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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 Books

BOOK: Beat The Heat With The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook

It’s too darn hot, wrote Cole Porter, in the days before air conditioning.

But even if you benefit from modern cooling system, it may still be too darn hot to turn on the oven.

Turn up the flavor—not the heat!

Pick up a copy of The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook, and avoid turning on the stove or oven during the heat of summer.

Featuring 101 good-for-you recipes—author Matthew Kadey is a registered dietitian—you can quickly assemble breakfasts, lunch and dinner mains and delectable desserts, including:

  • Applesauce Pie
  • Breakfast Prosciutto Pear Sandwiches
  • No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake With Cherry Sauce
  • No-Bake Flourless Fig Brownies
  • Peach Prosciutto Salad
  • Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bars
  • Raspberry Mint Frozen Yogurt
  • Salmon Mango Ceviche
  • Shrimp and Noodles with Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Smoked Tofu Wraps
  • Sunflower Tomato Pâte Nori Rolls
  • Teriyaki Tofu Wraps
  • Tex-Mex Chipotle Beans
  • Very Berry Parfait Pudding
  •  

    The-No-Cook-No-Bake Cookbook-230

    Eat well without turning on the oven or stove. Photo courtesy Ulysses Press.

     

    Hungry? Get your copy at Amazon.com. If you need summer house gifts, buy extras.

      

    Comments

    BOOK: Everyday Cheesemaking

    everyday-cheesemaking-230

    Are you ready to make cheese? Photo
    courtesy Microcosm Publishing.

     

    A copy of this small paperback arrived yesterday. We picked it up and read it straight through to the end. It’s a real page-turner, and we’ve never even thought about making cheese.

    (O.K., we did make mozzarella once, from a kit, and made butter with a tabletop butter churn).

    “Everyday Cheesemaking: How to Succeed at Making Dairy and Nut Cheese at Home,” by K. Ruby Blume, is a treasure for the knowledge that it imparts, and especially the teachings on why things go wrong and how to fix them.

    Ms. Blume had purchased cheese books to teach herself how to make cheese. The problem is, unlike baking brownies, many things can go wrong in the cheesemaking process, resulting in a lot of wasted time and milk.

    So after she learned, she shared her knowledge via cheesemaking classes, and now this book. It is targeted to “everyday people” who have other jobs, and want to make cheese easily for the joy of it (or perhaps more accurately, to impress their friends and family with delicious homemade cheese). It is very clear on what can go wrong and how to avoid it.

     
    Ready, Set, Make Cheese!

    As we thumbed through page after page of how-to, we, who have never thought of it, wanted to run right out for the milk to make feta and ricotta, two cheeses we love and the easiest recipes in the book.

    The book covers a wide rage of homemade cheeses, from fresh cheeses such as chevre, halloumi, queso fresco and mozzarella to aged classics such as blue cheese, Brie and Camembert.

    In addition to cheese, you can make buttermilk, sour cream and yogurt, as well as vegan cheese, made from ingredients like nuts or soy protein.

    The book is published by Microcosm Publishing, a small publisher in Portland, Oregon. We like the book so much that we forgive them the errata that should have been caught: many missing commas, typos like “feed” instead of “fed,” and a duplication of the same paragraph.

    But these don’t get in the way of the fine writing style and the wealth of information. This is a great gift for anyone who has thought of making cheese.

    Get yours on Amazon.com.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

    blueberry-cheesecake-mini-jennifer-bakeorbreak-colorfulharvestFB-230

    Way cool: a no bake blueberry cheesecake.
    Photo courtesy Bake Or Break | Colorful
    Harvest.

     

    As the heat soared yesterday, we turned to our tried-and-true summer recipes, including this No Bake Cheesecake from Jennifer of BakeOrBreak.com, (via Colorful Harvest).

    The crust is a simple combination of crushed vanilla wafers and melted butter. While baking the crust helps it to set more firmly, the purpose of this recipe is to keep the heat out of the kitchen.

