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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

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.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Marinated Cod

    If you’re looking to put together a Feast Of The Seven Fishes, or simply would like a new way to prepare cod, here’s a recipe from Landana Cheese.

    The company uses its Landana 1000 Days, an aged Gouda, in the recipe. Serve the cod with a Chablis or other dry white wine. Find more recipes at LandanaCheese.com.

    RECIPE: MARINATED COD

    Ingredients

  • 2.6 ounces (75g) aged Gouda cheese
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • 2 cloves
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • 2 onions
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 28.2 ounces (800g) whole cod
  • Garnish: 1 lemon, sliced
  •    


    Cod marinated in white wine and herbs. Photo courtesy Landana Cheese.

     

    For The Sauce

  • 1 cup clarified butter
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  •  

    types-of-Roux-rouxbe-230

    Roux types. Photo courtesy Rouxbe.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE a marinade from the wine, cloves, some thyme, bay leaf, rosemary and sage. Peel the onion, cut into large pieces and add to the marinade. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, simmering for 10 minutes; then leave to cool until lukewarm.

    2. WASH the fish and lay it in a pan that can be tightly covered. Pour the lukewarm marinade into the pan. If it doesn’t fully cover the fish, add broth or water. Cover and let the fish to marinate for 5 hours.

    3. BRING the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

    4. MELT the butter, add enough flour to make a white roux (see instructions below). Dilute with strained cooking liquid until a creamy sauce is created. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. In the meantime…

     
    5. GRATE the cheese and mix it, along with the cream, into the sauce. Season to taste and keep warm.

    6. DRAIN the fish and lay it carefully on a preheated serving dish. Drizzle the sauce over the fish and garnish with thin slices of lemon and fresh herbs. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.
     
    HOW TO MAKE A WHITE ROUX

    A roux (pronounced roo) is a combination of fat and flour, that has been used for centuries as a thickening agent in French cuisine. White and blonde roux are used to thicken sauces and soups. Brown and dark brown roux are primarily used in Cajun and Creole dishes, such as gumbo and jambalaya. They have more flavor than the white and blonde versions, but are thinner and thus do a lighter job of thickening

    1. MELT the clarified butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is hot enough, a pinch of flour sprinkled on top of it will slowly start to bubble. Then…

    2. WHISK the flour into the clarified butter until a thick, rough paste forms. Whisk constantly while the paste bubbles over medium heat. As it cooks, the roux will become smooth and begin to thin. After about 5 minutes, the raw smell of the flour becomes a nutty aroma and you have a white roux.
     
    For Other Roux

    As it continues to cook—with continuous stirring—the roux becomes smoother and thinner and the bubbling becomes slower.

  • Blonde Roux. You’ll get a blonde roux after 20 minutes of continuous cooking and stirring. The bubbles begin to slow, the color is tan and the aroma is of of popcorn or toast.
  • Brown Roux. After approximately 35 minutes of cooking you’ll get a brown roux—actually a tan, peanut butter color. The aroma is roasted and nutty.
  • Dark Brown Roux. After about 45 minutes of cooking, the roux becomes the color of milk chocolate, is very thin and is no longer bubbling. Its will actually smell a bit like chocolate.
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cream Cheese Christmas Tree Appetizer

    cream-cheese-pepper-jelly-xmastree-indulgy.com-bertha-230

    Deck the appetizer plate with cream cheese and pepper jelly. Photo: Pinterest.

     

    The block of cream cheese topped with pepper jelly takes on a special shape for the holidays.

    We originally thought that this photo was from Bertha at Indulgy.com, but so many people have posted it on Pinterest and elsewhere that the original source is in question. If it’s yours, please let us know so we can link to you.

    RECIPE: CREAM CHEESE CHRISTMAS TREE APPETIZER

    Ingredients

  • 8 ounce block cream cheese
  • Pepper jelly or salsa
  • 1 green onion (scallion)
  • 1 green bell pepper or chile
  • Crackers or tortilla chips
  • Optional garnish: snipped chives or parsley
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT a block of cream cheese on the diagonal. Place on a plate to make a tree shape.

    2. USE a portion of the green onion to create the trunk of the tree.

    3. ADD pepper jelly and a star cut from the pepper. Serve with crackers of choice (or if you use salsa, with tortilla chips).

