Smoky Vanilla BBQ Sauce

Spread this sauce on chicken, fish, ribs or even veggies. Smoky Vanilla BBQ Sauce 1 T butter 1 T chopped garlic 1 c ketchup 2 T brown sugar 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 T canned chipotle chilies with sauce, chopped 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 T dark molasses 1 T pure vanilla extract or paste Melt butter in a heavy saucepan; add garlic and sauté until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45-60 minutes. Makes about 1 ½ cups. Recipe and photo courtesy of Nielsen-Massey, makers of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract or Paste

By |2017-08-25T08:52:29-04:00November 10th, 2010|Entrees, Recipes|1 Comment

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili

Did You Know? Chorizo is ground pork sausage that has been flavored with a blend of spices, including garlic and chili powder. Mexican chorizo is made with fresh pork, and Spanish chorizo is made with smoked pork. Use either for this recipe, or if chorizo is unavailable, substitute Italian sausage or pork sausage, realizing that the flavor will be slightly different. Black Bean and Chorizo Chili Prep Time: 20 Minutes Start to Finish: 45 Minutes 1 lb chorizo sausage, casing removed and crumbled, or bulk chorizo sausage 1 large onion, chopped 1 large yellow or green bell pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped Two 14.5-oz cans organic fire roasted tomatoes [...]

By |2017-08-25T08:52:29-04:00October 7th, 2010|Entrees, Recipes|7 Comments

Mini Fish Tacos

"Did you know that Stephanie Sokolove, Boston's "Queen of Sophisticated Comfort Food" is a huge Cabot fan?" asked a publicist who emailed Bite of the Best."She actually uses nearly 200 pounds of their cheese in her restaurants each week!  Her comfort food recipes would not be the same without Cabot being a key ingredient..." Here's one of Stephanie of Tremont's recipes that we've adapted for you. Mini Fish Tacos with Cabot Cheddar Cheese 2 c shredded white cabbage Juice of 1 lime, ¼ c thinly sliced red onion 10 cilantro leaves 2 scallions, thinly sliced 8 mini corn tortillas 1 lb mahi mahi or other fish, coated with Cajun spices, [...]

By |2017-08-25T15:56:05-04:00October 2nd, 2010|Entrees, Recipes, Starters|2 Comments

Chicken Pad Thai

A quick and easy recipe for Chicken Pad Thai to make on a hot summer's night. Chicken Pad Thai 2 T oil, divided 1 egg, lightly beaten 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips, deveined shrimp or cubed tofu 4 oz rice noodles, cooked, drained and run under cold water to chill 6 T. pad Thai sauce  (see Note) 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1/2 c bean sprouts 1/4 c coarsely chopped peanuts Fresh cilantro Lime wedges Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg; scramble until set. Remove from skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add chicken; stir fry until cooked [...]

By |2017-08-25T08:52:29-04:00August 6th, 2010|Entrees, Recipes|1 Comment

Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers

A sweet twist on a traditional burger. Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers 1 lb. ground beef 1 T Worcestershire sauce 4 canned pineapple slices, drained 12 mini Hawaiian sweet or small whole wheat dinner rolls, split Lettuce Sauce: 1/4 c barbecue sauce 1/4 c pineapple preserves 1 T packed brown sugar Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into twelve 1/2-inch thick mini patties. Set aside. Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated [...]

By |2017-08-25T08:52:29-04:00July 30th, 2010|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

Barbecue Pork and Mushrooms

An easy dish to prepare with 5 minutes prep time and 45 minutes unattended cooking time. Barbecue Pork and Mushrooms 1 whole pork tenderloin, trimmed (about 1 pound) 1 T barbeque sauce, honey-smoked 2 Portabella mushroom caps, sliced into 1/4 inch strips 1 T olive oil 1 T grill seasoning, mesquite 4 buns Pre-heat grill to 350°. Place pork on a large sheet of aluminum foil; rub with barbecue sauce. Spread the mushroom strips around the pork; drizzle oil over the pork and mushrooms; and sprinkle with grill seasoning. Fold the sides and ends of the foil up and crimp to seal. Place pork packet on the grill; close cover. [...]

