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Spring Vegetable Ragout with Fresh Chervil

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Fresh Chervil

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces baby carrots, peeled, 1/4 inch of stem left intact
  • 12 ounces slender asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, halved crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil

Recipe Preparation

  • Fill medium bowl with cold water. Squeeze juice from lemon into bowl; add lemon. Cut off stem and top quarter from each artichoke. Bend back dark green outer leaves and snap off at artichoke base until only pale green and yellow leaves remain. Quarter each artichoke. Using small spoon, scoop out choke and any purple-tipped leaves. Transfer to lemon water.

  • Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain artichokes; add to skillet along with carrots. Cover; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus and sugar snap peas. Cover; cook until vegetables are tender, stirring and adding water by tablespoonfuls if vegetables begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in chervil. Season with salt and pepper.

Reviews Section

Ragout of spring vegetables

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I’d just gotten home from the farmers market with, as usual, several bags of vegetables and no firm idea of what I was going to fix for dinner. So I did what I usually do in that situation -- started leafing through cookbooks.

I picked up the first one and -- I swear this is true -- it fell open to this very page:

“The subtle structure of harmonies drawn from a combination of tender young vegetables cooked (or, to be more accurate, sweated) together with butter (or olive oil or a combination) in a heavy, tightly covered vessel, each added, raw or precooked, at a specific moment corresponding to its own needs, the complexity of savory autonomies butter-bound in an amalgam of their own fragrances, accented by the caress of an herb or two -- a melting, shimmering balance of separateness and unity in fragile suspension. ”

What’s unusual is not that I was turning to Richard Olney’s “Simple French Food” for guidance but that in a book I’ve read and re-read dozens of times, here was a section I didn’t recall.

It was on mixed vegetable stews, free-form affairs based on what you have on hand and what you feel like cooking, or as Olney so much more eloquently put it, their composition “depends on the season and on whim and, insofar as they are never twice identical, one must, each time, more or less ‘feel’ one’s way through the preparation.”

Poetic as the description might be, it does seem to imply a certain carelessness, or at least free-spiritedness. Rather than spelling out specific measures of set ingredients, what Olney gives in this recipe is a structure for a dish, a blueprint you can fit to your fancy.

A recipe written this way is open-ended your enjoyment of it isn’t predicated upon being able to find an exact set of ingredients or following an exact set of instructions.

You’re going by instinct rather than by rote, and that’s how you become a real cook.

The basic rules for vegetable stews are few, but they are simple: You want some onions you want whole cloves of garlic, preferably unpeeled you want some lettuces or greens for moisture and you want butter . lots of butter.

Given this framework, you can sift through what is best at the market, finding those combinations of vegetables that will result in the harmonies Olney so expressively describes. Sort them according to their required cooking times (and whether they need to be pre-cooked -- dense vegetables such as potatoes almost certainly will).

After you have organized your thinking, the preparation is simple. I’ve made this with artichokes, spring onions and zucchini (Olney’s suggestion), but I’ve also experimented adding and subtracting fennel, fingerling potatoes, scarlet carrots and cauliflower in different combinations. I’ve even made it with bolted arugula from my garden. Waste not, want not.

The result is unfailingly delicious. Partly, of course, that’s because of the butter, almost a whole stick -- how could you go wrong? But mainly, it’s the slow stewing of the vegetables that results in a mellow harmony of flavors. Those whole unpeeled garlic cloves soften and release their perfume without a hint of harshness. Most times the only moisture added is from the greens as they warm.

And, of course, there is the butter, which melts into a creamy glaze, combining with the juices of the vegetables to make a delicately flavored sauce. I wish I could tell you that if you have trouble with your conscience you could leave some of it out, but when I tried that, it just wasn’t nearly as good. Butter is the binder here, of flavors as well as textures.

Something similar happened a week or so later. A photo of a simple dish of potatoes baked in parchment caught my eye when I was leafing through the gorgeous new collection of Elizabeth David recipes, “At Elizabeth David’s Table.” There was just something about the texture of the coarse salt on the potatoes and the wilted mint leaves languidly folded on top. (Yes, I know there were no photos in David’s books . but trust me, this collection, put together by her longtime editor Jill Norman, is worth picking up.)

The recipe, which David credits to a turn-of-the-century book on paper-bag cookery by Nicolas Soyer, is loose to the point of being vague, as were so many of David’s recipes. Encouraged by this, I took even more liberties. In a half-dozen variations over a couple of weeks, I think only the paper remained from the original recipe.

