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Belly Up To The Bar: Mushroom Tart and Beaujolais Day

Posted on November 26, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

We are counting down to the biggest eating day of the year in hours at this point. Whether or not you are hosting the main event or contributing to the hors d’oeuvres, everyone wants their dishes to be delicious and memorable. Lately many people are changing their diets and more people are going vegetarian than ever before. Our mushroom tart can be served as a meatless main, light first course or during a cocktail hour before the bird is done. Thanksgiving is a day when oven space is at a premium.

What makes this dish the perfect pairing is that you can serve it hot or room temperature. In addition, it travels well so whatever your culinary restrictions you will wow your relatives with this tart. If you are low on time you can even make the filling ahead and chill until you want to bake. Meeting the parents?

Add a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau Villages as a hostess gift. The lightness of the Beaujolais won’t overpower the delicateness of the mushroom flavor. We prefer red wine in general and serve it with the turkey as well. And since Beaujolais Day is right before Thanksgiving each year it makes a timely pairing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-M. Perrelli

Mushroom Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 tbsp minced red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1 minced clove of garlic

5 oz mushrooms, reserve 2 for slicing as garnish and chop the rest

1 tsp herbs de Provence

2 tbsp white wine

4 oz Neufchatel cheese

1/3 cup shredded swiss cheese

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

salt and pepper



1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Unfold pastry and place on baking sheet.

3. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

4. Add onion and sauté 1-2 minutes.

5. Add mushrooms and herbs de Provence and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquids and the mixture has cooked down.

6. Add the white wine. It is finished cooking once the wine evaporates.

7. Place mixture in a bowl and mix with the three cheeses until smooth.

8. Season with salt and pepper (you can also do this during the cooking stage above).

9. Use an icing spatula to spread mixture over the puff pastry leaving a half in border around the edge to create a crust.

10. Top with reserved mushroom slices.

11. Bake 20 minutes. It can be cut in any shape that suits your use.

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour: Kir Royale

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

Happy almost Thanksgiving! 


For today's cocktail recipe du jour, I give you the Kir Royale. Elegant, easy and effective in combatting the holiday stress (and in-laws!). We all have enough on our plates without having to worry about having to continuously pump out individual, time consuming cocktails for every guest the entire day. It's a bit sweet (thanks to the blackcurrant liqueur) but the bubbles make it crisp and refreshing to combat the inevitable turkey day food coma. And hey, bubbles soothe the stomach, right?
Wishing you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
What You'll Need:
Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine
Creme de Cassis 
What To Do:
1) Add 1/4 ounce Creme de Cassis into a standard 6-oz champagne flute 
2) Fill the rest of the glass with chilled champagne or other bubbly of your choice.
3) Garnish with a lemon rind. 

Belly Up to the Bar: Clam Chowder for Two

Posted on November 06, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

In honor of the San Francisco Giants’ World Series Championship we are saluting the team with one of the more unique stadium foods, iconic to the city as well as the feasting fans, clam chowder. As San Franciscans can tell you the only way to eat clam chowder is out of a sourdough bread bowl and that’s exactly how it is served at AT&T Park, home of the Giants. My last visit to San Fran wasn’t complete until I had shared (who am I kidding, we did NOT share) a bowl of this delicious soup with LPJ CEO, Miriam Zelinsky.

Cold weather has set in just in time to make soup. Ever since I left home, I also left behind the world of canned soup. Opening a tin can and dumping pre-made soup into a pot holds no pleasure for me now after the many pots of soup I have made. Formulating flavors, simmering slowly, and finally sipping steamy soup on chilly autumn days is the kind of “stop and smell the roses” attitude I want after the grind of a crazy work week. And while I love soup, a big pot of it doesn’t really appeal because, well, leftovers, GAG! So here we have scaled down a classic version of the clam chowder from 10 servings to two. Bread bowl or not this clam chowder will have baseball fans all over the country lamenting the fact that they too can’t call the Giants their home team.

