Perfect Wild Turkey

When it comes to Thanksgiving traditions, few things seem as appropriate as swapping out the standard-issue Butterball for its wild cousin. But with a bolder flavor than supermarket turkeys, and leaner meat protected by a relatively thin layer of fat between flesh and skin, wild turkey doesn't work well with the standard dry-heat roasting that most cooks use for their Thanksgiving bird. Here are some wild turkey tips from Hunter Lewis, Test Kitchen Director at SAVEUR magazine. Break with convention. Because it can be time consuming to pluck a wild bird and since it has lower fat content, go with alternatives like roasting the turkey in pieces, serving it on a platter pre-sliced, or breaking it down completely and making a wild turkey-based soup or stew.
We'll go over how to cook the following recipes: The bird is broken down into eight pieces before cooking in this recipe for Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables and Gravy. A two-hour slow-cook in beer makes the filling in the Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich almost like pulled pork. Auguste Escoffier's Turkey Tetrazzini is nothing like the cafeteria hash you might have had in childhood, it's a hearty casserole in a creamy, sherry-spiked sauce. Lean meat means dry meat. The leaner the bird, the more careful you have to be in the kitchen so that you don't overcook it or dry it out. There are three basic ways to keep your turkey juicy: cook it in a moist environment, lard the skin with fat (wrapping the bird in pancetta or bacon, for example), and brine the whole bird to infuse its cells with moisture. Slowly cooking the turkey in a bath of duck fat, as in this recipe for Turkey Confit, leaves meat meltingly tender. Stuffing turkey breasts with a moist bread stuffing keeps the meat juicy the inside out in this recipe for Boudin-Stuffed Turkey Breast -- the constant basting with butter doesn't hurt, either. Bold flavors call for even bolder flavors. The stronger taste of wild turkey would overwhelm the standard turkey counterpoints: carrots, lemon, and herbs would be lost against the wild bird's meaty flavor profile. Fight fire with fire by pairing wild turkey with potent, powerful counterpoints: pickles, mustards, piquant sauces, and robust vegetables. Rick Bayless bakes a whole turkey in a 25-ingredient mole in this Turkey in Mole Poblano. Smoke is always a terrific complement to game; ramp it up with this recipe for Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Wings.
Perhaps the most perfect recipe of all for cooking a wild turkey is SAVEUR's Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages, a Thanksgiving take on the classic Alsatian choucroute garnie that takes into account all three of the above considerations: the bird is served skin-off, sliced on a platter, having cooked in a foil-sealed pouch on a bed of sauerkraut while larded with bacon. Best of all, it's served with hearty sausages and a pungent mustard that are perfect complements to the strong wild flavor of the bird.
Roast Turkey with Root Vegetables and Gravy SERVES 10-12 - This recipe involves three steps. First, rub a flavored butter under the turkey's skin. Then roast the turkey over root vegetables until each piece is done. Finally, make a gravy with the juices left in the roasting pan. 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened 3 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp. ground cumin 1 tbsp. sweet paprika 2 shallots, minced 1 12-lb. turkey, cut into 8 pieces Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 4 medium potatoes, cut into 2" pieces 3 carrots, cut into 2" pieces 3 turnips, cut into 2" pieces 1 celery root, cut into 2" pieces 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2" pieces 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 5 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary 1 cup white wine or sherry 1 tbsp. cornstarch 1. Heat oven to 500°. In a bowl, mix butter, parsley, cumin, paprika, and shallots; set aside. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Loosen turkey skin; rub butter under skin. Combine root vegetables and squash in a bowl. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Transfer vegetables to a large roasting pan; spread to cover bottom. Arrange thyme and rosemary over vegetables. Arrange turkey over herbs and vegetables. Roast turkey for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into each turkey breast reads 150° and each leg, thigh, and wing reads 160°, about 1 hour. (Some pieces will be done before others.) Continue cooking vegetables until tender. Discard herbs; transfer vegetables to a serving platter along with turkey and tent with foil to keep warm. 2. Pour pan juices into a large measuring cup. Pour off and discard fat; transfer liquid to a 2-qt. saucepan. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch and 1⁄2 cup water in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into reduced liquid; return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve gravy with turkey and vegetables. Pairing note: The sweet roasted vegetables call for a tart carignan, like Pelligrini Redwood Valley 2008 ($18). This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #133 Photo: Todd Coleman
Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich (Panes con Pavo) SERVES 6 - Turkeys were "thoroughly domesticated by the Aztecs and other Mexican and Central American races long before the arrival of Europeans", according to A. Hyatt Verrill in Foods America Gave the World (L. C. Page, 1937). Proof positive: this gently spiced turkey sandwich, ubiquitous in El Salvador. 1 1⁄2 cups light beer 2 tbsp. olive oil 2 tsp. black peppercorns 2 tsp. sesame seeds 2 tsp. pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds; optional) 1 tsp. dried oregano 1⁄2 tsp. annatto seeds 5 cloves garlic 2 dried bay leaves 2 large turkey drumsticks (about 4 lbs.) Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 4 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped 2 small yellow onions, 1 chopped, 1 thinly sliced 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped 6 6" crusty italian bread loaves, ends trimmed, split in half lengthwise 1 bunch watercress 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Puree beer, oil, peppercorns, sesame seeds, pepitas, oregano, annatto, garlic, bay leaves, and 1 cup water in a blender. Combine puree and turkey in a dutch oven; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil on the stove, cover, and bake until turkey is very tender, about 2 hours. 2. Puree tomatoes, chopped onions, peppers, and 1 cup water in blender. Transfer turkey to a plate (leave sauce in pot); let cool. Add puree to pot; boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Discard skin and bones from turkey; tear meat into thick pieces. Stir turkey into sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide stew between loaves; garnish with sliced onions and watercress. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #97 Photo: Andre Baranowski
Turkey Tetrazzini SERVES 8 - This isn't tetrazzini as you know it. The original, ascribed to Auguste Escoffier ("the king of chefs"), was a rich mixture of sherry-spiked cream, turkey, and cheese, named in honor of Luisa Tetrazzini, a celebrated early-20th-century opera singer. This home-style version is from SAVEUR kitchen director, Liz Pearson, and makes a great use for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. 2 tbsp. butter 7 cups chicken broth 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lb. dried spaghetti 1 lb. skinless boneless roasted turkey, torn into large chunks (about 3 cups) 2 cups frozen peas, thawed 1 cup ketchup 1 7-oz. can mushrooms, drained 1⁄4 cup finely chopped drained pimentos 3 cups (about 1⁄2 lb.) grated cheddar cheese 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 11" × 13" casserole dish with 1 tbsp. of the butter. Combine broth, peppers, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add spaghetti in broken pieces, reduce heat to medium, and boil gently, stirring often, until spaghetti is al dente, 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat, add remaining 1 tbsp. butter, turkey, peas, ketchup, mushrooms, pimentos, and salt and pepper to taste and fold together. 2. Transfer spaghetti mixture to buttered dish and cover with grated cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Set casserole aside to let cool slightly, then serve. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #97 Photo: Andre Baranowski
Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Wings SERVES 8 - 10 - The lexicon of African-American foodways of the South was created, according to food historian Tracy N. Poe, through the combining of the foodstuffs and methods of African and Anglo-American cuisines. Collard greens boiled with cured meat products, whether turkey wings and necks or pork feet and hocks, is a direct offspring of that merging. This recipe is an adaptation of one in Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook by Sylvia Woods (William Morrow, 1999). 2 smoked turkey wings (about 2 1⁄2 lbs.) 3 lbs. collard greens (about 3 bunches), stemmed and chopped into 1" pieces 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil 2 tbsp. sugar 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes Salt and freshly ground black pepper White distilled vinegar Tabasco Corn bread 1. Put turkey wings and 6 cups water into a large tall pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Add collard greens, oil, sugar, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Return to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours. 2. Remove turkey wings from pot, pull meat and skin from bones, and chop into small pieces (discard bones). Return meat and skin to the pot of collard greens and season with salt, pepper, vinegar, and Tabasco to taste. Scoop collard greens and their liquid into bowls and serve with corn bread on the side to soak up the "pot likker", if you like. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #97 Photo: Andre Barnaowski
