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Prepared Food Recipes

This section offers recipes for retailers’ prepared food counters. A wide variety of cultures, cuisines and dietary restrictions are represented, such as Filipino dishes and gluten-free meals. Browse recipes by meal type, ingredients and more.

  • Vegetarian Kabobs to Pair With Charcuterie 
    by Joanna Pruess on March 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Skewers with beets, peppers, broccoli, and more make a great vegetarian addition to a charcuterie plate. Pair them with the puréed chickpeas dipping sauce seasoned with fresh oregano, shallots, capers, oil, and vinegar to add even more flavor. For variety, try adding mozzarella balls, cauliflower florets, small artichoke hearts, or even meatier additions.  Yield: 12 Kabobs Prep time: About 1 hour  Shelf life: 2-3 days Ingredients  Dipping sauce 1 (15.5-ounce) can garbanzos, drained, 4 tablespoons liquid reserved 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 3 ounces extra virgin olive oil, for sauce + 2 ounces for vegetables 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons drained capers in brine ½ teaspoon salt  ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper  ¼ cup minced shallots 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves Vegetables  3 golden or red beets, about 1 ½ inches in diameter, trimmed  12 white boiling onions  24 red peppadew peppers, drained 12 white mushrooms, about 1 ½ inches in diameter, stems trimmed and wiped 12 broccoli florets 12 (2-inch) baby carrots 1-2 green bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ inch squares 1-2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ inch squares 1 teaspoon dried oregano Salt  12 (10-inch) bamboo skewers Balsamic glaze  Preparation Heat the oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, the 4 tablespoons reserved liquid, garlic, 3 ounces of the olive oil, vinegar, capers, salt, and pepper and purée until smooth. Add the shallots and oregano, pulse to combine, and scrape into a container. Set aside. Brush the beets lightly with oil, wrap tightly in foil and bake in a flat pan until almost tender, turning once, about 40 minutes. Remove and, when cool enough to handle, peel and cut into quarters. Set aside. Leave the oven on. Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the onions and boil for 2 minutes. Transfer to ice water, drain, cut off the root ends and slide off the skins. Blot dry. Cover the bottom of a skillet with a little oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté over medium-high heat until golden, cover, reduce the heat and cook until just tender, shaking the pan often. Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the beets with the peppadew peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, and green and yellow bell peppers squares. Add enough oil to lightly coat the vegetables, season with oregano and salt, and roast until the vegetables are lightly browned and almost tender, about 30 minutes, turning them a couple of times. Remove. Thread the vegetables onto the skewers. Lay them on a platter, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic glaze, and serve.

  • Peppers Stuffed with Plant-Based Proteins
    by Joanna Pruess on December 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Work the plant-based trend into your menu with these colorful filled peppers that are protein-rich with edamame, yellow split peas, brown rice, and optional pumpkin seeds. They are a satisfying and nutritious entrée that may be reheated and served hot or at room temperature. Serve them alone or drizzled with sauce. Yield: 6 peppers Prep Time: 50 minutes Shelf Life: 3 days
 Ingredients Sea salt ¾ cup brown rice 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 6 medium-large red, orange, yellow, or green bell peppers, tops, seeds, and membranes removed ½ cup dried yellow split peas 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup ½-inch diced butternut squash 2 tablespoons honey ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions, plus a few for garnish  1 tablespoon minced garlic ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup ½-inch diced zucchini  ¾ cup shelled frozen edamame, defrosted ½ cup diced canned tomatoes with juice 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice and grated zest of 1 lime ¾ cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves to garnish ¼ cup dried currants Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt or vegan substitute ½ cup finely chopped cilantro 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil Sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste Preparation 
In a small pan, combine the rice with 2 1/4 cups lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid; stir in the turmeric and cinnamon. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the peppers for 3 minutes. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain with the cut ends down. Return the water to a boil. Add the split peas and cook until almost soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and drain. Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wipe out the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, heat over medium-high heat, add the butternut squash, and sauté until lightly colored, about 5 minutes, turning often. Add the honey, turning to coat, then stir in the scallions, garlic, a teaspoon of salt, the Aleppo pepper, and black pepper to taste. Add the remaining oil and zucchini and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the edamame, tomatoes, and thyme. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the split peas and combine with the squash mixture. Add the lime juice and zest, cilantro, and currants. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Fill the peppers with the stuffing, place in a baking dish just large enough to hold them upright, and add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Cover and bake until the peppers are quite tender, about an hour or longer if the pepper walls are quite thick. Remove and let stand. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, and Sriracha. Drizzle over the peppers, 
if desired.  

  • Prepared Food Focus: Cricket Fettuccine with Autumn Vegetable Chile and Avocado Salsa Verde
    by Joanna Pruess on October 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Trendy cricket pasta adds some eye-popping interest to your prepared foods case. The vibrant autumn chili ladled on the fettucine has a nice bite and by topping it all with fresh cilantro, grated Cotija cheese, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and Avocado-Salsa Verde, you can take this Mexican-inspired dish to the next level.   Yield: 6-8 serving       Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes Shelf Life: each component will last at least 2-3 days in a refrigerator or longer. Cricket Fettuccine Ingredients (You can either buy cricket pasta already made or make your own as shown here.) 1-pound bag cricket flour mixture ¼ teaspoon salt 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, beaten Chili Ingredients 3 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil 1½ cups sliced yellow onions 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican ½ teaspoon Ancho Chile powder ½ teaspoon+ minced Serrano Chile 2 cups vegetable stock 4 cups fresh pumpkin or butternut squash cut in 1-inch cubes 3 cups seeded and diced red and yellow bell peppers 1 cup fresh or canned corn kernels 1 (14-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained Salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup Cotija cheese, for garnish ¾ cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish 1 firm, ripe Hass avocado, diced, for garnish ⅓ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish Avocado-Salsa Verde Ingredients ½ pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and cored 1 cup scallions, including light green parts, coarsely chopped, plus sliced scallions ½ avocado, coarsely chopped ¼ cup chopped cilantro with coarse stems removed 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice   Preparation For the pasta: In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt to combine. Through the feed tube, pour the eggs and process just until the dough comes together in a ball, 30-60 seconds. If too dry, add cold water by the teaspoon and process. Continue until the dough comes together. If too moist, add a little flour. Remove the dough and knead for 15-30 seconds until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for at least a ½ hour. Using a pasta maker, follow the instructions for rolling the dough through ever narrower settings; then cut the pasta into fettuccine. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on a jellyroll pan and toss with the pasta.    For the chili: In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and sauté until wilted, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, Ancho Chile powder, and chopped Serrano Chile, and blend. Stir in the stock. Add the pumpkin, bell peppers, corn, and hominy; stir to blend well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, make the Salsa Verde: Using an electric blender, combine the tomatillos, scallions, avocado, jalapeño, and cilantro; purée until almost smooth. Add the lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and blend briefly. Scrape into a bowl and chill.  Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well and toss with a little oil.   To serve: Ladle pasta into bowls and spoon on the chili mixture. Add a generous spoonful of Salsa Verde in the center and garnish with Cotija cheese, pumpkin seeds, scallions, and cilantro.

