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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 Recipes

FOOD HOLIDAY: The History Of Sangria

December 20th is National Sangria Day. The word derives from the Spanish word for bloodletting, and refers to the red wine that was used as a base for the punch.

THE HISTORY OF SANGRIA

Around 200 B.C.E., the conquering Romans arrived in Spain and planted vineyards. They soon discovered that red grape varietals produced the best wine in the local soils. While some was enjoyed locally, the majority of the wines were shipped to Rome.

The locals created fruit punches from the wines, and called these drinks sangria after the color.

While sangria was drunk in Spain for more than 1,000 years, it didn’t arrive in the U.S. until 1964—at the Spanish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York. It was quickly adopted by Americans.

 
HOW TO MAKE SANGRIA

In Spain, sangria is typically made with Rioja or another local red wine. There are white wine versions, called sangria blanco (white sangria) and sparkling versions using cava, sparkling white wine.

   

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This version adds Port to the red wine. Photo courtesy Sandemans.

 

 

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While traditionally made with red wine, white
wine sangrias are also popular. You can make
them with sparkling wine, too. Photo courtesy U.S. Apple Association.

 

The wine is typically blended with chopped fruit, fruit juices or other sweetener (honey, sugar, syrup, lemon-lime soda instead of the club soda), soda water and sometimes brandy. While some people feel that the cheapest wine will suffice because the flavor gets blended with these other ingredients, we recommend using a good quality wine. (Let “quality” refer to anything you’d be happy to drink straight from the glass.)

Ideally, the sangria—without the soda water—should be allowed to chill overnight for the flavors to meld. The chilled soda water should be added right before serving.

To serve, pour the sangria into a pitcher filled with ice cubes and garnish with more fresh fruit.

  • Traditional sangria pitchers have a pinched lip so that the fruit and other solids do not splash into the glass.
  • But if you’re going to purchase a pitcher, we particularly like a pitcher with a central well to hold the ice. This keeps the drink cold without diluting it.
  •  

    SANGRIA TRIVIA

  • Since January 2014, the use of the word “sangria” on bottle labels is restricted by the European Union. Only sangria made in Spain and Portugal can be sold under that name.
  • Sangaree, a fruit and wine punch from the West Indies, is the same drink. The name is an archaic English term for sangria.
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Christmas Tree Eggnog French Toast

    This recipe from Driscoll’s Berries tastes best when using slightly stale bread and soaking it overnight in the eggnog mixture. You can, however, make it at the last minute without the advance prep work.

    For Christmas breakfast, most of the prep can be done the night before. In the morning, just brown the toast and trim to assemble your tree. Place it on the dining table and watch the tree disappear quickly!

    You’ll have more berries than you need to decorate the Christmas tree, so serve them in a bowl on the side. Find more berry-laden recipes at Driscolls.com.

    RECIPE: CHRISTMAS TREE EGGNOG FRENCH TOAST

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 8 thick slices dense, stale bread* (country white or wheat
    bread)
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Dash freshly ground nutmeg
  • Optional: maple syrup
  •  
    *If the bread is fresh, let the slices sit uncovered for a few hours to dry out.

     

    christmas-tree-eggnog-french-toast-driscolls-230

    Turn French Toast into a Christmas tree. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

    Preparation

    1. LINE a large, shallow baking pan with bread slices. Mix the eggnog with the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour the eggnog mixture over the bread, turning the slices once to coat both sides. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.

    2. HEAT a greased griddle over medium heat. Cook the bread slices about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan then cut the 2 bottom corners off at an angle leaving the top crust intact. Bottom of the slice should now be in a V pattern.

    3. PLACE the slices on a platter and create a berry Christmas tree by layering berry slices V side up to form a pyramid shape. Arrange a single blackberry as a stump, sliced strawberries for the tree skirt and 6 raspberries as a tree topper. Then create a garland of small blueberries. Top with dusting of nutmeg and powdered sugar for snow. Serve with an optional side of maple syrup, and a bowl of the extra berries.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Christmas Red Cabbage

    red-cabbage-bacon-foodswinesfromspain-230r

    Red cabbage with sausage and pork. Photo courtesy Foods And Wines From Spain.

