Irish Cheddars to Treasure

It seems that in March, everyone is a touch Irish and enjoys a pint or two of great Irish beer, particularly with that favorite American pastime—college hoops! However, Ireland is known for a plethora of wonderful food traditions and amongst our favorites are the cheeses!

Oscar Wilde Irish Cheddar is aged for two years and made with the milk of cows that are pasture fed during the months of milk production in County Cork.

Dubliner is like a Cheddar in texture but with the sweet, nutty taste of a Swiss and piquant flavor of an aged Italian-style cheese. It’s perfect with an Irish stout and charcuterie.

Cahill’s Irish Whiskey Cheddar, originally made for festive occasions, is now a year-round treasure. It’s made using Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey that lends a savory, rich tone. You’ll also love Cahill’s Irish Porter Cheese, which is odd-looking, but is perfect as the centerpiece on a cheese board.

Fish Friday Find

When it comes to the farm-raised salmon we carry, we seek the very best. So many providers raise their salmon in densely packed waters with antibiotics so that they grow as fast as possible. We take it upon ourselves to source farm-raised salmon that’s antibiotic free, fed an organic diet, and given plenty of room. The farms also practice rotation to allow sites to redevelop naturally. “They’re raised the right way,” says Jack Gridley, VP of Meat & Seafood.

The Shetland Farm Organic Salmon we carry is raised in floating ocean pens about 100 miles off the coast of Scotland. The fast-moving currents of the cool water are perfect for raising salmon, which are certified organic by the UK.

Farm-Raised King Salmon from Creative Salmon Co. is certified organic by Canada. “The Farm Raised King Salmon is raised in Tofino Bay, British Columbia … the cold, clean, fast-moving water provides the fish with the same environment as its wild counterparts with plenty of room to swim and develop muscle,” says Jon Lemaster, DLM Springboro Seafood manager. “Both of these farm-raised salmon are from two of the best farms in the world and we’re very proud to have them in our cases.”

Getting to the Point

Wusthof KnivesAfter 20 years of teaching the knife skills class, I am still amazed what a lot of folks don’t know about knives. It may sound strange, but learning how to hold and use a knife correctly will help you work faster and safer. Sometimes all it takes is a little forethought before you just randomly start breaking down your veggies.

The benefit of good knife skills comes with uniformity. I can’t stress this point enough! Every time you lift your knife to cut or chop, think to yourself: Is this the same thickness? Is this the same size as the last piece? Plain and simply put, pieces of food that are the same size and shape cook at the same rate. I remember my mom fishing around a big pot of boiling potatoes looking for the biggest to see if potatoes were done yet! With uniformity, you don’t have to ‘go fishing’.

Another bonus to good knife skills and uniformity is presentation. We all know that we eat first with our eyes. There is a simple elegance to perfectly cut and sized vegetables that a ”rough  chop” will never be able to give. If you’re looking to get on point, here are a couple of my favorite knives that we always carry in the Culinary Center:

I love the Chef’s knife. It can handle a lot of the everyday tasks in your kitchen. Its stable and curved blade helps promote a rocking motion that enables you to have better control and a finer dice. Available in 3 sizes (6 inch,  8 inch, and 10 inch) I like to call the 8-inch knife the workhorse of the kitchen. The 6 inch is a good one for beginners or those who are a little shy about knives. The 10 inch can cover more ground when prepping for larger quantities.

A Bread knife can do things that the chef’s knife just can’t.  Think things that squish. You use a sawing motion when using this knife, so it’s perfect for bread, tomatoes, croissants, etc. The serrated blade is not meant for chopping.

The Paring knife is handy to have around. Whether you are paring, peeling, or slicing, the small size of the blade can tackle mincing garlic to peeling an apple. Most are now available with either a serrated blade or a straight one.

When it comes to Japanese knives, two of my favorites are the Santoku and the Nakiri. The hollow edge of a Santoku creates air pockets which help prevent thin cuts or soft slice foods from clinging to the blade. The straighter, blunt, squarish shape of the Nakiri facilitates a straight up and down motion for chopping and most veggie prep.

