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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

TIP OF THE DAY: Turkey Leftovers Sandwich

This time of year, we get recipes every day for turkey leftovers. For us, nothing beats a turkey sandwich…or two…or six.

To keep from getting bored after your second turkey sandwich, plan ahead.

  • Plan for different breads. Alternate baguette, brioche, crusty peasant bread, hero rolls, pita a sweet bread like King’s Hawaiian or a tortilla wrap.
  • Switch the condiments. Aïoli (garlic mayonnaise, or try the orange aïoli recipe below), Baconaise, cheese sauce (you can use a jar of queso dip), cranberry mayonnaise (mix mayo with cranberry sauce), Dijon mustard, gravy, horseradish mayonnaise (blend), Russian dressing, wasabi mayonnaise.
  •  

    A “Thanksgiving hero.” Photo courtesy Earl Of Sandwich.

     
    Look for the excellent flavored mayonnaises from The Ojai Cook, including Cha Cha Chipotle, Garlic Herb Lemonaise, Green Dragon Lemonaise, Latin Lemonaise and Fire & Spice. These jars of mayo delight also make great stocking stuffers.

  • Vary the garnishes. Try arugula or watercress, bread and butter pickles or hot and sweet pickle slices, olives, pickled onions (quick pickling recipe), pimento, sliced tomatoes, sliced radishes or stuffing.
  •  
    What do you put on your turkey sandwich?

    RECIPE: ORANGE PEEL AÏOLI

    Blend together:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Valencia orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped chives
  •  
    Do you have a favorite twist on a turkey sandwich? Let us know!

      

    Comments

    HOLIDAY: Challah Stuffing Recipe For Thanksgivukkah

    In case you’ve been off the grid, the hot holiday news this year is that for the first time in history, Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah. It’s been dubbed Thanksgivukkah. And it won’t happen again for another 70,000 years.

    So even if you’re not Jewish, think of celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime (many lifetimes, actually) double holiday by adding a Hanukkah tradition.

    Here’s an easy switch recipe: challah stuffing. This recipe is courtesy TheShiksa.com, one of our favorite recipe bloggers. It adds sausage, and uses a slow cooker, which saves oven space.

    Prep time is 35 minutes, cook time is 4 hours 30 minutes.

    RECIPE: CHALLAH STUFFING

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

     

    Challah stuffing. Recipe and photo courtesy
    TheShiksa.com.

     

  • Optional: 12 ounces turkey or chicken sausage, ground or removed from casing
  • 1 large challah (about 1½ lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or 6 tbsp if not using sausage)
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound celery, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped (or 1½ teaspoons dried sage)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped (or 1½ teaspoons dried marjoram)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 1 pound sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  •  

    A plain challah is fine. If you have one with
    sesame seeds, it adds a bit more flavor.
    Photo © Lindsay Basson | Fotolia.

     

    Equipment

  • Large sauté pan
  • Large skillet
  • Mixing bowls (including one very large size)
  • 5 to 6 quart crock pot or slow cooker
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Cut the challah into ½ inch cubes. Spread the cubes out across two baking sheets. Place the trays in the oven for about 12 minutes, switching trays on racks halfway through cooking. The challah cubes should be toasted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

    2. HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high. Add sausage to the pan and cook until browned. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and reserve for later. Variation: If you don’t want to include sausage, skip that step and begin by first sautéing the onions, carrots and celery in 6 tablespoons of olive oil, then continue the recipe as written, omitting the sausage.

     

    3. ADD the onions, carrots and celery to the same pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

    4. POUR 2½ cups of chicken broth into the pan along with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Remove from heat. Reserve remaining chicken broth.

    5. HEAT the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a clean skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms to the skillet. Sauté for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown and shrink in size. Remove from heat. You may need to cook the mushrooms in two batches depending on the size of your skillet.

    6. COMBINE in a very large mixing bowl the challah cubes, sausage, vegetable/chicken broth mixture, mushrooms and herbs. Stir to blend all ingredients, making sure the challah cubes are evenly moistened. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and stir until they are fully incorporated into the stuffing. The mixture may seem dry now, but wait to add more broth until it’s had a chance to cook—the liquid will slowly be absorbed by the bread.

    7. SPRAY the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray; then pour in the challah mixture.

    8. SET slow cooker on high heat and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and stir to redistribute the liquid throughout the stuffing, then check the stuffing for dryness. If it still seems dry, drizzle a little more broth over the top of the stuffing and stir again. Return the lid and reduce heat to low.

