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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

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

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

RECIPE: Broccoli Rabe Garlic Bread

Here’s a way of getting nutrient-packed broccoli rabe into something everyone loves. Make garlic bread using the greens and garlic butter. Nothing could be easier—or harder to resist.

If you keep a supply of broccoli rabe purée on hand, it takes no time at all to assemble. Make it peppery—or not; top the garlic butter with grated cheese—or not; and use a whole wheat loaf instead of white bread for greater nutritional value.

This recipe is by Julia della Croce, Andy Boy’s Chef-in-Residence and one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian cooking. She is a James Beard Award winning author and has written more than 15 cookbooks.

Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 5–10 minutes.

RECIPE: BROCCOLI RABE GARLIC BREAD

Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1 loaf good quality fresh ciabatta or baguette
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup broccoli rabe purée
  •    

    broccoli-rabe-garlic-bread-andyboy-230r

    Better than garlic bread: garlic bread with broccoli rabe. Photo courtesy Andy Boy.

  • Freshly ground black pepper or hot red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  •  

    broccoli-rabe-andyboy-230

    Broccoli rabe, also called rapini. Photo courtesy Andy Boy.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. WARM the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat until the garlic is softened and aromatic, about 4 minutes.

    3. BEAT the butter, broccoli rabe purée, garlic oil and salt until well blended.

    4. SLICE the loaf in half lengthwise, using a bread knife. Spread the broccoli rabe butter liberally on both sides of the cut surfaces. Reassemble the loaf and wrap it in aluminum foil. Bake until hot and aromatic, 10-15 minutes.

    5. CUT into 1-inch slices and serve hot or warm.

    Find more recipes at AndyBoy.com.

     
    WHAT IS BROCCOLI RABE

    Some 15 years ago, broccoli rabe began to appear in some restaurants. Also called broccoli rape, raab (pronounced rob), rapini, Chinese broccoli and Italian broccoli in the U.S., it then became available in produce markets. Now, it can be found at more and more quality supermarkets.

    Descended from a wild herb, like many of our greens, versions of broccoli rabe originated in the Mediterranean and in China.

    Broccoli rabe is not related to either broccoli or broccolini.

    Although it bears the name “broccoli,” tastes like a bitter and pungent form of broccoli (think broccoli crossed with mustard greens with some nuttiness) and looks like a relative of broccoli—it has broccoli-like buds and florets at the top of slender stalks—broccoli rabe is not related to broccoli but turnips.
    That’s why the leaves look like turnip greens and the vegetable is also called Italian turnip and turnip broccoli. Here’s more about broccoli rabe.

    Broccolini is not a young growth of broccoli, but a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan, another cruciferous vegetable. The result looks broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks.

      

    Comments

    CHRISTMAS: Avocado Salad Tree

    avocado-xmas-tree-hassavocados-230

    A delightful Christmas salad. Photo courtesy
    AvocadoCentral.com.

     

    Holiday buffets will look even more inviting when this pretty Christmas tree-shaped salad is on display. It’s served with a zesty chile vinaigrette dressing for a fiesta of flavor.

    Prep time is 30 minutes.

    Use ripe avocados that are a little on the firm side for best results, and brush the avocado slices with a soft, food-safe paint brush dipped in lime juice or lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

    This dish can also be made with granny smith apple slices instead of avocado.

    If you don’t like crab meat, you can substitute grated white Cheddar or other semihard cheese for the “snow” at the bottom of the platter.

    RECIPE: AVOCADO CHRISTMAS TREE SALAD

    Ingredients

  • 2 firm-ripe Hass avocados, halved, peeled and seeded (use more as needed)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (seeds) and/or fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 green onion, white portion only, sliced into rounds
  • 1 slice star fruit (carambola) or pineapple
  • 6 small chives
  • 1 cup fresh crab meat, picked over for cartilege
  •  

    RECIPE: CHILE VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE each avocado half into six equivalent size slices. Brush the slices with lemon or lime juice. Arrange them on a platter into the shape of a Christmas tree, as shown in the photo above, leaving at least 3 inches at the top and bottom of the platter. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

     

    avocados-board-hassavocado-230

    Hass avocados. Photo courtesy AvocadoCentral.com.

