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Appetizer/Beverages

Chicken Pate with Apples and Brandy

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

I can’t get enough of this (and I don’t normally like pate!). This recipe is by Mrs. Andrew Scott.

Ingredients

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Baked Kale Crisps

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

To be honest, I’m not a veggie person. I have to try real hard to work them into my diet. If I had my way, there would be two food groups. Meat and bread. But, recently I’ve found a veggie that I can’t live without. How on earth did I get through the first four decades of my life without discovering kale? I used to think of this as a slimy bitter green.  I’d pass over it on menus, skip by it in the salad bar. And never consider it in the produce section.  But then I tried kale salad. Now, kale is on the top of my grocery list. I buy  two and three bunches at a time, and consume it all myself.

So, when my friend Linda called and said that she and her husband Chris had baked Kale chips at Terra Bistro, I just had to give it a try. These are better than potato chips! Nutty, salty, crispy, and nutritious. Easy to make. I baked four leaves to try and figure out how to make them, and then ate them all standing right in the kitchen. If I had any more kale, I’d make another batch. What a find.

 
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Ingredients

Directions
  1. preheat oven to 350°
  2. cut the stem from each kale leaf
  3. toss the kale with olive oil
  4. place on lightly oiled cookie sheet
  5. sprinkle with sea salt, caraway seeds, and sesame seeds (or get creative and find use something else in your spice cabinet)
  6. bake for 10 minutes
  7. plate and eat

 

Brie with Honey, Spiced Nuts and Baby Apricots

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 by Lynn Hollenbeck

Have you noticed the tiny baby apricots, or plumcots, at farmer’s markets lately? They look so pretty and taste delicious with creamy brie and toasty nuts. This  appetizer is quick and easy to assemble, with a great balance of flavors and textures.

Brie with Honey, Spiced Nuts and Baby Apricots
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • wedge of brie
  • honey
  • baby apricots or plumcots, washed and halved
  • Granny Smith apples, sliced thin
  • Spiced toasted walnuts
  • fig leaves (optional, but gives it a rustic look)
  • sturdy crackers for scooping

Directions
  1. Drizzle brie with honey and bake in oven at 350° for about 5 minutes or until slightly oozy.
  2. Arrange fig leaves on plate and place brie wedge in center.
  3. Surround brie artfully with fruit, spiced nuts and crackers. Group them separately so your guests can pick and choose their desired accoutrements.

 

Devil’s in the Details Deviled Eggs

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

When the devil’s details include cayenne, jalapeno and tabasco, you know it’s not your grandmother’s church supper recipe. Bucking all trends and fads, this retro classic is always the first to be devoured at any gathering, and these ones are dressed for the holidays with golden curry powder and bright green cilantro garnish. Behold the elegant and economical egg.

Devil’s in the Details Deviled Eggs
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 6 eggs, boiled and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoons organic curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon organic ground cayenne
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
  • Tabasco, a dash or two
  • Fine sea salt (to taste)
  • Organic ground pepper black (to taste)
  • Organic ground paprika
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions
  1. Slice eggs in half, scoop out yolks and mash them with all ingredients but cilantro and paprika.
  2. Arrange egg whites on a platter and spoon yolk mixture back into egg whites.
  3. Sprinkle with dash of paprika, and garnish with sprigs of fresh cilantro.

Fig and Olive Tapenade

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

You know how sometimes olive tapenade alone is too salty, and fresh figs alone are – well, a little too figgy? This is the perfect marriage of salty and sweet, and pairs wonderfully with creamy goat cheese. Freezes well too.

Combine in a cuisinart and blend to desired consistency, but retaining a bit of chunky texture:

2/3 (ratio, not cups) pitted Kalamata olives
1/3 (ratio, not cups) ripe fresh black figs

Serve with crostini and plain goat cheese.

Fondue in a Pumpkin

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

This was fun to make and serve on Halloween night, but it would also make for a festive fall or holiday appetizer. The oozing cheese and cream make for a very rich dish, so a crisp green salad complements it perfectly. I served it with Insalada del Campo, a perennial favorite at Delfina Restaurant in San Francisco. Delfina’s owner and chef Craig Stoll generously shared it in the San Francisco Chronicle. The pumpkin recipe is from my most recent issue of Gourmet. Here it is.

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Football Feast

Friday, January 8th, 2010 by Jenny Ross

I have to pay homage to those guys who are out there running around in January trying to catch a rock hard ball in 20° weather, in winds, and snow… while I’m warm and toasty with a fire blazing (in the fireplace), a chicken chili on the stove, a glass of wine and a few yummy apps to round out our football Sunday.

Chips and Southwestern Salsa (aka Cowboy Caviar)

Baked Brie with Honey, Spiced Nuts and Apricots

Penny Saver’s Chicken Chili

Herb Marinated Caprese

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

The simple step of infusing the olive oil with dried thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes before drizzling it on the mozzarella adds verve to this lovely, aesthetically pleasing classic from the island of Capri.

