Thursday, January 12, 2012

Great Recipe Resource: New York Times' "Recipes for Health"

A great online warehouse of recipes for the home cook exists in the Recipes for Health section of The New York Times website.

Every week author Martha Rose Shulman focuses on one ingredient (i.e. beets, eggplant, quinoa) or one theme (i.e. breadsticks, Greek vegetarian, quesadillas) and offers five straightforward recipes and two or three paragraphs of relevant information.

This week's episode focuses on the apple and includes recipes for apple-walnut drop scones, applesauce bread and red cabbage and apple soup.

Coincidentally, a client just asked me why I don't peel apples, an issue Shulman addresses in her blurb:

"The phytonutrients in apples are concentrated in and right under the skin. So whenever it’s possible when you’re cooking with apples, it’s best not to peel them. Seek out organic apples if possible, as the skin is also where you’ll find most of the pesticide residue, and conventionally farmed apples are on the Environmental Working Group’s list of the most contaminated produce."
Yesterday I made an easy and delicious turnip gratin (photo), one of the five recipes in last week's turnip tutorial. I halved the recipe and it served four adults (as a side dish).

Click here for Shulman's version, but I varied mine slightly. I didn't have any fresh thyme so I used dried rosemary. Also, not being a subscriber to the theory (myth?) of low-fat anything, I substituted grass-fed whole milk and grass-fed heavy cream for the low-fat milk. (It's fine to use just the milk.) Last, instead of rubbing a cut clove of garlic on the baking dish, I thinly sliced a whole clove and mixed it with the sliced turnips.

My version:

Butter or olive oil for the baking dish
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly

1 pound turnips, preferably small ones, peeled and sliced in thin rounds

Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 cup tightly packed)

1 1/4 cup (total) whole milk and heavy cream (grass-fed, if possible)

1 teaspoon dried or fresh rosemary (or other herb), crumbled

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter or olive oil a 1-quart baking dish or gratin dish.
  2. Place the sliced garlic and turnips in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper (keep going!). Add half the cheese and the rosemary and toss together, then transfer to the gratin dish and pour on the milk. It should just cover the turnips.
  3. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes. Push the turnips down into the milk with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and return to the oven. Bake another 40 to 50 minutes, until all of the milk is all or mostly absorbed, the turnips are soft and the dish is nicely browned on top and around the edges. If some milk remains, don't worry, it'll be absorbed by the turnips as the dish cools.

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