Scallops: it’s worth navigating choppy ethical waters to serve one of the marine world’s greatest delicacies

Listen carefully and you’ll hear the noise of hundreds of angry fisherman sharpening their hooks, or more accurately their dredging gears, as their industry endures yet another round of bad publicity. Most of their ire will be directed at high profile celebrity chef and restaurateur Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, who last month launched a full scale attack on the majority of the scallop industry.

Channel 4’s Save Our Seas asserted that dredging boats dragging gears across the seabed to dislodge scallops and other marine life lacks discrimination and is causing irreparable damage to the marine ecosystem. Fearnley Whittingstall claims the only truly sustainable option is hand dived scallops, which are far more expensive and represent a comparatively tiny amount of total production. Unsurprisingly, the industry largely disputes this claim, arguing that dredging can be sustainable in areas where the sea floor is constantly being ploughed up by natural tides.

Mixed sustainability messages

But it’s not just the fishermen that are railing against TV’s take on the issue. Seafood expert and restaurateur Mitch Tonks is dismayed at the way dredging has been portrayed. “I get my scallops from Brixham Market; they are dredge caught by the local fleet. When you see Hugh diving on a rocky reef, that’s not quite the full picture: the majority of scallops are harvested from sandy bottoms. It’s heavy impact fishing, but it’s done in a contained area. Besides, dredging is the only way to offer scallops on a meaningful scale.” There are conflicting messages from the big fishing organisations too. The Marine Conservation Society says that nothing but hand harvested will do, but the Marine Stewardship Council accredits a number of dredged scallop fisheries, further muddying the waters for chefs. (more…)

What are the Best Masticating Juicers for the Money in Cooking Field?

It is a well-known fact that juicing is considered as an exciting and enjoyable process. According to cooking experts, juice is an ideal detox, health food and diet to have in the morning. Juice is able to substitute the regular meal given the correct ingredients, which are used.

It is vital to mention that masticating juicers assists by simply taking out the very high nutritional value from the ingredients packing juice with various vitamins, flavor & nutrients. Users of the masticating juicers should know that the term masticating indicates the process utilized.

Masticating juicers utilize augers that chew, grind and mash through vegetables and fruits in order to squeeze each last drop of the juice out by easily separating it from dry pulp. Moreover, there juicers are quite slow as compare to centrifugal juicers however, are extremely effective & efficient by having the capacity to chew & mash through soft, green fruits and vegetables without discrimination.

When it comes to buying the best masticating juicer for the money, then it is advisable to do considerable amount of the research. It is worth stating that being capable of making healthy fruit and vegetable juice on daily basis is an important part of the positive and healthy lifestyle. (more…)

What are the benefits of Keurig for cooking?

This past year whilst on holiday my hubby as well as we remained from a good lovable mattress as well as breakfast every day exactly where all of us experienced the Keurig reviews with regard to the very first time. I had been fascinated and needed to utilize it. As soon as I utilized the actual Keurig with regard to the very first time there is absolutely no returning. I had been totally hooked on the actual ease of this, exactly how fast the actual coffee brewed, as well as exactly how scrumptious the actual coffee had been whenever it had been completed brewing!


What are the benefits of it:

I ‘m the only real coffee enthusiast with this home, I accustomed to brewing an entire container associated with coffee every day? It had been wasteful as well as tiresome to complete every single day. Very first I might mill the actual coffee, after that fill up the actual container along with drinking water, look for a document coffee filtration system during my congested cabinets, after which lastly reach brewing the actual container associated with coffee. The benefits of using it are: (more…)

What are uses of Best Vacuum Sealer?

Vacuum sealer is consider an ideal thing for storing varieties of food.  You can use the vacuum sealer to store huge amount of food weekly. It is important to know that now day, vacuum sealers are very famous at home as well as among the fishermen and hunters in order to store their hauls. In addition to these, several gardeners and bulk shoppers are also using vacuum sealers.

In this article, reads will get the valuable information about the basic uses of the best vacuum sealer. However, before moving further it is important to know that what actually the vacuum sealer is.

What is Vacuum Sealer?

Commonly, vacuum sealers are a kind of bag heat sealers, which are used for the distinct high-quality packing purposes. Vacuum sealers are used as an essential part of packing dried food, various devices and different materials, which might breakdown easily when exposed to air.

Vacuum sealers works in an easy way by simply pulling the air away while creating the very tight seal all around food items in order to prevent it from the elements, which can cause corrosion. Moreover, it is important to know that this nimble sealer variation is consider a very heavy duty device which can easily draws some air out of ploy box before routinely sealing it. By employing this method, vacuum sealers can also decrease the size of packed food items by eliminating the stuck air, which remains in the bag. Sometimes, it is consider as the most valid reason behind using the vacuum sealer. (more…)

A grilled cheese venture that began life in a tent is taking the US fast casual scene by storm.

The idea of grilled cheese is nothing new. We just took a comfort food and figured out how to make it right, says Tom+Chee co-founder Trew Quackenbush.

By taking the traditional formula of simple tomato soup, white bread, butter, and American cheese, and then giving it a gourmet twist, the brand has taken the US fast casual dining market by storm.

