Tag Archives: #chefbrianwalker

Smoked Trout Mousse

Pecan Wood Smoked Trout Mousse on a Soda CrackerEach evening we prepare a complimentary hors d’ oeuvres for our guests.  Its just a little something to wake up your taste buds and get them ready for a great meal.

Today we smoked some fresh rainbow trout with pecan wood and it came out delicious.  We made a small batch of trout mousse with it and it was an instant food memory for me.  Where I am from in Gulf coastal Florida, many waterfront seafood restaurants and oyster bars offer smoked mullet (or mackerel, or bluefish) dip with saltine crackers on their menus.  So I decided to make my own, that is a slightly “elevated” version of a Florida classic.  My fresh baked soda crackers are very similar in taste and texture to a saltine.  I just use less salt and added fresh ground pepper.

Just think…If we put this much care and effort into a complimentary hors d oeuvre; you are in for a real culinary treat when you get your food.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian


Almond Crusted Crab Cake

Growing up in gulf coastal Florida, I have always loved crab cakes.  During tAlmond Crusted Crab Cake with sesame carrot salad and Asian remouladehe course of my career and life travels, I have enjoyed (mostly) many variations on the theme.  Today I was reminiscing about a few of my favorites; so I decided to prepare one for my lunch.  I enjoyed it so much I made enough to offer as an appetizer for this evening.

Come enjoy one at our cozy wine bar with nice glass of wine.

Bon Apetite!  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

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

Seared Diver Scallops with Ancient Grain Risotto

Seared Diver Scallops with Ancient Grain RisottoI have been working on new dishes for the menu and today I decided to work on a new vegetarian dish.  I just finished reading a book about “ancient grains” that have their culinary roots from central Mexico down through Central America and into South America, so I decided to do experimenting with them.  These highly nutritious grains are not only delicious, but add a wonderful nutty texture to the dish. I used a blend of three types of quinoa (red, black, and regular), millet, and amaranth.  I cooked them using the risotto method using vegetable broth, then added my roasted winter root vegetables.  The rest of this dish kind of fell into place after that.  The small dollop of goat cheese adds a nice creaminess, the crispy fried mushrooms added some flavor and texture, and the Cabernet-beet emulsion adds a complex flavor of earthiness, sweetness, and tartness.  The end result was a perfect vegetarian dish.  I decided to add some fresh scallops to this dish for this evening’s feature because they just looked so perfect when they arrived today.

Seared Diver Scallops
Ancient grain risotto, roasted winter root vegetables, creamy goat cheese, crispy mushrooms, Cabernet-beet emulsion.

Bon Appetite!
Chef Brian