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Special food lover’s issue

living in the west July 2011 beSt roadtrip food | Top farmstands and markets | edible front yard | Food fight: Big cities face off

The West’s Best

Roadtrip Food Eat local


sf la

Which has better restaurants? p. 31

on the go!

The edible front yard

Fantastic fish tacos p. 77

Ultimate July 4th BBQ


JULY 2011



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Garden to table

In your garden

Mint can be invasive, so always grow it in a container. Check for chocolate peppermint at your local nurseries, or order from Mountain Valley Growers ($4.50; mountainvalley or 559/338-2775).

plant set mint seedlings in loose, well-draining soil. Grow plants in a pot at least a foot tall and wide. Usually, just one plant is needed, since a single one from a 4-inch pot can spread a foot or more in just a few months. Give mint part to full sun— this means roughly four to eight hours a day.

care water regularly, keeping soil moist but not soggy. feed periodically with an organic fertilizer. divide plants when they start outgrowing their containers: Dump plants out, cut them into sections, then replant in fresh soil.

Chocolate peppermint By Julie Chai and Amy Machnak | photographs by thomas j. story 50

Sunset July 2011

Food Styling: Randy Mon

Our favorite mint to grow:

In your kitchen

More ways to grow and cook with mint:

To change background color (fill), with direct selection tool (hollow arrow) in layer palette to select “background shape” layer, then choose color from swatch palette.

Chocolate peppermint has a much more intense flavor than the mint you typically find in grocery stores (which is usually spearmint). At the same time, the chocolate flavor is subtle.

To cha “mou


Chocolate mint pots de crème



gather mint as needed by

clipping stems all the way to the ground. store sprigs by rinsing well, then wrapping them loosely in a paper towel. Keep refrigerated in a plastic bag or container. use leaves by picking them off the stem and adding whole or chopped to food.

These elegant, individual custards can be made a few days ahead of time for a party. Allowing the mint to steep in the milk and cream intensifies the flavor. If you like a rich custard, use all cream. 2 cups each heavy cream and milk 3 oz. (3 big handfuls) chocolate mint sprigs, plus leaves for garnish 1 cup sugar 8 large egg yolks Sweetened whipped cream 1/2 cup chocolate shavings


Grilled lamb with chocolate mint salsa

Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). Rub 8 lamb chops (21/2 lbs.) with about 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Grill, turning once, about 8 minutes total for medium. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup each roughly chopped chocolate mint leaves and chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, 2 tbsp. lime juice, 1 minced red jalapeño, 1 chopped green onion, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Spoon over lamb. Serves 4. PER SERVING 614 Cal., 76% (464 cal.) from fat; 34 g protein; 52 g fat (18 g sat.); 2.6 g carbo (1.2 g fiber); 503 mg sodium; 139 mg chol.


Moroccan chocolate mint tea

Put 1 tsp. gunpowder green tea, 1 tsp. sugar, and about 8 small chocolate mint sprigs in a teapot. Bring 2 cups water to boil, let sit 2 minutes, then pour into pot. Let steep about 5 minutes. Strain into teacups. Serves 2. PER SERVING 9 Cal., 0% from fat; 0.1 g protein; 0 g fat; 2.3 g carbo (0.1 g fiber); 0.6 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

1. Heat together cream, milk, and mint in a medium pot over medium heat until mixture starts to simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep about 2 hours. 2. Preheat oven to 300°. Set 8 ramekins (4 oz. each) in a large roasting pan or baking dish. 3. Reheat cream mixture to a simmer; strain into a medium bowl. Whisk together sugar and yolks in a large bowl. Slowly add cream to yolk mixture, whisking constantly. 4. Pour mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Fill pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up sides of ramekins. 5. Cover pan with foil and bake until custards are set and jiggle only slightly in the center, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit in hot water 30 minutes. Transfer ramekins to a baking sheet, cover, and chill at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. 6. Serve with whipped cream, fresh mint leaves, and chocolate shavings. PER SERVING 400 Cal., 65% (259 cal.) from fat; 6.2 g protein; 29 g fat (17 g sat.); 31 g carbo (0.7 g fiber); 61 mg sodium; 298 mg chol. ■

Sunset July 2011

To cha with d “comp then c


In the Western kitchen

1 Idaho lamb burger

Top this! This summer, give your burgers a real sense of place By Stephanie Dean and Amy Machnak photographs by annabelle breakey

Rockies lamb + idaho russets + sun valley mustard Toppings

Food styling: Robyn Valarik

Potato chive cakes

Soak 8 oz. russet potato, peeled and shredded, in water for a few minutes. Drain, then toss with 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1 tbsp. chopped chives. Heat 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Drop potato mixture into

pan in 4 mounds and spread to form cakes. Cook until well browned on each side, turning once, about 5 minutes total.

