Sustainable Swordfish

Sustainable swordfish

Sustainable Swordfish: Perfect for outdoor grilling

As the Seafood Merchant at FreshDirect, it’s important for me to bring our customers not only great-tasting, fresh seafood but also sustainable ones too.

We just got our first batch of sustainably caught swordfish in the shop. These fish come to us from Nova Scotia and from the first swordfish fishery to be certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Here fishermen use a traditional fishing method, harpooning, where swordfish are identified one fish at a time and then target them with a harpoon attached a line. This fishing method assures that fisherman only catch larger mature swordfish while eliminating non-targeted species or by-catch….

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Chef Bourbeau on the Secrets of Amazing Sandwiches

Turkey Toastie

Turkey Toastie

Having just launched the new FreshDirect Sandwich Shop, Chef Tina Bourbeau chats with us about eating her way through Philadelphia’s legendary sandwich shops, developing the FreshDirect line and what it takes to go from a good sandwich to a great sandwich….

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Perfect Food Pairs: These Flavors Are Even Better Together

Peanut butter + Jelly. Both ingredients are great alone, but they’re a little more special when they’re together.

In honor of the Valentine’s Day holiday, we asked the food experts around FreshDirect to share a few of their favorite combinations. What’s great on its own, but amazing when it’s paired?

Let’s start with a few of my own perfect pairs……

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Exploring Our Specialty Citrus

Citrus

A basket of citrus!

Calamondin! Gesundheit! No, no! Calamondin, a cross between a kumquat and a sour mandarin, is just one of the many specialty citrus products that FreshDirect offers. Many of our customers know that we sell carrots and apples and cucumbers—but many may not know about our extensive specialty produce selection. And right now, it’s citrus season!

In addition to calamondin, which is often used for its high acid content in cooking, we sell kumquats, etrog, pink lemons and finger limes! Kumquats? Etrog? FINGER LIMES? Yes—these are all real items and proudly featured at the top of the citrus category!

With a sweet peel and tart flesh, the kumquat is the inverse of a mini-orange. What’s more, you can pop these little gems like candy for easy eating!

Etrog, a lemon-like fruit originating from Israel, is still an important component of the Jewish holiday Sukkot. It has a thick rind and very little flesh. Because of its hardy skin, those familiar with the fruit use the rind to make jams and candies.

Finger limes… What?! Originating in Australia and very new to the produce scene, finger limes are making a splash in cocktails, seafood dishes and salads. The tiny pearls are grown by the Shanley Family in Morro Bay, California. I recommend using finger limes to adorn your fish tacos, using them whenever you would use a lemon or lime as a garnish, and sprinkling them in your favorite citrus-friendly cocktail.

FreshDirect offers many perks to its customer—quality products, great prices and convenience—but we also offer off-the-beaten paths products that are just waiting for your trial. I encourage you to step out of your foodie box and give one of these delicious, specialty citrus varieties a try. Join me in my New Year’s resolution: make 2013 taste better!

Have you tried any of our specialty citrus? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

3 Fun Finds in the Shop!

CHALLERHOCKER

Challerhocker cheese is one of my favorite hidden gems in the shop!

One of the fun parts about my job is that I often get to taste or hear about interesting products that come into the shop.

The first hidden gem comes from our Cheese market. The Challerhocker is a raw cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland. Its name means “sitting in the cellar” – and the 10 months it has been sitting there lends to its creamy, salty, acidic, buttery and nutty flavors.

It’s perfect to slice up as a snack or to melt gently on your favorite burger. …

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We Know Local!

Red lettuce

Local red lettuce is one of the many seasonal produce we sell in the store!

It’s local season at FreshDirect, which means we are directing all of our efforts to sourcing and promoting the freshest, best-tasting local produce for your eating pleasure.

From early May to mid-October, Eric Stone, our produce category manager, and I make frequent trips to the North Fork of Long Island, the Hudson Valley and south central New Jersey to check in on the crops’ progress and visit with our farmers. We take pride in our relationship with our farmers and work very closely with them to ensure that we receive the cream of the crop, and in return we offer fair prices and visibility for their fresh products.

There are a few new and exciting things happening in the local department this year! For starters, we’ve sourced a number of our commodity items from New Jersey under the Jersey Fresh umbrella. Produce from New Jersey does not receive the Jersey Fresh stamp of approval unless it meets the “quality standard for the size, shape and coloring of that commodity.” Be sure to check out McGregor’s Microgreens micro arugula and Cassaday Farms strawberries, both great examples of vendors that exemplify Jersey Fresh quality standards….

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Chef Tina’s Spring Fish Soup

Fish Stew

Make Chef Tina's Spring Fish Soup at Home

I love to make fish soups and like with most things I cook, I try to let the ingredients dictate what I will be cooking. Recently, our fish department had some gorgeous red snapper so I went for it. I decided to combine my love for spice and Lebanese and Arabic cuisine to make up a fish soup.

Though this cuisine usually uses yogurt, I decide to use crème fraiche since yogurt is tricky and can easily curdle. Crème fraiche provides the tang and acid of the yogurt, with none of the complexity of dealing with the delicate cooking.

The beautiful thing about soup in general is that it is all about love- truly you can judge a good cook by their ability to make a soup (and a salad but that’s a different post!). Take the same care with soup as you would with anything you are cooking (ingredients, seasoning, doneness, viscosity, depth, etc.). Soups are generally NOT a quick thing to cook (be suspicious of soup recipes that equate quick with good), but the payout is generous, and usually worth at least two meals, depending on how many people you are feeding.

This recipe should feed about 6-8….

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Thanksgiving Confessions of a FreshDirect Chef

Thanksgiving sides

Chef Tina embraced the challenge of creating this year's offerings of Thanksgiving Sides. Don't they look good?

Thanksgiving Dinner can take so much time to prepare. As a chef, I end up experimenting a lot: adding on, doing more, trying X to get it just right.

Luckily, I’ve already cooked Thanksgiving dinner here at FreshDirect. I created our Thanksgiving offerings around a few different ideals: tradition (different for everyone, yes, but there are definite common threads), desire (what do I crave with my bird) and overall mass appeal (you’d be surprised by how many people love Brussels sprouts). I know I will never be able to please everybody. (But I try my best!)

It made sense for me to offer two stuffings: one vegetarian, one not. Our vegetable offering runs the gambit from lightly steamed to covered in yum: maple, butter AND marshmallow. The potato offerings are pretty straightforward. I’ve learned not to mess with the mash. And then there are the wild cards like peas with pesto butter and baked macaroni with gruyere cheese. My instincts wouldn’t naturally lead me to the latter two when I think of turkey or Thanksgiving, but both are delicious and we sell zillions so we must be doing something right.

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Chef Floyd Cardoz Shares His Thanksgiving Traditions

Turkey

Chef Floyd Cardoz loves making Thanksgiving feasts with a twist!

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? For Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz, Thanksgiving means getting together with family, watching football, and cooking a Thanksgiving feast that’s traditional with a twist.

I chatted with the chef, who created our popular Tabla meals, about what Thanksgiving means to him:…

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Making Your Own Applesauce is Great Stress Relief

Gala Apples

Gala apples are perfect to use to make a nice, naturally sweet applesauce.

Think making your own applesauce is difficult? Think again.

Not only is making applesauce easy, it’s also a great way to relieve stress. Yes, stress. The repetitive motion of peeling apples is calming and chopping and mashing can be satisfying, especially on a challenging day.

The best part, you don’t really need any special equipment. Just follow these easy steps:…

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