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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.

PRODUCT: A Better Pasta Sauce From Vino De Milo

hilo-by-milo-230w

You won’t find more nutritious pasta sauce
than this! Photo courtesy Vino de Milo.

 

We first discovered Vino de Milo in 2005. It was a new line of gourmet tomato sauces for pasta and other dishes. Each flavor had a different wine in the recipe. It was a delight atop our pasta, chicken, eggs and tofu, and wonderful for gift-giving to cooks and non-cooks alike.

But not every new product line survives and thrives. Some of our favorites have gone with the wind.

That’s why we’re so pleased that Vino de Milo has grown and expanded, with bruschetta toppings, salad dressings and salsas.

We love that the pasta sauces and the bruschetta toppings, both made from top-quality tomatoes that are so naturally sweet, have no sugar added. Americans consume a ghastly 22 teaspoons of sugar a day (the government recommends only nine teaspoons), much of it from “hidden” sugar added to prepared foods. Read the full review.

Now, the company has added nutrition to its pasta sauce. Hilo by Milo is a high fiber, low sodium pasta sauce with a great nutritional profile. Per 3/4 cup serving, it has:

  • 5 g fiber
  • 4 g protein
  • 150 mg sodium
  • 110 calories
  •  

    The sauce uses crushed tomatoes, of course. But added to them are other fresh ingredients: fresh carrots, adzuki beans, currant purée, fresh onions, onion powder, red wine, fresh fennel, garlic powder, fresh basil, fresh thyme, cumin, black pepper, rosemary and crushed red pepper.

    Yes, you can taste the freshness!

    Like the other Vino de Milo pasta sauces, it is made in small batches with no added sugars added and is gluten-free.

    The products can be ordered from iGourmet.com.
     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pulled Pork Sliders Or Sandwiches With Cabbage Slaw

    Planning to host a group for Labor Day? If you have access to a smoker, Chef David Venable recommends Smoked Mexican Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw. Alternatively, you can buy a barbecued pork butt, ready to heat and eat; or make it in a slow cooker.

    You can serve full-size sandwiches or smaller sliders.

    “If you’re having a big party,” says David, “these Mexican Pulled Pork Sandwiches are a great way to really stretch your dollar and it’s easy to double or even triple the recipe. Smoking the large cut of meat packs in incredible flavor.”

    Find more of David Venable’s recipes at QVC.com.

    RECIPE: PULLED PORK SANDWICHES

    Ingredients For The Pork Sandwiches

  • 4-5 pounds pork butt (bone-in or boneless)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 envelope Sazón Adobo seasoning (Goya or other brand)
  • 10-12 of your favorite rolls for sliders or sandwiches
  •  
    Plus Your Favorite Toppings

  • Cheese
  • Cole slaw (recipe below)
  • Pickles
  • Red onion or sweet onion (like Vidalia)
  • Tomatoes
  •    

    pulled-pork-sliders-davidvenableQVC-230

    Top the pulled pork with the cabbage slaw. Photo courtesy QVC.

     
    Pork Preparation

    1. PREHEAT a smoker to 250°F and also prepare the wood chips. Using gloves, rub the taco seasoning and adobo liberally on the pork butt. Smoke for 4-5 hours, or until tender.

    2. REMOVE the pork butt and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Then shred the meat into a bowl with two forks.

    3. ASSEMBLE the sandwiches: Place the desired amount of pork on the bottom half of a roll and top with the cabbage slaw.

     

    pulled-pork-sliders-davidvenableQVC-horiz-230

    Don’t want the bun? Eat it from the bowl! Photo courtesy QVC.

     

    RECIPE: CABBAGE SLAW (COLE SLAW)

    Ingredients

  • 3 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the cabbage, peppers, corn and cilantro in a large bowl.

    2. WHISK together mayo, lime juice, vinegar, honey, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the dressing to the cabbage mixture and toss to coat.

    3. REFRIGERATE until you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches.
     
    WHO INVENTED SLIDERS?

    A slider is a small sandwich, typically around 3 inches in diameter, served in a bun. The term primarily refers to small burgers, but can also include any small sandwich served on a slider roll.

