Tinderbox Kitchen creates a desirable New Year’s Eve pairing menu

Flagstaff’s Tinderbox Kitchen wants the last meal of 2018 to be a memorable one. Chef Mike Schmitz three-course meal and dessert gives revelers much to think about choosing from course to course. The seasonally focused prix-fixe menu offers 4 dishes to choose from on courses 1 and 2 and six protein focused entrees.

A favorite dish is the pate Schmitz learned to make when working with Chef Jessica from Big Grove. “From start to finish it’s a beautiful dish both in its complete form and in the process,” which Chef describes as a two day process, breaking down the whole duck and using it across the menu and marinating the liver for the pate. He says it’s a joy to make and consume.

The menu is vegan friendly with Schmitz recommends the Fig & Brie Bruschetta and the Mushroom and Black Truffle Risotto. He considers the risotto the “dark horse” of the menu.

NYE menu at Tinderbox Kitchen

Each dish offers a suggested pairing of an optional glass of wine or classic cocktail. The menu is as follows.

COURSE ONE
Lobster Bisque
tomato, saffron, sherry
French 75 or 2015 Pouilly Fuissé

Butternut Squash Soup
apple, maple, sage, nutmeg
Old Fashioned or 2015 Pinot Noir

Pear and Pomegranate Salad
baby greens, brie, candied pecans
Regina George or 2015 Cinsaut

Beet and Citrus Salad
baby greens, fennel, goat cheese, pistachio
Turmeric Tonic or 2015 Grenache Blanc

COURSE TWO
Fig and Brie Bruschetta
hazelnuts, vanilla bean, orange
Spiced Grapefruit Negroni or Sparkling Rosé

Duck Liver Paté
port geleé, red onion marmalade, grilled bread
Ruby Manhattan or 2016 Malbec

Sea Scallops
parsnip puree, baby carrot, brussels’ sprouts
Turmeric Tonic or 2017 Riesling

Blue Point Oysters in Shell
shallot, cracked pepper, red wine vinegar
Hummingbird or Sparkling Brut

COURSE THREE
 Roasted Duck Breast
orzo, butternut squash, pomegranate, elderberry molasses, pecan
San Francisco Street or 2015 Red Blend

Lobster Tail
angel hair pasta, sun-dried tomato cream, lemon, parsley
White Negroni or Pouilly Fuissé

Filet Mignon
roasted garlic mashers, blistered green beans, mushroom demi-glace
Black Manhattan or 2014 Syrah

Mushroom and Black Truffle Risotto
parmesan, garlic, thyme, poached egg
The Old Man & The Sea or 2015 Pinot Noir

Rack of Lamb
smashed yukon potatoes, broccolini, red wine demi-glace
Barrel Aged Vieux Carre or 2015 Merlot

Grilled Swordfish
roasted garlic mashers, braised rainbow chard, tomato saffron broth, crispy leek
Vesper Martini or 2014 Chardonnay

DESSERT COURSE
Double Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake
oreo cookie crust, raspberries, chocolate sauce
Don Ciccio or 2014 Dessert Wine

White Chocolate Mousse
caramel apple compote, pomegranate
White Russian or 2010 White Riesling

The dinner is $85 per person ++ and wine and cocktail pairings are additional.

To make your reservation call 928-226-8400 or go to their website.

Tinderbox Kitchen is at 3 S. san francisco St. Flagstaff AZ. 86001

Casa Terra will be Arizona’s first vegan fine dining restaurant

Arizona restaurants don’t lack for diversity with many ethnic and specialty foods and restaurants available. With fine dining restaurants dwindling Casa Terra will bring vegan fine dining to the forefront when it opens in January 2019. Well known vegan chef and author Jason Wyrick opens Arizona’s first vegan fine dining restaurant in downtown Glendale.

Shishito peppers

Wyrick’s menu will be plant-based regionally focused Mexican and Mediterranean fare with a fusion twist. His food preparation will include classic and modern cooking techniques offering flavorful meals appealing to all.

