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Tuesday
Jun072011

Food 411: Name the Restaurant that Served This...

Where did we eat this well dressed pie? 

(Winner will receive CTbites swag)

Tuesday
Jun072011

New Canaan's Filling Station's June Burger & Shake

The June 2011 Filling Station Special Burger and Shake are a tribute to the upcoming summer season with a backyard favorite Chili Cheeseburger and a delicious Strawberry Maple Waffle Shake.

The Chili Cheeseburger includes the Filling Station’s farm-raised meat topped with cheese, their house-made chili, lettuce, and tomato.  The “chili” is the Filling Station’s Sloppy Joe, which was developed in-house after significant research and development and includes BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, vinegar and several other ingredients to allow for a sweet and sour combination that nicely complements the flavors in the organic meat. The lettuce adds a nice crispy element, the tomato accents the tomato-ey based chili and the cheese is an essential part of any hamburger, in my opinion. The lightly toasted bun is still a favorite with a light exterior crunchy and the soft interior. I enjoyed this burger and it is a good way to start to the upcoming summer months.

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Monday
Jun062011

Chef Nicole Straight Launches Cookbook for Busy Families

Award winning local chef and long time CTbites contributor, Nicole Straight, has just published her second cookbook, "More Time to Eat! Delicious recipes from a busy kitchen," which aims to teach families how to streamline time spent in the kitchen, as well as make delicious meals in 15 minutes. 

The new cookbook is an evolution of Straight’s lengthy experience as a cooking instructor who has taught thousands of people how to bring their families back to the table and simplify the nightly 6 o'clock dinner time dilemma.  

Her new book comprises a plethora of easy recipes, such as BLT Tortellini, Provencal Braised Chicken Thighs, Asian Quinoa Salad and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies.  She teaches you how to simplify meal preparation while minimizing time spent in the kitchen for both family meals and entertaining friends. 

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Monday
Jun062011

Chef Brian Lewis Hosts Cooking Classes @ Ambler Farm

Ambler Farms is hosting a 2-part Cooking Series with Chef Brian Lewis, Wednesday, July 20th and August 17th.

Ambler Farm's popular 2011-12 cooking series resumes in July with Chef Brian Lewis making his debut in the Carriage Barn kitchen. Chef Lewis' kitchen credentials include Lutece, Oceana and The Sign of the Dove. His most recent venture was at The Bedford Post Inn which he co-created with Richard Gere. His new restaurant is due to open on Elm Street in New Canaan. Chef Lewis will work with Farmer Ben Saunders at the time of the dinners to select and harvest seasonal ingredients to create his menu.

Attendees will receive recipes, hands-on instruction and a fully serviced four course menu. Prices: $100/course for Ambler Farm members and $115/course for non-members.

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Sunday
Jun052011

Zee Burger in Woodbury: A First Beefy Bite

When news first broke that Carole Peck, our east coast answer to Alice Waters, would be opening a burger joint adjacent to her popular farm-to-table Good News Café in Woodbury, the first thing I did was clear my calendar.

The second thing I did was ask the obvious question. Was this the same Carole Peck who has been running the Café in Woodbury since 1993, hosting culinary trips to France and espousing local farms?

Burgers? Carole, really?

Actually it makes perfect sense that Peck, who has been committed to sourcing locally and seasonally for Good News Café for almost twenty years, would want to widen her spectrum and open a more accessible establishment using the same approach that has won her accolades and a loyal following. Fueled by an extended financial recession, the inexpensive luxuries of the gourmet burger joint formula has been trending in Connecticut. Peck has joined the fray staying true to her signature style – by creating the farm stand version of the burger joint.

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Thursday
Jun022011

Nicholas Roberts' Whole Wheat & Porcini Fettuccine

Nicholas Roberts Gourmet Bistro is a restaurant with a lot of heart and some really well prepared food. On a recent dinner excursion, we stumbled upon a seasonal pasta special that I knew wouldn't stay on the menu for long, and yet I could envision myself craving it on a weekly basis. I considered lobbying for a permanent spot on the NRGB menu, but some meals are more ethereal in nature. Instead, Chef Rob Troilo handed the recipe over to CTbites to enable future enjoyment in our own homes. If you don't want to make your own pasta, go buy it fresh, and take advantage of the beautiful asparagus currently available at our local Farmers' Markets. Let us know how you like Nicholas Roberts' House Made Whole Wheat & Porcini Fettuccine with Artichokes & Asparagus. 

