Tag Archives: #comfortfood

Pan Seared Mushroom Mille Feuille

Pan Seared Mushroom Mille FeuilleToday I worked on creating a new vegetarian dish for our winter menu. Although I am not sure this is going to be a permanent menu item, it is definitely one I will be repeating.

One important aspect of vegetarian dining for me is a combination of different textures. I was inspired by German strudel pastry as I read through a holiday baking book, so I started with a box of phyllo dough.  I began brushing layers of of the dough with beaten egg and sprinkling fresh herb infused bread crumbs between the layers.  Then I baked the pastry layers until they were crispy.  This is why I used the term “mille feuille” which translates from French to “thousand leaves” to describe these delicious crispy layers.  For additional texture I chose shiitake and crimini mushrooms as well as some kale from my garden.  By slicing the mushrooms thick and searing them quickly in brown butter they retain a wonderful chewiness that satisfies the palate much like meat.  Finally, needed something to bind it all together.   For this I chose some  sweet organic parsnips that we purchased from BirdsFoot Farm.  Combined with just a dollop of goat cheese between each layer it adds the perfect creaminess to balance the crisp and chewy textures.

This is one of those vegetarian dishes that might just win over a few carnivores.   We look forward to seeing you soon!

Bon Appetite! Chef Brian

Pan Seared Mushroom Mille Feuille
Forest mushrooms, tender kale, sweet parsnip puree
& creamy goat cheese between layers of crisp
phyllo & herbs.

Duck Confit

Duck Confit with potato gnocchiMy favorite time of year for cooking is finally here and we have just launched our new fall menu.  Over the next week or so, I will be sharing pictures and stories about our new menu items on our page.

The first dish I would like to introduce is my favorite dish on the fall menu that is a completely new addition; the Duck Confit.  Duck Confit has been one of my favorite ways to enjoy duck since I first encountered it as a student at The Culinary Institute of America.  I was very excited when a local farmer approached me about using his duck on our menu.  He raises ducks for egg production, so he was looking for an outlet for his male ducks.  He brought me a sample duck, and I decided to prepare the entire duck confit style.  It was delicious!  My kitchen staff and I enjoyed preparing it in many ways and enjoying it for lunch for several days.

House Made Duck ConfitFor those of you who do not know what “confit” is, here is a very simplified explanation.  This method is an old world style of preserving meat so it wont spoil as quickly.  The duck is butchered and rubbed with a cure/spice mixture and pressed for a couple of days.  This allows the salt to extract the moisture from the meat, while the meat absorbs the spice flavor.  Then the meat is rinsed to remove all the excess salt and spices and allowed to dry out on a rack in the cooler until a pellicle (dry skin) forms on the surface.  Then the meat is submerged in a bath of hot duck fat and slow cooked until the meat is tender and falls off the bone, similar to pulled pork.  The meat is cooled in the fat to allow it to reabsorb some of the fat and to prevent the air from getting to the meat.  The absence of water/moisture and air preserve the meat.

The final preparation came about kind of “on the fly” one afternoon as I was doing some early morning cooking.  My intention was to get some cooking done early, then hand off the kitchen to my Sous Chef and enjoy a weekend in Lake Placid with our GM, Barry as he celebrated his 40th birthday.  Unfortunately, my Sous Chef became ill, and I had to cancel my weekend.  I wanted to celebrate with Barry anyway, so I went into my kitchen and invented this dish.  We enjoyed it with some fresh baked baguette and a wonderful bottle of Super Tuscan wine.  It was a great lunch with a great friend.  Sometimes the best dishes just come out of nowhere.

Duck Confit
M&M Farm Duck Confit with Northwoods Farm mushrooms, brandy-peppercorn sauce and potato gnocchi.  Served in a “nest” of organic baby arugula that is dressed with truffle oil, Pecorino cheese and fresh ground pepper and topped with a poached duck egg.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Sour Dough Bread & Buttermilk Biscuits

Sour dough breadOne of the things that makes 1844 House unique to our community is our passion for freshness and preparing food from scratch.  Our talented team of committed young chefs work hard each day transforming fresh local ingredients into our award winning cuisine.

Many of our guests are surprised when they find that we make almost everything that we serve here in our kitchen.  From the croutons, dressings, stocks and sauces; to our fresh cut steaks from local meat and all of our desserts, sorbets & ice creams.  We simply love to cook, and it shows in the quality of our food.  This is what culinary passion looks like.

While we proudly offer organic country white bread from the local bakery in our bread baskets, we also love to complement it with our  own fresh baked breads.  In this case, it is a potato sour dough.  I love to bake different kinds of bread and experiment with sponges, starters and dough’s.

Buttermilk BiscuitsI also love biscuits!  It must be my southern heritage.  So when I get the craving, I will bake up a batch for myself and a maybe even a few for our guests.  In the picture to the left, the large one is for my staff and myself and the smaller ones were for the guests.  They were great smeared with my home made hot pepper jelly (with peppers from our Chefs’ garden) and cream cheese.

Any of these breads are a wonderful start to a great meal here at 1844 House; especially when you enjoy them with our signature flavored butters.  Just think, if we put this much passion into a product we don’t even charge for; how much passion goes into everything else.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Bon Appetite!  Chef Brian

Beef Tomato Macaroni Soup

Beef Tomato Macaroni Soup with Fresh Baked Saltine CrackersHere at 1844 House, we have mastered the practice of total utilization.  That means that we find a way to use up all of the food that we are preparing so that there is minimal waste.  Not only does it make sense from a business perspective; it makes sense from an environmental and conservation perspective.  A great, simple example of this is our bread.  We get fresh organic country white bread delivered from our local bakery every other day.  If the bread is not consumed by the end of the second day it is turned into croutons, bread crumbs, bread pudding, crostini’s, etc.

Another example of this is tonight’s featured soup; Beef Tomato Macaroni with home made saltine crackers.  This is a great way to help us use up the beef tenderloin scraps that we accumulate when cutting our fresh steaks each day.  It is a North Country staple, and I have enjoyed many versions of this through out Northern NY at many diners and restaurants.

Our version starts with searing the beef in small batches to caramelize the meat, then we add our mire poix vegetables along with garlic and dried herbs and sweat them until they are aromatic. Finally, we add our rich and intense beef stock and chopped San Marzano tomatoes and simmer until all the flavors are melded together.  The pasta is added just before it is served so it stays al dente and we serve our fresh baked saltines on the side so they are crisp and ready to crumble into your soup.

Bon Appetite!

Chef Brian

Buttermilk Fried Calamari

Buttermilk Fried Calamari with Spicy Cajun AioliThis is a classic 1844 House appetizer; and one of our guests favorites.  So we are bringing it back for the whole weekend…..

Buttermilk Fried Calamari with spicy Cajun aioli.

Come in and enjoy it at our cozy wine bar with one of our signature cocktails or a craft beer from our extensive collection.  We will be featuring our calamari as one of our 6 til 6 appetizers on Friday (3/18) and Saturday (3/19).

Bon Appetite! Chef Brian