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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 Food Holidays/History/Facts

RECIPE: Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

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Make frozen strawberry cheesecake pops to celebrate National Cheesecake Day. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

 

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day, and we’re baking our Cheesecake Recipe Sour Cream Topping, which happens to be our mom’s recipe. It’s a heavy cream cheese cake with a sour cream topping that isn’t found often these days—probably because most people don’t want to take the extra step.

If you don’t want to bake any type of cheesecake, how about these Strawberry Lime Cheesecake Pops from Philadelphia Cream Cheese? They give you a summery cheesecake experience without turning on the oven.

Not all cheesecakes are sweet, by the way. We love savory cheesecakes—basil, blue cheese, corn and provolone, lobster Gruyère, salmon and tuna. Serve one with cocktails, as an appetizer, or as the cheese course with a salad. They’re memorable!

RECIPE: STRAWBERRY LIME CHEESECAKE POPS

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups strawberries, divided
  • 1-1/2 packages (12 ounces) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cubed, then softened
  • 1 tablespoons lime zest and 2 tablespoons juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
  • Plus:

  • 12 paper or plastic cups, 3 ounces each
  • 12-cup muffin tin
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PLACE a 3-ounce paper or plastic cup in each of 12 muffin pan cups. Cut each of 3 strawberries into 4 slices; place in the cups.

    2. PLACE the remaining strawberries in a food processor. Add the cream cheese, lime zest, juice and sugar; process until smooth. Spoon into medium bowl.

    3. BEAT the whipping cream in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into the cream cheese mixture. Spoon into the prepared cups. Tap the cups on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

    4. INSERT a wooden pop stick or a plastic spoon into the center of each cup. If they won’t stand up straight, freeze for an hour and try again.

    5. FREEZE for 4 hours or until firm. Remove the frozen pops from cups just before serving.

     

    CHEESECAKE TRIVIA

  • Cheesecake (savory) was popular in ancient Greece. Neufchatel, ricotta and other soft, fresh cheesecake-friendly cheeses have existed in Europe for centuries, engendering a variety of savory and sweet cheesecake recipes.
  • Cream cheese was invented by accident in New York, in 1872, and later given the Philadelphia brand name (learn more). In the early 20th century, the company promoted the first cream cheese cake recipe, and an icon was born.
  • Cheesecake is actually a cheese custard pie. There is no cake made with flour, but a bottom crust like an open face pie.
  • Cheesecake is often served with fresh or cooked fruit. Blueberries, mango, raspberries and strawberries are fan favorites.
  • Want more? Take our cheesecake trivia quiz.
  •  

    philadelphia_cream_cheese-box-ps-230

    Cream cheese is an American invention. Cream cheese-based cheesecake owes its popularity to Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which launched in 1872. The brand promoted the recipe on its packages. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

     

    18 DELICIOUS CHEESECAKE RECIPES

    We love cheesecake, and have published quite a few recipes over the years. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake recipe
  • Burnt Caramel Cheesecake recipe
  • Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake recipe
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake (recipe) and the history of cheesecake
  • Cranberry Cheesecake recipe with whiskey buttercream sauce
  • Easy Blueberry Cheesecake Topping recipe
  • Grand Marnier Mascarpone Cheesecake recipe
  • Individual Cheesecakes With Fresh Orange Or Grapefruit (recipe)
  • Individual Eggnog Cheesecakes recipe
  • Irish Coffee Cheesecake recipe
  • Irish Cream Liqueur Cheesecake recipe
  • Mango Cheesecake recipe
  • Michael Chiarello’s Mascarpone Cheesecake recipe
  • Milk Chocolate Cheesecake recipe
  • Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe
  • My Mom’s New York Cheesecake With Sour Cream Topping recipe
  • Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake with gingersnap crust recipe
  • Red Velvet Cheesecake recipe
  •   

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: Pisco Punch For Pisco Day

    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/pisco porton 230

    Pisco Portón, one of the finest pisco
    brands. Photo courtesy Pisco Portón.

     

    Pisco (PEE-skoe), the national spirit of Peru, is celebrated with two holidays each year: Pisco Day on the fourth Sunday of July, and Pisco Sour Day on the first Saturday of February, honoring Peru’s national drink.

    So for Pisco Day, here are two pisco punch recipes that aren’t the Pisco Sour. Punches are good for a crowd, can be made a day in advance, and are easy to pour from a pitcher.

