Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Thursday, May 28, 2015
From the Clif Family Kitchen
Recipe by Chef John McConnell
1 rustic bread loaf from your favorite bakery
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped; reserve 1 clove for brushing on bruschetta
2 bunches of kale
6 farm fresh eggs
1 bunch of radishes (French Breakfast, Easter Egg or Watermelon are our favorites)
1 small jar high quality anchovies packed in olive oil
1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
4 TBSP Clif Family Kitchen extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bruschetta
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
Sea salt to taste
Pre-slice bread and leave out uncovered, you’ll want bread slightly stale before grilling to maintain crunchy texture after bread is toasted. In a medium sauce pot, bring water up to a boil. Place egg carefully in water and cook for exactly nine minutes. Remove from water and transfer to ice bath. Once completely cool, peel eggs and use an egg slicer or sharp knife to cut eggs into uniform slices and set aside. Wash and cut kale, stem and all into larger pieces to be sautéed. In large sauté pan, add 4 cloves of chopped garlic, chili flakes and 4 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil. Over medium heat frequently stirring with a wooden spoon, lightly brown garlic to infuse flavor into oil, but NOT burning. To stop cooking process, add whole filets of anchovies and breakup in oil using wooden spoon. Once anchovies are incorporated, add kale and sauté quickly to wilt kale over high heat.
Once kale is wilted check for seasoning as anchovies vary in salt content, it may not be necessary to season additionally with salt. Add lemon juice and set kale aside keeping warm in sauté pan until ready to serve. Prepare radishes by slicing thinly on a mandolin or by using a sharp knife. Prepare a BBQ grill or grill pan. Make sure pan is preheated before grilling bread to ensure a proper toast. Grill bread dry to desired toast level and set aside. Brush grilled bread with clove of garlic and drizzle extra virgin olive oil on each side. To assemble, redress kale in pan with oil and cooking juices and drape over bruschetta so that juices absorb into grilled bread. Top with slices of egg and radish and a sprinkle of coarse texture sea salt.
Pairing Suggestion: Gary’s Improv Howell Mountain Zinfandel by Clif Family
Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Friday, April 17, 2015
Recipe by Michelin star chef Matthew Accarrino
Team Accarrino (Acca) is a group of people, sponsors and passionate individuals interested in promoting food, wine and cycling lifestyles to inspire and involve those around us. Led by renowned chef Matthew Accarrino an avid cyclist and celebrated chef. Team Accarrino are cooks, chefs, cyclists, foodies, friends and customers.
This rustic recipe was inspired by a trip to Umbria where foraged wild greens made the filling for this incredible and forgiving Olive oil dough. Here I have adapted it to feature sweet salami and earthy mushrooms, it will pair perfectly with the 2011 Grenache. This dough recipe makes a great base, vary the filling to suite your taste and keep the recipe for the future. Enjoy! --Team Accarrino
Olive Oil Dough
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the flours and salt on low speed. Add the wine, water, and oil. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until a dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave on the counter for 10 minutes to rest.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Heat the olive oil in a wide pot. Add the butter, onion and sweat until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 12-15 minutes. Remove mixture to a bowl or tray and when cool enough to handle, chop the mixture and place in a mixing bowl. Stir in the salumi, ricotta, cheese, and season with a few gratings of nutmeg and pinches salt and pepper. Add the eggs and mix well.
Clear a large workspace for rolling out the dough. Unwrap the dough and with some extra flour dust the surface and dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is about 1/8” thick and a large rectangular shape.Trim the edges with a knife to form a large sheet.
Line the bottom two-thirds of the dough towards yourself with a layer of the filling. Starting from the bottom edge with the filling on it, slowly roll the dough like a strudel towards the opposite edge with no filling on it (away from you). Keep the roll tight.
When completely rolled transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the top with olive oil. Using a skewer, poke holes in the top of the torta so steam can escape. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden-brown. Serve slices warm with a salad and simple vinaigrette.
