Favorite Summer Wedding Recipes

Summer Wedding Recipes - Essex Room Cape Ann MA

 

John Maher:  Hi, I’m John Maher. Today I’m here with Chef Ned Grieg, Executive Chef at Woodman’s and the Essex Room in Essex, Massachusetts. Today we’re talking about favorite summer wedding recipes.

Welcome, Ned.

Ned Grieg:  Good morning, John.

John:  Ned, what are some of your personal favorite summer wedding recipes?

Ned:  Oh, my. It’s going to be hard to whittle this one down. I have my own personal favorites, but I’m going to make a marriage of what my favorites are and what I’ve known that our brides and the brides’ families seem to choose on a regular basis.

John:  OK.

Delicious Summertime Soups

Ned:  Obviously, summertime, hot. Making things hot, you don’t want to be that hot. My favorite soup, and the soup of choice, is probably our gazpacho. Not only do we sell this to our clients at our weddings, we also make it for the restaurant down front.

The one that I make, everything is actually hand diced, every single vegetable. It stays fresh, bright and crisp for a period of seven to eight days in your refrigerator, which is also nice. Since I make about 175 gallons of this a week, it’s a real process.

John:  What is gazpacho?

Ned:  Gazpacho is a chilled soup of Spanish origin. I have heard through the grapevine that actually gazpacho, the original one, was a chopped salad that had cucumber and celery and different types of colored peppers in it, and it was lightly flavored with cumin, coriander, garlic. In Spain they probably used basil instead of cilantro, like the Spanish people do over in South America, and fresh tomatoes.

This man made this as a salad and had a lot left over. Because he seasoned it with salt and pepper, what it has to do is that your vegetables will weep their liquid. He had some leftover and he put it in his refrigerator. He came back the next morning to his restaurant and he saw he had this puddle of liquid with all these diced vegetables in it.

John:  The salad had wilted and become soup.

Ned:  Right. Instead of making another salad, he decided to serve this chilled wilted soup that had no lettuce in it. I truly love this soup a lot. It’s delicious. A lot of people do it differently. Some people just puree all their items in a blender. Personally, I like it with a little bit of texture and crunch to it, so we hand dice all our vegetables.

When I say hand dice, they’re diced quite small. In the culinary vernacular, there’s a term called a julienne. A julienne is two inches long and one quarter inch thick. What we do is we take that julienne and dice them up into one quarter inch pieces. That’s what we do 175 gallons a week for when the season’s rolling for us.

Gazpacho is a great soup. You can serve it in many different ways. This particular one is the one that’s made out of tomatoes and vegetables. You can embellish it with some chilled seafood if you want. You can also do the same kind of concept doing it with fresh fruit, which I have done before, as well.

Soup is my favorite food to eat in the summertime. You can make it in advance, and it’s always ready to go.

Delectable Summertime Salads

John:  OK. What’s next?

Ned:  Salad. This salad’s interesting. It’s my favorite salad to make. We sell these to our clients on a regular basis on small versions. It’s called a Panzanella salad. We put them in brandy snifters so they can see what it is. It’s a layered salad done with crusty bread and different types of Italian and Tuscan cheeses and vegetables. You make multiple layers of greens, crusty bread and lettuce.

We use focaccia, provolone cheese, mozzarella, artichokes, roasted red peppers and heirloom tomato. You build all these layers in this little brandy snifter. It’s a process of love because it takes a long time to put it together.

John:  You’re doing individual ones for everybody?

Ned:  Yes, and we’ll put them in a brandy snifter sized glass because I want them to see the colors. Just before we serve it, about 15 minutes before, we will drizzle it with olive oil and balsamic syrup.

It’s a pretty salad. The bread absorbs the flavor of the olive oil and the balsamic syrup. It’s light and delicate because we’re not making it so big. It’s not like having a Caesar salad. You get to pick out all the lovely things and just go right along with it.

Using Starchy Vegetables in the Summer

John:  OK. What about a vegetable or a starch? Do you use starches in the summer as well?

