Author: Joe Zobel

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Rabbit Crépinettes with Peaches, Morels and Dill Mustard

This dish is a culmination of summer. Fresh rabbit from our friends at the Giving Gardens Project, peaches from Stony Gate Farm and earthy morels come together for a satisfying, deceptively light dish. Crépinettes are typically a sausage wrapped in what is known as caul fat (crépine in French). We use the caul fat in lieu of a more traditional hog casing. It provides moisture and keeps the sausage contained during cooking. Plus, the visual presentation is striking. Crépinettes can be filled with a myriad of different sausages and for this recipe I’ve chosen rabbit. We source our rabbit from Tyja and Sarah at the Giving Gardens Project in Sebastopol. They raise all their rabbits with great care and you can really taste it in the finished product. The peaches are from Mary Radu, who grows them on her family property, also in Sebastopol. And the morels were foraged by Dylan Taube, who just happens to be Tyja’s brother. Taking the time to source the best ingredients really makes a difference. The dish is brought together …

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Roasted Beef Marrow with Sauce Gribiche

Here at the restaurant we like to run roasted bone marrow. Bone marrow is rich and satisfying and needs acidic and flavorful components to complement it. This recipe calls for a sauce gribiche, which is a traditional French sauce that pairs well with roasted and cured meats. It consists of hardcooked eggs, tangy pickles, herbs and capers. The dish also gets a fresh salad of garlic confit, parsley and lemon. We source all natural, pastured beef bone marrow. You can pick up your own for this recipe at your local butcher. We get “canoe cut” marrow bones which means the bone has been cut lengthwise (resembling a canoe) to allow for easy access to the rich, creamy marrow. Bone Marrow Ingredients: 4 beef marrow bones, “canoe cut” 1 head garlic, peeled 2 cups extra virgin olive oil ½ bunch parsley, stems removed, whole leaves 1 cup salt 4 gallons hot water Fleur de Sel to finish Directions: Dissolve the salt into the hot water and allow to cool. Put the bones in the brine for …

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Sausage Stuffed Morels

This recipe is merely a starting point for a variety of different sausages that do not necessarily have to contain chicken. The meat can be replaced with pork, beef, duck or any other protein you want. One variable must remain the same, the fat. Fat is essential to making any sausage in order to keep it moist and flavorful, and let’s be honest, fat is just plain delicious. Roughly 1/4 of the protein by volume should be fat. If you are working with particularly lean meat it is important to add fat to the recipe, usually in the form of pork fat. When we break down chickens at the restaurant, we remove the tenders and as much skin and fat off the carcass as possible. The skin and fat off a whole chicken, along with the tenders, is a perfect ratio of fat to lean. When grinding any meat, it is very important to keep your meat and grinder very cold, almost frozen. The meat should be partially frozen so that it has a “crunchy” …

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Winter’s End Braised Lamb

Winter will soon be over. With the end of winter and the start of spring, the weather wavers between cold and warm. Lamb is one of the harbingers of the season and a piece of it braised is a warming start to spring. The lamb I used in this recipe is from William’s Ranches in Sonoma County and can be sourced through Sonoma County Meat Company in Santa Rosa. The lamb is all natural and pastured and allowed to develop more to produce a quality, ‘lamby’ flavor. The great thing about this dish, as well as many other braised meats is its versatility. It can be served simply over creamy polenta and roasted vegetables, stuffed into pasta, or how we prepare it in the restaurant, by shredding the meat and mixing it with the reduced braising liquid, Dijon mustard, shallot and roasted onion, spreading it into a pan and pressing it with weight over night, then cutting it into batons and pan frying it. This results in a caramelized and crunchy crust with a tender and juicy …

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Perfecting the Humble Bean

Cooking a bean is simple.  But in simplicity lies sophistication.  Getting a perfect, creamy, tender bean is not as easy as one might think.  It requires time, attention and a number of factors. Firstly, find the best beans you can. Either quality dried beans or fresh shelling beans when in season.  For dried beans look for whole, not broken beans.  Rancho Gordo and Elegant Beans are both excellent sellers and producers of quality heirloom beans. It is very important to soak your beans in an appropriate amount of water overnight.  Keep in mind that the beans will expand by about 2-3 times depending on the bean, so cover them with at least 4-5 inches of water. The next key is have a very flavorful bean liquor, or liquid.  I like to cook my beans in a rich chicken stock or mushroom broth.  Make your stock at least a day ahead of time so that it has time to cool.  That being said, always start beans in COLD liquid.  This will allow them to come up …

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Preserving the Magical Meyer Lemon

With citrus season upon us, it can be difficult to use up a surplus of the tart fruits.  This recipe allows you to enjoy the fresh acidity of the season’s highly coveted Meyer lemons year round.  Created out of necessity in Northern Africa, preserved lemons provide a signature flavor profile of Moroccan cuisine.  Whether in chicken bastilla or adding floral notes to couscous or brightness to harissa, it is essential to the balance of those dishes.  Outside of Moroccan food, preserved lemons have many other applications.  Puree them into vinaigrette for a new spin on your favorite salad dressing or roast them with chicken or fish.  The rind/zest can be finely minced and added to rice or other grains.  The inner flesh can be used in sauces or marinades (make sure to remove the seeds!).  Be creative and have fun with it. Preserved Meyer Lemons 12 whole Meyer lemons 12 Meyer lemons, juiced 2# kosher salt, plus more to top off the lemons if needed 1# evaporated cane sugar Cut the tops off each side …

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Kuri Squash and Apple Soup with Red Jalapeño Crème Fraîche

Kuri Squash & Apple Soup with Red Jalapeño Crème Fraîche This soup is a blend of autumn flavors. In October, with summer vegetables waning and the bounty of autumn on the way, this soup combines the new winter squash crops with the last of the summer chiles. Perfect for a cool night, the sweetness of the squash and apple and the heat of the jalapeño compliment each other perfectly. 1 large Red Kuri squash or other winter squash, cut roughly into 1/2″ cubes 2 medium yellow onions, julienned 3-4 red apples (Rome or Red Delicious varietals work really well!), peeled, cored & cut into wedges 1/4 pound unsalted butter 1/4 C. brown sugar 1/2 C. mascarpone or cream cheese 1 1/2 Quarts water or vegetable stock 1-2 Piquin chiles or 1 dried Chipotle chile 1/4 C. apple cider vinegar Salt to taste Melt butter in a 4 Qt. heavy bottom pot over medium heat until it is foamy & fragrant. Add the chopped squash, apples, chiles, and onions & cook until onions are translucent and …