Bella Aquila Restaurante in Eagle, ID sponsored the 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards wine dinner. A full 6 course dinner was served with as many 3 Horse Vineyards wines. The participation was superb and the crowd enjoyed themselves. It was good to see the Cunninghams again – it has been a while. They are the owners of the winery. Also they have added Brandon St-Martin to their staff as the winery manager. Just look at this menu. (You can Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)
You bet. Our 33rd wedding anniversary and Bastille Day celebration at Capitol Cellars with awesome French foods and wines. Visit theem at the preceeding link or at 110 S 5th St., Boise. (208) 344-9463. A great time and thank-you Marnie for joining us and thank-you to Dr and Mrs Jutzy – she was celebrating her birthday! It was a celebration dinner! The loud dude who sat at the end of our table should have stayed home! At any rate, it was a superb evening! Definitely 5-Star dining. They source their food products from local farmers. Just look at what we had.
When we arrived, each one of us received a glass of 2015 Nicolas Pinot Noir Rosè. Then dinner started.
It could be anything! But hopefully, it’s always pretty good. Mostly healthy and always has a local product element. Local. That’s what we try to feature always! Beef, pork, lamb, seafood, greens, fruit, vegetables, eggs, mushrooms, sprouts. You get the idea. And what’s even more fun – sometimes … most times – is preparing the meals. Here are a few photos of some of the dishes we have made recently. If there is a recipe for the item, it may be in the recipe file as listed above or you can look for it by Clicking Here.
We were going to make Greek kabobs and I wanted to find a good Greek herb blend. There is a really good Greek restaurant near us, Mazzah Mediterrean and every time I walk by it, I get this wonderfully awesome aroma of Greek spices. So I found this chart of cultural Spice Blends. We used the Greek Spice and added Sumac and Marjoram. If you are looking for a particular blend, this may help. Save the image and print it out if you need to.
So there you have it. Not 100% local, but darn close. And this time of year with the Boise Farmers Market being open, it gets easier to buy those local products. Plus, our herb gardens are in full swing – bloom! Enjoy.
September 17th will always be a special day – It is Robin’s Birthday. This year we celebrated the 43rd anniversary of her 29th birthday at Alavita, a good Italian restaurant. Actually a solid 4-Star Italian restaurant. On their webpage, they say, “ALAVITA is all about fresh pasta and local ingredients—from Agnolotti to Tortellini to Garganelli, Linguini to Pappardelle—created freshly every day. A restaurant whose name means “to life,” (Well actually two words– ‘alla’ ‘vita’ –that we put together to create one) ÀLAVITA is a great place for celebrating life with good friends and family alike.
What we believe: great food need not be too convoluted or overwrought, but rather fresh, uncomplicated, relatable and well executed in order to get out of the way of the local ingredients and find the pleasure in their innate flavors and qualities. In the vein of a traditional Italian osteria as a casual, local gathering place (An Italian Joint) to discover food, friends, wine, and creative libations, our menu reflects a new twist on Italian fare that is inspired by local, regional ingredients. As we do at Fork (Our big brother concept located next door by same creators), we firmly subscribe to our mantra of being ‘Loyal To Local.’” And they adhere to these words, rigorously. Enjoy these photos of our visit. We will return.
Yes indeed, another good Römertopf Roasted Chicken. Love using this style of cooking – Römertopf or Tagine; slow, steamed in it’s own liquid. I like to place chopped carrots, onion and potato on the bottom of the Römertopf to keep the chicken off of the bottom of the cooking pot and keep it from burning. Make a gravy from the liquid and use the roasted vegetables as a side. I cooked this one covered at 375 degrees F for about 1 1/2 hours, plus 1/2 hour uncovered at 400 degrees F.
And we do like to keep the ingredients as local as possible: Potatoes from Rupert, Onions from Nyssa, Carrots from Boise, Herbs from our herb garden. Look at what we did and enjoy. We did! Serve with a good Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. Left Click the photos to see them enlarged.
