Navy Bean Soup
Rustic and hearty, this soup is easy to make a day ahead. Remember, the soup will taste best if cooked in a large stock pot as opposed to a crock pot or overnight cooker.
Heat a large stock pot over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onions, celery, carrots and garlic until cooked, about 8 minutes. Add the navy beans and chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes with their juices.
Carefully take 2 1–2 cups of the soup and puree in a blender or food processor. You will need to do this in batches and be careful as the soup will be very hot. Once all the soup is puréed, put it back into the pot, add smoky ham, parsley, rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer soup for another 30 minutes.
Simple and delicious, popovers are always a delightful addition to a menu. Using the simplest of ingredients it's easy to create that irresistibly delicate puff that is the quintessential popover.
Preheat oven to 425° F.
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, milk and melted butter together, slowly add the flour and salt. Don't over mix, small lumps are fine.
Place a 6–cup popover pan in the oven for 5 minutes, with oven mitts on, pull the pan out and spray with a nonstick cooking spray.
Fill each cup a little more then 1–2 way full with the pastry mix and place the pan back into the oven. Bake at 425° F for 20 minutes, turn heat down to 350° for another 20 minutes.
For the perfect popovers, resist the urge to peek during the baking process!
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack and serve immediately.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
With their satisfyingly piquant flavor and toothsome texture, Brussels sprouts, with a bit of lemon, are an ideal follow up to a pureed soup and a well–matched accompaniment to the richness of savory game meats.
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a large bowl combine Brussels sprouts, olive oil and salt and pepper, then toss.
Spread Brussels sprouts on a sheet tray, and bake for 25 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Add the sliced lemon and stir. Bake another 10 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are well browned.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Roasted Pheasant with Citrus Butter
Richly flavored, yet lean, pheasants are a popular game bird that's as easy to prepare as a roast chicken. We chose organic, free–range birds from a specialty farm featured on dartagnan.com.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a small bowl, mix the butter, orange and lemon zest, herbs, shallot, plus salt and pepper.
Rinse and pat the pheasants dry. Slide two fingers between breast skin and meat to make pockets. Turn the bird over and loosen thigh skin the same way. Rub the butter underneath the skin and on top of the pheasants (being careful not to tear the skin).
Tuck wings underneath and tie legs with a piece of string.
Roast at 350° for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160° F.
Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before carving.