C CASA‘s May enchilada plate features that well-known and beloved Mexican specialty, pork carnitas. They fill a house-made tortilla with pork carnitas, four cheese blend, avocado tomatillo salsa, and top it with micro greens, pico de gallo and avocado serrano crema. A colorful accompaniment is a shaved cabbage salad with apples, followed by a sweet treat of their infamous Mexican chocolate brownie bite. This colorful plate special is just $13.50, and available for the entire month.

If you are looking for a delicious BBQ sauce to prepare this coming Memorial Day to impress your guests, here is a simple and amazing recipe using Napastak’s ketchups. With four different flavors, you will want to make them all!

Napastak Roasted Garlic Peppercorn BBQ Sauce
Total time: 1 hr 20 min

Ingredients:
2 cups Napastak Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 Tbs light brown sugar
1/2 Tbs onion powder
1/2 Tbs ground mustard
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes. You can replace the Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Ketchup for any other of their delicious flavors: Smoky Bacon Ketchup, Organic Spicy Chipotle or the Classic Ketchup. Enjoy!!

Grab-and-go salads at Hudson Greens and Goods are made fresh daily, using only the finest ingredients in creating each salad and house-made dressings. From the produce you have come to depend on and love Hudson selects each vegetable for its taste and textural appeal. They use Fatted Calf picnic ham, organic free-range chicken, Prima-donna gouda, and Taggiasca olives and Vermont feta, because they are the best they can buy. Their house-made dressing are made from the same high-quality ingredients they carry in our store like Steven Singer red wine vinegar, Red Boat fish sauce, Miso Mater miso and Edward Fallot mustard, just to name a few. These salads are complex and delicious, pick up one to take to work or have at home for a fast accompaniment for an Oxbow-inspired evening meal.

BBQ Season is back, which means a trip to Five Dot Ranch is in order! From steak sauce and burgers, to hot dogs and big juicy steaks, Five Dot has all the fixings for throwing that perfect summer BBQ. Along with grilling, a trip to the Cookhouse would be just as great, especially since their new summer lunch and dinner menu is now available! They have several new entrée and side additions, such as a 35 Day Dry Aged Beef Bacon “BLT,” Gyro Salad, Portobello Mushroom Burger and more that they are excited to start serving.

Memorial weekend is upon us! How time does fly. Memorial weekend heralds the start of summer time, and that means the gathering of friends and family to enjoy some well deserved sunshine and fantastic weather. Whether you’re bbq’ing, or just looking for some delicious hor d’oeuvres and tasty refreshing beverages to bring with you for that Memorial day party, Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant has just what you need!

Call in advance or ask the staff behind the cheese counter to put together a custom cheese and charcuterie platter for you (24-hour notice is required when placing orders for cheese and charcuterie platters).

Don’t forget about the drinks! Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant is after all, a wine merchant too! Many delicious rosés have recently been brought in by the Merchant’s superb wine buyers, and there’s nothing better in this season than a nice dry, crisp and refreshing pink wine to go along with all those lovely snacks. Try the new “Eugenia, the Motley,” a rosé predominantly of Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast. Quite dry, crisp and appealing with well balanced notes of young fruit such as strawberries and red cherries. This is just one of the many rosés, and amazing refreshing, zesty white wines that the Cheese & WIne Merchant is carrying right now.

Stop by the shop and peruse the cheese and wine retail counters to find something just for you, and don’t hesitate to ask the friendly and knowledgeable staff if you have any questions or need suggestions. Cheers!

Whether you make your own pizza or order from a pizzeria, a sprinkle of fresh spices always provides a flavor boost. Stop by Whole Spice to pick up some pizza seasoning made with black and red peppers, garlic, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and sea salt…delicious on pasta, too! Also, Whole Spice will be offering a 20 percent discount the last three days of the month so bring your spice lists during May 29-31 to replenish your spice cabinets!

Whole Spice has a great chimichurri seasoning, vailable either in bulk or in a jar, for making authentic chimichurri sauce! Originally from Argentina but also used in Uruguay and in countries as far north as Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico, chimichurri is a South and Central American sauce used for grilled meat.

To prepare Chimichurri sauce simply combine:
3 Tbs. Chimichurri Seasoning
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Serve with grilled steak.

Also, mark your calender for the end of the month sale May 29-31 when Whole Spice will be offering a 20% discount on all purchases of Oxbow newsletter readers!