    Make the punch a day in advance, you can chill it thoroughly in the fridge so less ice will be required (it dilutes the drink as it melts). The larger the cubes, the slower they melt.

    RECIPE: EASY PISCO PUNCH

    Ingredients

  • Peels of three lemons, each cut into spirals with a vegetable peeler
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice*
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) pisco
  • 1 quart cold water
  • Garnish: 1 star fruit
  • Ice cubes
  •  
    *Juice the three lemons after you cut the peels

    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the lemon peels and sugar together and let sit for at least 90 minutes. Muddle the lemon and sugar again, then stir in the lemon juice.

    2. ADD the pisco and the water and stir. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
     
    3. CUT the star fruit into ¼ to ½ inch slices right before serving. To serve, pour into a glass pitcher and float the star fruit slices. Add ice cubes as needed.

     

    RECIPE: PINEAPPLE PISCO PUNCH

    Ingredients

  • 1 bottle (750ml) pisco
  • 16 ounces pineapple juice
  • 6 ounces simple syrup (Simple Syrup Recipe)
  • ½ fresh pineapple in cubes
  • 7 ounces fresh strawberries, diced
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint leaves
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX all ingredients in punch bowl or pitcher.

    2. SERVE in rocks glasses; garnish with pineapple and strawberry squares and mint.

     

    pisco-punch-pitcher-piscoporton-230

    Pineapple Pisco Punch. Photo and recipe courtesy Pisco Portón.

     

    A BRIEF HISTORY OF PISCO

    As Spanish emigrés settled in Latin America, they needed to find local substitutes for products that took many months to come from Europe.

    Pisco, a replacement for European-distilled brandy, was first made in the 16th century from grapes grown in the fertile Pisco Valley.

    While most pisco brands imported to the U.S. are Peruvian, you can alo find some that are made in Chile.

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Hot Dog Day

    cubano-dog-llightlife-230

    The Cubano Dog, adapted from the Cuban Sandwich. Photo courtesy Lightlife.

     

    June 23rd is National Hot Dog Day, and we’ve got a new hot dog recipe: the Cubano Dog. It’s a riff on the Cubano (Cuban) Sandwich, a variation of ham and cheese made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, sliced dill pickles and mustard on lightly buttered Cuban (or Portuguese) roll.

    Here, the hot dog and bun replace the pork and bread. Check out the different types of sandwiches.

    The recipe is from Lightlife, a Nibble Top Pick Of The Week that specializes in delicious meatless alternatives. But any dog works: beef, bison, chicken, turkey or veggie.

    RECIPE: CUBANO DOG

    You can use store-bought pickles instead of making your own (it’s quick and easy!).

  • 2 large Portuguese rolls or 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 slices ham
  • 2 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced into 16 half-inch strips
  • Yellow mustard
  • For The Pickles

  • 1 cup very thinly sliced English cucumber, cut into half moons (see photo above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • ¼ -1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, cracked
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pickles. In a heat-proof bowl, toss together cucumbers and dill. Set aside.

    2. HEAT the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the liquid begins to simmer and the sugar dissolves. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers and toss to coat evenly. Cover and place in the refrigerator. The pickles can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.

    3. TOAST the rolls. If using Portuguese rolls, first slice them in half. You can toast them under the broiler at the same time as you broil the hot dogs. and the bread is toasted.

    4. TURN the oven to broil. First cook the hot dogs in a medium saucepan, covered with water. Bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let the hot dogs sit in the water for 2 minutes.

    4. ROLL 1 slice of ham around each dog. Place on a baking sheet (along with the hot dog rolls) and broil for 2 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from from broiler and add 4 slices of cheese to each dog. Broil for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

    5. REMOVE from the oven. Top each dog with 1/4 cup of drained pickles. Serve with mustard.

     

    chili-cheese-hot-dog-230

    You’ve come a long way, baby. The original Coney Island hot dog can be dressed in many types of garnishes. Photo courtesy Body By Bison.

     
    HOT DOG VERSUS SAUSAGE: THE DIFFERENCE

    The hot dog—also called a frankfurter and a wiener—is a type of sausage: ground meat stuffed into a casing*. The American hot dog differs from other sausages based on ingredients, origin and size.

    The original name for the hot dog, frankfurter, comes from a small town called Neu-Isenburg, located on the road from Frankfurt to Darmstadt. Every town in Germany has its own sausage recipe: blend of meat, spicing, etc.

