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Spring Special – Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup with Hempler’s Smoked Bacon, Lime Crème Fraiche and Garlic Fried Crouton, sounds fancy huh? Well it is. Cream soups meaning a puree of some type of vegetable, starch or protein with a little cream added are generally boring to me. I find you always need to add things that contrast the smooth soup. In this soup we have a few things in play. The croutons add a texture contrast of crunchy and the lime crème fraiche is cool and acidic in contrast to the hot soup. The bacon, well why not?  (Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Bryan Weener)
Makes ½ gallon or 8 cups

Ingredients –
Asparagus or Asparagus Stems – 1 ½ lbs
Yellow onion –  Diced 1 ea
Canola oil or butter – 2 Tablespoons
Water – 1 qt
Peeled Yukon gold potatoes – ¾ lb
Heavy cream – 1 ½ cups
Spinach leaves – big handful
Sesame oil – 2 teaspoons

Garnish –
Hempler’s Bacon – 8 pieces cut into ½ pieces
Crème fraiche or sour cream – 1 cup
Lime zested and juiced – ½ ea
Croutons – your favorite will do, or tortilla chips crumbled will work in a pinch. It’s about the texture. 1 cup

Instructions –
You will need a heavy bottomed pot for this soup. If you do not have a heavy bottomed pot, stop what you are doing and go get one. Having the proper equipment is paramount. That thin bottomed pot you picked up at a garage sale for your first apartment will not work. It will burn anything thicker in viscosity than water. Some good brand names are All Clad and Volrath. Volrath is a commercial line you can find online or at a restaurant supply store. Now that you have your shiny new pot, let’s start cooking.

-Start by sautéing the onions with the oil for 4-5 minutes till translucent.
-Add the asparagus and sauté for another 10 minutes.
-Season at this point with salt and pepper
– Add the water, cream, potato and sesame oil and simmer for 20 minutes
– Add spinach leave and stir.
– In a blender place the solids from the soup meaning the asparagus, potatoes, etc… and puree till smooth using the liquid to adjust the consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If you can’t tell if it needs more salt then it needs more salt.

At this point you can serve the soup with just the croutons and it will be delicious. If you want to go over the top and have everyone think you have a “Food Network Star Chef “chained to your stove then continue reading.

Lime Crème Fraiche –
– To 1 cup sour cream add ½ of a lime zested, the juice of the whole lime and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Bacon
– In a small pot with a little oil cook bacon over medium high heat for 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally until most of the fat has rendered out of the bacon. Strain the bacon from the fat and save the fat for the bacon popcorn I’m going to tell you how to make.
Now you have all your components for your soup it’s time to make the magic happen. Pour soup into bowls, top each one with 6-8 croutons, some bacon and a table spoon of lime sour cream.

Other ideas –

  • Save some time and check our “Specials” tab and order your soup through us today!  Special is good through the end of June 2015.
  • Looking for other ideas when it comes to asparagus – Check out Chef Bryan’s blog post about different ways to prepare asparagus for the spring and summer season.
    • http://www.haggen.com/recipes/aspire-to-local-asparagus/

NEW Seasonal Menu for Fall

Fall Menu 2014

Farfelle Pasta with Late Summer Heirloom Tomatoes, Toasted Garlic, Basil, & Percorino Romano Cheese

($9/serving. Minimum Order of 10)

Roasted Butternut Squash, Honeycrisp Apples, Sweet Onions & Rosemary

($2.50/serving. Serving Size is 4 oz. Minimum Order of 10)

Flatbread Pizza with local Chanterelle mushrooms, Hempler Bacon, Sweet Corn, Caramelized Onions, & Hatch Chili Pepper Cheese

(12 pieces – $35.  Minimum of 48 hours notice)

Bratwurst & Potato Soup with Caraway & Cheddar

(Serves 10 – $49, includes cups and soup spoons)

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Contact Market Street Catering 360.647.4325 to place your order.

