3 Horse Ranch Vineyards Wine Dinner at Bella Aquila


31jan2017_2_3-horse-ranch_bella-aquila_frontBella 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.)

Gary Cunningham, owner of 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, talks to the crowd.

Gary Cunningham, owner of 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, talks to the crowd.

Brandon St-Martin, Manager

Brandon St-Martin, Manager

The menu. Look what you missed!

The menu. Look what you missed!

Passed Appetizers.

Passed Appetizers.

 Arugula Leaf Salad tossed with White Pear Vinaigrette, Fresh Pear, Polenta Croutons and Truffle Cheddar Cheese

Arugula Leaf Salad tossed with White Pear Vinaigrette, Fresh Pear, Polenta Croutons and Truffle Cheddar Cheese

 

 Baked Idaho Trout with a Strawberry Beurre Rouge, Roasted Almond Rice Pilaf and Asparagus

Baked Idaho Trout with a Strawberry Beurre Rouge, Roasted Almond Rice Pilaf and Asparagus

 

 Braised Leg of Lamb servedx over Creamy Risotto

Braised Leg of Lamb served over Creamy Risotto

 

 Pepper Crusted Smoked Flat Iron Steak, Bourbon Glaze, Twice Baked Fingerling Potato and Baby Carrot

Pepper Crusted Smoked Flat Iron Steak, Bourbon Glaze, Twice Baked Fingerling Potato and Baby Carrot

 

 Chocolate Lava Cake with Raspberry Coulis

Chocolate Lava Cake with Raspberry Coulis

 

The Chefs are congratulated on a meal well done!

The Chefs are congratulated on a meal well done! Bella Aquila Manager is in the background.

Very good 2014 Vivacious™ wine.

Very good 2014 Vivacious™ wine.

Citrus and Celery Salad and Lamb and Peppers Ragu


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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.

 

 Citrus and Celery Salad

Citrus and Celery Salad

 

 Lamb with Peppers Ragu

Lamb with Peppers Ragu

 

What Cooking Oil Should I Use?

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captains-shack_2Such an interesting and important topic. From About.com in this mornings email, “Just a decade ago it seemed like the only kind of oil available to the home cook was either vegetable or olive oil. Today it seems there’s no end to your options. Sesame, peanut, coconut, red palm, avocado… the list goes on! Here is an easy guide to everything you need to know about cooking oils, from smoke points to storage and more!” And the link to the ongoing article is Cooking Oils 101. And a brief snippet,

This is the first post on a series about plant-derived cooking oils here on About.com’s Produce Channel. We’ll be looking at numerous types of cooking oil in-depth: how they’re made, their uses, their health benefits and risks, and other particular information sensitive to the oil in question.
First, we’ll be doing a two-part breakdown of the numerous oils available on the market, their primary cooking uses, and their smoke points.
Just a decade ago it seemed like the only kind of oil available to the home cook was either vegetable oil or olive oil? Today it seems there’s no end to your options. Sesame, peanut, coconut, red palm, avocado… the list goes on!
But what differentiates each oil from the others? There’s numerous factors to consider.
The smoke point is one major consideration. The more refined an oil is the fewer impurities and the higher heat the oil can withstand before it begins to smoke, lose nutritional value, go bitter in flavor, and eventually catch fire if heated further…
Another consideration is the flavor of the oil. Some oils contain a rather neutral taste such as vegetable oil, while others such as sesame oil remain punchy and strong in flavor…The important thing to realize is moderation. Only use just as much as you need, which in most cases, be it stir-fry or salad dressing, is only a few tablespoons at most. (Deep-frying, naturally, is a unique situation and the unhealthiest option.)

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Wild Root Cafe and Market at the JUMP in Boise

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21jan2017_1a_jump-wildroots_prep-areaA good evening. Thanks to the JUMP Staff (Jack’s Urban Meeting Place – named for Jack Simplot) for their assistance in having a wheel chair available for Robin and handicap parking available for the car. Security was extremely helpful as was the Staff. Here is a link to their site: JUMP Boise.
I believe that this was the first time that Wild Root Cafe and Market was at the JUMP. They are located at 276 N 8th Street, Boise, ID 83702, Call. (208) 856-8956 Their hours are: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Monday – Wednesday; 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM – Thursday-Saturday; Brunch served until 3:00 PM on Saturday; Closed Sunday. Kitchen closes 15 minutes prior to closing. Here is what was on the program tonight.

