Category Archives: Cook – Recipes from Friends

Enjoying the Best of Berry Season

Berry season is peaking and there are so many ways to enjoy these nutritious and delicious fruits. Transform the naturally sweet and healthy berries into delicious snacks, desserts and even dinners, with HIC. Here are a few tools to make the most of berries this season.

HIC’s Collapsible Silicone Colander  has a 1.5-quart capacity and is ideal for draining, rinsing and washing produce. The footed base allows it to sit securely in the sink while rinsing.  The collapsible design makes for easy, space-saving storage.

HIC Kitchen’s Berry Fresh Produce Box is ideal for washing, draining, and storing berries to stay fresh longer in the fridge. It is available in two sizes, 1 liter in red, and half pint in blue. The boxes feature a perforated lid and vented box bottom, which drains washed produce and circulates fresh air. The textured insert elevates produce above liquids for longer freshness

Quickly and easily cut uniform slices of fruits using The World’s Greatest Handy Dandy Slicer.  The spring-loaded action allows for easy, repetitive slicing, and can be used for a variety of soft foods, including veggies and hard-boiled eggs.

HIC’s Strawberry Slicer is a cute and compact tool used to quickly cut uniform slices that look and taste great. Made with stainless steel and ABS plastic.

Mrs. Anderson’s Easy-As-Pie Pie Plate is a beautiful ceramic pie plate with wide, scalloped rim for secure handling in and out of the oven. The scratch-free glaze is durable and resists staining, odors and cracking, and the pie plate is sized perfectly to work with Mrs. Anderson’s 10-inch Pie Crust Shield.

For more great products to store, prepare and serve the bounty of the season, visit wwwHaroldImport.com.

June 15th is National Lobster Day: Get Cracking with HIC

There’s nothing like the summer and lobster combination, especially in New England!

Whether it’s grilled lobster, lobster pasta, lobster rolls, or a delicious salad, tie on a bib and get cracking with HIC. We’ve a collection of the tools you need to properly enjoy lobster on National Lobster Day, June 15th, and throughout this summer. Here are a few essentials to get you through the season.

Please Pass the Butter!

The Maine Man Butter Warmer is perfect for dipping your lobster. Made of ceramic, the durable warmer is an essential for anyone who loves lobster!

Get Every Bit of Meat

Maine Man Seafood Shears are a great tool to access the meat in the tail as well as to extract the meat from the knuckle or legs. 

Easily reach every bit of meat with the Seafood Picks (#71000). The rounded scoop separates the meat from the shell, and the prongs easily remove it. Then, once it’s out, use for dipping the fresh cooked meat in butter.

Lobster Cracker

With its sawtooth edge, the Lobster Cracker (#71006) easily cracks open seafood shells of various sizes. The spring-action hinge makes for quick cracking, and the silicone soft-touch grip is slip free. 

From the Pot

Tongs are a helpful tool to help remove lobster from the pot. To do so, carefully clasp the lobster at the center of the body and lift out of pot. Hold over the pot to drain excess water. Use a kitchen towel, and using other hand, place under the lobster’s body and transport.

Our Cutlery Pro Tongs, 16”, feature a silicone handle for securely gripping, lifting, turning, and draining cooking liquids from foods. Made from stainless steel, the tong’s scalloped grips ensures safe transfer.

Stay Clean

Maine Man Seafood’s Lobster Bibs keep clothes clean while eating messy foods like lobster.

Check out our Maine Man Seafood essentials for enjoying all kinds of seafood this summer from lobster to crab and beyond.

HaroldImport.com

Kids in the Kitchen

Kids and the kitchen go hand in hand. Not only does it create interest in food and cooking, but it cultivates a habit that will last a lifetime. The benefits of bringing your children into the kitchen are far reaching, including boosting their confidence and self-esteem, improving their comprehension and reading skills, all the while building math skills. AND, you also get to spend quality time together!

See all that Mrs. Anderson’s Baking has to offer, and starting cultivating that habit with your children.

The Mrs. Anderson’s Kids Baking Set (22048) includes all the perfectly sized essentials needed for budding chefs to bake at home. The 14-piece set is made from high-quality professional materials, including LFGB and FDA-approved silicone, BPA-free polypropylene, and stainless steel. This colorful set includes rolling pin, 6 muffin cups, fluted pan, 2 spatulas, 3 cookie cutters and a stainless steel mini whisk. All tools are dishwasher safe.

Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Animal Cookie Cutter Set (93273) features four animals, a bear, unicorn, dinosaur, and llama, for a fun new twist on traditional animal cookie shapes. The spring-action handle easily embosses the design onto the dough then releases the cutouts.

For a traditional animal cracker/cookie, try the Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Animal Cracker Cookie Set (#93249). Enjoy making giraffes, lions, zebras and elephants with your little one, for a fun trip to the zoo. The set of four cutters comes packaged with a shortbread recipe.

You may have seen the recent social media post from Chrissy Teigen, as her son enjoys making cookies with this set. She is heard saying ” Honestly, this is one of the coolest cookie cutter sets I’ve ever seen.”