     

    2. ARRANGE the pomegranate arils or raspberries, cranberries and green onions on top of the avocado tree to look like ornaments.

    3. PLACE the star fruit at the top point of the tree. Alternatively, use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut a star out of a slice of pineapple. Add the chives in a criss-cross pattern over the avocado slices, to emulate a garland.

    4. ARRANGE the crab along the bottom of the tree to resemble snow.

    5. PLACE the vinaigrette ingredients in a salad dressing carafe, cover and shake a few times to combine. Serve alongside the Avocado Tree Salad.
     
    Find more avocado recipes at AvocadoCentral.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Salad With Fresh Herbs & A Crouton

    market-salad-ricotta-toast-lemaraisbakerySF-230

    Add panache to a salad by including a
    crouton spread with seasoned fresh cheese
    or Greek yogurt. Photo courtesy Le Marais
    Bakery | San Francisco.

     

    During the produce-challenged winter months, there’s no better way to dress up a salad than with a crouton and fresh herbs. In fact, it works even at the height of summer!

    The typical green salad in the photo—lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and kalamata olives plus vinaigrette, topped with watercress*—works during any season of the year. The only difference is that in the summer, the tomatoes will taste better (cherry tomatoes are a better choice in the off season) and you may have more selection of unusual lettuces.

    A crouton, in French, is a piece of toasted bread, similar to the Italian crostini. You can spread it with a fresh cheese—chèvre, feta (mashed into a spread, with a bit of cream or olive oil as needed), fromage blanc, pimento cheese, ricotta or with flavored butter (we love truffle butter). A slice of garlic bread also counts.

    If the cheese is plain, you can simply add bits of snipped herbs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
     
    *For an alternative spicy/peppery salad vegetable, use arugula, mizuna, mustard greens or radishes, each with peppery, tangy, zesty, piquant flavor.

     

    FRESH HERBS FOR SALAD

    From our grandmother, we learned the trick of snipping fresh dill and parsley into a green salad. She typically had these herbs on hand for other dishes. Even as a “whatever” teen, we found the flavor lift to be awesome.

  • Basil: It’s even more impressive if you can find the more exotic lemon basil or Thai purple basil.
  • Chives: If you’re not using onion in the salad, use snipped chives as the garnish.
  • Cilantro: It’s ideal with Latin American and Asian-themed salads.
  • Dill: Delicate and feathery in appearance, it packs great flavor.
  • Fennel: Cut the bulb into the salad, use the fronds (which look like dill, but have a sweet, mild licorice flavor as the herb accent.
  • Mint: Like mint, basil is a member of the botanical mint family, Lamiaceae. It has more intense flavor than basil, so use less of it.
  • Parsley: Flat leafed parsley has more intense flavor than curly parsley, but both add lovely flavor to salads.
  • Savory: Another member of the mint family, winter savory tastes like a cross between mint and thyme with a hint of pine. Summer savory tastes like thyme and marjoram.
  •  

    dill-paperchef-230r

    Feathery dill is delicious in any salad—as well as in the cheese or yogurt spread. Photo courtesy PaperChef.com.

     

    Try different herbs until you find your favorite(s). You can add two different herbs to the same salad.

    Instead of snipping them on top of the salad, toss them with the other vegetables and the dressing for maximum palate pleasing.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Barbecue Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

    Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean sweet potatoes are over.

    You don’t have to make an elaborate Thanksgiving-style dish, or even take the energy to mash or whip. Simple baked sweet potatoes with a pat of butter are delicious. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like.

    You can go whole hog (pun intended) with little extra effort by stuffing the baked potatoes with pulled pork barbecue.

