Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's in Season.... hmmmm that's a tough one, it's January

Well here we are, the merriment and fun of the holiday season is almost past us and it is time to start to look to the new year! 

Our next Copper Pot meal is just a week and a few days away... perhaps next year let's remember this and take a weekend off between New Years and a CP dinner - my waist band needs a rest! 

This is one of the best times during winter, the holidays are over so it must be time for those seed and garden catalogs to start rolling it!  I have already received my Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds and of course Burpee.

I am really looking forward to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange , they are a Virginia based company that specializes in heirloom seeds for the Mid-Atlantic region.  Last year the Reston Farm Market - no, not the one a Lake Anne, the one over on the corner of Barron Cameron and Rt. 7 - carried their seeds.  I hope they do again this year. 

Time to start planning that square foot garden for 2011!  I would like to start earlier this year and try to get some more cold weather seeds in the ground.  We had a pretty good crop of peas and lettuces last year, I think spinach and beets might be added to the list this year.  I was really hoping to winterize the square foot garden last year, but alas the time got away from us.  Better luck with that in 2011.

So on to what is in season... oy.  Unless you were successful an overwintering and covering that fall garden, you got nothing!  However, lets pretend that we had a bountiful crop of root veggies and we were able to put them up for the winter:)  We'll also pretend that we were able to can more than just apple sauce.  Think pantry veggies for January...

So items that I think would work for "seasonal" in January:

Sweet Potatoes
Winter Squashes - Hubbard, Acorn, Butternut, etc.
A trip to the local Farm Markets (the few that are open all winter) might also net you some greenhouse greens and cabbages
Windowsill Herbs
Any other ideas??

FYI - A USDA survey finds that farmers markets operated more than 7 months of the year had three times the sales revenue and twice as many customers per week as those who didn't.  Come on Reston!

One last thing... during these long winters nights if you need something to read and you love food, may I recommend The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall, Friends, & Fab Food!

What's better than good food and good friends on a cool fall night? 

Naturally, we started off with a cocktail, just not the one that was planned...  We were going to serve an Apple Pie Martini, sounds great right?  Not so much.  Here is a warning: never mix Baileys Caramel with apple vodka, trust me.  Never one with out some bubbly in the fridge, the back up was the always delicious Prosecco with St. Germain.  Cheers!

This was enjoyed with the perfectly yummy Creamy Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger.  Do not leave off the garnish!  We used mascarpone, but if you don't have it or want something a bit less decadent, try 0% fat Greek yogurt.  Makes a good weeknight meal too, save the leftovers to have for lunch with a side salad.

Then came perhaps my favorite dish of the night...Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto!  You're thinking - 'What? Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto?'  Trust:  it's delish!  Make this as soon as you can, with the caramelized pare sauce on the side, and the sage.   Mmmm...  You must pair with La Monacesca 2007 Verdicchio di Matelica, Marche, Italy.

Another winner? Micro Greens with Grilled Cheese "Crouton" and Pomegranate Vinaigrette.  I waited all week for this one and it did not disappoint. The wine pairing with these particular dishes were both  perfect.  A 2007 Rocche Costamagna Barbera d'Alba Annunziata from Italy.  The wine was bought at the Wine Cabinet they did a great job helping choose the wine.  We all agree that we need to make a shopping trip soon! 

The main course? Pan Roasted Quail with Wild Mushroom Sauce.  If you like quail (taste like chicken!) you will like this dish.  Don't be intimidated by the little birdies, they were fairly easy to cook up.  The side dish was another super easy and great weeknight meal accompaniment - easy to adapt to whatever veggies you may have laying around.  I give you: Roasted Fall Vegetables.

Oh - and for bonus points we used the potatoes from our garden in the veg dish...
Yup - that's all of them and they really were that small.  Don't tell Ireland, they may revoke our Irish Heritage card.  No wonder the ancestors had to leave, we probably caused the great potato famine...

Now, I know I already called out the risotto as my fave, but it should go without saying that the Cheese Plate is ALWAYS the best part of the night for me!  I am starting to notice a pattern in my cheese plate photos, I always forget to take a photo until we are half way though the course... you see where my priorities lie:)  The toasted baguettes with a hint of garlic and olive oil were a great addition, as well as the fig jam, a very nice accompaniment indeed. 

Last, but not least our WCC Nicole and Rick made the fantastically fall-ish Easy Pastry Shop Apple Tart!  Delectable, light, and a perfect end to a wonderful evening. 

