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Serves 6-8; recipe by Courtney McDonald

For the chicken:
-2 whole farmers’ market chickens, each cut into 8ths with bone in
-2 cups Snow’s Citrus Court Mandarin Orange Grill Sauce
-6 yellow or white firm-ripe nectarines
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-2 Tbsp honey
-salt and pepper, to taste

Several hours before you plan to serve the chicken, marinate the chicken pieces in the 2 cups mandarin grill sauce. 30 minutes before grilling, preheat grill to medium,-high heat. Halve the nectarines and remove the pit. Toss halves with the olive oil and honey, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken over indirect heat until cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter to rest while the nectarines cook. Allow the grill to come back up to temperature, then evenly spread the nectarine halves on the grill, cut side down. Grill until nicely caramelized, about 2 minutes. Flip the nectarines over and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds to heat through. When nectarines have finished cooking, arrange on top of the cooked chicken and serve immediately.

BELLA MANDARIN RANCH

4330 Garden Bar Road
Lincoln, CA 95648
916-747-0988 (ask for Lou)
Email: lgcuccia@yahoo.com

Sales: Please phone for citrus availability and appointments – we ship.

Products: 12 varieties of mandarins make for mandarin availability from November through June (or even as early as October some years, depending on the weather). 23 other citrus varieties provide citrus fruits year-round including kumquats, limes, lemons, pomelo, grapefruits, tangelos, oranges (12 kinds) and even Buddha’s Hand (AKA fingered citron)

Sales: On-farm (tasting room and gift shop).  Retailers: Newcastle Produce, Fawnridge Winery, Newcastle Mandarin Ranch, Ikeda’s Markets (Auburn/Davis), Machado’s Orchard Market, Sandlewood Kitchen Store (Auburn), Sunset Ridge Orchard Market (Newcastle), Blue Goose Produce Market, Flower Farm Nursery, Foothill Feed and Gift Shop, Villa Smith Gift Shop (Loomis), Country Harvest Bakery (Lincoln), Boa Vista Market, Bell Tower Bakery (Placerville), Sunset Ridge Orchard, Foothill Feed & Gift Store (Loomis), Highland Orchard, Mandarin Hill Orchard (Penryn), Taylor Market, Corti Brothers Market (Sacramento), Red Pony (Truckee), Wooden Spoon (Grass Valley), and Il Moro Restaurant (Los Angeles)
Hours: Nov/Dec: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tue/Sunday
Jan/Oct: Open by appointment (please call)
Tours: Yes
Products: mandarins, lemons, fuyu persimmons, hachiya persimmons, mandarin olive oil, lemon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, aged traditional dark balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, pomegranate balsamic vinegar, gourmet chocolate sauces, mandarin blossom honey, gourmet brittles, fruit marmalades, fruit pies (Oct-Dec), mandarin BBQ sauces and pepper sauce, and mandarin and lemon soaps, body butters, and lip balms.

Serves 6 with leftovers; recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-3 1/2 pounds butternut, kabocha or acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut
into 1-inch pieces
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
-1 pkg no-boil lasagna noodles (you may not need all of them)
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-2 large egg yolks
-2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-2 Tbsp curry powder
-1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
-1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake until light gold and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Combine ricotta, cream, yolks, and mozzarella in a medium bowl. Season with salt.
Melt butter in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle, remove from heat and add curry powder and thyme. Set aside.
Place squash in a medium bowl and mash 1/2 of it with the back of a wooden spoon, leaving the other 1/2 in whole pieces. Gently stir in curry-butter mixture and broth. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread 3/4 cup of ricotta mixture in a 9-cup baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the squash mixture over noodles. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture over noodles. Repeat layering once more (noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta). Sprinkle Parmesan over ricotta mixture, and top with the crumbled goat cheese.
Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 4
Recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 1 stalk green garlic, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Minneola tangelo, zest removed, peeled and segmented
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the asparagus, Minneola tangelo zest and sliced green garlic with 3 Tbsp. of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread the asparagus onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
While asparagus is cooling, hard boil the eggs. Place eggs in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Once simmering, cook the eggs for exactly 8 minutes, then plunge into ice water to chill. Once eggs are chilled, peel the shell and slice eggs into 8 wedges.
Arrange the roasted asparagus on a serving platter. Arrange the egg, tangelo segments and sliced radish on top. Drizzle the platter the remaining olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serves 6; recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-6 NY strip steaks or ribeyes
-1/2 cup olive oil
-6 cloves garlic, smashed
-1 shallot, sliced
-2 sprigs rosemary
-2 Tbsp red wine

-4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
-4 ounces salty blue cheese, such as Bleu d’Auvergne or Roquefort
-1 small red onion or torpedo onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
-1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
-2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-salt and pepper, to taste

2 hours ahead of cooking time, marinate the steaks – in a large ziplock bag, place ½ cup olive oil, 3 cloves smashed garlic, the sliced shallot, 2 sprigs rosemary and the red wine. Add the steaks and refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.
Preheat grill. Brush the red onion slices with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill onions until slightly softened and beginning to caramelize, about 1 minute on each side. On a large platter, lay out the tomato slices in a shingled pattern. Crumble the blue cheese evenly on top, then layer the grilled red onion on top of that. Crush the basil leaves and sprinkle over the platter to garnish. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside while grilling the steaks.
Remove the steaks from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve alongside the tomato platter.

