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Archive for 2014

TIP OF THE DAY: Bagna Càuda, A “Hot Bath” Dip With Garlic

Bagna càuda, pronounced BON-ya COW-da, is a riff on crudités with dip. The name means “hot bath”; the dip is olive oil and butter, seasoned with garlic and anchovies and served hot. Bagna caôda is an alternative spelling.

A dish from Italy’s Piedmont region, bagna càuda is served during the autumn and winter months, often as part of a Christmas Eve buffet. Why not try it on New Year’s Eve?

Traditional dippers in Piedmont include artichokes, bell peppers, cardoons*, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel and green onions.

In some parts of Piedmont, cream is used instead of butter; and hazelnut or walnut oil is substituted for the olive oil. If you’re in Alba, lucky you: There may be some truffles added to to the oil.

Here’s the drill:

  • Heat the seasoned oil.
  • Provide slices of baguette to hold underneath the vegetable to catch the drippings and turn into its own snack.
  • To keep the oil warm, you can use a fondue pot with fondue forks for dipping. A flat cheese fondue pot works best, or a chafing dish on a hot plate or a brazier.
  •  

    bagna-cauda-finedininglovers-230r

    This bagna càuda is served in a regular dish, not a fondue pot. Photo courtesy FineDiningLovers.com; here’s their recipe.

     
    RECIPE: BAGNA CÀUDA DIP

    Ingredients

  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil plus oil for browning
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6-12 best quality anchovy fillets, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
  • Optional: pinch of chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Assorted fresh vegetables, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 baguette or similar loaf, sliced into 2-inch pieces
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BROWN the garlic cloves in some olive oil, about 5 minutes. Add the optional chile flakes before removing from the flame.

    2. BLEND the oil, butter, anchovies and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the dip to a medium saucepan, taste and season as desired.

    3. HEAT over a low flame for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to fondue pot or dish. Stir in the parsley right before serving.

    4. SERVE with crudités and bread.

     
    *Cardoons are relative of artichokes, and aren’t readily available in the U.S. they resemble celery.

      

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    RECIPE: Eggnog Mini Bundts

    eggnnog-bundt-cakes-eatwisconsincheese-230

    For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:
    eggnog mini-bundt cakes. Photo courtesy Eat
    Wisconsin Cheese.

     

    This recipe was contributed by Tieghan of HalfBakedHarvest.com to EatWisconsinCheese.com. Check out the great recipes on both websites.

    RECIPE: MINI EGGNOG STREUSEL BUNDT CAKES WITH EGGNOG MASCARPONE GLAZE

    Ingredients For 12 Mini Cakes Or 24 Super Mini Cakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon plain or coconut rum
  •  

    For The Streusel

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  •  
    For The Mascarpone Eggnog Glaze

  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Butter two mini 6-cake bundt pans or 2 mini 12-cake bundt pans.

    2. MIX mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl. Set aside.

    3. WHISK together 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in another small bowl. Set aside.

    4. BEAT the butter and sugar in stand mixer or with hand mixer beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until completely incorporated. Beat another 2-3 minutes until light, fluffy and pale in color. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Add the eggnog, vanilla and rum. Beat until smooth.

    5. FILL each mini bundt mold 1/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the cakes and add the remaining batter, filling each cup to just under 3/4 full. Try not to over-fill the cups.

     

    eggnog-cartons-kemps-230

    Drink it and bake with it, too. Photo courtesy Kemps Dairy.

     
    6. BAKE 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes no longer jiggle. Remove from the oven and to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Overturn the cake pan onto wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely.

