Halloween is around the corner, and in honor of this ghoulish holiday, Marcia Selden Caterers have created the perfect recipe for your Halloween party. Kids and adults will love this recipe for Chocolate Snake Pit Pots de Creme.
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While juicy ripe tomatoes are on the wane, autumn provides an opportunity to experiment with firm green tomatoes. Don’t overlook these gems when you see them in the market. Once battered and fried, they’re a perfect canvas for arranging all sorts of cheeses, fresh figs and a swirl of balsamic glaze.
Serve one of these compositions as an appetizer or a light lunch and watch your guests thrill to one of autumn’s underrated fruits.
Thank you to Patti Popp, farmer at Sport Hill Farm in Easton, CT and Lori Cochran Dougall, Director of Westport Farmers’ Market, who introduced me to the wonders of green tomatoes.
Yom Kippur*, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, is a day of fasting and praying. When the longest day of the year ends (at least for those who haven’t eaten for 25 hours) family and friends gather around a casual buffet that often includes a sweet noodle kugel. Sure, there are bagels and cheeses, cucumber salads and fresh fruit. But it’s the kugel everyone goes for first.
Sure, on Jewish holidays, we love to eat symbolic foods* like apples dipped in honey and moist round challah on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. But somehow, most families I know begin the feast with glistening chicken soup.
Symbolic? Maybe only in the sense that it is an undisputed classic that signal the beginning of a family gathering.
Traditional Eastern European chicken soup is very basic, with a plump 3.5-4 pound chicken (or chicken parts), one quartered onion, sliced carrots, celery, parsnips, and fresh dill and salt, at the heart of the aromatic, slow simmered broth.
Consider this a foundational recipe, ripe for playing with, if you’d like to add some personal touches.
Chilaquiles are a quintessential Mexican breakfast, usually served after long parties to take care of hangovers. Like enchiladas, they originated as a way to repurpose tortillas. The tortillas are fried and cut into triangles or squares, and are covered in sauce, melted cheese and a variety or toppings such as chicken, meat, eggs, crema, avocado and onions. When we arrive in Mexico to visit our family we most often start by eating chilaquiles. The server always asks if you want them verdes (in green tomatillo sauce) or rojos (roasted tomato sauce). I always go for the red ones, and when they ask if I would like that with chicken or with egg on top, I always respond “las dos cosas por favor…. “
Here's Christine Short from Zaragoza's in New Milford giving us a very smooth and silky Scotch Cocktail called the "Bobby Burns." This special drink is named after beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns, who is most notable for the poem which now makes up the lyrics for our favorite New Year's ditty, Auld Lang Syne. Short was recently a finalist for the CRAZIES Awards as Best Bartender in Connecticut, sponsored by the Connecticut Restaurant Association. and just one of five nominated in the state. Cheers!
Ok, Chef Phoebe Cole-Smith of Dirt Farm Road restaurant, you had me at “maple glaze and nutty oat topping.” This recipe is c/o The Westport Farmers’ Market and features all of the goodness of the winter harvest. Sure, we don’t have tomatoes & berries, but we’ve got gorgeous parsnips and maple syrup straight from the tree. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and call this recipe “healthy,” with a hint of dessert.
My version of coconut and orange baked French Toast is creamy and comforting. It takes not time to prep and the coconut milk and orange zest combination is a bit different than the usual vanilla custard. It has a bright and creamy finish and it fills the kitchen with a delicious and homemade scent. This French toast is perfect for the holidays and it is a no-fail-recipe that can easily be prepped or baked ahead of time. I like to serve it for brunch or at a family breakfast.
Sono Baking Company shares a little Thanksgiving goodness with their recipe for Pumpkin Raisin Muffins. Cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon make these muffin the perfect autumn breakfast treat, although they can certainly be enjoyed year-round. These moist quick breads are even better the next day, when the spices have had a chance to mellow. Try adding ½ cup chopped walnuts or ½ cup chocolate chips for even more flavor and texture. Extra unused pumpkin puree can be transferred to a resealable freezer bag and stored in the freezer for up to one month.
Game on! We're back with another cocktail naming contest. WIN a $50 gift certificate for MECHA Noodle Bar. Here's How...
