(Family Features) Warm weather is here, and there is no better time for a picnic at your local park or beach. Quick and simple recipes are the way to go, but the typical bologna sandwich doesn't always stimulate the taste buds. This season, experiment with new recipes and flavors, and make your casual alfresco dining experience extra special.
By adding a few key ingredients to seasonal favorites, you have the power to transform everyday recipes into delicious dishes the whole family will enjoy. Here are some great examples on how to plus up an otherwise run of the mill picnic.
For a twist on the classic barbecue chicken, opt for a Grilled Herbed Chicken, seasoned with Grey Poupon Dijon mustard and Italian spices. But, don't let those leftovers go to waste. The chicken can be refrigerated for up to two days and made into a quick-and-easy Caesar salad with the addition of romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan cheese.
Instead of ordinary potato salad, try the Butter Bean Salad on for size. Chock full of ham, butter beans, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions, this recipe adds a touch of mustard and cilantro to really titillate your taste buds and give you a side dish full of flavor.
Finally, kick your lunch up a notch and enjoy a Cheddar, Bacon and Pear Sandwich, made with Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard. Whole mustard seeds paired with fresh ingredients create a crisp, robust flavor. Perfect for the family on the go, this gourmet goodie can be prepared in only five minutes.
For more ideas on how to spice up your picnic, visit www.greypoupon.com.
Picnic Food Safety
- Cool It: Store perishable foods in plenty of coolers with ice or frozen gel packs. Keep the food at 40°F. A full cooler stays colder longer than a partially filled one. Carry the cooler inside the air-conditioned car, and keep it in the shade when you reach your destination. Use separate coolers for drinks so the food container won't be opened and closed.
- Two Hour Rule: Don't leave perishable food out for more than two hours. (Cold foods should not sit out for more than one hour.) Any leftovers that have been sitting out longer than that should be discarded.
- Proper Prepping: Wash hands before preparing food, and make sure storage containers are clean. Cooked foods need to be properly cooled - spread the food out in as many pans as needed so that it is no more than two inches deep. This allows it to cool faster, reducing the chances of bacteria growing.
Cheddar, Bacon & Pear Sandwich
Makes 1 serving
- 2 slices fully cooked bacon
- 2 slices French bread
- 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard
- 1 slice (1 ounce) sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 of a medium pear, thinly sliced
- Heat bacon as directed on package.
- Spread bread slices with mustard. Top 1 of the bread slices with cheese, pears and bacon.
- Cover with remaining bread slice.
Grilled Herbed Chicken
Makes 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 pounds)
- Heat grill to medium heat.
- Combine mustard, water and dressing mix in shallow dish. Add chicken; turn over to evenly coat both sides.
- Grill chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until done (165°F).
Butter Bean Salad
Makes 8 servings
- 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Hearty Spicy Brown Mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 can (15 ounces) butter beans, drained
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped red onions
- 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce package boiled ham, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Mix mustard, oil and lemon juice until well blended; set aside.
- Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add mustard mixture; toss to coat. Cover.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Makes 1 serving
Wash down your meal with a twist on the classic summertime libation, Spiced Lemonade. This surprisingly refreshing treat, bursting with fruit flavors, is made with lemonade, gin and Dijon mustard. Top with mint, the perfect finishing touch for a warm-weather cocktail.
- 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Dijon
- 1/2 cup lemonade
- 1/2 cup spiced gin
- 1 slice each: lemon, lime and orange
- 1 slice cucumber
- 1 sprig fresh mint
- Mix mustard, lemonade and gin. Serve over ice cubes in tall glass.
- Add fruit and cucumber slices.
- Top with mint.
Source: Grey Poupon
(Family Features) The weeknight dinner meal can be a challenge...it must taste good, appeal to the family and be easy to prepare. Economical would also be a plus.
Sound like a tall order? Not when Salsa Verde Bean Enchiladas are on the menu. Just five ingredients...tortillas, prepared salsa verde, shredded Mexican cheese blend, cumin and canned Southwestern Bean Salad...are all that's needed for an easy Tex-Mex entrée.
