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Recipe and Drink Recommendations

Meyer Lemon Chicken Under Two Bricks
Adapted from www.theeggfarm.com.
For a golden, crisp crust and moist meat, this chicken is first weighted down with two bricks, then seared for a few minutes and finished in the oven.

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 pounds, backbone removed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 2 Meyer lemons, 1 juiced and zested, 1 sliced, divided
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Season the chicken all over with salt and black pepper.

In a large, heavy braising pan or Dutch oven, combine the butter, olive oil, garlic, sherry, Meyer lemon juice and zest, and thyme. Heat the pot over medium heat and stir occasionally, until simmering. Place the chicken skin-side-down in the pan and place the two bricks on top. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the skin is golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the bricks and turn the chicken over, then top with lemon slices. Place under the broiler and heat until the lemon is golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve. 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Zepaltas Chardonnay—93 points Wine Enthusiast’s Editors’ Choice: “Creamy compartments of fig and walnut greet the palate on the entry of this crisp, well-composed Chardonnay, light in oak and bright in minerality. Preserved lemon rises to the fore midway through the glass, befriended by just-sliced pear.”


Toad-in-the-Hole
Adapted by Nina Emerson, Willy Street Co-op Owner, from The Little Book of Irish Family Cooking, Ruth Isabel Ross

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. dried thyme
  • 1 lb. bratwurst, casings removed, sliced into 2-inch pieces

Directions: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the baking powder and salt. Create a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Mix with a wooden spoon. Ina mixing cup or small bowl, whisk together the milk and water. Stirring the entire time, gradually pour in the milk-water mixture, and stir until smooth.

Place the sausage in an even layer in a shallow casserole dish. Pour the batter over the sausages and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Check frequently to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
Serve immediately, with spicy mustard or horseradish. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Geil Riesling Bechtheimer—Ripe peach, McIntosh apple, apricot jam and minerals are front and center in this attractive Riesling. Quite delicious, this off-dry wine displays tons of fruit supported by racy acidity. The flavors will match well with the sausage in this dish.


Beet Risotto
Adapted from www.epicurious.com

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. beets, red or golden, peeled, coarsely shredded
  • 3 1/2 tsp. coarse salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 tsp. white wine vinegar, divided
  • 3 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 4 Tbs. coarsely chopped parsley, divided
  • 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese, optional

Directions: Combine the broth with 5 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and set aside to simmer.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and the oil and cook, stirring, until the butter melts. Add the onion and sauté 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the shredded beets, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Sauté about 10 minutes, until the beets are tender. Stir in the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the broth and water mixture, 3 teaspoons of vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated. Add 3/4 cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly and simmering until the rice is tender. Halfway through adding the liquid, stir in 1 more teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. When the rice is almost ready, stir in the cream, 2 tablespoons of parsley, the last teaspoon of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes, or until al dente. Divide the risotto among 4 plates. Top with the goat cheese, if you’re using it, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley. 4 servings.

Star Recommends: La Maia Linia Chianti Classico—Wine Spectator:“This is supple and harmonious, offering cherry raspberry and licorice notes. The tannins are well-integrated on the long, spicy finish.”


Spaghetti with Mascarpone, Meyer Lemon, Spinach, and Hazelnuts
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com.

  • 1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced (for about 3 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • fresh pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 lb. spaghetti
  • 5 cups loosely packed spinach, washed, dried, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the Meyer lemon zest, lemon juice, mascarpone, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta and drain 1 minute before it’s al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot, and stir in the mascarpone sauce. Heat over low heat, and add the spinach and toss to combine. Cook and toss occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and tender. To keep the sauce liquid, add 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, more if needed. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, topped with the chopped hazelnuts. 2 servings.

Star Recommends: Roagna Langhe Bianco—Mostly Chardonnay with fine balance of apples, cream, minerals and tartness. Lovely all around.


Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Morning Buns with Lemon-Blueberry Glaze
Adapted from www.halfbakedharvest.com.
With layers of flakey dough, a filling of lemon-poppyseed-sugar with a hint of vanilla, and a bright purpley-pink glaze, these buns are well worth the effort of working with yeasted dough. This recipe is a much-speeded-up shortcut of the typical lamination process - it’s still somewhat complicated, but nowhere near as time-consuming as it usually is.

  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 1/8 cups hot water
  • 3 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast, divided
  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced open,seeds scraped out
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 oz. blueberries (frozen is fine)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of the bread flour, the hot water, and 1/4 teaspoon of the yeast. Use a fork to mix until a shaggy dough forms. Cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the all-purpose flour on medium for about 3 minutes, until creamy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape out the mixture onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper, and set aside at room temperature. Wipe out the bowl of the mixer.

Place a dough hook on the mixer. Add the shaggy dough you made earlier to the bowl of the mixer. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups bread flour, the last 3 teaspoons of yeast, the brown sugar, salt, and warm milk. On the lowest speed, knead until evenly incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high for 3-5 minutes, until the dough pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. It will still be wet and sticky.

Dust a large surface liberally with flour, and scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Lightly sprinkle the dough with more flour, and roll it out into a rectangle 10 inches wide and 13 inches long. Roll it out some more until it is about 33 inches long, dusting the countertop with more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Use a knife or an offset spatula to spread the reserved butter and all-purpose flour mixture evenly onto the rectangle of dough, all the way to the edges. Use a dough scraper (or your hands, if you don’t have one) to lift up one end of the dough, and fold it over five times until you reach the end of the dough, resulting in a rectangle about 10 inches by 6 inches. Pinch the ends of the dough together to seal, then rotate the rectangle 90 degrees and roll it out again to 10 inches wide and 33 inches long. Fold it over five times until you reach the end of the dough, and transfer it to a floured sheet pan. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours, or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Butter 6 ramekins or extra-large muffin cups, or 12 regular-sized muffin cups. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together half of the lemon zest, vanilla bean seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon, and sugar. Set aside.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and roll it into a rectangle 18 inches long by 10 inches wide. In an even layer, sprinkle the poppy seed-sugar mixture over the dough. Tightly roll the dough (lengthwise) into an 18-inch long log. Use a serrated knife to cut the log into six (or 12, if using smaller muffin cups) even segments. Place the buns into the prepared ramekins or muffin cups, and cover with a clean, damp towel. Let rest for 30-45 minutes, until they puff up a bit.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and puffed up. After the first 20 minutes, check to make sure the tops are not browning too fast—if so, lower the heat to 380ºF for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries with a tablespoon of water. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, until it forms a syrup. Strain the blueberries and reserve the syrup. In a small bowl, whisk together the syrup and powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of Meyer lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Thin with more lemon juice to achieve desired consistency (you will have lemon juice left over).

Drizzle the morning buns with lemon-blueberry glaze, sprinkle with remaining Meyer lemon zest, and serve warm. 6 very large buns, or 12 smaller ones

Star Recommends: Taittinger Brut—Wine Spectator: “A mouthwatering version, with a fine, lacy mousse and delicate flavors of poached apple, blackberry, beeswax and lemon confit underscored by a streak of smoky minerality that echoes on the finish.”


Avocado Fries with Queso Dip
Adapted from www.joythebaker.com.
Talk about gilding the lily! Ripe avocados get sliced into wedges, battered, fried, then served with creamy cheese sauce. Note that you do need a fry thermometer for best results.

  • 2 medium, ripe, firm avocados, halved, peeled, sliced into wedges
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • avocado oil or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup milk, preferably whole
  • 4 oz. can diced green chiles, with juices

Directions: Place the avocado wedges on a plate and sprinkle with lime juice. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Set aside. In another small bowl, stir together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, chili powder, and cayenne.
In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make an assembly line, and dip the avocado slices first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then the breadcrumb mixture.

