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Archive for Tip Of The Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Piña Colada Jell-O Shots

Jell-O Shots

Pina Colada

[1] You can make Piña Colada shots with rum, or with add more pineapple juice for a cocktail (photo courtesy BreadBoozeBacon.com). [2] The inspiration: a Piña Colada (photo courtesy Tommy Bahama).

 

July 10th is National Piña Colada Day, which reminded us that we’d saved a recipe for Piña Colada Jell-O Shots.

So today’s tip is: Return to youthful fun with Jell-O Shots. You can find recipes online for everything from Margarita to Whiskey Sour Jell-O Shots.

We first tried another recipe but preferred this one from by Julie Kotzbach of BreadBoozeBacon.com. We also like that she made them in a pan and sliced them, instead of using paper or plastic cups.

Note #1: Look at the pans or baking dishes you have. Julie used a 6×9″ pan. We used the 8″ square Pyrex baking dish we have.

Note #2: While most shot recipes use Jell-O (hence the term Jell-O shots), there is none in this recipe. Unflavored gelatin is used instead.
 
RECIPE: PIÑA COLADA JELL-O SHOTS

Ingredients For 15 Shots

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin powder
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cream of coconut (Coco Lopez, Coco Reàl*, etc.)
  • ¼ cup white rum or coconut rum (the different types of rum—substitute pineapple juice for a no-alcohol recipe)
  • 15 maraschino cherries, rinsed and dried (we used Tillen Farms’ with stems and just patted them dry)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the maraschino cherries: Pat dry, first rinsing as needed. Set aside on a paper towel.

    2. SPRINKLE the gelatin over the cold water in a small mixing bowl. Let the powder to soak in for 2 minutes.

    3. POUR the boiling water into the bowl and whisk constantly until the gelatin is dissolved. Then add the sugar, and whisk until dissolved.

    4. ADD the pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum. Whisk to combine. Pour into a small baking pan (you can also use paper or plastic cups or mini jello molds).

    5. REFRIGERATE for 1 hour until the gelatin has thickened. Place the cherries evenly in 3 lines across the top. Refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 more hours or overnight.

     
    6. PLATE: Dip the bottom of the pan into warm water for 10 to 15 seconds. Run a sharp knife through the gelatin, parallel to the cherry lines, creating 3 strips. Cut each strip into squares. Use a small offset spatula to lift from the pan onto a serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
     
    CUTTING DOWN ON THE SUGAR

  • Coco Reàl makes a version of its cream of coconut using low-glycemic agave instead of sugar.
  • Smirnoff makes a light pineapple-coconut vodka. Drink it straight or mix it with a splash of coconut water or milk. It’s not a Jell-O Shot, but it is lower in calories. You also can experiment with your own “light” shot recipe.
  •  
    WHO INVENTED THE JELL-O SHOT?

    The American singer-songwriter Tom Lehrer wrote about Jell-O shots in the 1950s, making them as a way to consume alcohol undetected on the Army base where he was stationed (no alcohol allowed).

    Jell-O shots seem like a modern concept, but Jell-O itself (flavored, sweetened gelatin) was invented in 1897. Beginning in the 1400s, gelatin (protein produced from collagen extracted from boiled animal bones and connective tissues) had been used to make desserts—a laborious undertaking.

    In 1862, the first modern cocktail recipe book was published in the U.S.: Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide.

    Jerry Thomas advised: “The strength of the punch is so artfully concealed by its admixture with the gelatine, that many persons, particularly of the softer sex, have been tempted to partake so plentifully of it as to render them somewhat unfit for waltzing or quadrilling after supper.” That sounds so much more charming than “falling-down drunk.”
     
    DON’T WANT TO MAKE JELL-O SHOTS?

    How about a Piña Colada dessert pizza?

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Summer Mocktails

    In the heat* of the summer, not every cocktail fan wants alcohol; and not everyone drinks alcohol, preferring a cocktail.

    So mixologists created the most tempting mocktails we’ve seen: just like a creative cocktails served at hot spots.

    By layering complex flavors, you’ll never know the alcohol is missing. We’ve included two recipes below, created by Richard Woos for SushiSamba New York. You may utter words like “Where am I supposed to get these ingredients?”

    But use them as a guideline. Mixologists have many more ingredients to play with than we do. You can substitute, or be inspired to create something entirely different with coconut water, fruit juices, sweet herbs, etc. Think of the flavors you like and mix away!

    For those who want a bit of kick, add a shot of sochu (shochu), half the proof of vodka.

    These cocktails were created by Richard Woods for SUSHISAMBA NYC, so they have an Asian twist.
     
