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,

French Mediteranean Cooking on Cape Cod

Cooking school

Cooking school

This past weekend we sampled Avignon in the heart of Provence, true French country cuisine, at the Captain Freeman Inn. Our cooking schools have been a wonderful success this winter where we combine a relaxed two night stay on Cape Cod with delicious food and lively conversations. The cooking school is led by our talented chef, Carol Edmondson. Carol is full of helpful cooking hints that can be used at home as well as many hands on techniques as the class prepares our evening meal.

Fresh ingredients

The menu always includes the freshest ingredients available at the time and why she does not publish the menu ahead of time. She likes to see what is fresh and in season when she shops for the weekend class.

This weekend’s menu included a wild mushroom saute,

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

a main course of delicious Game Hens with a Honey Lavender Glaze

Game hens

Game hens

and my favorite, Salad Nicoise with haricot verts, baby potatoes, black olives and sliced fresh tuna.

Salad Nicoise

Our wine tasting begins at 5:30 and the antipasta made in the class always pairs perfectly with the meal. We enjoyed a savory Tapenade which is a blend of briny,earthy flavors using black olives, garlic, anchovy paste and herbs and oil with french bread. cookingSchool-Provence-20130323-0121 We also enjoyed  a lovely assortment of French cheeses with the favorite wrapped in fig leaves.

And the happy ending included a delicious Rustic Pear Tart with a French Sauterne wine and coffee.

Pear Tart

Pear Tart

The last class of the season to be held at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast is “April in Paris”. The April 6th class brings us 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. Can’t wait to see what the menu includes. Bon Appetit to all of our guests staying at our two lovely inns on Cape Cod, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn.

Rediscovering Breakfast #7

I am so tickled with this new mission to find new recipes. We are having so much fun!

This weekend we added a new twist to our repertoire of menu options. We just hired a new chef to cook for the Captain Freeman.

DSC00252Esperanza comes to us with a wealth of experience in the kitchen and a side passion to cook authentic Mexican food. When we were planning the weekend menus for Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn, I was excited to include some of her favorites as an option for our guests.
On Friday we experimented with a new Lemon-Ricotta Pancake.DSC00254 Ricotta cheese lends a delicate, airy texture to these pancakes and the freshly grated lemon zest adds a hint of citrus flavor. We served it with a warm compote of fresh, sweet berries.

I am also looking to add a savory or sweet bite that guests can enjoy with their coffee and tea when they first sit down for breakfast. Last week we visited our favorite coffee house in Orleans, the Chocolate Sparrow, to enjoy a cup of mocha coffee. We decided to splurge and enjoy some sweets, and I had the most delicious apple tart. It was served warm with apples that were perfectly sweetened and a delicious home made pastry. On the drive home I decided to find a similar recipe for Saturday’s breakfast.
DSC00259
I landed on a recipe that I found on the internet that included sour cream in the dough that made for a pastry that was part puff and part pie in flavor. I purposefully made the tarts small so as not to spoil the main breakfast. Guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn loved the tarts, and I am always encouraged when none are left:) The dough was actually very easy to make, and I put the tarts together the evening before. I used sweet Granny Smith apples and sweetened them with sugar, fresh lemon juice and cinnamon.

Sunday’s breakfast was a true adventure and included an option of blueberry buttermilk pancakes or Huevos Rancheros Tostadas. Oh my gosh, they were so delicious and the pancakes were a perfect side option for guests that do not like Mexican.DSC00262
After our guests were served all of our staff sat down to enjoy Esperanza’s meal. I was so impressed and ate every single morsel on my plate. The food was so intensely flavorful but not hot. I was not hungry until dinner and found her cooking to be filling and satisfying. I have always wanted to do some Mexican breakfasts at the inn but did not feel confident. Next weekend we are going to duplicate this menu with different guests staying at Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman but this time around, Esperanza will make the pancakes and Donna will do the Tostadas…..a learning breakfast to say the least.

Bon Appetit!

Rediscovering Breakfast on Cape Cod- Breakfast #5

Almond-Crusted French Toast served with Strawberries and Hickory Smoked Bacon

DSC00207
Everyone loves a good French Toast and today’s version was a huge success!  I especially like to use Challah bread as it really absorbs the custard creating an eggy, sweet old fashion favorite. Crunchy almonds, fresh strawberries and fragrant orange zest brings this classic breakfast dish to a whole new level!

DSC00210
Bon Appetit to all of our guests staying at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn!

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.

