August 1, 2014
Summer’s ‘Maine’ Ingredient: Stonewall Kitchen
Even though the calendar says it’s August, there’s still plenty of time for backyard barbeques and summer picnics. When I’m lost for ideas or just want something new to serve, I look no further than Stonewall Kitchen Specialty Foods. Stonewall Kitchen has been a long time favorite of mine well before we stocked our shelves here at Bucks Country Gardens with lots of their great tasting stuff.
Originally starting out in 1991 as a farmer’s market stand in Maine by two longtime friends, Jim Stott and Jonathan King who were waiters, cooks and avid gardeners, Stonewall Kitchen has since grown into an international success but has not strayed far from it’s humble beginnings.“For us, the success of Stonewall Kitchen is more than just a reflection of our talents and resourcefulness as cooks and gardeners. It is heart and passion; a culmination of everything we do, and everything our employees have put into making our story a success. We have a passion for food, and our products are created to be feasts for the eyes and the palate. They are true tributes to our native New England agriculture. Fresh ingredients of the highest quality are all we use in our innovative and delicious recipes…simple, good food, beautifully packaged and bursting with true flavor. And every once in awhile, we still knowingly glance over at the old market table and say ‘thanks’.” –Jim and Jonathan, founders of Stonewall Kitchen Specialty Foods.
With such a bounty of goodness, Stonewall Kitchen produces a wide range of delicious offerings I can literally plan my whole menu around–from appetizers to a main course and sides and even dessert. And who doesn’t love dessert?
Here are a few of my favorites I’d like to share: For a quick and easy appetizer, spread Hot Pepper Jelly over a block of cream cheese and serve with the perfect cracker: Olive Oil Down East Crackers. Sweet and spicy is always a winning combination. Each of the grille sauces make for a quick and easy marinade or simply baste your favorite meats and fish right before it’s finished cooking on the grill. Just be sure to reserve some for dipping.
Don’t forget the condiments and sides. To jazz up a cookout, simply switch regular ketchup and mustard for Truffle Ketchup and Roasted Garlic Mustard. Using Stonewall Kitchen’s Roasted Garlic Onion Jam, create a mouth watering Corn Pepper Chili Relish to add to your char-grilled burger. Want to turn up the heat? A jar of Hot Pepper Jelly will certainly spice up your average cornbread. A twist on a picnic standard–add Artichoke Pesto to your Pasta Salad. All of these can be made with a few simple ingredients and whipped up in no time.
Believe it or not, even two of summer’s most favorite beverages can be made with Stonewall Kitchen products. You must try Raspberry or Wild Maine Blueberry Lemonade–so refreshing! Or if you’re an iced tea fan, make a pitcher of Peach Iced Tea. All of these can be made from Raspberry Syrup, Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup or Peach Amaretto Jam, respectively.
Last, but never least, and often everyone’s favorite part of the meal, comes dessert. Blueberry Cheesecake Squares made from Wild Maine Blueberry Jam are one of my favorites but then again, I love cheesecake and I love blueberries. Of course, who can resist a dessert that includes the delicious fruits summer has to offer. For this one, try Strawberry Cheesecake Icebox Pie made with Peach Amaretto Jam. See, cheesecake again.
Whatever your likes and dislikes, cooking skills or not, Stonewall Kitchen Specialty Foods make it very easy to put together a terrific summertime meal. It’s time for me to get in the kitchen and get started!
All of these recipes and more can be found at stonewallkitchen.com. Just click on the recipe tab and look under Summer Barbeque. Here’s one to get you started.
Strawberry Cheesecake Icebox Pie Serves 8
1 cup of strawberry yogurt
12oz package of fat free cream cheese
4 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Peach Amaretto Jam
1 (9″) Graham Cracker Crust
Fresh fruit and sweetened whipped cream for garnish
1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese & sugar.
2. Blend yogurt and vanilla extract into this mixture.
3. Fold in jam and pour filling into graham cracker crust. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until set.
4. Top with fruit and whipped cream if desired and allow pie to warm slightly before serving
Greg Orme | Assistant Lifestyles Manager