I'm Coming Home

Humans,

After an incredibly memorable two year residency in lovely Seattle, I'm tickled to say I'll be returning to San Diego next week to rejoin forces with my dear Osa and Osito. And we have some exciting things in store!

When we announced last year that Cow by Bear would be shutting down to explore new opportunities, it felt like the right decision. So much had changed in the seven years since the experience first started and we were jonesing to try something new. We explored many different options while keeping a small handful of our (un)traditional dinners on the schedule to stay sharp.

Spending the evening with you fine humans is always so inspiring, and these dinners were some of the most fun we've ever had. At the same time, I've been writing the cookbook. It's been an energizing process; pouring through recipes from the past to rewrite them for the book, remembering old characters I'd long forgot...just a joy. The cookbook was intended to be the Cow by Bear experience, in book format. But it began to metamorphosis itself back the other way. I couldn't help but want for guests to experience these recipes and these stories sitting around our dinner table, together.

It all got us thinking more about why we felt  moving on was really the right choice. We took a deep dive into every single aspect of the Cow by Bear dinner experience. We asked ourselves what it would look like in an absolutely perfect world if we were to totally redesign the experience. And that's what we did.

We've come up with something that feels totally authentic to us and addresses some of the things we either knew we could do better or were inspired to do differently. It's an experience that will make us the happiest bears we can be, which ensures we will provide the best experience possible for all of you.

We are so proud and excited to introduce our newest dinner series, Food by Bear!

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Announcing 'Food by Bear: France'

Food by Bear will be a one-year dinner series highlighting chapters from our upcoming cookbook. Each chapter's dinner experience will run for just two months before rotating to an entirely new theme - never to be repeated again. Dinners will be in San Diego on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm and follow our regular format of 1 table, 14 guests, 5 courses and pairings. 

The series begins where it all started for me: France. This is where I had my awakening and learned to walk, talk and cook. Please join us as we go back in time and enjoy some of my favorite French cuisine, wines, stories, music and more! Tickets for the France experience are $195 per person.

Food by Bear: France will run in June and July before changing over to a new region in August. We'll announce each new theme two weeks in advance.

We look forward to spending an evening with you!

Tickets


You're My Boy, Blue!

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Osa's blue cheese panna cotta is a real showstopper currently on the menu in San Diego. There's a lot going on, so do yourself a favor and prep it in parts rather than all at once. The panna cotta component needs to chill overnight so prep that first along with the bacon fat shortbread, which will stay for two days.

feeds 6

3 ripe heirloom tomatoes
3-4 c frisee, washed & rough chopped
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb bacon, cooked crisp, fat reserved/chilled
*bacon fat rosemary shortbread
*blue cheese panna cotta
*onion marmalade

*for the bacon fat shortbread
3.5 oz rendered bacon fat, room temp
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper

*for the onion marmalade
3 yellow onions, julienned
1/2 c champagne vinegar
1 c sugar
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper (to taste)

*for the panna cotta
1.5 c buttermilk
4 oz blue cheese
1 c cream
2-3/4 tsp gelatin
1 clove roasted garlic
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 sprig rosemary
pinch of celery seed

For the Blue Cheese Panna Cotta: 

  1. Heat cream, blue cheese, herbs and garlic in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Let cheese melt, then steep.

  2. Bloom the gelatin in 1 tbsp cold water.Remove herbs, add gelatin and stir to melt gelatin completely.

  3. Add cold buttermilk and mix well. Pour in container suitable for panna cotta and chill overnight. 

For the Bacon Fat Shortbread: 

  1. Mix bacon fat, sugar, pepper and rosemary with a paddle in a stand mixer on high for approximately two minutes.

  2. Switch speed to low and slowly add flour just until incorporated. Remove dough, wrap in plastic and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes (can be made up to two days ahead of time if needed).

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into similar shaped pieces to ensure even baking. Note: shortbreads will be crumbled to serve.Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies start to show a bit of browning. Shortbread will continue to cook on the hot pan once removed from the oven.