Again, I used carrots, fennel, artichokes -- all of the vegetables that make this winter-turning-spring season great. I rubbed the vegetables in butter, as the original did, but I also used olive oil. I experimented with different herbs and used citrus zest to add a bright note.

Baking in paper (or aluminum foil -- it handles more easily and achieves the same result) and with olive oil results in flavors that are more distinct than stewing and don’t have that unifying gravity of butter holding them together. Still, they do share a certain sympathy.

My favorite combination was fingerling potatoes, fennel and artichokes, moistened with olive oil and scented with orange zest, garlic, fresh thyme and black olives. The potatoes are earthy but with just a hint of sweetness from the artichokes. The fennel picks up the orange and the thyme.

You can bake this in one big pouch, but two smaller pouches is easier to handle. Best of all, probably, is to make an individual serving pouch for each person at the table. One of my favorite things about baking in parchment is the moment when the package is opened and all the mingled scents arise in a big puff of steam.


Creamy Polenta and Vegetable Ragout

A ragout (pronounced “rag-GOO”) can be made from all sorts of meats, vegetables and sometimes even fruit. When made with vegetables, it makes a sophisticated meatless meal, especially when served atop a creamy bowl of polenta. Don’t feel limited to the ingredients listed in the recipe. You can replace any of the vegetables with your favorites, as long as they have a similar cooking time. The leftovers taste great even a few days after cooking, so make this tonight and enjoy the leftovers for lunch later this week.

Creamy Polenta and Vegetable Ragout

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 lb. (500 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry sherry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) polenta
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini and mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, sherry, 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the tomatoes release their juices and are softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and 1/2 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the polenta is thick and creamy, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the cheese.

3. Spoon the polenta into shallow individual bowls, top with the ragout and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Find more simple recipes and master essential techniques with our book Cook Good Food .


Spring Vegetable Ragout

This bright green, seasonal dish is the perfect way to use spring’s bounty of vegetables, and because it’s made in a slow cooker, it’s a good project for a Sunday afternoon when you’d like to prepare food to eat later in the week. (If you’re making it ahead, wait until serving to add the fresh mint and basil.) Instead of the oven-baked pancetta, you can use crisp crumbled bacon if you prefer. If you have very tiny potatoes or tomatoes, you can leave them whole.

Spring Vegetable Ragout

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. (185 g) new potatoes or small red potatoes
  • 3 leeks
  • 1 lb. (500 g) fresh baby artichokes, trimmed and halved lengthwise, or
  • 1 package (14 oz./440 g) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 thin slices pancetta
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) fresh or thawed frozen English peas
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

1. Quarter or halve the potatoes each piece should be about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Trim the dark green tops from the leeks. Halve the leeks lengthwise, rinse well, then cut crosswise about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. In a slow cooker, combine the leeks, potatoes, the fresh artichoke hearts if using, tomatoes, garlic, onion, wine, stock, oil, vinegar, thyme sprigs, 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on the low setting for 3 hours. If using frozen artichoke hearts, add them to the slow cooker after 2 hours of cooking, and stir well.

2. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Place the pancetta slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a second sheet of parchment. Top with a second baking sheet of the same size. Bake until the pancetta is golden and crisp, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain.

4. About 5 minutes before the ragout is ready, add the peas, re-cover and cook until heated through. When the ragout is ready, remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the mint and basil. Transfer the vegetables and some of their juices to a warm serving bowl or individual plates. Crumble the pancetta into large pieces and scatter over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Find more fresh and satisfying recipes for your slow cooker in our
The New Slow Cooker , by Brigit Binns.


