New Cooking School Calendar at the Captain Freeman Inn

by Donna Cain

Cooking School at the Freeman

Cooking School at the Freeman

We have a fabulous time each winter during our Cape Cod Culinary cooking schools at the Captain Freeman Inn. Chef Carol will continue conducting the class. This year’s calendar is filled with some new comfort foods including bread and soups, all from the areas that we love in Europe including Italy, Spain and France.

The cooking school package includes a one or two night stay at either the Captain Freeman Inn or our sister property Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa. The package includes a fabulous breakfast each day, cooking school for two and wine tasting and dinner afterwards. We pair both red and white wines to compliment our evening meal. Guests can sample different wines and decide which one they would like to enjoy with their meal. The dinner always concludes with a wonderful dessert or biscotti that I love to dunk in the dessert wine:)

Savory breakfast the the Freeman

Savory breakfast the the Freeman

2014/2015 Schedule

November 8, 2014- France

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In Paris the crisp fall air is filled with smells of baking bread and simmering comfort food. The flavors are amazing but the best part is that these classic dishes are simple and fun to make. We will make French bread, classic French Onion soup and French garlic sausage and butternut bisque that will transport you to Paris.

mushrooms from a previous class

mushrooms from a previous class

January 17, 2015 – Northern Italy

Winter chills mean fragrant country loaves and simmering soups overflowing with the bounty of the Tuscan hills. We will make country bread, stracchiatella, chicken and egg soup and hearty white bean and kale soup. Flavors to delight an Italian palate.

February 7,2015- Spain

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Winter is the season for warm bread dipped in fragrant olive oil and simple but beautiful paella, the comfort food of Spain. This hearty and simple rice sauté traditionally loaded with seafood and poultry. We will honor our local seafood bounty and prepare a sausage and scallop delight with all of the seasonings of Espagna!

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February 21, 2015- France/Provence

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As the cold mistral winds blow across the lavender fields of Provence, learn to shape French loaves in many shapes and sizes and enjoy classic Bouillabaisse, the provencal city of Marseille’s world famous seafood soup made with our local bounty of fish and seafood.

March 7, 2015- Southern Italy/Sicily

As spring approaches the hills of Sicily we will make hearty Sicilan country bread and two wonderful soups: Ribolitta (literally bread soup)and escarole soup with veal meatballs.

April 11, 2015- Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Where northern Africa meets southern Europe the flavors of Spain, Portugal and Morocco are all influenced by their common geography and unique histories. We will make traditional flat bread with its soft pillowy texture and amazing flavors. To accompany our bread, a selection of delicate soups and hearty tagine highlighting the local flavors of the region.

Our winter classes fill up quickly so it’s important to get your reservations in early. The package price includes best available room at time of booking giving you even more reason to book early so that you can reserve your favorite room.
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Bon Appetite and Exhaling on Cape Cod!

Captain Freeman’s cookbook coming to Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster

Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster

We had fun with the title as everyone thinks it’s Captain Freeman answering the phone when they call to make a reservation…..so maybe he made the cookbook???? No, not really!

We are happy  to report that our new Captain Freeman cookbook is being printed now and should be to us by the end of the month. It is a project two years in the making as we have been creating many new recipes for the inn over the past few years. This cookbook includes many of our favorites.

Cover for our new cookbook

Cover for our new cookbook

Many of our guests ask us for our recipes, and we are always willing to share. Shown below is a new favorite for Black Bean and White Turkey Chile that our friend and Captain Freeman cooking school chef made for us. It was so good that I immediately asked Carol for the recipe and have passed it on to all of our family and friends. How appropriate to add to this blog for many more to enjoy. Thanks Carol!

The original recipe called for onions and Carol adapted the recipe to omit the onions as my husband is allergic. This recipe is easy to make, freezes well and will add a smile to everyone’s face that you include in this meal.

Black and White Bean Turkey Chili

4 Turkey thighs
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, whole

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 14 1/2 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 small can mild green chiles, drained and chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 can black beans, drained
1 can white beans, drained
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup tequila
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Mexican chile powder
1 Tablespoon expresso powder

Place the turkey thighs in a large dutch oven with a bay leaf, garlic and stock just to cover. If you need a little more liquid add water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer and poach for one hour. Leave in the stock to cool just until you can easily handle the thighs. Remove thighs and reserve the stock in a separate container. Take the turkey off the bones and cut into bite size peaces.
In the same pot add the olive oil and heat. Then add the tomatoes and cook on high until the liquid is evaporated. Reduce the heat and add the chiles, garlic, turkey and beans. In a small bowl mix the flour, tequila, honey and all the additional spices until smooth. Add some reserved stock to create a smooth liquid. Add the liquid to the pot and stir and cook on medium heat until the chile begins to thicken. Add liquid if needed to create the desired thickness. Simmer for 30 minutes (some of the liquid will evaporate) Make ahead and refrigerate for up to 5 days. It just gets better! May be frozen for up to 90 days in meal size portions.

