Saturday, September 30, 2017

Asian-Spiced Black Cod Tacos with Kimchi and Avocado-Sriracha Mayo #SundaySupper

Today the Sunday Supper crew is having a virtual taco fiesta. Why? Because October 4th is National Taco Day. And because tacos are amazing. There’s so much that you can do with them - from what you put inside to what you use as a shell. Even better: they’re easy on a budget and definite crowd-pleasers. Here are some recipes to inspire your very own taco feast...

Easy Taco Recipes #SundaySupper 

Breakfast, Dessert, and Alternative Tacos
Lunch and Dinner Tacos
Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Asian-Spiced Fish Tacos with 
Kimchi and Avocado-Sriracha Mayo

When I received a lot of local black cod from our CSF, I decided to use that for a fresh fish taco. And I always have homemade kimchi in my fridge, so I went with an Asian-spiced fish. Yum!

Ingredients serves 4 with leftovers
Fish
  • 1 to 2 pounds fish, deboned and cut into pieces (I prefer two-bites versus smaller chunks)
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T rice wine or sake
  • 1 T garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 t fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 to 1 t Sriracha, depending on level of heat desired
  • 1 T virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 t toasted sesame oil
Avocado-Sriacha Mayo
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 t Sriracha, depending on level of heat desired
For Serving
Procedure

Fish
Whisk together marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add in the fish and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Make the mayo sauce while the fish marinates.

To cook, heat a grill or grill pan and cook until firm to the touch and completely opaque. Usually, I cook it for 4 to 5 minutes, skin-side down. Then, I flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Avocado-Sriacha Mayo
Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl until well-combined. It ends up looking a little like creamy guacamole. Set aside.

For Serving
Scoop some kimchi onto your tortilla. Place fish on top of the kimchi. And top with avocado sauce. Serve immediately. 

Building the Perfect Cheese Board #MadeinFrance #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whole Foods Market in conjunction with their #MadeinFrance event.
Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links

You can read more about the Curated List of Wines and Cheeses for the #MadeinFrance event where Whole Foods Market Global Buyers Devon Broglie and Cathy Strange will be chatting during the Facebook Live event. Don't forget that's coming up next Thursday, October 5th. So, if you're available, hop on and follow the hashtag - #MadeinFrance - between 2:30pm and 3:00pm Pacific time.

So, after receiving the list of cheeses and wines on which Devon and Cathy were going to focus, I decided to use that as a jumping off point to share with you how I build a picture-perfect cheese board.

Cheese boards are simple to put together but have a high wow factor. And they are undeniably one of the easiest appetizers you can assemble. You just need to offer a variety of colors, textures, and tastes. Here's are some simple steps to create a beautiful, delicious array.

St. Nuage
Step 1: Choose the Cheeses
I like to pick a variety of cheeses based on texture —soft, semisoft, and hard. You can also go with a mixture of different milk sources—cow, goat, or sheep. Or pick cheeses based on a geographical location—this board was all French. A good rule of thumb is to select four or five cheeses and plan on 1 ounce of each cheese per person. I used four cheeses in this case. I've given you some ideas of the cheeses in each texture category...

Semisoft: Havarti, young Gouda, Fontina
Semihard: Gruyère, Manchego, aged Gouda, Comté (photographed in this post)
Hard: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano, aged Manchego, Pecorino Romano, Mimolette (photographed in this post)
Soft-ripened: Brie (Saint Angel is a Triple Crème photographed in this post), Cambazola, Camembert
Blue: Stilton, Gorgonzola
Fresh: Ricotta, Chèvre, fromage blanc
Washed-Rind: Limburger, St. Nuage (photographed above), Taleggio, Epoisses de Bourgogne (photographed here)
Epoisses de Bourgogne
Once you've chosen your cheeses, place them on a board equidistant apart. Remember to take the cheese out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to serve them. If they are too cold, the flavors will be muted.
Saint Angel
Step 2: Pick Some Pairings
While cheese can stand alone, of course, you might need a vehicle for putting some of the softer cheeses into your mouth. Crisp crackers or slices of baguette work well.

