Your New Favorite Hot Sauce

By Liz Strauss
on February 05, 2021

Your New Favorite Hot Sauce

Interested in boosting your meals with some added flavor and spice?
Look no further! We have just what you’re looking for and it all starts with Philbur’s Hot Sauce.
Flash back to 2016 in Portsmouth, NH when the Stratos family was serving the city’s bar-crowd with some of their favorite recipes, including pulled pork and pulled chicken tacos. The food cart, known as Philbur’s, featured hot sauces, to add to their tacos. Over time, customers continuously inquired where exactly they can get these uniquely flavored hot sauces, and, with such a high demand, the family pivoted to bottling and selling the hot sauces themselves.
Philbur's Hot Sauce
After months of providing numbered samples to friends, family, and local Chef’s, they found their initial winners: sauces No. 6 and No. 10.  We spoke with Phil Stratos, the face of Philbur’s family business, about the naming process and what exactly these numbers mean. “The samples were numbered so we could keep track of them, and the samples people liked the most were No. 6 and No. 10. We were fully intending to have a name for them,” he said. “We were sitting out on our deck one afternoon, as we’re getting close to our first bottling talking about the potential names, when my son said, ‘Let’s just call it No. 6 and No. 10.’” The whole point was to remain different, yet classic, which is easily represented in their simply designed bottles and labels.
“We wanted the sauce to speak for itself, not the marketing,” Phil said.
Philbur’s is also well known for their products’ consistency.
“We’ve had people in the cooking world who’ve said that they’re very impressed with the consistency of the product. Every time they get the product it is the same each time,” he says.
Philbur's Hot Sauce
In terms of what gives the sauces their own character, each one was made to compliment the foods you use them on. They’re about enhancing your meals, adding a bit of sweetness, heat, and fresh herbs all at once.

Let’s get into each one, shall we?

No. 6 – With a sweet roasted pepper base, jalapeno, habanero, and fresh herbs, the No. 6 is a very mild option. As Phil says, “For people who don’t normally use hot sauces, they can now say they do.” 
No. 10 – Having the same flavor profile as the No. 6, the No. 10 has some added ghost pepper. Just as the No. 6, the heat briefly hits the back of the throat, while avoiding the lips and tongue for the most part.
No. 14 – Created more recently in March of 2020, the No. 14 is the No. 10 with some added scorpion pepper, the second hottest pepper in the world. Sound intimidating? Think again! Phil ensures that “…it’s got a pretty good punch, but it doesn’t continue to build and goes away fairly quickly.”

What kinds of foods can you use them on, you may ask?

Simply put – everything! However, if you’re looking for some ideas to get started, he suggests using it on eggs, stirred into mac and cheese, on any kind of chicken, added to soups, mixed in rice, included in sandwiches, and even on top of pizza. Feel free to also check out these recipes on Philbur’s website.
“It’s not proprietary, it doesn’t take over the food,” Phil reminds us.
Philbur's Hot Sauce

What's next for Philbur's?

Philbur’s is easily a kitchen necessity. In fact, they’re looking to create single serving packets of the hot sauces for more people to give them a try at places like to-go restaurants. He's also thrilled to announce some merchandise coming out in the near future, as well as some other sauces, such as a sweet and tangy barbeque, a habanero mango, a dry rub, and a bourbon barrel fermented hot sauce using the No. 10 and No. 14.
So, you might be wondering, which one is the family favorite? Phil defaults to No. 10 as his everyday sauce but loves to use No. 14 on various foods like chicken wings and tenders. Yet, what he loves more is hearing people enjoy the small, local product that him and his family make.
(This is your cue to try a bottle for yourself! *wink, wink*)
Come on by and let us know what you think. We’d also love to hear in the comments your go-to sauce, as well as what you like to use it on.
What are you waiting for? Get tastin’!



Photography by Maggie Griffin (unless otherwise noted)

Get Your Hamama Grow Kit!

By Liz Strauss
on January 08, 2021

Get Your Hamama Grow Kit!

