Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday Supper :: A French Dinner

Our French Dinner - was so lovely ! For the decor we found a gorgeous vintage wallpaper to line the tabletop. We wanted a more dramatic take on a french countryside evening. We added tall candlesticks, flowers from Saipua...vintage silverware...and voila !
We had an amazing wine pairing with each course from Pour Wines. Casey served a refreshing mint water and a small bite of french bread with a baked herb goat cheese and a burnt fig spread as a starter. And for dinner...moules marinieres, grilled skirt steak au poivre- parsnip puree, braised fennel and tomato. The cherry on top...a bittersweet chocolate and orange pot de crème with almond cream. mmmm. makes our mouth water all over again!
Scroll down for photos & recipes galore. And check out the illustrations on our menus (!) how cute are they ? all hand drawn by our dear Stefanie Pitaro (thanks stef! )
Hope you enjoy looking through the photos & happy cooking. Bon appetite.

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Recipe :: Moules Marinieres

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Casey's Tip: If you put a little cornstarch in a pot of cold water and let the little guys hang out for a minute, they will give up their sand.

Moules Marinieres
2 lbs of mussels
4 shallots sliced
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 bottle of good, dry white wine
1/2 c chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Saute the shallots and garlic in some olive oil until soft. Throw the mussels over top and pour in the wine. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Drop in half of the parsley and toss making sure to get up from the bottom so they are all coated in the sauce. Pour in a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

Recipe :: Parsnip Puree

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Casey's Tip: You can cook the parsnips in vegetable stock if you like. You can also make this puree with carrots. So good!

Parsnip Puree

8 parsnips peeled and cut into large chunks

1 qt. chicken stock

½ c cream

salt and pepper

Bring chicken stock to a boil and throw in the parsnips. Boil for 15 minutes or until parsnips are super soft. Drain and put in a food processor with cream, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and silky.

Recipe :: Braised Fennel and Tomato

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Casey's Tip: Sometimes the outer layer of the fennel bulb can be very fibrous. If you have the energy (lord knows I don't!) use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer layer- just like peeling a cucumber.

Braised Fennel and Tomato

4 fennel bulbs

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 onion thinly sliced

4 tomatoes halved and seeded

1 ½ c white whine

salt and pepper

olive oil

Cut the fennel into quarters leaving the core intact. Sautee the onions and garlic until translucent. Add tomatoes, fennel, white wine, salt and pepper. Stir and cook at a simmer for 30-45 minutes or until fennel is soft and can be pierced with a knife. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe :: Grilled Flank Steak Au Poivre

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Casey's Tip: You can use any cut of steak for this but skirt steak is so yummy!! Rub the steak with a little olive oil before you sprinkle the seasoning. It will keep the outside nice and juicy.

Grilled Flank Steak Au Poivre

1 1/2 lbs skirt steak

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Salt and pepper both sides of the steak generously. Broil or grill 5 minutes per side for medium and 7-8 minutes per side for medium-well.

Recipe :: Bittersweet Chocolate and Orange Pot de Crème with Almond Cream

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Casey's Tip: I like using bittersweet chocolate for these little lovelies but they can be made with semi, dark or milk.

Bittersweet Chocolate and Orange Pot de Crème with Almond Cream

1 ½ c milk

2 eggs

a pinch of salt

2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

2 tbl of Grand Marnier

zest of 1 orange

Bring the milk to a simmer in a sauce pan. Put eggs, salt, chocolate, Grand Marnier and orange zest in a blender. Pulse until combined. On medium speed, slowly add in the hot milk and blend for 1 minute. Pour into individual small bowls or ramekins and chill for at least an hour. Serve with almond cream. Copyright © 2009 by Casey Solomon

Almond Cream

1 ½ c whipping cream

1 ½ tsp almond extract

2 tbl sugar

Yall know how to make whipped cream!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sunday Supper:: Vendor Spotlight Pour Wines

We asked Pour Wines to come in for our french dinner - to do a little wine pairing with each course. Vanessa was our Sommelier for the evening and did a fantastic job.
Check out Pour Wines, they have a very cool shop uptown, a great website (with a wine pairing tool) and when you purchase wines - they keep a little log for you of all your favorites and preferences.

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Vendor Spotlight :: Saipua Flowers

Well, here it is - and some of you guessed it ! Saipua Flowers did a guest appearance at our French Dinner and we were so thrilled !! Sarah is such a pleasure and talent to work with, We sent her our vintage french wallpaper as inspiration and this is what she came up with ! We will be posting more about the decor & recipes soon but for now, enjoy these precious creations by Saipua.

All Photography by Karen Mordechai

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We're In the kitchen....

Prepping for our next class tomorrow - the french evening - it's all coming together and looks so wonderful - we can't wait ! Stay tuned for photos this week, it's going to be a good one ! we even have a surprise floral guest...can you guess who's coming ?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Midday Meal :: Truffled Sunchokes

Casey’s tips:
To peel or not to peel: we like leaving the skin on as it gives a nice texture but feel free to peel.

Truffled Sunchokes

2 lbs sunchokes
2 tbl butter
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbl truffle oil
2 tbl chopped parsley

Rinse the sunchokes well, Slice sunchokes into ¼ inch pieces. Melt butter on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add sunchokes. Cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender. Remove from the heat. Toss with truffle oil and parsley.

Copyright © 2009 by Casey Solomon

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rhubarb, Strawberry & Lavender Crisp

Casey and I had a wonderful trip to the farmer's market in union square...right now you'll find brightly colored rhubarb, asparagus...radishes and spring onions.
The colors and the textures are just amazing and they inspired a few more
mid-day's a sweet one you may want to try (pair it with a great
vanilla ice cream, scroll down for our fave :)

Rhubarb, Strawberry Lavender Crisp

For the topping
2 c all purpose flour
¾ c turbinado sugar
½ tbsp salt
1 tbl lavender, finely chopped
12 tbl cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the filling
2 c red rhubarb, chopped
2 c strawberries, hulled
1 c turbinado sugar
pinch of salt
6 tbl all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the topping, combine all ingredients. Work the butter into the mixture with your hands until you get pea sized lumps. Work quickly to keep the butter cold. Put in the fridge.
To make the filling, combine all ingredients and toss. Divide among individual dishes. Top with the crisp and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the crisp is browned and the fruit is bubbling. Top with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Copyright © 2009 by Casey Solomon

Vendor Spotlight: Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory !

We paired our rhubarb strawberry cobbler with the perfect ice cream, vanilla from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (have you been ? it's the cute, all natural, somewhat touristy but delightful creamery in dumbo...go check it out ) we highly recommend it :)