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January 30

Super Bowl Stew AKA Hungarian Goulash

Nothing says comfort like a bowl of steaming hot beef stew. This hearty recipe is just one of our chef’s suggestions for the ultimate party food — making it ahead of time adds to the convenience AND the flavor. Keep warm and cozy on game day and make this scrumptious, simple recipe early in the day (or the day before) — perfect for serving up to friends and family as they cheer on their favorite team!

Created by Executive Chef Brian Alberg

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 Tbs. Hungarian paprika powder
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1.5 lbs beef stew meat, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. ground caraway seed
3 medium potatoes, diced into ó-inch cubes
1 12 oz can diced tomatoes
1.5 quarts beef or chicken stock (water can be used as substitute)
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 green peppers, diced

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat, heat oil and stir in onions. Cook until golden (about 5-7 minutes), stir in paprika, garlic and stew meat, season with salt, pepper and caraway. Continue simmering until meat takes on a dark brown color, about 10 minutes. Add in half the potatoes (these will cook down and help thicken stew without flour) and tomatoes. Add enough stock and bay leaf to just cover the meat and let simmer covered, about an hour. Then add in the remaining vegetables, add more liquid to just cover the mixture, return to simmer and leave uncovered to let the stew thicken, approximately an hour. (Or, put mixture in a crockpot before work and enjoy when you get home!) Adjust seasoning and serve. Serves 4.

August 6

The Red Lion Inn Cheese Log

This delicious cheese log is always presented for our guests to enjoy in the lobby during cocktail hour.  It’s quite simple to make and it will be a smash-hit at your own holiday party. This recipe makes a large, 3-pound log, but it can easily be cut in half.

Red Lion Inn Cheese Log

3 pounds of cream cheese (regular or low fat), softened to room temperature.

1 half cup garlic, minced

1 cup fresh chives, chopped

1 cup fresh dill, chopped

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 half cup mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon pepper

2 cups pecans, roasted and chopped.

Combine all ingredients, except the pecans, in a bowl and mix until smooth. This can be done in a food processor, but it may change the consistency of the mixture.

Cover a cookie sheet with plastic wrap. Turn the cheese mixture out on top of the plastic wrap in the shape of the cookie sheet. Spread the pecans over the cheese. Lift the paper and use it to roll the cheese mixture over the chopped pecans, forming a log. Chill until firm. Place on a serving platter, garnish with parsley and surround with crackers.

Tip: If you use dried dill, start with 2 tablespoons. Taste and add more if you like. The cheese mixture can be patted and rolled into a ball shape if you prefer.

January 24

The Red Lion Inn’s Apple Pie

RLI_Apple_Pie 044_web
Red Lion Inn Apple Pie
President Calvin Coolidge said he never ate anything half as good as the pork apple pies his stepmother made.  One hopes he and Mrs. Coolidge tried the Red Lion Inn apple pie on one of their visits.  We bet it’s every bit as good as his Mom’s.
Red Lion Inn owner Nancy Fitzpatrick shares the origins of our apple pie recipe:
“The recipe is based on my grandmother, Mary Pratt’s apple pie, and was the pie my mother (occasionally, for company) made when I was growing up. I remember hearing that when we first opened, Nana May (as we called her), went out to the kitchen and showed the chef how she made her pie. She was a wonderful cook. There was always dessert at her house. My grandfather had a huge vegetable garden that she made great use of.”
5 pounds McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
(if McIntosh are not available, substitute another tart apple such as Cortland)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Crust for a two-crust pie (recipe follows)
 1 tablespoon butter
 1 egg
 1 tablespoon milk
1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
2. Place the apples in a large bowl. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon, and add to the apples. Toss until well mixed.
3. Fill the unbaked pie shell with the apple mixture, and dot with the butter. Fit the top crust over the filling, and crimp the top and bottom edges together to seal the apples in.
4. Whisk together the egg and the milk. Brush the top crust with this egg wash, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.  Pierce the top crust in several places with a sharp knife.
5. Bake at 375º for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the apples are tender when tested with a thin knife.
Yields 1 pie.
Pie Crust for Two-Crust Pie
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, cold

1. Blend the butter and shortening together with a wooden spoon in a small bowl.
2. Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening, using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the cold milk, and blend until absorbed. Divid the dough in half and roll each half into a ball. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (Or, if using a food processor, place the butter, shortening, flour, and salt in the bowl; fit with a steel blade. Process until the mixture reaches the consistency of cornmeal. With the processor on, add the milk slowly through the funnel until the dough forms a ball.)
3. When you are ready to bake the pie, roll each half of the chilled pie dough out on a floured board until it is slightly larger than the pie plate. Fit one half into the pie plate, place a filling inside, add the top crust, and flute the edges together.

