Fairville Inn Recipes
Fairville Inn Banana-Walnut Pancakes
These delicious pancakes are a favorite at the Inn. The key to this recipe is to start with very ripe bananas that have been frozen (in their skins) for at least several days (frozen bananas keep very well). Be sure the bananas are completely thawed before making the batter. You can use your favorite store-bought pancake mix or your home-made mix. This recipe is scaled down, but extra batter holds well in the refrigerator for a day or so.
2 very ripe bananas thawed in the bowl that you will use for making the pancake batter
(do not discard any liquid that accumulates in the bowl during thawing)
1 ripe banana that was not frozen (optional), diced
½ c. not-too-finely chopped walnuts (or more to taste)
2 c or so of your favorite store-bought or home-made pancake mix
Water or milk (depending on the mix or your preference)
(Eggs and/or oil, if specified by the pancake mix)
1. Peel the frozen bananas into the bowl in which they thawed. Clump the banana skins in your hands and squeeze them firmly over the bowl to extract as much liquid as you can. Mash the bananas and liquid well to make a coarse puree (we use a potato masher). Add the chopped walnuts and the optional diced fresh banana.
2. Add the pancake mix, and blend well. Add enough water or milk (and eggs and/or oil if specified by the pancake mix) and stir well to give the batter the consistency you like. Let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes before cooking. Check the consistency and add additional mix or water/milk as necessary.
3. Cook on a lightly greased electric griddle at 375 degrees (or frying pan) like you would any pancake. We like to make these about 3" in diameter, with 3-4 pancakes per serving.
Pletzl (there are other spellings) is a wonderful breakfast or dinner bread. This recipe was given to us years ago by a very accomplished baker. It tastes great either warm or at room temperature.
1 package yeast
1 T. olive oil
1 T. salt
¼ c. sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
½ c. minced onions
1 t. poppy seeds or 2 t. sesame seeds
2 -3 T. melted butter
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 c. warm water. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
2. Add the olive oil, salt, sugar and 2 c. flour. The dough should be "strong" and not sticky. Add additional flour as needed. Knead lightly, then cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes.
3. Punch the dough down and shape into one or more flat rounds on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Alternatively, form the dough into an 8 x 8 inch lightly greased baking pan.
4. Sprinkle the onions evenly over the dough, and press in lightly with your fingers. Brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the buttered dough.
5. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Potato & Ham Fritatta
Fritattas are delicious baked omelets of Italian origin. The variations are endless. This one, although not particularly Italian, is a favorite at the Inn. Cook this in an 8 inch non-stick, straight-sided oven-safe skillet. Serves 8.
1 c. diced cooked (smoked) ham
1 c. cooked hash-browned potatoes (frozen potatoes cooked according to the package work very well)
1 c. lightly pressed shredded Swiss cheese
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped (white and green parts)
Handful of chopped parsley (flat preferred), optional
1 tsp. rubbed sage (optional)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Beat the eggs until well mixed. Add ¾ c. water and beat until well blended.
2. Stir in ham, potatoes, cheese, scallions, sage, and optional parsley. Add some freshly ground pepper to taste.
3. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and continue to heat for a minute or so. You need enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the skillet. Stir the egg mixture and pour into the skillet. Quickly but gently distribute the ingredients evenly in the skillet.
4. Cook the frittata on the middle rack of a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, just until the center has firmed.
5. Place the skillet on a cooling rack for a few minutes. Then shake the pan gently to loosen the frittata.
7. Invert a plate (we use a large flat skillet cover) over the skillet and turn the frittata over onto the plate or cover. Invert a serving platter or plate on top of the frittata, and turn over again so that the top side is up. Cut into wedges and serve. Your favorite hot sauce goes very well with this frittata.
Pumpkin Pie Squares
We don't recall where we acquired this recipe, but it is very good and a great fall or winter treat. Bake in an ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan (non-stick recommended).
For the bottom crust: Combine and mix until evenly moist and crumbly, press into the baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes:
1-1/2 c. flour
¾ c. quick rolled oats
¾ c. butter, melted
¾ c. firmly packed brown sugar
For the pumpkin filling: Blend together well, pour over the baked crust, and bake again at 350 degrees for 20 minutes:
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 can (13-14 ounces) evaporated milk
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. ground cloves
½ t. ground ginger
½ t. salt
¾ c. white sugar
For the topping: Combine and distribute evenly over the pumpkin filling, and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is set:
2/3 c. chopped pecans
1 T. butter, melted
½ c. plus 2 T. brown sugar
Cool in pan and then cut into squares. If you are so inclined, a little dab of whipped cream goes quite nicely.
