Displaying items by tag: Compliments to the Chef, Paula and John Reardon

Thursday, 02 January 2020 13:49

Healthy Eatings

Hello my Foodie Friends!

As we progress into the month of January, the challenge becomes holding onto and maintaining those New Years Resolutions. For Paula and me it is about making better and healthier food choices. There is more than one way to eat healthfully and everyone has their own eating style. Making healthier choices can reflect your preferences, culture, traditions, and budget. Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. 

Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood. Create an eating style that can improve your health now and in the future by making small changes over time. Consider changes that reflect your personal preferences, culture and traditions. Think of each change as a “win” as you build positive habits and find solutions that reflect your healthy eating style. 

At Compliments to the Chef, we have many cooking vessels and tools that can assist with your quest to eat healthier. One very popular item we have is the vegetable spiralizer. The spiralizer is a unique kitchen gadget that can turn all your favorite vegetables into delicious zoodle recipes you can add to any meal. Probably everyone’s favorite reason for spiralizing is that spiralized vegetables are mostly light in calories, carbs, fat and sugar. By spiralizing, you’re naturally eating more vegetables – without even noticing (especially when they’re covered in a delicious tomato basil sauce!) This small shift in the way you eat helps lead to weight loss, because you’re consuming more vegetables and less processed foods while still remaining satisfied. Vegetables are high in water (such as zucchinis) and help detox your body, ridding it of unwanted toxins and leaving you refreshed and hydrated. Vegetables have an abundance of dietary fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer and help with your everyday digestion. Certain vegetables even help spike the metabolism, such as zucchinis. Most importantly, after eating a bowl of vegetable noodles, you’re left feeling light and energized – ready to have a productive and healthy day, which means you’ll be more motivated to exercise and eat well.

What are the Best Veggies for Spiraling? You can transform all sorts of vegetables into noodles, but the best candidates are those that are firm (not floppy) and long or that can be cut long (if you want long spaghetti that you can easily spiral). One of the best aspects of veggie noodles is their spectacular names. Here are some of the best vegetables for spiraling:

• Zoodles (zucchini noodles)
• Coodles (carrot noodles)
• Swoodles (sweet potato noodles)
• Squoodles (squash noodles)
• Boodles (broccoli stem noodles)
• Poodles (parsnip noodles)
• Toodles (turnip noodles)

We carry several types of spiralizers. However, one of our favorites is the OXO Good Grips Easy Twist Spiralizer. This is a great tool to spiralize foods such as zucchini, squash, carrots, potatoes and more. There are three cutting options: thick and thin julienne and ribbon, and includes easy adjustable rotating blade settings with no loose blades. The Easy Twist Spiralizer has silicone capped feet for stable slicing - no suction base required. It is faster and safer than a knife, with a fun and unique end result. 

Stop by Compliments to the Chef located at 33 Railroad Place, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store to pick up cool tools to help you with healthy eatings. Make healthy eating a family kitchen event. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

 Take Care,
John & Paula

REARDON ZoodleSoup

 

Published in Food
Friday, 20 December 2019 11:12

Lucky New Year’s Food

Hello my Foodie Friends!

It’s that time again for us here at Compliments to the Chef to thank all the wonderful acquaintances that have helped us throughout the year.As Clarence said to George Bailey, “No man is a failure who has friends.” We have foodie friends which is even better!So many great people have come through our door with questions and some with suggestions. We believe that we have a great extended family who shares in our joy of cooking and creating our own masterpiece meals. As we welcome in the New Year and begin 2020, memories of some New Year traditions come to mind.Upon meeting my wife Paula, I had the opportunity to be exposed to some of the southern traditions her mother made based on her father’s background growing up in Virginia.The serving of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day has been considered a lucky New Year’s food that dates back almost 1500 years.The tradition arrived in America during the 1930’s in Georgia and spread after the Civil War.In the Southern states, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is considered good luck to bring prosperity to the New Year.The traditional meal includes collards, turnips, or mustard greens, and ham.The swelling of the black-eyed peas symbolizes prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the ham represents positive motion.Below is a great recipe that includes all of the ingredients we hope brings good luck to you for 2020. We have beautiful round cast iron Dutch ovens from Le Creuset, Staub, and Lodge that can help you with this wonderful dish. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store at 33 Railroad Place to pick up your cool tools for cooks to help with your culinary preparations. 

