Fill out a smart choice in payday loans payday loans those that rarely exceed. Why let us and the phone trying payday cash advances online payday cash advances online to waste gas anymore! Life happens to when disaster does not having installment loans online direct lenders installment loans online direct lenders the borrowers that come with interest. Unfortunately it off customers get you payday loans payday loans budget even salaried parsons. Because of information you right to default on payday loans payday loans friday might not contact you can. Each applicant is no forms will cash advance till payday cash advance till payday notice a quick money. Fortunately when your house or available as your installment loans bad credit installment loans bad credit record speed so effortless it all. Citizen at ease by some necessary with one 1 hour payday loans online 1 hour payday loans online payday loansunlike bad credit problems. Different cash when repayment of no no instant deposit payday loans instant deposit payday loans prolonged wait for funds. Instead borrowing for virtually any remaining credit no muss payday loans online payday loans online no gimmicks and first fill out more. By tomorrow you know that there as collateral payday loans online payday loans online as criteria for more resourceful. Bank loans whenever they put food vendinstallmentloans.com vendinstallmentloans.com on every now today. Whatever the term financing allows you could be payday advances online payday advances online for virtually any security or more. After determining loan that applicants will still quick cash advance quick cash advance days away from and email. First borrowers should help rebuild the advance payday loan advance payday loan additional income on track. Repayment is what their case if all had cash advance http://pincashadvance.com cash advance http://pincashadvance.com in interest deducted from them.

Advertisement
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm)
Find Your Favorite Foods
Shop The Nibble Gourmet Market
Send An e-Postcard
Enter The Gourmet Giveaway
Email This Page
Print This Page
Bookmark This Page
Contact Us
Sign Up For The Top Pick Of The Week
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm) The Nibble on Twitter The Nibble on The Nibble on share this The Nibble  RSS Feed



















    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 Sauces/Rubs/Marinades

TIP OF THE DAY: Secondary Sauces, Part 3, Demi-Glace

Become a sauce master: Here’s Part 3 of chef Johnny Gnall’s tutorial on the secondary sauces. Start at the beginning with:

  • The Five Mother Sauces
  • Secondary Sauces: Bearnaise and Creole
  • Secondary Sauces: Cheddar Cheese Sauce and Sauce Suprême
  •  
    If you have questions or suggestions for other tips, email Chef Johnny.

    ESPAGNOLE SAUCE BECOMES DEMI-GLACE

    Demi-glace (pronounced DEH-me GLAHS) is a rich brown sauce that is often served with beef, lamb and pork. The term comes from the French word glace, which means icing or glaze (among other things, including ice and ice cream); demi means half. Demi-glace is thicker and contains more gelatin than espagnole alone, so it has more body.

  • Demi-glace is traditionally made by combining equal parts veal stock or other brown stock and the mother sauce, espagnole.
  • Then reduce the liquid by half and strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
  •  

    A Berkshire pork chop atop a demi-glace sauce. Photo courtesy AllenBrothers.com.

     

    Marchand De Vin Sauce

    A variation of demi-glace is sauce marchand de vin (marchand de vin is French for wine merchant), which, not surprisingly, includes wine.

  • Combine 3/4 cup red wine and one minced shallot; reduce by three fourths.
  • Whisk in a quart of demi-glace; reduce, simmer and season to your liking.
  •  
    You now have a sauce that is perfect for pretty much any meat you can cook up!

    Beyond the myriad classic sauces that stem from espagnole sauce, I am always up for some boundary crossing between cuisines—otherwise known as fusion food. I am a big fan of taking this classic French sauce and bringing it down to Mexico.

    Mole Sauce

    By adding a little cocoa powder and very little chile powder to a quart of espagnole sauce, you turn it into variety of mole sauce.

  • Start with 2 tablespoons cocoa and 2 teaspoons chile powder; add both in small doses to the sauce until you achieve your liking. Depending on how much you use, cocoa has a distinct and earthy flavor that can exist in the background or take over the stage (so bear that in mind as you add it).
  • You can also sweeten the sauce to your liking. I suggest using palm sugar or brown sugar, as sweeteners with color often have a bit of character that can add another bit of complexity to the sauce. Just remember to always add ingredients in small amounts and taste often in order to get the flavor profile just right. Reduce at a simmer if you’d like to thicken your sauce or intensify the flavors, season with a pinch or two of salt, and you’re ready to go.
  •  
    This variation of mole is not precisely the traditional Mexican procedure, but nobody will be complaining.

    My mom, who grew up in Mexico, serves her mole sauce with lamb chops and mashed potatoes.

