Category Archives: Sustainability

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 Leg Confit

House Made Duck ConfitTo many people, it may feel like summer is nearly over; there are only 3 weeks until September.  Here in upstate NY our summer crops are just beginning to come to market.  While we are enjoying the bounties of the current harvests, as chefs, we must also be looking forward to the next season.  When beans and peas come in (green, sugar snap, snow, pole, haricot verte, etc) there are bushels of them and every farm has them for sale.  But it won’t be long before the season for them is over and they cannot be found.  That is why we pickle, brine, freeze, ferment and otherwise preserve many summer foods so that we can enjoy them in different forms throughout the fall and winter season.

Dilly BeansWe are currently making dilly beans, sauerkraut, pickles, freezing sweet corn (think chowders and fritters) and berries, making jams as well as curing local meats.

A great example of curing meat for the next season is duck confit.  This year I am fortunate to have a local farm (M&M Eggs) raising a flock of ducks for us.  They are heritage breed ducks that have a deep and robust flavor.  They are also quite a bit larger than farm raised ducks.  As most of my regular guests know, I am a huge fan of charcuterie (cured meats).  So I will prepare many of them into duck confit.  Confit is a process for preserving the meat for use over long periods.  Normally, only the legs are cured, but I cure the whole duck.  (The wings are a real treat that I enjoy saving for myself and our staff.)  It begins by rubbing the duck down with a mixture of salt and a proprietary blend of herbs and spices and curing the meat to remove the excess moisture. Then the meat is rinsed and slow cooked fully submerged in duck fat until the meat is tender and easily pulls from the bone.  The duck is then cooled and preserved in the fat.  We will be using the confit as a filling for our Duck Ravioli as well as a component on our Autumn Charcuterie Board on the fall menu.

I hope you are able to get to your local farmers market and take advantage of the wonderful variety of fresh food. While you are there, think about what you can do to preserve some of the bounty for your home table in the next season.  If you are too busy…..don’t worry, we have your back!  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Summer Mixed Grill

Summer Mixed GrillOne of our favorite types of dishes to prepare in the summer months is the mixed grill.  It allows us to play with culinary themes and flavors and utilize several varieties of local meats at once.  Tonight, Chef Arthur has put together a particularly delicious one that harnesses some classic summer grill flavors.

Summer Mixed Grill
Pat & April’s Country Pork Ribs, chipotle rub, honey-chive glaze.
Fresh Rosemary Grilled Shrimp
Peach Barbecue Glazed Chicken Breast
Bavarian potato salad, North Country Grown vegetables.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Fresh From The Chef’s Garden

Smow Peas with fresh tarragon moussse and breakfast radishOur Chef’s Garden is really beginning to produce some wonderful vegetables.  This afternoon, my girls went out and picked a peck of snow peas.  They are tender, sweet and delicious; and they make a great amuse bouche.  I piped some fresh tarragon mousse on top and finished each one with some shaved breakfast radishes.  Simple. Elegant. Delicious.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

The Chef’s Garden at 1844 House

Fresh garlic harvested from our Chef's Garden.Summer is moving along and we are beginning to harvest some delicious fruits of our labor.  The Walker girls (Savannah, Summer, and Ella) harvested our garlic today.  It is now hanging in the barn drying out.  Barry was busy working in the vineyard and harvesting these snow peas.  The tomatoes are just beginning to ripen; and we cant wait for them to be ready.  Vine ripening tomatoes from our Chef's GardenCome on in and taste the freshness in our Farm to Table cuisine.Fresh picked snow peas

See you soon.   Chef Brian

New Summer Menu

1844 House Cobb SaladSummer is here and the local farmer’s markets are beginning to have a real bounty.  Additionally, Tri-Town meat packing is once again USDA inspected. We now have some great options for local meat.  Our new summer menu is full of wonderful options for enjoying farm fresh food.  Whether you are vegetarian, gluten free, or just enjoy great healthy food; we have you covered.

Our new 1844 House Cobb Salad is a great example of fresh ingredients from many different farms coming together.  We have smoked chicken from Smith Farm in Massena, made our signature bacon and ham with pork from Pat & April’s Farm in Ft. Covington, fresh eggs from M&M Eggs in Massena and Gulf Creek Farm in Canton, aged cheddar from Meier’s Artisan Cheese in Ft. Covington, organic lettuce from BirdsFoot Farm and fresh herbs from our own gardens.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

The Gardens at 1844 House in early summer

Summer has finally arrived and our gardens are beginning to flourish.  With the addition of The Guest House at 1844 last year, we were also able to expand our gardens an extra half acre this year.  Now our restaurant and Inn guests can wander through the gardens in the evenings while enjoying one of our refreshing summer cocktails, a cool craft beer, or a glass of wine from our Wine Spectator Award winning wine list.

Our gardens are designed to help supply our restaurant with small amounts of many different foods; though we still rely on our local farms to supply us with the bulk of our needs.  Our gardens are for our guest enjoyment and to create a perfect “Farm to Table” venue for special theme dinners in the garden, weddings, rehearsal dinners, reunions, and private parties.

We hope you will take a moment to wander through our gardens and see what we are growing during your next visit.  There are many great changes happening at 1844 House, come on out and see whats new.  We look forward to seeing you.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Beef Carpaccio

Beef CarpaccioWhen purchasing local beef, the challenge to the chef is to create dishes that help utilize the entire animal, not just the major cuts like filet mignon, rib eye’s, and NY strip steaks.  Donahue’s Farm is raising some delicious Angus beef, and we serve it here in several ways.  For this dish I selected the eye round.  This is typically a very difficult piece of meat to use; as it lacks any marbling and can be very chewy when cooked.  It is perfect for this dish for two reasons….the first, is that I can get it fresh from Tri-town the day after it is processed and freshness is very important when you are consuming raw meat.  The second, is that this meat has great beef flavor and serving it so thinly sliced allows it to have a good texture for this dish.

This dish is great for a warm summer day when a salad is your choice for a satisfying meal.

Beef Carpaccio
Thinly sliced Donahue’s Farm beef, baby arugula, shaved Reggiano cheese, Italian herb pesto, truffle oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper.

It’s simple, elegant, and delicious!

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

 

Donahue’s Farm Ribeye Steak

Spring Parsnip Soup with Fresh Herb Pesto and truffle CroutonsButter Seared Donahue Farm Ribeye SteakTonight we have created some delicious steak house style dishes.

Creamy Spring Parsnip Soup with fresh herb pesto and truffle croutons.

 

 

Butter Seared Donahue’s Farm Black Angus Rib Eye Steak
With Stuffed mushrooms au gratin, Maker’s Mark bourbon-peppercorn sauce, tender spring asparagus and roasted root vegetables.

Bon Appetite!
Chef Brian

More incredible cheeses….

A selection of cheeses from North Country CreameryYesterday I wrote about our “cheese program” and posted some pictures of the cheeses from Sugar House Creamery.  Today I wanted to share some wonderful cheeses from North Country Creamery in Keeseville, NY.

On the left cut into slabs, we have their Herd Master, the top half wheel is their Couronne, the lower half wheel is their North Land, the curds are Feta, and finally their Camembert is out in front.

We will be featuring these cheeses on our current menu and on the daily Cheese Board.

Bon Apptetite!

Chef Brian