Honeydew-Cucumber & Mint Cold Soup

Ingredients:
4 cups Honeydew melon-diced
1 ½ cups English cucumber-diced
Mint leaves
½ cup Coconut water
¼ cup Greek yogurt
A Pinch of Sea salt-Optional

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients into a blender, blend on medium/high for about two minutes, or until smooth.
  • Let settle (skim foam off top if some is still left).
  • Ladle into serving cups or bowl. Garnish with mint leaf.

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Put Down That Spoon, Drinkable Soups Are Now Trending

Consumers are constantly on the lookout for the latest on-trend foods that will fulfill their growing list of requirements. Products that are convenient and healthy, while also satisfying their hunger and taste buds are high on the list. One of the more recent food trends puts a unique twist on a classic offering to meet these demands- drinkable soup.

Packaged in single-serve bottles, drinkable soup provides a quick grab-and-go solution. Fortunately, this component of convenience does not come at the expense of taste. Drinkable soup products extend beyond the typical soup offerings to provide an exciting flavor experience through ingredient lists containing a variety of spices and vegetables such as turmeric, squash, peppers, and more. Furthermore, since drinkable soups consist of mainly vegetables and seasonings, they can easily be made to meet the growing desires of health-conscious consumers looking for organic and clean label products.

Additionally, the emergence of drinkable soup has brought about another recent trend known as “souping.” A diet centered around drinkable soups provides consumers a new alternative to the popular juice cleanse, or juicing trend. Soups tend to be lower in sugar, more savory, and thicker and heartier than juices, which leaves consumers feeling satiated.

Today, many companies selling drinkable soup are still young. This results in barriers to reaching some consumers, such as limited delivery reach and high prices. However, as these companies learn the best way to meet consumer’s needs and make their products known, these new trends of drinkable soup and souping may soon hit the mainstream.

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Carrot Ginger, Mango & Banana Smoothie

Not every soup has to be hot. Smoothies are actually a great base for any soup, you just normally heat them up. Here our chefs reveresed it, we use a soup as a base for a smoothie! It makes an already healthy treat and packs it full of extra vitamins and other healthy ingredients.

Ingredients:
½ cup chilled Carrot ginger soup (store bought or home-made)
1 cup Orange juice
½ cup Pineapple-frozen diced
½ cup Mango-frozen diced
1 Banana-frozen
1 cup Ice (crushed)
2-3 Tbsp Greek yogurt–Optional

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients into a blender, blend on high speed or smoothie setting.
2. Add Greek yogurt if you would like more protein.

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Soba Noodle Soup

Here’s an easy soba noodle soup recipe you can try out yourself. Then come see what our chefs can do for your next big project.

Ingredients:
¾ tsp Sesame oil
3 Tbsp Shallots – (minced)
1 Tbsp Ginger – (minced)
4 cups Chicken broth
2 cups Vegetable broth
2 tsp Indo-China blend (NWF)
2 tsp Togarashi blend (NWF)
¼ cup, plus 3 Tbsp Miso paste, blonde
1 Tbsp Yuzu juice
1 Tbsp Nori flakes (very small pieces)
1 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
3.5 oz Soba buckwheat noodles (dry)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 ¼ cups Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
1 half per bowl Hardboiled egg – (cut in half)
2 cups Shitake mushrooms – (sliced ¼ inch)
½ cup Edamame
2 cups Bok choy – (sliced ¼ inch)
1 cup Snow peas – (cut in half on bias)
⅓ cup Radishes – (thin half-moon
slices)
Fried garlic (thinly sliced)
Enoki mushrooms
Cilantro
Togarashi (NWF)
Directions:

  • Place sesame oil into sauce pot—Medium flame/heat. Once warmed/heated, add in the shallots and ginger. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add Chicken and vegetable broth. Stir well.
  • Continue cooking broth on medium heat until warm, about 5 minutes. Add the Indo-China seasoning blend, togarashi blend, miso paste, yuzu, nori flakes and ponzu sauce. Stir all ingredients together using a whisk. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, cook soba noodles separately in a pot of boiling water. When cooked Al dente, remove from water and cool. Toss with about 1 Tbsp of canola oil. Set aside. (will add to veggies and broth at the end)
  • Add in the peeled and deveined shrimp to the broth, stir. Let shrimp cook in the broth until fully cooked, approximately five minutes.
  • When shrimp is cooked, add in the vegetables. Let veggies simmer in broth for about 5 minutes. When vegetables are ready, add in cooked soba noodles. Stir well.
  • Place equal amounts of noodles, veggies, shrimp and broth into each serving bowl. Top with garnishes.
  • Place hard-boiled egg, fried garlic, enoki mushrooms and cilantro on top of soup mixture. Use a pinch of togarashi seasoning to dust top of egg.
  • Hard boiled eggs and fried garlic can be prepped a day in advance

