Recipes Archives - ig2go

8 Tips for the Perfect Roast Turkey

Thanksgiving turkey – for some, it is the centerpiece of a delightful thanksgiving day full of warm memories and family bonding. For others, it is the sad, dry, even disappointing result of a recipe that never seems to turn out right. With so many recipes, cooking methods, and potential for mistakes, cooking a whole turkey can be a daunting task, let alone cooking a whole turkey that actually tastes good. Today we’re going to go over our favorite tricks and explain the science of why they work so well.

Tip 1 – Start with the right Turkey

As you already know, we care deeply about the quality of the ingredients we use in our foods. The better building blocks you have to start with, the better the outcome will be of your finished product. Picking up a high-quality bird for your thanksgiving feast will already give you a leg up for a delicious centerpiece.

What do we mean by ‘high quality?’ Mostly we mean buying a fresh turkey, not a frozen turkey. Freezing a turkey can cause tiny ice crystals to form around cells, causing the meat to dry out more during the cooking process. Fresh turkeys will generally retain that moisture, which is going to help keep the meat nice and juicy. Fresh turkeys are also generally fed a better diet, are often raised free-range, and are often organic and antibiotic-free. We believe all of these qualities result in a better turkey for your table.

Tip 2 – Brine Brine Brine

If you’re going to do anything to improve your turkey recipe this year, you should add brine to the process. Rub it with a dry brine, and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or up to 24 hours) OR brine the turkey in a liquid brine for 12 – 24 hours.

What does brining do? Surprisingly a lot. First off, the salt in a brine helps to break down some of the muscle proteins in the meat, stopping it from contracting as much as it’s cooked, and the result is more tender meat that hasn’t squeezed out its own moisture. The second big benefit comes from the process of osmosis, where the salt first pulls moisture out of the meat, but over time as the meat and brine stabilize, the brine then begins to penetrate the semi-permeable cell walls of the meat reintroducing moisture back into the cell that will remain there to keep the meat nice and juicy while it cooks. Dry brine and wet brine both work the same way, but we personally prefer a wet brine for our birds. Regardless of which method you use, ALWAYS keep the bird refrigerated as it brines, and be sure to only brine for the recommended size for your bird. Over-brining is a thing, and trust us when we say it’s not something you want to experience yourself.

Tip 3 – Dry after brine

This one is mostly for anyone who went with the wet-brine method, AND if you still want that heavenly crispy skin. Once you’ve finished the 12-24 hour wet brine, remove the turkey from the liquid, and put it back in the fridge to ‘dry’ for another 24 hours. This helps give more time for the salt and moisture it absorbed during the brine to be thoroughly dispersed throughout the whole bird, and allows the skin to get crispy and golden in the final stages of roasting.

Tip 4 – The warm-up

Before your turkey goes in the oven, we recommend allowing it to come up to room temperature first. Obviously don’t leave it out for hours, but just long enough that it’s not fridge-cold. This allows the turkey to cook more evenly since the internal temperature and the exterior temperature won’t be so far apart once the bird makes it to the oven.

Tip 5 – Butter bath

Our favorite method for getting that perfect golden crispy skin is slathering butting UNDER the turkey skin before it goes in the oven. You want an even coast as if you were applying suntan lotion at the beach. If you really want to step it up, mix some fresh herbs in the butter before you get to slathering. This is a wonderful way to infuse some flavor into your thanksgiving feast.

Tip 6 – Trust us, don’t truss

This one is based on our experience and may depend on what kind of oven you’re cooking in. Personally, we prefer to not truss our turkeys (tying the legs together) We find that our turkeys cook more evenly when the legs are not tied, and the heat has a better chance of circulating around the whole bird.

Tip 7 – Treat your bird to a sauna

We recommend raising your turkey off the bottom of your roasting dish with a rack to help again with even circulation of air. But don’t leave the roasting dish empty, through some broth in there! Not only does this help create a moist environment for the turkey to cook in, but it also provides a flavorful head start if you’re planning on turning the drippings into the gravy (who are we kidding, of course, you are).

