THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for August 21, 2009

RECIPES: Grape Expectations

Summer is the season for juicy California grapes. Here are three recipes that promise to be popular with your friends and family this weekend:

 

We bet you’ll relish them all!

black-grape-margarita-230

It’s time for your first Frozen Black Grape
Margarita! Photo courtesy California Table Grape Commission.

 

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TIP OF THE DAY #2: Garnish Food With Dessert Picks

 

We’re talking about repurposing the cocktail picks used for skewering olives, also known as fruit picks and party picks. We use them to stack berries and grapes to garnish a dessert. Embellish cakes, ice cream, puddings…you can stand a pick vertically in a cupcake or add one to the saucer of a cup of tea or coffee. Make savory garnishes, too: The olives and onions that garnish a cocktail can also garnish main courses and salads. Also think gherkins and mini vegetable kebabs. Picks are creative hostess gifts—just choose generic designs so you won’t be skewering your grapes with ceramic olives or raspberries.

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NEW PRODUCT: Oregon Dukkah ~ Dip Like An Egyptian!


Dip the bread in some olive oil, then in the
dukkah. And don’t forget the wine! Photo
by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.
Dukkah is a versatile Egyptian dry seasoning mixture of chopped nuts or chickpeas, plus a variety of flavorful seeds, spices and herbs. In the old days, the ingredients were ground together in a pestle; today, they can be pulsed in a food processor. Dukkah is an extremely popular snack in the culinary melting pot of New Zealand, where it’s a perfect snack pairing with the local wines. Cut up some bread, put some olive oil in a dish next to a dish of dukkah, dip the bread into both, and that’s your snack.

Dukkah can also season many different types of foods as a sprinkle, mix-in or crust. While food trend predictors have cited dukkah as a top new U.S. food flavor for the last couple of years, it hasn’t hit home yet. Let’s hope that Americans, hungry for something new and affordable, will take it to heart and table. Be the first in your neighborhood to discover dukkah; mix some up this weekend and invite the gang to bring the wine.

  • Read our article on Oregon Dukkah, a pioneering U.S. dukkah brand, along with the history of dukkah, a recipe to make your own and a dozen recipes from Oregon Dukkah that show how to use dukkah in main and side dishes.
  • Continue to spice things up by visiting THE NIBBLE’s Salts & Seasonings Section.
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Truffle Honey

    September is National Honey Month. Honey and truffles are a match made in heaven: A jar of good truffle-infused honey is a true pleasure. The earthy truffle melts into the rich sweetness of the honey. Serve it with hunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and crusty bread for dessert, with fresh strawberries or over vanilla, coffee or strawberry ice cream (you can add chopped hazelnuts as a topper). For an hors d’oeuvre, drizzle truffle honey over crostini that have been spread with a triple-crème cheese, or pair it with salty foods like prosciutto. You can also use truffle honey to caramelize chicken or duck skin. Any honey can be infused with truffles (or truffle flavor), but generally a mild honey is used, so the flavor of the truffles shines through.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Enlist The Kids

    Involve the kids in meal planning. Let them pick out dishes that appeal to them, and develop their interest in cooking and entertaining. Younger children can be offered simple choices—should we have A or B, and which side dishes. Older children can browse through cookbooks—check out Rachel Ray’s 30-Minute Meals For Kids. Discuss dishes with kids at the table: how they like this sauce or spice or food pairing compared or cooking technique compared to others, what foods they might be interested in trying. The next step is to identify regular dishes they may enjoy taking charge of—salads, perhaps, and prepping other ingredients. Check to see if there is a kids’ cooking class in your town. Involving kids in food preparation and teaching basic cooking skills teaches the joy of cooking, lets the kids help out the family in an important way, impresses their friends and ensures that when your children leave home, they know how to do more than order take-out.

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