Cinco (five) is the key word for celebrating Cinco de Mayo at C CASA. Start with their “Nachos Not!” — as in, not your typical nachos — at a special price of $5 for the small order. C CASA house made tortilla chips are topped with black beans, white beans, or half and half, pico de gallo, goat cheese and chipotle aioli for a meal in itself.

Also featured at the special price of $5 per glass, they are introducing their new white wine Pavo Real, from Baja, Mexico. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay are masterfully blended by Master Sommelier Ian Cauble for enjoying with lighter Mexican foods. You might recognize Ian from the movie Somm that debuted at the Napa Film Festival in 2012.

For those who love beer with their nachos, a bottle of Corona will be available for the Cinco de Mayo price of $3.50 (note:there is a 5 in that one too!) Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This Mother’s Day pick up some pre-marinated ready-to-grill steaks from Five Dot’s grab-n-go case. Nothing says “I love you” like a juicy and tender steak!
Cinco De Mayo is also around the corner and Five Dot is giving everyone a sneak preview of one of its new menu items that will be on the summer menu! Try the crispy beef “carnitas” sandwich with cilantro-lime coleslaw, pickled jalapeños and a grilled tomato and poblano salsa rosa!
And don’t forget about  Smoked Meats Night, which takes place every Tuesday during Locals’ Night! Five Dot is smoking something new every week, so don’t forget to check them out Tuesdays.

May brings warmer weather, beautiful sunshine, and the dawn of another fantastic Napa Valley summer! Whether thinking about Mom on her special day, or just getting together with family and friends, don’t show up empty handed…bring along a yummy, fresh-baked cake from The Model Bakery! Special for May are their Lemon Cake with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream frosting, and the “Naked” Chocolate Chip Cake with chocolate fudge, chocolate pudding and chocolate chip cookie dough…mmm…CHOCOLATE-Y! Yay for May!

Tired of giving flowers, oven mitts, and canned sardines every Mother’s Day?

This Mother’s Day give her gift that she really wants, at a price that you cannot resist! She deserves it. After all she supports you every day, in every way. Napa Valley Distillery created this gift set exclusively for Mother’s Day 2016, and it contains all the necessary ingredients to make a unique, and much appreciated, Mother’s Day Cocktail.

The set includes: Napa Valley Distillery’s own Napa Reserve & Grand California, Napa Valley Bitters Hibiscus Rose Bitters, Liber & Co. Grenadine Syrup. They’ve also included a recipe card so that she can enjoy a Pomegranate Cosmo any time!

We all know C CASA for its innovative take on tacos, but have you checked out their salads and small plates? Loaded with colorful fresh vegetables and tossed with intriguing salad dressings the salads make for a refreshing light, yet filling lunch option. Add your choice of protein and you can feel quite virtuous about your healthy lunch. Each of their salad options has a unique twist; choices include chopped, Caesar, mixed greens, shaved cabbage, or baby spinach. Ho hum you might think, but it’s all about that unique twist that makes them an exciting meal option that you’ll come back for again and again.

Looking for a nice new Kosher wine to go with your Passover festivities? Then the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant has exactly what you need. Come in and ask the staff about their new Kosher wine selection. You won’t be disappointed!

Long gone are the days when Kosher wines were either treacly sweet or pure drek! Jeff Morgan makes these two wines for his Covenant label, and if somebody didn’t tell you they were Kosher you would never know from tasting the wines themselves.

The 2014 Mensch California White, Lodi, $20 “Mensch” is Yiddish for someone who is a genuinely good soul, the kind of person you would turn to when you needed help or support, and they would be there for you. This wine is a blend of Roussanne and Semillon harvested in Lodi. It was barrel fermented with native yeast, but only shows a little bit of oak on the palate. The fruit character is mostly yellow apple with just a hint of melon. Medium-bodied, dry but not austere.

The 2014 The Tribe Red Blend, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, $38.50 This fine red is a filed blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel, all from one Dry Creek Valley vineyard. The 3 varieties are picked together and co-fermented. It is a fairly rich red, with ripe plum and dark berry fruit, a bit of oak and soft tannins. It is reminiscent of a southern Rhone blend, although those usually have Grenache in a starring role and here there is none. Like the white Mensch, you would never know this was Kosher if you weren’t told. The name is, of course, a reference to the 12 Tribes of Israel and the Old Testament.