Fresh pasta! So very good and cooks so fast. If you make your own pasta – and we’ll show you how in this article – just think of the variations you can make and the ingredient control you have. For instance, we use only local, farm raised and free range eggs from Meadowlark Farms (they are at the Saturday Boise Farmers Market at 10th and Grove.) Even your flour source can be local.
The recipe we use is an adaptation of Chef Anne Burrell’s. We use garlic infused olive oil and semolina. Both of which are not in her recipe. Here is the recipe for Pasta that we have adapted. There are several pasta makers on the market. Some relatively inexpensive and others somewhat more expensive. We have and have used a manual one like at this link – and pictured here – from Walmart, which we still have. About $30.00. Some people have this “thing” about Walmart. No problem. You can get a good one from Bed, Bath and Beyond that is still a manual one and works very well. These sell for about $35. This one is a slightly different construction and design, but you will end up with the same product when you are finished. You can also get one direct from Italy for around $500.00 and others that are commercial grade for around $1900.00. But why when the home Chef can get a good quality product for much less, unless you are into brand recognition.The one we use nowadays is an attachment to our KitchenAid, as pictured here and I love working with it. With this package you get a set of three presses: a flat one for lasagna or the beginning press for spaghetti or fettuccini; a spaghetti die and a fettuccini die. About $150.00. So your choices are wide and varied. Get the one that suits your needs. Now on to making the pasta. Enjoy! I have placed a link to the Pasta Recipe above. Print out a copy and follow along.
I really like this photo of Robin. I’m biased! Ah yes. Chicken Dinner and Cowboy Eggs, but not at the same time. I hope our Nutritionist sees this.
The Chicken Dinner is one that Robin has wanted to try, so last night was a perfect chance to make it. The Cowboy Eggs, also known by many different names, is at least once a week around here. I made Robin’s with Acme Bake Shop Turkey Bread – made with Red Wheat. It is super! Mine I made with Acme’s Sourdough, also super. So take a look at these meals. Give them a try. But, as a lot of our meals, there is not a measured recipe. I will try to document the chicken dinner as much as possible. Enjoy!
This may sound involved and confusing. (1) Chicken Breasts – egg wash and Panko. Braise over med-low heat until golden brown. Remove from heat and turn heat off. Add 1/2 cup cream and 2 Tablespoons of a good stone ground mustard. We like Plochman’s. Work fast and stir constantly. The brown bits from the chicken will be absorbed into the sauce. When combined, pour over the chicken.
(2) Brussel Sprouts – Don’t curl your nose up, these are fantastic cooked this way. Trim off the ends of 2 cups of sprouts and cut lengthwise. Steam until tender and green. Please don’t boil! When green and tender, remove from heat. In a skillet add 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of Blood Orange infused Olive oil. (You can also use the zest and juice from one blood orange.) Reduce to 1/2. Add the sprouts and toss to coat the sprouts. Serve immediately.
(3) Heirloom Tomato Salad – Coarse chop about 1 cup of Arugula greens. Dice an heirloom tomato and place on top of the greens. Using fresh basil, julienne about 1 cup of the leaves. (Cut into thin strips) Generously sprinkle the basil on top of the salad.
That’s all there is to it. Use a boneless, skinless chicken breast. The balsamic reduction for the Brussel sprouts eliminates that strong, cabbage taste of the sprouts. The blood orange adds a little sweetness. Notice that there is no liquid salad dressing. If your basil is fresh and the tomatoes are fresh, you won’t need any dressing.
So for dinner tonight, I made a parsley, lemon zest and garlic gremolata to go with some baked cod and a green salad. While prepping that, I started the gumbo for the BSU game tomorrow night. They play Louisiana, so I thought gumbo would be appropriate. But first, breakfast this morning.
