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Weekend events at restaurants, vineyard, farm markets

First Vineyard Winery, 5800 Sugar Creek Pike, Nicholasville, is having a craft fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.  Food vendors include Kourtesy’s Kupcakes, Sondra’s Wine Jelly,   and Jessamine Cattlemen’s Association. Kentucky Proud beer cheese, and Cakepops. Featured craftsmen are glass blowers, woodworkers, metal art, fiber artists, oil painters, and spinner/weavers. Call (859) 885-9359 or go to Firstvineyard.net.

 Willie’s Locally Known, 805 North Broadway, is hosting a “Musical Feast of Love for Sav” on Saturday.
Mamadou “Sav” Savané, owner of Sav’s Grill & West African Cuisine, at 304 South Limestone, was injured earlier this month when boiling liquid spilled over his body, causing second-degree burns. He is out of the hospital, but can’t return to work for a while, and friends are helping by having fund-raising parties.
Willie’s event begins at 5 p.m. and features local and regional bands, as well as traditional African music from C the Beat; musicians from the African Fellowship at Asbury University in Wilmore; and percussionist Tripp Bratton.
Chef Ben Berry will smoke whole goats in the smoke yard at Willie’s and also create some Guinean and other West African specialties to go with them.
Call (606) 233-6612 or go to Willieslex.com.
Ilumine Restaurant, 270 Montgomery Avenue in Versailles, will host the Bluegrass Mystery Theatre on Friday. The four-course dinner features medallions of beef tenderloin on baby kale salad with Vidalia onion dressing; grilled African whitefish on Persian rice with string beans; and Tuscan chicken with tomato and basil over garlic Parmesan potatoes and string beans. Call (859) 251-4103 or (859) 753-4967. Go to IlumineMe.com.
■ On the Fourth of July, Saul Good Restaurant is helping raise money for Military Missions Inc. The restaurant will offer half-price meals as an incentive to generate donations for the non-profit organization dedicated to providing care packages and support for Kentucky soldiers deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Locations are 3801 Mall Road (859) 273-4663; 1808 Alysheba Way, (859) 317-9200; and 123 North Broadway, (859) 252-4663. Go to Saulgoodpub.com or Military-missions.org.
City Barbecue, 3292 Richmond Road, will have a class on how to smoke meats 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. One of the company founders, Frank Pizzo, will present the class. Go to Citybbq.com. Call (859) 317-4430.
Reed Valley Orchard in Paris is holding its annual Blueberry Jubilee and Pancake Day from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Fresh blueberry pancakes will be served until 1:30 p.m., and activities include blueberry picking, dancers and live music. Call (859) 987-6480or go to Reedvalleyorchard.com.

Weekend specials

Staxx BBQ, 11 Carson Place in Frankfort, is offering a Fourth of July three-day special July 3 to 5. Purchase 5 pounds of meat (pork, chicken, turkey, brisket or sausage) and receive four free quarts of sides (potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, green beans or macaroni and cheese). Call (502) 352-2515.
Kathy’s Country Kitchen, 20 Black Creek Road in Clay City, is reaping rewards from local farmers. The restaurant is serving fresh local tomatoes, corn, squash, strawberries, and watermelon. Call (606) 663-4179.
■ The specials this weekend at The Grey Goose, 170 Jefferson Street, include finnocchio pizza with roasted fennel bulb, caramelized onions, and Italian sausage, and  pan-seared Arctic char with saffron rice. Call  (859) 233-1500.

Farmers market report

Lexington Farmers Market has added another location to its line-up. Farmers will be at the First African Baptist Church from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays. The church is at Price Road and Georgetown Street. Go to Lexingtonfarmersmarket.com.

Bluegrass Farmers’ Market is Lexington’s largest 100 percent homegrown/produced market. Locations are in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs, 3450 Richmond Road, and at Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Go to Bluegrassfarmersmarket.org.

Send us your best fruit pie recipe; win a cookbook

applepieApple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is as much a part of the  Fourth of July celebration as fireworks and picnics.

Fruit pies of any kind are wonderful desserts for a holiday picnic. If you have a great recipe you’d like to share, send it to swthompson@herald-leader.com. We’ll print the best fruit pie recipes on July 2, and readers whose recipes are published will receive a free cookbook. Deadline for recipes is June 24.

