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Pumpkin Risotto with Chanterelles and Apples
By Patrick O’Connell
Chef/Proprietor of The Inn At Little Washington


Serves 5 to 6

The velvety texture of a risotto is heightened by the addition of a seasonal pumpkin puree. The addition of Virginia apples and toasted pecans enhances the natural elements of fall. The risotto base can be made in advance, kept in the refrigerator for a few days and finished in only a few minutes.

Ingredients For the Risotto Base:

1 T. minced garlic
3 T. minced shallot
1 lb Carnaroli or Arborio rice
Whole butter as needed
1 bottle white wine
Chicken stock as needed
  1. Over medium heat, in a heavy bottom sauce pot, sweat the shallot and garlic in whole butter
  2. Add the rice and parch until it sounds like pebbles (dries out)
  3. Add the wine and cook down until almost gone, stirring frequently
  4. Add the chicken stock to cover the rice
  5. Simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender but still Al dente (you may need 1-2 more additions of stock to cook rice to desired texture)
  6. Remove rice from pot and spread thinly on sheet pan. Cool rapidly in refrigerator

Ingredients For the Pumpkin Puree:

1 each seeded kuri squash, large dice
¼ lb butter
3 T. sherry vinegar
4 T. pure maple syrup
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 T. fennel seed
1 T. whole clove
Salt as needed
Water as needed
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place diced squash in roasting pan and season with salt, butter, syrup and vinegar. Add thyme, fennel and clove to bottom of pan with ¼” of water
  3. Cover with foil and bake for one hour or until tender
  4. Remove cloves and puree in blender until smooth.
  5. Pass pure through chinois, adjust seasoning if necessary and reserve.

To Finish

1 c. cleaned and sliced fresh chanterelles
30 each small parisian kuri squash (blanched)
30 each small parisian apple (Granny Smith)
1 T. minced candied ginger
Fresh grated nutmeg to taste
Ground white pepper to taste
Whole butter as needed
Grated parmesan as needed
Calvados as needed
Brown butter toasted pecans as needed
Micro greens as needed (radish, kale, tatsoi etc.)
  1. In a large, heavy bottom sauté pan, sear the chanterelles in whole butter until lightly colored
    Add the ginger and nutmeg and a couple teaspoons calvados
    Add the par cooked rice, a small ladle of squash puree and adjust with chicken stock. Cook until desired consistency
    Mount in whole butter and parmesan cheese. Adjust seasoning with nutmeg, salt, pepper, calvados and squash puree to taste
    Garnish with brown butter toasted pecans and micro greens

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Apple Rutabaga Soup
By Patrick O’Connell
Chef/Proprietor of The Inn At Little Washington


Makes 2 quarts, 6-8 servings

I only recently rediscovered Rutabagas and am so happy I did. They were something my mother used to prepare when we were kids — usually as a puree — and even though I thought they tasted a little weird, their gorgeous golden color made you want another mouthful.

This soup looks and tastes like liquid autumn. All year long we look forward to serving it again in the fall. It’s incredibly simple to put together and can be made well in advance and frozen. The elusive secret ingredient is a bit of maple syrup, which enhances the natural sweetness of the rutabaga.

Water or vegetable stock may be successfully substituted for the chicken stock if you wish to make this soup vegetarian, or if you don’t want to bother making chicken stock.


1 stick (1/4 pound) butter
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 cup Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 cup rutabaga, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 quart good chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup maple syrup
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, apple, rutabaga, squash, carrots and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until all of the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
  3. Purée the vegetables in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into the same pot you used to cook the vegetables. Add the cream, maple syrup, salt and cayenne pepper.
  4. Return the pot to the stove, bring the soup to a simmer, and serve.


Warm Granny Smith Apple Tart with Buttermilk Ice Cream
By Patrick O’Connell
Chef/Proprietor of The Inn At Little Washington

Apple Tart with Buttermilk Ice Cream

Serves 6

Total prep and cooking time 1 – 1 ½ hours depending on the ice cream maker.

Being in the heart of apple-growing country, we’ve tried every apple dessert imaginable over the years. This is the most delicate of apple tarts. Apple slices are sautéed briefly in butter, whiskey and cream, then arranged on thin disks of pastry and baked just before serving. A scoop of buttermilk ice cream melting on top makes them even more irresistible. The tarts can be assembled well in advance and baked just before serving.


