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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Christmas

RECIPE: Sundried Tomato Scones

A cold day like today is a good reason to heat up the oven and bake something to enjoy warm. Thanks to Archana Ramesh of the blog Svaad for this recipe.

Castelvetrano olives are not only delicious and one of our favorite varieties; they’re the brightest green olives. So these “red and green” scones are a nice recipe to remember for the holiday season. If you prefer black olives (or no olives), substitute accordingly.

Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 15 minutes. Find more of Archana’s recipes at Svaad.Wordpress.com.

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat or multigrain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small clove garlic
  •    

    SONY DSC

    Warm from the oven: sundried tomato and olive scones. Photo ©Archana Ramesh.

  • 2 tablespoons milk (plus more if needed for consistency)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped Castelvetrano olives, pitted
  •  

     

    bellasunluci-julienne-bag-230

    Keep a bag of julienned Bella Sun Luci tomatoes in the pantry to add to any number of dishes. Photo courtesy Mooney Farms.

     

    Preparation

    1. MIX the flour with the salt, sundried tomatoes and garlic. Chop the olives and put add them to the mix.

    2. CUT the cold butter into this flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives, until its all crumbly.

    3. ADD the milk slowly, mixing until the dry mix turns into a dough. If the dough is too sticky, add some olive oil.

    4. SPREAD the dough onto a baking sheet. Using a pizza cutter, cut into triangles. (You can also make specialty shapes with cookie cutter.)

    5. BAKE at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tops turn amber. Serve hot, plain or with butter or other spread.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Eggnog French Toast

    Stuffed_French_Toast_SpiceIslands-230

    Eggnog French toast looks like the regular kind, but packs a punch of extra flavor. Photo courtesy Spice Islands.

     

    Save some of tonight’s eggnog for tomorrow’s French Toast. Eggnog is substituted for the milk that’s normally beaten with the eggs.

    With this recipe, from Taste Of Home, prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    For an even eggier flavor, use challah or brioche instead of conventional bread.

    RECIPE: EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract
  • 20 to 26 slices of bread, depending on desired portion size
  • Optional garnish: confectioners’ sugar, berries
  • Maple syrup
  • Preparation

    1. BEAT the eggs, eggnog, sugar and extract in a bowl. Soak the bread in the mixture for 2 minutes per side.

    2. COOK on a greased hot griddle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.

    3. DUST with confectioners’ sugar if desired, and serve with syrup and optional berries.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Eggnog Crumble Bars

    If it’s a lazy day and you’ve got eggnog, bake these creamy Eggnog Crumble Bars for New Year’s Eve. “Crumble” refers to the streusel topping on the bars.

    The recipe is from Annie’s Eats for Go Bold With Butter. Check out both websites for more delicious recipes.

    Prep time: is 15 minutes, cook time is 35 minutes. While the bars are baking, check out the history of eggnog.

    “Grate whole nutmeg for these rather than using the pre-grated stuff,” Annie advises. “It definitely enhances the flavor.”

    RECIPE: EGGNOG CRUMBLE BARS

    Ingredients For 16 Bars
     
    For The Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 tablespoons eggnog
  •    

    eggnog-crumble-bars-goboldwithbutter-230

    Another way to use eggnog in baking! Photo courtesy Go Bold With Butter.

     

    For The Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  

    organic-valley-eggnog-carton-230

    For breakfast, make Eggnog French Toast. Substitute eggnog for the milk, but do add the egg! Photo courtesy Organic Valley.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.

    2. MAKE the dough: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in medium bowl; stir to blend. Add the butter, cutting it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the eggnog and stir with a fork or knead very briefly, just until crumbly dough comes together.

    3. TRANSFER two-thirds of the dough mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down into the bottom of the pan to form an even layer.

    4. MAKE the filling: Combine the cream cheese and sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, light and fluffy. Blend in the egg, then the eggnog and vanilla, until smooth. Pour the mixture over the layer of dough in the baking pan. Crumble the reserved dough over top of eggnog mixture.

