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.)
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 good dinner. Loved this lamb. The Citrus and Celery Salad, which is posted in the Boise Foodie Blog Recipe File – along with many more recipes, was a delightful addition and paring to the Lamb with Peppers Ragu. Take a look at this delicious meal. The dinner is not difficult to prepare. Just use good lamb. We got this kabob lamb from Meadowlark Farms in Nampa, ID. (Our normal supply of lamb from Felzien Farms is limited to chops and ground this year.) This lamb is great with a Merlot or Malbec. Great to have Marnie with us for dinner.
Das Alpenhaus Deli in Boise was a treat. Robin and I both had a Reuben, German Potato Salad and some Split Pea and Ham Soup (It’s 23 degrees outside!) The sauerkraut on the Reuben was superb – liked the Allspice. And both of us rated the deli 4-Stars out of 5-Stars. You can find more on the Reuben Sandwich at the following posts on this blog: History of the Reuben Sandwich, The Reuben Sandwich Challenge and Rachel Sandwiches for Lunch (Yes, there is a difference between a Rachel and Reuben sandwich!)
They are located at 1340 S Vista Ave, Boise, ID. They are open Monday-Friday: 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. and Saturday: 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Seating is limited, but their take-out service is good. They do not, however, “… *not* take reservations or phone-in orders.”
Their menu changes weekly and the menu can be found on their website, listed above. For this week, here is a Weekly Menu Sample.
“Das Alpenhaus Deli is a luncheonette. This means that we serve a single daily hot special for lunch, served until it’s gone. If we have either run out, or you aren’t a fan of that day’s special then we also have daily soups and make custom sandwiches. It is a rotating menu and every week will differ from the previous week’s menu so be sure to check this page for the current menu. You can also find the menu on our facebook page, where it will be posted every weekend. Guten Appetit!
Das Alpenhaus Delikatessen is the Treasure Valley’s one and only German deli and market! From Beer and Wine to Europe’s finest assortment of chocolates, we pride ourselves in having the widest variety of German, Austrian and Swiss products that Boise has to offer. Our rotating lunch incorporates some of the area’s most popular dishes. Ranging from Käsespätzle to Wiener Schnitzel, there is sure to be something to satisfy your hunger.
Owners Jamie Webster and Greg Hanson opened the doors to Das Alpenhaus Delikatessen in October of 2016 and fulfilled their life-long dream of bringing a piece of the beloved Alps to the Boise area. Having been raised in a German family, the germanic culture has played a tremendous role in Jamie’s life. His love for the area was solidified when he spent an extended period of time living Thüringen, where he mastered the German language and gained an abiding love for the culture.
Many years later, Jamie and Greg are happy to share their love of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland with you. Whether you grew up in beautiful Germany, Austria or Switzerland *or* are simply looking for some great chocolate, it is their hope that Das Alpenhaus Delikatessen will have you feeling right at home. [Their Website]
Now how good is this? Looks difficult to do, but surprisingly easy. Guess you want the recfipe. Here it is; Long but easy.
Porcini Rubbed Ribeye and Eggs
Adapted from: Chef Mario Batali
Ingredients – Porcini Rubbed Ribeye:
2 T Sugar
1 T Celtic Sea Salt
1 t freshly ground Tellicherry Black Pepper
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
¼ c Porcini Mushroom Powder
5 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
¼ c Olive Oil
2 Ribeye Steaks, bone-in, 2-inches thick
Ingredients – Bruschetta and Eggs:
2-3 T Olive Oil
4 lg Eggs
1 loaf crusty Italian bread, sliced ½-inch thick
3 cloves Garlic, peeled
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, to drizzle
large crystal Celtic Sea Salt, to garnish
Directions – For the Porcini-Rubbed Ribeyes:
In a small bowl add the sugar, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, mushroom powder, garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil and stir well to form a thick paste that is the consistency of wet sand.
Rub the paste all over the steaks, coating them evenly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight.
About 1 hour before grilling, remove the steak from the refrigerator and brush off the excess marinade with a paper towel. Remove to a plate and allow to come to room temperature.
Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the steaks on the grill, cover and cook, turning every 6 to 8 minutes for 10-15 minutes for medium-rare, the internal temperature with a meat thermometer should be 125ºF. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. After the meat has rested, thinly slice against the grain.
Directions – For the Eggs and Bruschetta:
In a large nonstick pan, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the steak.
Reduce the grill to medium heat and place the bread on top. Allow to cook until toasted and lightly grilled on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove and rub with a clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with the steak and eggs.
Tip: Use your favorite herb rub if you can’t find dried porcini or porcini powder or grind your own dried porcinis.
I saw this recipe this morning and really thought it looked interesting. Tournedos with Creamed Spinach. The recipe comes from Rachael Ray, but we have adapted it somewhat. I have also placed some fairly deep information on the recipe. Here is some of that info.