    According to citations in Wikipedia, the name may have originated aboard U.S. Navy ships in the 1940s or 1950s. The name was inspired by the way greasy burgers slid across the galley grill while the ship pitched and rolled. A “slider with a lid” was a cheeseburger. White Castle trademarked the spelling variant “Slyder.”

    Today, gourmet sliders—bison, venison, Wagyu beef, etc.—are served as an hors d’oeuvre, amuse-bouche, or in multiples as an entrée.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Farmers Market Shopping Tips

    One of our favorite weekly recreations is strolling through our local farmers market. We love looking at the farm-fresh, locally-grown produce, baked goods, cheeses and seafood pulled fresh from the ocean. We love finding things we’d never find in a retail store. Purslane, anyone?

    You meet nice people, too. Aside from the farmers themselves, the customers can be helpful, sharing “finds” and cooking tips. Last week, one gentlemen pulled out his wallet to help us when he thought we didn’t have enough cash to pay for our heirloom tomatoes!

    Don’t expect bargains at a farmers market: You’re getting top quality, fresh-picked produce grown by small family farmers. We could pay less for peaches at Trader Joe’s, shipped in from who knows where. We save where we can, but we’re glad that we can afford to help keep family farms in business.

    Birds & Blooms magazine consulted farmers nationwide to create a comprehensive guide to the proper etiquette and best tips for shopping at farmers markets. Here are our top ten (the full list of 33 tips can be found here):

  • Go early. When we tarry and arrive after noon, the fresh corn is almost always gone. It’s also fun to watch the stands set up, and to enjoy the early morning air on a nice day.
  •    

    hollywood-farmers-market-.net-230

    A walk through a farmers market is a food
    lover’s joy. Photo courtesy Hollywood Farmers
    Market
    . Wish we were there right now!

     

  • Bring cash. Most markets are a strictly cash business. Credit and debit cards not only erode profits by taking a fee with each purchase, but renting the electronic scanners also erodes the already-low profit margins.
  • Don’t haggle! Traditions from the flea market do not port over to the farmers market. Farmers are almost always giving you the best price they can while still making a profit. Be happy to pay in full—you’re not only getting better, fresher produce, you’ll also be supporting a local farm.
  • Bring your own tote bags. Having a reusable bag is eco-friendly and also cuts out the number of plastic bags farmers have to pay for.
  •  

    tomatoes-greenbeans-birdsandblooms-230

    Handle gently! Photo courtesy Birds and
    Blooms.

     
  • Look around before buying. We are guilty of shopping at the first stand we encounter, only to find that the same item costs 50¢ a pound less, just five stands away. Walk the market first to compare prices and products; then decide where to spend your money.
  • Respect the produce. While you typically inspect the fruit and veggies and help yourself, remember that many of these items are fragile. Do your best to handle everything with great care, and not to tear up a display in search of the perfect bunch of basil.
  • Don’t spurn imperfections. Some heirloom varieties may not look as perfect as supermarket varieties (that’s why they’re heirlooms, not mainstream). But even though that tomato looks strangely lumpy, you can bet that it will taste a lot better than the perfect-looking one from the store. And once it’s sliced, you won’t notice.
  • Ask questions. Farmers love to talk about what they raise, as long as they aren’t super busy. They often take great pride in educating customers about their farms and their wares. Ask questions, and soak it all in.
  •  

  • Be adventurous. First, try something you haven’t tried before. The farmer can suggest how to prepare it, or you can look online.
  • Get tips from the farmer. Ask how long the eggs, dairy products, produce or baked goods should last, and what can be kept on the counter versus the fridge.
  •  
    TO FIND A FARMERS MARKET NEAR YOU, VISIT LOCALHARVEST.ORG.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: More To Do With Mozzarella

    You love it on pizza, lasagna, pannini and in a Caprese salad. But there‘s more you can do with mozzarella.

    For example, Crave Brothers, Wisconsin-based producers of award-winning cheeses, say that mozzarella and fresh vegetables were made for each other.