Purple Sweet Potato. All photos courtesy of Ampersand PR

According to Wyrick, “I’ve done a lot in my career as a chef, and the one thing that truly inspires me is exploring vegan cuisine and sharing it with people. For the past decade, I’ve had countless requests to open a restaurant. I’ve realized for a while that despite being one of the largest cities in the country with a burgeoning food scene, Phoenix doesn’t have a plant forward fine dining restaurant, and we need one. Casa Terra had to be the next step in my culinary journey.”

The menu at Casa Terra

Wyrick will serve only dinner with his seasonal menu of small plates, wood fired pizzas and sharable entrees. Because of the wide variety of choices Casa Terra offers Wyrick encourages exploring a variety of dishes. The exhibition kitchen will offer guests a glimpse of the food preparation. A few of the dishes include….

Appetizers

·      Charred Padrón Peppers: Calabrian chile caramel, candied ginger, sesame seeds, and Aleppo chiles.
·      Jicama Crudo: escabeche, avocado puree, orange segments, garlic chips, lemon zest, sea salt, and basil-chile oil.
·      Tapas Tacos: handmade tortillas, pibil mushrooms, shredded smoked seitan, and almond and chile de arbol salsa.

Thin crust wood fired pizza

·      Margherita: marinara, mozzarella, local olive oil, local basil and cracked pepper.
·      Salted Agave and Local Apple: fleur de sel, Aleppo chile, salted ricotta, pomegranate seeds, and herbs.
·      Carnitas with Mojo Pepita Sauce: almond queso fresco ricotta, tequila shallots, and chile threads.

Hearty entrees

·      Smoked Mushroom Cazuela: trumpet and oyster mushrooms in a cazuela, arroz, split peas, apples, garlic chips, cippolini pico and mole amarillo.
·      Saffron Chorizo Risotto: Nicoise olives, stewed peppers, asparagus, gold leaf, yerba buena.
·      Housemade Gnocchi: sweet potato, Merguez sausage, and preserved lemon pesto.

Desserts

·      Coconut Flan with Mezcal-Apricot Preserves: citrus zest, mole negro and candied pine nuts.
·      House Churros: piloncillo cajeta, spicy pecans, and bourbon-vanilla ice cream.
·      Mexican Chocolate Torte: espresso ganache, gold leaf, spiked cream and raspberry coulis.

Jicama Crudo

Fun and creative cocktails will be offered as will a thoughtfully prepared wine list for pairing with your meal.

Casa Terra will be open Sun. – Thurs. from 4-9 p.m. and Fri. & Sat. from 4-11 p.m. and will be at 6835 N. 58th Dr. Glendale 85301. (623)680-7468. For more visit their website.

Switchback Ridge Winery dinner at The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s

Phoenix restaurants are running around crazy the next 10 days with the holiday rush in 5th gear. After 2019 begins restaurateurs and staff take a needed breather it will be back to serving hungry visitors and locals. The Market + Bar at Jennifer’s jumps back into it on January 9th with a wine dinner with Switchback Ridge Winery.

The four-course dinner will be paired with a unique menu from chef Jennifer Russo and wines made by legendary Napa Valley winemaker Bob Foley. Founder Kelly Peterson will be flying in from Calistoga to co-host the dinner and speak about the wines.

Switchback Ridge sources all the grapes for their wines from the families Peterson Family Vineyard run by Kelly’s mom and dad, John & Joyce Peterson. The winery makes 3 red wines with a small production of less than 3,000 cases.

Switchback Ridge Winery pairing menu

The big & bold red wines require a bold menu and it is as follows……

Hourglass Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Grilled Prawns with Bottarga Risotto

Giant prawns seasoned with flakey salt and Gilroy garlic brushed with extra virgin olive oil lightly grilled until color bursts creamy Italian arborio risotto with vanilla bean backnotes served with grated Mediterranean bottarga lime and lemon zest

 

Switchback Ridge Merlot 2014

Roasted Breast of Duck with Hoisin

Breast of duck, seared to mid-rare with a hoisin glaze Yukon gold potato gratin, braised Belgian endive and fresh mint leaves

 

Switchback Ridge Cabernet 2014

Bing cherry Demi-Glace over Lamb Loin

Boneless Colorado rack of lamb roasted to a warm mid-rare served with a bing cherry demi-glace and tender cooked bulgur wheat and snipped fresh watercress

 

Side by Side

Switchback Ridge Petite Syrah 2015 & Switchback Ridge Vintage Petite Syrah

Deconstructed Bleu Cheese Cheesecake

Honey black pepper macerated blackberries layered with bleu cheese cheesecake with vanilla wafer crust

 

The dinner is $95 per person at starts at 6:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling (602)626-5050.

