Going Pesco-Vegetarian? Try Our Fish Fumet

July 15th, 2014 by Chef Louie

A pesco-vegetarian diet (also called a pescetarian diet) is a vegetarian diet that includes fish and shellfish.  It’s been called one of the healthiest ways to eat, basically following the Mediterranean diet, heavy on veggies, fruit and whole grains with liberal amounts of beans, olive oil, nuts, and, of course, seafood.  The health benefits of this diet have been well documented, and it offers a rich spectrum of options for delicious meals.  Most pescetarians say they eat fish a few times a week, and enjoy the variety it adds to their meal plan.  Whether you’re exploring a pesco-vegetarian diet, or just enjoy eating seafood, our fish fumet makes a great addition to your pantry.

Basically, fish fumet is fish stock.  More Than Gourmet prepares fish fumet in the classic French style with bones and trimmings from a variety of white fish, white wine, and aromatic vegetables, gently simmered over a long period of time to extract all the delicate flavors.  Its clear yellow color and lovely aroma make it the perfect choice for enhancing the taste of seafood in everyday meals.

You can simply poach or braise fish and vegetables in our fish fumet with some minced onion and fresh herbs and serve it with a little of the delicious braising liquid spooned over the top.   For a tasty summer meal, try our recipe for Grilled Halibut in Tomato, Corn, and Basil Broth; the light basil-scented broth filled with juicy tomatoes and fresh corn is the perfect sauce for grilled fish.  For hearty appetites, there are also seafood stews like Cioppino, a traditional Italian seafood stew that combines a variety of seafood with aromatic veggies, garlic, and herbs.  It comes together quickly, and all you need is some crusty bread and a green salad to round out your menu.  Love risotto?  Try making our Simple Fish Risotto with Fennel and Lemon for light and elegant supper.

Pesco-vegetarians and seafood lovers alike can enjoy a smorgasbord of tasty sauces, braises, soups, stews, pastas, and rice dishes created with veggies, grains, beans, fish and shellfish, and our fish fumet. The options for healthy and delicious meals are many.  Take a look at our family recipes for more ideas and inspiration!

Master the Art of Ribs with Our Gourmet Sauces

July 11th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Barbecued ribs are one of the quintessential summer foods. The tantalizing smell of the wood smoke drifting from the grill.  The warm, smoky, spicy, tender meat dripping with tangy, savory-sweet sauce.  Knawing at the bones like some happy cave dweller.  The good news is that incredibly great barbecued ribs can be made by anyone with a little know how and a basic charcoal or gas grill.  There are just a few simple steps in the process, and our gourmet sauces can take you to the perfect finish.

1. Prepare the ribs the day before:  Great ribs are the result of creating multiple layers of flavor, and it helps to begin about 24 hours ahead. First, trim off the silverskin, a thin sheath of cartilage covering the bottom of each slab.  Silverskin is tough when cooked and keeps the meat from absorbing flavors. Make a shallow cut through just the silverskin with a paring knife.  Using the knife, lift a corner of a piece of silverskin, and, grasping it with a paper towel, pull it away from and off of the slab. Repeat with the other piece of silverskin.

Begin layering flavor with a rub of your choice.  Doing this step the day before allows the flavors from the rub to permeate the meat.  The basic rub ingredients are salt, pepper, brown sugar, and paprika, but you can customize any way you like.  (There are also some very good prepared rubs available at specialty markets and grocery stores.)  Sprinkle both sides of each slab of ribs with the rub.  Place the slabs on a baking sheet(s), cover lightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.  Some cooks prefer a wet marinade to a dry rub, and this works, too.

2. Grill the ribs: There are basically 3 options for cooking ribs on the grill: direct heat, indirect heat, and smoking.  Grilling ribs directly over the flame works well for tender, meaty cuts like country-style pork ribs.  For fatty cuts, like baby back ribs, arrange your grill so the flame is on one side, place the ribs on the other side, and close the grill to let the heat from the flames cook them indirectly.  Smoking works well for tougher cuts, like spare ribs, with lots of connective tissue, but it’s also a great way to add flavor to nearly any type ribs.

To smoke ribs, set up your grill for indirect cooking at a lower temperature, and place water-soaked wood chunks or foil-wrapped packets of soaked wood chips (with slits cut in the foil) on the live coals or heating element.  Hickory wood imparts a great savory flavor to ribs, but try other woods like mesquite or apple and see what you like best.  Place the ribs on the grill rack, cover, and cook low and slow (ideal grill temperature is between 225 and 250 degrees) for about 1½ hours, turning or rotating the ribs halfway through.