    The frankfurter, a slender sausage like today’s frank, was made from pork. The name “wiener” comes from Vienna, Austria; the German name for Vienna is Wien. The wiener is similar to the frankfurter in recipe, but slightly shorter in size.

    Sausages appear in print as far back as Homer’s Odyssey, about 850 B.C.E. The earliest possible reference to “hot dog” occurs in the late 17th century.

    The written record is incomplete, but a sausage maker from Coberg, Germany named Johann Georghehner may have invented a sausage he called “little dachshunds,” or “little dogs.”

    Recipes for the predecessor of the American hot dog came to U.S. with immigrant butchers of several nationalities. While as uncertain as the Georgehner story, it is believed that in 1871, Charles Feltman, a butcher from Germany, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand selling 3,684 “dachshund sausages” in a milk roll during his first year in business. [Source: HotDog.org]

    Since sauerkraut and mustard were typical accompaniments to German sausages, they found their place atop the hot dog, later to be joined by many other toppings; for starters, bacon, cheese, chili, ketchup, onions, pickles/pickle relish, salsa and slaw.

    While we don’t know the different recipes of the first American hot dogs, it is beef rather than pork that has prevailed—possibly, because Nathan’s, today the world’s biggest hot dog brand, was a kosher recipe.

    In 1916 Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant, started a nickel hot dog stand on Coney Island with a $300 loan from two friends—Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante, both local boys. But it was his wife’s secret spice recipe that is attributed to the success over other vendors.
     
    *Sausage can also be vegetarian; and bulk sausage is available without the casing.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Great Cocktail From Scratch

    TanquerayFrench75-230

    Celebrate Bastille Day with a French 75
    cocktail. Photo courtesy Tanqueray.

     

    Today’s tip will help you make a perfect cocktail, with advice from the experts at Cabo Flats.

    Along with the cocktail best practices, we’re rolling in today’s food holiday. Well, it’s sort of a food holiday, since it concerns one of the great culinary countries of the world.

    It’s Bastille Day in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 that launched the French Revolution. Just as the holiday we call July 4th is formally named Independence day, the official French name for Bastille Day is La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration), and commonly Le Quatorze Juillet (the fourteenth of July).

    Today, make your cocktail something French. First and foremost, we love the Kir and Kir Royale, invented by a mayor of Dijon, France. The Kir Royale recipe, made with sparkling wine, is below.
     
    RECIPE: FRENCH 75 COCKTAIL

    Made from gin, Champagne, lemon juice and sugar, the French 75 is attributed to bartender Harry MacElhone, created in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris (later called Harry’s New York Bar). Some say it was actually the idea of American officers who frequented the bar.

     
    The drink was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun. The gun was also called a Soixante Quinze (the number 75 in French) and a 75 Cocktail. The latter name was bestowed upon alcoholic cocktail.

    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 1.25 ounces gin
  • .5 ounce simple syrup
  • .5 ounce lemon juice
  • Champagne
  • Garnish: lemon peel curl
  • Ice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SHAKE the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.

    2. STRAIN into a rocks glass or Champagne coupe and top with Champagne. Garnish with lemon peel.

     

    TRICKS TO MAKE THE PERFECT COCKTAIL

    According to the expert mixologists at Cabo Flats, whatever you’re mixing up, you need:

    1. Balance. Balancing the amount of alcohol with bitter taste to sweet taste. Some believe that more alcohol is better, but the taste has to be considered. Correctly measure the alcohol, mixer, and sweetener.

    2. Fresh Juice. Whether its fresh squeezed orange juice, pink grapefruit juice, lemon juice, or lime juice – it is extremely important to use fresh squeezed juice and nothing packaged or pasteurized.

    3. Sweetener. Agave needs to be used with tequila, simple syrup needs to be used for vodka or gin. For brown spirits, according to Cabo Flats, you should use pure cane sugar.

    4. Quality of Alcohol. Some people think you can get away with cheap (low quality) spirits; but they will ruin your drink every time.

    5. Final Touch. The last component of a perfect cocktail is the garnish: foam, fruit, oil, rim, savory garnish (celery, olives, shrimp, etc.). This will have a huge effect on the taste and look of the cocktail.

     

    kir-royale-drinkandcocktail.blogspot-230

    Invented in Dijon, France, Kir and its variations have a base of crème de cassis, blackcurrant liqueur. Photo courtesy Chandon USA.