The Market + Bar by Jennifer’s is at 3603 E. Indian School. Rd Phoenix 85018.

An Eggnog recipe for Hickman’s Family Farms Holly Jolly Eggnog

I’ve never been a fan of eggnog but from the looks of the ingredients in the recipe below I may have to start sipping on a glass or two. Eggnog dates back to when the country was first settled as the settlers were combining wine, spirits, eggs and sugar. Most are made from family recipes passed down from generation to generation.

Since eggs are a main ingredient in eggnog, Hickman’s Family Farms have provided their Grandma Gertie’s recipe. I’m probably not going to make it but if you do I’ll give it a try, preferably with the Maker’s Mark added.

Hickman’s Holly Jolly Eggnog

  • 5 Hickman’s Super Jumbo egg yolks
  • 5 Hickman’s Super Jumbo egg whites
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cups Shamrock 2% milk
  • 1 pint Shamrock heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons favorite brandy eggs-tract (optional-Maker’s Mark Whiskey)
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add one cup of sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved.
  2. Add the milk, cream, egg-stract or whiskey and nutmeg and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a clean stand mixer and beat to soft peaks.
  4. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Whisk the egg whites into the egg yolk and milk mixture.
  6. Chill and serve.

For cooked eggnog, follow this procedure:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add one cup of sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
  3. Return the incorporated mixture to the pot and cook until it reaches 160º.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the egg-stract or whiskey.
  5. Pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.
  6. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a clean stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form
  7. Once egg yolk and milk mixture is cool, slowly fold into stiff egg whites.
  8. Stir to combine
  9. Serve chilled

For more recipes from Hickman’s Family Farms go to https://hickmanseggs.com/

 

The Bourbon Cellar has a large bourbon selection and steakhouse dining

With a name like The Bourbon Cellar you know theirs a lot of the Kentucky whiskey on hand. Over 300 selections of bourbon, one of the largest collections in the Arizona dining scene, some may say the most at this new north Scottsdale steakhouse.

There’s more than bourbon from chef and owner Doug Smith. A farm-to-table high-end steakhouse with a menu that features seasonal ingredients that Smith sources himself.

Smith purchases season vegetables from local farmer’s markets and flies in fresh seafood from daily from around the country and Canada. He hand cuts his own beef, pork, elk, bison and venison purchased from his own butcher shop French’s Meats in Scottsdale.

Photos courtesy of The Bourbon Cellar and Bridges Media Group

“By eliminating the vendors, I can take quality control into my own hands to ensure every guests that dines with us is getting the absolute freshest meal around,” says Smith. “For me, cooking and serving food is not only a way to creatively express myself but also give diners a taste experience they’ve never had before with food that is familiar.”

On the menu at The Bourbon Cellar

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner with a large menu that includes hand ground 1/2 lb. burgers & sandwiches, salads, appetizers and signature dishes.

Appetizers include crab cakes, Wasabi Deviled Eggs and PEI mussels. All cuts of beef are USDA Prime including Bone-in Rib-eye, a 6, 10 or 14 oz. cuts of Filet Mignon and more.

Bacon wrapped Sea Scallops

Seafood options change daily such as Halibut, Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Swordfish and Sea Scallops.

Seasonal desserts are made daily and side dishes are included with burgers and sandwiches. Sides are a la carte with signature dishes at dinner.

Bourbon selection

With the vast selection of bourbon guest can sip bourbon cocktails and 45 day aged bourbons. The 45 day aged bourbons offer deep character profiles from their barrel maturing. If you’re not sure which bourbons to choose from you can order a flight of bourbon. Bourbon also makes a great pairing for any of the dishes on the menu.

A full bar is available for non-bourbon drinkers.

