Four of this month’s roundup of favorite products will brighten your dinner table, and the last will satisfy your sweet tooth.
In alphabetical order, they are:
1. CRACKER BARREL Oven BAKED MACARONI & CHEESE
Cracker Barrel Cheese’s premium mac & cheese line has launched Oven Baked Macaroni & Cheese (photo #1) in three flavors:
Sharp Cheddar, seasoned with paprika and ground mustard.
Sharp White Cheddar, seasoned with black pepper and ground mustard.
Cheddar Havarti, seasoned with garlic and chives.
Fans of oven-baked mac and cheese prefer it for the crispy edges and the toasted bread crumbs. The bread crumbs are included, as well as flavorful seasonings; and the level of crispiness is up to you.
Just boil the noodles and mix the seasoning packet with melted butter and milk. Add the cheese sauce and the flavor mix, spoon into a baking dish and top with the toasted breadcrumbs.
Get yours at major retailers nationwide. Suggested Retail Price is $3.99 for a 12.34-ounce package.
For more information visit the Cracker Barrel Cheese website.
2. DELTA BLUES RICE GRITS
Delta Blues Rice (that’s the Mississippi Delta) is a fourth-generation family business that grows artisan rice. If you think that all white rice tastes the same, you won’t believe how much more flavorful it is than supermarket brands.
The company sells the rice in white and brown rice and rice grits, all made in small batches and milled for freshness.
We’ve enjoyed cornmeal grits since we were small fry, but had never tasted rice grits until the folks at Delta Blues Rice sent us a sample (photos #2 and #3).
We devoured the package and ordered more. For those who avoid corn-based foods, they’re a real find.
If you come from a grits-loving family, load up on them as gifts or favors for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Get yours at DeltaBluesRice.com.
3. ENTUBE FLAVOR PASTES
Big flavors come from little tubes. Entube is a line of flavorful pastes in three international flavors: curry, harissa and umeboshi (photos #4 and #5).
These are great to have on hand and are so easy to use. Instead of adding more salt when a dish needs some pizzazz, just add a bit of flavor paste—to anything from grains to cheese fondue to soups and stews.
We tried two of the three flavors: Curry and Harissa. Here’s how we used them.
3a. Entube Harissa Paste
Dip: Combine with yogurt to your desired spice level and use as dip for crudités or tortilla chips.
Sauce: Stir some paste into pasta sauce or the hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict (quite wonderful). With a mushroom sauce for roast chicken, add 1-1/2 teaspoons for 1 cup sauce.
Spread: Add to mayo for a great sandwich spread.
Roast Chicken: About 15 minutes before the chicken is due to come out of the oven, combine harissa-flavored plain yogurt with the hot drippings. Baste the chicken twice, five minutes apart. For the second basting, add the juice of 1/2 lemon to the yogurt and drippings, along with a bit of kosher salt to taste. This will slightly caramelize and crisp the skin.
Grilled Lamb: Morroccan lamb dishes are classically made with a harissa spice rub. We made a rack of lamb with the yogurt-Harissa Paste mix (4 tablespoons yogurt with 1 teaspoon paste) and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Brush it in on at the start of roasting and once more 5 minutes from the end. It perks up the slightly gamy flavor of lamb beautifully. (Cooking time for medium rare lamb is 22 minutes in a 425°F oven.)