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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

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

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    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Thanksgiving

TIP OF THE DAY: A Holiday Hot Toddy

Mulled cider can be a cocktail (add gin
or whisky) or mocktail. Photo courtesy Zaya
Rum.

 

The expression “cup of good cheer” that comes to us from Merrie Olde England refers to hot mulled cider and wine. Whether or not you have a fireplace, horse and sleigh, invite friends over to share that cup, and have one waiting as Thanksgiving guests arrive.

Warm alcoholic beverages such as glögg, mulled wine and toddies originated in Northern Europe, where beer, cider, wine and spirits were mulled (heated) with sugar and spices to add some cheer to cold winter days (before central heating, no less).

Serve a toddy (or one of the related drinks below) instead of egg nog and you’ll save big on calories. A hot toddy is just as festive and is made with mostly water instead of mostly cream and eggs!

HOT TODDY & ITS RELATIVES

  • Glögg (pronounced like the “eu” sound in French—here’s an audio file pronunciation from a native Swede) is the Scandinavian form of mulled wine, sweetened with sugar and spiced with bitter orange peel, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, vanilla pods, and often, almonds and raisins.
  •  

  • Hot Buttered Rum is a rum toddy, a favorite drink in Colonial America. The classic recipe contains butter, which adds creaminess and body. Many people use the term “hot buttered rum” when they mean “toddy,” so if you care one way or the other, ask if it contains butter.
  • Hot Cider can be made with or without spirits. You can serve it plain, mulled (with spices) or with gin or other favorite spirit.
  • Mulled Wine is hot and sweet: “Mulled” means to heat, sweeten and flavor with spices. Ale and cider are also mulled.
  • Toddy is a cocktail made with alcohol, boiling water, sugar and spices. Toddies can be made with any spirit—bourbon, brandy, tequila, Scotch and other whiskeys are popular. Back in Merrie Olde England, bourbon and tequila—New World spirits—were not part of the repertoire.
  •  
    While it’s not related to any of the hot drinks above, we’ll add another to the list to clarify the difference:

  • Nog, a beverage made with beaten eggs (“egg nog” is a redundancy, like “hot toddy” [a toddy is made with boiling water] and in another category, “shrimp scampi” [scampi is Italian for “shrimp”]).
  •  
    We have more history and recipes for all of these hot cocktails.

     

    MORE HOLIDAY CHEER

    This recipe comes from Laphroaig, using its 10-Year-Old Scotch Whisky. We’re big Laphroaig fans—we love that peaty, smoky taste—but you can use whatever Scotch you have. If you’re not a Scotch drinker, substitute your favorite spirit.

    Instead of added spices, this recipe uses ginger liqueur.

    SCOTCH TODDY

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1 part Scotch
  • ½ part ginger liqueur
  • 3 parts hot apple cider
  •  

    Cider and gin. Photo courtesy TheBar.com.

  • Garnishes: lemon wedge studded with cloves, dash of fresh ground cinnamon
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BUILD drink in a pre-heated coffee mug.

    2. GARNISH and serve.

     

    HOT GIN CIDER

    This drink, from Tanqueray London Dry Gin, is especially attractive in a tall glass mug, as in the photo below.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1.25 ounces London Dry Gin
  • .5 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3 dashes simple syrup
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • Hot apple cider
  • Optional garnish: cinnamon stick or lemon wheel
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE first five ingredients in a glass. Top with hot apple cider and stir.

    2. GARNISH with cinnamon stick and serve.
     
    Want a cool, not hot, holiday celebration drink? Here’s an option from Cruzan Rum.

    RECIPE: SPICED HOLLY HIGHBALL

    Ingredients

  • 5 cranberries
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • 1.5 parts aged dark rum
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: mint sprig
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the cranberries, mint, spice and agave. Add rum and shake well.

    2. STRAIN over ice into a highball glass. Top with club soda and garnish with a mint sprig and three cranberries.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pumpkin Lasagna

    We love any kind of lasagna, but are happy to have this Pumpkin Lasagna recipe in our fall repertoire. The recipe is courtesy caterer and Lenox Home Entertaining Expert Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs Caterers.

    You’ll note in the ingredients list that butternut squash is used instead of pumpkin. This is often done in the restaurant, food service and food manufacturing industries, because it is so much easier to work with butternut squash. Mush of what is sold as “pumpkin pie filling” is butternut squash.

    Both pumpkin and butternut squash are orange-fleshed winter squash, members of the Cucurbita genus; they look and taste almost identical in recipes. The rest is, as they say, marketing. (Would you rather have a pumpkin pie or a butternut squash pie?)

