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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 Meat & Poultry

FOOD HOLIDAY: National Cold Cuts Day

cold-cuts-230sq

Cold cuts, an American favorite (but not a
nutritionist’s). Photo courtesy iGourmet.

 

Sliced beef and turkey are not cold cuts.

The term refers specifically to precooked or cured meat, often in loaf or sausage form, that are sliced and served cold on sandwiches or on party trays.

Today they are ubiquitous, pre-sliced in vacuum packs at the supermarket. Or, they can be sliced to order at a delicatessen or the market’s deli counter.

The good news: Most people like cold cuts, and they’re easy lunch and party fare.

The bad news: Most cold cuts are higher in fat, nitrates and sodium. In fact, the prepackaged kind have even more of these bad ingredients, as the larger exposed surface requires stronger preservatives.

 
A COLD CUT BY ANY OTHER NAME

Cold cuts are also known as deli meats, lunch meats, luncheon meats, sandwich meats and in the U.K., cold meats, cooked meats and sliced meats.

  

Comments

RECIPE: Easy Gumbo For Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras begins tomorrow. If you’d like to celebrate with the taste of New Orleans, whip up a gumbo.

This recipe is from Chef David Venable of QVC, who calls it “an easy-to-tackle version, filled with great Louisiana flavor and spice.” Gumbos have a lot of ingredients, but the cooking technique isn’t demanding.

Says David, “When preparing, be sure to chop your veggies in similar sizes to ensure that they cook at the same rate.” In this recipe, okra is used as a thickener, and also gives personality to the gumbo.
 
RECIPE: CHICKEN & SAUSAGE GUMBO WITH
OKRA

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs,
    chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 9 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 package (1 lb, 4 oz) frozen sliced okra
  •  

    Chicken-Sausage-Gumbo_davidvenableQVC-230L

    An easy gumbo, with chicken, okra and sausage. Photo courtesy QVC.

     

    Plus

  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Cooked rice for serving
  •  

    okra4365123Dreamstime

    Most people are familiar with okra that’s
    been sliced crosswise. Here’s what it looks
    like right off the plant. Photo by
    DallasEventsInc. | Dreamstime.

     

    Preparation

    1. SEASON the chicken thighs with creole seasoning. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a 6-quart or larger stockpot over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage and set aside.

    2. ADD the chicken to the pot with the sausage drippings and cook over medium-high heat until brown on both sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.

    3. ADD the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and the flour, over medium heat. Cook the mixture, stirring slowly and constantly, for 10-15 minutes, or until dark brown. Be careful not to burn or scorch.

    4. ADD the onions, garlic, celery and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Slowly add the broth and stir until there are no lumps. Add the tomatoes, rice, salt, cayenne, bay leaves, thyme, and okra. Stir and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

    5. ADD the chicken and cooked sausage to the gumbo. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, plate, garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and serve with a side of rice.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Surf & Turf Sushi & More

    While meat and seafood have been served at the same meal since since the dawn of plenty, and Diamond Jim Brady (1856-1917) consumed platters heaped with steaks and lobsters, the pairing known as surf and turf originated in 1960s America.

    It became the darling of American steakhouse menus, combining the two most expensive items on the menu: lobster (surf) and filet mignon (turf). It has its own food holiday, February 29th, National Surf & Turf Day.

    But we can’t wait until the next leap year, 2016, to share this treat: surf and turf sushi.

    SURF & TURF HISTORY

    The earliest earliest print reference found by FoodTimeline.org, our favorite reference source on the history of all things food, was published in the Eureka [California] Humboldt Standard of August 14, 1964: “An entrée in restaurants in Portland [Oregon] is called surf and turf—a combination of lobster and steak.”

     

    sushi-tenderloin-lobster-maki-tenprimesteakandsushi-230

    Luxury sushi: a lobster-avocado maki topped
    with torched tenderloin, sweet eel sauce and
    a garnish of togarishi and rice crisps. Photo
    courtesy Ten Prime Steak And Sushi |
    Providence.

     

    Some sources claim that the concept originated on the East Coast, based on a 1966 print citation newspaper article in the Miami News. The columnist says that the restaurant La Hasta has created the best thing since lox and bagels—surf and turf; and that on some weekends the management had to take the dish off the menu, since demand exceeded supply.

    Sorry, East Coasters: 1964 beats 1966.

