here and there

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ranche appetizers

Rocky Mountain Charcuterie board, selection of cured and smoked game and fish, mustard melon and sundried cherries and cranberry relish.  

There was elk salami along with pastrami and air-dried venison. The portions were most generous but lacked balance.  The assortment of meats although tasty was salty, along with the pickles, relish and the very salty caperberries. The sundried cherries and cranberry had been reduced in balsamic vinegar and was in dried salted chunks.  Although they had candies fish, it wasn’t enough to balance this very attractive board of cured and smoked meats.  . On the board were also slices of duck breast and a very tasty boar pate with herb and pistachio nuts.   In fact the 2 sliced cherry tomato slices added as garnish were most  delicious!  This board of toppings came without any crackers or flatbread

Seared Quebec fois gras double smoked bacon, cider pickled shallots, Yukon golden potato roesti, and horseradish jus. 

Rosti is a popular Swiss dish of grated potatoes. The Rösti I tasted in Lucerne at a farmhouse was cooked on the stove top in a cast frying pan, then shaped inside of the frying pan and completed in the oven!  Ladles of rendered fat were generously added as the potatoes were fried. 

Sea Salted Beets with cranberry citrus vinaigrette, goat cheese flan and pistachio flatbread.

Disappointment as this dish was picked and suggested by the waitress to bring a balance with the other two appetisers.. The pistachio flatbread lacked taste but did work nicely as a blank canvas for the meats on the Charcuterie board.  The goat cheese flan done in mini muffin tins was anaemic looking and tasteless!  The three items on this dish did not work well together.
These items have been on the Ranche menu for a while. With more and more people looking at a menu to group items together so as to share with each other, today’s chefs need to look at their menu and see what works together and balances well in flavour and not to mention nutritional value.  Futhemoe, all three of the items ordered were prepared with a lot of salt!

The Ranche remains a beautiful spot in Fish Creek and especially wonderful to walk to in the summer to sit on the veranda and enjoy the scenery.  Last night was especially enjoyable as this dining experience in this beautiful old house was a birthday celebration and planned by my lovely daughter in law!
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