Category Archives: holidays

lamb burger recipes

Labor Day Recipe: Lamb Burger With Brie & Spicy Sriracha Mayo

lamb burger recipes

We’re only a couple of days away from the holiday weekend, and chances are that in between your spreadsheets, documents, files and forms, you’re Pinterest-ing away for some delicious grilling and cookout recipes. To help you out, we’ve come up with an incredible lamb burger recipe, developed right here at the Gourmet Food Store kitchens! We’re big fans of flavorful lamb meat, with its bold taste and always-juicy texture. Plus, it’s healthy! Lamb is primarily grass-fed, which means the meat is higher in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.

Start with premium quality ground lamb meat, like Broadleaf’s New Zealand grass-fed lamb, raised in a healthy natural environment in family-run farms (you can find it at SteaksandGame.com at $8.23 per lb.).

After you’ve done your shopping, there are a few tricks to learn to grill up the perfect lamb burger, so read on!

First, mix all the ingredients with the lamb meat well, but gently. You don’t want to give it a Swedish massage, but you want the mix to be dense enough that it will hold its shape during cooking and won’t fall apart on the grill. We also used grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in our mix, not only to add flavor, but also because it helps hold the mix together as it melts. Another tip? Creating a small indentation or dimple with your thumb in the middle of the patty also helps to keep the shape of the burger (otherwise you’ll end up with a puffy ball).

lamb burger

Gooey brie and salty Parmigiano are great partners for lamb burgers!

When grilling, always stay away from open flames to avoid flare-ups. You’ll want coals only and a two-zone grill to cook these lamb burgers to perfection. Lamb meat has some great fat in it that needs to be melted to be enjoyable, so you really don’t want “rare” lamb burgers. That being said, nobody likes a charred, overcooked burger, so aim for medium or medium-rare when cooking lamb burgers.

Internal cooking temperatures for lamb:
Medium-rare: 125°F
Medium: 135°F

Rather than going for the traditional doughy burger bun, opt for brioche bread. This enriched French-style bread is perfect for hamburgers. Light but firm, buttery and a bit sweet, it complements the rich flavors of the meat wonderfully.

brioche brad

Go beyond the burger bun with light and buttery brioche.

Finally, go light on the condiments. You don’t want to overwhelm that great, complex flavor that is so particular to lamb meat by over-seasoning it or over-spicing it. We went with some onions and salty capers, and then mixed up a spicy Sriracha mayo to add some zest. A few slices of gooey Brie, and you’ve got the ultimate gourmet burger for your (almost) final summer grilling event this weekend!

sriracha mayo

Rest, relax and eat! Happy Labor Day!

 

Labor Day Cookout Recipe: Lamb Burger With Brie & Spicy Sriracha Mayo

Rating: 51

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1 Burger

Ingredients

  • 30 oz. ground lamb meat
  • 2 oz. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. Capers, chopped
  • 2 or 3 tbsps. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices of brioche bread
  • 7 oz. Brie
  • 2 cups baby greens
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 5 tbsps. Mayonnaise
  • 1 or 2 tbsps. Sriracha sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Using your hands, gently mix the lamb meat with the Parmigiano cheese, onion, capers, salt and pepper. Mix well so that the ingredients will mix fully. This will make the patties keep their shape better during cooking.
  2. Divide in 4 parts and form 4 disc-shaped patties. Wrap each individual patties in film and reserve in the fridge.
  3. Mix the mayo with the Sriracha, whisking until fully blended. Reserve in the fridge.
  4. Cut the brioche in half and brush with olive oil. Toast in the oven, flipping them so that they’re evenly toasted on both sides. If you want to use your toaster, toast first, then brush with olive oil.
  5. While the bread is toasting, start grilling your burgers.
  6. Heat up your grill to medium, and make sure your coals are distributed evenly. You don’t want a direct open flame.
  7. Brush the burgers with extra virgin olive oil, and grill about 5 minutes on each side. If you have an instant-read thermometer, lamb is medium-rare at 125°F, and medium at 135°F. Let burgers rest outside the grill for at last 2 minutes before serving, so that the juices have time to redistribute.
  8. Just before the lamb burgers are done, cut the brioche in half and brush with olive oil, then toast them over the grill, flipping once so that they’re evenly toasted on both sides. Alternative: If you want to use your toaster, toast first, then brush with olive oil.
  9. Spread the Sriracha mayo on each side of the bread; place a few greens, the red onions, a slice of tomatoes, and the burger, finishing with a slice of Brie and a few more greens.
http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/gourmet-food-blog/lamb-burger-with-sriracha-mayo-recipe/

 

Recipe development: M. Sorondo for Gourmet Food Store
Photography: M. Semptertegui for Gourmet Food Store

quiche lorraine

A Classic Quiche Lorraine Recipe For Bastille Day

quiche lorraine

 

French Classics: The Quiche Lorraine Recipe

Paired with a fresh salad in summer and spring, or with a hearty in soup in the winter, the perennial classic French Quiche Lorraine recipe is a dish as versatile as it is delicious.

