Zest for Cooking

Cooking with citrus is like cooking with sunshine—it just makes me happy and adds a fresh burst of flavor. A common question that I often get at the DLM Culinary Center is when to use citrus zest vs. juice. When juice (especially lemon) is used, it adds flavor and sourness (aka acid), plus the liquid volume. Meanwhile, zest will bolster up the citrus flavor without increasing the liquid volume. Plus, it has a pure citrus flavor from the oil stored in the outside pores of the fruit. I use zest liberally in a lot of my cooking to help add a punch of flavor.

zest for cooking

HOW TO ZEST

• The best tool out there for zesting and one gadget I think everyone needs in their kitchen is the award-winning Microplane Zester, available at the DLM Culinary Center. It zests beautifully every single time. As a bonus, it does wonders for hard cheeses as well, like Parmigiano-Reggiano. We also love the Zyliss Zester, available in stores.
• Before zesting, make sure to wash and dry the fruit first. It is simply not fun to try and zest already cut fruit. Always cut and juice after you zest.
• Avoid the white pith of citrus fruits—that’s the stuff separating the colorful zest from the actual fruit. It’s too bitter and shouldn’t be used.

IDEAS FOR HOW TO USE ZEST

• Try adding to a simple vinaigrette to brighten things up.
• Add a new dimension by zesting a little bit of lemon, lime, or orange zest into your favorite muffin, sweet bread, scone, or biscuit recipe.
• Make anything fried taste “lighter” and brighter by adding right into the batter before frying, from donuts to fish.
• Put it in pasta to add a zip at the end that’ll help make flavors pop.
• Make a better pan sauce by enriching the pan drippings with a hit of both juice and some zest.
• The final step to any dish is the last taste to adjust the seasoning. Besides salt, citrus zest or juice helps brings out the flavors of other ingredients. It will make your dishes shine with flavor!

CLICK HERE TO GET OUR FAVORITE CITRUS RECIPES!

Holiday Cozy Comforts: Charcuterie at Home

After all the shopping, planning, cooking, wrapping, and decorating, it’s finally time to close the door and dig into cozy time spent with your loved ones to enjoy it all. This is why I like to balance out my more elaborate meals with some no-stress, no-cooking ideas to have on tap for the holidays. Not quite ready for dinner or don’t feel like making another fussy meal? Open up a good bottle of wine and set out a charcuterie board with some holiday touches. Happy holidays to you (and me)!

 

4 STEPS TO BUILD A CHARCUTERIE BOARD

STEP 1: Start by placing small bowls or ramekins on your board or platter. These are for things like nuts, olives, mustards, dips, etc. We like to use Marcona Almonds, Edmond Fallot Mustard, and L’Épicurien Jams.

STEP 2: Place your cheeses and crackers or flatbreads that pair together near them. When choosing your cheeses, think about varying the textures and flavors from buttery to nutty, creamy to hard. DLM Cheesemonger Maritza Cuellar-Crowdy has a fun way to set the framework for her board. “… I think of a rhyme I once learned. Something old, something new, something goat, and something blue.” Some of our go-to selections include Parmigiano-Reggiano that’s complex in flavor and studded with crunchy crystals, bold, sharp Barber’s 1833 Vintage Cheddar, velvety and creamy Saint Angel Brie, Le Papillon Roquefort, which has a big personality and wonderful flavor, and bright, tangy Laura Chenel Fresh Chévre.

STEP 3: Add cured meats. We recommend using a variety of Alexian Pâté, Columbus-based North Country Charcuterie, Niman Ranch Charctuerie, Trois Petits Cochons Saucisson Sec Sausage, Fra’ Mani Soppressata, and Prosciutto di Parma.

STEP 4: Place dried or fresh fruits (like grapes, berries, and pomegranate), pickled veggies, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Fill any gaps and arrange to your liking so that a variety of colors and textures show through. It makes eating all the more fun!

 

Look for gourmet gifts that ship, like our Charcuterie and Cheese Board.

