Gal Pal Getaway for Lora and Tracy

Gal Pal Getaway for Lora and Tracy: Gal Pals Lora and Tracy visit Beechwood Inn for a Gal Pals Getaway. There getaway starts on the first evening with a private wine-tasting and appetizers. Breakfast in the morning and then a day at the spa. Finish the day with an artisan pasta class and some wine. Read about their visit . . .

Gal Pal Getaway for Lora and Tracy

Here is the artisan pasta class menu for Tracy and Lora:

Tracy and Lora

Artisan Pasta Making Class

March 27, 2014

Aperitif: Fennel Sausage and Fontina Crostini

2011 Beechwood Inn Viognier

 Salad: Local Organic Micro-Greens,

Aged Balsamic-Shallot Dressing and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 House-made Spinach Ravioli Filled with Mascarpone and Parmesan

Fresh Lemon-Sage-Butter Sauce and Basil Chiffonade

Sour Dough Bread with Spring Ridge Creamery Butter

2010 Beechwood Inn Cabernet Sauvignon

 Dessert: Chocolate Rose Petal Pots du Creme

Fresh Brewed Coffee and Herb Teas

Fennel Sausage Crostini with Fontina

1/2 pound local ground pork sausage

1 teaspoon fennel seed, coarsely ground

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or other herbs such as sage or oregano)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 ounces grated Fontina


24 slices baguette, cut into 3/8 inch wide serving pieces (we also use local organic herb bread cut into 3 inch pieces).

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Heat Sauté pan and toast fennel seeds over medium heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant. Run the seeds through an herb grinder or mash them with a mortar and pestle. Crumble the sausage in a bowl. Add the grated Fontina cheese, fennel seeds, parsley, red pepper flakes and salt to taste (the local sausage we get from Blaylocks is seasoned already so we omit the salt and red pepper flakes). Place about one tablespoon of sausage onto each baguette, distributing evenly with your thumb. Spread the sausage mixture out to the edge of the bread as the sausage will shrink as it cooks. Try to make sure you use the same thickness of sausage on each baguette so that all the Crostini cook evenly.

Place Crostini in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until golden and crispy, about 12 minutes. For a variation you can use different cheeses such as parmesan or gorgonzola.  Another variation is to use ground lamb instead of pork sausage.

Citrus Scented Garlic-Shallot Vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Garlic Shallot Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons diced shallots
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1/4 cup aged vinegar high quality vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the aged vinegar and marmalade in a small bowl and stir to mix. Slowly drizzle the olive oil while stirring with a whisk to emulsify the oil. Add the mustard, shallots, salt, pepper and garlic and stir again to mix.

Spinach Ravioli with Tomatoes and Basil

Homemade ravioli is a fantastic special occasion treat. It is a lovely platform for your creative filling ideas and it always comes out tasting wonderful. Pasta-making aficionados consider it therapeutic, relaxing, calming, meditative, deeply satisfying, even sensual.  There is undeniable culinary romance in the idea of fresh pasta.


3 oz mascarpone

3 oz Ricotta

½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

2 egg yolks

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or seasonal herbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Add the ricotta, mascarpone, Parmigiano, whole egg, yolk, garlic and mint and stir together until well mixed. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place in the refrigerator until needed.

For the Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 stick unsalted butter

2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 shallots finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 sage large leaves

¼ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon arrowroot

Salt to taste

Fresh Chervil for garnish

Grated parmesan for garnish

Paprika for garnish

Lemon Slice

the sauce:  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil. When olive oil is hot add sage leaves; cook until bubbling stops, remove sage and discard.  Add butter and heat until just bubbling and frothy.  Add shallots and cook until glassy, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.   Add arrowroot to the wine and mix until smooth. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and white wine, swirl to combine. Cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Add cooked ravioli and carefully stir to coat the ravioli.

Transfer to plates and sprinkle with chopped chervil and some grated parmesan. Top with a slice of lemon and dust plate with paprika. If you can get cocktail crab claws the addition of one per serving makes a nice garnish.

