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

Making Macarons

Posted on March 21, 2019 by Lisa Renteria | 0 comments

Delicate, ephemeral, and bursting with wonderful flavors, macarons top the list of special sweet treats. These colorful French cookies feature two meringue-like layers made with almond flour and egg whites that cradle unique fillings -- buttercream, ganache, or jam. The cookies are simultaneously chewy, crunchy, and meltingly good. Known to be tricky to make, IN THIS ISSUE, we provide step-by-step instructions and helpful tips so that you can master macarons in your own kitchen! 

 

Tools for Making Macarons

USA Pan Cookie Sheet

Quality baking pans deliver even results every time!

 

Ateco 29 pc. Set

This set has tips and couplers -- everything you need to get started with piping macarons!

Leuke Macaron Mat

Get a helping hand with the baking and cleaning.

 

Harold 5 Cup Sifter

A flour sifter is a vital tool in making macarons.

 

Ankarsrum Mixer

A great stand mixer is key for baking amazing macarons and their fillings!

 

OXO Cooling Rack

Extra cooling racks come in handy when baking!

 

Posted in Articles, Macarons, Making Macarons, Newsletter, Recipes, Upcoming Demos

Question of the Month: How do I cook dried hominy?

Posted on March 11, 2019 by Adriana Nelson | 0 comments

If you’re used to canned hominy, you are in for an awakening! There is a world of difference between canned and dried hominy in texture and flavor.

Here’s how the folks at Rancho Gordo do it:

To cook hominy, soak it in water for at least 6 hours and then drain it and discard the water. Fill a large pot with fresh water, add the hominy and a cut-up yellow or white onion, and put the pot over medium heat. Bring the water to a simmer and cook. Like many foods, you can cook hominy at a higher heat, but you risk the kernels falling apart, which isn’t a good thing in this case. The water the hominy cooks in isn’t particularly good once the hominy is done, so discard the water and add the hominy to the dish you are preparing. Soaked hominy cooked at a gentle simmer should take about 2 hours. Use a lid to control the intensity of the boil.

Two cups of dried hominy will yield about 6 cups of cooked posole. Store covered in the refrigerator, with the cooking liquid, for about 5 days. You can also freeze it.


 


 

 

 

Posted in 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.

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

Directions: 
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

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

Directions: 
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.

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

Ingredients:
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

Directions: 
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.

Ingredients:
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

Directions: 
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

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