Holiday Cozy Comforts: Sweet Nostalgia Dessert Board

This winter, revel in all the cozy comforts of home and pull out special holiday goodies from your stash! You’ll never regret stocking up on old-fashioned candy canes like the handmade varieties from Hammond’s, imported European cookies, candies, Yoder’s Peanut Brittle, and an assortment of chocolate covered pretzels and popcorn from our Holiday Display.

For me, nothing is as cozy or melts the icy chill of the winter air after a brisk walk or round of snow shoveling like a steaming mug of our DLM Handmade Hot Cocoa Mix, made by us with rich cocoa powder and disks of French chocolate that melt right in. You also can’t go wrong grabbing some festive Thumbprint Cookies or Servatti Pastry Shop Stollen in our Bakery.

Last but not least, make sure you grab a pint of your favorite Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams holiday flavors, like White Chocolate Peppermint or Sugar Plum. Now where are my slippers?

TIP: Make any night feel special by creating a special sweet nostalgia dessert board, overflowing with delights.

Thanksgiving Turkey Prep: 3 Methods to Try

I love all the November food magazines, blogs, and chefs all claiming they have finally found the best way to cook a turkey. Truth is, there is no one and only best way to cook it. Deciding on the desired end results will help the home cook figure out which particular cooking method can get them there.

Lots of families want the whole roasted bird as the centerpiece of their holiday table. While others want crispy, crackly skin with juicy tender meat inside, sans the stress of carving at the table. Some of us want a simple method that yields easy clean up, with just enough breast meat leftover for sandwiches. Others are in it for the adventure! Whatever you’re looking for, here are three ideas for how to prepare your locally raised Non-GMO DLM Free-Range Turkey, the turkey that’s the talk of the town!

1. The Traditional Whole Roasted Turkey

Step 1: Remove the neck and gizzards and discard or place in the bottom of the roasting pan if you desire. Rinse the turkey, drain well, and pat dry.

Step 2: Rub skin with Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and season well with Kosher salt and DLM Grilling & Seasoning Rub.

Step 3: Fill the cavity with celery, onion, and a quartered lemon. Add an inch of water to the pan and roast covered (uncover at end to lightly brown).

Step 4: Pull when meat thermometer reads 165ºF in the thigh. Let turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. It’s that simple! Hint: If turkey is too large to fit in your pan, see No. 3 below for a Spatchcocked Turkey.

Approximate Roasting Times*
12–17 lbs = 3¼ to 4½ hours
18–21 lbs = 4¼ to 5¼ hours
22–24 lbs = 5¼ to 6¼ hours

*Times above are for a 350°F oven with an unstuffed turkey (no stuffing in the cavity). To ensure that turkey is fully cooked to 165°F, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the inner thigh.

LEARN MORE >>> 5 Common Turkey Prep Questions Answered

2. Turkey Breast

We all know that dark meat is the most flavorful, but for those white meat fans, roasting a turkey breast is just the ticket.

Step 1: Try rubbing it with an herb butter, either making your own or using our DLM Herb Butter from The DLM Cheese Shop. Rub all over the outside and even tuck some under the skin!

Step 2: Choose a pan that’s slightly larger than your breast. Add about an inch of liquid to it. Try DLM Premium Turkey Broth or channel your inner Ina Garten and use white wine.

Step 3: Cook low and slow to keep meat from drying out. Preheat oven to 325ºF and cook until it reaches 165ºF.

3. Spatchcocked

The benefits are plenty—cut down on cooking time and maximize that crispy skin!

Step 1: Remove turkey’s backbone using a good pair of kitchen shears. Flatten turkey in pan, breast-side up, pushing down on breast bones. Pull thighs outward.

Step 2: Rub with Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides! Or, use a dry brine for extra crispy skin. Sit turkey uncovered overnight in the fridge.

Step 3: Cook to 165ºF. To carve, remove legs and wings and slice breast meat, paying attention to cut away from breastbone.

 

Sandwich Station: The DLM Difference

The best sandwiches are a sum of all of their parts, so it makes perfectly good sense that our Sandwich Stations craft a lot of amazing sandwiches. We’ve got the best bread in town (learn about our Artisan Bread), our meats and cheeses are of the highest quality, and we source many of our fresh toppings right from our store.

