TownLink

News + Views

Easy Eating

0

In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Warmer weather has arrived and that means it’s salad season.

There are many seasonal salads to enjoy and everyone has a favorite. Change your warm-weather dining habits up a bit with this recipe for Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers. Easy to prepare, this deliciously unique salad on a skewer is perfect for entertaining family and friends.

The sweet-tangy, nutty, piquant and savory combination of ingredients provides layers of flavors in every forkful. One-bite Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets are just right for skewering with the mustard-marmalade glazed chicken and crisp romaine.

To finish, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted almonds and cheese. Add a whole grain baguette and your meal is ready. For more warm-weather recipe ideas, visit AuntNellies.com.

Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 8

1         jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets, drained

2         large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)

salt, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided

pepper, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided

4 1/2   tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided

1 1/2    tablespoons orange marmalade, plus 1/3 cup, divided

2           tablespoons minced fresh chives

1            large lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)

1/4        cup olive oil

1            bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine pieces

8            wooden skewers

1/3         cup chopped almonds, toasted

1/3         cup crumbled firm white cheese (such as blue cheese, feta or goat)

Heat oven to 375 F. Drain beets; set aside.

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons each of mustard and marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on aluminum foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.

To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.

Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. On each skewer, thread a beet, a piece of chicken and 4- 5 pieces of lettuce; repeat twice; add one beet at end. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter. Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.

Substitution: Whole pickled beets may be substituted. Cut beets in half.

Alternate preparation: To grill chicken, brush both sides with mustard-marmalade mixture. Grill over medium heat 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through and thermometer reads 165 F. If chicken cooks too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low.

Nutritional information per serving: 255 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 12 g total fat; 440 mg sodium; 40 mg cholesterol; 2 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; .07 mg thiamin; 2,871 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C.

 

 

 

August 16, 2017 |

Get Grilling Like a Pitmaster

0

In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Summertime meals are all about the grill. This year, give your grill and your family a break from hamburgers and hot dogs, and heat things up with the flavor and versatility of fresh pork.

From tender Sweet Sriracha Pork Skewers to Memphis-Style Dry Baby Back Ribs, the possibilities are endless. Make your cookout the best on the block with these tips and recipes from world champion pitmasters Tuffy Stone and Darren Warth:

  • Start with a fresh and high-quality meat like Smithfield Fresh Pork, which is available in a variety of cuts and seasonings perfect for any cookout occasion.
  • Don’t lift the lid of your grill unless you are checking for doneness or turning the food to avoid letting the heat escape or interrupt the cooking process.
  • Check for proper doneness with a meat thermometer and use tongs to turn the meat instead of a fork. Cutting into the meat can cause flavorful juices to escape.
  • If you’re short on time, try a pre-seasoned option like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, so that the prep work is already done for you.

Find more great grilling tips, videos and recipes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com.

Memphis-Style Dry Baby Back Ribs

Recipe courtesy of Pitmaster Tuffy Stone

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes stand time

Cook time: 4-6 hours

Servings: 2-4

 

Dry Rub:

1/4       cup brown sugar

1/4       cup kosher salt

2          teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2    teaspoons dry mustard

1          teaspoon black pepper

1          teaspoon celery salt

2          slabs Smithfield Fresh Pork Back Ribs, membrane removed

1/4      cup prepared yellow mustard

apple juice or water, in spray bottle

barbecue sauce (optional)

To make dry rub: In small bowl about 30 minutes before grilling, combine brown sugar, kosher salt, chili powder, dry mustard, black pepper and celery salt; mix well.

Spread both sides of ribs with yellow mustard and sprinkle dry rub on top. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Heat charcoal or gas grill to 250 F for indirect cooking.

Place ribs, meaty side up, over drip pan and cook 4-6 hours until tender. Spritz ribs occasionally with water or apple juice using spray bottle.

If using charcoal grill, add about 12 coals approximately every 45 minutes to maintain heat. Let ribs stand 10-15 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with barbecue sauce.

 

Sweet Sriracha Pork Skewers

Recipe courtesy of Pitmaster Darren Warth

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus marinade time

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 4

 

1          Smithfield Fresh Pork Tenderloin

1/2       cup agave nectar

2          tablespoons Sriracha sauce

1          teaspoon minced garlic

1          tablespoon soy sauce

1          tablespoon rice vinegar

1          pint fresh pineapple chunks

wood skewers, soaked in water

Trim skin off pork tenderloin and cut into 1-inch cubes.

