Montpelier Plate

The Montpelier Steeplechase isn’t until November, but the Montpelier Plate tastes good all year round.

MONTPELIER PLATE RECIPE:

Romaine spears with Brittany dip

1 head romaine lettuce

Pull the innermost leaves of a head of Romaine, wash and dry well (many of the outer leaves can be used, as well).

For the dressing:

1 large clove garlic

1 shallot

1 or 2 anchovies

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except the olive oil and romaine spears until frothy. With the machine still running, slowly add the olive oil.

Candied walnuts

1 cup oil

1 cup walnuts

1 cup sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

For one cup of walnuts, boil the nuts in water for two minutes. Drain and dry them. Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a deep saucepan. Fry the nuts until crisp, about 1 1⁄2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then roll in a mixture of the sugar, cumin, cayenne and salt. Let dry.

Serve romaine spears with dressing, candied walnuts and pear slices.

Herb-Infused Olive oil

2 cups olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

small branch of rosemary

1 teaspoon peppercorns

Place all herbs in a carafe or bottle. Warm the olive oil gently, and pour into the bottle. Serve with crusty bread to dip.

Mushroom, Onion, Bacon and Gruyère Crustless Quiche

4 slices bacon

1 cup mushrooms

1⁄2 cup onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

salt

pepper

3 large eggs

1 cup half-and-half

3⁄4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

Preheat the oven to 375, and butter a 9-inch Pyrex plate. Cook the bacon until crisp, and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and, over medium heat, add the onions and mushrooms, stirring until lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and parsley, and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Crumble the bacon and add to the mushroom mix. Whisk the eggs with the half-and-half. Add the mushroom mix to the baking dish, then the cheese, and pour the egg mixture over all. Bake until quiche is puffed and golden, about 35 minutes.

Kabobs

2 chicken breasts, cut in 1-by-1-inch pieces

2 sirlion strips, cut in 1-by-1-inch pieces

1 large red pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch cubes

1 large yellow pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch cubes

1 red onion, cut in wedges

1 bulb fennel, cut in 1-inch pieces

domestic mushrooms, whole

for the marinade:

1 cup olive oil

1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

salt

pepper, freshly ground

Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Using either metal skewers or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water overnight, alternately skewer the meats with the peppers and onion and fennel. Finish each skewer with a whole mushroom. Marinate overnight, and season well with salt and pepper before grilling.

Read the story: Off the Rails

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