Earth Day is a movement to inspire and motivate people to action. Start with simple small changes perhaps in your home. Napastak offers a line of cleaning products with no harsh chemicals. Their products are 99 percent or more natural and they actually work. All the ingredients used are all natural, non-toxic, non-flammable, ideal for use around prep, pets and children. They are superior to other Eco-friendly housecleaning products both in efficacy and non-toxicity because they remove bacteria and the grime they feed on. Some of the products you can find are dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, glass cleaner and even pet products! Because we only have one earth.

Hudson Greens and Goods takes water very seriously, and is committed to offering the most environmentally, socially responsible, and delicious bottled water available. Castle Rock still and sparkling water fulfils all of these criteria. “From glacier to glass,” the company’s motto, describes the Mt. Shasta based company.  Thomas Greither, a noted environmentalist and president of Castle Rock Water Company, says, “We’re renewing a tradition that began nearly 125 years ago from the source of the water to the use of glass bottles. We decided to bypass single-use plastic bottles in favor of glass, which is better for the environment. Glass bottles are more readily reusable and recyclable, and better for the person drinking the water since glass doesn’t infuse the water with anything unwanted. And our bottles contain more than 50 percent recycled glass.” Castle Rock is a family-owned, community-based joint venture with the City of Dunsmuir.

Pastis is Napa Valley Distillery‘s California inspired homage to French Pastis. It is light, refreshing, and delightful on ice all year round! So what is Pastis? Almost every country has an interpretation of an anise flavored spirit. Think: Absinthe, Aguardiente, Anisette, Arak, Galliano, Herbsaint, Oghi, Ouzo, and Sambuca. At the turn of the 19th century, Absinthe — the infamous “Green Fairy” and beloved companion of many bohemians of the day — was the most consumed anise flavored spirit. In 1914, in order to protect the wine industry, all alcoholic products over 16 percent were outlawed in France. These laws were repealed at the end of the Great War in 1918, with the exception of Absinthe. Fearing the return of Absinthe, anise flavored spirits were authorized on a case-by-case basis. In the vacuum created by an imbalance of demand and supply, an enterprising young salesman, Paul Richard, launched a new anise flavored spirit called Pastis, which quickly gained worldwide popularity.

As an avid enthusiast of all distilled spirits, especially fine French spirits, NVD proprietor Arthur Hartunian sought to create his own California-inspired homage to French Pastis. The result is a delightful Papillon Pastis, which is expertly crafted using a proprietary blend of all natural herbal essences. Papillon Pastis is distinctive in flavor, and in color, as they have bottled it at 40 percent alcohol. This is just below the point that the full characteristic Pastis louche (clouding) occurs. Enjoy with ice or serve chilled with a splash of water to experience the ultimate “Pastis” experience. A Votre Santé!

Ora King is definitely the Waygu beef of salmon, where each fish is carefully monitored its entire life with tags, cameras, and digital chips. Rated Green as Best Choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, see why Ora King salmon is the most sustainable salmon available. The main sustainability concerns for farmed salmon are feed ratio, ecosystem pollution, risk of escape, and antibiotic and chemical use. Many people are afraid of farmed salmon because of lack of information and traceability to address the above issues. Ora King salmon does not have those issues and is farmed sustainably in New Zealand from Sacramento River roots. Read more about the Ora King salmon available at Eiko’s at Oxbow.

We were all waiting for spring season and its beautiful weather. Picnic days are here and there’s nothing like good cheese, a delicious spread and crackers with a glass of wine. Napastak spreads like ancho chile or pineapple apricot pepper are perfect with cheese and you can choose between red wine or white wine snaps made by Napa Cookie Co. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the purchase of three Napastak spreads, jams, olive oils or balsamic vinegar get a fresh baguette! Don’t forget to taste a variety of delicious gourmet delights offered by the Napastak team.

Legend has it the recipe for this Meyer lemon-infused brandy liqueur is a generations-old Italian limoncello recipe that Napa Valley Distillery (NVD) proprietor, Arthur Hartunian, won in a poker game from a famous Italian chef. One thing’s for sure… it’s distinctively different than any other Italian Lemon liqueur.

How unique is it? It won a platinum medal at the World Spirits Competition as a limoncello less than a month after it was launched. Impressive? Try it and see for yourself.

