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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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Archive for

RECIPE: Sweet Pea Deviled Eggs

For all the deviled egg fans out there: Here‘s a springtime recipe for Sweet Pea Deviled Eggs from Del Monte. You can use cooked fresh spring peas in season (now!), or can use canned peas year-round. This recipe also works for St. Patrick’s Day and other green-theme occasions.

Substituting peas and avocado for half of the egg yolks reduces the cholesterol load.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 24 stuffed egg halves

RECIPE: Sweet Pea Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs, hard-cooked
  • 1 cup cooked spring peas or 1 can (8.5 oz.) Del Monte Sweet Peas-No Salt Added, drained
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh basil, chives or parsley
  • Optional: sweet paprika
  •  

    These deviled eggs have reduced cholesterol: Only half of the yolks are used. Photo courtesy Del Monte.

     

    Preparation

    1. COOK eggs: Place in a large saucepan, completely covered in cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, run under cold water briefly and peel. Peeling under cold running water helps to remove the shell more easily and helps to cool the eggs for handling. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks; set aside 6 of the 12 yolks for for another purpose (see below).

    2. PLACE 6 egg yolks in a blender or food processor with the peas, avocado, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard and salt and black pepper. Purée until smooth.

    3. SPOON equal amounts of the purée into each of the egg white halves. Garnish with parsley and/or paprika.

     

    If you have extra yolks, we know what to do
    with them. Photo courtesy American Egg
    Board.

     

    USES FOR COOKED EGG YOLKS

    If you’ve got extra egg yolks:

  • Mix into chicken salad, egg salad, potato salad or tuna salad.
  • Crumble, grate or sieve over green salad, cooked vegetables, rice and grains.
  • Mash with mayonnaise, relish, salt and pepper and serve on toast as a snack or first course, with crackers as a snack, or stuffed into celery or endive leaves.
  • Pennsylvania Dressing for a green salad (recipe follows).
  •  
    We found this recipe for Pennsylvania Dressing, which was served in the dining cars of the Pennsylvania Railroad atop a salad of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, sliced cucumber, scallions, radishes and celery:

     

    PENNSYLVANIA DRESSING RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 2 hard-cooked egg yolks
  • Tarragon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon powdered sugar (omit if you don’t like sweetness in your dressing)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped medium fine
  • 6 chives or small young onions, chopped very fine
  • 1 sprig parsley, chopped fine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MASH egg yolks with enough tarragon vinegar to make a smooth paste.

    2. ADD each ingredient in the order listed, mixing well before adding the next. Beat with a whisk until blended thoroughly, about 1 minute.

    3. POUR into a glass jar and cover tightly. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 1 pint.
     
    FOOD TRIVIA: WHY THE EGGS ARE HARD COOKED, NOT HARD BOILED

    It‘s a technicality: While the cooking water is brought to a boil, the eggs are actually simmered until cooked, not boiled.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Smoked Salmon Appetizer

    For brunch, a first course or a snack. Photo
    courtesy Chobani.

     

    We love this recipe, inspired by a dish served at the Chobani Mediterranean Yogurt Bar on Prince Street in SoHo, New York City.

    Easy to prepare yet high-impact, it’s a twist on a bagel with smoked salmon. We enjoy it at brunch, as a light lunch, as a first course at dinner. We like to serve it in a glass dish or wine glass to showcase the layers.

    SMOKED SALMON PARFAIT

    Ingredients

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Diced cucumbers, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Snipped fresh dill
  • Smoked salmon, chopped and tossed with dill
  • Optional: finely diced red onion
  • Optional: diced tomatoes, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Optional: capers
  • Bagel chips
  •  

    Preparation

    1. ADD some of the diced cucumbers and dill to the bottom of the serving dish.

    2. ADD yogurt to fill dish at least halfway. Sprinkle onion over yogurt.

    3. TOP with smoked salmon. Garnish with diced tomatoes, capers or a dab of yogurt with more dill.

    4. SERVE with a side of bagel chips.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Use Champagne Flutes For Appetizers & Desserts

    Use your Champagne flutes for more than
    Champagne. Photo courtesy Filicori Zecchini.

