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Featured Restaurant & Chef: Crow Bar and Kitchen, Chef Scott Brandon

By | Restaurant Reviews | 724 Comments

crowbar_logoThe Crow Bar is called a Gastropub, which is a British term for a public house which specializes in high-quality food, definitely above the basic “pub grub”. The name is a combination of pub and gastronomy and was coined in 1991 when David Eyre and Mike Belben opened a pub called ‘The Eagle’ in London. The Crow Bar has a relaxing yet fun atmosphere, serving upscale, gourmet cuisine. Located in Corona Del Mar, a beautiful and quaint part of Newport Beach, The Crow Bar is the first Gastropub in the OC. It has a wonderful assortment of international brews and a very selective wine-by-the-glass menu. Named “Best New OC restaurant” by OC Weekly Magazine, in 2008. You can’t go wrong with the classic crow burger, consisting of ciabatta, tallegio & gorgonzola, roasted tomato marmalade, and rocket arugula. And the sausage-covered deep-fried Scotch Quail Eggs served with coarse brown mustard is truly magnificent. Grilled Cheese, Pizzas and Burgers are transformed into exceptional gourmet meals.

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Executive Chef Scott Brandon, makes visiting the Crow Bar a remarkable experience. From his charming personality to his truly innovative beautifully garnished dishes. The Brandon mantra: “Simplicity and quality go a long way. Let the food speak for itself.  Don’t get twisted and you’ll be alright’.  These are the words he lives by. Brandon is a James Beard recognized chef who began in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at the age of 14. Many years of experience, learning and traveling has made Brandon one of Southern California’s young, bright stars and has helped to give the Crow Bar its much deserved success.

Add Intensity to your dishes!!

By | MicroGreens, PetiteGreens, Recipes | 955 Comments

Try these tasty and easy recipes using Fresh Origins Micro Intensity™ Mix!

Fresh Origins exclusive Micro Intensity™ Mix is a highly flavorful blend of 15 to 20 different tiny herbs and greens. With fresh flavors of citrus, anise and sweet spiciness, this incredible mix will make your taste buds stand up and take notice!

Citrus Chicken Goat Cheese Salad

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Ingredients:

Fresh Origins Micro Intensity™ Mix

Goat Cheese

Mesclun Mix

Cherry Tomatoes

Chicken Breasts

Pecans (candied: brown sugar, butter, olive oil)

Salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ginger

Garlic (1 clove)

Mandarin tangerines

Orange Juice

Avocado

Directions:

Saute Chicken Breasts with olive oil, garlic, orange juice. Season with ginger, salt and pepper.  In a separate small saucepan, saute pecans with olive oil, butter and brown sugar. Slice cherry tomatoes, avocado, & mandarin tangerines.  Plate Mesclun mix and all other ingredients. Crumble goat cheese on top, drizzle olive oil and vinegar.  Garnish with Fresh Origins Micro Intensity™ Mix!

 

Tri-Tip with Tomato Pesto Salad

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Ingredients:

Fresh Origins Micro Intensity™ Mix

Tri-tip steaks

Cherry Tomatoes (mixed colors, halved, 1 cup)

Fresh Basil (2 cups)

Garlic (1 clove)

Pine Nuts (1 tablespoon)

Salt, Pepper

Olive Oil (3 tablespoons)

Lemon Juice (2 tablespoons)

Grated Parmesan (2 tablespoons)

Mozzarella Cheese (1/2 cup cubed)

Asparagus

Food Processor

Directions:

Prepare Pesto: combine small pieces of basil leaves, cut up garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Slowly add olive oil & lemon juice while continuing to mix.  Add salt & pepper.

Saute Tri-Tip with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Saute whole asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Slice cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.  Combine with pesto and mix.

Plate asparagus, tri-tip and tomato pesto salad.  Garnish with Fresh Origins Micro Intensity™ Mix.

Fresh Origins Receives Perfect Scores in Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices

By | Events | 968 Comments

petite-hearts-on-fire-growingSAN DIEGO, CALIF. – February 21, 2013 – Fresh Origins, America’s leading producer of MicroGreensand Edible Flowers, has received for the second consecutive year a perfect score of 100% in their annual third party food safety audit by Primus Labs in the areas of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Fresh Origins is third-party certified for food safety in three main areas of food handling: Greenhouse Production, Harvest Crew and Packing House operations, with separate audits and certificates of compliance in each one. A 100% in each of these areas is seldom achievedPrior years’ scores have been Superior ratings in the very high 90’s.

Fresh Origins is also a proud member in good standing of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA). As a member, they are subject to the rigorous standards and mandatory random field audits by USDA State and Federally-authorized licensed inspectors. Fresh Origins is among the smallest of all farms audited by Primus and LGMA. The average is estimated to be over 1,500-2,000 acres compared to Fresh Origin’s 24. 

