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Archive for January 4, 2015

RECIPE: Sugar Snap Pea & Tuna Salad

This “anytime salad” is fresh, crisp and light, thanks to an ingredient we don’t use often enough: sugar snap peas.

Fresh sugar snap peas are available almost year-round. We often buy them for a crudité platter, but don’t think to add them to salads.

This recipe is adapted from a tuna-less version at Robin’s Restaurant in Cambria, California, a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County. (All of the food looks great!)

RECIPE: FRESH SNAP PEA & TUNA SALAD

Ingredients For 8-10 Side Salad Servings

  • 3 cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • Optional: 1 ball fresh mozzarella*, shredded
  • 1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 large sweet onion (like Vidalia), thinly sliced
  • 3/4 tablespoon capers
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Pepper and salt to taste
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    snap-pea-salad-robinsrestaurant-230r

    Use more snap peas in your salads! Photo courtesy Robin’s Restaurant.

     
    Preparation

    1. TOSS all ingredients together and serve. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

     
    *You can substitute shredded white Cheddar or crumbled goat cheese. Instead of cheese, substitute chicken, shrimp or other seafood.

     

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    Sugar snap peas. Photo courtesy Burpee.com.

     

    WHAT ARE SUGAR SNAP PEAS?

    Popular in Asian stir-fries, sugar snap peas, called snap peas for short, are a relative of the familiar, everyday English peas, also known as garden peas or green peas.

    Both are pod peas, but English peas are removed from the pod; the pod of sugar snap peas is less fibrous, and edible when young. Mature snap pea pods may need to be “stringed,” removing the membranous string that running along the top of the pod from base to tip.

    Sugar snap peas are a hybrid, developed in the 1970s by crossing Chinese snow peas with a mutant shell pea plant. This was done by Dr. Calvin Lamborn and Dr. M.C. Parker of Twin Falls, Idaho. Thanks, gents: We love sugar snap peas! [Source]

    When purchasing, look for pods that are firm and crisp. They shouldn’t bend but should snap (hence the name). Don’t worry about any white scarring on the pod; it doesn’t affect the flavor, and depending on your point of view, adds visual interest.

     

    To store: refrigerate the peas in a tightly sealed plastic bag. They’ll last for four or five days.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pita Tartine

    With the goal of eating lighter, we love this idea from Ozery Bakery: the pita tartine.

    Tartine is the French term for an open-face sandwich. In this version, Ozery piles on the healthful ingredients: black beans, radishes, grape tomatoes, red onions, greens and guacamole.

    You can add:

  • Fruit: thinly-sliced apples, figs, pears
  • Greens: arugula, baby spinach, fresh herbs, mesclun mix, shredded lettuce, watercress
  • Proteins: beans; flaked tuna; diced or shredded chicken, ham or prosciutto; seafood (use up your leftovers!), shredded cheese
  • Vegetables: grilled, sautéed and/or pickled
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    For a spread, hummus adds protein; a slick of chipotle mayonnaise adds kick.
     
    You can slice the pita in half horizontally for even less bread, or use a wrap. Then, roll and enjoy!

    Family-owned Ozery Bakery started 15 years ago, its delicious products making their way to the U.S. in recent years. It was a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week, and continues to be a favorite here.

     

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    Fetchingly delicious: turn your sandwich into art. Photo courtesy Ozery.

     
    For more information, or to find a retailer near you, visit OzeryBakery.com.

    Here are more tartine sandwich ideas.

      

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    PRODUCT: Keurig 2.0 Coffee System

    The Keurig 2.0 was launched this past fall, and was on Christmas wish lists for more than a few Keurig fans. If Santa didn’t bring you one, it may be the time to pick one up.

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    Make single cups with smaller capsules, or a
    small carafe with a larger capsule. Photo
    courtesy Keurig Green Mountain.

     

    The 2.0 is a game changer in the single-serve coffee category. It makes both single cups, and 28-ounce carafes; the latter provides a bit more than four six-ounce pours into eight-ounce cups. (Alternatively, it will fill almost three mugs, if you pour ten ounces of coffee into a 12-ounce mug.)

    Here are the changes that may or may not affect you:

  • It requires a new size of K-Cup. The original Keurig K-Cups won’t work in the 2.0. The K-cups for the 2.0 are larger, similar to the Keurig VUE cups, which will work in the 2.0 for as long as the company keeps producing this green packaging (which for whatever reason was made in a different size and required a different Keurig machine entirely, which has been discontinued).
  • You can’t use cups not manufactured by Green Mountain, owners of Keurig. The 2.0 has an RFID reader that reads an RFID chip in the new cups. Nothing else will work. Keurig’s K-Cup patent expired in 2012, which made way for lower cost, third-party cups (also called “aftermarket” cups). Keurig could decide to sell aftermarket manufacturers a license, but don’t expect the lower prices if they’re paying a licensing fee.
  • The K-Cups seem to cost the same. Individual K-Cups run $17.99/$16.19 for 24 cups, or 75¢/67¢ per cup.
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  • Similarly, there are no coffee filter baskets for outside coffee. If you have been using a refillable cup with your favorite, non-Green Mountain coffee, it won’t work with the 2.0. Hopefully, Keurig will manufacture a compatible basket down the road.
  • You need still other cups to make a carafe. These are called carafe packs, and they’re larger than K-Cups. The new opportunity: You can brew a carafe and stick it in the fridge for iced coffee. The carafe packs are selling on the Keurig website for $14.99/$13.49 for members, for eight units. That’s $1.87/$1.68 per carafe, or 47¢/42¢- per cup.
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    THE THREE KEURIG MODELS

    The Keurig 2.0 Brewing System comes in three sizes, with an option that includes a variety of K-Cups and K-Carafe packs for an additional $10.

  • All three models brew single cups with K-cups and carafes with the K-Carafe Pack.
  • All three have “strength control,” allowing you to brew a stronger or weaker cup.
  • You get another 10 ounces of water in the reservoir, or another mug of coffee, with each size increase.
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    The differences:

  • K300/350, $149.99, 60-ounce water reservoir. The clock is not programmable and the touch display is monochrome.
  • K400/450, $169.99, 70-ounce water reservoir. The touch display is in color, the clock is customizable and you can save favorite settings.
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    The coffee cup isn’t included, but the basic package includes the carafe. Our suggestion: Upgrade to the sampler kit. Photo courtesy Keurig Green Mountain.

  • K500/550, $199.99, 80-ounce water reservoir. The touch display is in color and large, the clock is customizable and you can save favorite settings. There’s a customizable night light and wallpaper, and a feature called hot water on-demand, if, for example, you need hot water to use with your own teabag or hot chocolate mix.
  •  
    Our philosophy is, when offered decisions like these, spend the extra few bucks and go deluxe. If you’re counting your dollars, you shouldn’t be paying more for coffee via a single cup system.

    For more information, visit Keurig.com.

      

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