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!

Bye by Bear

Humans,

This summer was a transformative one for your favorite bear family in so many ways. We recently capped a lengthy road trip to Katmai National Park in Alaska to visit some old friends and family. These bears are starting to achieve a little fame of their own with the success of the hit reality show 'Bear Cam.' If you happened to be tuned in at the right time, you may have even seen a cameo by Osa, Osito and me! Alaska was stunning as always, and the days provided a peace and quiet lacking from our typical fast-paced world in the kitchen and feeding humans. At night, we'd all gather around the campfire for s'mores and storytime - just a big bear family in the woods.

The stories shared by our native bear brethren hit us like a ton of bricks. They spoke of the battle for mere survival, of the intense struggle for food and safety in an ever changing environment. We were soon joined by other species and they told of similar conflict in the new harsher world. It was heartbreaking, and we couldn't help but think of our place in all of this. As bears with the special gift of being able to cook and bring humans together around a dinner table, are we making enough of an impact in the world?

Since 2011, Cow by Bear has been bringing humans of all types together with our unique dining experiments. That's been our thing, and it's been an absolute honor to share it with you. The friends we've made along the way and the relationships forged at our table make our bear hearts sing. But all good things must either come to an end or change. After our trip to Alaska it became clear to us that we have an opportunity to do more; for bears, for humans, for all living things, for nature, for the world. That's why, after very careful consideration and even a mini-hibernation to clear our minds, we have decided to conclude the Cow by Bear dinner party experience in both San Diego and Seattle at the end of the year. 

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As we move forward in 2019 our focus will shift to larger, yet more intimate and less frequent, one-of-a-kind experiences. These events will of course continue to bring people together around the table, but also incorporate nature, play, philanthropy and service. We feel this next chapter will take our experiences to another level while creating opportunities to make this larger impact that really matters more than anything else. How can we dance when our world is burning?

While still in early planning stages, discussions with the National Park Service and the Five Kingdom Alliance about a series of special events has us feeling inspired about the possibilities for this next phase. Please stay tuned and watch this space for further announcements!

As for the rest of 2018 and the final days of this current incarnation of Cow by Bear, we hope so much to have the good fortune of spending an evening with you all. If you're a long-time friend or Cub Club member, please come see us one more time before the end of the year. If you've always wanted to attend a Cow by Bear dinner, now is the time! Planning a holiday party or special event? It would be our privilege to host you. These final dinners are going to be special and we fancy to see as many of you as possible!

Thank you all so much for the unbelievable support you've provided Cow by Bear over the years. This has been an incredible 7-year run, and we only have you to thank for that. This may be the end of one era, but in many ways we feel we're just getting started. We can't wait to see what the future holds and hope you'll stay along with us for the ride.

With love,

Bear, Osa & Osito. 

A Collabearation with Ballast Point

Humans,

We're thrilled to announce a special collabearation dinner party with Ballast Point! Please join us at 6:30pm on Saturday, October 20 at Ballast Point's Miramar location. Reserved to just 25 seats, this dinner will feature our (un)traditional 5-course dining experience paired with vintage and unique Ballast Point beers.

Included in the pairings will be the introduction of 'Beer by Bear,' a limited release I've been secretly working on with the Ballast Point brew team. Stay tuned for more information about this beer and how to get your paws on it. Even better, reserve your spot at the table for this one of a kind experience and be the first to taste it! 

For reservations, email the Ballast Point crew at miramarevents@ballastpoint.com with your information and party size and they'll take care of you!

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Tickets are $195 per person and include a welcome beer or glass of wine of your choice, the 5-course Cow by Bear dinner with vintage Ballast Point pairings, and a crowler of the limited release 'Beer by Bear' to take with you.

There will never be another event quite like this, so we hope you'll come spend an evening with Cow by Bear and Ballast Point!

For reservations, email the Ballast Point crew at miramarevents@ballastpoint.com with your information and party size and they'll take care of you!

