Wickwood Inn Notebook recipes
A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  A N D  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T Topiary S P R I N G  2 0 0 6






"Cuisine is when things taste like themselves."      

In Wickwood's Kitchen ...

Our secret for the most luscious shortcake is to puree some of the berries – spark it with lemon and orange juice and let the berries and puree marry at room temperature. Then, when we're ready for dessert, the biscuits must be piping hot, the berries warm and juicy and the cream icy cool! It’s perfection! This serves 4 or more depending on how hungry!

2 quarts ripe strawberries, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces (approx. 6 cups cut berries).
2 oranges, juice only
2 lemons, juice only
4 - 6 tablespoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of berries.
2 pints blueberries
2 pints raspberries
1 pint blackberries

Very Berry Shortcake

oftly Whipped Cream:
2 pints heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 - 3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream

2 1/3 cups "Bisquick, original
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Several hours prior to serving, trim and cut strawberries and place in a bowl.
2. Remove 2 cups of strawberries and one pint of raspberries and place in blender. Add (hand squeezed) juices of lemons, orange and 4 tablespoons of sugar, taste for sweetness.
3. Pour puree over cut strawberries-add blueberries and taste for sweetness. Set aside at room temperature.
4. In a medium mixing bowl (with or without beater) whip the cream until it has soft peaks. Add the vanilla, and sugar to taste. Whip just one minute more. Fold in the sour cream, cover and chill until ready to serve.
5. 20 minutes prior to serving, preheat oven to 425°.  Ready ungreased baking sheet. Add raspberries and blueberries to berry mixture.
6. Place all biscuit ingredients (in order) into a medium mixing bowl and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
7. Drop 4 large or 8 smaller biscuits into even amounts onto baking sheet. Bake 11-15 minutes (depending on size) on middle rack in oven. Golden brown is desired doneness.
8. When biscuits are done, immediately place 1-2 biscuits, as desired in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Ladle berries and juice over hot biscuits.
9. Top with a generous dolling of Softly Whipped Cream.
• Note: I don’t wash berries as they absorb so much water. But clearly, look for any leaves, mold or dirt.



2 pie crusts (We use Wick’s)
1 beaten whole egg with 1 tablespoon water
3 cups trimmed asparagus cut in ¼” pieces
1½ cups Gruyere
1 cup Parmesan
7 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Keeping crust in refrigerator to keep chilled - take one crust at a time, and carefully place in 11” diameter by x 2” deep pie plate. Press pie shell onto bottom and irregularly up sides of dish over top edge of dish - to make a “rustic” looking edge. If necessary, use small amount of water to help "mend" pie crust into seamless crust
3. Beat egg and water very well with fork - use pastry brush to brush crust with egg wash - sides and bottom. Poke crust 10 times. Bake 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
4. Place eggs, salt, pepper, cream, and milk into large mixing bowl and beat lightly until well combined.
5. Spread 3 cups of asparagus over torta crust. Sprinkle Gruyere and Parmesan over asparagus .
6. Pour the egg mixture over the torta - place in oven. Bake 55 minutes - allow 8-10 minutes setting time before cutting.
• Note: You can cover crust edges lightly w/foil if browning too much.

Asparagus by the bunch

Once we discovered this method of cooking asparagus - we make them at our house about twice a week. We actually prefer them roasted a bit longer, until slightly browned and crispy. Your choice.

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Spread asparagus, tips facing same direction in one layer on a baking sheet
3. Lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil in a zigzag pattern. Sprinkle generously with cracked black pepper, and lightly with sea salt.
4. Bake 15 - 30 (usually 20) minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus and desired crispiness. Serve immediately.

Variations to the basic recipe:
• Add thinly sliced lemons and oregano.
• Sprinkle orange zest and 1 tablespoon juice.
• Lightly sprinkle pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika); garlic powder or sherry vinegar.
• During the last 5 minutes of roasting generously place shards of
  Parmegiano Reggiano down the center of the asparagus. Before
  serving, drizzle lightly aged balsamico. Yum.

Fresh lemons
Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say,
and not giving a damn."      
Gore Vidal

Lemons (and limes) just naturally accent true flavor. They help by awakening your taste buds so everything just tastes more delicious.

Lemon trees first came from China or India and have been prized for thousands of years. Tree ripened lemons are very sweet with little acidity. Most lemons used for cooking are picked under ripe. The best known variety are the Eureka (available year-round) and the smooth surfaced Lisbon. Lemons should be slightly soft and will tend to be juicier if squeezed at room temperature.

The very popular Meyer lemons is a hybrid of a regular lemon and a mandarin orange - its complex flavor hints of lime, lemons and mandarin - and it is generally less acidic  -therefore sweeter. They are making their way into winter markets but backyard trees are treasured.

