Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter Table Decorating

We found this in the archives and had to bring it back since it was created before we had a blog.  We thought this fun little project would be great for your Easter table setting. This may even get the kids to help out with setting the table?




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shortbread Tartlets with Lemon Curd, Blueberry Coulis and Whipped Cream

Earl Grey Shortbread Tartlets with Lemon Curd, Blueberry Coulis and Whipped Cream
This was just created in our Cooking School and is a great dessert for Easter, or save the recipe and impress your mom for mother's day!  The loose Earl Grey tea leaves added to the tartlet give it a fantastic flavor!


Tartlet Shells

Makes 12 

Ingredients:

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea, and salt, until the tea is just spotted throughout the flour. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and butter. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into a log, about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Tightly twist each end of wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Press dough in the bottom of an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; place in refrigerator about 30 minutes.

Carefully line pastry with parchment paper, pressing it into the corners and edges, and weight with beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake about 20 minutes. Remove the paper and weights, and continue baking until crust is golden, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool to room temperature.


Blueberry Coulis

Yield: 2.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Put 1 pint blueberries in food processor, with the sugar and lemon juice. Pulse on high until the berries are pureed. Strain, pressing on the solids to drain excess juice. 

Add additional sugar and lemon juice to adjust to taste. Refrigerate. 
Stir in 1 pint whole fresh berries immediately before topping dessert.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Mascarpone cheese
  • 2 Tbs. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Limón cello
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add honey, Limón cello and mascarpone, continuing to beat until stiffer, but still “slumpy”.

Assemble the Tart

 Ingredients:
  • 1 recipe Whipped Cream
  • 1 recipe blueberry coulis
  • 1 recipe tart shells
  • Candied lemon peel
  • Fresh mint leaves
Directions:

Fill each tartlet with Stonewall Kitchen Lemon Curd, then top with a small spoonful of the coulis. Dollop the whipped cream in the center of the tart and garnish with candied lemon peel and mint.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Maine Maple Sugaring Time

Typical way to collect sap from the trees – metal buckets hung from tree taps
With the recent warm weather around here, it sure feels like we are in the midst of summer and not the end of winter, but we’ll take it! The calendar shyly reminds us it is, in fact, the end of March and with that, Maine Maple Sunday is this weekend.


March generally signifies the midst of maple season in New England; that naturally sugary, deep brown colored syrup with a buttery natural flavor we like to pour and cook with. Not the familiar corn syrup kind with the fake flavoring - so gently presented by an affectionate, apron clad, glass bottled grandma.


This is the real stuff, the stuff that comes seeping out of the trees once the cool nights and warmer days of the end of winter present itself. This year’s maple season started a bit earlier and will end even sooner; a normal season starts in late February and goes through mid April. It takes 60 gallons of sap to make one and half gallons of maple syrup. An average 40 year old tree will yield about 40 quarts of sap per season, enough to make one quart of pure maple syrup. (source: http://www.mainemapleproducers.com/how_maple_syrup_is_made.html)


If you are in Maine or you want to take a nice weekend drive, here is a map of all the sugar shacks open for Maine Maple Sunday. They will have samples, special events and demonstrations going on throughout the day, most will also be open on Saturday.



Once the sap is tapped it must be processed right away so it won’t spoil, this requires syrup makers to work around the clock during maple season.

The evaporator is kept constantly boiling and throws off dense clouds of steam as the sap becomes more and more concentrated.

Once clear, the syrup is packed in sterilized containers for distribution all over the world and of course, sold right at the maple shacks as well.


We love cooking with pure maple syrup, it adds a pleasant sweetness and enhances the flavor of all sorts of grilled foods, especially grilled root vegetables, pork, chicken or duck.
See Portland Press article on Maple Sugar which highlights our Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Glaze.
We also love creating a glaze which tastes great on seafood like the shrimp in this recipe.


Melt in Your Mouth Shrimp


ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Stonewall Kitchen Maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Champagne Mustard
  • 10 slices of bacon
  • 20 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

directions

  1. Mix Stonewall Kitchen Maple Syrup and Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Champagne Mustard in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut each bacon slice in half. Wrap each bacon slice around a shrimp. Place shrimp on a cookie sheet and cover each with a spoonful of the syrup/mustard sauce.
  3. Broil on high and cook on both sides until very crispy.
  4. Remove to a platter and serve immediately.

