Posts tagged Salad

Stuffed Yellow Peppers

Well it is about time I got back to writing about the tasty food in our market!  Like always I was taking a stroll through the market when a spotted a jar that had lost its label.  Since it was in its proper spot it was easy to tell that the poor naked jar was one of our Hungarian products from BENDE, Stuffed Yellow Peppers. I looked to see if I could find where the label had fallen to see if there was any way to fix it, but alas it was long gone. Since we can’t sell an item without a label I decided that fate had intervened and it was to be my newest subject.

007As always, when I have an item that I don’t have any experience with I start asking around (it is so handy that I work around so many chefs). I went first to Chef Garyn, who is a 3rd generation Hungarian American, to see if this was something he was familiar with. He said that he had seen it used with food that was similar to Antipasto; the other Chefs agreed that the best way for me to sample this was with salami. Up front Chef Josh gave me a small handful of our Cittero salami slices & cut up the end piece for me to use.

Back at my desk I laid out the salami pieces and popped open the jar. “WHOA!!” was the exact reaction to the smell that hit me in the face. The smell of yellow pepper was so overwhelming that it took me completely by surprise. I love hot & spicy things but even I was concerned that I may end up regretting this one. I forked out all 7 of the peppers and added them to the plate to take pictures, the smell was quick to abate and I began to feel more at ease while I took photographs.

Finally I took a deep breath and began. Now I’m not real orthodox when it comes to how I sample everything, I took a big slice of salami curled it around the bottom of the pepper making a salami and stuffed pepper taco and took a bite.

I was relieved that the pepper was not as hot as I had been working it up in my mind. The pepper flavor & heat are what I tasted first, followed briefly by a subtle taste of vinegar before the pepper came back with more of a light burn while I savored the crunch of the cabbage and meaty taste of the salami.014

With the following peppers I tried different ways to dress them up for presentation (maybe I was playing with my food a little). I stuffed salami wedges in the sides, it was not a pretty look and when I ate that one I felt like I was just eating a plain stuffed yellow pepper, and it hid the flavor and texture of the salami and made me realize that the salami slice actually helps offset the hotness of the pepper.

The best way I found was simply to cut the pepper in half and wrap it into a salami roll. I was only able to coerce two of my coworkers into giving them a try and they each had different reactions to how hot the peppers were.  The one agreed with me that it was just within the threshold for being really spicy but still enjoyable enough that neither of us felt a need to go scrambling for a glass of milk. Our other coworker felt it was really spicy and said her mouth was on fire.

I believe that if this was cut up used in an antipasto salad with some pasta & chunks of salami and served cold it would be a big hit at a summer gathering.

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Who’s Hungary?

Today I wanted to try one of several jarred items that always seem to catch my eye and draw me in. We have a few BENDE  products and they all look very appetizing, for today I chose the Hot Mixed Salad. Looking at it through the glass I am imagining it will taste like a spicy cole slaw.

Theo described this to me as being the Hungarian version of Kimchi.

Reading over the label is a habit I’ve gotten into lately, this is how I discovered that this is a product of Hungary (also a ½ cup serving is only 20 calories!)

BENDE Hot Mixed SaladPopping the jar open at my desk I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the aroma of vinegar & sweet pickles. Spooning out the contents for pictures I noticed that the cuts and slices of pickles, cabbage, onions, peppers and green tomatoes were not evenly cut…a strange thing to notice but I’ve worked in the kitchen and know the difference between veggies that were cut by hand & the ones that were put through a slicer or processor.  The overall look was that of a handmade salad.

The first bite was a small adventure, with a light taste of vinegar, followed by flavors of pickle, and then the heat. I enjoy spicy foods so for me the fire was a bit of a surprise but not overwhelming. The texture was just as I had expected, similar to cole slaw. The heat stayed with me for several minutes afterwards making my mouth all tingly.

Sydney was walking by and was curious enough to try a bite. We brainstormed for a minute about how it would taste great as a sandwich.  I handed over the jar and she disappeared into the kitchen to see just what would be great with a mixed salad.

Who's Hungary?Upon her return a few moments later she described what she had done.  Using one of our fresh brotchen as a bun she melted a slice of Munster cheese over some Ziguener Turkey.  A light spread of mayo on the bun and a spoon full of the heated hot mixed salad.  Sydney said that it gave the meat a nice sweet flavor when cooked but the spicy bite was milder afterwards.  I packed more of the salad on to my half, making the sandwich a fun mix of hot and cold. The gooey melted Munster was fantastic with the crunch of the cool mixed salad. All together it tamped down the spiciness from a pronounced taste to a more of an accenting flavor.

Overall it is delicious; I ended up finishing the remainder. I’m now looking forward to the next few hours to enjoy the left over heat that I can still taste.

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Blogging and Business Lunch

What a beautiful Florida afternoon to enjoy lunch outside!  Most of the time when I’m writing about food in the market I’m sitting at my desk , a pen in one hand a fork in the other & a camera by my side. The food & drinks have always been good but often what really makes a meal truly great is the company that you’re sharing it with. Around the corner at the Willow Tree we call it Gemuetlichkeit, which is a sense of well-being and happiness that comes from enjoying the company of friends and family while savoring good food and drink.