Mimolette 
Step 3: Fill the Holes
When you've placed your cheeses and lined up your crackers, fill in bigger holes on the board. This is where you can have some fun with more colors and more textures. I like fruit for sweetness—grapes, fresh figs, pomegranates, mangoes, and kiwi) — and olives or charcuterie for saltiness. Now fill in whatever space is left with extras such as nuts and seeds (try Marcona almonds, pistachios, spiced pecans, or salted cashews). I even added some small chocolates to round out the board.

Comté 
Step 4: Don't Forget Utensils
Last, but not least, make sure each part of your board has a serving utensil where needed. Place small spoons or spreaders next to bowls of jam or tapenade; offer toothpicks for picking up fruit and olives; don't neglect the cheese knives! And, to keep flavors separate, ensure that each cheese has its own knife.

I have an embarrassing number of cheese knives. I even have a traditional Stilton scoop that I swore I needed but have never used. Here's a brief cheese knife guide, but use what you have. 
  • Hard, semihard, and semisoft cheeses can take a spade or a spear-tipped knife.
  • Semisoft, soft, and fresh cheeses need a spreader or a plane.
  • Crumbly cheese (such as blue cheese) and hard cheeses take a flat knife.
  • And a cheese fork can hold hard cheeses steady while slicing. 

That's it! Easy peasy, right? In four simple steps, you can have a colorful, flavorful cheese board that is worthy of a celebration...or just a regular evening. When I put this on the table, my husband asked, "What are we celebrating?" Nothing. It was just a really tough week. Cheese helps.


You may find Whole Foods Market...
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*Disclosure: I received compensation for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Domaine de la Fruitière Muscadet + Baby Octopus Salad #MadeinFrance #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whole Foods Market in conjunction with their #MadeinFrance event.
Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links

You can read more about the Curated List of Wines and Cheeses for the #MadeinFrance event. You will notice that this wine, Domaine de la Fruitière Muscadet, is one of the ones they are officially sharing. Devon and Cathy will be pairing it with the P'tit Basque during the Facebook Live event. Don't forget that's coming up next Thursday, October 5th. So, if you're available, hop on and follow the hashtag - #MadeinFrance - between 2:30pm and 3:00pm Pacific time.


In any case, I tasted the P'tit Basque with some salted watermelon jelly...


and poured the Château D'Esclans, Whispering Angel Rosé.


The Caves D’Esclans Whispering Angel Cotes de Provence Rosé starts with a delicate aroma full of fruit with a hint of spice. Tasting the wine revealed a fruit-forward, flavorful burst of summer that lingers on the end with a nice crispness. Rosés are typically made from red grapes and minimal contact with the skins that results in a pale red hute. Interestingly this wine is made with of 14% Rolle, the local name for Vermentino, which is a white wine grape. So, the resulting wine is almost somewhere between a white wine and a rosé. It reminds me of another favorite Rosé that's local to me - Bonny Doon's Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé.

But, let's begin with this: my pairing today doesn't involve any French cheese. It doesn't even involve any French food. But it is Mediterranean-inspired and it did pair remarkably well with the Muscadet. Let's start with the wine.


In the Glass
Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur Lie Domaine de la Fruitière is a sunny, shiny light gold color. Made entirely of Melon de Bourgogne grapes from 30-year-old vines, this wine has a complex nose with a wildly intense fruitiness. The fruit and floral tones are tempered with a balancing minerality.


On My Plate 
Most people know that Muscadet and oysters are an incredibly match. They go together like, well... they go together like whatever your favorite pairs are. Chocolate and hazelnut. Leia and Han. Lobster and butter. You get the drift.

I'll admit: I have a love-hate relationship with oysters. I love them. Loved them. But, after one too many raw oysters in New Orleans when we were there for a SCUBA convention many, many moons ago, I developed a sensitivity to them. Yes, I may have had over a dozen raw oysters on my own. Maybe. In any case, I was miserable - stomach cramping and all - for an entire day. And, ever since, it's a fifty-fifty chance that I'll have the same reaction. I've eaten half a dozen fresh oysters from Morro Bay that didn't affect me at all; then I've eaten just one from Tomales Bay that sent me to bed in tears. There's no rhyme or reason to it. So, I usually steer clear.

