Just picked these baby Fairy Tale eggplants! NEW for us this season, although a well known variety for the past few years.
Our Dahlia Lounge Croquet Tournament & Lawn Party is sneaking right up- just 3 weeks away now. Gary Howse and his team at Gary Manuel Salon started this event 30 years ago, and I was thinking of him recently as we all begin to polish up our mallets and tune up our stopwatches.
My good friend Charlie Billow and I are chairing the capital campaign for the new Food Lifeline warehouse, the beneficiary of the Lawn Party. We have a 34 million dollar goal and are 51% funded. We absolutely need your help to get to the finish line through participation in this event, or maybe even in a more grand way later this year.
I was having dinner with my mother back in Newark, Delaware recently. Over the years and over frequent visits, Grandma Mary, as my daughter knows her, has always greeted me at the red door of her home with a splendid smile, a small smooch on the cheek, and a knowing, sideways smirk absolutely meant to suggest I need a haircut.
We were out to dinner with the whole family at a sweet little restaurant called William and Merry just outside of Newark. I’m just minding my own business, but being my usual charming self, when I happened to mention that – yes, for real, I did need a haircut. A great man, the founder of the Croquet Tournament, my friend and hairstylist Gary tragically passed away last year. We had been trading haircuts for dinners for the better part of 35 years. The word ‘hairstylist’ caught my mother’s ears, and she whipped her head towards me and said…”Did you say ‘hairstylist’?” Well, yes I did, Mom.
Read the rest of Tom’s letter here.
WHAT TO DRINK WHILE BEATING THE HEAT!
The Brave Horse Tavern team has some thoughts on the matter.
We asked some trusted beer drinking servers, bartenders and managers what their favorite summer brewskies were and we’ve got the list for you:
10 BARREL BREWING
“Refreshing, slightly sour with a nice fresh cucumber flavor. Cools you off on a hot day, low ABV so it is sessionable too!”- Jennifer Krantz, Server
“Nice and light, a low ABV, balanced malt and hop characters. Perfect for the hot weather Seattle is experiencing!”- Chris Field, Sous Chef
Double Dry-Hopped Imperial IPA
“Hop forward with a nice balance of bitterness and grapefruit aromas. This rich IPA is big, bold and isn’t sessionable. Enjoy this beer from one of the oldest independent craft breweries on the west coast.” – Dave Hurley, Bartender
SEATTLE DRY CIDER CO. & ACE CIDER
½ Dry Cider & ½ Ace Pineapple Cider
“ Firstly, it’s gluten-free! When you mix the dry with the pineapple, the sweetness of the pineapple balances out the dryness of the Dry Cider. The Ace Pineapple Cider also makes a great champagne cocktail.” – Anja Weddig, Bartender
Urtica Wild Nettle Ale
“Only available at Farmer’s Markets and a few bottle shops, they use brettanomyces and finish their beers with fresh herbs which gives the beer a sour flavor, clean finish and a unique complexity from the herbs.”- Jessica Polin, Server
BLACK MARKET BREWING
“Bright, sour, vibrant, pronounced cherry aroma that finishes dry as a bone. This is my favorite summer beer right now!” – Joe Labatt, Chef
Like I said in Part One, this city loves its suds! Here are a few more of my favorite styles of beer:
Kölsch – This beer originates from Cologne, Germany. Kölschs are very light and refreshing. They tend to be bready, lemony, and accented with a slightly bitter floral hop bite. Kölsch is similar to Champagne in the way that it is only a Kölsch if it is from Cologne just like a real Champagne can only come from Champagne. However there are a lot of American breweries who make Kölsch-style beers but will still call them Kölsch. This is an awesome beer after a long hike.
Here are some of my favorite local versions:
Chuckanut Kölsch – This beer has won several awards. In my opinion, these guys make some of the best European style beers in the States. (Bellingham, WA)
Drubru Kölsch – Newer brewery up in Snoqualmie that is making some delicious beer. (Snoqualmie Pass, WA)
Smoke beers – Smoke beers, also known as Rauchbiers in Bavaria, are beers brewed with malts that have been dried out over the top of a fire. They really pick up the distinct smoky qualities of the burning wood. Smoked beers can be an acquired taste as they are very intense. These beers compliment barbecued meats and veggies like no other.