Bite-sized brownies are easily baked in the Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Brownie Pan (43877). The European-grade silicone is strong, flexible and durable, maintaining its original shape and nonstick qualities through more uses. Use it to make 24 bite-sized brownies, cupcakes, gelatins, candies and more. Safe for use in the freezer, microwave and oven (to 500 degrees Fahrenheit). Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

When you introduce your children to the kitchen, you’ll quickly build their interest in food and cooking. Spend time together in the kitchen with Mrs. Anderson’s Baking. 

Visit HIC, Harold Import Co. for more inspiration.

The Perfect Burger with HIC

The official start of grilling season is upon us. To ensure you are ready to prepare one of the top grilling favorites, the burger, HIC, Harold Import Co. has just the right tools.

Break out the grills and learn how best to prepare your patties, and your fries, for a perfect meal.

Here are a few tips for great tasting burgers.

  • You want your burgers juicy, so don’t go too lean. Choose your standard ground beef with 20% fat.
  • Add flavorings – onions, garlic, herbs and spices, but hold off on the salt at this point, as it will draw out the moisture.
  • Bind it together with an egg and some breadcrumbs.
  • Shape it using the HIC Burger Press.
  • Chill the burgers for an hour or more. This will help them keep their shape when cooking.
  • Plop them on the grill, and cook to your desired doneness. You can sprinkle them with salt while cooking – and, don’t forget to add cheese!

Check out these essential tools to create a

delicious burger feast with HIC. 

Our quarter pound burger press helps you quickly form burger patties that are uniform in thickness so they cook evenly throughout, AND they’re perfectly sized for your buns. So versatile, the HIC Burger Press can be used for any type of patties – beef, turkey, chicken, sausage or veggie. They are also great to use when preparing quinoa cakes and even individual hash browns!

For the perfect French fries, the HIC French Fry Potato Cutter cuts uniformly sized pieces so they cook evenly.  The cutter is designed to give you the ability to make thick cut or shoestring fried potatoes (or julienned veggies).

You can then serve them up in HIC’s French Fry Basket. They’re just the right size for individual portions, served up as if you’re in a restaurant.

Round out your barbecue with delicious corn on the cob. HIC’s Corn Dishes are perfect for serving buttery sweet corn on the cob. The deeply curved shape cradles the cob, keeping them from rolling away, while containing butter. Perfect for effortless indoor and outdoor entertaining.

For more grilling inspiration this barbecue season, visit HIC, Harold Import Co.

Support Culinary Futures

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For more than a decade, the Chicago Culinary Futures Event has brought together countless housewares industry professionals in Chicago for the annual Inspired Home show, to support the cause of providing underserved youth the opportunity to prepare for college and careers in culinary arts, and beyond. From 2008 – 2019, the housewares industry support has ensured Chicago-area students were awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships.

With the unfortunate cancellation of this year’s Chicago Culinary Futures Event, which was to benefit the Hospitality Scholars Foundation, Inc. of Chicago (HSF), we are asking for your continued support.

Three Ways to Support Culinary Futures

1. Donate To Culinary Futures in Support of HSF

In 2020, HIC continues to support the Culinary Futures program through a new partnership with Chicago-based the Hospitality Scholars Foundation (HSF), a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit that empowers Chicagoland Youth to reach their fullest potential in education and career success, focusing on the areas of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management.
With the cancellation of our major 2020 fundraiser, we ask the industry to continue it’s legacy of giving.

Donate directly to the Culinary Futures Benefit HERE.

Or, you can text to donate. Simply, Text 44-321 with the following message CFHSF20

2. Participate in the Culinary Futures Online Auction

The event may have been cancelled, but our Chicagoland HSF youth still need your support! We hope we can count on you.
That’s why our amazing Culinary Futures Silent Auction is now online! Bidders will have the opportunity to bid on all items that were available for our event’s Silent Auction from March 30, 2020 to April 13, 2020. Items are local, and can be shipped.

Start Bidding today, and support the youth of Chicagoland! Bid HERE.

 

3. Support Millie’s Camp Summer Program

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Not only does HIC help raise money at the popular Culinary Futures events, HIC’s support for these students continues throughout the year. In the summer of 2019, HIC joined together with HSF for the first annual Millie’s Camp, a camp created to inspire underserved youth to learn about culinary arts and hospitality management. Twenty-five students from throughout the Chicagoland public school system participated. You can support our 2020 efforts below.Not only does HIC help raise money at the popular Culinary Futures events, HIC’s support for these students continues throughout the year. In the summer of 2019, HIC joined together with HSF for the first annual Millie’s Camp, a camp created to inspire underserved youth to learn about culinary arts and hospitality management. Twenty-five students from throughout the Chicagoland public school system participated. You can support our 2020 efforts HERE.

Tuesday’s Tool: The Tortilla Press

 

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Cinco de Mayo is almost here! It’s time to start planning a delicious Mexican-inspired meal that will impress your family and friends.

HIC’s Tortilla Press is specially designed for creating 6.25-inch homemade tortillas and other artisan flat breads of the perfect thickness every time.  Made from heavyweight aluminum for durability, the sturdy handle provides for effortless leverage when making     tortillas.

If you’ve never made your own tortillas, you don’t know how easy it is to do. (Five simple steps!)

