Glean Acres Roast Chicken

1 whole Glean Acres free-range, pastured chicken, approx. 4.5 lbs
1 stick (4 oz) good quality butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 lemon
1 tsp EACH dried thyme, tarragon, and sage
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
A few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring butter to room temperature. Put chicken in large roasting pan. Mix half the garlic and all the dried herbs with the butter. Smear the herbed butter with your hands all over the chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper (be generous) and squeeze the lemon over it all. Put the remaining garlic, sprigs of thyme, and squeezed out lemon halves inside the cavity.

Roast the chicken in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until skin is crisp and golden. Then, turn oven temperature down to 375°F and continue cooking, basting occasionally, 35-50 additional minutes, or until thermometer inserted into thigh reads 165°. Let chicken rest 15 minutesbefore carving.

Peach Cobbler

8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
MIX TOGETHER:
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

Sesame Noodles

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) sesame seeds
7 tablespoons peanut oil
3 medium or 2 large shallots (about 2 ounces total), sliced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste — if making vegan, use cane sugar)
1 teaspoon hot chile paste
3/4 to 1 cup water (or less)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

For the noodles:

12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles (sometimes called wonton noodles) or other long, thin noodles
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup blanched snow peas, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced daikon radish
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (cut on the bias on a sharp angle)

Heat the oven to 350°F. Put the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until golden brown and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them. Put the toasted seeds in a blender.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the shallots and garlic until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Add the shallots, garlic, remaining 6 tablespoons peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chile paste to the sesame seeds in the blender. Blend on high speed just until a thick, rough paste forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Stop blending when most of the seeds have broken up and been puréed. After the paste forms, it will begin to get oily if you continue to purée it, as the seeds begin to give off their oil.

If you have time, refrigerate the purée (for up to a day).

Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a rolling boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. If using fresh Chinese egg noodles, gently fluff the noodles and add them to the water, stirring. Return the water to a boil and cook the noodles for just 10 to 30 seconds. (These tiny fresh noodles don’t need much cooking. If it takes a minute or more for the water to come back to a boil, the noodles will already be done.) Drain the noodles immediately and cool them under cold running water. Drain well. Put the cold noodles in a bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons peanut oil.

When ready to dress the noodles, drain off any oil that has gathered on the top of the purée. Whisk about 3/4 cup water into the purée to thin it and to reach a creamy consistency; the sauce will lighten in color and become emulsified; add more water as needed. Add the chopped cilantro to the sauce.

In a large bowl, toss the noodles with about half the dressing. Add the snow peas, red pepper, and daikon, and toss to combine (using your hands is easiest). Add more dressing if you like.

Put the noodles in a large serving bowl or on individual plates. Garnish with the cilantro leaves, chopped peanuts, and sliced scallions, or pass little bowls of the garnishes at the table.

Rustic White Bread in a Cloche

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) warm water, 90°F – 100°F
4 1/2 cups (1 1/4 pounds) plus 1 teaspoon unbleached all-purpose flour,
2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the 4 1/2 cups flour, sea salt, olive oil and sugar. Stir until the flour is just moistened. Knead by hand or in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and silky, about 5 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly and let the dough ferment and rise until doubled in bulk, from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, longer in very cold weather. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form it into a tight ball by rolling it toward you on a floured surface or Silpat baking mat.

Lightly sprinkle the base (or the bottom of a 3 1/2 quart Dutch oven) with some flour. Place the dough in the center of the base. Cover with the cloche top and let the dough proof and rise until expanded 1 1/2 times in size, from 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust your oven rack so that it is in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 450°F.

Sift more flour on the top of the dough if desired. Using a serrated knife, make three parallel cuts on the surface of the dough. Cover and bake until well risen and golden brown, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking, if desired, until the loaf is well browned and the crust thickens.

Carefully remove the loaf from the cloche and set to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Notes
• For a more uniform shape, allow the dough to rise in a cloth-lined bowl instead of on the base of the cloche: Line a medium-sized bowl with a clean dish towel. Sprinkle it with some flour then place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof as above. When fully proofed, lightly sprinkle the base with some flour. Place the dough in the center of the platter and proceed with baking.

• If you would like to bake several batches of bread in your cloche, mix the dough in stages staggered approximately 45 minutes apart. While one batch of dough is baking, proof the next loaf. You can proof the loaf in a lightly floured cloth-lined bowl or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When it is time to bake, turn the dough out onto the heated base. Or slide the dough and parchment paper directly onto the platter when it becomes available. Trim the paper to fit under the cloche. If the cloche and base are still warm, your bread will bake more quickly. Just be careful when handling the cloche if it is very hot.

