February 18, 2010

Enotria (Valentines Day)

For "Valentines Day" we luckily had a sitter in town all weekend...thanks Mom!!! So we headed to Sacramento for a date night on Firday as we had church obligations on Saturday and Sunday. We went to Enotria....meaning "land of wine" or "land of untrained vines".  Enotria is located in North Sacramento on Del Paso. Directly across the street from Iceland Skate Rink. If you can get over the slightly shadey neighborhood then you are in for a treat. There is plenty of off street parking in the lot nears their east side and patio, but street parking in front of the door too. Enotria is know for its amazing wine selection and and equally amazing sommelier. I can't give any recommendations, its been years since I drank...but I did overhear that they had some Amador County wines which grow a stones throw from my in-laws.

Anyways... we avoided the Prix Fixe Menu and selected our own combinations from the dinner menu. Service was the best we've EVER had ANYWHERE. Our waiter, our busser, everything. We were the only ones there the first 45 minutes we were there...our drinks constantly full of fresh water. A very, very pleasant experience.

Below you will see that we started of with a "small plate" of Goat Cheese & Potato Gnocchi which was accompanied by sauteed mushrooms, baby spinach and lamb sausage, all floating on top of a silky sun dried tomatoe cream sauce. $9.50

Perfectly cooked pillows of goodness...a slightly tangy sauce. Amazing wild fungi, but safe. SOO good.

Then for our salad course Jesse selected the Enotria Caesar with housemade dressing, marinated white anchovies, fresh herbs, shaved Hirtenkase accompanied with grilled pan rustic. $5.50

Jesse refuses to touch anchovy I ate it with a piece of bread. Yum. I also tried the salad and it was crunchy and perfect. Not too much dressing like most caesars these days.

For my salad I selected the Roasted Beet Salad with mixed greens, herbed goat cheese, candied walnuts and a maple mustard dressing. $6

The roasted beets were amazing and the silky goat cheese. Yum!

For Jesses entree he selected the Mustard Encrusted Lamb Rack served with green lentil and roasted vegetables ragout, baby spinach, demi glace and micro greens. $26

Jesse recently discovered lamb and I looked at menu after menu making sure he had the option wherever we went...this was amazing! Plus I've never had more amazing lentils. Really.

For my entree I selected the Coq au Vin which also had slow braised bacon lardons, roasted pearl onions, wild mushrooms, baby carrots, braised greens and a savory bread pudding. $22

This had amazing flavor, but the bread pudding (stuffing) was a bit gooey and the bird a bit tough. Coq is very hard to cook to perfection, so this was really close.

For dessert its hard to turn down a Hot Chocolate Lava Souffle.
Yeah it was perfect and baked from scratch, to order. Topped with raspberry coulis. Yum.

Can you tell he wanted some???

February 11, 2010

Great Grandma's Rolls

This is my Great Grandma Tennants roll recipe. Feel special I'm sharing. They are SO good. Plus I'm named after her!

2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. shortening (vegetable please)
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. boiling water
1 tsp. salt
1 c. cool water
3 beaten eggs (room temp!!!)
7-9 c. all purpose white flour
  • Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 c warm water. Let stand 20 minutes.
  • Mix shortening, 3/4 c. sugar & 1 tsp salt with "boiling water". (I add all these ingredients to a Pyrex measuring cup and heat in the microwave till nearly boiling.)
  • Add 1 c. cool water to hot liquid mixture. 
  • Put 3-4 cups of flour into mixing bowl. 
  • Add tepid shortening mixture to the mixer. 
  • Add yeast mixture & beaten eggs.
  • Mix about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining flour slowly in increments until you make a slightly sticky, but firm dough. This is not stiff bread dough. 
  • Put dough into a large "tupperware" bowl with lid or plastic wrap.
  • Place in refridgerator for 3-4 hours to rise.
  • Dough will keep up to or just beyond 1 week in the fridge.
When you want to bake the rolls:
  • Take as much dough out of fridge as you will need.
  • Form any shape roll you want. (Parker House rolls = 2 balls of dough in muffin tin, Cloverleaf = 3 smaller balls in muffin tin, regular round or ovals on cookie sheets.)
  • Let rise 20-30 minutes in a warm place for fluffier rolls.
  • Bake @ 400 (375 convection) for 15 minutes.
Makes 3 dozen small rolls.

Basic Focaccia

1 1/3c. Warm Water
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 3/4c. All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 tsp. Rapid Rise Yeast
  • Mix sugar, water & yeast.
  • Let sit 5-10 min.
  • Add flour, then salt.
  • Mix.
  • Cover with a bowl or plastic wrap.
  • Let rise 10-20 mins
  • Cut dough in 1/2
  • Form rectangles or circles on oiled sheet pan.
  • Dimple with fingers
  • Let rise 30 mins
  • Dimple again with fingers.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and/or add toppings (herbs, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, sauteed onion.)
  • Bake @ 375 for 15-25 mins. (Depends how brown you like it and how thick the dough is.)

Half Wheat Bread

Half Whole Wheat, Half White
4 c. all-purpose flour
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (4 1/2 t.)
2 3/4 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. shortening (vegetable please!)
1 tbs. salt
4 c. whole wheat flour

1. Combine 3 1/2 c. of the all-purpose flour and yeast in mixing bowl. (The bowl of a Kitchen Aid)
2. In a saucepan, heat water, brown sugar, shortening, and salt until warm, stirring constantly. (Or in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave.)
3. Add the water mixture to the dry mixture in your mixing bowl. Using the dough hook, mix at low speed with mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl frequently. 

4. Beat for 3 minutes at a slightly higher speed.
5. Stir in 3 c. whole wheat flour and enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough (not too sticky). Knead in mixer until smooth and elastic, using the remaining flour if necessary.
6. Shape into a ball and place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface of the bread.
7. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour).
8. Punch dough down and turn out onto counter. Divide in half.
9. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
10. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in 2 greased 9x5x3 loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost double (about 45 minutes).
11. Bake at 375 (350 if convection oven) for 35-45 minutes, covering loosely with foil during last 20 minutes of baking if needed to prevent overbrowning. 

12. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Brush with shortening to soften if desired.