The Legend of Ol' Lilly & 'Po Bear

You might not be familiar with the name Vernon "Ol' Lilly" Lilly, but he's a well-known villain in bear lore. He was famous for hunting grizzly bears, traveling great lengths for a single kill. He's considered one of the most notorious mountain men in American history, but it was in Cuba where Lilly and I squared off face to face, and where I reconnected with my old friend Chef 'Po Bear. 

'Po isn't a bear I've talked about here, mostly because of a deep guilt I've long carried. If you know my story, you know of a sous-chef I replaced at the Michelin star restaurant when I was first coming up. That sous-chef was 'Po Bear. We were close friends, and I felt that I'd betrayed him. While I continued to rise through the ranks, he was ostracized in the culinary world as humans would quip he was "the bear version of Wally Pipp." He relocated to New Orleans and opened 'Po Bear Sandwiches until disputes over the name forced him to close shop. Dejected, he set off on a trip around the world to clear his mind, leading to our fateful encounter in Cuba with "Ol' Lilly."

Lilly fascinated me as a cub. The stories of his misdoings kept me up all night out of fear, but I couldn't get enough. Then one day he arrived to our sloth. In my hometown, that day is known as the "Ol' Lilly Massacre," but I just know it as the day Lilly poached my parents.

As my reputation as a chef continued to grow I began receiving invitations from heads of state to chef their special dinner parties. It was at one of Castro's soirées in Cuba where I once again caught a glimpse of Vernon Lilly. I felt a sudden rush of anger and resolved immediately that I must capture this evil man so he could be tried for his many bear crimes. I managed to go undetected by Lilly that evening and put my revenge plan into motion the next morning. Disguised with fancy clothes, a fedora and a cigar dangling from my mouth, I introduced myself in the lobby of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. To my utter shock, Lilly and I formed an immediate connection. He was warm, kind, and a true raconteur. He showed me all over Havana the next few days and I found it hard to believe this could be the same man that terrorized my family in his younger years.

Then one morning driving down Avenida de Maceo he finally revealed his true intentions. The reason Lilly was in Cuba at all, he told me, was to poach my old friend, 'Po Bear. 'Po was in town as part of his trip 'round the world, and little did he know Lilly had been tracking him all along waiting for the right moment to make the trophy kill. I was aghast as I realized we were making our way towards 'Po and I had no way to tip him off. When we arrived to 'Po's bungalow he was outside picking from a plantain tree. Not fooled by my disguise, he greeted me with an emphatic, "Bear!?" only to then discover Ol' Lilly as he rounded the corner behind me. Lilly could barely believe his luck; two prized bears right there for his taking. Lilly quickly hit me with a dose of chloroform and I was laid out cold in the garden, surely only moments from my demise. My next memory was waking up to the smell of fried plantains, and a furry paw handing me a mojito. As I knocked off the cobwebs  and my state of mind returned, I watched as the authorities took Vernon Lilly away, never to be seen again. 

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'Po never wanted to discuss exactly what happened that day, but I knew I owed him my life. I promised him I'd always be there for him, no matter what. We shared a big bear hug and went our separate ways. I thought of 'Po often over the many years that followed, and was thrilled when I finally received message from him asking for a favor. He'd caught wind of Cow by Bear, even attending dinners in San Diego and Seattle, and he wanted in. Specifically, he wanted to return to the South. After exploring many great cities, it was decided that Chef 'Po Bear would open Cow by Bear Savannah, the latest expansion to our dinner party experience experiment. 

It hasn't taken long for word to catch on about the unique experience Chef 'Po is putting on, and I couldn't be more proud of his Best Chef of the South nomination! If you love Cow by Bear, it would mean a lot to us if you'd give Chef 'Po a vote (voting ends Monday), and help us in spreading the word about our newest location. You can hear from Chef 'Po himself below, and check out the recipe for his delicious summer salad currently on the menu in Savannah.

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Introducing Chef 'Po Bear

“I am honored to be part of the Cow by Bear family and proud to offer this experience to the fine people of Savannah that have welcomed me with open arms. I am touched by the nomination for 'Best Chef of the South,' a dream a tiny 'Po could only have imagined growing up among the sheep in the highlands of France. I wouldn't be here without the dedication of the others who helped me get Cow by Bear Savannah off the ground, so Bear - wherever you are - this one's for you, buddy! (Also, I'm missing that pair of running shorts you borrowed last time you were here if you could please send.)

