Spoon on the Salsa

If you’ve ever walked into our stores and have seen Austin Hieb or one of our Produce associates proudly chopping tomatoes, onions, peppers, tomatillos, and other fresh ingredients, know that it isn’t just for show. Our DLM Salsas truly are Made Right Here, and sometimes, you may see that in action. In fact, there is a dedicated associate at each DLM location who ensures that fresh salsa and guacamole is available.

“Today, I diced about 100 lbs of tomatoes,” Hieb says, who has been involved with our Salsa and Guacamole program since it launched about four years ago. He’ll often notice passersby do a doubletake as they see him making these products fresh in the middle of the DLM Washington Square Produce department. Then, the lightbulb moment happens as they see the ingredients being combined. “Oh, you guys make that here?” some will ask. “It’s really cool to see their reactions,” Hieb says.

When we look at a typical week in July, when salsa and guacamole just seem to be a natural fit with a cold beer in hand on a hot day, the popularity truly soars. On an average week in July, we sell more than 400 lbs of DLM Fresh Salsa and about another 500 lbs of DLM Fresh Guacamole. “The nicer the day, the more salsa and guacamole that people crave,” Hieb says.

We feature around 10 different salsa recipes on a rotating basis with some reflecting seasonal offerings, like our featured Peach Salsa this month. Although our salsas are not crafted from Oaxacan recipes, we are bringing back two recipes, Salsa Verde and Salsa Roja, this July as the smoky flavors and ingredients of these varieties are probably the most similar to those flavors that shine in a Oaxacan salsa.

Get Your Kicks with These 8 Recipes from Route 66

The ultimate road trip in America has got to be driving Route 66, spanning eight states with iconic comfort foods along the way. Although it was officially decommissioned in the 80s, it continues to attract tourists, road warriors, and food lovers looking to taste pure Americana. Today the historic route boasts vintage motels, nostalgic roadside attractions, and some really good road food.

After the Great Depression, folks finally had a little extra cash so they piled into the family car and embarked on a road trip of a lifetime with destination spots like the Grand Canyon or Disneyland Park in mind. Even great movies, songs, and books were inspired by the open road and aura of Route 66. For many, this road trip is also about the iconic flavors, like home-style baked goods, spicy chiles, BBQ, and all-around good country eating!

Buckle up and take a bite out of these eight recipes representing the eight states along Route 66!

1. Chicago Dog

2. Kansas BBQ Rub

3. Country Fried Steak

4. Buttered Pecan Blueberry Cobbler

5. Cowboy Steak

6. Easy Sticky Buns

7. Chicken Posole

8. Fish Tacos with Lime Crema & Cabbage Slaw

5 Easy Breezy Fresh Fruit Recipes

Sometimes life is like a bowl of cherries, and we hope this summer will be sweet and simple for everyone. But with a little thought, why not go beyond the bowl and branch out a bit? With all of these big, ripe sweet cherries we have right now from California, it’s hard not to think of all the fun ways to eat them! Here’s one of my favorites:

Fresh Cherries and Yogurt

Smear a little of your favorite vanilla yogurt across a plate or platter, scatter some washed and pitted cherries on top, and garnish with a little chocolate crumb. For the “crumb” I like to use crumbled Tate’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookies or the classic thin chocolate wafers that aren’t too sweet.

Dessert isn’t the only way I like to eat my cherries. Here are some suggestions for utilizing these beautiful berries!

  • Added to a green salad for a pop of sweetness.
  • Fresh component of a cheese or charcuterie plate. Cherries pair wonderfully with a nice and mild creamy blue or fresh goat cheese.
  • In a sauce or reduction accompanying poultry.
  • Plopped on top of oatmeal with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of crunchy granola.
  • On top of a toasted piece of DLM Classic 10 Grain Bread smeared with creamy ricotta and finished with a drizzle of local honey.

Looking for other ways to enjoy the bounty of fresh fruit this season brings? Check out some of my go-to recipes below!

French Blueberry Loaf with Mascarpone and Lemon Curd Sauce

Strawberry Oatmeal Cookie Tart

Grilled DLM Pound Cake with Blackberries and Caramel

Strawberries Romanoff

DLM Food Explorer Viva Italia

On my first trip to Italy some years ago, I was surprised to learn that Tuscans largely ignore balsamic vinegar, and Milanese favor rice over pasta. And right in between Milan and Tuscany you find many recognizable delicacies from lasagna to Prosciutto di Parma to balsamic vinegar in the region of Reggio Emilia. Hazelnuts are a big deal in the north and hot peppers in the south.

