Two Great Cookie Recipes

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18Aprill2014_1a_Fresh-Off-the-Hook_RobinRobin found two really great and surprisingly different and good cookie recipes. These are really so very easy to make that you must give them a try. I ate one of the Basil Lime Cookies and immediately thought of a lamb dinner. Hmmmm. Oh well, make them and let us know what you think. Like them? Don’t like them? The recipe links are highlighted under the photos. I’m thinking that you might be able to get the herbs and maybe the flour too, from your local farmers market.

W hat Is A “Turophile”?

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06Nov2013_1d_Angels_Robin_GoodA what? A turophile. Did you know Robin is Certified in Cheese? In other words, she knows her cheese types and flavors and what cheese goes with what food and/or wine. Yup! She is a turophile: One who is knowledgeable in cheese. A cheese lover. And Velveeta just does not enter into the conversation very much. (However we have had some in our refrigerator in the past 30 years – some.) The information printed here came from one of her subscriptions, “Word of the Day”.

Turophile – (TOOR-uh-fyle)
Definition: noun; a connoisseur of cheese : a cheese fancier

Surely the turophiles at our table can recommend some good cheeses to pair with our wine selection.
“For this dish you need a special cheese from Switzerland called Raclette. It’s expensive and hard to find where I live, and it smells terrible—or, to turophiles like me, divine.” — Patty Kirk, Starting From Scratch: Memoirs of a Wandering Cook, 2008

Discussion: Are you stuck on Stilton or gaga for Gouda? Do you crave Camembert? If so, you just might be a turophile, the ultimate cheese lover. From an irregular formation of the Greek word for cheese, tyros, plus the English -phile, meaning “lover” (itself a descendant of the Greek -philos, meaning “loving”), turophile first named cheese aficionados as early as 1938. It was in the 1950s, however, that the term really caught the attention of the American public, when Clifton Fadiman (writer, editor, and radio host) introduced turophile to readers of his eloquent musings on the subject of cheese.

A turophile ranks right up there with an oenophile, “…Oenophilia (/ˌiːnɵˈfɪliə/ ee-no-fil-ee-ə; Greek for the love (philia) of wine (oinos)) is a love of wine. In the strictest sense, oenophilia describes a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation. In a general sense however, oenophilia simply refers to the enjoyment of wine, often by laymen. Oenophiles are also known as wine aficionados or connoisseurs. They are people who appreciate or collect wine, particularly grape wines from certain regions, varietal types, or methods of manufacture. While most oenophiles are hobbyists, some may also be professionals like vintners, sommeliers, wine merchants, or one who tastes and grades wines for a living.”

So, if you have a question about cheese or wine, contact her through this blog and she will be more that happy to answer your question. She just beams with excitement when someone asks her a question on the subjects. Cheers! (Now for a grilled cheese!)

Cooking Oils and Their Use; Food Truck Locations

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03Sept2014_1c_Wine-MeetUp_Flatbread_Robin_GoodRobin came across the good graphic on the different cooking oils and their basic uses. This is a good reference graphic if you want to keep it. Originally, the information came from World Market, Butlersguild.com, Martha Stewart, EmilyPost.com and Pinterest. Just one note: I have used the grapeseed oil, but you must remember that it will go “bad” – rancid – very quickly. Enjoy the graphic information!

wk_31_cooking_oil_chart

And as a side note, if you are in Boise and want to know where the Food Trucks are today, check this link out Boise Food Truck Locations. But if you are out of the area and want to know where they are in your town or city, just Look Here.

5-Hour Duck For Dinner!

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Tango-Corte-Window-FloridaOh yes once again! We do like the duck done this way. Made Creamed Spinach with Grand Marnier Cream and Baked Sweet Potato and Duck Gravy. Certainly was delicious! And then top that off with a super good 1985 Rose Creek Winery Cabernet Sauvignon. That is still a super wine. On a scale of 1-20, easily a 19.7. So close to the perfect 29 year old Cab. Enjoy these photos. Cheers!