Rick's Bourbon Onions
We invariably get recipe requests when we serve these onions as a topping to omelets. These are also especially good on hamburgers and steaks (and grilled tuna or swordfish steaks). This should make about 1-1/2 cups of intensely flavored cooked onions. An omelet or hamburger needs only a heaping tablespoon or so to make it very special. These onions take some time, but it is well worth it and they will keep refrigerated for several days.
4-5 medium yellow onions (sweet onions also work great)
½ stick butter (4 T.)
1 T. sugar
½ - ¾ c. beef (preferred), chicken, or vegetable stock or broth (use the lesser amount if it has a high sodium content)
½ c. bourbon, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Cut the onions in half length-wise, and remove the skin. Place them flat side down on a cutting board, and slice cross-wise into half-rings about 3/8" thick. Separate the rings as best you can.
2. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a 10 or 12 inch skillet. Add the onion rings and cook very slowly, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften and get limp. This takes time, but don't be tempted to increase the heat too much - you don't want to brown the onions at this point.
3. When the onions are softened, sprinkle in the sugar and stir well. Raise the heat to medium (no more) and continue to cook the onions, stirring a bit more frequently, until they become a nice medium golden brown. Again, this takes time, but it is well worth it.
3. Add the stock and continue cooking until it is almost evaporated.
4. Add the bourbon and freshly ground pepper to taste, and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add a final splash of bourbon and stir. Check to see if it needs a touch of salt if you did not use a high-sodium stock or broth.
Mandlebrodt is an Eastern Europe cousin of biscotti. It keeps for weeks in an air tight container at room temperature and can be frozen. This recipe, which makes 30-40 cookies, was given to us by a guest, whose mother sent them to our troops during the Korean war.
2-3/4 c. all purpose flour
4 t. baking powder
1 c. (scant) sugar
6 T. vegetable oil
Grated rind of 1 lemon or orange
½ t. almond (preferred) or vanilla extract
1/3 c. slivered almonds
1. Mix the flour with the baking powder (we like to use a wire whisk).
2. Beat the eggs and sugar until light; blend into the flour mixture, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients. The dough should be soft. Add flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough seems too sticky. Chill for 30 minutes.
3. Divide the dough in thirds. On a floured board, form each third into a "sausage-shaped" loaf, about 2-1/2" wide and _-3/4" high.
4. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet a few inches apart and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, which should be about 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand for a few minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
5. While still warm, cut the loaves into 1/2" slices and put the slices cut-side up on the cookie sheets. Return to the oven to crisp, about 20 minutes, turning them over about half-way through. Cool on racks.
Note: At step 2, you can add to the dough (1) about 1/3 c. of dried cranberries or raisins, or (2) 1 - 2 T. cocoa powder, perhaps with about 1/3 c. mini-semisweet chocolate chips.
Fairville Inn Poached Eggs on Portobello Mushrooms
We offer this special dish (by advance reservation only) on Sunday morning of the Kennett Square Mushroom Festival and occasionally during the year. All the preparation, except the final heating and assembly, is done the night before. There is a good deal of work involved, but it is well worth the effort for a very special breakfast or brunch.
For EACH serving:
1. Poach 2 eggs. As they are done, put them in ice water to stop the cooking. When all the eggs are done gently add some ice to the water, cover, and store in the refrigerator over night. (We suggest adding 1-2 T. white or apple cider vinegar to the poaching water, and gently pre-boiling the eggs for 10 seconds immediately before cracking and poaching.)
2. Take a large handful of fresh baby spinach leaves, put them in a colander in the sink, and blanch them by pouring a good amount of boiling water over them. Let drain. If the spinach seems too wet, give it a gentle squeeze or two over the colander. Store in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
3. Brush the bottom of a 4-5 inch Portobello mushroom with oil, place gill-side up on a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil or parchment, and roast in a pre-heated 325 degree oven until the mushrooms just begin to release their liquid. Remove from the oven, cool, and store covered in the refrigerator. (Drain and save any liquid that might be in the mushroom caps, as well as any liquid in the baking sheet. Add this to the liquids when making the sauce.)
