Food & Drink

Ro’s Recipes: For Your Thanksgiving Feast, Inventive Starters and Sides


Oysters with Roast Apple and Horseradish Mayonnaise


Yield: Six amuse portions—about 36 amuse
Equipment: small sauté pan, measuring cups and spoons, small metal mixing bowl, small rubber spatula, small fine-wire whisk, 12 Chinese soup spoons

36 small oysters shucked by fishmonger and packed with oyster jus

1 teaspoon butter
1 Granny Smith apple
2 tablespoons sugar

¼ C drained bottled horseradish
¼ C Hellman’s mayonnaise
3 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped

1 tablespoon finely minced chives


For the apple: peel, core and dice the apple into ¼-inch squares. Toss them in sugar. Heat a small sauté pan and add the butter. When the butter is bubbling, toss in half the diced apple. Sauté over high heat till golden brown. Transfer to cold plate to cool. Repeat with the second batch. Chill till very cold.

For the horseradish mayonnaise, combine the drained horseradish in a bowl with the mayonnaise. Fold in the whipped cream. Chill.

To serve, put an oyster on a Chinese soupspoon. Top with a few pieces of roasted apple, dollop with a teaspoon of horseradish mayonnaise, and sprinkle with some minced chives.



Pea, Fava, Brussels Sprout–Leaf Ragout with Orange Butter Sauce

Yield: Six side dish portions

Equipment: four-quart saucepan, measuring cups and spoons, wooden spoon

2 tablespoons sweet butter
¼ C minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced thyme
1 bay leaf, torn in half

¼ C white wine
½ C orange juice
½ C vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ C green peas –frozen are OK
1 ½ C shucked, peeled, blanched fava beans
2 C Brussels sprouts, trimmed into leaves
½ C sweet butter, cut in tablespoon-sized blocks
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a large sauté pan. Over moderately high heat, add shallots and sauté to golden. Add thyme and bay leaf.
Add wine, orange juice, stock, and sugar. Bring to the boil and cook over moderately low heat to develop flavor.

Add blanched fava beans and cook on high heat for three minutes. Add peas and cook for one minute.
Add Brussels sprout leaves.

Season with salt and pepper

Lower heat and add butter, one tablespoon at a time, stirring to make a “coating” emulsion.

Check again for seasoning. The vegetables should all remain bright green in color and be tender-crisp with a gentle wash of orange butter emulsion.



Potato-Cheddar Polpetti

Yield: Six side dish portions

Equipment: half-sheet tray or roasting pan, potato ricer, small saucepan, measuring cups and spoons, micro-plane grater, three-quart saucepan or fryer, three medium bowls, heavy-gauge wire whisk, kitchen paper, slotted spoon, spider


6 washed Idaho potatoes

1 C heavy cream
¼ C sweet butter
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 C grated Parmesan

Vegetable oil—for deep-frying
1 C flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 C toasted bread crumbs–sifted

Prick the potatoes a few times. Place on sheet tray and bake till very soft, about one hour.
While the potatoes are baking, prepare the other ingredients. Heat the cream, butter, and seasonings in a small saucepan.
Holding each potato with a clean kitchen towel, scoop the flesh into a ricer fitted with a fine-holed die. Rice into a medium bowl.
Whip in the warmed cream mixture till well combined. Add cheese.
Heat vegetable oil up to one-third depth in medium saucepan to 350 degrees.
Measure into quarter-cup scoops. Dust the palms of your hands with flour and gently roll potatoes into balls. Toss each potato ball into flour, covering with thin coating of flour. Transfer to bowl with egg. Coat well with egg. Transfer with slotted spoon to breadcrumbs, ensuring that crumb covering is complete. Fry in oil till golden brown. Remove to sheet tray lined with paper towel. Repeat till all potato balls are fried.
To serve, reheat on sheet tray.

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