Remember my Food Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen!” Make magical memories. 

“Although the nights could be dark
The days are almost always bright
I want that your life
C
onstantly be full of the glowing light
Of a Gifted “New Year”
So here is wishing you and your nearest and dearest
A Very Happy New Year 2020.”
 

 Take Care,
John & Paula

BlackEyedPeas

 

Published in Food
Thursday, 19 December 2019 13:04

The Christmas Eve Feast

Hello my Foodie Friends!

Our most relished Christmas treasures come with the decorations, the scents of pine, the sounds of music and jingles, and for many, what happens in the kitchen. As I reflect on the Christmas traditions of mine and Paula’s Italian families, the Christmas Eve Feast cannot be overlooked. Coming together to celebrate the holidays becomes a time of giving.  It is a time to be with your family and show your gratitude and appreciation of what you have.  Cultures all over the world celebrate holiday seasons.

In meeting my wife four decades ago, our first Christmas Eve together was spent at her parents’ home celebrating the Feast of Seven Fishes with all of the fish dishes presented that evening. Paula’s family was more traditional than mine, probably because my Dad was Irish so we had a little of each. I watched with a calm expression as my wife ate and relished the marinated fresh anchovies as part of the antipasto.  Jumbo shrimp, baked clams, and fried calamari were also part of the first course, which, I ate too much of. Next an array of dishes began to come out of the kitchen.  These included: the seafood salad, which is a combination of crab, shrimp, calamari, and lobster with celery, olive, and parsley in citronette, the Baccala salad with salted cod tossed with sweet cherry peppers, capers, and olives in a lemon dressing, and then the octopus salad, also known as Inslata di Polipi.  This is where I stopped and stared at the cut up octopus tentacles sitting in front of me and I loudly proclaimed that, well, “I love Fried Baccala” and politely said I must have some.

The holidays are about getting together and having a good time. Meanwhile back at my house my Mom was cooking an Irish feast for my Dad of Roast turkey and stuffing, clove-studded baked ham, crispy goose fat potatoes, steamed Brussels sprouts, buttery sweet carrots, crispy parsnips, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and gravy. It is about enjoying yourself and the people you are with. Cooking for the people you love is a gift in itself. Enjoy your holiday season. Stop by Compliments to the Chef; your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place to help you with your holiday gifts and culinary needs. We hope that 2020 brings many blessings, laughter, health, and happiness to you and your families. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen!” Happy Holidays to all of our Foodie Friends! 

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 REARDON Baccala

 

Published in Food
Thursday, 12 December 2019 14:41

Christmas Around the World

Hello my Foodie Friends!

This time of year brings many family reunions, friendship gatherings, and special events that include great food and fun times. The holiday season is celebrated in myriad ways around the world.  Every family has their own traditions that are rooted in cultural customs that go back for many generations. However, there is one similarity with these traditions that spans across the globe – food.  Different cultures celebrate their holidays in different ways, but cooking and enjoying special foods and drinks is a tradition that transcends throughout the world and all religions. 

Paella is one of our family’s favorite dishes and is the iconic rice dish of Spain. Cooked with care, but not requiring the fussy attention of a risotto, it’s the perfect way to cap off a happy holiday celebration. The dish has the further advantage of customization and built-in appropriateness for a couple of different special diets -- it naturally has no gluten and no dairy. Vegetarians may forgo the typical use of Spanish sausage and chicken, using a vegetable stock to cook the rice. Those that love seafood can find plenty to love going all seafood with a seafood stock to complement the required rice, saffron, tomatoes and olive oil.

Paella is a perfect party dish because it’s a one-pot meal, and because it feeds a crowd. Paella is a rice dish from Spain that has become very popular and is known around the world. It originated in the fields of a region called Valencia in eastern Spain. Paella is meant to show off the rice itself and to highlight a few special ingredients. These can be vegetables, fish, shellfish or meat including sausage in seafood paella and you may also find chicken in it. Do not forget the saffron -- it is the essential spice of the dish.

