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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,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

RECIPES: Alternative Holiday Potato Recipes

If you don’t have sacrosanct holiday potato recipes, here are two outside-the-box ideas, one for mashed potatoes, one for sweet potatoes. Of course, they work on non-holidays, too. Both are from, one of our go-to sites for delicious recipes.


Butter, buttermilk and blue cheese give these mashed potatoes a rich, tangy flavor. Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 15 minutes.
Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 2-1/12 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk*
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chives, plus more for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper

    Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

    For lovers of blue cheese, this is potato heaven. Photo courtesy Go Bold With Butter.

    *Buttermilk substitute: For 1 cup buttermilk, substitute 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup.

    1. PEEL the potatoes and rinse under cold water. Cut each potato into quarters and place in a 4-quart saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, then reduce heat to a low boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with fork, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile…

    2. HEAT the buttermilk and butter together in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling.

    3. DRAIN the potatoes, return to the pot and warm over low heat for 1-2 minutes so the moisture evaporates. Use a ricer, potato masher or food mill to mash the potatoes.

    4. STIR in the buttermilk mixture 1/3 cup at time, until the potatoes are the consistency you prefer. Stir in the crumbled blue cheese and chives, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

    5. TRANSFER to a a bowl and garnish with additional blue cheese and chives and serve hot.


    Thai Sweet Potato Recipe

    Sweet potatoes with Thai accents. Photo
    courtesy Foodie Crush | Go Bold With Butter



    These sweet potatoes are served in au gratin fashion, but baked in a butter sauce that’s infused with bright Thai flavors: chili sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Beyond the turkey, it goes well with everything: chicken, pork, beef and even fish.

    The recipe, developed by Foodie Crush, couldn’t be simpler. The biggest challenge is to thinly cut the sweet potatoes at an even thickness, to ensure even cooking time.

    If you’re hesitating about buying the Thai ingredients, they’re basic to most Thai recipes. They’ll inspire you to do more Thai cooking when the holidays are over.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 30 minutes.

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Layer the slices of sweet potatoes in a 9″x9″ or 8″x11″ baking dish.

    2. MELT the butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Whisk in the honey. Add the fish sauce, chili sauce and soy sauce and pour over the potatoes.

    3. BAKE for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with fork. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot.



    FOOD FUN: Angry Turkey Cheesecake

    For years, we’ve loved the designs of Elegant Cheesecakes,

    Since 1988, Elegant Cheese Cakes has designed memorable wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and other special occasion delights. It was one of our Top Picks Of The Week ten years ago. We’ve been evangelists ever since.

    Working in cheesecake, chocolate cake and other popular flavors, owner and pastry chef Susan Morgan and her team create masterpieces to look like whatever the client requires.

    Burgers, cigar boxes, footballs, gift boxes tied with ribbon, guitars, handbags, jack-o-lanterns, miniature replicas of homes…no design is too intricate for these cake artisans.

    Of course, more traditional shapes are also in the portfolio.

    If you have a dream cake in mind, check out the ideas at

    Our questions: Who ordered the angry turkey? And when do we get a slice?


    Turkey Cheesecake

    “Bite me,” says the turkey. Photo © Elegant Cheese Cakes.




    HOLIDAY GIFTS: Gourmet Chocolate

    Edible Chocolate Box - Charles Chocolates

    Kakawa Cocoa Beans

    John & Kira's Winter Bonbons

    Chocolate & Whiskey Figs John & Kira's

    TOP PHOTO: Edible chocolate box with bonbons from Charles Chocolates. SECOND PHOTO: Coco Puro’s chocolate-coated cacao beans. THIRD PHOTO: Ganache-filled bonbons from John & Kira’s. BOTTOM PHOTO: Calabacita figs filled with chocolate whiskey ganache from John & Kira’s.


    We love putting together holiday gift lists, sharing our must-have favorites. The chocolate items here begin at $12. Items under $10 are on our Stocking Stuffers list, out later this week.

    If you’re looking for kosher gifts, check out Li-Lac Chocolates, below.


    Our favorite chocolate-covered nuts are from Charles Chocolates: Triple Chocolate Almonds, premium California almonds that are fresh-roasted, then coated in bittersweet and milk chocolates and dusted with cocoa powder. They’re also available in Mint Chocolate Almond and Triple Chocolate Hazelnut, 6.5 ounces for $12. Toffee Chocolate Macadamias are $15 for 6.3 ounces. An assortment of all four varieties is $46.