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN LASAGNA

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 10 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15 ounces) container ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  •  

    Pumpkin lasagna for holiday season. Photo courtesy Elegant Affairs Caterers.

     

    Cross-section of a butternut squash. Photo
    by Half Gig | Wikimedia.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Place the butternut squash directly in the oven, whole. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft enough to cut in half with little effort.

    2. CUT into quarters, place in a baking dish or large cast iron skillet, and roast for 40 more minutes or until the skin can be easily peeled away from the flesh. Cut into chunks about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in size. Set aside.

    3. REDUCE the heat of the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin and the next 7 ingredients (salt through maple syrup). Set aside.

    4. STIR together the ricotta, 2/3 of the chopped mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan in another small bowl. Set aside.

    5. LIGHTLY COAT a baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 cup of the pumpkin sauce in the dish. Top with 2 lasagna noodles. Spoon 1/4 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with 1/4 of the butternut squash chunks. Top with 1/3 cup of sauce.

     

    6. TOP with two more noodles, continuing to layer like this until all the cheese and squash is used. Add last 2 lasagna noodles, and remaining sauce. Dot the top with remaining chopped mozzarella and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

    7. COVER with foil. Bake for 50 minutes. Let stand, covered, on a rack for 20 minutes before serving.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Thanksgiving Seltzer

    Lime seltzer garnished with whole
    cranberries. Photo courtesy Polar Seltzer.

     

    As you’re lining up your ducks for Thanksgiving (or should that be, lining up your turkeys?), here’s a beverage that can be a cocktail, mocktail or simply a replacement for water at the table.

    We were inspired by these ideas from Polar Seltzer, a Massachusetts seltzer specialist that makes dozens of zero-calorie flavored seltzers, including seasonal specialties.

    Cranberry Lime is a year-round Polar Seltzer flavor that’s a perfect fit with Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you can’t find a cranberry or cranberry-lime flavor in your local store, default to lime seltzer/club soda (the difference between seltzer and club soda is below).

    IN THE WATER GLASS

    Garnish the seltzer with some whole cranberries: simple and elegant.

    For Christmas, add a mint leaf or lime wheel for a red-and-green effect.

     
    AS A COCKTAIL OR MOCKTAIL

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 3-4 fresh mint Leaves
  • 1-1/2 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry or lime seltzer/club soda
  • Fresh cranberries, as garnish
  • For Christmas: add a mint leaf or lime wheel for a red-and-green effect
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE cranberry juice, mint and vodka in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice.

    2. STRAIN into a glass, top with seltzer and garnish with fresh mint.

     

    COCKTAIL OR MOCKTAIL #2

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • Pomegranate syrup or grenadine
  • Ice cubes
  • Cranberry or lime seltzer/club soda
  • Optional: 1-1/2 ounces vodka
  • Fresh cranberries, as garnish
  • For Christmas: add a mint leaf or lime wheel for a red-and-green effect
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ADD a tablespoon or more of syrup to a rocks glass or Collins glass. Add ice cubes.

    2. TOP with seltzer. Garnish as desired.

     

    Cocktail or mocktail with pomegranate syrup or grenadine. Photo courtesy Polar Seltzer.

     

    CLUB SODA, SELTZER & SPARKLING WATER: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

    The overall category is carbonated water, also called soda water: water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, causing the water to become effervescent.

    Carbonated Water: In the U.S., carbonated water was known as soda water until after World War II, due to the sodium salts it contained. While today we think of “soda” as a carbonated beverage, the word originally refers to a chemical salts, also called carbonate of soda (sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, sodium monoxide).

    The salts were added as flavoring and acidity regulator, to mimic the taste of a natural mineral water. After the war, terms such as sparkling water and seltzer water gained favor. Except for sparkling mineral water, all carbonated water/soda water is made from municipal water supplies (tap water).

    Carbonated water was invented in Leeds, England in 1767 by British chemist Joseph Priestley, who discovered how to infuse water with carbon dioxide by suspending a bowl of water above a beer vat at a local brewery. Carbonated water changed the way people drank liquor, which had been neat, providing a “mixer” to dilute the alcohol.

    Club Soda: Like the original carbonated water, club soda is enhanced with some sodium salts.

    Fizzy Water: Another term for carbonated water.

    Seltzer or Seltzer Water: Seltzer is carbonated water with no sodium salts added. The term derives from the town of Selters in central Germany, which is renowned for its mineral springs. The naturally carbonated water—which contains naturally dissolved salts—has been commercially bottled and shipped around the world since at least the 18th century.

