Posts filed under 'Markets'
A few weeks back I was lucky enough to enjoy 3 hours of food and beverage happy time in southern Maine with my dear friend and fellow flavorista, Kathy. We met up at Stonewall Kitchen's Flagship store in York, Maine. FYI – January and February are a great months to stop at Stonewall Kitchen and take advantage of the post-holiday sale items.
Of course one of the best things about shopping at a Stonewall Kitchen location is getting to sample all of the deliciousness before you buy. I adore so many of the products.
Kathy picked up Pulled Pork Simmering Sauce and I decided on Seedless Red Raspberry Jam. This jam tastes and smells just like fresh picked summer raspberries, minus the thorn bush scrapes. It has the texture and uncooked flavor of a freezer jam and is superb on toast or stirred into plain yogurt. I am almost ashamed to say that my jar is two-thirds gone and I haven't shared any of it. Honestly, I hid it behind all of the other jams.
If you ever had the opportunity to try Fresh Samantha's Raspberry Dream (it only lives on in cyberspace), this product is its long lost jam cousin. Interestingly enough, this jam uses seedless raspberry puree as one of its base ingredients. I wonder if it is the same raspberry puree we used at Fresh Samantha to make Raspberry Dream?
February 2nd, 2012
Or shall we go with what the label reads "Crunchy, Smoky, Sweet Love?"
Barr and I love bacon but I have been hesitant to embrace the bacon flavored candy trend. A few years back, it seemed like almost every confection I sampled at the Fancy Food Show had a bacon component and I was not overly impressed, until now.
I was shopping at The Cheese Iron, my most favorite cheese shop in greater Portland and as I strolled through the store waiting for a supremely well-made Cubano sandwich, this Bacon Caramel Toffee caught my eye and landed in my basket. The lovely gal working the counter assured me, "It is really, really good and definitely worth the $12.99 price tag."
The folks at Vosges take chocolate very seriously, the quality of their chocolate is excellent and the products they create are quite unique. Vosges Black Pearl Exotic Candy Bar is made from ginger, wasabi, black sesame seeds and dark chocolate. Their Woolloomooloo Exotic Candy Bar combines roasted and salted macadamia nuts plus Indonesian coconut and milk chocolate.
Let's get back to the Bacon Caramel Toffee. It was superb. Thin toffee deftly seasoned with small pieces of applewood smoked bacon, enrobed in creamy milk chocolate and dusted delicately with smoked salt. This confection is perfectly balanced and nuanced to a T.
If someone offers you a taste of crunchy, smoky, sweet love, definitely say "Yes!"
June 21st, 2011
Slowly but surely, fresh cherries are creeping into the markets! They are still a little pricey, so in case you can’t wait, I highly recommend Bonne Maman’s Cherry Fruit Sauce. I use this on my toast but it is equally as wonderful on vanilla ice cream or as the filling of a cherry galette or crostata. It would be perfect in savory fruit sauces for duck as well. The possilities are limitless.
The only problem is that this product is hard to find. I got mine at The Peppercorn, a specialty cookwares store here in Boulder. I did a web search and didn’t come up with much on this product so you’ll have to keep a look out. They make an apricot version which is good too. I especially like this Bonne Maman product because it is very close to the kind of preserves I make, not too much sugar and very little pectin. While it isn’t cheap, it offers great value as it saves you time making your own. My advice if you like it, buy more than one as it is elusive!
May 19th, 2009
During a recent visit to Watertown, MA, my girlfriend, LJ, brought me to Russo’s because she thought I would love it. LJ was totally right! In business for over 75 years, Russo’s is an all in one fresh market. The eye-catching displays pull you in and the fervor inside makes you want to be sure that you are not missing anything.
Gorgeous seasonal produce abounds and a huge assortment of breads and pastry make you wonder "What should I try first?" I could have spent $100 on cheese alone. I refrained and praticed mindful budgeting walking home with some amazing ricotta (of course) and fresh mozzarella, both were outstanding selections. The store’s website is full of handy information and has a recipe section in the works.
Future flavoristas, Jack & Hannah noshing on some cottage cheese and veggies (from Russo’s):
January 22nd, 2009
Years ago, Kimberly and I were at the Natural Products Expo East working at the Odwalla/Fresh Samantha booth and we needed a serious break from the convention floor. I had lived in D.C in the 1980′s and loved making the pilgrimage to the Eastern Market.
