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Archive for Recipes

TIP: Create A Guacamole Party Bar

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Guacamole with crispy bacon and shredded
cheddar. Here’s the recipe. Photo and recipe
courtesy Sabrina Modelle | The Tomato Tart
via California Avocado Commission.


National Guacamole Day is September 16th, and we wondered: If there are salad bars and frozen yogurt bars, cereal bars, baked potato bars and chili bars*, why not a guacamole bar? Who doesn’t love the opportunity to customize their foods?

Individual bowls and an array of ingredients enable each person to start with a base of smashed avocado, and pile on the fixings. They can then be mixed in or eaten as is—a mountain of flavors and textures.

Whether for a general party or drinks, we like to include a crunchy salad base, to make a more substantial dish. We prefer shredded cabbage, a.k.a. coleslaw mix. You end up with “guacamole coleslaw” at the bottom of the dish.

To encourage creativity, mix some non-traditional items (bacon? mint? pineapple?) with traditional ones.

  • Avocado: mashed, smashed or diced†
  • Cheese: crumbled cotija, goat cheese, queso blanco, queso fresco or queso oaxaca; shredded cheddar or jack
  • Diced veggies: bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, green and/or red onion, jicama, radish, tomatillo, tomato/sundried tomato
  • Seasonings: cayenne, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and/or minced garlic, hot sauce, lemon and/or lime wedges, paprika, salt/seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce
  • Heat: chile flakes, minced chipotle and jalapeño‡
  • Herbs: chives, cilantro, mint, parsley
  • Salad base: arugula, chicory, escarole, iceberg, radicchio, romaine, shredded cabbage, watercress
  • Toppings: bacon, corn, crushed pineapple, diced mango, olives, salsa, sour cream or plain yogurt, toasted nuts

  • Chips and dippers: celery sticks, crostini (toasted or grilled baguette slices), endive leaves, pita chips, tortilla chips, flatbread
  • Drinks: beer, white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or other crisp, medium-body white wine), white sangria
    Set the dishes on a table or buffet in this order: bowls, salad, avocado, veggies, heat, seasonings and toppings; include serving utensils with each option.

    At the end of the table, place the forks and spoons for blending and napkins, and dinner plates for the individual bowls and chips. Place large bowls of chips or other dippers on the tables.
    *More food bar ideas: Breakfast & Brunch Bar, Lunch & Dinner Bar and Dessert Bar.

    †Hass avocados are preferred. While other varieties are larger, the Hass variety is creamier, a desired characteristic for guacamole.

    ‡To accommodate those who just like a little heat, have two bowls of jalapeño: one minced and served as is, one with the heat-carrying seeds removed before mincing.



    Mesoamericans cultivated the avocado, a fruit which had grown in what we now call Central America for millions of years. The conquering Aztecs‡‡ called it ahuacatl; the “tl” is pronounced “tay” in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. Guacamole was compounded in a molcajete, a mortar and pestle carved from volcanic stone.

    When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1519 under Hernán Cortés, they heard ah-hwah-cah-tay as “aguacate,” the spelling and pronounciation they adopted.

    The name guacamole comes from Mexican Spanish via the Nahuatl “ahuacamOlli,” a compound of ahuacatl [avocado] + mOlli [sauce]. The chocolate-based mole sauce comes from that same word, mOlli.

    Ahuacatl means “testicle.” Aztecs saw the avocado as resembling testicles and ate them as a sex stimulant. According to Linda Stradley on the website, for centuries after Europeans came into contact with the avocado, it carried its reputation for inducing sexual prowess. It wasn’t purchased or consumed by anyone concerned with his or her reputation.


    Guacamole On Spoon

    Custom-blending guacamole is not only fun; you get exactly what you want. Photo courtesy McCormick.

    American avocado growers had to sponsor a public relations campaign to dispel the myth before avocados could become popular. After then, their dark green, pebbly flesh also earned avocados the name, “alligator pear.”
    ‡‡The Aztecs, who probably originated as a nomadic tribe in northern Mexico, arrived in Mesoamerica around the beginning of the 13th century.


