The 15th Annual Food & Wine Classic at Aspen


Corn Pancakes with Maple Fruit Compote

Organic cornmeal, especially from Arrowhead Mills, has a much sweeter corn flavor and finer texture than ordinary cornmeal. We've make these easy pancakes at the Santa Monica farmers Market and sold out in minutes. For really easy early mornings, pancakes can be made in advance and frozen individually in plastic sandwich bags double-packed in ziplocked bags. Reheat in a single layer in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes.

Makes 12 large pancakes

1. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, baking soda, flour and butter. Blend together with your fingertips or a pastry blender until a coarse meal is formed. Pour in the buttermilk and stir just until the flower disappears. Stir in just enough milk to form a thin pancake batter.

2. Heat a griddle over medium-high and lightly coat with butter or oil. Ladle on the batter and fry until bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook the second side until golden, about 1 minute. Serve hot, topped with Maple Fruit Compote.

Maple Fruit Compote

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Combine the fruit and maple syrup in a bowl and serve at room temperature, or reserve in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Turkey Cilantro Sausages

The trick to making superb sausages at home is to start with the right proportion of meat to fat then to keep every-thing - ingredients, bowl and grinder - ice cold. For a delightful sandwich, try serving these patties on toasted buns slathered with Romesco Sauce, or with strips of roasted red pepper and Red Salsa.

Makes 12 patties

1. On a tray covered with plastic wrap, freeze the turkey and fatback for 30 minutes to firm. In a heavy duty mixer with a food grinder attachment, or food processor, grind the meat and fatback together in short bursts. It should be chopped in chunks, not pulverized.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat and fat with the wine, chiles, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix together by hand until well blended, being careful not to overmix or the meat will become warm and mushy. cover and chill for 2 hours, to allow the flavors to marry.

3. Form the mixture into flat patties, approximately 3 inches in diameter. Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Fry the sausage patties turning once until golden, about 4 minutes total. Drain excess fat from the pan as necessary. Briefly drain on paper towels and serve hot.

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