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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: Tunisian Chickpea Soup (Leblebi)

This recipe came to us from our friends at Rancho Gordo, a great purveyor of heirloom beans.

In Tunisia, chickpea soup is a street food, served as a hearty breakfast to men on their way to work. But you can garnish it and serve it at any meal.

Middle Eastern cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi’s advises:

“Leblebi is yet another ingenious combination of legumes and all kinds of readily available vegetables, herbs, and spices that create an irresistibly satisfying dish. Slowly cooking the chickpeas in the oven, inside a clay pot, as Paula Wolfert suggests, makes a wonderfully flavored, silky base. But precooked frozen chickpeas, simmered briefly with garlic in their broth, will make excellent leblebi, flavored with homemade h’rous and sprinkled with Aegean herb and hot pepper mix.”

Take a look at Aglaia Kremezi’s Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts.

RECIPE: TUNISIAN CHICKPEA SOUP (LEBLEBI)

A note about the chickpeas: Don’t use them from a can, as easy as it is. Cooking them from scratch makes a huge difference. You can make them ahead of time, refrigerate, and reheat them when you want to serve your soup.

Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

   

tunisian-chickpea-soup-leblebi-MediterraneanVegetarianFeasts-abrams-230r-r

Eat more beans and legumes for the new year. They’re high quality, inexpensive protein. Photo courtesy Stewart, Tabori and Chang.

  • ½ pound (225 g) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight in water to cover with a pinch of baking soda added
  • 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  •  
    Toppings Per Person

  • 1 poached egg*
  • ½ cup (about 50 g) cubed day-old, whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon harissa, thinned with some water
  • 1 sun-dried tomato, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained
  • Diced roasted red or green bell peppers (optional)
  • 1 pinch of ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 black olives, preferably Kalamata
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • Good, fruity olive oil
  • 1 lemon wedge
  •  
    *If you don’t like runny poached eggs, substitute chopped or sliced hard-boiled eggs.

     

    Mediterranean-Vegetarian-Feasts-230

    More ways to eat the better-for-you Mediterranean diet. Photo courtesy Stewart, Tabori and Chang.

     

    GARNISHES

    Let people customize their soup garnishes. Select a variety from the following, and place them in ramekins or small bowls:

  • Canned tuna fish, flaked
  • Coarse sea salt or flaked salt
  • Croutons/crostini
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Green and red bell peppers, chopped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Pickled turnips
  • Preserved lemons, sliced
  • Scallions, thinly sliced
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 225°F (110°C). Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in a clay casserole with a lid (a Dutch oven will work, too). Add the broth, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, and extra broth as needed to cover the chickpeas by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and place in the oven for at least 3 hours, until the chickpeas are soft and silky. (Note from Rancho Gordo: “Our chickpeas are so fresh, it may not take anywhere near this long to cook. Check frequently after about an hour.”)

    You can make the soup up to this point and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to serve…

    2. REHEAT the chickpeas in their liquid while you poach the eggs. You should have one egg for each bowl of soup.

    3. POACH the eggs with this method from Paula Wolfert: Fill a bowl with ice water. In a pan of boiling water, add the eggs, still in their shells. Cover with the lid and turn off the heat. After 6 minutes, slip the eggs into the ice water to cool. Once they are cool, peel them carefully.

    4. PLACE a few cubes of bread in the bottom of a bowl and cover with some of the chickpeas and their cooking liquid. Set an egg on top and cut it so that the yolk runs. Drizzle some harissa over the top, add sun-dried tomato and roasted pepper (if using), and sprinkle with the cumin and black pepper. Top with olives and capers. Drizzle good, fruity olive oil on top and squeeze the lemon wedge over the soup. Repeat for each serving.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Elvis Burger

    January 8th marks the birthday of “The King,” Elvis Presley. Today he’d have been 80 years old.

    Loyal fans celebrate the day with Elvis’s favorite sandwich: a fried peanut butter sandwich with sliced bananas and bacon. (The recipe: Make a PB sandwich on white bread, with sliced bananas and fried bacon. Brush the outsides with softened butter and fry until golden brown.)

    Elvis was a big cheeseburger fan, too, so here’s an Elvis Cheeseburger recipe.

