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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: 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.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Turkey Stock

    Turn your turkey carcass into turkey stock
    or turkey soup. Photo by Marius Zjbie |
    Wikimedia.

     

    Years back, we were very friendly with the owner of New York City’s most famous delicatessen. Among other secrets, he told us that the restaurant’s chicken soup was actually turkey soup.

    Why? Because the kitchen roasted several turkeys every day for turkey sandwiches (including our favorite combo: turkey, roast beef and chopped liver). What to do with all the leftover carcasses? Make turkey soup, which was called chicken soup on the menu. No one could tell the difference.

    Why not just call it turkey soup? Because most customers aren’t accustomed to the concept of “turkey soup”; they want chicken soup. In industry terms, it wasn’t a bait-and-switch; most “pumpkin” pie is made with a different orange squash, among other secrets of the trade.

    You can make either turkey stock or turkey soup with your turkey carcass. We typically make stock, taking advantage of the opportunity to make a lot of it from the large carcass. After all, if you’re going to simmer bones for four hours, would you rather end up with one pint of stock or four pints?

     
    RECIPE: TURKEY STOCK

    Stock Preparation

    1. REMOVE all the meat from the turkey carcass. It’s OK if small bits remain.

    2. BREAK up the bones of the carcass so they’ll fit in the pot. Place the bones and skin in a large stock pot and cover with cold water by an inch. You can the neck, heart and gizzard (but not the liver). Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery tops, and some peppercorns.

    3. BRING to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a bare simmer—as low as you can make the flame.

    4. SIMMER for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces). At intervals, skim off the foam that rises to the surface. You can reduce the stock as much as you like by continuing to simmer it, uncovered. The more reduced, the more concentrated the flavor (and the less there is to store).

    5. REMOVE the bones and and strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer.

     

    RECIPE: TURKEY SOUP

    If you’d rather make soup than stock, add seasonings to the pot at the beginning of cooking:

  • Sliced carrots, celery (and the celery tops), yellow onion. How much should you add? It’s a matter of taste. We use a lot: The more vegetables, the more layering of flavors.
  • Herbs: we use lots of dill and parsley; other options include bay leaf and thyme; and 5-10 peppercorns.
  • Salt to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon; taste later in the process and adjust as needed.
  •  
    When ready to serve, warm pieces of leftover turkey in the soup and add noodles, rice, and any vegetables. We lightly steam carrots, celery and onions in the microwave; then add them to the soup along with the turkey, as we reheat it.

     

    Want more veggies in your soup? Steam them lightly in the microwave, Then add them to the soup when you reheat it. Photo courtesy Grandma’s Chicken Soup.

     

    STOCK, SOUP, BROTH: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

    Stock (as well as soup and broth) can be made from any meat or seafood, and from vegetables as well.

  • Stock is made from simmering the bones and connective tissue. It tends to have a fuller mouth feel and richer flavor, due to the gelatin/collagen* released by simmering the bones for several hours. Stock is not seasoned (e.g., no salt or vegetables); its purpose is to serve as a neutral base for soups and sauces that will in turn be seasoned. When it cools, stock is thick and gelatinous, a quality that makes it better than broth for deglazing a pan (it can be used instead of butter or cream to make sauce from the pan juices). Stock is also used for cooking grains and vegetables, for glazing, poaching, roasting and in recipes.
  • Soup is a finished dish made from meat (e.g., cooking raw chicken parts).
  • Broth is soup that is strained to remove all solids; some people serve seasoned stock as broth. Broth is not thickened, while soup can be. Classic French recipes often add a splash of wine.
  •  
    *The collagen gelatinizes at around 165°F.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Foie Gras Slices

    Foie gras, ready to go from freezer to plate
    in two minutes. Photo courtesy D’Artagnan.

     

    Here’s a luxurious gift for the foie gras lover: flash-frozen foie gras slices from D’Artagnan. They go from freezer to pan for a quick sear: There’s no need to thaw them. That’s our kind of fast food!

    Foie gras lovers can decide at the drop of a hat to indulge in some foie gras—and hopefully, they’ll invite you.

