The Tasting Panel magazine

JUNE 2011

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 105 of 132

BA: What specialty produce are you growing at the Squeaky Bean to play with on your menus? Sean: Arugula, kale, anise hyssop, English peas, snow peas, frisée, rosemary, lemon balm, horseradish, rhubarb, basil (eight varieties), mint (spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint), salsify, orach spinach, oregano, thyme and lemongrass. BA: There are so many spirit categories that include interest- ing flavors, both savory and sweet. Is there a particular flavor that would be on your wish list to use at the bar and in the kitchen? Chef Maxwell: A quality spirit with lemongrass would be great to work with. Sean: I’d like to see more spirits with savory botanicals like fennel, basil, cardamom, dill and sage. BA: There is a grassroots movement across America in which more and more restaurants are supporting their local farmers’ markets by embracing them as a resource for the menu. Why is this important to you? Chef Maxwell: It supports the local economy, and the shorter the transport, the easier on the environment. Whatever we don’t grow in our own garden, we source from Aspen Moon farms in Hygiene, Colorado. The farm is owned by Jason Griffith, the brother in-law of one of our longtime employees. So we keep it in the family. Our cooks go to the farm and we harvest the produce ourselves. Sean: What’s the cliché line? “Think globally, act locally.” I act locally by walking to the beds each day and picking produce for the bar. Using our own produce is an amazing tool. No trucks, no transport, no harmful emissions (unless I’m gassy). BA: Chef Max, if you could create a signature dish just for Sean what would that be? Chef Maxwell: Sean is a meat-and-potatoes guy, so I would make him a seared dry- aged rib-eye with caramelized bone marrow, pommes aligout and onion marmalade. BA: Sean, What cocktail would you create just for Chef Maxwell? Sean: Max has an amazing talent for taking traditional dishes, turning them upside down and blowing the socks off of our diners. He’s also a whiskey guy. Taking a page from his book, I would make him a White Whiskey Sazerac with Death’s Door White Whiskey, Bitter Truth Creole Bitters, Leopold Bros Absinthe Verte and grapefruit zest. But, he’s not getting his drink until I get my rib-eye . . . BA: Where do you stand on sustainable spirits compatibility in cocktails and having a home on the back bar? Sean: Please excuse me while I step on my soap box! First, I think that the movement towards organic, biodynamic and sustainability in spirits is awesome. We all have a responsibility to our planet; we should do everything we can do to lessen our impact. I have eliminated high fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients from our stock. Unfortunately, there is a wealth of spirits on the market that use genetically modified base material (corn, wheat, etc.), pesti- cides, chemical fertilizers, etc.; big business factory distillers that care nothing for our environment. My philosophy? Respect our environment. That’s what we are supposed to do. THE DRINK: The Busy Bee 2 oz. Cap Rock Organic Gin (Hotchkiss, CO) ■ ■ ■ ■ ¾ oz. honey syrup (Berry Patch Farms Organic, Brighton, CO) ¾ oz. organic lemon juice 1 medium-size strawberry (Berry Patch Farms Organic, Brighton, CO) ■ 1 sprig lemon verbena leaves (Squeaky Bean gardens) ■ ■ 3 pink peppercorns In a mixing glass, coarse crush peppercorns. Muddle strawberry with lemon and honey; add torn lemon verbena and gin. Shake. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with 2 oz. soda. Garnish with lemon verbena and strawberry slice. june 201 1 / the tasting panel / 105 THE DISH: Beet-Cured Salmon ½ cup peppercorns 1 cup kosher salt ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ½ cup granulated sugar 1 side fatty wild salmon 2 cups raw beet shavings 1 cup American Harvest Organic Spirit Assemble: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 4 cups of blanched English peas ½ cup crème fraîche 1 tbsp. American Harvest Organic Spirit Zest of 2 lemons 1 tbsp. fresh dill sprigs 2 tbsp. pea tendrils 2 tbsp. tarragon leaves Grate the beets with a cheese grater and mix with the vodka. Mix peppercorns, salt and sugar together. Cover the outside of the salmon with the salt mixture. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap twice the size of the salmon and cover the salmon in beet shreds on both sides. Wrap the salmon tightly in plastic wrap, and place between two sheet trays with approximately 10 lbs. of weight on the top. Let cure for 24 hours, turn the fish and marinate for another 24. Rinse, dry and store wrapped in parchment. ■ Mix the peas with the crème fraîche, vodka, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Slice 12 thin pieces of salmon and roll up. In a four-inch rectangular mold fill with the pea mixture. Place three pieces of salmon on each one and garnish with the herbs.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - JUNE 2011