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TIP OF THE DAY: Panko Breadcrumbs

Panko Crusted Salmon with Ponzu. The recipe
couldn’t be easier. Photo courtesy Kikkoman.


Ever since we discovered them at Japanese restaurants, our breadcrumb of choice has been panko, the crispy bread crumb used in tempura, tonkatsu and crunchy sushi rolls, among other recipes. They’re crunchier and more flavorful than conventional bread crumbs.

What Is Panko

Panko is actually bread “flakes” rather than breadcrumbs. The difference is that conventional bread crumbs are ground into tiny bits, while panko are small flakes.

Panko are made from specially baked, oblong, crustless loaves. The larger and lighter flakes produced coat the food without “packing” like regular bread crumbs. They allow foods to stay crispier longer.

Panko can be used with baked or fried foods. Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs are unseasoned, making them perfect for sweet recipes, too.


  • Try them with crab cakes, fried fish, chicken and chicken nuggets; and in meat loaf and meatballs.
  • They’re perfect for fried zucchini, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and stuffed mushrooms.
  • Sprinkle them on casseroles before baking, then dot with a little butter for a light, tasty topping.
  • Garnish pasta and noodle dishes, including lasagne and mac and cheese.
  • Toss a few onto cottage cheese and yogurt.
  • Add a crisp, crunchy topping to everything from French toast, coffee cake and fruit fritters, to crisps and crumbles and ice cream.

    Check out the recipes on the Kikkoman website. After you see and taste the difference, you may never go back to ordinary bread crumbs.

    You can find panko in the Asian products section of many supermarkets; at all Asian food markets; and online. Kikkoman panko breadcrumbs are certified kosher by OU.
    Panko “Crunch It Up” Recipe Contest

    Enter your original recipe by March 26th, 2012. It can be an appetizer, side dish, main dish or dessert, as long as it’s creative, delicious and original.

    The winner in each category will receive a $1,000 prize and the winning recipes will be added to Kikkoman’s recipe database.

    Here are the contest guidelines for the recipe contest.

    Go forth and crunch!


    Look for panko in the Asian products section of your market. Photo courtesy Kikkoman.




    POST-VALENTINE’S DAY CONTEST: Second Chance For Happiness

    You could take the cake: Just enter the
    contest. Photo courtesy Pepperidge


    Whether or not you had a happy Valentine’s Day, here’s a second chance for happiness:

    Pepperidge Farm is celebrating its new newest 3-Layer Cake, Red Velvet.

    One NIBBLE reader will receive a ”Second Celebration Kit” consisting of:

  • A cake serving set
  • A square cake platter
  • Coupons for three of Pepperidge Farm’s new Red Velvet 3-Layer Cakes
    Enter here by 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, February 17th. The winner will be contacted at the end of the day.


    Take a look at our delicious Cake Glossary.




    CONTEST: Enter Your Best Chocolate Dessert Recipe

    Elizabeth Faulkner updates the chocolate sundae with chocolate gelato, chocolate cake, chocolate sauce and marshmallow creme. Photo by Phillip Angert | Scharffen Berger.


    We love chocolate. Who doesn’t? But after many years of tasting both the very finest and the most mediocre chocolates, we have to admit we don’t find chocolate quite as exciting as we used to.

    That’s why we think Scharffen Berger’s Elevate a Classic Desert Contest is such a great idea. Scharffen Berger is accepting recipe submissions that take classic chocolate desserts to the next level with new and interesting flavors.

    A panel of chocolate dessert experts including John Scharffenberger, Elizabeth Faulkner and Alice Medrich will judge the entries.

    Why should you enter your best chocolate recipe?

  • The Grand Prize winner will receive $10,000 and a whole host of Scharffen Berger goodies.
  • The Second Prize and Third Prize winners will receive $7,000 and $3,000, respectively.
  • All three winning recipes will be featured on the Scharffen Berger website.
    Here are the contest rules in full.


    To give you some inspiration, Johnny Iuzzini, Executive Pastry Chef at Jean Georges restaurant in New York City, and Elizabeth Faulkner, owner and Executive Chef of Orson Restaurant and Citizen Cake in San Francisco, created their own special versions of classic chocolate desserts. We got to taste both at the contest launch party a few days ago, and we can report that we had a table full of very clean dishes.

    Johnny whipped up Chocolate Pudding with Passion Fruit Gelée, Whipped Chocolate Creme Fraîche and Cacao Nibs, while Elizabeth created a Chocolate Gelato Sundae with Chocolate Cake Crumbles and Marshmallow Cream.

