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THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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GIFT: Tanteo Tequila, Spicy Tequila In 3 Chile Flavors


[1] Tanteo’s three expressions of tequila, each a different chile flavor (photo © Tanteo Tequila).


[2] Our favorite way to drink Tanteo is sipping (photo © J.C. Fotografo | Dreamstime.

 

Tanteo makes a very fine premium* blanco tequila, made with 100% Blue Weber agave.

But the stars of the show are their well-balanced, spicy, infused tequilas:

  • Tanteo Chipotle Tequila: Infused with roasted chipotle peppers from the mountains of Chihuahua, Mexico, the flavor is smoky and spicy, with a hint of agave sweetness. We prefer this expression in a Bloody Maria.
  • Tanteo Habanero Tequila: The habanero chiles are sourced from the Yucatan Peninsula. This is the expression that will spice up a Margarita.
  • Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila: The locally sourced jalapeños provide a more moderate infusion. Make Jalapeño Margaritas!
  •  
    We were dazzled when we first tasted Tanteo Tequila. The infused flavors were different then, but they were the best infused tequilas in our experience.

    Made with 100% blue agave tequila, Tanteo uses all natural ingredients to infuse the tequila, and it’s a magical marriage.

    Most flavored tequilas use extracts to provide the flavor.

    Tanteo uses actual chiles:

  • They source fresh jalapeños, habaneros and locally roasted chipotles. Vine ripened and hand selected, each is carefully chosen at the optimal time for infusion.
  • The chile are hand-sliced and then macerated, to create to create different heat intensities.
  • The macerated chiles are infused into the tequila in small batches, using a proprietary infusion process.
  •  
    Tanteo is handmade and bottled in tiny batches, in the mountain town of Tequila, in the Mexican state of Jalisco. (By law, tequila can only be made in Jalisco.)
     
     
    HOW TO ENJOY TANTEO TEQUILA

    These are sipping tequilas and cocktail tequilas: a Bloody Maria (Bloody Mary with tequila instead of vodka) is a must if you want a very spicy rendition.

    Tanteo has cocktail recipes for each flavor.

    You can use the tequilas at dinner, too. Pair them with main course dishes that have similar flavor profiles:

  • Add a bit to a sauce.
  • Serve a snifter or shot with the dish.
  •  
    Tanteo flavor-infused tequilas are a splendid addition to your bar and a gift that recipients will be talking about for a long time.

    Discover more at TanteoTequila.com...and check out:

    The Different Types Of Tequila

    The History Of Tequila
    ________________

    *The company uses the term ultra-premium, other distillers use the term super-premium. Neither of these are official or legal designations, but marketing terminology. They typically indicate that the spirit has been distilled numerous times, to remove all impurities.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Sweet Potato Toppings

    We love sweet potatoes. Often, after a day of tasting all sorts of foods for THE NIBBLE, we have a simple baked sweet potato for dinner.

    Sometimes we’ll eat it plain. Sometimes, we’ll add butter. And sometimes we give it the white potato treatment of sour cream and scallions.

    Recipe by Becky of A Calculated Whisk, which focuses on creative paleo and gluten-free recipes, developed this one for the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

    Her toppings are just a start. Add your favorite ingredients to a sweet potato, from rustic Tex-Mex to elegant crème fraîche and herbs.

    Add more sweet potatoes to your weekly diet. The Commission has a wealth of savory and sweet sweet potato recipes.
     
     
    RECIPE: SWEET POTATOES WITH 6 TOPPINGS

    Ingredients Per Potato

    Breakfast Sweet Potato

  • 1 slice thick-cut bacon, chopped into half-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon snipped chives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  
    Pesto Chicken Sweet Potato

  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup cooked chicken, cubed or shredded, reheated as necessary
  • 1 tablespoon pesto, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream or coconut milk, optional
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  
    Chorizo Avocado Sweet Potato

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2-3 ounces bulk Mexican chorizo, or links with the casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tomato
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 Haas avocado, cubed
  • Wedge of lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  
    Garlic Shrimp Sweet Potato

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 medium, 21-25 count per pound shrimp
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  
    Spiced Almond Butter & Honey Sweet Potato

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted if desired (here’s how)
  •  
    Apple Walnut Sweet Potato

    This recipe is delicious for breakfast.

  • 2 teaspoons butter, ghee, or avocado oil
  • 1/2 small apple, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  •  
     
    Preparation

    1. BAKE the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when squeezed with an oven mitt on or when pierced with a fork.

