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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 Thanksgiving

JULY 4TH RECIPE: Oreo Cookie Balls

oreo-cookie-balls-230

July 4th Oreo Cookie Balls. Photo courtesy
Kraft.

 

This no-bake recipe for Oreo Cookie Balls is fun to bring to a July 4th event. It’s easy enough so that you can delgate it to younger members of the household, who may just discover a love of making their own desserts.

Just by changing the garnish, it can be customized for Chanukah, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. There are also links below to recipes that add specific touches for different special occasions.

RECIPE: OREO COOKIE BALLS

Recipe For 48 Pieces

  • 1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 36 OREO cookies, finely crushed
  • 3 packages (4 ounces each) white chocolate, broken into pieces, melted
  • 1 tablespoon red, white and blue multi-colored sprinkles (or other colors to match the season or occasion
  • Preparation

    1. MIX cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.

    2. SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip in melted chocolate (see dipping tip below); place on waxed paper-covered rimmed baking sheet. Top with sprinkles.

    3. REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.

     

    How to Easily Dip Cookie Balls

    To easily coat cookie balls with the melted chocolate, add the balls, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate.

  • Use 2 forks to roll the balls in chocolate until evenly coated.
  • Remove the balls with forks, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl.
  • Place the balls on a prepared baking sheet; let stand until chocolate coating is firm.
  • Store extras in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
  •  

    oreos-melting-snowmen-kraft-230

    Melting Snowmen Oreo Cookie Balls. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Kraft.

     
    MORE OREO COOKIE BALLS RECIPES

  • For Anytime: Oreo Raspberry Cookie Balls and Triple Double Oreo Tartufo
  • For Chocolaholics: all chocolate Oreo Cookie Balls
  • For Christmas: Peppermint Oreo Cookie Balls
  • For Glamour: paint with edible gold dust and top with a chocolate-covered coffee bean
  • For Halloween: tint the white chocolate coating orange, paint the jack o’lantern face with melted chocolate or gels and use bits of pretzel thins for the stems
  • For St. Patrick’s Day: Oreo Mint Cookie Balls
  • For Valentine’s Day: Oreo Cherry Cookie Balls
  • For Winter: Melting Snowmen Oreo Cookie Balls
  •   

    Comments

    VALENTINE COCKTAILS: Strawberry Margarita & Vodka Shooter

    Margaritas are America’s favorite cocktail. Tailor them for Valentine’s Day with a homemade Frozen Strawberry Margarita.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MARGARITA

    Ingredients For 4 Drinks

  • 6 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 8 ounces frozen sliced strawberries in syrup
  • 4 ounces frozen limeade concentrate
  • Ice cubes
  • Coarse salt for rim
  • Garnish: 4 fresh strawberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a blender with ice and crush. Pour in the tequila and triple sec. Add the strawberries and limeade.

    2. BLEND for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour and serve.

     

    strawberry-margarita-haru-230

    Who needs Champagne? Photo courtesy Haru Restaurant | NYC.

     
    Want something smaller? Here’s a recipe from Polar Seltzer.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY SHOOTERS

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 oz Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka or vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 2-3 strawberries, chopped
  • Strawberry flavored seltzer
  • 1-2 whole strawberries
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: whipped cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the chopped strawberries and vodka in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and maraschino liqueur and shake.

    2. STRAIN into a glass, filling half way and then add additional strawberries. Top with Polar Seltzer and whipped cream.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Tipsy Chestnut Cake ~ A Chestnut Loaf Cake

    This wintery cake combines chestnuts and red wine, and has no added fat. Contributing blogger and cookbook author Hannah Kaminsky, who developed the recipe, explains:

    “Infused with a generous pour of Cabernet from the start and doused with an additional slug of brown sugar-enriched wine syrup—soaking each nook and cranny with a strong dose of sweet red wine—this cake knows how to party.

