Tag Archives: #chefbrianwalker

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

Virginia Clams & Shrimp

Virginia Little Neck Clams and ShrimpI very rarely put pasta dishes on our menu, but when I tasted these sweet, tender clams; I knew it had to be pasta night at 1844 House.

First we sauteed minced onions and garlic in butter until they begin to brown, then we add the clams and some white wine.  Just as the clams begin to open we add the shrimp, oregano and thyme.  When the shrimp are plump and pink we add al dente angel hair pasta, fresh grated Reggiano Parmesan, chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, and a dollop of whole butter.  The end result is simple and delicious!

Bon Appetite!

Chef Brian

Farm Fresh Eggs

I was very excited today to get our first delivery of fresh eggs from two new farms, M & M Eggs in Massena and Gulf Creek Farm in Canton.  Fresh chicken and duck eggsThis is one of those occasions where social media helped bring people together to solve a problem.  We needed a new supplier for our eggs, so I put a post on our Face Book page and one of our guests put us in contact with the farm(s).

The eggs are as delicious as they are beautiful. You can taste the chicken eggs in a variety of our dishes; poached on our kale salad, as a rosemary creme brulee, as meringue in our pavlova, etc.  I will be “playing” with the duck eggs in my kitchen tomorrow to see how to best showcase them on our menu.

The chicken eggs are on the left and the duck eggs are on the right in this picture.

Chef Brian

Pork Rillettes

Pork RillettesRillettes of Pork is one of my favorite types of pâté.  It also happens to be one of my favorite memories of a mid- day meal while we were in Paris.  I ordered it in several different bistros (along with a carafe of white wine) in different areas around the city so I could taste the differences in each chefs preparation. It was satisfying every time.

Rillettes can be made from rabbit, duck, fish, and many other meats, but pork is my favorite (with duck close behind).  It must be my southern heritage.  Rillettes are made by braising fresh pork (I used shoulder) with mire poix, and aromatics until the meat begins to fall apart; much like pulled pork in the south.  The meat is blended up along with some of the reduced stock and some of its rendered fat until it shreds apart and begins to turn into a spreadable paste.  I do this in my Kitchen Aide with the paddle attachment.  It is then placed in jars and then more fat is poured over the top to seal and protect the meat.  It is served cold and spread over bread or crackers and often with flavorful condiments.  I really enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor of my caramelized onion jam (there is red wine vinegar in it) as well as gherkins with their sweetness and hint of spice.  This is a perfect lunch with a side of fresh greens and herbs tossed in Champagne vinaigrette or in this case a nice glass of crisp white Bordeaux or Proseco sparkling wine at our cozy wine bar.

Bon Appetite!
Chef Brian

Shrimp & Grits

As most of my regular guests know, I am a southerner.  Although I was raised in South Florida, my father is from Alabama, so I grew up loving grits.  Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite grits dishes; especially at breakfast.  Although it is an extremely satisfying appetizer on a cold winter night.

  To many southerners, grits (ground white hominy) should only be boiled in plain water, with a pat of butter, salt and pepper added at the end.  That’s probably because it is not unusual to then cover your grits with a couple of eggs fried and bacon grease & some crumbled bacon, mix it all together and eat it.  So the real flavor comes from the bacon and eggs.  Shrimp & Grits

When I prepare them, I like to enhance the grits so that they are delicious enough to stand on their own, but taste even better with a few other complementary flavors.  In this case, my grits are cooked in water with a touch of garlic, then finished with a big chunk of butter, some heavy cream, and a generous helping of cheddar cheese.  I then top them with a delicious sauce made from smoked bacon, onions, tomatoes, shrimp stock, and a touch of cream.  Along with some some blackened shrimp, this is a simple dish that is bursting with flavor and guaranteed to warm you heart and soul.

Bon Appetite!

 

Rosemary-Potato Foccacia

When it is really cold outside (like today), one of my favorite things to make is fresh bread.  So as I entered my kitchen today with bread on my mind, I started thinking about the beautiful yukon gold potatoes that I have.  Well this is the end result; which I must say came out absolutely delicious.  We are serving it with a side dish of aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to dip it in.  It is simple, classic, and just perfect with a glass of wine at our cozy wine bar.  Stay warm out there!

Bon Appetite!
Chef Brian

Rosemary-Potato Foccacia
with fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese.Rosemary-Potato Foccacia

Pavlova

PavlovaNow that the holidays are behind us, we have a fresh new dessert menu.  This is one of our new dessert menu offerings.  It was inspired by my daughter Summer, who loves to cook.  She made one of these with her grandmother (Lauri Drake) the other night for our family dinner and it was amazing.  It is also a great dessert for anyone who is looking for something sweet that is a little lighter.  Our Pavlova is a crisp meringue base topped with a fresh mango curd, sweet cream, and strawberries.

We also have two other new desserts on our menu that I will feature in the coming days.

* Note to our regular guests….The Charlotte du Chocolat is still on the dessert menu!


Bon Appetite!
Chef Brian

Happy New Year from 1844 House!

Cream Puff SwanSince we opened in 2006, we have finished our year with special menu items that reflect my love for classic European and American cuisines and my training under 3 ACF Certified Master Chefs (1 American, 1 French, 1 German).  One of our traditions is to make this classic dessert.  It remains one of our guest favorites and we are so happy to bring it back again this year.

Cream Puff Swan
A Grand Marnier mousse filled cream puff swan swimming in a pool of raspberry coulis.

Simple. Elegant. Delicious.

Happy New Year from all of us at 1844 House.  We look forward to spending many more special occasions with you in 2016!

Bon Appetite!

Chef Brian