Tip 8 – Patience is key

No matter how hungry your guests are, it is imperative that you allow the bird to rest for 30 minutes once it comes out of the oven. Cutting into it too early will allow some of that moisture we’ve worked so hard to evaporate as steam or pool out into a big puddle on the serving platter. When you let the turkey rest, you allow that heat to dissipate and the meat will retain more of that moisture where it’s supposed to be, evenly distributed throughout the whole bird.

And there you have it, our top tips for roasting the perfect thanksgiving turkey. We know everyone has their favorite methods, and everyone has their own preferences for what they’re looking for in a roast. But for us, this process results in a juicy succulent bid that’s full of flavor, with a crispy golden skin that you’ll be dreaming about all year long. the process in time-consuming, but we promise it’s worth it.

______________________________________

No time for cooking this year?

Hey, we get it. Time is a commodity and every second is worth treasuring. And we absolutely get that not everyone loves cooking as much as we do (there’s a reason we own and operate a restaurant after all) If you’re short on time, or if you’d rather enjoy a day relaxing with your family rather than work in the kitchen, we applaud you for recognizing that and we would love to take care of the cooking for you.

Enjoy a delicious and unforgettable holiday feast without sacrificing your time and without all the fuss of cooking but ordering from our seasonal holiday menu. Whether you’re looking to go all out with a whole turkey or ham and all the fixings, or if you’re looking for something a little smaller for a smaller gathering, we’ve got you covered.

Check out the full holiday menu HERE, and be sure to get your pre-orders in before the deadline passes.

 

 

Recipe for IG Cottage Pie

This Cottage Pie recipe is so scrumptious and satisfying! The filling is flavorful and the potatoes are nothing short of heavenly. You may be thinking this is strikingly similar to Shepard’s pie, and you would be correct. However, our recipe uses ground beef whereas Shepard’s pie traditionally uses ground lamb.

Some notes before we get into it: 

  1. We find it’s faster to boil the potatoes first, and the skin slides right of once they’ve cooled enough to touch.
  2. The salt and pepper measurements for the potatoes and filling are more suggestions than anything else. We know everyone’s tastebuds are a little different, so add more or less to suit your own palate.
  3. We use a mix of vegetables in the filling because we like a lot of vegetables for this recipe. But feel free to use whatever combination you like or have on hand.

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes 

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 Servings

 

Ingredients: 

MEAT FILLING:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef -or ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot for gluten-free or flour if not
  • 3tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen mixed veggies or anything you love ( we used corn, peas, carrots, & green beans)

 

POTATO TOPPING:

  • 2 lb’s of Yukon gold potatoes
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter -1 stick
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • A few springs of fresh Italian Parsley for garnish- chopped (Optional)

_________________

 

MAKE THE MEAT FILLING

  1. Add the oil to a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the ground beef (or ground lamb) to the skillet and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the flour/arrowroot and tomato paste. Stir until well incorporated and no clumps of tomato paste remain.
  5. Add the broth, and frozen mixed vegetables. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Set the meat mixture aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

 

MAKE THE POTATO TOPPING

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and peel them once they are cool enough to handle, the skins should slide off easily.
  3. Return the potatoes to the hot pot. Let the potatoes rest in the hot pot for 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.
  4. Add butter, half & half, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes and stir until all the ingredients are mixed together.
  5. Add the parmesan cheese to the potatoes. Stir until well combined.

 

ASSEMBLE THE CASSEROLE

  1. Pour the meat mixture into a 9×9 (or 7×11) inch baking dish. Spread it out into an even layer. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Carefully spread into an even layer.
  2. If the baking dish looks very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet so that the filling doesn’t bubble over into your oven. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.** Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley if desired.

 

 

Feeling creatively jammed in the kitchen? Give these Jam recipes a try!

If you’re like most people, jam may only show up for you on the occasional PB&J, or on a thick slice of breakfast toast or biscuit. But like many ingredients, jam offers a lot more versatility than it gets credit for.

One of our favorites by far is this bottom-of-the-jam jar vinaigrette. Not only does it make use of every last drop of jammy goodness, but it’s a great easy way to add new flavors to even the simplest of salads and greens.