Boudin-Stuffed Turkey Breast SERVES 8 - 10 - We based this recipe on one from chef Donald Link of New Orleans's Cochon and Herbsaint restaurants. 1 4-5-lb. whole skin-on boneless turkey breast, trimmed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 lb. pork boudin sausage, casings removed 3 tbsp. canola oil 2 tbsp. minced fresh sage 2 tbsp. minced fresh thyme 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 lemon, thinly sliced 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 1. Arrange turkey skin side down on a cutting board. Remove tenders and reserve for another use. Make a lengthwise cut about 3⁄4" deep down middle of each breast. Cover turkey with plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound breast evenly to a 1 1⁄2" thickness. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Smear boudin over breast, leaving a 1" border around edges. 2. Beginning with one long side of the turkey breast, roll turkey into a cylinder so that the skin faces outward; set aside. Tie turkey crosswise at 1" intervals with eight 15" lengths of kitchen twine, then tie one 24" length of twine around length of breast to secure it. Trim excess twine with scissors. Place stuffed turkey on a plastic-wrapped baking sheet. Season turkey with salt and pepper; rub with oil, sage, and thyme and arrange garlic and lemon slices over turkey. Wrap with plastic wrap; chill overnight. 3. Heat oven to 350°. Unwrap turkey; remove garlic and lemon. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a rack inside baking sheet. Transfer turkey to rack and bake, basting with butter and turning turkey every 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the turkey reads 145°, 1-1 1⁄2 hours. Increase oven heat to 500° and continue cooking, turning once, until turkey is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reads 150°, about 10 minutes more. Transfer turkey to a serving platter and let rest for 20 minutes. Remove kitchen twine. To serve, slice turkey crosswise into 1" pieces. Pairing note: This highly seasoned bird calls for a smoky shiraz, like South Africa's Nederburg Winemaster's Reserve 2008 ($11). This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #133 Photo: Todd Coleman
Turkey in Mole Poblano SERVES 12 - 14 - This recipe comes from SAVEUR contributing editor Rick Bayless. 12 dried ancho chiles 12 dried guajillo chiles 6 dried pasilla chiles 5 tbsp. sesame seeds 1 tsp. whole aniseed 1 tsp. black peppercorns 1⁄2 tsp. whole cloves 1 tsp. dried thyme 1⁄2 tsp. dried marjoram or oregano 3 dried bay leaves, crumbled 1 1 1⁄2" stick cinnamon, broken into pieces 2 cups canola oil 7 1⁄4 cups chicken or turkey stock 1⁄2 cup skin-on almonds 1⁄2 cup raw shelled peanuts 1⁄3 cup hulled pumpkin seeds 1⁄3 cup raisins 2 slices white bread 2 stale corn tortillas 10 cloves garlic 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 2 large tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered 1 large tomato, quartered 1 4-5-lb. whole skin-on boneless turkey breast, split into halves Kosher salt, to taste 1 cup finely chopped Mexican chocolate 4 tbsp. sugar, plus more to taste Tortillas and cilantro sprigs, for serving 1. Stem chiles; shake seeds into a bowl. Tear chiles into pieces; set aside. Measure 4 tbsp. chile seeds (discard the rest) and 4 tbsp. sesame seeds into a small skillet set over medium heat. Toast seeds, swirling pan, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder. Toast aniseed, peppercorns, and cloves; transfer to grinder along with thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, and cinnamon. Grind into a powder and transfer to a large bowl; set spice mixture aside. 2. Heat oil in an 8" skillet over medium heat. Working in small batches, add chiles and cook, turning, until toasted, about 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon and reserving oil in skillet, transfer chiles to paper towels to drain. Transfer fried chiles to a large bowl; add boiling water to cover. Let chiles steep for 30 minutes. Strain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. 3. Working in 3 batches, put 1⁄3 of the chiles, 1⁄4 cup soaking liquid, and 1⁄4 cup stock into a blender; puree. Set a sieve over a bowl and strain chile mixture, pushing it through sieve with a rubber spatula; discard solids. Reserve blender; set chile puree aside. 4. Return skillet with oil to medium heat. Working with one ingredient at a time, fry the almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and raisins until toasted, about 1 minute for almonds, 45 seconds for peanuts, 20 seconds for pumpkin seeds, and 15 seconds for raisins. Transfer each fried batch to paper towels to drain. Return skillet to medium heat and fry the bread, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes; transfer to paper towels. Repeat with tortillas. Break bread and tortillas into small pieces and transfer to bowl with ground spice mixture; set aside. 5. Set a fine strainer over an 8-qt. Dutch oven. Strain all but 2 tbsp. oil from skillet into Dutch oven; set aside. