The Root of Flavor: Around the World with Vinegar

The Root of Flavor–a series of posts on our blog–we’re going to breakdown some of your favorite flavors, and maybe even give you some new ideas on how to utilize these tasty items.

A gallon of vinegar might not catch as many flies as a spoonful of honey, but it will sure make you a much better marinade and vinaigrette!

We’ve dedicated this Root of Flavor post to our unsung hero of all things pickled! VINEGAR!
Sit back and enjoy your trip around the vinegar-filled world.

 

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Download a PDF Version, here Vinegar Infographic.

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Recipe: Blueberry Cake with Vanilla Yogurt Sauce

In honor of Summer–and the abundance of fresh seasonal Blueberries we have surrounding us–we wanted to pass along one of our favorite desserts that embodies this time of year (and it’s easy too!). Enjoy our Blueberry Cake with Vanilla Yogurt Sauce

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to download this image, click HERE

 

Asparagus, Potato and Onion Frittata

Asparagus

Asparagus is to Spring as what Tomatoes are to Summer: a fresh sign of the season. It’s hard to go to any produce section or Farmer’s Market and NOT see these green beauties these days, and hopefully you’re taking advantage (keep this in mind: Michigan is the 3rd largest producer of Asparagus in the nation with nearly 25 million pounds grown annually). Whether you’re incorporating Asparagus into your diet on a daily basis or not, here is a recipe for one of our favorite Spring Fritattas:

Asparagus, Potato and Onion Frittata

Serves 6-8 guests

  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb asparagus, washed, stems removed, blanched and cut into pieces
  • 2 C sliced potatoes, peeled and parboiled
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • ½ C half and half
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Dash cayenne Pepper
  • ½ C Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ C white cheddar, grated
  • 1 Tbs fresh chives, snipped
  • Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a copper or oven safe skillet, add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add asparagus and potatoes, and sauté 3-4 minutes until crisp. Season with salt and pepper.  In mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg and cayenne.  Season with salt and pepper, then add Parmesan. Slowly and evenly pour egg mixture over the top of the potato mixture in the skillet, then top with white cheddar.

Bake 30 minutes in 375 degree oven, or until set.  Invert onto serving platter, sliced and garnish with chives,  Serve warm or room temperature.

Note: if you don’t have a copper or oven safe skillet, this can be baked in a well buttered baking dish or tart pan.

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How to Utilize your Leftover Easter Ham

Now that Easter is over…what do you do with all your left over ham? We have encountered this many times over the years, and we want to help you make the best use of your post-holiday meal ham. Check out these three tried and true recipes, straight from our kitchen.

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Guinness-Braised Lamb Stew

It’s the First of March, which means we are officially in the month of St Patrick’s Day! While we were thinking of fun recipes that embodied the spirit of St. Patrick as well as provided a warm and hearty meal for our frosty surroundings, we stumbled upon an oldie but a goodie we just had to share. Guinness-Braised Lamb Stew.

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Stew

We’d LOVE to see any photos of your version of this Stew if you decide to make it. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Gift: Homemade Truffles

It’s the second month of the year, which means the annual celebration of love is right around the corner: Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a committed relationship, or want to show your friends how much they meant to you, there is always a deserving recipient of a Valentine’s Day gift.

Much like our post on Do It Yourself: Gift Giving for the holiday season, we love thinking of fun ways to create your own gifts for Valentine’s Day. From our kitchen to yours: a recipe for homemade Dark Chocolate Truffles (they’re easier than you may think!)

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Now that you know how to make them, get creative with your coating: pistachios, cinnamon and chili powder, sea salt, ground coffee…the list goes on and on! Who needs to go shopping for that special someone when you have a kitchen at your disposal.

Winter Soups: Seafood Bisque Recipe

When it gets to be about this time of year, every resident in Michigan is thankful for one thing: Soup. Few things are more hearty and comforting than a big bowl of warming nourishment, especially when it’s homemade! And the best part, if you make too much, they freeze beautifully. But where to start…

There are Bisques, Chowders, Stews, Chili, and the list goes on and on. While a great rule of thumb is to cook what’s in season produce-wise, we’re in the middle of a biting cold month, and we want something that will warm us from the inside out! We searched our recipe box, and found a crowd-pleasing and soul warming bisque that always leaves us happy

Seafood Bisque Recipe

Serves 6-8 guests

  1. ½ cup butter
  2. ½ cup chopped green onion
  3. 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  4. 4 tablespoons flour
  5. 5 cups whole milk
  6. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  7. ½ teaspoon salt
  8. 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  9. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  10. 1 cup heavy cream
  11. 1 pound crab meat, cleaned
  12. 1 pound cooked shrimp or lobster, chopped
  13. ½ cup dry sherry
  14. 1 tablespoons green onion tops

In a heavy soup pot, heat butter. Add green onion and celery, and sauté until tender.  Blend in flour, and cook about 2 minutes, stirring.  Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture, whisking as you add.  Cook until thickened over low heat, then add the pepper, salt, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and heavy cream.  Stir in the crab meat, shrimp or other seafood and sherry.  Bring to a low simmer and cook about 8-10 minutes until heated.  Transfer to a large warmed soup tureen, and garnish with green onion tops.

 

Some other tips for Winter Soups:

  • Use blended potatoes to thicken soups in place of heavy cream
  • Buy a hand/immersion blender to puree your soups-much easier than using a standard blender or food processor
  • Every soup tastes better with the zing of citrus or vinegar- brighter your winter soups!
  • A variety in mouthfeel is always a good touch, so be sure to top your soups with a nice toasted crostini