Gourmet Getaways Wine Dinner Recipes National Press Club of Washington April 7, 2009
Important: Photos of the evening are available to guests. Attendees may contact author for copies.
Appetizers and First Course
Chef Sheelah Kaye Stepkin learned to cook, standing atop a coca cola crate at the age of 5, next to her mother, and at the age of 13, by herself reproducing foods from the American Housewife’s Bible – the Betty Crocker Cookbook.
As an adult, what drove her to the top in her profession was her determination to create the perfect butter cream rose. For this, she went to Wilton School of Confectionary Design outside of Chicago for two weeks to master the skill needed to do this. What followed were some impressive moments. Twelve of her turn-of-the-century collection of toys, which were handcrafted all in sugar dough called gum paste, and were created exclusively for the White House (Clinton Administration). They became so popular that they went from private display to a Larry King Live feature, as one of Hillary Clinton’s favorites. In the past years, she has appeared in Bon Appétit, Country Living, USA Today, and on NBC’s “Cooking with Class – Just for the Health of It.”
She currently lives in the Poconos in a 19th century bank in Hawley, Pennsylvania, which has been converted into a charming Restaurant and cooking school. Her teaching goal is to encourage students to develop their own cooking style and tastes. For more information, visit: www.torteknox.com
Sheelah’s Exotic Mushroom Ragout
Ingredients: 1 stick unsalted butter ¾ pound morel mushroom, cleaned and sliced ¾ pound Shitake mushrooms or other exotics- stems removed, caps sliced ¾ cup dry white wine 1 cup chicken stock Kosher salt to taste Freshly ground white pepper to taste ½ cup heavy cream White truffle oil
Directions: Heat a 10" skillet and then add 1/4 cup butter. Toss in the mushrooms and raise the heat to medium high. Sprinkle with some salt to taste. As the mushrooms cook down they will release their juices.
While this is happening keep your eye on it. It is vital that all the liquid be evaporated from the skillet.
Add butter by bits to help keep the mushrooms hydrated. When the mushrooms begin to send off an aroma and are wilted, it is time to allow liquid to cook off. Once you begin to hear that sizzle, and all the liquid has cooked away, add the wine.
Simmer the above without lid until all the liquid has completely evaporated and the mushrooms begin to sizzle again. Add the stock, repeating the same technique for drying out the pan and all the liquid. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Pour a cup of heavy cream over the mushrooms. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until the cream begins to thicken. Once the ragout coats the back of a large metal kitchen spoon you are there! Add your white truffle oil and turn off the heat.
Serve ragout on warmed Crostini garnished with alum chives, or in ravioli.
Directions: Add the salt, sugar, thyme, coffee and bay leaves in a gallon of water. Simmer lightly until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool the mixture and submerge pork belly. Refrigerate overnight or for 12 to 24 hrs.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the pork belly from the brine (liquid). Discard brine. Pat pork dry, and place in a large roasting pan. Cover with just enough chicken stock to cover pork.
Transfer to the stove, and bring the liquid to a simmer, then place in the oven for 3 – 5 hrs, until the pork belly easily pierces with skewer. Transfer the pork belly to a flat surface, (Sheelah uses a nylon cutting board placed in a baking pan to catch juices). Place another cutting board on top of it, and weight down the meat evenly. Use anything heavy like a large no. 10 can filled with beans or a cast iron oven roaster. Refrigerate and leave the meat in this position until cold. Remove weight and seal with plastic wrap. (It freezes beautifully at this point.)
Slice into 2 X 2 inch squares (makes nicer slices if chilled first) and heat peanut oil to 350 degrees in a large cast iron pot or deep fryer. In batches, deep fry in hot oil until crisp, about 4 minutes. Be sure not to crowd the pot or fryer. Keep the pork bellies warm on paper-towel-lined sheet pans in 180º oven.
When all the pieces are ready, sprinkle them generously with fresh cracked pepper and serve them with Dijon style mustard.
Tip: Freshly grind a generous amount of pepper into a white napkin and place the fried pork bellies on the pepper. Gather the corners of the napkin together to create a pouch and bounce the packet a couple of times on the counter to distribute the pepper on to the bellies.
