Category Archives: Useful Tools

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with HIC

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 1.13.05 PM

Cinco de May is a day celebrated mainly in the Puebla State of Mexico, where it commemorates the day the Mexican army defeated France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. While it may be considered a minor holiday in Mexico, here in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is more about celebrating Mexican heritage and culture. And one of the many ways to do that is through food and drink.

This Cinco de Mayo, make a feast to remember with all the right essential tools from HIC.

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 1.13.16 PM

Tacos are very versatile – from store-bought crispy corn taco shells to flour and corn tortillas. For the truly adventurist, there are those who make their tortillas at home! HIC’s Tortilla Press is a great way to make homemade tortillas into consistent thickness. The heavyweight aluminum press has a sturdy handle for easily creating tortillas for tacos and wraps.

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 1.13.31 PM

To create, simply line the press with plastic wrap, add the dough and flatten slightly with your hands. Close the press and apply pressure with the handle to flatten the dough into griddle-ready 6” rounds.

 

 


Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 1.14.53 PM

 

One of those favorite tools you thought you’d never need (until you try it), is the Taco Shovel. It is designed to make cooking, scooping, and transporting taco fixings to fill shells faster than using a spoon – and, with less mess. The contoured shovel, which is made from FDA-approved silicone, has ample scooping surface to easily pick up and deliver your fixings exactly where they’re needed. Heat safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

 


Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 2.36.51 PM

The taco salad may have originated in Texas in the 1960s, but it’s Tex-Mex flavors make it a wonderful option for Cinco de Mayo. You can bring this restaurant favorite to your home with the HIC Tortilla Bowl Maker.

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 2.37.04 PM

The professional-quality carbon steel pan comes with a nonstick-coating that aids in removal of tortilla once baked. Fill with a delicious taco salad fixings, with chili, party dips, salsa, or an enchilada casserole.

 

 


 

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 2.39.01 PM

Easily fill crispy taco shells for a crowd with the HIC Taco Rack, Six Shooter Chef Series. Designed for warming, baking, grilling, filling and serving hard shells up to 7”. Made from 18/8 stainless steel, the rack is safe for use on direct heat. Fill the rack with empty shells, bake 5-7 minutes, then fill shells with meat, cheese, and return to oven until the cheese is melted.

Get the party started with HIC! Visit www.haroldimport.com for more great ideas and essential cooking tools needed to keep you cooking!

A Clean Kitchen with HIC

As we make our way through January, our resolutions help us make a fresh new start to the year. If you’re looking to change up your routine in the kitchen – preparing new recipes, updating your gadget collection, or pledging to keep your kitchen cleaner, HIC, Harold Import Co. has just what you need.

When it comes to a clean kitchen, just a few minutes a day will help ensure the task isn’t overwhelming. From countertops and cutting boards, to coffee makers and the garbage disposal, HIC offers a range of kitchen-cleaning tools that will make your daily clean go more smoothly and ensure your kitchen is ready for the next round of meal prep.

Cleans Produce and Pans

HIC’s Natural Bristle Vegetable and Dish Brush is the choice for scrubbing fresh produce, dishes, pots and pans, and more. Made from natural Tampico bristles with a wooden handle, the scrubber is tough on dirt yet gentle on delicate surfaces. The deep bristles remove stuck on food and grime, and the brush is even safe for nonstick cookware. Measures 2.5” X 2.5”.

Clean Your Disposer

No one will deny that there are a lot of stinky things in the kitchen, and that’s why Plink Garbage Disposer Cleaner and Deodorizer is a kitchen essential. Just one little Plink helps clean the disposer, remove buildup, unclog and deodorize without any phosphates, bleach, or scrubbing. Proudly made in America, the non-toxic, biodegradable Plink Garbage Disposer Cleaner breaks up fat and food particles to unclog disposals and freshen the entire kitchen in 15 seconds without any scrubbing. Plink is safe for plumbing and septic, and is available in a variety of fresh scents including lemon and orange.

Spotless Surfaces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Gourmet’s Nature-Fresh Cleaning Cloths are specifically designed to clean any surface and remain 99.9% germ free. Each cloth replaces more than 40 rolls of paper towels, reducing waste. Their natural, bacterial-fighting qualities prevent the cloths from turning sour or holding onto odors. Each cloth measures 9.5 X 11”.

Clean surfaces without scratching using the Skoy Scrub. This reusable and long-lasting scrubber can be used on a variety of surfaces, from pots and pans to countertops and the sink. Top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, the scrub measures 5 X 6” and comes in assorted colors.

 

 

To view all the cleaning items HIC offers, click here.

Homemade Halloween with HIC

 

From homemade Caramel Apples to candy corn, the Halloween season is the perfect time for making delicious treats for family and friends. That’s why the Mrs. Anderson’s Baking U.S. Half Size Baking Mat is an essential tool for all your sweet-treat making.

Made from FDA-approved silicone and natural glass fibers, the mat is naturally non stick for quick release of foods and easy cleanup. When used for baking, the mat offers even heat transfer and requires no greasing or added oils. Durable and reusable for thousands of uses, the mat measures 11.625″x 16.5-” and fits standard 13 x 18″ baking sheets.

