Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Scott Drewno of The Source (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Dumplings at The Source’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

I’m the type of cook that likes a challenge in the kitchen, and one that I’ve been meaning to take on is making my own Chinese food rather than calling for delivery. So these dumplings are the perfect solution. They’re delicious and you’d be surprised that they’re not all that hard to assemble.

Scott Drewno has included two recipes for chicken dumplings and pork potstickers. Read the full recipes after the jump.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Mallory Staley of 1789 (Part 2)

 Photo courtesy of
‘Rhubarb Shortcake Trifle at 1789′
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

One of the things Mallory and I both geeked out over when we spoke was the fact that the arrival of Spring means a ton of fresh fruit to cook with. Right now, rhubarb is coming into season and her recipe for rhubarb shortcake trifles is fantastic.

For a long time I had no idea what a trifle was–an easy to assemble dessert that has layers of fruit, cake and custard. It’s a dessert you can either dress up or dress it down, depending on the occassion and how fancy you want to get. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that you have to prepare three separate parts to make the whole dessert. Serve this up in a clear glass bowl and let all your friends marvel over your impressive handiwork.

See the recipe after the jump.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Nate Garyantes of Ardeo + Bardeo (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Scallops small plate at Ardeo + Bardeo’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

There are often times when you go into a restaurant, eat a dish and say to yourself, “I wish I could have that at home.” The scallop schnitzel at Ardeo + Bardeo is one small platter that isn’t all that hard to make. If you’re short on time, or don’t feel like making the entire dish, you can still make the breaded scallops in this recipe and serve it over a simple salad with the cider vinaigrette dressing.

The dish is served with micro-red cabbage at the restaurant, but for the home cook you can use watercress or regular red cabbage. If you use red cabbage, be sure to let it sit in the cider vinaigrette for a little longer so the flavor takes hold. Also, when pound the sea scallop flat, go gently at first to make sure you don’t end up with mashed scallops. Bay scallops can be found at some grocery stores and fish markets, such as Blacksalt Fish Market, according to Garyantes. Again, if you can’t find bay scallops or can’t figure out how to clean them just stick with making the breaded scallops portion of this recipe. They’re delicious!

After the jump you’ll find chef Nate Garyantes’ recipe for scallop schnitzel.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs – Teddy Diggs of Ripple (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Gnocchi with creme fraiche sauce, spinach and beans’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Man, am I a big fan of gnocchi. It’s easy enough to make. It combines pasta and potatoes, the two powerhouses of starchiness. What’s not to love? So since it’s unpleasantly cold this weekend, make a nice, warm bowl of this gnocchi, courtesy of Teddy Diggs, executive chef of Ripple. In the recipe, Teddy uses a potato ricer. I usually follow the Alton Brown school of thought that “uni-taskers are bad.” But a potato ricer is a fantastic invention. Once you have mashed potatoes (or this gnocchi) that went through a potato ricer, you’ll never go back. You can use a fork to mash them instead, and use a fork to shape the gnocchi (you are forgiven for not having a gnocchi paddle).

The full recipe is after the jump.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Seared halibut and root vegetables’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

I know winter is winding down, but we still have the second half of March to go which I’m betting will bring some slightly colder days. This dish with the root vegetables and the light, creamy sauce is pretty much perfect for this in-between season. Below you’ll find the recipe for Teddy Folkman’s Halibut with Keizer Blue.

Since this dish involves cooking with alcohol, allow me to remind you that adding alcohol to a hot pan results in a quick flare of fire. Don’t stick your face over the pan, keep the kids a safe distance back and have a fire extinguisher on hand if you really mess things up. I recommend practicing that one a few times before you try to make this and impress the neighbors with your en flambé skills. According to Teddy, you can find the beer he uses at liquor stores around the District that carry smaller import/craft beer selections. You might also check Whole Foods. The Keizer Blue brew is sweet and perfect for an after dinner drink with this meal.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Ed Witt of 701 (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘To make a good salad is…….’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

The recipe for this week is a simple one, but can be used in variety of ways. According to Witt, these maple candied walnuts are used to garnish the red wine pear, arugula, date and goat cheese salads at 701. While that sounds delicious, I’m sure you creative and ambitious foodies could find plenty of other uses for these walnuts. Read on for the full recipe.
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Kyle Bailey & Tiffany MacIsaac (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Birch & Barley’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

I’m practically drooling at the thought of this pasta dish. Had I been dining in the privacy of my own home, I would have picked up the bowl and proceeded to slurp down the sauce that was on it. And it was heartwarming to see Kyle and Tiffany make this dish together, each executing the part of the dish that they knew best.

