Monday, July 3, 2017

Langdon Hall: Cuisine Inspired by the Seasons

Just an hours drive from Toronto, I have spent many memorable weekends with friends and family at Langdon Hall, blissfully enjoying their spectacular spa, playing croquet on the crisp manicured lawns, relaxing in the tranquil secluded outdoor pool, exploring the impressive chef's kitchen garden, and of course indulging in Langdon Hall's exceptional award-wining cuisine by the superbly talented Jason Bangerter. The restaurant has long been known for its outstanding regional cuisine, using the 75-acre estate as inspiration for Chef Bangerter's sensational menus, which combine seasonal ingredients from the impressive chef's kitchen garden, harvesting fresh honey from their own apiary and foraging for wild edibles all on site, Chef Bangerter is also committed to showcasing local foods and working closely with local farmers. Add with Langdon Hall's on-site apple orchard, maple trees and honey production, Chef Bangerter is like an excited child in an edible playground. "With so much at my fingertips, the sky's the limit as to what can be done here. It’s a chef’s dream."  

The superbly talented Chef Jason Bangerter

Langdon Hall's Lunch menu - inspired by the seasons and using wild produce grown in abundance on the property and the bounty of their kitchen gardens

2015 La Cave d'Augustin Florent Cotes de Provence Rosé

Crisp and dry, the Cotes de Provence Rosé was the perfect wine for our lovely lunch in the garden oasis at Langdon Hall, that with my 2 fabulous friends, we celebrate 20 years of friendship

Langdon Hall's warm and crusty homemade bread

Fresh churned butter garnished with Maldon salt

Ontario Prawns with Gem Lettuce, Sweet Peas, Lemon and Perilla

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Lobster, Buttered Cabbage, Confit Garlic and Lobster Bone Velouté

Beef Tartare with Smoked Bone Marrow Parsnip, Mustards and Crispy Potatoes

Langdon Hall owners Mary Beaton and Bill Bennett's gorgeous dog Phoebe

Ocean Wise Trout Salad With Buttermilk-Crème Fraiche Dressing
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of Chef Jason Bangerter

Poached Trout:
8 cups water
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
1 lemon, washed, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
Several stems dill, tarragon and/or flat-leaf parsley 
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
1 lb skin-on rainbow trout fillets 

Buttermilk-Crème Fraiche Dressing:
1/2 cup each of buttermilk and crème fraiche
1 tsp finely chopped dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh lemon juice to taste

1 cup fresh peas peas
1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 radishes, very thinly sliced 
Flaky Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot, combine the water, wine, salt, onion, celery, carrot, lemon slices, bay leaf, thyme, herb stems and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat; cover. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain, discarding solids. Return liquid to pot. Bring to simmer over high heat.

Place the trout in a single layer in a glass baking dish or shallow pan. Pour the poaching liquid over to cover the trout and fill the dish. Quickly cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand until poached to desired doneness, about 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the poaching liquid and fish skin, then gently flake the fish with a fork.

In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk and crème fraiche until smooth. Add the dill and season with salt, pepper and lemon. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate the dressing, covered, if making ahead.

For the salad, bring a small pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the fresh peas and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes then drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cool, drain again and set aside. If desired, lightly chop or crush with hands.

To serve, divide the lettuce among 4 plates or bowls. Divide the trout, peas and radishes evenly over each. Drizzle each with Buttermilk-Crème Fraiche dressing and sprinkle each with flaky sea salt and pepper.

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