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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for August, 2009

TIP OF THE DAY: Low-Calorie Dips

Mix mustards, chutneys, pestos, and salsas with nonfat yogurt to create low-calorie, creamy dressings, dips and sauces. While condiments are great flavor-enhancers by themselves, transforming them into a creamy sauce adds versatility to your dishes. Using nonfat yogurt adds few calories compared with cream or sour cream. However, yogurt will separate when heated, so if you want a warm sauce, have the yogurt at room temperature and warm it ever-so-slightly. You can warm the mustard, chutney, pesto or salsa more easily, and then mix it with the yogurt.

  • See more yogurt recipes and reviews of our favorite artisan yogurts.

Comments

RECIPE: Spicy Peanut Butter Burger



burger-patty-230

A plump and juicy PB burger. Photo by Tanya F. | IST.

 

Put something different on the grill this Labor Day: a spicy peanut butter burger. Our recipe is courtesy of PB & Co., manufacturer of traditional and flavored all-natural peanut butter. For this recipe, they used “The Heat Is On,” their spicy PB, flavored with crushed red peppers, chili powder and a hint of vinegar. If you can’t pick up a jar, you can add these seasonings to your regular PB, to taste. You can use the recipe for beef, turkey or veggie burgers.

The PB adds richness and spice.If PB and burgers sounds strange to you, think of two classic dishes: chicken satay, with spicy peanut sauce (made with peanut butter); and a peanut butter and bacon sandwich.

  • Check out the recipe.
  • Make better burgers with our burger grilling tips.

  • Comments

    RECIPE: The Official Cocktail Of The U.S. Open



    The U.S. Open runs through September 13. It has an official cocktail, the Honey Deuce, created by sponsor Grey Goose Vodka. If you’re watching the Open today, mix up a Honey Deuce and toast along with the crowds at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows. You’ll save the $12 it costs at the Open, although you won’t get the souvenir cup.

    Here’s the Honey Deuce recipe; it makes one drink:

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 ounces Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Chambord or another premium raspberry liqueur
  • Lemonade (homemade is best)
  • 3-4 honeydew melon balls, frozen
  • Ice (crushed ice recommended)

  •  

    honey-deuce-cocktail-230

    Honey Deuce: the official cocktail of the 2009 U.S. Open Tennis Championships.

    Preparation

    1. Freeze melon balls: Place them in a the freezer in a single layer in a sealed plastic bag, for an hour or overnight.
    2. Fill a chilled Collins glass with ice. Add vodka, then pour in lemonade to half an inch below the rim.
    3. Sprinkle raspberry liqueur over the top of the ice, so it slowly trickles down.
    3. Garnish with melon balls, speared on a long cocktail pick if you wish.

  • Find more cocktail recipes in the Cocktails & Spirits Section of TheNibble.com.
  • Read the history of vodka.

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Watermelon Martinis

    Celebrate the end of summer with this delightful cocktail. Combine one part vodka (or citrus vodka) to 1-1/2 parts puréed watermelon. Shake the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint. You also can keep watermelon cubes in the freezer to purée or mix in a blender for a frozen-style drink. If you don’t have fresh watermelon, try a variation with 1 part vodka and 1/2 part DeKuyper Pucker Watermelon Schnapps—handy during the months when there’s no fresh watermelon to be had. When there is, you can use this recipe and add some crushed fresh watermelon.

  • See more cocktail recipes.
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Agave-Sweetened Ice Cream



    cherry-chocolate-chunk-230

    Cherry Chocolate Chunk gelato from Organic
    Nectars, a sugar-free trifeca for healthy
    eating. It’s organic, kosher and raw! Photo by
    Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Previously, people on sugar-restricted diets were limited in their choice of ice cream. But there are two premium products on the market that provide premium alternatives to artificially-flavored supermarket ice cream. Both are sweetened with agave.

    Agave Dream is a premium ice cream developed by two moms who wanted a better choice for their children. Organic Nectars is a vegan product made from cashew “milk”; it’s also raw, kosher and, as the name implies, organic. Both companies make sorbet or granita as well as ice cream. They’re a real find for people who are steering clear of sugar.

