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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
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The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook


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Featured Cookbook:

The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook icon
by The Editors of Martha Stewart Living,
2000, Crown Publishing Group


Fingerling Potatoes with Goat Cheese Fondue
Serves 12 to 14

"If fingerlings are unavailable, you can substitute other
small potatoes, such as red bliss."

2 pounds (30 to 40 ) fingerling potatoes
Kosher salt
8 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 bunch snipped chives
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf [Italian] parsley

1. Place the fingerling potatoes in a large saucepan with enough cold
salted water to cover generously. Place over high heat, and bring
to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are
tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and drain in a colander. Transfer the
potatoes to a platter; set aside.
2. Place the goat cheese and buttermilk I the top of a double boiler
or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Warm
the mixture, stirring until it is very smooth, about 7 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the pepper, chives, thyme,
tarragon, and parsley. Place in the bowl of a small fondue pot
or in a warm serving bowl; serve immediately with the
fingerling potatoes.


Pho (Vietnamese Beef and Rice-Noodle Soup)
Serves 6

"In Vietnam, a bowl of this noodle soup – or one of its variations –
is often served for breakfast. Use homemade beef stock if you can;
canned versions are watery and salty."

For the soup:
1 pound very lean sirloin of beef, trimmed of visible fat
4 ounces dry Chinese or Vietnamese rice noodles
3 cups Beef Stock
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
1 1/3 cups fresh bean sprouts

For optional accompaniments:
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 scallions, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced crosswise
2 small Thai chile peppers, or 1 small jalapeño, seeds and ribs
removed, thinly sliced crosswise
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, or Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Hot red chile paste, optional

1. Wrap the beef in plastic wrap; freeze for about 1 hour. (Freezing
the beef for a short time firms it up so thin slices are easy to cut.
Don’t freeze the beef overnight or it will be too frozen to cut.)
2. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water, and add rice noodles. Soak
until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
3. Combine stock, 1 1/2 cups water, and fish sauce in a large sauce-
pan; set over medium-high heat.
4. Remove beef from freezer. Using a small mandoline or a sharp
knife, slice beef into 1/8-inch-thick strips.
5. Divide noodles among six bowls; top with meat. Raise heat; bring
stock to a boil. Pour boiling stock over meat and noodles, pushing
beef into the liquid so it cooks. Top with sprouts and other accom-
paniments; serve hot with chile paste, if using.


Camembert-Asparagus Bread Pudding
Serves 8

"Pungent Camembert cheese, mushrooms, onions, and bread are
layered with asparagus to produce the ultimate side dish."

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
plus more for dish
1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus,
tough ends removed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus
more for cooking water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces small white-button or
wild mushrooms
1 small Vidalia or Spanish onion,
cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
1/2 loaf (10 ounces) country-style
white bread, crusts on, cut into
3/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 ounces ripe Camembert cheese,
cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 2 1/2-quart
casserole dish, and set dish aside. Using a vegetable peeler,
carefully peel the outer layer from the bottom 2 inches of the
asparagus spears.
2. Fill a large, straight-sided skillet with salted water, cover, and bring
to a boil; prepare an ice-water bath. Add the asparagus, and cook
until bright green, about 1 minute. Transfer the asparagus to the
ice-water bath, and let cool. Drain, transfer to a clean kitchen
towel, and pat dry. Set the asparagus aside.
3. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive
oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms,
and cook, stirring once or twice, until the mushrooms turn golden
brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate; set aside.
4. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter with the remaining table-
spoon of oil, and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and
translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat,
and set aside.
5. Randomly arrange half of the bread pieces on the bottom of the
prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle half of the rosemary over the
top. Place half of the asparagus, onions, mushrooms, and cheese
on top. Make a second layer with the remaining bread, rosemary,
asparagus, onions, mushrooms and cheese.
6. To make the custard, combine the milk and cream in a medium
saucepan, and set over medium-high heat; cook until the mixture
is hot. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs,
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper until combined. Slowly
drizzle the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.
7. Pour the custard over the pudding. Press down on the pudding,
completely soaking the top layer of bread, and place a plate on
top. Weigh down the plate with a can or other heavy object.
Let the pudding stand 20 minutes. Remove plate.
8. Bake until the custard has set and the top is golden, about 45
minutes. Transfer the dish to a wire rack to cool, about 5
minutes. Serve hot.


Veal Stew with Shallots and Wild Mushrooms
Serves 4

"Serve this easy, elegant stew with wide egg noodles."

