It’s been a crazier week than usual with my trip to New York and the launch of JAMIE! I spent the week in New York and had the best time meeting with clients, catching up with friends and was lucky enough to attend the insanely inspirational Traditional Homes Woman of the Year Luncheon. I caught Other Desert Cities on Broadway and saw the Maurizio Cattelan exhibit at the Guggenheim which is not to be missed! The best part of the trip was watching the New York marathon with tens of thousands of people. It was an absolutely euphoric experience and makes me feel so grateful to live in this country. Amidst the excitement of the trip, we successfully launched JAMIE!! I cannot thank you enough for your tremendous support through emails, phone calls and comments. It means the world to me and I am so grateful! Have a wonderful weekend! Love, Jamie
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND FENNEL SOUP WITH CRÈME FRAICHE AND CANDIED PUMPKIN SEEDS
CHICKEN PAILLARDS WITH PARMESAN BREADCRUMBS, ESCAROLE, CAPERS AND ROSEMARY
PUMPKIN CAKE WITH PECAN STREUSEL
Butternut Squash and Fennel Soup with Crème Fraiche and Candied Pumpkin Seeds
2 pounds Butternut squash
2 medium bulbs fennel
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sliced onions
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 chiles de arbol (or red chile flakes)
1 bay leaf
¾ cup sherry
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
¼ cup crème fraiche
Candied pumpkin seeds (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to remove the peel. Slice the squash into 1-inch thick wedges.
*Toss the squash and fennel with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Place the vegetables flat on a baking sheet and roast about 35 minutes, until tender and slightly caramelized. Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds in a small pan over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, until the seeds release their aroma and are lightly brown. Pound them coarsely in a mortar.
*Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the butter and when it foams, add the onions, fennel seeds, thyme, chiles, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often until the onions are soft, translucent and starting to color.
*Add the squash and fennel and stir to coat with the onions for a minute. Turn the heat back up to high and pour in the sherry. Let it reduce for a minute or two and then add the stock and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer 20 minutes.
*Strain the soup in a colander set in a pot. Put a third of the solids into a blender with ½ cup of the broth (you will puree the soup in batches). Process at the lowest speed until the squash mixture is pureed. Add another ½ cup broth and then turn the speed up to high and pour in more liquid, a little at a time, until the soup has the consistency of heavy cream. Blend at least a minute on high speed, until the soup is completely smooth and very creamy.
*Transfer to a container and repeat with the rest of the ingredients. You may not need all the liquid. Taste for balance and seasoning. Pour the soup into six bowls, spoon some crème fraiche in the center of each and scatter the pumpkin seeds over the top. Or serve family-style in a tureen with the crème fraiche and pumpkin seeds on the side.
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Generous pinch each of ground cinnamon, paprika and cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon honey
*Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, until the seeds release their aroma and are lightly browned. Pound them coarsely in a mortar.
*Melt the butter in the cumin pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and sugar, then sprinkle the spices and a healthy pinch of salt over them. Toss the pumpkin seeds to coat them well with the putter and cook a few minutes, until just after they begin to pop and color slightly. Turn off the heat and wait 30 seconds. Add the honey, tossing well to coat the pumpkin seeds. Spread on a plate and let them cool.
Chicken Paillards with Parmesan Breadcrumbs, Escarole, Capers and Rosemary
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 extra large eggs
4 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 sprig rosemary, broken in half
1 chile de arbol (optional for an added kick, red chile flakes also work too!)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 heads escarole, core removed, leaves separated and cleaned
1 lemon, zest finely grated
2 tablespoons chopped capers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a mallet to an even 1/3 inch thickness. Place the flour on a plate or in a pie pan. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmigianino and 3 tablespoons chopped parsley in a shallow dish. Line the three dishes up in a row.
*Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumb mixture, using your hands to pat the breadcrumbs onto the chicken. Transfer the prepared chicken breasts to a large plate or baking sheet.
*Heat two sauté pans over high heat for 2 minutes. Swirl 2 tablespoons olive oil into each and wait a minute. Place three chicken breasts in each pan. Cook 3 minutes and then add 1 tablespoon butter to each pan. Cook another minute and when the crumbs are golden brown, carefully turn the chicken over. Turn the heat down to medium and cook a few more minutes until the second side is golden brown and the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken to a baking sheet.
*Return the pans to medium heat and swirl 1 tablespoon olive oil into each pan. Divide the rosemary and chile between the two pans and let sizzle 30 seconds. Add half the garlic to each pan, stir a few seconds and then add the escarole to the pans. Season with salt and pepper and sauté gently 2 to 3 minutes, until the greens have just wilted. Season the escarole with a squeeze of lemon juice and transfer to a large platter. Place the chicken on top.
*Wipe out one of the pans and return it to the stove over medium heat. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and cook until its brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and wait a few seconds. Add the capers, lemon zest, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and the remaining 3 tablespoons parsley. Carefully taste for seasoning. Spoon the caper brown butter over the chicken and around the escarole.
To drink: Windracer, Chardonnay Russian River Valley, 2007
Pumpkin Cake with Pecan Streusel
1 Butternut squash
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus a little for the pan
½ vanilla bean
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
3 extra large eggs
1 tablespoon honey
Pecan streusel topping (recipe follows)
Maple ice cream (optional)
*Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet, cut side up (don’t remove the seeds yet, they give extra flavor). Cover with foil and roast about 1 hour until very tender. Let cool 10 minutes and then scoop out the seeds and discard them. Puree the warm squash through a food mill and measure out 1 ½ cups.
*Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan. Brush the bottom of the pan with a little butter and then line it with the paper.
*Place the 8 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise down the center and use a paring knife to scrape the seeds and pulp onto the butter. To make sure not to lose any of the seeds, run your vanilla-coated knife through the butter. Add the vanilla pod to the pan and cook the butter over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until the butter browns and smells nutty. Remove the vanilla pod and discard.
*Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl. Add the salt. Make a well in the center. In another large bowl, whisk the reserved 1 ½ cups squash puree, milk, ¼ cup cream, eggs and honey to combine. Pour the liquid into the well in the dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated. Stir in the brown butter, scraping with a rubber spatula to make sure you get all the brown bits from the pan.
*Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 25 minutes, then remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top. Bake the cake another 45 minutes, until the topping is crisp and the cake has set. Cool the cake on a rack for at least 15 minutes.
*In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 1 cup cream to soft peaks. Cut six slices from the cake and serve with scoops of maple ice cream and dollops of whipped cream.
Pecan Streusel Topping
¼ cup pecans
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
*Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast them 8 to 10 minutes, until they darken slightly and smell nutty. When the nuts have cooled, chop them coarsely. Toss the nuts with the oil and salt.
*In a food processor, pulse the butter, sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until just combined. Remove to a bowl, stir the salted pecans and chill until ready to use.