Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mushroom Bisque with Scallops and Crabmeat

Just finished making my dinner. I had been craving mushroom soup for like a week. I love, love, mushrooms. They are so easy to cook the right way, its so depressing to see them done wrong. When they are right they are OH sooo right.

So here it is.


This is a terrible excuse for a recipe but hopefully you can follow.

Mushroom Bisque with Scallops and Crabmeat:

16oz mixed mushrooms
8oz fresh chanterelles
8oz reconstituted dried mushrooms with 1cup H2O or other steeping liquid
1 small container of heavy cream
3 small cloves of garlic
1 med shallot
3 med leaves of sage
4-5 thyme sprigs
1/4 tsp dried time
pinch dried tarragon
1cup fino sherry
2-3 cans of chicken broth (small) (or 3cups plus homemade, i didn't have any so i did cans and bullion)
2tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup dry white wine
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Sautee all fresh mushrooms in half butter and half olive oil. When soft add salt  and pepper to taste. Continue to sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic, shallot, and herbs. Stir for a minute. Deglaze with liquid from reconstituted mushrooms and add them in too. Allow to reduce till the pan is almost dry. Deglaze with 1/2 of sherry. Allow to reduce. Deglaze with white wine. Allow to reduce. Deglaze with 1/2 cream. Allow to reduce. Deglaze with 1/4 cup chicken broth. Allow to boil 1min. Add 1tbsp maple syrup. Taste broth and adjust seasonings and sherry/chicken broth/wine to desired flavor. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Reserve enough of the mushrooms to decorate bowls, and then blend away. Taste frequently and adjust flavors as necessary.

Leek Puree:
1 Leek
white wine

Sautee the leek in butter until tender. add enough white wine to begin to blend. Bring to desired consistency with h2o.

Scallops are easy. Remove them from the refrigerator early enough to allow them to come up to a warmer temp. Maybe like 10min before you are going to use them. Place them on a paper towel and cover with a 2nd paper towel, to wick away surface moisture. Just before using salt and pepper one side of the scallops, place this side down in the pan. Be sure you have a very hot pan. Melt some butter, or butter oil mixture and add scallops. Allow to brown. They will release from the pan when they are browned. Flip, allow to brown or at least cook through (you can hide this side if it isnt brown and the scallop is overcooking. Youll get the hang of it eventually)

Just sauté enough crab meat for garnish in a pan with some butter to warm it through.

Thats the gist of it.

If you plan to make this and need better guidelines just ask.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Beer Bit to Whet Your Appetite

I am excited about this. When I finally get my post up about the last few weeks you will understand why. Until then:

Birch & Barley and ChurchKey will be One Year Old this Friday, October 22nd!

In celebration of this occasion Beer Director Greg Engert and Executive Chef Kyle Bailey traveled to DOG Brewing Company and collaborated with Brian Strumke, the gypsy brewer of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, on a very special and very limited brew! 

It is called Year One: A Birch & Barley/ ChurchKey Anniversary Ale and it will ONLY be available as part of the Tasting Menu prepared nightly at Birch & Barley! This beer is delicious on its own, but we are passionate about Food & Beer and it was designed with pairing possibilities in mind! 

Birch & Barley will be offering the Tasting Menu including this Anniversary Brew Tuesday October 19th through Saturday October 23rd beginning nightly at 5:30 to make a reservation and not miss out on this very special ale: 202-567-2576. 

About Year One: A Birch & Barley/ ChurchKey Anniversary Ale Beer Director Greg Engert approached his friend and hugely talented local gypsy brewer Brian Strumke, of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, to create a beer in celebration of BBCK's one year anniversary. Since BBCK is all about the possibilities of beer and food, Executive Chef Kyle Bailey joined the collaboration to create an ale to be paired with a dish on the Tasting Menu offered nightly during the week of the anniversary. The outcome is a delicate hazy blond ale brewed with Perle, Nelson Sauvin, and Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops and lightly spiced with juniper, toasted by Chef Bailey, and guinea pepper from Chef Bailey's spice stash. The brew was then fermented with a mix of Belgian ale yeast and Brettanomyces Claussenii, providing an aroma of tropical fruit and mild spice with flavors following it’s course melded with soft malts. Only 2x 20L kegs were produced of this lovely brew.

Brian tells me that Nelson Sauvin is a hop that is grown, and was developed in New Zealand. The aromatics and flavors of this hop are very similar to the wine grape Sauvignon Blanc. Look for gooseberries and grapefruit on the nose. 

Another cool beer to check out if you want to experience the similarities of hops to sauvignon blanc is Epic Brewery's Armageddon IPA, out of New Zealand. They dont actually use the Nelson Sauvin hop. They use US Cascade, US Centennial, US Columbus, and US Simcoe hops. However, when I picked it up from cBx over the summer, Brandon pointed it out, based on my wine interest. It was a pretty tasty. As I recall, very aromatic, tons of grapefruit. The bitterness seemed well integrated and was enveloped by other flavors while still being obvious.

I can't find my photo of this beer so this is a link to someone else's image...

Anyway, I'm gonna try to make it out to Churchkey tomorrow night. Maybe I'll see you there.