I love going to restaurants a little bit more than I love making good food, but both are high in my esteem. This unbalanced scale has everything to do with time, energy, and inclination; the restaurant is the path of least resistance in every sense but where to park. So, when I go out and experience dishes that I can incorporate into my own recipe box at home, it’s the best of both worlds. I asked three of our local rainbow chefs for recipes to share with our readers and I can’t wait to try making them in my own kitchen.
Ramp Compound Butter
Chef Shack, www.chefshack.org
Chef Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer
Ramps are a species of onion found in the wild, the farmers market, or the produce section of your grocery store or co-op. Combined with butter, the flavorful result can be used as a spread, a topping for steak, or anywhere you need the salty, oniony accent.
1 1/2 pounds ramps, trimmed and cleaned
4 pounds unsalted butter, cut up and at room temperature
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
- Trim the ends off of the ramps and clean them well under cold, running water.
- Blanch them quickly (30 seconds) by dropping the ramps in a large pot of salted, boiling water, and then shock them in ice water.
- Drain the ramps, squeezing as much liquid out as you can. With a sharp knife, thinly slice the ramps.
- In a large bowl (or KitchenAid with a paddle), mix well the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, ramps, salt, and pepper.
- On sheets of parchment, form logs of butter of approximately 1/2 pounds each, and roll the parchment tightly around the butter.
- Put the butter logs in two sets of freezer bags and seal tightly, removing all the air, and store in the freezer.
Pilgrimage Café, www.pilgrimagecafe.com
Chef Craig Ball
Chipa Guazu is a traditional Paraguayan side dish, my favorite from my time in the Peace Corps. We bake ours thin so we can replace English muffins on our Turkey Mole and BBQ Carnitas Benedict dishes, but traditionally it is baked in a cake pan for thick, cake-like pieces. The onion and cheese add the perfect sweet and salty balance and the egg ensures a light fluffy texture.
2 pounds fresh corn kernels
3 whole eggs
½ of a large white or yellow onion, finely chopped
5 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
5 ounces butter cut into small chunks, soft but not melted
2/3 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup corn masa flour
- Place all ingredients except the onion and cheese into a food processor and pulse until well mixed but not blended smooth.
- Fold in onions and cheese.
- Pour into well-greased baking dish, also lined with parchment. We use a sheet tray for thinner pieces, but it is traditionally baked in a cake pan. You could also use a cast iron skillet.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour. Keep checking and remove when the top is golden brown and the center no longer jiggles. (If you have a convection oven, bake without the fan for 45 minutes and then use the fan for the last 15.)
- Serve warm with any meal, it works great with BBQ, or anywhere else you might serve corn bread.
Brown Butter Pudding
Joan’s in the Park, www.joansinthepark.com
Chef Susan Dunlop and Joan Schmitt
A lovely way to end a gorgeous night on the patio at Joan’s in the Park is with the cool, smooth brown butter pudding. Or, make it for yourself to enjoy on your deck or patio. Chef Susan’s most-requested recipe, this velvety and decadent dessert will please your summer dinner party, your candle-lit dinner for two, or your own sweet soirée for one.
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons corn starch
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 ½ cup heavy cream
½ cup browned butter
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Using a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
- Once incorporated add the milk and cream and cook over medium high heat, whisking continuously, so the milk mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- After 2 minutes add the brown butter.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, again whisking continuously, and cook for about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
- Divide pudding into 7 serving containers and refrigerate uncovered until completely cool.
- Refrigerate pudding for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
- Serve with your favorite caramel sauce and whipped cream on top.