The first EatDrinkRI Festival kicks off April 19-21, showcasing the best and brightest of the local culinary scene. The Sunday morning Grand Brunch features some of the area's best chefs, including James Mark from north, Jonathan Cambra from Tiverton's Boat House and Melissa Denmark and Danielle Lowe from Ellie's Bakery. Here, they share the recipe for their blue cheese and walnut scone.
1. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture appears sandy and the pieces of butter are slightly smaller than a pea.
2. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the blue cheese and walnuts.
3. Slowly add the heavy cream. Fold everything together until the ingredients are almost fully combined. Be careful not to over mix, as this is what causes tough and chewy scones.
4. Remove the mixture from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle (about 10” x 20”). Fold the left side into the center, and then fold the right side on top, like folding a letter to fit in an envelope. This is called a tri-fold.
5. Roll the folded dough out again to the same size rectangle and repeat the folding two more times. This technique is what creates flaky layers.
6. Once you have done three tri-folds, roll the dough to the same size rectangle and place onto a sheet pan and put in the freezer for 1 hour.
7. Once the dough is very cold and stiff, you can cut the scones into desired shapes. Use a knife to cut scones into squares or triangles, or use a circle cutter to make round scones.
8. Place onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush each scone with egg wash and a small pinch of sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.
This scone from Ellie's Bakery, will be served at the EatDrinkRI Festival's Grand Brunch at the on Sunday, April 21.
To celebrate its 35th anniversary, the Bristol House of Pizza expanded its restaurant, taking over the location previously occupied by Hair, Heart and Soul. All this new space allows for larger parties, such as little league teams or graduation celebrations. New menu options are expected soon.
Seekonk’s 1149 Bar & Grill invites cigar aficionados to enjoy the second Cigar Series dinner happening on August 14. In addition to the specialty appetizers and grilled meats, guests are given three premium cigars and a selection of beer tastings. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
The Wall Street Journal's Smart Money blog has a report on the rising price of corn and the impact it will likely have on consumers' grocery bills. (Did you know corn is used in three out of four supermarket products?!) The high prices can be traced to the Midwest, America's breadbasket, where they're experiencing the worst drought since 1956. Fortunately for us, it's corn season. Fresh, sweet, native corn is in abundance right now at farm stands all over the East Bay. Stop by one of these in your travels today and enjoy some local corn for dinner tonight.
Mello's Farm Stand, 364 Boyds Ln., Portsmouth. Open daily, 9am-7pm.
Johnson's Roadside Farm Market, 445 Market St., Swansea. Monday-Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 9am-5pm.
Sandywoods Farm, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton. Open Sundays.
Four Town Farm, 90 George St., Seekonk. Monday-Friday, 9am-6:30pm; Saturday-Sunday, 9am-6pm.
Highland Greenhouse, 592 Neck Rd., Tiverton. Open daily, 8am-dusk.
Simmons Farm, 1942 West Main Rd., Middletown. Open daily- 9am-5pm.
Warren’s waterfront has become even more charming now that The Cheese Plate has gotten a make over. New owners Joanne Everett and Matt Vincent – who also own Providence’s Tortilla Flats – purchased the fledgling restaurant at 54 State Street and have breathed into it new life.
Yesterday they hosted a little soiree; we enjoyed wine while sampling their cheese/charcuterie plates, served with all the accoutrements including nuts, jams, mustards and bread. It’s European eating at its best. Stop in for wine and cheese, or wine and cheesecake. Take it from me, you won’t regret it.
Sarah Schumann doesn't fit the stereotypical image of a commercial fisher: she's a woman, first off, with a master’s degree in Environmental Policy. As she explains in this month's So Rhode Island cover story, her goal is to make the ecosystem a more stable and sustainable environment for people and fish to exist co-dependently.
Schumann now has the opportunity to spread her message even further than her base here in Rhode Island, now that she's earned a TogetherGreen Fellowship award from Toyota and the National Audubon Society. The Fellowship was launched in 2008 to encourage diverse environmental leadership and fund innovative conservation projects and ideas. The TogetherGreen Fellowship gives 40 local leaders $10,000 to help engage a wider audience in environmental conservation, which works well with Schuman’s mission to involve and educate fisherman and their customers about the ecosystems from which their seafood is sourced.
Her project, Eating With the Ecosystem, is a culinary tour of the native species from the fishing areas around New England, with a marine scientist and local fisherman explaining the ecological context behind each item on the plate. The next part of this dinner series will take place at Cook & Brown Public House in Providence on September 10, with a focus on the seafood native to Southern New England. Buy tickets here.
Bristol House of Pizza will be celebrating 35 years of serving the community on Monday, April 30. To thank their customers for their continued support and patronage, they will be selling pizzas at half price and giving away prizes all day. In addition, with every purchase made in the restaurant on the 30th, you can enter into a raffle to win Red Sox tickets. The drawing will be held at 6pm (presence not necessary to win). It's a good excuse to check our their newly expanded restaurant space and enjoy some of the food that's kept them in business for decades.
This Saturday, April 7, legendary chef, cookbook author, TV personality and all-around quintessentail French dude Jacques Pépin comes to Barrington Books to sign copies of his latest, Essential Pépin. The book collects more than 700 of his favorite dishes and recipes from the six decades of his career. Pépin is one of the grand, old wisemen of the culinary world, a contemporary of Julia Child, with whom he co-hosted a PBS show, and one of the most decorated chefs in the world. He currently hosts a public television series also called Essential Pépin. This is a rare chance to meet and greet one of the towering figures of French cookery. In the meantime, let the man himself show you how to prepare an omelette (trust us, you're not doing it as well as he can):
The semifinalists for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards (sort of like the Oscars of the food world) have been announced and two Bristol restaurants are in the running. Chef Sai Viswanath of DeWolf Tavern and Chef Champe Speidel of Persimmon are both nominated in the Best Chef: Northeast category. Finalists will be announced on March 19, and the awards ceremony takes place on May 7. Best of luck to our two hometown culinary celebrities.
The British Are Coming
A new restaurant is open on State Street in Bristol. The British Beer Company, a local chain with a dozen or so locations throughout Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts, is set to open in the old location of The Anchor (29 State Street). BBC serves good quality pub food with some authentically English flair. When they open sometime in February or March, make sure to try the Guinness Stout Onion Soup, Bangers and Mash or their Pasty Pies.
The owners of Tortilla Flats in Providence have taken over The Cheese Plate (54 State Street, Warren). Stay tuned for more developments.
Get In the Spirit
The Newport Restaurant Group has two unmissable special dinners coming up this month. On February 9, 22 Bowen’s Wharf is hosting a Pacific Northwest Wine Dinner. The four-course dinner will be paired with wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle, Erath, Col Solare, Northstar and Snoqualmie wineries, and a winemaker from Chateau Ste. Michelle will be there to discuss the pairings. Then, on February 21 and 22, The Mooring will be hosing a Samuel Adams Beer Dinner, when a brewmaster from Sam Adams will pair their beers with a four-course meal.