A perfect wine! Great job Jamie Martin, winemaker, now at Cold Springs Winery in Hammett, Idaho

A perfect wine! Great job Jamie Martin, winemaker, now at Cold Springs Winery in Hammett, Idaho

5-Hour Duck resting after coming from the oven. Roasted some sweet potatoes with it. Yummers!

5-Hour Duck resting after coming from the oven. Roasted some sweet potatoes with it. Yummers!

5-Hour Duck Creamed Spinach with Grand Marnier Cream Baked Sweet Potato with Duck Gravy

5-Hour Duck
Creamed Spinach
with Grand Marnier Cream
Baked Sweet Potato
with Duck Gravy

Cookbook Library, Part I

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Robin-Bob-In-Kitchen_Looking-RightAbout a month ago, I was reading one of the food blogs I subscribe to, and they had an article on the cookbooks that they have in their library. There was only one article, and they gave their most used cookbooks. Sorry, but I can not find that article again. So I thought I would start a series on some of the cookbooks that we have in our library – which is extensive – and the ones we mostly use. These books are only offered as a suggestion and they are my/our opinion. I must say that we receive absolutely no reimbursement of any kind, although that may be fun, from any of these sources. This just sounded like a fun topic. So here I go.
First, I would be remiss if I did not mention The Joy of Cooking, Irma Rombauer and Ethan Becker (The Joy of Cooking). I will not bother you with an extensive review of the book. Only to say that this volumn is a must in any and all kitchens. If you don’t have one, get one and there are several printings. Check Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The other must addition to your kitchen is by Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, also available on Amazon and EBay.
The one book that we have, and it has been a blessing whenever I could not find the right sauce for a particular dish, was suggested to me by one of the Instructor Chefs at the BSU School of Culinary Arts and by Chef Andrae Bopp. This particular volumn is used by the CIA, Culinary Institute of America, and the BSU School of Culinary Arts.

The Sauce Bible - Guide to the Saucier's Craft, David Paul Larousse, John Wiley and Son, 1993

The Sauce Bible – Guide to the Saucier’s Craft, David Paul Larousse, John Wiley and Son, 1993. ISBN 13:978-0-471-57228-2
The book starts out with a brief history of sauces, from Apicius to Petronius. The volumn includes chapters on stocks, thickening agents, foundation sauces, blond sauces, butter sauces and dessert sauces, to name a few. The book is quite extensive, but very clearly and precisely written.

Port Wine Sauce, pg 89 Here is an example of how these recipes are written.

Port Wine Sauce, pg 89
Here is an example of how these recipes are written. A variation of this sauce is also included, Yorkshire Sauce.

Mornay Sauce, pg 149. An easy sauce to make.

Mornay Sauce, pg 149.
An easy sauce to make.

One of our other absolutely fantastic reference books is The Modernist Cuisine at Home, Nathan Myhrvold. The Cooking Lab, Belleview, WA, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-9827610-1-4. You can find this reference on the web at Modernist Cuisine. Be sure to check the link. It’s worth the time.

The Modernist Cuisine, Nathan Myhrvold

The Modernist Cuisine, Nathan Myhrvold

This is the front cover. Look close. See how the sandwich is in an “exploded” view? Many of the views in the main book, there are two books to this set, have these exploded views, especially where they are talking about different kitchen appliances. Interesting! and fun! The second volume, is 2000+ recipes. Oh my!
Hope you have enjoyed these “basic” kitchen resources. Overload? Maybe. Depends on how much you want to learn. Cheers! The next post will probably be cookbooks of different cuisines, i.e., Bistro, Spanish, French, Italian, Tuscan, BBQ etc. Any suggestions?

