Time for a Fiesta

Posted on April 25, 2019 by Choupette Diatta | 0 comments

Cinco de Mayo is nearly here -- it's time to plan a fiesta!
IN THIS ISSUE, we've planned an easy dinner party menu featuring Pork Carnitas Tacos with all the fixings -- including our favorite Classic Guacamole and a festive Pico de Gallo!

perfect tools for fiesta time

Microplane Grater 

This tool is a kitchen essential.


Kyocera Adjustable Mandoline

Quick to use!


Norpro Tortilla Press

Ideal for everything from breakfast, soups, and stews.


Zavor Lux Electric Multi Cooker 

perfect for pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking and making yogurt.

Victorinox Chef's Knife 8"

Great knife for prepping fresh fruits and vegetables! Slice, chop and dice.

Oxo 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer

Innovative avocado tool that makes it easy (and safe!) to slice, pit and dice.


Posted in Articles, Newsletter, Recipes

Spring Dinner Menu

Posted on April 11, 2019 by Lisa Renteria | 0 comments

With spring comes many occasions to celebrate, and wonderful seasonal foods to enjoy. Take a break from the routine, and plan a get-together with family or friends for a springtime dinner. IN THIS ISSUE, we've prepared a great menu that's budget-friendly, yet elegant. Invite people over, set the table, and get cooking!

 Kitchen Essentials for Spring Cooking

Chef'n Freshforce Citrus Juicer

Get every last drop of your citrus with this citrus press


Le Creuset 5.5qt. Oven Round

 A great pot for roasting chicken! this durable, enameled cast iron pot promotes even braising and roasting.


Mastrad Silicone Spatula

Better than a wooden spoon! The silicone head is easy to sturdy, yet gentle on all your pans. Easy to clean; odor resistant.


Microplane Premium Zester/Grater

Cut through both hard and soft foods effortlessly, without shredding or tearing. Prefect for zesting citrus!


Wusthof 3.5" Pairing Knife

A great knife for prepping vegetables and fruits quickly and easily.



Nordic Springform Pan

This springform pan is non-stick for easy release and cleaning. The tight locking mechanism prevents messy spills.


Posted in Articles, Newsletter, Recipes

Mastering: Mothersauces

Posted on March 07, 2019 by Lisa Renteria | 0 comments

A WONDERFUL SAUCE CAN TRANSFORM a simple chicken breast, chop, steak, or vegetable into an exquisite plate full of flavor where every mouthful is savored.
IN THIS ISSUE, we feature recipes for the five mother sauces of French cuisine classified by the French chef, Auguste Escoffier in 1903.
These grand or "mother" sauces are the starting point to dozens of secondary or "daughter" sauces. Today, while some of the sauces are used often by home cooks, others are made less frequently. Our versions of these sauces use some shortcuts that save several hours (or even days) of preparation along with lots of tips to help you start mastering the mother sauces at home.
Bon Appetit!

 For Making Sauces

Cuisipro Fine Mesh Stainer, 6.25"

Strain out solids, and create super smooth sauces with a fine mesh strainer! Also works well for sifting dry ingredients.


Mauviel Saucier, 1.7 Qt.

 The sides of this saucier are perfect for building sauces!


Pacific Merchants Beech Spoon, 14"

 This spoon is perfect for stirring, mixing, dividing, tasting, turning, and serving foods.


BIA Sauce Boat, 16 oz.

 Not just for gravy! Serve sauces in style with this ceramic piece that holds the heat nicely.


Stainless Steel Balloon Whisk, 10"

 A stainless steel whisk is key when making smooth sauces.




Victorinox Fibrox Chef's Knife, 8" 

 The essential kitchen knife. The chef's knife is an indispensable, all-purpose kitchen knife that can be used for chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing. 

Posted in Articles, Newsletter, Recipes

Béchamel Sauce

Posted on March 07, 2019 by Lisa Renteria | 0 comments

Makes about 2-1/2 to 3 cups

Béchamel is a basic white sauce, one of the most commonly used mother sauces in the kitchen -- one that you are probably very familiar with. It is the base for many delicious daughter sauces and recipes including as a cheesy white sauce in mac-and-cheese, a rich layer in lasagna, and is often used in gratins.

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, warmed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare the roux. In a saucier or saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour until the mixture is completely smooth. Continue cooking and stirring for about 2 minutes, but don't let it brown. This process removes the raw flour flavor and helps create a silky sauce.