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions; cook, stirring, until brown, 10-12 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture to bowl with spice mixture. Return skillet to medium-high heat; add tomatillos and tomatoes; cook, stirring, until soft, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to bowl with spice mixture along with 2 1⁄2 cups stock. Puree spice mixture in reserved blender. Press through the strainer into a bowl; set puree aside. 6. Heat reserved Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season turkey breasts with salt. Brown each breast, turning once, for 12 minutes. Transfer turkey to a plate. Pour off all but 3 tbsp. of oil in Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add chile puree; cook, stirring, until thick, 10-12 minutes. Add spice puree, reduce heat, and cook, stirring, for 30 minutes. Stir in 4 cups stock and chocolate; simmer, partially covered and stirring often, for 1 hour. Season mole sauce with salt and sugar; remove from heat. 7. Heat oven to 325°. Nestle turkey in mole sauce. Bake, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into turkey reads 150°, about 1 hour. Transfer pot to a rack; let rest 20 minutes. Slice turkey, serve with sauce, and garnish with remaining sesame seeds and cilantro; serve with tortillas. Pairing note: California's bright and funky Peay Scallop Shelf 2007 ($60) complements the mole's richness. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #133 Photo: Todd Coleman
Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages SERVES 10 - 12 - Braised with wine, sauerkraut, apples, and onions, this turkey comes out incredibly moist and aromatic. 12 juniper berries 6 cloves garlic, smashed 6 sprigs fresh parsley 6 sprigs fresh thyme 6 whole cloves 3 bay leaves 1 cup rendered duck fat 3 onions, thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 3 cups riesling 1 lb. smoked slab bacon, cut into 3 ⁄4" strips 4 lbs. raw sauerkraut, rinsed and drained 2 Granny Smith apples, julienned 1 10-12-lb. turkey 12-14 strips thin-sliced bacon 6 knackwurst 6 bauernwurst 16 small new potatoes, peeled Dijon mustard, for serving 1. Heat oven to 350°. Wrap juniper berries, garlic, parsley, thyme, cloves, and bay leaves in a piece of cheese-cloth; tie ends with twine; set aside. Heat duck fat in an 8-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 18-20 minutes. Add wine and 1⁄2 cup water; boil for 2 minutes; transfer to a large roasting pan with spice bundle. 2. Arrange sliced slab bacon evenly over onions. Combine sauerkraut and apples in a bowl; transfer 3⁄4 of sauerkraut mixture over onion mixture. Season turkey with salt and pepper and stuff with remaining sauerkraut mixture. Drape thin-sliced bacon over top of turkey; secure with tooth-picks. Put turkey on top of sauerkraut in roasting pan. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Crimp foil tightly around edges of pan. Roast turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 160°, about 3 hours. Transfer turkey to a cutting board; let rest for 20 minutes. Remove bacon and skin. 3. While turkey rests, bring a 5-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add sausages, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausages to a large serving platter. Add potatoes to pot and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer potatoes to platter. Carve turkey and arrange slices on platter. Serve with mustard. Pairing note: Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi Dry Riesling 2009 ($15), from New York's Finger Lakes, is an aromatic match for this fragrant dish. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #133 Photo: Todd Coleman
And now onto the sides... Sage Mashed Potatoes As much as we love them, mashed potatoes can seem a bit plain next to the other, brighter dishes on the holiday table. So we were excited to test a recipe from Marietta, a home cook in upstate New York, for sage mashed potatoes, which involves a few ingenious methods for infusing the herb's brisk fragrance into the mash. Here's how to do it. 1. Cut 3 lbs. unskinned red potatoes into large chunks and remove the leaves from 6 sprigs of fresh sage, then cook the potatoes and sage stems in a large pot of boiling salted water until the potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. While the potatoes cook, mince the fresh sage leaves. 2. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot, mash them coarsely, and set aside. Add the boiled sage stems and minced leaves to a medium saucepan along with 2 cups half-and-half, 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, and 8 cloves minced garlic and heat the mixture over medium heat just until it begins to boil; immediately remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. 3. Strain the mixture, pour it into the pot containing the mashed potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and stir until smooth. 4. Before serving, garnish the mashed potatoes with more chopped fresh sage leaves to add an herbal kick. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #133 Photo: Todd Coleman