The zesty bean salad, straight from the can, has just the right blend of chili powder and spices to provide a hint of heat to the black beans, kidney beans, corn and bell peppers. To make the filling, simply purée one can of the salad, and stir in a second can along with a dash of cumin. Spread onto corn or flour tortillas, roll up, and place in a baking dish. Pour on the salsa, sprinkle with the pre-shredded cheese blend and bake.
How easy is that? Add precooked chopped chicken or cooked ground beef or turkey to the bean filling if you like. Mixed greens and orange segments tossed with a vinaigrette would make a great accompaniment, or assorted favorite fruits would be tasty, too.
Southwestern Bean Salad is great to have in the pantry. It's equally delicious at room temperature or chilled. For a quick accompaniment, serve with grilled meats and poultry, burgers or sandwiches. Use it to top a mixed green salad, or add cooked pasta such as rotini or penne for a quick main dish pasta salad. Or, puree and serve as a zesty bean dip with tortillas.
For other great recipes made with READ salads, visit www.readsalads.com.
Salsa Verde Bean Enchiladas
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 40 minutes
Standing Time: 10 minutes
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 12 soft corn or flour tortillas (6 to 8 inch diameter)
- 2 cups prepared salsa verde
- 1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream, chopped avocado, fresh chopped cilantro, lime wedges
- 1. Drain 1 can of salad; discard liquid. Place in food processor. Process until pureed but still slightly chunky.
- 2. In large bowl, stir together pureed salad, second can of salad with liquid, and ground cumin. Spoon mixture evenly down center of tortillas. Roll up and place seam-side down in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- 3. Pour salsa verde evenly over enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350°F 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking 10 to 15 minutes until beginning to brown around edges. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving with optional toppings, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving (1/6 of recipe): 418 calories; 15 g protein; 53 g carbohydrate; 16 g fat; 1438 mg sodium; 27 mg cholesterol; 9 g dietary fiber; 15 mg iron; 0.06 mg thiamin; 1224 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C.
(Family Features) Deviled eggs, also known as stuffed eggs, first appeared in American cookbooks in the mid-19th century, but the origin can be traced back to ancient Rome where eggs were boiled and seasoned with spicy sauces, according to the History Channel. Today, deviled eggs are a staple during Easter, and according to the American Egg Board, more than 100 million dozen eggs were sold last year during the week of Easter alone.
The “classic” deviled egg includes a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise, sprinkled with paprika. However, chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with various flavor twists, including ingredients like seeds, bacon, hot sauce, avocado, pickles, dill, crab meat and more.
Celebrate this classic Easter recipe along with five new flavor variations from the experts at McCormick and French’s. For more deviled egg recipes and Easter inspiration, visit McCormick.com and Frenchs.com.
- Easy Deviled Eggs – Crush this traditional recipe using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard and garlic powder for a tangy-sweet flavor and silky-smooth texture. Top with paprika and enjoy.
- Smoky Deviled Eggs – What could be better than deviled eggs with crumbled bacon? How about adding in smoked paprika for another layer of smokiness and a little color. Now that’s the perfect appetizer for Easter brunch.
- Fiery Deviled Eggs – Kick it up a notch by adding Frank’s RedHot to these deviled eggs. It’ll add a tangy kick to the classic that can please any crowd.
- Avocado Deviled Eggs – Switch up the norm and add chopped avocado, Greek yogurt, yellow mustard and crispy fried onions to create this flavorful deviled egg. Top with some cilantro for a pop of color.
- Mediterranean Deviled Eggs – Getting their inspiration from the flavors of the Mediterranean, this deviled egg features Parmesan cheese, herbs like oregano and basil and a bright garnish of diced tomatoes.
- French’s Party Deviled Eggs– This egg is made for a party. Swap out the mayo with sour cream and add Dijon mustard for richness. Then top with a crispy onion crunch to leave guests wanting more. Don’t forget to sprinkle with paprika.
(Family Features) Looking for a way to kick up the flavor for your game-day party? Tailgating by the stadium or watching on a big screen, you can add great taste to the menu with a versatile cheese such as Jarlsberg.
Great for snacking, sandwiches and cooking, this popular cheese has a mellow, nutty flavor, a creamy, buttery texture and melts beautifully. You can find it in wedges, random-weight pieces and convenient slices.
