Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Chefs on the 'Tube

The celebrated Great Chefs television programs are now on their own YouTube Channel.

Great Chefs – Great Cities launches the new channel, making these 80 shows available to be reviewed on one’s own personal schedule.

Great Chefs is one of the longest continuing cooking series, airing on The Discovery Channel, PBS, The Travel Channel, and finally on Discovery Home. Breaking the mold of studio-based cooking shows, Great Chefs programs are all shot on location in the kitchens of the world’s finest chefs. Each program presents a menu -- an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert -- from three different Great Chefs.

The companion Great Chefs website, http://www.greatchefs.com/, includes a grid matching the programs to their menus, so that users can check to find a particular episode, then view it on YouTube.

All the recipes for all Great Chefs programs are also available on the website.

Among the featured chefs on the premiere series, Great Chefs – Great Cities, are Michael Lomonaco, Allen Susser, Julian Serrano, Robert Del Grande, Larry Forgione, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Hubert Keller, Gerald Hirigoyen, Susan Spicer, Stephen Pyles, David Burke, Emily Luchetti (whose Marscapone Caramel Cream is pictured above), Michael Romano, Gary Danko, Rick Bayless, Bradley Ogden, Hans Rockenwagner, Roy Yamaguchi and Dean Fearing.

Great Chefs Television is based in New Orleans.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And more foodball, er, football food news

This will either be cool for tailgating with kids ... or it will creep you out.

From the Little Debbie camp:

Just in time for football, America’s favorite snack cake is getting into the game with fun and festive fare. We know when it comes to your favorite season, what you eat is as important as what you watch – so this year you can score big points when you serve up Little Debbie’s newest sweet treats. Football-shaped brownies will be a fan favorite whether you’re watching at home, packing them for tailgating, or passing them out after practice.

Little Debbie Football Brownies come individually wrapped, six to a box. Suggested retail price is $1.59. Catch them on shelves at supermarkets, mass merchandisers, dollar stores and supercenters nationwide through Super Bowl XLIII.

Tailgaters.... start your grills

The crazy-hair guy, Guy Fieri, has teamed up with a wine expert to bring us a slew of tailgating recipes. Must be football season, and nobody (Listen up, Big 10) nobody tailgates like we do in the South.

Bloody Mary Flank Steak
Courtesy Guy Fieri

1 c Tomato Juice (V-8 preferable)
½ c Vodka
1 t sea salt
1 t pepper (cracked fresh)
1t hot sauce
1 T Lemon juice
1 T Worchester sauce
½ T Garlic, crushed
1 t onion powder
1 t Celery seed
1 T Horseradish
4 T Olive oil
2-4lb Flank steak

Mix all ingredients in 1 gallon zip lock bag, mix thoroughly and add Flank steak. Let marinate for 24 to 48 hours.

Grill or pan sear over high heat, searing both sides, lower heat to medium and cook to medium rare.

Let stand covered with clean towel for 5 to 10 minutes and then cut on a bias against the grain.

Prep time: 15 min
Marinate time: 24 to 48 hours
Cook time: 15 to 25 min.
Ease of preparation: Easy



Brick In The Wall bird With Salsa Verde
Courtesy Guy Fieri

1 (4 to 6 pound) chicken
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salsa Verde, recipe follows

Special equipment: 4 bricks covered in aluminum foil

Remove the backbone of the chicken. Split the breast plate and press down on the chicken in all joints to flatten it.

In a small bowl, mix together the rosemary, white pepper, paprika, salt, garlic, oregano, and basil. Rub the mixture all over the chicken—under the skin, on top of the skin, and the inside cavity.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat with oil, and place chicken cavity side down. Place another large sauté pan on top of the chicken, and place 4 bricks inside of the top pan.

Cook on medium high heat, for 7 to 10 minutes on both sides, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F.

Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with Salsa Verde.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Inactive prep time: None
Ease of preparation: Easy

Salsa Verde
Courtesy Guy Fieri, December 2007

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons chopped jarred roasted red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt

In a food processor, puree all ingredients but oil until smooth. With machine running, slowly add oil until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Yield: 1 cup
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: none
Inactive prep time: none
Ease of preparation: easy


Dragons Breath Chili
Courtesy Guy Fieri

1lb Boneless chuck, cut ¼” cubes
1lb Ground beef, coarse grind
1lb Ground pork
1c Red bell pepper, diced
1c Green bell pepper, diced
¼ c Garlic, minced
2T jalapeno, minced
2c Red onion, diced
2c Tomato paste
1c Tomato paste
1c Chicken broth
12oz Beer, preferably Corona
3T Bacon grease –or-Canola oil
2T Butter
2t Onion, granulated
2t Garlic, granulated
3T Chili powder
2t Hot Paprika
2t Cumin, ground
1t Coriander, ground
2t Kosher salt
2t Cayenne pepper
2t Black pepper
4c Pinto beans with juice
4c Kidney beans with juice

In large stock pot over high heat, add butter and bacon grease/oil, then add peppers, garlic and onions and cook until caramelized. Add meat and stir lightly, trying not to break up ground beef too much, cook until meat is done.
Add tomato paste and sauce, stir for 2 minutes, then add beer and chicken stock. Next add all spices, and beans, lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Garnish with saltine crackers, green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 1 ½ hours
Ease of preparation: Moderate
Yield: 10- 15 servings



Jambalaya Sandwich
Courtesy Guy Fieri

¼ lb. Bacon, thick cut, diced
1 lb. Pork butt / pork loin (cut in ½ ” pieces)
1 lb. boneless chicken thighs (cut in ½ ” pieces)
1 lb. Smoke sausage (sliced ¼ “)
½ lb Andouille sausage (sliced ¼” )
2 c Red onions (chopped)
1 c Red bell peppers, thin julienne
1 c Green onions (chopped)
¼ c Parsley (chopped)
2 ea Celery stalk (thin sliced)
1 T Garlic, minced
1 t salt (to taste)
2 t Black pepper (to taste)
2 t Cayenne (to taste)
½ c Water
2 ea Sourdough bread loaves
1lb Harviti cheese, thin sliced


In a large cast iron pot, or heavy bottomed braising pan fry bacon, remove when cooked and drain on paper towel.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees, cut bread lengthwise and place in oven.

Add pork to bacon grease, and cook on medium to high heat until pork is ¾ done. Next add sausages, onions, and bell peppers, cook until onions are translucent.

Add chicken, celery, and garlic, parsely,3/4c green onions. Cook until chicken is done, then season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add water, stir thoroughly, cover and let sit for 15 minutes

Evenly add mixture and cheese to each loaf, top cheese with bacon and ¼ c green onions.


Chili Lime Corn on the Cob
Courtesy Guy Fieri, May 2008

4 ears of corn, in husk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked

In a small bowl, combine butter, zest, chili powder, salt and pepper and set aside.

Carefully peel back husk from ear, without detaching from the bottom, remove silk from corn, fold the husk back around the ears and soak in water for 30 – 45 minutes. Make sure to weigh down the ears so that they are fully submerged.

Preheat a BBQ to medium, indirect heat. Remove ears from water, drain, open husk, dry ear with paper towel and spread butter mixture evenly on corn. Fold husk back over corn and grill for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

Kraft is introducing new LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars, the first non-refrigerated bar containing both a live probiotic culture and fiber. Probiotics are live cultures that exist naturally in the digestive system and are important to healthy digestive functions. They are also found in dairy products like yogurt and some natural cheeses.

With many Americans experiencing digestive health issues, these new bars offer a flavorful snack that helps naturally promote the health of the digestive system, anytime, anywhere.

LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars are the latest addition to the LiveActive line from Kraft and come in three great-tasting varieties – Blueberry Almond, Chocolate Raspberry and Peanut Butter.

Not Your Ordinary BarLiveActive Chewy Granola Bars are a good source of fiber and include a probiotic culture from Probi AB, a leading company in probiotic research and development. Plus, with chewy granola, delicious fruits and nuts and even chocolate flavor, these snacks are a tasty way to promote digestive health while on the go.

