Ashley Christensen Restaurants

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Category: Recipes

Recipe: Oyster Pan Roast

Oyster and Turnip Pan Roast

Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4

Ready in about half an hour, this creamy oyster stew is a perfect foil against cold winter nights. Turnips add a kick to create balance. This recipe appeared in the Wall Street Journal in a four-part series in the "Slow Food Fast" column. Read the full story here.

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 turnip bulbs, peeled and cut and ¾-inch dice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 24 freshly shucked oysters, juices reserved
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups thinly sliced turnip greens and/or arugula
  • 16 saltines
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set a medium pot over medium heat and swirl in olive oil. Stir in onions, garlic and turnips, and cook until onions are translucent, 7-9 minutes.

2. Add wine and bring liquid to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until turnips begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Stir in mustard, cream and reserved oyster juices. Bring to a simmer, then stir in turnip greens and simmer until greens wilt, about 2 minutes. Add oysters and immediately remove pan from heat. Let oysters poach until plump and heated through, 3-5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, brush saltines with butter and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Season oyster pan roast with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with warm saltines.

Recipe: Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Hot Honey

Looking to make Ashley's signature fried chicken recipe at home? Look no further. This recipe, from Ashley's cookbook Poole's: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner, is inspired by the fried chicken her mother used to make when she was a child. The somewhat unconventional move of drizzling honey over the chicken came about because of her dad, who was a hobbyist beekeeper and gardener.

SERVES 4

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Neutral vegetable oil, for frying

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 cups whole buttermilk

 

HOT HONEY:

1/2 cup honey

1 clove garlic, crushed

5 small thyme sprigs

1 rosemary sprig

3 dried pequín chiles (or chiles de àrbol)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Combine 6 tablespoons salt, the sugar, and 4 cups water in a large pot and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 4 more cups cold water. Add the chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine, discard the brine, and pat the chicken pieces dry.

When you’re ready to fry the chicken, pour enough oil into a large cast-iron skillet to come halfway up the sides and heat until it reaches 325°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Meanwhile, put the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a paper grocery bag, fold closed, and shake to combine. Fill a large bowl with the buttermilk. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Remove the chicken pieces from the brine and pat them dry. Discard the brine. One by one, dip the chicken pieces in the buttermilk, lift to drain the excess back into the bowl, then place in the grocery bag with the flour mixture. When all of the chicken is in the bag, fold the bag closed and shake for about 30 seconds to coat the chicken thoroughly with the flour mixture.

Lift the chicken pieces from the bag and shake off the excess flour. Add the pieces to the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan and adjusting the heat of the oil as necessary to maintain 325°F. Fry the pieces, turning once, until done (155°F on the interior for white meat, 165°F on the interior for dark meat); this will take about 9 minutes for wings and drumsticks, 11 to 12 minutes for thighs and breasts. Transfer the chicken to the lined baking sheet and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

While the chicken rests, make the hot honey. Warm the honey, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and chiles in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 min­utes; the honey will begin to foam slightly. Remove from the heat and add the butter, gently swirling until it’s completely melted.

Arrange the chicken on a platter and spoon some of the hot honey and herbs over the top of the chicken. Pass around the remaining honey on the side.

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Photo: Bryan Gardner, Wall Street Journal

January is the time when we all strive to lighten up after the indulgence of the holiday season. In this take on spaghetti carbonara, Ashley swaps roasted spaghetti squash for noodles, which keeps the dish gluten free and lighter than the traditional version. This recipe appeared in the Wall Street Journal in a four-part series in the "Slow Food Fast" column. Read the full story here.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Total time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan, plus more to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Season squash generously with salt and pepper, then place, cut-side down, on lined baking sheet. Roast squash until fork tender, 25-30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, set a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat renders and bacon crisps, 10-15 minutes. Fill a medium pot with 3 inches of water and bring to a gentle simmer.

3. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together yolks and Parmesan. Mixture should be as thick as glue; add more cheese if needed. Run the tines of a fork through the cooked squash so flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands. Carefully transfer strands to pan with bacon and gently stir to combine.

4. Transfer squash-bacon mixture to bowl with eggs and gently toss to combine, taking care to keep strands intact. Set bowl over pot of simmering water and gently toss squash until sauce thickens and coats strands, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and add more cheese to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Andrew’s Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbreadcookies

'Tis the season of cookie baking! So we asked our executive pastry chef, Andrew Ullom, to share his recipe for the holiday favorite, gingerbread cookies. He kindly obliged, and now we all get to reap the benefits!

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

 

For the cookies:

5½ cups all-purpose flour

1¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

1¼ cups brown sugar, packed

1 cup sorghum (or molasses)

2 large eggs

 

For the royal icing:

2 large egg whites

2 pounds powdered sugar

1/3 cup whole milk

Make the cookies: In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until nice and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the sorghum and mix thoroughly for another minute. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating between each addition to fully combine.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a 1-inch-thick disc. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350°. When the oven is ready, roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s ¼-inch thick and cut out into desired shapes (for an extra crispy cookie, roll to 1/8-inch thickness). Transfer to cookie sheets lined with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until just brown around the edges, but still soft in the middle. Let cool fully before decorating. The cookies will harden as they cool.

Make the icing: In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, sugar and milk to combine. The mixture should thicken, but still able to be piped. If you'd like a thinner consistency to pipe and cover the cookies with icing, add a touch more milk until it's a bit runny. The icing will harden as it sits. Transfer the icing to a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice and decorate your cookies to your preference.

Recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Scented Cream

ac_mashed-12

 

Thanksgiving is next week (how did that happen?!), so we’re sharing the recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Scented Cream from the Poole’s Diner cookbook. And if you're looking for a few more ideas, pick up a copy here!

"Most kids not-so-patiently wait to lick the beaters that are covered in cake batter; I preferred the ones that were coated in mashed potatoes. But I’m not alone in my preference: mashed potatoes are iconic, a long-standing American diner–menu staple. They make a creamy canvas for such comfort-food favorites as meatloaf, pork chops, and fried chicken, but I find them even dreamier planted next to stewed tomatoes and cornmeal-fried okra. Lumpy or smooth, and sometimes comprised of just enough potatoes to hold the butter and cream together, mashed potatoes are a guilty pleasure that makes us all feel warm, loved, and soulfully fed.

In this recipe, I scent the cream with aromatics that take the mashed potatoes from canvas to foreground—cream is an awesome vehicle for introducing flavors. Though gravy is always welcome, I think you’ll find that these potatoes don’t need it." -Ashley Christensen

SERVES 6 to 8

4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 shallot
1 head garlic, halved across the equator
1 fresh bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
2 pounds russet potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
Sea salt

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, peppercorns, shallot, garlic, and bay leaf to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the thyme. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids and reserving the cream.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a pot with 10 cups water and season with 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 18 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot.

In a large saucepan, warm the cream but don’t let it boil. Place the pot of potatoes over low heat just to warm them through. Using an electric mixer, whip the potatoes on medium speed until smooth. Add half of the warm cream to the potatoes, followed by half of the butter. Continue to beat with the mixer, and when both are fully incorporated, continue to add the remaining cream and butter bit by bit until you’ve reached a silky-smooth consistency. You may not need all of the cream and butter; it depends on how starchy your potatoes are. Season the potatoes with 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste and serve immediately.

James Beard Award 2014Best Chef: Southeast
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