  • Avocados been cultivated for over 10,000 years.
  • Avocados have more potassium that a banana, plus many other health benefits (here are the 12 health benefits of avocado).
  • Leaving the pit in to keep it from browning doesn’t really work.
  • The largest-ever serving of guacamole weighed 2,669.5 kg (5,885.24 lbs), created by the Municipality of Tancítaro Michoacan in Tancítaro, Mexico, on April 4th 2013. But how many tortilla chips were needed?
  • During festivities for the last Super Bowl, 104.2 million pounds of avocados were consumed nationally, mostly as guacamole.


    FOOD FUN: Mac & Cheese Potato Skins

    Many people enjoy crunchy potato skins filled with with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions.

    But at Tony Roma’s, they switch out the cheddar and sour cream for macaroni and cheese. You can make the mac and cheese from scratch, or use leftover mac and cheese.



  • Small baking potatoes
  • Melted butter
  • Mac and cheese
  • Garnishes: crisp diced bacon, minced chives or
    thinly-sliced green onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beer!


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    Mac & cheese potato skins. Photo courtesy Tony Roma’s.

    1. PLACE the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F.

    2. PIERCE each potato several times with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife and place on the oven rack. Bake until the skins are crisp and easily pierced with a knife or cake tester, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool about 10 minutes.

    3. SET the oven to broil. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh around the skins. Reserve the scooped flesh for another use (e.g. mashed potatoes).

    4. BRUSH the insides of the potatoes with melted butter; season with salt and pepper. Flip the skins and repeat.

    5. SPACE the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes, watching so they don’t burn. Flip the skins over and broil until the top edges begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

    6. REMOVE from the oven and fill each skin with mac and cheese and bacon. Place under the broiler and broil until the cheese bubbles, about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and top each skin with chives or green onion. Serve immediately.



    RECIPE: Green Bean Salad

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    Serve this green bean salad as a first course,
    chilled or at room temperature. Photo
    courtesy Distilled NY.


    Green beans are a popular year-round vegetable. Only broccoli ranks higher among the green veggies.

    According to Produce Pete, green beans (also called snap beans) are best in early winter, early summer and early fall, when they are the most tender.

    Select small to medium-sized pods that are velvety-looking and bright green, with no signs of wilting or wrinkling. Don’t think that bigger is better.

    Choose the smaller beans: They’ll be sweeter and more tender. Long, thicker beans have been left on the vine too long, and can be tough and tasteless.

    Fresh green beans should be tender enough to eat raw, and should have a crisp snap when you break them apart. If they’re rubbery and bend, pass them by.

    One our favorite green been salads is Niçoise-style: lightly steamed beans, red onion, halved cherry tomatoes and anchovies in a mustard vinaigrette, garnished with quartered hard-boiled eggs.

    You can also add boiled potatoes. Served at room temperature, it’s always a hit and is an excellent buffet dish as well.

    For people who don’t like anchovies or onions, we adapted this salad (photo above, recipe below) from Chef Sean Lyons at Distilled NY, in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. You can serve it as a first course or a side, lightly chilled or at room temperature.


    Ingredients For 4-5 Servings

  • 1 pound green beans
  • Tabbouleh, other grain salad (barley, rice, quinoa, etc.), or bean or lentil salad
  • 6-8 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard or sweetened plain Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Vinaigrette (recipe)
  • Garnish: Kalamata or Picholine olives -or – 1/4 pound firm white cheese*
    *Use feta, smoked mozzarella, ricotta salata or whatever your store has that can be cut into cubes.



    1. STEAM the green beans, ideally lightly so they still have a bit of crunch. Set aside.

    2. PREPARE the base salad. You can make corn corn relish, bean or grain salad. We saved time by purchasing tabbouleh and adding corn kernels.

    3. BLEND the sauce ingredients—yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise. You can tailor this to your tastes; for example, sour cream instead of yogurt, mustard and mayonnaise to taste. You want to get mild to medium mustard flavor.

    4. PREPARE the vinaigrette. We particularly like walnut or hazelnut oil with this salad, although olive oil is fine. Toss to lightly coat the string beans.

    5. USE a silicone barbecue brush to paint a swath of mustard sauce on one side of the plate or shallow bowl. Add the tabbouleh in an angle as shown. Place the green beans atop the tabbouleh.