    Premium quality, Grade A foie gras lobes are laser cut into a perfect single-serving size, then are immediately frozen at extremely low temperatures. This high-tech process helps retains the texture and integrity of the delicate foie gras.

    The slices are ready to cook, without all the fuss and bother of cleaning and slicing a whole lobe of foie gras. They go from freezer to plate in two minutes.

    Talk about fast food!

     

    The shipment averages 4.6 pounds of foie fras (30 slices), $257.99. Get yours at DArtagnan.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Moroccan Turkey Rub

    Moroccan spices add zing to a turkey or
    chicken. Photo courtesy Spice Islands.

     

    Perhaps you’re not up for brining a turkey.

    Instead of garlic powder and pepper, expand your seasoning palette. This recipe from Spice Islands dishes up a Moroccan flair.

    The recipe is given for a 5-6 pound turkey breast; for a whole turkey, multiply the proportions accordingly.

    You can also use the recipe on a chicken or duck.

    RECIPE: MOROCCAN TURKEY RUB

    Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (5 to 6-pound) turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE garlic, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric and sea salt in a small bowl. Mix well and reserve 1 teaspoon of seasoning.

    2. RUB remaining seasoning over turkey breast. Roast according to turkey breast package directions.

    3. COMBINE reserved seasoning with honey and butter; mix well. Brush over turkey last 30 minutes of baking time.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Flavored Turkey Brine

    You may be wedded to your preparation of the Thanksgiving turkey. But if you’d like to try something new this year, try brining with a flavored turkey brine.

    Brining is a culinary technique that is regaining popularity because it produces a more moist, juicy, tender and flavorful turkey. Brining locks in the natural moisture of the meat, while infusing mild flavors into it. It also reduces cooking time.

    Some people use a basic salt brine, but spice companies have developed brines infused with fruit, herbs and savory spice flavors. So go for it this year, and see how you like the transformation of your turkey into something more gourmet.

    Marinate time 10 to 16 hours, cook time 3 to 5 hours, rest time 20 to 30 minutes.
     

    RECIPE: VANILLA BRINED TURKEY

    Ingredients

     

    Brine your turkey for more moisture and flavor. Photo courtesy Butterball.

  • 1 whole turkey (16 to 20 pounds), giblets removed, cleaned and patted dry
     
    For The Brine
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hickory smoked salt
  • 2 tablespoons white pepper, ground
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom, ground
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1/2 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup vanilla extract
  • 1/2 gallon heavily iced water
  •  

    You can also buy a pre-mixed brine. Photo
    courtesy Spice Islands.

     

    Vanilla Bourbon Butter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons Spice Islands Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons sweet bourbon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Aromatics

  • 1 green apple, halved
  • 1 yellow onion, halved
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F. Place the first 8 ingredients of the brine in a large pot and simmer until the spices dissolve. Allow to cool completely. Pour the cooled stock mixture into a large container (bucket) and stir in vanilla and ice water. Completely submerge the turkey into the liquid, breast side down, and brine for 10 to 16 hours, refrigerated. While the turkey is in the brine…

    2. MAKE the vanilla bourbon butter. Place the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until completely combined. Set aside.

    3. REMOVE the turkey from the brine when ready to roast, and pat dry. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with aromatics and rub the skin, both under and over, with the vanilla bourbon butter. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together tightly, tuck the wings under the back, and transfer the bird to a roasting pan. Place the turkey into the oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, allowing the skin to brown. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent burning.

    4. REDUCE the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to roast the turkey for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes. 30 minutes before the turkey is ready to come out of the oven…

    5. REMOVE foil from the breast and continue to roast until an instant read thermometer reads 161°F. Remove the turkey from the oven, loosely covered with foil and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Try A Speck Of Speck Alto Aldige

    We’ll admit that we never heard of Italian foods like speck and lardo until about 12 years ago. We were introduced at Mario Batali’s restaurant Otto, in Greenwich Village (that’s otto, pronounced owe-toe, the number eight in Italian, the resto’s street address). Lunching with our fellow editor—two worldly eaters—we asked each other, “What is speck?” (The tantalizing answer is in the next section.)