    Yet a third claim from a food writer couple, without printed proof, that the same dish by the same name was served at the Sky City restaurant in the Seattle Space Needle, at the 1962 World’s Fair. That may be, but documentation is required. If anybody remembers it from the World’s Fair: Please raise your hand. There’s a bonus if you have the menu.

    Fun fact: The beef-seafood combo is called “Reef and Beef” in Australia.

    THE NEW SURF & TURF

    The original may have been lobster and filet mignon; but as long as there’s something from the surf and something from the turf, you’ve got surf and turf! We “invent” a different combination for our monthly surf and turf dinner. The past year’s pairings have included:

  • Clam roll and a hot dog
  • Crab cake and lamb chops
  • Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and Canadian bacon
  • Fish and chips with sliced sausage “chips” (heavy, but fun)
  • Fried oysters with a burger (make it edgier with a fish stick and tartar sauce)
  • Fried oysters with steak (or, garnish the steak with a raw oyster on the half shell)
  •  

    sushi-surf-and-turf-10primesteakandsushiprovidence-230sq

    Two rows of raw tenderloin-topped sushi,
    plated with yellowtail, eel and other seafood
    sushi we had to crop out. Photo courtesy Ten
    Prime Steak And Sushi | Providence.

     
  • Lobster roll and a chicken sausage, both in brioche buns
  • Oysters wrapped in bacon (an oldie, but still “surf and turf”)
  • Panko fried shrimp with chicken-fried steak (too much fried food for us)
  • Salmon or tuna grilled rare with rare filet mignon
  • Salmon tartare and steak tartare
  • Scallops with grilled lamb chop or pork chop
  • Shrimp and beef stir-fry (good but not as festive as the other variations)
  • Shrimp and poached chicken cocktail
  • Shrimp kabobs with grilled skirt steak
  • Shrimp tempura and pork tenderloin
  • Sliced grilled tuna and sliced breast of chicken
  •  
    And now, we’ve discovered surf and turf sushi from Ten Prime Steak And Sushi in Providence.

    Our maki-rolling skills are rusty, but we’ll try it right after we master our March recipe, surf and turf meat loaf. (So far, ground chicken and whole baby scallops are the mix of choice.)

    MIX & MATCH

    You could fill every day of the year with a different option and not run out (and if anyone decides to start a restaurant based on that concept, send a hefty ideation fee here).

    Pick your favorite seafood and meats: crab cake, crab legs, scallops or shrimp with lamb chops or pork chops, for example.

  • Surf: any fish or shellfish. Think outside the lobster box to caviar/roe, clams, crab, crawfish, eel, escargot, grilled tuna, mussels, octopus, oysters, shrimp, squid, sushi/sashimi, uni (sea urchin). Grilled cod or halibut stand up well to beef and pork.
  • Turf: bacon (and the bacon group: Canadian bacon, prosciutto, serrano ham, etc.), beef, bison, exotics (boar, elk, ostrich), lamb, ham, poultry, pork in their many forms: grilled, roasted, ground, ribs, sausage, etc.
  •  
    And props to Allen Brothers, purveyor of prime meats to restaurants and the public, for the idea of creating the surf-topped filet mignon. The company topped filet mignon with a crown of lobster “stuffing” (chopped lobster, fresh herbs (try tarragon or thyme), scallions, cream, butter, sweet onions, bread crumbs and a touch of garlic), as well as a lump crab meat version with mozzarella, chopped spinach, garlic and rosemary. (You’ll have to make your own, though; the company has updated the product with new, non-surf, toppings.)

    Try your own hand at the new surf and turf and let us know your favorites.
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Stuffed Peppers

    Stuffed peppers are enjoyed in cultures around the world. They’re a versatile food: for a first course, a light lunch or dinner or a side. You can stuff them with anything, including leftovers. And you can find them in “holiday colors,” from red and green for Christmas to purple, gold and green for St. Patrick’s Day.

    A large pepper* is hollowed out (removing the ribs and seeds), stuffed and baked. The same technique is applied to eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and other vegetables.

    In more recent recipes, small stuffed peppers are served as hors d’oeuvre and snacks:

  • Baby bell peppers, cooked or raw, are stuffed with soft cheese or other ingredients.
  • Jalapeño poppers stuff the bite-size chiles with a mixture of cheese, spices, and sometimes ground meat; they are then deep fried (recipe).
  •  
    *We find it easier to use shorter, wider peppers rather than taller, narrower ones.
     