But I enjoy Muscadet with its light body and mineral edges and it pairs gracefully with seafood. So, I decided to pour it, this week, with a marinated octopus salad. We love octopus as you can tell from my Grilled Octopus and Potato Salad, Soy and Sake-Braised Whole Octopus, and Marinated Grilled Octopus. This is a simple preparation and I make it whenever I come across baby octopus.

Baby Octopus Salad

Ingredients
  • 1 pound cleaned baby octopuses, thawed if frozen
  • 1 fresh California bay leaf
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 T fresh oregano, chopped
  • organic lettuce leaves for serving, washed and dried
  • Optional: caviar limes for garnish (click to read an intro to caviar limes)

Procedure
Rinse octopuses under cold water and place in a heavy pot. Cover with water by 2 inches and bring to a boil with bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until octopuses are tender, approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Drain in a colander and discard cooking liquid and bay leaf. Let cool.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, and oregano. Toss octopuses with dressing and marinate at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes. Serve on lettuce leaves with finger limes, if using.

You may find Whole Foods Market...
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You may find French Food and Beverages...
on the web

You may find Full Circle Wine Solutions...
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on Twitter
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*Disclosure: I received compensation for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Diminutive Caramel Apples #AppleWeek #Sponsored

This post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #AppleWeek. 
Products for recipe development and review were provided; prizes were donated for the giveaway, 
and this page may contain affiliate links.

#AppleWeek is drawing to a close! Boo. Carlee of Cooking with Carlee arranged this amazing event for you. Click to read about the giveaway prizes and to enter for a chance to win: here
And today, day five of #AppleWeek, here's what we have in store for you. 
We hope you've been duly inspired this week.


Diminutive Caramel Apples

When I spotted these teeny, tiny apples at Whole Foods, I thought: Caramel Apples!  I grabbed some organic curly willow to make them look a little witchy. They are wonderfully festive for the season, aren't they?
Ingredients makes 8

  • 8 small apples (I used Lady Apples)
  • 2 T ginger syrup
  • 2 T water
  • 1/2 organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C organic heavy cream
  • pinch vanilla salt or fleur de sel
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract (I used Rodelle)
  • 2 T butter
  • Also needed: parchment paper and curly willow branches
Procedure

Cut curly willow branches to your desired length. Carefully skewer your apples with the curly willow and set aside.

Caramel
Place the ginger, water, and sugar into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once all the sugar has melted, swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar continues to cook.

Cook until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should have a slightly nutty aroma and be almost a reddish brown. Add the butter and vanilla extract. Be careful because the caramel will bubble up. Whisk the butter into the caramel until completely melted.

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, take care because the mixture will bubble up again. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add in the salt. Whisk to incorporate. Let the sauce cool for 10 to 15 minutes .


Assembly
Immediately dip and coat the apples completely. 


Place the dipped apples on parchment paper. Let set for at least an hour before serving. 


Have you made caramel apples? I've heard all sorts of horror stories about making sure they are completely dry. I've even read of someone using sand paper to scuff the apple skin before adhering the caramel. I didn't do that and these were delicious. I might make them again. Maybe next year!

Find Rodelle
on the web
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*Disclosure: I received products for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the manufacturers of this product or the organizers of #AppleWeek.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Grilled Veggie Tacos with Apple Pico de Gallo #AppleWeek #Sponsored

This post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #AppleWeek. 
Products for recipe development and review were provided; prizes were donated for the giveaway, 
and this page may contain affiliate links.

I am loving #AppleWeek! Can you tell?!? It's been so much fun trying to use apples in fun, new ways. Carlee of Cooking with Carlee arranged this amazing event for you. Click to read about the giveaway prizes and to enter for a chance to win: here


Here are all the Day Four creations for #AppleWeek...

Before I get to my recipe for the day, I have to gush about these snips  - the Clip N Strip Shears - from event sponsor Casabella. I have gone through a lot of kitchen shears. And I mean a lot. A lot!