    6. GARNISH as desired.


    Fresh Green Beans

    Green beans, also called snap beans, were bread from the older string beans. Photo courtesy Burpee.



    Green beans were formerly called string beans, because they originally had a string of tough fiber that ran the entire length of the bean. You had to remove the string from each and every bean before cooking.

    The inconvenient string was bred out over time, and people began to refer to the stringless beans as snap beans or green beans. But people who learned the name from their parents or grandparents may still use the old name.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Kugel

    The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah*, begins tomorrow night at sundown*. A traditional part of the dinner is kugel (KOO-gull), a casserole-like baked pudding that is served as part of the main course.

    The traditional versions in Jewish households are noodle pudding (lokshen kugel), made with egg noodles and raisins; and potato kugel; but mixed vegetable kugels have become very popular in recent decades.

    In our family’s tradition of excess, Nana always made a noodle kugel and a potato-carrot kugel. We always looked forward to them—especially the sweet noodle kugel—and always requested the crispiest† piece. Nana’s noodle pudding recipe is below.


    “Kugel” is a word from Middle High German meaning sphere, globe or ball. The Yiddish name likely originated as a reference to the first versions, baked in round pans to a puffed-up shape. (Today, kugels are often baked in square or rectangular pans.)

    According to Wikipedia, the first kugels were savory casseroles made from bread and flour. Some 800 years ago, German cooks replaced the bread and flour with noodles or farfel (pellet-shaped pasta like orzo).


    Vegetable Kugel

    A slice of vegetable kugel, made with carrot, onion, potato and zucchini. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | SF.

    Eventually eggs were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese and milk created a custard-like consistency that is common in today’s dessert kugels.

    Polish Jews added raisins, cinnamon and cottage cheese to their noodle kugels. Jews in different communities developed their own flavors. In Jerusalem, the kugel of choice is a caramelized sugar and black pepper noodle kugel. Here’s a detailed history of kugel.

    *Rosh Hashanah literally means “head of the year.” Because of the nature of the Jewish calendar, the date differs each year.

    †Bake a noodle kugel for a few extra minutes and the top noodles get crisper.


    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/noodle kugel kitchendaily 230

    Cholesterol conscious? This noodle kugel omits the egg yolks. Recipe courtesy Kitchen
    Daily. Here’s their recipe.



    As with casseroles, there are as many types of kugel as there are cooks who conceive them. You may even have enjoyed kugel without knowing it: Baked rice pudding is a kugel (rice kugel). Carrot pudding is a kugel.

    Savory kugels are most often potato kugels, but broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cheese, spinach, yellow squash and zucchini have become popular (usually with a touch of onion). Like cauliflower and mushrooms? Put them in your kugel. Here’s a link to many savory kugel recipes.

    Sweet kugels are made with apples, butternut squash, cherries, corn, dried fruits, peaches, pineapple, rhubarb, sweet potatoes and more. You can use any fruit you fancy, from lychee to mango. Check out these sweet kugel recipes.

    There are flourless Passover kugel recipes that adapt of all of these.




  • 1/2 pound wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 16 ounces small curd cottage cheese
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins (substitute dried cherries or cranberries)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 dashes salt
  • Optional: slivered almonds‡

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F.

    2. BOIL the noodles in salted water for 4 minutes; then drain. Combine the noodles with the other ingredients (except the almonds) in a large mixing bowl

    3. POUR into a greased baking pan, 9″ by 13″ baking dish (substitute 9″ by 9″ square pan). Sprinkle the optional almonds over the top. Bake until the custard is set and the top is golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes.
    Enjoy the leftover kugel for breakfast, cold or warmed.
    ‡Some people add a can of crushed pineapple. Nana would geschrei!



    RECIPE: Prosciutto-Cucumber Roulade Appetizer

    Parma ham, also known as prosciutto, is an easy ingredient for appetizers and first courses, paired with anything from melon to salads.

    This recipe from Italian chef Nicola Batavia, of Birichin in Turin, has eye appeal, crunch and, the palate-pleasing prosciutto and gin!