    “Studded with large pieces of roasted chestnuts, it’s a seasonal treat perfectly for the cold winter months. Though the jubilant days of Christmas and New Year’s feel like a lifetime ago, the current series of snow days are an excellent excuse to batten down the hatches and drown your sorrows—not in a stiff drink, but a strong slice of this tender cake.”

    We also recommend it as a gourmet Super Bowl dessert.

     

    chestnut-cake-hannah-kaminsky-ps-230

    Chestnut loaf cake with no added fat. Photo © Hannah Kaminsky.

     

    If you don’t want cake for “happy hour,” enjoy it as a snack at any time of day, or for dessert with a bit of whipped cream. Don’t forget—the cake is fat free.

    “Purely by accident,” explains Hannah, “the recipe became much leaner than intended by my inadvertent omission of any added fat. So while this isn’t diet fare, it is a better-for-you cake.

    “Happily, the texture doesn’t suffer one bit without the oil. I would have never realized my mistake if not for my recipe notes. I guess it’s obvious that not all of the wine made it into the cake!”

     

    roasted-chestnuts_histomil-230

    Chestnuts roasted in a specialty chestnut
    pan. Photo courtesy Histomil.com.

     

    RECIPE: TIPSY CHESTNUT CAKE

    Ideally, prepare the cake a day in advance to allow the wine syrup to thoroughly meld with the crumb. Since you need less than 1-1/4 cups wine, you can use up leftover wine—or serve the rest of a new bottle with the cake.

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) very coarsely chopped roasted chestnuts (fresh or canned)
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine (Such as Cabernet
    Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Crimson Wine Syrup

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • Pinch salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F with rack in the center. Lightly grease and flour an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.

    2. WHISK together the flour, sugar, five-spice powder, baking powder and soda and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the chopped chestnuts and toss to coat with the flour blend to prevent the pieces from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Set aside.

    3. MIX the wine, applesauce and vanilla in a separate bowl; then add to the wet goods into flour mix. Use a wide spatula to combine, stirring just enough to blend without over-mixing. It’s perfectly fine to have a few lumps remaining.

    4. TRANSFER the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top before sliding the pan into the oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until deeply browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking…

    5. PREPARE the red wine syrup by combining the wine, brown sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. If you’’d like the wine to retain a bit of its alcoholic bite, cook just until the sugar has dissolved. Alternatively, allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes for the alcohol to boil out.

    6. PREPARE the baked cake while it is still warm by poking it numerous times with a skewer. Go deep to allow the syrup to penetrate far into the crumb. Pour the hot syrup over the cake and let cool completely before removing from the pan. Although the cake tastes best the next day after soaking a bit, it’s quite delicious to slice and serve as soon as it’s cool.

    RECIPE: CHINESE FIVE-SPICE POWDER

    Like adobo, chili powder, curry powder, fines herbes, garam masala, herbes de provence, ras-el-hanout, togarishi, za’atar and other spice blends, ingredients and the proportion of ingredients vary based on the cook or the manufacturer. Some five-spice recipes include anise seed, black or white pepper, cardamom, galangal, ginger, licorice, mandarin peel, nutmeg and turmeric.

    Since five-spice powder is also used in other Asian cuisines and in Middle Eastern cooking, there are regional preferences as well.

    Blend together:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
  •  
    Store any extra spice in an airtight jar.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Apple Cider Bar

    Hot raspberry cider. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s Berries. Here’s the recipe.

     

    A few months ago we created a feature on party food bars:

  • Breakfast & Brunch Bar
  • Drinks & Snacks Food Bar
  • Desserts Food Bar
  • Lunch & Dinner Food Bar
  •  

    Our drinks bars included the different ways to serve Bloody Marys, lemonade and iced tea. Around Thanksgiving, we realized we had left out another “essential,” and created an Apple Cider Bar.

    We liked it so much for Thanksgiving that we did it again for Christmas and we’re planning it for next Halloween as well. So today’s tip is: Don’t wait until then: Set up an apple cider bar for New Year’s Eve.

    Serve the cider cold and hot, so people can customize their drinks. Heat the cider on the stove with a ball of mulling spices, then serve it in a pitcher. If you have a hot plate or other device to keep the cider warm, so much the better.