    RECIPE #1: SUU IZURU COCKRAIL

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1 ounce aloe water/juice**
  • 1.5 ounces lychee juice
  • .5 ounce yuzu juice
  • 1 ounce pineapple and tarragon simple syrup†
  • 3-4 organic rose petals (no pesticide!)
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: dehydrated pineapple ring, large mint sprig, organic rose bud
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients and swizzle through crushed ice. Then swizzle in the rose petals.

    2. GARNISH and serve.

     

    Summer Mocktail

    Summer Mocktail

    [1] Aloe, lychee and yuzu are a glorious combination. [2] Yuzu and elderflower liqueur with a shiso garnish.

     
    RECIPE #2: YUSHI FIZZ

    This drink is a combination of two of our favorite flavors, yuzu and lychee, with a shiso garnish (thus the name, yu + shi). The elderflower liquer tastes very much like lychee liqueur (but better).

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • .75 ounce yuzu juice
  • 1.5 ounces shiso sugar syrup
  • 1 bar spoon†† elderflower cordial (Saint-Germain is heavenly, and also great with Champagne)
  • 2 ounces soda water (club soda)
  • Ice
  • Optional garnishes: shisho leaf (substitute basil) or lychees on a pick
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SHAKE the first three ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Add the soda water and roll the shaker to blend.

    2. DOUBLE strain, garnish and serve.
     
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    *Drinking alcohol makes you feel warmer as your blood alcohol level rises, but it does not actually raise your body temperature.

    **Aloe water is a great base for cocktails and cocktails—or for drinking straight. It’s also available in flavors, from the three major melons to strawberry and pineapple. NOTE: If you don’t like orange juice with pulp, you won’t like aloe water: It has pieces of aloe pulp.

    †Heres’s how to make simple syrup. You can infuse whatever you like in it. You can also purchase simple syrup. Sonoma Syrup Co. makes a multitude of flavors, from from ginger to lavender.

    ††A bar spoon is equivalent to a teaspoon, but has a much longer handle so it can mix ingredients in tall glasses. It’s typically stainless steel and the handle is twisted in a decorative way. Here’s a bar spoon photo.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Saké Sangria

    Sake Sangria

    Organic Sake

    Shochu

    [1] Saké, shochu and lychee liqueur combine with fruit to create Saké Sangria from Kabuki restaurants (photo courtesy Flavor & The Menu). [2] Organic saké from SakéOne. [3] Sochu from an article on the best sochu brands from Gear Patrol.

     

    On weekends, we try the cocktail recipes we publish. It’s tough work, but someone has to do it.

    Last weekend’s cocktail was an amped up version of a saké-based sangria from Kabuki restaurant. Saké, Japanese rice wine, is substituted for the red or white wine in a Spanish-style sangria (here’s the history of sangria).

    But that’s not all: This recipe adds sochu, a distilled spirit like vodka, but with a much lower proof.

    We’ve never been to a Kabuki restaurant. They’re located in Southern California, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

    But after we perused the innovative sushi on their Facebook Page, we put it on our “must go” [when in the area] list.

    Until then, we adapted a sangria recipe from Kabuki’s Master Saké Sommelier, Yuji Matsumoto.

    Matsumoto’s Saké Sangria is a long-time favorite at the restaurant. It started as a limited-time-only drink, but was such a hit that it became a mainstay on the menu.
     
    WHAT IS SAKÉ SANGRIA?

    Made with seasonal fruits, saké, shochu and lychee liqueur, the drink is light and refreshing—just right for summer.

    If you don’t want to buy sochu, use the vodka you have—especially a fruit-flavored or vanilla vodka.

    Kabuki Signature Saké Sangria (fresh fruits, sake, shochu, grapefruit & cranberry juice)

    RECIPE: KABUKI-STYLE SAKÉ SANGRIA

    This recipe is an approximation: We didn’t get the recipe from Kabuki.

    However, sangria recipes are very versatile: You can use different ingredients in different proportions.

    Want pineapple or cantaloupe? Toss it in!

    Want more juiciness? Add cranberry, grapefruit, pomegranate or whatever juice you favor.

    No lychee liqueur or elderflower liqueur like Saint-Germain (which tastes much more lychee-like than the SOHO Lychee Liqueur we tried)? Use Grand Marnier.

    Other additions/substitutions: plum wine, hibiscus syrup, starfruit, fresh lychees in season, and so on.

    Since it’s summer, we used summer fruits. In the fall and winter, we’ll switch to apples, pears and blood oranges.

    Prep time 5 minutes, infusion is 8 hours or longer. Kabuki infuses the fruits for 72 hours!

