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Archive for Gourmet News

FOOD FUN: Fried Chicken Sandwiches & New Combinations

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Chicken & Waffle Minis

Top: Trending now, the “gourmet” fried chicken sandwich. This one is from Shake Shack. Bottom: Hold the bun and do something special, like the fried chicken with micro corn muffins and honey butter (for the chicken, not the biscuits) at Honey Butter Fried Chicken | Chicago.

 

According to Flavor & The Menu, a trends magazine for chefs, a new wave of fried chicken is popping up from coast to coast.

Much of it is in the form of a gourmet fried chicken sandwich: brined, deftly seasoned, often with antibiotic-free chickens sourced from family farms. It’s a far cry from Chick-Fil-A.

“Gourmet” (our word) doesn’t refer to an elegant ambiance or fancy plating. Rather, it’s an approach to fried chicken that uses top ingredients, including interesting buns and condiments.

THE NEW TAKE ON FRIED CHICKEN

  • In Manhattan, food trendsetter David Chang has opened Fuku, with a focus on fried chicken sandwiches. For his Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, chicken thighs are marinated in habanero purée, coated in buttermilk, dredged in a spice blend, fried, then placed inside a steamed potato roll with pickles and Fuku butter (butter spiked with fermented chickpeas).
  • For a limited time, Shake Shack, with multiple locations in New York and elsewhere, is offering Chick’n Shack, a crispy hormone-free, antibiotic-free, cage-free chicken breast sandwich with lettuce, pickles and buttermilk mayonnaise on a potato roll (top photo).
  • Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago double-batters buttermilk fried chicken and tops the crispy skin with smoked paprika salt. The chicken is served with honey butter to slather on the chicken, as well as teeny corn muffin bits (second photo).
  • At The Crack Shack in San Diego, fried chicken is served with global-accented sauces such as harissa chimichurri and kimchi barbecue. The sandwich is served on a house-baked English muffin.
  • At Birds & Bubbles on New York’s Lower East Side, the Chicken & Egg Biscuit is marinated in buttermilk and served with deviled egg sauce and a dill pickle. You can also have Birdies In A Blanket, a re-imagined approach to chicken and waffles. The chicken is coated in waffle batter before frying. Out of the fryer, it’s then sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. (What, no maple syrup?)
  • At Arlen’s Chicken in Evanston, Illinois, a bucket of small pieces of fried chicken comes with either potato tots or crispy biscuits and a choice of three sauces: honey butter, Sriracha honey or Oh So Hot (which includes Scotch bonnets, ghost peppers and red finger chiles). The sandwich version starts with a toasted housemade biscuit, topped with cheddar cheese, a fried chicken thigh, sauce, bread-and-butter pickles, lettuce and tomato. With deference to fried chicken lovers who still want something good-for-you, you can have your chicken and sauce served atop a green salad.
  •  
    Read the entire story at GetFlavor.com.

    Then, give some thought to your own perfect fried chicken sandwich or other “re-imagining.”

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Plan Something Special For St. Patrick’s Day (45+ Recipes!)

    It’s March first, and that means one thing in our home: Do we want to have a St. Patrick’s Day party?

    If so, should it be dinner for eight of classic Irish dishes or very modern ones (corned beef and cabbage egg rolls and tacos, Guinnesss Stout floats); an after-work cocktail hour with green cocktails; an Irish beer or Irish whiskey tasting with Irish cheeses; or Irish-themed desserts for our sweet-toothed friends, served with coffee, Irish tea and Irish Coffee?

    Note that “Irish-themed” comprises any authentic Irish food, or anything colored green, from Appletinis and Broccoli Salad to Chocolate Mint ice cream, to a anything containing Irish spirits: Guinness and other Irish beers, Irish cream liqueur and Irish whiskey.

    While we mull it over, we sorted through these recipes. As you peruse them, think of what you might like to do.