The quality of all of these sandwich components is a big reason why I’m so happy that we recently brought in some really cool new ovens to our Sandwich Stations that elevate the overall experience. These special ovens use a high-heat convection that not only provides a more consistent heat, but also toasts that DLM Artisan Bread for a more fragrant and delicate crunch. Meanwhile, the proteins inside reach just the right temperature and the cheese melts to a bubbly brownness that’ll make you swoon! This is achieved without smashing the bread or squishing the ingredients, giving rise to a more impressive sandwich.

While we were at it, we also decided to revamp our long-standing menu, which was in need of a makeover. You’ll still find bestsellers like the Philly, Club, and Reuben to name a few. But by retiring some, it’s allowed us to introduce some new sandwiches and offer more ways for you to customize a sandwich. So don’t worry if your favorite sandwich didn’t make it to the new menu—just ask for it by name. You also can get avocado toast and customize it just the way you like it. All of these changes pave the way for a more enhanced experience. Stop by our Sandwich Station and taste the DLM Difference in every bite.

Check out the full Famous Deli Sandwiches menu here!

3 Caprese Recipe Ideas for the Summer

The taste of summer doesn’t get simpler than ripe tomatoes, creamy fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil. Insalata Caprese, also known as Caprese salad, is usually finished with a little extra-virgin olive oil and a showering of good sea salt. Besides reflecting the colors of the Italian flag, it is more than just the sum of its parts. When something is that simple, you can make it stunningly delicious when you get your hands on the ripest local tomatoes, DLM Handmade Fresh Mozzarella, and our local basil that is bountiful right now in our Produce departments. But don’t stop there! We’ve got you covered with more caprese recipe ideas!

So many inspirations for ideas with these classic ingredients come to mind, some of which you should think about experimenting with in your home kitchen. The combo not only makes a wicked good grilled cheese, but try adding a little garlic for an awesome open-faced bruschetta. For another caprese recipe ideas, you can toss up a pasta salad with these ingredients or be like Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten and add them to brown rice for a refreshingly different cold salad. Since it’s grilling season, try a Caprese burger using our local DLM Grass-Fed Ground Beef topped with DLM Handmade Fresh Mozzarella, a thick slice of ripe tomato, and slathered with pesto. Here are a few of my favorite variations on the traditional caprese!

This Summer, Layer on the Flavors with These 3 Caprese Creations

1. WATERMELON “CAPRESE” SKEWERS

caprese recipes ideas

 

2. AVOCADO & NECTARINE “CAPRESE” SALAD

caprese recipe ideas

 

3. CAPRESE PANZANELLA

caprese recipe ideas

Classic Strawberry Shortcake & 3 More Fruitful Endeavors

Nothing says summer like a layered strawberry shortcake with ripe berries and real whipped cream. Our Vera Jane’s Shortcakes, which are Made Right Here, are truly a DLM Difference. They are just the right size and aren’t overly sweet, so they hold up well with summer’s ripest berries and fruits.

So let’s forget the Twinkie-like sponge cakes and that gloppy red dye glaze. With our Vera Jane’s Shortcakes by your side and some fresh ingredients, your summer shortcake options are plentiful. Here are a few ideas from the classic strawberry to other fruitful endeavors.

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

Lemon Blueberry Shortcake

Peaches, Caramel, & Cream Shortcake

Tropical Fruit Shortcake

Pro Tips

• Another combo you can try is some fresh lime juice with a little honey or agave nectar to help create a little more juice for your cut fruit or berries.
• Try variations in whipped cream by adding a generous dollop of mascarpone cheese (try Vermont Creamery’s) or some malted milk powder for a different flavor profile. Or, switch it up by replacing the cream with yogurt.

Cooking Lobster Like a Pro

During Lobstermania, you can procure fresh, live or cooked Maine lobster while supplies last at a great price ($14 for live lobster; $15 for cooked), which is quite a deal for such quality of lobster weighing in at 1.25 lbs or larger. You can buy them already steamed fresh or you can do it at home. Follow my tips below for cooking lobster, and before you know it, you’ll be serving up a couple for dinner alongside corn-on-the-cob and some of our Bakery’s Herb Cheddar Biscuits! Also below, are tips for reheating your cooked lobster.

