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The Ultimat Blue Orchard

The Ultimat Blue Orchard


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4

1 rating

March 4, 2014

By

Lauren Gordon

You'll love this classic, refreshing cocktail recipe. It is as glamorous as the red carpet!

1

Servings

167

Calories Per Serving

Related Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Ounce Ultimat Vodka
  • ¼ Ounce Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur
  • 2 Ounces fresh blueberry juice
  • 1 Ounce fresh raspberry juice
  • scented flowery infused garnish

Directions

Shake ingredients together and pour over ice.

Nutritional Facts

Servings1

Calories Per Serving167

Total Fat0.4g0.6%

Sugar9gN/A

Protein0.8g1.5%

Carbs14g5%

Vitamin A2µgN/A

Vitamin C13mg22%

Vitamin E0.6mg2.8%

Vitamin K13µg16%

Calcium11mg1%

Fiber3g13%

Folate (food)9µgN/A

Folate equivalent (total)9µg2%

Iron0.4mg2%

Magnesium10mg2%

Niacin (B3)0.4mg2.1%

Phosphorus18mg3%

Polyunsaturated0.2gN/A

Potassium89mg3%

Sodium2mgN/A

Zinc0.2mg1.4%

Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.

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The Ultimate Beer-Battered Fried Fish

While recently researching various beer-batter recipes online, I discovered an interesting revelation. Every recipe I found, it seemed, was drastically different. In order to fine-tune a recipe, I went to 10 different sources, printed them all out, and dissected the ingredient lists. I consulted Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay, Alton Brown, Paula Dean and five other reputable sources. No two recipes matched up.

For instance, four recipes included eggs in the batter, one called for just an egg white, and the remaining five had no mention of eggs whatsoever. Three recipes used just flour, while the others called for varying amounts of cornstarch and/or baking powder in addition to flour. Some recipes have you coat the fish in flour before it goes in the batter, but some do not. Three mentioned refrigerating the batter for a half hour the rest had no mention of this step. And as for the beer? Well, that was all over the map as well. Three recipes called for an ale or lager, one swore by IPA, and the others claimed that a dark beer gave the best results. Even the cooking temperatures were inconsistent, ranging from 350 degrees to 375 degrees. And what kind of oil is best? Depends on who you ask … vegetable, canola, peanut, or safflower?

The more I studied them, the more confused I became. There was only one thing to do. I headed to the liquor store, bought a bunch of beer, went home, and fired up the deep fryer.

I narrowed down my taste test to the five recipes from the aforementioned celebrity chefs. Here is what I discovered.

The Beer

I experimented with four different types of beer: pale ale, nut-brown ale, Guinness, and IPA. I could detect no difference in flavor in the final taste. The batch I made with Guinness did have a slightly darker color, but it was barely noticeable. My advice? Save the good beer for sipping, and go ahead and use the cheap stuff in your batter.

Two of the five recipes included eggs in the batter, which resulted in a softer, doughier coating. If you like your fried fish nice and crispy, like I do, skip the eggs.

Emeril Lagasse vs. Gordon Ramsey: Emeril’s batter included eggs (left), but Gordon’s did not. Chef Ramsey’s recipe yielded a crispier finished product.

Flour Power

Chef Gordon Ramsey’s recipe was the only one that incorporated rice flour. (He calls for 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup rice flour.) Rice flour is what gives Japanese tempura its light, crispy crust. His recipe was, by far, the crispiest.

Flour Before Batter?

Two of the recipes called for dusting the fillets in flour before dipping in the batter, one called for a dusting of cornstarch, and two had no mention of this step whatsoever. I could not detect any difference between the versions with flour versus cornstarch. However, the batch I made where the fish went straight into the batter was the clear-cut loser. The crust easily crumbled and separated from the fish after it cooked. Dusting your fillets in flour (or cornstarch) before dipping them in the batter is indeed a critical step.


Always dust your fish in flour before coating it in batter, which helps the crust stick to it. This crucial step was skipped in the photo above.

Flour After Batter?

Paula Dean’s recipe had an unusual twist to it. In hers, you dip the fish into the batter, then back into flour, and then into the hot oil. I had never seen or heard anything like this. It sounded a bit bizarre and unnecessary, but after trying it, I am now converted. It resulted in a fried fish with a super-crispy exoskeleton and an enhanced golden-brown color.

