'Refined American Cuisine'

Patrick O'Connell has plotted every detail of every dinner at his world famous Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, an hour away from "Big Washington."

The owner of the inn never had any formal training as a chef, but cooking just seemed to come naturally to him.

Eventually, O'Connell and his business partner created a world-class eatery with luxurious guest rooms, which get the highest ratings from the most discriminating travel guides.


Read a CBS News Sunday Morning feature on
Here are the recipes from Patrick O'Connell's Sept. 28 appearance on The Early Show

Scallop, Ham, and Pineapple "Sandwiches"
Serves 6

Pineapple Relish
1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon finely diced red onion
1/4 teaspoon finely minced jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sugar to taste

Scallop Sandwiches
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
6 very large sea scallops
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
3 slices country ham, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
12 four-inch rosemary sprigs

To Serve
Sweet-and-Sour Fish Sauce
Shoestring Potatoes

For the Pineapple Relish
In a small mixing bowl, combine the pineapple, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. The relish may be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

For the Scallop Sandwiches
1. In a nonstick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the pineapple slices and cook until they are golden on both sides, then remove and keep warm.
2. Season the scallops with salt and white pepper.
3. In the same nonstick pan, heat the remaining vegetable oil over high heat. Add the scallops to the hot pan and cook until they are golden brown on both sides. Do not overcook.
4. Slice the scallops in half crosswise. Sandwich a slice of pineapple and country ham between the two halves of each scallop. Using a serrated knife, slice each scallop sandwich in half and spear each half with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

To Serve
1. Place a scallop sandwich in the center of each serving plate and splash the Sweet-and-Sour Fish Sauce around the plate.
2. Garnish with pineapple relish and Shoestring Potatoes.

Pineapple Skillet Tarts
Serves 10 to 12

Crepe Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk, or as needed

Skilled Tarts
2 large ripe pineapples, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into quarters
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup toasted, coarsely ground macadamia nuts
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
Nonstick cooking spray

Garnishes
1/2 cup 151-proof rum (optional, for flaming the tarts)
1 recipe Coconut Ice Cream **See Below

For the Crepe Batter
1. Combine the flour, melted butter, sugar, eggs, and salt in a food processor or blender.
2. With the motor running, add enough milk (about 1 cup) to make a fluid batter. The batter may be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours

For the Skillet Tarts
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Slice the pineapple quarters crosswise, 1/8 inch thick.
3. In a 7-inch nonstick pan over medium heat, melt 1/4 teaspoon of the butter, spreading with a spatula. Removed the pan.
4. With the pan off the heat, ladle about 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan and roll it around until the bottom of the pan is evenly coated with the batter. Sprinkle the crepe with 1 tablespoon of the macadamia nuts.
5. Return the pan to medium heat. Just as the crepe begins to set but is still wet on top, remove the pan from heat and arrange pineapple slices in an overlapping circular pattern, completely covering the surface of the crepe. Use a skewer or fork to arrange any of the pineapple slices that fall out of place. Shake the crepe slightly to keep it from sticking to the pan.
6. Return the pan to heat and sprinkle the pineapple with 2 teaspoons of sugar and about 1/2 tablespoon of cold butter, cut into bits. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the edge of the crepe and check the underside. When the bottom is golden brown, loosen the crepe by running a rubber spatula around the edges, and carefully flip the crepe over in the pan. Continue cooking until the sugar underneath turns a light caramel color. Add 1 tablespoon of cream around the edges of the crepe and tilt the pan so the cream blends with the sugar and runs under the crepe.
7. Spray a flat metal surface, such as the bottom of a cake pan, with nonstick cooking spray. Place the sprayed side over the tart and invert the pant to remove the tart. Slide the tart onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process, wiping the pan clean between tarts, to make 10 to 12. The sheet of tarts may be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

To Serve
1. Reheat the tarts in a 350-degree oven until hot, about 4 minutes. Transfer to serving plates.
2. Pour the rum into a small heat-proof pitcher or gravy boat and set aflame.
3. Carefully spoon the burning rum over the tarts in a darkened dinning room.
4. Serve with Coconut Ice Cream.

Basic Pie Dough
Makes one 9 to 10-inch crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening or vegetable oil
1/3 cup ice water

1. Sift the flour into a medium-size bowl. Add the butter and shortening or oil, and cut into small pieces with a pastry cutter or two knives. Work the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles coarse cornmeal.
2. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the water, kneading until the dough forms a ball.
3. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. When you're ready to use the dough, roll it out on a lightly floured surface and proceed with your recipe.

