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Recipes

What is in season now? Our 10 favorite flavors of summer!

By | A Kitchen Like No Other, Culinary Crafts Marketing Foodies, Event Tips and Planning, Farmers Market, Food, Food Theory Thursday, How To, News, Recipe of the Month, Recipes, Tips

Summer is the best season for eating fresh local produce. It is also the time you can buy local produce almost everywhere! With all the neighborhood farmer’s markets and produce stands you can cook with the freshest ingredients and add a whole new level to your summer cooking! Here’s our list of 10 favorite summer flavors you can find fresh right now.

Apricots
Peaches
Berries of all kinds- Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries
Beets
Carrots
Cherries
Cucumbers
Melons of all kinds- Watermelon, Honeydew, cantaloupes
Summer Squash
Tomatoes

Next week we’ll be sharing one of our favorite summer recipes for you to try featuring some of these great flavors.

MEET ONE OF OUR FAVORITE GROWERS

Strong Vertical Farms

We would love to introduce you to Strong Vertical Farms! Debbie and Grant Strong started SVG out of their home in Park City, Utah in November 2012. It was their vision to provide locally grown fresh produce to chefs and grocery stores 365 days a year by growing indoors.

Five years later, they are in their new 11,000 square foot growing facility located in Charleston UT.  They utilize state of the art systems to accomplish the climate controlled environment needed to grow indoors. The facility has the most updated water treatment, LED lighting & nutrient injection systems available in the market today. Since they grow their greens hydroponically (no soil) the water and nutrients are key to delivering safe quality produce. The water is recaptured and reused then sent through an ozonating system that kills pathogens and bacteria insuring a safe product. The byproduct of this system is oxygen that enriches the plants flavor, longevity and appearance. The produce is grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides and is NON-GMO.  The produce is sustainable, consistent and protected from weather and pests.

You can find their fabulous microgreens and lettuces at select Smiths, Harmons in Holiday and Taylorsville, and Wholefoods. And, happily, they also sell edible flowers!

Hoping you can find time to enjoy all the vibrant flavors of this beautiful season.

Grilling 101: Ryan’s favorite tips and tricks

By | A Kitchen Like No Other, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Food, Food Theory Thursday, How To, Recipes, Tips

Grillmaster Lessons

My love for the grill runs deep. In our family catering business, there were an array of tasks I was assigned at early ages. Most were forgettable (or unpleasantly memorable). Grilling was the first job that I actually enjoyed and felt I excelled at. I remember being 15 years old, carting around our rusty old barrel drum grills, breathing in dangerous amounts of mesquite smoke, singeing off all the hair on my hands and arms (and sometimes eyebrows), blistering my fingertips, shoveling out bucket after bucket of ashes every night….and loving every minute of it.

For me, lighting a row of 18 chimneys full of lump charcoal is as much a means to an end, as it is an end in itself. Searing 5000 fillets of trout is as much a duty, as it is a pleasure. Grilling dinner requires a long list of sometimes tedious steps. Yet rather than a chore, these feel like an indulgence. I grill to eat – I love the flavors. I grill to feed others – it’s my favorite role as a host. I also grill just to get right – you could say it’s how I ponder and pray.

Mastering the grill is long and arduous process. It’s also a fun and exciting process. I invite everyone to learn to grill. There’s something inexplicably rewarding about cooking dinner for yourself and your guests – especially outdoors over a live fire. Whether you already have an elaborate outdoor kitchen with many cooks under your belt, or whether you have never so much as roasted a hot dog over the campfire, I’d invite you to grill more. And start today.

 

What Is and Isn’t Grilling

 

I’m a stickler for proper and consistent use of language around the grill. Many outdoor cooking terms are confused, conflated, and otherwise misused. My first piece of advice is to learn the basic jargon and use it properly.

Grilling refers to a very specific type of cooking: cooking directly over an open fire, usually with a grill / grate / gridiron, and usually at a relatively high heat. Hence, a grill is a device that allows you to cook directly over a high heat open fire. These three elements are necessary conditions of grilling. Direct heat. Open fire. Potential for high heat.

