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FrogPrincesse

eG Foodblog: FrogPrincesse (2011) - From tartines to tikis

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After Chino Farm we went to Stone Brewing in Escondido.

We've been frequenting Stone since its earlier days in San Marcos. Five years ago they moved to Escondido and opened a large restaurant in their new location.

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The restaurant is a good place to go with kids as it's in the middle of a large garden.

So, if service is sometimes slow, kids can have fun running around in the garden.

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Their style of beer is not exactly subtle but we enjoy their very hop-forward beers. They also have hundreds of choices from other local breweries and around the world. But one thing they don't serve is anything resembling fizzy, yellow beer.

It's also fun to visit the brewery and see how everything is made.

Today we both ordered from the very extensive list of beers on tap.

I had the dark (almost black!) Stone BELGO anise imperial russian stout, a 2011 release.

My husband had an "Iron Fist" saison from another local brewery, Off Hand in Vista.

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Hi Elise,

Great start! I knew I'd enjoy this blog when I saw the cookbook lineup. It will be fun to see how French and So. Cal food cultures mix.

Though I will say, it's hard for those of us in the northeast not to be consumed by envy when we see your farmers markets.



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My mom cooks a lot of traditional French dishes (beef bourguignon, etc), so that definitely had an influence on me. My style of cooking is mostly French bistro and I try to incorporate fresh & local ingredients as much as I can. I belong to a CSA. I enjoy making things from scratch, so you may see homemade bread, fresh cheese, pasta, ice cream or charcuterie make an appearance sometime this week.

Wow, this paragraph caught my attention. Will be very interested to see how much you can cover in a week, because it sounds like you have a lot to offer! I'm especially interested in fresh cheese and homemade bread, but would love to know how you use your CSA produce.

I LOVE the Food Blogs!!!! :wub:

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We also had some food with our beer. While Stone is not exactly a gourmet restaurant, they make a point of using local organic produce.

The bold flavors of the food reflect their beer.

Our lunch started with a bowl of garlic cheddar and Stone Ruination IPA soup for me, and wild boar baby back ribs with apple slaw for him.

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I had another order of the ribs as my main, and he had the duck tacos.

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The food is unpretentious and fun, and we always have a good time there (the beer helps!).

Before leaving we filled our growler in preparation for our barbecue with Cali-Belgique, a Californian-style Indian Pale Ale with a Belgian influence.

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My mom cooks a lot of traditional French dishes (beef bourguignon, etc), so that definitely had an influence on me. My style of cooking is mostly French bistro and I try to incorporate fresh & local ingredients as much as I can. I belong to a CSA. I enjoy making things from scratch, so you may see homemade bread, fresh cheese, pasta, ice cream or charcuterie make an appearance sometime this week.

Wow, this paragraph caught my attention. Will be very interested to see how much you can cover in a week, because it sounds like you have a lot to offer! I'm especially interested in fresh cheese and homemade bread, but would love to know how you use your CSA produce.

I LOVE the Food Blogs!!!! :wub:

Hi FauxPas,

You are right, there is a lot to cover. It's my first food blog so I will be trying to cram in as much as I can!

I should have time to cover fresh cheese this week. I make ricotta almost every week so I should be able to fit that into the schedule (after tomorrow's barbecue). I'll see what I can do for the homemade bread.

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Hi Elise,

Great start! I knew I'd enjoy this blog when I saw the cookbook lineup. It will be fun to see how French and So. Cal food cultures mix.

Though I will say, it's hard for those of us in the northeast not to be consumed by envy when we see your farmers markets.

Hi LindaK,

We are lucky in San Diego, but I am sure your area has a lot to offer as well.

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We had to do a quick run to 99 Ranch today after Stone. One of our guests doesn't eat red meat, and I wanted to get some head-on shrimp. Initially we wanted get them at Catalina Offshore, however they were not open today.

So we ended up going to 99 Ranch, which has a pretty amazing seafood section (amongst other interesting things).

99 Ranch is a an Asian supermarket chain, primarily Chinese.

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We only spent about 10 minutes there, but here is a sampling of the seafood section.

Live blue crabs

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There is a large selection of fish that you don't typically find in other places.

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Oysters and stone crabs

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For a quick meal tonight we bought some cockles.

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Everything looked good but there was little, if any, local seafood which is why we generally prefer Catalina Offshore, Point Loma Seafoods or Bay Park Fish, which is next door to Siesel's and five minutes from our place.

