Culinary Classic: Cordon Bleu

Contrary to what you might think, Chicken Cordon Bleu and its relations are not of French origin. French-inspired, yes. But as near as anyone contends, this preparation is a rather recent invention. Some trace its origins to 1940s Switzerland, although the first mention of Chicken Cordon Bleu in print, specifically, turns up in the New York Times, circa 1967.

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Cut of the Month: Leg of Lamb

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.

Lamb is often on our minds come March. The spring holidays are just around the corner, and lamb is a popular selection for both Passover dinners and Easter celebrations. Likewise, the old English proverb about March weather also brings lamb to mind: March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. For these reasons, we’ve selected Leg of Lamb for this month’s Cut of the Month.

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Ask the Butcher: Favorite Ethnic Cuisine

One of the qualities we love about food is that it can take you on a trip around the world, and you don’t even have to leave your kitchen! Every type of cuisine offers unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques that represent the rich culture of its origin.

We asked the Lobels to share with us what they love about their favorite ethnic cuisines.

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Image courtesy of chawalitpix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Cajun-Creole Unmasked

Imagine it’s Mardi Gras, and you are walking down Bourbon Street—the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Merry makers—many with a Hurricane or other libation in hand—flood the streets and revel all around you, all the while collecting as many strands of cheap beads as necks and inhibition allow.

Against the crowd’s noise, blues, jazz, zydeco, ragtime, and more pour from every filigreed cast-iron balcony and open doorway at every club, music hall, dive, and juke joint up and down the boulevard. Street merchants lend their own cadence hawking trinkets, gewgaws, and souvenirs.

And what cuts through all that clutter and sputter are the aromas that waft into the proceedings from the restaurants, food stalls, and street vendors. So varied. So pungent. So enveloping. So intoxicating.

You’ve just gotta have something to eat.

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Sausage in Profile: Bangers

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 sausagetheir flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.

Bangers are a favorite in pubs and homes all across the British Isles. Whether enjoyed as part of the classic comfort food bangers and mash or as part of a full breakfast, bangers have found a welcoming fanbase here in the U.S. as well.

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Culinary Classic: Shepherd’s Pie

Tracing its 18th century origins to the British Isles, Shepherd’s Pie is a humble dish, born of frugality.

Early on it was called Cottage Pie, consisting of stewed ground meat (usually left over roast), potatoes, carrots, and peas combined in a rich gravy, topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes, then put in a hot oven to warm the contents and brown the potato topping. (more…)

Culinary Classics: Mother Sauces

A Mother Sauce is a basic recipe that can be used on its own or as a starting point for far-flung variations.

The fundamental components of any sauce are liquid, thickener, and flavoring agents. Each of the Mother Sauces is distinguished by the combination of the basic ingredients. In turn, when the basic ingredients are substituted or enhanced, the result is called a small sauce.

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Are you socializing with us?

Did you know that every single day that our shop on Madison Avenue in Manhattan is open, there is a Lobel family member there cutting meat? The shop is never open without a Lobel behind the butcher block.

Why? Because we take pride in our product—it is our family name after all—and because we want to stay connected with our customers. There is something to say for being able to look our customer in the eye as we hand them a package of freshly cut steaks. (more…)

Sweet Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day only comes once a year—making it the perfect excuse to indulge in delicious treats! Whether you stick with traditional staples or try a new recipe, no Valentine’s Day menu would be complete without a few delicious desserts.

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Pigskin party? Bring on the bacon!

This is the time of year when it seems that parties abound. Between Thanksgiving and Super Sunday, there are family parties, holiday gatherings, new year celebrations, play-off festivities, and so on. We’re always in need of quick, easy, and delicious party foods to keep the crowds of friends and family happy.

When it comes to a football party, casual and bite-size are two of the main requirements. The third main requirement? The menu must include bacon, of course.

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