Top 10 Food Finds August

Our passion for good food drives us to continuously evolve our selections to reflect what’s fresh, exciting, and trending in the food scene. We’re constantly on the lookout for new, quality products, so each month we’ll be shining the spotlight on our top 10 new food finds. Below you’ll find some of the products we’ve recently fallen in love with that are now available in stores and online at shop.DorothyLane.com. We hope you’ll enjoy these new food finds as much as we do!

TOP 10 NEW FOOD FINDS

1. Benton’s Hickory Smoked Country Bacon

Being in business since 1947, Benton’s has mastered the art of dry-curing hams and bacon building a delicious reputation. From their humble beginnings as simple breakfast go-tos, Benton’s meats have erupted in the gourmet cooking world receiving high praises for their incredible flavor. Their bacon is dry-cured by hand with salt, brown sugar, and black pepper. After being cured and dried, it’s then smoked in-house for two to three days, and hand-packed on site. The amount of time and care put into preparing this new food find radiates in each deliciously smoky bite.

2. Burlap and Barrel Spices

Through forging strong relationships with smallholder farmers, Burlap & Barrel is able to support their view of sustainability (improving the livelihood of these farmers) and to source unique foods and quality spices, many of which haven’t been available in the U.S. previously. These spices are designed for professional chefs and home cooks alike. Burlap & Barrel Black Urfa Chili is great on kebabs, chicken, beef, lamb, hummus, brownies, pasta, roasted vegetables, or eggs. In southeastern Turkey, you will find black Urfa chili on almost every table. Burlap & Barrel Smoked Pimentón Paprika is mighty delicious on popcorn, in paella, mixed with salt and cumin as a meat seasoning or rub, or any way you traditionally enjoy paprika. We love adding Burlap & Barrel Wild Mountain Cumin to rubs for meats and vegetables or curry powder as it has a savory, beautiful aroma and umami flavor. Zanzibar black pepper is grown organically and Burlap & Barrel are the exclusive importers of Zanzibar black pepper to the US. We recommend using Burlap & Barrel Zanzibar Black Peppercorns on everything from pastas, salads, sauces, roasted vegetables, and grilled meats. Burlap & Barrel Royal Cinnamon is the same species as Saigon cinnamon, but Royal Cinnamon is an heirloom variety not widely harvested or exported. It is sun dried to bring out its sweet and spicy profile and tasting notes of brown butter, buckwheat honey, and orange peel. We recommend using these new food finds in baked goods, coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies.

3. Ritrovo Selections

With a sofi™ Gold Award under their belt, Ritrovo Selections has an excellent selection of products to choose from. We can’t seem to get enough of their Truffle & Salt, a fragrant and flavorful combination of Italian black truffle and sea salt. As if that seasoning could get any better, they now offer Truffle & Salt & Cheese, adding Parmigiano-Reggiano into the mix. Both of these are great on popcorn, veggies, and just about anything!

4. Lillie Q’s Seasoning Rubs

Add great flavor to your BBQ with Lillie’s Q Rubs. Their Carolina Dirt BBQ Rub is the perfect sugar-based rub for slow-cooked, unbeatable flavor. Pro tip: use it as a seasoning for fries or roasted potatoes. Lillie’s Q Brisket Pepper is the ideal grind size to season your Texas-style brisket. Or, try using it in any recipe that calls for a large pepper grind. Lillie’s Q Q-Rub is an all-purpose salt-based rub with a dash of black pepper and garlic. It’s extremely versatile and very flavorful!

5. Klatch Coffee

Born out of a family’s love for great coffee, Klatch Coffee has a strong commitment to honest business practices. Using Fair Direct Trade, they build trust and loyalty with the farmers they work with resulting in their ability to source quality beans from around the world. They roast each coffee varietal to its “Peak of Flavor” giving each coffee an exceptional taste. Choose from a selection, including Klatch Coffee Blue Thunder Blend, Klatch Coffee Colombia Roasters United Blend VI, Klatch Coffee Crazy Goat Blend, & Klatch Coffee Organic House Espresso.

