@LMR (the ranch blog)
Sean McEntire (our oil maker) and I are working together in the frantoio today and we are very excited about making citrus-infused olive oil from our own organic olives and citrus.
For the past few years we have been talking about making a citrus-infused olive oil, but we never felt we had the right combination of fruit ripeness and availability. We also wanted to wait until the end of the season just in case something went wrong with our new process. Well, we are at the end of the olive harvest and we will only be making some soap oil tomorrow.
So, today we are midway through processing our first batch of citrus olive oil. The frantoio smells simply fantastic with all of the lemon zest in the air.
Courtney and Marilu picked about 175 pounds of our own Bearss limes from a tree at our residence yesterday afternoon. And, we added about 50 pounds of Meyer lemons from Frank and Beth Leed's ranch. All organic, of course.
Bearss limes are unusual in that they are yellow when ripe and contain very few seeds. (They originated in Tahiti.) Yet, while they look like lemons, the distinctive smell and taste of lime is extraordinary. Meyer lemons are similarly intensely flavorful. So, we are expecting a very wonderful oil.
The fruit was cut in half and then added to the olives just prior to going on the crushing stone. We doubled our crush time on the stones until the citrus became very well mixed with the olive paste. Then, it was on to the malixer where the paste was kneaded and lightly warmed prior to going through the decanter.
Out the other end of the decanter our newest product is now arriving.
Wow! We have just created a wonderfully zesty, fresh new oil. Imagine LMR Citrus Olive Oil drizzled on wood oven-roasted asparagus. . . and whatever else Sheamus dreams up.
We're off to a great start at Farmstead with many happy guests over the long weekend. Both the menu and the by-the-glass wine list were very well received.
Call 707-963-9181 for reservations or visit www.farmsteadnapa.com. Walk-ins are welcome.
Friday was the big day for Farmstead restaurant. We opened as scheduled at 11:30 AM and we don't plan to close again until Christmas day.
We were busy up to the very last minute, including completing the lighting for the main signs and the walkway to the restrooms. But, we got it all done for an on-time launch.
Our guests raved about the food - much to Sheamus' delight - and the staff performed wonderfully. Last night the room was full of electricity. And, our strategy of limiting reservations paid off as everyone had good service and a good time. We take off the training wheels tonight and tomorrow.
Looking for a reservation?
Call 707-963-9181 or visit www.farmsteadnapa.com.
Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but Farmstead restaurant opens tomorrow (Friday, February 12th).
Tomorrow is a really big day for our family and for chef Sheamus Feeley and his team. We will open our farm-to-table restaurant for lunch and dinner at our St. Helena location at 738 Main Street.
We held an open house on Tuesday evening for the many people who have helped us with this project. Frank Borges (the general contractor) and all of the subcontractors and their crews were part of the scene. It was great to see them show off their work to family and friends. Great folks with true pride in their work.
Yesterday we did a "practice service" at lunch and dinner with family and friends serving as patrons. We served about 120 meals and, by the end of the evening, the staff had the room and kitchen working really well. The excellent practice gave everyone confidence that we could pull it off "for real" on Friday.
Today we closed for final cleaning and a "zero base" inventory.
So, here we go. No more hoopla or parties. Instead, every day wil be a "grand opening" at Farmstead.
We open the phone lines for reservations on Friday morning at 11:30 AM (707-963-9181). And, hopefully, we'll open the doors shortly thereafter.
Please come join us. Most of the seats are for the local community. So, walk-ins are welcome. Reservations are limited.
More news tomorrow.
Everything is starting to come together.
We were able to open the tasting room this past Monday, and we are looking forward to opening Farmstead restaurant very soon. I have included a photo of the new kitchen in the tasting room. This kitchen will be my new “office” for the next month, while I develop and improve upon the recipes that I have been putting together for our new venture.
This coming week, the tasting room staff should be able to taste my grits, macaroni with California cheddar, buttermilk biscuits, a couple of different beans from Rancho Gordo, braised greens, along with countless other “side” items that will appear on the new menu.
In the future, this kitchen will also be preparing small “tastes” to compliment our wines in the tasting room. We will pair a couple of dishes daily to compliment our Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
We will keep you posted on the details . . .
Posted by Sheamus Feeley
The secret is out. Until today we were sworn to secrecy - and we still can't disclose the details.
