Category Archives: Food News

Liquid Nitrogen is Rocking the Culinary World

Food connoisseurs are continuously on the hunt for new food fads to delight their sophisticated palates. The latest craze blends food with science using something normally found in laboratories – liquid nitrogen. Chefs are combining the two to create delightful concoctions which dazzle the senses and make your mouth want to cry from sheer happiness.

 

Not for the beginner, liquid nitrogen does come with a warning label. It requires special handling and training. With a temperature below three hundred Fahrenheit, chefs need gloves, goggles, and special gear to handle this substance which can cause skin burns and suffocation.

 

So why take the risk? Well, when used right the outcome of this unusual pairing creates delicacies that are rocking the culinary world. Chefs are discovering new flavor combinations and techniques every day. One can say they are the Marco Polos of this gastronomic revolution.

 

The process used is fascinating and can be seen in this video. After donning the right equipment, the chef whips out a large metal jug he refers to as a vacuum dewar. Up until this moment, you feel like you are watching an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy. Then the real fun begins.

 

Using three bright oranges, the chef covers the fruit with liquid nitrogen allowing it to freeze to an unimaginable negative 321 degrees Fahrenheit. As the gas flows over the food, the chef goes over the nuances of working with nitrogen.

 

Once frozen the chef smashes the fruit while warning viewers not to eat it at this stage as the gas will cause mouth sores. The oranges need to warm up first. They look like small pieces of confetti.

 

Next, the chef turns mint into a powder. Wielding culinary magic, he creates a hybrid crème brule dessert that looks amazingly decadent on the video topped with the oranges and mint powder.Not only is this process fun to watch, but the result is pleasing to the eye.

 

Liquid nitrogen has expanded the possibilities for chefs allowing them to bridge new gaps and experiment with texture and flavor. This technique has opened a door serious gourmands are grateful for. Full of endless potential, this food revolution delights both the senses and palate.

 

 

 

Five Tips for Freezing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

With the summer months quickly approaching, there will soon be an abundance of the freshest and tastiest fruits and vegetables popping up everywhere. Whether you regularly visit local farm markets or you are an avid gardener with a green thumb and plenty of produce to spare, knowing how to keep the season’s bounty tasting great into the cold winter months is both useful and economical. Here are some tips from the experts at foodnetwork.com and http://www.cookingchanneltv.com so that you can take advantage of the season’s best.

 

1 Plan ahead for freezing fresh foods by having a supply of freezer zipper bags as well as freezer safe plastic containers ready. Of both options, freezer bags have the advantage of allowing you to push all of the air out of the bag. Using the bags prevents freezer burn and allows food to last longer.

 

  1. Separate foods into portion sizes before freezing. When you bag more berries than you need for your recipe you are faced with either finding another way to use the fruit or throwing it away. Measuring amounts before you freeze your produce will help prevent unnecessary waste.

 

3.Prep the fruits and vegetables so that they are ready to use when you bring them out of the freezer. If you know you want the carrots, you just bought to be added to soup peeling and dicing the carrots before freezing will make enjoying them later much easier.

 

4.Blanch vegetables before freezing them to assure the best results. Simply drop fresh vegetables in boiling water and allow them to cook for two minutes. Stop the cooking process by immediately putting the vegetables into ice cold water once they are out of the hot water.

 

5.Freeze berries before you package them. To freeze fresh berries, wash them and gently pat dry. Arrange berries on a baking sheet so that berries are not crushing each other. Place the baking sheet with berries in your freezer until frozen solid. The amount of time this takes will vary. Fruits like apples and pears freeze best if they have been peeled and cooked before freezing.

 

With a little prep and planning, you can enjoy the freshest tasting fruits and vegetables long after the growing season is over.

 

Hold The Avocado Please

I’m all about avocados. They are delicious, creamy, full of good fats that are great for your health, and mild enough in flavor that they fit well in a lot of different dishes. There aren’t too many foods that are equally good in sushi, tacos, and ice cream.

 

As big of a fan as I am of avocados; I have to say I think it’s time to give it a rest. Just ease off of the avocado gas pedal a little bit. Slow down the avocado freight train. Not every dish needs an excessive amount of avocado.

 

One avocado dish I see circulating the internet that perfectly expresses our nations current overload on avocado is, ” The Bacon Wrapped Egg Stuffed Avocado“.

 

It is exactly what it sounds like. An avocado is pitted and pealed; a poached or soft boiled egg is placed inside the cavity. It is then closed back up, wrapped in bacon, and sauteed in a pan until golden; then it is sliced into and the perfectly runny yoke of the egg comes spilling out of the center.

