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archive for December 2010

expansion is normal around the holidays

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering what is up with all of the posting suddenly? Me too. It’s been a busy week…

This past Tuesday, I was invited by the Pearl Street Whole Foods store in Boulder to come and tour the new space before it opened to the public on Saturday (that’s TODAY). You know the new space, right? The space that used to be Barnes and Noble before they moved to their giant building on the corner of 30th and Pearl? It’s been under construction for the past several months. Whole Foods Boulder is expanding. My boys in Seafood told me the volume of customers coming into the Pearl Street store far exceeded what the original store was ever intended to accommodate. Whole Foods is popular in Boulder. There are times I refuse to go (after 5pm on weekdays and anytime on weekends) because I can’t stand the crowds. But I do shop at Whole Foods Boulder because I am so very loyal to their Seafood and Butcher departments. I know I can always find special or good looking produce for shoots there, and when I entertain – their cheese department never fails me.

there was a huge amount of work to do in the next four days

ben friedland, regional marketing coordinator, welcomes the group

So what is this new space? It’s an additional 26,645 square feet expanding the store to 66,000 square feet in total (including the original space). The design emphasizes more natural light, forefront green technologies (e.g. refrigeration), re-purposed materials, and more seating from the original 89 seats to over 350 seats including an outdoor patio under construction.

paul white, prepared foods coordinator, explains efforts to source locally

pad thai samples

barbecue pulled pork sliders

**Jump for more butter**

shanks a lot

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Recipe: braised lamb shanks with lentils

***Message from Annie of Lava Lake Ranch: Fans of Use Real Butter, try out our lamb shanks and other cuts of sustainably raised grass-fed lamb and use promo code LLLblog12 to save 10% off all orders over $150. All profits go towards conservation projects on our ranch, so you can purchase knowing you are supporting a good cause.***

I’ve been a good girl.

I’ve been cleaning out my freezer. People keep telling me I just need to buy a second refrigerator/freezer, but I can only imagine how much more food I could potentially squirrel away and forget about if I had two freezers. No, it’s good to rediscover those little gems squished alllll the way in the back corner while they are still recognizable and consumable. So when Lava Lake Ranch shipped me some of their beautiful 100% organic, grass-fed lamb cuts earlier this month (FTC disclosure), I was determined to use the largest pieces – the shanks – first, to keep the volume of frozens down in my freezer. As luck would have it (or negligence, you pick) there were two more hind shanks from Lava Lake buried under several bags of green chiles on the lower shelf. Four shanks in total… sweet.

Knowing next to zippo about lamb, I asked the twitterverse if I should braise or roast the lamb shanks. Overwhelmingly, the twitterverse replied BRAISE. Lately I have had a hankering for lentils and thought what better way to enjoy the lamb than with lentils? Not to mention, there is nothing quite delightful as a slow-braised dish on a cold evening in the Colorado Rockies. So here’s the odd bit about this post… I can’t reproduce the recipe here, but I can list the ingredients and I describe what I did to make it. You can always head over to the Seattle Times for the original (but they don’t have pictures).

The first step after preheating the oven to 350°F was to sear the seasoned lamb shanks in a little oil on high heat in a Dutch oven. Searing all sides took about ten minutes for me, but it was worth it for the fond (that lovely brown crust) you get on the bottom of the pan. That’s the good stuff. That’s the FLAVOR.

cracked peppercorns, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, onion

salt and pepper to season the shanks

After removing the shanks to a plate, I had to add a bit more oil to sauté the onions, garlic, herbs, and spices. According to the recipe, I was supposed to have lamb fat left after the searing, but this lamb is pretty lean (either that, or I trimmed all of the fat before searing – it’s not like I know what I’m doing here). When the onions softened up, I added the amber ale and the chicken broth to the pot. Be sure to stir it about and dissolve the fond from the pan. Remember what I said about FLAVOR? Not only does it give your broth great flavor, but it makes cleanup so much easier. Once the liquid came to a boil, I placed the shanks back into the pot, put the lid on tightly, and set the whole thing in the oven for 90 minutes.

keep that fond in the pan

pour in the beer

place the seared shanks into the liquid

**Jump for more butter**

i’m over there

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Recipe: cocktail samosas

Remember those lovely, delectable, little cocktail samosas from the afternoon tea last month? You can finally get the recipe and see how the maestra makes them.

serious noms… serious, delirious noms

I have a guest post up today over at my dear Manisha’s blog: Indian Food Rocks, because Indian food truly does rock and because sweet Manisha is on travel in INDIA! This was a joint effort: she cooked and dictated the recipe and methods, I photographed, took copious incomprehensible notes, and wrote up the post. So please hop on over and show Manisha some good ole use real butter love: cocktail samosas.