12 oz. mixed mushrooms (such as maitake, oyster, shiitake, and/or crimini), trimmed, torn into 1″ pieces
1½ tsp. tsp. kosher salt, plus more
2 Tbsp. thyme leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2¾ cups whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup crème fraîche or thinned sour cream
8 oz. regular lasagna noodles, broken in half
4 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced
Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large high-sided ovenproof skillet or small Dutch oven over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; mix in thyme.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in skillet. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute.
Add milk, pepper, 1½ tsp. salt, and 1¾ cups water, then finely grate zest of ¼ lemon into pan. Stir to dissolve flour, increase heat to medium, and cook until gently bubbling. Reduce heat to low, whisk in crème fraîche, and stir to combine. Add about one third of noodles, pushing down into sauce to submerge, followed by a third of mushrooms. Repeat with half of remaining noodles and mushrooms. Top with another layer of noodles. Set remaining mushrooms aside. Cover with a lid or foil and cook 15 minutes. (If lasagna threatens to boil over, use very lowest heat and/or prop open the cover.) Uncover; cook, gently lifting and separating noodles occasionally with tongs or a spatula to let sauce flow around, until sauce is thickened and noodles are cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Mixture should be bubbling gently; adjust heat as necessary. Remove from heat.
Heat broiler. Top lasagna with mozzarella and reserved mushrooms. Broil until cheese is bubbling and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Finely grate more lemon zest over. Sprinkle with Parmesan; season with pepper. Let sit 5–10 minutes. Cut lemon into wedges and serve with lasagna.
1.STEAK METHOD Food processor | Clean work surface | Large saucepan of salted water on a high heat | Large freezer bag | Sauté pan First make the steak | Add all the ingredients, apart from the water and oil, to the food processor and pulse to combine | Add the water and blitz, scraping down the sides as needed | Tip the mixture on to a clean work surface, knead for a minute or two then bring it together into a tight ball Roll the mixture into a rough oblong shape and cut into 4 even slices | Flatten each slice with your hand so they’re roughly 1cm thick and steak- shaped (you can also use a rolling pin here) | For a dryer texture press the steak as you would tofu – wrapping it in kitchen paper and placing a weight on top of it for 20 minutes, which will give a firmer texture Lower the steaks into the pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 25 minutes | Take the steaks out of the pan, drain and leave to cool for 5 minutes Put the ingredients for the marinade into a large freezer bag | Put the steaks in the bag and roll them around in the marinade so they are well coated | Leave to marinate for 20 minutes | While the steaks are marinating, make the Café de Paris Secret Sauce (see opposite)
When you’re ready to cook the steaks place a sauté pan over a medium-high heat | Add a splash of oil and let it get hot | Add the steaks and pour over any remaining marinade | Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side, basting the steaks with the oil in the pan as they cook | Remove when both sides are well browned, but the steak is still tender | Leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving with chips and Secret Sauce poured over in true Café de Paris style
2.CAFÉ DE PARIS SECRET SAUCE METHOD Saucepan | Liquidiser Prep the ingredients | Peel and thinly slice the shallots | Peel and finely chop the garlic | Pick the tarragon leaves, discard the stems, then finely chop | Finely chop the capers Put the saucepan over a medium heat | Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil| Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 4–5 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally | Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 3–4 minutes | Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced a little and become thicker Take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature
Pour the sauce into the liquidiser and blend until smooth | Pour back into the pan and bring to a simmer | Stir through the remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil before serving
1 ½ pounds mixed mushrooms, such as maitake, oyster, cremini or shiitake, torn into bite-size pieces
1 to 2 fresh red or green chiles, such as Fresno, thinly sliced (or 3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes)
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste
¼ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar, plus more to taste
8 to 10 ounces noodles, such as udon, soba, rice or spaghetti
2 cups herbs (tender leaves and stems), such as cilantro, mint, chives, parsley or a mix, for serving
Sesame seeds, sesame oil or both, for serving (optional)
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots start to turn a nice golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and half the chile, and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, released much of their water and turned a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (A browned mushroom will have infinitely more flavor than an unbrowned mushroom, because the water inside it evaporates and the flavor concentrates. So do not skip this step.)
Add 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar and 8 cups of water. Bring to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until the flavors have melded and the broth tastes good enough to drink (you will be drinking it), 15 to 20 minutes. Season with more soy sauce and vinegar as you like.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. (The timing will depend on the type and brand of noodles, so consult the package.) Add the noodles to the pot with the broth, and let them hang out in there for a minute or two to finish cooking and soak up all that flavor.
To serve, use tongs to divide the noodles and mushrooms among bowls, then ladle the hot broth over the top. Serve with the remaining chile, the herbs and the sesame seeds and oil (if using) for people to dress their own bowls to their liking.
Extra-virgin olive oil 3large shallots, diced, about 1 cup 4garlic cloves, minced Salt and pepper
2pounds large ripe tomatoes
½teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4ounces Greek feta cheese
½teaspoon dried oregano
2tablespoons roughly chopped mint
Put 4 tablespoons olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Lower heat as necessary to keep mixture from browning. Remove from heat while preparing tomatoes.
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add whole tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes, until skins loosen. Immediately plunge tomatoes in a bowl of cold water to cool, then drain. With a paring knife, core tomatoes and slip off skins. Cut tomatoes into thick wedges.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Return skillet to stove over medium-high heat. Add tomato wedges and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until mixture is juicy and tomatoes have softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a shallow earthenware baking dish.
Put shrimp in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, season shrimp with salt and pepper and stir to coat. Arrange shrimp over tomato mixture in one layer. Crumble cheese over surface and sprinkle with oregano.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until tomatoes are bubbling and cheese has browned slightly. Remove from oven and let dish rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with mint and serve.
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
3 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, and stemmed shiitake, thickly sliced or quartered
3/4 cup brine, strained from a jar of dill pickles
In a very large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderately high heat, swirling, until the butter is golden, about 2 minutes. Add 1/3 of the shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add 1/3 of the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/3 of the pickle brine and cook until absorbed, about 1 minute. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving bowl and keep warm. Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining butter, olive oil, mushrooms and pickle brine. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Maybe nobody told you that tossing pickle brine is just like tipping a perfectly good bottle of vinegar or fish sauce or Worcestershire down the drain. Maybe you never heard that you could cook with brine, not just use it as a bracing, salty slap to chase your sorrows. Or maybe you assumed that brine would always take over, setting its vinegar and salt and spice on top of everything else. You might even have slipped some pickle juice into potato salad or Bloody Marys, where blandness signals a crushing defeat.
1stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3medium shallots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
3pounds mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, and stemmed shiitake, thickly sliced or quartered
3/4cup brine, strained from a jar of dill pickles
In a very large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderately high heat, swirling, until the butter is golden, about 2 minutes. Add 1/3 of the shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add 1/3 of the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/3 of the pickle brine and cook until absorbed, about 1 minute. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving bowl and keep warm.
Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining butter, olive oil, mushrooms and pickle brine. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces crème fraîche
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons drained capers
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Combine the crème fraîche, two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it’s barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it’s done.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top. (Serves 4)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup minced celery
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 quart half-and-half cream
2 (12 ounce) containers fresh shucked oysters, undrained
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne
dash of worstershire sauce
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the celery and shallots until shallots are tender.
Pour half-and-half into a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix in the butter, celery, and shallot mixture. Stir continuously. When the mixture is almost boiling, pour the oysters and their liquid into the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir continuously until the oysters curl at the ends. When the oysters curl the stew is finished cooking; turn off the heat and serve.