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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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Archive for Tip Of The Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Break Wine Barriers

Most people who drink wine regularly have learned “rules” of pairing wine with food. There are very precise rules—Chablis with oysters is one—and general pronouncements, such as white wine with fish.

You can go to the website FoodAndWinePairing.org and get guidance such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec with lamb.

But conventional wisdom, which also includes drinking the wines from the same region as the foods, is not the same as the latest wisdom.

The new wisdom of wine says don’t be regimented, don’t box yourself in. Try different pairings to see what works best for you.

The new wisdom (which has been around for a while) was proved at a lunch last week hosted by Louis Jadot, the venerable Burgundian winemaker and négociant*.

In a private room at Lafayette Grand Café in the Nolita neighborhood of downtown Manhattan, ten wine writers joined Frederic Barnier, Jadot’s winemaker, for an eye-opening (and delicious) lunch.

We tried eight different dishes with four Jadot wines, two whites and two reds:

  • Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay
  • Louis Jadot Macon-Villages
  • Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages
  • Louis Jadot Pinot Noir
  •  

    filet-mignon-red-wine-ruthschris-230

    If you think you prefer Cabernet Sauvignon with filet mignon, think again. Photo courtesy Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

     

    Also tasted prior to the lunch were the new Louis Jadot Steel Chardonnay, made for the American market where many people prefer the flavors of steel fermentation to oak barrel fermentation; and the 2012 Pouilly-Fuisse.

     

    jadot-beaujolais-230b

    Who new we’d enjoy Beaujolais with just
    about everything? Photo courtesy Maison
    Louis Jadot.

      MIX & MATCH

    We were encouraged to mix and match the wines with the foods. Served family style on large platters, we dined on:

  • Roasted beet root salad with mach and hazelnuts
  • Escarole and endive salad with pomegranate and truffle vinaigrette
  • Charcuterie de la maison: saucisson, pâte and jambon
  • Rotisserie chicken salad with organic grains and tarragon-poppy dressing
  • Brisket burger with caramelized onions and raclette
  • Roasted fall vegetables and potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts with bacon and horseradish
  •  
    SURPRISES

    As you might imagine, there’s a lot of conventional wisdom on which wines to pair with these foods. But we tried every possible pairing, and the results were surprising—or maybe not so surprising:

    Everyone liked something different, and many of the preferences were not the conventional ones.

    Even more surprising to us—a lover of red and white Burgundy but not necessarily of Beaujolais†—is how much we liked that Beaujolais with just about everything. It was our favorite wine of the tasting, and the nice Jadot people sent us home with a bottle.

     
    PICK A DATE FOR A DINNER PARTY

    Follow today’s tip by planning a dinner with four different wines.

    You can assign dishes to participants, so you’ll have an assortment of vegetables, grains, poultry, meat and fish/seafood. Prepare the dishes with strong flavors—like the hazelnuts, horseradish, truffle oil, spices and herbs served by Lafayette—because any wine will seemingly go with bland food.

    Of course, the exercise is a relative one. The flavors of wines made from the same grape from the same region in the same year can vary widely. So it’s best to select four wines from the same producer, like Jadot, which will provide consistency in house style and approach to winemaking.

    Bon appétit!

     
    *A négociant is the French term for a wine merchant who buys wines from smaller winemakers and sells them under his own name. Négociants buy everything from grapes to grape must to wines in various states of completion, and often blend the wines from different small winemakers.

    †Beaujolais is the one appellation in Burgundy that produces red wine made from the Gamay grape instead of Pinot Noir.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Lamb

    “Spring lamb” is so called because before modern times, the sheep gave birth in the spring. If you wanted lamb in other seasons, it would be frozen.

    Today, animal breeders know how to enable birth year-round, so lovers of lamb need never be without it.

    We were inspired by this beautiful “edible art” from executive chef Shaun Hergatt of Juni restaurant in New York City. Use the ingredients of spring to create your own fantasy You don’t need the tecnique to wrap loin of lamb; a lamb shop or slice of leg of lamb is just fine.

    Ever wonder why leg of lamb with green peas is such a popular pairing? It’s because both are spring foods. In the days when everyone had to eat “locavore,” people could only eat what was in season.

    So today’s tip is: Celebrate this first day of spring by planning a lamb dinner. Beyond spring peas, we have a list of spring vegetables below.

