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Archive for 2017

RECIPE: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

May 10th is National Shrimp Day.

We could easily be happy with plate of boiled jumbo shrimp, a lemon wedge and a bit of seafood sauce.

But this recipe for bacon-wrapped shrimp, sent to us by Zatarain’s, wins the nostalgia vote.

It took us back decades to our parent’ cocktail parties, when bacon-wrapped shrimp and bacon-wrapped dates, or a rumkai—were de rigeur.

Those with more basic tastes drank bourbon or scotch on the rocks. Few people were home mixologists Drinks of whiskey mixed with club soda or ginger ale were served on the rocks in highball (tall) or lowball (short, a.k.a. rocks) glasses.

There was no American craft beer in those days, or even wine (except for gourmets who drank it as apéritifs and with meals at European restaurants). No one had even had a tequila drink, unless they’d been to Mexico.

And there was no National Shrimp Day.

But we have it all now. So, we’re turning on the broiler and making a pile of bacon-wrapped shrimp. Who’s in?

RECIPE: ZESTY BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP

In New Orleans, cooks add a Creole spin to this retro shrimp appetizer. You can prepare it in the morning and pop it in the oven later in the day. Find more shrimp at McCormick.com/Zatarains.

You can have it as an appetizer, or make a dinner of it. Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

Ingredients For 8 Two-Piece Appetizer Servings
—Or—
2-3 Dinner Servings

  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined, tails left on
  • 16 slices bacon
  • Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning
  •    

    Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Zatarain's Creole Seasoning

    [1] Bacon-wrapped shrimp from Zatarain’s. [2] Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning; photo courtesy Flour On My Face, who uses it in a Crockpot Jambalaya recipe.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Line baking pan with foil and place flat baking rack in the pan.

    2. WRAP each shrimp with 1 slice of bacon, lightly sprinkle with Creole seasoning and place the shrimp on the rack, seasoning side down. Sprinkle all the tops with the seasoning as well. Let stand 15 minutes

    3. BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp around the edges and the shrimp turn pink. Serve warm.

     

    Angels On Horseback

    Devils On Horseback

    Rumaki

    The predecessors of bacon-wrapped shrimp: [3] Angels On Horseback, bacon-wrapped oysters. Here’s a recipe from the Wealden Times. [4] Devils On Horseback. Here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart Living. [5] Rumaki, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. Here’s a recipe from Goldilocks Kitchen.

     

    RECIPE: CREOLE SEASONING

    If you don’t have Creole seasoning, it’s easy to make your own. This recipe makes much more than you need for the chicken salad, but you can cut it down or use the extra in other recipes, from eggs to burgers.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 teaspoons granulated garlic
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all the spices in a bowl, and stir to combine.

    2. STORE in an airtight container away from light and heat, but use as quickly as possible.
     
     
    WHAT ELSE TO MAKE WITH CREOLE SEASONING

  • Use it as a general seasoning for dips, fish, ketchup, mayonnaise, popcorn, poultry, rice, soup, vinaigrette—even spicy yogurt!
  • Andouille Sausage Pizza
  • Cajun Chicken Salad
  • Gumbalaya (a mash-up of gumbo and jambalaya)
  • Gumbo
  • Jambalaya
  • Hazelnut-Crusted Sea Bass
  • Steamed Mussels
  •  
     
    THE HISTORY OF BACON-WRAPPED SHRIMP

    Nineteenth-century Britain saw the rise in popularity of an appetizer called Angels On Horseback: skewered broiled oysters wrapped in bacon and “riding on slivers of toast.” It was also called Oysters And Bacon and yes, Pigs in Blankets, a recipe now known as mini sausages wrapped in pastry.

    “It’s an excellent lesson in how words, like recipes, change meaning over time,” says etymologist John Ayto in An A to Z of Food and Drink [source].

    The recipe is first documented in the 1888 edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

    Devils On Horseback, a later recipe, substituted stuffed prunes for the oysters.

    Fast forward to the other side of the pond. Other foods began to be wrapped in bacon: scallops, shrimp, even stuffed olives and pineapple chunks.

    Another variation, bacon-wrapped chicken liver—rumaki—appeared. The first known reference of rumaki is on the 1941 menu of the Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Palm Springs, California.

     
    Rumaki were skewered water chestnuts and chicken livers, wrapped in bacon and marinated in soy sauce and ginger or brown sugar prior to broiling.

