"Hot in Cleveland" star Valerie Bertinelli returned to THE TALK for The Talk Food Festival. She joined the ladies in the kitchen to share some of her favorite recipes from her cookbook, "One Dish at a Time." Here are her recipes for Pat and Stacy's Gumbo, Roasted Vegetables with Herbs and Grapefruitini.
Pat and Stacy's Gumbo
This classic Louisiana stew is ideal for large casual gatherings or celebrations. It takes commitment – and is always better when you make it with a few fellow cooks. The key to making great gumbo lies in the roux, flour cooked in fat to just the right color and consistency. Patience! We always serve this over cooked white rice.
2-3 pounds skin, bones, and neck of roasted turkey or chicken
1 large white onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into thirds
3 ribs celery, cut into thirds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 ribs celery, chopped
3 green bell peppers, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into ½" pieces
2 tablespoons kosher salt, or more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
1 tablespoon cayenne, or more to taste
3 bay leaves
2 10-ounce boxed frozen okra
Meat from roasted turkey or chicken, cut into bite-size chunks
15 cups white cooked rice
To make the stock:
Place the turkey, onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns, and parsley in a large soup pot. Fill the pot with water to cover the ingredients by 2". Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 ½ hours, skimming foam off the top as necessary. Strain and discard the solids.
To make the gumbo:
Warm the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the flour to the pan all at once, whisking until the consistency is uniform. Cook the roux, whisking occasionally, until it is the color of peanut butter, about 20 minutes. Do not let it darken further. Gently add the celery, bell peppers, onion, scallions, and garlic to the pan, as the hot roux may spatter. Stir with a wooden spoon until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add about 1 ½ quarts of the stock, or enough to just cover the vegetables, and stir to combine. The roux may separate. Add the tomatoes with their juices, sausages, salt, black pepper, cayenne, bay leaves, and the remaining stock (about 4 ½ more quarts). Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the okra. Stir and cook until the okra's gel dries out slightly, about 15 minutes. Add to the pot.
Taste the gumbo for seasoning and adjust as desired. Add the turkey or chicken chunks and serve, or simmer as long as 2 hours or more to concentrate the flavors, if desired.
Roasted Vegetables with Herbs
Every vegetable has a friend in the herb garden. The fun starts when you experiment with the combinations that appeal to you. I am a huge fan of roasting just about every vegetable there is and have come up with a master recipe for cooking some of my favorites. The key is to cut the vegetables uniformly, in bite size pieces.
Vegetables, cut into bite-size pieces or as instructed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the vegetables in enough olive oil to thoroughly coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables onto 2 large baking sheets, without crowding the sheets. Roast until browned around the edges and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter or large bowl to serve.
SOME FAVORITE COMBINATIONS:
Wedges of fennel and halved cherry tomatoes roasted, then tossed with chopped fresh fennel fronds or dill.
Cauliflower florets roasted, then tossed with rinsed capers and chopped fresh parsley.
Broccoli rabe, halved cherry tomatoes, and halved shallots, roasted – check the broccoli rabe for doneness at 25 minutes.
Asparagus, left whole, and garlic cloves in their skins, roasted and cooled. Squeeze garlic out of their skins and mix with the asparagus. Drizzle with vincotto or balsamic vinegar, if desired.
Peeled sweet potatoes, cut into ½" wedges, and new potatoes, scrubbed and halved or wedged if large, tossed with rosemary sprigs and roasted. Crumble the needles and toss.
Eggplant, cubed or sliced into coins and roasted. Toss with chopped fresh basil or mint and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Baby beets, roasted, then tossed with chopped fresh tarragon and parsley.
The very shape of a martini glass suggests a special occasion, and when one comes around, I'm drawn to this delicious, pretty drink.
1 thin wedge grapefruit, with peel on, halved
2 tablespoons cocktail rimming sugar, spooned onto saucer
Juice of ½ grapefruit
1 shot (1 ½ ounces) citrus vodka
1 shot (1 ½ ounces) white cranberry juice
Run half the wedge of grapefruit around the rim of a martini glass. Dip the martini glass in the sugar to coat the rim. Tap off the excess.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour 1 shot (1 ½ ounces) of the grapefruit juice, the vodka, and cranberry juice into the shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into the martini glass. Serve immediately.