An early nightfall, and there’s a cold rain beating down. Your family and friends will welcome this warming seasonal menu of roasted meat, hearty winter vegetables, and a tasty twist on a classic baked apple dessert. Come on in, pull up a chair and enjoy the festivities – and the foods – of our wonderful Northern California winter.
—Chef Rey Hernandez,
Co-Founder and VP, Epicurean Group
Roasted Organic Carrot and Parsnip Purée Soup
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 1/2 pounds parsnips peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 medium yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine 2 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Toss the carrots, parsnips and onions with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Roast until the vegetables are well browned and softened, about 20 to 30 minutes.
In a soup pot, heat the rest of the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the roasted vegetables and stir until heated through. Add white wine and bay leaves, and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and return to a clean soup pot. Hold over low heat until ready to serve.
Divide soup among bowls
Link to recipe: Roasted Organic Carrot and Parsnip Purée Soup
Organic Winter Greens with Applewood-Smoked Bacon and Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
8 ounces thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
8 hard-boiled eggs, chilled, peeled and sliced in an egg slicer
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon squeezed and strained)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
1 head organic escarole, torn into bite-size pieces
2 heads organic radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
Cut bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and cook over medium heat until crispy. Set aside. Save bacon drippings for beef recipe, below.
In a stainless steel bowl, whip shallots, lemon juice and mustard until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil while whipping, until all oil is incorporated. Set aside.
Toss greens with vinaigrette. Add kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Place lettuce on separate plates and garnish with egg slices and bacon pieces.
Pan-Seared Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
8 eight-ounce filet steaks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons bacon drippings (see Winter Greens recipe, ]above)
2 cups crumbled gorgonzola
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
For this procedure, use a sauté pan with a metal handle (no plastic or rubber.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Mix gorgonzola and walnuts and form 8 patties about the same circumference as the steaks. Set aside.
Heat oil and bacon drippings in sauté pan over high heat. Place steaks in pan and sear for 3 minutes. With tongs, flip steaks and sear for 3 more minutes. Place pan with steaks in oven and roast (for rare steak, cook for 5 minutes; for medium, cook for 10 minutes; for well-done, cook for 15 minutes.) Halfway through roasting time, use tongs to flip the steak, place cheese/walnut patties on top and finish roasting. Remove from oven and let rest on stove, off heat, for 5 minutes.
For the Shallot Marmalade:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cup shallots (12 to 16 pieces) peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (optional)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Heat butter and oil in saucepan on medium heat. Add shallots and sugar. Cook while stirring constantly until shallots are browned. Add vinegar to deglaze* pan. Lower heat to simmer and cook until almost dry. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place steaks on plates and arrange shallots around the steaks. Pour any drippings from the steak pan over the steaks
Link to recipe: Pan-Seared Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
To deglaze a pan, add liquid and scrape bottom of pan until pan is clean and scrapings are incorporated into liquid.
Organic Winter Root Vegetable Mosaic Hash
4 ounces each: sweet potato, parsnip, turnip, golden beet, garnet yam, yucca root, purple potato, carrot and celery root, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 ounces butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt to taste
Cook the root vegetables, separately, in salted boiling water until tender. Remove each vegetable, shock in an ice bath, drain again and set aside.
In large sauté pan, heat butter until it foams. Add shallots, thyme and rosemary, stir for two minutes then add all vegetables. Sauté over high heat until vegetables are cooked through and glazed with butter. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm until serving.
Link to recipe: Organic Winter Root Vegetable Mosaic Hash
Sautéed Artichoke Hearts
8 medium artichokes, trimmed, peeled and choke removed; soak artichokes in lemon water to prevent browning.
3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Use a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1 inch of water and insert a steaming basket. Transfer cleaned artichokes to basket and turn heat on high. When you see steam escaping, lower the heat to medium and steam for 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove artichokes from the basket and shock in an ice bath. Once chilled, cut artichokes in half and slice halves into 1/4-inch slices.
Heat oil in sauté pan on medium heat. Add artichokes and sauté until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
Link to recipe: Sautéed Artichoke Hearts
Rum-Baked Apples with Mascarpone and Almonds
8 Golden Delicious or Fuji apples
8 ounces evaporated cane juice, divided
6 ounces almond paste
2 ounces plus 2 teaspoons dark rum
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups unfiltered apple cider
1 cup mascarpone (Italian cream cheese)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix 4 ounces of cane juice, the almond paste, 2 ounces of rum and the butter to a smooth paste.
Take a thin slice off the top and bottom of the apples. Core the apples and stuff with the almond-rum mixture. Place apples in a cake pan with space between each apple. Sprinkle 2 ounces of cane juice over top of apples. Add cider to the pan and bake.
Baste apples with the cider from the pan every 15 minutes. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, piercing apple with clean toothpick or fork to determine doneness.
For the Topping:
Mix mascarpone with the remaining 2 ounces of cane juice and 2 teaspoons rum. Blend until smooth.
Place each apple in a small bowl and garnish with the mascarpone-cane juice-rum mixture.
Link to recipe: Rum-Baked Apples with Mascarpone and Almonds