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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 Bread, Crackers, Muffins, Sandwiches

RECIPE: Prosciutto and Fig Appetizer Wraps

Our earlier tip for prosciutto and peaches reminded us of this recipe, an appetizer for prosciutto, figs and Brie.

Per La Tortilla Factory, which provided the recipe, it’s a classic Sonoma County combination, enjoyed as an hors d’oeuvre or a snack. We like them with a beer or a glass of wine.

La Tortilla Factory makes these pinwheel sandwiches with their Multigrain Extra Virgin Olive Oil SoftWrap, a tortilla that’s 9.5 inches in diameter and, as the name indicates, is softer and more pliable than a standard wrap.

SoftWraps are also available in Traditional and Tomato Basil. Depending on the flavor, one tortilla delivers 8-9g protein and 48%-52% DV of fiber—about 52% of your recommended daily intake of fiber. What we especially like is that each wrap has only 100 calories.

  • Of course, you can substitute other wraps.
  • Instead of slicing into appetizer bites, you can slice it in half for a sandwich.
  •  

    fig-prosciutto-rolls-latortillafactory-230

    Fun yet sophisticated snacks with wine or beer. Photo courtesy La Tortilla Factory.

  • If figs are out of season, substitute thinly sliced apple, pear or even dried cranberries.
  •  
    Prep time is 5 minutes, plus 2 hours of chilling time.
     
    RECIPE: PROSCIUTTO & FIG APPETIZER WRAPS

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1 multigrain tortilla wrap
  • 2 ounces Brie cheese
  • 2 thin slices prosciutto
  • 1 fresh fig, sliced
  • 1 ounce spring mix baby lettuce
  •  
    Prepration

    1. PLACE tortilla on a flat work surface. Warm Brie in microwave 10-20 seconds to soften.

    2. SPREAD Brie over entire tortilla. Top with prosciutto, fig and lettuce. Roll tightly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

    3. REMOVE plastic wrap and slice into 1-inch pieces. Serve with wine or beer.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Blue Cheese BLT Sandwich

    blt-blue-cheese-castelloUSA-230

    Add blue cheese for a tangy twist to the BLT.
    Photo courtesy Castello.

     

    We’ve had chicken salad BLTs and turkey BLTs, but were only recently inspired by Castello USA to make this blue cheese BLT.

    It’s a lovely a new take on a BLT:

  • Blue Castello (or other rich, creamy blue cheese)
  • Sliced heirloom tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Bacon
  • Mayonnaise
  • On a toasted baguette
  •  
    You can make it vegetarian by substituting Baconnaise [a NIBBLE favorite] or Nasoya’s Nayonaise and optional vegan bacon, such as Smart Bacon from Lightlife.

    Enjoy it open face or not, with a cold beer.

     

    It may be the perfect sandwich to enjoy over July 4th holiday: It’s red (tomato), white (bread and blue cheese) and blue (blue cheese again).

    You can apply the same principle to the red, white and blue burger in the photo below, adding a slice of red onion.

     

    Other “patriotic” ways to serve blue cheese and tomatoes (you can subtsitute peppadews or red bell pepper):

  • Bagel with blue cheese/cream cheese spread (mix half and half), tomato and red onion
  • Blue cheese nachos (with red salsa)
  • Breakfast omelet or scrambled eggs (use halved cherry or grape/pear tomatoes—and add red onion)
  • Blue cheese-stuffed peppadews
  • Fruit and cheese plate, with red apples and grapes
  • Green salad with red onion, tomato and blue cheese garnish
  • Grilled cheese and red apple panini
  • Plain Greek yogurt with red onion, tomato and blue cheese toppings
  • Stuffed radicchio or red endive leaves (mash blue cheese with a bit of mayo or yogurt)
  •  

    blue-cheese-burger-castello-230

    Red, white and blue burger. Photo courtesy Castello.

     
    MORE RECIPES FROM CASTELLO

    Castello has a long heritage of making creatively crafted cheese in Denmark. Each type of cheese is made at a single dairy, which specializes in the production of that particular cheese.

    There are many more more delicious recipes with all of Castello’s cheeses at CastelloCheese.com.

    We especially earmarked:

  • Baked Apples With Blue Cheese (Recipe)
  • Blue Cheese-Pineapple Souffle (Recipe)
  • Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Sandwich (Recipe)
  •   

    Comments

    JULY 4th Recipe: Red, White & Blueberry Muffins

    You don’t have to wait until July 4th to start the day with these tasty red, white and blue muffins. You can also serve them à la mode with frozen yogurt, for dessert and snacks.

