The Princeton Public Library‘s winter food series ended last month, and the summer series began. The Terra Momo Restaurant Group is back with their series Princeton Eats. Their blog got its moniker from the cooking series, which was founded by interns.
The ever charming Eno Terra Executive Chef Christopher Albrecht was on hand this month, and brought fresh greens from the Farmers' Market. As usual, he lets the daily offerings guide his cooking demo. He found baby spinach, lambs quarter, beet greens, Tuscan kale (a.k.a. lacinato and dinosaur kale), collard greens, nettles, and Swiss chard.
What's wonderful about Chef Albrecht is he always explains why it's important to get fresh produce and meat from local farms, the health benefits (a handout was given to attendees with nutrition facts), what to look for when purchasing produce, and gives step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the dishes during the demo. It's everything but hands on, and is better than being at an Emeril Live show (1997-2007), because we ALL get to sample the food.
The Eno Terra chef sauteed all greens between two to six minutes in the oil from garlic confit, adding a clove or two. He added caramelized onions to some dishes, and dressed a lambs quarter salad with a bronze fennel vinaigrette (see recipes below).
I must admit, Albrecht is one of my favorite chefs in town. I became a fan ever since I sampled his food at the library when he first introduced the demos back in 2010. I highly recommend eating a complete meal at Eno Terra to truly appreciate his gifts. Those on a tight budget might want to consider the Pranzo a Presto, which means quick lunch. It's their three-course business lunch that changes daily and only costs $19. Add a glass of wine for a total of $24. This is a real value for fine dining, especially compared to dinner prices.
July 3rd will feature Terra Momo Bread Company‘s Master Baker Denis Granorolo, and Chef Albrecht will return on August 7th. Both begin at 10 AM. The series continues until October, so check the site for the other dates. It’s amazing to have a full cooking demo here. The Princeton Public Library has some of the best programming around, and Albrecht and Granorolo are as entertaining as they are talented.
For those of you who missed it, here are the recipes courtesy of Chef Albrecht:
- 2 onions, sliced along the grain into half moons
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
In a pot large enough to contain onions in one layer, heat oil until shimmering. Add onions and salt, and cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring until onions are soft and golden brown (about 20-25 minutes).
- Peeled garlic cloves
- Enough olive oil to cover the garlic by one inch
Pack cloves in pot and cover with olive oil. Barely bring to simmer and cook until the garlic can be squeezed to a paste consistency (about 45 minutes).
Bronze Fennel Vinaigrette
- ½ Meyer lemon,
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup mild olive oil or high quality vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups bronze fennel (can substitute with fennel fronds or dill)
Combine all ingredients except for oil in food processor and blend until smoothly puréed. Gradually add olive oil. Season to taste.
Sautéed Greens – Master recipe
In pan large enough to fit the greens in one to two layers, heat four cloves of garlic confit and one tablespoon garlic oil (from garlic confit,) or two tablespoon caramelized onions and one tablespoon olive oil. Add greens, salt and pepper, and stir gently to cover. Cook until wilted. Try to avoid stirring too much, since this will break greens (especially spinach), and cause them to release water.