All posts tagged: Slider

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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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Alberigi Vineyards Pinot Noir Crush

Harvest started early this year, as it seems to have for the last several vintages. Every year I make sure to visit a few of the wineries we work with to make sure they aren’t adding any funny business into their wine. This year we were lucky enough to have Dawn Heumann along to capture the process. On the morning of August 26th we visited Eric Sussman, of Radio Coteau, at Alberigi Vineyard for harvest. Later we joined the winemakers back at the winery to see the grapes being destemmed and moved into tank for fermentation. Check out the process below. It’s sort of hard to believe that sweet pink grape juice turns into seductive Pinot Noir.  

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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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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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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 …

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A Visit to Green Star Farm

It was a beautiful early spring day in rural, southern Sebastopol, and slowly driving down a long driveway there were chickens to my right and sheep to my left. The grassy fields were a lush, dark green. It was idyllic. At the end of the driveway I parked my car, got out, and took in the fresh, breezy air. After briefly taking in the scenery, I was warmly greeted by Marc Felton and shortly thereafter Sarah Silva, co-owners of Green Star Farm, a picturesque animal farm on 47 acres of pastureland that supplies eggs to us at Peter Lowell’s. The farm is divided among several sections of pasture, each housing a number of different animals, including chickens, hogs, goats and sheep. The chickens, numbering somewhere in the neighborhood of two thousand, are the heart of the operation. With about 400 to 500 per flock, the birds live in mobile coops that are frequently rotated from one section of pasture to another. Sarah and Marc mentioned that they’ve been making the transition from wooden to metal …

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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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Chocolate Nemesis Cake

This rich, dense, gluten free, flourless chocolate cake has been on our menu since the day we opened. With surprisingly few ingredients, it is a very simple cake to make at home. 1 1/3 cups sugar 1 cup butter 1/2 cup water 12 oz. best quality dark chocolate (at least 70%), chopped 5 eggs Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper to extend above the rim of the pan by approximately 2 inches, and set it inside a large pot or roasting pan big enough to hold it comfortably. Place the chopped chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. You’ll be using this to fold the batter together, so make sure it’s nice and roomy, too. Place one cup of the sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Add the butter and simmer on low, whisking from time to time. When everything is melted together, pour this very hot mixture over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for …

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A Year-Round Minestrone

Minestrone has been a core component of the menu at Peter Lowell’s since we first started dreaming. This year-round soup is, at its core, a bridge between American and Italian cooking. It has been a part of American cuisine for so long that we barely associate it with its Italian roots. Americans often add pasta to minestrone, but we prefer a more traditional version. No matter where you are, the essence of minestrone remains the same — a simple vegetable soup with tomatoes, beans and greens. From there one can go in many directions. The recipe below represents our version of this soup, one we have cooked almost daily for eight years. We change small things but keep the basic recipe the same. Here are a couple of things to think about when making this soup. 1) Beans are best when cooked fresh (as long as they are properly seasoned along the way), as apposed to using canned. But it’s also more time-consuming. Because the beans in this soup are added at the end of …

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Beans and Greens. The Every Meal.

At Peter Lowell’s we believe farm to table restaurants can be more than places for culinary innovation. We believe they should also model new, pleasurable, and healthy ways to eat every day. We look to the dishes that are so simple and delicious we can enjoy them day in and day out; dishes that are inspiring and easy to cook.  It is the focus of how we cook. Bean and Greens is the perfect example of this philosophy. Beans have that quality about them. When perfectly cooked with the correct seasoning, they are both incredibly pleasurable and exceedingly healthy. Add to that a braised green such as chard or rapini and you have a perfectly balance meal. We prepare this dish in a traditional Italian style with toasted garlic and chili flakes, but it can be prepared with inspiration from many cultures and be equally as delicious. Try a Japanesee miso or ponzu sauce. Indian curry spices. Mexican chorizo and cotija. If your beans are fresh and tender (check out our post about how to cook the perfect …