 

I can understand the initial appeal. First of all: bacon. Bacon is really glorious. There does seem to be some logic in bacon being that magical ingredient that automatically makes a recipe amazing.

 

Next comes a creamy layer of avocado; this is a pretty thick layer. After that comes the creamy egg white, and finally the creamy egg yolk.

 

That’s a whole lot of creamy. The only textural contrast you have is the crispness of the bacon, and then you are left wit a mouthful of smooshy, warm avocado followed by smooshy warm egg, and runny yolk.

 

I’m not a fan of the trendy food term ” mouth feel”, but the mouth feel of this dish frankly is really off putting.

 

The moral of the story is this: texture matters, and just because it’s trending on social media; doesn’t mean it’s a great food idea.

 

The next time you are looking for an avocado fix give this recipe for Fried Avocado Tacos a try instead.

 

KIDS BBQ CHAMPIONSHIP!

Four lucky young “grillers” will appear on Food Network’s Kid’s BBQ Championship for a chance to win $10,000. This relatively new Food Network show features the cooking talents of junior chefs and highlights their ability to create delicious predesignated dishes under pressure. The show begins the second season premiering on Monday, May 19th 7:00 central time.

In each episode, four kids attempt to dazzle the judges with new and tantalizing entrees. These pint-size chefs are tasked with creating a specified dish to demonstrate their culinary barbecue flare. The show is hosted by Damaris Phillips and Eddie Jackson. They each are champions in their own right. Each are previous winners of the Food Network Star and host another show on Food Network. Damaris Phillips hosts the Food Network show Southern at Heart. Eddie Jackson hosts BBQ Blitz. Each episode also features a guest host that has a specific expertise that matches that particular cooking task. No episode is ever the same. The viewer is given a fresh experience with the new faces of different contestants each week as well as the enticing cooking topics and an ever-changing guest host.

In Season one, episodes ran the gamete of dish categories challenges. The junior contestants were asked to make the perfect luau pork dish with a complimentary tropical fruit side. In another episode, these young chefs were asked to make an on-the-go food which you might see offered at a State Fair. Among some of the most stand out episodes was the Cowboy Campfire in which the young culinary artist were tasked with making big hearty breakfasts to include huge beef steaks which would equal the size of your head. For a sneak peak, check out Season 1 highlights: http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/kids-bbq-championship/videos/season-highlights

The line up of episodes for Season 2 include mouth-watering topics like the Red, White and BBQ – official season opener where contestants feature patriotic dishes. Season 2, Episode 2 is entitled Bacon, Ribs and Roasts. The title says it all. This is a challenge for the four new kid grill masters which is all about the best barbecue methods in cooking pig. Episode 3 challenges yet another new group of junior barbecue chefs to tackle the spicy and tempting flavors in the Tex Mex Showdown.

Clear Coffee? Has The World Stopped Turning?

Two brothers, originating from Slovakia, have started a London based business making something, that to a coffee drinker, sounds blasphemous. Named “CLR CFF”, this brew is supposed to be a clear, cold brew made from Arabica beans and pure water, as opposed to non pure water and regular coffee beans.

 

The brothers, Adam and David Nagy hold their formulation close to the vest, but say their brew doesn’t contain any extra flavoring, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or stabilizers. What is added to the clear brew is, what they call a “natural, high quality” caffeine to replace the caffeine that is lost in the process of distilling the coffee.

 

David and Adam, the men who formulated this coffee, stated that one of their main reasons for brewing a clear coffee is the lack of teeth staining properties that’s found in traditional coffee. Detractors of this coffee brew have stated that it tastes like water with a hint of coffee, or that water was poured over day old coffee grounds and then bottled. At the moment, CLR CFF is found in the UK at Selfridge’s, Whole Foods and at the CLR CFF’s online store for now.

 

My take is this: I understand that people feel the need to make things better, less calories, more flavor, but why mess with the dark goodness that is coffee? I have seen both sides of the coffee fence. I was a “late to the game” coffee drinker, and I spent time finding my favorite morning brew. When a coffee drinker knows what coffee tastes like, whether they like a light or dark roast, drinking a watered down version would seem underwhelming. Of course people are encouraged to judge this new brew for themselves, but as for me and my coffee, I wouldn’t change a dark brown thing. Oh! And for the teeth staining properties, I brush several times daily and have not had a brown tooth yet.

 

To read more about CLR CFF and the brothers who devised the clear coffee phenomenon, please click here and judge for yourself. Who knows, it may be something to love.

