a simmer over a flame.
2. Present the platter. Using chopsticks or small hot pot baskets, the guests cook their selections in the simmering broth. They should use cooked meat and vegetables as a topping for the cooked rice, moistening the rice to taste with some of the cooking stock.

Quick Asian Beef Stock:
In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups canned reduced-sodium beef broth, 2 chopped scallions, 1 TBSP shredded fresh ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 TBSP soy sauce, 1/4 tsp salt, and 6 peppercorns to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain.

(based on recipes from Fondue by Rich Rodgers)

From the Fall 2009 Newsletter

Sweet Italian Stew

Here's a wonderful hearty meal that's simple
to prepare and gets better over time:

1 lb Rooster Brother sweet Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 lb spinach or other dark green leafy
vegetable, trimmed
1 25 oz carton POMI chopped tomatoes
1 qt low-sodium chicken broth
1 can Bush's kidney beans, rinsed
1 medium red or yellow potato, diced
1/2 cup white wine
Tabasco to taste
Olive oil, salt & pepper

Remove sausage from casing in chunks and
brown in large dutch oven with 2 tbsp. of olive
oil. Transfer with slotted spoon to a plate and
saute onion, carrots and celery over low heat
until softened and caramelized.
Add the sausage, broth, tomatoes and potato.
Stir well and simmer for 45 minutes, partially
covered. Add the beans & greens, simmer for
15 more minutes, adjust seasoning and serve.

From Staff Dinner 2010 - A Tribute to Julia Child

French Onion Soup
(Soupe a ioignon au gratine )

For about 2 1/2 quarts, serving 6

3 TBL butter
1 TBL light olive oil
8 cups thinly sliced onions (2 1/2 lbs.)
1/2 tsp each salt & sugar
2 TBL flour
2 1/2 qt. beef stock, at least 2 cups of which should be hot
4 to 5 TBL Cognac, Armagnac, or other good brandy
1 cup white wine - Saint Peyre Picpoul de Pinet

Browning the onions - 40 minutes. Set the saucepan over moderate heat with the butter and oil; when the butter has melted, stir in the onions, cover the pan, and cook slowly until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Blend in the salt and sugar, raise heat to moderately high, and let the onions brown, stirring frequently until they are a dark walnut color, 25 to 30 minutes.

Simmering the soup. Sprinkle in the flour and cook slowly, stirring, for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a moment, then whisk in 2 cups of hot stock. When well blended, bring to the simmer, adding the rest of the stock, the Cognac or brandy, and the wine. Cover loosely, and simmer very slowly 1 1/2 hours, adding a little water if the liquid reduces too much. Correct seasoning.

Serving. Serve the soup as it is, accompanying it with French bread and a bowl of grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese.

Coq au Vin
(Chicken with Wine)

Makes 6 servings

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs.)
1 bottle white wine - Saint Peyre Picpoul de Pinet
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
6 oz. pancetta (preferably thick-cut), cut crosswise into 1/4 -inch pieces
6-7 TBL unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
2 medium cloves garlic, skin on and mashed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
10 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
24 frozen pearl onions (evenly sized), thawed, or fresh pearl onions
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms (small), washed and halved if medium size, quartered if large
2-3 TBL unbleached all-purpose flour
2 TBL minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Generously sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and ground black pepper; set aside. Bring wine and chicken stock to boil in large, heavy saucepan; reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until reduced to about 4 cups, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, fry pancetta in large Dutch oven or deep, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat until fast has rendered and pancetta is golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Remove pancetta with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate to drain; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon butter with rendered pancetta fat; add carrot, onion, shallots, and garlic and saute until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Press vegetables against side of pan with slotted spoon to squeeze out as much fat as possible; transfer vegetables to pan with reduced wine mixture (off heat) and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven or saute pan.

3. Return Dutch oven or saute pan to burner over medium-high heat and add another 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add chicken (in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding) and cook until well-browned all over, turning once or twice during cooking 12 to 16 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate; set aside. Pour off all fat from Dutch oven or saute pan; return to heat and add wine-vegetable mixture. Bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon. Add browned chicken, bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, and bay leaf tied together), and tomato paste to boiling wine mixture; return to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently, partially covered. Turn chicken once during cooking, until tender and infused with wine flavor, 45 to 60 minutes.

4. While chicken and sauce are cooking, heat another 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add pearl onions and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if butter starts to brown too fast, until lightly browned and almost cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt, cover, increase heat to medium, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high, and boil until liquid evaporates and onions and mushrooms are golden brown, 2 to 5 minutes more. Transfer onions and mushrooms to plate with pancetta; set aside.

