Meal Ideas 12 July 2019

A Sweet Superfruit for Summer Meals

(Family Features) From backyard barbecues and family picnics to a bright addition to seasonal recipes, sweet cherries not only provide a boost of flavor but also pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, helping keep you and your family healthy during busy summer months.

Cherries can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure as well as relieve stress and gout, and can improve sleep quality.

The perfect time to take advantage of the goodness of Northwest-grown sweet cherries is through August. Eat fresh cherries straight out of hand as a snack, bake them into a pie or pair with ice cream for a sweet summertime treat.

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of dried fruit in a quick and easy Cherry Sauce recipe. Low in sugar and versatile, this sauce can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more. Add some ginger or orange peel to complement your menu and you may have a new, nutritious summer favorite. Or, for a sweet, simple snack, use cherries to make an appetizer like Cherry Bruschetta.

Find more recipes and ways to use cherries at nwcherries.com.

Cherry Sauce

Servings: 16

  • 3/4       cup water
  • 3/4       cup maple syrup
  • 4          cups fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries
  • 4          cups dried cranberries
  • 4          peels (2 inches each) fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3          tablespoons citrus zest (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • raspberries (optional)
  1. In medium saucepot, add water, syrup and sweet cherries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as sauce begins to form.
  2. Add cranberries; continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat and add fresh ginger, citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs and raspberries, if desired.
  3. Cool 30 minutes-1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan for speed cooling.
  4. Once cooled, store refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

 

Cherry Bruschetta

Servings: 6

  • 18        slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4       cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1          tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. Top each baguette with thin slice cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of basil. Serve warm or cold.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Cherry Sauce)
Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers (Cherry Bruschetta)

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

Holiday 10 April 2019

Celebrate a Sweet Cinco de Mayo

(Family Features) Cinco de Mayo is, officially, a holiday celebrating Mexico's victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. In the U.S., where it is actually celebrated with more gusto than in its native country, the holiday has become a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.

The holiday also provides a great excuse to make irresistible Mexican-inspired recipes for entertaining and, of course, a big batch of margaritas to wash it all down. Fresh sweet corn is an essential component of many Mexican dishes and a cultural staple.

Luckily, Cinco de Mayo falls right in the middle of Florida's Sunshine Sweet Corn season, meaning that the sweetest corn, available all year, arrives just in time to be a part of your Cinco de Mayo celebration. These naturally-bred varieties are grown by a group of family farmers who are committed to producing the finest sweet corn.

Get the fiesta started with this Fire Roasted Corn and Chorizo Dip and a big bowl of tortilla chips. Crunchy, spicy, sweet and creamy, this addictive dip will have your guests asking for more.

Next, be sure to serve Mexican Style Corn, a truly authentic and delicious Mexican street food. Crunchy ears of fresh sweet corn are charred to perfection then slathered with a mixture of cheese and mayo, sprinkled with chili powder and squirted with lime for simple flavor perfection.

Finally, no Cinco de Mayo celebration is complete without tacos. For a healthful twist on your typical taco, try this recipe for Charred Corn Tacos with Radish Zucchini Slaw that will have both vegetarians and meat eaters clamoring for seconds.

Incorporating more healthful whole foods and veggies into your Cinco de Mayo celebration this year makes it easier to justify one more margarita. No matter what you serve at your Cinco de Mayo celebration, make sure to incorporate the sweet and wholesome flavor of fresh spring sweet corn.

Discover more mouth-watering recipes for Cinco de Mayo and every time of year at www.sunshinesweetcorn.com.

Six Global Spreads for Sweet Corn

  1. North America: Maple Bourbon Butter - Combine one stick butter, 4 teaspoons bourbon, 2 teaspoons maple syrup and pinch of salt.
  2. South America: Lime-Avocado Crema - In a blender, combine one avocado, 1/4 cup lime juice, one garlic clove, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 1/2 cup sour cream and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Add water if necessary.
  3. Europe: Combine 2 ounces goat cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, and pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.
  4. Asia: Sriracha Butter - Combine 1/3 cup butter with 3 tablespoons Sriracha.
  5. Africa: Harissa-Yogurt Spread - Whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Harissa sauce, one crushed garlic clove and pinch of salt.
  6. Australia: Honey-Ginger BBQ Sauce - In saucepan combine 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons minced ginger and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened and reduced to about 1 1/4 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.

