This rich and flavorful sauce is traditionally an accompaniment for steak, but it’s also a wonderful break from sour cream on a perfectly baked potato—so satisfying it can be the entire meal! Note: Most béarnaise sauce recipes call for making it in a double boiler to avoid curdling the yolks from direct heat—two inches of water are kept at a simmer in the bottom pan while you whisk the ingredients in the top one. However, if you use a low heat and whisk constantly, you can make the sauce in a small saucepan over direct heat.
For the potatoes:
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- A few pinches of coarse salt and twists of freshly ground black pepper
For the béarnaise sauce:
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh French tarragon leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon water
To bake the potatoes, preheat your oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of parchment paper. Scrub and pat dry the potatoes, then place them on the parchment. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, pierce the potatoes on all sides. Rub them all over with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Bake until the tip of the knife easily goes through them, about an hour.
About 20 minutes before the potatoes are ready, make the sauce. Place the vinegar, shallots, tarragon, and black pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until the vinegar is reduced by half. Take the pan off the heat and let the vinegar cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
Melt the butter and set aside. Whisk the yolks and water into the vinegar reduction and place over low heat. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and nearly doubles in volume. Then slowly whisk in the butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time; repeat with the olive oil. Continue whisking vigorously until the sauce thickens but is still pourable. If necessary, the sauce can sit for 15 minutes or so; whisk gently before serving as needed.
Plate the potatoes and make a large slash lengthwise in each. Top with dollops of the béarnaise sauce and serve the rest on the side.
Yields 4 servings
Chicken wings and cauliflower have one thing in common: They take on the flavor of whatever delicious ingredients you lavish on them. Now, here’s what they don’t have in common: similar nutritional benefits—cauliflower wins that game hands down. But nowhere is it written that good for you can’t taste good to you as well. This refresh of Buffalo wings will convince you.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup your favorite hot sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Optional: blue cheese dip and celery sticks
Place one of your oven racks in the bottom third of the oven and preheat it to 425°F. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
Cut the cauliflower into large florets with as much of the stem as possible intact to give them the look of wings. Transfer to a large bowl, including any cauliflower bits. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, the garlic and ancho chile powders, and the black pepper, then whisk in two tablespoons of olive oil. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and toss to coat.
Arrange the cauliflower pieces on the sheet pan without crowding them and bake for 10 minutes. Take the sheet pan out of the oven and flip the cauliflower pieces. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile make the Buffalo sauce: whisk together the hot sauce, the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, and minced garlic in a small bowl, and set aside.
Take the cauliflower out of the oven, flip each piece again, and brush with the Buffalo sauce. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes or until browned and crispy. Serve while still warm.
Yields 4 servings
Fresh asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, especially when paired with a luscious olive oil sabayon. If not using the asparagus immediately, trim the ends (as you would cut flowers) and stand upright in a tall glass of water. Cover the tips with a plastic bag and refrigerate for a day or two.
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 pound green or white asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black or white pepper
Place the wine and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the mixture by three-quarters and let cool.
Steam the asparagus in a double boiler over medium-high heat until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes; set aside but keep warm.
Transfer the wine reduction to the top of a double boiler and add the egg yolks. Set over simmering water over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the yolks thicken enough to fall into thin ribbons when the whisk is lifted from the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the olive oil. Thin, if necessary, with one to two tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the asparagus on a platter, spoon on the sauce, and serve.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from saveur.com
The cuisine of the Iberian peninsula was heavily influenced throughout history by its many conquerors. This dish, a popular one throughout Spain, was no doubt introduced to the country by the Moors. The key to its texture and flavors is to cook each vegetable slowly and individually. Your patience will be well rewarded!
For the tomato sauce:
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and crushed by hand
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
For the vegetables:
- 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced (for about 2 cups)
- 2 red bell peppers, stemmed and diced (for about 2 cups)
- 1 Cubanelle or Anaheim pepper, stemmed and diced
- 2 medium zucchini squash, stemmed and diced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for serving
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese, for serving
Make the tomato sauce: Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir-fry the garlic. Add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low (your stovetop’s minimum setting) and cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Make the vegetable mixture: Heat a second heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat
and, when hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and stir in the onion. Cook the onion until it becomes translucent and golden. (Do not let the onion brown.) Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and stir in the peppers. Cook over low heat, stirring from time to time. Add the peppers to the onions. Cook the zucchini the same way as the peppers. Leave in the pan. Return the onions and peppers to the pan with the zucchini; add the tomato sauce. Turn the heat to very low. Cook for 45 minutes, seasoning to taste with the salt, black pepper, and sugar.
Turn off the heat and let the stew rest for several hours to allow the flavors to develop. Reheat gently, then transfer to warmed shallow bowls. Top each serving with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of cheese.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from food52.com