To make marinade: In bowl, combine agave, Sriracha sauce, garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar, and whisk thoroughly.

Pour marinade into re-sealable bag and add cubed pork tenderloin. Marinate for up to 24 hours in refrigerator. Place tenderloin and pineapple chunks on skewers, alternating so pineapple is tight against tenderloin.

Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. Grill skewers, turning every 5 minutes, until all sides are grilled. Cook until tenderloin chunks have reached internal temperature of 145 F.

 

August 9, 2017 |

A Sweet Cherry Season

0

In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Whether fresh cherries are a favorite or a treat you’ve yet to try, the time to enjoy them is now.

Orchards in the Pacific Northwest, the nation’s largest growing region, experienced a long, cool spring, which often translates into more time and energy a tree can put into the fruit. When combined with the superior growing conditions characteristic to the area, this season’s fruit showcases what Northwest cherries are known for: their large size and sweet flavor profile.

Popular varieties grown in the Northwest include the mahogany-red Bings and super-sweet, yellow Rainiers. Rainier cherries, with their unique golden color and red blush, tend to ripen earlier in the year. Growers pick Rainier cherries over multiple weeks, selecting the ripest fruit each time.

Other varieties include the early-ripening Chelans and Tietons, followed by the often larger and darker Skeenas, Sweethearts and Lapins. Aside from the light-hued Rainier (which has juice that doesn’t stain) you can typically spot sweet cherries by their dark red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

Great taste aside, sweet cherries are a healthful addition to summer picnics, parties and barbecues thanks to their fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power. They make for a snack that both grownups and little ones can enjoy straight out of the bowl thanks to their stem “handle” and can perk up appetizers, salads, desserts, sweet or savory sauces and more.

Outside of summer get-togethers, cherries make for a better-for-you late-night snack option as well. A cup of fresh, sweet cherries contains only 90 calories along with a low glycemic index of 22 making their cold, sweet crunch a tasty way to satisfy hunger cravings. Plus, they boast melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep patterns.

Fresh cherries should be kept in a sealed bag or container, and keep for approximately two weeks when refrigerated. To extend the cherry season and enjoy their health benefits after summer fades, buy an extra bag or two and preserve cherries by rinsing, packing and freezing them.

Basic freezing instructions

  1. Select 3-5 pounds of firm, ripe, Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
  2. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Place in freezer until firm then pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove excess air and cover tightly.
  4. Add frozen cherries to smoothies or juices, or defrost and put in hot cereal, pies, turnovers, cobblers and more. Or enjoy as a frozen, sweet late-night treat.

To create a festive cherry dish for the summer season, try this Cherry Bruschetta as a snack or appetizer. Find more recipes and cherry tips at nwcherries.com.

Cherry Bruschetta                           

Serves: 8

 

18        slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread

1          tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 1/2    cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped

1/4       cup chopped cilantro

1/4       cup diced yellow sweet pepper

2          tablespoons finely chopped green onions

2          tablespoons lime juice

1           teaspoon grated lime peel

1/2       teaspoon garlic salt

1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper

2          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

1           tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil

Heat oven to 350 F.

Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes longer.

Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.

Top each baguette with thin slice of cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of sliced basil. Serve warm or cold.

 

 

 

 

August 2, 2017 |

Are You Getting Enough Protein in Your Diet?

0

In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fewer calories, more protein is a winning combo for weight loss and healthy aging

(Family Features) Do you pay attention to how much protein you eat at each meal? A new study suggests that when it comes to weight loss and healthy aging, getting enough protein at mealtimes is important.

Duke University researchers found obese women who ate adequate or high amounts of protein, including nutrient-rich lean pork, as part of a six month weight-loss diet not only lost weight, they improved their ability to get around, too.

“There’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss,” said Connie Bales, PhD, professor in medicine at Duke University. “But our research suggests a higher-protein, lower-calorie diet, including lean pork, could be a viable solution – especially for older women who are most at risk.”