  • Prepared Food Focus: Breakfast Squares: A New Use for Oatmeal
    by Joanna Pruess on June 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    When offered on the menu or at the prepared foods counter, chewy oatmeal-almond-coconut and dried pineapple squares offer satisfying bites of goodness for breakfast—or as an anytime snack. They include a multi-layered riff on almonds (almond butter and flour) and coconut (dried shredded, milk, and oil) that play against the toothsome oats. Toasting the coconut and almonds increases the flavor. Other seeds or dried blueberries can be added to the mix as well. Yield: 16 squares Prep Time: 20 minutes 
+ 30 minutes baking
 Shelf Life: at least a week when covered; may be frozen Ingredients
 Non-stick cooking spray 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1 cup fine almond flour ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted ¾ cup finely diced dried pineapple, plus small pieces to 
garnish (optional) ½ cup blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted and 
coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ cup coconut milk ½ cup natural almond butter 1 large egg ⅓ cup honey, preferably raw 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla Preparation 
Line an 8- x 8-inch baking pan with parchment or foil; lightly coat with non-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almond flour, coconut, pineapple, almonds, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; blend well.  In a bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, almond butter, egg, honey, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and blend well. Scrape into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake until the sides are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove, cool, and cut into 16 squares. Add small cubes of pineapple in the center to garnish, if desired.

  • Category Spotlight Featured Recipe: Coconut-Tamari-Mustard-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Scallions & Cranberries
    by Joanna Pruess on January 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Coconut has definitely made its mark on the specialty food world. Whether as an ingredient or flavor, it is invading specialty food products, supporting diet choices, and boosting category sales. To deliver more coconut flavor to your customers, consider this recipe for your prepared foods case. Spiced coconut milk, tamari, Dijon mustard, and cranberries make a tasty glaze for chicken thighs. Although many people prefer the convenience of boned chicken, the meat is often juicier and more flavorful when cooked on the bone. Serve over a bed of greens, like Brussels sprouts leaves, and jasmine rice. Serves 4 Ingredients
 ¾ cup canned coconut milk (not lite)
1½ tablespoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin and fat removed 
(1 ½ to 2 pounds)
⅓ cup dried cranberries, plus additional for garnish
⅓ cup sliced scallions, plus additional slices for garnish
Thin slices of coconut, to garnish Preparation
 In a bowl, stir together the coconut milk, tamari sauce, garlic, ginger, whole and smooth mustards, allspice, and pepper flakes. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag along with the chicken, seal, turn to coat evenly, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours. Turn once or twice during this time. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan large enough to hold the thighs without crowding with foil. Lift the thighs from the marinade and lay them flesh side down in the pan, reserving any marinade. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn, add any remaining marinade along with the cranberries and scallions, and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees. Baste the chicken once or twice during this time. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining scallions and cranberries, and a few slices of coconut before serving. Related: Category Spotlight: Coconut’s Ongoing Appeal  

  • Chestnut Flour Bread Puddings with Dried Pears, Cranberries and Rosemary-Chestnut Honey Crème Anglaise
    by Joanna Pruess on September 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Chestnut lovers will love these tender individual cakes with the multi-layered flavors of crème anglaise infused with dried fruits, chestnut honey, and fresh rosemary. Garnished with a roasted chestnut and small rosemary sprig, they’re sophisticated yet evocative of a comfort food dessert. See other related recipes in The Power of Alternative Flourss Yield: 6 servingsPrep Time: 1 hourShelf life: cakes: 2 to 3 days tightly covered; Crème Anglaise: 2 to 3 days  Ingredients Crème Anglaise2 cups whole milk1 tablespoon chestnut honey1 tablespoon granulated sugar⅛ teaspoon salt4 large egg yolks at room temperature¾ teaspoon orange extract1 ounce dried pears, finely diced1 ounce dried cranberries, finely diced2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, plus 6 small sprigs to garnish6 roasted and peeled chestnuts, to garnish (optional) Chestnut Cakes4 ounces unsalted butter, softened1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar2 large eggs¾ cup chestnut flour¾ teaspoon baking powder⅛ teaspoon salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract  Preparation For the crème anglaise: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, honey, sugar, and salt until small bubbles form around the rim, stirring to mix well. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and orange extract until smooth. Slowly whisk in half of the warmed milk. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens and lightly coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the custard through a strainer into a bowl set over ice; whisk continuously for a few minutes to cool. Stir in the pears, cranberries, and rosemary; cover with plastic wrap just touching the surface of the custard, and refrigerate. Make the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and lightly dust 1 (6-cup) muffin tin with flour. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs until blended. Sift the chestnut flour, baking powder, and salt into the butter mixture. Add the vanilla and stir with a silicon spatula until blended. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the prepared muffin tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Remove and cool in the tin. To serve: place unmolded cakes in flat bowls or on plates. Ladle the crème anglaise over and around them. Garnish with a small rosemary sprig and chestnut. 