Bon Appetite!

Winter in Naples Cooking School at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner

Winter in Naples

Winter in Naples

We just had a wonderful cooking school at the Captain Freeman this past weekend. Our professional chef, Carol Edmondson continues to create a wonderful experience with plenty of helpful cooking tips as well as providing delicious recipes for the food cooked in the class. This class included pizza and antipasta, enjoyed with wine tasting after the class.

The full menu included Bruschetta with Roasted Peppers and Shaved Reggiano, Italian meats and cheeses on toasted bread,
Classic Pizza Margherita Pizza, Sea Scallops, Arugula and Pancetta Pizza, Salad with Roasted Eggplant, olives and Fresh Citrus Vinaigrette and the show stopper Berries with Zabaglione Sauce.

The class always enjoys watching the simple way to roast the peppers…..

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Looking forward to our next two classes which includes:

Savory cuisine from Rome on March First where we will sample the classic cuisine of Rome influenced by it’s history and geography. Rome is the home of many religions and ethnic groups not unlike any major city. Their influences are felt in preparation unique to the region. Winter soups harvest flavors preserved from fall gardens. Pork is an essential ingredient fresh and preserved in Salumi of many types. Artichokes and eggplants are fried in olive oil to whet winter appetites. Capers and other pickled vegetables perk up the winter Roman table. A harvest of flavors to bring to our late winter menu along with the freshest of local foods and the best of our own local preserves.

On March 29th we will visit Avignon in the heart of Provence. True French country cuisine influenced by ingredients found daily in the market square. In March the mistral, a cold wind from the Alps, blows across Provence. Warming soups are a must. Spring lamb, winter greens, great cheeses and bread from ancient grains are the staples of early spring. Early greens are peeking through and lemony salads brighten spring tables. Wine poached winter fruits finish this hearty meal.

Bon Appetit!

Spanish Cooking School at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

We recently had our first cooking school of the season which included Spanish food from Valencia. Our Chef Carol Edmondson continued the tradition of providing wonderful cooking tips in the class and later an over the top delicious meal which we enjoyed in the fireside dining room at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Our wonderful chef, Carol

Our wonderful chef, Carol

The menu included warm lemon, garlic and rosemary olives,

warm olives

warm olives

figs with goats cheese,

Fresh figs served with goat's cheese

Fresh figs served with goat’s cheese

warm garlic and herb flat bred and the show stopper, Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo.

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

All of our cooking school meals include a wonderful fresh salad and a dessert that pairs perfectly with the meal . For this dinner Carol chose  Valencia oranges in Rioja wine with Manchego.

It was fun to learn a different way to grill the peppers which was actually quite simple and included just holding the pepper over the stove flame and then pealing away the burnt skin.

fresh roasted peppers

fresh roasted peppers

Our classes always include Wine tasting before our meal and Byron was so excited about the Spanish wines he was able to find. For those wine conoseurs, a detail description of the wines we served is noted below:
Wine

RED
• Zerran – 2011 Montsant
Garnacha 50%, Mazuelao40%, Syrah 10%

• The Saint – Rioja – 2008 Reserva
Tempranillo

• Los Dos 2012 – Campo De Borja
Grenache 85% & Syrah 15%

• Laya 2012 – Garnacha Tintorera 70% , Monastrell 30%
WHITE
• Godello 2011 – Castelo Do Papa
Godello 100%