  1. Prepare your dough recipe or use ready-made dough.
  2. For best results, line both sides of the press with plastic wrap, wax paper, or parchment paper to prevent dough from sticking to the press.
  3. Roll a small amount of dough into a ball and place it in the center of the press. Flatten the dough slightly by hand then close the press.
  4. Fold the handle over the press and apply a firm pressure to create griddle-ready rounds.
  5. Gently remove the plastic wrap from the flattened dough and cook according to recipe.

The press is handy for making a variety of flatbreads, including Caribbean roti, focaccia, moo shoo pancakes, mini pie or tart shells, and more.

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You can purchase the HIC Tortilla Press here.

Stainless Steel Straws

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Here in the U.S. it is estimated that we use nearly 500 million plastic strays each day. That is enough plastic straws to wrap around the earth almost 9 times every year!

Plastic straws and stirrers are listed as one of the top 10 marine plastic debris, contaminating our water and our marine life as well as so much more as it is carried up the food chain.

Change the tide of pollution and look for ways to cut back on plastic pollution this Earth Day. Using stainless steel reusable straws are one of the many ways you can make an impact.

HIC’s 18/8 Stainless Steel Drinking Straws add a splash of style to everyday beverages, smoothies, shakes, party drinks and cocktails. More economical and environmentally friendly than using traditional disposable straws, these straws are ideal for use at home or on the go.

They have a polished finish for a great look and are angled to make drinking from them easier. The reusable straws won’t rust, corrode, break, stain, absorb or transfer food flavors or odors.

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The set includes four 18/8 stainless steel straws and a nylon-bristle cleaning brush, perfectly sized to fit inside the straws.

Wash in warm, soapy water and scrub the interior with the cleaning brush, then rinse well. They are also dishwasher safe.

You can purchase them here.

A Decade of Giving to C-CAP Chicago

Careers Through Culinary Arts Program Chicago

Robert Laub, president, HIC, Harold Import Co. Nicola Copeland, C-CAP Chicago, Program Coordinator David Blackmon, Culinary Arts Program Director

The 10th annual Culinary Futures Chicago Dinner Reception and Silent Auction to support the Chicago Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), was once again a huge success.

Held March 11, 2018, the C-CAP Chicago students enthusiastically showcased their culinary talents by serving up delicious recipes to the more than 200 industry professionals in attendance. The event raised more than $64,000!

Specifically, the annual Chicago Culinary Futures Benefit brings together industry professionals and friends in Chicago for the International Home + Housewares Show to benefit C-CAP Chicago students. All proceeds from this special event will benefit C-CAP Chicago. Careers Through Culinary Arts Program is a national non-profit organization that works with public schools to prepare at-risk students for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Through the years, with HIC’s help and support, C-CAP Chicago students were awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships. Learn more.
A huge “Thank You” goes out to all the evening’s sponsors, which included, Allstate; Conimar Group, LLC; HIC, Harold Import Co.; Primula; R.S.V.P. International, Inc.; Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois; Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and US Foods, with HFN serving as the official media sponsor.

“C-CAP Chicago is so grateful for the ongoing support of the entire team at Harold Import Company and the Housewares Industry,” expressed Nicola Copeland, C-CAP Chicago, Program Coordinator. “With your help, we have supported the dreams of more than 30 students to attend college. This year, we’ll get the opportunity to support 13 more so they may achieve their goals.”

 

C-CAP/Denzel Thornton Memorial Scholarship

In addition to the C-CAP Chicago Scholarship Winners, HIC presented the C-CAP/Denzel Thornton Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship, which was created in remembrance of Thornton, an alum who was tragically killed outside his workplace, honors his spirit and determination.
“Those who knew Denzel, knew that he loved his C-CAP family, and was determined to give back to the community that supported him,” explains Robert Laub, president of HIC, Harold Import Co. “We are honored to present both Jefferson Martinez-Rodriguez and Aliyah Taylor with this award, which honors all that Denzel embodied.”

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Jefferson Martinez-Rodriguez (center), co-recipient of Denzel Thornton Memorial Scholarship is on hand to receive his award and celebrate with the C-CAP Chicago family.

“Being awarded with the Denzel Thornton Memorial Scholarship from Harold Import Company makes these dreams closer than ever,” explains Jefferson Martinez-Rodriguez. “Thus, I will give the next generations a taste of my passion for my career that will hopefully influence a chain reaction.”

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Aliyah Taylor, David Blackmon- Program Coordinator of CTE Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Programs, and Richard Grausman, C-CAP Founder. (from left)

Adds Aliyah Taylor, “The Denzel Thornton Memorial Alumni Scholarship from Harold Import Company will empower me by helping my academic and creative longevity in my community. The control over my education is all I ask for, and I believe with this scholarship I will get exactly that. My ability to obtain my education without financial struggle is exactly what I need to be able give back all that has been given to me.”

 

Not only does HIC help raise money at this popular industry event, HIC’s support for these students continues throughout the year. A portion of the proceeds from the HIC Essentials line of kitchen gadgets are donated to Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).