Smoking ribs in your pellet cooker (like the very popular Traeger models)? Delicious, but NOT grilling. Brisket for 18 hours in your offset barrel cooker? Wonderful, but NOT grilling. Using a torch to sear a filet done sous vide to a perfect and precise medium-rare? Excellent, but NOT grilling. Pan searing a skin-on chicken breast in duck fat and herbs? My mouth is watering, but still NOT grilling.

What about cooking burgers over briquettes in your Weber kettle? That’s grilling! Cooking chicken over your built-in stainless steel natural gas grill? That’s grilling! Tossing vegetables in a wire mesh basket over a log fire? That’s grilling! Tri-tip in two stages on a Santa Maria cooker? That’s grilling! Reverse searing a garlic and chocolate rubbed dry-aged Wagyu ribeye over mesquite charcoal? That’s grilling (and btw one of my personal favorites)!

Choosing Your Grill(s)

There are lots of factors to consider when choosing a grill. Size? Lid? Portable, free standing, or built in? Able to BBQ / smoke using indirect heat in addition to grilling with direct heat? Adjustable fire trays? Adjustable cooking grates? Access to the fire? Available accessories? Quality of construction? Cost?

But the first question you need to answer is: gas / propane or charcoal / wood? Yes, there are some electric “grills” out there. But in general these blur the lines on whether they even meet muster for the strict criteria we outlined above. And although there are some hybrid gas and charcoal grills, you still need to be clear about what your primary and preferred fuel source will be, since different hybrids will have more or less appeal depending on your answer.

Pros and Cons of Gas / Propane:

  • Easy startup. Turn on the gas, hit the igniter. Even if your ignition system is broken, a stick lighter gets you going quick and easy. No lighter fluid, no chimneys, no heating coils, very little forethought and waiting required.
  • Easy heat management. Need it hotter? Turn the dial up. Cooler? Turn it back down. Very little practice and finesse is required to adjust and control your heat.
  • Easy cool down / cleanup. Tur
    n the gas off. Done.
  • Clean burning. Less smoke and fumes for you to breath and to float off into your local environment.
  • Limited temperature. Admittedly gas grills can get hot. And certain features (infrared burners) can ramp up the heat. But even the hottest gas grill can’t reach the temps you can achieve with a hardwood charcoal fire.
  • Limited flavor. True, gas grills create a wonderful maillard reaction with your food. And juices that drip below generally burn off into tasty vapors. Wood chips can be easily burned in a smoker box to create flavor. Nonetheless, even the best gas grills employing all these measures can’t match the wood flavor of a charcoal or wood burning grill.

As you might have guessed, the pros and cons of a gas grill are in comparison and relative to the alternative. Hence, the pros and cons of charcoal grills are generally the inverse:

  • Demanding startup. I use a chimney starter(s) for nearly all my fires. These are basically a fool proof method that require only a little newspaper and a match. Lighter fluid can also get a fire going quickly and easily. Nonetheless, these are more work and require more forethought than simply starting up a gas burner.
  • Demanding heat management. Need it hotter? You might need to add fuel. You might need to increase the airflow. You might need to sweep the ashes. Or some combination of these. Need it cooler? You might need to reduce the airflow. Or possibly remove some of the fire, or even spritz your fire with a little water. Eventually, the finesse to manage your fire will become second nature, but it requires significant practice.
  • Demanding cool down / cleanup. In general I prefer to let the fire burn itself out. This takes patience. Sometimes I need to actively extinguish the fire using suffocation or even ice / water. This can make for a big cloud of steam and soot. Either way, after the fire’s died, there will be ashes to deal with.
  • Dirty. More smoke and fumes for you to breath and to float off into your local environment. Although I’m a huge proponent of charcoal and wood fire cooking, I also support measures to protect our environment, especially improving air quality here in Utah. I think grilling on bad air days should be legally prohibited. Until we get there, I strongly encourage local readers to only grill with charcoal on clear days with no inversion.
  • Very high temperature. This is where charcoal grills really shine. Searing is a joy and at its best on a grill that is crazy hot. Gas grills just can’t compare.
  • Very rich flavor. Once you’ve had a burger cooked over mesquite coals, you can’t go back to one cooked over a gas grill or in a cast iron skillet. It just tastes better. A lot better.

