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Category: Cooking

February 24, 2023 by Chris Rice 0 Comments

The Best Way to Melt Chocolate for Date Night

Best Way to Melt Chocolate

Date nights are all about creating a romantic atmosphere and enjoying delicious treats together. And what better way to indulge your sweet tooth than with melted chocolate?

Melting chocolate can be tricky and, if done incorrectly, can result in a clumpy and unappetizing mess.

In this article, we’ll explore the best way to melt chocolate for date night, whether you’re dipping strawberries, drizzling over ice cream, or using it as a fondue. With our expert tips and tricks, you’ll be sure to impress your partner with perfectly melted, velvety smooth chocolate that’s sure to set the mood for a romantic evening.

More Than Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when you hear the phrases melted chocolate and during date night is often chocolate-covered strawberries. But chocolate can be used in so many other ways. Melting it only expands the list of opportunities. 

Below is a list of ideas for using melted chocolate during date night: 

  • Fruit, including strawberries, melon, bananas, watermelon, pineapple, etc. 
  • Rice crispy treats
  • Bourbon balls
  • Pretzels
  • Potato Chips
  • Bacon
  • Cheesecake bites
  • Nuts
  • Candies

You could also use this melted chocolate and pour it into molds. Create your own boxless box of chocolates for an extra special gift. 

Or why not create a romantic chocolate fondue for dessert? Surround your melted chocolate with a plate of all kinds of goodies, such as marshmallows, fruits, biscotti, cubed angel food cake, graham crackers, potato chips, rice crispy treats, and more. 

How to Melt Chocolate During Date Night

Now that your head is churning with ideas of what to dip into your melted chocolate, you must learn how to melt it, right? There are a couple of different ways in which that can be done. 

Microwaving chocolate is one method that many use to create melted chocolate that is worthy of dipping. It is fast and, for the most part, effective.

  1. Place your chocolate in a microwaveable bowl.
  2. Microwave at 30% power for about 30 seconds. 
  3. Take it out, stir well, and continue to microwave for 30 seconds at a time. 

You want to be sure not to overheat the chocolate, or you will find yourself with a hard ball of burnt chocolate. And sadly, this could disrupt the taste of the rest of your chocolate. So if you see that it is almost melted, you may want to cut down from 30-second intervals to 15-second intervals until you have a smooth bowl of melted chocolate. 

The Best Way to Melt Chocolate

Although the microwave is effective for melting chocolate, it is not the best way of doing so. Although it takes longer, you will find that melting chocolate on the stove yields the perfect batch for dipping and drizzling. No lumps, no burnt spots – just pure, luscious chocolate. 

Here is the best way to melt chocolate on the stove. 

First, you are going to need a double-boiler. If you don’t have one, you can create one using your cookware. A double-boiler involves a saucepan and a slightly smaller bowl so that it sits above the boiling water below. The idea of this is that you get an indirect heat flow. And it makes a massive difference in the outcome of your chocolate. 

A double boiler reduces the chance of burning the chocolate. To keep it that way, you never want the water in the saucepan to touch the bowl of chocolate. Instead, it uses the steam created from the boiling water to melt the chocolate. 

Let’s take a closer look at the detailed steps involved in this method. 

  1. Place about 1 to 2 inches of water in the saucepan. You will not need more than this. Then, place the saucepan on the burner and bring it to a boil. 
  2. Place a more petite, heat-safe bowl on top of the saucepan. You don’t want the bowl to be able to fall into the pot, but you want it to be small enough to keep the chocolate localized over the saucepan. Make sure this bowl is sturdy and does not touch the water. 
  3. Once the water is boiling, place your chocolate in the bowl. You will want to stir it often so it melts consistently and evenly throughout. The process takes just a few minutes (2 to 3 on average), so don’t walk away. 
  4. As soon as the chocolate is fully melted, you will want to remove it before it can burn. Use a towel to remove any condensation on the bowl’s bottom.

Melting Different Types of Chocolates

As you likely already know, there are different types of chocolates, primarily dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. 

You can melt any of these chocolates and use them for anything we discussed above (or one of your creations). However, it is essential to note the difference in the way they melt since they don’t all melt simultaneously. The higher the cocoa bean content, the faster the chocolate will melt. 

In other words, dark chocolate, for example, is the fastest type of chocolate to melt, whereas white chocolate takes the longest. 

Depending on which melting method you use, this could be beneficial to know so that you don’t end up with a hard lump of burnt chocolate at the end. 

A Chocolate-Dipped Date Night

You can always go out and buy your own chocolates, but why would you want to? When it comes to giving a gift from the heart, something as delightful as chocolate-anything made from the heart means more than anything else. 

Get in your kitchen, fire up that stovetop (or microwave if you desire), and create something unique during date night. Share it with your significant other or your best friends. Or, treat yourself. 

Enjoy!

Stay Warm and Cozy with National Soup Month

Stay warm and cozy with national soup month

There is something completely satisfying and comforting about a warm bowl of soup. With the temperatures dropping and the weather changing, it is no surprise that January is National Soup Month – the perfect time to create something delicious on the range stove.

Warming the body from the inside out, soup is that cozy food that everyone in the family can enjoy. And it is so easy to make, too, as a one-pot meal!

There are so many options to choose from. So grab your soup pot – we are talking all things soup today.

What Makes Soup So Amazing?

Although in modern times we celebrate National Soup Month, rumor has it that soup has been around for thousands of years. While we may not have likely found the first-ever broth to be so appetizing, soup has evolved over the years with different ingredients, spices, and flavors that come together to create all types of flavors.

