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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 Condiments

RECIPE: Radish & Beet Chutney

This radish and beet chutney from LoveBeets.com is delicious with turkey sandwiches plus cheese, cold meats, on a baked potato or with sausages.

It’s also a nice gift for your Thanksgiving host, who in turn may send you home with some leftover turkey. The recipe makes enough for 6 gifts or more, depending on the size of the jar.

RECIPE: RADISH & BEET CHUTNEY

Ingredients For Approximately 4.5 Pounds Of Chutney

  • 3.3 pounds raw beets trimmed, peeled and diced
  • 20 shallots, quartered
  • 40 radishes, quartered
  •  

    Yummy beet and radish chutney. Photo courtesy LoveBeets.com.

  • 2 eating apples, peeled and grated (we used Granny Smiths)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 27 ounces white wine vinegar
  • 20 ounces balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 pounds light brown sugar
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the beets are cooked and the juices have thickened.

    2. SPOON chutney it into sterilized jars* and seal the lids while it’s still hot. Use immediately, or keep, refrigerated, for up to 6 weeks. The flavor will improve if stored for a few weeks.

    Find more beet recipes at LoveBeets.com.

     
    *To sterilize jars, run them through the hottest cycle in your dishwasher or boil in a pan of water for 10 minutes.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Marina’s Cranberry Chutney

    For a party favor, stocking stuffer or a pantry
    staple, to enjoy quality cranberry sauce all
    year long. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE
    NIBBLE.

     

    Cranberry jelly is easy to figure out, but what is the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry chutney? How about cranberry conserve? Cranberry relish?

  • Cranberry Conserve is a generally mixture of more than one fruit (added oranges, for example), often with added nuts and raisins, that is cooked until it becomes thick.
  • Cranberry Chutney, made with fruit or vegetables, usually includes vinegar, onion and spices. It’s of Indian origin (chatni is the Hindi word for strongly spiced). While people who only know Major Grey’s Mango Chutney (a British concoction in 19th-century India) may think of chutney as sweet, it does include vinegar, lime juice, onion and tamarind.
  • Cranberry Jelly is simply sweetened and jelled fruit juice, a clear, bright product. It is generally made by cooking fruit juice and sugar with pectin as a jelling agent and lemon juice as an acid, to maintain a consistent texture. Jelly is firm and will hold its shape.
  • Cranberry Sauce. A sauce is cooked; the fruit softens and is bound buy a syrup made from the fruit’s juices, water and sugar. Optional spices can be (and should be!) added.
  •  

  • Cranberry Relish. A relish is not cooked. In the case of cranberry relish, the cranberries are chopped, mixed with sugar and other ingredients: apples, oranges/zest, lemon juice/zest, brandy or Grand Marnier, fresh ginger, etc.
  • So there is an official difference, even though one person’s conserve may be another person’s chutney.

    There are textbook terms, and then there are mis-uses by people who inherited the misuse or weren’t likely to do culinary research. In olden times, the distinctions weren’t codified; hence, Boston Cream Pie is a layer cake, and cheesecake is a cheese custard pie.

    Sometimes, people choose names that they think have more sales appeal. We’ve received pies called crumbles (a pie has a bottom crust, a crumble does not), jams called preserves (the difference), buttercrunch called English toffee (the difference), etc., etc. So if you care about being correct, look it up.

    MARINA’S CRANBERRY CHUTNEY

    Marina’s Cranberry Chutney is made from cranberries, sugar, onion, oranges, raisins and walnuts, seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and cayenne.

    Her prime business is raising pork, and the lovely layering of flavors in her cranberry condiment is a beautiful complement to pork or poultry.

    Given the multiple fruits, raisins, nuts and lack of vinegar, we’d call it a conserve, not a chutney. But to paraphrase Shakespeare’s Juliet: What’s in a name? That which we call a chutney by any other name would taste as good.

