Thursday, April 28, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: April 28 to May 4

Menu A

roasted beets and carrots with cumin vinaigrette, arugula, pepitas, and shaved pecorino
sauvignon blanc, Mount Nelson, Marlborough, NZ, 2009 

grilled lamb chops with herb jus, black eyed pea salad with roasted red peppers, tomato, and local feta, and salsa verde
Crozes-Hermitage, Ferraton, Rhone, France, 2009

Cane Brake Gouda with Mimi’s strawberry jam, cracked pepper and house-made baguette.

Menu B

fried green tomatoes with bacon vinaigrette, buttermilk dressing, and local arugula
cava, Conde de Subirats, Spain, Brut NV

spaghetti with shrimp, clams, mussels, and squid in an orange, fennel, and tomato broth with jalapeno, shaved red onion, and arugula
Verdicchio, Marchetti, Marche, Italy, 2009

berry lavender sorbet with lemon bar and vanilla bean cream

$25 food
$15 booze

sad day in the South

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

la cocina

I love everything about supporting Wholesome Wave on that little television show I am participating in, but I also think I should be learning more about the other charitable organizations that my fellow chef-testants are raising money for. The first one I am looking into is the awesome, many tentacled LA COCINA, championed by the coolest chef I know, Traci Des Jardins.
Go to their website and check them out. I am reading up on them now and everything I read gets me really excited about great people doing great things in great communities. I love the term business incubator...

Woodland Gardens CSA box ideas

Thoughts on Your Woodland Gardens CSA Box April 26. 2011

Butterhead lettuce:
            Think lighter vinaigrettes, just a touch. Butterhead is such a tender, moist lettuce that you don’t want to further drown it. Loves simple creamy dressings but use those on the base of a plate not directly dressed onto the leaves. Here’s a culinary puzzle that fits together: anchovies, lemons, buttermilk dressing, cucumber, butterhead. Onwards.

Baby beets:
            My kids love beets. They love the greens. Nothing, except the skin of the beet gets composted in my house. I just either bake them on a pile of kosher salt in the oven at 375 or boil them until tender, peel them while their still warm and then slice them and gently bring them back hot with some really good balsamic, unsalted butter and a pinch of chopped thyme. The greens I love to wilt in a large, hot pan with a touch of olive oil and then finish them with a touch of butter and a squeeze of lemon at the very end. Don’t under cook the greens though… they like a thorough wilting or they retain bitter and tannic qualities.
            The stems could be finely chopped, gently blanched to set the color, and then pickled. Sounds odd but they rock as a simple condiment.

Rainbow chard:
            Cut off the stems, blanche and shock. Then reduce a little cream and butter up a little baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375 and then lay in the stems, seasoning with a touch of salt. Layer cream between the layers and then drape some cream over the top. Finish with some freshly toasted breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until bubbling and nicely toasty on top. Yum.
            For the leaves use the same method for the beet greens. High heat, olive oil and then a little butter to finish. Total cooking time is about four to five minutes.

Baby bok choi
            These little guys are so beautiful. Halve them, lengthwise, and then roast them in a hot oven with a touch of olive oil. Finish with a drizzle of soy, chopped mint and some sesame seeds.

Upland cress
            This member of the cress family is the dainty, tender sibling of watercress. Where watercress has crunch, Upland Cress has a tenderness akin to lamb’s lettuce or mache, with a touch of pepper. Lovely flavor. Great on sandwiches, or finely chopped to finish a broth. I am thinking an open faced tartine, like Peter does at the National… Smoked salmon tartine with upland cress, boiled eggs, capers, lemon vinaigrette, and cucumber…recipe forthcoming.

            Celia is such a skilled grower but no one grows radishes like her. Its her gold medal rop. You know how crappy radishes get hollow in the center and have a hot, dry mouthfeel? Not these. They have sweetness, with a hint of heat and a lovely crunch… always. They are my snack food. If you want to further them into a dish, take some great bread, some great sweet butter and some beautiful salt and make a thinly sliced radish sandwich. Then watch the royal wedding while faking an English accent.

            So early you say? It is early for tomatoes but these are hoop house beauties. Grown in the red clay but they have a nice little shelter to fool them into a summery mood. I further ripen them on the window sill until they are super ripe and then slice them with a super sharp knife and make a Pullman loaf, Duke’s mayo, capers and tomato sandwich. Then I am happier than my normal happy.

            Eat from pint. Should you have some left over, make a buttermilk-strawberry ice cream. Or have some on granola.  These are the closet berries to the dense, wild berries you find in Ontario and Quebec. They are pure sweetness and 100% strawberry goodness.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the marsala, the chicken, the morels and the peas

Chicken with marsala, morels and english peas
serves four

Marsala has a place in the world of food and Ben has found a good one to focus on. Melillo marsala is made on the North coast of Sicily from Inzolia, Grillo and Cataratto grapes. It is a very interesting Sweet Fine Marsala and add great nuance to chicken or other winged things. I was wanting to think up a recipe that really hugged spring and peas and morels came to mind. Its their time to shine and a platter of this served family style would brighten just about any April porch party in my neighborhood. 