You learn that when speaking of Italy’s great food culture, it’s impossible to describe it without putting it in a regional context. Maybe it’s the Italian connection to the land, a long culinary history, or simply local pride. In any case, discovering the regional foods of Italy is both educational and incredibly fun. Over the years, so many of us at DLM have traveled to Italy to discover its food treasures, and we’ve made it a point to bring a number of those back to you.

You see Italy’s influence at DLM in the Italian products themselves, like our Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil hailing from the hills of Tuscany or our Parmigiano-Reggiano from Modena. Other times, you’ll find its reach in the form of a technique we’ve learned from studying with Italian masters that we then replicate here, such as our DLM Handmade Mozzarella, Naples-Style Pizza, and Tuscan butcher-inspired specialty prepared meats, to name a few. As you can imagine, we could write a book on our passion for Italian food, but for the purpose of giving some focus, we are spotlighting a few regions of Italy that have inspired us the most: Tuscany, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, and Southern Italy, mainly Calabria and Sicily.

We’ll be celebrating Italy all month culminating with our Food Explorer Day taking place May 18. Join us for great fun and good Italian eating on our next stop as Food Explorers…buon appetito!

TUSCANY

FOOD

Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (GROCERY), Pane Toscano (BAKERY), Pecorino Toscano (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP), Italian Oven-Ready Meats (MEAT)

WINE

CAPPONE CHIANTI CLASSICO – Count Sebastiano Capponi is a dear friend to DLM, hailing from his lovely Tuscan estate that’s been in his family since 1524! This young-vine Chianti is named for the first ancestor of Sebastiano. It’s 100% Sangiovese, brimming with beautiful fruit and richness.

VILLA CALCINAIA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA – 100% Sangiovese from the best blocks of old vines near Greve in Chianti. It’s a well-structured wine that’s full of rich black fruits, leather, spice, cigar box notes, and supple tannins.

FONTALEONI VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO – A wonderfully dry, minerally, and extremely pleasing white wine from the surrounding vineyards of the hilltop town of San Gimignano.

CAMPANIA

FOOD

Naples-Style Pizza (DLM WASHINGTON SQUARE & SPRINGBORO), San Marzano Tomatoes D.O.P. (GROCERY), DLM Handmade Mozzarella (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP)

WINE

COLLI DI LAPIO ROMANO CLELIA FIANO DI AVELLINO – A white wine from the Avellino province and a varietal the Romans called Vitis Apiana, vine beloved of bees. It’s dry, lovely, and has hints of pear and hazelnut, floral tones, and a hint of minerality.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA

FOOD

Prosciutto di Parma (DELI), Mortadella (DELI), DLM Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (GROCERY), Lasagna (GOURMET TAKEAWAY), Parmigiano-Reggiano (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP)

WINE

CASALI ROSA DI ROSA RED SPARKLING WINE – Perfect chilled with a plate of charcuterie enjoyed al fresco with its bright raspberry/blueberry fruit and soft bubbles.

LO DUCA LAMBRUSCO REGGIANO – Lambrusco does not exactly excite most after we’ve suffered so many terrible mass-produced and exported representations of this wine. However, Lo Duca is bright, semi-sweet, and has a naturally carbonated essence. Try it in a cocktail.

SOUTHERN ITALY (CALABRIA + SICILY)

FOOD

Cannoli (BAKERY), DLM Gelato (FROZEN), Scalia Anchovies (GROCERY), Marinated Anchovies (SEAFOOD BAR)

WINE

VILLA POZZI NERO D’AVOLA – The Pozzi family is a fifth-generation winemaking family located on the island of Sicily.

DONNAFUGATA ANTHILIA BIANCO – An amazingly crisp, minerally, and vibrant white wine blend from Sicily that’s perfect for light seafood dishes, salad, or poultry.

 

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.

8 Ways to Bite Into Our Citrus Celebration

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON! Crank up the vitamin C volume and vivid colors—come celebrate citrus with us this January! We consider ourselves so lucky to be able to flood our stores with the beauty of all the colorful citrus we bring in this time of year. We have some of the freshest flavors from jumbo navels to Texas red grapefruit. We love how all the varieties of citrus are bursting with colors and will bring wonderful flavor as well as provide many health benefits during these cold winter months. Here are eight ways to bite into our Citrus Celebration (and don’t hesitate to enjoy some of the many citrus samples and recipes we’ll be featuring).

