Recipe: Sausage with Polenta

OK. Here is this well loved dish. I’ve had multiple people ask me for this and now that I’ve added a great multi layered spinach, I’m giving it to you.

To make this dish, you first buy a ton of red grapes. Wash and destem. Then you put them in a roasting pan. Next you make or buy sweet Italian sausage. (Optional step, brown the sausage.) Put the sausage in the roasting pan on top of the grapes. Add some fresh rosemary. (Yes you can use dried.) Take the needles off of at least three stems and you can even put in a couple of whole stems. (BTW, I’ve used all green, all red and a mix. I like the all red grapes, seedless, the best.)

Put it in a cold oven at 350 for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or 400 degrees for 2 hours and 15 mins. Subtract 15-30 mins if you brown the sausage. If you aren’t making this for twenty, you probably can subtract a 1/2 hour or more. You want the sausage to brown even more and the grapes to ‘caramelize’. Serve over polenta and put the green beans and spinach on the side.

To make the polenta you need to look in the Joy of Cooking and follow that recipe exactly. Then at the very end add in 1 1/2small logs of goat cheese and a lot of chives, fresh. I use 1 1/2 small logs of goat cheese for about 2 1/2 cups of polenta. It’s pretty basic. Use almost any recipe for the polenta and then add the goat cheese and chives. I’ve been known to even add mint. Season.

Next, blanch, parblanch or parboil your string beans in water that contains smoked sea salt. You can parblanch but I tend to parboil them (about 5 mins) and don’t forget to shock them in an ice bath with smoked sea salt. Let them sit for at least 10 mins. Then drain and put in a frying pan with olive oil and butter. Season with black pepper and smoked sea salt. Put in a pinch or two of lavender and saute gently for 10 mins. Basically warming it up.

Next heat up a pan with olive oil in it. After it is very hot, fill with spinach and cook. Then add butter to taste. (In all of this, I assume unsalted butter.) Cook this down. Add more spinach, fill it up again. Cook for 5 mins stirring and then add more spinach. Turn off the heat and fill the pan again. Wait 10 mins, reheat the pan gently and serve.

Perilla Pastry Chef is Robert (no last name yet)

So, the mystery is only half solved. However, I do have the scoop on the tasting menu. It’s 6 courses, the entire table has to get it and there is no wine pairing. Also, it’s $80 per person. Cheap! Cheap!

So, what’s on the menu? Well, for that you’ll have to wait and see. We have got to go back soonest. If anyone knows Robert’s last name, you’ll get a chocolate from me if you come here and get it. 😉 Oh, and plus my undying gratitude.

Next year, I’ll be doing a 4-5 course menu, more of a tasting style. Small portions of loveliness. Remember, the menu will be molecular and physical gastronomy. I have a blog entry on this.

Perilla Pastry Chef: Who is it?

Well, an anonymous commenter said, (At 12:24 AM, Anonymous said…)

“Went to perilla on Sunday – loved the tasting menu and the service. The dessert menu has changed for the better in so many ways!! They must have someone new since I spent about 10 minutes with my friends deciding what else we wanted from it after finishing our meal.”

Who could this be? Who is the new Pastry Chef? Inquiring taste buds want to know. I am soooo jealous. Just tell them Mark at the Greenville Arms sent you.

We didn’t have the tasting menu. I think that that must be new. I can’t wait to go back just so long as I get the faro risotto.

Thanks for the comment, whoever you are….


Recipe: Mac ‘n Cheese

Here’s another recipe that people want. And yes, I’m going to eventually have a sidebar that will link to the recipe pages. Or I’ll put them on the website. I’ll take care of that this winter when I have a minute.

This recipe and the tomato salad recipe are the two most loved starters that I do. This Mac ‘n Cheese is inspired by both Thomas Keller and Dave. Just a tin of caviar and you would have been in the finals, Dave.

This feeds about 20.

Boil water with smoked sea salt and olive oil. Put in 80 rigatoni and boil for 7 minutes. Shock that in an ice bath with smoked sea salt in it.

Next you make the cognac cream sauce.