But why do we love soup so much? What sets it apart from other foods? Perhaps it is all the benefits that it brings, including those of convenience and health.

Soup keeps you warm. On a cold day, sometimes it is just hard to warm up. No matter how many blankets or sweaters you put on, you just can’t shake the chill. But, do you know what can? Soup. Soup warms you up inside – where the blankets can’t reach. And it just feels good.

Soup is nourishing. Soups contain a lot of good ingredients all thrown together, often including a lot of vegetables. This means a lot of nutrients – including fiber – to keep you fuller longer. Plus, it is hydrating, too. You may want to pay attention to the sodium level, as it can be high in some pre-made soups.

Soup is versatile. Throw it together with what you have. While you certainly can follow a recipe, you don’t have to. You can grab the ingredients you have around the kitchen – maybe some leftover chicken and rice, carrots and celery that may be going limp, an onion, the end of your container of kale, etc. Put this in a pot with either broth or water with some bullion or other seasonings – and you’ve got a delicious, healthy soup.

Soup is Perfect for Meal Prep. Some things just don’t hold up well when reheated, but soup is not one of them. This is a meal that you can definitely prepare in advance for the week or even prep and freeze for a later date. It will always taste just as good as the first time.

Soup vs. Stew: What’s the Difference?

Soups and stews are very similar, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. Stews are often thicker than soups, with chunks of meat, vegetables, or other solid ingredients. They contain some liquid, but not enough to force you to use a spoon to eat them.

Soups, on the other hand, have ingredients that are in a broth – or are purely liquified.

The Best Ever Soup Recipes for National Soup Month

Lentil Soup

When using canned lentils, you can have this healthy, filling of Lentil Soup on the table in about 15 minutes. Filled with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and, of course, lentils that you can feel good about indulging in.

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup is a classic. Filled with chunky vegetables, sometimes including beans and/or noodles, this is a warming, hearty soup that everyone is sure to love. It is the perfect way to get in flavorful vegetables – without feeling like you are actually eating vegetables.

Ham and Bean Soup

For some families, keeping the hambone from the Christmas ham results in simmering it for hours to make ham and bean soup. For others, the taste is delicious, but who has time to wait? This soup brings the smokey, salty flavor into the soup using chunks of ham with the beans – without having to wait all day to eat.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

With all the viruses and sickness going around, there is something to be said about a warm bowl of classic chicken noodle soup. It warms the soul. Is it healing? Some truly believe that it is. Either way, it makes you feel comforted while eating it – and everyone loves that feeling.

Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you prefer a more zesty chicken soup, then Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup works great. It has the soft crunch from the tortilla, incredible flavors and spices in the broth, and so much more packed into this bowl.

White Bean Chicken Chili

There is something extra special about chili, whether you choose this white bean chicken chili or traditional chili. It is super hearty and extra warm for your insides. Just as chicken noodle goes with not feeling well, chili goes with cold days. This is a delicious recipe with chicken breast, cannellini beans, cheese, onion, jalapeno, and more. Topped with avocado, it is even next level.

Beef Barley Soup

Beef stock with barley and stew beef, along with onion and carrots, can give you yet another hearty, filling soup. The unique flavors come together in a way that sets Beef Barley Soup apart from other soups. And the beef is oh-so-tender. It’s sure to be a hit.

Simmer Your Soups on this Must-Have Range

Imagine walking into your kitchen and loving the space you are in. Grab some ingredients, put a pot of broth on the stovetop, and begin creating an amazing soup recipe. You can even put it on simmer and let it cook all day. It will fill your home with the most amazing aromas and make you feel warm and cozy inside.

THOR Kitchen offers a line of different types of ranges, including gaselectric, and dual fuel. As well as cooktops, too. And each comes with a lot of features you won’t want to miss – including the simmer function that will help your soups to stay warm until it is time to eat.

Well, it is about time to head into the kitchen to see what we can use from the refrigerator to create a nourishing, delicious soup. Vegetable? Chicken and wild rice? Beef barley? Yum. Something tells us you may do the same.

Happy National Soup Month!

National Keto Day: Eat Good, Eat Healthy

National Keto Day: Eat Good, Eat Healthy

Have you ever heard of National Keto Day, celebrated on January 5?

If we had a dollar for every time we heard or saw these phrases, we’d likely have to take a lot of trips to the bank.

“I lost 30 pounds on keto.”

“I can’t eat that, I’m keto.”

“I’m finally in ketosis!”

“Keto-friendly.”

Keto has been growing in popularity for several years, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In fact, many people swear by it, saying that it is the easiest way to lose weight and keep it off – and others boasting that you still get to eat all the good stuff.

But there is more to being healthy than just losing weight. Since we just celebrated National Keto Day on January 5th, let’s shed some light on how you can do it the right way by eating good and healthy with delicious ingredients you can add to your keto recipes!

Understanding Keto

Keto is short for ketogenic and ketosis. This is a diet that consists of eating low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein. In other words, the keto diet significantly reduces the number of carbs that you eat while significantly increasing the amount of fat. Then, you throw in some protein.

This combination is what has helped many lose a lot of weight.

In the average diet, carbs are highly prevalent – and they provide lots of energy. When they are burned, it turns into glucose. Remove them, and the body has to find an alternate source. It decides to burn fat, creating ketones. And your body goes into a state of ketosis.

You feel good when you are in ketosis. You feel vibrant and energetic with a clear mind. And, when done right, there may be many health benefits in addition to weight loss, including a lower risk of:

-Heart disease

-Type 2 diabetes

-Cancer

-Parkinson’s disease

-Alzheimer’s disease

Dirty Keto vs. Clean Keto

There are different ways to try this diet, dirty and clean keto.

