Archives for category: Visiting Chef Series

Restaurant: Nudel in Lenox, MA

Rather than each getting an appetizer and large entree, tonight we shared three small plates ($10 each) and a nice bottle of white wine. They split the plates for us. It was a totally amazing value for what we experienced. I really want to try the poached egg dish at home sometime. Kudos to Nudel–this guy is killing it in Lenox. No need to travel to get truly original cuisine ’cause its right here in the Berkshires.

First: Pad Thai (turnip, tofu, pineapple etc.)

Second: Souvee egg, hominy, fried green tomato, over collards

Third: Pork Shank terrine with French lentils, greens and apple dressing.

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Meal: Sashimi

Location: Shiro, Great Barrington, MA

Thoughts: Do not be deterred when your car is one of two at this local spot. For that, my friend, is when you get some special attention. We had this plate of amazingly fresh fish the other night. The salmon was buttery with silky texture and the tuna was hearty, mouthing a fair amount of salt water. But, I think the yellowtail was the winner! Always a favorite, this clean cut melted in our mouths that night. The crisp green onions were a nice treat too. This plate for two was $26 and well worth it! Thanks Shiro!

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Meal: Stuffed zucchini, fried green tomato and crispy beets. Dessert: Lavender Cantaloupe Sorbet with fresh mint blossom.

Visiting Chef: Scott Bartzsch, shown below with Dan. They’ve been friends for almost 30 years.

Method:

Beets: Thin sliced with a mandolin and fry in peanut oil until they do not sizzle. Actually, Scott said fry them til “they are within an inch of their life”, about ~9 minutes at 375 degrees. Drain on newspaper and sprinkle with sea salt.

Green Tomato: Thick sliced and dipped in a basic batter: two eggs 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup milk, and salt/pepper. Fry in oil in a cast iron pan til golden brown, flipping once.

Zucchini: Slice lengthwise and scoop out flesh, discard. Stuff with a mixture of Spicy Italian sausage (or whatever cooked protein), parmesan cheese, Pretzel breadcrumbs (yes, ground pretzels), fresh oregano, and fresh basil. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or for the same time on the grill, like Scott did tonight.

Dessert: See here.

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Meal: Variation on Supremes de Volaillet a l’Ecossaise (Chicken breast, Scottish style) to create a French Potage.

Back Story: “Everything good comes from Provence.” Dr. Ben Fane, my Ph.D. Mentor, visits Mill River and we put him to work. This meal was perfect for a chilly summer evening. The original inspiring recipe, from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is a chicken dish with a rather thick cream sauce. He said he loved the flavor profile so he wanted to turn it into a lighter cream soup.

Method:

1. Cube chicken, salt and pepper, and cook until done. Remove, cover, and set aside.

2. In a clean, large soup pot, melt 6 Tbs butter and slowly sauté, 1 chopped medium white onion, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Cook until the onions are transparent and the carrots and celery has softened a bit.

3. Add 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour to make a roux. Cook over low heat for a few minutes. When you’re making a roux, Ben says to cook until you smell a slight floral smell. That’s the flower of the flour.

4. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth, stirring constantly. Then add 1 cup heavy cream. We didn’t have enough cream, so we used 1/2 cup light cream, 1/2 cup fat free milk. Stir well. Always stir cream well when you’re pouring so it doesn’t coagulate.

5. Add , 3 potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the best English mustard powder (Coleman of Norwich), 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of allspice, 1 tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp celery seed, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 2 tbs dry vermouth, and 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper.

6. Simmer slowly until it thickens and the potatos are thoroughly cooked. Add cooked chicken to warm and enjoy. We had it with bread and Grafton Sage Cheddar Cheese.

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