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Archive for July 22, 2013

PRODUCT: SafetyTat Allergy Tattoos

A temporary tattoo on the arm alerts
teachers and others to food allergies. Photo
courtesy SafetyTat.

 

Don’t want to wear an allergy bracelet? How about a tattoo?

Food allergies affect millions of Americans. This product was developed for kids: When mom or dad can’t be with the child to monitor the food he/she eats, SafetyTat does the talking.

Easy to apply to a child’s arm or hand, this bright temporary tattoo outlines the food allergy for everyone to see.

While some kids might object to being tattooed, the clever parent can position this as “your first tattoo.” Or perhaps it’s “The only tattoo you’re going to get for the next 20 years.”

In addition to medical alert tattoos, the company also makes I.D. tats with name and contact information and tats for seniors.

 

Check them all out at SafetyTat.com.

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Grilling With Wood Chips

If you grill with wood chips, how do you decide which chips to use?

You may have your own system, or simply like mesquite with everything. But McCormick has added a bit of culinary science to the process. Here the company provides recommendations for specific wood chips to pair the right intensity wood with particular proteins:

  • Alder Wood Chips contribute a musky, sweet, mild intensity of flavor, and are delicious with grilled seafood. For seasoning, McCormick suggests its Grill Mates Backyard Brick Oven Seasoning and Lawry’s Herb & Garlic Marinade.
  • Apple Wood Chips impart a sweet, nutty, mild intensity. You can use them with all meats and seafood. McCormick pairs them with Grill Mates Fiery Five Pepper Seasoning and Lawry’s Mediterranean Herb & Wine Marinade.
  • Cherry Wood Chips provide a subtle, fruity, mild intensity. McCormick recommends them with chicken, along with Grill Mates Slow & Low Tennessee Smokehouse BBQ Rub and Lawry’s Teriyaki Marinade.
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    Hickory chips in a smoke box. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    Apple wood chips. Photo courtesy
    McCormick.

     
  • Hickory Wood Chips bestow an assertive, smoky, high intensity flavor and can be paired with all meats. McCormick suggests Grill Mates Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub and Lawry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade.
  • Maple Wood Chips lend a sweet, subtle, mild intensity to chicken, pork and vegetables. You can use Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning and or Lawry’s Original Seasoned Salt Spice Blend.
  • Mesquite Wood Chips is known for delivering hearty, savory, high intensity flavors. McCormick pairs the chips with Slow & Low Smokin’ Texas BBQ Rub and Lawry’s Mesquite Marinade.
  • Oak Wood Chips provide versatility and modern intensity to all meats. Try them with Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning and Lawry’s Steak & Chop Marinade.
  • Pecan Wood Chips come with a sweet, nutty, mild intensity to all meats and seafood. Consider Grill Mates Fiery Five Pepper Seasoning and Lawry’s Mediterranean Herb & Wine Marinade.
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    HOW TO TURN A GAS GRILL INTO A SMOKER

    1. SOAK wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

    2. PLACE one cup of wood chips in a smoke box or a makeshift foil pouch punctured with a fork.

    3. PLACE smoker box or pouch under the grate and over one of the burners, away from the center of the grill.

    4. HEAT the grill on high until the wood chips start smoking. Then reduce heat to the desired temperature.

    5. PLACE the food on the center of the grill, away from the smoker box or pouch.

    6. COVER and grill as you normally would, refilling the smoker box or replacing the pouch as needed.

      

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    RECIPE: Dessert Ravioli

    …AND FOR DESSERT, RAVIOLI!

    Yes, ravioli. Even better, ravioli you can make yourself with the help of a great pasta-maker to teach you how. It’s not just deliciously gratifying, but it’s a good workout too. Rolling fresh pasta dough until it’s as thin as a sheet of paper is not for the “where’s-the-remote?” in you.

    New York City’s renowned Chelsea Market recently nabbed a new restaurant and shop: Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina.

    Rana is Italy’s leading fresh pasta company, and its artisan shop offers great dining, select Italian ingredients and designer kitchen accessories. Each pasta served at the restaurant, as well as those that can be purchased to cook at home, is house-made, fresh from scratch.

    Lucky for us, Giovanni Rana is generous with his expertise and will share his secrets with eager learners. In our class, we learned how to make tiramisu ravioli for dessert.