“I am always looking for simple steps that will help my clients take care of their digestive health,” said Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “The new LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars are an ideal solution because they taste great and help my clients easily infuse a probiotic culture and fiber into their active lifestyles.”

LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars are available in three flavors:
Blueberry Almond – a burst of blueberry mixed with a nutty almond twist
Chocolate Raspberry – the appealing combination of chocolate and raspberry flavor
Peanut Butter – featuring a creamy peanut butter layer

The Digestive Health DilemmaBetween 60 and 70 million Americans experience some sort of digestive health issue1. Many Americans are interested in learning about digestive health options, but according to a recent survey2 commissioned by LiveActive from Kraft Foods, consumers aren’t very familiar with probiotics. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) polled claim they are not at all familiar with probiotics and only 13 percent of those who were familiar with them could define them accurately.

“LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars are a terrific example of Kraft’s commitment to providing consumers with great-tasting foods they can enjoy to help maintain their digestive health,” said Frank Bergin, senior director of marketing for LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars. “We want to provide consumers with delicious and convenient options like LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars that are effortless to grab and go.” Look for LiveActive Chewy Granola Bars from Kraft in the bars section of stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.59.

About LiveActive The LiveActive product line makes it convenient to incorporate food and beverage options with digestive health benefits throughout the day. The bars are an addition to a delicious variety of products in the portfolio including LiveActive Natural Cheese Snacks from Kraft, LiveActive Cottage Cheese from Breakstone’s/Knudsen, LiveActive Cereal from Post and LiveActive On The Go Drink Mix from Crystal Light.

Tour de Pink

For the fourth year, The Hershey Company will turn pink in October to help raise awareness of breast cancer.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the iconic Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates, Hershey’s Nuggets Chocolates, Hershey’s Syrup, York Peppermint Patties and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures will feature pink packaging to showcase the company’s commitment to educating women, supporting research and finding a cure for breast cancer, a disease that will affect over 182,000 women in 2008.
In addition, Hershey’s is hosting a four-day charity bike ride and virtual online charity ride inviting everyone to get involved and support the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), the premier international non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to addressing the concerns and issues unique to young women and breast cancer.

“The Hershey Company is committed to supporting breast cancer education and awareness. We want to offer real ways to get involved, so this year we added a virtual component to our annual four-day charity bike ride,” said Michele Buck, Senior Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer, The Hershey Company. “Breast cancer affects women of all ages, and we are dedicated to making a difference, contributing more than $1 million to the Young Survival Coalition in the past four years.”

Through action, advocacy and awareness, the YSC seeks to increase the quality and quantity of life for all young women affected by breast cancer by educating the medical, research, breast cancer and legislative communities and influencing them to address the incidence of the disease in women ages 40 and under. The YSC serves as a point of contact for young women affected by the disease.

“The Hershey Company’s commitment to the Young Survival Coalition funds vital programs and services for young women battling breast cancer,” said Lanita Moss, President and Co-Founder of the Young Survival Coalition. “Through the Hershey brands and Hershey’s Tour de Pink bike ride, we are fulfilling our mission to raise awareness and funds for young women and their families.”

The Hershey Company will donate $300,000 to the YSC in 2008, raising awareness for breast cancer and funding critical programming and research.

Join The Cause:
Hershey’s Tour de Pink and Virtual RideThe Hershey’s Tour de Pink – a four-day, 220-mile bike ride from Hershey, Pa., to New York City – will take place Oct.r 3 to Oct. 6. For the first time, this year people across the country can get involved in their community by joining the Hershey’s Tour de Pink Virtual Ride.
Challenging riders to pedal 220 miles by Oct. 6, the Hershey’s Tour de Pink Virtual Ride provides the resources to have people participate in the ride and raise funds for The Young Survival Coalition.
Virtual ride participants are required to raise a minimum of $250 in order to receive an official Hershey’s Tour de Pink jersey. Participants can choose a bike of their choice, from a stationary bike to a bicycle built for two, or a combination of bicycle types, to log the 220 miles required to complete the Virtual Ride. Participate as an individual or as a team and log miles online. For more information or to become a virtual rider and participate in your community, visit http://www.hersheyspledge.com/.

Pink Pride:
Hershey Limited-Edition Pink ProductsHershey limited-edition pink products will be available September through October at mass, grocery and specialty retailers. Products sporting pink packaging include: Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates, Hershey’s Nuggets Chocolates, Hershey’s Syrup, York Peppermint Patties and for the first time, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures. York Peppermint Patties also will turn its white peppermint centers pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the YSC.

About the Young Survival Coalition
The Young Survival Coalition was founded in 1998 by three women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35 who were discouraged by the lack of information available to young women diagnosed with the disease. With revenues of $2.4 million, over 23,000 constituents, nine staff people and six affiliates, the YSC works to change the face of breast cancer by advocating for more research on young women and breast cancer and providing this underserved population with programs and services specific to them.
The YSC also provides a peer-support network of survivors as well as vital resources to decrease the sense of isolation felt by young women affected by breast cancer.

Making the best sandwich

G.L. Mezzetta, Inc., America’s number one producer of imported and domestic peppers and olives is challenging sandwich aficionados across the country to submit their recipes for the best sandwich ever. The Grand Prize winner of the First Annual Mezzetta Make That Sandwich Contest will receive $25,000 and a culinary trip and tour to Napa Valley, home of Mezzetta. Three runners-up will get $1,000 each.

“This contest officially marks the end of the boring, bland-wich sandwich,” explains Jeff Mezzetta, president. “Mezzetta products add so much flavor so easily there’s no reason to ever eat another bland sandwich.”

Mezzetta, a specialty foods company founded in 1935 in San Francisco’s North Beach, is considered part of the unique culinary heritage of the Bay Area, much like Dungeness crab and sourdough bread. Founder Giuseppe Luigi Mezzetta, an Italian immigrant, began his business selling imported Italian specialties to North Beach markets. Four generations later, the company is still family owned and operated and still producing great flavor-charged ingredients including their best-selling item—and one of the most popular sandwich toppers ever—the Peperoncini.

Mezzetta has launched the contest to celebrate the introduction of their new Deli-Sliced product line. Deli-Sliced was created to take a prep step out of the process and makes sandwich-building a snap. Tailor-made fixings in the new line include thinly sliced Hot or “Tamed” Jalapeños, Hot or Sweet Banana Wax Peppers, Roasted and Marinated bell Pepper Strips, Hot Cherry Peppers, and of course, Peperoncini.

But Mezzetta urges contestants not to limit their imagination to Deli-Sliced. There’s a huge variety of other great sandwich partners from the company, including olives, relishes, pickles, extra-virgin olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes…the list goes on. Mezzetta produces over 100 different food products that make adding tons of flavor to your meals as easy as opening a jar. Some of their most popular sandwich classics: Mezzetta Chicago-Style Italian Giardiniera, a savory sandwich mix of pickled cauliflower and carrots, is the secret ingredients in Chicago’s famous Italian Beef Sandwiches. And Mezzetta Hot Cherry Peppers (whole) have added zip to many a Philadelphia Cheese Steak.

Contestants can enter Mezzetta Make That Sandwich Contest in any or all of four categories: cold sandwich, hot sandwich, vegetarian, and hero (submarine-style) The Grand Prize winner will be selected from the category finalists. Entries will be judged on appearance, taste, creativity, and use of Mezzetta products. The contest ends soon— ends September 1, (Labor Day) 2008. More information is available at www.mezzetta.com or www.makethatsandwich.com.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Investing in breakfast

Breakfast is the only meal at our house that gurantees everyone will be in the same room for a meal. It's only natural, then, that breakfast is a big deal for us, especially during the school year. In the summer, there's a lot of toast, fruit and cereal, but when the school bell rings (or buzzes or dings or chimes, take your pick), the meals get heartier.

I grew up in a house in which the school-day breakfast was a free-for-all scavenger hunt. Most days, there wasn't anything but a glass of milk as we rushed out the door. Perhaps it's to overcompensate for that, but I'm determined my two (and their dad) will leave the house full-up and ready to go.

