Butter Poached Scallops en Papillote

Serves 4

Handful of baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons finely chopped preserved lemon, rind only, rinsed and dried
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
16 sea scallops, preferably all a similar size, patted dry
16 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 475°F and place a rack in the center position.

Cut four 15-inch squares of parchment paper.

Assemble each pouch: Place a few spinach leaves in the center of the paper, season lightly with salt and pepper (but go easy—the lemon is salty), add 1 /2 teaspoon of lemon and scatter with 1 /2 teaspoon of butter cut into bits.

Arrange 4 scallops over the butter, top with another 1 /2 teaspoon of lemon and 8 tomato halves; season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add 1 tablespoon of wine and finish with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into bits.

Pull up the corners of the parchment to encase the ingredients in a hobo sack and tie it with kitchen twine. Place the pouches on a baking sheet. Cook the pouches for 8 minutes.

Place each pouch in a soup bowl. Untie the packets, being careful of the steam, and serve immediately.

Chocolate Mousse

3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
pinches salt
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled

Melt the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl placed over a small pot of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Remove bowl from water, add the egg yolks, and whisk until smooth.

Using an electric beater, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until you have soft peaks. Gradually add 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, beating constantly, until whites are glossy with medium-firm peaks.

Use a spatula to fold 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then fold the remaining whites into the chocolate until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix or deflate the mixture.

Divide mousse among 4 bowls. Cover and chill until set, about 4 hours (and up to 1 day in advance).

When ready to serve, beat the cream with the remaining teaspoon of sugar until soft peaks form. Spoon over mousse, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and eat.

Peanut Butter Change-Ups

2 cups (384 grams) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups (384 grams) smooth or chunky peanut butter, at room temperature (see headnote)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2/3 cup (134 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (146 grams), lightly salted peanuts, finely chopped
DIRECTIONS

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and nutmeg (to taste) in a medium bowl.

Combine the peanut butter, unsalted butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld mixer; beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the granulated and light brown sugars; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until they are well incorporated. Beat in the eggs one at a time for 1 minute each on medium speed. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the flour mixture all at once; pulse a few times to start blending in those dry ingredients, then beat on medium-low speed until well incorporated. Add the chopped peanuts and beat on low speed, just until evenly distributed. Stop the motor; use a spatula to give the dough a few turns, making sure no trace of flour is left.

Use a medium cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons, a #40 disher) to transfer level scoops of dough to the baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the mounds with granulated sugar.

Bake (upper and lower racks) for 10 minutes, then rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back; bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until the edges are set but the cookies feel squeezable. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly to the racks to cool completely.

Repeat to use the remaining dough, making sure the baking sheets are cool before reusing.

Tweaking the shape of the classic peanut butter cookie creates crisp edges and a soft, caky center — plus “inexplicably” more flavor.

Use a peanut butter that doesn’t separate, recommending Skippy brand.

Make Ahead: The dough can be portioned into mounds and frozen for up to 2 months. The baked cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Tested size: 54 cookies

World Peace Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Valrhona unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (or 1/4 t fine sea salt)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 oz great-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into irregular-sized bits, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more. You want the mixture to be smooth, but not airy. (With cookies, it’s better to beat less than more.)

Turn off the mixer and pour in all the dry ingredients. Pulse the mixer a few times to start the blending. When the risk of flying flour has passed, turn the mixer to low and beat only until the flour and cocoa disappear into the dough. For the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix to incorporate. (This is an unpredictable dough. Sometimes it’s crumbly and sometimes it comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. No matter what, the cookies always come out great.)

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together—if it’s really crumbly or not easily gatherable, knead it a bit (it can take it). Divide the dough in half.

Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about the length—get the diameter right and the length will follow. (If you get a hollow in the logs, it happens; just start over.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours, or freeze them (my preference) for at least 2 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking—just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them—don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes—don’t open the oven; just let them bake. When the buzzer rings, they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can munch them or let them reach room temperature. (I think the texture’s more interesting at room temperature.)

Storing: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months, as can the logs of dough.

Olive Oil and Wine Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies

2 3/4 C (374 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil, extra-virgin or not, preferably fruity
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine, preferably sweet (see note above)
sugar, for dredging

Dorie’s notes: Right after they’re baked, their texture is crunchy at the tips and cakey in the center—wait a day or so, and the chubby middle dries and starts to resemble a great tea biscuit. In fact, I like these best after they’ve had a little time to age and develop a crunchier texture and a more mellow flavor.

