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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

RECIPE: BLT Avocado Burger

May is National Burger Month. We usually default to our list of 35+ burger recipes—at least one variation for every day of the month.

But we’re calling out this Grilled Avocado BLT Burger from the California Avocado Commission, because it has all of our favorite “essential” toppings. Our idea of burger heaven includes avocado, bacon, blue cheese, caramelized onions and tomato.

This isn’t the fastest recipe to prepare, because all the components are homemade. But if your palate is like ours, it’s worth pulling out all the stops—especially on a holiday weekend when there’s more time.

RECIPE: BLT AVOCADO BURGERS

Ingredients For 6 Burgers
 
For The Caramelized Chipotle Onions

  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle or other chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  •    

    Grilled-Avocado-BLT-Burger-californiaavocado-230ps

    Our favorite burger recipe has it all: avocado, bacon, blue cheese, caramelized onions and tomato. Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission.

     
    For The Blue Cheese Spread

  • 6 1/2 ounce light garlic-and-herbs spreadable cheese
  • 4 ounces Point Reyes blue cheese or other favorite blue cheese, crumbled
  •  
    For The Burger Patties

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/3 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup Zinfandel or other hearty red wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, thyme, and basil (in any combination)
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle or other chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons spicy seasoned salt (like chipotle sea salt)
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  •  
    For The Grilled Avocado

  • 12 fresh avocado slices
  • Balsamic vinegar, for brushing on the avocado slices
  • Spicy seasoned salt, for sprinkling on the avocado slices
  • 12 bacon slices, pre-cooked
  • 6 rolls of choice, split (we prefer brioche or whole grain rolls)
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 6 large tomato slices (1/4-inch thick)
  •  

    original-blue-crackers-230

    Point Reyes blue cheese, made north of San Francisco, is a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. We can’t get enough of it (and all of the creamery’s products).

     

    Preparation

    Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

    1. MAKE the caramelized onions: Combine the onion, pepper sauce, broth, vinegar, oil, garlic and brown sugar in a 10-inch nonstick, fire-proof skillet. Cover with a lid and place on the grill rack. Cook the onion mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the pan and set aside.

    2. MAKE the cheese spread: Combine the cheeses in a fire-proof saucepan, cover and set aside.

    3. MAKE the patties: Combine the chuck, sirloin, onion, Zindandel, herbs, pepper sauce and seasoned salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties to fit the rolls. When the grill is ready…

    4. BRUSH the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once until done to preference (5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium). Meanwhile…

     
    5. PLACE the saucepan with the cheese spread on the outer edge of the rack to warm the cheese mixture, just until it reaches a very soft, spreadable consistency. Remove the the saucepan from the grill and set aside. During the final minutes of grilling the patties…

    6. BRUSH the avocado slices with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a seasoned salt. Arrange on a rimmed nonstick perforated grilling pan coated lightly with oil, and grill alongside the patties for 1 to 2 minutes, turning as necessary.

    7. ADD the bacon slices to the pan during the final 30 seconds of grilling the patties. When the avocados are nicely grilled and the bacon is crisp, remove from the grill. When the patties are cooked, remove from the grill, stacking to keep them warm.

    8. PLACE the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

    9. ASSEMBLE the burgers: Spread a generous amount of the cheese mixture over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a tomato slice, a patty, an equal portion of the caramelized onions, 2 avocado slices and 2 bacon slices. Add the roll tops and serve.

    It’s worth the effort!

    Tips To Make A Better Burger

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Grilled Fruit Flatbread

    As long as the grill is fired up, grill your dessert!

    In this recipe from McCormick, naan flatbread, an Indian staple, serves as the base for fresh fruit.

    Both the bread and the fruit are grilled separately, then assembled with a yogurt sauce, chopped pistachios and a garam masala-spiced honey drizzle that continue the theme.

    Grill your favorite fruit: apricot, mango, nectarine, peach, pineapple, plum or strawberry work well.

    If you’re concerned about buying a bottle of spice for just one recipe, fear not:

    Garam masala, which adds warm, sweet flavor, is an all-purpose seasoning for chicken, fish, lamb, potatoes, rice pilaf, even breads. Read more about it below. You may even already have the spices to blend your own (see the end of this article).

