Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’

Traina Foods - Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

Traina Foods – Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

The people at Traina Foods (http://trainafoods.com) were nice enough to send me a sample of their sun dried tomato ketchup to review. After trying the product, this is what I thought:

  • Packaging Apparence – The product arrived in a sturdy squeeze bottle with an overwrap label, as well as a foil/paper seal under the cap.  The overwrap on my bottles were actually a little off-centered. The Traina logo and the sun dried tomato ketchup fonts were a little fuzzy, but the black script and the tomato image looked very clear. My small concerns are that the full overwrap does not allow you to see the product on the inside, and a repeated use of a squeeze bottle with an overwrap label will eventually wrinkle and shift even more.
  • Product Appearance – As expected, this ketchup is not as smooth as the leading brands, however it held together very nice when squeezed into a bowl.  There are visible pieces of tomato, but not big enough to be a chewy nuisance. It has a rich, dark red color, and just enough thickness to adhere to foods just like its traditional counterpart. When using it as a condiment for french fries however, you will need to give it a little more scoop action to get it on the fry.

    Traina Foods - Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

    Traina Foods – Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

  • Eating Experience – This stuff tastes fantastic! I am a ketchup fan, but this definitely brings it to the next level. It has the deep, natural sun dried tomato flavor you would expect, with just the right amount of natural sweetness. It has a great acidity level, along with just a touch of onion and other spices.  I had the pleasure of trying this with homemade french fries, and on a prime beef patty melt. Again, it has just the right amount of sodium which was not overpowering, but complimented everything I ate it with.  Even after it sat in a bowl for a while, I did not see any signs of separation.
  • Value – You get what you pay for. A 16oz bottle runs about $4.99 which is much higher compared to the leading ketchup brands, however this was made to be an upscale alternative. The Traina Foods website states it takes about 4 pounds of tomatoes to make one bottle of their ketchup, and sun dried tomatoes themselves already cost more that your average tomato.
  • Overall – I personally think the packaging could use an upgrade, maybe either a printed on package label, or sticker label, but the flavor from the ketchup is outstanding. It has a much greater depth of flavor compared to the high sweet/salty/acid standard brands, a nice texture you would expect from a sun dried tomato product, and even though it is at a higher price point compared to the leading standard brands, it is well worth it! I give Traina Foods® Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup a 4.5 out of 5.

NERDSTEAK is more than happy to review any food, beverage, restaurant, CPG or equipment items you have to offer.  Feel free to contact Mike directly at chefman316@aol.com to arrange for shipping of samples, or to schedule a review. You can also follow Chef Mike on:

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Creole Rice Stuffed Pork Loin with Andouille and Collards

Cajun Dirty Rice Stuffed Pork Loin with Andouille and Collards

Here is a very easy recipe using D’allesandro Cajun Dirty Rice Blend.  You can also add more filling before you roll the loin, just make sure it is tightly tied with twine.

Cajun Dirty Rice-Stuffed Pork Loin

2-1/2 to 3-pound pork loin
1 cup cooked Cajun Dirty Rice
1 cup cooked andouille sausage, crumbled
1 cup thinly sliced collard greens, picked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Butcher’s twine

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prep pork loin by slicing across it lengthwise, stopping 3/4 inch from the other side. Open halves, laying pork flat. Starting from the center, slice each half lengthwise, again stopping 3/4 inch from the other side. Again, open so pork is flat. You will have made one large, flat piece of pork 3/4 inch thick. Make sure to keep it in one piece.
Evenly cover flattened pork loin with prepared Cajun Dirty Rice, andouille sausage and collard greens, then tightly roll it jellyroll-style so that the loin returns to its original shape.
Tie with butcher’s twine to keep the filling inside and to cook evenly.
Rub outside of meat with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Place on a baking sheet and bake until internal temperature reaches 155°F, about 1 hour.
Increase heat to 500°F and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until exterior is crispy and browned.
Slice and serve.

Makes 8 to 12 servings

Chilled Couscous Salad with Kale and Cucumber

Chilled Couscous Salad with Kale and Cucumber

Super easy, light, tasty, and it will make all your dreams come true.  If you can’t find Couscous, click on the link and you can get it shipped right to your door!

Chilled Couscous with Kale and Cucumber

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon crushed Aleppo chile
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint, plus additional whole leaves for garnish
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups cooked Couscous, chilled
1 cup shredded kale, trimmed
1 cup diced baby cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

Combine garlic, lemon juice and zest, crushed chile, mint, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Slowly whisk in olive oil until evenly incorporated.
Separate Couscous by rubbing between your hands, and add to bowl along with remaining ingredients.
Let sit for 30 minutes before serving, and garnish each serving with a fresh mint sprig.

Makes 4 to 8 servings

ID-100186769Talk to any of your friends or family members who work in a restaurant kitchen, and they will tell you about the long hours working nights, weekends, and holidays. They will tell you about the burns and knife related injuries, their sore feet and back problems, and the fast pace life of a restaurant chef. Many of us really enjoy this type of atmosphere as a career choice, however, it is not a fit for everyone. Here is a short-list of food related career choices other than working in a restaurant…

Click here to read Chef Mike’s Examiner.com article 

Seared Scallops with D'allesandro Foods Porcini Risotto

Seared Scallops with D’allesandro Foods Porcini Risotto

Here is a recipe I created using an already seasoned Porcini Risotto from D’allesandro.  It’s very simple to make, and you only need water or broth, and about 20 minutes to cook.  It comes out nice and creamy without having to add extra cream or cheese.  If you want to give it a try, you can buy it right here!

Seared Scallops with Funghi Porcini Risotto

4 cups cooked D’allesandro Funghi Porcini Risotto
12 sea scallops, patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed
Scallion oil or extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
Shaved parmesan, for garnish
2 tablespoons chile threads, for garnish

Cook Funghi Porcini Risotto according to package instructions.
Pat the scallops on both sides with paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.
Heat grapeseed oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat, then sear scallops on both sides until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Do not overcook.
Place on paper towel to drain excess oil.
To serve, place some risotto on each plate and drizzle scallion oil or extra virgin olive oil around the plate.
Sprinkle with shaved parmesan and place three scallops on each plate. Top with a pinch of chile threads and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Let me know if you make it at home and how it turns out!

Mediterranean Farro Salad

2 cups cooked Farro
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup Feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and thinly sliced

Cook Farro to the package instructions, then let cool to room temperature.
Whisk vinegar, mustard, salt, black pepper, garlic, oregano, zest and red pepper flakes together in a large bowl.  Continue whisking, and slowly add the olive oil until creamy and thoroughly mixed.  Add the Farro and remaining ingredients into the bowl, then toss until evenly coated.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Honey Dijon Farro Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Fontina Cheese, Flat Leaf Parsley

Honey Dijon Farro Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Fontina Cheese, Flat Leaf Parsley

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Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Coconut

3 cups quartered brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Woodland Foods Sriracha Seasoning Blend
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil and Sriracha Seasoning Blend. Pour a single layer of brussels sprouts on the sheet pan, and roast in the oven until the edges start to brown and the sprouts start to become tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and add the almonds and coconut to the pan, tossing until evenly incorporated.  Continue baking until the sprouts are tender and the nuts start to brown, about 5 to 8 additional minutes.  Add additional seasoning to cooked sprouts if needed.

Makes about 4 servings.

You can buy the Sriracha seasoning blend right here!