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

Thursday, 14 March 2019 20:00

Bring on the Corned Beef & Cabbage

Hello my Foodie Friends!

This weekend is St. Patrick’s Day. My mother, who was Italian, used to say “Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day.”  My father, who was Irish, always agreed because if he didn’t he ran the risk of not getting her delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage. So here is to all of our “Irish” lads and lassies.

So how did Corned Beef and Cabbage become an American dish served on St. Patrick’s Day? From the Middle Ages until sometime in the 19th century, the Irish were known for producing salted meats. It was actually considered their specialty. Most of the salted meats created in Ireland were done so for trade. The salted meats were deemed too luxurious for the poor Irish, so it went out of the country and the Irish would have to resort to other measures for meaty pleasure. The closest and cheapest thing the Irish could get their hands on in terms of cured meats was salt pork — meat that’s similar to bacon. It was a staple for the Irish, and could be found in almost every home. As the Irish migrated to the United States, they couldn’t find salt pork in their new home, and bacon, the closest substitute, was insanely expensive. Thus, they turned to corned beef. It was the one thing Irish immigrants would eat in the U.S. because it reminded them of home. The truth is, most Irish folks don’t eat corned beef and cabbage nowadays. However it’s become a tradition Irish-Americans readily adopted, and welcomed as part of the Irish-American heritage we have here now.

Preparing Corned Beef and Cabbage does require some essential tools. As you look for tools to use to make your Corned Beef and Cabbage; you may need a Dutch oven or a stock pot, and a good chef (cooks knife). The chef’s knife (sometimes called a cook’s knife) is the most important knife to have in your kitchen and within your knife collection. A chef’s knife is the go-to tool for more than 90 percent of daily kitchen tasks including most slicing and dicing of fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish. And while a chef’s knife may be the “king of the kitchen,” it should not be used to butcher or carve poultry, to remove the skin of large vegetables such as butternut squash, or, as some people have tried, to puncture a hole in cans. The broadness of a chef’s knife blade makes it unwieldy for tasks better suited to a smaller knife.

Many of our customers ask me what is the best brand knife to have. Choosing a chef’s knife “is like a dance partner.” A knife that feels comfortable and graceful in your hand might feel klutzy to someone else. When you start shopping for that perfect chef’s knife—one that will make slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing more pleasurable, precise, and effortless—it’s important to identify your personal preferences, and to realize that there isn’t one knife that’s right for everyone. Finding your ideal knife might take a little time, but you’ll know it when you’ve found it. Once you’ve got a knife in your hand you should immediately get a sense of its fit. It should feel comfortable, like a natural extension of your hand. It should inspire confidence, not instill fear. If it feels wrong, move on. If it feels pretty good; start chopping (or mock chopping), noting how you respond to the knife’s physical characteristics.

Weight: You’ll need to try several knives to find your ideal knife weight. One school of thought believes a hefty chef’s knife cuts through foods easier because it “falls” with more force. Another thinks a lighter chef’s knife flows more freely and lets you maneuver the knife more skillfully. Bottom line: Choose the style that feels right to you.

Balance: “Perfect balance” is in the palm of the beholder. Judge balance by gripping the knife by its handle. If it feels uncomfortably weighted toward the back of the handle or toward the blade, then it probably isn’t for you. An unbalanced knife will make you work harder. Side-to-side balance is also important. When you come down on the blade, the knife shouldn’t feel unstable, as if it wants to teeter toward one side or the other.

Size: An 8-inch chef’s knife is the most popular among home cooks because of its versatility. A 10-incher’s longer blade can cut more volume but may feel intimidating. A 6-inch chef’s knife can offer an element of agility, like that of a paring knife, but falls short when working with volume or when slicing through something large, like a watermelon.

As you prepare for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration events; Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your neighborhood kitchen and cutlery store, and let us help you choose the best knife for you. We carry some of the best knives made in the world. As you celebrate; be sure to compliment the chef and the host.

Remember my Foodie Friends “Life Happens in the Kitchen!”

 Take Care,
John & Paula

CornbeefCabbage 

Published in Food
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 19:00

Flash Back Friday

Hello my Foodie Friends!

What is your favorite childhood memory of food? I have so many childhood memories of eating with my family. Going out to dinner was always a rare and special treat. My father was a truck driver so he loved to travel and make a day of driving around the American landscape. We would mostly go through Vermont which is where he grew up.  He loved stopping at a local diner as part of our day’s exploration. 