As you read these lists, you might get the impression that gas grills win out. After all, they seem to best their charcoal counterparts in 4 of the 6 key factors considered here. However, it’s important to note that those lists simply outline, and do not weigh those factors. When I fire up the grill on the patio (as opposed to sauteing on the kitchen stove), it’s because I’m after the highest heat and deepest wood flavor I can get. So for me, the two areas where charcoal grills win are the ultimate trump cards.

Perhaps the best way to put my recommendation is this: I do not own a gas grill. At my house, I have 3 grills (also 2 smokers and 1 wood oven) and they all use charcoal or wood.

When shopping for a charcoal grill, the key features you want to look for are:

  • Airflow. The ability to control the flow of air to speed up or slow down your fire is crucial. You want vents below the fire and a lid above the fire that allows you to play with different variables.
  • Charcoal grate. Elevating the fire off the floor of the grill container allows the fire to burn efficiently, allows ashes to fall away. Some grills have adjustable charcoal grates which allow you to move the fire closer to or further away from the food.
  • Food grate. Cast iron grates are wonderful to cook on – just like your grandmother’s cast iron skillet, these season in, become naturally nonstick, retain heat wonderfully, and with care can last a lifetime. That said, other grate materials can also cook wonderfully. Most important is a gridiron pattern than prevents small and delicate foods from slipping through. And thick gauge materials that can take the high heat without warping and wearing through.
  • Ash removal. This is important, but doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, often times the simpler the better – a tray or bucket that ashes fall into that is easily removed and dumped is great. You just don’t want to have to shovel or vacuum out ashes after every cook.
  • Quality of materials. You want all the grill components to be thick gauge and heavy duty enough to last for years with reasonable wear and tear. Powder coat is better than paint and enamel coating is even better than powder. It’s awfully frustrating to buy a grill with fancy bells and whistles that looks great in the store, but is dented, rusted, and falling apart a year or two later.

A wonderful charcoal grill does not need to be fancy or elaborate. The kettle grill (a bowl with domed lid sitting on a trio of metal pipe legs) has become an iconic grill image precisely because it has remained basically unchanged for so long, and because the design works so well. Indeed, if I could only have one grill and it needed to be at a moderate cost, my choice would be easy: a Weber Original charcoal grill.

Tools of the Trade

Walk into the outdoor cooking section of your local hardware store and you’ll likely be inundated with an array of grilling tools, gadgets, and assorted accessories. It can be overwhelming to decide which ones are necessary, which ones are a luxury, and which ones are a waste. Listed below are how I like to break out and consider these items.

I set out these must have tools every time I grill:

  • Chimney starter – the best way to start charcoal. Avoid all the fumes, mess, and volatility of lighter fluid.
  • Gloves and apron – You want a 100% cotton, heavy canvas, or leather apron (any poly or poly blend will melt onto your clothes when you get your grill really rolling). And thick lined leather or cotton gloves. Tip – buying welding gear in the tool section is often cheaper than the nearly functionally identical gear in the cooking section.
  • Oil & onion – Don’t use cooking spray on your grill. Don’t use a paper or cloth towel. Dip the onion in the oil, and use this to lubricate and season your grates.
  • Tongs – I like tongs that are springy enough to release quickly, but not so springy that my hand gets tired using them. I like enough teeth on the ends to firmly grasp the food, but not so sharp that they bite into and shred the food. Most important, I like thick metal tongs that won’t go soft and flexy when they get hot.
  • Spatula – Just like the tongs, you want a thick metal spatula. Thin metal will flex, bend, and break if it gets too hot while cooking.
  • Fork – Again, thick and sturdy. Built to take the heat. I use this primarily for the oil and onion listed above.
  • Rake – A tool dedicated to breaking up, moving around, and sweeping the fire. I used to use my spatula, a rake is so much better. I use it all the time.
  • Basting brush – I prefer a silicone brush and/or a cotton mop. Natural hair brushes don’t last, especially when used over heat, and start to fall apart shedding hair into the food.
  • Thermometer – You want something digital with a fast / instant read. You’ll see units ranging from $10 – $100, but you should target the $20 – $50 range for solid quality and good value. My Lavatools thermometer is my favorite I’ve tried.

