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4 Secrets to Slurpable Soup!

1.  Start With Delicious Liquid  soup11The vast majority of the time, the liquid in soup is stock or broth. Best to use homemade, but if you buy mass-produced broth, dilute it with water (about 4 parts broth to 1 part water) and find a brand sold in boxes instead of cans to avoid a slight tinny taste.

2.  Sweat the Aromatics

Aromatics include onions, leeks, garlic, and often celery and carrots. Cooking them over low to medium heat in the pan before adding any liquid will help soften their texture and blend their flavors. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft but not browning, about 5 minutes. The goal is to break down their cellulose (making them easier to eat or purée later) and get them to give off some of their liquid, which will deepen the flavor of the soup.

3.  Salt in Layers

Canned and prepared soups are known to be high in sodium. There’s a reason: all that water takes a lot of salt to flavor! The difference between soul-satisfying homemade soup and “why did I bother?” homemade soup is often in the salt. Cooks, afraid of over-salting, create pots of soup just a teaspoon or two shy of proper seasoning.

Salt soup as chefs do… in layers. Add some salt to the aromatics and other vegetables as you cook them. If you’re cooking the meat separately, make sure it is well seasoned before it goes into the pot. And, most importantly, taste it before serving and add salt until you taste a hike-up in flavor, then stop.

4. Hit It With Freshness

You’ve used great ingredients. You’ve cooked and salted them properly. How to make the most of it all before it hits the table? Add a bit of something fresh right at the end. Fresh herbs, fresh citrus juice, a dollop or two of cream. A hit of something un-cooked and un-simmered will highlight the deep, delicious, melded flavors in the rest of the soup.

There has to be a better way!

When we were kids, eating Corned Beef Hash meant opening up a can to find something that looked like dog food. As we grew up and got into the restaurant business, we figured there HAS to be a better way to make it!

We think we’ve found it. We spend over 3 hours making our FRESH Corned Beef Hash from scratch. It starts with us roasting a corned beef that has been coated with our favorite ingredients. Then we shred it by hand and mix it with onions and other spices. It is a favorite! Don’t believe us, try it for yourself.





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New Years Day Tradition

Serving Pork & Sauerkraut New Years Day….
PA Dutch Tradition…pork & kraut
says it’s good luck to eat pork for the new year because pigs forage forward for their food and don’t look back. In years past, food in the larder for winter was the equivalent of prosperity. Having a hog to slaughter and pork to eat at New Year’s meant a family would have food for the winter months. Because cabbage is a late fall crop, the most efficient way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage takes 6 to 8 weeks, which means that October kraut would be ready to eat just as the new year was arriving.

The talent of our customers!!

harmonica1  The talent of our customers…
This dear Grandpa -a faithful customer-
serenading the staff at Silver Spring with Christmas Cheer!!

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips

Tater Tips
1. Use the right potatoes
For light and fluffy mashed potatoes, choose Russetts. That’s right, just plain old basic baking potatoes. They have little moisture and tons of starch, so, if treated right, they will mash up as light and fluffy as can be.
Yukon Golds have a natural buttery flavor that also have enough starch to mash up fluffy, they’re always a great option, but especially if you’re making lower fat versions of mashed potatoes.   
2. Boil ’em Whole
Plenty of recipes and tips will have you peel and cut potatoes into even pieces. A much better option is to buy potatoes that are all about the same size so they will cook evenly. Scrub these same-size potatoes clean, put them in a large pot, cover them with cold water, and bring the whole thing to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add enough salt to the water so it tastes salty. This will likely be at least a tablespoon and maybe more. Cook the potatoes until they are very tender when pierced with a skewer – let even small potatoes cook for 20 minutes before checking them.
3. Dry them
Drain the potatoes, return them to the hot pot, and return the pot to low heat. Cook, uncovered, shaking the pan, for 5 to 10 minutes to evaporate as much water from the hot potatoes as you can.
 4.Peel, then Mash
 I cannot stress enough the extent to which it is worth the $15 or so that a ricer costs when it comes to mashed potatoes. A ricer mashes potatoes utterly and completely, without a bump or lump in sight. Not sold yet? What if I told you the ricer simultaneously peels and mashes? That’s right – as you press the potato through the ricer, the pureed potato comes out while the skin stays behind. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s thorough – it’s ideal for perfect mashed potatoes.
If you don’t have a ricer, all is not lost. Scrape off the peel from the hot, cooked potato – a paring knife will pull that peel right off and an oven mitt or latex glove will let you hold the hot potato. Then mash the potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher or sturdy fork.
  5. Butter Makes Everything Better
Heat any cream, milk, butter, or flavorings before you add them to the mashed potatoes. This will keep the potatoes hot and also keep them fluffy. I find about 1/2 cup milk or cream and 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter work for 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes. Enjoy the best mashed potatoes ever! 
Potato Ricer
ricer                                                                                     Leftovers??
                        Try This recipe for Potato Cakes….potcake

Thanksgiving 2014