To start, if you have never handled a live lobster, keep the bands on. Also, the lobster doesn’t “scream” when you start cooking it. If you do hear a noise it’s just the steam escaping from the shell.

COOKING LOBSTER INSTRUCTIONS (LIVE)

Lobster Boiling Tips
Boiling a lobster is easy and probably the best way for cooking 4 or more at one time. Get a big pot and fill with fresh water about 2/3 full. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp of salt per gallon of water. Bring to a boil and add lobsters. Start the timer when the water comes back to a boil. You can figure 6-7 minutes for a 1.25-lb lobster, 7-9 minutes for 1.5-lb lobster, and 10-12 minutes for a 2-lb lobster.

Lobster Steaming Tips
Steaming lobster works great and tends to yield a more tender, less messy cooked lobster than boiling. Fill a large, deep pot with 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, add the lobsters, cover, and steam, about 8 minutes per lb. How do you tell when it’s cooked?

Remember, sometimes the lobster may be undercooked even if the shell is entirely red. Double check that the meat is a creamy white color with no translucent areas. Give a good tug on one of the antennae and if it pops off, the lobster is done. You can also insert an instant read thermometer into the underside of the tail. It should read 135-140°F.

COOKED LOBSTER REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS

Did you skip the hassle and buy a pre-cooked lobster? No problem! Here is how you reheat when you are ready to serve. Wrap lobsters individually in foil. Place in a 350°F oven on a cooking sheet, belly up, and heat until warm. Or, place the foil-wrapped lobsters on the grill to warm.


Try some of these recipes with Lobster as the main CLAW-some ingredient!

1. Corn & Lobster Fritters

2. Connecticut-Style Lobster Roll

3. Lobster Hushpuppies

4. Lobster Pasta with Shallots, Tomatoes, and Basil

Your Guide to the Prepared Pantry

Now more than ever we are all cooking at home. For a lot of us who eat out, you might be facing a serious wake up call in the kitchen. Getting your pantry prepared and well organized is one of the most important steps not only in a professional kitchen, but your home one, too, so we’ve create a guide to the prepared pantry. Having and keeping the staples in your pantry or cupboard as well as in your fridge and freezer can make cooking at home just plain simple and fast because you already have the ingredients. Don’t forget to make a list before you leave to shop. (Download our printable shopping list here.) It’ll help you become a more efficient shopper, think in terms of meal planning, and use what you already have on hand.

 

Since we are all spending more time doing home projects, like cleaning out our closets, why not spend some quality time taking a good look at what’s already in your pantry, fridge, and freezer? If you haven’t used an item in a year, it might be time to throw it out! Although expiration, best by, and sell by dates can be confusing, they tend to be a good guideline on making the decision to keep or pitch. Take a good look at what you have left. Fill in the missing holes with items you’re consistently using and find yourself always cooking with. Just by adding a couple fresh ingredients, those pantry staples can give you so many options for baking and cooking.


Your Guide to the Prepared Pantry Checklist

Here are some of my staples that I try to have on hand to help me cook every day. For the most part, they are items that have a shelf life. Don’t wait until these run out to restock them. Instead, think about creating a par level at home so you can always come up with something delicious to cook!

>>DOWNLOAD YOUR GUIDE TO THE PREPARED PANTRY CHECKLIST<<

Or, keep reading below!

OILS & VINEGARS

BASIC:

– Extra-virgin olive oil
– A neutral cooking oil like canola or grapeseed
– Red-wine vinegar
– White vinegar
– Apple cider vinegar

ADVANCED:

– Peanut oil
– Coconut oil
– Sesame oil
– Sherry or balsamic vinegar
– Walnut oil
– Rice vinegar
– Mirin

DAIRY & CHARCUTERIE

BASIC:

– Eggs
– Milk
– Butter
– Cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, Cheddar, Gruyère, feta
– Plain full-fat yogurt or sour cream
– Bacon
– Hard salami or sausages

ADVANCED:

– More cheeses like Pecorino Romano & blue
– Pâté
– Prosciutto or other cured artisan ham or meats

