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Roasted Pesto Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 (5-7lb) roasting chicken
1 c basil pesto sauce (homemade is best!)
3 T dry white wine
¾ c (plus 2 T) chicken broth
2 T all purpose flour
3 T whipping cream
fresh basil sprigs

Procedure

1. Pat chicken dry. Slide hand between chicken skin & meat (over breast & legs) to form pockets.
2. Reserve 1 T pesto for gravy, then spread the rest of the pesto under the skin in pockets, in cavity & over outer skin.
3. Tie legs together, tuck wings under body, place chicken in large roasting pan.
4. Preheat oven 450°F & roast chicken 15 mins. Reduce heat 375°F & roast 1¼ hr more (internal temp 165°F).
5. Transfer chicken to platter, pour pan juices into glass cup, degrease & reserve.
6. Add wine to roasting pan & bring to a boil, scrape up browned bits.
7. Combine 2 T broth & flour in a bowl, stir until smooth.
8. In heavy saucepan, add wine mixture, pan juices, ¾ c chicken broth, & flour mixture; bring to boil whisking constantly.
9. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency about 5 mins. Mix in 1 T pesto, cream, s&p.
10. Garnish chicken platter with basil sprigs, serve pesto gravy on the side.

Smoked Salmon & Tortellini Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

¼ c sour cream or crème fraîche
¼ c olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T dijon mustard
1 T dry white wine
s&p
¼ t white pepper
1 – 9 oz package fresh cheese tortellini (or other small pasta)
1 T olive oil
½ c thinly sliced red onion
¼ c chopped chives or green onion tops
¼ c chopped fresh dill (or 1 T dried)
2 T drained capers
3 oz smoked salmon or lox, cut into thin strips

Procedure

1. Whisk first 6 ingredients in bowl, cover & chill dressing.
2. Cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, drain.
3. Transfer tortellini to bowl, add 1 T oil & toss to coat.
4. Add red onion, chives, dill & capers & toss again.
5. After cooled, add salmon & enough dressing to coat, toss well.
6. Chill & serve.

Herb Cheese & Grits Soufflé

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 c grits, locally milled
milk (according to package directions)
½ c butter, cut into chunks
5.8 oz container boursin cheese (garlic & fine herbs)
1 t salt
¼ t cayenne pepper
2 eggs
½ c liquid egg whites
½ cup milk
1 T finely chopped fresh basil or parsley

Procedure

1. Cook grits in milk according to package directions, remove from heat.
2. Stir butter, boursin cheese, salt, & red pepper into grits.
3. In separate container, vigorously beat eggs & egg whites, then stir in ½ c milk.
4. Add milk & egg mixture into grits & blend.
5. Pour into greased soufflé or baking dish.
6. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until just set.
7. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs.

Coconut & Black Bean Curry

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 T olive oil
1 c onion, diced
½ c each red & yellow pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 15 oz cans black beans, drained & rinsed
2 T lime juice
1 – 14 oz can coconut milk
2 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 T garam masala
½ T curry powder
s & p
pinch cayenne
4 c fresh spinach, chopped
¼ c fresh cilantro, chopped

Procedure

1. Sauté onions & peppers in oil, 8 mins, add garlic & cook 2 mins more.
2. Transfer to pot, add beans & lime juice, lightly mash about ¼ of beans with fork or masher.
3. Stir in coconut milk, stock, spices, s&p & cayenne then bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for 20 mins.
4. Right before serving, stir in spinach & let wilt 1-2 mins.
5. Serve over rice or other grain, sprinkle with fresh cilantro & dollop of sour cream.

Parslied Baked Rice with Mushrooms

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

3 T olive oil
½ c chopped onion
1 pound fresh chopped mushrooms
2 c long grain rice (white, brown or mixture)
¼ c fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
¾ c melted butter
2½ c full fat stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)

Procedure

1. Sauté onions & mushrooms in olive oil for about 10 minutes
2. Add rice & sauté 2 mins.
3. Layer all ingredients in a casserole dish, in the order listed, stir to mix.
4. Bake on 350°F for 1 hr.
5. Sprinkle top with fresh parsley.

The post Parslied Baked Rice with Mushrooms is by Denise Simmons, Corporate Executive Chef and appeared first on Meriwether Godsey.

When Fabulous is Fleeting

The Super Bowl came and went a few days ago. As a football viewer, I’ll say it was a decent game. Close until the very end, swings in leads, eye-popping half-time show, better than usual commercial content, etc. San Francisco had a great season. Jimmy Garoppolo could say he played quarterback all season and they ended up on the biggest stage. But they came up short. Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes will wear the crown for the next year.

