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RECIPE: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Looking for “gourmet” Super Bowl fare? Try this recipe from Dietz & Watson. Just a bit of fresh basil elevates bacon-wrapped shrimp to new flavor heights.

Serve the shrimp on a platter for game-watching, with cocktails or as an appetizer or first course for dinner.


Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 16 jumbo shrimp (thawed if frozen), peeled and
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 slices bacon
  • 16 flavorless wooden toothpicks
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces barbeque sauce
  • 4 teaspoons grated horseradish
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • Garnish: lemon wedges, basil leaves

    Fresh basil elevates the flavor of bacon-wrapped shrimp. Photo courtesy Dietz & Watson.



    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F and butterfly the shrimp: Make a deep slit along the back of each, but not all the way through.

    2. RINSE the shrimp and pat dry. Place one basil leaf inside the slit in each shrimp. Wrap each shrimp in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

    3. HEAT the oil over high heat to 350°F in a medium stockpot or saucepan. When hot, carefully add the shrimp, a few at a time. Deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

    4. COMBINE the barbeque sauce, horseradish and hot pepper sauce in a skillet. Add the shrimp to the sauce and heat, basting the shrimp for 5 minutes, until they are heated through. Serve on a platter garnished with lemon wedges and sprinkle with a chiffonade of basil.

    A chiffonade is a cut that creates long, thin strips. Stack the leaves, roll them tightly and slice perpendicular to the roll. See the photo above.



    RECIPE: Asian Wings

    We like Buffalo Wings, but we’re ready for something new (even newer than these fun Deconstructed Buffalo Wings and this Buffalo Chicken Pizza).

    So we jumped on this Asian-inspired wings recipe from Chef Lorena Garcia. Plan ahead: They need to marinate overnight (and can be prepped up to three days in advance).


    Ingredients For Approximately 30 Wings

  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds of chicken wings
  • 3 scallions, slivered
  • Optional plate garnish: lemon or lime wedges

    Chicken wings are given the Peking Duck treatment, with hoisin sauce and scallions.



    1. PLACE orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, hoisin sauce, sugar, canola oil, ginger and garlic in a large resalable plastic bag. Seal and shake to mix.

    2. ADD chicken wings; seal and shake to coat evenly.

    3. REFRIGERATE overnight, or up to 3 days.

    4. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil. Spread wings on foil.

    5. BAKE for 45 minutes, until brown and shiny. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallions and serve.



    FOOD FUN: Japanese-Inspired Salmon Appetizer

    Cooked salmon “roll.” Photo courtesy
    MacKnight Foods.


    First, the health benefits:

    For years, healthcare professionals have been promoting the benefits of eating more salmon for its omega 3 essential fatty acids. Omega 3s contribute to:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Decreased cancer risk (breast, colorectal and prostate cancer)
  • Eye health—both dry eye and macular degeneration
  • Improved mood and cognition
  • Joint protection
    Beyond the well-promoted omega 3s, salmon has two equally strong health benefit components:

    Salmon Proteins and Amino Acids

  • Recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules called bioactive peptides. They may provide help with joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness and control of inflammation in the digestive tract (e.g., ulcerative colitis).
    Selenium, An Antioxidant

  • Salmon is noteworthy for its high selenium content. High selenium intake is associated with decreased joint inflammation, and also with prevention of certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. Four ounces of salmon provide more than 60% of the Daily Value (DV) for this mineral.
  • As an antioxidant nutrient, selenium has also been shown to be especially important in cardiovascular protection through maintenance of the molecule glutathione.
    Enough seriousness; now for the fun.

    As an alternative to the conventional baked, broiled, grilled, roasted or sauteed salmon main course, here’s an idea for an appetizer or first course. You can also serve it as a salad course, plated with a green salad.



    This easy recipe was inspired by sashimi, but it isn’t raw. The ingredients are:

  • Salmon, cooked or smoked
  • Nori, the roasted seaweed sheets used to wrap sushi rolls
  • Optional: cucumber spears for smoked salmon roll
  • Optional: plate with Asian slaw or seaweed salad

  • For smoked salmon: Cut cucumber to size and roll in a piece of smoked salmon; wrap with a band of nori.
  • For cooked salmon: Cut thick fingers of cooked salmon. Wrap with nori and serve.

    Smoked salmon “rolls.” Photo courtesy MacKnight Foods.



    You can buy nori in the Asian products aisle of your market, at Asian grocers, or online. Look for a brand that has perforated sections so it can also be more easily cut.

