1st Annual Idaho Truffle Dinner


This was a fantastic event and I do hope we are able to enjoy it next year. It was hosted by the Idaho Truffle Association and you can get more information about Idaho truffles by clicking Here. The event was located at the Chateau des Fleurs located at 176 S. Rosebud Lane, Eagle, Idaho 83616, Phone 208-947-2840. And yes, this is a high-end, 5-Star restaurant. But worth every penny. Here is the exquisite Menu. Enjoy your meal. You can Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

The menu for this event.

One of the wines we had. 2014 Roghani Vineyards Chardonnay

Pan Seared Chicken Breast
Cipollini and Shimengi Mushroom Risotto
Shaved Black Perigord Truffles

2014 Roghani Vineyards Chardonnay

Confit Idaho Yukon Potato
Truffle Pommes Puree
Infused Crème Fraîche
Shaved Bianchetti Truffle

2014 Roghani Vineyards Un-Oaked Chardonnay

Chef Jimenez Inspired Truffle Ravioli
Ravioli Filled with Brie and Parmesan
Binachetti Truffle and Moral Mushrooms
Bianchetti Nage and Beurre Noisette Bread Crumbs

2014 Roghani Vineyards Chardonnay

Truffle Infused Sweet Breads
Sweet Breads with Seared Scallop
Foie and Celeriac Puree
Celery Gelee
Parmesan Truffle Essence
Fresh Shaved Bianchetti Truffle and Shimengi Mushroom
Petit Herbs

2013 Roghani Vineyards Riesling

Truffle Almond Bread Pudding
Bianchetti Infused Ice Cream
Truffle Crème Anglaise

2014 Roghani Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling

And then for breakfast on Sunday morning, I made us Potato Benedict using Air Fried potato slices for the English muffin. Really good.

Potato Benedict

Because Inquiring Minds Need to Know

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I found this to be interesting. That’s probably because of my Cultural Anthropology background.

Hina Matsuri in Japan

Source: https://matcha-jp.com/en/753
Although it is not a national holiday, March 3rd is a special day for girls. Families who don’t have young daughters might not do anything special on this day.
March 3rd is Japanese Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri. Ornate dolls are displayed in the family home to mark the beginning of spring and to wish good health and good fortune for all of the girls in the family.
However, a tradition of this festival is still passed down until now. Actually, how people celebrate Hina Matsuri is different from place to place. We will introduce here what the Japanese people usually do on this day.
Hina Dolls represent what the imperial family was like in the ancient times. The dolls on the top tire of the platforms represent the emperor and the empress. The rest of the dolls are three court ladies, five musicians and the minister of the Right and Left who used to support the government in the old days. There are some decorations such as Gissha (oxcarts), small cupboards, Japanese paper lamps called “Bonbori”, and orange and peach tree branches displayed on the tire of platforms.
The facial expressions and costumes of each doll are also different depending on their personality and position.
The special meals for Hina Matsuri are Amazake (sweet drink), Chirashizushi (a style of sushi) and Hina Arare (sweet colorful rice crackers).
Amazake is a traditional Japanese sweet and thick drink made from fermented glutinous rice. Amazake literally means “sweet alcohol” but it has less than 1 percent of Shirozake alcohol in it. So children are also able to drink it.

Shirozake

Drinking Shirozake, which is a traditional sweet sake, was one of the customs to get rid of bad things out from your body. But Shirozake is an alcoholic drink, so Amazake was made with the children in mind.
Hina Arare are colorful and cute small rice crackers. The colors of these rice crackers have meanings. White represents the earth of the winter, pink and red represent life, while green represents the green shoots in the spring. Hina Arare is a snack showing our expectations toward the arrival of spring after the long cold winter. People also say that you will live healthy for this coming year if you eat each color of Hina Arare.
Chirashizushi is a type of Sushi which has lotus roots, shrimp and thinly shredded egg omelet on the top of vinegar rice. It has been a dish enjoyed widely at celebrations.
The ingredients in Chirashizushi have meanings as well. The lotus root is said to give one the power to see what will happen in the future, shrimps are a symbol of longevity and so on.

Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/japanese-girls-day-hinamatsuri-party-dishes-2031057
As with almost all holidays, food and drink play a role on Girls’ Day, with rice wine and rice cakes taking center stage, along with flower blossoms. Hinamatsuri is also called Momo no Sekku, which means a festival of peach blossoms. Peach blossoms, shiro-zake (white fermented rice wine) and hishi-mochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes) are placed on the stand with the hina dolls. Hishi-mochi are colored pink representing peach flowers, white representing snow, and green representing new growth.
Traditionally, girls in Japan invited their friends to a home party to celebrate this festival. Many people prepare a special meal for girls on this day, including savory dishes such as chirashi, which is sugar-flavored, vinegared sushi rice with raw fish on top; clam soup served in the shell; and edamame maze-gohan, mixed rice usually consisting of brown rice and soybeans.
Other popular dishes to serve at a Girl’s Day celebration are inari sushi—rice-stuffed tofu pockets—with miso grilled salmon and cabbage ramen salad. Sweets are on the menu as well, incorporating a feminine shade of pink, like chi chi dango, which are pink pillows of mochi (glutinous rice flour and coconut milk), a favorite among children, and sakura-mochi, a pink, sweet rice cake. Some families include an impressive edible centerpiece, such as the layered chirashi sushi cake.

Some recipes for Hina Matsuri
(The recipes listed below can be found at the link above.)

Chirashizuchi

Easy Seafood Chirashizushi: Use a shortcut of packaged sushi seasoning to quickly season steamed rice and add pre-cooked gomoku vegetables for this delectable dish. Add your favorite toppings of choice.
Edamame Maze-Gohan (Mixed Rice): Is easy to prepare, especially for large crowds. Steamed rice is mixed with furikake seasoning, bottled nametake (seasoned mushrooms), and shelled edamame for a delicious rice dish.
Inari Sushi: Preparing a dish for a large crowd doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out the secrets of making quick inari sushi with impressive results.
Cabbage Ramen Salad: This spin on the traditional Chinese chicken salad recipe uses crunchy dried ramen noodles, cabbage, and shredded chicken to create a zesty Japanese-fusion salad.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings: Let your slow cooker do all the work to whip-up a batch of delicious teriyaki chicken wings with just a few ingredients, and use the free time to prepare a few other dishes.

Miso Ginger Marinated Grilled Salmon

Miso Grilled Salmon: Miso-grilled salmon can easily be prepared by making the marinade ahead of time and then letting the salmon marinade for a few days in the fridge. All you need is an oven or a grill to cook up delicious fillets in under 40 minutes.
Clam Soup: A traditional soup that is often enjoyed on Hinamatsuri is clam soup. This clear style soup is known as sumashijiru and is simply seasoned from the broth of the clams.
Chi Chi Dango: These pillowy soft bites of mochi are made of glutinous rice flour and coconut milk. These pink, soft mochi are an absolute favorite among children.
Sakura Mochi: Sakura mochi is a glutinous rice dish that is often enjoyed during Hinamatsuri. This slightly sweetened, pink mochi is filled with sweet red beans (koshian) and wrapped in a salted sakura (young cherry blossom) leaf.

Air Fryer and Instant Pot Info

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It’s snowing outside. Wet. 5″ Deep. Cold. It’s better to be inside working on this blog.
I have had several requests/questions on how to convert a recipe from the stove/oven/frying process to an Air Fryer or Instant Pot. Air Fryer info can be a little hard to find, but it is there if you look. I recently received a book by Ben Mims, Air Fry Every Day, 2018 Clarkson Potter, New York ISBN 978-0-525-57609-9. A really good book and one you should add to your Kitchen Library.
“I’m a food writer, cookbook author, and recipe developer. I’ve formerly worked as the Test Kitchen Director at Lucky Peach magazine, Food Editor at Saveur magazine, a food editor at Food & Wine, and the pastry chef of Bar Agricole restaurant in San Francisco in 2013. I’ve authored three cookbooks: Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer (Clarkson Potter, 2018), Coconut (Short Stacks Editions, 2017), and Sweet and Southern: Classic Desserts with a Twist (Rizzoli; 2014), in addition to recipe development for Tasty Ultimate: How To Cook Basically Anything (Clarkson Potter, 2018), Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide (Dovetail, 2017) and Munchies: Late-Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs (Ten Speed Press, 2017). I’ve also written for the Wall Street Journal, GQ.com, Jarry, Lucky Peach, Epicurious.com, Rachael Ray Every Day, Real Simple, Southern Living, and Food52.com.” [Ben Mims Website].
OK. So how do I convert from stove top frying to the Air Fryer? Mr Mims suggests that in general, you should reduce the temperature by 25ºF and the cooking time by 25%. If you are using a packaged/frozen product, or a recipe that you have used for years and the directions say to cook at 425ºF for 25 minutes, cook in the Air Fryer at 400ºF for 18-20 minutes. “… Because the heat in the air fryer is more intense than a standard oven, reduce the suggested temperature by 25ºF to 50ºF and cut the time by roughly 20%. So, if a recipe calls for cooking in the oven at 425ºF for 60 minutes … instead you can air-fry the chicken at 400ºF for about 40 minutes.” [Meredith Laurence] Just remember to check your product at the lower cooking time to check for doneness. For instance, I cook bacon at 400ºF for 12 minutes. It comes out just the way we like it – crisp, but not burned – and it will burn! I always, especially when cooking bacon, line the drip pan with aluminium foil. Clean up is easy. Two other suggestions: (1) Do not over fill the basket. The product needs airflow, and (2) Some items need to be turned – chicken thighs for one. French Fries probably need only a shake. Experiment and have fun.