I hope you'll all enjoy my summer salad recipe below, and dine with me at Cow by Bear Savannah!"

Chef 'Po Bear

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese

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for the mozzarella panna cotta:
500 ml heavy cream
200 g fresh mozzarella, cut into small dice
3 sheets of gelatine leaves
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
2 tbls good quality extra virgin olive oil

for the tomato confit:
1 qt of cherry tomatoes, or any small variety
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
olive oil (enough to toss tomatoes in)
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt &pepper to taste

for the parmesan chip:
shredded parmesan cheese

 

for the mozzarella panna cotta:
1. Over low heat and in a medium saucepan, melt the cheese in the cream, stirring frequently for about 30 minutes.
2. After 20 minutes, bloom gelatin leaves in ice water for 10 minutes.
3. When most of the cheese has melted, and has gathered into a dense ball, drain and squeeze the water from the gelatin and add it to the pan, stirring to dissolve.
4. Remove pan from heat, strain into separate bowl and season with the salt and olive oil. Discard any solids left behind.
5. Prepare a panna cotta mold of your choice by greasing the inside lightly with oil. Pour panna cotta mixture into mold and let cool to room temperature before chilling in cooler for at least 4 hours.
6. To remove from the mold, gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the mold, dip bottom of mold in hot water for 10 seconds, and then slowly remove panna cotta.

for the tomato confit:
1. Preheat oven to 250F.
2. Toss tomatoes and garlic in oil, and spread out on sheet tray lined with parchment paper or silicone mat.
3. Tuck the thyme sprigs in and around the tomatoes and garlic, season with salt and pepper.
4. Place tray in oven and cook until tomatoes are just starting to split open and dry out, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before storing all contents in an airtight container.

for the parmesan chip:
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Prepare sheet tray with parchment paper or silicone mat.
3. Place small amount of cheese, about 1 heaping tablespoon, on the tray and shape into a circle (the layer of cheese should be thin enough to see through to the tray underneath).
4. Place tray in oven and cook until lightly golden brown, about 4-6 minutes, then remove from oven to cool. The cheese will continue to brown and cook.
5. Once cooled, the chip should be hard and brittle. Remove from the pan and place on paper towel to soak up any excess oil. If not using right away, store chips in an airtight container in an area with low moisture so chips stay crisp.

Fine Dining, Wild Animal Style.

Humans,

I hope you're having a magnificent summer so far! For those of you that have been in our world a while, maybe you've heard me say: "When I started Cow by Bear, all I knew is I didn't want it to be a restaurant. I wanted to recreate how dinner goes down in the wild, when the salmon run in the summer and us bears would gather and enjoy these majestic feasts together." Sure, we've evolved over the last 7 years of putting on dinners by listening to you all and implementing more traditional human elements that have been suggested. But that sentiment is still very much at the core of experience today.

That's why I cringe just a bit when I'll sometimes hear Cow by Bear compared to a fine dining restaurant. Don't get me wrong, I so appreciate the compliment, but that's not us and doesn't really set a proper expectation for what we do. We don't follow the traditional fine dining rules, and that's what excites me! Maybe we're fine dining, wild animal style. Our dinner party is all about connection and having the most fun possible. It all starts there and everything else - the menu, pairings, service, other little details of the experience - is designed to support that philosophy. It's what makes us "us" and that's what we hope to share with all of you!

Our experience probably isn't for everybody, but for those of you that want to enter into our crazy little world, we're here for you! Osa, Osito and I would like to extend a summer promo exclusive for our 'Bear's Necessities' readers. Just use SUMMER18 when booking your reservation for 15% off ticket prices. The promo is valid from now until end of day next Friday. We can't wait to spend an evening with you!BOOK NOW!