By |2017-08-25T08:52:30-04:00July 4th, 2010|Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

Grilled Summer Salad with Avocado

With California avocados now in season, it is the ideal time to enjoy this delicious fruit, hand-grown by farmers like Jaime Serrato. Jaime Serrato truly is living his American dream — his entire life has been influenced by farming, first, observing his father practicing the trade on a ranch in Mexico when he was young. Jamie moved to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old and began his career in the avocado industry as a young adult, when he was hired to pick avocados on farms in California. Over the years, he has risen through the ranks, and today, is president of Serrato Grove Management, [...]

Greek Rice Salad

The food section on Parade.com just published my yummy Greek Rice Salad - a recipe originally printed in Joanne Lamb Hayes and my "Rice" cookbook.  Do check out Parade.com as each day they highlight one hot recipe. This is one of my favorite summer salads. Try is as a delicious accompaniment to grilled meats, or as a light spring or summer meal, especially when tomatoes are ripe. Serve along with come crusty bread. Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes (if using white rice, longer if using brown) 1 c rice 6 T olive oil 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 t dried oregano leaves Pinch salt Freshly [...]

By |2017-08-25T16:03:30-04:00April 22nd, 2010|Breads, Sides & Salads, Entrees, Recipes|0 Comments

Avocado Piquillo Pepper Frittata Recipe

Courtesy of the California Avocado Commission, here's a recipe created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, chef/owners of Ciudad in Los Angeles, the Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Calif., and Las Vegas, and the Border Grill Truck, which brings their modern Mexican food to neighborhoods throughout Southern California. California Avocado Piquillo Pepper Frittata 1 ripe, fresh California avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice 1/2 c jarred roasted piquillo peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips 1 clove garlic, minced 1 T extra virgin olive oil 2 t sherry vinegar Salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 8 eggs 1/2 c grated Spanish manchego cheese 2 [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:19-04:00March 24th, 2010|Entrees, Recipes, xyz misc|3 Comments

Brown Rice: Andouille and Chicken Jambalaya

Having received some Just BARE chicken to test, I looked around the kitchen — in the closets, fridge and freezer — to figure out what I wanted to make for dinner. In the freezer, I found some Niman Ranch andouille sausage ($4.99-$6.99 for a 12-oz package) and some Uncle Ben's Brown Rice ($3.29 per 2-pound bag)...and voila! jambalaya popped into my head. Once that was decided, I called some friends to come enjoy, set the dining room table and brought in some wood to start a fire in the fireplace. Here's that chicken, sausage brown-rice jambalaya, adapted from the Andouille Jambalaya from my "Rice" cookbook. Andouille and Chicken Jambalaya Heat [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:21-04:00March 2nd, 2010|Entrees, Food & Drinks, Recipes, xyz misc|0 Comments

Pace Picante: Sweet & Spicy Barbecued Brisket

Just in time for your Super Bowl XLIV party. Sweet & Spicy Barbecued Brisket Season 1 trimmed beef brisket (about 5 pounds) with 1 T garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Place into a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Stir 2 cups Pace Picante sauce, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and spread over the beef. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, bake the beef, covered, at 300°F. for 4 1/2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Slice or shred the beef and serve on sandwich buns with the sauce. Makes 10 servings - from Pace Picante

Julia vs Julia

Most foodies have likely heard of Julie & Julia by now; a recent film with Meryl Steep depicting the immortal Julia Child and Amy Adams playing Julie Powell, a woman on a quest to cook her way through Child's best dishes. I admit I'm a Julia Child fan. (There is even a famous photo in our household of yours truly as a baby, in the arms of the one and only Ms. Child.) With the movie so popular and so much press about Julia recirculating, I came across an article juxtaposing two 'great' tarragon chicken recipes... one from Julia Child and one from Meryl Streep. It's real Julia vs. screen [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:27-04:00December 1st, 2009|Breads, Sides & Salads, Entrees, Foodie Interviews, Recipes, xyz misc|Comments Off on Julia vs Julia

Barilla “Whole Grain Pasta 101” Cooking Class

I never miss an opportunity when invited to partake in a cooking class, as I always learn something. And I enjoy the camaraderie of cooking with others, especially when someone else does the prep and clean-up. Last month I attended Barilla's "Whole Grain Pasta 101" Cooking Class held at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in Manhattan. Before we began cooking, we learned about Barilla's whole grain pasta while sipping prosecco and nibbling antipasto of chunks of fresh parmigiano reggiano and proscuitto. Yes, life is good. We then donned our aprons and chef's hat while Barilla's Executive Chef, Lorenzo Boni walked us through the two recipes we were about to [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:33-04:00September 7th, 2009|Entrees, Recipes, xyz misc|1 Comment

