Farm to Table Feast


And it was a good feast! Held at Peaceful Belly Farm and the new event room and building – Grand Opening November 16–18, noon until 6 pm.
The Farm to Table Dinner Series, “Josie of Peaceful Belly, Scott from Snake River Winery, Clay from Stack Rock Cidery, Nate Whitley chef at the Modern Hotel and Chef Abby Carlson have teamed up to create an amazing 5-course meal held on our magical Sunny Slope farm. The plates are creative, unique, and 100% local and seasonal. These dinners will transport you to another time and place where fresh food is cooked with amazing brilliance and presented to the table in a picturesque farm setting.” Here are some photos from the evening. Enjoy and Left-Click to see any of these photos enlarged. All in all – A good dinner.

Sunset at the farm.
The menu for the dinner.
New event room and tasting room.
Appetizer –

Fingerling Potato, Lentils and Onion

Smoked Trout
Warm Fingerling Potatoes
Buttermilk
Shallots
Arugula
2012 Arena Valley Riesling

Beef Tongue Carpaccio
Black Garlic Aioli
Roasted Chilis
Sunny Slope Cide
r

Roasted Winter Squash
Leeks
Kale
Brown Butter Tamari Vinaigrette
2014 Blauer Zweigelt

Reflections at the Intermezzo

Intermezzo
Pumpkin Pie Sorbet

Roasted Pork Loin
Onion Puree
Lentils
Tomato
Swiss Chard
2009 Reserve Bordeaux Blend

Tri of Ice Cream Sandwiches
2014 Orange Muscat

Great Dinner at Richard’s in Boise


Yes it indeed was and this is why Richard’s, located at the INN at 500 Capitol, 500 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, Idaho (208) 472-1463, is a 5-Star restaurant in Boise. One of the top restaurants. (Richard’s Boise) And when you make your reservations, ask to be seated where David will be your Server. Superb!
Here is what we had for dinner on the special. Robin had one and I had the other. And then we sampled. It was fun and exciting! It is good to note that Chef Richard Langston, Chef-Owner of Richard’s, tries very hard to source his food products from Idaho or from within 200 miles of Boise.
“…Chef Langston and his team share a culinary philosophy that celebrates the integrity of seasonal ingredients, locally sourced when possible. Dining at Richard’s is further enhanced by impeccably mixed drinks, a noteworthy wine list of old favorites and new finds, and sophisticated service in a stylish setting.”
Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

The Menu
Robin and our Server, David.

Crostini with Butternut Squash Puree
fried sage and pecans


 

Tomato Basil Soup


 

Roasted Beet Salad
citrus, arugula, herbs, dressed with labneh horseradish sauce

 

Risotto with Smoked Chicken, Apples and Hazelnuts


 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
hazelnut brown butter, Grana Padano and currents


 

Idaho Trout
pan-roasted, brown butter caper lemon sauce, seasonal vegetable


 

Grilled Sirloin Coulette Steak
sliced on a grape and spinach salad, fingerling potatoes, sweet onion soubise

Wines with dessert: Sticky and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand and a rare Madeira.

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta
cranberry compote, local honey drizzle


 

Apple Crostata
cinnamon crème anglaise


 

 

What is this thing called ….. Borscht?


I’m not sure that Cole Porter or Ella Fitzgerald would approve of the title, but I think it is appropriate. Keep reading.

“Borscht (English: /ˈbɔːrʃ, ˈbɔːrʃt/ ) is a sour soup commonly consumed in Eastern Europe. The variety most often associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin, and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish its distinctive red color. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht … Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular. It is typically made by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – as well as beetroots – usually include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat or fish, or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold; and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink.” [Wikipedia] And “those other sour soups” that are cousins to borscht may come from day Lithuania and Belarus, the Ashkenaz Jews, Romanian and Moldovan cuisines, Poland, Armenia and even Chinese cuisine, a soup known as luó sòng tāng, or “Russian soup”, is based on red cabbage and tomatoes, and lacks beetroots altogether; also known as “Chinese borscht”. Wow! There are many varieties of borscht.

