All posts by Brian Walker

Valentine’s Week

This week our talented team of chefs have created some wonderful additions to the menu to celebrate Valentines Day all week long.

Chef Brian has been working in the kitchen recreating a few of his classic dishes and Chef Amy has prepared some delicious vegetarian options.  Our Pastry Cook, Jessica has created a beautiful trio of desserts that is sure to be the perfect finish to a great meal.

Roasted Forest Mushroom and Brie Bisque with truffle scented French bread croutons.

 

 

 

 

 

Oysters “1844”
Texan Virginica oysters prepared Rockefeller style with fresh spinach, green onions, sweet cream butter, anise liqueur, and Parmesan bread crumbs.

 

Cashew Crusted Florida Style Crab Cake
Tropical slaw, blood orange beurre blanc, and edible orchid.

 

 

Vegan Spinach and Chestnut Canneloni
Sunflower seed “ricotta”, almond milk alfredo, roasted red pepper coulis.

 

 

 

 

A Sweet Finish
Grand Marnier truffle, petit dark chocolate mousse cream puff, raspberry petit four.

New Vegan Options at 1844 House

Chef Amy, is bringing her passion for vegetarian and vegan dishes to our menus.

She has already been preparing special vegan friendly entrees that change weekly; like the awesome Persian spice cauliflower steak from the previous post.

Now she has added a vegan sorbet (matcha tea) and a vegan dessert (pictured below) to our menu as well.  This is the Vegan chocolate cake with raspberry coulis and fresh strawberries.

We are always happy to accommodate our guests special dietary needs.  It is very helpful for our chefs if you let us know about them when making your reservation.  It allows us time to prepare a memorable meal for you even during our very busy evenings.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

A mid winter week of delicious eating

During these cold winter months it is always so comforting to settle in to a cozy warm atmosphere, like 1844 House, and enjoy some food that really nourishes the body and warms the soul. This week Chef Amy and her team have created some weekly features that are just that. We hope you will venture out at this cold & snowy time of year and enjoy them.  Bon Appetit!
Tuscan Vegeatable SoupPersian Spiced Cauliflower SteakBraised Lamb ShankLemon Mango Meringue Tart

Tuscan Vegetable
Finished with cubed rustic bread and shaved parmesan.

 

 

 

Persian Spiced Cauliflower Steak
Tomato-cucumber salad with cannellini beans,
ancient grain pilaf, mint-tahini pesto.

 

 

 

 

Braised Lamb Shank
Creamy polenta, roasted winter root vegetables, savory braise reduction, zesty gremolada.

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon-Mango Meringue Tart  
A flaky pastry crust filled with a lemon-mango curd topped with crisp meringue and finished with strawberry coulis.

 

A Visit to M & M Egg Farm

One of the great things about having a farm to table restaurant in an agricultural community, is my ability to visit the farms that produce the foods we serve.  This past week, I had the good fortune to take my daughters on a ride to Massena, NY to visit Matt and Michelle at M&M Eggs.  The purpose of our visit was two fold; first to purchase some chicks for our girls to raise at our home over the summer and secondly for me to tour the farm and check on the flocks of ducks that they are raising for the restaurant.

We were fortunate that the rain held off while we toured the farm.  It has rained nearly everyday for the past few weeks.  Matt took some time off from his evening chores to educate me on the different breeds and methods he uses to raise his beautiful birds.

There are few ingredients in the kitchen that are more important and versatile as the egg.  We use them in so many different ways and in so many preparations.  That is why it is so important that we get the best quality eggs available.  M&M supplies us with not only chicken eggs, but duck eggs as well.  You can see them used through out our seasonal menus.  We often build entire dishes around them.

Flock of ducks at M&M Farm These are a few of the ducks that they are raising for us.  It is such a gift to have access to fresh ducks, especially ones that are raised free range with out growth hormones or antibiotics (just like their chickens and turkeys). Our first batch of ducks will be ready for processing in just 2 weeks.  They will transport our birds to a USDA inspected facility to be processed.  This adds a layer of protection to be sure that we are serving healthy birds, and is required by the NYSDOH in order for us to serve them to our guests.

M&M Eggs sells eggs and birds to people all over our area. If you are looking for fresh eggs, birds to raise at home, or a Thanksgiving turkey, I highly recommend that you contact them. You can contact them via their website M&M Eggs, and a Face Book Page.

Happy Eating!  Chef Brian

Turkey

Pan Seared Mushroom Mille Feuille

Pan Seared Mushroom Mille FeuilleToday I worked on creating a new vegetarian dish for our winter menu. Although I am not sure this is going to be a permanent menu item, it is definitely one I will be repeating.

