11/09/17

Crème Fraiche Mashed Potatoes

Crème Fraiche Mashed Potatoes

Photo: Farideh Sadeghin

The key to fluffy, creamy potatoes is to combine the ingredients while warm.

Serves 6 to 8

2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 cup crème fraiche
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water, add salt under cold. Place in a medium saucepan with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until soft, about 15 minutes, drain in a colander. While potatoes are still warm, mash with a fork, in a food mill, or gently in a food processor.

In a medium saucepan, gently warm crème fraiche and butter. Fold warm crème fraiche mixture into potatoes, add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

11/04/17

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts with Gingersnap Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts with Gingersnap Crust

Photo: Helen Rosner

These tartlets have all the sweet winter spices we love, a luscious creamy interior, and extra snap in the ginger cookie crust. Cheesecakes are easy to make and a good starting point for beginning bakers.

Serves 8

Crust

4 cups finely crushed gingersnaps (about 60)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin, fresh or canned
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

To make the crust, in a mixing bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs with the melted butter and toss together until the mixture holds together when pressed. (Add an additional tablespoon of butter if necessary.) Pat into the bottom and slightly up the sides of eight 4 1/2-inch tartlet pans or a 10-inch springform pan. Bake about 7 minutes, or until set.

Meanwhile make the filling. Press the grated ginger against a fine sieve set over a small bowl, to extract the juice. Set aside the ginger juice and discard the pulp.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, and salt. Beat until creamy and well combined, then add the ginger juice and the pumpkin puree and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each, but being careful not to overbeat and incorporate too much air. Pour the filling into the tart pans and return to the oven.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is just firm to the touch. Cool to room temperature, then chill 2 hours or overnight.

11/04/17

Baked Yams with Lime and Honey

Photo: Helen Rosner

Serves 6 to 8

3 large yams (about 4 pounds)
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Juice of 4 limes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Crema, crème fraiche, or sour cream, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash the yams and place in a baking dish with the water. Bake until the yams are soft and the skins puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Set aside to cool slightly (leave the oven on).

Peel the yams and place in a medium baking dish. Add the honey, butter, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir and mash well with a potato masher. Cover with aluminum foil and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through. Sprinkle the top with crema, creme fraiche, or sour cream and serve hot.

11/04/17

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Photo: Helen Rosner

Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons water
juice of 1/2 lime

Soak whole sprouts in a large bowl of cold, salted water to clean. Then trim and discard ends and any bitter outer leaves. Cut each in half lengthwise then slice thinly across width.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté sprouts with salt and pepper until they start to brown. Add water and cook until barely limp, about 4 minutes. (The water changes the action from sautéing to steaming.) Stir in lime juice and serve immediately.

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