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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 Gourmet News

FOOD HOLIDAY: Easy Gumbo Recipe With Swanson’s

Gumbo is a Creole soup from Louisiana, thickened with okra pods. “Gumbo” is an African word for okra.

Okra came to America with the slave trade and was introduced to the Southern white population by African cooks. As with all recipes, there are regional variations and different styles of gumbo.

You can toil for many hours to make your gumbo, or you can make this one quickly to celebrate National Gumbo Day, October 12th.

Made with Swanson Louisana Cajun Flavor Infused Broth, it delivers the taste of New Orleans when combined with your chicken, sausage and vegetables.

Prep time is 25 minutes, total time is 1 hour, 25 minutes. Serve it at your next get-together.

RECIPE: EASY CAJUN GUMBO

Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 pound fresh andouille sausage links*, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 extra large onion, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
  •    

    gumbo-with-andouille-sausage-swanson-230

    It’s gumbo time! Photo
    courtesy Swanson.

  • 1 carton (32 ounces) Swanson Louisana Cajun Flavor Infused Broth
  • 8 ounces (1/2 of a 16-ounce package) sliced frozen okra (or fresh if you can find it—about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • Optional: hot chile sauce to your desired level of heat
  •  
    Serve With

  • Hot cooked rice (traditional) or other grain
  •  
    *To save time, you can substitute 1 package (12 ounces) fully-cooked andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, for the fresh sausage. Then, skip Step 1 below, and stir the cooked sausage in with the broth in Step 3.

     

    swanson-louisiana-cajun-broth-230

    A great starter to make easy gumbo. Photo
    courtesy Swanson.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, stirring occasionally. Remove the sausage from the saucepan and drain on paper towels. Do not pour off the drippings from the saucepan.

    2. REDUCE the heat to medium-low. Stir the remaining oil and the flour in the saucepan. Cook for 30 minutes or until the flour mixture is dark brown, stirring occasionally.

    3. Stir the onion, celery and pepper in the saucepan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth, okra, chicken and sausage and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
     
    MORE GUMBO RECIPES

  • A gumbo recipe from Chef Emeril Lagasse
  • A gumbo recipe from Chef David Venable
  •  

    CAJUN VS. CREOLE: THE DIFFERENCE

    Some people think of Creole cuisine as “city food” and Cajun cuisine as “country food.” But to eyeball the dish and tell its provenance, here’s a simple trick:

    Creole cuisine uses tomatoes and Cajun food typically does not. That’s how to distinguish a Cajun gumbo or jambalaya from a Creole gumbo or jambalaya.

    “Creole” referred to people who were born to settlers in French colonial Louisiana, specifically in New Orleans. In the 18th, century Creoles were the descendants of the French and Spanish upper class that ruled the city.

    Cajuns, on the other hand, emigrated from the Acadia region of Canada, which consisted of present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. They settled in the swampy region of Louisiana that is today known as Acadiana; their name, “les Acadians,” became shortened in the vernacular as “Cajun.”

    Enjoy a deeper discussion at LouisianaTravel.com.

     
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOUP IN OUR SOUP GLOSSARY.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Have A Temaki Party

    What’s a temakeria?

    It’s a fast-casual style eatery featuring temaki, the made-to-order, cone-shaped “hand roll” sushi. Rice, raw fish and vegetables are wrapped in a sheet of nori, seaweed that pressed into thin sheets.

    In the case of Uma Temakeria, newly opened in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan (64 Seventh Avenue at 14th Street), the soy sauce and wasabi traditionally served at sushi bars is replaced with a choice of the chef’s special sauces.

    Beer, wine and saké, plus tea and soft drinks, are served.

    Uma implies “delicious” in Japanese, and this idea is totally uma—a healthful, lower calorie alternative to fast food. We love it, and hope there’s an Uma Temakeria in our neighborhood soon!

    Uma Temakeria (pronounced OOH-mah teh-ma-ka-REE-ah) is the first “fast-fine” sushi eatery to open in the U.S., inspired by the temakeria trend in Brazil, which began in the early 2000s in beachfront neighborhoods such as Leblon and Ipanema.

    Bringing the concept to the U.S. is Cynthia Kueppers, who left Wall Street to create her vision. All ingredients, including the seafood, are responsibly-sourced, fusing a trend that is growing among American consumers.

    You enter the bright space, roomy by Manhattan standards, and go to the counter, where the temaki of your choice are quickly made to order. You can take a seat to dine, or take your temaki to go.