    2. LET cool for a few minutes, then cut partway through the potato lengthwise and then crosswise, to open it up. Mash the insides a little with a fork if you like. Top as desired (see instructions that follow) and serve hot.

    Breakfast Sweet Potato

    1. COOK the bacon pieces in a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat until crisp, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

    2. RAISE the heat to medium high. Carefully crack the egg into the bacon grease and cook for 1-2 minutes, carefully spooning some of the fat onto the top of the whites if desired, until the edges of the whites are browned and crisp and the yolk is cooked to your liking.

    3. TRANSFER the egg to the paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle the bacon onto the cooked potato, place the egg on top, and sprinkle with chives, salt, and pepper.

    Pesto Chicken Sweet Potato

    1. TOAST the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.

    2. MIX the chicken, pesto, and cream (if using) in a small bowl. Stuff a potato with the pesto chicken and top with pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Chorizo Avocado Sweet Potato

    1. HEAT the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned and cooked through.

    2. TOP the potato with the chorizo, tomato, red onion, cilantro, avocado and a squeeze of lime. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
     
    Garlic Shrimp Sweet Potato

    1. HEAT the oil and garlic in a saucepan. When hot, add the shrimp and saute.

    2. ADD the shrimp to the potato and pour the oil-garlic sauce on top.
     
    Spiced Almond Butter & Honey Sweet Potato

     


    [1] You can use a different topping on a baked sweet potato every time (photo © North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission).

    Cooked Bacon Strips
    [2] For breakfast, top a sweet potato with bacon and a fried egg (photo © Edwards Virginia Smokehouse).


    [3] A potato topped with chicken and pesto is a meal in itself (photo © Looby | iStock Photo.

    Halved Avocado
    [4] Add a Mexican touch with avocado, chorizo, cilantro and other garnishes (photo © California Avocado Commission)

    Sliced Apple
    [5] Add some sweetness with apples, walnuts, maple syrup and cinnamon (photo © U.S. Apples).


    [6] Shrimp and garlic are a great topping for anything, from pasta to sweet potatoes (photo © Louisiana Seafood).


    [7] Almond butter and honey with allspice and ginger make a nutritious lunch (photo © Good Eggs).

     
    1. SEASON the almond butter with the allspice and ginger.

    2. DRIZZLE honey into the potato. Top with almond butter and garnish with the sliced almonds.
     
    Apple Walnut Sweet Potato

    1. SAUTÉ the apples and walnuts in butter, with the cinnamon and salt. When the apples are soft, stir in the maple syrup.

    2. TOP the potato with the mixture, and serve with extra maple syrup on the side.

      

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    PUMPKIN & CHOCOLATE RECIPES: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake, Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Bread


    [1] A Pumpkin Bundt Cake, studded with chocolate chips and walnuts (photos #1 and #3 © North Carolina Sweet Potato Commision).

    Canned Pumpkin
    [2] Make sure to buy pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling. The latter has sugar and spices mixed in (photo © Jessica Gavin | Culinary Scientist).


    [3] Looking for something lighter? Try this Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Bread.


    [4] Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese Spread is a good complement to sweet breads, including zucchini bread and carrot bread. Heavier spreads (not whipped) that go well with this recipe are Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Spread and Honey Nut Cream Cheese Spread (photo © Kraft Foods).

     

    Whether you want to bake something special for your work colleagues, bring something to your Thanksgiving hosts, or make a treat for your family that can wait in the freezer.

    Both the Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cake (photo #1) and the Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Bread (photo #3) can be dressed up with whipped cream or served at brunch.
     
     
    RECIPE #1: PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BUNDT CAKE

    This bundt (or tube cake, if you prefer) The pumpkin and pumpkin-friendly spices (cloves, cinnamon, allspice) meld surprisingly well with the bits of chocolate.

    It’s rich enough to serve unfrosted, but you can add some whipped cream or ice cream for dessert.

    Prep time is 10-15 minutes, bake time is 1 hour, 10 minutes.

    NOTE: If you have pumpkin pie spice blend, you can use 1-1/2 teaspoons instead of the separate measures of allspice, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

    Thanks to our friends at King Arthur Flour—your source for the best ingredients—for this recipe.
     
    Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 can (425g) pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup (198g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (60g) bran cereal
  • 2 cups (241g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (397g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH ground cinnamon and cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH allspice and ginger
  • 1 cup (113g) chopped walnuts
  • 2-2/3 cups (454g) chocolate chips
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10″ Bundt or tube pan.

    2. BEAT the eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Stir in the pumpkin, oil and bran cereal; combine well. In another bowl…

    3. SIFT together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently, until just combined. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

    4. SPOON the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

    5. REMOVE the cake from the oven and cool the in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before slicing. (Don’t slice until you’re ready to serve.)

