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THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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TOP PICK: SAVU Smoker Bags

Love smoked food? Now you can smoke
your own in your kitchen oven, as often
as you like. The aluminum smoking
pouch goes from oven to table and is
then disposed of—no clean-up required.
  Shame on us! We discovered SAVU Smoker Bags two years ago and have just gotten around to sharing them with you. When you discover how easy it is to cook up delicious smoked foods, you’ll either thank us or be ticked off that it’s taken so long to share the news. These simple-to-use bags will have you smoking up a storm: Meat, fish or vegetables can be smoked effortlessly in the kitchen oven or on an outdoor grill—at home or at your favorite picnic- or campgrounds.

Now every day can be a smokin’ day. Beef, chicken, duck, fish, lamb, kebabs, pork and other favorite foods smoke over natural wood chips that are layered in cleverly-designed, single-use aluminum smoker bags, made in Finland. You can even make your own hot-smoked salmon or other fish for Sunday brunch! The heavier-flavored hickory chips are intended to pair better with meats, and the lighter-flavored alder chips with fish, but the bags truly are universal. The wood creates real smoked flavor in minutes. By adding potatoes and other vegetables, you can make complete meals in one bag. Just seal, cook, open and eat. And you can serve from the bag—not only is there no oven mess, there are no extra dishes to clean.

You’ll discover what a delight it is to make low-fat, low-calorie smoked dishes (and sure, you can make ribs with all that brown sugar and molasses, too). If you’ve toyed with the idea of buying a smoker, or feel deprived because you have no space or justification for one, now an inexpensive aluminum bag can let you get smokin’. Smoke out the details in the full review.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Snazzy Spinach Salad

These basic ingredients combine magically:

  • Spinach
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Walnuts or pecans (toast them for even more deliciousness)
  • Goat cheese, blue or feta cheese
  • Fig balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  •  
    Serve a whole fresh fig or two as a garnish.

    To make this salad a main meal, add Serrano ham or prosciutto and serve with some fine artisan bread.

    Popeye never ate so well!

    Find more salad recipes on TheNibble.com.

     

    Spinach Salad
    Spinach salad with apples, nuts and goat cheese. Photo courtesy Southern Living, which used curried pecans and maple vinaigrette. Here’s the recipe.

     

      

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    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Ice Cream Trivia


    Win a delicious streusel-topped fruit pie
    to top off with your own favorite ice
    cream!
     

    Like ice cream? Enter this week’s Gourmet Giveaway: The lucky winner of our ice cream prize will get his or her choice of an apple, blueberry, cherry or peach crumb pie in a flaky homemade cookie pie crust, filled with fruit and topped with butter streusel crumbs. Enjoy it à la mode with your favorite ice cream. Serves 8-10. Certified kosher (dairy). Retail value $36.99. Enter the Gourmet Giveaway by answering a few fun trivia questions about ice cream; you don’t have to answer correctly to win. Find more of our favorite ice creams in the Ice Cream Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. You’ll also enjoy the History Of Ice Cream.

     

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    PRODUCT REVIEW: Charleston Favorites Tidewater Shrimp Sauce & Marinade With Stone Ground Grits

    A portfolio of Charleston and lowcountry specialties aims to ensure that people everywhere can enjoy “Food For The Southern Soul.” The first two products we tried, Stone Ground Grits and Tidewater Shrimp Sauce And Marinade, made an excellent (and easy!) dinner that we can’t wait to have again…and again.

    Charleston Favorites is another happy example of a businessperson from a “traditional” sector of industry who followed his love into the food business. Proprietor Jimmy Hagood began in insurance sales, and now owns a thriving catering business in Charleston, as well as a manufacturing company that sells Southern specialties throughout the United States. Delicacies such as benne wafers, peach butter, pepper jelly and, of course, barbecue sauces and rubs are just part of a line that sends a taste of the South anywhere.

     
    A dinner of lowcountry shrimp and grits couldn’t be easier with Food For The Soul.
    Years ago, Hagood, a barbecue hobbyist, traded in his briefcase for an apron and began a pit barbecue catering company. In his new food career, he noticed small local specialty food companies that produced terrific products, but faced challenges of survival. He began to buy them up to provide economies of scale in production and distribution. Today, his company, Specialty Food South LLC, includes brands such as Charleston Favorites that specialize in the foods of Charleston and the South Carolina lowcountry. If our first taste is an example of the entire portfolio, we can’t wait to order the rest of the line.

    A charming gift box arrived containing a two-pound bag of Charleston Favorites Stone Ground Grits and an 18-ounce bottle of Tidewater Shrimp Sauce and Marinade. The grits take about 35 minutes to cook; we sautéed the shrimp in about three minutes. The results were one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time—perhaps because, as New Yorkers, we don’t get too much lowcountry cuisine. We added a large green salad, but the oohs and aahs were earned by the grits and shrimp.

    Not only would we gladly cook this dinner on a regular basis; we’d send it as a gift to almost everyone, because it requires minimal cooking skills. If you can make hot cereal, you can make grits. If you can pour the contents of a bottle into a sauté pan, add peeled shrimp and stir, you can have delectable Tidewater shrimp. Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet S’Mores

    We made this incredibly delicious
    S’mores with Tiny Trapeze graham

    crackers and chocolate marshmallows,
    and a Chocolove 77% cacao Extra
    Strong Dark chocolate bar.

      Walk on the wild side and make your s’mores with exotic chocolate bars—those flavored with chile, ginger, curry, coconut, even wasabi. Check out the flavored chocolate bars from Vosges Chocolate and Chocolove (use the search box at the top of the page). Use great marshmallows too: We love the handmade marshmallows from Recchiuti and the Tiny Trapeze brand from Whole Foods (the chocolate marshmallows are even better than the vanilla variety). Click here for ideas on having a memorable s’mores party. You can read more about gourmet marshmallows in the Gourmet Candy Section of TheNibble.com.
     

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