Craft Beer Week starts Saturday

The second annual Lexington Craft Beer Week kicks off Saturday and runs through May 18 with events planned at breweries, craft beer bars, restaurants, and food trucks.  Organized by LexBeerScene.com, a web site focusing on Lexington’s craft beer, has a listing of all the tappings and tastings at Lexbeerscene.com/LCBW.php.
■ Festivities begin with breakfast and coffee beers at 8 a.m. at Country Boy Brewing, 436 Chair Avenue. The Kentucky Ale Brew-Off starts at 9 a.m. at Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling,  401 Cross Street. The Brew-Off offers home brewers the opportunity to create their best brew for a chance to be produced and distributed for a limited time.
■ West Sixth Brewing and Country Boy Brewing will release their second ever collaboration, Country Western, Volume 2, a bourbon barrel aged brown ale, in the tap rooms at the breweries, as well as in select bars throughout the city. It will be the featured beer at Wednesday’s Pint Night at Pazzo’s Pizza Pub, 385 South Limestone.
■ The Village Idiot, 307 West Short Street, is hosting a beer dinner featuring West Sixth Brewing beers at 6 p.m. Tuesday.  Executive chef Wyatt Sarbacker will prepare a three-course menu paired with a special West Sixth beer.  Cost is $45. Call (859) 252-0099 after 4 p.m.

Weekend events

■  After a few days of sunshine and hot temperatures, the forecast is for rain on Saturday. But don’t let the inclement weather keep you away from the second annual Kentucky Crawfish Festival at The Red Mile. Large tents will be set up on the grounds and there will be indoor facilities for the event that will feature  Cajun and creole fare.
At last year’s event, organizers weren’t prepared for the 4,000 people who showed up to eat crawfish, but for this event, 5,000 pounds of live crawfish will be boiled, and there will be fried alligator and catfish on the menu. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Go to KentuckyCrawfishFestival.com.
■ Grimes Mill Winery,  6707 Grimes Mill Road,  is having a Triple Crowns of Wine event from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday featuring newly bottled reserve malbec. The Troubadours will entertain from 3 to 5 p.m. Call (859) 543-9691 or e-mail Wine@grimesmillwinery.com.

Lexington, Louisville chefs bet their food, not their money, on Cats vs. Cards

The battle on Friday between the ­University of Kentucky and the ­University of ­Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA men’s ­basketball tournament is spilling over into ­Lexington and Louisville kitchens.
Bill Lynch, chef at The Bristol Bar & Grille in Louisville, is challenging Jeremy Ashby, chef/owner of Azur in Lexington, to a wager.
If the Louisville Cardinals lose to the Kentucky Wildcats in Indianapolis on Friday night, Lynch has agreed to wear Kentucky blue and serve Ashby’s signature dishes at Azur. If the ­Wildcats lose, Ashby will don ­Louisville red and serve patrons at The Bristol’s Hurstbourne Parkway ­restaurant.
A date for the dinner has not been ­announced. Go to Azurrestaurant.com and Bristolbarandgrille.com.
Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, is celebrating the Kentucky-­Louisville game with all-night happy hour on Friday. In celebration of the Wildcats’ 26 wins, the restaurant will offer its 8-ounce filet mignon for $26; it’s regularly $29. If the Wildcats win, Nick Ryan’s will serve the special on Saturday for $27. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
Special events
■ Seventeen ­wineries are participating in ­McConnell Springs’ 7th annual Wine ­Barrel ­Tasting on Saturday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any participating winery. Call (859) 272-0682 or go to Mcconnellsprings.org.
During the event, Jean Farris Winery, 6825 Old Richmond Road, will offer a limited lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ­Included are filet burger, smoked chicken salad, grilled chicken Caesar, shrimp and grits, and duck sausage pizza. Call (859) 263-9463 or go to Jeanfarris.com.
■ Kathy Archer will serve Howard’s Creek authentic beer cheese at the Taste of the South in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
Taste of the South was founded in 1982 by transplanted ­Southerners ­living in Washington. The group ­decided to host a party where they could share with Washington residents their love for all things ­Southern. Thirteen states are ­represented, and this year, Kentucky is the featured state, with ­proceeds going to West End School in ­Louisville. The free alternative school serves at-risk boys from preschool to eighth grade.
Openings
■ Sherrie Keller-Pauley and her husband, Ben Pauley, are back in the restaurant business in the same location where their original Three Suns Bistro was, 502 North Main Street in Nicholasville. The Pauleys’ Three Suns opened in 2000. It moved to Brannon Crossing in 2005 and closed in 2012.
Now called The Bistro, the ­restaurant will offer “some tried and true favorites from the Three Suns ­Bistro menu including pecan-fried chicken with praline glaze, lobster bisque, and our honey vinaigrette, a Kentucky Proud product,” Keller-­Pauley said. The menu includes hand-cut steaks, seafood, pasta, salads and burgers. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call  (859) 221-3925.
Specials
First Watch Daytime Café is ­offering three new limited-time items for spring: lemon ricotta pancakes; AB&J waffle topped with almond butter, strawberry sauce and granola; and smoked salmon and roasted vegetable frittata. Locations are 3071 Richmond Road, (859) 899-3447; and 1080 South Broadway, (859) 252-2226. A new First Watch will open this spring on ­Winchester Road in front of Hobby Lobby. Go to Firstwatch.com.
■ Saturday and Sunday specials at 1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street in Washington, in Mason County, are Hawaiian chicken with grilled pineapple, pesto grilled shrimp, grilled pork chops, sausage quiche, and white chicken chili. Call (859) 907-6093. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Chef Jim Olert opens a grill in the country

