Tuesday, June 16, 2009

7 course dinner

We did a seven course tasting menu last week for some friends of the owner. I wanted to show some of the highlights from the dinner. We had a lot of fun with this. These first 3 pictures are of the beet root carpaccio with aged balsamic, Greek extra virgin olive oil, mint and radish.
We did a pasta course of Carbonara. Housemade spaghetti, roasted tomato, Meadow Creek Dairy mountaineer, applewood smoked bacon and quail egg.

I got a chance here to work with 2 cool new items to me. Yellow Tail hamachi and Grains of paradise. We seared the hamachi for sashimi and served it with julienne salsify root and orange butter emulsion.

Here we have Cavendish Farms quail stuffed with housemade port, current sausage; black current jus and puffed quinoa.

Like an idiot I forgot to get a picture of our dessert. It was more or less fair food or everything you want from the South in a desert. We made graham cracker grit cakes with sugar and honey and battered and deep fried. We topped the hot grit cake with banana ice cream and sweet tea caramel. Can't beleive I forgot the picture.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A lot to catch up on

It's been too long so I thought I'd just roll a bunch of blogs into one. It's hard to think of where to start as we have been up to a lot in these past few weeks. Spring time has come as well as local produce. It almost makes your head spin. So much produce rolling in and what to do with it all. It's a good problem to have.

Why by a thermal circulator when you can have a Johnski!!!

So many chefs today focus on sous vide cooking and cooking at the right tempurature in order to yield a steak that is 99% med rare and 1% well done. This was a steak on a party of 60 we had one saturday night. John, my sous chef, grilled probably about 35 filets to medium. This was one extra one and had sat for a good 20 minutes after the party before we cut into it. It is pictures like this that makes me up in the air about how so many chefs are begining to use so much equipment to get results like we have above. Proper cooking, using methods proven to give standardized desired results, is almost always as good as any machine. So get yourself a Johnski. He also slices, dices, chops, and gets mad a staff meal!

Of course John always does a great job but we can't let his head get too big. So the front of house sent back a joke ticket. I had no idea and as I called the ticket John looked at me and said "I think I quit."

New Dishes

We have come up with a lot of new menu items. Here they are and we should have these on the menu for a little while longer.

Here we are looking at our new pheasant. It is a provencal style sauce with tomatoes, fennel, olives, roasted peppers, and fresh herbs de provence(we use thyme, parsley, majoram, and lavender). We serve the pheasent with artichoke hearts and grilled polenta.

Here we have a boneless lamb loin. Grilled and served with a lavender-port jus, arugala, asaragus, fava beans, red peppers and roasted tomatoes. This is like lamb over a warm salad.

These are the soft shell crabs we got in for one weekend. The season is so short and we had so few. Here is what we came up with. We battered the crabs in kadafi dough (shredded phyllo) and deep fried them. We served the crabs with arugula, and pommery mustard vinagrette. The brioche and quail egg we made like a tiger's eye, aka toad in a whole. The quail egg tiger's eye is a small tribute to my late grandma who used to make me tiger's eyes in tomato soup.

We finally changed our scallop dish. We pan sear the scallops and serve them over a puree of cauliflower and sauteed spinach. We made a gremolata and used brown butter solids to reinforce the brown butter in the plate. A tarragon-basil emulsion, more brown butter and candied lemon finish off what I think is a great dish.

Some random pics
Exactly as the title says.
This is John making roasted garlic and mushroom butter. It looks really cool on the plate having 2 different colored butters.

Suck it Sergio!!! Winslow is funny!
Jeff stealing the Tryon truck.
Nicely seared salmon. Courtesy of cisco.