MECHA has a new summer sipper in need of a name. If your Cocktail name is selected, it will be featured on their new menu & you will receive a $50 gift certificate. Post YOUR name below. Good luck! Here are the ingredients:
'Tis the season we wait for all year...Strawberry season. Those sweet red beauties are ready to pick in CT and can be enjoyed at these local farms. If you can't pick-your-own, just head to your local farmers' market. One of our favorite markets, The Westport Farmers' Market, has shared this recipe for Strawberry-Rose Petal Ice Cream. Get shopping...
Stew Leonard’s Naked ham is sourced from local farms in Pennsylvania and is antibiotic and hormone free. Mrs. Leonard loves to serve her Easter ham with a sweet glaze that includes maple syrup and brown sugar, making this dish a delightful combination of sweet and salty. She has shared her recipe below, but don't feel like you need to save this dish for Easter. Ham is great any day!
In honor of National Chowder Day (yes, that's a thing), we asked Chef Arturo Franco Camacho of Shell & Bones in New Haven CT to share his recipe for their very delicious Clam Chowder. The recipe is delightfully simple but is layered with flavors that create a deeply delicious rich chowder.
Oh yes it is! My favorite day of the year, National Margarita Day, has arrived. Those who know me, know that when I sidle up to the bar, those working on the other side need not even ask for my order. It's always the same...and it's always a Margarita. Truly, it's the perfect cocktail, and just right for every season. Plus, tequila has been proven to actually have health benefits. Lime, tequila's most trusty companion, is bursting with Vitamin C which we all know helps us recover from illness. Anejo tequila, made from 100% agave, is known to help reduce bacteria and relieve sore throats, and agave helps to fight diabetes. There are so many reasons to embrace and celebrate the Margarita. Do it right with these recipes from local bartenders including: El Segundo, Mézon, Geronimo Restaurant & Tequila Bar, Barcelona, Bartaco, Marcia Selden Catering and Festivities.
Can you say Mexican Food Porn? We can with our yum on demand Macho Nacho Burgers. Serve these bad boys at your Super Bowl Party and your guests will go gaga! (View the recipe below.)
Snow day: You’re rudely awakened at some ungodly hour by your phone informing you that yes, indeed, there is no school today. Two thoughts run through your mind, “Great, I get to go back to sleep”, followed immediately by a more frightening thought, “I have to feed them all day?!” Relax, we’ve got you covered even if you didn’t brave the market the day before to properly stock up on supplies.
First things first, make yourself a cup of coffee, it’s going to be a loooong day. Second, assess what you have in the house.
Assuming you have some eggs, why not make these fun eggs in a cup to start the day? Then you can kick them out to shovel the driveway knowing at least they’re fueled up. This is a great recipe because you can use whatever you have laying around to mix into these egg-mom-muffins, get it?! Follow up with our recipes for: Kitchen Sink Stir Fry & Simple Pizza Dough. Done...You've made it.
'Tis the season, but when you get tired of shopping, take a break with your family, and enjoy some leisurely holiday baking. Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes has mastered the art of gingerbread (as you can see above), and they have been kind enough to share their recipes for Gingerbread Cookie Dough as well as a special (slightly more structurally sound) Gingerbread for Houses. It's a fine line when it comes to gingerbread.
If you decide to embark on a house of your own, please share it with CTbites and send us a photo.
The Holidays are here...time to entertain. A well-stocked bar cart is an essential ingredient in any successful holiday gathering. Here's some tips from Festivities Catering to ensure that your holiday entertaining is festive, fun and filled with style.
Holiday Cocktail Cart Tips:
1. Create a "signature" drink that can be made in batches. Have some pre-made in pitchers that can easily be poured into glasses as guests arrive. We suggest a Poinsettia Spritz Cocktail.
Poinsettia Spritz Cocktail Recipe: 3/4 cup vodka, 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice, 2 ounces St. Germain, 3/4 cup prosecco, cranberries & rosemary for garnish. Serves 6.
Many students can tell you the connection between the miracle of oil in the Chanukah story and why we indulge in deep fried latkes (potato pancakes). Here, Westport blogger, Liz Rueven, focused on a lesser known story as she created these Greek inspired spinach and feta latkes with a savory creamy topping. (Read her complete blog post here)
Looking for a simple but delicious last minute Thanksgiving side dish? After eating this off the menu at Match Restaurant, we asked Chef Storch to share his recipe with CTbites. We are working on this in our kitchen right now. I hope you try it in yours. Enjoy Match Restaurant's Pan-Roasted Cauliflorets With Pine Nuts and Raisins.