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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

FOOD FUN: Leprechaun Gingerbread Men

irish-gingerbread-men-grandmasmolassesFB-230

Leprechaun gingerbread men. Photo courtesy
Grandma’s Molasses and Brown Eyed Baker.

 

Alas, leprechauns don’t deliver treats on St. Patrick’s Day (they could take a tip from the Easter Bunny). You’ll have to bake your own leprechaun gingerbread men.

Make your own gingerbread cookie recipe or use this one from Brown Eyed Baker for Grandma’s Molasses:

RECIPE: GINGERBREAD MEN

Ingredients For 30 Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12
    pieces and softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  •  
    PREPARATION

    1. USE a food processor fitted with steel blade. In the workbowl process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda until combined, about 10 seconds.

    2. SCATTER butter pieces over flour mixture and process until mixture is sandy and resembles very fine meal, about 15 seconds. With machine running, gradually add molasses and milk; process until dough is evenly moistened and forms soft mass, about 10 seconds. (Alternatively, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add butter pieces; mix at medium-low speed until mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1½ minutes. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, gradually add molasses and milk; mix until dough is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.)

    3. SCRAPE dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll ¼-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)

    4. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

    5. REMOVE one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer. Cut dough into gingerbread people or round cookies, transferring shapes to parchment-line cookie sheets with a wide metal spatula, spacing them ¾-inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough until cookie sheets are full.

    6. BAKE cookies until set in centers and dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes, rotating cookie sheet from front to back halfway through baking time. Do not overbake. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then remove with wide metal spatula to wire rack; cool to room temperature.

    7. GATHER scraps; repeat rolling, cutting and baking in steps 3 and 5. Repeat with remaining dough until all dough is used.

    6. DECORATE with royal icing once cookies are cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

     
    ROYAL ICING RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 egg whites, beaten
  • Optional: food color (for gingerbread, green and yellow)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SIFT together sugar and cream of tartar.

    2. BEAT in 4 beaten egg whites with an electric mixer. Beat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.

    3. TINT with food color as desired.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Corned Beef & Shamrock Appetizers

    What a great accompaniment to a pre-dinner beer on St. Patrick’s Day! The “shamrock” is made with a shamrock cookie cutter and sliced avocado.

    Who’d have thought to pair corned beef and avocado? The California Avocado Commission!

    RECIPE: SHAMROCK AVOCADO & CORNED BEEF BITES

    Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 sweet gherkin pickles, diced
  • 16 rye, multigrain or water crackers
  • 32 squares (about the same size as the crackers) cooked
    corned beef
  • Small shamrock cookie cutter
  •  

    shamrock-avocado-bites-calavocado-230

    Cute appetizers for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE shamrocks. With the peel still on, slice four slices (¼-inch thick) from the sides of the whole avocado. Remove seed from center section and slice the avocado in half lengthwise. Peel slices. Using a small shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, cut shamrock-shaped avocado pieces for each cracker. Cover surface with plastic wrap so avocado doesn’t discolor; set aside.

    2. PLACE remaining avocado in a small bowl and stir in pickles. Spread avocado mixture on each cracker.

    3. TOP with two squares of corned beef, then an avocado shamrock. Serve.

     
    MORE IRISH-STYLE RECIPES

  • Lucky Irish Twice Baked Potatoes: recipe
  • Corned Beef & Killarney Avocado Slaw Sandwich: recipe
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Avocado & Sour Cream On Toast

    Avocado and sour cream on toast is a favorite breakfast of Chef Lorena Garcia.

    It looks like poached eggs, but it’s sour cream atop the chopped avocado.

    And while it’s a south-of-the-border concept, it’s a great green dish for St. Patrick’s Day. Not everything has to be corned beef, cabbage and soda bread.

    RECIPE: AVOCADO ON TOAST

    Ingredients

  • Toasted peasant bread or rye bread
  • Avocado, sliced, cubed or otherwise cut up
  • Sour cream
  • Garnish: minced chives, chile flakes
  •  
    Preparation

    1. TOAST bread. Top with avocado slices.

     

    avocado-toast-cheflorenagarcia-230

    Delicious anytime, try it for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. Photo courtesy Chef Lorena Garcia.