Feel free to come in and ask us any questions you may have. We love talking knives and are happy to set you up with a cutting board so you can try out whatever type of knife you are interested in.  Or sign up for our popular knife skills class.  I look forward to seeing you soon!

The Art of the Winter Roast

Simply speaking , pot roasting or braising is cooking a tougher cut of meat gently and slowly in liquid until it becomes tender. This can result in a flavorful sauce that’s just waiting to be served with a starch or sopped up with DLM Artisan Bread.

The bonuses are plenty as not only does it make your house smell amazing but it feeds a crowd of people economically. And yes, it does tend to taste better after a day or two, so make enough for leftovers.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CUT OF MEAT

Good news—tougher cuts tend to be cheaper and they make the best braises. That combo of low and moist heat turns well-worked muscles, sinews, and connective tissue into rich, gelatinous, fall-off-the-bone deliciousness. Try: Chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulder, veal breast, lamb shanks, and chicken thighs. Bone–in meat imparts even more flavor.

BROWN & SEAR LIKE THE BEST

This step creates the foundation flavors for the entire braise, resulting in gorgeous, deep golden-brown coloring. Browning takes time and space, so don’t crowd your pan as it may take multiple rounds! Heat a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven with a little fat to start. Then, complete the following steps.

STEP 1: Remove browned meat from pan and start the next round of browning mirepoix, additional veggies, aromatics, etc. 

STEP 2: Deglaze pan using liquid. This helps those browned bits become liquid, reinforcing the dish’s foundation flavors. Use enough liquid to partially submerge the meat. More liquid yields a stew-like consistency while less results in a more concentrated, richer sauce.

STEP 3: Cover dish and either place in a low-heat oven (325°F or less) or low simmer on the stove. Note that the oven tends to be more consistent. How long? It depends on what you’re braising and the size of the cut. That’s the thing about braises—it’s done when it’s fork tender.

STEP 4: Season sauce to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a splash of acid, such as lemon juice or a glug of wine to brighten things up. Want the sauce thicker? Remove the meat and veggies and bring liquid to a strong simmer. Reduce until desired consistency and season.

POT ROAST 3-WAYS

GUINNESS BEEF STEW

Meat: Chuck roast cut into 2-inch pieces.
Veggie Base: Mirepoix, leeks, potatoes.
Deglazer: Guinness Stout.

BEEF IN BAROLO

Meat: Chuck roast.
Veggie Base: Mirepoix, pancetta, fennel, tomato.
Deglazer: A hearty dry red wine (try Barolo).

AMERICAN POT ROAST

Meat: Chuck roast.
Veggie Base: Mirepoix and potatoes.
Deglazer: Beef stock.

Warm Your Soul with Soup

It’s 11:24 a.m. on a Wednesday and the DLM Homemade Soup Station at DLM Washington Square alone has already replenished two of the six 11-quart soup wells located at the Deli’s Soup Station. Fast-forward 32 minutes and that number jumps to four. On a typical day, our Deli serves approximately 225 quarts of soup. Factor in the Soup Station also located near our Meat & Seafood department and that number jumps even more.

When it comes to DLM Homemade Soups, we’re often asked “what’s your secret?” Truth is, sometimes the best secret is the one that is painstakingly obvious—the soups are made from scratch daily using chef-driven recipes and the very same meats and vegetables you’ll find in our stores. Unlike the soups found on most “hot soup bars” that come from a bag or can, ours are Made Right Here in each store’s Kitchen, and that’s something we’re pretty proud of.

“Terms like ‘homemade’ and ‘made from scratch’ have kind of lost their worth in today’s marketplace. Most people see it as an advertising gimmick that doesn’t mean what it used to. At DLM, it means exacly what it says—no gimmicks, no false promises,” says Rick Mosholder, Kitchen manager at DLM Washington Square. “The ingredients used in our soups are the exact same items our customers can buy. There is no ‘secret’ or unobtainable items that we use. Just good quality products from start to finish.”

