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Seasonal Delights

Local chefs share recipes that are bound to make your holiday table shine.

By Jennifer Mellace and photos by Turner Photography Studio

The holidays are about making memories, honoring traditions and, of course, food. Turkey, beef brisket, sugar cookies, pumpkin and apple pie—the list goes on and on. To honor the season’s cuisine, Hagerstown magazine spoke with some of Washington County’s chefs to see what they like to prepare during this festive time. While some of the recipes are truly holiday dishes, most are simply a comfort to the senses during the long winter months. Either way, all would be a welcomed addition to any holiday table.

Chicken and Mushroom Cassoulet

Leah Stump, Executive Chef 

28 South | Hagerstown, MD | 240.347.4932 | www.28south.net

Known for using fresh, locally-sourced products, 28 South offers seasonal specials that change week to week. Chef Stump opted to share one of her favorites that is sure to warm you and your guests on a cold winter’s day.

Ingredients

Beans

  • 1 package 15 bean blend
  • 8 quarts water
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced

Chicken

  • 3 Tbsp. garlic
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1.5 cups olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 12 airline-style chicken breast (check your local butcher)

Salad

  • 4 ounces arugula
  • 1/2 ounce pickled red onion
  • 1/2 ounce roasted tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Mushroom Garnish

  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic 
  • 1 Tbsp. shallots
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. crispy pancetta 

Directions

Beans:

  1. Soak beans in 4 quarts of water over-night. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a pot with 4 quarts of cold water and ham hock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cook for 2-3 hours. 
  2. When beans are tender, drain and keep the cooking liquid. 
  3. In a larger pot, sauté the onion, celery and carrots until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Remove ham from the bone and chop. Add the ham to the beans. 

Chicken:

  1. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add chicken and mix until coated.
  3. Refrigerate until needed or overnight.

Mushrooms:

  1. Place mushrooms in hot pan. Stir to coat with oil. Add shallots and garlic. 
  2. Stir to coat mushrooms. 
  3. Allow to cook until most of the moisture is gone. Deglaze with wine. Allow to cook until most of the moisture is gone. 

To cook:

  1. Heat oil in a sauté pan until hot. Place chicken flesh side down and cook 5-8 minutes. Flip chicken skin side down. Bake in 400-degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until thermometer reads 160 degrees. Set aside. 
  2. Place 1.5 cups cooked beans and ham in a small sauté pan. Add 1 cup of cooking broth. Over medium heat, allow the beans to heat through in the broth. 
  3. Place arugula, pickled red onion and roasted tomato in a small bowl. Lightly dress the salad with a little liquid from the pickled red onion and olive oil.  
  4. Serve chicken atop beans, ham, and broth, and garnish with braised mushrooms and crispy pancetta. Place arugula salad beside chicken.

 

Quarkstollen

Dieter Blosel, Head Chef

Schmankerl Stube | Hagerstown, MD | 301.797.3354 | www.schmankerlstube.com

Quarkstollen—a German cake-like bread made only at Christmastime—has always been a favorite of Schmankerl Stube’s Chef Blosel. A recipe passed to him from a dear friend, and for years he only made the stollen for family and close friends. But this is the first year he’ll be serving it in the restaurant as well. 

Ingredients

  • 500 g. flour
  • 16 g. baking powder
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon and all spice 
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g. sugar
  • 8 g. vanilla sugar (Dr. Oetker)
  • 5 drops of lemon juice
  • 200 g, unsalted butter
  • 300 g. cottage cheese (grind up)
  • 250 g. raisins
  • 65 g. lemon peel
  • 65 g. orange peel
  • 125 g. ground almonds
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. rum 
  • Approx. 1/4 lb. of unsalted butter (Brush on at end) 
  • Approx. 100 g. of 
  • powdered sugar (Used to dust at end)
    *g=grams

Directions

  1. Mix together flour, sugar, almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, all spice, vanilla sugar, orange peel, and lemon peel. 
  2. Then add eggs, raisins, lemon juice, rum, softened butter, and cottage cheese.
  3. Knead all ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Divide into two even portions, then shape into logs and place on greased pan.
  5. Then bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Once the Quarkstollen comes out of the oven, brush melted butter evenly across entire portion.
  7. Finish by dusting Quarkstollen with powdered sugar.