    Ingredients For 5 Cocktails

  • 1 plum, pitted and sliced
  • 1 nectarine, pitted and sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 bottle 750 milliliters Japanese saké
  • 1/4 cup sochu
  • 1/4 cup lychee liqueur
  • Optional: Ice cubes
  • Optional garnish: starfruit slice, orange slice, fresh blueberries, etc.
  •  
    Preparation

    1.ADD the fruit to a pitcher and top it with the liqueur, saké and shochu. Gently stir, cover and allow the fruit to marinate for 8 hours or longer. (At Kabuki the sangria is infused for 72 hours!)

    2. TASTE and adjust the sochu and liqueur as desired.

    3. GARNISH as desired and serve in a red wine glass.

    WHAT IS SOCHU?

    Sochu, also spelled shochu, is a neutral grain spirt like vodka. But at half the proof of vodka, it’s a great solution to keep a crowd sober, longer.

    Shochu has a 24% alcohol content (double the alcohol content to get the proof), compared to vodka at 40% and saké at 15%.

    If you use vodka often, we highly recommend trying it. Here’s more about sochu.

     
    WHAT IS KABUKI?

    Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theater that originated during the 17th century, during Japan’s the Edo Period.

    Theater troupes dressed in extravagant costumes and supernatural makeup, and acted stories of love, moral conflicts and historical events.
     
    _____________________
    *Thanks to Kabuki and Flavor & The Menu for the inspiration.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: 20 Other Uses For Hot Dog Rolls

    Hot Dog Bun Enchiladas

    Pizza Hot Dog

    Salad Sandwich

    Peanut  Butter Sandwich

    [1] Chicken enchilada fixings in a hot dog roll (photo courtesy KingsHawaiian.com). [2] Pepperoni pizza ingredients in a hot dog roll (photo courtesy SimplyStacie.net). [3] Salad on a hot dog roll (photo courtesy Bitemore.com). [4] Peanut butter, bacon and banana on a hot dog roll (photo courtesy Huffington Post).

     

    July is National Hot Dog Month, so be sure to get your fill.

    When you have extra rolls without hot dogs, brats or other sausages to grace them, you can stick them in the freezer.

    You can also turn them into bread pudding, panzanella (bread salad), croutons or bread crumbs, and any number of recipes requiring bread, from gazpacho to romesco sauce.

    But today, we’ve thought outside the box in terms of fillings, and present 20 alternative fillings for your hot dog rolls.

    TIP: If the preparation doesn’t already require toasting/grilling, most of these preparations will be better with toasted or grilled rolls.

  • Buffalo Roll: Chicken tenders, blue cheese dressing, diced celery.
  • Breakfast “Burrito”: Scrambled eggs, bacon/sausage, salsa or other garnish.
  • Breakfast Toast: Serve a toasted roll with your favorite breakfast spreads.
  • Bruschetta or Crostini (the difference): Add your favorite toppings and eat them sandwich-style. You can cut them in half for serving.
  • Carrot Dogs: vegan recipe.
  • Cheese Sticks: recipe.
  • Chili (without the dog, but with the cheese and onions).
  • Faux Enchiladas Or Tacos: replace the tortilla with the roll.
  • French Toast or breakfast pastries.
  • Fruit Rolls: toast, spread with honey and add fresh fruit.
  • Garlic bread: One roll creates a mini garlic bread “loaf.”
  • Green Salad Roll: put all the ingredients on a toasted roll (go light on the vinaigrette): Cobb Salad, Chef Salad, Greek Salad, Spinach Salad.
  • Grilled Cheese.
  • Grilled Fish Or Seafood: Top it with tartar sauce or seafood sauce (instead of a lobster roll, try more affordable seafood).
  • Other Foods Not Eaten On Bread: Try Bean salad, ratatouille—check the fridge.
  • Panini: Add sandwich fillings, butter the outsides and grill the roll on a panini press.
  • Pizza Roll: Fill with your favorite pizza topping, sauce and mozzarella; microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
  • Sandwiches Made With Other Types Of Rolls: Barbecue, chicken parm, cubano, meatball, po’boy, Sloppy Joe, etc.
  • Sandwiches Made With Sliced Bread: Ham and cheese, PB&J, tuna, etc. Try a PB and banana sandwich, using the entire banana like a hot dog.
  • Southern Bird Dogs (recipe).
  •  
    We avoided ideas like these cheese fries in a hot dog roll, as well as spaghetti rolls and chicken chow mein on a hot dog roll. But you still can have fun with it: See the Frog Sandwich photo below.

     
    GARNISH, GARNISH, GARNISH

    Whatever you put into your hot dog roll, consider garnishes to top it:

  • Chopped fresh herbs
  • Diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, bell peppers
  • Leftover grains, vegetables
  • Pickles and/or sliced olives
  • Chutney or relish
  • Salsa
  • Shredded cheese
  • Shredded lettuce, slaw
  •  

     

    BUNS, ROLLS AND BISCUITS: THE DIFFERENCE

    You may have noticed that we use the word roll instead of bun to denote hot dog-specific bread.