    6. STORE, loosely covered, at room temperature for 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

     
    RECIPE #2: SWEET POTATO CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD

    This Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Bread is a healthier option for your sweet tooth. It was created as a better-for-you option by Created by Bucket List Tummy, for the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

    That being said, we enjoyed it with some Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese Spread.

    Made with whole wheat flour and oat flour, the loaf is soft and fluffy. It’s less sweet than cake, but is studded with chocolate chips.

    Prep time is 10-15 minutes, bake time is 40 minutes.

    Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt (2% or whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour, (oats ground into flour in the food processor)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F and grease 9″ x5″ inch loaf pan.

    2. ADD the egg, mashed sweet potatoes, coconut oil, Greek yogurt and maple syrup to a bowl. Whisk until combined. In another bowl…

    3. ADD the whole wheat flour, oat flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix the dry into the wet ingredients, folding the chocolate chips in last. The batter should be thick.

    4. ADD the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    5. LET cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing. If you won’t be eating it immediately, wait to slice until serving time.

      

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    GIFT: Lady M Mille Crepe Cake

    Our favorite cake is probably the Mille Crêpe Cake from Lady M Confections, a cake boutique with six locations in Manhattan and more around the country.

    We say probably, because if you put us in front of a cake buffet, the first thing we’d eat would be the Mille Crêpe Cake.

    The name translates to “thousand crêpes cake,” although there are only 20 layers.

    Other pâtisseries and recipes call it Gâteau de Crêpes, for “cake of crêpes.” Some recipes use 30 crêpes or more.

    We call it Crêpe Cake for short.

    This classic French cake requires no oven: It is composed of layers of paper-thin crêpes made on the stove top.

    (American “cake cousins” include the 12-layer, oven-baked Smith Island Cake and Thousand Layer Cake (also called Twelve Layer Cake).)

    Lady M’s Crêpe Cake is ethereal, light and lush, all at the same time. It’s like eating the food of the angels—a heavenly experience (not to disparage Angel Cake/Angel Food Cake, which is delightful without achieving heavenly heights).

    Lady M’s Crêpe Cake became so popular, that it is made in every flavor one could wish:

  • Chocolate (photo #3)
  • Chocolate Banana
  • Citron
  • Coconut
  • Earl Grey
  • Green Tea (photo #1)
  • Marron (chestnut)
  • Passion Fruit
  • Pistachio
  • Red Bean
  • Salted Caramel
  • Signature (photo #2)
  • Strawberry
  • Tiramisu
  •  
    Although we have had six of the flavors flavors—and would gladly accept a gift of all of them—we keep returning to the original Signature as our favorite. It’s Crêpe Cake in its purest form.

    Lady M’s repertoire is not limited to Crêpe Cakes. There are layer cakes, mousse cakes and Gâteaux Nuage, or “cloud cakes,” light and dreamy cheesecakes.

    And, great news: They’re all sold online!

     


    [1] Lady M’s Green Tea Mille Crêpe Cake (all photos © Lady M).


    [2] Lady M’s Signature Mille Crêpe Cake. It’s the plainest-looking, but it’s our favorite flavor. The top is gently caramelized until golden.


    [3] Lady M’s Chocolate Mille Crêpe Cake, topped with chocolate curls.

     
    ORDER ONLINE

    Lady M Mille Crêpe Cakes are available in 6″ ($55) and 9″ ($95) sizes. Order the big one: It may be more expensive, but you’ll be very happy if there are leftovers.

    Head to LadyM.com.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Thanksgiving Pie & Ice Cream Pairings


    [1] Pie and ice cream: Think outside the box for your à la mode (photo © Good Eggs).


    [2] Apple pie with honey ice cream (photo © Golden Blossom Honey).


    [3] Talenti Vanilla Cinnamon gelato, great for apple pie. Talenti also makes Vanilla Caramel ice cream gelato, Brown Butter Caramel gelato, and Caramel Apple Pie gelato (photo © Talenti Gelato).

    Haagen-Dazs Rum Raisin Pint
    [4] A holiday favorite: Rum Raisin ice cream (photo © Häagen-Dazs).

     

    Thanks to Brian Klonoski of Good Eggs for this inspiration for à la mode on Thanksgiving pies.

    Here’s our own tip: Turn vanilla ice cream into boozy vanilla. Soften the pint and stir in 2 tablespoons of bourbon or rum. Return to the freezer until you’re ready to serve it.