We’re kickstarting this year with a fresh new stock of Hamama Grow Kits,
a convenient and simple way to incorporate microgreens
(aka more nutrients and flavor) into your daily routine.
Hamama Grow Kit
via Hamama
Hamama began with the idea that everyone should have the ability to grow vegetables at home, regardless of where home is for them. Co-founders, Camille and Daniel, saw a healthy future for everyone, and it all starts with their Grow Kits and Seed Quilts that can live right in your kitchen.
We’re all about healthy food and lifestyles here at Port Plums, making this by far one of our favorite products. What better way to tackle those healthy new year’s resolutions than by growing your ingredients at home and including them in every one of your meals? Your taste buds will thank you later!
Hamama Grow Kit
via Hamama
It all starts with their Starter Kit which includes a reusable grow tray, instructions, and 3 seed quilts. What happens when you go through your seed quilts? We got you covered. Come by and pick up your microgreen refills. Choose between Energizing Kale, Fragrant Fenugreek, Hearty Broccoli,
Super Salad Mix, and more.
Switching to a healthier lifestyle just got that much easier!

Testimonials:

"I searched everywhere for a grow kit like this that would match my needs,
offer a variety of greens, and fit nicely in my kitchen. When I came across Hamama, no other kit could compare! It's been incredibly easy to incorporate these ingredients into my daily routine. Most of the options are even organic which I love. We're also working on getting the ceramic grow tray, so we're thrilled to see that in stock soon!"
-Karen, Co-owner of Port Plums

"This has been one of my favorite additions to my kitchen.
I can't remember life without it! I'm a huge advocate for growing some of my own food, so this has been an essential for me."
- Customer of Port Plums
Images via Hamama

Soup of the Season

By Liz Strauss
on November 20, 2020

Soup of the Season

Imagine the ultimate soup of the season, stocked with vegetables, rich flavor, and our favorite, EVOO. Stay warm and cozy with this Soupe au Pistou recipe, perfect for the cooler evenings with your family!

Soupe au Pistou

Recipe and photography by Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

Ingredients

8 oz dried pinto beans

kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 medium head of garlic, top 1/3 of head cut off and discarded, plus 5 medium garlic cloves smashed and peeled

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 oz fresh basil

1 oz parmesan, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (we'd recommend either our Arbosana or Hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil!)

2 tablespoons pine nuts

4 oz small pasta, such as elbows

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 small zucchini, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces 

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the beans with 8 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir, then let soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

Drain the beans and add them to a large pot along with the tomatoes, leek, garlic head, bay, thyme and 9 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat to maintain a simmer, until the beans are tender, 45-55 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the basil, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic cloves, pine nuts and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until the mixture has a spreadable consistency, 30 to 60 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Transfer the pistou to a small bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium, head the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering, Add the pasta and cook, stirring often, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To the beams, add the carrot, 4 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are barely tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the toasted pasta and zucchini, then continue to cook until the pasta and zucchini are tender, 6 to 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay. Using tongs, remove the garlic head from the pot and squeeze the base of the head to release the cloves into the pot. Using the tongs, gently squeeze any tomatoes that are still whole so they burst. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Swirl 1 tablespoon of pistou into each, serve with remaining pistou on the side.

Recipe and photography courtesy of Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

Apple Spiced Hot Toddy Recipe

By Liz Strauss
on September 18, 2020

Apple Spiced Hot Toddy Recipe

With our favorite holiday season right around the corner, we're preparing with this warm and cozy Apple Spiced Hot Toddy recipe! The combination of honey, cinnamon, brandy and our Mulled Cider Whole Fruit Vinegar creates the perfect fall evening.

Apple Spiced Hot Toddy Recipe

Recipe courtesy of The Olive Oil & Vinegar Lover's Cookbook by Emily Lycopolus

Ingredients

2 tsp honey
1 shot brandy
1 cinnamon stick
Apple Spiced Hot Toddy Recipe

Directions

Pour the honey, vinegar, and brandy in a large mug. Stir and combine ingredients. Top with almost boiling water and stir again to ensure the honey is melted. Add the cinnamon stick.