Take a cup of cognac and put it under high flame. You want to reduce by half.

Dice an onion (medium) and put in 3 T minced garlic in a hot pan with olive oil.
Deglaze with good Amontillado. Next put in the by now flaming cognac and follow immediately with 1 cup cream.

Stir. Add Mexican Oregano and tarragon (fresh.) Let this reduce by 1/4. Slice in one fresh French Summer or if you got it Winter Truffle. Reduce until reduced by 1/2.

Next take a oven safe individual dish, we use these boats, and put in a T of mascarpone, put in 4 rigatoni, then slice more truffles on top of the pasta. Add grated Fontal or Fontina and then add grated Parmesan reggiano. Next put on some Italian season bread crumbs (crumbs, oregano dried, basil dried, and sea salt.) Top this off with the cream sauce and put in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 mins until the edges turn brown and it is bubbling.

Take out and eat.

I’ll put the brioche recipe up next.

BTW, the cookie recipe, the chocolate chip, is up here somewhere. And don’t forget to add more chips than you think should be added and I use Callebaut 55%.

Susan Ogilvie Photo Op: Yet Again

Well, for the second time this year, let me introduce the wunnerful Susan Ogilvie.

And here’s her studients:

And at the dinner? breakfast? table.

Yea! Kim is on the ball and got this pictures to me fast even with all the very hard work my lovely puts in every day.

It’s great having Susan here! Come again! Oh, wait she is. Back in 2009 and this time it’s with beer. Please. 😉 Susan is the best painter. Take her class and you’ll see.


Well, I finally got the last three ganaches made for my tea set. And I’ve been making milk chocolate bark. Tomorrow, I’ll finish off the tea set.


Extra Pictures Photo Op: Here’s to Kim

Kim, bless her, has put some extra pictures for me to put up. Soon, I don’t know when, we’ll put up video, too.

Here’s my mom helping me dip truffles. Yes, they’re square but they are still truffles. They’re just square.

Making truffles…


Trying out some Peter’s chocolate.

Where in the world is Kim? San Diego? Nope. She’s taking the pictures.

Eat lots of chocolate. It will keep you happy and fit. OK. It’ll keep you happy.

Susan Ogilvie Photo Op: Not yet there

But we have just about caught up. Susan is a doll and a great teacher. Pure talent. Plus she brings me beer. (Hint, hint.) Well, some bring wine and some bring chocolates. (Thanks to all of you.)

Here’s to Port Townsend Barley Wine. If we’re lucky, Kim will get me those pictures soon.

Jerry Brommer Photo Op: What a fun class

We love all the workshops here at the Hudson River Valley Workshops but every now and then, we get a combination of personalities that just makes it that much more fun. And we know who we are talking about here. 😉

Here’s the man himself. What a genius.

And his fun lovely crew.

See what I mean?

Who’s that beautiful dame?

And for just a lively class, we had some great quiet moments.

A quiet moment.

Another quiet moment.

And another quiet moment.

And yes, Chestina, I’m even more handsome now than when you last saw me. Oh, and the tomato salad recipe is on the blog. I just put them up. WRT to the cookies, I basically use the dark chocolate chip recipe off of the Nestlé’s bag with extra chips and a little more butter and a little less baking powder.


Kim English Photo Op: Now this was an intense class

And I ain’t kidding. (BTW, ain’t is the proper contraction for am not. What else would you say, amn’t? Oh, and the spell checker lets ain’t through.)

And here is the man himself. In his quietly handsome way, he lead them to great art.

Helped them.

Now doesn’t that look like fun?

I’m sorry there were so many great photos. Here’s a couple more.

Lew Lehrman Photo Op: And boy are we behind.

It just goes to show you how very busy we are with the workshops, the inn, the chocolate business, with Kim’s quilting business and etc. etc. etc. I’m just going to put up a bunch of pictures. 5 classes to put up, not even including Susan O.’s class that’s going on right now and not including some extra August pictures.

Here’s some great photos of Lew’s students sketching at the dinner table. Enjoy.

Here’s the man himself.

And now his class.