    This recipe is from Byron’s BBQ, which sells a delicious barbecued pull pork shoulder, cooked and frozen, at Sam’s Clubs. If you don’t like sweet potatoes, there’s a variation using the pulled pork with white baking potatoes, below.
     
    RECIPE: BARBECUE-STUFFED SWEET POTATOES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 pounds Byron’s Pork BBQ, thawed
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed clean, and dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream, chopped chives
  •    

    bbq-stuffed-sweet_potato-byronsbbq-230

    An entire main course: barbecue-stuffed sweet potatoes. Photo courtesy Byron’s BBQ.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

    2. PIERCE each potato with the tines of a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

    3. HEAT the barbecue according to package directions.

    4. MAKE a slit in the top of each sweet potato and season with salt and pepper. Top each potato with BBQ. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives if desired.

     

    byrons-bbq-box-230

    Here’s what to look for at Sam’s Club. Photo courtesy Byron’s BBQ.

     

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SWEET POTATOES & YAMS

    The U.S. government makes mistakes. There are no buffalo in America; the big, wooly animal that roams the Great Plains is a bison—a different genus entirely. Yet, our mint produces a buffalo nickel. Hmm.

    So it goes with many other items, including the tomato (classified as a vegetable, but it’s a fruit) and the sweet potato or yam—the words used interchangeably, although like the buffalo and bison issue, the yam is from a completely different botanical family.

    You can’t fight city hall—or the Federal government or the produce manager—but here’s the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.

    Add while you’re at it, here’s the difference between buffalo and bison.

     

    RECIPE: BARBECUE-STUFFED WHITE BAKED POTATOES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 pounds Byron’s Pork BBQ, thawed
  • 4 large baking potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed clean, and dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 green onions (scallions), finely chopped and divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  •  

    1. PREPARE the pulled pork according to package instructions.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Poke holes in the potatoes and wrap in foil. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until tender. Alternative microwave directions: Poke holes in the potatoes and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until done, turning the potatoes after 5 minutes. While potatoes cook…

    3. COMBINE the sour cream and 2 tablespoons green onions. Set aside.

    4. SLICE the baked potatoes lengthwise and fluff the flesh with a fork. Top each potato evenly with the barbecue, sour cream mixture, shredded cheese and remaining green onions.

     
    ABOUT BYRON’S BBQ

    Byron’s has been making authentic American barbecue since 1957, when Byron Charleton started selling the homemade BBQ recipe that made him famous in his hometown for years.

    The barbecue is still made the same way on the same plot of land in Gallatin, Tennessee where Byron set up his first smokehouse. The pit master slowly smokes quality meat over an open-pit hardwood fire and slathers on a signature spicy-sweet sauce. The quick freeze technique enables the company to avoid any added chemical preservatives.

    Learn more at ByronsBBQ.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Broccoli Rabe, Corn and Cheese Soufflé

    rabe-corn-cheese-souffle-andyboy-230

    A delicious soufflé for any time of year. Photo courtesy Andy Boy.

     

    We so enjoyed the corn and Gruyère soufflé we had at Thanksgiving that we couldn’t wait to make another one. We’re upping the ante for the Christmas version, with broccoli rabe.

    WHAT IS BROCCOLI RABE

    Perhaps 15 years ago, broccoli rabe began to appear in some restaurants. Also called broccoli rape, raab (pronounced rob), rapini, Chinese broccoli and Italian broccoli in the U.S., it then became available in produce markets. Now, it can be found at more and more quality supermarkets.

    Descended from a wild herb, like many of our greens, versions of broccoli rabe originated in the Mediterranean and in China.

    Broccoli rabe is not related to either broccoli or broccolini.

