What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 25, 2012

Free Honey Royal Nectarine or Doughnut Peach Gelato

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July 24, 2012

Free Wild Persimmon Honey

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July 11, 2012

Free Local, Farm Fresh Pastured Eggs from Wattle and Comb in Pescadero, Calif.

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May 16, 2012

Last of Springtime’s Local Artichokes

Free Bag of ‘Chokes

Last of the local springtime artichokes available now — plus, get a bag free this week.

By Robbie Sigona

There are many reasons why I love artichokes. The flavor of locally grown artichokes – baby or regular-sized – is unmatchable, but the reason I love them the most is because of how a few simply steamed chokes brings everyone to the table for a fun appetizer.

To celebrate this incredible vegetable, we’re offering a free bag of four ‘chokes this week (May 16 – 22) with your coupon when you spend $30 or more!

There is nothing better than watching children peel off a leaf, choose their favorite dip, scrape off the artichoke meat with their teeth and toss the used leaf in the dump bowl – they love it! It’s one of those hands-on dishes where it’s ok to be messy and share a laugh together.

Artichokes are available year-round, but the best time of year for fantastic artichokes is now. Nearly 80 percent of the artichokes grown in California come from Monterey County, home to Castroville, the “Artichoke Capital of the World.” The climate in Monterey County is perfect: the warm and cool air masses meet there, creating summer fog and cool, not-so-dry weather. Artichokes love it.

One of the best-known farms in Castroville is Pezzini Farms. It was founded in the 1930s and is still run by the Pezzini family. We’ve partnered with Pezzini Farms for years to bring in fresh-picked artichokes that are picked, packed and delivered to our stores in less than 24 hours!

If you drive along Route 156 in Castroville, you’ll still see the original farm stand, which has been in operation just about as long as the farm has. Some customers return generation after generation, making it a family tradition to visit the Pezzini family farm stand. There’s just something really special, especially for children, in going right to the farm.

Tony Pezzini, who runs the farm with his dad Guido, says they’re a relatively small operation, so they exert greater control over the harvest.

“We put a lot of care into it. We really baby the plants and artichokes – and we’re able to do that because of the smaller size of our operation, and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Tony.

Pezzini farmers pick in the morning and call it quits no later than 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Then the artichokes are taken directly to the cooler, where they are packed inside. That’s what’s different about Pezzini’s artichokes. Some of the bigger farms have to harvest all day long, leaving the harvested artichokes in the field, only to be scooped up at the end of the day for hydro-cooling. By then they’ve been in the sun and have lost some flavor and nutrients.

A quick turnaround from field to pre-cooling helps stop the breakdown process brought on by ethylene gases, which are released by harvested fruits and vegetables. It also helps lengthen their shelf life. Picking in the cool mornings is a natural way to pre-cool the artichokes before they’re moved to the cooler to finish the pre-cooling process.

Artichokes are rich with fiber, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium. In fact, with one medium choke containing about 10 grams of fiber, the FDA has rated artichokes an excellent source of fiber.

Now, back to the baby artichokes. Besides being absolutely adorable, they’re all-edible. Baby artichokes are basically all meat as the inside hasn’t begun to sprout its fuzzy blossom. Babies also haven’t grown thorns yet so there is no reason not to enlist the kids’ help in preparing baby artichokes. My uncle, Paul Sigona, makes the best baby artichokes I’ve ever tasted. His secret…no parboiling, just sautéing after they’ve been striped down to the tender part. We have a few baby artichoke recipes on our blog too.

There are many ways to cook artichokes and even more ways to enjoy them – dip them in butter, mayo or aioli, stuff them with bread crumbs, garlic and olive oil, or eat steamed artichokes plain with a squirt of lemon– no dip necessary! Check out our artichoke recipes, including one for: Grandma Pauline’s Traditional Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes.

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Artichokes

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Artichokes

If you’re encountering artichokes for the first time, these jumbo gems may seem a bit intimidating, but don’t let the thorns fool you. Artichokes are great and absolutely fun to eat! You can steam them, stuff them and make them into soups.

The Basics

For easy eating, cut off the top of the artichoke leaves to remove the thorns.

Working with Artichokes

  1. Wash under cold water
  2. Remove lower, small and discolored leaves
  3. Remove stems if attached
  4. Cut off the top 1/4 of the artichoke and trim any thorns
  5. Keep the trimmed artichokes in acidulated water (one tablespoon lemon juice per quart of water) until time to cook.
  6. Cook as desired but not in aluminum or cast iron pots.
  7. Eat the tender portion at the bottom of each leaf, the heart, and even the soft interior leaves. The fuzzy interior choke is inedible.

