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Sturgeon from caviar to smoked to kebabs

Sturgeon from caviar to smoked to kebabs

[caption id="attachment_6694" align="aligncenter" width="916"]As the great sturgeon repast was being readied, we relaxed with some wine and this charcuterie board of sturgeon pâté, smoked shortnose sturgeon (rear), smoked Atlantic sturgeon, and puffed sturgeon cartilage—much like pork rinds.[/caption] A big part of the “safari” experience is the languorous luncheon that follows the harvest expedition. Cornel Ceapa and his wife, Dorina, had everything ready to cook when we returned from the river (see previous post). [caption id="attachment_6709" align="alignright" width="416"] About a zillion three-day-old sturgeon hatchlings swim in a tank at Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar.[/caption]But first we toured the hatchery, where zillions of newly hatched sturgeon swam in huge white tanks and hundreds of juvenile and adult shortnose sturgeon coursed in others. Ceapa hatches both Atlantic sturgeon and...Read More
More ice cream, just in time

More ice cream, just in time

Chow and Alan Mezger could almost be the Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of ice cream in the U.K. The two brothers have transformed their dad's hand-churned ice cream business into a kingdom-wide taste phenomenon called Jude's Ice Cream (www.judes.co.uk). But being Brits, their taste references are very different from Ben & Jerry. On this side of the pond, their ice creams seem rather exotic. We doubt that Pillsbury is about to issue Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk or Vegan Malted Banana anytime soon. But you can make your own. A cookbook/wishbook of their recipes has just been published by Kyle Books, and it's available in the U.S. Called Jude's Ice Cream & Desserts: Scoops, Bakes, and Sauces, it retails for $19.99. It's also on Amazon,...Read More
Los Vascos: Carménère and all that jazz

Los Vascos: Carménère and all that jazz

We've written before about some of the wines from Viña Los Vascos (www.lafite.com/en/the-domaines/vina-los-vascos/), the Domaines Barons de Rothschild property in Chile's Colchagua Valley. We tasted the whole portfolio recently at a luncheon at Les Zygomates (winebar129.com/) bistro and wine bar in Boston. It confirmed our previous impression that the wines offer tremendous value. Moreover, the values aren't just on the bargain end. The 1,581-acre estate also produces an ultra-premium wine, Le Dix, with a depth and complexity that belies its $65 list price. Claudio Naranjo (above), the amiable general manager of Los Vascos, took us through the wines.  Most of the Chilean wines that reach New England hail from the historic Maipo Valley, but the 22 wineries of Colchagua, about two hours south of Santiago,...Read More
Finding a sprightly pairing for Boizel Brut Réserve

Finding a sprightly pairing for Boizel Brut Réserve

Champagne is the acknowledged queen of sparkling wines, but every regal house has its signature. Boizel champagnes from Épernay show an elegance and finesse that stems from using hand-harvested grapes from the top crus and blending the still wines of each year with wines reserved from the previous two harvests. This produces a year-to-year consistency that makes the non-vintage bottles best representative of the house style. Three years of bottle aging on the lees adds additional complexity. So when we acquired a Brut Réserve that had been disgorged at the end of 2016, we weren't quite sure what to pair with it. This particular champagne gains its floral bouquet from 30 percent Chardonnay, its lean structure from 55 percent Pinot Noir, and a delicious fruitiness...Read More
Cava continues the sparkling saga

Cava continues the sparkling saga

We've been buried in updating Frommer's Spain, which explains our online absence since the New Year. So in the continuing series on sparkling wines, most of which are not named Champagne, it seems only appropriate to write a bit about the truly excellent Lady of Spain Brut from the Paul Cheneau line. The parent company is Giró Ribot, one of the preeminent old families in the Penedès region, a largely white wine region between Barcelona and Tarragona. It's bounded on the north by the jagged massif of Montserrat, on the south by the coastal hills of the Mediterranean. Giró Ribot is located in Sant Fe del Penedès. It's an agricultural village about five miles southwest of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, the center of Penedès sparkling wine....Read More
Ferrari Brut and noodles usher in 2019