A typical breakfast in the fall includes two eggs, two pieces of bacon, two pieces of toast and a bowl of oatmeal or grits. For the fourth-grader. Sister eats about one-fourth of that, but still, she's cranky if her belly is empty.

The folks at Cabot creamery and cheese have taken note of breakfast's role in children's lives. According to the American Dietetic Association, more than 40 percent of girls and 32 percent of boys who are of school age, skip breakfast on a regular basis.

"Better academic and physical performance are just two of the benefits that eating a healthy breakfast (and lunch) can provide,” says Sara Wing, Registered Dietitian and Cabot Health Spokesperson. "They also provide your children with about half the vitamins and nutrients they need daily. After-school snacks are also important,” Wing says.

The effect of nutrition on children hasn't gone unnoticed.

Why are so many school kids starting off their day without eating what many health experts agree is the most important meal of the day? The reasons seem endless: they over-sleep, their parents are too busy, they want to lose weight, they are too rushed or they simply don’t want to be bothered making the meal. Some of these excuses are understandable — but none are good reasons for skipping the most critical meal of the day.

According to a recent study by pediatricians at the famed Boys Town Pediatrics in Omaha, Neb., breakfast affects a child’s overall performance during school by:
• providing energy needed to start the day
• eliminating hunger symptoms such as headache, fatigue and restlessness
• helping them to think faster and to respond more clearly to teacher questions
• increase mental performance
• making them less likely to be irritable
• causing them to be calmer and less anxious

The same holds true when it comes to lunch and after-school snacks says Wing.

"When helping your children make healthy meal choices, it is important to teach them these quick tips for healthy eating:

• always make sure your meal is made up of foods from at least two-to-three different food groups
• choose from fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits or vegetables
• include a protein source like lean meats, reduced fat cheese or yogurt, legumes or nuts
• set a good example – be sure to eat breakfast (and whenever possible, lunch) and dinner with your children
• let your children help plan your weekly breakfast and lunch menus

By following these tips, you can help ensure your child gets the nutrient sources they need to fuel the mind and body throughout the school day.

“After-school snacks are also important,” Wing says. “Take time to prepare after-school snacks for your kids – especially if you are not going to be home until dinner. The less junk food they have, the better. Be sure to have healthy snacks like fresh fruit, reduced fat cheese, rice cakes, muffins, whole grain cereal and yogurt on-hand and ready to eat - especially for latchkey kids. If healthy snacks are at hand and ready to eat, it’s a safe bet your child will want to eat them.”

Here’s Wing’s menu of easy-to-make Cabot recipes for school kids and grown-ups alike:


Breakfast Pinwheels
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Cabot 75% or 50% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar (4 ounces)
2 teaspoons powdered Ranch dressing mix
4 large whole-wheat tortillas
12 slices Canadian bacon

1. Combine cheeses and dressing mix; divide evenly among tortillas, spreading to edges. Place three bacon slices along center of each tortilla.
2. Roll up tortillas tightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
3. Remove from refrigerator and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices to serve.

Nutrition Analysis
Calories 258 , Total Fat 10g , Saturated Fat 4g , Sodium 1146mg , Carbohydrates 14g, Dietary Fiber 9g, Protein 27g , Calcium 300mg

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quesadillas
Makes 4 servings
Nonstick cooking spray
4 (10-inch) flour whole-grain tortillas
1 cup chunky applesauce
1 cup grated Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted Cabot Salted Butter
1/2 cup Cabot Light Sour Cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. 


2. Spread applesauce over two tortillas. Top with cheese and remaining tortillas.
3. In small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush tops of quesadillas with butter and sprinkle with half of sugar-cinnamon mixture.
4. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
5. Meanwhile, stir sour cream into remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture.
6. Cut each quesadilla into quarters. Serve topped with dollops of sour cream mixture. 


Nutrition Analysis
Calories 312 , Total Fat 10g , Saturated Fat 6g , Sodium 587mg , Carbohydrates 44g,
Dietary Fiber 11g , Protein 14g , Calcium 240mg


Cheeky Cheese Turkey Pockets
Makes 8 servings

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup Cabot Light Sour Cream
1/2 cup bottled reduced-fat ranch salad dressing
3 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1/4 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup grated Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 (6- to 7-inch diameter) whole-wheat pita bread rounds, halved crosswise

1. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, sour cream and ranch dressing.
2. In medium bowl, combine turkey or chicken, broccoli, apple, raisins, carrot, cheese and pecans. Add dressing mixture and toss to coat.
3. Spoon mixture into pita halves. Wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
4. Pack in insulated container with ice pack.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Nutrition Analysis
Calories 285 , Total Fat 10g , Saturated Fat 2g , Sodium 409mg , Carbohydrates 26g,
Dietary Fiber 3g , Protein 23g , Calcium 80mg

Any mustard-lovin' fools out there?

At last count, there were more than a dozen kinds of mustard in our 'fridge. It is, by far, the favorite condiment in our house. Stone ground, Dijon, Creole, horseradish, spicy brown.... yeah, there's some plain yellow mustard in there, too, but it can't compare with the little jars of Hickory Farms sweet-hot mustard.

The mustard sermon (the seed is in the Bible, you know) is inspired by the idea that people trying to add flavor to food without pumping on calories can turn to mustard.

How so? Well, it makes a fine rub for pork, lamb, chicken and salmon. It's the base of many of my summer salad dressings. It livens up potato salad, and, when combined with fat-free sour cream and fat-free mayonnaise, adds some spunk to a healthy version of potato salad.

On a quasi-related note, it comes to our attention that French's is looking to get The Skinny on Mustard with a recipe contest:

"Did you know that mustard is the healthiest condiment? Just by replacing mayonnaise with mustard on all your sandwiches over a 12 week period, you could save the equivalent of 8640 calories- that’s almost 2 1/2 pounds! In addition to adding flavor without the fat, mustard also has several other nutritional benefits like naturally occurring omega 3’s and selenium, a healthful element which may protect the body from cancer. Mustard also contains several antioxidants such as circumin."

Never heard of circumin? Join the club. But if you've got some mustard trickery in your kitchen, pass it on.

Do you have “The Skinny On Mustard?” If so, then French's wants to hear from you. Maybe you use mustard in the secret sauce for your family’s favorite roast chicken? Maybe you’ve found a dip that uses mustard instead of sour cream to cut calories, but that’s just as tasty as the original recipe. Enter the French’s “Do You Have the Skinny on Mustard” Contest and Win Big!!!

Entering is easy. Submit a recipe to French’s “Do You Have the Skinny On Mustard” contest by logging onto or mail to French’s/c/oBHGPR 546 Valley Road Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043, postmarked no later than December 31, 2008. The recipe must not exceed 400 words. A prestigious panel of judges including The Next Food Network Star finalist, Kevin Roberts, Chef Armand Vanderstigchel, author of Wings Across America and The Adirondack Cookbook, French’s Test Kitchen directors and other well known foodies will test the top twenty recipes and make final selections.

One grand-prize winner will receive a Day at the Spa for two and a one-year supply of French’s Mustard. Ten runners-up will win American Express gift checks ($100 each). See official rules for more details on the contest. Recipes will be evaluated based on quality, creativity, originality and appropriateness of the entry to be used in connection with the French’s Brand.

“Eliminating mayonnaise in food is a good way to reduce fat and calories immediately,” recommends Janet Andreas, French’s Test Kitchen Director. “We all know that if it doesn’t taste good we won’t eat it, but by choosing leaner cuts of meat and incorporating fresh herbs, spices and flavorful condiments such as French’s Mustard to everyday recipes, making healthier food choices will be that much easier.”


