Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New ‘nilla notions broaden flavor range
Vanilla, with more than 300 flavor components, is native to Mexico along with chocolate, chiles and corn.
There’s lots more you man not know about this bean. “A Century of Flavor” is a cookbook that tells the story of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, based in Waukegan, Il. You may not have known that vanilla goes well with duck breast, salmon and crab cake. But once you are empowered with this knowledge, it is up to you to make frequent use of it. Here’s a quickie to start you off.
Vanilla Oil
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
Combine the canola oil and vanilla extract in a bowl an whisk to blend. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Brush over grilled vegetables or fruits such as pineapple or papaya.

Tex Mex-terrific
When I see a home with a beautiful Spanish-style balcony, I imagine myself enjoying coffee and breakfast tacos, rancho huevos or migas. Gloria Chadwick must think like me, because she suggests Breakfast Chile Relleno served on the patio in her new book, “Foods and Flavors of San Antonio.”
As a Tex-Mex food lover in Southeast Texas, you may think you know all you need to about queso dip and enchiladas. This book can broaden your skills with cilantro, chorizo, serrano and tomatillo ideas. Here’s a super-easy fun-with-fish idea:
Orange Roughy, Southwestern Style
4 orange roughy fillets
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup salsa
Lightly spray each fillet with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle each side of each fillet with cumin and oregano.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the fillets and cook for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip each fillet and top the cooked side with salsa.
Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 6 minutes. Serves four.

Sweet release
Control is a beautiful thing when it comes to chocolate. I have the chocolate — new 3 Musketeers Raspberry limited edition — and I have the power to eat just one (or possibly just two) of the brightly-wrapped little guys after a nice salad lunch. Mars calls them fluffy raspberry nougat dipped in lucious dark chocolate, with 45 pecent less fat that the average leading chocolate brand. A cherry limited edition came out for the Valentine season. Make your Easter berry fluffy with 3 Musketeers.

Still the TOPS
I recently shared tips from TOPS, and the group has a few more.
Take Off Pounds Sensibly, billed as the nation’s original weight-loss support group. There is a local group. Visit or call (800) 932-8677 for more information. These ideas are for party snacking:
• Pop low-fat microwave popcorn and set it out in bowls.
• Include apple halves or carrot sticks as finger food.
• Replace sour cream in dips with plain yogurt.
• Eat baked pretzels rather than fried chips.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the nice review of my new cookbook. Coffee and breakfast tacos are a great way to start the day! :)