Posts Tagged ‘woody’s gourmet’

I love tomatoes.  I call them my favorite “fruit” … not so much because they are technically a fruit but because my favorite vegetable is carrots, and I would have a difficult time choosing between the two if they were both deemed vegetables.

???????????????????????????????This summer, my big Costco discovery was these Symphony tomatoes (I’ve also seen a smaller “symphony” package in Chuck’s Produce, which suggests to me that you might be able to find them elsewhere as well.)  They are an eye catching array of colorful cherry sized tomatoes – with colors such as chocolate brown, white (which looks like a “greenish” white), green, orange, and the familiar red.  Most of the tomatoes are roundish in shape, but some are “Roma” tomato shape.

To make my tomato salad, I start with a colander full of these tomatoes with all the blossoms removed and the tomatoes washed thoroughly.  Then I cut them.  Most of the round tomatoes I cut in half, but some of the larger round tomatoes I cut into fourths … basically, I cut the tomatoes into bite size pieces.

???????????????????????????????Then I season with Kosher salt and ground pepper.  If I happen to have it on hand, I will substitute the Kosher salt with a gourmet salt from Woody’s Gourmet.  (My personal favorite is the Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Sea Salt)

Then I reach for my bottle of Smoky Bacon flavored Grapeseed Oil from Wildtree.  This is the MAGIC product in this salad, because it adds such a delightful flavor.  The bacon flavor is not an overpowering flavor, and I might like this even better if the bacon flavor was more pronounced (Bacon is a lot like chocolate in that more bacon = better.)  The bacon is best tasted when you taste the oil on it’s own, but, I still taste the bacon flavor when I make this tomato salad, and  love the way the smoky bacon and tomato flavors meld.

Note:  If you really want to focus on the bacon flavors, I suggest seasoning with plain Kosher salt rather than the gourmet stuff, as the extra seasoning in the gourmet sea salts tend to distract my palate.

grapeseedoil

Photo from Wildtree
Click on the pic to go there.

I have fallen in love with Grapeseed Oil because I love the taste.  I used to be very devoted to olive oil, but, I like grapeseed oil even better, and I love the Wildtree brand (and not just because one of my dear friends sells the stuff!)   The taste of the grapeseed oil is not as heavy as the olive oil, and I find this especially desirable on a salad like my tomato salad where I want to taste the tomato.

I drizzle the grapeseed oil over the seasoned tomatoes, and then I follow that with a drizzle of vinegar.  I tried this salad first using this Champagne Mimosa Vinegar from Chapparal Gardens – LOVED it – but now I use balsamic vinegar and that is good too.  The Champagne vinegar is better … but it is also kind of pricey, Then again, so is a good balsamic vinegar, but since I always have balsamic vinegar on hand … well, you get the idea, right?

After I’ve seasoned and dressed the tomatoes, I toss the tomatoes well in the mixture to make sure that all the tomatoes get some vinegar and oil and seasoning on them.  And then I eat it.  YUM!

???????????????????????????????Yeah, I told you it’s easy.  So, if it’s a little too easy for you and my recipe is leaving you asking why I bothered to write this post … let me add this:  Tomatoes are very good for you!  They are an excellent source of antioxidants and help lower cholesterol.  They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, A, K and potassium.  And they’re practically calorie free!  Now, the dressing on this salad isn’t calorie or fat free, of course, but, I suggest go sparingly with the vinegar and oil anyway and let the tomatoes be the star of the show.

You can find more yummy grapeseed oil recipes on my friend Jennifer’s blog!

Where to Buy:  Woody’s Gourmet on Foodzie

Price:  $9.99 for a 3-ounce bottle

Product Description:

The rich color says it all. Instill the deep, rich, big flavors of real Merlot wine with the aromas of dry, smokey wood & you’ll arrive with this blend in hand. Our proprietary method of Wet InfusionTM blends essential oils from quality ingredients with sea salt. Subtly sophisticated & uniquely understated.

What I Think:

Have I mentioned how much I love Woody’s Gourmet Sea Salt blends lately?

I used this Smokey Merlot Sea Salt as a finishing salt on grilled steak and steamed green beans, and I noticed how just a sprinkling of this sea salt blend on my steak and green beans not only improved the flavor of these foods, but it also seemed to brighten the flavor of my iced tea (and no, I didn’t add the salt to my tea!)

The flavors described in the product description above are all present.  There are smoky wood notes as well as a sweet, fruity taste of Merlot wine.  These flavors are blended perfectly so that when used as a seasoning, the seal salt blend does not taste too salty, but, instead has a nice balance of salt, smoke and wine.  The overall result is a salt that tastes salty, a little sweet, with wood and smoke notes.  It is very savory and delicious, and my steak is positively mouth-watering!

My Final Thoughts:

I am finding myself replacing my usual condiments (steak sauce) with these salts.  My steak (and just about anything else!) just tastes better with a little of this salt sprinkled on it rather than being slathered with steak sauce.

Where to Buy:  Woody’s Gourmet on Foodzie

Product Description:

Most truffle sea salts use dehydrated truffles. Woody’s Gourmet takes that a big step further by using FRESH TRUFFLES. After sea salt, real French black truffle is the second ingredient. The aromatic scent is out of this world and has been know to drive people to do impulsive things.

And oh yeah, it has a complex flavor profile that you will love too! Our proprietary method of Wet Infusion™ blends essential oils from fresh ingredients with sea salt. This blend is bursting with complexity that will surprise you.