GOSFORD WINE: Melillo Marsala, Sweet Fine. $13.99 
1 cup shelled english peas
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound of morels, cleaned and sliced to half inch rings (sub shiitakes if needed)
1 pound thinly pounded boneless chicken breasts (four pieces)
1/4 cup Wondra flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/4 cup sweet marsala
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup shaved Parmagiano Reggiano (I use a peeler to do this)

1. Bring a pot of water to a vigorous boil, season with a pinch of salt and blanche the peas for two minutes and then shock in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and reserve.
2. Warm a large saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter.  When the butter bubbles and froths add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with 1/3 of the salt and scrape onto a plate. Wash out the pan and place back on the burner.
3. Season the chicken breasts with half of the remaining salt and then dredge in the flour on both sides, shaking off any excess. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and turn heat up to medium high heat. Carefully add the chicken to the pan and cook for about four minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm.
4. Empty the oil from the pan and add the shallot and the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Cook for three minutes and then add the marsala. CAREFUL because it may flame up. If it does just remove the pan from the heat and let the flame subside and then place back on heat. Reduce marsala by 2/3s and then add the stock. Reduce by half and then add the butter and swirl the pan to incorporate . Add the peas and the parsley and season with the remaining salt.
5. Place chicken on a platter and pour peas, mushrooms and sauce over the chicken. Top with the shaved Reggiano.
6. Serve immediately.

Hugh Acheson

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe : April 21 through April 27

Menu A

local lettuces with fried oysters, mustard remoulade, shaved radishes, and grilled spring onion
Vin de Savoie, Pierre Boniface, Apremont, France, 2010

monkfish crepinette with roasted chicken jus, spring onion confit, whipped potatoes, and scallion salsa verde  (thanks, Ryan Smith)
Pinot Noir, Au Bon Climat, Central Coast, CA, 2008

poached rhubarb and local strawberry shortcake

Menu B

gnocchi parisienne in rich pork broth with spring peas, duck confit, and scallion
Riesling, Dr. F. Weins-Prüm, Mosel, Germany, 2009

grilled pork shoulder steaks with pickled ramps, ramp ranch dressing, grilled tomatoes, and hominy grits (thanks, David Chang)
Zinfandel/Sangiovese/Cabernet/etc., Owen Roe, ‘Abbots Table’, Yakima Valley, WA, 2009

chocolate tart with orange flower diplomat and candied beets

$25 food
$15 booze

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring is Here Dinner: April 24th

A celebration of our favorite season.  Sunday is the perfect day of respite for us to try different things. These meals are meant to be very relaxing where we can all experience something new, have fun, and get to know each other. Make your reservations today, can't go wrong with this one! 
Supper will be served on the outdoor patio on our farmhouse tables with some courses served family style and others individually plated. Wines will be served family style.

Sunday, April 24th, 6:30 PM

1. Favas, Green Garlic, Shaved La Quercia Ham and Brown Butter Vinaigrette
2. Ramp Custards, Morel Broth, Buttered Morels
3. Bruschetta: Ceci, Shad Bottarga, Wilted greens, Aleppo
4. Halibut + Fennel, Red Beans + Rice
5. Lamb Shoulder Confit, Ramps, Kale Florets, Nantes Carrots, Jus
6. Young, Local, Spring Cheeses
7. Fried Strawberry Pie, Buttermilk Ice Cream

Rosé of Pinot Noir, Cep, Sonoma Coast, CA, 2009
Soave Classico, Inama, Veneto, Italy, 2009
Minervois, Chateau Coupe Roses, ‘Cuvee Orience’, Languedoc, France, 2005
Moscato D’Asti, Vietti, Piedmont, Italy, 2009

$85 per person for food & wine (plus tax and tip)
Reservations Required. Call ESS at 404-541-1105.