-M. Perrelli

Clam Chowder for Two

2 medium sourdough boules (1 large if you want to share with your companion)

2 bottles clam juice

½ cup chopped cooked clams (canned or fresh)

2-3 small red potatoes, peeled and cubed

¼ cup of salt pork, finely diced

1 small onion, chopped

1 ½ tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1 ½ cups half and half or whole milk or a combination of the two

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: parsley flakes, Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce as condiments

  1. Cut a circle out of the top of each boule and dig out most of the inside of the bread to create a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat clam juice and boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until they are tender. Add the clams and cook 5 minutes and set aside.
  3. Render the salt pork in a sauté pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook until transparent.
  4. Add the butter. Once melted add the flour a little at a time and cook until slightly colored to create a roux.
  5. Heat the clam mixture again. Add the roux mixture to the pot and bring to a boil until thickened, stirring constantly.
  6. Add your chosen dairy slowly. Soup should be thick and you want to use the least amount possible for the desired texture. Season to taste.
  7. Serve in the boules topped with the optional condiments.


Happy 80th Birthday to the Bloody Mary!

Posted on October 29, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

October marks the 80th birthday of the Bloody Mary. It's no secret that the Bloody Mary is my favorite drink and that my birthday is also in October. Coincidence? I think not! So, to pay homage to this great drink, we raise our glasses and will don our "Sunday Funday" tie as we celebrate the Bloody Mary during this month and beyond!


Check out Town and Country's article here.

And don't forget to check out our "Sunday Funday" tie and bow tie!

Belly Up to the Bar: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Miriam Zelinsky | 0 Comments

Is there anything more satisfying than digging into a big pile of buffalo chicken wings? Getting all that sticky sauce stuck to your face and fingers is a truly primal experience. If I really get into it I can imagine back to the time of the caveman and tearing apart the meat and sucking on the bones mmmmmmm.

Now that I am out of that food coma, let me cut to the chase. I really don’t want to be stained orange or have sauce smudges all over my face when out on a date or wearing my LJP accessories. And to be honest, I don’t love the fact that I need to spend more time at the gym after eating that pile of wings. Therefore, we have taken all the flavorful goodness of hot wings and created hot balls! Um…perhaps the double entendre is a bit unappetizing? These hot. …buffalo chicken balls have the heat, the sauce, the celery and blue cheese all wrapped up into one neat little package. And for those you can’t do buffalo without a dipping sauce, you can have a double dose of blue cheese, inside and out.

I will warn you though that this sauce is so good, I can’t guarantee that you won’t want to lick the plate. What you do behind closed doors is your own affair, no judgment!

Cool and refreshing is my top priority for beer with my wings. Your typical trashy lite beer will probably do the trick but even a Corona won’t compete with the spicy and sweet sauce.

--M. Perrelli

Buffalo Chicken Balls

Makes 20-25

Notes: I like my vegetables grated or microplaned because I want to make sure I only bite into cheese crumbles not raw veg. If you like a little more texture then feel free to chop more coarsely but you may need less breadcrumbs. Also one of my favorite wing joints does a sauce called Honey Hot, that I have recreated here. It just sweetens up the sauce a little and cuts down on the heat. Use what you like. Feel free to use bottled blue cheese dressing too.

1 lb ground chicken

2 stalks celery, chopped or grated

¼ onion, chopped or grated

salt and pepper

½ cup blue cheese crumbles (I used gorgonzola)

¾ cup more or less of seasoned breadcrumbs (you want to use the least amount possible to bind the meat

4 tbsp butter

1/3 cup hot sauce

2 tbsp honey

½ cup Greek yogurt

2 tsbp light mayo

¼ up blue cheese



1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2) In a bowl combine the top section of ingredients and mix until uniformly combined
3) Line a baking sheet with foil and spray or brush with neutral oil. This will help them not stick
4) Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and your hands, form the meat mixture into golf ball sized spheres
5) Place the balls on the sheet as you go and bake them 20 minutes or until cooked through.
6) While the balls are cooking make the sauce. On the stove melt the butter and add the hot sauce and honey. Stir to combine and set aside. You want this to stay warm so you can toss the hot balls in it when they are done.
7) Make a dipping sauce using the last section of ingredients above. If it is too stiff add a splash of water or milk to the combined mixture. Toss balls in hot sauce and serve with the dipping sauce.

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