    Speck has been mass produced for some time, but if you seek out the name-protected Speck Alto Aldige, you can take a bite of a ham that dates back to 1200 C.E. (although the modern word “speck” first appeared in the 18th century*), and is still made with time-honored techniques.

    The Italian region known as Alto Adige (also called Südtirol, South Tirol) is where Italy, Austria and Switzerland meet. A beautiful place to visit—picturesque villages, verdant fields and stunning views of the Dolomite mountains—it is home to one of the world’s finest smoked, cured hams, Speck Alto Adige, often called a “cousin of prosciutto.”

    Lightly infused with seasonings and smoke, Speck Alto Adige has a distinctive, natural taste, with balanced flavors and delicate aromas—bits of herbaceousness, smokiness and sweetness.

     

    Thick slices of speck. Pour a glass of red wine and enjoy! Photo by F.P. Wing | IST.

     
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPECK & PROSCIUTTO

    Thinking back to our first experience, we asked around; only our wine editor had the correct answer. Since that day at Otto in 2001, we’d encountered speck on menus, often called “speck prosciutto and “Tirolean prosciutto.” No doubt the proper name, Speck Alto Aldige, would be more confusing. No wonder most people are confused (if not entirely ignorant). Another factor is that we didn’t grow up with authentic speck. It’s only in the last decade or so that it’s been imported into the U.S.

    True Speck Alto Aldige, IGP (Protected Geographical Indication, bestowed on products that can trace their roots to the 15th century) is a distinctive artisan product, a culinary delight, and something you should get to know. So what’s the difference between speck and prosciutto?

  • Prosciutto di Parma or Parma Ham, is made from the bone-in hind thigh of a pig, using only salt and air curing (dry cured). It is PDO, the European Union designation for Protected Domaine Of Origin, and can only be made the Parma, a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna that is also the home of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Fine PDO prosciutto also comes from San Daniele, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, the most northwest part of Italy. The ham’s name derives from the Latin pro + exsuctus, which roughly means “to remove the moisture.”
  • Speck Alto Aldige is made from a deboned hind thigh using four ingredients: salt, an herb and spice blend, smoke and air curing. Because of the light smokiness, you can substitute it for [the more heavily smoked] bacon.
  •  
    For a true foodie experience, get some of each for a taste test. Use it as an occasion to open one of your finest Italian reds.

    The result of centuries-old, finely-honed proprietary production techniques and the unique terroir of the Alto Aldige/South Tirol, Speck Alto Adige can only be made in that region, with the old artisan techniques (more about them below).

    *In some English-speaking countries, “speck” refers to Italian Speck, a type of prosciutto, rather than German Speck, which is identical to the Italian lardo. The term “speck” took hold in the 18th century, replacing the older term “bachen,” a cognate of “bacon.” “Speck” is an English word meaning “fat” or “blubber,” which has been in use since the early 17th century. This word is also used in German, but in Germany it typically refers to pork fat with or without some meat in it.(Source: Wikipedia)

     

    Eat with a knife and fork, or make a very
    sophisticated ham sandwich with Fontina or
    Gruyère and dill pickle slices. Photo by
    Mumantai | Wikimedia.

     

    WAYS TO ENJOY SPECK

    Hors d’Oeuvre & Starters

  • On a charcuterie plate
  • Atop a salad of bitter greens—arugula and watercress—and a balsamic vinaigrette
  • Cut into matchsticks or wider slices and served with toothpicks and a glass of red wine
  • Wrapped around melon slices or breadsticks
  •  
    Mains

  • On a grilled panino/sandwich with cheese (Brie, Fontina, your favorite) and arugula, cress or radicchio (for a condiment, try salsa rosa, a mixture of of ketchup and mayonnaise
  • On pizza
  • In chicken dishes
  • In pasta and risotto (this season, serve pumpkin gnocchi with a gorgonzola cheese sauce and chopped speck)
  • In crêpes, omelets and quiches
  • Sides

  • With asparagus, polenta, potatoes, spinach and other greens (a favorite easy recipe: grill polenta slices, add cheese until it melts [Fontina, gorgonzola, gruyere, taleggio], top with chopped speck)
  • In brussels sprouts and cabbage dishes (substitute for bacon)
  •  
    Check out the speck recipes at Speck-Alto-Adige-Recipes.com.

