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????

Starter - Leek and Bacon Tart

Recipe Source: Chef John Folse & Company
Prep time: 20 Min
Serves 8

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp ice water, or more as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the flaky butter crust with a food processor, combine the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds and add the ice water. Pulse quickly 5 or 6 more times until the dough comes together.
Remove the dough and place on a floured surface. Using your hands, work the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Prepare the tart shell. Roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and trim the edges. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is set, about 12 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

  • 4 slices apple wood-smoked bacon, or other aromatic, thick cut bacon, diced
  • 8 leeks, white portions only
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick half circles. Place in a bowl and rinse well in 2 changes of water. Drain.
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add butter to the fat remaining in the pan. When foamy, add the drained leeks, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the leeks are very soft but not browned, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain in a fine mesh strainer.
Combine the eggs and the cream in a medium bowl and whisk well. Add the prosciutto, Parmesan and Gruyere, and whisk well. Add the leeks and whisk to combine. Pour into the tart shell and bake until golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

Starter - Strawberry and Caramelized Walnut Salad with Orange-Basil Vinaigrette

Recipe Source: Eggs on Sunday

1 pint strawberries (preferably local, preferably organic!)
8 thin or 4 regular scallions, sliced thinly
your choice of greens, preferably something that's got some spiciness, like arugula or a braising greens mix - figure about 2 generous handfuls per person
1 cup raw whole walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Orange-Basil vinaigrette; see below


Slice strawberries and scallions and set aside. Wash greens and spin them dry, and set them aside.
There are two ways I caramelize walnuts:
Method #1: Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet an toast them in a 350 F oven for about 5 minutes (don't forget about them! They'll go from toasted to burned fairly quickly.) You'll know they're almost done when you start smelling fragrant toasted walnut smells throughout your kitchen - yum! Remove the walnuts from the oven and set aside. Spread a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat near the stovetop (this is for the hot walnuts after you toss them in the sugar syrup you're going to make.) Now, in a small saucepan, heat the 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat until it begins to melt. All the sugar should melt into a clear liquid; keep it on the heat and it will start to turn an amber color. Once it start to turn amber, toss in the walnuts, and use a silicone spatula to gently stir them around. You'll want to get them pretty evenly coated in the sugar syrup.

Method #2: Place the walnuts in a saucepan with the sugar and a teaspoon or so of water. Heat over medium heat until the sugar melts and the walnuts are getting toasted, about 5 minutes. You'll probably get some sugar crystals on the walnuts this way, which may not matter to you.

For both methods, as soon as the walnuts are coated in amber sugar syrup, turn them out onto the piece of parchment paper (or silicone mat). Use your spatula to try to tease them apart from the clumps they will have formed. Don't worry too much about it; they'll be easier to separate once they've cooled down. When they're cool enough to handle, you can break apart any clumps of walnuts.

Assemble the salad by tossing the greens with about half of the vinaigrette to start. Add more vinaigrette according to your taste. Place the dressed greens on each of 4 plates, and top with the sliced strawberries, caramelized walnuts, and sliced scallions. Top with crumbled goat or feta cheese, or if you don't have that, any other nice cheese will do alongside, with a nice slab of crusty bread.
Serves 4.

Orange Basil Vinaigrette

juice of 1 orange, about 1/4 cup
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
a pinch of coarse salt and a good grinding of black pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Makes about 3/4 cup.

Amuse-Bouche - Asparagus Soup with Vanilla

Recipe Source: delicious days

Prep/cooking time: about 45 min.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1 l water
the peel of 500 g white asparagus (organic) Green asparagus will do too!

5 tbsp butter
sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar
200 g white asparagus, peeled. Green asparagus will do too!
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
100 g heavy cream (plus 1 or 2 tbsp extra)
a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground white pepper
1 large egg yolk (optional)

3-4 slices of Serrano ham (substitute with bacon or pancetta)

Add the water in a large pot, together with the asparagus peel. Bring to a boil and let simmer over moderate heat for about 15 minutes, then strain through a sieve.

Pour the broth back into the pot, bring to a boil again and add a teaspoon of butter, a generous pinch of salt, the sugar, the scraped out seeds of a vanilla bean (including the bean) and the roughly cut asparagus stalks (about 3 cm/1 inch). Let simmer for 15 minutes or until the asparagus becomes soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork, then strain again, keeping both broth and asparagus (discard the vanilla bean) for further use.

In a pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter until it starts to foam, then add the flour at once, mixing well with a whisk until smooth. Add the asparagus broth, about one cup at a time. Whisk constantly and vigorously to avoid any lumps until all of the broth is well incorporated, then add the cooked asparagus pieces and put the soup
back to a simmer.

Puree the soup with a hand-held blender until really smooth, then add the heavy cream and season to taste with sea salt, a little freshly ground nutmeg and white pepper.

Optional: Beat the egg yolk with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cream, then whisk it in your soup. At this point the soup is not allowed to boil anymore, otherwise the egg yolk will curdle!

The Sides - Spring Vegetables with Shallot Butter

Spring Vegetables with Shallot Butter

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 Cup Shallot chopped
2 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1 lb asparagus
8 oz. snow peas
2 cups frozen peas thawed

bring 6 qt. pot of water to boil
meanwhile melt butter in skillet add shallots and cook stirring often for 5 min. until tender. Stir in in zest, salt and pepper, remove from heat.
add asparagus and snow peas to boiling water cook 2-3 min. until crisp tender. add peas remove from heat and drain.

Add vegetable to skillet with shallot butter gently toss over med. heat until hot and coated with butter - serve.

Beef Tenderloin with Ginger Shitake Butter

2-3 lb beef tenderloin
olive oil
Salt and pepper

3 T butter
2 T minced fresh ginger
1 T minced garlic
1/2 lb shitake Mushrooms
1/2 lb. oyster mushrooms
3 T sake
2 T mirin
1/2 cup butter
2 T chopped chives

Heat oven to 400
Bring tenderloin to room temp and rub withs salt and pepper
heat olive oil in large skillet until smoking, sear tenderloin on all sides until browned and crispy, transfer to roasting pan and place in oven until internal temp is 12o. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest.

Meanwhile make the sauce... melt 2 T butter, cook ginger and garlic until fragrant 2-3 min. Add mushrooms, sake and mirin. Cook until reduced by 1/2. Add 1/2 cup butter and cook over med. heat until browned. Add chopped chives and serve over sliced tenderloin.

The sides - Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa Cakes

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 finely shredded carrot
2 minced garlic cloves
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 T panko bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
crispy yam ribbons
creme fraiche

To make the crispy yam ribbons, preheat oven to 250, use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons, place on baking sheet, mist with olive oil, sprinkly lightly with salt. Place in oven for 45 min.

mix first 6 ingredients and from into thin patties. Heat 1/4 in. olive oil on med. high in skillet, pan fry until brown and crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towel, top with dollop of creme fraiche and yam ribbons.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Saturday, May 8th

Wild Card - Dave and Stacy Colvin



Strawberry and Caramelized Walnut Salad with Orange-Basil Vinaigrette
Leek and Bacon Tart


Beef Tenderloin with Ginger Shitake Brown Butter
Spring Vegetables with Shallot Butter
Quinoa Cakes with Creme Fraiche and Crispy Yam Ribbons


Strawberry Shortcake

*Menu Subject to Change