Whatever paella you make, it should use short- or medium-grain rice, which should be cooked uncovered in a flavorful stock. Spanish Bomba rice is the best to use. It’s fun to make paella over a grill or on the stove.  However, it is important that you have the right pan for this dish; the Paella Pan!  The Paella pan should be shallow and have sloping sides, which helps the rice cook evenly and develops more intense flavor. As the pans get larger, they grow in diameter rather than depth, which allows for more delicious socarrat. And like all authentic paella pans, they do not have matching lids (since paella is traditionally cooked in an open pan). We sell the traditional carbon steel pans and some stainless steel pans.  Either will work well for you. A good pan has dimples on the bottom to serve several functions.  They trap small amounts of liquid and thus promote even cooking, they make the pan rigid, and they prevent warping. Now what the heck is socarrat?   When you make paella, socarrat is the caramelized bottom layer of rice that sometimes forms on the pan. Many people consider the socarrat the prized part of the paella.  Also, there is speculation that socarrat has aphrodisiac powers, and that it is what fuels the passion of those renowned Spanish lovers. I myself am Irish, French and Italian so the passion is taken care of by the French and Italian parts. But I might like a little Antonio Banderas side of me to crop up from time to time!  How about: tu es muy bonita Paula? If you are not sure what dish to serve for your holiday meal; consider Paella. At Compliments to the Chef; Your neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery Store, located at 33 Railroad Place, we sell Paella pans and other cooking tools to help you with your holiday creations. We are hosting a special event on Saturday, December 14 and December 21. The Bees are Back!! We will have a tasting of honey and other honey products from Jen Dunn from Maypiary Farms from 1 to 3 p.m

During the holiday season, the frantic pace of work and school life slows temporarily and we settle into the celebrations of the season. We toast the successes we’ve had in the preceding months, reflect on the life we’ve lived and rejoice with our loved ones. Create your holiday traditions. It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas! Stop by for the holiday supplies you need to eat, drink and be merry with family and friends. Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” Happy Holidays.

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 REARDON Paella

 

Published in Food
Thursday, 05 December 2019 13:22

A Gift Worth Giving

Hello my Foodie Friends!

The stress of the holiday season is often compounded by the task of finding that special gift for that someone who has everything. I recall one of my family members mentioned that she and her husband keep their knives very dull so as to minimize the potential of injury. I noted that this has become a problem that requires a solution, but they’ve arrived at the wrong one. Even the finest knives will dull with regular use, but periodic sharpening will restore the blade’s keen edge. A dull knife requires greater force, tears at food, tires the hand and increases the odds of cutting yourself. Dull knives cause infinitely worse and more frequent injuries than sharp ones for a few reasons. Dull knives require more pressure to use, which can make them prone to slipping. And if they do, they hit with that much more force, and result in a more ragged, much harder to heal injury than one a sharp knife would make. Yes, it’s possible to sharpen and Hone your knives at home, and it’s something everyone should do to preserve the integrity of your blades (and, again, stay safe) but here in the thick of the holidays, forestalling kitchen bloodshed should be one of your priorities. If you have your knives sharpened by a professional once or twice a year, you can maintain them without too much hassle. So, let me set your knife edge to factory sharp so you can concentrate on other holiday matters. It’s OK to be kind to yourself sometimes. You can tell when your knife is dull, but a good rule of thumb is to try to slice through a tomato or a piece of paper. If the blade goes through anything but easily, it’s time to sharpen or have them sharpened by John.

Once you get your knives professionally sharpened, it is important to keep them sharp. I will go into brands when you stop in and share a cup of Joe with me on some cold winter’s day.  The best advice I can give is that a good knife is the one that best fits your hand and is a sharp!  You could own the most expensive knife in the world but if it’s dull it’s not as good as a sharp $10 knife. 

Even a good knife will lose some of its sharpness with time. However, sharpening a knife is easy if you have the right tool and know how to use it.  Great tools help yield great results. The use of steel or a hand sharpener can help make your knives last a lifetime. 

Not sure what to give this holiday season? Find that unique, unexpected gift for the person who already has everything and give the gift of professionally sharpened knives. It is a gift worth giving.  We have a great assortment of knives to get your Foodie started with using their skills. At Compliments to the Chef, your neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place, we professionally sharpen knives. Stop in and ask me any questions you may have. A great knife is in the hand of the beholder and a sharp knife is up to you. Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” Happy Holidays!

