France at Home

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France at Home

Bonjour! This will be my second round to bring another French Ministry of Agriculture to you.

I've noticed a lot of parties have been themed around different cultures of the world. French and Italian is one that I stand by a lot when hosting a party because I love to serve tons of wine and tons of cheese. This time will be a little different with the 4 different wines paired with some cheese and chocolate.

I love to place everything on my kitchen counter and just have my friends serve themselves. Also getting everybody gathered in the kitchen is something I like doing. I am able to talk about my inspiration for the evening as well as why each products were selects. And honestly, everyone always ends up there anyways.

This butter is freshly crafted from cultured cream made in the heart of Normandy. I let this set at room temperature and leave one out (in a nice dish) plain with coarse salt and cracked pepper on the side, and another mixed with honey. I will pair this with mixed breads from baguettes, sourdough, to even pretzel rolls. Everyone likes variety, trust me.

Istara P'tit Basque is a 100% pure sheep's milk cheese. It is still made the same why by tradition which is handmade by sheperds leftover curds from milking their sheep. This cheese has a hint of sheep’s milk, with a smooth, sweet flavor and a nutty finish. I paired this with sweet, plump, and extremely crispy green grapes that I left in the fridge soaked with ice water.

I'm a huge fan of Mas De Daumas Gassac.

Their white grand cru comes from a dry winter and spring climate, followed by an exceedingly hot summer and just the right amount of rain in August meant they were able to pick grapes at an ideal maturity. The complexity of the wine is multilayered with tons of flavor which is pleasantly enjoyed. Here's a little more background of this white wine:

  • Average age of the vines: 33 years.
  • Yield: 35 hl/ha.
  • Total production: 71 000 bottles and 1000 magnums.
  • Alcohol by vol.: 13,30% Vol.
  • Total acidity (H2SO4): 3,98.
  • Ph: 3,32.
  • Residual sugar: 12g.
Next we have the Rose from Mouilin De Gassac. The scent of this wine has pleasant, yet intense, floral and mineral aroma. The wine on the palate is well balanced with freshness combining red currants and berries.

Next we have the Rose from Mouilin De Gassac. The scent of this wine has pleasant, yet intense, floral and mineral aroma. The wine on the palate is well balanced with freshness combining red currants and berries.

Les Vignobles André Lurton, is currently one of the largest wineries in the Bordeaux region. These wines are produced from the prestigious Bordeaux appellations.

Les Vignobles André Lurton, is currently one of the largest wineries in the Bordeaux region. These wines are produced from the prestigious Bordeaux appellations.

Château Bonnet White 2016 - Has a very distinct flavor of what you would find in a Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignons always reminds me of a dry crisp pear. I would serve this with fresh seafood outside from grilled to raw. This is a nice white to drink during this time of year.

Château Bonnet Red 2014 - This wine has notes that features raspberry, vanilla, and spice. Also has velvety tannins and good acidity that finishes. Some would tastes flavors of black currant which I'm not surprised about. An easy wine to drink.

THe Dulcey 32%, baking bar has a DELICIOUS notes of caramel that I've never had before. The color of this bar was also gorgeous. Nicely golden. I can make some great desserts with this, but I think I would rather enjoy this as is with the tines.

Same with the Orelys baking bag. These chips don't have the caramel flavor, but has a distinct deep milk chocolate flavor followed by licorice. I would also serve this as is with the wines. Such a dangerous treat.

Enjoy!

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What to Make For Your Next Cocktail Party

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What to Make For Your Next Cocktail Party

There's absolutely nothing like have a nice cold margarita during the day. The joy of the sun beating on your skin or being indoors surrounded with good company to the sound of Buena Vista Social Club. All of this can be taken away if your choices of a perfect margarita doesn't include the best ingredients.

Before I go on, click here to find out where you can locate Agavero Orange Liqueur.

Agavero Orange Liqueur is a blend of 100% blue agave tequila, infused with the essence of oranges and pure agave nectar. The distiller, Lazaro Gallardo, created Agavero in 1857 in the region of Jalisco Mexico. This is great served either in a blended drink or on the rocks which is what I prefer.

For this recipe, I've decided to use Gran Centenario Tequila - Reposado. Since Agavero Orange is infused with the natural orange flavor and agave nectar, I was inspired to create a recipe with ginger, peaches, and agave syrup.

 

 

1.5 parts Gran Centenario Reposado (I like darker Tequilas.)

.75 parts Agavero Orange Liqueur

1/2 of 1 peach. Slice up the other 1/2 and freeze.

3 slices of ginger

1 tablespoon agave

1 lemon wedge

Muddle your peach, ginger and agave in your mixer. After, poor in your Agavero Orange and Gran Centenario. I like to give it a quick stir before dumping in the ice for the quick shake. Having a glass ready to go filled with ice, quickly fill your shaker with ice and give it a rapid shake for a good 10 seconds.