     

    2. GARNISH with sour cream, minced chives and chili flakes.

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: A Caramel Popcorn Pie For National Pi Day

    caramel-corn-pie-kaminsky-230

    Caramel custard popcorn pie with a caramel
    corn topping. Who can resist? Photo ©
    Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     

    March 14 is National Pi Day: 3.14 (get it?). And this is a very special National Pie Day: It’s 3.14. (actually, 3.14159265359, so next year will be the full-on Pi Day, 3.14.15). The next “double pi day” won’t be until March 14, 2114. So celebrate double pi day while you can.

    Food enthusiasts have co-opted the day as “pie” day—any excuse for a piece of pie! (And for this special year, two pieces of pie.)

    One of our favorite bakers, Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog, developed this terrific fusion: caramel corn atop caramel custard pie.

    “For all the love that popcorn wins as a standalone snack,” says Hannah, “it strikes me as a huge failure of creativity that there aren’t more attempts at popcorn cupcakes, popcorn cookies or popcorn pies.

    “Luckily, with a bit of custard and caramel, this is a problem we can fix. In this pie, notes of burnt sugar compliment a buttery undertone, accented with a good pinch of salt. If you’re craving popcorn, it might be a wise idea to think inside the crust.”

    A tip from Hannah: The caramel corn topping takes a bit longer to bake than the pie itself, so your best bet is to prepare it in advance. Preheat the oven to 225°F and line a jellyroll pan with a piece of parchment paper or a Silpat.

     
    Note that you will be making two four-cup batches of caramel corn: one for the custard pie filling and one for the topping (and extra snacking).
     
    RECIPE: HANNAH KAMINSKY’S CARAMEL CORN PIE

    Ingredients For 8 To 12 Servings

    For The Crunchy Caramel Corn Topping

  • 4 cups freshly popped popcorn (from about 1/4 cup kernels—popping instructions below)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon light agave nectar (or 1-1/3 tablespoons sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  •  
    For The Caramel Corn Pie Filling

  • 4 cups freshly popped popcorn (from about 1/4 cup kernels—popping instructions below)
  • 2-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds, ground
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  •  
    Plus

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the caramel corn (see popping tips below.) Then place the first four cups of popped corn in a large bowl near the stove.

    2. COMBINE the brown sugar, butter, agave and salt in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cook at a vigorous bubble while stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. It will foam and bubble angrily, but don’t just stand around and watch it: Make haste and pour the mixture all over the popcorn. Toss to coat each and every kernel, and spread the syrupy corn out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.

    3. BAKE for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. It will become perfectly crisp once cool, so despite the tempting aroma, resist the urge to take a bite until it reaches room temperature.

    4. REMOVE the popcorn from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 325°F.

    5. MAKE the custard filling by combining the second measure of popped corn with the milk in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for 1 hour for the corn to soften and infuse into the liquid.

     

    popcorn-kernels-trio-230

    Sure, you could use pre-popped caramel corn. But for the freshest flavor, pop your own. Photo of heirloom popcorn kernels by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

     
    6. TRANSFER the popcorn milk to a blender or food processor and thoroughly purée. Process at least 5 full minutes at high speed to break down the kernels as much as possible, longer if necessary. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing to get all the liquid out. Discard the solids.

    7. POUR the popcorn milk back into the medium saucepan and vigorously whisk in all the remaining ingredients for the filling. When perfectly smooth, turn on the heat to medium and bring to a boil while stirring continuously, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent the mixture from burning. Once the mixture has thickened to the point that the bottom of the pan remains visible when you stir—without the filling immediately flowing back over the surface—turn off the heat and quickly transfer the filling to the unbaked pie shell.

    8. BAKE until the custard is set and browned on top, about 45-50 minutes. The center should still be a bit jiggly when tapped, much like a cheesecake. Let cool completely and top with a generous mound of the crunchy caramel corn topping before serving at room temperature.
     
    CORN POPPING INSTRUCTIONS

    1. PLACE the popcorn kernels in a medium-size brown paper bag. If you’re not sure if the bag is big enough, err on the side of caution and pop the corn in two separate batches. Use cellophane or masking tape to seal the bag shut, and put it in the microwave.