       

    vegetarian-230r

    Tofu temaki, one of the vegetarian choices. Just roll and eat! Photo courtesy Uma Temakeria | NYC.

     

    What’s on the menu? First, there are Chef’s Temaki from Michelin-starred Executive Chef Chris Jaeckle (formerly of Ai Fiori, Morimoto and other great eateries such as Eleven Madison Park, Tabla and An American Place), with your choice of white or brown rice:

  • Tsumi Tuna Temaki: tuna and green apple in wasabi ginger sauce
  • Isara Salmon Temaki: salmon and seaweed salad with creamy miso sauce
  • Citera Tofu Temaki: red pepper and seasonal pickle in zesty citrus sauce
  • Terramaki: seaweed salad, daikon, carrot, avocado and sesame seeds with spicy mayonnaise
  • Fish ‘N Chips: the seasonal special, currently fried fluke, celery and potato chip crunch with tartar sauce
  •  

    2-maki-230

    Tuna and salmon rolls. Photo courtesy Uma
    Temakeria | NYC.

     

    Prefer a custom temaki? The attractive, enthusiastic counter staff are eager to roll whatever you’d like. Combine your rice with:

  • Protein: Atlantic salmon, blue swimmer crab, marinated tofu, yellowfin tuna or seasonal fish
  • Vegetables: carrot, celery, cucumber, daikon, red bell pepper, seaweed salad, seasonal pickle
  • Fruit: green apple
  • Sauce: avocado lime, creamy miso, tobanjan mayo, wasabi ginger or zesty citrus
  •  
    Most rolls are $5.50 (vegetarian), $6.00 (with fish) or $6.50 (seasonal special); any two rolls with a delicious side salad is $14.00.

    The sides are low in calories, each equally deserving to be included with your meal:

  • Asian Vinegar Slaw
  • Kale Salad with Balsamic Miso
  • Spicy Cucumber Salad
  •  
    Chef Jaeckle, please send us the recipes for all three!

     

    HAVE A TEMAKI PARTY AT HOME

    Why are temaki (hand rolls) different from other sushi? Because they don’t require a well-honed skill to prepare. Simply grab a sheet of seaweed, add your rice and fixings and roll into a cone.

    As the host, you don’t have to do much more than set out the ingredients, buffet-style. The guests roll their own (here’s how to roll temaki).

    It’s a great idea for a party. So take inspiration from Uma Temakeria and add some pizzazz to your entertaining. And invite us!

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Apple “Jell-O” With Caramel Crème Fraîche

    For sophisticated palates, here’s a riff on the Halloween caramel apple: apple gelatin with a cloak of caramel crème fraîche.

    It’s from CookTheStory.com, the website of Christine Pittman, a recipe developer and photographer. Check out the website for more delicious recipes.

    “For this recipe,” says Christine, “you combine apple juice and gelatin and then divide it among small jars before putting it in the fridge to set. Then you mix crème fraîche with caramel sauce and whipped cream and slip it on top of the jello. There’s a layer of nuts and caramel between the jello and the crème fraîche. Oh my!”

    Note that while many people use the term Jell-O generically, it is a trademark of Kraft Foods, and refers only to the Jell-O brand. Everything else is properly called gelatin.

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE APPLE GELATIN WITH CARAMEL CRÈME FRAÎCHE

    Prep time is 25 minutes. The recipe can be made up to two days in advance.

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 4 cups apple juice, divided
  • 3 packets (0.25 ounce each) gelatin powder (2.5 tablespoons powder)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1½ cups caramel sauce, divided
  • 8 ounces crème fraîche (store-bought or homemade)
  •    

    apple-jello-caramel-creme-fraiche-cookthestory-230

    Photo courtesy CookTheStory.com.

  • 1¾ cup whipped cream (store-bought or homemade from 1 cup whipping cream)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. POUR 3 cups of the juice into a medium sauce pan. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile…

    2. POUR the remaining cup of cold apple juice into a large bowl. Sprinkle the cold juice with the gelatin powder. Let stand for 1 minute. Add the boiling juice to the cold juice. Stir continuously for 3 minutes and then stir in the maple syrup or honey.

    3. DIVIDE the apple juice mixture among 8 jars, glasses or dessert bowls with an 8-10 ounce capacity. Refrigerate until set, about 3-4 hours. Once the jelly has set…

    4. COMBINE the walnuts with the cinnamon and ¾ cup of the caramel sauce. Divide evenly among the 8 containers. (Up until this point the recipe can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep the containers refrigerated). When ready to serve…

    5. MIX the remaining ¾ cup caramel sauce with the crème fraîche in a large bowl. Add about 1/3 of the whipped cream and stir it gently. Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold it in just until it is combined (it’s alright if there are ribbons of caramel color through the cream). Divide the caramel cream among the containers.