And then came Monday morning. And with that, the criticism. Jimmy G is a fourth tier quarterback, he’s too old to be developed (he’s 28…), he’s overpaid, he panics under pressure. To clarify, my team is not San Francisco and Jimmy G is not “my” quarterback, but…really?!?

In foodservices we know, all too well, how fleeting fabulous can be. Jimmy G should call us. Any one of us could help him dust himself off, and try again. We’d say, “Learn, grow, improve, man.” Yes. We take disappointment, honest mistakes, circumstances beyond our control…any and all of that…and we try again. Even when we win the Super Bowl we always remember, tomorrow is another game!

Leslie Phillips
CEO

The post When Fabulous is Fleeting is by Leslie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer and appeared first on Meriwether Godsey.

Simple Tarragon Chicken

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 – 8 oz jar dijon mustard
½ c dry white wine
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
s&p
tarragon sprigs for garnish

Procedure

1. Whisk together mustard, wine & tarragon in large stainless steel bowl.
2. Place chicken in baking dish, season with s&p, coat with marinade, cover & refrigerate 24 hours.
3. Remove chicken from marinade, reserve marinade.
4. Cook chicken on medium hot grill, 6 mins per side (or sauté in heavy skillet).
5. Heat reserved marinade to boiling.
6. Drizzle hot marinade over chicken & garnish with fresh tarragon.

Note: can substitute chicken thighs

The post Simple Tarragon Chicken is by Denise Simmons, Corporate Executive Chef and appeared first on Meriwether Godsey.

Incremental Excellence

So good, nobody notices. When I saw this article title, the voice in my head said: “stop the bus.” Not because I disagreed. But because I felt like it was reading my mind or eavesdropping on recent conversations. I’ve had the chance to get out and see some other operators lately. This is enlightening on many levels, but…as relates to this…I am amazed at what others “get away with,” from the food to the presentation to the customer service. I have said in my head and even privately to others: “if we looked like this at ______ (insert nearly any MG location) for one meal we’d be fired.” We do so many things to make MG dining special…perhaps so consistently special that…it goes unnoticed. But consider for a sec what might happen if we didn’t?

Incremental excellence will never be as sexy as the thrill of the new because the better you get the less noticeable the difference may be. But it can be every bit as valuable.

Leslie Phillips
CEO

The post Incremental Excellence is by Leslie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer and appeared first on Meriwether Godsey.

Creamy Braised White Beans & Kale

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 T butter
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
1 c whole milk
1 – 15 oz can chickpeas, with liquid
1 – 15 oz can white beans, drained & rinsed
1 thyme sprig
2 sage leaves
1 bay leaf
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
s&p
4-6 kale leaves, ribs & stems removed, cut into 1″ strips
Garnishes: shaved parmesan, olive, red pepper flakes, crusty bread

Procedure

1. Melt the butter in saucepan on med-high.
2. Add garlic, cut side down, cook 1-2 mins to golden brown.
3. Stir in milk, chickpeas, white beans, herbs, nutmeg, s&p.
4. Bring to boiling, reduce heat and add kale.
5. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15 mins.
6. Remove herbs & garlic head, cool garlic & remove soft cloves with fork.
7. Serve beans with shaved parmesan, drizzle of olive oil, pinch of crushed red pepper.
8. Spread crusty bread with soft garlic cloves & serve alongside beans.

The post Creamy Braised White Beans & Kale is by Denise Simmons, Corporate Executive Chef and appeared first on Meriwether Godsey.

Too Late?

Some people love fall. Some struggle with it (I know I do). Days are shorter, colors are fading… and, eventually, the landscape will turn to gray. Yes, Mother Nature enters hibernation mode from the bugs to the grass. But work keeps going… and now… without as much daylight! It’s so common to struggle with this that they’ve given it a name: SAD (seasonal adjustment disorder). The change in seasons, holidays, and anticipation of a “new year” can also surface thoughts about where we are in our lives. Sometimes questioning is it too late to do _________. As well, in an operations business like ours, we are always pushing to be better, stronger, more efficient, more effective. We are challenged to change habits, routines, tools, “to start” doing ________. But, is it too late to try? I saw this meme the other day and it stuck with me. Maybe you’ll like it too.

Leslie Phillips
CEO

The post Too Late? is by Leslie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer and appeared first on Meriwether Godsey.

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