17 Aug 2017

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12 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes with Cheese

This post is brought to you in partnership with Frigo® Cheese.

Friends, let us never underestimate the transformative power of cheese.

Even just a sprinkle of Parmesan or a crumble of feta can transform an otherwise simple dinner into something truly special.

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17 Aug 2017 4:29pm GMT

16 Aug 2017

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Quick Green Curry Chicken with Zucchini Noodles

Quick Green Curry Chicken with Zucchini Noodles

This green curry chicken dish is one of my favorite things to cook on a weeknight. It comes together so fast and it is packed with vegetables!

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16 Aug 2017 4:30pm GMT

15 Aug 2017

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Peach Nectarine Butter Recipe

I can't help it. I love to experiment with recipes. But when it comes to canning, experimentation is not always a good idea. For safety sake, my canning recipes are usually just very minimal tweaks to recipes that I trust. When my second batch of fruit from Washington State Stone Fruit arrived last week I made low sugar nectarine preserves from one of my pal Sean Timberlake's recipes. Sean is the brains behind the do-it-yourself site Punk Domestics and a canning expert. I also made a combination peach and nectarine butter from another recipe I'd used in the past.

I'm always eager for opportunities to adapt recipes and put my own spin on them and when it came to these recipes I was inspired to use some samples of bitters and an amaro from Greenbar Distillery. While it's typical to use them in cocktails, I asked Sean about the safety of using these ingredients as well as a bit of spice in canning. Here's what he said, "Adding a small amount of alcohol or spices should not significantly impact the total acidity in a preserve of high-pH fruit (such as peaches and cherries). If desired, add a little ReaLemon (5% acidity citric solution) to offset it."

With Sean's reassurance, I used a tablespoon of Grand Poppy amaro in the nectarine preserves, and just a teaspoon of saffron bitters in the fruit butter. You don't really taste it in either, but it adds lovely aromatic properties. With the preserves recipe I didn't use any liquid with the nectarines because some of the fruit was very juicy. If you're wondering about Grand Poppy, it's an amaro that's bittersweet and includes California poppy, orange, lemon, grapefruit, bearberry, California bay leaf, pink peppercorn, dandelion, blessed thistle, burdock, rue, artichoke, gentian, geranium, cherry bark and a bit of cane sugar.

Peach Nectarine Butter, adapted from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving
Makes 6 1/2 pint jars

Ingredients

10 cups of coarsely chopped and pitted peaches and nectarines, no need to peel
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1-2 teaspoons Greenbar saffron bitters

Instructions

Place the peaches and nectarines in a large pot with the water, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook it over medium heat until the fruit is very tender. Use a stick blender to puree the mixture. Add the sugar and simmer for 30 minutes or until thick enough to cling onto a spoon. Add the bitters and stir.

Lade into hot prepared jars (washed with hot soapy water). Leave 1/4 inch head space, wipe the rim of the jar if necessary. Apply the lid and twist on the band. Gently place in your canner or a large pot of water with a rack in it. The water should be 2 inches above the jars. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then remove let cool.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: My thanks to Washington State Stone Fruit for the fruit and to Greener Distillery for the bitters and amaro. For more preserving recipes, check out Sweet Preservation.
©2017 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

15 Aug 2017 8:44pm GMT

14 Aug 2017

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Turkey Taco Salad

Turkey Taco Salad

For a quick supper, especially in warm weather, you can't beat a big taco salad like this one.

Make the bean and turkey topping in a big skillet, and serve it warm over lightly dressed crisp romaine. Or make it ahead and serve it cold. It's up to you.