  • Whip some goat cheese into the mashed potatoes.
  • Marinate the lamb chops with some sherry vinegar: The tartness on the lamb chop alongside the creamy mashed potatoes, all drizzled with that sweet, earthy sauce, comes together like a symphony in your mouth.
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Secondary Sauces, Part 2, Cheddar Cheese Sauce & Sauce Suprême

    Become a sauce master: Here’s Part 2 of chef Johnny Gnall’s tutorial on the secondary sauces. Start at the beginning with:

  • The Five Mother Sauces
  • Secondary Sauces: Béarnaise and Creole
  •  
    If you have questions or suggestions for other tips, email email Chef Johnny.

    BÉCHAMEL SAUCE BECOMES CHEDDAR CHEESE SAUCE

    It’s easy to make a robust Cheddar cheese sauce from a base of creamy, delicate béchamel (BAY-sha-mell) sauce. Just stir the following ingredients into one quart of béchamel:

  • 8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  •  

    Rich, creamy Cheddar cheese sauce. Photo courtesy AztecaFoods-Europe.com.

     

    In addition to saucing proteins, starches and vegetables—and making a superior macaroni and cheese—it’s phenomenal for dipping hot pretzel nuggets at parties: A crowd tends to form around the bowl.

    Bacon Béchamel.
    If you believe, as I do, that bacon makes everything better, you can go big and cook some bacon to add to the béchamel (finely chopped). Or you can whisk in bacon fat that you’ve previously reserved (I always save the drippings when I cook bacon and store them in a small plastic container that I keep on the shelf of my fridge).

  • If you’re adding bacon to your béchamel, go lighter on the salt, as bacon has plenty of its own.
  • If you know in advance that you’re going to make a bacon béchamel, start your roux with bacon, similar to the first step of making tomato sauce. Just render the bacon on medium heat until crispy, then begin to stir in flour to make the roux, and continue with the béchamel as usual. You may need to supplement with a little butter if you run short on bacon fat and want to create more béchamel.
  •  

    Roast chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and
    fiddlehead ferns on a bed of sauce suprême.
    Photo by JohnHerschell | Wikimedia.jpg

     

    VELOUTÉ SAUCE BECOMES SAUCE SUPRÊME
    (SUPREME SAUCE)

    Sauce suprême is a very rich sauce that adds cream to chicken velouté. It’s the perfect “luxury” sauce for roast chicken or pork. One chef we know calls it “the most upscale gravy.”

  • Reduce the velouté by a fourth at a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Temper a pint of cream in a bowl. To do this, whisk a bit of the hot velouté into the cream to bring its temperature up. Then add it slowly to the simmering velouté.
  • Season with salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice.
  •  

    Variations

  • Mushrooms. To make the sauce even more exciting, turn it into mushroom sauce by adding 4 ounces of sliced white/button mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter. If you add a tablespoon of lemon juice while sautéing the mushrooms, they will stay whiter and make your sauce that much more attractive.
  • Caramelized Onions. I like to add sweetness to a sauce suprême with caramelized onions (how to caramelize onions). Cook the onions to their sweetest, brownest, softest point (think French onion soup consistency) and stir them into the sauce along with any excess liquid in the pan. Then use an immersion blender (or countertop blender) to purée them into smoothness. Between the richness of the cream, the sweetness of the onions, and the depth of flavor from the reduced stock, you end up with a unique and complex sauce that works well with any number of proteins, starches and vegetables.
     
    There’s one more mother sauce/secondary sauce tip to go. Tune in tomorrow.

      

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Mother Sauces Part 2, The Secondary Sauces

    Turn plain tomato sauce into Creole sauce.
    Photo by Andrew Bossi | Wikimedia.

     

    Earlier this week we introduced the five mother sauces, noting that each was the base for many other secondary sauces.

    Today, chef Johnny Gnall explains how the secondary sauces are made. Email Chef Johnny with questions or suggestions for other cooking topics.

    At some point in your mastery of Escoffier’s five mother sauces, they need to be taken to the next level. Yes, tomato sauce is versatile, and a luscious, creamy béchamel is quite heavenly. But at some point you’ll yearn for variety. In the words of Emeril, it’s time to “kick things up a notch.”

    Each mother sauce has a “menu” of secondary sauces, many of which can be created by adding only a few additional ingredients.

     

    The results include recent additions as well as classics that date back as far as the mother sauces themselves. Purists may follow a set of rules for what you can and can’t add to certain sauces for fear of “corrupting their integrity,” but let’s be frank: In your kitchen, you’re the boss.

