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Archive for Tip Of The Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Use “Everything” Bagel Topping On Everything Else

Everything Fish Fillet

Everything Burger Bun

Everything Bagel Spice Blend

Everything Topping

[1] At OB Surf Lodge in San Diego, the “Everything” salmon entrée, has the spice topping with a variety of sides (*below). [2] and [3] Homemade burger buns from King Arthur Flour, which sells the topping. [4] What should you top first (photo courtesy Take Two Tapas).

 

First there was the “everything” bagel (history and recipe below), for people who wanted it all: onion, garlic, poppy seed, salt and sesame seed.

Then it ported to everything crackers, lavash, hamburger buns, bagel chips, dips, pretzels, popcorn…and now, to protein.

You can purchase it ready-blended (see photo #3 and check Trader Joe’s and other stores) or customize your own topping, e.g., leave out the salt and add red pepper flakes. If you mix up a lot, you can give it as gifts.

Then, here’s what you can do with it. Notes:

  • A little goes a long way, so start small.
  • When baking, the garlic can burn after a while. Keep an eye on it and cover with foil when it turns light brown.
  • For baking bread, use an egg wash before sprinkling on the topping.
  •  
    EVERYTHING BREAKFAST

  • Avocado toast.
  • Cream cheese: Top the brick with the seasoning.
  • Eggs: For fried, first toast the seasoning mix in a non-stick pan with a bit of oil. Then add the eggs and sprinkle more seasoning on top. When ready, flip. For scrambled eggs, add more at the beginning; then no need to sprinkle on top.
  • Plain yogurt and cottage cheese.
  • Buttered toast.
  • Regular bagels (sprinkle it on the cream cheese, or brush the bagel with water and adhere to the top).
  •  
    EVERYTHING LUNCH

  • Burgers: Bake “everything” buns, or brush plain buns with water and sprinkle on the topping.
  • Cole slaw and potato salad.
  • Green salads.
  • Pasta: Sprinkle on mac and cheese.
  • Pizza: Mix into the dough, or sprinkle on the top.
  • Salad dressing.
  • Sandwich filling garnish.
  •  
    EVERYTHING DINNER

  • Grilled chicken or fish.
  • Pan-fried fish: Rub an inch-thick tuna or other steak with olive oil and everything mix. Sear in a very hot cast iron skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil, two minutes per side.
  • Pasta: Use with butter, olive oil, red or white sauce
  • Soup: Spread some Dijon mustard on the top, add the seasoning, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a 400°F oven for 5-8 minutes.
  •  
    EVERYTHING SIDES & SNACKS

  • Corn on the cob.
  • Dips.
  • Hard boiled eggs.
  • Focaccia.
  • Hummus.
  • Popcorn.
  • Potatoes and grains.
  • Soft cheeses: goat cheese log, ricotta.
  •  

     
    RECIPE: EVERYTHING BAGEL TOPPING

    Ingredients For About 1/3 Cup

  • 2 tablespoons black or white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced dried garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon† coarse salt (kosher, sea salt)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. TOAST the sesame seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat, until lightly browned, stirring occasionally (3 to 5 minutes). Transfer to the storage container and let cool.

    2. ADD the poppy seeds, onion, garlic and salt to the bowl and stir or shake to combine.

    3. STORE in an airtight container. As with all spices and dried herbs, store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

     
     
    THE HISTORY OF THE “EVERYTHING” BAGEL

    When a high school student, David Gussin had a part-time job in a bagel shop in Howard Beach, Queens. He says he invented the “everything” bagel sometime around 1980.

    One of his jobs was to sweep out the the seeds that had fallen off bagels. Instead of throwing them out, he swept them into a bin and snacked on them, enjoying the toasty mixed flavors.

    One day, in a stroke of inspiration, Gussin envisioned a new bagel topping: poppy and sesame seeds mixed with other toppings. He proposed the “everything” bagel to the owner, and it was an instant hit with customers.

    Following a 2008 New Yorker article with his story, the digital marketing pioneer Seth Godin wrote on his blog, “Unfortunately, I worked in a bagel factory in 1977…baking bagels…including the “everything” bagel.

    Gussin’s response: “The last thing I want is a brouhaha over the ‘everything’ bagel. It brings smiles to people’s faces. It doesn’t deserve controversy. It’s a nice thing’.”

