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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

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Archive for Recipes

JULY 4th: Red, White & Blue Ice Pops

Popsicle and other brands make red, white and blue ice pops. But we’re not in grade school, and we want something more flavorful (and natural!) on a hot summer day.

So we trotted out our ice pop molds to make our own red, white and blue “firecracker” pops. The recipe is courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker, who adapted it from Everyday Food.

The layers are made from strawberries (red), sweetened plain yogurt (white) and blueberries (blue). Very little sugar is added. Instead, a bit of lime juice heightens the flavors.

Prep time is 2 hours. You can make them up to a week in advance.

RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUE “FIRECRACKER” ICE POPS

Ingredients For 6 Three-Ounce Pops
 
For The Red Layer

  • 2 cups halved, hulled strawberries (or whole raspberries)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  •  
    For The White Layer

  • ¾ cup full-fat plain yogurt
  • 4½ tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
     
    For The Blue Layer
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons freah lime juice
  •    

    firecracker-popsicles-browneyedbaker.230s

    Delicious homemade red, white and blue ice pops. Photo courtesy BrownEyedBaker.com.

     

    berries-box-WS-230

    Fresh fruit purée makes the best ice pops. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the red layer: In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar and lime juice. Purée, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing the juice from the solids; then discard the solids. Fill the ice-pop molds 1/3 of the way. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. You may have some purée leftover—use it as a topping the next time you have a container of yogurt.

    2. MAKE the white layer: Whisk together the yogurt, cream, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl. Remove the molds from the freezer and top with the yogurt mixture, filling each another 1/3 of the way. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

    3. MAKE the blue layer: In a clean blender, purée the blueberries, sugar and lime juice, scraping down sides as needed. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing the juice from the solids; then discard the solids.

     
    4. REMOVE the molds from the freezer and insert the ice pop sticks through the white layer. Top with the blueberry purée (again, you may have some leftover), leaving ¼-inch of free space at the top of the molds. Freeze until solid, 3 hours or more. Just before serving, briefly run the molds under hot water to release the pops.

      

    Comments

    JULY 4th: The Easiest Dessert Recipe

    Here’s the easiest July 4th dessert recipe: vanilla ice cream with blueberries and raspberries.

    Sure, you can find vanilla ice cream with blueberry and raspberry swirls and just scoop them into dishes. But with a recipe, the cook combines ingredients.

    To make the easiest red, white and blue dessert, you need:

  • Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Optional: whipped cream
  •  
    You can substitute blackberries or strawberries, but blueberries and raspberries are a better size. If your market is sold out of fresh berries, head to the frozen foods case.

       

    ice-cream-berries-talenti-230

    The easiest red, white and blue dessert recipe. Photo courtesy Talenti Gelato.

     

    If you don’t want to scoop and serve individual dishes, place the ice cream in a serving bowl.

  • Scooping takes time, so just peel away the carton and plop the entire square or round contents into the bowl.
  • You can slice the bulk ice cream into halves or thirds to better fill out the bowl, and use whipped cream to fill empty spaces if you don’t like them.
  • Top with the berries and whipped cream, and let guests help themselves.
  •  
    That’s it!

     

    easy_very_berry_trifle_mccormick-230

    Another easy red, white & blue dessert. Photo courtesy Amanda Rettke.

     

    RECIPE: EASY VERY BERRY TRIFLE

    When you want to impress friends and family with a dessert that takes just minutes of prep, this is the one to prepare.

    Fresh berries are layered with mounds of whipped cream and angel food cake for a dessert that is be prepared ahead of time. It was created by Amanda Rettke from IAMBaker.net for McCormick, who used McCormick extracts in the recipe.

    The whipped cream—a special concoction of heavy cream, sour cream and orange extract—is a star. Once you taste it, you’ll want to use it on everything!

    Prep time is 25 minutes.

    Ingredients For 12 servings

  • 2 cups halved or sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups angel food cake cubes
  • Preparation

    1. TOSS the berries, 1/4 cup of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla in large bowl. Set aside.

    2. BEAT the cream, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and orange extract in large bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently stir in the sour cream.

