THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.

TIP OF THE DAY: Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller With Bacon

Oysters Rockefeller With Cheese

Oysters Rockefeller

[1] Many Oysters Rockefeller recipes look something like this (here’s the recipe from Tide & Thyme). [2] Some add bacon (photo courtesy Arch Rock Fish). [3] Some have more sauce (here Mornay, a cheese sauce) than veggies (photo courtesy My Honeys Place. [4] An approximation of Antoine’s original recipe (photo courtesy Saveur Magazine).

 

January 10th was the first-ever Oysters Rockefeller Day.

It was celebrated big-time in New Orleans, where it was first created at Antoine’s Restaurant.

Today, consider your own twist on the world-famous dish.

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER HISTORY

Oysters Rockefeller was invented in 1899 by Jules Antoine Alciatore at the end of Gilded Age. (Jules was the son of restaurant founder Antoine Alciatore, who passed in 1874 and was succeeded by his wife, then his son. The restaurant is still going strong in the hands of the fifth generation, and is America’s oldest family-run restaurant).

Served as an appetizer or first course created , the dish was named after John D. Rockefeller Sr. (1839 – 1937), who is considered to be the wealthiest American of all time and—by a majority of sources—the richest person in modern history.

As necessity is the mother of invention, the dish was created because of a shortage of imported French escargots needed for his father’s signature recipe, Escargots Bourguignon: snails in a butter sauce of garlic, parsley and shallots, the first Antoine substituted brandy for the traditional white wine.

With the shortage of snails and the waning interest in escargots, Jules Antoine created a replacement with local oysters, always available.

The original sauce recipe is a secret, but is a purée of a several green vegetables: flat-leaf parsley, celery leaves, tarragon leaves, chervil and green onions, seasoned with salt, a dash of hot sauce and anise liqueur.

There was no spinach, the green most often used in copycat versions.

Oysters on the half-shell are topped with the sauce and bread crumbs, and then baked (now often broiled). They are served as an appetizer, first course or starter—different terms for the first dish of a multi-course sit-down meal.

Why Oysters “Rockefeller?”

The dish was named for the intense richness of its flavored roux (a paste, not a cream sauce, deemed “rich enough for Rockefeller”—John D. Rockefeller Sr., the richest man in history). The greens contributed the color of money. As with the escargots, there was anise liqueur.

From what can be deduced, in Antoine’s original Oysters Rockefeller recipe, oysters on the half shell are topped with herbed breadcrumbs, butter and cream, then baked.

The herbs and proportions are secret, but sleuths have determined that they include flat-leaf Italian parsley, celery leaves, tarragon leaves, chervil and green onions. Seasonings included salt, pepper and hot sauce.

This became a “wow” dish in New Orleans, where oysters were popularly served on the half shell, but not incorporated into complex recipes.

There is no record that Rockefeller (who died of arteriosclerosis) ever ate the dish.
 
Chefs Make Oysters Rockefeller Variations

A later variation of the recipe substituted spinach for most of the herbs, which is mainstream today.

Some leave off the breadcrumbs and purée the green herbs/vegetables, creating a smooth green cloak over the entire oyster. Some mince the greens and mix them into the breadcrumbs.

Over the years, other chefs garnished the recipe with shredded Gruyere or Parmesan, some with a thick layer of melted cheese covering both the oysters and the sauce.

Bacon inevitably worked its way in.

 

You can make your own signature recipe (more about that below), working off of this template—which of course isn’t the secret recipe, but a re-imagining of Antoine’s recipe by Saveur magazine.

RECIPE: OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

We adapted this recipe from Saveur, which attempted to recreate the original. You can see it in Photo #4, the last photo above.

The oysters are topped with a roux full of herbs and vegetables. Saveur’s variations from the original include:

  • Celery ribs instead of celery leaves.
  • Scallions instead of shallots (scallions are more flavorful; shallots are sweet and mild with a hint of garlic).
  • Cayenne instead of hot sauce.
  • Broiled instead of baked.
  •  
    As an appetizer, we prefer three large oysters. If you’re serving a big meal, two will suffice. And, if you’re having a NIBBLE-style eight-course meal, one will do.