The menu was really interesting.

The menu was really interesting. Mignardises are: Small sweet tid-bits served at the end of the meal (after dessert), usually with coffee. It’s derived from the old French word, “Mignard” which means either small child, or graceful, pretty and delicate.

Endive, citrus, shallots, pistachio cracker, cheese cake, pomegranate vinaigrette

Salad –
Endive, citrus, shallots, pistachio cracker, cheese cake, pomegranate vinaigrette

Main Course - Coffee bison short rib, beet gnocchi, celery root, fava, winter vgreens, dmi and micros

Main Course –
Coffee bison short rib, beet gnocchi, celery root, fava, winter greens, demi and micros

 Dessert -Orange hazelnut mignardises, passionfruit puree, goat caramel, meringue, chocolate and citrus oil

Dessert –
Orange hazelnut mignardises, passionfruit puree, goat caramel, meringue, chocolate and citrus oil

2013 Tikal Merlot

2013 Tikal Malbec and Bonarda

2015 Moscado d'Asti

2015 Moscado d’Asti

Preparing dessert

Preparing dessert

Three rows of tables were setup. This was our table.

Two rows of tables were setup. This was our table.

All in all, a good night. The food was good, although Robin and I both thought a little salty. We really watch our salt intake and use very little at home. The room tended to be a little noisy and could use some sound baffles – tapestry on walls, etc. Wild Root Cafe uses as many local products as possible. Not much grows around here in the winter – especially this winter.

Norwegian Cheeses and Idaho “Wingin’ It Sauce”

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No. I don’t think together. But the cheese is awesome – just don’t ask me to pronounce it – and the Wing Sauce is sweet, yet spicy. A wonderful addition to any table. But first, the cheese.

 (L) Gtetost and (R)

(L) Gjetost and (R) Tine Ekte Gjetost

Gjetost is a Norwegian cheese made from the whey of cow and goat milk. “… Gjetost is an artless cheese. It has no crystals, no shards, no holes, no rind, no mold. It is not smudged with ash nor washed with Cognac. Caves do not age it.

In fact, gjetost (pronounced YEH-toast) is more like fudge than cheese. A product of Norway, it is made by boiling the whey left over from traditional cheese production. It is stirred and condensed over heat until reduced to one-quarter its original volume. The sugars in the lactose caramelize, and the cheese becomes thick enough to pour into rectangular molds. The finished gjetost emerges from its supermarket wrap squeaky clean, with an all-body tan and shiny creases on its face. Its semifirm compact texture, which bears a trace of peanut butter’s sullen mouth feel, has a rich salty-sweet caramel finish.
To earn the classification gjetost, this cheese must contain at least 10 percent goat’s milk whey (in Norwegian, gje means goat). The remaining milk may come from cows.
Gjetost made with a combination of goat and cow milk and the odd drop of cream (sold in this country under the brand name Ski Queen) is milder than Ekte gjetost, which is produced from 100 percent goat’s milk whey.” [NY Times]

Ekte Gjetost cheese is primarily all goat milk cheese, or in this case, the whey of the milk. “… Geitost or Gjetost (meaning “goat’s cheese”). Varieties that do not contain any cow’s milk are called Ekte Geitost (“true goat’s cheese”). Technically, the name “true goat’s cheese” is misleading, since goat cheese such as the French chèvre) is relatively uncommon in Norway, and is commonly called Hvit geitost (“white goat’s cheese”) to avoid confusion.” {Wikipedia}

“Gjetost Cheese History
Gjetost Cheese originated in the Gudbrandsdalen valley of Norway over one hundred years ago. Gjetost has always been sweet like butterscotch with a dense, rich texture. Gjetost is formed into rindless squares or cylinders, and is best when sliced wafer thin and enjoyed open-faced on Norwegian flatbread served with fresh fruit. It is no wonder children are drawn the taste of this unique, sweet-like-fudge cheese. Often enjoyed as a breakfast cheese in Norway, Gjetost also makes an excellent snack and is the perfect dessert cheese.

