Easy Crockpot Ideas Your Family Will Love

October 28th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Who doesn’t love the crockpot? Throw in a few ingredients, head to work, and by the time you get home, you’ve got a delicious gourmet meal waiting for you. It’s a life-saver – especially for busy moms and dads who are always on the go.

At MTG, when we need something that’s easy, tasty, and nutritious, we put our crockpot to good use, and often.  So many possibilities with something so simple!  Here are few of our favorite easy crockpot ideas your whole family will love.

  • Italian-Style Chuck Roast with Tomatoes.  This is pot roast with an Italian flair–a flavorful sauce of tomatoes, red wine, garlic, and a sprinkling of fresh rosemary.  You simply brown the meat and then the vegetables on your stove top, simmer a little red wine with our tasty brown stock, then combine it all with tomatoes and tomato pasta sauce in the crockpot.  The meat becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender.
  • Lentil Vegetable Soup.  This tasty soup makes a hearty, healthy meal, and it couldn’t be easier to make–quickly sauté some vegetables and add them to your crockpot along with lentils, tomatoes, herbs, and our savory stock.  The soup slowly simmers for the day fills your house with the aroma of good home cooking.
  • Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.  It sounds crazy to cook chicken with so much garlic, but, trust us, the garlic sweetens and mellows as it is slowly braised in the crock pot, turning into a rich, aromatic sauce.  Simply brown the chicken in a skillet first and add it to the crockpot.  Next, brown vegetables and garlic in the skillet, sprinkle them with a little flour, and stir in some white wine and stock, then pour it all over the chicken.  Toss in some herbs,  slow-cook for a few hours, and you’ll have a delicious meal ready to serve.

These easy crockpot ideas are great for any night of the week.  Start one of these dishes in the morning before you go to work, or start a meal cooking on a Saturday before you head out to your kid’s soccer game. Either way, you’re sure to have a tasty and satisfying meal waiting for you when you get back. Take a look at our family recipes for more great crockpot ideas!

Choosing the Best Demi-Glace Sauce for Lamb Dishes

October 21st, 2014 by Chef Louie

A classic demi-glace is the basis for a wide variety of delicious sauces and savory dishes. Although it originated in France, demi-glace is used in many different types of cuisines, and it goes especially well with meats and game. One of the most demi-glace-friendly meats is lamb.

Lamb and demi-glace go hand in hand. The demi-glace brings out the delicate, almost sweet nuances in the meat and enhances lamb’s hearty flavor. Want to create the best demi-glace sauce for your next lamb dish? Here are a few ideas:

  • Madeira Sauce – This classic sauce made with a sweet, smoky fortified wine from Portugal has an amazingly complex flavor but very few ingredients. You’ll need 6 tablespoons of our classic demi-glace dissolved in 1½ cups of hot water, ¼ cup of Madeira, and two tablespoons of butter.  Just simmer the reconstituted demi-glace in a small saucepan, add the Madeira, and simmer until the sauce reduces to about 2 cups.  Whisk in the butter, season with salt and pepper, and you have a great sauce to spoon over succulent slices of roast lamb.
  • Sauce Provencal – Transport your guests to the sunny south of France with this flavorful sauce redolent of garlic, herbs, tomatoes, and white wine. You’ll sauté some shallots, garlic, and Herbs of Provence in a little olive oil, then add ¼ cup white wine and simmer until it reduces by half.  Stir in 1 cup of reconstituted demi-glace, some diced tomatoes, and chopped fresh herbs.  After a couple more minutes of simmering, your sauce is ready for lamb chops hot from the grill.
  • Wild Mushroom Sauce – Studded with wild mushrooms and enriched with cream, this full-flavored demi-glace sauce is simple to prepare. You’ll start by sautéing shallots and fresh wild mushrooms in some butter; then you’ll remove the mushrooms from the pan, add red wine, and simmer until it’s reduced by half.  Whisk in 3 tablespoons of our demi-glace concentrate, then some heavy cream.  Return the mushrooms to the pan and simmer it all for a few more minutes to let the flavors blend.  Spoon this luxurious sauce over any cut of lamb.

