Archives for posts with tag: Food

The party planning season is coming around full-swing and The Essex is proud to announce their newly renovated ballroom as of this month! Whether it is a large company gathering or a pleasant wedding reception the ballroom can fit up to 130 guests. A rehearsal dinner or brunch with all of your closest family and friends would be perfect for the space!

ballroom3

Featured above is our NECI Wedding Coordinator, Stacy Elwell. She is one of the party planning ladies from the entire Essex Resort and Spa! She will coordinate your visit and be a part of every aspect throughout the planning process to being a part of the harmonious event you dreamed of having.  Site tours, menu tasting with the New England Culinary Institute and outdoor adventure opportunities can be a great adventure.  Your wedding should be the time of your life!

Visit the special Weddings & Catering section on our Web site!

By Maggie Kerin

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Mexican Adobo Paste
Yield 1 ½ cups

Abobo is a word that has been carried from Spain to the Philippines with a major layover in Mexico. It is deriver from the word adobar, meaning to “pickle” or to “marinate”. This flavorful paste will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Rub, grill, and serve!

1 clove
10 peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves, broken
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup garlic oil
8 dried ancho chilies, seeded, toasted, dehydrated, and drained
4 dried chipotle or morita chilies, seeded, toasted, dehydrated, and drained
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sherry vinegar

Put the clove, peppercorns, and cumin in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant and slightly smoking, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the bay leaves, and cinnamon, and finely grind. Transfer the spice mixture to a food processor or blender and add the garlic oil, the drained chilies, oregano, thyme, salt, and vinegar. Puree until smooth. Reserve in your refrigerator, or immediately rub on to your meats or fish. Grill and serve!

*This recipe works fantastic on veal chops, pork, chicken, and fish.

By Chef Courtney Contos

As I was writing a speech the other day, I started reflecting on whether we’re running a resort or a “university” – or both, at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa!

Here’s a partial list of educational and experiential programming I included in my presentation:

  • Our chefs conduct tours of the Institute and their gardens.
  • Our chefs are available to narrate and demonstrate at group culinary experiences.
  • Our chefs accompany group tours of farmers markets, farms, orchards, cheese factories, microbreweries, vineyards and specialty food stores.
  • Many guests come for our Cook Academy hands-on culinary classes in our theater kitchen.
  • Our new spa will offer personal training as well as group classes in all manner of lifestyle disciplines.
  • We’ve recently opened our Orvis-endorsed fly-casting pond and academy.
  • Golf instruction at our Links at Lang Farm is second to none.

Here at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa (& “University”), opportunities for newly grasped skills and life-long memories, is an important element of our rich, guest experience.

By David Hakins

4 pork loin chops
4 strips bacon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Braeburn apples, unpeeled and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar

Wrap each pork chop with a strip of bacon, not around the sides but around the surface area so that it crisps when in contact with the pan, season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat a 12 inch skillet over a moderate heat add butter and then chops. Cook for five minutes on the first side, then turn over and cook for 5 minutes on the second side. Remove pork chop from pan and set to rest.

Turn sauté pan up to med high and add apple wedges, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Return chops and any liquid from them to the pan; add syrup, vinegar, and thyme continue to cook until the syrup has formed a nice glaze.

The pork should register 145 to 150 degrees on your meat thermometer when done.

Enjoy the seasons freshest flavors and check back for more great and easy recipes!

Chef Courtney Contos

My inbox is filling up with emails requesting “Girlfriends Weekend Getaways”. Women are coming two, four, six, even eight groups of friends  at the same time from all over New England, Middle Atlantic States and Eastern Canada to take a very short vacation away from life.  They generally share our value-priced traditional two-bedded rooms, keep our room service staff hopping, dine casually in The Tavern and Butler’s (they’re loving our award-winning wine lists, BTW), take Chefs Courtney and Kerry’s Cook Academy classes in our beautiful theater kitchen (addicting!).

Request in-room massages, shop Essex Shoppes designer outlets next door, and enjoy the Burlington area’s sophisticated range of fine and performing arts. “Girlfriends Weekend Getaways” will really pick up when our spa opens mid-May and our warm season sports, golf, tennis and fly-casting, get underway. In fact, we have just joined the premier private golf course in Vermont at the Country Club of Vermont which offers the most spectacular views one can find on a golf course.

Hey, men! How about “Guys Getaway Weekends” at The Essex? Call me at 800-727-4295,  I’ll custom-design a fabulous experience for you and your friends!

By Dave Hakins, Director of Business Development

Although it was a few weekends back, Valentine’s  weekend was full of love and fun cooking! We loaded up on rich and decadent dark chocolate Fondue in our Fondue Demo that was open to the public on Saturday! We dipped hazelnut wafers, ginger molasses cookies, and soft chocolate chunk cookies! Later in the day I taught a class how to make Fettuccine Alla Carabonara in “Ticket To Rome”. On Sunday, I taught a brunch class where we prepared poached eggs, made herb hollandaise sauce, and the best ever fennel & pork breakfast sausage!


Enjoy the recipe and let me know how it comes out for you.