    Serve it as a first course; or instead of the salad course after the main course, with a wedge of blue cheese.

    If you don’t like cucumber, you can substitute fennel.

    While the recipe is simple, the cucumber needs to be prepared a day in advance.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 3-1/2 ounces sliced Parma ham

    Parma Ham Appetizer

    Adults only: the cucumbers are marinated in gin! Photo courtesy

  • 1 cucumber, ideally English or other seedless/low seed variety
  • Sea salt
  • Gin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Optional garnish: unbuttered popcorn (cute, but we substituted cubes of blue cheese)

    1. WASH the cucumber and cut it into strips. Put the strips in a container, cover with cold water and salt and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

    2. DRAIN the cucumber and immerse in gin for 2 hours.

    3. DRAIN again and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Wrap small bunches of strips into slices of Parma ham.

    4. SERVE the roulades on a plate with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and optional garnish.

    Find more Parma ham recipes at


    Prosciutto Platter

    A plate of prosciutto with traditional complements: melon, olives, cheese, pimento. Photo courtesy



    Both prosciutto (Parma ham) and Serrano hams are dry-cured: salted and hung in sheds to cure in the air. Both are served in very thin slices. (Country ham, preferred in the U.S., is smoked, and a very different style from dry-cured hams.)

    While prosciutto and Serrano hams can be used interchangeably, they are different. Prosciutto is considered more salty and fatty. Serrano is considered more flavorful and less fatty. But that’s just the beginning.

  • Prosciutto, from Italy, is cured for 10-12 months with a coating of lard.
  • Serrano, from Spain, can be cured for up to 18 months (and at the high end, for 24 months). The differing times and microclimates affect the amount of wind that dries the hams, and thus the character of the final products.
    They are also made from different breeds of pigs:

  • Prosciutto can be made from pig or wild boar, whereas Serrano is typically made from a breed of white pig.
  • The diet of the pigs differs. Parma pigs eat the local chestnuts, and are also fed the whey by-product of Parmigiano-Reggiano, made in the same area of Parma, Italy.
  • A final difference:

  • Italian-made prosciutto is never made with nitrates. American made prosciutto, as well as both domestic and Spanish Serrano-style hams, can have added nitrates.



    FOOD FUN: Rainbow Pizza Recipe

    We’re dazzled by this Rainbow Pizza. Why didn’t we think of it?

    But thankfrully, Ali at Gimme Some Oven did. Her recipe is made with vegetables that represent the colors of the rainbow:

  • Broccoli florets
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Green, orange and yellow bell peppers
  • Purple potatoes
  • Red onions
    It’s a reason to have a pizza party, pronto.

    Head to for the recipe and many more photos.

    You can use a pizza or flatbread base, or as Ali did in this photo, Stonefire naan.

    Call us when it’s ready to come out of the oven. We’ll be there!


    Rainbow Pizza

    Rainbow pizza. Photo courtesy Gimme Some Oven.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Gremolata, The Fresh, Homemade Condiment


    This roasted porgy fillet at Distilled NY has
    gremolata on top, raisin purée on the
    bottom. Photo courtesy Distilled NY.


    Gremolata is a fresh condiment that originated in Italian cuisine. It is too-little-known in the U.S., and may be most familiar to Americans as the accompaniment to osso bucco, braised veal shank.

    The condiment consists simply of fresh chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. The addition of other green herbs is optional; we add basil or mint when we have it on hand.

    It has such lively flavor that you can cut back on salt. A pinch of gremolata spices up almost any dish:

  • Eggs
  • Fish and seafood
  • Meat and poultry: lamb, pork, rib roast, veal, venison
  • Poultry
  • Pasta and risotto
  • Potatoes
  • Salad and cooked vegetables (we love gremolata with sautéed
    string beans)
  • Soups and stews

    Gremolata (also spelled gremolada) is a relatively new condiment. According to Merriam-Webster, it first appeared in 1954, derived from the Italian dialect of Lombardy. What we don’t know is why these words were used (any guesses?):

  • Gremolaa, from gremolâ or gràmolâ, to mix or knead flour for dough.
  • Grêmola or grâmola, an apparatus for kneading dough, a flax or hemp brake*.
    Here’s the classic gremolata recipe with precise measurements. You can update the recipe, tailoring it to specific dishes, by substituting ingredients:

  • Use grapefruit, lime or orange zest instead of the lemon zest.
  • With lamb dishes, add or substitute mint for the parsley.
  • With beef dishes, add grated horseradish or well-drained prepared horseradish.
  • With smoked salmon or deep-flavored fish (bluefish, herring mackerel, sardines), substitute capers
    for the garlic, basil for the parsley.
  • It’s great on an anchovy pizza.
  • Add to breadcrumbs and make a gremolata crust for fish.