July 14th marks Bastille Day, the day where all of France takes to the street and celebrates the French Revolution. Over here, it’s also the perfect excuse to celebrate France’s incredible contributions to the culinary world. And what better way to celebrate than with a chic and delicious savory quiche?

There are many versions of Quiche Lorraine, and there’s some contention about what a true recipe should include. The original dish from Lorraine region of France did not include cheese. Made popular in America by the iconic Julia Child, this savory tart starts with a base of flaky, buttery tart crust, and builds up with a hearty layer of delicious Gruyere cheese, sumptuous smoked bacon (which you could easily substitute with smoked pancetta), all perfectly seasoned and welded together by a luscious mix of cream, milk and eggs.

Quiche lorraine recipe ingredients

A few simple ingredients, one scrumptious dish.

The secret to a perfect quiche lies in the short crust. It should be buttery but not overwhelmingly rich, the texture both flaky and delicate, and never overwhelmingly dense.

So how do you achieve that? The best way is to make your own pastry dough, which gives you control of the ingredient proportions. Don’t be intimidated! Making this pie crust is actually super simple and an essential skill to have. Our Quiche Lorraine recipe includes instructions to make your own pastry dough, from scratch, in just minutes.  You can even make extra dough and freeze it for later use, so you only do the work once. If however, you’re pressed for time, you can buy ready made dough or pastry shell.

quiche lorraine recipe crust

Master the perfect crust for a foolproof quiche

Once you’ve mastered the Quiche Lorraine recipe, it’s easy to bend the rules and experiment with your own ingredient combinations, and make great, inventive quiche recipes. Add seasonal vegetables, meats and sausage or seafood (like lobster!), and add your favorite cheese. The possibilities are endless…and delicious!

Quiche Lorraine Recipe

Rating: 51

Yield: 1 large quiche

Serving Size: Serves 4

Quiche Lorraine Recipe

Ingredients

  • Pastry
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. cold water
  • Filling
  • 150 grams of smoked bacon or smoked pancetta, cut into thin strips
  • ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • ½ tsp. Porcini salt
  • ½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere
  • Special equipment
  • 11” French tart pan (with removable base)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. For The Crust
  3. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the diced butter and the salt. Break the butter with a fork until you get a coarse meal-like (or breadcrumb-like) texture.
  4. Make an indentation in the center of the mix and add the egg yolk and water. Start forming the dough from the outside in, adding more water as needed until you get an even dough ball that doesn’t stick to the walls of the bowl. You want the dough to be soft. Add more flour and water as you go, if necessary
  5. Don’t knead the dough, but press it firmly and wrap it in film. Take to the fridge for at last 20 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough over a lightly floured surface into a circle. As you roll out the dough, rotate it to ensure uniformity, and sprinkle more flour so it won't stick.The diameter of the crust should be about 1 or 2 inches larger than your pan.
  7. Roll the dough into the rolling pin (see picture), lift and unroll right onto your pan.
  8. With your thumbs, carefully press the bottom and sides of the dough, and make sure the rim of the pan is covered as well. Cut off any excess with a knife.
  9. Pinch the base with a fork.
  10. Blind baking: top with a sheet of foil topped with pastry weights or beans to blind bake the tart shells.
  11. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove the foil and beans/weights, and bake for another 5 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
  12. For the filling
  13. Heat up a large pan with the olive oil, and cook the bacon until golden and soft. Drain and set aside to cool.
  14. In a bowl, with a whisk or a fork, whisk lightly the eggs, cream, milk, pepper, salt and Gruyere.
  15. Spread the mix evenly over the tart.
  16. Bake at 350 F for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the quiche is golden and the filling is firm and has set completely. Tip: to check for doneness, insert a toothpick and remove, it should come out clean.
  17. Serve warm with a fresh green salad.
http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/gourmet-food-blog/quiche-lorraine-recipe-bastille-day/

fourthofjulyGFS

9 Amazing Recipes For Your Fourth of July Menu

fourthofjulyGFSOUR FOURTH OF JULY MENU!

