Posts Tagged ‘small plates’

Small Plates, Big Fun!

Monday, September 14th, 2015 No comments
Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel Saffron Broth

Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel Saffron Broth

If I could add another chapter to my book, it would be a Small Plates chapter. Small plates give you an opportunity to explore so many wonderful options to satisfy your palate. You don’t have to go to a trendy restaurant to achieve a dining adventure like that, however. You can do it by inviting a group of friends to create this experience in the comfort of your own kitchen – which is exactly what we did on Saturday night. There were 10 people involved in our Small Plates/Big Fun evening. We divided the group into 5 teams of two chefs each. Each team was responsible for one of the courses. I had most of the ingredients prepared in advance (measured, chopped, etc.) Each team took “Center Stage” in the kitchen as they prepared their assigned dish. We had an extra special bit of fun with this concept when everyone picked a song to go with their dish…Kristina started it all with Hukuna Crostata as she and Marc prepared their Apple Crostata. We also heard Les Poissons during the preparation of the fish dish, among others.

Our menu was as follows:
A few items prepared by hosts to give our chefs some nourishment during cooking:
Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomatoes
Blistered Green Beans

Then the fun started:

Peach and Burrata Arugula Salad by Juan and Karin
Pear + Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onion + Candied pecan+arugula+aged Balsamic as improvised by Annette and Peter
Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel Saffron Broth by Gary and Louise
Chicken Bastilla by Genevieve and Dan
Apple Crostata with Almond-Crumb Topping by Kristina and Marc

The recipe for the Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel, Leek and Saffron Broth follows:

Serves 6 as a Main Course or 10 Small Plates

1 cup thinly sliced fennel (bulb only)
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 large tomato, chopped

2 ½ lbs. Alaskan halibut, washed, dried and cut into 3 oz. pieces
3 dozen Penn Cove mussels

4 tablespoons EVO (3 for vegetables and 1 for browning fish)
32 oz. box of fish stock or chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
Sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons flat leave parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons G-Rub (recipe in Cook the Part)

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and sauté onion and fennel for about 5 minutes. Add chopped carrots and leeks and cook until soft.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato. Add wine and saffron and cook for 5 minutes until all vegetables are soft and flavors are blended. Add ½ of the fish stock. Cook for additional 5-10 minutes.
Brown halibut in an iron skillet.
Add mussels to stock mixture and cook for 2 minutes until most of mussels are opened. Add browned fish to pan and cook just until done, adding more stock if needed. Discard any unopened mussels.

Divide seafood into 10 bowls. Add broth to each bowl. Sprinkle parsley over top. Serve with toasted bread.


Bee Happy: Discover Honeycomb

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 1 comment


This is a common site at breakfast buffets in Germany, but not so common in the U.S. Honeycomb is offered at breakfast in it’s pure, original form, in a large frame so that the hexagonal marvel can be appreciated. There are many ways to enjoy this geometric delicacy: break off a piece and enjoy it with your cheeses and dark crusty breads; if you are a cereal lover, add a piece of honeycomb to your muesli; another great way to enjoy it is with yogurt, especially the firmer variety, along with some hazelnuts sprinkled over the top. Honeycomb is not easy to find in our U.S. grocery stores, but I have recently discovered jars of honey with a piece of honeycomb intact at Sprouts markets. I also found a website that offers squares of honeycomb at Adding a piece of honeycomb to your cheese platters transforms your appetizer into stunning delight. Honeycomb comes straight from the hive and has all the health benefits attributed to honey and pollen in addition to being delicious and beautiful.


OMG. Give Them 3: Dallmayr Restaurant in Munich

Monday, June 4th, 2012 No comments

3 Michelin stars that is. Although you don’t need a password for
entrance to this 2-star Michelin-rated restaurant in the heart of Munich, you do have to ring the bell and be escorted upstairs when the gourmet shop downstairs is closed.  The Dallmayrs have been in the gourmet food business for 3 centuries, and the deli and gourmet shop, along with the coffee-roasting business is world-famous.  We had the added delight of dining at the restaurant.
Fine dining at it’s best was experienced here and they are working
very hard to earn another star. We were greeted by the champagne cart with
3 choices, including a pink champagne. We opted for the dryer of the
alternatives. Not one, but several amuse-bouches were delivered to  our table, each a work of art.

The second was a trio of tastes made with granny smith apples and smoked trout. We both ordered fish for our entree, Gary ordered the Ray and I ordered the  sole.  Both were delicious and beautifully prepared, again with the artistry of the presentation being one of the highlights of the meal. The Ray was prepared with Sepia and chorizo oil and was served on a bed of seasonal vegetables.  The sole was prepared with fennel cream, fennel dust and sauce Bourride, which is typically made with a fish stock, lemon and fennel.  The dish was served on a bed of fennel and accompanied by squid-ink gnocchi.  Absolutely delicious!
The desserts were paraded out to us and seemed to keep coming, starting with a beautiful presentation featuring strawberries, followed by a chocolate creation that was served with warm Sake, finishing with a selection of handmade pralines and truffles.
Whether you just visit the gourmet shop and deli or take the time to enjoy fine dining, Dallmayr should be at the top of the “must-do” list when you come to Munich.

Note the photo of the coffee urns:
Coffee is taken from exquisite, hand-painted porcelain vessels crafted in Nymphenburg, and weighed on beam balances specially designed and produced for Dallmayr.