Mexican Style Corn

Serves: 4

  • 4 ears fresh Sunshine Sweet Corn, husked
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces Cotija or feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 lime slices
  1. Preheat grill or broiler. Grill or broil corn, turning occasionally until hot and some kernels turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using knife, coat each ear of corn with about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Crumble cheese on one side of each corn ear.
  2. Sprinkle with chili powder, dividing evenly. Broil until cheese starts to melt, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with lime.

Charred Corn Tacos with Radish Zucchini Slaw

Serves: 4

  • 4 ears Sunshine Sweet Corn
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed
  • 1/2 cup torn cilantro, parsley and mint leaves
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
  • 10 to 12 small (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
  1. Brush corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Over hot grill or open gas stove flame, char ears of corn until well blackened but not completely burnt. Remove from heat; cool. With large knife, shave off kernels into bowl. Add cilantro, parsley and mint; reserve.
  2. In small bowl, combine onion and lime juice; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in maple syrup, radishes, zucchini, jalapeno and 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Heat your tortillas one of two ways: Wrap whole stack in foil and place in warm 250°F oven for 15 minutes, or coat cast-iron skillet with thin layer of oil and heat over high heat; warm each tortilla 30 seconds to 1 minute each side, until lightly blistered.
  4. To make tacos, fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup corn. Top with cheese and radish-zucchini slaw. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Fire Roasted Corn and Chorizo Dip

Serves: 8 to 12

  • 3 to 4 ears Sunshine Sweet Corn
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 cup cooked chorizo
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1(8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 pound spicy pepper cheese, like pepper-jack or habanero cheddar
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and preheat grill to high heat.
  2. Remove cornhusks and corn silk, and place fresh Florida Sweet Corn, onion slices and red bell pepper on grill.
  3. Grill corn and bell pepper for 8 to 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes until all sides are slightly charred.
  4. Grill onion slices for approximately 3 minutes per side. When veggies are cool enough to handle, cut corn off cob. Then chop onions and pepper, removing pepper seeds. In 8-by-8-inch baking dish or one-quart souffle dish, mix all ingredients together until well combined.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until edges are bubbly. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Source: Sunshine Sweet Corn

Snacks 27 March 2019

Summer Snacks that Pop

(Family Features) Whether you're gathering the neighborhood kids for a backyard celebration or going on a weekend hike with family, you can make fueling up for the fun easy with snacks the whole family can enjoy.

Everyone loves popcorn, and this tasty treat is easy to incorporate into a wide range of nibbles perfect for summer. Popcorn's wholesome taste makes it an excellent partner to ingredients that tease your taste buds with flavors that are sweet, salty or even zesty.

Creating a delicious trail mix to carry on an adventurous hike is a cinch when you combine fresh popcorn with your favorite sweet dried fruits and lightly salted nuts. Or, if you're staying closer to home, use popcorn treats as a more nutritious alternative to traditional party desserts.

Each of these recipes features freshly popped popcorn paired with common ingredients that appeal to both kids and adults for summery snacks that are big on both flavor and fun.

For more creative recipes that give some pop to your summer, visit www.popcorn.org.

Sweet N Salty Popcorn Pretzel Sticks

Yield: 6 sticks

  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 large pretzel rods
  • 3 cups popped popcorn
  • Sugar sprinkles
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter over each pretzel, leaving a two-inch "handle" without peanut butter.
  2. Press and roll popcorn onto peanut butter to coat. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
  3. For optional chocolate drizzle, place chocolate chips in small sealable plastic bag and seal. Microwave 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted. Clip small corner from bag and squeeze to drizzle chocolate over popcorn.
  4. Sprinkle with additional sugar sprinkles. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

Chili Lime Popcorn Snack Mix

Yield: 1 quart

  • 1 quart popped popcorn
  • 1 teaspoon brewer's yeast powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Spread popcorn on baking sheet. Sprinkle yeast powder, lime juice, chili powder and salt over popcorn.
  3. Heat about seven minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.

