Blue Moon Diner
Spaghetti Squash and Leek Pancakes
1 spaghetti squash, roasted
2 leeks, washed, julienned and lightly fried
1 cup cream
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. salt
Cut spaghetti squash in half and roast open side up at 425 degrees until soft (about 35-40 minutes). Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes (just so you don’t burn yourself). Meanwhile, fry the leeks lightly in vegetable oil. Rake out roasted spaghetti squash with fork (it will come out in strands) and mix with other ingredients. Salt to taste. Makes six servings.
1 butternut squash, diced
6 red potatoes, blanched and diced
3 sweet peppers, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. pepper
1/2 cup parsley,
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add all ingredients and cook until browned. Salt to taste.
Peel garlic and slice thinly. Fry in vegetable oil at about 300 degrees (not too hot or they’ll burn).
Tortellinis of Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Maine Lobster and Vanilla Chardonnay Butter Sauce
1 spaghetti squash
2 Maine lobsters (1 1/2 lbs. each)
1/2 lb. butter (cold, diced)
1/2 bottle Chardonnay
1 shallot, sliced
1 lb. ravioli dough (recipe follows;
you will need a pasta roller)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Virginia maple syrup
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2 lb. 0.0. flour (very silky, fine flour used especially for pasta making; if you can’t find it, use A.P. flour)
14 egg yolks
1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. kosher salt
1/2 cup water
Place all ingredients except the water into a food processor. Once the mixture is well combined, slowly drizzle in the water. Once the dough has formed a ball, remove from food processor and knead until smooth. Wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
For the spaghetti squash filling:
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Rub the inside flesh of the squash with a little olive oil and maple syrup, and season well with salt and pepper. Place onto a baking sheet flesh side down and roast at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until soft to the touch. Allow to cool for half an hour, then spoon the flesh into a bowl. Discard the outer shell of the squash. Once you have the roasted squash into a bowl you will need to season a bit more. Add to taste a bit more salt and pepper, maple syrup and a knob of butter. Reserve.
For the Maine lobsters:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a nice handful of sea salt. Add the lobster and cook for 7-9 minutes. Remove lobster and shock them into a large bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Remove from ice water, then clean all meat from the shells. Divide into 4 equal portions.
For the vanilla Chardonnay butter sauce:
Place the 1/2 bottle of Chardonnay, the sliced shallot, and the split and scraped vanilla bean into a medium-sized saucepot and reduce by 85 percent. Once reduced, add the 1/2 cup of heavy cream and let that reduce by 50 percent. At this point, reduce the heat to low and begin to whisk in the diced cold butter. You are trying to achieve a smooth butter sauce, so it is important that once you begin to add the diced cold butter you don’t let the sauce get too hot or boil again, or the end result may be a broken butter sauce.
To roll out the tortellinis:
Roll the pasta dough through your pasta roller until you get down to the thinnest possible setting. Place a spoonful of the roasted squash filling, egg wash the pasta, and mold into tortellini. Place into a pot of gently boiling water and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
To compose the dish:
Arrange the tortellinis onto the plate, warm the lobster meat very gently then arrange around the tortellins. Spoon over the butter sauce and enjoy. Serves 4.
Tenderloin of Culpeper Beef with Butternut Squash and Sage Gratin
4 cuts of beef tenderloin, 6 oz. each
1 butternut squash
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
2 cups fresh heavy cream
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1/3 cup chopped fresh sage
kosher salt and black pepper
4 large cloves heirloom garlic, thinly sliced
For the butternut squash and sage gratin:
On a Japanese mandoline thinly slice the butternut squash and potatoes. Take a casserole dish and begin to arrange the squash and potatoes one layer at a time. Once you have one layer, season it with salt and pepper, sprinkle some sage and parmesan, and some of the fresh cream. Repeat this process until you have 3 or 4 layers. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until you can poke it with a knife and there is no resistance.