    Sparkling Water: Another term for carbonated water/soda water. It can also refer to sparkling mineral water, which is pumped from underground aquifers. Note that not all sparkling mineral waters are naturally effervescent. Many are actually carbonated from still mineral water. Some are lightly carbonated by nature, but have extra carbonation added at bottling to meet consumer preferences.

    Two Cents Plain: Another word for soda water, coined during the Great Depression, when plain soda water was the cheapest drink at the soda fountain.

    FOOD TRIVIA

    Of all the fruit that is commercially grown in the U.S., only the blueberry, cranberry and Concord grape are native to North America.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Thanksgiving Fruit Plate

    Who would have thought that fresh fruit could have such a Thanksgiving theme! We found this idea in in the Dole Pinterest stream and couldn’t resist making one ourselves. In fact, it’s a great project to keep the kids busy on Thanksgiving.

    Ingredients Per Fruit Turkey:

  • 6-8 apple slices
  • 9-10 orange segments
  • Pear half
  • For the feet: 6 orange peel strips (or yellow bell pepper)
  • For the face: 2 mini chocolate morsels, peanut half
  •  
    You can make and enjoy this fruit gobbler for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacking throughout Thanksgiving weekend. Consider adding a side of yogurt or cottage cheese.

     

    Photo courtesy Michelle Furlotte | Dole | Pinterest.

     

    THANKSGIVING FRUIT & VEGETABLE GIFTS

    Looking for something very nice and also very good-for-you? Turkey-decorated cookies may be cute, but premium produce is more considerate, not to mention more welcome during this calorie-packed season.

    Melissa’s, America’s premier purveyor of fine fruits and vegetables, has an e-store that makes sending healthful gifts a snap.

    You’ll find everything from traditional and organic deluxe fruit baskets to organic vegetables, including several varieties of Organic Purification Boxes and options that include specialty foods and wines.

     

    Refill the Christmas sleigh with goodies all season long. Photo courtesy Melissas.

     

    Gifts We’d Like To Receive

  • Chestnut Roasting Kit, $54.99
  • Exotic & Tropical Fruit Basket, a delightful way to introduce people to items such as Asian pears, cherimoyas, feijoas, kumquats, pepino melons, persimmons, sapotes, tamarillos, and fresh lychees, $67.95
  • Baby Veggie Basket, $71.99; also available without the gift basket, in a nice carton, $51.99
  • Organic Fruit Sleigh, which can be refilled with whatever you like for a season-long holiday centerpiece, $59.99
  •  
    Cooking Kits For Kids

  • Banana Crepes Kit, $25.99
  • Ambrosia Applesauce Cooking Kit, $54.99
  •  

    For Kids & Adults

  • Melissas Great Book Of Produce, a beautiful volume for junior or senior cooks, $29.99
  • Fresh Strawberry Basket With Chocolate Dip, $52.99
  •  
    These are only the tip of the iceberg. For your perusing pleasure, check out:

  • Gifts Under $100: http://giftbaskets.melissas.com/Gifts-Under-100-s/1840.htm
  • Gifts $100-$200: http://giftbaskets.melissas.com/Gifts-Under-200-s/1841.htm
  • Gifts Above $200: http://giftbaskets.melissas.com/Gifts-Under-500-s/1842.htm
     
    You can also shop by occasion (Birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Corporate, etc).

    If you prefer to talk to a live representative, call 1.800.588.0151, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Pacific Time.

    Most gifts are vegan (some with packaged foods may not be) and gifts that comprise only fresh fruits and/or vegetables are de facto kosher.

      

  • Comments

    HOLIDAY: Challah Stuffing Recipe For Thanksgivukkah

    In case you’ve been off the grid, the hot holiday news this year is that for the first time in history, Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah. It’s been dubbed Thanksgivukkah. And it won’t happen again for another 70,000 years.

    So even if you’re not Jewish, think of celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime (many lifetimes, actually) double holiday by adding a Hanukkah tradition.

    Here’s an easy switch recipe: challah stuffing. This recipe is courtesy TheShiksa.com, one of our favorite recipe bloggers. It adds sausage, and uses a slow cooker, which saves oven space.

    Prep time is 35 minutes, cook time is 4 hours 30 minutes.

    RECIPE: CHALLAH STUFFING

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

     

    Challah stuffing. Recipe and photo courtesy
    TheShiksa.com.

