Recipe from the Resort: The Ram’s Salmon Rillettes

The perfect start to dinner at the Ram Restaurant: Salmon Rillettes and a cocktail

The perfect start to dinner at the Ram Restaurant: Salmon Rillettes and a cocktail

On a warm summer evening earlier this week, I found myself seated on the Ram Restaurant patio perusing the new modern steakhouse menu, sipping a glass of champagne, and once, again, pinching myself that I get to live here.

Selecting from the Ram’s new seasonal menu that was instituted in June proved difficult. Serving only the finest cuts, the Ram’s reinvention as a modern steakhouse with a new twist (five of eight Entrees are meat), choosing among the beef, lamb, short ribs, chicken and fish proved an omnivore’s dilemma.

Relaxing to the music of an acoustic guitar, my friend and I finally decided on dinner. I ordered Salmon Rillettes and the Snake River Chicken; he went the more traditional route with the Summer Beet Salad and Meyer Natural Angus 8-ounce Tenderloin with heirloom tomatoes (at the peak of freshness), creamed spinach and Bernaise sauce. Who doesn’t love Bernaise sauce?

Chef Brian Janego promises that his recipe is easily accomplished at home

Chef Brian Janego promises that his recipe is easily accomplished at home

Chef Brian Janego who has been with the Ram for three years, is thrilled to offer his new menu, certain it will appeal to many palates. “All of the meats, including the lamb, are USDA Prime,” Brian explained. “It doesn’t get any better than that. And most of our meats are sourced in the Northwest: Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Washington and Montana. Here, we give a nod to the traditional steakhouse, but our dinners are all conceived to work as a whole. You won’t get a slab of beef cooked in butter with a choice of sides.”

Despite the meat-centric menu, Chef Janego is really excited about the Salmon Rillettes I ordered and when the dish was served, I understood why. Presented beautifully in a sealed canning jar and accompanied with watercress salad, rye toast and fennel-dipped apple balls, this starter was a feast for the senses.

The key flavorful ingredient in this dish is salmon and Chef Janego lets the flavor shine through

The bountiful key ingredient in this dish is salmon and Chef Janego lets the flavor shine through

Chef Janego agreed to share this recipe with readers of the Valley Sun and while I would certainly recommend enjoying this company-pleasing dish at home, be sure to come to the Sun Valley Village to get the full experience of dinner on the Ram Patio or in the historic dining room. In fact, the Ram is the longest continually operating restaurant in the valley, having opened in 1937. Much in the dining room is original including the wide plank floors. The hideaway booths are from the 1940s and the carvings beneath the white linens go back decades. Go ahead and take a peek. There is live music at the Ram every night and dinner is served from 6 – 9 p.m. seven nights a week through September 2.

Cozy and romantic; rustic yet sophisticated, nowhere else personifies Sun Valley quite like the Ram.

Salmon Rillettes

Ingredients

For the salmon:

¾ cup salmon poached in white wine

¼ cup hot smoked salmon (available at local grocery stores)

Fresh chives

Lemon Zest

Smoked Paprika

For the Lemon Aioli:

4 cups extra virgin olive oil

4 lemons juiced and seeded

4 egg yolks

Combine in a food processor or whisk together

Method:

Gently fold aioli into the salmon and seasonings, leaving the meat chunky. Use about 3/4 cup of the aioli per portion to moisten and bind the salmon.

Service:

Using a small ring mold, cut four small circles of thin caraway bread. Quickly drop the rings in butter in a sauté pan until toasted.

Prepare a salad of fresh watercress and shaved fennel.

Using a melon baller, place three balls of apple, dredged in fennel on the plate next to the salad, toast rounds and sealed jar of salmon.

Serve and savor!