    Some people use raisin purée as a substitute for refined sugar in baking. But it also complements grilled proteins, as Chef Sean Lyons of Distilled NY shows in the photo above.

    You can also use it as a dessert sauce, and you can replace the raisins with dried blueberries, cherries or cranberries.


  • 1 cup raisins
  • Water
  • Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or other favorite spice
  • Optional: a splash or brandy
  • For dessert purée: Grand Marnier or other fruit liqueur* to taste

    1. PLACE the raisins in a small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the raisins are plump.


    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/sultanas snackfarms amz 230

    Golden raisins, also called sultanas. You can substitute dried blueberries, cherries or cranberries in the purée. Photo courtesy Snack Farms.

    2. DRAIN the raisins, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the raisins and 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid in a food processor or high powered blender and puree for 1 minute until completely smooth. Remove the purée from the food processor.

    3. SIEVE the purée for additional smoothness, if desired. Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a month.
    *A device to break down the straw or stalks of flax and hemp.

    †You can match dried cherries with cherry liqueur, dried cranberries with cranberry liqueur.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Wiener Schnitzel

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    Wiener Schnitzel, Austria’s national dish.
    Photo © Cokemomo | 123rf.


    Wiener Schnitzel (pronouced VEE-ner not WEE-ner) is the national dish of Austria and a standard of Continental cuisine. In The Sound Of Music, Maria sang that Schnitzel with noodles was “one of my favorite things.” The name means Viennese [-style] scallops, referring to the scallops of veal (der Schnitz means a slice or a cut).

    Wiener Schnitzel is a thin, breaded, fried veal cutlet fried served with a slice of lemon, traditionally served with a simple green salad or cucumbers plus German potato salad or boiled parsley potatoes. Lingonberry jam can be served as a condiment (you can buy it at better food stores, Ikea or online).

    In Austria the term is protected by law; “Wiener Schnitzel” assures you of a veal cutlet. Since veal is pricey, a less expensive Austrian alternative uses pork (Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein). It can also be made with beef, chicken, mutton, pork, turkey, boar and reindeer—any meat that can be cut into thin slices. Just call it Chicken Schnitzel instead of Wiener Schnitzel.

    While Wiener Schnitzel itself is out of fashion in the U.S., its spirit lives on in the American dish, Chicken-Fried Steak, a similar recipe made with beef. It was created in the Texas Hill Country by German immigrants, who found themselves with plenty of available beef. There’s more about Chicken-Fried Steak below.

    And a recipe for authentic Wiener Schnitzel is also below. But first:


    According to legend, Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, an Austrian general, brought the recipe from Italy to Vienna in 1857. But this story was invented, like George Washington and the cherry tree. Here’s what we know from the historical record:

  • A recipe for thinly sliced meat, breaded and fried, appears in the only remaining ancient Roman cookbook, published in the 4th or 5th century by “Apicus*.”
  • In the Middle Ages, breaded, fried veal was a very popular dish in both Northern Italy and what is now Austria.
  • Cotoletta Milanese, a bone-in veal chop that is breaded and fried, dates to a banquet held by the Hapsburg rulers of what is now Italy in 1134.
  • Before Wiener Schnitzel there was another popular Viennese dish, Backhendl: thin chicken breast slices, breaded and deep fried. It was first mentioned in a cookbook from 1719. [Source]
  • The term “Wiener Schnitzel”” dates to at least 1862. [Source]
    Far from being a German dish, Germans across Austria’s northern border frequently refer to Austrians as Schnitzelfressers (Schnitzel munchers).