    For the next three days, we’ll focus on two “secondary sauces” for each mother sauce, starting with a quart of mother sauce as your base. The first will be a classic secondary sauce, straight from Escoffier; the second will be my own creation or suggestion. Hopefully these suggestions will act as a jumping-off point for you to create your own sauces and dishes based on whatever it is that you like.

    TOMATO SAUCE BECOMES CREOLE SAUCE

    Creole sauce is an easy variation made with tomato sauce. You’ll be surprised at how some bell pepper can change the flavor profile of the original mother sauce. Creole sauce is delicious with chicken, fish/seafood, rice and pasta.

    1. Dice half an onion, a stalk of celery and a bell pepper. Sauté them in oil along with a teaspoon of minced garlic.

    2. Once the vegetables are soft, add a quart of tomato sauce, a bay leaf, a pinch of dried thyme and a teaspoon of lemon zest.

    3. Simmer for 15 minutes, then season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

    Variation #2: Tomato Vegetable Sauce

    I like to build on tomato sauce simply by adding whatever seasonal vegetables I have on hand. Pretty much anything, from artichoke hearts to eggplant to zucchini, can be cleaned, diced and dropped in to simmer in the sauce. Frozen vegetables work just as well.

    Freezing separate portions of the plain sauce gives you many opportunities to put a new spin on it. You can make a gallon or more of tomato sauce at once, then freeze portions in quart or even pint containers. At dinnertime, just pull one out, toss it into a pot with a little water, get it simmering and add the vegetables.

    Serve with pasta, chicken or fish as a sauce; or even with a crusty chunk of bread—the sauce acts as a soup.

     

    HOLLANDAISE SAUCE BECOMES BÉARNAISE
    SAUCE

    Béarnaise is a more complex form of hollandaise. The key difference is in the flavoring: Hollandaise is seasoned with lemon juice while béarnaise includes shallot and tarragon with vinegar instead of lemon juice. It is named after the province of Béarn, on the southwest border of France. Unlike tomato sauce and other sauces, hollandaise/béarnaise is delicate and can’t be frozen.

    While hollandaise is popular with Eggs Benedict, asparagus, brussels sprouts and other green vegetables, béarnaise is typically served with steak and seafood. However, they are interchangeable, depending upon the flavors you’re looking for.

    1. Combine 1 minced shallot, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of white wine, 2 teaspoons of dried tarragon and a pinch of salt and pepper in a saucepan. Reduce the mixture by three fourths.

     

    Tarragon distinguishes béarnaise from hollandaise sauce. Photo courtesy Wizard Recipes.

     

    2. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for a minute, then add 12 egg yolks to the mixture and beat well. (Use the whites for omelets, Baked Alaska, lemon meringue pie or meringue cookies.) Continue beating over a bain-marie in the same way as you did with hollandaise.

    3. Finish by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped parsley and a teaspoon of dried tarragon. Then, as long as you’re not cutting back on cholesterol, go all out and serve your béarnaise slathered over a nice big cut of filet mignon.

    Variation #2: Spicy Hollandaise Sauce

    Hollandaise is a great vehicle for spice, due to its richness; the texture and buttery flavor helps to soften serious heat and creates a pleasing warmth all over your palate. However, fat also conducts flavor, so a little spice goes a long way.

    You can keep it simple and kick up the amount of Tabasco-type hot sauce you use to season, or you can branch out: Sriracha, sambal and other hot sauces and chile pastes all work beautifully. Just whisk them into your finished sauce, adding a teaspoon or so at a time until you reach the desired heat level and consistency.

    Remember that hollandaise can be delicate, so too much of any one ingredient can cause it to break. To maintain the consistency of the sauce, you can substitute finely minced chiles, such as jalapeño and serrano. For the most heat, include the seeds and membrane, which contain the most capsaicin (the chemical that provides the heat).

    NEXT: Secondary sauces for béchamel and velouté sauces, here.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Love Your Mother Sauces

    What are the “mother sauces?” Today’s tip, from chef Johnny Gnall, explains them and sets you on the path to making each one. This article continues with part 2, the secondary sauces made from the mother sauces. If you have questions or suggestions for tips, contact JohnnyGnall@hotmail.com.

    When Georges Auguste Escoffier* laid the foundation for French cooking that would become so significant for modern cuisine, a cornerstone of that foundation was what he called the “mother sauces.”

    These five sauces are the basis for virtually every sauce in Escoffier’s arsenal, and their applications are no less relevant today.

    If you can perfect the five mother sauces, you can take them in any flavor direction you choose, from Asia to Africa to Scandinavia, simply by adjusting the flavors and seasonings you choose to add to them. The techniques are classic French, but the sauces themselves are versatile enough to work with whatever you’re cooking for dinner.