My father loved diners! The reason is that diners are best known for their history, tradition, an extensive menu selection, large portions of comfort foods at fair prices, quick service served with diner spirit and hearty meals. Chefs and cooks showcased their occupational skill and skillet set through offering huge portions of comfort food classics, while no- nonsense but friendly waitresses served as unofficial family to customers with their welcoming ways. Locals, many with townie and patriotic tendencies, interacted through face-to-face spoken words instead of through technological devices. Truck drivers sat at the counter after long days and nights of life on the road. White collar America, some as business travelers walking briskly over from the adjacent hotel, took that well-deserved break from another anticipated day in the rat race to lighten the day with some home-cooked food. Landscapers and construction workers with clean hands, for now, were hungry, immediately decisive on what to order, and needing to get to work soon. They wasted no time ordering food while showing a close camaraderie as if they were brothers. 

You see, there’s really nothing like eating at a good old-fashioned diner when traveling the small towns and back roads. The experience, quite simply, brings a wonderful slice of American tradition to the senses and taste buds that can only be fully realized by frequenting these local treasures. The diner is an icon of American culture located in almost every city and town. 

Recently, I read a fun article about diners on Reminisce.com with some pretty funny diner slang that let the short order cook know what to burn, what to wreck, and what to put a hat on. It is considered “short-order shorthand.” As I read these I laughed, while bringing back memories of eating at a diner with my family. 

Here is a small sampling of the article. Try to guess what the slang means before you read the answer: 

Breakfast: 
• Adam and Eve on a raft... » Poached eggs on toast
• Burn the British... » English muffin, toasted
• Sinkers and suds... » Doughnuts and Coffee
• Wreck’em... » Scrambled eggs

Lunch:
• Bloodhound in the Hay... » Hot dog with Sauerkraut
• Two cows, make ‘em cry... » Two burgers with onions
• First Lady... » Spareribs

Condiments: 
• Axel greas... » Butter
• Paint it red... » Ketchup
• Warts... » Olives

Dessert:
• Eve with a lid on it... » Apple Pie
• Fish eyes... » Tapioca Pudding
• Houseboat… » Banana Split
• Nervous pudding… » Jello

You can make your own diner classics right in your kitchen. Make food memories with your family. My childhood memories almost always include sitting at the table eating with my four siblings, and my parents. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your neighborhood kitchen and cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place to help you with your family culinary needs. Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” 

 Take Care,
John & Paula

BananaNutPancake

Published in Food
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 19:00

Life is Better with Tea

Hello my Foodie Friends!

In past articles, I have written about espresso and coffee. However, not everyone is a coffee drinker. Based on Forbes.com, the United States has had a large increase in tea drinkers with the market quadrupling during the past twenty plus years. Even Starbucks is trying to become a market leader for tea as it has been one for coffee. Tea has infiltrated most Americans’ everyday routine. Some 80 percent of U.S. households have tea in their kitchens, and more than half of the American populace drinks tea on a daily basis, according to the U.S. Tea Association.

Every culture has its own way of brewing, presenting and sharing tea. The specific tea ware used is critical to the entire process. Today I am going to focus on the Japanese cast iron tea pot and Chinese clay tea pot. The Japanese cast iron teapot is an amazing little teapot with ancient roots dating back to the 1600’s. The Japanese cast iron teapot is intended to hold the heat in, and that it does. It originates from the Japanese iron teakettle design called a tetsubin, which was often used as a teapot. This dates back to the 1600’s when iron kettles were placed on the hearth. Cast iron teapots are ideal since the cast iron distributes the heat evenly inside the pot to better extract the flavors and health benefits of your tea. A distinctively appealing taste is acquired only from brewing tea in a cast iron teapot. Cast iron teapots develop a seasoning from repeated use, producing rich flavors of tea that are each more delicious than the last.

If you’re searching for a uniquely attractive teapot then choosing a cast iron design is an excellent idea. There’s no hiding from the fact that there’s something special about brewing tea in a cast iron teapot, and the Japanese designs, in particular, tend to look truly stunning. Cast Iron Teapots are one of the best ways to prepare, serve and enjoy tea.

They come equipped with a mesh infuser for ease of use. It can be used for tea bags or loose leaf tea.

