All posts by Nick Nawroth

Molecular Gastronomy in your home Kitchen!

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Cuisine R Photo

High end restaurants play around with food in the most creative ways. Foams, gels, smears, pearls, even “noodles” are things most of us see on Top Chef or the Food Network. Maybe you’ve been lucky to eat at some of the high end restaurants that continue to push the creative boundaries of unique food styling and plating techniques.

Now you can try it at home! Peggy and I found this new line of Molecular kits that makes playing with your food a fun (and affordable) reality for your home kitchen.

Cuisine R-Evolution came out with a “do it yourself” kit that includes all you need to experiment with the different techniques. The Molecular Gastronomy Kit comes with 5 pre-measured food additives, 5 specialized tools, as well as a 50 recipe DVD that makes it accessible to all foodies. We also carry individual kits that will get your started with learning 1 technique like pearls, foam or “noodles”.

Come into the Culinary Center and see for yourself all the cool stuff you can make by playing with your food!

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

Our Favorite Heavy-Duty Baking Pans

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USA Pan Image

Peggy and I have been on a mission to find the best quality heavy-duty baking pans that would deliver professional results. Not only did we want them for the Culinary Center, but we wanted them to be available for purchase, too! A lot of what is available out there were put to the test: some warped when placed in a hot oven, others would stain and discolor. We were starting to think we would never be happy.

Finally—mission accomplished! Allow us to introduce you to USA Pans.  For 50 years they have been manufacturing baking pans for commercial bakeries, and they are the largest manufacturer of industrial bakeware in the world.   Now they offer a complete line of premium bakeware for home use. Hooray!

USA Pan bakeware is constructed from heavy gauge aluminized steel and features a uniquely textured surface that adds strength and facilitates air circulation for even baking.  Each pan is coated with a clear, non-stick, environmentally friendly silicone that is specially formulated for superior baking and does not contain any PTFEs or PFOAs.

We think these pans are the best available and are proud they are produced in the USA!

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

Yum — My Favorite Lunch Is Back!

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Crab Cake Sandwich PhotoEvery Friday for Lent we are featuring our Chesapeake Crab Cake Sandwich.

Our warm Chesapeake Style Crab Cake is made with 100% real crab and barely enough Hellmann’s Mayo and fresh breadcrumbs to hold it together. We top it off with rémoulade sauce, fresh tomato, and crisp lettuce piled on our Bakery fresh bun.  It’s a perfect sandwich that you can eat here or take it home for lunch or dinner.

 It’s a great deal at $9 with DLM Kettle Cooked Potato Chips and a pickle.

C’mon in and try it — I think you’ll love it.

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

It’s a Real Pleasure

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HMR Ingredients Photo

Spending time back in the test kitchen this week reminds me of how lucky I am.

When I shop around to get some ideas for new recipes, the overall abundance of gorgeous fresh fruits and vegetables always amazes me. I tend to develop a couple of months in advance so I really can’t wait till the seasons start to turn. The preview of what Mother Nature has to offer gets me excited to roll up my sleeves and get busy cooking.

 And that is just in the Produce department!

I also get to pick and choose from Prime beef,  vegetarian-fed and antibiotic-free chicken & pork, plus the freshest fish and shellfish we can get. Hands down, that is really the reason why our food always tastes so much better than our competition!

In the next couple of weeks, get ready to see some new soups, deli salads, vegetables, and entrées that highlight why DLM always tastes so good!

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

You Had Me at Cooking Bacon

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Bacon Cooking Image

With the approach of Bacon Fest this weekend, I wanted to share what I consider the best way to cook it!  Back in my culinary school days making bacon strips for several of the dining venues, the bacon strips always had to be perfect. No burnt edges, no pockets of flabby undercooked fat, and of course, no curls, bubbles, or unevenness!  The answer to these problems is baking. We would take big sheet pans and place a baking rack on top. This elevates the bacon strips and takes away the flipping during the cooking process. All strips would come out evenly cooked and uniform. Here at DLM, our kitchens use the same process. It amazes me how much bacon we cook in our three kitchens on a daily basis!

So to translate to the home kitchen, find yourself a good baking rack that nestles inside your largest jelly roll pan. Lay out strips of DLM Bacon without overlapping. Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 20 minutes, or until desired doneness. Blot if necessary.

If you are lucky to have a convection oven, this is a good place to use it. I start out in a cold oven and then turn on convection at 350. It takes about 15 minutes until it is perfect for my taste. Some chefs think that by starting out in a cold oven (or cold pan for that matter) you will get less shrink and a less rippled strip.

I like to cook up the entire package of bacon whether I am going to eat all of it or not. That way I have a couple cooked strips in my fridge to add to Brussels sprouts  or a pasta sauce. Sometimes I’ll pack up a BLT for my son’s lunch or crumble whatever is left over on top of a crisp salad.