    3. LAYER 2 cups angel food cake cubes, and 1/2 each of the berry mixture and whipped cream mixture in 2-quart glass serving bowl. Repeat the layers.

    4. COVER and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish with additional berries, if desired.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Patriotic Cookie Pizza For July 4th

    Show your colors this 4th of July with this or snack fun and festive dessert from Pillsbury. Raspberries, blueberries and creamy filling top an easy cookie crust.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, total time is 1 hour 35 minutes.

    RECIPE: JULY 4th COOKIE PIZZA

    Ingredients For 24 Servings

  • 1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup apple jelly, melted
  •  

    patriotic-cookie-pizza-pillsbury-230sq

    A cookie pizza for July 4th. Photo courtesy Pillsbury.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.

    2. CUT the cookie dough into 1/4-inch slices; place in the pan. With floured fingers, press evenly over the bottom to form the crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Cool completely, about 25 minutes.

    3. BEAT the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon peel in medium bowl until fluffy. Spread over the baked crust. Arrange the raspberries in large star shape in the center. Arrange the blueberries around raspberries.

    4. DRIZZLE or brush with the melted jelly. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

      

    Comments

    JULY 4TH: Red, White & Blue Angel Food Cupcakes

    angel-food-cupcakes-RWB-goboldwbutter-230

    These angel food cupcakes are red, white and blue (with an optional touch of green). Photo courtesy Completely Delicious.

     

    Here’s a July 4th recipe based on that summer favorite, angel food cake: light and airy and just waiting to be topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.

    This recipe, from Annalise of CompletelyDelicious.com via the folks at GoBoldWithButter.com, spins angel food cake into cupcakes, with a lightened whipped buttercream topping instead of whipped cream.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 45 minutes.

    RECIPE: ANGEL FOOD CUPCAKES

    Ingredients For 12-18 Cupcakes
     
    For The Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup egg whites (from about 8 large eggs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Whipped Buttercream

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    Garnishes

  • Fresh berries: blueberries and raspberries
  • Optional: candied mint leaves (recipe)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

    2. SIFT together the powdered sugar and cake flour, three times. Set aside.

    3. BEAT the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium high speed until foamy, in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand-held mixer. Increase the speed to high and slowly add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, with the mixer running. Beat until glossy and soft peaks form. Then stir in the vanilla.

    4. SIFT the dry ingredients over the meringue in 3 additions and gently fold in after each addition. Do not over-mix or the meringue will deflate.

    5. SPOON the mixture into the prepared muffin pan, filling the cups all the way to the top. Bake until golden about 18 minutes, until the cupcake tops spring back when touched. Let the cupcakes cool completely.

     

    angel_food_cake_betty-crocker-ps-230

    Angel food cake is always baked in a tube pan, which creates the environment best for a light-rising cake. Photo courtesy Betty Crocker.

     
    6. MAKE the frosting in the stand mixer or with the hand-held mixer. Beat the powdered sugar and butter together until smooth. Add the wcream, salt and vanilla and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Frost the cupcakes and top with the berries.
     
    WHAT IS ANGEL FOOD CAKE

    Angel food cake is a light, flourless cake made with sugar, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla or almond extract, and a dozen or so egg whites, depending on the recipe. There is no leavening. It is typically baked in a tube pan, and popularly served with berries and whipped cream—although it is just fine plain or with a dessert sauce (caramel, chocolate, custard, fruit, etc.).

    Some historians think that the first angel food cakes were baked in the South by African-American slaves, due to the strength required to whip the air into the whites. Others theorize that the cake originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the early 1800s.

    October 10th is National Angel Food Cake Day. Here are recipes for a from-scratch angel food cake, and for a strawberry glaze. If you don’t want to bake from scratch, try a store-bought or cake mix.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Nut-Crusted Fish

    Coating fish with nuts and baking or sautéeing is an easy, foolproof way to prepare an elegant entrée. The nutty flavor of this simple but rich coating pairs beautifully with flaky white fish fillets.

    Nuts add even more protein to your dinner, as well as these health benefits.

