Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Merchants Recipes’

Celebrate Abe Lincoln’s Birthday by Making his Favorite Dinner!

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Good old Honest Abe Lincoln would have been 202 years old this Saturday, February 12, and there doesn’t seem to be any thing more fitting to do in celebration than make his favorite dinner- Chicken Fricassee!

What is Chicken Fricassee?

Traditionally, Chicken Fricassee was a dish that was made using a stewing hen— a hen that had been used specifically to lay eggs, and not for meat-producing purposes. Since a stewing hen would tend to be older, and thus, the meat a little tougher, the long cooking process of Chicken Fricassee was a perfect way to use the meat and still have a delicious meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken (cut into pieces, using our awesome Cutting Edge Flex Mats, thighs and legs separated)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • Half of a green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • An additional teaspoon of italian seasoning (set aside)
  • Canned chicken broth
  • 1 cup of cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  • Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry
  • Mix flour, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika and black pepper in a bag, shake chicken pieces one at a time in bag and set aside
  • Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and brown several pieces of chicken at a time on both sides-set aside
  • Add onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and the additional Italian seasoning to the oil. Sautee until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are hot all the way through
  • Return the chicken to the skillet and add chicken broth- enough to cover the pieces- cover with a snug lid
  • Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to a rapid simmer, recover.
  • Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until chicken is cooked through (not quite falling off the bone)
  • Remove chicken from pan and increase heat on mixture, stirring until the mixture has reduced by half.
  • Return Chicken to the pot, adding cream, and simmer until everything is hot, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley.

Serves 4-6

Beating the Super Bowl Bloat with a Better Breakfast!

Monday, February 7th, 2011
Healthy Breakfast Recipe

Make Breakfast with Pacific Merchants!

Did you know Americans consume more food on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year, except Thanksgiving?

If you’re one of the many who perhaps indulged a little too much during the big game, and you’re feeling a little remorseful, never fear! Pacific Merchants has a great recipe (courtesy of Weight Watchers) to share with you. The perfect size to fit in our Mason Cash one-cup ramekins,, this Breakfast Casserole is a great energy breakfast, able to pack a punch in a small serving, yet still fill you up.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 3 Tbsp. Red Onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. Zucchini, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. Red Pepper
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • Low fat shredded cheese, about 2 Tbsp.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat two Mason Cash 8 ounce ramekins with cooking spray. Cut a circle from each slice of bread and firmly press into the bottoms of both ramekins; set aside.
  • Lightly coat a medium saute pan with cooking spray; heat over medium high heat. Add onion, red pepper and zucchini to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften and onion is translucent, about three to five minutes. Promptly remove from heat; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper until well combined; stir in cooked vegetables and cheese. Pour equal amounts into each ramekin. Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted into center comes out clean (about 20 minutes). Remove promptly from oven; let sit for five to 10 minutes before serving. Yields one ramekin per serving

This is a great breakfast idea for those who are trying to get a good mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins yet still eat lightly, or who may be looking for good portion control for breakfast.

Learn About Scones With Pacific Merchants

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

January is National Hot Tea Month, and while there’s plenty to be said about tea on its own, we thought that now would be the perfect time to explore tea’s favorite sidekick: scones.

The Origin of the Scone

According to many reputable sources, scones most likely originated from Scotland. Made from the best white flour, scones began in a large round shape, as opposed to the triangular shape that many are formed in today. When it became time to serve the scone, it was sliced up in to quarters to be served to tea guests. There are three potential origins for the word “scone”: the Dutch, schoonbrot, and the German, sconbrot, both meaning “fine bread,” or the Gaelic, sgon, which means “large mouthful”.

Bake Your own Scones

Pacific Merchants’ own Mason Cash line has their own brand of scone mix! Available exclusively on our website, this scone mix is easy to use and delicious, and the perfect thing to make in our Mason Cash mixing bowls. We have three varieties available: original scone mix, currant scone mix, and cranberry orange scone mix, all of which are very popular.