Although not necessary, these convenient accessories see a lot of use on my patio:

  • Grill basket – simply an alternative to your grate. This allows you cook smaller items that don’t work on a flat open grate, while still exposing them to the open fire and smoke.
  • Wood chip soaker – this keeps your chips under the water while soaking, so you don’t have dry chips floating on top.
  • Meat hook – I use this as an alternative to tongs when I’m grilling large amounts of meat and/or large cuts of meat. This allows me to quickly move food on, off, and around the grill without the constant squeezing of the tongs. Very handy in certain situations.
  • Meat claws – great for shredding pork butt or beef brisket. Also really great for moving very large cuts. Since these don’t have a long handle, you just have to be aware that your hands and arms will be close to the fire if you use these over the grill.
  • Dedicated grilling knives and scissors – you can certainly use the knives from your kitchen. But I love having a simple set (only includes a carver / slicer knife, a flexible boning knife, a small utility knife, and a pair of meat shears) that I keep in my grilling table always at the ready.
  • Spray bottle – using water on your coals is a last resort and short term fix for flare ups and other mishaps. But sometimes a quick fix is all you need and super handy to have ready.
  • Wood grill scraper – after grilling, I use this to scrape large bits of food off the grates, and let the fire burn everything else off. I try to avoid using wire brushes and cleaning chemicals on my grills.
  • Wood planks – a great way to infuse extra flavor and/or keep delicate food (like a whole salmon) intact while moving on and off the grill.
  • Kerchief – soaking this down and tying around your neck or over your face can be a lifesaver when the heat and smoke get too intense.

Additional tools that I only use occasionally / rarely:

  • Grilling stones – fun to use, but easy to crack if you’re not careful. Also, since these create a barrier between the open fire and the food, they limit the flavor impact you get from a great wood fire.
  • Silicon mat – similar to the grilling stones. Handy for certain situations, but I rarely use these.
  • Extra lighting – great if you travel with a grill and/or don’t have enough light in your yard.
  • Grill Brush – like I said earlier, I try to avoid using these (I prefer a wood scraper and the fire itself to clean the grill). That said, there are a few occasions where a little extra grit is required.
  • Skewers – I prefer flat and wide skewers to the round style. This way, the food doesn’t roll around on the wire.
  • Cast iron pan and wok – Can open options for you over your grill, but like the stones, they create a barrier between the open fire and the food, which kind of misses the point.
  • Smoker box – especially handy for gas grills that don’t have the flavors of wood and charcoal. Also useful in a lot of indirect cooking recipes.

 

Finally some of my favorite grilling (and BBQ) cookbook references include:

  • Weber’s Charcoal Grilling, The Art of Cooking with Live Fire by Jamie Purviance (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If you only buy one grilling book, feel confident about making it this one).
  • The Cook’s Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine Editors (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. In depth and exceptionally reliable information that helps you understand why certain techniques succeed, which helps you expand your own skill set and personal innovation.)
  • Charred and Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang
  • Essentials of Grilling by Williams-Sonoma
  • Feeding the Fire by Joe Carroll
  • Franklin Barbecue by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay
  • Smoke & Spice by Cheryl and Bill Jamison

 

Hopefully there’s enough here to get a new griller started. And hopefully even the seasoned griller learned something new. In both cases, stay tuned, I’ll be back very soon with more Grillmaster Lessons!

Ryan

 

 

 

June Recipe of the Month: Homemade Ricotta

By | Recipe of the Month, Recipes

We love ricotta, and making your own from scratch is worth the effort! It tastes richer and creamier than most ready made brands. Making your own gives you control over how salty and thick it will be. You can custom make your ricotta to suit however you’ll be using it.

Homemade ricotta can be served in so many ways. All summer long it can replace the usual vegetable dips, add a great addition to your cheese platters and salads , spread it on toast, add it to pizza, or serve on grilled peaches drizzled with honey for a special treat!

Homemade Ricotta

Ingredients

4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp kosher salt

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

cheese cloth

Directions

Combine milk, cream and salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Add vinegar, and allow to stand for a minute until it curdles.

