Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cranberry Clementine Gin #CranberryWeek

Hard to believe that #CranberryWeek is drawing to a close. Boo. I love the tart, red berry of the season. Many thanks to Caroline of Caroline's Cooking for hosting! I have always enjoyed the evergreen-y notes of a good gin. And this cranberry and clementine-infused gin just screams 'it's the holidays' to me. Think cranberry garlands draped over pine branches!

See all the other recipes being shared for today's final Cranberry Week post - we hope you've enjoyed following along and will try some of the many cranberry creations!

Cranberry Clementine Gin

A quick note: it does matter what kind of gin you use. Make sure you use a good quality spirit. I really like Hendrick's Gin. In addition to the traditional juniper infusion, Hendrick's also uses Bulgarian Damask rose and cucumber. It's really delicious on its own, but it was magnificent in this!

  • 800 ml gin
  • 3 C fresh cranberries
  • peels from 3 fresh clementines

Pierce the cranberries with a skewer. And peel the clementine in a long strip, if possible.

Fill an empty bottle with the cranberries and clementine peel. Pour the gin into the bottle until everything is completely submerged.

Store in a cool spot, gently agitating the bottle once or twice a day.

After a week, the gin was already a light shade of red. After a month, it was downright gorgeous...and delicious. I strained and rebottled into small bottles for gifts.

Ginger Miso Petrale #FishFridayFoodies

It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' November event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. This is, easily, my favorite recipe sharing event of the month. I always come away with a list of recipes that I just have to try!

This month, Wendy is hosting. She wrote: "Stuffing is not just for Turkey! Let's get creative and share some stuffed fish recipes. How about a whole stuffed fish, or stuffed shrimp or fish fillets, perhaps a stuffing recipe containing fish (oysters anyone?) or a lobster or crab imperial. Your only limitation is your imagination."

So, I let my imagination go wild, combining a few different methods, making dashi to create a miso broth, then poaching the petrale sole from our Real Good Fish CSF in the style of
Sole Véronique. I topped it with Crisped Mushrooms. Oh, my...pure deliciousness!

The Rest of the Stuffed Goodness

Ginger Miso Petrale
Ginger Dashi makes 4 cups
  • 4 C water 
  • two 2-inch piece dried seaweed
  • 1 C loosely packed dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
  • 1" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and quartered lengthwise

Miso Broth
  • 4 C ginger dashi
  • 1 generous T red miso

  • 6 filets petrale sole
  • 6 t fresh crab meat
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 t sesame oil


Ginger Dashi
Combine the water, seaweed, bonito flakes, and fresh ginger in a large pan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for another 5 minutes. Strain out the seaweed, bonito flakes, and ginger.

Miso Broth
Whisk the miso paste into the dashi until dissolved. Set aside.

Place 1 t crab meat on each fish filet and roll as tightly as you can. Melt butter in sesame oil in a large skillet and place rolled filets in the pan. 

Pour miso broth over the top of the fish. Bring the liquid up to a simmer. Cover and poach until the fish is opaque and firm, approximately 5 to 6 minutes.

To serve, move rolls into an individual serving bowl. Spoon the sauce over and around the fish. Garnish with crisped mushrooms and green onion. Serve immediately.

"Top of the Central Coast": My Beaujolais Pairing Dinner #Winophiles #GoGamayGo #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the November #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links

"Top of the Central Coast"
Okay, first a note about the title of the post: This is not me needlessly bragging. This was the opinion of my cousin's friends who flew in for their first visit to the Bay Area. I'm not just making this up! Read on for the full scoop, but they thought my wine pairing dinner was the best part of their entire trip. I'll take it! You can read Jeff's invitation to the event: here.

The French Winophiles are timing their posts to coincide with the worldwide release of Nouveau Beaujolais which happens on the third Thursday in November. But we're going deeper with some older vintages. And we're chatting on Twitter this Saturday, November 18th. Join live us at 8am Pacific time or follow the hashtag at your leisure: #Winophiles.

When I received four bottles of wine in preparation for our French Winophiles' virtual trip to Beaujolais, I was struggling to get a pairing dinner on the calendar. And, really, opening four bottles of wine when it's just me and Jake is a waste of wine. 

I had just had a pairing birthday dinner for one of my best friends with wines from a favorite vintner in Berkeley; I have my pairings set for Thanksgiving with wines from a favorite vintner here in Monterey. Darn it! But the post was due, so I decided I was going to just do it: uncork, pair, sip, recork and hope for the best as I sipped and savored till the wine was gone. 