Fourth of July is all about celebrating America and the great culinary traditions of this incredible country. But it’s also about summer, that bright, hot and sunny season that always seems to just fly us by entirely too quickly. This Independence Day, we’re making the most of the weather and taking our celebration outside – be it poolside or backyard, beach or park, rooftop or balcony, our 4th of July menu is simple, fresh and delicious. The plan: elevated versions of Americana food classics, like grilled cheese, burgers, corn on the cob, slaw, and more. Plus, a show-stopping perfectly-grilled pork tenderloin, and to finish off, a centerpiece worthy patriotic cake. America rocks!

 

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

grilled pork tenderloin

Photo credit: Bev Cooks

This mouthwatering pork tenderloin recipe by Bev of Bev Cooks is the stuff of grilling dreams. It all starts with a spicy (but not mouth-melting) chipotle pepper, brown sugar and lime marinade, and a succulent pork tenderloin (we suggest the buttery Berkshire Pork Tenderloin by Steaks & Game). The trick is to marinade the pork in advance, so all the flavors will soak right into the meat. We love that this only looks like a time-consuming recipe – the pork actually grills in 45 minutes. Which leaves you plenty of time for cocktails and fireworks. Get the Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin Recipe >

 

Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie

gourmet burgers

Photo credit: Confections of a Foodie Bride

You’ve invited all your friends and family over and planned everything to the last red-white-and-blue napkin:  now’s the time to dazzle their tastebuds with a super-fancy burger that will leave your neighbors talking about your Fourth of July menu all sumer long. These elegant and delicious sliders (try out our Australian Wagyu sliders) by Confections of A Foodie Bride are just the thing. Topped with brie and craft brew-glazed caramelized onions, you’ll want to make sure you have enough of these to go around – they’re guaranteed to disappear as soon as you set them out.  Get the Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie Recipe

 

Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese

4th of july grilled cheese recipe

Photo credit: Foodie Crush

We absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this grilled cheese recipe by Foodie Crush. It’s sophisticated yet super simple, and there’s something about a grilled cheese that just takes us back to our summers at camp. But there’s nothing childish about this sandwich! It has meaty pieces of sweet snow crab and thick slices of avocado, all topped with melted Havarti cheese. It’s also a perfect vegetarian option to your Fourth of July menu. We might suggest adding a flavored mayo, and you can switch up the Havarti for any of your favorites (like Swiss, Gouda, or even Comte) – but just make sure the cheese you pick melts well (see our great selection of melting cheeses). Get the Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese Recipe >

 

Fruit & Nuts Blue Cheese Slaw

fruit and nut slaw

Photo credit: Tidymom.net

This coleslaw recipe is a far cry from the traditional mayo-soaked slaw of picnics of yore. First of all, it’s loaded not with mayo but with delicious fruits like strawberries, mandarin oranges and grapes, then sprinkled with meaty pecans and topped with crumbled blue cheese. It’s also really simple to put together (you can even make it ahead the day before your party) AND it’s vegetarian. A great way to class up classic picnic fare! Get the Fruit and Nut Slaw Recipe by Tidy Mom > 

 

Spicy Shrimp & Avocado Salad

shrimp and avocado salad

Photo credit: Dine and Dish

The riot of colors and flavors in this salad by Dine and Dish completely grabbed us. It combines fabulous (and healthy!) seasonal summer ingredients like juicy tomatoes, meaty avocados and sweet corn, but it goes a step further with the zesty addition of Sriracha grilled shrimp. The contrast of the crisp lettuce, the creamy avocado and the hot shrimp is festive, delicious and hearty.  A drizzle of a great quality olive oil and some good balsamic vinegar, and you’ve got a side dish for your Fourth of July menu that can easily serve as a main course for your vegetarian and/or health conscious guests.  Get the Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe >

 

Smoky Parmesan Corn On The Cob

parmsancorn_endlessmeal

Photo credit: The Endless Meal

Corn on the cob and summer go together, no question about it. Add Parmesan and a hint of smoked paprika to the equation, and you’ve got a dish worthy of your fireworks! This corn on the cob recipe by The Endless Meal will be your go-to summer staple, guaranteed.  Just brush the butter and parmigiano mix on the corn and wrap in foil (you can do all this and refrigerate up to two days in advance) and then throw on the grill alongside your burgers.  The perfect summer gourmet side dish for your Fourth of July menu! Get the Parmesan Corn on The Cob Recipe >

 

Red, White & Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas

fourth of july menu dessert

Photo credit: Mommy’s Kitchen

This patriotic dessert by Mommy’s Kitchen will please kids and adults alike! We’re big fans of adding fresh, seasonal produce to everything, and these “mini pizzas” (actually cookies) are the perfect vehicle to give kids a serving of fresh fruit (sneaky!). You can make your favorite cookie recipe, top it with a cream cheese filling and then add slices of fresh berries – just make sure you have blueberries for that red, white and blue theme. Or, instead of cookies and cream cheese, try some fresh blini and creme fraiche for a savory, grown-up alternative. Get the Red, White and Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas Recipe >

