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Archive for 2015

RECIPE: Frizzled Ham & Brussels Sprouts

Here’s what to do with the leftover Christmas ham: Add it to lots of good-for-you cruciferous vegetables. We think that the ideal pairing is Brussels sprouts.

The recipe is from PorkBeInspired.com, the consumer website of the National Pork Board.

You can serve it as a main or a side.
 
WHAT IS FRIZZLED HAM?

Frizzle means to fry or grill with a sizzling noise. Frizzling is a technique used to crisp strips of cold cuts—bologna, ham, roast beef, turkey roll, etc.—in a frying pan. The crisped slices curl up like bacon (and you can substitute bacon for other frizzled meats).

Frizzled meat can be added to scrambled eggs and omelets, sandwiches, grains, vegetables, salads, as a soup garnish, etc.

RECIPE: SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH FRIZZLED HAM

Prep time is 30 minutes; cook time is 20 minutes plus 10 minutes resting time.

Ingredients For 8 Side Servings

  Brussels Sprouts With Frizzled Ham

When you frizzle ham, you cook it like bacon. Photo courtesy PorkBeInspired.com.

  • 6 slices ham, (about 3 ounces), cut in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1-3/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed as needed
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shallots† (8 to 10), thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (substitute pistachio nuts)
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  •  

    *The highly nutritious, anti-carcinogen Brassicaceae family of vegetables is also called the Cruciferous family, from cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing.” The flowers of these vegetables consist of four petals in the shape of a cross. The family includes arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips. Eat up!
     
    †If you don’t have shallots, substitute sweet onions. You want mild onion flavor in this recipe.

     

    Brussels Sprouts

    You can shave Brussels sprouts in a food
    processor or with a mandoline. Photo
    courtesy Domesticate-Me.com. Check out their
    Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower
    Salad recipe.

     

    Preparation

    1. SLICE the Brussels sprouts in batches, placing them in the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a thin slicing disk. If you don’t have a food processor with a thin slicing disk or a mandoline, thinly slice the Brussels sprouts by hand.

    2. ZEST the orange, then squeeze the juice, measuring out 1/4 cup for the recipe (save any remaining juice for another use). Set the Brussels sprouts, orange zest and orange juice aside.

    3. WARM the olive oil in a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisped and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer ham to a plate and set aside.

    4. ADD the butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.

     

    5. STIR in the Brussels sprouts; then stir in the orange zest and orange juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

    6. TRANSFER the Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl, top with the ham and serve.
      

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    RECIPE: The Easiest Seasonal Bundt Cake

    If you’re home from work for the holidays with guests dropping by, here’s a very easy seasonal bundt cake recipe. It freezes well, so you can stick it in the freezer and cut slices whenever you need them. It’s a delicious alternative to coffee cake, and a homey cake to bake for friends.

    What makes it so easy is starting with a cinnamon bundt cake mix. The best one we’ve tried is the Cinnamon Streusel Bundt Mix from Nordicware, makers of the bundt pan. At $15 a box it isn’t inexpensive, but it’s as good as homemade. As an alternative, Krusteaz and Betty Crocker have a mix for $2.50.

    For a seasonal touch, Chef Tom Fraker of Melissas.com added dried cranberries; we added pecans.

    For a fancier dessert, you can drizzle the slices with butterscotch or caramel sauce and garnish with whipped cream or mascarpone.

    RECIPE: CRANBERRY-APPLE CINNAMON BUNDT CAKE

    Ingredients

  • 1 box cinnamon bundt cake mix
  • Eggs, milk, and butter per cake mix directions
  • 2 Gala* apples, peeled and diced small
  • All-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Optional garnish: powdered sugar
  •  

    Cranberry Apple Bundt Cake

    A cinnamon streusel bundt, loaded with seasonal cranberries and pecans. Photo courtesy Melissas.

     
    *You can substitute the more tart Granny Smith or the more sweet Empire apples. All three hold their shape when baked.
     
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the cake batter according to package instructions.

    2. TOSS the diced apples in flour and shake off the excess. Fold the apples, cranberries and pecans into the cake batter. Bake the cake as directed on the package.

    3. DUST the cake with powdered sugar right before serving (otherwise it will absorb into the cake). Place the sugar in a small sieve (mini strainer), hold it over the cake and tap it to dust the top.

      

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    RECIPE: Pandoro Tiramisu

    Pandoro Tiramisu

    Bauli Pandoro

    Use pandoro instead of ladyfingers or sponge
    cake to make tiramisu. Photos courtesy
    Bauli.

     

    If you received a pandoro for Christmas, or see them marked down after Christmas, don’t let them sit: Turn them into dessert.

    Pandoro is a lighter version of sponge cake, sometimes accented with lemon zest. You slice it and eat it, warmed briefly in the microwave. You can toast slices and top them with ice cream and chocolate or caramel sauce.

    Or, you can turn the cake into a sophisticated tiramisu.

    Tiramisu is traditionally made with ladyfingers or sponge cake. In this recipe, Chef Fabio Viviani turns it into Tiramisu for Bauli.