• Licia Albarino 2011 – Rias Baixas
SPANISH WINES – Grape Variey Descriptions for wines in our tasting.
Albariño – White. Native to Galicia, with small, very sweet glyceric berries which produce high quality wines. It is the basic grape of Rías Baixas DO. There has been a dramatic increase in the area planted with this grape over the last few years.
Godello – White. A high quality, very aromatic grape. Native to Galicia, new planting has been encouraged in the last few years, especially in Valdeorras DO. It is considered a main variety in Valdeorras and Bierzo DOs.
Garnacha Tinta – Red Garnacha. A high-yielding grape that produces vigorous wines. This is the most widely grown red grape in Spain, especially in La Rioja, Madrid, Navarre, Tarragona, Teruel, Toledo and Zaragoza.
Cariñena (Mazuelo) – Red. Produces robust, balanced wines. An excellent complement to Garnacha, it is widely planted in Catalonia and La Rioja, where it is known as “Mazuela”.
Monastrell – A red, very sweet and productive grape. It produces wines with a deep colour and considerable alcoholic content. It is mainly found in Murcia (52%), Alicante, Albacete and Valencia and it is considered a main variety in DOs such as Alicante, Almansa, Costers del Segre, Jumilla, Penedés, Valencia and Yecla.
Syrah – Red. A variety thought to have come from Persia, grown extensively in central and southern France. Hermitage wines are usually 100% Syrah. Very little is grown in Spain (principally Catalonia and La Mancha).
Tempranillo – Red. Superb quality and very aromatic, the star of Spanish grapes. It is called Ull de Llebre in Catalonia, Cencibel in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid, and Tinto Fino and Tinto del Pais in Castile and Leon. It flourishes in Burgos, La Rioja, Alava, Cuenca and Ciudad Real. It is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Calatayud, Cigales, Conca de Barbera, Costers del Segre, La Mancha, Penedes, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Somontano, Utiel-Requena, Valdepenas, and Vinos de Madrid.
WINE DESCRIPTIONS
BODEGAS ORDONEZ 2011 ZERRAN MONTSANT – RATINGS – WA 92 ; IWC 91+
Zerran is another fantastic deal from Spain. The 2011 Bodegas Ordoñez Zerran is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo (aka Carignan), and 10% Syrah sourced from vines that were planted between 1934 and 1942 (so the youngest vines are 70+ years old!).
The only ‘shock’ was how good this was in the glass, the wine’s explosive fruit component with notes of boysenberry, plum, and blackberry with a hint of cola taking center stage. There’s good minerality and acidity to balance out the fruit and the soft tannins make this bottle very approachable right now.
Very expressive, very versatile, very affordable, this has all the makings of a first class ‘house red’ or party go-to. There are excellent notes from both Wine Advocate (92 points) and International Wine Cellar (91+ points) as well as some enthusiastic words. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort.” Excellent value. Stock Report Aug. 2013
Robert Parker writes in Wine Advocate: “Even more so is the 2011 Zerran, which ratchets up the level of concentration and ripe fruit. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort. Its completeness and overall equilibrium are impressive, and this great value should drink well for 5-6 years, possibly longer. (There is no track record for these wines in terms of aging.) Production from the Rueda vineyard (38.3 acres) owned by Jorge Ordonez was begun in 2011. This well-known white wine appellation sits on the border of the province of Segovia. The 2010 and 2011 Zerran come from a vineyard planted at 1,500-1,800 feet altitude. They are blends of Grenache, Mazuelo and Syrah whose vines were planted between 1934 and 1942.”
Josh Raynolds writes in International Wine Cellar: “Vivid purple. Aromas of black raspberry, spicecake and musky herbs, with a smoky topnote. Densely packed and youthful, with spicy dark berry flavors accented by cracked pepper and a touch of candied violet. Tannins build on the zesty finish, which shows refreshing bitterness and a touch of boysenberry.”
2008 The Saint Rioja Reserva
Website: http://www.thesaintwine.com – Region: Rioja Varietal: Tempranillo
Coined by Jancis Robinson as “Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon,” its style varies significantly depending on terroir and the wine-making techniques used. Cooler regions and stainless steel fermentation tend to produce Tempranillos with fresh strawberry and cherry like fruit, similar in body to Pinot Noir. Examples from hotter, more arid regions that undergo extended oak aging often produce richer, plumper, jammier wines, typically exhibiting chocolate, tobacco, and leather notes. Tempranillo provides the backbone of the highly regarded wines of Rioja, Toro and Ribera del Duero. In Rioja particularly, it is typically blended with Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano. In La Mancha and Navarra, it is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce inexpensive, great-value wines. One of the few places Tempranillo has spread to is Spain’s neighbour, Portugal. Grown mainly in the Douro valley since the mid 19th century, where they call it Tinta Roriz, it is used as one of the key blending agents in port. Lately it has been used in the region’s intensely rich, dry, table wines.
With more area under vines than any other country, it ranks third in terms of quantity of wine produced. The range of its wines is a reflection of the country’s regional climatic diversity ranging from the rich and sumptuous reds of the hot and arid Ribera del Duero to the light, crisp whites of the cool Atlantic region of Galicia and Basque Country. For some of the country’s best reds, try the regions of Rioja, Navarra, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, and Murcia. Spain is also nsible for some of the world’s finest fortified and dessert wines, the finest of which come from the town Jerez (Sherry), in Andalucía.
Complex aromas of ripe fruit blend with smoky fine woods. The wine is fantastically well structured and has a long lingering finish. The Saint Rioja is a deep ruby colored wine that displays an abundance of fruit enhanced by a full 26 months of oak aging. On the palate it shows big fruit, spice and outstanding concentration of flavors with impeccable balance. This Reserva will continue to age well for at least 10 years. The Saint Reserva Rioja will match well to most dishes for the perfect pairing, try this with grilled meats, BBQ and mushroom or seafood risottos. Enjoy this wine with good food and good friends or, try it alone in your room with the door locked, you’re the boss!