Ned:  Yes, we do starches in the summer. Instead of doing scalloped potatoes, I make this thing. It’s called a sweet potato pave, which means multiple layers. Instead of making it with cream and lots of cheeses, I do this with vegetable broth and olive oil.

It’s where you thinly slice your sweet potatoes. You put a layer down in a baking dish. Then I’ll season it with a little bit of salt and pepper, some fresh chopped up lemon thyme. Then I’ll drizzle it with a touch of olive oil.

I’ll do about 12 layers of these potatoes, even though it’s only going to be about two inches tall. If you were doing a dish that was 9 inches by 12 inches, you would probably add about two and a half cups of a vegetable broth to it after that. You cover it, and then you cook it in the oven for about 35, 40 minutes, until it becomes soft.

The finishing touch, you take the covering off the top of your potatoes, and you let it get a little bit brown and crispy. After that’s done, we cool it. Then we just turn it out of the dish. We cut them in either shapes of a parallelogram or a round with a cookie cutter. We line them all up, and when it’s ready to go, we serve it for our weddings.

John:  That sounds great. What’s next?

Utilizing Your Excess

Ned:  Lots of times, in the summertime, especially if you’re a caterer, if you were going to buy five pounds of potatoes, you would realize that buying 10 pounds and not breaking a case would only cost you the same amount of money, but you’re getting twice the amount of product. That happens on a regular basis, especially if you’re doing an event for up to 200, 250 people.

John:  Sure.

Ned:  If I’m doing a stacked heirloom tomato salad, I probably need 40 pounds of tomatoes, but I’m going to be nicking off the tops and the bottoms so they’ll sit flat on the plate, so I’m left with all this extra tomato. This will happen to you at home when those tomatoes come into your garden and you don’t know what to do with all of them.

Let’s make a tomato and ginger chutney out of them. It’s something that you utilize your excess, and/or a leftover. You’re processing it to the point where you can make it and use it for some other kind of dish, like this tomato ginger chutney in the fall, or in the next party that I sell, I’ll serve that like a brie that’s baked in a wooden box. Then I’ll give them a little bit of tomato ginger chutney with some French bread on the side.

John:  Right. What is a chutney? What’s the process for making that?

Ned:  A chutney is a combination of ingredients, usually an acid, which would be lemon juice. I always put a little bit of white wine vinegar in as well. You use the major part of the fruit, which a tomato is a fruit.

Most chutney are made, they have lemons and oranges in it. What you do is you cut them very, very thin, you cut them in half, then you quarter it again, you nip off both ends where the bitter part is, you slice it as thinly as possible without taking your finger nails off.

That would go in with the fruit that will be diced up, usually there’s an equal amount of onion. For when I do mine, if you are going to make some chutney like this, you probably want about the weight of 10 — my ratio here, 10 pounds of tomatoes, you are going to use about 16 ounces of peeled fresh ginger, also use one jar of fresh pickled ginger, the kind that you get with your sushi.

You take four lemons and four oranges, I’ll quarter them and thinly slice them. I’ll take probably about a pound and a half, two pounds of white onions. I put those thinly slice in with all the other ingredients.

Whatever color the fruit is, if it’s a light colored fruit, you use a light colored vinegar, if it’s a dark colored fruit use a dark colored vinegar to cook it with, then sugar, you add those ingredients, just make sure you have a really good heavy bottom sauce pot when you cook this in it, go slow.

If you cook it too fast in the thin bottom pan, it will burn on the bottom on you. If you have a tough long coated sauce pot, that would probably be the best way to go. It takes about an hour and 45 minutes, maybe two hours to cook it down until it reaches the consistency of almost like a bubbling pie when it comes out.

The English make chutney all the time, they serve it with their meats. It was probably indigenous to India, one time everybody has had a major graced chutney. That is made with mangoes, I’ve always liked it, I thought we could do better by just using mangoes to make a chutney. I make it with French blue plums in the fall which are really delicious. In the summertime we are making it with tomatoes because we have an abundance of them.

John:  Right, you are using those to put on top of some sort of meat or something like that?