 

Summer Sangria

fourth of july menu sangria

Photo credit: Eat Drink Love

What’s a party without a signature cocktail? Our pick this year is this delish fruit-filled sangria by Eat Drink Love. It’s sweet, it’s filled with berries, and just like a punch, you can just make a big ol’ pitcher instead of laboring at the bar over individual drinks.  To keep with the patriotic theme, use blueberries and strawberries, and cut out some pineapples (it’s not white, but it’s close enough!) with a star-shaped cutter. Get the Summer Sangria Recipe >

 

Ombre Independence Day Cake

4th of july cake

Photo credit: Brit + Co.

Does this cake really need an introduction? Don’t you just want to run to the recipe just by looking at it? We did! This is the piece (of cake) de resistance for our Fourth of July menu. The crafty gals at Brit + Co. (their site is a treasure trove of all sorts of ideas – from food, to crafts to fashion – go get lost in the awesomeness!) made the executive decision to use cake mix and ready-made frosting to offset the time it takes to assemble the cake, but more enterprising and expert bakers can definitely use their favorite cake recipe and make their own frosting instead. This is the moment to go BIG, and this cake definitely fits the bill – just make sure you have enough height on your fridge to store it. Get the Ombre Independence Day Recipe > 

 

Happy Fourth of July!

 

A big thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who let us share the amazing recipes that make up our Fourth of July menu. We encourage you to visit their blogs and sites for more incredible recipes, menu ideas and general awesomeness.

Which one of these yummy recipes is your favorites? Do you have any great recipes for the Fourth? Share them in the comments below or on Facebook

4th of july dessert

Video: A Patriotic 4th of July Dessert!

4th of July dessert

 Juicy peaches, sweet strawberries and plump berries are ripe for the picking – and ready to be the star of your 4th of July desserts.

Need some inspiration for your 4th of July dessert? Joan Nathan’s fruit crisp is our featured pick! It’s filled with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, then topped with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, for the perfect and most delicious red, white and blue patriotic dessert.

There’s nothing more wonderful in the too-short summer season than making the most of the bounty of fruit that is just bursting with flavor and color. Juicy peaches, sweet strawberries and plump berries, to name a few, are ripe for the picking – and ready to be the star of your summer desserts. For this 4th of July dessert “pie”, the concept of tart is turned upside down, with the dough on top, the fruit at the bottom. This way, the juices of the fruit don’t turn the dough soggy, ensuring crisp bites.

Serve in spoonfuls over bowls, or, to give the presentation a more “summery” twist, spoon into mason jars and use long milkshake spoons.

Bonus!  This wonderful recipe is an all-season must – just replace the summer berries and rhubarb with whatever fruit is at the market, like crisp apples in the fall, or citrus fruit in the winter.  If the weather is cooler, top with whipped cream instead of ice cream (although we’re partial to ice cream all year long!).

 

 

 

Video: Tablet Magazine

fathersdaycollage

Celebrating Dad: A Father’s Day Menu In 4 Steps (+ 2 Dad-Worthy Recipes)

It’s Our Father’s Day Menu!

fathersdaycollage

The weather just calls us out to the great outdoors (or the backyard), so we thought up a Father’s Day menu that’s designed to enjoy al fresco.

Each Dad has a different palate, but a quick poll around the Gourmet Food Store office turned up one unanimous winner – meat. Grilled meats, to be specific. So this year, our Father’s Day menu is about firing up that grill and giving Dad an upscale version of his favorites foods.

And of course, no cookout would be complete without a signature cocktail, something for Dad to sip while he opens his presents. A selection of sweet desserts, a thoughtful, heartfelt card and lots of hugs and kisses, and you have the recipe for his most fantastic Father’s Day ever!

Step 1: Dad’s Upscale Dogs

Nothing could be easier or more delicious than throwing some delicious franks on the grill. To level things up a bit, try these fabulous Wagyu mini-dogs. Made from all-natural Australian Wagyu beef, they’re a super affordable way to give Dad a taste of the world-famous Kobe beef without breaking your retirement-fund piggy bank. Pair them with a sophisticated honey mustard dipping sauce, which you can make ahead and keep refrigerated – just warm it up when you’re serving the dogs.

cocktailweiners

 

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce Recipe

In a small pot, mix all ingredients and simmer for 25 minutes on medium-low heat.