     

    This red cabbage dish is a Christmas specialty in Spain, where it is called Lombarda navideña. To make it festive, sausage and bacon are added.

    All over Europe, red cabbage is a delicious pairing with duck, goose, ham and pork roast. This recipe has Spanish touches of chorizo, Spanish olive oil and sherry vinegar.

    Daisy Martinez, who cooks Puerto Rican style, makes a Lombarda navideña with more layers of flavor, including brandy, lemon, pears and raisins, plus bay leaf and thyme. Here’s her recipe. We adapted the recipe below to include the thyme.

    Foods and wines From Spain recommends enjoying it with a dry Cava, Spain’s famed sparkling wine. It’s one of the few wines that can be matched with red cabbage, they say.

    RECIPE: RED CABBAGE WITH CHORIZO & BACON

    Ingredients

  • 2.5 pounds red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chorizo, finely diced (substitute: andouille
    or any smoked, garlicky sausage)
  • 2/3 cup bacon, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
    (substitute: cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preparation

    1. FINELY CHOP the cabbage and wash it thoroughly. Add it to a pan full of boiling water and cook until it becomes soft. Drain the cabbage and place it in a saucepan.

    2. HEAT the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the garlic briefly. Add this mixture to the red cabbage followed, by the chorizo and the bacon. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.

    3. ADD the vinegar and thyme, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary before serving.
     
    This recipe was adapted from the original by Sonia Fuentes/©ICEX. Find more delicious recipes at FoodsWinesFromSpain.com.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pulled Pork

    When you’re having a crowd, a popular main course and fuss-free recipe is pulled pork,

    Pulled pork is a method of cooking where a tough cut of meat is cooked slowly at low temperatures, allowing the meat to become tender enough so that it can be “pulled,” or easily broken into tender pieces.

    This recipe uses a slow cooker, which in turn can be placed on a table for guests to help themselves. We made it over Labor Day Weekend (check out these pulled pork sliders, which also have a recipe for the cabbage slaw that goes so well with the pork) and are making it again this weekend, for holiday party fare.

    You can provide burger buns or mini buns for those who want to fix themselves a sandwich; the cabbage slaw; and a big, green salad to counter the richness of the pork. We’re also making a whole-grain “dirty brown rice” with black beans and a garnish of green onions.

    Thanks to Ryan Hughes and Zabars.com for this tasty recipe.

    RECIPE: PULLED PORK

    Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

    For the BBQ Pork Shoulder

  • 3-pound pork shoulder
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon liquid smoke flavor
  • 2 cups water
  •    

    pulled-pork-bun-zabars-230

    Pulled pork on a bun. Photo courtesy Zabars.com.

     
    For Serving

  • 1 jar of your favorite barbecue sauce (plus a back-up jar if guests use a lot of it)
  • Quality hamburger buns
  • Optional sides: coleslaw, pickles, potato chips
  •  

    pork-shoulder-raw-foodnutritiontable-230

    Pork shoulder, an inexpensive cut that’s tenderized via slow cooking. Photo courtesy FoodNutritionTable.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the dry rub: Combine kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper. Coat the entire meat with this rub (you can’t over-coat the meat at this point). Set the meat aside.

    2. PLACE the quartered onions and crushed garlic into the slow cooker. Add the meat. Slowly pour in the water until the meat is about 2/3 covered, avoid pouring it over the meat so you don’t remove the rub. Add the liquid smoke.

    3. COOK on low for 9-10 hours.

    4. REMOVE the meat from the crock. It’s going to be falling-apart delicious. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out any meat that may have fallen off. If you’ve used a piece of meat with the bone in, remove the bone; it should just slip right out. Pull apart (or shred) the meat with two forks. This will also be very easy and the meat will be very tender.

     

    5. ADD the barbecue sauce to the meat now or serve it on the side, allowing each person add sauce to his or her sauce as desired.