    There is no official difference: Both are single-serve breads, and the FDA only stipulates that buns and rolls weigh less than one-half pound (loaves of bread must weigh one pound or more).

    Manufacturers and retailers use whichever term they want. However, the American Institute of Baking uses this distinction:

  • “Rolls” is generally applied to individual breads that hold a filling—either pre-filled like cinnamon rolls from sandwich bread like Kaiser rolls. The notable exception is hot cross buns, which are filled with currants or raisins. (Editor’s note: The first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” appears in 1733, when there was no distinction. Because there is no official standard, there are many exceptions, from hot dog an hamburger buns (should be rolls) to hot cross buns (filled with currants).
  • “Buns” typically do not contain a filling, but can be eaten plain, with a spread (butter, jam), or used as a sop*.
  • Bunne was the word used in Middle English. The use of roll to describe a small bread came much later. The oldest reference we could find is to Parker House rolls, in 1873.
  • Biscuits use a different leavening. Biscuits use baking powder to rise; buns and rolls use yeast.
  • Texture: Rolls can be hard (crusty) or soft, buns are soft, and biscuits are pillowy soft (from the baking powder).
  •  
    HOT DOG RECIPES (WITH ACTUAL HOT DOGS)

  • Bacon Cheese Dogs
  • Cubano Dog
  • Gourmet Hot Dogs 1
  • Gourmet Hot Dogs 2
  • Italian Hot Dogs
  • Mini Corn Dogs
  • Tater Tot Hot Dog Skewers
  • Top 10 Hot Dog Toppings
  •  

    Southern Bird Dog

    Salami Sandwich

    Frog Sandwich

    [1] The Southern Bird Dog is filled with chicken tenders and bacon (photo courtesy JamHands.com). [2] Use extra hot dog rolls for your sandwiches (photo courtesy GlutenFreeDairyFreeNJ.Blogspot.com). [3] Have fun: a cheese sandwich on a hot dog roll (photo courtesy TheChaosAndTheClutter.com).

     
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    *“Sop” indicates a piece of bread or other solid used to wipe up a liquid food: gravy, sauce, soup, stew, etc. It is the source of the words supper, soup and sopping (drenched). It evolved from the Old English soppian, “bread soaked in some liquid.”

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Red, White & Blue Cupcakes For Patriotic Occasions

    HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

    These red, white and blue cupcakes are an eye- and palate-pleaser for any patriotic occasion.

    And they’re easy to make, with just the added step of dividing cake mix into three bowls and coloring two of them. We chose a frosting of stabilized whipped cream, stiffened with gelatin (it won’t collapse) and topped the cupcakes with red, white and blue decorations.

    RECIPE: PATRIOTIC CUPCAKES

    Ingredients For The Cupcakes

  • 1 box white cake mix (or your own white cake recipe)
  • Red and blue gel food coloring (see notes in the last section)
  • Icing
  • Decorative sprinkles or stars
  •  
    Ingredients For 4 Cups Stabilized Whipped Cream

  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  •  
    Plus

  • Cupcake pan
  • Cupcake liners
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE a cupcake pan with paper liners. Place the cream in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to whipping (it will whip better).

    2. PREPARE the cake batter and divide it into three bowls. Use blue and red gel food coloring in two of the bowls (see notes about gel-paste below.)

    3. ADD one tablespoon blue batter to the each cupcake liner and spread evenly (we used a plastic teaspoon). Follow with a tablespoon of white batter, and a red layer on top of that, taking care not to mix the colors as you spread them.

    4. BAKE per cake recipe instructions and cool. While the cupcakes cool…

    5. MAKE the stabilized whipped cream frosting. Place the cold water in a small pan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it thicken; then place the pan over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool, but do not allow it to set.

    6. WHIP the cream with the powdered sugar, until slightly thick. While slowly beating, add the gelatin to whipping cream. Whip at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.

    7. DECORATE and serve.

     

    Red, White & Blue Cupcakes

    July 4th Cupcakes

    American Flag Cupcakes

    [1] Red, white and blue layered cupcake (photo Elegant Affairs Caterers | Facebook). [2] Even easier options: red fruit atop white frosting (photo GoBoldWithButter.com) and [3] cupcake “flag” (photo Sprinkles Cupcakes).

     
    WANT A RED, WHITE & BLUE LAYER CAKE INSTEAD OF CUPCAKES?

  • White layer cake, filled with raspberry and blueberry preserves.
  • White-frosted stack cake with red and blue berry topping.
  • Lemon loaf layer cake with white filling and red and blueberry topping.
  •  
    WHY USE SOFT GEL INSTEAD OF LIQUID FOOD COLOR

    The typical food colors available in supermarkets are water-based liquids that work well for most purposes. In many recipes, you use so little of it that the teaspoon or so of water isn’t going to impact the outcome of the recipe.

