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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

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Vegetarian Easter: Creamless Polenta with Shiitake Mushrooms au jus

April 2nd, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, Brunch, canning, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Events, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Holiday, Italian, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Passover, Queens, Side Dishes, Spring Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Spring is a time for renewal and with Easter and Passover upon us, it is a time to reflect on the importance of friends and family.  Making time for family meals and celebrations is essential but times have changed. Not only do we have to factor in everyone’s schedule but we also have to manage our guests’ preferences and dietary restrictions from vegetarian to vegan to gluten or dairy free. This is why it is exciting when you can find a dish that covers all bases without being bland or medicinal and this creamless polenta certainly covers all bases with its rich texture and earthy, meat-like flavor.

This dish can serve as a main course for your vegetarian/vegan guests or as a side dish with spring lamb, brisket or ham and be the ultimate crowd pleaser for any celebration.

Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms

Ingredients For the Polenta:
4 oz polenta
1 cup seasonedfork garden stock
1 cup soy creamer
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp of chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp of Chives or scallions
1 tsp of fresh Thyme
1/2 tsp of finely chopped celery leaves

Ingredients for the Fricassee of Mushrooms:
¼ lb. chopped fresh East End Shiitake mushrooms, or any other local mushroom
½ shallot, sliced
1 cup seasonedfork Garden Stock
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Truffle Oil or other seasoned oil to taste

Polenta

For the polenta: Add the garden stock and soy creamer together in a medium sauce pan and heat to scald. Add salt to taste, and, off the flame, add polenta slowly while stirring. Lower heat, return pan to stove, stir regularly for 45 minutes and then add the chopped herbs and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Keep covered.

For the mushrooms: Add olive oil to sauté pan, heat until almost smoking, then add shallots. When the shallots start to caramelize, add sliced Shiitake or other local mushrooms. When the Shiitake begin to exude their juices add the cup of garden stock and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by 2/3.

For Serving
To finish: Set sautéed mushrooms on top of polenta and pour juice from pan over the top. Garnish with snipped fresh herbs. Have serving dishes of freshly grated parmesan cheese on the tables so that your friends who are not vegan can enjoy some along with this flavorful polenta.

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Meatless Monday: Garden Risotto, Vegan, Gluten-Free with rice or Low Glycemic with Barley

March 28th, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Holiday, Italian, Kosher, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Passover, Side Dishes, Spring Recipes, Summer, Thanksgiving, Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine

Making vegan risotto with barley, vegetables and cauliflower cream at Charnews Farm. Photos by Shannon Voelkel

Meatless Mondays is one thing but another thing is one without cheese or other dairy products.  So last year I developed this recipe for a Vegan Risotto for a customer who said she missed eating risotto but that she was vegan and didn’t think she would enjoy it without the cream or cheese.  The most challenging part was substituting the cream which I ended up resolving with something I call “cauliflower cream”.  It is a creamy liquid made with garden stock and puréed cauliflower.  I add it at the end to create that creamy finish and sprinkle the top with homemade breadcrumbs or finely-ground nuts.  We are serving this tonight at Cuvée so come join us!

Not only is this recipe hearty and fresh, but it is also low in calories and on the glycemic index, as well as fresh from the farm!  If you are gluten-free, you may substitute the barley for brown organic Arborio rice.
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Meatless Monday: Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodles

March 21st, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Pasta, Queens, Side Dishes, Snack, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Photo by Holland Koehler, Assistant Creative Director, SeasonedFork.com

A bowl of savory noodles is always comfort food regardless of the cultural rendition.  From the ubiquitous mac and cheese to the platter of Sunday spaghetti and meatballs, most of us feel loved when in the presence of “macaroni”.

Asian noodles score high on my list of comfort foods and Soba are my favorite. Japanese Soba noodles are made from Buckwheat and are a flavorful alternative to wheat flour because of the hearty flavor and dense texture. Buckwheat flour is what gives Soba noodles that additional layer of flavor and bite which marries perfectly with the earthy flavor of Tahini and the tang of soy and ginger in this dish.

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Matcha Green Tea and Pistaschio Muffins for breakfast

March 15th, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, Breakfast, Brunch, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dessert, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Greenport, Kosher, Low-Calorie, New York City, North Fork, Tips, Vegetarian

I was first introduced to green matcha tea and the the art of Japanese tea time in the 80’s while sharing a small apartment in the East Village with my roommate from Tokyo. Matcha is a Japanese green tea that is dried and ground into a fine powder to mix into hot water for tea or for other culinary purposes.

Matcha Tea and Pistaschio Muffins

This Japanese tea tradition began as a 13th century monastery ritual and was carried into the Japanese tea ceremony now associated with luxury and social status. The art of blending the hot water into the powder to make a paste while blending in more water whisking elegantly is an art studied by brides to be and others seeking to bestow the ultimate gesture in hospitality and grace upon their guests.

