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Sweet Potato Pizza For National Potato Month


[1] A sweet potato pizza with caramelized onions, copressata and balsamic glaze (photo and recipe © DeLallo).


[2] Sweet sopressata, a dry salami from southern Italy (photo © Our Harvest).


[3] Mascarpone, rich and creamy (photo © Vermont Creamery).


[4] Provolone cheese is a close cousin of mozzarella. Both are stretched-curd cheeses, called pasta filata (stretched paste) in Italian (photo © Murray’s Cheese).

 

For National Potato Month, September, go beyond the Big Three (baked, fries, mashed) and try something new. We’re fond of a white pizza of smoked salmon and sliced potatoes, garnished with salmon caviar. But today, we’re making a sweet potato pizza. It’s an Old World-New World fusion food: pizza from Italy, potatoes from the Americas.

The lively meld of flavors include sweet potato, caramelized onions, sopressata, mascarpone cheese, provolone, fresh sage and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Sopressata (also spelled soppressata, sopresseta, soprasata and sopresatta) is a dry Italian salami made from coarsely ground pork sausage seasoned with garlic, savory spices and whole black peppercorns.

If you can’t find it, substitute prosciutto di Parma or any dry Italian salami.

> The history of potatoes

> The history of pizza
 
 
RECIPE: SWEET POTATO PIZZA WITH CARAMELIZED ONION, SOPRESSATA & BALSAMIC GLAZE

Ingredients

  • 1 (17.6-ounce) DeLallo Pizza Dough Kit or ready-made dough
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces shredded provolone cheese
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 6 ounces sweet sopressata, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage,chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    If you have ready-to-use pizza dough, skip Step 1.

    1. COMBINE the flour mix and yeast packet in a large mixing bowl with 1-1/4 cups of lukewarm water. Stir with a fork until the dough begins to form. Knead by hand for 3 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. (After this step, you can refrigerate for use within 1-3 days.)

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 500°F. Wash the potatoes and poke holes using a fork. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 1 hour. Meanwhile…

    3. HEAT a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, melt the butter; then turn down the heat to low. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter. Spread the onions evenly in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, sprinkle them with salt. Cook for 30 more minutes, or until caramelized. (Editor’s note: Ours were done in 10 minutes.)

    4. REMOVE the sweet potatoes from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the sweet potato flesh and discard or repurpose the skins*. Pulse in a food processor with the salt. Add the olive oil and purée until smooth.

    5. REDUCE the oven temperature to 450°F. Cut the pizza dough in half. Roll out the dough into a circle on a floured surface. Evenly spread the puréed potato mixture onto the dough. Sprinkle with the provolone. Top with the onions, dollops of mascarpone and the sliced sopressata.

    6. BAKE for 10-12 minutes, or until the provolone melts and the crust becomes golden brown. Remove from the oven. Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before cutting.

    7. DRIZZLE with the balsamic glaze, sprinkled with sage and serve.
     
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    *The skins are where the fiber is. You can slice them and crisp them in a hot pan or add them to scrambled eggs and omelets.

     

     
      

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    Fun Ants On A Log Recipe For National Ants On A Log Day

    Sure, we love sophisticated foods. Bring on the molecular gastronomy or a plate of foie gras. But we also love the foods of our youth. This year, September 7th is National Ants On A Log Day (it’s held the second Tuesday of the month). So it’s nostalgia time.

    We remember the day in our childhood when we were first allowed to place our own “ants” on the logs. Mom had already filled the logs; some with cream cheese, some with peanut butter. But we got to put on the raisins.

    Back in those days, the “ants” were always raisins. Our creative mother supplied both purple and golden raisins (sultanas); and once, we remember chocolate-covered raisins left over from Halloween.

    Since then, moms have gone further, replacing the raisins with dried cranberries, freeze-dried corn and peas, fresh blueberries, grape tomatoes, olive slices, pretzel sticks, and on and on (photo #2).

