A colleague of mine recently told me of a new restaurant that opened up in Shell Beach that she really enjoyed and thought Whisk and I would as well, the Shell Beach Brewhouse.
The Shell Beach Brewhouse has only been open for about a month but has already become a popular spot to get good food and drinks. Whisk and I recently tried it out on a Sunday night after work.
When we entered the restaurant we were quickly greeted with a smile from the hostess as she took our name to put on the wait list. It was a busy night but the wait for a table was not long. You also have the option to grab a drink from the bar and watch the game on one of their many flat screen TV’s while you wait for a table as well.
The wines on their list focus on local wineries from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties with many by the glass options. If you are not in the mood for wine or beer then check out their extensive specialty cocktail menu.
Local Fried Oyster Po’Boy: Southern fried oysters, crisp shredded lettuce, tomato, garlic caper aioli, French baguette
The menu at Shell Beach Brewhouse also had many delicious dishes to choose from. They have options from street tacos, oyster shooters, and carmelized Wisconsin cheese curds to lobster bisque, burgers, and a sandwich they call the pit beef frat boy, which I will be ordering next time.
Trio of Street Tacos: Spicy Korean beef, crispy pork carnitas, citrus grilled chicken.
Whisk and I enjoyed our first experience at Shell Beach Brewhouse and will definitely be coming back soon. The staff was friendly, our server was attentive and timely, and our food and drinks were delicious. This is a place definitely worth checking out.
1527 Shell Beach Rd. Pismo Beach, CA 93449 805-295-6328 www.shellbeachbrewhouse.com
This past week one of the vegetables included in our Talley Farms CSA box was brussels sprouts. To be honest, when I saw the package of brussels sprouts in our box I was not that excited, that was until I came across a recipe from The Daily Meal.
Giving the brussels sprouts enough space on the sheet pan is important so they can get nicely browned. If you put to many on the pan they will steam and not get any color.
I have been following The Daily Meal on twitter for a while now and that is where I came across their recipe for honey-Sriracha roasted brussels sprouts. I love Sriracha and am almost always willing to try a recipe that uses Sriracha.
Sriracha and honey, two of my favorite ingredients.
Mixing the honey and Sriracha together makes it easy to incorporate with the brussels sprouts.
I thought this would be a good recipe to share since Thanksgiving is just around a corner and this is a great twist on a Thanksgiving vegetable side. Not only is this brussels sprouts dish delicious, it is also incredibly easy to prepare.
Be sure to check out The Daily Meal at www.thedailymeal.com for recipes, tips on entertaining, drinks, and much more.
A quick and easy side dish, we had our brussels sprouts with chicken and French bread, but they would be a great side dish for the Thanksgiving table.
When I first met Whisk I was in the process of studying to become a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers program. As our relationship grew and became more serious my studies took a back seat. Now that we have been married for a couple of years and are more settled I have decided to go back to studying for the certified sommelier program.
I roasted the peppers on the stove-top instead of under the broiler, but either way works just fine.
Part of becoming a sommelier is being able to blind taste wines. Blind tasting consists of being able to identify a wine by grape varietal, vintage, and the wine region it is from by nothing more than looking at the wine, smelling the wine, and tasting the wine. To be completely honest, I am horrible at blind tasting wines right now, and that brings me to tonight’s wine and recipe.
While I am studying for the certified sommelier exam I will have to open a lot of wines to taste and become familiar with. Whisk had the idea that since we will be opening more wines, we should pair some with our dinner and blog about the pairing. Good idea Whisk!
I got the recipe for penne with asparagus, proscuitto, and peppers from a great book called Daring Parings written by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein. The recipes in this book are accumulated from 36 different highly acclaimed chefs and paired with some of your more unconventional grapes like Albarino, Chenin Blanc, Marsanne, Gamay, Tannat, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, and many more.
We had just recently picked up a Chinon, which is a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley in France, from a great little wine bar and wine shop called Les Marchands located in Santa Barbara. Since Cabernet Franc was one of the grape varietals featured in Daring Parings we thought we would try the pairing out.
The pairing worked out good, we both like the wine, the food, and the two together. The penne recipe would also be great on its own if you didn’t feel like having a drink with your dinner. We plan on using this recipe again for when we have guests over.
This Cabernet Franc is from Chinon, a region within France’s Loire Valley.
Keep an eye for more food and wine pairings coming in the near future. We would also love to hear your feedback on this recipe and what wine you paired it with. Enjoy!
Author: Michael Romano, Union Square Cafe, New York City, New York
2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
1 pound asparagus spears
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ cups chicken stock
¾ pound penne
1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the broiler. Arrange the red and yellow peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, and place under the broiler. Broil, using tongs to turn the peppers as needed, until blistered and charred on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover, and let cool for about 10 minutes. The peppers will steam as they cool, which helps loosen the skins. Using your fingers, peel away the charred skin. Then, split each pepper open, remove and discard the stem and seeds, and dice the flesh. Set aside.