    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

    RECIPE: GRILLED FRUIT FLATBREAD WITH INDIAN ACCENTS

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

       

    Grilled_Fruit_Tart_with_Spiced_Honey_Drizzle_mccormick-230ps

    A peach tart made on the grill. Photo courtesy McCormick.

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons garam masala, divided (we used McCormick Gourmet Garam Masala Blend)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey, divided
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces—2 pieces) plain naan
  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (substitute vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios (substitute sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX the butter, 2 teaspoons of the garam masala and 1 teaspoon of the honey in small bowl. Brush the naan and peaches with honey mixture.

    2. GRILL the naan over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes per side or until toasted. Grill the peaches 2 to 3 minutes or until grill marks appear. Slice the peaches into 1/4-inch thick slices.

    3. MIX the yogurt and coconut; spread atop each naan. Top with the sliced peaches and sprinkle with the pistachios. Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon garam masala and drizzle over the top of the peaches. Serve warm or at room temperature.

     

    garam-masala-mccormick-230

    Garam masala, a popular Indian spice blend. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    WHAT IS GARAM MASALA

    Garam masala is an aromatic spice blend originating in northern India, but used in both northern and southern cuisines. It is like other spice blends in that the ingredients and proportions will vary somewhat by cook or manufacturer.

    Garam means hot in Hindi, and masala is a mixture of spices. The ingredients generally include black, brown and green cardamom pods; black and white peppercorns; cinnamon; clove; coriander; cumin; nutmeg and/or mace*; and turmeric.

    Other ingredients can include bay leaf, fennel seeds, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, mace, malabar leaf, mustard seed, saffron, star anise and tamarind.

    In Northern Indian cuisine, garam masala is typically used in powder form, while in Southern India it is often made into a paste with coconut milk, vinegar or water.

     

    In fine cooking, the spices are toasted and ground before use, to maintain the intensity of the flavor. But you can buy preground blends, like McCormick’s garam masala.
     
    RECIPE: GARAM MASALA

    If you want to blend your own, here’s a very simple recipe. Start with these proportions and then adjust to your particular preferences:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander (cilantro seed)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  
    Store unused spices in an airtight container away from heat and light.
     
    *Nutmeg is the seed of the nutmeg tree, while the more mild mace is the dried reddish covering of the seed.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Bear Toast

    Food fun doesn’t get easier than this:

  • Toast a piece of whole wheat bread.
  • Spread it with honey or peanut butter.
  • Add banana slices for the ears and mouth.
  • Add raisins for the eyes and nose.
  •  
    All of the ingredients are on the “better for you” list, so enjoy!

    P.S. It’s not just for kids! Who wouldn’t love a piece of bear toast?

     

    Bite this bear! Photo courtesy Dana’s Bakery | Facebook.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Put Bourbon In Your Barbecue Sauce

    makers-mark-beauty-whiskey-wikia.com-230

    Add bourbon to your barbecue sauce. Photo courtesy Whiskey.Wikia.com.

     

    Are you making barbecue sauce for the holiday weekend? Consider adding some bourbon, which is trending with chefs.

    According to Datassential MenuTrends, bourbon barbecue sauce, which first became popular in the South and Midwest, appears on 32% more restaurant menus than it did four years ago. The trend is spreading nationwide.

    Bourbon adds notes of smokiness and wood (like oak does for wine). Other ingredients to add to your sauce include brown sugar, garlic, liquid smoke, maple syrup, molasses, onion, sriracha sauce (or fresh chiles) and tamarind.

    In addition to burgers, chicken, pulled pork, ribs and wings, bourbon barbecue sauce is also ending up in “Texas Eggs Benedict,” inspired by the classic with pulled pork instead of Canadian bacon and bourbon barbecue sauce instead of the hollandaise (or along with it).

    For starters, try the recipe below. It’s extremely easy to make—just combine the ingredients and heat!

    If you’ve already purchased a bottle of barbecue sauce, you can use it as a base. Place it in a saucepan with the bourbon and any of the other ingredients below, to taste.

     
    RECIPE: BOURBON BARBECUE SAUCE

    This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com. It can be made up to two weeks in advance.

