THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.

Archive for April, 2017

TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Salad Bouquet

We found this spring salad (photo #1) on the social media pages of the New York City outpost of Catch seafood restaurant (a charming spot with a roof deck for alfresco dining).

The salad is no longer on the menu, but it looked so festive we had to make it for ourselves.

The ingredients:

  • Beets: red, orange and yellow (choose two; substitute chioggia beets, photo #3)
  • Baby greens
  • Capberberrieshttp://blog.thenibble.com/2014/09/26/tip-ways-to-add-more-flavor-to-food/
  • Chives
  • Croutons: pumpernickel (for color contrast and flavor)
  • Radish (look for specialty radishes, e.g. breakfash radish, watermelon radish)
  • Smoked salmon (substitute prosciutto or serrano ham)
  •  
    It’s topped with zigzags of ranch dressing.

    We preferred tossing it with a sprightly vinaigrette (two recipes below)

    More To Add To Your Spring Salad Bouquet

  • Asparagus
  • Citrus zest
  • Fiddlehead ferns (photo #2, blanched)
  • Garlic scapes
  • Kumquats, halved
  • Orange segments
  • Spring peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  •  
    SPRING SALAD VINAIGRETTE RECIPES

    RECIPE #1: BASIL VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 9 tablespoons basil olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  

    Spring Salad

    Fiddlehead Ferns

    Chioggia Beets

    [1] A festive spring salad at Catch NYC. [2] Fiddlehead ferns (photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE). [3] Chioggia beets (photo courtesy True Food Kitchen).

     
    Combine all ingredients. To emulsify so they don’t separate, use a blender or an Aerolatte Milk Frother.
     
    RECIPE #2: BLOOD ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

  • 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar (substitute sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Combine all ingredients. To emulsify so they don’t separate, use a blender or an Aerolatte Milk Frother.

      

    Comments off

    FOOD FUN: Hand Pies Grow Up

    Gourmet Hand Pies

    Raspberry Hand Pies

    Hand Pie, Ham & Cheese

    [1] Hand pies plated as a gourmet dessert at Sirena Cocina Latina in San Diego (alas, now closed). [2] Use cutters to make prettier pies, and crimp the edges with a fork (here’s the recipe from Driscoll’s Berries). [3] A ham, brie and fig jam hand pie with grainy mustard sauce (here’s the recipe from Cooking On The Front Burner).

     

    Like pie? Like savory pie? Like fancy desserts?

    Combine the two with plated hand pies. The pies, meant to be eaten without plate or fork, taste even better with a bit of glamour.

    Sweet Hand Pies

    Restaurant Sirena Cocina Latina in San Diego plated fruit pies with dessert garnishes (photo #1):

  • Mango purée (use your fruit of choice)
  • Berries (use fresh, caramelized or grilled fruit of choice)
  • Ice cream (substitute crème fraîche, mascarpone or whipped cream)
  • Cookie crumbs (under the ice cream)
  • Any garnish you like, from chocolate shavings to edible flowers
  •  
    Savory Hand Pies

    For an appetizer or first course, you can make meat, cheese or vegetable hand pies—or any variation combination (photo #3).

    Choose savory garnishes:

  • Chutney
  • Dairy-based: horseradish cream, flavored sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Gherkins or other pickled vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Sauces (cheese, marinara, tomatillo, whatever)
  • Herbs or microgreens
  • Small salad: Asian slaw, cucumber salad, dressed mesclun, etc.)
  •  
    TIP: Sweet or savory, use your cutters to create a shape at the top of the pie (photo #2).
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF HAND PIES

    Since there was dough, something to fill it with, and something to bake it on or in, there have been hand pies—beginning with savory pies.

    Cultures around the world have what we now call hand pies: portable meals that could be stuffed with leftovers or any variety of kitchen ingredients. Empanadas, a popular Mexican street food, Jewish knishes and and Jamaican meat patties are hand pies.

    Until someone in the U.S. called them hand pies (if you know who, raise your hand), these grab-and-go mini-meals were called meat pies or pasties (rhymes with nasty, not tasty).

    In our own culture, they trace their origins at least to 19th-century England, where they were a convenient lunch for Cornish tin miners—but not as we eat pasties today.

    For miners, the pastry casing kept the filling warm and dirt-free. Holding the edges, miners would eat the filling and discard the dough.

    Cornish immigrants to northern Michigan brought the tradition to the U.S. [source] The concept engendered fruit versions among America’s home pie bakers, and corner sweet shops sold them to enthusiastic fans.

     
    Sweet hand pies traveled south, where they became popular in New Orleans (Hubig’s bakery made theirs in a half-moon shape, with fruit, custard and chocolate fillings). Hand pies became a Southern snack staple, made for church bake sales, picnics and home treats.

    They’re portable, requiring no plate or fork, and can sit in the heat without melting. Give us a good crust, and we’re in!

     
      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Chilaquiles

    Instead of Huevos Rancheros on Cinco de Mayo, how about chilaquiles (chee-la-KEE-lace)?

    While there are numerous regional variations of this traditional Mexican breakfast or brunch dish, the basic recipe tops quartered, fried corn tortillas with salsa or mole sauce, and crowned with fried eggs.