 “Our family farm is very serious about food safety. This is a discipline and priority that we instill in each member of our team,” says David Sasuga, founder of Fresh Origins. “We are proud to be an example of a small farm that is recognized for excellence in food safety compliance. There is really no reason that small farms shouldn’t be held accountable for the safety of their products.”

Fresh Origins products are available to professional fine dining foodservice venues through specialty produce/food distributors nationwide. In 2013, Fresh Origins will be also partnering with U.S. retailers to offer select products for home cooks to enjoy as well. Visit www.freshorigins.com for more information, photos and recipes, and find us brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Savor the Season with these great cocktails garnished with Fresh Origins herb tops!

By | Recipes | 1,458 Comments

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Candy Cane Martini

Fresh Origins Mint Peppermint Tops

1 ½ oz Vanilla Vodka

1 oz Pomegranate Liqueur

1 oz Sweet and Sour

Small Candy Canes

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with two candy canes and Fresh Origins Mint Peppermint Tops.

 

The Grinch

Fresh Origins Sage Gold Tops

1 oz Vodka

1 oz Midori

1 oz Sweet and Sour

1 tsp Lemon Juice

1 Lemon wedge

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a lemon wedge and Fresh Origins Sage Gold Tops.

 

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Blue Christmas

Fresh Origins Mint Chocolate Tops

1 oz Blue Curacao

1 oz Baileys Irish Cream

2 oz Milk or Cream

Fresh Blackberries

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish withblackberries and Fresh Origins Mint Chocolate Tops.

 

Christmas Cosmo

Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops

1 oz Vodka

½ oz Cointreau

1 tsp Lime Juice

½ oz Cranberry Juice

Fresh Raspberries

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with raspberriesand Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Petite Stevia™: Naturally Sweeter than Sugar!!!

By | PetiteGreens, Recipes | 1,457 Comments

1252Petite Stevia™ is the newest innovation from Fresh Origins!

Stevia is rapidly gaining popularity  as the first all natural alternative to sugar.

Extracts of Stevia have up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar!

Our Petite Stevia will add a sweet touch to tropical cocktails, desserts and savory main courses.

Medical research has also shown possible  benefits of stevia in treating obesity and high blood pressure.

This remarkable herb has zero calories and zero carbohydrates!

Native to South America, it has been used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer for centuries.

 

 

Stevia Mojito (Low Calorie)steviabest1

½ Handful of Fresh Origins Petite Stevia™

½ Handful of Fresh Origins Mint Spearmint Tops

1 lime

3 ounces club soda

2 ounces white Rum

1 ounce of Chambord Raspberry Liqueur

Ice Cubes

Collins Glass

 

Cut lime into quarters, squeeze into glass and drop slices in. Tear up Stevia and Mint leaves and drop into glass. Set some aside for garnish.

Take a muddler and grind the lime and Stevia leaves in the bottom of the glass. Fill the glass to the top with ice. Then mix the ice with the Stevia and lime solution.

Next, add rum. Add the club soda now to the top of the glass. Add Petite Stevia™ and a lime wedge to the top of the drink to garnish. Toss in a straw and serve!

*Note: regular Mojitos require simple syrup or sugar in the mix, however using our sweeter than sweet Petite Stevia™ is a fresher and healthier substitution! This low calorie drink is great for dieters and those just trying to eat healthy.

 

Tis the Season for Rosemary! Happy Holidays!

By | MicroGreens, Recipes | 1,081 Comments

Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops

herb-tops-rosemaryThis attractive evergreen herb boasts numerous needle-like leaves and an incredibly fragrant aroma. Long-lasting and durable, this aroma-therapy herb has a concentrated fresh flavor that compliments a wide variety of foods. Rosemary is not only an aesthetically pleasing garnish, but it is also a fabulous seasoning when cooked with food. Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops have more tender leaves than regular full-sized rosemary. Even without the hard stems our tops still contain a concentrated great flavor!

Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region and is frequently used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. A member of the mint family, it is high in iron, calcium and Vitamin B6. Rosemary has been said to help the memory and mental focus! Studies suggest that carnosic acid, which is found in rosemary, may shield the brain from free radicals thus lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s.) Rosemary contains a number of potentially biologically active compounds, including antioxidants such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary)

Here are some of our favorite Rosemary Recipes! Enjoy!

Honey-Mustard Pork Roast With Bacon and Rosemary

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Mustard Dijon
  • 2 tbs whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops
  • 1 (3 1/2 lb)  center-cut boneless, pork loin roast
  • 12 slices bacon (about 1 pound)
  • *Special equipment: kitchen twine.