 

Bottom of the Jar Vinaigrette

  • 1 rounded tablespoon of IG Jam – scrape the bottom of the jar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Use with:

  • 8 cups chopped greens and any vegetables
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. To the bottom of an almost-empty jam jar, add the other ingredients and shake to combine. Or, whisk together all the ingredients in a salad bowl, streaming in the EVOO.
2. Toss with lettuce and vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

___________

 

Need some more fun jam ideas? Give these a try:

 

  •  Add some to a pan sauce for meat – It not only helps thicken it, it adds sweetness and flavor. Try stone fruit jam like our plum jam with red wine as a pan sauce for steak or pork chops.

 

  • Whip up the ultimate grilled cheese – Jam + melted cheese + golden, toasted bread. (It’s the jam that makes it ultimate.) Staff favorite: our own IG strawberry onion bacon jam

 

  • Top your pancakes – Turn jam into syrup instantly by boiling it with a bit of water. (Sayonara, maple syrup!)

 

  • Serve it alongside cheese – Oh you thought your cheese plates were already fancy? You haven’t even seen fancy until you’ve put a cute jar of jam on the plate.

 

  • Make flavored chocolate – Stir a spoonful of jam into warm ganache and pour it over cakes. Or refrigerate until firm and use it as a filling for French macarons.

 

  • Make better biscuits – Instead of slathering your biscuits with jam, bake jam right into the biscuit.

 

  • Make your own fruit-flavored yogurt – Spoon some jam into a bowl. Top with plain yogurt. Call it fruit-on-the-bottom.

 

  • Bake up some Brie, and top it with your favorite jam – The best part is, you can use any jam for this, fruity and sweet, a savory caramelized onion jam, or if you’re into it, try a jam with a little kick to it. Any option goes well with the warm brie and some slices of fresh crusty bread.

 

  • Spruce up a nice cocktail -Jam is a wonderful addition to your bar. Similar to flavored syrups, but with more body. Try some raspberry jam, vodka, Club soda and a lemon slice for a super refreshing summer cocktail.

 

  • Top off some vanilla ice cream – need we say more?

 

_____________

 

Tag us in your creations! We’d love to see what you come up with. Share you jam dishes with us by tagging @IntelligentGourmet on Instagram and Facebook.

Spruce Up Your Culinary Creations

Get creative with some sample recipes that incorporate new flavors and fun new ingredients. Use Infused Honey for cocktails, and incorporate these handcrafted specialties into your seasonal grazing boards and main dishes.

 

 

Ginger Honey Glazed Carrots

Easy to make with only a few simple ingredients, these glazed carrots make a great side dish to any fall meal. Yield: serves 4

 

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Ginger Infused honey
  • 4 Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in ginger.
  2. Add Ginger honey and stir to dissolve.
  3. Stir in carrots and toss to coat.
  4. Pour in water and cover to steam.
  5. Stir occasionally and cook 8 minutes or until tender.
  6. Season to taste.

 

___________

 

Lavender Vanilla Bean Honey Martini

Cocktails are an essential part of most gatherings we’ve developed one rule for choosing the best recipes: keep it simple. So simple that your guests can help themselves. Yield: serves 1

 

  • 23 Ounces gin (or vodka)
  • 1 Ounce lavender vanilla bean honey
  • Sparkling water
  1. Fill cocktail shaker with the gin and lavender vanilla bean honey and shake.
  2. Add a handful of ice and Shake again.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Top with sparkling water.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of fresh lavender, or a few dried lavender buds floating on top.

 

___________

 

Lavender Vanilla Bean Honey Old Fashioned

Cocktails are an essential part of most gatherings we’ve developed one rule for choosing the best recipes: keep it simple. So simple that your guests can help themselves. Yield: serves 1

 

  • 1½ ounces bourbon whiskey
  • ½ ounce rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. lavender vanilla bean honey
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • 1 orange twist, for garnish
  1. Combine the bourbon, rye, lavender vanilla bean honey, and bitters in a mixing glass, and stir.
  2. Pour over an ice-filled rocks glass.
  3. Garnish with an orange twist and serve immediately.