2012 Los Dos Grenache / Syrah
Brand: Bodegas Aragonesas – Region: Campo de Borja – Varietal: Grenache Blend Style: Red Wine
Winemaker’s Notes:
From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 30 years of age. The resulting wine is nuanced and elegant. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate and finishes with a refinedlength.
Almira Los Dos is bright cherry red with violet hues and has a pleasantly intense and complex aroma of subtle fruit and balsam, with a full, well-structured and lingering taste.
85% Grenache and 15% Syrah The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making hap…
RP: 87 + Wine critic This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were … Read more
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-… Read more
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish. Read more
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Spain Easy Paella featuring RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice – RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice has an exceptional ability to absorb flavors, which makes it the perfect choice for tasty paella and Spanish Red Wines
Parsnip Risotto with Pancetta and Sage Recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass Recipe
Garlic-Infused Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root Recipe
02/17/2012
This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were present but smooth. We had this with some spice chili that my wife prepared, I wondered how this wine would match with the hot and spice dish. This wine stood it ground, it’s flavor came through the spices in the chili nicely, even mellowing out the chili a little. One spoon of chili followed by a sip of wine (alright , maybe a gulp), then some more chili. It was great. Two years ago a reviewed a 2008 vintage of Los Dos, but I was not impressed and stated I would not purchase again. I am happy that I forgot about that review. I would buy the 2010 vintage again.
Snooth User: kleith
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-style smoked pulled pork with a vinegar slaw topping (with cilantro, I think). Keep it at proper temp, as Garnacha can get cloying if let get too warm and Syrah loses dimension when too cold.
External Reviews for Los Dos Grenache Syrah Campo de Borja 10/05/2011
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish.
External Review Source: Astor Wines & Spirits 09/28/2011
An excellent Spanish red from the Campo de Borja region, made from a blend of old-vine Garnacha and a bit of Syrah. Dark, fresh and – no surprise – deliciously “grapey” on the palate. Light, silky tannins make for a very pleasant finish. Try it with grilled fare for a failsafe pairing.
Winemaker’s Notes: From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 35 to 50 years of age. The resulting wine exhibits an elegance rarely encountered in the wines from this DO. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate, and finishes with a refined length.
Tasting Notes: The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making happy noise together for centuries in the southern Rhône Valley. The grape duo are no less rewarding in this wine, showing oodles of fruit such as mulberries, boysenberries, and raspberries.
BODEGAS ATALAYA 2012 LAYA ALMANSA
WA 90
Neal Martin writes in Wine Advocate: “The 2012 Laya, a blend of 70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell, has a superb bouquet of pure dark cherries, blackberry and incense that would normally grace a wine far more expensive. The palate is medium-bodied with layers of succulent black fruit that is neatly entwined with the subtle French oak. It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price. Excellent.”

Not only is Spain cranking out an abundance of great values overall, there are certain sources that have consistently hit the mark year after year. One of the producers that we keep going back to is the Gil family. These are the folks who bring you an impressive list of exciting wines: Bodegas Atalaya, Juan Gil, Shaya, Can Blau, and El Nido. We’ve carried the Laya every year ever since the inaugural 2009 vintage was released in the U.S.. There have been changes in the organizational aspects of the company since that time. But thus far there have been no changes in the quality and value of what goes in the bottle. This 2012 Bodegas Atalaya Laya from Almansa is a blend of 70% Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet) with 30% Monastrell (aka Mourvedre). Although every vintage has been quite the juicy value, this is the first vintage that pulled in 90 points from The Wine Advocate. Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate writes, “It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price.” There are immediate impressions of mixed berry preserves with a hint of smoked meats and fresh cracked pepper that carry from your nose to your palate. There is also surprising volume and length for a wine at this modest price. You might want to keep a few bottles handy for those summertime neighborhood BBQ’s or as a hearty all-around house go-to. A juicy ‘90-pointer’ for $7, this is definitely a case buy.