     

    RECIPE: KIR ROYALE

    There are many variations of the original Kir cocktail. There is also a “cousin” made with Chambord, raspberry liqueur.

    If you have Chambord but not crème de cassis you can substitute it. This creates a Kir Impériale.

    Ingredients For 4 Cocktails

  • 1 bottle crème de cassis
  • 1 bottle Champagne* or other sparkling wine, chilled
  • Optional garnish: blackberries or raspberries on a pick
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE 4 Champagne flutes in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and add 1 tablespoon of the liqueur to each flute.

    2. FILL each flute to the top with Champagne and serve immediately. If you want a more fruity flavor, use more liqueur.
     
    *CONSIDER OTHER SPARKLERS. Sparkling wines from other regions are more affordable than Champagne and make more sense in this recipe, given that the strong currant flavors will cover the delicate toastiness of Champagne. Consider Asti and Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, Crémant from France (eight different regions produce it), Espumate from Portugal and Sekt from Germany. Also consider sparklers from Australia, Austria, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.S. and other countries We often use the inexpensive but delightful [yellow tail] from Australia, and especially the rosé [yellow tail] (yes, that’s how the winery spells it!).

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make The Best French Fries

    fries-calphalon-fryer-WS-230

    If you love to make French fries, you need a fry basket. Photo courtesy Calphalon.

     

    Today is National French Fry Day, the perfect day to explore how to make the best French fries.

    We contacted our friends at the Idaho Potato Commission, a website with tons of tips and recipes.

    They start by advising you to buy Idaho potatoes, which are branded russet potatoes. In actuality, depending on where potatoes are grown, they will have more or less moisture. Idaho russets have less moisture, which is desirable for crisper fries.

    Here’s how chefs do it—a twice-fried method:

    HOW TO FRY PERFECT FRENCH FRIES

    1. WASH and scrub the potato skins well, and allow to air-dry in a single layer on a sheet pan.

    2. USE a French fry cutter to cut the potatoes into the desired size and shape, leaving the skins on. RINSE thoroughly so the excess starches and sugars are removed.

     
    At this point, you can leave the sliced potatoes covered with water in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance of cooking.

    3. SPIN the potatoes dry with a salad spinner or drain on a drip screen (i.e., cooling rack) before frying.

    4. BLANCH or partially cook the fries to keep the potatoes from oxidizing/darkening, in a 250°F fryer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the fryer and drain. Allow the fries to cool to room temperature before the final fry. Fries should be bendable. Then, chill in the fridge before the final fry.

    5. FINISH the fries in the fryer at 350°F for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and fully cooked. Remove and drain well. TIP: Fill the fry basket only half full. Better oil circulation results in crisper fries.

    6. After draining on a screen, season with salt. Do not season over the hot oil! Consider seasoning with dried herbs as well—rosemary or thyme, for example—or substituting garlic salt.

     

    THE HISTORY OF FRENCH FRIES

    Potatoes originated in Peru and spread to other parts of Latin America. Fried potatoes—cooking potatoes in fat over a fire—is a practice that’s thousands of years old.

    Potatoes were “discovered” and brought back to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors—where they were uses as hog feed! The French were convinced that potatoes caused leprosy, and French Parliament banned the cultivation of potatoes in 1748.

    A French army medical officer, Antoine-Augustine Parmentier, was forced to eat potatoes as a prisoner of war, and discovered their culinary potential. Through his efforts, in 1772, the Paris Faculty of Medicine finally proclaimed that potatoes were edible for humans—though it took a famine in 1785 for the French to start eating them in earnest.

    In 1802, Thomas Jefferson’s White House chef, Honoré Julien, a Frenchman, prepared “potatoes served in the French manner” for a state dinner. The potatoes were “deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings.” French fries had arrived! By the early 20th century, the term “French fried,” meaning “deep fried,” was being used for other foods as well (onion rings and zucchini sticks, anyone?).

     

    Julienne_Fries_alexia-230ps

    Season your fries with rosemary, thyme or other favorite herb. Photo courtesy Alexia.

     
    DIFFERENT TYPES OF FRENCH FRIES

    Our French Fries Glossary has 27 different types of French fries.

    You can make number 28, by creating your own signature French fry recipe. Here’s how.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Blueberry Sorbet

    July is National Ice Cream Month as well as National Blueberry Month. Why not combine both concepts and make blueberry ice cream?