    2. SELECT the “popcorn” setting if available, or set the timer for 3½ minutes at full power.

    3. LISTEN carefully: When the popping slows to about once every 3 seconds, remove the bag. Open it very carefully, making sure your hands and face are out of the way—the steam can be quite hot. Sift out any unpopped kernels.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Irish Cream Liqueur Cheesecake


    Bit-of-Irish Cheesecake with Irish cream
    whiskey. Photo courtesy Kraft.

     

    We love cheesecake, we love cream liqueur. So how could we pass up this “Bit Of Irish” cheesecake, with Irish cream whiskey and a pecan crust to boot!

    It serves 16 in “sensible” slices.

    RECIPE: Irish Cream Liqueur Cheesecake

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese,
    softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
  • 4 eggs
  •  
    Optional St. Patrick’s Day Garnish

  • Green sanding sugar, scattered or sprinkled over a shamrock-shaped template to create a shamrock design (see the photo above)
  • Shamrock cookie (made or bought)
  • Shamrock cut from green-colored marzipan
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 325°F.

    2. MIX nuts, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the butter. Ppress onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes.

    3. BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and the flour in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and liqueur; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

    4. BAKE 1 hour 5 minutes, or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

    5. ADD optional garnish just before serving.

     

    CREAM LIQUEUR VS. CREME LIQUEUR

    They’re not the same.

    Crème Liqueur

    A crème liqueur (pronounced CREHM) is a liqueur with a large amount of added sugar, which gives the liqueur a near-syrup (thicker) consistency—and a much sweeter flavor. Crème liqueurs contain no cream or other dairy; “crème” refers to the consistency.

    Examples include crème de cacao (chocolate), crème de cassis (black currant), crème de menthe (mint) and crème de mûre (blackberry), among others.

    Cream Liqueur

    A cream liqueur is a liqueur that includes dairy cream among its ingredients. The most popular is Baileys Irish Cream, which uses Irish whiskey and chocolate flavors. There are dozens of brands, including Carolan’s, Duggan’s and St. Brendan’s.

    Other types of cream liqueurs include:

     

    baileys-irish-cream-230

    The original Baileys Cream Liqueur—delicious sipping anytime! Photo courtesy Diageo.

  • Amarula from South African, based on marula fruits which provide notes of banana, caramel, chocolate cinnamon
  • Creme de la Creme Maple Cream from Canada, which adds maple syrup
  • Cruzan Rum Cream from Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, with a base of rum
  • Dooley’s Cream Liqueur from The Netherlands, which uses Belgian toffee and vodka.
  • Heather Cream from Scotland, with a base of Scotch whisky
  • Voodoo Classique Cream Liqueur from India (although the marketing harkens to Tuscany, Italy), which includes whiskey and “exotic ingredients”
  • Voyant Chai Cream from the U.S., which incorporates rum, black tea and spices (here’s our review)
     
    Here are even more cream liqueurs.
     

    DOES THE CREAM SPOIL?

    The manufacturer of Baileys Irish Cream says that its product has a shelf life of 30 months. It guarantees the flavor and consistency for two years from the day it was made, whether the bottle is opened or unopened, stored in a refrigerator or not.

    The only requirement is that the bottle be stored away from direct sunlight, and between 32°F and 77°F.

    The properties of other cream liqueurs may vary.

      

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Popcorn Salad

    jalapeno-popper-salad-justsalad-230

    Jalapeño Popper Salad with popcorn, a whole grain. Photo courtesy Just Salad | NYC.

     

    Popcorn in a salad? Well, popcorn’s a whole grain, just like barley, brown rice, corn and quinoa. So why not?

    Here’s a fun idea from Laura Pensierio, executive chef at Just Salad in New York City.

    Called the Jalapeño Popper Salad, it includes kettle corn, fresh jalapeños and mandarin oranges with lettuces.

    We used regular popcorn in our re-creation to avoid the that coats kettle corn (the sugar coating on the corn keeps it from getting soggy).

    But the popcorn’s just as good plain and less crisp. You can use cheese corn or other flavored popcorn, herbed or spiced, and add it after the dressing, as we’ve done below.