Shrimpin' Ain't Easy

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Osa and Osito collabearated on this dish for the brand new summer menu in San Diego, and with the recent heatwave it's just what the doctor ordered. Don't let the simplicity of the recipe fool you; it's a tasty dish that'll put a smile on your face. The key is getting the best and freshest melon you can find. Enjoy!

Serves 6
for cold cantaloupe soup
1 cantaloupe peeled and seeded
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
2 tsp banyuls vinegar

for pickled shrimp
3 pounds cooked shrimp
1 tsp celery seeds
6 cloves sliced garlic
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp mustard seed
3 bay leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup cider vinegar

to garnish
cilantro
mint
sal de gusano

1. Cut cantaloupe in 1-inch chunks. Place about 1/4 of them in a blender and process at high speed until puréed. Once you have a purée, gradually add remaining melon, processing until the mixture is smooth.
2. Add lime juice and blend briefly. Season with salt to taste and blend again.
3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pickled Shrimp
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Pack everything into a large glass jar, cover, and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to come together.

Divide soup among 6 soup plates and drizzle with a little vinegar. Garnish with sal de gusano, cilantro, mint and the pickled shrimp. 

Basil Bearracuda

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Our mixologist Terry made the news last week when he was caught splashing around in a human’s hot tub drinking a “margarita.” No question he was having a jolly ol' time frolicking around, but what the media got wrong was his drink of choice. It wasn't a margarita, but our brand new cocktail he's been experimenting with. We're calling it the Basil Bearracuda and you can find the recipe below. Enjoy!

3 lime wedges
3 slices of cucumber
3 mint leafs
2 oz cachaca
.5 oz basil simple syrup*
2 oz soda water

for the basil simple syrup
1 c fresh basil
1 c sugar
1 c water

1. Put 3 lime wedges, 3 cucumber slices, and 3 mint leafs in a Boston shaker and muddle ingredients.
2. Pour in 2 oz. Cachaca and .5 oz house made basil simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously.
3. Double strain into a Collins glass (use a regular bar strainer plus a mesh strainer to keep all the seeds and crushed mint out).
4. Add 2 thinly sliced pieces of cucumber plus one thinly sliced lime wheel. Add regular ice. Give it a good stir and top with 2 oz. soda water. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

If you want to get fancy with it, you can sugar the rim with basil sugar. Just pulse one cup sugar and one cup basil in a food processor until it becomes uniform (store in a cool, dark place). And if you want to get extra fancy, sip it with a bamboo straw.

Road Trippin'

I can hardly believe it's almost summertime again. Osito finishes school this week, and we're looking forward to getting on the open road for a good ol' fashioned family road trip. I can hardly wait to take the T-Tops off and feel the warm sun and sweet breeze blow over my face. 

When Osa and I first met, we bonded over travel and love of different cultures. It never ceased to amaze us that no matter where we went (even as huge, wild animals) we were welcomed with open arms. On one of our first trips together, we rode our motorcycles down the Pan-American highway from Mexico City to Panama City, stopping to eat with the locals at every roadside eatery along the way. I didn't tell Osa then, but that's when I knew I loved her.

Our plans this summer may seem a bit more tame, but I suppose that's just how family life is. We'll be visiting some old bear friends in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, before Osito's baseball tournament in Montana. He's really smacking the ball this year, and the human kids are calling him 'Bear Ruth.'

In between all that, we'll be hosting dinners in both San Diego and Seattle, of course. In fact, we've added a handful of new summer dates to the calendar in both cities. We'd love to spend an evening with you this summer, so make a reservation and come see us! 

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Summer San Diego Dinner Openings:

Sunday, June 17 (Father's Day)
Thursday, June 28 // Friday, July 6
Thursday, July 12 // Thursday, July 26
Thursday, August 16 // Friday, August 17
Friday, August 24 // Wednesday, August 29
Thursday, August 30 // Friday, August 31

Summer Seattle Dinner Openings:

Thursday, June 28 // Saturday, July 7
Friday, July 20 // Friday, July 27
Saturday, August 4 // Thursday, August 9
Friday, August 10 // Thursday, August 16
Friday, August 17 // Saturday, August 18
Friday, August 30

We look forward to spending an evening with you!

