Posts tagged Yummy

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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The First Adventure with Raw (pickled) Herring

I’m not sure what it is about the raw pickled fish products that we have make me so hesitant to try on my own. I love fish & eat sushi whenever the opportunity arises, but Rollmops, Bismark Herring & Matjes constantly weird me out when I think about trying them. I think part of the reason is because most of my blog content are items that can be enjoyed right out of the package.  When I came in to work this morning I knew that I needed to find something to write about. Since I have some amazing co-workers I wanted to try and mix it up a little today. I asked Chris if he could make something simple from the items we have in the market. Something that would be fairly quick to put together, Chris is a Chef from Germany so he walked right out took 2 seconds to look around and asked if I liked fish and if I’d ever had the Matjes fillets.

From there he grabbed a package of the Matjes and a jar of Pickled Gherkins and disappeared into the kitchen. Curiosity got the best of me and I went back to see what he was doing.  He slivered half an onion, half of a Granny Smith Apple and several of the small Pickled Gherkins. He put them in a mixing bowl with 3 table spoons of Vinegar & Mayo, adding Sugar & Salt. The fillet’s he cut in one inch pieces and mixed them all together.

He then peeled and boiled some potatoes 35min.  Once he pulled them from the water he halved them and sautéed them with butter, salt, pepper & celery leaves. This simple side was (in my opinion) pretty crucial to the dish.

While he was fixing the rest I stole away with the remaining jar of Gherkins. I have a sincere fondness for good pickles. The Kuhne Pickled Gherkins are what I would call high quality. They were crisp and absolutely out of this world with a sweetness that comes from the sugar that is added, just enough sweetness to make the vinegar taste milder.  It has pieces of onion, mustard seeds and red peppers marinating in the jar that are so tasty. They were just bigger than what I would consider a cocktail size but would still be a great addition to a small platter.

I was surprised when Chris presented me with a pretty plate of Matjes Haus Frauen Art (Housewife style). I took one bite of the fish by itself and loved the taste; the texture however really was not something I enjoyed since I’m not a fan of slimy & slick. He told me to eat it in combination with the potato. Cutting a slice of the potato and forking a piece of the potato was MUCH better. I also took a bite of the fish with a forkful of the onion, apple & pickle slices.

Sydney had also arrived in time to partake of our co-workers culinary skills. She thought it was also scrumptious, especially the potatoes. We all finished with potatoes left over and absolutely delighted in mixing the potatoes into the sauce.

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Corned Beef & Cabbage? YES PLEASE!

Erin Go Bragh!

Ok ok ok so maybe “Ireland Forever!” is not the best thing to shout out in a German deli, but it sure made me smile and really gets me excited for St. Patrick’s Day.

What has become a tradition in my house is the Willow Tree’s special Corned Beef and Cabbage.  Usually during the one week its available my husband and I will have one plate a day…for seven days. By the last day we are so full of it we are only too happy wait until next year.

The corned beef is so tender and juicy, with the most delicious briny taste. The red potatoes are always done just right, and served next to our freshly braised cabbage, onions & our favorite Applewood Smoked Bacon.  Together they fill the plate, covering it in a hearty mound of joy. Served on the side is our special Dijon Mustard Egg Sauce, I usually order an extra because it is just SO GOOD to dip the potatoes and drizzle over the corned beef and cabbage.

Because we’ve had so many requests it has been decided that while we can, we will offer the steamship round corned beef at Magnolia Square Market!  So now I can enjoy a full plate for lunch and take home some corned beef for a nice Irish style home cooked dinner. Hmmm I’m thinking a side of colcannon and some hot cross buns…is it dinner time yet?

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Feb 3rd National Carrot Cake Day!


I have to say that I’m so happy the bossman shared the news of this great day early in the morning. Because what a nice way to begin the work day than with a nice muffin and a cup of coffee.  Chef Lisa began making GF Carrot Cake Muffins for the bakery a few weeks ago and they’ve been such a big hit.

     Now I’ve been pretty good about keeping away from sweets lately, but today I wanted to be bad with something that tasted really good. I sampled a piece of carrot cake from the Willow Tree Café & Magnolia Square Market’s GF Carrot Cake Muffin. So bring on the sugar rush!


The Willow Tree’s cake is made with freshly slivered carrots, crushed walnuts and California golden raisins. It’s moist and wonderful with an excellent texture. Spread in between the layers is a fruity apricot jam. What’s nice is that the brown sugar gives it just the right amount of spice, without completely overshadowing the cake. Not that it’s something to worry about because our bakers always make a lot of cream cheese frosting, so they can use a generous amount when icing (it’s also to help the crushed walnut stay on the sides). To top off the cake, each slice gets a fondant carrot as decoration.


The GF carrot cake muffins are so delicious! It’s similar to our carrot cake in that we use the fresh slivered carrots. Because Chef Lisa is using Gluten Free flour it’s still moist but the texture is a little more dense than the cake. She also leaves the crushed walnuts for the topping. She pipes a nice layer over the tops of the muffins and then sprinkles the walnuts over for an easy and effective decorative look that reminds me of a cupcake.

Well I hope everyone enjoys this special occasion, I know that I’ll be okay once I come down from my sugar high.


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Frikadellen is coming

I always love the first few weeks of a new year. It is just so full of hope and the promise & possibility of good things to come. While in reality it may just be another day I like to keep a sunny outlook. I’ve never been a person that makes resolutions at midnight to flip my whole world upside down; I try to do that on a monthly basis to keep from getting stuck in the daily routine from day to day.


 Working at the Market helps with that on a small scale. There has been a lot of talk about bringing in some of the older Hollerbach family recipes that we don’t get to share with all our guests at the Willow Tree or at Magnolia Square Market. So over the next few months I get to be at the forefront of the tasting line with many of the ‘new’ old world dishes that will be coming soon.


So last Friday when Theo finally decided to get together with the Chefs and share some of the secrets, we knew the time had come.  The first product I tasted fresh from the pan was Frikadellen.

When I had passed through the kitchen earlier that morning I thought the guys were making fancy burgers. So as always, I stop and ask questions. I quickly realized this is a burger like no other! The meat is half pork & half beef, with finely chopped onions, spices and other top secret ingredients. After slaking my curiosity I got back to my desk and down to work.


A few hours later the normal background noise of kitchen sounds and voices broke through my concentration. The Frikadellen had been finished and was hot out of the pan. Theo was thrilled with just how well they turned out and even the small bite that I had was just phenomenal. It was moist and juicy on the inside. On the outside is a thin, light and crispy breading. What’s funny is that it looks like a cross between a burger & a crab cake.

What was nice about it is that it can be eaten on its own paired with a nice side dish of potato salad, or it can be sliced and eaten on bread as a sandwich.

Today Theo brought some out of the cooler and passed them out for some of the other staff members to give a try. I was a little unsure of eating what looked like a cold burger but he didn’t seem to mind, I figured it was like eating a slice of pizza right out of the fridge.

I’m happy to say that it tasted really good cold, it was still nice and moist. The texture and taste reminds me a lot of meatloaf. I ate the whole thing, taking small bites to really get the flavors. The mixture of pork & beef is just wonderful, the onions are sliced thin and the taste is not overwhelming. I could also taste parsley and a few of the other spices mixed in. If only I had the time I would have made a sandwich out of it. Some soft bread with a crisp leaf of lettuce, a bright red tomato slice and some Dijon mustard….

It would be worthwhile to keep your eyes open for when we officially debut Frikadellen this Thursday at the market! Until then Happy New Year!

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