  • Start with an overview of agave: what it is and why it’s good for you. (For starters, it has about half the glycemic index of sugar and honey.)
  • Have a taste of Agave Dream ice cream and sorbet.
  • Dig into Organic Nectars vegan, raw gelato and granita, plus agave-sweetened dessert toppings.
  • Feel like full-sugar frozen treats? Check out our Ice Cream & Sorbet Section for more of our favorites.

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilling Tips

    Here’s a quick checklist: (1) Clean the grill properly. Always scrape the grill and rub it with oil to ensure that food won’t stick. (2) Pat the food dry before placing it on the grill, and don’t use a lot of oil. Food with excess moisture can cause the flames to smoke, and result in a burned taste. Smoke may look picturesque when food is cooking, but it’s not a good thing. (3) Similarly, rid meats of as much marinade as possible before placing them on the grill. (4) Don’t sprinkle fresh herbs on the cooking food—the fire will burn them. Instead, add them as an attractive garnish before serving. You can place herbs inside the cavity of a whole fish, or mix them into ground meat.

  • Want to make great barbecue? See tips from a barbecue expert.
  • Check out our roundup of the best barbecue sauces.

  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Cucina Fresca Pasta Sauces & Pasta



    Along with Sauces ‘n Love, this is our favorite brand of fresh pasta and pasta sauces—refrigeration required. We like the sauces better than the sauces at our local restaurants. Retailers and restaurateurs should hasten to taste them and consider if they’re offering the best they can to their customers. We like nothing better than making a great pasta sauce…but we can’t make any this good!

    With most marinaras, alas, the main characteristic is “red”—and worse, red with sugar thrown in to provide flavor that the other ingredients aren’t good enough to generate. With Cucina Fresca, lush tomatoes are joined by flavorful onions, fresh basil, garlic and oregano. It is a much-appreciated marinara. But there’s even more excitement with our favorites, the Basil Cream Sauce and the Tomato Vodka Sauce. The Basil Cream Sauce upon the Caramelized Pear And Gorgonzola Ravioli was simply heaven.

    If your retailer isn’t carrying this line, ask!

     

    basil-cream-230
    Make restaurant-quality (or better) pasta dishes. Photo courtesy of Cucina Fresca.

  • Read the full review of Cucina Fresca.
  • Find more of our favorite pasta sauces in THE NIBBLE’s Pasta Section.


  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Lamb Burgers

    If you love lamb and don’t serve lamb chops often enough (too expensive and/or not enough to eat), you can find the same wonderful lamb flavor in rare-cooked ground lamb. We make lamb burgers, which are delicious and can be seasoned in so many ways. We serve them plain with lettuce, tomato and onions, just like a regular burger. But we make them Greek-style, with chopped Kalamata olives, crumbled feta and a bit of dill mixed in. Or Indian-style, with curry, turmeric and ginger (plus optional onions, raisins and almonds). How about Asian-style with scallions, a drop of sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, with hoisin sauce and pickled ginger on the side instead of pickles and ketchup?

  • Check out these tips on making good burgers.
  • Find more lamb recipes.
  • See the different cuts of lamb in our Lamb Glossary.

  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Earth Balance PB & Almond Butter



    With the 2007 government proclamation that “trans fat is bad for you,” some people switched to smaller, natural peanut butter brands while big manufacturers reformulated their products. And some people who switched stayed there, because to the refined palate, natural peanut butter tastes better. It’s also made without preservatives, and with less (or no) sugar and salt.

    We’re big fans of Earth Balance Peanut Butter, made in creamy and crunchy varieties. The company also makes an equally delicious Almond Butter which we like even more. The products are certified OU kosher, and are gluten-free and vegan. Read more about them in the full review. You’ll also discover in detail the differences between traditional and natural PB.

  • Read reviews of more of our favorite PBs—and jams and jellies to go with them.
  •  

    pb-cracker-230

    A healthy snack: PB on a flaxseed cracker from Yaya’s Raw Rah. Photo by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.


    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Great On The Grill

    If you have an outdoor grill, you already know that there’s nothing better than a thick tuna or swordfish steak grilled rare over the coals. But they’re even better with a great relish or sauce. Check out the selection at your specialty foods store. We love Made In Napa Valley’s Roasted Corn with Red Bell Pepper Condiment. For meats, try the Roasted Portobella Tapenade.

  • See more of our favorite condiments.
  • Check out THE NIBBLE’s recommended Rubs, Marinades, Sauces & Glazes.
  • Comments

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