LIME CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA

Prep Time:15 min.
Cook Time:10 min.
Marinate Time: 1 hour
5tbsp. Honey Mustard, divided
4tbsp. thawed frozen limeade concentrate, divided
1tsp.ground cumin
4(5 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2cups chopped fresh pineapple
1/2of a large red bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1.MIX 3 tbsp. mustard, 3 tbsp. limeade concentrate and cumin in plastic food storage bag. Add chicken; seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours.
2.STIR together pineapple, bell pepper, cilantro and remaining 2 tbsp. mustard and 1 tbsp. limeade concentrate in medium bowl.
3.GRILL chicken over medium heat until no longer pink in center. Serve with salsa.
Makes
4 servings
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 243 Calories, 4 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 78 mg Cholesterol, 30 g Protein, 21 g Carbohydrates, 2 g Dietary Fiber, 149 mg Sodium.

SAVORY GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN
Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 20 min. Marinate Time: 1 hour

1 large navel orange
1/3 cup Spicy Brown Mustard
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. salt free grill seasoning blend
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 lbs. pork tenderloin, fat trimmed
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/8 tsp. salt

1. GRATE rind and juice orange; reserve juice. Combine mustard, vinegar, seasoning blend, oil and orange rind in small bowl. Reserve 2 tbsp. mixture. Pour remainder into food storage bag.
2. ADD pork; seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours. Discard marinade.
3. GRILL pork over medium-high heat about 20 min. or until no longer pink in center (155°F internal temperature). Let rest 10 min. before slicing.
4. MIX reserved 2 tbsp. mustard mixture, sour cream, salt and reserved juice. Serve with pork.

Makes 4 servings
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 207 Calories, 7 g Fat, 3 g Saturated Fat, 83 mg Cholesterol, 30 g Protein, 3 g Carbohydrates, 0 g Dietary Fiber, 324 mg Sodium.

SHRIMP & VEGGIE WRAPS
Prep Time: 12 min.

1/2 cup light herb cheese spread, softened
2 to 3 tbsp.Spicy Brown Mustard
4 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas, heated
1 cup watercress, washed and large stems removed
3/4 lb. largecooked shelled shrimp, tails removed
1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup shredded carrot

1. BLEND together cheese spread and mustard. Spread on tortillas, leaving a 1-inch border.
2. ARRANGE watercress, shrimp, pepper and carrot in center of each tortilla, dividing evenly.
3. ROLL up tortillas tightly. Secure with toothpicks. Cut in half to serve.
Makes, 4 servings
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 306 Calories, 9 g Fat, 3 g Saturated Fat, 181 mg Cholesterol, 25 g Protein, 30 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Dietary Fiber, 587 mg Sodium.

GRILLED PORTOBELLO PESTO SANDWICHES
Prep Time: 12 min. Cook Time: 10 min.

3 tbsp., Spicy Brown Mustard or Horseradish Mustard
1/4 cup packed basil leaves
5 tbsp. light Italian salad dressing, divided
4 medium portobello mushrooms, stems removed (about 1 lb.)
2 large red bell peppers, cored and quartered lengthwise
1 medium sweet onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
4 small whole wheat hoagie rolls, split

1. BLEND mustard, basil and 2 tbsp. dressing in mini food processor.
2. GRILL and turn mushrooms, peppers and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 min., brushing mushrooms with remaining 3 tbsp. dressing.
3. LAYER vegetables on bottom of rolls. Drizzle with basil mixture. Cover with top of rolls.

Makes 4 servings
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 291 Calories, 5 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 12 g Protein, 51 g Carbohydrates, 10 g Dietary Fiber, 546 mg Sodium.

A meat that won't 'boar' you

North American Import and Export is still looking for chefs and culinary students to get wildly creative with boar recipes. Prize: $500.

The competition is not over yet. Food service professionals (including chefs, caterers, culinary students, and food writers/bloggers) have until midnight on Monday, Sept. 15 to enter. This site can also hook you up with places that can supply boar. If boar won't do for you, then use good ol' pork.

This contest is a bit different than your typical recipe challenge because all the recipes that have been entered can be viewed at the contest blog.

Here’s one of the recipes that’s been submitted:

Wild Boar Ragu over Chestnut Polenta

Submitted by Francy Deskin from East City Grill in Weston, Fla.

Serves 6

2 pounds Wild Boar boneless shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
2 Tablespoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
2 Tablespoons granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion diced
1 fennel bulb diced
6 cloves garlic crushed
1 cup Barolo
2 33 oz. cans San Marzano tomatoes
1 box Beretta Gran Express polenta
2 quarts water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup parmesan
1 cup cream
1 cup chestnuts, chopped
½ cup chestnut honey
¼ cup each fresh chopped parsley and basil

Season the boar with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and dried oregano, massage in to meat.

Warm oil olive over high heat in a medium sized, heavy bottomed pot. Add the seasoned meat to the pot, preferably in a single layer, stirring occasionally. Once seared, drain the meat into a colander. Return meat to the pan and add onion, fennel and garlic until softened and translucent. Deglaze with the Barolo; reduce by half. Crush the tomatoes by hand and add them to the pot. Rinse the cans out with a half can of water, and add it to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook until meat is tender, one to two hours, stirring occasionally.

For the polenta, pour 2 quarts of abundantly salted water into a non-stick pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Allow water to boil for 2 minutes. Remove pot from the heat and quickly pour all the polenta into the water, beating with a whisk or wooden spoon. Return the pot to the stove and cook for 5 - 6 minutes on a medium high flame, stirring constantly. Turn the heat off, stir in parmesan and cream, and let the polenta settle for 1 minute. Fold in chestnuts.

To serve, divide polenta among six warmed serving plates. Drizzle with chestnut honey. Top with ragu. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and basil.

Pomegranate juice is here. Docs say drink up.

Current data from the Alzheimer's Association shows that an estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages suffer from Alzheimer's disease. That number could increase to affect 11 to 16 million individuals age 65 and over by the year 2050, making the recent introduction of Northland's Pomegranate Plus a definite plus for the mature community.

This new all-natural juice blend combines the antioxidant power of pomegranate juice - shown to have anti-aging benefits and to play a role in maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system - with the additional benefits of 10 essential vitamins. An extension of Northland's popular line of cranberry juice blends, Pomegranate Plus offers a major health advantage for those seeking even more nutritional benefits from their juice.

Pomegranate Plus comes in two delicious flavors - Pomegranate Blueberry and Pomegranate Cherry - and is sold in 64-ounce bottles at grocery stores, club stores and health food stores nationwide for about $4. In addition to the high level of natural antioxidants, Pomegranate Plus is fortified with Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Magnesium, and Zinc and contains no added sugars or sweeteners.

Need to know more? Click and read.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Healthier cookies? Find a Balance.

Many recipes come our way that help feed the sweet tooth, without increasing the waistline. We usually don't recommend brand-specific recipes, but some things require special ingredients.

Festive Cranberry Nut Bars

First Layer
3 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick Regular with Omega-3
2 eggs, beaten (or egg substitute)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Second Layer
1 cup water1 cup granulated sugar
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
Third Layer
1/2 cup Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick Unsalted with Omega-3
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts)

First Layer: Stir together dry ingredients. With pastry blender, cut in Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick until pieces are size of peas. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Press dough onto bottom and sides of ungreased 10 ½ x 15 ½-inch jelly roll pan.

Second Layer: Bring water and sugar to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
Spread over first layer. Bake 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool.
Third Layer: Melt Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick and cool. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to make it spreadable. Spread on cooled cookie layers and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Cut into squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.Makes 40 squaresServes 40; 1 cookie per serving

Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
1/4 cup Smart Balance Omega™ Peanut Butter
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pourable sugar substitute
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine the Smart Balance Omega™ Peanut Butter, Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick, brown sugar and sugar substitute in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer on high setting, beat until well blended and creamy.
3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and the salt. Reduce to low speed, add the oats and cherries, and beat until just blended. (Note: The batter will be very stiff.)
4. Using a measuring teaspoon, spoon rounded teaspoons of the batter onto cookie sheets coated with Smart Balance® Cooking Spray and bake 3 minutes. Do not cook longer. They will be slightly puffed and a very light golden color on the bottom. (Note: They will not appear to be done at this point, but will continue to bake while cooling).
5. Remove from oven, and immediately place on cooling racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter. Alternate cookie sheets while baking, using a cooled sheet for even baking.
Makes 40 cookies total
Nutty Fruit Crisp
5 cups sliced apples, peaches, pears, or apricots
3 tablespoons sugar, Splenda® Blend, or pourable Splenda® sweetener
½ cup uncooked oats
1/3 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup Smart Balance® Butter Blend Stick, softened at room temperature for 15 minutes
1/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

1. Place sliced fruit in a 8” X 8” X 2” baking dish that has been coated with Smart Balance® Cooking Spray. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of sugar.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, cornstarch, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
3. Cut in Smart Balance® Butter Blend until mixture resembles course crumbs.
4. Stir in chopped nuts and sprinkle evenly over fruit.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
6. Serve warm. Delicious with frozen yogurt, ice milk, or reduced fat whipped topping.
Serves 8

Did someone say New Orleans?

