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Archive for March 13, 2014

RECIPE: Peppermint Paddy Martini

For those who like things minty, here’s a fun drink for St. Patrick’s Day: a Peppermint Paddy Martini.

The recipe is from McCormick, which uses its McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract to create the mintiness.

Note that Peppermint Paddy, not Peppermint Patty or Peppermint Pattie, is the right name for this drink.

  • Peppermint Patty, the Peanuts character, was inspired by a bowl of peppermint candy on Charles Schulz’s desk.
  • Peppermint Patty first appeared in the Peanuts comic strip on August 22, 1966.
  • The York Peppermint Pattie, no relation to Peppermint Patty, was introduced in 1940.
  •  
    And while we’re on the subject, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day. Here’s why.

     

    peppermint-paddy-martini-mccormick-230

    It may look like mousse, but it’s a Peppermint Paddy Martini. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    RECIPE: PEPPERMINT PADDY MARTINI

    Ingredients For 4 Cocktails

  • 8 ounces Irish cream liqueur
  • 2 ounces crème de cacao liqueur
  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • Optional garnish: peppermint whipped cream (recipe below)
  • Optional rim garnish: coarse sugar*
  •  
    *Use sanding sugar or a raw brown sugar such as demerara or turbinado (Sugar In The Raw). You can find green sanding sugar, shown in the photo below, in baking supplies stores or online.

     online

    green-sugar-crystals-dressmycupcakeAMZ-230

    Green sanding sugar. Photo courtesy
    Dress My Cupcake | Amazon.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE Martini glasses with optional sugar rim. Wet the outside rim of martini glass with peppermint extract. Dip glass in coarse sugar to lightly coat.

    2. FILL cocktail shaker 1/3 full with ice. Add first 5 ingredients; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into glass.

    3. TOP each with a dollop of Peppermint Whipped Cream, if desired.

     
    PEPPERMINT WHIPPED CREAM

    Ingredients For About 2 Cups

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract plus more for rim
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BEAT cream, confectioners’ sugar and peppermint extract in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed, until stiff peaks form.

    2. POUR in Martini, top with whipped cream and serve.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Ballymaloe Irish Ketchup

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    A ketchup so rich and complex, it can be
    used as a dip. Photo courtesy Ballymaloe.

     

    In Ireland, it’s called Ballymaloe Country Relish: a tomato-based condiment served with burgers, fries, cold meats, cheese, sausage rolls, salads and sandwiches.

    Its ingredients include tomatoes (41%), tomato purée (5%), vinegar, sugar, onions, sultanas, sea salt, mustard seed and spices.

    In the U.S. it’s called…ketchup.

    But what a ketchup!

    The layering of flavors is magnificent: fruity from the tomatoes and the sultanas, pungent from the vinegar and mustard seed, oniony from the onions. It’s sweet enough for American palates used to Heinz.

    (By contrast, Heinz ketchup ingredients are tomato concentrate, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring and Tabasco.)

     

    The texture, the rich fruity taste and the impeccable seasoning make Ballymaloe a ketchup you can eat from the spoon (if you’re so inclined).

    It’s ketchup the way it used to be, when it was a homemade condiment—before it got “blandified” by big American brands into tomato paste blended with high fructose corn syrup.

    Ballymaloe ketchup is the house recipe from the Ballymaloe Country House in Cork, Ireland. The Country House is a former private home, renovated into a hotel and restaurant (and it looks absolutely charming).

    You can buy the ketchup online at the BallymaloeUSA.com website; $5.29 per 8.5-ounce bottle.

    It is also available at select retailers, including A&P, Dean & DeLuca, Fairway, Food Emporium and King’s.

    Learn more about Ballymaloe on the company website.

     

    ballymaloe-ketchup-kalviste-230

    Bring a bottle as a house gift, or give them as stocking stuffers. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    MORE KETCHUP
    The history of ketchup, how ketchup is made and reviews of our favorite ketchup brands.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Another Type Of Salad

    couscous-vegetables-melissas

    Top a bowl of whole grain bulgur with
    bright veggies: cooked, raw or a mix.
    Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    A salad is defined as a cold dish of mixed raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing.

    It can include meat, poultry, seafood or other ingredients. Like grains and legumes.

    If you’re not eating enough whole grains, here’s an easy way to combine them with veggies into a luncheon salad or a dinner first course or side.

    We love the bright colors in this photo from Melissas.com. It shows how important eye appeal is.

    For St. Patrick’s Day, you can do a medley of greens: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, fiddleheads, green beans, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, pea pods, snow peas, spinach, sprouts, Swiss chard, tatsoi, turnip greens and watercress.