Strain your drink into your glass with ice and a squeeze of lemon on top before enjoying. Ginger is always optional. I've just been using it a lot because of its nutritional properties. If you want to not use ginger, try adding a few taps of cayenne pepper for a different type of heat.

The Agavero Orange was definitely a nice touch to this fresh fruit cocktail. I love the subtleness it brings and the orange oil essence you normally find in the peel.

As always, please drink responsibly and remember that this is intended for ages 21+!

Enjoy!

 

 

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Kimchi Pork

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Kimchi Pork

This dish never fails to please a hungry crowd. There are days that I crave stuffing my face with white rice. Kimchi Pork falls right in the arena to eat with white rice (as well as my ginger pork from the post prior to this). It's also an item you can most likely find at an Izakaya or Japanese diner like the ginger pork.

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Ingredients are simple: 

  • 1.5lbs of pork belly or shoulder
  • 1 14oz(I believe but I'll double check) of mat kimchi
  • 1/2 white onion thinly sliced
  • kewpie mayonnaise
  • shichimi pepper (optional) 
  • sesame seeds (optional) 
  • minced green onions (optional)  

You'll start my sautéing the onions w a little oil till they are halfway cooked. The pork will go in after seasoning lightly w salt and pepper. When the pork is cooked, you will dump in the jar of kimchi and give it a quick mix. I normally cook the kimchi in for 1-2 minutes. I drizzle kewpie mayonnaise on too then give it another toss. 

The final touches will be another drizzle of mayonnaise, sesame seeds, shichimi pepper, and green onions. 

Eat this over a hot bowl of steamy rice!  

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Ginger Pork

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Ginger Pork

One of my favorite things to eat now one of my favorite dishes to make. If you are ever traveling to Japan and end up at a Japanese diner, feel free to ask for "shogayaki". This dish is extremely comforting and filling. It goes great with a hot bowl of steamy white rice which is what I needed when I worked at an Izakaya. This was a meal that filled me up quick to get me through a nights service or something to fill my empty stomach after a night of hard work.

Recipe is extremely simple. The only real trick is how much grated ginger to put. I love a lot of ginger where it's prominent, but I know a lot of it can scare of people.

Regardless, this is how I made it.

  • 1.5 pounds of pork (recommend thin sliced pork belly or thin sliced pork butt).
  • 1 medium onion sliced (I used yellow)
  • 1/2 of a cabbage, thinly sliced.
  • Kewpie mayonnaise (optional, but imperative for me)
  • 4 tablespoons Mirin
  • 2 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger

The onions are slightly sweated on medium high before putting in the pork belly. The pork belly is seasoned ever so lightly with salt and pepper. Once the pork is cooked through before browning, pour in the ginger sauce and mix the ingredients until coated.

Grab a bowl and scoop some hot white rice, topped with the raw cabbage slices, then the hot ginger pork. Drizzle with Kewpie mayonnaise and a dash of sesame seeds.

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California Avocados - Vons

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California Avocados - Vons

Over the past few years, I've noticed the price increase in avocados. I don't think about it as often until the day I need to make guacamole. I can still remember the days you can find avocados 3 for $1. Of course you would become less picky to the quality of the avocados. Nowadays, I'm extremely picky with the exterior of the avocados as well as size. Because hey, size does matter.

I'm swagged out!

I'm excited to share a great event I attended for Vons as they will be featuring a new local grower every week through September. The event was in collaboration with California Avocado Commission as they are one of the features in stores at Vons. These fresh California Avocados is known for their appearance (large and evenly shaped), creamy textures and delicious taste. California Avocados are cultivated in ideal growing conditions in the unique climate of coastal California. Just look for the "California" on the label to ensure that you are choosing avocados grown with utmost dedication and care by California Avocado growers. Also handpicked by the way.

Handpicked.

Handpicked and ready to be shipped :)

Cute little avocados not ready yet.

Farm to Table lunch avocado themed (obviously).

FEAST YOUR EYES.

Cucumber water, Lavender Lemonade, Unsweetened Black Iced Tea

Vegan Cauliflower Ceviche

California Avocado Southwest Salad.

California Avocado Potato Salad - Sub Mayo for Avocados to still get that fatty richness you crave. The good fat, you know?

Chipotle marinated portabella mushrooms topped with avocado pico de gallo

BBQ Tri Tip with Avocado chimichurri.

California Avocado Key Lime Pudding Shots (Thank you Tina for giving me yours!)

Everything was not just fresh, but freaking delicious. Actually, probably one of the best-catered meal I've ever had. I'm definitely inspired to make more dishes with avocados. I think avocados are normally used in sandwiches, eaten plain, or in guacamole. But, there are so many ways to eat avocados. You can fry them, make sauces and dressings like the ones I've had above. I'll be sharing some of my inspired creations soon so stay tuned for that.

Remember to look for avocados with "California" to ensure that you are choosing avocados grown close to home.

 

 

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