    Or, lower in calories and lactose free, blueberry sorbet?

    You don’t need an ice cream maker to prepare this two-ingredient blueberry sorbet; just blueberries and apple juice concentrate.

    The recipe, from U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, couldn’t be easier to make. While you can do it with fresh blueberries in season, it’s just as good with frozen blueberries, which are picked at their peak and flash-frozen.

    The icy and refreshing treat can be enjoyed plain or served with cake, cookies, pies or fruit salad; or turned into a sorbet cocktail or mocktail.

    RECIPE: BLUEBERRY SORBET

    Ingredients For 4 Cups/6 Servings

  • 4 cups fresh or thawed, frozen blueberries
  • 1 can (6 ounces) frozen apple juice concentrate
  • Optional garnish: fresh blueberries
  • Optional garnish: crème fraîche
  •  

    Blueberry-Sorbet-blueberrycouncilorg-230

    Two-ingredient blueberry sorbet. Photo courtesy Blueberry Council.

     

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the blueberries and apple juice concentrate in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Whirl until liquefied and our into a 11 X 7-inch baking pan. Cover and freeze until firm around the edges, about 2 hours.

    2. BREAK the frozen mixture into pieces with a heavy spoon. Place the pieces into the food processor or blender and whirl until smooth but not completely melted.

    3. SPOON into a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan; cover and freeze until firm. Serve within three days.

    Find more recipes at BlueberryCouncil.org.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Day-Old Croissants

    Croissant_French_Toast_with_Cherries_and_Chocolate-calcherry-230

    Turn yesterday’s croissants into today’s ice
    cream sundae. Toast them first. Yummy!
    Photo courtesy California Cherry Board.

     

    We just came back from the bakery with a bag of warm, fragrant croissants for breakfast. We know we’ll have leftovers tomorrow—even when we use some of them tonight to make Croissant Ice Cream Sundaes. Here are our favorite uses for yesterday’s croissants:

    10 USES FOR DAY-OLD CROISSANTS

    Sure, you can nuke them for 5 seconds in the microwave to refresh them, or toast them. Or, you could turn the croissants into something else entirely:

  • Almond croissants (halve lengthwise, fill with frangipane or almond paste and warm)
  • Breakfast sandwich, toasted with scrambled eggs
  • Bread pudding (too many recipes to count!)
  • Custard dessert (recipe)
  • French toast, pan-fried, baked or ice cream sundae (see photo)
  • Garlic bread (halve lengthwise, spread with garlic paste or garlic butter and warm)
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Lunch: chicken salad, ham and cheese or whatever on a toasted or warmed croissant (slice before warming)
  • Soup thickener, an age-old trick (add bread to a food processor, top with some soup, blend and stir the blend into the pot of soup)
  • Stuffing
  •  
    Can’t Decide? Freeze The Croissants.

    Place the croissants on a baking sheet (not touching) and put in the freezer until just frozen. Then wrap each croissant individually in aluminum foil, place in a freezer bag (since they’re pre-frozen, they won’t crush) and return to the freezer.

    Heat and eat: Remove the foil and place the croissants on a baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 325°F oven. Or, reuse the foil to line the tray of a toaster oven. You can also microwave them.
     
    RECIPE: CROISSANT ICE CREAM SUNDAE

    Here’s something out of the ordinary for National Ice Cream Month, incorporating cherry season.

    Croissant French Toast with Fresh Bing Cherry Sauce was originally developed by the California Cherry Board as a brunch item. Frankly, with the chocolate sauce and whipped cream, it is just too much for a brunch main course.

    So we added ice cream and turned it into a dessert—a riff on profiteroles, the ice cream-stuffed cream puff pastry, drizzled with chocolate sauce.

     

    RECIPE: CROISSANT ICE CREAM SUNDAE WITH
    FUDGE SAUCE & FRESH CHERRY SAUCE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 cups pitted fresh cherries*
  • Four croissants
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pint ice cream (cherry, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla)
  • 2 cups fresh whipped cream (recipe)
  • ½ cup chocolate sauce
  •  
    *While the original recipe used bing cherries, buy whatever is the freshest and sweetest-tasting. Check out these cherry facts.

     

    dark_cherries-pedastel-230

    Bing cherries. Photo courtesy Washington State Fruit Commission.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT the orange marmalade in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cherries and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.

    2. SLICE the croissants in half lengthwise, as if to make a sandwich.

    3. WHISK the eggs, milk and cream in a flat-bottomed baking dish. Lay the croissant halves in the egg mixture, flipping several times to absorb the liquid.

    4. ADD the butter to a griddle and heat it on medium flame. When the fat is hot, cook the croissant slices until golden brown on each side.

    5. PLACE bottom croissant slices on serving plates. Top with the ice cream and the cherry mixture.

    6. ADD the croissant tops, a dollop of whipped cream a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Soda, Sangria Style

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    A “sangria soda” of Sprite and peaches. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    We were inspired by this photo from fine produce purveyor Melissa’s to make “sangria soda.” Instead of being wine-based, toss the fruit (as many varieties as you like) into a soft drink.

    We made ours with Diet Sprite and juicy Georgia peaches. Adding fresh fruit works best with ginger ale, lemon-lime and regular or flavored club sodas, which have more delicate flavors than fruit-flavored sodas, cola and root beer. The idea is to let a bit of fruit flavor infuse into the drink, as well as to have some fresh fruit with your pop.

    NAMES FOR SODA IN THE U.S.

    English scientist Joseph Priestley discovered the process of infusing water with carbonation in 1767. He served it to his friends as a refreshing drink.

    In 1783 J. J. Schweppe of Geneva developed a process to manufacture carbonated mineral water, based on the Priestley’s process discovered by Priestley. He founded the Schweppes Company, and carbonated water became available commercially

     

    It was a short step to flavoring the carbonated water, a drink enjoyed just about everywhere in the world.

    Names for soft drinks in the United States vary regionally. “Soda” and “pop” are the most common terms, although others are used. According to Wikipedia, “coke,” a genericized name for Coca-Cola, is used in the South to refer to soft drinks in general. In New England, it’s “tonic.”

    The word “soda” derives from the word sodium, a common mineral in natural springs. It has long referred to a household chemical: sodium carbonate, washing soda or soda ash.

    According to writer Andrew Schloss, “soda” was first used to describe carbonation in 1802. Here are dates that Schloss gives for the debut of the different terms:
     
    Different Names For Soda
    1798 Soda water
    1809 Ginger pop
    1812 Pop
    1863 Soda pop
    1880 Soft drink
    1909 Coke
    1920 Cola
    1939 Bubble tonic
    1951 Fizz water, fizzy water or fizz-wa

    Here’s more about which parts of the U.S. use which terms for their soft drinks.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Cookie Crumble Sundae

    ice-cream-crumbled-cookie-jamesbeardFB-230ps

    Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with a
    cookie crumble sundae. Photo courtesy
    James Beard Foundation.

     

    July is National Ice Cream Month, an enticement to explore new ways to enjoy ice cream sundaes.

    There are ice cream sundaes with fudge or butterscotch sauce; sundaes atop brownies, blondies and pound cake; and the less common but fun fried ice cream sundaes.

    And there’s the ice cream cookie crumble, which crumbles the cookies as a base.

    It’s an opportunity to combine your favorite cookies and ice cream, with a drizzle of anything from dulce de leche to fruit coulis. We’ve put together a list of options below.

    The recipe in the photo is from Chef Todd Shoberg of Molina in Mill Valley, California. It was created for a fall dinner at the James Beard Foundation dinner. Chef Todd made the ice cream with Fernet—a bitter Italian herbal liqueur that is drunk as an after-dinner digestif (and, according to Wikipedia, is popular in the San Francisco Bay Area where Molina is located).

    His cookie crumble has a base of homemade gingerbread cookie crumbs topped and a syrup made by reducing Coca-Cola. The syrup and ice cream moisten the cookies in a most delightful way.

     
    HOW WILL YOUR COOKIE CRUMBLE?

    Think beyond the obvious (chocolate or vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce over crumbled Oreos), and consider that you can:

  • Go childhood: Our favorite sundae was pistachio ice cream with hot fudge and mini almond biscotti. What was yours?
  • Go nouvelle: Combine modern ice cream flavors, like blood orange sorbet and deep chocolate cookies with a blackberry coulis; green tea ice cream with Chinese almond cookies and fresh raspberry sauce; espresso gelato with crumbled orange zest shortbread and dulce de leche sauce.
  • Go old-fashioned: Our Nana served vanilla ice cream with molasses clove cookies and butterscotch sauce.
  • Go seasonal: Pick flavors that represent the season—summer stone fruits, fall spices, Christmas peppermint, winter citrus, spring berries and herbs.
  • Go tropical: How about mango or passionfruit sorbet with coconut macadamia cookies?
  •  