Seasoning

Martha Stewart’s batter was the simplest, calling for beer, egg, flour, and salt, but I found it to be a bit bland. Emeril’s recipe called for eight different spices, which I felt overpowered the delicate flavor of fresh fish. A bit of salt, chili powder, white pepper, paprika, and garlic powder provided the winning flavor. Another interesting addition came from Gordon Ramsey. His recipe called for the addition of a teaspoon of sugar. I tried it, and I liked it!

Let It Rest

Some recipes call for letting the batter rest in the refrigerator for a half hour. I tried it and couldn’t tell if it made any difference in the final product. It seems like the whole purpose of using beer is to induce carbonation. When the batter rests, it loses this effect. Why bother?

Time & Temperature

Of the five recipes I surveyed, two called for cooking at 350° the rest called for 375°. Cooking time varied from two to ten minutes. I preferred the crispier crust of the fish cooked at 375°, although I was working with relatively small pieces of fish. If you are cooking a large, thick fillet, 350° might be a better way to go. At 375°, four minutes was the perfect cooking time for the haddock fillets I used.


When deep-frying anything battered, avoid using a frying basket. The wet batter can become fused to the basket, and the crust will break when you try to remove it. Instead use a spider skimmer to remove your fish from the oil.

The Ultimate Beer-Battered FRIED FISH

After testing five recipes, I have developed this Franken-recipe that uses different techniques from different recipes. Give it a try! You will not be disappointed.

  • 1 pound of haddock, cut into 4-inch strips
  • 14 ounces beer of your choice
  • 3/4 cup flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 3/4 cup rice flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Canola oil for frying

Whisk together the dry ingredients listed above, and then stir in the beer until the batter is smooth. It should be the consistency of pancake batter. Arrange two plates add about 1/2 cup additional flour to one, and an additional 3/4 cup of rice flour to the other. Lightly salt your fish (which should be room temperature), roll it around in the rice flour, then dust in the other flour until it’s well coated. Dip the fish in the batter until it’s completely covered, roll it back in the rice flour, and then gently drop it into 375° oil. Cook until golden brown, about four to five minutes. Your eyes and ears are the best way to tell when it’s done. Listen carefully – when the bubbling, hissing, and popping begins to subside, the fish is done. Remove it and let it rest for a minute on a wire rack. Serve immediately with some lemon wedges and tartar sauce, aioli, malt vinegar, ketchup, or whatever condiment catches your fancy. So yummy!


Order Pre-Picked Strawberries!

Butler’s Orchard will be OPEN Memorial Day, May 31 from 8:30am-2pm
Picking reservations for Monday will go online on Thursday at 5pm

Strawberries are OPEN by RESERVATION for GOOD PICKING
Visit the Crop Calendar for more information!

Peonies now open
Visit the Crop Calendar for more information!

The Farm Market is open Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 am – 6:00 pm

The Farm Park is open on Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Last entry is 5pm
Note: Farm Park closes to regular admission for certain events (i.e. Mother’s Day Brunch)

Farm Yoga
Dates: June 11, 25, July 16, 30
7:00 pm (check in begins at 6:45 pm)
Visit the Events Calendar for tickets and more information!


Editorial Reviews

Review

. a reflection of the international attention and momentum that the product has gained.

-- "Milwaukee Sentinel Journal"

As a kid growing up in a Filipino family, the SPAM(R) Brand was a staple of our kitchen, and I've spent my life raving about its charms to the uninitiated -- those unfortunate souls. All-American as it may be, the SPAM(R) Brand is an international phenomenon, and The Ultimate SPAM Cookbook does a phenomenal job capturing its remarkable global popularity.

-- "Drew Lazor, Philadelphia Daily News, Food/Drink Columnist"

Whet your appetite with some fun facts: It's been around since 1937 it's sold in 44 countries it's mostly pork, salt, and potato starch. Then get to the meat of the matter--the 100-plus recipes. It's a natural with eggs, including the Spam Benedict, in which seared slices stand in for Canadian bacon. For a fun party good, try the Spam Corn Dogs, sticks of Spam coated in a cornmeal batter. Or become an expert in Spam Musubu, a Hawaiin specialty made of a block of rice, a slice of Spam, and some nori. There are 11 different versions in the book, including one that's breaded in panko and fried, katsu-style. Before you get cooking, check out the book's foreword, written by our own executive managing editor, Tara Cov, who's a mid-century food maven and Spam superfan.