    But Helen Graves of FoodStories.com put her own spin on an “Elvis Burger”, topping a burger with bacon and peanut butter. She contributed the recipe to the wealth of PB recipes on ILovePeanutButter.com.

    Unlike the Elvis Sandwich, banana slices don’t work here. But a side of fried plantains, related to bananas and substituting for French fries, works just fine. See the recipe below.

    RECIPE: ELVIS BURGER

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 pound grams ground beef
  • 8 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili flakes
  • 4 tablespoons Old Fashioned Smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 burger buns
  •    

    Peanut-Butter-Elvis-Burger-helengraves-foodstories-230

    The Elvis Burger, with bacon and peanut butter. Photo courtesy Helen Graves | Food Stories.

     

    Preparation

    1. DIVIDE the ground beef into 4 equally sized balls, then flatten into patties and set aside. Grill the bacon rasher until crisp, then chop into smallish pieces and set aside.

    2. HEAT a pan until very hot. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes each side, or to taste. While the burgers are cooking…

    3. MAKEe the peanut butter sauce by heating a tablespoon of oil in a pan and gently softening the ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the chipotle flakes for a further minute, then take the pan off the heat and add the peanut butter, along with a tablespoon of hot water (don’t use cold water). Mix well. When the burgers and sauce are ready…

    4. PLACE some iceberg lettuce on each bun, followed by some onion, a burger, then some of the peanut butter sauce. Top with crispy bacon pieces and the top half of the bun. Eat immediately.

    See more prep photos at ILovePeanutButter.com.

     

    Peanut-Butter-Elvis-Burger-toppings-helengraves-foodstories-230

    The Elvis Burger, topless. Photo courtesy Helen Graves | Food Stories.

     

    RECIPE: FRIED PLANTAINS

    Plantains are cousins of bananas, a staple in most Latin American cuisines. Plantains are larger and green; they don’t ripen to yellow. They are firm and served cooked like a vegetable, not eaten as a raw fruit.

    Ingredients

  • Fresh plantains
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.

     
    2. PEEL the plantains and cut them into round slices (coins) or vertical slices (slice in half lengthwise and then into halves again to desired thickness). halves lengthwise into thin pieces.

    3. FRY the pieces until browned and tender. Drain excess oil on paper towels. Season with salt as desired.
     
    Here’s a recipe for tostones, double-fried plantains that are popular in Puerto Rico.

     
    MORE ELVIS TRIBUTE DISHES

  • Elvis Presley Birthday Sundae Recipe
  • Elvis Cheeseburger Recipe
  • Peanut Butter Banana Cake Recipe
  • Peanut Butter & Banana Quesadilla Recipe
  •  
    How about an Elvis portrait made from toast?

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Green Tea Rice

    If you like green tea, have you ever tried cooking with it? An easy way to start is with this Green Tea Rice recipe from Bee Yinn Low of Rasa Malaysia, a website that features easy Asian recipes.

    The recipe illustrates how green tea is not just for drinking but for adding flavor and nutritional benefits (antioxidants!) to everyday dishes.

    Bee Yinn Low uses Oi Ocha brand’s shincha tea in her cookng. Shincha is the year’s first harvest of green tea, which begins in early April. The young leaves used to brew shincha tea has even more benefits than other green teas, the result of wintertime dormancy. They deliver smooth umami flavor plus four times the amount of the amino acid L-theanine, higher concentrations of catechin antioxidants and vitamin C. It’s also lower in caffeine than regular green tea, with a subtle sweetness attributed to the higher content of L-theanine and the lower content of caffeine.

    In Japanese, “shin” means new and “cha” means tea. The tea is available for only a few months a year, but is still available on Amazon.com and from the manufacturer, Itoen.com. Think it as the summer ale or Beaujolais Nouveau of green tea.

       

    green_tea_rice-rasamalaysia-230

    Green tea rice. Photo courtesy Rasa Malaysia.

     

    oi-ocha-shincha-green-tea-itoen-230

    Shincha green tea. Photo courtesy Oi-Ocha |
    Itoen.