    Think beyond the eight-ounce or one-pound balls of mozzarella to other sizes:

  • Perlini (per-LEE-nee), tiny pearl size balls.
  • Ciliegine (CHEEL-yay-genie), the size of cherry tomatoes.
  • Bocconcini (bow-cawn-CHEE-nee), ball size.
  • Ovoline (oh-voe-LEE-nee), egg size.
  • Medallions, pre-sliced from one-pound logs.
  •  
    Then, decide how to use them.

    MORE WAYS TO USE MOZZARELLA CHEESE

  • Appetizer Skewers. Ciliegine are the perfect size for skewers, along with cherry tomatoes and other vegetables, cubed meats or rolled proscuitto.
  •  

    Perlini-230

    What would you do with perlini, pearls of mozzarella? Photo by Melody Lan | THE NIBBLE.

  • Cooked Vegetables. Pearline create tasty dots of mozzarella, strewn across hot or chilled cooked vegetables.
  • Fruit Salads. Another way to enjoy fruit and cheese! For dessert, try ciliegine and melon balls with snipped basil and a light vinaigrette dressing.
  • Green Salads, Pasta Salads. Toss the smaller sizes into green salads or pasta salads. They elevate

     
    RECIPE: STRING BEAN SALAD WITH CUCUMBER & MOZZARELLA

    Here’s how the Crave brothers are enjoying their mozzarella: with green beans and cucumbers.

    Ingredients

  • Steamed green beans, room temperature
  • Cucumber slices
  • Perlini
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh herbs—basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, thyme or other favorite
  • Dressing: fruity vinaigrette, with olive oil and berry- or cherry-infused vinegar; or a balsamic vinaigrette
  •  
    Preparation

    1. TOSS all ingredients. Since there are no greens to get soggy, you can do this ahead of time.

    2. SERVE chilled or at room temperature.

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: Lemonade Recipes For National Lemonade Day

    sparkling-melon-lemonade-zulka-230

    Melon lemonade, an inspired idea. Photo
    courtesy Zulka Sugar.

     

    According to chef and food historian Clifford A. Wright, the all-American summer drink, lemonade, may have had its origin in medieval Egypt. It’s hard to tell, because while the fruit originated farther to the east, the earliest written evidence of lemonade comes from Egypt.

    The wild lemon originated in Assam, India and northern Burma. It was cultivated, and travelers brought it to China, across Persia and the Arab world to the Mediterranean.

    The wild fruit was very acidic and filled with seeds. Given the scarcity of sweeteners, it was initially used as an ornamental tree in early Islamic gardens, producing fragrant blossoms.

    The trade in lemon juice and lemonade was quite considerable by 1104, says Wright. Documents from the Cairo Geniza, the medieval Jewish community in Cairo from the tenth through thirteenth centuries, show that bottles of lemon juice were mixed with lots of sugar, consumed locally and exported.

    So you can celebrate today, National Lemonade Day, with our classic lemonade recipe, make the Sparkling Melon Lemonade recipe below, or spike it with a clear spirit, particularly gin, tequila or vodka.

     
    The recipe is courtesy of Zulka Morena, manufacturers of premium quality sugars. You can find more sweet recipes on the website.

    RECIPE: SPARKLING MELON LEMONADE

    Ingredients For 3 Quarts

  • 8-10 cups chopped melon (you use any—watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.—but a half watermelon is ideal)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Sparkling water or club soda
  • Optional garnish: melon balls and fresh mint
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE a simple syrup: Combine water and sugar in a small sauce pan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Chill completely before using.

    2. PURÉE the melon in batches with some of the lemon juice and simple syrup, using a blender or food processor. Use even amounts of each ingredient each time. Combine all batches once blended in a large 3 quart pitcher, and chill at least 4 hours.

