mes macchi

Tips and Tricks On What To Do With A Truffled Dwarf Peach

March 28, 2013

Truffled Dwarf Peaches

Truffled Dwarf Peaches

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!

 

All you need to know about Grana Padano & Some Tips and Tricks

March 25, 2013

macchi_Grana-Padano

 

All you need to know about Grana Padano and the difference from Parmigiano Reggiano…

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:

  • Grana Padano is made from both skim and whole milk while the Parmigiano Reggiano is made only from skim milk.
  • The Cows have different diets – the Grana Padano cows are less restricted in their diet and are allowed to eat silage in their feed while the Parmigiano Reggiano cows must be fed fresh or dried vegetable matter.
  • And as already mentioned above the Grana Padano comes from a larger area of production.

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.

  • Grana Padano | 9-16 months
  • Grana Padano Oltre 16 mesi | Over 16 months
  • Grana Padano Riserva | Reserve over 20 months

 

Tips & Tricks

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!


 

Truffle Oil: Tips & Tricks

August 30, 2010

Truffle oil, imported by Macchi Inc. - Photos by Montreal Photographer Vadim Daniel

Truffle oil, imported by Macchi Inc. - Photos by Montreal Photographer Vadim Daniel

I have to say that the reason why I like using truffle oil so much is because it complements my type of cooking very well.
I use it very often in my bechamel when I make lasagna. I also use it in my Alfredo & Bolognese sauce. I like using it when making risotto and I love using it as “topping” on vegetables or a nice piece of BBQed steak.

Depending on my mood I switch between the black truffle oil, that has more of an earthy taste, and the white truffle oil that has a stronger aroma and is sweeter in its flavor.

(more…)

 

Truffle Carpaccio: Tips and Tricks

August 10, 2010

Macchi' Inc.'s Truffle Carpaccio - Photos by Montreal Photographer Vadim Daniel

Macchi' Inc.'s Truffle Carpaccio - Photos by Montreal Photographer Vadim Daniel

So now you’ve picked up your own jar of Truffle Carpaccio from us at Macchi Inc., and you are on your way to the grocery store to find what will be successfully paired with the truffle carpaccio for this week-end’s dinner or cocktail party.

So much to choose from and so exciting! Don’t let it overwhelm you, my suggestion to you is start with thinking of what you would like to prepare and what your strengths are.

You can prepare one of your favorite pasta dishes and top it with a couple of slices or you can make your favorite sandwich and top it with a slice or two of the carpaccio. I would say that anything really pairs well with the truffle carpaccio, vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, potato, egg etc.

What can be good to keep in mind is that since the truffles has a very strong aroma it can be very hard to digest if the amounts are exagerated. Remember that truffles and truffled products are to be used more as a spice rather than a condiment, but it’s not a spice. I would say that one slice is plenty as a serving portion for one person but by all means don’t let that hold you back if you can handle or enjoy more!

When jar is opened it can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of months without any problems. It will never be “bad” for you to eat it afterwards it’s just that it will slowly loose some of its aroma, flavor and maybe even it’s texture buy getting slightly firmer.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s post just to show you how we love to have it!

  • Keep in mind that this is thin slices of truffles, that have been preserved in oil for a while so they have become very soft, therefor when you will take the slices out of the jar use a pair of small plyers or even better, very gently, turn the jar upside down in a plate and then start distributing the carpaccio.

Let me know if you have any questions – I’m here to answer them!

 

BUFFALO MOZZARELLA | Tips & Tricks

July 15, 2010

Macchi Inc.'s Buffalo Mozzarella - Photos by Montreal Photographer Vadim Daniel

Macchi Inc.'s Buffalo Mozzarella - Photos by Montreal Photographer Vadim Daniel

We don’t realize how fortunate we really are, when we so easily can get the Buffalo Mozzarella at our nearest, medium or large chain, grocery store.

This item is a fairly perishable cheese and it is imported from Italy.

From the day of production, you have 30 days until it has reached the “best-before-date”, which means that by the time it reaches our nearest grocery store, it has less than 21 days left before it goes bad.

