Tag Archives: cherry

From the kitchen of: John Therres

chocolate-cherry-jubilee-shortcakesChef John Therres of M Bar at the Renaissance M Street Hotel is serving up Chocolate Cherry Jubilee Shortcakes  during the
Cherry Blossom Festival, free with purchase of any appetizer or entrée. It’s just a sample of the upscale comfort and whimsy used in his modern American menus.  We managed to snag a few minutes of his time to ask the usual questions…

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Does a kitchen aid count?  I have a meat grinder attachment, a sausage stuffer attachment, and pasta rollers.  It is certainly the most versatile.  If it doesn’t count, then my tablespoon measure–it slides back and forth so that you can measure a teaspoon, 1/2 tablespoon, and tablespoon all with one device.  I’ve had mine 12 years now.  I am sucker for anything that has multiple uses and is durable.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Chef tables/open kitchens, and not just because I constantly see the inner workings of a kitchen.  For the most part, they are pretentious and lacking the general zaniness of everyday kitchen life.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
It would probably be some kind of mutant diner with whimsical or upscale versions of classic diner dishes.  Think bacon cheeseburger, but the burger is a patty composed of ground bacon. A popular item for special events at the hotel is my ground bacon and bleu cheese burgers (with pear ketchup! See recipe after the jump.)

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
I try and go to the farmer’s market most Sundays (Dupont Circle), and I think my favorite local products are the cheeses. They will let you sample all of them, and it takes great restraint not to buy them all.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Customers that douse their food in salt and pepper before they even taste it.  Or even worse, people that talk on their cellphones in restaurants.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Beer.  I really love Guinness, and the Sam Adams Seasonal White Ale.  As for food, it’s probably junk food: potato chips or something fried.  Recently I’ve become obsessed with falafel.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home? Will you share the recipe with us?
My favorite thing to cook at home is probably fettuccine alfredo–it’s simple and decadent. The recipe for the pasta is from a friend–it’s got a lot of eggs, but it holds up really well.  The sauce, well, that was just trial and error.
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Filed under baking, Events, Food, holiday, Interview, Recipes, Restaurants

Cherry, Cherry, Bo Berry…

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Ok, I know you’ve been waiting for it and I finally got it together…  Here’s your list of culinary indulgences for the Cherry Blossom Festival!

Buzz Bakery will be doing cherry infused cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for $2.75 each. They are also offering cherry almond granola.  And to wash down those cupcakes they’re serving up a Cherry Cordial Latte (1883 Routin Cherry Syrup imported from the French Alps and Buzz Homemade Chocolate Sauce) made with Illy Espresso. YUM!

Equinox will be serving up creative cherry cocktails and cherry-inspired snacks as Equinox springs into a Cherry Blossom-inspired Happy Hour beginning March 20, 2009. Every Friday from 5-7 pm starting March 20 until June 21, 2009, happy hour customers can sip on unique cherry cocktails while enjoying complimentary snacks provided by Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Equinox Todd Gray and Pastry Chef Melanie Parker.

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company has been busy whipping up Cherry Blossom Picnic Basket packed with mouthwatering barbeque and delicious desserts. The cherry-themed lunch to go includes a rack of ribs, spicy grilled chicken wings, two sides, honey jalapeno cornbread, cherry pie and cherry soda for a steal at $44.99.

Ici Urban Bistro is serving up foie gras, cherry almond crumble and more cherry inspired cocktails that one could down.

From savory to sweet, Restaurant 3 has a menu sprinkled with cherry-filled delights. The Clarendon neighborhood restaurant will brighten the festival with their featured entrée of Grilled American Lamb Loin with a cherry bourbon demi glace and served with roasted mushrooms, wilted spinach, goat cheese & orzo pasta, priced at $26. Executive Chef Brian Robinson will also roll out a tempting Cherry Cobbler with a sugar cookie crust topped with homemade cherry vanilla swirl ice cream, priced at $7. Mixologist Ria Freydberg will be shaking up Cherry Towns, which feature raspberry vodka, Bing cherry and rose-infused syrup, fresh orange juice and cherry bitters.

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My My Cherry Pie

Summer is really here when the cherries are in abundance in the grocery stores. With the sweltering heat the last couple of weeks it’s time for cherry pie. This recipe is one of my favorites and is always a hit. The secret to incredible pie crust is easy – freeze the butter! This not only prevents it from melting when being “cut” into the flour, but keeps it cold and in pea-sized piece throughout the rolling of the dough.

My My Cherry Pie

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tbsp frozen unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ slices
6 tbsp ice water

For the filling:
1 1/2 lbs. fresh dark sweet cherries, stemmed, pitted, halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of ground cinnamon
Dash of freshly grated nutmeg

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon milk

Many more pictures after the jump…

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Sour Cherry Jam

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I love jams and jellies and was able to make many different varieties this summer when fruits were in peak season. This recipe is from my mom’s collection.

Sour Cherry Jam
Makes 3 pints or 6 half pints

4 cups fully ripe sour cherries (about 3 pounds)
4 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp butter
1 box Sure.Jell powdered fruit pectin

Wash and dry jelly jars – set aside.

Remove the stems and pits from the cherries. Coarsely chop the fruit and measure out exactly 4 cups of the fruit into a saucepan.

Stir pectin into fruit and add butter (butter removes the foaming that occurs during cooking). Bring mixture to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and return to a rolling boil. Cook for one more minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam (this is still delicious to eat – I usually reserve it until after I have finished putting all the jam into the jars and eat it with crackers).

Carefully pour jam into prepared jars and apply lids. If you are not going to eat the jam within the week (or give to friends to eat within the week), you must process the jam by using canning techniques. You can learn more about canning at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Enjoy!

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