     

    Since today is a holiday that features a fancy dinner, today’s tip is about fancy presentation of food.

    When you create a snazzy presentation for a good recipe, you invariably have a hit.

    If you’re not using your Champagne flutes, tulips or coupes for drinking, use them for appetizers or desserts.

    What goes into a Champagne flute? Anything that can be spooned out of it.

    APPETIZERS

  • A dip or spread garnished with a tall bread stick and served with a side of crackers, crostini or toasts
  • Gourmet mac & cheese; take a look at these gourmet mac and cheese recipes
  • Guacamole with a caviar or shrimp garnish and a side of gourmet tortilla chips
  • Savory yogurt parfait: seasoned plain Greek yogurt (mix in dill and lemon zest) layered with diced cucumbers and red bell peppers
  • Soup, preferably a thick vegetable purée
  •  
    DESSERTS

  • Ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet
  • Pudding or mousse
  •  
    There are many other spoonable recipes, of course. Send us your favorites.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Fig & Brie Bruschetta

    Fig and cheese bruschetta: delicious! Photo
    courtesy CaliforniaFigs.com.

     

    Still looking for that impressive yet easy hors d’oeuvre for Easter?

    Try this delicious bruschetta of seared fresh California black mission figs and your favorite cheese (Brie and blue cheese are particular favorites). A garnish of bacon is optional.

    If you don’t have time to cook the figs, you can substitute fig jam, and use an optional slice of fresh fig as a garnish.

    FIG & CHEESE BRUSCHETTA RECIPE

    Ingredients Per Piece

  • 1/2 fresh, ripe Black Mission fig per piece
  • Fine granulated sugar
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 ounce cheese per piece
  • Baguette slice per piece
  • Optional garnishes: 1-inch piece of bacon, fresh
    herbs
  • Preparation

    1. CUT figs in half lengthwise and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Lightly the coat bottom of a cast iron or other heavy skillet with olive oil; heat to very hot.

    2. ARRANGE fig halves, cut side down in pan and sear for about 2 minutes. Remove; turn cut side up on plate and allow to cool slightly.

    3. ASSEMBLE crostini: Top bread with figs, cheese and optional garnish. Place on serving plate and serve immediately.

     
    The difference between bruschetta and crostini.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Small But Tasty Red Meat Dishes

    Americans love their red meat, despite the pleadings of medical professionals, nutritionists and environmentalists to eat less of it. The research record is clear:

    Among many studies, the largest one, conducted by Harvard University, proved that the more red meat you eat, the greater your risk of dying and of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes.* And the more animals raised to meet the insatiable appetite for red meat, the more environmental pollution.

    Red meat is:

  • Cholesterol-laden
  • Higher in calories than other proteins
  •  

    Place a smaller piece of red meat on a larger bed of grains or vegetables. Photo courtesy MalaysianKitchenNYC.com.

  • Often hormone- and antibiotic laden (except organic meat)
  •  
    Want to know more? Read this article.

    But there is a compromise, reflected in today’s tip:

    Just cut down on your portion size. Limit the portion to three ounces—three slices—and fill out the dish with grains or vegetables.

     

    Eat less red meat by enjoying it in roll-ups. Photo courtesy Snake River Farms.N

     

    Any beef dish can be turned into a smaller portion—and by using herbs, spices and other seasonings, the meat can be even more flavorful.

    Place a couple of slices of broiled red meat or a large chunk of stewed meat atop barley, beans, brown rice, mashed cauliflower or potatoes, quinoa, a rice or pasta salad, vegetable purée (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or other favorite) or other base. Another easy way to use less meat is in a veggie-laden stir-fry.

    Look for recipes that don’t require large hunks of meat; for example, lettuce wraps or the beef rolls in the photo, which are filled with cucumber matchsticks and mushrooms. There are options in many cuisines, such as the popular Japanese dish, beef negimaki: broiled strips of beef marinated in teriyaki sauce and rolled with sautéed scallions (you can substitute spinach).

    Whichever recipes you prefer, smaller portions of red meat are better for you and Planet Earth.