    Moms had been stuffing celery sticks for some time. Stuffed celery sticks became popular at the turn of the 20th century, as an appetizer for adult gatherings [source].

    We may never know who added the raisins and called the result “Ants On A Log,” but the term first appears in the 1950s. Whoever you are: Thanks for putting a fun name on this crunchy snack.

    Here’s more history of Ants On A Log

    For today’s celebration, here’s perhaps the most fun idea of all our recipes below: Goldfish® in a stream (photo #2).
     
     
    RECIPE: BEYOND ANTS ON A LOG, GOLDFISH IN A STREAM

    This fun creation from Delicious Made Easy via Taste Of Home was made for kids; but grown-ups can enjoy them, too.

    In fact, grown-ups can tweak them:

  • Switch the plain cream cheese for flavored cream cheese, goat cheese, pimento cheese, ricotta or other cheese spread.
  • If you use one of these cheeses, you can eliminate the ranch dressing mix.
  • Grown-ups can also substitute fennel for celery, or enjoy a mixture of both.
  • How about fennel with mascarpone and brandied cherries? Let your creative juices flow.
  •  
    Ingredients

  • 4 stalks of celery, ends removed, chopped into 3″ long pieces
  • 4 ounces plain cream cheese (spreadable, not block shape), or substitute, at room temperature
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cups Goldfish crackers, preferably multicolor
  • Garnish: dried parsley or dill
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix. Spread the cream cheese mixture in the wells of the celery.

    2. TOP each piece of celery with 3-4 Goldfish crackers. Sprinkle dried parsley on top.
     

    MORE ANTS ON A LOG RECIPES

  • Gourmet Ants On A Log
  • Ladybugs On A Stick
  • Beyond Ants: Caterpillars & Snails
  •  


    [1] Goldfish on a log…or maybe, in a stream (photo © Delicious Made Easy via Taste Of Home).

    Ants On A Log
    [2] Adult versions: sliced grape tomatoes and olives—and how about a zigzag of pretzels (photo © Cava).

    Ants On A Raft
    [3] Ants on a raft: romaine leaves, cream cheese, fruits and olives (photo © Aldi).

    Ants On A Log
    [4] Snails and caterpillars. Here’s the recipe (photo © Women’s Day).

     

      

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    Acorn Squash Recipes For National Acorn Squash Day


    [1] Acorn squash, an American favorite (photo © Kim Daniels | Unsplash).


    [2] Bake an acorn squash and stuff the halves with other veggies, including root vegetables. Here, Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries and sliced almonds atop brown rice (photo © Chef Eric LeVine).


    [3] Here’s the recipe from Farmgirl Gourmet (photo © Farmgirl Gourmet).


    [4] Butternut squash joins acorn squash as the most commonly found winter squash varieties in grocery stores (photo © Good Eggs).

     

    September 7th is National Acorn Squash Day, celebrating one of the most popular of the winter squash varieties. Known for its compact size, the squash can be baked, mashed, even fried for tempura. Our favorite is simply baked with a drizzle of maple syrup, but we can’t resist any of the recipes below.
     
     
    TYPES OF SQUASH

    Acorn squash is one of 11 types of winter squash that can be found in American markets. Acorn is joined by banana, buttercup, butternut, delicata, hubbard, kabocha, pumpkin, spaghetti, sweet dumpling and turban squash.

    Winter squash has a very thick skin, and can be stored for months. It needs to be cooked.

    Summer squash has a thin, edible peel and a limited shelf life. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

    There are three species of squash, all native to the Americas:

  • Curcubita pepo includes acorn, butternut, pumpkin, summer squash like yellow squash and zucchini, and others.
  • Curcubita moschata, represented by the cushaw, Japanese pie, large cheese pumpkins and winter crookneck squashes. These arose, like Curcubita pepo, in Mexico and Central America. Both were and are important food sources, ranking next to maize and beans.
  • Curcubita maxima includes Boston marrow, delicious, hubbard, marblehead and Turks turban. They originated near the Andes Mountains or valleys.
  •  
    > The History Of Acorn Squash

    > The Different Types Of Squash
     
     
    ACORN VS. BUTTERNUT SQUASH

    These two varieties are most commonly found in markets.