    Store nori in an airtight container (a heavy duty storage bag with the air squeezed out will do).

    Nori is about one-third protein and one-third dietary fiber, and contains high proportions of iodine, vitamins A, B, and K, and iron.

    It has almost no calories; and the people who love it really love it. You can also use a chiffonade of nori as a garnish for noodles, soups and other dishes.

    You can also eat nori as a snack. You may have noticed the proliferation of nori snack packages—toasty, crunchy nori seasoned with sesame seeds or other flavors. We love them!

  • Types of salmon. Do you know your Coho from your Chinook?
  • Make an informed choice. Check out the difference between wild and farmed salmon.
  • Then, take our wild salmon trivia quiz.


  • Pancakes With Smoked Salmon & Salmon Caviar
  • Smoked Salmon & Caviar Blinis
  • Seven Layer Smoked Salmon & Caviar Sandwiches

  • The different types of smoked salmon


    RECIPE: Thai Shrimp Appetizer

    Shrimp wrapped in pretty puff pastry. Photo
    and recipe courtesy Campbell’s.


    We’ve been playing around with puff pastry this week, and are making these Thai Shrimp Spirals to go with the Champagne tonight. Marinated shrimp wrapped in tender puff pastry and served on skewers with a dip, they’re a fun and tasty food.

    Prep time 30 minutes; total time 1 hour 40 minutes, which includes 40 minutes of thawing time. Suggested serving size: 2 pieces.


    Ingredients For 20 Pieces

  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 two-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 20 fresh or thawed frozen large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 20 six-inch wood or metal skewers (presoak wood skewers)

    1. GRATE 2 teaspoons zest and squeeze about 1/4 cup juice from the limes. Stir the zest, juice, cilantro, garlic and ginger in a small bowl.

    2. PLACE the shrimp into a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and half the lime mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining lime mixture for the dipping sauce.

    3. HEAT the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl with a fork.

    4. SPRINKLE the flour on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface and roll into a 10-inch square. Cut into 20 strips, about 1/2-inch wide.

    5. SKEWER each shrimp with a wooden skewer. Starting at the top, wrap 1 pastry strip around each shrimp, slightly overlapping the pastry and ending just before the tail.

    6. PLACE the skewered pastries onto 2 baking sheets. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes.

    7. BEAT the reserved lime mixture, remaining soy sauce and water, the honey and sesame oil in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Serve with the pastries for dipping.



    FOOD FUN: Christmas Sushi & Sashimi

    Delicious Christmas trees. Photo courtesy


    Sushi and sashimi fans: Delight your fellow enthusiasts with these hors d’oeuvre:



  • Cucumber slices
  • Waffle potato chips (you can substitute conventional chips)
  • Tuna tartare and/or salmon tartare (recipe below)
  • Garnish: chives and/or wasabi tobiko caviar
  • Optional garnish: slices of yellow grape tomato for top of trees


  • 1 pound sushi grade tuna or salmon, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Pinch salt

    1. BLEND together olive oil, wasabi, sesame seeds, pepper and salt. Add fish and toss until evenly coated.

    2. ADJUST seasoning as desired with additional wasabi powder, pepper and/or salt.

    3. ASSEMBLE on cucumber and potato chip bases as shown in photo.



    The photo shows a non-edible scarf and hat. We’ve substituted edible versions in our recipe.


  • California rolls, purchased or homemade
  • Black sesame seeds or black caviar roe (e.g. lumpfish caviar) for face
  • Toothpicks
  • Optional nose: a small piece of carrot
  • Optional garnish: red “scarf” cut from a roasted red bell pepper (pimento) or a green scarf made from the top portion of a green onion
  • Optional garnish: “hat” made from small square crackers

    You can assemble a standing snowman by slightly flattening the bottom piece, or simply arrange it flat on a dark colored plate (for contrast with the white rice).


    Stack California rolls to make a snowman. Photo courtesy Genji Sushi.


    1. CREATE the face on the top piece: eyes, nose and mouth. Use the bit of carrot as an optional nose.

    2. STACK three California roll pieces. For a standing snowman, use toothpicks to join the pieces.

    3. ADD toothpicks as arms.

    4. ADD optional “clothing”: red scarf and hat. For a hat, affix two crackers in a perpendicular fashion with cream cheese. If using a green onion scarf, blanch it in boiling water to make it easier to tie.
    Check out all the different types of sushi in our beautiful Sushi Glossary.



