From Michaels of Brooklyn’s Kitchen to Your Kitchen

MOB Home Style GravyAuthentic Italian Sauces You Won’t Believe Come from a Jar, Now Available in Stores Nationwide

It’s not so unusual for a landmark Italian restaurant to bottle their famous sauce and sell it to the public. But what sets Michaels of Brooklyn apart is that they cook their sauce entirely on premises in their Sheepshead Bay restaurant—from scratch, using only fresh ingredients that are prepped, sautéed, and blended by hand every day in the restaurant kitchen, with no additives or preservatives of any kind.

Michaels of Brooklyn traditional Italian tomato sauces taste like homemade because they use the same ingredients a talented home cook would use. It’s very simple—imported tomatoes from Italy, fresh herbs and spices, garlic or onion, and olive oil—but the result is an extraordinary range of fresh, delicious sauces in six distinctive flavorsMarinara, Tomato Basil, Filetto di Pomodoro, Puttanesca, Arrabbiata, and the newest flavor, Home Style Gravy.

The family-owned restaurant had modest beginnings almost 50 years ago. Michaels first opened in 1964 as a small pizzeria (just a pizza oven and four tables). The patriarch of the family and the namesake of the restaurant—Michael Cacace—was a fisherman from Puglia. He first learned his new trade aboard a cruise ship and honed his skills by working in restaurants in New York City and Brooklyn. He gradually grew the business from a small pizzeria to a Neapolitan restaurant, then took over more and more space, until Michaels evolved into the significant fine dining Southern Italian restaurant and bakery it is today. The senior Cacace left the restaurant in the very capable hands of his sons, John, who oversees the kitchen and is the chef and Fred, who manages the front of the house and day-to-day operation along with his son Michael, who heads up the wholesale business.

In recent years, the pasta and other sauces that were served in the restaurant were very popular, so popular that patrons asked to take it home with them. At first, they would send regular customers home with a small batch. But the desire for these delectable sauces kept growing. As the demand grew, John suggested it was time to jar it in shelf-stable containers and make it available for wholesale purchase.

The sauce you can buy today in gourmet markets and groceries across the U.S. follows the same recipes that Michael followed—recipes that have been in the family for generations. They soon discovered that the only way they could maintain this quality, style and flavor, was to continue to make it on site, using their own restaurant kitchen.

Downstairs in the restaurant, a dedicated staff cooks the tomato sauce each day. They begin by loading 80-gallon kettles—just like a giant pot—with imported Italian plum tomatoes. The production manager makes the spice mix each day to ensure consistency of flavor. Other ingredients (depending on the variety—garlic, onions, basil, oregano, spices, olives, etc.) are brought from the kitchen and added to the pot. Then it is cooked to 215 degrees F, a temperature that guarantees that the sauce, because of the high natural acidity of tomatoes, is preserved and safe to keep on the shelf unopened for years. Though they add no preservatives, Michaels of Brooklyn sauces will keep indefinitely when sealed, and is approved and certified by Cornell University. However, because of the freshness of the ingredients—it must be refrigerated once opened.

The difference is clear from the moment you open a jar—from the aroma of the fresh herbs, to the large chunks of garlic, to the whole capers and meaty slices of olives in the Puttanesca, to the tender leafs of green basil, contributing to the very distinctive differences in their range of traditional sauces. With just a few simple ingredients and subtle variations, they are suitable for a wide range of dishes, delicious straight out of the jar, for dipping bread, as pasta sauces, served with poultry, fish or seafood, Italian sausage, braciole or chicken cacciatore.

