Foraging in Northern California

Wild Ramp Butter

I made a lot of ramp butter with some more ramps I got.  Thinking something with oven braised rainbow trout….

Sous Vide Chicken with Oregon White Truffles

Here is the first dish I made today using my truffles for Sunday Brunch.

          

Hawaiian Tombo Tuna

Found a use for these great Oregon pickled ramps.  I’m pairing them with a salad of crispy Spring new potatoes, grilled asparagus, pepper bacon and a cider-mustard vinaigrette.  It’s finished with avocado puree, hard boiled egg and micro turnips/pea tendrils from our kitchen garden.  Can’t wait for the local albacore tuna season to open up!

Oregon White Spring Truffles

Funny, I didn’t even know these existed until I saw them.  And the aroma…  WOW!  Seriously.  These are unreal.  It’s frustrating though because I am having a hard time devising my next special for them for some reason.  I just want to smell them.  🙂  Hopefully I can come up with something soon.  The weather has been warm and sunny.  Not really what you would think of for truffles I’m only used to using during cold winter months.  We’ll see…

Oregon Ramps Are (finally) Here!

Okay, okay, okay!  I’ve been asking Louis over at Mushrooms All Year where the ramps are for the last 2 months.  “No, chef” he would say….  “Only from Michigan right now.”  Michigan??  What???  Well, I would have to wait.  Well, that wait is OVER!   We have been  waiting for a while (Honestly for about 10 months now since last season…) So, now I have pickled them and am thinking of how to use them.  I wanted to use them fresh, but they seem to be in really short supply just like morels this year.  How depressing.  So, They are now pickled and I will probably make ramp butter with the tops.  It’s the best way I can think of to stretch them in case I don’t get another crack at ’em this season.  

New Cooking Demo Video

Here’s the latest video from KTVL Channel 10 West Coast Flavors.  Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

New Spring Pea and Seared Scallop Appetizer

Here is our newest appetizer.   It’s really a soup, but seems to sell better when sold as an appetizer.   We’re using organic peas from Washington, Morels from here, Pea Tendrils from our kitchen grow lights and vanilla oil.  It’s finished with scallop zest using dehydrated scallops and my microplane.

Hearts and Vines Charity Auction

Here are some shots of the Charity auction dinner we did for Hearts and Vines…

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Some More Firsts of the Season. Spring is Here.

Here are some fern shoots we got in today, straight from our forager Louis at Mushrooms all Year.  Also brought the morels, yellow foot, black trumpets and hedge hogs.

Made some morel crusted scallops…

I Got Them… You Don’t.

First of the season and it’s not even Spring yet…  Happy days.  🙂

Onion Soup

Here we take a super rich and creamy sweet onion soup and garnish with pickled chanterelles and duck confit.  We then take caramelized onion soup, shape it into croutons using agar agar and complete the dish with micro winter kale from the garden…

Pickled Chanterelles

These button chanterelles make a great garnish.

Striploin with Chanterelles and Sous Vide Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese

We trim and cut striploin into paves and sear them.  We plate with Fall sweet peas, baby carrots from our garden, chanterelles from the coast and a “fondue” also made from Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue. 

We take about 8 ounces of the cheese and vacuum seal it.  We then roll it out with a rolling pin and the effect is like marble.  I trim thin strips and use it as a base to the presentation.

Chanterelle Bisque

Here’s a nice soup we just started.  We are using chanterelles from the Oregon Coast to make a silky bisque and pairing it with duck confit, pickled chanterelles, shaved French Breakfast Radish from our gardens, pickled red onions and micro arugula from our kitchen grow lights.  The rich, earthy bisque pairs so well with the salty confit, sweet/sour pickled chanterelles and onions and the spicy radish and arugula.  We will be finishing it off with fresh ground hazelnut smoked pepper.

Cultivated Mushrooms

Forget the portabellos, shiitakis and oysters.  There are a newer variety of cultivated mushrooms out there now.  The still carry the wild mushroom price tag though at a hefty $11/lb.

Big Morel.

This is a “tourist” morel.  Big, but not much flavor and little culinary value….  Still impressive though.

First of the Local Season.

Thanks to Louis at Mushrooms All Year for getting these for us!

Now all I need are some ramps!

Re-Inventing or Getting Back to Basics?

It’s funny, you know.  I started thinking about this dish a couple weeks ago and could not decide if I was re-inventing it or brining it back to basics.  It’s a simple beef strogonoff but with a little different element.

The noodles are home-made as seen in the earlier post.  Instead of domestic mushrooms, I’ve used local wild mushrooms and instead of bits of beef quickly sautéed, I used beef short ribs that were sous vide for 36 hours.  So, I’ve decided it’s a hybrid dish.  Not quite back to basics, but not quite re-invented.  It was, however, quite delicious.  Fantastic American style bistro fare.

Homemade Egg Noodles

We have a dish on the menu that is a basic beef strogonoff…  It’s sort of iconic here in the sence that it’s been on the menu forever and typifies the fare served in our Bistro.  Well, I want to really enhance that dish and offer it in our dining room.  Here’s an image of the homemade egg noodles that will go into the dish.  I will work on the dish in it’s entierty over the next couple days.

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