recipes

Meal Ideas 28 September 2018

Simple Yet Stunning: Set the menu for easy entertaining

(Family Features) One of the best-kept chef secrets to hosting the most memorable at-home parties is keeping the food simple and adding small details to make it special. After all, a host who isn’t hard at work in the kitchen is a host who can spend more time with guests.

One way to make every minute in the kitchen count and provide crowd-pleasing food is by using wholesome, quality core ingredients like olive oil, fresh bread, cheese and artisan chocolate to create flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare, and leave you with more time to enjoy what matters most: moments with the ones you love.

When it comes to cooking, focus on the essentials and the highlights of each dish. Building recipes around quality ingredients, such as Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, makes it easy to create show-stopping dishes time and time again. Planning ahead is key to entertaining, but when it comes to cooking, make things quick and easy with a little help from powerhouse ingredients that lend themselves well to a variety of flavors and preparations.

In keeping things simple, use olive oil to add a little extra zest and create dishes that pop off the plate, like this recipe for Beet Hummus. Or if you’re looking for something comforting and wholesome, indulge in this creamy Tomato Soup with Olive Oil Croutons. For a larger event, try Mushroom Carpaccio and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin, which can leave a lasting impression on your guests. To top it all off, go for this Bitter Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Dessert for a perfect way to end a meal.

Make every moment count and find more simple recipes at Bertolli.com.
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Tomato Soup with Homemade Olive Oil Croutons

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 4          tomatoes
  • 3          grilled red bell peppers in oil
  • 1          shallot
  • 1/2       cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for brushing on bread
  • 3          tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1          clove garlic
  • 10        basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4          slices crusty bread
  1. Cut small cross in bottom of tomatoes and submerge in boiling water 30 seconds. Let tomatoes cool in ice water 30 seconds then remove skins.
  2. In blender, blend tomatoes, red bell peppers, shallot, extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, to taste, until mixture is smooth. Add mixture to large pot and heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Cut bread slices, brush with olive oil and grill 2 minutes per side over medium-high heat until visible grill marks have formed.

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Healthy Beet Hummus

Prep time: 15 minutes

  • 3          beets
  • salt, to taste
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2          cups canned chickpeas
  • 2          tablespoons sesame seed paste or tahini
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Peel beets and boil until soft; season with salt and olive oil.
  3. Puree beets with chickpeas and sesame seed paste until a uniform paste forms. Transfer to oven-safe serving dish. Bake 10 minutes and serve.

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Mushroom Carpaccio and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin

Prep time: 15 minutes

Mushroom Carpaccio:

  • 2 1/4    cups cremini mushrooms
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt, to taste

Creamed Spinach:

  • 2 1/4    cups spinach
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. To make Mushroom Carpaccio: Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Clean mushrooms and cut into thin slivers.
  3. Season with olive oil and salt. Set aside.
  4. To make Creamed Spinach: Boil spinach 2 minutes, strain and place it into saucepan, over cream. Cook 5 minutes.
  5. In blender, puree mixture and pour over Mushroom Carpaccio.
  6. Grate Parmesan cheese over entire dish; bake 5 minutes.

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Bitter Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Dessert

Prep time: 15 minutes

  • 1/2       cup, plus 1 tablespoon, sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2       cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for pistachio cream
  • 4          ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 1/4    cups shelled pistachios
  1. In saucepan, combine condensed milk and sugar; cook over low heat, stirring until mixture takes on toasted color.
  2. Add olive oil and dark chocolate; continue to stir until fully combined.
  3. Line 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spread mixture into pan. Refrigerate until fully set.
  4. To make pistachio cream: Blend pistachios and olive oil until smooth paste forms.
  5. Remove dessert from pan and cut into slices. Serve with pistachio cream on top.

Source:  Bertolli

Appetizers & Sides 06 August 2018

Make it Mediterranean

3 dishes to highlight the next trend in internationally themed cuisine

(Family Features) Just like forward-thinking culinary artists, many at-home chefs seek out the next trendy flavor to provide friends and family gathered around the table. When pondering which trend you'll dive into in the future, consider incorporating tastes from an especially influential international location - the Mediterranean Sea region.

Considered by the experts at Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI) in the organization's 2018 Trends Report to be one of the most influential parts of the world on the American food scene, flavors from the Mediterranean Sea focus on a diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Take this Hummus recipe, for example, which involves processing a host of beans, seeds and seasonings to create a light, smooth dip to serve with anything from vegetables to crackers.

Because the fare is typically lighter, small bites and salads such as Fresh Figs with Honey or this Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad provide easy-to-prepare versions of Mediterranean cuisine. Incorporating vegetables (tomatoes and basil) along with the salty, milky flavors of feta cheese makes the salad a distinctly Mediterranean dish.

