recipes

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Discover Chile

Exciting Flavors for Every Day

(Family Features) In restaurant kitchens nationwide — and at home — Latin American flavors continue to be a hot trend — and it’s not because of spiciness. The unique culture and geography of countries such as Chile offer exciting possibilities for everyday cooking, adding flavor and excitement to American dishes and dinner tables.

Chilean cuisine is full of flavor and color and owes its delicious variety to a combination of cultural influences: native Indian, Spanish (including Arab and Jewish), French, German, English and Italian.

Chile is about twice the size of California and stretches along the Pacific coastline of South America. This narrow country — only 265 miles at its widest point — boasts a variety of climates, allowing for richly varied agriculture. Also, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite those in the northern hemisphere, so fresh fruits and vegetables associated with summer in the U.S. are available from Chile during the winter.

Chilean products you may already have in your kitchen include:

  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums

Chilean Treasures

Seafood. With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, Chile offers an extraordinary bounty of seafood. The clean Pacific waters teem with oysters, prawns, salmon, abalone, sea bass and more.

Wine. Chile is the world’s fifth largest wine exporter, and culinary writers regularly sing praises for Chilean wines. Michael Green, the wine and spirits consultant for Gourmet Magazine, said, “Chile is a sleeping giant in terms of the quality, diversity and value of its wines. The region is home to some of the most thrilling and tasty wines in the world.”

Spices. One of the most unique flavors of Chilean cooking comes from a spice blend called merkén from the Mapuches, a native people of Chile. It’s an aromatic mixture of dried and smoked red chilis, toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt. Merkén is an extremely versatile spice with an attractive copper color and smoky flavor. It can be sprinkled on fish, shrimp, poultry, beef and vegetables, or added to soups, sauces, cheese and pasta. Available in specialty grocery stores, it can also be ordered online.

Produce. Chilean chef Pilar Rodriguez has created recipes featuring unique Chilean flavors. One centers on the carica, also known as Chilean Golden Papaya, and ulmo honey. Carica is a unique fruit that has been described as a combination of a mango and a peach. It can be used as an appetizer or dessert, in salads and hot dishes. You’ll find it sold in jars in specialty stores and online. Ulmo honey comes from the ulmo tree, native to Chile. It has a creamy texture and a buttery sweetness that make an excellent accompaniment to mild cheeses. It is also available at specialty stores and online.

Chile offers a wide variety of fresh foods and rich flavors to discover.

Chile’s food growing regions

North
goats, llamas, subtropical fruits such as carica, scallops

Central Valley
avocados, olives, apples, grapes, wine

Central Valley South
dairy products, razor clams, kiwi, grains, cattle, wine

Lake Region
cattle, dairy, berries, salmon, Chilean abalones

Extreme South and Patagonia
beef and sheep, Chilean king crab

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Seared Salmon & Avocado Tartar

By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Serves 6

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup fleur de sel (coarse sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro seeds
  • 1 tablespoon merkén
  • 1 tablespoon cochayuyo molido ahumado (smoked seaweed powder), optional

Salmon:

  • 6 3.5- to 4-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Avocado Tartar:

  • 2 cups avocado, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon finely diced yellow chili pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  1. Coarsely grind and mix salt and all the spices. Reserve in shallow bowl.
  2. In a non-stick pan, sear salmon filets with olive oil on both sides, just getting a nice golden color (about 90 seconds per side). Do not over cook. The center of the fillet has to be raw.
  3. Press one side of each fillet into salt-spice mixture and set aside.
  4. Mix all ingredients for Avocado Tartar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salmon fillets over the tartar. Serve immediately.

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Ulmo Honey Panna Cotta, Grilled Citrus Carica Salad

By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Makes 8 to 10 4-ounce portions

  • 1 quart cream
  • 1/4 cup ulmo honey OR honey of choice
  • 4 gelatin sheets OR 1 package powdered gelatin
  • 4 full caricas OR fresh papayas cut in half to grill
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh mint leaves
  1. Heat cream in small sauce pan and turn off the heat right before boiling point. Add honey and, using a wooden spoon, mix well with the cream. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  2. Put the gelatin in cold water until you see the gelatin is soft — about three minutes. Discard excess water (gelatin will be softened) and dissolve gelatin in the cream mixture.
  3. Fill panna cotta containers (or 4-ounce ramekins) 3/4 full and chill until set (about three hours in the refrigerator).
  4. Brush the caricas with olive oil and grill them over medium heat until color browns a bit (one minute per side). Right before serving, sprinkle lemon juice, sugar to taste and lemon zest on top. Serve on the side of the Panna Cottas (in containers) with mint to garnish.