     

    Preparing chocolate ravioli. Photo courtesy Giovanni Rana.

     
    Pasta-making classes are held once a month and guide you through each step of making your own filled pasta. Individual “stations” are set up for each student, complete with all of the ingredients and tools needed. You begin by learning how to carefully blend the dough ingredients, then get ready to knead and roll—and roll and roll some more.

    By the end of the session, you’ll have your own creation packed up for taking home, after which you enjoy a dinner made for you by Rana’s chefs, some wine and a take-away bag of products and recipes.

    Although there may not be a Rana shop in your area, scout out a local cooking school or culinary program that’s nearby. It’s fun to do, it’s delicious to eat, and it’s made by you.

    By the time your skills become second nature, you’ll be able to delight your family and friends with—yes—tiramisu ravioli as a sweet finale to dinner.

    —Rowann Gilman

     

    Preparation for tiramisu ravioli. Photo
    courtesy Giovanni Rana.

     

    RECIPE: RANA’S TIRAMISU RAVIOLI

    This recipe makes 14 to 16 ravioli, or about two servings. You can double the recipe, and freeze any excess for up to six months. Serve the ravioli with crème fraîche, mascarpone or ice cream.

    Ingredients
     
    For The Dough

  • 100g #00 flour (fine flour for baking)
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10g instant espresso powder
  •  
    Filling

  • 50g ricotta
  • 50g mascarpone
  • 20g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 20g instant espresso powder
  • 10g marsala
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
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    For The Dipping Sauce

  • 50g fresh washed, hulled strawberries, dried and cut in halves
  • Optional: brown sugar
  • Optional: fresh mint leaves
  •  
    To Finish

  • Canola oil
  • Confectioners sugar
  • Preparation

    Make The Dough

    1. PLACE the flour on a floured surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg into the well and mix it with a fork. Add the salt and instant espresso powder; blend with fingers until dough forms a rough shape.

    2. BEGIN to knead and fold the dough over and over until it forms a smooth ball, about 8 to 10 minutes. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

    Make The Filling

    1. COMBINE all of the filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, mixing with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended.

    Make The Dipping Sauce

    1. PLACE the strawberries in the bowl of a food processor; blend until berries are puréed. If desired, add brown sugar and/or fresh mint to taste. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve; set aside.

    Assemble The Ravioli

    1. REMOVE dough from refrigerator. On a heavily floured surface, begin to roll and rotate the dough, turning it over after every few rolls. Continue until dough is perfectly even (smooth hands over dough to feel any difference in its thickness) and extremely thin.

    2. FOLD the dough in half, then bring the top half upward. Starting about an inch from the halfway fold and left edge, place filling 1 teaspoonful at a time, slightly rounding each, on the bottom half of dough. Leave 1 inch between each mound of filling. When filling is used up, moisten the dough between each spoonful using a pastry brush and water. Be careful not to use too much water; use just enough for the top layer of dough to stick.

    3. GENTLY LIFT the top half of dough and place it over the bottom half. Press between the mounds of filling where dough has been moistened, making sure both layers of dough stick together. Using a hand ravioli cutter, cut out the individual ravioli and place them on a floured surface, keeping them apart.

    4. HEAT about 1 inch of canola oil in a heavy skillet until very hot. Fry the ravioli for about two to three minutes on each side until dough is firm. Remove from skillet and drain very well on paper towels or a brown paper bag. Let cool.

    5. SERVE the ravioli sprinkled with confectioners sugar and a small bowl of the dipping sauce on the side.
     
    MORE DESSERT RAVIOLI & OTHER PASTA

  • Butternut Squash & Maple Syrup Ravioli with Pears, Apples, Walnuts & Rum Raisin Ice Cream (recipe)
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Ravioli With Cinnamon Ice Cream (recipe)
  • Other Sweet Pasta Recipes: Chocolate Fettuccine Mont Blanc, Dessert Lasagne, Songbirds’ Nests, Chocolate Spaghetti, Fettuccine Alfredo With Crème Anglaise, Fettuccine With Chocolate Sauce, Manicotti “Cannoli,” Orange Spaghetti, Pumpkin Ravioli With Mascarpone Sauce, More
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    RECIPE: Gin Rickey Cocktail

    Gin Rickey. Photo courtesy Tanqueray.

