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Category Archives: Recipes

Heavenly Pork Loin + Football = Smoking Sunday

PeppersPlayoffs had everyone sitting around the TV this past weekend. If you are wondering what the sonic boom was, that was my mom screaming because the Broncos won. (Hi Mom!) Since food is part of screaming at the TV while watching football in my house,  I picked up a pork loin and attempted to try a recipe verbally given to me by one of our phenomenal guest chefs, Maria Rivera. Pictured here is one of Maria’s creations…

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Here’s Maria…

MariaWhen I use the word phenomenal I mean her food brings me to joyous tears. I’m serious. Holy WOW. The kicker is Maria offers cooking classes to teach people just like me how to cook simply, yet decadently, in the comfort of their own homes with ingredients you can buy at local supermarkets. Here’s the link to Maria’s Cooking Classes

Below is the simple recipe (as told to me by Maria) that had my guests happily moaning and grabbing seconds…

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I do have a confession….I couldn’t sear it for 4 minutes on each side because I cook on a basic coil range with a recirculating 30″ hood that I’m still trying to adjust my cooking techniques around. Not only did I make a delicious pork loin, I created a ton of smoke and a lot of laughter as the smoke billowed out of all the doors in my apartment. It was heavenly in my house for about 10 minutes. Totally worth it. I baked my pork a little longer than 12 minutes to make up for the lack of searing time. I managed one picture of my leftovers I brought in for lunch because on the actual day we ate it we into a food coma before I thought of doing the pork paparazzi thing. Here it is paired with my yellow rice…..

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You may think….there is no way just slathered pork could be that tasty. Just try it yourself for the proof. It was SOOOOO good. And easy. And SMOKING! Super Yum!! Thank you, Maria!!!

Soups On! 2015 Edition

Soup2015-1Each year we have a soup/chili competition amongst our employees. Some of us take the competition very seriously. I was happy to come in a solid 10th place out of 13 entries with plans to make it to 9th next year!! The results came in after many of us MmmmMmmmMmm-ing our way through all the competitors.

Logan, our latest addition to Aggressive took 3rd place. Sam, Scott’s wife, took 2nd place. Tina came in first with her tortellini soup!! Here is Tina’s winning recipe so you can cook up a great dinner for your guests! The kicker? She didn’t even really follow a recipe!

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Tina’s Tortellini Soup

I – box of veggie broth

1 – box of beef broth

2 – packs of pork sausage/maybe 16 oz each

2 – 32 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes crushed

1 – onion chopped and sautéed

A handful of chopped garlic cloves chopped

1 – small bag of carrots chopped into strips.

2 – bags frozen tortellini (left on counter to thaw)

Saute your vegies and cook the sausage….add those to your broth and tomatoes…season with salt to taste, there was some Montreal seasoning on the counter, so I kept adding that too.

You can add wine, or I used most of a bottle of cooking sherry in mine.  I put in 2 bags of frozen tortellini (that I left on the counter, so they were actually thawed). Add those in the last ½ hour before you serve it. It’s a pretty basic soup so you can add or take away veggies per your taste….if you weren’t making for a big crowd, half all the ingredients.  I also added some chopped fresh basil right before serving.

Cheers!!!

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Then……Tina brought in some of the best cookies this past week for us to all enjoy. They are a Martha Stewart special. I’m adding the recipe link here because everyone needs to attempt these at home, especially for Christmas! Martha Stewart – Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Happy cooking!!!

Merry Christmas Foodie Baby

ChristmasIt is 15 days until Christmas and you know there is that one person on your list you just have no clue what to get because they HAVE EVERYTHING. We have something they don’t. And we stock ’em. And they won’t break your budget. And…well…WOLF! Wolf introduced Wolf Gourmet this year featuring countertop appliances, cookware, and cutlery!!! With prices ranging from $299.95-$999.95 you know you want to take a peek.

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Wolf is well known for their outstanding cooking products, but they also have an amazing gourmet kitchen small product line. These products are offered as promotional gifts when purchasing a whole kitchen full of Wolf and Subzero….BUT…you can buy them, too! If you don’t buy a kitchen full of awesome appliances you can purchase their sweet suite of goodies as gifts or keep them for yourself!

