Romesco Sauce

1/4 cup [30 g] almonds
1/4 cup [30 g] hazelnuts
4 red bell peppers
11/2 lb [680 g] Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup [7 g] chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves Garlic Confit (see Gjelina)
1/2 cup [120 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F

On a rimmed baking sheet, spread out the almonds and hazelnuts in an even layer. Toast until lightly browned and aromatic, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.

Place the bell peppers and tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and starting to soften. Alternatively, you can use a grill or a grill pan. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow them to steam. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins with a towel and remove the seeds.

In a food processor, combine the cooled almonds and hazelnuts, roasted vegetables, parsley, garlic confit, and olive oil. Process to make a coarse sauce with some chunks remaining. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Roasted Fennel with Orange

2 fennel bulbs
2 blood or cara cara oranges
1/4 cup [60 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
1/2 cup [120 ml] fresh orange juice
1/4 [60 ml] cup white wine
1/4 cup [60 ml] Vegetable Stock (page 222) or Chicken Stock (page 223)
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of fennel pollen (optional)

Cut the fennel bulb into wedges. Cut the stems into thin slices, reserving the fronds. Set aside.

Section one of the oranges by cutting off both ends. Set it on one end, and use a paring knife to cut away the peel and pith in strips, starting at the top and following the curves to the bottom. Then, holding the orange in one hand, carefully insert the blade of the knife between the flesh and the membrane to cut out the sections without any membrane attached. The sections should come out easily. Repeat with the remaining orange, and set aside.

In a large frying pan over high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the fennel wedges, using tongs to place the cut sides against the pan bottom to get a good sear. Cook until the fennel is caramelized, about 3 minutes. Flip, lower heat to medium -high, and cook on the other side until caramelized, another 3 minutes. Season with salt, toss in the fennel stems, and continue to cook until the stems are well-browned, another 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, wine, and stock, and let reduce until the sauce is thickened and the fennel is deeply seared and starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and season with lots of salt and pepper.

Pour onto a serving platter. Garnish with the fennel fronds, orange segments, and fennel pollen. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Smoked Trout Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

8 oz [230 g] arugula
5 oz [140 g] high-quality store-bought smoked trout
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
11/4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 grapefruit, pomelo, or oro blanco, or a combination, peeled and sectioned
1 avocado, cut lengthwise in 1/4-in [6-mm] slices
1/4 red onion, cut in thin slices

Put the arugula in a large mixing bowl.

Break up the trout into small chunks over the arugula. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Add the grapefruit sections, avocado, and onion and toss gently, taking care not to break up the avocado slices while distributing them evenly throughout the salad.

Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates and serve immediately.

Southern Sausage Gravy

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Hot biscuits for serving

Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and break into chunks with a spatula. Cook until the meat is crumbled and browned all the way through. Add the flour and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the milk. Cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy is very thick and bubbly (you can add more milk later if you need to thin). Season generously with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with hot biscuits.

Magic Cake

What You Need
Cooking spray
4 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups whole milk, half-and-half, or light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Powdered sugar

8-inch square pan (2 inches deep)
Parchment paper
2 large bowls
Handheld electric mixer
Large spoon
Plastic wrap

Prepare the pan: Coat an 8-inch square pan that is 2 inches deep with cooking spray. Cut 2 (8- by 12- to 16-inch) sheets of parchment paper. Lay one sheet in the pan, leaving an overhang of at least 2 inches on each side. Lay the second piece on top, across the first, leaving an overhang on the other sides. These will be your “handles” when you take the cake out of the pan; set aside.

Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325°F.

Mix the yolk, sugar, and water until pale and fluffy: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or a whisk (and plenty of arm power), mix the egg yolks, sugar, and water and mix until the sugar is dissolved, very fluffy, light in texture, and the mixture is a very pale yellow, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not undermix.
Drizzle in the melted butter: While continuing to mix, drizzle the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture, and mix until it is well-incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Stir in the flour and salt: Add in the flour and salt and mix until fully combined, scraping down the bottom and side of the bowl as needed. Add the milk or cream and vanilla and mix them in gently and on a slow to medium speed until fully incorporated.

Whisk the egg whites: If you are using a handheld mixer or whisk, pour the egg whites into a large, clean, dry mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer, wash and dry the bowl and whisk attachment and pour the whites into it. Whisk on high speed until the egg whites hold stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg whites to the yolk mixture: Add the whipped egg whites to the egg yolk and flour mixture and mix gently with a large spoon or a whisk only, about a dozen stirs, making sure to leave a distinct layer of fluffy lumps and clumps remaining at the top. Do not overstir or overmix.

Bake: Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the edges are set, the top is a warm to deep brown, and the center still wobbles and wiggles when the pan is jiggled, 50 to 55 minutes.

Cool, then chill the cake: Let the cake sit in the pan at room temperature until completely cooled. Loosely cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes
Storage: This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Versunkener Apfelkuchen (Sunken Apple Cake)

For the cake:
3 medium apples
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
9 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 to 2 tablespoons demerara (raw) sugar

For the schlagsahne (whipped cream):
2 cups cold heavy cream
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Thinly slice each quarter lengthwise without cutting all the way through to the core side, leaving the quarter hinged together. Finely grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set aside; save the lemon half.

Place the sugar and butter in the bowl with the lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides; add the vanilla extract and 1 of the eggs. Beat until combined before adding the second egg. Beat until combined and then add the third egg. Scrape down the sides. Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined, and beat in the juice from the reserved lemon half. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and give the batter one last mix by hand.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Gently press the apple quarters into the batter, core-side down, leaving only a bit of space between each quarter. If you have any apple left over, break off slices and insert them into any open space available. Sprinkle the top evenly with the demerara sugar.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the cake is golden-brown and a tester inserted into the cake (not apple) comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Place the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and removing the springform ring. Let cool to room temperature.

When ready to serve, make the whipped cream: place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and hand mixer.) Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve the cake at room temperature with a spoonful of the whipped cream.

Recipe Notes
Make ahead: The whipped cream can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
Storage: The cake will keep at room temperature, wrapped lightly in plastic wrap, for 2 days.