I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! For those of you that have been around here a while, you probably know my origin story; how I lost my parents to poachers at a young age, was bear-napped and eventually paraded around for years in a traveling circus. Eventually, I was able to escape to France where I had what I refer to as my "awakening," when I began to walk, talk and cook.
Since then, I've no doubt had a blessed and entertaining life cooking all over the world, but while I've bounced from country to country I've often felt overcome by what's missing; namely, a family. Of course, when family literally came knocking at my door, I didn't quite know how to handle it.
With that background, imagine how grateful I am that so many of you have come into my life at the Cow by Bear experiences, becoming new friends and yes, even family. I wanted to express this gratitude and make our club a little more official. It's in that spirit that Osa, Osito and I are happy to introduce the 'Cub Club,' designed to bring the most devoted Cow by Bear supporters further into the family circle. The club will continue to evolve as we move forward but here's the deal...
'Cub Club' Rewards & Benefits:
1. Exclusive emails about last minute reschedules (no more months-long wait!) with a 20% discount on these seats.
2. 20% off all merchandise.
3. An official 'Cub Club' badge.
4. Invitation to an annual 'Cub Club' dinner with special menu and unique venue.
5. Entered into quarterly drawing for free merchandise.
6. Chance to have a cocktail named after you.
How to join the 'Cub Club:'
1. You've been to three or more dinners. (If you've been to two, come on back and we'll have a special induction ceremony for you!) OR
2. You've been to a dinner in both San Diego AND Seattle OR
3. You've been to all three Cow by Bear experiences (Dinner, Brunch by Bear, Wine by Bear) in San Diego. Don't worry Seattle, we'll be adding those experiences down the road!
We'll be reaching out soon if you've already qualified for the 'Cub Club' or if you're knocking on the door of eligibility. Thank you - we couldn't be more excited to have you in the club!
Cow by Bear now offering catering!
It'll be summertime before we know it, and as you know I'm not much of a hibernator. If anything, I like to double down on my activity, get outside and bask in the sun and all it's glory. It's that time of year that many of you humans are planning your big summer events - be it a wedding, rehearsal dinner, or just a big ol' fashioned birthday bash. Whatever the event may be, I'd love to be part of it!
Cow by Bear is now offering catering services at these special events. Please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to discuss your party and how we can make magic together.
Loco in Acapulco
Osa, Osito and I were able to escape to Acapulco for some much needed R&R a few weeks ago, and let me tell you; I got into it! I'd been kicking around the idea for this cocktail in my head for months, and it finally came together while south of the border. That night, cocktail in hand, I was treated to an intimate show by a few remaining members of the Four Tops. You haven't lived until you've heard "Loco in Acapulco" live.
2 oz tito's vodka
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz ancho reyes liqueur
1/4 oz simple syrup
1. Salt half of one double rocks glass with chipotle salt rim.
2. Pour all ingredients into a Boston shaker over ice.
3. Shake for 10-20 seconds and strain into glass over ice.
4. Garnish with a lime wheel.
5. Drink responsibly.
Dear, Mama Bear.
I created this dish while living in Italy at a time in my life where I was really missing my Mama Bear. It was developed in her honor as a love letter of sorts. I have fond memories as a cub of tearing into the tents of unsuspecting humans and coming back to Mama Bear with cans of Chef Boyardee spaghetti. It was her favorite, and something I loved to surprise her with. I like to think she'd enjoy this even more.
5 lbs fresh bucatini pasta
1 lb crab meat
50 oz canned san marzano tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1/4 c chopped garlic
1 tbsp red chile flake
2 tbsp salt plus more for pasta water
1. Heat olive oil in a deep pot or dutch oven. Sauté onions until soft, then add garlic and chile flake and cook until the garlic is fragrant.
2. Add tomatoes, a cup of water and the salt, and simmer on low for 1 hour.
3. Taste, adjusting seasoning, and blend in a blender or in the pot using an immersion blender.
4. In a large pot of heavily salted water (it should taste like the sea), boil the pasta until al dente.
5. Drain and transfer to sauce pot, turn on the heat, add the crab and cook until everything is hot.
6. To serve, grab pasta with tongs and twirl to make a nest on each plate. Then ladle remaining sauce on top and garnish with micro basil and a drizzle of your fanciest olive oil.
4th Planet From the Sun
I developed this recipe during my stint cooking on a recent mission to Mars. Okay, okay, I've not been to Mars, but it's definitely on the short list! Who wants to go with me?
for the soup:
3 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground vadouvan curry
1/4 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch of ground cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken broth
1 c red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
for pickled cauliflower
2 c water
1 c vinegar
1/3 c sugar
3 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
6 green cardamon pods
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
3/4 tsp tumeric
3 lb head of cauliflower
for green harissa
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced
2 small scallions, sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves w/ tender stems
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fine sea salt
1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
4. Using an immersion or food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
5. Reheat soup if necessary and stir in lemon juice.
6. Serve with a good olive oil, pickled cauliflower and green harissa.
1. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
2. Bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil and pour over cauliflower.
3. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours and eat within a month.
(Prep ahead if possible as it will last for 5 days)
1. Lightly toast cumin and coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Let cool.
2. Purée seeds with jalapeños, scallions, garlic, oil, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.
3. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of harissa, cover and chill until use.