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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

TIP OF THE DAY: Wrapped Hot Dogs


Wrapped hot dog, a.k.a. a roll-up. Photo
courtesy The Bison Council.

 

Dress up your dogs in a fancy coat! To nourish the young’uns prior to trick-or-treating, or for an everyday family meal, a roll-up makes a hot dog look elegant.

A hot dog in a a standard bun may be delicious, but The Bison Council showed us true hot dog glamor, by wrapping the dog (here, a lower fat but equally delicious bison hot dog) in a refrigerated crescent roll. The result: fun food.

This bison dog is snuggled in cheesy honey-mustard blanket under its wrap. But you can fill the wrap with anything you like—corn kernels, pickles, relish, sauerkraut, whatever. Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time 12 minutes.

Find more delicious recipes at TheBisonCouncil.com.

 
RECIPE: HOT DOG ROLL UPS

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 beef, bison or other hot dogs
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 package (4 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard*
  • 2 slices of your favorite cheese, halved diagonally
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  •  
    *You can make honey mustard by mixing honey into Dijon or other mustard, to taste (try 1 tablespoon honey to 2 tablespoons mustard). You can also make a low-glycemic version with agave or artificial sweetener.
     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cornmeal on a baking sheet. Unroll crescent rolls and place on top of cornmeal. Spread each crescent with 1 teaspoon of the honey mustard and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the cornmeal.

    2. TOP each crescent with 1/2 slice of cheese and place a bison dog at the wide end. Roll up the crescents around the bison dogs.

    3. PLACE roll-ups, seam sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle rolls with remaining cornmeal. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crescents are golden.

    4. COMBINE remaining honey mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl; serve with roll-ups. Instead of the mustard-mayonnaise dip, you can dip into ketchup, salsa or other favorite condiment.
     
    MORE ABOUT BISON, THE BEST RED MEAT ON EARTH.

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Bologna Day

    Bite into a bologna sandwich. Photo by
    Francesco DiBartolo | IST.

     

    We haven’t had a bologna sandwich since grade school, when Mom would pack one up once a week or so, alternating with a BLT, ham, PB&J or tuna sandwich.

    Yet to other people, a bologna sandwich is a culinary staple. Beyond the sandwich, we had a college friend who would snack on bologna and cheese stacked between Ritz crackers, and add bologna strips to her pizza.

    Bologna, also Americanized (unfortunately*) to baloney, is a type of cooked pork sausage, a derivation of Italian mortadella.

    Mortadella has been made for more than 500 years. The recipe, developed in the Italian city of Bologna, includes pure ground pork studded with cubes of white fat and seasoned with anise, coriander, pepper and pistachio nuts.

    U.S. government regulations require bologna to be made without the visible pieces of lard, distinguishing it from mortadella. But it can be transformed with flavoring, such as Cajun, jalapeño, garlic or barbecue.

     
    Nitrates, preservatives that give cooked pork products a pink color, are used in American bologna and mortadella.

    U.S. standards allow bologna to be made from beef, chicken, pork, turkey, venison and others (bison, goat, etc.), or from soy protein (vegan bologna).

    As is typical with sausage, scraps of meat are mixed with spices, then cooked and stuffed into casings (originally made from animal intestines, which are still used in all-natural sausage).

    Bologna came to the U.S. with Italian immigrants. Because it could be made from inexpensive cuts of meat, it became a popular food for working class families on a budget. A bologna sandwich could be carried to work, school, etc. with no need for refrigeration.

     
    *“Baloney” is slang for “nonsense.” It appears to have entered American English around 1922, and was popularized in the 1930s by New York Governor Alfred E. Smith. The original term was used in the mode of “nonsense” or “rubbish,” believed to be a nod to either Irish blarney, or the odds and ends used to make bologna sausage.