1. NAVEL ORANGES. These are the sweetest you can find, providing ample amounts of vitamin C for an added bonus!

2. CARA CARA PINK NAVELS. Among some of the prettiest citrus, these have a pink flesh and extremely sweet taste.

3. BLOOD ORANGES With an unmistakable deep red flesh and dangerously sweet taste, you won’t be able to resist! Both this variety and the Cara Cara are great low-acid options with the same healthful benefits as a Navel orange. To really unleash the flavor of a blood orange, try the Sicilian Citrus Salad recipe.

4. DLM FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE. It’s made from the juiciest Valencia oranges and is made fresh in our Produce departments. We love it because it is extremely smooth to taste and is ultra fresh. We will also treat you with Cara Cara and Blood Orange Juice throughout this celebration, which is a true treat.

5. SWEET SCARLETTS TEXAS RED GRAPEFRUIT. These are the most colorful of all ruby grapefruits. These luscious grapefruits are grown in Texas where the hot sunny days and cool nights help these Texas reds become as sweet as can be.

6. PUMELO. This is a very large citrus that’s similar to grapefruit. It’s a Vietnamese staple and used in many dishes. Health benefits include boosting immunity (thanks to that vitamin C), improving digestion, and lowering blood pressure.

7. SPANISH CLEMENTINES. These sweet and easy-to-peel treats are a wonderful option for a great breakfast or snack option.


8. SUMO CITRUS. Coming later this month! First developed in Japan, these are now grown on family farms in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Loaded with vitamin C, these will sure to be the citrus star! It sets itself ahead of the pack in popularity due to its easy peel and low acid levels. Because it’s low in acidity, it’s a great option for those with a sensitive stomach.


Looking to add some citrus zing to make you sing? Try this Sicilian Citrus Salad recipe.

PEARfection: 10 Reasons to Love The Holiday Pear

“Try this one,” said Michael Naumes, as he tossed me a Comice pear. “You’re gonna need a towel,” he said as I take my first bite. My first meeting with the Naumes family a few years back started just like that. We were on a search for the juiciest, sweetest, most luscious pear we could find. And that journey took me to their orchard where I found the Naumes family’s Holiday Pear, also known as the Comice pear.

We had heard rumors that there was a family in Rogue Valley, Oregon, that grew the best Comice pears and the rumors certainly were true. After that first bite, I knew we had come to the right place. We started offering these pears to our customers a few years ago and we’re excited to report that they’re back, just in time for your holiday entertaining and gifting.

Just try a sample in the store and you will be hooked. They truly are the sweetest, juiciest pears around. Look for displays in the stores along with perfectly packed gift boxes sure to impress your most difficult to please relative.

Along with being the sweetest, creamiest, most luscious pear around, the Comice pear, also know as the Holiday Pear, is quite the intriguing fruit. Here are 10 things to know about The Holiday Pear:

  1. The grading and picking process for the Naumes’ family’s Holiday Pear is tedious, but for good reason. Only 1 out of 20 pears will make this grade.
  2. The Holiday Pear received its name because they are in peak season during the holiday months.
  3. The Doyenné du Comice, as it’s known in France, was first grown near Angers in the mid-1800s.
  4. The climate in the Rogue Valley leads to perfect growing conditions of this extremely sensitive pear, making the Naumes family’s orchards true “pearfection”.
  5. The shape of the Holiday Pear is truly unique, featuring a rotund body and a short neck.
  6. As the Holiday Pear ripens, the areas of green skin color will turn a yellow hue. The rule of thumb is to check the neck for ripeness by applying gentle pressure to it with your thumb. If it gives slightly, it’s ready! Once ripeness is determined, you can refrigerate it if you want to extend that peak taste for a few days.
  7. Savor this luscious pear as an appetizer by smearing baked brie on slices of a DLM French Baguette and topping it with slices of the Holiday Pear.
  8. It’s a great addition to a cheese plate with brie, Manchego, or a Gorgonzola, like Rogue River Blue Cheese or Dolce Gorgonzola and pairing that with Marsala, Sauternes, Riesling, or Champagne.
  9. Slice it onto a salad made with mesclun spring mix or arugula, caramelized pecans, pomegranate seeds, and a blue cheese. Toss with a simple vinaigrette.
  10. The Holiday Pear makes for a wonderful dessert. Take a few scoops of DLM Madagascar Vanilla Gelato, sprinkle with cut pears, and drizzle with a warmed DLM 100% Pure Maple Syrup.

Take a Trip to Funky Town—Burgundy Truffles

Arriving soon: Burgundy Truffles will be available tomorrow, November 16!

Known as the “Autumn Truffle”, the season is dependent on the weather, is available from Europe from September through January, and now you can get your hands on them yourselves. Come and ask for them in our Produce department. We will be happy to get it for you.