Simple Steamed Artichokes

Place trimmed and prepped artichokes on a rack an inch or two above boiling water seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon each of olive oil, lemon juice and peppercorns. Cover and steam 25-45 minutes, until tender and leaves pull apart easily.

Alternately, place artichokes in microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon each of olive oil, lemon juice and peppercorns, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 6-7 minutes. Let stand covered for 5 minutes more.

Grilled Artichokes

  1. Prep artichokes by removing the smaller or discolored leaves. Remove the stems, cut of 1/4 of the top of the artichoke and, using scissors, trim the thorns from each leaf.

    Artichokes on the grill at Pezzini Farms in Castroville.

  2. Steam or boil artichokes for 15-25 minutes or until tender and leaves pull off easily.
  3. Slice cooked artichokes in half lengthwise and use a spoon or melon baller to remove the fuzzy choke and first few inner layers in the center.
  4. Brush each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place artichokes, with cut side down first, on a hot grill for 5-7 minutes. Turn and grill an additional 5-7 minutes more. Look for nice grill marks on both sides.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges and your dip of choice (butter, aioli or marinara)

 

When I dip, you dip, we dip!

Here are a couple artichoke dips we know you’ll love.

Low-Cal Dill Dip

From the California Artichoke Advisory Board

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup reduced calorie mayo
  • 2 TBL green onion, minced
  • 3 TBL capers, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill

Directions: Stir all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Best Dip: Good Ol’ Butter

Most ‘choke fans love to simply tip a steamed artichoke leaf in butter, and we agree with the California Artichoke Advisory Board on this one…adding a little something to the butter makes it even better!

To your butter, try mixing a little garlic powder, lemon juice, parsley or powdered Ranch dressing mix into melted butter!

Sigona’s Marinara

John Sigona says, “I love dipping artichokes in Sigona’s Old World Marinara – been doing it for years – delicious! Plus, our marinara as a dip with artichokes has less calories than mayo or aioli so it’s a healthier alternative.”

Garlic-Chive Aioli

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 TBL diced fresh chives
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • A pinch of white pepper (or more, to taste)
  • A pinch of cayenne powder (or more, to taste)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Lemon-Thyme Aioli

Courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering.

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch sugar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

 

Pan Fried Baby Artichokes with Mint and Lemon

Recipe and photo courtesy of Turntable Kitchen. Follow the link below for cooking instructions.

  • Pan Fried Baby Artichokes with Mint and Lemon. Recipe and photo courtesy of Turntable Kitchen.

    1 dozen baby artichokes, trimmed and sliced in half, length-wise (see these tips for trimming baby artichokes in Saveur Magazine)

  • zest from 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets
  • salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint, plus more for garnish
  • olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

Directions: find the directions on the Turntable Kitchen website.

Grandma Pauline’s Traditional Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes

This artichoke recipe evokes vivid memories of my childhood when our extended family would visit my grandmother Pauline, my mom’s mom, and gather around the table set with a huge platter of these stuffed artichokes. Everyone would sit together and reach in to pluck off a leaf – it really brought the family together. Artichokes take a while longer to cook when prepared this way, but each petal bursts with layers of flavor so it’s worth it! Stuffs four large artichokes. – John Sigona, Jr.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large artichokes (slice off the top 1 inch of the entire artichoke, use scissors to cut the tips off of each leaf and then slice off the stem/bottom so it sits up straight)
  • 1-1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup Sigona’s fresh press extra virgin olive oil (we recommend our Spanish Arbequina)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of one onion, diced
  • 1.5 oz. anchovies, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon

Directions:  In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onions and work for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the anchovies and melt into the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in the breadcrumbs and reduce heat to low. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to bring the mix together. Turn off the burner and then stir in Parmesan. Set mixture aside.

Fit a large pot with a steamer basket and fill with about an inch of water and the juice of 1 lemon. Cover and bring the water to a low boil so it creates steam.

To stuff the artichokes, start at the crown and peel back a petal to make a little pocket. Fill the pocket with a small spoonful of the breadcrumb mix – remember you have 4 artichokes to stuff so measure spoonfuls accordingly. Move to the next petal; repeat until the entire artichoke is stuffed.

Set stuffed artichokes upright on steamer basket and steam until a leaf pulls out easily. Begin checking at about 35 minutes. When done, place on serving dish alongside an empty bowl to dump used leaves.

