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Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage Brown Butter

Risotto: a northern Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. It’s an simple recipe with a lot of history, and when you give it the time and respect it deserves, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a staple of Italian cuisine, rich in traditions, rules, and techniques, developed over generations of Nona’s. They figured out all of the specifics required to achieve this creamy creation, now all we have to do is follow their lead. One of the reasons I love risotto is how versatile it is. You can make it with meat or seafood, showcase your favorite seasonal vegetables, and play around with different types of wine, butter, and onions. But in order to get that naturally creamy consistency, you MUST use short grain rice. Short grain rice, like Arborio and Carnaroli, are high in starch and help to thicken the broth and create a smooth, creamy texture. Tradition calls for the rice to be continually stirred, which loosens the starch, and further thickens the broth. Properly cooked risotto should be …

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Miso Ginger Sauce

Peter Lowell’s was created based on an idea I had that a restaurant menu could mimic the way I want to eat every day. Of course this couldn’t include all the cuisines I love, but the goal was to have enough menu variety that it could be a place one could eat regularly and stay satisfied. The menu was based on a Cal-Italian approach to cooking, but in order for a menu to be approachable every day it needed more that just antipasti, pasta, pizza, and meat. It needed some staples; a foundational dish that could be enjoyed daily. Out of this need came the Macro Bowl. Based on the idea of Macrobiotic cooking, and inspired by the Dragon Bowl from Angelicas Kitchen in NYC, it is a simple dish of brown rice, roasted vegetables, beans, blanched greens, and a protein and sauce of your choice.  It is meant to be simple but enjoyable at all times of the day and year. It has truly grounded our ever changing seasonally inspired menu and has created …

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The Classic Nicoise Salad

It’s one of the most pleasurable lunchtime meals and harks from one of the most pleasurable places on the planet to spend a lazy afternoon. The crested coast of South France is epic in it’s multitude of views, sites, and meals. At it’s most basic, and as it’s regularly served in Southern France, the Nicoise salad is canned tuna, olives, boiled potatoes, green beans and a soft or hard boiled egg, with a touch of lettuces. We encourage you to play with these ingredients. The Nicoise salad, as we are sharing with you, is in reference to both the preparation of the canned tuna into a tuna salad, and the preparation of the tuna salad as part of a composed Nicoise Salad. The Tuna Salad – In a large mixing bowl add: The zest and juice of 1 lemon (add more to taste if needed) 1/4 bunch parsley, chopped 1/2 red onion, shaved 1/2 cup celery heart, thinly sliced 1/2 cup chickpea beans 1 T capers and caper juice 1/2 cup aioli of your choice …

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Smothered Summer Squash with California Mole

This recipe was dreamed up as a great way to use up the bounty of summer squash we grow at the farm each summer. Luckily, the California mole is versatile enough to use on just about any roasted vegetables throughout the year, including potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and eggplant. It can also be used to accompany meats such as chicken or lamb. The recipe makes enough to save the leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for the next time you need a quick vegetable side dish. For the Sauce (makes 1 pint) ½ cup almonds ½ cup pumpkin seeds plus 1 tablespoon for garnish ½ cup tomato puree 1 dried chipotle chili 4 whole cloves garlic, peeled 1 shallot 1 lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 cup for garlic confit Salt to taste Toast the almonds and pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven, stirring once, until golden brown and fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. In a small saucepan add 1 cup olive oil and whole peeled garlic cloves, …

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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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Handline Fisherman’s Stew

Cioppino originated in San Francisco as a one-pot meal enjoyed by fishermen at the end of a long day on the water hauling in the day’s catch. Typically it consisted of whatever the fishermen had on hand, including Dungeness crab, squid, mussels and clams. The stew is inspired by a traditional Italian fish stew, its broth is a base of wine, tomato and the briny liquid released by shellfish as they are cooked. I like to use a crisp, dry white wine, which gives the soup a bit of a lift, making it versatile enough for a warm winter day (of which we have plenty here in Northern California) or a cold, stormy winter night. Last year was a really terrible year for Dungeness crab fisheries due to a huge algae bloom off the Northern California coast, raising the levels of domoic acid in crab to unsafe levels for human consumption and resulting in an extended season closure. The catastrophic implications this has for the fisherman is a vivid example of the importance of the …

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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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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” …