Tag Archives: #comfortfood

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

 

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

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

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