These shears are attractive (okay, not the most important thing, but a definitely bonus) and comfortable in my hand (very, very important)! I like that they lock closed as the blades are sharp and I prefer that they don't accidentally open in my drawer where I can reach in and cut myself. And - better than that - is the herb stripper in the handle. The herb stripper makes quick work of destemming herbs, especially rosemary. I love it!

Ingredients

Apple Pico de Gallo
  • 1 organic apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (approximately 1 C)
  • 1 tomato, chopped (approximately 1 C)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T  honey
  • 1/8 C fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from stem and roughly chopped
  • 1/8 C fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Grilled Veggies
  • Brussels sprouts, cut off the stalk
  • baby potatoes
  • baby portabella mushrooms
  • zucchini, halved and cut into 2" lengths
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • Also needed: skewers, grill or grill pan

Tacos
  • tortillas
  • shredded cheese
  • Optional: guacamole

Procedure

Apple Pico de Gallo
Place all of the ingredients - except for the salt and pepper - in a small mixing bowl. Blend gently and let stand for 15 minutes to blend flavors and let the apples soften. To make this more spicy, adjust to use more jalapeno peppers.


Grilled Veggies
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and spices. Stir in the garlic. Let the marinade stand while you prep the veggies. Blanch the Brussels sprouts. Drain and set aside. Boil the potatoes until you can stick a fork in them but they are not mushy. Drain and set aside.


Skewer the veggies, if you wish; I skewered the potatoes and Brussels sprouts, but kept the mushrooms and zucchini loose. Toss the veggies in the marinade until they are evenly coated and heat your grill or grill pan. Grill your veggies in batches until they are tender with nice grill marks, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. I sliced the mushrooms but kept everything else whole.


Tacos
To serve, sprinkle a little shredded cheese on a tortilla. Heat until melted. Top with grilled veggies, guacamole (if using), and pico de gallo. Serve immediately.


Find Casabella
on the web
on Twitter

*Disclosure: I received products for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the manufacturers of this product or the organizers of #AppleWeek.

A Curated List: Wines and Cheese from France #MadeinFrance #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whole Foods Market in conjunction with their #MadeinFrance event.
Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

As part of The French Winophiles group, I was offered the chance to participate in a #MadeinFrance online event. Mais oui! 

Whole Foods Market Global Buyers Devon Broglie and Cathy Strange have curated a selection of French wines and French cheeses; they will host a lively conversation on Facebook that should demystify French wines and make them more approachable. I'm in!

Join us for a Facebook Live event on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 2:30pm Pacific time. Come to the Whole Foods Facebook Page! It'll be a short - just 30 minutes! - online chat. If you can't be live with us, follow the hashtag at your leisure.

The Cheeses

The event sponsors sent us a list of cheeses and asked that we try, at least, two of them. We could pick from...

  • Mons St. Nuage
  • Mons St. Epoisse
  • Mons Camembert
  • 1924
  • Comte
  • Saint Angel
  • Fourme d'Ambert
  • Bonhomme Brie
  • Mimolette
  • P'tit Basque
  • Ossau Iraty

I headed out to my local Whole Foods Market to see what they had on-hand. I wanted to obtain a few new-to-us cheeses and was successful. Of course, I purchased some family favorites, too, and we made a dinner out of the cheese pairings.

I picked up Mons St. Nuage...

Mimolette...
P'tit Basque...
Comte...
 
and Saint Angel.

The Wines
The event sponsors shipped us twelve bottles of French wine to taste and pair. Twelve bottles!
photo courtesy Jill Barth of L'Occasion
I'll be posting tasting notes of these wines in the coming weeks. Several of the other bloggers who received their shipments, ahead of me, shared photos of the entire line-up. I can't wait to pour, taste, and share thoughts about these bottles.

Whole Foods selected the following French wines for this event...