    You can use any nut you like (pistachio is one of our favorites), along with a mild white fish like cod, flounder, halibut, sole or tilapia.

    There are more affordable white fish, too: Look for orange roughy, walleye pike or other species recommended by your fish monger. Fillets should be about 1/2 inch thick.
     
    TIPS

     

    almond-crusted-eatingwell-230

    Coat your favorite fish with your favorite nuts. Photo courtesy EatingWell.com.

  • If breadcrumbs are recommended, try panko.
  • Instead of a sauce, place the cooked fish on a bed of steamed spinach or other green, tossed with a light drizzle of garlic olive oil. Good, good for you, a win-win.
  • Trade the conventional lemon wedge for lime.
  • For a starch, try parsley new potatoes–the parsley will complement the fish.
  •  
    RECIPES

  • Almond & Lemon-Crusted White Fish (recipe)
  • Macadamia-Crusted Mahi-Mahi (recipe)
  • Nut Crusted Fried Fish (recipe)
  • Roasted Halibut With Walnut Crust (recipe)
  • Pecan-Crusted Fish Fillets (see recipe below)
  • Walnut & Lemon-Crusted Cod (recipe)
  •  

    pecan-crusted-fish-fillet-bettycrocker-230

    Pecan-crusted fish fillet. Photo courtesy Betty
    Crocker
    .

     

    RECIPE: PECAN-CRUSTED FISH

    Turn the catch of the day into delicious dinner in only 25 minutes, with this recipe from Betty Crocker. Hot pecan-crusted fish fillets are cooked easily on stove top and are served with lemon wedges.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (not ground)
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 pound delicate white fish fillets, about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Garnish: lemon or lime wedges
  • Preparation

    1. MIX the pecans, bread crumbs and lemon peel in shallow bowl. Beat the egg and milk with a wire whisk or fork in another shallow bowl.

    2. SPRINKLE both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Coat the fish with the egg mixture, then coat well with the pecan mixture, pressing slightly into the fish.

    3. HEAT the oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the fish. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook 6 to 10 minutes, turning once carefully with 2 pancake turners, until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is brown.

    4. SERVE with lemon or lime wedges.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Ricotta For Lunch, Dinner & Dessert

    A couple of weeks ago we discussed the glories of ricotta for breakfast. Today, we make some recommendations for lunch and dinner.

    HORS D’OEUVRE

  • Ricotta dip for crudités, chips, pretzels. You can season and serve it as is, in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil; or blend it in the food processor, with or without fresh herbs (we like chives or dill). You can also blend it with plain yogurt.
  • Ricotta sandwich bites: Grill slices of summer squash or zucchini and fill with fresh ricotta, seasoned to taste.
  • Ricotta spread: Season and serve with crostini or fresh baguette slices. Seasonings include salt and pepper, plus anything you like from garlic to heat (chili flakes, minced jalapeño) to fresh herbs and lemon zest. Look on your spice shelf for inspiration. Here’s how we topped ricotta crostini with green peas.
  •  
    SALADS & SIDES

  • Topping: Use ricotta instead of yogurt to top grains, vegetables, baked potatoes. Garnish with a bit of fresh basil, chive, dill, parsley or other favorite herb. You can also purée the ricotta into a sauce.
  • Salad: Add a scoop of seasoned ricotta to a mixed green salad, instead of a round of goat cheese.
  • Radish salad: Make a first course salad of radishes and sugar snap peas, topped with ricotta and fresh-ground pepper.
  •    

    ricotta-honey-davantichicago-230

    Ricotta spread with honeycomb and toasts. Photo courtesy Davanti | Chicago.

     

    MAINS

  • Casserole: Check recipes for the type of casserole you’d like to make.
  • Pasta: Make ricotta gnudi or ravioli, stuff shells, layer lasagna or top cooked pasta (tossed with a bit of butter or olive oil) with a mound of ricotta, seasoned and garnished with snipped herbs, lemon zest, peas or snap peas.
  • Savory sauce: Purée ricotta with peas, spinach or other vegetable. Place a layer of sauce on the plate before adding the protein.
  •  

    radish-ricotta-oxandson-230

    Ricotta salad, topped with sliced radishes, microgreens and a drizzle of basil olive oil. Photo courtesy Ox & Son | Santa Monica.