    In an ideal world, you’d make your favorite muffin batter and add fresh blueberries and raspberries. But using a muffin mix, prep time is just 15 minutes, with another 30 minutes to bake, cool and glaze the muffins.

    RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

    Ingredients For 12 Muffins

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange or vanilla extract
  •    

    Patriotic muffins in red, white and blue. Photo courtesy Betty Crocker.

  • Optional: 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts (we like pecans)
  •  

    betty-crocker-blueberry-muffin-mix-230

    Save time with a mix. Photo courtesy Betty Crocker.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 425°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or grease bottoms (only) of muffin cups if not using liners.

    2. DRAIN blueberries from the muffin mix; rinse and set aside. In medium bowl, stir muffin mix, milk, oil, eggs and cherries/cranberries just until blended. Gently stir in blueberries.

    3. DIVIDE batter among muffin cups; each should be about three-fourths full.

    4. BAKE 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool 3 to 4 minutes; remove from pan. Stir together powdered sugar, milk and orange extract until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over muffins.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Think Inside The Sub

    diane-goat-cheese-230

    Diane is a personal favorite, filled with
    radicchio, grilled onions, roasted tomato,
    roasted zucchini, goat cheese, balsamic
    vinegar and olive oil. Photo courtesy City
    Sandwich | NYC.

     

    We recently wandered into City Sandwich, a New York City sub shop with a different perspective: top-quality ingredients sandwiched without any mayonnaise or fatty sauces.

    Chef Michael Guerrieri, who was born in Naples, raised in New York and cooked in Lisbon, has created a menu of Italian-Portuguese fusion sandwiches. He swapped the mayo for yogurt sauces and a splash of olive oil, and traded conventional submarine rolls for those from a Portuguese bakery, working with the baker to perfect the consistency of the bread.

    His menu of sandwich is named for friends and family, suggesting an idea for a sandwich-making party at home. Lay out the ingredients, let everyone design his or her own sandwich, and email the results and ingredients to all participants.

    Here’s a sampling of the menu at City Sandwich—a long list with choices among eggs, meats, raw food, vegetarian and vegan ingredients—clearly a different mix inside the sub. But we wanted to eat everything, and even after cuts, the list is:

     

  • Adriana: sautéed eggplant, fresh ricotta, sautéed red onion, fresh basil, roasted garlic, olive oil
  • Alex: spicy sopressata, red and white sliced onions, roasted red and yellow peppers, julienned spinach, julienned Parmigiano, capers, piri piri peppers
  • Altan: fresh mozzarella, tomato, seasonal lettuce, basil-pesto-yogurt sauce
  • Antonio: roasted zucchini, roasted onions, roasted tomato, melted mozzarella, olive oil
  • Auntie: homemade pickled sardines, sautéed onions, cilantro, olive oil
  • Bench Girl: omelet, alheira* sausage, grilled onions, spinach, melted mozzarella, olive oil
  • Breakfast: linguiça sausage, egg white or regular omelet, spicky kale, sauteed onions, melted mozzarella, olive oil
  • The Buckle: an all-raw sandwich with alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, garlic, green and red shredded cabbage, green beans, kale, shaved carrot, watercress, yellow squash, zucchini and black bean lemon vinaigrette
  • The Chef: soaked codfish, tomato, seasonal lettuce, sautéed onions, capers, black olive pesto, olive oil
  • Chrissy: sliced free range chicken breast, steamed kale, pancetta, melted mozarella, sautéed onions, olive oil
  • Christina: roasted eggplant, fresh basil, roasted tomato, melted mozzarella, garlic, olive oil
  • Cornelia: roasted seasonal, vegetables, roasted tomato, fresh rosemary, olive oil
  •  

  • Diane: radicchio, grilled onions, roasted tomato, roasted zucchini, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil
  • Dave: fresh sausage, broccoli rabe, tomato, peperoncino, melted mozzarella, garlic, olive oil
  • Fatima: octopus salad, diced onions, diced peppers, arugula, fresh parsley, mustard vinaigrette
  • Franco: prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted peppers, arugula, raw garlic, olive oil
  • Gary & Phil: ham, turkey, onions, tomato, watercress, honey-Dijon-yogurt sauce
  • Henrique: alheira sausage*, steamed collard greens, grilled onions, melted mozzarella, olive oil
  • Helena: homemade linguiça* sausage spread, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, sautéed onions, watercress, olive oil
  • Italian-Portuguese Steak Melt: thinly sliced beef, roasted peppers, pancetta, caramelized onions, melted fresh mozzarella, olive oil
  •  

    salvatore-230

    Photo courtesy City Sandwich | NYC.

