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FOOD FUN: Potato Sandwich (Smørrebrød)

Potato Smorrebord Sandwich
[1] If potato sandwich sounds strange to you, call it by its original name: potato smørrebrød (photo courtesy Idaho Potato Commission).


[2] Fingerling potatoes (photo courtesy The Cilantropist).


[3] The leftover fresh dill can be used in many recipes: egg, tuna and potato salads, green salads, Martinis, omelets, sauces… (photo courtesy McCormick).

 

In Denmark, smørrebrød (pronounced SMUHR-broht) is a slice of buttered dark rye bread covered with any manner of toppings: smoked salmon, prawns and other fish, cold cuts, cheese or spreads.

Smørre is the word for butter; brod is bread. With toppings, it becomes an open-face sandwich. We like making them to serve with tea breaks.

How about potato smørrebrød?

This recipe is from Chef Claus Meyer at Open Rye, a stand in the Great Northern Food Hall in New York City.

The recipe, made with fingerling potatoes, dill mayonnaise and a garnish of pickled pearl onions, is a Nordic favorite. Thanks to the Idaho Potato Commission for sending it to us.
 
RECIPE: POTATO SMØRREBRØD

While this recipe makes four open-face sandwiches that use just one pickled onion apiece, the remaining onions make delicious garnishes for other sandwiches, burgers, or just about anything, including salads.

If you want a hack, buy a jar of cocktail onions.

Ingredients For The Pickled Pearl Onions

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 pound pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  •  
    Plus

  • 6 ounces Idaho fingerling potatoes
  • 5 (3-inch) strips lemon zest
  • 3 dill stems
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped, plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 4 pickled pearl onions
  • Unsalted European-style butter*, softened for spreading
  • 4 slices dense rye bread, about 3 x 4 inches each
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: shallot, very thinly sliced
  • Garnish: small potato chips (we used the new White Truffle Potato Chips from Trader Joe’s)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pickled onions. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Add the pearl onions and a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof jar; let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.

     
    2. MAKE the potato topping. Place the potatoes, lemon zest, dill stems and peppercorns in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and simmer until just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the potatoes cool in the cooking liquid, about 30 minutes. Drain well and discard the aromatics. Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

    3. WHISK the mayonnaise with the chopped dill, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt.

    4. CUT 4 of the pickled onions in half and separate the layers (reserve the remaining onions for another use). Spread butter on the rye bread and arrange the potato slices on top. Dollop the dill mayonnaise on the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.

    5. GARNISH with the pickled onion petals, sliced shallot, dill sprigs and potato chips; serve immediately. For a simpler garnish, you can use small clusters of dill leaves.
    ________________

    *There is also Danish-style butter, less often found in the U.S. It is unsalted, cultured butter. A culture is added to the cream and allowed to stand overnight for the acid flavor to develop before churning. Here are the different types of butter.

      

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    RECIPE: Mint Iced Coffee

    Mint iced tea, sure; but mint iced coffee?

    That was something new for us; but as we searched online, we found a lot of it.

    We love mint, so we tried it.

    Cinnamon, hazelnut, vanilla: You now have some competition in the iced coffee cup.

    One of the recipes we tried, from How Sweet Eats, starts with homemade simple syrup flavored with fresh mint and vanilla bean.

    Here’s the recipe.

    But if you don’t have the time to make simple syrup (it’s pretty easy: equal parts water and sugar, stirred over heat until dissolved), here are some hacks:
     
    With Sugar

  • If you already have simple syrup or vanilla syrup, add it to a container with fresh mint and let it infuse for a day or two.
  • Crush the mint first, so the flavor can seep out (we roll and crush the leaves and stems with our hands).
  • Add 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you have vanilla powder or vanilla sugar, even better).
  • If you have mint syrup, (we just happened to have some), you can use it instead. But, made with mint extract, it doesn’t provide the zing of fresh mint.
  •  
    Non-Sugar Sweeteners

    If you prefer a non-caloric sweetener, a different sweetener (agave, honey) or no sweetener at all:

  • First brew the coffee and let it cool. When it approaches room temperature, add the crushed fresh mint.
  • Let it steep overnight; then strain, pour into the glass and sweeten to taste.
  •  
    A garnish of un-crushed fresh mint makes a good presentation, but you don’t need to cram stalks into the glass.

    No one eats them, so they’ll be tossed away (unless you have a rabbit or a guinea pig).

     

    Mint Iced Coffee
    1] Minty iced coffee: refreshing (photo courtesy How Sweet Eats).