A very unique option of making tea is the Chinese clay teapot. Chinese clay teapots do not use glazing. The clay used remains porous and tea oils are intended to build up inside the teapot and over time, smooth the taste of tea and improve it by adding its own unique “taste” from the accumulated oils. Different teas are not made in the same teapot unless they are from the same family or class of teas, such as different types of green or oolongs, but even this is not ideal as some teas from the same family have a strong flavor and in time, their taste can transfer to a more delicately flavored tea. Yixing teapots are crafted from special Yixing clay, also called “Purple Sand,” which can only be sourced in the town of Yixing located in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu. These miraculous little teapots contain thousands of multitasking air holes (a characteristic unique to purple sand) that enhance tea brewing by keeping the water hotter longer. According to the Tea Association of the USA, these teapots are intentionally left unglazed so that they absorb the flavor of the tea being brewed, which means you may want to use one Yixing teapot for each type of tea to avoid “cross-brewing.” Yixing teapots are used to brew teas including black tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, green tea, and white tea. The first thing you need to do after you buy a yixing teapot is season it. Start by bringing filtered water to a boil in a pot on the stove. Gently place the yixing teapot inside the boiling water. Use a wire ladle or a white towel to create a barrier between the yixing pot and the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Allow the yixing pot to boil gently in the hot water for 10 minutes. The next step in seasoning is to soak the pot in a strong brew of tea. Brew a strong infusion of your desired tea in the pot. Empty the infusion into a large bowl. Keep brewing infusions until the bowl has enough tea in it to submerge the yixing teapot. Place the yixing teapot in the brewed tea and let sit until the mixture reaches room temperature. Remove, pat dry and use as usual to brew tea.

At Compliments to the Chef, your neighborhood kitchen and cutlery store at 33 Railroad Place, we carry beautiful Japanese cast iron tea pots, Chinese clay pots and tea kettles. Take some time to prepare a cup of tea just for you; it can calm you down and give you a wonderfully pampered feeling. Why not take a break to enjoy a quiet cup? Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

 Take Care,
John & Paula

CardamomOrangeScones

Published in Food
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 19:00

Snow Fort Army Chow

Hello my Foodie Friends!

This winter is certainly giving us a season of snow and arctic cold. As I glance out into the white wonderland, I reflect on some of my fondest childhood memories playing in the snow. I grew up during a time when the average was at least four children per household and you were literally thrown outdoors to play and told not to come back home until the street lights came on. Playing in the snow included making homemade sleds to slide down the golf course hills, making snowmen, and of course, building the best snow fort in the neighborhood.  In our house we divided up the tasks to ensure that our Fort could withstand repeated attacks of snowball wielding elementary school kids. Our first winter there, Danny, 5, was the engineer and he mapped out how high and thick the walls should be.  Billy, 4, was the builder and shaped the inside of the fort for the chairs, refrigerator and snow TV. Patty was 3 so the first year she was support staff.  John, 6, was the recruiter and went door to door finding my soldiers and builders.  We were not allowed to use the phone back then (adults only) so when I came to the door and knocked you could hear a stampede of children in the house trying to get to the door. To get them to work on the fort I would tell them that my mom was making Meatball sandwiches!  My mom’s meatballs were the envy of the neighborhood and far exceeded the bologna and spam the other kids were getting. My first stops were Dave and Karl’s houses and they lived next door to each other.  They were my age but already almost as tall as most of our fathers. Dave turned out to be 6’8” and Karl is 6’6”. If you want your walls to be the highest, I thought, get the tallest kids.  My mom would grimace when she saw them coming as she knew she would need a lot more meatballs. Our first forts were wrecked at night by teenagers until my brother Dan came up with the idea to put water on the outside walls and it would turn them to ice.  You could hear the howls of the mean teenagers when they kicked the walls and they didn’t give so easily.   

Although I cannot share with you my mom’s meatball secret recipe that only my sisters and Paula have, I will share with you a special person from our area’s recipe – Rachael Ray. 

At Compliments to the Chef, your neighborhood kitchen and cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place, we carry skillets to make your meatballs in, saucepans to make your sauce, baking sheets to pop your meatball hoagies into the oven with, and other really “Cool Tools for Cooks.” Meatball Hoagies are a great way to deal with these frosty winter days.  The neighborhood kids will love you! Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

 Take Care,
John & Paula

SnowFortChowRecipe

Published in Food
Thursday, 14 February 2019 14:24

Espresso Yourself

Hello my Foodie Friends!