The classic Marinara, made with just garlic, olive oil, tomato, basil and oregano is the perfect sauce for spaghetti, but is also excellent simmered with seafood, or as the basic sauce in your lasagna or parmigiana recipes. In the fresh Tomato and Basil, the simplicity of fresh tomatoes shines through, enlightened by lots of fresh basil, for a light sweet flavor that is ideal with any pasta, even straight out of the jar, or you can add in sautéed eggplant or zucchini. Filetto di Pomodoro combines prosciutto and onions, fresh basil, olive oil and spices—and is especially nice over penne with lots of freshly grated imported age pecorino. Puttanesca is a heady combination, chock full of hand cut green and black olives, anchovies, capers, parsley, basil, spices, that adds passion to any type of pasta. Or try simmered with boneless chicken breasts, served over rice. Arrabbiata is for those who like it hot! Cooked with hot peppers, fresh basil, olive oil, parsley, and spices, it adds zest to pasta and seafood. Home Style Gravy, the most recent sauce to be placed in a jar, has a thicker base, made from ground tomatoes instead of crushed, and sweet caramelized onions instead of roasted garlic, it’s main reason for being is to be served with the braised meats of Sunday Gravy. However, there’s no meat in this sauce, so vegetarians will be pleased by the rich, hearty flavor, too.

Michaels of Brooklyn sauces are distributed nationally and are available in all major stores. It can be found at most supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as specialty gourmet stores such as Gourmet Garage, Whole Foods, Fairway, Eli’s and Grace’s. The sauce is sold in economical 32 oz. jars that are 33% larger than most brands (and generously feed a family of four). These products can also be purchased directly online at http://www.michaelsofbrooklyn.com.

Michaels of Brooklyn retail products are manufactured at 2929 Avenue R, Brooklyn, New York, 11229, 718-998-7851. The sales offices are located at 1000 Route 34, Suite 401, Matawan, NJ 07747, 732.888.5525.

And for a quick and excellent substitute for tomato sauce in recipes, use Michaels. Delicious with chicken legs, green peppers garlic cloves, and onion. Just brown the chicken and onion, pour in the rest, cover and braise for 45 minutes. (We used Puttanesca).

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The best purchased pasta sauces we have tested. Walman Report Rating: A Major

Copyright 2013 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

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DeBragga Has Japanese Wagyu for Sale

After an almost two and a half year absence from any global market, authentic Japanese Wagyu is once again available for sale here in the United States, through the national fine meat distributor, DeBragga, New York’s Butcher®.  DeBragga deals exclusively in Japanese Wagyu designated A5, the highest possible quality designation for Wagyu in Japan.  DeBragga is selling their Japanese Wagyu to restaurants and hospitality industry businesses through its wholesale business, and to consumers across the country through its online retail store, www.DeBragga.com.

The Japanese Wagyu at DeBragga.com comes directly from Japan.  This is not "Kobe-style," it is the REAL thing.  Premium Wagyu A-5 is a designation accorded only the highest quality 100% Japanese Kuroge Wagyu, raised in Japan by the experts, then shipped fresh to DeBragga.  DeBragga works with their colleagues in Japan to maintain strict inventory controls to guarantee a top quality, authentic beef product every time. This 100% Wagyu beef comes to DeBragga complete with traceability certificates that begin at inception (certificates on file at DeBragga). This Wagyu beef averages 30 months of age, raised with care, naturally, which produces superior tenderness, richer flavor, and above all, superior marbling.  This is the best beef your money can buy.

 

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

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CRYSTAL CRUISES TO LAUNCH EVENING BISTRO

With almost a dozen dining choices on each ship, Crystal Cruises’ most popular daytime gathering spot, The Bistro, is expanding to evening hours.  Reflecting the space’s European-style sidewalk café ambiance, the complimentary menu will offer “small bites,” desserts, and “midnight” snacks, along with premium wines and flavored coffees.  The new nightly café debuts in April on Crystal Symphony and June on Crystal Serenity, shortly after the ships go all-inclusive.

The Bistro has long been a meeting place for cruisers due to its central location and quick, easy access to continental breakfast, fresh fruits, afternoon snacks, and wide selection of teas and coffee drinks, from morning to late afternoon.  Signature Guy Buffet china and Six-Star service remains at night, but gastronomic offerings greatly expand:

· 6-8 pm: Charcuterie of cured meats, prosciuttos, and pâtés, plus international cheeses paired with premium wines and champagne.

