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February 2009

02/18/2009

St. Jude's 11th Annual Gourmet Gala

Last night I was one of 40 DC area chefs to particpate in the St Jude Gourmet Gala: Mardi Gras for the Kids! at the National Building Museum.  This amazing event supports children suffering from catastrophic and life-threatening diseases.  Over 600 were attendance sampling terrific cuisine from the city's top restaurants including Equinox, CityZen, Citronelle, Marcel's and of course, Blue Duck Tavern!

For the event, we prepared a traditional pork and white bean cassoulet dish, which was a huge hit!  In fact, everyone was in awe over the large portion sizes we were serving.  Too bad we lost the "most popular dish" contest to the Ronald Reagan Building (they brought an incredible selection of desserts!!)

Here are a few pictures of me (taken against my will) from last night's event:

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DSC04262     

    

02/17/2009

Our Apple Pie

Our most signature dish is probably the Apple Pie, so what a perfect topic to start this blog.  In December 2006, just a few months after the restaurant opened, USA Today named Blue Duck Tavern's apple pie one of the year's "Top 25 Best Dishes."

I am sure you have wondered what makes this dessert so amazing? I personally think it's the perfectly Apple Pie - v2 baked crust, drizzle of apricot glaze, and topped off with our handmade vanilla bean ice cream.  Perfection! 

So, since I am in a very generous mood today, I am going to share this delicious recipe with you. Try to make it at home and if you think you've got a winner, bring me in a piece to try!  

Blue Duck Tavern Apple Pie

Ingredients

Filing                                                                                

5 Granny Smith apples (peeled and cut into 8 wedges)                 

2 oz butter                                                                        

2 cinnamon sticks 

1/2 cup brown sugar

Pie Dough

1 lb butter (cold), chopped into small pieces

1 lb all purpose flour

4 oz cake flour

1 oz sugar

1 tsp salt

4 egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream        

Assembling

2 oz apple sauce

Egg Wash

2 eggs and 2 tbsp milk, combined                                                

Method 

Filing

In a saute pan, melt better.  Add brown sugar and cinnamon sticks.  Cook until caramelized and then add apples.  Cook just until they are soft but retain their firmness.  HINT: chill the apples before cooking.

Pie Dough

In a mixer, with a paddle, mix butter, flour, sugar and salt, until combined.  Do not overmix.  In a bowl, mix egg yolks and cream together.  Add to the flour mixture.  Mix very quickly, just until everything comes together. Chill dough before using.

Assembling

Roll pie dough to 1/8 inch thick and line the pie tin with it.  Add apple sauce at the bottom.  Spread it out with a spatula, then fill up the pie with the cooked apples.  Cut out one round piece of pie dough and place on top. Brush with egg wash.  Sprinkle some brown sugar on top.  Bake in the oven at 350F for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.