  • Rye and Chickpea Flour Crostata with Fontina, Dried Figs, Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto
    by Joanna Pruess on September 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    When rye and chickpea flours are combined, as in the crust for this tasty crostata, the texture is both toothsome and tender. It’s a nice partner for the savory-sweet filling of fontina, caramelized onions, prosciutto, and figs. Rye flour is quite absorbent, so the dough is refrigerated a couple times during the prep. Crostatas are often somewhat free form in shape and thus rustic in appearance. See other related recipes in The Power of Alternative Flours Yield: 6 portionsPrep time: about 45 minutes plus 2 hours unattended refrigerationShelf life: 3 to 4 days  Ingredients Dough⅔ cup chickpea flour⅔ cup dark rye flour½ teaspoon salt1 large egg1 tablespoon cream1 teaspoon honey4 ounces chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice  Filling1 ½ teaspoons olive oil1 teaspoon unsalted butter5 ounces thinly sliced onion.2 ounces minced garlic.1 ounce chopped fresh thyme3 ounces fontina cheese, shredded4 ounces dried black mission figs2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto½ teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper1 egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon milk or cream, to brush on crust Preparation For the crust: In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the chickpea and rye flours and salt; pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse into 1/4-inch pieces. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, cream, and honey together; add to the flour mixture and pulse until the dough resembles coarse meal. Add the lemon juice and pulse a few more times until the dough starts to pull together. Turn onto a floured board and knead briefly into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. On a floured workspace, parchment, or Silpat, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a jellyroll pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling. For the filling: In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high until hot. Add the onions, stirring to separate the pieces, and cook for about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sauté until the onions are golden, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and thyme and set aside to cool;  toss with the cheese. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. In a food processor, chop the figs and prosciutto into small pieces; spread evenly over the crust, leaving about a 1 ½-inch border. Cover with the cheese-onion mixture and fold the crust over the filling, pleating the dough. Brush the dough with the egg mixture.  Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

  • Prepared Foods Focus: The Power of Alternative Flours
    by Joanna Pruess on September 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    If you’ve considered experimenting with alternative flours in your prepared foods, now is a good time. Increasingly people with dietary concerns are choosing products made with spelt, quinoa, teff, and brown rice flour, but substituting different flours, even those with gluten, takes practice. Some can be replaced in equal amounts for wheat flour, but with an alternative grain, naturally you would expect the results to taste differently. The substitution may also change the density and texture so it may take some trial and error to get the right mix.  • Rye and Chickpea Flour Crostata with Fontina, Dried Figs, Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto • Grilled Hanger Steak Spelt Quesadillas • Chestnut Flour Bread Puddings with Dried Pears, Cranberries and Rosemary-Chestnut Honey Crème Anglaise 

  • Grilled Hanger Steak Spelt Quesadillas
    by Joanna Pruess on September 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    This colorful and flavorful take on quesadillas propels a familiar staple into a very appealing meal, though grilled chicken or shrimp are other options. If desired, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise to the pesto to smooth it out and help the meat adhere to the tortillas.  See other related recipes in The Power of Alternative Flours Yield: 4 main course quesadillasPrep time: about 45 minutesShelf life: These are best eaten once prepared; pesto keeps at least 1 week in the refrigerator Ingredients Salsa 4 ounces pineapple, cut in small cubes2 ounces red bell pepper, cut in small cubes1 ounce red onion, finely chopped.1 ounce minced jalapeño (about 1 large)3 tablespoons fresh lime juice1 tablespoon canola oil1 tablespoon honey.5 ounce chopped fresh cilantro¼ teaspoon saltFreshly ground pepper to taste Cilantro-Pumpkin Seed Pesto 3 ounces shelled and toasted pumpkin seeds2 ounces cilantro with thick stems removed, plus a few extra cilantro leaves to garnish.2 ounces garlic½ teaspoon ground coriander3 ½ to 4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil1+ tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice½ teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste Tortillas2 cups spelt flour½ teaspoon fine salt2 tablespoons olive or canola oil½ cup+ warm water Quesadillas Vegetable oil to brush skillet or sheet pan8 (6-inch) spelt or other alternative flour tortillasVegetable oil to brush pan8 ounces queso blancoMinced pickled jalapeños, optional10 to 12 ounces hanger steak Preparation For tortillas: In a bowl, combine the spelt flour and salt. Add the oil and 1/2 cup water; mix into a slightly sticky dough, adding more water as needed. Turn onto a workspace dusted with spelt flour and knead until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide into walnut size balls (about 12), cover with a towel, and set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Lightly dust each ball with flour and, using either a tortilla press or large resealable plastic bags, flatten into about a 6-inch disk, using a rolling pin if too thick. If not using immediately, wrap in lightly moistened paper towels placed inside of resealable plastic bags and refrigerate. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brush with oil, and cook each tortilla until slightly bubbly with pale brown spots on the bottom, 30 minutes to 1 minute; turn and cook the second side until done. Remove and cover.  For the salsa: In a bowl, combine the pineapple, red bell pepper, onion, and jalapeño. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, oil, and honey together; pour over the salsa. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper, and toss again. Cover and refrigerate until needed.  In a food processor, pulse the pumpkin seeds, cilantro, garlic, and coriander until coarsely chopped. Add 3 ½ ounces of the olive oil and the lime juice, and blend into a coarse paste, adding additional oil and lime juice as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.  For each quesadilla: Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium-high until hot. Brush one side of a tortilla with a little oil. Lay it in the pan, oiled side down. Drizzle on 2 ounces of cheese and a few pickled jalapeños, if using, avoiding the edges. Cover with the second tortilla, oiled side up, and cook until the underside is browned in spots. Turn and cook the second side until done. Keep warm in an oven while preparing the other quesadillas. Or, bake them on a sheet pan in a preheated 350-degree oven, turning once, until the desired degree of crispness, about 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan until hot. Season the steak with salt and pepper and grill until desired degree of doneness, about 4 minutes on the first side, and 3 on the second side for medium-rare. Remove and let stand for a few minutes before thinly slicing it across the grain. To serve: spread a thin layer of pesto on each quesadilla. Add the steak slices and a generous spoonful of salsa to each slice along with a few cilantro leaves, and serve. 