I’m going to focus on one of my favorites…..their blender. At $599.95 you have more than a “blender” here. You have a meal maker! And look at that red knob, signature Wolf design. You can buy a black or stainless knob, too, if you want to change it up.

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This blender makes smoothies, soups, sauces, and anything else you can think of to throw in a blender. With a 64 ounce capacity and the ability to create a meal in one container, how can you go wrong? Here’s a quick recipe from Bob Luyckx, our Wolf rep, that he created on the fly…for hot, fresh apple cider.

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“I used one half of Gala apple and one half envy apple. After cutting each in half I cord them and sliced them into three or four slices lengthwise. Add one bottle of water ( or 2 cups). I added liquid sugar in the raw as a sweetener however you could substitute agave or honey.  I used about a tablespoon and one half, but you can sweeten to taste. Sprinkled some ground cinnamon into the carafe. Put the blender on it’s soup function or mode and in 5 1/2 minutes I had piping hot fresh apple cider at about 140°.”

How great is this?!? Thanks Bob!

At $499.95, the countertop convection oven is another favorite of mine, however, we have the whole gourmet product line here (pictured below) that we’d be happy to show you since we have them displayed and ready to come home for Christmas.

Stop in and do your last minute Christmas shopping with Aggressive!

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WolfKnives

WolfCookware

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Grateful Gobbling

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With Thanksgiving a week away….here are some tips, a simple recipe, and some words of comforting wisdom from our own Jim Balano.

1. Do NOT Self Clean Your Oven. That type of extreme heat could stress your oven before the big day. Please wait until after the holidays to do it.

2. Turning the Turkey Lets It Cook Evenly. Roasting a bird breast side down for at least half of the cooking time shields the delicate breast meat from heat currents in the oven and exposes the thigh meat to direct heat. The bird will need to be turned breast side up allowing the skin on the breast to brown and crisp. Roast the turkey breast side up for at least the last hour of roasting. If the breast skin isn’t browning, raise the oven temperature slightly and baste the skin with clarified butter or oil. As an alternative to flipping, cook the bird breast side up the whole time shielding the breast with foil until the last half of the roasting time.

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3. Brining the Bird. Brining makes a bird juicy. Brining is soaking a whole turkey in a salt solution. The salt in brining breaks down proteins in the meat and exposes more bonding sites for water molecules, thus allowing the meat to retain more water as it cooks. During brining, a turkey absorbs 10 to 15 percent additional weight in water. As it cooks, the bird naturally loses 20 to 30 percent of its initial water content. Brining cuts the net loss in half resulting in a juicier, more tender turkey. Another plus, the salt in the brine makes the bird taste more seasoned. Pan drippings from a brined bird can be very salty, so be sure to use little to no additional salt in gravy made from the drippings. I use my larger cooler to brine the bird with ice.

4. Pies. Home made pies are the best if they are warm out of the oven. Place baked pies in the warm oven when you are ready to serve the meal.

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5. Letting the Turkey Rest. Take the turkey out of the oven 30/45 minutes before carving.  Tent it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.  This allows juices to resettle in the turkey.

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6. Meat Thermometer. Does your oven have a temperature probe? Set it for 165F.  It will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven. This will reduce the chance of an overcooked dried turkey.

7. Saving Tummy Room. Thanksgiving dinner has all of your family’s favorites.  Reduce or eliminate your appetizers before the meal so that you will have space in your tummy to enjoy the second helping or your mother’s pie or dessert.

8. Be Thankful. After our prayers are given, we hold hands and declare what we are so thankful for from the current year. Enjoy the company of your family and friends.

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I grew up in Massachusetts with a cranberry bog in my backyard. This recipe is so simple, but so tasty…

Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained

Directions

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups.

A Taste for Every Month

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Did you know that November is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month?  I am among the lovers of peanut butter, so I intend to participate in this month long celebration.  Thinking about National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month made me realize that as a purveyor of awesome appliances, we should observe more of these tasty celebrations.  Here are some of the great monthly celebrations and links to some recipes.  If your current appliances won’t do these ingredients justice, come in to our showroom and let us show you the latest and greatest in cooking.  We can make this month (and every month) Celebrate Your New Appliances Month.