Artichoke Frittata

Frittatas are simple dishes that take just minutes to prepare and are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. They’re different from a quiche in that they do not have a crust. Using egg whites makes for a healthier option, and you can add in as many veggies as you like. For this one, we’re just using artichokes, but if you’re looking to add something, we suggest mushrooms. Serves 4. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 3 large artichokes
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 eggs, such as our pastured eggs from Wattle & Comb (you can do 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, if desired), lightly beaten with a splash of milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Directions: Par (or trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart.

Cook the heart of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then chop into smaller 1-2 inch pieces.

Season and sauté the shallots in olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and diced artichokes. Stir constantly for several minutes to let all the flavors come together.

Remove from heat and incorporate the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Working quickly, pour egg and artichoke mix into a lightly greased pie or frittata dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 325F for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temp.

Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Thyme Aioli

This recipe, submitted by our friend Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos, is simply mouthwatering. The presentation is pretty snazzy, too! Original post here. Serves 4.

For the artichokes:

  • Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Thyme Aioli. Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering.

    1 lemon, halved

  • 12 fresh baby artichokes
  • 1/2 cup (Sigona’s Fresh Press) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the aioli:

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch sugar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Squeeze juice from lemon into bowl of cold water. Cut stem off 1 artichoke, leaving about 1 inch. Snap off bottom 3 rows of leaves. Cut off tip of artichoke. Halve artichoke lengthwise. Scrape out choke. Place in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Steam the artichokes until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain; pat dry.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Mix oil and garlic in small bowl. Skewer artichokes and brush artichokes with some of garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill until tender and charred in spots, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer artichokes to platter.

Serve artichokes warm or at room temperature, offering lemon thyme aioli alongside.

Carmelo’s Creamy Fettuccine with Garlic & Artichokes

This is a recipe I throw together often during artichoke season. The earthy, nutty flavor of the artichokes adds a hearty characteristic to this creamy, lemony comfort dish. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 1 package fresh Saporito Fine Pasta (found at Sigona’s)
  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 TBL heavy cream
  • 2 TBL butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (from about 1 small lemon)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Par (or trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart.

Cook the heart and stems of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then rough chop into pieces.

In the meantime, boil the pasta according to package directions. Time the pasta so that it’s cooked to al dente and is ready to go from being drained into the artichoke mix (see direction below).

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and chopped garlic cloves over medium heat, stirring as to not burn the garlic. Add the wine and reduce by half.  Add the chopped artichoke hearts and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream and butter. Cook for 1 minute or until butter is melted.

Stir in cooked and drained pasta and then turn off the heat. Gently mix in lemon zest and the parmigiano reggiano cheese. Serve warm.

Grilled Artichokes, Roasted Striped Beets with Rainbow Radishes

Try any variety of beet with this recipe, the striped Chioggia beet makes for a fancy presentation! Recipe and photo courtesy of food blogger Mary Platis of California Greek Girl. Serves 4.

Grilled Artichokes, Roasted Striped Beets with Rainbow Radishes. Recipe and photo courtesy of food blogger Mary of California Greek Girl.

Ingredients:

  • 4 beets, roasted
  • 4 small artichokes, cooked and cleaned
  • 2-3 radishes, cut in half (look for colorful “Easter Egg” radishes. Regular red radishes work too)
  • 2 TBL (Sigona’s Fresh Press) olive oil
  • 1 tsp (Sigona’s traditional) balsamic
  • 2-3 leaves of  parsley, finely chopped
  • wooden kabob skewers (soak in water for at least 10 minutes before skewering food and placing on bbq)

Directions: Wrap the unpeeled beets in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until soft. Peel while still warm, and slice into quarters. Set aside.

Place artichokes in a pot of boiling water, and cook for 35-45 minutes until knife can be pierced easily in the stem.

Peel away all the leaves, remove the center, being careful not to break the artichoke. Trim all around any rough outer leaves. Cut in half and set aside.

Wash and cut radishes in half.

Skewer the cooked beets, radish, and cooked artichoke. Lightly oil the BBQ and cook the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.

 

A Pair for the Palate: Savory Goat Cheese with Fig or Pear

A Pair for the Palate: Savory Goat Cheese with Fig or Pear

Spread a little stuffed goat cheese and top with a slice of fresh fig or pear for an additional pop of flavor.

Figs and goat cheese. Figs stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey, for good measure. How about a pear and goat cheese topped green salad? Goat cheese and any fruit for that matter. Can it get any better?