But there is only one original or authentic borscht. Borscht derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium, also known as cow parsnip), which lent the dish its Slavic name. Growing commonly in damp meadows throughout the north temperate zone, hogweed was used not only as fodder (as its English names suggest), but also for human consumption – from Eastern Europe to Siberia, to northwestern North America.
And what is generally served with borscht? “Pirozhki, or baked dumplings with fillings as for uszka, are another common side for both thick and clear variants of borscht. Polish clear borscht may be also served with a croquette or paszteciki. A typical Polish croquette (krokiet) is made by wrapping a crêpe (thin pancake) around a filling and coating it in breadcrumbs before refrying; paszteciki (literally, ‘little pâtés’) are variously shaped filled hand-held pastries of yeast-raised or flaky dough. An even more exquisite way to serve borscht is with a coulibiac, or a large loaf-shaped pie. Possible fillings for croquettes, paszteciki and coulibiacs include mushrooms, sauerkraut and minced meat.” [The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food, Anastas Mikoyan]

So. What is borscht usually made of? What are the components? Ingredients? Borscht is seldom eaten by itself. Buckwheat groats or boiled potatoes, often topped with pork cracklings, are other simple possibilities, but a range of more involved sides exists as well.
In Ukraine, borscht is often accompanied with pampushky, or savory, puffy yeast-raised rolls glazed with oil and crushed garlic. In Russian cuisine, borscht may be served with any of assorted side dishes based on tvorog, or the East European variant of farmer cheese, such as vatrushki, syrniki or krupeniki. Vatrushki are baked round cheese-filled tarts; syrniki are small pancakes wherein the cheese is mixed into the batter; and a krupenikis a casserole of buckwheat groats baked with cheese.

But please note, your borscht may be different from your neighbors. There are cultural differences in the borscht. Ingredients may include,beet juice, beet root, veal, ham, crayfish, beef, pork, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, cucumbers, radishes, green onion, hard-boiled egg halves, dill weed, leafy vegetables, sorrel, spinach, chard, nettle, dandelion, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, squash, to name a few.

Our Borscht
So whatever inspired me to write this post? Well, we made a borscht and I posted a photo of it (the one pictured here actually) and I got comments. One of them in particular, from a Ukrainian lady, and she said,”That’s not real Russian Borsch (smiley face). It’s beet soup (smiley face). My mom makes the best, she is a Gourmet Chef for over 50yrs, and specializes in Jewish Cuisine.” [Mara Rizzio] I spoke to Mara – she makes awesome pirogies – and it was a good discussion. Thank-You Mara for “setting” me straight. Thus, this blog post. Cheers. And here is a recipe for Borscht that I found in the internet, from NPR, that includes various ingredients. Have fun! Borscht Recipe.

Cloud 9 Nano Brewery, Boise


Oh yes! Another delightful visit to the Cloud 9 Nano Brewery and Pub at 1750 W State St, Boise, ID 83702, Hours: Open 11am, Closes 9pm. Phone: (208) 336-0681. From their website Cloud 9 Nano Brewery and Pub, “Founded in 2012, Cloud 9 Brewery is a nanopub concept featuring locally sourced and organic components in both the brewery and restaurant.
With an emphasis on creative brewing, Cloud 9 is situated in a unique place in the market. Instead of having the exact same line-up from month to month, the beers on-tap at Cloud 9 change as soon as the last drop from the previous batch has been poured. With so many taps, and only 6 year-round beers, the variety is truly amazing.
Cloud 9 also features a unique feedback process by which we judge what beer-drinkers actually think. We collate and analyze the input and use that to shape the direction of the next batch. In this way the community is involved in the brewing process from concept to the final foamy pint.
A commitment to quality, service and genuine interest in our community make Cloud 9 Brewery the place for beer aficionados, foodies, and everyone who enjoys fresh and unique culinary creations.” Their menu is local and diverse.” We use Natural Idaho meats from local ranches, free of antibiotics, hormones and stimulants. Our produce is locally sourced from small farms in Idaho, when possible, and we strive to use only spray free and/or organic ingredients.
For our current menu, Cloud 9 Current Menu. Updated August 8th, 2018.
The service is very good and very helpful. I asked for fries without salt, and our Waitress made sure they came that way. She was friendly and helpful and exacting. Cloud 9 is definitely a 5-Star pub/bistro. Here is what we had. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Today’s beer menu. I had a Fallen IPA and Robin had a Honey Basil Ale. Both were superb!
(L) Fallen IPA, (R) Honey Basil Ale (A Cloud 9 favorite!)

