Pane/ Zanella Portmanteau

A portmanteau is a linguistic blend of words in which parts are combined to form a new word, like panzanella – the Italian words for pane (bread) and zanella (deep plate). This fine evening, ChezHelvetica served a Peach Panzanella Salad, blending words and the freshest of this season’s bounty. From the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Tory Farms Peaches, Acme Bread New York Rye, Zucchini and Celery macerated in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Champagne Vinegar, then accented with Basil Chiffonade. Our first course was a creamy Asparagus-Broccolini Soup, followed by the Panzanella Salad and Roasted Chicken Breasts seasoned with Parsley and Lemon. Smooth, chilled Acacia Chardonnay from Carneros paired perfectly with our meal. Delicious “Grandma Harvey’s Cherry Cobbler”, a recipe from Gotelli & Sons Farm at the VA Farmers Market, burst with the sweetest Bing and Ranier Cherries served warm a lá Mode. A truly wonderful celebration for visiting family! 


Amaranthaceae – with Warm Bacon Dressing

From the edible flowering plant family Amaranthaceae (first grown in 14th century Persia), behold Spinach! Catherine de’ Medici, Queen of France, so loved Spinach, she insisted it be served at every meal. The name “Florentine” evolved for dishes using this leafy green in reference to Florence, her place of birth. From Catherine’s table in 1533 to ChezHelvetica’s in 2013, we dined on Spinach Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing. Sweet Red Onion and White Mushrooms from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and Baby Spinach from Trader Joe’s received their savory crown of thick sliced Bacon, Balsamic Vinegar and Dijon Mustard dressing. Homemade Chicken Soup and Acme Bread’s wonderful Pan de Mie completed this course of the feast, paired with lush Geyser Peak Sonoma County Chardonnay. Tory Farm’s first of the season Peaches, sauteed in butter and served a la Mode with roasted Walnuts, royally concluded this Saturday soiree!

Sizzling Shrimp Scampi

Food & Wine’s October issue featuring Sizzling Shrimp Scampi set the theme for this delicious dinner. Gulf of Mexico prawns, surrounded by a bubbling butter flavored with lemon, garlic, parsley, basil and thyme, took center stage while also providing the dip for our artichokes and bread. The Acme Bread sweet batard and prawns were purchased at Bryan’s; the artichokes from Richmond Produce Market, a wonderful local shop. Although Julia Child has been renown to say “nobody has to know” about your food travails, mea culpa that the artichokes set off the smoke alarm making it a completely sizzling meal. A William Hill Chardonnay from Bevmo cooled everything down!