The perfect pie crust for Christmas

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Apple pie

Apple pie

I have always loved pies. In fact, I think of all of the desserts we make at our two inns, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa and the Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod, pies are my absolute favorite! As with most family traditions, I grew up enjoying many different kinds of fresh baked pies. We had a raspberry, blueberry and strawberry patch along with a small apple orchard. My mother always made her crusts homemade and so a tradition was started.

This morning I decided to make the pie shells for all of the pies we will be serving during the holidays. My mother lives with us at Brewster by the Sea, and she always helps me make the crusts. It was a bitter sweet moment for me this morning as my mother is 87 and not able to do what she use to. In previous years, I would prepare the dough in the food processor and she would roll the dough and place in the pie plates. My mother is quite the perfectionist, and I always smiled as I placed the picture perfect crusts in the freezer. This year she sat with me in the kitchen but was unable to help. So I thought no problem, I’ve watched her a hundred times and I can make the crusts just like hers.

Needless to say, my first batch today did not look like hers, but I learned an invaluable lesson that I wanted to share with my two girls this Christmas as well as my readers. It’s the little tricks that are passed on from one generation to the next that really makes a perfect end product. In this case, it’s important to have a dough scraper and as you are rolling out the dough stop several times to lift the dough from the bottom so that it rolls out easier. Just a little bit of flour is also needed- too much makes the dough tough and too little makes the dough stick to your pin. As I made the first batch my mother just smiled and patiently showed me a better way. It was just simple little tricks that made the shell come out perfectly. She commented that it’s OK to keep handing the dough until you get it just right but not to add too much flour. It’s also important to pay attention to the texture of the dough when you roll it into balls. In my case, I needed to add a little more water to the dough so it stayed together and did not crumble apart.

 

Making a pie shell

Making a pie shell

Happy to report that the second batch came out perfectly! We like to use a recipe that we found in a Martha Stewart magazine. The ingredients and instructions are shown below.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (chilled)- 2 sticks cut into small cubes
  • 6-7 Tbsp. ice water

Be sure your ingredients are cold before you begin. Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse together for a few seconds.

Add butter, and process together until mixture resembles course meal. (8-10 seconds) Add 5 tablespoons of ice water until mixture holds together without being wet or sticky. Process for no longer then 30 seconds. Pinch off a peace of the dough, and feel it’s texture. If it’s crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Divide dough into 3 sections and roll into balls. Flatten into even disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for one hour.

Lightly flour rolling pin and rolling area. Lightly dust top of disk. With even strokes roll out dough. Use the dough cutter to lift dough from your rolling surface and dust flour underneath. I found I had to do this several times. Fold dough in half and gently place in pie plate. Pinch sides in a pattern.

We like to place our pie shells individually in large zip lock bags and then place in freezer until we are ready to bake our pies. You’ll find this recipe makes a thin, buttery crust that is like nothing you would purchase in a store. Once you start you’ll forever want to make your own:)

Wishing everyone a peaceful and healthy holiday season filled with delicious (homemade) mouth watering pies.

Lemon Meringue pie

Lemon Meringue pie

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!

Forbes Magazine recommends the Captain Freeman Inn Cooking School as one of the best in New England

written by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Annie Fitzsimmons, travel writer for the Forbes magazine recently wrote an article on Cooking Schools in New England. The Captain Freeman Inn was chosen as one of the two best hotel cooking schools for this area. Annie feels that “the most popular lifelong learning opportunity that people seek out is arguably the cooking class. For some, it comes from a desire to throw together an easy dinner, while for others, a wish to indulge their inner Jean-Georges and learn some serious cooking techniques.For an incredible value at a charming New England B&B, Captain Freeman’s Inn on Cape Cod runs a cooking school during their quiet season, November-April.”
Cooking classes at the Captain Freeman Inn

Chef Carol Edmondson, loved for her hands-on approach and delicious food, leads classes that explore different regions in Italy, as well as Cape Cod. You might learn to make fresh fig and goat cheese focaccia or shrimp grilled in prosciutto. One of the innkeepers favorite classes included fresh grilled tuna that was actually caught the day before the class and purchased from our favorite fish market, Nauset Fish and Lobster.

Captain Freeman Inn Cooking School

The classes have been a great success and include wine tasting and a delicious meal after of food made earlier in the class. Next year’s schedule is already in place with a wonderful assortment of cuisines from different regions of Italy. April’s class is appropriately called “April in Paris”and will include regions of Italy that have been influenced by French Cooking.

We feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful and talented chef leading our classes at the Captain Freeman Inn. Always look forward to tasting all of the delicious food and visiting with our wonderful guests that partake in the class.

Bon Apetite!

 

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!