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Refined American Cuisine - Article

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Article: "Refined American Cuisine"
Author: Chris Sadler
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Copyright:  2004 Chris Sadler
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Refined American Cuisine

by Chris Sadler -

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.

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

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.

About the Author:
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