     

    Garlic bologna has garlic and other seasonings added to the recipe. That’s easy enough to understand. But to make things confusing in the world of bologna:

    Germany & Austria

  • The product referred to as German bologna in other countries is called Fleischwurst (“flesh sausage”) in Germany. The name refers to the off-white color—no nitrates. It is often flavored with garlic.
  • In Austria, the same product is called Extrawurst.
  • In Germany, what we think of as “regular” bologna is called mortadella, identical to American mortadella, although in Germany it often contains pistachio nuts, like the original Italian product.
  • In Germany the original mortadella, larger and less finely ground than bologna, is called “italienische mortadella,” Italian-style mortadella.
  •  

    Bologna can be made from proteins other than pork. Here, it’s made with beef. Photo courtesy GrasslandBeef.com.

    France & Switzerland

  • The French variation of Fleischwurst is called “saucisse de Lyon,” Lyon sausage.
  • The Swiss call saucisse de Lyon “Lyoner” or “Lyonerwurst”—Lyon sausage.
  • Unlike the German products, the French and Swiss versions typically do not contain a noticeable amount of garlic. But like their German counterpart, they an off-white color, as they do not contain nitrates.
  •  
    There is also a sausage called polony, popular in South Africa, that made from a mixture of beef and pork. It is highly seasoned and hot smoked, then prepared by cooking in boiling water. The name is believed to be derived from Polonia, an old name for Poland; although some think it is named after Bologna.

    Bologna can be pan-fried with morning eggs, added to potato salad or combined with other loaf meats and cheese, pickles and olives for an “Italian deli” sandwich.

    Here’s a recipe for a Frenchie, a battered and fried grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar and bologna. Serve with a side of pickles and olives.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Roast Chicken & Root Vegetables

    Healthful and easy to make. Photo courtesy
    LoveBeets.com.

     

    The greens of summer give way to the colorful root vegetables of fall: poetic and good for you.

    What’s also good is that this recipe, from LoveBeets.com, uses only one pan. Prep time is 15 minutes, cooking time is 40 minutes.

    RECIPE: ROAST CHICKEN WITH ROOT
    VEGETABLES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 pound new potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 9-ounce pack cooked beets, cut in half
  • 9 ounces baby carrots, halved, or 9 ounces large carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Optional: turnips (diced) or parsnips (sliced)
  • 1 onion, cut into large dice
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic, cut into fine slices
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 ounces (2/3 cup) white wine or vermouth
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken legs with thighs, attached or pieces
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F.

    2. COMBINE potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, onion and garlic in a large roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and then pour over the wine. Tuck the thyme sprigs in-between the vegetables. Season well with salt and pepper.

    3. SEASON the chicken legs all over with salt and pepper and lay them on top of the vegetables. Cover loosely with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

    4. REMOVE the foil from the pan and return to the oven. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is golden and crisp and the vegetables are cooked through.

     
    WHAT ARE ROOT VEGETABLES

    Root vegetables are plant roots that are eaten as vegetables. The term is used to refer to any part of the plant that grows underground, including the onion/garlic family, which are technically classified as bulbs. Often, the stems and leaves of these plants can also be eaten.

  • Vegetable-like: Beets, carrots, cassava, celeriac (celery root) daikon and other radishes, jicama, rutabaga, salsify, potatoes sweet potatoes and yams are commonly eaten as vegetables.
  • Spice-like: Arrorwoot (a thickener), ginger, turmeric are ground into spices or other ingredients.
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Greek Lamb Chops

    If you’re a fan of lamb chops (we love them), take a slight departure from your regular grilling and make them as they’re served at Stix Mediterranean Grill in New York City.

  • Drizzle the chops with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with oregano.
  • Grill to desired doneness. Serve with lemon wedges.
  •  
    Serve with:

  • Greek salad (starter)
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Parsley rice
  • Tzatziki yogurt dip (recipe)
  • Pita or garlic bread
  •  

    Greek lamb chops. Photo courtesy Stix Mediterranean Grill | New York City.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: An Edible Forest Or Meadow

    Overlooking the meadow: steak tartare
    topped with a quail egg and a long toast, with
    a side of prosciutto. Photo courtesy David Burke Fromagerie.