When Life Hands You Lemons…Meyer lemon variety was the very first product that Napa Valley Distillery created. Before there was a physical location for the distillery, Arthur, his wife Lusine, and their three children, used to make this liqueur at their kitchen table (the kids peeled the lemons). They have come a long way since then, and they now completely handcraft this flagship product at their distillery in Napa. Yes, the Meyer lemons are still local, and yes, they are still peeled by hand. This unique Meyer lemon-flavored brandy liqueur is still handcrafted only once a year, and right now the latest batch is gently resting, contemplating the meaning of the universe, and preparing to be bottled. Though exquisite served chilled after a fine meal in an antique cordial glass; NVD’s award-winning Meyer lemon liqueur loves to mingle as well. Create unique craft cocktails by trying it in your Margaritas, Whiskey Sours, Ramos Fizzes, Gin and Tonics, Palomas, Pimm’s Cups, Side Cars, or a splash in sparkling wine before a meal!

Click here for more cocktail ideas.

If you haven’t tried Indian Dal Seasoning, ask for a jar of it at Whole Spice, and then try this recipe for Indian Spice Soup. It is absolutely delicious with red lentils! Whole Spice will be offering a 20% discount the last three days of the month so start your wish list now and stock up April 28-30.

Indian Spice Soup

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
1 cup chopped onion
4 Tbsp Indian Dal Seasoning
1 cup dal (red lentils or other legumes)
1 cup chopped carrot (about ½ carrot)
1 cup yellow zucchini (about ½ zucchini)
1 tsp sea salt 6 cups water
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions:
In a large pot heat up the oil on medium-heat then add the onion. Fry until golden brown. Add Indian Dal seasoning, salt and stir for 10 seconds. Now add the dal, carrots and zucchini then stir for 1 minute. Add the water then cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 45 minutes. Add the tomato and cilantro. Serve with flatbread of pita bread.

 

 

Celebrate spring with Ca’ Momi Enoteca’s glorious Carciofi Pizza, topped with seasonal grilled artichoke hearts and luscious artichoke cream. Pair with a glass of Bianco di Ca’ Momi and enjoy $4 off every Tuesday night. Like all of Ca’ Momi’s traditional Neapolitan pizzas, the Carciofi perches on an organic hand-made crust (with or without gluten) layered with organic San Marzano tomatoes and organic, housemade fior di latte mozzarella. If you’re not into artichokes, no worries…all pizzas are available for the Tuesday night deal, with choice of house white or red wine as your pairing.

Spring has sprung at least, and we crave lighter meals like seafood and veggies. The April C CASA Enchilada Plate Special fulfills those cravings on all counts. A house made corn tortilla is wrapped around a delicious filling of shrimp, green onions, four cheeses and avocado tomatillo salsa, then topped with corn relish and avocado serrano crema. A mixed field green salad and a Mexican chocolate brownie bite complete the plate, and it’s just $13.50.

For most people the Vernal Equinox signals the gradual transition from the grey and chilly days of winter, to the bright and warm days of summer. For the folks at Napa Valley Distillery, spring is a time to craft vintage porch-sipper cocktails that waken your taste buds from their winter hibernation, and to inspire thoughts of backyard gatherings with friends, seasonal dishes, and finely crafted libations. First up on their menu? The Sidecar.

The Sidecar Cocktail was created in 1920 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris for an American Army Captain who fancied being chauffeured around in his beloved motorcycle sidecar. Proprietor Arthur Hartunian handcrafts each small batch using NVD’s own spirits and all natural ingredients. The mixture is then oak infused before bottling. The end result is a cocktail with extraordinary taste and character that no amount of shaking or stirring can produce; it is bright and fresh, yet refined and thoughtful. A very special cocktail truly reminiscent of an era long gone by. Cheers to spring!

Whole Spice will be offering a 20 percentdiscount the last three days of this month so you can spring clean your spice cabinets March 29-31! Also, try this delicious Whole Spice salmon recipe! Just a teaspoon of dried tarragon is enough to bring out the flavor in fish and chicken. It also pairs well with peas, asparagus and other spring vegetables; and it is great friends with mustard, as in this easy salmon recipe.