You can use any white wine or even any rosé you have on hand, but if you use a sweet or off-dry wine, you’ll come closer to the original cookies, which are made with Muscat de Rivesaltes, a Roussillon star. In the Languedoc-Roussillon, these cookies are often flavored with orange-flower water (instead of vanilla) or enriched with anise seeds. My favorite addition is grated orange (or tangerine or clementine) zest. To get the most out of the zest, first put the sugar in the mixing bowl, sprinkle over the zest, and use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and continue with the recipe.

Custardy Apple Squares

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
3 medium juicy, sweet apples, such as Gala or Fuji, peeled
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch fine sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with a little butter.

Slice the apples from top to bottom using a mandoline, Benriner or sharp knife, turning the fruit 90 degrees each time you reach the core. The slices should be about 1/16 inch thick: elegantly thin, but not so thin that they’re transparent and fragile. (If they’re a little thicker, that’ll be fine, too.) Discard the cores.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

Use a whisk to combine the eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl for about 2 minutes, until the sugar has just about dissolved and, more important, until the eggs are pale. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the milk and the melted, cooled butter. Add the flour mixture into the bowl; use the whisk to form a smooth batter.

Add the apples to the bowl; switch to a flexible spatula and gently fold in the apples, turning the mixture until each thin slice is coated in batter. Scrape the mixture into the pan, smoothing the top as evenly as you can. It will be bumpy; that’s its nature.

Bake (middle rack) for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and puffed — make sure the middle of the cake has risen — and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Carefully cut into 9 equal squares in the pan (being careful not to damage the pan); or unmold the slab onto a rack, flip it onto a plate so it is right side up and then cut it into 9 squares. Either way, give the squares a dusting of confectioners’ sugar before serving, if you’d like.

VARIATIONS: You can add a couple of tablespoons of dark rum, Calvados, applejack or Armagnac or a drop (really just a drop) of pure almond extract to the batter. If you have an orange or a lemon handy, you can grate the zest over the sugar and rub the ingredients together until they’re fragrant. You can also change the fruit. Pears are perfect, and a combination of apples and pears even better. Or make the cake with 2 firm mangoes — the texture will be different, but still good — or very thinly sliced quinces. Finally, if you want to make this look a little dressier, you can warm some apple jelly in a microwave and use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer of it over the top.

Christmas Pudding

12 plump dried Calymyrna figs, snipped into small pieces
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark rum
1/3 cup cognac or brandy
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 (packed) cup brown sugar
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (made from about 8 inches of baguette)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup brandy, cognac or rum, to flame the pudding (optional)

Softly whipped, lightly sweetened heavy cream, vanilla ice cream or applesauce, homemade or store-bought, for serving (optional)

Getting ready: You’ll need a tube pan with a capacity of 8 to 10 cups — a Bundt or Kugelhopf pan is perfect here — and a stock pot that can hold the pan. (If you’ve got a lobster pot, use that; it’ll be nice and roomy.) Put a double thickness of paper toweling in the bottom of the pot — it will keep the pudding from jiggling too much while it’s steaming. Spray the tube pan with cooking spray, then butter it generously, making sure to give the center tube a good coating.

Put the figs and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and, keeping an eye on the pan, cook until the water is almost evaporated. Add the cognac or brandy, rum and raisins and bring the liquids back to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, make sure it’s in an open space, have a pot cover at hand and, standing back, set the liquid aflame. Let the flames burn for 2 minutes, then extinguish them by sealing the pan with the pot cover. For a milder taste, burn the rum and brandy until the flames die out on their own. Set the pan aside uncovered.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt and keep at hand.

Working in a mixing bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs and brown sugar together until well blended. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the bread crumbs, followed by the melted butter and the fig mixture (liquids included). Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and gently mix them in — you’ll have a thick batter. Fold in the cherries and cranberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and seal the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Set the pan into the stock pot and fill the pot with enough hot water to come one-half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the baking pan. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot tightly with foil and the lid.