     

    Ingredients For 2 Cups

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light (mild) molasses
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BRING all ingredients to boil in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
     

     

    ribs-sauce-EZForyu-IST-230

    Make your own barbecue sauce, or enhance one that you’ve purchased with bourbon. Photo by E.Z. Foryu | IST.

    2. LOWER the heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 2 cups, stirring often (about 10 minutes).

    3. REMOVE from the heat; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Apple Ginger Cole Slaw

    apple-ginger-cole-slaw-wmmb-230

    Go gourmet with apple ginger cole slaw. Photo courtesy EatWisconsin Cheese.com.

     

    When we attend summer cookouts, we always offer to bring the cole slaw. That way, we know it will be a great recipe. With respect to the simple prepared slaws of shredded cabbage and a bit of carrot doused with sweetened mayonnaise—we’ve eaten our share—cole slaw deserves as much attention and finesse as any other recipe.

    For Memorial Day, we’re whipping up this Apple Cole Slaw with Lemon Ginger Yogurt Dressing. The recipe, from Eat Wisconsin Cheese, uses queso blanco; but you can substitute Monterrey Jack or even mozzarella.

    RECIPE: APPLE COLE SLAW

    Ingredients For 8 Servings (About 12 Cups)

  • 1 large apple, cored and julienned
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon*
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 6 cups purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup queso blanco cheese, cubed
  •  
    *Approximately 4 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon zest.

     
    Optional Ingredients

  • Red or purple grapes, halved
  • Radishes, sliced or matchsticks
  •  
    Preparation

    1. TOSS the apple, lemon juice and zest in medium bowl; set aside.

    2. WHISK together in a large bowl the yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir in the green and purple cabbages, carrots, cheese and lemon-apple mixture.

    3. SEASON to taste with additional salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

     
    ANOTHER COLE SLAW RECIPE

    For July 4th, try this BLT Cole Slaw recipe. Garnished with cherry tomatoes, it’s red, white (the cabbage) and blue (blue cheese).

     
    WHAT’S A SLAW? WHY IS IT COLE?

    Long part of the culinary repertoire, “koolsla” or “koolsalade” in Dutch means cabbage salad. Cabbage, the “kool” is pronounced “cole.” “Sla” is short for “salade.”

    Instead of being pulled into bite-size pieces like lettuce, the cabbage was sliced.

    The term got anglicized in the 18th century as cole slaw (and sometimes, cold slaw). In English, “slaw” came to specify a salad of shredded vegetables.

    Over time, shredded cabbage slaw was joined by carrot slaws and more recently, broccoli slaw.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Trifle

    Want to make a fancy dessert but don’t want to turn on the oven? Make a trifle.

    TRIFLE HISTORY

    A trifle is a classic English dessert, called by a variety of names including Tipsy Cake, Tipsy Parson, Tipsy Squire and Tipsy Hedgehog. “Tipsy” indicates the addition of spirits, typically sherry.

    Trifle was an evolution of the fool, a simpler dessert of puréed fruit and whipped cream. The trifle emerged as a way to use stale cake.

    Today, a classic English trifle layers fruit, whipped cream, egg custard and sponge cake that’s been soaked in sherry. Zuppa inglese is the Italian version.

    According to What’s Cooking America, the recipe was brought to America in the mid-1700s by Brits settling in the coastal South. The combination of cake or biscuits with custard and alcohol became a popular dessert, served in an elegant cut-glass trifle bowl.

    The recipe below is an evolution still, using modern America’s outdoor grills to add another note of flavor to the fruit. Of course, you can make the recipe without cooking the fruit. The recipe is from QVC’s chef David Venable.

       

    chocolate-strawberry-trifle-qvc-230

    Chocolate trifle with grilled strawberries. Photo courtesy QVC.

     

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE BERRY TRIFLE

    Strawberries are usually the most economical berry, but you can substitute other berries (and matching preserves). While this recipe uses whipped topping, we vastly prefer whipped cream.

    Use a large glass trifle bowl or salad bowl to assemble the trifle. If you don’t have one or can’t borrow one, a glass mixing bowl works, too; the idea is to show the visual appeal of the layers. But you can default to a lovely [opaque] porcelain bowl or soufflé dish.

    There’s no sherry in this recipe, but if you want it, sprinkle it over the cake.

