New England Comfort Food

September 27, 2010 12:11:15 PM PDT
Chowders, cranberries and apples often bring to mind the classic ingredients of the New England cuisine. And the soon to be fall chill may send you back into the kitchen to cook all those fabulous comfort foods. Stephanie Sokolove, owner of Stephanie's on Newbury, www.StephaniesOnNewbury.com , shares some of those recipes with Chicagoland lovers. RECIPE:
  • Pan Roasted Cod with Corn Chowder Herb Roasted Potatoes and Buttermilk Onion Strings
  • Apple Cranberry Cobbler
  • Lobster Roll
  • Bio (RELEASE)

    Stephanie Sokolove Owner and Executive Chef Stephanie Sidell Sokolove has been a food service professional for over 25 years and is highly regarded as one of Boston's premier businesswomen.

    Stephanie was trained by the world-renowned French chef and food educator, Madeleine Kamman, who identified her as a protégée early on. After completing her culinary education in 1980, Stephanie founded the catering company Sidell & Sasse with Bob Sasse. For fourteen years the company prospered, catering hundreds of events annually, ranging from an intimate dinner party to a 750 person Back-Tie Gala for the Dana Farber Institute. Her responsibilities included supervising all menu selections, food preparation and presentation, as well as estimating and billing and staff training. In addition, Stephanie consulted in all aspects of event planning from venue and entertainment selection, to flowers and tabletop design.

    In conjunction with running Sidell & Sasse, Stephanie served as the Executive Chef of the U.S. Trust Corporate Dining Room for 14 years. She and her staff produced daily lunches for U.S. Trust customers and executives. They also prepared food for professional and social events held by the bank ranging from board meetings and breakfast seminars to large-scale customers events.

    In 1994, Stephanie Sokolove followed her dream and founded Stephanie's on Newbury. To date, the 300-seat American Bistro has received innumerable accolades from The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, USA Today and The New York Times. Often touted "The Queen of Patio Dining," Stephanie's on Newbury was voted Citysearch's Editorial and Audience Winner for the "Best Patio Dining" in Boston, three years in a row.

    In 2009, Stephanie opened Stephi's on Tremont, the sister restaurant of Stephanie's on Newbury, bringing her sophisticated comfort food to Boston's South End neighborhood.

    Stephanie has built her business on a style of cooking that she calls "Sophisticated Comfort," a style that is fresh, interesting, and yet familiar. "Sophisticated Comfort Food" is the next generation of comfort food in that it blends traditional favorites with today's food preferences. Dishes are imaginatively created with current, fresher ingredients and bolder flavors then artistically presented. At the restaurants, Stephanie spins familiar classics into elegant dishes that comfort and surprise without being fussy or intimidating.

    Stephanie's innate foresight in customer demand and knowledge of superior food and management has made her the successful businesswoman she is today. Under her leadership, Stephanie's on Newbury has become an institution in Boston and one of the city's highest independently grossing eateries. As the Owner and Executive Officer, her responsibilities include supervising the monthly profit and loss statement, negotiating pricing, planning public relations and events for the restaurant, interacting with the customers, talking to vendors, leading the management team and overseeing the kitchen and menu.

    Stephanie Sokolove was born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts. In 1976, she graduated from Wheaton College with a BA History. Her mother is Barbara Sidell and her father is Jack Sidell, the renowned Boston Restaurant Financier. She is married to Attorney James Sokolove and has 3 daughters, Courtney, Lindsey and Madeleine. Stephanie and James are in the process of building the "Ultimate Sophisticated Comfort Home" equipped with a Chef's dream kitchen. Currently Stephanie is working on a cookbook and cooking show.

    Recipes:

    Pan Roasted Cod with Corn Chowder Herb Roasted Potatoes and Buttermilk Onion Strings

    Serves 2

  • 2 7-8 oz pieces fresh atlantic cod / skin on
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 T butter, unsalted
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lightly season fish with salt and pepper. In a heavy bottomed skillet heat butter and oil over med/high heat until butter starts to froth. Place fish in the pan skin side down and roast for 4 min and then carefully turn the fish over and cook for an additional 2-3 min. Remove fish from pan. Place half the chowder on each plate and then divide the potatoes evenly. Place the fish on top of the potatoes and the onion strings on top of the fish. Serve immediately.

    Chowder:

  • 1 T cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 C corn, raw
  • 1 T shallots, minced
  • 1/2 T garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C celery, small dice
  • 1/2 T tarragon, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 T flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C ? 1 C heavy cream
  • 1-2 T mirin
  • 1+T canola oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Heat oil in a 10in sauté pan over med/high heat and add the corn. Saute for 1-2 min then add the celery, garlic, shallots and sauté for 1-2 min more. Add the bacon and toss. Add the tarragon, parsley, ½ C of heavy cream and 1 T mirin. Let reduce for about one min and adjust thickness and sweetness with remaining heavy cream and mirin. Season with salt and pepper and put aside.

    Potatoes:

  • 4 med sized red bliss potatoes cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 t garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t thyme, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 t rosemary, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 t sage, fresh, chopped
  • 2 T butter, unsalted
  • 2 t canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to °400. In a sauté pan with an oven proof handle heat oil and 1 T of butter over med/high heat until the butter starts to froth. Add the potatoes and sauté until browning starts. Add remaining butter, herbs and garlic and toss to coat. Place in the oven for about 3-4 min tossing occasionally or until a nice crisp coating has formed on the potatoes (be sure Not to burn the garlic). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

    Onion Strings

  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 2 C Buttermilk
  • 2 C All-purpose Flour
  • 1 T Salt
  • 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 qt Canola Oil
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil to °375. Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.

    Apple Cranberry Cobbler

  • 5 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • TOPPING:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • In a large saucepan, combine the apples, sugar, cranberries, tapioca, cinnamon and water. Let stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Cook and stir 3 minutes longer. Pour into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Dot with butter.

    In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk to form a soft dough. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls over hot apple mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean.

    Lobster Roll

  • 4 cups of lobster meat from steamed lobsters (approximately 2 1/2 to 2 pound lobsters)
  • ½ C mayonnaise
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 6 6-in hot dog buns
  • Combine all ingredients except lobster in a mixing bowl (and rolls!). Rough chop lobster meat and mix gently into dressing with a rubber spatula. Butter the outside of hotdog rolls generously and toast in a nonstick sauté pan over med heat until golden brown on both sides.

    Fill with shredded lettuce and lobster salad.


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