Hook and Reel Visit


Really a good visit to Hook & Reel – Cajun Seafood and Bar, 1510 N Eagle Rd, Meridian, Idaho 83642. Mon – Thu 11AM – 10PM, Fri – Sat 11AM – 11PM, Sun 11AM – 10PM. (208) 288-4488. They do not take reservations. Robin had a Hook Punch, (Coconut Rum, Blueberry Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, Sweet & Sour Mix) and I had a Lynchburg Arnold Palmer (Bourbon, Honey Bourbon, Iced Tea, Lemonade, Lemon Slices). Both were delicious! Happy Hour Monday – Friday from 2pm – 5pm with special drinks a food bites. The ambiance is good. Not loud music, but I can see where it could get loud. Open space and ample seating. Overall an easy 4+-Star restaurant. We will go back. The variety and choices of seafood is very large. Servings a ample. Good place to go.

Front Entrance faces Fairview Ave.

Robin and the dining area. That’s a Hook Punch by Robin.

Crab Salad that was good. It could have had a little more crab, though. We shared this.

Catfish and Sweet Potato Fries. Catfish was really good.

Oyster Po-Boy that had a super oyster flavor. I did like this!

Our Wait Person, Zabrielle, was very good. Polite and knowledgeable. This was a good visit and I am glad we went. I would call it a moderately priced establishment, but some items are spendy. Blue Crab – yes they have Blue Crab – (in season) are about $6.00 each. Full lobster $25.00. Fried Flounder Basket $12.00, Fried Catfish Basket $12.00. These are appropriate prices.

Menu Sample

Stroganoff. What Is It?

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Not long ago, we made a Mahogany Beef Stroganoff and it was surprisingly good. Even with some totally different ingredients. Hoisin Sauce for one. But there were two questions: (1) What makes it mahogany? and (2) Is it Russian or Italian or French? Well, the answer to the first question is sort of easy. The mahogany color comes from the addition of the Hoisin Sauce, a Chinese BBQ sauce. Question #2. The short answer is “Yes”. Wikipedia says,

The dish is named after one of the members of the influential Stroganov family. Elena Molokhovets’s classic Russian cookbook “A Gift to Young Housewives” gives the first known recipe for Govjadina po-strogonovski, s gorchitseju, “Beef à la Stroganov, with mustard” [typically French], in its 1871 edition. The recipe involves lightly floured beef cubes (not strips) sautéed, sauced with prepared mustard and broth, and finished with a small amount of sour cream: no onions, no mushrooms and no alcohol. A competition purported to have taken place in 1890 is sometimes mentioned in the dish’s history, but both the recipe and the name existed before then. Another recipe, this one from 1909, adds onions and tomato sauce, and serves it with crisp potato straws, which are considered the traditional side dish for beef Stroganoff in Russia. The version given in the 1938 “Larousse Gastronomique” includes beef strips, and onions, with either mustard or tomato paste optional.

Mahogany Beef Stroganoff

Sautéing of beef Stroganoff
After the fall of Tsarist Russia, the recipe was popularly served in the hotels and restaurants of China before the start of World War II. Russian and Chinese immigrants, as well as US servicemen stationed in pre-Communist China, brought several variants of the dish to the United States, which may account for its popularity during the 1950s. It came to Hong Kong in the late fifties, with Russian restaurants and hotels serving the dish with rice but not sour cream.

And from Cooksinfo, we learn,

There are at least two popular theories about how Beef Stroganoff originated.
One is that it was created in 1891 in St. Petersburg, Russia, by Charles Brière, a cook who worked for Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov. Brière reputedly submitted the recipe in that year to “l’Art Culinaire” (presumably the magazine whose full name was “La Revue de l’Art Culinaire”.) This is the version proposed in the 2001 version of the English language “Larousse Gastronomique”. If this is so, it would seem to be just about Brière’s only claim to fame. His recipe called for shallots (now onions are used.)
The second is that it was created by an unknown cook for Count Grigory Stroganov (1770-1857), because the Count had lost his teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Beef Stroganoff, though, is probably just a more refined version of similar, pre-existing recipes…The last prominent scion of the dynasty, Count Pavel Stroganoff, was a celebrity in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg, a dignitary at the court of Alexander III, a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts, and a gourmet. It is doubtful that Beef Stroganoff was his or his chef’s invention since the recipe was included in the 1871 edition of the Molokhovets cookbook…which predates his fame as a gourmet. Not a new recipe, by the way, but a refined version of an even older Russian recipe, it had probably been in the family for some years and became well known through Pavel Stroganoff’s love of entertaining.