An d now, the moment you all have been waiting for....

Sorry!  We re waiting to see if the couple picked is available, if not back in the pot they go and we'll pick again!   As the holidays are quickly coming upon our next dinner will be in January.  And then perhaps a little February fun for all... stay tuned!

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled raw sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into large dice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: fresh marscapone cheese
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering. 

Add sweet potatoes, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until vegetables start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. 

Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer. 

Add ginger, nutmeg and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. 

Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes

Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid's pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To 'clean' the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.

Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.

Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pears (peeled and cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 pound Gorgonzola
  • 2 T cream
  • 1 T butter


Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.

Add 1/2 the pears and sugar and caramelize. Set pears aside.

Heat the chicken stock in a pan and keep warm while making the risotto.

Heat the oil

Add the onions and saute until tender.

Add the rice and saute until the rice becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot.  Stir until completely absorbed

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the rice and stir until the rice absorbs it. Continue to do this until the rice is cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes.

Add the cream, butter and gorgonzola and stir until the gorgonzola melts.

Add fresh pears just before serving, top with caramelized pears.

Micro Greens with Grilled Cheese "Crouton" and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • Micro Greens
  • Sliced baguette (2 slices per person)
  • Arugula
  • Guyere Cheese
  • Prosciutto
  • Butter 
  • Pomegranate Vinaigrette


Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pomegranate Molasses

  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus extra

  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra

  • 2 tbsp canola oil

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. While continuously whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the canola oil to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust seasonings as desired with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Note: If the vinaigrette is too tart for your liking, simply whisk in more canola oil. 

Butter one side of the baguette slice on the opposite side build your grilled cheese, layering each item with cheese in between and on so that as the cheese melts it holds the crouton together. Top with other slice of bread and butter that side.  Toast in a panini press or grill pan.

Toss the micro greens with pomegranate vinaigrette.  Serve freshly toasted "crouton" on the side.

Pan Roasted Quail with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Modified from William-Sonoma: London

  • 8 tbs olive oil
  •  zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 2 fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 quail, cut in half
  • 10 oz wild mushrooms cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 shallots finally chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 c dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter, diced



Stir together 3 tbs of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, parsley, and pinch of pepper.  Marinate quail halves in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3.


Thickly slice or halve mushrooms if they are large.  in a large wide pan, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  add shallots, garlic and cook until soft, about 3 min.  raise heat to medium, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until the mushrooms have softened slightly.  pour in vermouth and boil until reduced to a few tablespoons, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken stock, chopped parsley, and thyme.  boil until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes.   Stir in butter and salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm over low heat while you prepare the quail. 


In wide frying pan, heat remaining 3 tbs of olive oil.  Remove Quail from marinade, pat dry and season lightly with salt.  In pan, cook until golden, about 2 minutes.  Turn and cook until the juices run clear when cut with a knife, about another 2-3 minutes. 

Place quails on plates and spoon sauce over the birds. 

Roasted Fall Vegetables

You can make as little or as much of this as you want and use other veggies if you have them.  Use this more as guidelines rather than hard and fast instructions.


  • potatoes
  • butternut squash
  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • sweet potatoes,
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • stone ground mustard


Preheat oven to 400°

Cut vegtables into equal size pieces

Drizzle vegtables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently with your hands to coat; then spread half of mixed vegetables on large baking sheet. 

Roast vegetables 30 minutes or until done. Stir gently with a metal spatula if they are sticking. 

Toss with stone ground mustard


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Easy Pastry Shop Apple Tart

Recipe courtesy Laura Calder


For the crust
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the cream filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the top
  • 3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the crust: Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour to make a smooth dough. Press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan, giving it about a 1-inch rim. Bake 15 minute, or until lightly golden. Remove the tart shell from the oven.

While the crust bakes, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla for the cream filling until smooth. Make the topping by tossing the apple slices with the cinnamon, sugar, and nuts.

Remove the tart shell from the oven. Spread over the cream mixture. Arrange the apple slices on top, and then scatter over the nuts. Bake until the apples are tender and golden, about 40 minutes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What's best in September??

As September is a crazy month, the next CCPC will not convene until October.  However for those of you who are interested here is what is tasty, local and seasonal in September...

Green Beans
Summer squash

Don't forget to put in your cold weather garden too!  We just put in peas, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, radishes, spinach, lettuces, and micro-greens.  Oh!  and garlic too!  Super excited about that one!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Copper Pot takes the show on the road!

