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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 66

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F6 FOOD LOSANGELESTIMES COLORS OF FEAST FOOD F7 LOSANGELESTIMES MM ORE redolent, more heady, more burnished, a Thanksgiving table laden with lustrous golden turkey, velvety dark-green kale, burnt-sienna sweet potatoes is probably the richest feast of the year. In the gilded candlelight, hard to resist comparing it to a painting; call it Netherlandish Renaissance or Italian Baroque. But no still life here. Once dinner gets going, passed plates flash with the deep wine-red hue of the cranberries, the gradations of green on the tiny leaves of Brussels sprouts, the dazzling white of little glazed onions. In between is the sparkle of lifted silverware and crystal glasses.

Inevitably, the nuts-and-bolts discussion of the colors of Thanksgiving comes down to this: you like dark meat or white But why must it be a choice? Why are turkey eaters so often hard-liners? Icannot and will not choose; I love them both a couple of thin slices of the turkey breast edged with fatty-crispy lacquered brown a piece of dark meat with its deep flavor and melting texture. I love the way the lean white meat plays against a luscious gravy and the way the rich dark meat is punctuated by a tart burst of cranberry sauce. And when the turkey is roasted perfectly, so that both the breast and thigh are tender and succulent why everyone want the dark and the white meat? Last year, Times columnist Russ Parsons discovered the best way to roast a turkey. rubbed all over with salt and allowed to cure for three days before roasting. There- sult was illuminating: Who knew turkey could taste so great and have such an amazing texture? The meat was moist almost silky but also firm, with deep, concentrated flavor.

But as we compared techniques during testing, the best-browned bird was the one that had been brined. We loved the salted bird best, but wished it was more bronzed. This year, we did it: We improved on the dry-salted turkey recipe so that the dark and white meat were perfectly cooked and the skin was wonderfully crisp and deep golden-brown. The fix? Every day during the curing, we redistributed the salt all over the turkey. And during roasting, we raised the cooking temperature at the end, rather than starting high at the beginning.

What to serve with the perfect bird? find no set menu in these pages. Instead, a collection of new recipes from Food section writers and a couple of guest contributors; choose what you like from the greens, the oranges, the reds and ivories and golden-browns. There are lima beans strewn with fresh mint, and a sumptuous celery root gratin; a savory bread pudding spiced with sage and thyme, studded with chanterelles and set in a custard enriched with and Emmentaler cheeses; spiced pumpkin sweet potato with a hazelnut top. Rosemary and black pepper breads braided together and formed into a wreath make a stunning centerpiece. A pumpkin pie with top is served with cardamom- scented whipped cream and candied lemon peel.

Another has a cashew crust with a little orange zest mixed in. A cranberry and fig tart is spectacular, especially with a dollop of Cognac whipped cream. difficult not to want to make all of them. vibrant shades come together in splendor on the holiday table Photograph by Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times; Vietri Crema plates and platter courtesy of Gearys Beverly Hills LIKE A PAINTING: Aroast turkey, salt-cured for three days, with crisp, golden brown skin and perfect white and dark meat is the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving feast.

By Betty Hallock Times Staff Writer Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times WITH COLOR AND CRUNCH: Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts. Spiced pumpkin soup in roasted pumpkins Total time: 2hours Servings: 12 Note: From Noelle Carter. Grade Bmaple syrup is preferred for this recipe; it has aricher flavor and is not as highly filtered as Grade A.The mini pumpkins can be roasted several hours ahead. Place the roasted pumpkins in a 250-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes to warm them before filling.

2poblano chiles 4tablespoons butter, divided 12mini (12- to 16-ounce) pumpkins Fine sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 5pounds pumpkin such as Sugar Pie or American Pie (2 small or 1 medium) 4ounces apple wood- smoked bacon, about 3 thick slices, cut into 1 4 -inch dice 1large onion, cut intome- dium dice 1 4 cup dry white wine 6to 7 cups chicken broth, divided 1 2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika 1teaspoon New Mexico chile powder 1 2 cup maple syrup, divided 1 1 2 cups heavy cream Tabasco sauce to taste 1bunch green onions, green parts thinly sliced crosswise, the rest set aside for another use 1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. 2. Roast the poblano chiles over high heat on a rack on your stove-top burner. When the skin is charred all over, placethe peppers in a paper bag.

Leave them for about 10 minutes, then remove and peel the skin do not rinse. Discard the stem and seeds, and chop the peppers coarsely. Set aside. 3. Prepare thepumpkins: In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over low heat.