     
    HOW SPECK ALTO ALDIGE IS MADE

    To guarantee the quality and authenticity of Speck Alto Adige, the trade association Consorzio Tutela Speck Alto Adige and the independent control institute INEQ (Istituto Nord Est Qualità) verify compliance with the quality parameters throughout all phases of production. Inspectors may visit the production sites at any time to be sure controls are being met. Only those hams that meet the stringent production criteria are fire-branded with the Speck Alto Adige seal, as proof of their quality and authenticity.

  • Production begins with the selection of pig breeds with a strict fat/lean ratio lowers the cholesterol in speck, compared with other types of ham.
  • The finest, lean thighs (hams) are then seasoned flavored with the producer’s proprietary blend of aromatic herbs and spices, including salt, pepper, juniper, rosemary and laurel. They are dry-corned or cured for three weeks at controlled temperatures, and are turned periodically so the corning evenly permeates the meat. The final salt content must not exceed 5%.
  • The hams are then exposed alternately to smoking and drying. The smoking phase is light, done over low-resin wood to provide a pleasantly mild flavor.
  • Finally, the smoked hams are hung to dry in rooms infused by the clean, fresh air of the South Tyrolean mountain valleys. The aging period, based on the weight of the ham, lasts about 22 weeks. During this phase, the hams lose part of their initial weight and acquire their characteristically firm consistency.
  •  
    It’s a special food for a special occasion, and certainly will be a point of interest in entertaining.

    If you can’t find Speck Alto Aldige in a local specialty foods store or Italian market, you can buy it online. You can also get to know other types of speck. A cousin of the Italian original, La Quercia in Iowa makes a nice “American” speck, but it’s as distant a relation to Speck Alto Aldige as domestic Parmesan is from Parmigiano Reggiano.

    You can also find Black Forest Speck from Germany and Gailtaler Speck from Austria. Some Jewish delis sell a beef product called speck that is made from beef. Eliminate any confusion and try to find Speck Alto Aldige.

    As with anything, go for the best. Bargain brands usually represent bargain flavors; and when people tell us that they don’t like this or that, we suspect it’s because they’ve tried a lesser brand.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Chicken & Waffles

    The edgiest chicken and waffles. Photo
    courtesy Rusty Mackerel | New York City.

     

    The hippest “chicken and waffles” we’ve ever seen are at the The Rusty Mackerel in Washington Heights (northern Manhattan).

    Chef/owner James “Mac” Moran, former Executive Chef de Cuisine of Todd English’s “Olives” restaurant, goes switches out the chicken for jerked quail, the gravy for miso-sweet potato purée and the waffles for homemade waffle ice cream cones filled with the sweet potato purée and a topping of smoked maple “fluff.”

    Personally, we’ll keep going up to the Rusty Mackerel rather than attempting to make it at home. But if you’ve got the chops, Chef Mac has shared his recipe for the accompaniments. Prepare your own favorite recipe for chicken, jerked quail or any bird that suits your fancy.

     

    RECIPE: RUSTY MACKEREL’S “CHICKEN & WAFFLES”

    Spice Mix Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups allspice
  • 8 cups salt
  • 5-1/2 cups garlic powder
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cups chipotle powder
  • 1/2 cup ground clove
  • 2 cups dried thyme leaves
  • 2 cups ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup ground cinnamon
  •  
    Spice Mix Preparation

    1. COMBINE all ingredients and store them in an airtight container.

    2. RUB onto your meat of choice, roughly about 1-1/2 teaspoons per serving. For best results, marinate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

     
    Miso Sweet Potato Purée Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons of white miso
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SIMMER potatoes in chicken stock until tender and cooked through. Place into a food processor (the restaurant uses a Vitamix, filling no more than half way (process in to batches if necessary).

    2. ADD the miso paste as the appliance pulverizes the potato, mixing until thoroughly integrated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    3. STUFF into waffle cones and top with “marshmallow fluff” (both recipes are below). Also use as “gravy drops” (see photo below).