Dirty keto is low in carbs and high in fat – just as a keto diet is supposed to be – but the choices in foods are not as good. For example, someone following a dirty keto diet is likely to order a greasy cheeseburger with extra cheese rather than a turkey burger sans cheese or a salad with grilled chicken and high-fat dressing.

This is a diet high in sodium and high in processed foods.

Just because it helps you reach ketosis and, in turn, lose weight does not mean it makes your body thrive. This is important to remember as many who get deeply involved in dirty keto put themselves at risk for increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and even obesity.

Does that mean there is a clean keto? Yep – there sure is. Clean keto focuses on higher quality foods, such as whole foods that are full of nutrients and nourishing for the body. This is the keto that can lead to incredible health benefits and longevity. And this is the keto you should be following should you choose to give this diet a try.

What Does a Typical Keto Meal Look Like?

Your typical keto meal will be a combination of foods that include high fats, moderate proteins, and low carbs. So this can include things like:

Crustless Ham and Swiss Quiche. This egg and cheese goodness with ham and even some veggies is a great way to kick off the day – or end it. Change it up and use turkey sausage, cheddar, and spinach for a different flavor. It is not only delicious but healthy, too. 

Tuna salad with hardboiled eggs on top of a salad made of greens is a great idea for lunch. Top with a high-fat, low-carb dressing. Or how about a steak bowl filled with cauliflower rice, avocado, cheese, salsa, and steak bites or ground beef?

Keto Stir Fry is another great meal to have, with chunks of chicken (stick to dark meat) and lots of veggies like broccoli, onions, bell peppers, carrots (or whatever you have leftover in the fridge). All of this is thrown together with a keto-friendly stir-fry sauce made of soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, sweetener, and chicken broth. It is a great combination of all the flavors.

What Foods are Allowed/Forbidden on Keto?

Alright, so let’s break this down by lists. For those who are giving a new diet a try, sometimes having lists to pick from – or to avoid – can make things a little bit easier in the beginning.

Carbs

You are allowed to have a few carbs. They shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your caloric intake. And they should be good carbs, too. Here are a few examples:

-Eggplant

-Broccoli

-Cauliflower

-Green beans

-Bell peppers

-Celery

-Zucchini

-Tomatoes

-Spinach

Proteins

Proteins should make up no more than 20% of your caloric intake. Some great options for protein include:

-Dark meat chicken or turkey

-Salmon

-Sardines

-Beef

-Eggs

-Pork

-Shrimp

-Cheeses, full fat

-Plain greek yogurt, full fat

Fats

And, finally, fats. You will need to have some fats stored in your kitchen for easy access to add to your foods, as they should make up between 70% and 80% of your caloric intake each day. Good fat options include:

-Pumpkin seeds

-Chia seeds

-Nuts

-Olive oil

-Avocados

-Coconuts

-Hemp hearts

-Nut butter (no sugar added)

-Olives

So, what do you avoid?

You may be surprised by some of the foods you should avoid on a keto diet, including:

-Low-fat dairy foods

-Oatmeal

-Pasta

-Rice

-Beans and lentils

-Almost all fruits

-Margarine

-Most alcohols

-Snack foods like chips, pretzels, cookies

Eating Good and Healthy on Keto

There are many benefits to giving clean keto a try. Meal planning and sticking to a healthy combination of fats, proteins, and low carbs can lead to weight loss and offer you some mental clarity. Whether or not it is a long-term possibility depends on the person.

Either way, it is always fun starting a new diet and experimenting with new recipes in your kitchen.

Eating Healthy for Breast Cancer Prevention Month

Eating healthy for breast cancer prevention month

October is Breast Cancer Prevention Month. And according to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., showing up at a rate of 30% (1 in 3) of all new female cancer diagnoses. A few more eye-catching 2022 estimates include: 

-“About 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women

-About 51,400 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will be diagnosed

-About 43,250 women will die from breast cancer”

Mammograms and other breast cancer screening methods are important for the early detection of breast cancer. In addition, there are other things you can do to help prevent its occurrence in your life, such as being intentional about what you put in your body.

Try These Foods

Consider adding some of these healthy foods into your diet and recipes during and beyond breast cancer prevention month.

Leafy Greens

You already know that leafy greens are good for you, but you may not have known just how impactful they can be in breast cancer prevention. These vegetables contain carotenoid antioxidants, including beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, folate, and B vitamins. All of these are believed to protect – and fight – breast cancer.

Leafy greens to add to your diet regularly include kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, and chard.

Fermented Foods

Foods that have gone through the fermentation process and are full of probiotics seem to reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to many dozens of studies. Plus, they are known to be immune-enhancing, too, which helps the body fight.

Fermented foods include yogurt, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and others.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Glucosinolate compounds can be converted into isothiocyanates which are molecules that have the potential to fight cancer. And they are found in veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Consuming these on a regular basis may reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Beans

There are so many different types of beans and so many things you can do with them. They have a lot of fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are thought to offer protection against cancer. In fact, one study found that women with a high bean intake reduced their risk of breast cancer by as much as 20%. Another study found that it could reduce risk by up to 28%.

Eat more beans!

Fatty Fish

Increased consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 is thought to reduce your chance of breast cancer – maybe even by up to 14%. This has been studied several different times, with results all being the same. Fatty fish also provides you with selenium and antioxidants that seem to protect against cancer.

The fish to consider include sardines, salmon, and mackerel.