    RECIPE: PANDORO TIRAMISU

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 Pandoro di Verona (35.2 ounces_
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 containers (8-ounces each) mascarpone*
  • 4 oz. sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 cups brewed espresso, cooled
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine†
  • 3 each Pandoro, cut into medium size sticks
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Garnish: 1/3 cup grated dark chocolate
  •  
    *If you can’t buy mascarpone, use the recipe below for a substitute.

    †Marsala is a fortified wine, a category that also includes Madeira, Port and Sherry. It is produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily, and has a D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) protected status. It is an ingredient in the desserts Tiramisu and Zabaglione, as well as Chicken Marsala and Veal Marsala. It is also enjoyed on the rocks. If you can’t get hold of it, you can substitute a sweet sherry.

     

    Preparation

    1. BEAT the egg yolks with 2 ounces of sugar until creamy. Place the mascarpone in a large bowl and using a wooden spoon, press out any lumps. Then add the egg mixture and mix until well combined.

    2. BEAT the egg whites, salt and the remaining sugar in a separate bowl, until fluffy and the egg whites hold their shape. Incorporate into the mascarpone mixture.

    3. MIX together the Marsala and the espresso. Dip the pandoro fingers briefly in the mixture, making sure to not let them soak for too long. Lay them flat into a 7″ by 11″ Pyrex baking dish. Once the first layer has been laid out, spread the mascarpone mixture on top. Dust with half of the cocoa powder. Repeat the same process again with remaining pandoro, cream and cocoa.

     

    RECIPE: MASCARPONE SUBSTITUTE

    If you can’t get mascarpone locally, you can make an easy approximation of it with readily-available dairy products.

    Ingredients For 1-1/2 Cups

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BLEND all ingredients until smooth.
     
    TIRAMISU HISTORY

    Tiramisu means “pick me up,” a reference to the caffeine from the espresso liqueur and the energy from the eggs and sugar. While there are many variations of the recipe, tiramisu is typically composed of layers of sponge cake or ladyfingers, soaked in espresso liqueur, coffee syrup or marsala, and layered with a mascarpone cheese and custard mixture. It is dusted with cocoa or shaved chocolate.

     

    Mascarpone With Biscotti

    Mascarpone can also be served with biscotti. Photo courtesy Vermont Creamery.

     
    For what is a classic Italian dessert, tiramisu is a relatively recent creation. The origins of the dessert are highly contested, but a strong claim has been made that the recipe was invented in the 1960s at the restaurant Alle Beccherie in Treviso, Italy, by pastry chef Loly Linguanotto. The restaurant’s matriarch, Alba Campeol, got the idea for the dessert after the birth of one of her children.

    Weak in bed, she was brought a zabaglione spiked with coffee, to give her energy. When she returned to work, she and her pastry chef worked on the “pick me up” layered dessert.

    The original Becchiere recipe did not contain alcohol because it was served to children as well as adults. Today, a good tiramisu is redolent of espresso liqueur or Marsala. You can read the full story, plus competing claims to the invention by another Treviso restaurateur, Carminantonio Iannaccone, in this Washington Post article.

      

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    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    kiwi-reindeer-orange-snowman-zespriFB-230

    Photo courtesy Zespri | Facebook.

     

     
    Merry Christmas
     
     
    Merry Whatever You

    Celebrate
     
     
    From All Of Us At
     
     
    THE NIBBLE

     

     
      

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    GIFTS: Last Minute Gifts

    Still in need of a holiday gift? Here are three for food lovers, in the form of electronic gift certificates (e-gift cards), quickly emailed from the companies’ websites.

    GOURMET CHOCOLATE GIFT CERTIFICATE

    We love to give Chocomize gift certificates. They enable the recipient to customize their own chocolate bars with a choice of scores of different add-ons.

    There are also boxes of bonbons, macarons and hot-chocolate-on-a-spoon, that that makes hot chocolate when swirled into milk.

    Gift certificates are available from $10 to $500 at Chocomize.com.

     
    GOURMET HOUSEWARES

    At Sur La Table, e-gift cards are available from $10 to $500. Head to SurLaTable.com. E-cards are emailed five times daily. If you want to send a conventional card, it takes 5-7 days.

    You can do the same at Williams-Sonoma.

    At both stores, e-gift cards can be used for purchases online, in-store or by phone.

    Plan ahead and you can add your own custom photo to a conventional gift card at Williams-Sonoma.

     

    Gift Card Sur La Table

    Chocomize Gift Card

    Go online and send e-gift cards (typically, a photo of a gift card gets e-mailed). Top photo: SurLaTable. Bottom photo: Chocomize.

     
    GOURMET RECIPE COLLECTION

    For someone who loves to cook, AllMyChefs.com is a new gastronomy site with recipes from more than 50 renowned French chefs. Alain Ducasse, Pierre Hermé, Paul Bocuse, Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert are just some of the top toques represented.

    The chefs share their secret recipes, tips and personal favorites.

    Subscriptions are $4.95/month; you can give a gift subscription, 1 year $59.90 or 6 months for $34.90. There’s also a 15-day free trial if you want to try it yourself.

    Head to AllMyChefs.com; the gift subscription tab is at the top right.

      

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