Blueberry & Pomegranate Power Bars

Yield: 12 bars

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped whole natural almonds
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 6 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
  1. Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds in large bowl.
  3. Combine honey, brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Cook over low heat to boiling; boil two minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Cut into 12 bars.
  5. Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Popcorn Trail Mix

Yield: 5 cups

  • 1 quart popped popcorn (air popped)
  • 6 ounces diced, dried fruit (apricots, apples, etc.)
  • 8 ounces raisins
  1. Place freshly popped popcorn in large bowl. Add diced fruit and raisins. Toss popcorn and fruit until combined thoroughly.

Note: Add whatever fixings your family enjoys: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, etc.

Popcorn S'mores

Yield: 20 pieces

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 1 package (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2 cups mini graham cookies (teddy bears)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for five minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
  2. Combine popcorn and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat.
  3. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips.
  4. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan. Let cool completely, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Source: The Popcorn Board

Grilling-Tailgating 21 March 2019

Go Bananas

Easy ways to grill up something surprisingly good

(Family Features) Bananas aren't just for breakfast or lunch anymore. By grilling this popular fruit, you can add a whole new flavor dimension to a dinnertime recipe and turn a basic dessert into something wow.

Adding bananas to your summer grilling routine is a fun way to eat fruit. You can grill them in their peels while the BBQ coals are still hot or add peeled slices to a tasty kabob - it's that simple. From kid-friendly desserts to grown-up dishes with a tropical twist, make it easy on yourself and go bananas on the grill.

For more Dole Banana recipes and serving suggestions, go to www.dole.com/en/products/bananas. To share banana recipes anytime, go to www.facebook.com/DOLEbananas.

Did You Know?

  • With no fat, cholesterol or sodium, vitamin-packed bananas are a guilt-free summertime treat.
  • Banana peels are great for polishing shoes. Use (the inside of) an empty peel on your leather shoes as you would shoe polish and then buff off with a soft cloth. The banana's oils soak into the leather and, like most commercial shoe polishes, contains potassium.
  • As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana, the sweeter it will taste.
  • Ten or more bananas growing together are called "hands" and a single banana is called a "finger." Four to six bananas sold in the store are called a "cluster."

How to Store Bananas

  • Remove bananas from plastic produce bag and store at room temperature. The warmer it is, the faster the bananas will ripen.
  • To slow ripening, refrigerate (peel will turn black but the fruit inside will be fresh and ripe). Bananas can be frozen once the banana is peeled and stored in a freezer bag until ready to use (use a bit of fresh lemon juice to reduce browning).
  • If bananas are too green, place them in a brown paper bag, in a warm dry area (but not in direct sunlight) for a day or two to encourage ripening. If there is still not enough yellow appearing on the peel, place a ripe apple in the bag with the bananas.

Island Kabobs with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Preparation : 10 minutes
Grill Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 2 ripe, firm Dole® Bananas, peeled, each cut into 6 pieces, plus 1 ripe Dole Banana, peeled and diced
  • 12 chunks Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
  • 16 extra large or jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 Dole Green Onion, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons minced jalapeño pepper
  1. Thread banana pieces, pineapple, shrimp and bell pepper pieces equally onto skewers.
  2. Whisk together lime juice, oil and allspice in small bowl. Brush 2 tablespoons over kabobs.
  3. Combine remaining marinade with diced banana, mango, mint, green onion and jalapeño pepper; place in a serving dish.
  4. Grill kabobs over medium high heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or until the shrimp are opaque. Arrange the kabobs on top of the salsa.

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Grilled Bananas

Preparation : 20 minutes
Grill Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 to 4 servings

  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless pork chops (3 to 4)
  • 2 large firm Dole Bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons sliced Dole Green Onion
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed
  1. Combine sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar and oil in small bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons sherry mixture and brush on pork chops and bananas.
  2. Grill pork 8 to 10 minutes on each side until cooked through. Grill bananas 2 to 3 minutes on each side until heated through. Cut each into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Combine remaining sherry mixture and cornstarch in small saucepan; cook, stirring until thickened.
  4. Arrange pork and bananas over rice on serving plate; drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle with green onion and sesame seed.

