Chefsperience 56-Blade Meat Tenderizer

 

Every now and again, despite my best efforts, I end up with a cut of meat that’s tough. Chewy. No so “choice”, even if the label says otherwise. And when that happens, I used to wish I had a meat tenderizer. I know, I know…how could I not, right? Thankfully, the folks at Chefsperience went and remedied that for me by offering up their 56-Blade Tenderizer. And I’m super glad they did.

See, what can make meat tough is connective tissues. The stuff that hold the muscles together. Everything from age to environment to feed affects these tissues in animals. And you usually have a choice: Extended cooking times to break down these tissues, or take the shortcut and use a product like the Chefsperience 56-blade Meat Tenderizer. Since Chefsperience send it, I’ve chosen the latter option. And it’s no shortcut. I punches through even frozen meats with ease, though particularly dense meats have had the blades stick in a bit. The blades are made from stainless steel, so rusting shouldn’t ever be an issue. So far, all the times I’ve used mine and let it air dry after, not a spot of rust. And beyond making meats more tender, beyond the quicker cooking times, you can now marinade your foods and get deep penetration of flavors, instead of things having a tasty crust on the outside and being bland on the inside. The tenderizer has a locking ring on it to keep hands and fingers safe from accidental deployment of the blades, and a clear acrylic storage cap as well.

I think this is a product that should really be a staple in every kitchen. And while i think I’m still partial to the longer rectangle shape of traditional meat tenderizers, the Chefsperience 56-Blade Meat Tenderizer is round and perfect for irregularly shaped cuts of meat, so it becomes a matter of personal preference. At around $15 shipped, it’s on par price wise with other, similar products, so I think it’s worth a try!

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Connect with Chefsperience:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Chefsperience.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

HouseParty: Mixing it up with Mezzetta Party #MezzettaMixer

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Mezzetta has been a brand we have used in our home for decades. From the roasted peppers that go great on a pizza, blended to add to a sauce to the Peperoncini that I slice up for sandwiches or eat whole with a salad. I have started baking our own breads because finding a bread with “friendly ingredients” is possible but at a hefty price point. I don’t believe you should pay more when you want less chemicals! When HouseParty announced they had openings for a Mezzetta Party, you bet I signed up.

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Mezzetta Party Kit contained:

  • (1) Apron with a cute Mezzetta logo that has an Olive and finally an apron with 2 large pockets. Those that give you one pocket don’t realize that I have 2 hands and usually I act like I have three by grabbing more utensils that I can hold.
  • (1) Visa Card for the Host to purchase products/ingredients for the event.
  • (1) One of the cutest Slotted Spoon that is perfect for draining the brine/liquid but still getting the olive and/or pepper you seek. No need to attempt to “harpoon” a pepper with a fork or pretend I can balance an olive out of a jar like Houdini.
  • (16) Coupon Booklets that included Mezzetta inspired recipes.
  • (16) Reusable Mezzetta branded Tote Bags that were very welcomed by my guests, due to the new state law, which will make California the first state to pass a state wide law of banning shopping bags.

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I have been doing really good with puff pastry and just like that, you can make the dishes savory or sweet. Easy to use and a great way to showcase what is in season. I found the most beautiful baby heirloom tomatoes, so they were a must mixed with a ricotta and Mezzetta’s Sun Dried Tomatoes “bedding” for them to rest on. I allowed guests to make their own dish by pre-chopping veggies they could add to their tart. Easy and almost mess free (well, bunching up the used parchment paper can be labor intensive 🙂 ).

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Combined with an Italian braised pork that I used Mezzetta’s Sweet Cherry Peppers and also paired with fresh Italian (Cubanelle) Green peppers, and doused in Pinot Grigio wine. You simply brown the seasoned pork first, brown the veggies and then add the peppers with a nice healthy wine bath. I add a bouquet of Lavender and Herbs, and just stick in the oven (covered in a braiser) at 350 degrees for a couple hours. Easy and tastes like you took all day to make when it was the oven that did all the work. I also love the all in one pot cooking method!

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The Olive bread was a cinch too. I use my “lazy girl” method, which can be used with any combination of Mezzetta’s Olives and most of their peppers.

Mezzetta’s Olive Blend Bread:

  • 1 3/4 cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 to 3/4 of warm water (105 degrees)
  • Olive Oil to baste bowl and bread

I put the above in my mixer (with dough hook) and make a well with the flour. I add the yeast and the warm water and allow it to “bloom” (bubble a bit) for about 5 to 8 minutes. I add my salt and then mix. If it needs more water to allow for a dough that is supple, I add by the teaspoon. I knead (well, the mixer does it) for about 7 to 10 minutes. I then get a bowl and add some Olive Oil to allow the bread to proof in the oven (105 degrees) for an hour (cover lightly with plastic wrap). Once the dough is proofed, I then put it in the fridge (do not punch the dough down).