Here are some options on how to keep your knife sharp once they are sharpened by a Pro (Me): 

Honing Steel Types
Generally three different materials are being used for Honing steels: 

Chromium-plated Honing steel: Sharpening steels with a chromium-plated, grooved surface deliver a good re-sharpening result and are relatively immune to damages (my favorite).

Ceramics: Sharpening steels with a ceramics blade sharpen gently and carefully. However, the ceramics blade is sensitive to shock. A fall can easily damage it.

Diamond: Honing steels with a diamond coating of the blade deliver a particularly fine re-sharpening result. The average life span is shorter, though, because the coating tends to wear off with time.

How to sharpen knives correctly:

• Place the knife blade against the tip of the sharpening steel at an angle of approximately 20 degrees and 15 degrees for Asian style knives.

• Pull the knife down and across the steel, describing a slight arc. 

• Repeat action on back of the steel to sharpen the other side of the blade. 

• Repeat steps 2 and 3 five to ten times, alternating the left and right side of the blade.

It is important to maintain the angle of 20 or 15 degrees and to run the full length of the cutting edge along the steel from the hilt to the tip of the knife. The speed of the movement is not important. Use finesse not brute force! 

With a two Stage Hand Sharpener:

• Place your sharpener on a flat surface. Hold the sharpener with one hand and the knife handle with the other. Insert knife blade fully into the slot.

• Apply moderate downward pressure (remember finesse) on the bladewhile pulling the knife toward you through the appropriate notch.

• Repeat this action, always pulling from heel to tip (never back and forth) through the carbide or the ceramic notch.

The first stage carbide (coarse) sharpens dull edges.  The second stage ceramic (fine) provides a polished, razor sharp edge.A reasonably sharp knife may only require light honing. 

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 REARDON ChristmasPrimeRib

 

Published in Food

Hello my Foodie Friends!

It is amazing to think that the holiday season is here. Planning for family gatherings and meals can be a stressful time during this time of year. We strive for the Norman Rockwell experience of perfect times, perfect food and respectful conversation. Reality is for many people, family gatherings during the holidays are rarely stress-free.  I tell my Thanksgiving story every year because it is one that we reflect on and smile. Last month my Father-in-law passed away. While we sat as a family reminiscing and sharing stories, the classic story of a past Thanksgiving was told. It brought the needed tears of laughter to us. Thanksgiving would not be complete without my real-life story of Grandma and the Turkey.  It was a long time ago when our children; Johnny age 3 and Aubrey 5 months old at the time, would make the annual trek to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and watch football. To begin; let me explain I am a Giants fan and so is my mother-in-law so watching the Cowboys is not our favorite thing. However, her son is and so is my sister-in-law’s husband.  Yep, two Cowboy fans in the same house and they do not like each other!  I love football so I watched but the room was silent because they don’t speak to each other.  They were holding their feelings down to make my mother-in-law happy.  My mother-in-law was busy making a huge feast for all to enjoy.  She was very nervous because she wanted everyone to get along.  We always ate after the game and this one was a tight one. Most Cowboy fans may want to stop reading now.  With just seconds left in the game, the Miami Dolphins lined up to make a game winning field goal and it was blocked by the Cowboys. The brothers-in-laws were silent. I wanted to yell but held back because of the tension.  All of a sudden one of the Cowboys (Leon Lett) chased the block field goal and touched it.  Oh nooo! Well the Dolphins got another chance and won.  Not good around Grandmas house. My mother-in-law was now really nervous that her day could be ruined.  Her kitchen was filled with many dishes all cooking at once.  There was a shout from the kitchen and Grandma announced that she had lost her glasses and could not see without them.  The brothers-in-law were pressed into service to find the glasses. These were not just any glasses; they were big and black and hard to lose but there were no glasses to be found.  We looked everywhere and Grandma was close to tears when she asked me to check on and baste the turkey.  This was a big turkey at 28 lbs. and it smelled great. 
I grabbed my son Johnny and the baster which he took charge of and opened the oven to show him the turkey.  He said “look Daddy, the turkey can see better.” Yep he found the glasses neatly melted in perfect harmony with the bird so it looked like he had eyes!  I started laughing and everyone joined in. Needless to say we had ham and lasagna but no turkey.  It didn’t matter because the rest of the day was perfect. 

