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In The Kitchen — Cranberries: A Tale of Sweet and Tart

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Flickr/Pen Waggener

Outside of the popular apple, if any fruit could claim the holidays as its own, it would surely be the cranberry. A traditional accompaniment during holiday celebrations, this evergreen shrub indigenous to the northern region of North America makes its debut on grocery store shelves and tables every year when it’s harvested during the fall. It is to turkey what chips are to salsa; what marshmallows are to hot chocolate, and its natural yet tart sweetness and bright color make it a great ingredient for dishes both savory and sweet.

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Homemade Caramels from Blue Plate Catering

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Homemade Caramels from Blue Plate Catering

Ingredients

  • Yield: About 100pc
  • 1 pound granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon. salt
  • 16 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

Instructions

Heat the cream and add the vanilla paste.

In a separate pot, cook the sugar and corn syrup to 305 degrees (F)

Slowly add the hot cream and cook until 248 degrees

Pour into a greased pan, let set overnight.

Cut into desired size.

http://blueplatechicago.com/homemade-caramels-blue-plate-catering/

 

6 Food Gift Ideas for this Holiday Season

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DIY Holiday Bark

DIY Holiday Bar/Photo: Blue Plate Catering

Holiday gifts can be hard. You know what’s not? Food. That + holiday gifting = the best holiday gift idea ever. This holiday, take a tip from Blue Plate’s culinary and creative team for six food gift ideas to get you through the holiday season.

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4 Fall Ingredients To Get Excited About

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The falling leaves and brisk outside air mean swapping summer’s plump strawberries, fresh sweet corn and juicy watermelon for fall’s bag of Brussel Sprouts, winter squashes and fresh apples to name a few. To inspire you, Executive Sous Chef Randal Jacobs gives his picks and tips for working with four of his favorite fall ingredients.

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In the Kitchen With Blue Plate: Spotlight on Strawberries

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Strawberry and Baby Arugula Salad, Photo: Blue Plate Catering

Strawberry and Baby Arugula Salad, Photo: Blue Plate Catering

When we think of summer’s pantry of ingredients, the dependable strawberry comes to the top of our list. With its vibrant red color, juicy texture and signature sweetness dotted with mild tartness, strawberries add dimension, flavor and color to a dish. They are also packed with the good-for-you stuff like vitamin c, potassium, fiber, folate and antioxidants making them both delicious and healthy; a culinary win-win. They are available year-round but summer is when they should truly be enjoyed, and using strawberries in your menu can be as easy as presenting them in a fruit tray to infusing them in your drinks. Read our chef tips from Chef de Cuisine Melissa Chickerneo on how to use one of our favorite summer ingredients.

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