Two Recipes: Chicken and Tomato Salad

Here are the two recipes for the tomato salad and the chicken dish that is poêlé. (A poêle is a pan.)

Take mirepoix , edible mirepoix or matignon, which is 50% carrots, 20% celery, 10% leeks, 10% onions, and 10% ham. You can use Alan Bentons Country Hams or you can use spicy capicola. Put them in a pot. I like to do it in rows. Kim does the same. Then you put smoked sea salt on top with black pepper. Don’t leave this out. Take boneless skinless chicken thighs and lay them on top. Put a cover on the pot and put in the oven to bake. We bake it for 2 hours. Use one carrot per person and use three to four chicken thighs per person. If you are serving less than 10 I’d bake it for only 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour at 350 – 400 depending on the oven.

For the tomato salad, here is how you make the dressing. You mix about 1 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1-3 T of Mexican oregano, 1-3 T of basil. Then you use sea salt to taste. I use a bunch and I put it directly on the tomatoes and I also put on black pepper. At this point you’ve cut the roma tomatoes into 1/8ths and have put in a Tupperware. Then you put the dressing over the tomatos, shake and serve. If you like, put it in fridge for 24 hours. I usually don’t.


These kids have a future in advertisement

Lisa F. sent me and Kim this great picture of her kids eating a Greenville Arms cookie and saying it’s simply the best cookie ever, in the world as we know it today.

When I saw this picture, I thought it was an ad or a still from a commercial that Kim’s sister sent. These girls have a future in acting or advertising. Who put this shot together? Great job, Lisa. I still can’t believe this isn’t a Mikey commercial. All of the elements are there.

Well, that’s all the pictures for now. Kim still hasn’t cut me a disk.

New Chocolates

Hokay! For those of you that don’t know, I’m a chocolatier. That’s sort of like an En-gin-eer of chocolates.

I’ve put together some new chocolates. They are not yet on the menu.

I’ve completed my coffee set:

Café Americano — white chocolate with Keoke flavors and a Brazilian coffee bean.

Café con Leche — milk chocolate shell with an exquisit dark chocolate coffee ganache. This ganache has no milk or butter in it. It is strictly a coffee blend, Kona with some other coffees. Yes, this has Kalhua in it and yes this also has a coffee bean in it.

Tinto — dark chocolate inside and out. This is a dark chocolate shell with the same dark chocolate coffee ganache as in the Cafe con Leche but no coffee bean.

In the Colombian coffee world, tinto means black coffee. Espresso like. Literally tinto (think tint) means ink and is used for red wine and for coffee. Café con Leche is obviously coffee with milk and is a caramel color. This is like Café Au Lait. Café Americano is actually espresso cut with boiling water. About 6 oz of water to a shot of espresso. In this case, I used white chocolate with coffee added to it. It’s light and yummy.

Now what most of you don’t know, I’m creating a tea set. Yup. That’s right. Tea! Ask about them. Give us a call: 518 966 5219. You can have the chocolates shipped.

I’m still waiting for the pictures from Kim. She’s downloaded the pictures but has not gottem them to me yet. Their coming. don’t worry.

Perilla Redux: And this is why I always ask the waiter

From Frank Bruni of NY Times Restaurant Reviews: “Almost none of the appetizers and entrees satisfied me quite as much as two of the sides: a gooey dish of farro made in the manner of risotto, thickened with Parmesan, butter and artichoke confit; and creamed corn with a generous dose of garlic chives.”

Basically, he liked everything we ate there, even, gasp the dessert. I always ask my waiter what I should eat. I’m not out to do a comprehensive review of restaurants. I’m out for a little fun with my wife Kim.

That farro risotto was heavenly and the creamed corn great.

ChocoVision Revolation Delta: it works and I love it

Indeed, I finally got a working machine. This one isn’t shocking me and it’s working just fine though the extended temper sometimes doesn’t last longer than 10 hours, and it’s a little bit of a pain when it goes into it’s heat mode, I still love it. I still think it’s worth having the delta. The next machine, I hear will be a 25lb machine and I hope they make it water heated and cooled. I like the air cooled and heated machine I currently have but I just can’t see scaling this up.