OK, since no story about NOLA is complete without food, we'll toss on some recipes to go with that wine. Thanks, Zatarain's.

New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Zatarain's Creole Seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, crushed
1 pound large shrimp (26 to 30 count)
3/4 cup beer, at room temperature

MELT butter with Worcestershire sauce, Creole Seasoning, garlic, pepper and rosemary in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 minutes.

POUR beer into skillet. Cook and stir 3 minutes longer or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve immediately with French bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Shrimp and Crab Fritters with Creole Tomato Dressing
Recipe created by John Besh, Executive Chef of Restaurant August, New Orleans

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Refrigerate: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Creole Tomato Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 small Creole tomato, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons Creole Mustard
3/4 teaspoon Zatarain's Creole Seasoning

Shrimp and Crab Fritters:
1 cup (1/2 package) Hush Puppy Mix
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
1/2 cup water
1/4 pound claw crabmeat
1/4 pound cooked peeled small shrimp, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup thawed frozen corn
Vegetable oil (for frying)

FOR THE DRESSING, place all ingredients in food processor; cover. Process until smooth. Spoon into small bowl. Cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

FOR THE FRITTERS, mix Hush Puppy Mix, onion, garlic, chives and Creole Seasoning in large bowl. Add water; mix just until moistened. Gently stir in crabmeat, shrimp and corn.

POUR oil into heavy skillet, filling no more than 1/3 full. Heat to 375°F on medium heat. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve fritters with Creole Tomato Dressing.

Makes 8 servings.

Pan-Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade
Recipe created by John Besh, Executive Chef of Restaurant August, New Orleans

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Refrigerate: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Shrimp Remoulade:
1 quart water
4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp (40 to 50 count), peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon Concentrated Shrimp & Crab Boil
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Creole Mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
1 tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery salt

Green Tomatoes:
1 cup Seasoned Shrimp-Fri
3 large green tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices (1/2-inch thick)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil, for frying
Creole Seasoning (optional)

FOR THE REMOULADE, bring water and salt to boil in medium saucepan. Add shrimp and Shrimp & Crab Boil; return to boil. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain shrimp well. Cool to room temperature. Coarsely chop shrimp. Mix remaining Remoulade ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Add shrimp; mix well. Cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

FOR THE TOMATOES, place Shrimp-Fri in shallow dish. Dip tomato slices in buttermilk to moisten. Coat on both sides with Shrimp-Fri.

HEAT 1/4 cup of the oil in large skillet on medium heat. Fry tomato slices, a few at a time, 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle tomato slices lightly with Creole Seasoning, if desired. Keep warm while frying remaining tomato slices, adding remaining 1/4 cup oil as needed. Serve Fried Green Tomatoes topped with Shrimp Remoulade.

Makes 6 servings.

Monday, August 18, 2008

NOLA wine tasting

Short notice, but if any of you are headed to New Orleans this weekend, there's a wine tasting sponsored by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum:

Saturday at SoFAB,
Pontchartrain Vineyards presents a special presentation and tasting...
Saturday, August 23
3 p.m.

Have you ever wondered what wine would best suit your Shrimp Po-boy? Pontchartrain Vineyards makes artisanal wines in the classic French tradition. This winery creates wines with the idea that a food-loving culture should have a wine specifically made with that food in mind.Learn what wines to pair with specific southern foods,experience Louisiana's wine, taste four delicious wines from Pontchartrain Vineyards...

La Trolley (light, crisp, dry white)

Roux Saint Louis (off-dry, fruity white)

Zydeco Risato (delicious dry rose)

Rouge Militaire (medium-bodied red)Space is limited.

To reserve a spot, email stephanie@southernfood.orgor call 504-569-0405

Fun, fast lunch you make the night before

School lunch prices are up -- which means more children will likely be taking lunch from home this year. Since I'm a huge believer in de-stressing the morning, part of that program involves making lunches for the boy and the girl the night before. Then, on the way out the door, all they have to do is grab their lunches from the 'fridge, and hit the stairs.


Easy ideas -- that kids will eat -- are always welcome.


“A lunchbox salad with crayon-size sticks of cheese and colorful raw veggies makes a delicious, nutritious, finger-food meal,” said dietitian Roberta Duyff, MS, RD.

The dietitian created Colorful Salad Sticks for the Irish Dairy Board using Kerrygold Dubliner, a kid-pleasing cheese, with the texture of Cheddar, the sweet, nutty flavor of Swiss and the tasty bite of Parmesan.

“Cheese is a protein-rich, calcium-rich ingredient for growing kids,” Duyff explained. All Kerrygold cheeses are made with milk from grass-fed cows free of growth hormones. The natural golden color of the cheeses comes from the beta-carotene in the richly green Irish grass.
To accompany the salad sticks, Duyff adds a super-easy dip using flavored yogurt and peanut butter, creating a tasty concoction similar to an Indonesian satay sauce.

Need more ideas? Here's two weeks' worth.

Colorful Salad Sticks

3 ounces Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, cut into ½-inch sticks
2 cups (about 20) raw vegetable sticks such as red, green or yellow peppers, carrots, jicama, unpeeled cucumber or zucchini
Peanut Dip (recipe follows)

Divide the cheese and veggie sticks in half. Pack each half in a container, along with dip.
Makes 2 salads.

Peanut Dip: In bowl, combine ½ cup vanilla or banana yogurt, ¼ cup peanut butter, 1½ teaspoons soy sauce, and pinch cayenne pepper; blend well. Divide in two small containers.

Per serving, the recipe provides the equivalent of: 1 cup vegetables, 1 cup milk and 2 ounces meat alternate (from peanut butter)

Variations: For kids with nut allergies, make alternate dip by combining plain yogurt with a commercial salsa. Or offer bottled salad dressing; honey mustard dressing is a great option! Per serving, the recipe will lack the 2 ounces meat alternate, but still make a nutritious lunch.


And, for when your teen goes through her inevitable "vegetarian" phase...

“If you have a teen with vegetarian tastes, any sandwich with cheese is an easy way to fit protein in,” Duyff said. “Then be inspired by adding seasonal flavors such as pears, apples, cranberries and pecans.”

Duyff created delicious Nutty Pear-Cheese Pockets for the Irish Dairy Board using Kerrygold Cheddar, which is made with microbial rennet instead of animal rennet, making it suitable for vegetarians. Kerrygold only uses milk from grass-fed cows that are growth hormone-free. The cheese turns a natural gold from the beta-carotene in Ireland’s intensely green grass.

“Cheese is the perfect partner for the sweet taste of fruit, the crunch of celery and nuts, and the fun of a hand-held pocket,” said Duyff.

Nutty Pear-Cheese Pockets

1 cup chopped firm pears or tart apples
¾ cup (3 ounces) diced Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
¼ cup (1 ounce) chopped pecans or walnuts
¼ cup lemon yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or mayonnaise-type salad dressing
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 whole-wheat pita breads
1 cup baby spinach or leaf lettuce

In bowl, combine pears, cheese, celery, cranberries and pecans. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise and ginger. Add to pear mixture; blend gently. To assemble sandwich, halve each pita and gently pull apart to form pocket. Line each of four pockets with spinach and stuff with the pear mixture, dividing equally. Makes 4 pita pockets (2 pockets per serving).
Per serving, the recipe provides the equivalent of: ½ cup fruit, ½ cup vegetables, 2 ounces whole grains, 1 cup milk, and 1 ounce meat alternate (from nuts).

