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Archive for Cheese-Yogurt-Dairy

PRODUCT: Noosa Mexican Chocolate Yoghurt (a.k.a. Yogurt)

Noosa Mexican Chocolate Yogurt

Noosa Mexican Chocolate

Taza Mexican Chocolate

[1] and [2] Buy lots—you’ll love Noosa Mexican Chocolate Yoghurt (photo courtesy Noosa). [3] Actual Mexican chocolate is melted into hot chocolate (photo courtesy Taza Chocolate). In the rear: the roasted cacao beans from which chocolate is made.

 

Just when you think there’s nothing more to discover in yogurt, you get a surprise:

Noosa Mexican Chocolate Yoghurt (that’s how yogurt is spelled in Australia).

We’ve tried other brands’ attempts at chocolate yogurt, but they had only a hand-shaking acquaintance with chocolatey indulgence. Noosa gets it right.

One of our favorite brands and a Top Pick Of The Week, Noosa is a whole-milk yogurt, which gives it the richness and creaminess of a good dessert.

The new Mexican Chocolate flavor is ¡delicioso! It’s made with Fair Trade cocoa powder, a splash of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne.

It leaves you saying “Mas! Mas! Mas!” and recommending it to every yogurt-eater you know. We promise!

Here’s a store locator.
 
WHY IS IT “MEXICAN” CHOCOLATE?

Cacao was first cultivated in Mesoamerica by the Olmecs, around 1200 B.C.E.; who taught it to the Mayas, who taught it to the conquering Aztecs.

In the New World it was a beverage for the wealthy and elite, an unsweetened beverage, flavored with cinnamon, chiles, cornmeal, musk, peppercorns and vanilla.

The Spanish conquistadors, who arrived in 1527, didn’t like the drink at all. But they brought the beans back to Spain, where chefs “Europeanized” it with milk and sugar, keeping the cinnamon but leaving out the chiles, cornmeal, musk and peppercorns.

In the 19th century, a method for making hard chocolate bars was invented in England. The technique traveled back to the land of origin, where Mexicans flavored their hard chocolate with cinnamon, sugar and almonds.

But, true to tradition, they turned those hard disks back into a beverage: hot chocolate!

Here’s a history of chocolate timeline.

And for true foodies, here’s the full history.
 
ARE YOU A CHOCOLATE LOVER?

Test your knowledge of chocolate in THE NIBBLE’s Chocolate Section.

You might want to start out with our Chocolate Glossary: all the terms you need to know to become a chocolate expert.

 

 
  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Thanksgiving Cheeses

Jack O'Pumpkseed Cheese

Cranberry Chevre Goat Cheese

Gouda With Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkinseed Gouda Cheese

[1] Jack O’Pumpkinseed, a mountain-style cheese from Switzerland. [2] Cranberry goat cheese log from Montchèvre. [3] Pumpkin spice goat cheese log from Montchèvre. [4] Another Pumpkinseed Gouda from The Netherlands, at Sam’s Club.

 

If you read our articles on Halloween Cheeses, you know that many of them are colorful representation of the Harvest Season.

They certainly work for Thanksgiving. But for a smashing Thanksgiving-specific cheese plate, check out these holiday-themed cheeses: a blue, a goat, and semihard cheeses (Cheddar, Gouda, Swiss).

  • Blue Cheese. No cranberries or pumpkin seeds here, but blue cheese lovers will appreciate the hot chiles mixed into Carr Valley Glacial Wildfire Blue, an artisan cheese from Wisconsin.
  • Cranberry Cheddar, Jack, Stilton and Wensleydale: different retailers will carry one or the other. Seek them out: They’re sure to be a hit.
  • Swiss-Style: Jack O’Pumpkinseed. This washed rind cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland has chopped roasted pumpkin seeds in both the paste and the rind. The paste is very smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. Bonus: tiny eyes. Available at iGourmet and elsewhere.
  • Goat Cheese. A number of cheese factories make fresh goat cheese logs rolled in dry cranberries. The Cranberry Chevre Log at Trader Joe’s is just $3.99.
  • Gouda-Style: From The Netherlands, Kaamps Gouda-Style Cheese With Pumpkin Seeds is a popular item at Sam’s Clubs (more information).
  •  
    The semi-hard cheeses are great for a seasonal cheeseburger.