January: Oatmeal MonthWhole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

February: Cherry MonthCherry Stuffed Grilled Chicken

March: Quinoa MonthMediterranean Quinoa Salad

April: Pecan Month  –  Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels with Carolina Mustard Sauce

May: Sweet Vidalia Onion MonthHerbed Pizza with Grilled Vidalia Onions, Sausage and Mango

May is also Maytag Month.  Check back with us then for their best rebates and promotions of the year.  Yeah, there is a recipe too –  Maytag Blue Cheese Salad Dressing

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June: Turkey Lover’s MonthChipotle Turkey Meatloaf

July: Blueberry MonthBlueberry Beef Burgers

August: Catfish MonthBaked Cinnamon Chipotle Catfish with Sweet Pepper Slaw

September: Honey MonthCheryl’s Baklava

October: Chili MonthMultiple Award Winning Black Bean Chili

November: Peanut Butter Lover’s MonthPeanut Butter Surprise Cookies

December: Buckwheat MonthBuckwheat Mushroom Kreplach in Dill Tomato Sauce

I hope you can celebrate the great food months with us.  Did you know that June is World Naked Bike Ride Month (only in the northern hemisphere) or that March is Mad for Plaid Month?  For more special observances and food months check out www.brownielocks.com.  Food.com says that you can celebrate a food a day, but that would make this blog too big.

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Irish Comfort

 

Being of Ukrainian and Cuban descent, it makes complete and total sense that I love and crave corned beef and cabbage. Right? I can hear my inner Irish woman screaming “LOVE IT!!” With St. Patrick’s Day just days away…..here’s a simple recipe borrowed from allrecipes.com for some Irish “soul” food. Apparently it wasn’t a traditional Irish meal until the Irish came to America. Who knew? Now I do.

Some Interesting History on St. Patrick’s Day

Yummy comfort food rocks and even IF the Irish tradition only began when Irish immigrants first landed in the U.S., does it even matter? Good food is good food, and this dish is SO good. While we’re at it, why not sprinkle some shamrocks around the house in anticipation of the arrival of mischievous leprechauns bearing pots of gold who want a taste of this culinary creation?

I could use some gold.

May the luck of the Irish shine down upon you and may your lives be happy and full….just like your bellies after making this recipe…Enjoy!


Corned Beef and Cabbage

Prep Time:         10 minutes

Cook Time:         2 hours 25 minutes

Ready In:             2 hours 35 minutes

Servings:             5

Ingredients:

3              Pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet

10            Small red potatoes

5              Carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces

1              Large head cabbage, cut into small wedges

Directions: Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender. Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetable are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.

 

Don’t play with your food!!!

It’s 6pm. You’re just getting home from a long day. Your kids, spouse, significant other, your pet, (insert other hungry mouth here), or just YOU are starving. Who has time to cook a healthy meal that will be tasty and quick? Apparently we do. It might even mean that everyone puts their smart phones down and *GASP* talk to each other over a meal. Imagine?!? That’s just what Subzero-Wolf is suggesting AND they say we can do it easily with just a little planning and foresight. Hmmmm, interesting…

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We were told as children not to play with our food….and it seems to me this campaign is saying “Why not?!”

Subzero-Wolf, an elite line of cooking and refrigeration products, has nobly started their “Reclaim the Kitchen” campaign. Their concept is that we are spending more time buying meals outside of the home and not cooking for ourselves (true, true). Are we missing out on fun and nutrition when we pick fast food or take out? Who really likes that garbage anyway? I don’t see any hands up…roastedchickenwithnewpotatoesandasparagusSo what they are saying in a nutshell is taking a few extra minutes to go buy fresh, fun, colorful, healthy foods with (or without) company and head home to create a quick meal is actually doable? Yes! And…all the “chefs”, young, in-between, and old, may have the chance to talk, share, and create memories as well! Little ones, playing with food, filling their bodies and souls with a home cooked meal that they help create within reach. My reach. Yours. I’m not kidding. Teach them about nutrition and helpfulness while bonding over food? I’m definitely picking up what Subzero-Wolf is putting down. I can do this! I think you can, too!