    6. TO SERVE: If you’re serving from the clock, first clean the crock, discarding the liquid and onions. Return the meat to the crock set to keep warm. It’s best to add some barbecue sauce if you’re serving it this way, to help keep the meat from drying out.

    Alternatively, you can place the shredded meat on the hamburger buns and serve them on a plater, with the barbecue sauce and slaw on the side.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pomegranate Panna Cotta

    Italian for “cooked cream,” it is a light, silky-smooth egg custard made with heavy cream and gelatin and typically served with fresh fruit or a fruit purée. Panna cotta originated in the Piedmont area of northern Italy, a region known for its cream.

    Smooth, silky and creamy, panna cotta is less rich than other types of custard because it’s made without eggs. (Check out the different types of custard in our delectable Custard Glossary.)

    Panna cotta is a gluten free dessert, and this version with pomegranate adds a festive holiday touch. This recipe is from Karen Tedesco of Family Style Food and Go Bold With Butter. Find more delicious recipes at FamilyStyleFood.com.

    RECIPE: POMEGRANATE PANNA COTTA

    Ingredients

  • 1 packet (2-1/2 teaspoons) powdered gelatin
  • 1-1/4 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds (arils)
  •    

    pomegranate-panna-cotta-familystylefood-2-230r

    Bright panna cotta for the holidays. Photo courtesy Family Style Food.

     

    halved-pomegranate-pinkberry-230

    The arils (seeds) inside a pomegranate. Photo courtesy Pinkberry.

     

    Preparation

    1. LIGHTLY COAT 6 x 1/2-cup molds or ramekins with neutral-tasting oil or spray.

    2. SPRINKLE 1/2 teaspoon of the gelatin over 2 teaspoons of water in a small dish, and let stand a few minutes to soften and dissolve.

    3. MAKE pomegranate jelly: Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the pomegranate juice with the granulated sugar in a small saucepan; stir to dissolve sugar and heat just to a simmer. Stir in the gelatin mixture over low heat until it dissolves in the juice, then divide into the molds (about a scant tablespoon in each). Place the molds on a baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

    4. DISSOLVE the remaining 2 teaspoons of gelatin in a small dish with 1 tablespoon water.

    5. HEAT the cream, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Heat until very warm, but not boiling. Stir in the gelatin until it dissolves. Pour the cream through a fine strainer into a container with a pouring spout, such as a four-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Set aside to cool completely.

     

    6. POUR the cream over the pomegranate jelly in the molds, dividing evenly. Cover gently with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill and set, at least 4 hours. About an hour before serving…

    7. PUT the remaining cup of pomegranate juice in a small saucepan with the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until reduced in volume by half (you should have 1/2 cup syrup); cool.

    8. TO SERVE: Dip the molds in very hot water for about 30 seconds (be careful not to submerge). Run a small offset spatula or blade of a small, sharp knife around the edges of the panna cotta, then invert onto plates. Drizzle some pomegranate syrup over each, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Broccoli Rabe Garlic Bread

    Here’s a way of getting nutrient-packed broccoli rabe into something everyone loves. Make garlic bread using the greens and garlic butter. Nothing could be easier—or harder to resist.

    If you keep a supply of broccoli rabe purée on hand, it takes no time at all to assemble. Make it peppery—or not; top the garlic butter with grated cheese—or not; and use a whole wheat loaf instead of white bread for greater nutritional value.

    This recipe is by Julia della Croce, Andy Boy’s Chef-in-Residence and one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian cooking. She is a James Beard Award winning author and has written more than 15 cookbooks.

    Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 5–10 minutes.

    RECIPE: BROCCOLI RABE GARLIC BREAD

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1 loaf good quality fresh ciabatta or baguette
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup broccoli rabe purée
  •    

    broccoli-rabe-garlic-bread-andyboy-230r

    Better than garlic bread: garlic bread with broccoli rabe. Photo courtesy Andy Boy.

  • Freshly ground black pepper or hot red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  •  

    broccoli-rabe-andyboy-230

    Broccoli rabe, also called rapini. Photo courtesy Andy Boy.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. WARM the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat until the garlic is softened and aromatic, about 4 minutes.