Grilled Bananas

No prep needed.
Grill Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 4 Dole Bananas, unpeeled
  • Assorted favorite dessert toppings
  1. Place unpeeled bananas on grill over medium high heat.
  2. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side until peels blacken and soften. Insides will be custard-like.
  3. Serve warm or chilled with your favorite toppings such as fresh fruit, chopped nuts, miniature marshmallows, chocolate bits, caramel or frozen yogurt.

Grilled Caribbean Fruit Salsa

Preparation: 10 minutes
Grill Time: 8 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 1/2 fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple, peeled and sliced vertically
  • 1 large, ripe firm Dole Banana, slice in half vertically
  • 1 mango, skinned, peeled and sliced in half vertically
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 kiwi, diced
  1. Combine pineapple, banana and mango slices with the olive oil and lime juice.
  2. Brush to coat the fruit. Place fruit on grill.
  3. Grill fruit 4 to 5 minutes each side, remove and cool slightly.
  4. Roughly chop the grilled fruit, reserving juices.
  5. Combine fruit and reserved juices with the red onion, red pepper flakes and kiwi.
  6. Serve warm or room temperature. Great with grilled chicken or fish.

Source: Dole

Meal Ideas 21 January 2019

Wing It for Game Day

(Family Features) When bringing your friends and family together to watch the game, you’ll likely want to avoid any fumbles in the kitchen. Fret not and opt for a big batch of easy-to-make wings while incorporating these stress-free tips into your game plan to help ensure a resounding success:  

  • Delegate responsibilities. The best gatherings are a team sport. Tackle this recipe for Crispy Baked Wings and let your friends help with snacks, dips and drinks.
  • Prep what you can the day before. Reduce the time needed to make these wings on game day by prepping some steps in advance. The seasoning blend and sauces can be prepped up to two days in advance and chicken wings can be separated into drums and flats the day before.
  • Veggies are underrated. It’s usually a good plan to have a snack that can be easily replenished for grazers attending your party. Stock up on vegetables that are easy to slice such as carrots and celery. Place some of the cut vegetables out with dips like blue cheese dressing or ranch, both of which can double as classic pairings for your wings.   
  • Redefine “homemade.” The Crispy Baked Wings can serve as a versatile base for just about any sauce you might be craving. Instead of making a sauce entirely from scratch, consider making some quick alterations to premade ones. For example, add an ingredient like Tabasco Chipotle Sauce to store-bought barbecue sauce to impart a smoky flavor and lime juice for added brightness. Small changes can add that special, homemade quality without all the work. Recipes like Chipotle Barbecue Sauce or Nashville-Style Sauce can complement wings for true crowd-pleasers – pick your favorite or try both.

Find more flavorful recipes and game day tips at Tabasco.com/wings.
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Crispy Baked Wings with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce or Nashville-Style Sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Wings:

  • 2          tablespoons baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 1/2    pounds chicken wings, drums and flats separated, tips removed

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1          cup barbecue sauce
  • 3          tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Nashville-Style Sauce:

  • 6          tablespoons Tabasco Sauce
  • 8          tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1          tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In bowl, combine baking powder, salt, paprika and black pepper. Shake over both sides of wings.
  3. Place seasoned wings on rack over foil-lined sheet pan.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, turn wings over and continue cooking additional 20 minutes in convection oven or 30 minutes in conventional oven. Cooked wings should reach at least 180° F internal temperature with crispy texture.
  5. To make Chipotle Barbecue Sauce: In bowl, mix barbecue sauce, Tabasco Chipotle Sauce and lime juice.
  6. Alternatively, to make Nashville-Style Wing Sauce: In bowl, mix Tabasco Sauce, butter, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder and salt. Set aside.
  7. Remove wings from oven. Toss wings with preferred sauce and serve.