    5. BAKE—rotating the pan halfway through baking—until just set, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on wire rack. Chill well before slicing and serving.

     
     
    MORE RECIPES WITH EGGNOG

  • Eggnog Mini Bundts Recipe
  • Eggnog Mini Cheesecakes Recipe
  • Eggnog Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe
  • Eggnog Truffles Recipe
  • Eggnog Wreath Cookies Recipe
  • White Chocolate Eggnog Fudge Recipe
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bagna Càuda, A “Hot Bath” Dip With Garlic

    Bagna càuda, pronounced BON-ya COW-da, is a riff on crudités with dip. The name means “hot bath”; the dip is olive oil and butter, seasoned with garlic and anchovies and served hot. Bagna caôda is an alternative spelling.

    A dish from Italy’s Piedmont season, bagna càuda is served during the autumn and winter months, often as part of a Christmas Eve buffet. Why not try it on New Year’s Eve?

    Traditional dippers in Piedmont include artichokes, bell peppers, cardoons*, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel and green onions.

    In some parts of Piedmont, cream is used instead of butter; and hazelnut or walnut oil is substituted for the olive oil. If you’re in Alba, lucky you: There may be some truffles added to to the oil.

    Here’s the drill:

  • Heat the seasoned oil.
  • Provide slices of baguette to hold underneath the vegetable to catch the drippings and turn into its own snack.
  • To keep the oil warm, you can use a fondue pot with fondue forks for dipping. A flat cheese fondue pot works best, or a chafing dish on a hot plate or a brazier.
  •  

    bagna-cauda-finedininglovers-230r

    This bagna càuda is served in a regular dish, not a fondue pot. Photo courtesy FineDiningLovers.com; here’s their recipe.

     
    RECIPE: BAGNA CÀUDA DIP

    Ingredients

  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil plus oil for browning
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6-12 best quality anchovy fillets, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
  • Optional: pinch of chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Assorted fresh vegetables, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 baguette or similar loaf, sliced into 2-inch pieces
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BROWN the garlic cloves in some olive oil, about 5 minutes. Add the optional chile flakes before removing from the flame.

    2. BLEND the oil, butter, anchovies and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the dip to a medium saucepan, taste and season as desired.

    3. HEAT over a low flame for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to fondue pot or dish. Stir in the parsley right before serving.

    4. SERVE with crudités and bread.

     
    *Cardoons are relative of artichokes, and aren’t readily available in the U.S. they resemble celery.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Eggnog Mini Bundts

    eggnnog-bundt-cakes-eatwisconsincheese-230

    For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:
    eggnog mini-bundt cakes. Photo courtesy Eat
    Wisconsin Cheese.

     

    This recipe was contributed by Tieghan of HalfBakedHarvest.com to EatWisconsinCheese.com. Check out the great recipes on both websites.

    RECIPE: MINI EGGNOG STREUSEL BUNDT CAKES WITH EGGNOG MASCARPONE GLAZE

    Ingredients For 12 Mini Cakes Or 24 Super Mini Cakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon plain or coconut rum
  •  

    For The Streusel

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  •  
    For The Mascarpone Eggnog Glaze

  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Butter two mini 6-cake bundt pans or 2 mini 12-cake bundt pans.

    2. MIX mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl. Set aside.

    3. WHISK together 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in another small bowl. Set aside.

    4. BEAT the butter and sugar in stand mixer or with hand mixer beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until completely incorporated. Beat another 2-3 minutes until light, fluffy and pale in color. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Add the eggnog, vanilla and rum. Beat until smooth.

    5. FILL each mini bundt mold 1/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the cakes and add the remaining batter, filling each cup to just under 3/4 full. Try not to over-fill the cups.

     

    eggnog-cartons-kemps-230

    Drink it and bake with it, too. Photo courtesy Kemps Dairy.

     
    6. BAKE 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes no longer jiggle. Remove from the oven and to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Overturn the cake pan onto wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely.

