Sweet Dried Fruit Desserts for a Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day is a great opportunity to gather your friends and family together for an afternoon of outdoor fun accompanied by plenty of food. Of course, every good feast needs a sweet ending. Make the perfect treat for your summertime celebration with these dried fruit desserts for picnics made with ingredients from our Hickory Farms Dried Fruit Collection.

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

Spiced Fruit Salad

Combining dried fruit with warm spices gives you a dessert that is truly special. For this sophisticated treat, start by placing our dried apricots, pears, and peaches along with a handful of dried figs and apples in a saucepan. Then, spice up the fruit by adding cloves, honey, saffron, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, and lemon zest. Cover the mixture with water, and simmer for 15 minutes so that the fruit reconstitutes and gets nice and juicy.

After cooking, remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves before tossing with our almonds and a few pistachios. For a beautiful finishing touch, stir in a bit of orange water. This dish is fantastic served hot or cold and accompanied by Greek yogurt.

Fruit Compote

A delicious dried fruit compote is the perfect topping for your cake, ice cream, or anything else you can imagine. To make yours, start by soaking your favorite dried fruits in water for an hour. Then, combine water, fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon zest, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and throw in your fruit. Cook the fruit for about forty minutes or until it is nice and soft, almost forming a jelly-like consistency.

Pear Biscotti

Whether you dip it in your coffee or snack on it throughout the day, pear biscotti packs tons of flavor into a crunchy cookie. Start by creaming butter and sugar with vanilla, eggs, and our diced almonds. Then, mix in flour, baking soda, and pieces of our dried pear. Finish by dividing the dough and baking until golden brown.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

With the delicious fruits and nuts in our Dried Fruit Collection from Hickory Farms, you have the perfect flavor profile to make your summer picnic extra festive.

Savory Steak Marinades with Red Wine

You know that your steak tastes fantastic with a glass of bold red wine. But did you know that putting red wine in a marinade can add flavor and make your steak more tender? Transform the Murphy Goode Cabernet Sauvignon from our Hickory Farms Signature Gift Box with Red Wine into an amazing marinade for your steak with these tips.

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

Marinade Basics

The first thing you should know when preparing red wine steak marinades is how to achieve a good balance. A great marinade packs your steak with flavor while also tenderizing the meat. The basic rule of thumb for the mixture is to use one cup of acid, 1/2 cup of fat, two tablespoons of herbs, and two tablespoons of salt.

Start by choosing your acid, which, in our case, is red wine. Add the wine to a storage bag, then mix in your fat, such as olive oil or grapeseed oil, a bit of spice, like chili powder or allspice, and your herbs, including garlic or cilantro. Mix the ingredients together, and place the meat in the bag for a few hours.

Putting it all together

Now that you know the basics, you can perfect any marinade. For a good place to start, opt for a simple steak marinade. First, combine wine and vegetable oil in your bag. Then, add in a little extra boost of acid with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. For the herbs, mix in oregano, cumin, and garlic. Finish with a dash of sugar and some salt and pepper.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

If you like your steak a little zesty, spice your marinade up with a bit of mustard. Try combining your red wine with olive oil, a spoonful of our Sweet Hot Mustard, a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, some coarsely chopped garlic, and salt and pepper.

With a red wine marinade, you can make your steak more tender, more delicious, and more memorable than ever before. Marinate our Pfaelzer Famous Filet Mignon at home to taste for yourself how well red wine and steak really go together.

3 Delicious Deep Red Wine Recipes

Whether you drink it along with your dinner or add it to your recipe, a bold red wine is a great addition to any meal. Use the fruity Cabernet Sauvignon from our Hickory Farms Signature Gift Box to cook a rich and comforting meal with one of these delicious red wine recipes.

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

Short Ribs with Veggies

Source: Foodandwine

Source: Foodandwine

Braised meat cooked low and slow is the perfect cold weather meal. Start by making a marinade by combining the bottle of wine with leek, onion, garlic, carrots, and herbs. Then, place the short ribs in storage bags, pour the marinade over the top, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, brown the ribs and veggies before transferring to a roasting pan. While the meat roasts, make a sauce of wine, mushrooms, shallots, and thyme. Serve the sauce over the tender meat.

Leek Wine Soup

Combining leeks and red wine into a silky soup is the perfect start to any dinner party. Begin this decadent dish by sauteeing saffron and leeks until tender. Then, pour in the red wine and simmer until reduced. Once the mixture is thickened, add chicken stock and large chunks of toasted peasant bread. Use a stick blender to puree the soup and finish with a dash of cream, as well as a bit of salt and pepper.

Beef Stew

Source: Foodandwine

Source: Foodandwine

Beef stew is the classic red wine dish. To make this traditional version, start by browning flatiron steak in a cast iron pot. Once the meat has a nice caramel color, add onion and garlic. When the onion is soft, combine flour, your wine, a bay leaf, and herbs. Be sure to remove any browned bits before covering the pot and transferring it to the oven.

While the stew cooks, sautee a mixture of pancetta, mushrooms, carrots, and pearl onions on the stove top. When serving, top the stew with the pancetta mixture.

Whether you add wine from our Hickory Farms gift baskets to one of these recipes or pair it with chocolates or summer sausage and cheese, our red wine will really bring out the flavors of your meal.