  • Semolina Turmeric Muffins with Apricots and Pistachios
    on June 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    These vibrant yellow semolina cupcakes were inspired by many traditional cakes served throughout the Middle East. While studded with chopped apricots and pistachios, they aren’t overly sweet and are a nice morning or afternoon offering with a cup of coffee or tea. The batter includes coconut milk, so they are dairy free. (You can also use regular milk.) The coconut flavor dissipates in cooking unless you add a few drops of coconut extract to the batter. See other related recipes in Turmeric—A Golden Opportunity   Yield: 12 muffinsPrep time (including baking): about 45 minutesShelf life: at least 3 days  Ingredients 12 paper muffin liners10 ounces semolina flour2 ½ ounces all-purpose flour, plus a little to sprinkle on apricots and pistachios2 teaspoons baking powder1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric1 teaspoon ground star anise¼ teaspoon saltGrated zest of 1 orange, 1 tablespoon juice reserved for glaze8 ounces coconut milk, or regular milk 7 ounces granulated sugar5 ounces vegetable oil1 ½ ounces finely chopped apricots1 ½ ounces chopped pistachios, plus a few for garnish, if desired3 ounces apricot preserves Method  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a bowl, stir together the semolina and all-purpose flours, baking powder, turmeric, star anise, salt, and orange zest together. Using a handheld mixer, in a large bowl, stir the sugar into the milk to dissolve. Add the dry ingredients and oil and beat on medium for 5 minutes.  Toss the apricots and pistachios with a little flour to coat, then gently fold into the batter. Fill the muffin cups and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove and let cool while preparing the glaze. In a small saucepan, melt the apricot preserves over medium heat. Strain to remove the fruit solids, stir in 1 tablespoon of the reserved orange juice, and cool. Brush over the cupcakes, drizzle a pinch of chopped pistachios in the center, and serve. 

  • Prepared Foods Focus: Turmeric—A Golden Opportunity
    by Joanna Pruess on June 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Many flavorful dishes throughout India and Southeast Asia are vibrantly yellow hued. The intense color and subtle earthy taste often come from turmeric, a small rhizome in the same family as ginger. Although it can be bought fresh in some ethnic groceries, most often the spice is used as a powder. In either form, it’s quite potent: a little goes a long way and the flavor intensifies during cooking. Dried turmeric is the key component in curry powder.  Beyond adding color and taste, curcumin, the powerful chemical in turmeric that produces its bright yellow color, is credited with numerous health benefits. In India, where it’s a staple, research shows a markedly lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the population. It’s also said to inhibit the growth of several cancers, help control inflammation, and promote healing in wounds. Not surprising, sales of the supplement in health food stores are escalating.  In prepared foods, turmeric can add style and health-promoting benefits in several ways. To preserve curcumin’s beneficial properties, the powder is best added toward the end of cooking as it doesn’t respond well to extended periods of high heat. Simmering is fine, and adding an acid like vinegar, tomatoes, or citrus juice also seems to protect it. Like many spices, turmeric is best stored in a cool, dark place.  Here are three recipes featuring turmeric. • Summer Chicken Salad with Blackberries, Sugar Snaps, and Candied Hazelnuts with Turmeric Vinaigrette • Coconut Spice-Coated Fish with Cilantro-Yogurt Aioli • Semolina Turmeric Muffins with Apricots and Pistachios  

  • Coconut Spice-Coated Fish with Cilantro-Yogurt Aioli
    on June 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    As many fish lovers know, some of the best dishes are very simple. This dish is just that: it takes very little time yet is filled with flavor. Many varieties of flat white fish can be used. You might even try it on flattened chicken breasts. The cilantro-aioli is a contemporary, less fattening version of the beloved sauce. See other related recipes in Turmeric—A Golden Opportunity  Yield: 4 servingsPrep time: 10 to 15 minutesShelf life: fish 1 day; aioli: at least 1 week under refrigeration Ingredients  Aioli2 ounces cilantro½ ounce garlic cloves4 ounces plain Greek yogurt, preferably not nonfat2 ounces coconut oil1 teaspoon Dijon mustard⅛ to ¼ teaspoon turmeric¼ teaspoon salt Fish4 ounces finely shredded unsweetened coconut1 tablespoon paprika1 tablespoon cumin1 teaspoon ground turmeric½ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon ground mustard⅛ teaspoon ground black pepperPinch cayenne4 (5- to 6-ounce) flounder, or other flat white fish fillets, blotted dry1 large eggCoconut oil Method Make the aioli: In a food processor or electric blender, combine the cilantro, garlic, and yogurt and purée until smooth. Add the coconut oil, mustard, and salt and blend. Scrape into a squeeze container and set aside until needed. For the fish: In a flat dish, stir together the coconut, paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, mustard, pepper, and cayenne until well blended.  Beat the egg in a flat dish. Dip each fillet into the egg, letting the excess fall back into the dish. Transfer to the coconut-spice mixture and coat well.   Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the fish fillets and cook until golden brown, turn and cook the second side until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove, drizzle on the aioli, and serve. Alternatively, spoon the aioli alongside the fillets.

  • Summer Chicken Salad with Blackberries, Sugar Snaps, and Candied Hazelnuts with Turmeric Vinaigrette
    on June 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Succulent turmeric-brushed chicken morsels, salted-caramelized hazelnuts, sugar snaps, and blackberries create an exciting mélange of dazzling colors, layered tastes, and satisfying textures. The vibrant vinaigrette of tahini, hazelnut oil, turmeric, orange juice, and Aleppo pepper tie them all together. See other related recipes in Turmeric—A Golden Opportunity Yield: 4 servingsPrep time: 20 minutesShelf life: best in 1 day; vinaigrette can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days Ingredients  Vinaigrette   2 ½ ounces tahini2 ounces fresh orange juice1 ounce hazelnut oil ½ teaspoon ground turmeric⅛ to ¼ teaspoon Aleppo or Piment d’Espelette pepper3 to 4 tablespoons waterSalt and freshly ground black pepper Salad6 cups field greens3 ounces endive, thinly sliced2 ½ ounces sugar1 tablespoon water1 ½ ounces roasted blanched hazelnuts⅛ teaspoon salt Chicken1 teaspoon canola oil¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes, blotted dry¼ teaspoon ground turmericSalt and freshly ground black pepper4 ounces blackberries4 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed, blanched, and sliced diagonally into thirds2 ounces thinly sliced red onion1 ounce snipped chives or finely chopped tarragon Method  For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, orange juice, hazelnut oil, turmeric, and Aleppo pepper. Add the 3 tablespoons of water and whisk until smooth, adding the remaining water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a small saucepan or skillet, combine the sugar and water, bring to a boil, and cook until the sugar has melted and turned a rich amber color. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the hazelnuts and salt, and swirl for about 1 minute until the hazelnuts are evenly coated. Remove with a slotted spoon to a piece of parchment and, using two forks, separate the nuts and let them cool. Set aside Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the field greens and endive. In a heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken and sauté until just cooked through, turning to cook all sides. Turn off the heat, sprinkle on the turmeric, and turn to coat all evenly. Season with salt and pepper. When cool, add to the bowl with the field greens, along with the blackberries, sugar snaps, onion, and hazelnuts. Drizzle on the chives or tarragon.  Add the dressing, toss, and taste to adjust the salt and pepper. Or serve the dressing on the side.

