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