For the heirloom garlic chips:
Take the 4 large cloves of sliced garlic and blanch them in milk twice. After the second blanching rinse the garlic with water and pat dry. Toss the garlic in flour and shake away any excess. Fry in 300-degree oil for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and season with salt, allow to cool on a paper towel.
For the tenderloin:
Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Pan roast, grill, broil…however you enjoy it.
To compose the dish:
Simply spoon a generous portion of the gratin onto a plate, add the beef and garnish with the garlic chips. Serves 4.
Tempura Sweet Long Pepper Stuffed with Meadowcreek Dairy’s Grayson Cheese and Finished with Rosemary Honey
4 sweet long peppers, roasted and cleaned of seeds and skin
4 2-oz. pieces of Grayson cheese
1 cup tempura mix (recipe follows)
1/2 cup A.P. flour
4 Tbs. rosemary honey (recipe follows)
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
fryer set up using pure canola oil heated to 325 degrees (note: use extreme caution whenever using a fryer set up at home)
For the tempura mix:
8 oz. cornstarch
8 oz. A.P. flour
1 1/2 Tbs. baking soda
1 1/2 Tbs. baking powder
2 Tbs. kosher salt
1 10-oz. bottle club soda
Mix all dry ingredients together and reserve. In a medium-sized bowl add 1 1/2 cups of the dry tempura mix, add the club soda and whisk until smooth. What you are looking for is the consistency of a loose pancake batter. Note that you will have plenty of dry tempura mix left over; simply reserve for future use.
For the rosemary honey:
1 cup artisan quality honey
6 3-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary
Warm the honey in a small sauce pot. Remove from heat and add rosemary sprigs. It’s best if you make this a day or two in advance: The longer the honey steeps with rosemary, the better it gets. Reserve this honey in a cool place.
To compose the dish:
Take the four roasted and cleaned peppers and stuff the cheese inside of them. Then roll in the A.P. flour and brush away any excess. Dip them into the tempura mix and then directly into the heated canola oil. Allow to fry until golden brown, and be sure to flip them halfway through so that they brown evenly. They will take 2-3 minutes.
Remove the peppers from the oil, season liberally with kosher salt and let drain on a paper towels. Serve immediately with a drizzle of the rosemary honey and a small green salad. Serves 4.
Swiss Chard and Leek Tart with Heirloom Tomatoes, Burrata, and Parsley Pesto
For the pie dough:
1 1/2 cups A.P. flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup shortening, cold
1/2 cup water, very cold
Cut fats into dry ingredients and add water until the dough comes together. Wrap dough in saran and chill for 1 hour. Roll out thin and cut with 5-inch circle cutter. Line into 3-inch tart rings and chill for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown; let cool.
For the creamed Swiss chard and leeks:
1/2 pound Swiss chard, washed
2 leeks, sliced and washed
1 1/2 cups fresh heavy cream
1 large clove freshly grated garlic
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
kosher salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-sized sauce pot add the fresh heavy cream, garlic, leeks, and Swiss chard and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and allow to cook slowly until the cream has reduced and thickened and the leeks and Swiss chard are tender. Add the grated parmigiano reggiano, then remove from heat. Let cool.
For the parsley pesto:
1 cup Italian parsley, washed and patted dry
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
2 Tbs. grated parmigiano reggiano
Place into blender and puree until smooth.
For the heirloom tomatoes and burrata:
3 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, any variety, sliced and seasoned
1 piece fresh burrata mozzarella, sliced and seasoned
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
To compose the dish:
Fill your prebaked tart shells with the creamed Swiss chard and leek mixture. Gently warm in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove tarts from oven and place a slice of the burrata on each one. Then arrange sliced tomatoes on top of the burrata. Place tart onto serving plate and spoon on parsley pesto. Then enjoy. Serves 4.
