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September 10, 2018

New Ways to Use Fresh Herbs

New Ways to Use Fresh HerbsOur kitchen-door herb garden at Buckhorn Inn has provided us with the freshest basil, savory, cilantro, oregano, dill, marjoram, curry and others. This profusion of tastes and aromas has inspired our kitchen staff to develop even more ways to use these herbs.

Compound Butter
What could add more flavor to a dish than a pat of herb butter? Simply mix softened butter with minced fresh herbs like chives, cilantro, tarragon or chervil and chill. Use with your next grilled meat or vegetables. Compound butters also are lovely on baked potatoes. Some combinations to try are dill with salmon, rosemary with steaks, oregano for bread—let your imagination go wild!

Basting Brush
A large sprig of rosemary can be used as a basting brush the next time you barbeque. The sprigs add an extra hint of flavor to the foods on the grill.

Salad Greens
You probably often use minced fresh herbs in your salad dressings. But why not roughly tear them and add them directly to the salad greens? Herbs like parsley and cilantro are perfect for this purpose.

Herb Sauce
We serve this bright green sauce as a salad dressing or as a sauce over grilled salmon.
2 tablespoons almond oil
¼ cup safflower oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
Whisk the ingredients together. Makes about ¾ cup.

Summertime Coolers
Herbs like lavender, mint, basil and thyme are delicious in sparkling water, iced tea and lemonade.

Flavored Sugars or Salts
Dry your favorite herbs in the oven. Then mix with salt to provide lovely flavor when finishing a dish. Herb salt can even take popcorn to the next level! The same works with sugar. Mint sugar is perfect for sprinkling on fresh summer berries.

Buckhorn Inn Tropical Fruit Chutney

At  Buckhorn  we sometimes offer a chutney as an accompaniment to meat dishes.  To those unfamiliar with chutney, it is a lovely taste treat.  Chutney originated in India as long ago as 500 BC and usually refers to a relish made from fresh fruits and spices.  It comes from the Indian word “chatni” which means “crushed”.  British colonials took chutney home with them and made it their own.  They also brought the condiment to outposts in South Africa and the Caribbean where chutneys were made from local fruits.  In England commercially-made cooked chutneys are readily available these days.  They are typically made of fruit, often apples or pears, onions and raisins.  These ingredients are simmered with vinegar, brown sugar and spices for several hours.  The most famous commercial chutney in England is Major Grey’s Chutney.  The name is based on a mythical colonial British officer who made his own chutney to accompany curry.  Chutneys can be sweet or sour, spicy or mild, thin or chunky and can include such seasonings as garlic, ginger, mint, turmeric, cinnamon, cilantro or hot chilies.

Chutney typically is used as a flavorful topping for meat dishes or curry.  But you might want to experiment by using chutney:

  • With cream cheese on crackers for an appetizer
  • Mixing it with mayonnaise as a spread for ham or turkey sandwiches
  • Over steamed carrots or other vegetables

Buckhorn Inn Tropical Fruit ChutneyIngredients

¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups finely diced mango
1 ½ cup finely diced papaya
1 finely minced garlic clove
½ Scotch bonnet or habanero chili finely chopped
Pinch of ground cloves
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

In a large saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, brown sugar, coriander, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Add the pineapple, mango, papaya, garlic, ginger and pepper and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Let cool. Discard the cinnamon and bay leaf. Serve at room temperature or chilled. The chutney can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. This recipe yields about 3 cups.

Southern Corn Pudding–a Hallmark of Buckhorn Inn

The recipe that appears below is the original Buckhorn Inn recipe. Adding a tablespoon or so of fresh, chopped thyme adds a modern spin to this classic.

Corn Pudding PhotoCorn Pudding

2 ½ cups cream-style corn
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
½ green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix ingredients together and bake in a 325 degree oven for an hour. This makes an interesting and colorful way to serve part of the vegetable course for either holiday meals or party fare.

Fallen Chocolate Cake

Fallen Chocolate CakeCake:
½ cup room temperature unsalted butter, cut into one inch pieces plus more for pan
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus more for pan
10 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Topping:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
½ cup mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter 9 “ springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess. Combine chocolate, oil and ½ cup butter in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring often, until melted. Remove bowl from saucepan.

Separate 4 eggs, placing whites and yolks in separate medium bowls. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, ¼ cup sugar and remaining 2 eggs to bowl with yolks and whisk until mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into chocolate mixture, blending well.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until frothy. With mixer running, gradually beat in ½ cup sugar; beat until firm peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in two additions. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until top is puffed and starting to crack, 35 to 45 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan. Cake will fall as it cools. Whip the topping ingredients until fluffy and pile on the cake.

September 3, 2018

Buchorn Inn Serves Dishes of History

Did you know that according to culinary history the word “succotash” is derived from the Narragansett Indian word msickquatash meaning boiled corn kernels?  This simple and delicious dish featuring corn, beans and other vegetables is a nourishing dish of Native American origin.  While we don’t know for sure what was on the menu at the first Thanksgiving, many food historians agree that a version of succotash likely was on the table.  This dish has been adapted throughout the United States.  Many versions have corn, pole or lima beans, green or red peppers, tomatoes, okra and fresh herbs.  The ingredients are based on what is fresh and bountiful, so you are not likely to have exactly the same recipe twice.