    Ingredients For 14-16 Servings

    For The Grilled Strawberries

  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  •  
    For The Trifle

  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cold strong coffee
  • 2 packages (3.9 ounces each) chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
  • 1 container (16 ounces) whipped topping, or whipped cream stiffened with gelatin (recipe below), divided
  • 1 chocolate cake, cut into 1″ pieces*
  • 1 package Oreos (14.3 ounces), crumbled
  •  
    *We typically buy an uniced loaf cake or bake a bundt—it’s easier to cut into cubes than an iced cake.

     

    whipped-cream-kuhnrikonFB-230sq

    For all you Cool Whip lovers: Fresh whipped cream is so much better! For fillings and icings, you just need to stabilize it with gelatin (recipe below). Photo courtesy Kuhn Rikon.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the grilled strawberries: Preheat an outdoor grill over high heat. Place the halved strawberries, lemon juice and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Toss until the strawberries are fully coated and place them in a nonstick grill pan. Cook for 5–6 minutes, tossing constantly.

    2. PLACE the berries back into the bowl and add the strawberry preserves. Mix until evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until completely cold.

    3. PREPARE the pudding: Whisk together the milk, coffee and instant pudding in a large bowl until the mixture is thick. Fold in half of the whipped topping until fully incorporated. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until completely cold.

     
    4. ASSEMBLE the trifle: Place 1/3 of the chocolate cake pieces into the bowl; then layer 1/3 of the pudding mixture, 1/3 of the grilled strawberries and 1/3 of the remaining whipped topping. End with 1/3 of the crushed Oreos. Repeat this process 2 more times, finishing with the whipped topping and crushed Oreos. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
     
    RECIPE: STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM WITH GELATIN

    Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 4 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1?4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the gelatin and cold water in a small pan; let stand until the mixture is thick. Then place the pan over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from the heat. Let it cool, but do not allow it to set.

    2. WHIP the cream with the sugar until slightly thick. While slowly beating, add the gelatin to whipping cream. Whip at high speed until stiff.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Rhubarb Ketchup

    rhubarb-ketchup-tasteofhome-230

    Rhubarb and tomato ketchup. For a smooth texture, use an immersion blender or food processor. Photo courtesy Taste Of Home.

     

    Need something to bring to a Memorial Day cook-out? How about homemade ketchup? Pack it into mason jars and tie a ribbon around the neck.

    Go one step further and make rhubarb ketchup, a condiment from yesteryear.

    A combination of the familiar tomato and the less-familiar tang of rhubarb (now in season), the recipe below adds notes of cinnamon and pickling spices to burgers, fries, sandwiches and other foods.

    It’s how ketchup used to taste, before the bland tomato sweetness of major national brands took over.

    It’s very easy to make ketchup at home. Prep time is just five minutes, plus an hour to simmer and another hour to chill.

    This recipe is courtesy of Taste Of Home.

     

    RECIPE: RHUBARB KETCHUP

    Ingredients For 6-7 Cups

  • 4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all ingredients except the pickling spice in a large saucepan.

    2. PLACE the pickling spice on a double thickness of cheesecloth, gather the corners of cloth to enclose and tie securely with string. Add to saucepan.

    3. COOK 1 hour or until thickened. Discard the spice bag. Cool the ketchup. Smooth with an immersion blender, if desired.

    4. STORE in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

     
    MORE KETCHUP

  • Here’s a homemade tomato ketchup recipe that uses honey instead of sugar. It includes variations for chipotle, cranberry, curry, garlic, horseradish, jalapeño and sriracha ketchup flavors.
  • Check out the history of ketchup, a condiment and table sauce that originated in Asia and wasn’t made with tomatoes until centuries after it was brought to the West. The Asians made it with pickled fish and the Brits made it with mushrooms. Tomato ketchup was born in the U.S.A.
  •  

    rhubarb-trimmed-beauty-goodeggsNY-230

    Rhubarb, ready to turn into ketchup. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | New York.

     

    BEYOND BURGERS & FRIES: 10 USES FOR KETCHUP

    Burgers, fries and other fried or breaded food—chicken, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, zucchini fries—are obvious. Meat loaf sandwiches are a given, as are breakfast eggs. Here are ten more everyday condiment uses for ketchup.