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Smoked Salmon Gougères

    gougeres-pancetta-thyme-fontina-gougeres-aidamollenkamp-230r

    Gougères are the perfect hors d’ouevre to
    serve with white wine and sparkling wine.
    Photo and recipe courtesy Chef Aida
    Mollenkamp.

     

    Gougères (goo-ZHAIR) are airy French cheese puffs, savory choux pastry that is mixed with grated cheese and baked into savory bites.

    In France, the cheese is most often a hearty Swiss mountain cheese: Gruyère, Comté or Emmentaler; a hint of nutmeg is added to the recipe. Served warm from the oven, gougères are simple yet elegant hors d’oeuvres—a perfect choice to serve with Champagne, other sparkling wine, or any wine or craft beer.

    This special-occasion recipe comes from Beth and Bob Kennett of Liberty Hill Farm in Vermont.

    Beth’s ancestors began farming in 1641 in Maine; she’s a ninth generation farmer. Bob’s family, the Kennetts, started their farm in 1742 in New Hampshire. Today, their sons, David and Tom, with a new generation of grandchildren following close behind, work with Beth and Bob to continue the honored tradition of family farming.

    If you’re in Vermont, Beth hosts regular farm tours and cooking classes where visitors can follow the milk from the farm to the family and back to the kitchen.

     

    Beth used Cabot Cheddar, butter and cream cheese in this recipe. You can, of course, substitute any of the Swiss mountain cheeses for the Cheddar. The special touch here is integrating smoked salmon, a celebratory food, into the airy cheese puffs.

    If you’re not a smoked salmon fan, the gougères are just as special with crumbled bacon or minced ham. Here’s a recipe for Pancetta, Thyme & Fontina Gougères (photo above).

    Prep time is 40 minutes, cook time is 35 minutes.

    RECIPE: VERMONT CHEDDAR & SALMON GOUGÈRES

    Ingredients For 24 Pieces

    For The Gougères

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
  •  

    For The Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 -1 cup finely minced smoked salmon*
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. COMBINE water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and heat until butter is melted. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until mixture breaks away from side of pan and forms smooth ball.

     

    smoked-slamon-cheddar-gougeres-cabot-goboldwithbutter-230r

    Smoked salmon-stuffed gougères. Photo courtesy Cabot Creamery.

     
    3. REMOVE from heat and let rest for two minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, stirring quickly so the egg doesn’t cook, until the dough is firm, smooth and waxy. Add all of cheddar, all but 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, mustard and red pepper, and stir until well blended.

    4. TRANSFER the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with large plain tip. Pipe dough into two dozen small round mounds, evenly separated. Sprinkle tops with remaining Parmesan.

    5. BAKE for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer or until completely golden brown.

    6. MAKE the filling. Beat together the cream cheese, salmon, chives and hot sauce. Stir in sour cream to achieve proper consistency for filling. Stir in red peppers.

    7. MAKE a small slit in side of each gougère. Scrape the filling into a pastry bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off. Squeeze some of filling into each gougère. Plate and serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Christmas Bread Wreath

    rolls-wreath-artofcheese2-230

    Turn rolls into a holiday bread wreath. Photo
    courtesy ArtOfCheese.com.

     

    This show-stopping, pull apart bread wreath is served warm from the oven, with a centerpiece of melted Camembert cheese for dipping.

    Serve it with cocktails or as a TV snack. It will impress everyone, and it’s not hard to do. Starting with frozen rolls makes it a snap!

    Prep time is 3 hours (most of the time is for the bread to rise), cook time is 45 minutes. You can substitute a Baby Brie for the Camembert (the difference between Brie and Camembert is largely the size).

    The recipe is courtesy of Président Cheese, which has many ideas of what to do with cheese at its website, ArtOfCheese.com.

    RECIPE: CHRISTMAS WREATH BREAD

    Ingredients For 8-10 Portions

  • 1 8-ounce wheel of Camembert cheese (Président
    or other brand)
  • 1 25-ounce package Parker House-style frozen rolls
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (seeds) for garnish
  • Flaked Maldon or other coarse, flaky sea salt
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COVER a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. USE the Camembert as a guide to mark the center of the baking sheet; temporarily place it in the middle of the sheet. Arrange the frozen dough rolls in two circles around the cheese. Leave a 1/2” space between the rolls and between the circles (the rolls will expand as they bake). Remove the cheese and refrigerate until ready to use.