    Pulled chicken can be added; the dish is topped with shredded queso fresco and/or crema, Mexican sour cream. Sliced raw onion, avocado or other garnish can be added. A side of refried beans typically completes the dish, which you can see in this recipe.

    Chef Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami sent us her own twist on the recipe. Forget the pulled chicken: She uses beef short ribs.

    We’ve broken her recipe into three separate ones, since you can use each in combination with other ingredients and dishes.

    RECIPE #1: SHORT RIB CHILAQUILES

    With Queso Fundido & Pickled Red Onion

    Prep time is 10 minutes; bake time is 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes.
     
    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1-1/2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325F. In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

    2. WHISK together the agave, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in another small bowl. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with the salt mixture, then place on lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

    3. BAKE the ribs for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Pull out and brush both sides with some of the agave glaze and bake for an additional hour. Remove the foil, brush with remaining agave glaze, and bake another 20 minutes.
     
    RECIPE #2: GREEN CHILE QUESO FUNDIDO*

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and roasted
  • 1 tablespoon yellow onion, chopped and roasted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup oaxaca* or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup corn tortillas, quartered and freshly fried†
  • ________________

    *Oaxaca cheese, pronounced wah-HOCK-a, is called the Mexican mozzarella.” It can be purchased in a ball or a braid. Fundido, the Spanish word for molten, refers to melted cheese.

    †The quick substitution here are tortilla chips or strips. It’s not authentic, but it works.
    ________________
     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Combine the jalapeño, onion, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, salt, honey, and oil in a blender and set aside.

    2. BAKE the cheese in a small ovenproof dish for 15 minutes or until bubbling.
     
    RECIPE #3: PICKLED RED ONION

    You may want to make quadruple the recipe: These pickled onions are a delicious garnish for just about anything.

    Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro
  •  
    Preparation

     

    Short Rib Chilaquiles

    Raw Short Ribs

    Oaxaca Cheese

    Chilaquiles

    Pickled Red Onions

    [1] Short rib chilaquiles (photo courtesy Chef Adrianne Calvo). [2] Raw short ribs (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Oaxaca cheese (photo courtesy Cheese.com). [4] Traditional chilaquiles (photo courtesy Avocados From Mexico). [5] Pickled red onion (photo courtesy Inspired Taste).

     
    1. BRING the ingredients to a boil in a small pot, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes.

    2. ASSEMBLE: Place the tortilla on a clean work surface. Layer with short rib, queso fundido and the green chile. Top with pickled onion and fresh cilantro.
     

    CHILAQUILES HISTORY

    The name derives from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word chilaquilitl, meaning herbs (or greens) in chili broth.

    A traditional Mexican peasant dish, it provided a way to use stale corn tortillas, a staple food of Central America which are fried as the base of the dish. Chiles, too, were native to the area and readily available.

    The simplest form of chilaquiles simply topped them with a salsa to soften them somewhat prior to eating: an easy way to fill the stomach. Their cultural significance is as a versatile staple for peasants [source].

    As the dish evolved, it incorporated inexpensive ingredients, including leftovers, to make it a main dish: bits of meat, cheese, or eggs.

    As with most dishes there are regional versions: in sauce (green, red, white sauce), in protein (cheese, chicken, pork, shrimp), garnishes (avocado, beans, cheese, onion, radishes), seasonings and spiciness (epazote, hot chiles), consistency and so on.

    Mexico City is known for using a spicy tomato sauce and always tops each serving with an ample sprig of .

    While the dish may be centuries old in Mexico, the first published recipes found in the U.S. are from a cookbook dating to 1898: El Cocinero Español (The Spanish Cook), by Encarnación Pinedo [source].

      

    Comments off

    TIP: Spring Produce

    We just couldn’t resist sharing this photo from Good Eggs, a purveyor of specialty foods—including the best local produce—in the San Francisco Bay area.

    Eat up while they’re in season: The season is fleeting.

    Spring Produce

    Comments off

    PRODUCT: Schuman Cheese Wizardry

    Fontina Aging Room Yellow Door Creamery

    Hand Rubbed Fontina Yellow Door Creamery

    [1] Cheeses aging in the Alpine Room. [2] Fontina in a variety of flavorful rubs, $6.99/wedge (photos courtesy Schuman Cheese).

     

    As food swami Anthony Bourdain has said, “you have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”

    Where do you go looking for real romantics these days? In Wisconsin. Turtle Lake Wisconsin.

    Turtle Lake is home to the Schuman family’s largest cheese making facility, which has quietly been importing and manufacturing award-winning cheeses for the past ten years.

    Never heard of them? It’s because they’ve primarily focused on supplying wholesale distributors with their superb products for a roster of demanding chefs, food service contractors, private-label markets, hotels, and restaurants around the world.

    Now though, they have a new name and some new cheeses that will richly cater to your own discerning taste. Newly named Schuman Cheese (formerly Arthur Schuman, Inc.) has begun to send two of their most intensely researched, developed and tested cheeses to markets where they’re awaiting your shopping cart.