    The restaurant was founded in 1934, and was the beginning of the tiki craze in the U.S.

    Tiki restaurants—an American “interpretation” of Polynesian food and decor—featured a selection of different bites as faux-Hawaiian pupu (hors d’oeuvre).

    A flaming pupu platter of mixed “Polynesian” hors d’oeuvres was a sensation that trickled down to home preparations.

    So where’s the bacon-wrapped shrimp? So far, there’s a missing link.

    We did find a reference to shrimp skewered with a chestnut and a piece of green onion. It isn’t a stretch to think that someone added a bacon wrap…and that the recipe devolved to just the shrimp and bacon.

     
    CAJUN VS. CREOLE: THE DIFFERENCE

    Cajun and Creole are not the same, although people removed from Louisiana often use them without distinction.

  • Creole referred to people who were born to settlers in French Colonial Louisiana, specifically in New Orleans. In the 18th century, Creoles were the descendants of the French and Spanish upper class that ruled the city.
  • Cajuns, on the other hand, emigrated from the Acadia region of Canada, which consisted of present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. They settled in the swampy region of Louisiana that is today known as Acadiana. Their name in French, les Acadians, became shortened in the vernacular to Cajun.
  • Some people think of Creole cuisine as “city food” and Cajun cuisine as “country food.” But to eyeball a dish and tell its provenance, here’s a simple trick: Creole cuisine uses tomatoes and Cajun food typically does not. That’s how to quickly distinguish a Cajun gumbo or jambalaya from a Creole gumbo or jambalaya.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Plateau De Fruits De Mer For Vegetarians & The Seafood Averse

    One of our favorite I-deserve-a-treat meals is a big plateau de fruits de mer (PLAH-toe-duh MARE, platter of fruits of the sea—photo #1): a large pile, nicely arranged, of raw shellfish (clams and oysters in multiple varieties, scallops) and lightly cooked shellfish (crab legs, langoustine, lobster, lump crab meat, mussels, prawns, shrimp).

    Sometimes, in coastal areas, it may include delicacies that are rarely seen inland: abalone, cockles, limpets, periwinkles, sea snails, whelks.

    A plateau de fruits de mer is considered an appetizer and comes in different sizes depending on the number of participants.

    We’ll just have the whole thing as our appetizer and entrée combined—two or three tiers of it. We don’t even need the mignonette sauce and spicy seafood sauce that typically accompany it; just the lemon wedges.

    There are extra points for adding those custardy echinoderm corals* from sea urchins—ideally presented in their dramatic porcupine-spiky shells.

    Sashimi doesn’t count here…not that we wouldn’t be just as happy to eat the contents of a large funamori (sashimi boat—photo #3).

    But let the French serve their beautiful plateaux des fruits de mer and let the Japanese serve their beautiful funamori. It’s more special that way; and as the French say, “Vive la différence.”

    (The Japanese translation is “Vive no ra chigai,” although we’re not certain that the Japanese actually use the phrase.)

    But what if you’re allergic to seafood, a vegetarian, vegan, kosher, unable to eat raw foods, and so forth?

    You can create a kindred dish that we’ll call a plateau des légumes, a tiered platter of gorgeous vegetables (photo #2).

  • Similar to the plateau de mer, it’s a mix of raw and lightly cooked produce.
  • Serve it with two or more dips, including a tart, vinaigrette-type dip and a creamy one.
  • Consider some dipping spices, like berbere, dukkah or ras el hanout†.
  •  
    This inspired idea—serving a melange of raw and cooked vegetables on a tiered tray—is from Botanica, an exciting new vegetarian-focused restaurant in Los Angeles. If you can’t be there, you can still enjoy the riches of their webzine, which is available to everyone.

    We spent hours poring over their Facebook and Instagram photos of beautiful, nutritious, locavore‡ and guilt-free foods for every meal. There was nothing we didn’t want—immediately!

    Whether you go for the seafood or vegetable plateau, either is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Lactose-free
  • Low calorie
  • Low fat
  • Low-Carb
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Sugar-Free
  •  

    Plateau de Mer

    Plateau des Légumes

    Sashimi Funamori

    [1] Plateau de fruits de mer at The Smith in New York City. [2] An analogous vegetable platter at Botanica in Los Angeles. [3] Funamori: the Japanese version of plateau de mer (photo courtesy Kintarouonsen.co.jp).