6. This Little Goat Went To

Chef Stephanie Izard wears many hats including Top Chef, Iron Chef, James Beard award winner, and Executive Chef of Girl & the Goat restaurant in Chicago, where these delicious sauces and seasonings were first inspired. After guests continued to rave over a side of green beans and the sauce that made this dish so addictive, Stephanie decided to bottle and sell that sauce so customers could enjoy it in the comfort of their own home. From there, the This Little Goat Went to line of sauces and seasonings grew, taking on new flavor combinations and profiles that are reminiscent of the flavors you’d find in the countries and regions they represent. Enjoy a variety of seasonings like, This Little Goat Went to Belize, This Little Goat Went to Cuba, This Little Goat Went to GrillVille, This Little Goat Went to India, and This Little Goat Went to Morocco. Or, try out some of her sauces including This Little Goat Went to Hong Kong, This Little Goat Went to Korea, This Little Goat Went to Southeast Asia, and This Little Goat Went to Tokyo.

7. Le Bon Magot

Another great addition to our new food finds is Le Bon Magot. Food has a way of allowing us to travel to various parts of the world, enjoying every culinary experience along the way. Le Bon Magot products are crafted with natural ingredients and high-quality, seasonal produce using traditional cooking methods and all-natural preservation methods. Le Bon Magot Lemon-Sultana Marmalata is a fragrant blend of golden sultanas (raisins), Afghan saffron, licorice-scented caraway, citrusy lemon, and Wolffer Estate Vineyard’s verjus that is reminiscent of dried fruit preserves of Turkey. One of our favorite accompaniments, we suggest you pair it with goat or sheep’s milk cheeses, chicken, salmon, and charcuterie boards. Or, try mixing in yogurt, topping toast, or folding in a crepe. Le Bon Magot White Pumpkin and Almond Murabba (preserves) with cardamom and vanilla is a recipe that dates back thousands of years from Southern Mediterranean to India. These preserves layer Indian long gourd and almonds, scented with cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla. The scents and aromas will evoke festivity, and you will love these new food finds so much you’ll slather it on everything from soft cheeses, toasted bread, and chicken to wild game, yogurt, figs, and ice cream. A flavorful combination of tomatoes, white sultanas, and Kashmiri chilies, Le Bon Magot Tomato and White Sultana Chutney is flavorful and versatile as it makes a great addition to a charcuterie board, scrambled eggs, and generously smeared on toasted ciabatta.

8. Truff Hot Sauce

 

The perfect blend of ripe chili peppers, organic agave nectar, black truffle, and savory spices, this luxurious hot sauce is unlike any other, making it a hot sauce game changer. Truff Hot Sauce is velvety smooth and rich in flavor making it an excellent way to elevate a variety of dishes. We love it on just about anything! From popcorn and eggs to pizza and meatballs, you can’t go wrong! Playing off of their ever-popular black truffle hot sauce, Truff offers a White Truffle Hot Sauce that is brighter in flavor, produced in limited quantities, and comes in a special edition VIP box.

9. Charles Chocolates Raspberry & Pistachio Bar

New Food Finds

Chuck (Charles) Siegel, Charles Chocolates’ founder, is self-taught in the art of chocolate making and focused on using only the finest ingredients to create Charles Chocolates, leaving out preservatives, artificial flavors, etc. Because of their dedication to making the best product possible, they have received several accolades and award. One of their newest creations, Raspberry & Pistachio Bar, is just as beautiful as it is delicious. This naturally pink chocolate exudes notes of berries and fruits making it the perfect base for freeze dried raspberries and deeply roasted pistachios.

10. Wildwood Chocolate Salted Brown Butter Texas Pecan Brittle & Wildwood Chocolate Cardamom and Honey Caramel with Sea Salt

With a dedication to sourcing the finest ingredients and uncovering unique flavor combinations, Wildwood Chocolate handcrafts their products hoping to evoke feelings of joy and discovery similar to those of wandering the scenic Wildwood Trail in Portland, Oregon. Luxurious 70% dark chocolate complimented by flakes of sea salt, studded with crunchy, buttery pecan brittle pieces, their this chocolate bar has everything you could ever want in one delicious package! But the deliciousness doesn’t stop there! Wildwood Chocolate Cardamom and Honey Caramel with Sea Salt is a chocolate bar masterpiece. 70% dark chocolate sprinkled with sea salt and filled with a luscious caramel that exudes aromatic cardamom and sweet honey.

 

Head to shop.DorothyLane.com to ship these top new food finds!

The DLM Difference: Brentlinger’s Sweet Corn

The sound of towering corn husks rustling in the wind on a July morning is the music of nature at its best. Once the harvest starts later this month, Ray Brentlinger, a local farmer whose beautiful land sprawls in New Carlisle, Ohio, will wake early to meet his crew and get picking. Afterwards, he heads to Dorothy Lane Market with a truckload of corn, making deliveries to each of our stores. He always greets us with a chuckle and we part ways with his sweet corn in hand, still damp with morning dew. This continues daily until the season subsides.

