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Pork & White Bean Bloody Mary Cassoulet

5 Oct

Serves 4


2 pounds country-style spareribs (or pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch-thick slices)

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 whole clove

2 whole sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 tablespoons thyme leaves

1 pound bacon (slab is best), cut into 2-inch pieces

1 large stalk celery, chopped

1/2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup Garden Bloody Mary mix

1 cup white wine

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juice

2 bay leaves

2 (14-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup coarse bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the spareribs in a heavy pot with half the onion, half the minced garlic, and the thyme sprigs.
  3. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove the ribs; set aside.
  5. In the same pot, over medium heat, brown the bacon.
  6. Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat and add the celery, carrot, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and the remaining onion and garlic (minced and whole) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the broth, bloody mary mix, wine, tomatoes, bay leaves, and beans. Bring to a simmer, then add the cooked ribs.
  8. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the olive oil, bread crumbs, and parsley.
  9. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the cassoulet and bake for 1 hour, uncovered, occasionally pressing the bread crumbs into the cassoulet to thicken it.
  10. Let cool and serve.

Grilled Salmon with Rhubarb Raspberry Pan Sauce

5 Oct

Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for brushing

3/4 cup sliced shallots

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for seasoning

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice plus additional for seasoning

1 cup Rhubarb Raspberry jam

3 T water

2 T white balsamic vinegar

4 7-ounce salmon steaks or fillets with skin (each about 3/4 inch thick)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/8 teaspoon allspice. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add jam, water, and vinegar. Stir to blend. Heat over low heat until melted, stirring often, 2-3 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  2. Brush grill rack with oil. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush salmon on both sides with oil; sprinkle with coarse salt, thyme, allspice, and black pepper.
  3. Grill salmon until just opaque in center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates.
  4. OPTIONAL: Stir 2 tablespoons sliced mint into Rhubarb Raspberry sauce and sprinkle steaks with remaining 1 tablespoon mint.
  5. Spoon sauce over salmon Serve immediately.

Peppered Chicken & Papaya salad with Blackberry Citrus Vinaigrette

5 Oct

makes 2 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces total)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • ½ cup skinned spears or chunks of fresh papaya
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Blackberry citrus vinaigrette
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 cups (packed) fresh arugula


  1. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken on each side with salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Sprinkle papaya with salt and generously with pepper on both sides. Add to same skillet and sauté until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side.
  2. Transfer to plate with chicken. Remove skillet from heat. Add wine to same skillet; stir, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in 1/4 cup vinaigrette and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place arugula in medium bowl. Add remaining 3 tablespoons vinaigrette; toss to coat. Divide salad between 2 plates. Slice each chicken breast crosswise into 4 slices. Arrange 4 slices atop each salad. Arrange ¼ cup papaya on each plate. Pour pan juices over salads and serve.

Blackberry Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 3 T Blackberry jam
  • ¼ C red wine vinegar
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 1 T minced shallot
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 T lemon juice

Salt & pepper

Gingerbread Bacon Bars

29 Jun

Base Layer:

4 c flour
3 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 stick butter
1/2 c bacon fat
1 1/2 c dark brown sugar
4 eggs
1 c molasses
8 slices cooked bacon, chopped

Jam Topping:

3/4 c of your favorite Apple Beer Jam
2 Tbsp butter

Crumb Topping:

6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
3/4 c brown sugar
2/3 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp bacon fat
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp smoked salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a half sheet pan, and then add a layer of parchment to the bottom of the pan.

Prepare the base layer: In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (4 c flour, 3 Tbsp ginger, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper).

In a stand mixer, mix 1 stick butter, 1/2 c bacon fat, and 1 1/2 c dark brown sugar until well-combined. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then 1 c molasses and 8 slices of cooked bacon, chopped into pieces. Add above dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared half sheet pan.

In a small saucepan, heat jam topping ingredients (3/4 c apple beer jam plus 2 Tbsp butter) just until butter melts. Drizzle over base.