     
    If you decide to buy a tiered tray, you can also use it for cupcakes, cookies and other sweets; tea sandwiches’ and other festive presentations.

    FOOD HISTORY: THE ENTRÉE

    In the modern-day U.S. and Canada, an entrée refers to the main dish of dinner. In French cuisine, as well as in the English-speaking world outside of North America, it is a dish served before the main course in a multi-course dinner.

    In French, the word originally denoted the “entry” of the dishes into the dining halls of the wealthy. You can see Medieval paintings and illustrations (here’s one) that they enter with a trumpet fanfare from the musicians’ gallery.

    The procession of servants bearing a large number of dishes was led by by the maître d’hôtel, who carried the tureen. The procession marched around the room, presenting the fare to all diners before beginning to serve the courses [source].

    ________________

    *The corals are also called roe, both terms more appetizing than their biological name: gonads. Both male and female sea urchins have the delectable, edible “sea urchin roe,” which are difficult to gather and thus a pricey delicacy.

    †You can mix your own from any combination of chiles, citrus peel, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, nutmeg and peppercorns.

    ‡We acknowledge that it’s easy to cook locavore when you live in the land of perpetually plentiful produce: California.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Mostarda, A Sweet-Hot Italian Condiment

    Mostarda di Cremona

    Mostarda di Cremona

    Mostarda

    Mostarda Bolognese

    Mostarda di Mantova

    [1] The classic: mostarda di cremona. Here’s a recipe to make your own from The Spruce). [2] A cremona close-up (photo courtesy Cucina Corriere. [3] Mostarda vicentina has a jam-like consistency, losing the physical beauty of other mostardas (photo courtesy Buonissimo). [4] Mostarda di mantova, made from apples, pears and quince (photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese).

     

    Years ago, on a trip to Italy, we first came across mostarda di frutta, mostarda for short.

    A sweet-and-hot, fruit-and-mustard condiment from the north of Italy, it’s our go-to condiment with Italian cheeses, and some other nationalities on the cheese board. We offer more uses below.

    Think of mostarda as a mustardy fruit chutney—although mostarda uses mostly candied fruits. (The Italian word for mustard in the English-language issenape).

    Candied whole small fruits or larger pieces of fruit are beautifully suspended in a clear syrup flavored with mustard oil. It’s clear and doesn’t cloud the syrup. Home recipes often use mustard powder mixed into white wine.

    Some mostarda is lovely to look at, like part of a still life painting. It is cooked slowly (often over three days) to maintain the natural bright colors of the fruit, and the perfect texture.

    Buy jars as gifts for your foodie friends.

    The origin of the word comes from a Latin term of the Middle Ages, mustum ardens, “grape juice [must] that burns,” a term first used in the Middle Ages by French monks, for the mustard they made (the history of mustard).

    It burns because of the addition of crushed mustard seeds. Once crushed, the seeds release the fiery mustard oil that gives the mustard condiment its flavor.

    THE HISTORY OF MOSTARDA

    From the Middle Ages forward, man has sought ways to enjoy the fruits that are scarce in winter, at least through the celebrations of Christmas.

    Mostarda is a food born from the need to preserve fruits for the off-season. Originally, the fruits were preserved in mosto (grape must*), unfermented grape juice that has been reduced to a syrup.

    Mostarda’s origins date back to the honey and mustard condiments of ancient Rome. Grape must (freshly pressed grape juice) was mixed with ground mustard seeds and honey to create a sweet mustard. Later, fruit was added.

    Recipes for “modern” mostarda, dating from the 13th century, call for the use of grape must. The first written document “Fruit Mostarda for festive season” dates to 1393 and is attributed to Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan [source].

  • Grape must, called must for short, is the young, unfermented juice of wine grapes. Among other uses (in saba and vin cotto, for starters), it is mixed with ground mustard seeds to make mustard.
  • Subsequently, the condiment mostarda was made by candying the fruits and adding mustard oil to create sweet heat. Both the sugar to candy the fruits and the mustard oil were preservatives.
  • And by the way, mostarda became a Christmas tradition, traditionally eaten with creamy, slightly sweet mascarpone cheese.
  •  
    Beginning in the 16th century, newly-affordable sugar replaced the must to candy the fruits, then mustard was added [source]. The oldest known recipe prepared with fruit, mustard and sugar, without the grape must, was found in 17th century Belgium.

