Showing posts with label Damon Baehrel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Damon Baehrel. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How a 5 Year Restaurant Reservation Inspired My Healthy Writer’s Snack by Cleo Coyle


If Henry David Thoreau had opened a restaurant, this would be it. According to Bloomberg news, it’s "one of the most exclusive dinner reservations on the planet," and diners from all over the world wait as long as five years for reservations. This bistro is not located in Manhattan, Paris, or Barcelona, but in the finished basement of a man’s modest private home in rural Earlton, New York.

To virtually visit this restaurant,
watch the short video below...

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The video will begin after a short commercial...
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The front door of Damon's
home...and restaurant!
Why did this man's
story 
inspire me?

Because he didn’t attend culinary school. He didn’t apprentice at a famous restaurant. Yet diners from over fifty countries have paid upwards of $255 a head for a 20 course meal at his restaurant. This self-taught chef calls his cuisine "Native Harvest" because he farms the food himself on his 12-acre land and then cooks and serves it with his own two hands. 

Certainly anyone who embarks on a quest to fulfill a vision will cheer Damon Baehrel's philosophy. (Writers and artists especially.) The film Field of Dreams put it this way: "If you build it, they will come." In Damon’s case, they certainly did.


Chef Damon Baehrel - click here
to visit his (edible) field of dreams!
Damon wasn’t kidding about preparing everything on his own farm. He makes dozens of varieties of aged cheeses, cured meats, flours, vinegars, pressed oils, butters and breads on premises.
Inspired by Damon’s seasonal eating, I checked out the interactive chart I have on my own foodie blog to see what exactly is "in season" in my area right now...

(If you would like to use this interactive chart, simply click here and scroll all the way down to the end of my blog. You’ll see the chart near the bottom of the main page and can dial in your own state to see what's in season now. Note: If your result says "nothing," then dial forward by month until you see a result or try a nearby state. In California and Florida, for example, you'll see many things in season.)



Foodie Magic 8 Ball...

For "New York" in "Late Feb.," my Foodie Magic 8-Ball Chart tells me the following foods are in season: onions, turnips, carrots, winter squash, apples, and potatoes.

Sure enough, I found a nice display of acorn squash in my local store. I prepared it my favorite way. And since maple syrup season is nearly upon us, Damon would be right on board with this recipe...



But first a little...


FOODIE FYI
Damon Baehrel was honored last year by the James Beard Awards with a semifinalist nomination: Best Chef in Northeast Region. As it happens, the JB foundation will be announcing its 2014 award nomination list tomorrow, Feb. 19. Good luck to all the chefs and restaurants!



Cleo Coyle, who looks forward
to pouring a cuppa joe for
Daniel Boone (in the afterlife),
is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries 
Cleo's
Maple-Roasted
Acorn Squash


Warm and buttery, dripping with maple syrup, this roasted acorn squash feels almost sinful to eat, yet there’s very little butter and maple syrup involved. Packed with nutrition and dietary fiber, it makes a wonderful "writer’s snack" for me on a fall or winter afternoon.

If you would rather not use butter and/or maple syrup, then lightly coat the squash with a neutral-tasting oil (canola or vegetable oil or even coconut oil if you like coconut flavor). This will protect the flesh against the high heat. You can eat it naked or sprinkle it with your favorite seasonings—be they nutmeg and cinnamon or chili and cayenne pepper. Or try a bit of orange juice, which is also delicious. 

 May you eat with joy and in good health! ~ Cleo                 


To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.


HOW TO PICK AN ACORN SQUASH: Your squash should feel heavy in the hand for its size. Green is the most common variety. The skin should be dark green and dull (not shiny)—partial orange on the green skin is fine, but overall it should be more green than orange. It should also be free of moldy spots, and the skin should feel hard and never soft or mushy. An acorn squash does not need to be refrigerated. Stored in cool, dark places, it can keep for a month or more.


NUTRITION: Winter Squash is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Folate and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Potassium and Manganese. Even the starch is healthy. In recent  studies, it’s been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties. Read more here.

Ingredients

1 Acorn Squash

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine (1/2 T. for each squash half)

1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (1-1/2 teaspoons for each half)

Pinch of kosher salt or coarse sea salt (optional)

Baking or roasting pan or glass baking dish (the pan should have high edges)

Directions:

Step 1 – Cut and clean squash: Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise from stem to end, using the ribs as a guide (cut in line with the ribs and not across them). I cut the tough bottom off first, score it lightly and then move the knife around the scoring. That’s much easier than trying to force the knife through. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy innards. The seeds make a great snack (see 
end of recipe).


Step 2 – Score and smear: Using a small knife, aggressively sore the insides of the squash halves in a checkerboard pattern. This simple step makes a big difference, allowing the butter and syrup to
better penetrate the flesh. 

Now gently smear the butter (1/2 T. for each half) over all exposed areas of the acorn flesh to protect it from the high heat. Drop the remaining butter into each cavity. (Optional – lightly sprinkle with coarse salt. For me, this makes a nice foil with the sweetness, but you can omit.) Drizzle 1 tsp. each of maple syrup around each cavity with the butter. Pour ½ teaspoon each into each cavity. Place these halves in a baking pan, as shown with the cut sides up.


Step 3 – Prep a water bath: The water is the magic key to the perfect roasting process with minimal butter and syrup, allowing the flesh to cook and caramelize without drying out or burning in your very hot oven. Add about 1/4 inch (or just a little less) of water to the bottom of your baking pan (which should have high sides) or glass baking dish.


Step 4 - Bake in your well pre-heated 400 degree F. oven for 1 hour. You may need to bake an additional 15 minutes or so, depending on your oven and the size of your squash and how many you cook at a time. Undercooking is the enemy here. You do not want a squash that has not cooked through and caramelized with that butter and maple syrup. So watch for the squash flesh to become very soft and the tops to become lightly browned (see my photos).


Step 5 – Spoon and serve: Remove the squash halves from the oven and spoon any visible syrup over the edges before serving.

Roasting Seeds: Just like pumpkin seeds, the seeds from a winter squash are delicious and nutritious. Wash off the stringy goo from the squash innards and dry them well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spread the seeds in a single layer. Salt them lightly if you like, and roast them right beside the acorn squash (at 400 degrees F.) for about 6 to 8 minutes.






Maple Roasted
Acorn Squash PDF
Click here to download
this recipe in a free PDF, and...





Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.







To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 





Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly



See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.



* * * 


Coffeehouse Mystery
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)


The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


* * * 


Haunted Bookshop
Free Title Checklist,