    7. MAKE the streusel crumble: In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. With pastry blender or two forks, cut in 3 tablespoons of butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Press the streusel into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool slightly. With a fork, break the streusel into small pieces. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

    8. MAKE the Mascarpone Eggnog Glaze: Add the mascarpone to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave 15 to 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted. Stir in the powdered sugar, eggnog and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

    9. ASSEMBLE: Spoon the glaze over the cakes and top with the streusel. Drizzle with more glaze.

     
    MORE RECIPES WITH EGGNOG

  • Eggnog Mini Cheesecakes Recipe
  • Eggnog Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe
  • Eggnog Streusel Bars Recipe
  • Eggnog Truffles Recipe
  • Eggnog Wreath Cookies Recipe
  • White Chocolate Eggnog Fudge Recipe
  •  
    PLUS

  • Bundt History
  • Eggnog History
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Eggnog Panna Cotta

    eggnog-panna-cotta-driscolls-230

    Eggnog panna cotta. Photo courtesy
    Driscoll’s.

     

    Panna cotta is an Italian dessert whose name means “cooked cream.” The heavy cream and eggs form one of the different types of custard.

    This recipe, from Driscoll’s Berries, adds rum and brandy, ingredients of eggnog; and creates individual portions in ramekins. The puddings get a festive finish with a topping of colorful, sweet-tart balsamic raspberries.

    Prep time is 1 hour, chill time is 2 hours. Find more delicious recipes at Driscolls.com.

    RECIPE: EGGNOG PANNA COTTA WITH
    BALSAMIC RASPBERRY TOPPING

    Ingredients For 8 to 10 Servings

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • Canola oil for ramekins
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) plain gelatin
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons rum flavoring (or 1 teaspoon each rum flavoring and brandy flavoring)
  •  

    For The Balsamic Raspberries

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1-1/3 cups) raspberries
  •  

    Preparation

    1. LIGHTLY OIL six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups.

    2. SPRINKLE gelatin over 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl. Let it stand until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

    3. PLACE a fine mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl near the stove. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a second heatproof bowl until combined. Heat the cream and the remaining 3/4 cup milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until simmering.

    4. GRADUALLY WHISK the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the spoon (a finger run through the custard on the spoon will cut a swath) and an instant-read thermometer reads 185°F, about 3 minutes.

    5. POUR through the sieve into bowl. Discard any bits of cooked egg white in the sieve. Add the gelatin-milk mixture and rum extract to the cream mixture and whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Let stand 5 minutes to cool slightly.

     

    driscolls-boxes-imblogger.net-230

    Driscoll’s raspberries are available nationwide. Photo courtesy IMBlogger.net.

     

    6. DIVIDE the cream mixture evenly among ramekins. Cover each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 2 hours.

    7. MAKE the balsamic raspberries: Whisk the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar together in a medium bowl to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the raspberries. Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

    8. ASSEMBLE: To unmold each panna cotta, run a dinner knife around the inside of the ramekin to release the panna cotta. Hold a dessert plate firmly over the ramekin and invert the plate and ramekin together. Shake firmly to unmold the panna cotta onto the plate.

    9. TOP each panna cotta with an equal amount of raspberries and their juices. Serve immediately.

      

    Comments

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    olive-mozzarella-wreath-zoeskitchenFB-230sq

    Olive and mozzarella wreath. Photo courtesy
    Zoe’s Kitchen.

     

     
     
     
     
    ALL OF US AT THE NIBBLE

    WISH YOU A JOYOUS DAY

     

     
      

    Comments

    CHRISTMAS: Gift Vs. Present

    Did you get gifts or presents for Christmas? Is there a difference?

    Here’s the scoop, from Dictionary.com.

    Language is not a linear: Words come into every language from a variety of sources, over many centuries. And their meanings change nor expand over time. Think of “decadent,” now used for “self-indulgent,” instead of its traditional meaning of being in a state of decline or decay.

    GIFT

    The word “gift” had multiple meanings before arriving at its current common meaning: something given voluntarily without being earned, to show favor, honor an occasion, or provide assistance.