Set a sieve into a deep bowl, line the sieve with cheese cloth. Pour your milk mixture into the cheese cloth. Allow to drain into your bowl. Should take about 20 minutes or longer if you would like thicker ricotta. Once it is the consistency you want transfer the ricotta into a small bowl and discard the liquid in the deep bowl and the cheese cloth.

Voila! Ricotta! Cover with plastic wrap and it can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.

May: Recipe of the Month Pineapple Salsa and Black Bean Dip

By | Recipe of the Month, Recipes

CC Salsa-41 sharing these summery recipes this week because Kaleb’s birthday is on Cinco de Mayo, and he loves salsa! This Pineapple Salsa is one of his all time favorite’s and is wonderful served as a garnish with grilled fish or chicken. Another Craft family favorite is our Black Bean dip. Its creamy richness makes for a delicious dip and also is a great topping for nachos.

If you’ve got a favorite salsa recipe, we’d love to see it! Email your recipe to Meagan@CulinaryCrafts.com. Our chefs will prepare the recipes we receive and we’ll have Kaleb do a taste test and pick his favorites on a Live Facebook video in the coming weeks! Results will also be shared on our Instagram.

Wishing you all good times and great food this summer!CC Salsa-1

Pineapple Salsa

3 cups pineapple- diced into 1/4-1/2″ pieces

1 cup red pepper-diced into 1/4″ pieces

1 cup red onion diced into 1/4″ pieces

3-4 TBSP jalapeno- finely chopped

2 TBSP cilantro

2 TBSP Lime Juice

Salt to tasteCC Salsa-13

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, Adjust seasonings as desired, store in airtight container. Good for up to 3 weeks.

** Variation: Grill pineapple before dicing.CC Salsa-20

 

Black Bean Dip

2/3 cups raw black beans

2 cloves minced garlic

3 oz cream cheese

1/3 cup lemon juice

2/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp Chili Powder

Salt to Taste

Garnish

2/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 bunches of diced green onions

1 diced tomatoes

1/3 cup black olivesCC Salsa-4

Rinse black beans in a colander. Place beans in a large pot with lid and cover with water about 2 inches above the beans. Let beans soak for and hour. Place pot over medium heat on stove, cover with lid and cook beans until soft about 1 hour. Drain beans and transfer to a food processor.

Add garlic, cream cream cheese, lemon juice, cilantro, and seasonings. Puree until combined. dish into your favorite serving bowl and then add your garnishes to the top. May be refrigerated for 3 days!

April: Recipe of the Month Easter Orange Roll Nest

By | Recipe of the Month, Recipes

Orange Roll Dough

2 C water- lukewarm

1 TBSP active dry yeast

1/2 c Orange Juice

2 oranges zested

1/2 c sugar

1/4 lbs butter- melted

1/4 lbs sour cream

2 large eggs

2.5 lbs flour

1/2 TBSP salt

Decoration

1 c coconut

food coloring

1/4 c milk

2 c powder sugar

Equipment:

Mixer with Dough Hook

10″ round pan- preferably a spring form pan

cooling rack

Dough: In your mixer bowl, attach your dough hook, then add lukewarm water- 99-102 degrees- add yeast, sugar and orange zest. Let rest until bubbles appear. Meanwhile melt butter, add sour cream and Orange Juice. stir till mixed completely. Add eggs to butter mixture, then slowly pour butter mixture to your yeast mixture. Add flour and salt to mixing bowl and beat until mixture comes together and begins to pull away from the walls of your bowl.

Shaping and Baking: Remove from bowl and divide into 5 equal pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour or till doubled in size.

Lightly flour your surface, Using a rolling pin and keeping the dough as round as possible, roll the first piece of dough to be about 12″ in diameter. Spray your 10″ round cake pan and place the the 12″ piece of dough in the bottom of your pan. Should come ups the sides a bit.

Take the next piece of dough and using your hands roll into a snake like strand that is about 36″ long. This will be very skinny. Repeat with 2 more pieces of dough.

Once you have your 3 pieces of dough all to 36″ in length you are going to braid them together. Just like braiding hair. Pinch the ends together, then lay the braid into your 10″ round pan around the edge of the pan. This will be your nest. Cover your 10″ pan with plastic wrap and let rest for an hour or until doubled in size. Place in oven at 325 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on the top. 