Eggplant with Ginger and Miso

2 Tbsp good quality miso
1 1/2 teaspoons sake
1 pound (450 g) Japanese eggplants (4 to 5 long, skinny eggplants)
6 Tbsp canola oil, cold-pressed sesame oil, grape seed oil, rice bran oil, or other high smoke-point oil
2 whole, dried red chili peppers, torn in half
1 Tbsp peeled, slivered fresh ginger
1 Tbsp finely sliced shiso leaves, Thai basil leaves, or fresh mint leaves

Stir the miso and the sake together in a small bowl, set aside.

Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Then slice them on a diagonal, crosswise, in a little less than 1/2-inch thick slices.

Heat the chilies in the oil in a wok or large skillet on medium heat. Once the chilies start to sizzle, and you can smell the aroma of the chilies, add the ginger and eggplant slices, and toss to coat with the oil. Stir gently for several minutes until the eggplant pieces are shiny and soft.

Add the miso-sake mixture to the eggplant pieces and gently stir to coat. Remove from heat. Stir in the chopped shiso, Thai basil, or mint leaves, and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Sichuan Eggplant

1 1/2 lbs. asian (long and skinny) eggplant
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 – 1 1/2 tablespoons chili bean paste*
2 teaspoon crushed sichuan peppercorns** (optional, but inauthentic without)
3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar or apple cider vinegar
4 scallions, roughly chopped
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

**Sichuan peppercorns are available at some stores and online for quite cheap. They aren’t spicy like other peppers but rather have a citrusy flavor and induce a tingly, numbing sensation like a carbonated drink.

Begin your mise en place. Quarter the eggplant lengthwise and chop into large batons and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken stock, sugar, and soy sauce and set it aside. In a second bowl, mix together the chili bean paste, garlic, ginger, and sichuan peppercorns and set it aside. In a third bowl, mix together the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and set it aside. Lastly, in a fourth bowl, mix together the scallions and vinegar and set it aside.

Place the oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium-high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Add the eggplant and sauté, allowing it to sit for a few seconds each time you move it to allow it to brown and blister. If the eggplant absorbs all the oil and some pieces don’t get any then add a little more oil.

Add the chili bean paste, garlic, ginger, and sichuan peppercorns and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock mixture, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 90 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir together until the sauce thickens a bit. Add the scallions and vinegar and cook for 15 seconds to diffuse their harsh flavors a bit. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Sichuan Long Beans

1/2 pound Chinese long beans
1 tablespoon peanut oil (sesame or vegetable can suffice)
4-6 dried chilies, preferably Sichuanese, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons sesame oil
Splash of soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free option)

Add a tablespoon of peanut oil to a wok or a large sauté pan over medium heat and swirl until hot. Add chilies and peppers and stir-fry briefly until fragrant.

Add the long beans and stir-fry vigorously for 3-4 minutes (you don’t want the spices to burn, if they start to then turn down the heat a bit). Season with salt and sugar and stir-fry a few seconds more to mix it all together.

Remove from heat. Stir in the sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve immediately.

Mango Chicken

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 mangos, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (If using lowfat coconut milk, add 2 Tbsp heavy cream)
1 1/4 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
Salt and pepper
Cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the curry powder and cumin, cook for a few more minutes. The spices will absorb some of the oil, so if anything begins to stick too much to the bottom of the pan, add a little more oil to the pan.

Add the vinegar, coconut milk, and one of the two chopped mangoes to the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Scoop the sauce into a blender. Purée the sauce, pulsing until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan.

Add chicken pieces and raisins to the pan. Return to a low simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Chicken should be just cooked through. Use a knife to cut open the largest piece to check.

Add remaining chopped mango to the pan. Stir in the cream, if using. Let cook at a very low temperature for another minute or two, uncovered. Do not let boil! Or the cream may curdle. Adjust seasonings. If a little too sweet, add a little more vinegar. If not sweet enough, you can add a dash of sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro.

Yield: Serves 6.

Mangoes that are slightly unripe, on the firm side, will hold up better in this recipe, but won’t be as sweet as ripe mangoes. So, if you use firm, less than perfectly ripe mangoes, you may need to balance the recipe with more sugar or raisins. If you use sweet mangoes, you may need to balance the recipe with a little more vinegar.