What I Think:

Oh, my!  This stuff is absolutely INCREDIBLE!  This has to be the first time ever that I’ve eaten a burger without anything except meat, seasoning and bun.  No cheese.  No ketchup or mustard, no lettuce, tomato or onion.  Not even my beloved bread-and-butter pickles which I previously believed MUST be on every burger I would eat.  (Of course, I did have a couple of pickles on the side!)

And without any embellishment other than this sea salt blend, the burger ended up being the BEST burger I’ve ever eaten.  This Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Herb Sea Salt made the most delicious, mouth-watering, savory burger experience I’ve ever had.  And I even pan-fried the burger, I didn’t grill it!

The salt blend is a little on the moist side – which I guess is because the herbs are fresh.  But even though it was moist and therefore “clumped” in places on the burger rather than sprinkled evenly, my burger didn’t taste over-salted.

As I would have expected, the salt gave the burger a nice flavor – bringing out the meaty flavor that I wanted.  But then… there’s the truffle!  It gave the meat an earthy depth and a savory quality that lingers on the palate – my burger is now devoured and even though I am no longer hungry, I find myself wanting more truffle … more of that mouth-watering sensation.

The thyme enhances that earthy quality, and gives it a slightly woody taste as well as a fresh, herb-y character.  And, similar to the Rosemary & Sage Sea Salt blend, it is very skillfully minced in this blend – no tiny branches or stems.

After trying this blend, I realize another thing that makes these sea salt blends from Woody’s Gourmet so special… the salt is not only blended with the herbs, because fresh herbs are used, the sea salt is actually INFUSED with the flavors.  The fresh herbs really do make a big difference!

My Final Thoughts:

I love this stuff.  I had hoped I wouldn’t … because I would feel a little guilty keeping truffle salt in the pantry (it won’t be the most reasonably priced item in my pantry, to be sure!) but, I’ve determined that it is well worth the price.  I can’t wait to try it on a steak!

In May’s Tasting Box, I received a sample of this as well as the Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Sea Salt.  I had originally planned to have this review encompass both salt blends, but, since I didn’t use them together, I will write about them separately.  Here, I will talk about the Fresh Rosemary & Sage Herb Sea Salt…

Where to Buy:  Woody’s Gourmet on Foodzie

Product Description:

Intense fresh rosemary and sage aromas collaborate with the flavors of garlic and hints of black pepper to create a truly versatile accompaniment to many of your favorite dishes. Our proprietary method of Wet Infusion™ blends essential oils from fresh herbs with sea salt. This blend is bursting with complexity that will surprise you.

And yes, we are talking about sea salt in a whole new light. Use it as a meat rub or on poultry, pastas, potatoes, soups, even on salads, this versatile blend goes well on most dishes. Anytime you would use salt, use Woody’s Gourmet. Try it and see if you agree.

What I Think:

I decided to use this on some roast potatoes.  To prepare, I cut the potatoes in small, bite-sized chunks, drizzled with olive oil, and tossed with pepper, freshly minced garlic, and about a teaspoon of this salt blend.  I baked the potatoes at 400° F until golden brown and cooked through.

YUM!  I used to use Kosher salt all the time, but, I have since discovered that I prefer the flavor imparted by sea salt.  The sea salt really brought out the savory flavor of the rosemary and sage, and helped conquer the bitter note that would normally be tasted with these herbs.  The rosemary has a lovely pine-like taste to it which I really liked, and the sage gave a delicious, earthy flavor to the potatoes.

I also had great success with this sprinkled on some Pollack fillets before baking.  A rather simple preparation, but with results that exceeded my expectations.  My entire family devoured their dinner!

The best thing about this blend is that it does all the work for me.  I love using fresh herbs, but I am not crazy about preparing the fresh herbs when I cook; because of this, I don’t use a lot of fresh herbs.  It may seem a bit trivial, but, I have never been one who enjoys preparation, I am usually a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of cook.  This blend lets me do my thing the way I want without having to prepare for it!   And, I didn’t get any of the tough leaves or withy branches with the rosemary – something that I usually have a difficult time avoiding when I chop my own fresh rosemary.  Awesome!

My Final Thoughts:

While I was excited to try this blend, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use it on.  I thought I needed to use it on something super fancy to do it justice.  But as it turns out, it takes something as humble as potatoes and turns it into something fancy … and delicious!

Just like the months previous since I’ve started subscribing to the Foodzie tasting box, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my box and even feeling a little jealous reading on Foodzie’s Facebook page that others had received and begun enjoying this month’s offerings.  I kept telling myself that my patience would be rewarded – and I was absolutely correct on that account.  What a delicious bounty of samples!

This month’s box contained:  Pine-4-Pineapple Fruit Snacks from Peeled Snacks, Roasted Seaweed Snack from SeaSnax, Traditional Alfajores from Sabores del Sur (La Cocina), Two different flavors of Biscotti from Biscotti Bari, Two different flavors of Herb Sea Salts from Woody’s Gourmet, and Pure Southern Iced Tea Bag from Pluff Iced Tea.

Also included in my box was a recipe card for the Sea Salt blends as well as the Map Card.  The map card gives a brief description of each item and shows from which part of the country each item came.  Here’s scans of both sides of the card:

 

I am so excited to try these items.  I must admit that I’ve previously tried (and reviewed) the Pluff Iced Tea, but all of the other goodies are new to me.  I will be writing a separate review for each item as I taste them, except for the Pluff Iced Tea, since I already wrote one for it.