 

Pumpkin Spiced Rubbed Pork Chop

Brandon Easterling, Head Chef

Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse | Boonsboro, MD | 301.432.5224 | www.drnth.com

If you’re looking to dine where all the locals go, then Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse is the place for you. This season, Chef Easterling intro-duces a Pumpkin Spiced Rubbed Pork Chop to the menu and thank-fully shares this recipe with us. This seasonal twist on an old favorite has many ingredients, including truffle oil and ginger, which is sure to wake up your taste buds. 

Ingredients

  • Bone-in 2-inch thick pork chop 
  • Tri-color fingerling potatoes 
  • Butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin spice 
  • Arborio (risotto)
  • 1/4 cup truffle oil 
  • 1 tsp. diced onions 
  • 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. parsley 

Maple Bourbon Demi-Glacé

  • Maple syrup 
  • 1 shot bourbon
  • Demi-glacé 

Directions

  1. Rub both sides of pork chop with pumpkin spice. Grill and mark the pork chop on both sides, finish it in the oven for 7 more minutes.
  2. Cook the Arborio rice with diced onions in water. Make sure some of the water evaporates before you add more. Repeat until done. Add parmesan cheese as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the tri-color potatoes in half. Place in mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper and parsley. Roast for 10 minutes or until done. Drizzle with truffle oil.
  4. Plate the rice and potatoes side by side. Slice the pork chop until there is nothing left but the bone. Fan the pork out on the plate. Stick the bone on the plate as a garnish and drizzle with sauce.

For Maple Bourbon Demi-Glacé:

  1. Take store-brought demi-glacé and melt it down in a pan.
  2. Add one shot of bourbon and maple syrup as needed to your liking.

 

Carrot Soufflé

Christian Cooker, Executive Chef

Leiters’ Fine Catering | Williamsport, MD | 301.223.7070 | www.leitersfinecatering.com

For years, Leiters’ Fine Catering has helped take the holiday stress and pressure off their clients who are looking to host a memorable event. Here, Chef Cooker shares a unique and very popular Leiters’ family recipe for Carrot Soufflé. Colorful and unexpected, this seasonal delight adds a conversation piece to any table and inevitably ends up being an annual favorite. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound coin-size carrots 
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 stick margarine 
  • 3 eggs, beaten 
  • 3 Tablespoons flour sifted 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking dish.
  2. Cook carrots in boiling water until soft. Then drain carrots and process in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Melt margarine and add into carrots. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth with no lumps.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until firm.

 

Apple Rosettes

Rachel Pierce, Head Chef

Inn at BoonsBoro | Boonsboro, MD | 301.432.1188 | www.innboonsboro.com

If you’re looking for a romantic weekend or a girls’ getaway, Inn BoonsBoro offers the perfect setting, complete with breakfast. Chef Pierce offers guests a delicious start to their day, which sometimes includes her beautiful Apple Rosettes. This delightful dish is sure to get all the “oohs” and “ahhs.” 

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, approx. 10”x15” (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 medium-large Honey Crisp, Pink Lady or other crisp, brightly flavored apples
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 2 Tbsp. water for a wash
  • Flour for dusting work surface
  • Confectioner’s sugar and/orcaramel sauce for dustingand drizzling

Directions

  1. Thaw a package of puff pastry and roll to 9”x12” or portion out two 9”x12” sheets of homemade pastry.
  2. Set a medium saucepan of water to boil.
  3. Grease a muffin tin with unsalted butter.
  4. In a medium-large bowl, squeeze the juice of half a lemon and fill with a few inches of boiling hot water, enough to submerge the sliced apples and soften them a bit. The lemon stops the apples from oxidizing. 
  5. Cut apples off the core and slice about 1/8” thick, placing in the hot lemon water.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
  7. Whisk egg and the 2 Tbsp. of water and set aside with a brush.
  8. The apples should be softened. Strain the water and pat the apple slices dry on a sheet tray.
  9. Dust a clean work surface with flour. 
  10. Using a knife or pizza cutter, trim 2”x12” strips of pastry; for 6 servings, you need 6 strips.
  11. With a brush of your fingers, coat each strip of pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon-sugar.
  12. Overlap the apple slices with the peel pointing up, beginning about 1” down the strip. The apple slices should be placed just above the top 1” of each strip so that the bottom half can be folded up over the apples and so that the rounded side of the apples poke up over the edge of the pastry. 
  13. Dust the apples with a bit more cinnamon-sugar.
  14. Starting with the bare end, gently roll strips so that they resemble a rose. Place into a greased muffin tin. 
  15. Once your pastries are rolled and in the tin, pop into the 400-degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.
  16. Add a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven to prevent the bottom of the pastries from turning too dark.
  17. Halfway through the baking time, turn the tin to make sure the pastries are browning evenly.
  18. After golden brown, remove from oven and gently remove from the tin. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and/or drizzle with warmed caramel. Serve warm or completely cooled.