Here are some of my favorite smoke beers:
Upright Brewing’s Smoked Marzen – A smoked version of the Bavarian celebratory spring beer (Portland, OR)
Aect Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock – This beer is very, very intense. Malty backbone with a crazy strong smoky finish. (Bamberg, Germany)
Radlers/Shandy – Beer with fruit juice or soda! Lighter beers such as Pilsners and Heffeweizens combined with everything from grapefruit juice to lemon soda. You can buy Radlers or make your own. I enjoy a good Pilsner combined with Rachel’s Ginger Beer for my homemade Radler. At Serious Pie Westlake, we are currently running a Shandy featuring Reverend Nat’s Tepache (pineapple cider) with Holy Mountain’s Belgian Wit. It’s funky and barnyardy on the nose but super clean, spicy, and delicious on the palate.
Here are some of my favorite Raddlers:
Schofferhofer Grapefruit Weizen – Perfect with brunch! (Frankfurt, Germany) (in photo)
Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler – All sorts of refreshing zing going on here. (Kansas City, MO)
So whether you are out camping, kayaking, swimming, working on your garden, grilling or just soaking up some much needed vitamin D on a patio, I hope that you drink some delicious suds this summer! Life (and summer) is too short to drink bad beer!
Beer! This city loves its suds. And with all of the great breweries around Seattle, it is hard to walk into any bar or restaurant and not see a variety of different styles. Summer is in full swing and after a long hot day in the Pacific Northwest sunshine, there is nothing that I want more than a nice cold beer. I want something light, fruity, and floral. Or something bright and tart. Or something clean and refreshing. Or something smoky to go with my barbecue. Here are some of my favorite styles of beer to drink right now!
Berliner Weisse – This style originated in, you guessed it, Berlin. It was dubbed the champagne of the north by Napoleon. This beer is light, tart, funky, and lemony. They are lower alcohol, usually between 3-4%. I find that the traditional Berliner Weisse from Germany tend to be more funky, and less tart. Americanized versions tend to be over the top lemony and sour. Whichever one you prefer, this is the perfect beer to drink while dipping your toes in the sound and basking in the northwest sunshine.
Here are two of my favorites:
German Style – Professor Fritz 1809 Berliner Weisse- this beer is mild, funky, and just a tad tart (Freising, Germany)
American Style – Destihl Counter Clockweisse this beer will smack you in the face with sour! Reminds me of sour lemon warhead candies (Bloomington, IL) (in the photo)
ISA’s – India Session Ale! The IPA’s little brother. All of the hops without the kick. Session beers have been gaining in popularity over the last couple of years. We are moving away from drinking high octane 9% beers and moving back towards drinking lower alcohol brews. They call them session beers because we can drink a lot of them over a long session of time. This is an “inner tubing beer” if I have ever had one. I love a good Rainier on the river, but these ISA’s are where it’s at.
Here are some of my favorites:
Stoup ISA – My favorite ISA of all time (Ballard, WA)
Even Keel – Great can option from Ballast Point (San Diego, CA)
Day Hike – Another good session IPA from Two Beers (Sodo Seattle, WA)
Single Mosaic hopped anything – Mosaic hops are one of my favorite hops in existence. They tend to bring a ton of passion fruit, stone fruit, tropical fruits, floral notes and earthiness. They are incredibly refreshing and are an amazing featured hop. This is a perfect patio beer! Feel free to add a mini umbrella as you see fit.
Here are a couple of my favorite Mosaic hopped beers:
Holy Mountain’s Mosaic Pale – Holy smokes! This beer is incredible. (Interbay, WA)
Georgetown Eddie’s IPL – An India pale lager packed full of Mosaic hops. This is one of my favorites of all time. There are also Columbus, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops but the Mosaic hop is what inspired this beer! (Georgetown, WA)
Editor’s note: Look for Part Two of Mike’s beer post to learn about Kölsch, Smoke Beers, Radlers, and Shandy!