    The onion is a delightful touch and the cayenne is so subtle that heat-avoiders won’t even know it’s there. Sold in 16-ounce jars for $5.99, it’s available from Marina’s website, CircleBPork.com. It’s available on Amazon for $6.99.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Umami Sauce

    Umami sauce, an asset in the kitchen and at
    the table. Photo courtesy Omni Hotels.

     

    “Umami” was a trending word in America a few years ago, a Japanese word coined in 1908 to indicate a brothy or savory taste (umai = delicious, mi = taste). Lauded as “the fifth taste” after sweet, sour, bitter and salty, the term seems to have faded into the background since its heyday here in 2006. If you need a brush-up, here’s an umami overview.

    We consume “umami foods” every day: anchovy paste, asparagus, beef stew, bouillon, cured ham, ketchup, lamb shank, miso sauce and soup, MSG, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, ripe and sun-dried tomatoes, soy sauce, steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce, among others.

    Umami is part of Western culture. Beginning in Greece and appearing in nearly every ancient Roman recipe as early as the 7th and 8th centuries B.C.E., garum, a fermented fish sauce, was the universal condiment to flavor food.

    Fish sauce is an Asian staple, and things came full circle when Captain Henry Lewis Edwardes (1788–1866) brought the recipe for a fish sauce condiment home after travels in India. It somehow got to John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, two dispensing chemists (pharmacists) in Worcester, England, who created the first “umami sauce” sold commercially, in 1837.

    THE NEW UMAMI SAUCE

    Continuing the tradition, a team of chefs from Omni Hotels & Resorts has created “Umami Sauce”—a sophisticated steak sauce—as a table condiment for its customers.

     

    The chefs worked tirelessly for six months to create a sauce that “perfectly combined the essential ingredients to achieve the umami factor.”

    This secret sauce was then bottled, wrapped and set out on restaurant tables for customers to use on everything from scrambled eggs in the morning to a late-night burger.

    We cooked with it. It vastly improved a chuck pot roast—we tested it with an Umami Sauce marinade on one half, massaged it into the crevices of the meat, and salt and pepper on the other half. The marinated side tasted so much richer that we next stirred Umami Sauce into a wild mushroom risotto, with similar happy results.

    Umami Sauce can be purchase for $9.95 at select Omni Hotels, and is available online. The sauce is all natural and gluten free.

    So if you’re looking for a special food stocking stuffer, head to the Omni Hotels website.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Instant Spicy Pickles & Ways To Use Pickle Brine

    We recently received several bottles of pickles that were simply bland: both dills and half sours.

    The solution: Add a half tablespoon of sriracha or other hot sauce to the jar, shake, and come back in a day. If you don’t like heat, try the juice of one lime.

    REUSE THE BRINE

    When the last pickle has been enjoyed, the brine (a.k.a. pickle juice) can create an entire second jar of delights, or be added to another kind of dish.

    Barbecue Sauce. Most any barbecue sauce is improved with some brine—it adds tanginess and—depending on the complexity of the brine—dimensions of flavor.

    Cook. Mix brine in with the mayo for potato salad and cole slaw—it adds flavor and lowers the calories. Add to gazpacho: in food processor, purée tomatoes, onions, green pepper and cucumbers or zucchini. Thin with a little tomato juice and add the spicy brine.

    Here’s a recipe for Macaroni And Cheese from ILovePickles.org:

     

    You can buy hot and spicy pickles, or you can add your own heat to a bottle of plain pickles. Photo courtesy Rick’s Picks.

     
    Blend 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup heated pickle juice and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; pour over 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni in casserole dish. Stir in 2 cups shredded cheese, top with bread crumbs and bake 30 to 35 minutes at 375°F, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

    Drink. Add to tomato juice or Bloody Marys. Instead of squeezing a wedge of lime into a beer, stir 1/8 cup dill pickle liquid into 12 ounces of your favorite beer and garnish with a pickle spear or dilly bean.

    Freeze. Turn the brine into tangy ice pops, or into ice cubes for a Bloody Mary, tomato or vegetable juice.

    Marinate. You can use most brines to marinate fish, poultry, vegetables or tofu. Add a little olive oil and chopped fresh herbs if you like.