 

Buffalo Filet with Brandied Peppercorn Sauce

Chad Dorsey, Executive Chef and Owner 

Old South Mountain Inn | Boonsboro, MD | 301.432.6155 | www.oldsouthmountaininn.com

Built in 1732, the historic Old South Mountain Inn offers guests a lesson in history along with a delicious assortment of dishes to choose from. One of the favorites is Dorsey’s Buffalo Filet with Brandied Peppercorn Sauce. Not common on other menus, folks will travel hours to indulge in this dish, which Dorsey now shares with us.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz buffalo filet 
  • (You can also substitute Filet Mignon as buffalo is difficult to find in stores)
  • 1/2 tsp. green peppercorns in brine
  • 1/2 tsp. minced shallots
  • 2 Tbsp. demi-glace (reduced veal stock)
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 ounce brandy
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Salt and pepper filets on all sides. In a sauté pan set on high heat, add 1 tsp. butter and olive oil until both are hot and butter is completely melted. Place buffalo in pan and sear on each side for 2 minutes for medium rare. Remove from pan and let rest. Discard olive oil and butter from pan but do not rinse. Add to pan remaining butter, shallots, pepper-corns, mustard, and Worcestershire. Sauté for 30 seconds then add brandy; be very careful as the brandy will ignite, releasing the alcohol. Reduce this sauce down by half and add the demi-glace and heavy cream. Bring to a boil then add filet back to pan with sauce and cook for an additional 1 minute. Remove steak from pan, then plate and pour sauce over the filet.

 

Chicken and Rice Bowl

Jeremy Veney, Chef Manager

Bulls and Bears | Hagerstown, MD | 240.791.0370 | www.bullsandbears.biz

Located in historic downtown Hagerstown, Bulls and Bears offers American cuisine in what they tout as a New York style atmosphere. From a large and varied menu, Chef Veney chose to share a newer recipe that’s hearty and warming—a perfect combination for the winter season. While new on the menu, the Chicken and Rice Bowl has quickly become one of the most popular items and is sure to be a hit in your home, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup onions
  • 1/4 mushrooms
  • 5 peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 4oz sliced chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup wild rice

Directions

  1. Heat vegetable oil in pan and add veggies and shrimp, saute for about 2 minutes and add sliced chicken.
  2. Add salt, pepper, honey, and water. Saute for another minute and then place over top cup of rice.
  3. Garnish with cilantro and lime.

Eggnog Crème Brûlée

Francis Verdier, Executive Chef 

Nick’s Airport Inn | Hagerstown, MD | 301.733.8560 | www.nicksairportinn.com

The Giannaris family-owned Nick’s Airport Inn has been a Washington County staple since 1961. For generations, families have come to the restaurant for Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinner and enjoyed many seasonal delights, including Chef Verdier’s Eggnog Crème Brûlée—a nod to the late Nick Giannaris’ popular spiked eggnog.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 ramekins in a shallow baking dish and fill the dish with water halfway up the side of the ramekins.
  2. Pour the eggnog into a pan over medium heat. Cook and stir occasionally until the mixture simmers, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the egg yolks and sugar into the mixing bowl, beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the mascarpone until well blended and smooth.
  4. Whisk 1/4 cup of the heated eggnog mixture into the eggs. Gradually whisk the remaining eggnog into the eggs. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any egg strands. Stir in the nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour into ramekins.
  5. Bake until custard has set, 30-45 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  7. Sprinkle the top with sugar and torch the sugar with a brûlée torch until slightly brown and crisp. Garnish with fresh mint leaf and a few fresh raspberries.