In a stand mixer, combine crumb topping ingredients (6 slices cooked chopped bacon, 3/4 c brown sugar, 2/3 c flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 4 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp bacon fat, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp smoked salt) until well combined – texture will be crumbly. Spread over top of bars.

Bake at 350 for 22-27 minutes.



Smoked Salmon Dip with Preserved Lemon

27 May

  • 1 Cup (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or creme fresh
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 t Tabasco sauce
  • 6 oz smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • 2 T finely chopped or pureed preserved lemons
  • 2 T chopped fresh dill
  • 2 T chopped fresh chives
  • Black Pepper, to taste

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, lemons & Tabasco in a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse until blended. Add salmon, dill & chives; pules until blended. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Roasted Asparagus Soup with Preserved Lemon

27 May

We served this at a local fundraising dinner and again at a winery party – and folks were swooning in the isles. This simple soup is a seasonal winner; easy to make but distinctive and unique, with flavor that stands out over a normal roasted veggie soup.

  • 3.5 lbs asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • 3.5 cups broth (we made an herb/leek broth)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs thyme, chopped fine
  • .75 cups grated Parmesan
  • .5 cups heavy cream
  • 4 Tbs preserved lemon, pureed
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1.5 c half and half

Trim  asparagus, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees until cooked through. Let cool then chop into 1” pieces. Sauté onion, garlic, and thyme in butter. Add asparagus and sauté another few minutes to heat everything through.

Add broth, bring to simmer.

Add parmesan, half and half, and heavy cream. Stir to combine.

Add preserved lemon paste. Stir to combine.


Transfer soup to bowl of a food processor and puree to desired consistency. Served heated or chilled.


Whipper Snapper

1 Apr

Just like the name sounds, this saucy, snappy riff on a Manhattan made with whiskey and pomegranate will have you struttin’ and shakin’ your snappy money maker. In the best way possible.

spirits-whipper-snapper-sm2 1/2 oz Whipper Snapper Whiskey

3/4 oz RoJ Pomegranate Anise syrup

2 dashes of Whiskey barrel bitters

Mix all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice to chill. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel.


Truths and Roses

1 Apr

This beautiful, floral stunner was a stroke of genius from the folks at Ransom. The addition of a lavender simple syrup takes this complex cocktail to the realms of amazitude. Sip it the next time you want to impress someone, and we mean really impress someone.

spirits-old_smalls_gin-sm1 1/2 oz Smalls Gin

3/4 oz RoJ Quince Lavender Shrub (seasonal, check in fall/winter)

1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 oz lavender simple syrup

Prosecco float

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice except the prosecco. Stir well to chill, then strain into a cocktail glass and float prosecco.

Hopped Up

1 Apr

Another fantastically refreshing and lively cocktail from our friends at Ransom. This time, we used the Hopped Apple syrup (just what it sounds like; crisp. acidic apples cooked with Oregon hops – wheeeee!) The hops provide strong citrusy notes and wild aromatics to this killer cocktail. Make it for your next bar-b-q, set it next to your pulled pork sandwich and tear up at how good life is.

hops1 1/2 oz Ransom Henry DuYore’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey

3/4 oz RoJ  Hopped Apple Syrup

1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 dash of Whiskey Barrel bitters

1/2 oz IPA beer

Mix all ingredients except the beer in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 30 seconds to chill, strain into cocktail glass, add the beer float and garnish with a lemon twist.

Happy Apple

1 Apr

The RoJ Apple Riesling syrup is everything you’d hope for. Made with tart and crisp Granny Smith apples and local off-dry Riesling wine, the combination is a perfect addition to Ransom’s intensely aromatic and mildly malty Old Tom Gin.  WRansomOldTomGinLoReshy do you think the Apple is Happy?

1 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin

1 oz RoJ Apple Riesling syrup

1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 oz Ransom Dry Vermouth

1 oz soda

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the soda float, and garnish with a lemon twist.