Get to know our new Executive Chef Tim Goddu’s style with one of his signature recipes: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Braised Short Ribs and Roasted Pearl Onions.

Yields 2 Entree or 4 Appetizer Portions

For Gnocchi:

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • Cheesecloth
  • Butcher’s Twine
  • 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 qts. all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks

Wash, perforate, and bake sweet potatoes at 350 degrees until cooked through; time will depend on size. Let potatoes sit and cool before peeling and ricing onto sheet pan to cool. I’ve found that if you wrap, tie, and hang the riced potato in cheesecloth to drip in a bowl overnight it will help remove excess liquid. Otherwise, the use of extra flour needed to bind the dough will make the gnocchi too gummy.

The next day, place the potato, salt, and 1 cup of flour in a mixer with a dough hook attachment. Slowly blend to incorporate flour. Gently add more flour until little pearls form. Add 1 egg yolk and mix. Add flour and bring to pearls. Repeat with remaining yolks. Finally, mix until kneadable dough has formed and transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough, gradually adding flour until gnocchi dough springs back when touched. Place in lightly floured bowl, loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

When ready, cut off a section of dough and roll into an even tube the width of your thumb. Sprinkle with flour and cut into 1 inch bites. Transfer gnocchi to well-floured sheet pan and freeze to harden. When hard, gather and store in an airtight container.

 

For Short Ribs:

  • 4 bone-in short ribs
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns, ground
  • Cooking oil of your choice, small amount
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bottles IPA
  • 1 orange, quartered & squeezed – set juice aside
  • 2 carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 3 whole cloves

Season the short ribs with salt and ground pepper. Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat with a small amount of oil. Sear all sides of each short rib very well and set aside (in single layer) in a 4 to 6-inch-deep roasting pan. Add onions and garlic to the hot pan to sear, and half a beer to scrape fond off pan. Pour mixture over ribs and add remaining ingredients. Add water and more beer or more orange juice to just cover short ribs. Cover with 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer tinfoil – shiny side in. Braise short ribs for 4 hours at 300 degrees. Meat should be tender enough to fall right off the bone. Uncover and let rest, cool ribs in sauce overnight.

The next day, remove and dispose of hardened fat top layer. Remove meat from sauce and put sauce in pot to liquefy. Strain well and put back on low heat to reduce by two thirds; cool to let thicken. Pull meat from cartilage and shred to bite sized pieces. Set aside.

 

For Roasted Pearl Onions:

  • 1 lb. white pearl onions

Remove any loose skins, but do not peel onions. Roast at 425 degrees until just tender. Set at room temp to cool and cook through. When cool, cut just the stem off each onion and squeeze to peel. Set aside until ready to complete dish.

 

To Complete:

  • Water for boiling
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil of your choice

Bring pot of water to boil – season with a sprinkle of salt. When water is boiling, add the oil to a large sauté pan and bring to medium-high heat. Blanch gnocchi in boiling water for 3 or 4 seconds to begin the cooking process and remove from the water. Dab to remove excess water and carefully add gnocchi to the hot pan to sear. Gnocchi will crisp to golden brown within a minute or two. Flip with a thin spatula to sear the other side and add the onions to get color. Add short rib meat to heat through. Add a scoop of the reduced braising liquid and toss to create sauce. Season with salt to taste.

Garnish suggestions: chopped parsley / chopped sage / freshly shaved parmesan / dollop crème fraîche.

After you try Chef Tim’s recipe, let us know how it was on our Facebook page.

We are thrilled to introduce to you CVC’s newest Executive Chef, Tim Goddu. Tim comes to us after many years of experience in all aspects of the kitchen. Most recently, Tim served as the Executive Sous Chef at Rudy’s of the Cape in Cape Elizabeth, ME. Tim’s love for cooking sort of “fell into his lap” in 2000. After snagging a job as a dishwasher at a banquet hall in Holyoke, MA, Tim instantly fell in love with the excitement of the kitchen. After just five months washing dishes, he mustered up the courage to speak to the Executive Chef, asking to work in another part of the kitchen. He was quickly given a prep cook job, and knew that this was what he wanted to do for his career. Over the next several years, he was given the opportunity to work with a number of amazing chefs, working his way up the culinary ladder.

Executive Chef, CVC Catering Group, Portland, ME, Maine

Following high school, Tim attended culinary school at Newbury College in Brookline, MA. He graduated in May of 2009 and quickly jumped into the culinary world. Tim spent time on the line cooking at The Country Club in Brookline and at Sel de La Terre in Boston.  He then spent some time at Fenway Park, working at the State Street Pavilion, the Royal Rooters Club (a private club for Red Sox season ticket holders), and as Sous Chef on the Budweiser Roof Deck, a favorite of fans attending home games.

While working at Fenway Park, and various other jobs, Tim had the pleasure of cooking for numerous people: David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Terry Francona, Robert Craft, Jason Biggs, Anna Kendrick, Mark and Donny Wahlberg, and so many more.

On becoming a part of our team, Tim said, “CVC has opened up a new level for me. They have given me the opportunity to showcase my talent with my name as well as the title of Executive Chef. I am very grateful and excited to be a part of the team and even more so to see where we can go together. It’s a new challenge that I very much look forward to.”

Tim loves working with the fresh flavors that rotate with the seasons and loves the challenge of “spur of the moment creation.” Generally, he enjoys cooking American-style, but has very strong French and Italian influences.

Want to know more about CVC Catering and what we can do for your next event? Give us a call at 207-756-7599.