Lower the heat so that the water simmers gently, and steam the pudding for 2 hours. (Check to make sure that the water level isn’t getting too low; fill with more water, if necessary.) Carefully remove the foil sealing the pot — open the foil away from you to protect your arms and face — and then take off the foil covering the pan. To test that the pudding is done, stick a skewer or thin knife into the center of the pudding — the skewer or knife should come out dry.

To remove the pudding from the pan (a tricky operation), I find it easiest to carefully empty the water into the sink, and then carefully ease the baking pan out on its side. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the pudding cool for 5 minutes. Detach the pudding from the sides of the pan using a kitchen knife, if necessary, then gently invert it onto the rack. Allow the pudding to cool for 30 minutes.

If you’d like to flame the pudding — nothing’s more dramatic — warm 1/3 cup of brandy, cognac or rum in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour the warm liquid over the top of the pudding, and then, taking every precaution that Smokey Bear would, set a match to the alcohol. When the flames die out, cut the pudding into generous pieces. Actually, there’s so much fruit in the pudding, the only way to cut neat slices is to make the slices generous.

Serve the pudding with whipped cream, ice cream or applesauce.

Alternatively, you can cool the pudding completely, wrap it very well in several layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to two weeks. When you are ready to serve, butter the pan the pudding was cooked in, slip the pudding back into the pan, seal the pan with foil, and re-steam for 45 minutes.

Dorie’s Brownies

12 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, plus 1 teaspoon melted butter for brushing pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, in pieces
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)

Place a rack just below center of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square pan with foil and brush with melted butter.

In a bowl, whisk flour and salt together. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt remaining butter and chocolate together. Stir often and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.

In a mixer, beat eggs and sugar together until thick and pale yellow. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla and mix at low speed until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix 30 seconds, then finish mixing by hand, adding nuts if using. Pour into prepared pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, until top is dry. Let cool in pan, then lift out and cut into bars or wrap in foil.

Pierre Hermes’ Olive Oil Sables

1 large hard-boiled egg, white discarded or reserved for other uses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons potato starch
15 tablespoons (1 stick plus 7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup olive oil (a fruity oil is best)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 1/2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) pitted black olives, preferably oil-cured, chopped

Grate the hard-boiled egg onto a piece of wax paper. Put the flour and potato starch in a strainer set over a large bowl and sift into the bowl; whisk to thoroughly blend.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it’s soft and creamy. Beat in the olive oil, followed by the grated yolk. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar, reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough just comes together—there’s no reason to beat this dough, and you shouldn’t—then stir in the chopped olives. You’ll have a soft, pliable dough. (If you prefer, you can make the dough by hand, using a rubber spatula to blend the butter, oil, yolk and sugar and to fold in the dry ingredients and olives.)

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into thirds, and shape each piece into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for several hours or, better yet, overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can freeze the logs for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to bake the sablés, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Working with 1 log at a time, slice the cookies 1/4 inch thick and arrange them on the baking sheet—you want to bake these one sheet at a time.

Bake the sablés for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the midway mark, or until the cookies are firm, but not colored. They may turn golden around the edges, but you don’t want them to brown. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool, and repeat with the remaining logs of dough, making sure to use a cool baking sheet each time.

Makes about 60 cookies.

Seared Duck Breasts

2 large duck breasts, preferably from a Moulard, or 4 small duck breasts (about 2 pounds total), at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Using the point of a sharp knife, score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern, cutting deeply into the layer of fat but taking care not to nick the meat. Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. (You can cook the breasts in a skillet, but a casserole does a better job of containing the fat spatters. A cast-iron casserole is perfect.) When a few drops of water sprinkled into the pot dance and evaporate quickly, put the breasts in the casserole skin side down—stand away, because the fat will spatter. Cook for 8 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp. Turn the pieces over and cook for 3 minutes more for very rare breasts, which will cook a tad more during their rest in the oven. If you’d like the meat slightly more cooked, keep the breasts in the pot for up to 2 minutes longer. (Cook any longer, and they will really be well-done, which is not what’s best for a duck breast.)

Lift the breasts out of the pot and onto a sheet of aluminum foil. Seal the breasts loosely in the foil and put them on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes to rest and finish cooking

Pour off almost all the fat from the pot (you should have just a teaspoon or two left in the pot), and put the pot over medium heat. When the fat is warm, stir in the balsamic, honey, and lime juice, as well as the duck juices that have accumulated in the foil packet, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the breasts to the pot and reheat them, about 30 seconds on each side.

