Archive for the ‘SP’ Category
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
The time has come for you to join Slow Food Chicago, Slow Food WiSE and Scrumptious Pantry in the Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration this year, and if you’re wondering how you can participate then you came to the right place. Join our Beaver Dam Pepper Championship! Who will grow the largest Beaver Dam Pepper this year and become the Beaver Dam Pepper Champion 2013?
Participating is easy - First you need to obtain a Beaver Dam Pepper seedling! If you are in Chicago take advantage of the Peterson Garden Project's plant sale May 10th – 12th. In Milwaukee, you will find Beaver Dam Pepper seedlings at Webers Garden Center, 4215 North Green Bay Avenue or at the Village Green Street Fair in Wauwatosa on June 1 at the booth of Slow Food WiSE.
Seedlings will give you a kick start, but if you don't have a chance to get your hands on one, planting a seed should hopefully still work - though you will get less peppers and get them later (order seeds at Seed Savers Exchange
Then, find the perfect place to plant your Beaver Dam Pepper. You will need a 1 ft. square plot in your garden. Even a large planter on your sunny front porch would work. The pepper takes about 80 days to come to fruit and may require trellises, as the peppers can grow up to 9 inches long!
And finally, the last step to participate in the Beaver Dam Pepper Championship is to watch your pepper grow and report its progress by posting photo updates of your growing peppers on our Facebook page or on twitter using the hashtags #BeaverDamPepper #pepperazzi. We also hope you will be sharing recipes you come up with. And if you have questions and need growing tips, our farmer team will give answers on Facebook and twitter, too.
The Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration will culminate in a weeklong extravaganza from September 16-22nd: we'll have awesome Chefs in Milwaukee and Chicago preparing special dishes with the Beaver Dam Pepper for our Tour de Menu, pop up at Farmers Markets with our roadshow - and we're organizing a huge & fun Beaver Dam Pepper Community Potluck in Chicago. The winner of the Beaver Dam Pepper Growing Competition will be announced at the potluck on September 22 - up for grabs is a Scrumptious Pantry gift basket valued at $100.
Will you be the 2013 Beaver Dam Pepper Champion?
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Spring is finally here and with that comes Beaver Dam Pepper growing season! What a better way to kick off this year’s Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration than to head over to Chavez Elementary School on Earth Day to build a learning garden to teach these kids the importance of sustainability and biodiversity.
We were excited to build plots together with the teams from Kitchen Community and Hyatt. Soon, seeds will sprout and a colorful selection of vegetables will celebrate local food – among them our Beaver Dam Pepper! Kids all over the city from different schools will also be joining us in growing the Beaver Dam Pepper. Growing of this heirloom variety will help kids understand the rich history heirlooms have and why it is important to preserve this nearly extinct pepper.
With the Beaver Dam Celebration just around the corner we invite our local community to get involved in growing the pepper in their own organic gardens to celebrate biodiversity. Do you have your Beaver Dam Pepper seeds yet?
This year we are adding a growing competition to the Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration. Who will grow the biggest Beaver Dam Pepper ? It might be you who is up for the title of Pepper King or Queen! You will be able to track everyone’s progress and share photos of your plant through our Facebook page.
We look forward to having a Beaver Dam Pepper growing competition with the Learning Garden/Kitchen Community schools, the Peterson Garden Project's five Chicago area community garden, Slow Food's Preserve Garden - and you! - to see who can grow the biggest Beaver Dam Pepper! After all, its size (it grows up to 12 inches long), is what is threatening the pepper's survival. Contact us if you need help finding Beaver Dam Pepper seeds or seedlings.
Note - You do not have to be in Chicago to participate and celebrate this awesome heirloom pepper!
Friday, December 7th, 2012
And they are off.... the first December shipments of our Heirloom Club are on their way to our subscribers! What's our heirloom club you ask? It’s a subscription of our delicious heirloom foods, one item shipped to your door every month filled. You will also receive recipes on how to cook with it and the story behind each one. Subscriptions are available for 3 months or 6 months. Our heirloom club is the perfect gift that keeps on giving though out the year, not just December.
How do we choose what to send? Well it depends on what month it is! During the spring and summer, we would send pickles, salts, ketchups, etc. For fall and winter you might receive our pastas, spreads etc. It is never gonna get boring!
