Cavey’s of Manchester, CT

The path of a chef is a long and winding road with more intersections than most other jobs.  A new job is usually right around the corner and they don’t usually last more than 5 years unless they keep us captivated.

Which brings me to my new adventure at Cavey’s in Manchester, CT.  It is a very unique restaurant where the ground level dining room is Italian and the downstairs dining room is French, each with their own kitchens.  Both menus change with the seasons and as products are available so some items may only be on the menu for a week, then there are other classic family dishes that are always available.  Cavey’s also offers chef’s tasting menus which gives us the opportunity to create a special meal for the diners in the heat of the moment.  This kind of excitement is what a lot of chefs thrive for.

As a sous chef I will be on the line nightly and getting back into charcuterie and all of the things I enjoy about my profession.  I will do my best to post pictures of our tasting menus but sometimes in the heat of it a picture is the last thing on my mind.

~~

1st: Smoked Salmon

2nd: Halibut Cheeks

20140406-141952.jpg

w Halibut cheeks with pickled rhubarb, red ribbon sorrel, , shaved fennel and celery leaf salad.

3rd: Risotto

Risotto with black olive, capers, eggplant, tomatoes, and raisins

Risotto with black olive, capers, eggplant, tomatoes, and raisins

4th: Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin with creamy polenta, candied pine nuts, and a cherry and olive tapenade

Pork Tenderloin with creamy polenta, candied pine nuts, and a cherry and olive tapenade

5th: Grilled Ribeye

grilled ribeye with bakers potatoes, caramelized onions, and crispy bacon lardoons

~~

1st: Asparagus Soup

Asparagus soup with ricotta and poached asparagus tips (soup was poured table-side)

Asparagus soup with ricotta and poached asparagus tips (soup was poured table-side)

2nd: Halibut

3rd: Risotto

4th: Duck

Roasted duck breast, stuffed and roasted duck leg (Farro, rabe, garlic,) with polenta and a cherry and olive tapenade

Roasted duck breast, stuffed and roasted duck leg (Farro, rabe, garlic, and pine nuts) with polenta and a cherry and olive tapenade

5th: Salmon

~~

1st: Mussels

Sauteed mussels with a salad of chorizo, radicchio, and shishito peppers

Sauteed mussels with a salad of chorizo, radicchio, and shishito peppers

2nd: Halibut Cheeks

3rd: Taleggio Angliotti

Taleggio Angliotti with arugula pesto and a roasted chestnut and sunchoke cream

Taleggio Angliotti with arugula pesto and a roasted chestnut and sunchoke cream

4th: Pork Tenderloin

5th: Ribeye

Caper crusted ribeye with creamy polenta and grilled shishito peppers.

~~

1st: House Ricotta

2nd: Scallop

Pan seared scallop with caper butter and a candied fig

Pan seared scallop with caper butter and a candied fig

3rd: Farrotto

Octopus and arugula farrotto

Octopus and arugula farrotto

4th: Pork Tenderloin

Creamy polenta and fennel chips

5th: Short Rib

Braised short rib with risotto and carrots agro dolce

Foie Gras Shortbread

If you are like me and you love foie gras, then you are sure to have some scraps of the uncooked product after you have finished cleaning it.  This is especially the case when you get a lower  than “B” grade of foie gras.  One of my favorite things to do with foie scraps is to fold them into a terrine, the low cooking temperature prevents the fat from being rendered out, or make foie gras butter.  The butter is great because of its versatility and its amazing flavor.  I mean come on, its butter and foie gras!  The recipe below has been adapted from the following site The Chopping Block.  At the chopping block they use all foie gras, which is perfectly acceptable, but I do enjoy the flavor of the butter being substituted for half of the foie gras.

Foie Gras Shortbread

4oz  Foie Gras (Chilled)

4oz Butter (Room Temperature)

~~

1oz Balsamic Vinegar

1/2t  Sugar

1/8t  Black Pepper (Ground)

~~

2C  AP Flour or AKI AP Flour^GF

~~

2ea  Egg Yolk

AN Flaked Salt or Sea Salt

Foie Gras Butter

  • Place the foie gras and butter in a food processor and blend until smooth.  This step is optional, place the butter on a sieve and press it through using a rubber spatula.  This process will remove larger chunks that did not get pureed and sometimes if there are chunks of foie the fat will render out while baking and could cause the shortbread to spread into a thin mess.Foie Butter.jpgFoie Butter.jpgFoie Butter.jpg

