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Santa Barbara, CA, United States
I enjoy creating original wine-pairing recipes that are healthful and delicious. I work for Touring & Tasting a Santa Barbara based wine club and national magazine as Food Editor. However, I am not paid for this blog and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I received my Personal Chef Skills Competency Award from the SBCC's School Of Culinary Arts. In 2012, I started Inside Wine - Santa Barbara with pal Lila Brown which features wine tastings with winery owners and winemakers. I also serve on the Board of the Santa Barbara Culinary Arts group, which had Julia Child as one of the founding members and funds scholarships for SBCC culinary students in her name.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Charlie Parker's Dry Creek Kitchen And The Buttery Soft Sheets Of Hotel Healdsburg

San Francisco architect David Baker, designer of the the Hotel Healdsburg, married art with comfort. The elegant lines and earthy palette please the eye, while one's sense of touch is pampered with the buttery soft sheets, deep pillowy couches and deep soaking tubs. Through my current and past jobs, I've been fortunate to stay at many wonderful resorts and hotels, many with lavish spas, golf courses and amenities, but this boutique hotel satisfies my craving for serenity like no other lodging. The beds are so comfortable--those buttery soft sheets!--that all I want to do is sip tea, read a book and enjoy the Zen like tranquility of the space. The architecture and the furnishings are stunning, with poured concrete floors, handwoven Tibetan rugs and contemporary art, but the hotel is without pretense or stuffiness.
They also "got it right" with their environmental sensitivity winning them a 4 Green Eco-Leaf Rating, which proves that luxurious doesn't have to mean wasteful. I've pinched a few photos from their website and included mine of the ahi tuna.
The hotel is right on the main square of Healdsburg, so you can pop out of your room into the crisp air to stroll the town and enjoy a number of good restaurants, including Charlie Parker's Dry Creek Kitchen in the hotel itself.  Included in our lodging package was a six course meal. The Chef's Menu encompassed Seared Hawaiian Ahi Tataki with local watercress, Roasted Celeriac Soup with Black Truffle Flan, Warm Dungeness Crab Fondue with Sourdough Blini, Pan Roasted Crispy Striped Bass with Lentil Ragout, American Kobe Flat Iron 'Au Poivre (a vegetable tart for me--the non-meat eater), and choice of dessert, for me, the light puff of Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with a delicate Burnt Orange Meringue. As the recipe below indicates, the detailed preparation of each dish in the Dry Creek Kitchen is astonishing.
For the adventurous pastry chefs among you, try this recipe from Dry Creek Kitchen's Pastry Chef Yulanda Santos.
Apple Pie Ice Cream, Brown Sugar-Cave Aged Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Streusel, Vanilla Yogurt Pound Cake, Apple-Fig Cream, and Spiced Cotton Candy Paper:
For The Apple Pie Ice Cream:
1.09 kilograms whole milk
345 grams heavy cream
70 grams dry milk
2 grams salt
½ grams ground cinnamon
½ grams powdered ginger
100 grams dried apple rings
100 grams candied apples
8 grams PreGel Neutro (Stabilizer)
170 grams Sugar
30 grams trimoline
70 grams dry glucose
150 grams caramelized white chocolate
For The Brown Sugar-Cave Aged Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Streusel:
120 grams cold, diced Butter
140 grams brown sugar
140 grams high gluten flour
160 grams cave aged Carr Valley Wisconsin shredded cheese
For The Vanilla Yogurt Pound Cake:
214 grams all-purpose flour
7 grams baking powder
3 grams salt
136 grams yogurt
194 grams Sugar
148 grams eggs
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
90 grams canola oil
PreGel Fig Arabeschi
Spiced Cotton Candy Paper:
2 cups PreGel Magic Sugar (Isomalt)
½ cup water
1 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
Cinnamon oil
Cardamom oil
For The Apple-Fig Cream:
200 grams peeled and cored apples
50 grams honey
50 grams PreGel Fig Arabeschi
50 grams low acyl gellan gum
2.5 grams salt
To Assemble and Serve:
Fresh figs
Fresh slices of apples
PreGel Fig Arabeschi
How to make the Apple Pie Ice Cream:

Heat the milk, cream, dry milk, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together until just below a boil, then remove from the heat. Steep the dried apple rings and candied apples in the hot milk mixture. Meanwhile, combine the sorbet stabilizer with the sugar and set aside. Heat the milk to 86ºF, then add the inverted sugar and dry glucose. Continue heating the mixture until it reaches 104ºF, then add the egg yolks. When it reaches 113ºF, add the sugar-stabilizer mixture. Cook the mixture to 185ºF, then remove from the heat. Chill and then refrigerate. When the mixture is cool, spin it Carpigiani ice cream machine.
How to make the Brown Sugar Cave-Aged Cheddar Cheese Streusel:
Preheat the oven to 320ºF. Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, and cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Paddle all the ingredients together until they are all thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. Bake the streusel until lightly toasted, then remove from the oven and allow tocool.
How to make the Vanilla Yogurt Pound Cake:

Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. In a separate bowl combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs, and vanilla paste. Stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture, then fold in the oil. Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven then layer with the PreGel Fig Arabeschi.
How to make the Spiced Cotton Candy Paper:

Heat the PreGel Magic Sugar, water, cinnamon stick and star anise in a pot until the mixture reaches 310ºF. Cool the mixture on a Silpat. When the mixture has cooled, grind in a spice grinder. Seal the ground mixture in an airtight container with a drop of cinnamon and cardamom oil. Make cotton candy using Koerner cotton candy machine. Roll the cotton candy very thin using a pasta machine or rolling pin to form “paper.”
How to make the Apple-Fig Cream:

Cook the apples with the honey in a medium pot until they are tender. Blend the warm apples and purée with the fig puree, low acyl gellan gum, and salt. Strain the mixture.
To Assemble and Serve:

Slice and plate a piece of the vanilla yogurt pound cake. Top with a quenelle of the apple pie ice cream. Place a piece of the spiced cotton candy paper diagonally against the cake. Drizzle the apple-fig cream around the dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar cave-aged cheddar cheese streusel.

With most of our country under a blanket of snow, a piping hot soup is in order! Simple to make; add cheese and crackers (try Mozzarella or Provolone) for an easy meal. (recipe includes a vegetarian option)

Mushroom Barley Sausage Soup:
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 minced onion
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
2 Italian sausage, sliced (vegetarians use the Field Roast Italian*)
6 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup barley
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
In a large pot, sauté the onion, garlic, mushrooms and sausage in oil until onion is transparent, stirring continuously. Add broth, spices, potato, carrots, tomato, and barley and simmer for 1/2 hour. Pair with Mozzarella or Provolone cheese and the luscious 2006 Kestrel Co-Ferment Syrah which is featured in this week's Online Grapevine.

*Field Roast vegetarian sausages can be found at most natural food stores.

1 comment:

  1. good facilities and good use of ingredience to prepare a delicious foodd