Leftover Hazelnuts from the Holidays? We’ve got tips for that!

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Hazelnuts have a range of uses in the kitchen and can add a wonderfully nutty and buttery taste to your next dish.

What can you do with them you ask? Well … we’re here to tell you

Chef Ashley recommends…

A Pesto

“Hazelnuts are a hearty nut with a distinct flavor profile. I would make use of them in a non-traditional pesto (not recommended for a basil pesto). For example if you’re making a kale pesto the flavor of the hazelnuts would complement nicely with the kale.”

Hazelnut & Blue Cheese Spread

“Hazelnuts and blue cheese are a great and classic combination and this spread makes for a great crostini topper. To make this spread lightly toast your hazelnuts in the oven first – then toss them in the food processor and grind them until they make a coarse powder. Transfer them to a bowl and add your blue cheese (the amount is a matter of preference). To create the “spread” consistency add in just enough mayonnaise or sour cream to create a spread that’s thick enough for you. If you do use these on top of a crostini, a dried fig would be a great addition on top to add a bite of sweet.”

A Crust

“Hazelnuts are commonly used in crusts for pies and tarts, but they can be used as a savory crust too – like on fish or chicken. Simply toast and grind your hazelnuts as mentioned above and transfer them to a dish large enough to use for coating. Lay your filet or chicken breast in the dish and coat with the hazelnut crumbs, pressing firmly to assure they stick. Whether you sear or bake it, this is an appetizing addition of flavor.”

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What’s Fresh Featured Ingredient – Fresh Meadows Farm Cranberries

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I took a little inspiration from the holiday season for this week’s featured ingredient. This time of year, you see cranberries everywhere – whether it’s in a floral centerpiece of a part of your spread for a holiday meal, these beautiful crimson berries are great to utilize while they’re still in season.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

“That’s right, I said it… homemade cranberry sauce. I know it comes in a jar and it’s super easy to open and serve, but it’s also super easy to make and it tastes a lot better. For every 12 oz back of fresh cranberries, simmer them in a sauce pot with a cup of sugar and a couple tablespoons of water, until the cranberries are soft. Once they’ve softened, increase the head to a medium flame and let it cook until the cranberries burst – and just like that you’ve got cranberry sauce. You can also introduce accent flavors in the beginning of the cooking process, like a lemon or orange peel, or even some apples. Just be sure to remove the citrus rind before serving as it will make the end product bitter if it’s consumed directly. Make this recipe your own – add your favorite spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.”

Craisins

“Dried cranberries have just as many uses as fresh cranberries. Try a handful of craisins in your next batch of chocolate chip cookies for a complementary tang to go with the sweetness of the chocolate.”

Appetizer Bites

“Everyone’s hosting parties this time of year – trust me it’s a lot easier with appetizers that can be set out and enjoyed at room temperature. Next time you’re at the market, grab a pack of wonton wrappers – this appetizer is easy, and a great way to utilize your leftover cranberry sauce. If you line a mini muffin tin with the wonton wrappers, and bake them just until they’re crispy, about two minutes, they make a great cup for a dollop of goat cheese topped with your leftover cranberry sauce and some chopped and toasted walnuts.”

I hope Chef Ashley‘s tips help you out for your next holiday soiree – if you use her tips at home show us! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

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It’s Onion Season

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I know what you’re thinking – onions? Why write about onions? Well to answer simply .. onions are awesome. Onions are the base of almost every recipe, probably ever, and you can do so much with them in addition to stocks and soups.

Additionally, nothing, and I mean nothing, smells better in the kitchen than the aromas of onions and garlic sautéing together at the start of a recipe – am I right?

Mirepoix

“The base for any good soup, stock, stuffing, or roasted chicken is mirepoix, which traditionally consists of carrots, onions, and celery. these items are one of the essential building blocks of flavor, right up there with garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs.”

Red Onion Jam

“A great crostini topper that goes exceptionally well with chicken pate or creamy cheeses, is a red onion jam. A little bit of sweet with a little bit of savory, it’s the perfect appetizer to put out for upcoming holiday parties. I can’t share our secret recipe for it BUT I can tell you that you can find a pretty great recipe for it here.”

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What’s Fresh Featured Ingredient – Schartner’s Bell Peppers

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Peppers are a great Fall crop. The process for harvesting begins in August and we have them through October and early into November, so they aren’t around for very long.

