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October’s recipe features one of Patrick’s favorite vegetables. Click here to download the recipe for Rutabaga Puree.


Apple Rutabaga Soup


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.

Patrick O’Connell, Chef/Proprietor
The Inn at Little Washington

Makes 2 quarts, 6-8 servings

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 strainer 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.

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Mélange of Spicy Big Eye Tuna with Mango, Avocado, Crispy Shallots and Sake-Yuzu Sorbet







Patrick O’Connell, Chef/Proprietor
The Inn at Little Washington

Serves 6

For the Tuna:
1 pound fresh tuna (preferably, 1+ sushi grade) cut into medium dice (about 3 cups)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into medium dice
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into medium dice
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fried shallots (recipe below)
Juice of 1 lime
4 tablespoons of Soy Marinade (recipe below)
Salt and sugar to taste

1. In a large mixing bowl combine the tuna, avocado, mango, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, red pepper flakes and fried shallots. Gently mix with a spatula to combine.

2. Just before serving, dress the tuna mixture with the Soy Marinade and lime juice. Season with the salt and sugar to taste. Mix once more with the spatula.

To serve:
Micro Cilantro Leaves for Garnish
Fried Shrimp Chips (available at most Asian Markets)
1 cup Sake Yuzu Sorbet (recipe below)

1. In each of 6 serving bowls, place a small mound of the tuna mixture.

2. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and fried shrimp chips.

3. Place a small scoop of Sake-Yuzu sorbet on top of the tuna.

Crispy Fried Shallots:
1 peeled shallot, sliced into paper thin rings
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or peanut oil (for deep frying)
Salt to taste

1. In a deep fryer or heavy pot, heat the oil to 300 degrees.

2. Dredge the shallot rings in flour quickly and shake off the excess flour.

3. Add the onion rings to the hot oil, turning them frequently with a skimmer or slotted spoon until they just turn golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. (The shallots will continue to brown and crisp after they are removed from the oil.)

Soy Marinade:
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce (Nuoc Mam)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
4 tablespoons sugar

1. Whisk all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. This can be made up to one week in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Sake-Yuzu Sorbet:
1 quart simple syrup
½ cup bottled yuzu juice (available at Asian Markets)
¼ cup sake
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1. Whisk all ingredients together and freeze according to ice cream maker’s instructions.

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Glazed Oysters Drunk on Champagne


Three favorite indulgences — oysters, champagne and caviar — are combined in this dish. The oysters are poached in their shells with champagne, napped with a champagne hollandaise, given a golden glaze under the broiler and finished with a decadent dollop of caviar. The oysters emerge, barely warmed through and more seductive than ever. We serve them on a bed of rock salt or blanched seaweed.



Patrick O’Connell, Chef/Proprietor
The Inn at Little Washington

Makes 24 oysters

To make the Champagne Hollandaise Sauce:
1 pound butter
3 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
¼ cup champagne
¼ cup cold water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch each of salt, paprika, cayenne and freshly ground white pepper


1. Melt one pound of butter and keep warm.

2. Place the egg yolks, cornstarch (optional), champagne and cold water in the top of a double boiler or a stainless steel bowl. Set the mixture over a pot of simmering water and whisk vigorously until the yolks begin to thicken. Continue whisking until the yolks are pale yellow and very thick, about 6 to 8 minutes. Do not overcook or the yolks may scramble.

3. Remove the yolks from heat and slowly begin to whisk in the warm butter. Add all of the butter except for the milky residue in the bottom of the pan.

4. Whisk in the lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, salt and white pepper.
Keep the sauce covered in a warm (not hot) place.

Note: Hollandaise sauce can be held for several hours in an earthenware crock in a warm spot on the back of the stove or in a stainless steel canister resting in a water bath at 125 degrees. Be aware that if it becomes too cold or too hot, it may separate.

For the oysters:
24 large fresh oysters
½ pound fresh spinach
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt and sugar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup champagne
4 ounces caviar (optional)


1. Scrub the oyster shells with a stiff brush under cold running water. Using an oyster knife, pry open the oysters, discard the top shells, loosen the oyster from the bottom shell and place the oysters on their half shells on a baking sheet. (The oysters may be opened ahead of time and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several hours.)

2. Preheat the broiler to high.

3. Wash and stem the spinach. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach, season it with salt, sugar and pepper and sauté until it is just wilted.

4. Tuck a few leaves of wilted spinach under each oyster. Douse each oyster with a little champagne.

5. Place the oysters under the hot broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds, until they are warmed through. They should still look almost raw.

6. Completely nap each oyster with Champagne Hollandaise Sauce and place them back under the broiler until the sauce is golden brown, rotating the baking sheet so that the sauce will brown evenly on each oyster.

7. Carefully transfer the hot oysters to serving plates, spoon a dollop of caviar on the center of each one if desired and serve immediately.

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Spruced Up Turkey


These days, commercial turkeys and chickens too often lack flavor and succulence. Here is a way to make your Thanksgiving turkey or a simple roast chicken taste like those your grandmother might have raised on the farm. The spruce branches (taken from an ornamental blue spruce or Norway spruce) impart a delightfully wild and woodsy taste. Soaking the turkey overnight in a brine solution infuses the meat with exotic, fragrant flavors and plumps the bird. Don’t feel obligated to include every single one of the ingredients for the brine if any are difficult to obtain. Rather, use the list of ingredients as a guideline and improvise as you wish.

Patrick O’Connell, Chef/Proprietor
The Inn at Little Washington

Serves 12-24

For the Brine:
1 ¼ cups kosher salt
3 ¼ cups sugar
2 cups honey
2 lemons, cut in half
6 sprigs fresh parsley
6 sprigs fresh dill

6 sprigs fresh thyme

6 sprigs fresh tarragon
6 sprigs fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 whole cinnamon sticks
5 whole bay leaves
8 whole cloves
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon whole cardamom pods
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
5 whole star anise
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 two-foot long spruce branch, washed and cut into small pieces
1 one-foot long piece of sassafras root, washed and cut into small pieces (If you can’t find whole sassafras root, 3 to 4 ounces of loose sassafras tea can be substituted.)
2 gallons boiling water


1. Combine all ingredients except the boiling water in a 5-gallon heat-proof container large enough to hold the turkey.

2. Pour the boiling water over the brine ingredients and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

3. Submerge the turkey in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the Turkey:
1 fresh turkey, 18 to 20 pound fresh
A 2 by 2 foot square of cheesecloth
2 pounds (eight sticks) butter, melted and kept warm
Spruce limbs for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it off under cold water.

3. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Carefully dip the cheesecloth into the melted butter and lay it on top of the turkey.

4. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 3 to 4 hours, basting the cheesecloth with melted butter about every 30 minutes. The turkey is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160 degrees.

5. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the cheesecloth and place the turkey on a serving platter. Surround the platter with the spruce branches.

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