For more information on C-CAP, visit www.ccapinc.org, or C-CAP Chicago.
For more information about HIC, Harold Import Co.’s participation in the Chicago event and the Denzel Thornton Memorial Alumni Scholarship, email media@haroldimport.com

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Make a Style Statement with HIC’s Copper Barware

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Add the subtle and warm glow of copper to the bar with HIC’s eye-catching collection of bar tools. In line with bar and kitchen décor trends, the copper bar tools are the perfect choice for every home bar enthusiast as well as the professional.

Following contemporary style trends, copper elevates our barware collection with style and taste. With the HIC Copper Barware, you’ll enjoy the benefits of copper, which is known to enhance the drinking experience. The copper-plated 18/8 stainless steel barware insulates the beverage to maintain drink temperature.

From Margaritas to Moscow Mules, the HIC Copper Barware is poised to add a creative style to a perfectly prepared drink.

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The complete collection includes a Copper Cocktail Shaker, Double Jigger, Hip Flask, and on-trend hammered copper Moscow Mule Drinking Mug. For more information, visit HIC, Harold Import Co.
 

Tuesday’s Tool: The World’s Greatest Dual-Action Potato Masher and Ricer

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Rich, creamy and smooth!

Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means mashed potatoes are on the menu. The World’s Greatest Dual-Action Potato Masher and Ricer from HIC, Harold Import Co. is specially designed with a spring-loaded action to mash and rice potatoes ensuring lumps are eliminated in a single action! More efficient than using a typical masher with open-wire design, the Dual-Action Potato Masher and Ricer breaks food down with the wires and extrudes it through the holes in the built-in ricer disc to eliminate lumps for a smoother, creamier texture.

MasherInUseA versatile addition to your holiday cooking tools collection, the Potato Masher Ricer is great for mashing softer cooked foods, like potatoes, yams, pumpkin, squash, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, carrots, apples, bananas, and more.

Made from 18/8 stainless steel, The World’s Greatest Dual-Action Potato Masher Ricer is sturdy, durable, and will never rust or transfer flavors or odors between uses.

Easy to use and clean. Rinse immediately before starches harden. Dishwasher safe for a thorough cleaning.

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Coeur à La Crème: Getting to the Heart of Things this Valentine’s Day

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Simple to make, and delightful to eat, the Coeur à la Crème is a classic French dessert made with a few simple ingredients and topped with fresh fruit, making it a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day – or any day – with a loved one.

The French call it coeur à la crème (or heart of cream). It is a rich and creamy dessert that is believed to get its start in the French countryside way back in the Middle Ages. Most likely born out of efficiency, and the desire to use all ingredients on hand, the dairymaids discovered that when the whey drained from the milk during traditional cheesemaking, the remaining curds could be mixed with leftover cream to create a delightfully light and fresh cheese that was made even more tasty when topped with the sweetness of the fresh fruits of the season.

The dessert is relatively inexpensive to make, featuring only a few ingredients, and just a bit of preparation time.   Using only cottage cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream, which are then mixed and placed in a mold lined with cheesecloth so it can drain, the creamy treat is ready to eat in a few hours — although some Coeur à la Crème makers like to prepare this two days ahead of time to allow for the proper draining, and melding of the flavors of the dairy used.

Essential to the process is the draining of the liquids from the cheeses. The dairymaids of old used a strainer or colander to do the trick, but today, it is traditional to prepare it in a heart-shaped Coeur à la Crème mold. Made of porcelain and perforated at the bottom to allow the ‘whey’ to drain, and the curds to remain, the Coeur à la Crème mold is lined with cheesecloth or kitchen paper, and set above a pan or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours, before it is ready to enjoy.

Molds vary in sizes, but the individual 4” (15 oz.) molds are a great way to serve up a romantic treat for two on Valentine’s Day, or even for individual servings at a dinner party.

This fresh cheese creation is delightful when created in the classic heart-shaped mold, and served as a complement to afternoon tea, alongside a cup of coffee for dessert, or a glass of wine for a romantic, and creamy, way to top off a Valentine’s Day meal with your loved one.

Quick and easy to create, here is an old-fashioned Coeur à la Crème recipe that will delight anyone this Valentine’s Day.

Old-Fashioned Coeur à la Crème

  • 1, 8 oz. container of whipped cream cheese
  • 1, 8 oz. container of cottage cheese, farmer cheese, or ricotta
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 container of fresh berries, washed
  • or, 1 package of frozen berries, thawed.

1. Blend the cream cheese with cottage cheese, and slowly add the heavy cream. This can be done by hand or in a food processor.

2. Line the Coeur à la Crème mold with cheesecloth or kitchen paper and pour in the blended cheese.

3. Place the mold over a bowl (to catch the draining whey), the slip it into the refrigerator, and chill for at least four hours.

4. Once firm and draining is complete, unmold the cheese by carefully turning it top-side-down on the serving platter.

When ready to eat, it is traditionally served with fresh berries or jam, but can also be topped with a chocolate sauce. Or, you can sweeten things up a bit by mixing a bit of sugar, vanilla and a fruit liqueur to create a fruit sauce that will accompany fresh berries. If desired, the Coeur a la Crème can even be served as an appetizer, and topped with savory seasonings or herbs.

However you serve it, the Coeur à la Crème is a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day, yet can be enjoyed all year round.

To learn more about HIC, Harold Import Co/’s Coeur à la Crème, available in an individual 4″ (15 oz.) size, or 7.25″ (24. oz) size, visit here.

