I hope you all enjoyed a great holiday season and your 2017 is starting off with a bang! When I reflect on 2016, I'm truly amazed by how far Cow by Bear has come. This time last year, we had just rolled out Friday dinners in addition to Saturday and had a staff of just three. We now host dinners Thursday, Friday and Saturday along with a Sunday brunch and have a staff of fifteen. I owe it all to you guys for being along for this ride and supporting Cow by Bear. Huge plans are in store for 2017 and I can't wait to share what's up my fur.
When I was a young cub just getting my footing as a chef, cooking a complex soup intimidated the living daylights out of me. Bear's don't grow up eating a lot of soup. It's not something that gets left behind by many families enjoying a picnic in the woods, so it was just an unfamiliar food to me for a long time. It wasn't until my travels took me to South Africa, where I spent time with a great man named Chief Wolraad Madikizela, for me to really appreciate and respect a great soup. I owe this recipe (and my life, but that is a story for another day) to the chief.
Cauliflower, Pear & Blue Cheese Soup (Serves 4)
2 tbsp butter
2 shallots, diced
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
5 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp blue cheese , crumbled
2 tbsp créme fraîche
white balsamic vinegar
petite bitter greens
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and celery and cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Stir in the pears and cauliflower, toss together and pour over the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat. Blend the mixture with most of the blue cheese until smooth and pass through a strainer. Test for taste, add salt or more blue cheese if needed.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of créme fraîche, toasted pecans, petite bitter greens and white balsamic vinegar. Serve with a crusty bread to take it up a notch.
If you've ever been chased through the woods by a grizzly bear, there is likely one specific image you've never been able to shake; the uncontrollable foaming of the mouth by that beautiful 800lb. creature as it inches closer and closer. What most people don't realize is that our slobber isn't made of saliva. It's actually made up of a delicious concoction that I present to you here.
2 oz aged rum
2 tsp. honey syrup
2 tsp. sweet vermouth
2 dashes bitters
For honey syrup, put 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.
We have a few special dinners coming up, starting with a sold out Valentine's Day dinner on February 14. Two weeks later we'll be hosting a Fat Tuesday dinner on February 28 and there are still a few seats left. Be on the lookout for a Memorial Day weekend bash that we're currently developing. I hope to see you at a future dinner or brunch!