  • Baked Parmesan-Panko Crusted Pork Chops with Mushroom Ketchup
    by Joanna Pruess on April 1, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    While very tasty, this brown mushroom-walnut ketchup wins no prize for beauty, yet it’s a terrific partner to crunchy oven-baked pork chops. Consider serving the whole wheat panko-Parmesan crusted meat atop a large spoonful of the mushroom mixture. The ketchup is also great on lamb chops.  See other related recipes in New Fruity, Savory, and Spicy Ketchups—No Tomatoes Added Yield: 4 pork chops; 2 cups of ketchupPrep time: 45 minutes for ketchup; 35 minutes for pork chopsShelf life: The pork chops are best eaten within one to two days after being refrigerated; ketchup lasts at least two weeks under refrigeration  Ingredients Mushroom Ketchup½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms1 tablespoon vegetable oil3 ounces onions, sliced½ ounce garlic cloves, coarsely chopped10 ounces baby Bella or Portobello mushrooms3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce2 tablespoons horseradish Dijon mustard4 teaspoons honey2 teaspoons tamarind paste1 teaspoon salt or to tasteGenerous pinch ground black pepper Baked Parmesan-Panko Crusted Pork Chops Olive oil spray1 cup whole wheat panko½ cup grated Parmesan cheese½ teaspoon Italian seasoning½ cup flourSalt and ground black pepper 1 large egg, plus 1 tablespoon of water4 boneless center cut pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick Method Mushroom Ketchup Soak the porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water until softened, about 25 minutes. Strain the liquid, reduce to 3/4 cup, and reserve.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium-size pan over medium heat. Add the onion, partially cover, and sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Combine the Portobello mushrooms and soaked dried mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and scrape into the pan with the onion. Add the soaking liquid, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, honey, tamarind paste, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, return to the food processor, and purée until almost smooth. Transfer to a clean container, cover, and refrigerate. Baked Parmesan-Panko Crusted Pork Chops  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray or brush a flat baking pan with oil.  Combine the panko, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a flat bowl. Beat the egg and tablespoon of water together in a second bowl and put the flour in a third bowl. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge them in flour, dip in the egg, and press firmly into the panko mixture to coat well. Lay the chops in the pan and spray lightly with oil. Bake until the crust is brown and the meat measures about 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 23 to 26 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes. The temperature will rise to 145 degrees as they sit outside of the oven.  Serve the pork chops atop a large spoonful of the mushroom mixture. 

  • Cheddar, Leek, and Potato Frittata with Tomatillo-Apple Ketchup
    by Joanna Pruess on April 1, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    This frittata is a colorful spin on eggs and potatoes with ketchup. Rather than the typical red condiment, this tangy-sweet green ketchup is a perfect compliment to the rich flavors of the frittata. You can also use the ketchup on grilled or fried chicken, shrimp, and more. Note that the ketchup needs to sit for at least a couple hours for the flavors to develop and meld.  Yield: 6 to 8 portions of frittata: 2½ cups of ketchupPrep time: 30 minutes for the frittata; 30 minutes to prepare ketchup, plus 2 hours for flavors to developShelf life: The frittata lasts for 3 to 4 days when refrigerated; ketchup lasts 2 to 3 weeks under refrigeration  See other related recipes in New Fruity, Savory, and Spicy Ketchups—No Tomatoes Added Ingredients Tomatillo-Apple Ketchup12 ounces tomatillos, hulled and chopped8 ounces peeled, cored, and chopped Granny Smith apples4 ounces distilled white vinegar3 to 4 ounces agave nectar or sugar1 (2-ounce) can roasted and chopped green chilies1 ounce minced onion½ ounce chopped garlic1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon mustard seeds½ teaspoon whole allspice berries½ teaspoon cumin seeds½ teaspoon ground mace  Cheddar, Leek, Potato Frittata2 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon unsalted butter6 ounces small white potatoes, thinly sliced2 ounces white and light green parts of leek, thinly sliced8 large eggs3 tablespoons half-and-half¼ teaspoon saltGenerous pinch ground black pepper8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese1 ounce finely diced red bell pepper1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano, plus a few leaves for garnish Method Tomatillo-Apple Ketchup In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine the tomatillos, apples, vinegar, agave, chilies, onion, garlic, salt, mustard seeds, allspice berries, cumin seeds, and mace; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the tomatillos have broken down, about 20 minutes, stirring often. Scrape into the jar of an electric blender and purée until smooth. If necessary, return the mixture to the pan and boil until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups. Set aside for 2 to 3 hours for the flavors to develop, then taste to adjust the flavors. Cheddar, Leek, Potato Frittata Prepare the Tomatillo-Apple Ketchup (below). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 10-inch non-stick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and leeks and sauté until the potatoes are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Turn the heat to low. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, half-&-half, salt, and pepper together. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and leeks to the bowl with the eggs. Stir in the cheese, pepper, and oregano, mixing well. Turn the heat to medium. Scape the egg mixture into the pan and let it cook until set around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not stir. Transfer to the oven, partially cover, and cook until the eggs are just set, about 15 minutes.  Remove, let it stand for a couple of minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with ketchup. The frittata may also be served at room temperature.