Tarragon-Mustard Salmon (serves 2)

Ingredients:
2 fresh salmon fillets
1 tsp. Whole Spice tarragon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450. Mix together the tarragon, mustard, honey, salt, cayenne and lime juice. Drizzle olive oil on the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Place in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Take out the salmon and rub it with the tarragon-mustard mixture. Place back in the oven for 5-6 minutes, until the sauce is caramelized.
Serve with fresh vegetables: Whole Spice likes a salad of shaved colored carrots seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Spring is here, Easter is just around the corner, and The Fatted Calf is ready to celebrate. Forget the peeps and chocolate bunnies! Fatted Calf has a hoFatted Calf Easter Menust of treats for your spring celebration from chive scented bockwurst to succulent stuffed quail. And don’t forget the bacon, breakfast sausage and farm fresh eggs for a holiday brunch. To place an order for pick up, please email  or call (707) 256-3684.

Marsha’s Grilled Rabbit Spiedini with Chicories, Olives and Almonds (serves four)
This recipe was handed down to The Fatted Calf from Marsha McBride, chef and proprietress of Berkeley’s Cafe Rouge. This savory grilled rabbit spiedini utilizes both the meat and organs of the rabbit, deliciously served over a salad of chicories, olives and almonds, perfect for a spring feast.

For the spiedini:
1 2 to 3 pound rabbit, boned
2 rabbit kidney
s, halved 1 rabbit liver, cut into fourths
sea salt
1 tsp. toasted and ground coriander
zest of 1/2 orange
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 Tbs. chopped thyme
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup rosé wine
4 thin slices of pancetta

For the salad:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 finely minced shallot
sea salt
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
¾ cup olive oil
4 cups washed and trimmed arugula
4 cups wash
ed and trimmed escarole hearts 4 cups washed and trimmed frisée
¼ cup chopped picholine olives
½ cup toasted chopped almonds
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Cube the rabbit meat into one-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Season the meat, liver, and kidneys with the sea salt and coriander. In a large bowl mix the garlic, orange zest and herbs with the olive oil and wine. Add the seasoned rabbit. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare the vinaigrette for the salad. In a medium sized mixing bowl, macerate the shallots in the red wine vinegar. Add a pinch of sea salt and the Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Set aside.

Remove the rabbit from the marinade. Wrap the rabbit liver with the pancetta. Thread one piece of liver and one kidney onto each skewer along with ¼ of the rabbit meat, leaving ½ inch (1.25 cm) in between each piece. Grill over a medium-hot fire for about 8 to 10 minutes total, turning frequently to brown evenly on all sides.

In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, escarole and frisée with the vinaigrette. Add the olives, almonds and a few grinds of black pepper. Divide the salad amongst four plates. Place a whole skewer, still warm, over the bed of greens and serve.

Celebrate the new growth of the spring season at Hudson Greens and Goods. You’ll find all the Easter essentials, including beautiful, organic spring onions $5.99/lb.,  asparagus $8.99/lb. and green garlic $7.59/lb.  If you find yourself looking for the perfect Easter gift, a staff favorite is the Super Choc-O-Food bar, a collaboration of Valerie’s Confections and Commune Design. It’s packed with a dried fruit, nuts and seeds all bound together with minimal chocolate, conveniently wrapped in your choice of pastel foils. It really is the best addition to any Easter basket.

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy a fresh Hawaiian Poki bowl at Eiko’s at Oxbow. Poki bowls made to order with freshly diced ahi tuna tossed in a savory sesame soy sauce, sliced Maui onions and avocado over a bed of sushi rice and Japanese rice seasoning from Whole Spice ($17). You will feel like you are on the beach in Hawaii…the only thing missing will be the sand between your toes! Or try it California style with a creamy soy sauce, no onion and flaked crab ($15). Available daily at the sushi bar and only at Eiko’s Oxbow location.

Here comes Peter Cottontail…and that means Easter’s on its way! Be ready for friends and family this year with the help of The Model Bakery. From breakfast pastries, to artisan breads, cookies…tarts and pies…to large and individual Easter cakes, the Model Bakery has you covered. And don’t forget those hot cross buns! All orders must be placed by noon on Thursday, March 24 for pickup either Saturday, March 26 from 7a m to 6 pm, or Easter Sunday, from 7 am to 1 pm. Hoppy Easter!

This month’s C CASA special enchilada combines their succulent, chile-crusted rotisserie chicken with 4 cheese blend wrapped in one of their house made corn tortillas. With C CASA, it is all about the toppings and sides! Topped with mixed greens, pico de gallo and poblano crema, the enchilada is accompanied by a spinach corn edamame salad, and a carrot cake snack muffin provides a sweet finish. Special plate price: $13.50.