Have A Spot of Tea with Price & Kensington

When your scones are finished baking, make sure you have your Price & Kensington tea set ready to go! Available in two-cup and four-cup sizes, our tea sets come securely packaged. Our two person tea set includes a 16 ounce tea pot, two 10-ounce mugs and two tea caddies, while our four person tea set includes a 40 ounce tea pot, four tea mugs and four tea caddies. For more information on our Mason Cash scone mix or our Price & Kensington line of tea accessories, head over to pacificmerchants.com

Bake Gigi’s ‘Tarte Aux Pommes de ma Maman’

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Tarte Aux Pommes de ma Maman

If you’ve ever called our offices and been greeted by a happy French accent, you’ve ‘met’ Gigi, on of our Account Executives. Originally from Paris and Dijon, France (respectively), Gigi has been with us since early 2010.

Since January is National Apple Month, Gigi has supplied us with her recipe for “Tarte Aux Pommes de ma Maman,” or “Mum’s Apple Tart.” “It’s super easy to make and it’s so delicious,” she said. “I grew up with it; my mum would bake it for me on Sundays or if I would get a good grade on my mathematics test.” We hope you enjoy this tarte as much as Gigi and her family do!

For the Dough:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup of Flour
  • ½ of cup of Butter (and 2 extra tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1 Egg

Directions:

  • Mix Flour with Butter and Sugar, until it looks like bread crumbs (we recommend using our Mason Cash Size 18 Mixing Bowl-currently on sale!)
  • Add Egg, mix with a fork
  • Mix with your hands to form a dough
  • Roll it, pierce holes all over it with a fork
  • Sprinkle another 2 tablespoon of Sugar

For the Tarte:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Golden Apples
  • 1 cup of Cream

Directions:

  • Cut and peel Apples, slice them in thin quarters
  • Lie them in a circle on the dough
  • Add cream, be careful NOT to overflow (can be less than a cup)
  • Add I small tablespoon of butter on the top of it (French people LOVE butter!)

Bake at 350, between 35 and 40 minutes (depending on your oven) until the tarte is golden brown, as seen in the above picture.

VOILA!

Make Our Broccoli Casserole this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

This Christmas, make yourself a delicious side dish that’s sure to delight your tastebuds. A family tradition, our Account Executive Jill’s aunt has been making her Broccoli Casserole for years, and has graciously shared it with us for our blog!

This recipe is just the perfect size for our 9×9 square cane baker, which is sure to look great on any Christmas dinner table.

Ingredients

  • 1 small package frozen Broccoli
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. chopped onion
  • 15 Butter Crackers
  • 2 tbsp. butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (Farenheit). Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook broccoli for two minutes and then drain. Mix all ingredients, save crackers and butter, together. Transfer mix to casserole dish.

Place crackers in a sealed plastic bag, and gently smash them, making sure not to break them up too much. Sprinkle mixture on top of casserole dish, and place small pieces of butter around the top as well. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, do not cover dish.

We hope you enjoy this Broccoli Casserole Recipe as much as Jill has over the years!

Warm Yourself with our Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Pacific Merchants' Mason Cash Large Rectangle Baker

It’s freezing cold in most places north of the equator right now, the kind of weather that makes you want to curl up under a blanket and hide until March. We can think of no better way of heating yourself up a little than with some good old fashioned comfort food!

Warm yourself up by making some fantastic baked Macaroni and Cheese in our 11.5 x 8.5 Mason Cash Cane Rectangle Baker (which holds about one and a half quarts). This casserole dish, along with the rest of our Mason Cash Cane Bakeware, is dishwasher, microwave, freezer and even oven safe (up to 400 degrees farenheit).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Elbow Macaroni or Rotini Pasta Noodles
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 3 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Bring 6-8 cups of water to a rapid boil, and add salt. We recommend using Kosher salt for this portion, and you shouldn’t add the salt until the water is at a boil so that you avoid damaging your pots. Once the salt is added, your water should somewhat resemble sea water. Add pasta and cook until tender; drain.

In a seperate pot, melt your butter and blend in flour, then mix in 2 cups whole milk. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until ingredients are blended. Add 1/2 teaspoon table salt, pepper to taste, and cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Mix sauce with your pasta, and then transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top.

Recipe adapted from cooks.com

Make Your own Pesto With Mortar and Pestle!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Here at Pacific Merchants, we’re really big on doing things the right way when it comes to cooking. Whether it be hand-kneading your own pizza dough or making your own pasta sauces out of fresh tomatoes and basil from your garden, we know hard work in the kitchen makes for the most delicious meals. With that in mind, we’re excited to share our very favorite pesto recipe with you, as long as it’s made by hand, of course.

