Handcrafted Michelada How To


Our Micheladas are a combination of all that's good in the world: fresh tomatoes, Negra Modelo, Tapatio hot sauce, cucumber, lime and salt - lots of salt. Want our recipe? We thought you might...
Makes one giant mug-full

- Ingredients -

1 lb tomatoes (cherry or grape will taste best)
(1) 12 oz bottle Negra Modelo
juice from 1/2 lime
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon Tapatio hot sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Rim
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Garnish
quarter slice of cucumber
lime wedges, slit to secure to the glass rim

- Tools - 
Weston Tomato Press
Weston 3-in-1 Grater
pitcher, 32 oz+
giant frosted mug (or large glass, 32 oz +)
drink stir

Step One | Juice Tomatoes
Use your Tomato Press with the standard or berry screen to juice your tomatoes. The auger will push the skin and seeds through the waste chute, leaving you with fresh juice pouring from the screen.



Step Two | Mince Garlic & Crush Red Pepper Flakes
Use your Grater with the garlic plates to finely mince the garlic, then set aside. Rinse the grater plates, then use the same plates to crush all of the red pepper flakes further into a coarse powder. Separate 1 teaspoon for the salt rim and ½ teaspoon for mixing into the drink.

Step Three | Rim the Glass
Mix together your kosher salt and 1 teaspoon coarse red pepper powder. Rim your glass with lime juice by squeezing a lime wedge around the rim. Dip the glass rim into your salt rim mix. Set aside.

Step Four | Mix Ingredients
Pour the tomato juice into a pitcher, along with the lime juice, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Use your drink stir to mix well. Stir in the ½ teaspoon coarse red pepper powder & minced garlic.

Step Five | Serve
Fill your mug 3/4 of the way with ice. Pour in the tomato juice mix, then slowly pour the Negra Modelo over that. Use your stir to gently mix one last time (be gentle, you're not trying to foam up your beer).

Garnish with a slice of cucumber and lime wedges. Serve.








Sweet Tomato-Basil Ricotta Ice Cream

If you have an ice cream maker - super! Use it! If not, no worries - this recipe doubles as a how-to on making ice cream without a machine. 

- Ingredients -
2 cups plum tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
pinch salt
5 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk ricotta
6 leaves fresh basil leaves


- Tools - 
Weston Tomato Press
whisk
Weston Cone Strainer
immersion blender (you can also use a food processor or hand mixer instead - we had the smoothest results from a stick blender)
Weston 3-in-1 Grater
container to freeze in (we used a 4 qt shallow glass baking dish and it worked perfectly)


Step One | Make Tomato Puree

Use your Tomato Press to press tomatoes into a puree, while removing the skin. Pour the tomato puree into a pot and boil over medium high heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.



Step Two | Make Custard

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Place a smaller metal bowl into the ice bath, then set your Cone Strainer over top of the metal bowl. 

Pour heavy cream, sugar & salt into a saucepan over medium heat and stir. Whisk together the egg yolks. Once the cream is hot (begins to steam), begin gradually pouring it into the egg yolks, whisking as you pour. Return this custard mixture into the saucepan over low heat and stir until the custard thickens (to an almost pudding-like consistency).

Pour the custard into the Cone Strainer to strain it into the metal bowl. Stir until chilled.



Step Three | Mix Ice Cream Ingredients

Blend the tomato puree, custard and ricotta with your immersion blender until smooth and well-mixed. Mince the fresh basil leaves with the Grater into the ice cream mixture. Stir well.



Step Four | Freeze

Pour the mixture into your freezer-safe container. Freeze for 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer to mix with a whisk. Be sure to get the edges well, as they'll be more frozen than the rest. Return to the freezer. Remove and whisk every 30 minutes to ensure the ice cream freezes evenly. After 2 -3 hours, the ice cream should be evenly frozen.



Storage
Handmade ice cream is best enjoyed immediately after it's made. You can store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks. Serious Eats has a series of really great tips for storing homemade ice cream. As if you'll need them - this ice cream will likely be devoured about 10 minutes after you make it.


Fried Apple Rings



These cinnamon-sugar battered & deep fried apple rings give traditional apple fritters a run for their money — More apple and less doughnut than an apple fritter, the recipe for these apple rings replaces dough with batter, cutting down on ingredients and ensuring less fuss! 

Makes about 24 apple rings

- Ingredients - 

3 apples

Batter
1 ¼ cup flour
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar

Cinnamon Sugar
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

vegetable oil, for frying

- Tools - 
Weston Deep Fryer
Weston Manual Kitchen Mixer
Weston Apple Peeler



Step One | Preheat Deep Fryer
Fill your Deep Fryer with vegetable oil to the fill line and preheat it to 375°F.

