Monday, May 23, 2011

Real Meals In "Fast Food Time"

Well I can't say it enough but Rastelli has really done it now!! With our family's health in mind they produced the first of an amazing Steamazing!™ line..... Less sodium than your traditional "healthy choice" frozen meals... Portion controlled and most of all a healthy alternative to the drive thru!

My husband and I each had a different meal tonight and equally enjoyed them!

What is Steamazing!™?  Well everything you should have in a meal, portion controlled with  your health in mind!  I say they are Real Meals in Fast Food Time.....

I photographed how they come and the final result after less than 7 minutes....

First they are in a brown bag that can go in the microwave or oven... NO PLASTIC with harmful chemicals!! The box the brown bag in gives you the proper cooking instructions whether you choose to use your microwave or oven.... And the nutritional contents are positioned right next to the cooking instructions...

We couldn't choose on the same meal tonight so I had the Sesame Ginger Chicken.... Popped it in the microwave for six and a half minutes... cut the end of the bag, slide the meal on my plate and BAM! A perfectly balanced meal!

Next my husband's meal......Tropical Garlic Mango Chicken....  Let's just say he loved it and I loved I didn't slave over the stove all day!!

It's an amazing comfort to know that we can prepare our kids a balanced meal in no time when our schedules used to day, let's "Dial a Dinner" or head for the drive thru.....  And for so many of us that depended on the "name brand" frozen dinners to watch our figure.......... These are much lower in sodium and fat than the ones I've seen.. Also, as tasty as if I'm sitting in a gourmet restaurant!

Your family needs to eat and why let time hold you back from a "Real Meal"..... Thanks Rastelli for the start to a great line of "Real Meals in Fast Food Time!"  

Steamazing!™ is the way to go! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Behind Every Veil is a Secret to Tell

Life is full of excitement, drama and secrets.  There's a hidden story behind the many items we encounter in our daily lives that we are simply unaware of.
Food and wine share wonderful stories and I'm not speaking of recipes.   What is fascinating is learning how, when or why an item came to be.  Dining can be made into an exciting learning experience to take our minds off the daily routines of life.
For over a year now I have been enjoying wonderful foods from Rastelli Direct.  I've shared their story with you and now in addition to enjoying the foods I'm enjoying wines from around the world both as an addition to our meals and incorporated into our meal preparation.
A wine that tempted my palate was an interesting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from A. Faustini.  I had previously tried a wonderful white, Beach House No. 34 and enjoyed it so I researched it and found a story behind it.  Knowing the prior wine had a history I began looking into this one which was called "Secret Veil".  That already sounds like it would have a unique story.  This is what I found out about "Secret Veil"......
In the summer of 2006 they were planning their wedding.  During a routine visit to Napa Anthony had tasted a wine with fruit sourced from Howell Mountain and fell in love with it. He found out some of the fruit had become available and locked down on a fruit contract for the 2006 vintage year, keeping it secret to all. 
Some months later, Anthony and Michelle were at a Peter Lik art gallery. One particular piece caught their eye and it happened to be named "Secret Veil".  Anthony then told Michelle about the additional wine he was making and they felt naming the wine "Secret Veil" was a perfect fit. 
The vintage I enjoyed was a 2007 and when I researched the bio of the wine I found it to have a wonderful blend 85% Cabernet Sauvignon 2% Syrah 2% Petit Verdot 2.5% Merlot 2.5% Malbec.  It was so flavorful, I could taste what I swore was the flavor of blackberry or cherry pie.  I had to find out the tasting notes and found the notes best to describe the flavoring..... "A complex nose of dried fruits, and subtle toasty notes, soft in the entry, this wine builds and becomes more layered, offering complex anise, sweet blackberry jam, cherry pie filling, caramel and vanilla flavors that dissolve on the finish into smoky-buttery opulence."  To my surprise I was experiencing the taste exactly as described.
Rastelli Direct
As I said, I've added wines to the delicious foods we've been experiencing and to recreate a prior anniversary meal we had a few years back at a wonderful steakhouse I chose a USDA Prime Elite Black Angus NY Strip Steak from Rastelli Direct.  We usually save our sinful dining out experiences for that one special occasion...... Sometimes once a year just isn't enough and now we sinfully dine daily..... The challenge then came to how was I going to recreate the recipe of our favorite Au Poirve, which I'm surprised I could spell because I can never pronounce it when we are out.....  So off to the internet I went in search of a recipe and found the perfect one....
  • 1/2 cup green peppercorns in brine, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup fine diced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy
  • 2 cups strong beef stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsely leaves