  • Baked Beans: Mom topped her baked beans recipe with ketchup and bacon strips before placing the dish in the oven.
  • Barbecue Sauce: Read the labels—most have a ketchup base! Browse homemade BBQ sauce recipes and add your own favorite ingredients.
  • Cocktail Sauce: Mix with horseradish.
  • Dip: Mix ketchup with plain yogurt, or serve it straight with potato chips.
  • Hot Dogs: We grew up with mustard on hot dogs, and discovered well into adult hood that many people use ketchup instead.
  • Meat Loaf Glaze: A favorite topping in American meat loaf recipes: Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of ketchup.
  • Russian Dressing: Combine equal proportions of ketchup and mayonnaise.
  • Steak Sauce: Melt a stick of butter in a sauce pan, add three minced garlic cloves, simmer a bit and stir in a cup of ketchup. Serve hot or room temperature.
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce: Add Thai fish sauce and fresh lime juice.
  • Thousand Island Dressing: Combine ketchup with mayonnaise ans sweet pickle relish.
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Classic Cheese Soufflé

    comte-Souffle-comte-USAfb-230L

    A cheese soufflé, golden, fragrant, cheesy and hot. Photo courtesy Comté USA.

     

    Today is National Cheese Soufflé Day.

    We spent most of our 20’s making soufflés, both sweet (chocolate, vanilla, fruit) and savory (cheese, fish, spinach). The frenzy with which we turned them out was, in retrospect, our own mash-up of Julie & Julia and Groundhog Day.

    Modern soufflés were developed in France in the 18th century. The cheese soufflé, initially one course of a larger meal, evolved in modern times to a light main course, served with a green salad and a glass of rosé or white wine.

    To make a cheese soufflé, grated cheese is mixed into a béchamel (a type of white sauce).

    In the course of making cheese soufflés over and over again, we tried different cheeses, from Comté and Gruyère to Cheddar and Stilton. The cheese you prefer will depend on how mild or sharp you like your cheeses, but start with Comté or Gruyère, two French basics.

     
    There are a few “givens”:

  • You need a straight-sided soufflé dish.
  • You need to butter the entire inside thoroughly so the soufflé will rise evenly instead of sticking.
  • After you butter the dish, coat the butter with grated Parmesan or bread crumbs; then turn the dish upside down and tap out the extra crumbs. It’s just like buttering and flouring a cake pan.
  • You can make an optional collar from parchment or foil, and tie it around the dish with kitchen twine. This enables the soufflé to rise up perfectly, but it isn’t essential unless you’re really aiming to impress picky gourmets.
  • Always place the rack in the center of the oven before preheating.
  •  
    The following recipe uses a 10-cup soufflé dish or six individual ramekins (individual soufflé dishes).
     
    RECIPE: CHEESE SOUFFLÉ

    Ingredients For 4 to 6 Side Servings Or 2 Mains

  • Grated Parmesan cheese and softened butter for soufflé dish
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter for the béchamel (white sauce)
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons, packed)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 large egg whites
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the rack in the center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Generously butter one 10-cup soufflé dish or six 1-1/4-cup ramekins. Sprinkle the dish(es) with Parmesan cheese to coat and tap out the extra. If using ramekins, place all six on a rimmed baking sheet for easy removal from the oven.

    2. MELT the half stick of butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Cook without browning until the mixture begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 1 minute.

    3. GRADUALLY WHISK in the milk, then the wine. Whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth, thick and beginning to boil, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

    4. BLEND the egg yolks, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add the yolk mixture all at once to the white sauce and whisk quickly to blend. Fold in the Gruyère and the Parmesan cheeses (the cheeses do not need to melt—they’ll melt in the oven).

    5. BEAT the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into the [lukewarm] cheese base to lighten. Fold in the remaining egg whites.

     

    sancerre_rose_Wine-thor-wiki-230ps

    Rosé is our favorite wine with a cheese soufflé. Photo by Thor | Wikimedia

     

    6. TRANSFER the soufflé mixture to the buttered dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Gruyère.

    7. PLACE the soufflé in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375°F. Bake the soufflé until puffed, golden and gently set in center—about 40 minutes for the large soufflé or 25 minutes for the ramekins.