 

___________

 

Rosemary Lemon Salmon Filets

The rosemary-infused honey gives this dish a sweet and aromatic flavor. Yield: serves 4

 

  • 2 tbsp rosemary lemon honey + more for finishing drizzle
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 (6-oz.) skinless boneless salmon filets
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Pinch fresh rosemary leaves (optional garnish)
  1. Arrange salmon filets, flat side down in a shallow dish in a single layer.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with the infused honey.
  3. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-low and rub grates generously with olive oil.
  5. Place salmon on grill, rounded side down, and cook, rotating to create crosshatched markings and turning once, until dark golden brown and medium rare, (2 to 3 minutes per side)
  6. Divide salmon between 4 plates and drizzle with lemon juice and a little bit of the extra honey to taste. Garnish with fresh rosemary, and serve immediately or at room temperature.

 

___________

 

More Honey Ideas 

Honey is a natural sweetener, and a fantastic alternative to using refined sugars. Our infused honey create more opportunities to play with flavor and create some really special dishes.

 

Tag us in your creations! @IntelligentGourmet on Instagram and Facebook

 

  • Add a warming taste to a cup of tea.
  • Infused honey is so enticing when drizzled over oatmeal.
  • Drizzle over baked brie or pork chops.
  • Over vanilla ice cream for a sweet, fresh flavor.
  • Terrific in a martini or old fashion instead of simple syrup.
  • Try our Chili Honey on fried chicken & biscuits.
  • Honey over waffles instead of syrup.

 

___________

 

Rosemary Roasted Walnuts

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – PALEO – DELICIOUS Wonderfully simple and addicting roasted walnuts. Salty, sweet, savory snacking perfection. Yields:3 cups walnuts

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey (sub agave for vegan option)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (or 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1.25 teaspoons of our rosemary grapefruit maldon sea salt flakes
  • 3 cups walnut halves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, honey (or agave), rosemary, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
  3. Place the walnuts into a mixing bowl and drizzle the oil and spice mixture over the walnuts. Stir to toss and coat the nuts well.
  4. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fragrant, hot, and golden.
  5. Cool then seal and add to grazing board when ready to share.

 

___________

 

Infused Salt Hasselback Potatoes

This recipe adds extra flavor to crispy, roasty, hasselback potatoes to elevate your side dish to the next level. Yield: Serves 4

 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced or pressed
  • 1 pound Mixed New Potatoes
  • 2 teaspoon finishing salt (any of our infused salts are fantastic with this)
  1. Mix olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan on low heat for 5-10 min or until fragrant. Do not burn the garlic, you just want the flavor to begin infusing into the oil.
  2. Slice the potatoes vertical slits 3/4 of the way thru each potato along the length of the potato – making sure to not cut all the way thru.
  3. Arrange cut potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush generously with garlic oil mixture.
  4. Place into the hot oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, brush with remaining garlic oil mixture and top each potato with a generous pinch of your favorite salt.
  6. Place back into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until tender and crispy around the edges.

 

___________

 

More Salt Ideas 

Finishing salts boast a bright flavor that elevates everything from dark chocolate to pastas, salads, roasted vegetables and even margarita’s.

 

Tag us in your creations! @IntelligentGourmet on Instagram and Facebook

  • Rim a margarita glass.
  • Sprinkle a little over chocolate truffles.
  • Use with a Carmel sauce over cheesecake for an elevated salted Carmel flavor.
  • Use over any meat or seafood in place of regular salt for added flavor.
  • Sprinkle over rice or pasta.
  • Sprinkle over a salad for added flavor.
  • Roasting nuts? Sprinkle on a flavored salt after they are done for a special finishing touch.
___________

Bottom of the Jar Vinaigrette 

Don’t let any of that sweet jam go to waste! This vinaigrette dressing will make use of every last drop left in the jar and create a beautifully flavorful topper for fresh greens or veggies.

 

  • 1 rounded tablespoon of IG Jam – scrape the bottom of the jar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Use with:

    • 8 cups chopped greens and any vegetables
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. To the bottom of an almost-empty jam jar, add the other ingredients and shake to combine. Or, whisk together all the ingredients in a salad bowl, streaming in the EVOO.
  2. Toss with lettuce and vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

 

___________

 

More Jam Ideas 

Jams are versatile spreads that can be used for so many different things in the kitchen. We’ve listed a few ideas here to get you started, but this is only the tip of the jam iceberg.