     
    Let’s return to the Harvard study. The researchers emphasized that they are not stating that Americans should stop eating red meat (good luck with that one!). But they do encourage individuals to use other protein options more frequently.

    They specifically note that “We estimated that substitutions of one serving per day of other foods (including fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy, and whole grains) for one serving per day of red meat were associated with a 7 percent to 19 percent lower mortality risk.”

    You can have your red meat and eat it too—just eat less of it. That’s no beef.

    *A number of studies have evaluated the impact of eating red meat on health and lifespan, but one of the largest and longest was conducted by a research team at Harvard School of Public Health and published in March 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Data was collected on 83,644 women from the Nurses Health Study and 37,698 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the investigators were interested in how much meat each of these adults consumed over a 22-year to 28-year period.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bruschetta Vs. Crostini

    Bruschetta and crostini are popular hors d’oeuvres that are easy to make. They also can be served as a first course or a light meal, with salad and/or soup.

    BRUSCHETTA VS. CROSTINI: WHAT’S THE
    DIFFERENCE?

    The answer, in brief, is the size of the slice, plus grilling versus toasting. Bruschetta (three or four inches in diameter) are cut from a baguette and grilled; crostini (about two inches in diameter) are cut from a thinner loaf and toasted.

    Bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKEH-tuh) are grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with any variety of items. The toppings can be as simple as extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, to diced tomatoes and basil, to almost any spread, vegetable, cured meat or cheese—even fruit.

    Bruschetta originated in the Tuscany region of Italy, where it is commonly served as a snack or appetizer. It may have been the original garlic bread.

     

    You can top bruschetta—grilled bread—with anything, including rosy grapefruit. Photo courtesy Sunkist Growers.

     
    The word comes from the verb bruscare in Roman dialect, which means “to roast over coals.” If you have access to a grill, grill the bread for authenticity. If not, you can toast it.

    Some American manufacturers and others in the food industry misuse the term, using it to refer to the topping only and selling jars of “bruschetta” (it should be bruschetta topping). Show your superior knowledge and don’t allow the term to be distorted: The word bruschetta refers to the grilled bread, not the topping.

    Crostini (cruh-STEE-nee) are croutons: not in the American sense of small cubes tossed into soup or salad, but thin slices of toasted bread.

    Smaller than bruschetta, the slices are typically cut from a ficelle, a thinner baguette one to two inches wide (the word is French for “string). The slices are brushed with olive oil, toasted and then topped with spreadable cheese, pâté or other ingredients. Plain crostini are served with soups and salads, like melba toast, or set out with cheese.

     

    Crostini American-style: BevCooks.com used
    a regular loaf of whole grain bread for
    appetizer- or meal-size portions. Also
    consider rye bread. Here’s the recipe.

     

    While lovely grapefruits are still in season, make this colorful and flavorful Grapefruit Bruschetta recipe from Sunkist (photo above).

    We especially like it with a Sauvignon Blanc, which often has complementary grassy/herbal or grapefruit notes. You can use any type of grapefruit, but rosy-fleshed varieties make the most beautiful presentation. Makes 8 servings.

    RED GRAPEFRUIT BRUSCHETTA

    Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced (how to pick the best baguette)
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pink or red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • ½ cup basil, torn
  • ½ cup blue cheese (if you’re not a blue fan, substitute goat cheese)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon red onion, tiny dice
  • Salt and pepper to taste, as desired (or add crushed red pepper for a touch of heat)
  • Optional garnish: honey
  •  

    Preparation

  • PREHEAT oven to 450°F.
  • PLACE baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Place in oven and bake 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • MIX together grapefruit and basil in a small bowl.
  • SPOON onto toasted baguette slices and top with crumbled blue cheese and an optional light honey drizzle.
  •  
    Here’s another variation of grapefruit bruschetta that cooks the grapefruit topping.

     
    MORE BRUSCHETTA RECPIES

  • Black Bean Bruschetta
  • Bruschetta With Radicchio Tapenade
  • Bruschetta With Prosciutto & Goat Cheese
  • Low-Carb Brsuchetta
  •  
    BIGGER BRUSCHETTA

    Turn bruschetta into open-face sandwiches for lunch by using regular loaves of bread. Cut the slices in half, as the blogger BevCooks.com did in the photo above, with the most delicious-looking bruschetta we’ve seen in a while.