Ferrari Brut and noodles usher in 2019

The very name “Ferrari” conjures up such adjectives as “sleek” or “sexy.” We're not talking about sports cars here. In Trentino, Ferrari is the name of a top producer of sparkling wines. The simple brut is the foundation wine of the Ferrari house, generally retailing under $25, but it tastes far richer and more elegant than its price tag. “Sleek” and “sexy” definitely apply. The tradition of sparkling wine on New Year's Eve is a laudable one. We like to combine it with the Chinese tradition of “long-life” noodles for the New Year. (That gives us the excuse to repeat the meal for the Chinese Lunar New Year, coming up February 5.) This year, we made a rather rich mushroom tagliatelle with heavy cream, sage,...Read More
The Nectary serves delicious juice to chew

The Nectary serves delicious juice to chew

Other than drinking a strawberry mango smoothie for breakfast every morning, I haven't really embraced the “juicing” trend. Sure, I know that juicing is an easy way to consume a greater variety of fruits and vegetables that will give your body a good dose of nutrients. And those nutrients may raise energy levels and promote clear, healthy skin. I also figured that California would be the perfect place to see what juicing was all about. I was right. The Nectary—and its founder Gia Baiocchi—provided the perfect introduction. Baiocchi opened the first Nectary in Sebastopol in 2014 and opened her second location in Healdsburg (312 Center Street, 707-473-0677, thenectary.net) in July 2017. The shop offers a multitude of products, including smoothies, chai, some prepared foods, and...Read More

Perfecting pizza, one ball of dough at a time

Rosario Del Nero bites into a slice of pizza and savors it for a moment. “It's not Neapolitan, it's not Roman,” he says. “It's rustic, provincial Italian pizza. It's not as wet as Neapolitan, which is what most people have, or as thick as Roman.” He is not even considering the toppings. Del Nero focuses on the dough that cooks up into the crust. It must be just so. “Flour, water, yeast—it's simple,” he says. “But the secret ingredient is time. You cannot rush the yeast.” He pulls out a piece of paper and a pencil and draws a graph. “X is quality,” he explains. “Y is time.” He draws a curve that peaks at about 40 hours. “Anywhere between 36 and 48 hours of...Read More

Kitchen garden at Chatham Bars Inn is really a farm

Chatham Bars Inn stays Cape Cod's gastronomic top dog because it grows its own food in Brewster on the north side of the Cape. The entire operation covers eight acres. Crops grow on four acres, with about a third of the crops in massive hothouses. “It's tricky to grow on Cape Cod,” says farm manager Josh Schiff. “The weather is unpredictable and the soil is poor.” As a result, the farm grows some of its most temperature-sensitive crops inside greenhouses, including a forest of tomatoes that fruit from May into December. “We start everything from seed,” Schiff explains.“We grow tomatoes and lettuce in compost with hydroponic irrigation.” More sprawling crops, such as cucumber, summer and winter squashes, and pumpkins spread across plowed fields. The farm...Read More

Home cooking rules at Highway Inn

Monica Toguchi has to smile when diners at Highway Inn take one bite of their beef stew, lomi salmon or kalua pork and cabbage and ask—only half in jest— “is my mom standing in the kitchen?” Toguchi's grandparents Seiichi and Nancy opened the first Highway Inn in 1947 and “we've tried to preserve their recipes,” she says. “My focus is on serving local people—from workers in the neighborhood to governors, congressmen, and presidents of banks. You leave your pretenses at the door.” No one, it seems can resist chef Mike Kealoha's secret-recipe smoked meat or the lau lau of pork shoulder and salted butterfish placed on a bed of luau leaves and then wrapped tightly in ti leaves and steamed for two hours. “Hawaiian food...Read More