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 7

Chicken marbella 
"Almost everyone has something secret he likes to eat."   
M.F.K. Fisher

In Wickwood's Kitchen ---

One of the first entrees we served at The Silver Palate, also became a favorite once our cookbook was published. And “some people” said American’s wouldn’t eat prunes, Spanish green olives, or capers. Those people were very wrong!!

Great hot as an entrée, room temp on a buffet or picnic, and even better the day after. When there are leftovers, we love to re-heat them atop the stove, make a red wine vinaigrette, adding some of the warm Marbella juices to it, blanche some asparagus and place them atop arugula. Then just top the salad with the warm Marbella and enjoy. (mar-bay-yah) Serves 8 or more.

½ cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes
½ cup pitted Spanish green olives
½ cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
¼ cup dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 chickens (2½ pounds each) quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, finely chopped

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.
4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

Carrot and Orange Soup

One of our most popular soups. It’s great with young carrots, but it’s also very good year round. We serve this at The Inn for Hor’s d’oeuvres , at room temperature, in small apertivo glasses.

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
12 large carrots (1½ to 2 pounds) peeled and chopped
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup fresh orange juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated orange zest, to taste


1. Melt the butter over low heat in a large heavy pot. Add the onions, cover, and cook until tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes.
2. Add the carrots and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Pour the soup through a strainer and transfer the solids to a food processor, or use a food mill fitted with a medium disc. Add 1 cup of the cooking stock and process until smooth.
4. Return the puree to the pot and add the orange juice and 2-3 cups more stock, until the soup is of the desired consistency.
5. Season with salt and pepper, add the orange zest. Simmer until heated through. Serve immediately.

Note: When we serve this soup for sipping from a cup or a glass, we strain the soup a second time..

Minted Sweet Pean and Spinach Soup

This elegant soup is a perfect beginning to an evening. It’s wonderful with fresh young peas straight from the garden, but we often make it with frozen. The only cardinal rule is that the mint must be fresh! This tastes like Spring. Serves 6

4 tablespoons (½ stick ) unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
3 cups Chicken Broth
10 ounces fresh or frozen peas (defrosted)
½ bunch of fresh mint
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over low heat. Add the chopped onions, cover, and cook until tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, drain the spinach and squeeze out the excess liquid. Pour the stock into the pot, stir in the peas and spinach, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, until the peas are really tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove the mint leaves from their stems: there should be 2 cups loosely packed leaves, Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. When the peas are tender, add the mint to the pot, cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour the soup through a strainer, reserving the liquid, and transfer the solids to a food processor, or use a food mill fitted with the medium disc. Add 1 cup of the cooking stock and process until smooth.
5. Return the pureed soup to the pot. Add the heavy cream and about 1 cup more stock, until the soup is of the desired consistency.
6. Season with salt and pepper, simmer briefly to heat through, and serve immediately.

Orange and Onion Salad

This typically Mediterranean salad is very refreshing as well as a beautiful addition to any table. It’s best to chill it briefly, but not too long, so that the flavors remain distinctive.

6 large, firm, juicy oranges
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 medium-size red onion, peeled and sliced paper-thin
1 cup imported black olives (ideally, tiny black nicoise olives, but kalamata or alfonso will do)
¼ cup snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper , to taste


1. Peel the oranges and cut each one into 4-5 crosswise slices. Transfer the oranges to a shallow serving dish and sprinkle them with the vinegar, olive oil, and oregano. Toss gently, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Toss the oranges again, arrange the sliced onions and black olives over them decoratively, sprinkle with the chives, and grind on the pepper.

"We must eat to live and live to eat." Henry Fielding


We love roasted asparagus, and prepare it so often, that it can become a bit boring. Sometimes we sprinkle it with Parmesan shavings, or crumbled Roquefort as it comes out of the oven, cheese melting as its transferred to serving dishes. Sometimes we jazz it up with a sprinkling of fresh thyme , slivers of Proscuitto, or a dash of traditionale Balsamico. This is a sure fire way to encourage you to roast asparagus --- you’ll become a convert. Serves 4

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1 pound medium-size asparagus, woody ends removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 lemons, halved crosswise, for garnish


1. To prepare the gremolata: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl with a fork. Cover and set aside. (Makes ¼ cup) 2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Place the asparagus in a roasting pan in a single layer, facing the same direction. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with the gremolata. Serve with the lemon halves.

