Article: April, 2014

Culinary Classic: Gratin

Gratin Dishes: C’est Cheese

In common use, the phrase au gratin has become synonymous with a meat, vegetable, or other dish that has cheese in it (macaroni and cheese being the most ubiquitous gratin dish of all).

But that’s not always the case.

potatoes-gratin

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Culinary DIY: Bouquet Garni

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Bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs and seasonings added to a dish to add herbal notes to the flavor. The herbs used in a bouquet garni can be fresh or dried.

The herbs are either tied into a bundle with kitchen twine or gathered up into a cheesecloth bundle to make removal from the pot easy once the cooking is finished.

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From One Extreme to the Other: Chile Peppers

The most common way to organize peppers is by the degree of their heat, or pungency. The chemical that carries the heat in pepper is called capsaicin, and its concentration determines just how hot a given pepper is.

The common measuring unit is a Scoville heat unit (SHU) developed by Wilbur Scoville, a pharmacist, in 1912. The heat ratings are assigned by the results of a panel of taste testers, not objective data.

Peppers-on-board

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Ask the Butcher: What’s Your Favorite Spring Ingredient?

Spring is finally here! The weather is getting warmer and many plants are waking up from their long winter naps.  We love to incorporate the light, refreshing flavors of springtime into our cooking. We asked the Lobels to share with us their favorite spring ingredient!

Mint-Mojito (more…)

Cut of the Month: Brisket

The Lobel family of Lobel’s Prime Meats in Manhattan and Lobel’s of New York online butcher shop are fourth- and fifth-generation butchers. With our Cut of the Month series, we will bring you their wealth of knowledge and expertise on specific cuts of meat, including their unique characteristics, preparation methods, and how to select the best cut.

Brisket is one of our more popular cuts. Customers are always asking for it, and we’ve learned over the years that people are passionate about their brisket! That said, brisket is not the same thing to all people. To some, it’s the quintessential cut for good ol’ low-and-slow barbeque. To others, it’s a slow-cooked comfort food. And to others, it’s the centerpiece to a traditional Passover feast.

For these reasons, we’ve selected brisket for this month’s Cut of the Month.

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Sausage in Profile: Kielbasa

While the concept of sausage is simple, thousands of variations can be found throughout the world. Sausages can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked. They are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken, and more. And they can include myriad ingredients, from spices and herbs to fruits, vegetables, and cheeses—and even liquids such as beer, whiskey, or blood. Our “Sausage in Profile” series aims to introduce you to different types of sausage—their flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.

Here in the U.S., the name kielbasa refers to a specific type of Polish sausage, but in Polish “kielbasa” is just the general word for “a sausage.” There are many varieties of Polish sausage, as sausage is a staple in Polish cuisine. The sausage Americans are thinking of when they refer to Kielbasa is “Polska Kielbasa Wędzona,” or Smoked Polish Sausage. While each manufacturer of this sausage has its own recipe, this sausage is generally known to contain pork, beef, garlic, marjoram, and spices.

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