Ready, willing and able to look at produce just like me, Kimberly and I set out. There we discovered that Market Lunch in the Eastern Market makes an amazing crab cake sandwich. It was an ethereal food moment: A crisp, perfectly seasoned crab cake layered into a homemade, yeasty white roll with crunchy, sweet coleslaw on the side. If you go, keep in mind that Market Lunch is closed on Mondays. I had to learn the hard way. Sadly, the original Eastern Market burned in April 2007. Luckily, the shell of the building was salvaged and the interiors were rebuilt and the Market Lunch Crab Cake Sandwich lives on.
October 30th, 2008
One thing I really miss living in Colorado is Trader Joe’s. This grocery chain has a knack for not only producing decent pre-made foods but also for having unusual items for the creative cook. For the quality of product, the prices cannot be beat. I am so obsessed that I make sure whenever I’m in a state that has a Trader Joes, I stop in and fill up a suitcase. Kimberly has the same compulsion, re-routing through Cambridge, MA to hit the Trader Joe’s whenever she drives to Boston. She also has a standing order (Jarred Morello Cherries, Italian Tomato Starter Sauce and Peach Sauce) with any friends arriving from Trader Joe’s states.
This package of Harvest Grains Blend Isreali Couscous is a new favorite. The split yellow peas, spinach orzo and red quinoa give it a nice nutty flavor. With some butter or extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, this is an easy accompaniment to any weeknight dinner. This blend can also be easily dressed up with cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, Italian parsley and a little balsamic vinegar as a great side for a dinner buffet or for a notable contribution to a potluck affair.
September 30th, 2008
I hope that when I’ve long left this earth, I will be remembered for my purees, mashes, or quite simply put, schmootz’s. I love to experiment with different ingredients and never tire of creating new combinations. The dip on the left has its origins in one of my favorite cookbooks from the fabulous Greek restaurant in New York City, Periyali. It is simply made from grated cooked beets and yogurt. I used sheep’s milk yogurt for this recipe but you can use any plain yogurt. Sometimes, I make a trio of these dips, yellow and red beets respectively, and then a cucumber raita for the third. It looks beautiful.
Adapted from the Periyali Cookbook
1/2 Lb Red Beet , cooked and cooled fully (yellow is lovely too) – you can take a short cut and use drained canned beets
1 small Red Onion, green onions can also be used
1 small clove of garlic, minced fine – optional
1/2 Cup plain yogurt, cow, sheep or goat
Salt and Pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice.
Grate the beets on the large end of a box grater. Stir in the red onion and add the yogurt. Season with lemon, salt and pepper. Serve with crostini or sliced cucmbers.
The photo on the right features 2 mashies, one from yellow split peas and the other from lima beans. I was first introuced to the lima bean mash at the wonderful Market Hall in Oakland on College Ave. There they call it lima bean skordalia. It is really wonderful.
This makes a beautiful light green spread. It can be used on grilled chicken, as well as served with crostini. Use it on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.
1 lb frozen baby lima beans
5 Tbsp. fresh lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
¾ cup high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Refresh the lima beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Place in a food processor with the lemon juice and chopped garlic. With the machine running, add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
The last mash I just recently tried. Its origins are from a recipe that I saved from Saveur magazine. It was contributed by Diane Kochilas. I love yellow split peas. They are very versatile so while I only used about 2 cups of the cooked split peas for this mash, I am using the rest of the cooked beans in soups and pastas the rest of this week.
1 Lb. yellow split peas
2 large red onions, finely diced
7 Cups water (or chicken stock for a richer flavor)
2 to 3 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
Extra Virgin Olive oil, to taste
2 Tbsp. fresh Parsley
Feta cheese, crumbled on top
Chives as a garnish
Place the split peas in the water or stock and add the onions. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and cook, skimming the foam that rises to the top off, until split peas are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. The water will evaporate so make sure to stir occasionally to ensure that the peas do not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
Allow the peas to cool slightly. Take 2 cups for the puree and season with the remaining ingredients, except the feta and chives. It will thicken up as it cools. Serve puree on top of a craker, pita crisp or crostini of choice. Garnish with feta and chives.
September 10th, 2008