I recently found an special brand from Japan called Motechate by Ocha no Tamura at the annual International Restaurant and Food Service Show at Javitz Center.  They use toasted rice to enhance the  tea flavor to herbaceous and nutty.  Not only is it delicious to drink hot or cold but is also a great addition to baked goods. The deep flavors of this tea inspired me to make a hearty muffin recipe with whole meal flour, green matcha tea and pistachios. These muffins are dairy free and gluten free with all the green matcha benefits. This tea and these baked treats are delicious on an early morning or quiet afternoon and will inspire you to meditate and make a little more time for yourself every day.

Matcha Green Tea

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Lasagna

March 14th, 2015 · Comments Off · Allergies, Brunch, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Events, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Holiday, Italian, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New Year's, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Pasta, The baking corner, the baking corner, Tips, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Meatless Mondays

Mini Garden Lasagna

A plate of lasagna has many lives as it can be presented in a pan as a large family meal on a Sunday afternoon or as an elegant starter for a romantic dinner in one of those beautiful dishes we are always saving for a special occasion. This garden lasagna on your table doubles as a floral arrangement with herbs on bubbling Gruyere cheese oozing over layers of pasta, creamy ricotta and garden veggies.

Cooking for two is what prompted me to begin making individual lasagnas and this recipe for mini lasagna delivers beautifully presented portions for two or four people. They also freeze well for dinner on another night or as a moveable (and microwavable) feast for lunch in the office.

At Cuvée, we make these as part of our small plates for “Cocktail Thyme” as appetizers or as a lighter, smaller dinner for $12.

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Maple Syrup Smoked Ribs

March 7th, 2015 · No Comments · City Cooking, Cocktail, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Preserves, Snack, Summer, The baking corner, Tips, Travels, Winter Recipes

Even though the State of New York has hosted a winter of bitter cold, our native Maple Trees have produced a sweet harvest.  Maple syrup is in season and here at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel, we are celebrating Mother Nature’s prized sweetener in savory dishes as well as with breakfast.

These Asian-style ribs hit a high note when the Eastern flavors of five spice powder and Hoisin sauce meet the sweetness of the maple syrup that softens the sour edge of the pomegranate. Maple and tang, aromatic and complex, this recipe results in the perfect balance of sweet and sour to warm up the coldest winter night.

maple ribs4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons New York State maple syrup
1/2 cup of pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of fresh orange zest
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice, save the orange to slice for garnish
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five ­spice powder
1 pound pork spareribs
For garnish, scallions, toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes.

1) The marinade
The night before or the morning of, marinate your ribs in the orange juice, rice wine vinegar and salt.

2) Ready to bake
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

3) In a shallow large tray or dish, mix together the hoisin sauce, pomegranate juice, ketchup, maple syrup, soy sauce, sake, orange zest, and five ­spice powder. Place the ribs in the dish, and turn to coat.

4) Place the rack of ribs in the baking dish and cover with aluminum.  Bake for 90 minutes, turning and brushing with the marinade every 10 minutes. Then remove the aluminum and turn up oven to 500, baking for another 20 minutes to allow the glaze to set and char a bit.

maple ribs3

5) After resting for 20 minutes, remove the rack of ribs from the pan and place on cutting board to cut.

6) Reduce the remaining juices on the stove top to thicken and serve alongside the sliced ribs for those who like additional sauce. Sprinkle with sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds and red chili flakes.

maple ribs1

Serve with an Asian slaw and a cocktail with fresh ginger syrup. That is how we are serving it at Cuvée tonight for Cocktail Thyme!

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Meatless Monday: Baked Acorn Squash Tagine

March 7th, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, Christmas, City Cooking, Columbus Day, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Holiday, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Passover, Soups & Bisques, Thanksgiving, The baking corner, the baking corner, Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

There is something about the meaty texture of squashes that have been oven roasted that satisfy winter cravings for something hearty and substantial without being heavy.

Acorn squash can easily be a stand in for the “meat” of a dinner with it’s nutty scent and firm texture.  Baking acorn squash with a filling also makes for an impressive presentation.  It appears almost as a winter bouquet on your platter filled with many garden treats along with flavors of North African spices.  It is elegant enough as an entree for a holiday meal or special event if you are entertaining vegans or vegetarians and has enough depth of flavor to be enjoyed by the meat eaters as well.  This weekend we featured this dish on the menu for a luncheon at Greenport’s landmark synagogue, Tiferreth Israel, celebrating the 90th birthday of Stanley Rubin, a notable member of our North Fork community.  If you missed it, this is your chance shop this weekend and create this dish for Meatless Monday!

Stuffed-baked-acorn squash

1 acorn squash will make two substantial portions once you factor in the filling.

It is very difficult to cut acorn squash as the meat is dense. Washing and Pre-baking them whole will make it easier for you to get a cleaner cut without hurting yourself.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place the squash whole on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes
Allow to cool then cut squashes in half, lengthwise
Remove seeds from stringy remnants. Discard the remnants or use for compost and set aside the seeds to season and toast later.
Drizzle the acorn halves with EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt
Tent with foil and bake at 375 for 25 minutes
Remove the foil and turn oven up to 500 and bake another 10 minutes or until the meat begins to brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare your filling.