Citrus Fruits

These fruits have compounds that may protect against breast cancer, including folate, vitamin c, carotenoids, and certain flavonoid antioxidants. As a result, you get antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Regular consumption of citrus fruits, such as tangerines, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, may reduce breast cancer by up to 10%, according to some studies.

Berries

Berries are very beneficial for the body, even potentially reducing your risk of certain cancers. They contain antioxidants, such as flavonoids and anthocyanins, that work to minimize cell damage – as well as the spread of cancer cells. Plus, higher fiber intake (in which blueberries are a great source) is thought to lower estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer, according to one study.

Fruits

We talked about berries and citrus, but now we are referring to peaches, apples, and pears. Fruits like these (and perhaps all fruits) have shown great promise in protecting against breast cancer. Many studies have been done to conclude this.

One study, in particular, shows that two servings of peaches per week could reduce ER- breast cancer risk by up to 41%!

Similar benefits are shown with apples and pears, too. It is all about the antioxidants that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Allium Vegetables

A high intake of onions, garlic, and leeks have also been shown to reduce breast cancer risk. They contain organosulfur compounds, flavonoids, and vitamin c – all of which seem to work against cancer.

More research may still need to be done in this category, but so far, the studies and their results are looking positive.

Avoid These Foods

Just as there are foods you should be eating to boost your body’s ability to prevent breast cancer, there are a few foods that you should avoid, too. These have been known to potentially increase your risk. If you cannot remove them entirely from your diet, consider reducing your intake.

Alcohol

Studies show that there may be a link between alcohol use and an increased risk for breast cancer.

Fried Foods

Researchers are finding a common link between large consumption of fried foods and breast cancer diagnosis.

Added Sugars

Added sugars increase inflammation in the body, which allows certain enzymes related to the spread and growth of cancer to be released.

Fast Food

There is nothing good about fast food for your body. Not only does it increase your breast cancer risk, but it also increases your risk for things like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Processed Meats

Consuming high levels of processed meat, like bacon, lunch meat, and sausage, can increase your risk – a 9% greater chanceaccording to studies.

Refined Carbs

Diets full of refined carbs seem to play a significant role in breast cancer risk.

Eating Better for Breast Cancer Prevention Month

We can’t always control what our bodies do when it comes to illnesses and cancers, but we can control the things that we eat and the way we care for our bodies. Eating foods that have a positive impact on our overall system, as well as avoiding those that could potentially be dangerous, is a simple step we can take. And that means eating more fatty fish and fruits and less fast food and sugar.

Sadly, breast cancer makes its way into the lives of many families in one way or another. And taking steps to prevent that from happening is key. Change the things you consume and always follow up with your screening.

For more information on all your favorite stainless steel kitchen products, ranges, and recipes, visit THOR Kitchen each week!

Spaghettini with Shrimp and Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

Who doesn’t love a good spaghetti with tomato sauce. Everyone has a go to recipe or a favorite, well… this is going to be your new favorite. A couple reasons this really simple dish sets it apart from the rest. Pasta Water. This is a very underutilized ingredient for home cooks. Whenever you go out to a restaurant and you get the pasta dish and you wonder, “how is it so creamy, perfectly seasoned and delicious?” The answer is Pasta Water.

In this recipe we are mixing Pasta Water with about a cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese and setting it aside to add to our sauce towards the end. This technique adds that creamy smooth texture that you wont get enough of. This technique is used in Caccio y peppe but I have started using it with all my pastas and it takes them to the next level. Follow this recipe and when you get the hang of it, try it with other pastas, and you will be feeling like a certified Thor Chef in no time!

Watch how to make the Shrimp Spaghettini in this video and find the full recipe below!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients
1 lb of shrimp (or more, I like the big shrimp) 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pkg of good quality spaghetti salt
1/4 cup white cooking wine pepper
1 can fire roasted tomatoes 2 green onions chopped for garnish
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic 2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 fresno chili 1/2 cup bread crumbs
10 basil leaves chiffonade 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (got to grate yourself, don’t buy pre-grated cheese)
olive oil

First start boiling your water and heavily salt your water. Think like ocean water.

While you’re waiting for your water to boil, in a Sautee pan over medium high heat, add roughly 2 tbsp of olive oil, then add your panko. Keep it moving in the pan until evenly toasted. Toss in your chopped parsley and set aside. Now dice your garlic, chili, basil, and set aside. Grate your parmesan, put one cup of parmesan in a bowl and set by your pasta water, grate some more for topping your pasta.

Spaghettini with Shrimp and Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

To Prepare the Sauce:

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil, sauté garlic and red chili. Roughly at the same time drop your spaghetti in the boiling water. Then when garlic and chilis have cooked (be careful, don’t let them burn) hit the pan with ¼ cup white wine, sauté a couple minutes to let the wine cook. Then add your tomatoes. When your pasta is half way cooked, scoop one full ladle of that starchy pasta water over that bowl of parmesan and whisk until cheese is melted and you have a milky looking water. Now add your basil to your tomato sauce and reduce heat to simmer.

Next, the Shrimp:

Season your shrimp with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat sauté your shrimp with a little olive oil 2 minutes on each side and turn off the heat.

Time to put it all together!

When your pasta is at a Al dente (no all the way cooked), with tongs grab the spaghettini and transfer directly out of the water to the tomato sauce. You want a little of the past water to drip into the tomato sauce. Crank up the heat, mix the past in the sauce getting it nice and coated. Now when the tomato sauce gets to a high simmer, pour in the parmesan pasta water, and start moving your pasta around. Its going to seem very runny at first, but crank that heat and keep it moving and it will thicken up. Once its at the right consistency add your shrimp. Give that a toss to get the shrimp coated and your done. Plate in a deep rimmed plate or large bowl, top with green onions, drizzle of nice olive oil, and shave some fresh parm.