  • James: roast beef, roasted peppers, broccoli rabe, melted mozzarella, sautéed onions, olive oil
  • Jerry: smoked salmon, tomato, chopped onions, seasonal lettuce, shallot-dill-yogurt sauce
  • Jo & Nairobi: sliced free range chicken breast, stewed zucchini, stewed tomato, stewed onions, melted mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil
  • Ken: steamed Italian sausage (crumbled), stewed garlic and tomatoes, melted mozzarella, sautéed onions, sliced jalapeños, olive oil
  • Lenten Loaf: smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes, mesclun salad, ranch dressing
  • LGBT: linguiça* spread, goat cheese, Portuguese bacon, tomato, lettuce, sauteed onions, olive oil
  • LGBT Vegan: sautéed leeks, sautéed garlic, beets in aged balsamic and olive oil marinade, tofu in piri piri marinade, lettuce, olive oil
  • Lucy: steamed shrimp, watercress, chopped onions, tomato-honey-basil yogurt sauce
  • Maria: cooked egg whites, paio* sausage, broccoli rabe, sautéed onions, melted mozzarella, tomato, olive oil
  • Michael: crumbled sausage, home-roasted tomatoes and red and yellow peppers, melted mozzarella
  • Monica: cooked egg whites, sautéed onions, fresh oregano, melted mozzarella, olive oil
  • Nonna: omelet, sautéed onions, fresh oregano, melted mozzarella, olive oil
  • Nuno: morcela* sausage, broccoli rabe, tomato, collard greens, melted mozzarella, garlic, olive oil
  • Pavia: cooked egg whites, spinach, melted Brie, sautéed onions, tomato
  • Roberto: roast suckling pig, Portuguese bacon, caramelized onions, fresh baby spinach and optional chopped jalapeños
  • Rudy: turkey, roasted red and yellow peppers, fresh mozzarella, capers, basil pesto, fresh basil, garlic, ollive oil
  • Salvatore: chicken breast, roasted peppers, homemade prosciutto spread, watercress, sautéed onions, olive oil
  • Sofia: battered zucchini blossoms, salted zucchini, Portuguese linguiça sausage, sautéed onions, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, olive oil
  • Todd: smoked pancetta, seasonal lettuce, tomato, honey-Dijon-yogurt sauce
  • Victoria: chicken breast, broccoli rabe, tomato, sautéed onions, melted mozzarella, olive oil
  •  
    If the choice seems overwhelming: It is!

    There are also 12 different egg sandwiches, and seasonal specialties. Check out the menu on the website.

    You need to study the menu and make choices before showing up to order.

     
    *Alheira is a Portuguese sausage made with meats other than pork (usually veal, duck, chicken, quail or rabbit) and bread; linguiça is a smoke-cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika; morcela is a traditional Portuguese and Brazilian black sausage; paio is a smoked Portuguese and Brazilian sausage made of pork loin, garlic, bell pepper and salt.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Gingerbread Lemon Cinnamon Buns

    Ginger is a traditional holiday flavor, but you can eat it year-round. In fact, if you’re a ginger lover, it’s a shame not to. “Ginger is a flavor powerhouse that never goes out of season,” says Hannah Kaminsky.

    And, it’s a nutritional powerhouse, considered one of the world’s healthiest foods.

    So how about gingerbread-lemon buns for a weekend brunch dessert?

    “I’ve got one killer dessert recipe burning a hole in my pocket and I can’t wait to share it much longer,” says Hannah. Never mind the unattractive appearance, because this baked delight has inner beauty hidden within every fold.

    “Singing out with the depth and soul that only dark, sticky molasses can bring to the table, these are not your average plain Jane cinnamon rolls. Boldly spiced, with ginger taking the clear lead, cinnamon is still invited to the party; but it is no longer the sole center of attention.”

    A final tip from Hannah:

     

    ginger-cinnamon-buns-kaminsky-230

    Cinnamon buns with a big hit of ginger. Photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     

    “Don’t confine yourself to just orange or lime zest. Use grapefruit, tangerine or any other fresh citrus you have at hand.”