    9. COOK on low for 4 hours, checking and stirring every hour to make sure the stuffing isn’t too dry. If it is, add more broth—carefully, as it can easily go from the right texture to overly wet and mushy. After 4 hours, stir, taste, and add more salt or pepper, if desired. Switch to warm setting until ready to serve.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chestnut, Fig & Honey Stuffing

    Last week we picked up a 12-pack box of peeled chestnuts at a club store. We’ve been snacking on them from the pack as well as hot from the microwave—it’s like chestnuts roasting on the open fire without the need to peel the chestnuts!

    Today, we received this stuffing recipe from Swanson. Thanks, Swanson: We’re going to enhance our regular chestnut stuffing with figs.

    We personally don’t like sweetness in our savory foods, so we’re substituting the two tablespoons of honey for two tablespoons of fresh sage.

    RECIPE: CHESTNUT, FIG & HONEY STUFFING

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  •  

    What’s better than chestnut stuffing? Chestnut stuffing with figs! Photo courtesy Swanson.

  • 1 jar (7.4 ounces) roasted peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 16 dried figs, stems removed, cut in quarters (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 package (12 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Herb Cube Stuffing
  •  
    *If there are vegetarians in your crowd, use Swanson Vegetable Broth.
     
    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. HEAT the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, chestnuts, figs and celery and cook until the celery is tender, stirring occasionally.

    3. STIR the honey and broth in the saucepan and heat to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the parsley and stuffing cubes and mix lightly. Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole. Cover the casserole.

    4. BAKE for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.

      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Witch’s Fingers Breadsticks

    A hostess gift for Morticia Addams? Photo
    courtesy ArtisanBreadInFive.com.

     

    Halloween is a week away. Are your mummy ducks in order?

    Halloween is great fun for kids, but adults enjoy fun food too. These crunchy breadsticks combine the ghoulish with the delicious. You can make them as is, or add a few drops of green food color to the dough if you want your witch to have green-tinted flesh.

    The recipe is courtesy of Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, baking partners who have written several books that make bread-baking easier for anyone who wants to pull fresh loaves from the oven.

    Why not serve the breadsticks with a bowl of “bloody worm” pasta: maloreddus pasta with tomato sauce?

    RECIPE: WITCH’S FINGERS BREADSTICKS

    Ingredients For 8 Breadsticks

  • 8 ounces Master Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day—or any other non-enriched dough
  • Optional: green food color to tint the dough
  • 8 whole raw almonds
  • Olive oil for greasing the pan
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F. There is no need for a stone.

    2. DIVIDE the 8-ounce ball of dough into 8 equal pieces. Elongate the pieces into ropes.

    3. TWIST the ropes so there is a knot in the middle; this will look like a gnarly knuckle when they are baked.

    4. GREASE a baking sheet and arrange the breadsticks at least an inch apart. Let them rest for 20 minutes. Right before baking, press the almond “fingernail” into the end of each breadstick. Be sure to press hard, so they won’t pop off while baking.

    5. BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Here are photos of the whole process.

     

    Get the book and preheat the oven. Photo courtesy Thomas Dunne Books.

     

    BAKE FRESH BREAD EVERY DAY!

    Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François know that people want to bake their own bread, so long as they can do it easily and quickly. Their revised classic enables you to do just that: “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking,” by Jeff Hertzberg, Zoë François and Stephen Scott Gross.

    You can read a nice chunk of the book via the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon.com, and can pursue the authors’ blog for more recipes.

    The authors have also taken on healthy bread, with “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free.”

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Yorkshire Pudding Day

    Yorkshire Pudding is neither sweet, a dessert, or what Americans think of as pudding.

    In fact, it’s very much like a popover, an Americanized version of Yorkshire Pudding.

    WHY IS IT CALLED A PUDDING?

    In many Commonwealth countries, a pudding most often refers to a sweet, cake-like dessert. These older-style puddings are baked, boiled or steamed into a cake-like consistency.

    In the U.K., newer-style creamy puddings—those that Americans think of as puddings—are:

  • Custards, if they are egg-thickened
  • Blanc-mange, the French term, if they starch-thickened (these are our soft chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch puddings)
  •  

    Yorkshire Pudding with the traditional fixings. Photo by Robbie Jim | Wikimedia.

     
    SAVORY PUDDINGS

    “Pudding” can also be a savory dish. Some of the better-known savory puddings include:

  • Black pudding or blood pudding, i.e. a blood sausage;
  • Cheese pudding, similar to a cheese soufflé;
  • Corn pudding, a recipe with many variations (one of our favorites is like a baked custard with corn kernels, cheese and herbs);
  • Kugel, a baked dish with many variations, including noodles, potatoes or cottage cheese;
  • Kishke, an Eastern European sausage or pudding;
  • Scrapple, a loaf of pork scraps and trimmings, sliced and fried;
  • Steak and kidney pudding (or pie), diced steak and beef, lamb or pig kidney, onions, and gravy baked in a suet pastry; and
  • Yorkshire pudding, a baked batter.
  •  
    THE ORIGIN OF “PUDDING”

    The word “pudding” evolved from the French boudin (originally from the Latin botellus), meaning “small sausage.”