    A memorable treat is the Edible Chocolate Box (top photo), filled with fleur de sel caramels, milk chocolate caramels and bittersweet peanut praliné butterflies. Seventeen ounces of chocolate, including the box, are $46.00.

    Get yours at

    Kakawa Cocoa Beans (second photo) are a unique gift for the chocolate connoisseur: chocolate-covered cacao beans—the whole bean, not the nibs, which are the “seeds” of the bean.

    The finest beans are roasted until crunchy, like coffee beans; then hand-enrobed in layers of white, milk and dark chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder. That’s five expressions of chocolate in one bite!

    Kakawa is the Olmec word for cacao. The Olmecs were the first people to cultivate the cacao plant in Mesoamerica.

    A 12-ounce bag is $28 at

    Of all the wonderful choices at John & Kira’s, two are our favorites for holiday gifting:

    The Winter Forest Collection (third photo) comprises three seasonal designs and bonbon flavors, all enrobed in a 62% Valrhona dark chocolate shell.

    Snowcapped peak bonbons contain a crunchy hazelnut-almond praline center, crystalline snowflakes are filled with white chocolate mint ganache, and a starry night envelops vanilla-accented dark chocolate ganache.

    Nine pieces in a handsome reusable box are $29.95 at

    Our perennial favorite are the Chocolate-Filled Figs With A Touch Of Whiskey (fourth photo). It’s become our annual treat to ourself, and truth be told, we buy two boxes (and have to restrain ourself from buying double that, and don’t share a single piece).

    A treat for the refined palate, organic dried Calabacita figs are filled with a whiskey-infused Valrhona dark chocolate ganache; then hand-dipped in 62% dark chocolate and nestled in a handsome gift box.

    Each bite becomes a treasured memory; and if you think we’re getting flowery here, just taste them! Get yours at Twelve pieces are $38.50.




    This French chocolate gift assortment contains a luscious mix of milk and dark chocolate squares filled with soft centers: caramels, chocolate fudge, French creams, hazelnut truffle squares, mocha, mousse, marzipan, and rum ganache. Inspired by European-style chocolates from the 1920s, we said “yum” out loud with every bite.

    Twenty pieces in a handsome repurposable box, 8.5 ounces of chocolate are $28. Larger boxes—one pound, two pounds and three pounds—are also available. The line is certified kosher (dairy) by OU. Get them at

    The venerable Parisian chocolatier, with outposts in New York City, has created something truly special: the Sweet and Savoury Collection. For the connoisseur, these surprising pairings of chocolate and vegetables are quite wonderful (but do not count toward your daily portions of veggies).

    The flavors include: dark ganache with Guérande sea salt, dark ganache with hot red pepper, ganache with balsamic caramelized onions, hazelnut praliné with porcini mushrooms and praliné with black olives and olive oil. These combinations may sound strange to most people; but for the true connoisseur, they are treasures.


    Li-Lac French Chocolates

    Maison Du Chocolat Savoury Collection

    TOP PHOTO: Wonderful French-style chocolates from Li-Lac. BOTTOM PHOTO: Savoury chocolates from Maison du Chocolat.


    The Savoury Chocolate Collection can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night, but Master Chef Nicolas Cloiseau, who created the collection, enjoys it between the last course of dinner and dessert. Get yours at There are two sizes, $24 and $36.
    Almost all of these chocolatiers sell a variety of chocolates; so if you haven’t found what you’re looking for yet, browse their websites.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Chicken Or Turkey Stock

    Thanksgiving Turkey

    Enjoy your feast, but don’t toss the carcass.
    Use it to make stock! Photo courtesy Sur La


    Plan ahead: Don’t throw away that turkey carcass. Or the roast chicken* carcass. Or those tops, root ends and stems from trimming vegetables. Save the vegetable trimmings from the week’s meals: carrot tops, celery ends, fennel fronds, herb stems, kale stalks, leek tops, scallion ends, etc.

    Check the freezer for herbs and vegetable scraps you may have tucked away.

    Use all of it to make a delicious batch of chicken or turkey stock, which you can then turn into cooked grains, sauces, soups, stews and other preparations.