Flavors, taste, and smell are part of another dimension of food.  Our senses allow us to create a sense of comfort and bring us back to places and time that we hold dear. I love the smell of coffee being made. Growing up with many relatives, coffee was also in the center of the kitchen table and part of the conversations that were made. As a child, I have vivid memories of my parents, aunts and uncles sitting around a table after a big meal, laughing, and having a cup of coffee or espresso in their hands. I remember Sunday evenings involved all of the adult family sitting around the table playing Pinochle, and drinking espresso (with anisette in it) while all of the children were placed in front of the TV watching the Lawrence Welk show or Judy Garland movies. In the background were the relatives yelling at each other in Italian. Along with the espresso, homemade Italian cookies were served (which all of the kids would sneak into their pockets since they we were only allowed one which was never enough). Each of my family would take bites of the wonderful sweets, sip espresso, and talk about the family. Maybe that is why I am crazy about coffee; it’s ingrained in me from childhood. There’s nothing better than the smell of espresso being brewed. 

To make the espresso, our family always used a Bialetti stove top coffee pot. True coffee lovers know there’s more than one way to make a “cuppa” coffee, and they’ve tried them all: French press, drip coffee, cold brew, fancy espresso machines, and so on. One of the most humble and effective machines for making a strong cup of coffee is the stovetop espresso maker also known as the moka pot. The moka pot, or macchinetta del caffè, which literally translates to “small coffee machine,” is a stovetop machine that moves boiling water, pressurized by steam, through ground coffee to make a delicious brew. The Moka produces a rich, authentic espresso in just minutes.

 The aluminum pot features Bialetti’s distinctive eight-sided shape that allows it to diffuse heat perfectly to enhance the aroma of your coffee. The story of the stove-top espresso maker begins in 1918 when Alfonso Bialetti, returned home to Italy from France, where he had been working in the aluminium industry for 10 years, and set up a workshop making metal household goods. Near his factory in Piedmont, Bialetti watched women washing their clothes in a sealed boiler with a small central pipe. The pipe drew the soapy water from the bottom of the boiler and spread it over the wet laundry. Bialetti decided to try and adapt this idea to make a coffee machine that would allow Italians to have real espresso in their homes. In 1933, an Italian inventor named Luigi De Ponti patented the design for Alfonso Bialetti, and the company is still making stovetop espresso makers with the same basic design. Bialetti’s classic moka pot is so reliable, that it remains the best stovetop espresso maker you can buy. Today, the Bialetti Moka fills many households and celebrates more than 80 years of classic design elegance and technological simplicity. The Moka Express has become iconic for the stove top espresso maker and has allowed millions of consumers to enjoy great Italian coffee.

Making stovetop espresso:
1. Rinse the pot out with hot water, including the underside of the ‘jug’ part of the pot where coffee grounds will stick to the filter. 
2. Make sure the threads on the jug and the reservoir section are clear of grounds, or the two parts of your pot won’t join properly and your pot can start to spit and hiss when it’s on the stove.
3. Fill the reservoir with water up to the fill-line. If your pot doesn’t have a fill-line, or you can’t see it, fill the reservoir to about half an inch below the safety valve.
4. Place the basket in the reservoir and spoon coffee grounds into it. You want the coffee to be quite loose, so don’t tamp it down – coffee expands when it gets damp, so it needs a bit of room to do this. Fill the basket about three-quarters full.
5. Screw the jug part of the pot back onto the base, and put the pot on a low heat on the hob. If you turn up the heat too high, the coffee will boil in the pot and taste bitter.
6. The Moka Pot takes about five minutes or so to make the coffee. Many people recommend taking the pot off the heat as soon as it starts to make gurgling noises, but if you use a very low heat, you may find that removing the pot too soon leaves the reservoir half full and the pot half empty. Using a low heat means that the coffee never boils, so you won’t have to worry about the coffee tasting bitter.

At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place, we carry both the Bialetti Moka Espresso pot and Bialetti stainless steel pot. The stainless steel stove-top pot has a sleek contemporary design with ergonomic heat resistant handles. You can use these pots anywhere. Take them on vacation, camping trips, or to a friends’ house. As I sit and have my morning cup of coffee or espresso, those incredible memories of family members past and present bring me back to a time that was precious. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen,” at the kitchen table playing, talking, and sharing with each other.

 Take Care,
John & Paula

ItalianAlmondCookies

Published in Food
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 19:00

Language of Food

Hello my Foodie Friends!