Although the Burgundy truffle is similar in appearance to the Italian black winter truffle, they are very different. The Burgundy truffle does have a black exterior, but inside the color ranges from dark brown to a light tan. More importantly, this truffle has a more delicate flavor that is best enjoyed when thinly sliced or freshly grated over simple prepared dishes like pasta, eggs, risotto or mashed potatoes. The exquisite taste has a toasted hazelnut like flavor and a lighter, gentler aroma than Italian black winter truffles.

I love to hear or read about how folks describe the taste and smell of truffles, for it is very difficult to pin down. Some words that are tossed around are meaty, earthy, musky, and pungent. But the one I like best is funky. For me, it’s like an umami perfume bomb of mushroomy goodness that just begs for a shared dining experience and maybe a good glass of wine.

If you’ve never tasted a truffle, this one is a great one to begin with. Why not start this Thanksgiving? Try shaving a small amount on top of hot buttered mashed potatoes right before serving and make everyone at the table sigh with delight.  Or whip up a decadent breakfast or brunch with lightly scrambled eggs or omelet topped with a little truffle while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Naturally, a glass of Champagne would be a perfect pairing to go along with all of this. What a nice way to start the day that begins and ends with really good food and family.

Easy Truffle Decadence

Fresh Truffles are seasonal and pretty pricey, but so delicious! We carry them when we can get our hands on them, so if you are a fresh truffle fan come talk to our friendly associates in our Produce departments to find out the specifics.

If you are like me and simply can’t wait for that umami flavor that fresh truffles can give dishes, both truffle oil and truffle salt can be your next best allies.

Truffle oil is best to use as a finishing oil right before you are ready to eat. I like the smaller bottles because a little goes a long way in terms of flavor. The aroma of truffle oil drizzled on the warm food hits your nose right before you get to taste it. There is nothing like it! Try drizzling on pasta, pizza, soups, and on soft scrambled eggs.

Truffle salt is fun to play around with! So delicious on popcorn, which this combination is a perfect pairing for champagne—in case you need an excuse to pop that cold bottle of bubbly. I love it on French fries, baked potatoes, or whipped potatoes made with plenty of butter. It turns the average burger into a flavor bomb! Try mixing a little in your mayo to jazz up your next roast beef or French dip sandwich.

Both truffle oil and truffle salt are naturally good with anything mushroom. It just boosts up that incredible umami flavor. The time is ripe to start savoring the delicious foods of the fall season. Get cooking!

Gourmet S’mores Galore!

S’mores—everyone loves this nostalgic treat, and so do we! What started as three simple ingredients for a campfire snack has now erupted into a trendy flavor found in all sorts of things like cereal, granola bars, trifles, and ice cream. It’s even been an Oreo cookie flavor! At DLM, you can swing by our Coffee Bar and take a sip of our new S’more Latte, complete with a graham-encrusted marshmallow.

This trend got its start in 1927 with a Girl Scout guidebook Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. The recipe name was “Some More” and it wasn’t until the ’70s, when it was shortened to “s’more,” that it really took flight. As a former Girl Scout, I’m proud that the organization is credited with such a memorable flavor. As a chef, I’m excited to add a gourmet twist to this familiar favorite and I’d encourage you to do the same. Start by exploring the Chocolate Wall at DLM where you can find 30+ chocolate varieties. Also, check out Smashmallow, a line of specialty marshmallows in unique flavors like pumpkin and cookie dough. So gather around the bonfire and toast up some s’mores galore with your own creation or try these 5 gourmet ideas below!

1. COOKIE DOUGH S’MORE

Combine classic favorites by switching out the graham crackers for Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies and cut thin layers of DLM’s new edible cookie dough to sandwich a torched marshmallow.

2. PB & GRAHAM S’MORE

Take two DLM Milk Chocolate Grahams and spread DLM Creamy Organic Peanut Butter on both inside surfaces. Place a toasted marshmallow in between.

3. BLACK & WHITE S’MORE

Give this fireside favorite a whole new twist with fresh blackberries, creamy Olive & Sinclair Southern Artisan Buttermilk White Chocolate, and a toasted marshmallow between graham crackers.

4. BANANA NUTELLA S’MORE

Nutella fans, have no fear! Spread a graham cracker thick with Nutella and then layer on sliced banana and a toasted marshmallow before capping it with another graham cracker.

5. RICE KRISPY S’MORE

Split our Bakery’s Krispy Rice Treat and sandwich a DLM Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Graham inside. Then, torch the top piece to unleash that toasty marshmallow taste.