Charlottesville Cooking School
Layered Baked Fall Vegetables
This is wonderful as a side dish but rich and impressive enough to stand alone as a vegetarian main dish. Serve with couscous or bulgur to soak up all the juices. It takes a little work to assemble, but it’s worth the effort. The first step is to make a very tasty mixture of roasted peppers, garlic, thyme and parsley that will infuse the dish with a rich savory flavor.
3 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped*
3 large cloves local garlic or 6 cloves regular sized, about 1/3 cup roughly chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped, about 3/4 to 1 cup
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. hot sauce, more to taste
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and chopped**
3-4 medium red potatoes sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
5 small- to medium-sized tomatoes, sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Preheat oven to 400. Combine the roasted peppers, garlic, parsley, thyme and 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until you have a nice chunky paste. Heat a 10-inch skillet or sauté pan, with an oven-proof handle, over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until they are tender and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Spread the potato slices over the leeks, and dab the paste on the potato. Layer on half of the tomatoes and more paste. Then add the squash and the rest of the tomatoes and all of the paste.
Cut a piece of parchment paper or foil to fit over the vegetables and press on the top of the pan. Put it in the oven for 40 minutes and then remove the top and the parchment and finish cooking for 20 more minutes. You can also bake this just covered with foil, but be sure to remove it during the last 20 minutes. Serves 6 as a main course, 10 as a side dish.
*To roast peppers: Place the peppers directly in the fire of a gas range. Turn periodically until the pepper is completely charred (you can also do this under the broiler in an electric oven). Put the peppers in a bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 20-30 minutes. Peel the charred skin off using your fingers, the back of a paring knife and paper towel.
**To clean leeks: Trim off the dark green tough ends and make a cut starting just above the root the long way to the end. Turn it and make the cut on all sides so you have four cuts and the leeks are in long strips held together by the root end. Rinse the leek under cold running water to get all the sand out from between the layers.
Salt Roasted New Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil*
1 1/2 lbs. new potatoes
(no bigger than 2-inch diameter)
2 boxes kosher salt
extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. Spread a 1/2-inch thick layer of kosher salt in a large, 2- or 3-inch deep ovenproof pan or dish. A 10-inch cast iron skillet works well. Nestle potatoes in the salt about half an inch apart. Tuck 3 or 4 whole unpeeled garlic cloves in the spaces between the potatoes. Cover completely with salt. Bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes. To test for doneness, dig out one of the potatoes from the salt and press; it should split open easily. Let dish cool 5 minutes before serving.
Squeeze the garlic onto a small serving plate. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let people dig their own potatoes out of the salt and dip them in the garlic.
*Technique adapted from The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider
Crostini with Slow Roasted Sun Gold Tomato with Lemon Zest and Cracked Coriander*
1 pint Sun Gold or any cherry tomato
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled
1-2 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
For the tomatoes:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Stem the tomatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Put them in a bowl and toss with enough olive oil to coat. Place them on a baking sheet cut side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 1 hour.
For the crostini:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the bread on the diagonal 1/2 inch thick. Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and rub it lightly with the garlic clove.
Take lemon, and with a peeler, slice thin slivers of zest. Slice yellow part only. Top each crostini with the roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with the cracked coriander and 3 slivers of lemon zest. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with a little salt and pepper. Makes 12-16 individual crostini.
*Recipe adapted from The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider
Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Leeks
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and chopped
2 bunches Swiss chard, leaves trimmed off, stemmed and sliced
chard stems chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped small
chopped parsley (optional)
brown rice vinegar or regular rice vinegar
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a 10- or 12-inch sauté pan. Add the leeks and sauté on medium heat until soft and fragrant. Add the chard stems and cook until they start to soften; add just enough water to barely cover the stems, cover the pan and cook until they are tender, 3-5 minutes. Add the chard leaves and stir them until they are wilted. Stir in the garlic and add a little more water. Cover the pan and cook 5-10 more minutes until the leaves are tender. Remove the top and if there is excess water in the pan turn up the heat and cook it away. Season with a few dashes of hot sauce and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2 people who love chard.