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Crab Croque-Madame

Every Francophile has eaten a croque-monsieur, which is essentially a hot ham and cheese sandwich, the top spread with a layer of béchamel sauce and grated cheese, then grilled until golden and bubbly. You can get one in any café, where it is eaten from a little plate, either at a small table or standing…


Pan de Jamón (Venezuelan Ham Bread)

This recipe for the traditional Venezuelan Christmas bread comes from Martha Beltrán in Austin, Tex., who brought the recipe with her when she moved to the United States and now considers it essential to her family’s Thanksgiving feast. Ms. Beltrán always starts the bread the day before she serves it, laminating it with butter three…


Ham Bone Soup

This hearty soup requires a good afternoon simmer, filling your house with the aromas of all things good and warming. The marrow imbues the broth with a silkiness and richness, and the kale is thrown in for color and health. You might want hot sauce, or not. Either way, a bowl of this is the…


Aligot (Mashed Potatoes With Cheese)

Somewhere between buttery mashed potatoes and pure melted cheese lies aligot, the comforting, cheese-enhanced mashed-potato dish from central France. The key to getting a smooth, airy texture is to rice the potatoes while they’re still hot, then incorporate cold butter, hot milk and grated cheese over low heat. To build up the stringiness of that…


Veal Chops Surprise

This dish, which was featured in The Sunday Times Magazine in 2006, is a fussy dish that takes time, but impresses with its creativity and depth of rich flavor. The result of hard work in the kitchen is revealed with panache at the table, when dinner guests open their steaming packets of parchment paper to…


Original Chicken Cordon Bleu

This classic French chicken dish, adapted from Jane and Michael Stern’s book “American Gourmet,” more than lives up to its name (“cordon bleu” means “blue ribbon”). It’s also far easier to make than you may think. A chicken breast is pounded thin (we’ve been known to cheat by using pretrimmed cutlets), then wrapped around a…


Paella of the Land

This recipe, which was adapted from one Valerie Gurdal cooked in the 2013 running of the Westport Paella Contest in Westport, Massachusetts, and brought to The Times by John Willoughby, is classical in its use of rabbit, chorizo, Spanish ham and Calasparra rice. But its depths of flavors are increased exponentially by grilling the meats…


Roasted Fresh Ham

This is a huge piece of meat that is simple to prepare and inevitably leads to applause and awe. A fresh ham weighing in at north of 15 pound yields the variety of doneness needed for a big party of eaters: well-done white meat, pink slices for the medium-rare crowd, and crispy fat and dark-meat…