THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for October 28, 2012

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Krave Gourmet Jerky

One of eight delicious flavors of Krave
gourmet jerky. Photo courtesy Krave.

 

Jerky was created in prehistoric times, as people endeavored to preserve their fresh-killed meat without benefit of coolers. They dried the meat in the sun.

Today’s jerky makers use ovens; and if you’re Krave Jerky, you double-marinate the meat and slow bake it into melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

Then there’s the flavor, or rather, eight of them, divided among beef, pork and turkey jerky: Basil Citrus, Chili Lime, Curry, Garlic Chili, Honey Chipotle, Lemon Garlic, Pineapple Orange and Smoked Teriyaki.

In other brands these flavors might not be so appealing; in Krave Jerky, they’re masterful. They’re the very definition of gourmet jerky.

Check out the full review and try a sampler. You’ll likely return for stocking stuffers and other holiday gifts.

Discover how wonderful fine jerky is with a beer, glass of wine, Bloody Mary or Martini. And take a look at recipes on the company website that use jerky as an ingredient: from blue cheese dip and bruschetta to chicken and artichokes.

 

If you’re inspired, watch this video to see how easy it is to make jerky at home. Although without the secret recipe, we can’t vouch for it tasting as good as Krave Jerky.

Find more of our favorite jerky products and other savory snacks.

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Wedding Cake & Matching Cupcakes

We’ve been to quite a few weddings and other events where cupcakes have replaced a traditional tiered cake.

We love cupcakes, but miss seeing a cake.

Yummy Cupcakes of greater Los Angeles (Brentwood, Burbank and Santa Monica) provides the solution by making cupcakes with a matching layer cake.

You don’t have to save this tip for a wedding: Consider the combination for an engagement party, anniversary party, baby shower, Sweet 16 or other special occasion.

Avocational bakers who want to bake their own special occasion cakes—or have friends who want to do it—don’t need to worry about creating a tiered spectacular.

Another bonus: If the cake isn’t sliced at the event, it can be taken home for the next day or frozen for later enjoyment.

Find more of our favorite cakes and cake recipes.

 

For a wedding or other important party, show a small cake atop the tiers of cupcakes. Photo courtesy Yummy Cupcakes.

 

  

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HALLOWEEN & THANKSGIVING RECIPE: Pumpkin Seed Dip With Crudités & Tortilla Chips

 

Mexican cuisine chef Rick Bayless of Chicago’s Frontera Grill knows about pumpkin. It’s a popular ingredient in Mexico, and pumpkin seeds, called pepitas in Spanish, are used extensively in moles and other recipes.

For Halloween, Chef Bayless has given us his pumpkin seed dip, which he serves with crudités and Frontera tortilla chips. Note that this is a savory dip, nothing like the sweet pumpkin purée dip popularly served with ginger snaps (of course, we like that version, too).

This dip should be enjoyed with a good beer or a glass of wine.

SAVORY PUMPKIN SEED DIP

The recipe can be made up to two days in advance. Makes 2½ cups of dip.

Ingredients

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) habanero salsa (we used Frontera brand, one of our favorites)
  • 1 cup hulled roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • Salt
  • Extra pepitas for garnish
  • Tortilla chips
  • Assorted raw vegetables (crudités)/li>
     
    Preparation

    1. CUT. Cut the vegetables and set aside with the tortilla chips for serving.

    2. BLEND. Put 1 cup (half) of the salsa, pumpkin seeds and lime juice into a blender. Process to a thick paste.

    3. STIR. Scrape into a bowl. Stir in the remaining salsa and cilantro. Season with salt to taste.

    4. PLATE. Serve with cut vegetables and/or tortilla chips.

      

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    RECIPE: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

    Carrot cake and carrot bread seem to be on the menu year-round; but fall means pumpkin bread. This recipe incorporates that other favorite fall ingredient, cranberries.

    Thanks to Cheryl Indelicato, proprietor of HandCraft Wines in California, for sharing this recipe:

    PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BREAD RECIPE

    Ingredients For One Loaf

  • 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  •  

    Enjoy pumpkin bread plain as a snack cake, or pair it with ice cream or whipped cream for dessert. Photo courtesy Cheryl Indelicato | HandCraft Winery.

     

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    2. COMBINE. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together pumpkin, sugar, water, eggs and oil. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices; stir just until batter is smooth.

    3. ADD. Stir in cranberries and spoon batter into loaf pan that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray.

    4. BAKE. Bake bread in middle of oven 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack ten minutes.Turn bread out onto rack and cool completely.

    Bread may be made 4 days ahead refrigerated, wrapped tightly; or it can be frozen for future enjoyment.

    Let slices come to room temperature or warm in the microwave. Serve plain or with butter as a snack; or with ice cream (pumpkin spice, rum raisin, vanilla), mascarpone, or whipped cream for dessert.

    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CAKE AND A LOAF CAKE (BREAD)?

    While the origin of the “bread” style of cake is unknown, food historians believe that it was originated in the 18th century with housewives experimenting with pearl ash. Banana bread became common in American cookbooks in the 1930s, with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder, and very popular in the 1960s, when variations with simple inclusions (nuts, chocolate morsels) created simple but delicious snack cakes.

    While some recipes use the terms interchangeably, a cake is a bit different than a bread-style cake, which is a sweetened version of a quickbread. The term loaf cake is often used. A sweet bread is similar to a muffin, except for the shape.

    Here are the key differentiators, which also differentiate a muffin from a cupcake:

    Density. A bread is leavened with baking soda instead of yeast, and is more dense than a cake. (This is not necessarily true for conventional breads, which can be as airy as cakes). In general, loaf cakes or “breads” have a denser crumb, a rougher texture and often less sugar than their cake counterparts. A cake is airy and eaten with a fork. A bread is dense like a brownie, and can be eaten with a fork or with the fingers.

    Frosting. Cakes are often frosted or otherwise garnished, for example, with confectioners sugar; the layers are filled. Loaf cakes may or may not be frosted.

    Moistness. A cake has more fat, and thus is moister.

    Sweetness. Cakes are sweeter.

    Shape. Cakes are baked in round or rectangular pans. A bread is typically baked in a loaf pan. Cakes can be single layers (like bundt cakes) or multiple layers; loaf breads are single layer.

    Find more of our favorite cake recipes.

      

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