This email was sent February 11, 2024 7:38pm
ChefShop.com’s February 11, 2024, newsletter celebrates the versatility and health benefits of tomatoes. Featuring exclusive deals for subscribers, the email showcases products like Posardi Sardinian Whole Tomatoes, Scalia Anchovy Fillets, Recca Pantescan Salted Capers, Rice Bran Oil, Tellicherry Peppercorns, and Acetoria Tomato Vinegar. Additionally, it provides enticing recipes such as Spaghetti Puttanesca, Rice and Beans with Tomato Sauce, Pasta with Fried Capers, Tomatoes, and Breadcrumbs, Baked Tomatoes with Salmon, Garlic & Capers, Classic Smoky Romesco Sauce, and Clear Tomato Soup, making it a flavorful and nutritious culinary experience.
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The Glorious Tomato
The fruit that is, at least in our minds, a vegetable.
Tomatoes have this unique ability to make everything better, well, almost everything.
A slice of tomato added to a sandwich adds a coolness, not just in temperature but in making it look better with a splash of red. Or, consider it cubed in a salad to be one of many ingredients that create a whole dish.
And tomatoes are not just a supporting character; think of a BLT, where it becomes the “meat” of the sandwich. (The bacon is the crunch/ texture and flavor.) You can have a tomato sandwich by removing the bacon, but remove the tomato and all you have is bread, lettuce, and bacon.
The tomato is so versatile. Think of all the sauces it can make and how it can also be a participant in a dish as both a bite and a sauce at the same time.
In total volume, I ingest more tomatoes cooked than uncooked in any given year.
Amazing as the fresh tomato owns the summer months with its flavor, bite, and texture, but, it might be the cooked one that has more to offer nutritionally.
Nutritionally, tomatoes are a powerhouse of health! Though they lose 10% of their vitamin C within 2 minutes of cooking and 29% when cooked for 30 minutes, according to research at Cornell.
However, it is the lycopene that the mighty tomato cooked adds to your life and can contribute to your healthy body! In the same study, they found 2 minutes of cooking, and you get 54% more lycopene. And 164% more with 30 minutes of cooking! Wow!
There are many studies that show that a diet high in lycopene is good for the prevention of prostate cancer and as an adjunctive treatment for prostate cancer. There is also new information from Baylor College of Medicine that it may also protect against breast, lung, and colorectal cancers. In addition, lycopene also shows positive effects to prevent or delay cataracts and reduce risk of macular degeneration. And it may help your brain by preventing epileptic seizures and memory loss.
And it is the cutting and cooking of a tomato that helps us absorb the lycopene more easily, which is why I am having a tomato sauce dinner tonight!
And a Virgin Bloody Mary.
Does that mean I would stop eating one of summer’s pleasures? Not at all. The summer tomatoes are really one of nature’s candies!
The origins of this classically Italian pasta sauce are being constantly debated. We think of it as being a classically Sicilian dish which uses salted anchovies, which, in Italy, are always available at the local food market. You can prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking and both will be ready at about the same time.
Posardi Sardinian Whole Tomatoes
The Sweetness of Sardinia 100% Pomodoro of Sardinia!
We love these. The tomatoes are whole and nestled beautifully inside the can. The taste is pure tomato, the way a canned tomato should be, with no added elements, allowing you to be in control of how they’re flavored.
For almost 20 years, we have had one favorite canned tomato from Italy.
So when this can of tomatoes came into our lives one day, I was a bit stubborn and hard-pressed to find a reason we should change.
And then I used them in my basic tomato sauce and knew they would become my new favorite. The Posardi Sardinian whole peeled tomatoes are consistently sweeter tomatoes, with a richer, fuller color, and nice soft ends. These whole canned tomatoes work just as they should, adding to a dish without being too strong. Perfect.
They have just three ingredients: tomatoes, tomato juice (juice from processing), and citric acid. No salt added, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, BPA-Free, Pesticide-Free. 100% Pomodori Sardi Tomatoes from Sardinia. Like all great ingredients, there is a difference from one brand to the next!
Scalia Anchovy Fillets
packed in Olive Oil
Scalia is known for its anchovy fillets packed in extra-virgin olive oil! Many brands use second-press oil or a less flavorful oil like sunflower or soybean. These anchovy fillets in EV olive oil have been aged for at least 12 weeks, which creates a richer anchovy with more complex flavors.