    In Medieval times, sausages were an ingredient in savory puddings. According to FoodTimeline.org, 17th century English puddings were either savory (meat-based) or sweet (made from flour, nuts and sugar), and were typically boiled in special pudding bags.

    Far from the creamy dessert puddings popular in the U.S., these puddings were a solid mass formed by mixing various ingredients with a grain product or another binder (batter, blood, cereal, eggs, flour or suet, for example) and cooked by baking, boiling or steaming. The “pease porridge” of the old nursery rhyme was likely a simple boiled pudding made from pease meal (pease is a legume). They were—and still are—served as a main dish; sweet puddings evolved and were served as dessert.

    By the latter half of the 18th century, traditional English puddings no longer included meat. In the 19th century, the boiled pudding evolved into the U.K.’s cake-like concept, such as the Christmas pudding that remains popular to this day.

     

    Yorkshire puddings, hot from the pan. Photo
    by Stef Yau | Wikimedia.

     

    THE ORIGIN OF YORKSHIRE PUDDING

    Here’s the history of Yorkshire Pudding, courtesy of Wikipedia:

    When wheat flour began to come into common use for making cakes and puddings, cooks in the north of England (where Yorkshire is located) devised a way to use the fat that dropped into the dripping pan of roasting meats. They used it to cook a batter pudding while the meat roasted in the oven.

    There is a printed recipe for “Dripping Pudding,” which had been cooked in England for centuries to accompany meat dishes, in 1737 cookbook:

    Make a good batter as for pancakes; put in a hot toss-pan over the fire with a bit of butter to fry the bottom a little then put the pan and butter under a shoulder of mutton, instead of a dripping pan, keeping frequently shaking it by the handle and it will be light and savoury, and fit to take up when your mutton is enough; then turn it in a dish and serve it hot.

     

    Similar instructions were published in 1747 in “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy,” by Hannah Glasse. It was called Yorkshire Pudding, and Ms. Glasse is credited with renaming Dripping Pudding.

    The Yorkshire Pudding is a staple of the British Sunday lunch. While today it is served alongside the meat and vegetables, some people in parts of Yorkshire still eat it the old-fashioned way, as a separate course prior to the main meat dish.

    Why? The story has it that the purpose of the dish was to provide a cheap way to fill the diners, thus stretching a lesser amount of the more expensive ingredients.

    Yorkshire Pudding is quick and easy to make. Here’s a recipe.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: The BLT Becomes The BELT

    The “BELT.” Photo courtesy David Burke
    Fromagerie.

     

    If we lived anywhere near Rumson, New Jersey, our favorite restaurant would be David Burke’s Fromagerie.

    Burke’s cooking team adds a creative touch to everything they serve. Here, the BLT becomes a BELT: a poached egg is added to the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

    Using a base of buttery brioche toast instead of white bread, build the sandwich and top it with the egg and a sprinkle of chives. You can serve it open face or add a second slice of toast on top.

    We followed the Fromagerie decor and piped a circle of LeGrand sundried tomato pesto on the plate (where to buy LeGrand pesto).

    The runny egg adds a new dimension of richness to this favorite American sandwich. the mayo: the runny egg yolk will be moisture enough.

     
    See more Fromagerie specialties on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

    THE HISTORY OF THE BLT

    While toast, bacon and lettuce have been enjoyed since Roman times, tomatoes came from the New World in the mid-1500s. They were brought back to Europe by the Conquistadors and other explorers.

    Tomatoes were initially considered poisonous, enjoyed as houseplants until the 1800s (the history of tomatoes).

    At the same time, there was no mayo for the BLT. While mayonnaise sauce was invented in 1756, it was not until years later that the great French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833) lightened the original recipe by blending the vegetable oil and egg yolks into an emulsion, creating the mayonnaise that we know today (the history of mayonnaise).

    All the ingredients finally came together. Old cookbooks and menus show that BLTs were served as tea sandwiches in the late Victorian era (the late 1800s).

    But they weren’t called “BLT.” The earliest recipes for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches were listed under different names in cookbooks.

    Today’s abbreviated name most likely came from American diner slang: “Give me a BLT on a raft,” i.e., a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on toast.