Ned:  If you are grilling some chicken, put a little dollop of fresh tomato gingered chutney on top, that would be delicious.

Tropical Salsas in the Summertime

John:  Great, OK, what’s next?

Ned:  You’ve done your tapenade in the springtime, you’ve done your tomato salsas, let’s change it up, try making a different one. One of my favorite ones to eat, especially with fish or chicken. I make an avocado, papaya, tropical fruit salsa.

Close your eyes and think about the colors you see in this. Bright green from the avocado. The brightness from the papaya, there’s a little bit of onion in there, there’s some fresh cilantro, lime juice. What’s not to like about this one. It has an abundance of color, it has different textures in it.

The avocado is a little bit creamy and soft, the papaya has a little bit more of a bite to it. I do put in some small diced up pineapple to give it more of a Pacific room feeling to go along with it. I also put in some fresh chopped up strawberries at the very end. So you are getting red, you are getting orange, you are getting green, you are getting yellow.

John:  Right, really colorful.

Ned:  Oh my gosh, that would make any piece of fish taste really good. It will also make chicken go right over the top.

John:  Awesome. What about for a seafood dish or something like that?

Ned:  We try to do lots of different things. The most popular seafood dish that we sell, when we serve one cold, not necessarily for weddings, offside events, it’s cold poached salmon.

It’s easy to transport, it’s easy to do, it’s actually very easy to expedite out the meal when you need to serve it. When you poach salmon, what technically you are doing is you are submerging your salmon in scented water, cooking it for a period of five to seven minutes for an eight ounce portion until it’s done and then you are chilling it.

When I do poached salmon, I use real spring water, we get it from springs and it comes in the great, big five gallon bubblers. We use really clean water, I’m not taking it out of a tap. Also it sounds better when you are saying that you are using spring water as opposed to tap water when you are poaching your fish.

I add lemon juice and white wine, celery, carrots, onions, Bailey’s, and catcher salt. I let that water simmer for about 10 minutes, so it has some nice flavor to it.

John:  It’s almost like a soup kind of stock.

Ned:  Right, it’s a light water stock that it has a little bit of flavor in it. That is what you use to poach off your salmon in. It takes you about five to seven minutes for a six to eight ounce portion, each one of them.

You don’t need to have a fish poacher to do this either. You can do it in a nice little sauce pot, just make sure that it has a shallow side walls on it, so that you can get your scooper, strainer, whatever you are using to retrieve the salmon from the inside.

That’s how we poach the salmon. Make sure it’s really well chilled before you try to move it. You are going to transfer it to a wire rack, let it cool to room temperature, then get it, then refrigerate it. Make sure it’s really cold before you try to take it off that rack because you don’t want it to break.

I make a candy lemon vinaigrette to serve with this. What I do is I take fresh lemons, I peel them down with a lemon zester. All those little curls that we have we put in a small pot with the juice of that lemon and some sugar. We let it simmer for probably about 10 to 15 minutes.

I don’t cook it until they start to shrink up, I do cook them to take away from the bitterness of the pith that’s on the rind. I use those little candy peels for the garnish on the fish. The syrup that it was cooked in is incorporated into the vinaigrette. It’s sugar, it’s lemon juice, I add it with white balsamic vinegar. I always use canola oil because it has a neutral taste.

You put that into a Cuisinart or you are going to emulsify it with an emulsion blender. Add a little pinch of salt, a little bit of pepper. I like to taste the lemon thyme, you should grow some in your garden, it’s quite delicious.

John:  Lemon thyme.

Ned:  Lemon thyme. No, not like regular thyme which it can be really steamy. Lemon thyme grows really, really fast, it has green stems that are very soft, almost as soft as a child. You can dice it up and use the whole thing.

Plus the fact I don’t like stripping the rosemary off or stripping the leaves off a thyme, it just takes way too long. Why adopt my recipes to go that way. That will make you a wonderful vinaigrette, just when you are ready to go, the buttercup lettuce or the hydroponic lettuce that you can see bought in the grocery stores.