Remember back when there was two feet of snow on the ground and we were all stuck in the house with just the internets to keep us entertained as we dreamed of warmer days and greener pastures???

Well, in addition to booking a vacation to the West Indies - can't beat dreams of sand and sun when you can't leave your house for the snow, tickets were also bought for a tour of Polyface farms.  But why did you wait so long to take the tour, you might ask, why not sign up foe an earlier date?  Because they were all sold out!  Yes, the do about 2 tours per month and you must get tickets months in advance.  Trust me - it is worth it!

While this started out as a Kane/Harriot Retreat to Grandpa's Cabin for Fun, and it was of course, it also turned into a great tour of local food and beer/wine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Third Time's the Charm!

...that's not true.  All the dinners have been pretty awesome! This episode we welcomed WCC #3, the delightful Kelcy & Darrel.

The Harriot's really upped the cocktail game, which was heretofore, hmmm..... a bit lackluster, shall we say?  It was an awesome Pomegranate Caipirinha.

 Then it was time to take a seat a the beautiful table...

Kane's went with a delicious light and summer-y Cajun Dusted Scallop with Summer Zucchini Topped with Saffron Corn Sauce  for the amuse bouche.

The sauce alone would make a stupendous late summer soup. 

Cajun Dusted Scallop with Summer Zucchini Topped with Saffron Corn Sauce

  • Scallops
  • cajun spice mix
  • zucchini, cut in to 1/2" rounds

Dust scllops with spices
sear scallops, remove from pan
sear zucchini in same pan
top with corn sauce

Saffron Corn Sauce inspired by Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 ear fresh corn, kernels and cob
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the corn kernels, the corncob, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the stock and saffron and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in the cream and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, for about 6 to 7 minutes. Discard the corncob and whisk in the butter. Remove from the heat and whisk until the butter is thoroughly incorporated, or prepare except for the butter and store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Reheat the sauce over low heat, whisk in the butter, and proceed from there.

Yield: about 2 cups

The Cocktail: Pomegranate Caipirinha

  • 2 oz. Cachaça
  • 1/4 Lime
  • 1 1/2 oz. Pomegranate Liquor or Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 tsp Superfine sugar or 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • Glass-Rocks
    Muddle the lime and sugar in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, add Leblon Cachaça and the Pomegranate Liquor. Shake vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Fig & Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

4 fresh figs, small dice

1 pork tenderloin
3-6 slices of bacon (will vary depending on size of tenderloin and type of bacon)
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare grill to medium heat.
In a small bowl, combine the diced figs and crumbled blue cheese. Toss to evenly distribute.

Butterfly the pork tenderloin by slicing lengthwise almost all the way through then open the meat up like a book. Season all surfaces of the pork liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Evenly distribute the fig/blue cheese mixture down the middle of the seasoned butterflied pork leaving about 1/2 inch of space on the edges.

Roll the pork back up into the shape of the tenderloin, encasing the stuffing with the meat. Using 5 to 6 toothpicks, securely fasten the pork back together at the edges.

Wrap the stuffed tenderloin evenly with the slices of bacon, securing them to the existing toothpick. You can use more toothpicks to secure the bacon if necessary but the fewer the better!

Place the bacon wrapped tenderloin on the preheated grill, directly over the heat.

Grill about 20- 25 minutes or until an internal thermometer in the middle of the meat reads 140 degrees, turning the meat occasionally to crisp the bacon evenly on all sides. (At 140 degrees there will still be a small trace of pink left in the meat.)

Stay by the pork throughout the entire grilling process. Since the tenderloin is wrapped in bacon there will without a doubt be flare ups. A few flames licking at the meat for a few seconds here and there is desired but if the bacon begins to char simply move the meat to a different part of the grill or rotate the meat to a section where the bacon is not yet crispy.

Once the pork is at the desired level of done-ness, remove from the grill. Let the pork rest, covered loosely in foil, for 10 minutes before slicing. To serve drizzle w/ Pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe follows). Enjoy!

Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1 1/2 tbsp pomegranate Molasses

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus extra

1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra

2 tbsp canola oil

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. While continuously whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the canola oil to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust seasonings as desired with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Note: If the vinaigrette is too tart for your liking, simply whisk in more canola oil.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blackberry, Lemon, and Gingersnap Cheesecake Pudding

From Bon Appétit | August 2010

Lemon curd:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks

Blackberry compote:
2 cups fresh blackberries (about 12 ounces)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons limoncello
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

4 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 16)
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
Pinch of salt

For lemon curd:
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, cream, and pinch of salt. Add eggs and egg yolks; whisk to blend. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough for mixture to leave path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, stirring constantly, 6 to 7 minutes (do not boil). Strain into medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly atop lemon curd. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

For blackberry compote:
Toss all ingredients in medium bowl to coat, lightly crushing some of berries to release juices. Cover and chill until sugar dissolves and juices form, about 3 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

For assembly:
Place cookies in large resealable plastic bag. Crush cookies with mallet or rolling pin until largest pieces are about 1/2 inch. Using electric mixer, beat cream, mascarpone, and pinch of salt in large bowl just until peaks form. Arrange six 8-ounce parfait glasses or compote cups on work surface. Spoon 4 to 5 berries and some of juices in bowl into each cup. Cover and chill remaining berries in bowl for serving. Spoon 1/4 cup mascarpone whipped cream over berries in each cup, spreading in even layer. Add generous 1 tablespoon curd, spreading to edges. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon crushed gingersnaps over. Repeat layering 1 more time with mascarpone whipped cream, lemon curd, and crushed gingersnaps. Top with remaining cream. Cover; chill desserts at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Uncover desserts. Spoon remaining berry mixture over and serve.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Congrats to  Darrell & Kelcy, CPCC's next Wild Card Couple!

 Next dinner is 14 August - keep an eye out for the menu to be posted soon...

Darrell & Kelcy have starters
Harriot's  have the cocktail & main entree
Kane's are responsible for Amuse Bouche, dessert & cheese plate!!

So many options at the end of summer!

What's Fresh in Virginia in August:

Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupes, Cucumber, Grapes, Green Beans, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Raspberries, Summer squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Copper Pot Night Out: From Farm to Table!

This past Saturday, slow food champion Clyde's,  opened the barn door and garden gate at Willow Creek Farm to welcome Slow Food members  to tour their organic garden -- where all their veggies grow --and to eat an amazing five-course farm dinner.

The Menu:

  • Passed hors d'oeuvres - Zucchini Fritters & Tomato Consume
  • Chilled corn soup with blue crab and mini herb salad
  • Cherry wood smoked duck breast with cherries and escarole
  • Whole roasted Virginia rockfish, garden herbs, cherry tomatoes, olio nuevo and fingerlings
  • Artisanal cheese selection from Cowgirl Creamery
  • Virginia peach foster with brown butter pound cake and house made vanilla ice cream
  • Wines by Barboursville Vineyards, VA.

Check out the great review in Northern Virginia Magazine.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another amazing meal!

A big thanks to the Ernst for joining us.  They steped up to the plate nicely, even with a last minute request for a cheese plate:)  Well done!

The evening's gastronomical delights began on the catio with a Peach Sorbellini cocktail contributed by the Kane's and last minute surprise change to the Harriot's Amuse-Bouche: a delightfully fresh and lite Cucumber with Chevre & Prosciutto!  The dish was inspired by the cheese man at the Cherry Glen Goat Cheese Co. stand at the Reston Farmer Market that morning.  If you have not tried their cheese - you must!  Absolutely delicious and fresh, they are local,  and have enough variety of cheeses for any dish or taste palette.  You can also find them at Whole Foods.  Cherry Glen will also sell you a goat if you need one to make your own cheese.      

Moving from the catio to the dining room: 

We began with the Starter Salad: Green Tomatoes with Pistachio Relish made with local green zebra striped tomatoes. The Pistachio Relish was amazing and we could see it would go well spread on many different foods.  This was paired with a Benovia Rose of Pinot Noir.  Which probably would have gone better with the next course:  Pennsylvania Baby Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Maryland Blue Crab & more Local Cherry Glen Goat Cheese on a Rainbow of Pepper Coulis.  The pairing here was a  Viette Roero Arneis, probably better suited to go with the Green Tomato dish. But all in all the starters were imaginative and ambrosial!  

The Kane's continued to feast with a delightful Rockfish with Prosciutto & Lobster Cream Sauce on a bed of Local Seasonal Summer Succotash.  This went perfectly with the last bottle of Domaine Serene - Etoile Vineyard, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2001 from the Kane's cellar.   Any time you can get your hands on any bottle of Domaine Serene try it - you wont be disappointed! 