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And what about all you singles out there? Blast some music, break out the seasonings and get your creative side flowing. Cooking is an art and what better way to nourish your body and creative spirit than with a masterpiece you’ve whipped up either for yourself or for someone visiting?

As our lives get a little nuts we don’t have to sacrifice happy bellies OR play time with our food in the kitchen. Find your inner kid and get back to playing with your food.

Subzero-Wolf has happily cooked up a website here with easy, fast recipes and links that fit our fabulous lifestyles and insane schedules. And here’s the link of their press release on this awesome initiative in partnership with Chef Kathleen Flinn.

And by the way… if you click the “food on the table” pictures you’ll go right to their recipe link.

(Silly raspberry heads photo credit to Raw Food Rehab)

 

 

Smoked Turkey Gumbo

SoupBaby it’s cold OUTSIDE……and what a perfect time to indulge in some comfort foods like soups and stews. In November we held a soup and chili cook-off. The winning submission was made by Doug White. Below is his winning recipe and well worth the effort it took to make it.


Smoked Turkey Gumbo

½ of a 14 pound Smoked Turkey and the stock from that.

All purpose flour

Vegetable oil

Butter

1 Onion cut into small chunks

5 Garlic cloves chopped fine

1 Green pepper cut into small chunks

6 Stalks of celery cut into bite size pieces

12 – 16 oz Smoked Andouille sausage cut into bite size pieces

Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun Magic Poulty Magic, about 2 tablespoons

Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun Magic Vegetable Magic, about 2 tablespoons

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Pound okra cut into bite size pieces

3-4 Green onions chopped fine

Part of the fun of making this Gumbo was smoking the turkey on the Big Green Egg the weekend before.  You will only need some of the turkey for the gumbo, so you can use the rest for turkey dinner.  If you prefer, you could also use a whole smoked chicken.  After smoking the turkey, carve the meat off the bones and boil the bones with a little salt to make a stock.  Strain the stock.  If you do not use it all for the gumbo, you can freeze some to make soup or chili later.  The smoked stock was key to the deep flavor of this gumbo.

Heat about 2 quarts of the stock in a large stock pot.  Cook the onions and garlic in a skillet with a little butter and about 1/3 of the Vegetable Magic until slightly brown and just starting to get tender.  Set them aside and add a little more butter and cook the green pepper pieces with more Vegetable Magic.  Put that aside and cook the celery the same way with the remaining Vegetable Magic.  Set the celery aside with the other vegetables, they will be mixed in shortly.  Cut the turkey into bite size cubes.  Mix about ½ cup of flour with a couple tablespoons of Poultry Magic and coat the turkey pieces in the flour.  Heat about 1/2” of oil in the same skillet and pan fry the turkey pieces.  When they are golden brown, set them aside.  Scrape the pan bottom with a metal whisk to loosen any stuck bits, then add enough oil to equal about a half cup in the pan.  Gradually whisk about ½ cup of flour into the oil over medium-high heat to form a roux.  Be sure to use any remaining seasoned flour.  Whisk constantly while cooking until roux is dark reddish brown, 3 to 5 minutes usually.  DO NOT burn the roux.  Remove the roux from the heat and stir in the vegetables.  Stir them to completely coat with the roux then return to low heat and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetables to the stock.  Sear the Andouille in the skillet until browned then add that and the turkey to the stock.  Do not waste the last bit of fond in the skillet.  Deglaze the skillet with a little water and add that to the stock.  Bring the stock to a low boil and cook for about 15 minutes.  Add the okra and return to a boil.  You can add water to thin the gumbo if it is too thick (if there is such a thing).  Taste the gumbo and add salt, pepper or more Cajun Magic if needed.  Reduce the stock to a simmer and cook for an hour or two.  Stir in the green onions about 5 minutes before serving.  Serve over rice.

Recipe by Doug White Doug