Petite Crab Cakes Lah Shee Lah Served with Orange Confit
Ingredients: 3 bell peppers (orange, red, yellow, 1/8th inch dice) 1 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup mayonnaise 3 egg yolks, large 3 ½ teaspoons grainy mustard 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 3 pounds crab meat (Alaskan jumbo lump crab) Salt and pepper to taste 4 ½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs) ¼ cup melted butter for baking crab cakes Orange marmalade or confit (see recipe) Directions: In a baking pan, spread panko out evenly and very lightly toast the Panko in a 350 degree oven. Stir often with wooden spoon or spatula. Cool and set aside. (Remove from baking sheet immediately or panko will continue to toast to a darker color)
Sauté diced bell peppers in oil over moderate high heat. Stir 2 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Cool.
In bowl whisk mayonnaise, egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice. Add sautéed bell pepper. Lightly stir in crab, salt and pepper to taste. Do not over mix crab. Toss only to incorporate. Chill covered for a minimum of 12 hours, or up to 1 day. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make small 1 inch crab cakes and coat with crumbs. Drizzle with melted butter. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Sheelah molds these in timbales which are nice molds that will shape them. Serve them with a fruited orange confit with wilted arugula and/or spinach leaf as garnish.
Orange Confit Serves 10
Ingredients: 3 large navel oranges thinly sliced, deseeded Olive oil to cover Coarse sugar to garnish
Directions: Very thinly slice oranges and poach for one to two hours just covered in olive oil. Once tender, cool in the oil. Carefully place orange slices on cutting surface and dice. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and present a small piece on top or to the side of the crab cake.
Chef Joe Randall has accumulated enormous experience and knowledge from his many years in the hospitality and food service industry. His food career began in the Air Force flight-line kitchens in 1963. What followed were a succession of opportunities that ultimately led to executive chef positions at several award-winning restaurants (the Cloister in Buffalo and the Fishmarket in Baltimore).
During his professional journey to success, he has won many awards (including recognition by Ebony magazine in 2008 as one of the top 10 African American chefs in the country). He has appeared on numerous local and national television shows, been featured in major publications, including Plate, Southern Living, and Fancy Foods magazines, and he has served on the faculty of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. For many years, he has operated a consulting company that provides assistance and guidance to restaurateurs striving to offer high food quality and efficient operational service to their customers.
His goal, as a teacher, is to share with students the techniques and skills needed to create authentic low-country flavors that have won for African-American cuisine a well-deserved place among the great foods of the world. For more information, visit: www.chefjoerandall.com
Chef Joe Randall’s Sweet Potato Smoked Sausage Bisque Serves 6 to 8
Ingredients: 1 stick of butter (1/4 pound) 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium green pepper, diced 2 ribs celery, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 ½ quarts chicken stock 1 ½ pounds baked fresh sweet potatoes, cooled and peeled 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground white pepper 4 dashes Tabasco sauce 1 pound Julianne smoked sausage
Directions: Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium high heat and sauté the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or roux is blond.
In a separate saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Stir the hot stock into the soup pot, mixing until smooth. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, puree half the sweet potatoes and add them to the soup. Simmer and stir the soup for 15 minutes.
Dice the remaining sweet potatoes and add them to the soup pot. Season with thyme, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes more.
Bake the smoked sausage for 15 to 20 minutes; allow to cool, remove the skin, cut into julienne. Heat in oven before serving. Ladle hot soup in soup plates. Put julienned smoked sausage in center and serve.
Chef Sue Moats teaches cooking classes at the Greenbrier both for adults and children and is responsible for testing and writing suitable recipes for the cooking school. Her goal as the culinary school chef is to pass onto her students The Greenbrier’s tradition of healthier food – with a southern touch.
Like other world-class resorts, sensitive to public needs, The Greenbrier has always been in the vanguard for healthier foods. Although the southern influence is noticeable with favorites like southern fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits and corn pudding, what makes it unique is the chefs’ dedication to lightening it up and giving it its special Greenbrier distinction. Susanne is a graduate of Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and a former extern at The White Elephant Resort in Nantucket. For more information, visit: www.greenbrier.com/site/about.aspx
Baby Arugula, Frisée, Fresh Fennel, Roasted Beets, and Chèvre in an Orange Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients: 1 pound baby beets (about 18 to 20) 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil To taste kosher Salt To taste freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup hazelnuts
Directions: Wash and dry baby beets; then trim tops and bottom. Place beets in medium bowl. Toss beets lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place beets on a foil lined baking pan. Roast beets for 35 to 45 minutes or until beets are tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife. Remove from oven and allow them to cool slightly. Peel roasted beets and cut beets in half lengthwise. Set aside until needed.