Step Two | Make Batter
In your Manual Mixer, combine batter ingredients until batter is smooth.



Step Three | Slice Apples
Use your Apple Peeler to core & slice your apples. You will have one large spiral. Make a small slice through the rings to separate them.



Step Four | Batter Apples
Use tongs to dunk the apple slices into the batter.

Step Five | Deep Fry Battered Apples



Place the battered apples into the deep fryer. Shake the basket as soon as you drop the apples, to ensure that they do not stick to the bottom of the basket. Allow to deep fry until they begin to float and brown. Use tongs to flip each ring, if needed. Once golden and crisp, remove from the deep fryer.


Step Six | Coat with Cinnamon Sugar
Combine the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the deep fried apples with cinnamon sugar as soon as they emerge from the fryer. Allow to cool 3-5 minutes, then enjoy.




Smoked Homemade Tomato Jam


This smoky, caramelized jam lends itself extremely well to your morning toast. Given its equal notes of savory and sweet, you might also consider slathering it on a burger or using it to replace ketchup altogether. Heck, you could even put it to work as a pizza sauce or pasta sauce base. Basically, replace all the tomato products in your home with this. 
makes one half pint (small batch - feel free to scale the recipe)

- Ingredients - 
1 lb plum tomatoes
1 white onion; sliced in half, outer layer removed
3 large leaves fresh basil
1 ½ tablespoons no sugar needed pectin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

- Tools - 
Weston Smoker & wood chips
Weston Manual Kitchen Kit
Weston Canning Kit & Jars


Step One | Smoke Tomatoes & Onions

Preheat your Smoker to 400°F and soak wood chips for 30 minutes. Once Smoker is preheated, fill the smoker box with soaked wood chips and place the tomatoes and onion on a rack just above the smoking box. Remove the water bowl altogether. Smoke for 30-45 minutes, until onions are browned and tomatoes are fall-apart soft.

Tomatoes and onions in the Smoker - just about ready


The finished product

Step Two | Combine

Place all ingredients into your Kitchen Kit with the chopper inserted.

Before.

Turn the handle to chop until well blended.

After,

Step 3 | Set the Jam
Place the blend into a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow to boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. 

Step 4 | Can (Optional)
If you're planning on jarring the jam for later, use a Canning Kit to safely sterilize and can. 


If canned, store in a cool, dark place until ready to use. Otherwise, it's ready to be eaten!




Handmade Blackberry Pierogi


Pierogi are near and dear to Clevelander hearts. So much so that we tend not to realize that much of the rest of the country has no idea what a pierogi even is. And since few Clevelanders may have ever considered having one of these soft, doughy pockets stuffed with blackberries... we imagine you haven't either. Since they're in season here, we decided to whip up a sweet version of the Polish classic - good for dinner or dessert!

makes six pierogi

- Ingredients - 
6 oz blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup ricotta
two sprigs scallions, sliced

-Tools - 
Weston Food Mill
Weston 5 Piece Ravioli Maker Set


Use a Food Mill with the coarse milling screen to mash the blackberries. Stir sugar into the puree, then set aside.


Combine dough ingredients. Roll out to 1/4" with a rolling pin. Use the 4 ¾" diameter Ravioli Maker to cut a circle with its bottom, then place the circle on top of the Ravioli Maker. Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta in the center of the circle, then drop 1 tablespoon of puree in the middle of that. Close the Ravioli Maker tightly together to seal the pierogi. Repeat for remaining pierogi.


Since these pierogi are fresh, you do not need to boil them. Simply place them into a sautée pan with 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Allow them to cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned, then flip and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve, topped with scallions.


#TipTuesday: How To Make Better Burgers


Here are 10 ways to up your burger making game...

1. Start with a good blend
Burgers need fat in order to taste good. We like to mix our base meat with pure pork fat to make an 80/20 blend. Another popular blend is achieved by mixing in bacon. You could also simply start with a nice, fatty (not sinew-y) piece of meat.

Weston Realtree Camo Meat Grinder

2. Go beyond the beef
Sure, a good, All-American patty is beef. We're not saying don't make beef burgers. Just don't be afraid to make burgers from whatever's readily available. Harvesting Nature has a nice trio of non-beef burgers over on their site: Black Bear, Salmon, and Venison. And even some of the most notorious meateaters we know have enjoyed our meatless QuinoaBeet Burgers.