Source:  Tabasco

Meal Ideas 13 July 2018

Savory Summer Entertaining

(Family Features) Flavorful foods and cold drinks are the focal points of just about any summer gathering. Create a party atmosphere that can stand out by adding a bit of island infusion to both bites and beverages so your warm-weather soiree can soar to new heights.

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To help add that island spark, an ingredient like bitters provides a potent flavor made from botanicals like aromatic herbs, bark, roots and fruit. While known for their ability to balance countless cocktails, it may come as a surprise that bitters are regarded by some chefs as a pantry staple, adding real depth of flavor to a variety of dishes. Bitters can be added to classic and contemporary cocktails and a range of cuisines to create taste-tempting creations.

Much like vanilla extract, when cooked, the alcohol in bitters evaporates, so bitters-infused recipes can be enjoyed by the whole family at your next backyard barbecue or patio party.

Center your spread around a summer favorite like Pulled-Pork Sliders with Bitters, a tangy Caribbean twist on a classic dish featuring a spicy chili rub. Coupled with a vinegar-based sauce dashed with Angostura aromatic bitters, an unmistakable culinary and cocktail essential made with the same secret recipe since 1824, the flavorful sliders make for a crowd-pleasing main course.

Add to the island vibe with a unique take on a tried-and-true sweet treat like cake. Orange Butter Sponge Cake enhances every party's dessert course with the sweet and tangy combination of citrus and bitters.

These tasty foods paired with hot temperatures call for cooling off with inventive bitters-forward drink recipes like the Queen's Park Swizzle, Angostura's signature Trinidadian cocktail, and a summertime go-to, the Traditional Mojito. These drinks balance the art of the swizzle with the tastes of tiki to provide guests with refreshing beverage options.

Whether you're an aspiring home chef, an amateur bartender or anything in between, you can elevate summer entertaining with bitters to complement an array of ingredients for exceptional entertaining all summer long.

Find more summertime food and drink recipes to savor at AngosturaBitters.com.


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Pulled-Pork Sliders with Bitters

Servings: approximately 14 small sandwiches

Chili Rub:

  • 3-3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Bitters Sauce:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) unseasoned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Nature's Intent apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
  • 14 small slider buns
  1. To make Chili Rub: Stir together aromatic bitters, chili powder and salt; let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Cut pork shoulder across grain into 1 1/2-2-inch thick slices; trim excess fat. If needed, cut into chunks to remove some fat.
  3. Rub meat with chili mixture. In 8-quart pot or 9-10-inch wide, high-sided saute pan with lid, heat oil. Add meat and brown on both sides, about 15 minutes total. Remove meat and place on plate; keep warm.
  4. To make Bitters Sauce: Combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, aromatic bitters, chili powder and garlic cloves; stir well. Pour into hot, empty pan. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring and scraping bottom of pan.
  5. Return meat to pan; spoon sauce over meat. Cover and cook 1 hour and 15 minutes on low, rearranging meat halfway through cooking. Transfer meat to plate; cover with foil to keep warm.
  6. To thicken sauce, if desired: Let sauce cool in pan 5 minutes then whisk in cornstarch. Bring to boil; continue to cook and whisk until slightly thickened.
  7. To serve: Pull meat apart with two forks or fingers. Serve warm on buns, drizzled with sauce.

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Queen's Park Swizzle

Makes: 1 cocktail

  • 12-14 mint leaves
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce Demerara simple syrup
  • crushed ice
  • 2 ounces Caribbean rum
  • 6-8 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1 mint sprig, for garnish
  1. In highball glass, muddle mint leaves in lime juice and simple syrup, then fill glass with dry, crushed ice.
  2. Pour rum over crushed ice and swizzle well until glass is ice cold and frosted.
  3. Pack glass with more crushed ice and top with aromatic bitters. Garnish with mint sprig.

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Traditional Mojito

Makes: 1 cocktail

  • 1 cube brown sugar
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 12-15 mint leaves
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • crushed ice
  • 1 bottle club soda
  • 1 mint sprig, for garnish
  1. In Collins glass, muddle brown sugar cube and simple syrup, then add mint and lightly press to extract flavor. Add lime juice, rum and aromatic bitters.
  2. Fill glass with crushed ice and swizzle.
  3. Repack with crushed ice and top with club soda. Garnish with mint sprig.

