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The Verdict on New Foster Farms Oven Ready Chicken Entrees

Friday, 26. July 2013 5:25

Foster Farms new Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Oven Ready Entree. Just add your own sides.

Foster Farms new Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Oven Ready Entree. Just add your own sides.

 

I admit I’m a skeptic when it comes to most packaged prepared foods.

I often don’t think they’re a time-saver.

Plus, the sodium levels are usually frighteningly through the roof.

Recently, I had a chance to sample the new Foster Farms Oven Ready Entrees, which feature chicken breasts that are already marinated. You just put the recyclable, oven-proof tray in the oven and they’re ready in about 30 minutes.

They come in four varieties: Chile Verde, Roasted Red Pepper, Zesty Thai and Honey Roasted Garlic.

What I most appreciated was the reasonable sodium level — 210 to 270 per serving, depending upon the variety. The entrees also have a moderate 120 to 130 calories per serving, though, it’s hard to tell exactly how much a serving constitutes as the nutrition label states “servings per container varied” because, of course, not all chicken breasts are exactly the same size. A publicist I checked with said that one package will serve 4 to 6. I think it’s more like 4 servings at most — or even 2 if you have very big eaters in the house.

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Category:General, Meat, New Products | Comments (3) | Author:

Former Chef of Ad Hoc Planning His Own Restaurant

Monday, 17. June 2013 5:26

Chef Dave Cruz cooking a whole lamb at his pop-up event.

Chef Dave Cruz cooking a whole lamb at his pop-up event.

 

After leaving Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville, where he was head chef for seven years, Dave Cruz has some big plans of his own.

Look for Cruz to open his own restaurant late this year or sometime next year. He’s been scouting locations in Napa to open Miles Restaurant, a casual spot serving brilliant but unpretentious food, the kind of grub chefs like to eat on their days off.

The name references his son’s middle name, he says. But it also speaks of the local “miles” from the restaurant that he will source his ingredients, as well as how diners are more than willing to travel miles and miles to the Napa Valley for a great meal.

If his recent pop-up lamb roast is any indication, his food is sure to continue to lure folks from all over.

Dinner is served.

Dinner is served.

A little over a week ago, I was invited to be a guest at his pop-up at The Trappist in Oakland. When I got there, Cruz was manning a large grill set up in the gastropub’s back courtyard. For $25 per person, you got a plate full of juicy, tender lamb that had been rubbed in aleppo, paprika and espelette, along with herb-mustard potato salad, and chili-lime corn on the cob.

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Category:Chefs, General, Meat, Restaurants, Thomas Keller/French Laundry/Et Al | Comments (4) | Author:

Belcampo Ushers in A New Age of Sustainable Food

Monday, 1. April 2013 5:25

A butcher making porchetta at Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur.

A butcher making porchetta at Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur.

 

Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur may look like the latest trendy, farm-to-table butcher shop stocked with pedigreed meat for sale at sky-high prices.

But it’s so much more than that.

It’s part of a corporation that aims to start a new food revolution — by producing sustainable food on an unheard of scale. And at a profit, to boot.

It is the brainchild of Todd Robinson, a Wall Street veteran with deep pockets; and Anya Fernald, a California-native and long-time locavore entrepreneur. She may look familiar from her previous appearances as a judge on “Iron Chef America” and as the founder of the Eat Real Festival in Oakland.

The two founded Belcampo, Inc. in 2011, which consists of several operations spread across three countries. They include: a 10,000-acre certified organic, sustainable ranch at the base of Mt. Shasta in California, where cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits, goats, turkeys, geese and squabs are raised sustainably, organically and on pasture; another cattle ranch in Uruguay; and an eco-lodge and farm in Belize that produces coffee, chocolate and rum.

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Category:Food TV, General, Going Green and Sustainable, Great Finds, Health/Nutrition, Meat, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Restaurants | Comments (3) | Author:

Ham It Up For Easter

Tuesday, 26. March 2013 5:25

A mini bone-in Kurobuta ham from Snake River Farms.

A mini bone-in Kurobuta ham from Snake River Farms.

 

You’ll definitely want to do that if the ham in question is made from Kurobuta pork, otherwise known as Berkshire.

The heritage breed pig is famed for its marbling, which produces impeccable flavor.

Last week, I had a chance to try a sample of a bone-in “Mini Karver,” a 3-pound Kurobuta ham ($40) from Snake River Farms, the Idaho-based specialty meat company.

The hams come from American Kuobuta pigs raised on small family farms in the Midwest. No sodium or water is added, either.

The ham can be enjoyed cold or warmed up in the oven. Snake River Farms says the mini ham serves 4. But it’s more like 5 servings, plus enough leftovers for a couple of sandwiches or a few ample ham and egg scrambles. Don’t forget to save the ham bone, too, for future soup-making.

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Category:General, Meat | Comments (11) | Author:

New Gluten-Free Menu at The Counter, Pinkberry Goes Greek & More

Monday, 25. March 2013 5:25

Cranberry-Avocado Turkey Burger on a gluten-free bun at The Counter. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Cranberry-Avocado Turkey Burger on a gluten-free bun at The Counter. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

The Counter Serves Up Gluten-Free Options

The Counter, with 33 locations including ones in the Bay Area, has added a new gluten-free menu.

The separate menu still allows you to build your own burger creation or to choose from pre-designed signature ones. The latter includes such offerings as the Cranberry & Avocado Turkey Burger with organic mixed greens and horseradish may on a gluten-free bun; the Spinach, Avocado & Salsa Bison Bowl with roasted corn and black bean salsa; and beef chili with Tillamook cheddar, red onion and sour cream.

Chow down on it all with a gluten-free milkshake or a gluten-free beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

The gluten-free menu is available at all locations of The Counter, except airport ones.

Pinkberry To Serve Non-Frozen Yogurt

You already know Pinkberry for its tart fro-yo.

But now, it’s introducing a new yogurt — all natural, thick, nonfat Greek yogurt that’s fresh, not frozen.

Pinkberrygreek boasts 15g of protein per 5 ounces.

Pinkberry's new, fresh Greek yogurt. (Photo courtesy of Pinkberry)

Pinkberry’s new, fresh Greek yogurt. (Photo courtesy of Pinkberry)

As with any Pinkberry yogurt, you can customize it with your choice of an array of toppings. Or take the suggestions from Pinkberry for sweet and savory creations such as: Chocolate Berry (blueberry, raspberry, dark chocolate granola, chocolate shavings, cinnamon honey), Tomato Basil (grape tomato, fresh basil, olive oil, sea salt, balsamic glaze), and Sunflower Cucumber (cucumber, sunflower seed bites, olive oil, chile powder).

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Health/Nutrition, Meat, New Products, Restaurants | Comments (5) | Author: