Strawberry Season: Jump right in

 

Berries in the straw.

Berries in the straw.

 

 

Under the rain and snuggled above the straw hide the long awaited strawberries of summer.  It is strawberry season in New England and Chef Tim Wiechmann, of T.W. Food shares a deliciously classic dish featuring the heart-shaped early summer treats.

French Crepes with Native Strawberries and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

For 8 Portions

Time:  20min

Special Equipment: none

Ingredients:
2 cups flour + tsp. salt
1/2 cup melted butter + 1/2 cup butter for sauté
8 eggs
4 cups milk + 1/2 cup water
1 Q native strawberries sliced thin + 4T sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream + 2T sugar
1/2 cup butter for sauté
zest of 1 orange
2 T Grand Marnier

Directions:
1. combine flour, salt, eggs, milk and water in mixer. Blend on high,
add melted butter and let rest 10 minutes. Allow to come to room
temperature.
2. In a bowl, mix the sliced strawberries with the sugar, 1 T of Grand
Marnier and the orange zest.
3. Then whip the cream with the sugar until stiff. Stir in the other
Tablespoon of Grand Marnier.
4. Using a heavy bottom pan, melt a knob of butter on low heat. Add
about 1 – 2oz. of crepe batter and swirl the pan to fully coat its’
entirety. Increase the heat to med. high until the edges begin to
brown. At this point, flip the crepe. Let sear 30 seconds and then
remove to a plate. Cook all of the crepes and hold warm
5. To finish, re-heat each crepe in a little butter on a baking tray,
scoop in some whipped cream and some of the macerated
strawberries, fold the crepe closed in half and serve.

T.W. Food Restaurant is located at 377 Walden Street, Cambridge, 617 864-4745.

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The Tartine in the larder

The daily bread

The daily bread

The tartine is a quintessential French breakfast.  You start your day with a nice wedge of baguette sliced horizontally down the middle and spread with a thin layer of butter and a sweet, fresh berry jam or perhaps a thick slice of “pain de campagne” (a light sourdough often whole wheat bread) with a bolder jam like cassis (black currant) thinly spread atop.  There are few breakfasts that are so simple yet with the right quality of ingredients, fresh bread, home-made jam, and a really good bowl of café au lait, are so perfect.

While living and working in France, Tim and his wife Bronwyn were introduced to the tartine.  In France, you buy your fresh bread daily from the boulangerie and by mid-day it is considered stale.  One can however still enjoy a 1/2 day old wedge of baguette for a little gouter (snack) with a square of dark chocolate inserted in the middle . During their stay in France, the tartine  quickly became the couples’ favorite way to start every morning as they traveled through Burgundy, Champagne, and the Loire.

The memories and taste of the tartine remained with Tim and his wife, and a few years later, he launched a new charcuterie section on his menu called the Larder.  Chef Weichmann’s version of the tartine is covered with shredded pig’s foot, foie gras, mustard and mushrooms. 

Tim boils the pigs feet for several hours, picks the meat off the bone, folds in Brioche, some local  mushrooms, cubed foie gras and spread this onto a crispy baguette. After a few minutes in the oven, out comes a rich, savory, and succulent, dinner tartine.

Please visit the website to get the full story.

For the experience, just call the restaurant for reservations at  (617) 864-4745.

TW Food Restaurant is located at 377 Walden street, Cambridge, MA. Phone (617) 864-4745.

 

The Food of Spring

 

ramps

ramps

 

 

I love New England for the four seasons among other things.  Each season helps you appreciate the next even more.  After a long cold frozen winter, the treats of spring are a gift.  The scent and flavor ofspring ramps are wild, ever so slightly earthy and perhaps a favorite allium among food lovers around here.  The spring mushrooms are beginning to pop up for seasoned foragers to find and bring to the table.  Asparagus and artichokes don their deep green coats and burst with the taste of spring.  Fiddleheads make their début and chanterelles are earthy and soft and if we are lucky abundant this season.  The pink stalks of delicious rhubarb melt in your mouth taking on any sweetness you pair with them.

