Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, who you may know better as The Fabulous Beekman Boys from their reality show of the same name, have spent the past four years shining light on the value of bringing back heritage farms. The duo’s latest project, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook, is a love letter to vegetables, herbs and comfort food that uses plenty of both.
Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell will be at the Plaza Williams-Sonoma (4764 Broadway) on Wednesday, November 12, at 5 p.m. Tickets for their discussion and book signing are $37.96 (that includes a copy of the book). We caught up with the duo who have a farm in Sharon Springs, New York, to chat about their latest project and score a recipe for handpies.
Part of your journey has been about recapturing traditional methods. Are there any traditional techniques or preparations that you’re hoping to kick-start with the book?
We believe in creating “heirloom recipes”–recipes that you make so many times and put them on your table that they get stories built around them. In order for a recipe to be made so many times that it gets this wonderful patina, it has to be delicious, relatively easy to make and use ingredients that are readily available.
Keeping the seasonal approach of the book in mind, what’s on your plate right now?
Right now we just starting to harvest our root vegetables at the farm: turnips, rutabaga, parsnip
Kansas City’s vegetarian and vegan scene is evolving. You write from an omnivore’s perspective, but do you have any advice for a carnivore looking to bring more vegetables into their kitchen?
This is exactly why we wrote the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook—vegetable forward recipes that even meat-lovers will crave. Many of them will make excellent side dishes.
Should we be eating handpies instead of cupcakes?
Totally! Hand-pies are the new thing! There’s a great recipe in the book for a quick Greek yogurt dough that you can use to make your own freeze-ahead Hot Pockets. We stuffed ours with potatoes and caramelized onions, but we love to see what other people make (they can share their ideas on our Facebook page.)
Are there any must food-stops for you in Kansas City or the area?
We’d love for people to give us recommendations! Who knows any food scene better than the locals!
CARAMELIZED ONION AND POTATO HAND PIES
On rainy autumn days, we often make up “storage” foods that we can whip out when unexpected company comes calling. These savory hand pies are perfect for snacking or entertaining. They can be frozen and baked straight from the freezer. To bake from frozen, increase the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.
11/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into cup and leveled off), plus more for rolling
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (2% or higher)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 russet (baking) potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
3/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
To make the dough: In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the yogurt and pulse just until combined (the dough should hold together when pinched between your fingers). Divide the dough into quarters, wrap each in plastic wrap, and flatten to rectangles. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a day. For longer storage, freeze up to 3 months.
To make the filling: In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown and very tender.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potato for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, transfer to a bowl, and mash with a potato masher.
Stir the onions, yogurt, and salt into the mashed potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a 5 × 12-inch rectangle. Halve the dough crosswise to make two 5 × 6-inch rectangles. With a short end facing you, place 1/4 cup of the potato filling on the bottom half, leaving a 1/2 rinch border. Brush the border with water, fold the top over, and pinch to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Place on the baking sheet and make several slashes in the tops of the hand pies.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water. Brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Reprinted from “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook” by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Copyright (c) 2014 by Beekman 1802, LLC. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.