And the product of the month is…. Our Balsamic Dressing Sauce!
Here are some tasty ideas for hor d’oeurves with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce that will be great holiday party pleasers -
Brie and Balsamic: Place a slice of your favorite brie on a mini toast and drizzle with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce. Simple and easy!
Side Salad: Mix together your favorite mixed greens along with candied walnuts, blue cheese, dried cranberries, and drizzle with Balsamic Dressing Sauce.
Skewers: Marinate your favorite cut of steak, chicken, or pork with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce. Cook however you desire and serve. Present it by cutting in thin slices and layer nicely.
Marinated Veggie Panini: Cut veggies into long strips and marinate for 3 hours with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce. Bake, broil, or grill the veggies till done. Put veggies on focaccia bread and drizzle with the Scrumptious Pantry Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place in a hot griddle pan or panini press. Cut and serve
In addition to being a gift that guarantees many tasty moments, your support as a club member has big impact on our farms, too. We can commit to buying larger amounts of produce, if we know that we have your support. So we can work more closely with our farms to custom grow better ingredients.
Month 1: Extra Virgin Olive Oil blend
Month 2: Farro Pasta & Durum Wheat Pasta
Month 3: Heirloom Pickles Beaver Dam Peppers
You can become an Heirloom Club Member by subscribing to one installment (3 months, $69) or two installments (6 months, $129).
Monday, September 3rd, 2012
This September, it has been 100 years that Joe Hussli brought the pepper seeds with him, when he came over to the new world from Hungary. He settled in Beaver Dam , Wisconsin, and started cultivating the pepper that must have meant so much to him. If you were to pack two bags only and move to the other part of the world - what would you pack!?
Joe passed the seeds to neighbors and friends and the pepper became known as the Beaver Dam Pepper. Unfortunately today, when you meet someone from Beaver Dam, chances are they have never heard about it, because most farmers abandoned the pepper's cultivation as hybrid varieties became widely available. The new peppers did not require trellises and were much easier to grow, so over time, the Beaver Dam Pepper was forgotten.
To change that, we started pickling the Beaver Dam Pepper last year and we have been very happy about the great success our pepper has had. It's just too tasty not to fall in love with the warm, flavorful heat.
For September, we have teamed up with Slow Food to organize the "Beaver Dam Pepper Centennial Celebration" in Chicago and Milwaukee. For two weekends (Sept 21-23 in Chicago, Sept 28-30 in Milwaukee), some of the cities' best local restaurants will be creating special menu items to showcase the Beaver Dam Pepper to share the story of the pepper. We also have scheduled a number of tastings in retail stores where we will pass out samples, recipes, and seed packets, and in Chicago will be popping up at select Farmer’s Markets, to boot.
Be part of the Beaver Dam Pepper Centennial Celebration - and eat it to save it!
EVENT CALENDAR MILWAUKEE
Beaver Dam Pepper Tour de Menu September 28-30
Braise (closed Sundays) with Tea and Crumpets featuring a Beaver Dam Pepper Jam, Tea Smoked Chicken with an Herbed Crumpet
Glorioso's Italian Market (1011 E. Brady St.) -- with Gamberi e linguini con banane pepe in salamoia (tiger shrimp, beaver dam pickled peppers, oil cured black olives, leeks, goat cheese and olive oil)
G. Groppi Food Market (1441 E. Russell Ave.) -- with Beaver Dam Pepper Pizza with ricotta, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, red onions and pickled Beaver Dam Peppers
Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub (222 Erie St., closed Sundays)
The Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.) -- with Beaver Dam Pepper Hash
Demos and in-store tastings
Friday, Sept 28
Groppi's Food Market, 5pm -7pm
Saturday, Sept 29
Glorioso's 11am - 3pm
Sendik's on Oakland, 4pm -6pm
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Well, I bet you have realized by now that we are into putting up great tasting food. And we love to find ways to cook with it. Our Heirloom Tomato Catsups, our Heirloom Pickles - you can enjoy them straight up on/ with a sandwich, but why not whisk the Smoky Catsup in a vinaigrette for a chicken salad or use the Heirloom Pickles Red Beets in a goat cheese spread?