 

Tag us in your creations! @IntelligentGourmet on Instagram and Facebook

  1. Add some to a pan sauce for meat – It not only helps thicken it, it adds sweetness and flavor. Try stone fruit jam like our plum jam with red wine as a pan sauce for steak or pork chops.
  2. Whip up the ultimate grilled cheese – Jam + melted cheese + golden, toasted bread. (It’s the jam that makes it ultimate.)
  3. Top your pancakes – Turn jam into syrup instantly by boiling it with a bit of water. (Sayonara, maple syrup!)
  4. Serve it alongside cheese – Oh you thought your cheese plates were already fancy? You haven’t even seen fancy until you’ve put a cute jar of jam on the plate.
  5. Make flavored chocolate – Stir a spoonful of jam into warm ganache and pour it over cakes. Or refrigerate until firm and use it as a filling for French macarons.
  6. Make better biscuits – Instead of slathering your biscuits with jam, bake jam right into the biscuit.
  7. Make your own fruit-flavored yogurt – Spoon some jam into a bowl. Top with plain yogurt. Call it fruit-on-the-bottom.
___________

What do you do with Pickled Watermelon?

Pickled vegetables are a fantastic pairing with meats and a must on a board or on the bar. Great served as part of an appetizer spread accompany with flatbreads and grilled meats

 

  1. Use them like a chutney –  accompaniment to roasted meats much like you would dress roasted turkey with cranberry sauce.
  2. Looking for a unique addition to an appetizer tray or charcuterie board?This is it!The flavorful pickled watermelon pairs wonderfully with a variety of cheeses, meat, and other pickled vegetables.
  3. It is delicious by itself as a winter treat or as a condiment with greens or turkey.
  4. Other fans say it’s great with cheese and crackers or on sandwiches

 

___________

 

Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables

 

  1. The pickles are traditionally served on Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. They’re a little like bread and butter pickles, though crispier, not as sweet, and with a slight radish taste from the daikon.
  2. These pickles would be great with anything that would typically be served with coleslaw or sauerkraut, like hot dogs, or barbecued pork
  3. They would also be great with salad or wrapped into a spring roll.
  4. There is definitely a health benefit to eating these kinds of vegetables, so they can even be enjoyed just by themselves.

This Thanksgiving, Don’t Forget the Brussels Sprouts

…we’re not kidding, don’t forget the brussels sprouts! Thanksgiving is on everyone’s mind and we know that your menu is almost complete! But really, add the sprouts of brussels – you will not regret it.

Brussels Sprouts, part of the cabbage family, definitely have had their fair share of love and hate; you are either excited for them, or you push them to the side. Most of the time, we hear our customers share that they steamed their brussels sprouts – steaming your vegetables is much healthier and better than boiling. But, this method of cooking does no favors for the cabbage family, nor does it help their taste.

Today, we are sharing with you two, delicious ways to love brussels sprouts – we think you’ll enjoy them so much, you won’t want to have Thanksgiving without them.

You can even enjoy some delicious brussels sprouts made just by us! On our holiday menu this year, we have added Braised + Roasted Shaved Brussels Sprouts. Enjoy them for Thanksgiving and order by Thursday, November 19th (visit in-store or give us a call at 813.287.2253); or, visit HERE for the full menu.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan

  1. Chop a brown onion finely and saute with olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize.*
  2. While the onions are browning, chop 10 Brussels sprouts in half, through the root, then slice into thin shreds.
  3. Add the sprout shreds to the pan with the caramelized onions and stir, cooking until they are tender but still bright green.
  4. Add shelled pistachios, dried cranberries, and Parmesan cheese – serve hot and enjoy!

*Carnivores might like to add one slice of bacon to flavor the onions and to crumble over the top of the finished dish. Or, to make the dish vegetarian & pescatarian friendly, omit the bacon.