Guess what weekend this is: Yes, it’s the weekend before Valentines Day and I know the quickest way to someone’s heart is great cooking. There is nothing more impressive than whipping up a romantic meal for your partner. It is food that creates a home, connections, celebrations, and embraces family and friends. In creating meals, we are creating homes and a nurturing environment. The meals do not have to be fancy or gourmet. It isn’t about how special the recipe is. It is about being conscious of an important part of life and honoring that importance. By elevating the importance of food in our family’s lives, you pass that importance on to them. Families connect around the dinner table, all sharing the meal they know is just for them. They also learn the subtle ways you can say “I love you.” through the daily care of mealtime.

Among my dearest things to do on Valentines Day is to watch one of my favorite Disney movies “Lady and the Tramp” and having Spaghetti and Meatballs as our romantic dinner. As one of the greatest love stories ever told, “Lady and the Tramp” is sure to melt the hearts of generations with its beloved characters, brilliant animation, memorable music and sweet sentiment. The animated treasure tells the story of Lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel, and Tramp, a freewheeling mutt with a heart of gold.  The best part is the creative, tender, iconic and downright romantic moment when the cocker spaniel and the schnauzer-mix in Lady and the Tramp serendipitously pull each other into a kiss when they slurp up the same noodle from a plate of spaghetti. It’s their first official date, it’s under a starry sky, there’s music, and they’re both completely oblivious about what’s about to happen until the very last moment when their lips touch! 

At Compliments to the Chef, your neighborhood kitchen and cutlery store, we have several items by All-Clad that can assist with making your Valentine’s Dinner; the 6 Quart Pasta Pot with 6 quart pot and perforated pasta draining insert; or the 8 Quart or the 12 Quart Multi Cooker that includes a steamer basket and a perforated pasta draining insert. The large pot works well for canning, blanching, or making large batches of soups, sauces, and stews. With the perforated insert in place, the multi cooker conveniently prepares homemade stocks, vegetables, or pasta—simply lift the insert to instantly drain. Prominent side handles ensure a secure hold when transporting the pot from the sink to the stovetop or when lifting the insert. The included steel steamer basket fits inside the insert for cooking delicate foods like vegetables or seafood.

Our prescription for a perfect evening? Whip up a pot of spaghetti and meat balls, light a few candles, pop in “Lady and Tramp,” and snuggle up with someone you love – whether it’s Mr. or Ms. Right, or the whole family – and enjoy a little “Bella Notte” of your own. Finish with something sweet and a goodnight kiss. Show your love through the foods you cook. Stop by Compliments to the Chef located at 33 Railroad Place and let us know how we can help you with your culinary needs. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

 Take Care,
John & Paula

LadyTrampMeatballs

Published in Food
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 19:00

Hearty Meals

Hello my Foodie Friends!

Burrrr…the winter months are truly in force. When the temperature drops, it’s time to head to the kitchen to make a hearty, warming meal. Winter comfort food is all about hearty casseroles, chili, and warming stews. We love anything that gets slow-cooked, roasted or baked for maximum coziness.

This time of year brings back memories of growing up in an Italian/ Irish household (passionate mix).  My fondest childhood memories were of all of my Aunts and Uncles coming over with my cousins. The house was full of activity, laughter, and of course, tons of food.  The women in our family would conjure up traditional family recipes for all of us to devour while the men in the family chatted about politics, sports, and general life issues. One of my mom’s precious cooking tools was the cast iron Dutch oven. I can recall the smells of sauce, stews, and soups being made in this versatile vessel. They were in every one of my friends’ kitchens also.  It was one of my favorites as head dishwasher in the family because it was the easiest pot to clean since there was no soap used and just hot water and a stiff brush and you were done. When mom said to get the Dutch oven out of the cabinet and put it on the stove we knew we were in for a great meal. 

I have had many customers stop in and talk about how they love their Dutch ovens and how they use it for just about everything. A Dutch oven is the most versatile pot in your kitchen: a soup pot, a deep fryer, a braiser, a roaster, an enclosed bread oven, and the perfect vessel for one-dish meals. A good Dutch oven is a kitchen essential, heavy and thick enough to conduct and retain heat and deep enough to handle large cuts of meat and quarts of cooking liquid. So many customers have discussed how they bake bread, make stews, or their favorite sauces or soups in their LeCreuset, Staub, or Lodge Dutch oven. Dutch ovens are tall, heavy pots with tight-fitting lids. They are used primarily for slow-cooking methods such as braising and stewing. “Dutch oven” is the generic term for these pots. The often rustic all-iron Dutch ovens can be used both on stove tops and in ovens, and some can be used over and under coals. The more stylish Dutch ovens specifically are known for their ability to go from the stove top--for quick starting techniques such as browning--straight into the oven for the longer cooking process. 