    MIX & MATCH YOUR COOKIE CRUMBLE SUNDAE

    Pick Your Frozen Dessert

    Pick your flavor of:

  • Gelato
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Cream
  • Sorbet
  •  
    Pick A Complementary Cookie

    Some options:

  • Butter cookies/shortbread
  • Chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies
  • Fruit cookies: Fig Newtons, linzer, oatmeal raisin, thumbprints
  • Nut cookies: almond, amaretti, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut, etc.
  • Spice cookies: clove, gingerbread/gingersnaps, molasses
  • More: anything from biscotti to meringues
  •  

    brownie-sundae-230

    Vanilla ice cream, brownie crumbs and Baileys Irish Cream.

     

    Pick A Sauce

    For complexity, you can add a tablespoon of alcohol to any topping. Here are the different types of dessert sauces.

  • Buttery: butterscotch, caramel, dulce de leche, hard sauce, rum sauce/rum raisin sauce
  • Chocolate: fudge sauce or syrup
  • Cream: hand-whipped to flowing (not stiff peaks), flavored as you wish
  • Custard: crème anglaise, custard sauce, zabaglione
  • Fruit Coulis or Purée: coulis is an extra step to strain a fruit puree and remove the seeds
  • Liqueur: coffee, chocolate (like Godiva), cream (like Baileys), fruit liqueur.
  • Syrup: flavored syrups for coffee can be used here
  •  
    You can also let guests make their own sundaes, by setting up an ice cream buffet with cookies and toppings. Either way, a good time will be had by all.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Oven Fried Chicken With Corn Flakes

    Photo courtesy Cereal Lovers Cookbook.

     

    July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day. Our favorite fried chicken recipe is breaded with Corn Flakes. We usually make this skillet fried chicken recipe, but here’s a “bake fry” recipe.

    Of course, it’s breaded with Corn Flakes crumbs. Not only is the texture superior to flour, but the corn flakes add a delightful flavor note. (Panko, Japanese bread crumbs, provide the texture but not the flavor.)

    You can make this recipe with or without the chicken skin. We remove it to cut back on cholesterol.

  • 7 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, crushed to 1-3/4 cups
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, rinsed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Preparation

    1. CRUSH. Crush corn flakes in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Place crushed cereal in a shallow dish or pan. Set aside.

    2. MIX. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg and milk slightly. Add flour, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with cereal. Place in single layer, in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray or foil lined. Drizzle with margarine.

    3. Bake at 350° F about 1 hour or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. For food safety, internal temperature of the chicken should reach at least 165ºF. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot.

     

    CORN FLAKES HISTORY

    Corn flakes were developed by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a surgeon and vegetarian who built a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, and his brother Will Keith (W.K.) Kellogg, the sanitarium’s bookkeeper. Many of the patients were wealthy individuals with digestive problems.

    Seeking to develop a more digestible form of bread for the patients, the brothers Kellogg had just placed a sample of boiled wheatberries on a baking sheet when Dr. Kellogg was summoned to the operating room for an emergency, and W.K. was also called away to supervise arrangements for the funeral of another patient.

    When they returned to their experiment, they ran the cooked wheatberries through rollers and, to their surprise, found that each wheat berry formed a large, thin flake. The brothers had accidentally discovered the principle of tempering grains, and called the flaked wheat cereal Granose.

    They applied the same technique to create Corn Flakes, made from white corn grits; and rice flakes.

     

    corn-flakes-box-230

    For breakfast or breading! Photo courtesy Kellogg.

     

    The first corn flakes appeared in 1898 and were called Sanitas Corn Flakes (presumably after the sanitarium, a questionable inspiration for a breakfast food). They were manufactured by Dr. Kellogg’s Sanitas Food Company.

    In 1906, W.K. Kellogg formed his own company for nationwide marketing of Corn Flakes (Dr. Kellogg preferred healthcare to business). C.W. Post, a former patient at the sanitarium, came out with his own corn flakes at about the same time. At first he called them Elijah’s Manna, and later changed the name to Post Toasties.

    The Kellogg’s Corn Flakes rooster actually has a name: Cornelius Rooster. The artwork was created in 1957 by Rena Ames Harding at the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency. It has been pictured on the front of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box ever since.

      

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