In Wickwood's Kitchen ...
When you’ve searched for organic heirloom apples, or even
picked them, you want the fruit’s natural qualities to shine. We love
galettes --- free form, light and rustic tarts that are oh, so easy to
make. Master this and you’ll be making loads of fruit galettes. Serve
hot topped with a snazzy ice cream. Serves 8.
Pastry dough or two best quality
purchased pie shells
2 tablespoons semolina (semolina
2 lbs Golden Delicious apples,
peeled, cored and cut into 12 wedges
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ cup granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons confectioner's
1. Preheat oven to 350° F with
rack in middle.
2. Gently piece together dough (using 1½ crusts) and roll out to a 13 inch round on a
lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Transfer to
an ungreased 17 x 14 baking sheet. Sprinkle semolina over dough, leaving
a 2 inch border on the circumference.
3. Toss apples with lemon juice and zest in a large bowl, then inside
the border, mound on top of semolina. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly atop. Fold
dough border over apples, pleating as necessary to form a 9 to 10 inch
4. Bake galette 30 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and continue
baking 25-30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and pre-heat broiler.
5. Sprinkle apples with confectioner's sugar and broil 4 to 5 inches
from heat until apples are golden. This happens quickly, 1 to 3 minutes
at most. Slide galette from baking sheet onto a rack and serve
immediately or cooled and reheated at 350° F for 5 minutes before
CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Long a Silver Palate Cookbook favorite, we’ve made it slightly simpler
by using frozen squash which is just fine. A great Holiday first course
to sip in a mug. Serves 12.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped yellow
4 - 5 teaspoons curry powder
4 12 oz packages frozen butternut
2 apples, peeled, cored, and
8 cups Chicken Broth
3 cup apple juice
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
1 shredded unpeeled Granny Smith
apple for garnish
1. Melt the butter in a
large heavy pot over low heat. Add the onions and curry powder and cook,
covered, until the onions are tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Add the squash, broth, chopped apples, and bring them just to the
boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash
and apples are very tender, about 25 minutes.
3. Puree the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
4. With the pureed soup in the pot, add the apple juice until
the soup is of a desired consistency. Season and heat through. Serve
immediately, garnished with shredded apple.
We’ve long loved a grape salad with sour cream, lemon juice, and a
little brown sugar, but this tickles our fancy on the Harvest table as a
bracing antipasto. It is redolent of herbs, briny, and sparked with hot
pepper. Plus local grape varieties are a revelation: tart and sweet,
musky and almost overpoweringly fragrant. Concords, Cayuga’s, Niagara’s
add a crucial touch of sweetness to savory salads. Surprise your family.
Serves 2. Just multiply for more.
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive
Sea slat and freshly ground black
½ cup black olives, halved and
1 tablespoon capers
1 anchovy, fillet, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon chopped hot chili
1 cup red grapes, halved and
seeded (if desired)
½ cup parsley leaves
cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped chives
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
4 slices proscuitto
½ ball imported buffalo
mozzarella, cut into 4 wedges
1. Combine the vinegar, garlic
and olive oil in a small bowl and season to taste.
2. Place the olives, capers, anchovy and chili in a larger bowl and add
a spoonful of the dressing. Stir well and allow to marinate 30 minutes.
3. When ready to served, stir in the grapes, parsley, cilantro, chives,
and onion. Layer the proscuitto and mozzarella with the grape salad on
two plates. Drizzle the remaining dressing over and around each salad.
ROASTED ROSEMARY POTATOES WITH GARLIC
It’s nice to add a variation to
mashed potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. Indulge in gravy atop
stuffing and the turkey instead.
6 large russet potatoes (about 4½
pounds) peeled, and cut into 1½ inch pieces
1 cup pearl onions or cipollini,
blanched and peeled
12 medium shallots, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black
24 large garlic cloves
1. Preheat oven to 425° F. In a
large mixing bowl, combine all but the garlic, and toss until well
mixed. Transfer to a large baking sheet and spread into one layer. Bake
2. Remove pan from oven, add garlic and toss to combine. Bake until
potatoes are crisp and fork tender, 30 - 40 minutes more, tossing
periodically. Serve immediately.
HAZELNUT ENGLISH TOFFEE
We’re mad about chocolate covered toffee --- it’s our favorite candy. Be
sure and use a great quality of chocolate --- Scharffen Berger,
Ghirardelli, Valharona, or El Rey. We make this in small batches, so that
it’s always fresh. When we do opt to have in our house, we keep it under
lock and key.
You’ll love it!
¾ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
(or pecans) toasted
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 ounces of best quality dark
1. Form a 10 inch square
shell out of heavy duty aluminum foil with 1 inch high sides. Place the
shell on a baking sheet and set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan, cook the butter, sugar, water, and salt over
medium heat until 305° F on a candy thermometer (hard crack).
3. Stir occasionally until mixture becomes dark golden brown, then
immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla. Pour the
mixture into the foil shell. Cool 45 minutes or until hard.
4. In a small saucepan or medium low heat, melt the chocolate. Spread
over the cooled toffee and lightly press nuts into chocolate. Let
chocolate set at least an hour. Break into pieces. Store covered at room
temp for up to a month.
ROSY RED PEPPER CREAM
This has become a real hit when served with hot and crispy tortilla
triangles. The pink color is perfect on a Holiday Buffet.
|Preheat oven to 350° F
24 oz. cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
1½ cups grated Parmesan (the
1½ cups Asiago cheese, grated
½ teaspoon smoky paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup roasted red peppers
1. Let cream cheese soften, then thoroughly mix all
ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Spread mixture into a 9x13 baking
2. Bake 40 - 45 minutes until bubbly. Transfer to serving dish and surround with
tortilla triangles or crustini.
