Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Z&H adventure.

Just a note. Z&H is looking for for food lovers to join our 'team'.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mole Poblano Recipe...using Taza Chocolate

Mole Poblano. Mole Poblano is Mexico's classic dark mole sauce; it's the one most Americans think of when they hear the word 'mole'. The addition of Taza Chocolate (sold here at Z&H), helps give this sauce its remarkable color and depth of flavor.


  • 9 mulato chiles
  • 7 pasilla chiles
  • 6 ancho chiles
  • 1 cup plus 9 tablespoons lard + additional as needed
  • 5 tomatillos, husked and cooked until soft
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • 1- inch piece of a Mexican cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon seeds from the chiles, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 8 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 20 whole pecans
  • 20 whole almonds, blanched
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
  • 3 stale French rolls, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 plantains, peeled
  • 1 bunch thyme, chopped
  • 1 cone piloncillo
  • 6 - 7 cups chicken stock, as needed
  • 1 1/2 ounces Taza Chocolate Mexicano, chopped

To prepare:

1. Clean the chiles by removing stems, veins and seeds; reserve 1 tablespoon of the seeds. Toast chiles in a dry skillet until crisp, about 10 to 15 seconds, turning once; make sure they do not burn. Put chiles in a nonreactive bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Drain chiles, reserving the soaking water. Puree the chiles in a blender with enough of the soaking water to make a smooth paste. It may be necessary to scrape down the sides and blend several times to obtain a smooth paste.

3. In a heavy casserole heat 1/2 cup lard over medium heat and add chile puree (be careful it will splatter). Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Puree tomatillos in a blender. In a coffee or spice grinder, grind the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, and toasted seeds. Add seed mixture and garlic to the pureed tomatillos and blend until smooth. Set aside.

5. Heat 6 tablespoons lard in a heavy frying pan. Fry each of the following ingredients and then remove with a slotted spoon: the raisins until they puff up; the almonds and pecans to a golden brown; the pumpkin seeds until they pop. If necessary, add enough oil to make 4 tablespoons and fry the tortilla pieces and bread slices until golden brown, about 15 seconds per side; remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Add raisins, almonds, pecans, pumpkins seeds, tortillas, thyme and bread to the tomatillo puree and blend, using 1 to 2 cups chicken stock, as needed, to make a smooth sauce. This may have to be done in batches.

6. In a heavy casserole, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add chile puree, tomatillo puree, piloncillo and Mexican chocolate (it will splatter). Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

7. Add remaining 5 cups chicken stock, cook over low heat for an additional 45 minutes, stirring often enough to prevent the mixture from scorching on bottom.

Pizza Stones

Is it us or do Pizza Stones scream CHRISTMAS!? And they were essentially invent by Julia Child.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We love happy customers

"The Thanksgiving food was extraordinary!!!!! Thank you so much for making a great family gathering possible for us. The turkey was the best ever -- it could have been on the cover of a magazine -- I did just what you said -- beautiful and moist. The ham was the best I have ever tasted. And, all the trimmings were what I dream about when I think of Thanksgiving dinner.
I hope you had a great holiday with your families. Thank you so much for what you do."

That made our day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We would like to thank everyone who chooses to spend time with us at Z&H. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, and the many new friends and great people we have met makes each day terrific. We hope that everyone has a great day and we will see everyone on Friday. We call it 'sandwich Friday', you need fuel to shop.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brining the Bird

We have an excellent brine for your holiday birds, and a question we get everyday is, Why Brine? Simply put, it makes the bird more succulent. But there is science as well. Delicious science. Roasted turkey breast suffers a sad fate when cooked even a few minutes longer than necessary: dryness. And because turkey is so lean it is a pronounced dryness. The solution is simple. Soaking your turkey in a brine—a solution of salt and water—will ensure a moister and juicier bird.

Moisture loss is inevitable when you roast a bird. Heat causes proteins in the fibers to denature, resulting in some shrinkage and moisture loss. Normally, meat loses about 30 percent of its weight during cooking. But if you soak the bird in a brine first, you can reduce this moisture loss during cooking to as little as 15 percent.

