Thursday, December 1, 2011

Highlights from the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, Hearty Boys' Bacon Blueberry Ice Cream, and a Cookbook Giveaway

Last week, we floated through food and wine heaven as guests of the 8th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. I started out the week-long festival by experiencing Rancho La Puerta's Saturday at the Ranch. During the week, we attended several cooking and wine tasting classes: Makin' Bacon with The Hearty Boys; Italian Masters with Suzette Gresham of San Francisco's Michelin starred AcquerelloSuper Chef Allstars with chefs Brian Malarkey, Kenneth Gilbert, and Eli Kirshtein; Spanish Inquisition, a tasting of Spanish varietals with Lisa Redwine, and Two Farms, Two Families, One Vision, a tasting of Dow port and Point Reyes Farmstead cheese. We capped off the week with The Grand Tasting event, held outdoors, at the Embarcadero. We took hundreds of photographs of chefs, food, wine and people.  I've created some albums with our favorites on Newf in My Soup's Facebook page, but here are a few photos of our best bites:

Chef Daniel Barron, of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, won the "Chef of the Fest" Competition. Celebrated as one of the largest culinary showdowns in Southern California, the competition challenged seasoned and up-and-coming chefs in the San Diego culinary scene to prove their skills in the kitchen.

Crispy Laughing Bird Shrimp & Curry-Glazed Sous Vide
Pork Belly, Cauliflower Polenta, Roasted Ginger Kaffir Lime Air
Winner - Chef of the Fest
Chef Daniel Barron, Blue Point Coastal Cuisine

Ahi Tuna Lollipop
Rancho La Puerta, Saturday at the Ranch
Chef Bernard Guillas, The Marine Room, La Jolla

Food Photography by the bay

Smoked Fish with Butternut Squash Flan, Tomato-Thyme Marmalade,
Chili Oil & Micro Greens

Chef Jeff Rossman, Terra American Bistro, San Diego

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta, Rosemary and 25-year old Balsamico Tradizionale
Chef Suzette Gresham, Acquerello, San Francisco

Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi with Miso-Leek Sauce, Marcona Almond Bacon Bits, Micro Shiso
Harney Sushi, Old Town, San Diego

Veal Tongue and Cheek

The cooking classes were very entertaining, especially Makin' Bacon with The Hearty Boys. I wasn't a Food Network aficionado back in 2005 when Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh beat out 10,000 entrants to become the original The Next Food Network Stars, and launched their own show, Party Line With the Hearty Boys. Today, they are chef/owners of Hearty, a Lakeview restaurant that has been much lauded for it’s inspired and deft twists on iconic dishes, trend setting Chicago caterers, and authors of Talk with Your Mouth Full, a cookbook full of exciting but accessible recipes for home entertaining.

At the Makin' Bacon cooking class, Dan and Steve showed us how easy it is to make your own dry and wet cured bacon, and then use it in a bourbon cocktail, salad, sandwich, and ice cream.  Everything tastes better with bacon!

The Hearty Boys, with the San Diego Macy's School of Cooking Team

Home Cured and Smoked Bacon

Bacon-Cinnamon Sangaree, with Bacon-Infused Bourbon
Frisee Salad with Lardons, Poached Egg and Dijon Vinaigrette

Ultimate BLT, with Home-Cured Bacon, Arugula, and Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli

Bacon Blueberry Ice Cream

Bacon-Blueberry Ice Cream
Courtesy of The Hearty Boys
Makin’ Bacon Cooking Class, San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival 2011


1 cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ pound bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled
2 slices bacon, uncooked
1 pint blueberries, smashed


Set up an ice bath by placing ice and water into a large bowl and setting a smaller bowl on top. Pour the cream into the smaller bowl and set a strainer over the small bowl.

Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl and set near the stove, with a whisk, ladle and rubber spatula handy.

Heat the milk, salt, sugar, and the 2 slices of bacon in a saucepan until it starts to simmer. Slowly ladle half of the milk into the eggs, whisking as you go. This will temper the eggs and keep them from scrambling.

Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk and use the rubber spatula to stir, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Continue to cook in this manner until the mixture thickens and you see the first bubbles appear, indicating that it’s starting to boil. (Remember to never stop stirring during this step or you will wind up with scrambled eggs!)

Immediately pour the custard through the strainer into the cream and stir to combine. Add the vanilla extract and the smashed blueberries and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.

Pour the mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the crumbled bacon halfway through the process.


In the Hearty Boys' cookbook, Talk with Your Mouth Full, Dan and Steve share their irreverent views of food and entertaining along with recipes, anecdotes from their journey, and how-to tips for successful entertaining. Chapters include: Passed and Buffet Hors d'Oeuvres, Starters, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts, Libations, and Sample Menus with Timelines. I've already tabbed a number of recipes for cocktail and dinner parties over the holidays, like Garlicky Beef Crostini with Caramelized Onion and Sage Whipped Cream; Shaved Ham on Cheddar Shortbread with Apple Jam; and Gorgonzola, Fig, and Pecan Cheese Terrine.

The first dish I tried, for a simple and comforting Sunday dinner, was the Three-Cheese Spaghetti Pie, with Feta, Fontina and Parmesan.

Dan explains this Spaghetti Pie was created from odds and ends in the refrigerator and pantry, and turned out to be one of the best quick meals they'd ever had. We enjoyed it with friends on the patio, with a nice bottle of red from the Festival, and it was quite tasty! You can find the recipe here, on Food Network.

We received two copies of Talk with Your Mouth Full, so I'm doing my first contest give-away!  The Hearty Boys autographed the book, "Drool Over This! Eat Hearty!"

Contest:  One There's a Newf in My Soup! reader will win a copy of The Hearty Boys' Talk with Your Mouth Full cookbook. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST December 15, 2011. Winner will be announced on Newf in My Soup's Facebook page, on December 17, 2011. Winner must contact me with a mailing address by midnight PST on December 20, 2011.

How to win?

Leave a comment, telling me about one of your favorite holiday entertaining hors d' oeuvres, and why it's a favorite. Best answer wins.  If you have a blog and have posted about the recipe, please include a link.


Carmen said...

Yes Ma'am! Spaghetti pie is the perfect Friday night dish! Thank you!!! And - as always - amazing photos!

theonlyingrid said...

Wow! Just stumbled here from foodgawker! I don't have a fancy recipe, good presentation or tricks to share, but my favorite (and pretty guilt free!) holiday hors d'oeuvre is pickled herring, by far. ( I know! Sounds horrible, but is so, so good. At least to this girl of Scandinavian descent.) And that book and those recipes look so good too!!!

Shumaila said...

Well my favorite hors d'oeuvre has to be deviled eggs. I love them and even though I have never made them (I know!), I love it when they are served in a party!

Unknown said...

My favorite hors d'oeuvre is when we make homemade summer sausage out of venison and eat it with crackers and cheese! SO good!