Idaho mustard spread

Mix together 3 tbsp. mayonnaise and 1 to 2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard such as Sun Valley

Chardonnay Wine Mustard (

stack it up For each burger, put a grilled ground lamb* patty topped with sheep’s-milk cheese* on bottom of a grilled onion roll. Set a potato chive cake and a butter lettuce leaf on top. Dollop Idaho mustard spread onto onion roll top and set on burger.

*We used Idaho’s Lava Lake lamb ( and Lark’s Meadow Farms Dulcinea, a Basque-style raw sheep’smilk cheese, also from Idaho (

All topping recipes make enough for 4 servings. Sunset July 2011


In the Western kitchen

2 Northwest crabcake burger

Crab + artisan pickles + fresh herbs

3 Hawaiian pig-out burger

Pork patty + Spam + luau flavors


stack it up


stack it up

Portland pickle mayo

For each burger, put a panfried crabcake (store-bought or homemade; see for a recipe) on bottom of split and toasted focaccia bread. Add a handful of dill salad and a slice of red onion. Spread top of focaccia with Portland pickle mayo and set on burger.

Sweet and salty Spam and pineapple

For each burger, spread bottom of a grilled Hawaiian sandwich roll* with mayonnaise. Top with a grilled pork patty, a grilled Maui onion slice, and a slice each of sweet

Mix together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 3 tbsp. chopped dill pickle*, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

*We used Portland-based Picklopolis’s naturally fermented garlic dills (

Dill salad

Mix together 1 cup each fresh dill sprigs and torn red leaf lettuce.

Mix together 1 tbsp. each

reduced-sodium soy sauce and packed light brown sugar with 11/2 tsp. lime juice. Brush onto 4 slices Spam and 4 peeled and cored pineapple slices.

Grill over medium heat (350° to 450°), turning once, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes for Spam and 7 minutes for pineapple.

and salty Spam and pineapple.

Spoon a small amount of your favorite coleslaw over Spam and cover with top of roll. *Or use thick slices from a Hawaiian sweet bread loaf.

Grilled Maui onion

Cut 4 slices Maui onion or other sweet onion 1/4 in. thick. Grill over medium heat, turning once, until grill marks appear and onion softens, about 7 minutes.

More burger bliss 90

Sunset July 2011

ROSSINI BURGER, Las Vegas: At Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar (, Kobe beef, sautéed foie gras, and shaved truffles on an onion bun; $60 a pop. » AU POIVRE BURGER, Alameda, CA: At Scolari’s (510/521-2400), Montana beef patty crusted in coarsely ground black pepper and topped with roasted tomatoes and onions, aioli, and arugula on a challah bun.

4 SoCal veggie burger

Lots of vegetables + hummus + lettuce “bun”

5 New Mexico green chile burger

barbecue spread + Fritos + chiles chiles chiles


stack it up


stack it up

Edamame hummus

For each burger, put a grilled veggie burger* patty on a butter lettuce leaf. Top with a generous spoonful of edamame hummus and some carrot slaw, a tomato slice or two, a few slices of English cucumber, and a handful of alfalfa sprouts. Top with another lettuce leaf. Save extra hummus for dunking vegetables. *We used Amy’s Kitchen veggie burgers, sold at well-stocked grocery stores.

Chipotle BBQ mayo

For each burger, put a grilled ground beef patty topped with pepper jack cheese on the bottom of a grilled kaiser roll. Top with a few grilled green chile strips and a handful of Fritos. Dollop chipotle BBQ mayo onto Fritos and set top of roll in place. ■

Whirl together 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp. tahini, 2 tbsp. extravirgin olive oil, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and 11/2 cups cooked frozen edamame in a food processor until mostly smooth.

Carrot slaw

Toss together 11/2 cups shredded carrots, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix 3 tbsp. mayonnaise with 2 to 4 tsp. chipotle barbecue sauce.

Grilled green chiles

Rub 2 Anaheim chiles* with vegetable oil. Grill over high heat (450° to 550°), turning often, until blackened, about 4 minutes. Cover with a towel to steam for about 10 minutes. Rub off skins. Stem, seed, and slice chiles, then cut them into strips. *Or, instead of grilling, use canned Hatch chiles from New Mexico (find at some grocery stores) or canned regular green chiles.

18 more ideas for irresistible bURGERS:

To change background color (fill), with direct selection tool (hollow arrow) in layer palette to select “background shape” layer, then choose color from swatch palette.

OREGON BLUE BURGER, Portland: From Rollin’ Violetta food cart (, grass-fed Black Angus beef, Rogue Creamery Oregonzola, bacon, and caramelized onions on a brioche bun. » MONSIEUR BURGER, Seattle: At Uneeda Burger (, beef from Oregon’s Painted Hills (or, for $4

more, Wagyu beef from Whidbey Island’s Crescent Harbor) stacked with truffled shoestring potatoes, ham, and gruyère on Macrina Bakery potato bread. Sunset July 2011


July 2011  

Sunset Magazine July 2011

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