Brining enhances juiciness in several ways. For one, muscle fibers simply absorb liquid during the brining period. Some liquid gets lost during cooking, but as the bird is more juicy at the start of cooking, it ends up juicier. Brined birds typically weigh six to eight percent more than they did before brining, proof of moisture uptake. Another way that brining increases juiciness is by dissolving some proteins. A mild salt solution can dissolve some of the proteins in muscle fibers, turning them from solid to liquid.

Of all the processes at work during brining, the most significant is salt's ability to denature protein. The dissolved salt causes some of the proteins in muscle fibers to unwind and swell. Water from the brine binds directly to these proteins, but even more important, water gets trapped between these proteins when the bird cooks and the proteins bind together. Some of this would happen anyway just during cooking, but the brine unwinds more proteins and exposes more bonding sites. As long as you don't overcook the meat, which would cause protein bonds to tighten and squeeze out a lot of the trapped liquid, these natural juices will be retained.

How long to brine depends on the size and type of bird you've have. A whole turkey will require much more time for the brine to do its thing. In fact, any bird that's brined for too long will dry out and start to taste salty as the salt ends up pulling liquid out of the muscle fibers. Turkey is the ideal candidate for brining; Keep your bird refrigerated during brining, rinse it well afterwards, and don't overcook your holiday friend. If you need more liquid to completely submerge the bird, measure more and add it, along with the proportionate quantity of salt.

In addition to kosher salt, Z&H brine has a treasure trove of herbs and spices as well as turbinado sugar. All this adds flavor as well as moisture to your bird without masking the taste. Try the Z&H brine this year. It will become a new tradition.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Breaking news later today...and now it is later...

interesting news later today......so by now the news (small case) that we will be adding a second location on 57th Street has been announced. We will keep the 'info desk' updated as new developments arise and yo can join us on the adventure.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review: Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

An interesting new book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham.

"Contrary to the dogmas of raw-foods enthusiasts, cooked cuisine was central to the biological and social evolution of humanity, argues this interesting new book. Harvard biological anthropologist Wrangham dates the breakthrough in human evolution to a moment 1.8 million years ago, when, he conjectures, our forebears tamed fire and began cooking.

Starting with
Homo erectus these innovations drove anatomical and physiological changes that make us adapted to eating cooked food the way cows are adapted to eating grass. By making food more digestible and easier to extract energy from, cooking enabled hominids' jaws, teeth and guts to shrink, freeing up calories to fuel their expanding brains. It also gave rise to pair bonding and table manners, and liberated mankind from the drudgery of chewing.

This accessible book ranges across nutritional science, paleontology and studies of ape behavior and hunter-gatherer societies; the result is a compelling analysis of natural history and of cooking's role in daily life. Wrangham offers an interesting take on evolution—suggesting that, rather than humans creating civilized technology, civilized technology created us."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pssssssssssst. Cheese tasting today.

Cheese tasting today at 1PM with Alex. Pass it on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Catering? We've got you covered!


Take a look at this beautiful fruit tray we recently completed for a catering order.

We here at Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe are ready and able to help you with all of your catering needs! From colorful fruit trays, like the one shown here, to passed appetizers for your black-tie event; we can cater to your needs. Our coffee catering will bring some zing to your next meeting and our sandwich trays are great for parties and get-togethers. These are just a few examples of the many catering options we can do for you.

We offer catering for all types of events and for events of all sizes. The catering section of our menu is only a sample of what we can do for you! Stop in today to discuss your catering needs.

**Please note: Since we are committed to using the freshest ingredients, we request 48 hours notice for any catering order to ensure product availability and quality.

Monday, August 31, 2009

One of our favorite cheeses...


Milder, but with just the same creamy texture as La Peral, Cabrales or Valdeon. Covadonga is a delicious blue cheese from Spain. Made from a blend of pasteurized cow and sheep’s milk, it is fresh, mildly spicy and delicately salty. Blue veined with medium flecks of Penicilium Roqueforti and no rind, it is perfect for salads, on grilled meats, with fresh mushrooms, on pasta and rice dishes.

