Monday, October 25, 2010

Quillisascut Farm School Trip - October 2010

Our culinary team just spent 4 days at the Quillisascut Farm School with
Rick and Loralea Misterly. Our 9 chefs cooked together and "helped" Rick
and Loralea with their daily chores of milking goats, feeding goats,
dogs, cats, pigs, ducks, turkeys and a calf. We were "helpers" with
pressing walnut oil, picking vegetables, pressing apples for cider,
making goat feta & chevre.
We fabricated one of Rick's goats that he slaughtered for us to cook.
This was an enlightening experience for me as a chef. All cooks and
eaters need to make the connection that amazingly hard working people
raise the food we eat. Imagine being the person that gives up the life
of their farm animal (that has a name) they have cared for from birth
for our dinner. It is humbling and sobering. I've always appreciated
food and the work of our farmers, but walking a mile in their shoes is
something exceptionally different. As they graciously taught us ~
people also need cooks to take these hard earned ingredients and treat
them with respect. Respect includes not wasting, not over or
undercooking, not over preparing, over portioning and not

Monday, October 18, 2010

FEATURED WINEMAKER, Eric Dunham, Dunham Cellars

Eric Dunham, among other WA Wine makers are featured after the cocktails section of the cookbook. We couldn’t resist an opportuntiy to give a shout out to the amazing wine industry in Washington State and the amazing winemakers that make it special.
When I heard someone say that “everyone claims to be Eric Dunham’s friend” I just had to smile. Eric makes friends with virtually everyone he meets. His wines are world class and his artwork is stunning He is always the first to say “yes” to winemaker dinners, joint food and wine adventures and the first to say “SURE I’d love to have a page in the cookbook”… “Sure, I’ll pose with a coonhound!”.

Jonathan and Lisa will be cooking with Eric in Walla Walla on November 6 for
His Harvest winemaker dinner series. Cookbooks will be available for Eric to sign with his artist’s signature!

A SOUTHERN FAVORITE (from the cookbook) – Frogmore Stew

Anything called Frogmore Stew makes you curious. What the heck is in it? When I first tasted this stew in South Carolina, I had to find out where it got it’s name - no frogs in the stew??

This stew gets its name from the small town of Frogmore on St. Helena Island off the coast of South Carolina. Frogmore was once a bustling seafood and caviar center. In the late 20th century the town’s name was changed to St. Helena, leaving the name “Frogmore” to the cuisine and folklore of the South.

Frogmore Stew
Shrimp, crab, andouille sausage, sweet corn in shellfish broth

Yield: 8

¼ Cup Olive oil
1 leek
1`cups white wine
2 qts. Fish stock
1 large tomato, diced
1 fennel bulb, save green fronds for garnish
1 whole corn cob cut through the cob into 1 “ rings
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 lb. sliced Andouille sausage, 1 lb. of Shrimp meat & ½ lb. of crabmeat
¼ tsp. each thyme, marjoram, old bay seasoning, cracked black pepper to taste, 1 tiny pinch of ground clove
Dry vermouth to finish – optional

In a large pot, sauté all diced veggies in olive oil. Add seasoning stir in the wine and bring to a simmer. Add stock. Depending on the strength of the stock you may need a pinch of *lobster base. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add fish and simmer JUST before serving and cook until done. Add splash of dry vermouth.


This is fun to make with the kids- my kids are not kids anymore and they STILL want to make these with me!

Years ago, I was given this recipe by a mom-pal at our children’s preschool. Twenty years later, kids are still asking for them. Unlike chocolate truffles, they live in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups crunchy peanut butter, at room temperature
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 cups Rice Krispies or other crisp rice cereal
2 pounds high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

In the bowl of a standing kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar until smooth. Carefully fold in the Rice Krispies so as not to crush them. Roll into small balls, using a small 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop (a scoop is easier and makes consistent bonbons). Freeze the peanut butter balls for at least 3 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over very low heat. Stir to prevent the chocolate from getting too hot as it melts; it should not feel hot to the touch. As soon as the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer. Dip 5 bonbons at a time into the melted chocolate; use a fork to remove the bonbons so the chocolate can drip back into the bowl. Transfer the dipped bonbons to the prepared baking sheet, and refreeze to let the chocolate set up. Dip the bonbons in chocolate once more for a second coat. Refreeze the bonbons, and store in the freezer in tightly sealed containers until ready to serve. The bonbons will last 6 months in the freezer.

Makes 48 to 68 bonbons, depending on the scoop size