    STUFFED PEPPERS AROUND THE WORLD

    Get inspiration for your own recipes from these:

  • India: Bharvan mirch stuffs bell peppers stuffed with cooked meat, potatoes and onions, seasoned with chili, cilantro, coriander, lemon juice and turmeric. Mirchi bajji, a street food, is a large green chile stuffed with a roasted, spiced flour mix, sometimes battered, and then fried.
  •  

    wfm_stuffed-pepper-230

    Stuffed peppers are a global favorite. Photo courtesy Whole Foods Markets. Try this recipe stuffed with quinoa.

     

  • Mediterranean: Greek food fans know that dolma are stuffed grape leaves; but peppers and other vegetables are stuffed in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. In Greek yemista, bell peppers are stuffed and baked with a rice and herb filling. In Tunisia, filfil mahshi are stuffed with spiced rice and ground beef or lamb.
  • Mexico: Chiles rellenos are made with roasted green Pasilla or poblano peppers stuffed with queso fresco cheese and sometimes minced meat, covered in an egg batter and fried.
  • Scandinavia, The Baltic States & The Balkans: Peppers are stuffed in a way familiar to Americans, with ground beef or pork, rice, vegetables and spices. In Bulgaria, stuffed peppers are usually eaten with yogurt.
  • Spain: Pimientos rellenos, a Basque specialty, stuff piquillo peppers with cod in a béchamel sauce, ground beef or Manchego cheese.
  •  

    Mediterranean-Style-Stuffed-Peppers-mccormick-230

    Peppers stuffed with lamb and feta. Photo
    and recipe courtesy McCormick.

     

    RECIPE: MEDITERRANEAN STYLE STUFFED PEPPERS

    The delicious stuffing features ground beef, brown rice, golden raisins and almonds seasoned with flavorful, aromatic spices. The recipe is also different because it slices the peppers in half, vertically, rather than cutting off the top to create a deep dish.

    Prep Time is 10 minutes, cook time is 1 hour, 15 minutes.

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano Leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
  • 1 can (14 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (you can substitute conventional raisins)
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 medium green bell peppers, halved lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Mix rosemary, cinnamon, oregano and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

    2. COOK ground meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 5 to 7 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally to break up meat. Drain fat. Add spice mixture; cook and stir 1 minute.

    3. STIR in tomato sauce, raisins and almonds. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add rice and egg; mix well. Arrange bell pepper halves, cut-side up, in 13×9-inch baking dish. Spoon beef mixture evenly into bell pepper halves. Pour 1/4 cup water into dish. Cover with foil.

    4. BAKE 45 minutes or until bell peppers are tender. Sprinkle filling with feta cheese. Bake, uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes longer or until cheese is lightly browned.
     
    RECIPE TEMPLATE: MIX & MATCH

  • Beans and legumes: black beans, white beans, lentils, etc.
  • Grains: barley, corn, rice, quinoa and breadcrumbs
  • Nuts & fruits: cashews, pine nuts or other nuts; apricot, currants, dried cherries or cranberries, prunes, raisins
  • Proteins: cheese; chicken, beef, pork or other meat, ground or diced; egg; sausage; seafood; tofu
  • Vegetables: anything and everything, cut small enough to cook evenly. Ideas: grated carrots, edamame, kale, mushrooms, onions, potatoes (diced or mashed), spinach, squash
  • Herbs: cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, oregano
  • Spices: cinnamon, cumin, curry
  •  
    Why don’t we include fish? While the Basque cod-stuffed pepper is very popular, and brandade (mashed cod in olive oil) works, we haven’t found other recipes that really sing. The delicate flavors of most fish (or shellfish) get buried.

    If you have a great recipe, we’d like to try it.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy Food Glamour

    Fine restaurants know that exciting presentation of food is almost as important as the preparation of the dish. They don’t serve main courses with mounds of starch and vegetables circling the protein; they use potatoes, rice and veggies as the bed to hold the protein.

    In its simplest form, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in New York City shows how easy it is to put your protein atop a bed of grains. You can center the protein or place it off-center, as shown in the photo.

    Whatever the bed comprises—see our list below—you can make it more visually arresting and flavorful with mix-ins. Here, Del Frisco adds diced vegetables to brown rice.