To purchase, visit here.

 

Tuesday’s Tool: Fante’s Mamma Maria’s Mezzaluna

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Fante’s Mamma Maria’s Mezzaluna Rocking Chopper quickly transforms ingredients with a speed and efficiency that’s unmatched by knives to save time during food preparation.

Made in Italy, the beautifully curved blade, with its half-moon profile, makes quick work of chopping and mincing foods. Featuring a 9-1/2” stainless steel blade with beechwood handles, this versatile addition to cutlery and chef knives helps prepare quick healthy meals. Use it for mincing and chopping garlic, herbs, fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, even block chocolate, and more. It doubles nicely as a pizza cutter, too. Its ergonomic design is comfortable and easy to use.

To learn more about the Mezzaluna, visit us here. To purchase, visit our Where to Buy page, or here.

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HIC, Harold Import Co. Signs Deal as Exclusive Supplier for Marcato Line of Italian Made Products

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(January, 2016) Building on a tradition that began three generations ago, HIC, Harold Import Co. is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2016, the company will be the exclusive supplier of Marcato products here in the U.S. Marcato S.P.A. is the leading manufacturer in the world of machines and accessories for fresh pasta, biscuits, bread and pizza.

HIC, Harold Import Co. has a three-decade relationship with Marcato, providing the company’s retail customers with pasta machines and accessories from this iconic brand since the 1990’s.

“With this new agreement, we are excited to offer our customers a full range of products from this iconic brand,” explains Robert Laub, president, HIC, Harold Import Co. “Like HIC, Marcato is a family run business, and our long-standing relationship with Marcato has set the groundwork for our new agreement in which HIC, Harold Import Co. will be the exclusive supplier of Marcato products in the U.S. As the the full line source for all Marcato products in the U.S., we are confident that our partnership will prove to be a successful brand-building venture.”

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Marcato’s history began in 1930 when Otello Marcato started producing pasta machines in a small workshop behind his house. His dream was to bring the authentic flavor of life in the kitchen – recipes, floury hands and smiles at the table – into every family.

“We are keenly interested in strengthening our relationships with retailers and consumers, and our confident that our agreement with HIC is a perfect way to continue to build the Marcato brand in the U.S.,” explains Giacomo Marcato, vice president, Marcato, S.p.A. “In addition to offering a full range of products to the U.S. market, we are dedicated to strengthening our relationship with retailers, supporting them with exciting brand-building opportunities including product training, in-store demonstrations, and consumer outreach programs,” Marcato added.

Under the agreement, HIC, Harold Import Co. will offer an extensive collection of high-quality and colorful Marcato products including the world-famous Atlas 150 pasta machine along with its 13 accessories for creating pasta of different thickness, cuts and shapes. Also available is a Ravioli Tablet, the Pasta Drying Rack, Pasta Rake, and Dispenser, in addition to Marcato’s Biscuit Maker – all made in Italy at the family factory.

HIC, Harold Import Co. offers the best culinary supplies, essential cooking tools, gourmet kitchen supplies and food preparation equipment at the most affordable prices. With more than 3,000 culinary supply products from the company’s own brands, exclusive brands, and top brands, HIC products are available in over 10,000 retail outlets worldwide.

Marcato will be holding a demo in the Kitchen Theater on Saturday, January 16th from 1:30-2:30 during the AmericasMart Atlanta. During the International Home + Housewares Show, held in Chicago this March, Chef Fabio Vivani, chef, culinary personality, restaurateur and cookbook author, will be at the HC, Harold Import Co. booth demonstrating Marcato products, signing books and sharing stories about Italy. Stay tuned for more details on this fun event.

For more information, contact HIC, Harold Import Co., at 800-526-2163. For media inquiries, contact Laura Everage, leverage@haroldimport.com, 415-306-4546.

 

Mrs. Anderson’s Animal Cracker Cookie Cutters

Oh, the memories so many of us have of reaching into a circus-train shaped box and pulling out an elephant, camel, hippo, goat or donkey cookie. Animal Crackers are a favorite childhood treat, and  HIC brings you the Mrs. Anderson’s Animal Cracker Cookie Cutter Set. This delightful collection of four cookie cutters (elephant, giraffe, zebra and lion) lets you create your own home-made animal cookies.

Made of BPA-free plastic, the cookie cutters come with a spring-action that stamps a design into the dough while aiding in the release of the  shapes. Perfect for homemade animal crackers, the set is also fun to use when creating decorative pie crusts, or baking gingerbread cookies.

To use, roll out the cookie dough and sprinkle a little flour on the cutters to keep the dough from sticking. Press the cookie cutter firmly into the dough, then press the spring-action lever to emboss the design into the dough and release the cookie.

Below is a recipe that is included with the set — but you can experiment and use your favorite cookie cutter recipe —  You can even try making chocolate Animal Cookies.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item is donated to Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). C-CAP works with public schools across the country to prepare disadvantaged high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. HIC is proud to support C-CAP by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of select items. To learn more visit ccapinc.org.

Lemony Shortbread Animal Cookies

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    1 lb butter

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

4 cups all purpose flour

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Mix in lemon juice. Scrape down sides of bowl to incorporate ingredients.