    8. REMOVE the baked soufflé with oven mitts to a heatproof platter (or individual plates for the ramekins), and serve immediately.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pasta Made Tricolor With Veggies

    mediterranean-chicken-pasta-urbanaccents-230

    Mediterranean Pasta With Chicken. Photo
    courtesy Urban Accents.

     

    Doesn’t this pasta dish look more exciting than a conventional red-sauced plate? It uses vegetables to make “tricolor pasta” instead of pasta colored green and red with spinach and tomatoes.

    Tricolor pasta—green and red plus white—looks appealing in the bag but typically fades when cooked. So try a more colorful approach with veggies!

    In this recipe, color comes from red cherry tomatoes, purple kalamata olives and green spinach. If you want to use a red sauce, simply switch out the red tomatoes for orange or yellow varieties.

    Whether you use a red, white or colorless sauce (e.g. olive oil), adding two, three or four vegetable colors to your pasta dish provides great eye appeal as well as more flavor and nutrition.

     
    YEAR-ROUND COLORFUL VEGETABLES

    While green ingredients are a given, look for ingredients from the other produce “color groups.” For reference with other recipes, we’ve included fruits along with vegetables in this list.

  • Green: edamame (soybean), herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, parsley), Granny Smith apples, grapes, green beans, green peas (frozen are fine), mesclun or other salad greens, olives, snow peas, sugar snap peas
  • Orange: bell pepper strips, carrots (baby carrots, sliced or shaved carrots), kumquats, grape tomatoes, mandarin wedges, mango, sweet potatoes (cubed or sliced)
  • Purple/blue: blackberries, blueberies, cauliflower, grapes, kalamata olives, kale, Peruvian potatoes, red cabbage red raisins (plumped in cider)
  • Red: beets, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, dried cherries or cranberries, grape tomatoes, lady apples, mini red jacket potatoes, pomegranate arils, radicchio/red endive, radishes, red grapes/champagne grapes (currants), red onion
  • Yellow: bell pepper strips, golden raisins (plumped in cider), lemon peel, miniature pattypan squash, star fruit (carambola)
  •  

    RECIPE: TRICOLOR MEDITERRANEAN PASTA
    WITH CHICKEN

    This Mediterranean Pasta With Chicken is an easy one-pot dinner, with a goat cheese-based sauce accented with sundried tomatoes, olives and Mediterranean herbs. It was adapted from Urban Accents, which used its Athenian Herb Dryglaze seasoning blend, which pairs sundried tomato with honey and thyme flavors.

    Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 30 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 packet Urban Accents Athenian Herb Dryglaze, divided seasoning
  • 1 pound penne, rigatoni or other medium tubular pasta
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes (not oil-packed), roughly chopped
  • 5 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise and pitted
  • 1/3 cup chopped arugula, parsley or spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    For The Seasoning

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried minced garlic
  •  

    penne-rigate-sxc-230

    Penne rigate. Rigate refers to the ridges, which help the sauce adhere. They give their name to rigatoni, ridged tubes. The difference between penne rigate and rigatoni and is the end cut: Penne (“quills”) are cut at an angle, rigatoni are cut straight. Also, rigatoni tend to be slightly larger. See the different pasta shapes in our Pasta Glossary.

     

    Preparation

    1. BLEND the seasoning ingredients. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, for the pasta. As the water heats…

    2. RUB the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in resealable plastic bag. Add the seasonings, reserving 2 tablespoons of seasoning for later use. Seal the bag tightly and gently shake so that breasts are coated evenly; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    3. PREHEAT the stovetop grill pan for medium heat; spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cook chicken breasts, turning once, until cooked through and instant read thermometer indicates 170F. Slice cooked chicken breasts on angle. While chicken cooks…

    4. COOK the pasta for 3 minutes less than package instructions. Add the sundried tomatoes to water and cook for 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta; return the pasta and the sundried tomato mixture to the pot.

    5. ADD the goat cheese, reserved seasoning and cup of pasta water to hot pasta. Wait 1-2 minutes, then stir gently to combine. Add additional pasta water if you prefer a saucier dish. Stir in the olives and sprinkle with the arugula/parsley/spinach. Divide the pasta among 4 plates and top with slices of chicken.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Salsa For National Salsa Month

    Five_Pepper_Salsa-melissas-230

    Salsa fresca, made with raw ingredients. Other salsas are cooked. Photo courtesy Melissa’s.