At Compliments to the Chef, we carry LeCreuset, Staub, and Lodge Dutch ovens. 

What a weekend ahead!! This weekend is Chowderfest in Saratoga Springs on Saturday and the Super Bowl on Sunday. This is a perfect time to make your favorite hearty culinary delight. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery Store located at 33 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs to help you prepare for this weekend’s festivities. Become a Chowderhead!! Get ready for the weekend with this delicious Chili recipe. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” 

 Take Care,
John & Paula

FirehouseChili

Published in Food
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 19:00

A Little Bit of Salt & Pepper

Hello my Foodie Friends!

During these winter months, we tend to spend more time indoors; offering us time to break out of our routines to explore new and exciting culinary experiences that may include delving into that recipe that you have always wanted to try. An interesting point I have found is that recipes almost always call for both salt and pepper. This is due to the fact that salt and pepper are used to enhance and add flavor, respectively. Seasoning is about improving the flavor of your food mostly via the addition of salt and pepper. Although herbs, spices, sweet things and acidic things can also be considered seasoning, salt and pepper is typically found in most recipes. A seasoning is anything you add to your food to enhance the flavor. That can be salt, pepper, herbs, spices, and even citrus like lemon juice. Like so many things, there’s a right way to season your food and a wrong way. They are staples on every American dining table and the requisite ingredients in virtually every European cuisine, so inseparable that polite society dictates they always be passed together. Salt and pepper are the undisputed champions of condiments.

“Season with salt and pepper” is a common way to end a recipe. The point is the salt should enhance flavor; unless the saltiness actually is the primary flavor, you shouldn’t actually taste the salt. Pepper, and other spices, can actually be tasted, though to varying degrees depending on the amount and composition of flavors. Thus, if you’re trying to achieve a flavor other than pepper, you should use a different seasoning. But pepper is one of the most versatile and compatible flavors, and thus is used in almost all recipes.

How did salt and pepper become so popular? Since we need salt to survive, it has been a highly valued commodity throughout history. Salt has helped build early civilizations, driven empires, and even been used as currency. Roman soldiers were paid in salt, or “sale” in Italian (and “sal” in Spanish), which grew into the modern English word of “salary.” Black pepper, though not universally needed like salt, is an equally-valued commodity throughout the West—one so popular that it has arguably changed the course of history. However, it wasn’t always this highly prized. You see, black pepper is native to Southeast Asia—specifically Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Malabar Coast of India, where it has been a staple in local cooking since the second century BC.

An essential culinary tool to have in your home is the pepper and salt grinder. At Compliments to the Chef, we carry Peugeot pepper and salt mills. 

The Peugeot pepper mill has been reinventing itself for over 160 years. With its historical savoir-faire and craftsmanship in the manufacture of steel, and its desire to enhance everyday objects with beauty and elegance, Peugeot has combined functionality and refinement in mechanisms designed to make every task a joy. Manufactured in steel, with the u’Select patented adjustable grinding system, wear-resistant and guaranteed for life, the Peugeot pepper mill benefits from a specific treatment that protects it from corrosion and preserves its cutting edge which chops the peppercorns rather than crushing them. It offers a grind that can be adjusted, from coarse to the finest, to bring out all the intensity and character of the aromas of pepper and reveal the subtlety of its flavors.

Because the pepper is ground at the last moment to obtain the full benefit of its aromas, the Peugeot Paris u’Select manual pepper mill is the ideal instrument. With its ingenious grinding adjustment system, you can very simply choose the pepper coarseness that is best suited to your culinary creations. When ground very finely, the pepper highlights its spice. Conversely, when ground more coarsely, unexpected aromas are highlighted. In the kitchen or at the table, this mill will create a sensation with your guests.

The Peugeot salt mill is a perfect embodiment of this generosity. It is equipped with a Peugeot steel mechanism, which comes with a lifetime guarantee, and incorporates into its base the u’Select patented grinding adjustment system allowing you to select the right coarseness for your food without any problem. You can therefore easily season your culinary creations. For more than 200 years, Peugeot has been imagining, designing and manufacturing the objects for daily life, aiming for ease of use and the truest expression of flavors. This constantly renewed engineering prowess has made the Peugeot brand the undisputed benchmark for mills. They are simply beautiful to have in your kitchens and your dining tables. 