    From that point on, cookbooks began to include mostarda as a main ingredient. By the 19th century there were some 93 different varieties.

    The sweet heat went really well with boiled meats. Initially, mostarda was the served with bollito misto, a plate of mixed boiled meats that’s a specialty of northern Italian cuisine (there’s more below about uses for mostarda).

    TYPES OF MOSTARDA

    According to legend, mostarda was invented by chance in medieval times. In an apothecary shop, a piece of melon fell unnoticed into a barrel filled with honey.

    When it was later discovered, the melon was still as delicious as if it had been freshly picked (honey, which is virtually moisture-free, is an excellent preservative) [source].

    Mostarda itself takes on different ingredients in different regions, incorporating local fruits—whatever is plentiful in the region. Raisins, nuts and other ingredients can be added.

    As one source notes, almost every town in the Po valley has its own recipe.

    There are many, many mostarda recipes, from grape and fig (uva e ficchi) to vegetable mustards (also candied) modern recipes with non-Italian ingredients, from cardamom pods to pineapple and pumpkin.

    Here are some of the most famous, named for the areas where they originated.

  • Mostarda bolognese is made from apples, oranges, pears, plums and quince. In the area of Bologna, it is used to flavor the classic dish of boiled pork and cooked sausages, as well as to fill tarts and in other sweets.
  • Mostarda di carpi, from a town in the Emilia-Romagna region. It still uses red grape must in its recipe, along with oranges, pears, quince and sweet apples,
  • Mostarda di cremona also called mostarda cremonese, is the classic recipe, made with several different kinds of fruits (the makers choice among apricots, cherries, figs, peaches, pears, quinces and tangerines). It is the most commercially available style.
  • Mostarda di mantova, also called mostarda mantovana and mostarda di mele campanine, is made from tart= green apples called mele campanine (singular mela campanina) and pears or quince.
  •  

  • Mostarda veneziana, from the Venice region, is made with fresh quince pulp (a minimum of 36% pure pulp), and candied fruits (apricots, clementines, figs, white pears, yellow cherries). It is intentionally grainy/sugary.
  • Mostarda vicentina, from the town of Vicenza in the Veneto region, is characterized by a jam-like consistency and the use of quince (mele cotogne) as its main ingredient. During the Christmas holidays, it is eaten with spoonfuls with mascarpone.
  • Mostarda di voghera, in the Lombardy region of Italy, has documentation from 1397, when Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti requested “mostarda de fructa cum la senavra.” The recipe can include apples, apricots, candied orange peel, cherries, clementines, figs, lemon, melon and pears.
  • Mostarda siciliana is made with orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and often, toasted chopped almonds.
  • Dalmatian mostarda, made in Croatia across the Adriatic Sea from Venice, is a simpler recipe, made with quinces and honey.
  •  

    WAYS TO USE MOSTARDA

    Any discussion starts with bollito misto a fundamental part of Northern Italian cuisine. It’s a one-pot meal, Italian comfort food.

    The boiled meats vary by region, and a very elaborate presentation can include seven kinds of meat and fowl, seven vegetables and seven condiments.

    The meats can include beef brisket, beef cheeks, calf’s tongue, chicken or capon (or turkey), cotechino sausage, pork shank, sweet Italian sausage, veal shank—slowly boiled in a large pot with carrots, celery, onions and potatoes.

    The cooked cooked meats are sliced, placed on a platter and served with mostarda—or, for those seeking a different flavor profile, with a green herb sauce (salsa verde). The savory broth that remains in the pot can then be turned into soup.

    Why not plan a dinner party, with a multi-mostarda tasting?

    Over time, mostarda became a broad-purpose condiment.

    The heat of mostarda varies by producer. In general, however, it needs a hearty food that can show off both the sweet and the heat.

    Serve mostarda with:

  • Eggs: omelets, sliced egg sandwich on crusty toast.
  • Cheeses: as a condiment on a cheese board, or drizzled over individually plated slices or scoops of mascarpone or ricotta. In Italy, gorgonzola and stracchino are popular.
  • Meats: any boiled, braised, broiled, roasted or smoked, from chicken and turkey to ham, pork loin and beef brisket and sausages.
  • Up-condimenting: added to a dip base or mayonnaise for a more complex flavor.
  • Salume and other charcuterie).
  • Sandwiches: grilled vegetables, Italian cold cuts, porchetta, roast beef, strong cheeses.
  •  
    You can find many mostarda recipes online, and can purchase it in specialty food stores and Italian markets. You can also buy it online.