Spinach Pasta Dough

1/2 pound spinach stems removed

1 egg yolk

1 whole egg

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Flour for rolling

Place the spinach, egg yolks and the whole egg in a blender and process until it is completely smooth. It should measure approximately 1 cup. Place flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt on the work surface and make a well in the center. Add the spinach mixture into the well. Using a fork or your thumb and first finger, bring the flour in from the sides until the mixture thickens. If you run out of spinach mixture, add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of water as needed until the dough holds together in a ball. Then use a pastry scraper to incorporate the remaining flour. The dough should be fairly dry but still hold together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes by forming it into a ball. Knead it until it is smooth, kneading in additional flour if it sticks to your fingers or to the work surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Alternately this can be made in the food processor. If you are using this method, add 1 to 2 tablespoons less of the spinach mixture and process until it looks crumbly in texture. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, in the refrigerator for 1 day or in the freezer for 1 month. This recipe makes about 1 pound pasta, enough for 40 to 45 ravioli.

Assembling Ravioli: Divide the pasta dough into 3 pieces. With pasta machine on thickest setting roll the pasta dough through a couple of times to knead-it. Set the pasta machine for the next thinner setting and run it through again. Roll the pasta through thinner settings until the piece of pasta is about 1/16 inch thick, or so you can almost see your hand through it. Place the piece of pasta on a floured surface.  

Place one heaping tablespoon of the filling just below the center of the sheet. Place another heaping tablespoon 1 ½ inches away. Continue all the way down the sheet. Each sheet should hold approximately 10 mounds of filling. Spray a very light mist of water around the edges or use a pastry brush to brush lightly with water. Fold the top over the filling to meet at the other side. With your fingers, go around the filling to seal the ravioli. With a zigzag cutter cut to form square and place on a baking sheet lined with towels and dusted heavily with flour. Repeat with the remaining two pieces.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until al dente, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and toss with the butter. Place the ravioli on a platter and spoon the tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the grated Parmigianino and basil and serve immediately. Makes about 40 – 45 ravioli and serves 6 – 8 as a main course. 

Chocolate Rose Petal Pot de Crème


1 Cup Whole Milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons rose water

6 Ounces High Quality Bittersweet Chocolate

6 Large Egg Yolks

¼ Cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Collect 8 custard cups or ramekins with 4 ounce capacity.  Assemble them in a deep sided baking dish (best if it has a lid).

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a saucepan and add the rose water. While waiting for the milk to boil put the chocolate in a medium double boiler and simmer water underneath.  Whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Stir chocolate until is melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat. Strain the milk into a large measuring cup and slowly pour it into the chocolate mixture while whisking, about ½ cup at a time. Whisk until it is fully incorporated before adding more.

Then in a slow stream carefully whisk chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and sugar to temper the eggs.

Pour the custard into a gravy separator, and then fill the custard cups, leaving the froth that floats to the top behind.  If you don’t have a separator, use a ladle to skim the froth off the custard, then carefully ladle into the custard cups. Place about 1 inch of boiling water into the high sided pan holding the custard cups.  Carefully put the dish into the oven, and tightly cover with the lid or with foil. Bake until the custards are just set, about 20 – 30 minutes.   They should still jiggle like loose Jell-0 when you move them, but they will not be liquid in the center.

Once they are out of the oven, let the custard rest uncovered in the bath water for 10 minutes.  Remove them from the water and refrigerate until cold.  Remove them from the refrigerator about an hour before serving as the texture is smoother when they are not cold.  Top with a small dollop of whipped crème, a raspberry and a chiffonade of rose organic petals.

Makes 8 servings

Authors Note: How to Make Your own Rosewater: Use aromatic roses. Pick freshly opened flowers in the early morning or in the cool part of the day. Make sure they have not been sprayed with pesticides. Detach the petals and place them in a bowl or strainer and rinse well. When detaching rose petals, pull gently as they bruise easily. Fill a pot with clean rose petals. Pour boiling water over and cover with a lid. Allow to stand. Place the cooled mixture in the refrigerator overnight. Strain. You’ll have a beautifully colored liquid that you can use in recipes that call for the addition of rosewater.

Chef David Darugh and Pastry Chef Gayle Darugh

Beechwood Inn

North Georgia Cooking Classes