Remove from the heat and set aside. Cut the top quarter off of each of the 12 pumpkins, as if you are making make the hole wide enough for the pumpkin to work as a soup bowl. With a spoon, clean out, thendiscardthe seeds and pulp. Save the stemmed tops; these will work as Lightly brush the melted butter onto the inside of each pumpkin and the underside of each top. Lightly season the inside of each pumpkin and the underside of each top with salt and pepper.

5. Place the pumpkins cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Placethe pumpkin lids cut-side down on the same sheet, with the lidsin the middle of the sheet cook quicker). You may need to do this in two batches. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are slightly softened and the skins are golden.

Do not overbake the pumpkins or they will not support the soup. Set aside. 6. Cut the 5 pounds of pumpkin, about 1-inch pieces, discarding the seeds, pulp and stem. Set aside.

7. Place the bacon and remaining 2tablespoons butter in a large, heavy-bottom stockpot over medium heat. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally until it just begins to crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, and continue cooking until the onion just begins to caramelize, an additional 12 to 15 minutes. Add the diced chiles, stirring to combine.

Add the wine and scrape all the cooked bitsfrom the bottom of the pan and cook until almost all of the wine is absorbed. Stir in the pumpkin, and then add 6 cups of the broth. Add 2 teaspoons salt, one-half teaspoon pepper, the paprika, chile powder and one-fourth cup maple syrup. Adjust the heat so the soup comes to a low but steady simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is very soft and tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.

8. Remove the soup from the heat and in a blender, food with an immersion blender. Place the soup back in the pot over low heat and stir in the cream. If the soup is toothick, add up to a cup of the reserved broth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more of less of the remaining maple syrup, if needed, (depending on the sweetness of the pumpkins) and a few dashes of Tabasco.

Remove the soup from heat. 9. Pour the soup into each of the small pumpkins, and garnish each serving with a little of the sliced green onion. Serve immediately. Each serving: 252 calories; 5grams protein; 23 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 17 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 54 mg.

cholesterol; 689 mg. sodium. Roasted baby parsnips Total time: 1 hour Servings: 6 to 8 Note: From Donna Deane 1 1 2 pounds baby parsnips, peeled; root ends trimmed 2tablespoons thyme leaves 1tablespoon chopped marjoram leaves 3tablespoons olive oil Salt Freshly ground white pepper 1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Leave the small parsnips whole, and cut the larger ones in half, so they will be uniform in size and cook evenly.

2. On a shallow baking tray, toss the parsnips with the thyme, marjoram, olive oil, three-eighths teaspoon salt and white pepper to taste. Place the tray in the oven and roast until parsnips are tender, about 45 minutes. Each of 8 servings: 109 calories; 1gram protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0cholesterol; 118 mg. sodium.

Ruby Port cranberry sauce Total time: 20 minutes plus cooling time Servings: About 2 cups Note: From Donna Deane 1 1 2 cups ruby Port 3 4 cup sugar 3cloves 1 2 stick cinnamon 3allspice berries 4black peppercorns 2-inch-by- 1 2 -inch strip of orange peel 1(12 ounce) package cranberries, washed 1. In a medium saucepan, combine the Port and sugar. Tie the cloves, cinnamon stick, allspice and black peppercorns in a small piece of cheesecloth. Add the spicebundle to the saucepan. Add the orange peel.

Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the wine is reduced to 1cup, about 4 minutes. 2. Add the cranberries to the wine. Return to a simmer over medium- high heat then lower the heat and simmer until the cranberries pop, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Let cool to warm then remove the spicebundle and orange peel. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Each serving: 81 calories; 0protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0fat; 0 saturated fat; 0cholesterol; 2 mg. sodium.

Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times Mixed greens soup Total time: 1hour, 45 minutes Servings: 12 Note: From Donna Deane 2tablespoons olive oil 1 2 cup chopped carrots 1cup chopped leeks, white part only 1clove garlic minced 8cups chicken broth 1medium potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 4cups chopped kale 4cups chopped mustard greens 4cups chopped collard greens 1 2 cup heavy cream 1 8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper Salt (optional) Lemon slices, cut into quarters 1. Heat the oil in a medium to large (at least 4-quart) stock pot over medium heat and cook the carrots and leeks until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and an additional minute until fragrant but not browned. 2.

Add the chicken broth, potato cubes and the chopped kale, mustard and collard greens; stir. 3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer 1 hour. Remove from heat and with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processoruntil smooth.

4. Return the soup to the heat and simmer, uncovered, until it thickens slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes. Skim off any foam. Stir in the simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. 5.

Season with white pepper. Taste and add salt if desired. Ladle into bowls and garnish each with 3 or 4 small pieces of lemon. Each serving: 106 calories; 4grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 6grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 14 mg. cholesterol; 284 mg.

sodium. Glazed cipollini with pancetta cipolliniare tender enough to be easily pierced with a knife, about 20 to 30 minutes (about 20 for pearl onions). 4. Remove the lid and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring the cipollinito keep them from scorching, until they have colored slightly and a dark brown crust has formed on the bottom of the pan.