     

    Although it bears the name “broccoli,” tastes like a bitter and pungent form of broccoli (think broccoli crossed with mustard greens with some nuttiness) and looks like a relative of broccoli—it has broccoli-like buds and florets at the top of slender stalks—broccoli rabe is not related to broccoli but turnips.
    That’s why the leaves look like turnip greens and the vegetable is also called Italian turnip and turnip broccoli. Here’s more about broccoli rabe.

    Broccolini is not a young growth of broccoli, but a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan, another cruciferous vegetable. The result looks broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks.
     
    ON TO THE SOUFFLÉ

    Classic soufflés are light and airy, baked in tall, deep dishes. But the method can be challenging, and soufflés can fail.

    An alternative type of soufflé uses a shallow baking dish, pie pan, skillet or individual ramekins. The result is more dense, but just as delicious.

    This recipe is, by Julia della Croce, chef-in-residence at Andy Boy.
    An authority on Italian cooking, she has written more than 15 cookbooks and is a James Beard Award recipient.

    Prep time is 1 hour, cook time is 40 minutes. If you coat the inside of the baking pan with butter and grated cheese before pouring in the batter, you’ll get a soufflé with a crunchy surface, in contrast to its silky center.

     

    RECIPE: BROCCOLI RABE, CORN & CHEESE SOUFFLÉ

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed and drained
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) finely grated sharp Cheddar or Gruyère cheese
  • 1 small hot red pepper such as Fresno, jalapeño, or Thai,
    seeded and minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature, separated 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  •  

    souffle-ingredients-andyboy-230r

    Whip these ingredients into a delicious soufflé. Photo courtesy Andy Boy.

     
    Equipment

  • 2-1/2 quart capacity (10 x 2-inch) round or oval baking dish, or oven-proof skillet
  •  
    Preparation

    1. TRIM the broccoli rabe. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the greens, add salt and bring to a rolling boil. Blanch the greens for no more than ten seconds; drain at once and plunge into ice water to arrest cooking. Drain again and squeeze out excess water. (For a mellower flavor and tender texture, cook the greens for 2-4 minutes, depending on your “kick” and “crunch” preference.) Chop and set it aside.

    2. REMOVE corn from cob. If using frozen corn, pat it dry with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.

    3. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack on the lower third position of the oven, removing other racks. Grease the bottom and sides of the baking dish or the individual ramekins with butter. Scatter the Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano in the pan and shake to coat the bottom and sides as much as possible. Don’t be concerned about gaps in coverage. Tap out any excess.

    4. MELT half of the butter in a medium-sized, thick-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the garlic. Immediately add the chopped broccoli rabe, corn and minced hot pepper and cook over medium-low heat to marry the flavors, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Transfer it to a strainer to cool.

    5. WARM the milk and half-and-half together in a small saucepan with a heavy bottom, until they begin to simmer; don’t allow it to break into a boil. Keep it warm. (Alternatively, measure out the milk into a glass measuring cup and heat it in a microwave.)

    6. MELT the remaining butter in another, medium-sized heavy saucepan. Over low heat, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Stir constantly, about 2 minutes. Do not let the mixture brown.

    7. REMOVE the pan from the heat and add the warm milk and half-and-half mix, one trickle at a time, until you have used up 1/2 cup, stirring constantly to blend. Return the pan to the burner over low heat and stir in the remaining milk, still at a trickle, slowly and gradually. If lumps start to appear, you are probably adding the milk too quickly. Should this happen, turn off the heat and stir, pressing the lumps against the side of the pan and continue to blend in the hot milk very gradually. When all the warm milk has been added, simmer the sauce over low heat for another 5 minutes or so, until it is very thick. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

    8. REMOVE the sauce from the stove and transfer it to large mixing bowl. Whisk in one egg yolk at a time. It should be tepid to warm when folding in the remaining ingredients.

    9. BEAT the egg whites in a bowl with a pinch of salt on medium speed until they are frothy, about 1 minute in a stand mixer, up to 2 minutes using a hand-held mixer. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk a quarter of the whites into the sauce. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the rest in two batches, working carefully to combine the ingredients without deflating the whites. At last, fold in the cooled broccoli rabe, corn, and hot pepper mixture along with the Cheddar or Gruyère.