 

Caramel Apples

The caramel apple is believed to be ‘invented’ in the 1950s, and the treat became an instant hit  for Halloween. Some of you may even remember receiving a caramel apple while trick-or-treating!

These days, you may not run across a house offering up caramel apples on Halloween, but it is still one of the most popular fall treats to make — and eat!

  • 15 to 20 large Granny Smith apples
  • Assorted chopped candies or nuts, for coating
  • 1 (1-pound) box dark brown sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Skewer the stem-end of the apples with popsicle sticks. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with wax paper. Place desired coatings in large shallow bowls.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, milk, corn syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, molasses and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil until it registers 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl; let cool to 200 degrees F.

Dip the apples in the desired coatings. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets to set and let cool completely.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/caramel-apples-1961196

 

Homemade Candy Corn

Even if you’re not a big candy corn fan, this one is definitely a keeper. Unlike store-bought candy corn, this leaves no strange, waxy aftertaste. Yes, it’s sugary, but you’re only eating it during Halloween season . . .  unless you change the colors and create red, white and green candy corn for Christmas!

  • 4-1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1-1/4 cups
  • 1/2-ounce nonfat dry milk, approximately 6 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3-1/2 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 3-3/4 ounces light corn syrup, approximately 1/3 cup
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 drops yellow and orange gel paste food coloring

Combine the powdered sugar, dry milk and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 to 5 times until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Set aside.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a 2-quart pot. Put over medium heat, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the butter, clip on a candy thermometer, and bring the mixture to 230 degrees F, about 1 to 2 minutes. When the sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees F, take the pot off the heat and remove the thermometer. Add the vanilla and the dry mixture, stirring continuously with a silicone spatula until well combined. Pour onto a half sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat. Cool until the mixture is cool enough to handle, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Add 2 drops of yellow food coloring to 1 piece and knead the dough until the color is consistent throughout. Add 2 drops of orange to the second piece, and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Leave the third piece white. Roll each piece of dough into a strand, about 18-inches long. Cut each strand in half.

The nonstick baking mat is perfect for making sticky Halloween candy

Roll 1 of the white pieces into a strand that is about 1/2-inch thick and about 22-inches long. Repeat with a yellow piece and orange piece. Lay the strands side by side and press them together using your fingers. Cut the strand into 4-inch pieces. Lay the strands, 1 at a time, onto the silicone mat and press into a wedge shape, like a triangle. Use a wire butter slicer to cut the candies into pieces. If you don’t have a wire butter slicer, use a knife, metal bench scraper or pizza cutter to slice the dough into small pieces. Repeat the procedure with remaining dough. Lay the finished pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to dry for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.

 

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

coeurpic

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: TWG Dual-Action Potato Masher

masherinuse

A perfect tool for holiday meal prep, TWG, The World’s Greatest Dual-Action Masher from HIC, Harold Import Co., quickly breaks apart and mashes any soft, juicy or cooked produce without the use of electricity. Specially designed with a spring- loaded action, the serrated-toothed blades easily break open skins, while the wires and pierced plate mashes the inside pulp. From berries to squash, this versatile kitchen tool is an essential addition for cooking and canning. It is also great for processing cooked chicken livers for liver pate or hard-boiled eggs for egg salad or deviled eggs.

twgmasherMade of 18/8 stainless steel, the tool is more efficient than open-wire mashers – and will never rust.

Don’t let the holidays slip by, get your TWG, The World’s Greatest Dual-Action Potato Masher here.

 

 

Tuesday’s Tool: HIC Porcelain Lasagna Pan

 

0022394_98048_415

Get ready for the holiday season with HIC, Harold Import Co.‘s oven to table porcelain bakeware.  Our HIC Lasagna Pan is a durable and versatile baking dish for lasagna, casseroles, quiche, roasting veggies, making a cake, and more! Measuring 13 X 9 X 2-1/2”, our favorite lasagna pan features a generous depth to support layered recipes, and the easy-hold handles provide a comfortable grip and secure transfer in and out of the oven, and under the broiler.  It comes highly recommended by America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated, especially since it’s broiler safe! This pan transitions beautifully from oven to table – and, comes in colors, too. In addition to White, try Bayberry, Rose, Sage and Wheat.

wheat

redYou can see our entire collection of Lasagna Pans, here. To purchase, visit here.

Tuesday’s Tool: TWG, The World’s Greatest Mix’N Masher

twgmixnmasherPotatoes, yams, pumpkin, squash, turnips, parsnips, apples, bananas, and more are easily mixed and mashed in one motion. This time-saving kitchen gadget is perfect for mashing potatoes and other softer cooked foods for deliciously prepared meals.

Extremely easy to use, simply peel, cut, and cook foods until fork tender. Drain well and return them to the pot. Press the wires of the Mix N’ Masher downward and repeat until the desired consistency is achieved.

The sturdy masher simply mashes by pressing the wires into the cooked food until the desired consistency. The specially shaped side wires scrape down the sides of bowls and pots while mixing and mashing to ensure every morsel is processed consistently.

The World’s Greatest 2-in-1 Mix’N Masher is made from FDA-approved 18/8 stainless steel. Rinse immediately before starches harden. Dishwasher safe for a thorough cleaning.

For more information about TWG, The World’s Greatest Mix-N Masher, visit our website. To purchase, click here.

mashedpotatoes

 

Save