    A Southern specialty, Chicken-Fried Steak is the American version of Wiener Schnitzel; but instead of a tenderized veal cutlet, a tenderized cut of beef (a cube steak) is coated with seasoned flour and pan fried. It gets its name from its resemblance to fried chicken.

    In a redundant twist, a dish called Chicken-Fried Chicken pounds, breads, and pan fries a chicken cutlet. This preparation is distinctively different from regular fried chicken, which breads bone-in chicken parts and deep-fries them.
    *The book is thought to have been compiled in the late 4th or early 5th century C.E. and given the title De Re Coquinaria (“On the Subject of Cooking”). The name Apicius had long been associated with an excessively refined love of food, exemplified by Marcus Gavius Apicius, a Roman gourmet who lived sometime in the 1st century C.E. The author of the book is one Caelius Apicius; however, no person by this name otherwise exists in the historical record. The book was no doubt compiled by a person or persons who wished to remain anonymous. [Source]



    While home cooks tend to pan fry Wiener Schnitzel, professional chefs will deep-fry it, as in the recipe below. However, feel free to pan fry.

    This recipe is from Kurt Gutenbrunner, Austrian-born chef and owner of Wallsé in New York City, where he creates fine Austrian cuisine that reflects contemporary tastes and classic traditions. He is the author of . New York City chef and author of Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna.

    We’ve added our own touch to Chef Gutenbrunner’s recipe: our Nana’s preferred garnishes of capers, sardines and sliced gherkins. Think of it as “surf and turf” Wiener Schnitzel.

    Our favorite sides are cucumber salad and boiled parsley potatoes; but like Maria, we could go for some buttered egg noodles with parsley and cracked pepper.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 cups fine plain dried breadcrumbs

    /home/content/71/6181571/html/wp content/uploads/veal scallops cutlet freshdirect 230

    Veal cutlets, or scallops, are typically cut from the leg. Photo courtesy Fresh Direct.

  • 1/2 pound veal scallops (leg) or eye round, cut across the grain into 4 equal pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • Curly parsley or lettuce
  • Optional garnishes: capers, sardines, sliced gherkins


    1. LINE a large baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.

    2. WHISK the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a wide shallow bowl. Lightly whisk the eggs and cream in another wide shallow bowl until the yolks and whites are just streaky. Mix breadcrumbs and 2 teaspoons salt in a third wide shallow bowl.

    3. POUND the veal slices between sheets of plastic wrap to 1/8”–1/16” thickness, being careful not to tear. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

    4. PROP a deep-fry thermometer in a large deep, skillet. Pour in the oil so that the bulb is submerged. Heat oil over medium heat to 350°. Add butter to skillet and adjust heat to maintain 350°F.

    5. DREDGE 2 veal slices in the flour mixture and shake off the excess. Dip in the egg mixture, turn to coat and shake off excess. Dredge in the breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Shake off the excess and transfer the veal to the skillet. Using a large spoon, carefully baste the top of the veal with the hot oil.

    6. COOK until the breading puffs and starts to brown, about 1 minute. Turn and cook until browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet. Repeat with the remaining veal slices.

    7. ASSEMBLE: Place the veal on individual plates. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley or lettuce.



    FOOD FUN: Blueberry Yogurt Toast

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    Toast as modern art. Photo courtesy Martin’s Famous Pastry Shop.


    For Back To School or Back To Work, here’s a fun approach to morning toast from Martin’s Famous Pastry Shop, bakers of potato rolls and potato bread.

    Pick Your Bread

  • Crusty peasant bread
  • Potato bread
  • Raisin bread
  • Semolini bread
  • Whole grain bread (especially with seeds!)
    Pick Your Spread*

  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Labneh (yogurt cheese*)
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Seasoned Greek yogurt or tzatziki
  • Non-yogurt substitute: cream cheese, goat cheese
  • For The Topping

  • Fresh blueberries
  • Dried blueberries or other dried fruit (cherries, cranberries)

    *Labneh is a thick, creamy, tangy fresh cheese, often called “yogurt cheese” in the U.S. It’s a mainstay for breakfast and snacking in the Middle East, and is available in supermarkets here.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Ants On A Log

    September 8th is National Ants On A Log Day. Most kids growing up in the 1950s or later ate them as a healthy snack: celery stalks stuffed with peanut butter (the log) topped with raisins (the ants).