    3. BEAT the butter, broccoli rabe purée, garlic oil and salt until well blended.

    4. SLICE the loaf in half lengthwise, using a bread knife. Spread the broccoli rabe butter liberally on both sides of the cut surfaces. Reassemble the loaf and wrap it in aluminum foil. Bake until hot and aromatic, 10-15 minutes.

    5. CUT into 1-inch slices and serve hot or warm.

    Find more recipes at AndyBoy.com.

     
    WHAT IS BROCCOLI RABE

    Some 15 years ago, broccoli rabe began to appear in some restaurants. Also called broccoli rape, raab (pronounced rob), rapini, Chinese broccoli and Italian broccoli in the U.S., it then became available in produce markets. Now, it can be found at more and more quality supermarkets.

    Descended from a wild herb, like many of our greens, versions of broccoli rabe originated in the Mediterranean and in China.

    Broccoli rabe is not related to either broccoli or broccolini.

    Although it bears the name “broccoli,” tastes like a bitter and pungent form of broccoli (think broccoli crossed with mustard greens with some nuttiness) and looks like a relative of broccoli—it has broccoli-like buds and florets at the top of slender stalks—broccoli rabe is not related to broccoli but turnips.
    That’s why the leaves look like turnip greens and the vegetable is also called Italian turnip and turnip broccoli. Here’s more about broccoli rabe.

    Broccolini is not a young growth of broccoli, but a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan, another cruciferous vegetable. The result looks broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Panettone Stuffing

    We love panettone, an Italian yeast bread filled with candied citron, lemon zest, and raisins (and sometimes other ingredients).

    If we get too much of it to toast for breakfast or top with ice cream for dessert, we make other favorites, such as Panettone French toast, Panettone grilled cheese and panettone PB&J sandwiches.

    And then, there’s Panettone stuffing or dressing*. While stuffing is most commonly prepared with days old white bread, you can use panettone to give your stuffing a sweet edge.

    This recipe is courtesy Bauli Panettone.

    PANETTONE STUFFING

    Ingredients

  • 1 loaf panettone (2.2 pounds)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 bunches fresh sage, leaves minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1-1/2 cups minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup minced celery or fennel
  • 1 cup minced carrot
  • Up to 2 cups chicken stock or turkey stock
  • Optional: 2 eggs for a firmer stuffing
  •    

    pannetone-stuffing-bauli-230

    Cut a loaf of panettone into cubes to make the stuffing. Photo courtesy Bauli.

     

     
    *The difference: stuffing is cooked inside the bird and dressing is cooked in a separate dish.

     

    panettone-box-sliced-2014-230

    Panettone can be found in most supermarkets during the holiday season. Photo courtesy Bauli.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Cut the panettone into 3/4-inch squares and place in large bowl. Melt half of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and continue to cook until light brown, about 5 minutes.

    2. REMOVE from the heat and add half the sage. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sage butter over the bread and toss gently but swiftly. Spread out on 2 cooking sheets and place in the oven until light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place back into the bowl. Meanwhile…

    3. PLACE the dried fruit in a large bowl; add boiling water to cover and then set aside for at least 10 minutes. This will plump and soften the fruit for cooking. Drain the fruit once it is plumped.

    4. RAISE the oven temperature to 375°F. Melt the remaining butter and add the onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté on medium-low heat until soft. Add dried fruit and remaining sage. Toss into cooled croutons. Gently toss and add chicken broth to moisten; add more broth if you like a softer stuffing. Stir in beaten eggs now, if using. Adjust salt and pepper, to your liking. Turn out into an oven-proof casserole.

     

    5. BAKE uncovered until golden brown on top, about 40 minutes.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Mexican Christmas Pudding

    christmas-pudding-GerryLerner-230

    Oh give us some figgy pudding! Photo
    courtesy Gerry Lerner | London Lennie’s.