Then I received a text from my cousin Katie who wanted to know if she and her girlfriends could crash with us on their way down from San Francisco. I told her 'no' on spending the night - three guests in our house would have been more than cramped - but told her that I would feed her and her friends. When I asked if they drank red wine, she answered that they were big fans of French and Italian wines. These were two girls with whom she had traveled in Europe during college.

Perfect. I could alleviate my wine-wasting guilt by uncorking four bottles of wine for five wine drinkers versus four bottles for just me and my husband. I ran to the store with my notes and recipes, excited to present them with four courses and wine pairings.

Phew. After our four-hour dinner, she and her friends went to spend the night with my parents. I think it worked out perfectly.

A few days later, I received this text: "I asked my friends what their favorite part was of their first NorCal trip and they said your dinner! Meaning your dinner topped the Golden Gate Bridge, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Carmel Beach, the redwoods, rooftop bars...YOUR DINNER WAS THE BEST!" 

Success. Not too shabby for an impromtu dinner party. 

About Beaujolais
Let's start with this: there is a huge difference between Nouveau Beaujolais which, in my estimation, doesn't even qualify as wine. It's just barely-fermented grape juice! But Beaujolais can be a beautiful, elegant manifestation of the Gamay Noir grape.

The Winophiles' Posts
Here’s a compilation of posts which will go live over the next few days. Don’t forget to join our chat!

My Dinner
Recipes will be posted soon. But as this post is about the pours, I'll keep the focus on the wines.

Beaujolais One
Domaine Baron de L'Ecluse - Côte de Brouilly Les Garances 2015 paired with Crispy Chanterlle-Topped Arugula Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and a Ricotta Salad with French Radishes.

The wine boasted a beautiful ruby hue with a tinge of purple. Its lively nose has a fruity character bolstered by minerality and some spice.

Beaujolais Two
Domaines Piron - Morgon Côte du Py 2015 paired with Braised Chicken Thighs with Dates, Cherries, and Pistachios.

I'll start with this: The Morgon was the only bottle empty at the end of the night. I know we were all pacing ourselves to make sure that we tasted all wines. But this was the Beaujolais that had people returning for second - and third...and fourth - pours. The wine was delightfully complex with rich aromas, structured tannins, and a distinct minerality.

Beaujolais Three
Domaine de Briante – Brouilly Tradition 2015 paired with Apple-Cranberry Crumb Pie and a cheese platter.

This Brouilly was simultaneously intense but supple. I loved the intense ruby color, its elegant fruit aromas, and the generous body and mouthfeel. 

Note: That evening I didn't open the fourth Beaujolais I received for this event. I uncorked that bottle on a crazy weekday evening and paired it when I poached some local sole in a Thai-scented coconut broth. More on that later. But most people don't think seafood + red wine. They are missing out. The Vignerons de Bel Air - Beaujolais Villages Nature Terra Vitis 2016 was a delicious match for my sole dinner.

On the Web
*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Celebrating the #FabulousFallBounty #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the sponsors of #FabulousFallBounty.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

While Spring produce seems to get the lion's share of attention - think pea shoots and fiddlehead ferns - Fall's fabulous produce is sandwiched between the glut of pumpkin recipes for Halloween and the sweets-heavy holiday season. So, this year, a dozen food bloggers have gathered to share recipes and ideas that celebrate the #FabulousFallBounty. Many thanks to our event sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa's Produce for providing the bloggers with a beautiful box of goodies.

We hope you enjoy our creations using fingerling potatoes; delicata, butternut, and acorn squashes; garlic and shallots; roasted chestnut and steamed beets; fennel and celery root; pears and so much more! Keep an eye on these blogs for inspiration as we rush towards Thanksgiving...

The Redhead Baker

We'll start posting on Saturday, November 18th. Stay tuned! I have everything from Celery Root-Chestnut Mash with Herbed Beets to a Fuyu-Frangipane Tart and Pan-Crisped Chicken Thighs with Guajillo-Pear Mole to Roasted Delicata Salad with Buddha's Hand Vinaigrette to share.

Cranberry Gremolata #CranberryWeek

#CranberryWeek continues! Thanks to Caroline of Caroline's Cooking for hosting. I love using fresh cranberries whenever I can get them. See all the other recipes being shared today as part of Cranberry week - follow #cranberryweek for all the tasty cranberry creations:

My Cranberry Gremolata was inspired by the Italian condiment that is traditionally made with lemon zest, parsley, and garlic. Use this on your favorite osso buco or as a fresh, tart relish on anything you wish!