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Orange Butter Sponge Cake

  • 8 ounces butter, plus additional for buttering pan
  • 2 cups cake flour, plus additional for flouring pan
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Angostura orange bitters
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • powdered or extra-fine sugar, for dusting
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Sift flour three times and add baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla and orange bitters.
  4. Divide flour mixture into four portions. Set electric mixer on medium low and add flour alternately with orange juice, starting and ending with flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition.
  5. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and bake 35-40 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pans. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes in cake pans before turning out.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Pulled-Pork Sliders with Bitters, Orange Butter Sponge Cake)

Source:

Meal Ideas 26 March 2018

Simple, Healthy Snacks and Sandwiches

(Family Features) Quick and easy meals can be hard to come by, especially ones that don’t sacrifice flavor. You don’t have to eat bland foods to provide your family a healthy and hearty, nutrient-filled diet. During National Nutrition Month, it’s the perfect time to refresh your routine with some creative and convenient options that can serve as the starting point for an on-the-go snack or a full-blown meal.

Sandwiches, like this recipe for a BALCMT Sandwich, can be one of the easiest ways to incorporate grains, which deliver shortfall nutrients like dietary fiber, iron and folate into your diet. Research from the Grain Foods Foundation shows about 95 percent of Americans do not meet dietary fiber intake recommendations. Whole grain foods, like bread, buns, rolls, pita and tortillas, can help supply your dietary fiber needs and aid in maintaining a healthy weight and lower cholesterol.

Additionally, enriched grains can play a key role in metabolism by helping the body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates, and are also essential for a healthy nervous system, productivity and cognitive development. The vitamins and minerals in enriched grains like folic acid are also critical for reducing the incidence of some birth defects while also promoting cell function and tissue growth.

Some healthier ways to build a snack include using leaner meats and lower sodium cheeses for a sandwich or adding more vegetables to your overall snacking habits. Another nutritious option, Baked Pita Crisps accompanied by Southwest Bean Dip, can help you curb hunger without blowing past your daily calorie count.

Find more recipes and tips for quick and flavorful meals at grainfoodsfoundation.org.
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BALCMT Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of Franz Bakery on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Chipotle-Mayonnaise Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2          slices bread, toasted
  • 1-2       leaves lettuce
  • 4          slices tomato
  • 1/2       avocado, thickly sliced
  • 4          slices maple bacon, fried
  1. To make Chipotle-Mayonnaise Sauce: In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  2. Add layer of sauce to slice of bread and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and second slice of bread.

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Baked Pita Crisps

Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 30 minutes
Yields: 24 crisps

Crisps:

  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons paprika
  • 3          pita breads (6 inches each) with pockets
  • kosher salt, to taste

Southwest Bean Dip:

  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2       medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3       tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4       cup packed fresh coriander sprigs, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          tablespoons water, plus additional (optional)
  1. To make Crisps: Heat oven to 400° F. In small bowl, mix olive oil with cumin and paprika. Split each pita bread horizontally into two rounds and brush rough sides with equal amounts of oil mixture. Cut rounds into small triangles and arrange in flat layer on large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt just out of oven.
  2. To make Southwest Bean Dip: In large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add garlic, bell pepper and onion; turn heat to low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and cayenne; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. In food processor, blend beans, lime juice, coriander, salt and water until smooth, adding more water, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Add vegetable mixture and pulse until just combined. Serve with Baked Pita Crisps.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Grain Foods Foundation

Meal Ideas 25 January 2018

Throw a Hot-Pot Dinner Party

(Family Features) Heat up your next get-together by inviting family and friends over to try a DIY trend, the hot-pot party. It can be easy to prep and your guests can enjoy cooking and customizing their own meals.

First, prepare a rich, flavored broth and serve steaming-hot in a slow cooker or multi-cooker. Next, offer a selection of meat, seafood and veggies for dunking. Cook for a few minutes then garnish with sauces and various toppings to match individual tastes.

