Ashley Judd’s chef announces menu for Calipari dinner

Considering that dinner for six at an upscale restaurant might set you backwill set you back at least $500, what might $100,000 get you?
Well, according to Cathy Lewis, private chef to actress/über Kentucky fan Ashley Judd’s private chef, Cathy Lewis, a meal that starts with truffles, peaks with prime rib and ends with tiramisu.
Lewis has released the tentative menu for the dinner with Judd and University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari that was auctioned in January as part of the Hoops for Haiti fund-raiser. The high bidder was Paul Orberson of Lexington, owner of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing.

Here’s the menu:
■ Hors d’oeuvres: Slow-roasted tomato tartlets with Purple Haze goat cheese and pine nuts, fried baby artichokes, Meyer lemon aioli cucumber shooters and cheddar wafers.
■ First course: Handmade pappardelle with butter de Reggiano Parmesan, shaved Umbrian white truffles, Parmigiano-Reggiano and chives.
■ Second course: A composed salad of heirloom tomatoes, roasted yellow beets, arugula, baby jewel tomatoes, Maytag blue cheese, candied spiced walnuts and frizzled leeks with basil vinaigrette.
■ Third course: Seared halibut fillet with ratatouille.
■ Fourth course: A prime rib-eye steak grilled over hickory, gratin cheddar potatoes, haricot vert, tomato fondue and smoky shallot rings.
■ A cheese and fruit course will follow.
■ Dessert: Tiramisu and coffee.

Here are some of Ashley Judd’s favorite dishes prepared by her private chef Cathy Lewis. The recipes appeared in the June 13 issue of The Tennessean.

Ashley Judd’s favorite salad

6 cups baby greens, or mache and arugula
3 red or golden beets, roasted, scored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 English cucumber, peeled, scored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 Big Boy or Jet Star or Heirloom Tomatoes, cut into quarter wedges
2 carrots, scored and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 bunch scallions, cut off 3 inches of green part, discard, then slice down to the white, 1/4-inch slices
1/2 pint raspberries, washed and dried on paper towel
1/2 cup walnut halves, roasted for 10 minutes in 375-degree oven
1/4 cup shredded or shaved Regianno Parmesan
Compose salad, season with kosher or sea salt, fresh ground pepper. Dress salad with dressing or vinaigrette of choice. Taste, adjust seasonings if needed.

Roasted beets

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub beets, until water running over them is clean, no traces of mud or dirt. Trim root end, leaving quarter-inch of stem and quarter thickness of root. Rub outside with a few drops of olive oil, a small sprinkle of fresh ground pepper, and kosher or sea salt.
Wrap each beet in foil, place on a cookie sheet and roast about 45 to 60 minutes for an average size beet, time will depend on the size of the beet. Golf ball size beets take 40 to 45 minutes. Tennis ball size beet take 80 to 90 minutes.
When you are able to easily slide a toothpick into the center of the beet, it is done. You want it to be tender but not too firm, tender but not mushy.
When cool enough to handle, using your hands, rub the skin off the beet, or trim with a sharp paring knife, being careful not to take off too much beet.

White balsamic & basil vinaigrette

1 shallot peeled, cut in quarters
1 small clove garlic sliced in half
1/4 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave syrup (low glycemic index)
10 large basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
8-10 grinds black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil, use something fruity smelling and tasting
Place all ingredients in container, use immersion blender to emulsify. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed.

Strawberry shortcake made with scones

1/2 cup cake flour
1 cup all purpose unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon, finely grated
4 ounces cold, salted, organic butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup organic half and half milk, plus a little for brushing tops
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set a rack on the center shelf of the oven.
Combine dry ingredients and lemon zest in mixer with paddle attachment. If no mixer, combine ingredients in a large bowl, and using a wire whip, beat the dry ingredients together with a few strokes.
Add cold butter in pieces to the dry ingredients, mix until butter is broken into flour and resembles cornmeal. If no mixer, cut butter in using a pastry cutter or two forks. Break the butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal.
Slowly add half and half with mixer just briefly, maybe 3 or 4 revolutions just to incorporate the half and half. It is crucial not to over mix.
If not using mixer, create a well in your bowl of ingredients, add the half and half and gently incorporate. Do not over mix.
Turn dough onto very lightly floured surface, knead it once or twice, and roll out to 1-inch thickness. Cut with cutters. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with a little half and half.
Bake in the center of the oven, 7-10 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool on rack. Makes 8 to 10 3-inch plain scones.

For variations, you can add 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips when you are rolling out the dough. You may want to omit the lemon zest. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the rolled dough, press them in slightly, the cut with cutters, following same baking instructions as plain scones.

Strawberry topping

2 quarts premium strawberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 pint organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
If strawberries don’t smell like the luscious ripe fruit they should, consider something else that is ripe or in season. Peaches, blackberries, raspberries or a combination of all work well.
Wash berries or fruit, dry on paper towels.
If using strawberries, slice the strawberries in thick half-inch slices into a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle with sugar to macerate the strawberries. Using a masher or something suitable, slightly mash the berries. This can be done up to four hours before serving, just make sure to refrigerate.
While berries macerate, you can whip your cream, soft peaks, add sugar slowly, whip to firm peaks.
To assemble, split 4 scones in half. Place one half in the bottom of dish, place a spoonful of strawberries and their sauce, and a dollop of whipped cream. Repeat with other half of scone. Makes 4 servings. Serve immediately.

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