Oktoberfest At “The Buzz”

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14Oct2014_The-Buzz_Laderhosen-BobA good party at The Buzz last night for the October Wine Dinner – Oktoberfest! A little bit of a change in the program. There were two beers offered that were pretty good, especially the Weihenstephaner, which was a light and refreshing lager. Very drinkable. From the Smit & Van Wyk blog, “The world’s longest continuously used trademark goes to the Benedictine Abbey Weilhenstephan in Germany, which has been using the mark Weilhenstephaner to identify its beer since 1040 AD When Britain enacted its trademark registration statute in 1876, beer was first and second in line, Bass’s Red Triangle became U.K. Reg. 1 for pale ale, and its Red Diamond for strong ale became U.K. Reg. 2.” A fun night. Hope to see you7 next month on November 11 and/or 12 for “Party Foods to Prepare Ahead” along with “Holiday and Gift Wines”. Then Beaujolais Nouveau Night on November 20. Cheers!!

Brats, Pretzels, Mustard and Zwiebelkuchen Weihenstaphaner Beer great with these appetizers. light and refreshing

Brats, Pretzels, Mustard and Zwiebelkuchen
Weihenstaphaner Beer

7.7% alc. great with these appetizers. light and refreshing [19] $6.00, 16oz

 
Zwiebelkuchen, which literally means onion cake in the German language, is either a one-crust pie made of steamed onions, diced bacon, cream, and caraway seeds on a yeast dough or a leavened dough that is particularly popular in the German wine-growing regions mostly of Rhenish Hesse, the Palatinate, Franconia, Baden and Swabia (a similar pie called Flammkuchen is also eaten in Alsace), or a quiche variant in Switzerland, traditionally eaten in Basel during the Carnival and in Bern for the Zibelemärit.” [Wikipedia]

Cucumber Salad This was an awesome salad and Cristi said so very easy to make.

Cucumber Salad
This was an awesome salad and Cristi said so very easy to make.
2015 Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc
14.2% alc. really good with this salad. [18] $22.00

Erbsensuppe (Pea Soup) Il Canapone 14% alc. an OK wine that still went well with the soup. [16] $18.00

Erbsensuppe mit Speck (Pea Soup with Bacon)
Il Canapone

14% alc. an OK wine that still went well with the soup. [16] $18.00

 
I think Cristi used ground pork. Speck is, “Speck Alto Adige PGI (German: Südtiroler Speck) is a dry-cured, lightly smoked ham (prosciutto in Italian), produced in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Parts of its production are regulated by the European Union under the protected geographical indication (PGI) status, also known as Tyrolean Speck.”

Pork and Apples with turnip and potato gratin and red cabbage 2011 Il Canapone 14% alc an OK wine that went pretty good with the pork [16] $18.00

Pork and Apples
with
turnip and potato gratin and red cabbage
Rye Bread

2011 Il Canapone
14% alc an OK wine that went pretty good with the pork [16] $18.00

German Chocolate Cake 2013 Monga Zin Carol Shelton [17] $21.00 good paring with the chocolate

German Chocolate Cake
2013 Monga Zin
Carol Shelton
14.9% alc.good paring with the chocolate [17] $21.00

An interesting comment from Cristi about Oktoberfest mugs (steins) and attendance at the event. "Consumption about 5 million, 1-liter mugs [of beer] filled. Mugs are to be returned; Fine for stealing one is $60 US; security usually catches 150,000 each year, but the Hofbrau tent alone looses about 35,000 a year...6.3 million guests attended the 2014 Oktoberfest. 112 oxen, 48 calves and 6.4 million liters of beer were consumed. Tent security stopped 112,000 people from taking their mug home with them."

An interesting comment from Cristi about Oktoberfest mugs (steins) “Consumption about 5 million, 1-liter mugs [of beer] filled. Mugs are to be returned; Fine for stealing one is $60 US; security usually catches 150,000 each year, but the Hofbrau tent alone looses about 35,000 a year. ..6.3 million guests attended the 2014 Oktoberfest. 112 oxen, 48 calves and 6.4 million liters of beer were consumed. Tent security stopped 112,000 people from taking their mug home with them.” No, this is not one of “those” mugs!

