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Wed
31
Dec '08

25 Lucky New Year’s Day Regional and Ethnic Food Recipes From Around the World

2009Wondering what everyone else is eating to celebrate New Year’s around the world (and across America)?

Here’s a list of 25 lucky regional and ethnic foods and their recipes that will help you start the new year right. According to legend, all of the New Year’s foods below are reputed to attract prosperity for the new year.

Organized By “Lucky” Ingredient

Black Eyed Peas (Cowpeas)

Cabbage

Grapes

Greens (Collard Greens, Spinach, etc.)

Lentils

Crispy Benne (Sesame) Seed Party Bites With Louisiana Honey MustardPork

Seafood

Misc.

Enjoy!

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Tue
30
Dec '08

The Top 10 Hottest Food Trends of 2008 (and a Few Predictions for 2009)

The Top 10 Hottest Food Trends of 2008 (and a Few Predictions for 2009)

1. The Rise of Local and Regional Foods

Horrifying gas prices and increased press attention for such topics as local farmer’s markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) the slow food movement, as well as the revival of community dinner clubs in 2008 all helped bring the concept of eating local home.

Additionally, renewed interest in local restaurants (and home cooking) is likely to increase in response to the economic downturn, even as ssuch generic restaurant chains as Bennigans and Steak and Ale ended up declaring bankruptcy earlier this year.

Another recent restaurant chain to face bankruptcy this year was R.J. Gator’s (with locations in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina), while the Cheesecake Factory experienced disappointing earnings. In addition, such food chains as Ryan’s Family Steak House, Krispy Kreme, Boston Market, and Waffle House had to shutter some locations.

2. Fear of Food

2008 was also the year where the bogeyman was found in the kitchen cupboard, instead of under the bed, due to dozens of widespread food scares and recalls.

Tainted foods distributed by a wide variety of companies rightfully came under scrutiny, as such foods as tomatoes, pork, lettuce, hot dogs, ground beef, etc. all became part of massive recalls and product alerts for reasons that ranged from melamine contamination to listeria.

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The Joy of Eating Pomegranates!3. Superfruits

2008 was clearly the year of the superfruit. One could hardly go anywhere without coming across breaking news about the myriad health benefits of pomegranates, acai, and goji (also known as the wolfberry).

The good news: most of these superfruits are easy to love once one tries them, are fun to cook, and are considered to be high in phytonutrients.

4. Food Blogs

Are you passionate about food and cooking and love to write? Then you might want to join the thousands of food bloggers (both professional and amateur) who find the time to share recipes, cooking tips, food photos, and local restaurant reviews several times a week on their food blogs.

Even musician John Mayer (also known as Jennifer Aniston’s on again, off again boyfriend) has a food blog.

As books from some of the best food bloggers continue to end up in bookstores and grow in popularity, watch for independent food blogging to become more and more accepted by the mainstream press.

Books written by food bloggers so far include:

5. Molecular Gastronomy

Both controversial and thought provoking, Molecular Gastronomy’s (sometimes bizarre) marriage of food and science has both intrigued and confused gourmets for years.

However since such Molecular Gastronomy proponents as chef Grant Achatz of Alinea’s 2008 James Beard Award win and El Bulli chef Ferran Adria’s frequent mentions in the press, Molecular Gastronomy has truly hit the mainstream this year.

Related Links:

6. Cooking for Kids

From the Food Network, to childrens’ cooking camps and kid friendly cooking classes, both boys and girls are finding it easier than ever to develop a passion for good food and the culinary arts at an early age.

Flower Arrangement Made of Fruit and Vegetables: Ithaca, NY7. Organic Food Goes Truly Mainstream

Sure, if you’re a regular shopper at your local health food store or farmer’s market, organic food is nothing new to you.

However, even those who do most of their food shopping at conventional supermarkets outside of major metro areas couldn’t help noticing increased choices for organic food were popping up this year; from organic baby food to organic wines and beers.

Unfortunately, due to the economy, this trend may lessen somewhat in 2009.

As it says in this New York Times article about projected sales of organic foods:

“The sales volume of organic products, which had been growing at 20 percent a year in recent years, slowed to a much lower growth rate in the last few months, according to the Nielsen Company, a market research firm. For the four-week period that ended Oct. 4, the volume of organic products sold rose just 4 percent compared with the same period a year earlier…”

“Organics continue to grow and outpace many categories,” the Nielsen Company concluded in an October report. “However, recent weeks are showing slower growths, possibly a start of an organics growth plateau.”

8. Farm to Table

As organic food hit the mainstream, the farm to table movement also took hold as more people became interested in both where and how their foods ended up on their tables. A corresponding interest in quality over quantity led to a boom in artisanal cheeses and heirloom meats.

James Beard Award nominated chef, Sean Brock of McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina started a farm on Wadmalaw Island to grow fruits and vegetables for the restaurant’s season based menu. A proponent of the farm to table movement, Brock regularly gives lectures encouraging the next crop of chefs to do the same.