  • Prepared Food Focus: New Fruity, Savory, and Spicy Ketchups—No Tomatoes Added
    by Joanna Pruess on April 1, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    The bright red sauce Henry Heinz first peddled in 1876 is considered by many to be the quintessential American condiment. Yet ketchup (or catsup) was neither created in the New World nor originally made with tomatoes, even though the FDA still defines it as “prepared from one or any combination of two or more … tomato ingredients.”  Marco Polo is generally credited with bringing the sauce’s antecedents to Europe after his 13th century travels in Asia. His journals include notes about a brine of pickled fish or shellfish called ke-tsiap or koe-chiap in the Amoy Chinese dialect. The Malay word for a similar sauce was ke chap. By the 16th century, when trade with the Orient opened up, several ketchup-like condiments gained popularity, especially with British sailors. The vinegary sauces could withstand long sea voyages and mask dull flavors, making it particularly popular.  In the late 19th century, New World settlers began cooking tomatoes to be made into sauces and condiments. By the mid- to late 19th century, ketchups continued to evolve and were being made with increasingly more sugar and eventually anchovies were removed.  Today, the pendulum is swinging back with alternative (non-tomato) ketchups becoming less sweet, and much spicier. New options include blackberry, banana, and peach ketchups as well as mushroom and anchovy offerings—all of which can be an exciting and even colorful partner for a wide variety of prepared food offerings.   Here, find three original ketchup inspired recipes. Baked Parmesan-Panko Crusted Pork Chops with Mushroom Ketchup Cheddar, Leek, and Potato Frittata with Tomatillo-Apple Ketchup Sweet Potato-Chive Pancakes with Dried Plum-Pear Ketchup.   Related: Natural Sauces and Dressings Contribute to Growing US Market.

  • Sweet Potato-Chive Pancakes with Dried Plum-Pear Ketchup
    by Joanna Pruess on April 1, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Bursting with flavor, texture, and color, these gluten-free pancakes (or latkes) are sure to please customers of all ages. They can be kept warm in a low oven or even reheated. Dried plums (a.k.a. prunes), simmered until soft, impart a deep fruity taste to this condiment. See other related recipes in New Fruity, Savory, and Spicy Ketchups—No Tomatoes Added Yield: 6 pancakes; 3 cups of ketchupPrep time: 20 minutes for pancakes; 1 hour 15 minutes for ketchupShelf life: pancakes best used in 1 day; ketchup lasts for 3 months under refrigeration Ingredients Pear-Dried Plum Ketchup1 pound peeled, cored, and roughly chopped ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears9 ounces pitted dried plums 1½ ounces (1/3 cup) dried tart cherries½ ounce candied ginger1½ cups water, plus addition 1/2 cup, as needed6 ounces sugar10 cloves1 stick cinnamon½ teaspoon ground coriander½ teaspoon salt⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses Sweet Potato-Chive Pancakes 4 ounces sour cream¼ teaspoon ground cardamom Pancakes:8 ounces coarsely shredded yams or sweet potatoes0.2 ounces snipped chives + chives to garnish1 large egg, beaten2 tablespoons coarse or medium-grind cornmeal½ teaspoon saltCoconut oil, for frying Method Pear-Dried Plum Ketchup In a large, non-reactive pot, combine the pears, dried plums, cherries, ginger, and water. Cover and bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fruit is soft, about 20 minutes. Mash the fruit with back of wooden spoon.  Uncover, stir in the sugar, cloves, cinnamon, pomegranate molasses, coriander, salt, and pepper; simmer until very thick, 10 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Take out the cinnamon and reserve.  Remove the pan from the heat and pass the mixture through a food mill or strainer into a mixing bowl, or purée in a blender until smooth. Stir in additional water, if needed. Let cool. Pour the ketchup into clean jars, add the 1 cinnamon stick, cover, and refrigerate.  Sweet Potato-Chive Pancakes  In a small bowl, blend the sour cream with the cardamom; set aside In another bowl, combine the yams and chives. Add the egg, cornmeal, and salt and toss to blend.  In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, add enough coconut oil to measure 1/4-inch deep. Heat over medium heat until hot. For each pancake, scoop up 1/4-cup of the mixture and place in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, gently flatten with a spatula to 1/2-inch thick, and continue cooking until golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook the second side for the same time until browned.  Remove from heat, add a dollop of coriander sour cream and a small spoonful of Plum-Pear Ketchup, garnish with chives, and serve.

  • Mocha-Chocolate Chip Mini Angel Food Cakes with Salted Caramel Glaze
    by Joanna Pruess on January 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    These tempting mocha angel food cakes, studded with mini chocolate chips, are topped with a devilish salted caramel glaze and chocolate-coated espresso beans. The marriage of chocolate with coffee is heaven on earth. Use a mini bundt or angel food cake pan to make the six 4-inch cakes.  See other related recipes in Cooking with Coffee. Yield: 6 individual cakesPrep Time: About 1 hour plus up to 2 hours cooling time for cakesShelf Life: Store covered for up to 3 days at room temperature.  Ingredients 1½ tablespoons instant espresso powder1 tablespoon warm water1½ teaspoons vanilla extract1 cup egg whites, at room temperature1 teaspoon cream of tartar¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus 1 teaspoon for the glaze1¼ cups granulated sugar1 cup cake flour ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder½ cup miniature chocolate chips For the glaze:⅔ cup heavy cream⅔ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar6½ tablespoons unsalted butter1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 1⅓+ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted24 chocolate covered espresso beans, to garnish Method Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, blend the espresso, water and vanilla and set aside. In a large bowl, using a hand held electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and beat into soft peaks. Add the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and beat on medium-high until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Fold in the dissolved espresso.  Sift together the flour and cocoa; add it to the egg whites by half-cupfuls, folding in each addition until the flour is no longer visible. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the pan. It should come about three-quarters the way up the sides. Using a small knife, cut through the batter several times to remove any air pockets. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove, invert onto a cake rack and let cool completely, up to 2 hours.  Meanwhile, make the icing: In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, cream and butter to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining salt and vanilla and cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, adding additional amounts of sugar by the tablespoon to make a spreadable glaze.  Run a sharp knife around the cake edges and carefully remove. Place on a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Using a bamboo skewer, pierce the cakes vertically 4 or 5 times. Spoon the glaze over the cakes. Top each with four chocolate espresso beans, and let the glaze set.  

