Monday, January 31, 2011

Chick Pea Flour + Recipe

 Roasted Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour (garbanzo flour) is somewhat similar to soy flour: a protein-rich gluten-free flour which can be used for many kinds of baking and cooking. It is used mostly in Asia, Middle East, France and Italy. It is made by grinding chickpeas.  Chickpea flour has a high proportion of carbohydrates, but no gluten. And despite this, in comparison to other flours, it also has a high proportion of protein.
Moreover, when mixed with an equal proportion of water, can be used as an egg-replacer in vegan cooking.

How to Make Your Own Chickpea Flour
  1. Take pre-cooked chickpeas, rinse thoroughly and drain.
  2. Spread evenly across an un-greased baking tray and cook on medium heat for 2–3 hours then turn off oven and leave overnight to cool.
  3. Place into a mortar and pestle and grind to a fine consistency.
Read more at Suite101: How to Use Chickpea Flour

French cuisine has a chickpea pancake called socca, which is normally fried on a pan. The recipe is just 3 parts (by volume) water, 2 parts chickpea flour, a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. Farinata is an Italian equivalent from Liguria with essentially the same batter, but usually baked in the oven. Both socca and farinate are sometimes seasoned with rosemary.

Read more at Suite101: How to Use Chickpea Flour


Chickpea Flour in Baking

In gluten-free baking some of the flour can be replaced with chickpea flour to increase the protein and nutrient content, as many gluten-free flours are low in protein. It works best in savoury dishes, such as pie crusts. About 1/3 of the flour can usually be replaced with chickpea flour.


Chickpea Flour as a Binding Agent

Like soy flour, chickpea flour can also be used as an egg replacer in many dishes. It can replace a small amount of eggs that do not need to be whipped in many baking recipes (add enough liquid to make 0.5 dl/ scant 1/4 cup of "egg"). It can also be used in binding together casseroles and vegetable croquettes.

Recipe - Panella

Panella is like a deep fried flat pancake with a ceci bean flour base. It can be found being sold at street stands in Sicily.
Panella is peasant food in the truest sense of the word, and resemble both the panissa made in Liguria and some of the fritters they make in Tunisia -- proof that in the Mediterranean everybody interacts. I've found a couple of recipes, one savory and the other sweet. To begin with the savory:

  • 1 pound (500 g) chick pea flour
  • Olive oil or rendered lard for frying
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Minced parsley (optional)
  1. Stir the chick pea flour into 2 quarts (2 l) of lightly salted water over a moderate flame, and stir the mixture steadily in the same direction with a wooden spoon until you obtain a soft, lump-free paste.
  2. When the paste begins to pull away from the sides of the pot, turn it out into oiled wooden molds, or spread it out about 1/4 inch high (1/2 cm) on your work surface (dust the surface with parsley before you spread if you're including it).
  3. Once the paste has cooled, cut it into 1 by 3-inch (3x7 cm) rectangles and fry them in hot oil or lard.
To serve them, lay several rectangles on a slice of still-warm freshly baked bread, season them with lemon juice and salt to taste, top with another slice of bread, and enjoy.
The sweet version is slightly more elaborate, and calls for:
  • 12 ounces (300 g) chick pea flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) rendered lard
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch of salt
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Stir a cup (250 ml) of water into the milk, add the sugar, lard, and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Remove it from the fire and stir in the four and the egg to obtain a stiff dough. Roll the dough out onto your work surface, cut it into rectangles when it has cooled, fry them, and dust them with powdered sugar.
Purchase this flour from any of our locations or if you do not have a Doris in your area, purchase from our online store. Click HERE!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011


What is Amarone?

Amarone is a style of red wine produced in the Valpolicello area of the Veneto in northeastern Italy. Think Verona and Romeo & Juliet and you are there! While great diversity certainly exists, typically the wines are dry, fresh, full-bodied with lots of extract, high alcohol (15-16%), and complex with great depth and flavor concentration.

Amarone is made from the best grapes of that region.  The region dates back to the Roman Empire, when grapes were dried to concentrate their sugars and create a sweet wine.  This drying process evolved as Recioto, a sweet wine which is still produced. Legend has it that a chance fermentation continued all the way to dryness surprising the producers who tasted it.  Expecting their customary sweet wine, they pronounced it "Amaro" or "bitter".  As yeast strains evolved that could withstand the resulting higher alcohol, producers realized that they had something special, and paid more attention to this uniquely rich dry red wine.  It was named Recioto della Amarone della Valpolicella, but in 1990, the name Recioto was removed from the label, and was reserved for the local sweet wines that still had residual sugar.

Many poeple may have shied away from these wines for the fear of them being too strong and of being of 15-16% alcohol. This misconception may be due to the fact that people were simply trying the wines too young. The current release on the US market is 2005.  Amarones from 2000 are just beginning to open up.