2. Create the béchamel sauce by very slowly pouring the milk into the roux. Continue whisking the mixture until the sauce is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and continue stirring while the sauce simmers and begins to thicken. Add Kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Continue whisking over medium-low heat for another 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens and becomes very creamy. The consistency of the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

3. From here, you can get creative with other flavor additions like nutmeg, cayenne, or crushed red pepper. Further, transform the sauce by adding grated cheese like Gruyère to make a Mornay sauce.

4. To avoid a skin from forming on the top of the sauce, coat the top layer of the finished sauce with a pat of butter. Simply slide the butter around on the surface, this will help keep the sauce from creating a skin. When ready to enjoy, whisk the surface butter into the sauce.

Posted in Articles, Newsletter, Recipes

Velouté and White Wine Sauce

Posted on March 07, 2019 by Lisa Renteria | 0 comments

The name of velouté sauce comes from the French word for velvet - aptly named for the texture of this light but super smooth sauce. Similar to a béchamel, a velouté is a white sauce, but it uses stock to thin the roux instead of milk. Chicken stock is most commonly used but veal or fish stock may be used, as well.

This base sauce may be transformed with combinations of other ingredients like cream, Dijon mustard, white wine, capers, lemon juice, mushrooms, herbs, or shallots. For this sauce variation, we added white wine, cream, and lemon juice to transform the velouté into a tasty white wine sauce that is perfect when served over a chicken cutlet.

Basic Velouté Sauce
Makes about 1-1/2 cups

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth, warmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

1. In a saucier or saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour, and whisk together until a thick roux is formed. Heat and stir the roux until it turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 3-4 minutes.

2. Slowly add the warmed broth to the roux while continuously whisking. Whisk the sauce until smooth and well-combined. Bring to a low simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by 1/3, and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper, to taste.


White Wine Velouté Sauce
Makes just over 1-1/2 cups

1-1/2 cups Chicken Velouté sauce (above)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

1. In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a low simmer, and boil until it reduces by half.

2. Add the veloute sauce to the wine and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the cream, stir, and bring to a simmer.

3. Add the fresh lemon juice, and season to taste with additional lemon juice; salt and pepper, as needed.

4. Serve the white wine sauce over chicken, fish, or roasted vegetables.

Posted in Articles, Newsletter, Recipes

Hollandaise Sauce

Posted on March 07, 2019 by Lisa Renteria | 0 comments

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

Hollandaise is a familiar, rich, and delicious sauce used to top Eggs 
Benedict, crab cakes, and other seafood dishes. It is also used as a dipping sauce for vegetables like asparagus or baby potatoes. Spoon a bit of sauce over roasted asparagus for a very swoon-worthy side-dish.

8 egg yolks
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, and water. Whisk vigorously until the volume almost doubles.

2. In a double boiler over simmering water, continue whisking the egg yolks and lemon juice. Continue to whisk until the eggs begin to thicken. As this process happens and the egg mixture heats, it might thin out temporarily, then re-thicken. Continue whisking, and wait for the mixture to thicken. Then, slowly add the melted butter until the sauce is combined and smooth. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

3. Add the cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste, and set aside. Hold the sauce at room temperature; if the sauce gets too warm the butter will separate from the eggs.

4. Serve over roasted asparagus, baby potatoes, Eggs Benedict, crab cakes, or seafood.

Posted in Articles, Newsletter, Recipes

Sauce Tomat

Posted on March 07, 2019 by Lisa Renteria | 0 comments

Makes about 8 cups

Sauce Tomat is a classic French tomato sauce. It differs from other versions of tomato sauce that you may be more familiar with by using a mirepoix (a mixture of onion, celery, carrot), salt pork, and a ham bone to infuse flavor while the tomatoes reduce into a very rich and flavorful sauce.

2 ounces salt pork, chopped
2 cups yellow onions, finely diced
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1 ham bone
Pinch kosher salt, to taste
Pinch of sugar, to taste

For the Sachet:
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
8-10 black peppercorns

1. In a large Dutch oven, render the salt pork until the fat has been released.

2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent about 5 minutes.

3. Use a small sachet, or make one out of cheesecloth for the bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. After the sauce has cooked, the sachet is easy to remove from the sauce before pureeing.

4. Add the crushed tomatoes, stock, ham bone, and the sachet of herbs.

5. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stir, and then cover.

6. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about one-third.

7. Remove the ham bone and sachet from the sauce. Taste the sauce and season with additional salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar, as needed. If you desire, you may then blend the sauce with an immersion blender or blender. Or, you may strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.

Posted in Articles, Newsletter, Recipes

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