    _______________

    *In this dish, the chef has crusted the salmon with “everything,” and sauté it until the topping is toasted. The salmon is finished in the oven and served with crisp fried capers, lightly wilted arugula with red onion, polenta and buttermilk sauce.

    †We use much less salt than most recipes. We find “everything” bagels to have too much salt.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Your Fantasy Ice Cream Pie

    One of the easiest yet impressive desserts you can make make is an ice cream pie.

    In its quickest form, you buy a cookie crumb pie crust, a quart of ice cream and a jar of dessert sauce. Press the softened ice cream into the crust, freeze, garnish and serve.

    Have a few extra minutes? Make your own cookie crumb crust and sauce, and create two different layers of ice cream, with a nifty filling in-between.

    It’s a make-ahead dessert that you can keep in the freezer, waiting for an impromptu occasion.

    (Truth to tell, that pie wouldn’t last a day in our freezer unless someone put a lock on the door. It’s iffy survival here for any ice cream, cake or cookies.)

    What’s your fantasy ice cream pie?

  • Crust: Chocolate wafers, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, Oreos, shortbread.
  • Ice cream: Pick your flavor(s). You can also combine an ice cream and a sorbet (e.g., Creamsicle pie). Mango or raspberry sorbet are exquisite, combined with vanilla ice cream.
  • Liqueur: Blend in 3 tablespoons per quart of ice cream, 1 tablespoon per 1.5 cups of sauce.
  • Sauce: Butterscotch*, caramel*, chocolate, fruit purée, liqueur†.
  • Mix-ins: M&Ms, toffee bits, flavored chips, mix whole or halved berries, diced fresh fruit, etc.
  • Fillings: If you don’t mix anything into the ice cream itself, you can use candies or fruits as a layer, either between two different flavors or in the middle of a single flavor.
  • Garnish: Chocolate shavings, fruit, candy pieces, etc.
  •  
    You can spend the summer working on recipes (one per weekend, perhaps?) and show off the “winners” over Labor Day Weekend.
    ________________

    *Butterscotch and caramel are similar, with a key difference: Butterscotch is made with brown sugar, caramel is made with white granulated sugar. To create a sauce, the sugar is melted over high heat and blended with butter and cream.

    †You can add liqueur to the sauce; or if there’s no sauce, sprinkle it over the top of the pie. We add it to the softened ice cream as well.
     
     
    RECIPE: SWEET & SALTY ICE CREAM PIE

    This pie uses store-bought ice cream, but you make the crust and topping from scratch. Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    Ingredients For 1 Pie

  • 2 cups pretzels, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 quarts vanilla ice cream
  • 5 (1.4-ounce) chocolate covered toffee bars, crushed (substitute 7 ounces other toffee)
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped Snickers bar
  •  
    For The Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine pretzels, butter and sugar. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

     

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream Pie

    Blueberry Ice Cream Pie

    Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie

    Snickers Pie

    [1] Peanut butter ice cream on a brownie base. Here’s the recipe from Go Bold With Butter. [2] Homemade blueberry ice cream pie. You can also blend puréed blueberries into store-bought anilla ice cream (photo courtesy Elegant Affairs Caterers). [3] Grasshopper pie: the mint ice cream tastes even better with a few tablespoons of creme de menthe liqueur. Here’s the recipe from Taste Of Home. [4] Sweet and salty ice cream pie from Go Bold With Butter. The recipe is at left.

     
    2. REMOVE the ice cream from the freezer and let it soften for 5 minutes. Place the ice cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until smooth. Add the crushed toffee bars and peanuts, mixing to combine.

    3. POUR the mixture into the cooled crust. Cover and freeze until completely firm.

    4. MAKE the caramel sauce: Combine the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to boil and boil 5 to 7 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Let cool.

    5. SERVE the pie with the caramel sauce. Garnish with extra toffee pieces and peanuts.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Skillet Flatbread

    Homemade Flatbread

    Homemade Flatbread

    Greek Salad Sandwich

    [1] Warm, fragrant and ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, This recipe is from Girl Versus Dough. [2] Here’s the recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. [3] Turn your Greek salad into a sandwich (photo courtesy Girl Versus Dough).

