Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

Flavorful ideas for shaved ice

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere and Internet. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

Tired of fat-loaded ice cream? Disneyfamily.com offers a homemade snow cones recipe that’s so simple.

Hawaiianshavedice.com
also features fun renditions and flavor ideas for shaved ice.

Lastly, whatscookingamerica.net highlights the folklore and cultural history behind Hawaiians' love for shaved ice.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday's Side Dish: Jarritos Lime Soda

A neon green funky cold sip

The green hue of this Mexican lime soda had The Mixed Stew crew shaking their heads in the International food aisle at Safeway. This funky green beverage by Jarritos looks like it may also glow in the dark. Each 12.5 oz. bottle costs 99 cents, which made us figure that it’s worth sampling. Expect a crisp and sour taste in gulps of this citric acid laden soda pop. Adults will love its nifty novelty appearance that harkens to childhood servings of Kool-Aid. Otherwise, serve up this weirdly green-colored soda during Saint Patrick’s Day or the holiday season.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Limes vs. Lemons

Yellow and green relatives

Yellow lemons and green limes have a lot in common since they’re both members of the citrus family. Limes tend to have a higher citric acid content, which results in a less palatable natural flavor compared to lemons. Limes provide less juice per individual fruit compared to their larger yellow cousins. Lemons taste more palatable while limes taste somewhat sour with hints of bitterness. Consequently, even though you might think the opposite, lime juice really cannot substitute for lemon juice and vice versa. We suggest adding a bit of lemon juice or lime juice while in the process of making ice cubes to help infuse your cold beverages with more flavor and nutrition. Just remember, they won't taste the same!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Limes

Citrus goes green with this fruit

Limes may be the more acidic cousin to lemons. They are usually enjoyed with a margarita or shot of tequila. These fruits (aka Citrus aurantifolia) are available year around at most major supermarkets, but they’re in season between May through October. Expect a thin green skin with translucent greenish inner flesh that’s loaded with juice. Meanwhile, you can also distinguish limes by their oval shape that ranges from 1 inch to just more than 2 inches in diameter. Sweet limes contain less citric acid while sour limes contain a lot of citric acid. Key limes and Tahitian limes tend to be the most popular varieties. Limes are valued for their juice, which can bring out more taste and flavors in many marinades and dishes. The tropical and subtropical plant is native to Southeast Asia. The Spanish brought limes to the West Indies in the 16th Century. Select fresh limes with a shiny deep green skin without discoloration or bruises. Limes are a good source of Vitamin C.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Chili Lime Chicken Wings

A tropical take on a snacker

Tired of the usual buffalo wings? The Mixed Stew crew seasoned these wings with hot pepper, honey, and lime juice. If you prefer not to be stung by their heat, leave the pepper out for milder wings. Here’s our recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized bowl
1 baking dish with wire rack
Nonstick Cooking Spray
Plastic Wrap
Juice of 2 limes
1/3 cup honey
1 chili pepper, minced or else crushed pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
½ medium yellow onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, chopped small
2 lbs chicken wings
½ tablespoon salt

Cooking and Directions:

Combine onion, garlic, sesame seeds, lime juice, honey, salt, and chili pepper in bowl. Mix well. Pour in chicken wings and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and let ingredients marinade for at least 3 hours in the fridge. Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Spray baking pan and wire rack with nonstick cooking spray. Next, go ahead and position chicken wings on rack and place in oven. Let wings roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn wings once halfway through cooking time. Remove cooked wings from oven and serve.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Nando’s Peri-Peri: Annapolis, Md.

This restaurant chain can really “bring it” when it comes to serving grilled chicken. Nando’s Peri-Peri, located in Annapolis, Md., originated in South Africa and was founded in 1987. Expect tasty chicken seasoned that’s with lime juice, garlic, and other herbs and spices. Chicken pieces are grilled to order and customers can choose whether they want mild, hot, or extra-hot. Look for the tasty marinade that almost forms a glaze on each piece of chicken. Meanwhile, trademark side dishes include red skin mashed potatoes, mashed green peas, or Portuguese rice. An individual meal consisting of leg and thigh with one side dish costs $6.95. Customers can feed a family by ordering a whole chicken and two large sides for $23.45. Lighter fare consists of the grilled chicken breast wrap ($6.45) and Chicken Caesar Salad ($7.95).

2002 Annapolis Mall

Annapolis, Md. 21401

410-224-0585

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

A sweet and sexy tango
The Mixed Stew crew discovered this sauce several years ago and has liked it ever since. Fischer & Wieser’s Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce comes in nicely packaged 15.75 oz. bottles that retail for $9.95 each. The combination of sweet raspberries and spicy peppers makes for a rich accompaniment to any savory dish; in fact, the taste may remind you of a hot and spicy lingonberry sauce. We suggest serving this sauce with meatloaf, roast beef, or roasted leg of lamb. Also, serve a heaping portion with cream cheese to make an elegant dip for crackers in a quick pinch. Can you think of another fancy bottled sauce that worth trying?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Veggie Patties