     

    DESSERTS

  • Baked ricotta: Mix it with berries before or after baking, or serve it plain with a drizzle of honey.
  • Berry topper: Instead of whipped cream, use ricotta. We sweeten it lightly and add cinnamon or vanilla; but you can also process it until smooth and use it as a sauce.
  • Dessert cheese: Cheese doesn’t have to be sliceable to be on your cheese plate. Serve a bowl of ricotta with customizable accompaniments, like dried and fresh fruits and nuts, honey, jam, Almondina cookies, date nut bread or toasted raisin bread.
  • Ricotta cheesecake!
  • Pudding: Make “cannoli pudding” by sweetening the ricotta and addding a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla. Top with mini chocolate chips, or serve with berries and/or cookies. You can find other types of ricotta pudding (called budino di ricotta in Italy), some of which are soft like rice pudding and others baked into tarts. Here are recipes for vanilla and a soft chocolate versions.
  • Ricotta ice cream: Follow a recipe for cream cheese ice cream or mascarpone ice cream and substitute ricotta.
  •  

    MAKE YOUR OWN RICOTTA

    While you may not have leftover whey begging to be made into ricotta, you can make your own version from milk and cream. Sure, it’s easier to buy it ready-made; but if you like to cook, you’ll enjoy the experience. This recipe is adapted by one from Chef Anne Burrell, who makes it to serve as an appetizer spread with toast.

    And it’s easy! Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes, draining time is 15 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Finishing oil (we like to use flavored olive oil, like basil or rosemary
  • Bread: baguette, rustic loaf, semolina or other favorite
  • Optional: 1 clove garlic
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the milk, cream, vinegar and salt in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until curds begin to form.

    2. LINE a mesh strainer with several layers of damp cheesecloth. Gently pour the curds and whey through into the strainer and let drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth together and gently squeeze some of the excess liquid from the ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to a serving dish and drizzle with big fat finishing oil.

    3. PREHEAT a grill or broiler. While the ricotta is draining, slice the bread into 1/2-inch thick slices. Toast the bread on the grill or in the broiler on both sides. Swipe the garlic 2 times on each piece of toast and drizzle each piece with finishing oil. Serve the ricotta, slightly warmed, with the grilled bread.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Star Cookies For July 4th

    star-cookies-WS-230

    It’s beginning to look like July 4th! The Silpat cookie sheet is from Williams-Sonoma.

     

    Want to bake cookies for July 4th?

    1. MIX up and roll out your favorite sugar cookie dough (or other rolled cookie dough).

    2. USE a star cookie cutter to cut shapes. If you have small and large star cutters, make large and small sizes.

    Here’s a set of 6 nested star cookie cutters, that you can also use for Christmas cookies.

    3. BAKE, cool and ice the cookie tops white royal icing (recipe below); then decorate with red and blue stripes. Voilà: the Stars and Stripes.

    Check out the different types of cookies in our delicious Cookie Glossary.

     
    ROYAL ICING RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • Red and blue food color
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX first three ingredients together for 7 to 10 minutes, until icing stiffens. If icing appears too stiff, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. You want the icing to be thin enough that you can pipe it easily. Tint 1/4 of the icing red, and 1/4 blue (see instructions below).

    2. DECORATE the cookies when they are cool. Use an offset spatula to ice the cookie tops white. Then place the tinted icing into separate piping bags fitted with a very small round tip.

    3. CREATE the red and blue stripes. If you don’t have a steady hand, wavy lines are fine. Keep the tip about 1/2 inch above the cookie as you ice. This helps to achieve a straighter line.

    Variation: Instead of piping stripes, you can sprinkle red, white and blue star decorations on the white royal icing base while it’s still wet. Here are large stars and small stars.

    4. DRY the cookies completely, usually 1 to 2 hours.

     
      

    Comments

    JULY 4th: American Flag Pie Top

    While we just said that our favorite pie topping is streusel (crumb topping), here’s something special for July 4th.