Marrons glaceé have become all the rage – but there’s something very
special about roasting chestnuts over an open fire.
|Buy or gather
chestnuts and with a sharp knife cut an X on the round side of the
chestnut (This keeps them from exploding.) A special chestnut
roasting pan works well – but if you don’t happen to have a
chestnut pan you can still roast chestnuts.
To roast chestnuts in the fireplace, put them in a
chestnut skillet (a long handled skillet with holes in the bottom, available at
kitchenware shops) and put the skillet over hot coals, shaking it occasionally,
for one hour.
While a chestnut roasting pan works well – if you
don’t happen to have one you can still roast chestnuts. Place them in the oven,
cut side up in a baking pan and roast, covered, in a preheated 425° F oven.
Sprinkle them with three to four tablespoons of water every fifteen minutes, and
roast them for an hour.
"Strange to see how a good dinner and
feasting reconciles everybody." - Samuel Pepys
YOUR HOLIDAY BIRD
From coast to coast most holiday dinners have as their centerpiece – a
bird!! The size and origin varies, but the selection has never been
broader. If you don’t raise or hunt your own – you can still bring
adventure to your Holiday table. And a much more flavorful entrée!!
You’ll find the rare Barred Plymouth Rock
Chicken, the exceptional Dark Cornish Chicken, and fresh Bourbon Red or
American Bronze Heritage Turkeys at heritagefoodsusa.com.
At d’Artagnan, the selection is exciting and broad – ducks, capon, chicken, organic or
wild turkeys, Guinea hens, pheasant, partridge, poussin, quail, Scottish
grouse, squab and geese. There’s also whole baby pigs, kid goat, rabbit
and wild hare, venison and wild boar. All at dartagnan.com. There’s not
a reason in the world for boring Holiday feasts!! go to localharvest.org
We think traditions are better than presents, don’t you?
Before Thanksgiving The
Women of Wickwood (plus Bill) have drawn names so we have four full
weeks of Secret Santa-ing. One of the best parts of Secret Santa’s is
being surprised during your “everyday" chores!! A thoughtful little
present will surprise a Housekeeper amidst piles of towels, is found in
your purse after you’re home, or is tucked behind the raspberries with
your name on it. It makes every day fun – and you’re tickled pink when
you least expect it. The intrigue builds as we wait to discover our
Santa at the Wickwood Christmas Party!
The week between
Christmas and New Year's is a quiet one in the world - a great time to
spend time together doing things you never have time to do as a family
the rest of the year.
Have a long
Sunday dinner mid-afternoon, then a walk.
Go for a
winter hike and picnic in the woods.
the afternoon, playing Monopoly or Parcheesi.
Go to a
concert or the ballet.
homemade marshmallows for Hot Chocolate.
homemade pasta or bread together.
Use your Christmas
dishes and best silver for every meal, starting just after Thanksgiving
until the Feast of Epiphany (12th day of Christmas). Why not?
Have a Pot Luck supper
so you can see friends and not do all of the work! Have each couple
bring ornaments for all other couples to exchange. Bring five, come home
with five different ones. Make this an annual event – you might even
request handmade ornaments. Hmmm, that may be pushing it!
Remember an elderly
relative, neighbor, or sick friend. Make batches of soup, stews, pasta
sauces, and one-dish meals and freeze them. This will make their life a
little easier. You’ll be older, but wiser, one day, too soon.
Bring a sense of
secrets and surprises into your house by leaving love notes or tiny
surprises under pillows, at the breakfast table, on the steering wheel
of the car, or in someone’s pocket or briefcase.
As I truly never
ever measure --- I’ll give you the essence of our Thanksgiving Stuffing
and let you pick and choose what you might want to add to your own favorite.
I begin with Pepperidge
Farm Seasoned Bread Cubes, or make my own, then sauté lots of onions and hot spicy
sausage (adding in some of the fat), add inordinate amounts of dried
cherries, apples, celery, toasted pecans or hazelnuts, orange zest and
chopped parsley, fresh sage, sea salt and loads of freshly ground black
pepper, chicken broth and booze.
This last ingredient
began when Pat Wells and I were cooking Thanksgiving Dinner at her home
in Provence and I got carried away adding Armagnac. Well, dinner was
going to be at 11pm --- how could I not? Now, I add what ever we have
that’s really great --- sometimes Cognac, Grand Marnier, Calvados or
As I see it, I want a
moist stuffing that’s loaded with good stuff. Then I like the underlying pizzazz of spicy sausage and the
dazzle of the booze. We always stuff the bird, but my favorite stuffing
is baked in a casserole alongside. It has that crunchy top that is
irresistible swathed in gravy.
HOT CHOCOLATE PARTY
deepest most Warming Winter drink was begun by the Mexicans but
perfected by the French. Angelina’s in Paris, the City Bakery and La
Maison du Chocolate in New York, to our mind, make the very best!! We
like it dark, thick and rich – And so our simplified version is:
the best Bittersweet Chocolate (70% cocoa or more)
1 cup heavy
whole milk (we actually like 1 – but the resulting cocoa is very dark
and thick, like pudding – add milk to your taste).
Over medium heat, melt
the chocolate and heavy cream stirring regularly not to burn. (We like
to stir with a wire whisk to add a little air.) Add milk to taste and
bring to the boil for a second. Serves 4-6 small 6 ounce servings. We
prefer small tastes – more often than, caloric once-a-year hot
chocolate. Serve with real whipped cream atop!
Spiced Hot Chocolate is
all the rage – so – be adventurous with smidgens of cinnamon, ground
clove, orange zest, black or cayenne pepper, or a sprig of thyme or
tarragon. A trick: If you make hot chocolate – refrigerate – and reheat,
you’ll always have it at-the-ready and it will be even thicker still!!
"The true meaning of
life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
- Nelson Henderson