On Sept 27, our soon to open restaurant Broadway East, was featured among 5 local restaurants and 25 New York State wineries at the New York Wines and Dines Tasting event, sponsored by The James Beard Foundation and The NY Wine and Grape Association at the W Hotel in Union Square, New York City.
It was our first opportunity to share our cooking with the public prior to our opening in November. Fortunately, The W Hotel offered us use of their kitchen since ours is still under construction.
We were asked to provide 3 hors d'oeurves for about 100 guests. The menu I composed relied almost entirely on what produce was available the day before from the Union Square Green Market and fish from waters off Montauk Long Island.
We were thrilled with how warmly we were received by Vegans, Vegetarians and Flexitarians alike. Here are two of the recipes served that I'd like to share with you:
Spicy Red Pepper Soup with Goat Cheese and Chives
Serves: 4 to 6
This intensely satisfying soup is spiced up with a little fresh chili pepperI like to use a moderate, fruity chili such as a ripe red jalapeno, which contributes some flavor and a mellow heat. Remove the seeds and veins for milder flavor. The color is an aesthetic decisionif only green jalapenos are available, they will be fine. Adding goat cheese rounds out the flavor of the soup, making it truly luxurious.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 3 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh red chili or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin
1 teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Sea salt or Kosher salt, to taste
3 large red bell peppers (about 2 pounds), roasted, peeled, and chopped
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) plain fresh goat cheese
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish
1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, chili, cumin, fennel, paprika, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the vegetables begin to stick, until the garlic is meltingly tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Add the peppers and 4 cups of water, bring the soup to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender, or using a hand held immersion blender, until smooth.
3. Season the soup with lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese and chives.
Adapted From The Flexitarian Table, Houghton Mifflin 2007
Leek and Potato Torta
Serves: 4 to 6
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and tender green parts only (3 medium leeks)
3 teaspoons coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 pound small red or white potatoes scrubbed and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
6 large eggs
Freshly milled black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Set a rack in the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 400°F.
2. In a large ovenproof skillet over high heat, warm the oil. Add the leeks and 2 teaspoons salt and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat, add the thyme, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Cook over medium heat, covered, until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to the skillet.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Season with black pepper. Add the eggs to the skillet and stir to combine. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until firm and slightly puffed, about 20 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with parsley, cut into wedges, and serve hot or warm.
Adapted From Fresh Food Fast, Harper Collins 2004
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