Lícia Albariño 2011
Wine Description
Lícia is a shortening of Galicia, the autonomía in northwest Spain known for its Celtic influence and overall greenness due to the maritime climate. This refreshing, flavorful white is made from 100% Albariño, sourced from the subzones of Condado de Tea and O Rosal in DO Rías Baixas. Situated along the border with Portugal, vineyards in these subzones benefit from the drier climate and warmer growing season.
Tasting Notes
Straw yellow with greenish hues, the Lícia Albariño has strong varietal characteristics with hints of grapefruit, candied fruit, quince jelly, notes of fresh herbs, green apples, and minerals. It is fullbodied and wellbalanced, highlighting the aromas of citrus and green apple, with a long and persistent finish.
Food Pairing – This wine pairs deliciously with grilled fish—or any kind of seafood—Asian cuisines, rice dishes, salads and grilled vegetables.

Castelo do Papa
Papa, spicy scents of citrus peel, green apple and anise, with a salty mineral overlay. Fresh and taut, with the wine’s minerality dominating fresh apple and pear fruit and notes of fresh herbs adding complexity Exceptionally concentrated and focused. Finishes brisk and persistent. This fresh, mineral-inflected Godello will pair well with swordfish sautéed in butter and wild herbs, grilled or pan-fried sweet veal or pork sausage, and a host of casual foods like tapas, pasta with white clam sauce or fried oyster sandwiches.
Wine Advocate
Made from the indigenous Spanish varietal Godello (25-year old, organically farmed vines), this cuvee is aged completely in steel and sees no malolactic fermentation. A restrained yet intense minerality along with spicy, lemony, flinty, stony notes make for a fresh, medium-bodied, complex white to enjoy over the next year.
Score: 90. —Robert Parker, August 2012.

Best Wines to Pair with Paella?
Fabulous Blog Post – http://enofylzwineblog.com/2013/03/27/best-wines-to-pair-with-paella/
Every cuisine has at least one – a one-pot meal, a dish of humble origins that is the quintessential definition of that place and people. There’s Gumbo, Cassoulet, Risotto, Irish Stew and Pad Thai to name a few. And the Spanish? Well, they have paella. March 27th is National Paella Day.
Paella originated Valencia region of Spain.
Paella was originally farmers’ and farm labourers’ food, cooked by the workers over a wood fire for the lunchtime meal. It was made with rice, plus whatever was to hand around the rice fields and countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails, with a few beans added for flavour and texture. Rabbit or duck might also have been added, and for special occasions, chicken plus a touch of saffron for an extra special colour and flavour. Paella was also traditionally eaten straight from the pan in which it was cooked with each person using his own wooden spoon.
There are three main types of paella; Valencian consists of rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck, pork), land snails, beans and seasoning; Seafood replaces meat and snails with seafood such as prawns, mussels, and clams and omits beans and green vegetables, and Mixed, a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables.

Paella Valenciana (image courtesy of daytondailynews.com
In addition to the three main types of Paella, two other popular variations are Vegetarian, which typically contain vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers,and Paella Negra, which is typically seafood, cooked with squid ink, so it looks black.

My personal favorite – Paella Negra (image courtesy of piospaella.com)
When pairing paella with wine, I recommend keeping a few food and wine pairing guidelines in mind:
• What grow together, goes together – I prefer to pair with wines from Spain, Portugal, or wine from the neighboring Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southern France. Outside of Spain or France, consider Sangiovese or Pinot Noir for red wine.
• Pair humble with humble, great with great – Paella has humble origins, I generally pair with inexpensive wines unless it’s a special occasion.
• Sparkling wines go with almost anything – Pair Valencian, Mixed, and Negra paella with rosé Cava and Seafood and Vegetarian with Brut Cava

Can’t wait for the next class. We have a few slots left  in the Naples class.

February 8, 2014     Naples, Campagnia

March 1, 2014     Rome
March 29, 2014     Provence

Mystery Ride to Cape Cod at the Captain Freeman Inn

Guest blogger, Suzy Brooks

We recently had a wonderful gathering at the Captain Freeman for our Provence Cooking School. My husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner afterwards (where we get to eat all of the delicious food made in the class) with a lovely couple that joined in on the festivities. Their family has a wonderful tradition of creating mystery trips for their kids. This trip was a surprise for Suzy and when we heard she loves to blog about their “Mystery trips” we anxiously awaited her post. Thanks Suzy for sharing on our blog.