AvonJim Olert, who teaches culinary skills to students at Southside Technical Center, has returned to a working kitchen. Olert and his wife, Elaine, have opened a grill at Avon Service Mart, near Bluegrass Station.
“It’s a cozy mom-and-pop country store that serves breakfast and lunch,” he said. “Our menu consists of an American flair with several comfort food choices. We have everything from burgers and hot dogs to chicken, pork and fish.”
Homemade items include sausage gravy, beer-battered onion rings, seasoned home fries, and fried pickles, Olert said. Daily specials can include meatball sandwiches, sloppy Joes, chili, or Kentucky hot Browns.
Olert is a graduate of Baltimore International Culinary College and has worked as sous chef at Roy and Nadine’s, kitchen manager at Café Joseph-Beth, banquet chef at the Hyatt Regency hotel, and executive chef at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. He started teaching at Southside in 2004.
The grill is at 5569 Briar Hill Road. Hours are 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ­Saturday. Call (859) 327-3212.
Special events

■ Town Branch master distiller Mark Coffman will introduce Town Branch rye at Jonathan at Gratz Park, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $20. Call (859) 252-4949. Jonathan is at 120 West Second Street.
Specials
■ If you missed the Fat Tuesday ­celebrations around town, you still can get Cajun specialties at Rick’s White Light Diner in Frankfort. The diner, featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in 2010, serves oyster po’boys, crawfish pie, ­muffalettas and crawfish etouffee. New hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through ­Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ­Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Rick’s is at 114 Bridge Street. Call (502) 696-9104 or go to ­Whitelightdiner.com.
■ Starting Friday, Thai Orchid Café will offer Lenten seafood specials including shrimp and greens, tom yum seafood noodle bowl, and crispy chili fish. The café is at 1030 South Broadway. Call (859) 288-2170 or go to Thaiorchidcafe.net.
■ 1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street, Washington, is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Specials include chicken Parmesan and Swiss steak on Saturday, and baked spaghetti and hot German potato casserole on Sunday. Call (859) 907-6093.
■ The Grey Goose, 170 Jefferson Street, is serving grilled Clare Island salmon with cream risotto and grilled asparagus as the weekend special. The pizza flavor is “sky high meat pie.” Call (859) 233-1500.
■ Jan Sullivan, chef/owner of Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar, 1999 Harrodsburg Road, is ­making ­shamrock sugar cookies for St. ­Patrick’s Day parties. Soup specials are chunky Cheddar potato and tomato bisque. Call (859) 554-6044.
■ The color green reigns at ­Greentree Tearoom this month. The menu features potato leek soup, Irish oat scone with blackberry jam, ­spanakopita, corned beef, poppy seed egg salad and Benedictine tea ­sandwiches, Bailey’s fudge, and ­pistachio cupcakes. Greentree is at 521 West Short Street. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com.

