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Archive for July, 2012

RECIPE: Spicy Veggie Burger

The Carla Burger from chef Carla Hall: a black bean burger with peach salsa. Photo courtesy MorningStar Farms.

 

We love a good spicy veggie burger. Morningstar Farms makes one Southwestern style, from black beans, corn, tomatoes, bulgur, brown rice and jalapeños (among other ingredients).

We often top our burgers with salsa for added spice. But MorningStar’s consulting chef Carla Hall came up with a version—peach pico de gallo—using this season’s sweet peaches, with spicy chiles and tangy lime juice—an easy-to-make burger topping.

You’ll only need about a third of the recipe to top the burgers. Serve the remainder as a dip with tortilla chips or thin jicama slices…or the next day with another burger.

THE CARLA BURGER RECIPE

Prep Time: 25
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Yield: 4 sandwiches; 4 servings (1 serving =
1 sandwich)

 

Ingredients: Peach Pico de Gallo

  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium peaches, pitted, peeled and finely chopped, or 1-1/4 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices, thawed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  •  
    Ingredients: Burgers

  • 4 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers or substitute
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
  • Lime wedges
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE PICO DE GALLO. In medium bowl combine tomatoes, peaches, onion, cup cilantro, chile peppers, lime juice, sugar, salt and garlic. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

    2. PREPARE GRILL. Meanwhile, spray grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

    3. GRILL BURGERS. Grill veggie burgers directly over medium-high heat about 6 minutes or until burgers reach internal temperature of 165°F and grill marks form on both sides, turning once.

    4. ADD AVOCADO & CHEESE. Top burgers with avocado slices and the 1/4 cup cilantro. Sprinkle with cheese. Grill about 2 minutes more or until cheese melts.

     

    Look for the green box. Photo courtesy Morningstar.

     

    5. SERVE. Move burgers to buns. Top each burger with about 1/4 cup peach pico de gallo. Place lime wedges alongside of sandwiches on serving plates.
     
    GRILLING TIPS FROM CHEF CARLA HALL

    1. NONSTICK SPRAY. Spray some non-stick cooking spray on the grilling surface before turning up the heat. It makes flipping your food easier than ever.

    2. SALAD TOPPERS. Think outside the bowl! Take your salad out of the bowl and use it to top your grilled burgers. Whether it’s a slaw or Caprese Salad, consider this the adult-version of playing with your food.

    3. GRILL EVERY COURSE. Use the grill to take advantage of summer’s wide produce selection. Marinate fresh vegetables in a light salad dressing and grill until tender for a tasty side dish. After the meal, add slices of angel food cake and stone fruit or pineapple to the grill for an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Re-Crisp Soggy Crackers

    As crisp as they begin, crackers will attract
    moisture over time and get soggy. But you
    can easily re-crisp them. Photo courtesy
    Effie’s.

     

    There’s no need to throw away soggy crackers. We were disappointed when a new canister proved not to be airtight, and our open package of WASA Crispbread had lost its crunch.

    But we soon found a solution:

    1. Put the crackers in the microwave on a paper towel. Don’t overlap.

    2. Microwave them for 40 seconds on medium/high.

    3. Allow the crackers to cool for 3-5 minutes. They will crisp up as they cool down.

    Crunch away!
     
    Find more of our favorite biscuits and crackers.

     

     
      

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    PRODUCT: Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones

    We’ve been enjoying more than a few ice cream cones this month, National Ice Cream Month.

    But what if you have gluten sensitivities. Where’s your cone?

    Goldbaum’s, a natural food company based in Brooklyn, New York, is at the ready with two different cones that crunch as nicely as the “real thing.”

    In the shape of waffle/cake cones, their texture is more like the lighter style wafer/cake cones (here’s the difference between the two types).

    So what’s in a gluten-free cone? Instead of wheat, there’s a mix of potato starch and tapioca starch, plus other ingredients including sugar, salt and vanilla.

    The gluten-free cones don’t have the flavor of wheat-based cones, but when ice cream is added, you won’t notice the difference—you’ll just enjoy the crunch.

    The regular Goldbaum’s cones have just 11 calories apiece, so they’re a boon for calorie counters as well. The sugar cones have 41 calories, are an inch or so taller, and weigh in at 41 calories. Conventional ice cream cones have up to 20% more calories.

    The line is certified kosher by OU. Find out more at Goldbaums.com.

     

    Gluten-free fun. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Ice cream was invented many centuries before the ice cream cone. Check out the history of ice cream cones.

      

     

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Yanni Grilling Cheese

    Yanni cheese doesn’t melt when grilled or
    fried: It just becomes soft and luscious.
    Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    If you’re trying to cut back on cheese, don’t buy Yanni Grilling Cheese from Karoun Dairies. It’s addictive, and you’ll be back at the store the next day to buy more—much more.

    This oh-so-delicious comfort food can be baked, grilled, microwaved or pan-fried. It’s made for grilling without melting.

    Karoun makes original and jalapeño flavors. The jalapeño is only mildly spicy and provides an excellent counterpoint to the creamy cheese. In fact, we find ourselves adding a pinch of crushed chili flakes to the original variety.

    You won’t run out of ways to serve yanni, from appetizers and salads to burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Check out the full review, which includes our favorite uses, this week’s recipe and cooking video on how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

    Prepare to discover a new favorite comfort food.

    Find more of our favorite cheese reviews and recipes.
     

     

     
      

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    PRODUCT: Beer Flats Artisan Crackers

    Daelia’s Food Company caught our eye a few years ago with its line of artisan biscuits for cheese. They’re based on an old Mediterranean recipe, twice baked in small batches to create very crisp, three-inch-long flats. The sweet and toasty nut flavors—including Almond with Raisins, Hazelnut with Fig and Pumpkin Seed—go with all types of cheese.

    The company has recently released a new cracker creation, whole grain Beer Flats. They’re a thick, strong, macho cracker with great flavor. We enjoy them so much, we don’t need any cheese. We devour them from the box as a crisp snack, and serve them with soups and salads.

  • The lighter-colored Pilsner Cracker is made with light rye flour and pilsner beer. The flavor is reminiscent of a buttery biscuit—only crunchy!
  • The darker Porter Cracker is made with dark rye flour, caraway seeds and porter, with inspired touches of cocoa and molasses. It has the delicious flavor of pumpernickel. We enjoyed it equally with mild, fresh goat cheese, and pungent Epoisses.
  •  

    With or without a bottle of beer, Beer Flats rock as crackers and snacks. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Both crackers deliver a seductive creaminess from the butter in the recipe; the creamy quality pairs perfectly with the creaminess of cheese. The beer adds an exciting malty nuance, and along with the butter, makes these distinctive crackers well worth the price. The sturdy texture and thickness of the crackers provide maximum crunch.

    A story on the package tells that around 4000 B.C.E., an innovative Mesopotamian used beer instead of water in a recipe for grain cakes, the precursor to modern bread. Cheers to that baker!

    A 5.5-ounce box of Beer Flats is $7.99 at specialty food stores and on Amazon.com.

    Pick up a few boxes for your own enjoyment, as a gift for beer and cheese lovers or anyone who appreciates fine food. The crackers can be served with charcuterie, dips and spreads, hummus, pâté, prosciutto, smoked salmon or as a base for crunchy canapés.

  • How To Pair Beer & Cheese
  • Beer Glossary
  • Cheese Glossary
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    Comments



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