    But if you are looking for intense color—such as in red velvet cake—you need to use a lot of liquid to get the vibrant color. Too much liquid will alter the consistency of cake, candies, donuts and deep-colored frostings.

  • Soft gel food coloring (sometimes called liquid gel, not to be confused with the conventional liquid food color) delivers a deep, rich color without thinning the batter or frosting.
  • Gel paste food coloring is very concentrated and provides even deeper, more vivid colors than soft gel. It should be used in very small quantities.
  • Powdered food coloring is another very concentrated option that is often used to decorate cookies.
  •  
    You can often find gel food colors in craft stores, as well as in baking supplies stores and online, where you can buy red only or the four basic food colors. Wilton sells a set of eight gel colors, as well as neon and pastel sets. Don’t substitute one for another, unless you have time to test the results.
     
    TIPS FOR COLORING ICING

  • If exact color is important, mix the color in daylight so you can see the true hue.
  • Start with less color and adjust as you go.
  • Note that the longer the icing sits, the stronger the color will be. Proceed accordingly.
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Ketchup For Your Cookout

    Homemade Ketchup

    Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

    Hot Dogs With Ketchup

    [1] Homemade ketchup [2] with burgers (photos courtesy GoodEggs) and [3] on franks (photo courtesy Applegate).

     

    If you’re considering making something for a cookout, how about homemade ketchup?

    You can make your own ketchup in just ten minutes of prep time, plus 45 minutes of cooking. You can choose a better sweetener, avoiding high fructose corn syrup by substituting agave*, cane sugar, honey, maple syrup or non-caloric sweetener.

    And you can add specialty seasonings such as chipotle, curry, garlic, horseradish, jalapeño and sriracha.

    The following recipe is from Good Eggs of San Francisco. Here’s an alternative ketchup recipe made with honey (instead of brown sugar and molasses), cloves (instead of cumin) and coconut oil (instead of olive oil).

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE TOMATO KETCHUP

    Ingredients For 1 Pint

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) canned whole tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  •  
    Flavor Variations

    Instead of the allspice, cloves and cumin, you can flavor the ketchup with other seasonings.

    Divide the base ketchup into half-cup test batches and test different flavors. Flavoring a half cup at a time enables you to adjust the seasonings to your particular taste.

  • Chipotle Ketchup: 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, chipotle chile powder and lime juice
  • Cranberry Ketchup: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
  • Curry Ketchup: 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice.
  • Garlic Ketchup: 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice.
  • Horseradish Ketchup: 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish.
  • Jalapeño Ketchup: 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped canned jalapeños, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • Sriracha Ketchup: 1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.
  •  
    You can also make hickory-smoke ketchup with liquid smoke, add lemon zest, and so forth.
    _____________________
    *When using agave, use half the amount since it’s twice as sweet as the other sweeteners.
     
    Preparation

    1. ADD 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and place over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Cook for 3 minutes, until translucent; then add the garlic.

    2. AFTER another 4 minutes, add the tomatoes (including the liquid), vinegar, salt, allspice, cayenne and black pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat, until the tomatoes have broken down. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

    3. POUR the mixture into a blender and pulse until it’s a smooth purée. Be careful: Blending a hot liquid requires extra attention. Using a dish towel, hold down the lid tightly. An immersion blender is a superior alternative for puréeing hot liquids.

    4. POUR the purée back into the pot and add the the brown sugar and molasses. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes uncovered, until the mixture has thickened. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week.
     
    THE HISTORY OF KETCHUP

    The concept was brought to England from Southeast Asia in the late 1600s, and had no tomatoes. The first printed recipe for kachop was an early version of what we know as Worcestershire Sauce.

    Check out the history of ketchup.
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Cinnamon Rolls On The Grill

    Grilled Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

    Ground Cinnamon

    Bowl Of Raisins

    [1] Grilled cinnamon rolls (photo courtesy SafeEggs.com). [2] Ground cinnamon (photo courtesy McCormick). [3] Mixed raisins (photo courtesy California Raisins).

     

    When the grill is fired up, make cinnamon rolls with this recipe from Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs.

    RECIPE: GRILLED CINNAMON ROLLS

    Ingredients For 15 Rolls

    Prep time is 20 minutes, total time including rising is 1 hour.

    For The Rolls

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant rise yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
  •  
    For The Cinnamon Filling

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Optional: raisins or other dried fruit, nuts and/or chocolate chips
  •  
    For The Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  •  
    Plus

  • Grease for the grill grate
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the dough. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk and heat until the mixture reaches 110°F. While the mixture is warming…

    2. COMBINE the yeast and honey in a bowl. Stir in the milk mixture, then add the egg and salt. Combine thoroughly, then fold in 2-1/2 cups of the flour. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough comes together (it will still be sticky).

