Monday, November 10, 2008

A Hearty Meal for a Fall Evening

The second night during our weekend getaway in Mattituck, I made a quintessential fall meal for me and the Prince: parmasean crusted chicken cutlets, potato gratin, and honeyed carrots. It was delicious with all the flavors complimenting one another well. Here are the recipes for the potatoes and carrots...enjoy with a nice, crisp beer!

Scalloped Potato Gratin (courtesy of Tyler Florence)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling
(I used gruyere - its a better cheese for potato gratin!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg.
While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 5 minutes.

Honey Glazed Carrots (courtesy of Sunny Anderson)
Kosher Salt
1 pound baby carrots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and then carrots and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and add back to pan with butter, honey and lemon juice. Cook until a glaze coats the carrots, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

A Fork in the Ratatouille

This weekend the Prince and I had a lovely getaway on the North Fork of Long Island in Mattituck. I decided to cook both nights we stayed there, and the first night I made a light and delicious dish of Ratatouille with pasta, paired with a Simi Chardonnay. It came out well. The only issue was that I halved this recipe and there was still plenty of left over! I suggest halving it, unless you are having a large dinner party.

Ratatouille with Penne (courtesy of
2 eggplants (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 onions, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
coarse salt to taste
4 yellow squash (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (I used 1 can of plum tomatoes when I halved this, use 2 for this)
7 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 pounds penne rigate (with ridges) (I used cavatappi with ridges)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
Accompaniment: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir together eggplants, onions, 1/4 cup oil, and kosher salt in a large roasting pan, then roast mixture in middle of oven, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in squash, bell peppers, 2 tablespoons oil, and more kosher salt and roast mixture, stirring occasionally, until bell peppers are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. While vegetables are roasting, simmer tomatoes, garlic, thyme, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and kosher salt in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir tomatoes into roasted vegetables and season ratatouille. Cook penne rigate in a 6-qt. pot of boiling salted water until al dente and drain. While pasta is cooking, stir parsley and basil into ratatouille and season. Toss penne rigate with 1/3 of ratatouille and serve topped with cheese.