  • 1/2 C whole, raw hazelnuts
  • 1/4 C whole, raw pecans
  • 3/4 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley
  • zest from 1 organic lemon
  • juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 1 t toasted sesame oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Place the nuts, cranberries, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sesame oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until desired texture. I prefer mine more chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Pickled Cranberries #CranberryWeek

Here we are in the second day of #CranberryWeek hosted by Caroline of Caroline's Cooking. See all the other recipes being shared today as part of Cranberry week - follow #cranberryweek for all the tasty cranberry creations:

If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you'll probably know that I love to pickle things. I have pickled everything from Golden Cauliflower, Peppers, Red Onions, Green Tomatoes, Radishes, and even Blueberries. For this event, I decided to try my hand at pickled cranberries.

Pickling takes the naturally sweettart nature of the cranberry and amps it up. You can use these as a condiment for meats such as turkey or ham, however, since this is really just a fruit shrub, try it with a glug of sparkling water for a flavorful homemade soda...or add it to a splash of booze for a seasonal libation. 


  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 C vinegar
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1⁄2 t fennel seeds
  • 1⁄2 t dill seeds
  • 1⁄2 t caraway seeds
  • 1⁄2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 t juniper berries
  • 1⁄2 t salt
  • 1⁄2 lb fresh cranberries, rinsed

Bring sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, and spices to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat, swirling until sugar is dissolved, approximately 3 minutes. Add the cranberries to the pot and cook until cranberries pop open, approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Spoon the cranberries and spices into a sterile glass jar. Pour the liquid over the top. If you have a pickle pebble, place it on the top to keep the cranberries submerged.

Let pickles soak, refrigerated, for at least 48 hours before enjoying!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria #CranberryWeek

This week we're celebrating the tart cranberry. Thanks to Caroline of Caroline's Cooking for hosting! See all the other cranberry creations being shared as we kick off Cranberry week today - follow #cranberryweek to see all the delicious recipes.

Who doesn't love a good sangria? Typically it's a summer libation...well, at least for me. I don't often make sangria after Labor Day. But I was inspired to create a wintery version for #CranberryWeek. This is perfect for fall and winter parties.

  • 1 apple 
  • 1/2 C fresh organic cranberries, sliced in half or pierced with a skewer
  • 1 sprig fresh organic rosemary
  • 1 bottle white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 C apple cider
  • 4 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1 C sparkling water
  • fresh organic rosemary sprigs, for garnish
  • organic granulated sugar, for garnish
  • Also need: 1 L jar with a lid

Core and dice the apples. Place them at the bottom of the jar. Put the cranberries and rosemary into the jar and sprinkle with sugar. Pour in the wine, cider, and sparkling water. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

To make your garnish, lay rosemary sprigs on a plate and spray with water. Dip the rosemary into granulated sugar. Let dry. To serve, pour into glasses and garnish with sugared rosemary.

Seafood B'stilla (Moroccan Seafood Pie) #BakingBloggers

Sue of Palatable Pastime and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm are hosting this month's #BakingBloggers. Topic of the month is pie. They wrote: "Any kind of pie will do, as long as some part of it is baked."

Well, we love pie...definitely more than cake. My Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf is the pie baker in the household mostly. He's made Alton Brown's Apple Pie for which he pulled money out of his piggy bank to get a pie bird. He played with a recipe for Brown Butter-Espresso Pecan Pie until he was happy with it. And he even roped in his brother to help him with a Banana Cream Pie when we were on vacation in Oregon during the Spring.

But my inclination is almost always savory. So, today, I'm sharing a pie that my friends request often: seafood pie. It's my version of a Moroccan Seafood B'Stilla. 

Ingredients makes two 9" pies
  • 3 to 4 pounds seafood (I used a mixture of cod, scallops, calamari, and shrimp)
  • 1 pound of shrimp, separated from the rest
  • 2 T butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fennel, trimmed and chopped
  • juice and zest from 1 organic lemon
  • 1/2 t ground paprika
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh tarragon
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh mint
  • phyllo dough, thawed
  • butter, melted
In a large, flat-bottom pan, melt 2 T butter with a splash of olive oil. Saute the onion and fennel until the onions are transparent and the fennel softened. Add in the seafood - minus the shrimp for garnishing - and season with lemon juice, zest, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.When seafood is almost cooked, fold in the fresh herbs.

Layer six sheets of phyllo dough is a baking dish, brushing each with melted butter before laying the next one on top. Fill the dish with the seafood mixture, drained of its sauce.  Fold the overhanging pastry towards the middle and cover with two more layers of phyllo, brushing with butter again. Overturn the pie onto a flat baking dish. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees till the phyllo dough is browned and crisp, probably about 35 minutes.

In the meantime, marinate shrimp in the cooking liquid. Pour off the liquid and quickly brown the shrimp.

To serve, plate the b'stilla. Lay thinly sliced lemons on the cooked pie and pile on the shrimp. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs.

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