Such a good time here. Good breakfast and wonderful rooms. We were lucky enough to make reservations – Thousand Springs BNB and Feathered Winds Wine – and be there for their monthly wine dinner. This particular dinner featured wines from south of the equator. Good and interesting food paring with the wines. Great time talking to the folks at our table and at other tables. Enjoy these photos and Left-Click to see them enlarged. If you go to Thousand Springs BNB, let them know you saw this blog post. Cheers!
Such a great Bouillabaisse Party on this cold and wintry night in Emmett, Idaho. Thank-You Victoria and Jeff for opening your home to this event. Victoria is pictured here. They have done a fantastic job on remodeling their home. There were about 15 people that enjoyed the Bouillabaisse, the wine and the crepes! Here are some photos of the evening. You can Left-Click any of the photos to enlarge. Cheers!
Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille. The French and English form bouillabaisse comes from the ProvençalOccitan word bolhabaissa, a compound that consists of the two verbs bolhir , to boil) and abaissar , to reduce heat, i.e., simmer.
There are at least three kinds of fish in a traditional bouillabaisse, typically scorpionfish (fr: rascasse); sea robin (fr: grondin); and European conger (fr: congre); and it can also include gilt-head bream (fr: dorade); turbot; monkfish (fr: lotte orbaudroie); mullet; or silver hake (fr: merlan) It also usually includes shellfish and other seafood such as sea urchins (fr: oursins), mussels (fr: moules); velvet crabs (fr: étrilles); spider crab (fr: araignées de mer) or octopus. More expensive versions may add langoustine (European lobster). Vegetables such as leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery and potatoes are simmered together with the broth and served with the fish. The broth is traditionally served with a rouille, a mayonnaisemade of olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper on grilled slices of bread.
What makes a bouillabaisse different from other fish soups is the selection of Provençal herbs and spices in the broth; the use of bony local Mediterranean fish; the way the fish are added one at a time, in a certain order, and brought to a boil; and the method of serving. In Marseille, the broth is served first in a bowl containing the bread and rouille, with the seafood and vegetables served separately in another bowl or on a platter.
As with all Holidays or Days of Celebration, I ask Robin about 10 days in advance what she would like me to make. The only exception is usually Memorial Day and maybe July 4th – I fire up the grills and smoker for these two days! So, as expected, she submitted her suggested menu for Brunch:
Popovers with Gruyere Cheese
Baked Eggs with Spinach
Sometimes it is difficult to photograph through the oven door, but here is an attempt. The Popovers are getting Happy!
And here are the Popovers with Gruyere Cheese in happy land! Happy Popovers – Happy Robin! These would really be great at a wine tasting filled with Tuna Salad, Ham Salad, Shrimp Salad … Use you imagination!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
2 c unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 t Sea Salt
2 c Whole Milk, use the good stuff with cream on the top
4 lg Eggs
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 c Gruyere cheese grated and (about 6 ounces)
Place muffin pans in the oven and preheat oven to 350ºF
Whisk flour and salt in medium bowl to blend.
Heat milk in small, heavy saucepan over medium heat until very warm, about 125 degrees.
Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk warm milk into eggs. Gradually stir flour mixture into milk mixture just to blend (batter may still be slightly lumpy).
Remove hot muffin pans from oven. Spray pans with nonstick spray. Spoon 1/2 cup batter into each of 16 muffin cups. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese. Bake until puffed and deep brown, about 40 minutes.
Remove popovers from pan and immediately cut a slit in the top of each to release the steam. Serve immediately.
Note: The key to making popovers that won’t deflate as soon as they come out of the oven is to cut a slit in the top while they are still hot. That releases the steam and allows the popovers to dry slightly inside. Popovers are not easy to reheat because they will flatten, so plan to take them out of the oven just before serving.
And here are the Baked Eggs with Spinach. Quite good, but keep an eye on them, they can over cook very quickly!@
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes Serves 4
2 T Butter, room temperature
1 (10-ounce) package frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
2 slices Sourdough or French bread
4 lg Eggs
4 t Heavy Cream
Salt, Pepper and Smoked Paprika
Preheat the oven to 375ºF
Rub the inside of four ramekins with a tablespoon of butter.
Squeeze liquid from the thawed spinach. Place about 1/4 cup of spinach in each prepared ramekin, making a bed in the bottom. Dot each bed with a teaspoon of butter, cut into bits.
Butter both sides of the bread slices, then cut each slice into four triangles. Stand two triangles in each ramekin so that they are leaning against the sides of the dishes with a point up.
Break an egg into each ramekin. Sprinkle the eggs with salt, plus pepper and paprika. Drizzle each egg with 1 teaspoon of cream. Arrange the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are firm around the edges and soft in the center, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve while still hot.
So there you have it – Photos of Brunch and the recipes. What did you make for your Mother today? Cheers!
A couple of things going on tonight. Just gotta use this kitchen!
First of all, we had some left-overs (Anthropologically – Hunters and Gathers) so Robin made a very good dish. Pictured above is Halibut with Beurre Blanc and Rice with Almonds and String Beans. A good wine went well with this – a 2006 Casa Castillo Jumilla.
But then, I also have another project going on.
Here is the Heavy Scottish Ale. I may be bottling this weekend. I really don’t know. The fermentation is going quite well – slow and steady. But I have had some questions on Scottish Ale. Here is some information I gathered from the web at different locations. The ale I am making is very much like the Robert the Bruce Scottish Ale as listed below. I am making a Highland Heavy Ale.