    HOW MANY TYPES OF SANDWICHES HAVE YOU HAD?

    Check out the different types of sandwiches in our Sandwich Glossary.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Gourmet Bagel

    We love bagels. We could eat them three meals a day. Our three favorite bagel toppings: olive cream cheese and smoked salmon, whitefish salad and tomato, and herring salad and tomato on a sesame or garlic bagel. Optional garnishes: capers, onion or chives.

    Our favorite “gourmet” bagel is topped with smoked sturgeon and salmon caviar, or the trifecta of hot smoked salmon, cold smoked salmon and salmon caviar (the different types of smoked salmon).

    Then we chanced upon this deluxe interpretation from Tori Avey, who blogs as The Shiksa In The Kitchen: a deft layering of cream cheese, smoked salmon, raw onion and whitefish salad with a garnish of chives.

     

    A bagel deluxe! Photo courtesy Shiksa In The Kitchen.

     

    Now we’re contemplating a bagel Dagwood, adding herring salad, smoked sturgeon and hot smoked salmon to Tori’s version. We’ll debut it at Sunday brunch. Who’s in?

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Asian Fusion Brisket Sandwich

    Brisket, anyone? Photo courtesy Fatty ‘Cue
    Restaurant | NYC.

     

    Here’s a fun idea for brisket lovers: An Asian fusion brisket sandwich.

    Fatty ‘Cue restaurants in New York City combine traditional smoky southern barbecue with spicy Southeast Asian flavorings.

    Each Fatty ‘Cue location has a variation on the smoked beef brisket recipe, including:

  • Brisket with smoked melted cheddar, purple pickled onions, aïoli (garlic mayonnaise), chili jam and cilantro, on toasted baguette slices
  • Brisket with smoked onion marmalade, green papaya slaw and bao (Chinese steamed buns)
  • Brisket with rhubarb kimchee and bao (you can use any type of kimchee)
  •  

    Fancy some fusion?

    You can add the Asian fixings to a roast beef sandwich, or for that matter, chicken, turkey, lamb, ham or roast pork. If you have a bottle of Southeast Asian fish-sauce, shake it on!

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Secret Forest Corn Muffins

    Surprise: a little tree (OK, it’s a broccoli
    floret) is inside. Photo and recipe courtesy
    Betty Crocker.

     

    Even George H.W. Bush could be convinced to eat broccoli, when it’s tucked away as a surprise in a delicious corn muffin. Make them for brunch or lunch, with soup or a bowl of chili.

    And, you can adjust the recipe to mild, medium or spicy!

    RECIPE: SECRET FOREST CORN MUFFINS

    Ingredients

  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker cornbread & muffin mix
  • Milk, butter and egg called for on cornbread mix pouch
  • 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or Pepper Jack or jalapeño Cheddar cheese (for spicier muffins)
  • 6 broccoli florets (thawed if frozen)
  • Optional: chili flakes for more heat
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Line 6 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups.

    2. MIX muffin batter as directed on cornbread mix pouch. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup. Place 1 broccoli floret in each, stem side down, trimming stem if necessary for floret to fit in muffin cup.

    3. SPOON remaining batter over florets, covering completely.

    4. BAKE 15 minutes; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 3 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

     
    Find more of our favorite muffin recipes.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: A “Double” Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    Denny’s Fried Cheese Melt. Photo courtesy
    Denny’s.

     

    We love the way it looks: It’s fun food. It belongs on a list of grilled cheese sandwich ideas.

    But this sandwich is not so much fun, after all.

    It was a dubious winner of a 2011 Xtreme Eating Award, bestowed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to highlight “American chain restaurants’ culinary extremism.”

    Denny’s Fried Cheese Melt is described as “Grilled cheese with a twist. Four fried mozzarella sticks and melted American cheese grilled between two slices of sourdough bread. Served with wavy-cut French fries and a side of marinara sauce.”

    The “twist” serves itself up at 1,260 calories, 21 grams of saturated fat and 3,010 mg of sodium—the equivalent of downing two Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizzas.

     

    “It’s as if the restaurants were targeting the remaining one out of three Americans who are still normal weight in order to boost their risk of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer,” said CSPI nutrition director, Bonnie Liebman.

    While the idea of cheese-within-cheese is fun, the results aren’t. So here’s THE NIBBLE’s own Eat This, Not That suggestion:

  • Trade the mozzarella sticks for tuna and enjoy a tuna melt.
  • Add some form of veggie: tomatoes, onions and/or pickles.
  • Pan-fry the sandwich in a healthy oil.
  •  
    Here are the 2013 Xtreme Eating Awards winners.

      

    Comments

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