· 8-11 pm: Artisanal cheeses, with complementary accompaniments such as truffle honey and fig chutney, plus an assortment of fresh fruits and desserts, including a chocolate fountain and petit fours handmade by onboard pastry chefs, with fine wines, digestifs, and hot drinks.

· 11 pm-12 am: Late-night munchies such as mini-sandwiches, freshly-baked pizzas, quiche, tandoori chicken, and trendy beef “sliders.”

“In traditional Crystal luxury fashion, our evening Bistro brings aboard the elegance and international panache of a European café experience—a central place to meet, people-watch, and enjoy a glass of wine or espresso and a snack,” says Vice President Food and Beverage Operations Toni Neumeister.  “In addition, this expansion really enhances the culinary and social options for guests who spend a full day sightseeing and/or like to mix up their evening dining.”

Casual dining on deck is also offered most evenings with a new Chinese “Comfort Food” menu augmenting choices on Crystal Serenity.

Extraordinary culinary experiences are a hallmark of every Crystal vacation.  The ultra-luxury line’s extensive, innovative choices for gourmandizing include coveted cheese and wine cellars, overseen by on-board, certified cheese and wine sommeliers (Court of Master Sommeliers-certified); fresh, chef-like cocktails served by certified mixologists; gourmet dining options at every meal, whether in the Crystal Dining Room, at afternoon tea, or in Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio’s specialty restaurants; and, starting this spring, all-inclusive premium spirits, fine wines, and champagnes throughout the ship.

 

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

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Esperanto Spiced Oil Now Available Online!

ESPERANTO SPICED OIL COMES TO YOUR HOME RESTAURANT FAVORITE AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT  EATERY AND ON THE WEB

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Esperanto Spiced Oil is ready to come to your home!

Now you can get your own bottle of Esperanto’s liquid gold delivered right to your door!  Since opening over 10 years ago, denizens have been flocking to the East Village pan-Latin restaurant for flavorful food and drink in a festive and fun atmosphere.  Besides its authentic Brazilian and South American menu items, its spiced oil, served with rustic bread, has been a favorite among many guests.  Now, Esperanto is offering its unique blend for sale at the restaurant and on the web.

Esperanto Spiced Oil is a zesty combination of olive and canola oils and fennel seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corns, hot pepper flakes, salt and garlic.  Originally formulated for dipping, Esperanto Spiced Oil is also perfect for use in marinades, sauces and dressings or whenever your dish could use a little of the exotic.

If you can’t get to Esperanto, which is located at 145 Avenue C at 9th Street (212-505-6559), now you can visit www.esperantony.com  and click on the “Buy Our Esperanto Spiced Oil” button to place your order at $7.00 for one 12 oz bottle, $13.00 for two bottles or $18.00 for 3 bottles (plus shipping).   Esperanto Spiced Oil is $6 per bottle at the restaurant.

Add a little zip to your favorite dish with Esperanto Spiced Oil!

MURRAY’S CHICKEN INTRODUCES FIRST ANTIBIOTIC FREE, UNCURED CHICKEN BACON

HOLY CHICKEN!

WHO SAYS BACON HAS TO BE UNHEALTHY?

MURRAY’S CHICKEN INTRODUCES

FIRST ANTIBIOTIC FREE, UNCURED CHICKEN BACON

Move over Pork and Turkey this New Tasty Bacon is made with

Only seven clean, simple, honest Ingredients and

Contains 83% Less Fat than Pork Bacon and

No Artificial Preservatives or Nitrates

Murray’s Chicken, the poultry industry’s leading innovator, has created a new, one-of-a-kind product – uncured, gluten free chicken bacon made from Certified Humane  antibiotic free chickens.  True to the rich taste of traditional, premium bacon, but with 83% less fat than the leading pork brand, no nitrates and preservatives, this naturally hardwood smoked chicken bacon provides uncompromising quality and flavor.

