THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for February, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Garnish Glamour

Add a little color to every dish you serve.

It can be green from fresh basil or other herbs. Or brighten up the plate with red and yellow accents from halved cherry or grape tomatoes or rings of bell peppers.

In the doldrums of winter, or when you have nothing fresh in the house, take roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes from the jar. If you like things hot, keep some cans of chile peppers.

For sweet dishes, a couple of red berries make a world of difference. Buy them fresh in season, or keep a bag of whole frozen berries in the freezer.

A plain plate of food is instantly more appealing with the color—and the color tastes great and adds few calories, to boot!

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Some raspberries and a sprig of mint turn a
plain brownie into something glamorous.
Photograph by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

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PRODUCT: Beanitos Bean Chips

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Enjoy a healthy crunch. Photo by Hannah
Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

Perhaps you converted from potato chips to tortilla chips in the interest of better nutrition. And you went from fried chips to baked chips.

Now, you can go one step further with Beanitos—two flavors of bean chips with more protein, Omega 3s and fiber. And they’re low glycemic, which potato and corn chips can’t claim. Beanitos have a GI of 33 and a GL of 3.

The healthy new snack chips are made from beans and whole grain rice. They have all the crunch of corn chips and an intriguing, balanced flavor.

Beanitos, available in Black Bean and Pinto Bean & Flax, are delicious as a snack chip or served alongside light meals—salads, soup, sandwiches—or with dips.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Pairing Fine Cheddar

Americans tend to pair Cheddars with apples and grapes. That’s OK with supermarket Cheddars. But farmstead Cheddars—artisan Cheddars—are complex, full-flavored cheeses that go well with a wide range of accompaniments.

  • Try figs and dates or mostarda—glazed fruits in a mustard sauce.
  • In summer months, Cheddar with a sliced vine-ripened tomato (sprinkled with sea salt), celery stalks and crusty bread make a delicious light lunch.
  • Or, combine Cheddar with prosciutto, fruit chutney and fennel sticks, along with crusty farmhouse bread or raisin bread.
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    What to drink? Try Cheddar with an India Pale Ale (lots of hops complement the flavor) or a Ruby Port.

    Some of our favorite farmhouse Cheddars:

  • Beehive Cheese Company, in Utah, makes Barely Buzzed Cheddar rubbed with ground coffee beans. This award winner is dynamite for coffee lovers.
  • California’s Fiscalini Farmstead makes a Bandage Wrapped Cheddar that has racked up awards since its inception. The company also combines Cheddar and Parmesan in its San Joaquin Gold.
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    CHEDDAR FOR DESSERT

     

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    Fiscalini Farmstead’s Bandage-Wrapped Cheddar. Photo by Brian Van Sise | THE NIBBLE.

     
    Cheddar with fruits and nuts has long been popular. A wedge of cheddar has long been popular with apple pie.

    But how about some Cheddar ice cream—great with apple pie? It’s terrific!
     
    TAKE A LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF CHEDDAR CHEESE.

      

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    CULINARY EDUCATION: Great Classes At Institute For Culinary Education

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    Mad about macaroons? Learn how to make
    thesefab confections at ICE. Photo of Mad Mac
    Macaroons
    , a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week,
    by Claire Freiermann | THE NIBBLE.

    Are you in greater New York? Are you planning a trip?

    If so, in-between the shows, restaurants and shopping, plan to take one of the culinary courses available through the Institute of Culinary Education.

    ICE’s Recreational Division (i.e., you’re not enrolled in a professional program to become a chef), has terrific opportunities. You can take a short, intensive “immersion” class in:

    • CULINARY TECHNIQUE: Basic Sushi, Food Technology for the Home Cook, Handmade Pasta, Pizza, Tapas, Spices and more
    • BEVERAGE COURSES: Coffee Expert: From Plant to Cup, Food & Wine Pairing, Green Wines High-Tech Cocktails, Tea Tasting and more
    • PASTRY & BREAD COURSES: Bagels, Baguettes, Breakfast Breads, Chocolate Desserts, Classic Croissants Cream Puffs/Eclairs, Doughnuts/Fritters, Italian Pastries, Madeleines & Macaroons, Parisian Breads, Tarts & more

     

    We’ve taken great courses there and in the process, have tasted the breads (including croissants) made by baking students. They’re the best in town, so your recipes will be the envy of all your friends.

    You can give a gift certificate, too. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day on the horizon, how about bonding with your parent while making croissants, pasta or high-tech cocktails?

    Coffee connoisseurs: Check out the two-day intensive seminar created for devoted coffee lovers and industry professionals, students will dissect every detail that goes into crafting a superior brew.

    For more information, visit the ICE Website.

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    ENTERTAINING: “Best Picture” Oscar Cocktails

    Still pondering how to make your Oscar party a standout?

    The Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort has an easy solution. Their mixologists developed cocktails in honor of the Best Picture nominees, styled to complement the theme of the film.

    The cocktails are very easy to make, leaving you all the time you need to focus on the Academy Awards.

    It’s no surprise that the aqua-blue cocktail in the photo is for Avatar. But you won’t want to miss the Inglourious Jager Monster or the Hurt Locker Cherry Bomb, either.

    • See all of the cocktail recipes.
    • Or if you’re in the Chicago area, just hang out at the Indian Lakes Resort on Oscar night.

     

    Find many more cocktail ideas in our Cocktails & Spirits Section.

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    Avatar fans can show their support with this
    colorful cocktail. Photo by Ivan Mateev | IST.

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