Through the fun and sometimes stressful events that can happen during the holidays – especially when we want it to be perfect; it can turn out to be a wonderful family gathering. Remember, my foodie friends that “Life Happens in the Kitchen”. Among our greatest and most treasured memories are the ones that are based in the kitchen or around a meal. As you get ready this season for your festivities and feasts, stop into Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place. Pick up roasters, basters, thermometers, and more for your meals. You can have that Norman Rockwell family gathering. Enjoy your family and friends. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 

HoneySweetPotatoe

 

Published in Food
Thursday, 21 November 2019 14:01

“I See” Said the Turkey

Hello my Foodie Friends!

It is amazing to think that the holiday season is here. Planning for family gatherings and meals can be a stressful time during this time of year. We strive for the Norman Rockwell experience of perfect times, perfect food and respectful conversation. Reality is for many people, family gatherings during the holidays are rarely stress-free.  I tell my Thanksgiving story every year because it is one that we reflect on and smile. Last month my Father-in-law passed away. While we sat as a family reminiscing and sharing stories, the classic story of a past Thanksgiving was told. It brought the needed tears of laughter to us. Thanksgiving would not be complete without my real-life story of Grandma and the Turkey.  It was a long time ago when our children; Johnny age 3 and Aubrey 5 months old at the time, would make the annual trek to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and watch football. To begin; let me explain I am a Giants fan and so is my mother-in-law so watching the Cowboys is not our favorite thing. However, her son is and so is my sister-in-law’s husband.  Yep, two Cowboy fans in the same house and they do not like each other!  I love football so I watched but the room was silent because they don’t speak to each other.  They were holding their feelings down to make my mother-in-law happy.  My mother-in-law was busy making a huge feast for all to enjoy.  She was very nervous because she wanted everyone to get along.  We always ate after the game and this one was a tight one. Most Cowboy fans may want to stop reading now.  With just seconds left in the game, the Miami Dolphins lined up to make a game winning field goal and it was blocked by the Cowboys. The brothers-in-laws were silent. I wanted to yell but held back because of the tension.  All of a sudden one of the Cowboys (Leon Lett) chased the block field goal and touched it.  Oh nooo! Well the Dolphins got another chance and won.  Not good around Grandmas house. My mother-in-law was now really nervous that her day could be ruined.  Her kitchen was filled with many dishes all cooking at once.  There was a shout from the kitchen and Grandma announced that she had lost her glasses and could not see without them.  The brothers-in-law were pressed into service to find the glasses. These were not just any glasses; they were big and black and hard to lose but there were no glasses to be found.  We looked everywhere and Grandma was close to tears when she asked me to check on and baste the turkey.  This was a big turkey at 28 lbs. and it smelled great. 
I grabbed my son Johnny and the baster which he took charge of and opened the oven to show him the turkey.  He said “look Daddy, the turkey can see better.” Yep he found the glasses neatly melted in perfect harmony with the bird so it looked like he had eyes!  I started laughing and everyone joined in. Needless to say we had ham and lasagna but no turkey.  It didn’t matter because the rest of the day was perfect. 

Through the fun and sometimes stressful events that can happen during the holidays – especially when we want it to be perfect; it can turn out to be a wonderful family gathering. Remember, my foodie friends that “Life Happens in the Kitchen”. Among our greatest and most treasured memories are the ones that are based in the kitchen or around a meal. As you get ready this season for your festivities and feasts, stop into Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place. Pick up roasters, basters, thermometers, and more for your meals. You can have that Norman Rockwell family gathering. Enjoy your family and friends. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 

CarrotSouffle

 

Published in Food
Thursday, 14 November 2019 13:33

Be Thankful for Every Moment

Hello my Foodie Friends!

Thanksgiving and the holiday season is here. It is time to start the preparations of items needed to create your fabulous feasts. At Compliments to the Chef, we have some gadgets which can make your Thanksgiving and holiday prep and serve a little easier. Good tools are essential to good cooking just like good tools are helpful to a carpenter building a house. One recommendation for a must have is a Flavor injector and there are many types. Adding some flavor can really set your Turkey apart from Mom’s recipe. 