    Refill The Pickle Bottle. When you finish with the original contents, add more vegetables: beets, bell pepper strips, carrot sticks, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, sliced onions, etc. Refrigerate for four days and you’ll have more delicious pickled vegetables.

    More suggestions? Tell us yours.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pickled Garlic

    Pickled garlic is a healthful, tasty garnish and ingredient. You can buy it in jars, but it’s almost as easy to make your own.

    Don’t worry about being overwhelmed by garlic flavor: The cloves lose a lot of their pungency in the pickling process. They are still garlicky, but tame.

    Enjoy pickled garlic on salads, sandwiches, skewered appetizers or main courses, as a Martini garnish or as a snack like any pickles. You can also bring jars of it as house gifts—so much more interesting than most bottles of wine.

    You can make the pickled garlic more of a condiment by pickling sliced onions and cucumbers along with the garlic cloves.

    RECIPE: PICKLED GARLIC

    Ingredients

  • 6 bulbs garlic
  • 4 cups white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (you can cut back to 1 tablespoon if you want to minimize your sugar intake)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  

    Use pickled garlic to garnish just about anything, including canapés and crostini. Above, turkey and hummus with pickled garlic garnishes.Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

  • 2 dried red chile peppers (choose the type according to your desired level of heat)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • Optional: sliced onion and cucumber
  • Optional: more herbs, such as dill and/or oregano
  •  

    Pickled garlic with a choice of seasonings:
    Give it as gifts. Photo by Elvira Kalviste |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    Preparation

    1. SEPARATE the heads of garlic into cloves, with the outer skin removed. Set aside. TIP: To soften and loosen the skins, blanch the cloves in rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds, immediately immerse in cold water, drain and peel the cloves.

    2. COMBINE the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf, chiles and lemon zest in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; continue to boil for 2 minutes.

    3. ADD the garlic, and continue to boil for 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and let stand overnight at room temperature.

    4. TRANSFER to a clean jar. You can strain out the herbs and spices or keep them (we keep them for the aesthetic effect). Cover and store in the refrigerator; the pickled cloves will keep for 6 to 8 weeks. Over the first week, the cloves will become even more pickled.

    TIP: When the garlic cloves have been consumed, taste the brine. You may want to incorporate it with oil into a salad dressing.

     
    RABBIT’S PICKLED GARLIC

    If you’d like to simply purchase pickled garlic, consider Rabbit’s Pickled Garlic, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

    We love these pickled cloves, made in chipotle, habanero, habanero dill, smoke and spicy dill. Read our review.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Katie’s Mustard Slaw

    A Chicago-style dog is a beef frank fully loaded with yellow mustard, onions, pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges and a dash of celery salt on a poppy seed bun.

    If the sound of it makes your heart flutter, you don’t have to head to Chicago. You can buy Katie’s Mustard Slaw—the longer name is Katie’s Home Style, Old-Fashioned, Pool-Room Mustard Slaw.

    It’s not exactly the same. It’s from Alabama. And it’s addictively delicious.

    We taste a lot of products, and this blend of mustard with bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, onions and vinegar, spices, jalapeños and a bit of salt and sugar is a winner.

    It’s a complex layering of flavors with a beautiful texture and a spicy kick, a riff on chow-chow*, a Nova Scotian and American pickle relish made from a combination of vegetables; and a relative of British piccalilli (which has a cauliflower base).

     

    Katie’s Mustard Slaw. Photo courtesy Hawkkrall | Flickr.

     
    In Alabama and Tennessee, it is called chow-chow, mustard slaw or pool room slaw, and has been made and sold by southern Tennessee Amish for some 100 years. [Source: Serious Eats.]

    We received sample jars many months ago, and are so sorry we haven’t written about this product before. The reason: We can’t find the photos we took, and there are no commercial photos of Katie’s masterpiece online. We are deeply indebted to Flickr user Hawkkrall for the images here.

