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Four-Star Menu for Fall

Where do you find your inspiration?

Chef Eric Ripert finds his in Italy, Northern California and New York, among other places.

He's executive chef of the Manhattan restaurant Le Bernardin, and is a three-star Michelin chef -- considered by many to be one of the best in the world.

Ripert has just launched a new PBS show, "Avec Eric," in which he offers his audience an inside look into locations where he finds his sources of inspiration for his world-renowned dishes.

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Chef Ripert also finds inspiration in the seasons. He appeared on "The Early Show" with dishes inspired by fall's fresh ingredients.


Fall Vegetables with Mustard Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 pound fingerling potatoes, cleaned
6 shallots, peeled and cut in half
1 pound mixed baby root vegetables (turnips, carrots, beets)
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
1/2 pound green beans
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut the large fingerling potatoes in half and place the potatoes in a mixing bowl with the shallots. Drizzle some of the olive oil over the potatoes and shallots; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes and shallots for about 25-30 minutes until tender. Roast the baby root vegetables in the same manner.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with salt. Blanch the Brussels sprouts in boiling water until tender about 4-5 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into an ice water bath to cool. Repeat with the green beans.
4. Combine Dijon mustard, grain mustard and sherry vinegar in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the ½ cup of olive oil while whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the roasted vegetables, Brussels sprouts and green beans with the mustard vinaigrette.

Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

The Risotto:
12 cups chicken stock
1 cup mushroom stems and trimmings
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter

The Mushroom Garnish (optional):
1 pound mushroom medley, such as chanterelles, porcini, portabella and hen of the woods
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, minced
fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer with the mushroom stems and trimmings. Let the stock simmer and infuse for at least 30 minutes. Strain the stock into another pot and keep hot.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in heavy bottomed saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened but not colored about 4 minutes. Add the diced mushrooms and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes.

Stir the rice into the onion, garlic and mushroom; continue cooking until the rice turns opaque about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and reduce until almost dry.

Ladle about 8 ounces of chicken stock over the rice and cook, stirring constantly until the stock is absorbed. Repeat this about 4-5 times, making sure the liquid is absorbed completely each time until the rice is tender and creamy.

Remove the pan from heat; season with salt and pepper and stir in the grated parmesan and butter.
For the mushroom garnish, wash and trim all of the mushrooms.

Heat a large sauté pan with the olive oil over medium high heat; add the shallot and let cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until nicely colored and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the risotto with the sautéed mushrooms over and around the rice.

Apple Galette with Cinnamon Crème Fraiche

Serves 4

2 sheets frozen puff dough, defrosted and trimmed to 4 6-inch rounds
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place the puff dough rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Prick the puff dough a few times with a fork and keep cold.

Slice the apples very thinly with a knife or on a mandoline, about 1/8-inch thick. Carefully place the apple slices in a fan pattern around the puff dough.

Brush the galettes with melted butter; sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over each galette and bake for 20-25 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown and the apples are cooked.

While the apple galettes are cooking, stir together the crème fraiche, 1 teaspoon of sugar and cinnamon.
Serve the galettes hot with a dollop of crème fraiche on top.

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