Jessica Prior, who manages the Kitchen at DLM Springboro agrees. “Made Right Here—it’s what puts DLM on the map and we take great pride in that,” she says. The Kitchen at DLM Springboro is bustling with activity. She walks from the Kitchen and heads over to the Produce department to grab some fresh cilantro, which she chops once back in the Kitchen and adds to a pot of chili simmering on the stove. Each store offers about 5-6 different types of soup each day, ranging from the ever-popular Mom’s Chicken Noodle and Tomato Bisque to the more exotic, like Pork Posole and Tom Yum Gai. “We try to make sure that each day’s selection offers something cream-based, broth-based as well as an option with chicken, beef, and a vegetarian choice,” Jessica says.

DLM Homemade Soups are so popular, there is a dedicated soup chef for each store’s Kitchen—speaking volumes to Made Right Here in action. “It makes us all feel good to know people enjoy it … knowing that puts a smile on our faces,” Jessica says.

Check out what soups we have available today at your favorite location!

Sweethearts Out There – Ditch the Reservations and Cook at Home!

Planning on going to an expensive steakhouse for Valentine’s Day?  Before you blow a whole lot of money hear me out.  I love to go out and eat. I appreciate everything our local restaurants do, plus I don’t have to cook or clean up.

One of my main pet peeves is that you go out and spend a fortune on what is quite frankly a pretty simple meal (plus wine and tip of course). Face it – the mark up on that bottle alone of wine costs you a pretty penny when you can spend the same amount of money and get a serious upgrade at retail.

DLM Shrimp Cocktail

It’s one thing if you are spending some serious time cooking from scratch say a good beef bourguignon and a chocolate soufflé that can be a little tricky but if you are going for that classic steakhouse kind of thing you can save some money and really ramp up the quality!

Let’s break it down – First course shrimp cocktail? It can’t get any easier to replicate this at home. Our fresh cooked plump shrimp cocktail can rival any local restaurant with its quality. Keep it nice and chilled and customize the cocktail sauce just the way you like it.

DLM Salad Bar

 

 

I know you all can handle making a good salad with what is available here at DLM every single day. You can even skip the prep work and make one exactly with what you want in it at our salad bars complete with from scratch housemade dressing (plus our new butter and salt DLM Croutons!)  Baked potatoes are easy enough to master but in case you want to cheat a little swing by and pick up our loaded or stuffed potatoes with the “works”.

DLM Natural Beef Rib Steak

Steak – You simply cannot find a better tasting higher quality one than right here. Simply season generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Need some info on steak? Click here or ask one of our experts in our meat department.

Chocolate Mousse

Cheese Course and Dessert?  Think of the options here –  cheese, fruits, and nuts from all over the world. The best French pastries, chocolate-dipped strawberries, decadent cheesecakes, and even chocolate mousse. Best part? No tipping, no designated driver, and the music playlist has all of your favorites!

Raising the Chocolate Bar—Maverick Chocolate & 6 More Chocolatiers to Adore

You don’t have to look far to find chocolate makers who see their work as equal parts passion and craft—a science to be explored, continuously perfected. Cincinnati-based Maverick Chocolate Co. has attracted national attention for their bean-to-bar approach, gaining quick accolades from the International Chocolate Awards.

Albeit impressive, that’s not the most interesting thing about Maverick. Hints of the story behind the bar can be gleaned from the packaging of their chocolate. You’ll note illustrations of revolutionary flying contraptions throughout aviation history—mavericks in their own time. As you move your fingers across the fastener on the packaging, the words “remove before flight” appear across the pull tab.

Founder Paul Picton spent the lion’s share of his career working as a mechanical engineer in the aviation industry for GE, Delta, and Mercedes-Benz. He traveled often and found a sweet way to connect with his family upon returning—with chocolate. About 5 years ago, he decided that it was time to reinvent his career and dreams of chocolate making surfaced. “I knew it was time for a change,” he says. “I quickly learned that not all craft chocolate is equal … It’s relatively simple to make [chocolate], but it’s very hard to perfect.” As an engineer, it’s clear that the quest for perfection is a big part of the fun for Paul. His evolution to a food entrepreneur has offered the opportunity to draw upon the talents of his family, like his son Ben Picton, who heads up sales and marketing at Maverick. Together, they are adding a new spin to the classic comfort of chocolate. “It’s not just candy,” tells Paul, calling attention to the devil in the detail.