Toast hazelnuts in oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until light brown. When hazelnuts are cool, chop and set aside until needed.
Orange Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Ingredients: 1 cup fresh orange juice 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1½ teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ¼ cup hazelnut oil 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons Kosher salt 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Place orange juice into a small saucepot. Cook over medium heat until juice has reduced to ¼ cup.
In a small bowl whisk together reduced orange juice, vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard.
Slowly whisk in oils in a steady stream to emulsify vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate until needed.
To Assemble Salad
Ingredients: 1 cup grape tomatoes Olive oil, salt and pepper (for seasoning to taste) 8 ounces chèvre cheese 1 each fennel bulb 1 head frisée 4 ounces baby arugula
Directions: Wash tomatoes under cold running water. Afterwards, cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Season tomatoes to taste with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
Cut cheese into ¼ inch pieces; shave fennel and place into ice cold water. Refrigerate until needed. Cut frisée into bite size pieces. Wash greens in a large bowl of ice cold water. Spin greens dry with a salad spinner and refrigerate until needed.
To plate salad, drain water off fennel and dry with paper towel or in a salad spinner. Toss shaved fennel and greens with just enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves or serve vinaigrette on the side. Place a small amount of greens in the center of a salad plate. Garnish with roasted beets and grape tomatoes. Place chèvre cheese next to greens and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Serve immediately.
Executive Chef Abigail Hutchinson, a graduate of a culinary program at an Asheville, North Carolina, community college, rose to her executive position at the historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel quickly, five years after graduation. Her positions at the Biltmore Estates as Demi-Chef, the Country Club of Asheville as PM Sous Chef, and the Ocean Club at Amelia Island (Florida) as Executive Sous Chef prepared her.
While working at these jobs, she showed a tireless commitment to learning and mastering everything she could, which paid off well. In 2005, she joined the staff at Jekyll Island Club Hotel as Executive Chef, and in 2006 distinguished herself and the hotel by becoming one of the four chefs chosen from the 213 historic hotels in America to prepare a meal at the James Beard House in New York City.
The cooking class program at the resort hotel is under the supervision of Executive Chef Abigail Hutchinson and Pastry Chef Carl Sears, where they together teach students how to prepare tasty international treats with local ingredients and a southern culinary touch. Her goal as a teacher is to help students achieve excellence in the kitchen by sharing with them some of the secrets that make her cuisine at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel noteworthy. For more information, visit: www.jekyllclub.com
Chef Abigail Hutchinson’s Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s Molten Filet Mignon Wellington
Ingredients: 1 each puff pastry sheets 2 tablespoons whole butter 2 shallots each minced 1 pint washed and minced mushrooms 8 each de-stemmed and minced Shiitake mushrooms 6 each dried morel mushrooms (rehydrate in brandy), minced ¼ cup brandy 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced Kosher salt to taste Black pepper to taste 1 package Boursin cheese 4.5 ounces center cut filet mignon ½ cup A-P flour (as needed to roll out pastry sheet) 1 each whole eggs (for egg wash) 3 tablespoons water Directions: Thaw out pastry sheet if bought frozen.
Put the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add shallots and sauté for two minutes over medium heat. Add all mushrooms along with brandy, parsley and thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool. Add Boursin to mushroom mixture and blend well.
For the filets, very carefully cut a hole in the bottom of each filet, large enough to be able to stuff the mushroom mixture into it. Do not cut all the way through the filet, but only ¾ through it. Put the mushroom mixture into a piping bag with a small tip. Pipe into the filet, to fill all the way, overflowing almost. Season the filets with salt and pepper. Using a hot skillet, sear all sides of the filets, until a nice brown color forms. Set aside.
On a clean work space, lightly dust with flour and roll out the dough slightly. Cut into 8x8 squares, roughly. Large enough to fold around each filet. Put the uncut side of the filet face down into the middle of the pastry. Add more (above) filling to it if needed.
Lightly beat the egg with 3 tablespoons of water.Brush this “egg wash” around all the edges of the pastry square. Fold in the edges toward the middle, re-applying the egg wash where needed to seal. Turn the Wellington over so the folded edges are on the bottom and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Brush the top with one egg white before baking.
o bake, set oven on 425 degrees and bake until internal temperatures reaches 125 degrees, about 8 to 12 minutes.
Chef Jill Prescott founded her cooking school Ecole de Cuisine in 1988 after completing formal culinary training at four prestigious cooking schools in Paris (La Varenne, l’École Lenôtre, L’Académie du Vin, and l’École Ritz-Escoffier). Since her initial training she has returned to France over 20 times to work with the culinary producers and restaurants of France.