    Don’t be put off by the high price for a small jar. If you look at the ingredients in the recipe, you’ll see it as a bargain.

    Let us know how you like it.

    Discover the world of mustard in our Mustard Glossary.

    PHOTO CAPTIONS

    [5] Bollito misto, a dish often served with mustard (photo courtesy Cucina Italiana).

    [6] Add a ramekin of mostarda to a cheese and/or charcuterie board (photo courtesy Good Eggs).

    [7] A delicious appetizer or snack: bruschetta with prosciutto, burrata and pear mostarda (photo courtesy Davio’s Boston).

     

    Bollito Misto

    Cheese Board

    Prosciutto Burrata Bruschetta

     

      

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    RECIPE: Rosewater Raspberry Meringues

    Raspberry Rosewater Meringues

    Bowl Of Raspberries

    Nielsen Massey Rosewater

    [1] Raspberries combine with rosewater in these pretty-in-pink meringues from Chef Ingrid Hoffmann. [2] Fresh raspberries from Driscoll’s Berries. [3] There are many uses for rosewater, in both food and beverages, and toiletries. Here’s a recipe for iced chai latte with rosemary from All Day I Dream Of Food.

     

    We so enjoyed the red wine meringue cookies we made for Valentine’s Day that we decided to make another pink, flavored meringue for Mother’s Day.

    This recipe, from Chef Ingrid Hoffmann, combines fresh raspberries with rosewater (also spelled rose water).

    WHAT IS ROSEWATER?

    Since ancient times, roses have been used nutritionally, medicinally, for religious purposes, and to make cosmetics, and as a source of perfume. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians considered their large public rose gardens to be as important as as orchards and wheat fields [source].

    Culinary rose water is believed to have been first created in Persia during the Sasanian dynasty (224 to 651 C.E.). It was a by-product of producing rose oil (attar of roses) for perfume.

    It can be made at home, simply by steeping rose petals in water; and is available commercially. Here’s a recipe to make your own. If you’re making it to consume (as opposed to a skin refreshener), use organic roses.

    You can buy a bottle in any Middle Eastern or Indian grocery, or online.

    In the Middle East and eastward to India and Pakistan, rosewater is used in, among other preparations:

  • Beverages: jallab (a fruit syrup mixed with still or sparkling water), lassi (a yogurt-based drink from India), lemonade, milk, tea, and also added directly into a glass of water.
  • Desserts: baklava, cookies and other baked goods; ice cream and sorbet; rice pudding.
  • Sweets: gumdrops, marzipan, nougat, Turkish delight.
  • Wine substitute: in Halal cooking.
  •  
    Rosewater was used extensively by both American and European bakers until the 19th century, when vanilla extract became more readily available became.

    Rosewater is an ingredient in Waverly Jumbles, baked doughnut said to be a favorite of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States (1817 to 1825).

    Today it is used by cooks around the world. For example, in Mexico it is used to flavor shave ice; in Yorkshire, England, it is still used in one of the area’s best-loved dishes, Yorkshire Curd Tart.

    You can add it to iced tea, iced coffee, smoothies and soft drinks; or make a Rose Martini.

    Needless to say, if you buy a bottle to make these meringues, you won’t have any trouble finishing the bottle.
     
    RECIPE: ROSEWATER RASPBERRY MERINGUES

    Ingredients For 5 Dozen Meringues

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons raspberry-flavored gelatin powder (e.g., Jell-O)
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater
  • ¼ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  •  
    Preparation

    1. POSITION the racks in the upper third and center of the oven and preheat to 250°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray (to help secure the parchment) and line the sheets with parchment paper.

    2. WHIP the egg whites and salt together in a large, grease-free bowl with an electric hand mixer set on high speed, until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar and raspberry gelatin powder and beat until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks. Fold in the rosewater and vinegar.

    3. TRANSFER the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch-wide star tip. Spacing them about 1 inch apart, pipe 1-inch-wide meringues onto the lined baking sheets. Bake until the meringues look set, about 1 hour.