For the Onion Marmalade:

  1. Put all ingredients in a heavy bottom pot. Cook on medium/high for a few minutes to bring to a simmer, then reduce to low for approximately one hour until liquid has reduced to nearly dry and sugar has caramelized the onions. Chill before serving.

To Plate:

  1. Slice tomatoes into wedges and arrange 1/2 tomato into a circle on the plate. Be sure to season tomatoes

  2. Toss frisee with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and arrange in the center of tomatoes on the plate.

  3. Slice panna cotta into six pieces and place between tomatoes and frisee.

  4. Place onion marmalade on the slice of panna cotta.Sprinkle bacon bits and shortbread over everything, and enjoy!


Peter Panda’s Slow Negroni

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My dear friend Peter Panda Bear has been visiting and we've had a jolly ol' time whipping up some cocktails together. He's one of the best darned bartenders I've ever known and I hope you all have a chance to meet him. We've been serving a white negroni at dinners in San Diego, but the Suze component is really tough to find these days so we wanted to offer up something that is a little easier to obtain all the ingredients. So here is our take on the negroni, using a sloe gin in combination with regular gin for this classic cocktail. It's a sipper, but nothing tastes better on a sunny evening.

1 oz. sloe gin
1 oz. gin
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. campari
grapefruit twist

  1. Combine the gin, sloe gin, vermouth and campari in a rocks glass. Stir 10 times.

  2. Add ice, preferable one large piece, and stir 10 more times.

A Spring In My Step

Humans,

Happy Spring! I have an extra spring in my step because everywhere I turn it's pure beauty. The sun's out, cherry blossoms are in full force, birds are singing my favorite tunes and we have so much delicious, fresh produce to look forward to. It's also the time of year many of my bear friends come out of hibernation. I've been hearing lots of chatter about bear safety, and while it's true most bears aren't as acclimated to the human world as I am, we're friendly folk at heart. Pro tip: just carry some bear spray. You don't even have to spray it, just give the bear a quick flash and be on your way. If all else fails, tell it you're friends with Chef Bear.

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Food by Bear: Only 1 Week to Go!

Another beautiful thing is the support we've received for the Food by Bear cookbook. Only 1 week remains in our Kickstarter campaign to help bring the book into the world. We've had pledges from not only San Diego, Seattle and Savannah, but also from far away places as Germany, Australia and Nova Scotia. Many of you have already graciously made a pledge, but we still have a good ways to go to reach our goal. With fine humans in the Bear family like you I know we can do this together!

I am humbly asking for your help. This book means so much to me. I'm putting absolutely all of my fuzzy self into it. It's an exciting culmination of my entire journey, and I'm sharing everything I've learned along the way. I can promise it will be special and unlike any other cookbook on your shelf.

I hope you'll take a look at our campaign and consider making a pledge (anything helps!) or sharing the project. It would truly mean the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my big bear heart!

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Limited Ticket Availability

We have released a small handful of tickets for May in both San Diego and Seattle, as we've continued to hear from gift certificate holders and other special requests that are important for us to accommodate. Click the button for your city below to check availability. We hope to see you!


(No) Spring Chicken

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This is a simple dish to make, but it can take upwards of five hours and you'll want to stick around to keep an eye on the ice melt. You can increase the heat a bit if you're short on time, but the slower you cook the more flavorful it will be. I picked up this ice braising technique during my time in Thailand, and in all my travels I've found no better way to pull out these deep flavors I'm always seeking. You're gonna love it!

feeds 4+
special equipment: 

2 large pots, one of which sits snugly on top of the other


4 chicken quarters (preferably all leg/thigh)
2 inches ginger (sliced)
1 inch galangal (sliced)
1 stalk lemongrass (smashed & rough chopped)
5 kaffir lime leaves
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 shallot (halved)
4 birds eye chilis (chopped)
3 tbsp lime juice
1 red onion (julienned) 
2 c coconut cream
~9 quarts ice cubes
~1 tbsp oil
cilantro (garnish)
fish sauce (to taste)

  1. Toss the chicken, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, lime leaf, garlic, shallot, two of the birds eye chili, fish sauce and oil together, and arrange on the bottom of a large pot. Place the pot over low heat. Take the second (just slightly smaller) pot, add 1/3rd of the ice to it and place directly on top of the other pot.
     