  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry ground  mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

 

Step 2: Cool Caipirinha Cocktail

He’ll need a refreshing beverage to wash down all this food, and we think he’ll appreciate this one. All Dads love sports, so in honor of the World Cup festivities, we included Brazil’s most popular cocktail to our Father’s Day menu: the citrusy and sweet Caipirinha. Limes, sugar, cachaca (pronouns kah//SHAH/sah) and lots of ice are all you’ll need to craft this cocktail. Need some pointers? This video will show you how to make the perfect Caipirinha.

A father's day cocktail

Caipirinha Ph: : Maurice Chédel

Step 3: The Father of All Burgers

This next course is the one that will make you his favorite forever: Grass-Fed Burgers Topped With Foie Gras. Start with great-quality grass-fed beef patties (or grind your own). The secret is in the foie gras slices – rich and succulent, it adds a layer of delicious decadence to what would otherwise be a regular backyard burger. Keep in mind that this is a relatively heavy dish, so make sure Dad doesn’t load up on lots of chips (or too many of those delicious Wagyu cocktail hot dogs) beforehand. Or, just leave enough time between the appetizer and the burgers!  See the full recipe for this meaty masterpiece below.

foiegrasburger

 

Step 4: Dad’s Just Desserts

After recovering from his food coma, Dad will certainly be ready for his something sweet. Surprise him with a variety of summer-ready mini tarts from Galaxy Dessert. The Tart Sampler includes four Dad-approved tarts: Pecan, Apple, Lemon and Key Lime. The best part? These delicious tarts are pre-made and all ready to go, no cooking required – and after all the work you put into the meal, we’re sure you’ll appreciate this sweet break from the oven!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grass Fed Beef Burgers with Foie Gras

Serving Size: 4

Grass Fed Beef Burgers with Foie Gras

Ingredients

  • 4 Kaiser rolls
  • 4 burger patties
  • 4 slices of fresh foie gras
  • 12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup heavy cream.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Fire up the grill and get the heat up to high. While the grill is heating up, start on your foie gras.
  3. Season the foie gras slices with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat a medium non-stick saucepan over very high heat. When it’s smoking hot, place the foie gras slices. Cook for about two minutes – the fat should start rendering immediately – then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the pan (but don’t wash or discard the pan) and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. While the foie gras is in the oven, start your shitake cream sauce.
  6. In the same pan used to cook the foie gras slices – which should have the rendered fat from the foie gras – add the shiitake mushrooms, 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar and a 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook for about 4 minutes over medium heat. Incorporate the heavy cream and cook, stirring, until the cream turns light brown.
  7. Leave the foie gras in a warm place while you cook your burgers.
  8. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and place on the grill over a hot fire – which will get you that nice crust. Grill each side for about 4 to 5 minutes – checking to make sure it’s not burning – then flip, and grill for another 2 minutes or so. To check for doneness, use an instant-read food thermometer: 125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium.
  9. Serve each burger over a warm roll, topped with a slice of foie gras and drizzle with the shiitake sauce.
http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/gourmet-food-blog/fathers-day-menu-4-steps/

 

fathersday

The Gourmet Father’s Day Gift Guide

THE GOURMET FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

Need a gift that’s as brilliant and inspired as Dad? We’ve selected our best and most exclusive treats to indulge him come Father’s Day. From sweet to savory, for cooking or for snacking, we’ve got the best gourmet Father’s Day gifts for the best men in our lives.

 

featureimage

2014 Mother’s Day Gift Guide!

mother's day gift guide

Can your Mom rock an apron AND a killer little black dress? Is she as at home scurrying around in the kitchen as she is strolling through Versailles or a Moroccan bazaar? Sounds like our gourmet moms can wear many hats – from a chef’s toque to a beret!

No two moms are alike, and we’ve got Mother’s Day gifts for all of them. Whether she’s a natural-born entertainer or a weekend-warrior baker, our Mother’s Day Gift Guide holds the key to the gift that will suit her palate and her lifestyle.

MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS FOR…

PARISIAN MOMS…

MASTER CHEF & BAKER MOMS…

EXOTIC MOMS…

SOPHISTICATED FOODIE MOMS…

ENTERTAINING MOMS…

Cinco de Mayo recipes

Cinco de Mayo Food History + 10 (Amazing) Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Cinco de Mayo recipes

Brush up on a little culinary history while getting ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We explore the most classic Cinco de Mayo foods, plus we give you 10 amazing recipes to add to your fiesta repertoire.

CINCO DE MAYO FOOD HISTORY

Nachos

Cinco de Mayo food -Nachos with Homemade Taco Meat and Sriracha Cheese Sauce

Nachos with Homemade Taco Meat and Sriracha Cheese Sauce by The Weary Chef.

