Why stop at two? Spice up your holiday table this year with four layers of moist, tender pumpkin cake sandwiched the maple cream.
Come holiday time, middling green bean casseroles monopolize valuable oven space. We wanted a better version—from the slow cooker.
Duchess potatoes are an elegant, French-pedigreed classic in which mashed potatoes are enriched with egg, piped into decorative rosettes, and baked until golden brown. The egg lightens the potato, creating an almost weightless, dainty fluff that contrasts with the crispy, craggy exterior. In 1867, an article in Galaxy magazine lamenting the state of American cooking noted duchess potatoes on the menu of a rare good dinner. For the next century, the dish made regular appearances on the menus of country clubs, ocean liners, and fancy-pants restaurants, but by the 1970s, it seemed stuffy and out of step with the times, and it fell into culinary disrepute. Which is a shame, because duchess potatoes really are something very special.
To elevate our tart to entrée status, we wanted a crust that was delicate, sturdy, and flavorful, with a filling to match. To increase the flavor of the crust and keep it tender, we swapped out part of the white flour for nutty whole wheat, and we used butter rather than shortening. To punch up its flaky texture and introduce more structure, we gave the crust a series of folds to create numerous interlocking layers.
The most memorable mashed potatoes manage to be both fluffy and buttery at once. Too much butter and they’re heavy; not enough and they’ll seem wimpy. Here’s where choosing the right spud for the job really matters. The texture of a potato after cooking depends on its structure and moisture content. Some varieties, such as Idaho bakers, have low moisture and cook up to be light and airy. Beaten with butter and cream, they make a fluffy mash. High-moisture potatoes, such as red potatoes or new potatoes, can turn “gluey” when beaten. But because they have such a distinctly earthy, nutty flavor, I like to add just one or two to the pot.
Magpie’s rendition of this classic retains the beloved sticky goo but incorporates coffee, cinnamon, and bittersweet chocolate to dial down the cloying sweetness and emphasize the euphoric flavor of the pecans.
Roasting is a great cooking technique and makes fruits tender while intensifying the sweetness. In addition, the pieces here are glazed with a spicy-sweet flavor from the cayenne and sugar. The layer of creamy annatto-infused yogurt is a great complement to the peaches.
This brings back memories of the festive family tables where I cooked these in large quantities. You can make this dish hot by adding chili flakes or powder, imparting a beautiful yet contrasting flavor of pungency, combined with the sweetness of yams and apple. Sweet potatoes are commonly used in place of yams, as they are more easily available and similar in taste and texture. Yams should be thoroughly scrubbed before cooking.
A quick and easy biryani recipe made with quinoa. This healthy gluten-free cereal cooks fast and has a chewy yet fluffy texture. It is a good substitute for rice or even couscous. It is important to rinse the quinoa very well before cooking to remove the natural coating, which has a slightly bitter taste.
Sweet, crunchy snap peas get an Asian burst of flavor when sauteed with soy sauce and scallions and a nice zesty kick from the red chili flakes. I love the sweet mild flavor of whole red pearl onions. Their small size and color complements the bright-green fresh snap peas and adds to the presentational appeal of the dish. I always add snap peas toward the end of the cooking process to help them retain their crunchiness.