Recipes

Better Without Butter? We Say Yes!

by admin on January 30, 2013

Our retail staff member, Armando, recently got us all hooked on popcorn drizzled with Jalapeno and Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil then finished with fleur de sel…so good. Since we all loved that combo so much we decided to try out a few more. Here are our favorites:

1. Seafood Rub with Stone Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

2. Walnut Oil with Honey ( We used our Wildflower Honey) and Pink Himalayan Salt. Warm the honey up a little and it will be easier to drizzle over your popcorn.

3. Equal parts Jalapeno and Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Fleur De Sel

4. Twin Sisters Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Truffle Salt.

Just drizzle your oil of choice over the popcorn after it’s popped, and then add your salt/seasoning to taste. You can even put it in a big ziplock, add your ingredients, and shake it up…healthy (and delicious) snack on the go!

We know there are endless combinations that have yet to be explored, so if you have a favorite please share. We’d love to hear about it!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Cucumber, Arugula, and Red Onion Salad
With Goat Cheese Toasts

Taken from: Fresh From The Farmer’s Market
By Janet Fletcher

1 Baguette
1 TBS plus 1 tsp St. Helena Olive Oil Co. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we used our Blade Press!)
3 Ounces Fresh Goat Cheese in One Piece

For The Salad:
3/4 Pound Japanese Cucumbers, peeled if desired, and very thinly sliced
1/2 Red Onion, very thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBS Walnut Oil
1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Blade Press)
2 1/2 – 3 tsp Sparkling Wine Vinegar
Grey Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Pound Young Arugula
18 Niçoise Olives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the baguette on a severe diagonal into 6 thin slices about 7-8 inches long and about 1/4 inch thick, Save leftover baguette for another use. Using 1 TBS olive oil, brush both side of the baguette slices. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F.
Put goat cheese in a small baking dish and top with remaining tsp. olive oil. Bake until it is quite warm and soft to the touch, 6-8 minutes.

While cheese bakes, make the salad: In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, onions, garlic, walnut oil, olive oil, and 2 1/2 tsp. vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss well. Add arugula and toss again gently. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding another 1/2 tsp. vinegar if needed.

Arrange salad on a serving platter. Scatter olives over the top and around edge. Spread warm cheese on toasts, then place toasts around salad or pass separately.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Quinta do Tedo

by Peggy OKelly on August 16, 2011

One of the reasons I chose Florence, Italy as our home in 2009 was the knowledge that a dear friend, Kay Bouchard, lived just outside in the Chianti Region. She was a great source of information and inspiration…my security blanket.

I had known that she and her husband Vincent were developing a winery on the Douro river in Portugal but it was only after sharing many glasses at their table in Chianti that I realized how special it was. It was around that same table that we discussed the possibility of bringing the port and wine into the United States…and in particular, into our Rutherford store. It seemed like a dream at the time but Kay and Vincent are active dreamers….it wasn’t long after I arrived home that our first shipment was on its way.

Fast forward to our third shipment of Quinta Do Tedo…larger every time but never large enough to introduce it to our online audience….until now. It is still extremely limited…the largest amount we have is 120 bottles of the Tawny Port…the favorite…and that is before I take my share. :)

There are so many wonderful stories about Kay and Vincent that I could share but find out for yourself and visit their website and follow Kay’s blog. You will get lost in Kay’s posts and perhaps wake up someday in the Douro Valley…..tell them we sent you.

HOW THE BUZZ BEGAN…..

In the spirit of our life in Italy, I decided to offer complimentary glasses of Quinta do Tedo wines and port in our Rutherford store. We set up the back bar for people to help themselves to a glass. They can walk the store or sit in the theatre seats and catch a bit of Food Inc. I hoped to sell enough to break even on what we served as I do have two hungry teenagers to feed but again, I was open to whatever it was to bring…as the spirit was in sharing. The CPA in me watched the numbers carefully and they jumped out at me the first day…people were buying the port in multiples…and raving. I was not surprised at the reactions but did not expect to start a cult following…ha…be careful what you wish for, right? We sold out quickly and it took months to get it back in…and then we did it again…before i could even get it on the website.

We ordered as much as our cash flow would allow this time but still very limited…we have the most stock of the Tawny Port (120 bottles) as it is the favorite.

Needless to say, I’m excited to share Quinta Do Tedo port and wines with all of you but even more pleased to share in the connection to the beauty of the product, the producer and the planet. Come share a glass with us in Rutherford or buy a bottle of your own and lift your glass to Kay, Vincent, and all others who follow their dreams.