If you have lamb on the menu this week, try one of these sauces! They’re some of the best demi-glace sauce recipes around. For more ideas and inspiration, you’ll find additional recipes at our web site.

Gourmet Home Cooking: How to Pair Drinks with Your Meals

October 16th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Knowing how to properly pair drinks and food is one of the cornerstones of gourmet home cooking. In the best pairings, the beverage you choose makes the food taste better and the food makes the beverage taste better.  It’s a classic synergy in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and neither the food nor the drink dominates the other. Creating a great pairing takes a combination of knowledge and creativity, and can seem a bit complex.

It helps to know some basic concepts to make pairing gourmet home cooking with drinks fun and easy.  We’ve created this quick, no-nonsense guide: check it out, and try a new pairing or two at your next dinner party!

  • Consider weight and intensity. Both foods and drinks have their own weights and intensities, and a good pairing usually matches food and drink with similar weight/intensity profiles.  For instance, a heavy, full-flavored dish like grilled steak with Red Wine Peppercorn Sauce and blue cheese would work well with a heavy, full-flavored drink like a hearty stout beer or a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon. A light, delicate dish like poached sole with Sauce Bercy would go well with a light, delicate Chablis or mineral water with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Decide if you want to contrast or mirror. If you choose to contrast, you’ll choose to play very different characteristics off of one another, as you would in pairing slightly bitter, crunchy walnuts with a smooth, full-flavored Port. Or you could pair an acidic wine like Champagne with a rich oily food, like smoked salmon, to cut through the richness, With mirroring, you aim to pick a drink that continues the flavors of the food, like pairing a spicy, slightly sweet Shrimp Curry with a spicy, slightly sweet Gerwurztraminer or ginger ale with a squeeze of lime.
  • Consider brightness and acidity. The acidity – or tartness – of a drink also plays into how well it pairs with certain foods. Citrusy beers, white wines and many cocktails will often have a “brighter” taste than red wines, dark beers and whisky-based beverages. Think of it this way: how would the meal taste with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange juice on top? If it’d be great, then a bright, acidic drink is perfect. If it wouldn’t taste so good, steer clear of more acidic beverages for this one.
  • Think about tannins. Tannins can be found in red wines and many beers, giving them a slightly bitter, astringent taste. This quality can go well with big, bold flavors – particularly smoky, red meats and high-protein meals. Spicy foods, on the other hand, don’t pair so well with these drinks. Tannins actually accentuate the spice and can irritate the soft tissues in the mouth.
  • Drink what you like. At the end of the day, you – and your guests – need to like what’s being served, so don’t just crack open a bottle of red wine if you all like white better. Pay attention to what your guests’ preferences are, and try to choose drinks that fall in line with those. When in doubt, offer a few drink options so they can pick the one they like best.

People who are knowledgeable about food and beverage pairing will tell you that you learn most by drinking and eating. The best way to enjoy yourself and hone your pairing skills is to try it with meals as often as you can, keep some record of what you liked, and keep trying new pairings.  If you like wine, check out the wine pairing suggestions we’ve added to many of our recipes and let us know what you think. Cheers!

It’s Chili Season!

October 6th, 2014 by SauceGal

Whether we call it a bowl of red, chili con carne, or just plain chili, we’re crazy about the stuff.  This savory mix of meat and chilies can be varied endlessly: different kinds of meat, different kinds of chilies, with beans of many different types or without any beans at all.  There are delicious vegetarian chilies and chilies made with chicken or turkey instead of meat.  It’s all good.

Despite lots of bickering about who invented chili, most agree that it originated in the 1800’s in Texas, probably because the meat stews that everyone from armies to cowboys relied upon were much improved by the addition of native chilies and spices.  Chile powder, a combination of ground dried chilies, garlic, oregano, cumin, and other spices—and a key seasoning in most chilies—made its first appearances in the 1890’s.  Americans have been making chili, improvising and varying it, ever since.