     

    APPLE CIDER BAR INGREDIENTS

    Juices & Mixers

  • Apple cider
  • Hard cider
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Club soda
  • Ginger ale/diet ginger ale
  •  
    Spirits

  • Bourbon
  • Gin
  • Rum and/or spiced rum
  • Whiskey
  • Vodka
  •  

    Sweet Toppings

  • Ice cream: cinnamon ice cream, rum raisin or vanilla ice cream
  • Sorbet: apple sorbet, cranberry sorbet
  • Whipped cream (try these recipes for Bourbon Whipped Cream an Five Spice Whipped Cream)
  •  
    Garnishes

  • Apple or pear slices, berries, red seedless grapes
  • Cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise
  • Ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Honey
  • Orange and lemon wheels and curls
  •  
    Plus

  • Butter pats*
  • Glasses and mugs
  • Ice cubes
  • Napkins
  • Spoons & stirring sticks, jiggers for alcohol
  •  

    Add your favorite spices. Photo courtesy Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

     

    Related Snacks

  • Cake & Pie: apple bars, apple pie, ginger bars (recipe), pound cake, spiced bundt
  • Cheese & Fruit Plate: cheddar and washed rind cheeses with apples, pears and grapes, prosciutto
  • Cookies & Donuts: butter cookies, cider- or cinnamon-sugar donuts, gingersnaps, oatmeal raisin cookies, shortbread
  • Light Fare: chicken/turkey/ham sandwiches, grilled cheese, mac & cheese, quiche
  • More: flavored tortilla chips†, granola bars, spiced nuts (recipe)
  •  
    *To float atop hot cider.

    †We like Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips in Kettle, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato; Laurel Hill tortilla chips in Pumpkin Seed; or Way Better Snacks tortilla chips in Zesty Sweet Potato.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Winter Vegetable Kabobs

    Yes, we’re past Thanksgiving, but these “Thanksgiving Kabobs” work all fall and winter and are equally fun for Christmas dinner. They may even have people who don’t like to eat vegetables asking for more!

    Our friend Hannah Kaminsky of BittersweetBlog.com created “Thanksgiving kabobs” from all the classic Thanksgiving (and Christmas) accoutrements. They’re threaded onto portion-controlled, dippable skewers.

  • Serve them as a side with the main course; as a vegetarian meal atop a bed of mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes or whole grains.
  • For a non-holiday dinner, you can add cubed turkey to the skewers for the a main course.
  • Serve them on a platter as an appetizer
  • Hannah adds cubes of sourdough or sturdy cornbread to evoke stuffing.
  • Sweet potato can substitute for acorn or butternut squash or pumpkin.
  • Trimmed green beans can be added.
  •  


    Photo © Hannah Kaminsky.

     

    “These kebabs are limited only by a lack of imagination,” says Hannah. She loves gravy for dipping on the side; the choice is yours.

    RECIPE: THANKSGIVING KABOBS

    Ingredients

    Quantities will vary depending on how many people you plan to serve and which vegetables/add-ins you choose.

  • Small Brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
  • Butternut squash, cubed
  • Turkey cubes or vegan options, including seitan or tempeh
  • Large fresh cranberries*
  • Optional: mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, whole grain (barley, brown rice, quinoa, etc.)
  • Optional: Gravy
  •  

    If you regularly use skewers, invest in the
    steel variety. Unlike wood skewers, they
    don’t have to be presoaked and they’re
    sustainable: no trees are sacrificed. These
    are from Norpro.

     

    Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup†
  • 2 tablespoons olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch rubbed sage
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE wooden skewers by submerging in water for at least 20 minutes. This prevents them from burning (or worse, catching fire) while in the oven. If using metal skewers, skip this step.

     

    2. PREHEAT oven to 400°F and lightly grease a shallow baking dish that can accommodate the full length of the skewers. Thread individual vegetables on the skewers in any pattern or proportion you like. Just ensure that all your components are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. Place the finished skewers in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. If you’re making enough for a big party, consider a second baking dish.