This little fish is a small, warm water relative of the herring, a Northern European staple. And just as the peoples of the north salted their herring to preserve them, the anchovy has long been salted by fishermen and packers in the Mediterranean, where it is a staple.
Anchovies are packed in one of two ways: Sicilian blue fish fillets that are packed in olive oil (that is, the good ones are packed in olive oil!), either in jars or cans, and whole salted fish packed in salt, often in large cans.
What is most important about these little Sicilian blue fish fillets is that they are only taken during the proper season (otherwise they will have a mushy texture when they are preserved) and cleaned and salted as soon as possible after they are caught.
Because of Scalia’s attention to detail, it is possible for us to discover the flavor and texture of the ancient Mediterranean.
From one end of the peninsula to the other, Italians use these little, aromatic, preserved fish in almost any conceivable dish.
While in the south, they seem to show up with practically the same frequency as they use olive oil, they are also a common addition to numerous sauces, salads, and other dishes in the north.
Scalia Benedetto has been one of the top Sicilian companies for preserving fish since 1973. While they’re neither as large nor as old as their major competitors, this allows them to do things the old-fashioned way, and the difference is clear in the flavor and texture of oil-packed fillets and salt-packed whole anchovies.
The company was founded by Benedetto Scalia in Sciacca Thermae on the Agrigento coast of southwest Sicily, a city famous for its fishing fleet. Their anchovy products are carefully processed by the women of Sciacca using traditional techniques.
Recca Pantescan Salted Capers – Non-Pareil
Recca capers are grown on the island of Pantelleria and preserved in native sea salt by Agostino Recca. The island of Pantelleria is 70 km away from Africa and 85 km from Sicily.
It is considered by many culinary aficionados as the ultimate source for capers.
These are small “non-pareil” Pantescan capers, full of flavor. Being preserved in sea salt means that none of the aromatic flavor has been lost. These Agostino Recca non-pareil Pantescan capers are wonderful!
Rice and Beans with Tomato Sauce
Movies that have rice and beans…
“Chef” (2014) – In this comedy-drama film, the main character (played by Jon Favreau) creates a popular dish of rice and beans for a food truck he starts.
“Like Water for Chocolate” (1992) – This Mexican film features many traditional dishes, including rice and beans, which are prepared in a variety of ways throughout the story.
“The Godfather” (1972) – In one scene of this classic mafia film, Clemenza (played by Richard S. Castellano) teaches Michael (played by Al Pacino) how to make a classic Italian dish of meatballs and spaghetti, which is served with a side of rice and beans.
“The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004) – This biographical film follows the journey of a young Che Guevara (played by Gael García Bernal) and his friend as they travel through South America. In one scene, they eat a meal of rice and beans with locals in a small village.
“City of God” (2002) – This Brazilian crime drama features many scenes of characters eating traditional Brazilian dishes, including rice and beans, which are staples in the country’s cuisine.
– Finely Chopped Sardinian Tomatoes
This jar is packed full of wonderful tomato wonderfulness!
Passata, loosely translated as tomato puree, is made at home during the months when tomatoes are fully ripe in southern Italy and Sardinia.
These slow-cooked tomatoes from Sardinia have their skins and seeds strained out before the sauce is bottled. The low temperature preserves all the super aromatic, fresh tomato flavor, whereas a typical tomato sauce that’s been long simmered has much less vibrant tomato presence.
Use this passata straight from the jar when making lasagna, eggplant parm, or a simple bowl of spaghetti. It’s also a superstar in soups and meat stews.
Stuff a tomato with cooked wild rice, caramelized onions, and a spoonful of passata and bake until the tomato is easily pierced. Glorious!
And perhaps the best way to make your life easier is using passata for a pizza!
Pasta with Fried Capers, Tomatoes, and Breadcrumbs
So simple and, oh, so good! As with all simple Italian recipes, the key to this recipe is having the best quality ingredients—the salted capers, good garlic, vine-ripe tomatoes, and pasta!
Rice Bran Oil
Delicate, with virtually no flavor, rice bran oil just may be one of the world’s healthiest edible oils.
Rice bran oil comes from the most nutritious part of the rice grain, loaded with monounsaturated fats & polyunsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E. These are the good fats that help your body lose weight.
Which means that Non-GMO rice bran oil is not only nutritious but a superior salad, cooking, baking, and frying oil that leaves no lingering aftertaste.
Extremely versatile, rice bran oil is an excellent choice for baking as well as just about any cooking method, from deep-frying to pan-frying, sauteing to stir-frying, baking to grilling.