GRAINS & STARCHES

BASIC:

– Long-grain white rice
– Whole grains like quinoa or farro
– Dried pastas
– Plain bread crumbs
– Crackers
– Canned beans

ADVANCED:

– Dry lentils
– Rice noodles
– Specialty rice like basmati or Arborio
– Brown rice
– Panko bread crumbs
– Dry beans
– Specialty pastas like bucatini or farfalle
– Whole grains like spelt, pearl barley, or teff

NUTS & NUT BUTTERS

BASIC:

– Peanut butter
– Almond butter
– Pecans
– Walnuts
– Almonds
– Peanuts

ADVANCED:

– Pumpkin seeds
– Pistachios
– Tahini
– Pine nuts
– Hazelnuts

SPICES & DRIED HERBS

BASIC:

– Kosher salt
– Red pepper flakes
– Ground Cayenne
– Chili powder
– Curry powder
– Bay leaves
– Black peppercorns
– Sweet paprika
– Ground cinnamon
– Ground cumin
– Garlic powder or granulated garlic
– Dried thyme and dried oregano

ADVANCED:

– Flaky salt
– Ground coriander
– Dried dill
– Turmeric
– Smoked paprika
– Cardamom
– Za’atar
– Allspice
– Fennel seeds
– Dry mustard
– Garam masala
– Chinese 5-spice powder
– Whole nutmeg
– Sumac
– Cumin seeds
– Coriander seeds

CANNED & JARRED GOODS

BASIC:

– Soups
– Tuna
– Tomato paste
– Diced tomatoes
– Tomato sauce
– Chicken or vegetable stock
– Beans
– Pickles
– Fruit jams and preserves
– Anchovies
– Olives
– Maple syrup

ADVANCED:

– Clams
– Sardines
– Cornichons
– Preserved lemons
– Unsweetened coconut milk
– Capers
– Pickled hot peppers
– Kimchi

CONDIMENTS & SAUCES

BASIC:

– Dijon and yellow mustard
– Mayonnaise
– Ketchup
– Hot sauce
– Salsa
– Soy sauce
– Worcestershire sauce
– BBQ sauce

ADVANCED:

– Whole grain mustard
– Hoisin
– Thai red curry paste
– Fish sauce
– Anchovy paste
– Harissa
– Gochujang
– Mango chutney
– Miso
– Wasabi
– Chinese oyster sauce
– Asian chili bean pastes

BAKING

BASIC:

– All-purpose flour
– Cornmeal
– Rolled oats
– Cornstarch
– Baking soda
– Baking powder
– Pure vanilla extract
– Granulated sugar
– Light brown sugar
– Dark brown sugar
– Confectioners’ sugar
– Bittersweet baking chocolate
– Semisweet chocolate chips
– Raisins or other dried fruits
– Cocoa powder

ADVANCED:

– Cake flour
– Whole wheat flour
– Dark baking chocolate
– Vanilla beans
– Almond extract
– Powdered gelatin
– Molasses
– Light corn syrup
– Buttermilk powder
– Active dry yeast

PRODUCE

BASIC:

– Garlic
– Onions
– Potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet)
– Lemons
– Carrots
– Celery
– Apples
– Oranges
– Bananas
– Greens like lettuce or kale
– Broccoli
– Parsley
– Any favorite herbs

ADVANCED:

– Ginger
– Avocados
– Cilantro
– Scallions
– Limes
– Jalapeños
– Shallots
– Specialty herbs like mint, rosemary, and lemongrass
– Peppers

FREEZER

BASIC:

– Chicken
– Ground beef
– Sausage
– Thick fish fillets
– Shrimp
– Sliced bread
– Frozen veggies like corn, peas, and spinach
– Frozen fruits like peaches, berries, and mangos (excellent for baking or smoothies)
– Ice cream
– Bread dough or rolls

ADVANCED:

– Puff pastry
– Pancetta
– Stock
– Fresh pasta
– Vegetables like green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, edamame, and artichoke hearts


Check Out These 5 Meals to Make from the Prepared Pantry List

1. Beans & Greens

2. Clam Pasta

3. Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

4. Restaurant-Style Tomato Soup

5. Caramel Banana Cake

Download Our Printable Shopping List Here

Smart Substitutions When Cooking

Since it’s a little bit more complicated these days just to run out every time we are missing an ingredient, why not challenge your culinary skills and learn about making smart substitutions when cooking? With all of us cooking more at home and having a better stocked pantry, more than likely, you might have something in your kitchen that’ll work when you are missing an ingredient.

