Monday, April 19, 2010

Benefit Bash in Review

After a long hiatus due to multiple computer malfunctions, Betty Brooklyn is returning to the blogosphere.

It is now time for much belated thanks to all of those who contributed to the Benefit Bash for BK Farmyards.

Here are some recipes from the event. For those of you who were there, you can learn how to make some of your favorites. And for those of you who couldn't make it, this is to make you jealous....

Also, this entry features some beautiful and amazing photos by Raymond Adams who photographed the event. Please check out some of his other work at his website:

Ramp and pistachio pesto:

Ramps are wild leeks that are foraged all along the Eastern Coast of North America. They have a flavor similar to garlic and onions but are spicier and grassier. There are so many delicious recipes featuring ramps, I highly suggest you go get some from the farmer's market or try and forage your own. Then have fun and experiment. The bulbs make delicious sweet vinegar pickles and the greens are excellent sauteed and mixed in stir fries and pastas. Here is one of my favorite applications: pesto.

Seasonality: Ramps are extremely seasonal. They are only available from Late April through May.

Beverage Pair: Full bodied white wine such as a Viognier

1 bunch Ramps
1 bunch Basil
8 oz. Pistachios
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Juice to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

-Wash the ramps well, then slice them thinly.
-Sautee the ramps in a skillet lightly (until just wilted), then cool them in one layer on a tray in the refrigerator to maintain their color.
-Pick the basil leaves from the stems and save the stems for herbal tea or stock.
-Wash the basil leaves in a bowl of cold water and dry them well without damaging the leaves.
-Then place the pistachios, ramps and basil in the blender with a few TBS. of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Only use enough oil to get the blender going.
-Blend until completely incorporated, or if you prefer a rustic look, leave it chunkier.
-Add salt, pepper and additional lemon juice to your taste.

To make the hors d'oeuvre I served at the party: Mix the pesto with thinly sliced sugar snap peas and blanched English peas and spoon onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radish for garnish.

But don't stop there, this stuff is delicious in a variety of applications.

For a delicious pasta dish: Mix with perfectly cooked linguine, sauteed asparagus and morrel mushrooms.

Cardamom and dark chocolate ganache truffles rolled in cocoa:

The perfect after dinner treat for chocolate lovers everywhere, these truffles are a delight. They are little bite sized treats packed with flavor. Chocolate truffles are named after the fungi that looks a little similar and is just as much of a delicacy.

Use the best quality chocolate you can find/afford because the better the chocolate, the tastier the truffles. this really is one recipe that depends on quality ingredients. For the party, I used a very high quality, single origin chocolate from Venezuela.

Seasonality: Cocoa isn't local, so chef's in the US don't really consider it to be a seasonal ingredient. Maybe we're all just chocoholics, but I love to eat chocolate all year!

Beverage pair: Aged Ruby Porto


1 LB. of Dark Chocolate
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Cardamom and Salt to taste
Cocoa Powder

To make the ganache:
-Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put them in a heat proof bowl.
-Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a sauce pan with 5 cardamom pods.
-Remove the cardamom pods and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the mix to sit for a couple of minutes.
-Stir with a spatula to incorporate.
-Pour the ganache onto a sheet tray in a thin layer, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.

To shape the truffles:
-Grind Cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder or spice grinder until very fine. Combine cardamom with cocoa and salt until you have reached the desired flavor (probably about 12 cardamom pods and 1 TBS salt to 1 1/2 cups cocoa).
-Now, get ready. Take off any jewelry you wear on your hands. You are about to get messy!
-Roll the ganache into small balls about 1/2 inch in diameter.
-Then toss them in your cocoa mixture.
-Separate the truffles from the cocoa using a fine mesh colander.

NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN: Shout out to everyone that helped out with the Benefit Bash for BK Farmyards!

GRAB Specialty Foods: GRAB provided a superb cheese plate for the event!

Visit GRAB Specialty Foods at

Sister Liqueurs: Awesome, delicious cocktails! Beet Sangria, Grapefruit Fizzles, need I say more? You have to check this out and join her club! Also, thanks to Gabriel Willow for his bar tending skills!

Visit Sister Liqueurs at

Ice Sculpture by Joshua Kalin: Looked so pretty!

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