Meanwhile, What about that last piece of dough?? take the last piece of dough and cut it into 8-10 pieces. These will be your eggs for the center of the nest. Each piece should be about 2oz. Roll them on the counter to smooth out the top and place them on a sheet pan and back at 325 for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool. 

Assembly and decoration: take your 1 cups of coconut and add green food coloring to it- 3-10 drops depending on how dark you want it. Mix until evenly coated. 

In 3 small bowls mix 1/2c of powdered sugar and 1TBSP of milk. This should be very runny, like a glaze. Add more milk or powdered sugar to achieve this. Dye each bowl a different color- your favorite easter colors! I usually do pink, yellow and blue, using 3-5 drops of dye for each bowl.

Once your eggs have cooled, place on cooling rack and drip the colored glaze over the top and let it evenly coat the eggs. Let dry while you finish your nest.

Once your nest is out of the oven, let cool for about 10 minutes and the pop it out of its pan. Place on cake stand or serving platter. then use about 1/2c of green coconut in the bottom of the ring, then take your eggs and nestle them in to your ring. You will be able to fit about 3 in the nest at a time. Take your remaining coconut and sprinkle over the top of the whole nest to make it look really festive! 

March Recipe of the Month: Guinness Braised Short Ribs

By | A Kitchen Like No Other, Food, Recipe of the Month, Recipes
Guinness Braised Short Ribs

Serves 4 to 6 people depending on the number of ribs you make.

Ingredients
4 to 6 bone-in short ribs (about an 8 ounce piece, trimming fat if necessary)
Salt (kosher) and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, chopped
4 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 bottle Guinness Extra Stout (or your own favorite dark & malty Irish Beer)
1 1/2 cup beef stock (or 1 cup beef stock and ½ cup brewed coffee)
Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
2. Season all sides of the short rib with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a heavy, oven safe pan over high heat. Add olive oil to pan and let it heat for a moment. Sear all sides of the short rib about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add onion and carrot, saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1-2  minutes more.
5. Deglaze with beer, scraping up bits from bottom of pan. Bring to boil.
6. Return short ribs to pan. Add beef stock, thyme and rosemary.
7. Cover pan and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours, until meat is tender.
8. Separate the fat from the drippings, and use the remaining drippings (thickening with a roux or by reduction if desired) as a sauce at service.

Culinary Crafts’s Annual NYE Pop Up Preview: The Cocktails!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Food, Holiday Parties, Parties, Pop Up Restaurants, Recipes

Today, we are going to be showing you a little preview of some of the AMAZING things you can expect from Culinary Crafts’s New Years’s Eve Pop Up!  Every year, we make sure to showcase unforgettable eats and drinks to ring in a New Year and create a one-of-a-kind celebration for all of our guests – and this year is no exception.  Ryan Crafts has been creating this stellar menu for months (yes, months) and it incorporates quite a few specially aged elements.  One such offering?  The cocktails!  Check it out!

The cocktail menu consists of a Barrel-Aged Blood Orange High West Old Fashioned, a Barrel-Aged Key Lime Beehive Gimlet, and a non-alcoholic Barrel-Aged Meyer Lemon and Cherry Soda.  Who else is intrigued?  I know I am!

We LOVE our local distilleries and High West’s American Prairie Bourbon was a perfect addition to Barrel-Aged Blood Orange High West Old Fashioned.  The proprietary blend of bourbons are aged from 2 to 13 years, creating a complex taste – which really added something special.

Another interesting element?  Ryan Crafts decided to incorporate oak chips to every drink!

Another fantastic local distillery is Beehive Distilling and we were so THRILLED to use it in the Barrel-Aged Key Lime Beehive Gimlet.  They use a blend of 7 botanicals that create a really unique profile.  Couple that with Key Lime?  A whole lotta awesome going on.

Bing Cherries will serve as one of the garnishes and adds a touch of sweetness that is just perfect – especially for winter cocktails!

As you can see, something really amazing is being put together for our NYE menu!  We hope you will join us for this extraordinary event – but hurry quick!  Tickets are going fast!  (Get them here.)  Happy dreaming, everyone!

Check our more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

Friday Instagram of the Week!