    IRISH-THEMED BREAKFAST

  • Avocado & Sour Cream On Toast
  • Corned Beef Hash (With Poached Eggs)
  • Irish Breakfast Tea
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Irish Soda Muffins
  •  
    IRISH-THEMED COCKTAILS

  • Absinthe, The “Green Beast”
  • Appletini
  • Champagne & Oysters
  • Emerald Isle With Pressed Green Juice
  • Irish Coffee Shots
  • Peppermint Paddy Martini
  • Pot O’ Goldtini
  • The Shamrocker (Bright Green)
  • The White Irishman (A White Russian Variation)
  •  
    IRISH-THEMED LUNCH & DINNER RECIPES

  • Avocado Potato Salad
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Corned Beef & Cabbage Egg Rolls
  • Corned Beef & Cabbage Potato Salad
  • Green Deviled Eggs
  • Green Lasagna Or Any Pasta With Pesto
  • Guinness Fish & Chips
  • Guinness-Marinated Corned Beef & Cabbage
  • Lamb Kabobs With Guinness Marinade
  • Leafy Greens
  • Potato-Rosemary Rolls
  • Slow Cooker Beef Stew
  • Warm Spinach Mascarpone Dip
  •  
    IRISH-THEMED DESSERTS

  • Green Cheese With Green Fruits (Granny Smith Apples, Grapes, Green Pears, Kiwi)
  • Grasshopper Pie
  • Green Macarons
  • Green Mint Cheesecake Bars
  • Green Ombre Layer Cake
  • Green Velvet Cupcakes
  • Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Guinness Chocolate Mousse
  • Irish Cheese Plate
  • Irish Cream Liqueur Cheesecake
  • Irish Cream Swirl Brownies
  • Upside-Down Irish Whiskey Cake
  • Shamrock Cupcakes With Green Jelly Beans
  •  
    IRISH-THEMED SNACKS

  • Apple Leprechaun For Kids
  • Cheddar & Bacon Guacamole
  • Green Marshmallows
  • Green Mint Milkshake
  • Leprechaun Gingerbread Men
  • Matcha Shortbread Cookies
  • Microwave Kale Chips
  • Shamrock Cookies
  •  

    Green Deviled Eggs

    Irish Soda Bread

    Irish Cheddar

    Guinness Float

    Corned Beef & Cabbage

    Green Ombre Cake

    See captions and photo credits at the left, below.

    _______________________________
    PHOTO CAPTIONS
  • Top: Green Deviled Eggs from the California Avocado Commission.
  • Second: Irish Soda Bread Recipe from The Baker Chick.
  • Third: Irish Cheddar from Murray’s Cheese.
  • Fourth: Guinness Float from R Lounge | Times Square.
  • Fifth: Guinness-Marinated Corned Beef & Cabbage from Justin O’Connor | Guinness Storehouse | Dublin.
  • Bottom: Green Ombre Layer Cake from McCormick.
  •   

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    FOOD FUN: Three Crusts In One

    3 in 1 Pie Crust

    Why not make your pie or cheesecake with three crusts, with this idea from Reynolds Kitchns?

     

    Can’t decide which type of crust you want on your pie or cheesecake?

    Use two or three different crusts!

    This idea is from Reynolds Kitchens, which used gingersnap, chocolate wafer and vanilla wafer crumbs in one crust: something for everyone.

    Whenever you have a recipe with a cookie crust, try it with your own two or three favorite cookie types.

    We did, and decided we like chocolate cookie crust with a plain cheesecake (and even with a fruit topping), and gingersnap crust with a pumpkin cheesecake.

    That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    Don’t you just love food fun?

     

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Surf & Turf Bloody Mary

    We found this Fully Loaded Bloody Mary at The Wayfarer, in the heart of New York City.

    Because it features both bacon and shrimp garnishes, and because February 29th is National Surf & Turf Day (January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day), we’ve renamed it the Surf & Turf Bloody Mary. There are so many nibbles in the drink that it could also be called the Appetizer Mary.

    To add even more taste consider flavored vodka: bacon, cucumber, lemon or lime. We also use chipotle hot sauce instead of the standard heat.

    If you prefer other clear spirits to vodka, make a Bloody Caesar with gin or a Bloody Maria with tequila.

    And, you can vary the surf and turf: Instead of the bacon strip and “appetizer” cocktail pick, substitute a cocktail pick of steak cubes. Any other meat or poultry from the “turf” also works.

    We have quite a few additional options below.