So, of course we love Chef Paul Virant's Cookbook "Preservation Kitchen", which not only has great ideas for pickling and canning, but also very tasty recipes using those same canned goods. When we came across his gazpacho recipe, we tried it with our Heirloom Pickled Beaver Dam Pepper and it was amazing!
The following recipe is inspired by Chef Virant's original recipe, but we tweaked it a bit to use the bounty of fresh, succulent tomatoes can be found at the farmer's markets right now.
4 cups crushed tomato (peel & core fresh tomatoes and pass trough blender, alternatively use 4 cups canned tomato puree)
1 cup roasted sweet pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Heirloom Pickles Beaver Dam Pepper, chopped
5 tbsp Heirloom Pickles Beaver Dam Pepper brine
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
1/2 sweet onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
Method: (1) Mix all ingredients in a bowl, season to taste (2) chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
At the Scrumptious Pantry we believe in heirloom food values. We believe in the family farmer and bringing our customers great-tasting food. Food that inspires you in the kitchen and invites you to have a delicious meal with friends. We believe in passing recipes and skills down through generations, through family and friends. And that’s exactly why we’re introducing Heirloom 2.0, a new type of class series. The goal of Heirloom 2.0 is to help teach those heirloom skills to people who may not have gotten the chance to learn them from grandma, so you can proudly announce to the world: “Yes, I heirloom!”
Our monthly classes center around traditional food concepts. After the success of our urban foraging, seed saving and canning intros, we are excited to have some great co-hosts again, sharing their unmatched expertise.
CANNING FOR NEWBIES IS BACK JULY 11 JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER
Our bestselling Heirloom 2.0 class! It will be taught by Lee, the owner of The Scrumptious Pantry, and will discuss what to look for in produce, the basic steps in the canning/pickling process, how to ensure food safety, plus some of Lee's favorite heirloom recipes.
This intro is not a hands-on canning class, but a lecture with a step-by-step demonstration.
We will be touching on all the basics of canning, but we will be focusing a little more about pickling and demo that process, because the acidified foods are the more difficult ones - and the ones that post the highest risk if you do not do it right.
- choosing equipment (jars, hot water bath vs. pressure canner)
- to processes of jams, sauces, pickles
- how to choose your produce
- nutritional benefits of canned product - and what do you do with it once you have it stored in your pantry
- ingredient choices (which vinegars when your pickling for example - there will be snack and recipes, too!)
- good resources (books, online)
Cost is 25$, light snacks and handout included. Location The Scrumptious Pantry, 3230 W. Fullerton Ave., in the heart of Logan Square.
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Time: 6.30pm -8.30opm
You can sign up for all those classes right here on dabble! We are looking forward to seeing you!
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
I believe in canning, putting up the glory of summer for winter. I always loved the fresh tasting flavors of the quick refrigerator, but could not get around liking the store bought ones. Even the fancy brands seemed to be tasting too much like vinegar, salt and spices. To my palate that is. Hence I got my mind set on a line of pickles very soon - especially as here at The Scrumptious Pantry it is all about making foods that are connected with the culinary heritage of a region. If not pickles made in the Midwest, then where? All those immigrants from Germany, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe - pickling was their preferred choice of preserving the summer bounty.
And that is the keyword PRESERVE. We wanted to make pickles that preserve the flavor of the ingredients, accentuate the character of the veggies - not alter it to a point that if you took out the texture component and taste a pickle blindfolded you would be unable to identify the veggie.
Today, we are launching our first two products in the new line of pickles. It has been in the works for two years now. Our obsession with authenticity led us to put up jars and jars of pickles, trying every pickle recipe we could find in historic recipe books. Just for the fun of it, I just counted the open jars in my fridge that represent the various stages of testing (and which I am eating no matter how they taste cause I cannot throw food away. A salty dill pickle for example is great in an omelette w. potatoes) - 38 jars. I still have 38 open jars in my fridge, and 47 jars that have already been cleaned and stored away for the next round of testing. That equals 85 different test batches on four products. Now, surely that is not a lot of R&D for big food companies. It is a lot for us.
