Get Connected at The Epicurean Connection

sheana_davisA mention of Sonoma often comes in the same breath as discussions of great wine. And, of course, any discussion of great wine must include a mention of artisan cheese. Luckily, Sonoma has a new house of fromage to satisfy both the turophile (cheese lover) and oenophile – The Epicurean Connection.

Located just off the Sonoma Square, The Epicurean Connection offers specialty cheeses, local artisan food fare, and fresh soups and sandwiches to enjoy on a wine country picnic. Sheana Davis – local cheese maker, caterer and culinary educator – opened the shop to showcase the wide variety of delicious local ingredients available for cooking in the Sonoma Valley as well as her two own artisan cheeses: Delice de la Vallee and Crème de Fromage.

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Tandoori Prawns with Apple Salad from the Kenwood Inn and Spa

Kenwood InnFebruary marks the beginning of prawn fishing season off the California coast. What better way to enjoy the local abundance of Poseidon’s bounty and celebrate the unseasonably gorgeous warm February weather than with some time outside on the grill. Recipe contributor and Sonoma Chef Jon Mortimer of the Kenwood Inn and Spa has offered up his recipe for Tandoori Prawns with Apple Salad to awaken your taste buds for the coming Spring.

Chef Jon Mortimer is a Certified Executive Chef and adjunct Professor at the Boise State University School of Culinary Arts. In addition to apprenticing in Norway and Italy, Chef Mortimer has authored the cookbook The Idaho Table and his Idaho restaurant has received the prestigious Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Chef Mortimer also serves KBCI’s “Culinary Tip of the Day” correspondent. Check out Jon’s blog for more grilling tips and recipes.

Whether you seek to satisfy your stomach with an Italian-inspired meal or treat yourself to a weekend getaway of relaxation and massage, Kenwood Inn is the choice wine country destination for indulgences of the palette and the body. Try out Tandoori Prawns with Apple Sauce on your grill this weekend and shop Outdora now for all your grilling needs.

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Soy Glazed Salmon recipe with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes from the Kenwood Inn and Spa

Chef Jon MortimerWhat better way to celebrate a heat wave than with a spicy dish to awaken to your palate? In honor of balmy 109˚ temperatures in Sonoma on Tuesday, we’re excited to share this delicious Soy Glazed Salmon with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes recipe contributed by Chef Jon Mortimer of the Kenwood Inn and Spa. The Kenwood Inn is the ultimate destination in wine country for indulgence—whether it’s an Italian-inspired meal or a decadent therapeutic massage.

As a Certified Executive Chef and adjunct Professor at the Boise State University School of Culinary Arts, Chef Mortimer’s accolades include cooking apprenticeships in Norway and Italy, and authoring the cookbook The Idaho Table. His restaurant Mortimer’s in Idaho has received the renowned Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, and Chef Mortimer is KBCI’s “Culinary Tip of the Day” correspondent.  Check out Jon’s blog for a plethora of grilling recipes.

The savory Soy Glazed Salmon can be prepared on a standard charcoal grill or a more sophisticated gas grill—simply browse a range of luxury options at Outdora and start enjoying true cooking excellence.

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Brined Barbecued Pork Chops recipe from the Fig Café

The Fig Cafe - Glen Ellen

We’ve shared several mouth-watering recipes in recent months from the girl and the fig® restaurant located in Sonoma and the sister establishment Estate, and now we’re excited to share a recipe for Brined Pork Chops from the Fig Café in Glen Ellen. Chef Bryan Jones is also General Manager at the Fig Café, and his experience cooking at restaurants in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Bavarian Alps of Germany contribute to the unique flavor and flair of dishes at the Fig Café. With a focus on French bistro fare and fresh local ingredients, you’re sure to find a dish to tempt your palate.

This recipe is best prepared on a backyard barbecue grill or smoker grill—browse a wide assortment of specialty options at Outdora.

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Grilled Brie and Mango Chutney Quesadilla from Monica Sallouti: Wine Country Caterer

ChefMonicaIf your summer schedule includes a catered event or a much-needed vacation to wine country, consider Monica Sallouti, a Certified Natural Chef, for your gourmet dining needs. A self-described rent-a-chef with a motto of “I love cooking, so you don’t have to,” Sallouti works with a local abundance of artisan goodies and gifts from local farmers to make delicious and beautiful meals. Her personalized catering services are available for a single dinner, an event, or an entire week—simply call ahead to discuss availability.

