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Castle Hill Inn Chinese New Year 2020: The Year Of The Rat
Alexander Agassiz was an avid traveller to the Far East and collector of Asian art and furniture, some of which is still on view in the Inn. His love of the culture inspired our Chinese New Year culinary celebration. Chef de Cuisine Chef Andy Taur, son of Chinese-American restaurateurs, has crafted a special Cantonese-inspired menu.
Join us from January 24th through February 2nd for a five-course tasting menu to celebrate. Cost is $92 per person (or $127 with wine & beverage pairings).
Here are Chef Andy Taur’s notes and musings on his menu and inspirations for this year’s menu:
Amuse Bouche - Taiwanese Tea egg, sweet potato hay, milk froth
Hard boiled quail egg cooked in a soy braising liquid flavored with black tea and Chinese five spice. The cooked egg will sit on top of a nest of crispy sweet potato and finished with a milk tea froth. This amuse bouche is inspired by a recent trip to Taiwan. One thing that I noticed during my trip was that you find a 7-11 store on almost every corner. Unlike the ones in the US, they serve more varieties of prepared foods, and two staples commonly found in Taiwan are the tea egg and bubble milk tea, which inspired this dish.
First Course - “Wonton Soup” - Chinese Okra, dried shrimp, fried shallot
This dish is centered around a pork-filled wonton(dumpling) that sits in a broth made from the chicken stock, dried shrimp and Chinese okra. Chinese okra is larger than the variety found in the US, and it has a sweet, squash flavor, typically served as an accompaniment in many seafood dishes. The dish is garnished with fried shallots to add texture and are traditionally found in wonton soup. Dumpling dishes during Chinese New Year represents prosperity in the coming year, with the shape of the dumpling symbolizing ancient Chinese silver and gold ingots.
Second Course Fava bean chawanmushi - Clams, black bean sauce
Chawanmushi is steamed egg custard, with texture closer to silken tofu than a traditional egg custard. They are generally very savory. We are serving ours flavored with fava beans to give it a green color and a brighter flavor. The custard is accompanied by steamed New England razor and littleneck clams. The dish is garnished with a fermented black bean sauce with scallions, garlic, and ginger.
Third Course Tempura Lobster - Ginger & scallion, Chinese long bean, bamboo rice
Being a luxury ingredient, lobster is a favorite during Chinese New Year for many families. We are flash-frying ours in pieces, coated with a light batter. Then we toss the lobster in a soy caramel sauce made with sautéed ginger and scallion. We are serving it with sautéed Chinese long beans cooked with garlic. This part of the dish replaces the traditional noodle dishes served during this holiday. The length of the noodles represents one’s longevity.
Fourth Course - Roasted Duck Breast - “lions head” meatball, braised Napa cabbage
A slight twist on a traditional dish. Lions head meatballs are usually served as a braised meatball, with rice noodles and cabbage. We are making our meatballs with pork and duck. We fold silken tofu into the meatball, which softens the texture and add a bit of flavor. We’re serving them with slow cooked duck breast and soy-braised Napa cabbage.
Fifth Course “Tang Yuan” - Jasmine tea, assorted fruits
Very similar to Taiwanese mochi, these are made with raw rice flour and water, then poached in a sweet liquid. We are filling ours with black sesame paste and almond butter. Served in a consommé with jasmine tea, and fruit available during the winter season. Tang yuan is eaten in during many holidays, and banquets.
Mignardises Yuzu White Chocolate - Chocolate bars made with yuzu-infused Valrhona white chocolate.
You can also download the menu HERE