From Scratch Meals with Local Products

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Robin-Bob-In-Kitchen_Looking-RightReally not difficult to do and sooooo much more tasty! Beats any pre-packaged meal – I control what is in the dish: Salt, sugar, herbs and spices. You say you don’t have the time to make a “from scratch” meal? These two meals took about 30 minutes and they were on the table. Local products whenever possible – beef, potatoes, tomatoes, bread, gravy (made from scratch) and onions. And the Tomatillo Salsa Verde was definitely all local and maade from scratch. 12 half pints made and canned! The end of the tomato season is upon us, so what better use than to make salsa. In this case, from tomatillos. Check with your local farmers market – that includes local produce stands – for locally grown and produced beef, potatoes, tomatillos, onions, peppers and herbs. It’s just so much better than commercially produced produce. The Boise Farmers Market moves indoors this week and runs through mid December. Then it closes until next Spring. Can and freeze those products and have “fresh” all winter. Here is what you can make for dinner and breakfast. Enjoy!

Scrambled Eggs Tomatillo Salsa Verde Sausage Acme Bake Shop Toast

Scrambled Eggs
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Sausage
Acme Bake Shop Toast

The eggs come from Meadowlark Farms and the other products from various local farmers.

Housemade Meatloaf Mashed Potatoes Gravy Peas Sliced Heirloom Tomato

Housemade Meatloaf
Mashed Potatoes
Gravy
Peas
Sliced Heirloom Tomato

The beef was local beef; potatoes local; peas were frozen; tomato was local. Gravy made from Idaho products.



Take the time to Eat Local! Support your local farmer!

Certified Master Chef Exam

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Bonet alla Piemontese chocolate-coffee Amaretti terrine, fresh local strawberries. The best I can say about this is, "Is there any more? I want more!"

Bonet alla Piemontese Chocolate-Coffee Amaretti Terrine

Ever dream of joining the ranks of such notable Certified Master Chefs as Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain, Paul Boluse, Rocco DiSpirito, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Todd English or Charlie Trotter? Well, this just might be your chance. An 8 day Chef exam, very similar to the exam for Master Sommelier in the wine industry. The American Culinary Federation is holding the exam this year. In 2012, out of seven starters of the 8 day ordeal, only one succeeded in finishing, Chef Jason Hall, CMC from the Hammock Dunes Club in Florida. It is a grueling 8 day experience and one that is loaded with high stress. But the rewards in the cooking industry are tremendous. Here is some more information that Robin found from the ACF. Enjoy!

The title of Certified Master Chef (CMC), presented solely by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) in the U.S., is the highest level of certification a chef can receive. It represents the pinnacle of professionalism and skill. Today, there are only 67 CMCs and 11 Certified Master Pastry Chefs® (CMPC) in the nation. The last CMC exam was held in 2012 at The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. Jason Hall, CMC®, executive chef at Hammock Dunes Club, Palm Coast, Florida, was the only candidate out of seven to pass the exam.

Eleven chefs from across the nation will soon vie for the chance to join the ranks of Hall and the other 66 CMCs during an eight-day exam held Oct. 26–Nov. 2, at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, Pasadena, California. Candidates for the CMC exam must possess proficiency in a broad range of styles and techniques, and have the ability to perform for eight days under extreme pressure.

To apply for the CMC exam, a candidate must be a Certified Executive Chef® or Certified Culinary Educator®, provide two letters of recommendation from current CMCs or CMPCs, and have completed education courses on sanitation and food safety, cost management, management and wine. The candidate must also secure funding for the cost of the exam process including the exam fee, travel expenses and practice materials.

During the eight-day exam, candidates must maintain an average score of 75 out of 100 points to be eligible to continue. Scores are tallied based on kitchen skills, plate presentation and taste. Candidates are tested on the following subjects by ACF-certified chefs:

Healthy cooking
Buffet catering
Classical cuisine
Freestyle cooking
Global cuisine
Baking and pastry
Continental and Northern Europe cuisines
Market basket

This credential is considered the highest and most demanding achievement level of ACF certification and successful candidates will join an elite group of only 67 chefs in the United States.

Did you notice that they consider wine as part of the testing curricula and therefore a part of the exam and the candidates for the Certification must have “… completed education courses on … wine”. Wine and food – The perfect Match.

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

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