Savoring Every Bite of Emilia-Romagna

Modena is one of my favorite cities in Europe, a land of fast cars and big flavors. A few years ago, we spent an afternoon with Maria Livia Manicardi touring her family’s estate where they produce their wonderful balsamic vinegars. She makes our DLM Balsamic Vinegars, including Aunt Angie’s Balsamic Vinegar, which is great for everyday use. Best of all, Maria creates our DLM Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. It’s a blend that we chose on site with Maria and we’re extremely proud to put our name on it. We think you will love its richness, depth, and complexity.

Maria Livia Manicardi produces our DLM Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. On a visit, she offered us a sample directly from the barrel where it ages.

Just outside of Modena are the rolling hills where the Minelli family’s cows quietly graze. Modena is known not only for its balsamic vinegar and Prosciutto di Parma, but also for its Parmigiano-Reggiano, named after the provinces Parma and Reggio-Emilia. For more than a decade, we’ve been buying this cheese from the same family, brothers Valerio and Giovanni Minelli, and Giovanni’s son Carlo. As we toured their operation, Giovanni said something I’ve never heard before from a farmer. We were visiting the barn where the cows were eating fragrant hay, and he whispered “Look into their eyes. They are happy.” And we’re happy to enjoy so many wonderful foods from Reggio-Emilia!

Several of us spent a memorable afternoon enjoying food company, wine, and Parmigiano-Reggiano at the Minelli estate, overlooking the hills of Modena. This family produces our Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The Gateway to Spring

The arrival of spring comes in many different forms, but there’s nothing quite like the brilliant colors of tulips illuminating our Floral department. Stuart Delk, Floral & Plant Director says it best, “Tulips are the gateway to spring.” Simple, yet elegant, these blooms have become a favorite flower during this season. But how did tulips come to be so significant?

A member of the lily family, tulips have a rich history. Because of its delicate nature and wide array of colors, this flower became a symbol of luxury in Europe. As the story goes, the price of tulips skyrocketed due to their extreme popularity and difficulty of cultivation. This frenzy is said to have caused a financial crash of the Dutch economy and caused what’s known as “Tulip Mania.” Although they have a complex past, or maybe thanks to it, tulips are celebrated each spring.

With their history rooted in the Netherlands, the idea that Dutch tulips are superior is a common misconception. Stuart states, “Dutch doesn’t necessarily mean quality.” We’re proud to receive our tulips from Mount Vernon, Washington. The cool maritime climate, defined by cold but not freezing winters transitioning to warm summers, paired with the fertile soil makes this location tulip paradise. In that area, spring has truly sprung when the fields are painted with these breathtaking blooms.

Throughout the month of April we will be carrying colorful cut tulips from Washington. Whether in a bouquet or an arrangement, these iconic flowers are a sure way to push away memories of the cold, wintry months and welcome spring with open arms.

Steps to Arranging Tulips Like a Pro

To keep flowers fresh, be sure to take them home and place in water as soon as possible.

  1. Clean your vase thoroughly. Flowers will last longer if the vase is free of contaminants.
  2. Fill vase with room temperature, clean water and flower food.
  3. Trim tulip stems with a really sharp edge. A crushed edge may make it difficult for your flower to absorb the food and water.
  4. Place several tulips in vase. A fuller vase will lead to a better looking arrangement.
  5. Keep it simple! Tulips are beautiful as they are—there’s no need to add foliage.
  6. Find the perfect spot. Place your vase in an area that is away from sunlight and heat drafts. These will cause your flowers to wilt quickly.
  7. Give the stems a fresh cut frequently. Trim the tulip stems every 2-3 days as tulips continue to grow after they’re cut.

Seafood Menus

As you’re looking for Friday meal ideas, be sure to stop by our Sandwich Station for a Chesapeake Crab Cake Sandwich. Or, visit Jack’s Grill and choose a piece of fish and have it grilled for lunch or dinner. Jack’s Grill also has a variety of menu items showcasing some of the most scrumptious seafood sandwiches, such as Cod,  Tilapia, and our ever-popular Lobster Roll.

Sandwich Station

Jack’s Grill

 

Cookies to END ALZ Contest

A huge “Thank you” to our 20 participants in the “Cookies to END ALZ” Cookie Contest. They were beautiful, delicious, and each came with a touching story of why they were entering. But when the dust settled (or powdered sugar) the Black Raspberry Cheesecake French Macarons came out on top as the winner. Followed closely by the Dulce de Leche Mexican Cinnamon Sugar and the Double Chocolate Marshmallow.

The winning recipe comes to us from Maggie Perry of Fairborn. View the winning recipe here.

We also would like to extend a sincere “Thank You” to all of you who purchased the limited-edition Laura’s Cookie Design. $1 from each cookie is being donated to the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter. Thanks to your generous support we are sending a check for $1,312 to help END ALZ.

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.

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!

Give the Gift of a Culinary Adventure

Cooking classes, interactive food, wine dinners, and themed events make excellent gifts for anyone who is really into food or wants to be. Do you have someone like that in your life? Make their day with a DLM Gift Card. Your friends, family, and colleagues can choose classes that fit their interests and their schedules.

Our Winter/Spring Schedule is hot off the press, so come and pick one up at your favorite DLM location. Or easier still, you can view them all at your convenience online, anytime. Be sure to register early as classes fill quickly. https://www.dorothylane.com/classes/

We have plenty of comfort food classes to help you survive the winter months—including one on how to use that Instant Pot Santa will leave for you under the tree. We’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day with both an indulgent Valentine’s Day Dinner and our popular food and wine class, Girls’ Night Out; Galentine’s Day. Many of our students will be rolling up their sleeves, learning how to make pasta from scratch and excellent pie. We’ll explore through wine and food the French Alps, regional Italy, Eastern Europe, Spain and Latin America. Or just come in and relax for one of our Seafood Suppers on Friday nights in the early Spring.

We think sharing good food is at the heart of every memorable occasion, so come and join us as we celebrate the love of food and the pleasure of sharing it.

Register here for the Culinary Center’s Winter/Spring classes:  https://www.dorothylane.com/classes/

5 Party Perfect Appetizers

Planning appetizers to get your holiday parties started can seem like a daunting task. Don’t fret, we’re here to help! Check out our 5 party perfect appetizer recipes that will have your guests decking the halls this holiday season.

1. DLM Applewood Bacon Jam

2. Mozzarella, Melon, and Prosciutto Kebabs

3. Amy’s Avocado Dip

4. Pork Tenderloin and Cherry Relish Crostini

5. Fig Spread Crostini with Bacon