  2. Let the pot cook until the ice is melted and water is no longer cold. Empty the water from the top pot and repeat this step two more times.
     

  3. Once all the ice is gone, discard the top pot. In the chicken pot, add the coconut cream until it comes up to just the side of the chicken. Stir in the lime juice, the rest of the chilis and more fish sauce of desired.
     

  4. To serve, spoon the chicken and sauce into a bowl and top with cilantro and red onion. Other optional but tasty garnishes are: egg noodles or fried egg noodles, pickled cabbage, or chili oil. 

My Friends, The Berenstains

Humans,

I'm ecstatic to have my dear friends, the Berenstain Bears, with us for a guest post. We first met while I was cooking for a short stint at the Bear Country Grill (which remains a fine establishment today). We've remained close friends since then, so I asked them to spill some ink about our first experience together. Take it away Berenstains!

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It was a fine spring day in Bear Country. The bluebirds were singing. The trout were leaping. The air was sparkling clean. Inside our treehouse, however, a storm was brewing. You see, Sister and Brother were acting an ill-mannered mess. "Sillyhead!" called Brother. "Fuzzybrain!" retaliated Sister. "Noodlepuss!" they shouted simultaneously. Mama could hardly believe her ears. She hoped their behavior would be better by that evening. We had reservations at our favorite restaurant, the Bear Country Grill.

"Get it out of your system," said Mama. "I don't want any shenanigans at dinner tonight. There is a new chef and the meal is supposed to be very good." "Dinner tonight?!" cried Brother. "But 'Nutty Bear' is on TV tonight and we'll miss it." "And the 'Bear Stooges' too!" added Sister. "Well, you'll just have to miss them!" said Mama firmly. "What has happened to you kids," she wondered to herself.

We were welcomed at the restaurant door by Chef Bear. He gave us each one of those famous bear hugs he's become known for. At the table, Brother and Sister were a grabbing, food-fighting, kicking-under-the-table super mess. What a commotion! I wouldn't have been surprised had Bear thrown us out.

Everything changed when the first course arrived. As we devoured each dish placed in front of us, the cubs behavior turned from ill-mannered to mannered. We began talking about the food. Then we talked about school. We talked about fun projects for the treehouse. We talked of our summer plans of swimming and boating at the lake. It seemed Chef Bear's dinner experience was bringing us closer together. By the time the main course was served, the Berenstain Bears were having one of the best family meals we'd ever had. And then Bear one-upped himself with Smoke on the Water (recipe below). Simply delicious.

Bear gave us a tour of the kitchen after dinner and we said our goodbyes. We were surprised to hear that he moved out of Bear Country just weeks later, but Bear doesn't stay in the same place long. He was on to his next adventure. And we were on to ours.

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Food by Bear: The Cookbook

Our new cookbook, Food by Bear, is currently live on Kickstarter! This is a book I've wanted to write forever. It's a memoir of sorts, containing everything I've learned during my fabled journey. It will contain around 200 original recipes, food photography and illustrations. I'm truly aiming to make this cookbook like no other on your shelf. Please check out our Kickstarter page to learn more and make a pledge for one of the many rewards we're offering!

Much like Cow by Bear was created outside any restaurant or food experience norm, I decided to create this book outside the traditional publishing world. That's why I turned to Kickstarter as a grass roots approach to the process. For those unfamiliar, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that helps creators "find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality." It's an all or nothing platform, which means you will not be charged unless the funding goal is met. If our goal is met, your card will be charged at the end of the campaign. You'll receive the reward you pledged for as soon as it's ready, and I'll be able to make this book a reality!

I hope you'll be a part of Food by Bear and consider making a pledge if you have the means, and/or sharing the campaign with someone you think will love it. It's your support that will help get this book made, and I appreciate you so much. Thank you!