I have a hard time not relating important dates to important foods. For some people it’s music and for others the blossoms of Easter or poinsettias of the holiday season. The beginning of May is boating season for many in Seattle, but for me it’s the beginning of wild salmon season and Washington asparagus.
Our friends Kay and Clay, of Chinook Winery, would always have an open house Father’s Day weekend to celebrate the arrival of ripe cherries and the release of their latest vintage of Merlot. After climbing the dozen or so trees in their orchard, picking handfuls of dark red cherries, we would separate the mushed ones and use them for marinating lamb chops. The rest were eaten whole or canned in Merlot and brandy syrup or cut for my basil, black pepper, and bing cherry relish to finish off the lamb plate.
Read the whole newsletter here.
Our clothing swap was an incredible success this year due to the hard work of so many dedicated volunteers. A big shout out for the extra efforts of Carol Baush, Erica Minshull, Robyn Teppler, Serenity Contreras, Andrea Rapp, Liese Freund, Jessica Moore, Joni Weiss, Sarah Schaaf, Erin Fitzpatrick, Team Catering, Team Home Remedy… the list goes on!
We had such an overwhelming donation of clothing that we ended up calling both the Noel House and the YWCA to have them send their friends to shop alongside us so that we could move it as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of clothing we would have to transport following the swap. It turned out to be a great idea, and it was enjoyable to shop with and for lots of new people we met who needed assistance.
All of the nicest remaining clothes were bundled up by Erica, Andrea, and Carol this morning for donation to the Jubilee Women’s Center, a great nonprofit helping women achieve success! The staff at Jubilee were blown away by the big donation. The donation will make a huge impact on the ladies who rely on clothing donations to help them prepare for new opportunities.
Thank you all who participated, supported, marketed, and donated!!
Summer time is the time to fire up the backyard grill and turn the patio or deck into your any-day-of-the-week family dining room. How do you make the most of the BBQ and grill experience? Just as important, how do you choose what to drink with your grilled masterpieces? I came up with three unique recipes perfect for any summer BBQ, and tried them on the grill out at our Prosser Farm, where my wife, Jackie, is Farmer-in-Chief.
First, here are my tips for getting the most out of your grilling experience:
• Game Plan: I focus on what I need to prep and have with me at the grill, so when I’m finished I can plate and serve.
• Strategize: We all get excited to grill and often get distracted by everything that’s going on. Run through the game plan in your head and figure out what you need to do, then head to the grill.
• Temperature and Digital Thermometer: Temperature is the most important thing when it comes to grilling. Safety is always key, but ensuring your food isn’t overcooked will help you become your neighborhood grill master.
• Know your grill: whether charcoal or gas, there are temperature variations. So figure out hot and cold areas of your grill before the big party.
• Layer flavors: It’s what makes my cooking unique. Grilling is all about being a better cook than your neighbor and I guarantee that layering your flavors will help you get there:
Flavor should be built upon from the ingredient to the plate.
Season your base meats and vegetables well.
Let the charcoal or smoke build upon that.
Create additional sauces to caramelize flavors and add something new and surprising.
• Be creative:
Use what is in season and around you, like fresh vegetables, herbs and spices.
Try out a new sauce.
Create your own rub, which is easy to do. Just play around with it and have fun.
How I paired wines to my grill recipes: Pair wines that stand up to the grill but highlight fresh flavors.
• For the Grilled Wild King Salmon, I paired Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling for its crisp acidity and bright fruit flavors.
• For the Ancho BBQ Sauce Chicken Sandwich, I paired this with the complex, layered flavors of Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot including ripe fruits, hints of earthiness, supple tannins, and smoky notes.