–RES

Be sure to save room for some of the Ram's handmade desserts

Be sure to save room for some of the Ram's handmade desserts

Farm to Table

Eat like a local! It's Farmers' Market season

Eat like a local! It's Farmers' Market season

A walk through the Wood River Farmers’ Market, that made its seasonal debut in Ketchum last Tuesday, invites appreciation for the here and now and anticipation for what’s to come. The offerings at the popular Market, located at East Avenue and Fourth Street, unfold with the warming weeks. The first early summer stands offer hearty lettuces, radishes and my favorite, local morels harvested from secret verdant places. As days grow longer and hotter, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, beans, broccoli, peppers, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries – all the pleasures of summer – begin to appear. The Market is constantly evolving, constantly surprising.

Amid all the fresh offerings from local Idaho fields, you will also find pork ribs and steaks and street tacos, oh my! The Market is a terrific place to grab lunch (all the locals do) or to take home prepared food for the family for dinner. Many Tuesday nights at my house feature a half rack of pork ribs (I dare you to walk away from the scent from the cooking meat at the Market), coupled with a fresh salad and vegetable and loaves of crusty bread – all purchased booth to booth.

Step right up -- dinner is served

Step right up -- dinner is served

For those with a sweet tooth, hop into the long, but worth it, queue for homemade pies with the flakiest crusts in creation. Sample elegant little cakes in miniature mason jars and abundant French pastries and treats. If you are gluten free, there are also plenty of rich, delicious choices.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover the local cheeses, glorious flowers, handcrafted pottery and jewelry, jams and jellies, tomato sauce, fresh eggs, herbs, handmade sausage. It’s a good thing we have 18 full weeks to enjoy the area’s bounty. And if even that isn’t enough, the Market moves to Hailey on Thursdays.

Everyone enjoys the first days of summer break with a sweet treat

Everyone enjoys the first days of summer break with a sweet treat

Under Sun Valley Executive Chef John Murcko’s direction, look for a strong farm to table influence in the Resort’s restaurants this summer. Sun Valley’s complement of eateries – from the sophisticated grab-and-go Short Line Deli to fine dining at Trail Creek Cabin and the Ram will all feature local ingredients and indigenous flavors. The restaurant’s chefs incorporate what is at the height of freshness into their menus, constantly changing their epicurean alchemy during these warm months and into the fall. Please check back to this blog during the course of the summer for regular postings about our chefs and recipes from the Resort’s kitchens.

The pleasures and benefits of being a locavore are well documented and commonsensical. During Idaho’s long frozen winters, eating this way takes some work. But in the summer, just stroll or bike downtown. Enjoying the freshest, tastiest food harvested from just down the street or down the Valley couldn’t be easier or more edifying.

–RES

Stock Your Cellar!

Premium Northwest Wine Tasting and Bottle Sale

Sun Valley Village:  Ram Room, located next to the Ram Restaurant

The Wine Cellars of the Northwest and Sun Valley Lodge invite you to this special event on:

Friday, December 28th

5–9pm

$15/person

Sample premium wines from the Northwest including

  • Alexandria Nicole Cellars
  • Ramseyer Vineyards
  • Hightower Cellars
  • áMaurice Cellars
  • Bunchgrass Winery
  • Gard Vintners
  • Tero Estates

For more information, contact Diana of The Wine Cellars of the Northwest at diana@thewinecellarsnw.com

Romance at the Ram

A cozy banquette for two

Last weekend, I found myself without children – a rare state for me. My daughters were whitewater rafting and my son was at a sleepover. With this sudden profusion of grown-up time, my immediate instinct was to avoid my own kitchen and let a professional do the work. I wanted elegance, charm, great food, a cocktail. So I headed to the Ram Restaurant in Sun Valley Village. From the toile draperies to the hideaway wooden banquettes with their needlepoint backs and leather seats, there is nothing I don’t like about the Ram. On the occasion that I have an evening to spend with an adult I really want to talk to (read: a date), the Ram is my restaurant of choice. On Saturday night, I slipped into a booth by the window, admiring the pressed white linens, sparkling crystal, and spotless silver, and allowed the soothing notes of the piano to adjust my attitude. I went from harried mommy-mode to night-on-the-town-mode in record time.

