Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesday's Teaser

Tom says:
We're nearing the end of construction and it's going to be a Big Push this week to wrap it all up. Today I have no fewer than four trade crews in the space. The electricians are just about finished, the plumbers are making their first appearance to begin rough work, the carpenters are putting final touches on the banquettes, and Mike's prepping the bar floor for tile. That's a lot of crew in not a lot of space. I'm hoping everyone plays well together. Just because there's no room for me in the space doesn't mean my to-do list is any shorter.

Onto today's menu teaser: Goat Cheese Croquettes.

In my opinion, a great salad has four essential ingredients: fresh quality greens, a fruit, a nut and a cheese.

We are fortunate here in New Hampshire to be able to source great local goat cheeses from some wonderful farms as well as some of the best spring mesclun lettuce mixes I've worked with. Local lettuce mixes are always a treat as they vary slightly in composition throughout the season. That natural variety is what keeps salads fresh and interesting. The nut in this salad is toasted pistachio, the fruit is sun-dried cranberry and it's dressed with a champagne vinaigrette.

Goat cheese croquette is a fancy way of saying fried cheese, a guilty pleasure who among us hasn't indulged in at one time or another. Ground pistachios are one component of the croquette's unique breading, adding flavor and texture where you least expect it.

When using mesclun lettuce mixes, I keep dressings simple to honor the delicate nature of the leaves. Good olive oil. High-quality acid (vinegar, citrus, etc.). Salt and pepper. You really don't need anything more than that.

What I need more of though, is time. It's off to meet the plumbers and get on with the day. Besides, if I say anything more about this salad and Maureen's going to want it for dinner tonight.

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