  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled, cut in half
  • Chicken or turkey carcass
  • Vegetable trimmings† or 1-2 carrots, 3-4 stalks of celery
  • Parsley and thyme (leftover stems are fine)
    *Or duck, game hen, quail or any poultry carcass. You can blend them together into one stock as needed.
    †Check the freezer for herbs and anything else you might have tucked away to prevent spoiling.


    1. COMBINE all the ingredients in a stock pot (6-8 quarts for a turkey, 4-6 quarts for a chicken) and cover them with water plus one inch. If the carcass doesn’t fit in the pot, use poultry shears to cut it into pieces that do. Don’t salt the water; stock should be unsalted to accommodate any recipe. Place the top on the pot.

    2. BRING to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for minimum of 90 minutes, or up to 3 hours. Once or twice during the simmering, remove the cover and skim off the frothy scum that’s formed on the top of the broth. Add more water if it boils away; the bones should always be covered. When the broth has turned a golden brown color and is rich in flavor…

    3. REMOVE the pot from the heat. As soon as it’s comfortable enough to handle, strain the broth and discard the solids. If it isn’t clear enough for you, strain it again through cheesecloth.

    4. FREEZE the chicken broth in portion-sized containers. We like ice cube trays (once frozen, store the cubes in a freezer bag); or in half pint or pint storage containers. If you have a short-term use for it, you can refrigerate the stock for up to a week.

  • A stock pot with a pasta strainer insert is ideal for this purpose.
  • If you don’t want to “watch the pot,” you can use a slow cooker on a low setting.


    Instead Of Water

  • Grains: rice (plain or in risotto), quinoa, couscous and other dishes
  • Soups: use as much stock as you have, then fill in with water
  • Vegetables: steaming and boiling
    Instead Of Butter And/Or Cream

  • Gravy
  • French sauces, such as bercy and velouté
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Polenta
  • Purées: use stock to smooth out a bean or vegetable purée
  • Sautés: add some stock and use less butter or oil
  • Soups, from wintry butternut squash soup to summer gazpacho
  • Stuffing, dressing and other savory bread pudding recipes
    Instead Of Wine

  • Deglazing the pan for sauce
  • Marinades
  • Any recipe that requires wine

    Chicken Stock

    Take pride in your homemade stock. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco.


  • Broth is a finished soup; stock is an ingredient.
  • Broth has a higher proportion of meat.
  • Because stock is made largely from the bones, it contains more gelatin, which gives it a richer mouthfeel.
  • Stock is not salted. Since it is an ingredient, it combines with whatever seasonings the recipes call for.
    What about bouillon?

    The terms bouillon and broth are used interchangeably, though not correctly.

    Bouillon is always served plain (with an optional garnish), whereas broth can be made more substantial with the addition of a grain (barley, rice, etc.) and vegetables.



    RECIPE: Make & Bring Sweet & Savory Nut Clusters

    Homemade Nut Clusters

    Sweet and savory nut clusters, with pumpkin
    seeds added for the holidays. Photo courtesy


    If you’ve been invited to Thanksgiving but not asked to contribute, you may still want to bring a gift that isn’t a bottle of wine.

    Something like these Sweet & Savory Nut Clusters from QVC’s chef David Venable can be a gift to the hosts be enjoyed later. Package them in a decorative tin or jar.

    Or, they can be served with after-dinner coffee by those who are too stuffed for pie.

    For any occasion, they can be served with a slice of Gorgonzola as the cheese course, or as a garnish for a green salad along with crumbled Gorgonzola.

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 1-1/2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1-1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Optional: Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
  • Optional: green salad with vinaigrette
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

    2. TOSS the pecans, almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds with the beaten egg white in a large bowl, until coated.

    3. COMBINE the brown sugar, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and rosemary in another bowl and toss with the nuts until evenly coated. Pour in the honey and fold until coated.

    4. SPREAD the mixture out on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toasted. Serve as desired.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Reuse Citrus Rinds As Mini Bowls

    As you cook your way through the holidays, consider saving the shells (whole rinds) of halved, juiced lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. You can repurpose them as mini serving bowls—for sides, desserts, condiments and more.

    First, use a serrated grapefruit spoon or other implement to scrape out the empty juice sacs—but leave the white pith intact.