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 12 fresh oysters, chilled (the larger the better, not kumamotos)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 scallions, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, minced
  • 2 sprigs tarragon, stemmed and minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, stemmed and minced, plus sprigs to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon anisette, Pernod or other anise liqueur
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white* pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
  • Rock salt
  • Optional garnish: parsley or tarragon sprigs or whatever appeals to you
  •  
    We decorated the dishes with slender, red cayenne chiles for color—not meant to be eaten. But two guests ate them nevertheless!

    Variations For Your Signature Oysters Rockefeller

    Create your own signature version. Call it Oysters Rockefeller à la [Your Name].

  • Anchovy paste (1 teaspoon)
  • Anise flair: fennel instead of celery, anise liqueur, optional basil
  • Anise be gone: substitute watercress for the tarragon and brandy, sherry or wine for the liqueur
  • Brandy or white wine instead of the liqueur
  • Bread crumbs: panko, crunchy Japanese bread crumbs, instead of fresh crumbs
  • Gruyère, Jarlsberg or Parmesan (1/4 cup or less)
  • Heatless: nutmeg or Worcestershire sauce instead of cayenne
  • Homage to the original inspiration: escargots instead of oysters
  • Pipe the topping, like Duchess Potatoes
  • Spinach lovers: substitute spinach for 3/4 or more of the parsley
  • Surf and turf: add bacon, pork belly, crisped prosciutto
  • Wild card: add whatever you like!
  •  

    Oyster On The Half Shell

    Fresh Tarragon

    Rock Salt

    [5] Be sure to save the oyster liquor (photo courtesy Pangea Shellfish). [6] Tarragon, a popular herb in French cuisine, has an anise-like flavor and aroma (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [7] Rock salt is a good cushion so the oyster fillings don’t spill out when cooking and serving. This fine rock salt is great for serving. You can use a coarser version for baking, if it’s cheaper (photo courtesy The Bite Sized Blog).

     
    Preparation

    1. FILL 2 baking dishes halfway with rock salt. Shuck the oysters over a large measuring cup (e.g. Pyrex with a lip) or bowl to catch their liquor and reserve it (you should have about 1/2 cup). Discard the top shells. Loosen the oysters from the bottoms of their shells with a knife. Nestle 6 shucked oysters in their shells into each bed of rock salt; chill.

    2. MAKE the roux. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook until smooth, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the oyster liquor; cook until the mixture thickens into a paste, about 2 minutes.

    3. STIR in the cayenne, scallions, celery, tarragon, parsley, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until soft, about 1 hour. Transfer to a food processor, add bread crumbs, and process into a smooth paste, about 2 minutes.

    4. HEAT the broiler to high. Place the paste in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ fluted tip. Pipe the paste completely over the oysters. Broil until the paste begins to brown and the oysters are just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Garnish each plate with parsley sprigs.
     
     
    CHECK OUT OUR OYSTER GLOSSARY FOR THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF OYSTERS
    ________________
    *White pepper has been traditionally used by French-trained chefs, to avoid black specks in white or light-colored dishes. White pepper is the conventional peppercorn, Piper nigrum, with the black husk removed. In addition, much of the piperine—the compound that gives pungency to the peppercorn—is in the black husk. Frankly, we like the specks and the extra flavor from the husk, and use black peppercorns universally. If you don’t have white pepper, simply use black pepper. Here are the different types of pepper, including pink peppercorns, green peppercorns and dozens of others, none of which is Piper nigrum.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Sustainable Eating Helps All Of Us

    Black Bean Burger

    Sustainable Seafood

    Malaysian Palm Oil

    Organic Cayenne McCormick

    [1] Black bean burger: Add your favorite condiments garnishes and you’ll love it (here’s the recipe Urban Accents). [2] “Trash fish” look and taste just as good as the big-name fish—for as fraction of the price (photo courtesy Chef Barton Seaver, author of this sustainable fish cookbook). [3] Hello, Malaysian palm oil; buh-bye, canola oil (photo courtesy Food Navigator). [4] Buy the 4-5 spices you use most often in organic versions (photo courtesy McCormick).