The Tagine filling (6 servings)
1/2 cup blanced carrots
1/2 cup of sliced string beans
1/2 cup of sliced red pepper
1/4 cup of mixed, chopped fresh herbs
a pinch of saffron
2 chopped and sauteed shallots
1 cup of seasonedfork garden stock
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/8 of cayenne
1/8 of cumin
1 teaspoon of salt
2 EVOO

1 Can organic garbanzo beans

Add all vegetable (except for the garbanzo beans) to a hot saute pan with EVOO until golden brown. Season with salt and the listed seasonings. Once the vegetables are browning, add the can of garbanzo beans including the liquid to the pan along with half a 1/4 cup of the garden stock. Simmer for 20 minutes and check consistency. If too thick, add more stock, if too thin, reduce for another 10 to 15 minutes. Do not add more salt until the Tagine reaches the desired consistency. Once the tagine has reached the desired consistency, re taste for seasoning and adjust salt, pepper or other seasonings. When ready to serve, add the tagine into the halves and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to rest so that the squash absorbs some of the liquid and serve on platter or individual plates, garnished with fresh herbs. If desired, you may make some cous cous or quinoa and sprinkle on top or serve on the side.

Serve with a bottle of hearty red like a Syrah from Laurel Lake Vineyards. The jammy flavors will stand up to the nutty flavor of the squash and North African spices.

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Hamantaschen for all: Gluten-free, butter-free

March 5th, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, City Cooking, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dessert, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Gluten-free, Greenport, Kosher, Kosher non-dairy dessert, New York City, North Fork, nut-free, Preserves, Snack, The baking corner, the baking corner, Tips, Vegetarian, Winter Recipes

Gluten-Hamantaschen

Gluten-free Hamentaschen recipe adapted from Food and Wine Magazine February 2015

Every year, as we teeter at the edge of winter, I look forward to Spring and to making and eating these flavorful little Purim pastry packages.  They are called Hamentaschen and are filled with poppyseeds, fruit preserves or nuts and formed into a three cornered hat that is the perfect accompaniment to some spiced tea or a latte. My favorite Hamentaschen are made by my friend Phil Goldman who has been making these for almost 70 years for family and friends but I make my own back up stash in case my allotment from Phil gets intercepted! Some of his secret tips are to add orange zest to the dough and to roll it out evenly to a 1/8 inch thickness.

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 24

  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups gluten-free flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 cup of solidified coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of freshly-grated orange zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of Date-Orange Filling, Honey-Nut Filling, Poppy Seed Filling, or 1½ cups jam or preserves

Preparation

  • Whisk baking powder, salt, orange zest and 4 cups flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, coconut butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl.
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and form into two ¾”-thick disks. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
  • Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 30 minutes.
  • Roll out dough on a very lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ thick, dusting with flour as needed (use as little flour as possible). Cut out 3 1/2″ rounds with cutter and, using an offset spatula or bench scraper, transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Gather up scraps, reroll, and cut out additional rounds.
  • Lightly beat remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Working a few at a time, brush edge of rounds with egg, then place 1 1/2 tsp. filling in center. Fold sides up to make a triangle, pinching points gently to seal and leaving about 1″ surface of filling exposed.
  • Brush sides of folded dough with egg. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until bottoms are golden brown, 18–22 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.
  • If possible, do Ahead: Dough can be made 2 days ahead; kept chilled. Cookies can be made 2 days ahead; let cool and store airtight at room temperature.
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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Chili

February 28th, 2015 · 1 Comment · Allergies, City Cooking, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Queens, Soups & Bisques, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Vegetarian Chile

Our home kitchens are a place for sustenance of body and soul and especially so in the winter months. The warmth of the stove, the laughter of friends or family while peeling and chopping vegetables or making bread or biscuits to accompany a hearty stew for dinner becomes a celebration over a bottle of wine or beer.

A crock pot allows us a little extra time in between prepping and eating by cutting out the pot watching time. You can squeeze in a walk in the snow, a little quiet time in front of the fire or a favorite movie and return to dinner served!

Makes 4 servings
Ingredients
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
Greek yogurt (optional and can be omitted if vegan), sliced scallions, sliced radishes, and tortilla chips, for serving

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water.

Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Serve the chili with the Greek yogurt, scallions, radishes, and tortilla chips. Pair with Greenport Harbor Brewing Company’s Anti-freeze ale.

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Pumpkin Seeds on Your Dinner Plate: The Way to Health and Happiness

February 27th, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, City Cooking, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Fall Recipes, Fish, Gluten-free, Gone fishing, Greenport, Holiday, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pescatarian, Seafood, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

I still dream of the colors and smells of Mexico City where I spent countless hours, over many years, wandering through the markets and street stands. From the market of San Angel in the Southwestern part of the city making my way east to the La Merced market in the historical center of the Zocalo, I would get lost among the spices, chilies and seeds, all used for the elaborate dishes that continue to be unknown as Mexican cuisine in the U.S.

This is where I met and fell in love with “pepitas” or pumpkin seeds along with the many culinary and homeopathic uses. Whether used in sauces like mole or pipian or in candy with chilies or in “liquados”, the benefits of these miraculous seeds extend beyond pleasuring the palette.

mercado_de_la_merced_mexico_df_2701_650x

 

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