I used about 1/2 a cup of mixed Mezzetta Olives, you can use peppers of your liking as long as the seeds are removed and they are chopped. Same goes for the olives, no stones or anything. Once I chopped what I want, I then take the dough out and start kneading my ingredients in. I sometimes add cheeses and a mix of dry and fresh herbs. Try to not over knead when incorporating your olives/pepper mixes. This can produce a rough dough. I will then shape the loaf into a desired shape and I then put the dough on a baking stone (a pan is fine with parchment or at least oiled to reduce sticking). Cover with a light towel and allow the dough to proof again for about 40 minutes to an hour. I sometimes baste mine with more Olive Oil or you use Warm Water to create a nice crust. I have sprinkled Parmesan to even Maldon (flake) Salt on mine before putting it in the oven. Add a couple slashes to allow the bread to breathe (steam escape) and bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes (depending on size/shape) or until done. Allow to completely cool before slicing! You can also make the dough ahead and leave it in the fridge for up to a week after the first proof (the dough gets a richer flavor if you at least leave it overnight in the fridge)…….told you it was a friendly
recipe 🙂

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Mezzetta allows us to make dishes that look beautiful, taste great, but took only a few minutes to make. I like that! The less time I spend in the kitchen, the more time I can spend with Family & Friends!

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Get you Mezzetta Fix and Make it betta’ at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from HouseParty and Mezetta.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BzzAgent: Filippo Berio® Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Not all oils are created equal and I have learned this through trial and error. As with many foods, companies add fillers or even combine oils to create a lesser quality product but still charge consumers a price point that makes you think it equates with quality.

Been there and done that…..and this is why I hold Filippo Berio’s oils on a whole different level.

I received an Extra Virgin Olive Oil bottle from BzzAgent along with all the great campaign goodies they include. You have the booklet, which educates you about the benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and how it can improve not only your dishes but your health. Great coupons and even a magnet that reflects the measurements you use when substituting Olive Oil for Butter. Great kit and I love it!

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Filippo Berio’s company exports their oils from Italy and has been sharing their great products since 1850.  Now, that is staying in business for a long time and you know you have to be doing something right if you want people to support your products.  The company makes several versions of Olive Oils from Extra Virgin, Light, and also makes vinegar (balsamics) and other products like olives and pestos.  Their distribution is massive and they now reach over 65 countries!  Now, that is reaching the masses!

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The Health Benefits:

Extra Virgin Olive oil is better for you because it contains no trans fat or cholesterol.  Butters commonly used in savory cooking contain salts and Olive oil does not.  You have an oil that is high in monounsaturated fats, which is commonly known as “the good fat” that doctors want you to eat.

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What is the difference between the Extra Virgin and just Olive Oil:

  • Virgin means the oil was produced by the use of physical means and the oil was not treated with any chemicals.  It also means the oil is produced from the “first batch” that the seed/grain produces.
  • Refined means that the oil has been chemically treated to neutralize strong tastes (characterized as defects) and neutralize the acid content.  Chemicals are many times used in lower quality oils as way to preserve and slow down the oxidation that occurs with age.  Refined oil is regarded as lower quality product.  Oils with the retail labels extra-virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil cannot contain any refined oil, as it would not be Virgin if anything else was added.
  • Olive Oil Pommace or Pomace, means oil extracted from the pomace using solvents, mostly Hexane.  Hexane is a carbon based chemical found in glues to gasoline.  Manufactures combine the Hexane and heat to extract from the seeds the oil.  Hexane has a low toxicity level, but nonetheless many industries that use the chemical in their processing, are seeking alternatives due to the adverse health effects.

What the above means is that it all comes down to purity and acidity levels.  Every oil has it’s purpose and this is why learning about them is something I like to do because I don’t want to pay for a lower end product, much less one laced with chemicals my body does not want or need.  Think about it like chocolate and cacao content…..it’s the same mind set.  Don’t let the labels fool you and I also try to stay within the brands I can trust because many good manufactures will not distribute to the public, a lower quality product.

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Now, Extra Virgin Olive oils have a lower smoke point and this means that the oil will smoke and destabilize with higher temperatures.  You may have heard people say it’s a waste to fry in Extra Virgin Olive oil because of it.  I like to do something I call “lacing”, it’s making my own mixes of oils as I see fit for the dish I am preparing.  I use different oils like Grape because the oil has a higher smoke point.  I decided to get creative and used a mix of Grape Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil and of course Filippo Berio’s brand.

  • Olive Oil Braised Chicken Legs with a Roasted Garlic and Herb Stuffing

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  • Foccacia Bread with Parmesan Cheese

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I received the above product from BzzAgent and Filippo Berio.  I am not obligated in providing a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product, which may differ from yours. #GotItFree

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