    Two tidbits we picked up that might be of use when you’re creating your recipe:

  • Both chefs prefer to use Madagascar vanilla beans, as opposed to Tahitian or other origins. Johnny finds Tahitian beans overpowering and too pungent. See the different types of vanilla beans.
  • Both chefs also like Scharffen Berger’s cocoa powder because it is un-dutched. The dutching process removes some of the essential flavors of chocolate. Learn more about dutched versus non-dutched cocoa powder.
    Now get baking!

    Find our favorite chocolate recipes:

  • Cakes
  • Cookies & Brownies
  • Ice Cream
  • Other Desserts
  • Read our review of Scharffen Berger Chocolate.



    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Win A Heinz 57 Picnic Basket

    We really need your opinion on the design of our new e-commerce website.

    Our friends at Heinz have donated two picnic baskets to entice you to complete the two-minute survey: a classic picnic basket filled with bottles of tangy Heinz 57 Sauce with a special 100th anniversary label, plus:

  • A checkered tablecloth to set the mood
  • Festive plates, flatware and glasses to brighten up the table
  • A citronella candle to keep bugs away
  • An American flag to celebrate the great American tradition of outdoor grilling
    The winner will be drawn in one week, on Friday, August 19th at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Click over now to enter.


    WIN ME! Trade your opinion for a chance
    to win this picnic set.


    Even if you don’t care about winning prizes, please take the two-minute survey.
    We really value your feedback!

    And everybody wins with this $1.00 coupon for Heinz 57 sauce.

    Use Heinz 57 Sauce on steak and in dips, pasta sauce, meatloaf and hundreds of recipes. Click on the coupon link and then on the recipe tab to find hundreds of recipes.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Host A Pie Baking Contest

    It’s [pie] party time! Photo by Jaclyn
    Nussbaum | THE NIBBLE.


    Looking for a summer entertaining idea? How about a pie baking contest?

    Guests who can bake can show off their chops; non-baking guests will be thrilled to taste a pie buffet.

    You can go freestyle, or take advantage of this new boxed kit: Pie Contest in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Pie Contest. It contains everything you need, except the pies.

    Created by Gina Hyams, the box includes a handbook to guide you through hosting your very own contest (including recipes and tips from champion bakers).

    After you get the hang of it, you can adapt the idea to a cake contest, cookie contest, brownie contest, lasagne contest—anything.

    Also among the box contents are:


  • 12 pie toppers to identify the pies (you can have as many or as few pies as you like, although it’s tough to taste more than 12!)
  • 60 scorecards (if you’re having that many people, the contestants should make more than one pie)
  • 5 judges’ ribbons (guests vote separately for the People’s Choice Award)
  • 4 prize ribbons (1st, 2nd, 3rd and People’s Choice)
    All you have to do is invite the contestants and other guests, set up a table for the pies and serveware and provide coffee, tea, milk and/or other beverages. Optional toppings, like whipped cream or ice cream, are sure to be welcome.

    NIBBLE PARTY TIP: If all the guests don’t know each other, make badges (or let your guests write them out on blanks) that say: My Name Is [First Name] And My Favorite Pie Is [They Write It In]. It’s a great ice breaker.

    You can let the contestants bake whatever pie they please, or make it a themed pie contest: single-flavor pie (e.g. apple or peach), chocolate pie, liquor-accented pie, local ingredients pie, etc.

    Although perhaps for the first pie contest, an open call is best. Then, you can repeat the success with single themes.

    You can use any type of food in a “competition.” With guests bringing the pies (or other wares), it’s a cost-effective way to entertain. The Pie Contest In A Box is $10.19 at

    Afterwards, send a press release to the food editor of your local paper, along with a photo of the winning pie and the recipe, should the winner care to share it (how to write a press release).

    You’re on your way to becoming a local food celebrity!

    You can also turn the event into a mini fundraiser, asking guests for a donation to a good cause.


  • Comments

    CONTEST: Win A Gourmet Food Prize In The Gourmet Giveaway

    Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tortilla soup,
    and enter the Gourmet Giveaway. Photo
    courtesy Wolfgang Puck.


    Fans of the Gourmet Giveaway know that our gourmet food giveaway went on hiatus in February, as we were building its new home on

    The Gourmet Giveaway is back, with three gift baskets from Chef Wolfgang Puck.

    All you need to do is enter your email address. To enter, go to, scroll down, and click the box right underneath the shopping cart.