    HOW TO ENJOY KATIE’S MUSTARD SLAW

    It’s a wonderfully versatile condiment, zingy and satisfying. Use it:

  • On hot dogs and burgers
  • On meat-based sandwiches: bologna, ham, roast beef, submarines, turkey
  • With roasted or barbecue chicken, beef or pork
  • With grilled or fried fish
  • With eggs, including mixed into deviled eggs
  • Mixed into potato salad or egg salad
  • As a dip with chips, crudités, pretzels or tortilla chips (heavenly with soft pretzels), served straight or mixed with mayonnaise, plain yogurt or sour cream
  • With vegetables: greens, mashed potatoes, beans (such as pinto beans)
  • On toast or crackers
  • As a condiment with cheese, paté and charcuterie
  •  
    …and with countless other foods. We admit to dipping a spoon into the jar for a mini snack.

     

    A versatile and delicious condiment. Photo
    courtesy Hawkkrall | Flickr.

     

    A DELIGHT FOR WEIGHT WATCHERS

    A tablespoon is just 10 calories, with zero calories from fat, 40mg sodium and 1 mg sugar. It’s a caloric bargain, waiting to add great flavor to your meals. All of the vegetables that Katie uses are bought fresh from a local farmers market.

    Now the challenge: How to get it. Distribution is limited.

    To order, email: katiesfoods@aol.com.

    If you have to order a case, don’t worry: You’ll go through it quickly, and be happy to have jars for house gifts and stocking stuffers.

     
    ABOUT KATIE

    Katie is Katie Kilburn of Florence, Alabama. She began to make slaw and relish products for her family and the local high school football concession stand, using her mother-in-law’s recipe.

    With the help of the Shoals Commercial Culinary Center, fortuitously located in her home town, she was able to tap into resources to make more slaw and relish for commercial sale.

    What they don’t provide is marketing support. If you know anyone who wants to volunteer to help this wonderful product take off—including e-commerce and an effective Facebook page, contact Katie.

    Equally as important, hand this review to your favorite retailer and ask that they bring in a few cases—and watch them fly off the shelves.

    *According to Wikipedia, chow-chow is “regionally associated” with the Southern United States, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, the Appalachian Mountains and soul food. The recipes vary greatly; some are sweeter, others more savory. The name is said to derive from the French word for cabbage, chou. It was popular with the Acadians of Nova Scotia, descendants of the 17th-century French colonists, who emigrated to Louisiana.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Fresh Pesto

    Look for deals on basil and make pesto.
    Photo courtesy PreciseNutrition.com.

     

    Our greenmarkets are flooded with huge bunches of basil, just beckoning to be made into pesto sauce. Pesto traditionally* consists of basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses, plus a pinch of salt. It originated in the Italian province of Liguria, 220 miles of crescent-shaped Mediterranean coastline that is sometimes called the Italian Riviera—and produces the sweetest, mildest basil.

    The capital of Liguria is Genoa, and the region’s classic pesto is known as pesto alla genovese (jen-oh-VAY-zay). Ligurians take such great pride in their sauce, that they have sought D.O.P. status for pesto produced in the area (an official labeling that distinguishes a product for its authenticity and excellence and protects the use of the name).

    The sauce gets its name from the word pestle; a mortar and pestle are the traditional device used to make pesto.

    For centuries, pesto was used mostly as a condiment, to flavor vegetable soups. It wasn’t until 1910 that it began to be used as a sauce for pasta.

     
    *Earlier versions of Ligurian pesto used parsley or marjoram instead of basil, and did not include the pine nuts. Delicious pestos can be made with arugula or other green, and with walnuts or hazelnuts. Regions that have an abundance of those nuts will make the substitution. Some recipes use a combination of Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses; others use only one. Some add butter to the pesto for added creaminess. Ligurian cooks have also been known to occasionally incorporate cooked potato into the sauce. At times, they combine pesto with tomatoes, or add a light, fresh cheese, like ricotta or prescineua, a cultured cheese similar to yogurt or crème fraîche.