Maverick’s stunning new chocolate-making facility located in Cincinnati’s Rookwood Commons area is an off-shoot from its original Findlay Market shop. Cocoa beans are roasted, ground, and then tempered on impressive brushed steel equipment from Italy. Paul describes how tempering the chocolate just right brings about changes to its innate crystal structure, resulting in that beautiful shine and snap by natural means—no artificial additives and the ingredients are kept simple.

“We are mavericks in chocolate-making,” Paul says. With that said, we are excited that such chocolate makers are locally based in our own backyard.

6 More Chocolatiers to Adore, by Todd Templin

Dorothy Lane Market Chocolate Bars by Ghyslain

Union City, IN • ghyslain.com

Here at DLM, we love great food and sometimes a collaboration is just natural as it is with our dear friend, Master Chef Ghyslain Maurais … who also loves great food! Together, we’ve created a line of chocolate bars that are beautifully made, affordable, and the perfect accompaniment to nearly any occasion. Available in Dark, Milk, Sea Salt Almond, Artisan Dark Milk, Hazelnut, and Sea Salt Caramel, these are meant to be nibbled at your desk mid-day, post meal for a decadent dessert, or paired with the perfect wine for a tasty treat.

Le chocolate des Français

France • lechocolatdesfrancais.fr/en/

We love this French company that brings to life a whimsical fun side with their vibrant packaging. They’re dedicated to making super high quality chocolates from pure cocoa butter, sustainably farmed beans from Ecuador and Peru, and French ingredients that are 100% natural, without palm oil or preservatives! With labels that remind one slightly of an Andy Warhol collection, these chocolates are delicious, fun, and make one simply smile.

MilkBoy Swiss Chocolates

Switzerland • milkboy.com

The milk from the famed herds that graze high in the Alps each summer is the base for these bars. High quality ingredients, including top-notch cocoa beans from some of the world’s best sustainable sources, make these chocolate bars some of our favorites!

Olive & Sinclair

Nashville, TN • oliveandsinclair.com

Working within an old grocery store turned chocolate factory, Olive & Sinclair is Tennessee’s first and only bean-to-bar chocolate company. They begin their chocolate making process by stone-grinding cacao, using melangeurs (stone mills) from the early 1900s, then adding only pure cane brown sugar. They call it Southern Artisan Chocolate™. From Buttermilk White Chocolate to 75% Cacao, their chocolates are nothing short of exquisite.

Charles Chocolates

San Francisco, CA • charleschocolates.com

Charles Chocolates’ founder Chuck Siegel is self-taught in the art of chocolate making. His passion has driven the dedication of the company to create some of the best handmade chocolate, all crafted with the finest ingredients. This attention to detail has given Charles Chocolates a glowing reputation in the world of small batch artisan chocolates.

K + M Chocolate

Napa, CA • kellermannichocolate.com

If there was ever a superstar duo to team up to make decadent tasting chocolate, it is this team: Thomas Keller, the famed chef and owner of Napa Valley’s The French Laundry, and Armando Manni, the owner of Manni Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Chi Bui, the chocolatier who oversees production of the chocolate, helps with the unique production methodology where a small amount of heart-healthy Manni Extra-Virgin Olive Oil infuses the bean-to-bar chocolate with its signature texture while boosting antioxidant properties.

Equal Exchange Fairly Traded Co-op

Cleveland, OH and other locations • equalexchange.coop

Since their start, Equal Exchange’s mission has been to empower small farmer co-ops that use sustainable agriculture. Using that same vision, they source the organic cocoa and sugar used in their chocolate bars directly from small farmer co-ops in Latin America. Each blissful bite is silky, smooth decadence.