Now. The Instant Pot. This is really an All-Purpose appliance. Slow cook, pressure cook, sauté , make soup or yogurt. It’s amazing! Several things to remember [The PlateJoy Blog]-

  1. Always use some type of liquid. Water, sauces, etc. No wine until the final process. Like a slow cooker, recipes with a bit of liquid content will do best in the instant pot.
  2. Do not over fill! Instant pots hold a smaller amount than a typical stockpot or slow cooker, so you may need to adjust the proportions of ingredients when you’re adapting your recipe.
  3. Brown in the pot. Rather than using extra dishes, complete prep steps like browning meat or sautéing garlic and onions right in the instant pot on the sauté setting.
  4. Calculate cook time. As a general rule, meat recipes will require about a third of time a standard oven recipe takes. Pasta and grains will take about half the time.
  5. What to omit. Like slow cooking, diary should be added to your recipe at the end. A nice function of the instant pot is that you can remove the lid and continue to simmer without pressure once the pressure-cooking portion is done. This is a great time to add these more finicky ingredients and will round out the flavor of your dish beautifully…Wine and cooking alcohol may not break down as well as if they had hours to evaporate, so you might consider adding these in after browning meat or onions (but before adding the rest of your cooking liquid or ingredients), just to give the alcohol a bit of time to break down.

Just have fun with these appliances and experiment. Cheers!

Celebrating Valentines Week

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This week in mid February, 2019, was dedicated to the one I love. (There ought to be a song written to that phrase!) A week in the kitchen. Planning. Finding. Testing and tasting. Preparing. Serving. It was an exciting week and very fulfilling. I know she liked the meals – they are all gone! That’s always a good sign. Here are some of the dishes we had. And to answer the question – someone did ask – yes I did make all of this. There are recipe links where available. Enjoy! (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)

Eggs Benedict are always liked. Especially on a Sunday morning.

Crab Louie salad is awesome.

Or maybe a Crab Omelet one weekday morning.

Scallop and Watercress Salad makes a great dinner.

The absolute best meal, and the one that took the most time, patience and tasting, was this one. The sides that Robin wanted are checked in red. The salad and the entree are fixed.

Valentines Day Dinner Menu
We had a 2014 Indian Creek Winery (ID) Chardonnay with this dinner

Caprese Salad

Stuffed Lobster with Crab
Brussels Sprouts in Balsamic Reduction
Parsley Potatoes

Two sauces were made for the entree – Lemon Butter Sauce for the lobster, and Brandy Mayonnaise Sauce for the crab.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Peanut Butter Cookies

After all of these delicious seafood meals and all, we had to make something, well ………. more subtle. Like some Robin’s Vegetable Soup. But this is not your standard peas, corn, tomato, etc soup. Try some leek, celery, turmeric, etc soup. It is delicious!!

Robin’s Vegetable Soup

So there it is – Our Valentines Day (Week) in the kitchen. Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the kitchen! Cheers and enjoy the recipes.

Your New Favorite Toy

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This is the AirFryer we have. Under $100 online.

… Could Be and Air Fryer. The other day while waiting for our favorite Dental Hygienist of over 30 years, Nancy Huff, she presented me with an article in our local newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, called “Your new favorite toy could be an air fryer” by Jill Warren Lucas of the News & Observer, Raleigh, NC. The link to the article is Here, and well worth the time to read it. Great information and suggestions for the fryer to fill your needs. (The one pictured here is the one we have. A 5 quart capacity.)