Homemade Chocolate Truffles, Valentine's Day

Don’t let the thought of making exquisite chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day scare you; it’s easier than you think! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, homemade chocolate makes the perfect gift. Here is my recipe for homemade chocolate truffles – a treat sure to make your loved one smile.

Equipment

  • Medium size glass mixing bowl
  • Microwave oven
  • Small saucepan
  • Rubber spatula
  • 8” x 8” glass baking dish
  • Melon baller
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • 3 pie pans
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Heating pad
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Powder-free vinyl or latex gloves (optional)
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Dish
  • Air-tight container

Ingredients

  • 30 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 9 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 TBS light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup sherry
  • 1 ½ cups Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • Chopped walnuts or toasted coconut

Directions

Place the 30 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and butter in a medium size glass mixing bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove from microwave, and stir. Repeat this process one more time, then set the mixture aside.

Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and pour over the melted chocolate mixture–let stand for two minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently, working in concentric circles, starting in the middle and continue until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Gently stir in the sherry. Pour the mixture into an 8” x 8” glass baking dish and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Using a melon baller, scoop the chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Place the cocoa powder, nuts, and/or toasted coconut in separate pie pans and set aside. Place a mixing bowl on top of a heating pad lined bowl – set the heating pad to medium. Depending on the heating pad, you may need to adjust the heat up or down. Place the 8 ounces of chocolate into the heated mixing bowl. Stirring the chocolate occasionally, test the temperature of the chocolate and continue heating until it reaches 90 to 92 degrees F. Once you have reached this temperature, adjust the heat to maintain it. Do not allow the chocolate to go above 94 degrees F. If you do, the coating will not have a nice snap to it when you bite into the chocolate.

Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and shape them into balls by rolling them between the palms of your hands. Use powder-free vinyl or latex gloves, if desired.

Dip an ice cream scoop into the heated chocolate and turn upside down to remove any excess. Place the truffles, one at time, into the scoop and roll each one around until coated. Roll each truffle in either the cocoa powder, nuts, or coconut until fully coated. Let each truffle sit in the coating for 10 to 15 seconds then remove the truffles to a parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat until all truffles are coated. Allow to set in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour; or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

 

Goulash Recipe, Hungarian Goulash

The holidays are over and the long, Maine winter has set in. But cold winter weather gives us an excuse to make bold hearty meals, like Chuck’s goulash soup – one of my favorites! Warm your kitchen, and your tummy, with this comforting goulash recipe.

Serves 6 People

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 lbs boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb Baby Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 large Russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Garnish: sour cream and fresh dill, chopped

 

PREPARATION

In an 8-quart heavy kettle cook bacon over moderate heat while stirring. When crisp, transfer to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. In the remaining bacon fat, brown the chuck in small batches over high heat, transferring the browned meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat to medium and add the oil. Add onions and garlic and continually stir until golden. Add in mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Stir in paprika, caraway seeds, and flour and cook, stirring for two minutes. Whisk in vinegar and tomato paste and cook, whisking for one minute – the mixture will be very thick. Stir in broth, water, salt, bell peppers, bacon, and chuck and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer the soup, covered, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.

Peel potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and add them to the soup and simmer, covered, until tender – about 30 minutes. Add in sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill.

I hope you enjoy this goulash recipe as much as I do on cold winter days!

New Years Foods

Here at CVC we’ve toasted the New Year and are looking forward to the year ahead.  With that in mind, we want to help you kick off 2017 right by drawing your attention to some well-known foods recognized far and wide to lend themselves to good fortune or prosperity in the upcoming year.

 

Greens

If you’ve resolved to eat healthier in the new year, leafy greens are a great place to start! Not only are leafy greens healthy, but they also resemble money, and will supposedly bring you financial prosperity. So make sure to eat some of these ASAP this year!

 

Beans

Beans are thought to represent coins because of their size and weight. In this way, beans are another food that signifies money and financial prosperity for the year.

Hoppin’ John, a new year’s dish originating from the southern U.S is made of black-eyed peas and rice, and eating the peas is said to bring wealth to you. To go one step further, it’s said that leftovers from this meal are called Skippin’ Jenny. Eating Skippin’ Jenny is representative of frugality and an act that is considered to bring a financially prosperous year.

 

Noodles & Grains

Craving pasta in the New Year, despite your resolution to cut carbs? Here’s one good reason to eat them: long noodles like spaghetti or soba are said to represent longevity, while copious smaller grains like quinoa, rice, and barley represent plenty, or abundance.

 

Ring-Shaped Foods

Donuts and other ring-shaped desserts symbolize the year coming full circle. In Eastern Europe, a single coin is baked into a large lemon-flavored cake called vasilopita. Whomever happens to get the coin in their slice will have good fortune in the new year, just don’t bite into it!

 

Pomegranate

If you’ve never eaten a fresh pomegranate, now is the perfect time to start! The inside of a pomegranate is filled with small red seeds, and unlike other fruits like apples and oranges, you eat the seeds and leave the flesh. The plentiful seeds found in pomegranates represent prosperity, as do other fruits with many seeds, like figs.

 

Pork

Among meats, pork is considered the luckiest because of the pig’s rotund body shape, which represents prosperity. Additionally, the pig’s act of rooting with their nose in a forward direction represents progress. Here’s to progress!

 

Fish

Besides being packed with flavor and nutrition, fish offers abundant representations of good luck. Their shiny coin-like scales are associated with wealth, and their habit of travelling in large schools represents prosperity. What’s more they swim forward, which most identify as the direction of progress. Eating a whole-roasted fish is the traditional way to take advantage of all the good fortune that comes with fish.

 

We hope these foods bring you good fortune in 2017. Please let us know which ones you decided to try!