One of the great things about chili is that it can be made ahead—it’s even better a day or two after it’s made, as all the flavors take some time to blend.  Chili is the perfect make-ahead choice for tailgating or a potluck supper.  It also freezes well in individual portions or in larger batches, and we love having a stash of chili in the freezer to thaw and reheat for an instant, hearty meal.  Leftover chili (if you ever have any) works well in tacos and burritos, as a topping for burgers and, of course, for hot dogs or grilled sausages, as an omelet filling, or spooned over a baked potato and topped with cheese.

At MTG, we’re partial to all kinds of chilies, from the more traditional Texas Three-Pepper and Beef Chili to our Chicken and White Bean Chili with Green Chilies, to our vegetarian Spicy Black Bean Chili flavored with a little espresso and cocoa.  We also like Red Pork Chili with Pinto Beans and Spicy Turkey Chili, or, for a little something different, Beef Picadillo Chili, Red Lentil Chili or Cincinnati-Style Chili served over spaghetti with all kinds of crazy toppings on the side.

We’re not purists here—we like to try different versions of and additions to our chilies, and encourage you to do the same.  Try one of our recipes, add your own touches, and let us know how it turns out.

2 Gluten-Free Dinners Everyone Will Love

September 23rd, 2014 by Chef Louie

There’s no rule that says food for a special diet has to be bland or boring.  Healthy food can still taste amazing with the right recipes and flavor-packed ingredients. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with celiac disease or another form of gluten sensitivity, try focusing on naturally gluten-free foods like meat, poultry, fish, beans, dairy products, fruits and vegetables (including potatoes), and gluten-free whole grains.  Beginning with these ingredients, you can create some great dishes.  Here are two of our recipes for gluten-free dinners that everyone at your table will love.

Herbed Shrimp Risotto

Serves 6.

This creamy risotto studded with tender shrimp and scented with fresh herbs gets a delicious depth of flavor from our seafood stock.  Serve it with a green salad and a crisp white wine for a simply elegant meal.

  • 2 1/4 ounces (or 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons) Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold dissolved in 7 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to finish
  1. Bring the diluted Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold to a simmer in a medium saucepan and keep it at low simmer over low heat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add the rice to the pan, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring to coat, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until it is absorbed. Season generously with salt and pepper. Ladle 1 cup of the hot stock into the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is absorbed. Adjust the heat to maintain the rice at a gentle simmer. Continue adding the stock, ½ cup at a time, cooking and stirring until each addition is absorbed, until the rice is al dente. (Cooking time is usually 12-16 minutes after the addition of the wine.) Add more stock to for a creamier consistency.
  4. Just before the rice is done, stir in the shrimp, parsley, basil, and butter. Cook just until the shrimp is opaque.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Spicy Turkey Chili

Serves  8.

A healthy, hearty chili chock-full of veggies and lean turkey accented with plenty of spice and garlic.  Perfect for a family dinner or tailgating on the day of the big game.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 ounces Glace de Volaille Gold (or Glace de Poulet Gold) dissolved in 4 cups hot water
  • 2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and cook until it is lightly browned, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and onions to the browned ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  2. Stir in the chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, cloves, and cumin. Add the tomatoes and diluted Glace de Volaille Gold and bring the chili to a simmer.  Add the beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove and discard the bay leaves. Ladle the chili into warmed bowls to serve.

More than Gourmet’s gluten-free stocks and sauces help you make food that is both delicious and healthy.  Take a look at our large collection of family recipes to find more great ideas for gluten-free dinners

Classic Demi-Glace Is the Key to a Great Fall Meal

September 19th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Fall is the time we’re excited to get back into our kitchens and spend time making soups and stews, long-simmered braises, and hearty sauces.  Classic demi-glace is a key ingredient for flavorful fall cooking.  This versatile sauce is a mixture of brown stock (usually beef and veal stock) and Espagnole Sauce, which is a brown sauce made with reduced brown stock, herbs, tomato, and caramelized aromatic vegetables. The mixture is slowly simmered over a long period of time until it is reduced by half.  The result is a highly flavored, glossy, full-bodied, and deeply colored sauce.

