Buttery Braised Leeks

Accented with just a squeeze of lemon, these sublime leeks are a worthy side dish.

Ingredients:
2 leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Melt butter and olive oil over a medium-high flame in a large sauté pan.

2. Once the oil and butter are hot, place the leeks cut side down into the pan. Let the leeks brown in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip the leeks over and turn the heat on low. Cover and let the leeks braise for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the leeks are soft all the way through.

3. Take the leeks off the heat and squirt the lemon juice over the braised leeks and add salt and pepper to taste.

Butter Pie Dough

This simple, extraordinary all-purpose pie dough can be used in both your sweet and savory baking.

Ingredients:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
14 tablespoons cold butter (salted or unsalted), cut into tablespoon-size pieces
½ cup ice water, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more, as needed

Method:
1. In a large chilled bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Sprinkle butter over the flour. With a pastry blender, or your clean, cold hands, mix the butter into the flour mixture until the ingredients look like cracker crumbs with lumps the size of peas.

2. Sprinkle ½ cup ice water over the dough, and stir it in with a fork. Squeeze a handful of dough with your hand; it should keep together and feel moist. Add additional ice water as needed until dough holds together and you can gather it up to form a ball.

3. Place the ball on a lightly floured work surface and cut into two equal pieces. Form each into a chubby disk, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

4. To roll out the dough, remove from the fridge and place on a lightly floured work surface. Let the dough rest at room temperature for a few minutes, until soft and easy to roll. Dust the top of the dough with flour to prevent sticking, and roll the dough from the center in all directions, into a circle about 2 inches larger than your pie pan or tin. Carefully drape the dough over the rolling pin and gently fit it into the pan. (For a double crust pie, roll out the second disk of dough.) Follow your pie, tart or quiche recipe from there!

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 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.

Butter-Braised Turnips with Greens

Simmered in rich chicken stock, this dish is finished with lemon juice and thyme for fresh appeal.

Ingredients:
1 pound turnips, green tops reserved, washed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 peeled shallots
1 cup chicken stock
Juice from ½ lemon
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Wash and scrub the turnips, then cut into 1-inch-long pieces.

2. Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan, then add shallots and turnips. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the turnips begin to caramelize.

3. Add chicken stock, and a dash each of salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and turn heat down to low. Let simmer for another 5 minutes, or until stock has started to be absorbed by turnips. Add the turnip greens and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed and the greens are wilted and tender. Add lemon juice and fresh thyme, then season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

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