With the cooler weather of autumn upon us I am ready to warm up with some new braises and satisfy my sweet tooth with a holiday favorite at Urban Plates.

Meatball Braise      (Available in CA markets only.)

Meatballs have roots in many different cuisines and can be found throughout Europe, Asia, South America, North America and the Middle East. Perhaps some of the most common associations are with Italian cuisine and images of spaghetti and tomato sauce may be the first thing you think of when the word meatball is mentioned.

Our Meatball Braise has some roots in Italian cuisine, but with our chef’s twist. We start by making a beef bone broth that is slow-cooked to draw all the nutrients and flavor from the bones and fresh vegetables. We then make a tomato-based sauce with chunks of organic tomatoes, organic carrots, onions, celery and fresh basil leaves. We simmer this sauce with the beef bone broth to marry all of the flavors. While the sauce is slowly cooking we blend grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef, cage-free ground turkey, fresh parsley, basil, oregano garlic, dried paprika, cayenne peppers, red chili, ground coriander, milk, eggs and panko bread crumbs to bind everything together. We then sear the meatballs and gently cook them in the tomato beef broth.

The end result are tender and juicy meatballs with a spiced flavor, a little heat from the cayenne and a slight sweetness from the tomato sauce. The sauce has a great mix of textures from the chunky vegetables and eats lighter than a traditional tomato sauce.

We serve our meatball braise over scratch-made mashed potatoes or organic brown or white rice. Finally, the plate is garnished with fresh parsley and shaved asiago cheese! This is the perfect cool weather dish and we hope you enjoy.

Lamb Osso Bucco

Our Lamb Osso Bucco debuted last Fall and was such a hit we felt like it would be perfect for the fall and winter weather that is quickly approaching. Inspired by a culinary trip in Italy our chef has carefully sourced a sustainably raised grass fed lamb shank as the center of this dish.

We start our Lamb Osso Bucco with a classic red wine sauce reduction infused with thyme, oregano, rosemary, lemon and bay leaf. After the sauce has only a hint of acidity and the herbs have bloomed we combine the bone in lamb with our scratch made chicken stock, organic carrots, onion, celery and the wine reduction sauce. We then slow-cook everything until the lamb is spoon tender, almost falling off the bone and the marrow has permeated the sauce. This slow and careful, yet simple preparation makes this a hearty and delicious dish with a light bodied sauce. We top the lamb with a mint gremolata, an Italian herb sauce, made from fresh raw mint, lemon zest, garlic and a hint of spices. This bright green sauce adds a refreshing aspect to the whole dish and pairs perfectly with the earthy lamb.

I love eating this with our mashed potatoes on colder nights when I am in the mood for something comforting. Otherwise it is just as delicious served over organic white or brown rice.

Pumpkin Walnut Layer Cake

Our Pumpkin Walnut Cake has returned and will be offered through the holidays. This cake was crafted to satisfy your sweet tooth craving without the guilt. Inspired by a Thanksgiving favorite, pumpkin pie, it has all the flavors we look forward to this time of the year.
This cake consists of velvety pumpkin mousse made with pumpkin puree, raw cashews, nut milk, coconut oil and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, turmeric and vanilla bean. These delicious sweet warming spices also have the added health benefits of lowering blood sugar levels, being anti-inflammatory and also aiding with digestion. Unlike traditional mousse our version is thickened with raw cashews instead of heavy cream, making the Urban Plates mousse dairy free!
We then layer the mousse with walnut cake made with pumpkin puree, organic olive oil, walnuts and sweeten it with dates and raisins instead of cane sugar. The cake is finished with raw pumpkin seeds and edible flowers. We are proud to say this cake is vegan and gluten-free!


Chef Jen