Pacific Merchants’ Favorite Pesto

Pesto is a great ingredient to have on-hand for those instances when you don’t have much time for cooking. Since pesto can last for quite some time, we recommend always having a jar of it in your fridge ready to go; it can definitely come in handy on those nights when you’re starving but just don’t know what to make. Add pesto to any pasta or throw it on some pizza dough with fresh mozarella and tomato slices and you’ll be eating dinner in no time!

While many cooks of late have been cutting corners (so to speak) by using a food processor in order to save time while making their pesto, we highly recommend that our readers use a mortar and pestle in order to keep the mixture from becoming discolored or over worked. Simply put, pesto should be somewhat coarse, rather than pulvarized into a liquid; by using a mortar and pestle, cooks will be able to have better control over the consistency.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 heaping cup of fresh basil leaves (about 9 ounces)
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Toast pine nuts in clean, dry pan, and allow to cool. Lightly crush along with a pinch of salt using your Mason Cash Mortar & Pestle. Working quickly, add and crush the basil leaves a few at a time until you have a semi-thick paste. Add parmesan and oil, while keeping a little oil to the side. Transfer mixture to a jar, covering the top with the remaining oil. Refrigerate until use.

Christmas is Coming… and Guess Who’s Getting Fat?

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The Royal Christmas Pudding Basin by Mason Cash

The British Royal Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding is a big deal in Great Britain, even for the British Royal Household. For the past several years, Queen Elizabeth II has gifted hundreds of her loyal subjects, family and friends with Christmas Puddings prepared and presented in none other than Mason Cash pudding basins! We are proud to offer a brief and fascinating history of Christmas Pudding in the English tradition, and a tremendously long and deliciously overwrought recipe for same.

Happy Holidays!

Family recipes for Christmas Pudding are often closely guarded secrets, handed down from generation to generation. Many are based on the Royal family’s Sandringham recipe – rich with dried fruit and spices, some include nuts, grated apple or carrot – harking back to years when sugar was scarce.

The first Sunday in December is ‘Stir-up’ Sunday, the day when the best puddings are begun. It’s already time to roll up your sleeves and think about making the Christmas pudding. Some cooks go so far as to prepare it six months to a year in advance. In the old days, it was traditional for everyone in the house to come into the kitchen and give the batter a stir while making a wish. The puddings are cooked, cooled and tucked away in a dry place to wait for their final steaming on Christmas Day when they will be turned out onto a handsome dish, decorated with a sprig of holly and wreathed in blue flames from a generous dousing of warmed spirit.

It seems as if all of Fortnum and Mason’s stock goes into the recipe: currants, raisins, sultanas, almonds, candied fruit, ginger…. There may also be cherries and citron, or one of the two, or neither, depending on the recipe. Some chefs add to the mixture a diced russet apple and a grated carrot.

Tradition dictates that six objects be found in the pudding: two rings to bring love, a sixpence as a sign of prosperity, a trouser button for the bachelor, a thimble for the spinster, and a little pig who will determine the glutton at the table. The tradition of hiding silver coins in the pudding is a link to earlier days in English and Scottish courts when the leader of the Christmas revels was chosen on Twelfth Night by finding a bean hidden in the pudding

At the end of Christmas Day, after having listened to the Queen’s Christmas Message, the plum pudding is brought out to be enjoyed for tea on the stroke of five, as one raises a drop of port to toast the Queen!

The presentation is a festive affair. Dickens describes the arrival of the Christmas pudding in “A Christmas Carol”:

“Mrs. Cratchit entered, her face crimson, but smiling proudly, with the pudding resembling a cannon ball, all speckled, very firm, sprinkled with brandy in flames, and decorated with a sprig of holly stuck in the centre. Oh! The marvelous pudding!”

All guests receive a slice with a little dancing flame so that they can make a wish before it goes out.

Countrywide, brandy butter is served with the pudding alongside cream or custard, it’s a tradition that originated in Cumbria – where the best brandy butter is still made today, a delicious blend of butter, sugar and spirit with a hint of spice.