This cheesy tower of crisp tortilla chips (called totopos in Mexico) is now a classic of the American snacking experience. Nachos were allegedly created in 1943 in Piedras Negras, Mexico, by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, then maître d’hôtel at the Victory Club Hotel. Finding himself with hungry guests and nothing to serve them, Nacho whipped up a snack of tortilla chips cut into triangles and topped with shredded cheddar and jalapeno peppers….and a culinary legend was born. Today, all you need are tortilla chips and imagination to make spectacular nachos – like Nachos with Homemade Taco Meat and Sriracha Cheese Sauce by The Weary Chef.

Tacos

Cindo de Mayo food - Salmon and Halibut Fresh Fish Tacos

Salmon and Halibut Fresh Fish Tacos by The Organic Kitchen.

This handy little dish has actually been around for a while…like a few centuries. Before the Europeans actually came to the New World, the people of Mexico were eating tacos. And why not? There’s a lot to love about these folded tortillas. Starting with the fact that you can load them up with just about any filling.  From beef to pork, veggies to seafood, the mighty taco is the vessel of culinary dreams. There are many traditional taco recipes out there, so we were psyched to find two great options for this Cinco de Mayo, including one for our vegan friends: Fresh Fish Tacos by The Organic Kitchen, and Vegan Street Tacos by The Vegan Road.

Cinco de Mayo Food - Vegan Tacos

Vegan Tacos by The Vegan Road.

Guacamole

Cinco de Mayo Food - Guacamole by Skinny Taste.

Guacamole by Skinny Taste.

In America, it’s not a real Cinco de Mayo party unless there’s guacamole! This green dip can be found in almost every American table during Super Bowl Sunday, but it’s actually a dish that even predates modern Mexico and goes as far as the Aztecs. Fun fact: some Europeans used to call the guacamole a “salad of alligator pear”. The basic recipe for guacamole starts with ripe avocados mashed into a soft paste, but inventive and delicious guacamole recipes abound. Add a little bit of heat, a dash of lime, and some imagination, and you can make a killer guacamole – like this Guacamole recipe by Skinny Taste.

Queso Fundido

Cinco de Mayo Food - Poblano Queso Fundido by What's Gaby Cooking.

Poblano Queso Fundido by What’s Gaby Cooking.

Also called “queso flameado” – literally, “flaming cheese” – queso fundido is Mexico’s answer to fondue. Made with melted cheese and chorizo, it typically also has a nice amount of spice and is served bubbling hot with soft tortillas or tortilla chips. It’s said to have originated in Northern Mexico, very close to the border with the American Southwest, which explains why today queso fundido is as ubiquitous in El Paso as in Juarez. So grab your favorite melting cheeses and go over to What’s Gaby Cooking for her incredible Poblano Queso Fundido recipe.

Quesadillas

Cinco de Mayo Food  - Margarita Chicken Quesadillas with Margarita Guacamole by Half Baked Harvest.

Margarita Chicken Quesadillas with Margarita Guacamole by Half Baked Harvest.

Mexico has practically made an art out of cooking with the tortilla, and the cheesy quesadilla is another great example. Made of a corn or flour tortilla, a quesadilla is filled with cheese (and other favorite ingredients), folded, cooked until the cheese is melted and delicious, and served with salsa, guacamole or sour cream. Combining Cinco de Mayo food and booze, we give you this fabulous Margarita Chicken Quesadillas with Margarita Guacamole recipe by Half Baked Harvest. Si, de nada! (that means ‘yes, you’re welcome!’).

Burritos

Cinco de Mayo Food  -Sweet Chili Sausage and Black Bean Burritos by Vikalinka.

Sweet Chili Sausage and Black Bean Burritos by Vikalinka.

Some say burritos originated with Mexican cowboys, yet others maintain it actually got its start in California. It’s a  true Mexican-American dish! Whatever the case, what’s certain is that burritos are rolled-up, oversized tortilla goodness. A burrito uses a wheat-flour tortilla, which unlike the taco, which is just folded, in a burrito the tortilla is wrapped around the filling of choice. Whether for lunch, dinner or breakfast, a burrito is a great choice for a Cinco de Mayo food celebration. Need some burri-inspiration?  Try this filling Sweet Chili Sausage and Black Bean Burritos by Vikalinka.

Pico de Gallo

Cinco de Mayo Food  - Pico de Gallo by A Teaspoon of Happiness.

Pico de Gallo by A Teaspoon of Happiness.

Is it a sauce, is it a salad, is it a side dish?! AyDios mío! Don’t worry, all you need to know is that Pico de Gallo is amazing. Whether as a topping or a dip, you’ll find this chunky salsa accompanying many Mexican dishes, which makes it essential for a true Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Pico de Gallo (‘rooster’s beak’ in Spanish) is basically just diced tomatoes, white onions, and HOT chile peppers. Use it to top nachos, to fill tacos or burritos, or serve it with tortilla chips. Bonus: the colors of the ingredients are the same as the Mexican flag. We found you a great Pico de Gallo recipe with a twist, by A Teaspoon of Happiness.

