Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter was ok. I was a little disappointed in a couple areas, but our guests were extremely happy. It was a beautiful day eventhough storms were predeicted. The ham was especialy nice. I roasted 5 whole hams on the bone which we carved in the kitchen and served with grilled peaches and peach beautiful sauce, 12 whole prime ribs, 100 pounds of mashed potatoes, 100 pounds of sweet potatoes, 80 pounds of asparagus. Vegetables and dip, cheese, and marinated olives were set at each table, along with our homemade breads-strawberry, white, and special for the hot cross buns. Service was family style, and desserts were strawberry shortcake and Easter egg nest fudge brownies. People loved the sweet potatoes-they are Mrs. Gallagher's favorite recipe. It was very much like an old farm house dinner which I think is perfect for holidays.

Two last dishes for lent. I made a thick sherry cream sauce and added some shrimp and asparagus. I filled portabella caps with the mixture and topped it with bread crumbs, then gratineed it under the salamander. I served it on basil oil. We sold it as an appetizer. I purchased some very nce grouper which we sauteed and topped with gremolata and served it with couscous and a light tomato sauce.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lent is over soon

Lent is about over. There are so many litle church fried fish dinners and groups that do Lenten fried fish specials here in our small very Catholic city. It has cost us a little business. At the restaurant I always do one or two really nice fish specials for the weekend, regardless of Lent. Tilapia, snapper, and salmon are on the menu at all times. The past couple of weeks I did some variations on sole. I stuffed it with crab meat to create a round presentation and carved vegetables to go around it and sauced it with a fish veloute. One Friday I added green grapes and toasted almonds. We sold out of them both weekends.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I love the delicate and rich flavor and texture of sweetbreads. I began by soaking them overnight in slightly salty ice water in the refrigerator, change the water every couple of hours until the blood is gone and the water remains clear. Next I cleaned some of the connective tissue and membrane away. I slowly poached them in water with bay leaf, cloves, celery, onion, and lots of fresh lemon (simmer for 45 minutes-keep the temperature very low). I like to compress them between two racks weighted, overnight or at least a couple hours until they are firm. This way I can make more uniform slices.

Slice them into about three quarters inch uniform slices. Dredge the slices in a seasoned flour and saute in clarified butter until they are browned.

I usually serve them in sauce. I love a Champagne Cream sauce, a tomato sauce, or a mustard sauce, but I chose a chunky mushroom, bacon, shallot, and red wine sauce this time. They were marvelous.