A few new menu items

The growing season is well underway so the menu will change as much over the next three months as it does over the nine months of fall through spring. Here are three newbies, more to come next week. We’ve been slammed since the Bon Appetit piece on fried chicken, but we’re catching up so expect some recipes soon!

This is our 2010 take on strawberry short cake. Get this one while you can, because strawberry season will pass quickly. A market mix of strawberries (generally Seedling, Genesis Growers, and Paul Friday) is macerated and served with cracked pepper-basil shortcake, passionfruit bavarian, violet pearls, and whipped Kilgus cream. The bavarian is a type of mousse. The cows are out to pasture on Kilgus Farmstead and it shows in the rich yellow color on supreme texture of their cream. It whips so finely it can be quenelled! The violet pearls bring out the flowery terpene aromas of the strawberries. They’re made by setting violet syrup into alginate “caviar” so that you have the aromatic syrup encased in itself. Same texture and size as golden trout roe, but it explodes in your mouth with sweet flowery flavor. More on this technique in an upcoming post.

This is a summer update of our popular sweet tea-brined Niman Ranch pork chop. It’s served with baked bean puree and “summer succotash,” which will see some different variations over the summer. Currently with baby lima beans, we are looking forward to crowder peas this summer when they are ready in the field. The limas are sauteed with sweet corn, trinity, and bacon. We buy so much of our meat, dairy, and produce farm direct, but the thing I love about Niman Ranch is that they give small, traditional farmers another option – many small farmers don’t have the means, or the desire, to market their own produce. Niman Ranch does it for them, so we are able to support small farms while having a steady supply of fantastic pork chops, bacon, and ham.

Look for this one to pop up on the menu this weekend. It’s steeped in Caribbean tradition but contemporary in presentation and taste. It’s a Jerked Niman Ranch skirt steak with heart of palm fritters, benne-glazed long beans, and chimichurri. Don’t worry, we tone down the jerk a bit, so while it’ll pack a punch, it’s definitely an approachable dish.