Besides canning batch after batch in the test kitchen, this project led us to browse seed catalogues and speak with agricultural historians, in our quest to identify vegetables that have a history in the Midwest. With all the Polish & German immigration patterns beets made it onto our list pretty early in the process. The Giardiniera was decided on without much discussion, too, because this vegetable medley is the signature "vegetable preserve" of Chicago. The Lemon Cucumber we fell in love with at local Farmer's Markets. And then the Beaver Dam Pepper jumped out at us, when we were researching the Slow Food Arch of Taste – a listing of culturally significant varietals at the brink of extinction. The Beaver Dam Pepper was introduced to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, around 1913 by an Hungarian immigrant. It has a mildly spicy flavor and is just delicious. But it is very difficult to grow – the peppers can get enormous, requiring to put up trellises. So although it was a great tasting pepper, it was abandoned in favor of the easier to grow varieties
John of Stone Circle Farm with a small (!) Beaver Dam Pepper
Luckily by word of mouth we found a farm in Reeseville – Stone Circle Farm – that had been growing some experimental Beaver Dam Pepper plants last year. And how excited we were to hear that John would be willing to give the Beaver Dam Pepper a try on a larger scale. He brought on another Farm close to Beaver Dam – Good Earth Farm- and we were ready to go. We had some setbacks and we had some great successes. Some beautiful peppers and some pretty ugly ones, scarred up with sunburn. The spice profile for brine we developed for the Beaver Dam Pepper was reminiscent of the flavors of Hungary, and we are pretty excited about what we think is a greatly balanced flavor, supporting the characteristic taste of the Beaver Dam Pepper.
Today, we are launching the Beaver Dam Pepper and the Lemon Cucumber. Giardiniera and beets should follow before Thanksgiving. We want to thank our Farmers - John, Nicole, Rink, Jenny, Alison, Alex, Andy and Dirk - for trusting us with their beautiful veggies. A special thank you also to all our taste testers, that might not have tasted through all 85 batches, but still ate a considerable amount of pickled veggies. I personally want to thank Andy Fair, my partner in the kitchen, for not giving up on me and my quest for the perfect preserved pickle.
All our pickles make great additions to a Cheese plate or as an antipasto, but my favorite match so far are slow cooked beans with pulled pork over rice and a Beaver Dam Pepper on the side. How do you like to eat our pickles? Have a taste and let us know! They are available in our online store and moving to your trusted retailers in these days, too.
Thursday, August 4th, 2011
It has been quite hot lately - I guess that is fair to say. And with heat, I tend to eat less (but you should see me eating in the cold Midwestern winters!) Especially a lot of warm food is not really up my alley when the thermometer scratches the 95 Farenheit mark. So you can imagine how delighted I was when Stephanie told me about a recipe for a chicken salad she had made using the Cranberry Catsup in the vinaigrette.
I loved the idea of it and so set out to recreate her dish with a bunch of fresh veggies, juicy grilled amish chicken and as a special touch some smoked cheddar cheese. It is the perfect mix of protein and veggies, very light and thanks to the Cranberry Catsup it has a nice tang to it.
The ideas for recipes we are getting from you guys are really amazing! It truly makes me happy to see that our products inspire you to play with new taste combinations in the kitchen. So - if you have an idea as how to use our products, please let us know via email or facebook and you could win a goodie bag if you win the popular vote by the end of the month.
Ingredients (four happy bellies)
2 cooked chicken breast (ca. 10 oz), medium dice
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, grated
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
4 oz smoked Cheddar Cheese in small cubes (optional)
for the Vinaigrette
4 Tbsp Darro's 100% Mission Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Ruth's Cranberry Catsup
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
(1) Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. (2) Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients (you can also use a small blender). (3) Toss with salad and season to taste.
Friday, July 1st, 2011
I realize this picture has a somewhat christmassy feel to it, but given that we had hail the size of golfballs yesterday night and that it has been so dark this morning that I have all lights turned on in my apartment, it sure is fitting! After working the Farmer's Market till 8.30pm yesterday I did not really feel like eating a full dinner, so I just munched on some fresh greens from my garden. So of course that made me wake up pretty hungry this morning. Hungry + no sun outside = comfort breakfast. I whipped up some German pancakes (not the ones you find at the International House of Pancakes. I do not know what those are. Pancake balloons do not exist in Germany!) with Barbara's Tomato Jam w. Grappa. It is super easy, very tasty and actually makes a nice dessert for a dinner party, too. You might want to add some ice cream in a dessert situation!