     

    FIRST: PICK A WHOLE GRAIN

    Don’t be afraid to try a grain you’ve never had before. If you can’t find any of these in your supermarket, check a natural food store.

  • Barley (but not pearled barley, which isn’t a whole grain)
  • Buckwheat (Kasha)
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Rice: black, brown, red, wild
  •  

    NEXT: PICK FOUR VEGGIES

  • Something orange or yellow
  • Something red
  • Something green
  • Non-veggie substitute: beans, lentils, nuts
  •  
    Need help with choosing colored vegetables? Here’s an extensive list.
     
    Plus

  • Fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill or parsley
  •  
    Skip the lettuces; you’ve got other opportunities for lettuce salads.

     
    LAST: PICK A DRESSING

    A vinaigrette is the best option here; but there are many, many vinaigrettes to try, varying types of oil and types of vinegar or citrus juice.

     

    quinoa-vegetables-melissas

    After the salad is tossed. Photo courtesy Melissas.

     
    Types Of Oil

  • Avocado oil
  • Infused oils: basil, chile†, lemon, orange, rosemary, etc.
  • Mustard oil†
  • Nut oil: almond, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut
  • Olive oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Sesame oil†
  • Tea oil
  •  
    See all of the culinary oils in our Culinary Oils Glossary.
     
    Types Of Vinegar

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Coconut vinegar
  • Infused vinegar (fruits, herbs, spices)
  • Malt vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Wine vinegar
  •  
    Plus

  • Citrus juice: grapefruit lemon, lime, orange
  •  
    As you can see, the number of combinations will last through many, many salads.
     
    Take a look at all the vinegar types in our Vinegar Glossary.

    †These oils can be very strong in flavor, and are best diluted with olive oil or canola oil. Start with a 1:3 proportion of strong oil to mild oil, and tweak to find the proportions that are right for you.

      

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    NEWS: You Can Get A Super-Healthy Lunch In Midtown

    salmon-with-tabbouleh-230

    Yes, you can get a truly nutritious take-out
    lunch. Photo courtesy WFM.

     

    If you don’t have time each day to prepare a super-healthy, grilled-veggie-intense brown-bag lunch like our friend Laura does, you may end up eating a lunch that contains lots of empty carbs and saturated fats:

  • Burgers or burritos
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Chinese food with white rice and egg roll
  •  
    On days when we’re not lunching on products for NIBBLE reviews, we’re guilty of all of these.
     
    Then we were invited to sample lunch at Between The Bread, a takeout place in midtown Manhattan (145 West 55th Street) that’s different from any takeout we’ve ever seen. It’s as if a nutritionist had dreamed up the take-out menu:

     

  • Grilled fish and seafood
  • Grilled breast or paillard* of chicken, skinless
  • Whole grain, legume and green salads
  • Grilled veggies galore
  •  
    For those who need a pasta fix, there are orzo salad a variety of penne dishes, along with fresh soups and yes, some sandwiches for those who must have something “between the bread.”

     
    *Also called a scallop or escalope, paillard is a piece of boneless meat or\poultry that has been thinned with a mallet or rolling pin; it can also be butterflied.

     

    The menu changes daily. The day we visited there were:

  • Two salmon choices: one herbed, one topped with tomatillo salsa
  • Other seafood: mahi-mahi, buffalo shrimp
  • Three chicken dishes: herbed chicken, chicken teriyaki and mustard chicken with jasmine rice
  • Whole grain and legume salads: barley with green peas; corn with black beans, orzo and green onions; quinoa; mixed white and wild rice with green onions and pomegranate arils
  • Grilled veggies: beets, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini
  • Other salads: green beans with sliced almonds and roast garlic, Caesar
  •  
    Everything looks beautiful and fresh. You wouldn’t even think of it as “good-for-you food,” but as “I want to eat it now food.”

    It’s how America should eat.

     

    grilled-vegetables-mccormick-230

    One of the most delicious ways to serve vegetables: Grill them! Photo courtesy McCormick.

     
    Entrées are $11.95 for vegetable and chicken dishes and $13.95 for seafood, which includes two sides (vegetables, salads, pastas).

    Tell the counter attendant not to include the rolls that come with the entrées. They’re O.K. but not worth the empty calories. Ditto for the muffins.

    There are desserts: bread pudding and assortment of bars, cookies and cakes. You’ve done so well with your choices, though: Pass them by.

    If only there were a Between The Bread everywhere. Maybe it needs a name change though, to No Bread Necessary.

      

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