  • Acorn squash are so-named because of their acorn shape. They are dark green in color, often with a splash of orange, and with distinctive a longitudinal ridges on its exterior. The flesh is yellow- orange.
  • Acorn squash are smaller than butternut squash: one to two pounds in weight, four to seven inches long).
  • Acorn, like the other winter squash varieties, is highly nutritious. It’s packed with the antioxidant vitamin C and other nutrients.
  • Cup for cup, acorn squash is the most nutritious of all the winter squash varieties—but it’s smaller and thus yields less meat*.
  • Butternut squash are cylindrical with a bulb at the bottom, or an hourglass shape. They are light orange in color, bright orange inside.
  • Butternut squash weighs an average of 2 to 3 pounds, and is 8 to 12 inches in length.
  • Both are similar in flavor and texture.
  • Substitute: Acorn squash is naturally a bit sweeter than butternut squash, which is nuttier. Either can be substituted with buttercup squash, which is generally drier.
  •  

    ACORN SQUASH RECIPES & TIPS

    The defined ribs and deep green color of an acorn squash make it an attractive vessel. The halves can be hollowed out after baking; the flesh mashed and the shells and used as decorative bowls for the mashed squash, squash soup, rice or stuffing. Other favorites:

  • Acorn Squash Salad With Maple Vinaigrette
  • Acorn Squash Soup With Gnocchi
  • Broiled Portabella Mushrooms Stuffed With Mashed Acorn Squash
  • Different Stuffings For Acorn Squash
  • Fall Salad Mix & Match
  • Fall Salad With Brussels Sprouts & Acorn Squash
  • Harvest Cobb Salad
  • How To Cut & Peel & Cut Winter Squash
  • How To Scoop & Roast Winter Squash Seeds
  • Hummus Bowls With Acorn Squash
  • Individual Squash Bowls For Soups, Grains & More
  • Vegetable Tempura
  • Winter Panzanella (Tuscan bread salad)
  • Winter Squash Tart
  • Winter Vegetable Kabobs
  •  
     
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    *In addition to referring to the flesh of animals used as food, “meat” also designates the edible part of anything, e.g. a fruit or nut.

     

     
      

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    Easy Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches For National Coffee Ice Cream Day

    September 6th is National Coffee Ice Cream Day. Our recipe of choice: coffee ice cream sandwiches, made easily from store bought cookies, ice cream and optional Nutella or chocolate sauce. (And if this sounds super-good to you, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day is August 2nd).

    Thanks to Hello Fresh for the suggestion!

    In some surveys, coffee has dropped off of the favorite ice cream flavors in the U.S. It didn’t make the Top 10 as recently as five years ago.

    In a recent study conducted by an online cake shop, coffee at least ranked number 9 in the top ten.

    It’s hard to get consistent data across surveys. Even those based on industry data are skewed, because the data is typically based on both foodservice and supermarket figures*.

    Here are 15 more ways to celebrate with coffee ice cream, plus recipes below.

    > The History Of Coffee

    > The History Of Ice Cream

    > The History Of Ice Cream Sandwiches
     
     
    RECIPE: COFFEE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

    You can use whatever type of cookie you like. The best candidates are chocolate chip, double chocolate (deep chocolate or chocolate chocolate chip), oatmeal, snickerdoodle and sugar cookies.

    We like cookies that are 3″ or 4″ in diameter, although cookies of 1-1/2″ to 2″ afford the option of two smaller cookies with different cookie flavors.

    As an alternative to cookies, a loaf cake is nice. We’ve used carrot cake as well as chocolate or regular pound cake, with a special shout-out to the chocolate pound cake.
     