One important aspect of vegetarian dining for me is a combination of different textures. I was inspired by German strudel pastry as I read through a holiday baking book, so I started with a box of phyllo dough.  I began brushing layers of of the dough with beaten egg and sprinkling fresh herb infused bread crumbs between the layers.  Then I baked the pastry layers until they were crispy.  This is why I used the term “mille feuille” which translates from French to “thousand leaves” to describe these delicious crispy layers.  For additional texture I chose shiitake and crimini mushrooms as well as some kale from my garden.  By slicing the mushrooms thick and searing them quickly in brown butter they retain a wonderful chewiness that satisfies the palate much like meat.  Finally, needed something to bind it all together.   For this I chose some  sweet organic parsnips that we purchased from BirdsFoot Farm.  Combined with just a dollop of goat cheese between each layer it adds the perfect creaminess to balance the crisp and chewy textures.

This is one of those vegetarian dishes that might just win over a few carnivores.   We look forward to seeing you soon!

Bon Appetite! Chef Brian

Pan Seared Mushroom Mille Feuille
Forest mushrooms, tender kale, sweet parsnip puree
& creamy goat cheese between layers of crisp
phyllo & herbs.

Pan Roasted Maine Lobster

Pan Roasted Lobster with rosemary cream, boiled potatoes and local organic brussel sproutsFor this weekend’s featured entree I have prepared a Pan Roasted Maine Lobster with rosemary cream, boiled potatoes, and local organic brussel sprouts.  It is a wonderfully comforting dish that is perfect for these cool autumn evenings.    This is one of the dishes that defines my cooking style; simple, elegant, Pan Roasted Lobster in the saute pandelicious.  I just love preparing one pan “a la minute” (cooked to order) dishes.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

The Chef’s Garden at 1844 House

Bushel basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables from our chefs gardenAs our summer growing season evolves into our autumn harvest season, it is exciting to see the fruits of our labors.  We had a challenging summer with very hot and dry conditions, but we still managed to bring in a record crop; both in volume of food produced and variety.  It has been a very rewarding experience to really get into the dirt and grow some of the food we serve here at 1844 House.  I could not have done it without a lot of help from our GM, Barry Sears and our resident farmer/consultant Sue Rau.

This weekend we harvested some heirloom tomatoes, hot Hungarian wax peppers, habanero chili’s, Russian red kale, purple cabbage, fresh sage, apples, shiitake mushrooms, fresh raspberries, English lavender, and nasturtium flowers.  All of which will be served here this week.

We have already begun preparations for next years garden.  We have cut out the sod and prepped the soil to double our production in the 2017 growing season.  We are also putting the finishing touches on our outdoor dining  area that will allow our guests to dine out in the gardens next summer.  We look forward to hosting our Chef’s Table dinners in the garden or in our newly renovated barn next season.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Duck Confit

Duck Confit with potato gnocchiMy favorite time of year for cooking is finally here and we have just launched our new fall menu.  Over the next week or so, I will be sharing pictures and stories about our new menu items on our page.

The first dish I would like to introduce is my favorite dish on the fall menu that is a completely new addition; the Duck Confit.  Duck Confit has been one of my favorite ways to enjoy duck since I first encountered it as a student at The Culinary Institute of America.  I was very excited when a local farmer approached me about using his duck on our menu.  He raises ducks for egg production, so he was looking for an outlet for his male ducks.  He brought me a sample duck, and I decided to prepare the entire duck confit style.  It was delicious!  My kitchen staff and I enjoyed preparing it in many ways and enjoying it for lunch for several days.

House Made Duck ConfitFor those of you who do not know what “confit” is, here is a very simplified explanation.  This method is an old world style of preserving meat so it wont spoil as quickly.  The duck is butchered and rubbed with a cure/spice mixture and pressed for a couple of days.  This allows the salt to extract the moisture from the meat, while the meat absorbs the spice flavor.  Then the meat is rinsed to remove all the excess salt and spices and allowed to dry out on a rack in the cooler until a pellicle (dry skin) forms on the surface.  Then the meat is submerged in a bath of hot duck fat and slow cooked until the meat is tender and falls off the bone, similar to pulled pork.  The meat is cooled in the fat to allow it to reabsorb some of the fat and to prevent the air from getting to the meat.  The absence of water/moisture and air preserve the meat.

The final preparation came about kind of “on the fly” one afternoon as I was doing some early morning cooking.  My intention was to get some cooking done early, then hand off the kitchen to my Sous Chef and enjoy a weekend in Lake Placid with our GM, Barry as he celebrated his 40th birthday.  Unfortunately, my Sous Chef became ill, and I had to cancel my weekend.  I wanted to celebrate with Barry anyway, so I went into my kitchen and invented this dish.  We enjoyed it with some fresh baked baguette and a wonderful bottle of Super Tuscan wine.  It was a great lunch with a great friend.  Sometimes the best dishes just come out of nowhere.

Duck Confit
M&M Farm Duck Confit with Northwoods Farm mushrooms, brandy-peppercorn sauce and potato gnocchi.  Served in a “nest” of organic baby arugula that is dressed with truffle oil, Pecorino cheese and fresh ground pepper and topped with a poached duck egg.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian