March 25, 2013: Correction Reform Debate
March 25, 2013: Dr. Nick Trout
March 25, 2013: Newtown in Boston
March 21, 2013: Mayor Tom Menino
March 21, 2013: Olin College
March 20, 2013: A Raisin in the Sun
5/21/13 6:00 PM
5/21/13 7:00 PM
5/21/13 11:30 PM
5/22/13 12:30 AM
Celebrity chefs Gordon Hamersley and Brooke Vosika talk about participating in the Greater Boston Food Bank’s “Super Hunger Brunch” that helps feed needy families and share some of their favorite winter comfort food recipes.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
6 tablespoons curry powder
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
4 tablespoons curry powder
2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons medium sherry
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 Pear, roasted and sliced for garnish
Blue Cheese for garnish
pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the butternut in half and sprinkle with salt and pepper and 2
tablespoons of curry powder. Place, cut side down on a cookie sheet and
bake in the oven until soft. About 1hour depending on size.
In a large soup pot, heat the oil and then add the onion.Cook over
moderate to high heat for 8 minutes. Add the chili powder, curry powder
and pears. Continue to cook stirring with a wooden spoon for about 10
Add the soy sauce, sherry vinegar and chicken stock to the soup pot.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower
the heat to a moderate simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until the
onions are tender.
Remove the butternut from the oven and using a kitchen spoon, scoop out
the flesh leaving the skin. Add the flesh to the soup pot and continue
to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Re-heat the soup. Add the heavy cream and adjust the seasonings.
Cut the roasted pear into thin slices and place on the soup.
Serve in a warm soup bowl and garnish with the pear and blue cheese.
Cabbage, Bean and Bacon Soup
4 cups white beans, soaked overnight in the refrigerator
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pound bacon, cut into 1/4 inch sticks
1 onions –peeled and cut into a large dice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 head green cabbage cut into a medium dice
2 turnips peeled and cut into a medium dice
2 carrots-peeled and cut into a medium dice
2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 bottle white wine
1 quart. chicken stock
2 cups cleaned and washed spinach, cut into a chiffonade
Drain the beans and put them in a large soup pot. Cover them with fresh cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and remove the foam that rises to the surface of the water. Cook over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Drain and reserve.
Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a soup pot. Add the bacon and cook until it is crisp. Add the onions, garlic, cabbage, turnips and carrots. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes over moderate heat.
Add the thyme, white wine and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a moderate simmer. Cook until the vegetables are just tender. About 15 minutes. Add the white beans and continue to cook an additional 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the spinach about 3 minutes before serving.
Eastern Halibut Braised in White Wine with Maine Shrimp
2-3 tablespoons canola cooking oil
salt and white pepper
4- 6 ounce filets of halibut
1/2 medium white onion, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 head escarole, outer leaves removed cut into thin Chiffonade ribbons
12 ounces Maine shrimp, peeled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the canola oil in a large sauté pan large enough to hold the halibut filets without crowding. Heat until very hot.
Sprinkle the filets with salt and pepper. Place them in the pan and brown on one side. About 3-4 minutes. Turn the fish over and addthe sliced onions and thyme. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the white wine and escarole and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook the fish for about 6 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
Remove the pan from the oven and remove the halibut to a warm platter.
Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the olive oil or butter and the lemon juice and re-season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook over high heat for 1 minute, stirring to distribute the olive oil and lemon juice.
Spoon the shrimp mixture onto warm plates. Place the halibut on top. Serve with lemon wedges.
Chicken and Dumplings
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces 1 bay leaf
4 carrots, cut into 1” pieces Thyme, salt, black pepper
2 leeks, cleaned, washed well 1 cup A. P. Flour
4 stalks of celery, cut into 1” pieces 1 cup white wine
2 onions, cut into 1” squares 3 cups chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, smashed Olive oil
1. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and cut chicken in a bowl. Coat evenly and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a 4 quart sauté pan over medium heat. When a slight smoke appears, add the chicken and brown on all sides. Make sure you do not crowd the bottom of the pan. If needed, brown the chicken in two batches to ensure even coloring. Remove the chicken and set aside.
3. Add the carrots, celery, leeks, onions, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic to pan and sauté for 3 minutes.
4. Add white wine and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, cover and bring to a simmer.
5. Place the sauté pan into a preheated 375F oven for 35 minutes.
6. Uncover and add dumplings one spoonful at a time. Cover and place back into the oven for 10 more min.
7. Serve immediately in soup bowls and garnish with fresh chopped chives, parsley or cilantro.
2 cups of white flour 4 tbsp. soft butter
4 tsp. baking powder 1 cup of milk (or more)
1 tsp. salt
1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Cut in butter that's been kept at room temperature or use soft margarine.
