Vegetable soup with apple sauce and maple syrup.
At the beginning of the pandemic I was a machine in the kitchen.
The opportunity to stay at home and make three (or more) meals a day excited me: There’d be frittatas and bacon for breakfast. I’d lay out a bagel and lox spread with all the fixins’ for lunch. And dinner would typically involve three courses: something along the lines of a charcuterie board to start, followed by lambchops served with grilled onions, sautéed broccolini, and garlic mashed potatoes. Plus dessert.
And I didn’t make the same things over and over again. There was a lot of experimentation—and a handful of flops. But the novelty of spending all that time over the stove wore off several weeks into lockdown. I hit a wall, so to speak. And I’m still in that headspace, a little more than a year later. (And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.)
Bryan Noury, the executive chef at Madre in Brooklyn, creates contemporary American fare that … [+]
So what’s a “stuck” home cook like me to do? Well, I reached out to Bryan Noury—the executive chef at Madre in Brooklyn, to seek out some much-needed inspiration. And he was gracious enough to oblige. At the restaurant, Noury specializes in contemporary (and unpretentious) American fare that spotlights locally-sourced ingredients, prepared simply—and everything hits the spot.
Here’s what he’s been making in the kitchen lately—and you best believe that these dishes will soon be a staple in my home this winter.
“We use ricotta all over the restaurant. It is ubiquitous and lends itself so well to so many dishes. I have always been a lover of dairy but it wasn’t until my trip to Rome in 2016 that I really understood the difference. Sourcing the best milk and cream is the key to success. We only use Battenkill Valley milk and cream. And I have no doubt your local markets will have exactly what you’re looking for.” —Bryan Noury, executive chef at Madre (Brooklyn, New York)
800g whole milk
400g heavy cream
30g lemon juice or white wine vinegar
5g kosher salt
Method: In a large heavy-bottomed pot, warm milk and cream to 170-180°F over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the salt and acid and stir, allowing the curd to start to separate from the whey. Take milk and cream mixture off heat and allow curds to form. Strain through a colander lined with 5 layers of cheesecloth. (The longer the strain, the firmer the ricotta.) For our pasta filling, we are looking for a less wet and firmer product so we will hang overnight. For bruschetta or dessert an hour is plenty.
To serve: Cold with cinnamon and honey; warmed on toast with roasted mushrooms and fried herbs; as ravioli filling with lemon.
Vegetable soup with apple sauce and maple syrup.
“Coming from New Hampshire, fall has always had a special place in my heart. Leaf peepers, flannels, all things pumpkin spice, and apples! Braeburns, Granny Smiths, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Red Delicious, McIntosh. Roasting 20 different kinds of apples is, without a doubt, one of the greatest smells you will ever find in a kitchen, only second maybe to veal bones. We incorporate the apple sauce into our vegetable soup but it stores beautifully. Easily frozen, easily made into jams and vinegars. Apple butter on cinnamon toast is otherworldly. All done with simple modifications that can achieve dramatic effects. The soup base is vegan and absolutely delicious. We use a myriad of fall vegetables that are always bountiful this time of year. Rutabaga is the secret here. The peppery nature shines through in this recipe. White miso for depth of flavor, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Without question this soup is greater than the sum of its parts. Garnish with anything that catches your eye: pomegranate arils, toasted pumpkin seeds, etcetera.” —Bryan Noury, executive chef at Madre (Brooklyn, New York)
50g canola oil
300g Vidalia onion, peeled and julienned
400g butternut squash
400g sweet potato
200g Granny Smith apple
800g vegetable stock
100g coconut milk
100g maple syrup
50g white miso
Salt, to taste
Cayenne, to taste
Lime juice, to taste
Method: In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and season with salt. Sweat until opaque. Add rutabaga, squash, carrots, and sweet potato. Season with salt. Make sure not to brown them under any circumstances. Add vegetable stock and white miso, bring to a simmer. Add half the coconut milk and green apple. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes or until all of the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Add maple syrup and coconut milk. Purée in small batches: No more than a quart at a time. Strain through a mesh strainer.
Roasted Apple Purée:
2 lb. apples (Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Mcintosh, Fiji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious)
Salt, to taste
Apple cider vinegar, few drops
Method: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay apples in a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast for 2 hours until apples are browned and caramelized. Blend apple purée in Vitamix until completely smooth. The roasted apple purée is a secondary part of the soup—place it on the bottom of the bowl and the rest of the “soup” is poured on top.
Roasted Amish chicken.
“Not only is it one of my favorite things to eat, it’s easily one of my favorite things to cook. Using a few simple techniques and a little care, you can achieve an incredibly juicy and satisfying meal very inexpensively. We brine, air dry, lightly smoke, and use an incredible trick to produce the most amazing color. Always a crowd pleaser and you can take it as far as you want or simply salt and toss in a ripper oven. Easy-peasy cleanup.” —Bryan Noury, executive chef at Madre (Brooklyn, New York)
3 bay leaves
Garlic, 1 head split
Thyme, 1 bunch
*For the 10% salt brine: mix 100g of salt to 1000g (1L) of water
Method: Brine chicken for 12 hours. Remove chickens from brine. Dry off and let sit in fridge uncovered for 24 hours to achieve very crispy skin. Stuff bird with ½ lemon and thyme sprig prior to roasting. Roast at 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Turn at the 15-minute mark. Reduce temperature to 350°F and roast for another 15 minutes. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
“Half pie, half custard, all delicious. Don’t let the name scare you. I first tasted the French classic at Thomas Henkelman in Greenwich, Connecticut. Easier than making a pie, I’ve been enamored with its simplicity and deliciousness for almost 20 years. At Madre, we use a variety of fruits. Cherry is traditional but we go with strawberries and rhubarb or apricot in the summer, pears and figs in fall. It also works great with high quality canned and jarred fruits, like peaches. We have gone as far as omitting all the sugar and substituting duck fat and confit duck legs for a savory version. So fire! The world is yours. Serve lukewarm or heated with a scoop of chilled fresh ricotta!” —Bryan Noury, executive chef at Madre (Brooklyn, New York)
170g butter, room temperature
105g powdered sugar, sifted
120g almond flour, sifted
2 whole eggs
8 egg Yolks
370g whole milk
2 vanilla beans, scraped
1 pinch sugar
Method: In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the butter until creamy. Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into the bowl and mix until combined. Add the whole egg and mix until it is homogeneous. Transfer the mixture and chill overnight. In a heatproof bowl, whip the egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch, flour, and a pinch of sugar until smooth. In a small sauce pot, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to a simmer. While whisking, gradually add milk to the whipped egg yolk mixture. Return egg yolks to the saucepan and cook until pastry cream reads 170°F on an instant read thermometer. Transfer pastry cream to the container and cool completely.
To Make: Spray a mold with Pam. In a large bowl using a rubber spatula, combine the pastry cream and almond batter until no streaks remain. Pour over the fruit until 2/3 full.
To Bake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place clafoutis into the oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
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