Do not let this burn. Add another 2to 3 tablespoons of chicken brothand stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits and glaze the cipollini. Season with more splash of balsamic to taste and a generous grinding of black pepper. Each of 6 servings: 116 calories; 3grams protein; 11 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 7 grams fat; 1gram saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 330 mg.

sodium. enough). Drain the onions and run them under just enough cold water so cool enough to handle. Cut off the stem end of each and peel back the papery skin, which will now be quite soft. In some cases, the top layer will peel off as well.

Trim the dark, dry part of the root end, but do not trim too deeply or the hold together as well. 2. Dice the pancetta and place it in a skillet with the olive oil over medium- low heat. Cook until the pancetta has rendered its fat and browned, about 15 minutes. 3.

Pour off all but 1to 2 tablespoons of the fat and add the peeledcipollinito the skillet. Toss to coat with the fat and add the balsamic vinegar, one-fourth cup chicken broth, the rosemary and one-half teaspoon salt. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the Total time: 45 minutes Servings: 4to 6 Note: From Russ Parsons 1pound cipollini or pearl onions 3to 3 1 2 ounces pancetta, in 1 slice about thick 2tablespoons olive oil 2teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1 4 cup plus 3 tablespoons chicken broth, divided 2teaspoons minced fresh rosemary Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1. Put the cipollini in a large bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Let them stand for 2 minutes (if using pearl onions, 1 minute should be Ken Hively Los Angeles Times Mushroom-walnut stuffing Total time: 1hour, 15 minutes Servings: 6 Note: From Russ Parsons 2leeks, white parts only 1 4 cup oil, divided 2stalks celery, chopped 1tablespoon butter 1 2 pound brown mushrooms, quartered Salt 1shallot, minced 1cup toasted walnut halves and pieces 1pound unseasoned bread cubes 2tablespoons walnut oil 2eggs, beaten 1.

Cut the leeks in quarters lengthwise almost to, but not through, the root end. Wash carefully under running water to remove all of the grit. Slice the quarters crosswise into eighth-inch slices. 2. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

Add the leeks and the celery and cook until tender and the leeks begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. 3. While the leeks are cooking a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the butter and heat until sizzling. Add the mushrooms and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt.

Cook several minutes, tossing, until the mushrooms start to lose their water and darken. Add the minced shallot and cook, toss- Press it down lightly on top of the stuffing, butter-side down. Cover the baking dish with the lid and place it in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and bake until the stuffing is hot and steaming, about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and foil, checking to see if the top is golden; if not, return the stuffing to the oven, uncovered, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until crisp and golden on top.

8. Remove the dish from the oven and keep covered until ready to serve. Each serving: 501 calories; 12 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 31 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 76 mg. cholesterol; 557 mg. sodium.

ing, until the shallot softens, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. 4. Spoon the leek mixture into a large work bowl and add the walnuts, bread cubes, walnut oil and 2 cups water. Stir gently to combine without breaking up the cubes too much.

If it seems at first there may be a little too much water, keep stirring until it is all absorbed. 5. Fold in the mushrooms and 1 1 2 teaspoons salt. Taste and add more salt if necessary. 6.

Add the beaten eggs, stirring until they are no longer visible among the bread cubes. 7. Transfer the mixture to a glass or earthenware covered baking dish. Cut an aluminum foil square just big enough to fit inside the opening of the dish and smear it with butter. Gary Friedman Los Angeles Times Cognac reduction sauce Total time: 1hour, 15 minutes Servings: Makes 1 cup Note: From John Brenner and Noelle Carter.

The stock can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. 1 1 2 teaspoons oil 1turkey neck (reserved, from the turkey recipe), cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces 2tablespoons white wine 4cups chicken broth Pan drippings from the roastedturkey 1 2 cup finely chopped shallots 3sprigs thyme 1cup Cognac 1tablespoon chilled, unsalted 8. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and strain the sauce into a medium saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to 1 cup, several minutes. Add the reserved pan drippings, stirring to combine.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened slightly and is reduced to 1 cup. 9. Remove the pan from heat and add the butter, swirlingthe pan gently to meltthe butter. Taste and season if necessary with salt. Serve immediately.

Each tablespoon: 57 calories; 1gram protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 3 mg. cholesterol; 181 mg. sodium. shallots to the pan and sweat for about 3 minutes until softened. Stir in the thyme sprigs and cook just until aromatic, about 1 minute.