     
    SEASONAL ACCOMPANIMENTS

  • Apple chips. Our favorite brand is Bare Fruit.
  • Breads. cranberry orange, cranberry walnut, herb, nut, semolina
  • Fall fruits. apples, figs, pears, persimmons, pomegranate
  • Plate garnish. Decorate with cinnamon sticks, fresh sage, pomegranate arils, star anise
  • Pumpkin butter.
  • Seasonal crackers. We especially like the Oat Cakes and Rye Cakes from Effie’s Homemade.
  • Spiced pumpkin seeds. You can buy them (our favorite is Superseedz or season and roast your own.
  •  
    HOW TO ROAST PUMPKIN SEEDS

    You can bake raw, hulled pumpkin seeds at 300°F for 45 minutes until golden brown, or roast them in a skillet on the stove top.

    Ingredients For 1 Cup

  • 1 cup (5 ounces) hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Spices of choice
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  •  
    Preparation: Oven Technique

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 300°F. Toss the seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a baking pan.

    2. BAKE for about 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

     
    Preparation: Skillet Technique

    1. PLACE the seeds in a dry heavy skillet, 9- to 10-inches, over moderate heat. Stir constantly until the seeds are puffed and golden, 4 to 5 minutes.

    2. TRANSFER to a bowl. Stir in the oil and seasonings; toss thoroughly until all seeds are coated.

      

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    FOOD HOLIDAY: Celebrate World Egg Day With Something Different

    Egg Stuffed Peppers

    Eggs Benedict On Croissant

    Fried Egg Sandwich

    [1] Try baked eggs in bell pepper halves (photo courtesy Foodie Crush | Go Bold With Butter). [2] Eggs Benedict on a croissant instead of the classic English Muffin (photo courtesy Peach Valley Cafe). [3] A fried egg sandwich, elevated with a whole grain seeded roll (photo courtesy National Pasteurized Eggs).

     

    World Egg Day is October 21st.

    Most of us have grown up with the incredible, edible egg; and we are egg-static to celebrate this little protein powerhouse.

    With over 6 grams of high-quality protein, nine essential amino acids and only 70 calories, , it’s one of the least egg-spensive sources of high-quality protein per serving.

    It’s a staple food as well as an indulgence (caramel custard, French ice cream, hollandaise sauce, mousse…).

    20 RECIPES TO CONSIDER FOR TODAY

    Options from breakfast, lunch and dinner through dessert.
     
    Breakfast & Brunch Eggs

  • Best Scrambled Eggs recipe from Chef Wylie Dufresne. It has both butter and cream cheese!
  • Eggs Benedict in your signature style (recipe) (photo #2)
  • Eggs On Hash recipe
  • Egg-Stuffed Peppers (recipe) (photo #1)
  • Shakshouka, Spicy Poached & Baked Eggs (recipe)
  •  
    Brunch, Lunch & Dinner Eggs

  • Chinese Egg Drop Soup (recipe) (photo #4)
  • Croque Madame Sandwich, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg
  • Egg Salad, 25 Ways (recipes) (photo #3)
  • Fried Eggs On Rice Or Other Grain (recipe)
  • Frittata (recipe)
  • Lyonnaise Salad With Bacon & Eggs (recipe)
  • Poached Eggs With Lentils & Arugula (recipe)
  • Pork Strata (recipe)
  • Steak & Eggs, in your signature style (recipe)
  • Torta Española, Spanish Omelet (recipe)
  •  
    Egg Cetera

  • Deviled eggs (recipes; for Halloween check out the Deviled Eyeballs)
  • Green Eggs & Ham (recipe)
  • Soufflé Omelet With Balsamic Strawberries (recipe)
  •  
    Next, a recipe that is new to us: Huevos Divorciados, a Mexican breakfast dish that means “divorced eggs.” (We’ve also made it for lunch and a light dinner.)