Cookbook giveaway: Martha Stewart’s Cakes

marthastewartcakesTo win a copy of Martha Stewart’s Cakes, (Potter, $24.99) simply send us an old-fashioned cake recipe that’s been in your family for generations. Or, if you have a favorite cake recipe you’ve perfected, send that one. E-mail recipes to swthompson@herald-leader.com We’ll choose a winner on Feb.13.

Becki Owens of Richmond was the winner of last week’s cookbook giveaway.

Ring in Lunar new year with tofu recipes

Today marks the Lunar New Year, the year of the horse. Here are two easy recipe from  House Foods Tofu to serve your family.

chinesetofuChinese tofu dumplings

 1 package (14 ounces) House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu firm, drained and pressed
1  package (8 ounches) House Foods Tofu Shirataki angel hair noodles; drained, rinsed and cut into 1/2” length pieces
1 package House Foods small round wraps
½ cup dry wood ear mushrooms, diced (optional)
½ cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
1 ½  cups cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, diced
½  teaspoon ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil, plus more for frying
Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in large pan over medium-high heat.  Crumble the tofu into the pan and add noodles, mushrooms, carrot, cabbage, ginger and garlic and heat for a few minutes.  When the tofu and mushrooms are cooked through, add scallions and soy sauce and mix well.

Add 1 tablespoon of the tofu mixture into each wrap.  Moisten the edges of the wrap with water, fold in half and press to seal, making a few pinches or folds to create a fan-like shape.  Repeat for remaining dumplings.

Add sesame oil and dumplings to pan, a few at a time, and brown on each side (about a minute or two).  Add about 1 tablespoon of water to the pan and cover, allowing wraps to steam.  Once water evaporates, remove dumplings to a plate.  Repeat for remaining dumplings. Makes about 20 dumplings.

 

noodlesoup001Chinese tofu shirataki noodle soup

 2 packages (8 ounces each)  House Foods tofu shirataki spaghetti noodles, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 low sodium chicken bouillon cube

½ cup green onion, chopped
1 head baby bok choy
1 teaspoon ginger, crushed
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)

 In a large pan, heat sesame oil.  Add ginger, garlic and green onion and cook for 1 minute.  Add bok choy and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
In a separate large pot, boil 6 cups of water, add bouillon cube and cook until it dissolves.  Add soy sauce if using.  Add vegetables, chicken and tofu shirataki noodles to the pot.  Simmer for 10 minutes and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Today’s quick take: Sweet corn chowder

Terrific recipes ready in less than 30 minutes.

Prep time: 12 minutes

Cook time: 4- 7 minutes

LFerroni-sweet-corn-ch_fmt

Sweet corn chowder

5 bacon strips, diced

1 small leek, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme or winter savory, or 12 teaspoon dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cups milk

2 cups cream

2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (preferably fresh)

Brown the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Add the leek, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste to the pot and sauté until the leek is softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the potatoes, milk, and cream, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer (do not boil) until the potatoes are tender.

Add the corn and continue to simmer until the corn is tender, about 4 minutes for fresh or 7 minutes for frozen. Serve hot.

Variations:  When the corn is tender, stir 12 cup sautéed mushrooms or 1 cup cooked shrimp into the soup, bring up to heat, and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Soup Night by Maggie Stuckeysoup-night-cover-3d-full

 

Alfalfa is serving holiday brunch on Monday

 

Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, will be serving brunch on Monday, Martin Luther King Day. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Specials are raspberry-almond pancakes and Boone Creek  Creamery asiago, spinach and mushroom omelet. Call  (859) 253-0014 or go to Alfalfarestaurant.com.

Who makes the best soup?

100121soup057The Polar Vortex has left Central Kentucky, but we still have several weeks of low temperatures to battle. One of the best ways to warm up is with a bowl of hot soup or stew.

Does your favorite restaurant serve great soup? Let us know who makes the tastiest soup, and why it’s the best, and we’ll share your responses with other readers in a couple of weeks. E-mail swthompson@herald-leader.com or leave a message at (859) 231-3321.

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