    3. FLOUR your hands and the work surface. Knead the dough about 5 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 20-25 minutes. While the dough rises, make the filling: Combine the ingredients and set aside.

     
    4. ROLL out the dough into an 8×13-inch rectangle. Top with the filling and spread into an even layer. Carefully roll the dough into a tight tube shape and cut the individual cinnamon rolls with a string (or dental floss), about one inch thick. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

    5. GREASE the grill grate and place a row of cinnamon rolls on the grill for 5 minutes. Flip and grill another 2 minutes. Remove from the grill. As the rolls cool down to slightly warm…

    6. COMBINE the glaze ingredients and drizzle generously over the rolls. Serve.
     
    IS IT CINNAMON OR CASSIA?

    Check out the different types of cinnamon.
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Gazpacho Shooters

    Gazpacho Shooters

    Gazpacho Shooters

    [1] A gazpacho shot at Fabrick | NYC. [2] A blender gazpacho from OuiChefNetwork.com. Here’s their recipe for their beautiful, orange-hued gazpacho.

     

    As the party is getting started, serve guests a gazpacho shot. Gazpacho, a chilled vegetable soup, is so refreshing on a warm day. Why National Gazpacho Day is December 6th, we have no idea.

    You can add a tablespoon of gin, tequila or vodka to each shot; or serve mocktails. A bonus: Even a small amount of gazpacho can add another portion of veggies to your daily intake.

    You can serve the shooter in a shot glass (you can buy decent ones in hard plastic) or four-ounce juice glasses. Or, ditch the concept of shooters and serve as a full-blown drink, in whatever type of glass you like.

    And, you can make them just for the family, with brunch or before dinner.

    Just make your favorite gazpacho recipe (we have some recipes below). You can simply toss the ingredients into a blender. If you don’t like to cook, your food market may sell gazpacho along with the other fresh soups.
    Or, you can make the Gazpachito recipe below, a cross between a Bloody Mary and a Tequila & Lime shot.
     
    RECIPE #1: BLENDER TOMATO GAZPACHO

    This is our lower calorie version, omitting the bread and the olive oil of a conventional recipe. It also works better for a cocktail.

    Simply layer the ingredients in a blender:. You can vary the vegetable proportions to bring out the flavors you like best.
     
    Ingredients

  • 2 pounds tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1-2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 red onion or green onions (scallions) to taste
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Choice of white spirit
  • Preparation

    1. COMBINE the vegetables and seasonings in a blender and blend to your desired consistency.

    2. TASTE and adjust the proportions and seasoning to taste.

    3. PLACE the blender in the fridge to chill and allow the flavors to meld. Re-taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    4. SPLIT the batch. Add the alcohol to one portion, leaving a portion alcohol-free. If you know that all the guests will want alcohol, add spirit to the entire batch.

     

    RECIPE #2: GAZPACHITO SHOT

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1 ounce blanco (silver) tequila
  • 1-1/2 ounces tomato juice
  • 1/2 ounce sherry
  • Garnish: 2 slices of green or red jalapeño
  • Garnish: cucumber spear for garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SHAKE the ingredients with ice in a shaker and strain into a chilled shot glass. Garnish with one or two cucumber spears.

    2. SLAM the shot and then eat the garnish.
     
    GARNISH OPTIONS

  • Avocado slice.
  • Baby beets or diced whole beets.
  • Celery or fennel stick of celery, broccoli or cauliflower floret.
  • Cheese cube.
  • Cucumber slice.
  • Cooked shrimp or a raw sea scallop, notched onto the rim of the glass.
  • Greek yogurt, plain or herbed (mix in finely chopped fresh herbs); crème fraîche or sour cream.
  • Small boiled parsley potato.
  •  
    You can serve the shooters with a tray of crostini as crunchy counterpoint.
     
    MORE GAZPACHO OPTIONS

  • Don’t like tomatoes? Make gazpacho verde, green gazpacho. There’s also the history of gazpacho.
  • Don’t like tomatoes, onion and bell peppers? Make white gazpacho, which is the original gazpacho recipe. Tomatoes came later.
  • Something Snazzy: Try yellow gazpacho, made from yellow bell peppers.
  • Beer Gazpacho: This recipe, with added beer and salsa, is from Chef Rick Bayless.
  • BLT Gazpacho: Make this recipe, or simply add a slice of crisp bacon and some baby arugula to garnish your favorite tomato gazpacho recipe.
  • Fruit Gazpacho: Try Mango Gazpacho or Pineapple Gazpacho. Both are savory recipes with sweet fruit accents.
  • Chocolate Gazpacho: The recipe is also savory, like mole sauce.
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    Gapachito Shot

    Classic Tomato Gazpacho

    [1] A Gazpachito (photo courtesy Skyy Spirits). [2] A bowl of tomato-based gazpacho (photo courtesy AddSomeLife.com).