     

    A few years ago, our globe-trotting gourmet friends, Laurel and Harry, returned from Florence raving about a particular meal. The primi and secondi piatti were outstanding in their own right, but the dessert was an epiphany—an incredible, edible forest.

    As they explained it, they were served a plate that looked like a ceramic sculpture of an enchanted forest. But every tree, blade of grass, flora and fauna were made of cake, cookies, bread pudding or other dessert.

    The pastry chef subsequently left to achieve fame on Italian food TV, but we have always dreamed of that dessert.

    While it would take amazing technique to reproduce it, we did come across this sylvan yet approachable steak tartare from the gifted chefs at David Burke Fromagerie.

     

    Whether you create it with steak tartare, a lamb chop, slider or other food, it shows how a little imagination can create a meadow on the plate.

  • Create a lake with whatever works with the main element. For a savory dish, consider cream sauce, crème fraîche or sour cream. For a sweet dish use crème anglais, mascarpone or vanilla yogurt.
  • For a savory dish, scatter the landscape with baby beets, gherkins, cocktail onions, tiny mushrooms and greens—baby arugula, dill sprigs, microgreens, watercress and/or whatever you can find.
  • For a dessert plate, use candied citrus peel, champagne grape clusters or individual champagne grapes) crushed toffee, edible flowers, marrons glacées, mint leaves, nuts, pink peppercorns, pomegranate arils, rosemary sprigs, shaved chocolate, sliced grapes and/or small berries or melon balls.
  •  
    Then, enjoy your edible art.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Bare Fruit Apple Chips

    An apple never tasted better. Photo by Elvira
    Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Our favorite packaged sweet snack, Bare Fruit apple chips has expanded the line to two new “flavored” chips. The lineup now includes

  • Chili Lime Apple Chips
  • Cinnamon Apple Chips
  • Fuji Red Apple Chips
  • Granny Smith Apple Chips
  • Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips
  •  

    They’re as satisfying as candy—in fact, much more so, since they’re a guilt-free, all fruit and just 50 calories per bag. Each bag is the equivalent of eating an apple, so you also contribute to your recommended daily fruit and fiber servings.

    Caramel Apple is perfect for Halloween; all varieties of these naturally sweet chips (no sugar added but a special baking process caramelizes the apple’s natural sugar) are great for:

  • Dieter Gifts
  • Glove compartment, desk drawer, gym bag, etc.
  • Stocking Stuffers
  •  

    Here’s our favorite packaged salty snack, which also should be on your stocking stuffer radar: HalfPops, fiber-filled half-poppped popcorn that we like even better than conventional full-popped.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Best Chicken Wings & Sriracha Sauce

    “One day a year…for a year’s worth of bragging rights!” proclaim the organizers of The Wingfest Series, which currently runs competitions in New York City and Washington, D.C.

    The New York event took place this past weekend, with all-you-can-eat wings and all-you-can-drink beer.

    This year’s champion chicken wings were made by The Windsor, a high-end sports bar in Manhattan’s West Village. The winning recipe is below, courtesy of The Windsor’s chef, Kristine Mana-ay.

    The Windsor won over past Wingfest champions BBQue’s Smoke Shack and Duke’s New York. Participating restaurants and what they served:

     

    The winner: Honey Sriracha Wings. Photo courtesy The Windsor | New York City.

  • BBQue’s Smoke Shack: Holy Habanero Challenge Wings
  • Bon Chon: soy ginger wings and hot and spicy wings
  • Duke’s New York: wings enveloped in sweet barbecue sauce
  • East End Bar & Grill: baked barbecue wings and Thai chili wings
  • Mason Jar: traditional Buffalo wings with a vinegar kick
  • Tribeca Tap House: Buffalo wings
  •  
    RECIPE: HONEY SRIRACHA WINGS

    Ingredients For 12 Wings

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 chicken wings
  • Oil for deep frying (we prefer heart-healthy canola oil)
  •  

    Sriracha sauce. The Rooster brand is
    commonly found in U.S. supermarkets.
    Look in the Asian foods section.

