Every Day with Rachael Ray Staff

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: How to Pick the Perfect Avocado

Written on January 25, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

The best guacamole is made with creamy fleshed Hass avocados at the peak of ripeness.

Here’s how to pick ‘em:

 

 

1. Look for a forest-green fruit. Darker skin means riper flesh.

 

2. Cradle it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. Guac-ready fruit will give slightly.

 

3. Flick off the stem. If it pops off easily and what’s underneath is bright green (brown means it’s overripe), you’re good to go!

Once your avocados are ready to be used…

 

Spread ‘em on toast with eggs for the perfect protein-packed breakfast.

 

Blend ‘em up with sweet ingredients for an Avocado Semifreddo.

 

Or, mix ‘em up with all sorts of ingredients for 11 different twists on guacamole!

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Technique Tuesday: Mellow Out Those Onions

Written on January 14, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Raw red or white onions should be the perfect balance of sharp and sweet, but sometimes their natural pungency can take over a dish (not to mention your breath!). Tame the burn by submerging sliced onions in an ice-water bath for about 15 minutes, which will remove the harsh natural sulfurs from the cut surfaces. Drain and pat dry before using. Bonus: The refreshing dip crisps them up, too!

 

Here are a few ways to use your mellowed out onions:

 

Mixed into our brand-new recipe for Tarragon-Grapefruit Salad.

Pup ‘em on top of our Lemon Tilapia with Garlic-Parsley Couscous.

In our Guacamole Salad alongside Hot-or-Not Grilled Sliced Chicken with Cheesy Polenta.

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Corn Tortillas– Reborn!

Written on January 11, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

 

The Product

So you’ve made our Low & Slow Chipotle-Maple Beef and stacked it high into Smoky Beef Tacos (pictured above). Now what to do with all those extra corn tortillas? Read on!

 

Why You Should Buy It

Corn tortillas provide a heartier texture and flavor than flour tortillas, and also contain more nutrients and less calories. Their ingredient list is very basic, and their shape, durability and flavor are perfectly versatile for a wide array of Mexican and Latin dishes.

 

How You Should Use It

Even if the tortillas get a little dried out, have no fear! Give them new life as sweet snacks (fry bite-size pieces and toss in cinnamon sugar), savory toppings (brush strips with EVOO, season and bake) and hearty mains (use in place of lasagna noodles or while them in a food processor and use like breadcrumbs). Here are some recipes to get you started:

 

Corn and Salsa Tortilla Soup

Southwestern Lasagna Torta

Huevos Rancheros

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Peanut Butter

Written on January 4, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

With new products hitting the grocery stands every day, it’s hard to keep up with the latest food trends. Have no fear; we’re here to help! Each week, we’ll be highlighting a new product that’s worthy of a spot in your shopping cart and your kitchen.

The Product

At only $0.22 per ounce, jarred peanut butter comes in a variety of flavors and textures. Comparably, fresh ground peanut butter costs $0.27 per ounce and takes time to prep before you can grab it off the shelf!

 

Why You Should Buy It

It’s convenient, it’s cheap and if you pay attention to labels (beware of sugar and hydrogenated oils), you’ll find many natural options that are as pure as the fresh ground version.

 

How You Should Use It

Though we’d never turn down a classic PB&J, peanut butter makes a great addition to dips, sauces and desserts:

 

Peach-Jam-Glazed Shrimp with Spicy Peanut Butter Dip

Peanut Chicken Noodles

Peanut Butter Fritters

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Thirsty Thursday: Be a Fizz Whiz!

Written on January 2, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

It’s the day after New Years and if you bought a few too many bottles of bubbly, have no fear. While you’re more than welcome to mix champagne into Sparkling Bourbon Cocktails, Sparkling Negronis or Passion Fruit Fizz Sours, may we recommend you try something totally different by mixing it into sauces, sorbet and more! Try a few of our simple, sparkling ideas!

 

Vino-grette: Whisk equal parts leftover bubbly, OJ and EVOO with some grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar, sliced scallions and chopped basil. Season, then toss with greens.

 

Bubbly Cheese Fondue: In a saucepan, bring one part bubbly to a simmer and whisk in two parts shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Rub the inside of a fondue or other heavy-bottomed pot with a cut garlic clove. Transfer cheese mixture to the pot and season with ground nutmeg and salt. Serve with cubed bread.

 

Champ-pan Sauce: In a skillet, cook sliced onion in butter until translucent; add chicken and mushrooms and sauté until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and add bubbly to the skillet. Stir in heavy cream, butter and chopped tarragon. Simmer until thickened; drizzle over chicken.

 

Spiked Sorbet: Make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts bubbly and sugar in a pan until reduced by half; refrigerate overnight. In a food processor, blend frozen berries and mangoes with a splash each bubbly and the simple syrup, scraping the bowl frequently. Freeze, stirring every 15 minutes, until firm.

 

Written by Daisha Cassel

 

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Technique Tuesday: Be Your Own Butcher

Written on December 31, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Save almost 40 percent by buying a whole chicken and using our easy instructions to break it down. Here’s how:

 

Step 1. With the breast side up, slice through the skin between the breast and each leg. Bend the legs back to pop out the joints. Cut through the joints to remove the legs.