Cut or snap off the tough end from each asparagus spear. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly peel the skin from each spear to within about 2 inches of the tip. Cut the spears crosswise on the diagonal into 2-inch lengths.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring, until tender and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the diced peppers and garlic and toss to heat through, about 1 minute. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Set aside.
Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well, and cook until not quite al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta.
Return the skillet to medium heat, add the drained pasta and thyme, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the prosciutto, ⅓ cup of the cheese, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and the salt and pepper, mixing well.
Transfer to a warmed serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining ⅓ cup cheese and serve immediately.
Recipe by Michael Romano from the book Daring Pairings by Evan Goldstein
Autumn is here and the days are getting shorter and cooler, but Whisk and I just aren’t ready to say goodbye to Summer yet. So for tonight’s post we included one last recipe to help you hold on to Summer for just a little bit longer.
Mango jalapeno salsa is healthy, quick, and easy to make. Try this salsa with seared scallops, sauteed shrimp, grilled or roasted chicken, fish, pork chops, or serve it simply with chips.
Awhile back I was at the farmer’s market and saw some fresh, pastured pork belly for sale and jumped on the opportunity to buy it. I really enjoy pork belly but don’t often cook it simply because I don’t see it to often in grocery stores here in town.
Pork belly is inexpensive to buy and delicious to eat!
When I purchased the pork belly I didn’t really have an idea of how I wanted to cook it, but then I remembered seeing a recipe in Tom Colicchio’s Think Like A Chef. For most people today Tom Colicchio is probably most recognizable from being a judge on the Bravo television series Top Chef, but he has been in the food industry for a very long time. Collicchio was the founding chef of New York’s Gramercy Tavern, and is now co-owner of Craft, with restaurants spread throughout the U.S.
Carrots, leeks, garlic, celery, and onion will help to create a flavorful braising liquid.
Braising is one of my favorite techniques in cooking. When I hear people talking about cooking with love, it makes me think of baking and braising. Braising takes time, it takes time to brown your protein, sweat your vegetables, reduce down your beer or wine, and then just let it all sit together and simmer for a couple of hours. But the end result is amazing, what started out as a tough, undesirable piece of meat has now turned into an incredibly tender, moist, and flavorful piece of meat. Your braising liquid has also turned into an incredible accompaniment to your meat, you can reduce it down into a sauce, or just spoon some of it as is over your meat.
Although using beer was not in Tom Colicchio’s recipe, I used this IPA from Figueroa Mountain Brewery to give more depth of flavor to the braising liquid.
Now just a couple hours in the oven and dinner will be ready.
We served our braised pork belly over a simple farro salad. This was a good recipe that was easy to follow and the end product was delicious. Crisp flavorful skin, tender and moist meat, and a bit of the braising liquid spooned over the top brought it all together.
Beer braised pork belly served on top of farro salad.
Heat the oven to 350 F. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat until the oil slides easily across the pan. Salt and pepper the pork and add it, fat-side down, to the skillet. Cook until the skin is browned, about 15 minutes, then transfer the pork to a plate.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat and add the onion, carrots, celery, leek, and garlic to the skillet. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Return the pork belly to the skillet, fat-side up, and add about 2 cups of stock (it should surround but not cover the meat). Bring the stock to a simmer, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Gently simmer the pork, uncovered, for 1 hour, then add another cup of stock. Continue cooking until the pork is tender enough to cut with a fork, about 1 hour longer.
Allow the pork to cool in the braising liquid. Remove the pork from the liquid, then gently lift off and discard the skin (use a small knife to separate any pieces that don’t come away from the fat easily). Score the fat, making crosshatch incisions, then cut the pork into 4 equal pieces.
Increase the oven to 400 F. Strain the braising liquid, discarding the solids. Return the liquid to the skillet, bring it to a simmer, and skim off the fat. Return pork, fat-side up, to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook, without basting, until the pork is heated through and the fat nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Serve the pork in a shallow bowl moistened with a bit of the braising liquid.
If you like this recipe and would like to try out some more of Tom Colicchio’s recipes from Think Like A Chef we have included a link below. It is a great cookbook that covers different techniques such as: roasting, braising, blanching, stock-making, sauce-making and much more. Enjoy!
Last week we shared a recipe for beer can chicken that we served up alongside roasted vegetables and a puree of corn soup. Tonight we will share our recipe for the puree of corn soup that is finished with a poblano pepper puree.
Getting a good char on the poblano peppers is key in getting that smoky component in the puree.
The poblano pepper puree tastes great in the soup, but we also loved using it for dipping our chicken into.