Brussels Sprouts Hot Harvest Salad*

  1. Dice one apple, a butternut squash, 1/2 of a brown onion, and five Brussels sprouts.
  2. Toss the apple, squash, onion, and sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and add torn sage leaves and a sprinkling of salt & pepper.
  3. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, stir, then roast for another 20-30 minutes until the sprouts, onions, and squash are nicely browned.

*Add croutons or wild rice and thyme to make this recipe into a delicious turkey dressing!

What is your favorite way to enjoy brussels sprouts?

It’s Winter Season: Vegan Soup Recipes

Since it is officially the Winter Holidays – it is time for homemade soup! We are taking three of our favorite soup recipes and making them vegan. While it is still a balmy 75 degrees in Tampa, we are all watching the weather in hopes of cooler temps. We don’t know about you, but we are ready for some sweater weather! Not only do we crave our winter wardrobes when the weather turns chilly (less than 75 for us Floridians), we crave soothing, hot comfort foods. Here are three of our favorite hot soup recipes made vegan, low-calorie, and extra delicious. And the best part, they are filled with cancer-fighting ingredients!

Note: these recipes work best with an immersion blender. All recipes serve 3-4 single servings.

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 1 head of cauliflower and 1 head of broccoli, steamed
  • 1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Add 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4th tsp grated nutmeg
  • Vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Non-Vegan options: Garnish with plain Greek yogurt or a sprinkle of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Directions: In a pot, saute 1 chopped onion until well browned in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower, broccoli, and onion mixture together, adding vegetable broth until desired soup consistency is reached. Garnish with fresh parsley or non-vegan alternatives.

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 Tb EVOO
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs mushrooms
  • 1 Tb dry sherry (or white wine)
  • 1 russet potato or 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • To add depth of flavor, try adding a dash of balsamic vinegar!

Directions: Saute onion with olive oil in a pot until caramelized, add garlic. Deglaze with dry sherry and add mushrooms and potatoes. Add herbs and spices. Cook down until mushrooms are deeply browned (not burnt!) and potato pieces are soft. Immersion blend until soup has reached a desirable consistency. Since mushrooms produce a lot of moisture while cooking down, you may not need any additional vegetable stock, which is why it’s omitted. If extra moisture is required, use vegetable stock or white wine. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme (yep, just like the song says!).

Vegan Tomato Soup

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours beforehand
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 14.4 oz cans stewed tomatoes (or 4.5 cups)
  • 1/4 c coconut milk
  • Fresh basil, chopped with some more for garnish
  • Sugar, salt, and pepper to taste (yes, sugar!)
  • Pepitas (optional garnish)

Directions: In a pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until they are soft. In a 2-cup measure (or deep pot – whatever you have handy), use your immersion blender to blend the cashews with 1/2 cup water until it’s creamy. Add into the onion/garlic pot with stewed tomatoes, basil, and coconut milk, and blend until creamy. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with garlic bread, or garnish with pepitas.

In the Kitchen – How to make an IG Taco Bowl

This recipe is a great way to make a quick, flavorful meal that’s packed with vitamins, protein, & flavor.

Traditional Matzo Balls for Matzo Ball Soup

This is a quick how-to video for our favorite Matzo Ball recipe. Light, soft, and bursting with flavor, these dumplings are the perfect pairing for the salty broth and chicken in matzo ball soup. Not to mention, they are incredibly simple to make, with only a small list of ingredients. Check out the recipe below, and try them out yourself for your next family meal!

Hosting a holiday get together? Check out our Catering Menu! We’ll take care of the feast, while you enjoy the festivities.