9. Probiotic Foods

As the baby boomers get older, there has been a renewed interest in the use of probiotics (friendly bacteria) to help maintain their digestive health, a practice already popular among those in Asia and Europe.

Such food manufacturers as Dannon, TCBY, Attune Foods, Stonyfield Farm, and Lifeway Foods have started to take notice, offering everything from probiotic yogurt, snack bars, cereal, shakes, and (oddly enough) even energy drinks.

According to a 2008 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., San Jose, CA, the global probiotics market is expected to reach $20 billion by 2010.

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10. Bacon Everything (and We Mean Everything)

Here’s a disturbing trend that must keep cardiologists up at night; bacon on everything and in everything.

2008 saw such foods as bacon brownies, bacon vodka, bacon and egg ice cream (from triple-Michelin-starred restaurant, Fat Duck) and perhaps most alarming of all, a product called Uncle Oinker’s Bacon Mints.

You can see more unusual bacon-centric foods here.

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Mon
29
Dec '08

Crispy Benne Seed Party Bites With Louisiana Honey Mustard

Doug DuCap's Original Recipes: Click Here to Enjoy More Original Recipes and Cooking Ideas

There are certain words that mark me as a ‘Comeyah’ (i.e., someone who’s just ‘come here’, as opposed to a ‘Beenyah’) in the South Carolina Lowcountry. I still say ‘Autumn’ instead of ‘Fall’, for example, and ’scallion’ instead of ‘green onion’.

However, I am making some progress in one important area: I’m getting a lot better at remembering to say ‘benne’ instead of ’sesame’.

Folks here refer to the seeds by their African name, and use them in such local goodies as the thin, sweet benne seed wafers that are a staple of holiday entertaining. This recipe combines versatile benne seeds with savory Southern flavors for a deliciously addictive appetizer or cocktail snack. Best of all, they’ll save you time in the kitchen, since you’re not making one at a time, but sixteen at a time!

Even though these are fried, they’re light and not at all greasy, and because they’re so thin they don’t require very much oil. They’re perfect paired with the spicy Louisiana Honey Mustard dipping sauce, but would also be nice with a mild barbeque sauce.

Here’s a photo of the Crispy Benne Seed Party Bites With Louisiana Honey Mustard Dip below.

Hugging the Coast.Com's Crispy Benne Seed Party Bites With Louisiana Honey Mustard by Doug DuCap

Ingredients:

For the Honey Mustard Dpping Sauce:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Crystal or Trappey’s)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and chill. This recipe can be doubled.

For the Party Bites:

2 scallions, minced
1/4 cup green pepper, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
1-1/4 lb lean ground pork
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
12 egg roll wrappers
1 large egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
Sesame seeds
Canola or vegetable oil for frying

PREPARATION:

Thoroughly combine the first nine ingredients (scallions through peanuts) in a bowl, and divide into six roughly equal parts.

On a lightly floured or non-stick surface (I use a silicone baking mat), lay out two egg roll wrappers (keep the remainder in plastic or under a lightly dampened paper towel.)

Brush the surface of both wrappers with beaten egg. Spread one-sixth of the meat mixture evenly over one of the wrappers (a fork works well for this), then lay the other wrapper (egg side down) on top. Gently press down on the surface to remove air pockets. Brush the top with additional egg, sprinkle generously with sesame seeds, and press down lightly to help seeds adhere.

Cut the wrapper cross-wise into four squares, then cut each square diagonally to make four triangles. Use the knife blade to lift the triangles, and place them seed-side down (it’ll make them easier to pick up again) on a cookie sheet or tray. Cover with plastic while you repeat with the other egg roll wrappers.

In a skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of oil over medium-high heat to 360 degrees, or until the tip of a chopstick inserted into the oil sends up a steady stream of little bubbles. Gently place several of the triangles in the oil, taking care not to crowd the pan so the oil temperature doesn’t drop too much (low oil temp is the main cause of ‘greasy’ fried foods.)

When just golden, turn and brown the other side (watch closely as these cook very quickly.) Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining triangles. Makes 96 party bites.

Enjoy!

You Can Read More of Doug’s Recipe Corner Here.

You can also see our list of delicious seafood recipes, organized by type of fish to make it easier for you to find culinary inspiration and ideas.

Hugging the Coast Blog Fast Forward

If you liked this article on HuggingtheCoast.Com, you might also enjoy reading:

.


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Find Out More About the Knack Fish & Seafood Cookbook by Doug DuCap and Linda Beaulieu Enjoy Doug's Original Seafood Recipes on About.Com Fish and Seafood Cooking

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Find Out More About the Knack Fish & Seafood Cookbook by Doug DuCap and Linda Beaulieu




Find Free Original RecipesRead Previous Posts Knack Fish and Seafood Cookbook

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