Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Maybelle's Breakfast Egg Sandwich

It's 20 something days and counting until our wedding and I've been running back and forth from Hudson firming up plans. My stomach was rumbling after my hair appointment so I decided to treat myself to brunch. As I asked around while antique shopping in Catskill, locals were praising this new farm-to-table establishment called Maybelle's. Can't beat local advice!

The culinary compass usually points toward Hudson but don't underestimate Catskill. The sleepy stretch of Main Street may not standout as a gourmet destination but Maybelle's lays the foundation for an exciting menu worth coming to Catskill for. At first glance, I was mesmerized by the menu and its offerings: pan-seared duck sandwich, caramelized brussel sprouts with pickled okra, lamb merguez, among a bevy of tantalizing dishes. Sadly I was by myself and restrained myself to a simple breakfast sandwich accompanied by a sip of homemade lavender soda. 

As simple as a breakfast sandwich can be, the right elements can elevate this breakfast staple to a whole new level. At Maybelle's, two over easy eggs are sandwiched between the most tender and fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuit, schmeared on both sides with a generous amount of tangy goat cheese, and topped with your choice of local Catskills bacon or sausage. Add a swirl of sriracha and I was in breakfast bliss. Forget all the other frozen microwaveable breakfast sandwiches. The stars are the fresh ingredients but that goat cheese added an extra creaminess that made this little 'ole sandwich so decadent. I might very well start putting goat cheese on all my breakfast sandwiches from now on. But first I gotta bring J with me on a return visit, most likely as husband and wife the next time around!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

currently snacking on...

... The Ice Cream Man's Throwdown Sundae as seen on Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay. 
Homemade vanilla hard ice cream, warm cinnamon apple pie filling,
whipped cream with nuts and a cherry on top, in this case burried somewhere! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Stemwinder Wine Bar

I was recently whisked away for a bachelorette weekend in Vermont for some much needed rest and relaxation. We spent most of the day at the spa at the charming Hartness House Inn in Springfield but by the time we got out, most of the shops were already starting to close early. Worried about a repeat of mediocre takeout Chinese from the previous night, we ventured out to the nearest town where we encountered Stemwinder Wine Bar in the ski town of Ludlow. It was love at first sight as we were greeted by the words "duck fat" on the menu. The rest of the menu was an experience to remember:

Oven Roasted Potatoes: These crispy yet creamy potatoes were glistening in duck fat but it was the bits of braised beef brisket and herbed aioli with Plymouth Hunter cheese that made it extra special.
Seasonal Vermont Cheese Board: I can't recall the names of each cheese, just how delicious each nibble was. This particular board was curated with much thought, from the condiments to the bread. The baguette was a house-made bread with "everything bagel" toppings; house-pickled radishes; and a tangy balsamic caramelized onion chutney. Cheeses were a trio of an award-winning cheddar, a cumin infused hard cheese, and by far my favorite, an ash-covered goat cheese.The charcuterie was as delicious as the cheeses; the Vermont-made soppresatta was a particular standout.
Roasted Marrow Canoes: The best bite of the night was hands down these marrow bones. It's meat butter at its best. The marrow is so luxurious but the addition of a bright and acidic jalapeno scallop ceviche cut the richness just enough, elevating this dish to a whole new level. 

For good measure we ordered a salad to balance out all the dishes we were indulging in and even that was phenomenal with elements like roasted beets, grapefruit, and pepitas. A couple glasses of wine and this bachelorette was in food heaven!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lunch at TC Paris

I cannot tell you how lucky you are Saratoga Springs to have TC Paris in your backyard. We miss having them in Albany dearly but have seen them grow and evolve into such a fantastic shoppe over the past couple of years. It's no longer about the macarons, albeit the best ones we've had in the Capital Region, but Chef Paul and crew are churning up more and new exciting things every time we get chance to get our butts up there. Things are getting savory and tres delicieux! We checked out their new Lunch in Paris menu:

Croque Monsieur: Not your typical lunchbox ham and cheese. This sandwich is grilled with a generous amount of butter and lovingly layered with carefully picked ingredients--European Ham from Niman Ranch, imported Gruyere, on "Pan de Compagne" bread. It's topped with a luxurious, creamy bechamel sauce spiked with thyme for added layer of flavor and broiled until brown and bubbly. A light spread of mustard adds just enough zip to cut through the richness of it all. How cute are the teeny tiny cornichons served alongside?

The Remy: The french baguettes at TC Paris remind me of the ones at home in Montreal. For me, the flavor and texture of the bread is very nostalgic with just the right balance of a crisp crust to chewy innard. Add some sweet fig jam, salty prosciutto, creamy St. Andre cheese, and some peppery arugula and you've got yourself another winning sandwich.

Mac 'n Cheese: What's so French about macaroni and cheese? Well the same buttery bechamel sauce adds a wonderful creaminess with a dash of nutmeg and imported Malaysian black pepper. But a simple but generous amount of cheese, both Gruyere and aged Canadian cheddar, add a very comforting and familiar taste. It's a well-made classic dish but somehow tastes more sophisticated.

Be sure to polish things off with a fleur de sel caramel. It's salted caramel taken to a whole new level with a deep bruleed flavor. For good measure, take an opera cake or Isphan macaron home too. What a treat to have a taste of Paris without a passport!