If you are going to use the butter as is, I recommend using it on top of steaks and adding truffles, sea salt and black pepper.  To do this, after the steps above, place the foie butter in a mixing bowl and fold in the your choice of ingredients to your liking.  On  a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper, scoop out the foie butter and place it on the front third of the plastic, spread it the length of the plastic, side to side, leaving two inches of plastic on both sides.  Then take the end of plastic nearest you and pull it over the butter and start to roll the butter along the table in the plastic.  You are essentially make a log of butter, then grab the ends and lift and roll the butter on the counter to twist of both ends.  Place the butter in the fridge or freezer for later use, if freezing be sure to place it in the fridge 24 hours before use.

Foie Gras Shortbread

  • Place the foie gras butter into the bowl of a stand mixer with the sugar, balsamic, and black pepper.  Cream until well combined.
  • Add the flour to the mixing bowl and carefully mix until well combined, you will need to scrape the bowl to ensure an even mixture.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic, and place in the fridge to chill.
  • After a few hours, or when ready to use, remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temp for 30 minutes before rolling.  Pre-heat an oven to 325°F

20131229-173152.jpg

  • Roll the dough to the desired thickness and cut to fit the dish it will be served with.

20131229-173201.jpg

 

  • Beat the two egg yolks then place the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with the egg.  Sprinkle with the sea salt or flaked salt and bake for approximately 20 minutes, may take longer in conventional ovens.

20131229-173211.jpg

20131229-173219.jpg

 

The foie gras shortbread cookies go great on Caesar salads or on their own.

What’s In Season?

With so many things to cook and enjoy in life sometimes you need a helpful little chart to remind you of when they are available. This chart will be available in the resources tab above.

= In Season = Conditional
Crop Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Apples Heir
Apple, Mountain Rose Limited Limited
Apricots
Asian Pears
Asparagus
Blackberries
Basil
Beans, Bush
Beans, Dry
Beans, Fava
Beans, Garbanzo
Beets
Blueberries
Borage Flowers
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Cara Cara Oranges
Carrots
Cauliflower
Cherries
Chicory/Endive
Citrus
Citrus Coriander bloom
Collards
Corn
Cucumbers
Currents, White
Fiddle Ferns
Figs
Green Almonds
Garlic
Garlic, Spring
Gooseberries
Kale
Leeks
Lettuce
Lime, Finger Limited
Lime, Kaffir
Mandarins
Melons
Melons, Water
Miner’s Lettuce
Nectarines
Onions
Parsley
Parsnips
Peaches
Pears
Peas
Peas, English
Peppers
Persimmon
Potatoes
Pummelo
Pumpkins
Quince
Radish
Ramps
Raspberries
Rhubarb
Rutabega
Salsify
Scallions
Shallots
Spinach
Squash, Summer
Squash, Winter
Strawberries
Sunchokes
Swiss Chard
Tomatoes
Turnips
Foraged Products
Crop Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Golden Chanterelle Euro NW NW NW NW NW NW
White Chanterelle
Sask & QC Chanterelle
Blue Chanterelle
Yellowfoot Chanterelle
Violet Chanterelle/Pig’s Ear
Black Trumpet
Hedgehog
Chocolate Hedgehog
Chicken of the Woods
Fried Chicken
Mousseron/Fairy Ring
Sweet Tooth
St. George
Cauliflower
Domestic Porcini NW NW & CO
Imported Porcini S.Africa S.Africa S.Africa
Matsutake
Lobster
Morel Orchard Black & Grey Burn
Early Morel/Verpa
Spruce Tips
Wood Sorrel
Wild Salad
Wild Licorice Root
Wild Ginger Root
Wild Spring Onion
Watercress
Stinging Nettle
Miner’s Lettuce
Fiddleheads
Ramp Leek
Huckleberries Mountain/Costal
Truffles
Crop Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
OR Black & WhiteTruffles
Bianchetti Spring White
Alba White Truffle
Burgundy Black
Australian Winter Black
Perigord Winter Black
Italian Summer
NW Fish
Crop Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Halibut WA Dayboat
Yelloweye Rockfish
Albacore Tuna Hawaiian Dayboat Washington Coast Hawaiian Dayboat
Steelhead
Coho
King Salmon
Sockeye Salmon Copper River/WA Troll Blueback
Black Cod Year Round / Subject to Weather Conditions/Area Restrictions
True Cod Year Round / Subject to Weather Conditions
Ling Cod Year Round / Subject to Weather Conditions
Petrale Sole
Dover Sole Year Round / Subject to Weather Conditions
Skate Wing Year Round / Subject to Weather Conditions
White Sturgeon
Live Razor Clams
Live Dungeness Subject to Area and/or Temporary Closures

