Blogalope

Musings, Recipes and more from Chef Tim Garling.

Recipe from Kitchen Kaleidoscope

Saturday, June 27, we were in Pronghorn Resort grilling shrimp at Ken and Maggie Chmeil’s home participating in the Kitchen Kaleidoscope to benefit the Assistance League of Bend. I had so many requests for the recipe for the shrimp marinade and sauce that I thought that I would include it here.

My ideas came from discovering a sauce from Mayan cuisine called a recado. The most intriguing ingredient is the annatto.  It lends a bright red color a hint of smoke and a slightly peppery flavor. I was looking for full-flavor, tangy, smokey and low calorie.  Here is the basic recipe I started with:

Yucatecan Citrus Achiote Recado

4 oz (1/2 c) achiote paste

5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
zest and juice of 2 oranges
zest and juice of 2 limes
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 crushed bay leaves
1/2 t dried Mexican oregano
1 t cumin seeds toasted and ground
2 t dark brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 T freshly ground black pepper
2 t salt
Puree the above ingredients 

But, I wanted something slightly different so I made these changes: First, I melted a half pound of butter into the marinade (one could also use olive oil). Next, I substituted citric acid (powdered lemon juice) for the apple cider vinegar and added some Tapatio hot sauce. Then I left out the Mexican oregano and the cinnamon and instead used Japanese Umeboshi vinegar which adds a unique salty,sour and fruity flavor, and sweetened Japanese rice vinegar. Finally, I added a chiffonade of fresh mint from the restaurant’s courtyard garden. Give this a try or make up your own combination. Begin with the recipe above as it gives great results and is a good place to begin your exploration of Recados.

May 6: Explore the Wines of Chile

dry-pedro-ximinez-chilean-white-wineAn evening of exotic, rare wines paired with great food await you on May 6. Exactly one year ago Wine Spectator magazine featured the wines of Chile on its cover. If you live in the Northwest image Walla Walla ten plus years ago. Chile today is Walla Walla in a time machine; an exciting place as new areas are being planted and existing ones are coming to maturity. This dinner is an exploration of those possibilities. Download the menu here.

The Wines

Chile produces a large volume of good to very good “value wine”. However, over the past few years, some great wine has begun to be produced. Unfortunately, very little of the later class of wines is produced and even less exported. But some of these fascinating varieties of wines are just now entering the US. These wines are painting an entirely new picture of possibility for Chilean wine. Pedro Ximenez was not Don Quixote’s sidekick. It is a grape variety that is most commonly vinified into Portugal’s highly regarded dessert solera sherry. But in Chile it is fermented into a tasty dry white. Think Pinot Grigio with many more interesting qualities. Dry P.X. is rare and it can be found nowhere else in Chile except the Elqui valley.

Another intriguing white is the Sauvignon Gris. Nope, that is not a misprint. It is a rare and obscure French white variety related to Sauvignon Blanc that was brought to Chile in the late 1890’s. Hundred year old vines still exist in the Casa Silva vineyard in Colchagua. It was largely forgotten until they started exploring the old patch planted right next to their winery. Sauvignon Gris tends to have acidity similar to Sauvignon Blanc, but a fuller body with a richer mouth feel and more aromatics. It has famously low yields and a unique pink hue to the grape skins. If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc then this is a super interesting and unique grape to try.

It is when we consider the red wines, the connection to Bordeaux, France becomes clear. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Carménère (pronounced car-men-air) is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux. Now rarely found in France, the world’s largest area planted with this variety is in Chile in South America, with more than 22,000 acres (2009) cultivated in the Central Valley. As such, Chile produces the vast majority of Carménère wines available today. With no laws governing blends, like in Bordeaux, or traditions, like in Tuscany, they just have the creativity and innovation of the winemaker to produce some very intriguing cuvees. We’ll be tasting both a single vineyard Carménère and a well-reviewed blend from J. Bouchon winery of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and, of course, Carménère. It interesting to note that this winery was founded by an émigré from Bordeaux and has been in operation since 1892.