The cockles were from New Zealand.

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After 99 Ranch, we came back home and spent some time in the pool.

Then I decided a tiki drink was in order. I settled for an Ancient Mariner from Beachbum Berry Remixed, which is my go-to book for tiki drinks.

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This cocktail includes lime juice, grapefruit juice (the recipe calls for white, but I used a star ruby grapefruit from my farmers' market bag), simple syrup, allspice/pimento liqueur, Demerara and dark Jamaican rums, with a mint and lime garnish.

This was my very first attempt at scoring lime for the garnish, and I need a little practice.

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Our daugther had her favorite meal tonight - oeufs a la coque, aka soft boiled eggs, with "mouillettes", which are strips of toasted white bread with butter, used for dipping.

Her French grandmother gave her the little "egg cosy". The cat egg cup belonged to me as a child.

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I undertook another meat grinder project this afternoon.

Yesterday I ground meat for sweet Italian sausage. Today I made an Indian lamb sausage, based on a recipe from Vij's, a great restaurant in Vancouver. My brother lives there so we had a chance to go to this restaurant.

Here are the ingredients for the lamb sausage.

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For the meat, I used lamb shoulder, which was surprisingly hard to find. Also, the butcher refused to debone it (they were quite busy as the store was flooded with people shopping for the celebrations on the 4th) and tried to convince my husband - who was doing the shopping - that he should be buying leg of lamb instead for the sausage (which would have been a very expensive sausage).

But we got the shoulder in the end, and I was able to debone it relatively quickly.

Ingredients ready to go. I was a little optimistic with my large dice for the onion, and ended up having to cut it finer for the next step.

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Pureeing the onions in my mini food processor. I had to do this in two batches.

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Frying the onions in peanut oil

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Then everything was combined together, chilled in the freezer for about 45 min, and then went in the grinder.

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It came out of the grinder super fast at first, and then about mid-way through, I got up close and personal with sinew again as a large piece got stuck in the blade. But overall it went relatively fast. I guess I just need to be more careful when I trim the meat.

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While my daughter was having dinner, I made a quick batch of fromage blanc that I plan on using to make raita to go with the lamb kebabs.

Half a gallon of organic whole milk from Trader Joe's, 1/2 packet of direct-set fromage blanc starter.

I get all of my cheese-making supplies at Curds and Wine. Their cultures and enzymes are from New England Cheesemaking supplies.

I heated the milk to 86F, then added the culture and mixed.

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Now it's covered and setting at room temperautre for 12 hours. I will be draining it first thing in the morning.

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Hi FrogPrincesse! I'm loving your blog already, but one thing you said makes me curious: you have a hard time finding lentils? Are you talking about some special kind of lentils? Because I can find lentils in every grocery store here in Seattle. Thanks for doing your blog and thanks to your husband for the wonderful photos!

Hi SusieQ,

You are right, I should have been more specific. We can also find lentils in grocery stores in San Diego.

I was referring to the Puy lentils, which are green lentils from France. They are so delicious that they are the only ones I use. They keep their shape better after cooking and have a wonderful taste.

My favorite thing to do with them is a warm lentil salad with a drizzle of red wine vinegar and some herbs, especially in winter.

Sounds yummy! I'll have to look out for them. Thanks for answering.

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Finally getting to post tonight's dinner.

The key words for our meal were fast and simple. We had done so much today, there was not a lot of energy left for something too elaborate.

So I cooked the French version of fast food - steamed shellfish.

Here are the ingredients. Notice the espelette pepper that I bought during my recent trip to Paris. It definitely has a kick, but is extremely flavorful at the same time. It smells sweet and a little fruity, almost like roasted bell peppers.

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A couple of other favorite ingredients are herbes de Provence, and dry vermouth that I use instead of white wine to add extra flavor.

Here I am blanching some baby bok choy that I got in my farmers' basket/CSA last week.

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Then I diced the onion and peeled the garlic.

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I gave a quick rinse to the cockles.

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At that point, I started frying the onions in a mixture of butter and olive oil, to which I added herbes de Provence and the espelette pepper.

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Then it was time to add the cockles.

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I also added the bok choy after getting rid of as much water as possible by squeezing them dry.

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Adding vermouth.

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I closed the lid and cooked the cockles for about 5 minutes, until all of them were open.