Take two of the outside leaves, make it into a cup, put your salmon inside of that, then put your little lemon zest garnish on top. Before you serve your guests, you can drizzle it with the vinaigrette.

John:  Right. That’s really great, if I was getting married in this summer, I think I would go ahead and just choose all of that they have, that sounds like something. Thanks again for speaking with me today Ned.

Ned:  You are welcome John. Enjoy these summer wedding recipes everyone!

John:  For more of information you can visit Woodman’s at woodmans.com or the Essex Room at essexroom.com


Recipe

Soup: Classic Spanish Gazpacho

Yield: 2 & 1/2 Gallons
100-6 Ounce Portions: 0.78

Item

Quantity & Unit Of Measure

Ned’s Notes

English Cucumber

5 Pounds: 6 Individual

Finely Diced With Skin

Celery

5 Pounds: 5 heads

Finely Diced

Pepper: Red

2 1/2 Pounds

Finely Diced

Pepper: Green

2 1/2 Pounds

Finely Diced

Pepper: Yellow

2 1/2 Pounds

Finely Diced

Cilantro

8 Ounces – 4 Bunches

Finely Chopped

Garlic

1 Cup

Finely Chopped

Cumin

2 Ounces

Volume

Coriander

2 Ounces

Volume

V-8 Juice

6 48 Ounces Cans

Lemon Juice

8 Ounces

Volume

Red Wine Vinegar

8 Ounces

Volume

Tabasco

2 Ounces

Volume

Olive Oil

8 Ounces

Volume

Cracked Black Pepper

To Taste

Kosher Salt

To Taste

Procedure

  1. Combine All Ingredients Except Avocado For Garnish.
  2. Make The Day Before & Let Rest If Possible.

Pressed Panzanella Salad

12 Portions

Item

Quantity & Unit Of Measure

Ned’s Notes

Foccicia

4 Individual

4 Inch Square

Provolone Cheese

4 Ounces

1 Oz. Per Salad

Mozzarella

4 Ounces

1 Oz. Per Salad

Canned Artichokes

8 Individual

2 Per Drained & Chopped

Roasted Red Pepper

8 Ounces

2 Per Drained & Patted Dry

Heirloom Roma Tomato

6 Individual

Sliced Thinly

Vinaigrette Ingredients

Capers

1/2 Cup

Drained

Kalamata Olives

1/2 Cup

Drained & Coarsely Chopped

Basil

1/2 Cup

Coarsely Chopped

Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup

Black Or White

Olive Oil

1 Cup

Procedure

  1. Simply layer The Ingredients On Bred.
  2. When Completed Place On Tray.
  3. Cover With Placement.
  4. Place Another Tray On Top.
  5. Weigh It Down With Bricks Evenly Displacing The Pressed Salad.
  6. Chill for 2 Hours.

Make The Vinaigrette

  1. Place Into A Food Processor And Puree.
  2. Drizzle Over Salad.
  3. Reserve A Few Of Each Item To Garnish Salad.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Sassy Sweet With Summer Herbs & Cream
Yield: 100 4 Ounces Portions
00.59 Per Serving

Item

Quantity & Unit Of Measure

Ned’s Notes

Vegetable Broth

12 Cups

Heavy Cream

8 Cups

Unsalted Butter

2 Pounds

All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 Pounds

Sweet Potatoes

25 Pounds

Dry Mustard Powder

4 Tablespoons

Tobascco

2 Tablespoons

Lemon Thyme

4 Ounces

White Pepper

To Taste

Kosher Salt

To Taste

Procedure

  1. Combine The Vegetable Broth & Cream In A 5 Gallon Stock Pot.
  2. Heat Over Moderately High Flame.
  3. When Almost Coming To A Boil Add Cream Cheese & Stir Till Completely Blended In.
  4. Make The Flour & Mix Well.
  5. Stream Into Vegetable/Cream/Cream Cheese Liquid.
  6. Stir Constantly Till Liquid Comes To A Bubbling Simmer.
  7. Turn Off Heat & Add Remaining Ingredients.
  8. Slice Sweet Potatoes Thinly On A Mandoline.
  9. Ladle A Little Sauce Into 4 Shallow Hotel Pans.
  10. Place A Layer Of Thinly Sliced Sweet Potatoes Down.
  11. Dust With Additional Salt & Pepper.
  12. Ladle Some More Sauce 7 Repeat The Steps Finishing With Sauce On Top.
  13. Tent With Foil & Bake @350*F. For 45 Minutes.
  14. Remove Tent & Continue Baking For An Additional 15-20 Minutes.
  15. Serve As Is Or Cool Completely & Cut Onto Single Serving Portion.