     

    You may have successfully conquered the first week of “good eating” in the new year. Congrats!

    Now, can we twist your arm abut eating more sustainably?

    Here are recommendations from Chef Gerard Viverito, Director of Culinary Education for Passionfish, a NGO non-profit organization dedicated to educating people around the globe on the issue of sustainability in the seas.
     
    HOW TO EAT MORE SUSTAINABLY

    1. Eat Less Meat & More Beans.

    Beans, lentils and other legumes are called “nitrogen “fixers.” They convert inert gas from the atmosphere into the type of ammonia needed for plant food, reducing the need to use as much synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

    Livestock is a major driver of deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Livestock requires about 3.9 billion hectares of land for grazing and to produce animal feed. That’s an area that’s five times larger than Australia.

    Deforestation means fewer trees to absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Livestock emissions, including manure and digestive gas, contribute more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than automobile emissions.

    Meatless Mondays is an idea that should evolve into Vegan Mondays. If you’re eating cheese and ice cream, it’s still part of the problem.

    With all the delicious vegan choices—including hearty vegetable stews, pasta, pizza and vegetarian chili—you won’t suffer one day a week. You may even discover new favorite dishes!

    Check out 16 main course bean dishes from Saveur.
     
    2. Buy wild-caught U.S. seafood.

    Yes, it can be more costly than other options, but American fisheries have some of the most stringent ecological rules in the world (and, might we add, health rules—no melamine in your shrimp).

    If we ate what the oceans were sustainably supplying instead of insisting on only a few well-known fish species, we would further cut down on over-fishing our waters.

    Be open to sampling different fish species. The new trend among top chefs is trash fish, a.k.a. rough fish.

    What are trash fish?

    Trash fish are those that travel in schools with more desirable fish, and are often landed as by-catch. Because they don’t have the marketing demand of other fish and thus only command a fraction of the price, fishermen would toss them overboard (trash them) as not worth the effort of processing.

    There is no standard list of trash fish. A fish that is considered trash in one region may be treasure in another. For example, the common carp is considered undesirable in the U.S. and Australia, but is the premier game fish of Europe and the most valuable food fish across most of Asia. Ask your fishmonger what’s available in your area.

    Just because you haven’t heard of something or it sounds weird, don’t pass it by. Dogfish travel in schools with flounder, hake and pollock, three of which have marketing value while the other is in the doghouse.

    In the U.S., 91% of all seafood consumed comes from outside the country. More than two-thirds of all seafood we eat comprises shrimp, salmon, tilapia (almost all farm-raised under dubious conditions) or canned tuna. The oceans offer a wealth of tasty fish, and we only eat four of them.

    Don’t walk away from banded rudderfish, barrel fish, bearded brotula, lionfish, southern stingray, squirrelfish and other strange names. If they didn’t taste good, they wouldn’t be for sale. Here’s more about trash fish.

    There’s even a sustainable fish cookbook—the first of many, no doubt.

     
    3. Use a sustainable cooking oil.

    It doesn’t make sense to buy healthy, sustainable foods and then cook them with oils made from genetically modified plants.

    Try the buttery Malaysian palm oil, which is natural and sustainably produced. Because it has a high smoke point, Malaysian palm oil can be used for grilling, baking and frying without burning and making food taste bad.

    All palm oil is non-GMO, which may be why it’s more affordable than the popular but non-GMO canola oil.

    Note: Be sure it’s Malaysian palm oil. The Malaysian government has commented to growing and processing.

     

    4. Upgrade your favorite spices to organic.

    The use of chemical fertilizers and plant pesticides is a growing concern in the spice industry. But organic spices and herbs can be pricey, so invest in organic only for those that you use all the time.