  • Vegetarian Mole Chili
    by Joanna Pruess on January 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    This bold and zesty vegetarian main course is bursting with meaty flavors. Espresso adds a slightly bitter taste on the back of the palette that balances nicely with the vegetables as well as the chocolate in the mole and smoky chipotle in adobo. The intensely flavored granules of the powdered espresso also help prevent the dish from being soupy and keeps the vegetables from getting mushy.  When buying prepared mole paste, it’s best to choose authentic versions from Oaxaca or Pueblo. Some fine companies import mole made without lard, the traditional fat used to cook the seeds, nuts, etc. Change the ingredients to suit your taste. For toppings, try pumpkin seeds, pickled jalapeños, and cheddar cheese, as well as those used below.  See other related recipes in Cooking with Coffee. Yield: 8 cups to serve 6 to 8 Prep Time: About 80 minutesShelf Life: About 1 week under refrigeration Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil7 ounces thinly sliced onions5 ounces chopped carrots3 ounces chopped celery.5 ounce minced garlic1½ cups vegetable stock3 tablespoons dark mole paste* 1½ cups crushed canned tomatoes 1½ tablespoons espresso powder1 tablespoon ground cumin½ to tablespoon mashed chipotle chili in adobo (optional)7 ounces diced zucchini6 ounces diced butternut squash4 ounces diced red bell pepper6 ounces frozen or canned corn kernels 1 (15-ounce) can white hominy, rinsed and drainedSalt and freshly ground black pepper⅓  cup finely chopped cilantro¼  cup thinly sliced scallions, including green parts, to garnish½ cup crumbled Cotija or queso fresco, to garnish1 thinly sliced avocado, to garnish (optional)½ cup sliced radishes, to garnish (optional) Additional toppings: sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds Method In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until lightly colored and just soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the stock, mole and tomatoes and bring to a boil, stirring up all browned cooking bits. Stir in the espresso powder, cumin and chipotle chili (if using), and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the zucchini, butternut squash, and bell pepper; bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in the corn and hominy and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle into bowls, sprinkle on cilantro and scallions, and top with a sprinkle of Cotija cheese. Garnish with optional toppings, as desired.

  • Prepared Food Focus: Cooking With Coffee
    by Joanna Pruess on January 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Coffee is still trending hard with the beverage found in everything from chocolates and other sweet treats to savory specialty foods. To help please all of your coffee loving customers, consider creating special dishes with the magical elixir.  But just like choosing coffee to drink, you need to pick the right kind to suit your recipes. The flavors can range from subtle to boldly assertive with hints of wine, fruit, smoke, nuts and many others notes—so choose the beans or combinations that suit your tastes and recipes.  High grade coffee often works well for cooking but at times, using ground coffee in aromatic rubs for grilled steaks, ribs and chickens is a great choice. Not only does coffee add flavor, the powdered beans caramelize and turn into a delicious crust to help seal in the juices. Even powdered coffee has its place as a way of intensifying the coffee flavor in a dish without adding additional liquid.  Here, find three original coffee inspired recipes. Vegetarian Mole Chili Braised Moroccan Lamb Shanks Mocha-Chocolate Chip Mini Angel Food Cakes with Salted Caramel Glaze

  • Braised Moroccan Lamb Shanks
    by Joanna Pruess on January 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Lamb shanks braised in strong coffee with beef stock, ras al hanout, the Moroccan spice mixture, sliced orange and honey, become succulent and fall-off-the-bone tender. The beans’ earthy, toasty, bitter notes are like a spice that marries with other ingredients to enrich the final taste. Serve with couscous with pine nuts and currants or pilaf. Like many slowly cooked dishes, the meat becomes even more flavorful with reheating. See other related recipes in Cooking with Coffee. Yield: 4 lamb shanksPrep Time: About 3 hours, mostly unattendedShelf life: At least 4 or 5 days Ingredients  2 tablespoons olive oil, divided4 lamb shanksSalt and freshly ground black pepper7 ounces chopped onion2 tablespoons ras al hanout.5 ounce minced garlic2 cups beef stock1 cup strong brewed coffee¾ cup crushed canned tomatoes3 to 4 tablespoons wildflower honey1 naval orange, washed and sliced crosswise½ cup Greek-style plain yogurt, to garnishChopped fresh mint leaves, to garnish Method In a large heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shanks and brown on all sides, turning to color evenly. Remove to a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the remaining oil to the pot, stir in the onion and sauté until soft and lightly browned. Stir in the ras al hanout and garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Pour in the stock, coffee, tomatoes and 3 tablespoons of honey; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stir in the orange, tightly cover the pot and simmer gently until very tender, about 2 ½ to 3 hours, turning the shanks a couple of time. Taste to adjust the seasonings, adding more honey, as desired.  Serve with couscous or pilaf and garnished with a drizzle of yogurt sprinkled with chopped fresh mint.

  • Prepared Food Focus: Specialty Oil Infusions
    by Joanna Pruess on September 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Oil is an essential kitchen staple, but the prevalence of olive and vegetable varieties belie a diverse world of offerings. Specialty foods are now changing this, as evidenced at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, with distinctive products that impart nuanced and bold flavors to prepared foods.  The majority of oils are pressed or extracted from seeds, nuts, or the kernels of fruits. Because many less familiar oils aren’t mass-produced, they can be costly. They are best used as a garnish to drizzle on soups or grilled fish, in vinaigrettes or other sauces, and as a seasoning where the oil’s flavor can be absorbed into porous ingredients like legumes or pasta. Many specialty oils are best with no- or low-heat preparations. Specialty oils have the ability to transform simple prepared foods into culinary masterpieces. These three recipes demonstrate the depth of some new introductions—pistachio oil, almond kernel oil, and pumpkin seed oil—each of which completes a dish in its own unique way. Creamy Pumpkin-Coconut Soup with Spiced Oil Drizzle Smoked Duck Salad with Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Sugar Snap Peas, and Pistachios Warm Black Lentil Salad with Almonds, Apricots, and Celeriac Other Specialty Oils Spotted at the Fancy Food Show Bell Plantation Roasted Peanut Oil: an extra-virgin, unfiltered roasted peanut oil that’s cold-pressed and full of flavor. The antithesis of a neutral cooking oil, it is delicious when drizzled on salads and pastas, plus it can be used for sauteing and stir-frying. Pödör Tiger Nut Oil: a cold-pressed, golden brown oil with a pleasingly intense nutty flavor. It has been known since early Egyptians cultures and can be used for high-heat cooking.   SoFregít “Dilliscious” Coconut Oil and Thai Coconut Oil: these offerings created a niche category for SoFregit’s coconut oil bases infused with seasonings that are easily added to stir-fry dishes and more for convenience and flavor.

