Recipes from étoile
You’ll want to eat this lamb stew with a large spoon in addition to a knife and fork. The spoon will help collect anise-laced juices from the meat and smoky beans. Butter beans and lima beans are similar in texture and taste, but butter beans are lighter in color and larger than the light green beans commonly called limas. Sometimes you’ll find so-called butter beans labeled as lima beans anyway. If you can’t find true butter beans for this recipe, it’s fine to substitute the smaller green bean.
Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes impart a subtle taste not unlike their namesake’s to this creamy, golden risotto. Even when thoroughly cooked, sunchokes provide a bit of fresh-tasting crunchiness to any recipe. Here fresh green chives add a lovely visual aspect. This classic risotto, distinguished by the use of sparkling wine in place of flat, which delivers a delicate twist on the palate, makes a fine first course or a light main course.
Passion fruit is blessed with zippy acidity and sensuous herbal and citrus flavors, which give this cheesecake a unique character. You’ll find passion fruit juice concentrate in most specialty-food shops. The sour-cream topping adds a welcome lightness that’s lacking in more conventional cheesecakes. At the restaurant, we make it in individual molds, but for the home kitchen we have given it a more conventional pie form.
Cherrystones (sometimes called “littlenecks”) are hard shell clams from the East Coast. For this recipe, you can also substitute Manila Clams from the West Coast. A trusted source is the Hog Island Oyster Company, of Tomales Bay, on the Northern California Coast. Broiled Clams on the Half Shell make a great finger food for a winter cocktail party, or an elegant appetizer course for a New Year’s Eve dinner.
Here is a true American classic that just begs to be paired with a top-quality California sparkling wine. Whether you choose blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay or Dungeness crab from the Pacific Northwest, these miniature cakes will melt in your mouth. For the sake of convenience, you can do the prep work a day in advance and pop the baking pans in the oven while your guests are enjoying their first glass of wine.
Here is a rich and luxurious recipe that is perfect for your time-starved holiday schedule. It is made with pappardelle, the widest and most flamboyant of the traditional egg noodle pastas. (The name comes from the Italian word pappare, which means “to gobble up.”) The secret ingredient is saffron, which, while a bit expensive, gives seafood an indescribably wonderful flavor. Serve this dish family style on a large decorative platter as a culinary centerpiece for your New Year’s Dinner.