Thursday, May 22, 2014

Coming Soon to JL Hufford: Viking Professional Cookware

Viking Professional Logo


Coming Soon: A New Leader in High Quality Cookware



Viking 3-Ply 10 Piece Set
Viking 3-Ply 10 Piece Set
Since 1980, Viking Professional has been the go to choice for oven ranges for the serious chef, both at home and in the workplace. Built only from the highest quality materials and to the strictest production standards, Viking quickly became known as one of the world's leaders in high quality ovens and cook-tops and today Viking is the go-to model when purchasing a top-of-the-line oven for any home or business kitchen.

Viking, realizing that there aren't many cookware brands out there that come close to the level of craftsmanship and quality demanded by Viking customers and seeing an opportunity to again wow it's customers with their unrivaled products are releasing two, brand new, state-of-the-art cookware lines to give serious cooks the serious tools that they need to be successful in today's high volume world.

Multi-Ply Stainless Steel Construction


3-Ply Cookware Construction Example
3-Ply Construction
Known for building some of the finest quality oven ranges in the world, Viking Professional cut no corners when designing the two cookware lines that to compliment their ovens: The Viking Professional 3-Ply Cookware Line, and The Viking Professional 5-Ply Cookware Line. 

Multi-Ply Construction, simply put, refers to the multiple layers of various metals used during the production of the cookware piece. Each of these layers (or "plys) features a different type of metal that serves it's own purpose in the construction process and when these layers are sandwiched together during manufacture it allows the user to best utilize the properties of each metal on their range. Generally, a pan that has more layers weighs more and costs slightly more but in turn provides far better thermal performance and durability over cookware pieces with less layers.


The Viking Difference 



Multi-Ply construction is no big secret in the cookware world as top producers like All-Clad have been utilizing this type of design for many years now to make some of the finest cookware in the world. What really separates Viking cookware from the rest of the pack is a dedication to making an unrivaled product and an absolutely unwavering commitment to quality control procedures that ensure that the user a pan that will not only last a lifetime but provide performance that is second to none.

Viking 5-Ply 8 Quart Stockpot
Viking Professional 5-Ply 8 Quart Stock Pot
Multi-ply construction from Viking includes 18/10 stainless steel for the cooking surface and exterior on all vessels and a specially designed combination of stainless steel and aluminum alloy layers for a lifetime of high quality performance, extreme durability, extremely easy cleanup and most importantly, quick and even heat distribution throughout the pan to ensure that your food is thoroughly cooked each and every time. All Viking cookware pieces can be used on any cooking surface: gas, electric, halogen, ceramic and even induction. With unrivaled thermal performance, a Viking pan will allow you to cook with less heat than with other pots and pans meaning that you'll save money on your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint.

An ergonomic stainless steel handle is constructed from only the finest investment-cast steel and is double riveted to each vessel and proudly emblazoned with the Viking logo so you know that you're getting only the best. This ergonomic handle helps to balance the pan perfectly with the wrist and the forearm, making lifting a full pan easy. A special "stay-cool" vent design provides maximum comfort and secure handling during transport.

Viking, ever present of the aesthetic requirements that modern day kitchens present have designed their quality cookware sets to look beautiful in any kitchen. The stainless steel exterior of each pan features a luxurious shine that can only be accomplished with the highest quality steel and is sure to help spice up the look of any kitchen that you use it in.


Something for Everyone


Whether you are cooking for one or 100, Viking Professional has exactly what you need in their new cookware lines. 

The Viking 3-Ply Cookware Line features three layers of stainless steel and aluminum alloys to provide you with the best heat distribution and easiest cleanup possible. These lightweight pans are excellent for the home kitchen and are designed to perfectly compliment any Viking Professional Range. 

The Viking 5-Ply Cookware Line features five unique layers of stainless steel and aluminum and provide a uniquely rugged vessel that has nearly un-matched thermal conductivity. This line of cookware is perfect for culinary professionals who may use a single vessel multiple times during the day and require a heavy-duty pan that can withstand the rigors of today's commercial kitchens. 

Viking even features special Nonstick Cookware to make cleaning up even the messiest, most stuck on foods a breeze. The nonstick coating on Viking Professional cookware outperforms most other brands' nonstick offerings and the black color provides a gorgeous contrast to the shining stainless steel, giving you an excellent discussion piece in your kitchen.