    (Of course, you’ll need to test out a few pints first—bourbon versus rum, 2 tablespoons vs. 1/4 cup [4 tablespoons] etc., etc. wink, wink.)
     
     
    PUMPKIN PIE & SWEET POTATO PIE

    Pumpkin pie is traditionally topped with whipped cream instead of ice cream, because the pie filling is so rich and custardy.

    But how about trying ice cream this year?

  • Vanilla ice cream is a classic pairing.
  • Cinnamon ice cream.
  • Coffee ice cream: If you drink coffee with your pie, why not top it with coffee ice cream?
  • Eggnog ice cream.
  • Maple walnut ice cream.
  • For the adventurous: brown butter or salted caramel ice cream.
  • For the obvious: cinnamon ice cream, pumpkin ice cream.
  •  
     
    APPLE PIE

    Warm up the apple pie, and pair the spiced apple filling with:

  • Vanilla ice cream—of course.
  • Butter pecan ice cream.
  • Caramel or honey ice cream.
  • Coffee ice cream.
  • Cinnamon ice cream: picks up the spices in the apple filling.
  • Crème fraîche or mascarpone ice cream: sometimes you can find these flavors from artisan producers.
  • Eggnog ice cream.
  • Cardamom ice cream, ginger ice cream.
  • Rum raisin ice cream, pumpkin ice cream.
  • Salted caramel ice cream.
  •  
     
    PECAN PIE

  • Vanilla ice cream.
  • Apple pie ice cream.
  • Bourbon pecan ice cream.
  • Eggnog ice cream.
  • Maple ice cream.
  • Rum raisin ice cream.
  • Salted caramel ice cream.

  •  
    THE HISTORY OF PIE À LA MODE

    Pie à la mode, French for pie “in the current fashion,” is a slice of pie with a scoop of ice cream on top or at the side.

    The dessert did not originate in France, but in the U.S.

    The term à la mode has been used in English since the mid-1600s as an adjective to mean fashionable. In food circles, it gave its name to Beef à la Mode,” braised beef with vegetables and wine, served in a rich sauce [source].

    But pie à la mode?
     
    Although the dish originated in the relatively-recent timeframe of the 1890s, there is no one clear written record.

  • The first printed source mentions a “pie a la mode” served at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. But it doesn’t describe the dish, so we have no idea what the “fashionable” addition was.
  • The other contender location is Upstate New York, at the now-defunct the Cambridge Hotel in the town of Cambridge, near Glens Falls. (A beautiful period building, the hotel was foreclosed upon in the spring of 2012—after being filmed for an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hotel Hell.”)
  • At The Cambridge Hotel

    At some point in the 1890s, a guest in the dining room of the Cambridge Hotel, Professor Charles Watson Townsend, ordered a slice of apple pie with a scoop of ice cream.

    Apparently, pie served with ice cream was a new concept!

    Mrs. Berry Hall, a diner seated next to Townsend, asked what it was called. He said it didn’t have a name, and she promptly dubbed it Pie à la Mode. Townsend liked the name so much he asked for it each day by that name [source].

    Townsend subsequently ordered it by that name every day of his stay.

    He ordered it by that name at a later visit to the Delmonico Restaurant in New York City. They hadn’t heard of it, of course.

    The professor then chastised him. He was quoted as saying, “Do you mean to tell me that so famous an eating place as Delmonico’s has never heard of Pie a la Mode, when the Hotel Cambridge, up in the village of Cambridge, NY serves it every day? Call the manager at once, I demand as good serve here as I get in Cambridge.”

    Delmonico’s, not wanting to be outshone by any other restaurant, immediately put it on the menu.

    The newspapers immediately picked up the story of the dessert, and in short order it was on menus across the nation [source].

    The Cambridge Hotel placed an information folder in each guest room, that included a page entitled “The History of the Pie à la Mode.” Here it is.

    Townsend died in 1936 at the age of 87, and his New York Times obituary (which we were unable to access) notes that he “inadvertently originated pie à la mode.” He would have been in his 40’s when he “invented” it.

    Apple Pie Trivia

    “As American as apple pie” is an oft-heard expression. While Americans love their apple pie, the dish itself isn’t American. Apple pie was long-made in Britain, and variations were made across Europe, wherever apples were grown.

    The French had a long investigation of apple-growing, and the Norman Conquest of 1066 brought their skills—and many new apple types—to Britain.

    There were no apple trees in America before British immigrants brought seeds or rootstock and planted orchards. The first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625.

    Feel free to change the saying to, “As American as apple pie à la mode.”

      

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