     

  • Optional: 12 ounces turkey or chicken sausage, ground or removed from casing
  • 1 large challah (about 1½ lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or 6 tbsp if not using sausage)
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound celery, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped (or 1½ teaspoons dried sage)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped (or 1½ teaspoons dried marjoram)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 1 pound sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  •  

    A plain challah is fine. If you have one with
    sesame seeds, it adds a bit more flavor.
    Photo © Lindsay Basson | Fotolia.

     

    Equipment

  • Large sauté pan
  • Large skillet
  • Mixing bowls (including one very large size)
  • 5 to 6 quart crock pot or slow cooker
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Cut the challah into ½ inch cubes. Spread the cubes out across two baking sheets. Place the trays in the oven for about 12 minutes, switching trays on racks halfway through cooking. The challah cubes should be toasted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

    2. HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high. Add sausage to the pan and cook until browned. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and reserve for later. Variation: If you don’t want to include sausage, skip that step and begin by first sautéing the onions, carrots and celery in 6 tablespoons of olive oil, then continue the recipe as written, omitting the sausage.

     

    3. ADD the onions, carrots and celery to the same pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

    4. POUR 2½ cups of chicken broth into the pan along with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Remove from heat. Reserve remaining chicken broth.

    5. HEAT the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a clean skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms to the skillet. Sauté for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown and shrink in size. Remove from heat. You may need to cook the mushrooms in two batches depending on the size of your skillet.

    6. COMBINE in a very large mixing bowl the challah cubes, sausage, vegetable/chicken broth mixture, mushrooms and herbs. Stir to blend all ingredients, making sure the challah cubes are evenly moistened. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and stir until they are fully incorporated into the stuffing. The mixture may seem dry now, but wait to add more broth until it’s had a chance to cook—the liquid will slowly be absorbed by the bread.

    7. SPRAY the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray; then pour in the challah mixture.

    8. SET slow cooker on high heat and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and stir to redistribute the liquid throughout the stuffing, then check the stuffing for dryness. If it still seems dry, drizzle a little more broth over the top of the stuffing and stir again. Return the lid and reduce heat to low.

    9. COOK on low for 4 hours, checking and stirring every hour to make sure the stuffing isn’t too dry. If it is, add more broth—carefully, as it can easily go from the right texture to overly wet and mushy. After 4 hours, stir, taste, and add more salt or pepper, if desired. Switch to warm setting until ready to serve.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Sundae

    Make your own pumpkin yogurt at home.
    Photo courtesy Pinkberry.

     

    We’ve been dropping by Pinkberry for an occasional pumpkin frozen yogurt. But you can make your own, either frozen or conventional yogurt, with this recipe adapted from Chobani.

    It’s great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert, try this pumpkin sundae.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN YOGURT SUNDAE

    Ingredients For 1 Serving

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt of frozen yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 1.5 tablespoons pumpkin pie purée*
  • 1.5 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger snaps
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  •  
    *If using vanilla frozen yogurt, use pumpkin purée (unsweetened) instead of pumpkin pie filling.
     

  • Optional garnishes: 1 teaspoon toasted pecan pieces, crushed crystallized ginger, whipped cream, gingersnaps or graham crackers
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BLEND all ingredients.

    2. CHILL (or reharden, for frozen yogurt) for 15 minutes or longer.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chestnut, Fig & Honey Stuffing

    Last week we picked up a 12-pack box of peeled chestnuts at a club store. We’ve been snacking on them from the pack as well as hot from the microwave—it’s like chestnuts roasting on the open fire without the need to peel the chestnuts!

    Today, we received this stuffing recipe from Swanson. Thanks, Swanson: We’re going to enhance our regular chestnut stuffing with figs.

    We personally don’t like sweetness in our savory foods, so we’re substituting the two tablespoons of honey for two tablespoons of fresh sage.

    RECIPE: CHESTNUT, FIG & HONEY STUFFING

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  •  

    What’s better than chestnut stuffing? Chestnut stuffing with figs! Photo courtesy Swanson.

  • 1 jar (7.4 ounces) roasted peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 16 dried figs, stems removed, cut in quarters (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 package (12 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Herb Cube Stuffing
  •  
    *If there are vegetarians in your crowd, use Swanson Vegetable Broth.
     
    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. HEAT the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, chestnuts, figs and celery and cook until the celery is tender, stirring occasionally.

    3. STIR the honey and broth in the saucepan and heat to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the parsley and stuffing cubes and mix lightly. Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole. Cover the casserole.

    4. BAKE for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Mini Pecan Pie Bites

    Mini pies have been trending, and might be a better choice for Thanksgiving, when you’re stuffed to the gills but still want dessert. But Lauryn Cohen, a.k.a. Bella Baker, has an even better idea: mini pecan pie bites.