Jarlsberg can be a tasty part of any tailgate experience - try some of these ideas to score big with your guests:
* Super Sliders: Mini beef, turkey or bison burgers topped with sliced Jarlsberg (or Jarlsberg Lite).
* Deep Fried Cheese Sticks: Creamy goodness battered and fried; take their flavor up a notch with marinara or spicy barbecue sauce for dipping.
* Ham & Cheese Calzones: Salty, smoky ham and gooey melted Jarlsberg all wrapped up in a munch-and-carry pastry.
* Kickin' Kebabs: Skewer great taste by alternating cheese cubes with pickled vegetables and chunks of cured ham or smoked sausage.
This recipe for Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers is an easy way to bring some heat to the game - they can be made ahead of time, then just popped onto the grill or under the broiler to be ready before the next time out.
For more recipes with big flavor, visit www.jarlsberg.com/us.
Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers
Makes 16 appetizers
- 16 pickled jalapeño peppers, rinsed and drained
- 2 4-ounce logs fresh goat cheese
- 1 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese*
- 1/4 cup diced green onion (scallions)
- Dash of hot sauce
- Cilantro leaves
- Optional garnish: pickled mini hot red pepper
- Using small sharp knife, cut slit down one side of each pepper. Leave stem intact and remove seeds and veins. In bowl, mash goat cheese with Jarlsberg, Manchego, onion and hot sauce. Divide among peppers, stuffing each generously. Refrigerate. (Recipe can be made ahead to this point.)
- Arrange peppers in heavy aluminum foil packet. Grill 8 - 10 minutes until cheese begins to melt. Garnish with cilantro and, if desired, hot red peppers.
*If you can't find Manchego, use 1-1/2 cups Jarlsberg cheese.
(Family Features) For flavor fans, there is nearly no better combo than the complementary tastes in a Cubano sandwich. Complete with layers of roast pork, ham, soft swiss cheese, mustard and topped with tangy pickles, all the flavors and textures play in concert.
For an upgrade on the classic sandwich, try this version from Sammy Hagar, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who’s known for his riff on the iconic recipe. He takes his favorite sandwich to the next level by adding a smoky kick.
“The Cubano has everything I love in a sandwich: gooey melted cheese and a crispy, crunchy crust on the bread,” Hagar said. “It's great to be able to get all the flavors in each bite. It has pickles and mustard that cut through the rich cheese and pork. When you splash a little Tabasco on it, you get the last perfect ingredients – flavor and heat.”
Find his signature sandwich at Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill locations throughout the country, or try creating Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich at home with this recipe.
For more recipes, visit Tabasco.com/recipe.
Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich
Cook time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cilantro, minced
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- kosher salt, to taste
- coarse black pepper, to taste
- 3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or boneless pork butt
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 6 pieces Cuban bread or baguette (6 inches each), cut lengthwise
- 8 ounces deli ham, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 24 dill pickle chips
- 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons reserved Mojo Marinade
- To make Mojo Marinade: In bowl, whisk olive oil, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper until incorporated. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Reserve 4 tablespoons marinade in separate bowl, cover and set aside in refrigerator.
- Place pork in large zip-top bag. Cover with Mojo Marinade and close bag. Place in roasting pan and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- Remove pork and marinade from bag and place in roasting pan. Cover with foil and cook in oven 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, reduce heat to 375° F, remove foil and cook 2 hours until internal temperature reaches 175° F and pork is fork tender at thickest part.
- Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
- In small bowl, mix chipotle sauce and mayonnaise until fully incorporated.
- Spread mixture on bottom bread slice.
- On top bread slice, place two slices deli ham, 3-4 ounces roasted pork, two slices swiss cheese, 4-6 pickles and yellow mustard.
- Over medium-high heat, butter flat surface of griddle and add reserved Mojo Marinade while butter is melting.
- Place assembled sandwiches on griddle, pressing grill weight or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches.
(Family Features) When busy mornings give way to a hectic workday followed by homework and after-school activities, a fresh, simple meal is often the only option. Before you hit the drive-thru or settle for an equally unhealthy alternative, check out these delicious dishes you can prepare and serve without the hassle.