Corn is in peak season right now and we have been getting 4-5 ears every week in our CSA box. Whisk has used it in salsa and I have been putting it on the barbecue to eat whole, but since we have been getting so much we wanted to try it out in a soup.
Getting a little bit of a char on the corn kernels with add just a hint of smokiness to the soup.
Making corn soup is a pretty easy process but does take a bit of time. We took the extra step of making the poblano pepper puree to add to the soup to give it some extra depth and complexity. The sweetness of the corn works really well with the earthy, smoky, and spicy tones that you get from the poblano pepper puree.
Letting a couple ears of corn simmer with the soup will concentrate the corn flavor in the soup.
Puree of corn soup finished with a roasted poblano pepper puree.
We hope you enjoy this soup and would love some feedback, have a great week.
Turn your stovetop on to medium to medium high heat. Roast poblano peppers until they have been charred on all sides. When you are done roasting the peppers, put them in a small bowl and cover it with foil, let stand for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes has passed take a paper towel and gently rub and peel the charred skin away from the peppers. Remove the seeds from the peppers and chop the peppers into ½ inch pieces.
Place the chopped pepper pieces into a blender along with the crushed red pepper. Puree the pepper mix while slowly adding olive oil into the blender. Keep adding olive oil until you reach your desired consistency. You want the puree to be on the thicker side, the consistency of a dip. Season with salt. Refrigerate the poblano pepper puree while making the corn puree soup.
Next, warm-up your barbecue or grill pan to medium high heat. Place corn on the grill, cook until you get a decent amount of charred kernels on each side. Let corn cool to room temperature then cut the kernels off, place in a bowl and set aside. Reserve two of the leftover ears of corn for later use.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat warm up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add diced onions and a teaspoon of salt and gently sauté, stirring every now and then, for 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add corn, chicken stock, and two reserved ears of corn and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil then lower heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the soup is done simmering, add soup, in stages, to a blender. Do not fill the blender more than a third full. Make sure there is an air hole so hot air can escape while pureeing, use a towel to cover the hole.
Place a fine sieve over a clean saucepan and pour the pureed soup into the sieve. Use a wooden spoon to help push the soup through. When all the soup has been strained into the saucepan, put the saucepan back on the stovetop over low heat. Add butter and stir into the soup. Season with salt to taste.
Serve the corn puree soup with a tablespoon or two of the poblano pepper puree dolloped on top.
Beer can chicken is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken. It produces a chicken that is moist, juicy, and the meat literally falls off the bone. Beer can chicken has been around for a long time and I wanted to share with you how easy it is to do yourself.
The night we cooked our beer can chicken we had a friend over for dinner. Roasting a whole chicken is great when you are entertaining. All that you need is a simple rub and a can of beer, after about an hour and fifteen minutes in the oven you have a delicious dinner all ready to eat.
Salt, pepper, and paprika make for a very simple but tasty seasoning blend.
Season the chicken generously inside and out.
We wanted to serve a couple of filling but healthy side dishes to go along with our chicken, but also ones that were simple to prepare. So we decided to roast some vegetables in the same roasting pan that the chicken was cooking in. With about 35 minutes left of cooking time we added garlic, green bell pepper, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and onions, but you could roast any mix of vegetables that you want.
We used a Budweiser for this bird, but you can use any kind of beer that you like.
Since corn is in season and we had four big ears of corn in the fridge from our TalleyFarms CSA box, I decided to tryout a puree of corn soup for our second side dish. We will be giving out this recipe in next week’s post.
Puree of corn soup finished with a roasted pasilla pepper puree.
All ready to go into the oven. It is important to make sure the chicken is securely placed over the beer can so the chicken doesn’t fall over during cooking.
Dinner is ready!!!
After the chicken was done roasting and rested for about 15 minutes Whisk carved the chicken and served it up on a platter with our roasted vegetables. Altogether our soup, vegetables, and chicken was a simple and healthy meal.
Hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know what you think.
Take chicken out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before roasting to allow to come up to temperature.
Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Use as much olive oil as needed, probably 2-3 tablespoons, and rub all over the chicken.
In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, and paprika. Generously season the chicken all over and inside the cavity with the seasoning mix.
Open your 12oz beer and pour half of it out or into your glass to drink. Stick the can with the remaining beer into the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken inside of a roasting pan and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and fifteen minutes.
Remove chicken from the oven, remove beer can from the cavity of the chicken and allow the chicken to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
This coming Saturday on August 17th, Fork and Whisk will be at the Fess Parker Winery taking part in the wineries first ever SummerFess Fesstival. The event will take place on the beautiful Fess Parker lawn and will go from 11am to 3pm.