Giving this recipe a try? Enjoy a kickstart to cozy weather with 20% off all sizes of our Mulled Cider!

"Cooking Is A Way Into Mindfulness"

By Liz Strauss
on August 10, 2020

"Cooking Is A Way Into Mindfulness"

One thing we here at Port Plums are passionate about is cooking and the top-notch, authentic ingredients that build the true experience behind a meal. That’s why we partner with artisanal vendors that provide us with high quality and nurturing foods, such as Fork on a Road.

Fork on a Road

Fork on a Road was founded on the basis of eating local, fresh, and in season. “What happens when you do that is you’re buying something hyperlocal that is growing right around you and is seasonal…which means the food’s ability to nourish you is at its peak,” explains Suman Shah, founder of Fork on a Road. 

Suman Shah Fork on a Road

Suman Shah, Founder

Suman curates a unique selection of spice blends and meal kits that work together to bring the ultimate flavors to your taste buds. Some of her meal kits include the Five Lentil Dal and the Stone Fruit & Heirloom Tomato Tabouli. Examples of some of her spices are the turmeric blend called Grandma’s Gold, and the Chai Masala.

After hosting live cooking demos at farmers' markets and teaching cooking classes for a few years, her business quickly began to develop, as a high demand for her spice blends grew. Now, she hosts various cooking classes, offers an assortment of recipes that utilize her spices, and an online store to get an inside look at what’s included in her spice packs. Her spices are also featured in recipes such as one for Rhubarb Vinegar Chicken and Seared Scallops with Garam Masala Creamed Corn, both by Chef Jody Adams.

Five Lentil Dal

Five Lentil Dal with Greens

Cannellini Beans with Fennel & Basil

Cannellini Beans with Fennel & Basil

Whether she’s hosting a cooking class or selling her spices at a farmers market, the most exciting part of the job for Suman is showcasing what the local farmers are harvesting, and for good reason. “The food is so beautiful and so delicious, nutritious, fresh and vibrant,” she explains. When discussing her passion for cooking, she advocates for the mindfulness that comes along with it: “When you’re present and really doing it with love, that shines through when you present the final product.” 

Suman is now offering online cooking classes and is excited to announce there may be some new blends that will be coming in right before the holidays.
We don’t know about you, but we’ll sure be keeping an eye out!

Need some inspiration on where to start off? At Port Plums we offer one of Suman’s go-to spice blends, the Garam Masala, as well as a few of her meal kits that make your meals just that much tastier and easier to cook. The collection we offer will change and grow with the seasons. Be sure to try them out for yourself and hear your taste-buds ask for more!

Photos via Fork on a Road

Fishaye Trading Company

By Liz Strauss
on August 05, 2020

Fishaye Trading Company

Based out of Natick, MA, Fishaye Trading Company prepares wall art and various home goods that feature a unique art form known as Gyotaku. John F. Doherty, the artist and owner, puts his love of fishing to use as you’ve never seen before.

Fishaye Trading Company

via Fishaye Trading Company

Fishaye Trading Company

Nautical Driftwood Trays

Pronounced “Gyo (fish) -Taku (imaging)”, the process originates in Japan and dates back to the early 1800s. Initially used as a way for fishermen to record their catches, Gyotaku soon generated a following of those pleased by the prints’ visuals, including Doherty himself.
“I was taking fish off the deck of my boat and one of them had bled out of the gills. When I lifted it up there was an imprint of the fish,” Doherty told us.
“It was perfect!”

Fishaye Trading Company Fishaye Trading Company

via Fishaye Trading Company

As time passed, the artist found himself printing his self-caught fish onto products such as canvases, bowls, placemats, trays, and more to sell to his community and retailers, including here at Port Plums.
FishAye was one of the first company's carried at our store when we first opened, and the products continue to be well loved and admired by
our customers and staff alike.