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cooking In Parchment, Or “En Papillote”

    Today is the first-ever National Parchment Day, celebrated on the last Wednesday of June to bring awareness to those who have not yet discovered the joy of working with culinary parchment.

    The holiday was created by PaperChef, a leading producer of premium culinary parchment.

    The right way to declare a holiday is to submit a proposal to the federal government, state or local government. A less official way to do it is to submit it to the National Day Calendar a commercial venture originally begun as a hobby by two enthusiasts in North Dakota.

     
    WHAT IS CULINARY PARCHMENT PAPER?

    Culinary parchment paper, also called kitchen parchment and bakery paper or baking paper, is a cellulose-based paper that provides a disposable, non-stick surface. It is a popular aid for oven cooking: It saves greasing and enables easy clean-up.

    It also is used to create a packet for moist-heat cooking in the oven—for fish and shellfish, poultry, vegetables and so on. The French call this technique en papillote (on poppy-YOTE); it is al cartoccio in Italian, and cooking in parchment in English. The food is put into a folded pouch (parcel) and then baked in the oven.

    You can also cook in parchment on a grill, up to 425°F, using a metal plate on the top rack and closing the lid. Unlike aluminum foil, the parchment won’t scorch.

    Don’t confuse parchment with waxed paper, which has a thin coating of wax on each side to make it nonstick and moisture-resistant. Unlike parchment paper, it is not heat-resistant; the wax can melt and the paper can ignite in the oven. Parchment paper is impregnated with silicone, which prevents it from catching fire.

    But you can do the reverse: In most applications that call for wax paper as a non-stick surface, you can substitute parchment.
     
    CULILNARY PARCHMENT HISTORY

    Culinary parchment has only been available since the 19th century. The earliest reference we have found is in the London Practical Mechanics Journal in October 1858.

    We don’t know when it was applied to culinary use. Some sources cite the early 20th century. The 1858 reference suggests architects’ and engineers’ plans (today’s blueprints), tracing paper, bookbinding and maps.

       

    Salmon En Papillote

    Chocolate Chip Cookies Baked On Parchment

    [1] Salmon cooked in folded parchment paper (photo courtesy PaperChef). [2] Cookies baked in a pan lined with parchment (photo courtesy Jules | Wikipedia).

     

    Before cooking parchment, according to the website of The Telegraph, a daily newspaper in the U.K., “cooks would have used normal sheets of whatever white paper was on hand.” The article references a cookbook from 1823 by Mary Eaton, for baking beef in an earthenware dish covered in “two or three thicknesses of writing paper.” She warns against using brown paper, because “the pitch and tar which it contains will give the meat a smoky bad taste.”

    More options in olden times:

  • Oil-soaked or buttered paper, for baking and roasting. Buttered paper was put on top of a roast to stop it from cooking too quickly—the way we use foil today.
  • Fish was cooked en papillote in a parcel of paper brushed with olive oil. Fish was cooked en papillote in a parcel of paper brushed with olive oil.
  • Brandy-soaked paper circles were used to seal fruit jams and preserves.
  • Beyond skimming, excess grease was removed from the top of a stock or soup with ink-blotting paper. Today, paper towels do the trick.
  •  
    Parchment used as writing paper dates to ancient Egypt. It is a completely different animal, so to speak: It is made from sheep and other animal skins, and was first created as scrolls, with the skins trimmed and stitched together as required. Animal parchment is still used for applications from college diplomas to religious texts.

    What the two parchments—animal and vegetable—have in common is their creamy white color.

     

    Salmon In Parchment

    Vegetables In Parchment

    Paperchef Parchment Bag

    [1] You can add a sauce or create one. Here, compound butter will melt to flavor the fish and vegetables (photo courtesy GoodLifeEats.com). [2] Vegetables cooked in parchment: so much more delicious than steaming but the same calories (photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma). [3] There’s no need to fold paper: Just put the contents in a parchment bag [photo courtesy Paperchef).

