Here in Southern California Mattei's Tavern, in Los Olivos, is a historical restaurant and a staple...
"The brilliant white building sits majestically on sprawling lawns and gardens, on the edge of the small town of Los Olivos. Inside, the tavern can only be described as welcoming-lit fireplaces, cozy dining rooms and enticing aromas and from the open kitchen. First built in 1886 as a stagecoach stop, the tavern was owned by generations of the Mattei Family. As Felix Mattei said in 1888, 'We are first a restaurant, only by sideline a hotel. Our menus are more important then our mattresses. If people want a fancy hotel bedroom for the night, Los Olivos Hotel is for them. If they want the finest food and drink in the valley-in the whole state, by garl, they will come to Mattei's' "
Two years ago my husband surprised my mother in-law, my mom and I with a a wonderful night out to the infamous Mattei's for Mother's Day. This has quickly become a tradition in our family...
(Mattie's with Lo as a newborn)
The food is impeccable, the wine is delectable, and the ambiance is palatable.
Think filet mignon, Pinot noir-braised short ribs, caramelized onion and potato gratin, Olallieberry Pie and Sweet-potato cheesecake!!
As we left Mother's Day dinner last year I happened to pass by a Brother's Cuisine Cookbook. I had to buy it!! I immediately made their Strawberry Shortcake recipe, which so happens to be my most popular post, and fell in love!
The past few days I've been craving bread. I usually tend to get consumed in creating my own recipes and forget to pick up my favorite cookbooks to explore different original recipes; although I remembered the savoring thoughts of Mattei's delicious breads. My all-time favorite is roasted garlic and rosemary focaccia and jalapeno cornbread. Sometimes I actually look forward to indulging in their breads more then their fantastic foods.
If you have a standing mixer, dough hook attachment and a few hours...you will create the most delicious focaccia bread.
Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Recipe adapted from Brothers Cuisine
Makes 1 baking sheet loaf
3/4 cup whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil plus 5 tablespoons
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (90 degrees)
Kosher salt, for garnish
olive oil, for panning
To make the roasted garlic:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl, toss the garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread onto a baking sheet. Roast until soft and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Check and stir every 5-8 minutes. Remove and let cool. Puree half of the rough-chopped garlic in a food processor, adding the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to make a paste.
In a bowl of a standing mixer, combine flour, salt, honey and roasted garlic paste, rosemary and chopped roasted garlic.
In a small bowl, whisk the yeast with 1/2 cup warm water until dissolved. Add to the flour mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on slow speed. Slowly add the remaining warm water until dough almost comes together. Add the olive oil, and mix until dough forms into a ball. Scrape out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough just enough to form a ball and place into a large. lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 45 minutes-1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with olive oil. Press the dough into a rectangle, about 3/4-inch thick. Using your fingertips, press dents all over the dough (this gives focaccia it's classic look.) Let the dough rise for another 45 minutes-1 hour, or until the dough almost doubles size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (335 degrees for convection oven.)
Just before baking sprinkle dough with kosher salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Be sure to rotate pan halfway through the baking process. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.