Archives for posts with tag: Valentine’s Day

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

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

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