Sunday, April 20, 2014

20 April 2014 – Easter Sunday

It was a beautiful Easter Sunday in North Georgia. After a rainy start to the weekend, the skies cleared for today's festivities. We ventured to Atlanta yesterday for an overnighter in the city. Last night, we had a wonderful dinner at one of my favorite old haunts, Floataway Cafe. I've had many meals there over the years, but it has been a while since I've been there. It brought back a lot of memories. I had a simple English Pea and Ricotta Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce, and Jeff had the Hanger Steak with Pomme Frites. The French fries are still as divine as I remember, and I look forward to getting Anne Quatrano's new cookbook from her Summerland Farms in Cartersville.

This morning, we had Easter brunch at Watershed. The new location is lovely, and they were packed today. After a nice outdoor meal, we stopped at Harry's Farmers Market to get supplies for tonight's Sunday Supper. I have been craving some fresh, seasonal halibut, and they delivered. While I found most of what I needed, I had to call Lisa Meyer at Cherokee Market on our way home to reserve some fresh English Peas. Luckily, they were open this afternoon. I pureed the peas with mint and lemon zest and sauteed the halibut in clarified butter. I topped the dish off with a fresh salad of pea shoots, grape tomatoes, lemon zest, and fiddle head ferns. It was a delicious and healthy combination. Of course, it wouldn't be Easter without deviled eggs, so I made a batch from Virginia Willis's cookbook, "Bon Appetit Y'all." They were really simple and good. For dessert, I served strawberry and basil sorbet topped with Georgia strawberries and aged balsamic vinegar. It was a perfect finish to a light and tasty dinner.

After dinner, we did some planning for our upcoming trip next week to New York City. I have to be there on Friday for the AIGA's Centennial Gala where we are honoring our newest Gold medals for lifetime achievement in design. I am thrilled that several of my friends are receiving the AIGA medal, especially my best girlfriend, Ann Willoughby, from Kansas City! Annie is a wonderful designer and amazing soul, and I couldn't be happier for her. In addition to the Gala, I look forward to a small reception for her on Saturday afternoon at Tavern on the Green. It will be hosted by another dear friend, Leslie Westbrook, and one of my idols and Annie's mentor, the legendary Milton Glaser, will be there. He is the reason I got into the design business, and it is always an honor and pleasure to spend time with him.

And when it comes to mixing business with pleasure, it will be Jeff Brown's first trip to the Big Apple! I am excited to show him some of my favorite spots in the city that doesn't sleep. I'm sure we won't do much of that either.

Here's to new beginnings and new experiences.

The Menu:

- Line Caught Halibut with Minted English Pea Puree

- Simple Deviled Eggs

- Strawberry and Basil Sorbet with Balsamic Georgia Strawberries

The Recipe – Halibut with Minted Pea Puree


Halibut Filets

Clarified Butter

Salt and Pepper

Prepare the pea puree first. Then heat the clarified butter over medium heat until just beginning to smoke. Salt and pepper both sides of halibut filets and add flesh side down. Leave in place for three minutes, then flip carefully with a fish spatula. Saute the other side for another three minutes. Remove from pan, and serve immediately over pea puree.

Pea Puree:

2 cups fresh English peas

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon graded lemon zest

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more if desired)

1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth

To make the purée, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt & pepper and lemon zest in a blender or food processor. While the machine is running stream in the olive oil and broth in a steady drizzle. Once you have achieved the desired consistency place the puree in a saucepan and warm up over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Spoon the puree into a shallow bowl, and place Halibut filet on top. Garnish as desired.

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