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April 14, 2020

April Recipe of the month: Springtime cooking!

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We love spring and early summer! Try this delicious asparagus recipe as a wonderful side for any of your meals this season.

Asparagus & Prosciutto

serves 6  

Ingredients

  • 36 asparagus spears (about 2 bundles), trimmed
  • 1/2 lb puff pastry (available in frozen sheets at your local grocer, but check out our instructions on how to make your own here.
  • 6 (or 12 if like most of our chefs, you prefer a little extra pork!) slices of prosciutto - for our friends here in Utah, may we suggest Creminelli Fine Meats
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cream
 
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease baking sheet, line with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Divide puff pastry dough into 2 even pieces. Roll each piece into  a rectangle approximately 15" long  x 4" wide x 1/8" thick. Cut each rectangle into 3 even pieces.
  3. Toss asparagus in olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To assemble, place 1-2 slices of prosciutto over each piece of pastry. Top with 6 spears of asparagus. Roll each piece tightly with the pastry facing out. Evenly space the bundles on your prepared sheet pan.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk egg, cream, and a dash of salt until smooth and creamy. Using a brush, apply the egg wash to the surface of the pastry dough.
  6. Bake for 12-16 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown.
  7. While bundles are baking, mix together yogurt, mint, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve warm with dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy!

March 31, 2020

That whole wheat from your food storage makes the best pancakes!

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This recipe will work with any flour. But it's better with whole wheat flour. And it's best with freshly ground (immediately prior to mixing) whole wheat flour. As with all food, the ingredients matter most! The proteins and starches in wheat make both yeast and quick leavened bread structurally and chemically possible. And the proteins and starches in flour are relatively stable - even old flour can bake up a crusty and chewy sourdough or a light and fluffy pancake. However, it's the oils from the wheat that carry the most and best aromas and flavors - the fresh green earthy smell that fills your kitchen as you grind flour, and the lightly sweet nutty notes that make the best artisan bread shine. When still whole grains, the oils are tucked away in the heart of the berry (the germ), completely protected from the air that would make them degrade. This is why whole wheat lasts so long. Once ground though, the oils begin to oxidize. Very soon they lose the height of their appeal. Eventually, they fade towards boring. And ultimately they become quite unpleasant and bitter. Storing your flour in the right conditions (airtight, cold, and dark) can help the flavor last as long as possible. But really, the only way to enjoy the wonderful flavors of grains at their best is to grind it fresh and use it immediately. We grind flour about once a week at our house (not as hard as it sounds and once you get in the habit you'll wonder why you ever did anything else). And whenever possible flour day = pancake day.  

Whole Wheat Pancakes

 

Ingredients

 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (fresh ground preferred)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat griddle to medium-high heat. While the griddle is heating, in a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Add wet mix to the dry and fold gently just until combined, taking care not to over mix. Grease the griddle with butter. Scoop approximately 1/4 cup (more or less as desired for size) per pancake onto hot, greased griddle. Cook until edges and underside are browned and the top is lightly bubbling - usually ~2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown on the flip side ~1-2 minutes. Serve immediately. Pro-tip from Ryan: Once you've gone to the trouble of grinding your own flour for these pancakes, take the same care with your toppings. Opt for a European butter (never margarine) and pure maple syrup (skip the maple-flavored pancake syrup). Or consider making a batch of homemade buttermilk syrup and keeping it in your fridge for pancake day!

Buttermilk Syrup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions

In a large saucepan melt the butter on low to medium heat. Add buttermilk and sugar, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Cook for ~3 minutes until sugar completely dissolves. Remove From heat and add baking soda. Stir gently until foaming stops and syrup begins to settle again. Whisk in the vanilla. Can keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. Serve warm. Enjoy!  

March 24, 2020

March Recipe of the month: Spice up your quarantine meals with this Chimichurri

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Social distancing sucks. But we're enjoying more time at home during this crazy time. And we're still gathering for meals around our family tables. To minimize shopping needs, we're cooking a lot from dry storage, cold storage, and the meat locker.  One of our favorite ways to keep things fresh is a little chimichurri. It's simple, easy, and a perfect way to jazz up a grilled steak!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup parsley leaves removed from stems- about 1 bunch
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sherry wine vinegar- red wine vinegar also works well
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse together until evenly combined but still slightly chunky. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
Enjoy!  

March 19, 2020

Chef Prepared Meals to-go

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March 17, 2020

Guest Writer Kasey Plourde gives tips on catering for your big day.

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With engagement season upon us, we reached out to the best event and wedding planners in Utah to see what tips they had to make the catering at your big day the best it can be!

 

Kasey Plourde from Harvest Moon Events

Kasey Plourde, owner and event designer, started Harvest Moon Events in 2012. With a degree in Communication and background planning VIP events in Las Vegas, she has over 15 years of experience designing world-class celebrations. She is proud to have a fantastic team of event specialists who are passionate about producing one-of-a-kind, memorable occasions. Her event philosophy: these are not our events, they're yours--but we take equal ownership in their success; we are grateful to put our stamp on them with our style and expertise while having fun planning with you along the way.  

Don't be afraid of a theme.

Themes are not just for birthdays or other types of events! Have fun with it. The theme can be as simple as "Utah"--showcasing local Utah ingredients. When you're working with a fabulous caterer such as Culinary Crafts, give them a little direction to let them know your style and desires, and they will put together a show-stopping menu for you. That goes for all vendors--I like to let the professionals run with their own creativity as much as possible; when you let them do their jobs (with some general direction on likes, dislikes, and style preferences), I believe they do their best work and can really shine for you.  

Do what you love.

This day is about the two of you. Showcase foods that you two love or that are meaningful to you. You can always customize the menu with vegan/gluten-free options to accommodate dietary restrictions. But ultimately pick menu items that you two love.

Always SAY YES to a tasting.

This is the most fun part of the planning process, isn't it?! That and cake tasting. If you don't live locally, try to schedule one planning visit before the wedding to meet with all the pertinent vendors--your planner, catch the band in a live performance, walk through at your venue, see a table mock set up, do your hair and makeup trial, taste your cake and specialty cocktails, and your menu items.  

Think about something fun to do for your escort cards and table details.

These are a great way to be creative and showcase special details that are meaningful to you and your partner. We once had a bride handwrite 120 individual notes to each of her guests, which we placed atop each place setting. You can pair your escort cards with a favor as well--we had a bride supply copper mugs for each guest to use throughout the night (the bride and groom loved Moscow mules), so we tied the escort cards onto the mugs, which were displayed beautifully on a pallet wall at the entrance to the dining room.  

If you don't have a huge budget, pick one area on the menu to really be the WOW-factor.

Or scale back on rentals, going more basic, but allowing other areas to stand out. Thanks for following this 9-week series.
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20x winner Utah’s Best of State

16x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year