Salty Caramels – Yes Please!

No one knows salt better then the folks at Jacobsen Salt Co.  They have been mining salt in Netarts Bay, Oregon since 2011.  Their salts are used by famous chefs like Thomas Keller and also in my home kitchen!  In addition to carrying their flake salt for finishing and Kosher salt for cooking, we recently added their Salty Caramels to our marketplace.

These Salty Caramels are just what you would expect from a salt company.  The caramel itself is rich and creamy, with just the right amount of sticky so it doesn’t get caught in your teeth but you get to chew on it for a while.  The bright briny flavor of the flake salt is the PERFECT compliment to the sweetness and richness of the caramel.  Of course these are perfect eaten straight from the box but we’ve also added one to cup of hot chocolate(YUM!). I am sure they would be pretty amazing paired with a soft pretzel or baked into your favorite oatmeal cookie.

We’re having a contest this week to give away a gift set curated by our friend Jamie, at Adventures of A.P.E.). The gift set contains these caramels along with a collection of other amazing sweets from our marketplace.  Head to our Julies-Beet-Instagram-page for full details and be sure to enter before Sunday 2/18 at midnight.

Happy Friday,

Julie

Spellbound

Gus & Grey has been a featured artisan in our marketplace since Julie’s Beet launched in 2015.  We’ve just acquired a new jam from their collection, appropriately titled Spellbound.  Made with fresh blueberries and just the right amount of lavender you will think you’re under a magic spell from the time you open the jar.

I used this amazing jam to make this Sour Cream Coffee Cake taste even better. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do. It is great with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning but fancy enough to double as a birthday cake.

Happy Friday,

Julie

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups granulated sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs, beaten lightly

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 jar Gus & Grey Spellbound -Blueberry Lavender Jam, stirred well

Method:

-Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

-Butter a 10-inch bundt pan and lightly dust the inside with flour.

-Sift together and set aside the flour, baking powder and salt.

-In a mixer, or by hand, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, blending well, and then add sour cream and vanilla. Mix until combined.

-Gradually fold in flour, baking powder, and salt into creamed mixture until just blended.

-Reserve 1/2 cup of batter and mix with 3/4 of the jar of blueberry jam.

-Pour 3/4 remaining batter into the prepared pan, smoothing to the edges and creating a slight “trough” with a spatula.

-Gently spoon the blueberry mix into the batter trough, being careful not to touch the side of the pan. Spread the remaining batter over the jam and smooth the top.

-Set pan on middle rack in the oven and bake for about 60 minutes, or until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean.

-Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Turn onto a plate, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, drizzle with remaining jam and enjoy!

 

What’s New Upper West Side?!?!

February 02 2018

As we come to the end of January, I find it hard to believe that we’ve moved so fast into 2018.  The good news is there are lots of good events coming and more new things to get excited about.

Yesterday, I received two very exciting emails.  One was from my husband letting me know that Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Shop is going to be opening two blocks from Julie’s Beet. Hopefully the shop opens quickly, and I’ll be able to stop in all summer to get my fill of hand crafted ice cream.  The second email came from my brother-in-law, letting me know that Make My Cake, a popular Harlem Bakery, is making the move to the Upper West Side a mere six blocks from my apartment.  I’ll be able to get my fill of cupcakes and cookies not too far from home.  It is a good thing that I like to exercise, so I can eat what I want!

The good news from these emails is that even with a lot of businesses closing there are still many artisan businesses that are thriving. As a small business owner, I make a point to support other small businesses whether is be the local ice cream shop or a friend who sells stationary.  I know it might cost slightly more but the impact is far greater on the small business than it is on the big business.  I’ve made a goal this year to collaborate with more small businesses to provide you all with some unique experiences.  We’ll be launching our first one just ahead of Valentine’s Day so stay tuned.

Happy Friday,

Julie

Bee Local Hot Honey

This Hot Honey from Bee Local is the perfect addition to your table.  Find some of our favorite uses for this sweet and spicy honey below. Happy cooking!

Hot Toddy

Serves 1

Ingredients:

2 oz whiskey

1 tbsp Bee Local Hot Honey

½ lemon, juiced, plus 1 lemon wheel for garnish

6 oz boiling water, let to sit off heat for 5 minutes before adding

1 cinnamon stick

Method:

– bring water to a boil

– add whiskey, Bee Local Hot Honey and lemon juice to an 8oz mug

– add hot water and stir

– garnish with lemon wheel and cinnamon stick

 

Baked Chicken Fingers with Hot Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips

1 c buttermilk

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp hot sauce

1 egg

1 c unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 c seasoned bread crumbs

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

whisk together buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, and hot sauce in a medium sized mixing bowl

– place chicken breast strips into a large zip-top bag, pour buttermilk mixture over top, seal the bag and allow to marinate for up to 4 hours — remove from refrigerator 1 hour before use

-preheat oven to 400 degrees set on convection bake

– meanwhile, set up the breading station: combine bread crumbs, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper together and place in a shallow dish

– place flour in a shallow dish

– whisk egg with 1 tbsp water in a shallow dish

– lightly oil a baking sheet

– to bread, take 1 chicken strip from buttermilk mixture, coat in flour shaking off the excess, then dip in egg wash, and then finally coat in breadcrumb mixture and place on baking sheet — repeat this step until all of the chicken is breaded

– bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and the juices from the chicken run clear.

