Hampton Roads Magazine with a few of my girlfriends. (See the lovely cover photo.) Other than the opportunity to enjoy the company of friends, the drawl for me was the ten Hampton Roads restaurants on hand to serve up delights.
We had good intentions to sample every table but had to call it quits due to capacity at about table seven.
First stop was a sushi restaurant from Suffolk (the name escapes me) that served some sort of fish liver on pickled cucumber. It was fishy, but tasty. Chef Richard from Sonoma charmed this southern girl with perfectly delicious collards supporting a seared scallop. Departing a typical Steinhilber’s menu item they served a special of a seared scallop with cucumber salad. Next up was Still (love this place) and they brought their bread pudding with chocolate whisky sauce. Mmm. I sensed a theme for the night when the next table, Founder’s Inn served their take on a seared scallop. Tradewinds had a pretty full plate to sample but all I could remember was the chocolate dessert that had what they claimed to be the spiciest pepper within. I couldn’t taste heat, just chocolate goodness. This was a cool stop because the guys were in front of the table handing out samples and interacting with the guests explaining what everything was. (That’s just good marketing.)
My favorite was visiting Todd Jurich’s table as they were serving their off-the-chains good pumpkin and crab soup with cinnamon croutons AND they had the recipe on the table for you to take with you. (Not to mention the dude himself was serving it up.) I’m sure something was left off the recipe, they told me magic. Not sure what aisle I can find that on at the grocery store? But I have posted it below for you to enjoy.
Todd Jurich’s Bistro – Pumpkin and Crab Soup
2 qt Buttermilk squash/pumpkin puree
2 tbsp Seasoning mix (P&C)
1 lb Cubed butter
½ c Olive oil
1 Bay leaf
1 c Minced leeks/onions
2 qt Chicken or crab stock
1 c Heavy cream
4 oz Brandy
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb Jumbo lump crabmeat
1. Split the butternut squash/pumpkin and remove the seeds
2. Sprinkle the seasoning mix liberally over the squash/pumpkin, reserving some for seasoning at the end. Evenly distribute the cubed butter over each half of squash/pumpkin.
3. Roast in a 350 degree oven till tender.
4. Scrape out the flesh while still warm.
5. Sweat the onion/leeks in the olive oil until translucent. Add the bay leaf.
6. Deglaze the pan with the white wine (which isn’t listed in the ingredients); add the chicken stock and squash/pumpkin.
7. Simmer for a further 20 minutes; add the heavy cream and simmer for another 10; remove the bay leaf.
8. Puree well using the bermixer.
9. Add the brandy; check the seasoning using salt, black pepper and the seasoning mix.
10. Add the crab meat for service.
Yields one gallon.