There are also variations made with chicken or pork, which to me, looses the original likeness. I have made it with chicken, but always go back to beef. You be the judge. And just to note: we served this with a 2002 Ridge Vineyards Dynamite Hills Petite Syrah and I marinated the beef cubes in a little Hoisin Sauce, garlic powder and Worcestershire Sauce for several hours before browning it off. The marinating really made it rich. We also had it over medium wide egg noodles and topped the dish with sour cream and chopped parsley. Delicious!

Some Good End-Of-Summer Meals


Fun time in the kitchen this past late summer. Mostly “playing” Chopped of the Kitchen: “These are the ingredients, make something edible!” In other words, mostly no recipe, just do it!
And let’s remember: The best ingredients are not processed ingredients, but rather go to your local Farmers Market. Visit your local fruit stand. You control what ingredients to use, not a major super market. Although, there are some really good super markets available, Just look at the ingredients and where the fruits and vegetables are grown, In My Not So Humble Opinion. Buy Local! Look at some of these meals. Enjoy, we did! Here is a link to Kelley’s Canyon Orchards for fantastic fruits. Look in the sidebar for more links to some fantastic produce and farm products.

Shrimp Omelet with Herbal Hollandaise Sauce. Here is the recipe that we use for making our own – from scratch – Hollandaise Sauce. CIA Basic Hollandaise Sauce. We modified this one to add fresh herbs, from the garden.

Robin said she wanted a toasted shredded wheat biscuit for breakfast with bananas. I added the blueberries. The biscuit has brown sugar on it that is caramelized with a torch.

Or how about this Toasted Whole Wheat Sandwich with Avocado and Tomato for breakfast. The tomato was from True Roots Gardens and the Whole Wheat was from Acme Bakeshop. Both vendors are at the Boise Farmers Market,

German Benedict for breakfast. The Hollandaise is linked above. Why a German Benedict? The spices on the Air Fried potatoes is a blend or German spices.

You like Eggs Benedict? Look at these.

Salmon Benedict on a Bed of Spinach and Fresh Idaho BFM Fruit – Israeli Melon (Awesome!) and Blueberries. The Hollandaise is linked above and we added tarragon and thyme from our garden.

Grilled Brisket Benedict on a Bed of Spinach on Toasted Acme Bakeshop Sourdough and Fresh BFM Fruit. The Hollandaise is linked above and we added tarragon and thyme from our garden.

Grilled brisket? Or AirFryer goodies? Here was an awesome meals.

German Potato Salad

Grilled Brisket, German Potato Salad, Fresh BFM Fruit and Cowboy Beans
2017 Parma Ridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

Chicken? How about AirFryer Asian Chicken and Grilled Baby Bok Choy and Green Salad Here is the recipe: AF Asian Chicken.

AirFryer Steak with Sauteed Summer Squash and Fresh Beet and Beet Green Salad Here is the recipe – AF Ribeye Steak

AirFryer Pork Chop, Green Peas, Potato Cubes and Cantaloupe Malheur River Meats is where we got these pork chops. Awesome products! See their link in the sidebar.

Crab Cakes with Caprese Salad

Cognac Shrimp Reduction

Cognac Shrimp with Vegetables

So there are some of our meals. We eat well and very good. Thank goodness for the Boise Farmers Market every weekend during the season. Be sure to check our recipe file above. It gets updated regularly. Cheers and Cook Your Own Meals – They’re better!

AirFryer Cooking Times and Conversions


I do get many requests for specific cooking information – recipes, ingredients and cooking times. Here are three charts that you might want to print-out and keep. Left-Click any of these graphics and print them out or save the3m to your computer. The Frozen Foods and the Chicken information comes from the FB group, Make Your Meals Group. Enjoy and have fun with the AirFryer and experiment!

AirFryer Conversions

AirFryer Cooking times/temperatures for some Frozen Foods

AirFryer Chicken Temperatures

Robin’s Birthday Lunch

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Bacquet’s Restaurant, Address: 1117 E Winding Creek Dr #150, Eagle, ID 83616, Hours: 11:30am – 10PM. Phone: (208) 577-6238. Easily a 5-Star French (the best in the area and the only one) restaurant and well worth the trip. Suggest you call for reservations, though. Here is some of what we had. Enjoy. We did.

Menu

House Salad
organic greens, tomatoes, shallots, parmesan cheese house balsamic dressing

Delicious!

