Month: May 2016

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Rose Water Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries

Panna cotta can seem daunting to make because it contains gelatin. Once you become familiar with the way the ingredient works, however, this dessert becomes one of the most simple and delicious things you can make. Gelatin needs reconstituting, or blooming, before use, which simply means it must be soaked in cold water for a couple of minutes before adding to any recipe. The other important thing to note about gelatin is that it only dissolves in warm/hot mixtures. Once you understand these two facets of gelatin use, you’ll be off into the wonderful world of panna cotta. This traditional Italian spoon dessert can be flavored with anything from herbs and spices, to chocolate and coffee, much like ice cream. It is basically just a sweetened and set cream, which I like to use as a backdrop to fresh, seasonal fruit. Here is a recipe for rose water panna cotta which goes so wonderfully with juicy red berries, my favorite being strawberries. Ingredients: 4 cups cream ½ cup sugar 1 vanilla bean 4 sheets gelatin …

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Sunchoke Soup with Roasted Mushrooms & Dungeness Crab from Terrapin Creek

Andrew Truong, friend of Peter Lowell’s and co-owner of the highly acclaimed, Michelin-starred restaurant Terrapin Creek in Bodega Bay, was kind enough to share this recipe for a delicious sunchoke soup that’s easy to make at home. Ingredients: 8 oz sunchokes 2 oz shallots, sliced ½ oz garlic, sliced 2 tbsp butter 2 tsp kosher salt ¼ cup dry white wine 2 cups water ½ cup heavy cream Garnish: Dungeness crab meat Roasted Pioppini mushrooms Lemon juice Extra virgin olive oil Chives, chopped Instructions: 1. Clean the sunchokes in water to remove any soil. 2. Cut into quarter size pieces, toss in oil, and roast in a 350F degree oven until golden brown. 3. Melt the butter in a pot. Add the shallots, garlic, and salt to the butter and cook until lightly brown. Turn down the heat and cover the pot with a lid to continue cooking. 4. When the onions and garlic are soft, turn up the heat and add the white wine. Cook until the wine has evaporated. 5. Add the water …

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Local Honey Producer Paradox Farm

Dawn Heumann, our fearless photographer, and I recently spent some time observing beekeeper David Benefiel (our honey supplier) at his Sebastopol property Paradox Farm (David and his wife are both physicians). We had originally planned for Dawn to document only the act of inspecting the hives, which involves smoking them so that the bees become docile. But as soon as we arrived at the farm, David informed us that there was a change of plans. A huge mass of bees had gathered near the top of an apple tree in what David said was the first swarm of the season. To remove the swarm, David put on a mask, a white jacket (bees are attracted to dark colors), climbed up a ladder, and sprayed the swarm with sugar water. He then took a bucket and shook the tree so that the swarm would fall into the bucket. He also used his gloved hands and a soft bee brush to get most of the remaining bees into the bucket. The last step involved dumping the bucket …