Smash green peppercorns on a cutting board with the side of a knife. Add to small bowl and mix with the coarse black pepper. Smear peppercorns on both sides your steaks. In a large saute pan over high heat, add oil. Sear steaks for 4 minutes on each side, until well caramelized and peppercorns begin to crust. Remove from pan.
Add shallots to pan to caramelize while scraping the bottom. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes while stirring until pasty, making a roux (a mixture of flour and fat). Remove pan from flame. Add the brandy. Add the beef stock and heavy cream. Stir. Allow to simmer and cook until sauce thickens.
Drizzle the steaks with the sauce and garnish with fresh parsley. 
Thanks to Faustini and Rastelli Direct we have "unveiled" our "secret" to sinful dining any day of the week from the comfort and privacy of our home.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Part Two: Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From

A few posts back I talked about the importance of knowing where your food comes from and vertical integration.  I've been fortunate enough to live close enough to physically see why I should be very careful about where I choose my food products from.

Now I have the ability to share a short video with you about Farm To Family with Rastelli Foods.

Click below to see the magnitude, passion and quality Rastelli has put into food and distribution.

Once you view the video you will see why not only myself but so many others are going to Quality Gourmet and beginning a pathway to a healthier lifestyle.

People today are more concerned about the environment and what impact natural disasters, chemicals, genetic engineering and more have on their health.  Reading labels is confusing and words can be so slightly changed to make you think you're receiving a healthy item when you're not.  A few posts back I showed you the importance of understanding labels.

When it comes to Dining, whether at home or out, you should be aware of where that product came from, how it was handled and how it was prepared.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sauteed Tilapia with Lemon Peppercorn Pan Sauce

I had forgotten to post this great recipe I got from a wonderful website.  I did add to it for additional flavor.  Not being a fan of fish I searched high and low for many recipes that would add as much flavor as possible!

First I have to say out of all the Tilapia I've had over the past two years trying to acquire a taste for fish, Rastelli's beat everyone out by far.  So here's a great recipe to get you started on your quest to try Tilapia

  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons drained brine-packed green peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • (6-ounce) Rastelli tilapia fillets (Click here)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • Splash of dry white wine
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

  • Combine first 3 ingredients.
  • Melt 1 teaspoon of butter with oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.
  • While butter melts, sprinkle fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour; shake off excess flour.
  • Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until butter turns golden brown. Add fillets to pan; sauté 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fillets from pan. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Add a splash of your favorite dry white wine, cook an additional minute.  Remove from heat. Stir in two teaspoons of butter with a whisk. Serve sauce over fillets. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.
This dish goes excellent with one of my favorite wines I've blogged about.  Leone D’Oro™ Gavi

Herb Roasted Pesto Pork Chop

The other white meat has so much to offer if you choose a quality product.  Take a peek at Chef Victor Orsini preparing a delightful simple dish!

You don't have to be a master in the kitchen to be a chef you just need to use the right products to be a chef!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chef Georges Pierrer Rastelli Filet of Angus

The top chefs demand Rastelli Foods and you can cook with the same products being served in 5-Star restaurants, casinos and resorts around the world!

Rastelli brings new meaning to Dining In!   Click here to shop or learn more about their program!