Recipe by Courtney McDonald
Serves 6

Ingredients:
-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-6 pork loin chops
-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
-8 fresh thyme sprigs
-3 tart green apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
-2 Tbsp honey
-sat and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the pork chops to taste with salt and pepper and add to the pan (in batches if they won’t all fit together). Avoid crowding the pan or the pork chops will steam. Cook the chops until well-caramelized on both sides and cooked just under your liking. Remove chops from the pan and set aside to rest.
Wipe excess oil from pan and add the butter, thyme, apples and honey. The apples will start to release moisture and absorb any browned bits left from the pork chops. Cook this mixture, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften – about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once apples are soft, place the cooked chops back into the pan, on top of the apple mixture. Put the whole pan in the oven to heat through – about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Recipe by Courtney McDonald
Serves 6-8

For the lamb:
-1 bone-in or boneless leg of lamb (3-5 lbs)
(you could also use a rack, loin or loin chops for this recipe if you prefer – adjust cooking time accordingly)
-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
-1 orange, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Marinate the lamb a day ahead: Place the leg of lamb in a large bowl. Add the ½ cup olive oil, rosemary sprigs, orange slices and garlic. Toss to coat the lamb, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the leg of lamb from the marinade and place on a rack in a small roasting pan. Put the orange slices and rosemary in the roasting pan as well, and pour the olive oil from the marinade over the leg of lamb. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven to desired doneness (internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium). This could take from 45 min-2 hours, depending on your liking. Once lamb is cooked, remove from the roasting pan and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Ratatouille:
-2 lbs. ripe red tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
-6 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 lb. eggplant, diced into 1 inch pieces
-2 large white or yellow onions, chopped
-8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
-2 sweet peppers, diced into large chunks
-1 lb. zucchini, yellow squash, or combination,
cut into 1 inch chunks
-2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
-juice of 1 lemon
-salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tomatoes and juices on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and bake until thickened, 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. While the tomatoes are cooking, toss eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let sit 20 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid and discard. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until onions and garlic are soft, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and/or squash, and thyme to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until vegetable are tender but not mushy, 15 minutes. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve as accompaniment to roast leg of lamb.

Recipe by Courtney McDonald; Serves 6

Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 ¼ lbs. black beauty or other eggplant
1/2 tsp. crushed smoked dried chilies
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
salt, to taste
1 recipe Zephyr squash chips (recipe follows) peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until onions are soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika and crushed chilies. Cook until spices are fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Add the eggplant and reduce heat to low. Stir to coat evenly with the onion/spice mixture and cook until eggplant begins to soften. If eggplant begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a little water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is completely soft, about 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste and remove from heat.

Puree the eggplant mixture in the bowl of a food processor to the desired consistency, or mash finely with a potato masher. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add the parsley, tahini, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve hot or cold with the squash chips.

Zephyr Squash Chips

Ingredients:
2 medium-sized Zephyr squash, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 225. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick silicon baking mats. Brush the mats with olive oil. Using a mandolin slicer, slice the Zephyr squash as thinly as possible and line the slices in a single layer (not overlapping) on the baking sheets. Brush the top side of the squash with olive oil, lightly season with salt and pepper and bake in the preheated oven until chips are completely dry and crisp – 1 ½ to 2 hours. Let cool completely before removing from the baking mat. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Recipe by Courtney McDonald
Serves 6

Ingredients:
-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-2 stalks green garlic, thinly sliced
-2 green onions, thinly sliced (including whites)
-1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
-1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flake
-1 1/2 pounds snow or sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed and cut in half
-1 pound Daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced
-1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
-1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
-soy sauce, to taste
-1 Tbsp. Olive oil
-6 pasture-raised eggs
-salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add the oil, garlic, green onions, and ginger. Quickly cook, stirring frequently, until garlic just begins to toast. Add the chili, peas and radish. Toss and cook until the peas are barely cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add the sesame seeds and sesame oil. Season to taste with a few splashes of soy sauce. Transfer to a serving platter and set aside.
In a separate non-stick or cast iron skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook to desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper and place on top of the stir-fried peas. Serve immediately.

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