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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 Videos

COOKING VIDEO: How To Cook A Steak On The Stove

 

If your steaks don’t taste as good as restaurant steaks, it could be the quality of the meat. Or it could be your cooking technique.

Restaurant chefs start with searing the seasoned steak in a cast-iron skillet or grill pan. Sometimes they finish cooking the meat in the oven. In this demonstration, the seared meat is tented—no oven needed.

Check out the technique in this video. And check out the different cuts of beef in our Beef Glossary.

   

   

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COOKING VIDEO: Asparagus In The Microwave

 

Don’t let asparagus season pass you by! The delicious vegetable is in season for only another month or so.

Watch Alton Brown demonstrate how easy it is to steam asparagus in the microwave. (In the video, is he hanging upside down, or is that trick photography?)

Steamed fresh asparagus don’t even need butter: A sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon or lime makes a delectable, low-calorie dish. When we’re cutting back on cholesterol, we use fat-free Greek yogurt with lemon zest and a bit of garlic salt as a side dip.

   

   

Find more of our favorite vegetable recipes.

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COOKING VIDEO: Boneless Pork Loin Roast Recipe With A Fresh Herb Crust

 

Anne Burrell is an American chef, TV personality and instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.

Here, she demonstrates how to make a delicious herb-crusted roast pork loin. While it’s often thought of as a fall food, this delicious roast can be enjoyed year-round.

Use unfermented apple cider in the recipe, and serve it with bottles of refreshing hard cider.

Find more of our favorite pork recipes.

Check out the different types of pork.

Find more cooking videos.

   

   

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TIP OF THE DAY: How Make Tacos At Home (It’s Easy)

 

Many people enjoy tacos at restaurants, but far fewer make them at home. It’s really easy.

You don’t need a holiday to make this family and party favorite. But if you haven’t made tacos before, use the upcoming Cinco de Mayo as the occasion.

Tacos require a relatively long list of ingredients, but they’re all easy to gather: chopped beef or diced/shredded chicken, canned black beans and corn, onion, taco seasoning (packaged, or use the recipe below) and an optional jalapeño—remove the white ribs and the seeds unless you like things really hot.

Then, it’s simply into the skillet for these ingredients. When the meat is cooked (20 minutes), set the skillet on the table, buffet style, along with taco shells, chopped lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Then, everyone can build his/her own taco.

Tacos can be nutritious food, especially when you:

  • Switch the beef for chicken or lean beef.
  • Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
  • Go easy on the shredded cheese.
  •  
    Beans, lettuce, onions and salsa contribute fiber (in addition to nutritients), and corn taco shells are whole grain.

       

       

    MAKE YOUR OWN TACO SEASONING

    McCormick’s Taco Seasoning includes chili pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, onion, whey, salt, sugar, garlic, potato starch and citric acid.

    You can eliminate the whey and sugar by making your own taco seasoning from ingredients you already have on the shelf. And you’ll save money in the process.

    ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon each, cumin, garlic powder, paprika and oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper (optional)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl.

    2. Substitute for a 1.25-ounce package of commercial taco seasoning.

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

     

    Who wouldn’t enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries for Mother’s Day?

    They’re easy to make and delight just about everyone, as a light dessert or as gifts for the moms.

    You can use your favorite chocolate (dark, milk, white or all three). You can leave the chocolate-covered berries plain or decorate them with your favorite toppings: chopped nuts, crushed toffee, granola, mini-morsels, shredded coconut or sprinkles.

    For the most elegant touch, decorate with gold or silver dragées or some opalescent sanding sugar.

    TIP #1: QUALITY CHOCOLATE COUNTS. Your chocolate-covered strawberries will taste better, the better the chocolate you use. We buy fine quality chocolate bars, which are very well priced at Trader Joe’s.

    TIP #2: SO DO DRY STRAWBERRIES. The chocolate won’t adhere well if the berries are moist from a thorough washing. Instead of washing the strawberries under running water, pat them with a damp towel to clean; then pat them dry and let them air dry (you can also use a hairdryer on the cold setting).

    Mmm…we can’t wait until Mother’s Day.

       

       

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Try A Very Different Margarita Recipe

    Some chefs are inspired to go beyond classic recipes and create their own unusual take on a dish—or a drink.

    Chef Julio Medina, who has an empire* of refined Latin cuisine restaurants in New York City, likes to create special menus, including specialty Margaritas, for each location.

    His latest creation, for Toloache, is an homage to spring and Cinco de Mayo that combines traditional Mexican flavors with his classic French culinary training.

    *The restaurants include Coppelia, Toloache 50, Toloache Taqueria and Toloache 82, Yerba Buena Avenue A and Yerba Buena Perry.

    †Today Cinco de Mayo is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla on May 5th. It is actually a bigger event in the United States than it is in Mexico, thanks to American promotional know-how, a large population of Mexican-Americans and other Americans who like Mexican food, music and a good celebration.

     

    A different but really good Margarita. Photo courtesy Toloache 50 | New York City.

     

    The homage to Cinco de Mayo is the name of the drink: Invaciones Frances Margarita, French Invasion Margarita. The holiday of Cinco De Mayo† commemorates the 1862 victory of a small and poorly-equipped Mexican militia led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, over the much larger French army at The Battle Of Puebla. It temporarily stopped the French invasion of the country.

    The homage to spring: the fresh spring peas and tarragon in the mixture.

    Peas and tarragon in a Margarita? Absolutely—and absolutely delish. We present, for your pleasure, the French Invasion Margarita.