     
    Smoked Maple Marshmallow “Fluff” Ingredients

  • 1 quart of grade A maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of quick smoke stick tinder
  • 1 tablespoons of versa whip*
  •  
    *A thickener and stabilizer similar to egg whites or gelatin but much more powerful.

     

    Smoked Maple Marshmallow “Fluff” Preparation Ingredients

    1. PLACE maple syrup in a half hotel pan (a deep roasting pan—here’s more about hotel pans) and place into a full hotel pan.

    2. ADD the tinder into a 1/9 size pan and place inside the full hotel pan parallel to the maple. Ignite to create good smoke. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to smoke. For best results, let it steep overnight.

    3. PLACE into blender and add the versa whip, allowing the blender to shear it thoroughly. Add mixture to a Kitchen Aid mixer (or equivalent) with a whip attachment and blend on high until stiff peaks appear. Put into a piping bag and pipe to fit top of waffle cones. You can also pipe smaller sizes as plate decorations.
     
    Waffle Cone Ingredients

    The restaurant makes their own, but you can buy cones:

     

    The “waffles” are waffle ice cream cones stuffed with puréed sweet potatoes. Photo courtesy Rusty Mackerel | NYC.

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Special equipment: waffle cone iron, wooden cone-form
  •  
    Waffle Cone Preparation

    1. WHIP the cream until mousse-like. Sift the remaining ingredients together stir them into the cream mixture. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

    2. HEAT the waffle iron and brush with little oil. Pour in some batter folllowing the manufacturer’s specifications. Once browned, move quickly and roll the waffle over itself to form a cone. Let cool on the waffle mold.

    Serve with the chicken/poultry preparation of your choice.

    Whew! We’re exhausted just from reading this recipe. It‘s time to head to The Rusty Mackerel and let the professionals do the work.

      

    Comments

    HOLIDAY: Pork Pozole Recipe For Dia De Los Muertos

    Pork pozole. Photo courtesy Chef Ingrid
    Hoffman.

     

    The Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos, is celebrated October 31, November 1st and 2nd in Mexico and elsewhere around the globe. People gather to remember deceased friends and family members, and to feast in their honor. You can learn more about it here.

    Mexican food is a de rigeur (we’re not sure if the Spanish equivalent is de rigor) part of the celebration. Ingrid Hoffmann, host of the Univision’s Delicioso and author of Latin D’Lite: Delicious Latin Recipes with a Healthy Twist, sent us this recipe for pork pozole.

    Pozole is a hominy-based stew, usually made with pork shoulder; some people prefer chicken pozole.

    Bowls of shredded cabbage, avocado, radishes, chopped cilantro and lime wedges are set on the table so that each person can garnish his or her pozole to taste. Tortillas and Mexican beer complete the course.

    RECIPE: PORK POZOLE

    Ingredients For 4 To 6 Servings

  • 4 dried whole New Mexico chiles
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 8 ounces boneless pork loin chops, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (substitute any oregano)
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans* white hominy, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  •  
    For The Garnishes

  • ½ cup green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, quartered
  •  

    *If you prefer, buy dried hominy and soak overnight.
     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the chiles in a heatproof medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chiles. Let stand until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid. Cut the chiles lengthwise in half and discard the stems and seeds. Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée with the reserved liquid. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile…

    2. HEAT 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.

    3. ADD the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, onion, and garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chile paste (purée) and oregano and mix well.

     

    Hominy can be purchased in cans, ready to use, or in bags of dried kernels, which need to be soaked overnight. Photo courtesy Goya.

     
    4. RETURN the pork to the Dutch oven. Add the broth and hominy and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended and the pozole thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Season with salt.

    5. SERVE: ladle the pozole into soup bowls. Allow each guest to top with cabbage, avocado, radishes, and cilantro, as desired, and serve lime wedges on the side for squeezing.
     
    WHAT IS HOMINY?

    Hominy is made from dried maize (corn) kernels which have been treated with an alkali (such as limewater) in a process called nixtamalization.

    After treatment, the kernels are more easily ground, nutritional value is increased, flavor and aroma are improved. Hominy is then used in the production of tortillas and tortilla chips (but not corn chips), tamales, hominy grits and many other foods.

      

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    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.

      

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    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.

      

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