Salute!


Click here to purchase Quinta do Tedo Port and Wine

A Recipe from Kay: Olive Oil Cake with Balsamic Fruit Sauce

Makes 6 Servings

Cake:
2 Eggs
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil (You can also use any of our plainExtra Virgin Olive Oils for less citrus flavor)
3/4 Cup Milk
Grated zest of 2 oranges, plus 1 sliced orange for garnish
1 Cup Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Big Pinch Fleur De Sel

Whisk eggs and sugar together until blended, add olive oil, milk, orange zest; mix well. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to egg mixture and stir until just blended, do not overmix. Pour into buttered and floured loaf pan, bake a 350º F until set, 35-40 minutes.

Balsamic Fruit Sauce:
3 Cups plums, cherries or berries; or 2 cups dried prunes, apricots, or pears.
1/2 Cup sugar
2-4 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar Methode Tradizionale
Cook fruit, sugar and water until fruit softens, remove fruit and reduce syrup if very liquid. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve with cake, a dallop of whipped cream, and a glass of Quinta do Tedo Fine Tawny Port!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

A Simple Summer Salad

by admin on July 27, 2011

Who can resist a tempting bowl of perfectly cooked pasta? Not us! The summer heat has pushed us to deviate from our normal hot pasta routine, and instead create a delicious pasta salad that can be served cold. It’s great as a light dinner or lunch, or as a side.

The success of this recipe is dependent on one of our favorite ingredients: Cask 85 Red Wine Vinegar.  It is a wonderfully intense vinegar so you don’t need to use very much.

A Simple Summer Salad

1 Bag Pasta Trottoloni

1/2 TBS Cask 85 Red Wine Vinegar

3 TBS Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Fleur De Sel

1/2 tsp Coarsely Ground Black Pepper Corns

4 Roasted Artichoke Hearts

2 oz Feta Cheese

20 Multi Colored Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 Small Red Onion

Cook pasta al denté according to package directions. After it’s finished cooking drizzle about a tablespoon of the Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil over it, and mix a couple times. This is to keep it from sticking together. Allow to cool.

Mix together the rest of the Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cask 85 Vinegar, Salt and Pepper in a small bowl. Pour it over the pasta and gently mix to distribute evenly.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half,  chop the artichoke hearts, thinly slice the red onion,  and add them to the pasta along with the crumbled feta cheese. Toss lightly a couple times to distribute. Taste to make sure seasonings are to your liking. Adjust as necessary. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

In his 30 years as a chef and restaurateur, Rob Larman has worked in some of the Bay Area’s highest profile kitchens. The original Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, Casa Madrona in Sausalito and the wildly popular Kuleto’s in San Francisco are just a few. He was also chef and proprietor of the acclaimed Magnolia Place in Larkspur.

In 1994, realizing the need in Sonoma for a fun, casual, family-friendly restaurant, he opened Rob’s Rib Shack, featuring authentic slow-cooked barbecue and moderately priced specials.

After eight successful years at the Rib Shack, Larman Returned to his roots: the flavorful, unpretentious, richly satisfying fare of the French bistro, prepared with the Sonoma wine country’s unparalleled bounty of fresh, artisinal ingredients.

“Sonoma County is heaven for a chef,” Larman says. “The quality of ingredients is among the best in the world, allowing a chef to cook simply and with the seasons, applying his creativity to highlight foods’ fresh, natural flavors. My goal at La Poste was to cook a few things perfectly for a few people, every time they visit.”

Rob Larman now offers his impeccably crafted cuisine as a Private Chef…

Grilled or BBQ’d Oysters

12 Medium to large oysters in the shell
4 tbl unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
Juice of one lemon
6 tbl Cochon Volant BBQ Sonoma BBQ Sauce

Wash and scrub the oysters. Heat your grill (either gas or charcoal).In a small sauce pan heat butter, lemon juice, and garlic. Determine which shell of the oyster is the top shell (the top shell is flat the bottom more bowl shape).Place the oysters on the hot grill, top side down, for 3 -5 minutes. The trick is to take them off before thetop shell opens. Use a towel to hold the hot oyster while removing the top shell with an oyster knife. Place the bottom oyster shell back on the grill, and spoon a little of the butter mixture onto each oyster, follow with a touch of the bbq sauce. Remove the oysters when they are bubbling but not overcooked.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Okay, I’ll admit it. As much as I advocate shopping locally and seasonally there are times when I crave ingredients that are simply not in season. That said, I’m not going to purchase hothouse tomatoes or Peruvian asparagus in the dead of winter (or anytime of the year, for that matter). And though I’ve canned my own tomatoes for nearly a decade, I don’t have time—much as I’d like to—to preserve much more than that, as my books on the subject continue to grow.

