We have been to several 5-Star restaurants in Boise – Richard’s, Chandler’s, Cottonwood Grill, Andrae’s (when it was open) and Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL – and the dinner that Chef and Winemaker Storm Hodge and Sous Chef Megan Hartman prepared for us, and 50+ others, last night at the winery, gives any of these restaurants a very serious challenge. This dinner was every bit a 5-Star dinner. It was amazingly delicious. Kudo’s to the Chefs, their kitchen staff and the wait staff! I sincerely urge any of you who are in the area, to visit the Bistro on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday Brunch and have superb meal. (Here is more info at Parma Ridge Winery – Snake River AVA Happenings) Look at what they prepared and we enjoyed! (Left-Click any of the photos to see them enlarged.)
And a good Thanksgiving it was! Marnie had us all down to Marsing, ID for dinner. Robin, Chris, Eric, Emmet, Marnie and me. Beautiful view across the Snake River to Lizard Butte. Sunny and warm. We ate on her back porch. Served dinner buffet style. Much easier.
Eric made some fresh venison summer sausage so we had cheese and sausage to start. And yes, there was a variety of wine and drinks for those who do not drink wine. Emmet made a wonderful Pecan Pie and Marnie made Port Poached Pears. Oh yum! Robin and I made the turkey and some trimmings, including Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, a wonderful and easy way to make mashed potatoes. Chris made the Dried Corn for the first time. Good job, Chris. If you want to see these photos enlarged, Left-Click them.
It seems as though everytime a holiday comes around, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter for instance, that those traditional family gatherings arrive with questions. Especially, questions from the kitchen. What shall I make for a special breakfast? Or, is there a different way to make mashed potatoes? Or, how do I brine a turkey?
All are good questions and I suppose there are many, many answers. After searching the web and aking questions from some Chef friends and venders at the Saturday Market, here are three suggestions. I’m going to try each one of these and I really believe that they will turn out really good. So here are the three recipes for “How To Brine A Turkey“, “Mashed Potatoes in a Slow Cooker” and “Salsa Ranchera” for Huevos Rancheros. Enjoy and if you use any of these, tell us how it came out. Cheers and Happy Holidays! Left-Click these photos to see them enlarged.
Makes 1 turkey
4 quarts water
1 cup coarse kosher salt, or 3/4 cup table salt
Aromatics: bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, juniper berries, allspice berries, orange peels, lemon peels, etc.
1 large pot or bucket with a lid
Measuring cups and spoons
1) Find a pot and make fridge space: Find a pot or food-safe bucket large enough that you will be able to entirely submerge your turkey. Next, clear some fridge space and make sure your pot will fit.
2) Place the turkey in the pot: Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets, then transfer it to your pot. Add any aromatics you’d like to use.
Mix the brine solution: Heat 1 quart of water in the microwave until warmed — it doesn’t need to come to a boil, just be warm enough to dissolve the salt. Add the salt and stir until the salt has dissolved. Let the liquid cool slightly; it’s fine if it’s still a touch warm.
Pour the brine solution over the turkey. Pour the remaining 3 quarts of water over the turkey: This dilutes the salt solution to the best ratio for brining and also helps further cool the solution.
2) Make sure the turkey is completely submerged: If necessary, prepare additional brine solution at a ratio of 1/4 cup per quart of water to completely submerge the turkey.
Cover and refrigerate: If the turkey floats, weigh it down with a dinner plate. Cover the pot and place it in the refrigerator.
3) Brine for 12 to 24 hours.
4) Rinse the turkey in cool water and pat dry. Clean your sink thoroughly after doing this step to avoid cross-contamination. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Dry for another 24 hours for crispier skin.
Optional: If you have time, let the turkey air-dry overnight in the fridge. Place it on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic bags to avoid cross contamination. This drying step will give your turkey crispier skin.
5) Roast as usual, but check your turkey early: You can roast the turkey either immediately after brining or after air-drying. I’ve found that brined turkeys tend to cook a bit more quickly, so cook as usual, but start checking the turkey’s temperature an hour before the end of your estimated cooking time.
Serves: 8 to 10
Source: adapted from The Kitchn
5 lbs Russet Potatoes
3 to 4 cloves Garlic, optional
1 t Celtic Sea Salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground Tellicherry Black Pepper, to taste
3 to 3½ c Whole Milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
½ c unsalted Butter
Peel and chop the potatoes: Lightly grease the slow cooker insert with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces about 1 inch to a side. The smaller the potatoes, the faster they will cook, obviously. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker.
Add the seasonings: Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Pour in 1½ cups milk: Pour in 1½ cups milk and stir the potatoes once.
Cook until tender: Cover the slow cooker and cook 4 to 5 hours on HIGH or until the potatoes are very tender and soft. Turn the heat to WARM.
Melt the butter: When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
Warm the dairy: Stir 2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream, into the melted butter and warm gently over low heat.
Mash the potatoes: If you used garlic but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot.
Slowly stir in the dairy: When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter. The potatoes will look soupy at first but the potatoes will quickly soak up the liquid. Add an additional ½ cup of milk or cream if you want them to be even creamier.
Taste and season: Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.
Keep warm: To keep the potatoes warm, leave in the covered slow cooker on the WARM setting for up to 4 hours.
(Cómo preparar una Salsa Ranchera auténtica en tu casa)
[huevos rancheros—”rancher’s-style” eggs]
Source: adapted from mexgrocer
Preparation: 10 Cook Time: 1 Servings: 6
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
½ white Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1 T Vegetable Oil
Serrano chile as desired
2 1/2 T Oregano
1 t Cumin
Juice of half a Lime
Celtic Sea Salt
Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds. Peel them, dice them and put them in what will be your salsa bowl. Chop up the onion, chili, and garlic and mix with the tomato. Add the oil and the lime juice and sprinkle with oregano.