    Mini Pecan Pie Bites are baked in a mini muffin tin, creating “just a bite” to end the meal. Like the idea? Make mini pumpkin pie bites, too.

    “These are quick, easy and a perfect choice to serve at a holiday party,” says Lauryn Cohen, a.k.a. Bella Baker. Here’s her recipe; there are many more special sweets to discover at BellaBaker.com.

    RECIPE: MINI PECAN PIE BITES

    Ingredients For 24 Bites

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  •  

    Just a bite of pecan pie! Photo courtesy BellaBaker.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F and spray the cavities of a 24-cup muffin tin generously with nonstick spray.

    2. COMBINE the flour, sugar, butter and cream cheese with an electric mixture on medium/high speed until the dough comes together. One at a time, roll small balls of dough into the palm of your hand (about the size of a ping pong ball). Press each ball of dough into the muffin tin cavity, pressing dough up the sides to form a pie crust.

    3. WHISK together the egg, brown sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Switch to a rubber spatula and mix in the chopped pecans. Pour filling into each of the muffin tin cavities filled with pie crust.

    4. BAKE for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300°F and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from muffin tins. If need be, run a knife around the perimeter of the mini pie bites to loosen them from the muffin tin.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Add Color To Thanksgiving

    Surround beige foods with colorful garnishes.
    Photo courtesy iGourmet.

     

    Thanksgiving can be a pretty brown-and-beige affair: turkey, gravy, potatoes, stuffing, biscuits, pumpkin and pecan pies. Only cranberry sauce and vegetables such as brussels sprouts and green beans add a splash of color. Sweet potatoes are a vibrant orange, but not every family serves them.

    Think ahead, and you can add a splash of color to every course, whether as an individual food garnish or plate/platter decoration:

  • Green: baby artichokes, herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley, sage), grapes, sugar snap peas
  • Orange: bell pepper strips, carrots (baby carrots, sliced carrots), kumquats, grape tomatoes, orange wedges and peel
  • Purple: grapes, Peruvian potatoes
  • Red: bell pepper strips, cranberries, cherry tomatoes, figs, grapes/champagne grapes, grape tomatoes, lady apples, mini red jacket potatoes, pomegranate arils, radicchio, radishes, red onion
  • Yellow: bell pepper strips, lemon wedges and peel, miniature pattypan squash, star fruit (carambola)
  •  
    You can also find seasonal specialty items, like red walnuts and red scallions.

    Do you have a favorite garnish? Let us know.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Fluffy Sweet Potato Bourbon Pie

    Some people don’t like pumpkin pie, some people want a change after a season of it. Try a sweet potato pie instead! This recipe was developed by Elizabeth Karmel for the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission. It makes 10 servings.

    Find more sweet potato recipes from the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

    RECIPE: FLUFFY SWEET POTATO BOURBON PIE
    WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND TOASTED PECANS

    Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons top quality bourbon
  • 1 generous teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-ground sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  •  

    Sweet potato bourbon pie. Photo courtesy North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

  • 1 10-inch graham cracker crust (homemade or store-bought)
  • Garnish: toasted pecans
  •  
    For The Ginger Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Wash and dry sweet potatoes. With a fork, prick the sweet potatoes all over about six times. Set sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Roast until soft and you can see bits of sugar bubbling where you pricked the potato, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375°F.

    2. COOL, peel and measure out 2 generous cups of cooked sweet potato. Remove flesh to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “s” blade; purée until smooth. While the motor is running, add the butter to soften the sweet potatoes. Add the eggs. You will notice that the sweet potatoes will start to take on a lighter, almost peachy color.

    3. COMBINE the cream, bourbon and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Add to the potato purée as the food processor is running. The mixture will look light and fluffy at this point.

    4. SCRAPE the sides and add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and cloves. Purée to combine. The sugar and spices will darken the color a bit but the texture will remain very fluffy.

    5. SPOON the filling into the prepared crust and place on a cookie sheet. Bake until filling is set, about 40 minutes. To test, shake the pie; the center of the pie should jiggle slightly. If you aren’t sure, stick a toothpick or a butter knife in the center; if it comes out clean, the pie is done. Let cool and then chill thoroughly before serving. Serve with ginger whipped cream and toasted pecans.
     
    Preparation: Ginger Whipped Cream

    1. COMBINE cream, sugar and ginger in a mixing bowl.

    2. WHIP with an electric mixer or a whisk until cream is thick and stiff.

      

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