 

Photo by Dieter Wiechmann

Photo by Dieter Wiechmann

Chef Tim Wiechmann of T.W. Food has created a six course menu to celebrate and share the bounty of spring as only he can highlight it.  This special spring menu is available Wednesday, April 29th 2009.

The menu includes:

  • Wild morels and ramps with seared atlantic sea scallops and smoked oysters
  • White asparagus with local egg Grenobloise, cured ham and fines herbs
  • Artichoke salad with beet sprouts, Pecorino cheese custard and crispy spring onions
  • Vermont pheasant roasted breast and citrus confit thigh, wild fiddleheads, chanterelle mushrooms and sauce foie gras 
    or Tagliatelle hand-made with fiddleheads, chanterelles and Parmigiano Reggiano 
  • Cheese and salad
  • Rhubarb ice cream with French lemon dacquoise pastry and ginger creme Anglaise

For the wine pairings please visit the T.W. Food website and for reservations, please call (617) 864-4745

A perfect little pot: Rillettes

Charcuterie at T.W. Food

Charcuterie at T.W. Food Restaurant (Photo by Dieter Wiechmann)

Rillettes is rustic and flavourful.  There are several types of rillettes.  Traditionally, it is made with pork, but it can also be made with rabbit or duck.  It is usually in a jar or “pot” similar to a pate, but not quite as refined, which gives it character not only in flavor but also in texture.  There is a layer of fat on top to preserve the meat.

A little jar of Rilettes is the perfect addition to a spring picnic or country style lunch.  Serve a lot of fresh local greens, some hearty “pain de campagne“, some cornichons or local pickles, rillettes, and another one or two charcuterie offerings and you have a great lunch to pull out and enjoy with family or to serve guests on the weekend.  

If you want to learn more about rillettes and other charcuterie you can join chef Leah at Formaggio Kitchen as she demonstrates how to make a few of her specialties.  At the moment, the class is sold out, but you can ask to be put on a waiting list.

If you are just looking to enjoy some locally made rillettes you can pick some up at Formaggio Kitchen or head over to T.W. Food Restaurant and order chef Wiechmann’s special charcuterie plate.

Easter with Chef Tim Wiechmann

Fresh, local eggs.

Chef Wiechmann’s thoughts on food, and the Easter holiday and traditions:

“Easter to me is a special time to cook. In both France and Germany ,the two 
countries closest to my heart, the holiday is a serious eating affair.  Easter is similar to Thanksgiving, in the United States, with long-standing food traditions and good times for the entire family.”

Chef Wiechmann fondly remembers being “dressed to the nines” for five hour Easter luncheons.  Family would gather and children would appreciate the importance of a symbolic meal.  He has fond memories of his family coming together, right over the Swiss border at the ancient Chåteau de Divonne in the Jura of France, to celebrate the holiday.

At T.W.Food Restaurant, an Easter menu has been put together that plays on the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the European and the American.

Pig’s feet meets a beautifully classic eggs benedict, lemon desserts are infused with the flavors of tea and ginger and spring artichokes are partenered with creamy hazelnuts. 

Easter Lunch at T.W. Food will be on Sunday April 12, between 12 and 6 pm.  For reservations, you can call  (617) 864-4745.

A six course menu celebrating spring foods for Easter is $69 / $105 with wine pairings.  
There are two six course menu options to choose from; one is vegetarian.

Some of the menu items are:

artichoke salad with confit lemon and potatoes, herbs, and hazelnut purée.
asparagus soup flan with mint and salad of raw asparagus and shallot vinaigrette  
spring lamb leg slow roast with local garlic and rosemary, smoked kathadin potato, purée of fennel and salad of fava bean 
or 
easter ham cured berkshire pork leg, pineapple and clove glaze, local garlic and potato gratin, sauté of spring salad sprouts and basil jus “hollandaise” with orange zest 
a cheese course
and of course, dessert 

 

The perfect Easter gift for the foodie hostess

 

The perfect package.