By | Culinary Crafts Events, Event Tips and Planning, Every Day Life at Culinary Crafts, Food, Holiday Parties, How To, Instagram of the Week, Parties, Recipes, Tips

Today’s Instagram of the Week comes from our friends at Studio 5 who we had the pleasure of joining this week to share our tips and tricks to a perfect Thanksgiving holiday!  (Don’t worry for all of you who missed it, we are putting it ALLLL together in a post next week or you can see the video here!)  We absolutely LOVE this holiday and were so thankful to be able to share our love for Thanksgiving on the show!  Thank you for sharing, Studio 5!  Also, remember, for your chance to be next week’s pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and see who is chosen next!  Happy weekend, everyone!

Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

Step-by-Step with Mary Crafts: Mom’s Perfect Pie Crust

By | Ask Mary, Food, How To, Recipes, Tips

Pie is the truly iconic American dessert, but very few people know how to do it well. The novice baker may spend most of their time perfecting the pie filling and spend little time and attention on the crust. However, a true pie maker and connoisseur knows the greatest pie joys lie within a well-made crust. Remember, there is no such thing as a good frozen pie crust from the grocers freezer. But, practice makes perfect and soon you can become an excellent pie maker!

For a single pie crust (for 8 or 9 inch pie) you will need the following:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp lard* (room temperature)
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup ice water (approximately)

Click here for a printable version.

*IN PRAISE OF LARD: No other fat can compare to real lard in a pie crust. If you need to substitute Crisco for the lard, don’t add the butter, just use straight Crisco. The crust will still be flaky but without the buttery flavor.

If you plan on making a two crust pie (crust on top and on bottom) simply double the above recipe. Or, if you’d prefer, my mother always made a “French Apple” pie which replaces the top crust with a crumb mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter mixed until crumbly. Increase baking time 10 minutes.

Okay, let’s get started!

Blend the lard and butter together to create the perfect fat. Chill until cold (you’ll want to chill your butter and lard mixture between every step. Your flaky and delicious crust depends on your fats staying cold.)

Cut the lard/butter mixture into small pieces. In mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.

Using your fingers, pastry blender, or two knives, work quickly to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles small grains of rice. You can use a food processor but you have to be super careful to not over mix. Chill until cold.

Once your mixture is cold, sprinkle the cold (ice cold) water over the flour mixture, one tablespoon at at time, and lightly toss with a fork after each addition. The dough should come together as dough but it should NOT be wet. Just make sure there isn’t any loose flour at the bottom of your bowl. Do not over mix.

Form the dough into a flat disc (if you’ve doubled the recipe for a two crust pie, split the dough in half and make two flat discs). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling.

Flour your surface. I like to use a pastry cloth for my floured surfaces, this decreases the amount of flour needed to ensure my dough doesn’t stick. Roll dough into a circle approximately 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Crust should be approximately 1/8 inch thick.


Place the upside down pie pan in the center of the dough. Cut out the circle with a knife or pizza wheel to be an inch larger around the pan. (If you’ve made a second crust, repeat this process and set your rolled and sized dough aside.)

Fold circle into fourths and place in pie pan, unfold to cover pan.  Lightly press crust into pan. Fold excess dough under on the rim of the pie plate. Crimp edges with fork or pinch between thumb and forefinger to form an edge that is higher then the plate to catch any juices that begin to bubble. Chill until cold.

Your crust is now ready for filling and either a double crust or crumb topping. Fill your cold crust with you filling and top with your choice topping.

If you chose the crumb topping, skip the next two steps. For the double crust pie, you will want to tuck the top crust between the bottom crust and your pie dish. Place some pressure on the two crusts to secure.

After your crust is tucked and secured, pinch or crimp the edges of your crust to seal completely. With a pastry or pairing knife cut a large “S” in the middle of the pie along with a few other slits around the top for steam to escape. Sprinkle generously with sugar.

 

Place pie on the lowest rack and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking 35 more minutes or until juice is bubbling out of the center vent which indicates the juice has thickened. Five minutes before it is finished baking, brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Tip for a crisp bottom crust: bake on a pie stone and always cool on a rack and not the counter.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or cheese! For printable instructions, click here. I’ve included the filling recipe for my mom’s prize-winning apple pie!

Love, Mary.