An Easy Mexican Recipe
Source: adapted from mylatinatable.com/best-huevos-rancheros/
2 lg Eggs
2 Corn Tortillas
¼ Onion, chopped
BlackmRefried beans (homemade or store bought)
2 med Potatoes
Thick cut Ham, cut into cubes
Celtic Sea Salt, fresh ground Tellicherry Black Pepper to taste
Queso Fresco and Cilantro to garnish.
Sauté the potatoes, onion, and ham in a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Lightly fry the tortillas, and pat dry. Put on a plate. Warm up the refried beans, and spread onto the tortillas.
Fry an egg to your preferred level of doneness, and put on top of the tortilla and beans. Top with salsa ranchero, queso fresco, and fresh cilantro. Serve with the potato, onion, and ham mix.
Ah yes! Life in the kitchen in one of the hottest July’s on record at The Captain’s Shack (The Shack). But so much fun to make and serve. Some of these dishes are “eye candy”, too. Some have recipes; Some don’t. (If you want a recipe, just let me know. I’ll see what I can do.) As with most photos on this blog, Left Click them and see them enlarged. Enjoy these photos and if you make any of the recipes, let us know how you liked them. Thanks and Cheers!
Oh my! Such a great weekend. And such a great 34 years with the Apple of My Eye! Thank you Robin for those years. Here is a little bit of how we spent – ate – our way through the anniversary days.
And then, Saturday morning, after coming home from the Boise Farmers Market at 10th and Grove, we were watching Chef Rick Baylis on PBS and he made what looked like a fantastic Huevos con Salsa de Mango y Aquacate. I thought that I could duplicate that. I did. Here it is and all from scratch!
So there you have it. Eating our way through our anniversary weekend. And it’s only Saturday!
Ah yes, so much fun to make these dishes. Some of the recipes are available and printed here. Enjoy! And yes, Idaho does raise shrimp and Australian Sea Bass. Look for Garden Creek Farms, Challis – “…Natural, Fresh, Sustainable Fish and Produce Production – Aquaculture and Aquaponics …”, ID (208) 339-4326 or email at email@example.com. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.
A roulade is a dish of filled rolled meat or pastry. Traditionally found in various European cuisines, the term roulade originates from the French word “rouler”, meaning “to roll”.However, the term may be used in its generic sense to describe any filled rolled dish, such as those found in maki sushi.
A meat-based roulade typically consists of a slice of steak rolled around a filling such as cheese, vegetables, or other meats. A roulade, like a braised dish, is often browned then covered with wine or stock and cooked. Such a roulade is commonly secured with a toothpick, metal skewer or a piece of string. The roulade is then sliced into rounds and served. Of this common form, there are several notable dishes:
Braciole, Italian roulade consisting of beef, pork or chicken usually filled with Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and eggs
Paupiette, French veal roulade filled with vegetables, fruits or sweetmeats
Rouladen, German and Hungarian beef roulade filled with onions, bacon and pickles. Also Kohlrouladen, cabbage filled with minced meat.
Španělské ptáčky (Spanish birds) are roulade in Czech cuisine. The recipe is practically identical with German Rouladen, perhaps omitting wine and adding a wedge of hard-boiled egg and/or frankfurter to the filling. Unlike the large roulade, sliced before serving, the “birds” are typically 10 cm (3.9 in) long, served whole with a side dish of rice or Czech style bread dumplings.
Szüz tekercsek (“Virgin rouladen”), in Hungary a dish[clarification needed] filled with minced meat.
Zrazy (or “rolada”), in Poland
Here is the Recipe for the Lamb Roulade. You can follow the photos for help. Enjoy!
Thank you so much Artist Stephanie and Chef Storm Hodge for another delightful brunch! These brunches are superb! 5-Star! (Bistro Weekend Menu – subject to change – or Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro) And many thanks to Garry and Donna for meeting us at the bistro for lunch, despite the highway detours! Here is what we had along with our 2016 Parma Ridge Winery Tre Bianchi and a 2015 Parma Ridge Winery Carmenere. Cheers! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.
And to follow-up from the Parma Ridge Winery web page,
Savor the Flavor
Offering both an in-house menu in the Tasting Room and custom menus for your scheduled event, Storm is looking forward to making your day special. From appetizers to full course meals, Parma Ridge offers both the taste and the view. Come by during tasting room hours to enjoy one of his delicious menu items, or contact us today to plan your special event!
I did mention to Stephanie that Robin and I have probably had close to all of the items offered on the menu. We have never had a bad selection, but there are some we prefer! The Parma Ridge Bistro is definitely a 5-Star winery bistro in the Snake River AVA.
Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. Le Peep in Meridian, ID, at 3036 North Eagle Road, Meridian, ID, 208-629-0155, is a 3-Star restaurant out of 5-Stars. On the other hand, Alejandro’s Mexican Restaurant in Marsing, ID at 208 Main St, (208) 896-5339 and Sakana Sushi, 7107 W. State St., Garden City, ID 83714, (208)-853-4993, Mon.-Thur.: 11:00am – 10:00pm, Fri.-Sat.: 11:00am-11:00pm and Sun.: 12:00pm – 9:00pm are both 5-Star restaurants. I urge you to look at these links and visit the restaurants and make up your own mind.
Le Peeps problem is in their Hollandaise Sauce. It is advertised as Hollandaise, but it is far from it. Not bad flavors, just not Hollandaise and an unexpected taste. Plus, the potatoes were cold as noted in the caption above. Just can not give Le Peep a higher rating. Two of the better restaurants we went to were –