    RECIPE: Papas Tapas, Fun Potato Tapas

    We love all the creative potato recipes from the folks at the U.S. Potato Board. You can find them at

    This recipe for Festive Papas Tapas is a twist on the classic baked potato bar (pick your own toppings).

    Instead of a baked potato, thick slices of russet potatoes are grilled or roasted, and then serve as a blank canvas for toppings. The slices of potato have fewer carbs than an entire potato, so those who tend to shy away can dig in as well.

    What kind of toppings? Anything. We have some recipes below, or you can use pesto or pico de gallo straight from the jar.

    Prep time for the potatoes is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    This recipe is gluten free and a hit with both kids and adults.


    Festive potato tapas. Photo courtesy


    Yukon Gold potatoes. Photo courtesy Idaho
    Potato Commission.



    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 2–3 medium russet or 3–4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Toppings (see suggestions below)

    1. PREHEAT grill or oven to 400°F. Thinly slice potatoes length wise to 1/4 inch thick, discarding ends. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

    2. PLACE on grill or prepared baking sheet in single layer and cook for 10 minutes on each side. Serve with room-temperature toppings.

    Bruschetta: 2 medium tomatoes diced, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves (1 teaspoon) of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss together in a bowl and spoon on top of potatoes. Optional: Add chopped chicken to Bruschetta topping.

    Classic Baked Potato: 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon fresh chives chopped. Mix all ingredients except 1 tablespoon of chives in a bowl and spoon on top of potatoes. Garnish with remaining chives.

    Lemon Herb Yogurt: 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Mix together in a bowl and spoon on top of potatoes. Garnish with dill sprigs.

    Mediterranean: 1 container (6 ounces) feta cheese, 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced drained olives, 1 medium tomato diced (optional), salt and pepper to taste. Toss together in a bowl and spoon on top of potatoes.

    Pico de Gallo: 1/2 cup pre-made pico de gallo or mix 1 medium tomato diced, 1 small onion finely chopped, 1 green onion chopped, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spoon on top of potatoes. Garnish with extra cilantro.


    Check them out, along with the history of potatoes, in our delicious Potato Glossary.



    RECIPE: Ham On A Biscuit With Cranberry Balsamic Reduction

    Glazed ham on a biscuit. Photo courtesy


    Many hams will be baked this holiday season, generating many pounds of leftover ham. Much of that ends up on a simple ham sandwich.

    Here’s an alternative: Make your sandwich on a biscuit. It’s that much more special.

    We enjoy this recipe with breakfast eggs and aslunch with a salad. The recipe was developed by Dietz & Watson, which used its Chef Carved Ham.

    If you don’t want to make the cranberry balsamic reduction, default to mustard and plain cranberry sauce. Similarly, you can make biscuits from scratch or buy refrigerator biscuits.

    Ingredients For 12 Servings

  • 12 slices of ham
  • 12 biscuits from your favorite recipe (or store-bought)
  • Cranberry balsamic reduction (see recipe below)
    For The Cranberry Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 jar (12 ounces) cranberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup whole fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 serrano chile, halved

    1. BAKE the biscuits.

    2. MAKE cranberry balsamic reduction while the biscuits bake. Combine preserves, vinegar, basil, mustard, peppercorns and chile in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer the sauce until thickened (approximately 8 to 10 minutes). Strain the reduction through a fine sieve and if needed, thin with water.

    3. TEAR ham to fit biscuits.

    4. HALVE freshly baked biscuits and place ham on the bottom half. Drizzle reduction over the ham and cover with biscuit half.



    RECIPE: 2013 Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner

    Serve them piping hot from the oven!
    Photo courtesy Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.


    Some women dream of being Miss America; others want to win the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

    At the recent finals of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, Glori Spriggs of Henderson, Nevada brought home the bacon—actually, a $1 million grand prize, which buys a lot of bacon.

    Her winning recipe for Loaded Potato Pinwheels—a cheesy bacon and potatoes mix rolled up in crescent dough—was chosen from 100 finalist recipes spanning three categories: Amazing Doable Dinners, Simple Sweets and Starters and Rise and Shine Breakfasts.

    Why make some for your guests? They’re delicious with a savory cocktail, the most popular of which are the Bloody Mary and its wealth of variations; a Martini or Gibson (recipes); whiskey and soda; wine or beer.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, total time is 45 minutes.