CLASSIC BURGER
(Grass fed organic ground beef, lettuce, tomato and pickles,
choice of Ballard cheeses: Swiss, Pepper Jack, Cheddar or
Blue. Served on a BigWood bun with choice of side.
)

Menu Special
Cloud 9 Cheese Steak
(These are the French Fries I asked for No Salt.)

Cloud 9 Cheese Steak cut.

Spanish Wine at “The Buzz”


A very interesting night of some fantastic foods and wines from Spain. Once again, Cristi, Tommy and Peggy came up with great service, adequate amounts of wine, super service and great smiles! For me, I liked the Cristi’s Choice, a 2015 Chateau De La Roche Sauvignon Blanc stole the show! It pulled [19] from me! The next closest was a NV Vivanco Rioja, [17].
The food. Two items stood out – Salmorjo Cordobes. According to Cristi and her sources, “It’s like gazpacho, only thicker. It is more a dip than a soup and in Cordoba is generally eaten by dipping bread or dry bread sticks in it.”
The other real treat was the dessert – Torrijas with Vanilla Ice Cream. “In the convents torrijas were often made with leftover bread – the perfect sweetmeat to lighten Lent. Since then they have been prepared in a number of variants, such as soaked in milk, syrup, honey or wine, sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon, etc. Sometimes they are made using orange juice which gives them a fruity taste and makes them suitable for those with a lactose intolerance.” [Spanish-Food] Here re some photos of the event. Enjoy and hope to see you at the next Buzz Wine Dinner. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

Cristi’s Choice wines.

Croquettes and Albondigas
2013 Picos Garnacha
14% alc.
[15]

Salmorjo Cordobes
(One superb cold soup!)
2012 Ugarte Crianza
14% alc. definitely needs food [15]

Greens with Bean Salad
NV Vivanco Rioja
12% alc. Good pairing with the salad. [17]

Pork ala Madrid
Tortilla Espanola
2011 Faustino
Rioja
13.5% alc good with the pork and well balanced with the potato [17]

Torrijas with Vanilla Ice Cream
(Awesome!)
NV Anna Codorinu
12% alc. perfect balance with the dessert [17]

Wine Dinner at Grit – American Cuisine and 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards Wines


A very good dinner and some fine wines. Grit – American Cuisine, located at 360 S Eagle Rd, Eagle, ID 83616, Hours: 11AM–9PM, Phone: (208) 576-6666, presented a very good wine dinner showcasing 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, 900 Pearl Rd, Eagle, ID 83616, Phone: (208) 863-6561. This was thee first time Robin and I have been to Grit – American Cuisine and it is worth a 4-Star rating, out of 5-Stars. Good food, especially the French Lentil Soup, pictured below. It was superb. The appetizers, Seared Beef Filet and Crab Cakes with Aioli were also superb. They are also pictured below. The wines with the appetizers, a Roussanne, were paired perfectly. The wine with the soup, Eagle Foothills Sangiovese was also a perfect pairing. Left-Click any photo to see enlarged.
Gary and Martha Cunningham, owners of 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, did a fantastic job keeping us informed about the wines that were served and some of the specifics of the wines. The parings with our dinner were well received. 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards is in the Eagle Foothills AVA, Idaho’s newest AVA. Look at what we had. Hope to see you next time at an interesting Wine Dinner someplace.
 

Appetizer
Amuse Bouche of Bleu Cheese Crackers with Seared Beef Filet
Crab Cakes with Aioli
Roussanne

 

French Lentil Soup with Rye Croutons and House Cured Ham.
Sangiovese – Eagle Foothillsills

 


Frisee Salad with Lardons
Poached Egg
Champagne Vinargrette
Pinot Gris – Eagle Foothills

 

Sorry, but the photo I took of the next course was not good enough to post.
Mussels with Pernod
Fennel and Basil
Syrah – Eagle Foothills


 
 

Beef Wellington
with
Cognac Shitake Mushroom Duxelle
Glazed Carrots
Potato Puree
Sauce Bearnaise
Beau Geste – Eagle Foothills

 

Beef Wellington

 

Baba au Rhum
with
Cream and Vanilla Strawberry Jam
Riesling – Snake River Valley

 

Really a good night of fine food and delicious wines. Great to meet and make new friends.