If you love that savory tang of goat cheese paired with the mellow sweetness of fresh or dried fruit, then you’re in for a treat!

Next week, May 23-29, we’re offering a free 4 oz. package of Coach Farm fresh goat cheese stuffed with either figs or pears with your coupon when you spend $30 or more!

Whether on its own, spread on a baguette or paired up with a glass of red or white wine, Coach Farm creamy, spreadable goat cheese with fig or pear is a simple yet luscious treat that’s even better when it’s free.

Make sure to get your free cheese next week then try these goat cheese recipes:

Strawberry Salad with Walnuts & Coach Farm Goat Cheese with Fig

Recipe adapted from Coach Farm. Serves 4.

Fig Balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Spanish Hojiblanca olive oil
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s fig balsamic
  • 1 tsp finely minced shallot
  • salt to taste

Stuffed goat cheese is delicious when crumbled and sprinkled on a green salad with fresh fruit and nuts.

For salad:

  • 6 cups mesclun or wild arugula (also known as rocket arugula)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3 ounces Coach Farm goat cheese with fig, crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Arrange greens on plates. Top with berries, drizzle with dressing and top with walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Season with freshly ground pepper.

Coach Farm Goat Cheese Pizza with Pear and Arugula

Recipe adapted from Coach Farm. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:

  • 1x 12″ Pizza Shell (store bought or make your own)
  • 4 oz. Coach Farm goat cheese with pear, thinly sliced
  • Ripe pears cut in 8 wedges, marinated and grilled
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Spanish Hojiblanca olive oil
  • 1 cup Baby Arugula
  • 3 TBL Sigona’s traditional balsamic

Directions:

Lay cheese out on a partially baked pizza shell. Top will pear wedges and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a hot oven until the crust is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan or pot, reduce the balsamic over medium-high heat until thicker and syrup-like. Remove from heat, cool at least 5 minutes then toss with the arugula.

Top baked pizza with the arugula and balsamic mixture. Slice and serve.

April 18, 2012

Well Now, That’s a Pickle

Well Now, That’s a Pickle

You’ve never had a pickle like this before! Locally made Sonoma Brinery pickles are fresh, raw and free this week at Sigona’s.

Local vendor David Ehreth, owner of Sonoma Brinery, is passionate about pickles. He makes three varieties: a classic kosher, a bread & butter and a spicy bread & butter.

In 2003, Dave Ehreth, a former engineer, executive and consultant in the telecommunications industry, found himself in a pickle. Well, pickles. Real, edible pickles and lots of them.

And we’re so glad he did!

Dave has always had a thing for pickles. His father introduced him to a true barrel-fermented kosher pickle at the age of 13, and it was then that Dave developed a real passion around pickling.

Now officially retired from the telecommunications industry, Dave owns and operates Sonoma Brinery (formerly Alexander Valley Gourmet Foods) in Healdsburg, Calif., north of Santa Rosa, where he makes a living out of his pickling passion. To introduce you to his products, we’re offering a free 16 oz. container of his fresh bread & butter pickles next week (April 25 – May 1) with your coupon and a purchase of $30 or more.

What Makes Them Different

Dave makes three different varieties of fresh, raw pickles and just recently tried his hand at raw sauerkraut. His first pickle was his first love, the classic half-sour kosher, followed by two bread & butter style pickles, original and spicy.

Unlike most commercial picklers, Dave’s operation pickles 52 weeks a year. Many processors do a few large batches a year, and 99% of the processors cook those pickles to extend shelf life. Not Dave. Dave’s pickles are fresh and cold-processed. There is no heat cooking or pasteurization involved. This preserves the fresh cucumber flavor as the brining style used does not allow time for complete fermentation, making for a very lively, fresh and crisp pickle.

Using a no-cooking method also preserves the health benefits of the cucumber. What’s more is the Sonoma Brinery pickles are all-natural, gluten-free and are void of preservatives and additives. Dave uses only fresh, raw ingredients, save for the dried spices in the brine, including fresh onions, garlic, cucumbers, pure cane sugar and roasted bell peppers, and turmeric root is used as a coloring agent so there is no need for artificial dyes.

“I take advantage of the vast array of fresh veggies that can be pickled from our region,” said Dave. “We live in an area that’s privileged in more ways than one. I really enjoyed the tech industry and had great success there building and doing things I’m very proud of, but I really enjoy the food industry. I like the idea of making things that add to people’s quality of life.”