So Good! Enjoy

Find more recipes like the Spaghettini with Shrimp and Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce on our blog: THOR KITCHEN BLOG

Watch more videos from THOR Kitchen on our YouTube channel: THOR KITCHEN YOUTUBE

Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Pancake Recipe by Chef Brad Miller

This Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Pancake recipe was written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Brad Miller. Chef Miller will be firing things up in the kitchen, using his own suite of THOR Kitchen appliances to create exclusive recipes!

I came up with this recipe because I wanted to have a fun dish for a “Guys Brunch.” I know I know, guys brunch says it all – but hear me out. I wanted to do something that was filling but also insanely delicious. I also wanted to incorporate some sort of bourbon or whiskey into my dish. Boom…. pancakes it is! The flavor of bourbon pairs so well with sweet savory dishes, so I knew this would be perfect with maple syrup. That’s also how the bacon and chocolate were born into this recipe. All the flavors completely match and complement each other. I mean what says “Guys Brunch” more than Bourbon, Bacon and Chocolate?! These should be served hot off the griddle with some room temp butter in between the layers. This dish is also best when you teeter on the line of adding almost too much maple syrup. So, enjoy and make sure you make extra, because these go quick when the mimosas (yes, I do love a mimosa!) are flowing.

 

Chocolate Bacon Bourbon Pancake Ingredients
Pancake Mix Optional
1 cup flour 1 oz softened butter to finish pancakes
2 tbsp sugar Bourbon Maple Syrup
2 tsp baking powder 2 oz bourbon
1 large egg 8 0z maple syrup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup bacon, cooked until crispy
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Equipment
1 saute pan, nonstick (or flat top insert) ladle
1 spatula small bowl to mix eggs
1 small pot medium bowl for mixing batter
1 medium whisk nonstick pan spray

For The Pancakes: Start by mixing the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Add in your milk then your lightly beaten eggs and oil.

Then vigorously whisk the batter. Check the consistency by seeing if a thick stream is made when lifting your whisk out.

Once the consistency is correct, add in your cooked bacon, chocolate chips and stir. 

Bourbon Maple Syrup: While your batter is resting for a couple of minutes, let’s make our bourbon maple syrup. Add your bourbon to a pot and turn on the heat to high. As bourbon gets hot, let it ignite in the pot and flame up. Let the alcohol burn off for about 30 seconds then turn off the heat and add your maple syrup. Let it stand at room temp till ready to use.

Cooking Pancakes: Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, coat your pan in a nonstick cooking spray. Then ladle a small amount (approximately ¼ cup at a time) of the batter into the skillet.

After about a minute, start to loosen your pancake up around the edges with your spatula. Look for small air pockets releasing around the pancake. The air pockets mean its cooking through. Once a golden color is achieved give it a flip and cook through till fluffy. Repeat this process until you finish your batter.

Transfer your pancakes to a plate and let’s start the fun part. Add a little pat of room temperature butter to each layer of pancake you have. And finish with a top layer of butter.

Now grab your warm maple syrup and go nuts drizzling it on your pancakes.

Enjoy hot and fresh!

7 Easy Paleo Dinner Recipes to Make on a Range Stove

7 easy paleo dinner recipes to make on a range stove

Although it peaked in popularity about a decade ago, the idea behind the paleo diet (formerly known as the paleolithic diet) came about in the 1970s. Whether you are looking to get started on this diet or you are trying to find new ideas to keep your diet fresh and exciting, we’ve got a few ideas for you with 7 easy paleo dinner recipes to make on a range stove. But first, here’s a snippet of what paleo is about.

What is a Paleo Diet?

paleo diet focuses on foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats, fish, oils, and eggs. And it avoids foods like dairy, beans, bread and other grains, and refined sugar.

It is dubbed a stone-age diet or caveman diet because it has a strong focus on the foods that hunters and gatherers would eat all those years ago before farming and processed foods were ever a thing.

Easy Paleo Dinner Recipes to Explore

Now that you have a little taste of what paleo is, it’s time to check out some easy paleo dinner recipes to try in the comfort of your home from THOR Kitchen.

1. Creamy Potato Chowder with Shrimp and Bacon

There are some days when you are just looking for the taste of comfort food. And as we head into the fall season, a warm creamy soup may be just what you are looking for. This creamy potato chowder with shrimp and bacon soup is as delicious as it is soothing. Stuffed with bacon, shrimp, onion, celery, carrots, corn, dairy-free cashew cream, along with various herbs and seasonings – what more can you ask for?

2. 20-Minute Paleo Egg Roll Bowls

Imagine eggs without, well, the roll. That’s what you have here. These incredibly delicious paleo egg roll bowls take all the goodness from the inside of an egg roll and toss it in a bowl. This includes carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, scallions, and ground pork – with sesame oil and soy sauce for flavor. The flavor is so on-point that you won’t even miss the fact that it isn’t a wrapped, fried, greasy mess. Perhaps the best part of the recipe is that it is so quick and easy – the perfect dinner recipe after a busy day at the office.

Oh, and don’t forget to top your bowl off with some sriracha!

3. Thai Basil Beef (Pad Gra Prow)

The aromas that are going to be coming from your kitchen as you make this quick 30-minute meal will have mouths watering throughout the house. Using flank steak in a skillet on your stove along with oil, onion, garlic, bell pepper, Thai chilis, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and more, your meat will become flavorful, tender, and almost glazed with goodness.