    McCormick sells more than 22 organic herbs and spices—just about anything you need regularly, including vanilla extract.

    Here’s another money-saving tip: Whole ginger root is a fraction of the price of powdered. Buy a root and cut into 1-inch cubes then toss them into the freezer. Grate a cube whenever a recipe calls for this fragrant spice.
     
    5. Eat more leafy greens, and find more fun preparations.

    Kale, spinach and other leafy greens grow quickly in most climates. This means they have a lower impact on our environment and may require less fertilizer than slower growing veggies.

    Up the kid-friendliness of these greens by making tasty oven-fried veggie chips. Drizzle oil (Malaysian sustainable palm oil, of course) over the greens, sprinkle with salt or other seasonings and then bake in a 350°F oven until slightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Eat the crispy veggies for snacks, as pizza and pasta toppings, add to omelets, etc.

    This great microwave tray from Mastrad lets you make chips in two minutes! We stack them 3-4 trays high for the most chips in the shortest time.

    And of course, there are many, many luscious recipes for leafy greens. All you need to do is look online.
     
    6. Look for “grass-fed,” “organic” or “pasture-raised” beef.

    To come full circle from the first tip, raising livestock takes a big toll on our environment. It uses more than 70% of our agricultural land and is the largest driver of deforestation (which enables greenhouse gases) in the world.

     

    Bake-Fry Spinach Leaves

    [5] Eat more leafy greens: They grow more quickly (photo courtesy Hungry Couple). [6] Enjoy meat, but in smaller portions.

     
    But that doesn’t mean you have to give up meat if you want to eat sustainably. Just choose quality over quantity. When cooking, combine meat with healthy plant-based foods. Throw some black beans into ground beef when making tacos or combine chicken with quinoa when making a casserole.

    Eat as they do in the rest of the world: smaller portions of meat, larger portions of grains and vegetables.
     

    THANKS FOR HELPING

    Adopting even one of these six ideas will make an impact.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Brighten Up Winter Meals

    Grape Salsa Bruschetta

    Goat Cheese Cheesecake

    Salmon With Grape Salsa

    Cod With Grape Salsa

    [1] Start with grape salsa and bruschetta, with wine and beer, as a snack or a first course (photos #1 and #3 courtesy California Table Grape Commission). [2] Another savory appetizer/first course: goat cheese cheesecake. What’s missing? The grape salsa! Here’s the recipe from Love And Olive Oil. [3] Move on to the mains; here, grilled salmon with grape salsa. [4] White cod with grape salsa. Here’s the recipe from Food And Wine.

     

    To add color to a plate of white, beige or brown food with an easy sauce or colorful garnish.

    But if it’s a simply grilled chicken breast or fish fillet, look to salsa.

    Even in the winter months, with no good tomatoes, stone fruits, etc., a colorful, delicious and nutritious sauce can be made from…grapes.

    Salsa is not just for taco chips. The original translation, “sauce,” it was used for millennia before tortilla chips were invented (in the late 1940s, in L.A.).

    RECIPE: GRAPE SALSA

    We adapted this recipe from a suggestion by the California Table Grape Commission.

  • 2 cups seedless grapes, assorted colors
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions) or red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sriracha, jalapeño or other heat to taste
  •  
    Variations

  • Black olives
  • Chopped basil or mint
  • Lemon or orange zest
  • Substitute orange and red peppadews for the grapes
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE or chop the grapes. For a sauce with protein, slice the grapes in half. For salsa with chips or crostini, chop coarsely.