As our local sweet corn season nears (we can almost taste it), we feel a deep sense of appreciation for Ray and everyone at Brentlinger Farm. Not only does Ray sell exclusively to DLM besides his local farmstand, but our relationship with his family is our longest-standing local tie to any farm. In 1978, DLM founder Calvin D. Mayne first bought sweet corn from Ray Brentlinger’s father. We are so grateful for friends like the Brentlingers, who have truly mastered the art of growing farm fresh sweet corn. If there’s anything we can count on this summer, it’s local treasures like this.

Sweet Corn Cooking Tips & Tricks

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than with Brentlinger’s Sweet Corn. Nothing beats corn on the cob served steaming HOT with all the fixins’ (Don’t forget our new DLM Salted Artisan Butter). Here are 3 ways to cook your corn!

 

 

This is the classic way! First, take off the husks and silks. Using a taller stock pot, fill it with enough water to cover the corn. Bring corn to a boil and cook for 5-10 minutes. Use tongs to remove corn, serve hot, and add your choice of toppings.

 

 

Yep, you read that right! This is a great option if you are doing just an ear or two. First, rinse corn and leave it in the husk. Then, microwave two at a time on high for 4-6 minutes. The corn will steam in the husk. Remove from microwave with oven mitts—they will be hot. Let them cool enough to handle, and then strip off the husk and silk. It’s so easy!

 

 

Now this is my favorite. Roasting corn on the grill gives it a nice smoky flavor. Peel back the husk and remove the silk, leaving each husk attached at the stem. Brush the cobs with olive oil and cover the corn back up with the husks. You can secure them closed with a piece of aluminum foil. Roast the ears of corn over a medium to hot grill, occasionally turning until the outer husks are charred and toasted. It takes about 15 minutes. Let cool enough to strip back the husk and bite in!

6 Corn Recipes to Savor Sweet Corn

As Brentlinger’s Sweet Corn arrives in our Produce departments, we can’t help but dream of those sweet kernels and all of the delicious ways to eat them. Check out 6 corn recipes to savor sweet corn this summer!

6 CORN RECIPES TO SAVOR SWEET CORN

1. Summer Corn Pudding

2. Raw Corn & Radish Salad with Hot Honey Dressing

3. Fresh Corn Muffins

4. Corn & Crab Carbonara

5. Corn Gazpacho

6. Corn & Lobster Fritters

 

The DLM Difference: Prima® Peaches

If you’re like me, one of the things you love about summertime is all the fresh fruit we have at peak condition. Think fragrant, juicy melons, plump plums, and nectarines. Nature’s candy jar of fruit is overflowing. For many years here at Dorothy Lane Market, we’ve brought in something so wonderful and perfect for summer that we call it a “PARTY” when it arrives and we celebrate its flavor. What is this summertime food that’s so good it has us grinning from ear to ear? Peaches! But we’re not talking just any peach, we’re celebrating the Prima® Peach! They’re so sweet and juicy, you may not even notice the delightful nectar running down your chin. It makes my mouth water just thinking of that first bite … so delicious! Enjoy!

Prima® Peaches Are Perfect As-Is

They’re also great cooked (try poaching, baking, and even grilling) or over top of a salad. when cooked, the sugar caramelizes resulting in an even sweeter peach!

**Always rinse you peaches in clean water, rubbing the skin gently with your hands or a vegetable brush right before you’re ready to eat or prepare them.

Why We Love Prima® Peaches

  • Tree-Ripened to Peachy Perfection

Tree-ripened means that these peaches are left on the tree longer and picked at their peak to maximize sweetness (aka a high Brix). This also results in a superb mouthfeel.

**Did you Know: Although harvesting prematurely ensures less blemishes on a peach, it will never reach its ultimate sweetness. Great care is taken with each tree-ripened Prima® Peach after they are picked to preserve the peaches’ integrity.

  • Premium Packaging

Prima® Peaches arrive individually cradled in a special single-layer box to protect the prized fruit within. Each box is then personally signed by the individual who packed it.

  • 12+ Brix Level

Brix is a way to measure the innate sweetness. All Peach Party Prima® Peaches have a Brix level of 12 or greater!

  • Making the Grade

Once a Prima® Peach is carefully harvested, it is also graded. A very small percentage will make the cut to be sent to our Peach Party.

 

Check the Sign

When the tree-ripened peaches arrive at DLM, our Produce managers carefully inspect them once more and measure the Brix. Check our Brix sign to see what it is today!