Fishaye Trading Company Fishaye Trading Company

Nautical Vinyl Placemats (Top), Melamine Nautical Serving Trays (Bottom)

From going out and catching the fish, to selecting the paint, and actually eating the fish afterward, the authenticity behind the process brings life to each product.
He even marks each product with a Chinese character to correlate them with a mood unique to the day that fish was caught. “I thought those would be pretty cool because the whole process started in that part of the world,” he recalled when describing a previous boating trip he had taken around the world with his wife.
“If I caught a fish at night, I could use the character for ‘moon’.
Or, if the fish put up a really good fight, maybe I use ‘spirit.’”

The care behind each print make you appreciate the work just as much, which is why we’re proud to offer Doherty’s artwork here in-store and online!

Fishaye Trading Company

Whether it be for a friend, loved one, or even yourself, the exclusive artwork makes a meaningful gift for those who truly appreciate coastal living.
Come by our store and see his selection of trays and placemats for yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Maggie Griffin (unless otherwise noted)

A Unique Take on Avocado Toast

By Liz Strauss
on July 13, 2020

A Unique Take on Avocado Toast

Avocado toast tends to be a crowd favorite, which is why we're here to recommend this unique take on such a dish. By adding in a few extra flavors, including that of one of our robust extra virgin olives, you'll have a new special place in your heart for avocado toast (and our olive oil!).
Avocado Toast Ingredients

Avocado Toast with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Avocado Toast

Yields: 1

Ingredients

1 avocado
2 slices of bread of choice
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice
Finely chopped cilantro or parsley

Instructions

Slice the avocado in half and remove the seed.

Toast your bread of choice to your desired taste.

Lightly rub the surface of toast with the cut-side of the garlic clove.

Fork the avocado onto the toast's surface and mush until evenly spread.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Squeeze a bit of lemon juice, drizzle some olive oil, and top with cilantro or parsley.

Serve immediately.

Avocado Toast

Not only do we highly recommend putting this unique spin on your avocado toast, but also giving our other recipes a try that utilize our high-quality olive oils.
The options are limitless. Give us a visit to give our olive oils a taste!

 

Editor's Note:
Have an extra half of avocado that you're not quite ready to use yet?
Try these Food Huggers, a silicone cover that can keep that avocado
fresh and ready to eat!

Recipe courtesy of Spend with Pennies

Photos by Liz Strauss

The Ultimate 4th of July Recipe

By Liz Strauss
on July 01, 2020

The Ultimate 4th of July Recipe

The 4th of July is quickly approaching and we can’t wait to show you this Blueberry Tomato Caprese recipe courtesy of Freutcake. With the combination of red, white, and blue ingredients, as well as our robust extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, this makes a perfect, last-minute addition to your celebration this weekend.

Blueberry Tomato Caprese

Blueberry Tomato CapreseBlueberry Tomato Caprese Dressing
Blueberry Tomato Caprese Ingredients
Yield: 4 

Ingredients

1 pint blueberries
2 pints cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil
Either our Blueberry, Lavender, or Italian Fig balsamic vinegar
Any of our Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Salt and pepper
Mozzarella cheese
Blueberry Tomato Caprese Ingredients
Robust Olive Oil

Instructions

Rinse blueberries and cherry tomatoes and drain. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and toss in a servings bowl along with the blueberries. Set aside.
Slice mozzarella cheese into ¼ or ½ inch slices and cut into the desired shape. Star shapes are strongly encouraged!
Top the tomatoes and blueberries with the cheese.
Tear fresh basil over-top and drizzle one of our robust extra virgin olive oils and either our Blueberry, Lavender, or Italian Fig Balsamic Vinegars on top.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Blueberry Tomato Caprese
Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? With our irresistible selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, the dressing options for this recipe are endless. Come take a look at our options in-store or place an order online for curbside pickup!
Photos by Liz Strauss

How to Macerate Fruit in Balsamic Vinegar

By Katie Shernan
on May 30, 2020

How to Macerate Fruit in Balsamic Vinegar

How to Macerate Fruit in Balsamic Vinegar

With just a few simple steps, fresh fruit is turned into a flavorful, saucy, sophisticated treat. Macerated fruit makes for a wonderful treat on its own, and even better when served with yogurt, ice cream, pound cake, crumbled biscotti and more. Easily control the sugar content to your taste or dietary needs.