    10. TRANSFER the batter into the prepared baking dish, using the rubber spatula to spread it. (At this point it can be covered with an upturned pot and set aside for up to an hour before baking.) Slide it onto the prepared oven rack. Bake until a puffy, golden brown crust is formed on the surface and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Serve at once. It must be piping hot.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Crispy Sweet Potato Roast

    sweet-potato-chips-reclaimingprovincial-via-vtcreamery-230

    This roasted potato dish is similar to a
    Provençal tian. Even if you’re serving a
    traditional sweet potato dish, make these,
    too! Photo courtesy Reclaiming Provincial |
    Vermont Creamery.

     

    During the holiday season, one of America’s great producers of artisan butters, Vermont Creamery, creates a variation of their award winning Cultured Butter: Cultured Butter with Maple & Sea Salt.

    The contrast of salty crunch with the sweetness of maple is delicious on pancakes and waffles, stirred into hot oatmeal, baked into cookies, melted over roasted squash or other veggies, potatoes and rice, or simply spread over a warm piece of crusty bread or toast. The combination of sweet and savory is a hit.

    WHAT IS CULTURED BUTTER?

    In France and other parts of Europe, butter is cultured by adding live bacteria to the cream before churning. The fat content of the butter has to be a minimum of 82% (in the U.S. it can be as low as 80%). The culturing process enhances the sweetness of the butter and brings out a subtle tanginess.

    In the U.S, most butter isn’t cultured; the cream goes straight to the butter churn without added bacteria. This is known as sweet cream butter.

     

    Vermont Creamery’s cultured butter has an 86% butterfat content—the highest fat content you can obtain when making butter. Higher fat content means less moisture, and it provides a higher smoke point when pan searing, a more tender crumb or crust for baking and a much more flavorful table butter.

    RECIPE: CRISPY SWEET POTATO ROAST WITH HERBED COCONUT CRÈME FRAÎCHE

    This recipe comes to us Carey Nershi of the blog Reclaiming Provincial via Vermont Creamery. The combination of coconut milk, crème fraîche and sriracha add an unexpected twist. Find more exciting recipes at ReclaimingProvincial.com.

    For a related dish, check out the French Provençal dish, tian.

    This looks so great in the pan that we made ours in a casserole dish that could go straight from oven to table.

    Note that you can substitute quality unsalted butter (like Cabot’s) for the Vermont Creamery cultured butter. Add 1/8 teaspoon of maple sugar (or to taste) and a pinch of sea salt as a substitute.

     

    Ingredients

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes (approximately 2.5 inches in
    diameter)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter with Sea
    Salt & Maple
  • A few pinches of coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Heaping 1/2 cup crème fraîche (purchased or homemade)
  • 4 teaspoons sriracha* or other hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  •  

    cultured-butter-maple-2-230sq

    So delicious, and well worth the splurge. Photo courtesy Vermont Creamery.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Melt the butters over low heat on the stove top, then mix together with olive oil and set aside.

    2. PEEL the sweet potatoes, then slice crosswise as thinly and evenly as possible (between 1/8” and 1/16” is ideal). A mandoline will make the task far easier.

    3. BRUSH a healthy coating of the butter and oil mixture over the inside of an 8” or 9” baking dish or skillet and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt. Arrange the potatoes in the dish, brush with the remaining butter and oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt.

    4. ROAST the potatoes for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the middle of the potatoes are tender and the tops begin to brown and crisp. (The exact time will depend on your oven and on how thinly you’ve sliced the potatoes. Test them with a fork to make sure they’re tender in the middle.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. While the potatoes are resting…

    5. WHISK together the coconut milk, crème fraîche, and sriracha in a saucepan over medium heat, until just warmed.

    6. POUR half of the sauce over top of the potatoes and sprinkle with half of the minced cilantro. Combine the remaining sauce and cilantro and serve alongside the potatoes, for guests to use as desired.
     
