Ingredients of Hazelnut Spread and Shepherds Pie Recipe
Ingredients of Hazelnut Sauce, Simple version of Shepherds Pie, Easter Coming at - Can't read this email? Don't miss the
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Slitti Gianera Creamy Dark Hazelnut Spread

It's all about the ingredients!

I am not sure why everyone who tries any of Andrea Slitti’s amazing hazelnut concoctions for the first time snaps their fingers and says “Hey, that’s kinda like,” snap, snap, “nutella”....

Let’s do a quick comparison of the ingredients.

First a little history. Some 17 years ago we started reading ingredient labels religiously because you, our customers, required it. When you go to a brick and mortar store you can read them yourselves, online not so much.

So we started to read them and found so many things we couldn’t pronounce or didn't even have a clue as to what they might be. And we learned that words we knew often had a double meaning. For instance did you know MSG is often contained in these sneaky names; natural flavorings, gelatin, whey protein, enzymes, soy protein, corn starch, corn syrup, milk powder, low fat, no fat, vitamin enriched and more?

So, the first rule we learned was, a short ingredient list was a good thing, ideally the main “flavor” should be first or second (not always, but a good place to start) and if you can’t pronounce it, pass. Like June Taylor's Page Mandarin Marmalade, the first ingredient is Page mandarins, and the second is oranges.

If we look at the Nutella ingredient list, it's short (comparatively to other things) and includes Sugar, Palm Oil, Hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Slitti’s Gianera Creamy Dark Hazelnut Spread looks similar: Mild and Round Piedmontese Hazelnuts from the "Langhe" area, sugar, cocoa mass, skimmed cocoa powder 10-12%. Emulsifying agent: sunflower lecithin.

Except there are a few key differences. The Nutella is almost 50% sugar and 30% palm oil, where Slitti's Gianera is 52% hazelnuts and a cocoa minimum content of 20%.

Remember the customers who snapped their fingers? The next thing they exclaim is, “This is unbelievable, it's so much better, I never liked that other stuff."

ChefShop Shepherds Pie Recipe

Comfort food is all the rage these days.

Perhaps because work and life are so stressful right now it seems that one pot simple dishes are the easiest choice to make. It doesn't hurt that they taste great and are a reminder of a calmer time. Whatever the reason, it’s what we’ve been making.

Shepherds Pie

Ok, so this is not really a true historical “Shepherds Pie”. There's a cloudy history for this “dish”. By name it’s more of a cottage pie (if you use beef and not lamb). Though cottage pies are a century older, in name, we use both names interchangeably.

And if you interchange the ingredients a bit, many, if not all, cultures have a dish just like this.

So our version is made based on the goal of just-plain-easy. The first version was a disaster, the second one was worse than the first, and the third left out a lot of ingredients and it turned into the best.

And its lived on to be a comfort-one-pot—food!

And like any good recipe (at least for simple ones) you can modify and change it, and the results are almost guaranteed to be better!

Use carrots, red onions, cheese, mushrooms, even mix everything together, except the potatoes on top (ok, that’s actually the way a “real” pie is done). Anything goes. So use the basic recipe first and then mix-it-up!

Looking for easy, great tasting, almost historical comfort food? Try this one recipe!

1) Parmigiano-Reggiano Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano
This cheese comes from a mountain farm located near the small village of Tizzano Val Perma in the Apennine Mountains. It is one of the mountain cheese houses. The milk for their cheese production comes from 15 different local dairies all located within 30 kilometers of the cheese house. The owner of the cheese house, Giovanni, says that the cows from which the milk is harvested are 50% Bruna Alpina cows, and 50% Frisona -- with a few Vacche Rossa and Montbeillards thrown in. Aged to perfection

Pre-order now for end of March cut

2) Colomba Easter Italian cakes Italian Spring Cakes
Shaped like a dove, it represents a symbol of innocence, gentleness, and affection. On the inside, it's the same fabulous cake as the panettone; the luscious bread made with lots of eggs, sugar, some flour, and a 60 plus year old starter yeast.