Margaritas

Cinco de Mayo Food  - Jalapeño Margarita by Keep It Simple, Sweetie.

Jalapeño Margarita by Keep It Simple, Sweetie.

Thought not technically a Cinco de Mayo food, How could it be a fiesta without a Margarita? One of the many stories about the birth of this cocktail goes back to 1938, when dancer Marjorie King walked into Carlos “Danny” Herrera’s restaurant and asked for a drink. The problem? Ms. King was allergic to all spirits…except – you guessed it! – tequila. That’s just one of the many legends behind this citrusy concoction, but what we do know for certain is that a classic Margarita recipe includes tequila, triple sec, and lime juice – salt or sugar-rimmed glass, optional! We wouldn’t just include any old boring Margarita recipe, so how about this Jalapeno Citrus Margarita by Keep It Simple, Sweetie? Zesty, spicy and boozy!

Mexican Hot Dogs

Cinco de Mayo Food  - Mexican Hot Dogs With Chipotle Cream by Damn Delicious.

Mexican Hot Dogs with Chipotle Cream by Damn Delicious.

What? Hot dogs are not Mexican you say? You got us, but we decided you had to try these Mexican Hot Dogs With Chipotle Cream by Damn Delicious. The perfect combination of the great ingredients of Mexican cuisine with a true American classic. Cinco de Mayo meets Cuatro de Julio (4th of July!)!

gourmet food gifts for valentine's day

Made With Love: Fabulous Valentine’s Day Gifts

Chocolates, caviar, who could resist?!

Love is in the air, and we could not help but fall for its sweet (and savory!) call. Our favorite gifts and ingredients for Valentine’s Day are perfect to set a loving mood. From sensual Russian caviars to set a luxe ambiance, to heart-melting heart shaped Belgian chocolates, we have the ingredients to cook up some romance this February 14th!

gourmet food gifts for valentine's day

 

 

OsetraOsetra Classic Russian Caviar Gift Set

Start your evening with spoonfuls of premium Russian caviar over a dollop of creme fraiche and a fresh, hand-made. Glam it up with the gorgeous (optional) Mother of Pearl serving spoon.

 

 

 

 

 

Sevruga Gift Set For Valentine's DaySevruga Caviar Gift Set 

It will be an affair to remember when you start the evening with super luxurious Sevruga caviar, served with a Mother of Pearl spoon. The set includes creme fraiche and hand-made blini.

 

 

 

 

 

Smoked Salmon Gift For Valentine's Day BreakfastSmoked Salmon Gift Set

Follow your romantic evening with a delicious breakfast in bed…and don’t forget the fresh flowers! Our gift set includes smooth smoked salmon, fresh hand-made Russian blini and creme fraiche.

 

 

 

 

 

Leonidas Belgian Heart Shaped ChocolateLeonidas Belgian Chocolates Hearts Collection

The can’t-go-wrong Valentine’s Day gift: a golden box filled with delicious heart-shaped Belgian chocolate.

 

 

 

 

French Almond Macaroons For Valetine's Day GiftFrench Almond Macaroons

These sweet confections are sure to win her affections! Lovely and airy macaroons, perfect for your main squeeze.

 

 

 

 

 

Leonidas Belgian Chocolates in Jewelry BoxLeonidas Belgian Chocolates in Jewelry Box

Declare your love on Valentine’s Day with sweet chocolates in a lovely keepsake box…bonus points when you add some pretty bauble or gorgeous gem to go with it.

 

 

 

 

Belgian Milk Chocolate Baking Chips For Chocolate Covered StrawberriesBelgian Milk Chocolate Chips by Callebaut

Our best baking chocolate is perfect to dip strawberries, which of course you should then hand-feed to your sweetheart between sips of champagne.

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Fruit Puree For Valetine's Day cocktailsFrench Strawberry Fruit Puree

Made in France by Boiron, this is perfect to concoct thematic cocktails and delicious desserts for your Valentine’s Day party!

 

 

 

 

 

Aphrodisiac pomegranate fruit puree for Valetine's DayFrench Pomegranate Puree

Lead them into sweet and sexy temptation with the original forbidden fruit! This ruby-red fruit puree makes for seriously seductive Valentine’s Day cocktails and decadent desserts. Another of our delicious frozen fruit purees by Boiron.