      THE BENEFITS OF PARCHMENT PAPER

  • Low-fat cooking with fewer calories: You can cook healthier meals, without the need for added fat. No vitamins are “washed way” in the cooking process.
  • Convenience: The parchment packets may be prepared up to a day in advance, and are perfect for a single serving when you are cooking for one. It’s non-stick, non-scorching, and clean-up is a snap. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven without drying out (or becoming mushy, as with the microwave).
  • Flavorful and tender: Moist heat cooking captures and imbues the food with anything you add to the packet: aromatics (garlic, ginger, scallions, sliced lemon or lime), herbs, spices, wine and liquids from coconut milk to sauce and stock. The method produces very tender meat and vegetables.
  • Simple yet elegant: Parchment entrées are impressive at the dinner table. At a restauraunt, it is traditional for the maitre d’ to slice open the paper in front of the guest, delivering a delightful gust of aroma. At home, when everyone cuts open his or her packet, the effect is the same.
  • Environmentally friendly: Parchment is 100% biodegradable and FSC* certified.
  • Kosher: PaperChef is kosher-certified by Star-K and OU. Reynolds parchment and foil are certified kosher by OU.
  •  
    _____________________
    *Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification means that the materials have been sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner.

     
    TYPES OF CULILNARY PARCHMENT PAPER

    More many decades, cut sheets, or those cut from a roll of parchment, were the options for lining baking pans, cake and pie tins, casseroles and the like.

    Different formats evolved to meet consumer needs.

  • Parchment sheets are the most convenient way to cook with parchment paper. Simply grab a pre-cut sheet to line pans, bakeware and cookware. You can buy rectangles as well as rounds.
  • Parchment rolls are a multipurpose kitchen paper. Like foil and waxed paper, you pull out the amount you need and cut it on the serrated package edge.
  • Parchment cooking bags are a recent innovation and our favorite parchment product. Just toss the ingredients into a bag, fold and cook. It saves the time of cutting a piece of paper to size and folding into packets.
  • Parchment baking cups allow muffins to slide out of the pan—like cupcake papers for muffins. We also like them to create perfectly round baked eggs, for Eggs Benedict or other fancy preparation. Lotus cups are deeper, for larger muffins. Tulip cups are made to add panache to specialty cupcakes, with a petal-like top for an impressive presentation.
  •  
    FIND PARCHMENT-BASED RECIPES FOR EVERYTHING FROM BREAKFAST TO DESSERT

    They’re all over the Web, including on the website of PaperChef.com.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilled Watermelon Steaks

    Grilled Watermelon Recipe

    Seedless Watermelon

    [1] Grilled watermelon steaks with walnut gremolata (photo courtesy McCormick). [2] Use seedless watermelon (photo courtesy Bridges Produce).

     

    We’ve previously recommended cauliflower steaks and grilled cabbage steaks. Today’s “field meat” steaks are made with watermelon. The sweet fruit is grilled with savory seasonings to create a special first course.

    Seedless watermelon is cut into thick “steaks”; marinated in a mixture of white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and rosemary; and topped with a walnut gremolata.

    What’s gremolata? It’s a lively, fresh-chopped condiment that typically includes parsley and/or other green herbs, plus lemon zest and garlic. It’s the traditional accompaniment to osso bucco, braised veal shank; but it’s a tasty accent to many dishes. Bonus: Because it’s so flavorful, you can cut back on salt.

    Here’s more about gremolata, including the classic gremolata recipe.
     
    RECIPE: GRILLED WATERMELON STEAKS WITH WALNUT GREMOLATA

    Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 8 minutes. Some people like to cut the watermelon into rectangles, in line with the steak theme. You also can cut the grilled watermelon into bite-size squares and serve them as hors d’oeuvres.

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (substitute kosher salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  •  
    For The Gremolata

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT four 1-inch-thick, half-moon slices of watermelon. Reserve any remaining watermelon for another use.

    2. MIX the vinegar, oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper in small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons for drizzling over the grilled watermelon. Place the watermelon steaks in glass dish and add the rest of the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, turning the watermelon halfway through. Meanwhile…

    3. MAKE the walnut gremolata: Mix the walnuts, parsley and lemon peel in a small bowl and set aside. Remove the steaks from the marinade, reserving the leftover marinade for basting the watermelon during grilling.

    4. GRILL the steaks over high heat for 2 to 4 minutes per side or until grill marks appear, brushing with the leftover marinade after the 2-minute mark.

    5. SERVE: Cut the watermelon steaks in half. Drizzle with the reserved marinade. Sprinkle with the gremolata.
     
    WHICH IS BETTER: SEEDLESS OR SEEDED WATERMELON?

    We turned to the National Watermelon Board to learn that:

  • There’s really no difference between seedless and seeded watermelon when it comes to taste. Most people prefer not having to deal with seeds, as opposed to those who enjoy seed-spitting contests.
  • A watermelon’s flavor is impacted by different factors, and seeds aren’t really one of them. Flavor can be greatly influenced by seed variety, the time of year the fruit was harvested, the amount of rain the crop received, the general climate it was grown in, how much direct sunlight it got, the type of soil, and other variables.
  • All watermelon grown for retail sale must meet a minimum brix level, a measurement of sweetness. Most watermelons exceed that level.
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