Find more ideas to make your busy weeknights easy at Culinary.net.
Savory and Scrumptious
Take a nutritious dish to the family table that still brings a flavorful bite. This savory lasagna recipe boasts meaty eggplant, fresh zucchini and lycopene-rich tomatoes. Whole-wheat noodles pack fiber and natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals. Find more better-for-you recipe ideas at AICR.org.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research.
- 2 eggplants (about 3 pounds), quartered lengthwise
- 6 medium zucchini (about 3 pounds)
- canola oil cooking spray
- 1 pound whole-wheat lasagna noodles
- 15 ounces low-fat ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
- 4 cups low-sodium tomato sauce, divided
- Heat oven to 450° F. Grease 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan; set aside.
- Slice eggplant and zucchini in 1/2-inch slices. Layer on two baking sheets and coat both sides of vegetables with cooking spray. Roast 20 minutes. Toss vegetables and continue roasting until well browned and soft, about 20 minutes more. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375° F.
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Separate noodles and let cool slightly.
- In medium bowl, mix together cheese, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg and garlic powder.
- To assemble: Spread thin layer of sauce over bottom of prepared pan. Cover with layer of pasta (noodle strips slightly overlapping). Spread with one-third of ricotta mixture.
- Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella over ricotta. Spoon 1/3 of roasted vegetables on top. Top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and continue assembly as directed until there are four layers of pasta and three layers of filling. Spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Quick, Flavorful Meal Idea
It’s not always easy to make healthy food choices. When time is of the essence, look for delicious recipe ingredients that are convenient and easy to prepare while also offering great taste and health benefits.
In fact, 40 percent of American consumers said shorter cooking times are especially important when buying grocery items such as rice, grains and pasta, according to research from Statista, and 83 percent said taste is an important factor when purchasing food.
Ready in 10 minutes with flavor infused in every grain, Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions rice is ideal for those looking for quick and healthy meal options. With its one-step cooking process, it makes it easy for families to cook with their kids and quickly get dinner on the table. The resealable pouches ensure freshness for multiple uses, and any of the five flavors can be combined with fresh vegetables, proteins and herbs for a simple meal that’s ready in less than 20 minutes.
Simple recipe options using Flavor Infusions, such as Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad, are quick meals the entire family can enjoy, even when short on time. Find more meal ideas at UncleBens.com.
Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad
- 1/4 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 cup Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions Roasted Chicken
- 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup sliced pea pods
- 1 cup sliced red pepper
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- 4-6 red radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- To make dressing: In small glass bowl, stir together coconut milk, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, red curry paste, cayenne pepper and hot water; set aside.
- Cook rice according to package instructions. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
- In center of individual plates, place about 1 cup rice. Arrange chicken, carrots, pea pods, red pepper, avocado, radishes, peanuts and green onions around rice then drizzle with dressing.
Fish with a Twist
Add a little variety to your dinnertime protein with a smart, heart-healthy option like fish. Fillets cook quickly and a slightly sweet white fish like farm-raised catfish has a mild enough flavor to entice picky young eaters. White fish is also quite versatile; it can take on other flavors such as this citrusy topping with ease. Find more family-friendly fish recipes at USCatfish.com.
Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream
Recipe courtesy of The Catfish Institute
- 4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets, grilled or baked
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- smoked paprika or chili powder
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3/4 cup whole corn kernels
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 4 flour or wheat tortillas (10 inches each)
- 1 can (16 ounces) refried black beans
- 2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- lime zest
- salt, to taste
- Lightly brush fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika or chili powder. Prepare fish on grill or bake until done. Place in refrigerator to cool. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.
- In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Saute red pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add corn, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to incorporate and saute 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl and add cilantro.
- Heat pan large enough to hold flat tortilla to medium heat. Lightly brush pan with remaining olive oil.
- Spread tortilla on work surface. On half of each tortilla, spread refried beans and vegetables; top with fish.
- Place in heated pan and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on other half of tortilla. Heat until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly crispy. Fold cheese side over vegetable side and remove to plate.
- Using serrated knife, cut each tortilla into four pieces. Serve with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream.