3rd Wednesday buffet

Smith, a veteran offers a full buffet every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. All of the $15 from these dinners are donated American Legion posts in Phoenix, Cave Creek and Anthem.

The Bourbon Cellar is at 23623 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85255 and opens daily at 11:00 a.am.

For more information and to view the menu see website.

 

Tanzy Restaurant to serve Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners

Whether you’re ready or not the holidays are here and if you prefer to shop til you drop and leave the cooking to someone else you’re not alone. Tanzy Restaurant at the Scottsdale Quarter is ready to serve you and your family whether it’s Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

3 days of Christmas at Tanzy Restaurant

James Beard award-winning chef Sherry Yard is preparing a 4 course tasting menu starting Sunday Dec. 23rd through Christmas Day. The menu includes Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi, Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad and Herb Crusted Prime Rib.  Your meal ends with a “Concord Cake”, a trio of mousse, cake and meringue with a caramelized Apple Tart Tatin. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice there’s a special gift from chef Yard.

There is a vegetarian option that substitutes maple glazed butternut squash for the prime rib.

Cost for the meal is $68 per person with an optional $30 wine pairing available. Children 12 & under are $20 and iPic Access Members pay $58. The vegetarian option is also $58.

5 courses on New Year’s Eve

Ring in 2019 with a 5-course dinner and live music starting at 5 p.m. Dinner goes past midnight and includes Ossteria Caviar, Tanzy Roasted Beet & Burrata, Grilled Lamb Chops with Seared Scallops followed by Raspberry & Vanilla Baked Alaska.

Prefer a vegetarian meal, opt for the Tempura Wild Mushroom and Black Truffle Risotto.

A complimentary glass of champagne is included with your $95 per person dinner. The optional wine pairing is an additional $35 and iPic Access members and vegetarian option is $85.

Afterwards stroll over to the iPic Theater next door for a relaxing movie to end your evening.

To make your Christmas or New Year’s Eve reservations at Tanzy Restaurant call (480)483-3255 or visit their website.

Tanzy Restaurant and the Scottsdale Quarter are at 15257 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85254.

Fellow Osteria & Pizzeria at Skysong is now open.

I reported in May the owners of Clever Koi we’re opening Fellow Osteria and Pizzeria in Scottsdale. Today is opening day and the foodies in south Scottsdale couldn’t be happier. Fellow Osteria joins New York Bagels & Bialys and Bitters Bar and Food at Skysong at Scottsdale and McDowell Rd.

Born & Raised Hospitality partners Joshua James and Nicholas Campisano realized the potential the south Scottsdale neighborhood has with the new development going on. Townhouses along McDowell Rd. and a revitalized Papago Plaza coming soon this popular neighborhood needed good dining options.

The menu was designed by chef Claudio Urciuloli of Pa’la and offers a taste of the Italian countryside. Sourcing rustic pasta grains to a garden out front the partners have gone to great lengths with this ambitious project.

The all day eatery will offer food, wine, beer and craft cocktails with coffee and ice cream from Sweet Republic.

I will be visiting Fellow Osteria next week and you can follow me on Instagram @SandyWass to see what’s up.

Fellow Osteria is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

 

Macayo’s Recipe Boxes make great stocking stuffers

Earlier in the year Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants made available a limited amount of recipe boxes and they sold out quickly. I’m glad to report the custom-made wood boxes filled with family recipes are available and will again sell out quickly. If you haven’t bought presents for your favorite foodie or home chef these would make a perfect gift.

Friday December 14th at 9:00 a.m. they will go on sale on-line and at their Mesa, Phoenix and Glendale locations. Each Recipe Box includes 72 family recipes including Spinach Con Queso, Green Chile Pork Stew and Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad.

Each Recipe Box is $35 plus tax with a limit to 2 per person. Macayo’s will donate $5 of each sale to Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-Cap).

The three locations where the boxes will be available are…..

Mesa- 1920 S. Dobson Rd. 85202 (480)820-0237

Glendale- 6012 W. Bell Rd. 85308 (602)298-8080

Phoenix- 3815 N. Central Ave. 85012 (602)264-6141

 

Stargazing & champagne at Mountain Shadows Resort

Looking for a unique experience during the holiday’s and into 2019 then head to Mountain Shadows Resort. Whether you prefer to sip champagne or look in to space the Paradise Valley resort offers both in the month of December.