    3. WHISK together the ingredients for the marinade and brush it generously over the skewered “meat” and veggies. If you have any leftover marinade, reserve it to baste the skewers halfway through the cook time.

    4. BAKE for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetables, flipping after 10 and basting if desired. The vegetables should be nicely browned and tender when done. Serve immediately over hot mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes or grains with a small bowl of gravy for dipping.
     
    *When selecting cranberries, look for particularly large berries and skewer them precisely in the center, as they have a tendency to wither and/or split while baking.

    †Hannah prefers Grade B maple syrup in this recipe.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms

    Delicious with wine or cocktails. Photo
    courtesy GoodCook.com.

     

    Want a hot and hearty hors d’oeuvre with cocktails? This sausage-stuffed mushroom recipe can be made up to 48 hours in advance, then baked right before you’re ready to serve.

    Baby portabella mushroom caps are stuffed with goat cheese, sausage and dried cranberries to create these a most attractive appetizer. A perfect party starter, stuff your mushroom caps up to 48 hours before you’re ready to serve, then bake when needed!

    RECIPE: SAUSAGE STUFFED MUSHROOMS

    Ingredients For 15 Mushroom Caps

  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian sausage, cooked
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 15 mushroom caps, stems removed
  • Nonstick olive oil spray
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F.

    2. COMBINE goat cheese, sausage, cranberries and garlic in a small bowl.

    4. SPOON filling into the center of each mushroom cap. Spray each mushroom with a thin layer of nonstick olive oil spray and place on a 13″ x 9″ baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and goat cheese filling is golden.

    This recipe was created by Cheekykitchen works exclusively for Good Cook. Visit GoodCook.com for more delicious recipes.

    Find more recipes for in THE NIBBLE’S Appetizers & Hors d’Oeuvre Section.

      

    Comments

    HOLIDAY: Family Favorite Jell-O Molds

    Mom’s Lime Gelatin Mold with sour cream
    and pineapple. Photo courtesy
    PleaseBeSeated.Wordpress.com.

     

    Mom’s recipe for a Pineapple-Lime Gelatin Mold has been part of our holiday for decades. The recipe arrived way back in the 1960s, on a box of lime Jell-O (we think). Made in a fluted mold, it became a family favorite at Christmas and Easter.

    Mom served it as a side with the turkey or ham; we enjoyed the leftovers as a sweet snack or dessert. And as simple as it is, it’s a favorite of our foodie friends, who invariably ask for the recipe.

    Alas, we didn’t have time to make it and shoot Mom’s recipe, so we’re grateful for the use of this photo from the blog Please Be Seated. It’s actually a different recipe—a cucumber lime mold—but it looks close enough. You can even use the cucumber slices and parsley as shown.

    Here’s the cucumber-lime mold recipe.

    We’ve also included a related recipe for a cranberry gelatin mold. Both are made in a six-cup fluted mold (or substitute any six cup mold you have).

     
    RECIPE: PINEAPPLE-LIME GELATIN MOLD

    Ingredients For 10-12 Servings

  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) lime gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional garnish: clementine/tangerine segments, cucumber slices, grapes, kumquats, mint, parsley, whole cranberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. DISSOLVE gelatin in water a large bowl. Stir in pineapple; cover and refrigerate until syrupy.

    2. WHISK in sour cream; add pecans. Transfer to a 6-cup ring mold coated with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Unmold onto a serving plate.

    3. BRING to table plain or filled with optional garnish.

     

    RECIPE: CRANBROSIA CRANBERRY-ORANGE
    GELATIN MOLD

    Ingredients For 10-12 Servings

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely ground
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced pineapple
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Optional garnish: clementine/tangerine segments, grapes, kumquats, mint, parsley, whole cranberries
  •  

    Cranbrosia: cranberries, oranges, pineapple and sour cream. Photo and recipe courtesy Taste Of Home.

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE combine cranberries and sugar in a bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.