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pecans SERVES 6 - This recipe comes from the Bear Cafe in Bearsville, New York. They occasionally substitute roasted hazelnuts for the pecans in this autumn side dish. 1⁄4 cup shelled pecans Salt 1 1⁄2 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed 4 tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped Freshly ground black pepper 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spread pecans out on a small baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant and deep brown, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 generous pinches salt, then add brussels sprouts and boil until just soft when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and set aside. 2. Heat butter and oil together in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and brussels sprouts and saute, stirring often, until brussels sprouts are golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Stir in pecans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #62 Photo: Andre Baranowski
Whipped Potatoes with Garlic and Cheese SERVES 6 - 8 - Cantal cheese, a pungent, aged cows' milk cheese from the Auvergne region of France, gives this dish its hearty, rustic character. 1 lb. unsalted butter 2 1/4 lbs. all-purpose potatoes, such as yukon gold, peeled and cut into ½" cubes 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped and smashed to a paste with the side of a chef's knife 1/2 cup milk 1 tbsp. bacon fat 1 1/4 lbs. cantal cheese, grated Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1. Heat butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-low heat. Add potatoes, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up potatoes with a wooden spoon until they are very soft, about 1 hour. 2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add garlic paste, milk, and bacon fat and stir to combine. Sprinkle in grated cheese in small amounts and stir until cheese is melted before adding more. Season potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Whip potatoes with a wooden spoon until they become very smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve hot. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #115 Photo: Andre Baranowski
Yams with Ginger and Scallions SERVES 8 - "Thai influences always show up in our Thanksgiving menus because we love the flavors," says Rossetto Kasper. In this dish, the kick of chile, ginger, and lime offers a welcome counterpoint to the rich, rounded flavors of other Thanksgiving fare. 4 large yams (3 1⁄2-4 lbs.), peeled and cut into thick rounds Kosher salt, to taste 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 16 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 8 large shallots, thinly sliced 8 scallions, cut crosswise into 1" pieces 4 jalape-os, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced 1 5" piece ginger, peeled and cut into paper-thin matchsticks Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 lightly packed cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped 6 tbsp. fresh lime juice 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add yams and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain yams in a colander and transfer to a large shallow serving dish. Return pot to the stovetop. 2. Heat oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, scallions, jalape-os, ginger, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until ginger has softened, 15-20 minutes. 3. Stir the basil into the ginger mixture; cook, uncovered, until basil has softened and released its fragrance (but not lost its bright color), about 30 seconds. Spoon the ginger-basil mixture over the yams. Season with salt and pepper. Right before serving, drizzle the lime juice over the top. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #106 Photo: Larry Nighswander
Green Beans with Pancetta and Mint SERVES 6 - This green bean dish is mildly creamy, thanks to a quick blanching in milk, which also sweetens the beans slightly. A garnish of toasted chopped hazelnuts adds a lovely nutty crunch. This recipe appeared with Irene Sax's piece "Small Wonders" (November 2008), a tribute to Thanksgiving side dishes--though we think it works well anytime of year. 4 cups milk 2 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning 2 tbsp. sugar 2 lbs. green beans 1⁄3 lb. pancetta, diced 3 tbsp. unsalted butter 4 tbsp. chopped mint 4 tbsp. chopped parsley Freshly ground black pepper 1⁄4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts 1. Bring milk, 4 cups water, 2 tbsp. of kosher salt, and sugar to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. 2. Trim green beans and add to saucepan; cook until crisp-tender, 5-6 minutes. Drain, reserving 1⁄3 cup cooking liquid. Chill beans in ice water. Drain; set aside. 3. Meanwhile, combine pancetta and 1 1⁄2 cups water in a 12" skillet; cook over medium heat until water evaporates and pancetta crisps, about 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a plate, leaving 1 tbsp. fat in skillet. Place skillet over high heat and add beans and reserved cooking liquid; cook until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. 4. Add butter and 2 tbsp. each chopped mint and parsley. Cook until butter melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a platter; sprinkle with pancetta, hazelnuts, and remaining chopped mint and parsley. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #115 Photo: Andre Baranowski
