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Barndiva Quiche

Dish of the Week:

Barndiva Quiche with Beet & Citrus Salad and Rapini Flowers

Rapini (the flower of Broccoli Rabe) are a joyous addition to any mid-winter salad. They also taste as good as they look ~ bright and floral.

In this dish they accompany the Barndiva Quiche, which over the years has become lead lunch chef Danny’s signature dish.  Both the Appareil* for the quiche and the salads we serve with it change frequently as the gardens wax and wane with the seasons.  We always aim to make the accompanying salad fresh and light as a foil for the richness of the quiche.

The salad: red and gold beets marinated in champagne vinegar and wonderful Preston of Dry Creek Extra Virgin VOO gently tossed with endive, avocado, red radish, arugula, fines herbes (in this case tarragon, chive, parsley, chervil), and last, but certainly not least, juicy Satsuma Mandarin oranges, sliced on end.  A shower of Rapini flowers completes the salad.

Danny’s Quiche combines sautéed arugula, roasted baby artichokes & feta in a classic savory custard: •3 whole eggs *500 grams of Clover Organic Cream *fresh nutmeg dust *Maldon Salt *Madagascar Pepper (always use a good quality peppercorn)

There are 3 steps to baking our Quiche: Roll and pre-bake the Pâte Brisée tart shell Fill and bake until just set Finish under the broiler to caramelize the top. *Appareil- A French term for the mixture of various ingredients when commonly placed into a cake or pastry.



Barndiva's 6th Annual Oscars dinner party

The Fighter: Raw Course

Chiogga Beet Tartar, Caviar Moussaline, Mustard Vinaigrette, Sunchoke Chips

The dish we paired with The Fighter was meant to be raw and bloody ~ though the ‘blood’ came from a vibrant beet tartar whose magnificent color was spiked with a bit of vinegar.  It was topped with a moussaline of whipped crème fraîche, a dollop of caviar, and a wreath of baby sunchoke chips.  Texturally, while the beets and sunchoke chips initially tasted very different, the earthy flavor profiles of both root vegetables played in concert when paired with the creamy moussaline and salty caviar.

Black Swan: Salad Course Butter Lettuce Salad, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon, Virgin Olive Oil, Radish

The idea behind serving a spare green salad to honor a movie about starving ballerinas started as a joke.  Then Chef saw Black Swan and was actually incredible moved by Natalie Portman’s beauty and elegance.  With it’s ruffle of butter lettuce, sharp crimson edge of radish, and delicate segments of ruby red grapefruit, the salad, finished with champagne vinaigrette and a shower of flowering rapini, was indeed a visual ballet of color and form.  Delicious as well.

True Grit: Fire Course Veal Chop, Boulangère Potatoes, Golden Chanterelle Mushroom, Pickled Pearl Onion

Back in the day, when people still cooked on the hearth, small town bakeries were often used by villagers to cook their evening meal in the still warm wood fired ovens once the bread run was finished.  There wasn’t a lot of heat left and space was always at a premium ~ but I’m guessing some wonderful rustic recipes came out of this unique and very communal way of cooking.  The story behind Boulangère potatoes was simple: meats were put on the top shelf with sliced potatoes beneath them, the better to catch the delicious meat drippings.

Ryan’s homage to the dish couldn’t involve a bread oven.  But if you took your eyes away from the screen on Oscar night and closed them, it was easy to taste the inspiration.  His savory layer cake of thinly shaved potatoes was saturated in dark stock that dripped down flavoring the potatoes during the baking process.  Served alongside big juicy veal chops from milk and grass-fed free range calves, this was haute campfire with True Grit.  The veal was sourced from Sonoma Direct, where Ritz Guggiana and his cookbook-writing daughter Marissa (Primal Cuts) find some of the most delicious ethically sustainable animals in the county.

Toy Story 3: Sweet Course 3 flavors of Bon Bons

Opps.  While the Journal’s photographer clearly remembers devouring the Toy Story 3 Bon Bon course just as Best Picture was announced, images of it clearly did not make it into the camera.  The plate was a riot of color ~ with sprinkles, roasted coconut and almond flakes covering dark, milk and white chocolate Bon Bons filled with passion fruit, vanilla and crème fraîche ice cream.  The good news is that the Bon Bons above are equally delicious and better yet, available often on our regular dessert menu.


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Vegan Winter Vegetable Sauté

Dish of the Week:

Vegan Winter Vegetable Sauté with Roasted New Potatoes, Local Spicy greens, Mustard Vinaigrette

The images above represent a portion of the mise en place* a single hot station needs on hand every night in order to execute the dishes on Chef Fancher’s ever changing seasonal menus.  They also form the basis for a request for a Vegan entrée, which we are happy to prepare a la minute.  The better the mise en place, the greater the opportunity to create a memorable produce- inspired dish.

Barndiva’s kitchen under Chef Fancher relies upon a traditional French “Brigade” system where the lead chef on a hot or cold line must have mastery over the focus of a single station.  Pulling as we do from the most superlative produce gardens in Sonoma County, the Entremetier ~ the chef in charge of the vegetable station ~ is a pretty important position.  Andrew Wycoff is Barndiva’s talented Entremetier who arrives each morning to face hours of prep where his mise en place will be essential to our dinner menus, as well as providing a vibrant display of creative possibilities when animal proteins do not figure in a dish.

First thing to hit the heat with this dish were the Baby Yukon Gold Creamers ~ slowly simmered in salted water until soft, then peeled of their skins.  They were then roasted in a hot sauté pan until golden brown and finished with olive oil and Maldon Sea Salt.

While the potatoes were roasting Chef specified which winter vegetables to use: cauliflower – broccoli – pearl onion – carrot – pumpkin – Brussels sprouts.  These were sautéed and finished with sage & olive oil.

The lively mustard vinaigrette, pulled from another station with mise en place prepared by our Garde Manger (salad chef), Hugo Hernandez, was comprised of spicy brown mustard – champagne vinegar – grape seed oil – shallot – carrot dice – leek dice – chive – chervil – salt & pepper – pinch of sugar.

To finish the dish Chef Ryan chose a loose ruffle of spicy local greens – an heirloom variety from Mix Garden.  Then this delightful Vegan dish, which took hours to prepare though only a few inspired moments to cook was off to the dining room.

*Mise en Place ~ the collection of ingredients (e.g. cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables and other components) which are specifically prepared to execute each dish on the menu.


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Barndiva's Mother's Day Celebration May 9, 2010

(originally posted May 12, 2010)

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee ~William Shakespeare

From all of us at Barndiva, we want to thank the beautiful women who graced our dining rooms with their babies, young children, grown children and grandchildren...

The Barndiva Lounge and the Gallery Diningroom were overflowing with Dragonfly roses, knowing looks, delightful banter and genuinely smiling faces.

Thank you for entrusting us with your Mother's Day celebration.