Variations: Substitute Cheddar with Dubliner, Blarney Castle, Kerrygold Swiss or Kerrygold Reduced-Fat Cheddar. For kids with nut allergies, eliminate nuts. Per serving, the recipe will lack the 1 ounce meat alternate, but will still make a nutritious lunch.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Little chef, big amibition

Generally children are fun to buy presents for. We recently marked a milestone 6th birthday in our house, and in this instance we hit a mom-dad home run for presents. I went on a kitchen foraging mission and cobbled together what the 9-year-old calls the Little Chef Kit: plastic measuring spoons and cups; a whisk; wooden spoons; some flexible cutting mats; a plastic mixing bowl. All for $15 and all a huge hit with their intended recipient.

(Raging feminists can keep their gender-biased/stereotyped comments to themselves, thanks. The gal loves to cook.)

She has since taken over the largest drawer in the kitchen to store her loot. She's dug out and claimed an apron (an antique from the 1950s) and is ready to go. Have whisk, will cook.

Last night she did her first solo operation: an Asian salad dressing, the recipe of which was on the back of a tin of toasted sesame oil. She was a little heavy on the mustard, and a little light on the salt, but her big brother pronounced the end result "just like on Iron Chef."

High praise indeed.

Asian Salad Dressing
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon salad vinegar (rice vinegar if you have it; we didn't)
barely a teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon soy sauce
barely 2 teaspoons sugar
a pinch or two of black pepper

Whisk well.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More spicy living

One of the scariest and most enjoyable nooks in my house is the spice cabinet. I've got a friend who's a contractor/builder, and one of these days I'm going to have him custom make the spice rack to end all spice racks.

I love the aroma of herbs and spices. It's fun to cook with my daughter (who got her first set of kitchen basics for her 6th birthday Wednesday) and let her sniff all the jars, one by one, as we use them in recipes. It's a joy to see her eyes light up as she notices the difference between cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mace. And to see her wrinkle her nose when she bites into a whole fennel seed. You can't cook with something if you don't know what it tastes like.

Into this new awareness of spices comes research indicating the psychological and psyiological benefits that culinary herbs and spices bring to our lives. I mean, you have to be heartless not to get an emotional boost from the smell of cinnamon rolls or banana bread (laced with nutmeg) wafting through the house.

Physiological benefits are still emerging, but there are certain spices and herbs that pack quite the anti-oxidant punch. We've tapped into spice giant McCormick for some new ideas.

Continuing our theme from this week's Your Table on exotic cuisines, let's go to North Africa:


Cinnamon Beef Tagine
Long, slow cooking brings out the layered flavors of North African spices, such as cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin, ginger and red pepper, in this Moroccan stew. Cinnamon and beef is actually a classic combination in Africa.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

2 pounds top round beef, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) beef broth
1 medium onion, cut into small wedges
1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/8 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1 bay leaf
4 cups cubed butternut squash (3/4-inch cubes)
3 cups cubed sweet potatoes (3/4-inch cubes)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup raisins

Coat beef cubes with flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat with remaining beef and oil. Remove beef from pan; set aside.

Stir broth, onion, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, sea salt, ground red pepper and bay leaf into pan. Bring to boil, stirring to release brown bits in bottom of pan.

Return meat to pan. Add vegetables; mix well. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in raisins. Serve with couscous, if desired.


Apple Fennel Bulgur with Sausage
Bulgur, the nutritious Middle Eastern staple, is impressively combined with apples and kielbasa to create a unique and delicious dish.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 cup uncooked bulgur (available locally)
1 teaspoon Rosemary Leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Thyme Leaves, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Sage, Rubbed
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 Gala or Golden Delicious apple, cut in thin wedges
1 1/2 teaspoons Fennel Seed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Pour broth into liquid measuring cup. Add water to measure 2 cups.

Pour broth mixture into medium saucepan. Add bulgur, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon of the thyme, salt and sage; bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender. Set aside.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add sausage, apples, remaining 1/4 teaspoon thyme and fennel seed; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add balsamic vinegar and herbed bulgur; mix well.


Back home in the South, with classics from the neighborhood:


Peach Watermelon Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
For a change of pace, try a fresh fruit salsa with lightly sweetened tortilla chips at your next cookout. The no-cook salsa is also great as a refreshing topper for simply grilled fish or chicken.
(photo above)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigerate: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes 6 servings (1/4 cup salsa and 8 chips each).
Peach Watermelon Salsa

1 cup chopped peeled peaches
1 cup chopped seeded watermelon
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon Thyme Leaves

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
6 flour tortillas (6-inch)

For the Chips, preheat oven to 375°F. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Spray tortillas lightly with no stick cooking spray. Cut each into 8 wedges. Place on baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely on wire rack. Serve with Peach Watermelon Salsa.
More recipes are available and the combinations are endless.

Cheese with attitude ... and history

A milestone deserves a makeover.
Joan of Arc, the oldest trademarked brand of French Brie in the U.S., is unveiling a refreshed package and new overall look in celebration of the brand’s 90th anniversary. The completely revitalized packaging and new attractive look speak to the brand’s excellence and tradition on which Joan of Arc has built its legendary reputation. Known for exceptional quality and flavor, Joan of Arc is a leader in the brie category, bringing to market flavorful bries – the most popular variety of French cheese on the market - as well as other fine French favorites.

The Joan of Arc updated chic look for Brie, Camembert, Chevre and a new Joan of Arc Le Grand Luxe edition including Coulommiers from France, will be showcased on all branded products beginning in October and appearing in the deli section of grocery stores and supermarkets across the U.S.

“We are excited to unveil Joan of Arc’s refined new look in honor of the brand’s 90th anniversary,” said Tim Omer, President/CEO of DCI Cheese Company. “Joan of Arc is truly a legend in the deli case and the long-standing brand is deserving of a special makeover and celebration to mark the milestone.”

In addition to new packaging, the legendary brand is also launching several special in-store promotions to add to the revelry. From October 1-December 31, Joan of Arc fans will have a special chance to win a once in a lifetime trip for two to Paris. Beautiful in-store displays will showcase the brand’s new look and complimentary Joan of Arc holiday recipe and entertaining booklets, as well as coupons towards Joan of Arc branded products will be available in-store for consumers.
I had a brie and pear soup in Paris many, many years ago. It's fabulous and oh so elegant.

Brie and Pear Soup
2 large, ripe fragrant pears (about 1 pound)
2 cups chicken broth
8 oz. Brie (double-cream), chilled

Peel the pears. Remove the seeds and cut into thick slices. Put chicken broth and pears in a medium-sized heavy pot and simmer for 15 minutes or until the pears are very soft. Transfer the pears and broth to a food processor and process until very smooth. Return puree to the pot and bring to a simmer.

Trim the rind from the Brie and cut the cheese into small pieces. Slowly add the cheese to the pears and broth and stir with a wooden spoon until melted. The soup should be creamy and smooth. Garnish with diced pears, if desired. Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Get smarter in the kitchen

How many of these mistakes have you made?

Grape expectations

They're fabulous to snack on, but grapes can take center state in a meal, too.

Seared Shrimp with Grape Citrus Rum Sauce
Serves 4

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 cup red seedless California grapes, sliced
1 tablespoon slivered lemon zest
1 tablespoon slivered lime zest
1 each jalapeño pepper, sliced into slivers
1 teaspoon slivered ginger
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Pat the shrimp dry and season with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the shrimp in the hot oil until they are bright pink and curling, about 2 minutes. Stir in the grapes, lemon zest, lime zest, jalapeño, and ginger. Pour on the rum and light, being careful to keep your hands and face away from any flame. Simmer 1 minute. Stir in the brown sugar, lemon juice, and lime juice and simmer until the sauce is slightly syrupy and the shrimp are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

San Joaquin Sangria

1 bottle (750 ml) full-bodied, dry red wine
2 cups red or black seedless California grapes
1 orange, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 nectarine or peach, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup soda water (optional)
8 small clusters of green grapes

Combine all the ingredients except the soda water and the grape clusters in a pitcher. Stir well. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Add soda water if desired and serve with or without the fruit pieces, in glasses garnished with small clusters of grapes.
Serves 4.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 292; Protein 1.94 g; Carbohydrate 43 g; Fat .94 g; 3% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 13 mg; Potassium 590 mg; Fiber 2.7 g.