Awesome Dinner For The Boise Farmers Market

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05Oct2014_1_Farners-Market-Dinner_Gridiron-SignYes it was! And many thanks to all of the Boise Farmers Market producers for supplying the awesome meal items and the Saint Lawrence Gridiron, at 703 W Bannock in Boise (208) 433-5598, for supplying the space, the Waite Staff and an awesome Chef! Just a super, super night!
I do believe that this was the first of dinners like this to raise funds for the Boise Farmers Market. And I do hope that they continue to do this Fund Raising Dinner next year and many years to follow. When you look at the menu and photos below, you will see the superb meal that we had. Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make this a success! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

The flyer for this year's event.

The flyer for this year’s event.

Delightful table center pieces added to the Fall theme.

Delightful table center pieces added to the Fall theme.

The wonderful menu!

The wonderful menu!

Butternut Agnolotti with Sage Monte

Butternut Agnolotti with Sage Beurre Monté

Fraiche Tartine open faced gougere chipotle fraiche cucumber

Fraîche Tartine
open faced gougére, chipotle fraîche and cucumber

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho heirloom tomatoes brown butter crouton

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho
heirloom tomatoes and brown butter crouton

Harvest Vegetable Salad seasonal root vegetables candied walnuts local greens

Harvest Vegetable Salad
seasonal root vegetables, candied walnuts and local greens

Short Ribs smoked and braised short ribs, Carolina grits, salt roasted carrots, braised leeks and pan jus

Short Ribs
smoked and braised short ribs, Carolina grits, salt roasted carrots, braised leeks and pan jus

Apple Galette cinnamon custard brulee with fresh grated nutmeg whipped cream

Apple Galette
cinnamon custard brûlée with fresh grated nutmeg whipped cream

Neckar Coffee added some delightful coffee to our dinner. Thank-You!

Neckar Coffee added some delightful coffee to our dinner. Thank-You!

Snake River Winery offered wines with the dinner and beer was also available from Woodland Empire Brewery.

Snake River Winery offered wines with the dinner and beer was also available from Woodland Empire Brewery.

The Check-In table

The Check-In table

The Chef for the meal and on the right owner Brian Garrett. Thank-You both for this delightful evening.

The Chef for the meal and on the right owner Brian Garrett. Thank-You both for this delightful evening.

Robin enjoys some Neckar Coffee.

Robin enjoys some Neckar Coffee.

Thank-You everyone for this event. It takes a lot of hard work to arrange this. Karen Ellis – Thank-You!

Saint Lawrence Gridiron hosting Boise Farmers Market Festival

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05April2014_1c_Boise-Farmers-Market_Purple-Sage-BoothThe Saint Lawrence Gridiron, at 705 W Bannock Street in Boise, will be hosting a dinner spectacular for the Boise Farmers Market and The Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture tonight, Sunday, Oct 5. There are still tickets available and you may get them at the door. Or, for more information and to reserve your spot call (208) 345-9287. Tickets are $65.00 for a 5 Course Local Harvest Supper. Happy Hour starts at 4:00pm with dinner to follow at 5:00pm. See you there!

Boise-Farmers-Market-2014-Dinner-FlyerThe telephone number on the flyer is incorrect. The correct one is (208) 345-9287

Lamb Dinner with Chris

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1990 Chris_and_GrandmaYes, a full and complete Lamb Dinner with Chris. The occasion? I don’t know. Maybe “Just Because”. Here Oma Robin holds him the day after(?) he was born. Or is she still holding him after delivery? Anyway, a cute baby boy! And his birthday is just past. 24 years! So it makes this photo 24 years old! So on with the dinner. Enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the dinner. Everything Chris – and us – like! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged. Cheers! Oh! And Yes. Most of the ingredients of this meal were grown or raised locally. The lamb was a Felzien Farms lamb. Veggies from the Boise Farmers Market. Etc.