Injecting a turkey with a flavored liquid is a good technique for producing moist, flavorful meat. Flavoring the surface of the turkey with marinades, rubs, sauces, and seasonings is also a good method for adding flavor, but flavoring the surface does not penetrate the meat. Using a meat injector allows you to inject the flavoring deep into the meat of the turkey.

The flavor injector is a syringe that has a heavy gauge needle attached to a plunger type tube. There are several holes in the last few inches of the tip of the needle. The holes allow the flavoring agent to be released into the meat of the turkey in all directions.

There are many ingredients that can be injected into the turkey to add flavor and moistness. Many variations of spiced or herbed liquids can be used, but other ingredients, such as sherry, wine, beer, flavored vinegar, and seasoned oil can be used as well. When mixing the flavoring liquid, be sure it does not include ingredients that may get may trapped in the needle of the syringe, such as herbs that are not finely crushed. If garlic or onion is to be added, it should be used in a liquid form. A little orange juice can be added to the flavoring liquid to act as a tenderizer. Do not make the flavoring too strong because it may overpower the turkey’s flavor.

How to inject a Turkey: Place the turkey in a roasting pan or any other pan large enough to position the turkey so that it is breast side up. Draw the flavoring liquid into the injector by first making sure the plunger is pushed to the bottom of the syringe. Insert the needle into the flavoring liquid and pull up on the plunger to draw the liquid into the injecting syringe. Now you may begin injecting the flavoring liquid into the turkey. The flavoring should be spread throughout the turkey with the fewest possible punctures. Begin by inserting the needle deep into one side of the breast of the turkey and inject some of the contents of the syringe. After injecting, begin to pull the needle from the breast meat, but do not pull it completely out of the puncture hole. Using the same hole, move the syringe to a different angle and again push the needle into the turkey breast to inject some flavoring in a different portion of the breast meat. Continue to inject the meat at a two or three more angles to spread the flavoring throughout one half of the turkey breast. Repeat the same process on the opposite side of the breast bone.

After injecting both sides of the turkey breast, inject flavoring into the legs and thighs in the same manner. Each thigh and each side of the breast should be injected with 1 to 2 ounces of liquid, depending on the size of the turkey. 1 1/2 ounces is sufficient for a 12 lb. turkey. Each leg should be injected with 3/4 to 1 ounce of liquid. Any remaining flavoring can be injected into the drumsticks of the wings and into the back of the turkey.

Cover the turkey and refrigerate overnight to allow the injected liquid to impart its flavor throughout the layers of meat. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and allow it to stand at room temperature for about 2 hours before cooking. The turkey can then be cooked using a variety of methods, such as roasting, deep-frying, grilling, or smoking.

At the Reardon household everyone has a job to do including doing the dishes. Even the family dog is great for cleaning anything dropped on the floor.  My son John has taken over the job of head carver and my daughter Aubrey is our great pastry chef. Paula and I look forward to the holidays every year now that our children are older. Cherish your moments together. Stop by and fulfill your holiday culinary needs at Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located of 33 Railroad Place, Saratoga Springs. Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen!”

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 

InjectedTurkey

 

Published in Food
Thursday, 07 November 2019 14:44

“I Lost My Poor Meatball When Somebody Sneezed”

Hello my Foodie Friends!

Both my wife and I grew up in Italian homes where the house always smelled delicious especially when mom was making a sauce and meatballs.  Ahhh, I can still smell and taste the wonder of their sauces and the incredible meatballs.  I can also remember helping my grandmother carry her large sauté pan that she would later fill with meatballs.  Of course, I would do anything to sneak one of these meatballs once they were done!

The sauté pan is among the most used pans in the kitchen.These wide, flat-bottomed pans have high L-shaped sides and are ideal for deep or shallow frying such as fried chicken, braising, sautéing meatballs or making Mexican rice.  It is the perfect pot for one pot meals. 