BENEFITS OF NON-GMO RICE BRAN OIL:
High Smoke Point: At 485 degrees, it is higher than either peanut oil or grape seed oil, preventing fatty acid breakdown at high temperatures. Its light viscosity allows less oil to be absorbed in cooking, thereby reducing overall calories. Many of our chefs have reported using about half the cooking oil they used to use, due to the fact that Rice Bran oil is so thin.
“I tried the oil for the first time using it to fry salmon. The skin came out so crispy and not oily at all. Usually the fish sticks to the pan but no sticking this time. There wasn’t any heavy oil flavor like olive oil, canola etc.. has when used in high heat. You will never go back to any other oil after you use this!”
The term “Tellicherry” originated when these large, black peppercorns were exported from the Indian port city of the same name.
These Tellicherry peppercorns are pungent, with the deepest, hottest flavor you’ll ever find! Once traded, ounce for ounce, for pure gold, these Indian black peppercorns are still a superlative spice that can add a depth of flavor—first heat, then a tinge of sweetness—to your everyday meals.
Black pepper is produced from the still-green, unripe drupes of the pepper plant. The drupes are cooked briefly in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying. The heat ruptures cell walls in the pepper, speeding up the work of browning enzymes during drying.
The drupes are dried in the sun or by machine for several days, during which the pepper around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer. Once dried, the spice is called black peppercorn.
In general, the later the pepper is picked, the better its flavor, maximizing the taste of the Tellicherry peppercorns. However, waiting too long to pick is a gamble too; ripe pepper fruits will rot if left too long, and there is also an increased risk of loss to hungry birds or unfavorable weather.
Picking black Tellicherry pepper at just the right moment involves keen judgment and results in Indian black peppercorns with truly excellent flavor.
Acetoria Tomato Vinegar
A vinegar lovers vinegar!
Creating vinegar from a plant is a scientific process and an art project all rolled into one. It is worth it though!
You can definitely taste the difference in this awesome tomato vinegar that shares the hand of the artist involved (think of Katz’ Gravensteins Apple Vinegar) when the fruit essence is expertly extracted into a wonderful ingredient.
When you taste this Acetoria Tomato Vinegar straight up, if you close your eyes, you can taste the tomato origins of this vinegar. Even if the tomato is not discernible, this vinegar clearly has distinctive notes. Every time I taste this tomato vinegar it brings back the memory of when I first tasted it over 20 years ago.
Adorn a robust tomato salad with this gourmet tomato vinegar and you will feel like the world is your oyster.
This, by far, is one of the most-favored customer vinegars of all time.
When you pair the vinegar with tomatoes it really makes the tomato come alive! If you love fresh tomatoes and can’t stop yourself from having them in every dish during the season, then this vinegar is for you!
About Acetoria Essigmanufaktur
Joseph Reiterer and his colleague Robert Bauer have a small “fattoria” on Joseph’s farm near the town of Meltina in the province of Bolzano. Joseph is an acclaimed sparkling wine maker in the Alto Adige while Robert is considered the most skilled Master vinegar maker in all of Germany.
This mountainous area of Italy’s Alto Adige was a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and German sounding names are quite common throughout the region. Joseph is well known for his craftsmanship and his respect for agricultural output of a given “territory.”
Acetoria vinegars are made with the utmost attention to detail from the sugar and acid levels of fruit that are pressed, fermented and then acidified to the quality of the wine used to make their wine vinegars.
Vinegar “mothers” are carefully chosen, the temperature and humidity of the process are controlled and just the right type of wood is used for the appropriate aging period.
The results are vinegars with rich, deep, and complex flavors, to be savored in their own right. More than just acids for your favorite salads, they are liquids that whole meals can be built around.
Email Key Summary:
- Exclusive deals from ChefShop.com’s February 11, 2024, newsletter for subscribers.
- Focus on the versatility and health benefits of tomatoes.
- Featured products include Posardi Sardinian Whole Tomatoes, Scalia Anchovy Fillets, Recca Pantescan Salted Capers, Rice Bran Oil, Tellicherry Peppercorns, and Acetoria Tomato Vinegar.
- Enticing recipes provided for Spaghetti Puttanesca, Rice and Beans with Tomato Sauce, Pasta with Fried Capers, Tomatoes, and Breadcrumbs, Baked Tomatoes with Salmon, Garlic & Capers, Classic Smoky Romesco Sauce, and Clear Tomato Soup.
- Promotional emphasis on unique, high-quality ingredients and culinary experiences.