Artisan Soy Sauce, Mangalitsa Smoked bacon, mustard, Fregula Sarda...and much more - - eat simply! live well! - enews
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In this issue:
Shoyu Sauce


Fregula Sarda

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Recipes of the Week

Basil Olive

Toffee Sauce Sticky!
No home should be without a jar of Sticky Toffee Sauce. Heat and pour over sticky toffee pudding or ice cream. At home, we sauté bananas in butter for a couple of minutes, and serve with Sticky Toffee Sauce poured over the top, and with a spoon of vanilla ice cream. Yummy.
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Banyuls Mustard

shop now for soy sauce 10 times the antioxidants of red wine
Early in 2002, in our old wood warehouse, we lined our longest table with eight different sauces from three different countries. It was a blind taste test. The similarities that the sauces shared were in name only. Yes, they were all salty - but that was about it. Some were sharp. Some were crunch-your-eyes-closed salty. Some were bitter or sweet. Most did not taste great. There was no clear winner; everyone picked a different favorite sauce.

(By the way, we sample everything we carry by tasting it "plain Jane" - straight out of the bottle or jar with just a spoon. We find this to be the best way to compare one food with another. We do the same thing in our store; vinegars and oils are tasted on a spoon so that the food is pure and unadorned.)

Years later, we did a much smaller sampling of the same products and found that, no matter how we tried it, the flavor was far less than "refreshing" - until now. Though still overwhelmingly strong in flavor, the one thing that this sauce had above all the others was a clean finish; no after taste when you are done. Pretty impressive when the whole idea is to enhance the flavor of other dishes, without making its personality be the dominate figure.

Perhaps the most telling tale is that it takes one year to make this product. Compared to certain other brands which are made from acid-hydrolyzed soy protein, instead of being brewed in the traditional way, the Kishibori brand takes at least 353 days more than their chemical cousins.

As you probably have guessed by now, we are talking about soy sauce. Soy sauce has been around for close to 2500 years. Made everywhere in Asia, the most familiar varieties are from China, Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia. Soy sauce is considered a "crucial" ingredient in asian cuisines. Not only does quality soy sauce enhance flavors while contributing its earthy flavor to whatever dish you are preparing, but traditional, artisan-produced, dark soy sauce also contains 10 times the antioxidants of red wine, and helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases!

Read more about Kishibori!

shop now for Fregula Sarda Small crispy pasta - Fregola
The term "fregula" (also "fregola") may derive from the Latin word fricare, meaning chopping up, little fragment, splinter, crumb, scrap, corpuscle. These tasty little balls of pasta are created by rubbing coarse semolina into balls in the presence of water.

Unlike North African or Middle Eastern Couscous, these little balls are then toasted in an oven, giving them a toasty, rustic-homey taste. This medium fregula is a staple in the Sardinian kitchen.

Positively perfect pasta placed plain or paired with soups, meats, and veggies.

Fregula can be seasoned with tomato and sausage, or used to make fregula's most famous dish, fregula con cocciula (fregola with clams) from Cagliari. Given its density and texture, it can absorb a ton of liquid without becoming mushy, so it just may be the ultimate pasta for soups. Serve it like the locals, in "brood" (broth) - either beef, chicken or mushroom.

Best when cooked in boiling water for 10-12 minutes.

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Spring for mustard
Although the typical standard mustard from the local grocer comes in a very convenient, plastic squeeze bottle, to me, the flavor just doesn't resemble what I remember from way back when. Perhaps it's my taste buds that just can't remember, but more likely the formula has changed; incorporating cheaper ingredients in the never ending desire to homogenize down our food.

French Dijon mustard has been the standard for which all other mustards are judged. Unfortunately, most of the world's commercial mustard seed crop is no longer grown in Dijon. Although that is not surprising - after all the world is getting smaller - as the mustard crop moves around, so do the mustard recipes, and so does the taste of the mustard seed and the end product, "mustard" . Like wine, terroir and tradition can make a big, albeit sometimes subtle, difference.

Although I too like the convenience of squeezing my mustard out onto my burger, (the "easy squeeze",) the end result never quite matches my flavor anticipation. Although grocery store mustard has its own distinct flavor, it definitely lacks the personality I am looking for. I want my mustard to add, to compliment, and to help create a specific taste - a taste that is not fussy, but makes my burger not just different, but better!

Hot, flavored or mild, I also like my mustard to have seeds, especially when I mix it with a smooth ketchup. Envision a smooth ketchup, a seedy mustard, a hot dog or burger, all sandwiched between two perfectly shaped buns! Whoa!!!

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  ChefShop sweepstakes

Wine Vinegar
Sparkling Wine
Champagne, or Sparking Wine, Vinegar is considered the lightest of vinegars. Unfortunately sometimes that usually means mostly acid on the tongue, with little of the flavor from the base champagne remaining after production. This delicious sparkling wine vinegar is different; made slowly, the old fashion way, which means it's full of flavor.

Katz & Co.'s Sparkling Wine Vinegar is made in Sonoma from high quality sparkling wine stock, mainly chardonnay. So technically, it's a 'sparkling wine' vinegar, not a Champagne vinegar. It offers crisp and pleasant acidity, hints of vanilla from the oak, and subtle nuances of sweet melon and cucumber in the finish. It's perfect for salads with fresh greens, marinades, as well as a cooking/deglazing liquid.

A longtime favorite of chefs in their kitchens, Albert changed the name to follow his personal feeling about doing things the right way. Since Champagne is a region in France, and since he makes his vinegars from grapes grown in California, he changed the name, not knowing if the change would hurt sales. Well, it hasn't. Katz' Sparkling Wine Vinegar is the fastest growing wine vinegar we have. (There are no bubbles, just in case you were wondering.)
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It's coming soon! Mangalitsa Smoked Bacon
We've been smoking and smoking and eating and eating. This bacon is looking really really really good! So far the reviews have been great! From "Love this bacon" to "Luuuv this bacon!" Next week we'll share it all. Check out Master Butcher Rick smoking the belly here at this link.

What's Cooking!
We have some of the finest artisan-made foods on the planet. The history these ingredients bring with them can be over a million years old, or as new as yesterday. Whether they are a new concept or a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, how to use them can be simple and obvious - or not.

Ever wonder what to do with an ingredient? That's what these classes are about. Don't be fooled, it's not just dessert or pasta, it's the real beans. We take the mundane and the plain, and turn it into the insane! Well, maybe not that far, but we do take some great ingredients and show you how to use them in moderation to get the most flavorful dishes and create the most memorable meals.

Tell your friends that we are giving away 8.8 pounds of Agostoni Italian Chocolate to one winner! The more the merrier!

This Weeks Recipes

Fregula with Minted Cauliflower

Marinated Flank Steak with Shoyu
A terrific marinade for grilled meat or chicken. We love this marinaded flank steak with a simple plate of rice and a green vegetable. (Thanks to our visiting store customer catching the missing ingredient of soy sauce!)

Muscovado & Mustard Dressing Recipe
Quick dressing, easy to do!

See what you missed in previous Newsletters

Fighter of Disease, the Garbanzo and France Back in Stock

The Strange Making of Honeydew Honey

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