Thai basil beef is even more perfect when served alongside riced cauliflower and some steamed broccoli, making it a well-balanced paleo meal.

4. Cauliflower Alfredo Zoodles

Who doesn’t love a one-pot meal? This cauliflower alfredo zoodles recipe is easy, packed with all kinds of veggie goodness, and it can’t help but give you all those good, warm feels inside. Even the creamy sauce is made of vegetables.

The secret to this recipe is in the sauce. It is a roasted garlic alfredo sauce made with cauliflower and roasted garlic (obviously) in addition to nutritional yeast, lime juice, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Very simple to create, but it surely doesn’t taste like it.

You can pour this alfredo sauce over spiralized zucchini (zoodles), asparagus, broccoli florets, brussel sprouts, red pepper, shredded carrots, and cherry tomatoes. While the dish itself is filling enough with all the vegetables, you can always add in a protein source, too, if you’d prefer.

5. Salmon Salad Power Bowls

Some days just call for a cool, refreshing salad. This salmon salad power bowl is a light dinner, yet it is packed with everything your body needs to feel good – including omegas, fiber, potassium, vitamin c, calcium, vitamin K, iron, and more. In other words, it is definitely something you can feel good about.

So, what makes this salad so delicious? It has to be a mixture of greens, sauteed summer squash and zucchini, raspberries, and grilled wild Alaskan salmon. And the touch of balsamic glaze doesn’t hurt, that’s for sure. Throw in some healthy oils and other seasonings, and your mouth is sure to be a rainbow of flavors.

6. Harissa Portobello Mushroom Tacos

Who doesn’t love tacos? Gone are the days of basic tacos. Today, you can change up the flavors to create an unforgettable dish. After all, tacos made of mushrooms? Yes. Taco shells made of collard green leaves? Yes, again.

These harissa portobello mushroom paleo tacos will quench your craving for tacos – and will make you never want an everyday, ordinary taco anymore.

For the “meat,” you are going to season up portobello mushrooms with a mixture of spicy harissa (or mild if you just can’t handle the heat), olive oil, ground cumin, and onion powder. Let them marinate for a bit, and then pop them into a hot skillet of oil.

Add the mushrooms to the collard green leaves and top with guacamole, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and cashew cream.

7. Green Bowl with Chicken, Citrus, and Herbs

Greens. You have likely heard that to stay healthy, you have to eat your greens, right? Well, here’s a green bowl with chicken, citrus, and herbs that is sure to do the body good while also tasting delish! This quick meal with a Mediterranean feel is packed with protein and will leave you wanting it day after day. Plus, it is a great way to use up leftover chicken.

Saute olive oil, shallots, and sea salt until translucent. Then add in the broccoli slaw and asparagus until it is – you guessed it – bright green. Throw in the spinach, orange zest, za’atar, and cook. Add in the pre-cooked chicken until it is warmed all the way through.

Toss all of this into a bowl and top with the avocado, fresh herbs, and green goddess dressing.

Your Paleo Adventure Awaits!

You have a beautiful stainless steel range in your kitchen, so you may as well make good use of it. The stove on top can work with you to create some unforgettable, easy paleo dinner recipes you and your family will love. Enjoy!

Chipotle Spiced Pork Loin with Butternut Squash Puree Recipe by Chef Derrick Fox

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

I wanted to make a dish that was easy but packed a lot of flavor, and plated properly to be visually stunning. The key to cooking your pork loin perfectly is using a meat thermometer. No judgment here. This dish is also great year round. Have fun with plating this dish. There are so many ways you can go with it.

Watch how to make the Chipotle Spiced Pork Loin in this video and find the full recipe below!

Ingredients
1 whole pork loin 1 bunch heirloom carrots
2 tbsp chipotle seasoning 1 fennel bulb
1 tsp cumin 1/2 cup veggie stock
1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 cup light beer
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper 1 small red apple, diced
1 oz bourbon
2 cups large dice butternut squash 2 tbsp butter
 12 oz heavy cream 1 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp unsalted butter

 

Equipment
1 sauce pot small sautee pan
sautee pans blender
cast iron skillet
Making the butternut squash puree:
Place the butternut squash, the heavy cream, a dash of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer and cook until the squash is cooked through. Once cooked through, use a slotted spoon to scoop the squash into a blender. Add the butter and start blending. Slowly pour the remaining cream until the puree is to the desired consistency. Once smooth season to taste with more salt, pepper, and if need more cinnamon. Place the puree back in the pot cover and keep warm on low heat.
Preparing the root vegetables for presentation:
Slice carrots in half or keep whole. This is purely for presentation. Slice the fennel bulb into quarters. In a cast iron pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the fennel. Once seared after about a minute add the carrots and sauté until carrots get some color. Now drizzle in the beer, and sauté until beer mostly evaporates. Now add the veg stock, cover with foil, and place in the oven for about 12 minutes on 400ºPreparing the sautéed apples:In a small sauté pan, sauté apples in a tbsp. of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. After about 2-3 minutes, flambé with the bourbon. Once the bourbon has cooked out, add the butter and sauté until melted. Now add the syrup and sauté until well combined.Last but certainly not least, the pork:

Let pork rest on the counter for 45 minutes. Slice loin in half. Mix spices and coat loin generously.

In a cast iron pan sear the loin on all sides for 2 minutes on each side. The roast in the oven at 400º for 12 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temp of 140º. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Now, enjoy!

