A “key” that will age your wine, great hostess gift!

All of our friends love the Peugeot clef du vin wine key!   After an initial bit of skepticism, a quick taste test convinced everyone.   The wine key  “ages” a glass of wine by one year for every second you leave the key in the wine.   For $79.95, that’s a great deal.

We tried the Clef du Vin was with a mid-priced, two year-old Italian red that we should have waited another three to five years to drink.  Amazing.   In 5 seconds the wine was great.  No need to use it in cooking.

We even used it on cheap wines, including a box wine.  The box wine tasted a bit better, but the Clef du Vin could not improve it by much.  Alas, it’s not a magic wand!    We even bring the Clef du Vin to restaurants, so we can buy a slightly younger wine (at a better price) and age it over dinner!  As it’s the size of a keychain, carrying it is never an issue.

This wonderful wine key is great for a hostess gift for New Years parties!  Only $79.95.

Victorinox Cutlery Review & Guide

I am an avid reader of cooking magazines.  I love the photos, enjoy reading the recipes (even if I’ll never make them) and of course, really appreciate the product reviews.  My fav is Cooks Illustrated because of their  somewhat “scientific” and logical approach to making the best possible recipe as well as thoroughly testing products.   But, I can be skeptical, especially when it comes to knives.   We all have our favorites, so trying a new knife isn’t at the top of my list.  However, I keep reading about Victorinox Forschner or Victorinox Fibrox knives, so I decided it was time to try one.

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Fresh summer vegetables = good eating!

zucchini boysMy favorite part of long summer days & fun times spent with family and friends is feeding them all delicious summer vegetables that I’ve grown in my own garden. Every year we grow tomatoes (mostly heirloom, beefsteak & plum), peppers (from jalapenos to bell peppers), cucumbers for salads & smaller cucumbers for pickling, blueberries, zucchini (some of the fastest growing & largest I’ve ever seen this year) and other random veggies that we want to “try out”…this year we “tried” to grow carrots…not so successful!

After being at the beach for a week, we arrived home to an almost overgrown garden thanks to the pretty much daily rain we’ve been receiving in Georgia this summer. After seeing our crop, I immediately starting perusing the internet to find something yummy & delicious I could do with my wonderful veggies.

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Introducing Amoretti Brothers Copper Cookware

Amoretti Brothers CookwareMetroKitchen is thrilled to be the first company partnering with the Amoretti Brothers to bring you beautiful and extremely functional copper cookware. Here’s a little history on how Amoretti Brothers cookware developed.

When the Amoretti family launched their first collection of vases and chargers in 2006, they had been living in Mexico for only four years. A year later, the four brothers and their mom, Anna, introduced a hand-painted ceramic collection in New York at the Gift Show. Copper cookware and glassware collections followed. The pieces blend Italian tradition with the best Mexican craftsmanship. “They’re elegant and with personality but, at the same time, very natural,” says Andrea Amoretti, the eldest brother.

The hammered copper cookware has family connections too. “My mom is from Southern Italy, and copper cookware is very common there,” he says. “I love the idea that you can cook a meal in our copper pots and then place that same beautiful pot on the table for everyone to share.”

The cookware is hammered by copper masters to reach the desired shape; handcrafted bronze handles and an inside tin layer makes each piece feel like a work of art.

Hammered copper cookware is the best of the best for cooking: ever since it first appeared in sumptuous Renaissance courts, it has always been the ‘queen of pans’, perceived in the collective imagination of western civilization as an exclusive object, an instrument packed with historical significance.

MetroKitchen is proud to be the exclusive online retailer for Amoretti Brothers cookware.

MetroKitchen Cooking Terms Glossary #5 – S for Sizzle!

MetroKitchen Cooking Terms Glossary #5 – S for sizzle!

Sauce – generally, a thickened liquid used to add flavor to other foods.

Sautéing – a dry heat cooking method that uses conduction to transfer heat from a hot pan to food with the aid of a small amount of hot fat. Cooking is usually done quickly over high temperatures.

Scald – to heat a liquid, usually milk, to just below the boiling point.

Sear – to brown food quickly over high heat; usually done as a preparatory step for combination cooking methods.

Shallow Poaching – a moist heat cooking method that combines poaching and steaming; the food (usually fish) is placed on a vegetable bed and partially covered with a liquid (caisson) and simmered.

Simmering – 1) a moist heat cooking method that uses convection to transfer heat from a hot (approximately 185° to 205° F) liquid to food submerged in it. 2) Maintaining the temperature of a liquid just below the boiling point.

Slurry – a mixture of raw starch and cold liquid used for thickening.

Small Sauces – also known as compound sauces, made by adding one or more ingredients to a leading, or mother, sauce. They are grouped together into families based on their leading sauce. Some small sauces have a variety of uses; others are traditional accompaniments for specific foods.

Standard Breading Process – the procedure for coating foods with crumbs or meal by passing the food through flour, then an egg wash and then the crumbs. It gives food a relatively thick, crisp coating when deep fried or pan fried.

Steaming – a moist heat cooking method in which heat is transferred from steam to the food being cooked by direct contact. The food to be steamed is placed in a basket or rack above a boiling liquid in a covered pan.