Fresh Grape Trail Mix

1 cup green, red, and/or black seedless California grapes
4 ounces jack or cheddar cheese, diced
1/2 cup chocolate or carob chips
1/2 cup almonds, peanuts, or sunflower seeds

Combine the ingredients in resealable bags. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Serves 4.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 341; Protein 11.7 g; Carbohydrate 24 g; Fat 24 g; 60% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 155 mg; Potassium 173.5 mg; Fiber 3.8 g.

Arrange shrimp on a serving platter or on individual dishes, spoon on the grape sauce and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 129; Protein 4.7 g; Carbohydrate 16 g; Fat 3 g; 19% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 32 mg; Sodium 181 mg; Potassium 166 mg; Fiber .91 g.

Spicy Carrot Slaw with Grapes

1/3 cup orange juice concentrate, undiluted
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 small green chile, seeded and minced (use a jalapeño, Serrano, or habanero if you like it really hot)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large peeled carrots, shredded
2 cups green, red, and/or black seedless California grapes, halved
1/2 medium jicama, peeled and julienned (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, lime juice, chile, and salt. In a separate serving bowl, combine the carrots, grapes, jicama, cilantro, and peanuts. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to blend. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Serves 8.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 136; Protein 3.4 g; Carbohydrate 18.5 g; Fat 6 g; 37% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 219 mg; Potassium 296 mg; Fiber 3.3 g.
Courtesy: California Table Grape Commission

Chicken in the 'nuke'

OK, so it's not technically correct to still refer to microwaving as "nuking" food, but "microwaving is too long for a headline.

I'm the first to admit that I'd be squeamish about the taste and texture of any raw meat, fish our poultry product cooked in the microwave. It wasn't until we bought a new microwave a few years ago that came with a roasting setting (complete with temperature probe) that I decided to give beef a whirl.

Chicken? I'm still out on that, which is why I was intrigued by these ideas from the poultry gurus.

Microwave ovens cook with high-frequency radio waves that cause food particles to vibrate, creating a friction that heats and cooks the food. Microwaves travel quickly and are extremely short, penetrating only about one inch into the food. This makes microwaving perfect for cooking thin pieces of meat like chicken tenders, because they can cook so quickly. In thicker pieces of meat, the deeper portions cook by heat conduction. Always put the food on microwave-safe glass or ceramic plates.

From the National Chicken Council and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, here are two new chicken recipes prepared in the microwave, to have on hand when you need a tasty meal in a hurry.

Parchment Steamed Chicken Tenders with Vegetables and Vinaigrette pairs chicken tenderloins, the thin pieces of meat cut from the side of the breast, with the best of late summer vegetables. Start by making a flavorful mustard vinaigrette by combining in a food processor Dijon mustard, olive oil, capers, lemon juice and a variety of herbs. Marinate the chicken in half of this mixture, then place the chicken on squares of parchment paper. Add sliced vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes and fresh corn, and fold the parchment into a packet. Place the packet in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate, and cook five to six minutes on high heat, or until chicken is cooked through. Open steaming packet, add a little more of the vinaigrette dressing, and serve warm. This chicken dish is delicious accompanied by rice or potatoes and sliced cantaloupe.

For lunch or a casual supper, try Lemon Pepper Chicken Sandwiches, which use a pre-cooked chicken that only needs to be reheated in the microwave. Make sandwich spreads by combining softened goat cheese, honey and rosemary in one bowl, and black cherry or plum jam, balsamic vinegar and chopped onion in another. Use lemon-pepper flavored chicken strips or pieces of chicken cut from a lemon-pepper flavored rotisserie chicken for the meat of the sandwich. Assemble all on a favorite bread, add lettuce leaves and serve.


Parchment Steamed Chicken Tenders with
Vegetables and Vinaigrette


Serves 4

1 ½ pounds chicken tenders (about 12 – 14)

Vinaigrette:
2 TBLS roughly chopped fresh basil
1 TBLS roughly chopped fresh tarragon
1 TBLS roughly chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp capers
½ cup + 1 TBLS extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 TBLS + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Vegetables:
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 large zucchini, sliced thin
½ cup fresh corn (1 ear uncooked corn or ½ cup thawed frozen corn)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

In bowl of food processor, combine all ingredients for vinaigrette. Process until liquid is emulsified. Remove half of vinaigrette and set aside.

In large bowl, place chicken tenders and half of vinaigrette. Toss well to coat. Marinate one-half-hour, or longer. Combine all vegetables in large bowl; top with salt and pepper and toss well.

Tear four pieces of parchment paper, about 15” x 15” each. Place one-fourth of the vegetable mixture on each piece of parchment. Top with 3 -4 chicken tenders. Pull opposites of parchment together around chicken and wrap as package. Turn entire packet over and place on large microwave-safe plate. Repeat with second packet.

Place plate with two packets in microwave oven and cook for 6 – 7 minutes on medium high heat (5 to 6 power level). Remove from oven and repeat with remaining two packets.

When all packets are cooked, unwrap each packet and remove chicken and vegetables to individual serving plates. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and serve.

Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
490 calories; 35 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 10 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugars


Lemon Pepper Chicken Sandwiches

Serves 4

1 package (10 oz) lemon-pepper flavored chicken breast strips, or 2 cups lemon-
pepper rotisserie chicken, cut into strips

Honeyed Rosemary Goat Cheese:
1 package (8 oz) goat cheese, softened
3 tsps fresh rosemary, chopped
2 TBLS honey

Relish:
2 TBLS finely chopped red onion
¼ cup black cherry preserves
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tsps balsamic vinegar

1 loaf ciabatta or other crusty bread
2 cups mache or other leafy green, like Boston Bibb lettuce

In small bowl, combine goat cheese, rosemary and honey. Mix well and reserve.

In separate small, microwave-safe bowl, combine cherry preserves and red onion. Microwave for 30 seconds to warm. Add pepper and balsamic vinegar. Reserve.

Cut bread into four inch slices and cut in half horizontally. Spread one-fourth of the goat cheese mixture onto one half of each sandwich. Spread one-fourth of relish onto each of the other sandwich halves.

Place chicken in microwave-safe bowl and heat in microwave for one minute to warm. Divide chicken among the four sandwiches, placing on top of goat cheese. Top chicken with goat cheese; top with relish half of bread. Cut each sandwich on the diagonal and serve.

Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
520 calories; 16 g fat; 9 g saturated fat; 61 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 23 g sugars

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Marinades cut cancer risk in grilling?

From the Institute of Food Technologists:

New research published in the Journal of Food Science shows that marinating meats may decrease the cancer forming compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA), which are produced during grilling, by over 70 percent.

Researchers from Kansas State University tested three commercial spice- containing marinade blends (Caribbean, southwest, and herb) on round beef steaks. The steaks were marinated for one hour and then grilled at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Food scientists found that steaks marinated in the Caribbean blend produced the highest decrease in HCA content (88 percent), followed by the herb blend (72 percent) then the southwest blend (57 percent).

"Commercial marinades offer spices and herbs which have antioxidants that help decrease the HCAs formed during grilling," says Dr. J.S. Smith, principal researcher at Kansas State University. "The results from our study have a direct application since more consumers are interested in healthier cooking."

No glass required


As of mid-September, the macaroons will be available at Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro in New York and for national holiday gift shipment.