     

    Long before there were ovens, bread—the first was flatbread—was baked on flat stones in a fire. When the skillet finally evolved, in ancient Mesopotamia and Greece, people still cooked everything over a fire (here’s the history of the frying pan).

    Flatbreads are the simplest breads, requiring no leavening—although in modern times, some are leavened to produce a lighter, airier, more easily chewed bread.

    Flatbread can be extremely thin, like a tortilla, one millimeter or so in thickness, to a few centimeters thick, like focaccia.

    Each region of the world developed a flatbread; for example:

  • Arepa in South America.
  • Chapati, naan and roti in India.
  • Injera in Ethiopia.
  • Crispbread in Scandanavia.
  • Jonnycake in the U.S.
  • Lavash and sangak in Persia.
  • Matzoh in Israel.
  • Oatcake in Scotland.
  • Pita in the Middle East.
  • Pizza in Italy.
  • Tortilla in Mexico.
  •  
    Some other breads called flatbreads are not completely flat, but use yeast and are partially risen, such as Italy’s focaccia.
     
    Here’s the history of bread and the different types of bread.
     
     
    MAKE YOUR OWN FLATBREAD

    Using five pantry staples, you can have fresh, hot bread on the table in less than 30 minutes with no need to turn on the oven. Instead, use a skillet or stove-top griddle.

    The dough comes together very quickly, and you’ll have something special for breakfast, brunch or dinner.

    RECIPE: SKILLET FLATBREAD

    Consider this recipe from King Arthur Flour as your first foray into homemade flatbread. Here’s a step-by-step in photos.

    Ingredients For 10 to 12 Flatbreads

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 2 to 3 additional tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir to combine. Add the oil and ice water and mix to make a soft, cohesive dough. Adjust with more flour or water as needed. The dough should be moist but not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

     

    2. PREHEAT a heavy-bottomed skillet on the stove top. Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until the oil starts to shimmer in the pan.

    3. DIVIDE the dough into 10 to 12 equal pieces. Each piece should weigh about 1- 1/2 to 2 ounces, about the size of a large egg. Dredge each piece in flour, and roll to a rough circle or oval about 1/4″ thick. If you prefer, hand shape the pieces by flattening between your palms.

    4. FRY the flatbreads in the hot oil in batches. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and fry on the second side for another 2 minutes. Add more oil as needed for frying successive batches.

    5. TRANSFER from the pan to a rack to cool slightly before serving.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Champagne Jell-O Shots…Or Maybe Beer

    How old can you be and still enjoy Jell-O shots?

    Erica of Erica’s Sweet Tooth adapted this recipe from Bakers Royale.

    Point of accuracy: This recipe is made with plain gelatin, not flavored Jell-O, so it’s not really a Jell-O shot.

    Another point: Everyone responds to the word “champagne,” but pricey champagne at $30 and up is not the best wine to use in recipes. Instead, use another sparkling wine for one-third of the price.

    Don’t Like Champagne?

    If the dad-of-honor prefers beer, substitute fruit beer in the recipe…or go bold with an IPA or stout. Guinness shots, anyone?
     
    RECIPE: CHAMPAGNE JELL-O SHOTS

    Ingredients For 15 Jello Shots

  • 10 ounces plus 5 ounces champagne (or cava, prosecco or other sparkling wine)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 envelopes Knox plain gelatin
  • Optional garnish: white sparkling sugar (sanding sugar)
  •    

    Champagne Jell-O Shots

    Champagne gelatin shots for any festive occasion (photo courtesy Erica’s Sweet Tooth).

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE 10 ounces of the champagne with the sugar in a saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it soften for 2 minutes.

    2. PLACE the saucepan over low heat and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining 5 ounces of champagne; stir to combine.

    3. POUR the mixture into a brownie pan or other square/rectangular container, and chill for at least an hour until firm.

    4. CUT: First dip the pan into warm water and use a knife along the sides to gently release the gelatin. Use a sharp knife to cut squares. Before serving, dip the tops in the sparkling sugar and serve with a festive toothpick.

    (Or, for the tongue-in-cheek approach described below, serve a square or two in champagne coupes, with an optional strawberry or raspberry.)