Slice the duck and serve drizzled with the sauce.

 
SERVING
Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and, working on the diagonal, cut each breast into ½-inch-thick slices. Drizzle with the sauce and serve immediately.
 
STORING
If you have leftover duck, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, wrapped well; use it in salads or sandwiches. Sliced into thin strips, it adds flavor, texture, and a touch of heartiness to soups.

Laotian Chicken Sandwich

Four 8-inch soft baguettes, split
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sriracha (Thai hot sauce)
2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced
1/4 cup sweet red chili sauce
1 to 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
2/3 English cucumber, peeled and thickly sliced
Mint and cilantro leaves
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

To make the sandwich, spread both sides of the baguettes with mayonnaise and sriracha. Arrange chicken over the bottom halves and moisten with chili sauce. Add jalapeños, cucumber, and herbs, then drizzle with more sauce. Toss the lettuce and carrots with the vinegar, add to the sandwiches, then finish with more chili sauce, if you’d like. Add top halves and serve with lots of napkins.

Tuna Stuffed Piquillos

1 5 to 6-ounce can chunk light tuna packed in oil, drained
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
1 tablespoon minced shallot (about 1/4 large), rinsed and patted dry
4 Nicoise olives, pitted and chopped, or 1 tablespoon chopped black or green olives
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh mint or parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (more or less to taste)
About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 piquillo peppers, drained and patted dry

Put the tuna in a bowl and toss it lightly with a fork to break it up. Stir in the lemon zest, capers, shallot, olives, and mint or parsley. Add 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, as well as some pepper, and taste. You’ll probably want another teaspoon of lemon juice and you might want another teaspoon of oil—it will depend on the tuna and your taste. If you think the mix needs salt, add it now.

With your fingers, gently open the peppers, and fill each with a tablespoon or so of the filling. The peppers should be plump but not packed to the brim. Put them in a lightly oiled small baking pan (it’s okay if they’re touching one another) or lay them on a lightly oiled foil-lined baking sheet. Save any leftover filling to use as a spread. (You can cover the peppers and keep them at room temperature for a couple of hours, or refrigerate them for up to 6 hours, if possible, bring the peppers to room temperature before heating them.

Chicken-in-the-Pot

Approximately 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 heads of garlic, broken into cloves, but not peeled
16 shallots, peeled and trimmed, or 4 onions, peeled, trimmed and quartered, or 4 leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise
8 carrots, peeled, trimmed and quartered
4 celery stalks, trimmed and quartered
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Grated zest of 1 lemon
16 prunes, optional (apricots or dried apples are also good in this dish)
1 chicken, whole or cut-up
1/2 small (2 lbs or less) cabbage, green or red, cut into 4 wedges (try Savoy cabbage)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine, or another 1/2 cup chicken broth
About 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, for the seal
About 3/4 cup hot water, for the seal

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Set a large skillet over high heat and add about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss in the garlic cloves and all the vegetables, EXCEPT the cabbage – you might have to do this in two batches, you don’t want to crowd the skillet – season generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly browned on all sides. Spoon the vegetables into a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid – you’ll need a pot that holds at least 5 quarts. Stir in the herbs, lemon zest and prunes, if you’re using them.

Return the skillet to the heat and add another tablespoon or so of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown the chicken on all sides. Put the chicken in the casserole, nestling it among the vegetables. Fit the cabbage wedges around the chicken.

Stir together the chicken broth, wine and 1/2 cup olive oil and pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables.

Now you have a choice: you can cover the pot with a sheet of aluminum foil and the lid, or you can make a paste to seal the lid. To make the paste, stir the flour and water together, mixing until you have a soft, workable dough. Working on a floured surface, shape the dough into a long sausage, then press the sausage onto the rim of the casserole. Press the lid into the dough to seal the pot.

Slide the pot into the oven and bake for 70 minutes. If you need to keep it in the oven a little longer because you’re not ready for it, don’t worry – turn the heat down to 325 degrees F and you’ll be good for another 30 minutes or so.

The easiest way to break the seal, is to wiggle the point of a screwdriver between the dough and the pot – being careful not to stand in the line of the escaping (and wildly aromatic) steam. If the chicken was whole, quarter it and return it to the pot, so that you can serve directly from the pot, or arrange the chicken and vegetables on a serving platter.