Some barbecue masters like to baste ribs with a mop sauce during grilling to add flavor and keep the ribs especially moist.  Mop sauces usually contain flavorful savory ingredients like beer, coffee, or meat stock, but no sweet ingredients like honey or molasses since they would burn during grilling.  Our brown stock is ideal for highlighting the meaty flavor of ribs.  When ribs are done, the bone ends will be exposed, the meat will be starting to pull away from the bones, and the surface of the meat will be reddish brown.  The meatiest section of the slabs should have an internal temperature of 165 to 175 degrees.

3. Rest and finish the ribs: All meat needs to rest after cooking to let the juices stabilize in the meat so it stays tender. Ribs should rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 30-40 minutes, covered tightly with foil. After the ribs are done resting, apply the grand flavor finale, a great barbecue sauce!  The sauce brings together all the previous flavor steps and is the first thing you taste when you take each delicious bite.  Our selection of gourmet sauces gives you some great options: Best Barbecue Sauce is our go-to rib sauce, but we also like to change things up every once in awhile and use our Jamaican Jerk Barbecue Sauce or Maple Chipotle Barbecue Sauce.

Whatever sauce you choose, gently heat it in a small saucepan while the ribs are resting and brush them generously with sauce before cutting the slabs into sections for serving.  Alternatively, you can brush the ribs with sauce during the last couple of minutes of grilling to caramelize the sugars in the sauce a bit, but don’t overdue it; those sugars can burn quickly and detract from the great flavors you’ve created.  Serve your masterpiece ribs with more of that delicious sauce on the side, and a big stack of napkins.

Class Up Your Grilling With Demi-Glace

July 3rd, 2014 by Chef Louie

Nothing says summer like grilling, and there’s nothing quite like the taste of food cooked over an open flame.  Grilling transforms ordinary hamburgers and hot dogs and can do even more for a good cut of meat, poultry, or veggies fresh from the garden or farmers’ market.  Add a gourmet sauce, and you can turn these grilling favorites into something special.  Demi-glace is the perfect base for sauces that will class up your summer fare and wow your guests.

For Beef: Sauce Poivrade alla Marsala or Madeira 

Crushed black pepper is beef’s best friend. Season your steak simply, grill it to the desired temperature, and coat it in this dazzling sauce enriched with herbs, fine wine, and our demi-glace.

For Chicken or Pork: Cherry and Port Sauce 

Chicken and pork can be a bit bland on their own. Liven them up with this luscious, full flavored sauce. Sweet/tart dried cherries, Port wine, savory demi-glace, and cream come together to make the perfect accent, bringing out the natural sweetness of pork and poultry without masking their flavor.

For Vegetables: Mediterranean Mushroom Olive Sauce 

Add a new twist to grilled veggies by topping them with this earthy sauce made with mushrooms, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, and red wine and enriched with our roasted vegetable demi-glace. Try adding a sprinkle of feta, a slice of fresh mozzarella, or a light dusting of Parmesan cheese, as well.

More Than Gourmet’s demi-glace provides an incredible flavor base for creating sauces to accentuate the appearance and taste of nearly anything you want to cook on the grill. We offer four different demi-glaces (beef and veal, vealroasted chicken, and roasted vegetable) to suit a broad range of ingredients and dietary requirements.  Pick up some today and transform your backyard barbeque into a gourmet gathering.

Chilled Soups for Summer

June 27th, 2014 by SauceGal

When a warm summer day makes you crave something cool, smooth, and creamy, try making . . . soup.  Chilled soup, that is.  A soup served cold is a perfect showcase for the flavors of summer produce and usually needs little (or no) cooking time. It has to be made ahead–so it has time to chill, and so do you–no slaving over a hot stove at serving time!

A few discoveries we’ve made in making and serving chilled soups:

  • Many chilled soups are puréed, and the way you purée a soup will make a difference in its texture.  A blender produces a fine, velvety smooth texture, while a food processor creates a slightly rougher texture.
  • It takes 3-4 hours for a soup that’s been cooked (and not just mixed together) to get cold—be sure to allow enough chilling time.
  • When you put the soup in the refrigerator to chill, put your serving bowls for the soup in the refrigerator, too.  Serving chilled soup in cold bowls helps keep the soup at the right temperature.
  • The cold temperature at which you serve chilled soup can dull the flavors a bit, so season generously and recheck the soup’s flavor just before serving, adding more seasoning if it’s needed.
  • One of the best parts of serving chilled soups is adding a garnish.  We like edible flowers; a drizzle of olive, chili, or nut oil; a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs; crisp croutons; a spoonful of finely chopped tomato; or a swirl of sour cream, creme fraiche, or Greek yogurt (which you can flavor with things like citrus zest, herbs, or puréed chiles).