Bear's Bracket Challenge

Cow by Bear's NCAA Bracket Challenge is back! Make sure to join our group before tipoff Thursday morning for your chance at bragging rights and a few fun prizes. First place will receive 2 tickets to a special 'Food by Bear' dinner ($600 value) we're hosting as part of the cookbook launch. Second place receives two 'I Heart You' dinner plates we use at every Cow by Bear dinner and third place takes home the OG Cow by Bear tee. I hope you'll play along!

Seattle Tickets Available

Due to the February snow storms, our dinner schedule in Seattle was modified to accommodate rescheduling. This has created some available seats in April. Click the button below to book your seats for Saturday April 6, Friday April 12, Saturday April 13 or Saturday April 27. This will conclude the Cow by Bear series in Seattle. Only a handful of tickets are available for each date, so act fast. I hope to see you there!

Smoke on the Water

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serves 6
special equipment: 
smoker

for the pork:
2 lb pork belly (if purchased in slab, freeze remaining)
1/2 c kosher salt
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp allspice

for the coconut rice:
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 + 1/3 c water
1 small can coconut milk (2 c)
1 tbsp dried shrimp
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and smashed flat with a cleaver
1” piece of ginger, peeled and smashed flat
3/4 c jasmine rice, soaked for 2 mins & rinsed well in cold water
2 tbsp peanut oil
5 cloves garlic, minced

for the pork belly:
1. Mix all the seasoning and spice together.
2. Score the fat side of belly and season all around with spice mix.
3. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. Cold smoke with mesquite wood chips between 90-120 degrees for 90 minutes.
5. After smoking, braise the pork covered with 1 inch of water in the oven at 325 degrees for two hours, or until tender.
6. Allow to cool completely in refrigerator before slicing portions.

for the coconut rice:
1. In a pot, bring fish sauce, sugar, water, coconut milk, shrimp, ginger & lemongrass to a boil. Cook at a low boil for 10 minutes.
2. Steep for 20 minutes and strain.
3. In a clean pot sweat garlic in peanut oil, add the rinsed rice and toast the rice.
4. Add water and coconut milk, and simmer on low until all liquid is absorbed. Do not stir.

garnish suggestions: 
lime wedge, ngo om, cilantro, very thinly sliced bird chile in fish sauce, peanuts

To assemble:
Reheat the pork in the oven at 350 until hot (about 10 minutes). Plate a spoonful of rice and shingle the sliced belly on top. Drizzle with bird chile and fish sauce, add ngo om, cilantro and peanuts. Squeeze lime on top and enjoy!

Food by Bear: The Cookbook

Humans,

I'm extremely happy to introduce you to our newest project, a cookbook experience experiment called FOOD BY BEAR. Equal parts mouthwatering recipes and amusing memoir, I'm aiming to make this like no other cookbook on your shelf.

I’ve fantasized about writing this book forever, but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve had the time and focus for it. Much like Cow by Bear started as a grass roots experiment, I’m creating this book outside the traditional publishing landscape and would love for you to be part of it!

To help bring this cookbook into the world I have decided to run a Kickstarter campaign, which went live this morning with a soft launch. I hope you'll consider making a pledge and/or sharing the campaign with friends. We can't do this without you!

Our (un)traditional Cow by Bear dinners are sold out but we're offering several new experiences for this campaign, including a handful of special 'Food by Bear' dinners. If you're so kind as to make a pledge ($40 or above) for the book by the end of this weekend, you’ll be entered to be one of five people picked to receive 2 tickets for one of these dinners.

Thank you so much for being a friend to Cow by Bear. We never would have made it this long without you, and we can't wait to put this book in your paws!

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The Final Dinners

Humans,

I hope your 2019 is off to a fantastic start! There's nothing to complain about here at Bear HQ. We're enjoying the slower pace created by the scaled back dinner schedule, and are filling the time with fun activities we've been putting off for years. Osa Bear has been perfecting her curling technique in anticipation of the 2022 winter games, while Osito and I have been working through some film classics.

A few nights ago we landed on 'Waterboy,' and laughed and laughed when Bobby Boucher incorrectly asserts that alligators are ornery because, "Mama says they got all them teeth but no toothbrush." Of course the real answer is because of their overgrown medulla oblongata. That got me thinking of my Bobby Boucher-type moment in grade school. When posed, "Why do bears have an enhanced sense of smell," I bravely stood up in front of the class to declare, "Mama Bear says my sense of smell is strong because all the fresh flowers we smell together on our morning walks." I can still hear the roar of laughter from my classmates.