Socca

1 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup of room temperature water
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for pans)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

Whisk everything together in a bowl. the batter with be very thin. You can let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours, or refrigerate it overnight.

Place two 8-inch round cake pans in center rack of oven and preheat oven to 500°F. It is hot, so make sure your pans and oven are clean or you’ll get smoke.

Add a tablespoon of oil to each pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Return to the oven for a couple of minutes to heat up the oil.

Carefully remove the hot pans from the oven and pour half of the batter into each pan Cook for 5 minutes, turn on broiler and broil for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the top is getting some nice burnt patches. Remove from oven and carefully flip out onto a cutting board.

from Lottie and Doof, citing Dorie Greenspan.

Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a little of the butter to grease 2 cookie sheets (see my notes below).

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and gradually beat in the brown sugar, then beat in the granulated sugar. Beat in the egg until the batter is smooth. Beat in the vanilla and 2 tablespoons water. Fold in the flour mixture, then the oats and raisins. Drop scant tablespoons of the batter onto the baking sheets, placing them about an inch apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly browned.

Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to finish cooling.

Makes about 24 cookies

From Dorie Greenspan. Dorie’s notes:

I made these both with regular oats, because that’s what I usually have in the house, and with the quick-cooking oats the recipe calls for – quick-cooking oats make a better cookie.

Instead of buttering the cookie sheets, I lined them with parchment paper for one batch and used a silicone baking mat for another, just to make clean-up faster.

I used a 2-teaspoon scoop to spoon out the dough and I left about 2 inches of space between each mound of dough – these are spreaders.

Using the 2-teaspoon scoop I got more than 50 cookies out of the batch and they were all munched happily – and quickly.

Butter Pecans

1/2 cup pecan halves, whole or chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
pinch of salt (optional)


Line a plate with a double thickness of paper towels and keep it near the stove.

Put a small skillet over medium heat and toss in the pecans. Cook the pecans, stirring, for 1 minute, or until they are ever so slightly toasted. Add the butter and continue to cook, turning, until the pecans have absorbed almost all the butter, another 2 minutes or so.

Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the salt, if you’re using it, and turn the pecans out onto the paper towels. Cover with another double layer of paper towels and pat the pecans gently to remove some of the excess butter. Cool to room temperature between the paper towels.

Makes 1/2 cup (enough to top 6 servings)
Storing: In a bowl at cool room temperature, the nuts will keep for about 3 days.

From Dorie Greenspan: Great over puddings, or ice cream or even buttered biscuits, these pecans are quick to make and so good to have on hand. You can multiply the recipe to meet your needs.

Butterscotch Pudding

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons water
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
* 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 2 Tablespoons Scotch whiskey (preferably a strong single malt)


Have six ramekins or pudding cups, each holding 4 to 6 ounces 1/2 to 3/4 cup), at hand.

Put the brown sugar and water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, put the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stirring and lowering the heat if necessary, boil for 2 minutes. Add 1 and a 1/2 cups of the milk and the cream and bring to a boil–don’t worry if, as it’s heating, the mixture curdles.

While the milk is heating, put the cornstarch and the salt in a food processor and whir to blend. Turn them out onto a piece of wax paper, put the sugar and egg yolks in the processor and blend for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and pulse just to mix, then add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to blend.

With the machine running, very slowly pour in the hot liquid, process for a few seconds, then pour everything back into the saucepan. Whisk without stopping over medium heat–making sure to get into the edges of the pan–until the pudding thickens and a couple of bubbles burble up to the surface and pop (about 2 minutes). You don’t want the pudding to boil, but you do want it to thicken, so lower the heat, if necessary.

Scrape the pudding back into the processor (if there’s a scorched spot, avoid it as you scrape) and pulse a couple of times. Add the butter, vanilla and scotch and pulse until everything is evenly blended.

Pour the pudding into the ramekins. If you don’t want a skin to form, place a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding to create an airtight seal. Refrigerate the pudding for at least 4 hours.

Dorie says, “Serving one good buttery thing deserves another so I like topping the puddings with the buttered pecans. Even better is topping the puddings with whipped cream and topping the cream with the pecans.”
From Dorie Greenspan. Dorie says, “Serving one good buttery thing deserves another so I like topping the puddings with the buttered pecans. Even better is topping the puddings with whipped cream and topping the cream with the pecans.”