**Coconut Ice Cream
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
7 egg yolks
1 1/2 cans (3 3/4 cups) cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez

Coconut "Shells" (optional)
8 small balloons
2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate, melted
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

For the Coconut Ice Cream
1. In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
2. Place the egg yolks and cream of coconut in the top of a double boiler or in a large stainless steel bowl and slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture. Set the mixture over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
4. Chill in the refrigerator, and then freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

To make the Coconut "Shells" (optional)
1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
2. Blow up the balloons and dip each one halfway in the melted chocolate, then roll the bottoms in the nuts. Rest the dipped balloons on the prepared cookie sheet and place in the freezer until the chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.
3. Take the balloons out of the freezer and pop them with the tip of a knife. Remove the balloon and carefully fill each shell with the coconut ice cream, smoothing the top of each scoop with a knife. Return the filled shells to the freezer until hardened.
4. Using a melon-ball scoop, scoop out an indentation in the center of the ice cream in each coconut half. (Save the small scoops of ice cream and combine them with the remaining ice cream and keep frozen.) The coconut halves can be made several days in advance and kept covered in the freezer until ready.

Panna Cotta Parfaits with Red Fruit Jelly
Serves 8

Red Fruit Jelly
1 1/2 cups red currants, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups halved and pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups strawberries, stemmed
1 1/2 cups raspberries
3 whole star anise
1 strip orange zest
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/4 cups cranberry juice
2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Panna Cotta
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin

To Assemble the Parfaits
8 tall champagne flutes or parfait glasses

Garnishes
8 sprigs red currants or raspberries (for garnish)

To Make the Red Fruit Jelly
1. Strip the red currants off their stems.
2. In the top of a double boiler or in a large stainless steel bowl, combine the red currants, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, star anise, orange zest, sugar, and water and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set the mixture over a pot of simmering water and cook for about 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the cranberry juice in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. When the gelatin has softened, place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
4. Stir the dissolved gelatin mixture into the warm red fruit mixture. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. You should have 2 1/2 cups of strained juice. If you have less, add more cranberry juice. Cool mixture to room temperature.

To Make the Panna Cotta
1. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the cream, 1/2 cup of the milk, the sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
2. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. When the gelatin has softened, place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
3. Stir the dissolved gelatin mixture into the hot cream mixture, cool to room temperature, and remove the vanilla bean.

To Assemble the Parfaits
1. Carefully fill each of 8 parfait glasses one quarter full with the cooled fruit liquid and refrigerate until set.
2. Pour an equal layer of the liquid panna cotta mixture on tip of the chilled fruit jelly and refrigerate until set.
3. Pour another layer of fruit liquid into each glass and refrigerate until set.
4. Finally, fill each glass with a final later of the panna cotta mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Serve
Serve the parfaits garnished with sprigs of red currants or raspberries.

Pecan-Crusted Soft-shell Crab Tempura
Serves 6
Marinated Cabbage Slaw
1 large head of cabbage, cored and sliced very thing
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced very thin
1 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/2 cup chicken stock

Mustard-Butter Sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped mustard fruits and 1 tablespoon of the syrup they are packed in
Salt to taste

Crabs
6 soft-shell crabs
3 quarts vegetable or peanut oil (for deep-frying)
1 recipe Tempura Batter **See Below
2 cups finely chopped pecans

Garnishes
Mustard fruits (for garnish)
Toasted pecan halves (for garnish)

For the Marinated Cabbage Slaw
1. In a stainless steel mixing bowl, layer the sliced cabbage and onion.
2. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, dry mustard, celery seed, and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
3. Pour the hot liquid over the cabbage and onion but do not mix.
4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and marinate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Toss before serving. The cabbage slaw can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the Mustard-Butter Sauce
1. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the white wine vinegar. Boil until the mixture is syrupy and has reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
2. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, incorporating one pieces of butter before adding the next. Continue until all of the butter is used up.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard. Stir in the chopped mustard fruits and syrup.
4. Season with a pinch of salt. Keep warm (not hot) until ready to serve.

For the Crabs
1. Clean the crabs by lifting up the side flaps and pulling out the feathery gills. Remove the flap underneath. Rinse in cold water and dry on paper towels.
2. In a deep fryer or heavy pot, heat the oil 350 degrees.
3. Dip each crab into the Tempura Batter and sprinkle the crab with pecans.
4. Carefully (because the crabs tend to "pop" and splatter) slip the crabs into the hot oil, turn them with a slotted spoon, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove the crabs from the oil and drain them on paper towels.

To Serve
1. Make a nest of marinated cabbage slaw on each plate. Place one crab on top of each pile of slaw.
2. Using a spoon or ladle, pool the mustard-butter sauce around each crab. Garnish with thin slices of mustard fruit and pecan halves.

**Tempura Batter
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup cake flour
7 ounces very cold club soda
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Using a fork, gently combine the flour and club soda in a small bowl. (The batter will appear slightly lumpy and should have the consistency of heavy cream.)
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (The bubbles in the soda water help keep the tempura light and crispy; therefore, it is important to make the batter just before using it.)