French Onion Soup

Traditional Flatbread
bacon, shallots, Swiss cheese, cream on a cracker-like crust

Salmon with Pasta and Capers

Salmon Champenoise
fresh salmon filet baked in white wine, cream, pesto and crusted with Parmesan cheese and served over vegetable basmati rice

Birthday Lemon Cheesecake

Chocolate Mousse

An awesome, 5-Star late lunch. Thanks Chef for a great Birthday meal. Thanks Marnie for treating us.

Great Birthday Sunday at Parma Ridge and Elsewhere

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Happy Birthdays –

Myra

Chris

Robin

And to Robin – we have some feeders attracting the hummingbirds – Happy Birthday!

And here are some things that Stephanie and Chef Storm Hodge made for us. Delicious! Thank-You!

The Bomb. 2016 Big Red

Coconut Shrimp

Romaine Caesar Salad

Mushroom Omelet

Wine Lovers Chocolate Cake

And earlier this week, I made Robin –

AirFryer Shredded Wheat with Caramelized Sugar and Fruit

Avocado Sandwich on Toasted Acme Bakeshop Whole Wheat, Garlic, Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Slice

And this, too!

Chicken Potpie

Chicken Potpie. And all from Scratch!

I thought Kewpie’s were dolls. Wrong!

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Several weeks ago, we first heard of Kewpie Mayonnaise. A Japanese speciality sauce. (Kewpie Products) If you follow the posted link, you will find several available dressings like Deep Roasted Sesame, Caesar and both USA and Original (pictured below) mayonnaise. And from the Kewpie website, here is an explanation of this mayonnaise.

Kewpie is Japan’s most trusted and beloved mayonnaise and salad dressing brand, and has been a staple of Asian cuisine since we introduced mayonnaise to the Japanese kitchen in 1925… During a battle in Mid-18th century, Minorca Island, Spain; a French marshal Duc de Richelieu enjoyed the sauce for a meat dish in a coastal town of Mahon, and brought it back to Paris as Mahon’s sauce, Mahonnaise.It is widely believed to be the origin of what became known as mayonnaise… Aspiring to create a brand everyone loves,founder Toichiro Nakashima named the nourishing condiment ”KEWPIE Mayonnaise”,with the hope of improving physique of Japanese people. In 1925 when Japan’s firstmayonnaise started to be manufactured and distributed at Kewpie, they used twice as much egg yolk as imported mayonnaise of that time. This was because Nakashima, who first discovered mayonnaise in the USA, had always hoped to create nourishing, high-quality mayonnaise.

The original mayonnaise – pictured here – is available at the Asian Market on Fairview Ave at Milwaukee. Address: 9975 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID 83704, Open ⋅ Closes 8PM, Phone: (208) 321-4502. Another source might be Mandalay Asian Market, Asian grocery store, 10658 W Overland Rd, Boise, (208) 410-7915.

From thekitchn.com,

Kewpie is a smoother, creamer mayonnaise, and it’s made with rice vinegar rather than distilled vinegar. Its popularity in Japan really can’t be overestimated. Wikipedia says that people who are known to really like mayonnaise are apt to be called mayora by their friends!

This mayonnaise has a deliciously unique taste that is hard to beat. Slightly sweet. Slightly sour from a light touch of vinegar and very creamy from the vegetable oil. I will probably make some egg salad and use it in it. (And of course, the hard cooked will be made in the Instant Pot. 7-7-7 method!) Cheers!

Wurstküche

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This riverside restaurant has been serving customers since 1146. “In 1146, German builders completed work on a bridge crossing the Danube river in Regensburg, [Germany]. With the project finished, the tiny construction office next to the bridge found new life as a food stand serving meat dishes. Today, it still serves customers, making it one of the oldest restaurants in the world.
Customers in the early days were mainly dock workers, sailors, and builders constructing the nearby Regensburg Cathedral, which was built between 1280 and 1520 in the Gothic style.
In 1806, the Schricker family took over and started offering mainly charcoal-grilled sausages and sauerkraut. The family still runs the restaurant and gave it its current name, Wurstküche (“sausage kitchen”), or Wurtskuchl in the local dialect.” [ Atlas Obscura] Wurstküche or Wurstkuchl.