5. When chicken is cooked, transfer to serving bowl or platter; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Strain sauce through fine mesh sieve set over large measuring cup, pressing on solids with wooden spoon to release as much liquid as possible; sauce should measure 2 to 3 cups. Return sauce to pan; skim as much fat as possible off surface. Counting 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour for each cup of sauce, mash 2 to 3 tablespoons each butter and flour in small bowl or plate to make a beurre manie . Bring sauce to boil and whisk in beurre manie until smooth. Add reserved chicken, pancetta, onions and mushrooms; adjust seasoning with salt and ground black pepper to taste, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer very gently to warm through and blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Check seasoning one more time and adjust with additional salt and ground black pepper if necessary; add parsley. Transfer chicken to serving platter; pour sauce over chicken. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Mousse

Makes 6 servings

2 TBL unsalted butter
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Use a double-boiler to a small saucepan over low heat to melt the butter and chocolate together. Just before the chocolate finishes melting, remove it from the stove and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and beat in the egg yolks with a whisk. Refrigerate.

3. Beat the egg whites with half the sugar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside. Beat the cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla until it holds soft peaks.

4. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit, then fold in the remaining whites thoroughly but gently. Fold in the cream and refrigerate until chilled. If you are in a hurry, divide the mousse among six cups; it will chill much faster. Serve within a day or two of making.

Bon appetit!

Braised Niman Ranch Pork Loin w/ Mushrooms

2 1/4lb Pork Loin
Needles from 1-2 rosemary sprigs coarsely chopped
2TBL butter
6TBL olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
4oz cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 oz dried porcini, steeped in 1/2 cup warm chicken broth, strained and both reserved, coarsely chop porcini
1/2 cup dry white wine, Rooster Brother used Airen
1tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

1) Tie pork loin with butchers twine securely to maintain shape and promote even cooking. Season with salt and pepper, rub with chopped rosemary and set aside.
2) Heat the butter and olive oil in dutch oven. Add pork loin and brown on all sides, without letting the butter burn. Remove pork and set aside.
3) Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery and saute until onions are translucent.
4) Add chopped mushrooms and chopped porcini, cook 2 minutes.
5) Deglaze pan with reserved porcini broth and white wine, cook until half is evaporated.
6) Add pork loin and season with salt and pepper. Cover dutch oven and braise 30-45 minutes, turning loin twice, to a temp of 145 degrees. Remove pork and wrap in foil to rest for about 15 minutes.
7) Puree braising liquid in blender, adding more stock if sauce is to thick. Season with Dijon mustard and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
8) Remove pork from foil, untie and slice into 1/4" slices. Serve with sauce.

Caramel Gelato

1/2 cup superfine sugar
1TBL cold water
5TBL hot water
3 egg yolks, beaten until lemon yellow and thick
1 1/2 cup heavy cream

1) Put the sugar in a small saucepan with 1TBL cold water and set over low heat until the sugar has melted.
2) Increase the heat to medium and when it begins to redden, remove from heat and pour in the 5TBL hot water. Cover the pan and return to very low heat until a thick caramel has formed.
3) Gradually whisk the caramel into the beaten egg yolks and continue whisking until the mixture is light, frothy and cool.
4) Place the bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes.
5) Stiffly whip the heavy cream and fold egg mixture in, using a mixer. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze for about 20-30 minutes or according to your ice cream freezer's instructions.
4 servings

Double chocolate hazelnut biscotti

2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (Scharffen Berger 62%)
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) butter
3 large eggs, one separated
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (Nielsen-Massey)
2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (Bensdorp)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted hazelnuts
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and chocolate together either in a double boiler or in a microwave. If using a microwave, microwave the chocolate alone until partially melted, scrape down the bowl and add the butter. Then heat for another 15 seconds, scrape down and check, heat for another 15 seconds if necessary to melt both the butter and the chocolate.

2. Beat the two whole eggs and one egg yolk and the sugar until lightened, about 2 minutes with a hand mixer.

3. Add vanilla and chocolate mixture.

4. Mix in the flour, cocoa, hazelnuts, baking powder, and salt just until combined. You should have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add the extra 1/4 cup of flour if dough is too sticky.

5. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, form each half into a log that is about 4 inches by 8 inches. Place logs on parchment paper on a large baking sheet and brush with lightly beaten egg white if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are set.

6. Reduce oven to 275 degrees. Let logs cool about 20 minutes and then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on a rack on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Anna Nanni/s Ragu alla Bolognese

1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (with juice)*
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 rib celery, finely chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 1/4 lb. ground beef chuck
1/2 lb. ground pork shoulder
1 4oz piece pancetta, finely chopped*
1/2 cup dry red wine*
2 tablespoons tomato paste*
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put the tomatoes and their juice in a blender; puree until
smooth and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot
over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring
occasionally, until its fat is rendered. Then add the celery,
onions, and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook,
stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, about 15
minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally,
until very soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes more.

Add the beef and pork and cook, stirring and breaking up
with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink - do
not brown. Increase the heat to medium, add the wine and
simmer, stirring constantly, until half evaporated, about 5
minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently,
for 2 minutes. Then add reserved tomato puree, reduce heat
to low, and simmer, stirring occassionally until sauce is very
thick, about three hours or longer.
Season ragu with salt and pepper. Toss with fresh tagliatelle
or the pasta of your choice, or use in lasagne. Serve with
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Ellsworth, Maine 04605