 

 

 

 

French Fig Puree For Valentine's DayFrench Fig Puree

Ignite some passion with this well-known aphrodisiac ingredient – perfect for sweet and savory recipes. Made in France, by Boiron.

 

 

 

 

 

Find more gift ideas for Valetine’s Day here!

A most merry holiday menu

A Festive And Fabulous Holiday Menu

It’s beginning to feel – and taste – a lot like Christmas ! The tree is up, the snow has coated everything in wonderful white, and the season is in full, festive swing.

Our Christmas menu selection this year is full of fabulous flavor, using the foods and ingredients we love so much around here. We looked for great innovative ways to prepare some classics, but also wanted to have pretty presentation and a bit of a wow factor – this is a once-a-year event, and your table should be anything but ordinary!

A most merry holiday menu

A most merry menu! Photo credits, left to right, top to bottom: Spoon Fork Bacon; How Sweet It Is; Taste Food Blog; Oh Sweet Basil; Gourmet Food Store.

START…

…with this festive Pomegranate Cheese Ball by How Sweet It Is. Twinkling pomegranate gems glisten and glow festively in this incredible appetizer that reminds us of a Christmas ornament (an edible, delicious one!) and acts double duty as a centerpiece. This classic-yet-chic cheese-ball appetizer is made with sharp white cheddar, mixed with some smoky toasted almonds, then sumptuously finished with cream cheese, mascarpone, and sage butter.  Everything gets blended with an electric mixer and then formed not a ball. We are raving about this appetizer!

Get the Pomegranate Cheese Ball recipe here >

A delicious centerpiece to start off your holiday feast!

A delicious centerpiece to start off your feast! Photo: Pomegranate Cheese Ball by How Sweet It is.

FOLLOW…

Instead of a Christmas ham or turkey, we’re making this a sophisticated, delicious and upscale alternative:  Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck by Spoon Fork Bacon. Traditional dishes are great and all, but sometimes it’s time to shake things up, but there’s something very “everyday” about ham, and by December 25th, we’ve just about had enough with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. This duck is juicy and tender, but with loads more flavor than a turkey. You can use a whole duck, or two if you’re feeding a large crowd. This recipe also includes a Spiced Cranberry -Persimmon Chutney (which we think is just perfecto for this), but since a roasted duck is a super versatile main, you can pair it with your favorite sauce.

Find the Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck recipe here >

Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck by Spoon Fork Bacon.

A very crispy Christmas! Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck by Spoon Fork Bacon.

SERVE WITH…

Creamy, cheesy, luscious Scalloped Potatoes by Oh Sweet Basil! We almost have no words to describe the incredibleness that is this au gratin dish. It’s classic and comforting, and we think it will pair perfectly with our more complicated main dish. Russet potatoes, butter, heavy cream, a great sharp cheddar cheese, all spiced with thyme, bay and cloves, and baked until gorgeously golden and deliciously melty. We’re planning to make this with sharp and buttery Fiscalini Farmstead 18 Month cheddar for an extra boost of flavor…and we’re planning to make it our staple winter comfort dish throughout the season!

Find the Scalloped Potatoes recipe here >

A sumptuous side! Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

A sumptuous side! Creamy Scalloped Potatoes. Photo by: Oh Sweet Basil.

TOAST…

…with a warm glass of Glogg (recipe by Taste Food Blog). If you’re ready to go beyond the Eggnog this year, you should definitely try this yummy alternative.  Glogg is the classic Scandinavian Christmas drink. A kind of spiced mulled wine, it’s made with cloves, cinnamon, red wine and brandy, served cozily warm with almonds and raisins. It’s pretty much the grown-ups cup of hot chocolate, and it’s much more beautiful to serve, the merry red drink adding to the Christmas atmosphere.

Find the Gløgg recipe here >

Warm spiced glogg

Stay mellow and warm with a glass of Glogg. Photy by; Taste Food Blog.

AND FINISH WITH…

Nutella Mascarpone Mousse

Nuts for Nutella! Nutella Mascarpone Mousse. Photo: Gourmet Food Store.

Mascarpone Nutella Mousse! The creamy hazelnut chocolate spread is pretty much an addiction of ours, and it’s the perfect treat to end a holiday meal. This dessert combines sweet mascarpone with Nutella and heavy whipping cream. Just blend equal parts of each in a blender and you’re done. Garnished with cheery red berries, festive green mint and (more) chocolate, this is the ideal clincher to our picture-perfect Christmas meal!

CONTRIBUTORS:

We’d like to thank the following bloggers for sharing their amazing recipes and beautiful photographs. Visit their blogs for more delicious recipes and tons of culinary inspiration.

www.SpoonForkBacon.com
www.howsweeteats.com
www.tastefoodblog.com
www.ohsweetbasil.com