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!
“Borscht (English: /ˈbɔːrʃ, ˈbɔːrʃt/ ) is a sour soup commonly consumed in Eastern Europe. The variety most often associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin, and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish its distinctive red color. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht … Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular. It is typically made by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – as well as beetroots – usually include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat or fish, or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold; and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink.” [Wikipedia] And “those other sour soups” that are cousins to borscht may come from day Lithuania and Belarus, the Ashkenaz Jews, Romanian and Moldovan cuisines, Poland, Armenia and even Chinese cuisine, a soup known as luó sòng tāng, or “Russian soup”, is based on red cabbage and tomatoes, and lacks beetroots altogether; also known as “Chinese borscht”. Wow! There are many varieties of borscht.
But there is only one original or authentic borscht. Borscht derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium, also known as cow parsnip), which lent the dish its Slavic name. Growing commonly in damp meadows throughout the north temperate zone, hogweed was used not only as fodder (as its English names suggest), but also for human consumption – from Eastern Europe to Siberia, to northwestern North America.
And what is generally served with borscht? “Pirozhki, or baked dumplings with fillings as for uszka, are another common side for both thick and clear variants of borscht. Polish clear borscht may be also served with a croquette or paszteciki. A typical Polish croquette (krokiet) is made by wrapping a crêpe (thin pancake) around a filling and coating it in breadcrumbs before refrying; paszteciki (literally, ‘little pâtés’) are variously shaped filled hand-held pastries of yeast-raised or flaky dough. An even more exquisite way to serve borscht is with a coulibiac, or a large loaf-shaped pie. Possible fillings for croquettes, paszteciki and coulibiacs include mushrooms, sauerkraut and minced meat.” [The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food, Anastas Mikoyan]
So. What is borscht usually made of? What are the components? Ingredients? Borscht is seldom eaten by itself. Buckwheat groats or boiled potatoes, often topped with pork cracklings, are other simple possibilities, but a range of more involved sides exists as well.
In Ukraine, borscht is often accompanied with pampushky, or savory, puffy yeast-raised rolls glazed with oil and crushed garlic. In Russian cuisine, borscht may be served with any of assorted side dishes based on tvorog, or the East European variant of farmer cheese, such as vatrushki, syrniki or krupeniki. Vatrushki are baked round cheese-filled tarts; syrniki are small pancakes wherein the cheese is mixed into the batter; and a krupenikis a casserole of buckwheat groats baked with cheese.
But please note, your borscht may be different from your neighbors. There are cultural differences in the borscht. Ingredients may include,beet juice, beet root, veal, ham, crayfish, beef, pork, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, cucumbers, radishes, green onion, hard-boiled egg halves, dill weed, leafy vegetables, sorrel, spinach, chard, nettle, dandelion, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, squash, to name a few.So whatever inspired me to write this post? Well, we made a borscht and I posted a photo of it (the one pictured here actually) and I got comments. One of them in particular, from a Ukrainian lady, and she said,”That’s not real Russian Borsch (smiley face). It’s beet soup (smiley face). My mom makes the best, she is a Gourmet Chef for over 50yrs, and specializes in Jewish Cuisine.” [Mara Rizzio] I spoke to Mara – she makes awesome pirogies – and it was a good discussion. Thank-You Mara for “setting” me straight. Thus, this blog post. Cheers. And here is a recipe for Borscht that I found in the internet, from NPR, that includes various ingredients. Have fun! Borscht Recipe.
Oh yes! Delicious popovers. Fill with tuna salad, ham, jam or whipped cream. These buttery, soft “rolls”, of sorts, will suit any party. Or dinner table. Or breakfast. They are so versatile. Easy to make and you don’t really need any special tools or pans. Even though there are special pans for popovers. Or, use a metal muffin pan. Big one or little one.