Harvesting Nature shows you how to make a trio of wild, non-beef burgers

3. Grind it yourself
Naturally, our golden rule is to grind it yourself, whatever 'it' is. Fresher is better. It's also true that while we can give you endless tips on the 'best' burger, it's all going to depend on your own tastes and preferences. We like a nice, loosely packed burger that's half coarse grind and half medium grind. Many traditionalists would have you use the "hamburger" or ultra-fine plate. Grinding it yourself will of course allow you to get the texture that works best for you.You can also control exactly what goes into the blend (and what doesn't).

Weston #8 Pro 350 Meat Grinder


4. Keep it cold right up until the grill
Deja vu. We feel like we say this a lot, but, hey it applies to burgers too. Keep that meat cold! Heat denatures proteins, making for a, well, gross meat texture. Heat melts fats into an unpleasant goo. If you grind your own meat, keep the metal components of the grinder in the freezer. Keep the meat in the fridge until just before you make patties. If incorporating your own fat, keep that in the freezer. 

5. Keep your grubby paws off!
This is just an extension of our heeding above. Your hands are warm, The more you handle the meat, the warmer it will get. The weirder it will get.

6. Surprise: Use a Burger Press
In case you didn't know, we make Burger Presses. We elaborate upon why you need one in our 'Why You Should Use a Burger Press' post.

Weston Burger Press with Patty Ejector

7. Hold off on the salt
Hey, salt the heck out of them if that's how you like them. Rather: Don't salt burgers until you're pulling them off the grill. Remember our above rant about heat denaturing proteins? Salt does the same, making for an icky texture. Trust us.

This Lamb BLT Burger shows off the kind of perfect texture you're aiming for


8. Stuff them
There's nothing like biting into a burger only to find it gushing with some amazing condiment, not only on top, but from inside. We mean, you like jelly donuts, right? Burger Presses make this a lot easier. We put a ball of meat on the press, press it thin, slather the middle with our filling, then cover that with more meat and press. What to stuff them with? How about Peanut Butter. Or cream cheese, cheddar and jalapenos?

Burgers stuffed with jalapenos, cheddar, and cream cheese. And deep fried. Yes, deep fried.

9. Smoke them
You smoke brisket and sausage and ribs. Why not burgers? Giving your patties a really rich, wood smoked flavor will undoubtedly add another layer of taste that put them above your basic burger. We've been known to smoke a burger or two:

Smoked Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers

10. Add surprisingly good toppings
We made you a list of our favorite Unusual Burger Toppings. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Peanut Butter kicks off our list of Surprisingly Good Toppings



Smoked Shrimp Tacos with Jicama Slaw & Candied Jalapeño

These are essentially Cajun blackened shrimp tacos with layers and layers of goodies. We like lots of garnish, so we made jicama slaw, lime aioli & candied jalapeños - if you're a no-frills kind of taco eater, feel free to skip any or all of the garnishes. The smoky, almost blackened shrimp is flavorful enough to stand alone.
Makes 3 tacos

- Ingredients - 
9 fresh shrimp
3-6 corn tortillas (double wrap if you like)

Brine
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Rub
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon paprika1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Candied Jalapeños*
2 jalapeños
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon water

Lime Aioli*
½ lime, zested & juiced**
**wedge the other half of the lime and use to garnish
**set 1 tablespoon of the juice aside to be used for slaw, below
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Jicama Slaw*
1 small jicama
½ cup shredded Napa cabbage
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon juice from lime

Garnish*
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1 avocado, sliced

*You can skip any of the garnishes if you're looking for a quick recipe. The shrimp is good on its own, as are each of the garnishes. Our ideal shrimp taco has all of it.

- Tools - 
Weston Vacuum Sealer + bag or canister
Weston Mandoline Slicer
Weston Kitchen Kit
Weston Smoker
skewer
smoker chips


Step 1 | Marinate & Brine
Combine the ingredients for the rub. In a Vacuum Sealer Bag, combine ingredients for the brine. Divide rub in half, add one half to the brine in the bag, and set the other half aside. Stir the rub into the brine until combined.

Place the shrimp into the Vacuum Sealer Bag with the brine, then seal with a Vacuum Sealer. Allow the shrimp to marinate and brine in the refrigerator overnight.

A pint vacuum sealer bag and Professional Advantage Sealer speed up the marination process.
The brine helps ensure that the shrimp won't dry out in the smoker later.

Step 2 | Prepare Candied Jalapeños*
Preheat your oven to 400° F. Use a Mandoline to slice the jalapeños to 1/4 inch thick.

Our V-Slice makes quick work of evenly sliced jalapeños

Lay the jalapeño slices (one layer, not touching) on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast them for 5 minutes on each side, Stir together the sugar and water, then use a basting brush to coat the roasted jalapenos with the glaze. Roast an additional 2 minutes on each side, until hardened. Keep an eye on them once coated with sugar - they can burn easily. Allow to cool, then set aside.