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14 Aug 2017 4:30pm GMT

27 Jul 2017

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Deiss Pro Julienne & Vegetable Peeler Review

Is a spiralizer necessary? I got one to review, but truth be told I'm unconvinced. It turns out there are lots of ways to get strands and ribbons from vegetables and fruit. The most common kitchen tools, a grater and a vegetable peeler work remarkably well. I'm also a fan of the mandolin which can be used to make many more types of cuts. But if you really enjoy creating these textures and want a single gadget, the Deiss Pro Julienne & Vegetable Peeler is really a three in one. It's great for peeling potatoes and carrots, but it's also good for creating those slithery ribbons and shredds for salads. It also has a nifty feature on the side that allows you to remove the "eyes" from potatoes without resorting to a paring knife or use it to create a peel strip from citrus fruit.


I've been using this gadget on zucchini. I use the larger ribbons with chunkier pasta and the shreds with skinny noodles. I blanch the zucchini for a minute or two with the pasta, to get rid of the rawness and cook it just enough so it blends nicely with the pasta. It helps me to lower the carbs and bulk up a pasta meal with healthy vegetables.

It's also good for creating ribbons of cucumber for salads.

Another way I am using it is to make vegetable slaws. The latest one I made with raw carrots, beets and celeraic. I tosssed it with a creamy sesame dressing for a deliciously crunch salad.

This is a small gadget, and I like that it both peels and shreds, the only negative to it is cleaning it. Because it creates such fine strands, it can be a pain to remove them all, the best bet is to use a bamboo skewer if any tiny bits get stuck in the teeth. At just under $10 I think it's a good buy especially if you are in the market for a new peeler as eventually they do become dull.

Do you have a spiralizer? Or do you use something else? If you have any favorite recipes let me know in the comments.

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Deiss Pro Julienne & Vegetable Peeler for review purposes. This post includes an affiliate link. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post.
©2017 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

27 Jul 2017 1:06pm GMT

25 Jul 2017

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Discovering Crémant d’Alsace Rosé

When I think of the wines of the Alsace I think white wine. After all 90% of the wines produced in the Alsace are white. But there's growing interest in one particular red wine, Pinot Noir. This is a recent development, in part due to changing climate conditions. The Alsace already has a staggering 15 different soil types and now it has a longer growing season. Limestone and clay ensure that Pinot Noir will develop the right acidity and tannins. Good Pinot Noir never happens by mistake! I recently enjoyed a wine dinner with a number of different bottles of Pinot Noir from the Alsace. They had all the characteristics I expect from Pinot Noir-notes of strawberry or raspberry, smoke, leather, sometimes spice, fresh acidity. Some were fresh and vibrant, others more complex and earthy. But the wine I enjoyed the most? Allimant Laugner Crémant d'Alsace Rosé. It's bright with strawberry and lemon, and deliciously fizzy and can be found for under $20.

I love sparking wines and Brut Rosé in particular. Crémant is the French name for sparkling wines outside of the Champagne region. Made exactly the same way as Champagne, it's the second fermentation that gives the wine bubbles. Crémant is made from several different grapes in the Alsace, but Crémant d'Alsace Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir. Right now I'm drinking a lovely bottle of Crémant d'Alsace Rosé from Pierre Sparr. It spends a year aging on the lees, is lively, fresh and has a smooth finish.

There's something extremely special about all Brut Rosé that every sommelier knows. It's perhaps the easiest wine in the world to pair with food. Really. It goes with just about everything from light seafood to rich barbecue. It's my go to wine when I don't want to do a full wine pairing with a tasting menu. I know that a bottle of Brut Rosé will handle whatever courses I'm served. Of course, I might switch to a bigger bold red for a steak course, but otherwise, I trust that Brut Rosé will work. But by all means enjoy it as an aperitif as well. It's an easy going wine that is good with or without food and the ones from the Alsace are particularly good and generally very reasonably priced. What more could you ask for?

Disclaimer: My thanks to the Wine of the Alsace for inviting me to the dinner and Thierry Fritsch, Head Oeneologist and Educator for the Conseil Interproffesionel des Vins d'Alsace for educating me about these wines. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post.
©2017 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

25 Jul 2017 2:28pm GMT