    Fresh Mint
    [2] Fresh mint. To keep herbs fresher in the fridge, we put them in a glass of water and cover the tops with a plastic bag (photo courtesy Suvir Saran from his book, Indian Home Cooking).

     
    You can, however, rescue any herb sprigs used for garnish, rinse them or soak them, pat dry, return them to the fridge and re-use them. Alternatively, you can make herb ice cubes.

      

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    FOOD HOLIDAY: A Two-Color Smoothie For National Smoothie Day

    The first day of summer, June 21st, is National Smoothie Day (also National Peaches & Cream Day)!

    Up to 184 million Americans enjoy smoothies each year. Let’s start with some…
     
    SMOOTHIE HISTORY

    Smoothies first emerged in the U.S. during the hippie movement of the 1960s, when vegetarianism and natural eating rose in popularity. The trend is believed to have originated in California, where a group of locals began making fruit smoothies after trying them in Brazil.

    The original smoothies consisted simply of fruit, extra fruit juice and ice. By the late 1970s, health food stores nationwide had caught on to the trend and began adding milk to the mix, calling the drink a fruit shake.

    The milk was traded for yogurt, which provided more protein; and in the 1980s, smoothies became part of fitness and health food trends. Supplements, from oats to ginseng to bee pollen, were added to the mix. This led to the birth of specialty smoothie bars, which remain popular today.

    And then…ready-to-drink smoothies began to pop up in food stores. Far beyond the original refreshing icy fruit drink, today’s smoothies are healthy snack alternatives and even meal replacements.

    With the rise of veganism, lactose intolerance and other dairy-free diets, plant-based milk alternatives and sustainability have grown in popularity, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.
     
     
    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY AVOCADO SMOOTHIE

    This delicious and summery Strawberry Avocado Smoothie recipe (photo #3) was created by The Foodie Physician for Bolthouse Farms.
     
    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY AVOCADO SMOOTHIE

    Ingredients

  • 5.6 cup Bolthouse Farms Original Plant Protein Milk (flavor of choice), or other milk of choice, or yogurt
  • 1 avocado (or substitute 1 cup blackberries or blueberries)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BLEND together the avocado, 1/2 of the frozen banana, and 1/3 cup Plant Protein Milk. Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to the blender, blend again and pour the mixture into a glass.

    2. CLEAN out the blender.

    3. BLEND together the strawberries, 1/2 frozen banana, and 1/2 cup Plant Protein Milk. Pour the strawberry layer over the avocado layer and serve.

     

    Blood Orange Smoothie
    [1] Blood orange and berry smoothie. Here’s the recipe from Wife Mama Foodie.

    Smoothie Shooters
    [2] Smoothie Shooters from Fancy Girl Table.

    Strawberry-Avocado Smoothie
    [3] Strawberry-avocado smoothie from Bolthouse (recipe below).

     
    ABOUT BOLTHOUSE FARMS NON-DAIRY PLANT PROTEIN MILK

    Made with pea protein, the newest high-quality non-dairy protein, this plant protein milk:

  • Has 10g of protein per serving versus only 1 gram of protein in almond milk.
  • Has 50% more calcium than traditional dairy milk.
  • It’s vegan and non-GMO, gluten- and lactose free, and free of common allergens like dairy, nuts and soy.
  • It is available in 4 flavors: Unsweetened, Original, Vanilla and Chocolate. Here’s more about them.
  • You can’t taste the pea protein—just the creaminess of thew dairy milk.
  •  
    Pea protein is a “complete protein” and, unlike some plant-based protein powders, pea protein is easily digested.

    It also helps you feel satiated, and is a boost for recovering from workouts.

    So give peas a chance! Find Bolthouse in the refrigerated dairy section of your local supermarket.

    ANOTHER WAY TO ADD PROTEIN TO SMOOTHIES

    Try these recipes that add egg whites for extra protein.

      

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    RECIPE: Peaches & Cream Shortcake

    Grilled Peaches
    [1] First grill the peaches.

    Peach Shortcake
    [2] Slice the peaches before assembling the shortcake (both photos courtesy Completely Delicious).

    California Peaches
    [3] One of summer’s delights (photo courtesy Frog Hollow Farm).

     

    June 21st is the first day of summer. Somewhat less grandly, it’s also National Peaches & Cream Day.

    We’re always happy to have peach ice cream, peaches and whipped cream on waffles, or the centuries-old classic, sliced peaches with fresh cream: a pour-over or lightly whipped by hand.