The Future of Cookware 

Whether you are looking to start a brand new cookware collection to match the quality and performance of a Viking Professional Range or want to bolster an existing set with the highest quality cookware available, look no further than the Viking Professional Cookware Line, available Mid to Late June at JL Hufford - Discover Gourmet!

Viking Professional Cookware, Proudly made in the United States.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recipe: 100% Natural Strawberry Lemonade

Soon the dog days of summer will be here and everyone will be looking for a way to escape the heat. Today we bring you a special strawberry twist to that perennial summer classic, lemonade. Lemonade at it's core is simply lemon juice and some sort of sweetener (typically sugar), today we'll take a look at a way to utilize the entire lemon fruit as well as whole strawberries to make an instant classic in your very own home.



The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • About 1.25 lbs Fresh, Organic Strawberries. (Washed and cut in half.)
  • Two lemons. (Washed and cut into quarters, leave rind and seeds intact.)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup honey or pure cane sugar to taste.
  • 6 Cups of Water.
  • Ice.

Instructions:


  1. Add the strawberries, honey or sugar and 1 cup of water to your Vitamix blender. Blend these ingredients until liquified.
  2. Pour the liquified strawberry mixture into a pitcher and return the jar to the blender.
  3. Add the lemons and an additional 2 cups of water, leave the quartered lemons intact for this.
  4. Blend until the consistency is light enough for the mixture to be strained.
  5. Strain the lemon/water mixture into the pitcher of strawberry mixture and stir to promote a good strain.
  6. Taste and adjust the sweetness level if need be. 
  7. Serve over ice and garnish with strawberry slices, lemon slices and/or fresh herbs like mint.
  8. OPTIONAL: if a frozen drink is desired simple add ice to the finished lemonade and return to the blender. Blend until the mixture is at the desired consistency. 
  9. OPTIONAL: To make this into summertime cocktail simply add your choice of alcohol and stir (or add to blender before making iced drink). You can use vodka, tequila, rum or even cacha├ža for a sweet caipirihna.

It's really as simple as that. Feel free to share with us the special ways that you have found to make this a personalized recipe, we look forward to hearing about it!






Checkout our Vitamix Blenders HERE, there really isn't a better blender than a Vitamix.


Also don't forget about our big contest for an All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Casserole Pan, if you haven't entered yet, be sure to do so today!

Click the image below to enter!


Casserole Giveaway


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Five Most Important Factors to Brewing High Quality Drip Coffee



Today, we’ll be taking a look at what are considered the 5 most important factors when it comes to brewing the best drip coffee. The most important thing to remember when brewing any type of coffee is that you’ll have to experiment to find exactly what you’re looking for. You may have to brew three of four different test batches to really dial in your machine. Luckily, a few groups like the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and America’s Test Kitchen have done a lot of testing on these different variables with many different brewers and their results will help you hit the ground running!

First and foremost, you’ll want to select a high quality coffee to brew in your drip machine. It is important to purchase your coffee as soon after it has been roasted as possible. Fresh roasted coffee is extremely essential to a great cup of drip brewed coffee. You should only purchase specialty coffee in small amounts – generally only as much as you’ll use in a given period of time, say 1 to 2 weeks.  After you’ve selected the type of coffee that you’ll be brewing, keep these important factors in mind during the brew:



  • 1. Water Quality
  • We’ll start off with the water that you use to make your coffee. Water constitutes a large portion of the finished product when you drip brew coffee, so using the highest quality water available to you is paramount to making an excellent brew. Generally, using filtered water or bottled water will give you the best water quality for drip brewed coffee, but feel free to experiment; you may find that you enjoy the taste of your tap water over bottled or filtered water!   The SCAA recommends certain standards for the water used to brew specialty coffee, just in case you want to know what the absolute best is when it comes to water:



    •     Odor – The water should have a clean and fresh scent without any chemical odors or other unusual smells.
    •     Color – The water should have a crystal clear color and should not be cloudy.
    •     Total Chlorine Content – 0 mg/L
    •     Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Content – 150 mg/L (target), 75-250 mg/L (acceptable range)
    •     Calcium Hardness – 68 mg/L (target),  17-85 mg/L (acceptable range)
    •     Total Alkalinity – 40 mg/L (target),  at or near 40 mg/L (acceptable range)
    •     pH Level – 7.0 (target), 6.5 to 7.5 (acceptable range)
    •     Sodium Content – 10 mg/L (target), at or near 10 mg/L (acceptable range)

