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 other fingerling potatoes, such as Austrian Crescent, 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.

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.

Buttered Radishes

These dipped radishes make for a wonderful starter or snack!

Ingredients:
Radishes, green tops intact
1 pound butter, at room temperature
2½ tablespoons fleur de sel

Method:
1. Gently wash the radishes in ice water, removing any dirt from the greens. Dry them well. Temper the butter by placing it over moderate heat.*

2. Once tempered, season the butter with the fleur de sel.

3. Dip the bottom half of the radishes into the tempered butter. Dip a second time and gently shake to remove any excess butter from the bottom. Place the butter-coated radish on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chill the radishes in the refrigerator until the butter is set.

*To temper butter, it’s easiest to use a double boiler, placing the butter over a pot of boiling water instead of directly heating the butter. Let the butter melt and heat up, then whisk occasionally until it thickens and stabilizes. It’s fully tempered when it has the consistency of melted chocolate.

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 Hakurei 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 and 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 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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