Rolled and Stuffed Bonelessx Leg of Lamg Orange Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Oven Roasted Rosemary and Thyme New Potatoes Oven Roasted Heirloom Carrots

Rolled and Stuffed Boneless Leg of Lamb
Oven Roasted Rosemary and Thyme New Potatoes
Orange Infused Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Oven Roasted Heirloom Carrots

I boned the lamb and then rolled it with fresh oregano, fresh mint, salt and pepper and spinach. Then on the outside I dusted it lightly with Greek Spice. It was so yummy!

The dinner plated.

The dinner plated. We served this with a 2013 Honor Vera Garnacha. And believe it or not, it was just a little light with the Brussels sprouts. Other than that, it was a good match.

Skillet Apple Pie with Cinnamon Fresh Whipped Cream

Skillet Apple Pie
with
Cinnamon Fresh Whipped Cream

This is so easy to make and so delicious. The only other thing, outside of the butter and brown sugar, to make this slightly better would be the addition of lattice designed bacon on top! Here is the recipe if you want it. Skillet Apple Pie recipe. (We added some fresh vanilla seeds to the mix too. Scrapped the bean to get the seeds.)

Mirepoix. What is it?

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Robin-Bob-In-Kitchen_Looking-RightWell, the simple answer is a combination of onions, celery, either the common pascal celery or celeriac and carrots. Mirepoix is a flavor base used widely in stocks, soups, stews and sauces. These ingredients are also known as aromatics. Traditionally, the ratio of these ingredients is 2-1-1, that is, 2 parts onion, 1 part celery and 1 part carrot. And if you want a white stock, or fond blanc, substitute parsnips for the carrots to maintain the pale color. There. I have added one variation. There are many and we will get to that in time.
OK. So where did this come from? Wikipedia says that,

Though the cooking technique is probably older, the term mirepoix dates from the 18th century and derives, as do many other appellations in French cuisine, from the aristocratic employer of the cook credited with establishing and stabilizing it: in this case, Charles-Pierre-Gaston François de Lévis, duc de Lévis-Mirepoix (1699–1757), French field marshal and ambassador and a member of the noble family of Lévis, lords of Mirepoix in Languedoc since the 11th century. According to Pierre Larousse (quoted in the Oxford Companion to Food), the unfortunate Duke of Mirepoix was “an incompetent and mediocre individual. . . who owed his vast fortune to the affection Louis XV felt toward his wife and who had but one claim to fame: he gave his name to a sauce made of all kinds of meat and a variety of seasonings”: The term is not encountered regularly in French culinary texts until the 19th century, so it is difficult to know what a dish à la mirepoix was like in 18th-century France. Beauvilliers, for instance, in 1814, gives a short recipe for a Sauce à la Mirepoix which is a buttery, wine-laced stock garnished with an aromatic mixture of carrots, onions, and a bouquet garni. Carême, in the 1830s, gives a similar recipe, calling it simply Mire-poix; and, by the mid-19th century, Gouffé refers to a mirepoix as “a term in use for such a long time that I do not hesitate to use it here”. His mirepoix is listed among essences and, indeed, is a meaty concoction (laced with two bottles of Madeira!), which, like all other essences, was used to enrich many a classic sauce. By the end of the 19th century, the mirepoix had taken on its modern meaning and Joseph Favre in his Dictionnaire universel de cuisine (c. 1895, reprinted 1978) uses the term to describe a mixture of ham, carrots, onions, and herbs used as an aromatic condiment when making sauces or braising meat.

Basic Mirepoix

Basic Mirepoix


Cajun "Holy Trinity" Onion, celery and green pepper.

Cajun “Holy Trinity” Onion, celery and green pepper. Just one variation to a mirepoix.