    You can buy or bake an open face pie (no top crust) or a tart, and decorate it as the American Flag.

    All you need to decorate are:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Whipped Cream
  •  
    Older children can do the decorating, and everyone can enjoy a piece of “grand old pie.”

    If you’ve purchased the pie, the dessert can be ready in 10 minutes!

    For those who don’t know the lyrics/tune to George M. Cohan’s classic, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” practice on You Tube.

     

    flag-tart-agata-valentina-230b

    It’s a grand old pie! Photo courtesy Agata and Valentina | NYC.

     
    A NOTE ABOUT WHIPPED CREAM

    If you use an aerosol whipped cream like Reddi-Wip, the air will deflate much sooner than if you whip your own stabilized whipped cream.

    Even if you don’t stabilize the whipped cream, your own beater-whipped cream will stay fluffy longer. You don’t need to create whipped cream stars, which the Reddi-Wip nozzle enables. Instead, just emulate the real white bars of the flag, and use one long line of whipped cream in-between the rows of strawberries.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Crumb Top Instead Of Pie Crust

    unbaked-pie-streusel-grandcentralbakery-230

    Use a yummy streusel topping instead of a dough top crust. Photo courtesy Grand Central Bakery | Portland.

     

    We’re not a huge pie crust pan. We prefer thicker, buttery, cookie-like tart crusts (here are the differences between pies and tarts).

    Personally, we’d rather have a cobbler, crisp or grunt (the difference).

    If it has to be a conventional pie, give us a crumb topping instead of a top crust. For thus, that means streusel—the same topping that goes on top of crumb cake.

    WHAT IS STREUSEL?

    Streusel is a crumb topping made from butter, flour and sugar. It can also contain chopped nuts or rolled oats. We think it’s easier than a conventional dough crust.

    Pronounced SHTROY-zul, the word derives from the German “streuen,” meaning to sprinkle or scatter.

    Streusel is used as a topping for a variety of pies, fruit crisps, cakes and pastries, most notably coffee cakes.

    A pie with a streusel topping is sometimes referred to as a “crumble pie.”

     

    RECIPE: EASY STREUSEL TOPPING

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until fine crumbs form.

    2. USE your fingers to squeeze the fine crumbs into large clumps (size as desired—we like large crumbs). Sprinkle over the top of the pie and bake per recipe instructions. That’s it!

     
      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Strawberry Parfait Day

    Today is National Parfait Day.

    We just published a July 4th breakfast parfait recipe, but the original parfait was made from ice cream.

    In the U.S., a parfait is a layered sundae. It can be simple, with alternating layers of ice cream and syrup, or a mélange of ingredients as shown.

    Parfait is the French word for “perfect.” The word means something different in France: It’s the original French sundae, made with a custard-base ice cream (“French” ice cream) flavored with fruit purée and whipped with a lot of air to a delicate texture.

    In a French parfait, the ice cream is not scooped but pre-frozen in individual serving containers—typically the long, tapered parfait glasses, narrower versions of sundae dishes. In America, a “parfait” became a particular type of sundae, different from the French parfait. An American parfait layers syrup and other garnishes between layers of ice cream, instead of adding them all on top like a sundae.

    Check out the different types of ice cream preparations in our Ice Cream Glossary.

     

    quark with strawberries

    Strawberry parfait. Photo courtesy Island Farms.

     

    CUSTOMIZE YOUR PARFAIT

    In the U.S., different types of parfait bases are used. Choose from this list to build your own, layer by layer:
     
    Parfait Base

  • Ice cream/frozen yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Whipped cream
  •  
    Fruit

  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Other fresh fruit, sliced or diced (bananas, mango, anything goes)
  •  
    Cake & Cookies

  • Cake cubes, plain or toasted
  • Crumbled cookies
  •  
    Fillings/Toppings

  • Custard
  • Fruit purée
  • Whipped cream
  •  
    Garnish

  • Berry
  • Chocolate shavings/chips
  • Coconut
  •  
    One great thing about parfaits: You’ll never run out of combinations!

      

    Comments

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