Next up was the WCC with their delicious dessert of Homemade Chocolate Brownie with White Chocolate Whip Cream and Local Cherries.  With another pairing of Fabbioli Vineyard Raspberry Merlot!  Mmmm...

An the final pièce de résistance:  The Cheese Plate!!!  This is a new addition to the meal.  I'll let you guess who's idea it was... a hint she's lactose intolerant and just doesn't care when it come to cheese:)  It was a brilliant addition, if I do say so myself!! Quel fromage! And of course paired with a great port. Is there anything better than a great cheese with port?

And then, it all went wrong... two words: Apple Brandy.  Officially band from the CPCC.
Apple Jaaaaack... cough, cough, cough.

Another wonderful, fun evening spent with wonderful, fun friends and amazing food!  Totally worth the aftermath:)

An now it what you have all been waiting for:  the next Wild Card Couple is...........

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Side: Local Seasonal Summer Succotash

Adapted from:  Gourmet Magazine


1 lb small (1-inch) yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (preferably corn oil)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears; preferably yellow and white)
8 oz baby summer squash, trimmed and quartered
1 1/2 c fresh lima beans cooked and cooled

Cover potatoes with cold salted water by 1 inch in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut into bite-size pieces.
Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until foam subsides, then sauté potatoes with salt and pepper to taste, turning once or twice, until nicely crusted, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. 

Sauté corn and squash in remaining 3 tablespoons butter in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans and sauté, stirring, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and add to potatoes with onion and chives, stirring to combine.

Rockfish with Prosciutto & Lobster Cream Sauce

Adapted from ROCKFISH NORFOLK by David McCallum, Tilghman Island Inn

6 5 oz  rockfish fillets
3 tbsp minced shallots meat from tail of 1 lobster
3 tbsp olive oil
3 oz Prosciutto (chopped)  
¼ cup dry sherry or to taste
2 cups heavy cream  
salt and white pepper
½ cup chopped scallions     
3 tbsp chopped scallions


Season fillets with salt and white pepper. 
Heat nonstick pan to very hot and sear on both sides of fish. 
Transfer to a baking sheet,  roast at 375F until just done (measure
thickest point of fillet, cook 10 miutes/inch)
In a separate sauté pan, heat olive oil
Add shallots and sauté  until translucent
Add Prosciutto and sauté for about 1 minute
Glaze pan with sherry
Add cream
Season with salt and white pepper. 
Add lobster and adjust seasonings

Place fish over Local Seasonal Summer Succotash, top with the sauce, and serve.  

Starter: Pennsylvania Baby Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Maryland Blue Crab & Local Cherry Glen Goat Cheese on a Rainbow of Pepper Coulis


4 large (4 to 5-ounce) portobello mushroom caps, stemmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup small-diced onions
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
1/3 cup grated Gruyere
4 teaspoons bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel the brown skin from the tops of the mushrooms to reveal the cream colored under skin. Toss the mushroom caps with the 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Place the caps on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, stem-end up, and roast in the oven until well roasted and browned, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Set a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted, about 1 minute, add the onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir to form a roux. Continue to cook the roux for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the milk. Bring the milk to a boil and reduce to a simmer, season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper and the nutmeg.

Cook the bechamel sauce for 5 minutes before removing from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before folding in the crabmeat and cheese. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Spoon 1/3 cup of the bechamel over each mushroom cap and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the bread crumb mixture over each stuffed mushroom. Place in the oven and roast until the bechamel is bubbling and lightly browned on the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Amuse-Bouche Cucumber with Chevre & Prosciutto

One large cucumber cut lengthwise and remove seeds,cut into 6 equal pieces
Spread Chevre in the cavity of the cucumber 
Top with pitted ripe cherry, marcona almond and a small piece of prosciutto

Starter Salad: Green Tomatoes with Pistachio Relish

Recipe Source:  Food & Wine

1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup very finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Sea salt
4 Green Zebra or other ripe green heirloom tomatoes, very thinly sliced
Small basil leaves, for garnish
In a jar, combine the pistachios with the shallots, capers, vinegar, sugar, pink peppercorns and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with sea salt. Refrigerate the relish overnight.
Arrange the tomato slices on plates. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Stir the relish and spoon it over the tomatoes. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
Tip:  The relish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Cocktail: Peach Sorbellini

Recipe Source:  Freixenet

1 Freixenet Carta Nevada 187 ml
3 rounded tsp of Peach Sorbet

Fill a 6 oz. flute 2/3 full of Carta Nevada. Carefully add the sorbet balls and serve the remaining sparkling wine on the side.

