Chapter 14 – Accompaniments: Vegetables & Beans

I feel like an expectant parent. Shipping in five days.

My preview of Section 5: Accompaniments continues with Chapter 14: Vegetables & Beans. This chapter features 2o recipes — all designed to add luster to your home entertaining. Many recipes have a seasonal focus with today’s preview recipe the perfect harbinger of fall that arrives tomorrow.

Ragout of Cranberries, Apples, Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips
There’s no limit to the creative combinations of fruits and vegetables you can toss together in a single dish. Here, the tart flavors of balsamic vinegar and cranberries accent sweet roasted root vegetables for a great addition to your autumn table.

do ahead Vegetables can be sautéed two days ahead, stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a 325° oven just before serving.

2 cups 1⁄2-inch cubed peeled sweet potato
2 cups 1⁄2-inch cubed peeled parsnip
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup 1⁄2-inch cubed apple
1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

1 Preheat oven to 375°.
2 In a rimmed baking sheet, toss together sweet potato and parsnip with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast vegetables in oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, add cranberries and water to a small bowl and allow cranberries to plump.
4 Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until almost brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
5 In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, parsnip, onion and apple. Drain cranberries and add them to the vegetables. Stir in mint and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.
serves 6-8

A complete drama involving a sweet potato, apple…and an onion.

Picture 1

Pascal is just sooooo good!

Not all bottom notes are autobiographic. Some are just reflections that come from 40 years in the business.

Line Cooks: The Marines of the Industry
The food service industry has many different jobs, running the spectrum from executive chefs to bakers, from porters to dishwashers. By far the hardest job in the industry is that of a line cook—the person working the sauté station in a busy high-quality restaurant. The orders come fast and furious. You struggle to keep them sorted out— starting the right dish at the right time so that an entire table can be served at the same time. The techniques are exacting. Speed and efficiency are at a premium. There is no time for wasted motion. It can start at 6 P.M. and run five or six hours without letup. It’s an amazing way to spend the evening.

Tomorrow: Chapter 15 is the last of our Accompaniments section and features Starches & Grains.

Less than two weeks left to buy the book — and companion website — and receive a signed, numbered first edition.

Note: I will be speaking all about At Home — book and companion website — at the Free Library on Thursday, October 15 beginning at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there.


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