-- "Rachael Ray in Season Magazine"

From the Back Cover

One Little Blue Can, Endless Possibilities!

Cook with SPAM (R) products like you never have before! The Ultimate SPAM (R) Cookbook is filled with more than 100 unique recipes for every meal of the day—from breakfast hash in the morning and a pulled BBQ sandwich for lunch to savory grilled kabobs for dinner and even guacamole dip for a snack in between. Whether you want to prepare elevated, gourmet dishes or cook with classic, down-home style, these recipes have it all. With so many fast, easy, and tasty recipes to discover from Hormel Foods' kitchen—plus celebrity and award-winning chefs from around the globe—you'll love trying a new one every day!

"The Ultimate SPAM (R) Cookbook shows cooks there's more to SPAM (R) Classic than a frying pan with recipes that will make you realize how SPAM (R) products have become part of America's culinary quilt."
—Anne Braly, Food Columnist, Chattanooga Times Free Press

"SPAM (R) Classic is the first edible American Icon and the only edible icon that is also one of the most used words in the world. To think that SPAM (R) brand is the root of festivals and museums only adds to the legend. Every chef should have a SPAM (R) dish on their menu and pay homage to this American hero."
Food and Beverage Magazine

  • Chef Jonathan Melendez, Founder of The Candid Appetite
  • Chef Georgeann Leaming, Chopped Champion
  • Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, Award-Winning Food Blogger
  • Chef Martin Yan, Award-Winning TV Host of Yan Can Cook
  • Chef Lucas Sin, Head Chef of Junzi Kitchen in NYC
  • Michael Politz, Publisher of Food & Beverage Magazine
  • Cindy Kerschner, Award-Winning Chef & Food Writer
  • Chef Kim Wilcox, Owner & Chef of It’s All So Yummy Café in Knoxville, TN
  • And many others!

About the Author

Hormel Foods ia a Fortune 500 company with 49 food brands, including SPAM (R) .