    THE SURF & TURF BLOODY MARY

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2/3 cup Bloody Mary mix (our own recipe is below)
  • 2-3 ounces vodka
  • Celery stalk, green onion (scallion) or fennel stalk
  • Dill pickle or cucumber spear, halved
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Crisp bacon strip
  • Cocktail pick: olive, cocktail onion, cheese cube, etc.
  •  
    THE NIBBLE’s Bloody Mary Mix Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup top-quality tomato juice (our favorite is Knudsen’s)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 6 shakes hot sauce (or chipotle hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 large lime or medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt*
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • Optional: fresh dill
  •  
    Ingredients For Cocktail Pick

    Go to the nearest olive bar for the olives and cocktail onions. It may also have gherkins and peppadews.

  • Cheddar cube (we use Beecher’s Flagship (aged Cheddar)
  • Cocktail onion
  • Mini gherkin
  • Olive
  • Pepppadew
  • ____________________
    *If you only have celery seed, you can make your own celery salt with the recipe that follows.
     
    RECIPE: CELERY SALT

    You can buy celery salt, but homemade, without the caking agents, is so much better. We use celery seed far more often than celery salt, so it’s also fresher than a pre-ground, pre-bottled version. And it’s so easy.

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/fully garnished thewayfererNYC 230

    Surf & Turf

    Crab Legs Surf & Turf

    Shrimp Surf & Turf

    Top: The Surf & Turf Bloody Mary at The Wayfarer | NYC. Second: The classic lobster tail and fillet mignon from Mackenzie Ltd. Third and Fourth: Switching the lobster for crab legs or shrimp at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

     
    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground celery seed (or grind whole celery seed)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SIFT the celery seed and salt together, into a bowl. Add the combined seasoning to a food processor or spice grinder. You can use a coffee grinder, but first grind white rice in it to eliminate the coffee particles.

    2. STORE the remainder in an airtight container.
     
    MORE INTERPRETATIONS OF SURF & TURF

  • Surf & Turf History Plus Combinations Beyond Steak and Lobster
  • For Breakfast Or Lunch: Surf & Turf Eggs Benedict Recipe
  • The New Surf & Turf, Including Surf & Turf Sushi Roll, Lobster Roll or Clam Roll With Bacon, and 15 More
  • Beef Carpaccio or Steak Tartare Surf & Turf Recipe
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fritos Chili Pie For National Chili Day & The Oscars

    Frito Chili Pie Recipe

    Chili In Mason Jar

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01 data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/frito pie realmomkitchen 230

    Top: Frito Chili Pie from Frito-Lay. Center: Country Living Magazine suggests making individual servings in Mason jars. Bottom: RealMomKitchen.com made the prettiest version.

     

    Back in 2012, Fritos set the Guinness World Record for the largest-ever Frito Chili Pie: 1,300 pounds of Fritos, chili and cheese.

    For February 28th, National Chili Day, consider recreating the recipe, scaled down to human size.

    Prep time is 5 minutes. It’s comfort food you can make during the commercial breaks during tonight’s Oscars.

    If you want to make your own chili, great; but you’ll be spending more than 5 minutes.

    A bonus for corn chip lovers: There’s also a National Tortilla Chip Day on February 24th (that’s two celebrations in one week!).

    RECIPE: FRITO CHILI PIE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 large bag Fritos Corn Chips (substitute tortilla chips—the difference)
  • 1 can chili with beef (15 ounces, with or without beans)
  • 1 bag (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar or other cheese
  • Garnishes: chopped scallions or red onion, chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, shredded lettuce, sliced jalapeños and/or sour cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. SPREAD the corn chips evenly over the bottom of an oven-safe serving dish or pie plate (preferably glass). Heat the chili and pour it evenly over corn chips.

    3. SPRINKLE the cheese over the top and pop the pie into the oven to melt the cheese. Remove from the oven, add the garnishes and serve immediately with a serving spoon. Give soup spoons to the participants as well as forks.
     
    Want a vegetarian or vegan recipe? Use all-bean chili, or try this recipe, which substitutes tofu for the beef.

     
    FRITO CHILI PIE HISTORY

    The Fritos brand was born in 1932 when Elmer Doolin of San Antonio, Texas purchased a corn chips recipe from a local producer. He made the first Fritos brand chips in his mother’s kitchen.

    The popularity of the corn chips snack was catapulted in 1961, when Doolin joined forces with H.W. Lay & Company to create Frito-Lay.

    To help sell more product, Doolin’s mother, Daisy Dean Doolin, created recipes using Fritos as a recipe ingredient. She created the now-famous Fritos Chili Pie.