    Similarly, the cheese filling isn’t baked, but sets in the refrigerator. Prep time is 30 minutes.

    RECIPE: NO BAKE BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES

    Ingredients For One 8 Inch Or
    Two 4-1/2 Inch Cheesecakes

    For The Crust

  • 5 ounces finely crushed vanilla wafers* (about 40 cookies)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  •  
    For The Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (2 to 2-1/2 cups)†
  •  
    For The Optional Garnish

  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh blueberries
  •  
    *Jennifer prefers Trader Joe’s vanilla wafers, but you can default to the ubiquitous Nabisco Nilla Wafers.

    †Set aside the nicest blueberries for the garnish.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crust: Mix together vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter until mixture is combined and the crumbs are moistened. Divide crust mixture evenly between two 4-1/2-inch diameter springform pans or one 8-inch pan. Press into bottom and about halfway up the sides of each pan. Set pan(s) in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

    2. MAKE the filling: Place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add blueberries and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Divide filling between each prepared crust (if making two cheesecakes). Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    3. REMOVE sides of pans before serving. Garnish with a dab of whipped ream and a few fresh blueberries.

     

    the-ultimate-no-bake-dessert-cookbook-230

    An entire summer’s worth of desserts. Check out the book. Photo courtesy Grand Central Life & Style.

     

    MORE NO COOK, NO BAKE RECIPES

    Imagine quick and easy no cook, no bake savory meals plus cakes, pies, ice cream cakes, cookies and more more no-bake cheesecakes. Make tasty desserts in minutes that taste like you have worked for hours. Feed your family fast, stove- and oven-free, in the heat.

    Sound good? Then check out:

  • “The No-Cook No-Bake Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes for When It’s Too Hot to Cook” (more information)
  • “No Bake Cookies, Bars & Pies” (more information)
  • “No Bake Makery: More Than 80 Two-Bite Treats Made with Lovin’, Not an Oven” (more information)
  • “No Bake Cookies” (more information)
  • “32 No Bake Pie Recipes” (Kindle only—more information)
  •   

    Comments

    BOOK: Kitchen Survival Guide For Men

    save-the-males-230

    Save the males: Teach them to cook for
    themselves. Photo courtesy Save The Males
    Publishing.

     

    Chef Gordon Smith has cooked for royalty, celebrities, executives, and Olympic athletes. Now, in his mission to “save the males,” he tells men what they need to know to survive on their own—by cooking good food at home instead of resorting to less-good-for-you fast food and take-out.

    His book, Save the Males: A Kitchen Survival Cookbook, is a fun gift for single men as well as husbands, significant others and other men who have to fend for themselves in the kitchen, whether full-time or on occasion. It’s a practical culinary foundation for the novice and a great refresher course for any home cook.

    (If you’re buying the book on Amazon.com, note that there’s another book named Save The Males, about relationships. Don’t let it confuse you. The one you want is co-authored by Reparata Mazzola and Gordon Smith.)

    The underlying goal of “Save the Males” is fun, as Chef Gordon teaches readers how to switch from prepared foods to foods they prepare. An empty kitchen goes from foreboding to a place fragrant with delicious meals they cook meals for themselves, family and friends.

     

    Chef Gordon Smith is a regular guy who knows from experience that cooking improves one’s health and appearance (eat better!) as well as one’s sex life (a home cooked dinner is romantic!).

    Cooking for oneself is not only empowering; it could lead to a new hobby—or at least, it could get the man in your life to prepare dinner more often.

    And that’s the reason to give copies to dads, grads, brothers, sons and friends.

     
      

    Comments

    BOOK: Craft Beer World

    craft-beer-world

    A gift for beer lovers. Photo courtesy Dog ‘N’
    Bone.

     

    Looking for a gift for your Memorial Day hosts, or for Father’s Day? Instead of a bottle of wine, how about some craft beer?