    2. COMBINE all ingredients in medium bowl; mix well.

    3. LET stand at least 1 hour before serving for flavors to meld. Drain excess liquid before serving.

     
    WAYS TO USE GRAPE SALSA

  • Baked Brie
  • Cheese plate condiment
  • Chips
  • Cottage cheese
  • Crostini/bruschetta
  • Greek yogurt
  • Grilled cheese, ham, turkey and other sandwiches
  • Main course sauce (roasted/grilled chicken, fish, pork)
  • Omelet or scrambled eggs
  • Salad: spoon over greens with optional blue/goat cheese crumble
  • Savory cheesecake topping
  • Taco topping
  • Turkey or veggie burger
  •  
    GRAPE NUTRITION

    Grapes are good for you. For those avoiding fruit because of the sugar, grapes have a relatively low glycemic index, with GI values ranging between 43 and 53.

  • 1.5 cups have just 90 calories, no fat, and virtually no sodium.
  • No cholesterol.
  • Lots of antioxidants.
  • An excellent source of vitamins C & K, wit a good supply of other minerals and nutrients.
  • Healthy carbs: A serving contains 24 grams of good carbs and 1 gram of fiber.
  •  
    THE HISTORY OF GRAPES

    Different wild grape varieties were first cultivated around 6000 B.C.E. near northern Iran, between the Black and Caspian seas.

    By 3000 B.C.E. grapes were being cultivated inEgypt and Phoenicia, and by 2000 B.C.E. in Greece.

     
    Viticulture reached Italy, Sicily and North Africa by 1000 B.C.E., and by 500 B.C.E. had spread with the Roman legions to Spain, Portugal and France, and finally across Europe to the British Isles.

    America also had wild grape varieties, which were cultivated in of themselves, and joined by cultivars brought from Europe. In the mid-1800s, a Hungarian expatriate, Colonel Agoston Haraszthy, brought 100,000 cuttings of Vitis vinifera varieties from Europe to California.

    In 1860, English settler William Thompson planted a Mediterranean grape called the Oval Kishmish near Yuba City, north of Sacramento. This popular green grape variety became known as the Thompson Seedless.

    In 1970, per capita consumption of grapes in the U.S. was 2.5 pounds. Today, it’s around 8 pounds.
     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Balsamic Glaze

    If you reduce balsamic vinegar into a syrup, you get balsamic glaze: a luscious condiment for drizzling over savory or sweet dishes. If you haven’t had it, we promise: You’ll be converted.

    With its complex flavors—sweet, sour, fruity—at its simplest use it can enhance anything grilled or roasted, including panini and other grilled sandwiches. It’s also called creme balsamica (balsamic cream) and

    While its origin is in Greek and Italian cuisines, it works with everything from French baked Brie to good old American fried chicken, roasts, chops and grilled fish.

    for marinating, dressing, or finishing any dish. Drizzle it over grilled meats, fish, and poultry. Serve with aged cheeses like parmesan or fresh ones like creamy goat. It’s a delicious surprise over fruits like strawberries or (our personal favorite) figs wrapped in prosciutto.

    USES FOR BALSAMIC GLAZE

    AS A CONDIMENT

  • Glaze meats—ham/pork, lamb, duck or other poultry—by mixing balsamic glaze with preserves (blackberry, currant)
  • Mix with mustard instead of honey mustard
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Dress a caprese salad when tomatoes aren’t at peak (it adds sweetness)
  • Glaze vegetables (especially root vegetables)
  •  
    WITH APPETIZERS & FIRST COURSES

    Drizzle over:

  • Baked Brie (with or without other toppings)
  • Bruschetta
  • Crudités
  • Flatbread
  • Glazed goat cheese tart or goat cheese cheesecake (sweet or savory)
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Salads: bitter greens (arugula, endive, radicchio, radishes, watercress), with or without quartered figs and crumbled goat cheese
  •  
    WITH MAINS

    Drizzle over:

  • Pizza with caramelized onions and smoked gouda; fig and proscuitto
  • Glazed salmon
  • Glazed pork ribs (try a spicy dry rub)
  • Glazed flat iron steak
  • White fish or salmon
  •  
    Use the glaze anywhere you’d use honey as a glaze or seasoning; and with more sophisticated sauces, such as port sauce over beef.
     