I often ask my coworkers to sample our ‘exotic’ German delights and I’m usually rebuffed (I just don’t understand their aversion to a ball of fried herring marinated in vinegar?!?) Yesterday while I was out in store looking over some of our new items one of our beloved regulars came in and we picked up a jar of red pepper strips & started talking with Chef Josh about what items on the shelf would be great to add onto our deli sandwiches.

We all started kicking around ideas and Chef Josh took over and said that he’d have something special just for us made with items from our store. Theo thought it was a fantastic idea, so today I’ve been watching the clock in anticipation for what was going to be presented.  Working in the food service industry it’s not often that I get to eat lunch at ‘lunch time’, so I think I’ve got a good reason to be excited about taking a short break to enjoy the weather, a good meal with  great people.

Tom arrived just after Noon, I picked up a nice cold bottle of Ginger Beer and we went outside to sit in the shade of our sidewalk tables. I don’t think the afternoon could have been any nicer to enjoy the weather and a good lunch.  It was hot out today but sitting in the shade of our table’s umbrella with a cold drink…it was just down right pleasant. The Ginger Beer was not over sweet, and a smooth flavor that fell between Root Beer & Ginger Ale.

I had a few minutes to just chat with Tom about what he liked most about the deli. He described how limited the options were in the area for a quick lunch that wasn’t a sit down establishment. We both talked about the positive & negative aspects of how we slice our sandwich meats to order. While it takes a few extra minutes the freshness and quality is worth it.  He particularly enjoys the products we make in house, during the week he rotates between our Herb Roasted Turkey, Garlic Pork Loin & Chicken Salad. However his favorite fallback is Pastrami on either our homemade German Farmers Bread or Pumpernickel with Swiss cheese, onions & pickles.

Theo came out to join us and we all sat back and talked about good food and what Chef Josh was preparing, then as if right on cue Chef Josh came out with plates in hand.

We had a Smoked Pork Loin, with sautéed mushrooms, red peppers & onions, melted Mediterranean Gouda on our fresh brotchen with a red pepper & garlic aoli, and a side of tomato cucumber salad.

The sandwich was hearty, filling and almost caused me a sensory overload. The smoked pork loin was tender and juicy. Chef Josh has proven many times that he is a pro when in it comes to smoking meats. The red peppers, onions & mushrooms were sautéed long enough to let the flavors out and get the consistency just right. The red pepper and garlic aoli….oh just where can I start to express the raptures of a great aoli. Chef Josh set aside some of the red pepper strips from the jar just for this, he admits that it’s not a proper aoli because he cheated today using a tube of our Thomy Mayo. I know the leftovers were polished off by the staff afterwards. I know there wasn’t any evidence of it left on my plate I saved a few bites of me bread to clean it up.  Tom likes our new brotchen because it the fresh ones we make now have a better crust.

A perfect companion for the meal was the tomato cucumber salad. Tom expressed it exactly, how on a hot day like today the cold salad was absolutely refreshing and next to the somewhat heavy sandwich. Josh used our Haus dressing which has this wonderfully strong dill flavor.

I was completely contented and a bit sad when it was gone, even Theo sounded a little down when he said “guess it’s time to get back to work” so back to the office I came with some good pictures a page full of quick observational scribbles.

For all our foodie friends Chef Josh gave wrote down the recipe for your enjoyment.

Pork Loin
Garlic
Spanish onion
Cucumber
BENDE Red Pepper Strips
Mushrooms
Tomato
Salt & Pepper
THOMY Mayo
Pumpernickel Bread
Mediterranean Gouda
WTC Haus Dressing

1. For garlic pork loin marinate in 1/2 cup olive oil and 6 roughly chopped cloves of garlic for at least 1 hour
2. For pickled red peppers onions and mushrooms take 1 jar of Bende Red Pepper strips and reserve 1/4 jar for aoli
While marinating pork make pickled veg take 1/2 of Spanish onion and julienne into 1/8″ strips
Slice mushrooms into 1/8″ slices in a mixing bowl combine Red Peppers and juice with onions and mushrooms, mix and let rest 30 mins
3. For tomato cucumber salad cut tomatos into hlf inch cubes. Place in mixing bowl.
Cut cucumber into 1/4 inch strips length wise, and then juliene 1/2 onions in 1/4 in strips place in bowl
mix in 8oz of haus dressing and chill for 20 min
4. Salt and pepper smoke on smoker at 225 for 10min let rest for 5min, slice in 1/2″ slices
5. For aoli combine 6 garlic cloves & the 1/4th jar of reserved red peppers, 1 Thomy Mayo tube in a food processor or blender until finely pureed and mixed through, salt and pepper to taste
6. Strain and sauté veg; Sauté to heat, not to cook.
7. Assembly of sandwich
Assemble on small sheet pan.
Take pumpernickel bun cut in half and toast on 1 side. Spread aoli on both sides of bread. Place 1/2 of 1 whole sliced tenderloin on the bottom half of bread
Place hot sautéed pickled veg on top of pork, place 1 slice of Mediterranean Gouda on top. Broil for 1 min to melt cheese
Place top bread on and cut in half on diagonal and serve with chilled tomato cucumber salad

We had enough to serve 5

1 hour prep

40 mins cooking

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