Compared to American pancakes, German pancakes are closer to an omelette with flour. They are much more moist and fluff up just like an omelette would. Do not wait for bubbles to appear - there are none! We often eat pancakes for dinner, too - both sweet and savory. Classics include cherries, sliced apples (served sprinkled with sugar & cinnamon) or bacon, cheese, salami - you can even put kale or spinach... you add the toppings on the pancake after you put the mixture in the pan and have to wait for it to settle well before you flip it. Make sure your pan is not too hot!
The following recipe yields either 10 small pancakes 3 inches in diameter (if you serve them as dessert) or can be a big dinner size one. If you choose a big dinner size one, pls. exclude the shredded coconut and adjust the cooking time!
1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1/3 cup of water
pinch of salt
5 tsp Barbara's Tomato Jam w. Grappa
powdered sugar to finish
(1) Using a fork, beat egg with water. (2) Gradually sift the flour into the mix. (3) Let stand 15 minutes for the mixture to thicken. (4) Add shredded coconut and pinch of salt. (5) Adjust with water/flour if seems to thick or liquid - you can always do a test run if you are not sure. (6) Add butter in warm pan (if you insist you can use some non stick spray, but butter really tastes much better and a dab of butter in your pancake will not kill you. On the other hand, I am not quite sure if that spray thing can be considered real food) and melt. (7) Once pan is lined, drop a tablespoon of the mixture in the pan and let cook for about 90 seconds. Flip over and cook the other side. A standard frying pan will allow you to cook four pancakes at once. (8) Spread 1/2 tsp of Barbara's Tomato Jam on each pancake and serve hot. Although they are also really good cold.
Friday, May 27th, 2011
The memories of visiting my grandparents in White Hall, IL, some 30 years ago from Germany include memories of going to the local supermarket and shop. There was a Kroger's not far from their house and to me it was a wonderland. All these foods we could not get back home. Peanut butter! Marshmallows! American Cheese!
I am always impressed when I see how greatly US artisan cheese making has developed over the last years. Being so close to Wisconsin, I have the great luck to indulge in some truly great cheeses which are widely available here in Chicago.
Now last week I came across an artisan cheese from Georgia - the Thomasville Tomme from Sweet Grass Dairy. It is a raw cow's milk cheese that is aged for a minimum of 60 days. Jeremy and Jessica exclusively use milk from Green Hills Farms' Jersey Cows, which are kept on pasture all year long. This cheese has great flavor, great texture - and is a superb ingredient for a mean Mac'n'Cheese. Which in turn is the perfect side with oven roasted asparagus.
So here you go, enjoy!
(ps. do not cut off the rind of the cheese - it is edible!!)
Ingredients (makes two tummies happy)
2 cups Carlo's Durum Wheat Semolato Conchiglie
3 tbsp Darro's EVOO
1 small chilli pepper
1 small onion (diced) – ½ cup
½ tsp Roberta's All-purpose Herbed Salt (or alternatively you own blend of salt, rosemary, lemon zest and sage)
1 ½ cups finely diced cheese (if you cannot get your hands on Thomasville Tomme, you can use Taleggio or Fontina)
1 lb. asparagus, cleaned
Method: (1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (2) Bring salted water to a boil and add Carlos's Conchiglie, cook until not quite yet al dente (ca. 7 minutes). (3) In the meantime, sautee whole garlic - slightly crushed - and chilli peppers in 2 tbsp of Darro's EVOO, add onions and sautee till translucent. (4) Take out garlic, add a ladle of pasta water and over low heat mix in 1 cup cheese and let melt. (5) Drain Pasta and add to the cheese. (6) Mix well, season w. Roberta's herbed salt and pepper. (7) Pour in baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and ½ cup breadcrumbs. (8) Arrange cleaned asparagus on a baking sheet, season with a pinch of salt and a little black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and a little lemon juice (9) Roast/bake asparagus & mac'n'cheese in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and starting to brown and asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.