"I am thrilled to be part of this marriage between pastry and mixology," says François Payard, a third generation Pâtissier, and Owner of Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro in New York, Las Vegas, Japan and Brazil. "Like a luxury cocktail, the macaroon is a delicacy, an art form renowned for its sublime flavor, vivid color and unique texture. Grand Marnier has long been a treasured ingredient to my trade, but the incorporation of the cocktail element is something completely new which we are proud to debut."

Host of the trend-setting Mixology Summit each year, Grand Marnier is at the forefront of exploring inspired new forms in cocktails (sometimes termed 'molecular mixology').

The Grand Marnier Cocktail Macaroon is an edible cocktail; the external pastry acts like the garnish to complement the specific flavor notes and ingredients associated with each drink, while the interior cocktail gelée made from Grand Marnier and other spirits releases the essence of the drink in a unique, unexpected way.


With each box of macaroons, Grand Marnier will provide the consumer with the drink recipes which inspired the Cocktail Macaroons. The macaroons come in four flavors - the Grand Cosmo, the Grand Margarita, the Grand Mojito and the Orange Crush - and can be purchased at Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro in New York or in a gift box featuring all four types for $18.

Grand Marnier was created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. Grand Marnier retails at $38 per 750-ml bottle, and is also available in two higher marques: the Grand Marnier Cuvée du Centenaire ($155) and the Grand Marnier Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire ($240).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Aw, shucks. Grilled corn made easy



Hungry: Then grill some corn with chipotle lime butter.

Farmers Market: on tap Saturday



In case you need something fun and wholesomely cheap to do this weekend, the Downtown Farmers Market is about as cheap as you can get: Free.

Taste of Home looking for taste from your home

Get Cooking America! Taste of Home Launches America’s Best Loved Recipe Contest

America, start your ovens – and stoves and grills and food processors.

For 15 years, Taste of Home, the world’s largest cooking magazine, has celebrated the joy and comfort home cooks receive from cooking, caring, and sharing, making it America’s Recipe Box.

Now, one of those recipes could strike gold in the magazine’s biggest contest ever: America’s Best Loved Recipe Contest.

The contest has four categories to enter (classic, light, time-saver and serves two) with the winners in each category competing for the $25,000 grand prize.

No special ingredients or techniques are required –just an original recipe.

America’s Best Loved Recipe Contest is sure to be a reflection of how America really cooks.

To enter America’s Best Loved Recipe Contest log on or send recipes and category choice to:

Taste of Home: America’s Best Loved Recipe Contest , 5400 S. 60th St., Greendale, WI 53129. Entries must be received by midnight CST on March 1, 2009.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Baggin' treats for school

I’m prepared for the familiar refrain of those early school days:
“I didn’t have time to eat all my lunch” versus “Can you pack more?”

Our lunchtime tightrope is a little tougher to navigate, given that the 9-year-old entering fourth grade could – and has – eaten an entire roasted chicken by himself. Therefore, every day is a guess to see how much food I can pack into his lunchbox that he’ll actually have time to eat.
And not talk to his friends.
Or act like a fool.

Given that he just turned 9, I realize I’m warring against the odds of improving either of those conditions. Therefore, some strategy and planning need to come into packing his lunch.

Studies show the actual time for lunch at most schools is 20 minutes. He can spend that much time blowing up and popping a zip-top bag, so I pack sandwiches in the cheaper, fold-over bags or, better yet, waxed paper. Do not give them a toy in the guise of a zip-top bag.

Fruit is good, but I make sure it’s going to be eaten first and fast. Bananas are great (and if it doesn’t get eaten at lunch, it’s still viable for a snack.) Raisins are also tops.

Small children (like his 5-year-old sister headed to first grade) may not eat very much at one sitting, so she’ll get a buffet of non-perishable items. Half a sandwich, half an orange, already peeled.

Small food is more fun to eat. My kids are freaks, and love celery or carrots.

Don’t be afraid to be … odd. One of the most successful lunches I ever packed involved …. pancakes. We’d had pancakes for breakfast, and they were the perfect wrap for ham and Swiss “sandwiches” for lunch.

If your child wants the same thing day after day, go with it. Eventually they’ll get tired of PB&J.

Juice boxes freeze. If you don’t wan to invest in a re-usuable block to freeze for the lunchbox, just pop some juiceboxes in the freezer and use them. By the time lunch rolls around, they’ll be thawed or nearly thawed.

I’m also a believer in leaving lunch on a sweet note: cereal bars rule.
Photo: Jupiter Images

Coming to Your Table

Wednesday's Anniston Star will (we hope) take you on a food adventure to the Mediterranean. Our trip begins by demistifying eggplant -- that beautiful, versatile vegetable that still gets a wide berth from American consumers. We're making hummus, grilling lamb a la the Greeks and exploring pizza worthy of a discerning college student.

Ben Cunningham will key us into some beers to quaff with Med chow, while Pat Kettles gives us the skinny on classy American chardonnays. The wine region of Italy's Piedmont is represented by a look at the 700-year-old tradition some of its wineries have.

Mediterranean food trends have been on the rise for a number of years, but their ingredients have eluded the marketplace in Calhoun County. However, some recent store remodeling has brought a wide (wide) swath of products that lend themselves to this heart-healthy way of life. For some general inspiration, the folks at Kraft have compiled a primer on Med dining. Among their suggestions: simple grain and pasta dishes (above) that are easy to make and are easier on the waistline and checking account.

All this, plus your restaurant inspections, Prudence Hilburn's Gourmet touch and expert tips for grilling a steak better than you'll find in a restaurant.

Enjoy. Life's too short to eat bad food.

But will your kids eat it??

Some ideas for healthy bites for children.... that experts say they'll eat. The proof, I suppose, is in the empty plate.

Eating an egg won't leave you shaped like one?

A study published online today in the International Journal of Obesity shows that eating two eggs for breakfast, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, helps overweight adults lose more weight and feel more energetic than those who eat a bagel breakfast of equal calories. i This study supports previous research, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which showed that people who ate eggs for breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at the following meal.

“People have a hard time adhering to diets and our research shows that choosing eggs for breakfast can dramatically improve the success of a weight loss plan,” said Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, Ph.D., lead researcher and associate professor in the laboratory of infection and obesity at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, a campus of the Louisiana State University system. “Apparently, the increased satiety and energy due to eggs helps people better comply with a reduced-calorie diet.”

Significant Weight Loss Related to Egg BreakfastCompared to the subjects who ate a bagel breakfast, men and women who consumed two eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet:
• lost 65 percent more weight
• exhibited a 61 percent greater reduction in BMI
• reported higher energy levels than their dieting counterparts who consumed a bagel breakfast i

The egg and bagel breakfasts provided the same number of calories and had identical weights (energy density), which is an important control factor in satiety and weight loss studies.
The researchers also found that blood lipids were not impacted during the two month study.
They found that blood levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides, did not vary compared to baseline cholesterol blood levels in subjects who ate either the bagel or egg breakfasts. These findings add to more than 30 years of research that conclude that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

New Emphasis on the Importance of High-Quality ProteinThis study adds to the growing body of research which supports the importance of high-quality protein in the diet. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a special issue in May 2008, which contains nine articles that focus on the value of high-quality protein in the American diet. A major finding was that not getting enough high-quality protein may contribute to obesity, muscle wasting (loss) and increased risk of chronic disease.

Tips for a successful weight loss plan:
• Manic Monday: Make a batch of hard-cooked eggs on Sunday, so you’ll have all-natural, high-quality protein meals for your on-the-go schedule during the week. Plus, eggs are incredibly affordable. At an average of $1.93 per dozen (or $0.16 per egg),v eggs are one of the most affordable high-quality protein foods in the marketplace.
• In-a-Minute Morning Meal: In less than 60 seconds, you can prepare an egg breakfast to help jump start your day. Simply beat one whole egg in a microwave-safe mug then cook in the microwave oven on high for 60 seconds. Slide the egg onto a whole grain English muffin. Add flavor with a sprinkling of fresh herbs, salsa, or cheese. Serve fresh seasonal fruit slices, like peaches in the summer, on the side for a balanced meal.
For more protein-rich egg recipes and preparation tips, visit the American Egg Board at www.incredibleegg.org