Recipe: Beet & Goat Cheese Napoleon

Here is a aesthetically pleasing way of serving a beet and goat cheese salad - which can be prepared a few days ahead and chilled in tupperware before your next summer dinner party. But don't forget the plastic gloves! You do not want your guests joking over and over - "that you've been caught red handed". Just ask your meat department counter person at Whole Foods/Wegmens/Balducci's to give you two pairs, then you don't have to buy a full box from your local hardware store.
Beet & Goat Cheese Napoleon
(serves 4)
  • 2 Golden Beets (largest you can find)
  • 2 Red Beets (largest you can find)
  • 4 oz. Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 T. tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 T. parsley, chopped
  • 1 t. cardamom, ground
  • 1 beligan endive, green
  • 1 beligan endive, purple
  • 1/2 T. dijon
  • 1/4 c. evoo
  • 4 T. Red Wine Vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring 2 medium pots, filled with water to a boil. Add 1 T. of salt and 3 T. of sugar to each. Trim beet greens and set greens aside. Carefully drop yellow beets in 1 pot and red beets in the other. Boil for 10-15 minutes until a paring knife slips through center of beet with little to no resistance. Strain beets from liquid and place gold beets in ice bath and red beets in another ice bath, until cooled (about 10 minutes). Put on plastic gloves and over a paper towel, carefully rub your gold beets, the skin will slide right off. Then change gloves and do the red beets.
  2. Slice the beets on a mandoline and set aside. Using a circle mold that is small enough to cut circles in the beet slices (about 2 inches in diameter), pile the slices of red beets in piles of 4-5 and cut with circle mold to create perfect circles. Wash circle mold and continue with the same process for the yellow beets.
  3. Combine goat cheese, creme, tarragon, parsley, cardamom, salt and pepper to taste and whisk until combined. Carefully roll goat cheese into little balls, about 1/2 inch in diameter and set aside.
  4. Lay out 4 slices of red beets and top each with 1 goat cheese ball. Top goat cheese balls with 4 slices of yellow beets, then continue with goat cheese, red beet slices, goat cheese, yellow beet slices, goat cheese, red beet, finishing with goat cheese. Using a spatula, place beet and goat cheese napoleons in tupperware to refrigerate until serving.
  5. Cut 1/2 inch of bottom of beligan endive and pile leaves (4-5 high) on the cutting board, vertically. Carefully slice in juliennes, then place in tupperware, fill tupperware with water and cover with a damp papertowel, then tupperware lid, place in refrigerator until service.
  6. Combine mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl, whisk until salt is dissolved and then run in evoo while whisking to emulsify vinaigrette. Place in small tupperware and refrigerate until service.
To Serve: Remove napoleons, vinaigrette and endive from fridge at 15-30 minutes before you plan to serve the salad. In a medium bowl, toss julienned endive with mustard vinaigrette and lay in center of plate. Flatten down endive to create a little bed to sit the napoleon on. Using a spatula, remove napoleon from tupperware and place in center of plate, in center of endive. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle extra mustard vinaigrette around the edges of the endive, close to the edges of the plate to enjoy.


Recipe: Jumbo Lump Crab Thai Salad

Recently I served this asian fusion appetizer at a bridal shower. It was actually a cooking demonstation, where they visited and I prepared their dinner. Although I made a variety of dishes, this was the best received as everyone at the party wanted the recipe - so I'll just post it here.
Jumbo Lump Crab Thai Salad
(Makes about 20 appetizers)
  • 1 - 1lb. pkg. Fresh Jumbo Lump Chesapeake Crab Meat
  • 1/4 c. coconut milk
  • 2 t.-1 T. green curry paste (depending on how hot you want it)
  • 2 Mangos, brunoise
  • 1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c. green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 - pkg wontons
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove wontons from package and pile about 1/2 inch thick, cut with circle mold (1 1/2"-2" ring mold). Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and lay out circle wontons, so they don't touch, place in oven and bake until golden brown - about 5-8 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine coconut milk, green curry paste, salt and pepper, whisk until combined.
  3. Add crab meat, mango, cilantro, green onions to coconut milk-curry mixture and gently toss with spatula (careful not to break up the crab lump meat pieces).
To Serve: Place about 2 T. of salad mixture on each wonton and serve immediately.


Rammy Award Dinner on Saturday, June 25th, 2006

If you aren't familiar with the RAMMY's, it is the annual place to see and be seen in the restaurant industry. It is 'technically' the RAMW's (Restaurant Assoc. of Metro Washington) Annual dinner celebrating their 'voted' picks of the best of the best restaurants, chefs, etc. in the DC Metro area. But it's really a who's who list of attendees and the chance for 'normal' restaurant diners to get a glimpse and rub elbows with the 'big' chefs and restaurateurs of the DC Metro area.

To see a list of nominees: visit the RAMW's website to get the pdf http://www.ramw.org/pdf/06nominee.pdf.

Not to brag too much, but my previous employers of Restaurant Eve, Maestro and Butterfield 9 were nominated for multiple awards, including 'Pastry Chef of the Year' (Butterfield 9) 'Chef of the Year' (Restaurant Eve),'Wine & Beverage Program of the Year' (Restaurant Eve) and Best 'Fine Dining Restaurant' (Maestro).

For ticket information - you actually have to call them at 202.331.5990.