    3. TO SERVE: Fill large glasses with ice and then halfway with the melon mixture. Top with sparkling water and stir.

     

    MORE LEMONADE RECIPES

  • Lavender Lemonade Recipe
  • Peach Lemonade Recipe
  • Spicy Lemonade Recipe
  •  
    THE HARD STUFF: LEMONADE WITH SPIRIT

    RECIPE: LONDON LEMONADE GIN COCKTAIL

    This elegant cocktail is a world apart from bottled hard lemonade, and takes less than three minutes to put together. It’s perfect for brunch, outdoor parties, warm days and menus that go with lemonade.
     
    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice
  •  
    Preparationl

    1. FILL a shaker with ice and add ingredients. Shake vigorously for one minute.

     

    london-lemonade-beefeater-230

    Add some gin, tequila or vodka for a lemonade cocktail. Photo courtesy Beefeater Gin.

    2. POUR into a collins glass. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with a straw.
     

    MORE LEMONADE COCKTAIL RECIPES

  • Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail Recipe
  • Lemonade 485 Cocktail Recipe
  • Limoncello Lemonade Recipe
  • Tequila Lemonade Recipe
  • Saké Lemonade Recipe
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: White Cosmopolitan

    Hey there, Carrie Bradshaw: How about a White Cosmopolitan?

    This recipe, from Grey Goose Vodka, uses white cranberry juice instead of red cranberry juice, plus Grey Goose L’Orange vodka.

    (A bonus: spill it and it doesn’t stain like a Red Cosmo.)

    RECIPE: WHITE COSMOPOLITAN

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 3 parts orange-flavored vodka
  • 1/2 part premium orange liqueur
  • Splash of white cranberry juice
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • Garnish: orange peel
  •  

    Preparation

     

    white-cosmo-grey-goose-230

    A White Cosmo. Photo courtesy Grey Goose.

     
    1. SHAKE all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a Martini glass.

    2. GARNISH with an orange peel.
     

    A White Cosmopolitan is appropriate any time of the year. It looks like it belongs at the beach, for sure.

    But imagine a holiday tray of both Red Cosmos and White Cosmos, perhaps with a tiny mint leaf or a sprig evergreen-like rosemary floating atop for garnish.

    Or, go red, white and blue by adding a bit of blue food color to part of the White Cosmo recipe.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Waffle Bowls (Ice Cream Cone Cups)

    strawberry-sundae-cup-230

    Strawberry sundae in a cone cup. Photo
    courtesy Joy Cone Co.

     

    Can’t decide between a cup of ice cream or a cone? Have two in one with a cone cup, a.k.a. waffle bowl.

    Perfect for customers who have trouble deciding whether they want their ice cream served in a cone or a dish, this waffle bowl from Joy Cone Company offers the best of both worlds!

    Joy, world’s largest ice cream cone company, has been family owned and operated since 1918. It’s proof that you can be the biggest and still turn out a top-quality product.

    The cones and cone cups are made with a blend of cake and pastry flours that produce a light-tasting cone with subtly sweet taste that does not overpower the ice cream—and can be used for savory recipes as well.

    The waffle bowl uses the same batter as the company’s waffle cone. Dark brown sugar is used in the recipe. Many other brands, says Joy, use white or liquid sugar with added molasses, which gives a burnt aftertaste when compared to Joy’s recipe.

    Beyond sundaes, you can use these bowls for numerous sweet and savory recipes. The sturdy waffle bowl does not get soggy.

     
    Sweet Foods & Snacks In Waffle Bowls

  • Apple pie a la mode: vanilla ice cream topped with apple pie filling
  • Custard, mousse, pudding, yogurt
  • Frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbet
  • Fruit: grapes, fruit salad, apple slices and dip
  • Lemon meringue pie: prepared lemon pie filling and meringue topping
  • Oatmeal and other cereal
  • Snack cups filled with trail mix, candy corn, whatever
  •  

    Nonsweet Foods In Waffle Bowls

  • Asian chicken salad
  • Carrot salad, broccoli carrot slaw, apple slaw
  • Chicken salad with grapes
  • Crudités and dip
  • Shrimp salad
  •  
    Let your creativity be your guide.

    Here’s a store locator for the waffle bowls.

