Award-winning chef Frank McClelland knows how to get his hands dirty.
Some of his earliest memories are of digging potatoes on his grandfather's farm in New Hampshire.
McClelland later worked at Boston's L'Espalier restaurant -- then bought the place, and turned it into a star. Make that four stars actually, from the Boston Globe and the prestigious Mobil Travel Guide, plus a James Beard Award to McClellan as best chef in the Northeast.
Much of what he serves comes from his own farm, and this year he opened a second restaurant, La Brasa.
Now, you can cook a few of McClelland's signature recipes at home. Here's how to make Cider-Glazed Roast Duck, Stuffed Baby Pumpkins, Warm Pickled Cabbage, Spinach and Fava Bean Ragout, Cranberry Pan Jus, Apple Fritters, Crisp November and Basque Cider to drink!
Ultimate dish: cider-glazed roast duck
One 5 lb. duck, washed and dried
Mix and rub over duck:
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon 5 spice
1 garlic clove minced
Let stand in a cool place for 2 to 5 hours
1 qt apple cider
2 oz honey
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 allspice berries or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Place all glazed ingredients in a 2 qt pot and place on stove on medium to high heat and reduce down to 2/3 cup of liquid, strain. Set aside.
Mix the following together and use mixture to stuff duck:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange
2 clove garlic
1 teaspoon thyme dry or 4 fresh sprigs
1 teaspoon tarragon dry or 4 fresh sprigs
Pre-heat oven to 375. Take a large cooking vessel with a tight fitting cover that is large enough to hold duck. Cover bottom of the vessel with 2 inches of water and place spice rubbed and stuffed duck into it and cover. Place in oven for 1 hour. This step in the cooking process can be completed many hours or the day before the finish roasting and glazing.
Take duck out of oven and place duck in a roasting pan with rack underneath. Let cool for 30 minutes or place in a cool place until ready to complete next step.
Pre-heat oven at 400 convection or standard oven at 425. Take a pastry brush and brush on the glaze. Place in oven.
Total cooking time: 1 hour. Every 15 minutes, take out and reapply glaze.
When done cooking, remove from over and glaze again.
Optional: take toasted crushed nuts and seeds and sprinkle over duck.
Mix and serve on the rocks with thin apple slices tucked down the sides of 180 degrees of the glass.
Stuffed baby pumpkins
2 lbs fresh chestnuts
4 ea. Baby sugar pumpkins
2 c. Heavy cream
2 c. Chicken stock
1 t. Nutmeg
1 t. Cinnamon
1 lb butter
Salt and black pepper to taste
Remove top of pumpkins and scrape out seeds. Add 1 tbl. Of butter and 1/2 tsp. of each spice into the pumpkins. Cover with aluminum foil and roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender. Roast lids separately for 15 minutes for color.
Toast rough chopped chestnuts in butter until golden brown.
Reduce heavy cream by 1/3 with remaining spices and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper.
Combine seasoned cream and chestnuts and simmer until risotto consistency. Scoop out some of the cooked pumpkin interior and add to 'risotto', season to taste.
Warm pickled cabbage
3 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 1/2 cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 t. Sliced ginger
1 head red cabbage
Cut cabbage in half and remove the core. Shave thinly on a mandolin. Bring pickling liquid with all spices to a boil and steep for ten minutes. Strain pickling liquid and bring back to the boil. Pour over the cabbage and let steep for ten more minutes.
Spinach and fava bean ragout
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 c. Fava beans, blanched and shelled
5 c. Fresh baby spinach
Warm sauté pan. Add butter to pan and begin to melt. Quickly add shallots and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add spinach and wilt . Add fava beans to warm. Remove from heat and season with lemon juice salt and pepper.
Cranberry pan jus
1 c. Chicken stock
1 c. White wine
1 c. Fresh cranberries
2 t. Cold butter
Add the fresh cranberries and white wine to the pan from which the duck was roasted. Roast in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Once most of the white wine has evaporated, add the chicken stock and scrape the pan to remove all of the duck drippings and honey glaze. Add the cold butter and whisk to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.
2 pounds all-purpose flour
5 oz sugar
2 oz baking powder
24 oz milk
9 each eggs
Whisk all ingredients together in order. Peel and dice 1 gala apple. Coat apple in batter and fry at 325f until golden brown. Toss in cinnamon sugar. To be served in a wooden apple basket accomponied by crab apples.
Crisp November is a layered dish assembled in a mason jar. Going from the bottom to the top the dish is as follows.
-chestnut sponge cake
-warm pear sabayon
-fresh diced pear
-coconut sage ice cream
Yield: 1 half sheet tray
750g heavy cream
375g ap flour
200g cake flour
175g chestnut flour
24g baking powder
Whip cream to soft peak. Whip egg and sugar until pale. Sift all dry. Combine half of the cream to egg mixture. Fold in dry. Fold in remaining cream. Bake at 350f. Soak the top with frangelico simple syrup.
Yield: 2 medium cryovac bags
315g fresh pears
80g poire williams
400g pasteurized yolks
.5 ea lemon juice
Once you peel the pears, let sit in water so that they don't oxidize. Weigh other ingredients. Blend everything together on high in a vita prep. Strain. Put in 2 cryovac bags. Sous vide at 72 c for 14 minutes. Fill and charge isi gun. Hold at 60 c.
Yield: 1 rosa
3 cups brown sugar
2 cups ap flour
2 cups oats
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp nutmeg
10.5 oz soft butter
200 g shredded dehydrated apple
Shred apples and place on dehyrator sheet overnight. Combine all dry. Rub butter in until crumbly. Do not over mix. Bake at 300. Constantly stirring and breaking up the chunks with a bench scraper. Shouldn't be chunky when packaged away.
Coconut sage ice cream
Yield: 1 gallon
3200g coconut (1/2 puree, 1/2 milk)
112g glucose powder
138g lime juice
Blend all dry ingredients together. Hand blend into water and puree. Bring to a boil and set on ice. Blend in sage, strain. Spin in ice cream machine and hold in freezer
Slice apples thin on a mandolin. Dip in simple syrup and dehydrate overnight.