    Our mom took a creative approach, alternating the ants with purple raisins (the boy ants) and golden raisins (sultanas, the girl ants).

    This kiddie favorite can easily be made more sophisticated for grown-ups, as well as more fun for kids.

    Play with these substitutions. There combinations are [almost] endless. For sophistication, we like fennel or celery with goat cheese, dried cherries or cranberries and pistachio nuts (call them the visiting friends of the ants); as well as tzatziki with sliced black olive ants. For comfort food, it’s chocolate peanut butter with dried cherries and pecans.

    And don’t forget flavored peanut butter*!

    To customize your Ants On A Log, cut celery in 3-inch long pieces and fill with your spread of your choice and topping of choice. Suggested substitutions:


    Ants On A Log With Guacamole

    Ladybugs On A Stick: Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission. Here’s the recipe.

  • For peanut butter: flavored peanut butter* or other nut or seed butters, including almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower butter
  • Beyond nut butter: cottage cheese (plain or seasoned), cream cheese (plain or flavored), goat cheese, Greek yogurt (plain, seasoned or tzatziki), hummus (plain or flavored)
  • For the raisins: blueberries, chocolate-covered raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, freeze-dried vegetables, nuts, sliced black olives, sultanas
  • For the celery: bok choy, carrots (sliced with a flat top), Chinese celery, fennel

    Hats off to Food Network for these variations:

  • Ants On A Ranch: cream and ranch dressing with peas (we used crunchy freeze-dried peas or corn)
  • Beans On A Stalk: guacamole with black beans
  • Berries On A Branch: cookie butter and blueberries
  • Fish In A Stream: hummus with Goldfish
  • Ladybugs On A Log: strawberry cream cheese with dried cranberries
  • Pigs In A Pen: pimento cheese and bacon
    *Check out for Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, Dark Chocolate Dreams, Mighty Maple, Pumpkin Spice, The Bee’s Knees, The Heat Is On, White Chocolate Wonderful.



    And the award for creativity goes to…The Food Network, for these variations. From top to bottom: Ants On A Log, Berries On A Branch, Ladybugs On A Log, Beans On A Stalk, Fish In A Stream, Pigs In A Pen. Photo courtesy Food Network.



    Celery and raisins have been eaten—not necessarily together—since ancient times. Celery, raisin and nut salads arrived on our shores with German immigrants in the 19th century.

    George Washington Carver invented a form of peanut butter in the 19th century and made a soup of peanut butter and celery. But the smooth, spreadable peanut butter we know today was invented in 1890 by a St. Louis physician.

    He sought a high-protein food substitute for people with poor teeth who couldn’t chew meat. Others soon discovered how tasty peanut butter was, and, like many products, it was sold in bulk from barrels at grocery stores.

    Peanut butter was first distributed commercially by Krema Nut Company, the oldest peanut butter company still in operation today (and the PB is superb!). Here’s more on the history of peanut butter.

    Now for the celery: The American practice of stuffing celery began in the early 20th century, with anchovy paste, Roquefort, cream cheese and soon, pimento cheese, port wine cheddar and other cheese spreads. The filling was topped with spices, including curry and paprika.


    According to old cookbooks, stuffed celery was served as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre at the beginning of a meal. People of all ages enjoyed it at dinner parties, family get-togethers and holiday meals. Stuffed celery was also served as to children as snacks.

    These appetizers and hors d’oeuvre remained popular through the 1960s. There are some old recipes that include nuts and raisins, although none quite describe the “ants on a log” we know today. Peanut butter fillings for celery surface in the early 1960s. [Source]

    We actually don’t know who invented Ants On A Log. Magazine and newspaper articles from the 1980s attribute it to the Girl Scouts, but they don’t give specific references. The recipe appears in Girl Scout cookbooks dating to 1946; however, the recipe is simply called Celery Sticks.

    We may never know who named it, but “Ants on A Log” was first used in the 1950s. Whoever you are: Thanks for putting a fun name on peanut butter-stuffed celery sticks.



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