- Note: Tournedos are: A beef tenderloin, known as an eye fillet in Australasia, fillet in France, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Germany, is cut from the loin of beef.
- Tournedos Rossini (pictured here) is a French steak dish, perhaps created for the composer Gioachino Rossini by French master chefs Marie-Antoine Carême or Adolphe Dugléré, or by Savoy Hotel chef Auguste Escoffier. The dish comprises a beef tournedos (filet mignon), pan-fried in butter, served on a crouton, and topped with a hot slice of fresh whole foie gras briefly pan-fried at the last minute. The dish is garnished with slices of black truffle and finished with a Madeira demi-glace sauce.
- Demi-glace (English: “half glaze”) is a rich brown sauce in French cuisine used by itself or as a base for other sauces. The term comes from the French word glace, which, used in reference to a sauce, means icing or glaze. It is traditionally made by combining equal parts of veal stock and espagnole sauce, the latter being one of the five mother sauces of classical French cuisine, and the mixture is then simmered and reduced by half.
Common variants of demi-glace use a 1:1 mixture of beef or chicken stock to sauce espagnole; these are referred to as “beef demi-glace” (demi-glace au boeuf) or “chicken demi-glace” (demi-glace au poulet). The term “demi-glace” by itself implies that it is made with the traditional veal stock.
- Espagnole sauce: The basic method of making espagnole is to prepare a very dark brown roux, to which veal stock or water is added, along with browned bones, pieces of beef, vegetables, and various seasonings. This blend is allowed to slowly reduce while being frequently skimmed. The classic recipe calls for additional veal stock to be added as the liquid gradually reduces, but today water is generally used instead. Tomato paste or pureed tomatoes are added towards the end of the process, and the sauce is further reduced.
- Auguste Escoffier King of Chefs 1846-1935.
Auguste Escoffier, “The Chef of Kings and The King of Chefs,” was born in the Riviera town of Villeneuve-Loubet, France, on October 28, 1846. His career in cookery began at the age of 12 when he entered into apprenticeship in his uncle’s restaurant, in Nice…a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. Much of Escoffier’s technique was based on that of Marie-Antoine Carême, one of the codifiers of French haute cuisine, but Escoffier’s achievement was to simplify and modernize Carême’s elaborate and ornate style. In particular, he codified the recipes for the five mother sauces. Referred to by the French press as roi des cuisiniers et cuisinier des rois (“king of chefs and chef of kings”—though this had also been previously said of Carême), Escoffier was France’s preeminent chef in the early part of the 20th century.
Alongside the recipes he recorded and invented, another of Escoffier’s contributions to cooking was to elevate it to the status of a respected profession by introducing organized discipline to his kitchens.
Escoffier published Le Guide Culinaire, which is still used as a major reference work, both in the form of a cookbook and a textbook on cooking. Escoffier’s recipes, techniques and approaches to kitchen management remain highly influential today, and have been adopted by chefs and restaurants not only in France, but also throughout the world.
- And finally, a really great source book for every kitchen is the The Sauce Bible: Guide to the Saucier’s Craft by David Paul Larousse
Anyone with any ideas of getting veal bones to make veal stock in the Boise area, please let me know. Just remember, I have meds to get next month. Cheers!
Here is an interesting Hollandaise sauce – one of the Mother Sauces – that goes very well with Eggs Benedict, but with a twist. On the recipe as a note, is a description of Aleppo Pepper that is used in the recipe. A portion of that description, is printed below. This pepper can be found at Whole Foods and William Sonoma. Mildly spicy. Very fragrant. The recipe can be found in the Recipe File above and will be a permanent addition. For now though, here is a link – Roasted Garlic and Tomato Hollandaise. Try the recipe and let us know what you think.
Aleppo pepper (Arabic: حلبي فلفل / ALA-LC: fulful alab Ḥ ī) is a variety of Capsicum annuum used as a spice, particularly in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Also known as the Halaby pepper, it starts as pods, which ripen to a burgundy color, and then are semi-dried, de-seeded, then crushed or coarsely ground. The pepper flakes are known in Turkey as pul biber. The pepper is named after Aleppo, a long-inhabited city along the Silk Road in northern Syria, and is grown in Syria and Turkey.
I’ve been looking for an acceptable marinara for quit sometime now. Years, min fact. Never was able to duplicate my Mothers, and it was awesome. Took her most of the day. But I came across this recipe from an Italian restaurant in New Jersey. And it is super. Think I’ll keep it. Takes about two hours to make and then dig in. The recipes for both the CS Marinara and the CS Meatballs is in the recipe file on this blog. (The link is in the header and by the photos below.) Here are some photos. Most ingredients used were from local farmers.
Note: I just received this (Sept 8, 2016) from Dave G here in Boise. “Oh my gosh! We cooked these meatballs and sauce up last night for dinner! Amazing! Everyone who loves spaghetti and meatballs has to give this a try. Wow! Thank you so much for posting.”