Ham Au Gratin Potatoes

Au Gratin Mise Place

Au Gratin before bakingAu Gratin BakedWe received a box of different cuts of pork the other day from Pat & Aprils Pork in Fort Covington. The first thing that came to mind when I saw this tasty ham steak was going to the church dinners at the Nicholville UMC with Jenny when we were first dating.  What could be better than a fall harvest potluck dinner at your church?  There were usually 3 or 4 different versions of macaroni and cheese, au gratin potatoes, baked beans, and pies, don’t forget the incredible pies.

So here is my homage to all the grandmothers out there who take their wonderful family recipes to the pot luck dinners at church….Thank You!

My version includes russet potatoes, Gruyere and Parmesan cheese, julienne ham, sweet cream, nutmeg, and bread crumbs with butter and fresh herbs.  Serve this with a side of fresh greens tossed in Champagne vinaigrette and you have a very comforting meal.

Bon Appétit! Chef Brian

Autumn Soup

Creamy Cabbage and Kale SoupThis is one of those soups that just makes you feel good.  What could be better on a cool fall evening than a hearty soup?  For our Creamy Cabbage and Kale Soup  my Sous Chef Arthur picked up some beautiful green cabbage and organic kale from the Canton Farmers Market.  I started the soup with chicken stock made from Smith Farm chickens and utilized the fresh ingredients from the market along with some sweet cream.  To finish the soup, I added some diced bratwurst sausage and rye bread croutons.

I hope you find yourself at your local farmers market soon; and create your own delicious pot of soup….Bon Appétit!

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

Tips for Creating Fall Cocktails

People often ask how we come up with new and interesting cocktails for sample cocktaileach season. I have put together a handful of tips to help you in creating your very own fall cocktails.

  1. Use the flavors of the season– Work with fall fruits and vegetables like, apples, pears, pumpkin, and squash. Add to the list fall herbs like sage and thyme.
  2. Barrel aged liquors rule the fall– Anything that has been aged in an oak barrel will have slight hint of vanilla and spices. These flavors tie in well with all the fall fruits and vegetable flavors.
  3. Spice it up with baking spices– Think pie spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla to name a few. The smell of pies baking automatically makes me think of fall.  Just remember, a little goes a long way. Try using spices in simple syrups or on the rim of the glass to add some flavor.
  4. Use Classic Cocktails as a base– Take something that has stood the test of time and then elevate it with your own touch.

These steps will help you on your way to building great tasting and unique fall cocktails. If you would like to see what we came up with this fall, stop by this week as we roll out our new fall cocktail list.

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