Flavoring with Oils
Flavored olive oils intrigue us from the grocer's shelf, but so often stay in the cupboard to be taken out only for special occasions, and sadly grow rancid with disuse. We are here to encourage you to incorporate them into your daily routine, and enhance the flavor of food with minimal effort.
These oils are fantastic for weeknights; they give variety to our standard dishes--either for cooking and roasting meats and vegetables, adding to salad dressings, or finishing dishes.
Here are some of the flavors we carry, and our favorite uses for them.From Sciabica's California Olive OilsRosemary
Will liven up any dish such as saut�ed beef or chicken, and dramatically improves the flavor of marinades. Coat potatoes or bread before baking. We love it with lamb.Basil
Heavenly for bread dipping, sandwich spreads, tossed salads (with balsamic vinegar), and drizzled over pasta for an instant pesto.Habanero
Hot, but not overwhelming, for those who want the true flavor of Haba�ero peppers with balanced heat. Superb drizzled over baked fish, herb-roasted chicken, and pasta. Or use as a dipping oil for fresh-baked focaccia bread. We love it in mango salsa or anything that could use a kick.From O Olive OilClementine
It's sweet & tangy flavor is perfect for summer salads & fresh crab. Absolutely delicious mixed with vinegar brushed over grilled chicken and black sesame seeds. Great in baked goods where oil is called for.
One of our favorites to dip bread, drizzle over salmon, scallops or yellowtail sashimi. Grilled summer vegetable tacos become mouthwatering. Delicious & simple brushed on corn tortillas. Meyer Lemon
Adds a wonderful aroma and mild sweetness to steamed vegetables, arugula salads, pasta & Parmesan. Beautiful over heirloom tomatoes.From Bariani Olive Oil
White Truffle Olive Oil
Enhances the flavor of everything it touches: potatoes, pasta, polenta, risotto, pizza, scrambled eggs or omelettes. Add it to mushrooms to boost their flavor. We love it drizzled on filet mignon, duck or lamb. Add interest to popcorn or french fries.
What's better than a dish of cheerful spring flowers to celebrate the coming of Spring? These gourmet chocolate flowers are individually wrapped in colorful foils. A delicious Easter-y gift, and they look beautiful on your dessert table!
Lake Champlain Chocolates has been crafting specialty chocolates in Burlington, Vermont, for 30 years.
Easter is this Sunday
Don't forget to order your Easter meats, so we can reserve exactly what you need. Our butcher department is fully stocked, and ready to receive your call.
We have whole or half hams, legs of lamb, racks of lamb, Prime rib or anything else you may desire.
Call at least a day in advance to reserve at (510) 653-8181.
A Local Love Story
Albert and Kim Katz met at UC Berkeley, fell in love, opened a Berkeley restaurant, and eventually moved to the Napa Vally where they began growing olives. They now have 30+ acres of mature, CCOF groves. They produce wonderful Artisan Vinegars from the grapes of Napa Valley, and field collect some very special honey.
We love Katz because they are local, absolutely top quality, have a strong commitment to stewardship of the land, and make very interesting products! They are great to keep stocked in your kitchen pantry. Here is what we've got:
Chef's Pick Olive Oil is a staff favorite. It's made up of three classic Tuscan cultivars. This unfiltered, certified organic, small production, extra virgin olive oil is the oil of choice for many of the finest restaurant kitchens and their chefs. It has rustic charm with grassy, floral overtones, rich fruitiness and a lush mouth feel.
Branches Honey is amazing field-collected honey from Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. We currently have the Citrus Blossom, Raspberry, and Range Wildflower on our shelves.
Katz's produces Orleans Method Artisan Vinegar in an historic stone Carriage House on their Rock Hill Ranch. Their vinegars are recognized on the Slow Food Ark of Taste. We carry their Late Harvest Zinfandel, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Gravenstein Apple Cider, Trio Red Wine, and Sparkling Wine Vinegars.
Taste some, and fall in love, too.
Please note that we will be closed on Easter Sunday so that our staff can celebrate the holiday with friends and family. Get your shopping done early so you can enjoy Sunday.
We will be open Monday, March 28th at 9 AM for our regular hours.
Have a wonderful holiday!
While planning our Easter Brunch, we came across the Bee's Breakfast in Imbibe Magazine. It's got to be the perfect Easter brunch cocktail with fresh berries, lemon, honey and a bit of Greek yogurt.
