...details that make a difference

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Elegant Dinner at Home

I was asked to do a cooking class with Chef Tim Pohland at the Saint Louis Park Byerly's this past Tuesday. A class on how to "style" at home. I was thrilled with this opportunity and I thought that centering the recipes around a simple elegant dinner would provide the most value for the participants. A dinner you can prepare with ease and grace that will have your guests thinking it was catered.

Here are the recipes for you to create at home too. Enjoy!

Our main plate the Herb crusted Chicken. You can make it too!

A chef’s job is to create dishes with incredible taste, aroma and visual appeal. A food stylist’s job is to translate the perception of these qualities for visual media. Chef Tim Pohland and Food Stylist Rachel Sherwood join forces to share their secrets for creating professional tasting and professional looking food at home. They prepare Walnut Crusted Canapé, Herbed Chicken Breast with Wild Mushroom Barley “Risotto” & Lemon Asparagus and Molten Chocolate Cakes with Raspberry Coulis.
Walnut Crusted Cheese Canapé
2 Tablespoon minced onion
2 chicken bouillon cubes (1 Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon very hot water
3 cups Cheddar Cheese
16 oz. cream cheese softened
½ teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups walnuts finely chopped

Crush bouillon cubes and dissolve in the hot water.
In a medium bowl mix the onion, bouillon, cheddar cheese, softened cream cheese and garlic powder together until thoroughly combined. On a long sheet of plastic wrap spoon half of the cheese mixture into the center using the length of the plastic wrap to form the cheese mixture into a tube. Spread the chopped walnuts onto another long piece of plastic wrap unwrap the formed cheese tube and place it on the walnuts using your hands and the edged of the plastic warm firmly press the walnuts into the cheese.
Remove the well-coated cheese and place on a clean piece of plastic wrap. Tightly wrap and chill at least 2 hours. Note this can be done a day ahead and make sure the walnuts are chopped fine or cutting it later will be difficult.

Remove the well-chilled walnut crusted cheese and place on a clean cutting board. Carefully slice into ¼ in round sliced and place on your desired gourmet crackers or crostini. Serve with garnish of fresh herbs or caviar, etc.…This will hold well in the freezer it is it wrapped well for up to 3 months

Wild mushrooms Barley “risotto”
Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. assorted wild mushrooms, shiitake, morels, brown velvet etc.
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion small dice
1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
½ cup white wine
¾ cup medium pearled barley
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup shredded Parmesan
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Dice the mushrooms and heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan season with salt and pepper. Sauté mushrooms until the liquid is released about 5 min. remove from heat and reserve on the side. In a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent about 4 min season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the white wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add the barley and stir to coat. Allow barley to slightly toast with the onions for about 2-3 min stir often here to prevent burning. Next add broth and bring to a boil. When boil is reached reduce heat slightly while stirring occasionally allow to simmer until almost all the liquid is absorbed and barley is al dente about 30 minutes. Take the reserved mushrooms and add the barley, stir in Parmesan and mix to melt the cheese. Finish with the cream and serve. If this finishes slightly before you are ready to serve keep the cream out and add right before you are read to it creamy and fresh.
Chef Tim preparing the wild mushrooms for the risotto

Herbed Crusted Chicken Breasts
Serves 2 this is easily doubled to serve more guests.
For 2 small to medium sized chicken breasts
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried sage
½ teaspoon Dried Rosemary
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
2 Tablespoons smooth Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Butter melted

Combine the garlic powder, thyme, sage, rosemary, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Take the chicken trim if needed, rinse in cold water and pat dry. Smooth the mustard evenly over the entire chicken breast then place chicken in the herbed breadcrumb mixture. Using a clean dry hand pat the mixture around the chicken until it is thoroughly covered. Place in an un greased baking dish. Repeat with remain chicken breast. Melt the butter and drizzle over coated chicken. Bake at 350 for 20-30 min until reached an internal temp or 165.  Remove from oven and allow to rest 3 min before slicing.
Note: These chickens can be coated and placed in the baking dish hours before the meal just cover and refrigerate. When read to serve remove from fried 30 min prior to turning on the oven to allow to come closer to room temperature for even baking. Drizzle with melted butter and bake as directed.

Lemon Asparagus
Serves 4
1 bunch of fresh asparagus with the “woody” ends snapped off
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 small shallot, finely diced about 1 tablespoon
Zest of one small lemon about a ½ teaspoon
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon water
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a medium skillet with medium heat warm olive oil and butter. When melted add the shallot and sauté until translucent. Add zest, lemon juice, mustard, syrup and water to pan stir to create sauce. Add asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Toss asparagus in pan to coat well the sauce. Cover and allow to steam for 1 min. Toss again, cover and allow to steam 1 more min serve when they turn bright green and tender.

Rachel dishing up the batter for Molten Lava Cakes
Molten Chocolate Cakes
6 ounces Semi sweet baking chocolate
10 tablespoons Butter
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup flour
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Grease 6 6oz custard cups and place on a baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate and butter still to make a smooth consistency with no chocolate lumps. Add powdered sugar and flour and mix well. Add whole eggs and yolks and stir with a whisk until well blended. Divide the batter evenly among the cups. Bake at 425 for 14-15 min or until cakes are firm around the edges but soft in the center. Remove from oven and let stand for min. to remove from the cups run a small knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto plates and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.
Note: this batter can be made the day ahead. Pour into prepared custard cups and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerated overnight. When read to serve remove, uncover and bake as directed.

Raspberry Coulis:
1 12 oz. bag frozen raspberries
½ sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Using an immersion blender puree mixture until smooth. Or in a regular blender puree until smooth in batches. Run the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the seeds and allow to cool. Store in a plastic squeeze bottle for easy applications when plating.

Note: Can be made 3 days in advance just keep in the refrigerator.

1 comment:

  1. For more helpful dinner party tips read more with Erin The Food Fairy!