Serve your chilled soup masterpiece as a starter in shallow bowls, or as an appetizer in shot glasses handed around on a tray.  Or you can just enjoy a generous bowl of it as a main course with a salad, some good bread, and a crisp white or rosé wine, and make a toast to summer.

A few favorite chilled soups from our Family Recipe collection:

Chilled Summer Corn Soup

Chilled Beet Soup with Sour Cream

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Chilled Summer Squash Soup

Pea Soup with Mint

Chilled Avocado Soup with Chipotle Cream

Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup with Basil

Classic Vichyssoise

Garden Zucchini Soup

Three Easy Gluten-Free Recipes

June 17th, 2014 by Chef Louie

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with celiac disease or another form of gluten sensitivity, cooking without wheat, barley, and other gluten-containing grains may seem intimidating at first.  However, it doesn’t have to be complicated.  To keep things simple, focus on naturally gluten-free foods like meat, poultry, fish, beans, dairy products, fruits and vegetables (including potatoes), and gluten-free whole grains.  Check the labels of prepared foods to make sure they’re gluten-free. Beginning with these ingredients, you can create some great dishes with easy gluten-free recipes. Here are three very good ideas to get you started.

Going With the Grain

Cook rice or another gluten-free whole grain like quinoa, add a protein and some vegetables, and you have a great one-dish gluten-free meal.  To add flavor, cook the grain in a veggie, chicken, or beef stock.  More Than Gourmet gluten-free stocks and sauces fit the bill perfectly. Try out our recipe for Spinach and Feta Rice Pilaf and add some cooked ground beef to it, or serve a rice or whole-grain dish cold as a salad like Bell Pepper and Wild Rice Salad,  perhaps with some chilled leftover pork tenderloin added.  If you have not tried quinoa, our Herbed Quinoa Pilaf with Vegetables is a great place to start; just add chicken or fish for a filling and delicious gluten-free meal.  With a wide range of gluten-free whole grains, proteins, and vegetables, these easy gluten-free recipes can be varied almost endlessly.

Soup’s On!

Soups are among the simplest and most satisfying dishes to make.  Most soups begin with cooking aromatic vegetables like onion and garlic in a little butter or oil, then adding a flavorful cooking liquid like stock and the soup’s main ingredients, and simmering for awhile.  With a final seasoning, you’re done, and you don’t need any ingredients with gluten.  Hearty soups filled with chunky vegetables, beans, meat, poultry, or seafood make great gluten-free main dishes–add a crisp green salad and you have a satisfying meal. Take a look at our recipes for Black Bean SoupSteak and Potato Soup, or Thai Chicken Soup with Rice for ideas.

Hot Off the Grill

Cooking over an open flame makes almost anything taste good, and it’s incredibly simple.  Grill some steak, pork chops, sea scallops, chicken breasts, or thick slices of eggplant and zucchini, then add a side dish and perhaps a sauce to dress things up.   A baked potato or sweet potato, cooked whole grains, or basic polenta, along with a vegetable of your choice, make perfect gluten-free side dishes.  For the sauce, make a quick sauce .  Our easy gluten-free recipes for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Chinese Brown Sauce, or Corn Cream Sauce are perfect for turning simple grilled food and side dishes into a feast.

Beef Demi-Glace: The Secret To Making A Great Sauce

June 10th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Beef demi-glace is the secret to preparing restaurant-quality sauces at home. Demi-glace adds a velvety texture and deep flavor to any meat sauce you have in mind, and this single ingredient is often the difference between a good sauce and a great one. More Than Gourmet makes it easy for home cooks to incorporate this prized ingredient into their recipe repertoire. Our beef demi-glace is reduced to a concentrate, so you can add just a touch of it to enhance the flavor of any sauce recipe you want to prepare, or use it fully reconstituted as a base for building a sauce. And demi-glace is not just for special occasions! If you’re new to using a great beef demi-glace, our Family Recipes section can offer plenty of tips to start you on the path to better sauces for any meal. The following are a few of our favorites:

Best Barbeque Sauce 

Skip the squeeze bottle; your grill deserves better! Beef demi-glace renders this favorite summer sauce even more delicious by adding its unique savory taste. Make this barbecue sauce a few days in advance to let the flavors blend and develop, and then brush it over chicken, ribs, and chops for a gourmet cookout.