We love to pick blackberries when they’re ripe and bursting with juice, but in a pinch when we crave this, thank goodness for IQF frozen berries. The flavor and color of this mousse are gorgeous. Serves 8-10

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
Juice and grated zest of 1 orange
2 pints blackberries, or 2 bags (10 ounces each) frozen berries without sugar; reserve several for garnish
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 cups heavy cream
8-10 whole berries, for garnish


1. Soak the gelatin in the cold water in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Add the orange juice, grated orange zest, and berries, and bring just to a boil, stirring. Cool to room temperature.
2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale yellow. Add the Cointreau and beat for another minute.
3. Put the egg yolk mixture in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until slightly thickened and hot to the touch. Cool to room temperature.
4. Add the egg yolk mixture to the blackberry mixture and stir until well blended. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold gently into the blackberry and egg yolk mixture. Divide among serving dishes and chill until ready to serve.
5. Top with whole berries scattered with amazing creativity.

These were a gift from NYC chef, Barry Wine, one of the best we’ve ever known. One taste and you’ll too appreciate his mastery. We love them served warm with a dollop of crème fraiche or vanilla gelato.

Butter, for greasing the pan
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (approximately 11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup light brown sugar
3½ cups shelled pecans, coarsely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 12 inch baking pan.
2. Make the crust: Sift the sugar and flour together. Cut in the butter, using two knives or a pastry blender, until fine crumbs form. Pat the crust into the prepared baking pan. Bake until golden brown, 20 minutes; remove from the oven. Leave the oven on.
3. Prepare the topping: Mix the melted butter, honey, cream, and brown sugar together. Stir in the pecans thoroughly. Spread over the crust.
4. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes more. Cool completely before cutting into squares. 36 squares.

Silver Palate Memories ---

Original Silver Palate Cookbook
Silver Palate Memory
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We’re all passionate about good food (or we wouldn’t be sharing this space) and I’d like to share with you my experience of discovering my own.

Year’s ago, I was a “corporate” person in NYC Fashion and Advertising, working with designers, organizing fashion shows, photography and working with the press --- it all sounds pretty glamorous. It was, as I look back, but to me it was just a way to pay the rent.

And all was fine, until I read The Auberge of The Flowering Hearth, Roy Andres de Groot’s description of his visit to the Auberge (Inn) in the Valley of Chartreuse and his enchantment with the two Innkeepers and their passion for cooking. It touched a nerve in me and I suddenly wanted to leave NY and go to chop carrots, anything, for those women. I wanted, to rub shoulders with their passion.

When we began The Silver Palate, I didn’t acknowledge how much I adored it until I had to choose which of my three new careers to pursue, Medical School, Designer Licensing, Market Research in Fashion, or my hobby, The Silver Palate Shop.

Suddenly The Shop and cooking were where my heart was. I followed it, gradually closing my other endeavors. But I never told anyone my feelings until I was invited to give several lectures at A Symposium on Entrepreneurship at The Stamford Business School in May of 1983 (I think they were bored with computers and thought food was comic relief). For hours, amidst packed classrooms, I tried to answer entrepreneurial questions from students who had a new dream for an invention or a business and didn’t know how to proceed.

Suddenly I found myself saying “follow your passion and the money will come. Don’t keep asking people if you should do it --- if it’s right, one day you’ll stop thinking about it and just do it. Then you’ll start waking up everyday with a 1000 new ideas, anxious to get to work to put them into play".

And, in our case we had the added benefit of instant gratification when our customers stopped in, while strolling after at-home Silver Palate dinners, to shower us with praise. It certainly made getting up the next morning at 5 a little easier.

 "A recipe is only a theme which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation"
Madame Jehane Benoit

Silver Palate Memory
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Silver Palate Cookbook 25

To order your own autographed copy of the Silver Palate Cookbook – email us at silverpalatecb@wickwoodinn.com



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