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

Seared Scallops with Local Shiitake Mushrooms

Local Shiitake MushroomsThis weekend we were fortunate enough to get some freshly harvested shiitake mushrooms from Bob Wagner at Northwoods Shiitake Farm .  It was a surprise to get them because we are experiencing a very warm and dry summer and these tasty little mushrooms require a certain amount of moisture in order to bloom.  Like most farmers, Bob found an innovative way to help nature along by soaking his logs in river water to facilitate the bloom.  The result is beautiful firm mushrooms that are perfect for many types of preparations including the dish we created for this weekends featured entree.

Scallops & ShiitakesWe look forward to next summer when we anticipate the first harvest from our own shiitake farm that we installed with help and guidance from Bob earlier this summer.  It is a great lesson in patience when you realize that there is a 12 month wait for your first crop.  Fortunately, we are able to enjoy the bounty this year from Northwoods Farm.

Seared Scallops with Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms
Seared diver scallops, sweet local corn and fresh herb risotto, crispy shiitake mushrooms, tomato-saffron beurre fondue.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Summer Cocktails

Grapefruit-Citrus SangriaDuring the past 10 years we have created many enduring summer traditions on our menu.  One of our guest favorites is our Sangria du Jour.  Each day we create a refreshing wine cocktail that is sure to excite your taste buds and refresh your spirit.  Maliah has created a new favorite for me….Grapefruit-Citrus Sangia.

Come in an try this one or any of our other unique signature summer cocktails.  Its a great way to enjoy a evening stroll around our gardens before you have your dinner.

Cheers!  Chef Brian

Thai Watermelon Salad

Thai Watermelon SaladOn a hot summer day there is nothing better than a cool refreshing salad to start a meal.  This Thai watermelon salad fits the bill perfectly and is a great starter or accompaniment to grilled meat.  The simplicity of this salad makes it a great summer dish because it is relatively quick to prepare and utilizes ingredients that may be growing in your garden.

Thai Watermelon Salad
Sweet watermelon, Thai herbs (cilantro, mint, basil), fresh lime juice, roasted peanuts, fish sauce.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

 

Craft Beer on Draft

Township 7 Brewery LogoAs our regular guests know, 1844 House is a small historic farm house that has been converted into a restaurant.  It originally opened in 1985 as French’s 1844 House and operated for 15 years  before it closed.  Jenny and I bought it in 2006, reopened it as 1844 House,  An American Bistro and have pretty much kept it as it was.  Our cozy bar was built by a local craftsman and is just large enough to hold the existing equipment which did not include a beer tap system.  We have always carried a great variety of NY state and national craft beers in bottles to complement our award winning wine list.  However, with Jenny’s brother Nathan Drake  about to open his new brewery in Dickinson Center, NY (about 45 minutes down 11b, towards Malone) Township 7 Brewery.  We have done reorganizing of our bar equipment and installed a new tap system that will soon feature Township 7 Beers. We are very excited about his endeavor and cannot wait to offer his great beers here at 1844 House.

While we are patiently waiting for NY State to issue his permit, we have brought in some delicious craft beer to take advantage of our new tap system.  We are currently featuring Southern Tier 2X IPA, Ithaca Beer Company’s Apricot Wheat Ale, and Six Point Brewery (Brooklyn, NY) Crisp Lager.

We invite you to come join us for some great “Farm to Table” cuisine and delicious craft beer.

Cheers!

Southern Tier 2X IPA logoSix Point Crisp Lager

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

Lemon-Blueberry Tart

Lemon-Blueberry TartThe bush blueberries are in high season and we have some deliciously sweet ones from Lazy River Farm.  One of my favorite flavor combinations is blueberries and lemon, so my daughter Savannah and I made these simple and wonderful tarts.

 

 

Lemon-Blueberry Tart
Lazy River Farm blueberries, tart lemon curd, flaky shortbread crust, lavender infused honey drizzle.

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

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