    Package the beer with a copy of Craft Beer World by Mark Dredge

    With the explosion in the popularity of craft beers across the globe, more must-try beers are available than ever before.

    Craft Beer World presents more than 300 of the world’s most innovative and delicious, showcasing the best of each style in 50 different categories.

    From an American IPA bursting with citrusy C-hops or an Imperial Stout full of dark roasted malts, the book explains the key characteristics of each, from classic to cutting edge brews.

    There are also nuggets of beer information, including how to serve different beers and how to pair beer with food.

     

    Also consider a beer flavor wheel, a shortcut to comparing styles.

    Another type of beer flavor wheel provides descriptions of the myriad flavors of beer.

    Whether you’re looking for bitter beers or brews with hints of chocolate or coffee, these guides reviews will point you in the right direction. There’s not just one perfect beer to suit your taste buds; there are many!

    Check out the different types of beer in our Beer Glossary.

     

    beer-flavor-wheel-styles-beverageideas-230

    A beer flavor wheel provides instant comparisons. Photo courtesy Beverage Ideas.

     

      

    Comments

    BOOK: Brassicas, Cooking The World’s Healthiest Vegetables

    brassicas-230

    Eat your vegetables—make that, eat your
    Brassicas. Photo courtesy Ten Speed Press.

     

    Frequent readers of THE NIBBLE know of our devotion to cruciferous vegetables, also known as brassicas, from their Latin name in taxonomy*.

    For a long time, brassicas have had a mixed reputation. People who know how to cook them adore them. Beyond the deliciousness, brassicas are superfoods—nutritional powerhouses packed with potent, cancer-fighting phytonutrients (antioxidants).

    But anyone who has been served overcooked brassicas—when the sulfur compounds top the mushy texture with an unpleasant aroma—might just concur with George H.W. Bush, whose mom, we’re betting, didn’t cook the broccoli al dente.

    Brassicas get the respect they deserve in a new book, Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More by Laura B. Russell, published this week in hardcover and Kindle editions.

    One word is missing from that title: delicious. “Healthy vegetables” sounds too much like an admonition from mom or grandma. “Healthy and delicious” is a win-win.

     

    And that’s what you’ll get in this cookbook. It showcases 80 recipes for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and leafy greens such as arugula and watercress. Recipes are easily tailored to accommodate special diets such as gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

    The recipes prove that brassicas can taste delicious when properly prepared in ways that let the flavors shine through (no blanket of cheese sauce is required—or desired). When roasted, for example, Brussels sprouts, a food avoided by many, reveal their inherent sweetness that other preparation techniques take away. Caramelizing cauliflower in the sauté pan makes it so lovely that each individual will want to consumer the entire caramelized head.

    This is a book for people who love their brassicas, and for people who don’t love them yet. Give copies as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts, and to anybody who should eat more veggies.

    The handsome hardcover volume is $17.04 on Amazon.com. The Kindle version is $10.99.

     
    *Kingdom Plantae, Order Brassicales, Family Brassicaceae, Genus Brassica.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Corned Beef & Cabbage Tacos

    Who thought that inspiration for St. Patrick’s Day would come from La Tortilla Factory?

    Corned beef and cabbage tacos!

    We love fusion food, but these tacos do present a challenge:

    Should we serve them with mustard, or with tomatillo salsa?
     
    EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT MAKING TACOS

    The answer to this question and others concerning nouvelle tacos can be found in the new book, The Taco Revolution by Brandon Schultz.

    The book covers both traditional and new recipes, with chapters for beef, chicken, fish, pork, vegetable, breakfast and specialty tacos, plus sides, sauces and taco party advice.