Look for “Ready Today” & “Ready Tomorrow” signs on our Peach Party display so you can plan your peach feast accordingly. We recommend that you utilize our sign system when picking your peaches.

**Look for products throughout DLM, from the Bakery to the Deli, featuring this sweet summer fruit! Get a sneak peek at some of the peachy products we have during our Peach Party.

DLM Partners with 80 Acres for New Salad Blends

We are excited to work closely with Cincinnati-based 80 Acres, the next generation of fresh and locally grown produce, as DLM partners with 80 Acres. Not only are their lettuces, microgreens, and tomatoes grown year-round thanks to indoor farming techniques, but they use zero pesticides, food miles are kept to a minimum, and they use 100% renewable energy.

Big vision, right? Well, they’ve done it and they call it 80 Acres. The name comes not from the number of acres it takes to grow, but in how much food can be grown in a smaller space utilizing vertical farming techniques. This is a super-efficient method for growing that yields the equivalent of a farm with 80 acres of land, give or take.

It’s easy to see why we became fast friends. When talking to 80 Acres founders Mike Zelkind and Trish Livingston as well as Samantha Bergman, one of the first 80 Acres team members, it’s clear that they are doing what they love. Samantha joined the company when it was just a big vision—nearly 4.5 years ago. She had an immediate connection to 80 Acres Farms’ mission. Years ago, while living in Chile, Samantha experienced the benefits of fresh, locally grown food as she shopped in the markets. She felt better physically, but she also developed a deep emotional connection to the community that grew it. She knew that 80 Acres Farms was her opportunity to make that magic happen in her own community while making a positive impact on the planet.

Samantha was the first grower at the farm in Cincinnati. As the farm grew, she moved into the farm manager role and eventually found the path to business development. She realized that as much as she loved the plants, what she really enjoyed was finding the perfect partners for 80 Acres products and building relationships with them. From the early beginnings, she knew that Dorothy Lane Market would be a great partner and now she’s very excited to bring 80 Acres into the family of Dorothy Lane Market’s brand.

For that, we are grateful. We are excited to debut three new varieties of DLM Salad Blends as DLM partners with 80 Acres. The Gem City Mix has crispy green ice lettuce and radish microgreens. Buckeye Bliss features green incised lettuce, green frilled lettuce, green and red romaine, with a dash of Dijon mustard microgreens. Then we have Frilly Leaf—green incised lettuce that will remind you of a frisée lettuce.

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

20 Years of Laura’s Cookies: Get to Know Laura

For 30+ years, my five sisters, sister-in-law, and I have been baking Christmas cookies together. Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving we gather at my brother’s home, which my parents built themselves in 1954, and we bake dozens and dozens of cookies. When we first started our tradition, we had about a dozen different recipes that we made every year, but we were always looking for new recipes to add.

At least 25 years ago, my younger sister, Beth, shared a cookie recipe with me. She thought that it might be a good one to add to our Christmas baking list. It was a rolled cookie dough, but the taste reminded her of a drop sugar cookie that our mom would make for us. I loved the cookie dough, but I didn’t care for the royal icing that accompanied the recipe. The thick, soft sugar cookie did not seem to be enhanced by the hard, tasteless royal icing.

So, I developed my own special almond flavored frosting to complement the cookie. We decided that this combination was the ultimate “comfort cookie” and Laura’s Cookies was born. We soon referred to the cookie as the ultimate “comfort cookie”.

How did Laura’s Cookies develop from there?

In 1993 I moved to Dayton from Morristown, NJ. In the fall of 1999, I left my position as administrative director of surgical services at Miami Valley Hospital. I had been in hospital administration for my entire professional career (17 years) and decided that I wanted to move in a new direction with my career. What that direction would be, I had absolutely no idea.

I took full advantage of the assessment programs and career development sessions offered by a local career development firm. Through this experience. I found out a few things about myself. Most significantly, I seemed to have education/work experiences, skill sets, and a self-awareness of my strengths and weaknesses that indicated a potential to be a successful small business owner. I was intrigued—but what business could I start?

A one hour informational session by a representative of the local Small Business Administration led to me taking a 10-week SBA class at Sinclair Community College. The main goal of the course was to help individuals develop a “business plan.” So, I needed to identify what my business was going to be.

I had a few more expansive food business ideas, but the instructor was wise to inform me that my ability to secure financing would probably be slim. So, I scaled it back to a cookie baking business. Each week I would bring a variety of cookies to get feedback from my classmates and instructor. The “Comfort Cookies” (now known as “Laura’s Cookies”) became the most requested for “repeat” tastings.

