R5 Food Writer Julia Sexton's List of Five Favorite Recent Dishes in Westchester, July 2012

Photos by James Sexton

It was a really big month, folks. But still…

(1) High West Distillery’s Campfire Whiskey at Crabtree’s Kittle House (11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua 914-666-8044; kittlehouse.com)
This was during a whiskey dinner at the Kittle House, where, by my estimation, we were served six healthy pours from this Utah boutique distiller (I’m not even counting the cocktail). This was the sixth, and, man, was it a killer. It was a triple-threat blend of Kentucky bourbon, Scotch, and rye whiskeys.

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(2) Poached Rhubarb with Lemon Thyme, Local Goat Cheesecake, and Milk Jam from Blue Hill at Stone Barns (630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills 914-366-9600; bluehillfarm.com)
Served at Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend, this was an unbeatable combination of tart rhubarb, tangy goat cheese, and sweet confiture de lait (otherwise known as dulce de leche): sweetened milk reduced to syrup then lightly caramelized. It was mindblowing. Could have eaten this all day.

(3) Soup Dumplings at Noodle+ (245 Main St, White Plains 914-948-4920; noodle-plus.com)
There was this mini-fad for these things about seven years ago, but I never got off the soup dumpling bandwagon. I still can’t get over these Shanghainese dumplings in which gingery pork and demi-glace broth are folded into a wrapper, then steamed until the pork is cooked and the demi-glace is returned to liquid. The result is a purse of juicy pork and hot soup; the key is to bite a little hole, and let the soup spill into your spoon. At Noodle+, they fold the noodles to order so that they remain miraculously soupy.

(4) Habanero Salsa at bartaco (1 Willett Ave, Port Chester 914-937-8226; bartaco.com)
Apparently, when you eat very spicy food, your brain responds by emitting powerful neurotransmitters that mimic the chemical effects of opiates. Cue me, strung out after a glorious habanero salsa bender—sure, I suffered for it later, but it was a blast at the time.

(5) White Brigadiero at my home.
You’ve probably seen this chocolate sprinkle-covered Brazilian candy, but this was the first time I caught the minimalist white version. Without those waxy jimmies, the texture is vastly improved and falls somewhere between cakey and creamy. They’re made with doce de leite (otherwise known as dulce de leche, confiture de lait or—in the Blue Hill dessert, above, “milk jam”)—basically, it’s milk, reduced and caramelized into candy. These blonde orbs had the texture of penuche, a dreamy sort of fudge, and they were delicious—I snuck a take away plate of about 15, but was attacked by neighbors before I could get from car to kitchen door. Savages.

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