Add 2 cups of flour into the mixture and combine until incorporated. Then, add remaining flour until dough begins to form a ball. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, incorporating all ingredients.

Wrap dough ball in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour rolling pin and work surface. Once dough is chilled, roll out dough to 1/4″ thick. Use the Mrs. Anderson’s Animal Cookie Cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Place cut Shapes onto baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F, for 9 to 12 minutes, or until edges are a light golden brown.

The Lemony Shortbread Animal Cookie Recipe was created by Christopher Williams, who attended  Richards Career Academy and graduated with a Scholarship from C-CAP to attend Johnson & Wales University in Colorado. He graduated in 2010 and currently works as a pastry chef.

Beer Can Chicken with Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce

Elizabeth Karmel makes Beer Can Chicken at Martha Stewart’s Home

Elizabeth Karmel makes Beer Can Chicken at Martha Stewart’s Home

Written by Elizabeth Karmel

Anyone who knows me, knows that Beer-Can Chicken is my favorite way to roast chicken. It’s more of a technique and less of a recipe. And, we all know that there are as many flavor variations for chicken as there are days in the year! So, the recipe bears repeating! This rich and savory recipe is novel because of the use of peanut butter, and that makes it a great topic of conversation at dinner. But the real reason to make it is that the combination of peanuts, rosemary and chicken is un-beatable! Use my chicken sitter to grill-roast the chicken and use my original angled barbecue basting brush to slather the bird with the Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce.

I first saw the idea for grilled peanut butter chicken in a collection of recipes from NASCAR fans. I loved the idea of a grilling sauce that was based on peanut butter—the fat in the peanut butter seals in the juices and flavors the meat as it cooks. The recipe in the book was filled with Asian flavors and as much as I love sates, I wanted to try the idea with a more Western flavor profile. I love the combination of rosemary and peanut butter, making this a sophisticated dish that makes you forget that it is based on peanut butter.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

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Beer-Can Chicken with Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce

©2015 Elizabeth Karmel

Makes 4 servings

Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium Heat

  • 1 Whole roasting chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, preferably Amish or organic
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1,  12-ounce can domestic beer or 12-ounces of white wine
  1. Remove the neck and giblets, and rinse the chicken inside and out if desired; pat it dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. Pour the beer or wine in the Chicken Sitter, making sure that it is only 2/3rds full. Place the Chicken Sitter in the center of the cooking grate over indirect medium heat and “sit” the chicken on top of the beer can. The chicken will appear to be sitting on the grate. Make sure the drumsticks are positioned in front of the Chicken Sitter and the wings are twisted “akimbo” behind the chicken.
  3. Cover the grill and cook the chicken for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165°F in the breast area and 180°F in the thigh.
  4. Brush with the Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce during the final 40 minutes of the cooking time.
  5. Remove it carefully to a platter, holding the can with tongs. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.  Serve with extra Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce as a dipping sauce.

NOTE: When removing the chicken from the grate, be careful not to spill the contents of the Chicken Sitter, as it will be very hot.

 

Elizabeth Karmel's Angled BBQ Brush

Elizabeth Karmel’s Angled BBQ Brush

Peanut Butter Grilling Sauce

©2015 Elizabeth Karmel

Note: Use indirect heat for any food that takes longer than 15-20 minutes to cook—this includes all bone-in pieces of meat.

Uses: beer-can chicken, chicken thighs or chicken quarters, chicken tenders, boneless, skinless chicken breasts; duck, grilled shrimp, skirt steak

Makes about 1 ½ cups

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter, preferably natural—no sugar added
  • 4 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 4  cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2  Tbsp honey
  • 1  Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  tsp ground dried rosemary
  • 1  tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • ½  tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1. Place peanut butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over low heat. Stir occasionally, making sure the peanut butter doesn’t burn. When it is melted, add the garlic, honey, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, rosemary, paprika and red pepper flakes.

Whisk together and heat on a low flame for about 1 minute as the sauce comes together. Remove from heat and cover.

 

 

The History Behind Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen New Easy Stir-Fry Sauce Bottle

Article Contributed by Nicole Herman, with Notes from Helen Chen

Helen Chen is a leading Asian culinary expert, cookbook author, cooking instructor and developer of Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen® cookware and cooking supplies, in partnership with Harold Import Co. (Scroll to the base of this post to learn more about Helen.) Every great tool has a great story – This is the history behind Helen’s new Easy Stir-Fry Sauce Bottle.

Helen Chen Teaching a Stir-Fry Cooking Class

Helen Chen Teaching a Stir-Fry Cooking Class

A Note From Helen –

It all started with a brilliant idea from my mother, Joyce Chen. In the 1950’s our restaurant was the first to serve authentic Sichuan dishes before Sichuan cuisine was even on the radar in the United States. The two most popular dishes were the ones made in the Kung Pao and Yu Xiang styles.  These dishes quickly became favorites with our restaurant clientele.  Since all of our dishes were cooked to order, our chefs had to cook the most popular ones multiple times each night.  My mother’s creative idea was to make the sauces herself, in advance, and have our chefs cook with them.  This would not only save them time, but also provide consistent quality control so no matter which chef cooked the dish, it would always come out of the kitchen perfectly delicious every time.