6. Remove the pan from heat and add the Cognac. Use a long match (and stand back) to ignite the Cognac; let it burn until the alcohol is cooked off, watching carefully as the flames may flare up, about a minute (if it does not go out after a minute, place a lid over the pan to extinguish the flame). 7. Bring the pan back over medium- high heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Reduce by about until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the reserved turkey stock and stir to combine. 2. Take the pan off the heat and add the wine. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and place the pan back over the heat.

Cook until the wine is almost all cooked off and absorbed, about a minute. 3. Add the chicken broth and bring to aboil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer; cook 30 to 40 minutes oruntil the stock is reduced by half. 4.

Skim the fat from the surface of the stock and remove the neck pieces. Strain the stock; set aside. 5. Pour the drippings from the turkey roasting pan into a fat separator, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the roasting pan. Separate out the fat from the rest of the drippings and discard, reserving the de-fatted drippings.

Heat the roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter, cut into 1 2 -inch pieces Salt (optional) 1. To make turkey stock, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium- high heat. Add the turkey neck and the pieces until golden, about 2to 3 minutes. Jay L.

Clendenin Los Angeles Times Brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts Total time: 1hour, 15 minutes Servings: 6 Note: From Russ Parsons 1 2 pound chestnuts 1pound Brussels sprouts 2slices thick-cut bacon 1shallot, minced 3tablespoons red wine vinegar Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1. Roast the chestnuts: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. With a small knife, score the chestnuts with an on the flat side of the shell. Roast them on a baking sheet until the shells curl and darken where they have been scored, 25 to 30 minutes. 2.

Remove the chestnuts from the oven and immediately cover them with a towel that has been soaked in ice water and wrung out. When the chestnuts are just cool enough to handle, peel away the shells and the thin skin covering the chestnut meat. Cut the chestnuts in quarters and set aside. 3. Trim the Brussels sprouts: Cut off the hard surface of the stem; remove any loose or yellowing leaves and cut adeep in the base to allow the heat to penetrate to the center.

4. In a vegetable steamer, steam the Brussels sprouts, tightly covered, until they are just beginning to become tender, 6 to 7 minutes. They should still be slightly crisp at the center and bright green. Remove from the heat and set aside. (The dish can be made to this point up to 2 days in advance and the chestnuts and Brussels sprouts refrigerated tightly sealed.) 5.

Cut the bacon crosswise into thin strips. In a dry medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until thestripshave rendered their fat and browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the minced shallot and cook until it softens, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar and cook until it is reduced by half, about 1 1 2 minutes. 6.

Add the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts to the skillet and toss to coat with the deglazed juices. Season to taste with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper and, if necessary, a little more red wine vinegar (the acidity pulls the flavors into focus). Serve immediately. Each serving: 106 calories; 4 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 3grams fiber; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 3 mg. cholesterol; 198 mg.

sodium. The Ultimate Turkey Total time: About 3 hours plus salt-curing and resting time. Plan 3full days plus 8 hours salt-curing time and 1 hour resting before roasting. Servings: 11 to 15 Note: From Russ Parsons. Begin 4 days before you want to serve the turkey.

1(12- to 16-pound) free-range, organic turkey Kosher salt 1. Wash the turkey inside and out, pat it dry and weigh it. Measure 1 tablespoon and one-half teaspoon salt into a bowl for every 5 pounds of turkey (for a 15-pound turkey, have 3 1 2 tablespoons). 2. Lightly sprinkle the inside of the turkey with salt.

Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, con- pan halfway through the roasting time. 8. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 160 degrees, an additional 20 to 30 minutes. The total roasting time will be about 2 1 2 to 2 3 4 hours. 9.

Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter or carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. Carve and serve. Each of 15 servings: 564 calories; 77 grams protein; 0 carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 26 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 261 mg. cholesterol; 856 mg.

sodium. breast to chill for the last day. 5. Remove the turkey from the bag and wipe it off with a paper towel. There should be no salt visible on the surface and the skin should be moist but not wet.

Place the turkey, breast side up, on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours. 6. On the day it is to be cooked, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325 degrees. 7.

Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; put it in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts). Continue cooking an additional 1 1 2 hours, rotating the centrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. probably use a little more than a tablespoon. It should look liberally seasoned, but not over-salted.

3. Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh. You should use about a tablespoon. Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side. 4.

Place the turkey in a 2 1 2 -gallon sealable plastic bag. Press out the air and seal tightly. Place the turkey, breast side up, in the refrigerator. Chill the turkey for three days: After the first day, redistribute the salt by opening the bag, massaging the salt into the bird and resealing the bag tightly, pressing out the air. After the second day, redistribute the salt again.

Turn the turkey onto its.

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