Lunchbreak: Hearty Boys make winter vegetable cobbler and sweet potato biscuits

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Hearty Boys
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
March 9-17, 2013
Navy Pier, Chicago

Winter Vegetable Cobbler
Serves 4

1/2 pound carrots (preferably rainbow), cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound parsnips, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound  celery root, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound parsley root, cut into bite sized pieces
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon Applejack
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch nutmeg
sweet potato biscuits
1 large egg, beaten

Scrub the vegetables but don’t peel. I prefer the Japanese roll cut on these – hold your knife in the 10:00 – 4:00 position and make one cut about ½ inch thick. Roll the vegetable toward you a quarter turn and make another cut. Another quarter turn, another cut and so on.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss all of the vegetables into a large bowl and add the oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix well to coat. Turn the vegetables out onto a couple of baking sheets and place in the oven. Roast, turning them with a spatula a couple of times, until fork tender and slightly brown around the edges, about 30 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting, melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Toss in the chopped herbs, stir for just a few seconds and then add the flour. Whisk until a smooth paste forms and cook for 2 minutes over low heat. s the flour cooks heat the milk in a microwave until hot but not boiling. Remove from the microwave and set next to the stove.  Whisk the Applejack into the flour/butter mixture and then slowly add the milk, whisking as you go. The mixture will become thick and creamy. Whisk in the remaining salt, pepper and nutmeg. Put the roasted vegetables into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sauce. Spoon the mix into 4 rarebit (au gratin) dishes and top with a biscuit strip about 1” wide by 4” long. Brush the biscuit with egg wash and place the dishes into a 375 degree oven. Bake until the biscuit is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Biscuit

1 medium sweet potato
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
7 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small bits
1/3 cup buttermilk

Roast the sweet potato in a 400 degree oven until soft and beginning to ooze syrup, about 45 minutes.* Remove from the oven and let cool. When completely cool peel the potato and place in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Remove and set aside. Clean the bowl of the processor and pour in the flour, rosemary, baking powder and baking soda, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times then add the butter. Pulse until small pellets form. Add ½ cup of the sweet potato, the honey and the buttermilk. Pulse just until the dough begins to form. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into the desired shapes. Any extra dough can be used for breakfast the next day – delicious with a honey butter! Place foil underneath the potato to catch the syrup that will start to ooze out.

Rosabella’s Fling
This is a delicate drink. It needs the 6 drops of orange blossom water; it needs the caramelized oils of the orange zest.  It is beautiful and earthy and demands to be served with stinky cheeses and fried olives

1 1/4 ounces gin
1 ounce Beet Juice*
1/2 ounce Pedro Ximénez Sherry
1/4 ounce Ginger Liqueur
1/8 ounce Orange Blossom Water

Combine the ingredients in cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe and serve garnished with flamed orange peel.
*Beet juice can easily be made at home with a juicer or purchased at larger markets and health food stores for about $7.

Yield: 1 cocktail

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