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Thursday
Jun022011

Jacques Pépin & Christine Baranski Celebrate CT Farms

This just in from TheFeast.com

"Celebrity chef Jacques Pépin will join Tony-Award winning actress Christine Baranski ('The Good Wife') and WNPR's Faith Middleton as honorary chairpersons at the 11th Celebration of Connecticut Farms on September 11 at Jones Family Farms in Shelton. Tickets for the annual event are priced at $150 and are expected to sell out quickly.

The celebration is a benefit for Connecticut Farmland Trust, and menu items will feature ingredients culled from over fifty local farms. According to CTNow, this year's feast has recruited two dozen of the state's top restaurants including Simsbury's Metro Bis, Westport's Dressing Room, Hartford's Polytechnic ON20 and Middletown's It's Only Natural. Ten of Connecticut's vineyards and a handful of area breweries will also be in attendance, and attendees will be treated to live music and participated in a silent auction. To purchase tickets and check out pictures from last year's celebration, visit the Connecticut Farmland Trust's event page here." --Peyton Dougherty

Jones Family Farms is located at 606 Walnut Tree Hill Road in Shelton

[Photograph courtesy of THEFEAST.com]

Thursday
Jun022011

Whole Foods Market Opening in Fairfield June 3

Analiese Paik of The Fairfield Green Food Guide shares her Top Ten Reasons to Love the new Whole Foods Market in Fairfield, opening June 3. 

"Well, it’s about time. How many years have we watched the site adjacent to Home Depot that once was home to the Handy & Harman metals-processing factory being remediated and negotiated over in preparation for the construction of a Whole Foods Market?

Let’s shake off the wait with a party. Pack your $10 coupon flyer and head over on Friday, June 3, for the opening day festivities which begin at 8:30 am with a bread breaking ceremony. Be sure to make your way to the Cooking Fairfielddepartment located smack in the middle of the bulk aisle at 11:30 or 5:00 for cooking demos with James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur, and  founder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Michel Nischan. At both 1:00 and 6:15 Nischan will be signing his latest cookbook, Sustainably Delicious, which includes seasonal recipes from and inspired by his restaurant, the Dressing Room, in Westport." -- Fairfield Green Food Guide

Read the complete article here.

Tuesday
May312011

Dine with Design: Menu Preview with Taibe & Lewis

In less than two weeks, June 11th from 12:00-3:00 pm, five of America’s most inspirational Farm to Table chefs will converge at the late Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan to prepare their visionary seasonal creations.  The much anticipated Dine with Design – An Outdoor Celebration of Farm-to-Table Cuisine event includes several of the outstanding Chefs featured in the cookbook “Harvest to Heat – Cooking with America’s Best Chefs Farmers and Artisans.” The legendary Chef Michel Richard of Central Michel Richard in Washington DC and Michel in Washington, DC and McLean, VA; Chef Lee Chizmar of Bolete restaurant in Allentown, PA.; Chef Brian Lewis, co-creator of the Bedford Post, whose new restaurant, elm, opens this fall in New Canaan ; Chef Bill Taibe of LeFarmrestaurant in Westport; and Chef Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway in Providence, RI will each create a spectacular luncheon cuisine to delight the palate of all who attend.

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Tuesday
May312011

Chef Leticia's Brazilian Homemade Honey Liquor

I recently toured the beehive colonies in Trout Brook Valley field in Easton with my friends Patty and Sergei Boyce, program directors for The Backyard Beekeepers Association of CT. It was an amazing education on the art of honey production. 

Inspired by my newfound knowledge, and some great local honey, I began to explore the Brazilian school of preparing home made liquors and after dinner drinks from fruits, vegetables, and honey.  I used Patty and Sergei’s honey and Leblon Cachaça to make this recipe. Enjoy!

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