    And if you don’t like much heat in your food, pass up the jalapeños for a few grinds of fresh pepper. Or switch the jalapeño for chopped broccoli.

     

    RECIPE: POPCORN JALAPEÑO SALAD

    Ingredients

  • Your favorite greens
  • Minced jalapeños (remove ribs and seeds to limit the heat)
  • Mandarin or orange segments*
  • Radishes or anything else you like that’s red
  • Vinaigrette
  • Popcorn
  •  
    *“Mandarin orange” is a misnomer. Mandarins and oranges are different species. Here’s an explanation.
     
    Preparation

    1. MIX all the salad ingredients except the popcorn. Toss with vinaigrette.

    2. GARNISH with the popcorn. Serve immediately.

     

    RECIPE: VITAMIN C SNIFFLE-FIGHTING SALAD

    Chef Laura has also crafted a “Cold-Be-Gone” salad, focusing on ingredients with lots of vitamin C.

    Ingredients

  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon† vinaigrette (substitute lemon juice for the vinegar in a 3:1 proportion of oil:vinegar)
  •  
    After we checked the list below, we added broccoli, snow peas and sundried tomatoes.

     
    †We prefer lime juice. According to WorldsHealthiestFoods.com, lemons and limes have the same amount of vitamin C.

     

    Spinach-230

    A bunch of fresh spinach, bursting with
    vitamin C. Photo by Stephen Ausmus | U.S.
    Agricultural Research Service.

     

    FOODS HIGHEST IN VITAMIN C

    Percentage of Daily Value‡:

    1. Guava has 628% DV per cup.

    2. Red bell peppers have 349% DV per 100g; yellow bell peppers have 306% DV and green bell peppers have 220% DV.

    3. Kiwi has 278% DV per cup.

    4. Strawberries have 163% DV per cup. Other berries: raspberries 54%, blackberries 50% and blueberries 24%.

    5. Orange has 160% DV per cup. Other citrus fruits: 1/4 pomelo 155%, lemon 74%, clementine 60% and 1/2 grapefruit 57%.

    6. Papaya has 147% DV per cup. Pineapple has 131%, cantaloupe has 108% DV, mango has 100% DV and honeydew has 53%.

    7. Broccoli has 135% DV per cup. Other cruciferous vegetables: Brussels sprouts 125%, green cauliflower 94%, white cauliflower 86%, red cabbage 85%, and green (white) cabbage 60%.

    8. Kale has 134% DV per cup. Other dark green leafy vegetables: turnip greens 55%, Swiss chard 18%, and Spinach 14%.

    9. Fresh green peas have 97% DV per cup. Cooked frozen peas have 59% and snow peas have 63% DV.

    10. Tomatoes have 91% DV per cup.

     
    ‡Information from Healthaliciousness.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Peppermint Paddy Martini

    For those who like things minty, here’s a fun drink for St. Patrick’s Day: a Peppermint Paddy Martini.

    The recipe is from McCormick, which uses its McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract to create the mintiness.

    Note that Peppermint Paddy, not Peppermint Patty or Peppermint Pattie, is the right name for this drink.

  • Peppermint Patty, the Peanuts character, was inspired by a bowl of peppermint candy on Charles Schulz’s desk.
  • Peppermint Patty first appeared in the Peanuts comic strip on August 22, 1966.
  • The York Peppermint Pattie, no relation to Peppermint Patty, was introduced in 1940.
  •  
    And while we’re on the subject, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day. Here’s why.

     

    peppermint-paddy-martini-mccormick-230

    It may look like mousse, but it’s a Peppermint Paddy Martini. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    RECIPE: PEPPERMINT PADDY MARTINI

    Ingredients For 4 Cocktails

  • 8 ounces Irish cream liqueur
  • 2 ounces crème de cacao liqueur
  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • Optional garnish: peppermint whipped cream (recipe below)
  • Optional rim garnish: coarse sugar*
  •  
    *Use sanding sugar or a raw brown sugar such as demerara or turbinado (Sugar In The Raw). You can find green sanding sugar, shown in the photo below, in baking supplies stores or online.

     online

    green-sugar-crystals-dressmycupcakeAMZ-230

    Green sanding sugar. Photo courtesy
    Dress My Cupcake | Amazon.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE Martini glasses with optional sugar rim. Wet the outside rim of martini glass with peppermint extract. Dip glass in coarse sugar to lightly coat.