More Than Gourmet’s classic demi-glace is reduced even further to create a rich concentrate that can be used as is to enhance the flavor of some of your favorite fall dishes or reconstituted to use as part of a savory braising liquid or as a base for a hearty sauce. Here are a few delicious ways to cook with classic demi-glace this season:

Use it as your secret ingredient–simply add a spoonful (or two!) of the concentrate to a stew or chili, a meat or root vegetable soup, or even a pot of beans to impart a savory deep flavor that will make the other ingredients in the dish sing.

Make classic demi-glace part of a tasty braising liquid for nearly anything you cook low and slow.  Try our recipes for Oven Barbecued Chuck Steak, Sonoran Lamb Shanks, and Braised Veal Meatballs to experience how demi-glace can take a braised dish from ordinary to outstanding.

Create a spectrum of sauces perfect for chilly weather with classic demi-glace as your base.  Here are a few of our fall favorites:

  • Wild Mushroom Sauce: Studded with wild mushrooms and enriched with cream and our demi-glace, this full-flavored sauce complements grilled or roasted meats, game, poultry or vegetables.
  • Sauce Lyonnaise: According to renowned Lyonnaise chef Paul Bocuse, “In Lyon we put onion in almost everything.”  French onion soup originated in Lyon, as does this simple and versatile onion-scented sauce.  It’s superb with mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables, grilled or roasted beef, pork, lamb, game, or poultry.
  • Red Wine Sauce: This rich, savory sauce infused with the flavor of red wine is the perfect match for beef, from tenderloin to steaks to burgers, as well as lamb and game.  It’s delicious as is, or you can create your own variations by adding sautéed mushrooms, cracked black peppercorns, or a spoonful of raspberry jam–or whatever works well with your dish.
  • We even like to add demi-glace to our Traditional Bolognese Meat Sauce to bring out the deep meaty flavor of this treasured Italian ragu.

As you start to feel a chill in the air and the leaves start to turn, be sure to stock up on More Than Gourmet’s classic demi-glace to get ready for cooking this fall.  Take a look at our family recipes web page, too, for more ideas and inspiration.

Gourmet Meal Recipes to Try Before Summer Is Over

September 4th, 2014 by Chef Louie

September is a great month to enjoy the last of summer produce as the season gradually shifts to fall.  Now is the time to feast on summer squash, peaches, tomatoes, corn, peppers, eggplant, and fresh herbs! They’re delicious in simply prepared salads, pastas, and grilled fare during this busy back-to-school season.  Here are a few gourmet meal recipes to try this month:

Barley and Corn Salad with Basil

Fresh corn, tomatoes, and cucumber combine beautifully with the nutty flavor of barley in this warm weather salad perfumed with aromatic basil.  Serve it as a side with grilled fish, poultry, or meat, or make it a main dish by adding black beans, crumbled goat or feta cheese, cooked chicken–or even lobster for a superlative summer dinner.

  • 3/4 ounce Veggie-Stock Gold (or Fond de Poulet Gold) dissolved in 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4 medium ears)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium or 1/2 large cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and tender green parts, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Bring the dissolved Veggie-Stock Gold to boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the barley, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the barley is cooked, about 10 minutes.  Let stand about 5 minutes.

Transfer the barley to a large bowl.  Stir in the corn, tomatoes, cucumber,  and green onions.  In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and lime juice, then drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly.  Pour the dressing over the salad, add the basil leaves and stir to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pasta with Summer Squash and Tomatoes 

A terrifically simple summer dish–sauté some fresh veggies, add our Veggie-Stock Gold, fresh herbs, and a little butter, and toss with warm pasta.  Delicious!