    Sunnyside-up fried eggs are dressed up in different ways and separated on the plate, “each going its own way” (photo #4, below).

    The typical direction uses two different salsas: a spicy red salsa for one egg and a cooling tomatillo (green) salsa with the other. The salsa and eggs are set upon two crispy corn tortillas.

    But you can use different salsas, toppings and underpinnings, and come up with your signature style.

    We adapted this recipe from one by Chef Jeffrey Clark for Davidson’s Eggs.

    RECIPE: HUEVOS DIVORCIADOS

    As is our won’t at THE NIBBLE, we like to push the boundaries of the original dish and find fun ways to customize it. For Huevos Divorciados, you can separate the two eggs and their different salsas with:

  • Bacon strips
  • Black beans or refried beans
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Crumbled cotija or queso fresco
  • Drizzled cream: crema, sour cream, yogurt
  • Fried plantains or plantain chips
  • Gringo food: cherry tomato/onion salad in vinaigrette, grilled vegetables, grits, toast fingers, wilted greens (asparagus, broccolini, collards, kale, spinach, etc.)
  • Guacamole or avocado, sliced or diced
  • Potatoes: papas bravas, papas fritas or American potato tots
  • Refried beans
  • Rolled flour tortilla
  • Sausage
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Tortilla chips
  •  

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 4 six-inch corn or flour tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 tablespoons roasted fresh tomato salsa heated, divided
  • 12 tablespoons roasted tomatillo salsa, heated, divided
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 4 thin slices red onion, separated
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 4 tablespoons guacamole
  • Serve with: breakfast potatoes, black or refried beans
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BRUSH both sides of the tortillas with olive oil. Place in baking pan and bake at 400°F for 6 minutes or until crisp. Meanwhile…

    2. PREPARE the sunny side-up eggs. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until melted. Gently slide 2 eggs into the skillet. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until the whites are set and opaque, and the yolks begin to firm. Gently remove from skillet; repeat with the remaining butter and eggs.

    3. PLACE two tortillas side by side on dinner plates. Place one egg on each tortilla. On each plate, ladle 6 tablespoons of the red salsa around one egg and 6 tablespoons of the salsa verde around the second egg.

    4. SPRINKLE eggs with equal amounts of cheese and cilantro. Garnish with onion slices, a lime wedge and guacamole. Serve with breakfast potatoes, refried beans, or black beans, if desired.
     
    CHECK OUT OUR EGG GLOSSARY

    It’s a view of the different types of eggs, from blue hen eggs to ostrich eggs.

    How many of these types have you had?
     
    EGG ETYMOLOGY

    The French have the ouef, the Italians and Spanish have uovo and ovo from the Latin ovum. The Greeks have oon, the Germans have Ei.

    How did we get egg?

    Egge appeared in the the mid-14th century northern England dialect, derived mostly from Old Norse and Proto-Germanic ajja, possibly derived from root awi, bird.

     

    Huevos Divorciados

    Chinese Egg Drop Soup

    [4] Huevos Divorciados from OiYouFood. Here’s the recipe. [5] It’s easy to make egg drop soup at home with this recipe (photo courtesy Good Eggs).

     
    This Norse-derived northern word vied in Middle English with cognates* eye, eai and the Old English æg, until egg finally displaced the others sometime after 1500. It appears in print in the description of a man at a public house on the Thames who asked for eggs [source].
     
    ________________
    *Cognates are words with common etymological origins.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Carve Some Halloween Cheese

    A few days ago we recommended cheeses to create a beautiful Halloween-themed cheese plate, featuring artisan cheeses.

    But not everybody likes fancy cheeses, or has the budget to purchase them.