GF Parmesan and Black Pepper Gnocchi

Who doesn’t love a fluffy potato dumpling in their soup or smothered in marinara?  This classic Italian potato dumpling is a great accompaniment to chicken, pork, and fish, or served with fresh vegetables!  The key to a great gnocchi is to make sure your potatoes are dry after they have baked and to mix your dough while the potatoes are still warm, not a tricky feat to accomplish both but it does require you to have everything in place and ready.  The best part, the gnocchi’s can be stored in the freezer and cooked when you need them!

Gluten Free Linzer Torte

My great Aunt would bake us one of these decadent Austrian tortes for our birthday’s, and every time I make one it brings me back to growing up in Colorado. Make sure to splurge on the jam, it will make a difference.

This recipe uses almond and hazelnut meal, if you do not have them you can grind whole or slivered almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor until it is a fine consistency. The fresh ground almonds and hazelnuts adds a lot of flavor to this decadent dessert. We used a cast iron skillet instead of a tart pan to make our Linzer Torte but either can work.

Linzer Torte Dough

1/2# Butter (Room Temperature)
1/2# Brown Sugar

~~
2ea Eggs
1t Cinnamon
3/4t Ginger
1/3t Clove

~~
6.5oz AKI AP Flour^GF
2/3# Hazelnut Flour
2/3# Almond Flour

~~

AN  Your favorite jam, we used raspberry.

If you are making nut flours start here, if you already have nut flours skip this first step. This recipe will make more than you would need for the cast iron skillet that we used, which is about a 5″, so any extra can be wrapped well and stored in the freezer

  • Place the roasted hazelnuts and almonds into a food processor and pulse until coarse, then add the AKI AP Flour^GF and pulse until you can get the nuts to a fine consistency. It is okay if the mixture is slightly coarse.

~~

  • Place butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together.
  • Add the spices and to the creamed sugar and butter followed by one egg. Mix until incorporated then add the other egg and mix again until incorporated.
  • Add the flour blend and mix until a uniform dough has formed. The dough should be fairly tacky, scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
  • When ready to make the torte, preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and plastic then cut a piece of the dough off. Dust the counter top with AKI AP Flour^GF and roll the piece of dough out to 1/4″ thickness.
  • Place the dough in the tart pan or cast iron skillet and press it into any grooves. If baking in a skillet you want the dough to come up the sides about 3/4″.
  • Place the jam on top of the dough, about 6oz, again that all depends on what type of vessel you are using to bake it in. Typically you want the same amount of filling as you have dough on the bottom. in this case about 1/4″.
  • Roll out smaller pieces of dough and cut the lattices and place them on top of the jam.
  • Place the skillet into the oven and bake until the jam is starting to bubble out of the gaps and the crust is golden. You will want the crust to be a little on the darker side to ensure the jam has set.
  • Once cooled you can remove the torte from its vessel and place on a cooling rack until ready to serve, best to let cool on the rack for a few hours and even better after a few days.

Figs

Figs

Sugar
Sorrel
Ginger
Port
Pork
Ice Cream (Custard)
Orange
Honey
Onions (Caramelized)
Goat Cheese
Duck
Cheddar (Aged)
Chestnuts
Mascarpone
Ricotta
Arugula
Cocoa Powder
Preserved Lemon
Salads (Baby Lettuces)
Balsamic
Sherry Vinegar
Palm Sugar
Bacon
Milk Chocolate
Lentils
Apples
Cheese (Camembert, Brie, Blue)
Proscuitto
Basil
Foie Gras
Cilantro
Saba Vinegar
Olive Oil
Almonds

Back to Pairings

Back to Pairings

Food Pairings

My own worst enemy on the internet is wikipedia, with all of its “knowledge” and endless links I get trapped staring at my screen for longer than I want to admit. So here is my food pairing “wiki”, which is open for people to submit their favorite pairings, so add it in a comment or an email and I will add it to the list.
-Happy Clicking-