How easier can you get? Simple. Quick. Wholesome. And the gumbo is doing fine. Here is the recipe for Robin’s 70th Birthday Gumbo. The recipe is for 60. Just reduce the size for however many you are serving. But for a tailgate party, this would be great. Try using bowls from sourdough bread. We’re making Colombian Corn Bread with ours tomorrow. Cheers!
It never ceases to amaze me the number of different variations to a specific dish. In this case, a sandwich. When we were growing up in Newark, Delaware, we would probably call this a ‘submarine” – we had one at least once or twice a week. The muffuletta is close, very close. The sub is Italian in nature and “discovered” in South Philadelphia, around Hog Island in the Delaware River.
The term hoagie originated in the Philadelphia area. The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reported, in 1953, that Italians working at the World War I–era shipyard in Philadelphia, known as Hog Island where emergency shipping was produced for the war effort, introduced the sandwich, by putting various meats, cheeses, and lettuce between two slices of bread. This became known as the “Hog Island” sandwich; shortened to “Hoggies”, then the “hoagie”. [Wikipedia]
It was known in the “early years” as a Hoagie. The name “submarine” came from the submarine base, Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Rhode Island, among others.
Those living in Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island are usually told that the name is associated with two facilities in Groton : the US Navy’s submarine base, and the nearby Electric Boat Company which built them. This quote seems to support that theory : “During World War II, the commissary of the United States Navy’s submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, ordered five hundred hero sandwiches a day from Benedetto Capaldo’s Italian deli in New London, where the name ‘sub’ was soon applied to the item.” —America Eats Out, John Mariani [Morrow : New York] 1991 (p. 114-5)”
Here is some information on the muffuletta from Wikipedia.
The muffuletta is both a type of round Sicilian sesame bread and a popular sandwich originating among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana using the same bread.
A muffuletta is a large, round, and somewhat flattened loaf with a sturdy texture, around 10 inches across. It is described as being somewhat similar to focaccia. Bread used for the Muffuletta is different from focaccia, however, in that it is a very light bread,the outside is crispy and the inside is soft. It also has no additional seasonings baked into it, aside from the sesame seeds. The bread is more like French bread, but a tad heavier.
A traditional style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. The sandwich is sometimes heated to soften the provolone. Quarter, half, and full-sized muffulettas are sold.
The signature olive salad consists of olives diced with the celery, cauliflower and carrot found in a jar of giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours.
Olive salad is commercially produced for restaurants and for retail sale by vendors including the Boscoli Family, Rouses, Dorignacs, Franks, Roland Imported Foods, and Aunt Sally’s.
The traditional way to serve the sandwich at Central Grocery is cold, but many vendors will toast. This was mentioned in the PBS special Sandwiches That You Will Like.
The muffuletta sandwich has its origins at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter of New Orleans. According to Marie Lupo Tusa, daughter of the Central Grocery’s founder, it was born when Sicilian farmers selling their produce at the nearby Farmers’ Market would come into her father’s grocery for lunch and order some salami, ham, cheese, olive salad, and either long braided Italian bread or a round muffuletta loaf.
You can see that variations can be many. Our one suggestion is to use a mild vinegar and not one that is sharp. If a sharp vinegar is all you have, try adding a very small amount of honey. Have fun with these. They do make an awesome sandwich. Cheers! Oh yes, serve it with a Chianti or maybe a 2013 Marchesi Vineyards Valentino Primitivo. The bread that we used for the Chicken Muffuletta is an Acme Bake Shop Sourdough.
We were not in town last week, so I missed the market. But, I made up for it today. Wonderful green and yellow zucchini squash, fresh heirloom tomatoes, fresh Roma tomatoes, fresh Chesnok Red garlic, fresh arugula, fresh eggs and fresh, still warm Acme Bake Shop sourdough bread – I have two Muffulettas to make – there is a photo of the sandwich on the recipe at the link. Fresh spinach is probably done for the year – it’s too hot and the spinach bolts (goes to seed).