    SIDES

    Stir into:

  • Stir into cranberry sauce
  • Glaze onions or brussels sprouts
  • Sautéed greens and other cooked vegetables
  •  
    WITH DESSERTS

    Drizzle over:

  • Angel cake, cheese cake, pound cake
  • Greek yogurt
  • Ice Cream and sorbet
  • Cheese, from fresh cheeses to the oldest Parmesans
  • Fresh, grilled or poached fruit: berries, pears, stone fruit, etc.
  • Frosted cakes
  • Panacotta
  •  
    RECIPE #1: BALSAMIC GLAZE

    It’s easy to make balsamic glaze, and a good idea if you find yourself with too much balsamic on hand. But don’t go out and buy a gallon of the cheapest stuff at a club store. Get something moderately priced: Output = input. Recipe below.

    But buying it is a time saver.

    This recipe makes enough for quite some time. If you want just enough for your current recipe, use the proportions in the brackets

    Ingredients

  • 1 bottle balsamic vinegar [1/2 cup balsamic]
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar* [1 tablespoon brown sugar]
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX the balsamic vinegar with the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved.

    2. BRING to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the glaze is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. The glaze should coat the back of a spoon.

    3. COOL and pour into a lidded ja. Store in the fridge.

       

    Salad With Balsamic Glaze

    Pizza With Balsamic Glaze

    Balsamic Chicken Caprese

    Balsamic Glaze Salmon

    Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

    [1] Use balsamic glaze on bitter greens (photo courtesy A Couple Cooks). [2] Glaze your pizza (photo courtesy For The Love Of Cooking). [3] Whether grilled simply or in a casserole, chicken and balsamic are a match made in heaven (here’s the recipe from Cafe Delites). [4] Salmon and other sturdy fish love a balsamic glaze (here’s the recipe from Cooking Classy). [5] Pork roast with balsamic strawberries (here’s the recipe from Southern Living).

     
    ________________
    *You can substitute agave for lower glycemic; or honey if you prefer it. For a lighter version, substitute apple juice.
    ________________
     
    RECIPE #2: BALSAMIC GLAZE NACHOS

    We love this take on nachos from Half Baked Harvest (photo #5, below).

    Toasted baguette slices substitute for corn chips, tomato and basil for the salsa, mozzarella for the jack or cheddar cheese.

    Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes.

     

    Caprese Nachos

    Berries With Balsamic Glaze

    Gaea Grape Glaze

    [5] Mediterranean “nachos”: baguett, tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil…and balsamic glaze (photo courtesy Half Baked Harvest). [6] Strawberries with balsamic glaze are a classic Italian dessert (photo courtesy DeLallo). [7] This balsamic glaze from Gaea is made with honey instead of sugar (photo courtesy Gaea).

     

     
    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 baguette, sliced into thin 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • Optional: minced chives or thin-sliced green onions
  •  
    For The Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the balsamic glaze: Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to small sauce pan and simmer until reduced by half. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.

    2. PREHEAT the grill to high heat, or preheat the oven to 450°F.

    3. ADD the tomatoes to a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. If the grape tomates are small enough to fit through the gates of the grill, thread them on skewers. Or you can also roast them in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly charred.

    4. PLACE the baguette slices on a greased baking sheet and brush each side with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper.

    5. GRILL the tomatoes for 8 to 10 minutes and the baguette slices for about 3 minutes per side. Or, you can toast the baguette slices in the oven on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes and the tomatoes in the oven for 10 minutes.

    6. PREHEAT the broiler to high. In ove-safe dishes or on a pan or baking sheet, place a few slices of toasted bread, then a few slices of fresh mozzarella and then a handful of tomatoes. Repeat so you make about three layers. Broil for 1 minute or until the cheese is melty.

    7. SPRINKLE with the basil and optional chives/scallions. Enjoy hot with a cold beer!
     
    RECIPE #3: MIXED BERRRIES WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE

    It doesn’t get easier than this—or more good-for-you than this dessert from DeLallo (photo #6, above), using their own balsamic glaze.