     
    FRITOS PIE VARIATIONS

    Fritos Chili Pie is so popular that it has its own website, FritosPieRemix.com.

    If it looks like you’ve landed on You Tube, that’s because you have: The site is a collection of videos demonstrating different recipes with, among other ingredients, ahi tuna, black beans, cole slaw, cranberries, cream cheese, curry, eggs, elbow macaroni, grits, horseradish, peanut butter, pineapple, potato chips, pork and beans, pumpkin, ramen noodles, spinach and tofu… and applesauce, caramel, chocolate and ice cream!
     
      

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    RECIPE: Strawberry Thyme Ice Cubes

    Strawberry Ice Cubes

    Strawberries In Colander

    Top: Strawberry ice cube, a recipe from
    Shari’s Berries. Bottom: Beautiful berries
    from the California Strawberry Commission.

     

    It’s National Strawberry Day. You can have a classic bowl of strawberries and cream, or eat your berries plain. And we have lots of strawberry recipes below, from cocktails and salads to (of course) desserts.

    To start the celebration, here’s a fun and tasty recipe from Shari’s Berries: Strawberry Thyme Ice Cubes.

    Use them in cocktails, iced tea, punch bowls, sparkling water, water pitchers or soft drinks like Ginger Ale, 7-Up and Fresca.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY THYME ICE CUBES

    Ingredients

  • Large silicon ice cube tray*
  • 18† medium-sized fresh strawberries
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme (substitute basil chiffonade)
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Water
  • _____________________
    *The larger the cubes, the more slowly they melt.

    †The number will vary based on the size of strawberries available, and how many ice cubes you’d like to make.
     
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the strawberries with a mortar and pestle. Distribute evenly so each section of the ice cube tray is filled 2/3 with muddled berries. Each cube requires 2-3 berries.

    2. FILL the ice cube sections the rest of the way with water, and top with a sprig of fresh thyme. Freeze 4-5 hours.
     

    MORE STRAWBERRY RECIPES

    Beverages & Cocktails

  • Strawberry Basil Gimlet
  • Strawberry Egg Cream
  • Strawberry Margarita
  • Strawberry Mojito
  •  
    Breakfast

  • Strawberry Banana Pancake Stack
  • Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
  •  
    Desserts

  • Angel Food Cake With Strawberry Glaze
  • Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
  • Easy Strawberry Sorbet
  • Strawberry Cheesecake Topping
  • Strawberry Cream Pie
  • Strawberry Ice Cream Cake
  • Strawberry Shortcake With Yellow Cake
  • Strawberry Shortcake With Biscuits
  • Strawberry Parfait
  • Strawberry Sundae
  •  

    First Courses & Mains

  • Chilled Strawberry Soup
  • Green Salad With Strawberries
  • Strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • Strawberry-Orange Pasta Salad
  • Strawberry gastrique (sauce) sweet-and-sour sauce
  •  
    Snacks

  • Crunchy Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Strawberry & Brownie Skewers
  • Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Pops
  • Strawberry Margarita Ice Pops
  • Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches
  •  
    STRAWBERRY TRIVIA

  • Strawberries are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
  • The strawberry is not a true berry, but what is known as an aggregate accessory fruit: The fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries. Each “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.
  • Strawberries do not reproduce with their seeds, but via long shoots of new growth.
  • The most widely held view of the origin of the name is that the berries are “strewn” about on the plants. The name “strewn berry” evolved into “strawberry.”
  • The strawberry belongs to the botanical genus Fragraria, which is in the rose family, along with apples and plums. The name of the scientific classification was derived from the Old Latin word for fragrant. The garden strawberry is Fragaria × ananassa.
  • The garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in the 1750s as a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile in 1714.
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  •  

    Strawberry Mojito

    Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Top: Strawberry Mojito (photo Hard Rock Cafe). Bottom: Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches (photo Pillsbury).

     
    How will you enjoy strawberries today?

      

    Comments

    ACADEMY AWARDS RECIPE: Popcorn Cupcakes

    Popcorn and a movie?

    How about popcorn cupcakes and a movie awards show?

    Jessica of PNP Flowers Inc. created these fun cupcakes with popcorn. The popcorn is both in the batter and a garnish on top of the icing.

    Why not whip up a batch for your Oscar nibbles?

    Here’s Jessica’s recipe; the original recipe is from the Food Network.