There is something truly relaxing and romantic about the Ram. From the moment you walk into the room — styled with more than a hint of Sun Valley’s Austrian roots in mind – the pressure is off. Unlike some other area restaurants fueled by the see-and-be-seen scene, at the Ram, you can bring a big group and make a scene or simply nod and smile at your fellow diners as you enter (because you will inevitably know someone there), but take comfort in the fact that your privacy will be respected. Many of us locals (you know who you are) seek refuge, while seeking a good meal, at the Ram.

The gateway to a wonderful evening

None of this would matter, of course, without delicious food. For a few years, the Ram’s menu was bit heavy for me, focusing on wild game, red meat and rich sides. Not my thing. Today’s selections are much more eclectic. Sure, you can still get a great steak, but I swapped the red meat for gravlax, the heavy red wine for a perfectly chilled Cosmo, added a fresh beet salad and a hot, creamy cup of New England clam chowder and, voila! I created my perfect meal (plus a few bites from the communal Bananas Foster, of course). My only complaint? Rice pudding is no longer served. I used to go to the Ram just for that. (Hint).

The beet salad is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. The Ram’s chef, Steve Ludwig, was kind enough to share this healthy, delicious fall recipe.

Ram Beet Salad:

 what you will need:

roasted beets

honey-lavender vinaigrette

candied walnuts, crumbled/crushed

ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

chive rounds

picked arugula

picked fresh herbs: chervil, parsley, dill, etc. (whatever you like)

 for the beets:

Find medium to large beets at the store. I use chiogga and golden varieties for this dish since the red beets stain everything. Set your oven to 350 F and depending what type of beets you bought, cut the greens off.  Find roasting pans or pots with lids large enough to hold the beets.  Roast different color beets separate from each other by placing them in their own pan, adding a ½ inch of water, covering tightly with lid or aluminum foil and roasting in oven until a small pairing knife can be inserted easily into the beets.  Depending on how uniform the beets were, some will be done before others; remove beets from pans as they fininsh cooking and continue to roast the remaining beets until all will easily take the pairing knife. Let cool for a few minutes and take clean dry kitchen towel and rub the outside of the cooked beets with this towel to remove the skins.  Trim off the root end if necessary and any blemishes.  Trim the top and bottom to create flat surfaces.  Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter and going from top to bottom, press down and cut out a cylinder of beet.  Slice these beet cylinders into about ½ inch discs.  Let cool down.  This can be done up to two days in advance.

Next, make the honey lavender vinaigrette.

 

honey-lavender vinaigrette

 ingredients:

1 T and 2tsp lavender

1 T honey

3.5oz chevre goat cheese

1 small shallot, rough chopped

1/2 cup champagne vinegar

2 T water

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

1 cup olive oil

method:

- put first eight ingredients in blender and process until smooth

- with blender still running, slowly add oil to emulsify

Assemble salad:

1)   toss beets with a touch of salt and some of the honey-lavender vinaigrette

2)   position on plate and top with crumbled candied walnuts, ricotta salata cheese and then chive rounds

3)   lightly dress the arugula and herbs in some more of the vinaigrette and place on top

4)   enjoy!

Sun Valley is currently running fall slack dining specials at the Ram and at all Resort restaurants — a terrific, affordable opportunity to enjoy some great food at a great price!  Be sure to check them out!

Fall Dining Specials

Big Snow Shopping Alert!

Big Snow Shopping Alert!

Saturday, January 28

2 Hours Only!  4–6pm

We’ve got big snow and now we’ve got big savings all over the Sun Valley Village.  Join us for two hours of non-stop shopping and dining and some of the season’s best buys!

25% Off Everything!

40% Off Kids Skiwear!

  • Brass Ranch
  • Pete Lane’s
  • Signatures & Gifts
  • Panache
  • The Toy Store
  • Towne & Parke Jewelry

25% Off Dining and Entertainment!

  • 25% off pizza at Bald Mountain Pizza
  • 25% off entres at the Ram Restaurant
  • 25% off draft beer and wines by the glass at the Inn Lobby Lounge
  • 25% off Boiler Room cover charge