     

    RECIPE: GREEN TEA RICE

    Prep time is 5 Minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1 cup cooked steamed rice (we prefer jasmine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup shincha (or other plain green tea)
  • Garnish: thinly sliced scallions
  • Garnish: 1/2 teaspoon toasted white and black sesame seeds
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BRING the green tea to simmer in a small sauce pan. Add the salt and turn off the heat.

    2. PLACE the steamed rice in a large shallow bowl. Top with the scallions and sesame seeds. Pour the green tea over the rice and serve immediately.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Switch Up That Sandwich With Fusion Condiments

    You may love ham and Swiss cheese on rye with mustard, or a chicken sandwich with mayo on whole wheat toast. These sandwich and condiment pairings descend from the venerable English tradition of the sandwich (here’s the history of sandwiches).

    But it’s a new year, so how about a new approach? How about a chicken katsu sandwich served with pickled daikon, arugula and tonkatsu aïoli (garlic mayo mixed with tonkatsu sauce, also delicious with fries). It was on the menu at Sushi Samba’s Coral Gables, Florida location.

    Or, make a ham or chicken sandwich with spicy Asian peanut sauce, satay-style. Or a turkey sandwich with hoisin sauce and green onions, Peking Duck-style.

    Curried tuna and egg salads seem like something from your grandmother’s generation, and they were early fusion. Punch it up by adding chutney, as well.

    Today’s tip: Look at the ingredients you have in your fridge and pantry for:

  • Chutney
  • Hoisin sauce
  •    

    beef-grilled-tri-tip-doubleRranch-230

    Instead of mustard on a steak sandwich, go fusion with wasabi mayonnaise or green sriracha sauce. Photo courtesy Double Ranch.

  • Sriracha, including the splendid new green sriracha we reviewed recently
  • Wasabi
  •  
    Mix them into conventional spreads—mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, Greek yogurt—or directly spread them onto sandwiches with conventional fillings.

    Don’t forget the kimchi or pickled jalapeños!

    Get inspiration from the many types of sandwiches in our delicious Sandwich Glossary. And tell us what your favorite new combination is.

     

    chicken-katsu-sandwich-sushisasmbaFB-230

    It looks like a regular chicken sandwich and fries. Look more closely! Photo courtesy SushiSamba | Coral Gables.

     

    WHAT IS FUSION CUISINE?

    According to an article in Nation’s Restaurant News, Florida chef Norman Van Aken claims to have coined the term in the late 1980s, writing a treatise on the subject in late 1988 or early 1989. In it, he described how he incorporated the flavors and dishes of the Caribbean with European cooking techniques and traditions.

    He wanted to salvage the vibrant Caribbean flavors of old Key West by fusing them—his words—with contemporary American cuisine. The idea was a cornerstone of the “Floribbean” cuisine that emerged in South Florida, developed by Van Aken, Allen Susser, Mark Militello and Douglas Rodriguez, among others. Even before then, we remember a French restaurant that used Japanese ingredients in New York City (alas, long closed).

    Fine dining pioneers like these began to evolve American cuisine 1990s, crossing their French culinary training with global ingredients. It led to fusion dishes like wasabi mashed potatoes, served at top restaurants, down to the barbecue chicken pizza, Thai pizza and numerous other fusions at California Pizza Kitchen.

    Fusion is alive and well in more recent creations like cronuts, Korean tacos, ramen burgers and Thanksgiving tortillas (turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce rolled in a tortilla). The younger generations may thing of fusion as culinary mash-ups.

     
    Whatever you cook this year, look to fusion for fresh new flavors.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Grapefruit Salad With Honey

    Remember the half grapefruit, a first course at breakfast, lunch or dinner? Rich in vitamin C, it became a staple at breakfast, lunch and dinner tables when train transport began to bring the fruits up from Florida in the the early 1900s.

    Today, the half grapefruit and grapefruit salad have largely fallen out of fashion. Yet grapefruits are winter sunshine, and the tradition should be revived posthaste. This recipe is from Bee Raw Honey, which used its maple honey. The fruity flavors of the honey balance the sweet acidity of the grapefruit.

    Our favorite grapefruits are in the pink and red families, but taste a variety to find what appeals to you.

    RECIPE: GRAPEFRUIT SALAD WITH HONEY

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 grapefruits, peeled and sliced into rounds about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 /3 cup hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 /2 cup microgreens
  • 4 heaping teaspoons honey
  • Fleur de Sel or Maldon sea salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ARRANGE grapefruit slices on four salad plates.