Pre-order now for Easter

3) San Giacomo Balsamic Condimento San Giacomo Balsamic Condimento
The nose of this medium-thick condimento balsamic vinegar opens both sweet and tart, with notes of molasses and hints of fruit. Sweet and fruity on the tip of the tongue, a pleasant amount of acid creates an interplay of sweet and sour on the mid-palate that is a sheer pleasure. This delicious condimento leaves one with the impression that the balance of sweet and sour leans slightly to the sweet.

Shop now for one amazing "daily" Balsamic

4) ChefShop cocoa powder ChefShop Cocoa Powder
The first product we carried and still have it on the shelves! Iteration after each has gotten better and better. Cocoa powder changes from Batch to Batch, but our supplier keeps it just right! You can't go wrong with this wonderful versatile Cocoa!

Shop now for ChefShop Cocoa Powder

5) Hawkshead Damson and Basil Jelly Damson and Basil Jelly
Not a jelly for your morning toast (though why not), it is more for the cheese or nice lamb chop. Think savory!

Shop now for Hawkshead Damson and Basil Jelly

6) Espelt Moscatel Wine Vinegar Espelt Moscatel Wine Vinegar
This warm, light colored vinegar is first sweet and as it moves to the back of the mouth, the throat gets a jolt of acid! If you are to “taste” with a little lip and tongue, there is a sweetness and a wonderful grape and peach flavor, and the acid is subtle and later.

Its very light persona is not aggressive, with fruity notes, that will create a wonderful dressing. A dressing that would go well with the summer bounty and delightfully with fall harvest, too. There is also a woodiness that comes with it too that adds a round, perhaps cushy, finish to your palate.

It has a subtle approach which spreads out nicely revealing all its nuances of flavors. What’s wonderful is that this vinegar is not mono-toned at all. Its flavor profile is indeed white wine, yet, from a light, simple wine comes this quiet flavor-rich vinegar!

What fun!

Shop now for an Amazing Wine Vinegar

Just-in-Updates - Cooking Classes

new food Moroccan Harissa!
Fresh-made-to-order. This is Mehdi's family recipe from Casablanca. Smooth with texture, it is just right! Use on everything! Harissa is not one of those condiments that has only one authentic recipe. In fact, from town to town, region to region, it can vary from a little to a lot. From texture to ingredients, and from how hot or not so much. Of all the ones we have tried this is the very best!

Hearty Hungarian Table Cooking Class
Hearty Hungarian Table Cooking Class

Hungarian Cooking, like other eastern European cooking is hearty, homey, and satisfyingly delicious - just what we need to warm up on a cold, gray Seattle day. Chef Erin, a third-generation Hungarian American, learned to cook from her grandmother and will share Grandma Rose's recipes for Korozott (Hungarian Cheese Spread), Cucumber Salad, Goulash, Chicken Paprikash and more. If you like Chicken Paprikash, but haven't been able to re-create your grandmother's recipe, then this is the class for you.  In my humble opinion, Chef Erin makes the best Chicken Paprikash this side of the Mississippi -- it's not to be missed!


This Weeks Recipes

Grilled Steak with Saba Recipe
There’s no question that really tasty beef is required here. I like top sirloin or skirt steak for a good meaty flavor. You can also try this with a nice cut of tri-tip or even eye of round, and slice it against the grain in small strips when it’s done.

Roasted Cauliflower w/Cocoa & Smoked Paprika Recipe
This is an adaptation of a brilliant recipe convinced and codified by Shauna Ahern ( She likes to blanch her cauliflower first, but I just put the florets straight into the oven on a shallow baking sheet. You have to roast them a little longer and be more careful to not burn them. But other than that, they turn out lovely every time.

Feuilletine Flakes Hazelnut Creme Cookie Recipe
Eating Feuilletine Flakes by the handful is like the best cookie ever, but not quite. By adding luxurious hazelnut creme from Andrea Slitti and a bunch of fabulous chocolate you get a cookie that has just about everything you might want, since it is like a great candy bar!

See what you missed in previous Newsletters

This Oil Will Change Your Life, Best Bees, "French" Green Lentils

New Fresh Virgin Walnut Oil, Summer Parm

Chocolate Cake, Amazing Healthy Chicory Toll-free:
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