The Menu

Early on, while designing this menu, I faced a choice. Was this to be a dinner of the wines and food of Chile or was I going to feature the wines only. As it turned out, while tasting the wines, I thought of foods that would pair very well. So without further ado, onto the menu they went. I found the wines to be captivating– interesting, versatile, accessible and unique. Instead of serving just one wine with each of

the first two courses, I thought why not have you see what I had learned. Thus, we will be serving two whites with each course and you can make up your mind as to which you prefer. I found the Sauvignon Gris to be a revelation.

The sweetness of the strawberries in the spinach salad will let both of the whites dance on the palate as we get ready for the slightly smoky, herb-cured beef petite tender.

Carménère historically was often mistaken for Merlot. Its flavors are similar to both Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Jancis Robinson describes Cabernet franc as as “the feminine side of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is subtly fragrant and gently flirtatious rather than massively muscular and tough in youth.” Merlot often produces a soft velvety wine. You will have the opportunity to make up your own mind as to the dimensions of Carménère’s flavors. There’s a smoky edge to Carmenère that you’ll find works well with the course of alder smoked petite tender.

Rather than ending the dinner abruptly with new flavors, I thought that it would be best to provide a small selection of cheeses. You can savor the wines remaining in your glass with a few morsels of cheese and grilled toasts. It’s a fine way to end the evening.

Veal at the Jackalope Grill

A big thanks to those to came to our veal dinner last night. At one point I was asked about our Le Québécois veal and why we only use that one product. The short answer is because it is the future of veal.  A more involved answer has do do with the quality of the product and the farming conditions where is raised.  The fact that it is humanely raised is very important to me (and to Le Québécois).

Le Québécois farmers follow a strict animal welfare code. Their calves are raised in multi-animal corrals with excellent air circulation, natural sunlight and temperature control. The Le Québécois program is inspired by the European Five Freedoms.

Freedom from Hunger or Thirst

Le Québécois calves eat well! Their diet consists of natural foods that promote growth, strength, and good health. The mixture of corn, other healthy grains, milk, and unlimited fresh water promotes natural digestion and ruminant behavior.

 Freedom from Discomfort

Le Québécois calves socialize with adequate space, move freely, and groom themselves in their multi-animal corrals. Le Québécois barns provide constant air circulation while maintaining a comfortable temperature. The barns utilize natural sunlight through large windows, a feature that promotes natural behavior and well being.

Freedom from Pain, Injury & Disease

Le Québécois farmers make stress-minimization their top priority by adhering to a strict production and welfare code. Le Québécois barns and feeding programs are meticulously designed to diminish stress and discomfort for the calves.

 Freedom to Express Normal Behavior

The Le Québécois feeding program allows calves to naturally develop their rumen and express their natural cud-chewing instinct. The multi-calf corrals allow for social interaction and freedom of movement.

Freedom from Fear & Distress

The Le Québécois program meets handling and welfare requirements of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Those requirements provide the protocol for humane conduct that promotes the safety, health, and well-being of the calves at every point of the growth cycle.

There you have it!

March Events at the Jackalope

Tuesday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day: For those without even a wee bit of Irish blood, St. Patrick’s Day, here at the Jackalope, is a time for good food as well as revelry. We’ll be serving our house-made corned brisket with sautéed blanched cabbage and boiled small potatoes (as well as our regular menu). Reserve this date for another once-a-year treat. 

2015 Veal Chop Dinner: We are starting this prix fixe evening with a dinner salad, then the pièce de résistance, our very generous grilled veal chop (Canadian veal this year) served on polenta with a classic hunter sauce and finally dessert. We encourage you to take advantage of this event’s Free Corkage offer. In the past, our customers have brought in exceptional wines. We expect you to keep up the good work!

($50 for three courses and free corkage.) Reservations can be made online using the OpenTable app on our Facebook page or on our webpage.

Chef Tim Back From Spain

Thursday, the twenty second of January, started in Madrid.  Eliotte, my nineteen year old daughter and I had arrived just before midnight on the Altaria train from Granada. Dog-tired and out of bed just three hours later, we caught the shuttle to the very modern Madrid airport for our fight to Amsterdam. Just after 6:30 am, we were in the air headed to Schiphol airport. Passports were stamped and off came the shoes and belts one more time. About and hour and a half later we were on the Delta jet headed for Seattle– 10 hours down the road.  I looked like road kill by the time the we hit the tarmac at 7 pm in Redmond.