Roasted Cranberry Sauce MAKES 2 CUPS - The relish featured here employs a novel technique: cranberries are roasted with orange peel, jalape-o, and spices until their skins burst, to concentrate their flavor and draw out their sweetness and juices; then they're tossed with orange juice and port. 1 orange 1 lb. fresh or thawed cranberries 1 cup sugar 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp. kosher salt 4 green cardamom pods, smashed 4 whole cloves 2 sticks cinnamon 1 small jalape-o, stemmed and thinly sliced 1 1⁄2 tbsp. port 1. Heat oven to 450°. Using a peeler, remove peel from the orange, taking off as little of the white pith as possible. Cut peel into very thin strips about 1 1⁄2" long. Squeeze juice from the orange; strain and reserve 1 tbsp. juice. 2. In a bowl, combine peel, cranberries, sugar, olive oil, salt, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and jalape-os. Toss and transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast until cranberries begin to burst and release their juices, about 15 minutes. 3. Transfer cranberry mixture to a bowl; stir in reserved orange juice and port. Let sit for at least 1 hour so that the flavors meld. Remove and discard cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon before serving. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #115 Photo: Andre Baranowski
East Hampton Corn Pudding SERVES 8 - This recipe is adapted from The Neighborhood House Cookbook, compiled by East Hampton's Women's Service Club, a "small group of ladies still carrying on the tradition of old-fashioned, home-cooked covered dish suppers". 5 ears of corn 2 tsp. sugar 3 eggs 2 cups half-and-half 2 tbsp. melted butter 1 pinch nutmeg Salt and pepper 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove and reserve corn kernels, discarding cobs. Put half the corn in a blender or food processor; set aside remaining corn. 2. Add sugar, eggs half-and-half, butter, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to blender. Process for 1-2 minutes, then pour into a greased 5" × 9" loaf pan. Gently mix in the remaining corn, and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pudding comes out clean, about 1 hour. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #29 Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer
Spicy Creamed Onions SERVES 8 - Toasting flour is one of author Shane Mitchell's favorite cooking techniques. Toasted flour, which may be made in advance and stored in a sealed container for several weeks, adds a rich, nutty flavor to gravies and sauces. 1 lb. pearl onions 2 tbsp. flour, preferably White Lily flour 2 1⁄2 tbsp. butter 2 cups rich Chicken Stock, warm 1⁄2 cup heavy cream 1⁄4 cup brandy or white wine 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce 2 dashes Tabasco Salt and freshly ground white pepper 1. Put onions into a medium pot, cover with cold water, and gently boil over medium heat until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain, allow to cool, then peel and set aside. 2. Put flour into a small cast-iron skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until golden, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add toasted flour(roux) and stir constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in stock and bring to a boil, whisking until roux is smooth. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in cream. Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Add brandy or wine and cook, stirring, until thick, about 2 minutes. Add onions; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, for 5-10 minutes. Whisk in remaining butter, add Worcestershire and Tabasco, and season to taste with salt and pepper. This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #80 Photo: Ben Fink
Horseradish Applesauce MAKES 4 CUPS - Fresh horseradish, grated just before using, is essential in this dish; bottled versions won't give the sauce its assertive heat. Homemade applesauce is most effective for this recipe, though good prepared applesauce will do as well. 6"-8" piece of small horseradish root 4 cups Applesauce 1. Peel horseradish root. Place applesauce in a large bowl. Grate 2 tbsp. horseradish into applesauce and mix well. Taste, add more horseradish if desired, then serve. (It is best to eat this dish soon after it is made, before the horseradish flavor weakens.) This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #22 Photo: Russell Kaye