    THE FRENCH INVASION MARGARITA

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1¼ ounces blanco Tequila
  • ½ ounce Cointreau (you can substitute another orange liqueur)
  • ½ ounce Remy V (you can substitute Pisco Portón—see below)
  • 1 sprig tarragon (3 inches long)
  • 3 bar spoons (teaspoons) spring peas
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (recipe)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Garnish: Small sprig of tarragon
  •  

    Remy Martin’a unaged eau de vie, V
    (pronounced “vee”). Photo courtesy Remy
    Martin.

     

    Preparation

    1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together 1 sprig tarragon and the peas. Add the remaining ingredients with ice and shake well.

    2. Double strain the Margarita into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a small sprig of tarragon.
      
    WHAT’S REMY MARTIN V (PRONOUNCED VEE)?

    Produced by the great Cognac maker, Remy V is not a Cognac but an eau de vie. Eau de vie (plural, eaux de vie) is the name given to a spirit distilled from grapes and other fruits that has not yet been aged. At this point it is a clear liquid, like vodka.

    It is through aging in oak barrels for at least 2-1/2 years that eau de vie takes on the complex aromas, color and flavors of Cognac. Instead, Remy Martin V is finished with a cold filtration process, like vodka.

    Hence the name “V,” a reference to eau de vie (also pronounced “vee,” and meaning “water of life”). It’s unaged Cognac.

    And now the challenge: Where to find it. Remy Martin V has limited retail distribution in the U.S.

    So here‘s our recommendation: Substitute pisco, a clear, distilled grape spirit from Peru that, like Remy Martin V, is produced in the manner of Cognac. Pisco Portón is an excellent brand, with good distribution.

     

    WHAT’S A BAR SPOON?

    A bar spoon is a teaspoon on a long handle, typically 11 inches in length. It is used to measure ingredients and to layer drinks (by pouring the different layers of alcohol over the back of the spoon, where they flow gently into the glass).

    The long handle lets the bartender dip deep into jars to scoop up olives and cherries. If you don’t have a bar spoon, it’s inexpensive and doesn’t take up much room. Here’s a good bar spoon.

      

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    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Cordon Bleu Day

     

    April 4th is National Cordon Bleu Day. Le Cordon Bleu (French for “The Blue Ribbon”) is the world’s largest school for hospitality education, for both cooks, service and management personnel. Originating in France, it now has 35 schools on five continents.

    The inspiration for the school began in 1578, with a group of French knights called L’Ordre des Chevaliers du Saint Esprit. Each member wore the Cross of the Holy Spirit, which hung from a blue ribbon.

    The knights became known for extravagant and luxurious banquets, known as “cordons bleus.” The order closed with the French Revolution. In the late 19th century, the name was revived by a French culinary magazine, La Cuisinière Cordon Bleu. It offered lessons by some of the best chefs in France, which eventually grew to become a cooking school. Le Cordon Bleu cooking school opened in Paris in 1895 and became one of the finest cooking schools in the world.

    Recipes for Chicken Cordon Bleu and Veal Cordon Bleu emerged: chicken breasts or veal slices sandwiched with ham and Gruyère cheese, dipped in an egg mixture, rolled with bread crumbs and baked or sautéed.

    Here’s a recipe for Veal Cordon Bleu:

       

       

    Comments

    VIDEO: Alton Brown’s Secret Ham Crust

     

    Contemplating how to cook the Easter ham? Consider Alton Brown’s favorite way, with his grandmother’s “secret” ham crust recipe.

    The secret is now out of the bag: brown sugar, mustard, bourbon and pulverized ginger snap cookies.

  • Brush on a layer of mustard (we prefer deli-style or Dijon)
  • Pat on a layer of brown sugar
  • Spritz bourbon in a spray bottle (we repurposed a small pump spray, instead of the large one Alton uses in the video)
  • Pat on a layer of ginger snap cookie crumbs
  •  
    Watch Alton do it!

       

       

  • Want a different ham crust? Take a look at these ham glaze recipes.
  • How much do you know about ham? Here are the different types and cuts.
  • Take our Ham Trivia Quiz.
  • After tasting 20 “gourmet” hams, our favorite hams.
  • Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

     

    This recipe converts America’s favorite cookie, the chocolate chip cookie, into a gluten-free version.

    More and more Americans are discovering they have a sensitivity to gluten, a protein in wheat and other popular grains such as barley and rye. A more serious manifestation is celiac disease.

    Some of the best brands of gluten-free cookies we’ve tried are the result of a family member seeking to make the tastiest treats for a relative with gluten sensitivity. If you have a loved one who needs to avoid gluten, bake a batch of these as a gift.

    There are more than 20 gluten-free or low-gluten alternatives to wheat flour, from familiar ingredients such as cornmeal and potato flour to amaranth and teff flours. They’re more expensive than wheat flour, which is why gluten-free baked goods, pasta, etc. are costlier than conventional products.

    The substitutes vary widely in their flavor and texture contribution. People working on gluten-free recipes do a lot of experimenting to find the ingredients and proportions they like best.

    TRIVIA: “Gluten” is the Latin word for glue. The protein acts as a binder to give elasticity to dough and a chewy texture to the final product.

    Find more of our favorite gluten-free products.

       

       

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Make Your Own Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

     

    Peanut butter cups: We love them!

    How can you make the everyday peanut butter cup even better? Create them yourself, using better ingredients than are used in mass-marketed PB cups.

    The trick is to buy the most delicious chocolate morsels (or gourmet chocolate) and the tastiest peanut butter. You can use your favorite “shade” of chocolate—dark, milk or white—as long as it’s great stuff.

    The good news: The “recipe” is easy.

    And it’s timely: You can make peanut butter cups for Easter, topped with jelly beans or other candy Easter ornaments.

    Have fun with this one!

       

       

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