3. Stir milk lightly into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon and adjust amounts to make sure that you have most dumpling dough.
Dumpling Cooking Tips:
1. Make sure your stew is on a gentle simmer. The liquid does not have to be boiling to achieve tender dumplings. Remember that pot temperature rises with the lid on and you don't want the contents to stick and burn.
2. Drop dumpling dough into the liquid by teaspoonfuls or for larger dumplings use a tablespoon. There’s no need to worry about shaping perfect dumplings because they will puff up as they cook.
Hamersley's Style Cassoulet of Pork, Duck Confit and Sausage
2 pounds flageolet or great northern beans soaked overnight
4 tablespoons cooking oil or duck fat
1 pound pork butt cut in 2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and cut into medium dice
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and cut into a medium dice
1/2 pound smoked bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped marjoram
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups white wine
1 1/2 quarts veal stock or chicken broth
1 tablespoon salt
4 Italian sausages
4 duck confit legs, cut at the joint between the thigh and drumstick, skin removed
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Place the beans in a large saucepot and add enough water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil and skim any foam that comes to the surface. Lower the heat to medium and cook the beans for 30 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Reserve.
While the beans are cooking, heat 4 tablespoons of cooking oil or duck fat in a large stew pot or Dutch oven. Season the pork with the pepper and add the pork in one layer and cook over high heat for about 6-8 minutes. Turn the meat and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The meat should be well browned. Do not over crowd the pot or the meat will not brown but rather will boil.
Add the onion, the garlic, carrot and bacon and cook stirring for 5 minutes. Add the herbs, tomatoes, beans, wine and broth. Cover and bring to a boil on top of the stove and then place the pot into a pre-heated 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.
While the Cassoulet is cooking, place the sausages in a sauté pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the meat is cooked through. About 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut into 2 inch pieces. Refrigerate and reserve.
Check the Cassoulet after 1 1/2 hours. Stir and add the salt. You should be able to see a somewhat loose stew of stock, beans, vegetables and meat. Add more stock or water if the Cassoulet appears too dry. Continue to cook for an additional 30-45 minutes or until the meat and beans are very tender. The Cassoulet should appear somewhat drier and you should see mostly beans, vegetables and meat. Much of the stock should have been absorbed by the beans. If not, boil on the stovetop over medium heat for a few minutes. Otherwise the breadcrumbs will not get crisp.
At this point the beans should be very tender and the stock should have thickened slightly. Add the duck legs and sausage to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon so as not to break up the beans and meat. Allow the cassoulet to cool for 1/2 hour. This cooling will allow a thin skin to form on the surface of the cassoulet and the breadcrumbs will stay on top of the cassoulet and become nice and crisp in the final stage.
Sprinkle the top of the cassoulet with a thin layer of breadcrumbs. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook for about 20 –30 minutes UNCOVERED until the breadcrumbs form a golden brown crust.
4. To serve, bring the cassoulet to the table and spoon some of the beans and meat, confit and sausage on to each plate.
**If serving the following day DO NOT add the sausage, duck legs or breadcrumbs. Let the Cassoulet cook until done and then allow to cool. The following day, place the beans and meat into a large pot. Add the sausage, duck legs and breadcrumbs. Place the pot in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until the Cassoulet is well heated through and the bread crumbs are browned on top. The cassoulet might need a little water before it goes in the oven because the beans may have soaked up much of the stock.
**In the restaurant, we place each serving of the beans and meat with a piece of sausage, a piece of duck and a small ladle of stock into a small 8 inch sauté pan. Then we give it a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and place the pan into a hot 450 degree oven to heat through. When it is bubbling and crisp and hot all the way through we slide it carefully out into a large soup bowl to serve it. This works very well, is very controlled and allows you to use the Cassoulet over a number of days without reheating the whole amount every time.
***At the beginning, remember to use a pot large enough to hold all the meat, duck, sausage and beans at the end.
***Cassoulet comes in all varieties and each cook will develop his or her own likes and dislikes. I like my finished cassoulet not too dry but not at all soupy either. I like the crumbs to be crispy but not burned and I don’t like too much bread because the stew can get gummy.
Cooks! Look out! There are strong feelings on the subject of cassoulet out there. This is a dish with traditions. I remember a man who returned his cassoulet one night in the restaurant because it was too runny. Ok, a matter of taste. And the guy who said it wasn’t a real cassoulet because it wasn’t served in a proper crock. Ok. And we had good fun with the guy who returned his cassoulet one night because nobody told him it had all those damned BEANS in it!
I like to surprise people and put different kinds of meat into cassoulets I make at home. And depending on where you are from in France you might add fresh bacon, lamb, ham hock or game birds such as pheasant or quail. It’s a great dish to experiment with and in France I have witnessed serious debate as to whose mother made the better cassoulet. And these guys were cousins!
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