    3. BRUSH the frozen rolls with melted butter. Thaw for 1 hour in a warm, draft-free area, then allow an additional 2 hours to rise until they have doubled in size. Once the dough has formed a “wreath,” par-bake it at 325°F for 7 minutes.

    4. USE a sharp knife to carefully remove the top layer of rind from the Camembert wheel. This will allow for easy dipping.

    5. REMOVE the par-baked rolls from the oven and fit the Camembert in the center (remove any wrapping). Bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

     

    rolls-wreath-dip-artofcheese-230

    Dip the rolls into the baked Camembert. Photo courtesy ArtOfCheese.com.

     

    6. USE the parchment paper to slide the wreath off of the baking sheet and onto a serving platter or board. Brush rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with flaked Maldon sea salt. Sprinkle the Camembert with minced rosemary.

    7. GARNISH the wreath by inserting small 1” long pieces of fresh rosemary and clusters of pomegranate seeds between the rolls. Serve immediately.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Ice Cream Snowman

    Frosty, the ice cream snowman. Photo courtesy Breyers.

     

    What’s for dessert?

    This recipe was developed by Breyers, which used its chocolate chip ice cream. You can use coconut, egg nog, vanilla or any other ice cream flavor.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, freeze time is 20 minutes,

    RECIPE: ICE CREAM SNOWMEN

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 3 cups ice cream, divided
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Optional: orange or red fruit leather
  • 8 chocolate-dipped candy or pretzel sticks
  • 4 slices kiwi
  • 4 strawberry halves
  • Plus:

  • 4 extra additional candy sticks or wooden ice cream sticks
  • Preparation

    1. SCOOP the ice cream and quickly roll into 4 medium and 8 small ice cream balls.

    2. ROLL the balls in coconut, reserve any remaining coconut. Arrange the balls on a a wax paper-lined baking pan. Cover and freeze 20 minutes or until ready to serve.

    3. ASSEMBLE: Stack 1 medium and 2 small ice cream balls on each dessert plate. Insert a candy or wood stick down the center of the snowman to hold the three pieces together.

    4. USE mini chocolate chips for the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons (alternatively, cut the nose from orange or red fruit leather). Add candy sticks arms. Top each snowman with kiwi and strawberry hats. Evenly sprinkle the plates with the remaining coconut “snow.” Serve immediately.

     
      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Tribe Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus

    Kudos to Tribe Hummus for advancing the enjoyment of this healthful spread and snack. In addition to a hefty standard line-up, the company continues to produce limited edition flavors to please the palate.

    The current limited edition, Limited Batch Herb Infused Olive Oil, is a delight, spiced with sesame seeds and za’atar† (also spelled zahtar), a spice blend that is very popular in Middle Eastern cuisines, including Israeli.

    Then there’s the new Farmers Market line, which currently includes:

  • Cucumber Tzatziki Hummus, with cucumber and dill
  • Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus, a favorite combination in winter soups
  • Vine Ripened Tomato & Basil Hummus, a newer version of the brand’s Sundried Tomato & Basil flavor
  •    

    tribe-carrot-ginger-230sq

    Harvest Carrot & Ginger, one of Tribe’s new Farmer’s Market flavors. Photo courtesy Tribe.

     
    *Flavors from the Tribe Originals Line: Classic Hummus, Cracked Chili Peppers, Everything Hummus, Extra Smooth Classic, Forty Spices, Lemon Rosemary Focaccia, Mediterranean Olive, Mediterranean Style, Roasted Garlic, Spicy Chipotle, Spicy Red Pepper, Sweet Roasted Red Peppers, Zesty Spice & Garlic. Classic, Roasted Garlic and Sweet Roasted Red Peppers are also available in organic versions.

    †Za’atar is actually the Arabic word for Lebanese oregano, a member of the mint family Lamiaceaea, that was known in antiquity as hyssop. The za’atar blend will vary by the blender, but includes dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Some blends add coriander, cumin, fennel seed or savory. A Palestinian variation includes caraway seeds. To these spices, the unique components of Lebanese oregano and sumac berries are added. The sumac, ground into a reddish-purple powder that is a popular spice in Middle Eastern cuisine, imparts a tart, fruity flavor that differentiates za’atar from other spice blends.