     

    Christmas pudding is an English tradition. It has been celebrated in song since at least the 16th century. Thought to bring luck and prosperity to all those who share it, it is typically made five weeks before Christmas, on or after the Sunday before Advent, known in the Anglican church as Stirring Sunday.

    BRITISH PUDDING VS. AMERICAN PUDDING

    Christmas pudding is also known as plum pudding and figgy pudding, popular pudding ingredients along with dates. Irish recipes vary the dried fruits with raisins, currants, sultanas and citrus peel.

    These are nothing the creamy milk-and-sugar-based dessert puddings familiar in the U.S. (chocolate, rice and tapioca puddings, for example), but solid puddings with a binding—essentially, steamed cakes.

    A Christmas pudding is essentially a very wet, alcohol-soaked, boiled fruit cake. Boiling creates a similar dense texture as baking, but more moist (British puddings can also be baked or steamed).

     
    In the U.K., the soft, creamy, thickened milk-based desserts that Americans think of as puddings are called custards if they are egg-thickened and blanc-mange, the French term, if they are starch-thickened (these are our soft chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch puddings).

    Making the Christmas pudding can be a social occasion. Family and friends get together to create the dessert, each giving the mixture a stir, then making a wish with the hope that good fortune will find them once the pudding is served on Christmas Day. The Christmas pudding is traditionally decorated with a spray of holly (which is not edible). In some homes, it is doused in flaming brandy and brought to the table in a darkened room.

    If you want to make a traditional English Christmas pudding, you need to start at least 30 days in advance so the flavors can meld and the alcohol can blend into the cake. Here’s a Christmas pudding recipe: Mark your calendar.

    But if you don’t have 30 days, there are other options to make right before Christmas.

     
    *Traditional British puddings can be baked, steamed, or boiled and can be sweet or savory. They range from Yorkshire pudding (bound with a batter, similar to a popover) to black pudding (also known as blood sausage, bound with blood), to bread pudding, noodle and potato pudding (all bound with eggs, the latter two also called kugels) or plum pudding (a.k.a. Christmas pudding, bound with suet and flour or some other cereal). Savory puddings are served as a side with a main course, sweet puddings as a dessert.

     

    BUDIN DE ROMPOPE, MEXICAN CHRISTMAS PUDDING

    As easy to make as any gelatin mold, budin de rompope, eggnog pudding, is a traditional Mexican Christmas pudding made from eggnog (rompope). It can be made on the day of serving.

    The eggnog, and subsequently the pudding, was originally made by nuns in the convents of Puebla, Mexico†. (These sisters were great cooks: They also invented the classic Mexican dish mole poblano, turkey in mole sauce, among other great recipes.)

    Like other puddings, rompope can be made in a mold or in individual dessert dishes. This recipe is courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

    You can add a bit of liqueur to the fruit sauce: Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur, or a berry liqueur to match the berries used.

    RECIPE: BUDIN DE ROMPOPE or GELATINA DE ROMPOPE

    Ingredients

    For The Pudding

  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks, large
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1 inch long) cinnamon
  • 1 envelope of flavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  •  

    gelatina-de-rompope-gopixpic.com-230

    Boudin de rompope, an eggnog-based Christmas pudding. Photo courtesy GoPixPic.com.

     
    For The Fruit Sauce

  • 1 pint fresh or package thawed frozen raspberries or strawberries (10 ounces)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon liqueur
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SCALD the eggnog and milk by heating together in small saucepan over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the temperature reaches 180°F. Set aside.

    2. BEAT the egg yolks with all but one tablespoon of the sugar, until pale and thick. Add the salt and cinnamon stick. Whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Pour the yolk mixture into the remaining hot milk mixture. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat, until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon and thickens slightly (about 4 minutes). Do not boil. Set aside.

    3. SOFTEN the gelatin in cold water and let it stand 5 minutes. Whisk the gelatin into the milk mixture to dissolve. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Add the rum and vanilla.

    4. CHILL in the refrigerator until the mixture begins to set, about 1-1/2 hours. Whip the cream with the remaining one tablespoon of sugar until stiff. Fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture and pour into a mold or 8 glass dessert dishes. Chill until set.