    WAYS TO USE PESTO

    Traditional preparations with pesto include trenette, flat ribbon pasta similar to linguine but with ridges the pesto can clink to; and triofe alla Genovese, dumpling-like, rolled, worm-shaped pasta with crevices for pesto to fill. With the latter dish, small pieces of potato are boiled with the dry pasta, and when they’re almost done, string beans are added to the boiling liquid. The three ingredients are then tossed with pesto, adding some starchy cooking water to help it coat.

    How else can you use pesto?

  • Bruschetta: Spread pesto on toasted or grilled bread for an easy snack or hors d’oeuvre.
  • Caprese salad: Substitute pesto for the oil and fresh basil of a Caprese salad (bufala mozzarella and tomatoes).
  • Condiment: Spread pesto on sandwiches, straight or mixed into mayonnaise. That pesto-mayo will also spruce up your chicken and tuna salads, and make a fusion pesto-aïoli. Or, add some pesto to your marinade.
  • Dip: Use pesto as a dip with crudités or French fries; or mix it with mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt for a creamy dip and sauce that goes with just about anything.
  • Fish and meats: Spoon pesto atop grilled, poached or roasted food, or spoon the pesto onto a plate and place the food on top of it. Like chimichurri† sauce, it’s really delicious on steak.
  • Pasta and pizza: Pesto can be used in lasagna, on gnocchi, and with any other shape of pasta. Just place a few spoonfuls in a bowl, add the cooked pasta and a touch of pasta cooking water, and stir. One of our favorite ways to serve this is with whole, toasted pine nuts, shredded prosciutto, freshly grated Parmesan and peas. We also drizzle it on pizza—both homemade and delivery.
  • Soup: A dollop of pesto, made without nuts, can be added to minestrone or other vegetable soup. In France, pistou is the name of a pesto-like sauce and the soup to which it is added.
  • Vegetables and grains: Pesto is delicious with potatoes, rice and other grains (barley, quinoa, etc.). Instead of parsley potatoes, think pesto potatoes.
  • Vinaigrette: Herb and garlic pestos make fabulous additions to vinaigrettes. Whisk a spoonful with some lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, or add it to your favorite vinaigrette recipe.
  •  
    †Chimichurri is a spicy vinegar-parsley sauce that is the leading condiment in Argentina and Uruguay, as salsa is to Mexico. It is made of chopped fresh parsley and onion, seasoned with garlic, oregano, salt, cayenne and black pepper, and bound with oil and vinegar; it is served with grilled meat.

     

    PESTO ALLA GENOVESE, AKA PESTO CLASSICO

    Ingredients

  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 60 small or 30 large fresh basil leaves, wiped, stems and spines removed
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, peeled, any green shoots removed
  • 3 tablespoons/22g pignoli nuts
  • 2 tablespoons/15g fresh, finely grated Pecorino Sardo
  • 2 tablespoons/15g fresh, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml extra virgin olive oil (mild or fruity)
  •  

    The result of your labors: delicious pesto. Photo by Loooby | IST..

     
    Variations

    If you’re not a huge basil fan, try arugula, cilantro or spinach pesto. Pesto doesn’t have to be green: You can make it from mushrooms, olives, red bell peppers or sundried tomatoes. You can add chipotle, honey, maple syrup, olives, roasted garlic or whatever appeals to you, to make your signature pesto.

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the sea salt and a few of the basil leaves in a mortar. Using a pestle, press and lightly pound the leaves and salt against the coarse bowl of the mortar, in a rotary motion, breaking the leaves apart. Keep adding a few more leaves and grinding them until you’ve used them all. Do not completely pulverize.

    2. ADD the garlic and pound it until it releases its juices. Add the pignoli nuts and pound them into a paste. Move the pestle around the mortar to combine the ingredients.

    3. STIR in the Pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano; then gradually add olive oil, stirring it into the paste (a spoon can be used for these steps, if you prefer). You should have a thick, creamy, homogenous, bright green sauce.

    BLENDER OPTION

    You can make pesto in a blender or food processor. We’ve done it both ways. Believe us, it tastes better when made with a mortar and pestle. If you want the ease of an electric appliance, choose the a blender.