Below you’ll find the recipe for homemade ricotta cavatelli with slow-roasted pork, broccoli rabe and pine nuts. Before you go running for the hills, screaming, “Make pasta from scratch?! I caaaan’t!” let me assure you that it’s really easy, will only take about 15 minutes, and will taste far better than the pre-packaged, chemical-laden crap at your local grocery store. I have faith in you, dear reader. And if you’re here, you’re probably not the type of person looking up Rachael Ray recipes for burgers with hotdog bits in them (yes, folks, that happened). Put in a little effort, and you will be rewarded with a savory, memorably delicious meal.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Venison, Bourbon Steak’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

It’s 70 degrees out today. But it’s still February, and that tricky March will probably make its entrance with a roar that will force all of us to bundle up once again. And chances are when it gets cold again, you’ll want to snuggle up with a nice big bowl of hot chili.

Here’s a recipe for venison chili (read: you can substitute plenty of other proteins) from Chef Adam Sobel. When I tried the chili, I believe my exact words to Adam were: “I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Do yourself a favor–don’t put cheese or sour cream on it; just enjoy it the way it is. Or you can do as they do at Bourbon Steak, put it on a half-smoke or on a monster of a burgerContinue reading

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Tom Marr of Pete’s Apizza (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘squash’
courtesy of ‘ekelly80′

So I didn’t manage to obtain the secrets behind making New Haven style pizza (besides, would it even compare to the real thing if you made it at home?) But, I did get a great recipe for one of Pete’s Apizza’s antipasti: carmelized winter squash, sundried cherries and apple crisps with a cider vinaigrette. According to Chef Marr, you can use a variety of squash for this recipe–butternut squash, acorn squash–depending on your preferences and what’s available or in season. For those of you wary about stepping in the kitchen, fear not. The dish is an easy, but impressive, appetizer to serve to your friends the next time they come over for dinner. The recipe is for a large amount, so feel free to scale it down if you’re not cooking for a crowd.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Alain Roussel of La Ferme (Part II)

Photo courtesy of
‘Chef Alain’s Perfect Chocolate Souffle’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

Nestled away in a gorgeous residential neighborhood, a delightfully rustic French restaurant has been catering to nearby residents for the past 25 years. We were greeted with a handshake and said our farewells with the typical kiss on each cheek. Presenting us with perfectly typed out recipes and instructions, Alain was quick to jump right into the good part: eating. He orchestrated our kitchen experience like no chef has done before, alternating a little cooking with a lot of eating.

We started off making his Grand Marnier Soufflé. The presentation of the huge Grand Marnier bottle was enough to make me want to “Ooo” and “Ahh,” but then I asked if I could taste the bucket of pastry cream hanging around on the table, and oh boy, I could have stolen that whole container and taken it for myself and been set for the afternoon – or the week, really, because he said that’s how long it could last for. But there was work to be done, and as it turns out, many, many more pastries and delicious things to be eaten.

Before we made our first soufflé, we paused to drink our perfect French coffee. And while our soufflé was rising in the oven, we were treated to hot pain au chocolat straight from the kitchen of the French patisserie, Lenôtre. Crusty, brown, warm and with the perfectly crunchy essence of butter, the pain au chocolat would be just one, of the many, reasons to return to La Ferme. I can even respect Chef Alain for not attempting to make his own pain au chocolat or croissants, because really, why mess with something so perfect? Continue reading

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Dan Giusti of 1789 (Part II)

Photo courtesy of
‘This just makes me want to eat more gnocchi, immediately, from this spoon’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

As you read earlier, Katie and I spent yet another Saturday morning slaving away in the kitchen for you, dear reader. Not that we mind.