Elle and I had just spent nearly three weeks in Andalucia, Spain.  The narrow streets, Moorish castles, and cathedrals went by in a blur.  Our tapas and monuments tour started in Madrid. Next was Cordoba (which, in the 10th century, was the most populous city in the world).  At Its center is the Mezquita, a World Heritage Site. Sevillewith its three World Heritage sites was next.  (The Alcazar is amazing!)

Then off to the small hill city of Ronda. Its history dates back to before the Romans though it was the Romans at the time of Julius Caesar who bestowed upon it the title of “city.”  Its not surprising that the remarkable “new” bridge was finished in 1793 (not what we would think of as “new” back in Central Oregon).  The bull ring near the city’s center profoundly influenced Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon. Before returning to Madrid, our last stop was the city of Granada. The region surrounding Granada has been populated since at least 5500 B.C. and I’ll have to admit that it was my favorite. Sure was a bracing walk up the hill to the Alhambra, another World Heritage Site.

Of course, the food was just as important as the monuments.  There was one concept that needed to be mastered first; I was not at all accustomed to waiting until 10pm for dinner!  After feeling as if I was starving for the first couple of days, we finally got the schedule dialed. Breakfast after 9 am, lunch around 2, then siesta, then the promenade and finally dinner. (Actually the “early bird” dinner could be had as early as 8.)  There is a bit of a controversy as to whether the best tapas come from Basque country of from Andalusia.  During our three weeks (with the exception of the restaurant in the Thyssen-Bornemisza gallery in Madrid) the food was excellent. One dish that stood out was sauteed boletus mushrooms (Porcini) finished with oloroso sherry and topped with a fried egg– simple and amazing!  Another, pictured above, is seared duck breast atop of a risotto studded with plump sultanas and pine nuts finished with coarse sea salt and a smear of raspberry coulis. The Jamón Ibérico de Bellota was a revelation. The finest ham I’ve ever eaten. It is one of the great foods of the world, it’s on a par with caviar and foie gras.

The most amazing thing of all, more than all of the food and monuments was time spent with my wonderful, forgiving and understanding traveling companion.  Thanks Elle!

Chehalem Winemaker's Dinner Wednesday, December 10

People who know Oregon Pinot Noir know Chehalem wines. Chehalem traces its history back to vineyard operations started by Harry Peterson-Nedry in 1980 at Ridgecrest Vineyards, the pioneering wine operation on Ribbon Ridge, northwest of Newberg, Oregon. Bill and Cathy Stoller joined Harry in the winery in 1993 and subsequently began Stoller Vineyards. Chehalem’s first release was the 1990 Ridgecrest Pinot Noir.

Joining us for this dinner is winemaker Wynne Peterson-Nedry. Wynne has been at Chehalem from the beginning, being a 6-month old in arms when they signed on the original property that would become Ridgecrest Vineyards. Wynne is always proud to share her intimate knowledge of the wines we are featuring and Oregon’s wine business in general.  This is an exceptional opportunity for Oregon’s Oenophiles.

The menu is available HERE.

Wednesday, 11/12: Elk Cove Wine Dinner

We are happy to announce the first of this fall and winter series of wine dinners. I was a fan of  Elk Cove Winery‘s wines for many years before they won the Wine and Spirits Magazines’s 2013 Winery of the Year award. In consultation with Rebekah Bellingham, we have been able to select wines that compliment my menu for this event. Boy, are these wines tasty! Of course, 2012 was an excellent year for Oregon wines. I found the 2012 Five Mountains Pinot Noir to be exceptionally good and was confounded by the lack of  a rating by a national publication. Not to worry, Wine Enthusiast Magazinehas just awarded it 92 points (though you will have to wait until their December issue to read about it). This six-course dinner complete with the wine pairings is only $95. If you have enjoyed past wine dinners here you will find this one to be on a par with the best.  Download Menu Here

There are a limited number of reservations available for this event.  Reservations can be made online using the OpenTable app on our Facebook page or on our webpage.