Traditional Bolognese Meat Sauce 

This recipe is one of the best pasta sauces you could hope for, and beef demi-glace highlights all the well-loved attributes of this classic Italian specialty.  It is rich and hearty, bold and flavorful, perfect for al dente pasta or spooned over a mound of warm polenta.

Red Wine Sauce 

Demi-glace serves as a base for this rich, savory sauce infused with the flavors of red wine.  Shallots, herbs, and a little butter play supporting roles.  You’ll love our red wine sauce with roasted beef tenderloin, grilled steaks, and even burgers, and it also goes well with lamb and game.

Beer Pairings For Gourmet Restaurant Recipes

June 4th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Nothing satisfies on a hot summer day better than a crisp, cold beer. A homemade meal doesn’t hurt either! Today’s craft beers are different from the standard lagers of the past, however, and these new beers pair perfectly with gourmet meals just as well as wine does. More Than Gourmet’s stocks and sauces give you the tools you need to prepare gourmet restaurant recipes that go wonderfully with a cold one after a hot day.

Zucchini Risotto with Tomato Coulis 

Zucchini risotto is a gourmet restaurant recipe that can be easily prepared at home, and it’s a delicious way to use summer zucchini and tomatoes. This dish performs beautifully as a vegetarian entrée or as a stunning side to grilled fish or poultry. The creamy texture and fresh flavors in this risotto require a beer that won’t compete with its delicacy, so choose a light American wheat beer with notes of citrus, which will go beautifully with the touch of lemon in the risotto.

Chilled Salmon Salad

This light and colorful main-dish salad is made mostly ahead of time.  The tender salmon and crisp vegetables tossed with a light vinaigrette make a great lunch or brunch dish–or a light supper.  Enjoy this salad with a Belgian Saison, a traditional summer beer with medium body, a hint of hoppy bitterness and subtle notes of spice and citrus that will complement the lively flavors on your plate.

Grilled Chicken with Asian Lime and Ginger Sauce

After marinating in soy sauce and lime juice with ginger, garlic, and spices, chicken breasts are ready for a quick grill.  You’ll simmer the marinade with our Glace de Poulet Gold and add a little sesame oil and cilantro to make a gourmet sauce.  Try a full flavored, hoppy IPA to go with your grilled masterpiece.  The hop flavors–spicy, grassy, herbal, earthy, and citrus—are a great  match for the lime, spices, and cilantro in this dish.

Crisp, flavorful beers are a staple for summer evenings. These beers call for lighter fare, but light fare does not mean bland. More Than Gourmet’s stock and sauces bring better flavor to nearly any summer night’s repast, so grab your favorite beer and get cooking!

Gluten-Free Demi-Glace: A Delicious Option

May 29th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Demi-glace, a glossy, full-bodied, richly flavored brown sauce, can stand alone or be used to enhance the flavor and appearance of braises, soups, and other sauces. The preparation of a true demi-glace is quite lengthy and complex, so most home cooks, as well as professional chefs, opt for high-quality pre-made demi-glaces such as those that More Than Gourmet offers.  Traditional veal and beef demi-glaces call for the inclusion of roux, a mix of wheat flour and butter. However, a gluten-free demi-glace, such as our roasted chicken and roasted vegetable versions, works beautifully in a wide variety of dishes and is a great option for gluten-free and/or vegetarian cuisine.

Our classic roasted chicken demi-glace has a rich chicken flavor and blonde color just right for making a delicious gluten-free sauce for a poultry dish or taking your favorite chicken soup from ordinary to gourmet.  Add some white wine, rosemary, and cracked black peppercorns to our chicken demi-glace to make Rosemary Peppercorn Sauce, or use it to make a simple and tasty pan sauce for sautéed chicken or turkey.  Try our recipe for Quick Tex-Mex Chicken Tortilla Soup to see how chicken demi-glace can help you create a hearty gluten-free soup for a weeknight meal.

Our gluten-free roasted vegetable demi-glace is also AVA-certified vegan.  Use it to create light, flavorful sauces, such as our Lemon Dill Sauce, perfect for grilled veggies or a gluten-free pasta dish.  Roasted vegetable demi-glace adds depth to gluten-free and vegetarian soups and stews such as our Vegetable Stew Dijonnaise, and enriches rice or mashed potatoes, as it does in our Yukon Gold Garlic Smashed Potatoes.

Both of our versions of gluten-free demi-glace allow you to create filling and delicious gluten-free meals. Demi-glace can stand on its own to lend deep flavor, smooth texture, and aesthetic appeal to a variety of dishes, and a drizzle of this sauce transforms a boring weeknight meal of pan-seared chicken or vegetables into a feast with ease and grace. You can also incorporate it into more elaborate recipes as you see fit. The Family Recipes section of our web site is a great resource for ideas and inspiration, so check it out and use our gluten-free demi-glace to make better gluten-free meals for yourself, your family, and your guests.