    4. TURN off the oven and let the meringues completely cool and dry in the oven. Carefully lift the meringues off the parchment and store them in an airtight container. These are fragile cookies, so don’t pack them tightly. We protect each layer with wax paper or parchment.
     
    THE HISTORY OF MERINGUES

    Some sources say that that meringue was invented in the Swiss village of Meiringen in the 18th century, and subsequently improved by an Italian chef named Gasparini.

    Not all experts agree: The Oxford English Dictionary, for example, states that the French word is of unknown* origin.

    The one fact we can hang on to is that the name of the confection called meringue first appeared in print in Chef François Massialot’s seminal 1691 cookbook, available in translation as The court and country cook….

    The word meringue first appeared in English in 1706 in an English translation of Massialot’s book.

    Two considerably earlier 17th-century English manuscript books of recipes give instructions for confections that are recognizable as meringue. One is called “white biskit bread,” found in a book of recipes started in 1604 by Lady Elinor Poole Fettiplace (1570-c.1647) of Gloucestershire.

    The other recipe, called “pets,” is in the manuscript of collected recipes written by Lady Rachel Fane (c. 1612–1680) of Knole, Kent. Slowly-baked meringues are still referred to as pets in the Loire region of France (the reference appears to be their light fluffiness, perhaps like a kitten?).

    Meringues were traditionally shaped between two large spoons, as is often still done at home today. Meringue piped through a pastry bag was introduced by the great French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833—he preferred to be called Antonin), the founder of the concept of haute cuisine.

    He also invented modern mayonnaise, éclairs, Strawberries Romanov, and other icons of French cuisine. Even though he wasn’t in on the beginning, he perfected the end.

    ________________
    *Contenders from include 1700 on include, from the Walloon dialect, maringue, shepherd’s loaf; marinde, food for the town of Meiringen (Bern canton, Switzerland), is completely lacking. None of the others sounds right, either. By default, we like the Latin merenda, the feminine gerund of merere to merit, since who doesn’t merit a delicious confection? But as our mother often said: “Who cares; let’s eat!”
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Special Waffles For Mother’s Day (Cheesecake, Key Lime & Much More)

    Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were waffle days in our home, along with birthdays and other special occasions.

    That’s when Mom would pull out the waffle iron and whisk together the flour, baking powder, butter, eggs and milk butter.

    We ate them with a pat of butter and maple syrup brought back from Nana’s visits to see her family in Canada, and usually, with bananas or berries and bacon: basic comfort food.

    In those days there were no chocolate or pumpkin waffles, no chili-infused maple syrup, no blueberry syrup, no cheddar waffles with jalapeños and tomatoes, no Caprese waffles with basil, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

    You can make waffles like these for Mother’s and Father’s Day: Check out ideas at the end of this article.

    The two recipes that follow both top waffles with the focus ingredient: cheesecake or key lime mousse. They can be served as a sweet breakfast, or as dessert waffles.

    Check out the different types of waffles.
     
     
    RECIPE #1: CHEESECAKE WAFFLES

    This recipe, by Dorothy Kern of Crazy For Crust, was sent to us by Krusteaz.

    It uses a Belgian waffle mix. (Note: That’s Belgian, not Belgium, waffle. The former use is analogous to American waffles, the latter to America waffles.)

    What’s the difference between Belgian waffles and regular waffles?

  • Most Belgian waffle mixes are yeast-based, which makes a lighter waffle with a crispier texture. A waffle batter that uses beaten egg whites to achieve lightness is an alternative.
  • There’s a difference in waffle irons, too. Belgian waffle grids have deeper pockets than American-style waffles. This provides more space to hold the syrup. But whatever waffle iron you have will work just fine.
  •  
    Prep time is 10 minutes, total time is 30 minutes.
     
    Ingredients For 4-5 Waffles

  • 3 cups Belgian waffle mix
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Maple or other syrup, for serving
  • Garnish: berries or other fresh fruit, mini chocolate chips or shaved chocolate
  •    

    Cheesecake Waffles

    Krusteaz Buttermilk Waffle Mix

    Cinnamon Roll Waffles

    [1] Cheesecake waffles. [2] Buttermilk pancake mix (photos courtesy Krustaz). [3] Cinnamon roll waffles: add some cinnamon to the batter and top with royal icing. Here’s the recipe from A Whisk And Two Wands.