Candied Jalapeños

Step 3 | Prepare Lime Aioli*
Use the Kitchen Kit to juice and zest your lime. Be sure to set aside 1 tablespoon of the juice. Insert the kit's chopper blade and pour in the mayo. Blend together the juice, mayo, and zest. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 4 | Prepare Jicama Slaw*
Use your Mandoline to julienne the jicama thin and shred the cabbage.

The Weston V-Slice is ideal for quickly shredding, slicing, and julienne-ing with one slicer

Use the Kitchen Kit with chopper blade to roughly chop cilantro. Toss in remaining ingredients and chop until well coated and combined (just a couple of turns). Cover and refrigerate.


Step 5 (next day, after shrimp has brined) | Preheat Smoker
Soak wood chips for 30 minutes. While they soak, preheat your Smoker to 200° F. Fill the water bowl.

Step 6 | Rub
After brining, rub the shrimp with the remainder of the mix. Skewer, then place in the smoker.


Step 7 | Smoke
Smoke for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the shrimp turns bright orange with an internal temperature of 145°F.


Nice and blackened on the outside, juicy on the inside

Remove shrimp from skewers, wrap them in corn tortillas and assemble tacos with slaw, jalapeno, aioli, avocado, and pineapple. Serve.


*The candied jalapeños, slaw, and aioli can be made the night before, when you brine the shrimp. You can also prepare them later, while the shrimp smokes for an hour. And, as noted above, you can skip them altogether if you're looking for a simpler version.



#TipTuesday: Why You Should Use a Burger Press


In case you didn't know, we make Burger Presses 
Here's why we make them, and why you should use one:

1. Less Handling
They allow you to pack patties without squishing them between your warm hands. The heat radiated by your hands denatures proteins. Translation: Icky texture. When you use your hands to pack raw meat, you're making the fat melt and the proteins in the meat break apart, which causes a mushy, unappealing texture when it comes time to devour your burger.


2. Keep That Raw Meat Cold
They're metal (ours are at least), so you can keep them chilled (and ultimately, keep the meat cold - see above). 

3. Uniformity
They make uniform patties: same weight and diameter every time. Uniform patties cook evenly throughout. And those uniform patties will come to temperature around the same time on the grill.


4. Perfect Weight
They allow you to achieve the weight you're going for. Our Single Burger Press has measurements on the handle that allow you to adjust to ¼, ⅓ and ½ lb patties. 

5. Little to No Cleanup
They're less mess. Especially if you use Patty Paper. We'll let you in on a little "secret:"
Put Patty Paper on the bottom of your Press. Put a ball of meat on top of that. Put another piece of paper on top of the meat. Press. Whoa! There's a perfect patty enclosed in paper, and no meat on your press. Nice, right?

6. Purer Patties
If you use a press, there's no need for an egg. Or breadcrumbs. Or whatever meatloaf-intended binder you're junking up your patties with. A press will pack them tightly enough, without making the mush you get when you use your hands. So save that egg to fry over-easy and throw on top later!

7. Prettier Patties
The burgers look good. Who doesn't marvel at a perfectly round, evenly dense patty?



How To Make Waffle Fries with a Weston Mandoline


Does the shape of a waffle fry truly make them taste better? We think so!


- Ingredients -
potatoes (half of a potato to a whole potato per person)
2 quarts peanut oil
Weston French Fry Seasoning

- Tools -
Weston V-Slice or Stainless Steel Mandoline
Deep Fryer (or large pot and a thermometer)


Slice the fries

Fill a bowl, large enough to fit your potatoes, with ice water.

Insert the Wavy/Waffle Blade into your Mandoline.

For a waffle cut, the key is to adjust the thickness so that the slices are only slightly thicker than the serrated edge of the Wavy/Waffle Slicer Blade. 

Once you adjust the thickness, pierce the potato with the Food Pusher and make a pass over the Wavy/Waffle Slicer Blade.  

Next, rotate the food 90° and make a second pass over the Blade to complete the cut. 

This rotation will create an opposing crinkle cut on each side of the food, leaving holes toward the center. Repeat for the rest of the potatoes. 

Weston V-Slice with Wavy Blade

Blanch

Place the fries into the ice water as you slice. 

Once all potatoes have been sliced, place the bowl into the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

Fry
Bring your Deep Fryer (or pot filled with oil) to 375°F.

Remove the fries from the ice water and pat dry thoroughly.

Drop the fries into the Deep Fryer and fry 10 minutes, or until the fries turn golden and float. Occasionally shake the fryer basket or stir with tongs to keep the fries from sticking together.



Serve
Transfer the fries into a large bowl layered with paper towels. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle with French Fry Seasoning and enjoy.