RECIPE FOR IG MATZO BALLS

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • ¼ Cup Schmaltz (Rendered Chicken Fat), Coconut Oil or Sunflower Oil (kosher for Passover)
  • ¼ Cup Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Cup Matzo Meal*
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley,  & Dill 
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt, and more for cooking
  • Black Pepper

*You can make your own by putting matzo crackers in the food processor or purchase a package of kosher matzo meal

  1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, schmaltz, stock, matzo meal, nutmeg, ginger and parsley.
  2. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Gently mix with a whisk or spoon.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 – 1.5 hours this may be done the day before and stored overnight.
  4. To shape and cook the matzo balls, fill a wide, deep pan with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. With wet hands, take some of the mix and mold it into the size and shape of a Ping-Pong ball. Gently drop it into the boiling water, repeating until all the mix is used.
  5. Cover the pan, reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook matzo balls about 30 to 40 minutes for al dente, longer for light. If desired, the cooked matzo balls can be transferred to chicken or vegetable soup and served immediately. If you are not serving till later or the next day they may be placed on a baking sheet and frozen, then transferred to a freezer bag and kept frozen until a few hours before serving; reheat in chicken or vegetable soup or broth. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Dishes on C10 News


See original video here

We’re honored to have been invited on Channel 10 News to share some of our favorite healthy St Patrick’s day dishes! It’s time to drop the belief that holidays are synonymous with unhealthy eating. Get festive without the guilt with our IG Bangers and Mash, and IG Shamrock Shake.

Hosting a holiday get together? Check out our Catering Menu! We’ll take care of the feast, while you enjoy the festivities.

Warming Up to Healthy Eating- Lentil Soup

picture-for-blog-post-01-01-17

Was last night the sixth holiday party we just attended? Yes, it surely was. Or perhaps it was the thirteen. I’ve lost count. While I relished every last friend, holiday/new year wish, hors d’oeuvre, cookie & cocktail with gusto, I am now carried away to a more sensible space. Here in Florida it’s a sometimes cold place we call January.

If you are like us and many others, who have spent the last month stuffed with stuffing and tipsy with holiday cheer, January brings with it a promising opportunity for replenishment, balance, and the only way to do that is by giving your body everything it needs to thrive. Lots of healthy foods and vegetables.

But to go right from cookies to carrots in 0 to 60 seconds seems crazy, we believe the body must be eased back into it’s normal patterns gently and reasonably. No fad diets, or pill will have you looking and feeling your best.

At Intelligent Gourmet, we know it’s not about losing weight – it’s about living your best life. That said, for many of us, part of becoming healthier, happier people involves undoing some of the less-great decisions of the last several weeks and, yes, losing weight. Unfortunately, changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight (though one diet claims otherwise)

What matters is keeping your nutrition high, your calories controlled, and your exercise up!

Try working your way back into some better eating habits with a healthy soup packed with protein and vegetables. Here we share with you a recipe for a very versatile lentil soup that you can easily adapt to your families personal preferences and pantry inventory:

Ingredients

  • 1 # package of dried lentils (You can use any kind you like, red, green, brown and black beluga)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, (small diced)
  • 1 large carrots, (small diced)
  • 2 ribs of celery (small diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1 12 oz package of winter squash cubes (available at most grocers)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 hand full of your favorite greens chopped, (kale, spinach, mustard, or chard)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • flat leaf parsley (for garnish)
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Start my heating some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over moderate heat, (you do not want the olive oil smoking) Add the chopped, carrot, celery and onion and allow these vegetable to sauté slowly about 8 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent add in your chopped garlic, salt and spices, stir and cook another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in your winter squash cubes of choice and toss to combine.
  3. Add 4 cups of your stock ( chicken or vegetable depending on if you are making this vegan or not), and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in your raw lentils ( Lentils do not need to be soaked like other beans but do rinse, Check the cooking time on the package, which can vary from one type to the next. Red lentils cook in as little as 15 minutes while the black ones can take as long as 45 minutes.)
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until lentils are just tender but not mushy, and your squash is soft. (Add additional stock if you want a thinner soup adjust to your liking)
  6. When the lentils are just tender, add the chopped greens. (They’ll only take a minute or two to wilt remove the pot from the burner as soon as the greens are wilted and bright green.)
  7. Finish with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, and a generous amount of chopped parsley. Adjust salt if necessary.

CHEF NOTE:

Change up your meal in any one of these 4 ways.

  1. You can trade 1/2 the stock with coconut cream for a creamy flavor.
  2. Season with smoked paprika, a touch of liquid smoke, and a ham bone.
  3. Add in a 14 ounce can of diced tomato for another variation.
  4. Serve with a tablespoon of greek yogurt on top.