 

A Few Suggestion Flavor Combinations: 

Strawberries – Chocolate di Torino, Tuscan Strawberry, Sicilian Lemon

Nectarines – Honeybell Orange, Raspberry, Peach

Mixed Berries – Cranberry Pear, Vanilla, Estilo Affinato

 

Here’s the gist:

  1. Pick some fresh fruit. Sliced strawberries are a popular for maceration but blueberries, blackberries, nectarines, peaches, cherries, and rhubarb are also great choices!
  2. Cut fruit into bite sized pieces. Sliced fruit will absorb the flavors of the maceration liquid better than intact fruit. Consider mashing a bit of fruit into your maceration liquid – especially if you are using berries exclusively.
  3. Choose your macerating liquid. Essentially, you are looking apply acid and sugar to the fruit in order to develop (soften) its texture and enhance flavor. Fruit liquors or even lemon juice and sugar may be used here but we love to use balsamic vinegar! Dark balsamic will provide a deeper, more syrupy flavor while white balsamics add a brighter, tangier flavor. You may choose to add some additional sugar, honey, or other sweetener but that is subject to taste.
  4. (Optional) Seasoning – Fresh herbs, black peppercorns, and bright citrus zest are just of a few of the many additional seasonings you can use the flavor your fruit if desired. But feel free to keep it simple and omit this extra step - the fruit will be delicious on its own!
  5. Steep Your Fruit. Allow the fruit to steep in the macerating liquid for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Macerating time will vary depending on the fruit you choose and its ripeness as well as your desired final texture. Softer/very ripe fruit will break down faster to create a soupier final product. For a firmer texture, choose firmer fruit and use a shorter steep time.

 

For more information on the science behind this process, check out: The Science of Maceration

 

Recipes

You do not need a recipe to make macerated fruit! Trust your taste buds and do a little experimentation. But here are a few recipes to serve as examples 😊

Yogurt Cups with Balsamic Macerated Strawberries

Balsamic Macerated Berries and Fruit

Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries and Marscapone Cream

Plum Cobbler Cake

By Katie Shernan
on May 13, 2020

Plum Cobbler Cake

Plum Cobbler Cake

Adapted from Original Plum Torte, originally published in the New York Times

 

This recipe is one of our new favorites! The texture of the cake is almost biscuit-like - similar to the top of a cobbler without the soggy bottom. Consider topping it with pecans or sliced almonds.

We reduced the sugar in this recipe (using the lesser ¾ cup from the recommended ¾ to 1 cup sugar) and skipped the sugary topping from the original recipe – opting instead to maintain a crispy, chewy edge. 

In the image shown, we mini versions of this cake using 5" spring form pans and a loaf pan with a parchment sling. Next, we’ll try this recipe with peaches and apples – especially this fall when we can get local and in-season fruit! It keeps well for 2-3 days on the counter wrapped in plastic or other food wrap, or for several months in the freezer.

 

1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

 

3/4 cup sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup unbleached flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

3-6 plums, cut into eighths (or quarters if small)

pecans or sliced almonds for topping (optional)

 

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  3. Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 Place the plum slices on top of the batter.
  4. Bake approximately 1 hour. Remove and cool, refrigerate or freeze if desired. Serve at room temperature.

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From the Blog

Your New Favorite Hot Sauce

Your New Favorite Hot Sauce

February 05, 2021

Interested in boosting your meals with some added flavor and spice? Look no further! We have just what you’re looking...

Read more →

Get Your Hamama Grow Kit!

Get Your Hamama Grow Kit!

January 08, 2021

We’re kickstarting this year with a fresh new stock of Hamama Grow Kits, a convenient and simple way to incorporate...

Read more →