    Then cut a tiny slice off from what will become the bottom of each “bowl,” so it will sit flat on a plate. Place the empty shells in the freezer; when frozen, store them in freezer bags. Then, for a festive meal, take them out and use them for:

  • Condiments
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Dipping sauce
  • Relish
  • Rice or mashed potatoes, with a topping
  • Salsa
    Our favorite use is dessert, specifically:

  • Fruit salad
  • Sorbet
    For cold foods, you don’t have to wait for the shells to defrost. Scooping sorbet into frozen shells, for example, keeps it from melting more quickly. Check out yesterday’s recipe for Meyer Lemon Sorbet.


    Freeze the entire half, or cut it into quarters.

  • You can defrost a piece when you need juice.
  • You can also freeze the juice alone, ideally, in ice cube trays, so you can defrost only what you need.
  • After the citrus pieces or juice cubes freeze, store them in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
    Freeze individual slices.

  • Cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick and freeze them for garnishing.
  • First freeze them on a cookie sheet so the slices don’t stick together; then store them in freezer bags.
  • For a glass garnish, cut a slit into the slice before freezing. You can then place the frozen slice onto the rim of the glass, without waiting for it to thaw.


    Citrus Cups



    TOP PHOTO: Fruit salad. Cut the fruit as fine as it needs to be to fit nicely into the shell. Photo courtesy Elegant Affairs Caterers. MIDDLE PHOTO: These are panna cotta, but could as easily be sauces or sides. Photo courtesy Swirls And Spice. BOTTOM PHOTO: Stuffed with rice and topped with salmon caviar. Photo courtesy Qoo’s Life.

    Botanically, citrus fruits are berries with leathery rinds. In botany this type of berry is called a hesperidium.

    The great botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778) bestowed the name Hesperideæ to the order the contains the Citrus genus. It’s an allusion to the the Hesperides, nymphs who in Greek and Roman myth guarded a blissful garden of golden apples.

    From Sweden, Linnaeus was a botanist, zoologist and physician. He laid the foundations for taxonomy, the modern biological naming system for describing species (taxa in Latin). Many of his writings were in Latin, as was custom among scientists of the time. Latin was a common language among educated Europeans, so no matter what one’s native language, one could read the works of others in Latin.



    RECIPE: Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies From Quaker Oats

    Original Quaker Canister

    Quaker Old Fashioned Oats Canister

    TOP PHOTO: What Great-Great Grandmother
    would have purchased. BOTTOM PHOTO:
    Today’s canister reminds us that oatmeal is a
    heart-healthy food. Photos courtesy Quaker


    One hundred years ago, Quaker introduced the now-iconic cylinder package for Old Fashioned Quaker Oats. The cylindrical package was a first in the industry. While the packaging design has been updated, the round canister can still be found on store shelves today.

    The Quaker Mill Company of Ravenna, Ohio, was founded in 1877 by Henry Parsons Crowell, who purchased the bankrupt Quaker Oat Mill Company there.

    Canned foods were a hot new trend in 1915, and Crowell noticed the public’s growing appetite for colorful, conveniently sized packaging. He began to sell his oats in distinctive round cardboard cartons. At the time, many groceries, including cereal grains, were sold in bulk from barrels.

    Today the The Quaker Oats Company sells more than 350 million pounds of oatmeal annually, and some 120 million canisters are produced at its Cedar Rapids plant.

    Quaker also lays claim as the first to feature a recipe on packaging: Oatmeal Bread, in 1891. In 1908, the brand introduced the first cookie recipe on a package: Oat Cakes.

    In 1922, the company introduced Quaker Quick Oats, one of America’s first convenience products. It can be swapped for Quaker Old Fashioned Oats in baking recipes.

    In 1966, Quaker Instant Oatmeal pouches debuted to help people keep pace with a busy, on-the-go lifestyle. Cup packaging debuted in 2000, to portable eating even easier. Earlier this year, Quaker launched Quick 3-Minute Steel Cut Oats.

    Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe remains a consumer favorite. As of 2015, it’s been on the Old Fashioned Oats canister for 20 years. The recipe is below.

    A food conglomerate headquartered in Chicago, it has been owned by PepsiCo since 2001.


    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 8 minutes.

    Ingredients For 4 Dozen Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups Quaker Oats (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats, uncooked)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Raisins substitute: 1 cup dried cherries, cranberries or diced mixed fruit
  • Raisins substitute: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips; omit the cinnamon


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add the combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add the oats and raisins; mix well.