Stop by Compliments to the Chef located at 33 Railroad Place, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store to check out these wonderful mills. This winter, explore food together with your family and friends. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

 Take Care,
John & Paula

CardamomChix

Published in Food
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 19:00

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 helps 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 eating. Make healthy eating a family event. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

 Take Care,
John & Paula

ZoodleSoup

Published in Food
Thursday, 10 January 2019 12:49

A Promise...Scaling Down

Hello my Foodie Friendsand welcome 2019!

One of the definitions of the word Resolution is: a promise to yourself that you will make a serious effort to do something that you should do:

He made a resolution to lose weight. (He resolved to lose weight)

Her New Year’s resolution (Her promise to do something differently in the New Year) is to exercise regularly.

Making New Year’s resolutions and resolving to change and improve yourself and your life is an almost unavoidable part of the transition to a new year. Though it’s a pretty well documented fact that most New Year’s resolutions fail, we keep making them—and we’re not alone. The custom of making New Year’s resolutions is most common in the West, but it happens all over the world.  Losing weight, eating healthier, getting fit, improving our health, or getting back in shape are among the most popular resolutions made every New Years.  Unfortunately, this is a resolution that we tend to remake year after year. It can be daunting when your list of New Year’s Resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list. In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to keep your resolutions by February, March or even late January may increase your anxiety. When your holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of an unused gym membership or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later winter months feel hopeless.

However, it is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.  By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life.  Making healthier food choices can help with improving the quality of your diet.  However, regulating the size of food portions is a simple process that can help with weight loss.  Weighing out food before it is eaten is a convenient method of controlling portion sizes and is something you can easily do at home with basic kitchen equipment. A digital kitchen scale help with measuring. 

A pointer to assist with weighing: Weigh out the desired portion size. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a standard portion for most meats and fish is 3 ounces. Look for portion size information on packages and use on-line resources such as MyPyramid.gov to learn about the recommended portion size of other foods. Weigh the food before it has been washed or cooked. Place the plate of food on the scale. The calibrated scale will measure the weight of the food only. Remove or add more of the foods until you reach the required portion. You can remove the plate as many times as you like provided that you do not press the tally button for a second time. For Food Safety reasons, you need to wash the plate thoroughly with hot water and detergent between weighing different foods.

Keeping our Promise to scale down as a part of those New Year’s resolutions can require using the right tools to make it work.  Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, located at 33 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs to select a digital scale to assist with weighing ounces, pounds, fluid ounces, grams, and milliliters. Also, stay in touch so we can compare notes and keep encouraging each other to keep our promise to ourselves. 

We wish you all a happy, healthy, and fun in the kitchen 2019! Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” 

 Take Care,

John & Paula

LentilQuinoaChili

Published in Food
Page 9 of 12

Blotter

  • COURT Adam J. Ross, 38, of Greenfield Center, pleaded Oct. 8 to felony DWI in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing scheduled Dec. 10.  Brandon H. Welfinger, 24, of Malta, was sentenced Oct. 7 to two years state prison, after pleading to criminal sexual act in the third-degree. He was originally charged Dec. 10,2019.  Bruce Stanley, 76, of Halfmoon, pleaded Oct. 5 to sexual abuse in the first-degree. Sentencing scheduled Dec. 7.  POLICE Parvatie Sukhram, 29, of Schenectady, was charged Oct. 16 with three counts of criminal possession of stolen property, and grand larceny – both felonies. She is suspected of the thefts…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Tracine Companion sold property at 30 Beacon St to Letty Rudes for $280,000. Gary Guilfoyle sold property at 738 Goode St to Lance Decker for $325,000. Michael Attanasio sold property at 36 Beacon St to Matthew Eberlein for $269,000. Rachel Schwendinger sold property at 25 Nolan Rd to Michael Dorsher for $308,400. David Barclay sold property at 18 Kingsbridge Ct to Zachary Ellis for $573,000. GALWAY Stephen Raeburn sold property at 4916 Jockey St to David Miller for $432,500. Richard Alkinburgh sold property at 1070 Palmer Rd to Barry Dibernardo for $369,000. Dennis Decker sold property at 5079 Jersey…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association