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

Mircogreens for the Home Cook

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Waterfields Microgreens Image

Restaurants have been using microgreens for years. They add a pop of color, texture, and particular finishing taste for beautifully composed dishes. Notoriously delicate, home cooks would have to grow their own in order to use them. I am excited to announce DLM now carries microgreens from a local Cincinnati company called Waterfields. I am so excited!

These guys are smart —  they took away a lot of the stress of a super short refrigerated shelf life by creating a friendly package where you can “harvest” as needed! Their neat packaging concept has a long refrigerator shelf life which helps the home cook use them up before they start to wilt and fall apart. We are currently carrying 4 varieties in our Produce departments.

Here are the types and ideas for use:

Beautifully colored Red Rambo Radish are fun to top fatty dishes like short ribs, osso buco, or even pulled pork. The spicy radish flavor clears the sinuses and helps balance out the flavor of finished dishes.

Spicy Mix is a blend of contrasting green and red mustard greens with a hot wasabi punch! I love it with bland things like chicken salad, classic potato salad, or deviled eggs.

Sunflower is perfect for lettuce-based salads. These succulent greens have a nutty, earthy flavor that is fun to use in soups, salads, or with baked casseroles.

Tendril Peas are a  classic “not cooked” vegetable/garnish that is perfect with fish! It adds crunch and texture, plus the fresh flavor of sweet garden fresh peas. I love it with butter or dairy rich sauces. Try it on top of risotto!

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

A pop of color!

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eyebobs pic

Our new line of eyebobs were featured in February’s InStyle magazine. We agree-there is nothing like a pop of color to brighten up the drab days of winter! We are always looking for our readers, and so (alas!) are our customers! So why not have the coolest readers available?

Eyebobs  are a fun alternative to the least offensive drugstore pair of readers. Eyebobs considers themselves to be “slighty irreverent” and believes readers are a fun opportunity to express yourself. We believe it just makes life a little more colorful! Come in and try on a pair for yourself.

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

Toasty Trends

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salmon on rye image

Toast is really hot right now. It’s all over the food blogs, cooking magazines, and social media. Toast was even on the cover of last month’s Bon Appétit magazine! Restaurants and coffee bars from San Francisco to New York have jumped all over this craze. Getting to work here at DLM, where we have over 12 Artisan Breads to choose from to make toast, is almost overwhelming…but I am always up for that kind of delicious challenge! I admit that I have been spending way too much time standing by my toaster at home waiting for that pop up to start playing around with toast.

I think that toast is the ultimate comfort food. Toast just happens to be one of the most common things we “learn” how to cook at a very young age. My advice for making delicious toast — make sure your toaster is in good working order, use butter, sprinkle on a little salt and, eat it while it’s hot. Classic, comforting, and delicious.

But why should you stop there?

Here are my favorite DLM toast combinations lately:

Italian Sesame with mascarpone, raspberries, and a drizzle of local DLM 100% Pure Honey

100% Whole Grain with smashed ripe avocado, Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, and Maldon Sea Salt

Raisin Walnut with whipped goat cheese and fig jam

Salt Rye slathered with DLM Smoked Salmon Spread and a thick slice of tomato

French Baguette with truffle mousse pâté, Dijon mustard, and cornichons

SeedSational with chai spice almond butter and drizzled with agave nectar

Pumpernickel with Vermont Creamery Butter, sliced radish, and scallions

I’d love to hear about yours!

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

Vegan Chinese Chicken

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Vegan Chinese Chicken Image

I am excited to introduce our first vegan protein in our Gourmet Take Away case! We found this incredible tasting vegan soy protein that is simply delicious. We toss it with our Chinese-style sauce and scallions. I know what you are thinking, but believe me this is really good! Please come in and ask to try a piece. It would make a great dinner along with some steamed rice and stir-fried veggies!

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director

A Stable Gift

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I completely agree with Cooks Illustrated current issue that highly recommends a bowl stabilizer called the Staybowlizer . We first saw it at the Chicago Houseware Show because it caught our eye from a design standpoint, but it also uniquely solves the problem of mixing bowls that spin or rock when you are trying to use them. It safely suctions onto your kitchen counter and “holds” the bowl stable. The Staybowlizer comes in fun bright colors or classic white and can give you a free hand while you mix, whip, fold or beat. It fits all sorts of bowls ranging in size from 6 to 21 inches in diameter. You can also set the bowl at an angle allowing for better view and depth for whisking egg whites or vinaigrette. I have even used it as a double boiler, elevating the bowl above the water line without any spinning or spilling. Another plus is it is dishwasher safe. Come check it out at any of our stores or the DLM Culinary Center!

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director