    2. DROP the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

    3. HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase the flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.
    For Bar Cookies

    1. PRESS the dough onto bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.


    Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    For 20 years, the recipe for these Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies has been on the box of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats. Photo courtesy Quaker.

    2. CUT into bars. Store tightly covered. Yield: 24 bars.

  • Use an empty Quaker Oats canister as the “gift box” for cookie gifting.
  • For the holidays, consider Oatmeal Gingerbread Cookies.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Meyer Lemons

    Meyer Lemons

    A profusion of Meyer lemons at Good Eggs |
    San Francisco.


    You should start seeing Meyer lemons in stores now. The no-pucker lemon’s season is November through March.

    A cross between a true lemon and either a sweet orange or a mandarin, Citrus × meyeri was named for Frank Nicholas Meyer, who brought it back from China in 1908. Meyer worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an “agricultural explorer,” traveling the world to find new foods that might be desirable in America.

    The Chinese had long been growing the lemon variety in pots, as ornamental trees. Meyer lemon trees thus were planted in California yards, and the fruit was enjoyed by the home owners.

    Meyer lemons became a hot food item when they were “rediscovered” by Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in the 1990s. Other chefs and personalities like Martha Stewart began featuring them in recipes; groves were planted and the fruits began to arrive in markets.

    The benefit is yours.


    Meyer lemons are much sweeter and more flavorful than the Bearss and Lisbon varieties commonly found in American grocery stores (here are the different types of lemons). They have much less acid, which is why the juice is sweeter and brighter.

    While they are smaller than the Bearss and Lisbon lemons, they are much juicier with a very thin (and edible) peel, and can even deliver more juice per lemon.

    And their fragrance is beguiling.



    You can buy ornamental dwarf Meyer lemon trees to keep in pots indoors or on the patio. Planted in the ground, they can grow to heights of eight feet. Check out the options at:

    The trees produce lovely white blossoms before they fruit, and have glossy leaves year-round. Consider one for your own home or for gifting.

  • Lemonade without the pucker (and just a bit of sugar required)
  • Cocktails, spritzers and lemon water
  • Cakes, pies and other baked goods
  • Ice cream, sorbet, pudding
  • Marmalade, lemon curd

    Meyer Lemon Tree

    This fragrant tree can grace any home. We’d love to receive one as a gift. Photo courtesy

  • In any recipe that calls for lemon juice and/or peel: chicken, ham, fish and seafood, vegetables, salads, etc.
    Here are 30+ ways we use Meyer lemons, plus a recipe for Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc. You can also peruse these recipes from

    Perhaps our favorite Meyer lemon recipe:



  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice

    1. ZEST all the lemons and save the extra (it freezes well). You can add it to salad dressings, baked goods, anything.

    2. BRING the sugar and the water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and zest; stir to combine.

    3. POUR the mixture into the canister of a 1-quart ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 25-30 minutes). Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for 4 hours or longer.

    4. SET the container on the counter to stand for 5 minutes before serving.



    THANKSGIVING: Food Safety Tips

    Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

    Make your Thanksgiving dinner a safe one. Photo courtesy


    Even if you’ve never had a problem before, check out these food safety tips prior to Turkey Day. They’re courtesy of The Learning Center at State Farm.

    1. Keep everything clean.

  • Scrub your hands with soap under warm water for 20 seconds before touching food. Do the same after handling food, especially raw meat or poultry, to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Clean the counters, cutting boards, dishes and silverware with hot water and soap before and after preparing each food item.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables to remove the surface dirt, but do not rinse raw meat or poultry. Rinsing them enables bacteria to spread.
    2. Heat foods to the proper temperature.

  • Color is never a reliable indicator of safely cooked food. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature,typically 165°F.
  • Frying your turkey? Follow these turkey fryer safety tips.
    3. Keep foods at appropriate temperatures.

  • Keep hot foods at 140°F or warmer with chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays.
  • Keep cold foods at 40°F or colder. Nest serving dishes in bowls of ice and store moist desserts, such as pumpkin pie and cakes with whipped frosting, in the refrigerator until serving.
  • Never let food sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.
    4. Store leftovers safely.