    The velvety rich, deep sweetness of balsamic glaze is a classic Italian way to top fresh berries. So simple, but so good.

    Take it to the next level with a base of gelato, panna cotta or plain Greek yogurt.
     
    RECIPE #3: MIXED BERRRIES WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE

  • Fresh berries of choice
  • Balsamic Glaze
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the berries in individual serving dishes. If you’re using a base (ice cream, panna cotta, yogurt), add it first.

    2. DRIZZLE with balsamic glaze.
     
    MORE!

    ABOUT BALSAMIC VINEGAR

    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF VINEGAR

     
    ABOUT GAEA

    In Greek mythology, Gaia or Gaea (GUY-yuh), from the word for land or earth, is the Mother Earth goddess. Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life.

    In Greece, Gaea is the mother of all things delicious in olive oil: EVOO, olives isn jars and snack packs, spreads, glazes, vinaigrettes, etc.

    Discover more at GaeaUS.com.

      

    Comments

    ELVIS RECIPE: Graceland Cupcakes

    Elvis would be 82 today; “The King” was born January 8, 1935.

    While Elvis Presley is not exactly known for being a foodie, we, along with millions of fans worldwide, like to celebrate his birthday with a few hours of Elvis tunes and his favorite snack food: a fried sandwich filled with peanut butter, sliced banana and bacon (photo #1: here’s the recipe).

    This recipe was developed in honor of Elvis, whose favorite sandwich was PB, bacon and banana.

    Past celebrations at THE NIBBLE have included an:

  • Elvis Burger
  • Elvis Sandwich
  • Elvis Sundae
  •  
    Inspired by the king of rock and roll, these cupcakes are packed to the core with peanut butter. Top them off with candied bacon for a royally delectable dessert.

    RECIPE: GRACELAND MINI CUPCAKES
    (BANANA CUPCAKES WITH PEANUT BUTTER & BACON)

    You can use lowfat versions of the sour cream and cream cheese; but why bother? These are mini cupcakes, after all (photo #3).

    Instead, have one with the diet version of one of his favorite soft drinks: Pepsi Cola, Nesbitt’s Orange and Shasta Black Cherry.

    For The Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, the browner the better
  • 1/2 cup lite sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    Peanut Butter Filling

  • Approximately 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  •  
    Bacon Topping

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  •  
    Frosting

  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  •  

    PB Banana Sandwich

    Elvis Burger

    Elvis Cupcakes

    [1] Don’t want an Elvis sandwich (recipe and photo from Hipsubwg | Blogspot). Have some [2] If Elvis had only thought of it, he’d have liked this The Elvis Burger, with bacon and peanut butter sauce (photo courtesy Helen Graves | Food Stories. [3] Graceland Cupcakes (photo and recipe courtesy Peanut Butter Lovers).

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with foil.

    2. MAKE the batter. In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until blended.

    3. MASH the bananas and add sour cream in small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

    4. BEAT until incorporated, with an electric hand mixer, the butter, oil and sugar (3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, egg white and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add half of the dry ingredients and mix until almost incorporated. Add the sour cream and banana mixture and gently fold into the batter. Add the rest of the dry ingredients until combined. Spoon the batter into lined cupcake pans.

    5. BAKE for 18 to 20 minutes and let cool (do not turn off the oven). Once cool (about 30-45 minutes), use a paring knife to cut a small circle in the middle of the top of the cupcakes and remove the plug, creating a well about halfway down the cupcake. Using a piping bag, pipe the peanut butter to fill each hole. Set aside.

    6. PLACE brown sugar in medium size bowl and dredge the bacon slices on both sides. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip bacon and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and place on plate to cool. Do not put bacon on paper towels: It will stick. Once cool, chop the bacon and set aside.

    7. MAKE the frosting. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until well combined. Add to a piping bag. Pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle with the candied bacon pieces.

      

    Comments



    © Copyright 2005-2016 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.