Source: Trade Commission of Chile

Main Dishes 27 March 2017

Modern Spins on Spring Traditions

(Family Features) From Easter to Passover to the Kentucky Derby and beyond, there is a lamb dish for nearly every spring occasion.

While many traditions rely on lamb as a centerpiece, it doesn’t have to be prepared like grandma’s overcooked, tough and often tasteless roast. Today’s home cooks are forgoing the jar of mint jelly and using fresh mint in pesto and salsas, while serving their lamb medium-rare to preserve its tender juiciness.

If a rack of lamb is your preferred cut for spring celebrations, the American Lamb Board offers six simple steps for the perfect entree. For those who opt for roasting a boneless leg of lamb that is tender and full of flavor, try using these step-by-step instructions for a succulent lamb roast. For a real showstopper, turn off the oven, fire up the grill, butterfly a leg of lamb, season well and grill to desired doneness.

Toss grandma’s jar of mint jelly and brighten up your feasts with fresh condiments like this Mint-Pistachio Pesto or a Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Sea Salt. For more tips and spring celebration-worthy recipes, visit americanlamb.com/spring/.

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Mint-Pistachio Pesto

Recipe courtesy of the American Lamb Board

  • 1 cup shelled, toasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  1. In food processor, pulse all ingredients until mixed but still somewhat chunky.

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Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Sea Salt

Recipe courtesy of the American Lamb Board

  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 1/2-3 pounds boneless leg of American lamb, trimmed and butterflied
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  1. In food processor, grind salt and rosemary leaves together until mixture is texture of coarse sand.
  2. Season lamb generously with rosemary salt, working it into all crevasses; it should take about 2 tablespoons. Set lamb aside at room temperature at least 30 minutes before grilling, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
  3. Heat charcoal or gas grill. Pat lamb dry, if needed, and rub lightly with olive oil to coat.
  4. Grease grill grates with oil and place lamb on hottest part of grill. Cook with grill covered, turning once, until brown and crusty.
  5. Move lamb to cooler part of grill and continue cooking until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 130° F for medium-rare, 15-25 minutes total. Transfer lamb to platter, cover with foil and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into thick slices against the grain.
  6. Halve lemons and brush cut sides lightly with oil. Place cut-side down on grill until deeply charred, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Arrange lamb slices on large platter or directly over salad. Serve with charred lemon halves for squeezing and additional rosemary salt.

Source: American Lamb Board

Dessert 23 March 2017

Pair Like a Pro

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(Family Features) When it comes to pairing wine with food, even experts agree that desserts can pose a challenge. A wide variety of flavor combinations can make it hard to find the perfect selection to serve with your sweet treat. While there’s no exact science to wine pairing, these simple tips can help you make your selection.

Sweet Cheesecake
A good rule: the lighter the dessert, the lighter the wine. Avoid heavy reds for a sweeter dessert and instead pair with a crisp white like Chardonnay, such as Joseph Carr from Sonoma, California.

Citrusy Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon flavors can sometimes be polarizing, but complementing this dessert with an equally citrusy wine can work wonders. Try pairing with a food-friendly pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc.

Rich Chocolate Cake
Red wine with chocolate seems like a no-brainer, but not all red wines are created equal. For a richer delicacy like this devil’s food cake, try something like Villa Pozzi Nero D’avola, a more fruit-forward, easy-drinking red varietal.

For more tips and wine selections, visit winefix.com

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New York-Style Honey Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • fresh berries, for garnish
  • fresh mint, for garnish
  1. To make crust: In small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter until well blended. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and sides of greased 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. To make filling: In electric mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, honey and flour. Beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in cream, lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust; bake 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 200° F and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, or until center no longer looks wet or shiny.
  5. With oven off and door ajar, let cheesecake cool 1 hour in oven. Remove cheesecake to rack to cool completely.
  6. Cover and refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fruit and fresh mint. Pair with chardonnay like Joseph Carr.

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Honey Devil’s Food Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups honey, divided
  • 1/2 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • milk chocolate shavings, for garnish
  1. To prepare cake: Heat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups honey, milk, oil, eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat 2 minutes. Gradually beat in water.
  3. Divide batter between pans. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until sides pull away slightly from pan and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn onto wire racks and cool completely.
  4. To prepare frosting: In medium bowl, combine remaining cocoa powder, honey and vanilla, and cream. Beat until just thick and fluffy.
  5. To assemble: Spread frosting evenly over sides and top of one cake layer. Place second cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top.
  6. Garnish with milk chocolate shavings. Pair each serving with a glass of prosecco, like Nero D’avola from Villa Pozzi.

Photo courtesy of 275847/Shutterstock.com (cheesecake)
Photo courtesy of Barnaby Chambers/Shutterstock.com (chocolate cake with wine)

Source: Deutsch Family Wines

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