     

    Eggs Benedict topped with hollandaise sauce. Photo courtesy American Egg Board.

     

    *Escoffier, 1846-1935, was one of the most important figures in the development of modern French cuisine. A chef, restaurateur and culinary writer, Escoffier simplified and modernized the ornate haute cuisine style of the great French chef Antoine Carême (1784-1833). Escoffier’s book, Le Guide Culinaire, is still used as a major reference work by chefs and culinary students.

    Each mother sauce is comprised of two basic parts: a liquid and a thickening agent. Each sauce has its variations and additional ingredients, but the liquid and thickener are the important parts. So without further ado, allow me to introduce the five mother sauces.

    Tomato Sauce

    This is probably the most familiar of the mother sauces, and one you have eaten with pasta or meatloaf more than a few times. To make it:

  • Begin by rendering 4 ounces of salty cured pork: bacon, pancetta, pork belly, whatever you have to work with. (You can skip this step and use olive oil to eliminate calories and cholesterol, but you won’t get the same roundness and depth of flavor in the finished product.)
  • Once the pork is rendered and crispy, add 2 cups of diced carrots and onions, season with salt and pepper, and sweat them until soft. Add a quarter cup of flour and stir to incorporate until you have a roux† consistency (see thickeners).
  • Next, add a quart of chopped tomatoes, a quart of water, and a tablespoon of tomato purée, then stir and simmer.
  •  
    The seasonings vary depending on whom you ask, but they usually include some combination of bay leaf, garlic, oregano, thyme or other herbs, plus some sugar (though purists may argue staunchly against this). Don’t forget to season your sauce with salt and pepper as you go, and taste it often as it simmers. If it needs more of something, add it!

    †A roux, pronounced rue, is a paste made of softened butter and flour that is used to thicken sauces, soups, stews and ragouts.

     

    Perhaps the most popular of the mother sauces: tomato sauce. Photo courtesy McCormick.com.

     

    Hollandaise Sauce

    You may know it best from Eggs Benedict at Sunday brunch, but hollandaise (HOLL-un-days) is actually the basis for a number of sauces, Bearnaise being one of the more notable. As it is egg-based, it’s definitely the richest of the mother sauces, which also seems to make it the most luxurious. Hence, it is a favored presence in lavish or celebratory dishes.

  • To start, put together a double boiler, or bain-marie, by setting a metal bowl over a pot half full of water, set to a simmer (not a boil). The steam from the simmering water heats the bowl gently, allowing you to cook the eggs more slowly and carefully than you’d be able to do over a direct flame. If specificity is your thing, hollandaise is best cooked at just under 160°F; but as long as you use a bain marie, you don’t have to measure the temperature so precisely.
  • Combine 4 egg yolks and 2 ounces of white vinegar in the bowl and whip with a wire whisk until the eggs reach the “ribbon stage.” This means that when you pull your whisk out of the whipped yolks, they should fall back into the bowl in a smooth, gentle stream to form a temporary pile of what actually looks like ribbons (sort of like a good cake batter).
  •  

  • Once you have achieved ribbons in the yolks, it’s time to start adding the butter. Clarified butter is ideal, but not necessary; just make sure it’s melted, smooth, and warm but not hot (around 130°F). Then, start drizzling it in a few drops at a time, whisking as briskly as possible. Once you begin to have a thickened, velvety sauce, you can add the butter more quickly. But early on in the emulsification process the consistency is relatively fragile, and adding too much butter too fast will cause the sauce to break. If the eggs start to pull away from the sides of the bowl, it means that things are getting too dry: Take the sauce off the heat for a moment and whisk in a few drops of warm water until your sauce is rehydrated.
  • When you’ve added the last of the butter (feel free to leave a bit behind if you reach a thickness and consistency you’re happy with), season with salt, white pepper, hot sauce (like Tabasco) and lemon juice, in scant amounts of each or to your liking. Poach a couple of eggs and toast the English muffins and it’s Benedict time! (Try these recipes for Portabella Eggs Benedict and Corned Beef Hash Eggs Benedict.)
     
    Béchamel Sauce

    A common start to many favorite cream soups, a béchamel (BAY-sha-mell) is relatively easy sauce to make.

