Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Brussel sprouts and Butternut squash - two foods that dominate fall menus as soon as September has erased the remains of summer produce. By the end of December, however, I find myself fully inured to the magnetism I felt towards them just months earlier. I attribute this to A) their overwhelming ubiquity and B) the fact that they are most often found prepared in ways that don't play to their natural strengths. For example, although drowning something in sugar is a fool-proof solution to acridity, its often times overdone and can result in a saccharin ruination of the vegetable, defeating its flavor and certainly any health benefits.

The bitterness associated with brussel sprouts stems from its high levels of glucosinolates which are concentrated at the core of the sprout. They are released as soon as they are tampered with (or cooked), leaving the sprouts unpalatable to those under the age of 12. Because this bitter flavor comes from the center of the vegetable, my favorite preparation involves peeling off the outer leaves, quickly sautéing them and then dressing them lightly. I sautéed mine in a small amount of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and tossed with roasted pumpkin seeds. The leftover doll-house-like cabbages can be blanched, pan-seared quickly to carmelize the exterior, and then tossed with chestnuts, fresh ginger, a dash of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and olive oil.

Leaf Peeling

Roasting Butternut Squash

Sautéed brussel leaves with roasted pumpkin seeds and handmade butternut squash tortellini with roasted butternut squash and tart cherries

Combined with a dusting of parmesan!

Friday, November 2, 2012


It already seems like a world ago that I was under the boundless skies of Creede, especially now that post-Frankenstorm, the weather in DC has finally taken a turn for the quasi-inclement. Before the memories slip further into the recesses, I wanted to share some of my favorite food memories from the summer working as the chef of Broadacres Ranch in Colorado. It was so amazing to have the chance to play around with my own aesthetic and recipes in a location that can still make you feel like a bona fide pioneer of sorts. Below are some of my favorites.

In order of appearance: Trout Creek, Goat Cheese Cake with Macerated Plums and Berries, Beef Carpacchio with Arugula, Reggiano, and Lemon Segments, Tagliatelle with Beet Puree, Shaved Beets, Goat Cheese, The first of the wild strawberries I found hiking at Deep Creek, a local farmer unloading his little lambies to graze, Grilled Wahoo with Sesame Soba Noodles and Sugar Snap Peas, Eggs en Cocotte with Homemade Ricotta and Asparagus, My little herb garden beside the Rio Grande, Handmade Orrechiette and Garganelle, Carrot Cake with Carrot Cake Crumble, Maple Cream Cheese Icing and Popped Blueberries, First horseback ride with Gibb.