     

    Salsa, which has been America’s favorite condiment since 2000 (when it supplanted ketchup),actually has been a favorite condiment for thousands of years.

    The chile was domesticated around 5200 B.C.E., and tomatoes by 3000 B.C.E. both in Central America. The Aztecs combined the two, often along with other ingredients like beans and squash seeds, into a condiment, which the Conquistadors named “salsa,” or sauce. Here’s the history of salsa.

    May is National Salsa Month. If you’ve never made salsa at home, now’s the time.

    Basic salsa couldn’t be easier: salsa fresca, “fresh salsa” made with raw ingredients, is a combination of chopped tomatoes, onions, chiles and lime juice.

  • You can customize your salsa with beans, bell peppers, cilantro, corn kernels, and fresh herbs.
  • You can vary the texture: uncooked salsas can be puréed until smooth, chopped finely like pico de gallo or be served semi-chunky, in which case it is called a salsa cruda.
  •  

  • You can include Old World ingredients like garlic and olives.
  • You can add fruit—mango, nectarine, peach and pineapple are the most popular—for sweet heat.
  • You can make salsa verde, green salsa, by substituting tomatillos or avocado for tomatoes (guacamole is avocado salsa; the tomatillo is not a small green tomato but a relative of the gooseberry).
  • You can vary the chile flavor and strength, from mild to hot, from green and vegetal to smoky chipotle.
  •  
    If you want to make a cooked salsa, another world of ingredients opens, including roasted vegetables and sweet potatoes to.
     
    USING MORE THAN ONE CHILE

    There are many easy recipes for salsa fresca; most use jalapeño chiles. But you can layor the chile flavors by adding other varieties.

    We adapted this recipe from one for Five Chile Salsa from Melissas.com. It adds an Anaheim chile to the jalapeño.

    The Anaheim chile was developed around 1900 in Anaheim, California from New Mexican pasilla chiles. (See the different types of chiles.)

    The Anaheim is not a hot chile. It has a modest heat level, as low as 1,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Jalapeños are about 10,000 SHU, while habaneros are 100,000 SHU or more.

    Bell peppers are also chiles (all chiles come from the genus Capsicum), but they have no heat. Chiles, new world fruits, were mis-named “peppers” by Columbus’s sailors, who compared their heat to black pepper (no relation).

    While much of the world continues to use the misnomer “pepper,” we use it only for bell peppers, calling all other varieties by their proper name, chile.

     

    RECIPE: THREE CHILE SALSA

    Ingredients

  • 3 roma* (plum) tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 Anaheim chile
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • Juice of one lime or lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SEED and dice the tomatoes and peppers, chop the cilantro and red onion.

    2. MIX the tomatoes and peppers in a bowl with the cilantro and red onion.

     

    salsa-baked-potato-TexaSweet-230

    Top a baked potato with salsa, with or without sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt). Photo courtesy TexaSweet.

     
    3. JUICE the lime or lemon over the other chopped ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.

    4. MIX the ingredients until well combined, serve with tortilla chips, or as a garnish.

     
    *Named after the city of Rome, Roma tomatoes are also known as Italian tomatoes or Italian plum tomatoes.
     
    WAYS TO ENJOY SALSA

    Breakfast

  • On eggs as a garnish
  • Mixed into frittatas and omelets
  •  
    Lunch

  • As a sandwich condiment—especially with grilled cheese or roasted veggies
  • Mixed into chicken, egg, macaroni, potato or tuna salad
  • With fries, instead of ketchup
  • With anything Tex-Mex
  •  
    Dinner

  • As a sauce for seafood cocktail (add some horseradish!)
  • Atop a baked potato, or mixed into mashed potatoes
  • Made into compound butter and served as a pat atop grilled meats
  • Mixed with cooked rice or other grains
  • With mac and cheese
  •  
    Snacks

  • Mixed into deviled eggs
  • Mixed into a dip with mayonnaise, sour cream or plain yogurt
  • On nachos
  • With chips
  • With crudités
  •  
    What’s your favorite use? Let us know!

      

    Comments

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