Menu not available online*Certain menu items do require a minimum of 48 hours*

Caterers say the darndest things (Part 4)

An in-depth look into the lives of our Market Street Catering Team

or at least learn some really random facts about them!

young steve

Steve (PAST)

Steve Hanft

Catering Manager

Steve joined Market Street Catering in 2002 as a catering consultant bringing with him 8 years of hospitality experience and his love of great customer service helped outline the Full Service program that you now see today.  And through hard work, passion, &  dedication to the success of Market Street Catering (no surprise to us), he became our catering manager.

1. What is your favorite word?  Love

2. What is your least favorite word?  No

3. What sound or noise do you love?  Accapella music and the voice of anyone who I love

4. What sound or noise do you hate? Screeching music and anything that indicates sadness or hurt

5. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  I’d love to entertain with improv, host a television show, or be a writer for a comedy show. I love making people smile.

6. What profession would you not like to do?  Any job that is black and white. Routine day in and day out.

7. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  It does and I hope to hear, “Welcome Home. We’re so excited that you’re here.”

steve

“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…”

Tis the Season for the Gobble, Gobble

No cooking schedule, no extra shopping, no weeks of preparation, here are just a few reasons to give Haggen Market Street Catering the opportunity to assist in your holiday meals plans–

1. LOCAL AND FRESH--Our turkeys are oven roasted in OUR catering kitchen in Bellingham. They are not precooked or frozen (not shipped from another state) and we do not use food coloring.  Our sides, like cranberry herb stuffing and Yukon gold mashed potatoes, are hand crafted in our kitchen or from our scratch bakery.  All you have to do is REHEAT, no COOKING involved.

2. DECatering Holiday Meal 034.epsLIVERED–We can either deliver it to your door in our refrigerated vehicles or you can pick it up at your favorite Haggen store location.  Easy and convenient.

3. SIDES–Don’t need the whole meal?  Well have all the sides you could possibly want–the whole turkey, cranberry relish, butterflake rolls, or our amazing Cranberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding w/Jack Daniels Sauce (never had it, you must try it to believe it), just to name a few delicious choices.

4.  CONVENIENT–Order Online (www.marketstreetcatering.com) OR call us locally at 360-647-4325 to place your order with one of our event planners.

5.  SAVINGS–We are offering an exclusive $10 off your order of $100 or more that you can put towards your holiday meal or any other catering order from now until January 11, 2014.  Use the Promo Code-HOLIDAYFUN2013 and receive your savings today.

Caterers say the darnest things (Part 3)

An in-depth look into the lives of our Market Street Catering Team

or at least learn some really random facts about them!

tammy2

Tammy (PAST)

Tammy Findlay

Delivery Driver

Tammy joined the delivery team of Market Street Catering way back in the summer of 2013.   When she is not being a rock star delivery driver for your event, she is showcasing her artist talent as a graphic designer or outside fishing.

1. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? Beyonce

2. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Fishing

3. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? Change by Blind Melon

4. What was the last movie, TV Show or book that made you cry or tear up? This Moth podcast–Unhooked

5. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?  The Lewis and Clark expedition

tammy3

Tammy (TODAY)

“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…”

Caterers say the darndest things (Part 1)

An in-depth look into the lives of our Market Street Catering Team

or at least learn some really random facts about them!

mollie

Mollie Pike

Full Service Event Planner

Mollie joined Market Street Catering in 2009 as an Event Server.

Then in 2011 was promoted to Event Lead and then to Event Planner in 2013.

Here’s a snapshot of Mollie–(by the way in the photo above she’s the cute blonde girl on the left hand side, a little older of course)

1.       –My favorite food as a child was toast with butter and cinnamon/sugar on top.

2.     –  I love the sound of my cat purring; it is so calming and peaceful.

3.    –  I absolutely hate folding my laundry and putting my clothes away. I now have hired my 17 year old niece to do this task.

4.     – If I could choose a certain age to stay at forever, I would choose age 5 because life was so easy! Who doesn’t want to finger paint, make cool things with play-doh, play dolls, make blanket forts, take naps, and have your mom make you your favorite meals all day? Plus, I was super cute!