    7. MAKE the streusel crumble: In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. With pastry blender or two forks, cut in 3 tablespoons of butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Press the streusel into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool slightly. With a fork, break the streusel into small pieces. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

    8. MAKE the Mascarpone Eggnog Glaze: Add the mascarpone to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave 15 to 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted. Stir in the powdered sugar, eggnog and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

    9. ASSEMBLE: Spoon the glaze over the cakes and top with the streusel. Drizzle with more glaze.

     
    MORE RECIPES WITH EGGNOG

  • Eggnog Mini Cheesecakes Recipe
  • Eggnog Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe
  • Eggnog Streusel Bars Recipe
  • Eggnog Truffles Recipe
  • Eggnog Wreath Cookies Recipe
  • White Chocolate Eggnog Fudge Recipe
  •  
    PLUS

  • Bundt History
  • Eggnog History
  •   

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    TRENDS: McCormick 2015 Flavor Forecast

    sour-cherry-bacon-seasalt-mccormick-230

    Will 2015 bring sour-and-salty seasonings
    like this sour cherry and bacon sea salt?
    Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    At the end of each year, we enjoy sharing highlights from the 2015 McCormick Flavor Forecast. The 2015 Forecast features eight trends that the company predicts will “shape the future of flavor.”

    “Many early trending flavors in past reports have become favorites of today,” says McCormick Executive Chef, Kevan Vetter. “Take chipotle chile, for instance. When we first identified this chile pepper as a flavor to watch in 2003, many people couldn’t pronounce it. Today, it’s a household name.

    “Pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, coconut water and cocktail-inspired flavors have seen similar success, taking over restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. The flavor trends highlighted within our 15th annual Forecast promise to do the same.”

    This year’s crop of predictions don’t seem unusual to us: We’ve heard them before. But that’s because, after 15 years of predictions, it must be getting harder and harder for the McCormick experts to come up with things we haven’t already heard of!

    8 FLAVOR TRENDS TO WATCH

    Identified by a global team of McCormick chefs and flavor experts, these trends offer a taste of 2015 and beyond:

     

  • Flavor Worth the Wait. Lift the lid to discover the rich flavors from recipes around the world that meld aromatic spices and comforting ingredients into mouthwatering slow-cooked meals. (Editor’s Note: This trend is for everyone who hasn’t already discovered the benefits of a slow-cooker.”
  • Global Blends On the Move. Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) offers a new kind of spicy heat, while Shawarma Spice Blend lends warm, spiced flavor to grilled meats and more.
  •  

  • Liquid Revolution. Fresh purées and juices blend with bold spices and herbs to intensify sauces, pasta, dressings and more, providing a fun, delicious way to enjoy an extra serving of fruits and veggies.
  • Middle Eastern Mezze. These distinctive dips and spreads, packed with zesty herbs and seasonings, offer an approachable and delicious introduction to a vibrant global cuisine. (Editor’s Note: Thanks to all the Tribe hummus flavors, we think this trend is already mainstream in the hummus section.)
  • Sour + Salt. Combining coarse salt with surprising sour flavors like pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango and lemon zest results in a lively finishing flavor that lends brightness and texture to dishes.
  • Smoked Spices. Smoking spices and herbs deepens their flavor and aroma, adding richness to meals and drinks.
  • Umami Veggies. For a fresh way to savor the tempting “fifth taste,” look no further than naturally umami-rich veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori.
  •  
    And for dessert:

     

    chicken-tagine-230r

    Will you be doing more slow cooking? Photo of chicken tagine courtesy McCormick. Here’s the recipe.

     

  • Cookies Reimagined. Classic spiced cookie flavors take new form in imaginative desserts that redefine “milk and cookies.”
  •  
    Visit FlavorForecast.com and Pinterest.com for recipes that reflect these trends, and to learn more in general.

      

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    RECIPE: Eggnog Panna Cotta

    eggnog-panna-cotta-driscolls-230

    Eggnog panna cotta. Photo courtesy
    Driscoll’s.

     

    Panna cotta is an Italian dessert whose name means “cooked cream.” The heavy cream and eggs form one of the different types of custard.

    This recipe, from Driscoll’s Berries, adds rum and brandy, ingredients of eggnog; and creates individual portions in ramekins. The puddings get a festive finish with a topping of colorful, sweet-tart balsamic raspberries.

    Prep time is 1 hour, chill time is 2 hours. Find more delicious recipes at Driscolls.com.

