Friday, November 19, 2010


Yeah, it's hunting season here in central PA. The air has turned from cool to cold in the early AM and the rake is the yard tool of choice. This time of year I think a lot about game. Not just venison or quail, but pheasant and squab, too.

Pheasant is a fun bird to work with and I decided that I wanted to present both the breast and leg/thigh meat in a chilled dish this Fall. The dish features a pheasant that has been cooked, deboned, tossed with a small amount of gelatin, brown butter, regular butter, parsley and salt and pepper. This mixture is then rolled and chilled. The other pieces to this puzzle are a turnip remoulade to cut the richness of the pheasant, crispy shallots because why not, and an apple butter vinaigrette which brings the dish home to the 717 and solidifies it as EAT LIKE YOU LIVE HERE food! Enjoy!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shoo Fly

I LOVE Shoo Fly Pie. If you asked a bunch of people for a couple of thoughts about food in central PA, shoo fly pie is likely to be an answer. However, and I know frequent readers of the blog will not be surprised by this, I'm picky about my shoo fly. I don't like shoo fly cake. I don't like a pie that has a soggy crust. I don't like a high crumb to molasses ratio. And so on..... In case anyone is wondering, I have 'taste tested' every shoo fly pie available at the York Fair. Yeah, I know. Crazy.

So....I've wanted to create the ultimate shoo fly experience. Inspiration comes in many forms and I'm constantly inspired by the raw products that surround me, the terroir AND my area's food heritage. Shoo fly is a huge part of that story(scrapple is too....look for my ideas on scrapple in a future post). In considering shoo fly flavors and texture, I was stuck on the idea that a bunch of pies that I've tasted come out dry. Basically, too much crumb. AND....I didn't want to simply produce a pie. So, what to do, what to do? First stop: Source a great molasses. I am fortunate to be able to buy sorghum molasses from my good friend Josiah Martin. Josiah's uncle makes the most amazing sorghum molasses that has a great color and flavor....It's not bitter, but also not too cloyingly sweet. So, molasses, check. Next stop? What flavors would go with shoo fly? Shoo fly is a pretty sweet flavor profile, so I decided to go two ways. One was to make a red wine caramel. The other was to take a dice of fresh apple. Now, I have a balance to the sweet with the red wine caramel and apple, a little crunch with the apple. One final touch? Salt. All that sugar needs a little salt to balance it, so I thought of brown butter roasted pecans tossed with salt and sugar. OK. On to the shoo.

Ever have fried ice cream? If you have, you're seeing where I'm going with this one. I made a sorghum molasses ice cream. Made the crumb topping traditionally associated with shoo fly pie(although I like to add malted milk to my crumb mixture....sue me) Once the ice cream was solid, we scooped it out and coated it with the shoo crumb mixture. Frozen solid. THEN.....dropped into 375 degree oil and fried until crispy and golden brown. HELLO LOVER!!!

Here are a couple of shots of the finished dish, but you really need to get your butt to the Mansion and eat this dish. It is warm, cold, sweet, salty, amazing, Eat Like You Live Here food!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

From All of Us, To All of You: THANK YOU!!!

In case you haven't noticed, I've been a little lax about posting on the blog. Well, I haven't exactly been sitting around twiddling my thumbs or building the ultimate spit ball machine. You see, a little market has popped up in Hanover. Popped up right behind the Mansion. That's right, The Carriage House Market is open for business.

I'd write a long list of all the things the Market sells, but I'd rather sum it up this way: If it's local and you're cookin' it, we're sellin' it. No, we're not selling pineapples and lemons. Yes, we are selling amazing salad greens, fresh bread and the most incredible meats. We're also cranking out some wicked soups that are ready to eat. Want a quick meal? How about a quart of white bean soup and a loaf of rustic french bread!!!

LOCAL IS LUXURY: Ever want to get in touch with your local farmers, but you just can't seem to make the specific time a farmer's market is open? We've taken care of that problem for you. The Carriage House Market is open wednesday-saturday 12 month of the year and is selling all the great products that I currently source for the restaurant.
Every time I find a passionate producer for the restaurant, we'll be selling their raw products in the Market, allowing you the luxury of eating like you live here!!!

Simply because I think sleep is overrated, we've decided to bring fresh baked bread to The Carriage House Market. Not only rustic boules, pretzel rolls and parker house rolls, but we've added the hippest thing to hit Hanover since the Hanover-Delone bonfire.....STICKY BUN SATURDAYS!!!!(for those of you who line up at the door before we open on saturdays; YOU MAKE BEING AT WORK AT 4AM TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!) A brief serious word: I know many people have come to the Market only to find the bread shelf as bare as the toilet paper aisle just before the first snow flurry. I'm sorry about that....People are eating the bread as fast as I can put it on the shelves. Seriously. Please don't despair. I'm am so overwhelmed by the area's response to our baked goods that we are taking steps to not only produce more bread, but also a wider variety of baked goods. We'll be working extra hard to make sure you get your bread!!!

To everyone who has stopped in at The Carriage House Market, THANK YOU! To everyone who hasn't....wathca waitin' for??? EAT LIKE YOU LIVE HERE!!!