Studio Nouvelles Images - Spices
Studio Nouvelles Images
Buy This Art Print At








  Free Shipping

WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)    La Belle Cuisine

The Spice Cabinet...
Your Webmistress, Up Close and Personal

 WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create an act of integrity, and faith."


Tales from the Road




"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. 
Dance like nobody's watching. Sing like nobody's listening.
Live like it's Heaven on Earth."

Recipe of the Day Categories:

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Recipe Home

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Appetizers

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Beef

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Beverage

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Bread

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Breakfast

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Cake

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Chocolate

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Cookies

wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Fish

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Fruit

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Main Dish

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pasta

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pies

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Pork

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Poultry

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Salad

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Seafood

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Side Dish

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Soup

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Vegetable

 wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Surprise!



[Flag Campaign icon]






  Raymond Campbell - Chambertin 1945
Chambertin 1945
Raymond Campbell
Buy This Art Print At








  Marilyn Blumer-Cochrane - Harvest Grapes
Harvest Grapes
Marilyn Blumer-Cochrane
Buy This Art Print At








  Fiona Butler - Herbs
Fiona Butler
Buy This Art Print At







Coca-Cola Lady in Purple
Coca-Cola Lady in Purple
Buy This Art Print At

















  Marcello Dudovich - Vermouth Bianco
Vermouth Bianco
Marcello Dudovich
Buy This Art Print At








wine recommendations 125 x 125

Check out our Cellar Specials -great wines at discounted prices!









  Zelda - Simple Elegance I
Simple Elegance I
Buy This Art Print At










Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Your patronage of our affiliate partners supports this web site.  We thank you!


  Eric Mohn - Coming Home
Coming Home
Eric Mohn
Buy This Art Print At


  Tales from the Road

 You know what a difficult thing it can be, this coming home from the road.  Right?  Reality lurks. The everyday routine. Piles of mail to be sorted through, both e- and snail-. Ohmigod! Visions of your road trip are beginning to fade into the ether - the sights, sounds, aromas of distant destinations. Not an easy thing.....

How very fortunate I am, then, to have a reasonable excuse to relive at least part of my journey northeastward from New Orleans, city of my heart, land of dreamy dreams. Some of the destinations were somewhat routine for me these days
(Jackson, MS and Huntsville, AL), although that did not prevent my enjoying those sojourns tremendously. Others were somewhat off my beaten path (Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC). I know Atlanta relatively well and have a number of good friends there, but haven't visited for a long while. Charlotte, on the other hand, was brand new to me.

My older son, Keegan, who (just in case I haven't mentioned it lately!) is an extraordinary pastry chef, has lived in Charlotte for the past two years. He and his wife are about to move to Chicago where he has accepted the position of Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons. (Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.) Naturally, he built a fire under me to take advantage of my last opportunity to visit Charlotte under his guidance. Convincing me to make the trip was not all that difficult, believe me! From a culinary point of view, Charlotte was definitely the
zenith of my journey.

Bonterra Dining & Wine Room
1829 Cleveland Avenue & East Worthington Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28203, (704) 333 - WINE (9463)

 The atmosphere of Bonterra is well suited to the superb cuisine. The restaurant is located in a lovingly renovated church building, dating from 1895. There is a warm elegance throughout which serves to enhance the appetite and please the eye.

Chef Keegan has been instrumental in assisting John Duncan ("J.D."), the proprietor of and inspiration behind Bonterra, bring the dessert menu up to the restaurant's standards of excellence. It was my pleasure one evening to be wined and dined beyond expectation. Executive Chef Carl Bertka treated me to a tasting menu that rivals those of New York's finest. And the wine! Mon Dieu!  Bonterra is
SERIOUS about wine. I kid you not! Bartender Jeff Kebodeaux (more of a wine steward/sommelier, actually) entertained me all evening with his enthusiastic expertise on a subject obviously dear to his heart. Bonterra offers an astonishing selection of 200+ wines by the glass (yes - by the glass!), prominently displayed in custom-built temperature-controlled  cabinets. Amazing.

The tasting menu went something like this:

Foie Gras on Brioche Crostini with Fresh Cherry Sauce
Note: Jeff had started me out with a glass of Rudd Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley 1999), but was quick to bring a glass of Dolce (Napa Valley 1997), which is very much like a good Sauternes, when he realized I was starting with Foie Gras. These folks are SERIOUS.

