Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Old Mill: A Woodland Oasis in the Humber Valley

Nestled along the thickly wooded slopes of the Humber River Valley, the historic Old Mill Inn offers a full-service spa and elegant fine dining with Executive Chef Martin Buehner at the helm. The iconic 4-star Tudor-style mill house hotel set amid beautiful gardens and just minutes from downtown Toronto, is famous for its traditional English afternoon tea which has been served since 1914 and features the customary cream, jam and scones. During the week and on Sundays there's a large buffet of roast beef, maple-glazed ham, seafood and salads, as well as regular jazz nights held at the Home Smith Jazz Bar.

Japanese Mountain Rose on each table in the Terrace Dining Room

The Terrace Dining Room

Bloody Mary

The Luncheon buffet

Chilled Mussels

Smoked Salmon with capers

Poached Shrimp

Assorted Cheeses

Lovely fresh fruit

Plum Tart with Streusel Topping

Shrimp Crêpes with Mushroom, Asparagus & Tarragon Cream Sauce 
Makes 16
Recipe courtesy of The Old Mill

Crêpe Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tbsp chicken or beef broth
3 large eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tbsp salt
1/3 cup minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, coriander or tarragon
melted unsalted butter for brushing the pan

13-15 shrimp, peeled and deviened
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 lb assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster or Shiitaki, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 oz white wine
2 oz butter
2 oz olive oil
1 lemon juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Cream Sauce:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup 35% cream
1/2 oz olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tsp fresh tarragon 

Fresh chives and sliced orange

To make crêpes, blend the flour, broth, eggs, butter and the salt in a blender or food processor for 5 seconds. Turn off the motor, with a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the container, and blend the batter for 20 seconds more. Transfer the batter to a bowl, stir in the herbs, and let the batter stand, covered, for 1 hour. The batter may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes enough batter for about 16 crêpes.

Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick skillet measuring 6 to 7 inches across the bottom over moderate heat until it is hot. Brush the pan lightly with the butter, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and remove it from the heat. Stir the batter, half fill a 1/4-cup measure with it, and pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan quickly to cover the bottom with a layer of batter and return any excess batter to bowl. Return the pan to the heat, loosen the edge of the crêpe with a spatula, and cook the crêpe for 1 minute, or until the top appears almost dry. Turn the crêpe, cook the other side lightly, and transfer the crêpe to a plate. Make crêpes with the remaining batter in the same manner, brushing the pan lightly with butter as necessary. The crêpes may be made 3 days in advance, kept stacked, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled.

For the filling, cut the asparagus into small spears and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling salted water. Add 1 oz of olive oil to a hot pan, add the mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute, then add the garlic, nutmeg, butter and wine. Sauté for another 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

Put the lemon juice on the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Sauté in a hot pan until the shrimp are cooked through. Add the asparagus and mushrooms to the shrimp, and let the mixture cool. Place the crepes on a cutting board, fill the crepes with the mixture, then roll the crepes and set aside.

For the cream sauce, sauté the garlic in olive oil until translucent, then add the white wine and reduce by half, Add the cream and reduce by 1/3, then add fresh tarragon, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the crepes in a 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes, then remove from the oven and pour the cream sauce over top and serve garnished with fresh chives and sliced orange.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque 
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of The Old Mill

28 oz can chopped tomatoes 
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 
3 stalks celery, trimmed and sliced 
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium cooking onions, chopped 
4 red bell Peppers, about 1 1/2 lbs
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
1 fl oz olive oil 

Cut the red peppers in half and remove the core and seeds. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Roast in a 400°F oven skin side down until nicely browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Once roasted, remove from the oven and place in a large zip-lock bag. Seal and set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled remove the skins from the peppers.

In a medium sized sauce pan add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes, roasted pepper halves and stock, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 10 -12  minutes or until the carrots and celery are softened through.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a hand emersion blender blend the soup until smooth. Adjust the thickness of the soup by boiling it down to your preferred consistency prior to adjusting the seasoning, or add additional water or stock for a looser consistency.

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