A traditional East Asian hot-pot broth is flavored with beef stock, soy sauce, chilies, ginger and garlic. Try a Mexican-inspired version by serving a spiced chicken broth with ancho chile pepper, cumin and oregano, or offer a taste of the Caribbean with a coconut milk broth and fresh papaya pica sauce.

Learn more about this hot-pot trend and all the latest flavor trends in McCormick’s 2018 Flavor Forecast at FlavorForecast.com.
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Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth with Papaya Pica Sauce

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Servings: 10

Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2          cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1          cup diagonally sliced carrots
  • 1/2       cup diagonally sliced celery
  • 8 1/4    cups water, divided
  • 1          container (32 ounces) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          whole chile pepper, such as Scotch bonnet or habanero
  • 2          McCormick Bay Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2          cans (13.66 ounces each) Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Papaya Pica Sauce:

  • 3          cups cubed fresh papaya
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4       cup chopped, seeded Scotch bonnet (chile pepper)
  • 1/4       cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4       cup yellow mustard
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cloves
  • 1          pound uncooked bay scallops
  • 1          pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • cooked rice
  • toasted shredded coconut (optional)
  • fresh red or green bell pepper slices (optional)
  1. To make broth: Place ham hocks, onion, carrots and celery in 6-quart stockpot. Cook on medium heat 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 8 cups water, chicken stock, chile pepper, bay leaves, thyme leaves, turmeric, allspice and pepper. Add salt, to taste. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour, skimming fat occasionally.
  2. Remove cover and simmer 30 minutes, skimming fat occasionally. Remove ham hocks and skim fat. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch and remaining water. Add to pot with coconut milk. Cook on medium heat 30 minutes. Skim fat. Stir lime juice into broth.
  3. To make Papaya Pica Sauce: In food processor on high speed, process papaya, vinegar, chile pepper, onion, mustard, salt, allspice, garlic powder, ginger and cloves until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes. Pour into medium bowl.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook shrimp and scallops in broth about 5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Place some rice in bowl then ladle broth and seafood over top. Stir in Papaya Pica Sauce and top with shredded coconut and pepper slices, if desired.

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Asian Hot-Pot Broth with Tangy Chili Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1          large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Beef Stock
  • 1/4       cup Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • 2          tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Tangy Chili Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Sauce
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • Simply Asia Lo Mein Noodles, cooked
  • assorted mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • baby bok choy, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • crunchy Chinese noodles (optional)
  1. To make broth: In 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in beef stock, curry paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder and ginger. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir lime juice into broth before serving.
  2. To make Tangy Chili Sauce: In small bowl, mix red chili sauce and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook steak in broth about 2-3 minutes, or until it reaches desired doneness.
  4. Place lo mein noodles in bowls then ladle broth and steak over top. Stir in Tangy Chili Sauce and top with mushrooms, baby bok choy and Chinese noodles, if desired.

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Puebla Hot-Pot Broth with Avocado Crema

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10

Puebla Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 3          tablespoons McCormick Gourmet Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2          teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          cup finely chopped white onion
  • 6          cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2          ears fresh corn, shucked and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Avocado Crema:

  • 1/2       medium avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1          chayote, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • avocado, chopped (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • crunchy tortilla strips (optional)
  1. To make broth: In small bowl, mix chile pepper, ground cumin, oregano, paprika and salt. Set aside. In 6-quart stockpot on medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until softened. Stir in chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and 1/2 of seasoning mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes, adding corn during last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove corn to plate. Stir lime juice into broth.
  2. To make Avocado Crema: In food processor on high speed, process avocado, sour cream, lime juice, salt and garlic powder until smooth. Transfer to bowl; cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Coat chicken strips with remaining seasoning mixture.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook chicken and chayote in broth 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Ladle broth with cooked chicken and vegetables into individual bowls. Top with Avocado Crema and avocado, fresh cilantro and tortilla strips, if desired.

