Michael and I have been supporters of The Hyde Collection on Warren Street in Glens Falls for years. This museum holds world class art within its walls and consistently features new and exciting exhibitions. We make sure each of their exhibit openings are filled with cutting edge hors d’oeuvres and wines to rival any museum in the biggest city. The Hyde Collection has always had a number of fund raisers throughout the year but about five years ago we worked closely with them to begin a new fund raiser that would appeal to adults of all ages. The event is called A Taste of Art and it features wines and beers from around the world. The products span the spectrum of fun and flavorful to world class. What makes the evening even more appealing (and is that possible with unlimited tastings?) are the restaurants, and in our case caterer, featuring foods to pare with the fine beverages. We serve passed hors d’oeuvres throughout the entire evening and we also prepare foods to pare with very specific wines or beers. This year we will be featuring foods to pare with fine Italian wines in a special tented area. This evening of exquisite wines and beers is also supported by the hard work of Putnam Wine located in Saratoga Springs and Upstate Wine and Cork located in Glens Falls. Buy a ticket for yourself and a date and come to the best evening of wine and beer tasting in the area. For tickets contact Cynthia at 518-792-1761, ext. 23. The date is Friday, October 12th 6:30-9:30. The ticket includes unlimited tastings and foods and costs only $75. Come and see The Hyde Collection and everyone who works hard to support this gem and sip some wine while you’re at it.
If you love almonds and marzipan you would love my almond crescents. I could twist these little treats in any number of “cookies” by adding apricot jam or chocolate or espresso ganache. But in their natural form they are still to die for. I mix a very good grade of almond paste and egg whites, pure vanilla and some sugar. I then scoop 1 ounce portions into crushed, natural, sliced almonds. I roll the dough in the nuts until they are completely covered. I then shape them into small crescent shapes. After baking I shake a generous amount of confectioner’s sugar on each crescent and serve. They are so good.
I love making small foods for guests to enjoy. I just began making dessert shooters. These are mini portions of rich dessert in cute little vessels. I just made a few hundred Espresso Mousse Shooters and Tiramisu Shooters. Everyone loved them. I guess if I had to decide between a dinner or a dessert ………….I would lean toward dessert the majority of the time. After all, how long is life again?
I have a favorite way to prepare pork loin at this time of year. I butterfly an entire pork loin of about ten pounds (you could do this with much smaller pork loin portions as well), I then salt and pepper the inside, give it a healthy drizzle of olive oil and then lay down eight to ten full stems of fresh sage. I roll up the loins and firmly tie them. Sprinkled with a little more salt and pepper and rubbed with more olive oil, I place them in a 350F oven and roast till they reach an inside temperature of 160F. I remove them from the oven, slice into ½ inch portions and serve with an apple cider reduction. I love to pare this pork loin with Thai Sweet Potatoes from my menus. What is that? That’s another day, my friend.
October is becoming the new June for weddings. It’s such a beautiful time of year and there is something about the fresh air in October. I was married in October 21 years ago and it was the most gorgeous day in Vermont where we were surrounded by sugar maples in full color. I’m sure there are many reasons this month is becoming so popular but from a chef’s point of view we believe it’s because there is such a range of seasonal foods to choose from it could almost boggle the mind. I’ve been asked to make caramel apples, I’ve served pumpkin cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and edible fall flowers and apple pies with Vermont cheddar. There is salsify, a black root vegetable that is almost delicate and buttery. Beets of all sorts, potatoes with skins so thin it is a crime to peel them, squashes of all colors and flesh, pears and plums to add to sauces and lastly, turkeys. Marinated turkeys, smoked turkeys, BBQ’d turkeys, stuffed turkeys. Can you think of anything better?
Today, I’m making Thanksgiving food for sampling for the Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase being held at the City Center. The show is attended by many of the local businesses and business owners. We have been a part of this event since we began our company seven years ago. We see a lot of old friends and peers. This year we decided to feature some of the items off our Thanksgiving To Go Menu. Yes, we not only have a To Go menu for Thanksgiving but also for the entire Holiday season of December. We introduced the menus last year and we received a lot of positive feedback. We are caterers by trade so why shouldn’t we help others to hold parties in their own homes? We have everything from hors d’œuvres to main entrees and side dishes to brunch items. I’ll be making amongst other items my Smoked Salmon Cheesecake. This hors d’oeuvre item is rich and filled with shallots, gruyere cheese and smoked salmon. I like to serve this with croustades but crackers are a great substitute. Yum!
Taste of North Country was a huge success. We could not have asked for a nicer day and the crowds were out. We saw many clients and repeat customers from the last couple of years. It was great to see so many familiar faces. Our booths were very popular and we sold out of thousands of portions of food by 2:30. The Kiwanis were very happy for our success and, hopefully, they raised a lot of funds for their social projects.