When To Incorporate Lamb Stock

May 20th, 2014 by Chef Louie

The rich flavor of lamb is as tender as slow-roasted chicken and as sweet as pork, but it has a robust quality that’s all its own.  Lamb can be a welcome change from everyday meats and poultry, and it’s now available year round in most markets. More Than Gourmet’s roasted lamb stock is the perfect complement to delicious lamb dishes from a humble stew to a spectacular roast, and it brings the savory-sweet flavor of lamb to other dishes, as well.  Lamb stock offers many possibilities as a key ingredient for meals ranging from the simple to the complex.

The primary use of lamb stock is definitely lamb-centered dishes. It’s the ideal braising liquid for lamb shanks or shoulder.  It enhances the flavor of a pan sauce for a roast leg of lamb or seared lamb chops.  It makes the perfect sauce base for a lamb curry or shepherd’s pie.  More Than Gourmet’s lamb stock is as versatile as lamb itself in cuisines from Irish to Moroccan and Spanish to Greek.

Lamb stock can bring the robust flavor of lamb to side dishes and vegetables, too.  It can serve as a savory liquid for cooking couscous or rice, as well as white beans and lentils.  Try our recipe for Spinach and Feta Rice Pilaf —it works as a flavorful side dish or you can add cooked ground lamb to make it a meal.  Hearty root vegetables and sweet potatoes take on delicious flavor notes when braised in lamb stock, as do more delicate spring vegetables like asparagus, artichokes, and wild mushrooms.

Bring the welcome change of lamb to your kitchen with More Than Gourmet’s convenient roasted lamb stock. More Than Gourmet strives to make it easier for cooks of all types to use lamb stock and other flavorful stocks in their day-to-day or gourmet cooking.  Stop by our website and browse our wide selection of stocks and sauces for fine home cooking!

3 Easy Gluten-Free Recipes For Breakfast

May 13th, 2014 by Chef Louie

The absence of cereal and toast containing gluten need not mean that a gluten-free breakfast has to be unsatisfying. More Than Gourmet’s line of pantry essentials helps home cooks prepare easy gluten-free recipes for breakfast that go far beyond granola. Naturally gluten-free ingredients such as eggs, meats, and grains are morning staples that can be the foundation for the first and most important meal of the day. Check out these three easy gluten-free recipes for breakfast and treat yourself to something delicious.

1. Breakfast Tacos

Corn tortillas, eggs, and vegetables can be the beginning of a variety of easy gluten-free recipes for breakfast tacos. The basic preparation includes scrambling eggs with your desired ingredients and folding them into warmed tortillas. While many corn tortillas are gluten-free to begin with, check the ingredients information to be sure.

A basic breakfast taco for a rushed morning may contain nothing more than scrambled eggs and salsa, but our family recipes and stocks can help you add a gourmet twist to this simple meal. Try preparing our recipe for Carnitas for dinner one night, and then use the leftovers in your morning tacos the next day. Mexican Red Rice goes beautifully inside a tortilla with eggs, avocado and salsa, while Mexican Black Beans with Chiles is another great recipe that works well for both dinner and breakfast.

2. Simple Southern Grits

Grits are another versatile base for easy gluten-free recipes for breakfast. Grits are a staple in many Southern menus and are often used as a side dish.  They can also function as a filling part of a morning meal. Our family recipe for simple grits couldn’t be easier: slowly simmer the grits in our flavorful chicken stock as you prepare everything else on the menu. Serve them with a little butter, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Take grits to the center of your breakfast plate by stirring in some cooked crumbled bacon and topping the grits with fried or poached eggs, or use your imagination to come up with other flavorful additions.

3. Duck Fat Potatoes & Eggs

Variations on potatoes and eggs are some of the tastiest easy gluten-free recipes for breakfast. Using duck fat in place of butter or oil infuses a simple meal with an element of French luxury without requiring any added effort. Duck fat has a higher flash point than butter or olive oil, which allows for cooking at higher temperatures for crispier home fries and gloriously browned hash potatoes. Whether you prefer your eggs scrambled or over easy, the use of high-quality duck fat for cooking them gives eggs a rich, silky quality you just can’t get with olive oil or butter. More Than Gourmet offers an expertly prepared duck fat that allows you to add French flavor to your easy gluten-free recipes for breakfast and beyond.