 
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Ingredients

Directions
  1. Slice mozzarella and tomatoes in similar thicknesses.
  2. In a small bowl, stir oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper together with olive oil.
  3. Pour herb-infused olive oil over mozzarella and let sit for at least one hour.
  4. On large platter, arrange tomatoes and mozzarella in layers. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and garnish with shredded fresh basil.
  5. Serve with sliced baguettes.

 

Homemade Creamy Ricotta Cheese

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

This weekend I handed my husband Mitch a copy of the Creamy Ricotta recipe by Maria Helm Sinksey on page 126 of Food & Wine (November 2008). He likes challenges like crafting beer and cheese, and found that it was easy and fun to make ricotta. He swore he would never buy ricotta again. It tastes nothing like the commercial version. Fluffy, sweet and scrumptious, it is well worth the effort. In case you don’t have this issue of Food & Wine, here’s what he did. Try it!

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Mediterranean Holiday Hummus

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

Homemade hummus – so easy, so nutritious.  This exotic version transports you to the Greek Islands. Serve it as a holiday appetizer for a taste of warm sunshine in frosty weather.

Mediterranean Holiday Hummus
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6

Ingredients

Directions
  1. In food processor, blend hummus ingredients to desired consistency. Add more lemon juice, water or olive oil to thin if necessary, and pour into serving bowl.
  2. In small saucepan, lightly toast pine nuts tossed with oregano and garlic powder, being careful not to burn.
  3. Top hummus with pine nut mixture and green and black olives; sprinkle paprika lightly.
  4. Lightly brush pita bread with olive oil and sprinkle on sesame seeds, cumin and salt. Toast on cookie sheet until light golden brown. Snip with scissors into triangles and serve alongside hummus.

 

Popcorn Seasonings

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by Jenny Ross

Try these yummy seasonings, for a unique topping twist on popcorn.

Black Truffle Popcorn
1 teaspoon black truffle sea salt
(Yup, that’s it. How easy is that?!)

Cajun Popcorn
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt, fine
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Curry Popcorn
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Pesto Popcorn
2 
Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 
teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 
teaspoon dried parsley, crushed
1/8 teaspoon garlic, granulated

Pop your popcorn, and then toss lightly with oil (so that the seasoning will stick).
Season to taste.

These blends make enough for multiple batches of popcorn, so have a small airtight container handy for storage.

Roasted Beets with Walnut Oil and Fresh Ricotta Appetizer

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

This is an attempt to recreate an appetizer I had recently at SPQR in San Francisco. The diced ruby red beets shine like little gemstones against the creamy white ricotta. Don’t fear making your own ricotta. As Maria Helm Sinkey says, “it’s cool to make, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do it.” Creamy Ricotta recipe, page 126 of Food & Wine (November 2008). By the way, SPQR is a really fun restaurant because much of the menu comes on “small plates” so you can share a variety with a friend or two. The wait staff is so knowledgeable and gives such poetic wine descriptions that you swear you can taste the “volcanic ash” or “essence of sunflower.” Ask for their pairing recommendations if you go; they are right on target. I served this appetizer with a Kalinda German reisling from K&L Liquors in San Francisco, but any dry or semi-dry German reisling would pair well.

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Scallops Wrapped in Spiced Bacon

Friday, December 12th, 2008 by Jenny Ross

This has become one of my more popular “apps”. It delivers a little kick, (and tastes like it takes more time to prepare than it does).

Scallops Wrapped in Spiced Bacon
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 12 large sea scallops (about 1 lb)
  • 6 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • ¾ Tablespoon organic ground cayenne
  • ½ Tablespoon organic curry powder
  • 12 bacon slices (about ¾ lb)
  • 24 wooden toothpicks

Directions
  1. Preheat broiler. If necessary, remove ligament from scallop. Cut scallops in half.
  2. Brown bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat (until edges brown, but it is still flexible). Place bacon on paper towels; pat and leave to cool.
  3. Stir together brown sugar, cayenne and curry in a medium bowl.
  4. Cut bacon in half (so two equal, shorter lengths). Coat evenly on both sides with sugar mixture, pressing to help it adhere. Place a scallop half on each slice of coated bacon; wrap scallop with bacon strip and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Lightly oil the top of a broiler pan, and place wrapped scallops on pan. Broil about 5 inches from heat until bacon is browned, and scallops are opaque (about 5-6 minutes); turn and broil another 5-6 minutes. Remove and serve.

Southwestern Salsa (aka Cowboy Caviar)

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 by Jenny Ross

A little chunkier and more substantial than the usual salsa, with a Southwestern accent. Yee-ha!

 
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Ingredients
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 11-oz can of whole baby corn, drained, and cut to dice size
  • 1 15-oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • ⅔ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or ¼ teaspoon organic minced garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground black pepper
  • splash lemon juice

Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips.
  3. (Plan to make within a couple hours of serving. Really only good for one day.)