  • In Old English, its most dominant meaning was “payment for a wife,” or a dowry. The word derived from the Sanskrit gabhasti meaning “hand or forearm.”
  • What was a payment bestowed along with a woman’s hand in marriage evolved into the specific act of putting something of value in someone else’s hands. Around the 1300s, the word “gift” began to assume a more general meaning of an object freely given to another person.
  •  

    MarjorieManicke-sxc

    Is it a gift or a present? Photo by Marjorie Manicke | SXC.

     

    PRESENT

    The noun “present” as a synonym for gift came onto the English language from Old Norman (Old French). Like the adjective “present,” it originally meant “being present” and was used in the phrase mettre en present, “to offer in the presence of.”

    By the early 1300s, the word became synonymous with the thing being offered. Another meaning of “present,” in sense of “the present time,” did not enter common use until the 1500s.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Gingerbread Waffles

    gingerbread-waffles-blueberries-driscolls-230

    Gingerbread waffles for Christmas! Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

    Here’s a nice surprise for the long Christmas weekend: gingerbread waffles. Prep time is just 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes to cook.

    Imported fresh blueberries are pricey in the winter, so feel free to use frozen berries or other, more affordable berries.

    To make pancakes instead of waffles, follow the recipe below and reduce the milk to 1/4 cup.

    RECIPE: GINGERBREAD WAFFLES WITH BLUEBERRY-
    ORANGE SAUCE

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

    For The Waffles

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 package (6 ounces) blueberries
  •  

    For The Blueberry-Orange Sauce

  • 1 package (6 ounces) blueberries
  • 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the sauce: Combine the blueberries, juice, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat or keep warm until ready to serve. If you use a small (1-quart size) saucepan, the sauce will thicken without overcooking.

    2. STIR together the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in eggs, milk and butter until smooth. Stir in the blueberries.

    3. POUR one cup batter onto the center of a greased, heated waffle maker. Bake about 5 minutes or until the steaming stops. Remove carefully. Serve waffles hot from the iron, or keep them warm by placing on a rack over a baking sheet in a 200°F oven while preparing the remaining waffles.

    4. SERVE with warm blueberry-orange sauce.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn

    chocolate-drizzle-popcorn-cretors-230

    Enjoy some at home, box some up as a gift. Photo courtesy G.H. Cretors.

     

    If you’re looking for something to bring to a Christmas Eve celebration—or to serve at home—here’s one you can make in 15 minutes. The recipe is from G.H. Cretors Popcorn, whose bags of popped corn were a NIBBLE favorite (here’s our review).

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY POPCORN BARK

    Ingredients For 12 Servings

  • 1 pound 70% (bittersweet) dark chocolate
  • 4 cups popped salted popcorn
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits
  • Optional garnish: 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  •  

    Preparation

    1. LINE a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper so that it overhangs the edges.

    2. BREAK up the chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.

    3. RESERVE a 1/2 cup of melted chocolate for drizzling. Pour the remaining chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Top evenly with the popcorn, dried cranberries and toffee bits. Drizzle the reserved chocolate on top. Sprinkle the optional sea salt over the chocolate drizzle.

     

    4. REFRIGERATE for 1 hour or until the chocolate is set. Remove from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces. You can store the popcorn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

     
    ABOUT G.H. CRETOR’S POPCORN

    Charles Cretors invented the modern popcorn popper in 1885. Previously, popcorn was popped on stove tops in large copper kettles. Cretors developed a raised steam-powered popper that popped the kernels at the top of a large glass bin and spilled the fresh popcorn into the bin, where it could be scooped into bags (the system is still used in today’s movie theaters and elsewhere).

    More recently, the family launched a line of popped corn in five varieties: Chicago Mix (sweet and salty cheese corn), Just The Caramel Corn, Just the Cheese, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Organic Simply Salted.

    The line is certified gluten free and certified kosher (dairy) by KOF-K. Discover more at GHCretors.com.

      

    Comments

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