Honey syrup is a delicious spin on simple syrup, and you will enjoy experimenting with it in other cocktails, and even your tea.
To make the honey syrup, heat three parts honey in a small saucepan, then add one part water. Stir until it is fully incorporated, and let cool before storing in the refrigerator.Get the recipe...
Prepare to be dazzled and amazed.
La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil is divine. It's delicious in salads-mixing well with balsamic to create an amazingly flavorful vinaigrette. We love it drizzled on grilled fish or meat, or added towards the end of beef bourguignon. Try it in pasta and grains instead of butter. It makes a great mayonnaise or marinade for roasted or grilled veggies. And please, don't hesitate to use it in cakes and baked goods, particularly anything with apples or pears.
La Tourangelle produces oil using traditional French methods in Woodland (near Sacramento), from mostly California-grown nuts. The oil is lightly filtered, and bursting with health benefits.
We keep ours refrigerated to preserve that wonderful taste and aroma, and shake before using to distribute the sediment and flavor.
Roasted Walnut Oil Bruschetta
Get the recipe...
Introducing the Butcher's Block
If you like to cook, having a professional butcher you can talk to is an invaluable resource. Much like a good car mechanic, a good butcher can be the key to better meals with less strain on your wallet. Purchasing the perfect cut of meat for your recipe shouldn't be difficult, but with all of the different offerings in the meat case, it's easy to get confused. Throw in multiple names for the same cut of meat, and it's even worse-that's why having a "guy" you can go to and trust is immensely helpful.
We are fortunate our group of butchers has so much experience, and knows their craft. They want to share this with our customers. The Butcher's Block is a way to pass on inside knowledge. Each month we will pick a cut of meat, and discuss it's properties and uses so you can be better informed.
Our Manager Alfredo Lopez talks about Beef Brisket, which is popular this time of year:
"All cuts of beef start with nine basic areas of the steer. These areas are called primal cuts, though the precise definition of each cut differs internationally. Piedmont Grocery buys the primal cuts of beef from our vendors and then we break them down into sub-primal cuts here at the store. Other markets will buy them already broken down. We prefer to have more control over the cuts to make sure we get the best quality.
"The Brisket is the cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of Beef or Veal, sometimes referred to as the foreleg or foreshank. The brisket is made up of two parts. The "flat" section is the meatier part of the brisket. The "Deckle" or "Point" of the brisket has more fat.
"Because of it's location on the steer, the brisket is a tougher cut of meat and requires moist, slow heat to cook it to perfection. Brisket is also fantastic when cooked in a smoker."Brisket is probably most known as the cut of choice for making corned beef and Pastrami. Both are easy to make yourself but require time, as you are essentially pickling or preserving the meat before cooking it. If you are interested in corning your own beef, check out our What's For Dinner Wednesday post on Corned Beef.
Recipes for smoking or BBQing your brisket are plentiful and can be the source of much debate as there are folks who take their smoked brisket very seriously. For a great step-by-step, try this.
And, here's a recipe for Smoked BBQ Brisket by Bobby Flay.
From Amy and our "What's For Dinner Wednesday" recipe blog
The (Cream) Cheese Stands Alone
If it's Easter Sunday, you can pretty much count on there being a carrot cake on our table...which is a good thing. I am pretty sure it's not the cake I love so much (though that it pretty tasty) but rather, the cream cheese frosting. If I am being honest with myself, the carrot cake is just the socially accepted vessel for the creamy goodness that is cream cheese frosting. Eating the entire bowl with a spoon is, apparently frowned upon. If I could, I would put cream cheese frosting on everything.
Over the years our carrot cakes have come in many forms: cupcakes, sheet cakes even trifles, but I saw a recipe this year that has me intrigued...it gives cream cheese frosting a twist. Though I may be giving up my precious frosting, I am still getting that sweet cheese flavor, and it is in a layer that is as thick as I wish I could spread the frosting on without people thinking I'm nuts. (Which I am by the way.)
If you're looking for tradition with a twist this Easter, give this Carrot Cake Cheesecake a try!
You need to get a jump on this recipe, as the carrot cake should be made a day in advance, and the cheesecake needs time in the fridge to set.
The reviews mentioned that this cake was too dry. We increased the oil by 2 tablespoons from the original recipe. Also mind your oven temperature, you might want to decrease it to bake more slowly. Or you can use your own recipe as long as it's not too moist, since the cheese cake has to be supported.
This recipe also includes video instructions.
Get the recipe...