Spring Vegetable Ragout with Fresh Chervil - Recipes

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite. Despite a forecast of bad weather, we're heading to the coast for the holiday. Bob and I both love the sea and, strange as it might seem, we love it most when it's raging and buried in drifts of fog. This has the makings of our kind of weekend. Pounding waves and screeching gulls will be music to our ears. While we'll do some eating out, provisions for Easter dinner will come with us. The traveling larder will include gravlaxs, double-cut lamb chops and the fixing for soy glazed potatoes and this lovely vegetable ragout. Dessert will probably be a simple lemon pudding with apricot sauce. The ragout comes from Alice Waters, who does simple better than the legions who try to imitate her. I absolutely love this recipe and the bright shot of green it puts on any table. Three basic ingredients are quickly cooked in what becomes a light butter sauce. If not overcooked the ragout would be fit for Lucullus. The downside of this is the amount of chopping required to bring the dish to the table. That is the only downside. The beautiful ragout, especially if made with the very freshest of vegetables, will bring Spring to your table. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
3/4 pounds fresh green peas (See Cook's Note)
3/4 pound asparagus
3 spring onions (about 3/4 cup sliced)
3 tablespoons butter, divided use
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or chervil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Shell fresh peas or thaw 1 cup frozen petite peas under cold running water. Set aside. Snap tough ends from asparagus. Discard. Slice stalks into diagonal slices 1/4-inch thick. Cut tips into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Set aside. Trim and thinly slice spring onions.
2) Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy bottomed skillet. Add onions and cook over medium heat until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add asparagus and peas stir to combine. Add water and cook until vegetables are just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add reserved 1 tablespoon butter and parsley or chervil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

Cook's Note: If fresh peas are not available, substitute 1 cup best quality thawed frozen peas.


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Olive oil poached steelhead, morels, spring vegetable ragout, sweet pea butter

4 pieces of steelhead or salmon approx. 4-5 oz. each.

1 lemon, zested with a fine grater

1 orange zested with a fine grater

Olive oil poach liquid

3 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

6 shallots, peeled and cut in half

1 cup fresh peas or frozen

2 cups morels, washed well and dried

1 tablespoon shallots, minced

3/4 cup asparagus (approx. 1 bunch, blanched and cut into 1” pieces

¾ cup snap peas, cut in half, blanched

20 pieces fiddlehead ferns, blanched

16 pieces of chervil or pea shoots

For the cured salmon: Combine salt, sugar and zests in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle mixture over the 4 pieces of steelhead and rub it into each piece to ensure the steelhead is evenly coated. Set aside for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, rinse the salmon under cold water to remove the cure. Dry on paper towel and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the olive oil poaching liquid: combine all ingredients in a medium saucepot and place on medium heat. Once the herbs and aromatics begin to bubble remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.

For the shallots: heat a small frying pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and place the shallots cut side down. Season with salt and pepper. Sear on the cut side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Add thyme, honey and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until onions are soft and the liquid has reduced to a glaze. Set aside.

For the sweet pea butter: in a large pot of boiling salted water add the peas and spinach and cook for 4-5 minutes until peas and spinach are very tender. Remove from pot and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Transfer drained peas and spinach to a blender. Add the water, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Puree on high speed until smooth. Transfer to a small pot and set aside.

To cook the salmon: heat olive oil on medium heat until it reaches between 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Place salmon in the pot and monitor the heat so it never goes above 130 degrees. If the oil gets too warm just remove from the heat. The salmon will take 10-12 minutes to cook depending on the thickness.

For the morels: heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and morels, sauté for 1 minute. Add butter, thyme and shallots continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus, snap peas and fiddleheads and cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are warmed through.

To serve: Heat the pea puree on medium heat, add the butter and lemon juice and whisk until combined and butter is melted. Divide the pea butter among 4 dinner plates. Spoon mushroom-vegetable mixture among the plates. Remove salmon from the oil and place on top of vegetable mixture. Divide the braised shallots among the plates. Garnish with pea shoots or chervil.


Healthy cooking with the season's best veggies

The arrival of spring means that fresh flavors are used in the kitchen. Tom Colicchio, owner and chef of the Gramercy Tavern in New York City, was invited on the “Today” show to share this versatile menu of some of his favorite spring vegetables. Here are the recipes.

A note about cleaning

To clean thin asparagus, simply trim the dried bottoms and peel off any small leaves. For thicker stalks, hold one stalk on each end and bend, noting where it breaks naturally, then trim the rest in approximately the same place. Peel the woody stems, the way you peel a carrot.

Before washing morels, taste one first, and only wash if it tastes gritty, since washing saps them of some of their flavor. If they need it, drop the morels into a bowl of water and lift out with your hands, then blot dry on paper towels.

Cleaning a ramp is similar to cleaning a scallion. Start by peeling off the translucent outer layer. Trim the root and then cut down the leaves, leaving about 1/4 inch of green. Wash the ramps under cool, running water.

Asparagus Soup With Morel CustardTom Colicchio

Making the custard

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and butter eight 2-ounce ramekins. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the morels, minced ramps, and salt and pepper, and cook until the morels begin to soften and release their juices, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cream, bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and steep for about 10 minutes.