 

Top Restaurants To Visit As You Travel The Eastern Seaboard

Travel along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States increases every Spring. For many, the highlight of travel time is the potential stops for food. Though fast food just off the interstate is the most convenient, a little extra drive time to experience the finest that the Atlantic Coast has to offer makes any trip more memorable.

 

South Florida is often referred to as the Sixth Borough since most of its seasonal residents are from New York. For that reason, it makes sense to start our trip with breakfast as you make your escape from the Big Apple. Just before you hit the long drive on Interstate 95, make a stop at Jersey Cities Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory. Their inviting website states, “The Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory relentlessly seeks to redefine the diner experience of the past, while maintaining the comforting mystique that only an old-fashioned diner can provide.” And their menu is proof of their relentless effort. As its name implies, pancakes are the main attraction. With nearly thirty choices, there is something for everyone. And the rest of the breakfast offerings is equally impressive. Breakfast staples, pancake wraps, breakfast sandwiches, and a variety of French Toast options make Brownstone’s a must to start your long journey.

 

Depending on traffic and how fast you drive, your best lunch options will be anywhere from Philadelphia to Richmond. This creates a lot of options. Your best bets just off the Interstate are Philadelphia’s High Street On Market, Baltimore’s Di Pasquale’s Italian Marketplace & Deli, and Washington D.C.’s Mission BBQ. Each one has its own unique approach to food preparation and service. Di Pasquale’s boasts authentic, rustic Italian fare from a 100 year old family operation. High Street features fresh baked hearth baked breads, while Mission BBQ serves the best BBQ from across the US and gives back to serve military and law enforcement.

 

Continue driving south on 95 and you will enter the Coastal Carolinas. A stop in Florence, South Carolina is not complete without a meal at Red Bone Alley. The menu selections combine southern favorites with a creative blend of cultures of coastal South Carolina.

 

Though most know for peaches and peanuts, Georgia is home to some to the finest seafood fare in the US. The historic coastal town of Savannah is just minutes off of 95 and will be one of your most memorable stops on your journey to the tropics. Among the best Savannah has to offer is Love’s Seafood and Steaks. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, Love’s proves to be a memorable dining experience with each visit.

 

Start making your travel plans now and remember to plan each meal well. You won’t regret it.

Hershey Campaign Features Flavors of America

When one thinks of Hershey, the thought of rich, unforgettable chocolate immediately comes to mind. Whether the name conjures up images of a Hershey Chocolate Bar or a Chocolate Themed Amusement Park, the nostalgia of the moment is as sweet as a bite into a Hershey Kiss. From its humble beginnings to its reigning chocolate empire, Hershey is a part of the American fabric.

 

In it’s latest round of delicious creations, Hershey is celebrating her place in Americana. The new “Flavors of America” collection features our favorite chocolates with a unique twist of flavor that represents many of our favorite summer destinations. The candies represented in the “Flavors of America” creations include Hershey Bar, Hershey Kisses, Twizzler, Kit Kat, PayDay and Reese’s. Each favorite maintains its individual candy character but transported to new summer destinations with the addition of unique flavor combinations.

 

Everything is big in Texas, so it is only fitting that one of Hershey’s biggest sellers, PayDay, features a Texas BBQ flavor boost. The salty sweet taste of PayDay is the perfect palette on which to paint the flavor of real Texas BBQ.

 

Equally flavorful is the California contribution of lush ripe strawberries to the crispy crunch of our favorite Kit Kat bar. And if California is not quite tropical enough for your taste buds, give Hawaii inspired Coconut Almond Hershey Kisses a try. Your perfect beach destination is packed into one bite of these to tropically inspired delights.

 

If city life is more to your tastes, then Hershey’s Cherry Cheesecake Bar is the perfect compliment to your imagined hot summer day in the big apple. And if a laid back, Florida summer is on your itinerary, then you do not want to miss the Key Lime Pie and Orange Cream Pop flavored Twizzlers. The iconic flavors of the Sunshine Start are packed in these favorite whips. And on your way to Florida, be sure to check out the best that Georgia has to offer in its Honey Roasted Flavored Peanut Butter Cups.

 

Your summer is not complete without the Flavors of America Collection, available now while supplies last.