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 (about 20 ounces total) yellow squash, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 (about 20 ounces total) zucchini, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 large (about 1 pound total) onions, diced
  • 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano or basil leaves
  • 3/4 ounce Veggie-Stock Gold dissolved in 2 cups hot water
  • 2 pounds medium-size pasta such as penne, cooked al dente and kept warm
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large braising pan over medium heat. Add the yellow squash and zucchini and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the squash softens. Remove it from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes, until the onions and garlic are soft but not browned.

Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender.

Add the butter and the reserved squash mixture to pan. Cook, stirring, 1 minute, to melt the butter.  Add the oregano and the diluted Veggie-Stock Gold and cook, stirring, 2 minutes to heat through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss the warm pasta with the sauce.  Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Smothered Grilled Chicken 

This simple recipe for grilled chicken topped with a colorful mixture of summer veggies is a winner for a weeknight meal or for dinner on the patio with friends.  Fresh basil and crumbled feta or goat cheese add a delicious twist.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for coating chicken
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, trimmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Glace de Poulet Gold
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Preheat the grill to medium.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and pepper and sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables are lightly browned.  Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the Glace de Poulet Gold and water, stirring until the concentrate dissolves.  Simmer the vegetables in the stock until they are tender and the liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Coat the chicken breasts with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper (or your favorite grilling rub).  Grill the chicken a 4-6 minutes per side, turning once, until they’re cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.

Gently reheat the vegetable mixture and add any juices the chicken has released while resting.  Add the chopped basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken topped with the vegetables and sprinkled with crumbled feta or goat cheese

Authentic Sauce Recipes To Go With Your Summer BBQ

August 28th, 2014 by Chef Louie

Barbecue is a summer staple, and to help you make the best of your grilling time, we’ve put together some authentic sauce recipes that everyone will love!  There are some good bottled barbecued sauces out there, but you’ll find that a sauce you make yourself beats them every time.  Here are three of our favorites:

Spicy Raspberry Barbecue Sauce
This sweet and tangy sauce is terrific with grilled pork, beef, sausages, or chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 12-ounce bottles (ketchup-style) chili sauce
  • 1 12- to 13-ounce jar raspberry jam (with or without seeds–your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons Glace de Viande Gold® or Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until golden, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in the the jalapeno and garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Add the chili sauce, jam, reconstituted Glace de Viande Gold® or Glace de Poulet Gold®, brown sugar, and vinegar, stirring to blend.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until reduced to about 4 cups, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a container, let cool, then cover and refrigerate.

Smoky Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce
A little smoky flavor enhances the taste of this classic barbecue sauce.  Brush it on smoked ribs, grilled chicken, pork chops, or steaks, or stir it into baked beans.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Glace de Viande Gold® or Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Warm the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until it is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute more. Add the next 9 ingredients and stir well to blend.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 35-45 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to keep it a a simmer, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.  Purée the sauce in a blender, working in batches if necessary.  Let the sauce cool, and store it, covered, the refrigerator.

Red Eye Barbecue Sauce
This dark, flavorful barbecue sauce gets some of its great flavor from coffee, just like tradtional Southern red eye gravy.  With spices, tomato ketchup, sweet dark brown sugar, and the meaty, deep flavor of our demi-glace, it’s a winner.  Try it with grilled meats, game, or poultry, or stirred into a pot of chili.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 ounces Demi-Glace Gold®
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Warm the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until it is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika and cook, stirring, one minute more. Add the ketchup and brown sugar and cook, stirring, just until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Stir in the coffee, water, vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, and Demi-Glace Gold®, stirring until the concentrate dissolves.  Bring the sauce to a simmer, and cook until it reduces slightly and thickens, about 20 minutes.  Adjust the heat as needed to keep the sauce at a simmer.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool about 10 minutes, and then purée the sauce in a blender.  Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator.

For more authentic sauce recipes to go with your summer barbecue or just about anything from the grill, take a look at our collection of delicious sauce recipes for more choices, and be sure to stock up on all your pantry staples with the finest ingredients available from More Than Gourmet.