     

    Marinade

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, fresh-ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  •  
    Honey Siracha Sauce

  • 1 cup sriracha
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons scallion
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the sriracha sauce: Combine the siracha, honey, chopped ginger and scallion. Set it aside.

    2. WHISK together buttermilk, pepper, salt and Old Bay seasoning in a bowl. Add the chicken and coat with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Then…

     

    3. MIX together the flour, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, paprika, onion and salt in a small bowl.

    4. PLACE chicken wings in a large bowl and coat evenly with the flour mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for one hour.

    5. HEAT the oil to 375° in a deep frying pan. The oil should be just enough to cover the chicken wings. Cook, remove the chicken from the fryer, drain on paper towels and in a bowl. Coat with sriracha sauce and serve.

     

    WHAT IS SRIRACHA?

    Sriracha, pronounced see-RAH-jah, is a Thai hot chili sauce. It is made from red chiles, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt; and is aged for three months or longer.

    Unlike American hot sauces such as Tabasco, which are vinegar sauces that are infused with hot chiles, sriracha is primarily puréed chiles, making it a much thicker sauce.

    The sauce is named after the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where it was first made and marketed. Different brands can be found in the Asian aisle of many supermarkets and in Asian groceries.

    According to multiple sources, including an article in Bon Appétit, the sauce was made more than 80 years ago in by a local woman, Thanom Chakkapak. She initially made the condiment for her family, and then for friends, to enjoy with the local seafood (think of it as a much hotter counterpart to American cocktail sauce).

    As is a common story in the specialty food business, they encouraged her to sell it commercially—and it became the best-selling chile sauce in Thailand. In 1984, Ms. Chakkapak sold her business to a major food company, Thai Theparos Food Products.

    What’s the correct spelling: sriraja, si-racha, sriracha or siracha?

    According to Andrea Nguyen, who wrote the article for Bon Appétit: Since Thailand does not adhere to one romanization system for Thai words, many variants have emerged, chosen by manufacturers who have created their own version of the original sauce.

    However, the most commonly accepted spelling is sriracha.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Blake’s All Natural Comfort Food

    Lobster mac and cheese: elegant comfort
    food. Photo courtesy Blake’s All Natural.

     

    Comfort food: does the term need an explanation? Those favorite foods from childhood, rich with nostalgia (and often, rich in calories), are so satisfying. For a brief period of time, they can make you feel that all’s well with the world.

    Apple pie, banana pudding, beef stew, chicken pot pie, chocolate chip cookies, fried chicken, a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and meatloaf…the list goes on and on.

    Depending on your ancestry, there will be additions from foreign lands. Borscht with boiled potatoes and sour cream and bagels with chopped herring or smoked whitefish are on our list.

    Blake’s All Natural Foods specializes in frozen comfort food entrées from American and U.K. traditions. The line consists of all natural, frozen meals. They get popped into the oven or microwave, wanting only a large side salad to round out a convenient, healthful, and delicious lunch or dinner.

    There are individual portions and family-size:

     

  • Mac & Cheese: Chicken Mac & Cheese, Lobster Mac & Cheese (family size only), Old Fashioned Macaroni & Cheese, Veggie Mac & Cheese
  • Old-Fashioned Macaroni & Beef
  • Pot Pies: Chicken Pot Pie, Garden Vegetable Pie, Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie
  • Shepherd’s Pie (gluten free)
  •  

    Most varieties can be cooked in either a microwave oven or a conventional oven. For the pot pies, you’ll want to use the oven so the lovely crust will crisp delightfully.

    For more information and to find a retailer near you, visit BlakesAllNatural.com.