     
    RECIPE: GINGERBREAD LEMON BUNS

    Ingredients For 9-12 Buns

    For The Gingerbread Dough

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cube fresh yeast or 1 packet ((1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon Vital Wheat gluten*
  •  
    *Wheat gluten is used to help the stretchiness of the dough.

     

    ginger-grater-microplane-230

    It’s easy to grate fresh ginger. Photo
    courtesy Microplane.

     

    For The Lemon-Sugar Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the milk in a microwave safe bowl for a minute to warm, but do not bring it to a boil. Stir in the yeast and let is sit for about 5 minutes until frothy and active. Once re-awakened, pour the yeast mixture into a stand mixer, along with the sugar, oil and molasses. Mix to combine.

    2. WHISK together in a separate bowl the first 3 cups of flour, spices, optional wheat gluten and salt. Make sure that all the dry goods are thoroughly distributed and there are no large pockets of unblended spices remaining.

     

    3. ADD the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. Beginning at the lowest speed, use the dough hook to slowly combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to keep everything incorporated, until the dough forms a cohesive ball. If it still seems excessively wet, add up to 1/2 cup of flour.

    4. CONTINUE to knead the dough with the mixer for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You could also knead it by hand; just take 15 minutes to do so. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic, and let rest in a warm area for about 1-1/2 hours, until doubled in size.

    5. PUNCH down the dough and turn it out on to a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle of about 14 x 18 inches. Brush generously with the melted margarine. Combine the sugar and zest in a small bowl before sprinkling the mixture evenly over the entire surface. Starting from one of the shorter ends, roll the rectangle up as tightly as possible, pinching the seam shut when you reach the other end.

    6. CUT the roll into 1-1/2-inch pieces, using a very sharp knife. Fit them into a lightly grease 9 x 9-inch pan, spacing them as evenly as possible. Begin preheating your oven to 350°F; allow the rolls to rise for 45 to 60 minutes before putting them in the hot oven.

    7. BAKE for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown all over. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bake Your Own Hamburger Rolls

    If you’ve been invited to a Labor Day cookout, offer to bring homemade hamburger rolls. This recipe, from King Arthur Flour (which uses its King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour), has gotten a five-star review (“the best”) from just about everyone who has made it.

    The soft roll has a hint of sweetness and is golden-yellow from the butter and egg, these charming buns are perfect for burgers or any kind of sandwich.

    Prep time 25 minutes; baking time 15 minutes; total time 2 hours 40 minutes (includes time for dough to rise). Here’s a step-by-step photo illustration from King Arthur Flour.

    You may want to consider making a double batch: You can freeze what you don’t use.

    RECIPE: HAMBURGER BUNS

    Ingredients For 8 Buns

  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water (see *footnote below)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Optional seed topping†
  •    

    hamburger-buns-plain-and-seeds-kingarthur-230

    You can add an optional seed topping, or enjoy the rolls plain. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

     

    *For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer or in a humid environment, the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in-between the rest of the time.

    †King Arthur sells an artisan bread topping. You can mix your own with equal parts of anise, black caraway, flax, midget sunflower, poppy and toasted sesame seeds.

     

    hamburger-buns-brushing-w-butter-kingarthur-230

    Brushing with butter adds more luscious
    flavor. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

     

    Preparation

    1. MIX and knead all of the dough ingredients—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—to make a soft, smooth dough. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

    2. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3″ across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.

    4. Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.

    5. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.

    6. Cool the buns on a rack.

     
    BAKING TIPS

  • SIZE. For slightly smaller buns, divide the dough into 12 pieces instead of 8. Bake the buns for 12 to 15 minutes, instead of 15 to 18 minutes. For slider size—about 3″ in diameter—divide the dough into 24 pieces, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • RISING. When making anything with yeast, including these rolls, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., “Let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk.” Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you knead the dough; what kind of yeast you use, e.g.) that it’s impossible to say that bread dough will always double in bulk in a specific amount of time.
  • CRUST. Brushing buns with melted butter will give them a soft, light golden crust. Brushing with an egg-white wash (1 egg white beaten with 1/4 cup water) will give them a shinier, darker crust. For seeded buns, brush with the egg wash; it’ll make the seeds adhere. And, feel free to add the extra yolk to the dough, reserving the white for the wash.
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Vegan Wraps For Earth Day

    We’re recommending vegan wraps for Earth Day. Animal-free foods are more sustainable, so today’s the day for a vegan lunch.

    These two recipes were sent to us from Red Rock Press, from their book, A White House Garden Cookbook by Clara Silverstein.

