Oysters Florentine

“Florentine” implies spinach, and indeed this dish combines tender oysters with that wonderful green. Cooked in a savory cream sauce and served over pasta, oysters have never had it so good! We used baby spinach, which has leaves only 1 to 3 inches long and very small stems, but if it’s unavailable use regular spinach and simply remove all the stems and tear the leaves into 1-inch pieces.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Pretty is as pretty does, and this gorgeous dish tastes as great as it looks! Mirin is a rice wine, similar to sake, and generally available in Asian markets. If you can’t find it, you can substitute the same amount of vermouth plus ½ teaspoon sugar.

Sweet Potato Custard

Who says I can’t create simple recipes? You can turn these into a holiday dessert by topping each with a little whipped cream and chopped toasted pecans or a rich praline sauce.

Spinach Salad

A good spinach salad should be in every cook’s repertoire, and while this one has many traditional elements, the tasso and cane vinegar give it a decided Louisiana accent.

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