     
    Preparation

    1. BEAT the cream with a hand or a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

    2. BEAT the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. Fold the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture slowly, using a spatula.

    3. PREPARE the waffle batter as directed on package, using 3 cups of waffle mix. Cook the waffles as directed.

    4. SERVE topped with cheesecake mixture, garnished with berries or other fresh fruit. Serve the sauce on the side.

     

    key-lime-waffles-chefschoice-230

    persian-key-napkins-230

    Graham Cracker Crumbs

    [3] Waffles with key lime mousse. We’d triple that scoop of mouse! (Photo courtesy Chef’s Choice.) [4] A size comparison of the larger Persian limes and Key limes (photo by Evan Dempsey | THE NIBBLE). [5] Graham cracker crumbs (photo courtesy Keebler).

     

    RECIPE#2: KEY LIME MOUSSE WAFFLES

    This recipe was sent to us by Chef’s Choice, which made them in their space-saving waffle maker, Chef’sChoice WafflePro M852, which makes two square waffles in three minutes or less.

    You can make the mousse the day before.

    Ingredients For The Key Lime Mousse

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 10 ounces white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1 packet gelatin
  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dark brown sugar for garnish
  • Extra graham crackers for garnish
  • Key lime slices for garnish
  •  
    Ingredients For 18-20 Graham Cracker Waffles

  • 3 cups Bisquick or similar pancake mix
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 package graham crackers (or graham cracker crumbs)
  • Garnish: lime zest or fruit of choice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the mousse. Place the lime juice in a bowl and sprinkle in gelatin, stirring lightly. Let sit for 2 minutes.

    2. HEAT the lime juice mixture over low heat until hot, but not boiling. Take the mixture off heat and set aside.

    3. HEAT the sweetened condensed milk over medium heat and add the white chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted.

    4. WHIP the heavy cream on high speed only until stiff, about two minutes. Add the lime juice mixture to whip cream and beat with an electric mixer until the ingredients are blended together.

    5. ADD the white chocolate mixture to the whipped cream and beat until blended. Refrigerate mixture for four hours or overnight to stiffen.

    6. PREPARE the waffles. Mix together the pancake mix, milk, brown sugar, honey, buttermilk, eggs and cinnamon in a bowl. Melt the butter and add to the mixture. Crush the graham crackers to crumb size and add to the mix. Blend with an electric mixture.

    7. PLACE 1/4 cup of batter on the prepared waffle maker (or per manufacturer’s maker’s directions). Bake for 2-1/2 minutes on setting 4. SERVE immediately with a dollop of key lime mousse. Garnish with lime slices and graham cracker pieces.

     
    TOP SAVORY WAFFLES WITH:

  • Eggs: eggs and bacon, Eggs Benedict, sausage and eggs
  • Cheese: blue cheese, goat cheese, melted mozzarella or other melting cheese
  • Chicken: fried, pulled barbecue
  • Fish/seafood: caviar, seafood (crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp), smoked salmon and other smoked fish, with a fresh dill garnish
  • Pizza waffles: mozzarella, ricotta, marinara and favorite toppings (don’t forget the anchovies!)
  • Paté: garnished with cornichons, redcurrant jelly, fig jam or cherry preserves
  • Tex-Mex: avocado, black beans, black olives, corn, crema (sour cream), guacamole, red onion, salsa, shredded or crumbled cheese
  • Sandwich fixings: BLT, ham and cheese
  • Thanksgiving fixings: cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, turkey and gravy
  • Vegetable: asparagus with hollandaise sauce; mushrooms, spinach and Mornay sauce
  •  
    TOP SWEET WAFFLES WITH:

  • Candy: brittle, toffee chips
  • Chocolate: chips, ice cream, syrup, shaved chocolate
  • Cream cheese: with chocolate chips, jam
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt: with sundae toppings
  • Fall 1: raisins or other dried fruits, sautéed apples, maple syrup
  • Fall 2: pumpkin pie filling, whipped cream, caramelized nuts and nutmeg garnish
  • Fruit: fresh fruit, caramelized fruit, fruit butter, fruit chutney, fruit curd, marmalade or preserves with whipped cream
  • Fruit yogurt: with fresh fruit and fruit syrup or cinnamon syrup
  • Sweet spreads: nut butter, Nutella, with coconut or honey and whipped cream
  •   

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