Strain the cream into a medium bowl reserve the morels and ramps. Allow the cream to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Beat the egg yolks and egg together, then add to the cream. Mix the custard well, then add a pinch of salt and the reserved morels and ramps.

Divide the custard between the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish. Put the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven and add enough boiling water to come about halfway up the ramekins. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and cook until the custard is set, 20 to 25 minutes.

Making the soup

While the custard bakes, cut the asparagus spears in half. Chop the tips and reserve, then chop the stems. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it moves easily across the pan. Add the stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer until the stock tastes like asparagus, about 15 minutes. Strain the infused stock and discard the cooked stems.

Heat the remaining tablespoonful of oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, leeks, salt, and pepper and cook (without browning), stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asparagus tips and the ramps to the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus tips begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the infused stock and simmer until the asparagus is soft but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.

Puree the soup, then press it through a fine strainer. Return the strained soup to the blender and blend until frothy (a handheld blender will also work).

Remove the custards from the oven and the ramekins from the baking dish. Set them aside just until they are cool enough to handle. Carefully run a knife around the outer rim of each ramekin. Unmold the custards into 8 shallow bowls. Ladle soup into the bowls and serve immediately garnished with fresh herbs.

9123529395933813360492peanut oil2tablespoon2 tablespoons peanut oilmorels0.25pound1/4 pounds morels cleaned, trimmed (see note about cleaning) and coarsely choppedramps11 or 2 ramps, white parts only, cleanedKosher salt and freshly ground black pepperheavy cream1cup1 cup heavy creamegg yolk11 egg yolkegg11 eggasparagus0.5pound2-1/2 pounds asparaguspeanut oil2tablespoon2 tablespoons peanut oilchicken stock0.25cup2-1/4 cups chicken stock (see chicken stock recipe)shallots22 shallots, peeled and mincedleek11 small leek, white part only, finely choppedKosher salt and freshly ground black pepperramps0.25pound1/4 pound ramps, white parts only cleaned, trimmed (see note about cleaning), and choppedheavy cream0.25cup1/4 cup heavy creammixed fresh herbs3tablespoon3 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (such as chervil, chives, tarragon, and basil)

Morel, Ramp and Potato GratinTom Colicchio

Serves 4 to 6

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with the cream. Add salt and pepper and simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cream. Return the cream to the saucepan and simmer until the cream has reduced by half.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it slides easily across the pan. Add the ramps, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the ramps are fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the morels. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the morels soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the morel mixture to the cream. Spoon half the potatoes into a medium baking dish, cover with half the cream and morel mixture. Repeat, spooning in the remaining potatoes then covering with the remaining morel mixture. Bake the gratin until it is well-browned, about 35 minutes, then serve.

912352960481381336049760492potatoes4pound5 Idaho or other russet potatoes (about 4 pounds), peeled and thinly slicedheavy cream3cup3 cups heavy creamKosher salt and freshly ground black pepperpeanut oil1tablespoon1 tablespoon peanut oilramps2bunch1/2 pound ramps (about 2 bunches) trimmed and white parts only slicedmorels1212 to 15 small morels, trimmed, washed (see note about cleaning) and halved or quartered

Sole with Morels, Ramps, and AsparagusTom Colicchio

Cook the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water over high heat until tender but still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon, rinse under cold water and set aside. Cook the peas, rinse under cold water then set aside with the asparagus.

Bring about 1/2 inch of water (1/4 to 1/2 cup) to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisk the butter into the water one piece at a time. Add the morels a few at a time (if you add the mushrooms too quickly they will steam rather than sizzle), then reduce the heat to low. Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the morels begin to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the ramps and gently simmer until the morels are soft and the ramps tender, about 5 minutes more.

Transfer the morels, ramps, and butter sauce to a medium skillet. Add the asparagus and peas to the skillet. Salt and pepper the fish, and place it in the skillet, nestled among the vegetables. Cook at barely a simmer, basting the fish with the butter sauce, just until the fish flakes easily, about 5 minutes. Divide the ragout and fish between 4 shallow bowls, garnish with chervil and chives and serve.

