Another Day in Poe's Kitchen at The Rattlesnake

Chef Brian Poe shows you the world in the back of the house.

Archive for Recipes

My Multi-Talented Morel Vinaigrette

At Poe’s Kitchen right now we’re serving my take on an empanada: a puff-pastry square stuffed and baked with brie, then drizzled with morel vinaigrette. It’s a dish I’ve served to everyone from Curt Schilling (see here) to guests of the Legacy Dinner that marked the closure of Seasons in 2007, where I cooked with Lydia Shire, Jasper White, Peter McCarthy, and other fellow chefs of the legendary restaurant.

In fact, I’ve been tweaking it since around 2006; what I love about it is the versatility of the components throughout the year. For example, when beets are at their peak, I roast them in jalapeno and citrus and add them to the dish in paper-thin slices for garnish. I also switch the mushrooms in the vinaigrette depending on the season; there are grilled portobellos in the version I serve with my warm portobello salad (see the regular menu here).

Here’s the recipe for the dressing; have fun trying different ‘shrooms like I do!

Morel Vinaigrette

1 lb. morel mushrooms, cleaned
1 t. chopped garlic
1 t. chopped shallots
1 t. chopped fresh herbs (I like oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil)
2 c. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and sauté them in a pan; set aside.

Dip mushrooms into olive oil and shake off excess oil. Season with salt and pepper and sauté in the hot pan for about 5 minutes. Reserve juices and chop the caps with the stems.

In a mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients with a wire whip; add the diced mushrooms and juices. Reserve at room temperature. Can be refrigerated for up to one week.


An Eggnog Toast to You and Yours This Christmas!

Poe’s Kitchen will be closed tomorrow—but the bar in our heads is always open. After we put together a kickass Christmas playlist that put us in the mood, Lovewell—our assistant GM went to work with a bottle of Bailey’s Caramel and Absolut Vanilia as I got on a roll with the other ingredients, and we finished our creation, an adaptation of an old New York Times recipe, off with mint. No recipe today—but you get the picture!

Rattlesnake Eggnog
Yields 12 servings

1 qt. milk
1 qt. heavy cream
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split
5 cloves
10 blades mace
12 egg yolks
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 & 1/2 cups Absolut Vanilia
1 & 1/2 cups Bailey’s Caramel
1 qt. half-and-half OR  1 qt. light cream OR 1 c. heavy cream plus 3 c. milk
1 T. vanilla extract
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
fresh mint leaves to garnish

Combine milk and spices, including vanilla bean, in a heavy saucepan and let them infuse over lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until mixed.

Bring milk to a boil and gradually whisk it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring steadily with a wooden spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until foam subsides and mixture thickens to consistency of heavy cream. (It should thickly coat the back of a wooden spoon.) Do not boil, or mixture will curdle.

Strain mixture into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir in vodka, liqueur, half-and-half (or equivalent), vanilla and nutmeg.

Refrigerate eggnog for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Just before serving, dust top of eggnog with additional nutmeg.


Frigid Out There, Tropical in Here: The Beantown Mai Tai

We figured the obvious thing to do with Absolut Boston would be to highlight the black tea flavors to create a warming wintertime drink. 

So we did the opposite. And look at the fun we’re having!

Beantown Mai Tai

1 oz. Absolut Boston
.5 oz Cointreau
.5 oz Myers’s rum
.5 oz apricot brandy

Combine in a cocktail glass and top with a splash each of sweet & sour and pineapple juice.


You Asked for It: Prosciutto-wrapped, Blackened Tuna with Queso Fresco & Basil over Anaheim Chile–Corn Puree

Specifically, Behind the Burner asked for it, which means you can see me making it once the segment airs in January.

In the meantime, unleash your own cooking urges with the recipe below—or swing by Poe’s Kitchen and I’ll make it just for you!

Prosciutto-wrapped, Blackened Tuna with Queso Fresco & Basil over Anaheim Chile–Corn Puree

Yields 24 holiday hors d’oeuvres, 6 starters or 4 main courses

For the Anaheim chile–corn puree

2 c. fresh corn kernels
2 ears corn, grilled and sliced into coins
Olive oil
2 c. water, plus water for boiling
1 Anaheim chile, chopped with seeds
1/2 jalapeño, chopped & deseeded
1/2 t. shallots
1/2 t. garlic
Heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Place fresh corn kernels with a touch of olive oil in hot pan. Add shallots, garlic, and water; reduce by 1/3.

Add kernels, along with cob coins, to a pot of boiling water. Allow to cook 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat.

Add chiles; place mixture in a blender and puree into a fine sauce. Add heavy cream as needed.

Strain the sauce and allow the cream to reduce by 1/3.

For the tuna
Poe-co Loco Dust

2 T. ground cumin
2 T. dark chile powder
2 T. paprika
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. dried oregano
2 T. ground coriander
2 T. white pepper

Combine all ingredients and reserve.