The plated dish with a little drizzle of arbequina olive oil, and toasted rosemary bread with a light garlic rub on the side.

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I am happy to report that I have successfully stuffed sausage tonight! It was a little involved but went quite well thanks to my husband who was in charge of pushing the sausage in the stuffer attachment (and taking pictures at regular intervals...). It was a bonding exercise for us (only half kidding). The 4th is also our wedding anniversary!

To the ground meat from yesterday, I added red wine and water, then mixed everything together in the Kitchenaid for a couple of minutes. The mixture tried to climb out of the bowl a few times so I had to keep a close watch.

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The casings had been soaking in water for > 30 minutes. I gave them a good rinse.

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I was having fun with the casing which surprisingly did not smell much (but you have to keep in mind that this comment comes from someone who considers andouilette, a kind of tripe sausage, as a delicacy...). My husband refused to get too close. :rolleyes:

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The setup. Sliding the casing onto the stuffer attachment was not very difficult. With a little water, it slid on fairly easily.

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Then we started stuffing. At first, it was hard to control the stuffing and we were under-stuffing for a while. Then we started getting the hang of it.

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I decided not to form the links during stuffing, which may have been a mistake. When I twisted the links at the end of the process, a couple of them ended up bursting open...

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Next time I will try forming them as I go.

Overall, my yield was 21 sausages.

I am calling it a night. See you all tomorrow!

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FP, you have the same KA mixer I do. I love it, for me it handles better and does more than the artisan mixer with the tilt head. I have the pasta attachment for it that I'm pretty happy with. I also like the grinder attachment (the quality of my hamburgers has improved markedly :laugh: ) but I've been less than enthralled with the stuffing attachment. It does take a little it of practice and it's been my experience, your milage may vary, that if the meat mixture you're trying to push through has the least bit of texture or is a little loose, it becomes a difficult process.

Did you use the salted casings from IMFs? I actually like those quite a bit, they're very easy to work with and you're right, no odor. Your sausages, by the way, look great. I'm sure they'll taste even better.

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Very fun to see a San Diego based blog here on eGullet!

Everything looks great so far. I'm particularly interested in the lamb sausage - never tried that before, and it sounds really good. We use a Kitchenaid for grinding, but have switched to a separate vertical press unit for stuffing.


Food Blog: Menu In Progress

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FP, you have the same KA mixer I do. I love it, for me it handles better and does more than the artisan mixer with the tilt head. I have the pasta attachment for it that I'm pretty happy with. I also like the grinder attachment (the quality of my hamburgers has improved markedly :laugh: ) but I've been less than enthralled with the stuffing attachment. It does take a little it of practice and it's been my experience, your milage may vary, that if the meat mixture you're trying to push through has the least bit of texture or is a little loose, it becomes a difficult process.

Did you use the salted casings from IMFs? I actually like those quite a bit, they're very easy to work with and you're right, no odor. Your sausages, by the way, look great. I'm sure they'll taste even better.

kalyspo,

I got the pasta attachment too, to replace an old manual pasta machine that was no longer working properly. I am hoping to use it soon.

The casings that I used at "Nature's Best", from International Casing Group.

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Wow! I am loving your blog and I can't wait to see what the rest of this week brings! My husband and I love Stone brewery, although it is somewhat hard to find here...great beer. I am jealous to say the very least.

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Very fun to see a San Diego based blog here on eGullet!

Everything looks great so far. I'm particularly interested in the lamb sausage - never tried that before, and it sounds really good. We use a Kitchenaid for grinding, but have switched to a separate vertical press unit for stuffing.

Thanks for chiming in, Mike!

What vertical stuffer do you use?

Your blog is great, by the way.

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Really enjoying the blog so far! Happy Anniversary as well! Ours is the 7th. It's nice to know that it's not user error on grinding in the KA...I had a less than satisfactory experience when I tried, but I'm pretty sure that it was gristle that did me in.

What else do you use Piment d'espelette for? I bought a jar for a recipe from Around My French Table, but I'm not sure what else to do with it, and it was waaay to expensive to just sit there looking pretty...


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I am so much enjoying your blog. My BIL lives in AZ and spends lots of time in San Diego and just raves about everything there. He's not much into food (he seems to live on oddly colored smoothies), so I'm thrilled to get THAT aspect of the area! Everything you are making and buying looks incredible and please tell your husband that he's a wonderful photographer.

Happy Anniversary!

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