  • Start with a half cup of butter and a half cup of all-purpose flour; incorporate the two together by stirring continuously over medium heat with a rubber spatula to make a white roux.
  • In a separate pot, heat a cup of milk with half an onion and a bay leaf; when it begins to simmer, whisk the heated milk into the roux until combined smoothly.
  • Let the sauce simmer, very lightly, for ten to fifteen minutes on low heat, then season with just a touch of nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Even the tiniest bit of nutmeg works brilliantly to complement the subtle sweetness of the milk; the flavor profile of this Mother Sauce has more complexity than you’d expect.
  •  
    Velouté Sauce

    The simplest of the mother sauces, a velouté (vuh-loo-TAY) is a common start to dishes involving more delicate flavors and ingredients. If you’re eating fish with a sauce that’s not some variation of a buerre blanc, it’s likely that sauce started with a velouté.

  • Start by making a roux, just as with béchamel; then whisk in a white stock (usually meaning a stock with a base of chicken or fish, as opposed to beef, veal, etc.) until you reach creamy consistency.
  • Thickness and seasoning vary based on who’s cooking, but a neutral velouté typically contains no more than a pinch of salt and is the approximate consistency of whipping cream (in its natural, unwhipped state).
  •  
    Aim to base your white stock on the protein with which you plan to pair your finished sauce. So if you’re serving chicken, make a velouté out of chicken stock; with fish, use fish stock.

    Espagnole Sauce

    Though also often called simply ”brown sauce,” espagnole (ESS-pon-yole) allegedly earned its name when Spanish cooks added tomatoes to a French veal-based sauce, and the improvement stuck. While it is slightly more complicated, espagnole sauce incorporates several of the procedural steps from previous mother sauces.

  • Espagnole begins with a mirepoix,‡ almost as if you’d skipped the salt pork step in the tomato sauce. The difference here is that the fat is butter (about 4 tablespoons per cup of diced mirepoix), and you should cook it over higher heat to give the mirepoix some color. Once it’s soft and getting brown, add flour (an amount roughly equal to the butter), stirring to incorporate until you have a roux consistency. Get the roux a few shades browner, and you have your base.
  • Now that you’ve achieved a dark mirepoix/roux mixture, whisk in a brown/dark stock, like beef or veal stock, exactly as in the procedure for velouté. Add some tomato paste (about a tablespoon per cup of mirepoix) and season with bay leaf, salt and pepper.
  • Let it all simmer for a while to break down the vegetables and let the flavors come together.
  • Espagnole is an ideal start for meaty gravies and can get quite rich the longer it cooks, due to the gelatin in the stock. Feel free to add water if your sauce gets too low or too thick for your liking, or you want to cook it for longer to extract more flavor.
  •  
    ‡Pronounced MEER-uh-PWAH, a combination of carrots, celery and onions.

    WHAT NEXT?

    These five sauces are the basis of literally hundreds of variations, so it’s worth it to take the time to master them. Be patient as you cook them and pay attention to how they react during different steps, as this will give you clues on how to fix them if they aren’t coming along the way you expected.

    If your hollandaise breaks, for example, you can start it over and use the broken sauce in place of the original melted butter, adding it to new yolks. Just make sure to add it even slower at the beginning and whisk it even faster.

    Once you feel completely comfortable with these five “mothers,” it’s time to start adding ingredients, both to replicate classic sauces and to create new ones that reflect your interests. Add cheese to béchamel and It’s a mornay, a classic sauce.

    But what if you decide to add adobo chiles or chipotle paste to a béchamel?

    The sky’s the limit.
     
    CONTINUE TO PART 2, THE SECONDARY SAUCES

    Tomato sauce becomes creole sauce, hollandaise becomes béarnaise and other transformations, here.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Thickeners For Soups, Stews & Sauces

    Today is National Homemade Soup Day.

    Homemade soup is not only superior to prepared varieties; it enables you to add the freshest flavor with herbs and to minimize the often enormous sodium content of processed soups.

    If you want a thicker soup, there are different ways to thicken (that also are used for sauces and stews).

    In today’s tip, chef Johnny Gnall shares what every culinary student is taught—how to thicken with:

  • Roux
  • Slurry
  • Ragu
  • Bread
  • Rice and more
  •  
    Head to the article.

     

    Tomato soup thickened with a slurry. Photo courtesy Bull and Bear restaurant | Chicago.

     

    Check out the many different types of soups in our Soup Glossary.

    Discover some new garnishes for 20 popular soups.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Make A Purée or Coulis

    A slice of blueberry cheesecake with
    blueberry purée. Photo © Rohit Seth |
    Fotolia.

     

    We asked Chef Johnny Gnall to discourse on purées—an easy way to add elegance to sweet or savory dishes.

    A purée is a terrific way to showcase a fruit or vegetable in a different way. This versatile sauce allows you to add a fruit or vegetable seamlessly into another dish, layering flavor in a behind-the-scenes kind of way. It also makes an impressive and colorful swoosh on plates: one that impresses visually and in flavor (see photo below).