    You can also make “breakfast bruschetta” by placing eggs and breakfast meats atop the toast. Add a dab of garnish (diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, sliced green onions, a strip of roasted red pepper…). Does ketchup count as a garnish? Sure: This is America.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Green Deviled Eggs Recipe

    We”ll be eating green on St. Patric’s Day.
    Photo courtesy Avocados From Mexico.

     

    Although we start every St. Patrick’s Day with a green bagel, each year we look for new, fun green dishes for our celebration.

    This year it’s Avocado Deviled Eggs: Avocado replaces the mayo in this party classic.

    This recipe, from Avocados From Mexico, yields 12 deviled eggs.

    GREEN DEVILED EGGS

    Ingredients

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 fully ripened avocado from Mexico, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • Garnish: chopped fresh chives
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the egg yolks and avocado in a small bowl; mash until smooth.

    2. STIR in yogurt, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. Stir in jalapeño and onion

    3. SPOON into egg white shells, dividing equally. Arrange on a serving plate. Cover lightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 3 hours. Garnish with chives before serving.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Radicchio Spoons Appetizer

    We love this easy hors d’oeuvre idea: radicchio “spoons.” Fill the spoons with whatever you like and you’ve got an hors d’oeuvre that’s delicious, low in calories, healthful and crunchy.

    Here, food stylist and photographer Kelly Sasuga used green and red radicchio leaves, creating an eye-catching presentation.

    What should you fill the leaves with? Anything you like, but here are some ideas:

  • Chopped figs or dates and chopped orange segments with some grated orange peel, mixed into cream cheese
  • Chopped pickled vegetables atop Greek yogurt or salad greens
  •  

    An elegant and easy hors d’oeuvre. Photo by Kelly Sasuga | Fresh Origins Microgreens.

  • Chopped smoked salmon and chives atop sour cream
  • Crumbled bacon and diced tomato atop a dab of mayo (for a “BLT”)
  • Crushed pineapple and another favorite fruit (tiny dice) atop sour cream
  • Dips: artichoke, crab, spinach or other favorite dip
  • Freestyle: a bit of cheese, dried or fresh fruit and nuts, for example
  • Goat cheese, chopped pistachio nuts and shredded basil
  • Guacamole garnished with a pimiento strip
  • Israeli salad (diced cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and parsley marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and chopped mint leaves, well drained)
  • Pear, blue cheese and chopped toasted pecans
  • Salsa (well drained)
  • Seafood salad
  • Tzatziki
  •  
    ADD A GARNISH

    A garnish of microgreens makes any hors d’oeuvre more attractive, sophisticated and flavorful.

    If you can’t find microgreens, use snipped fresh parsley or other fresh herb for a big flavor enhancement.

    DO IT EVERY DAY

    If you want to eat more veggies, use radicchio spoons instead of bread to eat your daily tuna or egg salad.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Make Mini Corn Dogs In A Muffin Pan

    Mini corn dogs are a comfort food treat.
    Photo and recipe courtesy
    PamperedChef.com.

     

    We know otherwise sophisticated gastronomes who go out of their way to visit hot dog joints that sell corn dogs. A corn dog is a hot dog coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter, deep fried and served on a stick.

    While it’s not fried food on a stick, we were attracted to this mini corn dog recipe from PamperedChef.com. It’s good Super Bowl finger food.

    All you need is a box of corn muffin mix, hot dogs and a mini muffin pan.

    MINI CORN DOGS RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 1 8.5–ounce box corn muffin mix or your own recipe (we use our own recipe, and leave out the sugar)
  • 5 hot dogs (you can substitute gourmet sausages in your favorite flavors, such as apple or spinach)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the corn muffin batter according to package/recipe directions.

    2. PREHEST the oven to 375°F.

    3. SPRAY mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.

    4. SLICE hot dogs into 1–inch pieces. Place one piece in each muffin cup.

    5. BAKE 10–12 minutes or until wooden pick in centers comes out clean. When cool enough to touch, remove corn dogs to serving plate. Serve with mustard or dip (we mix Dijon mustard with Greek yogurt).
     