Elise Lalor Won The Judge’s Choice Award of $10K for her Butterflied Chicken with Herbs and Sticky Lemon

Elise Lalor of Issaquah (WA) cooks like most cooks do. "I just happened to have lemons so I used them," she responded when asked why she topped her butterflied chicken with thinly sliced lemons. Elise added the lemons, then brushed them with a blend of honey and chipotle as a final touch to her chicken, resulting in a sweet, but spicy topping. Elise's Butterflied Chicken with Herbs and Sticky Lemon was the Judge's Choice at the finals of the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest in San Antonio (TX) earlier this month. Here's her $10,000 winning recipe for you to try at home: Butterflied Chicken with Herbs and Sticky Lemon Sprinkle [...]

Brigitte Nguyen won $50K for her Chinese Chicken Burgers with Rainbow Sesame Slaw

This past weekend in San Antonio (TX) 28-year-old Brigitte Nguyen won first prize of $50K in the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest for her Chinese Chicken Burgers with Rainbow Sesame Slaw. And, the $50K wasn't the only exciting thing to happen to Bridget this month.  Her beau (now fiancé) Michael Prather asked her to marry him by spelling out "Will you marry me?" on a Scrabble board. Micheal (who was in tears at the press conference) had told her to follow her dreams — which is exactly what's she now doing. Bridget was recently also in a Food Network competition When asked how she'd spend her prize money, Bridget responded, [...]

Recipes for Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes

As a food writer, companies always email me with details of new products, which is how I learned about Melissa's Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. Melissa’s has always carried different types of baby potatoes, but  the Dutch Yellow Potatoes stood apart from the rest and became our best selling specialty potato, emailed Robert Schueller, publicity director for Melissa's public relations. I had to try these potatoes that he described as  tasting “buttery” and moist. The day I received them, I was brain-dead from intense contract negotiations so I tootled around the web looking for cooking ideas to spark my creativity. I tripped over Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks site with a recipe [...]

By |2017-09-01T16:49:45-04:00March 26th, 2009|Breads, Sides & Salads, Entrees, Recipes|7 Comments

Heirloom’s Macaroni and Cheese (New Haven’s Sneak Peak Week)

In the past couple of weeks, I've posted a few TidBites about Sneak Peak Week in New Haven (a preview to the summer's International Festival of Arts & Ideas) and mentioned the restaurant tours. I've been remiss at not yet detailing what the tours are about. They are fun, informative and delicious. For each tour, three restaurants are lined up to share tastes of their cuisine. A group of no more than 30 people travel from one restaurant to the other where the chef dialogues with participants, sharing info on the restaurant and menu items, while doing a cooking demonstration for the group. Participants then get to sample what the [...]

New Haven Restaurant Tour: Scoozi’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Mustard Greens

Last week during one of  the Sneak Peak Week  for New Haven's International Festival of Arts & Ideas to be held June 13 to 27 this year, I conducted two restaurant tours to six of New Haven's top restaurants. On our "Slow Food" tour, participants discovered organic, local and sustainable flavors of the three visited restaurants:   Zinc (964 Chapel Street), Scoozi (1104 Chapel Street) and Heirloom (1157 Chapel Street), who each did a cooking demonstration as part of the tour. I promised participants that I would post as many recipes as possible. This recipe is the first of those postings. Housemade Sweet Potato gnocchi, Pan-seared Franklin Farms Organic Mushrooms and [...]

Food Network’s Robin Miller Morphs Recipes on the Main Stage

"Morphing means to take a recipe (or part of a recipe) that you're already making, double it, and transform the extras into an entirely different meal," explained Robin Miller. She morphed one chicken dish into three others, with recipes from her cookbook "Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals" (The Taunton Press, 2007) on the main stage in the Grand Tasting Village at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this past weekend. MAIN RECIPE: Roasted Chicken with Smokey Apricot Sauce Serves 4 TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes Prep time: 10 minutes Walk away time: 35 minutes Cooking spray 10 (5-ounce) skinless chicken breast halves (with bone) Salt and ground black pepper 1 [...]