3 10 2011

If you get Southern Living’s Daytime TV in your area, tune in today and watch us prepare a delicious fall dish!


Forces of Nature

2 10 2011

I had a lot to do; many errands and tasks to complete in the brief respite we know as a weekend. Yet, October had arrived. And with that arrival the very first coolness that is autumn.  Despite official decrees adhering to the equinox, autumn does not arrive until you can feel her, a cool caress; and hear her, a soft rustle and bustle as wind makes its way through wood; and see her, a patchwork of bright colors peering from within a monochrome curtain of green; and smell her, faintly earthy and dirty in a deliciously naughty way. The only thing left is to taste, and for that we made a dinner resplendent with the flavors and feel of fall. Yes, there was a lot to do and now there remains the same, but only a fool denies the forces of nature when she beckons….


Bolognese Sauce (served over home made roasted beet root pasta)

  • 8 ounces finely chopped pancetta
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup madeira
  • 4 ounces red wine
  • 1 Tbs. anchovy paste
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • Bouquet garni (6 sprigs oregano, 6 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs parsley, 2 bay leaves)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can pureed San Marzano tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • Basil, chiffonade cut for garnish

In a separate small sauce pan reduce the cream by 1/3 over medium low heat. Render the pancetta in a large stockpot over medium heat. . Add the beef and veal, season with salt and pepper and brown the meats. Add the garlic, carrot, celery and onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the anchovy and tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add the Madeira and red wine and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and bouquet garni and allow to simmer for about 3 hours. Periodically check and as the liquid evaporates add the milk until it is fully incorporated. After all the milk has been incorporated add the cream. Serve over pasta with basil garnish.

Fall Flavors

27 09 2011

One of the great fall flavors I remember is lobster. Visiting Maine in the fall after the other tourists have left gives you the feel of a wilderness getting ready to rest. The leaves have changed and a jacket is definitely required after sundown. The air is damp and heavy with a mix of salt and earthy pine. You walk the streets after dark feeling the isolation, a feeling that everyone is out somewhere else having fun and you are here-alone. Then a noise grabs you and a light beckons. Soon you are out on a wharf surrounded by music, lights heat and steamed lobster; sweet and succulent. When my good friends at the fish market had a lobster sale-really ridiculously cheap this fall flavor was on the menu. This pan seared lobster was served with some incredible butternut squash gnocchi and a sage champagne sauce.

Apple Fritters

19 10 2010

Fall is definitely apple season. Here’s a sweet treat to use up those fresh apples before one spoils the bushel.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • 1 shot of brandy
  • 1 Tbs Doc’s Apple Pie Spice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 5 egg whites
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Caramel Syrup

 Preheat a deep fryer or oil in a Dutch oven to 350 degrees

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the lemon juice, cider, apples, brandy and spice. Cook the apples over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk, melted butter and cooled apple mixture. Stir in the flour, salt and honey into the liquid mixture. Cover the batter, place in the refrigerator and let rest for 4 hours or overnight. Prior to deep frying, in a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and fold in the beaten egg whites. Using a large spoon, drop the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain.

To serve, drizzle with caramel syrup. Garnish the fritters with powdered sugar.

Fall is here:Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Tomato Coulis and Tarragon & Poblano Chili Oil

8 09 2010

Something is in the air besides the noise of my pager going off every morning at 3am (hence the delay in posts)-It’s Fall! So to encourage the fall feeling, here’s a dish with fall flair.

 [tweetmeme source=”WCWD” only_single=false]

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Tomato Coulis and Tarragon & Poblano Chili Oil

  • 2 (about 1 pound each) butternut squash
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup sweet onion (rough chop)
  • 2 carrots (rough chop)
  • 2 ribs of celery (rough chop)
  • 2 leeks (white part only) (rough chop)
  • 1 shallot (rough chop)
  • 2 cloves garlic (rough chop)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 qts chicken stock (or vegetable nage for vegetarian version)
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • Roasted  Grape Tomato Coulis (recipe follows)
  • Roasted Tarragon & Poblano Oil (Recipe follows)
  • Roasted corn for garnish (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, seed and roughly chop the squash. Place in an oven proof baking dish and lightly cover with 1 Tbs oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until tender. Remove the squash and allow to cool. In a large heavy bottomed pot, add the butter and remaining oil. Sweat the vegetables for several minutes; do not allow them to brown. Add the lemon juice and the white wine. Allow the wine to cook off until almost gone. Add the chicken stock, maple syrup and honey. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Then in small batches in a blender or food processor, or using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it has a homogenous consistency.

To serve, place the soup in the serving dish. Drizzle with the tomato coulis. Drizzle with the tarragon & roasted poblano chili oil and garnish with fire roasted corn.

Roasted  Grape Tomato Coulis

  • 1 pound sweet grape tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the tomatoes in an oven proof dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes just start to split. Transfer to a food processor. Run the pureed tomatoes through a fine sieve and add in the tomato paste.

Tarragon Poblano Chili Oil

  • 1 ounce fresh tarragon
  • 1 red pepper
  • 6 poblano peppers
  • ¾ cup olive oil

Roast the red peppers and poblano peppers, allow to rest sealed in a zip loc bag and remove the skins. Remove the leaves from the tarragon and discard the stems. Place the peppers in the food processor along with the tarragon and oil. Puree. Strain the puree through a fine sieve and reserve the oil.

Roasted Corn Garnish

  • 2 ears of corn, roasted
  • Juice of 2 limes

Remove the kernels from the ears. Mix with the lime juice.