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Interesting Ways To Use Croutons

Croutons are probably most recognized as a garnish on a Caesar salad. Indeed, grocery stores often merchandise croutons with fresh produce, and crouton brands feature beautiful food photography of salad on their packaging. But there are other interesting culinary uses for croutons. Food and Wine magazine featured a few, including croutons stirred into scrambled eggs, which eliminate the need for toast, and crumbled and used like bread crumbs to encrust a fish or chicken dish. Flavored croutons can also be eaten right out of the bag as a snack. Our chefs love how versatile croutons are, particularly with soups. They could be used as a garnish instead of crackers, as a replacement for the crusty toast topping in French onion soup, or as a thickening agent for a chowder.

There are also a variety of bread types and seasonings used on croutons available in the market today, which can contribute flavor and texture to many dishes. Some of the bread types used in retail include pretzel bread, glutenfree grain, sprouted ancient grain, and corn bread. There are also a wide range of seasonings including aged cheeses, onions and peppers, ranch, garlic and herbs, and honey butter.

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Stocks, The Base For Great Recipes

Stocks and sauces play an important role in the culinary world. Stocks are the perfect kitchen companion as they are easy to prepare and utilize scraps that would otherwise be wasted. The ability to create delicious stocks will be your ticket to deep rich flavor. Sauces are the decadent derivative of stocks. They are concentrated in flavor, add richness, smoothness, and enhance any dish.

Stock or bouillon in French is the plain unclarified broth obtained from simmering meat and vegetables in water. It is used instead of plain water for cooking certain dishes, and for making soups and sauces. For a versatile stock, the basics are water, bones, meat/fish trimmings (for meat and fish stocks), celery, onion, carrot and a bouquet garni, such as parsley stalks, a bay leaf or thyme sprigs (all three tied in a bundle or placed in cheesecloth), plus a few peppercorns and maybe a few leek leaves. No salt though. Stock isn’t salted, to avoid over-seasoning your finished dish. There are four main types of stock: vegetable, chicken, meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb) and fish. While you can usually substitute one for another with no real effect, it’s usually best to stick with the stock that goes with what you’re cooking. If you’re making a chicken dish, use chicken stock instead of beef, although vegetable stock is a good substitute, and may also add a nice layer of flavor to your recipe.

Meat stocks can take a few hours, so larger batches are wise. Since stocks are made using leftovers or scraps – parts that might otherwise be thrown away- save bones and trimmings in the freezer. You can start making your stock once you’ve collected enough. Although, you can always buy bones cheaply from the local butcher if time is of the essence. A good rule of thumb is to have about one part solid ingredients to one part water.

  • Chop vegetables into large uniform chunks – too small and the long cooking time will cause them to disintegrate. Don’t use starchy vegetables such as potatoes as these will make the stock cloudy, or vegetables that are too green as these can color the stock.
  • Place chicken carcasses/bones into a large pot and top with cold water. Heat to a gentle simmer and skim off any scum that rises up (Dépouiller). The scum is coagulated protein, held together by fat. While it won’t hurt you, it won’t taste good so it’s best to remove it. Top off with cold water if needed.
  • Add vegetables and a bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer again but do not let the stock boil vigorously. Regulate the heat so that a few bubbles rise to the surface. Skim regularly and keep the ingredients covered by topping off with cold water. Cook uncovered for 3-4 hours.
  • Strain the stock, pour into a clean pot and boil to reduce and intensify the flavor. Use your judgment and taste buds to determine how far to reduce. Stock can be frozen. Just pour into freezer bags or ice cube trays.

With meat stock you’ll want it dark and rich, so roast your meat/beef bones and vegetables for about 45 minutes in a 400- 450 degree F oven before adding them to your stockpot and adding water. If you skip this step, your stock will have a lighter color and flavor. Now start saving your scraps and get cooking. Enjoy the process!

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Cold Soups: Turn Down Heat and Turn Up The Flavor

Cold soup is a favorite as a refreshing alternative to warm, hearty soups. These recipes/dishes tend to be chock full of fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables from honeydew to cucumber and mint to zesty gazpacho. No doubt cold soups offer their own uniquely “slurpable” flavors.

For cold soup newcomers, one favorite Spanish recipe gazpacho is the ultimate chilled soup for many. Made with the ripest tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, this vegetarian classic soup is thickened with stale bread or bread crumbs/croutons and brightened up with garlic and sherry vinegar. Other favorite classic cold soups are vichyssoise, borscht, yogurt cucumber & dill, and carrot ginger. Soups, either hot or cold are great platforms for your creative side to shine. They can be jazzed up with seasoning blends, like Ras el Hanout, or Chinese five spice, to name just a few, and don’t forget about the wide variety of fresh herbs that will complement your creation.

