Try planking your menu

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Serves 6-8 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or fresh artichokes, cleaned and cut 1 medium yellow onion, sliced 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/2 cups ricotta 1/2 cup heavy cream 3/4 cup grated Parmesan 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs 10 eggs, divided use Salt and pepper to taste 2 sheets puff pastry Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing pastry 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2. Cook the Swiss chard or artichokes in salted water for five minutes. Drain well and chop. 3. Saute the onion with butter then add the Swiss chard or artichokes, ricotta and cream. 4. Take the pan off the stove, and stir in the Parmesan, breadcrumbs and 4 eggs. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Divide the first pastry sheet in half and roll it out until you can line a large pie dish with edges overhanging. Brush with olive oil and cover with the second half. 6. Top with the Swiss chard or artichoke mixture. Create six little holes in the mixture and crack one egg in each hole. 7. Divide the second puff pastry sheet in half and roll it out. Cover the mixture with the first half, brush with olive oil, then cover with the second half and brush again with oil. 8. Crimp sides of puff pastry along pan edge carefully to seal. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes longer. — Chef Donatella Trotti, Nonna Tata
Makes 1 quart 3 1/2 pints fresh blackberries Juice from 1 lemon 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon 3 1/2 cups sugar 1 envelope liquid pectin 1. Place blackberries, lemon juice, tarragon and sugar in a stainless-steel saucepan. Stir the mixture until incorporated, then bring to a boil. 2. Pour in the pectin and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 3. Place in a stainless-teel bowl, then place that bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally until cool. Chill overnight. — Chef Summer Jones, Saint-Emilion
Makes 3 cups 8 large red peppers 3/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup orange juice 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 4 large garlic cloves, chopped 1 minced onion 2 cups sugar 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon minced rosemary 1 teaspoon minced marjoram 1. Grill red peppers, then remove skins, seeds and veins and chop small. 2. Combine all ingredients and simmer over low heat until consistency is syrupy. — Chef Lanny Lancarte, Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana
Makes about 1 dozen 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons sugar 4 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary 1 whole egg 1 cup buttermilk 2 ounces chilled unsalted butter 1. Mix all of the dry ingredients, including the herbs, together in a bowl. 2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. 3. Cut the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until pea size. 4. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and quickly mix until combined. 5. Knead the dough about five times, or just until the dough holds together. Make sure not to overwork the dough or the biscuits will be chewy. 6. Pat the dough out to about 3/4- to 1-inch thickness. Cut into squares approximately 2 inches by 2 inches. 7. Place squares on a floured sheet tray and bake or freeze. If you decide to freeze the biscuits, you can transfer to a freezer bag after about 2 hours and keep up to 3 months. 8. Once you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the frozen biscuits on a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheet tray and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. — Chef Molly McCook, Ellerbe Fine Foods
Serves 8 1 cup edamame in shucks 3/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained 2 large garlic cloves 1/4 cup baby spinach 1 tablespoon sesame oil Kosher salt, to taste 1/3 cup soybean oil 1. Blanch the edamame in boiling water until they float. Shock edamame in ice water. Shuck edamame and set aside. 2. Place edamame, chickpeas, garlic, spinach, sesame oil and salt in a food processor and pulse until everything is mixed, about four pulses. Scrape the sides of the food processor. 3. Puree the mixture, about 30 seconds, while slowly adding the soybean oil. — Chef Jarry Ho, Shinjuku Station
More information Resources and Recipes, Page 127

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A plank — be it wooden, marble, metal or slate — can serve as a blank canvas for chefs to create a self-portrait of their culinary repertoire, all the while providing for a bounty of tastes and textures to feed family and friends. When assembling a spread, breads, cheeses and meats are just the beginning, as we see from the eight worldly planks shown here, prepared by local chefs whose culinary passions and expertise lie in the particular regions. Each gives a gastronomical glimpse of cuisine from around the globe, from pickled Gulf shrimp and Italian polenta squares to Spanish chorizo and Japanese lotus root chips. This entertaining season, whether planking hors d’oeuvres or an entire meal, use these spreads as inspiration for creating a menu of riches meant for grazing.

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