Stewing – a combination cooking method similar to braising but generally involving smaller pieces of meat that are first blanched or browned, then cooked in a small amount of liquid which is then used as a sauce.

Stir-Frying – a dry heat cooking method similar to sautéing in which foods are cooked over very high heat using little fat while stirring constantly and briskly. Often done in a wok or open stir fry pan.

Stock – a clear, un-thickened liquid flavored by soluble substances extracted from meat, poultry or fish and their bones as well as from mirepoix, other vegetables and seasonings.

Submersion Poaching – a poaching method in which the food is completely covered with the poaching liquid.

Suprême – 1) a sauce made by adding cream to a velouté made from chicken stock. It is used to make several compound sauces of the velouté family (see next week’s Cooking Glossary) 2) a boneless, skinless chicken breast with the first wing segment attached

Sweating – cooking a food (typically vegetables) in a small amount of fat, usually covered, over low heat without browning until the food softens and releases moisture. Sweating allows the food to release its flavor more quickly when cooked with other foods.

Be sure to check out next week’s Cooking Terms Glossary. We’ll go from T to Z and then add many of your suggestions. Thanks for your help.

MetroKitchen Cooking Terms Glossary #4 – P thru R

MetroKitchen Cooking Terms Glossary #4 – P thru R

Pan-Frying – a dry heat cooking method in which food is placed in a moderate amount of fat.

Papillote, en – a cooking method in which food is wrapped in paper or foil and then heated so that the food steams in its own moisture.

Parboiling – partially cooking a food in a boiling or simmering liquid; similar to blanching but the cooking time is longer.

Pilaf – a cooking method for grains in which the grains are lightly sautéed in hot fat and then a hot liquid is added. The mixture is heated without stirring until the liquid is absorbed.

Poaching – a moist heat cooking method that uses convection to transfer heat from a hot (approximately 160° – 180° F) liquid to the food submerged in it.

Purée – 1) to process food to achieve a smooth pulp 2) food that is processed by mashing, straining or fine chopping to achieve a smooth pulp

Ragout 1) traditionally, a well-seasoned, rich stew containing meat, vegetables and wine; 2) any stewed mixture

Reduce – to cook a liquid mixture, often a sauce, until its quantity decreases because of evaporation; typically done to concentrate flavors and thicken liquids.

Refreshing – submerging a food in cold water to quickly cool it and prevent further cooking, also known as shocking; usually used for vegetables.

Risotto – 1) a cooking method for grains in which the grains are lightly sautéed in butter or olive oil. Then a liquid, such as stock, is gradually added. The mixture is simmered with near constant stirring until the still-firm grains merge with the cooking liquid. 2) a traditional northern Italian rice dish.

Roasting – a dry heat cooking method that heats food by surrounding it with hot, dry air in a closed environment or on a spit over an open fire. It is similar to baking, but the term roasting is usually applied to meats, poultry, game and vegetables.

Roux – a cooked mixture of equal parts flour and fat, by weight, used as a thickener for sauces and other dishes. Cooking the flour in fat coats the starch granules with the fat and prevents them from lumping together or forming lumps when added to a liquid or vice versa.

Next week the MetroKitchen Glossary delves into Cooking Terms that begin with S. A huge category. Keep your ideas coming…. We’ll add them to the glossary over the next few weeks.

MetroKitchen Cooking Terms Glossary #3

MetroKitchen Cooking Terms Glossary #3 G thru N

Ganache – a rich blend of chocolate and heavy cream and flavorings (if you desire). Also used as a pastry or candy filling or frosting.

Hollandaise – an emulsified sauce, leading sauce or mother sauce, made of butter, egg yolks and, most frequently, lemon juice.

Induction Cooking – a cooking method that uses a special coil placed below the stovetop surface in combination with specifically designed cookware to generate heat rapidly with an alternating magnetic field. Induction cookware requires induction compatible cookware:

Jus lié – also known as fond lié, a sauce made by thickening brown stock with cornstarch or similar starch; often used like a demi-glace, especially to produce small sauces.

Larding – inserting thin slices of fat, such as bacon or pork belly or fatback, into low fat meats in order to add moisture.

Leading Sauces or Mother Sauces – the foundation for the entire classic repertoire of hot sauces. The five leading sauces (béchamel, velouté, espagnole, tomato, and hollandaise) are distinguished by the liquids and thickeners used to make them. They can be seasoned and garnished to create a wide variety of small or compound sauces.

Liaison – a mixture of egg yolks and heavy cream used to thicken and enrich sauces.

Marinate – to soak a food in a seasoned liquid in order to tenderize the food and add flavor to it.

Mirepoix – a mixture of coarsely chopped onion, carrot, and celery used to flavor stocks, stews, and other foods; generally a mixture of 50% onion, 25% carrot, and 25% celery, by weight, is used.

Mis en place – refers to the preparation and assembly of all necessary ingredients and equipment.

Nappe – 1) the consistency of a liquid, usually a sauce, that will coat the back of a spoon. 2) to coat a food with a sauce.

Next week check out cooking terms that begin with the letters from P through R. Please…. Keep us posted on your ideas to expand this useful glossary!! Thanks.