    ICE CREAM CONE HISTORY

    Most sources, including the International Dairy Foods Association, say that the first ice cream cone was produced in New York City in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. An Italian immigrant, he was granted a patent in December 1903 for “small pastry cups with sloping sides.” The bottoms were flat, not conical, much like today’s molded cones.

     

    broccoli-salad-230

    Broccoli salad, one of numerous savory salads that can be served in waffle cups. Photo courtesy Joy Cone Co.

     

    Another story cites an independent creation accidentally born at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. According to the story, Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire, was selling a crisp, waffle-like pastry called zalabia*; as were other concessionaires. A neighboring ice cream vendor ran out of clean glass dishes. Hamwi rolled one of his waffles into the shape of a cornucopia; the fresh-made “cone” cooled in a few seconds and the ice cream vendor was able to put a scoop of ice cream in it. Three different ice cream vendors claimed credit. In a 1928 letter to the Ice Cream Trade Journal, Hamwi reported that it was either Arnold Fornachou or Charles Menches who ran the ice cream booth next to him.

    Others also lay claim. But while the ice cream cone was popularized in America, it was not invented here.

    Robin J. Weir, co-author of the book, Frozen Desserts, has spent years researching this topic. He purchased a print dated 1807 of a young woman eating an ice cream cone at the Gardens Of Frascati, a Parisian café known for its ices. Was it glass or edible? It’s hard to tell. An 1820 print of an ice cream seller in Naples shows glass cones on his cart.

    This is a story shrouded in the mists of history—and the real answer may still be out there. Here’s more about the invention of the ice cream cone.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Chioggia Beets

    chioggia-beets-matchsticks-beeraw-230

    Chioggia beets, candy striped by nature.
    Photo courtesy BeeRaw.com.

     

    Some vegetables just engender a smile. For us, watermelon radish and chioggia beets are two of these, both charmingly candy striped by nature.

    It’s so much fun to find them at farmers markets and add them to salads and crudité plates.

    This show-stopping salad is made of raw chioggia (pronounced kee-OH-juh) beets, also known as bullseye beets, candy cane beets and candy stripe beets.

    The chioggia is impressive for its dramatic presentation and in this recipe (photo at left) it is combined with other simple, bright flavors. A bonus: this variety of beet doesn’t bleed, which good news for those of us who have stained an item or two with beet juice.

    The recipe is courtesy Bee Raw honey, which made it with their clover honey.

    A beet-washing tip: While it can be tempting to scrub away at the beet skin with a vegetable brush, it’s delicate. Be gentle.

     
    Cooking Chioggia Beets

    If you think about cooking them in a subsequent recipe, note that heat causes the pink rings to fade. Sadly, what nature giveth, nature taketh away. This also happens with other unusually colored foods, like purple asparagus.

    You can boil them with a spoonful of lemon juice or white vinegar to keep the color from fading. But that’s why using them raw in a salad, or pickled, is ideal.

    You can find chioggia beets at farmers markets and some specialty food markets. Note that if you’re storing the beets, first cut the greens from the root; then place them in separate plastic bags in the fridge.

    RECIPE: RAW CHIOGGIA BEET SALAD WITH HONEY VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients For 4 To 6 Servings

  • 3-4 medium chioggia beets (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds) (substitute another beet variety if chioggia isn’t available)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (substitute edamame)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: We added sliced red onion (substitute green onions), a garnish of goat cheese (substitute feta) and a garnish of chopped fresh mint (substitute basil)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. WASH and dry the beets. Cut the beets into uniform matchstick-sized pieces; place in a medium to large bowl.

    2. CHOP pistachios; set aside.

    3. WHISK together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and honey in a small bowl. Toss with beets and optional onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    4. PLATE salads on individual plates and and sprinkle with pistachios and optional goat cheese and herbs. Serve immediately.
     
    MORE ABOUT CHIOGGIA BEETS

    Beets, Beta vulgaris, are a member of the Amaranth family, Amaranthaceae, along with lamb’s quarters, purslane, Swiss chard and quinoa, among many others. Heirloom chioggia beets were noted in northern Italy before 1840. They are named after a fishing village near Venice. The variety arrived in the U.S. prior to 1865.