For the Peach Sorbet:
Recipe Source: 

1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 medium ripe peaches, peeled and sliced  

In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar and lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly; transfer to a blender . 
Add the peaches; cover and process until smooth.  

I strained my peach mixture through a sieve to remove the pulp.

Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's directions. 

Transfer sorbet to a freezer container; cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Menu for July 10

Peach Sorbellini

Amuse Bouche
Seasonal Surprise

Green Tomatoes with Pistachio Relish
Pairing Benovia Rose of Pinot Noir

Pennsylvania Portobello Mushrooms
Stuffed with Maryland Blue Crab with Rainbow Pepper Coulis
Pairing Viette Roero Arneis

Maryland Rockfish with Prosciutto & Lobster Sauce
Local Seasonal Summer Succotash
Domaine Serene - Etoile Vineyard, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2001


Monday, May 31, 2010

Second WCC is....

Congrats to Manuel & Karin Ernst, CPCC's second Wild Card Couple!

June is super busy so we are holding the next dinner in mid-July.

Harriot's have starters
Kane's  have the main entree
Ernst's are responsible for dessert

So many options of things to make with summer's bounty!

What's Fresh in Virginia in July :

July (early)Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupes, Cucumber, Green Beans, Nectarines, Peaches, Raspberries, Summer squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon
July (late)Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupes, Cucumber, Green Beans, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Summer squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon

And just for kicks, here is what is in season in June:

June (early)Asparagus, Cucumber, Green Beans, Greens, Spinach, Strawberries , Summer squash
June (late)Blueberries, Cucumber, Green Beans, Raspberries, Summer squash

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

From The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook


2 quarts of strawberries, hulled

6 tablespoons sugar

For the fruit: Crush 3 cups of the strawberries with a potato masher.  Slice the remaining 5 cups of berries and stir into the crushed berries along with the sugar.  Let sit at room temperature until the sugar has dissolved and the berries are juicy, about 30 minutes.


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter

5 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
2/3 cup half-and-half

1 large egg lightly beaten
1 large egg white lightly beaten

For the shortcakes:  While the berries macerate, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to  425 degrees.  Pulse together the flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the top and process until the mixture resembles course cornmeal.  Transfer to a bowl.

Blend the half-and-half with the beaten egg an pour into the bowl with the flour mixture.  Stir with a rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured counter and knead lightly until the dough comes together.

Use your fingertips to pat the dough into a 9 by 6-inch rectangle about one inch thick.  Cut out 6 dough rounds using a floured 2 3/4 inch biscuit cutter.  Reform the remaining dough and complete cutting rounds.  You should get about 8 -10 rounds.  Place rounds one inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush the tops with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar.

Bake the shortcakes until golden brown, 12-14 minutes.  Let the shortcakes cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.


1 cup heavy cream chilled

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until frothy and the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute.  Increase the speed to high and continue to whip until doubled in volume and soft peaks form, 1-3 minutes.

To assemble: Split each biscuit in half, laying the biscuit bottoms on individual plates. Spoon a portion of the fruit over each bottom, then top with a dollop of the whipped cream.  Cap with the biscuit tops.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Fabulous Night In!

Our inaugural Copper Pot Club of Cranberry Dinner was a resounding success - if we do say so ourselves:)

A big thank you to our first WWC, the Colvin's who contributed a delish and seasonal Strawberry Shortcake. Paired with Fabbioli Vineyard Raspberry Merlot

An obvious hit:

The Kane's Started the evening with a spring-y Amuse-Bouch of Asparagus Soup with Vanilla, followed by the Starters Strawberry and Caramelized Walnut Salad with Orange-Basil Vinaigrette and Paired with 2001 Monte Volpe Tocai Friulano
Leek & Bacon Tart Paired with 2007 Domaine Les Vieux Murs Pouillly Fuisse

In addition to a beautiful table-scape:

The Harriot's Main Entreé
Beef Tenderloin with Ginger Shitake Butter was a huge crowd pleaser, enhanced by the amazing and creative Side Dishes Spring Vegetables with Shallot Butter and Quinoa Cakes. Paired with 1997 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino mmmmm...

The next month is super busy so regrettably we will have wait until June for the next dinner... so who's it gonna be????