Lobster Risotto

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons butter. Add leek, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until aromatic, about 4 minutes. Add parmesan rind, saffron, 3 cups broth, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add wine and lobster tails. Bring wine just to simmer to poach lobster tails.

Cook rice, stirring often, until broth is nearly evaporated, and rice begins to stick to bottom of pan. Add 1 cup broth at a time and continue to cook until broth is nearly evaporated before adding another cup. Once all broth is added and lobster is cooked, remove lobster from wine and set aside.

Add 1/2 cup of wine to risotto and continue to cook, adding 1/2cup of wine at a time until liquid is absorbed by rice. You may not need to use all the wine. If you need more liquid after, add 1/2 cup broth as needed.

When risotto is cooked, stir in lemon zest and half of lemon juice and peas. Season with salt and pepper and remaining lemon juice.

Remove lobster meat from tails, cut in half lengthwise. Lay risotto on a plate with a half of a lobster tail. Garnish with parsley.

Hearty Greens with Beets, Pomegranates, and Pistachios

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cut off tips of red and golden beets, wash thoroughly. Keeping beets separate, in 2 small bowls, drizzle olive oil on beets and season with salt and pepper. Wrap red and golden beets in separate aluminum foil pouches and cook until fork tender, 45-60 minutes. Let cool.

Peel and cut golden beets into 1” wedges. Repeat with red beets. Keep beet colors separated.

In a bowl, add chard and half of pomegranate arils and toss lightly.

In a bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, pomegranate juice, and vinegar. Slowly drizzle oil, whisking briskly, to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup dressing to greens and gently massage. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Arrange greens and beets on a platter. Garnish with pistachios and remaining pomegranate arils.

French Onion Tartlets

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake frozen puff pastry shells until golden brown, according to package directions.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 30-45 minutes. Reserve 1 cup onions.

Add broth and cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Fill shells halfway with cheesy onion mixture. Top with some of the reserved onions. Sprinkle with Gruyère cheese, increase oven to broil and melt cheese. Garnish with thyme and pastry shell top.

Brussels Sprouts, Kale and Squash Salad

Preheat oven to 400°.

To make the salad, on a sheet pan, toss sprouts and squash with a small amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until golden and crispy on the ends, about 8 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.

In a large bowl, add kale. Drizzle with oil and salt. Massage with your hands until kale starts to break down and soften. Add roasted sprouts and squash and toss.

To make the dressing, in a bowl, add balsamic, tamari, garlic, and basil. Slowly whisk in olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

Dress salad, adding in small amounts so as not to overdress. Toss and serve.

Potato Gratin Torte

To make the crust, in a bowl, combine flour, salt, thyme, and rosemary. Add butter and work it into flour with pastry cutter or pulse in a food processor until mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. Combine water, egg, and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and mix until dough sticks together. Form dough into a ball and flatten to form a disk.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll dough disk between 2 sheets of waxed paper until 1/8” thick and 15” in diameter. Transfer crust to an 8” spring form pan. Flatten bottom and fold dough edges under at pan edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and slice to 1/4″ thickness.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Add cream, thyme, rosemary, and nutmeg into same pan and warm until wisps of steam appear.

Remove crust from fridge and brush bottom and sides lightly with egg. In a small bowl, combine cheeses.

Layer one-third each of Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper in crust. Spread 1/3 of shallot-garlic mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese mixture over shallot-garlic mixture. Pour 1/3 herbed cream mixture over shallot-garlic mixture. Repeat layers twice, pressing layers down slightly to fit. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 minutes, lower oven temperature to 375° and bake for 1/2 hour. Uncover, brush edges with egg wash, and bake until potatoes are done and crust is browned, 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 15-20 minutes. Place paper towels around pan to soak up any oil.

Carefully transfer to a serving plate and remove sides of pan. Carefully slide gratin off bottom of pan using a long knife or narrow spatula. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Tip: Make 1 to 2 days ahead of time. To reheat, preheat oven to 350°, bake, covered, for 30-45 minutes or until bubbling.

Seared Mushroom Medley

Place mushrooms in a colander and rinse briefly under cool running water. Trim and discard stems and chop mushrooms into large pieces.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to release some liquid. Add garlic and thyme and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until pan is dry and mushrooms are browned in spots.

Carefully add brandy, stir, and let completely evaporate. Add cream, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Remove thyme sprigs before serving.

Beef Involtini (Braciole)

To make the meat, if using flank steak, line a cutting board with plastic wrap. Place 1 piece of meat on plastic wrap and cover it with a second piece of plastic wrap. Pound out steak to 3/8” even thickness. Place on a rimmed sheet pan.

Season both sides of beef with salt and pepper. On one side, sprinkle with chile flakes (if using), garlic, parsley, pecorino, and lay slices of prosciutto atop cheese. Add eggs and mozzarella. Roll meat tightly into rolls. Secure meat with toothpicks. Repeat with remaining meat rolls. Set aside.

To make the sauce, in a pot over medium-high heat, add 4 tablespoons oil. When oil shimmers, add onions and garlic and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Move onions and garlic to pan perimeter. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil in middle of pan, add oregano and basil and cook until fragrant, 20 seconds. Add tomato paste and cook with spices, until color deepens, 3 minutes.

Combine herb-tomato paste and onion-garlic mixture together. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and soy sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. When oil shimmers, add garlic and cook, about 1 minute. Add meat rolls and cook until browned on the first side. Turn to second side and cook until browned. Continue to turn until all sides are browned.

Transfer meat to tomato sauce, submerging meat into sauce. Partially cover and let simmer until internal temperature reaches 140°, about 45 minutes.

Transfer meat rolls to a plate, remove toothpicks. Add some sauce to a serving platter, place rolls of meat over sauce. Spoon out more sauce over involtini. Garnish with pecorino Romano cheese and parsley.

South of the Border Stuffing

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, celery, carrots, and corn and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add chiles, sage, thyme, cayenne, and season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

In a bowl, add 2 eggs and parsley and mix to combine.

In a large bowl, add bread. Pour vegetable-broth mixture over bread. Add pumpkin seeds and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown, 30 more minutes.

Lemony Green Beans with Fried Leeks and Pine Nuts

To make gremolata, in bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add all ingredients except red pepper flakes and pulse to combine. Add red pepper flakes and set aside.

Fill a large pot with water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add salt and beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5-7 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water and let sit for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Zest 1 lemon. Juice both lemons to yield 1/4 cup juice. Slice remaining lemon into wedges.

Cut leeks crosswise into 4” sections, then thinly slice lengthwise into matchsticks.

In a deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat, add oil. When oil shimmers, add half of leeks and fry, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and season with salt. Repeat with remaining leeks and drain and discard oil in pan except 2 tablespoons. Wipe out pan with paper towels and add 1 tablespoon butter and a drizzle of canola oil. Add bell peppers and cook until just beginning to get tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In same pan over medium heat, warm oil. Add green beans, lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, just until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and toss to coat. Add reserved bell peppers and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter, top with leeks, pine nuts, and serve with lemon wedges and gremolata alongside.

Cran-Raspberry Sauce

In a medium saucepan over high heat, add cranberries, raspberries, blood orange zest and juice, sugar, dried apricots, star anise, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool slightly and remove star anise and cinnamon.