Find more recipes like this on our blog: THOR KITCHEN BLOG

Watch more videos from THOR Kitchen on our YouTube channel: THOR KITCHEN YOUTUBE

Celebrate National More Herbs Less Salt Day on Aug 29

Celebrate national more herbs less salt day on aug 29

August 29th is National More Herbs Less Salt Day. This is a day that has been created to remind us to be cognizant of the amount of sodium we are consuming on a daily basis. And, truth be told, it is a lot.

According to the CDC, the average American consumes about 3,400mg of sodium every day. But the Dietary Guidelines for Americans set the maximum consumption level at 2,300mg per day. And most doctors would consider that to still be a little excessive. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500mg of sodium.

It is pretty safe to say that, unless you monitor your sodium intake, there is a good chance you may be consuming too much. It is not that salt is bad. Sodium is actually an electrolyte that the body needs for nerve and muscle function. However, it only becomes an issue when we consume too much.

Today, we are going to talk about all things salt – why too much is harmful to your health, what happens when you reduce consumption, and how you can make your food taste great without it the next time you turn on the range or cooktop. Hold on to your taste buds, here we go!

The Dangers of Too Much Salt

If you pay attention to labels, it seems like there is sodium in nearly all the foods we consume – especially processed, pre-packaged foods. In many cases, salt is used as a means of preserving foods. Without calculating your sodium intake each day, you could be consuming too much. Over time, this can cause both short- and long-term effects, including:

-Increased blood pressure

-Increased thirst

-Water retention

-Increased risk of stomach cancer

-Increased risk of heart disease

There are a few signs you can pay attention to that may indicate you are consuming too much salt, including:

-Feeling bloated in your stomach

-Having high blood pressure

-Swollen or puffy hands, feet, face, and ankles

-Excessive thirst

-Weight gain

-Frequent urination

-Poor sleep quality

-Feeling weak

-Stomach upset

Keep in mind that these signs could indicate other underlying health issues, too, so it is best to speak to your doctor to get to the root cause.

Benefits of Reducing Your Sodium Intake

When you cut sodium from your life, your body will thank you. A low sodium diet is great for:

-Lowering your risk for kidney disease since your kidneys won’t have to work as hard

-Controlling diabetes because you are maintaining healthy blood pressure levels

-Reducing your blood pressure

-Build stronger bones due to no longer lacking depleting calcium from your bones

-Decreasing the risk of stomach cancer thanks to a healthier gut

Don’t worry – the temporary tantrum by your taste buds will soon subside once you begin to discover new ways to entice them.

Herbs to Replace Salt in Your Diet

Nobody is telling you that you have to give up salt entirely. But a little goes a long way. Besides, there are so many other flavor combinations out there for you to try if you just open up and invite new herbs into your kitchen. Once you do, you may find that you don’t even miss the salt.

Below are a few herbs that will give you the burst of flavor you are looking for without overdoing it on the salt.

-Cumin

-Cayenne

-Paprika

-Black pepper

-Garlic powder

-Onion powder

-Sage

-Lemon peel

-Oregano

-Ginger

Experiment with different flavor combinations, bringing some of these spices together with one another to create unique and delicious recipes – and you won’t even miss the salt!

Give These Recipes a Try

As a society, we have grown so accustomed to salt and the flavor it gives our foods. For instance, there are several foods that Americans tend to consume in high numbers that are overflowing with sodium, including fried chicken, tacos/burritos, soups, burgers, pizza, cold cuts, and pasta dishes.

So, what if you replaced the salt with more herbs and created some fantastic low-sodium recipes you and your family will love? To help you give it a try, we’ve included some recipes that are great for more herbs and less salt per day – and without sacrificing flavor.

Take a look!

Crispy Potato Skins

For many, crispy potato skins are an appetizer that can fare well as a dish all on its own. With cheese, bacon, and sour cream all melted on top of a potato skin – it definitely has some sodium, doesn’t it? Ditch the toppings and turn to flavors like rosemary and pepper or consider adding basil, chives, dill, garlic, cayenne pepper, caraway seed, tarragon, or thyme.

You won’t miss the salt.

Balsamic Roast Chicken

When mixed with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar can coat the chicken in a glaze that acts like gravy but is much healthier with much less sodium. It’s sweet and tart and pairs well with savory poultry. With herbs like rosemary, garlic, and black pepper, we know that you will not be reaching for the salt shaker with balsamic roast chicken.

Beef Stew

As we are heading into the fall season, warming soups and stews are always a favorite go-to meal. Unfortunately, finding a beef stew recipe that isn’t loaded with sodium is tough to do, until now. This recipe is made with onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, celery, bay leaf, wine, mustard, and tomato paste. That is where it gets its flavor. And, well, you know what you won’t be missing.

Pork and Mushroom Casserole with Gremolata

The flavor combination of pork and mushroom casserole with gremolata leaves nothing to be desired. It is filling, rich, flavorful, and downright delish. Yet the sodium is still kept to a minimum. Again, the use of onion, garlic, celery, thyme, mushrooms, sage, and rosemary are all that are needed to make a fantastic, healthy dinner.

Try Something New for More Herbs Less Salt Day

These are just a few options for you, but your diet is never limited. You can take any one of your recipes and transform it into a low-sodium option by removing the ingredients that are high in salt and replacing them with lower-sodium options. Add lots of herbs and seasonings, use the powerful flavor of certain veggies, and so on. You may just be surprised by what you create!

Easy Healthy Summer Dinners for the Family

Easy healthy summer dinners for the family

If your family is like most, then summertime is a busy time of the year. Keeping the kids occupied with fun activities while still trying to maintain some normalcy at work can be a tough challenge – but it doesn’t mean it’s ok to sacrifice your health, which is why you should invest in some easy healthy summer dinners for the entire family.