Friday, April 15, 2011

ESS Prix Fixe Early Dinner: April 14th-April 20th

5:00pm – 6:30PM
$26.00 per person

Option A:

Roasted Baby Fennel
 crisp morels, pancetta & chicken jus

Jumbo Flounder
ramp farrotto, pink beauty radishes, miner’s lettuce

Bourbon Pecan Tart
brown sugar clabber cream

Option B:

GA White Shrimp
country ham broth, English peas & lomo

Crisp Pork Belly
comté cheese grits, pickled swiss chard stems & pork jus

Fried Strawberry Pie
buttermilk ice cream & pickled strawberries

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Five & Ten Prix Fixe : April 14 through April 20

Menu A

spring salad of favas, hakurei turnips, baby celery, beets, radishes, and toasted pistachios with bistro vinaigrette
Pinot Grigio, Borgo M, Veneto, Italy, 2009

roasted duck breast with black truffle jus, sautéed mushrooms, leek polenta, and lacinato kale
Langhe Nebbiolo, Produttori del Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy, 2009

pineapple crisp with coconut sorbet

Menu B

steamed pei mussels in white wine with parsley, garlic, and chile flake
Sauvignon Blanc, Mount Nelson, Marlborough, NZ, 2009

trout en crepinette stuffed with spinach and leeks served with a warm bacon vinaigrette, red mule grits, and campfire cornmeal tomatoes
Friulano, Scarbolo, Friuli, Italy, 2009

Lemon Sorbet  with fresh basil and shortbread cookies

$25 food
$15 wine

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ESS Prix Fixe Early Dinner: April 8th-April 14th

5:00pm – 6:30PM
$26.00 per person

Option A:

Wild Ramps
 warm mortadella, english peas, lemon

Pan Roasted Skate
spring onion, sea island red peas, parisian carrots,  red shrimp     

Buttermilk Lavender Panna Cotta
strawberry jam, honey lavender gastrique

Option B:

Baby Lettuces
buttermilk dressing, pickled shrimp, black mountain blue, crisp shallot

Braised Octopus
georgia red shrimp, little neck clams, english peas, ramps

Spiced Chocolate Tart
spiced almonds and buttermilk soft serve

5 & 10 Prix Fixe: April 7th - April 13th

Menu A

Caesar salad:  applesmoked bacon, romaine, garlic croutons, parmagiano
Bourgogne Chardonnay, Matrot, France, 2009

grilled hangar steak with horseradish whipped potatoes, roasted tomatoes, creamed mustard greens, and bacon jus
Malbec, Flechas de los Andes, ‘Gran Malbec’, Mendoza, Argentina, 2008

chocolate caramel cake with whipped and candied pistachios

Menu B

braised spring Vidalias with a poached local egg, arugula, tiny croutons, and warm bacon vinaigrette
Soave Classico, Inama, Veneto, Italy, 2008

ramp tagliatelle with maitake mushrooms, benton’s ham, shaved pecorino, chile flake, and oregano tomato sauce
Sangiovese blend, Altesino, ‘Rosso di Altesino’, Tuscany, Italy, 2008

banana cream pie with espresso granité and cinnamon reduction

$25 food
$15 wine

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wine Dinner at ESS with Etienne de Montille of Domaine Montille

Etienne de Montille is carving out a reputation for himself as one of Burgundy's great boutique figures.  He shies away from obvious new oak, he builds his wines to age, and over and over again he proves that the Cote de Beaune can make extremely refined wines, too, thank you very much.  Come meet Etienne next Monday and see what his Domaine can do...

Monday, April 11th 

1st Course

Poached Shellfish Salad with bagna cauda 

2007 Beaune Blanc 1er Cru "Aigrots"

2nd Course

Duck Galatine with favas, spring onion jam  and olive oil fried bread 

2007 Beaune Rouge 1er Cru "Les Sizies"
2007 Beaune Rouge 1er Cru "Les Greves 

3rd Course

Braised Rabbit with mustard, leeks aux viniagrette and chickpea panisse

2007 Volnay 1er Cru "Les Brouillards"

4th Course

Beef Cheeks in Burgundy with spring vegetables, ramps and turned potatoes

2007 Corton Grand Cru "Clos du Roi"

5th Course


2007 Meursault "Les Casse Tetes"

6th Course

Strawberries, lavender & mint in Burgundy Jello

$130 per person plus tax & gratuity

Space is limited, please call ESS for reservations 404-541-1105

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Some Family Style, Some Not: a Sunday Supper Series at Empire State South

Empire State South
“Some Family Style, Some Not” Dinner Series
Sunday, April 24th, 6:30 PM

Spring Is Here Dinner
A celebration of our favorite season. The dinner will be held (weather permitting) around the bocce ball court, so watch the weather and bring a sweater if you chill easily.  The meal will be a lot of fun. The wines will be fun, terroir driven, and immensely quaffable. Can't go wrong with this one.

$85 per person for food & wine (plus tax and tip)

favas, green garlic, shaved La Quercia ham and a brown butter vinaigrette

ramp custards, morel broth, buttered morels

bruschetta: ceci, shad bottarga, wilted greens, Aleppo

halibut + fennel, red beans + rice

lamb shoulder confit, ramps, kale florets, nantes carrots, jus

young, local, Spring cheeses

fried strawberry pie, buttermilk ice cream

CALL 404-541-1105 for reservations
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