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Story - Food

Dec 17, 2018 2:54 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Holiday Dinner Recipes That Eliminate Last-Minute Work

Dec 18, 2018 10:38 AM

Every family has traditional foods at the holiday dinner table.

We always had a roast beef with Yorkshire pudding with all the trimmings on Christmas Day. My menu for 2018 dinner eliminates last-minute work because the beef daube, rice pilaf, and chocolate tart are prepared the day before, which gives me ample time to enjoy my family and guests and simply cook the vegetables while reheating the rice and beef, preparing the salad and plating the dessert. Have a wonderful holiday season and healthy happy New Year! Bon appétit!

Dark Chocolate
Pistachio Tart(9-inch tart, serves 10 to 12)1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoon raw unsalted shelled pistachios, divided

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup apricot preserves

3/4 cup half and half

10 ounces 70 percent dark chocolate bar, chopped

1/4 teaspoon Maldon sea saltTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Lightly coat a 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray.

Place pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about eight minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Remove 2 tablespoons of nuts and reserve.

Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Working in the food processor fitted with a stainless steel blade, add nuts and process until they are finely ground and beginning to clump together, about one minute. Add salt to taste.

Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form, then fold pistachios into the white. With dampened rubber scraper, press the mixture into the prepared tart pan. Using your fingers, evenly press the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until browned, for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

Spread apricot jam evenly on top of the crust. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the half and half to a simmer.

Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl; pour the simmering half and half over the chocolate. Let stand one minute and whisk until smooth.

Pour the chocolate over the preserves.

Chill the tart until the chocolate is set at least two hours.

Sprinkle pistachios and Maldon salt on the tart.

Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries.Beef Daube
Adapted from Julia Child, 
“Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volume II”(Serves 6)5 ounces bacon, sliced thick and cut into lardons

3 1/2 to 4 pounds boned and trimmed beef stew meat cut into chunks (about 2-by-3-by-1-inch)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

About 2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing

2 cups sliced yellow onions

1 head garlic, peeled, trimmed, about 10 whole cloves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped

2 cups good quality beef stock

2 cups full bodied red wine

1 stalk fresh rosemary

5 fresh parsley stems, leaves removed

1 bay leaf

1 carrot, peeled and halved lengthwiseAdditional vegetables:1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

About 1 1/2 cups good quality chicken stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 pounds mushrooms, halved and cut into bite-sized pieces

About 1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup full bodied red wine (same as the wine in the beef dish)

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish

Optional: About 1 cup defrosted extra fancy petit pois for garnishTo prepare:Bring 1 quart of water to a boil, add bacon and remove the pan from the heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Drain off water and pat dry with paper towels.

In a heavy casserole dish over moderate heat, coat the bottom with oil, sauté the bacon until light brown, and with a slotted spoon transfer it to paper towels. Leave the fat in the casserole.

Meanwhile, trim off excess fat from the meat and pat dry with paper towels.

Raise the heat to high; when oil is hot, add only as many pieces of meat that will easily fit on the bottom of the pan.

Brown the meat on all sides, turning as often as necessary. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Continue browning all the meat and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

If the oil in the casserole is burned, wipe it out and add a film of oil to the pan over moderate heat.

Add onions and cook, stirring often until soft and translucent, about seven to eight minutes.

Add garlic, chopped rosemary and tomatoes and stir to combine. Stir in the meat, bacon (if desired.) Add beef stock and enough wine to barely cover the meat.

Tuck a sprig of rosemary, bay leaf, carrot, and parsley stems into the stew, cover, and bring to a simmer.

Place casserole in oven and bake, stirring now and then until the meat is tender, about 2 1/2 hours. The cooking time will depend on the cut of the meat.

Remove from oven, bring to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate over night.

The next day, discard the herbs, carrot, and all the hard fat on top of the sauce. Daube can be frozen for up to two to three weeks.

The day before serving, defrost the beef in the refrigerator.To finish: In a saucepan over high heat, add the stock and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are tender to the point of a fork.Drain off the stock and reserve for another use.

Taste and season the carrots with salt and pepper and transfer to the beef.

In a skillet over high heat, add a few drops of oil, add mushrooms in a single layer and sauté, shaking the pan often, add salt and pepper, and cook until they are brown. Transfer to a side dish and repeat with the remaining mushrooms until all are browned.

Add wine to the skillet, bring to a boil, add the accumulated mushroom juices and reduce the sauce until it is nearly a glaze. Gently stir mushrooms and the pan juices (and carrots) into the beef. Place a piece of parchment paper directly on top of the daube, cover the pot and set aside.

About one hour before serving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Reheat the daube until hot, about 30 to 35 minutes. Spoon daube over rice pilaf and garnish with peas and parsley.

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