Broiled Scallops and Celery Root Puree Friday, Dec 13 2013 

14 ounces celery root, peeled, quartered and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
2 cups whole milk
Fine sea salt
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side, if necessary
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4cup coarse plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup walnut pieces, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine celery root, milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, season scallops on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. In 2 batches, cook scallops, 2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to a plate.

In a bowl, toss together breadcrumbs, walnuts, parsley and 1 tablespoon oil.

Heat oven to broil.

Reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid, drain celery root. In a blender, combine celery root, cooking liquid, remaining tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and generous pinch pepper. Purée until smooth. Transfer purée to 4 individual gratin dishes or 1 (2-quart) gratin dish; spread evenly. Top with scallops, then sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.

Broil scallops about 4 inches from heat until golden, about 3 minutes.

La Cucina, January/February 2012, page 30

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Chicken Pot Pie with Fennel and Mushrooms in a Potato Bowl Thursday, Feb 14 2013 

Serves 4

FOR THE STEW
1 1/2 lb. bone—in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms, such as oyster, hen of the woods, or chanterelles
1 1/2 cups small-diced fennel (from 1 small bulb)
1 cup small-diced carrot
1 cup fresh pearl onions, peeled. or frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives

FOR THE BABY CARROTS
16 baby carrots with tops, peeled and trimmed with 1/2 inch of the tops intact
2 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt

FOR THE WHIPPED POTATOES
3 lb. russet potatoes (about 4 medium)
Kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
Freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

MAKE THE STEW
Season the chicken with 1/2 tso. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Heat the oil in a 10- to 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk the flour into the fat in the pan. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer gently, turning once, until the chicken is very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and let cool briefly.

Meanwhile, stir the mushrooms, fennel, carrot, onions, and thyme into the sauce. Cover and simmer until tender, 5to 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard and butter and keep warm. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones, shred into bite size pieces (discard the skin and bones), and add to the sauce. Season. to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.

ROAST THE CARROTS
Put the carrots on a small rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with 1/4 tsp. salt. Roast the carrots until tender and slightiy browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Keep warm.

MAKE THE WHIPPED POTATOES
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Put them in a 4-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover and 4 tsp. salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heal. Uncover, reduce the heat as needed to keep the water from boiling over, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain well. Return the potatocs to the pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until they no longer steam profusely (a little steam is fine), about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat until steaming, about 2 minutes. Keep warm.

With an electric hand mixer on medium-low speed, beat the potatoes until they’re broken up, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk and the butter, and beat on high speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot occasionally, until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes (the potatoes should be fairly stiff, but add the remaining milk if needed). Season to taste with salt and pepper arid keep warm.

ASSEMBLE
Spoon the whipped potatoes rito a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (Ateco #806). Pipe the potatoes to form “bowls” on each of 6 plates; the bowls should be about 3 inches in diameter and about 2 1/2 inches tall. Spoon the chicken stew into the bowls and garnish with the roasted baby carrots and the chives.

Abigail Johnson Dodge, Fine Cooking, April/May 2011, page 87

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