Rustic Challah Bread, Mushroom & Herb Dressing

Fragrant with fresh herbs and accented by toasted Challah bread and meaty mushrooms, this stuffing is always a hit!

Ingredients:
1 large loaf challah (about 1 pound)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering baking dishes
2 cups yellow onion, diced (from 2 medium onions)
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups wild mushrooms, such as Matsutake, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 cups chicken, turkey or vegetable broth

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 300° and set an oven rack in the middle position. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. Cut the challah into 1-inch cubes and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until dry and lightly toasted. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 350°.

3. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Cook the onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add the celery, mushrooms, herbs, salt, and pepper and cook until celery is slightly softened, about 5 minutes more.

4. In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread cubes, onion/vegetable mixture, and chicken broth and toss well. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with buttered foil and refrigerate until ready to bake (up to overnight).

5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until golden, about 25 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Potatoes à la Robuchon

Of all the haute cuisine in legendary chef Joël Robuchon’s repertoire, he was best known for these super-silky potatoes.

Ingredients:
2½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or fingerling potatoes, all of a similar size
1 pound unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
¼ cup milk
Sea salt, to taste

Method:
1. Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and peel. Transfer to a bowl and let potatoes cool slightly.

2. Turn potatoes through a food mill on the finest setting, back into the cooking pot. Heat pot over medium heat stirring until heated through and steam begins to come off the bottom of the pot. Add butter in 5 additions, allowing each addition of butter to be almost melted before adding the next until it all has been incorporated.

3. Stir in warm milk until combined. Using a whisk, vigorously stir potatoes until fluffy. Season with salt. Transfer to a serving dish and smooth the top of the potatoes with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears

This unique flavor combination is accented by salty pistachios.

Ingredients:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 pear, halved and cored
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, place pear halves, cut sides-down, on the baking sheet, making sure there is enough oil to coat their cut surfaces.

2. Roast for about 20 minutes, then turn the Brussels sprouts with a metal spatula so that both sides will get caramelized. After another 10 minutes, turn the Brussels sprouts again, also flipping the pear slices. Reduce the oven heat to 375°.

3. Add pistachios to the pan to toast slightly, removing the baking sheet from the oven after 5 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice directly over all the ingredients, then use a spatula to roughly chop pear halves. Toss thoroughly, check for seasoning, and serve warm.

Cider-Braised Beets

These delightful beets from Rick Rodgers’ The Big Book of Sides are sure to be a new fall favorite.

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh apple cider
1 bunch beets, green tops removed, peeled and cut into ½-inch-rounds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons finely-chopped fresh tarragon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Combine 1½ cups water, the cider and butter in a large, deep, non-reactive skillet. Add the beets and enough water, if needed, to barely cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the skillet with the lid ajar. Cook at a brisk simmer until the beets are just tender when pierced with the tip of a small, sharp knife, about 20 minutes. Season the beets to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beets to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the tarragon and serve.

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