    2. Water Temperature 

    This is where a high quality machine comes into play. Your brewer should be able to maintain a water temperature between 195° F to 205° F for optimal coffee extraction. When you use water that is lower than 195° F it will result in an under-extracted extremely flat and watery tasting coffee; when you use water that is higher than 205° F it will cause the finished product to become acrid and bitter and will cause a noticeable loss of quality in the taste of the coffee.  The sweet spot is generally right around 200° F although you will have to tinker within the acceptable range to find what you enjoy the most.

    3. Ratio of Water to Coffee Grounds 


    This is the hallowed battleground for coffee nerds world round (seriously, Google search for “coffee to water ratio” and select images). There are many differing opinions as to what the most correct coffee to water ratio is. This never ending argument is for a good reason though as your decision here will have the greatest impact on the quality and taste of the finished coffee.  A good rule of thumb: ABOUT 2 TABLESPOONS  OF COFFEE FOR EVERY 6 OUNCES OF WATER (1 GRAM OF COFFEE FOR EVERY 16 MILILITERS OF WATER). Again, this is something that you will have to adjust a few times before you get it exactly right.

    4. Size of the Grind 


    Along with the timing of the brew cycle, this component of the process will have a noticeable impact on the taste of your finished coffee. If you prefer to purchase coffee in whole bean form you should always take care to grind your beans as close as possible to the start of your brew in order to maintain the integrity of the coffee and keep it as fresh as possible.

    Consistency is the key! A burr or mill grinder is the preferred method for grinding as the ground coffee will be consistent each time. Blade grinders will have less consistency and may affect the quality and consistency of your grind. If your coffee tastes bitter it is probably over-extracted, or ground too fine. If it’s flat or watery it is probably under-extracted, or ground too coarsely.  Many times, expert roasters have determined for each of their roasts exactly what the best grind size is for different types of coffee preparation and will grind it to that size for you upon picking up your beans, just ask! You’ll have to play around with the grind size to find what suits you best, but a medium grind is generally considered optimal for drip brewing.

    Also, this should go without saying but NEVER EVER reuse your spent coffee grounds, all of the good stuff has been extracted and you’ll only get bitter after tastes when you reuse extracted coffee, it’s not worth it!

    (Baratza is considered to be one of the best in-home grinder available on the market)

    5. Brew Cycle Timing  


    This component of brewing will have a major impact on the flavor of your coffee.  The brewing time is the amount of time that the heated water is in physical contact with the ground beans. The length of time that the brewing process is allowed to go on for will have a direct effect on the quality of your finished coffee. Water contact time should be determined primarily by the size of the grind that you use and the depth of the ground coffee (known as the “coffee bed”). Recommended brew cycle times range from 1-4 minutes for finely ground coffee, 4-6 minutes for a medium-fine (or Drip) grind, and 6-8 minutes for a coarse grind. The general guideline is the finer the grind, the shorter the time.

    There are three major components to the brew cycle:


    •     Pre-Wetting (or Wetting)As the brew cycle begins, the ground coffee starts to absorb the water as it is released from the machine.  The coffee begins to release gases as it brews. For a consistent extraction, the entire bed of coffee must be evenly pre-wetted within the first 10% of the brewing cycle time.
    •     Extraction After the grounds release their gases and are thoroughly wet the actual process of extraction begins. During this phase, the water-soluble materials dissolve and move out of the coffee grounds and into the water. The best and most desirable flavors are extracted near the beginning of the cycle and the most bitter are extracted near the end of the cycle.
    •     Hydrolysis Through chemical reaction with the water, the materials that were created during the extraction process are broken down further into water soluble proteins and sugars that truly define the taste of a cup of coffee.

    Making truly great drip coffee can be a simple task if you have practiced a little and set the parameters of your machine to work with the water and coffee that you are using. Also, good equipment doesn’t hurt either.  One of the most important factors when making drip coffee is the coffee brewing machine itself. A subpar machine will leave much to be desired as far as water temperature and cycle time consistency. Thankfully, America’s Test Kitchen set out to find exactly what drip brewer makes the best coffee: