A Hint Of Thanksgiving

Suzanne Goin is the executive chef and co-owner of the Los Angeles restaurant, Lucques. Since the last time she was The Saturday Early Show's Chef on a Shoestring, she has earned the prestigious James Beard award for the Best Chef of California, and her cookbook, "Sunday Suppers at Lucques," also won a James Beard award.

She came back to the program to prepare a three-course meal for four people on a budget of $40.

FOOD FACTS:

Radicchio:
A red-leafed Italian chicory that has firm leaves and a slightly bitter taste. It's available year-round.

Asian pear: There are more than 100 varieties but the one most commonly seen in the United States is large, round and a yellowish-green. Asian pears, in general, are firm to the touch and crunchy to the bite, and are lightly sweet and very juicy.

Pancetta: An Italian bacon that is cured with salt and spices but is not smoked. It typically comes in a sausage-like roll.

This is Chef Goin's menu for Chef on a Shoestring:
Salad of Apples & Asian Pears with Radicchio & Buttermilk Dressing
Pancetta-Wrapped Turkey Over Sweet Potatoes in a Sage Brown Butter
"Pumpkin" Cake with Pecan Streusel & Maple Cream

RECIPES

BARBARA'S APPLES AND ASIAN PEARS WITH RADICCHIO, MINT, AND BUTTERMILK DRESSING

Ingredients

1 extra-large egg yolk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
1 to 2 lemons, for juicing
1/4 cup crème fraiche
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 apples, firm, crisp, and juicy
1 Asian pear
1 head radicchio
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:
  1. Place the egg yolk in a stainless steel bowl. Begin whisking in the vegetable oil drop by drop, as slowly as you can bear. Continue in this manner until the mixture begins to thicken. Once the mayonnaise has emulsified, you can add the rest of the oil in a slow stream, whisking all the time.

  2. Combine the shallot, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and let sit 5 minutes. Whisk in the crème fraiche and the buttermilk. Gently whisk this mixture into the mayonnaise, and taste for balance and seasoning.

  3. Slice the apples and Asian pear away from the core. Cut into 1/8-inch thick slices and place them in a large salad bowl. Tear the radicchio into large bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Toss the salad with three-quarters of the dressing, and season with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon and a little more of the dressing if necessary.

  4. Transfer to a large chilled platter and scatter the mint over the top.
PANCETTA-WRAPPED TURKEY

Ingredients

4 each 6-ounce escalopes of skinless turkey breast
4 slices pancetta, about 1/8 inch thick
12 large sage leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil

Method
  1. Place the turkey on a cutting board. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

  2. Press 3 sage leaves onto the top side of each turkey escalope.

  3. Wrap each piece of turkey with a piece of pancetta, spiraling the pancetta around the turkey like the stripe on a candy cane. You can do this the day before but if you do, don't season the turkey first. Instead, take it out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature and then season right before cooking.

  4. Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 2 minutes, swirl in the olive oil and wait 1 minute.

  5. Carefully lay the turkey in the pan sage-side down, and cook 4 or 5 minutes until it is golden brown. Turn the turkey over, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook a few more minutes until the turkey is just cooked through. (No one likes dry turkey!)

  6. Serve over the sweet potatoes and finish with sage brown butter if you like.
SWEET POTATOES WITH BACON AND SPINACH

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, Jewel or Garnet
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tsp sliced sage leaves
1/3-pound slab bacon
1/2 pound young spinach, cleaned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut them into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Place them in a large bowl and toss with the sugar.

  3. In a medium saute pan, cook the butter over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, until it's brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and let cool a few minutes. Add the sage to the butter, and pour it over the sweet potatoes, scraping the pan with a rubber spatula to get all the brown bits. Toss with a large spoon, being careful of the hot butter. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large roasting pan and bake in the over 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are caramelized with the butter and sugar.

  4. While the potatoes are cooking, slice the bacon lengthwise into 3/8-inch thick slices. Stack them in two piles, then cut the strips crosswise into 3/8-inch even-sided rectangles, or lardons. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the bacon, and cook about 5 minutes, until it's tender and lightly crisped. Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a plate.

  5. When the sweet potatoes are done, remove the pan from the oven and toss in bacon and spinach. Taste for seasoning.
SAGE BROWN BUTTER

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sliced sage leaves
salt and pepper

Method
Place the butter in a small saute pan and cook over medium heat until it is a deep golden brown and smells nutty. Add the sage, let it sizzle, and season with salt and pepper. Taste (carefully!) and spoon over the turkey.

"PUMPKIN" CAKE WITH PECAN STREUSEL AND MAPLE CREAM

Ingredients

1 Kabocha or butternut squash
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus a little for the pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon honey
Pecan streusel topping (recipe follows)
Maple whipped cream

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet, cut side up. (Don't remove the seeds yet; they give extra flavor.) Cover with foil, and roast about 1 hour, until very tender. Let cool 10 minutes, and then scoop out the seeds and discard them. Puree the warm squash through a ricer or food mill and measure out 1 1/2 cups. (You can reheat any leftover puree, season it with salt, pepper, and butter, and eat it for dinner!)

  3. Turn the oven down to 350F.

  4. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan. Brush the bottom of the pan with a little butter, and then line it with the paper.

  5. Place the 8 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Combine the vanilla extract and butter. Add the vanilla and butter mixture to the pan, and cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the butter browns and smells nutty.

  6. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large bowl. Add the salt. Make a well in the center.

  7. In another large bowl, whisk the reserved 1 1/2 cups squash puree, milk, 1/4 cup cream, eggs, and honey to combine. Pour the liquid into the well in the dry ingredients, and whisk until incorporated. Stir in the brown butter, scraping with a rubber spatula to make sure you get all the brown bits from the pan.

  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 25 minutes, then remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top. Bake the cake another 45 minutes, until the topping is crisp and cake has set. (The center of the cake will still be somewhat soft and won't pass the toothpick test.) Cool the cake on a rack for at least 15 minutes.

  9. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 1 cup cream to soft peaks. Flavor to taste with maple syrup.

  10. Cut six slices from the cake and serve with scoops of maple whipped cream.
PECAN STREUSEL TOPPING

Ingredients
1/4 cup pecans
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon dried nutmeg

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

  2. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet, and toast them 8 to 10 minutes, until they darken slightly and smell nutty. When the nuts have cooled, chop them coarsely. Toss the nuts with the oil and salt.

  3. In a food processor, pulse the butter, sugars, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg until just combined. Remove to a bowl, stir in the salted pecans, and chill until ready to use.
  • Ellen Crean

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