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean veal shoulder,
cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
20 (about 1 1/2 pounds) shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock, or
low-sodium canned broth, skimmed of fat
8 fresh sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 large fresh sprigs thyme, or 1/8 teaspoon dried
2 (about 8 ounces) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled,
cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 ounces cremini or button mushrooms,
wiped clean, thinly sliced
4 ounces oyster or shiitake mushrooms,
wiped clean, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons snipped chives

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high
 heat. Season the veal with salt and pepper, and cook quickly,
stirring to brown the pieces on all sides. Remove to a platter.
2. Reduce heat to medium, add the shallots and 3 tablespoons water,
and cook until the water has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add
the garlic and flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add
the wine, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the stock, the veal with
any juices from the platter, the sage, and the thyme, and bring to
a boil. Reduce heat so that the stew is barely simmering, cover,
and cook for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes, cover, and cook for
25 minutes more, or until the meat and potatoes are tender when
pierced with the tip of a knife.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it is very
hot. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes (if mush-
rooms stick to pan, add 1 tablespoon water). Add mushrooms to
stew; stir briefly. Just before serving, remove thyme sprigs, and
stir in the chives.


Ginger-Pecan Cake
Makes one 8-inch 3-layer cake; serves 8 to 10
You will need three 8 x 2-inch cake pans.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour,
plus more for pans
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
7 ounces pecan halves, toasted,
finely ground (1 1/2 cups), plus
9 toasted pecan halves, for garnish
3 cups packed light-brown sugar
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pint crème fraîche *
2 teaspoons bourbon, optional
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, or more to taste
Glossy Caramel Icing (recipe follows)
1/4 ounce crystallized ginger, cut into thin strips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. with two racks centered. Butter
three 8 x 2-inch cake pans, and line with parchment paper. Dust the
bottoms and sides with flour; tap out any excess. Sift the flour, baking
powder, salt, and ground ginger into a medium bowl. Add the ground
pecans, and whisk to combine; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,
cream butter in medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add the brown
sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Drizzle in the beaten eggs, a little
at a time, beating each time until the batter is no longer slick, about
5 minutes; scrape down the sides twice with a rubber spatula.
3. On low speed, add the flour mixture to the sugar-butter mixture,
alternating with the milk, a little of each at a time, starting and
ending with the flour mixture; scrape down the bowl twice.
Beat in the grated ginger and vanilla. Divide the batter evenly
between the pans. Bake, rotating the pans if necessary, for
even browning, after 30 minutes. Continue baking until a cake
tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 5 to 10
minutes more.
4. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out
the cakes from the pans, and return to the wire racks to cool
completely, top-sides up.
5. Meanwhile, in the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the
whisk attachment, beat the crème fraîche until soft peaks form.
Add the bourbon and confectioner’s sugar; beat until soft peaks
return. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until
firm, about 1 hour.
6. To assemble the cake, remove the parchment paper from the
bottoms of the cakes. Set aside the prettiest layer; it will be used
for the top of the cake. Place one layer on a serving platter, and
spread with half of the crème fraîche filling; repeat with second
layer. Top the cake with the reserved third layer. Chill the cake
while the icing is being prepared. Pour the icing onto the center
point on the top of the cake, and let it flow down the sides.
When the icing has set slightly, 5 to 10 minutes, arrange the
toasted pecan halves and crystallized ginger on the top. Serve.

* Homemade crème fraîche:
To make crème fraîche at home, combine 1 cup whipping
cream with 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Cover, and let stand at
room temperature overnight or until thick.

Glossy Caramel Icing
Makes 1 ½ cups, enough for one 2-layer cake

"Be careful not to let the sugar get too hot while it melts;
the hotter the caramel, the harder it gets as it cools, making
the cake more difficult to slice."

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream

1. Place sugar in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until it begins to
melt and turns golden, 2 to 3 minutes. As sugar melts, stir with the
back of a wooden spoon if needed, until amber and about 310
degrees F. on a candy thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Slowly and carefully pour cream into skillet. Stir with the wooden
spoon, reducing heat to medium low. Continue stirring; the hard-
ened caramel will melt into the cream and become soft and liquid.
Change to a whisk; continue stirring slowly to minimize bubbles,
until completely smooth, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let
cool slightly, 3 to4 minutes. Pour the icing directly onto the top
of the chilled cake. If the caramel becomes too stiff to pour,
warm over a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over a
pan of simmering water.

More from Martha:
Fresh-Ginger Pain d’Epice
Stuffed Mushrooms
Mother's Mushroom Soup

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