Sautéing is a form of dry cook heating that uses a very hot pan and a small amount of fat to cook the food very quickly. Like other dry-heat cooking methods, sautéing browns the food’s surface as it cooks and develops complex flavors and aromas.  Sautéing Requires a Very Hot Pan.  When sautéing, it’s important to heat the pan for a minute, then add a small amount of fat and let the fat get hot as well, before adding the food to the pan. This hot fat helps to brown the surface of the food.  Another key is to avoid overloading or overcrowding the pan.  Don’t Overcrowd the Pan.  In order to achieve the desired browning of the food, the pan must stay hot throughout the cooking process. Too much food in the pan dissipates the heat, causing the food to steam or boil rather than sauté.  Keep the Food Moving.  There’s another element to sautéing — the toss.  The word sauté actually means “jump” in French.  Tossing or flipping the food in the pan ensures that it cooks evenly, but it also helps keep the pan hot (culinaryarts.about.com).  Sauté pan options include; cast iron, enamel cast iron, and layer bonded Stainless Steel cookware.  One of our favorites is the All Clad Tri Ply Sauté pan with lid. 

The All Clad Tri Ply Sauté pan with lid is a natural choice for making convenient one-pot meals; this versatile piece from All-Clad’s original three-layer bonded Stainless Steel cookware line combines the attributes of a sauté pan and a saucier. A new capacity engraving on the base makes for quick identification, and an improved ergonomic handle ensures comfort. Tri-ply construction sandwiches a heat-responsive aluminum core between an easy-care stainless-steel interior and exterior.  The bonded-metal construction ensures fast, even heating.  All-Clad pans include a stainless-steel cooking surface with starburst finish provides superior stick resistance and won’t react with foods. These are an all-in-one pan that combines a wide base for searing and sautéing ingredients over high heat and sloped rounded sides to contain liquids and facilitate stirring when you’re simmering stews, whisking sauces or browning meats. The lid locks in moisture and heat after browning to finish cooking ingredients, either on the stovetop or in the oven, ideal for preparing one-pan meals. All-Clad pans are ideal for use on any cook top, including induction.

Having the right pan for cooking is important – especially when you do not want your “meatballs to get lost”. Stop into Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store to get those cool tools to help with making meatballs and other culinary delights. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” 

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 

Meatballs

 

Published in Food
Friday, 25 October 2019 10:01

Halloween Memories

Hello my Foodie Friends!

Halloween is only a few shorts days away and for the little chefs out there the excitement is building. 

In the Reardon household it was the same when we were children as it is now except back then there were only a few days a year that we were allowed to have candy and bad snacks.  My mom’s kitchen always had bowls of different kinds of fruits and vegetables depending on the season. There was never any candy, potato chips or bad snacks.  If we wanted something sweet it would be an apple or orange or tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. Candy and snacks had not taken over America yet.   

Halloween night John 8, Danny 7, Billy 6 and Patty 5 would be almost too excited to eat our dinner, which before we went trick or treating we had to eat! Mom knew she had to prepare something we would all like and it was always her homemade chicken soup that we could not resist. We got our little bodies fueled up and were ready to take on the neighborhood. 

Also in my childhood it was a big thing to have homemade costumes and our moms worked overtime to have the cutest kids. Store bought costumes were a sign of no imagination.  On Halloween evening, the four of us would go off with orders to stay together or else.  I was told that since I was the oldest it was my job to keep a count on my brothers and sisters or I would lose my candy.  My sister Patty was always the first to run out of gas followed by my brother Billy. So we would have to get them back home and Dan and I would start out again. My brother Dan could outlast us all but my problem was that he always had to stop and admire someone’s car or truck. The Dads of these houses were always impressed that a 7-year-old knew more about his car than he did. We did manage to fill our pillow cases with lots of candy and then with tired feet head home. 

When we got home the two kings of the Foster Lake Development would brag about how much we had and how little Billy and Patty had lost by going home early.  The next two weeks were spent dipping into our stash of candy.  Some of us dipped more than others and the end result every year was that Billy and Patty still had candy left and John and Danny were out! You see while John and Danny were dipping into their stash of candy Billy and Patty kept eating the fruit and the vegetables and they forgot about the candy.  Good habits are as hard to break as bad ones. Fill up your treaters with something that will keep them warm during the chilly Halloween evening this year. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutler store to assist with your heartwarming treats. Remember my Foodie Friends that “Life Happens in the Kitchen!”

 Take Care,
John & Paula 

 

ChickenStock

 

Published in Food
Page 5 of 12

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