Jill has hosted several nationally syndicated PBS television series, authored a cookbook, and has created the country’s first professional style cooking school designed specifically for the home chef. Most recently Jill has been traveling the country and teaching. She is scheduled to offer classes in Napa Valley in April and is planning grilling and wine-pairing classes at local Virginia wineries this summer and signature-participation courses at Stratford College in fall.
Her teaching goal is to provide recreational cooks with a total immersion into some aspect of French cooking. A purist, she encourages perfection – whether preparing a tomato soup or a cassoulet. By being true to the French traditions, she hopes to pass onto her students a respect for France’s high standards of culinary excellence. For more information, visit: email@example.com
A Trio of French Desserts
A myriad of both sweet and savory recipes are based on this classic French pastry dough. It is also called Choux Pastry or as known in the U.S., Cream Puff Pastry.For guests, she has made three desserts featuring pâte à choux: Profiteroles, Puffs filled with Ice Cream covered with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce. Paris-Brest, A ring of pastry filled with Hazelnut Praline Buttercream. Chouquette, Pearl Sugar Coated Puffs filled with Whipped Cream.
Profiteroles: Make one pâte à choux recipe, one recipe Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce. Slice the top 1/4th off the top of the puff. Fill each puff with a mounded spoonful of ice cream, replace the top over the ice cream and cover with chocolate sauce.
Chouquette: Make one recipe of pâte à choux. After piping the puffs, brush with an egg wash made with one beaten egg and one teaspoon water. Sprinkle tops and sides generously with Pearl Sugar. Bake just until sugar begins to turn dark brown. These are normally eaten with no filling but for tonight’s dinner they are filled with whipped cream.
Paris Brest: Make one recipe of pâte à choux, but at step four use a 1/3 inch plain tip and pipe two circles. The outside ring should be shaped like a three-inch diameter doughnut; the inside ring, should be piped next to it like a smaller doughnut within a bigger one. On the top of the two bottom rings, pipe a third ring between the two base rings. After piping the puffs brush with an egg wash made with one beaten egg and I teaspoon water. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake as directed in recipe. When cooled using a serrated knife slice the top layer off carefully, fill with Praline Buttercream. You can also simply make the round puffs and fill them with the Praline Buttercream. Sprinkle with powdered sugar through a fine mesh strainer at serving.
Pâte à choux Serves 6 to 8
Ingredients: 1 cup unbleached flour 1/4 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon sugar (used with dessert recipes) ½ cup unsalted butter 1 cup water 4 to 5 large eggs Egg wash glaze (1 egg well beaten to brush the puffs before baking)
Directions: Cut the butter into small cubes and put into a heavy bottom medium saucepan with water, salt, and sugar. As soon as the butter comes to a boil and the butter melts remove the pan from the heat and add all of the flour at once. Stir to incorporate using a wooden spoon. Once the mixture forms a ball return to high heat and dry it out by moving it constantly back and forth until a haze forms on the bottom of the pan.Remove from heat. Add 4 whole eggs, one at a time incorporating one before adding the next. Lightly beat the last egg in a small bowl with a whisk. Add just enough of the remaining eggs so that the mixture falls slowly from the spoon in a thick shiny sheet. Pipe out puffs using a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch plain tip.Pipe 1 to 1¼ inch rounds about 1 inch high.Glaze using a pastry brush with remaining or additional beaten eggs being careful to not allow the eggs to drip off of the puff onto the sheet, as this will prevent the puff from rising. Bake at 400° F for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.After the dough has risen and puffed, after about 15 minutes, open the door a few inches to allow excess steam to escape and then close the door and continue to bake until the puffs are done. The reference point for determining the proper baking of the puff is to make certain that the cracks of the puff are baked till golden brown, they should not be white. The exception is the Chouquette, which is coated with Pearl Sugar which will burn if baked to the tan stage. For the Chouquette bake as long as possible and remove from oven when sugar begins to brown.Cool on racks leaving space in-between each puff to allow the steam to escape. If placed too closely together the puffs will get soggy.
uy the best chocolate you can find. French Valrhona is my favorite, just make sure you use bittersweet, not unsweetened. Chocolate curdles if it gets too hot. The procedure of finely chopping the chocolate first is that it melts quicker and more even when the cream is added to it. This glaze can be made in advance. Store in the refrigerator but reheat very carefully over very low heat.