    How about some fava beans with a nice Chianti?

     

    blu-lamb-chops-230

    A lamb lover’s delight. Who needs steak? Photo courtesy Blu Restaurant | NYC.

     

     

    Thinking outside the box: wrapped loin of
    lamb, spring peas and pea purée by Chef
    Shaun Hergatt of Resto | NYC.

     

    SPRING VEGETABLES

    Because of imports from the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, Americans have year-round access to traditional spring foods like artichokes, Belgian endive, spinach, radicchio, radishes and watercress.

    But spring brings specialties with short seasons, so eat them while you can!

  • Asparagus (look for purple asparagus)
  • Butter lettuce
  • Fava beans
  • Fennel
  • Fiddlehead ferns
  • Morel mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Spring (English) peas, snow peas, pea pods
  • Sorrel
  • Vidalia onions
  •  

    One of the most celestial restaurant dishes we recall, from several springs ago, was a simple sauté of asparagus, fiddleheads, morels and ramps, seasoned with a little garlic.

    It’s a lesson on how the season’s bounty needs little preparation to impress.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Decorate With Sixlets

    Recently a friend gave us a cache of Sixlets left over from Halloween. She didn’t want to keep them for next Halloween, and figured we could “do something for THE NIBBLE” with them.

    So we started to decorate desserts.

    None of our efforts looked as good as the examples on Sixlets’ Facebok Page, so take a look and get inspired.

    Sixlets are a boon for easy cake and cupcake decorating.

  • They’re perfectly round hard-coated chocolate candies like M&Ms, but less cloying* and less “commercial.” (M&M’s have their place, and it isn’t everywhere.)
  • They’re available in every color you could want, like jelly beans, but are smaller and easier to work with.
  • They’re larger than colored dragées, and are much more pleasant to eat.
  • They’re sold in individual colors plus seasonal mixes (autumn, Christmas, Halloween, etc.).
  •  

    sixlets-argyle-cake-hellocupcake-230

    You don’t have to be this painstaking, but it sure is impressive. Argyle Candy Cake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of Hello, Cupcake!

     

    sixlets_pastel_sixlets-230

    Get ready for Easter: You can buy pastel
    Sixlets in bulk online. Photo courtesy Sixlets.

     

    Sixlets are made by Sweetworks, a Toronto-based company. You may know them in individual packages from the candy stand, but they are available in bulk for serious decorating: in 1, 2, 5 and 10 pound bags.

    The line is certified kosher (OU-dairy) and is gluten-free.

    We used them:

  • To cover the sides of frosted cakes
  • To cover the exposed sides of whoopie pies
  • As cupcake toppings
  • Layered in a parfait
  •  
    We’re planning ahead for a red, white and blue “flag cake” for Independence Day.

     
    Now it’s your turn!

    *Unlike the super-sugary M&M’s chocolate centers, the centers of Sixlets are made from a mix of cocoa and carob, giving them a kind of “malted chocolate” taste.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Blood Oranges

    blood-orange-beauty-goodeggs-230

    A blood orange can be thing of beauty. Photo
    of the Moro variety courtesy GoodEggs.com.

     

    Blood orange season is upon us. Blood oranges can be a thrill (sweet and luscious) or a disappointment (bland), depending on the grower’s rootstock, the climate and the season. You never know what you’re going to get, but the upside is so wonderful that you’ve got to try.

    The hue of a blood orange can range from pink to rose red to deep purple. The most dramatic have “blood”-colored crimson and purple flesh. (There are even “blonde” blood oranges which have orange flesh like regular oranges, but a have blood orange flavor.)

    The peel may look like a regular orange or feature telltale washes of red. The skin may be smooth or pitted. While it looks like the more acidic Valencia orange on the outside, the blood orange flesh is sweet with less acid, like a navel orange.

    Each variety has a different climate preference, and produces different hues, sizes and flavors based on the climate, temperature and other factors that impact the coloration and flavor intensity. California blood oranges have more pigmentation, Texas blood oranges tend to have less pigmentation, as do those from Florida, where the humidity limits the development of the pigment.

     
    The color is the result of the antioxidant anthocyanin,* not typically found in citrus, but common to other red fruits and flowers (it’s the same natural chemical that gives the color to pomegranates and roses).

    The flavor of a good blood orange will be “an orange kissed by a raspberry.”

