Delectable Spring Fare

A Menu to Celebrate the Season! Reprinted from Spring 2016.
Spring Pea Scallops • Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Salad • Tournedos • Pan-Roasted Halibut with Creamed Leeks and Wild Mushrooms • Chocolate Beer Cake

It’s time to celebrate spring, and the recipes we’ve lined up for you in this issue do just that. With seasonal ingredients and enough flair to befit a holiday celebration, it’s the perfect menu for this refreshing and inspiring time of year. Our thanks go out to Russell Nelson, chef at the Ruddy Duck Seafood & Alehouse on St. George Island, for providing and preparing these delightful recipes, and allowing us to share them with you!

2 C. water
1 T. + 1 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. + 1 tsp. butter
8 oz.. English peas
½ tsp. lemon juice
Pinch ground black pepper
½ tsp. tarragon, parsley & chives
1 T. canola oil
5 U10 sea scallops (muscle removed)
2 T. crème fraiche
Microgreens, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, combine water, salt and 1 tsp. butter. Bring water to boil, turn heat to medium and add peas. Let cook for 4-6 minutes, and strain. With an immersion blender, blend peas until fairly smooth. Add lemon juice, black pepper and herbs. Pulse blender 5 times.
In a cast iron pan, heat oil until ripples form (just before smoking). Season scallops with salt and pepper, then sear for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat. Don’t flip or move scallops until ready to flip. Flip all scallops, drop heat to low, add 1 T. of butter and baste scallops with fat, continuing until done, about 1-2 minutes. Let rest 3 minutes before plating.

Spoon pea mash onto desired dish. Spoon crème fraiche over pea mash. Top with seared scallops and garnish with microgreens.

1 lb. asparagus
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 T. capers
1 T. red wine vinaigrette
8 oz. smoked salmon,
thinly sliced
1 T. olive oil
2 oz. Parmesan, shaved


Fill medium saucepan 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Shave asparagus lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Blanch shaved asparagus for 2 minutes. Place in ice bath to stop the cooking process. Strain and dry.
Assemble salad by dressing asparagus, red onion and capers with red wine vinaigrette.

Lay salmon on the bottom of your serving dish, layering if needed. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with asparagus salad and garnish with shaved Parmesan.

2 4-oz. beef tenderloin filets (trimmed)
4 oz. prepared truffled risotto
½ C. breadcrumbs
2 T. canola oil
16 oz. baby spinach
Salt and pepper
1 white onion
Seasoned flour
2 T. prepared red wine demi-glace


Grill filets, 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness.
Form truffled risotto into cake, then dredge in breadcrumbs. Heat saute pan on medium heat; add oil. Add risotto cake to pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side. Heat another saute pan on medium heat; add baby spinach, salt and pepper. Wilt spinach for 2-3 minutes.
Shave white onion and dredge in seasoned flour of your liking. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
Heat demi-glace and reserve.

Place risotto cake on desired dish. Add wilted spinach, followed by filet. Drizzle demi on top of the filet and around the cake, then top with fried onions.

1 leek, trimmed
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 +1 T. butter
1 tsp. mince garlic
Salt and pepper
1 C. heavy cream
¼ C. shaved Parmesan
1 C. crimini mushrooms
1 C. brown beech mushrooms, trimmed
1 T. canola oil
2 6-oz. halibut filets (skin removed)


Thinly slice leek. Heat saute pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and 1 T. butter, then add sliced leeks and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute leeks until sweated and beginning to brown. Add heavy cream and reduce by half. Fold Parmesan into leeks; reserve.
Toss crimini mushrooms with oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 450-degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
Saute brown beech mushrooms in 1 T. butter. Season with salt and pepper during cooking. Strain oil once mushrooms are golden brown.
Heat saute pan on high with canola oil. Once oil is rippling and almost smoking, add seasoned halibut filets. Sear for 2-3 minutes (should be light yellow in color). Move entire saute pan to 450-degree oven (on high fan, if possible) for 5-6 minutes. Remove pan from oven (BE CAREFUL – spitting oil). Flip halibut filets over in the pan, let sit for 30 seconds, remove from saute pan, rest for 3 minutes and begin plating.

Fold crimini mushrooms into creamed leeks and spoon onto desired dish. Top the leeks with halibut filet, and finish with brown beech mushrooms.


3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 ¼ C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ¾ sticks salted butter, softened
1 ¼ C. + 3 T. sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
¾ C. chocolate stout
C. freshly brewed coffee
(make it strong!)

1 quart heavy cream
10 oz. dark chocolate
1 T. good quality bourbon
¼ C. corn syrup


Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, grease the parchment and dust with cocoa powder.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler; set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 1 ¼ cup sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until well blended. Add melted chocolate, stout and coffee. Slowly add flour.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and 3 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold the egg whites into the cake batter. (Recommend doing this 3 times, mixing between each addition.) Don’t overmix!
Divide batter into the 2 pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a pick comes out clean. Cool completely.
For the ganache, bring heavy cream to barely a boil. Remove from heat and mix in dark chocolate. Add bourbon and corn syrup; stir until smooth. Let cool.
Once the cake is cooled, trim the top to create a level cake. Pour ganache on the bottom layer and cover with top layer. Pour the ganache in the center of the stacked cake and let it fall down the sides. You can repeat and smooth or leave it dripped.