Here’s where my advocacy for a well-stocked larder kicks in again (as it did previously with St. Helena Olive Oil Co.’s Butternut Squash and Organic Spicy Heirloom pasta sauces). As our grandparents knew, having a good supply of preserved foods on hand makes life a lot more interesting, as well easier, while we await spring’s bounty.

Although artichokes are available in California in both spring and early fall, the latter season is shorter as well as typically less predictable when it comes to quality. As part of its commitment to offering the finest ingredients, St. Helena Olive Oil Co. stocks excellent jarred roasted artichoke hearts from Italy’s San Giuliano. These are terrific straight out of the jar as part of an antipasti platter, sliced into a salad, or chopped and incorporated into an omelette. They are also terrific in risotto.

Roasted Artichoke Risotto
Many people are intimidated by risotto, but once you’ve mastered the basics it’s really very simple, highly satisfying, and open to all sorts of ingredient variations. Also, forget those cookbooks that tell you that need to stir and stir and stir. The most important thing is steady cooking and liquid replacement, so the rice has enough to absorb as it creates a creamy, slightly soupy coating.

1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
2 tablespoons Twin Sisters Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blade Press
1 small yellow onion, chopped (you want about a quarter cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
Splash of white wine or vermouth (approximately ¼ cup)
Pinch of Organic Grey Sea Salt
6 – 8 Roasted Artichokes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
Parmesan cheese
A handful of fresh mint or parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Using a small pot, heat the chicken broth to a healthy simmer (but not a rolling boil).

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or other large size pot. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and cook until just beginning to soften (2-3 minutes).

Raise the heat a notch and add the rice, stirring to coat with the vegetables and oil.

After 3 – 4 minutes, the rice will start becoming semi-translucent, and you should hear a low-level snap, crackle, and pop.

Add the wine or vermouth, turn the heat to high, and cook until the wine has evaporated.

Return the heat to normal, add a ladleful of hot chicken broth, stir once, and add a pinch of grey sea salt.

Continue to add broth as needed, which means just before the previous ladleful is completely absorbed (usually a few minutes between doses).

Cook for approximately 10 – 12 more minutes. Don’t worry if you run out of broth before the rice has finished cooking, you can always add a bit of water instead.

A few minutes before the rice is ready—you’ll know by the look and texture, which, like pasta, should be al dente, soft but toothsome—fold in the chopped artichokes and give the mixture a healthy stir (ideally this would be right before you add the final ladle of stock).

Once the rice has finished cooking, stir in the butter, remove from the heat, and let the risotto rest for a few minutes, covered.

Spoon into bowls, grate fresh Parmesan over the top (to your liking), sprinkle with the mint or parsley, and grind a little black over the top.

~ serves 4 to 6 as a first course, 2 as a stand-alone dish

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Pan Seared Scallops

December 29, 2010

The holidays are over—bummer, or a godsend, depending on your point of view—and life is slowly returning to normal. Time to slow down, but also time to eat simply, if very well after the Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s feast-a-thon. Shellfish is especially good this time of year, when the waters run cold and there is no risk […]

Read the full article →

Recession-era Truffle Solution

November 26, 2010

Good—really good—truffles are one of the great joys of the winter table. Only problem is, they cost a small fortune. Even “truffle shavings” can command nearly $100 per jar. So unless you’re among the lucky few not affected by our ongoing recession, enjoying these funky looking, ultra-fragrant tubers may be a forgotten luxury this year. […]

Read the full article →

Riffing on Organic Spicy Heirloom Pasta Sauce

November 20, 2010

Fight it as much as we might, this year’s tomato season is kaput. To be sure, supermarkets and even local farmers’ markets still have tomatoes to sell, but even the best examples from mid-November pale in aroma and flavor compared to those from the peak of the season. If you canned your own it’s time […]

Read the full article →

Talking Turkey

November 14, 2010

With Thanksgiving practically here, and Christmas on the horizon, the season for turkey is about to rev into high gear. And we strongly recommend sourcing a fresh heritage breed over the typical supermarket variety. The difference is not insignificant. For the past 8 years or so I’ve been purchasing heritage breeds, or what I like […]

Read the full article →