Chef Jason Tostrup
The Inn at Weathersfield, www.weathersfieldinn.com, Perkinsville, VT
- 4 semi boneless quails
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 strips of bacon, chopped
- 2-3 pears, cored and sliced
- 1 cup green onion, chopped
- 3 Tbsp cider jelly (see "Farm Sources" for a weblink)
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 4 oz mixed greens or arugula
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
Season both sides of the quail with salt and pepper. In a large sautée pan over med-high heat, heat the olive oil and then place the quail, breast side down, into the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes to brown, flip, and repeat on the other side. Remove quail from the pan. In the same pan, add bacon and cook until lightly browned. Add the pears and green onion and cook 2-3 minutes. Add cider jelly and sherry vinegar, and cook until pears are just soft, and there is still liquid in the pan. Turn off heat.
Place the salad greens in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Place the greens on a serving platter and spoon the pear and bacon mixture over greens. Place the quail on top and serve.
Recommended wine/beer for Quail Salad with Sauteed Pears, Bacon, Green onion and Sherry-cider Vinaigrette:
Farnum Hill Extra Semi-Dry Cider
The meal that Chef Tostrup has prepared is stunning in its commitment to using local resources. The Quail salad is terrific; the juicy tender meat of the quail, with the bite of the greens, the spice of the bacon, and the sweetness of the cider vinaigrette creates a palate that is sweet, sour, salty and bitter. We need a beverage that can cover all those bases.
Up in Lebanon New Hampshire is Farnum Hill Cider. They grow all of their own cider apples - but we are particularly interested in their Heirloom varieties, which produce a fine cider that is elegant and dry like wine. Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider is a great choice for poultry of all sorts, really fitting in beautifully at the table just as a white wine would. I´m sure Chef Tostrup would agree, this is probably the best chance to eat and drink local. The quail are from Vermont, as is most of the produce. And when accompanied by a cider from New Hampshire, we have a wonderful New England meal to enjoy!