    More fun:

    Can you guess which country has the most motion picture award organizations, after the U.S.? The answer is in the footnote below.

    Here’s a list of film awards worldwide.

    For yet more fun, pull down the Holidays & Occasions menu at the right and select Academy Awards.

     

    popcorn-cupcake-pnpflowersincFB-230sq

    Cupcakes for the movies, with popcorn both inside and on top. Photo courtesy PNP Flowers Inc.

     
    *The country that bestows the second largest number of film awards is India.

      

    Comments

    HOLIDAY RECIPE: Frozen Cherry Margarita

    February 22nd is National Margarita Day. It’s also the day George Washington was born (in 1732).

    Decades ago, it was established that George Washington never cut down his father’s beloved cherry tree.*

    But the tradition of cherry pie on his birthday existed for many years before scholars uncovered the reality. So this year’s contribution to our cherry recipe collection is a Cherry Margarita.

    While a cocktail made with puréed fresh cherries would be divine, we’re a few months away from cherry season. So let’s default to the next-best thing: frozen tart cherries.

    RECIPE: FROZEN CHERRY MARGARITA

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1/2 cup frozen pitted tart cherries
  • 1-1/2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 2 ounces cherry juice*
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 2 cups ice
  • Optional: coarse salt for rim
  • Optional garnish: 1 stemmed maraschino cherry†, lime wheel, or both
  •  
    _________________________________
    *Our favorite is Knudsen’s, but any brand will do.

    †The absolute best maraschino cherries are the all-natural ones from Tillen Farms. They’re great for gifting, too.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE alt rim.

    2. COMBINE the tequila, cherry juice, lime juice and liqueur in a blender; then add the ice (the order is important so the ice doesn’t jam the blades).

    3. PURÉE until the drink is thick. If it’s too thick, add more ice to achieve the desired consistency.

    4. POUR into a glass, garnish and serve.

       

    Frozen Cherry Margarita

    Cherry-Margarita-createdbydiane-230s

    Top: A frozen Cherry Margarita from IngredientsInc.net. Bottom: A conventional-style Cherry Margarita from Made By Diane, who uses fresh cherries in season. Here’s the recipe for her Fresh Cherry Margarita.

     

    MORE

  • Margarita History
  • Different Types Of Orange Liqueurs
  •  
    __________________________
    *The legend of George Washington and the cherry tree was an invention of book agent Mason Locke Weems, in his 1800 biography, The Life of Washington (click to buy a copy). The cherry tree has been associated with Washington ever since. Washington’s Birthday was declared a federal holiday by Congress in 1880,* the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen.

    Initially the holiday was for government offices in the District of Columbia. It was expanded to include all federal offices in 1885. State government offices, including schools, followed suit, followed by banks and other businesses (in private businesses, the day off is not mandatory). The holiday was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22, until 1971, when it was shifted to the third Monday in February and combined with the Lincoln’s Birthday celebration to allow federal employees a three-day weekend.

     

    Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

    Although it’s only a garnish, the cherry can
    turn a Manhattan cocktail into a
    Washington’s Birthday toast.

     

    NOT A TEQUILA PERSON? BELLY UP TO SOME BOURBON.

    Even though it’s America’s favorite cocktail, not everyone likes a tequila or the sweetness level of a Margarita.

    Instead, consider Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Presidential Manhattan, a twist on the classic Manhattan with a cherry for Washington’s birthday.

    Seeking something else? George Washington was a big fan of eggnog. He also brewed his own beer, including pumpkin ale.
     
    RECIPE: PRESIDENTIAL MANHATTAN

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1-1/2 parts Basil Hayden’s bourbon
  • 1/2 part sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 part dry vermouth
  • 1/2 part maple syrup
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry
  •  
    Preparation

    1. STIR together the bourbon, vermouth, maple syrup and bitters over ice in a rocks glass.

    2. GARNISH with a cherry and serve.
     
    MORE FUN RECIPES

  • Blue Cheese Salad With Dried Cherries
  • Cherry Home Fries
  • Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Cherry-Topped Brownies
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Inside-Out Homemade Peppermint Patties

    Inside Out Peppermint Patties

    Conventional Homemade Peppermint Patties

    Gourmet Chocolate Bars

    Top: Hannah Kaminsky’s Inside-Out Peppermint Patties. Middle: Conventional Peppermint Patties recipe from SafeEggs.com. Bottom: Chop up some good chocolate bars for the mint centers (these are from DeBrand.com).

