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!

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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!