    The products are made from scratch by actual people (not machines) in small batches by hand. The ingredients are all natural, the poultry and meats antibiotic- and hormone-free, the cheese rGBH-free.

    There’s also an organic line that includes most of the varieties above plus All Meat Chicken Pot Pie and Upside Down Chicken & Waffle Pie. The organic meals contain at least 70% organic ingredients and some varieties are 100% organic. The organic vegetables are also used in the all-natural line.

     

    Pot pies are made in three varieties, one with a gluten-free crust. Photo courtesy Blake’s All Natural.

     

    We tasted a few varieties—all comforting, some requiring a bit of extra seasoning (a tablespoon of grated Parmesan, a shake of nutmeg, some fresh-cracked pepper). In particular, the sauce for the Veggie Mac & Cheese was very buttery, but not cheesy enough for us. A couple of heaping tablespoons of Parmesan solved that!

     
    ABOUT BLAKE’S

    The company traces its origins to a 25-acre farm purchased in Concord, New Hampshire in the Great Depression the farm’s first season in 1929. Clara Blake’s son Roy grew up to farm award-winning turkeys.

    In the third generation, grandson Charlie was experimenting with his grandmother’s recipe for turkey pot pie. With a dozen pies in 1970, he sold out in 20 minutes. For the next 40 years, he sold turkey and chicken pot pies throughout New England—through modern distribution networks, not the back of the van.

    Charlie’s daughter Amy and her husband joined the business, and expanded the line to accommodate the wishes of their own young family—a fifth generation that one day may be the face of Blake’s.

    Grandma Clara would be proud.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Asian Fusion Brisket Sandwich

    Brisket, anyone? Photo courtesy Fatty ‘Cue
    Restaurant | NYC.

     

    Here’s a fun idea for brisket lovers: An Asian fusion brisket sandwich.

    Fatty ‘Cue restaurants in New York City combine traditional smoky southern barbecue with spicy Southeast Asian flavorings.

    Each Fatty ‘Cue location has a variation on the smoked beef brisket recipe, including:

  • Brisket with smoked melted cheddar, purple pickled onions, aïoli (garlic mayonnaise), chili jam and cilantro, on toasted baguette slices
  • Brisket with smoked onion marmalade, green papaya slaw and bao (Chinese steamed buns)
  • Brisket with rhubarb kimchee and bao (you can use any type of kimchee)
  •  

    Fancy some fusion?

    You can add the Asian fixings to a roast beef sandwich, or for that matter, chicken, turkey, lamb, ham or roast pork. If you have a bottle of Southeast Asian fish-sauce, shake it on!

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Foie Gras Cubes, Bargain Foie Gras

    If you’re a fan of seared foie gras: Why pay a restaurant a $20 supplement for one little piece when you can buy an entire pound for $30.99 and sear it at home in a minute?

    Our Top Pick Of The Week is bargain foie gras: $30.99 a pound for the trimmings of the lobe, called foie gras cubes. The whole lobe, or for pre-sliced scallops, is almost double that.

    The cubes are available from foie gras specialist D’artagnan.

    While foie gras may seem exotic, cooking it couldn’t be easier. Just season with salt and pepper and place in a hot pan for a minute. The biggest task is deciding how to serve it.

    In general, sweet or sweet-and-sour items pair best with the richness of seared foie gras:

  • Sauteed fruit, from apples to citrus to mango
  • Chutney, compote, jam or wine jelly
  • Sweet sauce: balsamic reduction, honey-vinegar sauce (for the simplest solution, heat tart cherry or fig jam with balsamic or sherry vinegar) or a gastrique
  •  

    Affordable foie gras you can enjoy more often. Photo courtesy Chef Scott Conant.

     

    Foie gras should be enjoyed with a sweet white wine. Sauternes is the ideal match, but a late harvest Gewürtztraminer or Riesling can be equally wonderful.

    Read the full review, and decide what you’re going to serve with your cubes.

      

    Comments

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