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South of the border…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I tried to call ahead but didn’t get through. Turns out you need to add a “1”
to the number listed on YELP- here’s the correct way to dial from the USA:
011-51-1-612 157-1625
Ok, so my hope was to bake for free & learn lots from the legendary Marcus Spahr,
so I just showed up, apron in tow.
Instead we had lunch, talked & then did business at his digs in the charming,
quaint little town of El Triunfo, Baja CA Sur.
Marcus is a self taught baker & has baked every day for 21 years.
He even built his mesquite wood-fire ovens for his Caffe.
Before Caffe El Triunfo there was Caffe Todos Santos, over on the west coast of Baja.

From start to finish Marcus’ bread fermentation process takes 24 hours to make.
His method develops more complex & mildly acidic flavors, which give his breads
a natural sweetness & nut-like character.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of a meal in his pizzeria or bakery, I highly recommend that you include an afternoon in El Triunfo for your next trip.
It’s really the best of two worlds: authentic Mexican charm & artisan pastries…
& it shouldn’t be missed!
PS while supplies last, FIND Ojai Jelly at Caffe El Triunfo

Open every day!

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Date with a Pig

Date with a Pig
No photo yet, I apologize. They’re eaten that fast—

Ingredients
Apple-smoked Bacon– 1 package
Medjool dates– about 30
Savory Sauce

What to do
Cut dates in 1/2, discard seeds.
Cut bacon in thirds, so you have about 3″ strips to work with.
Wrap bacon around date halves.
Secure with metal or bamboo pick.

In a convection oven;
Bake at 340* for about 10 minutes a side.
Regular oven; bake at 350* for about 12 minutes a side.
Drain off bacon grease & save 1 T. for “Savory Sauce”.

Habanero Balsamic Sauce-
In a saucepan;
4 parts Ojai Habanero Jelly
1 part Balsamic Vinegar
Reduce for about 45 minutes over low heat.

Easily alter Habanero Balsamic Sauce to this
Savory Sauce

In a saucepan over low heat;
Warm 1 1/2 cups Habanero Balsamic Sauce
with 5-ounces Chévre
Add 1 T. bacon grease + any date bits left over.
Heat through. Stir & serve.
bet you can’t eat just one

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Summertime Carrots

Summertime Carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a saucepan lightly steam;
5 medium size carrots- peeled
Drain well & transfer to a serving bowl

In the same saucepan heat;

2-3 T. OJAI Habanero Jelly
Heat till it sizzles for about 45 seconds
Add 1 T. Molasses
3 T. Lemon Balsamic Vinegar (Robbins Family Farm)

Stir for just a moment & remove from heat.

Pour sauce over carrots,
add 1 finely chopped green onion

Toss & serve-

Delicious warm or cold

enjoy!

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Pickled Asparagus

 

 

Makes 5-6 quarts

Surprisingly crunchy & delicious like a great pickle can be-
Eat alone, cut them into your chopped salad, serve with cheese,
or use as a ‘swizzle stick’ in your next Bloody Mary!

Wash 6 quart-size jars
Sterilize jars & lids

Wash all ingredients-
You’ll need;
Asparagus- about 5-6 clusters
Break or cut off asparagus ends, allowing asparagus to stand in jar; about 3/4″ from top.
18 sprigs of fresh dill – 3 per jar
12 cloves fresh garlic – 2 per jar
6 small Peppers – 1 per jar (Habanero, Serrano, or Jalapeño; dried or fresh)

Fill clean, sterilized  jars with raw ingredients; asparagus, dill, garlic & Peppers.

In medium sized pot, boil until salt is dissolved:
6 c. water
2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 T. kosher salt

Using a ladle, fill jars with hot liquid-
Always remember to leave about 1/2″ at the top, as per canning instructions.

Seal jars.
When cooled, store jars in refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
(you can also make with fresh green beans instead of asparagus)

enjoy!

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Savory Egg Salad Sandwich

Savory Egg Salad Sandwich

Do this first step ahead of time:

12 hard boiled eggs –
We get our eggs fresh from the chicken coop, wash them, set in cool water then boil them, shell them, then soak them in dill pickle juice for about one week or more in the refrigerator-

For the sandwich we use 10 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
1/2 c. safflower mayonnaise (or your favorite)
1/4 c. dill pickles, minced
1/4 c. purple onion, minced
1/4 c. celery, minced
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. mustard (Dijon or American)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of paprika (I occasionally use curry or cumin)
lettuce
tomato
avocado
Ojai Jalapeño Jelly
12 slices of sourdough or rye bread, lightly toasted (helps keep sandwich from falling apart)

In a large bowl mash the eggs with a fork or a pasty blender.  Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and spices.

Lay out 6 slices of toasted bread.  Slather with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly. Divide the egg salad evenly between the slices.  Add a lettuce leaf, tomato slice &/or avocado if desired.

Eat open-faced or coat other slice of bread with Ojai Jalapeño Jelly and top the sandwich.

I put a decorative toothpick in each half to help hold it together, slice diagonally and eat~

I garnish the plate with a dill pickle and a pepporchini

enjoy!

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Habanero Jelly

Habanero Jelly

I’ve been doing some experiments making Habanero Pepper Jelly-
My first samples were pretty intense…
just ask my friends!

The Habanero Pepper is much hotter than the Jalapeño Pepper- see my page ‘about the heat’.
I’ve found the important balance of sweet, hot & savory to establish a flavorful Habanero Jelly-
The way I’ve made it, it’s no hotter than the Jalapeño Jelly, just a different delicious flavor~

coming soon!