Ginger Chicken with Almonds

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 – 2 lbs. total)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger plus ¼ cup julienned fresh ginger (see How to Peel, Chop, and Grate Ginger)
4 teaspoons grapeseed oil or other high flash point oil such as canola oil
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoond kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 large scallions (or 6 small), trimmed
1/2 cup mango chutney, large pieces chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth*
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Slice chicken crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Toss with ground coriander, grated ginger, 2 teaspoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Marinate at room temperature 15 minutes.

Thinly slice white parts of scallions. Julienne green parts; set aside.

Stir together chutney, broth, and garlic in a small bowl.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and julienned ginger; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry until thoroughly cooked, 4 to 6 minutes. Add scallion greens and chutney mixture; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Transfer to shallow bowls with hot cooked rice (or without rice, for low-carb version). Sprinkle with toasted almond slices and serve.

Orange Rhubarb Compote

2 tbsp butter
1 lb rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp orange liquor

Trim the Rhubarb of the ends, and split it lengthwise down the center. Cut across in 1 cm. intervals, leaving you with rough cubes of rhubarb.

In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with the sugar and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted add the sugar coated rhubarb and the orange liquor. Let this cook over a medium heat, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. When the rhubarb has started to release juices, gently stir.

Continue cooking the compote over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices are all released, then begin to thicken. Cooking time is about 10 to 15 minutes total, until the compote looks thick and the rhubarb is tender.

Almond Cake

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 (7-ounce) tube almond paste, cut into small pieces
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure almond extract
Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter (or spray with cooking spray) the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. The line the sides and bottom with parchment paper, and butter (or spray) the paper. In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the almond paste a few pieces at a time, and beat on medium speed for 8 minutes. (Yes, this seems like a long time, but do it. The mixture will get gorgeously fluffy.) Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, and mix until incorporated. (If it looks curdled, don’t worry.) Beat in the almond extract and the sour cream mixture. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter a couple of times to make sure there’s no unincorporated flour lurking around.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly with the rubber spatula. Bake for about 1 hour: the cake is done when you press the top and it returns to its shape, and also when it shrinks from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack, and cool the cake in its pan.

When ready to serve, sift powdered sugar over the top, if you like.

Pomidori al Forno

1 cups (or more) olive oil, divided
2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
Aged goat cheese (such as Bûcheron)
1 baguette, thinly sliced crosswise, toasted

Preheat oven to 250°F. Pour 1/2 cup oil into 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil. Sprinkle with oregano, sugar, and salt. Bake 1 hour. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over. Bake 1 hour longer. Turn tomatoes over again. Bake until deep red and very tender, transferring tomatoes to plate when soft (time will vary, depending on ripeness of tomatoes), about 15 to 45 minutes longer.

Layer tomatoes in medium bowl, sprinkling garlic and parsley over each layer; reserve oil in baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. DO AHEAD Cover; chill up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serve with aged goat cheese and toasted baguette slices.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sauce:
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved, tomatoes finely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, peeled, halved through root end
1/2 teaspoon (or more) salt

Meatballs:
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French or country-style bread
1/3 cup whole milk
8 ounces ground beef (15% fat)
8 ounces ground pork
1 cup finely ground (not grated) Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
preparation

For sauce:
Combine tomatoes with juice, butter, onions, and salt in large wide pot. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard onions. Using immersion blender, process sauce briefly to break up any large pieces of tomato (texture should be even but not completely smooth). Season sauce with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat.

For meatballs:
Combine breadcrumbs and milk in small bowl; stir until breadcrumbs are evenly moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.

Place beef and pork in large bowl and break up into small chunks. Add 1 cup ground Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Whisk eggs to blend in small bowl; whisk in garlic. Add to meat mixture.

Using hands, squeeze milk from breadcrumbs, reserving milk. Add breadcrumbs to meat mixture. Using hands, quickly and gently mix meat mixture just until all ingredients are evenly combined (do not overmix). Chill mixture at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Moisten hands with some of reserved milk from breadcrumbs, then roll meat mixture between palms into golf-ball-size balls, occasionally moistening hands with milk as needed and arranging meatballs in single layer in sauce in pot. Bring to simmer.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.

Cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Using slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to platter. Add pasta to sauce in pot and toss to coat. Divide pasta among 6 plates. Top each serving with meatballs. Sprinkle meatballs with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.