And this great recipe for maple glazed bananas will satisfy your sweet, after dinner cravings:


Caramelized Bananas


ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 small bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 cup Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Syrup
  • 1 Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake and Waffle Mix

directions

  1. Prepare pancakes or waffles according to instructions on package.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar has melted and the mixture begins to simmer.
  4. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  5. Add the banana slices to the pan in a single layer and cook until the bananas begin to caramelize and the brown sugar sauce is bubbling.
  6. Pour the banana sauce over hot pancakes and serve with warm maple syrup on the side.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aioli; Thinking beyond a sandwich spread




Aioli (ai-o-li): A mayonnaise flavored with garlic and sometimes other ingredients (such as pepper, horseradish, lemon, etc)


Similar to our Chutney, we have received several inquiry's as to what exactly an Aioli is and what to do with it.  This January, we launched our new Aioli line after several request from our customers for an all-natural, gourmet mayonnaise. In typical Stonewall Kitchen fashion, we didn't want to produce a standard mayonnaise that you can get anywhere; we wanted to add a little pizazz to it. Enter in the Aioli. 


If you have ever caught our employees ordering lunch in the cafe before, you might have seen them request an extra side of the aioli for their French Fries.  We have been producing a Habanero Mango Aioli in our cafe for years and wanted to be able to bottle it for all to enjoy. One flavor wasn't enough however, so we created 5 new flavors.


Aiolis with Fries



The most common use for an aioli would be as a sandwich spread, or in our headquarters, as a sweet-potato-fry-dip.  But the aioli is not just limited to those two.  It can be incorporated into recipes for an extra punch of flavor, combined with olive oil for a fantastic vinaigrette, used as a topping for a piece of fish or chicken, and several other ways!


Our Aioli collection has a flavor for everyone;
  • Roasted Garlic Aioli - a more traditional flavor that is ideal for garlic lovers!  Use this in your potato salad for a little extra flavor
  • Horseradish Aioli - with an intense kick of horseradish, this is a perfect accompaniment to Roast Beef
  • Lemon Herb Aioli - A mix of lemon, dill, tarragon and garlic makes this aioli a great dipper for crab cakes or as an addition to pasta salad.
  • Smoky Barbecue - This flavor is an employee favorite! Use as a dipping sauce for vegetables and ad it to your indoor-cooked burger for a outdoor smoky flavor.
  • Habanero Mango - If you like spice, then this is the one for you.  This aioli has a spice that sneaks up on you and is balanced perfectly with the sweet mango. 
Of course, you can always use these as a swap for mayonnaise in any savory recipes!  Here are two classic recipes that you can awe your guests with when they taste the fun, creative twist to them!


Deviled Eggs


A old-fashioned family favorite and easy appetizer.  Use any of our Aiolis to create different flavored eggs.


Habanero Aioli Deviled Eggs recipe


Ingredients:
  • 6 unshelled eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Stonewall Kitchen Aioli
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garnish (crumbled bacon, cilantro or parsley leaf, paprika, dill sprig)
Directions:
  1. Place eggs in a pot large enough for the eggs to be in a single layer.  Cover eggs with cold water, enough to cover eggs by 1-inch.  Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook eggs. 14 minutes for large eggs, 12 minutes for small and medium eggs, and 15 minutes for extra-large and jumbo eggs.  Add 1-2 minutes more if eggs are cold directly from the refrigerator and not at room temperature. Plunge the eggs into cold water to prevent further cooking.
  2. Once eggs are cooled, peel off shells. Cut eggs in half lengthwise.  Remove egg yolks to a small bowl. Add Aioli and salt & pepper.  Mix until smooth and uniform. Spoon or pipe egg yolk filling into each white.  Garnish and serve.


Habanero Mango Coleslaw


Who doesn't appreciate a recipe that only has one step! A fun, easy twist to a classic recipe. 
Cole Slaw Habanero Aioli


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Stonewall Kitchen Habanero Mango Aioli
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup jicama, 1/4 inch dice (can substitute apple)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup mango, 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated lime zest
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl, toss and serve.
Be creative! Using shredded cabbage, oil and lemon or lime juice as your base you could use any of our Aiolis with different add-ins.





Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Dark Chocolate Toffee Frosting

Beer and chocolate combined seems to always be a crowd pleaser.  It sure was here in our office; this cake flew off the counter, so we wanted to be sure to share the recipe!  A great addition to your St. Patrick's Day dinner or for any time of the year.