  • Jacques Bardelot, Champagne Brut (suggested retail value $29.99)
  • Criterion, Chablis (suggested retail value $19.99)
  • Domaine de la Fruitiere, Muscadet Gneiss de Bel Abord Sur Lie (suggested retail value $13.99)
  • Domaine Paul Buisse, Touraine Sauvignon (suggested retail value $12.99)
  • Trimbach, Pinot Gris Reserve (suggested retail value $22.99)
  • Château D'Esclans, Whispering Angel Rosé (suggested retail value $21.99)
  • Vignobles des Roches, Morgon (suggested retail value $16.99)
  • Alain de la Treille (Famille Bougrier), Chinon (suggested retail value $19.99)
  • Paul Jaboulet Ainé, Cotes du Rhône (suggested retail value $14.99)
  • Château de Lascaux, Coteaux de Languedoc Rouge (suggested retail value $17.99)
  • Château Haut-Cadet, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2015 (suggested retail value  $24.99)
  • Clos Siguier, Cahors (suggested retail value $14.99)  

A Match Made in Heaven
Nuage Whispering Angel Rosé 

Sold exclusively through Whole Foods, St. Nuage is a triple-crème cheese made with cow's milk and 
affinaged in the famous Mons tunnels. Perhaps it's that time underground that renders this cheese simultaneously decadent and earthy with a nice salty balance. 'Nuage' in French means 'cloud. And it really was a pillowy cloud of cheesy magic. To complement the cheese's earthiness, I decided to served it with crisped mushrooms and toasted baguette.


Ingredients
  • mushrooms (I used mini portabella mushrooms), brushed clean and thickly sliced
  • butter
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Melt butter in a large, flat-bottom pan. When the butter begins to brown, lay your mushrooms in the pan. Make sure that you can see the bottom between the mushrooms and that the mushrooms aren't touching.

Let the mushrooms brown and crisp. Flip the mushrooms and crisp them on the other side. Only after they are crisp should you season them. Adding salt when they are cooking will lead to soggy mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


In the Glass
I paired it with Château D'Esclans' Whispering Angel Rosé. Okay, don't laugh: I picked the wine for the name. If the cheese was named after clouds, I figured the wine should be named after angels. That sounded like a match made in heaven, right?! It was.

Other Combinations
Comte with Pâté

P'tit Basque with Salted Watermelon Jelly
While I typically serve P'tit Basque with quince paste, I had a jar of a locally-made salted watermelon jelly and decided to try that. It was fantastic! The jelly had a sweet-tart quality that countered the creamy richness of the cheese well.

Mimolette + Malbec (Clos Siguier, Cahors)

Mimolette is a long-time favorite. The story goes that King Louis XIV was searching for a native French product to replace the very popular Dutch Edam. To differentiate it from Edam, he had it colored orange with annatto seeds. Made with cow's milk, it has a grey crust which is the result of cheese mites intentionally introduced to the surface of the cheese! As it ages, its taste changes. I prefer it aged a bit with a harder texture and a stronger flavor. For a pop of sweetness, I served the mimolette with dates and a crisp fig cracker.


In the glass, I opted for the Clos Siguier, Cahors, made with Malbec grapes. Though I typically think of Malbec in association with Argentinian wines, the grape was originally grown in Frace. In fact, as far back as the 1300s, the Brits praised the 'Black Wine of Cahors.' This wine was rich, but approachable. I got herbs on the nose and some hints of black tea on the tongue. This added some pleasant savory quality to the cheese pairing with the dates and fig crackers. And, at its price point, it's a great value!

The Official Pairings
Next week, Devon and Cathy will be discussing the following matches. I can't wait to see what information they share with us. And, because I didn't pair any of the wines and cheeses this way, I will get my paws on some more bottles and give these official pairings a try. I hope you'll follow along on this #MadeinFrance series. Cheers!

  • Jaques Bardelot (Wine) + Mons St. Nuage (Cheese)
  • Domaine de la Fruitiere Muscadet (Wine) + P'tit Basque (Cheese)
  • Alan Treille Chinon (Wine) + Mimolette (Cheese)
  • Biographie Cotes du Rhone (Wine) + Saint Angel (Cheese)


You may find Whole Foods Market...
on the web
on Twitter
on Instagram
on Google+
on Pinterest

You may find French Food and Beverages...
on the web

You may find Full Circle Wine Solutions...
on the web
*Disclosure: I received compensation for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

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