From a tent next to an ice rink on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square in 2009, the company has grown to spread across the US. Thanks in part to its innovative menu of unique grilled cheese sandwiches and doughnuts, coupled with a wave of publicity which culminated in a successful pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank (the US version of Dragons’ Den), 12 strong Tom+Chee now has plans to grow to 200 stores in the next five years.

From a tent to big intent

The idea for the brand was born in a backyard cook-off in the summer of 2009 when Quackenbush and his friend Corey Ward discussed opening a restaurant. We had many talks about what we could do, recalls Quackenbush. We settled on grilled cheese because it is executable, easily trainable and repeatable. When we started out we didn’t have enough money for a restaurant or even a food truck. However, we did have enough for a griddle and a tent.

The duo, together with their wives, juggled shifts at the pop up tent while still working full time jobs. Throughout the following year, traffic picked up and in December 2010,363 days after first pitching the tent, the brand opened its debut bricks ‘n’ mortar unit. With a full kitchen, Tom+Chee broadened its menu offering to include more than 25 eclectic grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as three versions of tomato soup, a daily changing variety of specials, and grilled cheese doughnuts.

The most special thing is the care we take in sourcing and choosing our ingredients, adds Quackenbush, using no freezers, no microwaves, no presses, no magic technology.

The concept was an overnight success. Tom+Chee was named one of Cincinnati’s Best New Restaurants and its signature grilled cheese doughnut was voted Best Unorthodox Donut by Cincinnati newspaper CityBeat and received plaudits from several national media outlets, including The Huffington Post.

Within months of opening our first store, we received a call to open at Newport on the Levee, a mixed use entertainment complex just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, says Quackenbush.

In May 2012 we opened our first franchise store in Louisville, Kentucky, where we now have three locations, and in August 2012 we opened our third Cincinnati location.

Out of the shark tank

The group built awareness with Groupon deals, aggressive local store marketing, and appearances on TV shows such as Man V Food.

Then, last May, Quackenbush and Ward appeared on Shark Tank and netted a $600,000 (355,893 [pounds sterling]) deal for a 30% stake in the business with real estate investor Barbara Corcoran and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Although the deal never materialised the exposure for the company was priceless.

Not only did their TV appearance boost sales at the restaurants, it also led to operators wanting to open their own Tom+Chee franchise. Things blew up, Quackenbush admits. We received more than 16,000 enquiries from potential franchisees all over the world. They were from all 50 states, plus Canada, Ireland, the Philippines, Vietnam, Dubai, and the Czech Republic.

Tom+Chee’s success is impressive, yet it is even more so considering the limitations of the venture. Grilled cheese is the ultimate US comfort food, filling diners with happy memories of childhood. So, reinventing an old staple with wildly modern creations was potentially risky.

However, the risk has paid off. Items such as the Hippy+Chee (hummus, cucumbers, mixed greens, tomato and cheddar on wheat); the Swiss+Shroom (grilled onions, mushrooms and Swiss on rye); or the Grilled Mac+Cheese (macaroni and cheddar cheese on white) have proved to be a winning formula.

Other menu items include a variety of tomato soups, including classic, chunky tomato and basil, and creamy tomato and basil. Seasonal specials, meanwhile, include blue cheese chilli and tomato gazpacho.

Then there are seven sandwiches layered with potato crisps, such as the Italian (salt and vinegar crisps, pepperoni, ham and mozzarella on sourdough) and more than nine different grilled cheese doughnuts, with ingredients including brie, mascarpone, and blueberry compote, all served on glazed doughnuts. The average spend is $8 (5 [pounds sterling]).

We stand out because we are making great food with fresh ingredients, and we have fun, says Quackenbush. This isn’t stuffy adult grilled cheese. We do grilled cheese for the kid at heart.

On the franchise trail

Tom+Chee now has 12 units across six states, with 150 stores under franchise contract in 20 states. By the end of 2014, the founders predict they will be opening Tom+Chee shops at the rate of one a week. In five years we should be at 200 plus stores, says Quackenbush, adding that international expansion will be on the cards eventually, but only when we are ready.

Franchising is central to Tom+Chee’s rapid expansion plans. Franchisees can buy the rights to open a restaurant for $35,000 (21,000 [pounds sterling]) with Tom+Chee providing marketing and operations advice in return for a 6% royalty fee on sales.

We’re interested in meeting people excited about grilled cheese and chasing their own American dream. We feel like we’re building a family, say the founders.

Four of five new kitchen electrics shift upscale

As part of a year long effort to shift its product mix somewhat upscale, Hamilton Beach has introduced five kitchen electrics that it says fit the food preparation lifestyles of today.

Also, according to Paul Ackels, Hamilton Beach’s vice president for sales, the company is having a good year, especially in food processors and blenders.

Hamilton Beach’s new products are a meat grinder, electric knife, juice extractor, auto cook slow cooker, and an espresso cappuccino machine. Shipping is to begin in the fall.

