Winter Cabin Escape | Part I of II



We escaped.

 

My friends Mona, Jaret, Russ and Sarah and I stole 24 hours out of our packed schedules to breathe, connect and create beauty together. Hours passed by and somehow time seemed to stand still.

We spent the entire day outside. It was cold – snowing and completely freezing. But it didn’t matter. We cooked and feasted. Hours of REAL conversation felt like a deep breath of fresh air. There were laughs. Exposed hearts. We shared not only our dreams, but the pursuit of them – and –  the reality behind chasing after the “has yet to be”.

Woods, cabin, river, snow, beauty, like minded hearts, rich souls, connection, creativity, heart. I still feel refueled. There couldn’t have been a more rewarding 24 hours spent.

 

[This is Part I of II. See corresponding post here]

 


There are few words to describe this magical, stolen day, so I’ll just let the images tell the story & say this:

Incredible things happen when you get amazing people around a table that see the world the same way. Beauty opens up when you surround yourself with friends who are real and vulnerable. Who open up and share struggles. Friends who recognize greatness in each other and champion it.

I hope you feel inspired by this story & plan your own escape soon with friends…. Pack up, go, & gather.

 

For the full experience, view the collection with this soundtrack.

 

This post is part 1 of 2 for an all inclusive menu with recipes for your own getaway with friends.

Part 1 features:

Coffee and Cardamom Braised Lamb Shanks with Figs & Kumquat Gremolata
+
Grilled Halloumi & Flowering Raab with Pistachio-Olive Relish & Pickled Chilis

 

____________________________________

Concept development, photography, art direction, prop sourcing & styling, writing by Christiann Koepke
Recipe development, menu curation, ingredient sourcing, cooking and food styling by Mona & Jaret of Tournant
Location scouting, on site management, production assistant: Russ Lowe
Production assistant: Sarah Knott



 

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Coffee and Cardamom Braised Lamb Shanks with Figs and Kumquat Gremolata

Yield 6 servings

These luscious lamb shanks are infused with the rich, exotic flavors of coffee, cardamom and figs and cooked over coals until falling off the bone. The kumquat gremolata is a fresh winter-meets-spring take on the classic combination of parsley, lemon zest and garlic. We love the brightness, acidity and pop of color it adds to this long-simmered dish.

Ingredients

  • 6 grass-fed lamb shanks
  • 3 cups stock (chicken, beef, lamb or veg)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup sofrito (deeply caramelized onion mixed with tomato puree) optional, but recommended
  • 2 cups strong coffee (Turkish coffee, stovetop espresso or strong french press)
  • 6-8 calimyrna figs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • ¼-½ cups extra virgin olive oil

Gremolata

  • 1 cup loosely packed, thinly sliced kumquats

  • 1 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley

  • 2 thinly sliced stalks of green garlic or scallion (both white and green portions)

  • 1 fat pinch flake salt

Instructions

Method:

  1. Season the lamb shanks generously with kosher salt. In a large cast iron dutch oven, heat the EVOO to just below smoking. Working in batches so as to not crowd the pan, brown the shanks on all sides. The more color here the more flavor later on.
  2. Once browned, arrange the shanks snugly in one layer in the pot and add the sofrito, stock, wine, coffee, figs, spices and a good pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a simmer, replace the lid and cook gently over for 2-3 hours or until shanks are very tender. To keep the shanks at a gentle simmer, place dutch oven over a bed of coals and shovel a single layer of coals on top of the lid. Refresh as needed. The goal is to create gentle heat from every direction, simulating a home oven.
  3. Once the shanks are tender but not falling apart, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, covered. Increase the heat and reduce the sauce by half. Check the seasoning and add salt if needed. Return the shanks to the pot and gently coat with the reduced sauce.
  4. Combine gremolata ingredients and scatter over the shanks. Enjoy!

Time saving ideas:

  • Cook lamb shanks in advance in a home oven and simply reheat on the fire.
  • Make gremolata in advance.



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Grilled Halloumi & Flowering Raab with Pistachio-Olive Relish & Pickled Chilis

Yield 6 servings

Hot, melty cheese, pleasantly bitter greens and a briny, crunchy, zingy relish come together in one delicious dish filled with textural contrasts and surprising flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound flowering raab such as kale, collard or brussels sprout (seek out at your local farmers market) or substitute with broccolini or purple sprouting broccoli (halved through the stem if thick)
  • 8 oz block of halloumi cheese
  • 1 cup castelveltrano olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
  • ½ preserved lemon, rind only, pulp discarded, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup good extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons pickled chilis (such as Mama Lil’s), chopped
  • Flaky salt
  • Mustard flowers for garnish, optional

Instructions

Method:

  1. Grill raab over medium high heat directly on grate over fire until stems are tender and leaves are crispy and blackened in spots.
  2. Slice halloumi into rectangles about ¼ inch thick. Grill over medium high heat directly on grate over fire until hot and blacked in spots.
  3. Mix chopped olives, pistachios and preserved lemon together in a small bowl. Stir in olive oil to create a chunky relish.
  4. Mound grilled raab attractively on a platter. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Arrange grilled halloumi on top, then spoon over relish, scatter with pickled chilis and mustard flowers (if using) and serve.

Time saving ideas:

  • Slice halloumi in advance.
  • Prepare olive relish and/or chop chilis in advance.







 

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