Refined American Cuisine

The second “cookbook” written by Patrick O’Connell, Refined American Cuisine: The Inn at Little Washington is a marvel to behold. The word cookbook was placed in quotes because this book could easily pass for a coffee table book. Visually stunning, the book is filled with gorgeous photos of every dish and of the local areas.

Refined American Cuisine: The Inn at Little Washington
With his partner, Reinhardt Lynch, Patrick O’Connell has been running The Inn at Little Washington since the late seventies. A self-taught chef O’Connell is an award winning chef with a number of credits under his belt including a Five Star rating for dining and lodging. It is not difficult to believe the aclaim O’Connell has received after viewing the recipes in this book. The detail, the innovation and combinations of tastes and textures make it easy to understand why these elegant dishes have garnered such attention.

Along with recipes for every need, from breakfast to dessert, Refined American Cuisine also includes a brief history of the inn and interesting annecdotes and remembrances from the chef. Sprinkled throughout the book, the photos of the chef, his staff and the Inn help you feel as if you have actually visited The Inn at Little Washington and certainly make you wish you were there right now.Throughout this magnificent book, the detail demonstrates that even the simplest thing can be elegant. It may seem to be a strange choice but below is the recipe for Bar Nuts found in the Snacks and Canapes section. With so many holiday get-togethers this month, I thought it be nice to put out an elegant little snack instead of just opening a can of nuts, or you could even put them into an attractive container to give as a gift.

Bar Nuts

Here is a simple way to transform an ordinary bowl of nuts into something your guests will find tantalizing. The nuts are sauteed with aromatic spices and combined with cubed, dried pineapple. They can be made in large batches well in advance and make a wonderful gift.

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 pound whole pecans
1/2 pound whole almonds
1/2 pound whole cashews
3 dried pineapple rings, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and sugar to taste
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the cayenne, cajun seasoning, cumin and sugar and stir until the butter begins to foam.

Immediately add the pecans, almonds and cashews, stirring or tossing constantly for about 3 minutes or until the nuts are well toasted and lightly coloured.

Pour the nuts into a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature.

Transfer the nuts to a mixing bowl and toss them with the dried pineapple pieces. Season to taste with salt and sugar.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

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6 Responses to “Refined American Cuisine”

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