Chutney: Pear Ginger

Item

Quantity & Unit Of Measure

Ned’s Notes

Pears

24 Individual

Fresh

Ginger Root

16 Ounces

Peeled

Pickled Ginger

16 Ounces

Lemons

4 Individual

1/4’d & Thinly Sliced

Oranges

4 Individual

1/4’d & Thinly Sliced

White Onions

32 Ounces

1/4’d & Thinly Sliced

Red Whine Vinegar

64 Ounces

White Sugar

8 Pounds

Procedure

  1. Peel Pears As If Making A Pie.
  2. Place In A Heavy Bottom Sauce Pot – Add The Remaining Ingredients.
  3. Simmer Over Moderate Heat For 1 & 1/2 Hours.
  4. Cool The “Poached Pears”;Then Dice.
  5. Add Back Into Chutney Liquid.
  6. Store In A Pint Containers.
  7. Serve WIth Cheese.

Avocado Papaya Tropical Fruit Salsa

Yield 2 Quarts

Item

Quantity & Unit Of Measure

Ned’s Notes

Lime Juice

1/2 Cup

Canola Oil

1/2 Cup

Garlic

1/4 Cup

Freshly Chopped

Ginger

1/4 Cup

Freshly Chopped

Japaleno Pepper

1/4 Cup

Brunoise Dice

Red Onion

1 Cup

Brunoise Dice

Avocado

4 Individual

Medium Dice

Papaya

3 Individual

Medium Dice

Pineapple

1 Individual

Medium Dice

Cilantro

1 Bunch

Chiffonaide

Cumin

1 Tablespoon

Ground & Pan Toasted

Coriander

1 Tablespoon

Ground & Pan Toasted

Kosher Salt

To Taste

Cracked Black Pepper

To Taste

Strawberries

1/2 Cup

Medium Dice

Procedure

  1. Combine All Ingredients & Place Into A stainless Steel Mixing Bowl.
  2. Mix Well.
  3. Store In Quarts & Keep Well Chilled.
  4. Add Diced Strawberry Just Before Serving.

Poached Salmon with Candied Lemon Vinaigrette

Poached Wild Salmon Filet Served on Butter Lettuce
Garnished with Pine Nutes & Drizzled with Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield: 100 – Seven Ounce Salmon Portions
$4.26 Per Serving

Item

Quantity & Unit Of Measure

Ned’s Notes

Spring Water

3 Gallons

White Wine

64 Ounces

Lemon Juice

32 Ounces

Celery

3 Pounds

Coarely Cut

Carrots

3 Pounds

Coarely Cut

Leek Tops

6 Pounds

Coarsely Cut

Bay Leaves

6 Individuals

Koshe Salt

1/2 Cup

Food Release Spray

1/2 Can

Organic/Wild Salmon

40 pounds

Skin off

Pine Nuts

2 Pounds

Lighty Toasted

Lemons

25 Individuals

Zested With A Channel Knife

Lemon Juice

2 Cups

Reserve Juice From Above

Sugar

2 Pounds

White Wine

2 Cups

Canola Oil

5 Cups

Shallots

1 Cup

Finely Chopped

Lemon Simple Syrup

1 Cup

From Candied Lemon Peel

White Balsamic Vinegar

1 1/2 Cups

Lemon Thyme

1 1/2 Cups

Coarsely Chopped

Cracked Black Pepper

To Taste

Kosher Salt

To Taste

Hydro Butter Cup Lettuce

200 Leaves

Approximately 12 Heads