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Archive for October 13, 2014

HALLOWEEN: Spooky Spider Biscuits

Here’s another fun idea for Halloween, courtesy of Certified Angus Beef. They’ve added ground beef to refrigerated biscuit dough, to create a snack, first course or light lunch for kids and adults alike. Adults: These go great with beer!

RECIPE: SPOOKY SPIDERS GROUND BEEF BISCUITS

Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tube (16-ounces) home-style refrigerated biscuit dough
  • Ketchup or barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 16 sliced black or green olives
  • 32 pretzel sticks
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    spooky-spider-biscuits-certifiedangus-230ps

    Spider muffins. Recipe courtesy Certified Angus Beef.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F.

    2. COOK the ground beef and drain the excess fat. Add taco seasoning and water, simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.

    3. SEPARATE the dough into 8 biscuits; place each biscuit into the well of an ungreased large muffin tin. Press the dough firmly into bottom and up the sides of each cup.

    4. Divide the crumbled ground beef evenly into the dough cups. Top the meat with some ketchup or barbecue sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Place two olive slices on the top of each biscuit for the eyes.

    5. BAKE for 20 minutes, or until the biscuit edges are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from the muffin cups. Stick four pretzel sticks into each side of each biscuit cup for the legs and serve.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Seasonal Breakfast Bread

    pepperidge-farm-pumpkin-spice-swirl-230

    Swirl into holiday season with these delicious
    breads. Photo courtesy Pepperidge Farm.

     

    We just finished our last slices of Pepperidge Farm Blueberry Swirl Bread, a limited edition hoarded from the height of the summer in our freezer.

    Now, we’re moving on to two fall flavors: Caramel Apple Swirl Bread and Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread, both available for a short time this fall.

    They make delicious toast and French toast. As toast, they combine the crunch of toasted bread with the sweetness of a breakfast pastry.

    Check the store locator to see where you can find them.

    And if you can’t find the seasonal specialties, content yourself with the year-round swirls: Cinnamon Swirl, Raisin Cinnamon Swirl, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl and 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl With Raisins.

    Our goal is to keep an eye out for other seasonal swirl breads, a fun new way to “eat seasonally.”

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Apricot Jam-Glazed Pork Tenderloin Roast

    We’ve been obsessed with pork roast since we saw one made recently on a TV cooking show. We visited two restaurants we’d hoped had it on the menu, but no cigar. We did, however, enjoy a wonderful calamari and Italian sausage with jalapeño, capers and balsamic reduction; and a tasty lamb osso bucco over risotto.

    But we still wanted roast pork.

    So we were happy when Crofter’s Organic sent us an easy recipe that beginning cooks learn: a pork roast glazed with a jar of apricot jam. How could we resist? We called the butcher and had a pork roast delivered that day.

    The apricot jam glaze trick can be used on any meat roast, and it’s tasty and easy. But today’s tip is to be sure that the glaze has more than one-dimensional sweetness—beyond just apricot jam. The fruity glaze in the recipe below is done the right way, with counterpoints of bitter (such as herbs and zest), pungent (such as garlic) and tangy (such as mustard, which also supplies heat).

    You can also use the glaze with chicken, duck or lamb.

    We enjoyed our pork roast with sides of quinoa (you can use any whole grain); cubed, roasted butternut squash (we roasted it along with the tenderloin); and a mixed green salad with dried cranberries and slivered almonds.

       

    apricot-roasted-pork-tenderloin-croftersorganic-230

    Oh, how delicious! Photo of a glazed pork roast courtesy Crofters Organic.

     

    RECIPE: APRICOT GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apricot fruit spread or jam
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs or leaves
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    crofters-apricot-spread-230

    Fruit spread contains less sugar than jam,
    jelly, marmalade or preserves. Photo
    courtesy Crofters Organic.

     

    Preparation

    1. BLEND all ingredients except wine and pork in a food processor or blender. Place the tenderloin in a cast-iron pan and spoon the mixture over it. Let sit for 1/2 hour at room temperature.