    THE HISTORY OF BLOOD ORANGES

    Blood oranges are believed to be a mutation of the sweet orange, that occurred in southern Italy around 1850.

    The blood orange was brought to the U.S. in the 1930s in the wave of Italian immigration. It now grows in California (November to May), Florida (October to January) and Texas (December to March).

     
    *Anthocyanin neutralizes the effects of free-radical chemicals that are believed to cause cancer and other ailments (diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, liver disease and ulcers) plus the general impact of aging. Research shows that it fights and prevents cancerous tumors and ulcers, and improves vision. Blood oranges are also packed with high levels of carotene, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

     

    TYPES OF BLOOD ORANGES

    The three most popular cultivars (varieties) of blood orange the Moro, Sanguiello and Tarocco. If you can get information from your vendor, go for the Moro or the Tarocco.

  • The Moro blood orange, a recent introduction into the blood orange family, is grown in California and in Texas. It is the most colorful of the three types, with a deep purple flesh and reddish orange rind (see photo above). It has a sweet flavor with notes of raspberry that makes this variety sing—whether in recipes or as an eating fruit. It is well worth seeking out.
  • The Sanguinello blood orange, discovered in Spain in 1929, has a reddish skin, few seeds and a sweet and tender flesh.
  • The Tarocco blood orange, native to Italy, is a medium-sized fruit and is perhaps the sweetest and most flavorful of the three types. However, its internal reddish color varies widely and is unreliably red.
  • Ruby and Palestine Jaffa blood oranges can also be found in the U.S. Here are more details on blood orange varieties.
  •  

    blood-orange-freeze-therosegroup-230

    A cocktail with blood orange juice. Photo courtesy The Rose Group.

     

    BLOOD ORANGE RECIPES

    Our favorite way to enjoy blood oranges is as a hand fruit or a simple sorbet or granita. A glass of blood orange juice is also wonderful. When you have such a subtle, special flavor, you might not want to cover it up.

    However, here are a few recipes for those blessed with an abundance of blood oranges.

  • Blood Orange Cocktails
  • Blood Orange Vinaigrette with Roasted Beets And Goat Cheese
  • Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Soufflé
  • Blood Orange Dessert Spaghetti
  • Blood Orange Dessert Sauce (great with cheesecake)
  • Blood Orange Granita Or Sorbet
  • Lamb Loin With Blood Orange Sauce
  • Pepita-Crusted Halibut With Blood Orange Jicama Chutney
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Deconstruct Your Favorite Foods

    deconstructed-carbonara-foodrepublic-230

    Deconstructed carbonara. Here’s the recipe.
    Photo courtesy Christopher Hirsheimer and
    Melissa Hamilton.

     

    Today’s tip is to have fun deconstructing a favorite family dish.

    Deconstruction is an avant-garde culinary trend of the last 15 years or so, championed by the famed Catalan chef Ferran Adrià, who has referred to his cooking as “deconstructivist.”

    Hervé This, the “father of molecular gastronomy,” reintroduced the concept in 2004 as “culinary constructivism.” Essentially, all of the components and flavors of a classic dish are taken apart and presented in a new shape or form.

    The idea is art plus fun, and the deconstruction must taste as good as the original. For example:

  • Deconstructed pecan pie could be brown sugar custard [emulating the filling], with crumbled shortbread cookies [for the crust] and a side of caramelized pecans.
  • Deconstructed key lime pie could be the key lime filling in a Martini glass, topped with graham cracker crumbs.
  • >Deconstructed stuffed cabbage: our favorite way to make stuffed cabbage. We’ve done this for some 25 years—who knew we were so avant garde of culinary deconstruction? We slice the cabbage and cook it in the tomato sauce along with rice-filled meatballs. It saves hours of blanching cabbage leaves, filling them with chopped meat and rice, rolling and cooking. All the flavors are there, and it’s also easier to eat (you often need a steak knife to saw through those blanched cabbage leaves).
  •  

    SOME DECONSTRUCTED RECIPES

  • Deconstructed Bloody Mary: recipe
  • Deconstructed Buffalo Wings: recipe
  • Deconstructed Caesar Salad: recipe
  • Deconstructed Coffee Ice Cream (an affogato):
    recipe
  • Deconstructed Crab Cake: recipe
  • Deconstructed Fruit Loops Cereal: recipe
  • Deconstructed Guacamole: recipe
  • Deconstructed Ratatouille: recipe
  •  
    When you’ve finished your own deconstructed dish, send us a photo.