 

 

 

Stop That Brain Freeze

Most people have experienced what’s known as brain freeze when eating or drinking something extremely cold such as ice cream. It’s also called an ice cream headache, which causes a sudden, stabbing pain in the forehead. This phenomenon occurs when a very cold substance touches the roof of the mouth, which causes the blood vessels in the palate to constrict quickly. The arteries in the back of the throat respond by dilating and contracting and that sends a signal to the brain to move warm blood quickly inside the tissues because it’s imperative that the brain stays warm. This sudden blood flow could raise the pressure in the skull thus causing the headache to occur. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s warm or cold outside. It has to do with the sudden cooling in the mouth.

 

There are ways to prevent brain freeze from happening, and there are others that can alleviate the headache once it occurs. The first thing to remember is to try not to eat or drink something that’s extremely cold too quickly. Instead of gulping down that iced tea, take a sip to begin with. Don’t dive right into the ice cream cone, but take a small lick at first. As the palate adjusts and gets used to the cold sensation, bigger bites of the ice cream and sips of the cold drink can be taken.

 

If the advice above hasn’t been heeded, and a brain freeze does occur, a few things can be done to make it go away. One thing to try is to push the tongue against the roof of the mouth and hold it there until the palate warms up. Taking a sip of something warm can also sufficiently warm the mouth so that the headache subsides. Another trick is to cover the nose and mouth with the hand and breathe into them to warm up the air that’s going back into the mouth. Along that same line, it’s possible to find relief by breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose.

 

Fruit Juice May Not Cause Obesity, But Should Still Be Moderated

A recent analysis claims that fruit juice, long thought to be a factor in the rise of childhood obesity, is not associated with weight gain in children when consumed in moderation (6-8 ounces per day). To many parents, this may seem like an endorsement of fruit juice. But the study leaves out a few components of the juice debate.

 

First, it controls for total calorie consumption, meaning there is no way of knowing whether consuming the juice typically leads to higher energy intake overall. It also fails to address how juice can contribute to long-term health problems beyond obesity. For instance, a 2013 Stanford study found a strong correlation between sugar and diabetes, independent of weight.

 

Furthermore, the study’s lead researcher talks about parts of the study that remain behind a paywall, including the finding that prolonged exposure to daily juice was associated with an increased risk in obesity. In other words, if a child was known to drink 4 to 8 ounces of fruit juice on an everyday basis, weight gain was greater than in a child who drank juice more sporadically. Perhaps drinking juice every day is associated with drinking a greater amount overall. This suggests at least that juice should be approached more like a treat than an essential part of the diet.

 

It’s also important to remember that this study, like most studies on food consumption, is observational. This typically means that data on calorie consumption is self-reported and increasingly, self-reported dietary data is considered unreliable. It is also a meta-analysis, or a compilation of studies rather than one study with a singular objective. This could indicate varying methods of research and different control variables across subjects. As unreliable as observational studies can be, they are accepted in nutrition science because the alternative (clinical trials) is often unethical.

 

Though it is flawed, the study is not necessarily bad science or irrelevant. But it should be viewed in context with other evidence. For parents, the study is helpful if it reassures them that a glass of juice now and then won’t harm their children.

 

How to Make the Best Chicken Noodle Soup

As the saying goes, chicken soup is good for your soul! It’s also healthy for your body. Of course, there are numerous ways to make this classic recipe, but this article will explain a surefire way to make the absolute best chicken noodle soup that you’ve ever had.

 

The Chicken Soup Recipe

 

First, you’ll need to assemble all of your ingredients. In addition to one boneless chicken breast, for food ingredients, you’ll need extra virgin olive oil, a small white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 6 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of noodles. Salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary will also be necessary. Add them to taste. You’ll also need a large soup pot and a ladle.

 

Start by warming up some extra virgin olive oil in your soup pot over medium-high heat. Put the chicken breast in and cook it until it’s finished. Set this aside, and after it cools, remove any fat and rip the chicken breast into shreds.

 

Now, put more oil in your pot, and add 1 small diced onion and 2 finely chopped cloves of fresh garlic. Add 3 diced carrots and 2 diced stalks of celery to the onions. Sauté the onions, celery and carrot until the onions are translucent. At this point, add your chicken stock and spices to the mix. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, add the shredded chicken, cover the pot and lower the heat. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes, put in the dried pasta and recover the pot.

 

Enjoying Your Chicken Soup

 

To enjoy your chicken soup, consider toasting some French bread for serving. You might also add some freshly chopped parsley or basil to the top of your soup.

 

With this recipe and these tips, you’ll be able to create a tasty chicken noodle soup that works every time. It’s a great go-to recipe when you’re out of ideas. You and your family will love this traditional and delicious dish, so why not try it out tonight?