Chef Frank has succotash on the menu this week, featuring our garden-fresh okra, pole beans, and

Okra is a traditional ingredient of Southern cooking and offers a delicious taste of history.

The majestic okra plants in the Buckhorn Inn garden beds are 10 feet tall!

herbs.  In the Buckhorn Inn garden we are growing Perkins Mammoth Long Pod okra from Burpee Seed Co.  The 7″ long pods are tender and delicious.  The towering 10′ tall plants are quite a sight in our raised garden beds!  We are not certain what ingredients will inspire Chef Frank on Wednesday night, but here is an easy recipe that serves 6.  It was adapted from a recipe on http://www.thespruceeats.com.

A Taste of History Succotash

4 cups okra pods, sliced into 1/2″ rounds

3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup sliced pole beans

1 cup corn kernels

1 tablespoon of butter

Combine the okra and tomatoes in a large non-reactive saucepan.  Add the salt and pepper and 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the beans and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Add the corn kernels and cook for 20 minutes longer.  Add the butter and blend.  This makes a delicious hot side dish!

 

 

June 25, 2018

Looking Forward to Summer Tomato Soup

One of our favorite things about summer is enjoying a ripe tomato fresh from the garden.  The Buckhorn Inn vegetable gardens are doing splendidly and we look forward to a heavy yield.  This year we are growing heirloom style gourmet tomatoes from Burpee Seed Company http://www.burpee.com.  “Black Krims” have a beautiful dark color and tangy flavor.  “Supersteaks” are real giants with a beefsteak flavor.  “Big Rainbows” are sweet and mild with yellow and red

This bed includes kaleidoscope carrots, pole beans, and a variety of heirloom tomato plants.

The regular rains this year have resulted in a healthy vegetable bed.

streaked flesh.  Some consider the “Brandywine Pink” to be the best-tasting heirloom of all time.  “Black Pearl” cherry tomatoes are purplish black with a deep, rich, and sweet flavor.  We are looking forward to eating these fresh in salads, in a chilled gazpacho, roasted, and in a delicious summer soup.  

Tomatoes originated in western South America.  The Aztec word tomatl gave way to the Spanish word tomate from which our English word tomato is derived.  The indigenous peoples of Mexico began using tomatoes as a cultivated food.  The Spanish, during colonization of the Americas, discovered tomatoes and brought them to Europe.  Tomatoes are about 95% water and are a good source of vitamin C.

Summer Tomato Soup

Sautee in olive oil until tender:

1 Diced onion

3 Minced garlic cloves

Add:

5-7 Pounds coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes

1 Quart chicken broth

1 Teaspoon dried savory

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

1/2 Cup tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes.  Strain ingredients in a colander, pressing on vegetables to get all the juice out.  Discard vegetables.  
Bring to a boil again and add one diced tomato and torn basil and parsley to taste.  Correct seasonings.  This is delicious served with garlic croutons and shaved parmesan cheese.  This recipe yields about eight servings.  Please note that this recipe is best when using tomatoes in season.  If you make this recipe with out-of-season tomatoes you may want to add some tomato juice to ensure a deep, rich flavor.  Enjoy!

May 30, 2018

Try the World’s Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Chef Bob Neisler is rightfully famous for his baked goods–and his cookies are no exception.  When these cookies are in the oven, the delightful aroma has guests (and staff!) drooling with anticipation.  They freeze well and are great to have on hand for a special treat.  Tip:  To easily measure out 1/2 cup of peanut butter, fill a glass measuring cup with water to the 1/2 cup mark.  Add peanut butter until the level of water reaches one cup.  Drain and use the peanut butter in your recipe.  

Our guests love the cookies, brownies and other treats they find in the sitting room each day.

Chef Bob’s peanut butter cookies are irresistible warm from the oven.

Chef Bob’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/4 C Flour

1/2 t Baking soda

1/2 t Baking powder

1/2 C Butter, softened

1/2 C Brown sugar

1/2 C White sugar

1/2 C Smooth peanut butter

1 Egg

1/2 C Peanut butter morsels

1/2 C Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Put the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F.  Cover a 14″ by 16″ baking sheet with foil, shiny side up, and coat with vegetable spray.  You may instead use a silicone liner.  Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  Cream butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter.  Add egg and mix thoroughly.  Add sifted dry ingredients.  Fold in peanut butter morsels and chocolate chips.

Chill dough in refrigerator for one hour, or until firm enough to handle.  With floured hands roll dough into 1″ diameter balls.  Place balls on baking sheet two inches apart and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.  Store between sheets of waxed or parchment paper in a covered tin.  This recipe makes about 24 cookies.  Note:  These cookies also make delicious ice cream sandwiches.  Spread softened vanilla ice cream on the bottom of one cookie and top with a second cookie.  Roll the soft edges in chopped peanuts or chocolate sprinkles, and then freeze until firm.