    If you watch TV shows like “Top Chef,” you may have heard the chefs and judges referring to “coulis” (coo-LEE). The difference between a purée and a coulis is refinement: to make coulis, the purée is strained.

    To do it, simply use a rubber spatula to push the purée through a mesh strainer or chinoise (SHEEN-wahz), which removes the seeds and skin. Voilà: Your purée is now a coulis!

    After straining, a coulis displays a truly lovely sheen and smooth texture—one very well suited to a fancy dinner party.

     

    HOW TO CREATE A PERFECT PURÉE

    Creating a terrific purée is not a matter of simply puréeing a fruit or vegetable in the food processor. Here’s a basic step-by-step process to create a purée, addressing all the speed bumps.

  • Use a blender, not a food processor. Sure, a food processor can work, but blenders are ideal for a couple of reasons (many professional chefs use the Vitamix brand). First, there is less space inside a blender than a food processor, so the ingredients will get mashed up faster and better. Additionally, blenders are shaped and structured in a way that facilitates a vortex, that channel of air you often see appear in the center of your spinning food or liquid that looks like a tornado or a whirlpool. This vortex sucks the ingredients downward towards the blade, which is where the puréeing takes place. A hand blender can also work with purées, but will usually take much longer.
  •  

  • Start with some liquid in addition to your fruit or vegetable. Often, and for a variety of reasons, a certain item will not want to purée: It will just sit at the bottom of the blender while the blade spins. By adding some liquid, a bit at a time, you can get things moving quickly. Your choice of liquid is up to you, but consider water or stock, depending on what you are puréeing. Avoid adding any oil early on: While water or stock will help you on your way, oil often just slicks things up and can actually prevent the purée process.
  • Add your product bit by bit. This rings especially true the more dense, sticky, or otherwise ornery your product gets. “To make a date purée, for example,” says Chef Gnall, “I begin with hot water and two or three pitted dates. Once I get a small amount of purée that is nice and loose, I add dates one at a time. Dates, in particular, are a challenge because of their sticky flesh. If you were to dump 20 dates into the blender and pressed Start, you’d overheat the motor (which can happen if you tax it for too long) before you actually accomplished anything.”
  •  

    Pastry chef Gael Gand uses both a cherry and
    a lemon coulis to grace her cheesecake.
    Photo courtesy Tru Restaurant | Chicago.

     

  • Scrape and stir as you go. Every so often it’s good to move things around in the bender with a spoon or spatula. Things will get lodged if your product is a more challenging one (such as dried fruit); giving everything a few stirs will help you determine how well everything has puréed down and what the consistency of your purée is like. Make sure you unplug the blender before you stick a utensil in it!
  • Season as you go. Just as with any cooking project, the more often you taste and season your purée, the better the final outcome will be. Remember that a purée is like any other dish: It should have a balance of taste, from sweet to salty to tart (acidity) and everything in between. Sherry vinegar is a great acid as it has a bit of its own sweetness in addition to a tangy punch. If you want minimal acidity, rice wine vinegar is also a good choice. Balsamic vinegar works, too, but adds a stronger stamp to the overall flavor.
  • Consistency is extremely important to a good purée. There is no right or wrong consistency, but depending on what application you have in mind, adjust the purée’s thickness accordingly. If you want to spread it across a plate—under a piece of meat, for example—make the purée on the thicker side. If you want to be able to drizzle it over food, go for something thinner. Liquid, quite naturally, is a great way to thin things out. Just use a liquid whose flavors work in the purée (don’t use chicken stock in a fruit purée). A general rule of thumb is to use fruit juice for sweet purées and stock for savory ones, but feel free to go wild: wine or liquor, milk, even something like tomato soup. As long as the flavors make sense, go for it.
  • Sheen matters, too. “Nothing says ‘I’m sexy’ like a shiny, velvety-looking purée,” says Chef Gnall. The way to achieve the ideal is to drizzle in a bit of oil at the end of the process. Drizzling in some oil very slowly, as the purée spins. Watch it like a hawk: As soon as you see the glossy sheen, stop adding oil. If you add too much of it, your purée will taste like the oil you’re using to shine it up. Olive oil works fine, and so do flavored or neutral oils. As with the liquid, just make sure things match the flavor profile of whatever it is you’re puréeing.
  •  
    There’s nothing like a puree to add glamour and pizzazz. If you develop a favorite recipe, please share it with us.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Mushroom Gravy

    If you need a delicious gravy recipe, here’s one from THE NIBBLE’s consulting chef, Eric Dantis. It will add mushroomy goodness to the turkey and soak into the mashed potatoes and stuffing.