  • Divide leftovers into shallow containers, which allow rapid cooling, before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. It enables bacteria to multiply.
  • Use a microwave or oven to reheat foods to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Eat refrigerated leftover food within three to four days.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Duck Fat

    Duck fat has long been a staple in the kitchens of top chefs. Like bacon fat, duck fat enhances the flavor of anything it touches.

    One of the finest animal fats for cooking, it actually is low in saturated fat. As an ingredient, it has a silky mouth feel, subtle flavor and a high smoke point, which makes it valuable for high-heat cooking like French fries or pan searing.

    Other benefits include deep browning and the ability to re-use the fat after cooking with it (strain it into a container).


    Recent studies on duck fat show that it is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, making it one of healthiest animal fats you can eat.

  • Duck fat contains only 33% saturated fat; 62% is unsaturated fat (13.7% of which is polyunsaturated fat, containing Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential oils).
  • Duck fat is closer nutritionally to olive oil, with 75% monounsaturated fat, 13% saturated fat, 10% omega-6 linoleic acid and 2% omega-3 linoleic acid, than it is to other animal fats.
  • It’s high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that actually helps keep cholesterol numbers in check (it’s the same fat that makes olive oil heart-healthy).
  • Most of the saturated fat is stearic acid, which is generally considered to be heart friendly.

    Duck Fat Uses

    TOP PHOTO: Duck Fat-Potato Galette with Caraway and Sweet Onions from Bon Appetit. Here’s the recipe. BOTTOM PHOTO: A French classic: confit leg of duck in cassoulet, with duck bacon. Photo courtesy Payard | NYC.

  • Duck fat has less saturated fat than butter, (which has 51%).
  • High use of duck fat equals lower heart disease. In the southwest of France, where duck is the go-to cooking fat, the incidence of cardiovascular disease is about half that of the rest of France—which, per the French paradox, is already less than half that of the U.S.
    While the USDA may never declare duck fat to be heart-healthy like olive oil, you can use it without guilt. You have plenty of time to try it: It keeps frozen for six months or longer.

    Use duck fat as you would any other animal fat, in the same quantity and manner (melted vs. solid, cold vs. room temperature, for example) as the fat you’re replacing.

  • In place of a stick of butter, use a half cup of duck fat.
  • For a drizzle of oil, use a drizzle of slightly warmed duck fat.
  • When using duck fat for deep frying, gently melt the solid fat over medium-high heat until it completely liquefies; then raise the temperature to high to bring the fat up to the proper frying temperature.
    Use Duck Fat At Breakfast

  • Eggs: fried or scrambled eggs, omelets, frittatas, etc. cooked in duck fat.
  • Potatoes: hash browns cooked in duck fat.
    Use Duck Fat At Lunch & Dinner

  • Biscuits and popovers.
  • Classic French dishes such as cassoulet, confit de canard and rillettes.
  • Potatoes: French fries, galettes and roasted potatoes will be even crisper. Use it instead of butter in mashed potatoes.
  • Poultry: Instead of rubbing the bird with butter or oil before roasting, use duck fat for crisper skin. Rub some softened duck fat under the skin of the breasts and inside the cavity; massage it into the skin; then seasoning and roast in a hot oven.
  • Salad dressing: Substitute heated (liquid) duck fat for the oil, and pair with a fruity vinegar. Serve immediately after tossing with greens.
  • Searing: Give fish and seafood, meats and poultry, fish and shellfish an evenly browned, flavorful crust.
  • Vegetables: Sautéed or roasted, a little duck fat goes a long way in adding richness and facilitating caramelization.
  • Savory pie crusts: pot pie and quiche.

    D'artgnan Duck Fat

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    You can buy duck fat from companies that specialize in pates and charcuterie, like D’Artagnan and Aux Delices. Photos courtesy


    Use Duck Fat To Make Desserts & Snacks

  • Donuts: Fry them in duck fat—really! It adds a depth of flavor.
  • Popcorn: Pop the corn in it duck fat.
  • Pastry: It makes crisp, golden puffed pastry, tender, flaky pâté brisée and short crust pastry. Use a 50:50 duck fat:butter blend for most baking recipes. If using it as a replacement for lard, use an equal measure.


  • Gourmet/specialty food stores.
  • Your local butcher or anywhere raw or cooked duck* is sold.
  • Your local poultry farmer.
  • Online: from D’artagnan.
    *Gourmet take-out shops that sell rotisserie duck should have lots of it.




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