“On the Danube Troll, right next to the Stone Bridge, stands the historic Wurstkuchl for over 500 years. Where, even in the Middle Ages, the Regensburg stonemasons and dock workers allowed their strengthening, much remains the same today: the open charcoal grill, the homemade sausages from pure ham, the sauerkraut from the own fermenting cellar and the famous Wurstkuchl mustard the historical recipe of Elsa Schricker…The origin of the historic Wurstkuchl was a small building leaning against the city wall, which was used as a construction office during the construction of the stone bridge from 1135 to 1146. When the building, celebrated at the time as the eighth wonder of the world, was completed, the construction office moved out and the small building became the “cookshop on the little church”. The patrons of the cookshop were harbor and construction workers, hence the name “Kranchen,” the word for cranes or cranes. There were many dockers because the wealthy trading patrons of the Free Imperial City of Regensburg used the port intensively for centuries as a hub for goods from all over the world. The hungry construction workers, however, came mainly from the construction site of the Regensburg Cathedral.” [Wurstkuchl]

Interested in their products? Sausage? Sauerkraut? Potato Soup? All traditional German. Look here – Wurstkuchl Products. (Our sweet Mustard in USA: Our sweet mustard can be found in the USA through our wholesaler: http://www.mygermancandy.com)

So if you are in Germany and want some traditional food in an old, old restaurant, look here. Enjoy!

Bacquet’s Restaurant In Eagle

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OK. This is an awesome French restaurant in Eagle, ID, just west of Boise. I know of no other French restaurant in the area of this caliber. Definitely a 5-Star restaurant! It really replaces Le Café de Paris and Andrea’s. Both of which have closed. Great interior ambiance – like sitting in a French café. The patio offers seating also, but on our visit, it was very hot. You may also have live music on the patio. It would be best to call for reservations if you decide to go. Both Chef Franck and his wife Michelle are very warm, charming and interesting. Anxious to answer question you may have. Here is some of the dishes we had and they were awesome. Delicious! Beautifully presented. Enjoy. We did. We’ll be back! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Robin is happy with the food.

House Salad and Dressing.

Escargot in Garlic Butter

Coquilles St Jacques in Saffron
Super with 2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Beef Tenderloin with Fois Gras and Baby Vegetables
Super with Les Jamelle Merlot

Opera Cake with Almond and Chantilly Cream

Chocolate Mousse with Chantilly Cream

We were treated to this awesome port. Thank you Chef Franck and Michelle!

Glass of port

Robin and Chef Franck Bacquet

Bob and Michelle Bacquet discuss photos and port.

Specials board

Anyone in Boise remember this French restaurant? Right now, Bacquet’s Restaurant is the only one that I know of.

Awesome 36th Anniversary at Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro


It is not often that I rave about an eating place, but the Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro is one of our favorites and definitely a 5-Star eatery. Staff is awesome and Chef Storm and Stephanie Hodge, the owners, winemakers, artist and “chief cook and bottle washers”, sorta, are so humble, courteous and kind. Kudos to you both and to your superb staff! And Thank-You for such a great venue for our 36th wedding anniversary. The food was superb and the patio seating was great. Note: The winery and bistro are a great place to go Wednesday through Sunday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you had best call for reservations. Contact information is at the link above. Left Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Chef storm and Stephanie Hodge

The meal that they prepared for us was great. Here is some of what we had.

Cheese Board
Beecher’s Aged White Cheddar, Chefs Choice Assorted Cheeses, Blue Cheese Fondue, Sliced Salami, Grapes, Crackers and Sliced Baguette

Puff Pastry filled with Lobster
in a
Cream Cognac Reduction Sauce

This is not on the regular menu, but rather was specially made for us by Chef Storm. It would be great to have this on the appetizer menu!! Thank-You Chef Storm for this surprise. Delicious!

Rutherford Burger
All-Beef Patty with Smokey Mayo, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Rocket Greens, Cabernet Grilled Onions & Sliced Smoked Blue Cheese

Pear Salad
with
Grilled Chicken
Mixed Greens with Apple Cider Viniagrette, Blue Cheese Crumbles and Poached Pears

Char-Broiled Filet Mignon
with
Cabernet Beef Demi-Glacé, Roasted Garlic Truffle Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Broccolini

Char-Broiled Ribeye
with
Cabernet Beef Demi-Glacé, Roasted Garlic Truffle Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Broccolini

And then the desserts. Yes. That is plural! We passed them around so everyone got some.

Meyer Lemon Custard
with a
Blueberry Compote, Lemon Whipped Cream and Lemon Wafers

Tiramisu Bread Pudding
Croissant Bread Pudding with a Mascarpone whip Over a Kahlúa Chocolate Sauce

Wine Lover’s Chocolate Cake
A Red Wine Infused Dark Chocolate Sponge Cake Filled With a Joshua Storm Butter Cream and Finished With a Chocolate Ganache

And finally, thanks to all these delightful folks who joined us.

Chris and Anna

Myra

Marnie and Eric

A view of the patio