But where did these come? Who “invented” them? Some sources say they are related to Scottish Short Bread. But more than likely, they come from England and are a derivative of Yorkshire Pudding. “The popover is an American version of Yorkshire pudding and similar batter puddings made in England since the 17th century.
The oldest known reference to popovers is in a letter of E. E. Stuart’s in 1850. The first cookbook to print a recipe for popovers was M. N. Henderson, Practical Cooking, 1876. The first book other than a cookbook to mention popovers was Jesuit’s Ring by A. A. Hayes published in 1892.
In American Food (1974), author Evan Jones writes: “Settlers from Maine who founded Portland, Oregon, Americanized the pudding from Yorkshire by cooking the batter in custard cups lubricated with drippings from the roasting beef (or sometimes pork); another modification was the use of garlic, and, frequently, herbs. The result is called Portland popover pudding: individual balloons of crusty meat-flavored pastry.
Other American popover variations include replacing some of the flour with pumpkin puree and adding spices such as allspice or nutmeg. Most American popovers today, however, are not flavored with meat or herbs. Instead, they have a buttery taste.
Ogden Nash inverts the historical order of events.
Let’s call Yorkshire pudding
A fortunate blunder:
It’s a sort of popover
That turned and popped under.” [Wikipedia]
And from the sensitiveeconomist. com site, “Popovers are an American recipe that are thought to have descended from English batter puddings and Yorkshire puddings, although the origin is a bit uncertain. Puddings in medieval times were not like today’s custard-like desserts, but rather were meat-based.” In other words, I’m still not completely sure where popovers came from. Although, they appear to be strictly an American treat.
So now we know a little about the popover. But now the question is:Do I need a special pan? “Popovers are airy rolls that are just as much fun to bake as they are to eat. It is a balloon-like roll with a crisp, buttery exterior and a tender, eggy interior. Many people don’t make them at home because the perception is that you need a specialty pan to bake them. Fortunately, this isn’t true.” [craftsy.com] A good, sturdy muffin pan will work just as well.
Here is a recipe that we like and it works very well.
Total: 50 min Prep: 10 min Cook: 40 min Yield: 8 popovers
Bob and Robin Young, Boise, ID
3 T melted butter, divided
2 lg Eggs
1 c whole Milk, warmed for 30 seconds in the microwave (should be lukewarm to warm)
1 c All-Purpose Flour
1 t Celtic Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Using a pastry brush, coat 8 muffin cups with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and put the tin in the oven for 5 minutes. (This is extremely important to do!)
Meanwhile, mix the eggs in a blender until light yellow. Add the warmed milk and blend. Add the flour, salt and remaining melted butter, and blend until smooth.
Pour the batter into the warmed muffin tin ⅔ full (each popover will expand) and return it to the oven to bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm. From David Libowitz “Sugar-Crusted Popovers
Adapted from my recipe in The New York Times and Maida Heatter’s Great Book of Desserts.I thought these wouldn’t stay crisp for very long after they were baked and coated with the sugar. But the next morning, I was surprised when I pulled off a hunk and they’re weren’t bad. But they are the best the day they’re made; leftovers can be stored in a container and snacked on the next day. You could freeze them in zip-top bags as well.I don’t have popover tins, but found these work quite well in standard-sized muffin tins. For this recipe, feel free to use salted or unsalted butter, depending on your preference.
For the puffs:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup (140g) flour
For the sugar-coating:
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (60g) melted butter
Softened butter, for greasing the pan
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Liberally grease a nonstick popover pan, or a muffin pan with 1/2-cup indentations,with softened butter.
2. For the puffs, put the 2 tablespoons melted butter, eggs, milk, salt and sugar in a blender and blend for a few seconds.
3. Add the flour and whiz for about 10 seconds, just until smooth.
4. Divide the batter among the 9 greased molds, filling each 1/2 to 2/3rds full.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the puffs are deep brown.
6. Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes until cool enough to handle, then remove the popovers from the pans and set them on a cooling rack. If they’re stubborn, you may need a small knife or spatula to help pry them out.
7. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Thoroughly brush each popover all over with the 1/4 cup (60 g) of melted butter, then dredge each puff generously in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat them completely. Let cool on the wire rack.”
Since Boise State was playing the University of Connecticut, (BSU 62, UConn 7) we thought it would be fitting to have a shell-fish boil. Just did not have any sea water to boil the packs in nor any sea weed. Nonetheless, it was good. No! It was fantastic!
Per package, we used 1 lobster tail, 9 clams, 6 mussels, 1/2 ear corn and 8 small potatoes that we left whole. That was plenty per person. Wrapped the articles in cheese cloth, tied it into a package and placed it in sea salted boiling water for 20 minutes. Made some brown butter for dipping and some good wine and had a feast. Here are some photos. Left Click them to see enlarged. Enjoy!
Earlier this week, we had an awesome Scallops and Peas with Garlic Pasta. Here it is. Easy to do – Sear the sea scallops (the large ones), 4 per person, in butter with a little minced garlic. In the meantime, make about 1/4 pound angel hair pasta until adente. Add frozen peas and cook until peas are soft, if using frozen ones. Add to the seared scallops and mix well. Plate and top with chopped Italian parsley. Eat slowly and enjoy!
And then tonight, we had an awesome Baked Salmon with Green Beans, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Israeli Melon. Simply delicious and quick and simple.
It’s been a while since we were here last. But just to let you know, this is still a superb, 5-Star bistro. Superb food. Superb wines. Superb staff. Our many thanks to Chef Storm and Sous Chef Megan and their staff for a great dinner. Stephanie and her servers were awesome and service and friendliness was super. Chef Storm made a post on FaceBook that shows you how dedicated Storm and Stephanie are. “It’s always exciting when you get a surprise visit from the health inspector. It’s even more exciting when you get 100% and they say they’re going to come back and have dinner with their spouse!!!”
And if you are planning to go to the Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro tomorrow for Easter, and you do not have reservations, I was told yesterday that they are sold out! But if you are going to visit them – and I sincerely hope you will – here is some information that you will need: “We are open Friday,12-9 p.m., Saturday 12-5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. with wine tasting and our regular menu all weekend long. You can now text us at 208-946-5187 to make a reservation.” And if you still need information, here is their blog post (it changes weekly) on the Snake River AVA Happenings Blog: AVA Happenings at Parma Ridge.
OK. Here is what we had. Enjoy! We did! (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)
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 I do like honey. The natural honey from Weiser, ID is really good. Idaho Honey Apiaries, 426 Krause Rd, Mathews Farms in Weiser, to be exact.
And those of you who read this blog and follow it, know that I use 99.9% Idaho products. Especially Idaho farm products – eggs, beef, lamb, chicken and all kinds of produce.
But there are some times when I defer to the 0.1% of the time when I leave the trend and go outside of Idaho. Honey. My favorite, hands down, is Tupelo Honey! (Tupelo, MS was named after the tupelo tree!) It is a fruity, floral and slightly tan. It is delicious! From healthywithhoney.com, “…The center of all tupelo honey producers is Apalachicola River, in the Florida Panhandle. Tupelo honey is produced wherever tupelo trees bloom, all over southeastern USA, but the purest and most expensive version (certified by pollen analysis) is produced in this valley.”
Tupelo honey is a high-grade honey produced in a small region in North Western Florida and Southern Georgia from White Ogeechee Tupelo trees. The honey color is light golden amber with a greenish cast. It has a mild floral and fruity taste. The aroma is cinnamon and floral. The honey is produced from the Ogeechee tupelo (southeastern United States) Nyssa ogeche, commonly referred to as Ogeechee tupelo, white tupelo, river lime, ogeechee lime tree, sour gum or wild lime is a deciduous tree.
