Seasons by the Sea: Recipes 10.27.11

Pigeon Pastilla
    Although you can find squab (pigeon) in some markets, you could also substitute chicken thighs. For this recipe, I would recommend substituting six to eight chicken thighs for the three squabs.
    Serves six.
Ingredients:
3 squabs
4 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. cilantro
3 Tbsp. parsley
Pinch turmeric
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup toasted, chopped almonds
6 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
Cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Pastry:
11/2 sticks butter, melted
16 sheets phyllo dough
1 egg yolk

    Combine squabs with butter, onion, cinnamon stick, ginger, cilantro, parsley, and turmeric in saucepan. Add enough water just to cover, then cover and simmer for one hour or until squabs are tender.
    Remove squabs from stock, skin, then shred meat.
    Strain stock and reserve.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and almonds. Set aside.
    Measure 2/3 cup of stock in small pan. Add eggs and stir over low heat until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
    Brush a 12-inch ovenproof dish with some melted butter, then lay first phyllo sheet over dish. Brush with more butter, then continue with five more sheets.
    Cover with almond mixture, then half of egg mixture. Moisten with a little stock. Layer with four more sheets of phyllo, brushing with butter as before. Lay meat on top. Add remaining egg mixture and a bit more stock. Cover with remaining pastry, brushing each sheet with butter.
    Tuck in overlapping edges. Brush pie with egg yolk and bake 40 minutes.
    Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake 15 minutes more until crisp and golden.
    Garnish with lattice design of cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar. Serve hot.


Simple Salad
    This is inspired by the fabulous Vilmorin seeds.
    Serves six.
Assortment of Bibb and/or Boston lettuce, approximately 6 cups
1 cup French breakfast radishes (if you can find these long ones), or substitute supermarket radishes, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. chopped chervil (can substitute tarragon and celery leaves to approximate flavor)
2 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley

Dressing:
2 Tbsp. good red wine vinegar
8 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. any good Dijon mustard
1 shallot, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine chopped shallot with olive oil a few hours before serving. This mellows and sweetens the shallot. When ready to serve, whisk with remaining ingredients. Be prudent with the salt, the mustard may be salty enough.
    Toss in bowl with lettuces and herbs.
    Serve with one perfect cheese, such as a ripe Camembert.