     

    It’s National Chocolate Mint Day. You can make a cool chocolate peppermint pie, warm chocolate mint lava cakes, have some mint chocolate ice cream or chocolate peppermint patties.

    How about your own, homemade peppermint patties—with a reverse approach: creamy chocolate on the inside, white mint coating on the outside?

    Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog who created this recipe, gives us the reason:

    “The only thing that could be improved [in a peppermint patty] is the ratio of chocolate to peppermint, which is why I decided to flip the classic patty inside-out.”

    RECIPE: INSIDE-OUT PEPPERMINT PATTIES

    Ingredients For 30-34 Patties
     
    For The Chocolate Centers

  • 6 ounces 70% cacao chocolate*, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  •  
    For The Mint Coating

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 100% cocoa butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint oil
  •  
    ____________________________
    *As always, the better the chocolate, the better the result. Look for two quality 3.5-ounce chocolate bars (Green & Blacks, Lindt, etc.) or consider buying a pound of the chocolate disks (wafers) that confectioners use.
     
    Preparation

    1. FORM the centers: Place the chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 60 seconds. Stir vigorously; continue to heat at intervals of 30 seconds, stirring well each time, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a Silpat mat or piece of parchment paper, and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

    2. ROLL out the chilled chocolate mixture to about 1/4-inch thick and use 1-inch round cookie cutters to punch out the candy pieces. Should the chocolate become too soft or difficult to work with, just toss it back in the fridge for another 15-30 minutes. Once all of the center are cut, place them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before getting making the coating.

    3. PREPARE the coating: Place the cocoa butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1-3 minutes until it completely liquefies. Whisk in the sugar and peppermint oil, stirring vigorously to completely dissolve.

    4. REMOVE the semi-frozen patties from the freezer and dip each into the mint coating, one at a time. Place them back on the Silpat, allowing the coating to set. This top coat is thinner than the standard pure chocolate shell, so you may wish to double-dip once the first layer has solidified.

     
    5. SHARE the result with loved ones and raise a cup of tea (or whatever goes with peppermint patties) to National Chocolate Mint Day.
     
    FREEZE THE PATTIES IN SUMMER

    February 11th is National Peppermint Patty Day, February 19th is National Chocolate Mint Day. How can you celebrate in the summer?

    “Especially in the heat of summer,” says Hannah Kaminsky, “peppermint patties are one of my favorite treats. Best stashed in the freezer for full cooling effect, I love the way the chocolate shell shatters upon impact, releasing its soft, creamy center with minty-fresh flavor.
     
    IS IT PATTY OR PATTIE?

    Whether it’s candy, meat or veggies, to be perfectly correct, the spelling is patty. Patties is the plural form, so many folks assumed the singular to be pattie.

    The word first appeared in English around 1700-1710, derived from the French pâté (paste in English), a mix of finely-ground ingredients. Pasta is the Italian word for paste; and in modern French cuisine, pâté refers to a meat loaf as well as the more finely ground goose or duck liver pâté.

    Perhaps America’s most famous patty is the [incorrectly spelled] York Peppermint Pattie. According to a company history in Wikipedia, the York Peppermint Pattie was first produced by Henry C. Kessler, owner of the York Cone Company, in 1940. The company was named for its location: York, Pennsylvania. Today the company is owned by Hershey and the production is in Monterrey, Mexico.
     
      

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    EVENT: Kids Food Festival

    Kids Food Festival

     
     
    HOW ARE YOUR KIDS DOING WITH THEIR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?

    Adults and older teens often resolve to eat better in the new year. But how about younger kids?

    If you have them, bring them along to the Kids Food Festival in New York City. This year, the annual event will be held on March 5th and 6th.

    The Kids Food Festival was created to combat the very serious issue of childhood obesity in a fun and effective way. Kids engage all five senses through hands-on, food-related activities.

    The magic of the experience is that the kids are having so much fun participating in the activities, they don’t realize how much they’re learning.

    The festival is targeted to all children regardless of weight. Everyone needs to acquire better eating habits before bad habits catch up with them down the road.

    Admission is FREE. For more information, head to KidsFoodFestival.com.

    Located in midtown Manhattan, the festival is just a big block away from the theater district. Consider turning the day into a memorable family outing.

     
      

    Comments



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