LIFE ON THE LAMB

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Serves 6

1 rack of lamb
2 tbls butter
5 bunches kale, cleaned, stems removed, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic sliced thin
2 shallots sliced thin
1/2 c white wine or lemon juice
cilantro gremolata*
tamarind-chili sauce*
salt and pepper
oil


*for the tamarind chile sauce
1 c tamarind pulp and water
1 cap can crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion, small dice
3 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 pasilla chile
1 c pasilla chili water
splash red wine


*for the cilantro gremolata
1 bunch cilantro stems
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
oil

1. Preheat your oven to 475F.  Get a pan, preferably cast-iron, ripping hot with a bit of oil in it to coat the bottom of the pan. Salt and pepper the rack of lamb very liberally. Sear on all sides just for color. Then throw the butter into the pan right before putting it into the preheated oven. Roast for 6-8 minutes for a medium-rare.  Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into it
2. Right before plating get a very large pan very hot on the stove.  Add your oil and let it get hot for a second. Throw in your shallots and garlic. Hit with a bit of salt and continuously stir so the aromatics don’t burn, about 1-3 minutes. Once slightly translucent and browned throw in the kale and continuously stir everything until the kale has a slight sheen on it from the oil. Once your kale is cooked 40% of the way through (taste it!) pour in the white wine or lemon juice and cook until dry. Add salt and pepper to taste Remove from pan.
3. Heat the Tamarind-Chili* sauce up in a separate sauce pan
4. To plate, spoon the sauce in the middle of the plate. Top with the kale, lay a lamb lollipop or two on the top with the bone over the lip of the plate. Place a small amount of the gremolata* on top, and voila!

*Cilantro Gremolata
1. Very thinly slice cilantro stems into little circles and put them in a small bowl or cup. Crush the garlic into the cilantro.  Add just enough oil to bring together.  Add salt and pepper to taste

*Tamarind Chile Sauce
1. Soak one cup tamarind in 1 quart boiling water, breaking up to create pulp. Pass and strain after 30 minutes, getting as much pulp and liquid as you can. While soaking, sauté onions and garlic. Toast pasillas for 30 seconds, then cover in 1 cup boiling water and soften for 30 minutes.
2. Deseed pasilla, then combine all ingredients. Simmer and reduce by half. Then puree and pass through a fine mesh strainer.

BEAR SLOBBER

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2 oz aged rum 
2 tsp. honey syrup
2 tsp. sweet vermouth 
2 dashes bitters 

This one is an oldie but goodie. We've had several requests for the recipe of late, so figured we'd dip into the archives with the Bear Slobber!

1. For the honey syrup, use equal parts honey and water in a small saucepan. Boil, turn down to a simmer and stir until honey is completely dissolved. Mix all ingredients, stir 10 times, add ice and serve.

Try making this cocktail for the special dad in your life for Father's Day. Better yet, treat him to dinner at Cow by Bear. We still have a few tickets left for our Father's Day dinner in San Diego this Sunday, June 17 at 8pm. We hope to see you there!

A Sea of Salmon and Smiles

Humans,

We love you. I can't tell you how much Osa, Osito, myself and the rest of the Cow by Bear gang appreciate your support in our little dining experience experiment. It's grown to a point I never imagined when we first opened up in my apartment, and you are to thank for that. There's nearly 10,000(!) on the receiving end of this Bear's Necessities newsletter now, and we're so grateful to have you as part of our Bear family. 

This is the time of year I always find myself thinking about my favorite cousin Ricoand how we tragically lost him during the great 'Salmon Stall of '94.' When I shared his story last year, a frequent guest and Cub Club member made an incredibly kind gesture by making a donation to the Salmon Defense Fund in cousin Rico's name (thanks Steph!). I was very touched and vowed to do what I could to help the salmon and keep cousin Rico's spirit alive. Salmon are such an integral part of bear life, and you may be surprised how vital they are to the entire ecosystem.

We'll be donating $1 for every ticket sold in both San Diego and Seattle from now until Labor Day to the Salmon Defense Fund in honor of cousin Rico. We've added many summer dates in both locations, so take a look at the up-to-date calendar at cowbybear.com and come spend an evening with us! 