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Dark Chocolate Toffee Frosting
Serves 10-12
Pin It

JPEG Guiness Chocolate Cake w-Dark Chocolate Toffee Sauce recipe_G
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1 1/3 cups Guinness
  • 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter (13 Tbsp)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Stonewall Kitchen Dark Chocolate Toffee Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 - 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Heath Bar Crunch for decoration
Directions
  1. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.  Line with parchment paper cutting circles to fit the bottom of each pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a low simmer.  Whisk in cocoa powder.  Remove from heat and cool.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  With a whisk blend until uniform.
  4. In a free standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or you can use a hand mixer, mix the eggs and sour cream on medium speed.  Add the Guinness mixture and mix until uniform.  Slowly add the flour and blend until uniform, scraping down the sides as needed.  Do not over mix cake batter.
  5. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove to cooling rack and cool completely.
  6. Remove cakes from pans by running a knife around the edges.  If the cake does not come out when inverted run the cake pan over the burner of your stove on low heat making a circular motion with the pan.  Make sure you do not burn the cake, or your hands - use oven mitts.  Just a few seconds should be enough. The cake should easily come out of the pan when inverted. Remove the parchment paper.
  7. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by combining the butter and cream cheese in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix until uniform.
  8. Add the Dark Chocolate Toffee Sauce and vanilla extract, mix until combined.
  9. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix on low speed scraping down sides as needed.  Add sugar to desired consistency and/or chill in the refrigerator.  Frost cake and top with Heath Bar Crunch.
JPEG Guiness Chocolate Cake w-Dark Chocolate Toffee Sauce recipe_A

Friday, March 9, 2012

Recipes for your St. Patrick's Day Dinner

We may not all be of Irish decent, but that doesn't mean we can't join in on the celebration for St. Patrick's Day on March 17th!  The traditional menu on St. Patrick's Day typically includes Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread and Colconnan Potatoes, but it's also a fun meal to get creative with.  Some people choose to make everything green or have everything on the menu incorporate beer somehow.  Here are a few options depending on the focus of your menu this year.

If you are going traditional, here is a great recipe for Corned Beef

Glazed Corned Beef

Or, for another option for a hearty Irish main course, try our Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew

Looking to cook everything with beer?  A brisket cooked with beer is known to tenderize the meat and give it a great flavor

Barbecued Brisket
It's always fun to have something green on the menu!  For dessert, try something like our Key Lime Tart that naturally has a hint of green to it, or add a few drops of green food coloring to your favorite dessert such as cheesecake or a vanilla milkshake.
Key Lime Tart


There are several towns that host St. Patrick's Day parades or celebrations.  Click here for a great resource to look for events in your area.

What is on your menu this year?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Have You Tried?...Cinnamon Caramel Monkey Bread

After hearing about the amazing flavors of one of our newest mixes, Cinnamon Caramel Monkey Bread, I decided to test it at home. And I must say, it is fantastic.

Since this mix requires using yeast, you must allow enough time for the dough to rise to give it a nice texture. If you are planning to bake this bread as a breakfast treat, you should probably, either make it the night before and warm it up in the oven in the morning, or save it for brunch or dessert. Overall this Monkey Bread mix took me about two and a half hours to three hours to create but - I am being totally honest here - it was completely worth it.



The first thing you have to do is purchase our Stonewall Kitchen Cinnamon Caramel Monkey Bread Mix which can be found at any of our nine East Coast Company Stores or on our website here.

On the back of the box there is a list of the ingredients you will need as well as step-by-step directions. Here is a combined list of ingredients you should grab from the store or your pantry before you start.

Unsalted butter (2 sticks)
Milk
Egg (you will only need 1)
Half & Half (for the caramel, milk works just fine as well)

You will find three packets inside the box; the bread mix, the cinnamon sugar mix, and a packet of yeast.

To start we will make the bread. You will need:

¼ cup lukewarm water
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ cup lukewarm milk

Pour the yeast it into a small bowl of lukewarm water. Stir to combine, set aside and let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour the bread mix into a stand mixer bowl (or a regular mixing bowl if you do not have a stand mixer). A waft of nutmeg will dazzle your senses as the mix falls into the bowl. The scent reminded me of a fresh glass of egg nog.




Add the yeast/water mixture, egg, melted butter and lukewarm milk to the bread mix.

Take a spoon and mix by hand to combine the ingredients.