To Pickle a Cucumber

Did you know there are more than 280 varieties of pickling cucumbers? Many have been hybridized for different applications; some are grown to be gigantic and some are grown to be just the right size for a McDonald’s hamburger.

Sonoma Brinery’s eight-man crew works with a particular family of cucumbers, favoring the Miss Pickle and Cross Country varieties.

“When looking for cucumbers, I look for thic skin and a very solid build. They also have to be cosmetically attractive,” said Dave. “With the bread & butter pickles, for example, this is important because the pickle has to look good sliced. Half-sour kosher pickles aren’t sliced, but sliced or not, you still want it to look good.”

The Sonoma Brinery bread & butter pickles pair perfectly with BBQ'd meats and sandwiches.

Dave explained that a half-sour kosher pickle is named as such because they’re halfway through fermentation cycle. That’s really the art of a classic kosher. In this process, the cucumber is only partially fermented (or pickled) so it still maintains its cucumber flavor, yet has the tart and seasoned flavor of a pickle. Sonoma Brinery doesn’t stop fermentation completely; instead they slow the process to the perfect-pickle point through refrigeration.

For the Love of the Zing

“We all fantasize about having a second crack at what we wanted to do in life, so when I had an opportunity to change careers, I went for it,” said Dave. “While looking for something new to do, I decided the West Coast was missing a good kosher pickle. I’ve always made pickles from my summer garden cucumbers so it was one of those things that by the time I delivered my first product to market in 2005, I’d been making pickles for 30 years.”

Most pickle lovers, Dave included, can’t even dream of going pickle-less while eating a dish perfectly designed for that pickle zing. Heck, a “big kosher pickle” even gets a shout out in Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise.

“Eating a pastrami sandwich is an excuse to eat about four kosher pickles,” said Dave. “As for pulled pork sandwiches or other barbequed meat sandwiches, like a grilled chicken, I wouldn’t think about eating one without our bread & butter pickles.

“Ten years ago, if you wanted a good kosher, you’d have to fly to the East Coast to get one,” continued Dave. “What I see myself doing here is filling a culinary gap on the grocer’s shelf and bringing an invaluable food experience to the world. I think that’s a sensation shared by most small vendors – we’re doing something for the world.”

Be sure to come by our stores next week (April 25 – May 1) with your coupon to get your free container of Sonoma Brinery’s fresh bread & butter pickles. We have the other two varieties on our shelves too. Might as well pick up all the fixin’s for that pastrami sandwich or pulled pork slider while you’re at it!

April 4, 2012

Bonus Recipes Featuring Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Bonus Recipes Featuring Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Absolutely one of the best white cheddars we have in our store, the Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar is aged at least 24 months before its made available, making it deliciously creamy with both savory and sweet notes. The Barber family have been in the cheese-making business at Maryland Farm in Somerset, England, since 1833. Get a FREE WEDGE April 4-10, 2012 with your coupon.

Butter Lettuce, Cherimoya, Coppa & Barber’s Cheddar Salad with a Summery Vinaigrette

The delicate flavors of butter lettuce and cherimoya are balanced here with flavorful Choppa and the Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar. Topped with a lovely olive oil and peach balsamic vinaigrette, this makes a great side or brunch salad. Enjoy!

Salad:

  • Heart of butter leaf lettuce
  • 1 small-medium cherimoya, *peeled, cubed and seeded (it’s easier to remove the seeds after it’s cut)
  • 3 slices (about 1.5 oz.) Coppa (an air dried, very thinly sliced pork) or substitute Braesaola, diced
  • A bit of Barber’s 1833 Vintage Cheddar, shaved or crumbled (about 1 oz. per serving; more or less as desired) get it FREE!
  • Fresh chives, minced

*Cook’s note: Scoop out the flesh of a halved cherimoya as you would a halved avocado. Use a large spoon and scoop along the line where the peel meets the fruit. Then dice the two removed fruit halves into cubes and remove the seeds.

Vinaigrette:

Mix together in a small bowl a 2:1 ratio of the following:

  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Hojiblanca olive oil from Spain (our April olive oil of the month)
  • Sigona’s Summertime Peach Balsamic

Directions: Slice or tear the butter lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle about 3/4ths of the vinaigrette over the top and toss to mix well.

Split the lettuce among two plates then layer on the cherimoya cubes (seeds removed), Coppa and cheddar. Top the plates with a final drizzle of the remaining vinaigrette and top with minced chives.