    Use a spoon to drizzle the sauce; you can make an easy sauce by deglazing the pan.

     

    grilled-salmon-rice-veg-delfriscos-230

    Grilled fish or meat looks fancier atop a bed of grains and/or vegetables. Photo courtesy Del Frisco’s.

     

    MENU BASICS

    Start with grilled, poached or sautéed meat, poultry or seafood (or tofu). For a bed, use:

  • Beans: cook with at least one other ingredient for interest, such as bacon or onions, and herbs; garnish with fresh herbs
  • Grains: barley*, buckwheat*, black/brown/red/wild rice*, bulghur, corn*, couscous, farro*, grits, kamut*, white rice or quinoa, with mix-ins (see below)
  • Noodles/pasta: refined or whole grain noodles, dressed with butter/olive oil and herbs or complementary sauce
  • Potatoes: mashed potatoes white or sweet potatoes, or mashed cauliflower; hash browns, sautéed potatoes or other “flat” preparation
  • Salads: Bean salad, corn salad, mesclun, rice salad, tomato and onion salad (in season)
  • Vegetables: Roasted, sautéed, steamed with fresh herbs
  •  
    *The asterisk indicates a whole grain.
     
    MIX INS

    A combination of ingredients is always more interesting than one alone. Would you rather have a bowl of lettuce, or a salad of lettuce plus three or four other vegetables?

    Try to enhance any of your beds with at least one other ingredient; for example:

  • Fresh herbs: chiffonade or minced
  • Mixed vegetables: beans; diced carrots, celery, onions, squash, etc.; edamame; onions; peas and other favorites
  • Nuts and seeds: chopped or slivered almond, pecans, pistachios, walnuts or other favorites; chia, flax seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pomegranate arils
  • Onions: chives, green onions, leeks, red onions, shallots or yellow onions, cooked or raw as appropriate
  •  
    Happy bedding!

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Chicken Liver Pâté

    Here’s a treat for everyone who loves pâté but can’t afford the duck and goose versions; as well as those who won’t eat their enlarged livers due to animal welfare concern.*

    This chicken liver pâté recipe, sent to us by the New York Times to share, was published in the January 26th Sunday Magazine section. It is gourmet Super Bowl fare or a spread for any party or special occasion. (Why special occasion? The cholesterol!)

    Not only is chicken liver pâté a luxurious spread; it is affordable and quick and easy to prepare. Here’s the full article.

    The concept dates back centuries, if not millennia. In modern times, there’s a similar recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French cooking. Our grandmother and her grandmother made a Jewish version; her fat of choice was schmalz (rendered chicken fat, discussed below)—no butter or cream—yellow onions instead of shallots, no wine. Nana’s tip: Don’t overcook the livers—the insides should still be pink.

     
    *The issue of whether or not gavage, the force-feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their livers, is complex and is not discussed here.

     

    chicken-pate-ChristopherTestani-NYT-230

    A crock of chicken liver pâté with a side of bacon jam. Photo by Christopher Testani for the New York Times.

     

    WAYS TO SERVE CHICKEN LIVER PATÉ

    You can serve chicken liver pâté in a crock with toast or crackers and a side of bacon jam (make this recipe or buy ready-made bacon jam like Skillet Bacon Spread. (Here’s our review; you can buy it on Amazon.com).

  • Serve the pâté with toast points, toasted baguette slices, toasted rye bread, crackers (try Saltines or water crackers), or a mix.
  • Make tea sandwiches, or spread on chicken, roast beef or turkey sandwiches.
  • Spread pâté on a large crouton to serve alongside soup or salad.
  • Spread it atop a filet mignon for a crustless Beef Wellington; or make crustless Wellington hors d’oeuvre by spreading pâté on toast points, topped with a slice of beef and fresh herbs or microgreens.
  • Tuck some under the skin before broiling a chicken. It will melt away during cooking but leave a rich flavor.
  •  

    chicken-livers-raw-anuzhealthykitchen.blogspot-ps-230s

    Raw chicken livers. Photo courtesy Anu Shoj
    | Anu’s Healthy Kitchen | Blogspot. Check
    out her recipe for fried chicken livers.

     

    RECIPE: CHICKEN LIVER PATÉ

    You can make this recipe in 20 minutes, plus a couple of hours to chill in the fridge.

    Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pint fresh chicken livers, approximately 1 pound, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Madeira or Port
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt to taste
  •  

    Preparation

    1. HEAT a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat and melt 4 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to foam. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, taking care not to brown.

    2. ADD the livers, thyme and Madeira or Port and turn the heat to high. Cook, occasionally stirring the livers with a spoon, until the wine has reduced and the livers are lightly browned but still very soft and pink on the inside—approximately 5 minutes.

    3. REMOVE the pan from the stove, and transfer the contents into a blender or food processor, along with the cream and the remaining butter. Purée until smooth, adding a little more cream if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

    4. PACK the pâté into a glass jar or bowl, then smooth the top with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about two hours or up to five days. Serve with bacon-onion jam and copious amounts of toast.
     
    WHAT IS SCHMALTZ?

    Schmaltz, also spelled or schmalz or shmalz, is rendered (clarified) chicken or goose fat. It is used both for cooking and as a spread on bread in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine (Austria, Germany and Poland and other Northern European countries).

    The term is Yiddish, derived from the German Schmalz, meaning “rendered animal fat.” While both tallow and lard are forms of Schmalz in German, as is clarified butter, in English the term follows the Yiddish use, referring to fat rendered from poultry.

    Schmaltz was an important fat in the lives of European Jews, who were forbidden by Kosher dietary laws from combining meat and dairy products. They could not use butter in meat dishes; and of course could not use pig-based lard.

    So in order to cook meat and poultry dishes or the sides served with them (potatoes, for example), schmaltz or vegetable cooking oil was required. It was also used to butter bread. The impact on cardiovascular health has become an issue in the last 40 to 50 years.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Football Steak

    football-filet-mignon-empiresteakhouse-230sq

    A football filet mignon. Photo courtesy
    Empire Steak House | NYC.

     

    To some, watching a football game while digging into a big, juicy steak is a slice of heaven. That’s why more than a few steak houses have big-screen TVs.

    Chef Jack Sinanaj of Empire Steak House in New York City has gone one better, preparing a special Empire Super Bowl Steak: a 20-ounce filet mignon carved in the shape of a football.

    And yes, you can eat your steak while watching the game on three large screen plasma TVs. There’s a “viewing party” on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd.

    Or, you can try carving your own at home.

     

    The restaurant used grill marks to add the laces. That may be a challenge for some home cooks, but if you’re good with a piping bag, you can add the laces with piped blue cheese butter or other compound butter.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Asian Wings

    We like Buffalo Wings, but we’re ready for something new (even newer than these fun Deconstructed Buffalo Wings and this Buffalo Chicken Pizza).

    So we jumped on this Asian-inspired wings recipe from Chef Lorena Garcia. Plan ahead: They need to marinate overnight (and can be prepped up to three days in advance).

    RECIPE: GINGER ORANGE CHICKEN WINGS

    Ingredients For Approximately 30 Wings

  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds of chicken wings
  • 3 scallions, slivered
  • Optional plate garnish: lemon or lime wedges
  •  

    Chicken wings are given the Peking Duck treatment, with hoisin sauce and scallions.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, hoisin sauce, sugar, canola oil, ginger and garlic in a large resalable plastic bag. Seal and shake to mix.

    2. ADD chicken wings; seal and shake to coat evenly.

    3. REFRIGERATE overnight, or up to 3 days.

    4. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil. Spread wings on foil.

    5. BAKE for 45 minutes, until brown and shiny. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallions and serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Deglaze The Pan

    Have red wine? Pour it in! Photo courtesy
    BalanceWine.Wordpress.com.

     

    When you cook or bake with alcohol, you’re probably aware that the heat evaporates much (but not all) of the alcohol. The New York Times report that a sauce made with wine, then simmered and stirred for 30 minutes, can retain as much as a third of its alcohol content. (Results will vary depending on the particular cooking method.)

    But what about the health benefits* of the red wine in the sauce? Since the healthful compounds are in the grape concentrate, not in the alcohol itself, cooked wine without alcohol still appears to have some health benefits. Here’s the full article.

    And that bit of news inspired today’s tip: Use red wine (or other liquid) to deglaze a pan. This is no 30-minute undertaking: You can do it in three minutes.

    WHAT IS DEGLAZING?

    Deglazing is the simple process of creating a pan sauces after you sauté a protein: fish, meat or poultry.

