Tidewater Kitchen - March 2007

Buffet Dinner by the Fire
with Executive Chef Richie Blinn

by

Pamela Meredith Doyle

     Heat up the last days of winter and banish the cold weather blues with these great recipes from Executive Chef Richie Blinn. Chef Blinn is a very talented chef in Cohasset, Ma.
      The setting is beautiful, right on the harbor and the food was very memorable with so much flavor! Chef Blinn grew up in the New England area, and where the location of the restaurant is, he focuses a lot of his recipes on seafood. He is know for his Modern American Mediterranean Twist, and that certainly is a great way to describe his style. If you are ever in Cohasset, the Atlantica or Olde Salt House are truly top places to stop in and enjoy a great meal.
      Saturday evenings are best set aside to relax and savor the warmth of the fire and having some great friends to share a wonderful meal with. These great recipes are suited best for a group of 4-6 people, adjusting more on the steak portions.
      Most of these dishes can be prepared days in advance, making a virtually carefree dinner party. Chef Blinn begins the meal with an incredible lobster and wild mushroom tart. The tart dough for the lobster and wild mushroom tart can be made ahead and frozen in a ball until ready to use.
Then as a side he suggests the Ruby Port Poached Pear Salad. The Ruby Vinaigrette can be made weeks in advance, and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.
      The rest of the recipes can be made the day before and just reheated the day of your dinner party, except for cooking the steak. I would do that the day of the dinner party. For the dessert, keep the final course sweet and simple. If your guests ask what to bring, have them bring their favorite dessert. One of my favorites that is sweet and simple is a store-bought brownie, with ice cream, then a dollop of fudge sauce and a bit of whipped cream to finish it off. Do I need to say any more?
      For more information about the Atlantica Restaurant on Cohasset Harbor, check out www.cohassetharborresort.com.

LOBSTER AND
WILD MUSHROOM TART WITH SMOKED GOUDA FONDUE

Tart Dough
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
2 oz. cream cheese
3 oz. unsalted butter (cold)
1 T. cold water
½ T. apple cider vinegar

     Put top three ingredients in food processor and combine. Add the next four ingredients in order, while machine is running, until a ball is formed. Roll dough out into five-inch rounds. Blind bake in a 350° oven for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned, using a small tart pan. Muffin tins may be used as a substitute, but will produce a different effect.

Smoked Gouda Fondue


1 quart heavy cream
½ cup grated Romano cheese
3 to 4 cups smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (Rind removed)
Salt and pepper

     In a heavy saucepan bring heavy cream to just a boil and start adding Gouda cheese 1 cup at a time, whisking with a wire whisk. After 2 cups Gouda, add Romano cheese. Keep whisking till well incorporated. Add remaining cheese till a smooth creamy sauce forms. Season to taste.

Assembly:
½ cup assorted mushrooms (use your favorites- we use Shitake, Oyster, Cremini, Porcini and Baby Whites)
Meat from a 1¼-pound Atlantic (Cohassett) lobster
Pinch of tarragon
Pinch of shredded Parmesan
1 T. olive oil

     Add oil to hot sauté pan and get very hot. Making sure not to splash yourself, add mushrooms to hot oil and cook through. Next add the lobster meat and cook to warm 1 minute. Next, enough fondue is added just to coat the mixture, and the tarragon. Spoon the mixture into a pre-warmed tart shell, top with the Parmesan cheese and cook in a 450° oven till Parmesan cheese lightly browns.
      Optional: Top tart with an organic green salad with a classic vinaigrette

RUBY PORT
POACHED PEAR SALAD

Poached Pears
6 Bosc pears, peeled
6 cups granulated sugar
4 cups water
½ cup orange juice
1 cup ruby Port wine
1 T. ground nutmeg
1 T. ground allspice
4 cinnamon sticks

     Combine all ingredients, with the exception of the pears, in a 2-gallon stock pot. Bring to a boil and add the pears. Cook the pears until a toothpick slides in and out easily. Cool in the refrigerator immediately. When cool, cut pear into slices, being careful of the core.

Ruby Vinaigrette
2 cups Sherry vinegar
1 cup ruby Port
¼ cup sugar
2 large shallots, finely chopped
4½ cups canola or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

     Combine first four ingredients in blender and slowly drizzle oil on high until the mixture emulsifies. Check for seasoning. Add more vinegar if needed.

Assembly:
Mixed baby greens
Dried cherries (Cranberries can be substituted)
Roasted walnuts
Roasted baby beets (i.e. Red, Golden, Candystriped)

     Combine desired amount of baby greens, cherries and walnuts with enough dressing just to coat (3 oz.). Top salad with baby beets and pear slices.
Optional: A sharp cheese such as Gorgonzola, Chevre or Blue would add a sharpness to this salad – but would provide you with a lot of cheese in this three course meal.

BASIL CRUSTED SIRLOIN WITH GORGONZOLA CREAM SAUCE AND SOUR CREAM WHIPPED POTATOES

Crumb Mixture
3 cups Panko bread crumbs
½ cup finely julienne basil leaves
Salt and pepper
¼ cup melted unsalted butter

     Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
1 cup white wine
1 lg. shallot, finely diced
1 pinch black pepper
1T. Tabasco pepper sauce
1 qt. heavy cream
1¼ lb. soft blue cheese (i.e. Maytag, Great Hill)
4 oz. semi-soft unsalted butter
3 oz. all-purpose flour

     Combine first four ingredients in heavy saucepan and reduce by half. When reduced, add heavy cream and bring to just a boil, add blue cheese. In a small bowl thoroughly combine butter and flour; this is called a beurre marnier. Whisk cream mixture till cheese is incorporated and it comes to a boil. One tablespoon at a time, add butter mixture till desired thickness is accomplished.

Assembly:
1- 10 to 12 oz. New York sirloin steak
3 T. + 1 T. vegetable oil
Sour cream – (Add to your best mashed potatoes while whipping)

     Rub some oil onto one side of the steak. Press this side into your crumb mixture, coating well – only one side, though. Put the remaining oil in a sauté pan and get very hot. Sear the sirloin crumb side down till a crispy crust forms, transfer to a cookie sheet or baking pan and cook in a 395° oven for 8-10 min. for medium rare. Let your steak stand for at least 5 min. to allow the juices to seal in the meat. Put your mashed potatoes in the center of the plate; lean your steak and top with 2 ounces of sauce. Enjoy!
      Optional: Grilled or roasted asparagus provides a wonderful accompaniment.