5.       –The one story my family always tells about me is how I always picked my nose as a kid. I can’t deny it. Hey, at least I didn’t eat what I found!

6.      – My favorite forms of exercise is to DANCE! I also like to take a nature walk with my little dog Peggy Sue, or ride my mountain bike with my children. I love to see wild life, even if it is just a field of cows. You will often find myself and my children having one way conversations with the animals we see. For example, one afternoon as we approached the field of cattle down the road from where we live, some of them began to ran away. My daughter simply says, “Now, now cows…..no need to be alarmed.”

mollie2

Mollie (TODAY)

“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…”

Training

“What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand.”  ~ Confucius

At Haggen MSC we are not all talk when it comes to guest service.  How many people have told you, “I am a people’s person?”  How many of you list that as a quality you posses on your resume?  How many businesses preach about their stance on guests service… ,”Satisfaction guaranteed”,  “We’re not happy until you’re happy”, or “”Our satisfaction rating is 95%!”  Well, Haggen MSC is no different.  We  share this with our guests in our Mission Statement, we talk about it amongst each other every day in our office, our kitchen, and on our events.   We are not happy with a mere 95% satisfaction rating, we’re not happy until you are ecstatic let alone simply satisfied, and not only is your satisfaction guaranteed, it is expected to be exceeded.

Ham Photos new 099

We practice what we preach.  Literally.

Just over a couple of weeks ago, the team of Haggen MSC spent some time at the Lairmont Manor reviewing just what it means to provide great service.   It was a beautiful day, it was Cinco de Mayo, and it was the nicest day in May that the NW has ever seen (well I think ever).    The best part…the entire team showed up.  Hows that for proving that you care about what you are doing?

 

Ham Photos new 101

Ham Photos new 102

The team has read training manuals, seen great service in action, and now has gathered together to bring a greater level of understanding to the perfect event.  From guest service on the floor, to great service at the bar, and don’t forget great service and respect to each other, we work hard to ensure that our every interaction is as perfect as we can make it.  We discussed the little things, the big important things, and of course Steve’s pet peeve, keeping everyone’s water glass full!

 

I always ask my future team members when interviewing them, “What is your favorite dining experience that you can remember, and what was your least favorite?”  Each time, the response is typically a result of the service they received and not the food, not the ambiance, or even the limitations of the menu.  Service IS king.  It’s just not a saying.  No matter what industry you are in, service can make or break a company.  You can have the best widget at the cheapest price, but if you can’t interact with your team and your clients with respect and a high level of guest service your business will eventually become obsolete.

“We believe that Market Street Catering’s success depends on our guests, and that we earn their business by striving to always exceed their expectations.
We promise to keep quality, service, integrity and reliability at the forefront of every guest interaction.
We commit to using fresh, regional and seasonal ingredients hand-crafted by trained culinarians for a high-quality, innovative food experience.
We promote a team environment that encourages learning, passion for quality food and service, and mutual respect.”  Market Street Catering Mission Statement

Providing amazing guest service in everything we do is not just something we say we do.  It is not some fluffy marketing statement that we want people to buy into.  It is not a not a just a standard in the industry.  GREAT service is something that we live, breathe, and in addition to great food, is what we feed each and every person that we interact with.  It is us.

 

Catering 101-Breaking the Stereotype

blank-black-chalkboard

 “It seemed too easy”

“That was painless”

Being immersed in this world of food and service, we often forget what a big deal the word “catering” is to those who have never experienced it or to those who’ve had unpleasant experience with it.  Some people imagine servers dressed in bow ties and white gloves poised with trays of appetizers. We see distinguished guests in formal wear. Television shows & movies portray “catering” as only for the elite and exclusive.  Or our understandings stem from the awfulness of catering gone horribly wrong. There are experiences of terrible food and horrible service that seem to wound people to the core. There are diverse levels of familiarity with the definition among us all. 