    2. DRAIN juice from oranges and pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup juice. Cut pineapple into small pieces. Set fruit aside.

    3. SPRINKLE gelatin over reserved juice in a small saucepan; let stand for 1 minute. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add to cranberry mixture; stir in the oranges and pineapple. Fold in sour cream.

    4. BEAT cream until in a small bowl until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Fold into fruit mixture. Pour into a 6-cup ring mold or 12 individual molds lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate until set. Unmold before serving.

    Thanks to Taste Of Home for this yummy recipe.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cranberry Infused Vodka

    Your own holiday bottling of cranberry
    infused vodka. Photo courtesy Prairie
    Organic
    Spirits.

     

    Make cranberry vodka to bring as a house gift or place on your own bar. It will be ready in three to four days.

    It’s easy to craft your own cranberry vodka infusion. Instead of vodka, you can use silver tequila, genever, Plymouth gin or a London gin with a low level of aromatics.

    This recipe is courtesy Prairie Organic Spirits, which makes both organic gin and vodka (including cucumber-infused vodka) in Minnesota.

    The vodka is handcrafted with single vintage organic corn. The line is certified organic by the USDA, which ensures that no genetically modified seeds, chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides are used. The price: just $19.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

     

    RECIPE: CRANBERRY CLOVE INFUSED VODKA

    Ingredients

  • Whole fresh cranberries
  • Whole cloves
  • Vodka
  •  

    Preparation

    1. POUR 1/3 of the vodka into a pitcher or a measuring cup with a spout and set aside.

    2. FILL the empty bottle space with cranberries and cloves.

    3. TOP OFF the bottle with the reserved vodka and tightly securing the cap.

    4. STORE in the fridge or in dark, cool space for three to four days. Then, it’s ready to serve.
     
    MORE INFUSED VODKA RECIPES

    How about:

  • Espresso-Cinnamon for Valentine’s Day
  • Jalapeño-Horseradish-Garlic for Cinco de Mayo
  • Honeycrisp Apple for Mother’s Day
  • Lemon Lime for Spring
  • Orange-Tangerine for Winter
  • Strawberry Basil for Summer
  •  

    It’s easy to infuse vodka: Just add simple ingredient to the bottle. Photo courtesy Prairie Organic Spirits.

     

    Download the pdfs at PrairieVodka.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cranberry Baked Brie

    Baked Brie in pastry with dried cranberries,
    honey and almonds. Photo and recipe
    courtesy Zabars.com.

     

    Here’s a recipe to serve with your favorite bubbly. It’s a favorite of Olga Dominguez, cheese buyer at Zabar’s in New York City.

    For the holidays use dried cranberries; for Valentine’s Day substitute dried cherries or strawberries.

    This party-size recipe uses a standard 17-inch wheel of Brie. If your celebration will be more intimate buy a Baby Brie, which at 8.8 ounces, serves up to four. (In theory, with a portion size of one ounce, it should serve eight—but we don’t know eight people with that much restraint).

    Brie (typically a double-crème cheese, although some like the Rouge et Noir brand are even richer triple-crèmes) is one of America’s top-selling cheeses.

    Other best sellers include Cheddar, cream cheese, mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano.

     
    RECIPE: CRANBERRY BAKED BRIE

    Ingredients

  • 1 large wheel of double crème Brie, 2.2 pounds
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 pound dried cherries, cranberries or strawberries (or a mix)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds plus extra for garnish
  • 1 package of ready-to-bake crescent rolls (or make your own pastry)
  • Crackers or bread (or a combination)
  •  
    Preparation

    Keep the Brie refrigerated and cold until ready to slice.

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. CUT the Brie in half horizontally with a sharp knife, creating a top and a bottom.

    3. SPRINKLE the cranberries, half the honey and half of the almonds in the center of the bottom half of the cheese, to within two inches of the edge. Cover with the top half and press down the edges. (When you press down, the fillings will spread close to the edge.)