    You can buy the pan at PamperedChef.com.

    CORN DOG HISTORY

    Like the hot dog (sausage) in a bun, the corn dog is an American invention, enjoyed plain or with hog dog condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and relish.

    Food historians note that corn dogs on sticks were around in the 1920s; patents were filed for cooking apparatuses to make them.

    Various people claim to have invented the corn dog way after then, as popularity grew in the 1930s and 1940s and corn dogs became street fare and county fair fare. But in those regionalized, pre-Internet days, research wasn’t easy, so local entrepreneurs can be forgiven for not knowing that others had been selling corn dogs for years.

    The best corn dogs are fried just before serving to get that crispy crust. Heat-and-eat frozen versions are available in supermarkets—and we’d opine that Disneyland uses frozen corn dogs (they were bland and uninteresting). Some corn dog purveyors sell these premade frozen corn dogs which have been thawed and then fried again or browned in an oven. If you care, ask before you buy from a vendor (and hope for an honest answer).

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Layered Dip Recipes, Part 2

    Take the ingredients of a Greek salad and
    turn it into a layered dip, served with pita
    chips. Photo courtesy
    SouthByMouth.Blogspot.com.

     

    Yesterday, we discussed layered dips, beginning with the layered Mexican dip, also known as a layered bean dip and seven-layer dip. We also introduced a layered Middle Eastern dip.

    In Part 2, we travel beyond Mexico and the Middle East to Greece and India.

    If you use a base of nonfat Greek yogurt layered with vegetables, your dip will be low in calories.

    GREEK LAYERED DIP RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 2 diced cucumbers (peel if waxed)
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Green bell pepper, diced
  • Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 16 ounces plain Greek yogurt, seasoned with fresh dill, garlic, salt and pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (fresh tomatoes in
    season)
  • Optional layers: babaganoush (eggplant dip),
    tabbouleh (bulgur, mint, finely chopped parsley, tomatoes)
  • Basil or oregano for garnish
  • Pita chips
  • Optional: anchovies, chopped flat-leaf parsley
  •  

    Preparation

    1. SPREAD seasoned yogurt across the bottom of a shallow bowl.

    2. LAYER with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

    3. SPRINKLE with crumbled feta and oregano/parsley.

     

    INDIAN LAYERED DIP RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 2 cups shredded or crumbled paneer cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup chutney
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Sliced naan or other Indian bread; or use pita chips
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BLEND together the sour cream and curry. Spread across the bottom of a shallow glass bowl, baking dish or pie plate.

    2. ADD layer of coconut and peanuts, followed by the layer of paneer cheese.

    3. BLEND cream cheese with chutney and layer on top. Sprinkle with green onions.

     

    A warm pizza dip. Photo courtesy MyBakingAddition.com. See recipe below.

     
    4. SERVE with pieces/slices of Indian bread: chapata, naan, pappadum or whatever you can find (try an International supermarket). Or, pita chips will do nicely.
     
    WARM PIZZA DIP RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning*
  • 1/2 cup chunky pasta/pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup diced pepperoni or sausage
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Toasted baguette or Italian bread slices (bagel chips and pita chips also work)
  • 9″ pie plate
  •  
    *Create your own Italian seasoning with dried spices, 1/4 teaspoon each basil, marjoram and oregano plus 1/8 teaspoon rubbed sage.

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F (175°C).

    2. BEAT sour cream, cream cheese and Italian seasoning on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread evenly over the bottom of the pie plate.

    3. LAYER other ingredients in the order listed.

    4. BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes until heated through; top with mozzarella. Continue baking for 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

    5. SERVE warm with toasts.

    Here’s a recipe variation from the blog, MyBakingAddiction.com.

    MIX & MATCH: OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR ANY LAYERED DIP

    You can add any ingredients to the layers that appeal to you. Some ideas:

  • Almonds, sliced
  • Artichoke hearts, chopped
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Pesto
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Raisins or dried berries (blueberries, cranberries)
  • Red onions, finely sliced
  • Sundried tomatoes
  •   

    Comments

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