I am, and have been on vacation, in the Quebec Eastern Townships ( Canton L’Est ) since wednesday.
Spending quality time with close friends and family, over many good meals, makes you realize that to accomplish a successfull dinner; everything matters!
We put together some recipes that we had made before and to our surprise they tasted different and we also enjoyed them in a much different way, and the fact that there was a very appreciative audience to feed our egos made the experience even better =).
Which brings us to this week's product: Truffle Carppacio; my little sheets of silk. (more…)
TRUFFLED DWARF PEACHES … WITH CHEESE!
I love Truffled Dwarf Peaches with everything but mostly I love them on their own.
Here is how I had them on Sunday night after dinner: as a side dish with our cheeses. “Miss Diva” appeared elegantly in whole and sliced on top of Gorgonzola. I can tell you that at that moment, I was as happy as Gorgonzola was! (more…)
One of our all time favorite dishes is “Vitello Tonnato” (cold veal with tuna sauce). For the ones that have never tasted it before, this dish might not sound too appealing. Trust me though, the tuna sauce is so mild in taste and silky in texture, that it feels like applying whipped cream on top of strawberries!
This dish “Vitello Tonnato” is traditionally garnished with caper berries, Paolo changed the recipe around a bit and used Truffled Dwarf Peaches as a garnish instead and it was right up my alley =) (more…)
From the day that the dwarf peaches are jarred they have a two year “best before” date. There is no need to refrigerate the jar before its opened. Store it in a room or cupboard away from sunlight and higher heat than room temperature. Before opening the jar I would suggest to keep it in the refrigerator for a bit, that way, the peaches will be nice and cold before serving, it gives them more crunch.
The beautiful thing with this “peach” is that it can litteraly be used with everything! I have used it on almost everything that I prepare: as a side dish, on cold cuts and carpaccio, as a garnish, and it never lets me down. The versatility of this product is endless and it’s just a matter of getting creative by coming up with new ways of preparation. You can slice it, cube it, cut it in halves, and I have even tried shredding it with great success. Don’t forget that just eating them whole on their own with a “stiff” drink works wonders! The other day, I even mixed in some hot chili peppers the and it came out delicious!
I mean what more is there to say, besides from:
“Every man want’s her and every woman want’s to be like her” the irresistible and fabulous Truffled Dwarf Peach!
The new “Diva” is in town and she is here to stay and rock every plate and party!
Have you ever heard of “Truffled Dwarf Peaches”?
Neither had I, until five years ago when I met with the person that is now supplying Macchi Inc. with this unique and one of a kind product.
All these years that I've been in this business, I have never come across them anywhere else.
This product is based on the same idea as green tomatoes and any other vegetable that is normally pickled.
In the fall, before winter arrives the farmers pick the unripe peaches, so they would not go to waste. Then, they pickle them in vinegar to conserve the peaches and consume them like any other pickle.
Our supplier that is based in Frosolone, Molise in Italy, added his twist to the product by soaking these peaches in sunflower oil and infusing the oil with truffle essence. This last step has created a very different flavor profile.
What does this “gem” taste and look like?
…like something you’ve never tasted before!
Very subtle in its taste, just enough truffle essence to know that this is a truffled product, but not to over power the dish that you are using it on and it adds a pleasant crunch and acidity to any salad or carpaccio.
They look like large green olives but since they are picked before maturity, the pit is not yet developed which makes them a breeze to work with in comparison to olives and since they are so firm in texture it makes them so versatile in presentaton in comparison to caper berries.
Right now we don’t have any stores selling this product to the public since there is not enough knowledge about it out there to create a demand. We are in the process of planning a marketing campaign to launch this product in Montreal and to help our retail clients inform the end consumers about Truffled Dwarf Peaches.
Go and meet her, and make sure you all let me know how you got along.
Previously today I showed you how you can really enjoy having parmigiano on it's own without hardly any preparation! I will now show you one of my favorite recipes, with my favorite parmigiano cheese, The Grana Padano. I really love this cheese, it is similar to the reggiano but creamier. This cheese is off course a cheese that we supply our clients with here at Macchi Inc. It is important for me to let you all know that we do not import our cheeses ourselves since we do not have any cheese quotas. What we import here at Macchi Inc. is the Citterio brand, bottarga and truffles and in the future hopefully we will import more.