    2. FILL cocktail shaker 1/3 full with ice. Add first 5 ingredients; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into glass.

    3. TOP each with a dollop of Peppermint Whipped Cream, if desired.

     
    PEPPERMINT WHIPPED CREAM

    Ingredients For About 2 Cups

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract plus more for rim
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BEAT cream, confectioners’ sugar and peppermint extract in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed, until stiff peaks form.

    2. POUR in Martini, top with whipped cream and serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Another Type Of Salad

    couscous-vegetables-melissas

    Top a bowl of whole grain bulgur with
    bright veggies: cooked, raw or a mix.
    Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    A salad is defined as a cold dish of mixed raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing.

    It can include meat, poultry, seafood or other ingredients. Like grains and legumes.

    If you’re not eating enough whole grains, here’s an easy way to combine them with veggies into a luncheon salad or a dinner first course or side.

    We love the bright colors in this photo from Melissas.com. It shows how important eye appeal is.

    For St. Patrick’s Day, you can do a medley of greens: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, fiddleheads, green beans, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, pea pods, snow peas, spinach, sprouts, Swiss chard, tatsoi, turnip greens and watercress.

     

    FIRST: PICK A WHOLE GRAIN

    Don’t be afraid to try a grain you’ve never had before. If you can’t find any of these in your supermarket, check a natural food store.

  • Barley (but not pearled barley, which isn’t a whole grain)
  • Buckwheat (Kasha)
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Rice: black, brown, red, wild
  •  

    NEXT: PICK FOUR VEGGIES

  • Something orange or yellow
  • Something red
  • Something green
  • Non-veggie substitute: beans, lentils, nuts
  •  
    Need help with choosing colored vegetables? Here’s an extensive list.
     
    Plus

  • Fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill or parsley
  •  
    Skip the lettuces; you’ve got other opportunities for lettuce salads.

     
    LAST: PICK A DRESSING

    A vinaigrette is the best option here; but there are many, many vinaigrettes to try, varying types of oil and types of vinegar or citrus juice.

     

    quinoa-vegetables-melissas

    After the salad is tossed. Photo courtesy Melissas.

     
    Types Of Oil

  • Avocado oil
  • Infused oils: basil, chile†, lemon, orange, rosemary, etc.
  • Mustard oil†
  • Nut oil: almond, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut
  • Olive oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Sesame oil†
  • Tea oil
  •  
    See all of the culinary oils in our Culinary Oils Glossary.
     
    Types Of Vinegar

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Coconut vinegar
  • Infused vinegar (fruits, herbs, spices)
  • Malt vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Wine vinegar
  •  
    Plus

  • Citrus juice: grapefruit lemon, lime, orange
  •  
    As you can see, the number of combinations will last through many, many salads.
     
    Take a look at all the vinegar types in our Vinegar Glossary.

    †These oils can be very strong in flavor, and are best diluted with olive oil or canola oil. Start with a 1:3 proportion of strong oil to mild oil, and tweak to find the proportions that are right for you.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Salad Topped Main Course

    Here’s an easy way to get everyone to eat a few more veggies: Top main courses with a small salad.

    Fried, grilled, roasted and sautéed proteins are all candidates to be topped with an alluring crown of vegetables and herbs—not a dinner salad or dressed lettuce, but something that looks great. Dress the salad very lightly with olive oil or vinaigrette.

    The “salad topping” doesn’t preclude your ability to serve the side salad of your choice.

    SALAD TOPPERS

    Aim to mix at least three bright colors and ideally four: green plus orange, red or yellow. Different shades of green don’t count as different colors. We’ve also included green salad-friendly fruits.

     
    THE GREEN GROUP

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli (including rabe and rapini)
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Green apple
  • Green beans
  • Green bell pepper
  • Green grapes
  • Green olives
  • Green onion tops
  • Green peas
  • Herbs (basil, dill, parsley, etc.)
  • Lettuces (everything from arugula to watercress)
  • Pickles/gherkins
  • Sugar snap peas, snow peas
  • Zucchini
  •  

    pan-sauteed-catfish-230

    Pan-sautéed catfish topped with a parsley and tomato salad. Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market.