- To make Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream: In small bowl, mix all ingredients until combined.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Roasted Vegetable Lasagna and Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream)
Photo courtesy of Uncle Ben’s (Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad)
(Family Features) Big-game watch parties call for big-game snacks, but that doesn’t have to mean complicated recipes or hours spent in the kitchen. Small bites and hearty dips made with real ingredients can be easy to prepare, and make an impressive spread that guests can enjoy from opening kickoff to the final whistle.
To avoid the classic snacking fumble of having your guests’ chips crumbling in your dips, choose an option like Garden of Eatin’ Blue Tortilla Chips, the mother of all chips, made with organic whole blue corn kernels that are stone ground to perfection for thick, tasty and hearty chips that stand up to any dip.
To prepare for fellow viewers with other lifestyle or dietary needs, plan to offer snacks and dips that satisfy even the most finicky of fans. Prepare a double serving of guacamole and split it in two. Keep one as-is for an easy and healthy vegan option, and make BLT Guacamole with the rest.
Serve with Garden of Eatin’ Grain Free Cassava Chips, which are made with organic cassava, sunflower and chia seeds. Crafted to perfection, these gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, paleo-approved chips provide a tasty touchdown for the whole team.
If you’re looking to bring the heat with bold taste and just enough spice in each bite, go for a warm option like Tex-Mex Enchilada Queso. To save time, you can assemble it a few hours before kickoff or even a day ahead of the game then bake just prior to guests arriving. An easy way to make this recipe stretch is to make a portion without meat so you have a vegetarian option as well.
Find more recipes to bring victory to your game-day spread at gardenofeatin.com.
Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
- 3 strips bacon
- 3 avocados, seeds removed
- 2 baby romaine lettuce leaves, halved and shredded
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- kosher salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Garden of Eatin’ Grain-Free Cassava Chips
- Cook bacon according to package instructions. Drain on paper towel and break into small pieces.
- In medium bowl, roughly mash avocado. Add lettuce, onion, tomato and bacon. Stir lime juice, lemon juice, cilantro and chives into avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Tex-Mex Enchilada Queso
Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 can (10 ounces) green enchilada sauce
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes in green chilies, drained
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
- chopped fresh cilantro
- chopped green onions
- Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, for serving
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Lightly coat deep, 9-inch skillet with cooking spray.
- In large bowl, using hand mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt until smooth and well combined. Reduce speed to low then beat in enchilada sauce until incorporated. Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and shredded chicken.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until dip is hot and cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.
- Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Source: Garden of Eatin’
Food, family and holiday traditions
(Family Features) A tamalada, or tamale-making party, is a Mexican holiday tradition that occurs during Las Posadas and combines two of the season’s most important ingredients – quality family time and flavorful food.
Consider these tips from Sylvia Garza of Qué Mami Organics to help make your tamalada fun and easy.
- Food: Before your tamalada, prepare the ingredients that require extra time and work. For example, if you are using roasted chilies, roast them the day before and have them peeled, seeded and cut up for seamless assembly the next day.
- Family: When hosting a tamalada, have food or snacks ready to share with your guests. Making dozens of tamales can take most of the day, so you’ll want to keep your helpers well-fed.
- Flavor: Add an ingredient like Tabasco Chipotle Sauce to your masa when making tamales. Not only can the sauce add smoky flavor, but it also gives the dough an appetizing golden color. You can also mix the sauce into your filling for a brighter flavor and a kick of heat.
Find more flavorful recipes at Tabasco.com.
Zucchini and Corn Tamales
Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Garza of Qué Mami Organics
Yield: 16 tamales
- 30 large, softened corn husks
- 3 cups masa harina (corn flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 1/3 cups vegetable broth, warmed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 3 cups zucchini, cubed small
- 1 tomato, cubed small
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup sweet white corn
- 4 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 5 ounces Qué Mami Organics Red Enchilada Sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco Pepper Sauce
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-ounce strips
- To prep husks: Soak corn husks in hot water. Place heavy pot on top of husks to keep submerged at least 1 hour. Once pliable, rinse each corn husk.