9123529604813813360492asparagus0.75pound3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch to 3-inch piecesshelled peas1cup1 cup shelled peasKosher saltbutter0.5pound1/2 pound butter, chilled and cut into piecesmorels0.5pound1/2 pound morels, cleaned and trimmed (see note about cleaning)Freshly ground black pepperramps0.25pound1/4 pound ramps, cleaned and trimmed (see note about cleaning)sole0.5pound1-1/2 pounds filet of sole, cut into 8 equal piecesfresh chervil1tablespoon1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil (or fresh tarragon)chopped fresh chives1tablespoon1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Spring Vegetable RagoutTom Colicchio

Bring about 1/2 inch of water (1/4 to 1/2 cup) to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Add the morels a few at a time then reduce the heat to low. Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the morels begin to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the ramps and continue to simmer gently until the morels are soft and the ramps tender, about 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the asparagus, them add them to the ragout. Add the chervil and chives and serve garnished with additional herbs if desired.

9123529827513813360492unsalted butter0.75cup3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into piecesmorels0.5pound1/2 pound morels, cleaned, trimmed (see note about cleaning), halved or quartered if largeKosher salt and freshly ground black pepperramps0.25pound1/4 pound ramps, cleaned and trimmed (see note about cleaning)asparagus1pound1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch to 3-inch pieceschopped fresh chervil (or fresh tarragon)1tablespoon1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil (or fresh tarragon)chopped fresh chives1tablespoon1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Pasta DoughTom Colicchio

Makes 12 ounces

Combine the egg, olive oil and water in a small bowl and mix well. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Gradually work the flour mixture into the egg mixture until the dough holds together. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but not longer than 2 days. Roll out according to the specific recipe instructions.

91235293813326560egg22 eggs, lightly beatenextra virgin olive oil1tablespoon1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oilwater2tablespoon1 to 2 tablespoons waterall-purpose flour2cup2 cups all-purpose flourPinch of salt

Chicken StockTom Colicchio

Makes about 5 cups

Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Drain the chicken and rinse out the pot. Return the chicken to the pot, cover with fresh water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and gently simmer the stock, skimming as necessary, until the stock tastes like chicken, about 2-1/2 hours.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and leeks. Simmer for 30 minutes, then add the parsley and thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes more, skim, then drain the stock, cool, and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

91235296048138133291536066260492chicken legs4pound4 pounds chicken legs, wings, and backsonion11 onion, peeled and quarteredcarrot11 carrot, peeled and coarsely choppedcelery2stalk2 stalks celery, coarsely choppedleeks22 leeks, white part trimmed and choppedfresh flat-leaf parsley4sprig3 to 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsleyfresh thyme4sprig3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme


Black Sea Bass Vegetable Ragout

This hearty, healthy ragout is a great way to eat lots of fresh spring vegetables.

This hearty, healthy ragout is a great way to eat lots of fresh spring vegetables.

Black Sea Bass Vegetable Ragout

Ingredients:

4 (4 ounce) portions of Black Bass

1/2 cup sliced heirloom carrots

1/2 cup cooked fingerling potatoes

1/4 cup green onion batons

1/2 cup sliced black cabbage

5 cups of vegetable stock

1 cup of mixed fresh soft herbs (chervil, chives, flat leaf parsley, dill, mint, basil)

&bull Warm the vegetable stock in a large pot.

&bull Add the carrots, asparagus, mushrooms and simmer until cooked through.

&bull Then add the potatoes, green onions, black cabbage and warm through.

&bull Lastly, add the herbs and season with salt and pepper

&bull Using the grape seed oil fry the bass skin side down over high heat. Once crisp turn and continue until the bass is cooked through.

&bull Divide the vegetables and broth between four bowls. Place the seared bass on top and serve.


Pork and Vegetable Ragout with Buckwheat Blini

For the blini batter, separate eggs. Mix flour and buckwheat flour. Dissolve yeast in milk. Stir together melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture and season with salt. Stir butter mixture into flour mixture. Cover and let stand in a warm place about 30 minutes.

Cut pork into bite-size pieces. Peel onions and leave whole or cut in half, depending on size. Rinse and halve cherry tomatoes. Rinse vegetables, peel if necessary and cut into pieces 4-5 cm (approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches). Boil vegetables in salted water until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.

Beat egg whites until stiff fold into blini batter.

Heat butter in a skillet and fry blini batter in portions of 1 tablespoon. Fry until blini are golden brown on both sides. Remove finished blini to a plate and keep warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan and sauté pork and onions 3 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and sugar to pan. Stir wine into pan and bring to a boil to deglaze pan. Add vegetables and creme fraiche to pan, return to a boil and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika to taste. Serve ragout with blini and garnish with chervil.