     

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    Champagne cupcakes—to serve with the shots? (Photo courtesy Cook Craft Love.)

     

    RECIPE: RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES

    Another celebratory treat: champagne cupcakes. Why are they shown in champagne coupes (photo at left)?

    Decades ago, it was established that the champagne coupe—also called sherbet champagne glasses because they were popularly used to serve scoops of sherbet—were not ideal for sparkling wine.

    The wide surface area of the bowl—allegedly modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breasts—enables the bubbles to dissipate more quickly than they do in a flute or tulip glass.

    While the photo shows them tongue-in-cheek, serving champagne cupcakes instead of champagne, you can serve equally tongue-in-cheek champagne shots in them.

    If you want to bake the raspberry champagne cupcakes in the photo, here’s the recipe from Meaghan of CookCraftLove.com.

    You don’t have to open a new bottle: You can make this recipe with leftover champagne. It doesn’t matter if it’s flat: It will become flat quickly enough when mixed into the batter.

     
    You can serve the cupcakes with a glass of sec or demi-sec champagne, which are sweeter than brut champagne. Here are the levels of sweetness in Champagne.

    If you’re planning to buy champagne, check out our champagne buying tips.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Mashed Potato Bar

    Mashed Potato Bar

    Mashed Potato Bar

    Mashed Potato Martini

    Mashed Potato Bar

    [1] Who can resist a mashed potato bar (photo courtesy Betty Crocker)? [2] Use whatever dishes you have for the toppings. They don’t have to match (photo courtesy Hormel Foods).[3] If your guests can cope with glass, use your Margarita and Martini glasses (photo courtesy Hormel Foods). [4] Keep the potatoes warm in a slow cooker (photo courtesy Tip Hero).

     

    Whether you like to grill for Father’s Day or prepare everything in the kitchen, a fun, interactive addition to the festivities is a mashed potato bar.

    Our dad loved our cold green bean salad. With a bowl of that, and a cucumber salad or a special slaw, the only other side you need is the mashed potato bar.

    It’s a treat for guests to customize their toppings. For you, everything can be prepared ahead of time, including the potatoes, which are kept warm in a slow cooker or other device.

    Don’t want potatoes? Substitute mashed cauliflower.

    PREPPING THE MASHED POTATOES

    Make the mashed potatoes with or without skin, using your choice of red, white or golden potatoes.

  • Use a tried-and-true recipe.
  • If you like to load up the groaning board, offer mashed sweet potatoes as well.
  • If you don’t have a slow cooker to keep the potatoes warm, use aluminum foil pans with steam warmers underneath. For a fancier event, use chafing dishes. If you don’t have any of these, see what you can borrow.
     
    MASHED POTATO BAR TOPPINGS

    DAIRY

  • Butter
  • Cheeses: blue, cheddar goat, parmesan; crumbled, grated or shredded
  • Sour cream, plain Greek yogurt
  •  
    PROTEINS*

  • Bacon
  • BBQ pulled pork
  • Chili
  • Sausage, sliced mini pepperoni or crumbled whole sausage
  • Anything else you like
  •  
    SEASONINGS

  • Prepared seasonings
  • Salt and flavored salts
  • Heat: dried chipotle, hot sauce, red chili flakes, peppermill
  •  
    VEGETABLES

  • Onions: caramelized, onion rings, sliced scallions
  • Mushrooms, sautéed
  • Steamed medley: broccoli, carrots, zucchini, etc.
  • Tomatoes: diced fresh tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped sundried tomatoes
  •  
    TOPPINGS

  • Cheese sauce (if you can keep it warm)
  • Corn chips
  • Fresh herbs: chives, dill, shredded basil, parsley
  • Gravy
  • Olives
  • Sliced jalapeños
  •  
    PARTY ON!
     
     
    MORE DIY FOOD BARS

  • DIY Bacon Bar
  • DIY Bloody Mary Bar
  • DIY Breakfast & Brunch Bar
  • DIY Dessert Bar
  • DIY Jambalaya Bar
  • DIY Stuffed Avocado Bar
  • DIY Taco & Wing Bar
  • DIY Wedge Salad Bar
  • 20 More Food Bars
    ________________

    *Assumes beef and chicken are main courses from the grill.

     
      

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