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Swordfish with Tomato Ginger Salsa and Radicchio

Swordfish with Tomato Ginger Salsa and Radicchio

Ingredients

1lb Swordfish  Salt
 1 head of radicchio  Pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes Sumac
½ tbsp grated ginger Smoked paprika
½ tbsp grated garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small shallot, minced Moscatel vinegar


 Method

Start charcoal and build a hot fire, or start gas grill to medium high.  Season swordfish with salt, pepper and sumac as desired.  Core radicchio and remove all leaves.  Place in large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil.  Salt halved tomatoes on a cutting board.  Mix ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp evoo and 1 tbsp vinegar.

When fire is ready, grill swordfish for four minutes, then turn and cook until firm, but not flaky, about 3-4 minutes depending on thickness.  Remove from grill and rest.  Add radicchio to grill and cook over direct flame until wilted and charred, turning frequently to prevent burning, about 3-4 minutes.  Add tomatoes to ginger, garlic mix and stir to combine.  Add more salt if necessary.  Toss cooked radicchio with 1 tbsp evoo, ½ tbsp vinegar, salt and smoked paprika.

Place swordfish on serving platter, top with tomato ginger salsa.  Add radicchio to platter and serve.

Serves 4 as an entrée

 

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Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

We hope that summer is treating you well in your neck of the woods. Here in Sonoma County the sun is shining, warm and hot during the day around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit while night times are cool at 50ish. Despite this perfect weather for grapes we still feel a little hot and bothered at 5-6pm so we thought this delicious cool gazpacho might work for you as it does for us. No idea where we picked up the recipe so can't give credit where it is due but hope you enjoy!

 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1/2 Firm ripe avocado

1 3/4 Cucumber (we prefer the English style - less seeds to navigate) About 1 1/2lbs

1 (8oz) Plain Low or full Fat yoghurt

3tbsp Chopped Chives

1tsp Lime Juice

1tsp Salt

1/2 tsp chopped Jalapeno with seeds (more if you like it spicier)

1 cup small ice cubes

Peel and pit the avocado. Blend all ingredients in a blender until very smooth - Garnish with a few extra Jalapenos and some croutons if you're feeling fancy. That's it SUPER SIMPLE AND MIGHTY TASTY!

 

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Fava Beans and a nice Chianti?

Fava Beans and a nice Chianti?

The line from Silence of the Lambs will always be attributed to Fava Beans but they truly are a special vegetable and one we consider a fave at the Murpherills. We have grown them nearly every year since we started living together 20+ yrs ago.

Spring has sprung in a big way (nearly summer overnight) in Sonoma County and after a very rainy winter and spring we were very excited to recently start harvesting our Fava beans and Green Garlic. Walt came up with this great way to use up the bounty - so delicious - we hope you enjoy eating it as much as we did

Grilled Salmon with Spring Salad

 For the salad:

1 bunch asparagus

3 pounds of fava beans

2 tbsp spring (green) garlic

Olive oil

Moscatel vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring six quarts of water to boil.  Meanwhile, remove fava beans from pods and set aside.  Cut asparagus into one inch sections.  When water boils, add one cup of kosher salt and allow to return to boil.  Add asparagus pieces and cook until the water begins to boil again, about two minutes.  Remove and place in an ice bath.  Return water to boil and add fava beans and cook until water boils again, about two minutes.  Remove and add to ice bath.  Once cooled completely, drain vegetables and remove fava beans from skin.  Let dry on paper towels.

Coarsely chop the spring garlic and add to large mixing bowl.  Add vegetables.  When ready to serve, add one tablespoon of olive oil and mix.  Add ¾ tablespoon of vinegar and mix again.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

For the seafood:

4 four oz salmon fillets (rinsed and patted dry)

8 large gulf white prawns (peeled and deveined)

Premade pesto sauce

Mache for garnish

Salt and pepper

Build a charcoal fire and set coals to create a medium hot grill (or use gas grill).  Clean grill and spray lightly with oil.  Season salmon with salt and pepper, then cook salmon skin side down for about four minutes.  Flip salmon and cook for two minutes.  Season prawns with salt and pepper and cook for two minutes.  Remove salmon and set aside, then cook prawns for two more minutes and remove from heat.

Assembly:

Place salad on front center of plate.  Place salmon fillet on top, skin side down (or remove skin if preferred).  Top salmon with a dollop of pesto, then top with two prawns.  Add mache to bowl in which salad was mixed and toss with tongs to pick up any residual dressing, then add to top center of plate.  Serve immediately.