OK. That’s great. But what is the Cajun variation? Here, from Wikipedia, we find one explanation.

The holy trinity, Cajun holy trinity, or holy trinity of Cajun cooking is the Cajun and Louisiana Creole variant of mirepoix: onions, bell peppers, and celery in roughly equal quantities. This mirepoix is the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana. Variants use garlic, parsley, or shallots for one of the three. The preparation of Cajun/Creole dishes such as étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya all start from this base. Origin of the name – The name is an allusion to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Louisiana is a strongly Roman Catholic region. The term is first attested in 1981 and was probably popularized by Paul Prudhomme.

And here are some other variations, mostly from Wikipedia. Enjoy!

  1. Not to be confused with Italian Soffritto, which is a kind of Mirepoix. Sofrito being prepared in Spain. Sofrito or refogado is a sauce used as a base in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American cooking. Preparations may vary, but it typically consists of aromatic ingredients cut into small pieces and sauteed or braised in cooking oil.
    In Spanish cuisine, sofrito consists of garlic, onion, paprika, peppers, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. This is known as refogado or sometimes as estrugido in Portuguese-speaking nations, where only onions and olive oil are often essential, garlic and bay laurel leaves being the other most common ingredients.
  2. Italian Soffritto. The Italian version of mirepoix is called soffritto (not to be confused with the Spanish sofrito). According to the American reference work The Joy of Cooking, an Italian soffritto is made with olive oil, especially in Southern Italy, rather than butter, as in France or in Northern Italy, and may also contain garlic, shallot, leek, and herbs. From Tuscany in central Italy, restaurateur Benedetta Vitali writes that soffritto means “underfried”, describing it as: “a preparation of lightly browned minced vegetables, not a dish by itself.” It is the foundation on which many Tuscan sauces, and other dishes are built. At one time it was called “false ragout”, because soffritto was thought to vaguely recall the flavor of meat sauce…According to Vitali, mastery of the soffritto is the key to an understanding of Tuscan cooking. Her classically restrained Tuscan soffritto is garlic-less and simply calls for a red onion, a carrot, and a stalk of celery—all finely minced by hand and slowly and carefully sauteed in virgin olive oil in a heavy pan until the mixture reaches a state of browning appropriate to its intended use.
  3. German Suppengrün. Suppengrün means soup greens in German, and the Dutch equivalent is soepgroente. Soup greens usually come in a bundle and consists of a leek, a carrot and a piece of celeriac. It may also contain parsley, thyme, celery leaves, rutabaga, parsley root and onions. The mix depends on regional traditions as well as individual recipes. The vegetables used are cold climate roots and bulbs with long shelf lives. Suppengrün act as herbs and impart hearty, strong flavors to the soup or sauce, providing a foil for other strong tasting ingredients such as dried peas and beans or pot roast. Large chunks of vegetables are slow cooked to make flavorful soups and stocks, and are discarded when the vegetables have given up most of their flavor. Finely chopped suppengrün are browned in fat and used as a basis for a finished sauce. The vegetables may also be cooked long enough until they fall apart, and may become part of the sauce or pureed to form the sauce.
  4. Polish Włoszczyzna. Włoszczyzna is the Polish word for soup vegetables or greens. The word literally means “Italian stuff” because Queen Bona Sforza, who was Italian and married Polish King Sigismund I the Old in 1518, introduced this concept to Poland. A włoszczyzna may consist of carrots, parsnips or parsley root, celery root or celeriac, leeks and savoy or white cabbage leaves, and sometimes celery leaves and flat-leaf parsley. The most typical, prepackaged combination is celery root, parsley root, carrots and leeks. Włoszczyzna is usually chopped up and boiled to form a flavour base for soups and stews.

And if you are still hungry for information and maybe a recipe or two, try CIA – Professional Cook link. Much information here. Hoipe you enjoyed this article. Good luck with your mirepoix!!

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