Ingredients: 2/3 cup heavy cream 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 7 tablespoons clarified butter
Directions: Place the chopped chocolate in a small saucepan.In another saucepan heat the cream just till warm/hot, not boiling, and pour over chocolate.Whisk gently together just enough to melt the chocolate. (If there are chunks of chocolate that do not melt place the mixture over very low heat to melt any stubborn chunks. This is the reason for placing the chopped chocolate into the first pan.) Add butter and whisk gently together.
To make a hazelnut buttercream, add ½ cup hazelnut paste, which we make by toasting nuts and then cooking in a sugar syrup, cooling and grinding to a paste. Hazelnut paste can also be found in specialty stores. Nutella, which is readily available at better markets, may be mixed with the buttercream as well.
Ingredients; 1 cup sugar ½ cup water 6 egg yolks, room temperature 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ¼ to ½ cup hazelnut paste Directions: Place sugar and water into a small saucepan. Over a medium high heat cook to softball stage, 239 degrees.
Place egg yolks in the bowl of a mixer. Using the beater/paddle attachment turn mixer on slow speed to break up the yolks. Add sugar syrup in a thin stream, pouring slowly down the side of the bowl, until all of the syrup is added. Once the sugar syrup has been added turn the speed up to medium high. Beat until the mixture has cooled and is thick and pale yellow in color, about 5 to 6 minutes. The bowl should not have any warmth on the underside when touched with your fingers. Add softened room temperature butter in chunks, beating after each addition just to incorporate. After all the butter has been added, beat on medium high until the consistency of a creamy spreadable frosting. Add nut paste beginning with the smaller amount until you find the taste to be nutty.
Ingredients: 2 cups heavy cream 2 teaspoons vanilla 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar (for chocolate add 1-2 tablespoons sifted unsweetened cocoa to the cream)
Directions: Chill mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer or refrigerator.
Pour cream and vanilla into bowl.Begin whisking on low until mixture begins to thicken.Increase the mixer speed to medium high.Continue whisking.
As mixture just begins to thicken, slowly add sugar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Fill piping bag using a French star tip and fill puffs.
Jill Prescott’s Bittersweet Chocolate and Fresh Ginger Truffles
It is important to use a pure heavy cream, one without stabilizers such as carageean and guar gum that will make the chocolate curdle. Check your local dairy companies. Jill shops at a market that carries a nationally recognized brand, Organic Valley. This company produces both the pure cream and one with the stabilizers. Ask for the pure cream, the other is made for shelf life and will curdle the ganache.
Makes about 20 one-inch balls
Ingredients: 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (Valrhona preferably) 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream 1 ounce grated fresh ginger Coating: ½ pound bittersweet chocolate 1¼ cups sifted cocoa powder Directions: Chop the chocolate with an 8-inch chef knife. Put chocolate into a small saucepan. Place the cream into another small saucepan. Bring just to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add ginger and set aside for 2 hours. Bring cream just to a boil again. Strain cream through a fine mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup so that you have exactly one cup of flavored cream. If you have extra cream discard it, if you are short add cream. Discard ginger. Pour hot cream onto chopped chocolate.Using a small whisk begin stirring in the center of the pot and stir in a circular motion from the middle working out. Do not whisk fast but do so gently and slowly. If there are stubborn pieces of chocolate that will not melt, warm the pan over heat just long enough to get the pan warm-hot. DO NOT allow the mixture to get hot, usually just a small amount of heat from the pan will be enough to melt the chocolate. Stop as soon as the mixture has blended. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature for about one hour or until firm. Shape small teaspoons full of the chocolate into rough 1-inch balls. Refrigerate balls for one hour. Meanwhile chop remaining chocolate. Place cocoa powder on a cookie sheet with sides. When truffles are hard begin coating with the melted chocolate. Place about ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate into the palm of one hand. Quickly roll a cold ‘truffle’ around between your palms to coat with the melted chocolate. Drop them into the sifted cocoa. Roll them around to coat to all sides. Then put 3 or 4 at a time into a fine mesh strainer and shake off the excess cocoa. For a television demonstration, visit www.gourmetgetaways.us (click on Gourmet Getaways on left, and Truffles WUSA-TV).
Variations: orange or lemon zest, fresh raspberries, ground espresso coffee, chopped fresh mint may also be used in lieu of fresh ginger. Add enough to make a well-flavored, infused cream. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freeze. Always serve at room temperature.