     

    creme_fraiche_vbc_230

    Crème fraîche. Photo courtesy Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery.

     

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRÈME FRAÎCHE & SOUR CREAM

    These two fresh dairy products are similar, and sometimes can be substituted for each other.

    Sour cream is:

  • Tangier than sour cream.
  • Made by thickening cream with lactic acid cultures.
  • Has a fat content of about 20%, and more protein—which is why heating it results in curdling.
  • Can include stabilizers and thickeners, such as gelatin, rennin (a protein-digesting enzyme that curdles milk) and vegetable enzymes.
  •  
    Crème fraîche is:

  • Thicker and richer than sour cream, with a fat content of about 30%.
  • Made traditionally made (in France) from unpasteurized cream that naturally contained the right bacteria to thicken it. In the U.S., which has pasteurized cream, crème fraîche is made by adding the bacteria with other fermenting agents.
  • Does not contain added stabilizers or thickeners.
  •  

    THE HISTORY OF JELL-O

    Gelatin (also spelled gelatine) has been made since ancient times by boiling animal and fish bones; aspic, a savory, gelatin-like food made from meat or fish stock, was a French specialty centuries before the day of commercial gelatin, and was very difficult to prepare, relying only on the natural gelatin found in the meat to make the aspic set.

    Powdered gelatin was invented in 1682 by Denis Papin. The concept of cooking it with sugar to make dessert dates to 1845 and an American inventor named Peter Cooper. Cooper patented a product that was set with gelatin, but it didn’t take off.

    In 1897, Pearle Wait, a carpenter in Le Roy, New York (Genesee County), experimented with gelatin and developed a fruit flavored dessert which his wife, May, named Jell-O. The first four flavors were orange, lemon, strawberry and raspberry.

    He tried to market his product but lacked the capital and experience, and in 1899 sold his formula to a fellow townsman and manufacturer of proprietary medicines, Orator Frank Woodward, for $450. Jell-O was manufactured by Andrew Samuel Nico of Lyons, New York.

    Alas, sales were slow and one day, Wait sold Sam Nico the business for $35. In 1900, the Genesee Pure Food Company promoted Jell-O in a successful advertising and by 1902 sales were $250,000. In 1923 management created the Jell-O Company, Inc., which replaced the Genesee Pure Foods Company, the purpose of which was to protect the Jell-O trade name and to keep it from becoming a generic term.

    That same year, the Jell-O Company was sold to the Postum Cereal Company, the first subsidiary of a large merger that would eventually become General Foods Corporation. Lime Jell-O was introduced in 1930.

    Today Jell-O is manufactured by Kraft Foods, a subsidiary of Phillip Morris, which also acquired both Kraft and General Foods in the 1980s and ultimately merged the two companies. There is a Jell-O Museum in Le Roy, New York.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: 50+ Ways To Eat Pierogi

    October 8th is National Pierogi Day.

    Pierogi* are dumplings of Central and Eastern European origin, traditionally stuffed with cheese, fruit, ground meat, mashed potato or sauerkraut. They can be served boiled baked or fried/sautéed, usually in butter with sautéed onions.

    Pierogi is the Polish word. In Russian the term is pelmeni (don’t confuse pierogi with pirog, the Russian word for pie); in Ukrainian it is varenyky.

    The Polish word pierogi is plural. The singular form, pieróg, is rarely used since a typical serving consists of multiple pierogi.

    The dumplings are usually semicircular, but in some areas are rectangular or triangular.

    Here’s how to celebrate: 50 ways to eat pierogi, culled from a list of 100 ways at PolskaFoods.com.
     
    *Also spelled perogi, pierogy, perogy, pierógi, pyrohy, pirogi, pyrogie, or pyrogy.
     
    PIEROGI & DIP

  • Dipped in honey mustard or Dijon mustard
  • Dipped in Greek yogurt
  • Dipped in ranch dressing
  • Dipped in sour cream and hot sauce (spicy dip)
  • Dipped in sour cream and chopped green onions (onion dip)
  •    

    LN Fast Snack Cheese Pierogy Bites-230

    Pierogi topped with melted Cheddar. Photo courtesy Lewis & Neals.

