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Posts Tagged ‘cooking in vt’

Recipe: Slow-Cooked Oxtail With Yogurt & Sweet Potatoes

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Recipes, Taste of the Landscape

Slow-Cooked Oxtail With Yogurt & Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4
Deliciously different with the Lebanese and Turkish flavors of yogurt, cinnamon and chickpeas and the slightly smoky and spicy pepper butter.
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  1. 5 pounds oxtails, cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths (if using shanks, cook them whole)
  2. 1 ½ cups plain yogurt, strained or Greek-style, divided
  3. 2 large all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed (but not necessary to peel) and roughly chopped
  4. 3 carrots, scrubbed (but not necessary to peel) and roughly chopped
  5. 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  6. 2 stalks of celery with leaves, roughly chopped
  7. 2 cinnamon sticks
  8. 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
  9. 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  10. 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  11. 2 teaspoons honey
  12. 3 tablespoons flour
  13. 2 egg yolks
  14. 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  15. 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (can sizes vary from 15 to 19-ounces and are all fine; or use about 2 to 3 cups home-cooked chickpeas)
To finish
  1. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper flakes (Samad uses a Turkish dried pepper called kirmizi biber)
  3. 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or tarragon, or a combination
  1. In a bowl, combine the oxtails and 1 cup of the yogurt and stir to coat the meat in yogurt. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. In a large stock pot, combine the yogurt-marinated meat with the potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and cinnamon sticks. Add 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper and 12 to 14 cups of cold water just to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat and then reduce heat to low.
  2. Cook uncovered at a slow simmer for about 3 hours, occasionally skimming any foam that rises, until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bones. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cool to lukewarm and then, if you prefer not to serve the meat on the bone, pull the meat from the bones and set aside. Strain the liquid from the vegetables and cinnamon sticks and discard cinnamon sticks and vegetables (or save the vegetables for another use, such as soups or mashed and fried as potato-vegetable cakes). Ideally, leave the liquid to cool and then refrigerate overnight for easiest removal of fat. (You should have about 4 to 5 cups of liquid. If you have more, save it for another use.)
  3. When ready to complete the dish, return the de-fatted oxtail cooking liquid to a large pot set over medium-high heat and add the sweet potato. Bring to a strong simmer and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes until the sweet potato is just tender. In the meantime, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup yogurt, honey, flour, egg yolks and lemon juice. When the sweet potato is tender, reduce the heat under the pot to low. Slowly whisk in a small ladleful of the hot liquid to the yogurt mixture to temper it and then another ladleful. Then stir the tempered yogurt mixture slowly into the pot. (The resulting liquid should be the texture of heavy cream. If it’s not, cook briefly and gently to reduce.) Stir in the chickpeas and the reserved meat. Increase the heat to medium low to reach a bare simmer. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and add at least ½ teaspoon salt to balance yogurt.
  4. While the stew is heating through, melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the red pepper flakes and paprika. Ladle the stew into bowls over wilted greens if desired, garnishing with pepper butter and fresh herbs.
Adapted from chef/co-owner Ismail Samad, The Gleanery, Putney
Adapted from chef/co-owner Ismail Samad, The Gleanery, Putney
Vermont Life Magazine

Chefs on Fire | It’s back to the oldest trick in the book: cooking with an open flame

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Taste of the Landscape

Photographed by Andrew Wellman

This article appeared in the Winter 2013-14 edition of Vermont Life magazine. It will be available online for a limited time. To subscribe and have full access to Vermont Life, click here.

After a flirtation with high-tech culinary tools that facilitated precise trompe l’oeil creations and guaranteed evenly cooked food with the touch of a button, chefs have come home to the oldest technique there is: the direct interplay between fire and food. Around the country and here in Vermont, an increasing number of restaurants are using indoor wood-fired grills and ovens to put out smoke-kissed food with that inimitable lick of flame. Cooking with wood delivers food with an honest simplicity, the chefs say, although it requires more skill to manage than one might expect. It’s a little bit wild and exciting, but also fosters a warm and welcoming restaurant ambiance. Vermont chefs relish the challenge — and the flavors. As Eric Warnstedt, chef-owner of the new wood-fire-focused Hen of the Wood in Burlington, says, “It just feels like the right way to cook here in Vermont.”



Chef-owner Eric Warnstedt works the wood-fired grill at Hen of the Wood in Burlington.

At Hen of the Wood’s second location, which opened this fall in downtown Burlington at Hotel Vermont, chef-owner Eric Warnstedt and his team designed the whole menu and restaurant around the wood-fired oven and grill that anchor one side of the dining room. “Almost everything will be touched by fire,” Warnstedt says. “You’ll walk in the door and you’ll smell the wood and you’ll smell the food. I’ve wanted to do this forever.” They slow-roast the restaurant’s namesake mushrooms with house-cured bacon in the oven and dangle legs of lamb over the grill to drip their aromatic fat into pots of beans, while whole onions melt into lush softness tucked into the embers. “Smoke is an ingredient,” says chef de cuisine Jordan Ware, noting how even carrots simply roasted in a cast-iron pan over coals absorb the soft edge of smoke and require little other seasoning. Whole wild calamari are grilled directly on the grates, while tender, young chickens, known as poussins, are herb-brined before they head into the masonry oven; even wood-roasted apples star in desserts drizzled with brown-butter caramel and crème fraîche. “I think it’s the best way to showcase our food and to showcase what we like about Vermont food,” Warnstedt concludes.



Chef-owner Stephen Sawyer works the grill and rotisserie at Table 24.

When Stephen Sawyer returned home to Rutland five years ago to start his own place after building a solid national resumé in corporate hospitality, he created Table 24.

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Written by Julianne Puckett on . Posted in Taste of the Landscape

pumpkinWe’ve finished October and are into November: Are you sick of pumpkin yet?

I swear, as soon as Labor Day was over, it was a veritable pumpkinpalooza all over. The jokes and memes started abounding on Facebook and via e-mail (“Prepare for pumpkin everything!”), and you couldn’t look at a food-related website without being smacked in the face with some kind of pumpkin recipe.

And don’t get me started on Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes.

I, as a food blogger, refused to succumb. Early autumn is the the time to celebrate apples, pears and all the other ugly, misshapen fruits and root vegetables that I harvest from my farmette. I spent the whole month of September celebrating pears and apples and butternut squash (oh my).

But, once the calendar pages turned to October, I too was ready to give pumpkin its due. Here are some of  the more interesting ways that I enjoyed the pumpkin harvest this fall:

  • Bourbon Apple Pumpkin Butter: Slow-cooked in a crockpot, this butter is equally enjoyable slathered on toast, mixed into oatmeal or served next to a pork roast.crockpot_pumpkin_bread
  • Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread: Yes, you really can bake bread in your crockpot! It’s moist and delicious.
  • Red Pepper Pumpkin Soup: Nothing is more warming on a cool fall day that a nice bowl of soup — and it’s even better loaded with veggies.
  • Maple Pumpkin Mini Muffins: A sweet treat that can serve double duty as a quick, easy breakfast and a lunchbox snack.

Did I miss any of your favorites? Please just let me know: I’ll need to find new, exciting ways of cooking up pumpkin again come October of next year. Right now, I think I need one of those lattes before it’s time to start Christmas shopping.

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