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Archive for March 27, 2016

KENTUCKY DERBY: 2016 Woodford Reserve Commemorative Bottle

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Bottle

Equine artist Thomas Allen Pauly’s painting featured on commemorative bottle. Photo courtesy Brown-Forman Corporation.

 

Can’t make it to the Kentucky Derby on May 7th? Treat yourself to a special bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

The Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve is honoring this year’s “Run for the Roses” with the release of its 2016 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle. Woodford Reserve has been the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby” for 18 years.

The 2016 limited-edition bottle features artwork from award-winning equine artist Thomas Allen Pauly. His painting, “Barreling Down”—two thoroughbreds and jockeys neck and neck—is featured on the front of the Woodford Reserve bottle.

The neck band is Woodford Reserve’s signature copper color with the Kentucky Derby 142 (it’s the 142nd annual race) and Thomas Allen Pauly’s signature sealing the top of the bottle. A neck tag provides details about the product and the artist

The commemorative liter-size bottle is available nationwide at a suggested retail price of $43.99. It also makes nice gift for a race-loving parent (think the upcoming Mother’s Day andFather’s Day).

There’s more about the brand at WoodfordReserve.com.

 

 
  

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Australian Lamb

While Mom always served great meals, a leg of lamb was a special treat. It was the star of our yearly Easter dinner, served with mint jelly and sides of spring peas and roasted potatoes.

When the folks from Aussie Lamb contacted us with the offer to try Australia-raised lamb, they didn’t have to twist arms. The lamb arrived frozen, but it didn’t stay that way for long. We defrosted a different cut overnight in the fridge, and the next day enjoyed an exceptional lamb dinner.

Australia is known worldwide as a producer and exporter of high-quality lamb with a top food safety record. The lamb is 100% free-range, feeding on grass. It is all-natural, free of artificial additives including hormone.

Naturally lean, tender and juicy with superb flavor, the lamb is aged to retain moisture and then vacuum-packed. Our “Lambathon”—three consecutive days of lamb dinners—has made us a big fan. The chops were wonderful, the rack of lamb celestial.

All of the cuts are available, from ground meat and kabobs to shank and shoulder—for special occasions to every day. The lamb is certified Halal.

And, it is half the price of fresh lamb (we checked prices at FreshDirect.com). No one could tell the difference.

 

Rack Of Lamb

Cooked Lamb Shank

Top: Elegant rack of lamb for special occasions. Bottom: Luscious lamb shank for every day. Photos courtesy Australian Lamb.

 
LAMB: A HEALTHY RED MEAT

Lamb is a lean protein with low cholesterol. An average 3-ounce serving is just 175 calories. Lamb is an excellent source of protein, niacin, selenium and vitamin B12, and a good source of riboflavin.

And here’s a surprise: Lamb has three times more iron than chicken and two times m ore iron than pork and salmon. While fish contains the highest level of omega-3 fatty acids, lean lamb is close behind.

Australian Lamb is a healthy choice for any lifestyle—a naturally nutrient-rich food with high levels of zinc, Vitamin B12, iron, riboflavin and thiamin.

In our neighborhood, it is carried by the best markets, Citarella and Whole Foods among them. Here’s a store locator.

There are more recipes than you can shake a tail at, at AustralianLamb.com, along with cooking tips and a video library.

The council will also send you a free cookbook.

Could you ask for anything more?

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Other Uses For A Paella Pan

Shrimp Paella

A paella pan from IMUSA USA. The delicious shrimp and bay scallop paella has lots of fresh spring peas.

 

Today is National Paella Day, one of our favorite foods. It’s a great party dish. It can feed a crowd. It can be served at the table or can sit on a buffet. It can be a special weekend dinner. Any leftovers can be microwaved for lunch at work—but it tastes just fine at room temperature.

Paella can be made on a stovetop or atop a grill. In fact, it was originally a worker’s meal, cooked in the field over a wood fire.

Here’s the history of paella, and a recipe for paella on the grill.

 
DO YOU NEED A PAELLA PAN TO MAKE PAELLA?

Paella pans—called paelleras in Spanish—were developed to meet specific criteria for cooking the dish. If you don’t have a paella pan, you can use a large skillet, of course.

Be sure that it’s a flat-bottomed conventional, nonstick skillet. If you want soccorat, the caramelized rice an the bottom of the pan which many people cherish, it won’t happen in a nonstick pan. (That said, there are nonstick paella pans for those who would rather not scrub the rice off the bottom of the pan.)

The major “pro” for the skillet is that you don’t have to buy a piece of specialized cookware.

 
Not surprisingly, there are more reasons to use a paella pan.

  • First is the diameter. Paella pans are very large so you can make a lot at once. Paella is usually served as a large family meal or for a party. It takes enough effort so that you want leftovers, too. A 15″ pan is fine for family dinners, and since the pans are made in one-inch increments (15″, 16″, 17″, 18″, etc.) the choices are staggering,
  • Diameter is important so the rice can be spread out to cook properly; a layer half an inch deep is ideal. Pans are made up to 50 inches in diameter. The jumbo ones are for restaurant use; but on a consumer level.
  • Another important criterion is even heat distribution.
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    In sum, the shape was developed over time to be ideal for…cooking paella!
     
    OTHER USES FOR A PAELLA PAN

    Beyond paella, the pan can easily substitute for skillets, griddles and baking and roasting pans.

  • Make breakfast. You can cook larger amounts of bacon, eggs, and pancakes in a wok than in most frying pans and griddles.
  • Fry or sauté fish and meat. A paella pan is much larger than a standard frying pan. You can fit numerous chicken breasts, chops, fish fillets or steaks, even large steaks, without crowding the pan.
  • Make stir fries. Don’t have a wok? Use your paella pan to stir fry.
  • Bake and roast. Need an extra baking sheet or roasting pan? Bake those biscuits or roast that chicken in your paella pan!
  • Serve. If your pan looks new enough, use it as a serving tray.
  • Use as a plancha. A plancha is a flat-top metal grill that gets very hot, enabling cut-up food or small items like shrimp to cook quickly. It’s the high-heat, quick-cooking Spanish version of a wok.
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    If you have other kitchen uses for paella pans, we’d love to hear them!
     
      

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