Artichoke Frittata

Frittatas are simple dishes that take just minutes to prepare and are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. They’re different from a quiche in that they do not have a crust. Using egg whites makes for a healthier option, and you can add in as many veggies as you like. For this one, we’re just using artichokes, but if you’re looking to add something, we suggest mushrooms. Serves 4. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 3 large artichokes
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 eggs, such as our pastured eggs from Wattle & Comb (you can do 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, if desired), lightly beaten with a splash of milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar (get it FREE!)

Directions: Par (or trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart.

Cook the heart of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then chop into smaller 1-2 inch pieces.

Season and sauté the shallots in olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and diced artichokes. Stir constantly for several minutes to let all the flavors come together.

Remove from heat and incorporate the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Working quickly, pour egg and artichoke mix into a lightly greased pie or frittata dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 325F for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temp.

Rachael Ray’s Turkey Burgers with Cheddar, Poached Pears and Pepper Relish

Don’t make us twist your arm; the poached pear on this burger, topped with melted cheese, will keep you coming back for more. Try it with either our Sweet Red Pepper Relish or jalapeno jelly and you won’t regret it! Serves 6. For a picture of the finished burger, visit Rachael Ray’s official website.

Ingredients:

  • Sigona's sweet red pepper relish2 lbs. ground turkey breast
  • 4 green onions, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 TBL fresh thyme, chopped (fresh makes a difference)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large Bartlett pear, firm but ripe, cut lengthwise into six 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar, such as Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar (get it FREE!)
  • Sigona’s Red Pepper Relish OR jalapeño jelly (at least 6 TBL)
  • 6 extra-large English muffins, split and toasted (Sourdough is nice)

Directions: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the turkey, green onions, mustard, lemon peel and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Shape into six 3/4 inch-thick patties.

In a small nonstick skillet, add the pear slices, wine, lemon juice and enough water to just cover the pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pear is softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear slices to a plate.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil, one turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, turning once, for 12 minutes. Top with the cheese and pear slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.

Spread 1 tablespoon pepper relish/jelly on each English muffin bottom; top with a patty and an English muffin top.

Free Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Click image to enlarge

Wouldn’t Ya Like a Little FREE Puddin’

Wouldn’t Ya Like a Little FREE Puddin’

Chocolaty and lusciously divine Angel Heart Puddin’ is on the shelves at Sigona’s and FREE to you with your coupon. Come on by!

“Hi, do you have Angel Heart angel food cakes in today?” is an FAQ around here. The scrumptious, light, fluffy, fat free and creative cakes practically fly off our shelves.

If you have sharp eyes, you may have spotted another Angel Heart product nestled among our refrigerated items: Angel Puddin’ – it’s what co-owners Chris Rivera and Debbie Umphreys call Pots de Crème Puddin’ and it’s lusciously divine.

Plus, an 8 oz. tub is yours FREE next week (April 11 – 17, 2012) with your coupon and a $30+ purchase. It’s the perfect size for you to enjoy by your lonesome before the kids get home from school (and they’ll never be the wiser).

Angel Heart, based in Redwood City, started just three years ago and was an instant, local success. The ladies have since expanded their product list, opened their own bakery with a storefront and even offer grab-and-go breakfast options at the bakery.

One of Angel Heart’s claims to fame is that their angel food cakes are fat free, a feat they achieved by eliminating egg yolks and butter. The ladies were able to create volume by whipping up egg whites with sugar and cream of tartar.

This did leave behind quite a few egg yolks. A challenge they met head on.

“Our Chocolate Pots de Crème Puddin’ came about because we needed to use up all those egg yolks,” said Chris. “Our puddin’ is different than others because it’s made like a French pots de crème; we use a lot of egg yolks, milk and some cream and mix in good quality chocolate. Comparatively, most American puddings are made with milk, sugar, flavorings and thickened with cornstarch.”

Business continues to grow for Chris and Debbie. The pair celebrated one year at their bakery on February 21st and are continually adding to their products and services. Their success is most definitely contributed to the local community’s support of local businesses – a structure we also depend on for our success.

Come by today for your free puddin’ and don’t forget to pick up one of the Angel Heart Cakes. Then, when you get a chance, stop by the Angel Heart bakery at 3716 Florence Street in Redwood City to see their lineup.

The ladies also offer a corporate breakfast option, wedding cake alternatives, treats for wedding/baby showers, stuffed brownies, coffee cake, banana bread, pocket pies and even a gluten-free Apricot Dacquoise cake (layers of almond-meringue with apricot puree, chocolate ganache and whipped cream…oh my).

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