THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.

RECIPES: Valentine Cocktails

If your idea of a Valentine’s Day celebration is more than Champagne—or if you’d like to warm up to that bottle of Champagne with some kissable cocktails, for your drinking pleasure we present:

The Love Potion Cocktail, made with Absolut Raspberry and cranberry juice
The Right Kiss, gin, ruby Port and maraschino liqueur
Pomegranate Martini, with vodka, Grand Marnier and pomegranate juice

Find more mixology in the Cocktails & Spirits Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

  Valentine Martini

Love Potion Martini, a creation from Ocean Spray.

Comments (2)

TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Tortellini Day

TortelliniHeavenly Porcini Mushroom Tortelloni from Bertagni.   We don’t have to twist arms to get people to celebrate National Tortellini Day at THE NIBBLE. In fact, we’re lunching on several flavors of the wonderful tortellini from Bertagni (the topic of a prior post). Tortellini (tor-teh-LEE-nee) are small pastas stuffed with a variety of fillings, and a favorite pasta dish worldwide (wontons are cousins). They are served in soups—as in the classic dish, tortellini in brodo—or with sauce. We also serve them as hors d’oeuvres and snacks—with dipping sauces, on skewers with complementary meats, cheeses and veggies. Tortellini originated in Bologna and are accompanied by a legend: When the goddess Venus stayed in a tavern on the outskirts of the city, the innkeeper spied on her through the keyhole of her room, but could catch only a glimpse of her navel. Spellbound, he went to the kitchen and, to capture this vision, shaped fresh egg pasta into the bite-sized, navel-shaped tortellini. Larger bites, called tortelloni, are also made.
Tortellini and tortelloni are made by adding a filling to a circle of dough, then folding it in half, making a semicircle of the half and pinching the ends together to form the shape. By the way, the word for navel is not tortellini but ombelico; torte is the past participle of the verb torcere, meaning filled.

Comments (1)

TIP OF THE DAY: Red Caviar Hearts For Easy Valentine Hors d’Oeuvres

Take those heart-shaped cookie cutters and make heart-stopping hors d’oeuvres—or a first course—with toast, sour cream or crème fraîche and red caviar. Buy the best white bread or brioche, toast it, let the toast cool, and then cut the heart shapes. Spread with sour cream/crème fraîche, then top with one or several different red caviars: salmon caviar, tobiko, beet-colored whitefish roe (available from Tsar Nicoulai, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week), lumpfish or capelin roe. Drape a chive across each heart as the “arrow.”- See the full recipe.
– See more red caviar recipes.
– Learn more about caviar in our Caviar Glossary.
– See all of the articles, recipes and product reviews in the Caviar Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine
  Red Caviar
Make red caviar into heart-shaped hors d’oeuvres. Photo courtesy of Red-Caviar.com.
 

Comments (1)

TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Plum Pudding Day

Plum Pudding Hard Sauce

Christmas Pudding Toffee Sauce

Top: Plum Pudding with hard sauce; photo by Gary Lerner | London Lennie’s. Bottom: Plum pudding with toffee sauce at MackenzieLtd.com.

 

“Who on earth would strive to create a National Plum Pudding Day in America, especially on February 12th,” we wondered. This is the boiled pudding dessert made of dried fruit that is traditionally served in the U.K. on Christmas Day (it’s also known as Christmas pudding and figgy pudding).

You can’t even get an American to eat a piece of fruit cake, let alone a dark, dried fruit and suet concoction, mixed with flour and spices (and related to mince pie, another dish not-so-beloved by Americans).

It’s largely that plum pudding is not sweet enough for the American palate, and we aren’t accustomed to desserts made with suet (beef or mutton fat).

And why would National Plum Pudding day be in the middle of February, rather than around the holidays?

In the U.K. it’s available year-round.

We really enjoy a good plum pudding (as well as a good fruitcake and a good mince pie).

  • Plum pudding can be eaten with hard sauce, custard sauce, crème anglaise, lemon cream, etc.
  • With a side of rum raisin ice cream, custard sauce and enough flaming brandy poured upon it, more Americans might warm up to it.
  •  
    Here’s a recipe to make your own plum pudding.

    Here’s more about plum pudding sauces and history.
     
    BUT WHAT ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN?

    The bigger issue, vis-à-vis the scramble to name every day of the year a food holiday, would seem that we’ve forgotten that February 12th is the birthday of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.

     
    President Lincoln was born in 1809 in a one-room log cabin on his parents’ farm in Hardin County (now part of LaRue County), Kentucky. Might not a more appropriate holiday for February 12th be Bûche de Noel Day, honoring Honest Abe with that charming buttercream cake decorated to look like a log? Just a thought.

    Those of you from Kentucky or Illinois, where the family relocated and Abe began his political career, might think of petitioning to get something more Lincoln-appropriate in the February 12th food holiday slot. Find out how all of these holidays (known as “special observance days”) are enacted…and perhaps you’ll be inspired to petition for your own.

    National Foie Gras With Château d’Yquem Day, anyone?


      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pâtes de Fruit

    oincidentally, since our prior post was about Michael Recchiuti’s new cassis gelée chocolate, our tip of the day focuses on pâte de fruits—a.k.a. fruit gelée or fruit jellies, although we hesitate to use these terms because these have nothing to do with American candies like Chuckles and jellied watermelon slices, made with “fruit flavoring.”

    Pâtes de fruits (pronounced pot duh froo-EE) are gourmet fruits jellies, made of fruit purée, sugar and pectin. A great pâte de fruit is like eating a wonderful piece of fruit in a different form (as is a great fruit sorbet).

    For people who like sweets but not chocolate, a perfect Valentine’s Day gift is a box of the best pâtes de fruit we know, from Paris’s Maison du Chocolat—which, conveniently for us, has five shops in New York City and a website.

    Keep an extra box in your own pantry. These edible gems are so versatile:

  • Instead of (or in addition to) cookies and petit fours
  • When friends drop by for tea or coffee
  • As an accent on a dessert plate
  • When guests can’t eat your regular dessert due to nut or chocolate allergies
  •  
    In fact, if you’ve forgotten the dessert, or the soufflé flops, bring out a plate of these beautiful, jewel-colored sweets and no one will be the wiser.

    By the way, the difference between pâtes de fruit, plural, and pâte de fruit, singular, is not how many pieces you get, but how many flavors.

    If there’s more than one flavor, use the plural, pâtes. This nuance of the French language is courtesy of our French cousin, Philippe.

    Read more about our favorite sweets in the Gourmet Candy Section of THE NIBBLE webzine. If you pursue the greatest chocolates, visit our Chocolate Section

     

    Pates de Fruit

    Pate de Fruits

    [1] Our favorite pâtes de fruit, from La Maison du Chocolat. [2] Some pâtissiérs, such as Charles Chocolates in California, prefer this half dome shape.

     

      

    Comments off



    © Copyright 2005-2017 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.