The post below along with the great pictures was written by Suzy Brooks.

Mystery Ride

Posted April 20, 2013 By Suzy Brooks

“A Mystery Ride? For ME?” After years of planning Mystery Rides for my children, husband, family and friends, the day had finally come… Mr. Brooks had just announced to me that he was planning a Mystery Ride to celebrate my birthday.  I truly couldn’t believe my ears, and instantly my excited anticipation began to grow.

What is a Mystery Ride, you ask?  That’s a good question!! Mystery Rides have been part of our family fun since ten years ago when we tried to spring a surprise Disney Trip on our kids. We were in Boston when they confusedly demanded to know what we were up to. We took pity on them and excitedly announced we were going to Disney World!  Their reaction was less than happy, and in fact, one child (who shall not be named) dissolved into a puddle of tears, demanding to go home.  It was on this Pillar of Joy our Mystery Rides were founded.  Since then, we have been whisking each other off on surprise trips to Hither and Yon, with mixed results along the way.

The trip that launched a thousand Mystery Rides: Florida!

Through the years, our Mystery Rides have run the gamut:  from simple (Kite flying in Newport) to complex (an April vacation spent at Six Flags) and from unsuccessful (a hike on a hot day) to awesome (a historical trip to Boston).  All rides have the same common denominator – the Ride Recipient has no clue what the plan is.  Questions and guesses are encouraged and welcome, and are fired off at every turn of the steering wheel.  However, the answer is always the same.  No matter what we are asked, we always answer with:

“That’s a good question!”.

Here’s a peek at a few (oh, okay – a BUNCH) of our past trips:

A heated, historical hike. This one was a flop!

Hanging out with V.B. from Fox 25 News. He included the kids in his broadcast.

High atop the Custom House in Boston

Matfield Maple Farm, where we learned all about Maple Syrup!

Basketball Hall of Fame & Six Flags on this Ride!

A day in Newport, RI

Waterfire in Providence, RI

The Urban Art Bar in Boston

Ghost Tour with our favorite Freedom Trail Tour Guide, Jeremiah Poope

Another fabulous day in Boston. Quack, Quack!!

International Auto Show

5 Wits at Patriot Place

A Mystery Ride for 40 grown-ups!!

A van full of Mystery Riders :)

I bet by now you are wondering where Mr. Brooks brought me on my Mystery Ride, right??  That’s a good question! Unfortunately, due to all the storms we had this winter, my Mystery Ride was cancelled.  Twice.  It was nearly two months later before we were able to get rolling!  But, the day finally arrived, and we were off!  We headed down Cape, and after many incorrect guesses on my part, around noon we arrived at the Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster.

The Captain Freeman Inn, Brewster

The smile on my face began to broaden as we checked in and our host asked if we were here for the Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School. Cooking school?? Yaay!  Mr. Brooks finally filled me in.  We were here for a French cooking class, along with some other guests at the Inn.  We would be working in their commercial kitchen to prepare a meal with Chef Carol, and later on, we would be enjoy our creation for dinner.  I couldn’t wait to get started!

Putting the finishing touches on the fresh fruit tart.

All finished!! Would you like some?? YUM!

Salad Nicoise with fresh tuna. Delicious!

I have to say it was well worth the wait.  Innkeepers Donna and Byron have a beautiful inn, and provided such a memorable experience for all of their guests.  Arriving there was a wonderful surprise, and truly worthy of the Mystery Ride title!

I think Mystery Rides have become so ingrained in our family tradition because of the side effects…  For those of us planning a Mystery Ride, we have the opportunity to plan with the receiver in mind.  It is fun to surprise others and it makes for playful interaction.  As a recipient of a Mystery Ride, we learn patience, trust, flexibility and geography!!  Joy is in the anticipation, and with Mystery Rides, our anticipation is even higher than when we plan typical family outings.  I hope to keep planning Mystery Rides for years to come, and having one planned just for me was SO fun!!

Ride on,

Cooking Schools at the Captain Freeman Inn

Cape Cod Culinary and Captain Freeman Inn

Presenting a season of Mediterranean cooking with locally grown ingredients, combined to create small plates with big flavors.

