Posts tagged Salami

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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Happy (Belated) National Cheese Day

Last Friday (Jan 20th) was National Cheese Day. I (along with many others) was completely ignorant of this particular day. Had I not been checking my FB at work I would not have seen my bosses post, and his brief illumination of that special occasion. I’m sure in Wisconsin there were some crazy parties and maybe even a festive parade overseen by the town’s ‘Cheese Queen’…but this far south of America’s Great Dairyland I’m afraid I was totally clueless.

So in a late celebration of the day I wanted to sample one of our fairly new cheeses. One that has caught my attention many times is a big beautiful cheese wheel of Gouda…but not just any normal Gouda, no this is a true Dutch creation that is imported from Holland. They took the classic smooth taste of Gouda and ad in Mediterranean herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic & cured olives. What you get is a cheese that is out of this world!

 It is so well made that the taste of the cheese is in perfect harmony with all the additions. While savoring a bite I could taste the olives and tomato. The herbs and garlic didn’t over take the taste at any time; they just stayed in the background with a subtle taste that let you know they were at the party.

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Cheese is a wonderful item by itself but it is always better paired with…well anything, for example fruit, slices of salami or deli meat, wine, beer, etc. Now I would have loved to find a great wine to pair with this full flavored cheese, I’m at work and I don’t think popping open a tall bottle of wine to drink at my desk is a good idea. Especially since the only glassware I have handy is my tea mug (hmm wine incognito, maybe some other time).

Relinquishing that idea I went and took a look through our deli case, my eyes fell upon the Mailander salami. It’s the funny one that at first glance looks like it got stuck in a net. When sliced it has a cool flower shape. When arranged on a platter it really adds to the overall presentation. The taste is excellent, while it does have a greasy feel to the touch it didn’t taste as fatty as some salamis I’ve tried over the last few years.  It has a slightly spicy taste that gives it a little tang; it tasted closer to an Italian pepperoni. Although the taste lingered much longer than any pepperoni that I can remember, which would lead me to imagine just how good this would be on a homemade pizza….I can almost picture my husband’s face when I’d pull it out of the oven a pizza with flower shapes all over it 😀

 

Theo came out of the office in the middle of my sampling procedure and told me to melt the cheese on top of the salami. Well I’m not going to turn down more samples a tasty salami and cheese. I wasn’t feeling really creative so I made a simple little roll.  Heated up and combined the flavors of both were really enhanced.  The Gouda by itself would be amazing as a grilled cheese. The salami got pretty greasy after the short trip in the microwave, which let’s be honest… that’s not the best way to heat salami. It tasted alright but it brought the spices forward and not in the best way. To me the mailander, when eaten plain & by itself it is best enjoyed cold.

 

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