Princeton Eats – October 2012
The Princeton Public Library once again hosted the Terra Momo series Princeton Eats. Eno Terra Chef Christopher Albrecht was at the helm this month with lots of herbs on hand, and shared a great technique.
There was marjoram, thyme, sage, basil, oregano, rosemary, spearmint and more for us to smell. Some of the best tips were:
- Cook with herbs by layering flavors. Use some early for a subtle flavor, and add others at the end so the oils can release, and have a bolder finish.
- Store herbs in the refrigerator, wrapped in a paper towel with only a few drops of water in a zipper lock plastic bag.
- Herbs like rosemary can be stripped of its leaves and the sturdy stems can be used as skewers.
- Tender stems have flavor and can be used in soups and sauces.
Albrecht passed around fennel and coriander seeds. These were premium seeds due to the amounts of oils still within them. Supermarket products that have some dents are drier and have fewer oils, thus less flavor. It’s best to buy fresh seeds that are aromatic. Avoid buying ground spices whenever possible. It’s preferable to buy whole spices like nutmeg and grate (or grind) it as needed.
The chef made salsa verde in a food processor for the crowd and served it with crostini from the Terra Momo Bread Company. Below is the ingredient list.
- 4 oz arugula
- 2 oz basil
- 2 oz mustard
- 1 oz mint
- 2 oz lemon balm
- 1-3 ripe green tomatoes (depending on size)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 11 g shallots
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
He also had a wonderful herbal iced tea, and the most delicious pink lemonade I’ve tasted, using purple basil.
He brought Griggstown chickens with him, and should us how to truss them for even cooking.
This cooking demo is always nice at the library, since you get samplings and it’s free. If you want to take this experience to a whole other level, Eno Terra is offering Instructional Cooking with Chef Chris at 10:30 AM on Tuesdays this fall: October 16th – Pumpkins and Squash, November 13th – Thanksgiving Fixings, and December 4th – Holiday Baking. You’ll learn various cooking techniques each month of the season, followed by a three-course meal featuring dishes from the demo, plus a glass of wine, all for $65/person (excluding tax and tip).
If you’re not interested demos, and just want delicious food, you can enjoy Albrecht’s multi-course meals at Eno Terra for lunch or dinner. He offers the three-course business lunch Pranzo a Presto for $19, and the autumn four-course Farm to Table Chef Tasting Menu for $49.