Turns out, us bears have a supercharged olfactory bulb, the area of our brain that manages the sense of smell. Ours are at least five times larger than the same area in human brains. It can be both a blessing and a curse, but you have to score one in the "blessing" column for where it led us last week on our family walk; an orchard as far as the eye could see, gorgeous like a beehive at magic hour. The proprietor was kind enough to share whatever we could take with us (being a bear in a human world: also a blessing and a curse). You're seeing the fruits of that labor on our current menus and the recipes provided below. We hope you enjoy!

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The Final Dinners

There are hardly words to describe our feelings as the Cow by Bear dinners come to a close. It has been an honor to spend so many evenings with you fine human folk. Thank you from the deepest part of our bear bellies.

Dinners are scheduled through the end of March in both San Diego and Seattle, and there are a smattering of seats available in both locations. These dinners will officially put a stamp on the Cow by Bear dinner party experience as we all know it. We're still kicking around ideas for "what's next" and exploring options but nothing is set in stone yet. In the meantime, if you're interested in a private party with us, please do reach out to us at info@cowbybear.com to discuss your event. We've gotta keep our skills sharp somehow and would love to put on a dinner here and there.

For now I have turned to writing - my story and recipes from my journey - and a cookbook may be on the horizon. We hope you'll continue to follow along here on this newsletter as we promise there are exciting things in store. 

See you later alligator!

Book Now


Mango Unchained

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This is one complex dessert, but well worth it! As with all of the recipes here if you give it a go and have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out for help. 

serves approx. 6 with leftover components

for the poached mango jello:
2 mangos peeled & sliced
1/4 bottle riesling
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 c agave
salt
2-3 packets knox gelatin

for the lattice tuille:
1 oz sugar
1oz butter
1 oz corn syrup
1 oz flour

for the foie gras torchon:
hudson valley duck foie gras torchon
1 liter seltzer water
pear each 250 g of cleaned foie gras:

1 t kosher salt
1/16 tsp curing salt (pink salt)
1/8 tsp sugar
1 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp sweet dessert wine
1/8 tsp finely ground pepper mix (2 part white/1 part black)
kosher salt to cover

 

for the poached mango jello:
1. Simmer all ingredients together for about 35 minutes. Blend until smooth and return to a clean pot. Allow to cool.
2. Sprinkle one packet of knox gelatin per cup of mango purée. Allow gelatin to bloom for five minutes, then turn purée on to medium/low heat until simmer. Whisk until gelatin dissolves completely.
3. Strain mixture through a fine sieve/chinois into a container. Refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.

for the lattice tuille:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Melt sugar, butter and corn syrup together, then whisk in flour.
3. Pour onto a sheet tray-lined with a silpat and bake, turning pan after 5 minutes.
4. Bake 3-5 more minutes, or until golden brown.

for the foie gras torchon:
1. Soak the liver in seltzer at room temperature for one hour.
2. Pull from seltzer and allow to drip dry on a towel for about 10 minutes.
3. Clean foie of veins and any discoloration (discard). Pinch into fingertip sized pieces and transfer cleaned foie to a large bowl. Weigh the foie and adjust ingredients using the recipe ratios to each 250g of foie.
4. Prepare marinade by dissolving salts and sugar in the bourbon and wine, add pepper. 
5. Pour marinade over the foie and toss to ensure even distribution. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to marinate for 4 to 24 hours.
6. On a large piece of parchment paper, mound marinated foie gras chunks together into a neat, even log. Roll in parchment to make a solid tube, then transfer to cheesecloth.
7. Wrap foie gras well, twisting the ends tightly. Tie ends and place in a shallow pan and cover completely with kosher salt.
8. Cure in the refrigerator for 18 hours.
9. Remove from salt, brushing off any excess, and hang in the fridge allowing air to circulate completely around it for 24 hours.
10. Unwrap completely, then wrap and store in plastic wrap in the freezer.

to assemble: 
Shave frozen foie over jello with a microplane. Garnish with lattice tuille.