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BACK WITH A BAM! EMERIL LAGASSE RETURNS TO THE KAHALA FOOD & WINE CLASSIC, APRIL 9 AND 10, 2010

Emeril Lagasse

"Who Dat" Cooking at the Kahala Hotel & Resort Again? It’s Emeril’s Kitchen for the Weekend Featuring Signature Dinners, Cooking Demos, Wine Tastings and Cigars

Fresh off of last June’s Kahala Food & Wine Classic, chef Emeril Lagasse returns this spring for another soon-to-be-sold-out Kahala foodie extravaganza. The Kahala Hotel & Resort welcomes back the beloved star-chef of New Orleans cuisine, and will also feature wine selections from the award winning Schrader Cellars and cigars from Davidoff.

Chef Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of thirteen award-winning restaurants, including three in New Orleans (Emeril’s, NOLA and Emeril’s Delmonico). He is a national TV personality and best-selling author of 14 cookbooks, including Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking, which introduced the world to his creative take on Creole cuisine, and his latest book, Emeril 20-40-60: Fresh Food Fast. His new, hour-long primetime television series "The Emeril Lagasse Show" will debut on March 28 on ION Television. He was the featured chef at the last Kahala Food & Wine Classic in June 2009.

The Kahala Food & Wine Classic featuring the Best of Emeril’s Kitchen includes these events:

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Good, Healthy and Delicious Offerings From ORGANICVILLE

ORGANICVILLE ANNOUNCES ORGANIC KETCHUP AND BARBEQUE SAUCES

 

Organicville Brings a Healthy Alternative To The Condiment Aisle

Organicville Foods Inc. of Emeryville, California has introduced its newest line of USDA certified organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free products with no sugar added. With the agave-sweetened ketchup and two barbeque sauces to suit every taste,

Organicville’s line of healthy, socially-conscious foods is offering every customer and every family a tasty alternative for adorning every-day meals.

We LOVED the KETCHUP. Forget that “name brand” that we American’s adored (I’m as guilty as the next . . . it was very good). You have never tasted (even in a restaurant) a Ketchup so intense, complex and downright delicious. (OK. It’s good for you as well.)

Organicville’s exciting new Organic Ketchup is made with the finest vine-ripened tomatoes and organic seasonings, without any sugar added! Most brands sweeten ketchup with high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners; these synthetically processed substances dangerously impact the glycemic levels in many food favorites. Sweetened with agave nectar, Organicville’s richly flavored ketchup has the fresh, hearty taste and texture kids expect, with 25% less sodium for health-conscious parents. This ketchup will add a zesty flare to burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and more.

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AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR JOANNA PRUESS AT EMPIRE CITY CASINO

EMPIRE CITY LOGO

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR JOANNA PRUESS AT EMPIRE CITY CASINO AT YONKERS RACEWAY FOR A TASTE OF MARDI GRAS ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, AT 7:00 PM; “CARNIVAL IN THE KITCHEN” FEATURES CHEF DEMONSTRATION, TASTING AND BOOK SIGNING FOR ELITE CLUB MEMBERS

RECIPES FROM “CAST IRON COOKING: DELICIOUS AND SIMPLE COMFORT FOOD” WILL BE DELIVERED IN EMPIRE CITY’S GOOD TIME ROOM; PRUESS WILL BE JOINED BY HER HUSBAND, FOOD COMMENTATOR BOB LAPEJOANNA PRUESS HEADSHOT

Call  February 11th “Fat Thursday” at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. As a prelude to the Mardi Gras celebration and “Fat Tuesday,” Joanna Pruess, the award-winning author of nine cookbooks, will prepare a Mardi Gras smorgasbord with recipes from her latest publication Cast Iron Cooking: Delicious and Simple Comfort Food” and deliver a chef demonstration exclusively for Elite Empire Club Members. “Carnival in the Kitchen” gets underway at 7:00 pm in Empire City’s “Good Time Room.”

Pruess, whose popular books also include Mod Mex and Seduced by Bacon, has had articles and recipes published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Washington Post, Saveur, Food & Wine, and the Associated Press syndicate. A former Westchester County resident in Katonah and Mt. Kisco, Pruess now lives in the Bronx, New York with her husband, restaurant critic Bob Lape, who will join her for the 7:00 pm dinner, demo and book-signing.

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