This unique Norwegian brown cheese is also known as Brunost, which is simply Norwegian for Brown Cheese. The Ski Queen variety is a blend of cow and goat’s milk, whereas the Ekte Gjetost Cheese from Norway is made from 100% goat’s milk. Gjetost is packed with energy and is extremely tolerant of temperature fluctuations. Because of these benefits, Gjetost is a preferred snack for Norwegians skiiers, who pack it in their backpacks and snack on it while on the trails. This is where the Ski Queen brand name comes from, and may be one of the secrets to the international success of Norwegian cross-country skiiers.” [Igourmet]

 Oma and Popies Wing Sauce - Wingin It made in Kuna, Idaho

Oma and Popie’s Wing Sauce – Wingin It

made in Kuna, Idaho

“Oma and Popie’s Wing Sauce (and soon to be MORE) is evidence of our love of dive bars and chicken wings. It represents a journey across several states starting with “25 cent wings” on Tuesday nights at the Oasis in Twin Falls, ID to “you call these wings” at Jeremiah Bull Frogs in Topeka, KS to “who you kiddin Mic Ultra isn’t a $1.50 domestic, boy are you luck you have the best wings in two” at the Spillway in Bowling Green, KY with many stops in between.
We found that although their sauces had different names, they pretty much are the same. So we appointed ourselves as wing experts and hit the kitchen to come up with a sauce like no other.
Given the enthusiasm from those in our wing circle, we were convinced we had something special. So we headed to #IdahoHome to start this saucy adventure.
We make every effort to source REAL ingredients as close to home as possible. There are no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no unpronounceable chemical preservatives, no gluten, and absolutely no high fructose corn syrup.” [FaceBook] For more information try calling (208) 867-4594 or email at OmaandPopiesgmail.com. I had problems connecting with their website.

Their products include Wing Sauces: Wingin’ It – Original Sweet & Spicy, Ja Makin’ Me Crazy – Jerk Spices, Drunk Uncle – Brown Sugar & Bourbon and Hawt Mess – A four Pepper blend of Guajillo, Cayenne, Habanero and Jalapeño!
And for the more adventuresome, Spice Blends: Ja Makin’ Me Crazy Rub, Nashville Hot Chicken, Hot Chili Sauce, Mico-Brew Cheeses, Ja Makin’ Me Crazy Rub, Nashville Hot Chicken, Hot Chili Sauce and Mico-Brew Cheeses.

Have fun and I do like the sauce pictured here. Not too spicy, just a little heat. Habanero and Ghost Peppers are not my thing!

Orange Upside Down Skillet Cake and Egg Thread Soup with Asparagus

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26Feb2016_1_Sushi-Joy_Robin_Right-FacingHere is a wonderful – and very easy to do – Orange Upside Down Skillet Cake that we adapted from Rachael Ray. (Recipe in PDF) Really a super, good variation on the traditional Pineapple Upside Down Cake. We topped the cake with a Tiramisu Mascarpone instead of the whipped cream. Change the orange to lemon and use Limoncello instead of Grand Marnier and you might have another variation. The variations are limitless. Then also check out the Egg Thread Soup with Aspagagus found after the cake – Eat dessert first, Life is too short! Left-Click the photos to see them enlarged.

Caramelizing the orange slices. I use a mandolin to get the thin slices.

Caramelizing the orange slices. I use a mandolin to get the thin slices.

Cake batter is poured on top of the carmalized oranges.

Cake batter is poured on top of the carmelized oranges.

The cake is cooked and is now cooling before removing it from the skillet.

The cake is cooked and is now cooling before removing it from the skillet. Nice brown edges.

Put a platter over the skillet, turn it upside down and the cake should come out easily. If not, tap it lightly to encourage it.

Put a platter over the skillet, turn it upside down and the cake should come out easily. If not, tap it lightly to encourage it.

Cross-section of the cooled cake.

Cross-section of the cooled cake.

Orange Upside Down Skillet Cake Tiramisu Mascarpone Topping

Orange Upside Down Skillet Cake
Tiramisu Mascarpone Topping

And here is the awesome Egg Thread Soup with Asparagus:

It’s been a cold and snowy couple of weeks. Spend more time in kitchen to warm up.

Good Snowy Weather To Make Sauerkraut! Here’s How.


08oct2016_1c_captains-shack_kraut-weight-onThere have been many people asking how to make their own sauerkraut. Well here is a great link – Kraut In A Jar or the entire site by Holly Howe, Make Sauerkraut. Both resources are superb and chock full of some great information from recipes to keeping the kraut from going bad.

This photo is from Holly's site and some kraut she made in a jar.

This photo is from Holly’s site and some kraut she made in a jar.

Shredding the cabbage using a mandoline. See the belnd of red and white cabbage. 4 heads of white cabbage to 2 medium heads of red cabbage. Nice color blends.

Shredding the cabbage using a mandoline. See the blend of red and white cabbage. 4 heads of white cabbage to 2 medium heads of red cabbage. Nice color blends.

Enjoy the links I have listed and have some fun and make some sauerkraut. Let us know how it comes out! Make a pork roast in the oven. Add to that some mashed potatoes – Idaho potatoes of course – and some of your fresh made sauerkraut and you’ll have a great meal. Wash it all down with a good Spaten. Think of this dinner for Oktoberfest. We just put up 14 pints of kraut. Cheers!

Pork mit Kraut

Pork mit Kraut

New Years Eve and 2017, Day Two


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Snow! Cold! Great time to stay inside by the fireplace. Snow keeps falling. Lots of food. Seafood mostly for New Years Eve. Then vegetarian – roasted spaghetti squash. Look. And look, too, at the wonderful Beef Wellington that Chris and Anna made. Awesome!

 

 
 

 New Years Eve Shrimp Bacon Wrapped Scallops Rice and Cheese Balls Deviled Eggs Variety of Wines

New Years Eve

Shrimp
Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Rice and Cheese Balls
Deviled Eggs
Variety of Wines

 2017 Day Two Baked Spaghetti Squash Steamed Cabbage and Onion Roasted Herbed Tomatoes

2017 Day Two

Baked Spaghetti Squash
Steamed Cabbage and Onion
Roasted Herbed Tomatoes

And then, check this out! Chris and Anna made this beautiful – absolutely beautiful – Beef Wellington. Look at this.

 Beef Wellington Note the Brussels Sprouts in the background! Wow! Looks like a super dinner. You and Amnna should really be proud, Chris.

Beef Wellington
Note the Brussels Sprouts in the background! Wow! Looks like a super dinner. You and Anna should really be proud, Chris.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Latkes and Reuben Sandwiches


12dec2016_1h_captains-shack_dorothy_duck_moonrise_bestI have been having troubles with graphics and letting the Reader enlarge and/or see the specifics of the graphic. I think now, and with the help of the WordPress Engineers, I may have the problem solved. You should be able to, in this post and in subsequent posts, click on the graphic and see how the photo was taken. You will also be able to see it enlarged to its original size. If for some reason it does not work for you, please let me know. That goes for all the blogs wed write from this date forward.

Latkes with Sour Cream and Applesaoce Sausage Links Scrambled Eggs

Latkes
with
Sour Cream and Applesauce
Sausage Links
Scrambled Eggs

Reuben German Potato Salad Split Pea and Ham Soup

Reuben Sandwich
German Potato Salad
Split Pea and Ham Soup

Visit to Das Alpenhaus Deli

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das-alpenhaus-deli-signDas 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]

Some available groceries

Some available groceries

Wine and Beer selections.

Wine and Beer selections.

Wine and beer.

Wine and beer.

Ordering area. Seating is to the left and just out of view. They were very busy.

Ordering area. Seating is to the left and just out of view. They were very busy.

We did a take-out. Reuben Sandwich Potato Salad Split Pea and Ham Soup We did like the Reuben - great horseradish in the Russian Dressing. Soup was good; Hearty. The potato salad was good. I missed the dill pickle slice with the Reuben and I think that the Acme Bakeshop here in Boise has much better rye bread - Old World Rye, as Acme calls it.

We did a take-out.

Reuben Sandwich
Potato Salad
Split Pea and Ham Soup

We did like the Reuben – great horseradish in the Russian Dressing. Soup was good; Hearty. The potato salad was good. I missed the dill pickle slice with the Reuben and I think that the Acme Bakeshop here in Boise has much better rye bread – Old Wolrd Rye, as Acme calls it. Portions are very adequate.