Lobster and Smoked Salmon Terrine with Micro Greens
and Saffron-Infused Tomato Water with Red and Yellow Cherry Tomatoes

Veal Cheeks Braised in Lavender with Pearl Onions, Fingerling Potatoes
and English Peas
Wine: Tim Adams Grenache (1997 Clare, Australia)

 Seared Alaskan Halibut served on a Fennel, Apple, Celery and Potato Purée
with Caramelized Onion and Fava Beans
Wine: Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc (1999 Sonoma Valley)

Thank you, Chef Carl!

Dessert?  To die for!

Lychee Soup with Assorted Fresh Citrus Fruit and
Rose Geranium-Infused Lemon Sorbet

Mascarpone and Lime Caramel with Orange Tuile and Mango Purée

A Strawberry-Tomato combination which defies description!  Vanilla-infused Tomato Water in which floated an incredible Tomato Confit resting on a sugared baguette crostini. This was topped with Lavender-Infused Strawberry Sorbet.  An experiment, Chef Keegan informed me.  He was "just playing around" with tomatoes and strawberries.  Ohmigod!

Rhubarb-Strawberry-Ginger Compote with Honey Ice Cream
and a Baby Thyme Biscuit

Individual Molten Chocolate Cake with a Mixed Berry Compote,
Vanilla Ice Cream and a Grué Cocoa Tuile

Streusel-Topped Oven-Roasted Cherries on Panna Cotta 

and just for fun...

a Lavender Sugar Bowl, which looked just exactly like a clam shell, containing miniature Almond-Chocolate Chip Biscotti and Pistachio Macaroons

Wine with dessert? Mais oui!

An excellent Cairnbrae Marlborough Noble Riesling from New Zealand,
a Livingston Moffet Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 with the chocolate course
and, of course, Champagne:
Laurent-Perrier Brut (non-vintage)

Superb!  Did they have to carry me out?  My secret!

On the other end of the spectrum, I discovered a wonderful place right around the corner from Chef Keegan's condo. Please note that by "the other end of the spectrum" I do not mean bad. I simply mean different. Mr. K's is a family-owned and operated diner kind of place. "Our family has been proudly serving the
Dilworth community and Charlotte since 1967." And serving them well, might I add.
I defy you to find a better burger outside your own kitchen. Excellent Bar-B-Que sandwiches, as well as the expected selection of other sandwich offerings, superb onion rings, plus a few surprises. Like pork chop sandwiches and corn dogs. And yes, they have milk shakes. In eight flavors, if you please. Down home good eatin'
at Mr. K's. And friendly, too! 2107 South Blvd., 704.375.4318.  Closed Saturday
and Sunday. This is a family business, remember!

Then there's Einstein Bros. Bagels, 1501 South Blvd., not far from downtown Charlotte. Great location, great menu, and crowded, crowded, crowded. Have mercy!  I stumbled across Einstein's about 9:30 a.m. on a Friday only to find no parking place available in their lot. Sure glad I didn't try it on Saturday morning! Sheesh! They serve a traditional lox & bagel (served open face with a schmear, tomato, sweet onions and capers) that's pretty yummy. I must admit I was intrigued by the idea of the Chicago Bagel Dog, but did not try it. But I just gotta tell ya, New York it ain't.  Not by a long shot. Am I too demanding, too spoiled? Are my standards too high?  Maybe. Actually, I prefer the bagels at the Beagle Bagel in Jackson, MS. By and large, I was glad to find Einstein's that morning. My favorite thing was the coffee.  Seriously. They serve "Melvyn's Darned Good Coffee". Bottomless cups. In five different flavors every day, yet. ("Sit all day if you want, just please eat a little something, too.") High on life? No problem, they have decaf.  

And now I suppose you want recipes. Right? Yikes! What to do? As fate would
have it, I don't have Bonterra's recipes. Nor do I have Mr. K's, or Einstein's for
that matter. We'll just have to be grateful for some excellent recipes. With suitable elegance, of course. Okay?


Salmon, Scallop, and Pea Terrine
Gourmet July 1990

3/4 pound sea scallops, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas, cooked until tender, drained, and cooled
1 tablespoon lightly beaten egg white
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Chive butter sauce or tsatsiki

For chive butter sauce:
1/4 cup minced shallot
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives

 In a food processor purée the scallops and the peas until the mixture is almost smooth, add the egg white, the cream, the salt, and the tarragon, and purée the mixture until it is smooth. Transfer the  mixture to a bowl, fold in the salmon, and transfer the mixture to a buttered 1-quart rectangular terrine, smoothing the top and rapping the terrine on a hard surface to expel any air bubbles. Cover the terrine with buttered wax paper and the lid or a double thickness of foil, put it in a baking pan, and add enough hot water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the terrine. Bake the terrine in a preheated 375°F.  oven for 45 minutes. Remove the terrine from the baking pan and remove the lid and the wax paper. Let the terrine stand for 10 minutes, carefully pour off the excess liquid, and  invert the terrine onto a platter. The terrine may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and  chilled. Let the terrine return to room temperature before serving. Cut the terrine into 1/2-inch slices and serve it warm with the chive butter sauce or at room temperature with the tsatsiki.
To make chive butter sauce
: In a small heavy saucepan combine the shallot, the vermouth, and the vinegar, bring the liquid to a boil, and simmer it until the liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Reduce the heat to moderately low and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, lifting the pan from the heat occasionally to cool the mixture and adding each new piece before the previous one has melted completely. (The sauce must not get hot enough to liquefy. It should be the consistency of hollandaise.) Stir in the chives  and salt to taste. Makes about 1/2 cup. Serves 4.


Veal Chops with Basil Parmesan Crust and
Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

L’Etoile, Martha’s Vineyard
Gourmet Archives

 5 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly
1/3 cup chopped shallot
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 pound ground veal
2 large egg yolks
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed, spun dry
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Six 12-ounce loin veal chops
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

Make the sauce:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a sheet of foil, drizzle the garlic with the oil, wrap garlic in foil, and roast it in the oven 15 minutes or until it is soft to the touch. Peel the garlic, and in a bowl with the back of a fork crush it to a purée, adding 1 teaspoon water if necessary, and reserve the purée. Chop half the pine nuts coarse and reserve the chopped and whole pine nuts separately. In a dry 3-quart saucepan heat the shallot over moderately high heat until it sizzles, add the wine and the chopped pine nuts and boil the liquid until it barely covers the pine nuts. Add the cream and simmer the sauce, whisking, until it is thickened. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan, pressing hard on the solids, stir in the reserved garlic purée and salt and pepper to taste and keep the sauce warm.
For the crust mixture
:  In a food processor blend together the butter,
ground veal, egg yolks, basil, Parmesan, mustard, salt and pepper, pulsing the motor, until the mixture is smooth. Transfer crust mixture to a bowl and chill it, covered.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large heavy skillet heat 1/2 cup olive oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and in it brown the chops, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper. Transfer chops with tongs to a broiler pan and coat one side of each chop with about 1/3 cup of the crust mixture, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly on the crust mixture and roast the chops in the middle of the oven 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare meat. If desired, brown the chops under a preheated broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the crust is golden. Transfer chops to plates, stir the reserved whole pine nuts into the sauce, and spoon sauce around chops.  Serves 6.

 What's for dessert?  Stay tuned...later this week in featured recipes.  I promise!

The trip itself? Uneventful, for the most part. Of course, I could tell you about how the air conditioner in the car went out between Atlanta and Charlotte. But you probably don't really want to hear about that any more than I want to relate it.  We managed to hang tough, my SophieDog and I. I do have a few well-chosen words on the subject of that questionable stretch of I-85 transversing South Carolina. You may not want to hear them, either. There are those times, however, when a webmistress simply has to get a few things off her chest. WHY does the speed limit change so often for no apparent reason, and WHY is it so often 60, 65, or even 55, and so seldom 70???  Very, very frustrating. Downright irritating, actually. Not to mention the fact that the 18-wheeler caravan might as well be linked together like freight cars. No hate mail, please. I am not knocking your beautiful state. Just expressing my opinion about a very stressful stretch of highway.  Okay?

Guess I might as well go finish unpacking since I've been home 5 days now. Some things take time. Especially when they bring you down out of the clouds and remind you that life is not a vacation. Oh, by the way, have you seen the latest pictures of my granddaughter, Little Miss Smiley Kylie?  

 Until next time, remember:

"If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much room."


"It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one."
 - M.F.K. Fisher, from The Art of Eating



Current Spice Cabinet Feature
Index - The Spice Cabinet
Major Morsels

Index - Food Features

WB01419_1.gif (2752 bytes)

wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Home wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Sitemap wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Recipe of the Day wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Art Gallery wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Cafe wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Articles wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Cookbooks
wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Cajun Country wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Features wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Chefs wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Food Quotes wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Gift Gallery wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Favorites wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Basics
wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Recipe Archives wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Links wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) Guestbook wb01507_.gif (1247 bytes) What's New
  mail7_thm.jpg (1534 bytes)

LinkShare-Get Your Share!

Webmaster Michele W. Gerhard
Copyright © 1999-2003 Crossroads International.  All rights reserved.
Some graphics copyright
Revised: December 31, 2002.