Ackels said the new kitchen electrics are designed to appeal to health conscious consumers and, second, they’re targeted at those who want to do more food preparation at home, with specific appliances that do specific jobs. As an example, Ackels pointed to Hamilton Beach’s new meat grinder, which can make homemade sausage. (more…)

Food of spring

Wild mushrooms

As we went to press (mid December), mushrooms were in tight supply due to excessively wet conditions in the main growing areas, which means prices are up overall. The delayed Portuguese and Spanish girolle, chanterelle and pied de mouton seasons should be picking up in January, and you can expect larger numbers of American black trompettes through at the beginning of the month. There are very limited quantities of South African cep available, but you’ll pay for them at least 30 [pounds sterling]kg. Black truffles both Perigord and Italian are starting, and you can expect to pay around 800 [pounds sterling]kg, with the price probably dropping by the end of the month. British wild mushroom expert Brigitte Tee says UK Perigord should be available in January, along with brownwinter chanterelles, pied de mouton and pied bleu.


Partridges are good, and pheasants hens in particular are in excellent condition (all 8 [pounds sterling] brace). Mallard (13 brace), widgeon (10 brace) and teal(9 [pounds sterling]brace) are in good supply, and venison continues to be top quality (saddles 18.50 [pounds sterling]kg, haunches 10kg).

Beef, lamb and pork

Beef prices look like they’ll be mirroring last month’s as we head through January. Usually you’d expect prices to fall across the board in the new year, especially for fillet (currently 22 – 23 kg for Scotch, 19 – 20 kg for English) and bone in rib (Scotch currently 9 kg, English 7.80 kg), but last year they tended to hold steady, and there’s little indication it will be different this time around, says trader Phil Muchmore on Smithfield. Lamb prices are likely to hold their pre Christmas levels until the first week of the new year, due to the effects of the bank holiday on the supply chain, but thereafter you’ll probably see some falls.

It’s difficult to call, says lamb trader Paul Andrade, but you could be looking at 5.20 pounds sterling 5.30 [pounds sterling]kg for leg, 2.80 pounds sterling 3 pounds sterling kg for chines, upwards of 4.40 pounds sterling kg for best end and 3.80 [pounds sterling] 4 [pounds sterling]kg for shoulder. And pork Currently trade is on fire, with legs (more…)

Why you should purchase meat Grinder

Food lovers all over the globe who wish to possess burgers as well as meat golf balls more regularly for his or her supper are now able to provide relieve for their life through getting meat grinders for their kitchens. These types of grinders tend to be simple to use and you will select the one which fits the needs you have in the big number of versions available for sale. Therefore, include more enjoyable for your cooking food with this particular meat grinder reviews as well as help to make all of the tasty meals a person desire with regard to rapidly.

Getting meat grinder for your own house:

Guide grinders will also be a great way associated with milling meat in your own home because they don’t price much and you will possess high quality grinded meat from this very easily. These types of grinders tend to be ideal for those who want meat products for his or her loved ones because they don’t have to mill a sizable volume of meat. Therefore, anybody might have an excellent high quality meat through milling this with one of these quite simple meat grinder with regard to planning healthy food choices in your own home. (more…)

There are more reasons than ever to “eat your greens”

Iron, vitamin A, antioxidants the average serve of green vegetables contains an impressive number of goodies. But while they all share the same colour partly due to their chlorophyll content each one brings a slightly different health benefit to the table. So, whether it’s for easing a hangover or preventing cancer, there’s a green vegie that fits the bill.

Watercress a daily dose of watercress can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, something that’s believed to be an important trigger in the development of cancer. Irish researchers found consuming watercress regularly is linked to an overall reduced risk of cancer at various sites in the body. Choose bunches with fresh looking leaves and healthy, robust stems.

Broccoli Researchers have discovered another reason broccoli is so good for you by stimulating the release of antioxidant enzymes, the cruciferous vegetable helps protect against the respiratory inflammation that leads to asthma and allergic rhinitis (think runny nose and watery eyes). A half cup serve of cooked broccoli also provides near to 60 per cent of your daily vitamin C requirements. (more…)

When in season fresh sweet corn

A salad bar staple it may be, but when in season fresh sweet corn can add a wow factor to summer menus
With canned sweetcorn a mainstay of salad bars, jacket potato toppings and questionable vegetarian pizza options, it is perhaps understandable that its fresh counterpart is neglected by ‘proper’ chefs. Yet when cooked very fresh sweetcorn must be used promptly as the sugars start turning into less tasty starch as soon as it is harvested it can be a revelation.

Sweetcorn is essentially a variety of maize with a high sugar content, but unlike most other corn varieties it’s picked when immature (the ‘milk stage’) and consumed as a vegetable rather than a grain. Native American tribes were the first to cultivate the plant and most believe Christopher Columbus brought it back to the old world, along with tomatoes, potatoes and chilli plants.

A true corn star

As well as being a canned vegetable stalwart, sweetcorn is now a hugely important food processing ingredient. Corn syrup is the US go to and somewhat controversial sweetening and thickening agent, and a very close relative of sweetcorn provides popcorn. Polenta and corn flour are processed from other types of maize. (more…)