May 7, 2018

Spring Salad Days at Buckhorn Inn

The beautiful salad greens we have been growing in the Buckhorn Inn gardens have made us love our dinner salads even more!  This spring we have been harvesting and serving a sweet mesclun mix from Burpee Seed Company http://www.burpee.com.  The mix includes Beet Bull’s Blood, Spinach Bloomsdale, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, Red Salad Bowl lettuce, and Mustard Tendergreen.  

Our inn-grown lettuce salad creations are fun for the gardener, the chef, and the diner!

Your salad, from the garden to the kitchen to the table.

Soon we will be harvesting our Heatwave mix which includes a blend of crisphead, romaine, and looseleaf types that mature a bit later than the spring mix.

Caesar’s Salad Dressing

Guests love our Caesar salad.  It was first made by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in Tijuana.  In 1924  a rush of diners depleted his ingredient supply.  He made do with what he had and added his own flair by making it tableside.  Our version of the tangy dressing omits the raw egg.  We recommend you serve it at room temperature on romaine with crisp croutons.

 

3 Anchovies

1 T  Worcestershire sauce

1 T Chopped garlic

1 T Dijon mustard

1/3 C Mayonnaise

1 t Pepper

1 t Salt

1/2 C Lemon juice

1 1/2 C Olive oil

1/2 C Shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a food processor.  Slowly add the olive oil, processing until creamy.  Stir in the parmesan cheese.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

This is one of Chef Bob’s most popular dressings.  We especially like it over a bed of tender spring greens with grilled asparagus and tomatoes.

1/4 C Diced onions

1 T Minced garlic

1 t Dijon Mustard

1/2 C Fresh basil leaves

1 t Salt

1/2 t Pepper

1 T Sugar

1/4 C Mayonnaise

1/2 C Lemon juice

1 1/2 C Combined olive and canola oils

Combine in a food processor, adding the oil slowly at the last.  Chill.  Makes about 2 cups.  We love using the fresh basil from our Buckhorn Inn herb garden for this recipe and many others.  When making a basil-based dish, such as a pesto, blanching the basil will help it retain that sunny green color.

We hope you enjoy many salad days ahead!

March 5, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day — Soup Hits the Spot

Although it’s roots are Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated the world over.  The day is marked with parades, green beer, and huge corned beef and cabbage dinners.  Contrary to popular belief, however, corned beef is not a traditional dish from Ireland.  According to http://www.history.com/news/hungry-history/corned-beef-as -irish-as-spaghetti- and-meatballs,, corned beef and cabbage was a dish developed by Irish immigrants to the United States.  Many working-class Irish struggled economically in the New World.  “Corning” beef was a way to preserve  meat.  The taste reminded the Irish newcomers of their beloved boiled bacon from back home.  Cabbage was one of the cheapest vegetables in the markets and paired well with the salty spiced beef.  When cooked in the same pot, the dish was easy-to-prepare, inexpensive, and delicious!  Its roots are so American that the dish was served at President Lincoln’s inauguration dinner in 1862.

Our guests love our corned beef soup, and so will you, whether or not you serve it on St. Patrick’s Day!

Corned Beef Soup for St. Patrick’s Day or Not

2-3 lbs Corned beef

1 cube Beef bouillon

2 cloves Garlic, diced

2 Cloves

3 Carrots, sliced thickly

6 Potatoes, peeled and diced

7 cups Water

1/2 cup Onion, chopped

6 Peppercorns

2 Bay leafs

6 cups Cabbage, coarsely chopped

A hearty soup is perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

For a quick version of this soup, purchase pre-cooked corned beef.

Cover corned beef with water in large soup pot.  Bring to boil and reduce heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes and skim.  Add bouillon cube, onion, garlic, peppercorns, cloves and bay leafs.  Simmer for 3 to 4 hours until meat is tender.  Remove meat from broth and cool.  Skim fat from broth.

Cut meat into bite-size pieces and return to broth.  Add carrots and potatoes; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.  Remove the peppercorns, cloves and bay leaf before serving.  This recipe pairs nicely with soda bread or other rustic bread.

 

 

January 23, 2018

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup In Ceramic Bowl

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What is better on a cold, wintry day than a bowl or mug of delicious warm soup. The recipe below is one of our guest favorites! Try pairing it with a hearty whole grain bread for a warming lunch. This recipe makes four hearty servings.

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Smoked Cheddar

2 T. Extra-virgin olive oil
1 med. Onion, halved and thinly sliced
¾ c. Apple Cider
5 ¼ c. Butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1” cubes
4 ½ c. Chicken stock
½ c. Heavy cream
2 T. Unsalted butter
1 Apple, cut into ½” pieces
1/3 c. Smoked cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
Salt and Pepper
Chopped chives for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onion and cook until golden. Add the apple cider and cook until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the squash and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 40 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Heat butter in a medium skillet. Add the diced apple and cook over high heat until the apple is tender and golden around the edges, about 2 minutes.

Season the soup with salt and pepper. Garnish with the cheddar cheese, sautéed apples, and chives.