Your favorite pie, croissant or puff pastry dough
2 Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons heavy cream
6 tablespoons of your favorite bourbon or Jack Daniels
Nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup sugar mixed with 1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
Buttermilk Ice Cream (see attached recipe)
  1. On a floured board, roll the dough out to about ⅛inch thick. Lay a bowl about 5 inches in diameter upside down on the dough and using the rim as a pattern, cut out six circles with a sharp knife. Place the pastry rounds between sheets of waxed paper and refrigerate.
  2. Peel and core the apples. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the apples into ⅛ inch sections.
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples and cook for several minutes. Add the cinnamon and cream. Carefully add the Southern Comfort, averting your face, as it will ignite. Continue cooking until the apples are soft and pliable.
  4. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon and place on a non-reactive baking sheet. Cool in the refrigerator.
  5. Simmer the cooking liquid until it is reduced by ½. Set this mixture aside to glaze the tarts after they have been baked.
  6. Remove the pastry rounds from the refrigerator. Spray several baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and lay the rounds on them. Place the chilled apple slices in concentric circles around the pastry, leaving a ¼ inch border at the edges. Roll one apple tart in a tight circle to form a rosette and place in the center of each tart. (The tarts may be assembled up to the point and refrigerated.)
  7. Preheat the oven to 400˚.
  8. Dust the tarts with cinnamon sugar and bake for 7 minutes, or until the crust is a rich golden brown.
  9. Remove the tarts from the oven and brush with reserved cooking liquid.

Buttermilk Ice Cream

Yield – 1 quart, 6-8 portions


5 egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  1. In the top of a double boiler over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until slightly thickened and foamy.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan combine the milk and cream and scald.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, and continue to cook over medium heat until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and strain.
  4. Cool to room temperature and add the buttermilk. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instruction. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.

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Truffled Popcorn
By Patrick O’Connell
Chef/Proprietor of The Inn At Little Washington


Because dining in our kitchen is a bit like dinner and a movie, we often serve this version of popcorn at the Chef’s Table. Even without the fresh black truffle this will be the best popcorn your guests have ever tasted.

Pop ¼ cup raw popcorn in an air popper or in your favorite popcorn popper following the manufacturers’ directions.

To dress the popcorn:

⅛ cup melted butter
2 tablespoons good quality truffle oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
½ cup grated, aged parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small, fresh, white or black truffle (optional)
  1. Place the warm popped corn in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Toss the popcorn with the remaining ingredients, reserving the truffle to grate at the table.

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Pistachio-Crusted Lamb on Rutabaga Rosti with Gingered Carrot Sauce
By Patrick O’Connell
Chef/Proprietor of The Inn At Little Washington

Serves 6

Pistachio-Crusted Lamb on Rutabage Rosti

The gingered carrot sauce has only three ingredients and couldn’t be simpler. The sauce is so versatile it can even be used with fish dishes.
The addition of rutabaga to the accompanying rosti potato cake contributes an unexpected hint of natural sweetness that enhances both the carrot sauce and the flavor of the pistachios.

Gingered Carrot Sauce
1 quart organic carrot juice
1 one inch chunk of fresh ginger root, peeled
1 ½ cups creme fraiche
salt and freshly ground white pepper to tasteRutabaga Rosti
2 large Idaho type baking potatoes
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and quartered
1 medium onion, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
½ cup clarified butter

3 one-and-a -half-pound racks of lamb, each comprising about 8 rib bones
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup Dijon mustard
½ pound brown sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios


For the Gingered Carrot Sauce

  1. Place the carrot juice and ginger root in a 2- quart saucepan and simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the carrot juice is reduced to 1 cup.
  2. Remove and discard the ginger root and, over low heat, whisk in the creme fraiche. Season with salt and white pepper. The sauce may be made in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and rewarmed before serving.

For the Rutabaga Rosti

  1. Peel the potatoes, leaving them whole. Combine with the rutabaga and steam for 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Using the large holed blade of a box grater, shred the potatoes and rutabaga. Fold in the finely chopped onions.
  3. Season the shredded vegetables with salt and pepper and form them into 6 cakes
  4. In a large skillet, heat half of the clarified butter over medium heat. Carefully place 3 cakes in the skillet and brown them on both sides for about 5 to 7 minutes for each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining clarified butter and vegetable cakes. The rostis can be made up to 1 hour in advance and rewarmed before serving.

For the Lamb

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper
  3. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and bake for about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the lamb, place it on the cutting board, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Lay the sharp knife against the bone and slip the meat off 2 of the racks in one piece, leaving one rack as is.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk the mustard and brown sugar together. Using a pastry brush, coat the meat with the mustard mixture, then roll each rack in the chopped pistachios. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven and let rest.

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