Source: McCormick

Appetizers & Sides 08 June 2017

A Sweet Cherry Season

(Family Features) Whether fresh cherries are a favorite or a treat you’ve yet to try, the time to enjoy them is now.

Orchards in the Pacific Northwest, the nation’s largest growing region, experienced a long, cool spring, which often translates into more time and energy a tree can put into the fruit. When combined with the superior growing conditions characteristic to the area, this season’s fruit showcases what Northwest cherries are known for: their large size and sweet flavor profile.

Popular varieties grown in the Northwest include the mahogany-red Bings and super-sweet, yellow Rainiers. Rainier cherries, with their unique golden color and red blush, tend to ripen earlier in the year. Growers pick Rainier cherries over multiple weeks, selecting the ripest fruit each time.

Other varieties include the early-ripening Chelans and Tietons, followed by the often larger and darker Skeenas, Sweethearts and Lapins. Aside from the light-hued Rainier (which has juice that doesn’t stain) you can typically spot sweet cherries by their dark red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

Great taste aside, sweet cherries are a healthful addition to summer picnics, parties and barbecues thanks to their fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power. They make for a snack that both grownups and little ones can enjoy straight out of the bowl thanks to their stem “handle” and can perk up appetizers, salads, desserts, sweet or savory sauces and more.

Outside of summer get-togethers, cherries make for a better-for-you late-night snack option as well. A cup of fresh, sweet cherries contains only 90 calories along with a low glycemic index of 22 making their cold, sweet crunch a tasty way to satisfy hunger cravings. Plus, they boast melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep patterns.

Fresh cherries should be kept in a sealed bag or container, and keep for approximately two weeks when refrigerated. To extend the cherry season and enjoy their health benefits after summer fades, buy an extra bag or two and preserve cherries by rinsing, packing and freezing them.

Basic freezing instructions

  1. Select 3-5 pounds of firm, ripe, Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
  2. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Place in freezer until firm then pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove excess air and cover tightly.
  4. Add frozen cherries to smoothies or juices, or defrost and put in hot cereal, pies, turnovers, cobblers and more. Or enjoy as a frozen, sweet late-night treat.

To create a festive cherry dish for the summer season, try this Cherry Bruschetta as a snack or appetizer. Find more recipes and cherry tips at nwcherries.com.

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Cherry Bruschetta

Serves: 8

  • 18 slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes longer.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. Top each baguette with thin slice of cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of sliced basil. Serve warm or cold.

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

Meal Ideas 14 April 2017

Add a Tex-Mex Favorite to Your Menu

(Family Features) A tortilla plus a tasty filling makes a household favorite – a taco. This simple, casual, versatile, fun food knows no boundaries. Tacos can be right for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks and dessert, depending on the filling.

For tacos with a unique, delicious twist on tradition, try these Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa that are ready in 30 minutes. The antioxidant-rich Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets lend color, as well as a refreshing sweet-tangy flavor that’s complementary to the lime juice, cilantro and red onion in the salsa. This sassy salsa is a perfect partner for rotisserie, roasted or grilled chicken, arugula and a dollop of jalapeno mustard-sour cream sauce nestled inside a soft flour tortilla.

For your taco fiesta, just set out the tortillas, salsa and other toppings and let everyone help themselves to a fun and delicious dinner.

For other versatile recipes, visit AuntNellies.com.

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Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Salsa:

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tacos:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno mustard
  • 4 soft flour tortillas (6-inch diameter)
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 cups chopped cooked rotisserie chicken (hot or cold)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  1. To make salsa: drain beets and chop. In medium bowl, combine beets, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  2. To make tacos: In small bowl, stir together sour cream and mustard; set aside.
  3. On one half of each tortilla, place equal amounts of salsa, arugula, chicken and cheese. Top with dollops of mustard-sour cream. Fold over.

Substitution: Sliced pickled beets or three single-serve cups of Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets may be substituted for baby whole pickled beets.

Nutritional information per serving: 380 calories; 20 g protein; 28 g carbohydrates; 20 g total fat; 650 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 1 g dietary fiber; 2 mg iron; 0.15 mg thiamin;
460 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C.

Source: Aunt Nellie's

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