24 paper-thin slices prosciutto
24 basil leaves
24  oz. (about 2 lbs.) tuna filet, cut into 24 squares
24 thin squares of queso fresco (if you cannot locate this cheese, substitute fresh mozzarella)
Olive oil

On a cutting board, lay out sliced prosciutto.

Completely cover the tuna in Poe Co Loco Dust and place the seasoned tuna in the center of each prosciutto slice. Top with a leaf of basil and a piece of cheese. Wrap prosciutto around tuna and secure with a toothpick.

Heat oil in a saute pan and sear tuna for about 30 seconds per side, or until medium rare.

To impress your friends, spoon some corn puree onto a plate, then place the tuna on top and enjoy.

Let the Lime-Zested Chips Fall Where They May!

Some people have chips on their shoulders. Ever since I arrived at the Rattlesnake, I’ve had chips on the brain.

You see, the first thing I did when I walked in the door was look at reports to see what was selling and what was not, what needed fixing and what wasn’t broken. Back then, chips and salsa were the number-1 mover. So Gordon Wilcox and I went through 16 different salsas and countless corn chips on the theory that if we could perfect the simple things, you might trust us with more complex dishes. And our plan seems to be working. My favorite ticket from last night read:

Chips and salsa
Foie gras, hen of the woods, chervil and truffle pizza

In case you’re wondering why the following recipe calls for 3 different types of salt, there are 2 reasons. First, different textures increase the chances that the salt will stick to the surface of the chip. Second, salt crystals of different sizes retain the moisture from the limes better, which means they more easily recrystallize once all of the liquid is absorbed.

Lime Salt
Yields about 2 cups.

1/2 lb. kosher salt
1/2 lb. sea salt
1/4 lb. iodized salt
20 limes

Using a microplane or a small-holed grater, zest the limes, then split and reserve.

Combine the salts.

Mix in the zest and toss in the lime halves. Allow the mixture to sit for several days in a covered container before using—it’s also good on popcorn, seafood, and chicken!

Chip Seasoning
Yields about 1 cup

1 c. lime salt
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. powdered ginger
1/2 t. powdered onion
1/2 t. powdered garlic
1/2 t. powdered cumin
1/4 t. black pepper

Toss to taste on plain tortilla chips.

When Life Gives You Leftover Cranberries, Make Scallops!

With Thanksgiving over and Christmas on the way, I’ve got cranberries on the brain. But the beauty of New England is that there’s always something coming into season, and the window of opportunity I’ve got right now opens on another of my favorites—Nantucket scallops. Nantucket scallop season lasts from November through April. Only 10 bushels of scallops are allowed per boat, per day; it takes the scallopers about four hours to shuck their catch, and then it’s on a plane to me. Thanks to them, every bite of this dish smacks of winter on the Cape.

Nantucket Scallops with Basil Cream and Cranberry Salsa
For the Cream
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. toasted pecans
9 basil leaves
1 pinch chopped fresh garlic
1 pinch chopped fresh shallot
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender; add a touch more heavy cream if too thick for your liking.

For the Salsa
2 t. dried cranberries
1 t. chopped celery
1 t. chopped fennel
3 leaves basil, chiffonaded
1 t. chopped pecans
splash of white wine
juice of 1/2 lime

Mix together and reserve.

For the Scallops
1 lb. Nantucket bay scallops
ca. 1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
splash of white wine
upland cress (hydroponic watercress) for garnish

In a hot saute pan, melt butter, then add scallops. Allow to caramelize, season with salt and pepper, and deglaze pan with wine.

In the center of the plate, spoon a bit of the basil cream, top with the scallops, then add dollops of cranberry salsa. Garnish with cress and enjoy.

For That Most Wonderful Bipolar Time of Year: Chef’s Salad with Sage-Barley Vinaigrette

When I think of fall, I think of the smell of sage, which by November is one of the last herbs standing in my garden. Sage is a calming herb for me; historically, it has been believed to ward off evil and to aid in healing snake bites. I also think of barley—as in a good bowl of beef-barley stew with a hearty autumn beer. Hmmm… we might be on to something here? Sage…snakes…barley…bars…it all comes together in a vision of meals at Poe’s Kitchen that can ward off and warm up those first few evil cold nights. 

Sure enough, it’s that funky time of year in New England when 60-degree sunshine alternates with freezing rain. Nothing evens out the weather’s bipolar disorder like a good pumpkin ale paired with an Indian-summery chef’s salad of Boston Bibb lettuce, eggs, Virginia ham, whiskey-cured bacon, Vermont cheddar, onions, tomatoes, and sage-barley vinaigrette. With the recipe for this dressing, just think of all the salads you can make at home to use up leftover turkey and undo some of the damage after Thanksgiving,,,


Sage-Barley Vinaigrette

1/2 c. sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. mined shallots
1 c. olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. barley, cooked and reserved

Puree all ingredients except cooked barley with a mixer. Add barley and set aside, preferably for 24 hours.