Merriam-Webster.com, describes this performance as—

Ca·ter (verb) \ˈkā-tər\ : to supply what is required or desired.

It expresses an act or state of being.  Catering is what we do.  It is who we are.  So why would we promise anything less than who we are?  We are artists and perfectionists.  We have master chefs crafting in the kitchen.  We have event staff positioning every chair and linen in its’ proper place.  We have organized planners in the office anticipating your every need and want. We have expert delivery drivers transporting merchandise to the Canadian Border and beyond with ease. 

This is what catering means to us—

“We promise to keep quality, service, integrity and reliability at the forefront of every guest interaction.

We commit to using fresh, regional and seasonal ingredients hand-crafted by trained culinarians for high-quality, innovative food experience.

We promote a team environment that encourages learning, passion for quality food and service, and mutual respect”

  Haggen Market Street Catering Mission Statement

Let me tell you a story…

…A priest, a Western Washington University student, and Susie walked into Sehome Village Haggen NW Fresh, all searching for something.

The priest was angling for some canned tuna, the student was hunting for Top Ramen, and Susie was a looking for a fruit platter.  The priest and student found what they were looking for.  Susie didn’t quite know where to discover answers.

She approached the service deli counter inquiring if they made fruit platters.  Nancy replied, “We have a great catering department right here in our store that makes awesome fruit platters, let me take you to their office.”

Nancy took Susie to the catering office and was greeted by event planners who showed Susie our On-The-Go Catering Menu.

As Susie gazed over the menu,  she saw so much more than a fruit platter, she remarked, “I never knew Haggen could offer so much.”

We want to change your interpretation of what grocery store catering is.  We want to introduce you to a whole new experience of what catering can be…something much more.

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”

– Adelle Davis

chef bryan
Did you know that behind Market Street Catering’s menus resides an Executive Chef who not only graduated from the Culinary Institute of America but trained in some of the most premier restaurants in San Fransisco and Seattle?

green beans

Haggen Northwest Fresh is not just a store philosophy, it is Catering’s as well. Whenever in season, we grab anything from green beans from Joe’s Garden just down the street to fresh fish from just out of Bellingham Bay. Market Street Catering IS Northwest Fresh.

fruit

Whether your needs for catering are just a small container of our homemade Lemon Feta Aioli, a fruit platter, or an elaborate event serving a custom plated menu for 600 people.

We strive to exceed expectations, don’t believe us?

                       It’s our mission statement.

 

rsvp’s – are you frustrated yet?

I don’t know about you but every time I try to plan a party, arrange a night out with a group of friends, or even if I’m just trying to find out how many are coming over to watch the big game I feel like I’d have better luck winning the lotto than I will have with people RSVPing. Sure I can call everyone, send out invitations, create a facebook event, or even use that cool service “e-vite”, but it never fails…people just don’t feel the need to RSVP anymore. I doubt this will ever change and I doubt anyone will find a way to make people RSVP. Do it, and you’re a sure win for the Nobel peace prize. Oh and even if you do get everyone to RSVP that doesn’t mean that they will actually show up. Things happen. Life happens. Airports happen. Kids get sick. Then there’s uncle Carl who wasn’t invited but found out from your future brother in law about the party and decided to come anyways.

Our advice? First off tell people, everyone you meet as a matter of fact, of the significance of RSVPing. Second, if things are tight enough that you need to know 100%, call people. Enlist the help of a couple friends. It’s the only sure fire way to know 100%. In general, for most events over 100 people we see around a 80% redemption rate. That may be lower if more of your guests are out-of-towners, or whether the event is in the middle of the week, or if there is a holiday within a couple days of the event. Regardless of the RSVP situation we recommend that you plan on 5% more than your anticipated guest count. Worse case scenario, you get to take some food home or if we cater for you we’ll take it by the Lighthouse Mission.

Next time you receive an invitation, I bet you will respond. 🙂

Happy Planning

p. 360.647.4325 | f. 360.647.4326 | 210 36th St., Bellingham, WA 98225 | catering@haggen.com