     

    chioggia-whole-and-sliced-goodeggs-230

    Chioggia beets, whole and sliced. Photo courtesy GoodEggs.com.

     

    The light red skin looks like many other beets, but the candy striped white and red rings inside are a visual treat. The flesh is very tender, mild and sweet without the earthiness that some people don’t like in conventional red beets.

    The beet is a root vegetable; it is known as beetroot in the U.K. and other Commonwealth countries. The wild beet is thought to have originated in prehistoric times in North Africa, and later grew wild along Asian and European seashores. Surprisingly, given the constant quest for food, early people ate the beet greens only.

    The ancient Romans were among the first to cultivate beets and eat the roots. The tribes that invaded Rome after the fall were carried beets throughout northern Europe. There, they were initially used as animal fodder and later for human consumption. [Source]

    Beets became more popular in the 16th century but really became prominent in the 19th century, when it was discovered that they were a concentrated source of sugar.

    Enjoy them baked, pickled, roasted, sautéed, steamed or sliced or grated raw in a salad. Consider baking them with yellow squash and/or zucchini and any herbs, tossed in olive oil for 30 minutes at 350°F (the pretty chioggia stripes will not survive the heat). These baked veggies are delicious plain, but toward the end you can add grated cheese for a gratiné.

  • You can also toss in leftover chicken, meat or fish, and a top of mashed potatoes (like shepherd’s pie).
  • Don’t forget to sauté the beet greens. Cook them like chard or spinach, in olive oil with a sliced garlic clove. It’s especially nice if you have some bacon fat to throw in.
  •  
    Beet Nutrition

  • Beets are very low in fat and have no cholesterol. They are a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium and manganese, and a good source of iron, magnesium and vitamin C.
  • For those avoiding sugar should note that a 4.8 ounce serving has 9g sugar.
  • Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beets their red color, is a powerful antioxidant that is believed to protect against heart disease, birth defects and colon cancer, among others.
  •   

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Fischer & Wieser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

    fisher-wieser-raspberry-chipotle-sauce-230

    Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
    is an award winning condiment. Photo
    courtesy Fischer & Wieser.

     

    Perhaps we’re in a raspberry state of mind. Yesterday we recommended the delicious jam from Chad’s Raspberry Kitchen. Today it’s the Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce from Fischer & Wieser.

    The motto of the Fischer & Wieser specialty foods company is “inspiring your culinary adventure.” The company manufactures more than a hundred items, but the one that lingers in our memory is smoky Raspberry Chipotle Sauce.

    A blend of raspberries and chipotle peppers, it is a smokey, sweet and spicy condiment for meat, fish or poultry. We mix it with a bit of mayo for a sandwich spread, and also enjoy it with scrambled eggs or an omelet. It is delectable!

    You can’t run out of ways to use it. For example:

  • Bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeños
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Baked beans
  • Brie en croute
  • Chicken dippers
  • Cowboy coleslaw
  • Easy appetizer with cream cheese and crackers
  • Grilled beef or pork tenderloin or roast
  • Grilled salmon
  • Kebabs
  • Ribs
  • Shrimp tacos
  • Salsa
  • Sandwiches (great with ham and cheese)
  • Spinach salad and other salad dressings
  • Steak
  • Stuffed chicken breasts
  • Tomato and feta salad
  • Turkey
  • Wings
  • Don’t forget dessert:

  • Bread Pudding
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Sherry Sauce
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Melon Salad
  • Peach sorbet
  •  
    All of the recipes can be found on the company website. There’s even one for a spicy Margarita.

     

    WHERE TO FIND IT

    Raspberry Chipotle Sauce is sold online, at specialty food stores, club stores and grocery stores in the U.S., and internationally in Canada, Mexico and the U.K. We really like it as a small house gift, party favor or stocking stuffer.

    A 15.75-ounce bottle is $8.74 on Amazon.com; a 40-ounce bottle is $17.95.

    From its origins as a road-side peach stand, Fischer & Wieser now produces more than one hundred products in the same tradition as their first jar of peach preserves. Nestled in the fruitful farmland of the Texas Hill Country, Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods, Inc. is still family owned and operated. But it’s now a bustling international company that has become the number one specialty food company in Texas.

