THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for January, 2011

TIP OF THE DAY: Correcting Too Much Salt

You’ve added too much salt. Now what?
Salt server available on We
use this one in THE NIBBLE test kitchen.

It’s happened to all of us: too much salt inadvertently added to a recipe, making it inedible. How can you salvage your dish?

  • With a liquid dish like soup, you can dilute it with more liquid (unsalted broth or water, for example)—essentially creating 125% of the amount of the original recipe. You can add more ingredients—or rice or noodles cooked without salt, plus herbs and nonsalt seasonings, to round out the dish.
  • A trick from our Nana: Cook some white rice without salt. Purée (use water as necessary to thin the purée) and add to the soup or stew as a salt-free thickener.
  • You can also try adjusting the recipe with cider vinegar and brown sugar. Both of these ingredients will add a complexity of seasoning, reducing the impact of the salt.
  • Similarly, a salty sauce can often be softened with the addition some cream or vinegar.
  • Since the opposite of salt is sugar, brown or white sugar (brown sugar adds more flavor), honey or agave nectar can help to diminish the saltiness in certain dishes.
  • If the dish is only moderately oversalted, toss in a peeled raw potato or two, quartered or in thick slices. Potato can help to absorb the extra salt. In the case of soup or stew, the potato can enhance the recipe. In a recipe like chili, you can remove the potato at the end of cooking, or present a new take on the dish.

Whichever technique you try (except for adding potatoes), use a bit at a time, tasting along the way.

And remember next time: the longer food cooks and reduces, the more the salt intensifies. Consider adding half the amount of salt and adjusting it at the end of cooking.

Do you have a favorite salt-minimizing technique?
Share it here!


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NEWS: Eat Your Berries For Health Benefits

Medical research continues to reveal that berries, which are high in antioxidants, may have profound impact on combating disease, increasing the quality of life and providing nutrition beyond basic sustenance.

Studies reveal that berries have a significant impact against the diseases of aging, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and age-related mental decline.

Aside from delicious flavor and few calories, there’s now another reason to eat more berries.

According to an article in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just one cup of strawberries or blueberries each week can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure—a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Both contain a large amount of anthocyanin, a group of red-blue plant pigments in the flavonoid family, and a powerful antioxidant. It may also help open blood vessels, which allows for smoother blood flow and lower risk for high blood pressure.

Berries and yogurt are a delicious and
very healthy breakfast, lunch or snack.
Photo courtesy

In a study of men and women that included a 14-year follow-up period, participants who consumed the highest amounts of anthocyanin from blueberries and strawberries had an 8% reduction in their risk for developing high blood pressure, compared to study participants who ate the least amount of these anthocyanin-rich berries.

While blackberries and raspberries were not part of this particular study, you can consider them similarly rich in anthocyanin.

The biennial Berry Health Benefits Symposium in June will reveal even more research.

So pick up some berries today, with this caveat: fresh berries don’t have a long shelf life. Consume them within three days, then buy more.

Or stock up on frozen berries, and sweeten them as needed with your favorite non-caloric sweetener or agave nectar.


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TIP OF THE DAY: Gremolata

Season your food with a pinch of gremolata,
a mixture of herbs and other seasonings.
Photo courtesy Aunt Nellie’s. Get the soup

Italy is known for its flavorful cuisine. One of the secrets is knowing how to use fresh herbs.

Gremolata (alternate spelling gremolada) is a lively fresh-chopped condiment that commonly includes parsley and/other green herbs, lemon zest and garlic.

It’s probably most familiar to Americans as the traditional accompaniment to osso bucco, a braised veal shank dish that’s a top-seller at Italian restaurants.

But it’s a great accent to many dishes. And because it’s so flavorful, you can cut back on salt.

Whether you’re serving meat (from lamb, pork or rib roast to veal and venison), poultry, pasta, potatoes and other vegetables (we love it with sautéed string beans), salad, risotto, soup or stew, a pinch of gremolata spices up any dish. The citrus note is perfect with white fish like cod and halibut to dark fish like mackerel (in fact, it’s great with any seafood). And it’s easy to make. Just chop and mix:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

You can add sea salt; but we prefer to serve salt separately so that people can use it or not.

There are many variations to a basic gremolata. Mint, other green herbs, anchovies or chopped hazelnuts can be included. If cilantro will pick up your dish, for example, make a cilantro gremolata.

The varieties are only limited by the imagination of the cook. Here are some pointers:

  • For more citrusy flavor, add lemon juice and orange zest.
  • Use grapefruit, lime or orange zest instead of the lemon zest.
  • Add or substitute mint for the parsley with lamb dishes.
  • Add grated horseradish for beef dishes.
  • Substitute capers for garlic and basil for parsley, and serve with smoked salmon.
  • Add to breadcrumbs.
  • Make a gremolata crust for fish (delish).
  • Use it in olive oil as a marinade.

Some sources say that gremolata is the Italian word for chopped or ground. We haven’t found it in the dictionary, but chalk it up to dialect.


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GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips

Super Bowl Sunday is February 6. If you win this week’s Gourmet Giveaway prize, you will be well prepared for a football party.

Two lucky winners will each receive two bags of every flavor of Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips, including:

  • Multigrain
  • Nacho Cheese
  • Olive & Caper
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Sea Salt & Lime

Made with all-natural ingredients, no preservatives and a selection of healthy ingredients like chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa and pumpkin, these chips taste as good as they sound. They’re also gluten-free, kosher and vegan. With a thick texture and unusual rectangle shape, Laurel Hill tortilla chips will have you dipping away.

Open the bag of Sea Salt & Lime tortilla chips
and you’ll smell the natural lime oil flavoring. Photography by Hannah Kaminsky | THE

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Gourmet Snacks Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. Approximate Retail Value Of Each Prize: $30.00. This contest closes on Monday, January 31st at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!


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TIP OF THE DAY: Make Creamy Dressing

Make creamy salad dressing by adding a
bit of cream to basic vinaigrette. Photo
courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

We’re always surprised that so many folks who cook their meals buy bottled dressing for the salad. Bottled dressing is expensive, and it’s so easy to make your own.

When we ask people why they just don’t whisk together 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 4 tablespoons olive oil, one often-heard response is that the family prefers creamy dressing.

Done! Just whisk together 1/2 part cream. It that’s not creamy enough, add more cream.

And don’t forget to season your vinaigrette with a pinch of salt and pepper, for starters. For more flavors, add:

  • A pinch of dry mustard
  • A half teaspoon of Dijon mustard (or other favorite mustard)
  • Minced garlic
  • A pinch of anchovy paste, hot chile paste, olive paste, pesto or tomato paste (we use Amore brand)
  • Your favorite herbs (we like minced dill, parsley and/or oregano but experiment with anything at hand, including horseradish)
  • Your favorite spices
Add anything else that sounds good to you. We’ve been enjoying Kalamata olive vinaigrette, adding a teaspoon of puréed Kalamata olives.

Share your tips for a creamy dressing.


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