At the end of the class I had a fairly decent business plan on paper; I just needed to figure out how to get it started. My primary challenge was to find a place to bake and sell my cookies.

Enter Dorothy Lane Market. How did you cross paths with DLM?

As a pet-owner, I needed to find a kitchen facility to bake in. I also needed an outlet to sell my cookies. This was 20 years ago. One of my book club friends had a relationship with Dorothy Lane Market through Scott Fox, DLM VP of Bakery. Through the friend, I was able to get a meeting with Scott. I met with him, explained that I had a cookie that everyone seemed to really like, but that I needed a place to bake. Scott expressed interest and shared that DLM likes to promote quality  “local” products. He asked me to bring in a sample.

A day later, I brought in 2-3 dozen “Laura’s Cookies” in different shapes. We met in the OAK Bakery manager’s office (a very pregnant Shelley Eberle). There are two things about this meeting that I will never forget. The first is Shelley opening the container, biting into a cookie, and then turning around in her chair exclaiming “this is the best cookie that I have ever had!” Scott tasted one and he agreed with Shelley, and asked if he could have samples to share with more folks at DLM. He called the next day and asked me when I could start baking!

What is it about Laura’s Cookies that you think makes them special?

I think that it is the fact that the cookies are both visually appealing and that they taste delicious. I trust Scott Fox when he tells me that he has never seen or tasted a cookie that even comes close to a Laura’s Cookie. They are truly unique.

Has the recipe changed at all over the years?

The only thing that has changed is that the “trans fats” have been removed from the ingredients. P.S. Don’t even ask about nutritional value. There is none. Just remember that everything is good in moderation!

When you first started, did you ever imagine Laura’s Cookies would have grown into what it is today?

Honestly, no (insert laughter). My informal business plan when I started was to make enough cookies to cover my living expenses, save for retirement, take a couple vacations a year, and maybe have a couple of employees.

Fast forward to 2020 and 5,337,000+ cookies later. Laura’s Cookies has a huge fan base, an amazing team, a new production facility, and I get to take those vacations!

Why exclusive to DLM?

Laura’s Cookies has been an exclusive product to Dorothy Lane Market from the beginning. DLM allowed me afterhours access to the bakery production area if I agreed to sell the cookies exclusively through their bakeries. Laura’s Cookies has become one of the DLM “destination products” as they aren’t available anywhere else. It has been a win-win relationship.

Sweetest memories over the past 20 years?

I think my favorite sweet memories are those shared with me by customers. Laura’s Cookies have become an essential part of so many people’s lives and celebrations. Major life events have been made even more special with Laura’s Cookies. Innumerable grandchildren have been delighted when a grandparent arrives with Laura’s Cookies in hand. Corporate clients look forward to holiday gift boxes of Laura’s Cookies. A gift of a single Laura’s Cookie can brighten someone’s day. It truly brings me joy to know that there is most assuredly “a happy memory in every bite”.

A few early memories stand out. When I first started, a former neighbor would go to the DLM Oakwood Bakery and stand near the case. She would casually point out my cookies to other customers, telling them how tasty they were and encouraging them to “try one!” I think our biggest marketing strategy has been the cookie itself with how it looks to the eye and tastes in the mouth.

I wasn’t in business more than a month when a DLM Washington Square associate came back into the production area to tell me about a customer interaction that she had just had. The customer was standing in front of the Bakery counter and kept saying to herself,  “I can’t believe that I’m doing this.” The associate asked if there was anything that she could do for her. The customer then explained that she lived in the Cincinnati area, but had been to Dayton the previous day. She had stopped at DLM and saw the Laura’s Cookies for the first time. She had bought three different shapes and didn’t even make it out of the DLM parking lot before they were gone. She made a special trip to Dayton and DLM the next day … for some more Laura’s Cookies!

Now, tell us more about THE Laura—you.

You really want to know more about me? When friends introduce me to someone new, it normally goes something like this:

“Do you ever go to Dorothy Lane Market?”
“Yes.”
“Have you ever had a Laura’s Cookie?”
“Yes,” or sometimes “No.”
“This,” they say, pointing at me “is THE Laura of Laura’s Cookies!” 

Invariably whether the individual has had a cookie or not, I end up telling my story. What I really want to say is …I’m more than just “THE” Laura.