Yields 2 crusts.

(From The Red Lion Inn cookbook)
January 21

The Red Lion Inn’s New England Clam Chowder


imageNew England Clam Chowder

Chowders are so firmly associated with New England cooking that we tend to assume they originated here, but they are probably adaptations of the stews and hearty soups made in England and France. The name seems to have come from the pot, called a chaudière, which was brought by Breton fisherman to Nova Scotia, where it eventually found its way down the coast to New England.  It was customary for thrifty women to toss whatever edibles they had into the pot and cook it all together until tender.

Any good New England cook has his or her favorite recipe, but most will agree that a traditional chowder must include two ingredients—clams and salt pork (never tomatoes)—with a cream and stock base, just as this traditional old Red Lion Inn recipe does. This is a delicious and easy-to-prepare version of the classic.

4 cups warm water

2 dozen fresh clams in the shell, or 2 small cans chopped clams

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups peeled and diced potatoes

¼ pound salt pork, diced, or ½ cup margarine

1 cup chopped onions

2 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk, scalded

1 cup light cream

2 tablespoons butter

1.     Combine the water, clams, salt, white pepper, and Worcestershire sauce in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil until the clams open, about 12–18 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.

2.     Strain the clams and reserve both clams and broth. Remove the meat from the clam shells and finely chop the clams. (If using canned clams, add them to the water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve the clams and broth.)

3.     Combine the potatoes and half of the clam broth in a large pot. Gently simmer until cooked but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain reserving the broth.

4.     Place the salt pork in a heavy pot and sauté until partially rendered, about 5 minutes. Be careful, this will splatter. (Or, melt the margarine in a heavy pot.)

5.     Remove the pork from the pot and set aside. Remove half of the melted fat. Sauté the onions in the remaining fat over medium heat until translucent but not brown, about 5 minutes.

6.     Add the flour to the onions and blend thoroughly to make a roux. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5–6 minutes. (If you prefer a thicker chowder, more flour may be added.)

7.     Add all of the reserved broth to the roux and stir until hot and smooth. Stir in the potatoes, clams, remaining fat, milk, and cream. Adjust the seasoning and add the butter just before serving, stirring until melted. Serve.

January 11

Recipe: Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey & Fire Cider Hot Toddy

Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey & Fire Cider Hot Toddy
Recipe by Red Lion Inn Sommelier Dan Thomas

Recipe makes one Hot Toddy

 1 ½ oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey
½ oz Shire City Herbal Fire Cider 
1 tsp Local Honey
1 oz Local Apple Cider
6 oz Spiced Toddy Water

 To make “Spiced Toddy Water”

Combine in a French press or teapot: Hot Water, Orange Slices, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 6 Cloves. Allow to Steep for 10 minutes.
Combine First 4 ingredients in a mug and fill with “Spiced Toddy Water.” Enjoy.

Perfect for National Hot Toddy Day (January 11) or any time of the year!



January 7

The Red Lion Inn’s Classic Chicken Pot Pie

Classic Chicken Pot Pie
by Executive Chef Brian J. Alberg

For that serious comfort food craving on a cold winter’s night, this dish fits the bill. A rich, savory filling sits inside a buttery pie crust. If you use frozen pastry, this dish is as simple as it is comforting.


½ tsp. Salt
1 lb. Boneless Chicken Breasts (about 4), poached
¼ cup Onions, diced
½ cup Carrots, diced
¼ cup Parsnips, diced
2 Tbs. Butter
1 Tbs. Chopped Sage
3 cups Chicken Pot Pie Sauce (see recipe following)
1 pkg Frozen Puff Pastry Shells
1 Egg
2 Tbs. Whole Milk
Salt and Pepper

Chicken Pot Pie Sauce:
4 Tbs. Butter
4 Tbs. Flour
1 Tbs. Chopped Sage
4 cups Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper

To Poach Chicken Breasts:
Place about 3 cups water in a saucepan with ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Place chicken breast in hot water. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot and gently simmer until cooked through, about on half hour. Remove breasts from water and when they are cool and cut into dices.

To Make Chicken Pot Pie Sauce:
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and sage and cook until slightly golden in color and the consistency of wet sand. Remove from heat. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring well until completely blended, making sure there are no lumps. Return to medium heat and simmer until thickened, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Disclaimer: you may add peas if desired.

To Assemble and Prepare Pot Pie:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Dice onions, carrots and parsnips. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add vegetables and sauté until tender. Remove from heat. Add cooked chicken, sage, salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken mixture in a buttered, ovenproof baking dish. Pour sauce over vegetables. Place at least four discs of puff pastry on top of vegetables and sauce.

Prepare an egg wash by beating together the egg and milk. Brush egg wash over puff pastry. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown on top. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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