    On the nonconventional list, there are fusion tacos galore, including:

  • Avocado and tofu taco
  • BLT taco
  • California roll taco with wasabi sauce and soy sauce for dipping
  • Caprese taco with mozzarella, tomato and basil
  • Chicken salad taco and tuna salad taco, both with mayo
  • Chicken tikka taco (say that three times fast)
  • Falafel tahini taco
  • Hawaiian pizza taco
  • Korean taco of rice and kimchi
  • Orange chicken taco
  • Reuben tacos with sauerkraut and thousand island dressing
  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese taco
  • Steamed broccoli taco
  • Thanksgiving taco with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce
  •  

    corned-beef-cabbage-tortillas-tortillafactory-230sq

    Tacos for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo courtesy La Tortilla Factory.

     

    Salivating or simply intrigued? Get your copy at Amazon.com in hardcover or Kindle editions.

      

    Comments

    HOLIDAY: National Deviled Egg Day

    Curried deviled eggs. Here’s the recipe. Photo
    courtesy McCormick.com.

     

    It’s National Deviled Egg Day.

    Even people who rarely, if ever, eat a hard-cooked egg can’t help plucking a stuffed egg off the tray.

    You can celebrate plan or fancy. For the plainest, mash the yolk from a hard-cooked egg with some mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and salt, and garnish with sprinkle with paprika. Our Mom liked to mix in pickle relish (although this recipe is actually a stuffed egg—see the difference below).

    For fancy, take a look at these recipes:

  • Crabmeat, Sturgeon & Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs With Caviar Caps
  • Deviled eggs With Bacon & Cheddar

  • Deviled Eggs With Smoked Okra
  • Gourmet Deviled Eggs
  • Mix & Match Deviled Egg Stuffings
  •  
    Plus:

  • How To Make Perfect Hard Cooked Eggs
  •  
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEVILED EGGS & STUFFED EGGS

    Stuffed eggs were a popular dish as far back as the Roman Empire. There are many different recipes for stuffed eggs through the centuries, but the term “deviled eggs” originated in 18th-century England.

    “Deviled” refers to the use of hot spices or condiments in a recipe—paprika, mustard, hot sauce, horseradish, chiles, etc.

    So all deviled eggs are stuffed eggs, but only stuffed eggs with hot spice are deviled eggs.

     

    BOOK: D’LISH DEVILED EGGS

    For 50 new and creative deviled egg recipes, take a look at D’Lish Deviled Eggs: A Collection of Recipes from Creative to Classic. Here’s a recipe from the book, which fuses ingredients from the California Roll:

    RECIPE: CALIFORNIA ROLL DEVILED EGGS

  • 1 dozen hard-cooked eggs
  •  
    Filling

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi paste (or 1 tablespoon wasabi powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  
    Garnish

  • 2 ounces crabmeat (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
  • 24 small cucumber fans
  •  

    How about 50 new deviled egg recipes? Photo courtesy Andrews McNeel Publishing.

  • Sesame seed-seaweed sprinkle (nori komi furikake*)
  • 2 tablespoons fish roe (tobiko)
  •  
    *This mixture of crumbled nori sheets and toasted sesame seeds has many other uses. It is delicious on rice and potatoes, with eggs, even in plain Greek yogurt.

     
    Preparation

    1. HALVE the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a small bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover and refrigerate.

    2. MASH the avocado well in a mixing bowl with a fork. Add the yolks and mash to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, wasabi paste and salt and mix until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.

    3. SPOON mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing evenly.

    4. TOP each egg half with a little crabmeat, a cucumber fan, a sprinkle of furikake and about 1/4 teaspoon of fish roe.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Become A Master Soda Maker

    Here’s a fun Father’s Day gift that will open your eyes to how great it is to make soda at home—and how much more popular you’ll be once you start doing it!

    Anton Nocito, proprietor of P&H Soda Co. in Brooklyn, New York, has assembled his techniques and ideas into a new book, Make your Own Soda: Syrup Recipes for All-Natural Pop, Floats, Cocktails, and More.