In addition to Mediterranean food, the trends report highlighted Middle Eastern cuisine and Latin American flavors as areas of the world that will influence American dining in the next year. Additionally, LDEI highlighted these regions as likely to be influential in the next three years:

  1. East Africa
  2. The Balkans
  3. The Caribbean Sea

To go along with specific regions and countries to influence American food culture, the report identified these international food concepts as the most likely to become prominent food trends:

  1. Puebla Hot Pot (Latin America, Mexico) - ancho chile, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock, served with chicken or pork, corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes.
  2. Manouri (Mediterranean, Greece) - a semi-soft, fresh white whey cheese made from goat or sheep milk.
  3. Millet (India) - ancient grains harvested from small-seeded grasses used for porridge.

Mediterranean food, because of its reliance on the inclusion of vegetables and exclusion of red meat in many of its dishes, also squarely fits into the top established and growing health trends, according to the report, which are:

  1. Vegetarian cuisine
  2. Organic
  3. Vegan cuisine

Find full results from the report and learn more about the organization at LDEI.org.

10 Ways to Find Culinary Inspiration

Consider these strategies for achieving inspiration in the kitchen from the LDEI 2018 Trends Report:

  • Traveling
  • Cookbooks
  • Farmers' markets
  • Internet and social media
  • Fresh produce
  • Food magazines
  • Chefs
  • Seasons
  • Beautiful imagery
  • People and culture

Tracking the Top Food Trends

As trends continue changing, growing and spreading, the experts at LDEI continue to provide updates from the food world. Find complete 2018 Trends Report survey results and expert panel insights by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LDEI is a worldwide philanthropic organization of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The invitation-only membership, composed of 2,300 women in 40 chapters across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality. For more information, visit LDEI.org or find LDEI on Facebook.


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Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 15-20

  • 8 medium size tomatoes, sliced into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 block (8 ounces) feta cheese, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 2 small packages fresh basil, leaves picked off stems
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. On large platter, arrange slices of tomato and feta so they overlap. Place basil leaf between each tomato and Feta slice. Repeat.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

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Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Yield: 2 cups

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Drain garbanzo beans reserving 1/2 cup liquid.
  2. In food processor, process garbanzo beans, garlic, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until incorporated. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl. Add garbanzo liquid and process until smooth.
  3. Scoop mixture into medium bowl, add black sesame seeds and mix gently. Serve with drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.

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Fresh Figs with Honey

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 6

  • 6 fresh figs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Slice figs in half lengthwise (stem to bottom). Distribute on small platter.
  2. Drizzle honey over each fig equally. Serve immediately.

Photos courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav

Source:  Les Dames d’Escoffier International

Meal Ideas 26 January 2018

Chow Down on Championship Snacks

(Family Features) When the clock ticks down toward game day and you’re putting together a snacking plan of attack, turn to recipes like these that you and your guests can savor for all four quarters of action.

With different choices to draft from, there’s no need for a superstar main course at the center of the meal. Instead, rely on options like customizable brats and pulled pork sandwiches, baked chicken wings and game-day dips for winners all around.

Find more recipes for hosting game day at Culinary.net.

Top Your Tailgate

Take your tailgate or home viewing party to the next level by setting up a topping station with a variety of both traditional and unexpected condiments and garnishes to let your fellow fans customize their grilled fare. Include options such as:

  • Ketchup and mustard (with flavor variations for added zing)
  • Sauerkraut or cole slaw
  • Chopped fresh and grilled onions
  • Chili (homemade or from a can)
  • Pickle spears and relish
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Assorted shredded and crumbled cheeses
  • A variety of peppers

A Game-Day Winner

Game time is no time to mess around when it comes to fast, savory snacks. Crispy and light, tangy and bold, these wings have you covered for all your game-day needs. These spicy hot wings pair perfectly with Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese or Homestyle Ranch Dressing and may result in another game day rivalry: blue cheese vs. ranch. Whether you’re hosting the game-day party or bringing a dish to a friend’s bash, these wings can make mouths water from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. Find more game-day recipes at litehousefoods.com.
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Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Serves: 8

  • 4          pounds chicken wings
  • 2          tablespoons baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 4          tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2       cup hot sauce
  • 1/2       cup Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese or Homestyle Ranch dressing
  • 1/3       cup Litehouse Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • carrots
  • celery
  1. Lay wings on rack on rimmed baking tray and let dry in refrigerator overnight, or pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat oven to 250° F. Put one oven shelf in lower quarter of oven and one in top quarter.
  3. Place wings in large re-sealable bag. Add baking powder and salt. Shake bag to coat wings evenly.
  4. Line tray with foil. Spray rack on baking tray with nonstick spray. Place wings skin side up on rack. Bake on lower shelf 30 minutes.
  5. Move tray to higher shelf and turn oven up to 425° F. Bake 40-50 minutes, rotating tray halfway through. Wings are done when they are dark, golden brown and skin is crispy.
  6. While wings bake, whisk together butter and hot sauce; keep warm.
  7. Remove wings from oven and toss with hot sauce; sprinkle immediately with blue cheese crumbles. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing, carrots and celery sticks.