    Today, we add something new to the list: peaches and cream shortcake.

    This recipe was developed by Annalise or Completely Delicious for Go Bold With Butter.

    If you prefer, substitute hand-beaten (by which we mean, electric mixer-beaten) whipped cream for the vanilla ice cream.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 25 minutes.

     
    RECIPE: GRILLED PEACH & ICE CREAM SHORTCAKES

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

     
    For The Biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, cold
  • 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
  •  
    For The Shortcakes

  • 4 peaches, ripe but firm
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4-6 scoops vanilla ice cream
     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or butter the pan well.

    2. COMBINE the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the cubed butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until butter is size of small peas. Add the buttermilk and mix until the dough begins to come together.

    3. DUMP the dough out onto a clean surface and knead a few times to incorporate all of dry bits (do not over-handle). Pat the dough to about 1 inch thick. Use a 3- or 4-inch round cutter to cut the dough. Place the rounds on the prepared sheet pan. Brush with the egg wash.

  •  
    4. BAKE until golden, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    5. PREHEAT the grill to medium low heat. Halve the peaches and remove the pits. Brush with melted butter and place them cut side-down on the grill. Grill 3-4 minutes until the peaches have grill marks and have softened somewhat.

    6. TRANSFER the peaches to a plate and slice each half into thirds. Drizzle with maple syrup.

    7. SERVE: Slice the shortcake biscuits in half. Top with ice cream and grilled peaches.

    If you want grilled peaches only, here’s the recipe from Bobby Flay | Food Network.
     
     
    MORE PEACHY RECIPES

  • Peaches & Cream Ice Cream With Honey
  • Peaches & Cream Frozen Yogurt Pops
  • Peach Cobbler & Peach Ice Cream
  • Peach Melba
  • Sliced Peaches & Cream
  • The History Of Peaches
  •   

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: YQ By Yoplait, Low-Sugar Yogurt

    In its second entry into the premium yogurt business (the first was Oui By Yoplait, last year), Yoplait has just launched YQ by Yoplait.

    It’s the “Smarter, Not Sweeter” Yogurt.

    The flavored yogurt has just 9 grams of sugar per 5.3-ounce cup. Compare that to the up to 32 grams of sugar per 6 ounces in other flavored yogurts!

    The sweetener is cane sugar: no HFCS. There are no artificial ingredients. The line is also gluten-free and 99% lactose free.

    The plain yogurt has 1 gram of sugar, compared to regular (non-Greek) yogurt with 15-16 grams of natural milk sugar (lactose*) per 8 ounces.

    The flavored yogurts are available in Blueberry, Coconut, Lime, Mango, Peach, Strawberry and Vanilla.

    Of course, this is not magic. The yogurts are, understandably, not anywhere as sweet.

    This will be welcome to those who want a less-sweet flavored yogurt.

    If you find yourself wanting more sweetness, there’s an easy work-around: Add a non-caloric sweetener.

    You can also try a teaspoon of agave, honey or maple syrup†.
     
     
    15 GRAMS OF PROTEIN

    Yoplait has created a protein-packed yogurt with a thick, extra-creamy texture, unique in our experience: almost as thick as Greek yogurt, but much creamier (and without the tang).

     

    Blueberry YQ Yogurt

    YQ By Yoplait has 7 flavors plus plain (photos courtesy Yoplait).

     
    It uses ultra-filtered milk, which is milk that has been filtered to concentrate the amount of protein while removing much of the milk’s sugar (lactose).

    The result is 17 grams of protein per serving for the plain variety; 15 grams of protein for the flavors.

    Low in sugar, packed with protein: the recipe for a great snack.

    The ultra-filtered milk is then combined with active cultures and goes through a proprietary churning technique.

    YQ will be in stores nationwide by the end of the month. The suggested retail price for all 5.3 oz. cups is $1.49, while the 26 oz. tubs are $4.99.

    ________________

    *Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar that adds virtually no sweetness. If you’ve ever wondered why the milk carton shows 12g of sugar per 8-ounce glass of milk, that’s why.

    †Agave nectar has a glycemic index (GI) of 32, half that of sugar. Honey has a GI of 58, due to its higher ratio of glucose to fructose; agave is about 90% fructose (note that some honeys are lower glycemic than others). Table sugar has a GI value of 60-65. Pure maple syrup has a GI of 54. A teaspoon of agave is 20 calories, a teaspoon of table sugar is 16 calories (honey has 22 calories). But since agave is 1.4 to 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, you don’t need as much.
      

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