     

    carrot-hummus-plated-kaminsky-230

    Tribe’s Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    The Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus, in particular, has a festive orange hue that looks especially nice for holiday snacking. Served with a platter of crudités, it’s a better-for-you option among the rich holiday fare.

    The orange color also fits right in with Halloween and the entire harvest season.

    If you’d like to make your own, here’s a reicpe:

    RECIPE: CARROT GINGER HUMMUS

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 cup well-packed shredded carrots
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about two lemons)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Garnish: snipped cilantro or parsley
  • Dippers: pita chips, baby carrots and other crudités
  • Preparation

    1. PLACE all ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times to coarsely chop. Then let food processor run for about 2 minutes until smooth.

    2. REMOVE hummus from food processor bowl to serving bowl, using a spatula. Serve with dippers of choice.

     
    CARROT TRIVIA

    Contrary to popular belief, baby carrots are not grown bite-sized. They are bred long and slender, and then cut into two-inch pieces and lathed to a uniform width.

    According to Web MD, carrots do, in fact, help with vision. They are high in vitamin A, a nutrient essential for good vision. Eating carrots provides the small amount of vitamin A needed for good vision. (Vitamin A is also be found in cheese, egg yolks, liver and milk.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Better-For-You-Holiday Desserts

    apple-pie-yogurt-cup-yoplait-230

    An alternative to apple pie using Apple Pie
    Yogurt. Photo courtesy Yoplait.

     

    Looking for sweet relief from high-calorie holiday desserts? Yoplait’s limited edition winter yogurt flavors can fill in.

    The new flavors include Greek 100 Caramel Macchiato, Greek Cinnamon Roll, Original Coconut Caramel and Light Chocolate Mint. Refreshing from the cup, they can also be combined with other ingredients to make better-for-you desserts.

    For example, you can make this apple pie yogurt cup in just 15 minutes:

    RECIPE: APPLE PIE YOGURT

    Ingredients For 1 Serving

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg roll skin (6-1/2-inches square, from a 16-ounce package)
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1 container (5.3 oz) Yoplait Greek 100 Apple Pie Yogurt
  • Preparation

    1. PLACE a 6-inch cooking parchment paper square on microwavable plate. Spray with cooking spray. In small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

    2. CUT two 3-1/2-inch rounds from the egg roll skin; discard scraps. Cut each round into 1/2-inch strips. Tightly weave the strips into a lattice pattern on parchment paper.

    3. SPRAY the strips with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.

    4. MICROWAVE uncovered on Medium (50%) 30 seconds; continue microwaving an additional 15 to 30 seconds, checking every 5 seconds to prevent the strips from burning in the center. Cool 5 minutes on parchment paper (the lattice will crisp as it cools). Meanwhile, stir the chopped apple into the yogurt cup.

    5. PLACE the pie crust on top of cup, and serve.

     

    RECIPE: APPLE CHIPS WITH CARAMEL-YOGURT DIP

    Or, try apple chips with a caramel-yogurt dip. If you don’t want to make the apple chips, it’s easy to buy them.

    Prep time is 10 minutes; total time including making the apple chips from scratch is 1 hour 10, minutes.

    Ingredients For 1 Serving

  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • 1 tablespoon fat-free caramel topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 container (6 ounces) Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free Apple Crisp Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans
  •  

    apple-chips-caramel-dip-yoplait-230

    Apple chips with a caramel yogurt dip. Photo courtesy Yoplait.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT THE oven to 275°F. Line a cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.

    2. USE a sharp knife to cut the apple into very thin slices (about 1/8 inch). Place on the cookie sheet.

    3. BAKE for 30 minutes. Quickly turn the slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer or until golden brown and crispy. Cool on a cookie sheet (the apples will continue to crisp up). Meanwhile…

    4. MICROWAVE the caramel topping in small microwavable bowl, uncovered on High for 30 seconds. Stir in the salt. Place the yogurt in a small bowl and drizzle the with salted caramel. Top with the walnuts and serve with the apple chips.
     
    Find more recipes on Yoplait.com.

      

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