    2. DRIZZLE each plate one teaspoon of maple honey.
     

       

    maple-honey-grapefruit-salad-beeraw-230

    The best fruit in winter: citrus! Photo courtesy BeeRaw.com.

    3. SPRINKLE each plate with hazelnuts, micro greens and a touch of salt. Serve immediately.

     

    amaranth-trio-2-230

    A trio of microgreens: red amaranth, mizuna
    and beet greens. Photo by Claire Freierman |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    WHAT ARE MICROGREENS

    What are microgreens? They are tiny, tiny vegetables, no more than 8 to 14 days old, that have just developed their cotyledon (first) leaves. They are far tinier than “baby greens.”

    Think of the first, threadlike shoot that rises when you plant a seed, and the first tiny leaves, barely a quarter-inch in diameter. You may have seen a few scattered on your plate or garnishing your food at fine restaurants.

    Microgreens are very tender and oh, what flavor! Both intense and delicate, visually captivating and sublime to eat, they are a gourmet experience. Yet, they are highly nutritious with scarcely a calorie.

    For people who already like greens, microgreens are the zenith. For people who do not care for salad or raw vegetables: If you don’t like these precious greens, we’ll rest our case. Use them in salads, main dishes, soups and as general garnishes.

    Here’s more about microgreens.

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Homemade Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons

    From McCormick, here’s a lighter version of the classic combination of tomato soup with grilled cheese. Instead of a sandwich, the grilled cheese is miniaturized into a crisp crouton. A bowlful of the soup will warm you up on a chilly day, and the croutons will make you smile with delight.

    We had fresh basil on hand, so used it instead of dried. We loved the extra punch of basil flavor. To convert dried to fresh herbs, or vice versa, use this ratio: One tablespoon of fresh herb equals one teaspoon of dried herbs.

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE TOMATO SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS

    Ingredients For 8 One-Cup Servings

    For The Tomato Soup

  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) no salt added crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 cups fat free half-and-half (we used regular)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  •    

    Tomato_Soup_Grilled_Cheese_Croutons_mccormick-230r

    The croutons are miniature grilled cheese sandwiches! Photo courtesy McCormick.com.

     

    For The Grilled Cheese Croutons

  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 6 very thin bread slices
  • 3 ounces reduced fat Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  •  

    Tomato_Soup_Grilled_Cheese_Croutons_close-230

    A close-up. Don’t you want a bowl right now? Photo courtesy McCormick.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the tomato soup: Place the crushed tomatoes, stock, roasted red peppers, sugar, basil, garlic powder and onion powder in a blender. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.

    2. POUR into a large saucepan. Add the bay leaf. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half and Parmesan cheese; simmer until heated through. Season with pepper. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Meanwhile…

    3. MAKE the Grilled Cheese Croutons. Mix the mayonnaise and thyme in a small bowl until well blended. Spread 1 side of each bread slice with the mayonnaise mixture. Prepare 3 cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise side out on the bread.

    4. SPRAY a large skillet with no stick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly, then cut each sandwich into 9 croutons. Top each bowl of soup with 3 croutons.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: Bake An Epiphany Cake

    In France, the holiday season continues into January with the feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, the 12th day after Christmas.

    For the occasion, pastry shops are filled with galettes des rois, Epiphany cakes. (The name actually translates to kings’ cake; a galette is a flat pastry cake.)

    The cake is traditionally—more of an almond puff pastry tart—is filled with frangipane (almond cream). Other fillings can be substituted, from almond paste (marzipan) to chocolate ganache to sliced apples. In the south of France, brioche is often substituted for the puff pastry.

    You can buy puff pastry (pâte à choux) or make your own with this recipe.

    The cake is often garnished with a metallic gold paper crown, and a charm is baked into the filling. Originally a baby, representing baby Jesus, today any trinket can be substituted. The person who finds the trinket in his or her slice becomes “king” for the day.

    A couple of years ago we published an Epiphany Cake recipe from Héléne Darroze, proprietor of a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris.

    This year, we present François Payard’s slightly different recipe, with a bit of rum and almond extract (Darroze prefers a citrus zest flavor accent).