    5. MAKE the fruit sauce: Process the berries in a blender until smooth, sweetening to taste with sugar. Add optional liqueur. Strain out the seeds if desired. Pour the sauce into a glass pitcher or gravy boat and serve with the rompope.

     
    †Puebla was one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico. It is located in Central Mexico southeast of Mexico City and west of Mexico’s main Atlantic port, Veracruz, on the main route between the two.

      

    Comments

    CHRISTMAS: Avocado Salad Tree

    avocado-xmas-tree-hassavocados-230

    A delightful Christmas salad. Photo courtesy
    AvocadoCentral.com.

     

    Holiday buffets will look even more inviting when this pretty Christmas tree-shaped salad is on display. It’s served with a zesty chile vinaigrette dressing for a fiesta of flavor.

    Prep time is 30 minutes.

    Use ripe avocados that are a little on the firm side for best results, and brush the avocado slices with a soft, food-safe paint brush dipped in lime juice or lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

    This dish can also be made with granny smith apple slices instead of avocado.

    If you don’t like crab meat, you can substitute grated white Cheddar or other semihard cheese for the “snow” at the bottom of the platter.

    RECIPE: AVOCADO CHRISTMAS TREE SALAD

    Ingredients

  • 2 firm-ripe Hass avocados, halved, peeled and seeded (use more as needed)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (seeds) and/or fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 green onion, white portion only, sliced into rounds
  • 1 slice star fruit (carambola) or pineapple
  • 6 small chives
  • 1 cup fresh crab meat, picked over for cartilege
  •  

    RECIPE: CHILE VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE each avocado half into six equivalent size slices. Brush the slices with lemon or lime juice. Arrange them on a platter into the shape of a Christmas tree, as shown in the photo above, leaving at least 3 inches at the top and bottom of the platter. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

     

    avocados-board-hassavocado-230

    Hass avocados. Photo courtesy AvocadoCentral.com.

     

    2. ARRANGE the pomegranate arils or raspberries, cranberries and green onions on top of the avocado tree to look like ornaments.

    3. PLACE the star fruit at the top point of the tree. Alternatively, use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut a star out of a slice of pineapple. Add the chives in a criss-cross pattern over the avocado slices, to emulate a garland.

    4. ARRANGE the crab along the bottom of the tree to resemble snow.

    5. PLACE the vinaigrette ingredients in a salad dressing carafe, cover and shake a few times to combine. Serve alongside the Avocado Tree Salad.
     
    Find more avocado recipes at AvocadoCentral.com.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Popcorn Trees

    Fun for decoration, party favors or festive snacks, these Popcorn Trees are easy to make. The recipe is from the National Popcorn Board, which advises that it’s important to use unflavored white popcorn for the best color and flavor.

    RECIPE: POPCORN TREES

    Ingredients For 10 Trees

  • 10 cups air-popped white popcorn
  • 1 10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Decorating sugar (green, blue)*
  • 1 tube of white frosting (with decorating tip)
  • Assorted small colorful candies, such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragées
  •  
    *Make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar, stirring in a bowl or shaking vigorously in a sealed container. Add more food coloring for more intense tones.

     

    popcorn_trees_popcorn.org-230

    A fun project for eating or decor. Photo courtesy Popcorn.org.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the popcorn in large bowl.

    2. PLACE marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the popcorn. Toss well to coat the popcorn evenly.

    3. LINE a baking sheet with foil. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop up about 1 cup of the popcorn mixture. Shape the mixture into a cone shape, keeping the base flat. This forms the tree.

    4. SPRINKLE the tree with decorating sugar. Pplace the tree on the baking sheet. Continue to make the rest of the trees.

    5. PIPE frosting on the trees to make a garland, then decorate them with colorful candies.
     
    SERVING SUGGESTION

    Place each tree atop a sugar cookie and decorate the serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow—as shown in the photo above.

    Find more fun popcorn recipes at Popcorn.org.

      

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