Bell Peppers combine a tangy flavor with a crunchy texture and come in a variety of colors ranging from green, red, yellow, and orange to the more rare purple, brown, and white varieties. Green and purple peppers are slightly more bitter in flavor than red, orange, and yellow, which come to the table with a little bit of a sweeter palate.

Chef Ashley recommends…

Romesco Sauce

“Romesco sauce is one of my favorites, and really easy to make. It’s a combination of roasted red peppers, almonds, sherry vinegar, garlic, paprika, a touch of cayenne, and olive oil. All you have to do is toss everything in the food processor and buzz it up. Just make sure the almonds are slivered, or blanched and broken into tiny pieces so the food processor buzzes them finely. Romesco is a great sauce for pork, and a great dipping sauce for crusty breads.”

Stuffed Peppers

“Stuffed peppers make for a great weeknight meal and can be made for both the meat lover and vegetarians alike. My favorite option for stuffing a pepper is seasoned ground turkey, black beans, corn, tomato, and some cheddar or jack cheese. A great vegetarian alternative would be quinoa or even barley or farro instead of the ground turkey. “

Pickled Peppers

“Pickling peppers is a great way to preserve them throughout the Winter season. Pickled peppers are a great topping for a sandwich or placed out on your next antipasti display.”

 

If you use Chef Ashley‘s tips at home let us know – take a picture and tag us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!

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What’s Fresh Featured Ingredient – Schartner’s Sugar Pumpkins

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It’s October, Autumn is here, and we couldn’t be happier! We had some beautiful pumpkins come in from Schartner Farm’s the other day and we just had to share them with y’all.

Chef Ashley recommends…

Seeds

“Make your own pumpkin seeds! The next time you pick up a pumpkin to turn into a Jack ‘o Lantern, scrape out the seeds, rinse them well, and let them dry overnight. Season them the next day and roast them in your oven for about 20-30 minutes on 375 degrees – you’ll have a nice snack, or a great salad topper.”

Pumpkin Chili

“Pureed pumpkin is a great addition to a Fall chili for a sweet, nutty flavor. The next time you whip up a batch of Turkey Chili, toss in some pureed pumpkin (we roast and puree our own but you could certainly use canned as long as it’s not sweetened) to add an additional level/element of flavor.”

Thanksgiving Stuffed Pumpkin

“If you make a meat stuffing for Thanksgiving, hollow out your pumpkin like you would for carving and stuff the pumpkin with the stuffing – then roast it all together. When you scoop out the stuffing for a serving you’ll get some of the roasted pumpkin flesh which introduces nice flavor.”

Roasted

“Roasting your own pumpkin is so much better than canned product – it brings much nicer color and a completely different flavor to your dishes. Roasted pumpkin can be used interchangeable with butternut squash or even potatoes for side dishes or some of your favorite Fall sauces.”

If you use Chef Ashley‘s tips at home let us know – take a picture and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

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What’s Fresh Featured Ingredient – Backyard Sage

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Sage is a great culinary herb that we use a lot in our Fall dishes because it accents a lot of our Harvest products perfectly.

Commonly, you’ll see sage in soups with butternut squash or acorn squash, in poultry seasonings (for this Thanksgiving birds), and sometimes even used as a garnish.

We preemptively plant the save in our gardens so that we have it for the Fall season – Chef Ashley wants to share a few of her recommendations with you…

Infusions

“Sage pairs well with a lot of things. In the spirit of Fall, one of my favorite uses for sage is a Sage Brown Butter to toss with fresh pumpkin or butternut ravioli. A lot of people fear brown butter, but it’s easy. Melt the brick in a sauce pan on the stove over low-medium heat, and just keep an eye on it – it will brown quickly once it melts. As it meld, the sugars will caramelize creating this sweet nutty flavor. As it melts, toss in your thinly sliced sage leaves so they infuse with the flavor of the butter.”

Cultivating

A sage plant is a perennial, so if you have an herb garden (if you don’t start one – it’s so much more economical than paying at the store) when the frost comes, cover where the plant was with leaves and next year it should come back bigger and better.”

Complementary Flavors

“Sage complements well with onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley, bay leaf, and rosemary – so if you like to make your own rubs at home keep this nugget of information in mind. It also goes well it fatty meats, like pork and lamb.”

If you use Chef Ashley‘s tips are home let us know – take a picture and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

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