Mussels, Garlic & Shallots Steamed in Beer

Photos by: Tara Hope Cofiell, Gregory Hutsell

September is food, wine and beer lovers’ month in Carroll County. The Maryland Wine Festival takes place September 17 and 18 at the Farm Museum in Westminster and the Maryland Microbrewery Festival at Union Mills Homestead is scheduled for September 25.

The farmers’ markets will be bursting with fresh produce. The warm days and cool evenings will be perfect for the end-of-season outdoor entertaining.

With this in mind, here is a “do ahead” menu for your after-festival celebration. Have your guests bring their favorite wine and beer from our local producers and let the festival continue.

Sweet and Spicy Beer-Marinated Pork Brochette

These pork brochettes can be cooked either on the grill or in the oven. Using pork butt ensures a moist brochette, even if left on the grill or in the oven too long. Serve this with the Lager you marinated the pork in, or with a RosŽ.

3-4 lbs. boneless pork butt cut
in 1-inch cubes
1 ? cups lager style beer
1 ? cups pineapple/orange juice concentrate
1 cup light soy sauce
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
(or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients except the pork in a 2-3 quart sauce pan. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Cook 5 more minutes, remove from heat and bring to room temperature. Place pork in a large Ziplock bag and add marinade. Let the pork marinate in your refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Remove pork from marinade and skewer. Grill over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. or cook in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 mins. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Mussels, Garlic & Shallots Steamed in Beer

Be sure to have plenty of crusty bread for your guests to use to sop up the juices in the bottom of the serving bowls.

Serve this with Belgium-style ale or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. For an appetizer, allow about a half-pound of mussels per person.

4-6 lbs. Mussels
? cup olive oil
? stick butter
4 shallots minced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups of ale

Add olive oil and butter to a stock pot large enough to hold all of the mussels. Place stock pot over low to medium heat.

Add shallots and garlic and cook 10 minutes. Add stock and ale and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to taste. This is the broth with which you will be serving your mussels.

Turn heat up to medium, add mussels and cover tightly with a lid and cook 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir mussels with a spoon to redistribute, cover with lid and cook 3 more minutes more.

Remove from heat and place opened mussels in serving bowls. Discard any unopened mussels. Ladle broth over mussels and serve immediately.

White Balsamic Marinated String bean Salad With Tomato and Mozzarella

This light salad will prepare your palate for the entrŽe. Either of the previously mentioned beer or wine will go well with this course. If fresh tomatoes are not in season, you can omit them.

White Balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)
4 lbs. string beans
1 red onion cut in half and sliced thin
6 tomatoes, sliced
1-2 lbs. fresh mozzarella balls, sliced
Fresh Basil
Salt to taste

In a large stock pot bring 3-4 quarts of water to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of salt. Add string beans and cook 5-8 minutes. Place beans in a colander and run under cold water until cool. Let drain 15 minutes. Place beans in a large bowl, add half of the vinaigrette and toss well. This can be done up to one day before serving.

On a serving plate, alternate tomato and mozzarella slices and sprinkle with a little salt. Drizzle with vinaigrette, then place some of the marinated string beans on top. Add chopped basil and red onions, then serve.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
Juice of one lemon
1 ? tablespoons sugar
1teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a jar or other container with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Always shake well before using.

Country Sausage Stuffed Veal Breast Roulade And Polenta Cake with Wine Gravy

This elegant entrŽe can be made up to two days ahead of your dinner party. The veal breast can be sliced and finished off on the grill or kept whole and reheated in the oven, then sliced and served right at the table for a dramatic presentation. The dish is best served at least one day after cooking, allowing the veal to absorb as much of the braising liquid as possible to ensure a moist roulade. Serve with the same type of wine used in the braising liquid.

One 8-10 lb. veal breast (bones and excess fat removed, the butcher will do this for you upon request)
2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon
Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasonings combined
1 lb. country sausage
2 onions chopped fine
4 cloves garlic chopped fine
? stick butter
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 bottle red wine
1-2 quarts chicken stock

Brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes. Place sausage in a bowl. Put one-half stick butter in skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add to sausage. Add bread crumbs and one beaten egg to sausage and onions, mix well and let cool to room temperature. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim sides of veal breast to form a rectangle. Put plastic wrap over meat and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until it is a uniform thickness of about a one half to three quarters of an inch.

Remove plastic wrap and cover veal evenly with spice mixture. Beat remaining egg and brush onto veal breast. Spread stuffing evenly over veal about an inch in from each side. Starting at one end, roll the veal breast with the grain into a “jellyroll” then tie with kitchen twine at one inch intervals.

Place veal on a greased sheet pan and brown in oven for 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides.

Remove veal from oven and place in a roasting pan. Add wine and chicken stock to cover. Place tight fitting lid or foil over veal. Put back into oven. Turn temperature down to 300 degrees and cook for four hours. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. The veal can be kept in the braising liquid for up to two days in the refrigerator.

To serve, remove the veal from the liquid and let it come to room temperature (about 2 hours). The veal can either be cut into medallions and heated through on a grill or placed uncut on a sheet pan and heated through in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and reduce by half for the wine gravy, season with salt to taste.

Polenta Cakes

1 lb. instant polenta
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
? stick of butter

Add stock, wine, heavy cream, and butter to a 4-quart pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium, add polenta and cook 5 minutes while stirring. Spray a 9×12-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Line with wax paper, spray again with non-stick spray. Spoon polenta into a pan and smooth out top. Place in refrigerator and let set-up at least six hours, or up to a day ahead. Invert pan onto cutting board and cut polenta into “cakes.” Place on sheet pan and heat in a 300-degree oven for 15 minutes or until heated through. Salt to taste.

Chocolate Mascarpone “Mousse” With Champagne Macerated Cherries and Bleu Cheese

12 ozs. mascarpone
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons semi-sweet coco powder
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a mixing bowl, beat mascarpone until soft. Add sugar, coco powder, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until blended. Beat whipped topping into mixture until smooth. Spoon or pipe into bowls or wine glasses. Serve with cherries, bleu cheese and a sparkling red wine.

Champagne Macerated Cherries

Place 2 cups of pitted cherries and 2 cups of champagne in a sauce pan add one tablespoon of sugar and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit at least 2 hours.

You can find a more information at where Chef Hutsell has posted step-by-step video instruction on how to bone a veal breast and create this entrŽe. Other recipes and wine pairings can also be found.
Bon Appetit!