Winter menu "Revival" and all the goodness that goes into it
As some of us wish for snow to enjoy what new England has to offer on the mountain tops, some of us yearn for comfort food to drag us through the depths of chilly evenings.
Enjoying the outdoors, winter is my least favorite season. I only hope for cold weather to allow for some time to go ice fishing on my days away from the kitchen, often supplemented with a thermos of chili or venison stew and a good beer, of course, haha
In the kitchen, local ingredients can get depleted as most farms rely on storage crop sales through the winter months – carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, and cabbage come to mind. These items quickly find a place in our coolers as this menu is full of global flavor, great textures, and of course, comfort.
A new small plate is the potato cheddar pierogies.
A mixture of Yukon gold potatoes and Brookford Farm cheddar is nuzzled inside a classic dough made of flour, butter, eggs and sour cream. Served with a winter vegetable slaw consisting of cabbage, other root vegetables depending upon supply and is tossed with a citrus dressing. and of course, what are pierogies with out sour cream?
What would this menu be without the oh so popular shepherds pie, a staple on the winter and spring menus since day #1 (seven years and counting, wow!!)
Braised lamb with seasonal vegetables, braising reduction, whipped potatoes, and truffled potatoes sticks, much better then the childhood favorite canned ones.
Jamie from Meadowview Farm stock piles lamb legs for us all fall, and begs us to starting taking them come November.
As we searched for worldwide stews to revive I came across a spicy octopus tomato stew from Naples, Italy. First, we make a sofrito of onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil and fennel seed. Additions of stewed tomatoes and creamy cannellini beans, fruity green skinned Castelvetrano olives and Maine Blue mussels round out the dish.
Almost forgot the center piece of the dish, a Grilled octopus tenacle. Poached for several hours to tenderize, it is then marinated with smoked paprika, citrus zest, citrus juices, and olive oil before being grilled, adding TONs of flavor.
We’ve done away with our version of Seafood Newburg- if you've had it, please don't be upset. We feel like we boosted this menu slot by replacing it with
Shrimp Stuffed Sole
The Sole is atop a creamy lobster bisque, served with lemon confit fingerling potatoes, spinach, and buttery herbed bread crumbs. Don’t sleep on the potatoes as they are slow cooked in duck fat with lemon zest.
A nod to some of my classic French culinary training, lentil ragout takes center plate beneath a nicely grilled piece of sustainably farmed salmon. The French green lentils are clow cooked with carrots, onions, bay leaf, vegetable stock, herbs and bacon and in true French culinary fashion, fortified with a “tad of butter” - Cue your best Julia Childs voice
For our non meat eating followers (or even our healthy eating January crowd) we have a Sweet Potato Rosti , a Swiss potato cake. Served with hearty greens, spinach, toasted walnuts, roasted Brookford Farm Beets, and a cranberry citrus sauce.(Think cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving with chunks of winter citrus segments and zest all laced with ginger)
Finishing off the list of comfort food additions is the Maple and Soy Braised Pork Shank this pound and a quarter shank is seared and braised for hours to a stage of melt off the bone goodness. Served with mashed sweet potatoes, roasted broccolini, braising jus and a spiced oatmeal streusel that adds a nice texture and pop of warming spice notes to tie the whole dish together. In trial runs we had several clean plate club gold medalists.
Thanks for reading and we hope that enjoying some great food is part of your 2024 resolutions!
Happy New Year, stay happy and healthy!
Chef Corey and the entire team at 11 Depot Street