Since Tupelo trees grow in swampy areas and beekeepers want the hives close to the trees, it is common to place the beehives on platforms to avoid flooding along side of the swamp. Some beekeepers still use boats to access their hives. In Florida, beekeepers keep beehives along the river swamps on platforms or floats during tupelo bloom to produce certified tupelo honey, which commands a high price on the market because of its flavor. Tupelo floral content can be as high as 95% although only 51% is required by the state to be labeled, “Tupelo Honey”… The tree, first discovered by William Bartram along the Ogeechee River in Georgia, it is also known as Swamp Gum, Sour Tupelo-Gum, Bee-Tupelo, Tupelo Gum and Ogeechee-Lime Tree. It produces 1.5-inch-long, showy red fruits that ripen in autumn. The juice can be used as a substitute for limes, hence its common name. The Tupelo Honey Festival in Wewahitchka, Florida, referred to as “Wewa” by locals, is celebrated annually on the 3rd Saturday of May at Lake Alice Park. Here is a link to more info for the Tupelo Honey Festival It is a great place to try to buy fresh Tupelo honey and talk to the beekeepers that have upheld the traditions that have made Tupelo honey famous.
The only place in Idaho that I know of that has Tupelo Honey on the shelf is the Boise Coop, in Boise. A 13.5 oz jar should run about $6.73. If you would rather, you can go directly to one source at Swanson Vitamins, and they do have the honey from YS Eco Farms, but only in season! Enjoy the honey. We do!
Sometimes in touring through the many files and friends we have on Facebook and through many blogs, we come across some interesting recipes and foods. A dear friend of ours, Bonnie Nees from Billings, MT recently went to Quito, Ecuador to visit an exchange student she sponsored several years ago. René Zambrado is this young mans name and he is such a kind and delightful person. He graduated from Facultad de Jursiprudencia at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador in 2010 with a degree in law. Bonnie posted many photos of her trip, but one in particular “struck my fancy”. Food! And in particular, Humitas. AKA, Ecuadorian tamales. (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)
So, just what are Ecuadorian Humitas? Good question. It seems as though there are as many recipes as there are families in Ecuador – everyone seems to have their own recipe. Like stew recipes in our Homeland. Let’s check with Wikipedia, first. “Humita (from Quechua humita) is a Native American dish from pre-Hispanic times, and a traditional food in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, although their origin is unclear. In Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru they are known as humitas, in Bolivia as humintas, in Brazil as pamonha, and in Venezuela as hallaquitas. It consists of masa harina and corn, slowly steamed or boiled in a pot of water…As in Chile, Ecuadorian humitas are prepared with fresh ground corn with onions, eggs and spices that vary from region to region, and also by each family’s tradition. The dough is wrapped in a corn husk, but is steamed rather than baked or boiled. Ecuadorian humitas may also contain cheese. This dish is so traditional in Ecuador that they have developed special pots just for cooking humitas. Ecuadorian humitas can be salty or sweet.”
And just what does “humitas” mean. Humitas literally means “little steamed things”
It seems as though you remove the kernels of corn from the cob, saving some of the “milk” as it aids in digestion according to some, and grind it in a food grinder to a “lumpy” consistency. (Maybe a food processor if a grinder is not available?) “…Depending on whether you’re in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela or the Caribbean, they’re known as humitas, humintas, tamales, tamalli, tamalitos verdes, chapanas, bollos, choclotanda, chumales, cachapas, chapanas, chiguiles, envueltos de mazorca, ayacas, hallacas, juanes, pamonhas. The filling can be sweet or savory, made with fresh or dried corn, plantains or potatoes, wrapped corn husks, banana leaves or parchment paper, steamed or baked, served as a snack, side dish, casserole or heavy stew…Lighter than the pork and chicken filled tamales… these [are] made of fresh corn pureed with scallions then blended with egg yolks, milk, cheese, and a little brandy. The filling is wrapped in corn husks and steamed then topped with ají criollo, a hot pepper sauce. Most recipes tell you that the water content of North American corn is too high in water and too low in starch. [Some people] solve this problem by adding cornmeal to get the right consistency.” [hungrysofia.com] Some recipes call for steaming the humitas and not to boil or bake. Traditionally, I think from what I have read, steaming is the way to go.
Now I suppose you would like a recipe. Ecuador Humitas Recipe. These are about as traditional as I could find. Don’t forget to grind the corn and don’t leave the kernels whole. The recipe link posted here also has the (a) recipe for the sauce, ají criollo, which can be hot and spicy, but doesn’t need to be. Experiment. Maybe I will be lucky enough to get René’s recipe.
Ah yes. These were fun meals. Idaho Trout Papillote with Candy Heirloom Carrots and Mashed Potatoes. Served with a delicious 2006 Alves de Sousa Douro Estação (Portugal). From Wikipedia, an En papillote is –
En papillote (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ papijɔt]; French for “in parchment”), or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper, but other material, such as a paper bag or aluminium foil, may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food. The pocket is created by overlapping circles of aluminum foil and parchment paper and then folding them tightly around the food to create a seal. A papillote should be opened at the table to allow people to smell the aroma when it opens.
The moisture may be from the food itself or from an added moisture source, such as water, wine, or stock. This method is most often used to cook fish or vegetables, but lamb and poultry can also be cooked en papillote. Choice of herbs, seasonings and spices depend on the particular recipe being prepared. The pouch should be sealed with careful folding.
We used Apple Brandy for moisture.
To serve the papillote, Melissa d’Arabian says,
To serve, cut open the packets and serve directly in the parchment on a plate or remove the fish to the plate using a spatula, being sure you don’t leave the juices behind.
A good recipe can be found here – by Melissa d’Arabian. If you want to add vegetables, you can use almost anything. zucchini, Bok choy, sliced carrots, sweet onion, green beans and mushrooms to name a few. You can also use chicken, beef, pork, salmon, red snapper or sea bass to name a few. Here are some recipes: Sesame Ginger Salmon, by Kelsey Nixon; Salmon and Vegetables, by Jessica Gavin; Chicken en Papillote; Chicken and Summer Vegetables; Pork en Papillote; Pork Papillote with Apples and Onions.
So there are a few recipes. Use your imagination. You can google “Type of en Papillote” and find many, many more. Be creative. Have fun. Serve with a good wine.
And for breakfast, Try a
and to start here are several different kinds of Eggs Benedict – 17 Twists on Eggs Benedict Recipes, Huffington Post; Here is an awesome twist 13 Eggs Benedict Recipes, Chowhound and Top Eggs Benedict Recipes, Fine Cooking.
To go with the benedict, you need Hollandaise Sauce or Béarnaise Sauce. Here is an easy Hollandaise Sauce from Allrecipes – Microwave Hollandaise Sauce. And here is an easy Foolproof Béarnaise Sauce Recipe.
OK. There you go. Head for the kitchen and have fun. And remember, a Béarnaise Sauce or a Hollandaise Sauce is great on asparagus. Just sayin’.
The Deli Days will be held June 15 and 16, 2017 at Ahavath Beth Israel, 11 N Latah St, Boise, Idaho. Today was a trial run and tasting for the sandwiches and some pastries. It was a yum day! If you don’t go and enjoy the food and traditions, your summer adventures will be incomplete. You can find them on FB at Deli Days Boise or CABI-Boise. Left-Click any of these photos to see enlarged.
Deli Days is Idaho’s Jewish Festival and happens every year on the 3rd Thursday and Friday of June. The event features traditional Jewish Kosher Deli Food, Homemade Desserts, Beer, Wine, Music, Dancing & More!
2017 Menu Includes HOT Kosher Pastrami and Corned Beef sandwiches,, hot dogs.
We also serve sandwiches and dogs on locally baked rye bread and buns. We have knishes, home made desserts, and local beer and wine… what more you could you want?