Recipe round-up: The Fat Radish, Chinatown NYC pt. 1

While perusing cookbooks this weekend, The Fat Radish's 2014 cookbook caught my eye. We've dined there and spent a handful of happy hours there. I often go to Leadbelly, their sister restaurant/bar across the street for $1 oysters and $6 specialty drinks (caipirinhas were offered the last time I was there to my delight). 

I follow Nicole Franzen, the food photographer, on Instagram and have come to really appreciate her style. She's the photog for this cookbook, and another woman on the team, Julia Turshen, was involved in the making of the Buvette cookbook as well as Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbooks. 

The thing about cookbooks - buying them and having them can become a weight. I'm wary of having too many of them pile up unused, or have one with recipes that aren't accessible to me, requiring hard-to-find ingredients that I need to go to specialty stores for. I want cookbooks to guide me in expanding my own cooking, the kind that I do on a weekday night - quickly, but still with an eye toward experiencing and enjoying some small new thing.

A little Google search turned up several Fat Radish recipes, which I've rounded up below. Perhaps this little sneak peek at their kitchen will help me to grow my own.

Brussel Sprout Bubble and Squeak (pictured above), from the New York Times T Magazine
Yield: 4 servings

1 baking potato, diced

1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise

1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, sliced into bite-sized pieces

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 poached eggs

Small handful chopped chives

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook until just tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate and set them aside. Place the Brussels sprouts in the water and cook until they’re just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to the same plate with the potatoes.

Meanwhile, place the bacon in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring now and then, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate and set it aside. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring now and then, until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved potatoes and the Brussels sprouts to the onions and cook until everything is very well browned and cooked through, another 10-15 minutes. Return the crisp bacon to the pan and stir to combine everything. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the vegetable mixture to 4 plates. Top each serving with one egg and scatter generously with chives. Serve immediately.

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Greens on Toast with Garlic Butter, from House Beautiful
Makes 1 dozen toasts

1 head garlic, top ¼ inch cut off and discarded (or enough to expose the individual garlic cloves)
Olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Leaves from 1 small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup softened butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped
1 loaf country bread, thickly sliced and toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Place the garlic in the center of a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place in the oven until the cloves are a little bit browned and completely soft, about half an hour.
3. Allow the garlic to cool to room temperature before squeezing the cloves out from the skin. Discard the skin.
4. Place the roasted garlic, lemon zest and juice, parsley, and butter in a large mixing bowl along with ½ teaspoon each of coarse salt and pepper. Use a fork to mash it all up into a cohesive, but not too smooth, mixture. Set the mixture aside.
5. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet set over high heat and add the Swiss chard. Cook, stirring now and then, until it's just wilted, a few minutes. Season the chard to taste with salt and pepper and set it aside.
6. Spread each piece of toast generously with the roasted garlic butter and top each with some of the chard. Serve immediately.

Kabocha Soup, screenshot from The Food Network Blog

Braised Goat and Polenta (pictured above), from Eye Swoon

Celery Root Pot Pie, from Refinery 29

3 medium celery roots
1 red onion, diced
1 head of black garlic, peeled and chopped
White insides of a stalk of celery, chopped
1 cup brioche croutons
1 apple, peeled and chopped
3 cloves all spice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup parsley and chives, chopped
¼ cup cream
½ gallon milk
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup grated gruyere cheese
1 egg
1 puffed pastry sheet
Salt & pepper

Peel and dice celery root, reserving scraps, but not peelings in a pot. Add to scraps apple, all spice, bay leaf, and cover with milk; simmer until the celery root scraps are soft. Roast celery dice in a separate pan with butter and herbs till soft. Roast diced onions in a pan till soft. In a blender, combine cooked celery root scraps and apple, (removing bay leaf & all spice) till smooth using cream, butter & some of the cooking liquid. Should be smooth and of soup consistency. In a large bowl combine cooked celery root, diced onions, raw celery hearts, black garlic, and croutons. Add celery root puree to mix till desired consistency; season with salt & pepper, parsley & chives. Add mixture to dish or serving bowl, top with grated cheese. Cut a ring slightly bigger than your bowl out of the puff pastry sheet. Brush with egg and press to top of bowl, forming a cap around the sides. Bake in oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 ° till warm inside and puff pastry has risen.

Spring Pea Pot Pie, also from Refinery 29

Yields: 5 pies

3 cups, fresh English peas
1 cup snow peas
1 cup snap peas
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 quart vegetable stock (store-bought, low-sodium)
2 sheets puff pastry
2 egg yolks or 1/8 cup egg beaters
1/8 cup chopped mint
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Clean all peas, removing the stringy part along the spine of the snow and snap peas, as well as the tips. Rinse and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil, add salt — it should taste like the ocean. This is a proper blanching water. Add cleaned snow and snap peas, and one cup of the English peas, reserving the remaining two cups. Boil for three minutes or until just tender and green. Strain and refrigerate immediately.
3. In a two-quart sauce pan on medium heat, add onions and olive oil, and “sweat them down” over medium heat. (Sweating is a technique where you cook over low heat until the onions are translucent and soft with no color). When onions are soft, add your vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the reserved two cups of peas, and cook until tender. Remove from heat.
4. Strain peas and onions, reserving the cooking liquid. Blend peas and onions with enough liquid (about half) to barely cover them on medium speed until smooth. Add the cold butter and sherry vinegar and blend for two more minutes and set aside.
5. In a large bowl mix together your blanched peas, pea puree, and chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
6. In an oven-safe dish place the mixture, leaving a half-inch from the top. (Note: you can make one large one in a casserole dish or four individual ceramic dishes. It's up to you).
10. Cut your puff pastry to fit the top of the desired dish hanging a ¼-inch over the rim.
11. Brush a thin layer of the egg yolk around the rim of your dish and gently press the overhang of the puff pastry against the sides, sealing the top of your dish.
12. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, allowing the egg to seal.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, serve, and enjoy.

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