We’re excited to share her recipe for Grilled Brie and Mango Chutney Quesadilla, excellent as an appetizer or a light meal. To prepare this savory dish you’ll need an outdoor bbq grill—browse a luxury assortment at Outdora.

For more information on Monica Sallouti and her services, visit her website.

Grilled Brie and Mango Chutney Quesadilla

This recipe is on my Greatest Hits list for guests and clients. No matter how many extras I make, it always seems like I should have made more. I’ve improved upon a recipe I found in Nicole Aloni’s Secrets from a Caterer’s Kitchen. If you have chutney that holds the sweet-to-tart to pleasingly hot continuum, please use it. Or for speedier preparation, try Trader Joe’s brand of mango chutney.

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Dry Aged Angus Sirloin recipe from the Glen Ellen Inn Oyster Grill & Martini Bar

glenelleninnThe Glen Ellen Inn Oyster Grill and Martini Bar recently celebrated their 17th anniversary, and is proclaimed to be the “smallest restaurant with the biggest wine list” in Sonoma Valley. This local establishment, featured in both the Michelin Guide and Wine Spectator, is located inside a charming 1940’s cottage with an open kitchen and fireside dining area. Boasting fine seafood cuisine in the style of fresh California-fusion, they offer a wide selection of up to 650 Napa Valley wines and 25 martini flavors to delight every palate.

Executive chef and owner Christian Bertrand has shared his recipe for Dry Aged Angus Sirloin Steaks with Gorgonzola Butter Sauce & Cabernet Onions. To prepare this delectable dish, consider a KitchenAid Grill from Outdora and host a gourmet dinner party outdoors.

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Grilled Local Halibut, Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe from Sonoma’s ESTATE restaurant

Sonoma Estate RestaurantFire up the barbecue this holiday weekend and instead of cooking your usual 4th of July fare, try this gourmet recipe for Grilled Local Halibut with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce. Contributed by Sondra Bernstein, proprietor of popular Sonoma restaurants the girl and the fig® and the sister restaurant Estate, this recipe is a truly scrumptious alternative to traditional hot dogs and burgers.

Need a barbecue grill for your backyard celebration? Visit Outdora for a range of state-of-the-art options.

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Lacinato Kale Recipe from the girl and the fig® Restaurant

Girl and the FigWe’re glad you’ve stopped by for the third and final part of a delicious recipe contributed by Sondra Bernstein, owner of the girl and the fig restaurant—a beloved Sonoma establishment. To purchase the girl and the fig cookbook or learn more about their fresh country dishes with French-inspired flair, visit their website.

See our previous posts from Wednesday and Thursday for the first two parts of the total dish: Grilled Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic and Rosemary-Potato Gratin. The recommended wine pairing for this meal is a bottle of old vine Grenache.

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Roasted Garlic and Rosemary-Potato Gratin Recipe from the girl and the fig® Restaurant in Sonoma

Girl and the Fig ExteriorToday brings part two of a savory recipe contributed by Sondra Bernstein, owner of the girl and the fig restaurant located in the historic Sonoma Hotel.  As a tribute to the country setting that surrounds the girl and the fig, the restaurant uses fresh local ingredients and offers Provencal-inspired cuisine.

Pair this secondary course with the main dish posted yesterday on the Outdora blog, Grilled Pork Chops and Brine Recipe, and check back tomorrow for the final part of this dish: Lacinato Kale.

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Grilled Pork Chops and Brine Recipe from the girl and the fig® Restaurant in Sonoma

girl and the figA Sonoma hot spot for home-cooked country cuisine with French flair, the girl & the fig is known for their cheese & charcuterie platters, French aperitifs, and charming antique bar. Their inventive seasonal menu highlights rustic French bistro fare, house-cured meats, and, of course, fresh figs and vegetables.

Sondra Bernstein, proprietor of both the girl and the fig and the sister restaurant Estate, has shared a recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic and Rosemary-Potato Gratin. Today, we offer you the first part of this dish: grilled pork chops and a brine recipe that creates moist, tender chops.

Check back over the next few days for the second and third parts of this delicious recipe:  Roasted Garlic and Rosemary-Potato Gratin and Lacinato Kale.

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