This is a perfect light salad with lots of flavour, assemble in a bowl: Baby spinach leaves, sliced strawberry’s and some Grana padano shavings. For this, all you need to add is a little cracked black pepper, evoo and some balsamic vinegar. There is no need to add any salt because the parmiggiano brings all the salt you need to the dish. Buon Appetitio! As usual, let me know how you liked it or if you made your own recipe, don't hesitate to share it with me.
While Parmigiano Reggiano proudly carries the title of the King of Cheeses, I would like to tell you a bit about my absolute favorite in hard cheeses, the Grana Padano or as I like to call it, The Emperor of Cheeses.
Many of us often believe that the Grana Padano is a lesser quality Parmigiano Reggiano and some even believe that it is called Parmigiano Padano, that is not the case, at least not if we are referring to the authentic product, imported from the specific Provinces and regions of the Grana Padano D.O.P.
While the Grana Padano does have many similarities to the Parmigiano Reggiano, the differences are essential to the flavor and texture, the first one being the place of production. The Grana Padano is produced in a much wider area than the Parmigiano Reggiano in the regions of: Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino and Veneto (keep in mind that the Regions are much larger than the provinces, therefore a larger area of production).
In the flavor you can detect the difference in the Grana Padano being creamier and sligtly less saltier that the Parmigiano Reggiano, otherwise they are both just as firm and nutty in flavor.
Here are some more differences between both cheeses:
Since the restrictions are less for making the Grana Padano, the price is slightly lower but as we all know that does not mean that it is not as good.
Grana Padano can be found in three different ripening stages and the more mature the cheese is the nuttier and more pungent the flavor.
The reason why these hard cheeses are used so often in cooking is because they are so versatile, the Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano can be sliced with a cheese slicer (see picture above), it can be grated (most often this is how it's used in cooking or by finishing a pasta plate) it can also be broken off in pieces (see Parmigiano Reggiano post) and personally I have shredded the cheese when wanting larger amounts in cooking.
The best way to store it is cold, in a refrigerator or even in the freezer if not used to frequently. I would suggest to always keep it air tight and low in humidity, if you know you haven't used it for a while and if not vacuum packed when stored, take the cheese out once in a while, pad it dry and change the saran wrap or the plastic bag that it has been stored in.
Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, which one is your favorite? Maybe you like both just as much but for different purposes. Let me know!
I have, since I started writing about or products, been looking forward to talking about this weeks product. It is a product that we all have used or consumed and some just can't have a pasta plate without it! This product would amongst stone be considered as the diamond, amongst metal it would be considered platinum and amongst the cheeses it is by far 'the King of Cheeses', I am talking about – Parmigiano Reggiano -.
Here is one way of how we enjoy having this cheese at the Macchi residence.
Paolo's Parmigiano reggiano plate
Everyone might not be able to pronounce the name but we have all at one point in time somehow sampled it:
'King of cheeses' – The Parmigiano Reggiano -.
Just like all of the other products I have mentioned so far, the secret always lies within the local vegetation and climat,
in this case for the Parmigiano Reggiano it is the:
The Parmigiano Reggiano has for at least eight centuries been made in the exactly same way, in the same places, with the same appearance. Even the production has remained the same using: milk, rennet, fire and heart.
Parmigiano Reggiano is made from raw cow's milk, milk is pumped into copper-lined vats (copper heats and cools quickly), calf rennet is added to allow cheese to curdle. Temperature is raised and curd is left to settle. Curd is then placed in molds that will produce wheels that are 45 kilos (100 lbs) each. Cheese is placed into stainless steel round forms to retain it's classical shape. After a couple of days cheese gets imprinted several times with the Parmigiano Reggiano name, the number of the plant and the year of production. The 'wheels' are then placed in a brine bath to absorb salt for 20-25 days. Cheeses are then placed on wooden shelves, cleaned and turned once/week for 12 months. At 12 months the consorzio of Parmigiano Reggiano inspects each cheese to make sure it fulfills all of it's requirements. After this procedure each plant can then choose how much longer they would like to age the cheese. The aging process is anywhere from 18, 22 to 30 months.
In the next post I will speak about the Grana Padano, the differences between the Parmigiano Reggiano and the Grana Padano and some tips and tricks.
Last year in October Paolo and I went to visit the “The 79th International White Alba Truffle Fair”.