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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

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 PotatoGoodness.com.

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
PotatoGoodness.com.

 

Yukon Gold potatoes. Photo courtesy Idaho
Potato Commission.

 

RECIPE: POTATO TAPAS

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)
  •  
    Preparation

    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.
     
    POTATO 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.

     
    HOW MANY TYPES OF POTATOES HAVE YOU HAD?

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

      

    Comments

    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.

     
    RECIPE: GLAZED HAM ON A BISCUIT WITH CRANBERRY BALSAMIC REDUCTION
     
    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
  •  
    Preparation

    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.

      

    Comments

    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.

     
    RECIPE: LOADED POTATO PINWHEELS

    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.
     
    Preparation

    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.

      

    Comments

    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.

     

    RECIPE: BLUEBERRY CHICKEN SALAD WRAPS

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

    Ingredients

  • 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
  •  

    Preparation

    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.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Tuna Sashimi Hors d’Oeuvre

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

     

    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.

    RECIPE: TUNA SASHIMI HORS D’OEUVRES

    Ingredients

  • 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.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Marinated Anchovies

    Marinated fresh anchovies. Photo courtesy
    Flavor Your Life.

     

    This one‘s for sushi, sashimi and anchovy fans, requires no cooking and is served chilled—great summer fare!

    There are many more ways to serve anchovies beyond Caesar salad, canapes and pizza. One of our favorite ways is as a first course or hors d’oeuvre:

    This recipe, courtesy of FlavorYourLife.com, serves four. There are other delicious olive oil-based recipes on the website.

    MARINATED ANCHOVIES IN OLIVE OIL

    Ingredients

  • 14 ounces fresh anchovies (scaled off and without head and bone)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pinch of salt and pepper or crushed red chile pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Boston lettuce
  • Preparation

    1. RINSE the anchovies completely, drain and dry towel.

    2. PLACE anchovies on a dinner plate with the inside facing upwards. Make sure that the anchovies do not overlap.

    3. ADD a pinch of salt to the anchovies and sprinkle them with lemon juice.

    4. SPRINKLE garlic slices over the anchovies.- Cover the dish of anchovies with plastic wrap and let them marinate in the fridge for about 3 or 4 hours. When the anchovies are ready, they should be white. When ready to serve…

    5. REMOVE anchovies fron fridge, remove the slices of garlic and add a drizzle of oil, chopped parsley and a sprinkle of black or crushed chili pepper.

    6. SERVE on a bed of Boston lettuce with toasted rustic bread and a crisp, minerally white wine like Chablis, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc; Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or Viognier.
     
    FIND MORE DELICIOUS FISH RECIPES.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Things To Do With Polenta Slices

    Stack slices of grilled polenta with your
    favorite fillings; here, crab salad and
    guacamole. Photo courtesy Costanero
    Cocoino Peruana.

     

    Polenta—which is both the Italian word for cornmeal and a cooked dish made from it—has become popular in America through Italian and Continental restaurants. But it’s not new to America. For the first two centuries of The United States, American diets contained much cornmeal—in bread, breakfast cereal and other recipes. It was gradually replaced by refined wheat flour.

    While corn itself is a whole grain, polenta is refined: It is degerminated cornmeal, with the germ and endosperm (which contain the fiber and other nutrition) removed. As with all refined grains——the majority of the grains we consume—the protein, iron and vitamins are left on the factory floor.

    But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a delicious addition to the table. We spotted this attractive starter at Costanero Cocoino Peruana, a Peruvian restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey. It reminded us of Caprese stacks, one of our favorite first courses to make with summer’s heirloom tomatoes (see photo below).

    You can make polenta from scratch, or buy it in rolls, available in most supermarkets. The latter makes it easy to create stacked appetizers and sides. It’s available in plain plus flavors such as basil-garlic and sundried tomato.

     

    STACKED POLENTA APPETIZER RECIPE

    The most time-consuming part of this recipe is deciding what to layer in-between the polenta slices. Tips: Select different colors, and check out your leftovers to see what could work. You can serve the stacks with a lightly-dressed frisée or mesclun salad.