    The gift basket is filled with Chef Puck’s Signature Tortilla Soup—which we’re going to enjoy again on Cinco de Mayo—plus other gift items from Chef Puck.

    The Wolfgang Puck soup line is delicious, certified organic and has several gluten-free choices. You know from the first taste that you’re dealing with top-quality ingredients.

    You can purchase the Wolfgang Puck soup line at fine retailers nationwide and online.


    We liked the three varieties we tried—Classic Minestrone, Signature Tortilla and Tomato Basil Bisque—so much that we can’t wait to try the rest of the 17 varieties of soups, including Creamy Butternut Squash, French Onion, Old Fashioned Potato, Roasted Red Pepper with Tomato, Thick Hearty Vegetable and Vegetable Barley.

    The gluten-free soup varieties include Black Bean, Hearty Lentil Vegetable, Free Range Chicken With White And Wild Rice, Signature Tortilla and Tomato Basil Bisque. See the full list.



    CONTEST: Decorate Cupcakes With Jelly Beans

    Our vote goes to these bacon-and-eggs
    jelly bean cupcakes by Eileen E. Photo
    courtesy Jelly Belly.


    Are you ready for The $10,000 Jelly Belly Cupcake Challenge?

    The challenge is to create the “world’s most creative cupcake,” using Jelly Belly jelly beans as the decoration.

    The winner will receive a check for $10,000, so it’s worth a bit of thought. There are also “instant win” prizes, just for uploading a photo of your cupcake.

    The top five cupcakes will be selected by What’s New, Cupcake? authors Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Fans will then vote to determine the overall $10,000 grand prize winner.

    Baking cupcakes from scratch is not a requirement. This is a cupcake decorating contest, so cake mixes or store-bought cupcakes are fine.

    The online contest runs through July 31, 2011. For additional information, visit

    Find our favorite cupcakes and recipes in our Gourmet Cakes Section.


    CONTEST: Good Earth Tea Tag Quotes

    If you read the fortunes in fortune cookies and say, “I can do better than this!”—your opportunity is here.

    But instead of hiding in cookie fortunes, your thoughts can be immortalized on tea bag tags.

    Good Earth Tea’s tea tags have long featured inspirational quotes. The company has just launched the “TAG, YOU’RE IT!” Tea Tag Contest to allow tea drinkers the chance to share their own words of wisdom.

    From now through February 21st, you can submit an original quote (60 characters or less). Twenty-five winners will see their quotes—along with their name, blog or Twitter handle—printed on Good Earth Tea Tags later this year. (Someone tell Nancy Reagan to submit her comment, “A woman is like a tea bag. You can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”)

    Your own words of wisdom on Good Earth’s
    tea bag tags could inspire others.
    Photo courtesy

    Winners will also receive copies of their tea tags and two boxes of Good Earth Tea. Entrants can submit as many original quotes as they wish. Email your entry to, post at or tweeting to @GoodEarthTea.

    For more information and complete rules, visit You can also request a $1.00 coupon.



    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Byron Bay Cookies

    Bite-size cookies in a keepsake tin.
    Photo courtesy Byron Bay.

    This week’s sweet prize from Byron Bay Cookie Company comes in a festive keepsake tin, perfect for holiday entertaining. The tin is filled with Shortbread, Triple Chocolate Fudge and White Chocolate Chunk & Macadamia Nut cookies.

    Three lucky winners will enjoy a box.

    Made in Australia, Byron Bay’s bite-sized treats are all-natural. The company uses locally sourced ingredients and employs environmental sensitive practices wherever possible.

    To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Gourmet Cookie Section and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing.


    CONTEST: Puff Pastry Recipes

    As food writers, we spend most of the day tasting and reviewing products. We do a lot of cooking and baking and explore new ways to use ingredients.

    Recently, we joined the Pepperidge Farm Recipe Challenge that invites bloggers to test their creativity with puff pastry. The challenge is not only to create an original recipe using Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, but a dish evocative of our home state, New York (cheesecake? chopped liver? oysters?).

    While we’re working on our hopefully-winning recipe for the challenge, you can check out the many delicious savory and sweet puff pastry recipes from Pepperidge Farm.

    • Which recipes would you like to make? Let us know your favorites.
    • Keep an eye out for THE NIBBLE’s puff pastry recipe, which we’ll post soon.

    Creamed Bananas in Puff Pastry Shells is a
    Recipe Challenge winner. Here’s the recipe.
    Find more recipes at Photo courtesy Pepperidge Farm.


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