*You'll have leftover foie that can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer for future fun dishes. Shave it over fruit, cheese, honey or spread on bread. 


Grapefruit-Mango Bearllini

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This is a favorite around the Bear household that Osa and I like to drink on Sunday mornings while Osito sleeps in.

1 c mango chunks 
3 tbsp fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 inch fresh ginger
prosecco

Blend the mango chunks, grapefruit juice* and ginger to make a purée. Pour 2 tbsp or purée into glass and top with Prosecco.

*If you choose to use store bought grapefruit juice, keep in mind it will produce a sweeter drink. The recipe above makes a drier version of this tasty beverage which is my preference.

Enjoy!

Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animals

Humans,

On behalf of the entire Cow by Bear family, I'd like to wish you all the happiest of holidays. We're getting ready for a stacked lineup of dinners and so very excited to see many of you before the new year. These are joyous times for me, but that wasn't always the case.

As a young cub in Alaska, I enjoyed many of the holiday traditions commonly celebrated in forests all over the world. We'd sing and dance and play Caribou Eyesuntil the sun went down. That idyllic world came crashing down when the poachers took my parents, and for decades the holidays proved a particularly painful time for me. I fell into some pretty unhealthy habits, eating hundreds of pounds of junk food per sitting and drinking myself into months-long hibernations.

It was a long, dark period but now the lights shine bright. The love and care of just a few helped me claw out of that depression. It might sound cheesy (I do love cheese) but it does get better. It might sound corny (I do love corn), but go on and tell someone how much they mean to you. It might be just the thing they need to hear today. I know it sure helped me.

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The friendships we've formed over the years at Cow by Bear have been a true blessing and mean the world to me. The outpouring of encouragement when we announced our upcoming plans was so overwhelming that we added a handful of dates into the new year.

You're all very hard to say "No" to, so as the requests have continued to come in we decided to add a few more dates to the calendar running through March.  However, as my dear friends Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald would say, "This is it." These will be the absolute last (un)traditional Cow by Bear dinners offered (we're currently planning a Cub Club exclusive dinner for the end of March and a "new phase" experience in April, so keep your eyes peeled for those announcements). Take a look at cowbybear.com and hopefully there is a date that works for you to come spend an evening with us!

Thank you and we love you!

ROSEBEARY OLD FASHIONED

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This is the cocktail I'll be drinking tonight. If you'd like to join me, mix one up yourself and we'll give each other a virtual clink of the glass. Cheers!

2 oz. rye whiskey
1 to 2 tsp rosemary simple syrup*
3 dashes black walnut bitters
orange twist for garnish

*rosemary simple syrup
1 c water
1 c sugar
1/4 c rosemary leaves

for the rosemary simple syrup:
1. Combine water, sugar and rosemary leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let syrup steep, about 30 minutes.
2. Pour syrup into a sterilized glass jar through a mesh strainer to remove rosemary leaves. Let cool.

for the cocktail:
1. Add the simple syrup, bitters and whiskey to an Old Fashioned glass and stir well.
2. Add a large ice cube or two and stir again to chill. Garnish with an orange twist.

It's Feast Week!

Humans,

Bear here with a quick hello wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year, and I think what resonates with me so much is the spirit behind the big day. The meal is the centerpiece yes, but it’s not the celebration. Whether the feast is sublime or just so-so, whether you’re fond of your dinner companion or can’t stand them, this day and this meal is really all about coming together. It’s about putting our differences aside to find some common ground and enjoy each other’s company, and to be gracious of the fortune of being with one another at all. So here’s to you all enjoying your Thanksgiving, wherever you are and whoever you’re spending it with.

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Although we're changing things up in 2019 and beyond, we do have a handful of our (un)traditional dinners currently available in January and February. We wanted to be sure to accommodate gift certificate holders that had yet to redeem and a handful of other Cub Club inquiries, so make sure to check the calendar.

