Chef’s Corner: Caitlyn McGuire

 

Gabrielle Halliday (Motif): What menu item would you recommend to someone who’s never been to Ellie’s?

Caitlyn McGuire: One of the items that is very much quintessentially Ellie’s are our French Macarons. It’s the product that Ellie’s was founded on. Ellen [Slattery], who is the proprietor/owner of Gracie’s, kept getting guests who were telling her that she should open a bakery to sell the macarons that were traditionally served at the end of the meal. Finally, she decided to open Ellie’s. The macarons are really special because there are three flavors that we rotate out every month and it’s really fun because it gives the baking team and me a really great creative outlet. We also try to use that opportunity to highlight different local ingredients with local producers.

GH: If you could be any spice, which spice would you be and why?

CM: I would be nutmeg. Small little doses, but very versatile because you can have it in lots of savory and sweet applications and you might not detect it on its own even though it’s there and brings every element of the dish together. I would say that describes me pretty well.

GH: You’re going out for dinner anywhere in Rhode Island. Which restaurant are you going to and what will you order?

CM: North is one of my favorite restaurants and everything they do is delicious, but every time I go I get the hot sesame noodles! Typically, they offer a few different sorbets and ice creams, so I always get those to end the meal. Once they had a coconut chocolate ice cream that was really delicious.

GH: If you weren’t in the food industry, what would you be doing?

CM: When I was younger, I used to think that I wanted to be either a carpenter or interior designer. My dad does a lot of home improvement work and he used to be a handyman during my childhood, so I used to watch him sawing wood and putting things together and it seemed fun.

GH: Everyone has at least one food guilty pleasure. What’s yours?

CM: So you know when you get ice cream at a scoop shop, they have the wafer cone that literally just tastes like Styrofoam? I love those! I think it’s because they’re really crispy and then they have those weird divots in the bottom so as you’re eating your ice cream it all melts and then that last bite of the wafer with that really melted ice cream is like the best thing ever.

GH: What is one dessert you would never order at a restaurant? 

CM: I always steer away from bread pudding because even though I understand that they’re trying to utilize scraps and old bread, it always seems like a cop-out. It can be made really well, but often times it’s just dry and not tasty at all.

GH: Why did you choose the recipe that you provided for our readers?

CM: We are planning on running the same peach, goat cheese and chive scone at Ellie’s. The technique behind making scones is really versatile, so you can take this recipe and make the scones at home, but adapt the inclusions you’re going to add. It can be really nice to add whatever you have on hand in the kitchen.

Peach, Goat Cheese, Chive Scones; Yield: 8 scones

180719_scones_ (30 of 28)

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 medium peaches, chopped and frozen
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled and frozen
  1. Cube butter into ¼ inch pieces and place in freezer to chill. Meanwhile, combine your flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Place the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Add the cubes of frozen butter and pulse until you have a sandy texture with a few pea sized chunks of butter remaining. Place this mixture back into your mixing bowl. Place in the refrigerator to keep chilled.
  3. Wash and dice your peaches into ¼ inch cubes leaving the skin on. Lay out flat on a baking tray and freeze until solid. Break up your goat cheese into small chunks and freeze in the same fashion.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk and heavy cream.
  5. Remove dry ingredients from fridge and add peaches, goat cheese, and chives, tossing to coat all of these ingredients in the flour mixture. Create a well in the center of your bowl.
  6. Add your wet ingredients and slowly combine by gently folding with your hands or a rubber spatula; take care not to overmix or your scones will be tough.
  7. Once the dough comes together, shape it into a flattened disc about 6 inches in diameter. Cut this disc into 8 even triangles. Use flour to dust your table whenever you feel your dough is sticking.
  8. Move scones onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush with heavy cream and bake at 375℉ for 20-26 minutes until both the tops and bottom are golden brown.
  9. Enjoy!

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