Demonstration at our Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School

Demonstration at our Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School

Our chef, Carol Edmondson, has been combining the simple, healthy preparations of Mediterranean cuisine with fresh local ingredients in the kitchen of the Captain Freeman Inn for many years. Her professional training, world travel and love of food and sharing her cooking knowledge with others, was the inspiration for our cooking classes. Classes are held in our welcoming kitchen, built by master ship builders in the mid nineteenth century, with an eye for light and air.

We had a sold out class in  November’s Tuscan class featuring northern Italy at its best and show casing game birds, local cranberries, root vegetables, seafood and herbs flavored with Italian pancetta, Parmesano Reggiano and Tuscan olive oil.

Our 2013 schedule is noted below:

On February 9th we will explore Naples and southern Italian winter comfort food. Naples is known for it’s fresh made and cured cheeses, herbs and olive oil. Agro dolce (sweet and sour) dishes make great use of winter squashes like pumpkin, acorn and butternut. Salumi or cured meats play a key role in flavoring pastas. The Campagnia region has over 35,000 pizzerias and pizza is a signature street food in Naples. Our menu will make the most of these flavors using local fresh ingredients.

On March 2nd we will sample the classic cuisine of Rome, influenced by it’s history and geography. Rome is the home of many religions and ethnic groups not unlike many major cities. Their influences are felt in preparation unique to the region. Winter soups harvest flavors preserved from fall gardens. Pork is an essential ingredient both fresh and preserved in Salumi. Artichokes and eggplants are fried in olive oil to whet winter appetities. Capers and other pickled vegetables perk up the winter Roman table. A harvest of flavors to bring to our late winter menu along with the freshest of local food and preserves.

March 9th brings us to the island of Sicily with its Morrish, Greek and Italian flavors. Sicily is not unlike any other region of Italy. You will find hints of the middle east with lemons, cumin and other unique flavors in braised and grilled preparations. Rice plays a leading roll. Fresh tuna caught off the Sicilian coast in the early spring is prepared and preserved to perfection. Rosemay and oregano perfume the hillsides and our menu!

Fresh grilled tuna

Fresh grilled tuna

On March 23rd we will sample Avignon in the heart of Provence, true French country cuisine influenced by ingredients found daily in the market square. In March, the mistral, a cold winter wind from the Alps, blows across Provence. Warming stews and soups are a must. Spring lamb, winter squash, great cheeses and local grains are the staples of early spring. Early greens are peeking through and lemony salads brighten spring tables. Poached winter fruits finish hearty meals.

Fruit tart for our dessert

Fruit tart for our dessert

April 6th brings us April in Paris. Classic French preparations featuring the finest local ingredients available in the spring. Fiddle heads, asparagus and baby greens adorn spring salads. Berries are a must in tarts. Cheese is everywhere in great variety. Young chickens and ducks are available to roast on a bed of root vegetables and to confit, a slow braise in a bath of chicked or duck fat produces a succulent result. Bread is a central ingredient for a perfect Parisian meal. We will pair locally raised poultry with great Parisian flavors.

As local and imported ingredients become available and our menues begin to develop we will keep you posted on what’s coming in each upcoming class.

All of these cuisines are world renowned for their fresh ingredients, simple home based preparations and complex flavors. The tradition of small plates simply prepared and enjoyed almost any time of day is well established throughout the Mediterranean region.

The class will be from 2 – 4:30 PM on Saturday with wine tasting that is paired with the food made in the class beginning around 5:30. We then all gather fireside to enjoy all of the food made earlier in the class along with plenty of laughter and good cheer!

The two night package can be either a Friday/Saturday stay or a Saturday/Sunday stay in best available room at time of booking. The package includes breakfast each morning, afternoon tea, cooking school for two with wine tasting and dinner afterwards. 2 night package- $649 plus tax

Our permit for the cooking school from the Brewster selectmen’s office requires that the attendees be guests at the inn. To accommodate local Cape Codders, we also have a one night package, call us for details.

We are offering a $50 coupon off of our cooking school package if you book your reservation in January.

Cooking Schools at the Captain Freeman Inn

By  Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner

Captain Freeman Inn Cooking School

We just completed our first season of Italian cooking schools (with a little french thrown in:) at the Captain Freeman Inn, and as owners, we could not be more pleased. This past weekend we had a sold out group for our Naples class.

My husband and I always look forward to cooking school weekends, as we join the class for wine tasting, good cheer and company and get to taste all of the the food made earlier in the class. This weekend we enjoyed a wonderful antipasto platter (while sampling different wines) that included Bruschetta with truffle oil and fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, truffle cheese and a knock your socks off  Pinot Grigio white wineArtisan Salami.