- To make dough: In large bowl, mix corn flour, baking powder and sea salt. Using hands, mix in warm vegetable broth to make firm dough. In mixer, cream butter and shortening until fluffy then add dough in small amounts until well mixed. Continue mixing at low-medium speed 5 minutes, scraping dough off sides of bowl. Reserve dough.
- To make filling: In large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil; saute red onion and garlic until translucent. Add zucchini and mix 1 minute. Add tomato, dried oregano and sea salt; continue mixing 1 minute. Add corn and chopped cilantro. Stir and continue cooking about 2 minutes more; zucchini should be cooked but al dente. Remove filling to heat-resistant bowl.
- In small bowl, combine enchilada sauce and Tabasco pepper sauce. Add half of sauce mixture to filling; mix well. Reserve remaining sauce.
- To assemble tamales, spread 2 tablespoons dough onto wide end of each corn husk. Dough should extend across corn husks, except 1 inch on sides and about 3 inches from narrow end.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon zucchini and corn filling into middle of dough. Add 1 teaspoon reserved sauce over filling and one strip cheese on top. Fold right side of corn husk over filling and seal closed with dough. Fold over left side of corn husk tightly and fold narrow end of corn husk up. Cut strips from extra corn husks and tie around each tamale to secure.
- Place tamales vertically, filling-side up, in steam pot with enough water to steam 40-45 minutes. Cover tamales with extra corn husks to trap in steam; place lid on pot. Tamales are ready when masa dough separates easily from husks. Add water to pot, as necessary, for longer steaming.
- Let tamales rest 10 minutes before unwrapping. Remove corn husks before serving.
(Family Features) With the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to begin planning menus and shopping for groceries, which may leave you facing endless shelves of wine. Choosing wines to pair with your holiday meal is an important part of the menu planning process.
A smart rule is to select quality wines that pair with a variety of dishes, such as crisp, medium-bodied chardonnays and medium-to-full-bodied, flavorful merlots.
“I love having a bright, crisp chardonnay on hand for holiday entertaining,” said Katie Madigan, winemaker at St. Francis Winery. “Chardonnay complements so many holiday flavors. It’s a great choice to serve with appetizers and it also transitions nicely to dinner.”
A certified sustainable winery in Sonoma County, California, St. Francis Winery offers a full range of varietal wines ideal for holiday entertaining, such as the St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay 2015 (SRP $16.99), which is made from grapes picked in the cool of night to create delicate aromas, crisp acidity and a rich, lingering finish.
With notes of fresh pear and pineapple, it pairs well with mild cheeses and rich seafood appetizers, such as Pan Fried Crab Cakes. If you are looking for inspiration to get your holiday menu planning started, consider this simple hors d’oeuvre, which can be made the night before and cooked just before guests arrive. Pair it with a chilled glass of crisp chardonnay to start the party off just right.
A complementary option for guests who prefer red wine is the Sonoma Valley Merlot (SRP $20.99). This wine has multiple layers of aromatics with flavors of red cherry, plum, dried cranberry, espresso bean and savory spices that match well with hard cheeses, roasted turkey, lamb or steaks with blue cheese butter. Find more tips for pairing wines and recipes ideal for holiday entertaining at StFrancisWinery.com.
Pan Fried Crab Cakes
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup minced green onions
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound Dungeness crab meat
- 2 cups panko, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Remoulade sauce, for serving
- Line baking sheet with waxed paper.
- In large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, green onions, egg yolks, lemon juice, tarragon, cilantro, mustard, lemon peel and black pepper. Add crabmeat and 1 cup panko, breaking up crabmeat slightly. Let mix stand 10 minutes.
- Form crab mixture into 16 2-inch patties, using about 1/4 cup for each cake. Place patties on baking sheet. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Using remaining panko, lightly coat each crab cake.
- Heat two heavy, large skillets over medium-high heat. In each skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add crab cakes to skillets and cook until golden on both sides (adding more butter and oil as needed), about 5 minutes total.
- Transfer cakes to napkins to drain excess oil. Plate crab cakes with dollop of remoulade on top.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Kobrand Wine and Spirits
(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
- Select 3-5 pounds of firm, ripe, Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
- After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet.
- Place in freezer until firm then pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove excess air and cover tightly.
- 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.
- 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
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- 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.
- Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
- 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