     

    PIEROGI TOPPERS

    Boil, fry or saute the pierogi and serve:

  • Topped with Alfredo Sauce
  • Topped with apple sauce (cheese pierogi)
  • Topped with Bearnaise Sauce
  • Topped with butter and chives
  • Topped with caramelized onions in butter & paprika sour cream
  • Topped with caramelized onions, sage and jalapeño
  • Topped with caramelized onions and Polish sausage
  • Topped with caramelized onions, finely chopped bacon and garlic
  • Topped with caramelized onions and sour cream
  • Topped with chili con carne
  • Topped with Greek yogurt, dill, diced cucumber and red onion
  • Topped with green curry sauce
  • Topped with jelly or jam and optional sour cream (cheese pierogi)
  • Topped with mango peach salsa (cheese pierogi)
  • Topped with marinara sauce and cooked ground meat
  • Topped with melted butter
  • Topped with melted Cheddar cheese
  •  

    AUTUMN_PIEROGIES_APPLES-MrsTs-230

    Pierogi with sautéed apples. Photo courtesy
    Mrs. T’s.

     
  • Topped with mushroom sauce
  • Topped with pesto sauce
  • Topped with roasted eggplant and tomatoes
  • Topped with roasted tomatoes and garlic
  • Topped with salmon or whitefish caviar (cheese or potato pierogi)
  • Topped with sautéed apples
  • Topped with smoked salmon, thinly sliced onions and capers (cheese pierogi)
  • Topped with sour cream, fresh basil and green onion
  • Topped with sour cream and fresh salsa: chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, lime
  • Topped with sour cream, garlic and chives
  • Topped with spicy salsa
  • Topped with whitefish, sable, smoked salmon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumbers, and capers (cheese pierogi)
  • Topped with yogurt, garlic and herb sauce
  •  
    MORE ELABORATE PREPARATIONS

  • Bacon wrapped pierogi appetizers
  • Baked pierogi casserole with bacon, tomato and cheese
  • Pierogi casserole dish with your favorite casserole ingredients
  • Pierogi crostini topped with mushrooms, scallions and spicy fresh salsa
  • Pierogi tossed with garlicky string beans, onion, bell pepper and bacon
  • Pierogi “salad”: cold or hot pierogi on a bed of lettuce with honey Dijon mustard sauce or vinaigrette
  • Pierogi “salad” with other favorite ingredients (vegetables, ham, turkey, spinach, etc.)
  • Pierogi tossed with fried mushrooms, bacon and onions
  • Pierogi tossed with onions, peppers, and chicken sausage
  • Pierogi with melted mozzarella, caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms
  • Pizza Pierogi: potato or cheese pierogi with pizza sauce, melted mozzarella cheese and pepperoni
  • Salmon skillet with pierogi, onions, capers, lemon, dill, and garlic
  • Sautéed pierogi in butter, topped with chili, cheese, sour cream and habanero sauce
  • Sautéed pierogi in butter, topped with steamed broccoli and melted cheese
  • Sautéd pierogi in olive oil with onion, kale, fresh garlic, lemon and oregano
  • Sautéd pierogi in sesame oil with kale, fresh garlic, red bell pepper and sesame seeds
  • Vegetable pierogi frittata with asparagus and garlic
  •  
    This should keep you busy through the next National Pierogi Day!

      

    Comments (2)

    FOOD FUN: Perfect Bacon Bowl

    If everything tastes better with bacon—as many Americans would have it—than everything tastes better in a bacon bowl.

    That’s what the manufacturers of Perfect Bacon Bowl say. While we might not want to toss fruit salad or ice cream into one, we do agree that a bowl made of 100% crisp bacon is great for:

  • Eggs and hash browns
  • Fondue
  • Grains, starches and veggies (try mashed potatoes!)
  • Low-carb burgers and cheeseburgers (the bacon bowl replaces the bun)
  • Pasta (try mac & cheese)
  • Salads (with lettuce and tomato, it’s a bread-free BLT!)
  •  
    The dishwasher-safe, bowl-shaped gadget cooks bacon to a perfect bowl shape, in the oven, toaster oven or microwave. Just wrap bacon slices around the form, cook. and you’ve got edible bowls made completely from bacon.

     

    Bacon-bowl-230

    What do you want in your bacon bowl? Photo courtesy Perfect Bacon Bowl.

     

    You can also use the device to make bread bowls for soups and stews, cornbread bowls for chili, and wherever your imagination takes you.

    See the video.

    Order on Amazon. A box of two bowls is just $5.87, with free shipping on orders over $35.