    4. OPEN the crescent roll container and prepare to wrap the Brie with the pastry. Lay the triangle crescent dough pieces on a work surface to form a sheet, overlapping the edges slightly. Press to bond together. Place the Brie in the center of the sheet and wrap the edges around the wheel until the entire surface is covered. Overlap and press the crescent dough close to the edges so that the Brie and fillings will not run out.

    5. PLACE on a nonstick cookie sheet with a lip (just in case the cheese does run). Pour the remaining honey in the top center of the wrapped Brie and sprinkle with the remaining almond slices.

    6. BAKE for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.

     
    Serving Suggestions

  • As a cocktail party food, provide bread or crackers and a spreader.
  • For a dinner party salad/cheese course, give each guest a plated wedge with some dressed mesclun or frisée salad greens. Pass bread or crackers in a basket for those who want it.
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Double-Crème And Triplè-Creme Cheeses

    Serving bubbly for Christmas or New Year’s Eve? The perfect cheese to serve with Champagne or other sparklers is a double-crème or a triple-crème.

    Double- and triple-creme cheeses have a distinctive texture (very creamy) and flavor (buttery). Extra cream is added before the curd is formed, creating the heavenly richness.
     
    DOUBLE CRÈME CHEESES

    According to Cheese Primer by Steven Jenkins, the first double-crème cheese was made in Normandy in 1850 by a cheesemaker whose name has been lost to history. He was a short man of Swiss extraction, and called his cheese Petit-Suisse (possibly his nickname!).

    By law, a French double-crème cheese has between 60% and 75% butterfat. Note that this is the percentage of fat in the dry matter of the cheese. Most double- and triple-crèmes have about 50% moisture, so a Brie that has 60% butterfat in the dry matter is actually 31% total fat.

     

    Decorate your Brie for a party. Photo courtesy WisDairy.com.

     
    As a point of reference, butter itself contains between 80% total fat (the legal minimum in the U.S) to 86% total fat.

    Double-crème examples include:

  • Boursault
  • Brie (a minority of Bries are triple-crèmes)
  • Fromage D’Affinois
  • Petit-Suisse
  • Domestic beauties: Bodacious from Bohemian Creamery in California, Cremont from Vermont Creamery and others (ask your cheesemonger)
  •  
    TRIPLE CRÈME CHEESES

    Like the first double-crème, the first triple-crème cheese was also made in Normandy (France’s dairy heartland), 75 years after Petit-Suisse was introduced. Called Le Magnum, it was made by the Dubuc family and was the ancestor of Brillat-Savarin*. By law, French triple-crème cheeses must have a butterfat content of 75% or more.

     

    Pick up this luscious Brillat-Savarin, a
    triple-crème cheese, at Whole Foods
    Markets. Photo courtesy Whole Foods.

     

    A Brillat-Savarin with 75% butterfat in the dry matter actually has 39% total fat.

  • Brillat-Savarin
  • Délice de Bourgogne
  • Explorateur
  • Gratte Paille
  • Pierre Robert
  • Domestic choices such as Kunik from Nettle Meadow in New York State, Mt. Tam and Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery in California, Triple Cream Disk, a chèvre from Coach Farms in New York State and other creamy delights (see what’s available from your cheesemonger)
  •  
    *The cheese was named for the French epicure (and also lawyer and politician) Brillat-Savarin, who famously said “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

     

    HOW TO SERVE A DOUBLE-CREME OR TRIPLE CREME CHEESE

    You can go from basic (fruit) to gourmet (truffles):

    Fresh Fruits

    Grapes, mango, raspberries or strawberries are the best matches.

    Truffles

  • Cut the cheese in half horizontally; spread the bottom cut side with truffle butter or shaved truffles, and replace the top half of the cheese (let it sit for 30 minutes to develop flavor).
  • Optional additions to the filling: toasted walnuts (toast then chop) or, with shaved truffles, a thin layer of mascarpone and/or a drizzle of honey.
     
    Bread or Crackers

    Choose among baguette slices, water biscuits, wheatmeal biscuits (slightly sweetened whole wheat crackers) or other favorites.

      

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