Step 2. With the skin side down, slice along the white fat line in the legs to separate the thigh from the drumstick.

Step 3. Pull each wing away from the body; cut through the joint to remove.

Step 4. Flip the chicken over. Using kitchen shears, cut along either side of the backbone. (Toss or save for stock).

Step 5. With the skin side down, slice through the breastbone (you may need to use a chopping motion) to split the breast into two pieces.

Step 6. Use the chicken in all sorts of soups, casseroles and rice dishes, like our brand new Arroz Con Pollo recipe!

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Technique Tuesday: DIY Balsamic Glaze

Written on December 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm , by

If you can’t find bottled balsamic glaze at the supermarket, it’s easy to make at home. Just simmer 2 cups balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until it’s thick and reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Cooking the vinegar tames its tartness, creating a sweet and tangy syrup. Drizzle over meat, fish, or roasted veggies, or go in a dessert direction: Spoon a little over berries, ice cream or pound cake.

Try making your own balsamic glaze in these recipes!

 

Seared Scallops with Shitakes

Watermelon-and-Prosciutto Skewers

Balsamic Pork with Fennel, Arugula and Parsnips

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Cocoa Buffs

Written on December 28, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

New hot chocolates are pushing the kiddie classic in delicious new directions–and leaving plain powdered mixes in the dust. Here are our six favorite new mixes. BYO marshmallows!

 

Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cups

The old-school packets catch up with the times thanks to these single-serving cocoa capsules. No need to stir out the lumps–the machine takes care of that for you! $8.79 for 12 servings

Ghiradelli Chocolate Caramel Premium Hot Cocoa

The San Francisco chocolate company does its classic hot chocolate mix one better by blending it with sweet, buttery caramel. $4.89 for 9 servings

Chuao Chocolatier Deluxious Dark Drinking Chocolate

A cocoa for true chocolate lovers: This powdered mix has big chunks of Venezuelan dark chocolate that melt into a rich, smooth cup. $15.95 for 9 servings

City Bakery Hot Chocolate

New Yorkers are hooked on this Manhattan cafe’s decadent mix of heavy cream, whole milk and dark chocolate. Thanks to these handy cartons, now the rest of the country can taste what all the fuss is about. Just heat and drink! $3.99 for 2 servings

Land O’Lakes Arctic White Hot Cocoa Mix

Instant cocoa lightens up with this sweet, creamy white-chocolate blend. Simply add hot water, stir, then sip. $5.49 for 12 servings

CocoaPlanet CocoaMint Chocolate

Delicious straight out of the package, these peppermint-flavored organic dark-chocolate disks can also be stirred into hot milk to make a refreshing twist on hot chocolate. $2.99 for 1 serving

Written by Robin Jones

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Chef Specialties: Juice Blends You’ve Gotta Try

Written on December 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm , by

Across the country, chefs have been jumping on the juice bandwagon, crafting exotic concoctions to pair with their menus. Check out where you can get a glass of these delicious sippers:

 

Hyper C (blood orange, yuzu, grapefruit) is one of three blends at Andrew Carmellini’s French brasserie, Lafayette, in New York City.

 

Greener Pastures (broccoli, spinach, kale, lemongrass, ginger, wheatgrass) is a popular pick at executive chef Michael Rakun’s restaurant, Marin, in Minneapolis.

 

Eastern Promise (lemongrass, Anjou pear, cucumber, ginger, lime and kaffir lime leaf) is the brainchild of “juiceologist” Brandi Kowalski at The Butcher’s Daughter in New York City.

 

Wake Me Up Shot (ginger, lemon, cayenne) is served in—what else?—an actual shot glass at executive chef Jordan Toft’s West Hollywood, CA, eatery, Eveleigh.

 

The Kickstarter (beet, tomato, pineapple, ginger) recently joined the brunch menu at executive chef Kevin Heston’s New York City hot spot, Grape & Vine.

By Leslie Price

 

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Categories: Drinks, Every Day Scoop, Food | Tags:
2 Comments

Charm Them with Cheese!

Written on December 6, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Your holiday cheese plate is only as good as its pairings. Our five favorite fromages–each perfect on its own–become utterly sublime when put together and served with their best sidekicks.

 

Cheddar: Strong English-style cheddars can stand up to bold, salty meats, like salami (though garlicky ones will overtake the cheese’s complex flavor). Walnuts bring out cheddar’s earthiness.

Blue: When serving a blue, think sweet: honey (its classic match), bittersweet chocolate, dried dates and even that seasonal standby, fruitcake.

 

Triple-Créme: Truth is, you don’t want to muck up an already perfect triple-créme with anything fancy. For textural contrast, munch on a handful of hazelnuts.

 

Goat: Tart dried fruits like apricots or cranberries compliment the tang of goat cheese. Crumbly, buttery pine nuts are small enough to press right into the cheese.

 

Sheep’s-Milk: Take a cue from Spanish tapas bars and serve sheep’s-milk cheese with sweet, slightly tart membrillo (quince paste), available at cheese shops and many supermarkets. Roasted almonds bring out the cheese’s nutty, salty flavors.

Tip: Contrary to popular wisdom, not every cheese should be eaten with bread or crackers. Harder cheese don’t have much moisture, so the combination can be unappetizingly dry. Eat those on their own and save the carbs for creamier cheeses.

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