Fennel & Pork Breakfast Sausage

Makes 16- 2 inch patties

2 pounds fine ground pork
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ∏ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 ∏ teaspoons fennel seed
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
∏ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Mix all ingredients well. Form into 1 inch rounds. Refrigerate and use within one week or freeze for up to 3 months.  To cook, heat a cast iron pan or similar heavy pan to medium low. Cook about 10-15 minutes or until brown on both sides and cooked through.

We have classes almost every week, incorporating local and seasonal foods and creating our own spins on the tastiest international and traditional foods.

See you in the kitchen!

By Chef Courtney

Traditional rehearsal dinners have evolved from sit down restaurant affairs to so much more!  We are finding brides and grooms are becoming more creative with their offerings and at Vermont’s culinary resort why not take advantage of all we have to offer.

One popular choice is action stations with the students of the New England Culinary Institute preparing the food right in front of the guests.   Hand rolled Sushi stations or pasta stations with freshly made pastas and gnocchi’s, risotto stations with a variety of fresh ingredients are all popular choices.  For something more “informative” one of our Instructors would be happy to do a cooking demo, wine class or beer tasting!   Enjoying delicious, freshly prepared and local product is a fun and interesting start to a wonderful wedding weekend.

No matter the season, we can work with you to create a personalized theme that can accommodate groups of any size.  An outdoor barbecue amid our beautiful gardens, a bonfire and New England Clambake or a pool side picnic are great ways to include a larger group of wedding guests.

For the more active and adventurous couples,  we can customize a menu and set up a wonderful event at our golf course or ropes, rock and ice course.

There are so many fun,  fabulous and exhilarating events to experience at the Essex Resort and Spa!


By Mimi Overman

Have you ever tasted that special ingredient, Love? I often here about people adding it to recipes, I even saw it written on labels of different foods as an ingredient. Have you added it? I have, and I also remember the memorable meals with love added. This Valentine’s Day add some love to your romantic meal for your special one. I know it will be well received and remembered!

I send you off with one of our favorite chocolate dessert recipes. Promise me that you will purchase high quality chocolate, as it is the main ingredient.

This is impressive and easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Lave Cakes

Ingredients:

  • Lots of Love
  • 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 425º.  Butter six ramekins.  Melt chocolate and butter in heavy sauce pan over low heat.  Set aside to cool slightly. Whisk whole eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Add sugar and mix well. Then fold in chocolate mixture, Love, flour and hazelnuts.

Pour batter into the ramekins, dividing equally. Bake cakes oven until the sides are set but the center remains soft and runny, about 14 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 2 minutes. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Immediately turn cakes out onto plates and serve hot with your favorite Ice Cream.

Tip: You may prepare the batter and pour it into the well-buttered ramekins in advance! It will keep unbaked in the refrigerator for two days. Serves 6


By Chef Courtney Contos

February is the month that reminds us to take time out of life for Love and Romance with the special someone in our life. Whisk them away and travel to the Inn at Essex on one of our Valentine’s Day packages!

The Valentine Romantic Rendevous features a night in a Country Inn room with a fireplace, two relaxing Swedish massages, a candlelit three course dinner for two in Butler’s Restaurant, a chilled bottle of sparkling wine and delicious continental breakfast for two the next morning.  This package will surely make any Valentine swoon. This wonderful package including personal pampering, food and lodging can be purchased for an affordable $378.54, including taxes and gratuities.

Or you can skip the massages and make time for other special things with our Valentine Vermont Getaway package.  With this package you will enjoy all featured package elements of the Romantic Rendezvous Package excluding the Swedish massages. This package will cost $288.10 including taxes and gratuities.

Any cupid knows that it’s smart to give the gift of a gift certificate to the Inn at Essex. Purchased in any denomination, they can be used towards goods and services throughout the resort, including our new spa, opening in the spring! The spa features a 25 yard lap pool, state of the art fitness center, a 25 person outdoor hot tub, full service salon and a wide range of the best spa treatments. So why not give that special someone a chance to fulfill their dreams of relaxation and romance with you.  The answer to a wonderful and loving Valentine’s Day is so close and you can skip that stressful shopping that seems to occur every year.

By Deb Robinson

Here at NECI we take pride in our culinary-education heritage in order to better serve our guests. This February we would like to take the opportunity to expand your knowledge of sparkling wines, specifically: what it is you’re drinking and where it comes from.

It is a common misconception that Champagne comes from different countries all over the world. However, did you know that the word Champagne is legally reserved for a specific variety of sparkling wine originating exclusively from the Champagne region of France? It is for this reason that, here in the United States, the champagne produced is labeled Sparkling Wine. Similarly, in Italy it is called Prosecco, and Spain’s product is Cava. There are also different classifications of Champagne. For example, most Champagne Houses have what’s called a Cuvees de Prestige, or a Deluxe addition. For example, Veuve Cliquot’s Cuvees de Prestige is called Grande Dame, and Moet Chandon produces one of the most famous, Dom Perignon. There are also Blanc de Blanc’s (white of whites) that are made completely of Chardonnay, or Blanc de Noir’s (white of blacks) which is made completely from a mixture of Pinot Noir and Pinot Menieur.

Valentine’s Day is an occasion perfectly suited to sharing a glass of bubbly with a special person, and throughout the month of February, take 20% off all Champagne and Sparkling Wines at our NECI restaurants here at The Essex!

Chris Benjamin, Food & Beverage Director