Instead of raw, try heating things up

Chard is just one of the many veggies that can make yummy patties. We suggest substituting spinach, sweet potato tips, or snow pea tips instead if you can’t find Swiss chard. Heartier greens, such as broccoli, Chinese broccoli or broccoli raab, should be blanched then chopped before mixing and forming patties. Meanwhile, add a teaspoon of curry powder, turmeric, or paprika for more tasty oomph. Cooks can make elegant open-faced sandwiches in a pinch with larger patties. Chiilled Tzatziki sauce, cold veggie dips, or remoulade can provide a refreshing feel and flavorful contrast to veggie patties.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Swiss Chard

A leafy green powerhouse

As veggies go, Swiss Chard (aka rhubarb chard, or red chard) has a lot of flavor and nutritional benefits. This plant, known scientifically as Beta vulgaris, belongs to the same family as beets and spinach. Ancient Greeks and Romans ate chard since the plant originated in the Mediterranean. Consumers can generally expect stronger green flavors with more bitterness that’s similar to spinach or kale. Look for this ingredient all-year-long at most supermarkets. Select fresh chard with leaves lacking blemishes, or discoloration, and strong stalks. This ingredient is a rich source of phytonutrients which help promote and maintain a healthy blood and circulatory system. Remember that Swiss Chard didn’t originate in Switzerland.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Swiss Chard Patties

A veggie alternative for a healthy bite

The mix of fresh Swiss chard, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese makes this a healthy substitute for other appetizer or meal items. Swiss chard lends lots of green flavor and a veggie bite to each patty. Here’s our recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized bowl
1 fry pan or cast-iron skillet
Non-stick cooking spray
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ Cup Swiss chard, chopped small
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup bread crumbs
Pinch of salt

Cooking and Directions:

Combine Swiss chard, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, salt, and parmesan cheese in bowl. Mush and mix well. Form mixture into 6 to 8 (2- to 3-inch diameter) patties. Heat pan on medium-high heat. Spray liberally with cooking spray. Once pan is hot, carefully place patties into pan. Let patties cook and brown on each side for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

Web offers different flavors of ice cream

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere and Internet. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

Whether you enjoy eating ice cream on a cone or in a cup, summer signals it’s time to scoop into different half-gallons. The USA Today recently featured an item about fun and unusual ice cream flavors.

Read about close encounters with off-the-wall ice cream, such as caviar and chili pepper, varieties from the TV Food Network.

Woman’s Day also made a case for sweet and savory ice cream flavors in this article.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Orzo Here And There

Mix it up a bit with this pasta
Don’t underestimate Italian rice aka orzo pasta. Choose wholegrain or multigrain orzo pasta to make a healthier risotto that’s lighter on carbohydrates. We also suggest creating an easy-to-make side dish by simply melting butter or margarine into freshly cooked orzo. Be careful not to overcook. Sprinkle butter-flavored orzo with a pinch of garlic powder or add bacon bits for a yummy twist. Fluff orzo with a metal fork in order to prevent setting into clumps or a sticky mess. Meanwhile, add orzo to any stew recipe to make your stews heartier with every bowlful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday's Helping: Pasta Bake

One dish wonders
Baked pasta (aka pasta bake) has great advantages since all the ingredients end up in one dish that’s visually appetizing. A whole pan of Lasagna and baked penne or ziti can really satisfy the hunger pangs of six or more dinner or lunch guests. We suggest letting any baked pasta rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving. A thick b├ęchamel sauce and loads of cheese serve as popular binding agents for the many ingredients in a typical pasta bake.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday's Cupful: Orzo

Do a double-take over this rice pasta

This particular pasta makes a great substitute for rice with a similar shape and consistency to that grain once cooked. In fact, orzo nickname is “Italian rice.” The word “orzo” translates into “barley” from Italian. Orzo pasta was originally made from barley instead rather than semolina wheat flour. We suggest using cooked orzo in soups that call for any small pasta or rice. Additionally, Italians like adding orzo to hearty and rustic stews. Orzo pasta can also be found in several Greek dishes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Chicken Orzo Bake

An easy peasy casserole

Chunky white chicken, spinach, and melted cheese combine for a rich and satisfying meal. Baked bits of pasta becomes infused with a mix of tasty additions. Here’s our recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized saucepan
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
Non-stick cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound orzo
2 cups crumbled feta (4 ounces)
1 (9x 13) inch casserole dish
1 cup, grated cabernet-soaked cheese, or your favorite cheese to top
1 cup, seasoned bread crumbs (optional)

Cooking and Directions:


Preheat oven at 400 degrees. In a saucepan, bring broth, 3/4 cup water, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil. Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour orzo into baking dish. Put spinach and feta over orzo and then scatter chicken pieces over spinach and feta. Pour piping hot broth mixture over orzo and stir once to incorporate. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes until orzo is tender and the bake has a dense and creamy consistency. Finally, sprinkle grated cabernet-soaked cheese on top and let stand to melt before serving.(If desired, add breadcrumbs over cheese topping as it melts.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Holiday

The Mixed Stew Crew is going on hiatus for July 4th. We hope everyone has a fun Independence Day. Stroll through the archives for some yummy food ideas. We'll be back on July 11th with more tasty recipes.