Dip into Game Day

Game day is about huddling up with friends and family, and feeling good about the food you share. Kick off the big game with Sabra, the official dip of the NFL, and help the crowd go wild when you put a twist on traditional hummus by topping it with bruschetta. Available in more than a dozen flavors, Sabra Hummus is made with fresh chickpeas, a touch of garlic and smooth tahini, making it a wholesome and delicious accompaniment for your favorite game-day chips, crackers and veggies. Find more big-game recipes at sabra.com.
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Bruschetta-Topped Hummus

Prep time: 5 minutes

Bruschetta:

    • 2          cups multi-colored cherry tomatoes
    • 1          clove garlic, minced
    • 10        fresh basil leaves, chopped
    • 1          tablespoon olive oil, plus additional (optional)
    • salt, to taste

 

  • container Sabra Classic Hummus (10 ounces)
  1. To make bruschetta: Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters or eighths, if large. Place in small mixing bowl. Stir in garlic, basil and olive oil, and season with salt, to taste.
  2. Scoop hummus out of container and swirl onto serving plate. Top with bruschetta and drizzle with touch of olive oil, if desired. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips.

A Heaping Handheld

Snack like a champion during the big game with recipes that please palates without overfilling like these Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Since guests can pile their sandwiches as high as they like with sweet pork and optional toppings, there’s no need to worry about serving sizes. Find more honey-infused recipes for tasty meal solutions at honey.com.
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Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Honey Barbecue Sauce

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
Servings: 8-10

Pork Rub:

    • 1/4       cup sugar
    • 1          tablespoon chili powder
    • 2          teaspoons paprika
    • 1 1/2    teaspoons seasoned salt
    • 1 1/2    teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1 1/4    teaspoons onion powder
    • 1          teaspoon salt
    • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1          teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

  • 1          bone-in pork shoulder roast (4 pounds)
  • 2          cups hickory chips
  • 1          cup water
  • 1 1/2    cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/2    cups honey
  • 1          cup ketchup
  • 8-10     rolls
  • chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • chopped onion (optional)
  • chopped pickles (optional)
  1. To make Pork Rub: Stir together sugar, chili powder, paprika, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin, pepper and cayenne pepper.
  2. Massage Pork Rub over surface of pork and let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Soak hickory chips in water; drain well. Wrap chips in foil; punch holes in foil and place on top of gas grill set on high. When chips begin to smoke, place pork on grill and cook until well browned on all sides with lid closed, about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 300° F.
  5. Remove pork from grill and place in turkey-size oven bag set in large, shallow baking dish. Add water and seal well; pierce bag several times with small knife. Cook 3-3 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender and pork bone can be removed easily. Remove from oven. Remove bone and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  6. Shred meat into small pieces, removing fat. Add juices from cooking bag, skimming off excess fat.
  7. In separate saucepan, stir together barbecue sauce, honey and ketchup, cooking until hot and honey has dissolved. Stir most of sauce into shredded pork and mix well.
  8. Serve on rolls and drizzle with remaining sauce. Top with jalapenos, onions and pickles, if desired.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Brats and Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches)

Source: Culinary.net

Snacks 02 May 2017

Simple, Healthy Summer Snacks

(Family Features) As temperatures climb and summer sets in, a slight change in diet can help maintain energy without overfilling on hot days.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are becoming a popular trend, but many people are also opting to be semi-vegetarians, also known as the flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet means you don’t have to eliminate meat from your diet but can still reap the health benefits associated with plant-based diets.

Plant-based proteins like beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils are chock-full of nutritional benefits from disease-fighting phytonutrients to cholesterol-lowering fiber. They’re also an excellent way to add low-sodium and low-cholesterol protein to your diet that can leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed.

Light finger foods and dips are ideal summer snacks. Hummus, made from chickpeas and tahini (ground sesame seeds), makes for a quick and easy treat by itself or paired with health-conscious options like air-popped chips, whole-grain crackers or veggie sticks. You can also create simple summer snacks using hummus as an ingredient.

These vegan Cucumber Cups are the perfect refreshing pick-me-up on a hot afternoon, and they’re stylish enough to serve to guests at an upscale cookout. For a cool and creamy summer appetizer, try these vegetarian Southwestern Snack Bites made with hummus, guacamole and Greek yogurt.

Find more healthy ideas to help you snack your way through summer at sabra.com.

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Southwestern Hummus Bites

Yield: 30 pieces

  • 1 package (7 ounces) whole-grain bagel chips
  • 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
  • 2 cups pico de gallo
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 green onions, sliced (optional)
  1. Top each bagel chip with 1 tablespoon hummus, small spoonful of pico de gallo, guacamole and small dollop of yogurt.
  2. Garnish with slices of green onion, if desired.

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Cucumber Cups

Yield: 16 pieces

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  1. Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact.
  2. Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each cucumber with hummus (about 1 teaspoon each). Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley.

Source: Sabra

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