Recipes for a Savory Palate

courtesy MCC


Green Beans Sautéed with Wild Mushrooms

from Peggy Knickerbocker’s Simple Soirees
makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound chanterelles or other wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds haricots verts or green beans, trimmed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until it becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms, cooking them until they give off their juices and then reabsorb them (5 to 7 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the mushrooms warm on the stovetop.

Add the beans to the boiling water and cook 3-5 minutes, or until slightly tender (haricots verts will take less time than green beans). Drain.

Transfer about half of the mushrooms to a small dish and keep warm. Add the beans to the mushrooms in the skillet and stir to combine. Mound the beans and the mushrooms gently on a serving platter and top with the reserved mushrooms. Season again with salt and pepper.


Tortellini & Pancetta Potpie

from Elinor Klivans’ Potpies: Yumminess in a Dish
makes 6 servings

6 ounces pancetta, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup lightly packed, coarsely chopped fresh basil
3⁄4 cup chicken broth (low sodium, if canned)
1⁄3 cup heavy whipping cream
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces cheese-filled egg tortellini
9 ounces cheese-filled spinach tortellini
Flaky Sour Cream Crust (see below)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rub 1 teaspoon olive oil inside a baking dish with an 8-cup capacity.

In a medium skillet, cook the pancetta pieces over medium heat until the edges brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a large bowl. In the same skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and basil and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth and adjust the heat to cook it at a gentle boil until it is reduced to about 1⁄2 cup (about 5 minutes). Add the cream, bring to a boil, then immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Stir the sauce into the pancetta in the bowl. Add the salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Set aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the tortellini for 5 minutes. Drain the tortellini well and stir them into the pancetta and sauce to coat them. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish. Place rolled dough (about 1/4-inch thick) on top of the filling in sections and bake 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Flaky Sour Cream Crust

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1⁄4 cup cold sour cream

To make the pastry in an electric mixer: Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and mix them with an electric mixer on low speed until the largest of the butter pieces are the size of small lima beans, about 1 minute. The butter pieces will be different sizes and there will still be some loose flour. Add the sour cream and continue mixing until large clumps of smooth dough that pull away from the sides of the bowl form (about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and scrape the beaters clean if needed.

To make the pastry by hand: Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Use a pastry blender, your fingertips or two dinner knives to combine the flour mixture and the butter until lima bean-size pieces form. Add the sour cream and stir with a large spoon for about 2 minutes until clumps of smooth dough form.

Form the dough into a smooth ball, flatten it into a 6-inch disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30-60 minutes. The dough is now ready to roll and use in the recipe.


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