    Both are lettuce wraps, but you can also use tortilla wraps.

    The first recipe, Daniel and Annie’s Salad Wraps, originated in the children’s section of the New York Botanical Garden and contains the surprise—and optional—ingredient of an edible wildflower.

    You can serve these wraps with a dip, or spread mustard or Nasoya’s Nayonaise (excellent vegan mayonnaise) on the lettuce leaves before filling.

    RECIPE: DANIEL & ANNIE’S SALAD WRAPS

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 6 lettuce leaves, plus 6 more for slicing
  • Spread or dip of choice
  • 1 kohlrabi bulb or 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 5 radishes
  • 6 scallions
  • 6 mint or basil leaves (or more to taste)
  •  

    online-vegetarian-deli.com-230

    Thus wrap is packed with arugula, carrots, cucumber, lettuce and red cabbage. Photo courtesy Online-Vegetarian-Deli.com.

  • Garnish: edible flowers (such as Johnny jump-ups, chive blossoms or nasturtiums—read all about edible flowers)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WASH and dry the lettuce leaves. Peel and slice the kohlrabi. Wash and dice the radishes. Wash the scallions, and cut off and discard the root ends.

    2. LAY out 6 lettuce leaves on the counter top or a large plate. If using a spread, place atop leaves.

    3. CUT cut the remaining 6 leaves into ribbons with scissors. Into each lettuce leaf, lay some kohlrabi and radishes, 1 scallion (cut it in half if it’s too long), and 1 mint or basil leaf. Roll it up and pin closed with a toothpick as needed. Garnish the top with edible flowers.

    4. SERVE with your favorite dressing as a dip.

     

    tofu-hummus-wraps-housefoods-230

    Tofu hummus wraps, a vegan sandwich with
    the added protein of tofu. Photo courtesy
    House Foods.

     

    The second recipe, Lettuce Wrap Treats, is almost a dessert, folding dried fruits and nuts and a dab of vanilla yogurt into the lettuce leaf.

    And, it couldn’t be easier to make!

    If you want to present the ingredients as a “build your own,” each person can choose his or her own mix of ingredients.

    RECIPE: LETTUCE LEAF WRAPS

    Ingredients Per Wrap

  • 1 lettuce leaf*
  • Fillings: 1 tablespoon each of any or all of the following: chopped apples, chopped celery, walnuts or pecans, raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla yogurt (regular or vegan soy yogurt)
  •  
     
    *Pick the largest, most pliable lettuce leaves that you can find. Leaf lettuces work really well for this.
     
    Preparation

    1. RINSE the lettuce in cold water and pat dry between sheets of paper towels.

    2. ADD the fillings to the center of the leaf. Top with a dollop of vanilla yogurt.

    3. FOLD the lettuce lengthwise over the toppings and then fold up the ends, like a burrito or a little package. Use a toothpick to secure as needed. Pick up and eat!

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Pig Biscuits

    pig-buns_pillsbury-230

    Take a bite of Babe! Photo courtesy Pillsbury.

     

    Recently we wrote about animal-shaped sourdough loaves from Boudin Bakery in San Francisco and bunny rolls from Artisan Bread In Five Minutes.

    Then, we came across Pillsbury’s instructions for making animal rolls at home.

    The Pillsbury kitchens armed themselves with a container of Pillsbury refrigerated country Italian bread (you can also use crusty French loaf), poppy seeds and a lot of imagination to create this adorable oinker.

    Who knew that one simple can of dough could yield all this cuteness?

    Here’s how you can do it at home.

     

    You can also make bird-shaped buns, complete with tail feathers and beak.

    All you need is a kitchen scissors, a container of Pillsbury refrigerated country Italian bread or crusty French loaf, poppy seeds for the eyes and an almond for the beak.

    Our favorite craft projects are edible crafts!

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    lobster-grilled-cheese-marcforgione-tfal-230sq

    Add lobster to your grilled cheese sandwich.
    Photo courtesy T-Fal.

     

    April is National Grilled Cheese Month and April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Day. So it’s time to get out the bread and cheese, and turn on the stove.

    There are many wonderful grilled cheese recipes. But perhaps the most luxurious is lobster grilled cheese.

    T-fal “commissioned” the sandwich recipe below from Iron Chef Marc Forgione to launch its Mini Grilled Cheese Griddle. It’s a small, handled griddle that cooks a single, perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

    The small, non-stick pan heats up more quickly than larger pans; the flat griddle base ensures even heat distribution for perfect melting. It’s $5.29 at Amazon.com.