Smoothies and smoothie bowls have been all the rage the past few years. For a Smoothie bowl, you can create pretty much any combo of flavors and then top it with your favorite fruits or crunchies like cereal and nuts. This means it’s more satisfying than a regular smoothie. You eat it with a spoon, like cold soup. This made us think, how about using some of our cold soups as a base for a smoothie or smoothie bowl. After trial and error with various soup blends, we ended up with a few tasty treats. Using these soup blends, such as carrot ginger, not only gave us great looking and tasty smoothies, but also a nice nutritional boost.

So for a change of pace, take the chance and mix some fruit and veggies together. Please see our featured recipes for some inspiration. Enjoy!

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Chicken Pozole Verde Soup

Our first recipe this month is Chicken Pozole Verde Soup. It’s a standard Mexican recipe and everyone has their own twist on it, our chefs included. We have been working on a green chili seasoning that really punches up this and many other dishes. Request a sample from your sales person and try this out!

Ingredients
2 ¾ tsp Green chili seasoning –NWF (sprinkled onto chicken before cooking and added into onions)
16 oz- Raw Chicken thighs (with 1 ½ tsp seasoning applied)
1 cup Spanish onion, small dice (sautéed)
2 tsp Olive oil
1 ¼ cups Tomatillo Verde Sauce (store bought or homemade)
32 oz Chicken broth
½ tsp Granulated garlic
1 ½ tsp Sea salt
½ tsp Guajillo pepper seasoning
¾ tsp Oregano (Mexican)
2 cups Hominy (whole)
½ cup Hominy (puree, add in ½ cup of chicken broth)

Directions:

  • Rub 1 ½ tsp of the green chili seasoning onto raw chicken. Place thighs in oven, (350 degrees), for about 15-20 mins. Remove from oven, even if chicken is not fully cooked. Any uncooked pieces will finish cooking in soup broth.
  • Sautée onions in small pot with olive oil, until slightly brown. Add in the remaining 1 ¼ tsp of green chili seasoning, and tomatillo verde sauce. Stir well.
  • Add into pot- chicken broth, garlic, sea salt, guajillo pepper, oregano, hominy, hominy puree. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients.
  • Add chopped chicken into pot with other ingredients. Stir well. Let simmer on Med/low flame for about 15 minutes. Check temperature of broth (want about 180 degrees). Chicken pieces should be cooked, but check before serving.
  • Serve with pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro sprigs.

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SOUP!

When summer comes to an end and the days get cooler, there’s no better way to warm up than with a delicious bowl of soup! Soup dates back to the 18th century. A large amount could be made on the cheap and could feed a lot of people. Historically, soup was used as a test of character. If you were a good person, you shared your soup. If you didn’t share your warm, brothy meal, you were considered selfish.

There are three main types of soups: clear or brothy, creamy or thick, and cold. All soups begin with stock or broth. Clear soups can contain vegetables, meat and beans. Cream soups start off the same as a clear soup but also include cream or a thickening agent such as a roux. Some examples of creamy or thick soups are bisque, gumbo and stew. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be cold outside to enjoy soup. Cold soups are also delicious and refreshing to eat. They can be savory or sweet and even eaten as dessert!

Each region of the world has their own types of soup. In New England, clam chowder defines the region. French Onion was created in France, of course, but has gained momentum all over the world. The Chinese use chicken broth based soup, adding deliciously filled wontons. And finally, thanks to the Spanish, gazpacho is one of the most popular cold soups enjoyed today.

Soup is one of the most convenient meals available. It’s easy to find canned soups that are microwave ready, dry mixes and even packaged as a drink for eating on the go. Don’t be shy stocking up on good old fashioned chicken soup as it has healing and soothing properties when you are sick.

So the next time you experience a writer’s block type of feeling when trying to plan dinner, try your hand at whipping up a pot of soup. It’s easy, fun and nearly fool proof.

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Visual Guide To Stuffing Sausage

Here are some step by step instructions on how to prep, fill, and cook your first sausage.  A visual guide is always easier to follow, so we hope this better illustrates the process.

 


1. Soak your casings


2. Prep your ingredients


3. Coarse grind your meat (first pass)

4. It should have an even look to it when done. Add your cure, and mix in


5. Remove fat from pork belly and grind only fat into your meat.


6. Mix fat into meat. You want about a 75% meat to 25% fat ratio.


7. Add seasoning and water to your mixture and hand mix everything together. Load your soaked casings onto the meat stuffer attachment and place your mixture a little at a time into the tray on top.


8. Slowly push the meat mixture down with a plunger and let it fill the casings. Twist off to form links at desired length. If a finer texture is desired, push through a smaller plate.


9. Cook links to 156°F internal temperature and a nice reddish brown color. Cool down, reheat on a grill for the best flavor.

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