    You simply add a cold liquid (beer, brandy, broth/stock, cooking water, fruit juice, vinegar, wine, etc.†) into the pan and scrape up the flavorful roasty bits of protein, called fond, that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

     

    This is the same technique used to make gravy from the drippings in a roasting pan.

    WHAT IS FOND?

    Fond is the French word for bottom—in this case, the small, tasty bits on the bottom of the pan. Fond is concentrated flavor: Why scrub it away in the sink when you can turn it into something delicious? Deglazing is simply combining the fond with a liquid to create a sauce.

    Note that fond comprises roasted brown bits. If you you have burned protein on the bottom of the pan, don’t use it: The sauce will taste burned.

    “Fond” is also the French word for stock:

  • Fond blanc is white stock.
  • Fond brun is brown stock.
  • Fond de vegetal is vegetable stock.
  •  

    HOW TO DEGLAZE A PAN

    1. REMOVE the cooked fish, meat or poultry to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

    2. POUR off most of the fat in the pan. Turn the heat up to high and add the cold liquid. (NOTE: If using alcohol, remove pan from heat when adding). The liquid will shortly begin to boil.

    3. SCRAPE up the fond with a wood spoon or spatula, as the liquid boils. When all the fond is incorporated, turn down the heat. The sauce is ready.
      
    *Red wine, in moderation, provides antioxidants, including resveratrol, that may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound found in red wine and certain plants that has antioxidant properties with possible anticarcinogenic effects. Here’s the scoop from the Mayo Clinic.

    †Don’t use cream or other dairy, which can curdle in the heat.

     

    Remove the protein, add red wine or other liquid, and deglaze the fond into a delicious sauce. Photo by Raz Marinkka | IST.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Spicy Peanut Sauce Marinade & Sauce

    If you like sesame noodles or satay with peanut sauce, here’s another delicious use for it: in a marinade.

    Marinating beef, chicken, lamb, pork or tofu in a peanut sauce-based marinade adds dimensions of flavor.

    Just create a marinade from chicken or other stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, oil, ginger, chili flakes and garlic (see the recipe below). You can also add sherry and honey.

    And certainly, serve a side of peanut sauce for dipping. See the recipe below.

    WHAT IS “SATAY SAUCE?”

    Satay is actually the grilled meat with which the spicy peanut sauce is served. The sauce is based on ground roasted peanuts; peanut butter can be substituted.

    Spicy peanut sauce is popular in the cuisines of some African countries, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The term for the sauce in Indonesia is bumbu kacang; elsewhere it is called pecel or sambal kacang.

     

    Grilled pork skewers, marinated in peanut
    sauce marinade and served with a side
    of peanut dipping sauce (not shown). Photo courtesy National Pork Board.

     

    Peanuts were introduced to Southeast Asia in the 16th century by Portuguese and Spanish merchants. The peanuts came from Mexico, and thrived in the tropical climate.

    They soon were turned into a sauce in Indonesian cuisine and other countries followed. Indonesian peanut sauces are considered to be the most sophisticated (layered with ingredients).

     

    Grilled chicken breasts marinated in peanut
    sauce and served with more sauce on the
    side. Photo courtesy Swanson’s.

     

    RECIPE: PEANUT MARINADE

    This recipe is courtesy Swanson, maker of both conventional and low-sodium broth and stock.

    Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons soy sauce†
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or pepper flakes
  • 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 cup Swanson chicken broth or chicken stock†
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE marinade. Stir 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, the oil, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup lime juice, half the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili flakes in a shallow, nonmetallic dish or a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

    2. LIGHTLY OIL the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the chicken for 15 minutes or until cooked through, turning the chicken over once halfway through the grilling time.

    3. MAKE the sauce. Stir together the remaining brown sugar, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cayenne pepper, coconut milk and ginger root in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Stir in the broth and heavy cream.

    4. SPRINKLE the chicken with cilantro and serve the sauce with the chicken.

    RECIPE: SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

    Here’s an alternative recipe for spicy peanut sauce. The sauce can be made a day ahead of time, and will keep 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

    Ingredients For 1-1/4 Cups

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth†
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce†
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste*
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ADD all ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
     
    *You can use low-sodium ingredients because the other ingredients add more than enough flavor. But if you have full-sodium products on hand, feel free to use them.

    †Find red curry paste in the Asian products section of your market.

      

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