Here are some guidelines or suggestions to keep in mind when you need to swap out an ingredient. As you’re making your substitutions, there are a couple of important things to always keep in mind no matter what the ingredient is—flavor and texture. Cooking tends to be way more forgiving than baking does when you need to substitute an ingredient or two. But just like in life, learning to adapt and rise to the challenge can make life only more delicious. Enjoy and have fun in the kitchen with these smart substitutions when cooking by your side. Also, be sure to keep your pantry fully stocked with our guide to the prepared pantry!

 

Smart Substitutions When Cooking

Herbs and Spices

A good rule of thumb to follow is that for every 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, substitute 1 teaspoon of dried. Remember that dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so use sparingly. Herbs tend to fall into 2 categories, tender or sturdy. Tender includes bright, light floral herbs that are typically used fresh, like basil, chives, and cilantro to name a few. Sturdy herbs tend to be more savory and are commonly found dried because of their oil content. These herbs include bay leaf, oregano, and thyme. For better substitute choices, stay within the same group or try similar flavors. For example, try subbing mint for basil or dried thyme for marjoram. Or try similar flavors, like onion or garlic powder with a little parsley as a replacement for chives.

Spices tend to fall into categories with similar or shared flavors. Here are a couple groupings: baking, like allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, fragrant spices, like fennel, saffron, cardamom, and coriander, warm or peppery varieties, like chili powders, cumin, ginger, and mustard powder, and earthy types, like onion, garlic, and turmeric. The spices in each of those categories complement one another and can easily be swapped for one another.

Have spices shipped to you through shop.DorothyLane.com!

Oils and Fats

Oils and fats are categorized by cooking properties based on either low smoke points or high smoke points. The low smoke point fats burn quickly and tend to be more solid, meaning that they perform best when using low-heat cooking methods, like sautéing. These fats include butter, bacon fat, margarine, and vegetable shortening. High smoke point fats, like canola oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, and vegetable oil are best suited for high-heat cooking, such as frying. Pick one that will perform the way you want it to.

Dairy

Think about grouping dairy items based on texture. Sour cream, crème fraîche, and yogurt have similar textures and would make a good substitutes for one another. Buttermilk is easy to replicate with lemon juice or vinegar and milk. (1 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar for every cup of milk.)

No butter left? Try using oil for pan frying or sautéing instead. If you’re looking to add richness to a finished dish, try drizzling in a little cream.  

When subbing cheeses, be sure to look for varieties with similar textures. A good example of this would be switching out a Cheddar with a Gouda or Jarlsberg, all of which have similar textures.

 

Stock or Broth

Both help add flavor, but more importantly they add liquid. Of course you can substitute water, but in doing so you may also be diluting the flavor. I like using Better than Bouillon, a jar of reassurance that once opened lives quite contently in your fridge. It comes in a variety of flavors like beef, chicken and vegetable. White wine can also be handy for this, or try seasoning water with a little soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, or vinegar.

 

Produce

Different types of produce can be substituted based on the flavor and texture. Many root vegetables can be switched around with one another and will work well in almost any recipe. Greens can be divided into 2 categories, tender or firm. Some good examples of firm are escarole, kale, and turnip greens. Tender greens include mesclun, mâche, and spinach.

 

Meat

When substituting beef, I focus on the firmness of the meat—either tough or tender. Common substitutions are using brisket instead of chuck roast, New York strip in place of rib-eye, and vice versa.

Boneless chicken breasts and boneless chicken thighs can easily be swapped for one another. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary as you make this substitution.

Subbing for ground beef? Ground chicken, pork, turkey, and even sausage can work. You may just have to adjust for seasoning and fat content.