    Ingredients For 28 Pinwheels

  • 1 bag (11.8 ounces) frozen Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Backyard Grilled Potatoes*
  • 1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked real bacon bits (from a jar or package)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops (3 medium)

    *These are roasted new potatoes seasoned with green and yellow peppers and onions—a dish that’s easy to make from scratch. The Green Giant product has garlic, parsley and natural smoke flavor.

    1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray large cookie sheets with cooking spray. Microwave frozen potatoes 3 to 4 minutes to thaw.

    2. MASH potatoes with a fork in a medium bowl, leaving some small pieces. Stir in cheese, 1/3 cup of the bacon bits and the milk until well blended.

    3. UNROLL dough on a cutting board; press into 14×8-inch rectangle. Cut into 2 rectangles, 14×4-inches each. Spread half of the potato mixture on one rectangle to within 1/4-inch of long edges. Starting at one long side, tightly roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. Using serrated knife, cut roll into 14 slices.

    4. PLACE slices, cut side up, on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake 17 to 21 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately, remove from cookie sheets to serving plate.

    5. TOP each pinwheel with sour cream, remaining bacon bits and the green onions. Serve warm.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Lettuce Wraps

    Lettuce wraps garnered attention for a while, but seem to have faded from view. So here’s a reminder:

    Let lettuce take the place of tortillas, bread and other refined-carb, low-nutrition sandwich wrappers. Turn them into lunch or snack fare—or as in the photo, hors d’oeuvre.

    Lettuce wraps are fun food. You’ll get family members to eat more fiber and snack healthier. You can even create a groovy hors d’oeuvre.

    First decide on your filling(s):

  • Traditional sandwich fillings: egg, chicken and tuna salad
  • Vegetarian fillings: avocado vinaigrette, caponata, carrot salad, cucumber salad, hummus, raw or grilled vegetables, tofu salad, etc.
  • Fancy fillings: crab salad, shrimp salad; sliced beef, lamb or pork with appropriate condiments
  • Optional garnishes: capers, chopped nuts, fresh basil or dill, sliced olives and/or pimento (roasted red peppers)

    Lettuce wraps are fashionable, appearing here at a red carpet party in New York City, filled with crab salad and accompanied by Champagne. Photo © Adam Sung | Chandon USA.

    Use romaine hearts or Boston (bibb) lettuce for the wraps.

  • Tear the top portion of romaine leaves into a manageable length; reserve the rest of the romaine for a green salad.
  • Fill, garnish and serve.

    The following recipe is a fusion of a lettuce wrap and a tortilla wrap. The tortilla—whole wheat for better nutrition—makes things a bit neater, but is optional.


    Lettuce and tortilla wraps. Recipe and photo courtesy U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.



    While domestic blueberries are still in markets, add some of the high-antioxident, zingy nuggets to wrap sandwiches.


  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • 6 large lettuce leaves
  • 6 (6-inch diameter) whole-wheat tortillas


    1. COMBINE yogurt, mayonnaise, celery and salt in a medium bowl. Gently stir in chicken and blueberries.

    2. MAKE a stack of tortillas separated by damp paper towels, and warm in the microwave: Microwave on high until hot, 30 to 60 seconds.

    3. PLACE warm tortillas on the counter. Top each tortilla with a lettuce leaf. Scoop about ½ cup chicken-blueberry salad on each lettuce leaf.

    4. ROLL each tortilla into a cylinder. Cut each in half or thirds. Secure with toothpicks, if desired. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate.



    RECIPE: Tuna Sashimi Hors d’Oeuvre

    Maguro tuna with “seasoned avocado sauce”:
    guacamole. Photo courtesy Ippudo | New


    Whenever we visit Ippudo—a creative Japanese ramen chain with luscious ramen soups and so much more—we’re inspired to adapt some of the recipes at home.

    This one is very easy and for hot summer days; it requires no cooking. Fresh tuna is marinated lightly and served with “seasoned avocado sauce,” i.e., guacamole.



  • Raw tuna filet
  • Vinaigrette: 3 parts olive oil, 1 part wine vinegar (ideally rice wine vinegar), salt and pepper to taste
  • Guacamole
  • Cilantro or parsley
  • Tostitos Scoops chips or substitute
  • Preparation

    1. CUT tuna into a small dice and marinate in vinaigrette for 20 minutes or longer. Drain well and fill Tostitos Scoops.

    2. TOP with guacamole, garnish with fresh herbs. Serve immediately. Delicious with beer, wine or iced tea.

    TIP: Instead of preparing extra “scoops” to refill the tray, wait until you need them to fill the Scoops. Otherwise, they may lose their crunch.



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