  • Creamy Pumpkin-Coconut Soup with Spiced Oil Drizzle
    by Joanna Pruess on September 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Pumpkin seed oil has a bold, earthy flavor typical of melons and gourds and a rich amber color. When gently warmed with curry spices, it can be used in a dipping sauce for crudites, on flatbread, or as final garnish for creamy coconut-pumpkin soup where the oil adds complexity to the taste and heat. A few roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top of the soup also gives a clue to the soup’s identity. See other related recipes in Prepared Food Focus: Specialty Oil Infusions Yield: 6 cups Prep Time: About 35 minutes + time for oil to marinate Shelf Life: At least 5 days under refrigeration Ingredients 1 recipe Curried Pumpkin Seed Oil (see below) 1 ounce vegetable oil or unsalted butter 4 ounces diced yellow onion ½ ounce finely chopped garlic 24 ounces fresh or canned pumpkin puree 16 ounces vegetable or chicken stock 1 ounce grated fresh ginger 1 ounce lemongrass paste ½ ounce firmly packed light brown sugar ¼ teaspoon ground allspice 12 ounces canned coconut milk 1.5 ounce finely chopped fresh chives Method Prepare the curried pumpkin oil recipe. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is wilted and light brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, stock, ginger, lemongrass paste, brown sugar, and allspice. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until completely smooth. Return to the pot, stir in coconut milk, chives, salt, and pepper, and simmer. Ladle into bowls and serve with a generous spoonful of curried pumpkin oil drizzled over the soup.  Curried Pumpkin Seed Oil 1 tablespoon mild or hot curry powder 4 ounces pumpkin seed oil 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes In a small saucepan or skillet, heat the curry powder over medium until just warmed, stirring often. Pour in the pumpkin seed oil, add the pepper flakes and cook over very low heat for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit while preparing the soup. Pour through a very fine strainer and season to taste with salt.   

  • Smoked Duck Salad with Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Sugar Snap Peas, and Pistachios
    by Joanna Pruess on September 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    In sophisticated recipes, hazelnut and walnut oils have long been popular. Recent marketing efforts by pistachio growers have made the green nuts more appealing to buyers, especially because they are now often sold shelled.  The full-flavored, vibrant green oil is also finding a broader audience. As the vinaigrette for a room-temperature salad, the oil stands up well to bold-tasting smoked duck breast, crumbled blue cheese, and dried cranberries. In many specialty oil recipes, using the nut or seed in the dish visually helps to reinforce the oil’s presence. Vibrant flavors, textures, and colors fill this salad. The pistachios give a visual clue to the tangy, tasty vinaigrette’s oil. You can also make this into a main course by doubling the ingredients. See other related recipes in Prepared Food Focus: Specialty Oil Infusions Yield: 4 (5-ounce) servings for an appetizer or lunch Prep Time: 15 minutes Shelf life: Before dressing, at least 3 days  Ingredients For the vinaigrette: 1 large egg yolk (or 1 tablespoon pasteurized) 2 teaspoons (½ ounce) Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 9 tablespoons pistachio oil 1 ounce minced shallots ½ ounce finely chopped chives For the salad: 5 ounces mixed baby greens 4 ounces smoked duck breast, thinly sliced on the diagonal 4 ounces thin green beans or sugar snap peas, stringed, if needed, and cooked until crisp-tender 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese 1 ounce dried cranberries 1 ounce salted pistachios, coarsely chopped and toasted  Method In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil to form an emulsion. Add the shallots, chives, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper and chill mixture while preparing the salad. Put the greens in a large bowl. Add the duck, sugar snap peas, cranberries, blue cheese, and pistachios. Drizzle on the vinaigrette and serve.

  • Warm Black Lentil Salad with Almonds, Apricots, and Celeriac
    by Joanna Pruess on September 17, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Some culinary oils are derived from grains and seeds. Beyond sesame seeds, possibilities include pungent mustard seed oil, often used in Indian cooking, and bright yellow camelina oil, which tastes similar to earthy flax or hemp seed oil. They may be used alone or combined with other oils. Cold-pressed essential oils, such as from lemons and oranges, can be used for flavoring.  Apricot kernel oil is a compelling new introduction. Typically pale yellow in color, the oil has a memorable flavor reminiscent of almonds but seemingly bolder. Tossed over warm black lentils with celeriac, apricots, and almonds, it’s an exotic yet approachable dish that may be savored alone or as a partner to grilled poultry or fish.  See other related recipes in Prepared Food Focus: Specialty Oil Infusions Yield: 6 (5-ounce) portions Preparation Time: About 40 minutes Shelf Life: Best warm or in 1 day Ingredients 8 ounces black lentils 2 bay leaves 4 small sprigs fresh thyme 3 ounces peeled celeriac cut in ½-inch dice Juice of 1 to 2 lemons 2 ounces slivered almonds, lightly toasted 3 ounces dried apricots cut in 1/2-inch dice 1.5 ounces apple cider vinegar 4 ounces almond kernel oil (or cut with 25% neutral oil) 2 ounces chopped flat-leaf parsley Method Fill a medium pot with 24 ounces of water and add lentils, bay leaves, thyme, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer until the lentils are al dente, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the celeriac in water with a little lemon juice and salt until al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.  Saute the almonds in a small skillet until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with the apple cider vinegar and the almond kernel oil.  Once the lentils are cooked, drain them well, discard the bay leaves and thyme stems, and transfer immediately to a large bowl. Pour on the vinaigrette, add the celeriac, almonds, and apricots and toss well. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.  

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