In a medium, heavy saucepan outfitted with a fry thermometer, heat an inch of oil to 375ºF. Use tongs to place avocado in the oil, about 6-8 wedges at a time. Fry until golden brown, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and more cayenne. Continue frying the remaining avocado wedges, letting the oil come back up to temperature between batches.
Combine the cheeses with the cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Heat over a low flame and stir in the milk. Cook, stirring, for 10-15 minutes, until melted and smooth. Stir in the chiles and juices. Serve the avocado fries hot, with warm queso.

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Sausage, Kale, and Sweet Potato Hash
Adapted from www.realsimple.com.
Easy, nourishing, and delicious, this hash will fill you up and make your house smell amazing while it cooks.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 large eggs

Directions: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausage and brown, stirring with a wooden spoon to break it up, for 6-8 minutes, until cooked through. Transferto a dish.

In the same skillet, stir in the onion, sweet potatoes, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Pour in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and cover. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Uncover, and add the last 1/2 cup of chicken broth. In batches, add the kale, and toss to incorporate. Cook until the kale is wilted and tender and the liquid has almost evaporated. Return the sausage to the skillet and stir. Cook until heated through, 1-2 minutes.

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the last tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Fry the eggs sunny-side-up until they’re done the way you like them (or 2-4 minutes for slightly runny eggs). Divide the sweet potato hash between 4 plates and top each with a fried egg. Serve hot. 4 servings.

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Avocado Dill Roasted Potato Salad
Adapted from www.edibleperspective.com.
This is a simple twist on potato salad, with a quick sauce of avocado, fresh dill, and lemon.

  • 3 lbs. fingerling potatoes, or small Yukon Golds, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 Tbs. avocado oil or sunflower oil
  • salt
  • 2 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus up to 2 more tablespoons
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice, plus up to 2 more tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup destemmed lightly packed fresh dill
  • pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a couple rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the avocado or sunflower oil and a generous pinch of salt. Spread onto the baking sheets in a single la7er. Roast for 28-35 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and golden brown. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool.

Place the garlic, avocado, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, dill, a pinch of salt, and black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the avocado and dill are chopped and combined, but leave it a little lumpy. Taste, and add up to 2 more tablespoons each of avocado and lemon juice and more salt and pepper as needed.

Add the avocado-dill mixture to the cooled potatoes and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning, and serve sprinkled with more fresh dill. 8 servings.

Star Recommends: Teutonic Wine Company Pinot Gris—This Pinot Gris is crisp and refreshing with fine mineral flavors that the vines absorb from the deep established roots. Golden pale in color, red apple, lime and lemon zest on the nose.


Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches
Adapted from www.food52.com.

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, sliced crosswise in half, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • Sunflower oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, small
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 7 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs. honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 4 sandwich rolls
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

Directions: Prepare grill for direct grilling over medium heat. Brush both sides of the chicken with sunflower oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Set on the grill, and cook, flipping once, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF and there’s no longer any pink, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. (See note below for broiling instructions.)

Place the garlic in the bowl of a foodprocessor. Pulse until minced. Add the herbs, and pulse until finely chopped. Add the avocado, yogurt, honey or agave, lemon juice, vinegar, white pepper, and the last 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pulse until creamy and well-combined. Assemble the sandwiches on the rolls with grilled chicken, sauce, and baby spinach.

Note: Preheat broiler and set rack 5-6 inches away from heat source. Oil and season chicken as outlined above, and set on a baking sheet. Broil 12-15 minutes, flipping once partway through, until it’s no longer pink, and it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Makes 4 sandwiches.

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Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Red Lentil Soup with Ginger and Curry
Adapted from www.dinnerwithjulie.com.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (optional)

Directions: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until tender. Stir in the red lentils, sweet potato, carrots, curry powder, and vegetable stock. Add 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes and carrots are very tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the yogurt, if using. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your liking, leaving some chunks of vegetables, or pureeing it completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a potato masher will do the trick. Serve warm. 4 servings.

Star Recommends: Brisebarre Vouvray Sec—This is a perfumed wine, moving easily between crisp, dry acidity and a more rounded almond and pear flavor. There are flavors of spice and freshly baked bread, with warm acidity on the finish. 100% Chenin Blanc.

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