     

    THE RED GROUP

  • Dried cherries or cranberries
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Raspberries or strawberries
  • Red apple
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red grapes
  • Red tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  •  

    chicken-cutlet-recipes-rabe-mozzarella-tomatoes-westsidemarketnyc-230

    Chicken cutlets topped with broccoli rabe and
    sundried tomatoes. The recipe is below.
    and photo courtesy Westside Market |
    NYC.

     

    THE ORANGE GROUP

  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Dried apricots
  • Mango
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Orange cherry tomatoes
  • Orange citrus segments
  • Zucchini
  •  
    THE YELLOW GROUP

  • Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Yellow tomatoes
  •  
    THE PURPLE/BLUE GROUP

  • Berries: blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries
  • Eggplant
  • Fruits: figs, grapes, plums
  • Red cabbage
  • Specialty varieties: purple bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, string beans, plus forbidden rice (black rice)
  • Thanks to Wendy Thorpe Copley, author of one of our favorite new books, Everyday Bento, for organizing lists of fruits and veggies by color. We’ll be reviewing her book shortly.

    RECIPE: CHICKEN CUTLETS WITH BROCCOLI RABE & MOZZARELLA

    This dish may look familiar: Italian restaurants frequently top cutlets with a bit of red and green. You can prepare this dish in just 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooking time. You can cut calories and cholesterol by eliminating the mozzarella.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, slightly pounded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, steamed or sautéed
  • 2 ounces sundried tomato slivers
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté garlic until golden, then discard.

    2. SPRINKLE chicken breasts with salt and pepper on each side. Dip chicken into beaten egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Place chicken in skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.

    3. PLACE cutlets in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or greased with oil. Bake the cutlets for 10 minutes, top with mozzarella, rabe and tomato slivers. Continue baking until cooked through, another 10 to minutes or so.

    3. ARRANGE chicken on four plates and top with mozzarella and broccoli rabe. Garnish with tomato slivers and serve.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Guinness Beef Stew

    Here’s hearty, family-style fare for St. Patrick’s Day: Guinness beef stew, courtesy of QVC’s David Venable.

    Guinness adds a deep richness to the broth of this stew without imparting the full flavor of the beer itself. For more beer flavor, serve one as the beverage. If you have a different favorite stout, you can substitute it for the Guinness.

    Instead of potatoes, rice or noodles, serve the stew with a whole grain like barley, and mashed cauliflower.

    RECIPE: GUINNESS BEEF STEW

    Ingredients

  • 3–1/2 tablespoons all–purpose flour
  • 1–1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1–1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1–1/2″ cubes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2–1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2–1/2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups Guinness beer
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) baby carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  •  

    guinness-beef-stew-qvc-230

    Serve a Guinness or other stout with this hearty beef stew, cooked in two cups of Guinness. Photo courtesy QVC.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the flour, salt, and black pepper in a medium–size bowl. Add the beef cubes and toss until completely coated.

    2. HEAT the vegetable oil in heavy large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium–high heat. Working in batches, brown the beef cubes, on all sides, about 5–7 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, and celery, and cook for 3–5 minutes.

    3. STIR in the dried thyme, bay leaves, beef stock, Guinness, and tomato paste. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1–1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

    4. ADD the potatoes, baby carrots, salt, and pepper. Stir to distribute evenly. Cover and simmer on low heat, until the vegetables and beef are very tender, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley right before serving.
     
    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEER AND STOUT?

    Stout is a type of beer. Other major categories include ale, lager, porter; there are many subcategories.

    Stout is dark beer produced from long-roasted malt, barley, hops, water and yeast. Different styles include imperial stout, dry/Irish stout, milk stout and oatmeal stout, among others. They are typically higher in alcohol: 7% or 8%, although some can be higher.

    By comparison, lager, the style most often drunk in the U.S., is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. The yeasts used for lager are different from those used for stout. Different styles include pale lager and dark lager.

    For more beer types, check out our Beer Glossary.

      

    Comments

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