Directions

  1. Put an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, add the Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, honey, garlic and Rosemary and mix together until smooth.
  3. Arrange the pork in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and spread the mustard mixture evenly over the pork.
  4. Starting on 1 side, lay a piece of bacon, lengthwise, on the pork. Lay another slice of bacon on the pork making sure to slightly overlap the first piece. Continue with the remaining bacon, until the pork is fully covered in bacon.
  5. Using 3 pieces of kitchen twine, secure the bacon in place.
  6. Roast for 1 hour.
  7. Cover the pan, loosely, with foil and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 160 degrees F.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the roast to a cutting board. Cover the pan with foil and allow the pork to rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the kitchen twine and slice the pork into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  10. Garnish with Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Rosemary Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken With Wild Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tbs Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Wild Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 tbs butter, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 4 ounces morels, cleaned and sliced in half lengthwise or 1 ounce dried morel, rehydrated
  • 4 ounces black trumpet mushrooms, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tbs Fresh Origins MicroGreen Chives

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Remove the backbone and wings from the chicken. Press the chicken open like a book. Carefully remove the bones from the chicken leaving the whole chicken intact with the skin.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, rosemary and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mash together.
  4. Turn the chicken over so the skin side is up. Gently loosen the skin by inserting your fingers underneath it to make a pocket. Stuff the rosemary goat cheese under the skin evenly over the breasts and legs. Tuck the skin back over the chicken.
  5. Season both sides of the chicken well with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken and rub well.
  6. Heat oil in sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer when swirled, add the chicken, skin side down. Cook the chicken until the skin side is a deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Carefully turn the chicken over and transfer to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  8. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
  9. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and return to the heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and remove from the heat.
  10. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with Fresh Origins Micro Chives and Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Chicken Cutlets With Spicy White Beans, Kale & Rosemary

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, halved horizontally (6 oz.)
  • 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 handful Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup kale leaf, sliced
  • 1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tbs Fresh Origins MicroGreen Parsley Italian

Directions

  1. Pound chicken breast halves, one at a time, between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, until each piece of chicken is 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Stir together the 2 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper in a shallow container.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat.
  4. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking and removing any excess.
  5. Sauté chicken in 2 tablespoons oil in the hot pan until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer chicken to a warm plate, cover with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. In the same pan used to cook the chicken, sauté onion in the remaining 2 tablespoon oil over medium heat until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the 2 teaspoons flour and Rosemary; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  9. Deglaze the pan with broth, bringing liquid to a boil and cooking until mixture is slightly thickened.
  10. Stir in beans, kale and chili garlic sauce; cook until kale is wilted, 1-2 minutes.
  11. Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley.
  12. Season cannellini and kale with salt and pepper; serve with chicken cutlet.
  13. Garnish with Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Pomegranate-Rosemary Royale Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups champagne or sparkling wine

Directions

  1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring sugar until it dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat; add Rosemary, let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Strain through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  4. Pour 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice and 1 tablespoon of rosemary syrup into 4 Champagne flutes or glasses.
  5. Top each serving with 1/2 cup Champagne.
  6. Garnish with Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Recipes from RecipeZaar.com

 

Making food Romantic!

By | Edible Flowers | 1,211 Comments

Edible Roses & Rose Petals, Fresh Fragrant & Floral!

Stunning edible roses with attractive colors of red, pink, yellow, orange and white. Sweet and mild floral flavor. Their amazing aroma is a fantastic treat to your senses. Gorgeous and colorful, this fantastic garnish is versatile and fun. It’s divine beauty will transform salads and desserts. Add classic romance to cocktails and other refreshments. Edible Roses can also be a great ingredient for sauces and syrups!

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Dazzle Diners with Edible Flowers

By | Edible Flowers | 1,249 Comments

vista-valley-country-club-photo-shoot-april-09-8501Fresh Origins grows a diverse variety of edible flowers. With their vibrant colors, textures, scents and flavors, these dazzling beauties are gaining popularity as a highly creative culinary ingredient. Used in anything from salads and soups to main entrees and desserts, these splashes of color are truly breathtaking!

Although we often don’t think about it, eating an edible flower is not all that uncommon. Some of our favorite vegetable dishes are actually edible flowers; broccoli for example is a huge cluster of flower buds. The artichoke is a large individual unopened edible flower. Capers and cauliflower are other examples. The very expensive spice, saffron is the pollen collected from the inside of a crocus flower. Fennel pollen is a very unique flavoring ingredient, and fried squash blossoms are a tasty but often overlooked part of a common vegetable plant.

Herb flowers present another important way to enjoy edible flowers. Arugula blossoms have a strong nutty flavor, while basil blossoms are richly aromatic. Despite their small size, most herb flowershave a concentrated range of flavors. Lavender flowers are not only beautiful with their delicate color and long straight stems, but they impart great aromas and a distinctive taste. Edible flowers of herb plants generally have a more intense flavor compared to the leaves and provide an additional dimension of visual enhancement.