While most Americans eat the majority of their protein at dinner, researchers suggest there could be benefits to spreading protein throughout the day. In this study, women ate 30 grams of protein at each meal with two of the meals including lean pork. Choices like tenderloin, low-sodium ham, chops and lean ground pork are among the seven cuts of pork that meet the USDA guidelines for “lean” by containing less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of meat. In fact, pork tenderloin has the same amount of fat as a skinless chicken breast.

The next time you fire up your grill, try these lemon-basil pork chops. Serve up 30 grams of tasty protein for dinner, while tapping into the flavors of summer.

Visit porkbeinspired.com and Smithfield.com for more pork-inspired recipes, intriguing flavors and nutritional information.

Grilled Lemon-Basil Pork Chops with Lemon-Basil Orzo

Serves: 4

4            bone-in ribeye (rib) pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick

3            small lemons

2            tablespoons olive oil

5            cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2      tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

8            ounces orzo

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

Zest and juice lemons. In small bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and basil. Set aside 3 tablespoons of mixture. Transfer remaining mixture to large resealable bag and add pork. Set aside for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain and return orzo to pot. Stir in reserved lemon-basil mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Season pork with salt and pepper and grill until internal temperature reaches 145 F, about 4 minutes per side. Remove chops from grill and let rest 3 minutes.

Serve chops with orzo.

Nutritional information per serving: 440 calories; 30 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 30 g protein; 47 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 60 mg sodium.

 

July 26, 2017 |

Reach New Heights with a Reinvented Burger

0

In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Text your friends, dust off your apron and fire up the grill. It’s time to throw a barbecue party that won’t sink your summer budget.

You can find everything you’ll need at a one-stop shop like ALDI. With savings up to 50 percent over traditional grocers, you can fill your cart with summer essentials like fresh seasonal produce, premium meats and award-winning wines.

Once shopping is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of time and money to experiment with new recipes. These quick and affordable tips can up your grill game and impress guests:

Boost your burgers. Take burgers to the next level this summer with your favorite ground meats such as turkey, chicken and beef. Then layer on the toppings like avocado, kale, gourmet cheeses and more.

Change up your take on cheesy. Top your burger with a blue cheese mousse by simply blending blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese then season it with your favorite spices.

Spice up your condiments. Combine mayonnaise with fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to make a citrus aioli or whip up a special sauce by mixing peanut butter with oil and hot water. Sprinkle with bacon for some extra flavor. Toppings such as a pickled red onion can also add a bit of crunch and zest.

Bite better buns. Forgo traditional burger buns and bookend your masterpiece with brioche buns or pretzel rolls.

Find more great grilling tips and recipes for dishes to enjoy all summer at aldi.us.

Six-Mile High Burger

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

1      tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
10   Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
8     pieces Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon
8     Season’s Choice Whole Onion Rings
4     All Natural 80 percent Lean Ground Beef Patties
8     slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese
1      cup Burman’s Mayonnaise
1/4  cup Burman’s Hot Sauce
1/2  cup Burman’s Mustard
1/4  teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
1/4  teaspon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
4      L’oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
1      tomato, sliced
2     romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half width-wise

Heat grill to medium-high.

In saute pan, heat vegetable oil and saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Bake onion rings according to packaging instructions. Set aside.

Grill burgers 5-7 minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness. Place two slices cheese on each burger and continue to grill until melted. Remove from heat.

Mix together mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and spread on both sides of buns, to taste.

To assemble burger: layer bottom bun with patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, two onion rings, two pieces of bacon and top half of bun.

July 19, 2017 |

Greens and Grains

0

In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add fresh produce to your diet and community

(Family Features) Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”

“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up, or they just weren’t cooked properly,” Forberg said. “It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.”

Forberg furthers her personal dedication to the seed-to-plate journey through her involvement with Seeds of Change, which invests in healthier and greener communities by offering both organic seeds and foods, and delivers an annual grant program that benefits school and community gardening as well as farming programs. This year, the grant program will award $310,000 to participants who plan to help their communities and teach people about sustainability and where fresh food comes from.

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg offers four simple tips:

Start in the garden. This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthfully. Plant a garden at home or become involved in a local project nearby.

Opt for veggies with big impact. Richly colored veggies contain the richest supplies of nutrients. Opt for spinach or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce in your salads. Skip the celery or carrots and go for red bell pepper slices to deliver a healthy serving of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Make smart swaps. Replace the dense calories of pasta noodles with a flavorful cup of cooked spaghetti squash. The squash is a satisfying and tasty alternative with a mere 40 calories, 2 grams of fiber and loads of vitamins.

Pair with whole grains. Mashed potatoes may be a favorite dinner side, but there are more nutritious options to complement your garden produce, such as this grain bowl with wild salmon from Chef Seamus Mullen.

Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.

Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes

Servings: 8

8     wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)

sea salt, to taste

fresh pepper, to taste

2     tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1      cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2  cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced

1      package Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice with Flaxseeds

1/4   cup slivered almonds

 

Salsa Verde (optional):

1      bunch scallions

1       clove garlic

1/2    cup packed cilantro leaves

1/2    cup packed mint leaves

1/2    cup packed basil leaves

1/2     cup lemon juice

1/3    cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

Heat oven to 400 F.

In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.

In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.

In medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and saute vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Divide grains among eight plates, place a piece of salmon on each plate then finish with dollop of Salsa Verde, if desired, and serve.

Substitution: Shitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

July 12, 2017 |

Upgrade Your Summer Grilling Game

0

In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) The days are getting longer and hotter and you’re itching to head outside to kick off grilling season. After a few weeks of eating the same boring burgers and hot dogs, you’re looking for something a little more exciting (and so are your guests). These recipes can help take your grilling skills to the next level and make your next party something to brag about.
When people come over for Buffalo chicken, they expect authentic flavor, so give the people what they want by making Buffalo chicken sandwiches with Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce. Frank’s RedHot was the secret ingredient used in the original Buffalo wings recipe in 1964.

For maximum flavor, each Buffalo chicken sandwich gets a quarter of the bottle of sauce to bring in just the right blend of flavor and heat. Take it to the next level by marinating the chicken in the sauce for at least 30 minutes so it can absorb the unmistakable Buffalo flavor that will send any party into overdrive. Add the tangy blue cheese and cool, crisp lettuce and tomato and you’ve got the perfect bite for a hot summer day.

Now that you’ve proved your grilling chops to most of the party crew, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Every party’s got a few tough critics, so it’s key to make something impressive and delicious that appeals to a different palate. Enter: Sweet Chili Ribs.

Start with two full racks of pork spareribs then load them up with Frank’s RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce, garlic and ginger, making sure to spread that mixture all over the ribs. Grill them low and slow for 2 hours then pour another half-bottle of sauce over top for good measure and grill for another hour. After your guests have a chance to taste these sweet and tangy, fall-off-the-bone ribs, they’ll talk about them all summer long.

For more grilling tips and recipes, visit franksredhot.com/recipes

 

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

4       boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (if thick, cut horizontally into two even pieces)

1        bottle (12 ounces) Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce, divided
1/4    cup blue cheese or ranch dressing

4        hard rolls, split

1/4    cup blue cheese crumbles

lettuce leaves (optional)

tomato slices (optional)

red onion rings (optional)
Marinate chicken in 6 ounces Buffalo wings sauce for 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours.

Mix remainder of Buffalo wings sauce and dressing together. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Grill chicken 12 minutes, turning once, or until no longer pink in center.

Place 2 tablespoons of mixed sauce on each roll half. Place chicken on top of roll half and top with 1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles.

Add lettuce, tomato and onion rings, if desired. Top with second roll half. Repeat for remaining sandwiches.


Sweet Chili Ribs

 

2          full racks pork spareribs, trimmed (about 6 pounds)
2          tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3          cloves garlic, minced
1          bottle (12 ounces) Frank’s RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce, divided

Heat grill to 250 F and prepare for indirect cooking.

Spread ribs with ginger and garlic. Place ribs on rib rack or in foil pan. Cook on covered grill 2 hours.

Spread 6 ounces sweet chili sauce evenly over ribs then cook another hour, until tender.

Baste ribs with remaining sweet chili sauce during last 15 minutes of cooking. If desired, at end of cooking time grill ribs over direct heat to char slightly.

 

 

July 5, 2017 |
TownLink is powered Chase Media Group. ©2014. All rights reserved.
Skip to toolbar