THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for March 18, 2014

PRODUCT: Walkers’s Scottie Dog Shortbread & Mini Scottie Dogs

Recently Walkers Shortbread unveiled the newest addition to their beloved Scottie Dog collection: Mini Scottie Dog Shortbread cookies.

The pure-butter Mini Scottie “puppies” are made from 100% natural ingredients. They’re a treat for kids and adults.

The Mini Scottie Dogs are available for purchase online at USWalkersShortbread.com and at select specialty retailers nationwide.

For extra fun, serve an assortment of “moms” (the regular size shortbread Scotties) and “puppies.”

  • Enjoy them as a snack with coffee, tea or milk (still we love milk and cookies).
  • Serve as a garnish with a scoop of ice cream.
  • Insert into the tops of cupcakes.
  • Use a whole “litter” and “parents” to decorate cakes.
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    How else would you have fun with them?

     

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    Moms, Dad and “pups,” the new Walkers Shortbread minis. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Blood Oranges

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    A blood orange can be thing of beauty. Photo
    of the Moro variety courtesy GoodEggs.com.

     

    Blood orange season is upon us. Blood oranges can be a thrill (sweet and luscious) or a disappointment (bland), depending on the grower’s rootstock, the climate and the season. You never know what you’re going to get, but the upside is so wonderful that you’ve got to try.

    The hue of a blood orange can range from pink to rose red to deep purple. The most dramatic have “blood”-colored crimson and purple flesh. (There are even “blonde” blood oranges which have orange flesh like regular oranges, but a have blood orange flavor.)

    The peel may look like a regular orange or feature telltale washes of red. The skin may be smooth or pitted. While it looks like the more acidic Valencia orange on the outside, the blood orange flesh is sweet with less acid, like a navel orange.

    Each variety has a different climate preference, and produces different hues, sizes and flavors based on the climate, temperature and other factors that impact the coloration and flavor intensity. California blood oranges have more pigmentation, Texas blood oranges tend to have less pigmentation, as do those from Florida, where the humidity limits the development of the pigment.

     
    The color is the result of the antioxidant anthocyanin,* not typically found in citrus, but common to other red fruits and flowers (it’s the same natural chemical that gives the color to pomegranates and roses).

    The flavor of a good blood orange will be “an orange kissed by a raspberry.”

    THE HISTORY OF BLOOD ORANGES

    Blood oranges are believed to be a mutation of the sweet orange, that occurred in southern Italy around 1850.

    The blood orange was brought to the U.S. in the 1930s in the wave of Italian immigration. It now grows in California (November to May), Florida (October to January) and Texas (December to March).

     
    *Anthocyanin neutralizes the effects of free-radical chemicals that are believed to cause cancer and other ailments (diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, liver disease and ulcers) plus the general impact of aging. Research shows that it fights and prevents cancerous tumors and ulcers, and improves vision. Blood oranges are also packed with high levels of carotene, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

     

    TYPES OF BLOOD ORANGES

    The three most popular cultivars (varieties) of blood orange the Moro, Sanguiello and Tarocco. If you can get information from your vendor, go for the Moro or the Tarocco.

  • The Moro blood orange, a recent introduction into the blood orange family, is grown in California and in Texas. It is the most colorful of the three types, with a deep purple flesh and reddish orange rind (see photo above). It has a sweet flavor with notes of raspberry that makes this variety sing—whether in recipes or as an eating fruit. It is well worth seeking out.
  • The Sanguinello blood orange, discovered in Spain in 1929, has a reddish skin, few seeds and a sweet and tender flesh.
  • The Tarocco blood orange, native to Italy, is a medium-sized fruit and is perhaps the sweetest and most flavorful of the three types. However, its internal reddish color varies widely and is unreliably red.
  • Ruby and Palestine Jaffa blood oranges can also be found in the U.S. Here are more details on blood orange varieties.
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    A cocktail with blood orange juice. Photo courtesy The Rose Group.

     

    BLOOD ORANGE RECIPES

    Our favorite way to enjoy blood oranges is as a hand fruit or a simple sorbet or granita. A glass of blood orange juice is also wonderful. When you have such a subtle, special flavor, you might not want to cover it up.

    However, here are a few recipes for those blessed with an abundance of blood oranges.

  • Blood Orange Cocktails
  • Blood Orange Vinaigrette with Roasted Beets And Goat Cheese
  • Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Soufflé
  • Blood Orange Dessert Spaghetti
  • Blood Orange Dessert Sauce (great with cheesecake)
  • Blood Orange Granita Or Sorbet
  • Lamb Loin With Blood Orange Sauce
  • Pepita-Crusted Halibut With Blood Orange Jicama Chutney
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    RECIPE: Ladybugs On A Stick

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    Crunchy, fun and good for you. Photo
    courtesy California Avocado Commission.

     

    Move over, Ants On A Log, the childhood classic made from celery-stuffed cream cheese topped with raisins.

    Ladybugs On A Stick have no cholesterol, the fat from avocado oil is super-healthy, and the tomatoes are lower in calories and more nutritious than raisins.

    You can make or buy guacamole, or combine the mashed avocado and salsa as shown below. Thanks to the California Avocado Commission for the nifty idea.

    RECIPE: LADYBUGS ON A STICK

    Ingredients For 8 Sticks

  • 1 ripe avocado*, seeded, peeled and mashed
  • ¼ cup prepared salsa, or to taste
  • 8 celery stalks, washed and trimmed
  • 12 small grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
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    *Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the salsa and the mashed avocado.

    2. FILL the hollow in each celery stalk with the guacamole, taking care to keep it in the groove and not on the rims. For precision, you can use a piping bag or a plastic food storage bag with a corner cut off.

    3. NESTLE 3 grape tomato halves atop the guacamole on each celery stalk.

      

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