    The company’s URL reflects its origins: Jelly.com.

    Fischer & Wieser recommends “sauce pooling,” serving a grilled, roasted or poached protein (in the photo, roasted turkey) with an assortment of sauces and other condiments. It’s our friend Andy’s favorite way of eating!

     

    turkey-sauce-plate-fisherwieser-230

    Fischer & Wieser recommends “sauce pooling,” serving a plain protein with an assortment of sauces and other condiments. Photo courtesy Fischer & Wieser.

     

      

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    TIP: Easy Appetizer Napoleons

    mushroom-avocado-napoleons-calavocomm-230

    Avocado-portabella napoleon with lavash
    layers. Photo © Delicious Knowledge |
    California Avocado Commission

     

    When most of us think of napoleons, we think of a mille-feuille (millefoglie in Italian), filled with custard.

    Mille-feuille means “thousand leaves,” three rectangular sheets of puff pastry spread with Bavarian cream, pastry cream, whipped cream, custard, jam or fruit purée, often dusted with confectioner’s sugar, and cut into individual rectangular portions. When filled with custard and iced with chocolate, the pastry is called a napoleon.

    But there are savory napoleons too. And in this recipe by Alexandra Caspero | Redux Recipe for the California Avocado Commission, they’re a lot easier to make than their pastry counterparts.

    Instead of using the tricky puff pastry or phyllo, this recipe uses lavash, the Middle Eastern flatbread. You can substitute another soft flatbread, such as a tortilla.

    Napoleon History

    The mille-feuille is most likely a descendant of layered phyllo pastries like baklava. It is believed that the napoleon, and mille-feuille pastry, was developed by the great chef Antoine Carême. See mille-feuille. Three layers of puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) are filled with pastry cream and iced with fondant.

     
    An “American napoleon” has a heavily marbleized chocolate and vanilla fondant top, looking more like Jackson Pollack than the neat French napoleon. An “Italian napoleon” adds layers of rum-soaked sponge cake. Some variations layer fruit, such as raspberries, in the pastry cream.

    Food fact: The napoleon pastry was not named after France’s famous general and emperor. The name is believed to be a corruption of the word “napolitain” (napolitano in Italian), referring to a pastry made in the tradition of Naples, Italy.

    RECIPE: VEGETABLE NAPOLEON APPETIZERS

    This stack of grilled portabella mushrooms and creamy avocados layered between crispy lavash with a lemon-basil mayo, is a delicious vegetarian appetizer or a fancy snack.

    You can vary the vegetables.

  • For the mushroom: summer squash, zucchini or other grilled vegetable(s)
  • For the avocado: onion, tomato
  • For the spinach: arugula, watercress,
  •  

    You can also add another element or two; for example, thinly-sliced cucumber (plain or marinated) or sprouts.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1 portabella mushroom cap*, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large ripe avocado (about 8 ounces), peeled, seeded and
    sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chiffonade (thinly strips)
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 whole-wheat lavash wrap, cut into 6 equal pieces (substitute tortillas or other flavorful wraps)
  •  

    portabella-burpee-230

    Portabella mushroom caps. Photo courtesy Burpee.com.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly rub olive oil into mushroom slices, season with salt/pepper or all-purpose seasoning. When pan is hot, add mushroom slices and grill 3-4 minutes per side, until slightly charred. Remove from grill and set aside.

    2. ADD the sliced lavash pieces to the grill and heat 1-2 minutes per side until crispy. Remove and set aside.

    3. MAKE the lemon-basil mayonnaise: Combine the mayo, lemon juice, zest, and sliced basil.

    4. ASSEMBLE: Spread the mayonnaise on 4 slices of lavash bread. Stack with avocado slices, spinach and mushrooms. Top with a piece of lavash without spread. Add another layer of avocado, spinach, mushroom. Top with the final piece of lavash, spread side down.

     
    *Reserve the stems for an omelet or scramble, or slice for a salad.

      

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