Food Network Chef Nancy Fuller heats things up in our kitchen and tells us about her new cookbook, “Farmhouse Rules: Simple, Seasonal Meals for the Whole Family.”
Kale and Kielbasa Soup
SERVES 6 WITH LEFTOVERS
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound kielbasa, cut into ½-inch chunks
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1½ teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Big pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1½ quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large bunch kale, tough stems trimmed and leaves chopped (about 8 ounces or 8 cups chopped leaves)
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
HEAT A LARGE Dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the kielbasa and cook and stir until browned all over, about 5 minutes.
Add the leeks and thyme and cook until the leeks are wilted, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, allspice, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes to develop the flavors.
Add the potatoes and kale. Simmer, uncovered, to reduce the soup and concentrate the flavors a bit, until the kale and potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve the soup with a final drizzle of olive oil and some grated Parmesan.
Filet Mignon Sandwiches
MAKES 2 SANDWICHES
2 (6-ounce) filet mignons (about 2 inches thick), tied by your butcher
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
½ cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon truffle oil
2 brioche buns, halved
SEASON THE FILETS generously with salt and pepper.
In a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil and garlic. When the butter begins to bubble, add the filet mignon pieces. Tip the skillet slightly and baste the tops with the butter and olive oil. Cook until deeply browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking and basting on the other side until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the pieces on their sides and sear the edges until brown. Remove from the skillet and let the steak rest while you prepare the leeks and sauce.
Add the leeks and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet and sauté until the leeks are soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the tarragon. Turn the heat to high and add the red wine. Let the sauce reduce by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
Lower the heat to simmer and stir in the truffle oil.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spread the remaining 2 teaspoons butter onto the brioche buns and place in the pan until slightly browned, about 2 minutes.
To serve, slice the filet mignon against the grain and place on one half of each brioche bun. Top with some leeks and their sauce and the other half of each bun and serve immediately.
Molasses Ginger Cookies
MAKES ABOUT 2½ DOZEN COOKIES
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon fine salt
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, softened
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 large egg
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies
Sift the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt onto a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening, butter, and brown sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses and egg and beat until smooth. Pour in the flour mixture and beat on low, just to combine. Add the crystallized ginger, if using, and mix just to combine. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Spread about a cup of granulated sugar on a large plate.
Form the chilled dough into walnut-size balls and roll in the sugar. Space the cookies an inch or so apart on the lined baking sheets, leaving room for them to spread.
Bake, rotating the pans from top to bottom halfway through, until the cookies are puffed and the edges are set but the centers are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely. Proceed with the remaining dough until all of the cookies are baked. Pay attention to the first batch of cookies and make sure they are baked to your satisfaction. If not, adjust the oven temperature or the time.
Excerpted from the book FARMHOUSE RULES by Nancy Fuller. Copyright © 2015 by Fuller Farm, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.