Archives for posts with tag: recipe

Kale RisottoLocal Flavor: A new way to eat more kale
Published in Burlington Free Press – Feb 14, 2013

Written by Shawn Calley, Executive Chef, Amuse at The Essex Resort & Spa

Kale has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance lately (and yes, we strongly encourage eating more of it), but beyond sautéing it or baking it into kale chips, many people aren’t really sure how to prepare it.

For this week’s Local Flavor, I’m offering up a really nice barley and kale risotto. It’s the perfect side dish for chicken or fish, but it’s also great as an entrée all by itself.

You’ll notice the recipe does not call for Arborio rice; the truth is that risotto is a cooking method and not an ingredient. For this recipe, we’re using barley for a more unique flavor that really meshes well with the kale.

Barley and Kale Risotto
4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ white onion, sliced thin
8 ounces chorizo, sliced
11/2 cups barley
1/2 cup white wine
1 red pepper, sliced thin
10 ounces chopped kale
3 ounces butter
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
3 ounces feta cheese

Warm chicken stock over low heat. In a separate sauce pot, add olive oil, onions and the chorizo. Cook until onion is translucent and the chorizo is mostly cooked. Add barley and cook until coated with oil. Add the white wine. Cook until wine is completely incorporated into the barley. Lower heat to medium, and start adding one cup of warm stock at a time, stirring every 30 seconds as the stock reduces almost completely. Add more stock until it is all incorporated (approximately 40 minutes). When you get to the last cup of stock, add the red peppers and kale. Remove from heat and add the butter, thyme and feta. When butter is melted, salt to taste.

Written by Tom Brooks, director of food and beverage at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort and Spa.

Sometimes you get inspiration in unexpected places. The other day I was concocting a recipe for this week’s Savorvore theme, “Backyard Pizza Hearth,” when I walked into the office of one of my colleagues. Immediately I noticed the marvelous smell of fresh pesto mingled with the unmistakable aroma of pizza.

“Whatcha eatin’ there?” I asked.

Collin Parker, our marketing coordinator, told me it was leftover pizza he had thrown together the night before, with “a little sauteed chicken, some sauteed mushrooms, pesto, mozzarella cheese … .”

It looked good, smelled even better, and tasted incredible! (He offered a bite, and I just couldn’t refuse!) And just like that, I’d found my Savorvore recipe. Well, yes, it’s his recipe, but we’re all friends here, and what’s a little co-opting between friends?

If you’ve never tried cooking pizza on a grill, it’s definitely worth giving a shot. Not only does your house stay cooler (and can’t we all use that right about now?), it gives the pizza a nice outdoorsy (in a good way) taste.

Just make sure you use a pizza pan, spray the grill liberally with non-stick spray, or brush it with olive oil. There’s not much that’s worse than having a big ol’ pizza stuck to your grill.

And now that you have a basic recipe, feel free to try it with your favorite pizza ingredients.


Recipe: Chicken-Mushroom Pesto Pizza
One-half pound chicken (one large breast), cubed
3 tablespoons pesto
3-4 large fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 fresh or frozen 14- to 16-inch pizza crust

Saute chicken in olive oil over medium heat. Add fresh basil, salt and pepper. When chicken is almost cooked through, add mushrooms. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, and set aside. Set grill to medium heat. Roll out dough (sprinkle with flour so it doesn’t stick), and transfer to pizza plate. Spread the pesto onto the dough, add the cheese, and then top with chicken and mushrooms. Sprinkle another thin layer of cheese, and then place pizza onto grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Written by Chris Benjamin, director of food and beverage at the Essex Resort and Spa.

With the birth of the year, comes the beginning of a new decade as well. In the past decade, the trends in the beverages and liquor included micro-mixology (the beverage side of micro-gastronomy), pomegranate and other exotic fruit liqueurs, and the rebirth of classic cocktails such as the Sloe Gin Fizz, Sidecar, and Brandy Alexander. This coming decade will prove to be, I think, a continuation of these themes.

We also will see significantly different cocktails that explore flavors as they relate to texture and mouth feel. The classics will continue to be replicated and improved upon with different twists. And we know that the abundance of flavors found in the world will only increase — perhaps a smoked salmon vodka served with Frangelico and Bailey’s to duplicate the classic bagel and lox? (Although I sincerely hope no one tries to do this!)

Whatever the future holds for us, I hope we will continue to rely on the classic cocktails that bring full circle the tradition and memories we enjoy. In addition to Bloody Mary, one of the most classic cocktails served on New Year’s Day is the mimosa. The name is derived from the mimosa plant, whose flowers are very yellow and appear frothy at a distance.

The standard mimosa, of course, is served with one part champagne or sparkling wine and two parts orange juice. But, as you know, I enjoy putting a little twist on things. There are many different classic ways to improve the mimosa, and all involve a little help from the spirit land. Try adding a floater of Grand Marnier, which ratchets up the alcohol content, flavor, and texture of the mimosa. Or try making a Kir, which classically is done by adding some Chambord to the top of the drink. Or you can try another rendition of the mimosa (and some say the original that was later plagiarized) called the Buck Fizz — add a little grenadine for a slight cherry flavor and a lot of color.

Or you can go completely different and prepare the following recipe, the St. Germaine Sparkling Cocktail, which I have recently fell in love with. It goes great with Sunday brunch (we recently started serving these at The Essex, and they’re a hit).

So have a safe and happy holiday, and the best to you for a wonderful 2010. Happy New Year!!

St. Germaine Sparkling Cocktail

1 part dry sparkling wine
1 part soda water
1 part St. Germaine liqueur

Combine ingredients slowly and serve in a champagne flute. Great for parties and goes well in pitchers.

Written by Chris Benjamin, food and beverage director at The Essex.

Of all the holidays we celebrate, Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite. It’s the one holiday that isn’t over- marketed. It doesn’t require spending gobs of money, and it still holds it original purpose– taking time to reflect on the year and giving thanks for the many blessings we receive in our life.

It’s amazing how difficult it is to find the time to appreciate all the good things that happen in our lives, especially when the concerns of the world, economy, war and everyday struggles bare their full weight on our shoulders.

At Thanksgiving, appreciate not only the bountiful food and beverages that laden the table but the friends and family that you love and hold dear.

Every year just before dinner, we stand in a circle as a family and say one thing for which we are grateful. This year I would have to say that I’m grateful for not only my wonderful wife and two kids, but for the opportunity to share my recipe and thoughts with all of my loyal readers. I appreciate the encouragement, the compliments, and the questions that I receive from all of you, and look forward to continuing to bring you trendy concoctions.

In the meantime– for this week’s selection, I wanted to find something with mass appeal, that works as an aperitif before dinner, and is seasonally appropriate, and while I’m sure there’s a pumpkin martini recipe out there somewhere, the other fruit that comes to mind this time of year is the cranberry.

Sweet, tart and easy-to-come-by, these little flavor bombs are just the thing to drink before dinner. It will awaken the palate and get you ready for a sumptuous feast.

My best wishes for a very safe and satisfying Thanksgiving to you and all of your loved ones.

Cranberry Margarita

2 oz. tequila (try Patron Silver)
½ oz. Cointreau
⅛ cup frozen cranberries, rinsed
2 tablespoons sugar
Splash of lime juice
2-3 oz. cranberry juice

Combine ingredients in a blender and puree. In a shallow bread plate, mound some sugar. Using a lime, rim the edge of a cocktail glass or Collins glass and dip glass into the sugar. Fill with cranberry margarita, garnish with lime wedge. Sip and enjoy!

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

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