     

    First: What is a rickey?

    It’s a highball—a fizzy whiskey drink mixed with club soda or ginger ale and served with ice in a tall glass. A rickey is made from gin or bourbon, fresh lime juice, carbonated water and ice. Sometimes sugar is added, largely to satisfy the sweet-seeking American palate. It’s not part of the original recipe. Tell the bartender not to put any in yours.

    The rickey was created with bourbon in the 1880s, at Shoomaker’s bar in Washington, D.C. The story handed down is that it was a collaboration between bartender George A. Williamson and a good customer, Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey.

    In the bar for his morning glass of bourbon and Apollinaris sparkling mineral water, with lump ice, history was changed when one day, half a lime was squeezed into, then dropped into, the glass. The guess is that the lime was the bartender’s twist.

    Colonel Rickey may have preferred bourbon, but the cocktail became a worldwide sensation a decade later when gin was substituted to create the Gin Rickey. There are also virgin rickeys, soda fountain drinks made with lime syrup and soda water; a raspberry-lime rickey adds raspberry syrup.

     

    The tall iced drink has always been a popular summer cocktail, and the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild established July as Rickey Month.
     
    GIN RICKEY RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 1.25 ounces London Dry Gin (see below)
  • .25 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce soda water
  • Garnish: line wedge
  •  

    Preparation

    1. ADD gin and fresh lime juice to an ice-filled collins glass. Stir.

    2. ADD soda water, stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

     
    WHAT IS LONDON DRY GIN?

    There are four different types of gin:

  • American Gin. American Gin is produced using one of two standard methods: distilling, made by adding the flavoring agents during a continuous process; and redistillation, where the fermented mash is first distilled into a flavorless neutral spirit. Gin is relatively easy to produce, which was why “bathtub gin” was available in speakeasies during Prohibition. As a result, gin cocktails remained popular after the repeal of Prohibition. American Dry Gin was pioneered by Philadelphia Distilling in the style of London Dry Gin, but with a heavier concentration of citrus over other botanicals*. Its Bluecoat American Dry Gin was launched in 2007.
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    Gin rickey: lots of lime juice makes it cloudy. Photo courtesy Liquor.com.

  • Genever or Jenever. The original gin was first made in Holland in a pot still from a grain mash of barley, rye and corn. There are two styles: Oude (old), which has a golden tint and a sweet, aromatic flavor; and Jonge (young), which is drier and has a lighter body. Overall, it is heavy-bodied and strongly flavored with a pronounced malty taste and aroma. This style is popular in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
  • London Dry Gin. London Dry Gin appeared soon after the continuous still or column still was invented in 1832. The new still made a purer spirit possible, encouraging London distillers to try an unsweetened or dry style (sugars had been used in Genever gins to mask the unpleasant flavors that could appear in pot still production; “dry” means absence of sugar). London Dry Gin was a hit, and became the most common form of gin in the world. It is the style of the big-name gins such as Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Gordons, Seagrams and Tanqueray. Originally “London Dry Gin” implied geography; today, Beefeater is the only gin still made in London.
  • Plymouth Gin. This dry, full-bodied, clear, aromatic and somewhat fruity gin was originally distilled as a local gin in Plymouth, England. Today it is made by only one company, Coates & Co. of Plymouth, which owns the right to the name.
  • Sloe Gin. Sloe gin is not technically a gin, but a gin-based liqueur flavored with sweet blackthorn plums (sloes).
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    *Dry Gin is a complex recipe of botanicals—fruits, herbs and spices from all over the world. There are dozens of possible ingredients; each distiller has its own secret recipe. Popular ingredients include angelica root from Germany, cardamom from Sri Lanka, cassia bark from Southeast Asia, coriander seed from the Czech Republic, orris root from Italy and Seville orange peel from Spain. Most of the juniper berries that comprise the base flavor of gin are imported from Italy. See an example of the ingredients in Martin Miller’s Gin.
     
    PARTY IDEA

    Get a bottle of each of the different types of gin and have a comparative tasting: first straight and then in the two most famous gin cocktails, Gin Rickey and Gin & Tonic. If you want to add Sloe Gin, the best-known drink is the Sloe Gin Fizz.

      

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