The Vineyards and the Grapes

The best Amarone wines are made from grapes from the best hillside vineyards, where poor soils force the vine roots to dig deep for water and nutrients. These poor soils also keep yields in check, ensuring small, concentrated berries packed with flavor.
Indigenous grape varieties from the region are also key to Amarone’s uniqueness. Corvino is the main player (called the Queen), providing backbone, structure, body and acidity. Other indigenous varieties such as Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara and the lesser-known Oseleta are all important ingredients in the final mix, each adding its own special flavors and dimension to the wines.  The lighter grape Molinara, is no longer considered an important component of Amarone, but is often used in Valpolicella Wine, and also used to make Ros├ęs. 

How the wines are made

Key words that come up again and again when talking about Amarone are ‘selection’ and ‘drying’. Amarone wines are made from carefully selected bunches of the best grapes. These grapes are then dried (or dehydrated) before fermentation. Traditionally the grapes were dried on wooden racks at ambient temperatures. Today many producers use special temperature and humidity-controlled rooms for this process to ensure that mold does not attack the grapes.

This drying process, which lasts between three and four months, is critical to the unique character of Amarone. During the drying process in special ventilation rooms, where the grapes are no longer on the vine, molds can develop.  Besides well ventilated areas, most producers have installed warm air blowers to control humidity.

As the grapes shrivel, sugars, acids, tannins, flavors, extract and other grape compounds concentrate. Additionally various reactions occur within the grapes themselves creating more complexity. Once dried the grapes are crushed and then fermented until dry.

Most wines undergo an extended maceration on the skins, just to make sure that all of the complexities and goodness from the shriveled skins ends up in the wine. Then the wines are matured in oak for at least two years for ‘normale’ Amarone and four years for Riserva.

Masi is one of the Amarones you can find at Doris Italian Market. Other Amarones include Bertani, Brigaldara and others depending on the store...
 Within the Amarone style of wines, there is great diversity between producers depending on such factors as the vineyard location, drying time for the grapes, length and temperature of fermentation, size of barrel and length of maturation as well as the final blend of grapes.


Traditionally recognized simply as a style of Valpolicello, Amarone enjoyed DOC quality status. However, after much determined lobbying to seek its own denomination of quality, Amarone was finally granted the more elevated status of DOCG, beginning with the 2010 vintage. However, we won’t see this designation on a bottle of Amarone for a few years until the 2010’s enter the market circa 2013 to 2014.

When you consider that the first DOCG wines weer announced in 1980, it's rather remarkable that it took until 2010 to give this designation to Amarone.  However, in 1980, the powerfully concentrated, yet richly deep perfumed Amarone was not well known, except by collectors. Besides, the area of Veneto, home of Amarone, was more famous for the its white Soave.

Regions and their producers applying for DOCG status have to show 10 years of record keeping and documentation, and when reds, like Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino were awarded their DOCGs, they didn't have to do anything differently from what they had already been doing. 
In the recent case of Amarone, however, some fine producers in general, and a group of twelve Amarone families in particular, decided to put some teeth into their newly awarded "G", and rise to the meaning of the "G", which stands for Garantita.  They decided that standards had to be raised, production had to be limited by lowering the yield per hectare to ensure quality, with no new plantings scheduled until 2013.  Producers had to agree to abide by all of the stricter regulations that come with being a DOCG wine, such as minimums for alcohols and extracts. 

The recently created Amarone Families Association has agreed on an increase of the amount of Corvina, from 40-80% to 45-95%.  The percent of Corvinone has also been increased, since its thicj skins and low yields make it suitable for drying.  DOC Amarone had permitted 10% "foreign" varieties, such as Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The newly designated DOCG Amarone willa lso be allowed to use those varieties, but may also use 10% of indigineous smaller varieties, such as Oselata and Negrara.

The unique taste of Amarone

Common tasting notes of Amarone acknowledge the vibrancy of the wines, their freshness, the way that the high levels of tannin were so seamlessly integrated with the fruit. Despite having alcohol levels between 15% and 16% these wines are extremely balanced, warm in some cases but never aggressive or intrusive.
Additionally, even in the most ‘modern’ style, the oak was never overt, instead adding subtle background and complexity to the fruit.

In the late 20th century, a new style of wine known as ripasso (meaning "repassed") emerged. With this technique, the pomace of leftover grape skins and seeds from the fermentation of recioto and Amarone are added to the batch of Valpolicella wines for a period of extended maceration.