The perfect package.

 

 

Yes, there are chocolates galore that you can buy.  The most exquisite truffles in the shape of eggs are nestled in cute little boxes and baskets in every shop from major grocery stores to boutique food shops.  Beautiful dark, chocolate bunnies line the shelves of the chocolate shops and the pharmacy.  But, chocolate is not for everyone.  Or rather, everyone is expecting some chocolate.  So if you are looking for something a bit different or unique then go back to basics.

I think the most perfect gift for a hostess this Easter is a beautiful box of eggs.  I do not mean chocolate eggs.  I am referring to fresh, gorgeous eggs to be scrambled for breakfast, to display as a centerpiece and eat later on, or to mix in a spring teacake.  

 

Wicken Fen Eggs

Wicken Fen Eggs

The Wicken Fen eggs available at Formaggio or  not your every day eggs.  They are gorgeous, fresh and delicious.  They have duck and goose eggs as well as chicken eggs.  The chicken eggs are particularly beautiful as each hen produces a different egg both in size and color – some are blue, others tan, some white, some speckled and others light green.

The eggs are carefully packed in small boxes and rest on a bed of hay that offers up a wonderful smell of hay that transports you to Vermont. When you cook with them, you will notice that the the yolks are a deep orange color, the eggs are delivered fresh and the vibrance of color that you notice is reflected in taste as well. Formaggio Kitchen frequently sells out because they only have a small quantity each week, so call and have some set aside if you want some of your own to keep or give as a gift.

More Wicken Fen eggs:

 Amuse Bouche 

Wicked Flavory 

Formaggio Kitchen visits Wicken Fen Farm

Simply beautiful eggs from Wicken Fen Farms in Vermont.

Recipe: Creamy Scrambled Eggs With Wild Mushrooms and Herb Purée

Scrambled eggs redefined.

Scrambled eggs redefined. Photo by Dieter Wiechmann

Chef Wiechmann heads over to the Couveé family’s Chip-in Farm in Bedford to choose the freshest eggs for T.W. Food Restaurant.  On occasion, he can even be found on the farm sorting eggs with the family.  Chef Tim Wiechmann’s recipe is based on an old 18th century French recipe.  The eggs would have traditionally been cooked in a double boiler to prevent large curds from forming.  

Creamy Scrambled Farm Egg With Wild Mushrooms and Herb Purée
From Chef, Tim Wiechmann, TW Food Restaurant             

For 4 Appetizer Portions
Time: 45 Minutes
 
Ingredients:

Egg:
12 Local High Quality Eggs
4 T Heavy Cream
1 T Butter
Salt, Black Pepper
 
Herb Purée:
1 Bunch Parsley
2 T Olive Oil + 2 Ice Cubes
Coarse Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
 
2 cups wild mushrooms, cleaned and chopped, morels, chanterelles, whatever is in season
 
Directions:

1. Combine 8 Eggs with 4 Yolks. Discard the excess whites.

2. Blanche parsley in salted boiling Water for 1 Minute including the stems. Quickly transfer to blender, add 2 ice cubes, olive oil and salt. Blend to thick purée.

3 Melt butter in a high rim saucepan, add the egg mixture and whisk over med. low heat. (vigorously). The mix will set up slowly. Do not allow large thick curds to form on the bottom or sides of the pan. The eggs should curdle to small grains. At this point, move the pan off the heat and add the heavy cream to cool the mass and stop any continued cooking. Taste and season.   

4. In a deep bowl or cup, or martini glass, spoon the parsley purée into the bottom. Cover with the eggs, sauté wild mushrooms in butter, season, spoon these over the top and serve.         

TW Food Restaurant is located at 377 Walden street, Cambridge, MA.
For reservations, phone (617) 864-4745.