QUAIL FORCE WINDS

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I love a perfectly cooked turkey as the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, but if the turkey recall has you concerned or you're simply looking to switch it up this year, I've got you covered. Below is a delicious stuffed quail recipe currently on the menu in Seattle that will have your guests raving. Just make sure to give yourself enough time, as you'll want to brine the birds for a good 16 hours before cooking!

serves 8

for the quail brine:
8 semi-boneless quail
1 habanero, cut in half
1 inch ginger, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c salt
1/4 c sugar
2 qt water

for the quail stuffing:
1 qt sliced oyster mushrooms
1 recipe cornbread*
1 c diced onion
1 c diced celery
4 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 c chicken stock
2 large eggs
salt to taste

*for the cornbread:
1 lb bacon (reserve fat)
4 c fine cornmeal
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 c buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 tbsp bacon fat reserved

to cook the stuffed quail:
6 sprigs thyme
1 head garlic, sliced in half
1/2 c butter
4 tbsp canola oil


for the soubise:
6 walla walla onions, julienned 
1/2 c white rice
1/4 lb butter
sherry vinegar to taste
salt to taste taste
heavy cream if needed to pull together puree

for padron peppers:
4 tbsp canola oil
1 lb padron peppers
salt to taste
white wine or sherry vinegar to taste

for the quail brine:
1. Combine all brine ingredients and whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved.
2. Fully submerge quail and brine overnight, but no longer than 16 hours. Remove from brine and pat dry.

for the cornbread:
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook slowly in a large cast iron skillet until crispy.
3. Combine all dry ingredients (including the cooked bacon bits) and wet ingredients (including 8 tbps. bacon fat from the bacon you just cooked) in separate bowls. 
4. Heat the large cast iron pan in the oven for at least 8 minutes. Combine dry and wet ingredients and pour into hot pan. Spread evenly and bake for 15 minutes.
5. Remove and let cool on a drying rack.

for the stuffing:
1. After the cornbread has cooled, thoroughly combine all the ingredients.

for the soubise:
1. Combine onions, rice, butter in a large pan and cook over very low heat.  Add a liberal amount of salt. The goal is to sweat the onions and cook them for a very long time but have absolutely no color on it so the puree remains white. (note: the onions will release their water and thats how the rice will cook. It gives the sauce some body and nuttiness. You'll work this until the rice is fully cooked and the onions are almost falling apart, but again no color.
2. Puree the mixture while still hot (splash a small bit of cream if having a hard time in the blender) and pass through chinois.
3. Salt to taste and vinegar to taste for acidity (optional).

for the padron peppers:
1. Get oil ripping hot in a big pan. Throw all the peppers in and sauce until blistered, about 5 minutes.
2. Right before finishing, hit them with a splash of wine or vinegar for acidity.
3. Salt to taste.

to cook and assemble the dish:
1. Stuff each brined bird with about 1/2 cup of the stuffing and let sit out at room temperature for one hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400F.
3. Heat oil up in 2 large oven safe skillets at medium-high heat. Sear each quail, 4 per pan with breast side down for a couple minutes without moving them. 
4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 6 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and return to heat. Flip birds over and add the butter, thyme and garlic evenly amongst pans. Baste the birds with the hot butter and transfer to a cutting board to rest.
5. While the birds are resting, plate a spoonful of the soubise and a handful of peppers on each plate. Top with the bird and enjoy!

Fat Bear Fever

Humans,

Was it just us, or was Fat Bear Week one for the ages this year? A huge congratulations goes out to our dear friend, Beadnose, for her hard fought victory over the formidable Bear 747 (John). We spent most of our summer with these bears at Katmai National Park, and it's beautiful to see how fat they got after we left. Next year we'll be sure to set up a contest where we can all participate in the festivities.

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Osa, Osito and I would like to thank you all from the bottom of our bear hearts for the outpouring of support after our announcement last month.  We agonized over the decision to conclude our dinners at the end of the year, but it fills us up with joy to know we'll be seeing many of you one more time.  It's been a bittersweet last couple weeks, but your kind words mean the world to us and have kept us going. Thank you!