Shavings of Country Ham with Parmesan, Pears, and Pine Nuts
Serves 6
1/2 pound block of Parmesan cheese
12 very thin slices of country ham (cut into wide ribbons)
1 ripe pear, halved and cored (unpeeled)
1 bunch baby argula, washed and stemmed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cracked black pepper to taste

1. Using a vegetable peeler or cheese slicer, shave the Parmesan cheese into "ribbons".
2. Intertwine a few ribbons of cheese and ham on each of 6 plates to form a small, fluffy mound.
3. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the pear as thinly as possible. Add a few pear slices to each mound of cheese and ham.
4. Over each plate, toss a few leaves of baby arugal, sprinkle with pine nuts, and drizzle with extra virgin live oil. Garnish with cracked black pepper.

Frozen White Chocolate and Pistachio Terrine
Serves 16

Pistachio Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup toasted chopped pistachio paste
7 egg yolks
2 tablespoons pistachio paste
(Available in specialty shops and some gourmet stores)

White Chocolate Ice Cream
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rum

Cake
Nonstick cooking spray
5 eggs
6 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon (for dusting) all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Ganache Coating
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate

To Assemble the Terrine
2 cups ground pistachios

Garnishes
1 cup Blackberry Puree
1 pint blackberries
1/4 cup whole pistachios

For the Pistachio Ice Cream
1. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.
2. In a 4-quart heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, cream, sugar and chopped pistachios over medium heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
3. Place the egg yolks in the top of a double boiler or in a large stainless steel bowl and slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture. Set the mixture over a pot of simmering water and stir until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
4. Remove from the heat, add the pistachio paste, and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
5. Chill in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
6. Spread the ice cream onto the lined cookie sheet and freeze.

For the White Chocolate Ice Cream
1. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.
2. Place the while chocolate in a double boiler or large stainless steel bowl and melt it over a pot of barely simmering water.
3. In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
4. Place the eggs in the top of a double boiler or in a large stainless steel bowl and slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture. Set the mixture over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
5. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the melted white chocolate, vanilla and rum.
6. Chill in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
7. Spread the white chocolate ice cream onto the lined cookie sheet and freeze.

For the Cake
1. Line a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 -inch baking sheet with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles with a kitchen towel. Spray the foil with a thin coating of nonstick cooking spray. Dust with the flour, tapping the back of the pan to remove any excess.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Separate the eggs. Reserve the egg whites. Place the yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until the yolks are lemon yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the melted chocolate, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to incorporate thoroughly.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour into the chocolate mixture.
5. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg whites until they begin to foam. Add the salt and continue whisking until the egg whites form medium peaks.
6. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the batter into the corners with a rubber spatula.
7. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan.

For the Chocolate Ganache Coating
1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil and remove from heat.
2. Place the chocolate in a food processor and, with the motor running, carefully pour in the hot cream in a steady stream. Continue to process for another minute until the chocolate coating is completely smooth.
3. Pour the chocolate coating into a bowl and let cool at room temperature.

To Assemble the Terrine
1. Invert the pistachio ice cream on top of the white chocolate ice cream and peel off the plastic wrap.
2. Cut the two layers of ice cream in half lengthwise and place one half on top of the other, making four layers. Return the ice cream to the freezer until thoroughly frozen.
3. Cut the layers of ice cream lengthwise again into 1/2 inch strips. Invert every other strip, forming a checkerboard pattern. Gently press the strips together to close any crevices. Return the ice cream to the freezer until thoroughly frozen again. Wrap the ice cream in plastic wrap and freeze overnight until the ice cream is solid. You will have one checkerboard-patterned block of ice cream that measure approximately 15 1/2 inches in length, 5 inches in width, and 2 inches in height.
4. Remove the frozen block of ice cream from the freezer and place it in the center of the cooled cake. With the edges of the foil used to line the cake pan carefully lift the sides of the cake up and wrap the cake around the block of ice cream on the remaining 3 sides.
5. Using the foil, lift the cake-wrapped ice cream out of the pan and invert it onto a wire rack placed on top of a cookie sheet. Carefully remove the foil. If the ice cream is softened, place it in the freezer until firm.
6. Pour the chocolate coating over the cake and let it drip down the sides completely cover the cake on 3 sides. Quickly press the ground pistachios into the chocolate coating and freeze until ready to serve.

To Serve
Slice the terrine into 16 slices and garnish with Blackberry Puree, whole blackberries, and pistachios.

Blackberry Puree
Makes 1 cup

3 pints fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar

1. Puree the berries in a food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, pressing hard on the solids with a rubber spatula to release all the liquid.
2. Add the lemon juice and mix well.
3. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, tasting after each addition, until the desired sweetness is obtained.