So, I love to read both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve been a member of a book club since 1996 and, yes, we discuss the book before we get too deep into the wine! I love to travel. I enjoy photographing my travel adventures; perhaps a bit to the extreme. In fact, my nickname from my family is “clicky, clicky” as they are always trying to hurry me along. I enjoy live theater performances and movies. I’m a fairly accomplished gardener. It only took me 25 years to get my two-bit garden to have something in bloom from crocus to chrysanthemum! I am a National Public Radio and Podcast nerd. I know a little bit about a lot of things. Except Laura’s Cookies, I know a lot about Laura’s Cookies after 20 years.

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.

Flower Arranging At Home

Take a break from the stresses of the present and rest your mind on the splendor of a sunset, that sip of coffee, or—perhaps—the relaxation of flower arranging. Here are some steps to keep in mind.

DIY Flower Arranging

flower arranging

1. Start with flowers and colors that make you feel good. Our local ranunculus, Canadian tulips, and peonies are a great place to begin. They’re colorful, seasonal, and can’t help but cheer you up.

2. Give them a fresh cut right when you get home and get them in water. Flowers don’t like sitting out of water, whether they sit in your car or on the kitchen counter. A clean, sharp cut is best and allows the stems to take up water. Dull cuts and mashed stems will shorten the life of your flowers.

3. Narrow-mouth jars and vases will hold your flowers more upright. Wide-mouth containers will require more stems and will generally give a more relaxed presentation.

Tip: Cutting thin strips of clear tape and taping a grid pattern over the mouth of the vase helps hold stems upright.

4. Always use flower food. It greatly extends the life of flowers.

5. Work towards an overall balanced appearance, not exacting symmetry.

6. Start with larger flowers first.

7. Relax and enjoy what you’re doing.

8. Re-cut the stems every few days to make your flowers last even longer.

9. Enjoy your flowers!

Demystify How to Roast a Whole Chicken

Roasting a whole chicken is a skill that I think everyone should have in their cooking tool belt. It has the power to pleases almost everyone. The added bonus is that it makes your kitchen smell so darn good and is the ultimate comfort food. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it can be used for all sorts of quick meals throughout the week. Check out these 5 ideas!

I like to say that a perfectly whole roasted chicken is the true sign of a good cook. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to master this skill—just a DLM Whole Chicken and a couple of cooking rules of thumb.

Whole Roasted Chicken
The time is now to master the skill of a whole roasted chicken.

 

How to Roast a Whole Chicken: What You Need to Know

Prep. Whatever you do, don’t roast a cold, wet bird. Let the chicken come to room temp (at least 30 minutes or more). This will help the bird cook more evenly and efficiently. Make sure the skin is dry. There’s no need to rinse the chicken you buy here at DLM. Dry skin yields a crisper and more crackly roasted surface.

Seasoning. You all have heard me say this before—do not be shy with the salt and pepper! Don’t forget to add it under the wings, the back, and even inside the cavity. Other goodies can be added inside the cavity, too, like chopped herbs, garlic, onion, and even a cut lemon, but there’s something so good about a simple salt and peppered roasted chicken.

What to roast it in. There are many pans out there. My answer is to use what you have. Different pans can give you different results, but all are delicious. For example, a roasting pan with a rack allows air to circulate under the bird, which helps brown the chicken all over and is brilliant if you want to carve it tableside for that “Norman Rockwell” presentation. Using a roasting pan without a rack will yield more pan juice and is an excellent way to roast veggies simultaneously, like  onions, carrots and potatoes, for a one-pan meal. My mom used to “roast” chicken in a deep-sided, covered Dutch oven, which technically wasn’t roasting, but delicious.

Temperature. You have two choices here—low and slow or hot and fast. Low and slow will yield a very tender, fall-off-the-bone type of meat with soft and sticky skin. Roast at 300°F to 350°F for anywhere between 1.5 to 2 hours.  The hot and fast method will yield a more crisp and dark golden brown exterior and a firmer, chewier meat inside. Roast at 375° to 500°F, 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the weight of the chicken.

Is it done? Use a meat thermometer. It’s the easiest and most foolproof way to be sure. You are looking for it to read 165°F when you insert it into the thickest part of thigh.

Carving. Let it rest and hang out for at least 15 minutes before cutting. I know it can be torture waiting to dig in, but don’t blow it! You want those juices to redistribute or else you’ll end up with them all over your cutting board.

Lastly, don’t be intimidated. You will quickly master this and be on a journey of good cooking for years to come. Now, what to do with the leftovers? We’ve got 5 ideas to fuel your meal planning.