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First Courses

Creamed Corn

You can make creamed corn without cream and still get just what you want from the dish: the texture of cream and the flavor of corn. In fact, creamed corn without cream is a distinct improvement on creamed corn with cream. Relying on the corn’s own starch for thickening guarantees that…

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Chilled Two-Melon Soup with Balsamic Marinated Strawberries & Sour Cream

This totally refreshing summertime soup is a breeze to make; all you need is a blender. The key is to find really ripe melons and be sure that the soup is served very cold. It looks great, too, because the two purees don’t mix, when you pour them into the…

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A Summer Salad from Paris

Several years ago Cory Van Horn sent me this photo along with an e-mail saying “I made your ‘Summer Salad from Paris’. . . . This recipe is delicious! I loved how all the flavors scream summer.” You can find more of his work at www.culinarycory.com. Janis Adler is my…

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Scrambled Egg and Smoked Salmon Crêpes

Yields 4 servings 8 Basic Crêpes (see recipe below) 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter 8 large eggs 2 tablespoons whole milk 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 ounces Gruyere cheese 8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon Prepare the crêpes. Preheat the…

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Mini Goat Cheese Souffles in Phyllo Cups with Micro Green and Radish Salad and Spicy Pecan Praline

Makes 24 hors d’oeuvres For the phyllo cups: 3 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted For the soufflé filling: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 3/4 cup whole milk 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2 large eggs, separated 1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 5…

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White Bean, Artichoke, and Tomato Gratin

Any recipe devoted to artichoke hearts involves the terribly boring and even slightly dangerous job of bending back and pulling off those prickly leaves. After wrestling with some artichokes during the first test of this recipe, Andrea Hagan, the backup recipe tester on this book, said, “Why don’t we just…

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Three Mushroom Tart

When I developed the original version of this recipe for a Gourmet column on mushrooms in the mid-eighties, porcini and enoki mushrooms were considered very exotic; the white button mushroom was still king. These days you see all sorts of once exotic mushrooms in the supermarket—portobello, shiitake, chanterelle, etc.—and they…

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Esther’s Chicken Fricassee

Esther Adler, my mother-in-law, gave birth to three sons in less than three years (yikes!) and a daughter three years later. All four kids had hearty appetites, and all four turned out to be fairly strapping individuals. I’ll confess that I’ve often wondered how in the world she managed to…

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Italian-style Onion Soup with a Poached Egg and Parmigiano-Reggiano

One of our favorite neighborhood restaurants used to be Beppe, where Chef Cesare Casella had created a menu bursting with the big sunny flavors of his native Tuscany. He made a mean lemony fried chicken, succulent spareribs in tomato sauce, and French fries fried with fresh herbs. But I was…

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Creamy Lime Corn Soup with Cumin Salted Tortilla Strips

Here is a luxuriously thick soup that is very low in calories, especially if you leave out the tortilla chips. You really boost the corn flavor by adding cobs to the broth. Indeed, anytime you have leftover cobs kicking around, especially at the end of the summer, you might want…

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Mexican-style Street Corn

Grilled corn slathered with mayo and coated in grated cheese is a well-loved staple of Mexican street fare. Several years ago Gourmet magazine ran a recipe for this tradition using shredded cotija, a crumbly aged-cured Mexican cheese. At the time, it occurred to me that it might be a hit…

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Smoky Fish Chowder

There are two things that my dad makes, one is scrambled eggs (especially on Christmas) and the second is fish chowder which he must have learned from his Mom, Ruth Moulton, who was a wonderful ye olde New England cook, or possibly from a guide on one of his fishing…

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Tonnato-Stuffed Eggs

One of my husband Bill’s favorite dishes is Vitello Tonnato. Cold sliced veal with a tuna sauce. It is an Italian version of surf and turf. Trying to imagine another recipe on which to use this tasty sauce, I thought of eggs. I love stuffed eggs. My mom has never…

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Chicken Liver Pâté with Port

A couple of years after I graduated from cooking school I apprenticed at a one-star restaurant in Chartres, France. My apprenticeship lasted for only two months but it was pretty intense nonetheless. (Certainly it didn’t help that I was the only woman in the kitchen.) Still, I learned a ton,…

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Mini-pumpkin Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Shaved Parmesan, and Fried Sage

For the longest time I thought those cute little pumpkins–no more than 3 or 4 inches in diameter–were nothing more than happy little fall decorations. There they’d sit on the side of the road at farmers’ markets and at well-stocked grocery stores, bright orange banks of mini-pumpkins bearing such ridiculous…

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Escarole Soup with Meatballs

I was working at the Harvest Restaurant in Harvard Square in the late seventies when Peter Vezan, one of the managers, steered me to a little trattoria in Boston’s North End. It wasn’t much more than a hole in the wall, but it boasted some of the best down-home Italian…

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Kielbasa and Celery Root Salad

When I came up with the idea for this salad I was focusing on the celery root part of it. Celery root, also known as celery knob or celeriac, is the thickened aromatic root of a variety of celery plant with a dense crunchy texture. In France, it is often…

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Endive and Roquefort Spirals with Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette

This recipe transforms the elements of a classic Waldorf salad into a really elegant-looking appetizer. The Roquefort-stuffed Belgian endive spirals and walnut-oil flavored dressing are not hard to make, but the resulting arranged salad sure will impress guests. Serves 4 For the salad: 3/4 cup Roquefort cheese 3 ounces cream…

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Chopped Salad with Feta, Chickpeas, and Pita Croutons

I love almost any kind of salad—and the more ingredients, the better. “Chopped Salad,” a catchall for any salad boasting a rich variety of chopped vegetables, is my favorite. This recipe was inspired by a low-fat dish I first encountered several years ago in Gourmet. Created by Chef Ed Brown of…

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Arugula Salad with Aged Gouda, Savory Praline, and Mustard Dressing

This is a guests are coming for dinner salad, fancier and more labor intensive than most, but the extra effort really pays off. My husband, the salad hater, scarfed it down so enthusiastically that I added extra arugula to the recipe to stretch it. All the parts can be made…

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Spring Spaetzle

Soon after I started making spaetzle as a side dish at home on a regular basis, it occurred to me that you could dress up and sauce this German pasta much as you would any other fresh pasta—an inspiration that automatically promoted spaetzle from a side dish to an entrée.…

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Butternut Squash Soup with Gruyère Pesto

The generic recipe for winter squash soup or puree typically begins by calling for a scary amount of the squash “peeled, seeded, and cubed,” and then steamed or boiled. Have you ever tried to peel, let alone cut, even one of these hard winter squashes? There may be no easier…

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Cauliflower Soup with Caraway and Rye Croutons

What I love about vegetable soups like this one is that they boast the soul satisfying consistency of cream without actually containing any. Cooked and pureed, most vegetables are amazingly creamy all by themselves. (OK, some of them need to be pureed with potato to create the desired effect, but…

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Spanish-style White Bean, Kale, and Chorizo Soup

In the early nineties, I went on a weeklong press trip to Spain. Other than learning everything there is to know about olive oil—the stated purpose of our trip—all we did for a week was eat ourselves silly and drink many bottles of beautiful Spanish wine. Not surprisingly, I fell…

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