Second course included an amazing roasted red pepper and fresh lemon salad and the final course a Pizza Margherita that comes with a wonderful story and my fav- Shrimp, Arugula and Pancetta Pizza. The evening ended with a wonderful Zamboli fruit dish with coffee. We always ask all of our guests how they enjoyed their stay at the Freeman, and we have we have been totally amazed at the responses from our cooking school students. All have rave reviews of the information and tips learned in class from our talented instructor Carol Edmondson. Carol believes in using fresh, local ingredients and the class is filled with good information on where to find these items. She also comes with years of experience and makes the class playful and fun.

We have already scheduled our classes at the Freeman for next year….mostly Italian with a little French mixed in!

November 10- Florence, Tuscany
February 9- Naples, Campagnia
February 23- Rome
March 7- Palermo, Sicily
March 23-Avignon, Provence
and my favorite
April 6- April in Paris

Wishing everyone a fun filled summer and hoping to see you in one of our classes next season. Bon Appetit!

Winter in Provence cooking school at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper/Owner

Cooking school at the Captain Freeman Inn

Executive chef, Carol Edmondson

We had a special treat this weekend with our professional chef, Carol Edmondson, conducting our Winter in Provence cooking school at the beautiful Captain Freeman Inn. Our theme this year is “Small Plates- Big Flavors”  which falls in line with my New Year’s resolution to not deprive myself of good food but to eat smaller portions and to savor each bite. We always have plenty of food to satisfy all our guests with larger appetites.

Carol finalizes her menu last minute after she contacts her local markets and farms to see what is fresh and

Cooking schools at the Captain Freeman

Fresh Mushrooms

available. When I visited her on Friday she was prepping the food in the inn’s kitchen and as we were talking, she was carefully cleaning and artfully placing the fresh mushrooms in a basket for the Wild Mushroom Medley. Carol really loves food and it shows in her class. I am a history buff, and I am always  intrigued as she weaves the  history of each region into her recipes with food hints and demonstrations.

This weekend we explored Province, the Mediterranean heart of Southern France. Our menu included Olive Tapenade on Baguettes, Wild Mushrooms Saute, Duck Breasts Roasted with Honey Lavender Glaze, Salad Nicoise with Fresh Grilled Tuna, AssortedFrench Cheeses and then for dessert a delicious Rustic Tear Tart with Rosemary and Goat’s cheese…Mnnnnn

Cooking school at the Captain Freeman

Students in our French Cookingclass

As I grow older I really appreciate fresh, well prepared food. One of my favorite restaurants is the acclaimed, Brewster Fish House, which is just up the street from the Captain Freeman. Their meals are light, beautifully prepared, and the flavors just burst in your mouth. Enjoying a nice glass of wine that truly compliments the food is my idea of a happy ending to any day on Cape Cod.

Cooking school at the Captain Freeman

Duck Breasts Roasted with Honey LavenderGlaze

Well this meal was exactly that! The tuna was perfectly prepared, just seared on each side for a few minutes. The Nicoise salad was the perfect compliment with the tuna and the mushrooms.  Now onto the duck. I have never been a duck fan and rarely order it when we go out, but this duck was delicious as well. It was seasoned with Herb D’Province seasoning and glazed with Honey. It was truly remarkable.

Finally it's time to eat!

Every good meal is deserving of a good glass of wine, and we always include wine tasting with our cooking school. My husband Byron loves to talk with the folks at Orleans Wine and Spirit. They certainly do know their wines and always have good suggestions when they know what type of foods we will be serving. This time we went with 2-whites , 2 reds and a delicious dessert wine afterwards, all French of course.

For those wine connoisseurs here’s our selection:

Eric Bonnet Muscat de Beaumes-de Veniise Saint Dominique Reserve

Chateau La ouche

Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine

Chateau Morillon-Saint-Emillion Grand Cru 2008 (my favorite)

Chateau Fabas Mourral

I am already looking forward to our next class which is on February 11th and will include foods from Florence and Siena. Just to give you a hint, this region celebrates beef and bread along with fruits and vegetables grown locally. Hearty pasta dishes like lasagna and potato gnocchi are popular. Risottos made with Carnaroli and Arborio rice are enhanced with mushrooms, and truffles are gathered and game hunted in local forests. Pumpkin and squashes are popular staples and wine grapes grow on hillside vineyards. Will be fun to see what Carol comes up with for this class.

Bon Appetit!