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Archive for Tip Of The Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Red Caviar Hearts For Easy Valentine Hors d’Oeuvres

Take those heart-shaped cookie cutters and make heart-stopping hors d’oeuvres—or a first course—with toast, sour cream or crème fraîche and red caviar. Buy the best white bread or brioche, toast it, let the toast cool, and then cut the heart shapes. Spread with sour cream/crème fraîche, then top with one or several different red caviars: salmon caviar, tobiko, beet-colored whitefish roe (available from Tsar Nicoulai, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week), lumpfish or capelin roe. Drape a chive across each heart as the “arrow.”- See the full recipe.
– See more red caviar recipes.
– Learn more about caviar in our Caviar Glossary.
– See all of the articles, recipes and product reviews in the Caviar Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine
  Red Caviar
Make red caviar into heart-shaped hors d’oeuvres. Photo courtesy of Red-Caviar.com.
 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Pâtes de Fruit

oincidentally, since our prior post was about Michael Recchiuti’s new cassis gelée chocolate, our tip of the day focuses on pâte de fruits—a.k.a. fruit gelée or fruit jellies, although we hesitate to use these terms because these have nothing to do with American candies like Chuckles and jellied watermelon slices, made with “fruit flavoring.”

Pâtes de fruits (pronounced pot duh froo-EE) are gourmet fruits jellies, made of fruit purée, sugar and pectin. A great pâte de fruit is like eating a wonderful piece of fruit in a different form (as is a great fruit sorbet).

For people who like sweets but not chocolate, a perfect Valentine’s Day gift is a box of the best pâtes de fruit we know, from Paris’s Maison du Chocolat—which, conveniently for us, has five shops in New York City and a website.

Keep an extra box in your own pantry. These edible gems are so versatile:

  • Instead of (or in addition to) cookies and petit fours
  • When friends drop by for tea or coffee
  • As an accent on a dessert plate
  • When guests can’t eat your regular dessert due to nut or chocolate allergies
  •  
    In fact, if you’ve forgotten the dessert, or the soufflé flops, bring out a plate of these beautiful, jewel-colored sweets and no one will be the wiser.

    By the way, the difference between pâtes de fruit, plural, and pâte de fruit, singular, is not how many pieces you get, but how many flavors.

    If there’s more than one flavor, use the plural, pâtes. This nuance of the French language is courtesy of our French cousin, Philippe.

    Read more about our favorite sweets in the Gourmet Candy Section of THE NIBBLE webzine. If you pursue the greatest chocolates, visit our Chocolate Section

     

    Pates de Fruit

    Pate de Fruits

    [1] Our favorite pâtes de fruit, from La Maison du Chocolat. [2] Some pâtissiérs, such as Charles Chocolates in California, prefer this half dome shape.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Valentine Cake

    Heart Shaped CakeMake these individual Valentine cakes with a 3-inch heart cookie cutter.   Bake your sweetie a devil’s food chocolate cake with our Valentine cake recipe from Michael Recchiuti. It uses a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut mini-heart cakes from a sheet cake. For one large cake, heart-shaped cake pans are available at any kitchen supply store. Write a customized message on the top of your Valentine cake and decorate with seasonal candies (cinnamon red-hots, Hershey’s kisses). If you’d rather buy than bake, check our favorite heart-shaped cookies and cakes in the Gift Finder section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. Try them with some of our favorite, romantic Valentine’s Day wines and liqueurs.
     

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Types Of Smoked Salmon

    February 9th is National Bagels and Lox Day. “Lox” is an old generic term that is fading away, replaced by much more complicated choices. So how does one decide among the Irish, Danish, Nova Scotia, Norwegian, Scottish and other smoked salmon contenders? They differ in saltiness, smokiness and fishiness; the only way you’ll know is to taste. If it’s sliced-to-order, you can try a piece at the counter; but packaged salmon (which can be equally fine or better quality depending on manufacturer) is often less expensive because factory slicing is cheaper than store labor). Buy small amounts of each and compare. You don’t need bagels: Slices of salmon with a sprinkling of dill and capers, a lemon wedge and an optional garnish of crème fraîche make a lovely first course for brunch, lunch or dinner. TIP: Once you decide what you like, write it down—they sound so similar, it’s easy to forget.


    – Learn about the different types of smoked salmon.

    – Discover sustainable, line-caught smoked salmon from Nantucket Wild Gourmet & Smokehouse.

    – See David Burke’s smoked salmon pops.

    – Try a savory, smoked salmon cheesecake (for hors d’oeuvres or a first course).
      Smoked SalmonHow many types of smoked salmon can you name?
     

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Elvis’s Favorite, Bananas & Peanut Butter

    February 8th is Elvis Presley’s birthday, and Elvis’s favorite snack was a peanut butter and “nanner” sandwich—mashed bananas and PB on white toast, fried in butter. (Perhaps it never occurred to him to throw some chocolate morsels on that as well.) We prefer a slightly more gourmet version: PB Loco’s yummy Peanut Butter with Jungle Banana on toasted brioche or raisin bread. Read our review of PB Loco’s flavored peanut butters, and celebrate Elvis’s birthday by ordering a few jars. If you have like sweet PBs, don’t pass up the White Chocolate Raspberry Peanut Butter or the Sumatra Cinnamon & Raisin Peanut Butter—the best raisin PB we’ve ever had. On the savory side, Sun-Dried Tomato Peanut Butter is an exceptional experience. We use it for everything from canapés and tea sandwiches to regular roast beef, turkey, chicken or ham sandwiches; and on linguine or fettuccine as Sun-Dried Tomato Peanut Butter Sauce. Asian Curry Spice Peanut Butter is serious business. Spread some on a roast beef, chicken or duck sandwich for a Thai turn. Find more of our favorite PBs reviewed in THE NIBBLE online magazine   Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter - PB Loco
    P.B. Loco makes 10 flavors plus the basics (creamy and crunchy). Jungle Banana and CocoBanana will help you make a quick “Elvis Sandwich.”
     

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