On a recent spring weekend, the Southern Chefs Series welcomed Chef Andrea Reusing of Chapel Hill’s Lantern Restaurant to my kitchen. What a weekend it was!
One of the most exciting aspects of the series for me is the exposure to the many talented chefs and the range of menus, flavors, and experiences they bring to their class. It’s such a joy to have the opportunity to try different types of cuisine in an intimate class setting. Sometimes we “travel” to other regions of the country through a guest chef’s chosen menu, and other times, I feel as though we boarded a plane and landed in an exotic locale. We traveled far with Andrea and what a culinary journey it was!
Andrea’s menu was inspired and clever. On Sunday afternoon, we prepared and then enjoyed warm paneer, kombacha and date salad with red watercress, vadouvan shrimp with spicy carrot puree and cardamon rice, and Louisiana tangerine sorbet with candied kumquat. In Monday’s class, we prepared and happily consumed all night pot-au-fen (French beef stew) with spring vegetables in broth and crushed strawberry mess (see recipe below).
We are having a fabulous time with each guest chef in the 2013 expanded Southern Chefs Series. There are still spaces available in future classes. Proceeds from this year’s series benefit Wholesome Wave. Visit the Inn at Serenbe online for information on upcoming classes and call the Inn to register for Southern Chefs Series classes, 770 463 2610.
For the meringue:
3 egg whites from jumbo eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
a pinch of kosher salt
For the strawberries:
About 25 very ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
3 to 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar, or to taste
2 pinches of kosher salt
For the cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or honey, or to taste
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds removed by scraping with a sharp knife
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with half the sugar at medium speed until they are foamy. Beat in the remaining sugar, the cream of tartar, and the pinch of salt until the egg whites are shiny and stiff. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment to form 12 to 14 mounds, and bake for 30 minutes. Continue to bake for an additional hour with the oven door slightly ajar. When done, the meringues will be crisp and dry on the outside and tender and fluffy within. (Serve within 4 hours.)
Place the strawberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the sugar and salt. Crush them with a potato masher or large fork until they are juicy and a spoonable consistency but still chunky. Let the strawberries sit for 15 minutes before serving.
In the meantime, combine the cream, the sugar or honey, and the vanilla seeds and pulp in a medium bowl (save the vanilla pod for another use). With a whisk or an electric mixer, whip the cream until it is thickened and softly set but not firm. Whip the yogurt and fold together.
To serve, arrange the meringues, strawberries and juice, and the cream in layers on a platter or individual plates.