Watch "Top Chef: Season Finale, Part I" tonight on Bravo TV at 10 PM (9 PM Central). Check your local listings for time and cable channel.
Top Chef brought its finale to the Napa Valley and made LMR Rutherford Gardens a featured location. Finalists Jennifer Carroll, Kevin Gillespie, Michael Voltaggio, and Bryan Voltaggio were given a tough challenge, but we can't tell you what it was.
To learn more you'll have to watch the show tonight.
I'll tell more of the story tomorrow.
The Full Circle Farming episode of Emeril Green, which features Laddie, Chris, and me with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, will air again this weekend on the Planet Green Network. The show times are Saturday at 6-6:30 PM EASTERN Time and Sunday at 2-2:30 AM and 10-10:30 AM EASTERN Time. Click here for a channel finder.
We were thrilled with the debut airing of the show on Monday night. We had a viewing party with our staff in the Bunk House at the ranch. We were very pleased with the way the show presented our story - especially given the complexity of what we do. And, the commentary was almost entirely accurate. We could not have asked for a more complete telling of our story if we have tried to do so ourselves.
Sheamus made pulled pork sandwiches and chili (in a kind of faux Frito pie) and we toasted Emeril and the entire production team with the wines of Long Meadow Ranch.
Snippets of the show (showing single topics and recipes) are already available on the Planet Green website and the entire episode will be available soon.
Posted by Ted Hall
Goulash with Sweet Dumpling Squash
I couldn’t resist writing a “ghoul”ash recipe this Halloween. Perfect to prepare in advance and serve to a hungry family before, and after, the festivities. This sweet-sour combination is tough to beat on a chilly autumn night.
4 lbs LMR Grass-fed Beef Stew Meat
2 sweet dumpling squash, peeled and cut ½”x ½”
2 medium yellow onions
¼ cup flour
⅓ cup Napa Valley Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup tomato paste
3 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp chopped garlic
3 tbsp Napa Valley Select Red Wine Vinegar
¼ tsp zest of lemon
¼ tsp zest of orange
Salt and pepper
Season beef with salt and pepper and coat with flour.
Heat heavy bottomed pan medium high and add 1/3 of the olive oil.
Add 1/3 of the beef and brown on both sides.
Remove beef. Repeat twice more, until all beef has been browned.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and cook until translucent.
Add tomato paste, caraway, and paprika.
Cook for 3 minutes, until tomato begins to caramelize.
Add garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
Add chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan.
Add vinegar and citrus zest.
Cover and simmer for 90 minutes, or until beef starts to become tender.
Add squash and cook for 15 minutes.
Serve with boiled potatoes or butter noodles.
Posted by Sheamus Feeley
Posted By Sheamus Feeley
Harvest time is always an exciting and creative time for me. This recipe was inspired by the unique Sangiovese grapes from Peter's vineyard. I am happy to share it with you especially as we celebrate Ted's birthday today!
Ingredients for Sangiovese Cake
4 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup Napa Valley Select
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
powdered sugar, for garnish
12 oz. Sangiovese grapes
Preparing the Sangiovese Cake
Preheat oven to 350°
Oil 9” spring form pan and dust with flour.
Whisk eggs and sugar until light yellow in color. Add all liquid ingredients and whisk to combine.
Sift dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Let rest for ten minutes. Add ¾ of the grapes and transfer to pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, then add the remaining grapes to the top and continue to bake for around 40 minutes more. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and dust with powdered sugar.
Posted by Sheamus Feeley
Posted By Sheamus Feeley
Back home in Arkansas we always had a pepper vinegar on hand as a table condiment for beans, fried chicken and pork chops.
These days I also like to use it where a recipe calls for Tabasco, or another hot pepper sauce. I prefer my version, because it adds good acidity without too much heat that can destroy the balance of a nice simple dish. For example, I use it to finish classic my LMR grass-fed chili with Rancho Gordo Pinquito beans.
Ingredients for the Pepper Vinegar
1 quart distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp kosher salt
6-7 Serrano Chiles, pricked with a fork or knife
Preparing the Pepper Vinegar
Heat Vinegar and salt in a sauce pot until salt is dissolved. Pour over chilies and let cool to room temperature.
Place in a glass bottle, or jar with a lid and keep refrigerated. It should keep for at least one month.
Posted By Sheamus Feeley