Category Archives: Sustainability

An 1844 House Cheese Board

A selection of artisan cheese from Sugar House Creamery in Upper Jay, NYArtisan Cheese BoardI love cheese.  I love the way milk of all kinds can be fermented, pressed, cooked, cured, and manipulated to yield so many different flavors, textures, and aromas. From fresh squeaky cheese curds to gooey, stinky cave aged cheeses and everything in between; I love cheese.

It is for this reason that I enjoy incorporating different varieties of cheese into our menus.  On our current menu, we are using fresh crumbled farmers cheese (North Country Creamery, Keeseville, NY) on our Smith Farm Chicken Tostada appetizer, Mt. Titus Alpine cheese (Meier’s Artisan Cheese, Ft. Covington, NY) on our famous Onion Au Gratin Soup, Grated Herd Master cheese (North Country Creamery) on our Spanish Style Albondigas appetizer as well as four other types of cheese throughout our menu.

It is such a culinary gift to have so many varieties of great artisan cheese produced right here in upstate NY.  We currently stock 12 varieties of cheeses made from local and regional NY farms. Our Cheese Board appetizer features three different cheeses each day so that our guests can taste samples of this delicious bounty.  Our Cheese Board also features our signature truffle and sea salt roasted mixed nuts, crisp crostini’s, and fruit.  It’s the perfect appetizer to enjoy at our cozy wine bar with a glass (or bottle) of wine from our Wine Spectator Award winning wine list.

Today we are featuring three cheeses from Sugar House Creamery in Upper Jay, NY.  You can tell from the way they describe their cheeses, that they are made with passion. Here are the descriptions of the cheeses we are offering this evening directly from the artisans that made them:

DUTCH KNUCKLE (raw cow milk, aged 8-12 months):
(Pictured in the top left of collage)
The layered complexity of a great beef broth describes the nuanced flavors of this Appenzeller-inspired cheese. Brown Swiss milk, transformed into cheese and long-aged expresses itself as Nature’s version of MSG: robust, bold and mouthwateringly meaty. Lingering long on the tongue, flavor discoveries are unique to the taster. A pleasantly tongue-tingling sensation accompanies longer aged batches along with a fine crystallization that crunches under the teeth. The epitome of milk preservation, each 25-pound wheel represents a distinct moment in time. Wheels are aged from eight to twelve months and harvested by cheese makers when at their peak.

POUND CAKE (pasteurized cow milk, aged 45-60 days):
(Pictured in the top right of the collage)
An indulgent mouth feel. The pudgy pound-sized wheel is a balance of succulent, pudding-like flesh and a tender yet toothsome rind. Washing the cheese in beer from a neighboring brewer encourages deep ripening and gives the rind its grapefruit hue. A very approachable wash-rind cheese, flavors are of cultured butter with a mellow nuttiness and a whiff of wild onions. This cheese is chewy and supple, its texture found only in the magic that the alchemy of fermenting milk can offer.

LITTLE DICKENS (pasteurized cow milk, aged 10-14 days):
(Pictured in the bottom of the collage)
A snowy, white-rinded button often dappled with golden swatches and the occasional appearance of blue. Young, it is rich and silky on the palate with a bright, lactic tang. As this cheese matures, its flavor deepens; aromas are of rising bread dough with finishing taste of true sea salt. With ripening comes a melting just beneath the rind while the core paste grows fudgy in texture. Consider this cheese a fresh, milk biscuit.

Bon Appetite! Chef Brian

1844 House Bacon

Fresh Pork Belly, trimmedDry Rubbed Pork Belly (cure)Post Cure-Pepper Crusted BaconOne of things that makes dining at 1844 House so special is the passion and special attention to detail that we put into preparing our food (and in our service and atmosphere).  There are few restaurants that prepare virtually everything that comes out of their kitchen from scratch the way we do here.

Our bacon is no exception.  Some cooks think that “bacon makes everything better”.  I tend to disagree; I believe “great bacon can make many dishes better”.  Of course, I am a southern born Chef with a particular affinity for most things pork.  I am also a proponent for “snout to tail eating”, that is, total utilization with little waste.  Which comes in handy when you are purchasing pork from a local farm.  There are only so many pork chops on a hog; it is important to incorporate all the other cuts of meat into your menu so that you can help the farmer use the entire animal.

Apple wood smoked-maple sugar cured bacon Like our pork bellies, most of our pork is raised at Pat & April’s Pork in Ft. Covington, NY.  They do a great job and offer many different cuts of pork.

I use a dry rub method of curing as opposed to liquid brining, as it allows me a little more control over the sodium content and flavor.  My dry rub includes locally produced maple sugar and I usually crust the bellies with fresh ground pepper after they are done curing, but before they are air dried.  Then I cold smoke them in my smoker with apple wood from our own apple trees until they are perfect.  This process takes about 10 days to complete, but it is so worth the effort.  Our bacon is used to accent many of the things we create here from our chowders, kale salads, potato hash, warm dressings for salads, beef burgundy, etc.  We believe that putting this much effort into each ingredient produces a superior quality product.  We think you will agree.

Bon Appetite!
Chef Brian

Cider Glazed Apple and Sage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Stuffed Pork TenderloinToday I prepared one of the dishes that I have been preparing each fall/winter season since we opened back in 2006.  I love the comfort food aspect of it and the fact that it incorporates so many ingredients that can still be found locally/regionally like NY state apples and cider, pork, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, onions,  sage from our garden and bread from our local bakery.  This dish is Cider Glazed Apple and Sage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with spiced butternut squash puree and house made bacon sauteed brussel sprouts.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Autumn Food

Short Ribs 2015Autumn is our favorite time of year here at 1844 House.  It is when there is an abundance of fresh local ingredients at the local farmers markets that allow us to create dishes that nourish both the body and soul.

One of my favorite cooking methods in the fall months; as the weather begins to turn cold, is braising.  Braising is a combination cooking method that is a blend of roasting and stewing.  It is a great way to prepare those cuts of meat that are not necessarily palatable by sauteéing, frying, poaching, grilling.  This would include (but not limited to) ribs, short ribs, chuck, brisket, etc.  There is something satisfying about seasoning and searing meat to give it a great crust, then braising it in a stock made from its own bones with fresh vegetables from the local farms.  The resulting dish has such a deep flavor that really showcases the characteristics of the type of meat you are cooking.  We puree the vegetables (mire poix) right into the finished stock to produce a very flavorful liquid that we then blend right into the meat after we “pull it” to keep it moist and intensify the flavor.  Not only will you end up with a wonderful meal, but your kitchen and home will be filled with wonderful aromas.  A perfect example of this is our Featured Entree of the evening.

Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs with a truffle infused brandy-pepper corn sauce, porcini mushroom “beggars purses”, and crisp buttermilk fried onion rings.

I hope you are able to take the time this fall season to wander your local farmers market and bring home the ingredients to create your own food memory.

Bon Appétit!

Chef Brian