    That’s easy to reach when you choose Perfect Bacon Bowl as a stocking stuffer for your bacon-loving friends and family!

      

    Comments

    KICKSTARTER: Hot Bread Kitchen Scholarships

    We normally don’t promote Kickstarter campaigns because we have limited bandwidth, and prefer to focus our efforts writing about food.

    But here’s an organization we feel strongly about, and your chance to pay it forward for very little.

    The Hot Bread Kitchen is a Harlem based artisanal bakery that trains disadvantaged women to become professional bakers. They are raising Kickstarter funds for two scholarships.

    The education will create long-term income opportunities for immigrant women, who can then obtain better-paying jobs to support themselves and their families. The graduates typically experience a 77% wage boost, moving on to jobs with benefits and room for career growth.

    You can donate as little as $1 to the Women Bake Bread Scholarship.

    Thanks for your help!

     

    bread-kneeding-hotbreadoven-230

    Immigrant women are trained as bakers. Photo courtesy Hot Bread Kitchen.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Chef Stamps

    Each year, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates “The Best of America” by issuing limited-edition stamps that highlight quintessential American personalities, passions and milestones. The edition we’ve been waiting for debuted on Friday: celebrity chefs who revolutionized the American culinary experience in postwar America and served as early, ardent champions of modern food trends.

    The stamps honor five chefs:

  • James Beard, 1903-1985, cookbook author, teacher, champion of American cuisine, syndicated columnist and television personality.
  • Joyce Chen, 1917-1994, a Beijing-born chef, restaurateur, author, television personality and entrepreneur who developed the first line of bottled Chinese stir fry sauces in the U.S. and is credited with popularizing northern-style Chinese cuisine here.
  • Julia Child, 1912-2004, author and television personality who brought French cuisine to the American public with the first major English-language cookbook of French cuisine, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
  • Edna Lewis, 1916-2006, an African-American chef and author known for her books on traditional Southern cuisine that led some to call her “the South’s answer to Julia Child.”
  •    
    julia-child-stamp-230

    The new Julia Child stamp. Photo courtesy USPO.

     

    chef-stamps-envelopes-230

    Stamped envelopes are available in addition
    to sheets of individual stamps. Photo
    courtesy USPO.

     
  • Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, 1945-1991, a Peruvian-born chef who became an American citizen as he helped to bring a Spanish and Caribbean influence into America’s haute cuisine repertory. America’s Bicentennial chef in 1976, he had served as the assistant in James Beard’s cooking school and was the founding chef of the Dean & Deluca gourmet food store.
  •  
    Something we didn’t now: All stamps sold by the Post Office are now Forever stamps. The days of pairing the old postage with 1¢, 2¢ and 3¢ stamps are over!

    So, food fans, you can buy a lifetime supply of chef stamps to add personality to your cards, letters and bills.

    For more information or to purchase online, visit The Postal Store.

    Bon appétit!

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Homemade Cookie Day

    Start preheating the oven: October 1st is National Homemade Cookie Day.

    Here are some of our favorite cookie recipes.

    We could do chocolate chip, America’s favorite cookie; but we’re really in the mood for these Gingerbread Bars With Cream Cheese Icing.

    In honor of the month of October—the beginning of “pumpkin season”—we’ll add some pumpkin purée to the icing (a tablespoon or two of canned pumpkin purée).

    And, we’ll answer this question:

    WHY ARE BROWNIES COOKIES, NOT CAKE?

    You may wonder why brownies and other bar cookies are classified as cookies when they have a crumb (the professional word for the texture of baked goods, including bread and muffins) that is similar to cake.

    The answer is: Cookies are finger food, cakes are fork food. Brownies, lemon bars and other bars are finger food, not fork food. It’s that simple.

     

    What we’re baking for National Homemade Cookie Day: gingerbread bars with cream cheese frosting. Photo and recipe courtesy McCormick.com.

     
    Check out:

  • The history of cookies
  • The different types of cookies
  • How to store cookies
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY & FOOD HOLIDAY: National Kale Day

    kale-varieties-nationalkaleday.org-230r

    Three stems of curly kale with one of red
    Russian kale. Photo courtesy
    NationalKaleDay.org.

     

    Yesterday we focused on kale’s cousin, kohlrabi. But today is National Kale Day. If you’re one of the few better-eating-oriented food enthusiasts who hasn’t yet tried kale, today’s the day.