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Cinco De Mayo Margaritas (let's face it not just for May 5)

Cinco De Mayo Margaritas (let's face it not just for May 5)

This recipe has been in our repertoire for some time and boy are they scary delicious. 

Ingredients

3 limes

2 lemons

Reposado Tequila or good quality Tequila

Triple sec (30proof - not cointreau or Grand Marnier)

Salt

Superfine Sugar (to taste)

Make mix

Zest one lime. Juice all of the citrus and mix with zest and a pinch of salt. Let stand for 30 minutes (up to 24 hours).

Make drink

Strain mix into pitcher. Taste mix and add sugar if desired. Measure equal parts of mix, tequila and triple sec, stirring to combine. Pour over ice and add salt to rim if desired.

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Pea, Radicchio Fennel, Parm Salad

Pea, Radicchio Fennel, Parm Salad

Ingredients

For salad

1 ½ cups shelled and blanched English peas

2 cups chopped radicchio

1 cup thinly sliced fennel

Parmesan cheese

 

For dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1tbsp minced shallot

Salt

Pepper

 

Process

 Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Add mustard and olive oil to small bowl and whisk until combined.  Add shallots and whisk to combine.  Add vinegar slowly while whisking to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add 3/4 of the dressing to inside wall of mixing bowl and toss salad to coat.  Taste and add more dressing, salt and pepper as desired.

Divide salad among bowls or plates and shave parmesan cheese over the top as desired.  Serve immediately.

Serves four as a small appetizer.

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Rock Shrimp Pasta

Rock Shrimp Pasta

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

1 pound Rock Shrimp, deveined, rinsed and patted dry

4 tomatoes, chopped (preferably seeded and skinned)

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 shallots, minced

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups dried penne pasta

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

Salt

Pepper (preferably Aleppo pepper)

½ cup grated parmesan

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

PREPARATION

  1. Bring six quarts of water to a boil and cook pasta using package instructions.

    Heat a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil.  When fragrant, add shallot and sauté until soft, about one minute.  Add garlic and cook for one minute while stirring.  Add fresh tomatoes and cook until melted, about five minutes.  Add white wine and return to simmer.  Add rock shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked through, about four minutes.  Turn off heat and add butter, stirring to melt.  Drain pasta and add to saucepan.  Season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine (check seasoning) and divide into four warm bowls. 

    Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

     

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Ricotta Dumplings with Peas

Ricotta Dumplings with Peas

 

Ingredients

2 cups ricotta cheese (I like Bellwether Farms Sheep’s Milk Ricotta)

2 large egg yolks

½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

⅛ teaspoon salt

1 cup diced shallot

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups sliced Shiitake mushrooms

1 cup (or more) fresh or frozen peas

½ cup mascarpone cheese

½ cup vegetable stock

extra-virgin olive oil

Shaved Parmesan cheese & arugula for garnish

Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Dust a large baking sheet with flour. Line another baking sheet with paper towels.
  • Stir ricotta, egg yolks, flour, basil, pepper and salt together in a medium bowl until combined. Form the mixture into about 20 oblong dumplings using about 1 heaping tablespoon for each. Place them on the floured pan.  (Hint - use 2 spoons to form your dumplings into ovals. Scoop one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture from one spoon onto the other, until you end up with a smooth football-shaped dumpling.)
  • Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling water and cook until they begin to float, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper-towel-lined pan.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in large nonstick pan.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally until water is released and they are slightly browned – about 6 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Heat another tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the dumplings and cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with another tablespoon oil and dumplings.
  • Add shallot and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peas, vegetable stock and marscapone. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add reserved, cooked mushrooms and stir to combine.  Serve the dumplings with the sauce, garnished with Parmesan, arugula and more basil, if desired.
  •  

    Serves Four

     

     

     

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    Beef and Guinness Stew by Darina Allen

    Beef and Guinness Stew by Darina Allen

    INGREDIENTS

    • 900g lean stewing beef
    • 3 tablespoons oil or dripping
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • Salt, freshly ground pepper and cayenne
    • 2 large onions (about 285g), coarsely chopped
    • 1 large garlic clove, crushed (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons tomato purée, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water or 1 tbsp of Tomato Paste
    • 300ml (½ pint) Guinness
    • 225g carrots, cut into chunks
    • Sprig of thyme
    • Chopped parsley for garnish

    PREPARATION

    1. Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, cut into cubes of 5cm and toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. Season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch or two of cayenne. Toss the meat in this mixture.

      Heat the remaining oil or dripping in a wide frying pan over a high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the onions, crushed garlic (if using) and tomato purée to the pan, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes.