    WHAT’S UP AT SCHUMAN CHEESE

    Focusing on cheeses people love to cook with and snack on every day, Schuman has created two brand families: Yellow Door Creamery, and Cello for Italian varieties. These unique cheeses are made by hand to European specifications.

    Separately, Schuman has formed an exclusive five-year relationship with France’s École nationale d’industrie laitière (ENIL), a series of five regional colleges that operate under the French Ministry of Agriculture and which defines the standards for cheesemaking artisans.

    The partnership is devoted to immersing Schuman’s cheesemakers in the same European techniques that make us crave French and Italian cheeses.

    Heading up this highly creative, passionate, and scientific effort is Christophe Megevand, who began his career in the French Alps. Having won numerous gold medals in cheese competitions for years, he oversees all of Schuman’s cheese production.

     

    His passion for cheesemaking is with him 24/7, and every six months his hand-picked colleague Julien Rouillaud, who has taught at the ENIL for ten years, have led the Schuman company to an evolving educational partnership with a single mission: enhancing the everyday quality of cheese.

    YELLOW DOOR CREAMERY

    Yellow Door Creamery’s award-winning Fontina, semi-firm and velvety, has been taken in hand and given a new flavor profile.

    Each perfect wheel gets a surface massage of distinctive, aromatic herbs directly from the hands of Schuman’s specially trained staff. They’re then cryovac-ed and aged for up to 50 days so that flavors ripen and fully develop.

    These are the three you should look for to make your cheeseboards (and your guests) smile:

  • Harissa: just-right heat and the excitement of Moroccan cuisine.
  • Habanero-Lime: an unusual combination that works like a dream, with the tiny pepper’s hot zap…and
  • Tuscan: bursts of the Italian herbals we love, like thyme, oregano, and basil.
  •  
    Soon on the way to join its family is a melodious Bergamot & Hibiscus-rubbed Fontina. It is maturing in the aging room, waiting to reach the same degree of perfection as its relatives.

    All are perfect cheeses to accompany cocktails or wine, and are welcome in the refrigerator for snacks. The cheeses are delicious in popular recipes, from stuffed mushrooms and onion soup gratin to frittata and fondue.

    New Alpine-Style Cheeses

    Starting in May, Yellow Door Creamery’s three new Alpine-style cheeses, long in the making and perfecting, will be introduced to consumers. Christophe, who grew up in the French Alps, is particularly fond of these, even though they are the most difficult ones to make.

    The cheeses are “naked cured” (not brined or aged in plastic), so that they are completely moisture-free, and are cultured and aged completely differently from softer cheeses. They are consistently tested and fine-tuned to produce different flavor notes.

    The three coming to market indicate the specific mountainous regions from which they originate:

  • Valis (valley) typifies the lower Alps, with gentler grassy flavor and a more pliable texture similar to Raclette.
  • Monteau (mountain) is more like a Vermont cheese–a bit stronger and firmer, similar to Appenzeller, with more complex flavor…and
  • Alta (high mountain), with its intensely sweet, nutty flavor, similar to Gruyère.
  •  
    The Alpine selections are great cooking cheeses (think raclette and fondue), and are heaven for grilled cheese lovers. They can also easily be grated over cooked dishes just before serving. Dried fruits and nuts are able-bodied partners.

    Yellow Door Creamery’s Hand-Rubbed Fontina is available at Costco, Sprouts stores, Sam’s Club, and Kroger supermarkets. The Alpine cheeses will launch in stores this summer.

    –Rowann Gilman

     

    RECIPE #1: FIG JAM & HARISSA FONTINA CROSITNI

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into ½-inch slices
  • ½ cup fig jam
  • 6 ounces Yellow Door Creamery Harissa Rubbed Fontina, cubed
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  
    Preparation
    1. PREHEAT the broiler to high. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and arrange on a large baking sheet. Broil for 2-3 minutes, just until the baguette is golden-brown and toasty.

    2. REMOVE from the oven and immediately top with the cubed cheese. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt slightly.

    3. PLACE a dollop the jam over the cheese and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

    RECIPE #2: FONTINA-STUFFED MUSHROOMS WITH PICO DE GALLO

    Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms, thoroughly cleaned
  • 6-8 ounces Yellow Door Creamery Habanero and Lime Rubbed Fontina, shredded
  • 1 poblano, thinly sliced
  • Garnish: micro cilantro
  •  
    For The Pico de Gallo

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly diced
  • 1 tablespoon micro cilantro
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pico de gallo: Toss the ingredients together and set aside.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms; reserve the stems for another use. Lay the mushroom caps top side down on a baking sheet.

     

    Fig Jam Harissa Fontina Crostini

    Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms

    [3] Crostini with Harissa Rubbed Fontina and fig jam. [4] Mushrooms stuffed with poblano chile and Habanero And Lime Rubbed Fontina (photos and recipes courtesy Schuman Cheese).

     
    3. COMBINE the poblano and fontina and generously fill each mushroom with the mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are nicely browned and juicy and the fontina is all melted. Let cool slightly.

    4. TOP with micro cilantro and serve with pico de gallo.

      

    Comments off



    © Copyright 2005-2017 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.