Rehabbing with bison, truffles and trout
Robert of Cross Keys is back, with a new guest post, a new category for his posts (you can now go back and read his earlier posts by clicking on "Free Market Fridays" under the categories to the right) and best of all, with ruminations on, well, you'll see. Here's Robert. EL
Over the past few weeks I have been trying to excise the demons from my trip to Jacksonville, meaning I’ve been trying to get the rail gin and fried conch fritters out of my system.
I started my rehab at Boordy’s Vineyard, where I went to a late summer, outdoor happy hour that features their wines along with local foods. ...
For my meal I went with a bison burger and bison sausage. I don’t think they were the same animal. The burger was wonderful. It was cooked medium rare, had the rich meat flavor of bison, and was served on a fresh focaccia roll. The sausage was somewhere between strange and gamy, and it didn’t come on a roll of any distinction.
With my meat products in hand, I went over to the wine barn. Unfortunately, the lines weren’t moving. To my right I had some kid in cargo shorts swirling his plastic cup of samples as he tried to distinguish the nuance of Jazz Berry and Tango Peach. To my left was Jimmy the Greek yelling into his cell phone that he wanted $100 on Carolina. Hmmm, considering the game that night was South Carolina vs. North Carolina State I am left to wonder the attention to detail of his bookie. I am also left to wonder if this bookie is accepting any new clients.
After dinner and drinks my wife brought up dessert. Inside the wine cellar chocolates were being sold. I said we shouldn’t. She said we should just look. Now five miles from Boordy’s is the Baltimore County Animal Shelter, and five years ago my wife suggested we go there and just look at the dogs. That’s how we got Mr. Jefferson, so needless to say when we just looked at the chocolates I ended up buying a large box of truffles.
Speaking of Mr. Jefferson, he accompanied the wife and me to the Homestead in Virginia. I’m not sure what level of decadence is marked by the taking of a dog to a resort, but I think it is somewhere between Nero and Caligula.
Well, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So I took advantage of all the Homestead had to offer. Of course, that means that I had to try all the local specialties, and at the Homestead that means trout. I had it with brown butter, grapes and almonds. I had it fried with remoulade sauce. I had it sautéed with fresh herbs. I had no idea how good trout can be.
Trout is generally not seen on menus in the Baltimore area. It never really caught on in this area. Trout is fished all over Maryland, but it doesn’t have the cultural attraction of, say, rockfish or even croaker. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps the Bay trumps all in this state, and there is no room at the table for fresh water fish. Maybe the difficulty of fishing for trout, what with special stamps and limited seasons, makes the fish inaccessible to not only fishermen but diners as well.
Trout might just need an ideal beverage pairing before it can take hold in this area. I’m not sure what that is, but I bet it is not rail gin.
(Photo of Mr. Jefferson courtesy of RoCK)