     

    deconstructed-cheesecake-garretkern-230

    Deconstructed cheesecake maintains the flavors and textures of the original. Photo courtesy Garret Kern. See more.

     

      

    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

    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: Two Riffs On Lasagna

    One of the fun things about cooking, we think, is that you can develop riffs on favorite dishes that always keep them fresh and interesting. Even if everyone loves your brownies, potato salad or whatever, try variations on it (like adding contrasting flavored baking chips or different nuts to the brownie batter, or minced jalapeño or a fresh herb medley to the potato salad).

    Look at what you’re cooking tonight and see how you can do a variation—divide the recipe in half and serve both. See what everyone thinks.

    Here are two riffs on that family favorite, lasagna. The one at the bottom is actually “faux” lasagna, called pasta al forno.

    RECIPE: SPINACH LASAGNA

    Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  •  

    Print

    How to get your family to eat more spinach: spinach lasagna! You can substitute kale. Photo and recipe courtesy Westside Market | NYC.

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess water
  • 2 cups non-fat ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (make it “double spinach lasagna” by using spinach noodles)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. HEAT olive oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes. Add spinach, oregano and basil. Set aside.

    3. MIX ricotta/cottage cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in a large bowl with parsley, salt, pepper and egg.

    4. SPREAD half of the spinach mixture in 8 x 8-inch ovenproof baking dish. Spread half of the cheese mixture on top. Add one layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat. Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

    5. REMOVE foil and bake another 15 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

     

     

    Print

    Pasta al forno: lasagna without the lasagna
    noodles. Recipe and photo courtesy Westside
    Market | NYC.

     

    RECIPE: PASTA AL FORNO

    Pasta al forno, which means “pasta in the oven” or baked pasta (and defines lasagna), is a variation that provides the flavor and relative appearance of lasagna without the effort of cooking and layering lasagna noodles.

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet or hot fresh Italian sausage
  • 8 ounces pasta, such as ziti or penne, cooked and
    drained
  • 1 25-ounce jar or homemade marinara sauce
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 6 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano or
    Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 tablespoons Pecorino Romano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F. COAT a 2-1/2-quart baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.

    2. REMOVE Remove from casing, break up into pieces and sauté in a skillet until sausage loses its color.

    3. COOK pasta. While the pasta is cooking, combine marinara sauce, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, peas, ricotta, 6 tablespoons Pecorino Romano/Parmesan, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in pasta and sausage, and pour mixture into the baking dish.

    4. STIR together in a small bowl 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano and oil. Sprinkle over top of pasta. Bake until hot, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let pasta sit for 10 minutes before serving.

      

    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

    TIP OF THE DAY: Marzipan Cupcake Decorations

    Just in time for St. Pat’s. Photo © Sprinkles
    Cupcakes.

     

    Marzipan as a cake decoration goes back hundreds of years. It was so popular as a confection, it was used for centuries in Europe to cover wedding cakes, or to create the decorations that topped conventional frostings.

    But times change, and there’s less marzipan decor these days. It’s time to go old school and decorate with marzipan.

    Marzipan, or almond paste, is a confection made from almond meal (ground almonds) plus a sweetener: sugar or honey. It is sold plain, enrobed in chocolate, and fashioned into fanciful animals, fruits, mushrooms and other delights.

    Some historians believe that the confection originated in China; others in Arabia. These are not contradictory: Arab traders brought many items back from China around the 8th century C.E., including pasta!

    With St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day on the horizon, consider using marzipan to decorate your cakes and cupcakes.

     

    Marzipan can be tinted any color and cut or molded into any shape. In fact, if your crew enjoys the culinary arts, have a marzipan decorating party for Easter instead of decorating Easter eggs; or host a decorate-your-own Mother’s Day cupcake party. Cut out red, white and blue stars for Independence Day.

    Here’s a video from Martha Stewart on how to decorate with marzipan.

    Get out the mini cookie cutters and other tools. Make palm trees for summer, create your dog in marzipan, even try a bust of mom or dad. It’s fun and very delicious.

    And maybe it’ll keep the kids entertained for an hour or two.

     

    For Mom. Photo © Sprinkles Cupcakes.

     

      

    Comments

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