Free Recipes 2001

Submitted by Midwestern Contestant, Bob Hafey

Appetizer \ Main Course \ Dessert

Appetizer

Parsnip Mushroom Bisque with Port Wine Reduction and Truffled Croutons

Serves 4

4 slices soft white bread
4 teaspoons white truffle oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, minced
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock (low sodium if canned)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup port wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Method: Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the croutons, press down the top brown crust of the bread slices onto the white portion below the crust. With a rolling pin, roll the bread slices to flatten them slightly. Using a very sharp small paring knife, cut out 2-3 mushroom shapes from the bread. The caps will be the brown crust and the stems the white portion of the bread. Brush the croutons with truffle oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 3-4 minutes without turning. Remove from the baking sheet, cool, and brush the croutons again with a little truffle oil. Store at room temperature until needed.

In a large heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and sauté the shallots until softened. Add the potato, parsnips, and mushrooms. Add salt and pepper and continue to cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the stock and thyme, bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30-40 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, add the port wine to a small saucepan and simmer until it has reduced to about 4 tablespoons.

When the vegetables are soft, cool the soup slightly, remove the thyme sprigs, and put the soup in small portions into a blender. (Use caution so the hot liquid doesn't splash on you. Leave the lid loose, if it does not have a removable vent, and cover the lid and top of the blender with a clean kitchen towel before starting the blender). Blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add the cream and chopped parsley. Heat but do not boil.

To serve, pour into serving bowls, drizzle with the port reduction, and top with a little chopped parsley and a few of the mushroom-shaped croutons. Serve hot.

Wine Recommendation by Wine.Com:

WINE PAIRING:
Henriques & Henriques Madeira, Sercial 10-Year-Old
Emilio Lustau "Los Arcos" Dry Amontillado Sherry


Main Course

Seared Venison Loin Steaks with Green Peppercorn-Mustard Sauce

Serves 4

6 whole black peppercorns
2 small bay leaves
4 (11/2-inch-thick) venison loin steaks
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup rich beef or veal stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons canned green peppercorns
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Method: Crush the peppercorns and the bay leaves with a mortar and pestle. Salt the steaks and press some of the ground spice mix onto each of the cut sides.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter and then the steaks. Sear on both sides until the steaks are cooked rare to medium and well-brown, 3-5 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm. Deglaze the pan with the stock and boil to reduce to almost half. Add the cream, peppercorns, and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook over medium heat until thickened. Transfer the venison to a plate and surround with the sauce.

Serve Braised Red Cabbage and Fennel and Mushroom Potatoes on the side.

Braised Red Cabbage and Fennel

Serves 4

2 tablespoons chopped bacon
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, white only, thinly sliced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup port wine
1 small bay leaf
Black pepper to taste
1 small carrot, peeled
3 whole cloves

Method: In a large heavy-bottomed pan, cook and stir the bacon and onions over medium heat. Add the cabbage and fennel to the pan after the bacon and onions have begun to brown. Add the vinegar, sugar, water, wine, bay leaf, black pepper, and the peeled carrot with the cloves pushed into it to the pot. Cover and cook for about 11/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Near the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and let almost all the liquid evaporate. Remove the bay leaf and carrot from the pot before serving.

Roasted Trompe L'oeil (Trick of the Eye)

Mushroom Potatoes

Serves 4

6 russet potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Wash the potatoes and then cut them into mushroom shapes. To do this, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Next, take one of the cut halves and make a 1/2-inch-deep circular cut about 1-inch below the small end of the potato half. From the large cut end of the potato cut towards the circular cut removing slices of potato and skin to form the stem of this potato mushroom. Keep the base end (original cut end) of the stem larger than the portion that is attached to the mushroom cap so the potato will stand on its own. Repeat to make 12 potato mushrooms.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked but not mushy or falling apart, check about 10-12 minutes into cooking, they may need a little longer. Drain the water from the pan and let the potatoes air-dry until cool enough to handle. Over low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the crushed garlic clove and rosemary and cook for about 5 minutes to flavor the butter. Cool the mixture. Brush the potatoes with the flavored butter and then dip the cap (potato portion with the skin still attached) into the breadcrumbs to coat. Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet, add salt and pepper, and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Wine Recommendation by Wine.Com:

WINE PAIRING:
1994 Barolo 'La Gramolere,' Giovani Manzone, Piedmont
1996 Roberto Mazzi Amarone, Verona, Italy


Dessert

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Coffee
Caramel and Black Sesame Seed Praline

Serves 4

The Praline
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup black sesame seeds

The Caramel
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
Pinch salt
1/3 cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon water mixed with
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

The Cake
1/4 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar

Method: Preheat the oven to 375°F. For the praline, stir the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and cook until the sugar turns a deep caramel color. Add the sesame seeds and cook an additional few minutes to ensure the sugar is back to temperature and will not crystallize. Pour the mixture onto a nonstick baking sheet to cool. Break some of the brittle into shards and crush the balance into smaller fragments after it has cooled.

For the caramel, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, swirling the pan near the end, until the sugar has turned a deep caramel color. Remove from the heat and add salt, cream, butter, and the water mixed with the coffee. This will boil when the liquids are added so be careful. Return to low heat and whisk the caramel until smooth. Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla. Pour the caramel into a heatproof container and cool.

For the cake, wrap heavy-duty aluminum foil over one open end of 4 (3-inch) ring molds. Spray the sides and bottoms of the mold with a nonstick vegetable spray. Place the hazelnuts and oil into a processor and process until finely chopped. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Beat the egg, yolks, and sugar with a hand mixer until the mixture forms ribbons when dropped from a spatula, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the flour, chocolate mixture, and nuts individually in this order. Pour into the prepared ring molds, place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, the center should not be completely set. Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes, and then remove the cakes from the ring molds. Sprinkle the confectioners' sugar over the top of the cakes when completely cool.

To serve, pour a pool of the caramel sauce on each plate, set a cake in the center, and garnish with the shards and crushed sesame seed brittle.

Wine Recommendation by Wine.Com:

WINE PAIRING:
Emilio Lustau Moscatel Superior "Emilin," Spain
Sonora Barrister's Vintage Character Port, Sierra Foothills




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