    So here’s Plan B: Halloween cheese fun that anyone can afford.
     
    JACK O’LANTERN CHEESE BALL

  • Make your favorite cheese ball recipe and turn it into a jack o’lantern by rolling it in crushed Cheetos or orange crackers like Ritz
  • Make the face with cut-up red bell pepper pieces. Press a stem made of broccoli stalk or celery into the top.
  • Here’s the recipe for the cheese ball in the bottom photo.
  •  
    BABYBEL JACK O’LANTERNS

  • Mini Babybel Gouda snack cheeses have a pumpkin-color wax coating. The Mini Babybel White Cheddar Cheese variety is covered in white wax.
  • Use a chisel-tip Sharpie marker to create jack o’lantern faces. The eight-pack assortment includes black, orange, red, and two shades of green for the stems.
  •  
    CHEDDAR JACK O’LANTERN

  • For larger parties, you can find wheels of orange cheddar—round with a flat top and bottom—in two-pounds and five pounds.
  • Remove the wax and carve a jack o’lantern face through the flat side.
  • Create a stem top from a piece of broccoli stalk, and affix it with a toothpick.
  • Present the jack o’lantern standing up so you can see through the eyes and nose. To keep it steady, you can trim a small piece from the bottom.
  •  
    The next two ideas are from Delish.com, which has 15 different ways to use cheese at Halloween.
     
    CUT-OUT SHAPES

  • The easiest way to serve “Halloween cheese” is to use small (2-inches or smaller) Halloween-themed cookie cutters to cut shapes from orange cheddar or American cheese slices (top photo).
  • Place them on your favorite crackers. It’s that simple.
  •  
    MUMMY BAKED BRIE

  • Make a Mummy Brie from an 8-ounce Brie and a sheet of puff pastry (center photo). Here’s the recipe: wrapped in puff pastry.
  • Delish uses black olives and mini pepperoni slices for the eyes, but we substituted slices of pimento-stuffed olives.
  •  

    Halloween Crackers & Cheese

    Halloween Brie

    Halloween Cheese Ball

    [1] Cut Halloween shapes with mini cookie cutters. [2] Baked Brie turns into a mummy with a sheet of puff pastry (photos #1 and #2 courtesy Delish.com). [3] A Halloween cheese ball (photo courtesy Snackworks).

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Scream Cheese, Special Cheeses For Halloween

    Basiron Red Gouda

    Cahill's Porter Cheddar

    English Cheddar With Harissa

    Mimolette Cheese

    Halloween Cheese

    [1] Basiron Pesto Rosso, a red Gouda. [2] Cahill’s Irish Cheddar, marbled with porter. [3] English Cheddar with spicy harissa. [4] Mimolette, perhaps the spookiest-looking cheese. [5] A limited fall edition version of Weybridge from Vermont (all photos are the copyright of their respective owners).

     

    Can cheeses be spooky? You bet!

    These cheeses and others can create as perfect Halloween cheese plate. They also double as “harvest moon” cheeses for Thanksgiving.

    They represent England, France, Holland, Ireland, and the U.S. They’re all delicious and worth seeking out. If you can’t find them locally, we’ve provided e-tail links.
     
    HALLOWEEN CHEESES

    Basiron Pesto Rosso

    This Dutch Gouda (photo #1), also called Red Gouda, gets its bright color and flavor from an infusion of tomato pesto. Each creamy bite has a hit of ripe tomato and Italian herbs.

    It’s what we call “fusion cheese”: a traditional cheese from one country flavored with herbs and spices from another culture.

    Find it at Amazon.com.
     
    Cahill’s Farm Flavored Irish Cheddar

    Made near Limerick and dating to 1759, the brown mosaic pattern is made with Guinness (photo #2). There’s also a fall-appropriate version colored red with wine, and an all-yellow version made with Irish whiskey (save the latter for St. Patrick’s Day).

    Find it at Amazon.com.
     
