Preparing this dish will fill your home with the most intoxicating aroma ever. The smell alone may be enough to inspire the occasional home cook to prepare dinner on a regular basis. A mixture of orange juice and wine is infused with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and anise seed, then poured over sautéed apples, pears, and sweet Italian sausage and baked. The meal tastes just as wonderful as it smells.
There are almost endless possibilities for variation here. Potatoes are my favorite thickening agent for garlic soup, but it can also be thickened with a roux of flour and butter or with bread, the traditional choice in the South of France, where this dish is a specialty. Onions and scallions can be used instead of leeks, although the soup won’t have the same subtle taste. If you use the leeks, include most of the green leaves.
You'll notice I use a little bit of water in the bottom of my roasting pans so that we're able to catch the drippings before they burn. When we're able to collect these tasty drippings along with the aromatic vegetables that have softened in the fat and drippings from the roast, you've got yourself the makings for an incredible tasting pan sauce.
This dish is an inventive crossbreeding of two classic dishes: sole amandine, in which the fish is finished with sautéed sliced almonds, and sole meunière, in which the fish, often whole, is sautéed in browned butter. In my version, I use baby flounder (easier to find in the market here than true sole), lightly coat the fillets with ground almonds, sauté them in browned butter, and serve them with toasted almonds and a sprinkling of parsley (borrowed from the meunière). It's a marriage of equal partners and one that I think would easily win familial approval on both sides of the aisle.
My kids cannot resist these tender, juicy Asian-inspired chicken skewers. The combination of ginger, cardamom, and curry, sweetened by brown sugar, is sweet, savory, and bold! Serve them with a side of peanut coconut sauce and your taste buds will thank you.
From The Fresh & Green Table: Delicious Ideas for Bringing Vegetables Into Every Meal by Susie Middleton (Chronicle Books, 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Susie Middleton. Photographs copyright © 2012 by Annabelle Breakey. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
This favorite of street stalls, simple cafés, and roadside stops is ideal for a casual meal for friends. Serve with a selection of fresh and cooked salads. Calculate three brochettes per person.