Astrological Stargazing

The “Cocktails Under the Cosmos” will give star-gazers the chance to look through a telescope for Sagittarius, December’s astrological sign. An expert astronomer will guide you through the galaxy on Tuesday. December 11th from the resorts Camelback Overlook rooftop deck.  Enjoy themed cocktails or sparkling wine and passed hors d’oeuvres as you search the night’s sky. The resort is perfect for stargazing as Paradise Valley has low light pollution and a scenic back round.

Tuesday January 8th 2019 ring in the new year with a viewing of Capricorn and Tuesday February 11th is the search for Aquarius. All astrological signs are welcome.

December’s viewing is from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. January & February’s viewing is from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The cost is $45 per person and includes 2 cocktails or glasses of wine and hors’ d’ouvres. You may purchase tickets at https://www.mountainshadows.com/resort/events/cocktails-cosmos

Battle Champagne

December’s Sunday Supper Club at Hearth ’61  is paired with champagne and sparkling wine. The December 16th dinner offers guests four courses with Tattinger Champagne from France and California’s Domaine Carneros.

Executive chef Charles Wiley and his culinary team will prepare warm duck confit, an organic beet salad with proscuitto, prime ribeye with maitake mushrooms and pear ricotta souffle cake with a huckleberry sauce. Dinner comes served in full view of the exhibition kitchen in their comfortable dining room.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and is $94 ++ per person. Which do you prefer and who will win the battle? Find out by reserving your seat by calling 480-624-5400.

Mountain Shadows is 5445 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.

 

Farm & Craft now uses 100% grass fed beef on new menu

Locally owned Farm & Craft introduced eight new dishes for those looking for a healthy holiday season. The new dishes can be found throughout the menu from starters to entrees.

Because what you put in your body is important the whole menu now includes 100% grass-fed beef. The health focused restaurant also added 25% more organic products and 4 more vegetarian dishes that can be made vegan.

The new menu now lists all Farm & Craft’s local and responsibly sourced vendors. The new dishes are available at the Scottsdale restaurant and will soon be introduced at the Phoenix restaurant.

Super Green Salad. All photos courtesy of Farm & Craft and Mack Media Relations

New menu of healthy dishes

The 8 new dishes are listed here.

  • Cashew Chicken Salad: shaved chicken breast, togarashi maple cashews, romaine, red pepper, fresh spiral zucchini, with a sesame lime vinaigrette
  • Super Green Salad: spinach, zucchini, edamame, snap peas, green apple and cucumber in an organic tandoori cider vinaigrette and finished with toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Burrata & Grilled Vegetables: grilled seasonal vegetables with garlic bread and fresh burrata finished with tomato basil vinaigrette. Great for sharing!
  • Vegan Banh Mi: house made pineapple BBQ tofu, pickled cucumber, shredded romaine, jalapeno and a chili Dijon dressing on toasted ciabatta. Also available with BBQ chicken.
  • Probiotic Bowl: warm garbanzos with olive and tomato, quinoa tabbouleh, red beet power kraut, shaved pickled cucumber, romaine hearts and cucumber herb yogurt sauce
  • Chicken Fried Rice: organic farro, shaved chicken, pineapple, jalapeño, egg and toasted cashews, mixed with fresh veggies and a tamari glaze
  • Roasted Half Chicken: half of a roasted chicken served with seasonal vegetables & lemon herb chicken jus
  • Build-Your-Own Veggie Tacos: seasonal vegetables, smashed avocado, pico de gallo & tomatillo salsa served with three warm corn tortillas. Can add shaved chicken or shaved steak.

    menu
    Probiotic Bowl

In addition to the new dishes there have been changes to existing dishes.

  • The nachos made with quinoa flax chips are now vegetarian and can be prepared vegan.
  • There is no more turkey being served to help reduce sodium heavy dishes.
  • The popular Farro Mac & Cheese is back!
  • Gluten free pasta made from corn and rice is now available.

Soon a new kids breakfast menu will be introduced along with a new seasonal menu with seasonal ingredients.