    English Cheddar With Harissa

    Another “cultural fusion cheese,” this tangy English Cheddar (photo #3) gets an infusion of harissa, a Moroccan spice blend that consists of chiles, coriander, cumin, garlic and smoked paprika (each producer has a proprietary blend, which can include other ingredients).

    Find it at Amazon.com.
     
    Mimolette

    Perhaps the creepiest of all (photo #4), Mimolette’s rind looks like the craters of the moon. Cut it open and surprise: There’s a blazing orange interior that also looks scary.

    This semi-sharp cow’s milk cheese is produced in the area around Lille in Alsace, France. Try it with an Alsatian Riesling!

    Find it at ForTheGourmet.com.

     
    Weybridge Limited Edition

    This “surprise!” cheese from the Scholten Family Farm in Vermont has a ghostly white bloomy rind, that reveals a tangy orange paste (the industry term for the interior of a cheese). An organic cheese, limited edition version has a dusting of vegetable ash on the rind for some extra spookiness.

    The limited edition cheese, a fall version of the regular Weybridge, sells out quickly. Reserve yours at Jasper Hill Farm.
     
    WHAT CREATES THE BRIGHT ORANGE COLOR?

    It’s annatto, a natural dye derived from achiote seeds. It’s the same natural color that differentiates yellow cheddar from white cheddar.

    In large amounts annatto provides a slightly spicy flavor, but here in smaller touches it delivers only the color.
     
    OTHER CHEESES TO CONSIDER

  • Ash-covered goat cheese. While originally used to protect delicate goat cheeses during travel, vegetable ash continues to be popular for eye appeal on a fresh goat cheese log, or as a dramatic interior stripe in Humboldt Fog or Morbid. It imports no flavor, but does help with the ripening process in cheeses such as Bonne Bouche from Vermont Creamery and Selles sur Cher from the Loire.
  • Extra Triple Aged Gouda, a sturdy paste and harvest gold color.
  • Huntsman Cheese, from the U.K., a layered cheese of orange-hued Double Gloucester and veined white Stilton.
  • Pecorino With Chile Flakes. This aged Italian cheese has flecks hot chile flakes. Find it at iGourmet.com.
  • Saxonshire Cheese. This five-layer British cheese has a dramatic appearance: Each of the layers is a different shade of yellow or orange. The layers are Caerphilly, Cheddar, Cheshire, Double Gloucester and Leicester—all classics.
  •  

    FALL CHEESE CONDIMENTS

    Along with bread, crackers, fruits and nuts, serve a choice of condiments. Use ramekins for neatness. No ramekins? See what you do have, such as espresso cups and espresso spoons.

  • Chutney: apple, cranberry, pear, quince
  • Corn relish
  • Fall fruit jams: concord grape, fig, spiced fruits
  • Fruit butters: apple, pumpkin
  • Mustard: grainy mustard, horseradish mustard, walnut mustard, and the
  • Savory-sweet jellies: garlic, horseradish, onion
  • Spicy honey: buy it or add chili flakes to plain honey
  •  
    Look for an artisan semolina loaf if you want to add some seasonal color to the bread.
     
    MAILLE MUSTARDS

    The great French mustard house produces a standard line plus seasonal flavors: so good, we eat them from the jar on a spoon!

    Fall flavors include:

  • Black Olive & White Wine Mustard
  • Black Truffle & Chablis Mustard
  • Black Truffle, Cep & Chablis Mustard (limited edition)
  • Fig, Coriander & White Wine Mustard
  • Hazelnut, Black Chanterelle Mushrooms & White Wine Mustard
  •  
    We love to give these gourmet mustards as house gifts and stocking stuffers for our foodie friends. Find them online at Maille.com.

     

    Maille Hazelnut Chanterelle Mustard

    Maille Black Truffle Mustard

    [6] Maille Hazelnut, Black Chanterelle Mushrooms & White Wine Mustard. [7] Maille Black Truffle, Cep & Chablis Mustard, a limited edition for fall (photos courtesy Maille USA).

     

      

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