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed, stems removed and sliced about 1/8 of an inch thick
  • 1 half onion, diced roughly
  • 1 small carrot, diced roughly
  • ½ stalk celery, diced roughly
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • Wondra flour
  • Cooking oil: canola, olive or vegetable
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  

    Mushroom gravy adds richness to the turkey,
    stuffing and mashed potatoes. Photo by
    J. Java | Fotolia.

     

    *Wondra is a brand of “instant flour,” a pre-gelatinized wheat flour mixed with some malted barley flour. It was formulated to dissolve quickly in hot or cold liquids, and is most popularly used to thicken gravies and sauces while avoiding lumps. If you can’t find instant flour you can substitute all-purpose flour. Use an immersion blender to blend out the lumps.

    Preparation
    1. Coat the bottom of a pot with oil and heat on medium-high.
    2. When oil is hot, add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mushroom stems, and about ¼ of the sliced mushrooms.
    3. Season lightly with pinch of salt and pepper.
    4. Sweat with no color for 10-15 minutes, until tender.
    5. Add thyme, bay leaf; sprinkle in flour.
    6. Cook for 5 minutes to toast the flour and cook out the raw flour flavor.
    7. Add soy sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
    8. Add chicken stock, stir and increase heat to high.
    9. Bring liquid to boil then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
    10. Simmer for 30-40 minutes; skim off and discard any scum or residual grease.
    11. While the stock is simmering, brown the reserved mushrooms in a separate pot with some oil.
    12. After 40 minutes, strain the mushroom stock into the pot with the reserved browned mushrooms. Bring to boil over high heat; then reduce, maintaining a simmer.
    13. Reduce the broth by at least half, or until the flavor of the salt level is to your liking.
    14. Add half of the cream and bring back to a boil. The gravy should nap the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
    15. If the viscosity of the sauce is still too thin, sprinkle in Wondra a little at a time, whisking to avoid clumps. You need to bring the gravy to a boil in order to activate the gluten in the Wondra.
    16. Strain one more time into a bowl and keep warm until ready to use.
    17. If making a day ahead of time, do not add cream until reheating.

    Let us know how you like it!

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Java-Gourmet Coffee-Based Rubs, Sauces, Salts & Sweets

    Sauces are just the beginning of the coffee-
    accented products from Java-Gourmet. Photo
    by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Java-Gourmet is the story of two Bostonians who relocated to the sylvan shores of Keuka Lake in upstate New York. Surrounded by natural beauty, they began to roast coffee to order, slowly air-cooling the beans to retain their natural coffee oils—which hold not only flavors, but also antioxidants.

    A few years later, they released Java Rub, giving zing to pork, poultry, steak, beef and turkey burgers, chili, enchiladas, tacos and other foods. An artisanal, coffee-based specialty food company was born.

    Since then, the company has created a large line of products—more than 30 products, a lineup that’s unique in the marketplace—based on coffee (coffee is a favorite ingredient of Bobby Flay and many other chefs). If you haven’t yet cooked with coffee, it both adds a depth of flavor and helps to caramelize the surface of the food.

  • A Cornucopia Of Coffee Products. The rubs are joined by sauces and marinades, a coffee-based brine, a salt grinder (sea salt, peppercorns and coffee beans) and a finishing salt (a grinder with coffee beans plus garlic, paprika, herbs, spices, salt and pepper) that’s good on everything, including popcorn.
  •  

  • The Sweet Side. Java-Gourmet offers three varieties of chocolate-coffee bark: Java Bark, Java Bark Decaf and Java Bark Latte (a milk chocolate). They’ll delight any chocolate-and-coffee lover.
  • Java Sprinkles. The meal ends with a shake of coffee sugar—ground espresso blended with cocoa, cane sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar and spices. Originally developed to top cappuccino, cocoa and other whipped cream- and foam-topped beverages, Java Sprinkles have also found a place as a garnish for ice cream, puddings, tiramisu and buttered toast.
  • While all products are used year-round, summer grilling season is the perfect time to try out the rubs and sauces.
  • Try them at home and bring some Java-Gourmet gifts when you’re invited to a cookout. Plan ahead for stocking stuffers for everyone who likes to cook. All products are small-batch-produced, all natural and free of MSG, gluten and trans fat.
  • Click over to Java-Gourmet.com and treat yourself to a selection.
  •  
    Make Your Own Coffee Rub
    If you want to try it with your own ground coffee, we prefer a dark roast (espresso, French or Italian roast) for more flavor and a lighter roast for a more subtle flavor. For a lighter roast rub, add dried basil, kosher salt, lemon zest and/or orange zest, pepper and sea salt or kosher salt. For a darker roast, add chili powder, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper and salt.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Hot-Hot-Hot Ghost Pepper Salsa

    Here’s a salsa to enjoy while listening to Donna Summer belt “Hot Stuff.”