Upcoming openings are:

San Diego: Saturday June 2 / Wednesday June 13 / Sunday June 17 / Saturday June 23  / Wednesday June 27 / Thursday June 28 / Saturday July 7

Seattle: Saturday June 2 / Thursday June 14 / Thursday June 28 / Saturday June 30 / Saturday July 7 / Friday July 20

Bear TV

Those who know me know me as a pretty bashful bear. I politely decline most media requests, simply because I'm often unsure of what to say and what to do with my hands. One of my New Year's resolutions was to overcome this fear by saying "Yes" more.

I recently appeared on two TV segments that you can check out below. The first documents a Cow by Bear dinner, and the second is a cooking segment where I make my favorite new menu item, the Sea of Smiles. It's a loose take on a classic Thai dish, khanom jeen, and I've provided the recipe below. I actually had a lot of fun and think maybe I'll even keep saying "Yes" more often!

Sea of Smiles

Sea of Smiles (Feeds 4)

1 package thin rice noodles
8 large fresh prawns, marinated
4 c coconut broth*
2 c pineapple broth*
2 c pickled mustard seed*
4 tbsp crispy shallots*
4 tbsp thinly sliced scallions
4 tbsp thinly sliced thai chilis
1 lime, half juiced half cut into wedges

for the coconut broth
2 cans coconut milk
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp salt
1 inch ginger, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed and chopped
2 lime leaves

for the pineapple broth
4 cups pineapple juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp white sugar

for the pickled mustard seed
4 tbsp mustard seed
3 c rice wine vinegar
1 c sugar
1 c water

crispy shallots
2 c raw, very thinly sliced shallots
4 c canola oil

For this dish you'll want to start with the crispy shallots so you'll have the reserve oil to marinate the prawns with, and the pickled mustard seed as it needs a couple hours.

pickled mustard seed:
1. Combine the vinegar, sugar and water in a sauce pan. Put mustard seeds in a jar or other heatproof container.
2. Bring vinegar mix to a boil for 10 seconds, then pour over mustard seeds.
3. Refrigerate for at least two hours (overnight is best).

crispy shallots:
1. Cut the shallots using a mandolin or crazy sharp knife and slice as thin as possible.
2. Put the room temperature canola oil and the shallots into a pan on the stovetop.
3. Turn the heat on high and continually stir the shallots, gently, in the oil.
4. The shallots will first bubble off all water content and then fry, about 8-10 minutes. Keep stirring or else they'll be unevenly cooked and/or burn. You will want to fry them until you think they are just underdone, pale golden in color, because they will continue to cook out of the oil.
5. Take the shallots out and spread them on paper towels in as thin of a layer as possible, and salt them liberally. 
6. Let cool and they're ready. Make sure to reserve the oil in the pan to marinate the prawns.

prawn marinade:
1. Marinate the prawns with the lime juice and reserve shallot oil, at least two hours before cooking.

coconut broth:
1. Simmer the coconut milk, palm sugar, salt, sliced ginger, garlic, smashed/chopped lemongrass and lime leaves all together for about 60 minutes on a very gentle simmer. You don't want to reduce the broth, just let all the flavors get to know each other. Strain and set aside for later.

pineapple broth:
1. Combine the pineapple juice, fish sauce and white sugar and reduce by half. Cool in the refrigerator until use.

Sea of Smiles:
1. Cook the thin rice noodles al dente, coiled into nests, and cool.
2.  Heat the coconut broth over low heat in a pan so it's ready to go.
3. Remove prawns from the marinade, salt liberally, and sauté on each side on high heat until orange and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes.
4. To assemble, place a nest of rice noodles in a bowl. Arrange 1 tbsp each of chilis, scallions, pickled mustard seeds and lime wedge in their own little sections next to the noodles. Pour one cup of the hot coconut broth over the noodles. Then place two prawns on top of the noodles. Finish with a small spoonful of the pineapple broth and a pinch of the crispy shallots.
5. Serve immediately and enjoy!