Chef Brandon Collins and the bartenders at Swift are mixing-up cocktails with a twist. This Manhattan recipe barrel-ages a bottle of Tuthilltown malt with 2 ounces of Art in the Age Root (an herbal liquor made with sassafras, sarsaparilla, birch barn and other wild roots and herbs). The spirits are left to age 1 to 3 weeks, softening the flavor and adding layers of flavor with hints of oak and vanilla.
Two ounces of the barrel liquor are combined with 1/2 ounce of sweet vermouth, stirred with ice for 2 minutes and strained over a single "smoked ice cube." (For years bartenders have used Scotches or mescals to add smoky notes to their drinks, but The Roundhouse crew uses actually smoke. The most common tool used by mixologiest, and simplest method, is using a “smoking gun”).
For a final touch, Collins adds a gourmet maraschino cherry -- none of those garish red, Shirley Temple -- quality cherries, please! For more drink recipes, visit the Valley Table recipe page, here.
Healthy Eating Program in Newburgh
Bright bunches of collard greens, earthy root vegetables and juicy berries – CSA produce is coming to Newburgh. Safe Harbors and Huguenot Street Farm have partnered up to bring Newburgh its very first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
On May 2, Safe Harbors and Huguenot will host a free event designed to inform the public how CSAs have a positive impact on health. Speakers include Bella Garrison, Sharon Christopher, RN, Hannah Brooks, MD, and Drew Morrison. Garrison will share helpful information about why organic foods, greens and proper preparation can be profoundly beneficial; Christopher and Brooks will provide information on the advantages of an organic diet in restoring health during and after cancer treatment and how simple, low-fat diets can help maintain immune function, aiding the body’s natural healing; and Drew Morrison, an active volunteer coordinator of the 2013 Newburgh CSA distribution, will explain the basics of composting.
For more information on the event and signing up for a CSA, click here, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dining Out For Life
Raise your fork and raise funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS! ARCS, the region's oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization, provides prevention education and client services to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS and their families. Dine at participating restaurants on April 25 and up to 25% of your check will be donated to support the work of ARCS. With over 25 participating restaurants from casual to fine dining, you're assured of a great meal while supporting a great cause. For a list of participating restaurants click here
CSAs 101: Hudson Valley CSAs
Thinking about signing up for a CSA, but not sure what all the buzz is about? Here's the scoop on the whats, whys and hows.
What is a CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it’s becoming increasingly popular throughout the Hudson Valley.
How does it work? Most operate on a subscription model: The customer pays the farmer a fixed fee in the beginning of the season and receives a selection of the fruits and veggies harvested each week. Some CSAs also offer other products that may or may not be produced on the farm – eggs, fruit, meat flowers and herb.
Why CSAs? It's a great way to eat local and sustainably. You get super-fresh foods at a reasonable price, support local production, and help boost farmers’ income when they need it most.
When and where do I sign up? It’s best to sign up as early as possible – each CSA has only a certain number of memberships (shares) available and many sell out before the season starts. New CSA farms are popping up each season. This year Huguenot Street Farm will be offering weekly CSA distribution in Newburgh. For updates and to find a farm near you, check out The Valley Table's Guide to Hudson Valley CSA farms.
ChefX Dinner: From the Berkshires to the Hudson Valley
Photos by Angela Cardinali
The first course arrived – creamy parsnip butter beneath a crisp and savory crab and crowdie "rangoon," loaded with bright green, fresh pea shoots, herbs, radish and pistachio – and the first ChefX event was off to a delicious start. Five chefs from the Berkshires crossed the border into the Hudson Valley to cook at The Crimson Sparrow for a one-night-only chef exchange. The restaurant buzzed with energy as everyone was seated for the 5-course meal that would showcase the culinary talents of the Berkshires.
In the spirit of inspiration, collaboration and pure pleasure, Berkshire Farm & Table, a non-profit, produced the event to bring together the two like-minded regions -- and the chefs looked like they were having a blast working together. Working hard, moving fast, engaging diners, and drinking beers, the kitchen staff displayed an extraordinary dynamic. "These events are all about generating exciting and fun events for guests and the host restaurant," said Chef Bjorn Somlo of Nudel Restaurant.