      Transfer the contents of the pan to a casserole, and pour some of the Guinness into the frying pan. Bring to the boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices in the pan. Pour on to the meat with the remaining Guinness; add the carrots and the thyme. Stir, taste, and add a little more salt if necessary.

      Cover with the lid of the casserole and simmer very gently until the meat is tender - 2 to 3 hours. The stew may be cooked on top of the stove or in a low oven at 150C/gas mark 2. Taste and correct the seasoning.

      Scatter with lots of chopped parsley and serve with champ, colcannon or plain boiled potatoes.

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    The life of an inventor

    As Thomas Edison once said "Genius - 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration"

     We get complemented frequently for our very creative and innovative products. While this is always delightful to hear we are constantly reminded that the path to invention is not an easy one. It is often fraught with setbacks, expensive molds, patents (we have 3), trademarks (we have 4) lawyer fees, and worst of all products that don't work initially and send us back to the drawing board. We've spent many hours at work and over meals at home thrashing out ideas and perfecting them.

    Most of the ideas spring from frustrations we have in our daily lives that stop us in our tracks and makes us think "hey, how come no one has ever invented this before?" We have a Steve Jobs quote on our idea board in the office "Simple is more difficult than complex" and we try to adhere to this dictum but sometimes the process just seems daunting and onerous. 

    We're currently working on our latest invention. We gave it a surreptitious unveiling at the Housewares Show a few weeks ago to some of our best customers and were blown away by the response. Now we're frantically finishing up labeling, production, adding small tweaks, getting samples for key customers and deciding on colors and then the big decision - how much should we produce. More tough decisions lie ahead like where will we put inventory as we are bursting at the seams since the tote+able merger. We want to get it out to market as soon as possible but also need to make sure everything is done with the level of perfection we demand. 

    Each time we launch a new product, and we've launched one per year since we started this in 2012, there are always new hurdles to jump but the excitement pushes us on. We're thankful for some terrific partners, customers and rep groups but most of all the group who show up to work here every day. They hear most of the ups and downs of invention and are some of our biggest cheerleaders, they're also some of the first to test the products. 

    So the next time you see one of our products in a store or even better still actually use one of them, just take some time to think about the work that went into bringing it to market and cheer us on to keep going and to keep inventing! We love it and we hope you love our products as much as we do! We can't wait to share our latest and greatest with you. Stay tuned....

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    Plin

    Plin

    We discovered this terrific dish when we attended the International Housewares Show in 2016 at a wonderful little restaurant called Osteria Langhe. It was recommended to us by a friend from our wine days, Brian Duncan and we'll be forever grateful. It was a major highlight of our trip and now the restaurant is a regular pitstop once a year when we visit Chicago. On returning home we were obsessed with how to make it and Walt immediately set to figuring out how. It helped a lot that our daughter knew how to make pasta. It is now a classic dish in our home. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do every time. 

    For Pasta (Follow your favorite pasta recipe or cheat by using won ton skins)

    Flour

    Egg

    Water

     

    Filling

    La Tur Cheese (Italian soft cheese somewhat like brie but in a little tub)

    For Sauce

    ¼ cup     White Wine

    ¾ cup    Chicken Stock

    1             Garlic clove (smashed)

    3             Thyme sprigs

    1 tsp      Thyme leaves

    3tbsp     Butter

     

    Directions

    Make pasta and roll into thin sheets, then cut into three inch squares.  Alternatively, use square won ton wrappers.

    Remove La Tur cheese from refrigerator and spoon about ½ tablespoon into center of pasta square.  Wet the edges and seal into a triangular package.  Please on a parchment lined, floured baking sheet.  Repeat until you have made the desired quantity. (5 is a good number per person for a hearty appetizer)

    Boil six quarts of water to cook pasta.  Meanwhile heat white wine and chicken stock in a small saucepan.  Add smashed garlic and thyme sprigs and simmer until pasta water is ready.  If liquid evaporates too quickly, add more chicken stock as needed.  You will want about ¾ cup of liquid when finished.

    When water comes to a boil, salt generously and cook the plin until they are al dente and rise to the top – about three minutes.  While this is cooking, strain the sauce into a clean bowl and return liquid to pan and simmer.  Whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time until incorporated in sauce and remove from heat.

    Drain the plin and divide evenly into small bowls.  Spoon the sauce equally over the top of each and sprinkle with thyme leaves.

    Serve with something delicious - this past week we opted to enjoy it at the restaurant with a bottle of delicious Arneis from Vietti. 

     Word of note - this is Mr CapaBunga's version of the dish - the picture of the actual dish from the restaurant is above. 

     

     

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