    RECIPE: EGGNOG PANNA COTTA WITH
    BALSAMIC RASPBERRY TOPPING

    Ingredients For 8 to 10 Servings

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • Canola oil for ramekins
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) plain gelatin
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons rum flavoring (or 1 teaspoon each rum flavoring and brandy flavoring)
  •  

    For The Balsamic Raspberries

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1-1/3 cups) raspberries
  •  

    Preparation

    1. LIGHTLY OIL six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups.

    2. SPRINKLE gelatin over 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl. Let it stand until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

    3. PLACE a fine mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl near the stove. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a second heatproof bowl until combined. Heat the cream and the remaining 3/4 cup milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until simmering.

    4. GRADUALLY WHISK the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the spoon (a finger run through the custard on the spoon will cut a swath) and an instant-read thermometer reads 185°F, about 3 minutes.

    5. POUR through the sieve into bowl. Discard any bits of cooked egg white in the sieve. Add the gelatin-milk mixture and rum extract to the cream mixture and whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Let stand 5 minutes to cool slightly.

     

    driscolls-boxes-imblogger.net-230

    Driscoll’s raspberries are available nationwide. Photo courtesy IMBlogger.net.

     

    6. DIVIDE the cream mixture evenly among ramekins. Cover each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 2 hours.

    7. MAKE the balsamic raspberries: Whisk the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar together in a medium bowl to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the raspberries. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

    8. ASSEMBLE: To unmold each panna cotta, run a dinner knife around the inside of the ramekin to release the panna cotta. Hold a dessert plate firmly over the ramekin and invert the plate and ramekin together. Shake firmly to unmold the panna cotta onto the plate.

    9. TOP each panna cotta with an equal amount of raspberries and their juices. Serve immediately.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Alternatives To Champagne

    You’ve just spent a pile of money on Christmas. Do you have to spend a mini-pile on Champagne for a crowd on New Year’s Eve?

    Nope. For starters you can head to Costco and pick up Kirkland Signature Brut Champagne for $19.99 a bottle, compared to a minimum of $27.99 or more for our favorite nonvintage Champagnes, Pol Roger and $32.99 (prices from Wine.com).

    Made in Champagne for Costco, Kirkland Champagne lacks the toasty complexity of a name Champagne, but unless they travel in connoisseur circles, most guests won’t notice the difference.

    There are other more affordable sparklers that also deserve attention—if not a place in a lineup for a New Year’s Eve bubbling tasting. Head to your wine store and check out the options in:

  • Asti Spumante and Prosecco from Italy
  • Cava from Spain
  • Cremant d’Alsace from the Alsace region of France
  • Sekt from Germany
  • Various sparklers from Austria, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.S. and other countries.
  •  

    cava-bucket-bottles-WSwineclub-230

    Cava, Spain’s alternative to Champagne. Photo courtesy WS Wine Club.

     
    Ask for recommendations from a staff member and look forward to the voyage of discovery. Here’s our recommendation:

    One of our favorite sparklers, Yellow Tail Sparkling Bubbles Rosé from Australia, can often be found for $10.

    You can also serve red bubblies such as Italian Brachetto and Lambrusco or sparkling Shiraz. For us, a fun New Year’s Eve involves tasting the different options.

     
    THE LARGEST CHAMPAGNE BRANDS

    According to a ranking compiled by industry publication The Drinks Business, the world’s largest Champagne brands in 2013 were:

    1. Moet & Chandon
    2. Veuve Clicquot
    3. Nicolas Feuillatte
    4. G.H. Mumm
    5. Laurent-Perrier
    6. Taittinger
    7. Piper-Heidsieck
    8. Pommery
    9. Lanson
    10.Canard-Duchene

    There are many smaller vintners who make beautiful Champagnes; you just don’t hear of them in the media. Instead, rely on recommendations from store personnel and friends.

    Head there now. The closer you get to New Year’s Eve, the longer the lines!

      

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