Then make the porcini mushroom sauce. You will need about 3 T. of sauce per serving (We suggest you make extra, because it is also wonderful over pasta, chicken, and meat.) This recipe makes about 1-1/2 cups of sauce. The final color of the sauce will depend on the stock or broth that you use, and how much you brown the flour.
1. Soak in hot water until very soft _ c. (or more to taste) dried porcini mushrooms. You may need to add additional warm water as they swell. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking bowl, and squeeze them in your hand over the bowl to capture the liquid. Chop the mushrooms finely, discarding any really tough stem parts, and sauté them for a few minutes in butter. Return the cooked porcinis to the soaking bowl.
2. Finely chop 2 shallots (a small onion or a leek (white part) can be substituted). Cook gently in 4 T. butter, for 1 minute. Add 4 T. all purpose flour, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for at least 3 minutes. Continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes until the flour begins to color, but do not let the shallots/onion/leek burn. Whisk in slowly 2 c. stock or broth (we use a rich Inn-made veal stock, but you can use any beef, chicken or vegetable stock that is low sodium), the porcinis and the reserved porcini soaking liquid and any liquid saved from roasting the mushrooms. Grind in some fresh pepper (white preferred) to taste. Add a bay leaf or two, and a stem or two of parsley (Italian flat preferred), and 1 whole clove. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Then lower the heat and gently simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (or perhaps a bit more). Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves, parsley, and clove. Pour into a bowl and let cool (stir a few times to keep a skin from forming). Cover and refrigerate.
Final assembly in the morning:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and warm the mushrooms and spinach.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer. The size of the pot will depend on how many poached eggs you need to re-heat at one time.
3. Gently warm the sauce on the stove or in a microwave. Do not boil.
1. Re-heat the eggs in the simmering water for 2-3 minutes.
2. Place a warm mushroom in the center of a plate.
3. Spread a layer of warm spinach over the mushroom cap.
4. Put 2 poached eggs on each mushroom (putting them on a paper towel to drain first is recommended).
5. Top with about 3 T of sauce (be sure to stir each time so that each serving gets some of the chopped porcinis and shallots).
Notes: We serve the mushrooms with toast, bacon, and a pan-roasted tomato half. Instead of bacon, you can put a slice of grilled/fried ham or Canadian bacon on the mushroom before adding the spinach. You can also use smaller Portobello mushrooms, and put one egg on each.
Pear Pecan French Toast Souffle
There are lots of very good recipes for this and other fruit/nut-based French toasts. We don't recall where this one came from, but it is very good. Cook this in a 9x13 inch baking pan (we prefer glass). It will serve 8-10, and leftovers hold well for a few days in the refrigerator and reheat nicely in a microwave on a lower setting.
1-1/3 c. brown sugar (dark preferred), firmly packed
10 T. unsalted butter (preferred) or margarine
¼ c. water
1 28oz can sliced or halved pears, drained (we often poach Anjou pears especially for this dish)
5 c. bread cubes (or perhaps more), gently pressed down. We use the ends from French and whole wheat loaves, cut into 1inch cubes.
1 c. finely chopped pecans
2-2/3 c. milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1. Make the caramel base: Put the butter in a medium pan, add the brown sugar, and cook over medium heat until melted. Add the water, and continue cooking until the mixture bubbles. Let it just bubble, stirring once or twice, for 3 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Pour into the baking pan and distribute evenly over the bottom. Let cool to room temperature.
2. If using sliced pears, slice again to be sure they are thinly sliced. If using halved pears, slice crosswise or lengthwise not more than _ inch thick. Place the pears in a single layer on top of the caramel base.
3. Evenly spread the cubed bread on top of the pears (the bread layer should be about 1-1/2 inches thick). Evenly distribute the chopped pecans over the bread cubes.
4. Beat the eggs with the water until well blended. Add the milk and vanilla, and beat again until well blended. Pour over bread mixture. Pat down gently, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
5. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking uncovered for about an additional 35 minutes, or until nicely browned and puffed. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes. It will deflate a bit, but that's normal.
6. Cut into serving pieces, spooning on top a bit of the caramel sauce from the bottom of the baking dish.
Notes: The amount of milk and eggs may vary depending on the bread. In summer, we often like to substitute sliced fresh peaches for the pears, and toasted slivered almonds for the pecans.