Highland Heavy Ale – In the Highlands of Scotland, centuries ago, small breweries began producing rich, dark, hoppy ales know locally as “Heavy”. In addition “Light” beers were also brewed, known south of the border as Milds, but it was a pint of “Heavy” which typified the highlanders’ preference.
You can now recapture this distinctive rich bitter flavour, with its dark, malty brew, balanced by a generous helping of hops. To enjoy Highland Heavy Ale at its best it should be served at cellar temperature.
Typical analyses when canned:
Colour (EBC Units) 50 – 60
Bitterness (EBU’s) 45 – 55
Solids (by refractometer) 80% – 82%
Acidity (as lactic) 1% max
pH 5 – 6
Free Amino Nitrogen 0.15%
The Scottish style of ales break down into Light, Heavy and Export. In the 19th century Scotland, a nomenclature, based on the now obsolete shilling currency, was devised in order to distinguish each. 60/- (light), 70/- (heavy), 80/- (export), 90/- to 160/- for Scotch Ales. Scottish Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew and a higher level of unfermentable sugars which create a rich mouthfeel and malty flavors and aromas. Overall hop character is low, light floral or herbal, allowing its signature malt profile to be the highlight. Smoky characters are also common.
Example: Robert The Bruce Scottish Ale
Not a bad Scottish Ale, but nothing extraordinary. Brown in color, kind of on the drab side, not very exciting. The basic characters are there – nice peat and slightly smoky, malty and a bit nutty, but nothing really jumps out and grabs me. I tend to prefer drier beers but for a Scotch ale I’m really looking for that malty robust sweet flavor and this one isn’t giving it to me. Not much in the way of spicy hops either, which wouldn’t have hurt. However this was a nice and mellow brew, maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.
Serving type: bottle
Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, and some coffee aromas. Fits the style of a Scottish Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with a low carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malts up front, slight hop background, sweet malts, an almost toffee flavor, and then a smooth roasted malt finish. Wow, for all the malt crammed in this brew it is still very easy to drink (almost deceptively so). Overall, this beer doesn’t have a very good appearance, but makes up for it in flavor.
Taste/Mouthfeel: Ah, there’s the peat – slight smoky peat flavors creep out amongst really sweet, chewy, caramelly malts and dark sticky fruity tastes. A notable hop profile comes across in a slightly bitter citrus taste that balances out the sweetness and compliments the very well carbonated feel. I love the effervescence – it lends a sort of creaminess to this well-bodied and full-flavored beer. Stickiness remains awhile throughout the palate. Delicious. Best example of the style in the taste that I’ve experienced.
Example: McNeill’s Tartan Export
Clingy tan head laced well and displayed good retention. The nose was malt, wheat bread and hints of wood (oak?). The flavors were good too. Roasted malt up front with the charred character being clear like burned toast. A caramel sweetness adds to the palate but it’s not very complex otherwise. Slightly bitter on the finish giving it a certain crispness. Medium body, medium carbonation. Nothing stellar but a good standard brew.
Pours a semi-clear ruby red with a big cloudy two finger off-white head that slooowly recedes. Nice frothy layer of stickiness remains on the sides of the glass. Smell is woody and malty. A slight smoked grain tickles the nose with a fair amount of cinnamon bread. Sweet lemongrass aroma as well. Sweet caramel malt and candy apple up front on the tongue, not what I was expecting. Very light citrus flavoring with white grapes and pear as well. This beer almost tastes like an apple cider to me. Just the slightest hint of smoked malts to give this beer even more character. Very light and crisp body with a very fluffy feel. Carbonation is fairly strong, but as are most with this brewery. Another beer to enjoy on a warm summer day.
So there you have some information that you may have known. Really – There is more to beer and ale than Coors and Bud. Really!
It’s not always that someone reaches the age of 67, but I did today. Actually, it’s a celebration that has lasted since Sunday and may go through this Friday.
On Sunday, Sophia, Carlynne, Robin, Mac and Marnie and I all went to Brick 29 in Nampa for a Birthday Brunch.
(Robin was really laughing at something!) But then on 1 April, Robin and I fixed dinner in our NEW kitchen! Please note the Fresh bread and the 2004 Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley (CA). An awesome wine! Rich and full; deep, dark purple color.
The wine went very well and stood up to the Roasted Potatoes and Onion with Garlic, Sage and Thyme; the Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic; the Rib Eye Steaks. Such an awesome dinner. Did I mention that we made this here, at home, in our NEW kitchen?
I tried a new marinade with the Rib Eye before I grilled it.
Big Red Marinade
1 1/2 c Red Wine
1 1/2 Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 c Olive Oil
4 t Rosemary, dried
5 Garlic cloves, minced
3 t Thyme, dried
The night before grilling, combine all ingredients of the marinade and blend with an immersion blender. Place the Rib-Eye Steaks in a zip lock bag. Place in the refrigerator and turn at least twice. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before grilling. Grill on a hot grill.
What an awesome couple of days! Thank-You everyone for such a great time!
OK. Monday, 23 February, is the start of this major project! Below are some drawings of the project.
Elevation view of the major appliances: Stove, Microwave, Exhaust Hood (West Wall) and Refrigerator (South Wall)
The Sink (North Wall) and the placement of the Dishwasher. Note the cabinets and drawer space.
It is said that it will be completed in one week. I hope so, but one must always be ready for the unexpected in a house that was built 104 years ago – it’s one of the “perks” of owning an old house. We are trying very hard to keep the design and appearance in the ambiance of the early 1900’s. Joe Levitch, our contractor, is working very hard to keep this in mind and to keep us in line. He is succeeding! Wish us luck! I had promised some Fasnachts for Shrove Tuesday, but I really don’t think that will happen this year.