It’s also on the fixed menu in most of our restaurants in and outside the city! (more…)

 

SAFFRON | TIPS & TRICKS

July 6, 2010

Saffron

Macchi Inc.’s Saffron – by Montreal Photographer Vadim Daniel

The quality of any spice is usually something that is very difficult for the end consumer to determine. I will do my best to try to give you some valuable tips and tricks to keep in mind when you are purchasing your saffron

So let’s start with this….

How to know a better quality saffron and why should you pay more, when you can pay less.

As I mentioned yesterday; Saffron is slightly bitter in it’s flavor, but if you add the right amount during preparation that flavor does not over power the other ingredients it is actually so subtle that something as mild as cream is enough to “hide” the bitterness of saffron. It is the aroma and the extremely overpowering and magical color that we want to experience.

Saffron is sold in two different “shapes”, you can get it in, tiny “threads” or powdered. I have over the years heard that some people prefer to get the filaments ( threads) because they can ensure the quality and authenticity of the saffron, i would have to disagree. Which ever one you choose to use make sure it is in a a sealed container or a pouch that has the name of a company and a product description in the back and don’t forget to check the best-before-date!

The intensity of the color is usually the first and most accurate “give-away” to know a good quality saffron. Buy buying a lesser quality you will have to use twice the amount and that can sometimes increase the risks of your dish tasting bitter. (more…)

 

Tips & Tricks On How To Pick & Store Summer Truffles

April 27, 2010

Paolo shaving Italian summer truffles

Paolo shaving italian summer truffles

How to recognize a fresh truffle?
A fresh truffle should feel heavy and dense for its size. It should be firm to the touch. It should smell earthy but not musty. To be able to distinguish the aroma of a good truffle it will take some practice.

How to slice your truffle?
You could use a truffle slicer or even a micro-plane to slice or shave your truffle. I highly recommend getting yourself a good quality truffle slicer. Not only for the perfect shavings it will make, but for the pleasure of using a nice tool with such a beautiful ingredient, and making each truffle experience a memorable one.

How to store your truffle?
Since truffles are a “tuber” ( latin name for tis specific type of truffle family) they should be stored just like a potato. Keep them cool and away from moisture. Wrap your truffle in a cloth or paper towel, then put it in a air tight container ( or ziploc bag )  and place it in the fridge. Change the cloth on a daily basis to keep the truffle dry. The cloth helps absorb the condensation from the container and therefore protects the truffle from moisture. (more…)

 

Tips & Tricks on How To Pick and Store Bottarga

April 20, 2010

Bottarga di Muggine & Bottarga di Tonno

Bottarga di Muggine & Bottarga di Tonno

I’ve gathered with time a few tips and tricks about Bottarga. Here they are:

1. Storage tips: Preferably refrigerate the Bottarga but not at all necessary. Although, once the package opened, keep it in the fridge.

2. Shelf life: Bottarga is so easy to store, from the day of packaging the “the best before” is five years! Yes, yes! Five entire years! Even when opened it can be kept for a couple of years in fridge. Not bad?

3. Serving it: Bottarga can be sliced with a knife, chopped and grated.

4.Freshness: Bottarga should be firm but not rock hard. The salt should not over power the flavor of the bottarga, there should just be a hint of salt in it’s flavour and it should be gentle on the palate. The bottarga should not be dry but moist an creamy in flavour.

5. Authenticity: If you want the authentic product it is always good to make sure that ou can see somewhere on packaging that the product is made and packaged in Sardenia.

 

Tips and Tricks on How To Pick & Store Prosciutto

April 13, 2010

Paolo slicing prosciutto

Here are some tips and tricks about prosciutto that I learn over the time and through my experience working with it over the years. I decided to share these with you, as before I came into the business, I would ask myself these questions everytime I find myself in front of a deli counter.

1. How to store prosciutto?

  • If the prosciutto is sliced, keep it in the coldest part of the fridge (usually in the bottom), make sure it’s well wrapped/air tight (preferably in plastic) so the edges do not dry.
  • For a full piece (not sliced) you can either refrigerate it in fridge or in the freezer. Always make sure the piece is well wrapped to avoid mould in fride or freezer burn.

 

 
 
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