    Of course, you can use whatever pan you have; but a flat griddle of any size is best for uniform heating.

    Chef Forgione obviously likes heat; we’re not sure we like the extra sriracha sauce as a condiment on the side because the lobster is so delicate. But try it and see for yourself.

     

    RECIPE: LOBSTER GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

    Ingredients For 4 Whole Sandwiches

    For the Chili Lobster

  • 2 cups lobster stock (if you can’t find lobster stock at a fish store, get generic seafood stock)
  • 4 one-and-one-half pound lobsters, claws removed (we used the claw meat as well as the tails)
  • ¼ cup sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 8 slices of Gruyère or fontina cheese (we prefer truffle cheese)
  • 4 slices Pullman Loaf or other high-quality thick sliced white bread, 1” thick (we used brioche)
  • Melted butter for brushing
  •  

    lobster-claw-cooked-hancocklobster-230

    We used the claw meat in the sandwiches, but you can enjoy it separately. Photo courtesy Hancock Lobster.

     

    Preparation

    1. CUT the tails off the lobster bodies, and into 1-inch pieces while the tails are still in their shells

    2. BRING the lobster stock to a simmer and add the sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice. Piece by piece, whisk in 6 tablespoons of butter until emulsified. Reduce the remaining sauce until it slightly thickens, about 2 minutes.

    3. TOSS the lobster tail pieces in oil with salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Place the lobster pieces in a bowl and transfer to the fridge until cooled. When the lobster pieces have cooled, pop the meat out of the tails and set aside.

    4. TAKE two slices of bread per sandwich. Place one slice of cheese on top of the first slice, cover the cheese with some lobster meat, sprinkle ½ tablespoon of tarragon, cover with a second slice of cheese, and then top with the second piece of bread.

    5. BRUSH the outer sides of each slice of bread with melted butter and season with salt. Grill the sandwich on the T-fal Mini Grilled Cheese Griddle and serve with an optional small bowl of sriracha sauce on the side.

      

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    EASTER: Bunny Bread & Other Sourdough Gifts

    Boudin Bakery in San Francisco loves to make bread critters. The bakery cafe, which features salads, sandwiches, soups and sourdough, Original Sourdough French Bread, has designed special gifts for Easter that can be shipped fresh anywhere in the country.

  • Sourdough Baby Bunny Rolls: Celebrate springtime with these 4oz 1-dozen adorable Sourdough Baby Bunny Rolls. $19.95; order online.
  • Easter Sourdough Bunny Gift Basket: Have friends and family who might prefer an alternative to chocolate? This basket includes a one pound sourdough Mama Bunny Bread, a half dozen Baby Bunny Rolls and an 8 ounce bag of Marich’s delightful Easter select candy mix (because you have to have a wee bit). $24.95; order online.
  • Seasonal Bread Club: 12 months of the seasonal loaves in the photo below. Each month two tangy one-pound specialty loaves arrive, including Crab Breads (January), Heart Breads (February), Shamrock Breads (March), Bunny Breads (April), Grape Clusters (May), Turtles (June), Cable Cars (July), Bears (August), Grape Clusters (September), Pumpkin Breads (October), Turkey Breads (November), Christmas Tree Breads (December). $21.95/month; order online.
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    bunny-bread-basket-boudinbakery-230

    Send bunny bread for Easter. Photo courtesy Boudin Bakery | San Francisco.

     

    Boudin Bakery was established in 1849 and is the oldest continuous operating business in San Francisco. Boudin’s original “mother dough” has been replenished with flour and water every day for more than 165 years, and the original recipe is still used. The sourdough is leavened only with wild yeast “caught” from San Francisco’s fog-cooled air.

     

    bread-gift-club-boudinbakery-230

    Great gift: 12 months of fun sourdough
    loaves. Photo courtesy Boudin Bakery.

     

    ABOUT SOURDOUGH BREAD

    Sourdough is a method of baking using lactic-acid-producing bacteria (lactobacillus) that produce a characteristic sour taste and aroma. The sour taste comes from from the lactobacillus, which lives in symbiosis with the yeast, feeding on the byproducts of the yeast fermentation.

    Until science uncovered the leavening process in the 19th century, all yeast-leavened breads were sourdough. Sourdough starter from a prior batch is used to create the new batch.

    Sourdough starters are different from other starters; while regular starters can live for several years, sourdough starters can live for generations.

     

      

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