    All you need is a bottle of seltzer or a Sodastream and you’re on your way to becoming a great soda maker—and to enjoying real soda, without ubiquitous artificial colors, flavors and questionable sweeteners. You’ll:

  • Whip up your own syrups with fresh fruits and spices
  • Serve up egg creams and egg shakes
  • Make truly superior ice cream sodas
  • Deliver gourmet hot drinks
  •  

    Cherry Lime Rickey. Photo courtesy Make Your Own Soda | Clarkson Potter.

     

    Grapefruit soda with homemade grapefruit
    syrup. Photo courtesy Make Your Own Soda |
    Clarkson Potter.

     

    Then, relax with your creations. Natural sodas are vibrantly flavored: the zing of just-squeezed citrus juice, the intensity of ripe berries, the subtle perfume of fresh herbs.

    And the ability to customize a drink that’s as sweet (or not) as you like, with conventional or low glycemic sweeteners (we successfully substituted agave nectar for the sugar).

    Handmade syrups make all the difference in recipes for all-natural soda pop, floats, cocktails, punches and more: The book has a total of 70 recipes, simple and fun. Beautiful photographs make you want to make every one. This is cookbook that any soda lover will love.

    Anthony Nocito is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and was an executive sous chef in the Union Square Hospitality Group. Artisanal soft drinks are obviously one of his passions. They may become one of yours, too.

     

    CHERRY LIME RICKEY RECIPE

    To show you how easy it is, here’s a sample recipe from the book. If you remember Brigham’s and Bailey’s casual restaurants in the Boston area, you remember the Raspberry Lime Rickey, as seductive a soft drink as ever graced a soda fountain—brightly colored, sweet and tart, a favorite of kids adults alike. Nocito’s version is a cherry lime rickey—very satisfactory. But you can always make a batch of raspberry syrup and relive the memories.

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 2 tablespoons lime syrup (recipe belowk)
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Dash of citric acid solution
  • Seltzer
  • 2 tablespoons sour cherry syrup (recipe below)
  • Wedge of lime, for garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a tall glass with ice. Add the lime syrup, lime juice, and citric acid solution.

    2. ADD the seltzer, float the cherry syrup on top and garnish with the lime wedge.

    LIME SYRUP RECIPE

  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 4 limes
  •  
    1. BOIL water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the zest and remove the pan from the heat. Steep for at least 1 hour. Let cool.

    2. STORE in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.

    CHERRY SYRUP RECIPE

  • 2 quarts fresh sour cherries, pitted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  •  
    1. COMBINE cherries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

    2. STRAIN the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the fruit solids.

    3. STORE in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

      

    Comments

    BOOK: Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

    If you’re looking for something special for summer hosts, how about hundreds of ideas for ice cream sandwiches?

    Not only are ice cream sandwiches a cool summer dessert, but these dazzling recipes will get even hesitant bakers into the mood—and may inspire you to host a few ice cream sandwich summer socials.

    For sure, Cookies & Cream: Hundreds Of Ways To Make The Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich, by Tessa Arias, has inspired us.

    There are 50 recipes for both sweet and savory sandwiches, using simple ingredients to deliver very creative flavor combinations. The recipes include both the ice cream and the cookie or other sandwich base.

    Instructions are simple to follow and thorough: You can give this book to a young teenager (and we’d encourage that, because one cookbook leads to another, and self-sufficiency in the kitchen).

     

    Spend the summer making dazzling ice cream sandwiches. Photo courtesy Running Press.

     

    You can switch the flavors around to make hundreds of different combinations.

    The recipes are divided by category:

  • Classic, such as Rocky Road and Snickerdoodle
  • Chocolate, including Grasshopper and Peanut Butter Cup
  • Real Dessert, from Cannoli to Carrot Cake
  • Fruity, such as Lemon-Blueberry and Strawberry Balsamic
  • Sinful, including Dulce de Leche and Red Velvet
  • Boozy, such as Margarita and Tiramisu
  • Holiday, like Candy Cane and Gingerbread
  •  
    We want to make every recipe in the book!

    The hardcover book is just $12.72 on Amazon.com. How much better can it get? Order your copies!

      

    Comments

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