The article suggests sizes to look at, cook books to get for your air fryer, Air Fry Everyday: 75 Recipes to Fry by Ben Mims and has some recipes to try, like Gooey “Spoon” Brownies or Caramelized Eggplant with Harissa Yogurt.

BEN MIMS is the former test kitchen director at Lucky Peach and food editor of Saveur, as well as an associate food editor at Food & Wine. He has developed recipes for, written for, and consulted for outlets such as Buzzfeed/Tasty, Food Network Magazine, Rachael Ray Every Day, Food52.com, Bake from Scratch, Epicurious.com, and Jarry, and for cookbooks by Vice/Munchies and Dovetail Press. He is also the author of Sweet & Southern: Classic Desserts with a Twist (Rizzoli, 2014) and Short Stacks: Coconut (Dovetail Press, 2017). He currently lives in Manhattan.

So if you’re looking to buy one, or you want some recipes for the one you already have or you just want a good resource, this article is for you. Have fun and cook much!

Boise Foodie Blog Update

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As Yul Brenner said, “As it has been written, so let it be done.” I asked if the readers of the Boise Foodie Blog would like to have the Air Fryer and Instant Pot recipes put on separate pages from the main recipe file. With over 100 responses, the answer was Yes. So, I have done just that. The main recipe file is located at Boise Foodie Blog Recipes. The AirFryer recipes are located at Boise Foodie Blog AirFryer Recipes and the Instant Pot recipes are located at Boise Foodie Blog Instant Pot Recipes.
I hope that this helps you to find some specialized recipes easier. And as a note, we have tried all of these recipes in their original form and only then have we modified the recipe to match our tastes.

A Visit To Le Coq d’Or

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What a great way to celebrate the birthday of Scottish Poet Robert Burns! An extremely good 5-Star restaurant in Eagle – Le Coq d’Or! 208-947-2840, 176 S. Rosebud Lane, Eagle, Idaho 83616. Tuesday-Thursday: 5:00pm-9:00pm; Friday and Saturday: 5:00pm-10:00pm.

The Restaurant at the Chateau draws upon flavor profiles from around the world: focusing on old-world traditional French and European cuisine, with subtle Eastern and Persian influences. All food served in our restaurant is made from scratch in our kitchen using locally sourced Idaho produce whenever possible. Fresh dining and artful ambiance makes the Restaurant at the Chateau a truly one-of-a-kind, well-rounded dining experience that will continue to enthrall you long after the last bite. Enjoy our house wine Roghani Vineyards or allow Christian Lamotte, our Maitre D’, to suggest one of our 100+ hand-selected wines from around the world.

And a great Truffle and Wine Dinner coming up Saturday, February 23, 2019. Call to make reservations and we will see you there! You will not be disappointed. In the meantime, here is what we had today. (Some of the photos are not the best – first time using the Samsung phone camera. Can only get better.) Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Miss Fisher watches over the dining hall!

Robin in the dinning room.

Always a good wine from their winery. In this case, Shiraz

Green Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

I had this awesome Creamy Mushroom Soup. Delicious!

Robin had French Onion Soup

Duck and Truffle Potatoes

Chicken with Mediterrean Sauce and Polenta

I would have any of these items again.Super good!

January Re-Cap

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It’s been comparatively warm. Little snow here in the valley. Snow looks good in the mountains. Oh yea! The blog! I have been asked many times this month for recipes for an Air Fryer. So I have started to add some to the recipe file located on the Foodie Blog page or by Clicking Here. I am going to do a monthly re-cap of the Air Fryer (AF) recipes and the Instant Pot (IP) recipes that get added to the file each month.
And another suggestion was to have these two forms of cooking on separate pages – one page for Instant Pot recipes only and one page for Air Fryer recipes only. What do you think? (Yes. I’m asking for your comments.) Hope this information helps. We have made all of these recipes and adapted them to “make them ours”.

January 2019 Air Fryer Recipe Summary –

This is the AirFryer we have. Under $100 online.

