I participated in a Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Hood Cream. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a blogger ambassador dinner hosted by Hood at the esteemed Deuxave Restaurant in Boston. It was an immersion dinner, which means each course includes one particular ingredient. At our immersion dinner the ingredient was Hood cream products. Chef Chris Coombs created an incredible menu that showed just how versatile cream can be!
Hood cream was founded right here in New England. Harvey Pearl Hood started the company in Charlestown, Massachusetts. They have been producing cream products from local dairy farmers since 1846. Hood has many different cream products such as heavy cream, whipping cream, light cream and half and half. They have grown to be one of the largest dairy producers in the U.S.
Which is great news, because that means you can find Hood cream in a local store near you. Hood cream is such excellent quality, many restaurant chefs use it. Chefs love it because it is a product they can trust. By reaching for Hood cream they can consistently create their best dishes. It has stood the test of time, and home chefs can enjoy all of the same benefits!
At the immersion dinner, our first course was heirloom tomato gazpacho. I loved how Chef Coombs chose to showcase the cream in this dish. Normally you would think of a cream based soup as very rich, but his gazpacho variation showed a new way cream can be used. The heirloom tomato base had a hint of spice that was rounded out by the cream. A crunchy cucumber and tomato topping was a great contrast.
Our next course was spring carbonara topped with a quail egg. Cream and egg yolk work so marvelously well together. The herbed sauce was lovely, not too heavy, with just the right mouth feel. The fresh ingredients (look at those peas!), homemade pasta, and creamy delicious sauce made this dish my favorite.
Our third course was a pan seared cod with tomato clam nage. Nage is the liquid used for poaching the fish. In this dish, the sauce was a thickened shellfish broth, with heavy cream and egg yolks added in. I really enjoyed this sauce, as it’s not often I think to make a seafood sauce with cream. Now I really understand how the cream can compliment the seafood. I look forward to exploring this more in my own kitchen.
The fourth course was Niman Ranch prime new york strip with madeira cream sauce. Coombs called this the steakhouse style course. Which sounded pretty good to me since I love a nice steak! Steak and a cream sauce is certainly a classic dish, and this one did not disappoint. The madeira added new element that would certainly be easy to recreate in a home kitchen.
The side dishes for this course were gratins, asparagus and a potato carmalized onion version. Potato gratins are one of my favorite things to make, and I definitely think my family would agree! Chef Coombs gave a great piece of advise. Use a high quality cream like Hood to help the gratin stay together under high heat. Only premium creams have the stability needed for gratins. I have had the cream in my gratins separate a time or two, so this tip is definitely being implemented in my kitchen asap.
The dessert course was the one I most anticipated. As our fifth and final course, the deconstructed peach melba was a hit. I love serving layered desserts in wine glasses, such an amazing presentation. There was a crumb topping, a bit of ice cream, peaches, raspberries, and vanilla custard on the bottom. It was impeccable, with hints of cream throughout.
Hood asked Chef Coombs to work with them to create this menu. Chef Coombs is a local chef, currently owner and executive chef at three Boston restaurants. Deuxave is an award winning restaurant known for its french inspired cuisine. The menu really explored all the nuances of cream, and particularly how it does not have to feel heavy and rich all the time. He came out to speak to us between course, explaining the details of the dish and how he used different Hood products. Each course was amazing, and I look forward to implementing all his ideas in my own kitchen.
Learn more about how Hood cream can be used in your home kitchen!
Connect with Hood on their website and social media.