November 26, 2014 12:00 PM


2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved vertically

4 oz. pancetta, diced

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, sliced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp. each fresh thyme leaves, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup dry white wine

Shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 425°. Combine Brussels sprouts and next 7 ingredients on an aluminum-foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet; toss well. Spread in a single layer.

2. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes, until deeply browned. Remove from oven. Stir in white wine immediately, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits.

3. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Makes: 6 servings Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes


¼ cup aged sherry vinegar

1½ tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup olive oil

8-12 ripe fresh figs, stemmed and halved, depending on size (see note)

1 cup (4 oz.) whole walnut halves

8-10 cups (9 oz.) baby arugula

8 oz. Roquefort cheese, crumbled

Note: Figs sold singly in trays will be larger than figs sold in pint baskets.

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey, 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil. Set aside.

3. Remove stems from figs with a small knife. Depending on their size, cut figs in half or quarters through stem end. Place figs and walnuts together in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on ripeness of figs, until they begin to release some of their juices.

4. Meanwhile, place arugula in a large bowl, add vinaigrette, and toss well. Distribute arugula among 6 salad plates, add Roquefort, and then place warm figs and walnuts on top. Serve immediately.

Makes: 6 servings Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1½ lb. (¼-in.-thick) chicken cutlets

¾ cup canola oil

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup unsalted butter, divided

2 large shallots, finely chopped

4 cups (16 oz.) crimini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 cup Marsala wine

Brown Sauce (recipe right)

1. Flatten chicken to 1/8-in. thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

2. Whisk together flour, salt and pepper in a large, shallow bowl. Dredge cutlets in flour mixture; set aside.

3. Cook cutlets, in batches, in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove cutlets to paper towels.

4. Discard oil; wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Cook shallots in 2 tbsp. melted butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Add mushrooms to skillet; increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden.

5. Remove skillet from heat; stir in wine. Return skillet to heat; cook sauce for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbling. Stir in Brown Sauce, and reduce heat to medium; simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in remaining butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Return cutlets to skillet. Spoon sauce over cutlets, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Transfer cutlets to serving platter. Ladle sauce over cutlets. Serve immediately.

Makes: 6 to 8 servings Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes


2 tbsp. unsalted butter

¼ cup each finely diced carrots, celery and white onions

¼ tsp. each fresh thyme leaves and kosher salt

Pinch of cracked black pepper

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

3 cups beef stock

1. Cook carrots, celery and onions in melted butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden.

2. Stir in next 3 ingredients; cook for 1 minute. Add flour; stir until smooth. Reduce heat to medium; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Whisk in beef stock; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced by 1/3.

4. Pour sauce through a wire mesh strainer into a medium bowl; discard vegetables. Cool sauce to room temperature; set aside (or cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks).

Makes: about 2 cups Prep time: 15 minutes, plus cooing Cook time: 35 minutes


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup vegetable shortening

3 cups sugar

5 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

½ cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate icing (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

2. Whisk together sifted flour and next 3 ingredients. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan.

3. Bake for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Do not open the oven door during baking. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack (about 1 hour). Frost with chocolate icing, if desired.

Makes: 16 servings Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 1 hour, plus cooling

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