The additional food source for the remaining fermenting yeasts helps boost the alcohol level and body of the wines while also leaching additional tannins, glycerine and some phenolic compounds that contribute to a wine's complexity, flavor and color. As the production of Amarone has increased in the 21st century, so too has the prevalence of ripasso style wines appearing in the wine market, with most Amarone producers also producing a ripasso as a type of "second wine".

An alternative method is to use partially dried grapes, instead of leftover pomace, which contain less bitter tannins and even more phenolic compounds.

The first Valpolicella producer to commercially market a ripasso wine was Masi in the early 1980s.When the style first became popular in the late 20th century, it was rarely noted on the wine label. There was also debate about whether it was even permitted to be included under DOC regulations. If it was mentioned at all it was relegated to the back label wine description notes. Today the term ripasso is freely permitted to be used, with several examples on the wine market labeled as being made in the ripasso style. In late 2009, Ripasso della Valpolicella received its own DOC designation.

Amarone at the table

Full-bodied, with lots of tannin and extract, these wines call for meat and hearty rich dishes. Aged ribeye or roast venison both came to mind several times during the tasting. The wines’ bright acidity and tannins are well able to break down even the richest of dishes. As we get further into fall and winter approaches, this might be the time to try an Amarone, if it has not usually been on your list of go-to wines.

Given the rigorous selection process, time spent drying the grapes and long maturation times these wines are not inexpensive. For a good quality Amarone, be prepared to pay $50 and above. Not for everyday drinking, these are wines for special occasions, wines to gift and in particular wines to lay down and open in five to ten years.

Check with your nearest Doris location about which Amarones they carry as well as Ripasso and Valpolicella wines. Salut!

(sources: Beverage Dynamics Magazine Jan/Feb 2011,, wikipedia)

Weekly Ad 1/27/11 - 2/2/11

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Happy Shopping!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Frank Zamboni - Italian Inventor of the Zamboni Ice Resurfacing Machine

Making Ice Nice Since 1949: A Brief History of the Zamboni by Scott Allen - May 14, 2010 -

The technical name for the funny looking machine that refurbishes the ice at hockey and figure skating rinks is an ice resurfacer, but you probably know it better as a Zamboni. Here are a few points you may not have known about the leading brand in the industry for more than 60 years.
Who invented the Zamboni?
Frank Zamboni, the son of Italian immigrants, invented the first ice resurfacing machine in Paramount, California, in 1949. Zamboni initially wanted to name his company the Paramount Engineering Company, but the name was taken, so he used his family name instead.To fully appreciate Zamboni’s genius, it’s worth delving a little bit into his past. After working together at an auto repair shop in Southern California, Frank and his younger brother opened an electric service business that specialized in building and installing large refrigeration units for the dairy industry. The Zambonis expanded their business to meet the demands of the produce industry by building a plant that produced block ice, which was used to keep perishable goods from spoiling while in transport. When the demand for block ice began to wane as refrigeration technology improved, the brothers used their ice-making expertise to capitalize on the growing popularity of figure skating by opening the Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount in 1939.
What was the inspiration for the Zamboni?
Maintaining the quality of an ice surface that could accommodate up to 800 skaters was a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. Iceland Skating Rink workers walking behind a scraper being pulled by a tractor scooped up the shavings, sprayed the ice with water, and squeegeed the surface. According to the Zamboni website, the process took more than an hour. There had to be a better solution, Frank Zamboni thought. He was right.
What did the first models look like?
Most of Zamboni’s early prototypes were built of war surplus parts. Zamboni applied for a patent for his Model A resurfacer, which was built and tested in Paramount and included a hydraulic chamber from a Douglas bomber, in 1949. The look of the machine hasn’t changed all that much in 61 years.
How does a Zamboni work?
As the machine moves over the ice, its sharp blade shaves a thin layer from the surface. A rotating horizontal auger collects the shavings and funnels them to a rotating vertical auger, which moves them into a large bin called the snow collection tank. Water is released from the back of the machine to clean the ice before it is collected by a squeegee, vacuumed, filtered, and returned to the wash-water tank. Clean water from a separate tank is sprayed out of holes in the back of the machine and smoothed over with a towel.
How did the Zamboni become popular?
A big breakthrough for Zamboni occurred in 1950, when figure skater Sonja Henie ordered two machines for her traveling tour. Arthur Wirtz, the owner of Chicago Stadium and the man responsible for presenting Henie’s tour, reportedly told Frank Zamboni that he was concerned with the novelty of the machine. “People will stay in the stands and watch it and not go down to the concession stands,” Wirtz said. Charlie Brown would agree. The Peanuts character said a Zamboni clearing the ice is one of the three things in life that people like to stare at, along with a crackling fire and a flowing stream. (Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis and included many references to Zambonis in his cartoons.)
The Boston Bruins became the first NHL team to use a Zamboni in 1954 and other teams eventually followed suit. In 1960, Zamboni supplied six ice-resurfacing machines to the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California.
What other machines did Zamboni invent?
In the early 1970s, stadiums throughout the country began installing AstroTurf in place of natural grass. While the synthetic surface required minimal upkeep, rain would collect on the surface, rendering it unplayable. The manufacturers of AstroTurf approached Zamboni in hopes that he could design a machine that would alleviate this problem. The result was the Astro Zamboni machine, which removed rain water from AstroTurf and prevented unnecessary rain delays. Zamboni developed two more machines for use on AstroTurf, one that helped roll and unroll the surface and another that removed paint from it.
How many machines has Zamboni built?
Zamboni has manufactured about 10,000 machines. Today, the company’s two factories produce about 200 Zambonis a year.
Who else manufactures ice-resurfacing machines?
While most of Zamboni’s competitors have been flushed away over the years, the Resurfice Corporation in Ontario, which has been operated by the Schlupp family for more than 40 years, continues to produce its Olympia model. The company boasts a handful of NHL clients and provided electric ice resurfacers for the 2010 Winter Olympics, providing national attention that the company would probably like to forget. The electric machines failed to properly clean the ice during the men’s 500-meter speedskating event, causing a lengthy delay. According to a 2009 article in the New York Times, the Schlupps are used to hearing their machines referred to as Zambonis, while the Zamboni family is wary that the familiarity of the name will lead to the company losing its trademark protection.
Are there any famous Zamboni drivers?
Al Sobotka, who has driven the Zamboni and cleaned up octopuses at Detroit Red Wings games for more than 30 years, is one of the more famous Zamboni drivers. In 1999, the Zamboni company sponsored a Zamboni Driver of the Year contest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the machine. Jimmy Macneil, who drove the Zamboni at the arena in Wayne Gretzky’s hometown of Brantford, Ontario, won the contest and the right to drive the Zamboni at the All-Star Game in Toronto. “It’s a thrill right up there with getting married and having children,” said Macneil, who drove Zambonis through the streets of Canada in the four months leading up to the 2002 Winter Olympics to raise money for the Canadian Hockey Association’s grass-roots programs.
Also, the GEICO Caveman:

Have there been any Zamboni accidents?
Yes, including the one that killed Carla’s husband, Eddie LeBec, on the sitcom Cheers. In 2008, a Calgary man almost lost his leg after it got trapped in a Zamboni as he was stepping down from the machine. It took firefighters half an hour to free the man’s leg before he was transported to the hospital in serious but stable condition. According to the Zamboni website, Frank Zamboni crashed into the highway median while driving a Model C machine he was delivering to Berkeley Iceland. And while they managed to avoid a crash, two employees of a Boise ice skating rink were fired after driving a Zamboni through a Burger King drive-through in 2006.
To view actual article click HERE.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rosemary Cake

Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

I had a customer inquire about this item. While I suggest it to our bakers, here's a recipe for thise who wish to try it. I came across a few recipes that differed. Some recipes use mascarpone and some drizzle a lemon glaze over it. This is a nice basic recipe to start with.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • grated zest and juice of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup regular or extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped off and chopped
  • a couple more sprigs of rosemary to decorate the top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In large bowl, beat eggs for about a minute until frothy.
  3. Add sugar and beat for a few minutes until mixture is thick and pale.
  4. Add lemon zest, juice and olive oil and beat again.
  5. Combine flour, baking powder, rosemary and salt in another bowl, then add to egg mixture. Stir by hand until just combined.
  6. Pour into prepared loaf pan (sprayed or lined with parchment).
  7. Lay decorative rosemary on top.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

FYI - Fuji Apples (+ recipe: Fuji Apple Slaw)

Fuji apples were developed in Japan in the 1930s and named after Mount Fuji, as a cross of the Virginia Ralls Janet and the Red Delicious. Fuji apples were introduced United States in the 1980s. Ralls Janet is an antique Fuji Apple. apple that goes back to Thomas Jefferson in 1793.

Today we can get Fuji Apples from many regions Chile being one of them. Chile's central and southern growing zones are ideal apple growing regions. From January through August. They supply a complete program from Chile's finest exporters.

Fuji Apple Slaw Recipe

· 1 head Napa cabbage shredded
· ½ red onion julienne
· 2 Fuji apples julienne
· 1 ½ teaspoons celery seed
· 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
· ¼ cup cider vinegar
· 1 large shallot
· ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
· 1 teaspoon honey


Mince shallot and place in a bowl with vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt.
Chop the rest of your vegetables. When finished, slowly whisk in the olive oil to the shallots, vinegar, and mustard to emulsify. Dress the Napa cabbage and apples with the vinaigrette, and then add the celery seed. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.