    This is the second annual National Kale Day, established as the first Wednesday in October. The holiday was established by Drew Ramsey, M.D. and chef Jennifer Iserloh, authors of 50 Shades of Kale.

    Their objective was to draw attention to the superfood, which continues to grow in popularity in both the retail and foodservice (restaurants, schools and other institutions, etc.) markets.

    The kale trend has driven up sales 20%-30% in the last year alone. As an illustration of how popular kale has become, mainstream producer Dole Fresh Vegetables recently rolled out new six salad mixes, all with kale, including a Kale Caesar salad kit.

    Kale is grown around the world, and has been cultivated for some 6,000 years. It’s easy to grow and hearty: A kale plant continues to produce late into winter, and after a frost, kale becomes even sweeter.
     
    TYPES OF KALE

    If you’re already a fan of green kale, visit farmers markets for specialty varieties. There are more than 50 varieties of kale, but in the U.S. you’re most likely to find:

     

  • Curly kale, the variety typically found in grocery stores. It can be bright green, dark green or purple in color with tight ruffled leaves. The fibrous stalks can be difficult to chop, but they’re easy to tear if fresh. The flavor is pungent, peppery and bitter. Seek out younger looking leaves for less bitterness.
  • Lacinato kale, also called black kale, dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale and other names*. It’s an Italian heirloom with blue-green leaves. Slightly sweeter and more delicate in flavor than curly kale, it has nutty, earthy notes.
  • Redbor kale, best known as ornamental kale, dark red or purple in color. It is certainly edible. You can grow it as a garden decoration and pick leaves as you need them, for cooking or garnishing.
  • Red Russian kale with flat leaves that resemble arugula leaves. It gets its name because the stems can have a red or reddish-purple tinge. It is considered one of the more flavorful kales, sweet and mild with just a bit of pepperiness. The stems, however, are too tough to digest and should be removed before cooking.
  •  
    *Lacinto kale is also called black kale, black Tuscan palm, cavolo nero (which means black cabbage in Italian), dinosaur kale, flat back cabbage, Italian kale, palm tree kale, Tuscan cabbage and Tuscan kale.

     

    To celebrate National Kale Day, make your favorite kale dish. Have you ever tried colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of kale (or cabbage) and mashed potatoes? We’re making it for dinner tonight, along with this kale salad:

    RECIPE: SHREDDED KALE WITH DATE PURÉE & PINE NUTS

    This recipe is from Svitana of ArtDeFete.com. She enhances a conventional vinaigrette with date purée for an exciting new flavor combination.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

    For The Date Purée

  • 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  •  

    shredded-kale-salad-with-date-puree-artdefete-230r

    Shredded kale salad with date purée. Photo courtesy ArtDeFete.com.

     
    For The Salad

  • 1 bunch kale, center ribs removed, leaves finely shredded
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Optional garnish: ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs, toasted
  •  
    For the Dressing

  • 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon date purée
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the date purée: In a food processor, combine dates, water, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and lemon juice. Blend until it resembles a smooth paste. Taste and adjust the seasoning. You can keep date purée refrigerated up to two weeks or freeze for three months. Use the rest in smoothies or stir into yogurt.

    2. MAKE the dressing: Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and date purée until well combined. Season to taste.

    3. COMBINE the dressing and shredded kale in a large bowl; toss until well coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    4. ASSEMBLE the salad: Spread a thin layer (1 tablespoon) of date purée on each plate and top it with kale salad. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and toasted bread crumbs. Serve.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Zucchini Nachos, “Healthy Nachos”

    Zucchini Nachos

    Replace the tortilla chips with zucchini slices.
    Photo courtesy The Pampered Chef.

     

    Here’s some food fun that makes better-for-you “nachos.” Replace replace the salt-and-refined-carb tortilla chips with slices of grilled zucchini. The recipe is courtesy The Pampered Chef.

    RECIPE: ZUCCHINI NACHOS

    Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  •  
    Optional Toppings

  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime
  •  

    Preparation

    1. HEAT a grill to medium for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the zucchini into ¼”-thick rounds, ideally using a crinkle cutter.

    2. TOSS the zucchini in a bowl with enough oil to moisten, plus salt and pepper to taste. Place zucchini in a single layer in a grill pan or directly on the grill. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until tender.

    3. SPRINKLE with ½-cup shredded cheese and cook until the cheese is melted, about one minute.

    4. ARRANGE nachos on a platter and add toppings: half (or more) of the black beans, chopped tomato and other favorite toppings. Squeeze with lime juice and serve immediately.

     
      

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