To reciprocate, Allium Restaurant & Bar, in Great Barrington, will host five Hudson Valley chefs on April 29, for round two. The cost per person is $100 (not including gratuity, beverages or tax). Click here to learn more.
Hudson Valley Wine: Millbrook's Bootcamp
Whether you’re growing grapes in your backyard, or the extent of your winemaking experience is watching the grape-stomping scene of I Love Lucy, Millbrook Winery’s Winegrowing Boot Camp offers the opportunity for you to roll up your sleeves and plunge into the full experience of the vineyard. The unique, in-depth course allows wine enthusiasts, career changers, and those looking to grow their own grapes the chance to experience the winemaking process from vine to glass.
Beginning Saturday, April 13, this six-part intensive series will take students from pruning, to harvesting grapes and bottling wine. Veteran winemaker John Graziano will help students tend their own Tocai Friulano vines on Millbrook’s Lollipop Hill. Students will be learning the art of vertical shoot positioning and leaf pulling, and will oversee the procedures of stainless steel fermentation and bottling.
But boot camp done Millbrook-style isn’t all dirt and chores. Each seminar includes lunch and, naturally, a glass of wine. The program also includes a seat at the winery’s annual Tocai Celebration (May 18) and Harvest Party luncheon (October 19), plus a final closing luncheon where participants walk-away with an entire case (12 bottles) of their personalized Tocai wine.
The boot camp series is open to just 20 students, so space is limited. The course is $795 per person and offers a bus shuttle service to and from the Poughkeepsie Train station for an additional fee of $100. For more information contact (845) 677-8383 x17, or visit www.millbrookwine.com
Hudson Valley Farm Tours: Edgwick's Goat Farm
Nothing says springtime like cuddling a goat. Adults and kids (child variety; the goat variety will already be at the farm) can enjoy a limited time opportunity to visit Edgwick Farm (Cornwall) for interactive and educational tours. Have hands-on time with the goats and watch the cheese makers in action! Visit the cheese-making and milking parlors, and, of course, sample delicious, farm-fresh snacks and a taste of both cheese and goat milk. Products will be available for purchase to take home.
These $5 tours run Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10am and 2pm and last for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Comfy shoes and appropriate clothing is suggested (tours are conducted rain or shine). Tours will be conducted through April 29.
For more information about products, stories from the farm, and a healthy helping of adorable baby goats, visit the Edgwick Farm blog at www.edgwickfarm.wordpress.com. Reservations are required. To make a reservation call Talitha at (845) 401-2301 or email at email@example.com.
Hudson Valley Products at the James Beard House
According to legendary food writer Craig Clairborne, James Beard was “a giant panda, Santa Claus and the Jolly Green Giant rolled into one” and today, being featured at the James Beard House is like having an audience with Oz. The Hudson Valley is making an all-star appearance at the revered James Beard house for a special dinner featuring chefs of the Berkshires – “The Berkshire Cure-All” with a focus on cured and smoked ingredients.
Sol Flower Farm (Ancramdale), Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. (Old Chatham), Kinderhook Farm (Ghent), Zehr and Sons (Ghent), and Hudson Valley Foie Gras (Ferndale) are the local players to be featured at the event, taking place on Friday, March 1.
Executive Chef Brian J. Alberg, from The Red Lion Inn, has rounded up a team of chefs creating dishes such as honey-cured Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Breast with Duck Confit Arancini & citrus gastrique; and Old Chatham Shaker blue cheese cake, candied walnut crust, Berkshire Mountain Distillers rum-Hilltop Orchard cider aspic & Serrano-style ham crisp.
The James Beard House and Foundation not only divvies out the Oscar’s of food (the coveted James Beard Award), but also celebrates, preserves and nurtures America’s culinary education and heritage. The Hudson Valley’s appearance at the Beard House is a testament to the Valley’s ever-growing bounty.