Dinner seats are filling up fast, but there is still some availability before we move on to our next adventure. We also have a handful of dates open for private holiday parties in San Diego and Seattle. Additionally, we've had a couple inquiries about private parties in January of next year and we'd love to accommodate these if possible. If you're interested in a January dinner, please reach out directly atbear@cowbybear.com and we'll do our best to make it work!

BEER BY BEAR

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We're just 9 days away from the release of our limited edition beer with Ballast Point, Beer by Bear! The beer will debut at our collabearation dinner at Ballast Point Miramar on October 20. There are two tickets still available for this dinner, so if you act fast you can still get in. Just email miramarevents@ballastpoint.com to inquire. We hope to see you there!

Beer by Bear will be on tap for a limited time at all Ballast Point breweries beginning October 21!

SMOKEY THE FISH

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This is a dish we cooked for our bear friends in Alaska as an alternative for their beloved salmon. They went wild for it and we think you will too. Currently on the menu in Seattle!

for the rockfish:
8 oz. rockfish filet or similar white fleshed fish
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp salt
2 c high quality extra virgin olive oil 

for the tomato water:
3 large heirloom tomatoes, cored
simply syrup to taste
mezcal to taste
salt to taste

for the habanero aioli:
1 habanero, stem and seeds removed
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 large egg yolks
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 c olive oil
salt to taste

for garnish:
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 oranges, supremed and cut into pieces
1 grapefruit, supremed and cut into pieces
3 tbsp crispy fried shallots (fry your own or store bought)
1/4 bunch cilantro
salt to taste

You'll want to give yourself two days for this recipe, as the fish should be cured and tomato water should drip overnight. Special equipment needed: vacuum seal bags and sealer (or ziplock bags), fine mesh strainer and cheese cloth.

for the rockfish:
1. Make sure the filet is dry and deboned fully. Season all sides very liberally with salt and sugar, then set on a cooling rack on a sheet tray and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least two hours.

2. Pat dry and place in either a vacuum bag or ziplock bag with enough olive oil to fully submerge the fish. If you have a vacuum sealer, just seal it up and let it cure overnight. If you're using a ziplock bag, try to force as much air out of the bag using the water displacement method by slowly submerging the bag in water, then close it, wrap it in cling film and let cure overnight. 

for the tomato water:
1. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth and place the strainer in a container to collect the tomato water.
2. Pulse your heirloom tomatoes a couple times in a food processor until slightly watery, but not pureed. Pour into the strainer very gently. Don't push the tomato pulp through or go too fast, or it will make the water cloudy. Let drip overnight.
3. The next day you will have a couple cups of very clear and very delicious tomato water!
4. Season with the mezcal first, just enough to get a hint of smoke. A little goes a long way. Then season with salt to taste, and if you want a hint of sweet sugar or simple syrup.

for the habanero aioli:
1. Put all ingredients except the olive oil into the bowl of a food processor and turn on the processor. 
2. Very slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Season with salt to taste. 

To assemble:
1. Remove the fish from oil and wipe off as much as possible. Dice the fish into medium sized shingles, about 1 inch by 1 inch. Combine in a mixing bowl with the supremes, lemon juice and some salt. Mix well.
2. Divide the mix evenly in four bowls, keeping the mix in a tight nest or a straight line. Spoon the tomato water into the bowl, just enough to come a quarter of the way to the fish.
3. Garnish the fish with little dabs of the aioli, whole cilantro leaves, and crispy shallots. 

YOU CAN CALL ME AL

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This one's a take on my late Papa Bear's favorite cocktail, the Gibson. I recently procured somecelery bitters and knew exactly what I'd do. Our favorite gin these days is the Sunday Gin from the team over at You & Yours in East Village. They're the first woman owned distiller in San Diego and highly recommended!

1 oz. Sunday Gin
6 dashes celery bitters
splash, dry vermouth
cocktail onions
ice

1. Combine one ounce of gin, six celery bitters and a splash of dry vermouth into a high-ball glass.
2. Give it a good stir.
3. Add one large ice cube and as many cocktail onions you'd like (I suggest 20 but most people are happy with 2 or 3).
4. Drink up!