The Fesstival will be setup like a mini farmer’s market. Local vendors from around the Santa Ynez Valley will be sampling and selling their products. Lunch will also be available to purchase from local food truck, Georgia’s Smokehouse, specializing in Southern barbecue.
While enjoying your lunch and Fess Parker wine, local Country Americana rock band, Spun Honey will be playing live music throughout the Fesstival. This Central Coast favorite covers songs from Hank Williams to No Doubt as well creating their own original music.
This is a family friendly event and free for everyone to attend, so come on by and say hello to Whisk as she samples and sells her famous carrot cake, cookies, and pies.
Talley Farms is based right here on California’s Central Coast in Arroyo Grande. They were founded by Oliver Talley in 1948 and are now owned and operated by 2nd and 3rd generations of the Talley family.
Whisk and I joined the Talley Farms CSA (community supported agriculture) about 4 months ago and have been extremely happy with the fruits and vegetables we get from them.
Every Thursday when we pick up our box it is always a great surprise. Talley CSA boxes always have a good variety of produce that changes from week to week.
Every Thursday we pick up our box of beautiful, fresh, and tasty fruits and vegetables.
Getting a weekly CSA box is a win-win situation for both parties involved. Every week Whisk and I get a box full of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables; and we also get to support a local farm which helps make our community stronger.
This week’s box included: Avocados, snap peas, green beans, corn, spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, carrots, yellow squash, blackberries, and peaches.
Since Whisk’s parents were in town from Chicago this past week, we thought we would have a barbecue highlighting our Talley Farms CSA box, and foods from the Central Coast. Anything that we needed that didn’t come in our CSA box we got from the Solvang farmer’s market.
Grass fed skirt steak from Dey Dey’s Best Beef Ever was prepared with a simple rub then grilled for a few minutes on each side.
Squash cooks up quickly on the grill. We boiled the corn for a couple of minutes then finished it on the grill.
The menu for the evening would start off with a salad consisting of butterleaf lettuce, baby kale,cucumbers, and tomatoes. For the main course we grilled up yellow squash, corn, and spice rubbed skirt steak. Dessert would be a mix of fruit: Blackberries, raspberries, and grilled figs drizzled with honey.
The goal of the meal was to prepare everything simply and let the food speak for itself. Not to cover up or mask flavors, but to showcase them.
If you live right here on the Central Coast and are interested in finding out how you can get a Talley Farms CSA box, it is easy, just go to their website at www.talleyfarmsfreshharvest.com.
For anyone wanting to find a CSA near them anywhere in the United States go to www.localharvest.org.
Whenever Whisk and I see steak tartare on a menu we will almost always order it. To me it is one of the best ways to start off a meal. There is something about the textures and flavors in beef tartare that I just love and can’t get enough of.
Whisked egg yolks.
Being that Whisk and I like beef tartare so much, it has been something that I have been wanting to make at home for quite awhile but never have.
Mustard and anchovies being added and mixed with the egg yolks.
Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and black pepper being whisked into the egg mixture.
Recently I was looking through some cookbooks and came across a steak tartare recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook.
Slowly whisk the oil into the egg mixture so that it can emulsify.
Slowly whisking in the brandy.
The recipe is easy enough, whisking some egg yolks, adding a few more ingredients and whisking those together, a few more ingredients and mixing those together, then at the end folding in the finely chopped beef.
Onion, capers, cornichons, and parsley ready to be folded into the mixture.
The most important thing to remember when making beef tartare is to use fresh, high quality beef. You want to finely chop the beef as close to service as you possibly can and serve the tartare immediately.
Gently folding the finely chopped beef heart to the mixture.
Anthony Bourdain uses sirloin for his recipe, I used beef heart just to try it out. I did enjoy the tartare with the beef heart but it definitely did have that iron characteristic that organ meats tend to have. Overall I would probably prefer using sirloin or tenderloin for this recipe, but experiment for yourself and see what you like.
All ready to serve!
If you are interested in learning more about Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook I will provide and Amazon link after the recipe. It is full of great classic French bistro recipes, as well as help with techniques, and beautiful pictures. Hope you enjoy the recipe and the book.
Author: Adapted from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 anchovy filets, finely chopped
2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil or salad (corn or soy) oil
1 ounce Cognac or brandy
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 ounces capers, rinsed
2 ounces cornichons, finely chopped
4 sprigs of flat parsley, chopped
1 ¼ pounds fresh beef heart, finely chopped
Place the egg yolks in a large stainless-steel bowl and add the mustard and anchovies. Mix well, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and pepper and mix well again. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the brandy and mix again. Fold in the onion, capers, cornichons, and parsley.
Add the chopped meat to the bowl and mix well using a spoon or your hands. Divide the meat evenly among six chilled dinner plates and, using a 3 inch ring mold or spatula, form it into disks on the plates. Serve immediately with French fries and toasted bread points.