It was an eventful road trip, which began in Hyde Park, New York on early Saturday evening with the final destination of Marshfield, Massachusetts, but the gastronomic meandering was what set this trip apart. Canoeing the cement tributaries of the Hudson Valley road system in a Georgia tagged vessel, we departed south for the big city of Manhattan. The day was special, in of its own, because it was the second day of sunshine in an otherwise dreary Northern Winter. On the way to the Taconic we happened upon a farm, Sprout Creek Farm to be precise, with a quick u-turn and a wrong turn we were chatting with Georgie and petting some goats. Goats have an interesting looking eye, with the pupil running in the middle of the eye like a line. It was explained, that their peripheral vision is amazing in order to see approaching predators. The goats are on the farm for education and milk production, which goes into some amazing fromages. Moving towards the market area, the little calves were running around like puppies with their awkward gait and worldly curiosity. Leaning over the fence to pet the little cow, she decided my shirt was to appetizing to pass up and grabbed a nibble through the fence, it was one of the funniest memories in a while. Moving then into the market, we were able to taste the variety of cheese made by the farm, hung out with our new friend Caitlin for a little while, tasted some cheese, and got to meet the head cheese monger. A new bit of information learned as to discern between different cheeses based on the color. Yellower cheeses are generally cow's milk cheese, and the more yellow/orange differs between their feeding habits. Winter milk is whiter based on their hay diet, Summer milk is more yellow from the betacaratine in the grass they eat in the Summer, niiiicccceee. After the farm, the journey continued further south heading towards Laguardia Airport. Well, a few tolls and a rest stop in the Bronx, the airport appeared out of no where at the exact moment it needed to. After the success of the first leg of the journey, the cooking to follow needed to be equally as good, and it was. The menu for Sunday was as follows:
Really Green Spinach
Estragon Vin Rouge Sauce
Hock Stocked Split Pea Soup
Trio meaning three, the three types of beef used were filet mignon, tri-tip steaks, and sirloin tips. Each of the steaks was brined in a solution of bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, salt, sugar, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Placed in the fridge to hang out for a while, the meats were becoming saturated with the flavors of the brine. An infused cream of rosemary, peppercorns, and bay leafs was left to cool infusing the flavor of the herbs in the cream. The potatoes were peeled, reserving the skins for potato stock. Once the potato stock was made, slowly simmered potato slices in the liquid until for tender. The potatoes were riced into a soubise made with the infused cream, then folded in room temperature butter. The spinach also profited from the infused cream, Parmesan cheese was added along with some butter to make a delicious creamy good base. Blanched off two boxes of spinach, shocked in ice water to set the color, and then squeezed of any excess water remaining in the leaves. Chopping up all the spinach, placed half in the creamy goodness base and stick blended until it was a bright green creamy goodness, then folded in the remaining spinach. A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon was combined with some shallots, tarragon stems, peppercorns, and tarragon vinegar until a syrup remained. Tempered three egg yolks into the strained liquid, then whisked in clarified butter, finished with chopped tarragon, niiiiccceee. Using a new technique learned from a New Mexican culinary compatriot, the meat was dried and placed on a bed of celery and thyme in a 175F oven until an internal temperature of 125F, about forty five to an hour. The meat was then seared in hot oil, and pouleted with butter, thyme, and garlic. Rested, sliced, and sauced the meat was on the plat with the spinach and potato. It was a good meal, with a good story, that ended with family enjoying a meal.