Build the Perfect Cheese Board: Five Fast Tips

A cheese board can be an easy and impressive entertaining option for parties, but intimidating if you’re new to the game. To smooth the path to success, we got the lowdown on party dos (and don’ts!) from our own super-savvy specialty food expert, Ken Blanchette.

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Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas from Chef Tina Bourbeau

Leftovers are a conundrum for me. I’m not a fan, but I hate to waste food. If there were ever an opportunity to enjoy leftovers though, Thanksgiving is it. It’s a great opportunity to double-utilize some really beautiful food.

Thanksgiving sides

Got leftovers? Chef Tina has some great ideas on what to recreate with them!

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Seafood Cooking Tips from Top Chefs

Chicken Wings

Keep it simple when it comes to cooking salmon.

Do you sometimes feel like your home cooked seafood dishes aren’t quite as good as the ones prepared at your favorite restaurants.

Ever wonder what their secrets are to that perfect char and texture? We asked a few top chefs and restaurateurs to share their top secret tips for preparing seafood at home….

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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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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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New Sustainability Ratings and Greener Products at FreshDirect

Chicken Wings

Local vendor Gotham Greens grows everything in their sustainable rooftop greenhouse.

In a city full of sky scrapers, concrete and congestion, it’s sometimes hard to remember that there’s a whole world outside our 8-million-strong microcosm. But we know our actions have a ripple effect and that even taking that split-second to put a plastic bottle into the nearest recycling bin can make a big impact.

Admittedly, there’s a lot more that we can do, but we have made vast improvements in our site, service, and product selection to help our customers buy greener, eco-friendlier products.  From environmentally-safe household products to local and organic produce, we’re happy to be able to provide you with more choices for your family….

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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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