Keep Cool This Summer With Chilled Gourmet Soups

August 22nd, 2014 by Chef Louie

On warm summer days, nothing refreshes like delicious chilled gourmet soups.  All it takes is some great summer produce, a quality stock, and a short list of other ingredients, most of which are probably in your pantry right now.  We just wrote about chilled soups earlier this summer, but we’ve been on sort of a chilled soup binge, creating even more gourmet soup recipes to enjoy cold.  Here’s what we’ve come up with since then:

  • Cucumber Soup – A simple, creamy soup perfect as a starter for a summer dinner party or a light main course for lunch. Made with cucumbers, Greek yogurt, and dill, it’s terrific as is, but also takes well to additions like crumbled feta cheese or chilled cooked shrimp or chicken.
  • Gazpacho –  This summer favorite originated in Spain, but has been tweaked by generations of cooks across the globe.  Here’s our favorite version, full of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion, flavored with herbs, garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • Chilled Carrot Soup –  A silky smooth, bright orange soup that highlights the sweet, earthy flavor of fresh carrots. Serve it as a starter for a summer dinner, or as a main course for a light lunch along with some good bread.
  • Summer Green Soup –  This savory chilled soup gets its deep green color from fresh spinach.  Garnished with crumbled feta and chopped tomato, it’s gorgeous as well as tasty.
  • Chilled Tomato Soup –  This soup is incredibly easy to put together: fresh summer tomatoes are puréed with our veggie stock and a little tomato paste, honey, and balsamic vinegar to bring out their flavor.  Topped with a swirl of sour cream and chopped fresh basil, it’s like summer in a bowl.

Here’s to enjoying the rest of the season with some terrific chilled gourmet soups!  To see our entire collection of tasty soup ideas, click here, and be sure to visit our friendly online store to find the right stocks for all your recipes!

Quotable Julia

August 16th, 2014 by SauceGal

As a tribute to Julia Child, who would have been 102 years old August 15, we share with you again some of our favorite quotes from her.  Julia was an inspiration and a friend to us at MTG, and we remember her best by letting her speak in her own wise and witty words.  Here are a few of our favorite bon mots from this beloved chef and teacher:

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”

“How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?”

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”

“Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.”

“Everything in moderation… including moderation.”

“Fat gives things flavor.”

“’You never forget a beautiful thing that you have made,’ [Chef Bugnard] said. ‘Even after you eat it, it stays with you – always.’”

“Once you have mastered a technique, you barely have to look at a recipe again.”

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”

“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simple or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”

“Noncooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.”

“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”

“Be a fearless cook! Try out new ideas and new recipes, but always buy the freshest and finest ingredients, whatever they may be. Furnish your kitchen with the most solid and workmanlike equipment you can find. Keep your knives ever sharp and — toujours bon appetit!”

“Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”

“I’m all for hunger among the well-to-do. For comfortable people, hunger is a very nice quality. For one thing, it means you’re healthy. And I love the anticipation.”

“Cassoulet, that best of bean feasts, is everyday fare for a peasant but ambrosia for a gastronome, though its ideal consumer is a 300-pound blocking back who has been splitting firewood nonstop for the last twelve hours on a subzero day in Manitoba.”

“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

“I would far prefer to have things happen as they naturally do, such as the mousse refusing to leave the mold, the potatoes sticking to the skillet, the apple charlotte slowly collapsing. One of the secrets of cooking is to learn to correct something if you can, and bear with it if you cannot.”

“A cookbook is only as good as its worst recipe.”

“The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile. I think of my strawberry soufflé. I did that at least twenty-eight times before I finally conquered it.”

“I don’t eat between meals. I don’t snack. Well, I do eat those little fish crackers. They’re fattening, but irresistible.”

“Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.”

“Life itself is the proper binge.”

Find some of our favorite Julia-inspired recipes and a great offer on some of our French stocks and sauces (ending 9/2) at our Sauce Deals page!

Bon Appétit!