Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spare a Mink (poems & recipes!)

Just a short note to say how much we love our loyal customers!
Buck (our ferry engineer, motorcycle builder that loves dark, dark chocolate, lamb roasts and Stilton Blue Cheese) sent a poem via e-mail today...
Rah for Bella
Rah for pink
Buy her chocolates
Spare a mink!

Thanks Buck! You made us laugh out loud! That's good for one FREE wedge of Stilton on your next trip into the store.
...and speaking of cheese, we've got some fabulous cheeses for fondue (a very romantic dinner if you ask me!) as well as St. Andre' -the most decadent triple cream brie imaginable. All you need to do with this lovely little 'piece de resistance' is slice up a pear or apple and then peel me a grape and pour the champagne!

If you are thinking of serving a balanced meal for V-Day, we'll suggest a couple of savory options.
BELLA Agnello allo Zafferano
We are lucky to be so lamb rich here in Baker City, with three growers producing grass fed lamb within 30 miles of the store. Sustainable, local, and delicious – what more could you ask for?

2-3 lb. lamb roast, boned and cubed * 8 cloves garlic, minced
½ c. olive oil * 1 c. san marzano tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch of parsley, minced * 1 big pinch saffron
Salt and fresh ground pepper * rind from one lemon

4 cups cooked Jasmine rice

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet or dutch over, sauté herbs and garlic quickly but do not let garlic brown. Add lamb, stir-fry or turn until pieces are evenly browned. Powder saffron by crushing between your fingers into ¼ c. white wine, stir and add to lamb. Add tomato, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until lamb is just pink inside. Serve over rice or roasted sweet potatoes. Serves 4.

Srawberry Mtn. NY Steak au bleu!
4 Strawberry Mtn. NY Steaks * ¾ c. balsamic vinegar
1 T. crushed black peppercorns * 1 t. sugar
1 T. green peppercorns, drained * ¼ lb. Oregonzola, crumbled
1 T. porcini mushroom powder * 2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350˚
Mix cracked pepper, crushed green peppercorns and mushroom powder in pie pan. Press steaks into mixture to form a thick coating over both sides. Heat a large, heavy skillet-add olive oil and turn pan to evenly coat. Add steaks and cook over moderately high heat to quickly sear in flavors and brown on both sides (3 minutes on each side). Transfer steaks to a baking sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar and sugar to skillet drippings, bring to a boil and reduce to 1/3 cup. Remove steaks from over, press Oregonzola over top of each and return to oven for 2 minutes. Drizzle balsamic sauce over steaks and serve with grilled vegetables and pasta.

BELLA Chicken Cordon Bleu with Bleu Cheese!
This is an easy and gorgeously delicious way to have more pizzazz in your poultry!

2 Chicken breasts, boned and pounded slightly * 2 slices proscuitto
2 oz. Oregonzola or Roquefort * 2 oz. Comte or Emmental, julienned
1 T. Dijon mustard * 1 t. bread crumbs
2 T. finely grated Parmesan or Romano * ½ t. finely chopped parsley

Pound the chicken breasts to double in size. Light brush with mustard and layer slice of proscuitto and cheeses on one side of breast. Roll breast from stuffed side, so that cheese is in the center. Secure with a tooth pick. Mix together grated cheese, parsley and bread crumbs and roll each breast into mixture.

In preheated sauté pan, add 2 t. olive oil and then place chicken in pan and cook 2 minutes

on each side. Pour in a splash of white wine, lower heat and cover for 10 – 15 minutes. Check for doneness with a cooking thermometer – 150 to 160 degrees interior temp. Serve with green beans, caramelized carrots and garlic mashed potoatoes.

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