Red Cabbage Gratin
9c. shredded red cabbage (about 1 1/2 small heads)
2 1/2c. heavy cream
2t. sweet paprika
1 tsp. sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4c. freshly grated Parmesan
3/4c. finely chopped pecans
3/4c. panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease a 3qt.round or oval baking dish. Add cabbage and set aside. Combine cream, paprika, sugar, and salt and pepper in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until mixture just begins to simmer. Pour cream mixture over cabbage and stir to combine. In a medium bowl, toss together Parmesan, pecans, and bread crumbs; sprinkle evenly over cabbage and dot top with remaining butter. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake until cream is absorbed and cabbage is tender, about 50 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 400°, and continue baking until topping is browned and crisp, about 15 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Tomato Bread Pudding
3 lb. plum tomatoes such as Roma, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 t. herbes de Provence
1/2 c. olive oil, divided
1 head garlic, left whole
10 c. cubed (1”) country-style Italian bread (1 lb.)
2 c. whole milk
1 c. heavy cream
8 large eggs
2 c. coarsely grated chilled Italian Fontina (9 oz.)
1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9x13” baking dish. Toss tomatoes in a bowl with herbes de Provence, 1T. oil, 3/4t. salt, and 1/2t. pepper. Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in a large heavy 4-sided sheet pan.
Cut off and discard 1/4“ from top of garlic head to expose cloves, then put on a sheet of foil and drizzle with 1 t. oil. Wrap garlic in foil and roast in pan with tomatoes until tomatoes are browned but still juicy and garlic is soft, 50 to 60 minutes. (Leave oven on.) Cool garlic to warm, then force through a medium-mesh sieve with a rubber spatula, discarding skins. Reserve purée.
While garlic cooks, toss bread cubes in a large bowl with remaining oil until coated, then spread out in a large 4-sided sheet pan and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, garlic purée, 2t. salt, and 1 1/2t. pepper. Stir in cheeses. Transfer bread to baking dish, then pour egg mixture over bread and add tomatoes, pushing some down between bread cubes. Bake until firm to the touch and golden brown in spots, 50 to 60 minutes.
Cooks' note: Bread pudding is best the day it is made but can be made 1 day ahead and chilled (covered once cool). Reheat, covered with foil, in a 350°F oven.
Spicy Green Papaya Salad
1 1/2 lb. green papaya
2 small Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, halved
1/4 c. plus 3 T. palm sugar or light brown sugar
1/4 lb. thin green beans, halved crosswise
3 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. Asian fish sauce
2 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c. coarsely chopped roasted, salted peanuts
In a large mortar, pound the chiles to a coarse paste with the garlic. Add the sugar and pound until blended. Add the green beans and lightly pound them. Pour in the lime juice and fish sauce and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the tomatoes and lightly pound them. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the papaya and peanuts, toss well and serve.
Asparagus Flan with Cheese Sauce
Sformato D'Asparagi con Fonduta
This is perfect for summer & now that it's asparagus season.
2 lb asparagus, trimmed
1 1/3 c. whole milk
2 T. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
1/4 lb Italian Fontina, rind discarded and cheese coarsely grated (or cut into 1/4” dice if too soft to grate)
1/2 c. whole milk
2 egg yolks
1 T. butter
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8- by 2” round cake pan and line bottom with a round of wax paper, then butter paper. 3Steam asparagus in a steamer set over boiling water, covered, until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Purée asparagus in a food processor until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (You will have about 2 c. purée.)
Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl, then whisk in asparagus purée.
Pour asparagus mixture into pan and bake in a hot water bath until flan is set and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Transfer pan to a rack to cool slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
Make sauce while flan cools:
Put all sauce ingredients in a metal bowl, then set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat sauce, whisking until cheese and butter are melted, and then stirring with a wooden spoon, until sauce is slightly thickened and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from pan.
Run a thin knife around edge of flan to loosen, then invert a serving plate over pan and invert flan onto plate. Remove pan and discard paper. Cut flan into wedges and serve immediately with sauce.