• For the Spice-Rubbed Flat Iron Steak, I chose the bold tannins of Columbia Crest Grand Estates Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Three recipe ideas for your summer barbecues:
Grilled Wild-Caught King Salmon with a Fresh Radish and Pea Salad
Because it’s important to think about sustaining our fisheries, I recommend purchasing wild-caught salmon. I use the center cuts for tenderness and smoke the tails for later use. Salmon is naturally rich in flavor, so all I do to the fish is add salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil. Cook the salmon over indirect heat, or on a slightly cooler part of the grill, and after it’s cooked, finish with a squeeze of lemon. For the fresh pea shoot and radish salad from the garden, dress with just a bit of the Eroica Riesling or with a squeeze of lemon and a little olive oil. Serve with asparagus grilled directly over the hot coals and finish with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Ancho BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Cheese, Tomato, and Guacamole
This dish is all about layering flavors from the Rub with Love Smoky BBQ rub (or make your own rub with hints of cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika) to the full flavor of my Rub with Love Ancho & Molasses Barbecue Sauce which caramelizes onto the boneless, skinless chicken thighs while they absorb all those wonderful charcoal grill flavors. Chicken thighs are among your best bests for grilling as they stay moist and it’s almost impossible to overcook them. Rub the thighs with spice rub, then put them on the grill and give them a hard sear. At the last minute, while they’re still on the grill, glaze them with the barbecue sauce. Place a slice of jack cheese or pepper jack or cheddar on top of the chicken and put the lid on the grill so the cheese will melt. Don’t forget to toast the cut sides of the bun on the grill. Put the grilled chicken on the bun and top with a slice of tomatoes and some fresh guacamole. I like my guacamole with plenty of lime.
Spice rubbed Flat Iron Steak with Crispy Shallots
Flat iron steaks are a great value and they’re the second most tender cut on the steer. I rub them with our Rub with Love Steak Rub. Our rub has nice smoky, ancho chili, garlic, and rosemary overtones, or you could make your own rub. Give the steak a hard sear on both sides, no more than 6 to 8 minutes (typically, your flat iron will be about an inch thick), then remove from the grill and let it rest 15 minutes. Slice and serve rare. I love serving this steak with crispy shallots, though you could give thinly sliced yellow onion the same treatment. Simply dredge the shallots or onions in cornstarch, then deep fry to a golden brown, scoop them out of the oil and drain on paper towels, then serve with the steaks. A beautiful alternative to the crispy shallots is to thickly slice an onion, char grill the slices and use to garnish your steak.
We are off to a good run for this spring. We have already brought over double the amount of produce compared to last year.
Our early spring run consisted of spinach, arugula, lettuce, Pink Lettucey mustard, Toraziaroh mustard, Ruby Streak, and radish. Each of these crops has yielded really well. The lettuce put up a good fight with the sage rats and survived. An interesting observation over 2 years of planting lettuce is that the sage rats and even the birds don’t pick at the red lettuce varieties, they only go after the green ones. We are using our heads and not going to plant any green lettuce in the fields from now on. We will use our raised beds to plant green lettuce and use the fields for red lettuce. Let’s see who is smarter now….probably not me.
What’s coming up for late spring and early summer:
White Siberian Kale
Green onions: Pearl and Parade
What’s happening in the fields:
Seeded another round of mustard and summer greens a few weeks back
All the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are being transplanted and our chefs are coming over to give us a hand!
Potatoes are emerging out of the ground
Walla Walla onion transplants look great but in desperate need of some weeding this week
Cipollini onions are slowly emerging from the ground, and it is going to be a race to stay ahead of the weeds
Started seeding beans, melons, cucumbers
Photo note: Prosser tomato plants
Last night’s class at our cooking school, Hot Stove Society, gave us a ton of ideas about what to do with the abundance of delicious local asparagus now in the markets. Check out the Hot Stove blog here and take a look at the class schedule while you’re over on the Hot Stove website.
Welcome to Family Meal, a blog that examines all things new and noteworthy in the world of food, wine, and dining.
At family meal, otherwise known as staff meal, there’s no hierarchy; you’re breaking bread with your friends. For those 30 minutes, everyone is equal- and hungry. Family meal is our version of the water cooler- but with better food.
I’ll be sharing my thoughts, tips, and observations, and, in the spirit of family meal, I’ve invited our creative, energetic staff- everyone from line cook to bartender to bookkeeper- to have a say. I hope you’ll add your own comments and join in the conversation.