You can still have fun, get work done, and eat healthily. You simply need to find recipes that are both delicious and easy. To help you out, we’ve got a few ideas we think you will love.

Balsamic Grilled Steak Salad with Peaches

Balsamic grilled steak salad with peaches

A little bit of sweet, a little bit of savory. The balsamic grilled steak salad with peaches is simple, filling yet light, and it brings together flavors you may have never otherwise tried. It includes a lightly grilled marinated steak (using vinegar, garlic, and brown sugar), peppery arugula, sliced peaches, and crumbled feta. Top off with a dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. That’s it!

Basil Avocado Shrimp Salad Wraps & Sweet Potato Chips

For those trying to watch their carbs, lettuce wraps are a great way to indulge in delicious foods without all the extra. Just like your traditional shrimp salad, the basil avocado shrimp salad wrap with sweet potato chips includes flavors of basil and avocado in addition to your grape tomatoes and red onion. Serve in butterhead or romaine lettuce as a wrap.

To make it feel more like a traditional meal, make a side of sweet potato chips by baking thinly-sliced sweet potatoes in the oven until crispy.

Taco Tomatoes

About those carbs… What if we told you that you could have tacos without the tortilla and without sacrificing flavor? Sounds like a great idea? This is where taco tomatoes come in. We’ve got taco meat, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, or anything else you like on your taco – all stuffed in a tomato.

Beefsteak tomatoes work best for this recipe due to their hardiness and stuffable size. Cook up your meat with taco seasoning, and then add it to your wedged tomato with all the toppings. Delish!

Caramelized Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Tofu is one of those things that not everyone understands how to cook. But when you find the right recipe, even carnivores will find pleasure in consuming some tasty tofu. And this right here, the caramelized tofu lettuce wrap, is the go-to summer recipe.

Using a block of firm tofu, you will want to cook it up on a mixture of dark brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and a few more. Once it reaches that caramelized appearance, pile it on some butterhead (or romaine) lettuce and top with chopped roasted peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges. The flavor is unbelievable.

Pineapple Bun Burger

Think tropical, Hawaiian escape. Think burger on a pineapple bun, or a pineapple bun burger. And really – it’s just like it sounds. It really is a burger with all the fixins’ – a beef patty formed with seasonings and grilled to perfection, topped with pepper jack cheese, crispy bacon, red onion, and lettuce.

Grill two slices of pineapple and use one to stack the burger and toppings on and the other as the top bun. The combination of sweet and tart yet spicy and savory is sure to delight your taste buds. Plus, no bun means no unnecessary carbs!

Honey-Lime Tilapia and Corn Foil Pack

Have you ever cooked fish in a foil packet? Not only is it simple and fast to do, but it makes for easy cleanup, too. All you have to do is wrap up your fish and any seasoning into one foil package and place it on the grill. When it’s done, you’ve got dinner.

For this recipe of honey-lime tilapia with a corn foil pack, you add your tilapia to a foil packet and grill it to perfection. Within the foil, the fish remains juicy and tender. Add some honey, lime, and corn to the finished product for a refreshing summer dish.

Cheeseburger Cabbage Wraps

Ok, if the pineapple wasn’t your cup of tea, perhaps cabbage is. That’s right – cabbage. When used one leaf at a time, it makes a great, sturdy option to wrap your burger and keep it all intact as a cheeseburger cabbage wrap.

There’s just one catch – you need a big head of cabbage, so you know its leaves will be big enough to wrap the burger, plus the lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, cheese, bacon, and whatever else your heart desires.

Shrimp & Mango Salad

Shrimp and mango salad

Summertime salads are always a delight. Filling, light, and full of flavor. You won’t find anything less than that with a shrimp and mango salad, either. A combination of raw napa cabbage sliced super thin with or without a little romaine. Add some lightly seasoned grilled shrimp, sweet mango chunks, red onion, and avocado.

For the dressing to top your salad, you will need lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, honey, jalapeno for a little kick–and a little avocado if you want.

California Grilled Chicken

If you are looking for something a little more hearty than a salad, this California grilled chicken can help. Fire up the grill and cook up your chicken (after marinating it in Italian seasoning). Top it with fresh mozzarella, a slice of zucchini, and a slice of tomato. Then, follow with a balsamic glaze.

This is a great dish to serve with a chilled glass of Chardonnay or Blanc de Sauvignon from the wine cooler.

Zucchini Bun Hot Dogs

Zucchini Bun Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are famous in the summer. And they shine at every outdoor BBQ throughout the country. And since eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up everything you love, you just find great-tasting alternatives. In this instance, zucchini buns.

Hollow out zucchini, grill it, and sit your hot dog neatly in its hollowed-out space. This way, you don’t feel like you are missing out.

Eggplant Steaks

Vegetables are good for your body, red meat – not so much. Eggplant steaks allow you to have a steak made of eggplant rather than the real thing. But, if we are being honest, as long as it is cooked right – you are going to enjoy this meal so much you won’t care that your steak was replaced with eggplant.

Slice your eggplant into steak-size slices. Grill it up and top with tomato, and fresh mozzarella, then drizzle with a balsamic glaze.

Enjoy Easy Healthy Summer Dinners this Season

Summer will be over before you know it. So as you continue to enjoy all the season brings, enjoy these healthy meals, too!

If you’re looking for the perfect kitchen appliance to cook one of these easy healthy summer dinners, find a THOR dealer near you. We’ve got something for every type of chef, including ranges, cooktops, ovens, and more!

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