    *Sriracha, pronounced see-RAH-jah, is a Thai hot chili sauce. It is made from red chiles, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt; and is aged for three months or longer. Unlike American hot sauces such as Tabasco, which are vinegar sauces that are infused with hot chiles, sriracha is primarily puréed chiles, making it a much thicker sauce. The sauce is named after the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where it was first made and marketed.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Butternut Squash Mashed Potatoes

    butternut-squash-mashed-potatoes-potatogoodness-230r-rev

    Combine butternut squash with mashed
    potatoes. Photo © United States Potato
    Board.

     

    What do you get when you combine Roughly mash potatoes with mellow butternut squash and finish with fresh sage leaves crisped in brown butter? A hit!

    This combination will be a crowd pleaser at the Thanksgiving table, as well as for family dinners throughout the fall and winter.

    RECIPE: SMASHED POTATOES & BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH BROWN BUTTER & SAGE

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound (3 medium) yellow-flesh potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves (2 to 3 inches long), stacked and cut across into ¼-inch strips
  • ½ cup or so milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COOK potatoes and squash: In 3-quart saucepan, cover the vegetable chunks with water; add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile…

    2. COMBINE 2 tablespoons of the butter and all the sage in small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Tilting pan and watching closely, cook about 3 minutes, until the butter foams and begins to brown. Keep warm.

    3. DRAIN the cooked potatoes and squash, return to pan and shake 1 to 2 minutes over low heat. Roughly mash with a hand masher, leaving the mixture chunky. Over low heat, gently mix in the remaining tablespoon of butter and enough milk for consistency desired.

    4. SEASON with salt and pepper. Spoon into a serving bowl and drizzle with the brown butter and sage.

     

    butternut-duo-beauty-goodeggs-230

    Butternut squash. Photo courtesy The Good Eggs.

     

    MASHED POTATOES VS. SMASHED POTATOES

    What’s the difference? Unlike mashed potatoes, which ideally are almost as smooth as a purée, smashed potatoes are a rough mash. More rustic (chunky) in appearance, they taste the same and require less labor to mash. A win!

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Baked Potato Nachos

    Today is National Nachos Day. Here’s a twist on nachos from the United States Potato Board, which uses potatoes instead of tortilla chips.

    Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 35 minutes.

    RECIPE: BAKED POTATO NACHOS

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1-1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican seasoning blend (recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Toppings

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, Mexican-flavored cheese (jalapeño, habanero) or pepper jack
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons canned diced green chiles
  •  

    SHORTEN-01

    Nachos with a twist: baked potatoes replace tortilla chips. Photo courtesy PotatoGoodness.com.

     
    Garnishes

  • Chopped avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Guacamole
  • Enchilada sauce for drizzling
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 425°F.

    2. WASH the potatoes, peel and slice into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss and coat with olive oil, garlic salt and Mexican seasoning.

    3. PLACE potato wedges in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, stirring several times, until crisp and golden brown.

    4. REMOVE sheet from oven. Top potatoes with cheese, beans, tomatoes, olives, onions and chiles. Bake for 5 minutes more, until the cheese melts.

    5. SERVE with optional guacamole, salsa, sour cream, etc.
     
    MEXICAN SEASONING BLEND

    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BLEND all of the ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bread Salad With Butternut Squash

    butternut-squash-bread-salad-goboldwithbutter-230r

    Bread salad with butternut squash. Photo
    courtesy GoBoldWithButter.com.

     

    Bread salad is often thought of as a summer dish, marrying lush tomatoes in season with day-old bread, vinaigrette and other seasonings.

    But you can turn it into a fall favorite by substituting the tomatoes, now out of season, with butternut squash (or other winter squash), as blogger Karen, from the blog FamilyStyle Food, did in this recipe for GoBoldWithButter.com.