Fresh Origins offers many varieties of edible flowers such as pansy, bachelor’s buttons, calendula, marigold, chrysanthemum, snapdragon, carnation, dahlia, nasturtium, viola and others. The availability of these edible flowers can depend upon the season and weather conditions.

In addition to the more common edible flower varieties, Fresh Origins has developed and introduced several new types. Our MicroFlowersTM are a line of the tiniest edible flowers. These little gems are perfect for fine pastries and other delicate dessert presentations. They can be scattered over just about any type of food and can also be used in cocktails.

Another innovation from Fresh Origins is the FireStixTM. This exciting and versatile edible flower is actually an amaranth blossom. FireStixTM is a vibrant and unique edible flower that is both eye catching and durable. It can add height and flair to a diverse range of culinary presentations. OurSparklersTMare a related variety having the exotic and unusual appearance of sea coral.

Edible flowers can be used in teas, mixed drinks, pancakes, vinegars and dressings or added to cheeses and butters. They can be a simple yet effective focal point on a plate. Edible flowers are often utilized in cake decorating, or simply as a beautiful addition to salads.

Fresh Origins is pleased to be a major producer of edible flowers and continues to introduce exciting varieties of edible flowers to its lineup.

Delightful Dining! The Capri Blu Experience

By | MicroGreens, PetiteGreens, Restaurant Reviews | 1,449 Comments

Petite Tangerine Lace™, Scallops, Summer Veggies, Picatta Sauce, Cortani Pasta, Chef James MontejanoPetite Tangerine Lace™

At Capri Blu, executive Chef James Montejano uses fresh ingredients, unique garnishes, and skillful techniques to truly create works of art. The lovely compositions of the dishes excite and entice diners. My family and I came to Capri Blu for lunch,  and we had a very enjoyable experience. I loved the feel of the place, it has an extremely nice ambiance. It is a fine dining restaurant but not overly fancy or pricey, we felt very comfortable there, but still felt like we were in a nice place. The hostess was very welcoming and the waiter was extremely friendly and attentive. Fantastic service!

 

 

 

 

Micro Tangerine Lace™, Lobster Ratatouille, Lemon Basil Fettucini, Port Wine Sauce, Chef James MontejanoMicro Tangerine Lace™

We had heirloom tomato salads, scallops, lobster and pasta. The fresh fish was mouthwatering and cooked to perfection. These flavorful dishes looked beautiful, and the presentations were enhanced by attractiveMicroGreens from Fresh Origins Farm. James is not only a very talented chef, but also really friendly and personable. He came out of the kitchen to talk to us and other customers to make sure we were enjoying our experience there. He definitely cares about his diners and the food that he serves. We were also very fortunate that he let us have a  small food photoshoot, since they use our products. I highly recommend this place!!

 

 

 

 

 

Petite Stevia™

 

Petite Stevia™, 3 Way, Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwich, Peppered Strawberries with Balsamic and Petite Stevia™, Petite Stevia™ Coconut Milkshake, Chef James Montejano

The wine is also fantastic! There are over 200 wines that have been carefully selected from distinguished wineries from around the world that find their place in Capri Blu’s wine cellar. From Spanish to Italian, from South American to Australian, there will be a perfect wine for you, that will pair fantastically with the beautiful flavorful dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

Capri Blu Italian Bistro & Wine Bar
10436 Craftsman Way – San Diego, CA 92127
4S Commons Town Center
858.673.5100 f: 858.673.5119

www.capri-blu.com

OPEN DAILY
LUNCH Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm
DINNER Sun-Wed 5pm-9pm
Thur-Sat 5pm-11pm
BRUNCH Sat, Sun 10:30am-2:30pm

 

 

Valentine’s Day Cocktails with Edible Flowers!

By | Edible Flowers, Recipes | 1,704 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Romance is in bloom at Fresh Origins! Decorate your Valentine’s drinks with brilliant edible flowers.  Adding flowers to your drinks and dishes truly adds romance and gives them a creative twist! Here’s some fun cocktails to share with your special someone!

Vodka, Pomegranate Liqueur, Rose Syrup, Pomegranate Juice, Sugared Rim, Lemon Twist, Rose

Champagne, Strawberry Vodka, Rose Syrup, Sugared Rim, Blueberries, Tangerine Wedge, Rose

Vanilla Vodka, Baileys, Chocolate Liqueur, Creme, Chocolate Flakes, Chocolate Rim, Raspberries, Rose

Citrus Rum, Triple Sec, Lemon Wedges, Lemon Juice, Tangerine Wedges, Juice, Rose Petals, Rose