I’m making plenty of chocolates, people. So, now, you have to buy them. Give us a call at the Arms and put in your orders. Thanks.

Greenville Arms 1889 Inn
Routes 32 & 81, Greene County, Greenville, New York 12083
Toll-free: 1-888-665-0044

ChocoVision Delta: ChocoVision Rev Delta here and working

Well, I am using the ChocoVision Rev Delta and it is sweet. I am making twice the amount of chocolates in the same amount of time with half the work and with half the muss and fuss and with better binning. However, I am running up against the ten pound limit pretty fast. Joe Cravino talked about pumping 200 lbs per day through this machine and though that’s a bit for me right now, I think 20 lbs per day would be just fine.

Currently, I restart the tempering process when I do the next 10 or the next 10 lbs. I know, I probably don’t have to do that because of the factory temper but call me old fashion, there is something to be said for retempering the factory chocolate. The temper is good enough for seed but I’d rather have newly tempered, not directly tempered, chocolate for my chocolates.

I’ll have to get the 200 lbs secret from Joe. It involved a 40kg melter and going to 114 then back to 93 and then I assume spooning it into the temperer. I’ll have to get clarification.

I’m having so much fun that I may not go to NJ. And that’s a lot of fun. I did melt chocolate shells for molded chocolated tonight. I did two types, banana saffron and cherry cordials.

Now, order them. Call us up and order a couple of pounds. 🙂

ChocoVision Revolation: ChocoVision Delta Tempering Machine Not Ready

Aaarggghhh! Well, I was 1/2 way to Poughkeepsie when I got the call from ChocoVision. After I was told that my machine, the ChocoVision Delta, was ready, and after I was already on the road, I was then told that no, there were problems in the testing.

Come on folks. I understand it’s a new machine but you have it in production. Every time I call to get a machine, they have to make one by hand and then after testing, if it fails, it seems that they have to make another one and do another 8-hours of testing.

Perhaps you should be making two of these things. If one fails, maybe the other will be good. My advise? Wait a few months before buying the Delta. The people at ChocoVision are somewhat responsive but I think that the machine is probably no production ready or they’d be making them more regularly and not custom per each customer call.

I’ll keep you informed of how the machine is doing and when I eventually get a machine, how well it works. Right now, I’m afraid to plug Christine back in.

The Delta is supposed to not have the thickening problem and is supposed to keep the chocolate in temper for 24 hours to 2 weeks, but I have not seem any evidence of this behavior. I haven’t yet seen any evidence of any behavior.

And, here’s a question for you, why aren’t you people working on the weekends to get these machines finalized? I mean, in technology companies, working weekends is de rigeur, hell, it’s de facto.

Anyway, even after all this, I’m still looking forward to putting this into production. Joe Cravino says I can process 200 lbs a day with a 40 kilo melter. We’ll see. I’d like to process just the 10 lbs that this machine can do first.

Remember the Cortina Family?

Well, they came back and this time didn’t quite pack the inn to the gills thought it seemed that way. Some new faces and some faces that are now a little bit older.

Anyway, a fun time was had by all and everyone had lots of chocolate. We have another reunion, also a memorial, staying here right now, just a couple of days later.

ChocoVision Machine

Well, I just got a new tempering machine. The Delta. The newest offering from ChocoVision. I don’t have a picture of it because it is broken. How did it break? No idea. But now I have to wait until Monday to get a replacement and there goes all my time I would have spent this weekend doing my chocolates. Now I have to do it all by hand.

The machine is a good one but I don’t think they’ve worked out the bugs.

I’ll take a picture when I get my new machine.

— Later —

OK. Kim warned me but I just can’t stop myself. Actually, after resetting the Fahrenheit/Celsius settings, the machine started working again. However, it shocked me again. I’m not sure what is wrong here. But I’ll go pick up a new machine this Monday. In the meantime, I’m just playing it cool. 😉 I love this machine. It takes a long time to temper the chocolate but it’s very sure and reliable.