    1. COMBINE half the olive oil and all the ingredients, excluding the cheeses. Process, adding more oil, if necessary, to get the ingredients moving.

    2. STOP the blender regularly to push the mixture down. Once a paste forms, stir in the cheeses, as well as additional olive oil, if desired.

    MORE ON PESTO

    Check out our article with reviews of the best ready-made pesto brands.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Mingo’s Sweet Hot Mustard & Pepper Butter

    Mingo’s: mysterious but delicious. Photo by
    Elvira Kalvise | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Several products arrive at THE NIBBLE offices each week, over the transom*.

    Of these surprise deliveries, some contain a business card, some have a letter and some have nothing. Most of the products are just O.K.; some are quite good and we want to write about them.

    And some of the latter become mysteries, because there’s no card, no website on the bottle, and our ability to track down more information is limited.

    That’s the case with Mingo’s, a brand about which there is precious little online information. We were able to discern that:

  • It is made by S & S Foods of Mustang, Oklahoma (we did find an address and a phone number).
  • It is available from three or so e-tailers.
  •  
    That‘s it.

     
    While there are several companies named S & S Foods in the country, we could find nothing further about the one in Mustang, Oklahoma. No website, no product reviews. Who Mingo is, we have no idea.

    What we can tell you is that, we really like the products.

  • Mingo’s Sweet Hot Mustard Sauce combines the tang of mustard and vinegar, the heat of jalapeño and a blend of sugar and spices. It has become a favorite condiment on sandwiches and hot dogs. The mustard is listed on Amazon but is out of stock. This Oklahoma e-tailer sells it.
  • Mingo‘s Pepper Butter, is a delightfully different spread in Mild, with the jalapeño seeds removed; Medium, with the heat-containing seeds left in the jalapeños; and Hot, with jalapeño and serrano chiles, including the seeds.
  •  

    Like the mustard, the Pepper Butter has a touch of sweetness. As with apple butter, there is no butter in the product; “butter” refers to the smooth spreadability. Use it:

  • As a general condiment and a hot alternative to pickle relish.
  • As a spread on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, wraps, etc.
  • As a dip, straight or combined with cream cheese, mayonnaise or yogurt, with chips, pretzels and raw vegetables.
  • Mixed in with the mayo or other dressing for chicken, tuna and other salads.
  • As a meat and poultry rub, or added to meat loaf and other recipes where you’d like a more refined kick than mere hot sauce.
  •  

    Pepper butter on a wrap sandwich. Photo courtesy DairyMax.

     
    Mingo’s is worth tracking down. Give it with impunity to food-loving friends. Buy it for stocking stuffers. And tell us how else you’d use it.
     
    *This charming publishing industry term means, “arrives unsolicited or without prior knowledge.” It dates to the days before centralized building ventilation systems, when the transom—a small, horizontal window above a door—was opened to circulate air. Some would-be authors, who could not get their manuscripts past the assistant or the mail room, would toss unsolicited manuscripts over the transom, directly into an editor’s office.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Save The Sauerkraut Juice & A Bacon Sauerkraut Recipe

    We have a delicious recipe for bacon sauerkraut below, but first a tip: Don’t toss the sauerkraut juice. Not only is it good for you*; if you like the taste of sauerkraut, the juice has the identical flavor.

    Drink It

    Drinking sauerkraut juice may sound strange to Americans, but it is a popular digestif and tonic in Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and elsewhere. You can drink it:

  • As a glass of juice or a shot
  • In a vodka cocktail
  • As a sparkler mixed with club soda
  •  

    We enjoy drinking a small glass of sauerkraut juice as we eat the sauerkraut itself: with brats, franks, pork loin, etc.

    And if you have a store throat, some people swear that sauerkraut juice is the cure (and much tastier than gargling with salt water).

     

    Eat the sauerkraut, drink the juice. Photo © Viktorija | Fotolia.

