It’s a little hard to picture spring. As I write during mid-February, snow is forecast for eight of the next 10 days, and we have a foot or so on the ground at the moment. But since — as always — spring will be here before we know it. Now seems like a perfect time to focus on using up storage vegetables you have left — beets, carrots, shallots, pumpkins and squash, sweet potatoes and potatoes.
Here are two recipes to help you do just that and one of my favorite desserts that is fun to make.
Yield: About 3 pounds
1.75 pounds shredded red cabbage
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
⅓ cup peeled carrots, grated
¼ cup grated radish
½ cup sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
⅔ cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon horseradish
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Pinch of ground white pepper
1 small piece celeriac
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
⅓ pound cooked beets, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons minced parsley
LOCAL INGREDIENTS: cabbage, onion, radish, celeriac, apples, beets
Put cabbage, onion, carrot and radish in a bowl. Add sugar and salt and rub in vigorously. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Rinse and spin-dry in a salad spinner or let rest overnight refrigerated in a colander set over a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, horseradish and mustard and pepper.
Peel celeriac and shred along with cored apple and toss with cider vinegar in a small bowl. Mix into slaw.
Add beets and parsley and mix gently.
Coq Au Vin
This is an opportunity to add the vegetables you would like to use. I have used carrots here but if you have parsnips or shallots or squash, by all means, use those too.
6 ounces bacon, cut into small cubes
12 bone-in chicken thighs
Good grinding black pepper
½ cup cognac
3 cup good quality red wine
1 ½ cups chicken stock
6 ounces butter, divided
1 cup finely chopped onion
½ cup thinly sliced leek white
½ cup finely chopped carrot
¼ cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ cup flour
1 pound carrots, cut into ½”-2” sticks
1 pound shallots or pearl onions, peeled
1 pound cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced parsley
LOCAL INGREDIENTS: bacon, chicken, celery, onion, carrot, leek
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large, heavy skillet over low heat, cook bacon, stirring often, until crisp.
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Dry chicken pieces thoroughly.
Put skillet with bacon fat over medium-high heat, and when hot but not smoking, slip in chicken, skin side down. Brown chicken well, flip and brown second sides well. If the pan isn’t large enough for all the pieces at once with some space between them, brown in two batches. After browned, place chicken skin side up in a large ovenproof pan. Salt and pepper chicken.
Discard grease in the pan and add cognac, red wine and chicken stock. Be careful as you add cognac, which may flame up. Cook a few minutes over low heat to reduce slightly.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, put half the butter, onion, leek, chopped carrot and celery to sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook for a minute or two. Stir in flour well. Whisk in liquid from a large skillet and cook over low heat for a few minutes, whisking well.
Pour over chicken in the pan. Put in the oven uncovered and bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked (165 degrees), about 25 minutes. Midway through baking time, flip pieces, so skin sides are down.
While chicken bakes, prepare vegetables: In a large skillet, put about 1/3 of the remaining butter. Brown carrots a bit, then add 1 cup water and cook uncovered until carrots are tender. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with shallots or pearl onions. You may need to add a bit more water, depending on their size.
Finally, add the last 1/3 of butter and cook mushrooms until nicely browned.
When chicken is fully cooked, turn chicken skin side up, stir in vegetables and red wine vinegar, and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley.
We make our own ladyfingers, which is easy, but I’ve omitted that step for your convenience. This freezes well, so you can make the whole thing and dole out as needed. Everyone loves this!
1 ½ cups brewed espresso
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons sugar
6 egg yolks
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup Marsala
1 cup heavy cream
2 cup mascarpone
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated or finely chopped
LOCAL INGREDIENTS: eggs, cream
Make the espresso syrup: Dissolve sugar in espresso. Cool and add rum.
In a large heatproof bowl, make zabaione: Beat egg yolks well with sugar and pinch of salt until light in color. Add Marsala. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil over high heat, then lower heat as much as possible. Set bowl on top and continue beating yolk mixture until it thickens and is very light in color. When you lift the whisk and let the mixture flow back into the bowl, it will form thick ribbons as it falls. Temperature should be 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the bowl from heat, continue beating to stop it from cooking. Cool to room temperature.
In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream. Add mascarpone to whipped cream and combine thoroughly. Fold in the zabaione.
Lightly dip both sides of half the ladyfingers in espresso syrup, and place them just barely touching to form a layer in an 8”x8” nonreactive pan. Pour half of the mascarpone mixture on top and spread evenly. Add grated chocolate if desired.
Dip the remaining half of the ladyfinger fingers and layer with the remaining mascarpone mixture.
Sift a light layer of cocoa on top, cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.
Pick up bio and photo.