bowl of vegetables

2010 January Sectional Recipes

Some people asked me about the food served at the sectional. Most of the recipes are fairly simple, the sort of things that can be easily scaled up. Presented below are the original unscaled recipes.

Savory Fusilli
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, drained
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans (28 ounces each) Italian pear-shaped tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 small red chili, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sliced imported Italian black olives
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 package (1 lb) fusilli
Freshly ground pepper
From Betty Crocker’s Pasta Favorites (1993)

Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté capers and garlic in oil. Stir in tomatoes and chili. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in olives, oregano and basil. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Cook fusilli as directed and tomato mixture. Serve with pepper.

Optionally allow to cool, refrigerate, and serve cold.

Moroccan Carrot Salad
12 carrots
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 pinches cayenne
2 pinches cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt to taste

Boil 12 medium sliced, trimmed, peeled carrots and 1 peeled crushed garlic clove in water until soft, 6-8 minutes. Drain, let cool. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients.

Roasted Green Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb fresh whole green beans, trimmed
1 cup thinly sliced onion
10 to 12 medium cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 cup lightly toast pine nuts
From the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (1977)

Preheat over to 400 F. Brush a large baking tray (with sides) with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Spread the green beans, onions, and garlic cloves on the tray and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes, intermittently stirring or shaking the tray. Taste a green bean to see if it’s as tender as you like. If not, put it back in for another 5 or 10 minutes [note: I find it takes about 40 minutes of baking].

Remove from oven; transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with vinegar, and possibly grind in some additional black pepper. Serve at any temperature, topper with lightly toasted pine nuts.

Note: if preparing ahead, wait to add vinegar and pine nuts until shortly before serving.

Spanish Potatoes with Capers and Dill
1 1/2 lb medium potatoes, preferably red waxy
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
4 teaspoons small capers
Salt and pepper
Fresh dill (for garnish)

Boil the potatoes in their skins in salted water until tender. While the potatoes are cooking make the dressing. In a small bowl mix together the oil, lemon juice, orange juice, onion, parsley, dill, capers, salt, and pepper. Let sit at room temperature.

Drain the potatoes, cool briefly, skin, then cut in slices ~1/8 inch thick. Arrange in layers in a serving dish, pouring some of the dressing over each layer and sprinkling with salt. Marinate for several hours at room temperature, carefully turning occasionally with a metal spatula. Serve at room temperature, decorated with a sprig of dill.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt
Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for one 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours of chilling

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.