    2. HEAT the oven to 400°F; place the pan in the middle of the oven and sear for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue to cook, 25 minutes per pound.

    3. REMOVE cooked tenderloin from the pan and let rest. Meanwhile…

    4. DEGLAZE the pan with 2 tablespoons of white wine. Drizzle over sliced tenderloin and garnish with fresh rosemary.

    Check on the company website for coupons for Crofter’s spreads.

     

    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JAM & FRUIT SPREAD?

    Crofter’s makes both apricot jam and apricot fruit spread. The difference is in the level of sweetness. Savory recipes like roast pork don’t need the extra sugar, so you can use fruit spread rather than jam.

    Jam consists of chopped, crushed or puréed fruit cooked down with sugar—a recipe as old as refined sugar. Fruit spread began to appear in the 1970s as a reduced-calorie product, made with alternative sweeteners such as juice concentrate.

    There are distinct differences between chutney, conserve, jelly, jams, marmalades and the rest of the sweet spread category. Take a minute and take a look.
     
    MORE WAYS TO USE THE JAM OR FRUIT SPREAD

    Breakfast

  • Hot Cereal. Use a dab of fine jam instead of sugar.
  • Pancake/Waffle Topping. Substitute jam for syrup.
  • Yogurt. Add jam to plain yogurt to customize your perfect fruit yogurt.
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    Lunch

  • Grilled Cheese. Sharp cheeses like blue cheese and Cheddar are perfect pairings for jam. Grill the jam with the cheese or serve it on the side as a condiment. For more flavor, use rye or a textured whole grain bread.
  • Salad Dressing. Warm a spoonful of jam and whisk it into salad dressings.
  • Sandwich Spread. Spread jam on the bread with a sandwich of cheese, ham, lamb, poultry or roast pork. To cut the sweetness, you can mix the jam with plain yogurt.
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    Appetizers/Snacks

  • Canapés. Top a cracker or slice of baguette with cheese, ham, turkey or other favorite and a bit of jam.
  • Cheese Condiment. Wonderful with a cheese plate (more cheese condiments) or atop a baked Brie. The popular appetizer of jam poured over a brick of cream cheese or a log of goat cheese, and served with crackers, is vastly improved with fine jam. On a slightly different note, a dab is delightful with cottage cheese.
  • Dipping Sauce. Mix jam in a small bowl with sriracha, a hot chile and vinegar-sauce; or with plain hot sauce plus vinegar. You can also make a dip with fresh grated ginger and soy sauce.
  • Pepper Jelly. Mix in some red pepper flakes or dried or fresh minced chipotle, jalapeño or other chile (the different chile types).
  • Pretzel or Breadstick Dip. Mix with Dijon or other mustard. For a sweet-and-hot profile, add some hot sauce.
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    Dinner

  • Meat Glaze. Particularly delicious on poultry and pork. Mix with fresh herbs and garlic.
  • Sauce For Meat & Seafood. Use jam with wine or vermouth to deglaze the pan. Add some to the pan while you’re cooking chicken, pork chops, fish, scallops or shrimp and let the flavor coat the meat.
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    Dessert

  • Cheesecake. Fine jam makes a wonderful topping or a condiment on the side.
  • Cookies. Thumbprints and rolled cookies with a jam swirl are classics.
  • Crêpe Filling. Delicious plain or with fresh goat cheese or mascarpone.
  • Dessert Sauce. Mix with plain or vanilla yogurt or sour cream.
  • Ice Cream & Sorbet Topping. Crown a scoop of sorbet with a dab of fine jam. Lightly warm the jam so it flows like a sauce over ice cream.
  • Layer Cake Filling. A coat of jam between the layers is a classic: Think Sacher Torte! Apricot or raspberry jam is delicious with chocolate cake; any flavor works with lemon cake.
  • Tarts & Tartlets. Fill tart or tartlet shells with jam. Top with a dab of crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, mascarpone or sour cream.
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