Variation- if made ahead the torta can be sliced into portions, set on the cut side and topped with a bit of cheese. Bake for 5-7 minutes in a 375 degree oven to warm and melt the cheese. Serve.
As Needed Garden greens, shaved vegetables, herbs and/or thin salami slices
As Needed Simple lemon vinaigrette or other dressing
As Needed Grated Bellavitano or Parmesan
Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Thursday, April 16, 2015
April 13, 2015, Molvena, Veneto, Italia
Another day, another bike ride.
Today we decided to ride to Monte Corno and deliver a special package from Clif Family Winery and Clif Bar to Mirko at his Rifugio called La Baita. The first time we rode this “via” was last year in September, with our friends Gregg, Deven and John as day one of our 7 day bike trip through the Dolomiti. Monte Corno sits on the south edge of the Alto Piano di Asiago. Yes, Asiago, the cheese, where one rides by cheese factories on many of the amazing and beautiful roads in this area.
Since moving here last October for one year, we have ridden to Monte Corno numerous times. Most of our rides include lunch (pranzo) at Refugio La Baita Busa. The first lunch was in October on a ride with Paolo and Nene, the couple that I met 25 years ago at Samsara, their Bar and Bruschetteria. Kit met them a few years later in 1994 and we have been friends ever since. Paolo & Nene, if you don't know, inspired us to start our own Bruschetteria at Velo Vino in the form of a food truck. Which is one of the few things we miss being away for a year.
The food at Baita is so amazing, everything is hand made, "fatto a mano." Including the pasta and gnocchi. It cracks us up, here it is, nothing around, at the edge of this mountain plateau and you find this place to eat that is as good as any Italian trattoria in San Francisco, New York, or Italy. The first time we went there with Paolo and Nene we ordered both the gnocchi and the pasta Bigoli. Pasta Bigoli is unique to this part of the Veneto - think really thick spaghetti. The gnocchi was amazing. This also being the first time Paolo & Nene ate at the Baita, they were also pretty blown away. However Paolo did put the challenge on the table by saying he makes a better gnocchi. The following week he did, as well as taught us his method, and...it actually was better, not by much but he won the challenge.
After about six lunches with Mirko, we started to get to know him, he knew we were from California but didn't know anything about us. Sometimes after lunch he would offer us a digestive, a wonderful, homemade liquore from local alpine herbs. "Not too much" we would say, we still have to ride down the hill back to our apartment, 5000 ft. below La Baita. Yes, the climb right from "nostra casa" is a 5000 ft. climb. And we love it. The roads are perfectly paved, the climb is not too steep, the scenery is magnificent, and usually no more then six cars pass us on our way up. Since we rode there mostly in the winter, we carried all of our warm clothing in our large seat bags, even ski mittens and down coats since the "gradi" or temperature was usually below freezing.
Today however is different, warm sunny, 60-70 degrees. Primavera has arrived. Yesterday I road in my first Italian Gran Fondo, and my last. It was one of the scariest things I’ve have ever done on a bike. That story for another time.
Last time we were at Baita, just a week ago, we told Mirko we wanted to bring him some wine from our Cantina (Italian for winery). That time we drove as I was resting for the Gran “Crazy” Fondo. After lunch he gave us a bottle of his home made Liquore "Amaro" made from "Infuso di Erbe Alpine"
Back to today, we decided to bring Mirko two bottles of wine on our bikes. Along with a can of Dark Chocolate Toffee Pistachios from our Kitchen line, and a variety of Clif products. Note: see where I carried the reserve Cab in foto.
After 2 hours of climbing we arrived, set up the bikes so Kit could show how we carried the goods, as I went in and told Mirko, "abbiamo consegna speciale," we have a special delivery. He said, "per me?!"
He was so grateful and thought it was especially cool that we climbed 1500 meters/5000 feet and carried everything up on our bikes.
Then we did it again, another totally amazing pranzo. Bigoli and a little white wine. Just a little, remember, we were soon to drop 5000 ft. back to our house. And we did, after “due café”, and landed safely.