     
    Cook With It

  • Cooking/steaming water: Steam brats in the juice.
  • Marinades: The acids in sauerkraut juice are tenderizers, and great in marinades for pork and poultry. Use it instead of vinegar.
  • Slow cooking: Add the juice to pork and apples in a slow cooker, or to soups and stews where you’d like a hint of tart and tangy.
  • Vinaigrette: Replace the vinegar with sauerkraut juice. Add a clove of crushed fresh garlic.
  •  
    The bacon sauerkraut recipe that follows was a hit at our July 4th festivities. The recipe is from Dietz & Watson, producers of premium deli meats. There are more recipes on the company website.

     
    *Sauerkraut, a fermented food, is an anti-carinogen, digestive aid, immune support aid and probiotic. It’s high in nutrition and very low in calories.

     

    Simply delish: bacon and sauerkraut. Photo
    courtesy Dietz & Watson.

     

    BACON SAUERKRAUT RECIPE

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 9 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 pounds sauerkraut, drained (save the juice!) and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup sweet white wine, such as Muscat or Riesling
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red skinned potato (about 3 ounces, peeled and grated)
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COOK the bacon in the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 3 minutes.

    2. ADD the onions and garlic; sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

    3. STIR in the drained sauerkraut, chicken stock, wine and caraway seeds.Bring to a boil over high heat.

    4. REDUCE heat to medium and cook about 45 minutes, until the stock is reduced by three-fourths.

    5. STIR in the apples and potato and cook about 45 minutes more, until the apples and potato are dissolved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Steak Sauce Or Marinade

    Make your own marinade and steak sauce.
    Photo courtesy Double R Ranch.

     

    So many recipes tell you to marinate meat by pouring a bottle of Italian salad dressing over it.

    That’s one type of cooking, but we prefer the superior flavors of from-scratch cooking, using the best ingredients. Whether you’re making a marinade or anything else, the finest flavors come from fresh ingredients, including herbs.

    Here’s a delicious marinade and steak sauce from a leading provider of quality beef, Double R Ranch. This family of ranchers wouldn’t dream of covering their fine steaks in bottled dressing.

    They like a chimichurri sauce (a spicy parsley vinaigrette) as a steak sauce and a marinade—a classic Argentinian preparation from country of avid beef eaters.

     

    STEAK SAUCE & MARINADE

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oregano, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons shallots or onions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PLACE parsley, oregano, garlic and shallots in a food processor. Pulse until chopped but not puréed.

    2. ADD vinegar, mustard and lemon juice to the herb mixture. Process on low while gradually adding the olive oil.

    3. ADD salt and pepper to taste and pulse again. Store a sealable container. When ready to prepare the meat…

    4. RINSE the steak briefly and pat try. Place the steak in a glass baking dish or other nonreactive shallow pan and cover with the marinade. Turn the steak to coat all sides and marinate for 30 minutes or longer. If you’re marinating for more than 30 minutes, cover the dish with plastic wrap, and turn the meat every two hours.

     

    Even a hungry cowboy might have trouble finishing these large cowboy steaks. Photo courtesy Double R Ranch.

     
    NOTE that cowboy steak, ribeye and other highly-marbled meats absorb marinade more quickly than less marbled cuts, so a two-hour marinade may do the trick.

    5. REMOVE the steak from the marinade when you’re ready to grill; do not reuse the marinade because it can collect bacteria.
     
    WHAT IS A COWBOY STEAK?

    Called a cowboy chop by Double R Ranch (it looks like an enormous chop), the cowboy steak is an impressive piece of meat.

    It’s a bone-in ribeye steak with a frenched rib bone. This “raw bone” feature and the fact that the cut is generally around two pounds of meat, makes it big enough for the hungriest cowboy—or enables two people to share.

    If you’d like to try a cowboy steak—or send one to Dad as a Father’s Day gift—Double R Ranch Co. is offering 10% off all cowboy chop purchases placed by June 11. To qualify for discount, all orders must be placed by 12 p.m. (EDT) on June 11 for shipment no later than June 12, 2013. Enter promo code “DRRDAD13” at checkout.

    SEE ALL THE CUTS OF BEEF IN OUR DELECTABLE BEEF GLOSSARY.

      

    Comments

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