    It was a staple for French-born Payard, who grew up in Nice, where his grandfather owned a pastry shop (his father also was a pastry chef).

     

    king-cakes-2-pierrehermeFB-230

    Each baker puts his or her own design on top of the Epiphany Cake. These are from Parisian pâtissiér Pierre Hermé \.

     

    RECIPE: FRANÇOIS PAYARD’S GALETTE DES ROIS

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound puff pastry dough
  • 5 ounces (about 10 tablespoons)ground blanched almonds
  • 5 ounces (about 1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) softened butter
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 drop almond extract
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 small toy or figurine (this year we used a silver dollar)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the cream filling: Mix together the almonds and sugar. Add the creamed butter, the two whole eggs and rum; mix well together.

    2. DIVIDE the puff pastry dough in half; roll out each half into a 12-inch (about) circle. Lay one pastry round sheet on a very slightly greased baking pan. Pour the filling in the middle and spread without reaching the edge. Drop the toy into the filling.

    3. TOP carefully with the second circle of dough. With moist fingers, press firmly all around to seal the “cake.” Glaze the surface with the remaining beaten egg yolk. (For a little more control over the color, brush the yolk on roughly halfway through the baking)

    4. DRAW some light, curved lines for decoration using a knife or fork. Make a few tiny cuts on the top to let out steam during cooking.

    5. BAKE for about 35 to 40 minutes in preheated 400°F oven. Check with an oven thermometer, as oven temperatures can vary. Remove when the pastry is golden. Cool and serve while still warm, if possible.

    We like ours with a dab of barely- (or non-) sweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Sugar Snap Pea & Tuna Salad

    This “anytime salad” is fresh, crisp and light, thanks to an ingredient we don’t use often enough: sugar snap peas.

    Fresh sugar snap peas are available almost year-round. We often buy them for a crudité platter, but don’t think to add them to salads.

    This recipe is adapted from a tuna-less version at Robin’s Restaurant in Cambria, California, a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County. (All of the food looks great!)

    RECIPE: FRESH SNAP PEA & TUNA SALAD

    Ingredients For 8-10 Side Salad Servings

  • 3 cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • Optional: 1 ball fresh mozzarella*, shredded
  • 1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 large sweet onion (like Vidalia), thinly sliced
  • 3/4 tablespoon capers
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  •    

    snap-pea-salad-robinsrestaurant-230r

    Use more snap peas in your salads! Photo courtesy Robin’s Restaurant.

     
    Preparation

    1. TOSS all ingredients together and serve. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

     
    *You can substitute shredded white Cheddar or crumbled goat cheese. Instead of cheese, substitute chicken, shrimp or other seafood.

     

    super-sugar-snap-burpee-230

    Sugar snap peas. Photo courtesy Burpee.com.

     

    WHAT ARE SUGAR SNAP PEAS?

    Popular in Asian stir-fries, sugar snap peas, called snap peas for short, are a relative of the familiar, everyday English peas, also known as garden peas or green peas.

    Both are pod peas, but English peas are removed from the pod; the pod of sugar snap peas is less fibrous, and edible when young. Mature snap pea pods may need to be “stringed,” removing the membranous string that running along the top of the pod from base to tip.

    Sugar snap peas are a hybrid, developed in the 1970s by crossing Chinese snow peas with a mutant shell pea plant. This was done by Dr. Calvin Lamborn and Dr. M.C. Parker of Twin Falls, Idaho. Thanks, gents: We love sugar snap peas! [Source]

    When purchasing, look for pods that are firm and crisp. They shouldn’t bend but should snap (hence the name). Don’t worry about any white scarring on the pod; it doesn’t affect the flavor, and depending on your point of view, adds visual interest.

     

    To store: refrigerate the peas in a tightly sealed plastic bag. They’ll last for four or five days.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pita Tartine

    With the goal of eating lighter, we love this idea from Ozery Bakery: the pita tartine.

    Tartine is the French term for an open-face sandwich. In this version, Ozery piles on the healthful ingredients: black beans, radishes, grape tomatoes, red onions, greens and guacamole.