 

Hot Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

¼ c Bee Local Hot Honey

¼ c mayonnaise

¼ c dijon mustard

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Method:

– add Bee Local Hot Honey, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar into a bowl, whisk together.

 

Arugula Pizza with Bee Local Hot Honey Drizzle

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound pizza dough, homemade or store bought, at room temperature

Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting

Semolina flour, for dusting

¼ c extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves roasted garlic, smashed with fork into a paste

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

½ c ricotta cheese

1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

4 c baby arugula

1 shallot, thinly sliced

½ lemon, juiced

3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto

Method:

– place pizza stone, cast iron skillet, or upside-down baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 set on convection bake

– on a floured sheet of parchment paper, press out the dough, working from the outer perimeter inward, until a 12-in circle is achieved

– transfer dough to a semonia dusted upside-down baking sheet or a semonia dusted pizza peel (if using a large 12 inch cast iron skillet, remove skillet from oven, oil generously, dust with semolina, and then carefully drape in pizza dough into hot skillet)

– brush with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic, and then add salt and pepper to taste

– transfer dough onto the hot pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet (if using cast iron skillet, just return to the oven with the pizza dough)

– par-bake crust for 5 minutes

– top crust with ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is golden and bubbled — about 8 minutes

– meanwhile, toss arugula with remaining 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice

– remove pizza from oven, top with arugula salad, shallots, shaved parmesan, prosciutto, and of course, a generous drizzle of Bee Local Hot Honey

Spicy Black Bean Stew

I’m sure there is no need to point out the obvious, but it is cold outside. Blisteringly cold. Oh, the joys of a New York winter. I, as I’m sure many of you are, am feeling pretty heavy and lethargic after the Holidays — and the cold weather outside isn’t helping matters. But if you are trying to start your New Year on a lighter note, this Spicy Vegan Black Bean Stew is my warming midwinter comfort food go to — try saying that three times in a row 🙂 Simple. Warm. Light, yet filling. Delicious! Serve over cilantro brown rice, or with a chunk of crusty sourdough bread. Enjoy! And stay warm.

Spicy Black Bean Stew
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1.5 cups dried black beans, rinsed, soaked overnight or 2 (15 oz) cans black beans
1 tsp salt
1 tbs + ¼ tsp cumin, divided
1 bay leaf
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
3 medium carrots, washed, peeled, cut into thin slices
3 stalks celery, washed, cut into thin slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup filtered water
salt and pepper to taste
1 bundle fresh cilantro (chop only what is needed right before serving)
avocado slices (for garnish, optional, although pairs nicely with spiciness of stew)

Method:
1) Rinse soaked beans, combine with enough water to cover by 3 inches, then add salt, ¼ tsp of the cumin, and bay leaf in 1-gallon pot, bring to a boil, simmer for 35 minutes (beans should still have a slight bite at this point, as they will continue cooking in the stew). Drain beans, set aside
2) Heat olive oil in a 1-gallon pot, once shimmering, add onions, carrots, and celery and sweat until onions are translucent (approx. 5 minutes). Add garlic, remaining 1tbs cumin, chili powder, cayenne and continue to cook (approx. 3 minutes)
3) Add tomatoes, water, and beans to the pot, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender
4) Season with salt and pepper to taste
5) Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced avocado

Eating Goals in 2018

Happy 2018!

As we move into the second week of the year, I am still thinking about my goals for the upcoming 12 months.  One of them is to be more ‘in the know’ about what is going on around me. This includes everything from what the President is writing about on Twitter to where I should eat in New York City and Beyond.  Every night I do ask my husband ‘Did anything exciting happen in the world today?’ He always has something to tell me although it might not be totally relevant.  Unfortunately, he can only keep up with so much so I had to turn to the internet to find out where I should eat.

Here is my list so far for 2018, let me know if you there are any other places you think I should add.

Satsuki: An old-style omakase is served at this sushi bar as part of the larger Suzuki Restaurant and Three Pillars bar next door. I had the opportunity to start the year off right with a delicious meal prepared by Chef Toshio Suzuki.

Nur: My friends have been raving about this amazing place in the Flatiron District.  Tagged as Modern Middle Eastern Cuisine, the menu ranges from Honey Garlic Challah to Andalusian Tuna and there is even a dessert called Hills of Jerusalem, complete with Jerusalem Artichokes.  This place is small so I’m going to make sure I reserve well in advance.

Union Square Café: This was one of the first restaurants I went when I first moved to New York City.  The restaurant has moved  but I understand they are still serving the same high quality simple food. I’m looking forward to a comforting meal on a chilly winter night. We’ve had plenty of those to start the year!

The Aviary: I was head over heals in love with my first meal at Alinea in Chicago and couldn’t be more excited to be able to find a taste of that in New York City.  The Aviary is an interactive guest experience where small plates and cocktails come together.

Empire Diner: Diner food is comfort food but is made even better when chefs use creative ingredients to recreate them in an ‘upscale’ environment. Perhaps this is the one restaurant on this list where I’ll take my kids. Although they might not appreciate the better version of their chicken fingers and French fries.

Happy Dining and Happy Friday,

Julie