    Ingredients For 2 Cookie Sandwiches

  • 1 pint coffee ice cream
  • 4 large double chocolate cookies
  • Nutella or fudge sauce
  • Optional: sprinkles
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SET the container of coffee ice cream on the counter for 10 minutes.

    2. SPREAD 1 teaspoon or Nutella or fudge sauce on the smooth sides of four double chocolate cookies.

    3. SPREAD the slightly softened ice cream on two of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to smooth out ice cream. If desired…

    4. COAT the sides with sprinkles.

    5. PLACE on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before eating.
     

    MORE COFFEE ICE CREAM RECIPES

  • Boozy Iced Coffee
  • Coffee Milkshakes
  • Iced Coffee Float
  • Kahlúa Ice Cream Float
  •  


    [1] Coffee ice cream sandwiches made with store-bought cookies and ice cream (photo © Hello Fresh).


    [2] We prefer artisan brands like McConnell’s Turkish Coffee, which has deep coffee flavor (photos #2 and #3 © McConnell’s Ice Cream).


    [3] If you like deep coffee flavor, look for coffee ice creams in “espresso” or “Turkish” flavors. You’re most likely to find them in artisan brands. Some mass-market brands are called “espresso”; you’ll have to see if they measure up to your espresso standards.

     
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    *In foodservice—restaurants, cafeterias, etc.—vanilla and chocolate will always be at the top, never trendy flavors that might be in the top 10 of supermarket sales. For example, total retail and foodservice sales in the U.S. combined are $6.22 trillion, while the grocery store sales are $682.86 billion [source].

      

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    How About A Flight Of Margaritas For Brunch?


    [1] A flight of five Margarita flavors (both photos © Resorts World | Las Vegas).


    [2] There’s also Bottomless Sangria, Bianca (in photo) or Rosa.

     

    Oh, to be in Las Vegas for brunch, with the flight of five Margaritas (photo #1) at ¡Viva! restaurant in the Resorts World hotel. You can relax as you sip on:

  • Mango
  • Passion Fruit
  • Spicy Cucumber
  • ¡VIVA-Rita! (classic)
  • Watermelon
  •  
    Yes, please!

    (By the way, here are Margarita recipes to make these and many more Margaritas.)

    There’s also Bottomless Sangria, in Roja or Blanca (photo #2)…

    But perhaps it’s not advisable after the five Margaritas. (At least, it wouldn’t be for us. You be your own judge.)

    Also on the new brunch menu are these Mexican faves:

  • Breakfast Burrito: applewood smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, tater tots, cheddar cheese, guacamole, salsa tatemada
  • Camarones Tacos: marinated shrimp, cabbage slaw, cilantro crema, guacamole
  • Chilaquiles: heirloom corn tortilla chips, sunny side up eggs, rancho salsa, queso fresco
  • Chorizo Con Huevos: pork chorizo, scrambled eggs, refried lentils, fingerling potatoes, flour tortillas
  • Huevos Rancheros: cheese gordita, sunny side up eggs, ranchero salsa, salsa verde
  • Coliflór Al Pastor Tacos: roasted cauliflower, cashew crema, grilled pineapple
  • Pozole: heritage pork, heirloom hominy, guajillo chile broth, radish, cabbage
  •  
    ¡Viva! chef Ray Garcia brings a modern approach to dishes that highlight Mexico’s bright and bold flavors, including the coastal ingredients found in the Alta California region.

    Where’s Alta California? Check it out!

     
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    *Every region of Mexico has a chunky, fire-roasted salsa, made from tomatoes, onions and chiles. The salsa is called tatemada (from the Spanish tatemar, to roast or to grill). If the salsa is mashed instead of left chunky, it’s called martajada (from martajar, to crush or pound). The chile is typically the differentiated ingredient. For example, in the Yucatan, it’s the fiery habanero. In the north (as well as in Arizona and New Mexico) it’s the mild Anaheim chile. Check out the different types of chiles.
     
      

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