Monday, January 31, 2011

Succulently Rustic

Local Food: There's little that's more succulently rustic than a nicely aged potted meat. For the Quebecois, it might be creton, or ciccioli in Italy, also known as rillettes in France. Whatever the name, the variations on this traditional home technique provide a texture similar to a liverwurst spread, but with much more pork flavor. With pork ribs provided by the famous cheese makers at Jasper Hill Farm, Steven slowly cooks the meat in a braise of Shelburne Vineyards NuMondo red wine until it is fall-off-the-bone tender. The pork rests for a few days to let the flavors develop. It's then finely shredded and mixed with blueberries from Shirley's Produce that Steven preserved over the summer. With just the right combination of smooth textures, the rillettes are spread on a hearty grilled slice from a six grain loaf baked at Patchwork Farm & Bakery. Topped with pickled red onions and ramps for a touch of tartness, and served with a sprout salad for a bit of green to balance out the rich pork, the rillettes are drizzled with mustard elderberry vinaigrette to finish, featuring elderberry juice from Honey Gardens.

Around the Galaxy: With Valentine's Day approaching, consider the bright red Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human or a passion infused combination of recipes and travel writing, In Late Winter We Ate Pears: A Year of Hunger and Love by the proprietors of Osteria Pane e Salute in Woodstock.

Music Notes: Birchwood Coupe will make their debut at Claire's on Thursday, February 3 at 7:30. Check out their folk/americana originals and support local music.

Local Events: Spend the afternoon of Saturday, February 5 with Tom Stearns, president and founder of High Mowing Organic Seeds at Highland Lodge in Greensboro. Tour the High Mowing Seeds facility in Wolcott from 4-5, enjoy dinner at the Lodge from 5:30-7:30 and stay for the presentation at 7:30 by Tom about healthy food systems. Call the Highland Lodge for more information at 533-2647.

Super Bowl Sunday is next Sunday February 6. Start your pre-game at Claire's with $2.50 Switchback pints, $4 wine and $5 Hot & Cold Martini.

Reminders: We are open daily after 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and baked goods, and free WiFi, with dinner reservations available from 5-9, Sundays from 5-8. We serve our special Blunch menu Sundays from 11-2. Claire's is closed every Wednesday.

Reserve some love and make your Valentine's Day reservation today.

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