    You can add:

  • Fruit: thinly-sliced apples, figs, pears
  • Greens: arugula, baby spinach, fresh herbs, mesclun mix, shredded lettuce, watercress
  • Proteins: beans; flaked tuna; diced or shredded chicken, ham or prosciutto; seafood (use up your leftovers!), shredded cheese
  • Vegetables: grilled, sautéed and/or pickled
  •  
    For a spread, hummus adds protein; a slick of chipotle mayonnaise adds kick.
     
    You can slice the pita in half horizontally for even less bread, or use a wrap. Then, roll and enjoy!

    Family-owned Ozery Bakery started 15 years ago, its delicious products making their way to the U.S. in recent years. It was a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week, and continues to be a favorite here.

     

    pita-tartines-ozery-230r

    Fetchingly delicious: turn your sandwich into art. Photo courtesy Ozery.

     
    For more information, or to find a retailer near you, visit OzeryBakery.com.

    Here are more tartine sandwich ideas.

      

    Comments

    RECIPES: Sun Dried Tomato Soup & Cream Of Tomato Soup

    sundried-tomato-soup-bellasunluciFB-230

    Make tomato soup with sundried tomatoes.
    Photo courtesy Bella Sun Luci.

     

    Winter tomatoes lack the deep flavor of summer tomatoes, but you can enhance that flavor with canned tomato purée or sundried tomatoes.

    This tomato soup recipe uses both. It’s both comfort food and holiday food, with vivid red and green colors. If you prefer a creamy soup, we’ve got Sundried Tomato Cream Soup, below.

    This recipe is courtesy Bella Sun Luci, sundried tomatoes grown in sunny California.

    RECIPE: SUN DRIED TOMATO SOUP

    Ingredients For 4 Servings (1 Quart)

  • 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, julienne cut
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium size celery ribs (you can save the leaves for garnish)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: 8 fresh basil leaves
  • Optional garnish: crème fraîche, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Preparation

    1. CUT the carrot, celery, onion and garlic into very small pieces. Simmer them in the vegetable stock until very soft, about 15 minutes.

    2. ADD the rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil and the fresh basil. Simmer for 15 more minutes, then use an immersion blender or a food processor to purée with the olive oil (with a food processor, take care that the hot liquid doesn’t shoot out of the top). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

    3. SERVE hot, garnished with the fresh basil leaves and optional crème fraîche/sour cream/Greek yogurt.

     

    RECIPE: SUN DRIED TOMATO CREAM SOUP

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • ¾ cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 2 cups whipping cream of heavy cream (see the difference below)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish: fresh basil for garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the drained tomatoes with 1 cup of tomato juice in blender or food processor; purée to a smooth consistency.

    2. COMBINE the purée and the remaining cup of tomato juice in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.

    3. COOK over low heat until thoroughly heated. Do not boil; it can curdle the cream.

     

    sundried-tomato-cream-soup-bellasunluci-230

    Cream of sundried tomato soup. Photo courtesy Bella Sun Luci.

     
     
    HEAVY CREAM VS. WHIPPING CREAM: THE DIFFERENCE

    These are similar, but not exactly the same.

  • Heavy cream contains 36% or more milk fat (butterfat).
  • Whipping cream has 30% milk fat (butterfat).
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    Because of the higher fat content, heavy cream will whip better and hold its shape longer than whipping cream. Therefore, it makes a difference with pastry fillings, piping, dessert toppings and other applications.

    Whipping cream will still whip well, but it loses its body more quickly. In a recipe like soup, the stiffness doesn’t make a difference.
     
    SUN DRIED VS. SUN-DRIED VS. SUNDRIED VS. OVEN-DRIED: THE DIFFERENCE

    Any of the three spellings of sun dried is correct. What’s more important is the meaning: sun dried tomatoes are dried naturally in the sun, over the course of 4–10 days. They are usually pre-treated with salt or sulfur dioxide to improve quality.

    The drying process gives them a long shelf life, since most of the moisture, on which bacteria thrive and cause decay, is removed. They can also be preserved in olive oil or other vegetable oil.

    Another technique to dehydrate tomatoes for preservation is oven drying. This is done at the lowest heat setting for 1-3 hours. If you have a bumper crop of tomatoes, or there’s a big sale on tomatoes, you can use this technique to create homemade dried tomatoes.

      

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