Chinese chefs can be just as temperamental as any other professional chef, but it was a testament to the quality of these sauces that our chefs not only agreed to use them, but quickly embraced the idea whole-heartedly when they realized how quick and easy they were to use…and how delicious they tasted.

For my mother, who was always thinking of ways to improve her art, it was a natural progression to take this concept from our restaurant kitchen to home kitchens.  For a time we had our own line of bottled stir-fry sauces.  Although they are no longer in production, people who remember them always tell me how wonderful they were and ask where they can buy more.

Enter, Helen’s Asian Kitchen Easy Stir-Fry Sauce Bottle.  The genesis of my new stir-fry sauce bottle came from my mother’s incredibly innovative idea of making her own stir-fry sauces, and  now you can too! I’ve chosen four of my own delicious and versatile stir-fry sauces that can make the home cook a master chef.  Now stir-frying can be truly quick, easy and always delicious.

Helen Chen Teaching Stir-Fry Cooking Class

Helen Chen Teaching Stir-Fry Cooking Class

My four unique sauces (Mandarin Orange, Canton Oyster, Beijing Hoisin and Sichuan Black Bean) are made with ingredients that can be readily found in most American supermarkets.  And for those people with food allergies, making sauces from scratch allows for substitutions that fit dietary requirements.  To use, simply follow the recipe – ingredients and quantities are printed right on the bottle – shake, and you’re ready to cook.  The sauces are incredibly versatile and may be used with just about any meat, seafood, vegetable, noodles or even as a marinade for kebabs or for barbecuing.  With your own bottled cooking sauces it’s easy to cook for one or for eight.  Plus, once the sauce is made, it will keep in the refrigerator for future use.

I’d like to share with you an easy stir-fry noodles recipe made with my Canton Oyster sauce, the recipe for which is also found right on my Easy Stir-Fry Sauce Bottle.

Recipe: Helen’s Easy Stir-Fry Noodles with Oyster Sauce (made in Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen® Easy Stir Fry Sauce Bottle)

Helen Chen's Easy Stir Fry Noodles

Helen Chen’s Easy Stir Fry Noodles with Oyster Sauce

You may vary the type and amount of shredded vegetables in this versatile recipe, or make it vegetarian by omitting the meat.  The stir-fry sauce will provide all the rich flavor you’ll need.

Serves 6

1 pound dry Chinese wheat noodles or thin spaghetti
8 ounces shredded lean pork or chicken breast
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons dry sherry
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
10 ounces shredded napa cabbage
5 medium dried black mushrooms, soaked in hot water 15 mins until soft
2 ounces snow peas, ends snapped off, strings removed and shredded on the diagonal
1 medium carrot, shredded
½ cup canned shredded bamboo shoots, drained
6 tablespoons Canton Oyster Stir Fry Sauce, or more to taste  (Made using the recipe on Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen® Easy Stir Fry Sauce Bottle, or you can purchase a pre-made sauce from your local grocer or Asian food specialty store.)

1.  In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until a little softer than al dente.  Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.  Set aside.

2. In a small bowl mix meat with cornstarch and sherry. Drain the mushrooms and squeeze dry.  Cut off the stems with scissors and discard. Shred caps.

3.  In a wok, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat, add the well-stirred meat mixture and stir-fry about two minutes or until it separates and changes color, about 1 minute. Add the onion, cabbage, mushrooms, carrot and bamboo shoots and stir until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.

4.  Sprinkle the noodles with a few tablespoons of water to loosen them up, drain, then add them to the pan.  Pour the Canton Oyster Stir Fry Sauce over the noodles and add in the snow peas. Continue tossing and stirring until well mixed and evenly colored, about 1 minute.  Taste and add more sauce, if desired. Transfer the noodles to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Biography of Helen Chen

Helen Chen

Helen Chen

HIC, Harold Import Co. is proud to call Helen Chen a partner in Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen® made by HIC Harold Import Co.

Helen Chen is a leading Asian culinary expert, cookbook author, cooking instructor and developer of Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen® cookware and cooking supplies.  Helen learned to cook from her mother and has combined the comfort of home-style dishes with an updated incorporation of heart-healthy oils and readily available supermarket ingredients—making cooking great Asian food easier for everyone.

Helen Chen’s unique line of Asian cooking supplies was developed through many years of culinary experience and provides the kind of high-quality standards that you can expect from HIC, Harold Import Co. Some of the products available in the Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen® innovative line of Asian cooking utensils include steaming accessories, cutlery, cookware, tea & sake, tabletop, utensils and housewares.

*Not affiliated with Joyce Chen products

Culinary Futures Chicago Cocktail Hour & Silent Auction to Support C-CAP

C-CAPLogoThe Culinary Futures Cocktail Hour and Silent Auction to support Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) will be held Sunday, March 8, 2015 from 6-8 p.m., at Ovation, Chicago’s premier event space.

Proudly hosted by HIC, Harold Import Co., Conimar Corporation, Primula, Fletchers’ Mill, and R.S.V.P. International, Inc., this 6th annual event brings together industry professionals and friends to benefit C-CAP, a national non-profit organization that works with public schools to prepare at-risk students for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The Careers Through Culinary Arts’ curriculum enrichment program links public high school culinary teachers and their students to the foodservice industry.