    RECIPE: BUTTERNUT SQUASH BREAD SALAD

    Ingredients For 6 Side Servings

  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 4 pounds squash)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and leaves torn into strips
  • 5 cups ciabatta or other Italian bread (from a 1 pound loaf), crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons Flavored Butter or plain butter, melted
  • 1 cup shredded radicchio
  • Parmesan cheese for shaving
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. TOSS the squash with the onion, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add ¼ cup water. Roast until squash is tender and golden in color, 25 to 30 minutes.

    3. POUR the vinegar over the roasted squash and gently toss. Sprinkle the kale leaves over the hot squash and toss again to slightly wilt.

    4. PLACE the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with butter. Bake for 10 minutes or until the bread is crisp and toasted.

    5. SCRAPE the squash mixture into a large serving bowl. Add the bread and radicchio and toss. Serve with curls of Parmesan.

    Find more delicious recipes at GoBoldWithButter.com.

     
    HOW MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF SQUASH HAVE YOU TRIED?

    Check out our delicious Squash Glossary.

     

    WHAT IS BREAD SALAD

    Bread salad, like French toast and croutons, is one of those recipes invented by necessity: Poor people needed to get another meal from leftover bread that had gone stale.

    Panzanella is a Tuscan-style bread salad made with a loaf of day-old (or older) Italian bread, cubed into large croutons and soaked in vinaigrette to soften it. Chopped salad vegetables are added. The translation we have found for “panzanella” is “bread in a swamp,” the swamp being the water or vinaigrette in which it was soaked.

    While today’s recipes are rich in ingredients, the original preparers foraged to pull together vegetables from the garden—cucumber, onion and tomato—and possibly purslane, a salad green that grows wild. Early recipes were heavy on the onions, the cheapest ingredient to pair with the bread. When there wasn’t enough oil to spare, the bread was moistened in water.

    Today, this peasant dish is a popular first course in Italy. It doesn’t appear often on menus of U.S.-based Italian restaurants. That’s too bad, because it’s a dish worth having often.

     

    butternut-squash-230

    Butternut squash. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    As long as you have vinaigrette-soaked bread, you can create the salad with almost anything from the pantry or fridge. It’s a great way to use up any leftovers—including beans, cheese, fish, meat and rice—and aging produce.
     
    MORE BREAD SALAD RECIPES

    • Bread Salad With Fruit Recipe
    • Greek Bread Salad Recipe
    • Grilled Chicken Bread Salad Recipe
    • Layered Mexican Corn Bread Salad Recipe
    • Mixed Vegetables Bread Salad Recipe

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Serrated Peeler

    Every kitchen has a standard vegetable peeler to slice the skin from carrots, cucumbers, potatoes and other veggies.

    But there’s also a serrated peeler, which works better on softer produce like mangoes, nectarines, peaches, plums and that toughest of peeling challenges, tomatoes.

    Most home cooks who have both use the word “love,” as in, “I love the serrated peeler!”

    Of course, you can use a serrated peeler where you’d use a conventional peeler, on anything from asparagus to zucchini. But we use both, so we don’t dull the serrated blade on potatoes when we want to keep it sharp for those pesky tomatoes.

    The standard technique to peel thin-skinned produce is to blanch the item in boiling water, then chill it in ice water, then remove the skin with a sharp knife or fingers. A serrated peeler is the better way.

     

    serrated-peeler-hands-crisp-230

    Peeling tomatoes, bell peppers and mangoes is easy with a serrated peeler. Photo courtesy Crisp.

     

    And instead of charring bell peppers over a flame to remove the skin, just use a serrated peeler.

    How can you resist?

    • The angled-head serrated peeler from Crisp is $8.99 at CrispCooking.com. It also has an “eyer” at the top.
    • The highly regarded Messermeister serrated swivel peeler is $7.95 at Amazon.com.

      

    Comments

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