  1. Asian Chicken Thighs
  2. Asian Style Chicken Wings
  3. Carrots
  4. Crispy Chicken Thighs (Second Joints, for those in the Mid-Atlantic states.)
  5. Coconut Shrimp
  6. Meatloaf (Yes! Meatloaf and it is delicious!)
  7. Pork Chops with Steamed Cabbage
  8. Sesame Salmon
  9. Baja Fish Tacos

AirFryer Information

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Actually, there is a lot of information “out there” about AirFryers. And, there are many different brands and models. Do your research and I do think you will be happy with your choice. But first, let me say this about that. (That sounds familiar!)

This handy appliance claims to mimic the results of deep-frying with nothing more than hot air and a tiny amount of oil. And it does in much less time and heat in the kitchen. The AirFryer is essentially and “beefed up” countertop convection oven. Its compact space facilitates even faster cooking. Rapid heated air circulation makes the food crisp, much like deep-frying. Cleanup is super easy too, and most units have a dishwasher safe basket. The units do a fantastic job cooking up anything that is meant to taste deep-fried when it comes from a conventional oven. So think frozen fries, breaded chicken or fish, and frozen onion rings. Liquid batters do not work well in the AirFryer. You also can’t make anything in large quantities, so if you’re feeding a family, be prepared to cook in batches.

How do they work? AirFryers use circulating hot air to cook food that would otherwise be submerged in oil. The AirFryer’s cooking chamber radiates heat from a heating element near the food, thus cooking it more efficiently. A fan is generally used to circulate hot air around the food. The opening at the top is used to take air in and there is an exhaust at the back that controls the temperature by releasing any undesired hot air. It is also used to counter any increases in internal pressure. The temperatures inside can go to 400°F depending on the model. For safety, it is essential to not put oil inside the air fryer or have flammable objects near the air fryer. Lightly spraying the food product with a light coating of oil is OK. Just don’t submerge the product in oil! In general, cooking times in the air fryer are reduced by 20-30% in comparison with traditional ovens. This varies per brand and the quantity of the food cooked in the air fryer. Recipes are generally available on the internet, or you can look at our recipe file as listed above, or Click Here. Here are some of the meals we have made. (Left-Click to see them enlarged)

Fish Tacos

Coconut Shrimp

Salmon

AF Pork Chops with sautéed Cabbage

Blow is a good cooking time reference and you can print it out and post near your AirFryer. Please note: Most proteins probably will have to be turned half-way through the cooking cycle and Don’t Crowd the basket. Bake in batches if necessary. Also, you might have some family or cultural recipes that use the metric system. If you need a conversion reference, use the one posted below and print it out if need be.

AirFryer cooking times.

Temperature and Weight Conversions

3 Horse Ranch Winery and Bacquet’s Restaurant Dinner

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This photo is at The Pond in Marsing, ID

Wow! What a delightful and exciting wine dinner in Eagle, ID at Bacquet’s Restaurant. Yummy French cuisine! And the wines that paired so well with dinner from 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards. Just look at this menu, the wines and the photos of the food. Great to have a truly French restaurant in the area! (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged. Enjoy!

Entrance to Bacquet’s Restaurant in Eagle, ID

Main dining room

Wine dinner area

Daughter Marnie and Robin

2017 Select Eagle Foothills AVA Viognier/Roussanne

2014 Eagle Foothills AVA Merlot

Truffle Asparagus Cream Soup
2017 Select Eagle Hills AVA Viognier/Roussanne

Fresh Mussels
fresh mussels cooked in a Chardonnay cream sauce with a touch of lavender and honey
2017 Select Eagle Foothills Chardonnay

Lamb Rack with Sauce Diable
roasted young vegetables and Chef’s famous potatoes au gratin
2013 Heritage Syrah/Mourvedre

[Sauce Diable is one of many sauces that can be made from a basic and versatile recipe for Quick Brown Sauce. James Beard famously served it with his Deviled Beef Bones, but it is equally delicious with broiled flank steak or broiled chicken. For an even tangier preparation, add small capers and finely chopped sour pickles…A basic brown sauce with the addition of wine, vinegar, shallots and red or black pepper. It’s usually served with broiled meat or poultry.]

Quail Parisienne aux Poivre Rose (Pink Peppercorns)
pink peppercorns give pepper flavor without the bite. Served with mushroom risotto and a vegetable galette
2014 Eagle Foothills AVA Merlot

[A savory galette is the easier and more streamlined cousin of a classic Quiche.]

Tarte Fromage
from the north of France, Chef Franck’s home, this tarte is filled with Gruyere and five cheeses
2014 Eagle Foothills AVA Cabernet Sauvignon