Next time we ride to La Baita, we will let you know how he liked our wines!
Ciao a tutti,
Gary & Kit
Originally Posted by Brian Hawkins on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Spina Rossa Della Velsugana
By Drew Erickson, Assistant Farm Manager
Corn (zea mays) is one of the only cereal grains grown by gardeners according to Sunset’s Western Garden Book. And at Clif Family Farm, it is one of our best crops!
Corn has a long history. It was developed by Stone Age humans in Mesoamerica where it was hybridized and selected for thousands of years, although how remains a disputed mystery. Around 2500 BC it spread from the fields around Mexico and was soon grown as a staple grain by people across the Americas.
In the 15th and 16th centuries explorers brought the crop back to Europe where it thrived in a variety of climates. In the Italian Alps a handful of farmers in the Valsugana Valley selected their corn over generations to create a unique variety. They were selecting for a large red cob, early ripening, with distinct spines. In the process it developed a unique flavor. Known as Spina Rossa Della Valsugana, it became a staple crop for the region.
The seed was brought back to America and named Floriani Red Flint in honor of the Floriani family who donated the first few kilos of seed to get back to the US. There has since been a renaissance in growing this type of corn for polenta.
At Clif Family Farm we have had success with several varieties of sweet corn. Summer 2014 was our first attempt at growing this rare red flint corn. So far the project has worked. A test plot of a few hundred square feet yielded about two hundred ears of corn that are now dry and ready to shell.
This variety is open pollinated, so while we are excited to try the finished polenta, we will be sure to hold back the best cobs to save as seed for next year’s crop. In the years to come we hope to plant up to a quarter acre of our garden in corn for polenta or grits, with a potential yield of 500 lbs to 750lbs and enough seed to replant year after year.
We chose to grow Spina Rossa Della Velsugana for many reasons. This variety is reputed to have a richer flavor and is deep yellow, with flecks of pink. It an ideal homesteading corn for the ability to seed save and it’s abundant yields. Due to its scarcity it is more valuable than most commodity corn. It is much easier to harvest and process than wheat, which we have grown in the past. It also fits our mission to rediscover an old way of farming.
This summer, you may be able to try some of this delicious polenta from the Clif Family Bruschetteria Food Truck.
Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Recipe by Chef John McConnell
2 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced lengthwise (preferably on a mandolin)
2 tbsp fennel fronds
2 tbsp Clif Family Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Clif Family Kitchen White Wine Vinegar
1 large grapefruit, segmented
3 mandarin oranges, segmented
½ cup Clif Family Kitchen Lemon Ginger Almonds, coarsely chopped
½ tsp kosher salt
Place sliced fennel in a bowl with Clif Family Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Clif Family Kitchen White Wine Vinegar, segmented grapefruit, segmented oranges, half the Clif Family Kitchen Lemon Ginger Almonds and kosher salt. Mix well.
Serve on a platter and garnish with fennel fronds and remaining chopped almonds.
Makes four servings
Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Recipe by Chef John McConnell
1 tbsp Clif Family Kitchen Napa Valley Olive Oil
4 ounces smoked, dried chorizo, cut into half inch dice
3 cups winter squash, cut into one-inch cubes (butternut, acorn or pumpkin)
1 small onion, medium dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, cut into one inch pieces
1-cup chicken stock
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup Clif Family Kitchen Smoked Paprika Almonds, coarsely chopped
In a large, cold sauté pan add Clif Family Kitchen Napa Valley Olive Oil and diced chorizo and cook on low heat until chorizo has rendered its fat, about five minutes. Remove chorizo with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Turn the heat in the pan up to medium-high heat. Add the squash and onion to the pan in one even layer. Cook on medium-high heat until squash has caramelized on each side, about six to eight minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard, chicken stock, smoked paprika and salt to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and squash is fork tender. Serve on a platter garnished with chopped Clif Family Kitchen Smoked Paprika Almonds.