Ingredients

– 250 g (9 oz.) sultanas
– 250 g (9 oz.) seedless raisins
– 250 g (9 oz.) currants
– 10 g (2 tsp.) candied lemon zest
– 10 g (2 tsp.) candied grapefruit zest
– 20 g (4 tsp.) candied orange zest
– 20 g (4 tsp.) candied citron
– 125 g (4 oz.) candied cherries
– 60 g (2 oz.) blanched almonds
– 60 g (2 oz.) chopped almonds
– 500 g (18 oz.) chopped suet
– 250 g (8 oz.) rye bread crumbs
– 125 g (4 oz.) brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp. powdered cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp. ginger
– A pinch of salt
– 4 tbsp. brandy
– 250 ml (1 cup) milk
– 30 g (2 tbsp.) butter
– 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
– 125 g (4 oz.) flour
– 2 tbsp. baking powder

Brandy butter

– 250 g (9 oz.) unsalted butter
– 250 g (9 oz.) icing sugar
– 50 ml (2 oz.) brandy
– Grated zest of 1 orange (optional)

Method

Quick method (only 7 hours!)
1. Chop the raisins, currants, cherries, candied fruit and peel;
2. Place all the dry ingredients into a large non-reactive bowl and combine; add the other ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended;
3. Line a Mason Cash pudding basin with a large piece of cloth that has been buttered and floured on each side; pour the mixture into the basin and enclose by folding in the four corners of the cloth; top with a piece of buttered parchment; cover;
4. Place the pudding in the oven in a pan half-filled with water or in a steamer on the stove top; cook for 6 hours at a bare simmer, checking the water level from time to time;
5. Remove the pudding from the pan and let cool;
6. Cover with a fresh cloth and parchment; replace the cover or wrap in aluminum foil and let ripen in a cool spot (not refrigerated) for at least one month. It will be even better if it ages longer!
7. On Christmas Day, return the pudding to the oven or steamer (as described in step 4) for 3 to 4 hours; unmould;
8. Flambé with brandy or cognac and serve hot with brandy butter.

Longer method… 216 hours! (7 days macerating time)

1. Chop the raisins, currants, cherries, candied fruit and peel; pour 1 litre (4 c.) of rum over top and let sit for 48 hours; drain, reserving the rum;
2. Combine all the ingredients except the eggs; add 200 ml (generous 3/4 cup) of the reserved macerating rum and the juice of an orange and a lemon; cover the bowl with a cloth moistened with rum and let sit 7 days. Stir the batter once a day, adding a little rum if necessary to keep the batter soft;
3. If the batter becomes too stiff, thin it with a small glass of old ale; if the batter is too thin, add a little flour and mix gently; continue with the recipe (above). As adapted from worldwidegourmet.com

A Little of This, A Little of That…

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

I’ve had a few requests for the recipe for my homemade vinaigrette dressing, so I’ve included it below, along with the recipe for my favorite salad. Enjoy!

Bruce’s Famous House Salad

Salad:

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch chives, diced into 1/8 “ pieces
  • 1 plump, moderately firm heirloom tomato, sliced or diced to suit your style
  • 4-5 hearts of palm, diced into ¼” pieces

Remove tough and discolored leaves from exterior of romaine head, and cut into bite sized pieces*, rinse, pat dry, and toss into your gorgeous wooden salad bowl from Pacific Merchants. Add chives, tomato and hearts of palm in reckless abandon. Toss with vinaigrette just prior to serving in your gorgeous wooden salad bowl from Pacific Merchants. Am I repeating myself? ; )

Vinaigrette:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Unsweetened rice wine vinegar
  • The best virgin olive oil you can manage
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed garlic
  • Fresh garden herbs

To be perfectly honest, I don’t have measurements for this dressing. It’s “a little of this, a little of that” which means the ingredients above serve as a guide for your own, unique vinaigrette. In the interest of good health and lower calories, I do tend to use much more vinegar than oil, flipping the traditional 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 oil the other way round. But that’s all I’m going to say. Enjoy!!!

*Romaine is the only lettuce I know of that can be cut with a knife, rather than torn. This according to my 8th grade home economics teacher. Something to do with the edges of the leaves being resistant to browning. I’ve never checked with an outside source to verify Miss Silver’s claim, but she did have a sterling reputation.


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