America’s Test Kitchen Paris-Brest (Ep 2007)

Paris-Brest
Serves 8-10

Paris-Brest is a showstopper dessert that consists of a large ring of pâte à choux—the same pastry used to make éclairs and cream puffs—that is filled with hazelnut praline pastry cream and then sprinkled with chopped almonds and powdered sugar. To make this elegant dessert foolproof, we started with our pâteà choux recipe, which created a tender, but strong“case” for the cream filling. For a light cream filling that was firm and sturdy, we started with a flour-thickened pastry cream (which was more stable than the normal cornstarch-thickened version), added pulverized caramel-coated hazelnuts, and then folded in whipped cream that had been enriched with gelatin. INGREDIENTS
Praline

½ cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Pastry Dough

3 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
⅓ cup whole milk
⅓ cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons toasted, skinned, and chopped hazelnuts

Cream Filling

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
¼ cup water
1½ cups half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
⅓ cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
confectioners’ sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
1. For the praline: Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; spray parchment with vegetable oil spray and set aside.

Milk Street Cooking with Chilies (Ep 318)

Tacos al Pastor
Start to finish: 1 hour | Servings: 4

We combine tender broiled pork, spicy chilies and the subtle smokiness of charred pineapple in this take on tacos al pastor. The dish is from Mexico but has Levantine roots, stemming from the 19th century when Lebanese immigrants arrived, bringing their tradition of vertical spits for roasting lamb shawarma. Not finding much lamb, cooks switched to pork and instead of sandwiching the meat in flatbread, they used tortillas. Subsequent generations added pineapple and dried chilies. For everyday ease, we use pork tenderloin that has been pounded, briefly marinated and broiled.

America’s Test Kitchen Braised Chicken with Mustard and Herbs (Ep 2006)

Braised Chicken with Mustard and Herbs
Serves 4-6

Chicken breasts are broader at one end than the other, so cut more than halfway up each breast to create two pieces of equal mass (see “For More Equal Parts, Don’t Cut Down the Middle,” below). There’s no need to take the temperature of the dark meat; it will be properly cooked by the time the white meat reaches its target temperature. If you prefer not to serve the skin, wait until step 6 to remove it; browning the skin produces flavorful compounds that add complexity to the sauce, and braising it releases gelatin, which gives the sauce a rich texture. INGREDIENTS

½ cup table salt, for brining
1½-2 pounds bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed and each cut crosswise into 2 pieces of equal mass
1½-2 pounds chicken leg quarters, separated into drumsticks and thighs, trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
⅓ cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1½ tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container.

Milk Street The Austrian Table (Ep 317)

Austrian Beef Stew with Paprika and Caraway (Goulash)
Start to finish: 4 hours (30 minutes active) | Servings: 4 to 6

This simple stew derives much of its bold flavor and rich color from sweet and hot paprika, so make sure the paprika you use is fresh and fragrant. For the deepest, earthiest flavor, we recommend seeking out true Hungarian paprika; we use a combination of sweet and hot to achieve just the right degree of spice. Serve with egg noodles, spätzle or mashed potatoes. Don’t be shy about trimming the chuck roast; removing as much fat as possible before cooking prevents the stew from being extra-greasy. In our experience, the roast usually loses about 1 pound with trimming.

America’s Test Kitchen Pork, Fennel, and Lemon Ragu with Pappardelle (Ep 2005)

Pork, Fennel, and Lemon Ragu with Pappardelle
Serves 4-6

Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket. To ensure that the sauce isn’t greasy, be sure to trim the roast of all excess surface fat. You can substitute tagliatelle for the pappardelle, if desired.  
INGREDIENTS

4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 large fennel bulb, 2 tablespoons fronds chopped, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and chopped fine, divided
4 garlic clove, minced
1½ teaspoons table salt, plus salt for cooking pasta
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup heavy cream
1 (1½-pound) boneless pork butt roast, well trimmed and cut in half across grain
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest plus ¼ cup juice (2 lemons)
12 ounces pappardelle
2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1 cup), plus extra for serving

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Milk Street Amazing One-Layer Cakes (Ep 316)

Caprese Chocolate and Almond Torte
Start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes (20 minutes active) | Servings: 10

This flourless chocolate cake from Capri, Italy (where it is called torta caprese), gets its rich, almost brownie-like texture from ground almonds and a generous amount of egg. Before grinding the nuts, we toast them to intensify their flavor and accentuate the deep, roasted notes of the chocolate. We preferred the cake made with bittersweet chocolate containing 70 to 80 percent cocoa solids. You can, of course, use a lighter, sweeter bittersweet chocolate, but the cake will have less chocolate intensity. Serve slices warm or at room temperature dolloped with unsweetened whipped cream.

America’s Test Kitchen Belgian Spice Cookies (Ep 2004)

Belgian Spice Cookies (Speculoos)
Makes 32 cookies

For the proper flavor, we strongly recommend using turbinado sugar (commonly sold as Sugar in the Raw). If you can’t find it, use ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 ounces) of packed light brown sugar and skip the sugar grinding in step 2. In step 3, use a rolling pin and a combination of rolling and a smearing motion to form a rectangle. If the dough spreads beyond the rectangle, trim it and use the scraps to fill in the corners; then, replace the parchment and continue to roll. Do not use cookie molds or an embossed rolling pin for the speculoos; they will not hold decorations.

Milk Street The New Paris (Ep 315)

Potato Gnocchi with Butter, Sage and Chives
Start to finish: 13⁄4 hours, 20 minutes for sauce | Servings: 4 to 6

Our take on classic potato gnocchi was inspired by a cooking lesson we got in Paris from chef Peter Orr at his Robert restaurant in the 11th arrondissement. It helps to have a kitchen scale to weigh out the 11⁄4 pounds of cooked potatoes needed to make the gnochhi dough. To process the cooked potatoes, a ricer or food mill works best for obtaining the smooth texture needed for light, fine gnocchi. A potato masher works, too, but the gnocchi will be slightly denser (yet still delicious). The gnocchi can be cooked, cooled completely, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to a day.

America’s Test Kitchen Herb-Crusted Pork Roast (Ep 2003)

Herb-Crusted Pork Roast
Serves 4-6

If only “enhanced” pork is available (the label will state that the pork was injected with a water-salt solution), do not brine the roast. Instead, simply season the stuffed and tied roast with salt before browning. Note that you should not trim the pork of its layer of fat. While it is possible to substitute dried rosemary for fresh, do not substitute dried thyme for fresh or the herb crust will be dry and dusty tasting. The roasting time will vary widely depending on the thickness of the meat.

Milk Street Holiday Entertaining (Ep 314)

Argentinian-Style Stuffed Pork Loin with Chimichurri
Start to finish: 31⁄2 hours (1 hour active) | Servings: 8 to 10

This holiday-worthy roast was inspired by Argentinian matambre arrollado, or beef that is stuffed with hard-cooked eggs, vegetables and sliced cured meats, then poached or roasted. We opted for a boneless pork loin roast because its uniform shape makes it easy to cut into a 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch- thick slab ideal for filling and rolling. Herbal, garlicky and subtly spicy chimichurri is the perfect accompaniment to the sweet, mild pork; we use some inside the roast, too. You’ll need a digital instant thermometer to test the roast for doneness. For convenience, the chimichurri can be made and refrigerated in an airtight container up to a day ahead.