    Ingredients

  • Polenta, three slices per serving
  • Pesto, remoulade, thousand island dressing or other sauce for garnish (match sauce to fillings)
  • Optional: fresh herbs for garnish
  •  
    Then, select two fillings:

  • Bacon, crumbled (variation: bacon and onions cooked in the bacon fat) or prosciutto
  • Carrot salad
  • Cheese: goat cheese, mozzarella or other favorite, preferably soft or semisoft
  • Crab, shrimp or other protein salad, finely chopped
  • Cranberry sauce or chutney
  • Giardiniera or marinated chopped vegetables
  • Guacamole or vegetable puree (broccoli, pea, red bell pepper or anything colorful)
  • Chicken, ham, turkey or other protein, diced (a great use for leftovers)
  • Herb-marinated mushrooms, finely chopped
  • Mashed potatoes—update the flavor with fresh chives, basil, or flavored olive oil
  • Sautéed or steamed spinach or kale, seasoned with garlic
  • Smoked salmon or other smoked fish
  • Spread of any kind
  • Anything else that appeals to you
  •  

     
    Preparation

    1. SLICE polenta into desired thickness; broil, fry or grill until edges become slightly crisp.

    2. TOP first polenta round with first filling and top with second polenta round. Use a spatula to make the filling flush with the edges of the polenta. Repeat with second filling and third polenta round.

    3. PLATE as desired, with pesto/sauce, fresh herbs and/or salad.

     
    MORE RECIPES

    There are two styles of polenta: creamy polenta, which is like cooked grits, and sliced polenta, in rounds or squares/rectangles. These recipes use rounds from purchased rolls of polenta. Start by slicing and grilling/frying the rounds.

    Breakfast

  • With maple syrup or topped with a fried egg.
  •  

    A vertical Caprese salad: tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. You can grow the beautiful opal basil here with seeds from BonniePlants.com, or buy it at a farmer’s market.

  • “Huevos rancheros” style, topped with cheese, a poached egg and salsa.
  •  
    Lunch, Dinner Or Sides

  • Topped with mushroom ragu.
  • On a bed of sautéed bell peppers, mushrooms and onions.
  • Topped with any kind of sauce or mix of leftovers: cubed ham, capers, whatever.
  • “Hash browns” or fries: Cut roll into fry-size planks,fry and dust them with grated parm Parmesan.
  • Breaded, fried and served with pesto or a dipping sauce.
  •  
    MORE POLENTA IDEAS

  • Polenta cookies (recipe)
  • Ratatouille With Crispy Polenta (recipe)
  • Smoked paprika Shrimp With Poblano Polenta (recipe)
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Adapting A Classic, Greek Nachos

    The Greek cousin of nachos. Photo courtesy Chobani Greek Yogurt.

     

    Today’s tip looks at adapting popular recipes to other cultures. As an example, we’re giving Tex-Mex nachos a Greek makeover—a fresh spin on a party classic that uses feta and naan or pita crisps instead of Cheddar or Jack cheese and tortilla chips. It also adds some heartiness with ground lamb.

    This recipe, from Chobani Greek Yogurt, makes 6 servings. Enjoy it with beer, wine or iced mint tea.

    GREEK NACHOS RECIPE

    Ingredients

    For The Yogurt Salsa

  • 1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  •  

    For The Nachos

  • Naan bread or pita
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb (or veal, beef, turkey)
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Kalamata olives
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Feta cheese
  • Italian herb seasoning or oregano
  •  

    A delight for feta fans. Photo courtesy Chobani Greek Yogurt.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F.

    2. BROWN ground lamb in olive oil over medium heat until fully cooked; then drain oil.

    3. RUB naan bread with small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, cut into triangle wedges with pizza cutter and place on baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes to desired crispness.

    5. COMBINE yogurt, cucumber, onion, feta cheese, salt, and cumin in a food processor; process to desired smoothness. Add more onion, cucumber, and/or feta cheese as desired.

    6. ASSEMBLE nachos by placing triangle wedges of naan on a plate, then fresh spinach, then ground lamb, yogurt salsa, olives, tomatoes, more feta cheese and italian herb seasoning on top as desired.

    Find more recipes at Chobani.com.

      

    Comments

    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

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