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Archive for March 10, 2015

RECIPE: Broccoli Madness Salad

For green fare on St. Patrick’s Day, try this very green broccoli salad from Souplantation. It has plenty of added ingredients (bacon! raisins! cashews!) to make it a crowd pleaser.

RECIPE: BROCCOLI MADNESS SALAD

Ingredients For 6 Side Salad Servings

  • 1 head raw broccoli
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  •  
    For The Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  •  

    broccoli-madness-salad-souplantation-230r

    An easy broccoli salad, sure to please all. Photo courtesy Souplantation.

     
    Preparation

    1. WASH the broccoli and pat dry. Chop off the bottom 2 inches or so of stems and break the head into florets.

    2. PLACE the florets in a large bowl; add the bacon, cashews, raisins and red onion.

    3. MAKE the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, sugar and cider vinegar in a small bowl; stir until smooth.

    4. TOSS the broccoli mixture with the dressing. Let it set 10 minutes or longer before serving. Serve on chilled salad dishes.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Green Bean Casserole

    green-bean-casserole-comteUSAfb-230

    A green bean casserole smothered with
    delicious Comté cheese. Photo courtesy
    Comté USA.

     

    In our mother’s day, green bean casserole was a popular family dish. We can’t remember the last decade we saw one, either at home or on a restaurant menu.

    So St. Patrick’s Day, coming up on March 17th, seems like the time to try a good recipe and put more green on the table.

    This recipe was shared with us by Comté USA, the American bureau for France’s popular Comté cheese. Also called Gruyère de Comté, it has a much milder flavor than the Swiss Gruyère, aged for only three months compared to 8 months with Swiss Gruyère.

    How popular is it? Comté has the highest production of all French AOC cheeses: around 40,000 tonnes* annually.

    Dating back to the 12th century, Comté is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France. Here’s some fun cheese trivia: Comté is made only during the summer months, in huge wheels. In the fall, milk from the same cows is used to make Vacherin Mont d’Or, a small, creamy cheese that couldn’t be more different.

    If you want to focus on Irish ingredients, look for a Gruyere-style Irish cheese like Glebe Brethan.

     
    *In American English, a ton is a unit of measurement equaling 2,000 pounds. In Europe and elsewhere, a tonne equals 2,240 pounds (1000 kg). Don’t assume it’s the same measurement with a different spelling!
     
    RECIPE: GREEN BEAN & MUSHROOM GRATIN WITH COMTÉ & FRIED SHALLOTS

    This is a sophisticated version of a classic green bean casserole. No condensed cream of mushroom soup, no canned French-fried onions!

    Ingredients

  • ½ pound shallots (about 6 whole), peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms†, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4-ounces Comté, shredded (2 scant cups shredded)
  •  
    †Cremini/crimini mushrooms are baby portabello/portobello mushrooms, often marketed as Baby Bellas. Check out the different types of mushrooms in our Mushroom Glossary.

     

    Preparation

    1. LINE a large plate with paper towels. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer and lightly smoke. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, about 7-9 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to the paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

    3. BRING a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes. While the beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop cooking. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel to dry.

    4. MELT the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and toss. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and the minced garlic; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Whisk in the broth and milk and bring to a simmer. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until thickened.

     

    comte-platter-comteUSA-fb-230

    Comté cheese. Photo courtesy Comte USA.

     
    5. TURN off the heat and add half of the shredded Comté, along with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the green beans and stir to coat.

    6. TRANSFER the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Comté over the top. Bake 10 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle the fried shallots over the gratin. Serve warm.

      

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    PRODUCT: Fries In A Cone

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    French fry fun at home. Photo courtesy Gibson Table Compliments.

     

    If you love eating fries from a metal cone, the way some restaurants serve them, here’s a fun item from Gibson Table Compliments.

    The four-piece French Fry Serving Set has metal coned with ceramic inserts, a drip-proof alternative to the paper liners used at restaurants. There are two dipping cups that attach to each cone as an optional way to serve condiments.

    Beyond French fries, you can use the cones to serve other veggie fries and fried foods like mozzarella sticks. In fact, you can serve anything in them, from breakfast cereal to an ice cream sundae.

    A set of four is $25.00 at Amazon.com. All parts are dishwasher safe.

    If you prefer butcher paper in your cone instead of ceramic, here’s a similar cone-only product.

    The white tissue liners are sold in packs of 2,000. If you’re going to load up, consider this version, printed to look like an English, French or Italian newspaper.

    Love them!

     
    Now for more fun:

    How many different types of French fries have you had? There are almost 30!

      

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