  • Region: El Escorial
  • Cheese Type: Soft Blue
  • Milk Type: Blend of pasteurized Cow & Sheep's Milk
  • Aged: 2-3 Months
Come in and try it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It was bound to happen...

We have the first of the Z&H swag. The Pig on the Pretzel t-shirt is here. So is the first in a series of clever ballcaps.

Yep, I said clever.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Guanciale recipe for you. Go on, try it.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Time: 45 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 pound guanciale, in 1-inch slivers 1/4 -inch thick
  • 3 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes (about a 28-ounce can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup grated aged pecorino cheese, more for serving
  • 1 pound bucatini.
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add onion and garlic, and sauté over medium heat until transparent. Add guanciale and sauté until barely beginning to brown.
  • Break up tomatoes and add. Cook about 15 minutes, crushing tomatoes with a spoon, until sauce has become somewhat concentrated and homogenized. Season with chili and salt and stir in 1 tablespoon cheese. Remove from heat.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add bucatini and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and transfer to skillet. Gently reheat contents of skillet, folding pasta and tomato sauce together until they are heated through and pasta is well-coated, about 5 minutes. Fold in remaining cheese. Check seasoning and serve with more cheese on the side.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Focus on Pork: La Quercia Guanciale

We love La Quercia Guanciale here at Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe, it is made from selected, organic trimmed, pork jowls.

Guanciale is often associated with dishes of Roman origin like Buccatini all’ Amatriciana or Spaghetti alla Carbonara. A key feature is the collagen in the meat. In combination with the creamy fat, the collagen gives anything cooked with guanciale a smooth, silky, succulent covering. For example, you can braise vegetables with it to make a voluptuous and healthful fresh vegetable pasta sauce—something as simple as leeks, guanciale, and a splash of white wine; great served on fresh or egg pasta.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cheese Tasting on Saturday! Led by our Cheese Monger Alex!

A Z&H Cheese Tasting Event

We invite you to join us for a sampling of Alpine-style cheeses from across the world on Saturday July 25 at 3:00 p.m.

We will be showcasing Tarentaise from Vermont, Gruyère from Switzerland and Organic Fleur de la Terre from Indiana.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NiceCream tasting on Saturday

12 noon until 2PM. Summer flavors. Smiles. General Happiness. Join us, won't you?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

U.S. Sec. of Ag lunches at Z&H today...

It has been a while between posts, many new items in the store and on the menu, but the news today was that U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas James "Tom" Vilsack, He was also the 40th Governor of Iowa had lunch at Z&H. A very nice man.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cheese Tasting

A Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe Cheese Tasting Event

On Thursday, April 16th, please join us and Jerry Heimerl from Saxon Homestead Creamery for a delicious and informative cheese tasting. With Cheeses like "Big Ed" your palete will thank you.

Thursday, April 16

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Z&H your Second Kitchen Update

We continue to refine our Z&H Your Second Kitchen offerings, today we feature a fantastic Vindaloo with chicken. Awesome. A spicy, tangy, coconut and chili, among other fun items.

Stone Fruit . Clean . Juicy .

Thursday, March 5, 2009


The mighty sun has defeated us. We have installed window shades as a token of our surrender. It really is nice to get rid of the glare. Coming next...more tables.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Z&H Breakfast Menu

We were just talking and realized that we have never mentioned our breakfast menu. We love our breakfast menu. Our breakfast offerings seem to land between a big, sit-down lumberjack breakfast and a McGrease-in-a-bag breakfast sandwich. Top-notch ingredients, clever combinations....delicious.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In case you missed it...

We were on HGTV's Metromix restaurant review program recently and it is on the web currently. You can see Sam and Tim each sporting pre-haircut 'Big Hair'.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bagel 2.0

We are rolling our our second day (only weekend days at this point) of made-on-site bagels. So far so good, the refinement will continue.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hungry Hound (or "We are Huge in Canada")

It was nice that ABC7 was kind enough to come over and have a couple of sandwiches. TV is a powerful medium. On Saturday we are also going to turn-up in an article in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe & Mail.

We are also testing some of our Z&H Your Second Kitchen prepared dishes, so those are also available for dinner tonight, along with our 'As Seen on TV' deli fare.

Have a great day.