Attach a dough hook to your mixer and knead on medium speed until the dough forms into a ball, then continue for 3 more minutes. However, if you are like me and do not own a stand mixer, you can knead by hand for about ten minutes.

Now place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in a draft- free warm place for an hour. I keep my apartment pretty chilly so I turned my oven on to its lowest setting (170°F) let it warm up, then turned it off and let my dough set for an hour. It really helps because yeast needs to be warm (about 100°F to activate) so you can achieve perfect textured breads and pastries.

After putting your dough away to set, grease and flour a 10" Bundt pan. If you do not own a bundt pan (like me) you can get a pack of two aluminum ones at your local supermarket.

After about an hour it is onto the coating! For this part of the recipe you only need:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Pour ¼ cup of the cinnamon sugar topping into a small bowl. Take your dough and roll it out onto a lightly floured board, into a ½" round.

Next cut your dough into quarters.

Take each quarter and roll it into a tube shape, about 1" in diameter. Then cut each into twelve equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball and coat in the cinnamon sugar you set aside.

After coating each piece layer them into the Bundt pan.

Then slowly pour the cooled, melted butter over the dough balls, so each one is covered. Follow this by placing the Bundt pan back into that warm, draft free space for an hour or until the balls have doubled in size.

Now for the oozy, gooey, sticky, luscious, yummy, cinnamon caramel. For this you will need:

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp. water
¼ cup milk or half & half

To start preheat your oven to 350°F. Then place the remaining cinnamon sugar into a small sauce pan. Add butter and water. Cook over medium heat until butter and dry mix melt together.

Now add the milk or half & half and continue to heat until the mixture boils.

Remove from heat and slowly pour over the cinnamon caramel over the monkey bread. If you have extra caramel put it into a container and put it in your fridge. It tastes fabulous warm over vanilla ice cream.

Time to bake! Place your bundt pan into the oven and bake for 30-33 minutes. If you are using a aluminum bundt pan I would highly recommend putting a cake pan or tray below it just to support the pan.

After baking, remove and let bread sit in pan for five minutes.

After five minutes remove bread from pan and flip onto a plate or serving platter. Beware though, there is hot melting, lovely caramel at the bottom of the pan, so as you are removing the monkey bread make sure all the caramel is out of the bottom. It is after all, what makes it a monkey bread.

There it is, your beautifully delicious Monkey Bread. I would let it sit for another five minutes before you dig in since the interior will still be hot.

Cinnamon sugar fills each bite, followed by a surge of nutmeg and other spices. The texture is fluffy but chewy with a nice caramel accent. And speaking of the caramel, you would think with the amount drizzled onto the bread, it would be overpowering, but it is not. It is the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. I would recommend this mix for your Easter or Mother's Day brunch.


Until next time. Enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jammin' in Dubai

IMG_4172

Back in 1991, while selling homemade jam at the local farmers' market, I can guarantee that Jim and Jonathan never thought that one day they would be seeing their jam sold in Euros, Rupees and Dirhams.  Our products are currently exported to over 40 different countries around the world; everywhere from Canada to Europe to India and New Zealand! 

We have been lucky enough to attend trade shows across the US in cities such as San Francisco, New York City, and Las Vegas-to name a few-and over the past few years we have been branching out and attending international shows.  We have attended SIAL in Paris and Canada, Anuga in Germany and most recently, we attended the Gulfoods Show in Dubai.

Our local distributor brought us around the city and showed us his store where our products are proudly displayed, including on their store sign overlooking one of the main streets; check out those pancakes!

IMG_3893
Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix displayed outside the mall

IMG_3888
One of our display units shown in the front window 

Dubai was an amazing city filled with gorgeous buildings, friendly people and many of the world's "Biggest and Best" such as the tallest building in the world, largest mall and the best indoor skiing around! 
IMG_3969
Looking up at the 162 stories of the Burj Khalifa
IMG_4120
Checking out the camels in the Arabian Desert
When traveling to these other countries, it is always fascinating to learn what the favorite products are, and how many people know who Stonewall Kitchen is, but give you a blank look when you when you say you are from Maine!  We quickly learned that "an hour north of Boston" was much more understood than 'being from Maine.'  Here are a few of the favorites from our customers in the United Arab Emirates;
  • Wild Maine Blueberry Jam
  • Balsamic Fig Dressing
  • Country Ketchup
  • Old Farmhouse Chutney

Can you guess what our number one exported product is?