LOGO_HIC_Color_NEW“C-CAP’s efforts in providing teacher training, scholarship and cooking competitions, job training, internships, college and career advising, and product and equipment donations are essential,” says Robert Laub, president of HIC, Harold Import Co. “For the past six years, we are glad that this event has played an important part in helping the organization attain its goals.”

In the 2014-2015 academic year, C-CAP Chicago impacted the lives of 3,000 students in 18 public schools working with 34 teachers in job training and internships, teacher trainings, college and career advising, product donations and culinary competitions that lead to culinary school scholarships. In 2013-2014 Academic Year-End Results included awarding 30 Scholarships valued at $584,453.

During this year’s event, guests will enjoy dishes prepared and served by C-CAP students from nine local Chicago High Schools. A selection of fine wines and locally crafted beers will also be available. The evening’s festivities include a silent auction and music by Chicago’s premier DJ Sean Alvarez.

Chicago High Schools Represented

  • Manley Career Academy
  • North Grand High School
  • Simeon Career Academy
  • Prosser Career Academy
  • Clemente High School
  • Washington High School
  • Roosevelt High School
  • Juarez High School
  • Curie Metro High School

All proceeds from this special event will benefit C-CAP Chicago. For more information about C-CAP, visit www.ccapinc.org/

HIC, Harold Import Co., offers an expansive line of kitchen tools and accessories that make everyday or special occasion cooking and baking more fun, convenient, and professional looking. For more information about HIC call 800-526-2163 or visit www.haroldskitchen.com.

Tickets are $75 each, and can be purchased here.

Tickets will also be sold during the International Home + Housewares Show in the HIC, Harold Import Co., Booth #S1449.

Media admittance is complementary. Please RSVP to Laura Everage leverage@haroldimport.com, or 415-306-4546.

 

Homemade Spaghetti Noodles Using Fante’s Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin

Contributed by Liana, of the Fante family of Philadelphia.

Fante's Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin in Use

Fante’s Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin in Use

Growing up, we made homemade spaghetti a couple of times a week with a pasta machine. In fact, my nonna had her machine set up on a table in her basement 24/7. That was her permanent pasta making station. After we were done rolling out and cutting the spaghetti, we brushed off the machine with a pastry brush and covered it with a homemade tea cozy until the next Sunday. Imagine that I thought we were totally normal! Doesn’t everyone have a pasta machine on its own altar in the basement? Apparently, not. But good news! You don’t need a pasta machine to make delicious homemade spaghetti.

Fante's Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin in Use

Fante’s Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin in Use

I’ve talked about our epic Sunday dinners before. Nonna’s favorite pasta, which she called “lasagna,” (but it wasn’t the layered cheese and sauce filled baked casserole we all think of with that name) was simple peasant pasta. We rolled out the sheets of dough, cut them down the center lengthwise, and then cut the pasta every two inches on a diagonal to make rough parallelograms. We boiled it in salted water and served it with fresh gravy, nothing fancy. It saved having to cut the fettuccine or spaghetti on the machine.

My mom talks about her nonna (my great-grandmother) making homemade spaghetti before pasta machines and chitarras (a stringed piece of equipment reminiscent of a guitar that you would press dough through the strings to cut). She rolled out the pasta dough with the handle of an old broom (her makeshift rolling pin) into a rectangular shape the width of the table. Then, she cut the dough into segments the length of spaghetti strands she wanted. Rolling up the segmented dough as though she were making a pinwheel dessert, she expertly sliced thin cross sections of dough with a sharp knife. If she were doing this to herbs it would be fancily called a “chiffonade.” Each cut made a single strand of spaghetti. Talk about a lot of work! (That’s why the peasant lasagna was so popular when making homemade pasta without a machine.) To ease cutting spaghetti without a machine, a clever craftsman created wooden rolling pins with grooves sharp enough to cut through dough for instant strands of spaghetti.

Fante's Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin in Use

Fante’s Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin in Use

Making homemade spaghetti by hand can be a great project for the family. Knead your favorite pasta dough recipe. Roll it out with a flat rolling pin into a rectangular shape about 1/16” thick and cut it to the desired length of your spaghetti with a knife. Make sure you have incorporated enough flour in your dough so that it is not sticky. The proper consistency will make the pasta much easier to cut and separate. Lightly flour the surface of the pasta dough. Apply even pressure on the pasta pin and roll it slowly down the length of your sheet of dough. If your pasta dough contains egg, the pasta pin will deeply score the dough and you will separate the strands by hand. (This is great fun for tiny fingers on the budding chefs in the kitchen!) To make separating strands easier, hold one hand and fingers on the main part of the dough and lightly pull on the single strand with the other hand to separate it from the pack. It goes very quickly once you get the hang of it (or delegate the job). If you make your pasta dough without egg, the spaghetti strands should separate easily just by rolling the pin across the dough. Cook and enjoy as you would your normal homemade spaghetti!

Fante’s Cousin Arturo’s Pasta Pin can be purchased from Fante’s Kitchenware Shop in Philadelphia, and on their website.

Find out how to place a wholesale order for any products from the Fante’s line, from Harold Import Co.