Mail Order:
Snow’s Citrus ~ (916) 663-1884
Melissa's ~ (800) 588-0151
Arkin's ~ (760) 728-1610

Meyer lemon juice concentrate:
Perfect Puree of Napa on Amazon.com

Lemon Mousse Lemon Mousse with Raspberries


In the early days of the Silver Palate - we served the press three fruit mousses for breakfast at designer Oleg Cassini’s townhouse. It was resplendent with two full coats of armor standing at attention in the living room! Today, thirty years later, mousse at breakfast, lunch or dinner is still swell with me!

5 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces gingersnap cookies (the popular boxed brand is fine)
2 pints of fresh raspberries

To make the mousse:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until blended. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a flat heat-resistant or wooden spatula until thick, about 8 minutes.
2. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
3. In a medium bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the cold lemon mousse. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
4. To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4 - 5 quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the gingersnaps to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice or more. Garnish the top layer with raspberries. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or up to 8 hours, but no longer before serving.

It’s the best burger we’ve had of late, great meat topped with a cheese such as Gorgonzola mixed with a smidgen of butter. Find the best butcher possible - you get what you pay for. We prefer using ground sirloin meat, which is 20% fat-ground chuck is more fatty (between 20% and 25% fat), while ground round can be too lean (between 10% and 15% fat). Serves 4

2 pounds lean ground beef; preferably ground sirloin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) Gorgonzola or blue cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In large bowl, combine the meat, salt, and pepper. Form into four evenly shaped patties, handling as little as possible.
2. Put the cheese in a bowl and blend in butter thoroughly with a fork until creamy. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high. Sauté the burgers for 4 minutes per side for medium rare. During the final minute of cooking, top each with equal amounts of Gorgonzola mixture - cover until melted. Remove from heat and rush to a warmed plate with or without bun. Move quickly, burgers will keep cooking. Savour slowly.


A light and refreshing Italian drink that’s popular in the summertime. We even love it added to cool whipped cream.

12 lemons, Meijer (preferable), Eureka or Lisbon
1 orange
1 750 milliliter bottle good vodka
2 cup sugar

1. Finely grate the zest of the lemons and orange, be careful not to add any of the white pith or it will give an unpleasant bitterness.
2. In a large jar, combine the zest and the vodka. Seal slightly and place in a cool, dark place for 1 month
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in 3 cups water. Let cool completely.
4. Using a sieve lined with cheesecloth, set over a bowl, strain the vodka mixture. Stir the sugar syrup into it. Use a funnel to pour into a 1-liter bottle and seal.
5. Place in a cool, dark place for 30 days to marry the flavors.
6. Keep at room temperature or in the freezer until ready to serve.
7. Serve one ounce at a time straight up or over ice. You’ll smile.

Molecular Gastronomy

The talk of the foodies these days centers on two main topics:
Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor by Herv
é  This. A French doctor with a degree in molecular gastronomy (the world’s only). This has cutting edge ideas challenging traditional cooking and eating. There are new ways to prepare everything from steak to hard boiled eggs - all in the name of flavor!
Raw foods. This eating trend began in California and is rapidly spreading around the world. Its advocates eat only organic vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and cook nothing over 120°. The gurus include Chicago’s Charlie Trotter, Mill Valley’s “ Raw” chef Roxanne Klein and stretches to Parrot Cay, Bali, Marbella and Mexico. It’s a serious trend to watch. Stay tuned.

Lemon Tree


½ cup plain yogurt
6 tablespoons mayonnaise (Hellman’s)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely minced (or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Let rest at room temperature and drizzle over steamed tender crisp or roasted potatoes.

Baby Red Potatoes


A cocktail-time variation of my favorite Herb-Roasted Potatoes. This time, they have more pepper to spark everyone’s wits. The smaller the better. Serves 20

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups smallest new red potatoes (pea to marble sized if possible)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (very fine)
sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and pepper. Sprinkle with the seasonings. Place in a roasting pan and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until tender. Toss with the garlic, sea salt and mint and serve warm. Pass the toothpicks.

Lambs at play


Spring lamb is well worth waiting for and worth the price!

4 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
Coarsely ground black pepper
Course sea salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 loin chops, about ¾ inch thick
3 lemons cut into wedges

1. In a mini food processor fitted with a metal blade add the garlic, rosemary, pepper, and salt combined. Pour in olive oil and pulse into a paste. Rub the paste on both sides of the loin chops, marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2. Remove from refrigerator and allow the chops to reach room temperature; it will take about 20 minutes.
3. Heat a grill pan over high heat until almost smoking or preheat the broiler, add the chops and sear for about 2 minutes, turn over and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3½ minutes for medium.
Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze.

Makes one cup

1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Put the garlic and salt into a small bowl and mash into a paste. Transfer the past to a mini food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well.

Makes one cup

2 slices wheat bread, crusts removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup prepared horseradish
1 garlic clove, crushed
freshly ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a mini food processor until well blended.

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Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |   http://www.wickwoodinn.com/    |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors