Monday, February 17, 2014

Pre-Valentine's at Glen Manor

Doing what I do, I can always guarantee that I am working like a dog on Valentine's Day. That's just one of the many perqs of my chosen profession! Truth be told, it is at this time of year that Ann really starts hating the restaurant life and who can blame her? Although Valentine's isn't that much of a big deal for either of us, it's just one of the many ways that life reminds us that we don't lead "normal" lives. And sometimes, we just want to feel normal.

So if Ann and I want to celebrate Valentine's Day similar to normal people, we have to pick a time that fits into the restaurant schedule. This year, we decided to celebrate the weekend before Valentine's, knowing I would be beat the Sunday following a huge holiday weekend. And our idea of celebrating is some quiet time with great food and great wine.

We have been remiss in getting down to see Jeff and Kelly at Glen Manor and so it was an easy decision to go see them on a grey winter day threatening more snow. Chances were good that we would be able to get our quiet time and spend some time talking with Jeff and Kelly if the tasting room were quiet.

As we walked in, Kelly came out of the back room and greeted us as effusively as ever and exclaimed, "We only have Hodder Hill left for sale!" intending for that to be an apology. Darn, twist my arm, I only get to drink your best wine? I'll see if I can live with that.

"We Only Have Hodder Hill Left for Sale"
I asked Ann if she would make a loaf of her fabulous bread to bring with us and she did, one flavored with black pepper and parmesan cheese. And I told her that I would grab a couple pieces of cheese and maybe a piece of salame, if there were any in the cooler. All the while I was planning to make a couple of charcuterie items to bring along as a surprise.

Chorizo-Habanero Terrine
I decided to make a pork terrine, but I'm tired of the mellow ones that I have been making all winter at the restaurant and so I decided to do one spiced like Mexican chorizo with a bit of heat from some golden habaneros. I ground the pork rather more coarsely than I usually do and the fat as well. The meat is flavored with a sofrito of poblanos, onions, habanero, garlic, cumin, ancho chile, and pimentón. A healthy dose of Sherry vinegar makes it taste like chorizo.

Sinful Mousse of Chicken Livers
And going in exactly the opposite direction, I made a super-classic mousse de foies de volaille. The chicken livers marinated in a super-concentrate pork jus, Calvados, shallots, and thyme for 24 hours. Then I seared them and whipped them into a silken mousse and covered them with more of the pork jus, the remains from cooking our pork bellies. It hardens into a beautiful aspic in minutes in the refrigerator.

Boerenkaas Gouda and Virginia's Own Grayson

Hodder Hill Makes Everyone Smile Like This

Kelly Made Goodies

Two Nuts

2010 Hodder Hill Still Life

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