 

Spicy Bloody Mary

Saturday, December 10th, 2011 by Jean Gleason

Bloody Mary… or a mimosa? Our family debate, but I think we’ve come to a consensus. While a mimosa is preferred with waffles, muffins or coffee cake, a spicy bloody Mary (or Caesar) is the perfect side kick to an omelet, frittata or strata. The spicier the better, so horse radish is a must at our house.

Spicy Bloody Mary
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz spicy V8 juice (tomato juice or Clamato, if you prefer)
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 fresh lime, cut into wedges
  • 4 dashes tabasco sauce
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch celery salt
  • organic ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp horseradish (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked applewood sea salt
  • celery stick

Directions
  1. Spoon the sea salt onto a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a tall glass, and dip rim in salt.
  2. Place a few ice cubes in the glass. Grind some pepper on top and add the dash of celery salt.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes, and shake well.
  4. Strain the mixture over the ice cubes in the glass.
  5. Squeeze a lime wedge over the drink and drop it in the glass.
  6. Garnish with celery stick.

 

The Versatility of Frijoles

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

Endive Been Thinking . . . besides spooning them directly out of the crock pot into my mouth, what else can I do with this this nutritious, delicious and oh so economical pot of refried (not) beans, otherwise known as “The Economy Sucks but my Creamy Pinto Beans Rock” Frijoles. All of the below configurations have received rave reviews in my family; in other words, they eat it without complaint.

  • Classic Rice and Beans: Spoon over rice and top with shredded mozzerella, jack or queso fresco. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. (more…)

Tips for using Flavored Sea Salts

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 by Jean Gleason

At the farmers’ markets last summer, we tested over 14 different flavored sea salts. We had sample tastings of everything from Habanero Sea Salt (a Texan favorite) to Ginger Beet Sea Salt (amazing color, but lacking in flavor at the time… this one is back in our test kitchen and we hope to re-introduce it next year). Based upon customer feedback, we narrowed our product offering to the following:

Black Truffle Sea Salt

Smoked Applewood Sea Salt

Lime Sea Salt

Rosemary Lavender Sea Salt

Garlic Sea Salt

Sel Gris (French grey sea salt)

Throughout the summer, loyal customers returned time and again to share how they had used the flavored sea salts. Below are a few of their tips. If you have any other recipe favorite, please let me know. We’d love to add them to our list.

Black Truffle Sea Salt was the hit of the Vail Farmers’ Market. We wish we had a video of the reactions… definitely YouTube material. Maybe next year we’ll become technically savvy enough to to take one. Sprinkle this Italian taste of heaven on:

- popcorn
- french fries (a la Lark Burger)
- hamburgers or steak
- pasta (especially good with Parmesan cheese)
- potatoes, eggs, mushrooms
- veggies (especially snow peas)
- soups, salads and stews…

We really haven’t found anything that doesn’t improve with just a little truffle salt. Be warned, a little goes a long way. The truffle is powerful, and too much is not a good thing. Get creative and enjoy.

Smoked Applewood Sea Salt has become the appetizer accompaniment in our house. Sprinkle a little on:

- blue cheese on a cracker, and serve with red wine (my favorite)
- a kobe beef hamburger
- steak
- eggs (almost as good as bacon)
- chicken, fish, lentils, pork, roast beef, potatoes, beans, tomatoes…
- rim your bloody mary glass!

Lime Sea Salt was very popular with the margarita crowd. Also good with fish, chicken, guacamole, and on fresh fruit.

Sel Gris is a favorite among our restaurant customers. Our chefs use it to finish dishes in their restaurants such as fish, scallops, chicken. This salt is high in minerals and moisture has a very clean taste. This is the salt of salts!

Garlic Sea Salt This is the best you will ever taste. Freshly ground for bold flavor, this is an excellent complement to Italian food – pizza especially. Also broccoli, popcorn, chicken, steak, potatoes, tomatoes, soups, stews, and of course bread!

Rosemary Lavender Sea Salt has fresh ground rosemary, lavender and French grey sea salt. It makes an excellent rub for chicken, pork, and steak. This was very popular with our vegetarian customers… think green beans, snow peas, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes…

These are just a few of our customers tips. There are no rules, get creative and sprinkle away!

Vermont Wine

Saturday, September 13th, 2008 by Lynn Hollenbeck

Endive Been Thinking . . . what would wine from Vermont taste like?

“Wine from Vermont?” My wine snob brother’s eyebrows raised in suspicion.
“Come on. Aren’t you at least curious?”
“Well, believe it or not, I have tasted some decent Reislings from the Finger Lake region. Are they anywhere near there? Fine, I’ll go in on a half case.”
The box arrived from Snow Farm Vineyards and we planned a dinner that might pair well. Clams steamed in wine with fennel and fresh tomatoes for the Reislings, and a selection of California artisan cheeses and fresh figs from Kenneth’s garden to complement the dessert wine.
Raising the glass of Snow White 2006 Reisling, he sniffed.
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