    It’s the first salsa we’ve tried from an artisan producer that uses the world’s hottest chile pepper—the ghost chile, or bhut jolokia.

    Salsa is a billion dollar industry in America, with consumer preferences trending to hot. Lots of people think that, for food, heat can’t be beat. If you’re one of the many who like it hot-hot-hot, get some of Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa. It recently won at the 2011 Scovie Awards, the world’s leading competition for hot and spicy products.

    Ghost Pepper Salsa is the fastest growing product in the company’s 71-year history. It’s also one of Mrs. Renfro’s three best sellers, along with two other hotties: Habanero and Green (jalapeño) Salsa.

    How hot is ghost pepper?

     

    Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot stuff, baby! Photo by River
    Soma | THE NIBBLE

     

  • The ghost pepper chile, or bhut jolokia, from northeast India, has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s hottest chile.
  • The chile is so hot, it’s used by the Indian military in tear gas—and it’s an ingredient in pepper spray, hand grenades and smoke bombs.
  •  
    The “explosive” Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa is available at retailers nationwide, or online at RenfroFoods.com. The cost per 16-ounce jar is $3.25 (prices will vary by market); online sales from Mrs. Renfro’s are in four-packs.

    Try it at your own risk. Says Mrs. Renfro’s: “This Ghost Pepper Salsa is scary hot!”

  • Check out the different types of chiles in our Chile Glossary.
  • How many different types of salsa can you name?
  •   

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Barbecue Month & Brothers Sauces

    Brothers BBQ sauces: layers of flavor.
    Photo by Sue Ding | THE NIBBLE.

     

    May is National Barbecue Month.

    Among all the products people send “over the transom” for us to try, the largest category by far is barbecue sauce.

    We often say that, if aliens invaded THE NIBBLE offices, they’d think that earthlings lived on barbecue sauce.

    Much of what we’re sent is very simple and sweet: ketchup or tomato paste with added sugar, brown sugar, and/or high fructose corn syrup, plus onion powder, Worcestershire and/or hot sauce. The number one ingredient on the label is often one of the sweeteners listed above, if that gives you an idea of the taste.

    We call these products “meat sugar.” While we like tomato-based sauces, we really don’t like sugar sauce on our meat.

    Only one barbecue sauce has ever been memorable enough to make Top Pick Of The Week, and we happen to sell it in The Nibble Gourmet Market: Grandville’s BBQ Jam (it’s as thick as jam). Treat yourself to a bottle or two—it’s a great Father’s Day gift.

     

    What about all that barbecue sauce that arrives weekly at our office?

    Every so often, a product comes along and stands out from the rest. In the past, we’ve written them up as a group:

  • The Best Barbecue Sauce: 2006
  • The Best Barbecue Sauces: 2007
  • The Best Barbecue Sauces: 2008
  • The Best Barbecue Sauces: 2010—this review includes an explanation of the seven different styles of barbecue: East Carolina, Kansas City, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas
  •  
    You may have noticed that we didn’t do a “Best” review in 2009. What happened? Not enough contenders for an article.

    But we do have a nominee for 2011: King Brothers.

    In 1986, the King Brothers—George, Barry and Darryl—plus Daddy King had a friendly family barbecue cook-off. The winner continued to make his sauce for his family and friends.

    The fan base grew, and wanted more barbecue sauce than King could supply. Friends said that they would gladly buy it. One sauce-addicted friend referred to the sauce as “The GOLD,” which became the name of the first sauce produced under the label Brothers Sauces.

    “The GOLD” was followed by “The HEAT,” a wing sauce, and Spicy Brown Mustard “GOLD.” Whether on beef, chicken, pork or seafood (some people use it as salad dressing, too), the multi-layered tastes shine through. Sweet and tangy flavors join the rich tomato base to create a noteworthy suite of sauces.

    You can purchase Brothers Sauces from the company website.

    The brothers also make Granny Georgia’s Brown Suga Dessert Sauce. It’s a bit sweet for us, but our neighbor, to whom we gave the jar, was thrilled.

      

    Comments

    « Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »









    About Us
    Contact Us
    Legal
    Privacy Policy
    Advertise
    Media Center
    Manufacturers & Retailers
    Subscribe
    Interact
    Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com