Chocolate Sables

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips


Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek ? if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough ? for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don?t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours.

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you?re cutting them ? don?t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes ? they won?t look done, nor will they be firm, but that?s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

SERVING: The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature ? I prefer them at room temperature, when the textural difference between the crumbly cookie and the chocolate bits is greatest ? and are best suited to cold milk or hot coffee.
The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you?ve frozen the dough, you needn?t defrost it before baking ? just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.

STORING: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

From Dorie Greenspan.

Basic Cream Puffs and Profiteroles (can be frozen)

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature


Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Bring the milk, water, butter and salt to the boil in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan. When the mixture is boiling rapidly, add the flour all at once, reduce the heat to medium and, without a second’s hesitation, start stirring the mixture like mad with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together very quickly and a slight crust will form on the bottom of the pan, but you have to keep stirring vigorously another 2 to 3 minutes to dry the dough. At the end of this time, the dough will be very smooth.

Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or, if you’ve still got some elbow grease left, you can continue by hand. One by one, add the eggs to the dough, beating until each egg is thoroughly incorporated. Don’t be discouraged if, as soon as you add the first egg, your dough separates. Keep working and by the time you add the third egg it will start coming together again. When all the eggs are incorporated, the dough will be thick and shiny and, when you lift some of it up it will fall back into the bowl in a ribbon. The dough will still be warm–it’s supposed to be –and now is the time to use it.

Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each puff, drop the dough from the spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each mound of dough.

Slide the baking sheets into the oven, bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking until the puffs are golden and firm, another 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cream puffs to a cooling rack.

Makes about 24 large or 50 small puffs.

from Dorie Greenspan, who comments:

Because the basic dough for cream puffs is sugarless, you can fill it with just about anything. On the sweet side, pastry cream is classic, whipped cream is easy and good, and ice cream turns the puffs into profiteroles. On the savory side, the sky’s the limit. Think soft herb-flecked goat cheese, tuna, crab or egg salad, or, best of all starting Friday, turkey mixed with chunky cranberry sauce, turkey salad, turkey hash or even turkey stuffing with gravy. Thanksgiving’s leftovers never looked so classy.

No matter what you’re going to fill the puffs with, it’s best to allow the puffs to cool to room temperature before cutting them. Then use a small sharp knife to nick the midpoints of the puffs and then slice the puffs in half with a gentle sawing motion. Alternatively, you can cut the top third off the puff. Spoon the filling into the bottom of the puff and top with the cap.

If you’re filling the puffs with something that should be served hot, either heat the filling before you put it into the puffs (my first choice), or fill the puffs and heat them in a 350 degree oven.

For Profiteroles, fill the puffs with ice cream and drizzle them with chocolate sauce. Profiteroles are best when the puffs are at room temperature, the ice cream is cold and the chocolate sauce is hot, however, if you want to get a jump on preparing them, you can fill the puffs, freeze them and pull them out of the freezer a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.

Spooned-out, unbaked cream puff dough can be frozen and baked just when you need it, so having fresh puffs at the ready is a cinch. You can spoon out the dough and either bake it immediately or freeze it. To freeze, spoon the dough in mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. When the dough is completely frozen, remove the balls from the baking sheets and wrap them airtight. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months and don’t need to be defrosted before baking.

Basic Gougeres

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated cheese, such as Gruyere or Cheddar (or a mixture of smoked and regular cheese)


Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low and quickly start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring with vigor another 2 to 3 minutes to dry the dough. The dough should now be very smooth.

Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or you can continue by hand). Add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Don’t be concerned if the dough falls apart by the time the third egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Beat in the grated cheese. Once the dough is completed, it should be used immediately.

Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougere, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between each mound of dough.

Slide the baking sheets into the oven, bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking until the puffs are golden and firm, another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the gougeres piping hot as soon as they come from the oven.

Makes about 36 puffs.
from Dorie Greenspan, who comments:

Spooned-out, unbaked cream gougere dough can be frozen and baked just when you need it, so having fresh puffs at the ready is a cinch. You can shape the gougeres and freeze them for up to 2 months before you bake them. To freeze, spoon the dough in mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. When the dough is completely frozen, remove the balls from the baking sheets and wrap them airtight. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months and don’t need to be defrosted before baking.