While we waited for potatoes to bake (no really), we made ourselves quite comfortable in the 1789 kitchen. We sort of started to feel like a part of the family.  The best part was snacking on the homemade sugar cookie bits, chocolate hazelnut-dipped waffle cone triangles, and sugared, Italian pistachios. We watched a tray full of huge crabs slide into the steamer and a salmon salad artfully prepared for a group event. La de da. How are those potatoes coming along? Not quite completely, perfectly tender? Ok, no worries. There are some pepitos in a Tupperware over here that I might sample.

My dinner party on Saturday night was sort of similar. If those gosh darn potatoes hadn’t taken 2 hours to bake, well, we might have had dinner before 10:00 p.m.

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Food and Drink, The Features

Kirk’s Almost Famous Chili Recipe

Photo courtesy of
‘Chillli! Chille? Chili?’
courtesy of ‘goodcatmum’

If last weekend told you anything, it’s that cold weather is right around the corner. I’m writing, dear reader, to inform you of a method of defense against chill.  I want to bestow upon you a chili recipe that will warm your body and soul.  A chili recipe that is, as of last night, award winning. A chili recipe that has never been written down, before. My very own “Kirk’s Almost Famous Chili Recipe,” winner of the 2009 Miriam’s Kitchen Chili Cookoff.

My recipe is a bastardized Cincinnati style chili. Cincinnati style is sweeter and more complex than its Texan cousin.  It’s more about the spices than about the types and amount of chilis that go into it.  This isn’t to say that it’s weak or anything, it’s just different. What I tried to do was marry the complexity of Cincinnati chili with the beefiness and savor of Texas chili.

It should come out with a subtly sweet broth that has a slow burn towards the back of the throat.  There are hints of bourbon and cinnamon that go very nicely with the change in season and make the chili palatable enough to be eaten without rice or corn bread. Ideally, everything will come out in balance: sweet, but not too sweet and spicy, but not too spicy. And yes, it has beans.  Sorry, purists.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Soup for you!

 Split Pea Soup, photo by rjohnson

Split Pea Soup, photo by rjohnson

The dramatic turn from Fall to Winter weather had me thinking about warm soups all this week. As convenient as canned soup is, making your own is super easy as well and a great indoor activity on these cold and blustery days.  One of my favorite soups is the good, old NY deli staple Split Pea. Most of the time ham or pork hock is used in the recipe to give the dish its classic salty and smoky flavor, but you can easily leave it out and still have a very tasty and hearty meal.

Here’s my take on a classic recipe from Better Homes and GardensNew Cook Book. I like my split pea soup very thick, almost to the consistency of mushy peas, so if that’s not your style you should add approximately 1/4 cup more water and 2oz more chicken broth. Enjoy! Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Dinner? Try Stuffed Tomatoes!

Stuffed Tomatoes
Wayan recently wrote about the last of his tomato crop. Wondering what to do with the last of the tomatoes from the farmer’s market? Ready to make one last red, juicy hurrah? This recipe from All Recipes.com is fabulous. I added in some ricotta cheese like one of the commenters suggested, and it turned out deliciously! Read more for the recipe…

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Durian Ice Cream Recipe to Beat the Heat


Durian by US Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center

Okay, so it’s not quite a scorcher today but you should make this recipe now in preparation for the big heat wave that is surely on the tail of this cold front. My friend Grace of Fearless Cooking TV asked me for the recipe after hearing that I was so brave as to make durian ice cream. What? You don’t like durian? Shame on you! You can use any other fruit instead, but not with the same unique flavor and scent.

You will need to follow your ice cream maker’s instructions on how to do it precisely, but here are the ingredients I used to make a quart of ice cream:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups durian pulp (substitute other fruits if you can’t hang with durian)

Beat together the eggs and sugar until it’s good and creamy. Then mix in everything else, put it in your ice cream maker and when it’s done, just freeze it for a day or so. It’s easy and delicious. Want to try durian ice cream? Just let me know. I have a quart of it and my lovely wife won’t go near it.