FruitHerbs and SpicesNutsSpiritsMiscellaneous
AppleApricot, blackberry, cherry, cranberry, currant, date, lychee, mango, orange, pear, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, pumpkin, quinceAllspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, star anise, thymeAlmond, chestnut, hazelnut, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, walnutArmagnac, bourbon, brandy, calvados, cognac, Cointreau, Kirsch, Madeira, rum, sherry, vermouthCaramel, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla
ApricotApple, banana, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, coconut, cranberry, lemon, orange, peach, pineapple, plum, prune, raspberry, strawberryCardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, saffronAlmond, hazelnut, pine nut, pistachio, walnutAmaretto, brandy, cognac, Kirsch, orange liqueur, rumCaramel, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla
BananaApricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, coconut, date, guava, lemon, lime, mango, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberryAllspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, macadamia, nutmegCashew, hazelnut, peanut, pecan, pistachio, walnutArmagnac, banana liqueur, brandy, calvados, cognac, Kirsch, Madeira, rumCaramel, chocolate, coffee, crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla
BlackberryApple, apricot, banana, blueberry, lemon, mango, melon, nectarine, orange, peach, plum, raspberry, strawberry, watermelonCinnamon, cloves, ginger, mintAlmond, hazelnutBrandy, champagne, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, orange liqueur Caramel, crème fraîche, honey, mascarpone, vanilla
BlueberryApple, apricot, banana, blackberry, fig, lemon, mango, melon, nectarine, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, watermelonAllspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, lavender, mint, nutmegAlmond, hazelnut, pecan, pine nut, walnutCognac, Kirsch, orange liqueur, port, rum, triple secCrème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, molasses, ricotta, vanilla
CantaloupeGrapefruit, melon, raspberryBasil, cilantro, ginger, mint, star anise, tarragon Port
CherryApricot, coconut, lemon, melon, nectarine, orange, peach, plum, quince, raspberryAllspice, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, sage, thymeAlmond, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnutAmaretto, Armagnac, bourbon, brandy, cassis, Grand Marnier, kirsch, red wine, rum, vodkaCaramel, chocolate, coffee, crème fraîche, honey, mascarpone, vanilla
CoconutApricot, banana, blackberry, cherry, date, grapefruit, guava, kiwi, kumquat, lemon, lime, lychee, mango, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pineappleAllspice, basil, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, Kaffir leaf, lemongrass, mint, nutmegAlmond, brazil nut, cashew, macadamia, peanut, pistachio RumCaramel, chocolate, crème fraîche, honey, mascarpone, rose water, vanilla
CranberryApple, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, pumpkin, quince, tangerineAllspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise, thymeAlmond, hazelnut, pistachio, walnutCognac, Grand Marnier, white wineHoney, maple syrup, vanilla
DateApple, apricot, banana, coconut, lemon, lime, orange, prune, quinceCinnamon, ginger, rosemary, thymeAlmond, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnutArmagnac, brandy, red wine, rumCaramel, chocolate, coffee, crème fraîche, maple syrup, mascarpone, orange blossom water, vanilla
GrapeApple, lemon, pear, raspberry, strawberryCayenne, cumin, ginger, mint, paprika, rosemaryAlmond, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnutBrandy, cognac, rumHoney, white chocolate
GrapefruitAvocado, banana, coconut, lemon, lime, melon, orange, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry, tomatoBasil, ginger, mint, rosemary, star anise, tarragon, thymeCashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, walnutCampari, champagne, gin, Grand Marnier, port, rum, tequila, vodkaCaramel, crème fraîche, grenadine, honey, vanilla
GuavaBanana, coconut, lemon, lime, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, strawberryGingerCashew, macadamiaRumWhite chocolate, honey, mascarpone
HoneydewBlackberry, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemon, lime, nectarine, peach, strawberryBasil, cardamom, coriander, cumin, ginger, mint, tarragon ChampagneCoconut milk, honey
KiwiBanana, cherry, coconut, grapefruit, lemon, lime, lychee, mango, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry Hazelnut, macadamiaKirsch, rumChocolate, honey
KumquatCoconut, cranberry, date, lemon, lime, mango, orange, papaya, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, pumpkin, quince, strawberryCayenne, cinnamon, ginger, mace, mint, nutmegHazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnutBrandy, rum, white wineCaramel, chocolate, honey, vanilla
LemonApple, apricot, banana, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, coconut, cranberry, date, gooseberry, grapefruit, grape, guava, kiwi, lime, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, passion fruit, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, prune, quince, raspberry, rhubarb, tangerineBasil, bay leaf, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, mint, oregano, parsley, poppy seed, rosemary, sage, thymeAlmond, chestnut, hazelnut, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, walnutGin, orange liqueur, red wine, rum, vodkaCaramel, chocolate, coffee, crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla
LimeApple, apricot, avocado, coconut, date, gooseberry, grapefruit, guava, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, mango, orange, papaya, passion fruit, plum, raspberry, strawberry, tomatoCilantro, ginger, mintHazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecanRum, tequila, vodkaCaramel, coconut milk, crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla, white chocolate
LycheeBlackberry, coconut, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, lime, mango, orange, passion fruit, pear, pineapple, plum, raspberry Ginger RumHoney
MangoApple, avocado, banana, blackberry, blueberry, coconut, grapefruit, kiwi, kumquat, lemon, lime, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberry, strawberryBasil, cayenne, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mint, nutmeg, star aniseAlmond, cashew, macadamiaAmaretto, champagne, Kirsch, orange liqueur, rum, sake, vodkaCaramel, coconut milk, coffee, crème fraîche, honey, mascarpone, vanilla, white chocolate
NectarineApricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, lemon, orange, peach, plum, raspberry, strawberryAllspice, cinnamon, ginger, mint, nutmegAlmond, hazelnut, pecan, pistachioBrandy, champagne, Kirsch, orange liqueur, peach liqueur, red wine, white wineCaramel, chocolate, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla
OrangeApple, apricot, avocado, banana, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, coconut, cranberry, date, grape, grapefruit, guava, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, mango, nectarine, papaya, passion fruit, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, prune, pumpkin, quince, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, tomatoBasil, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, mint, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, poppy seed, rosemary, saffron, star anise, thymeAlmond, chestnut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, walnutAlmond liqueur, Amaretto, Armagnac, brandy, cognac, Kirsch, orange liqueur, red wine, rum, tequila, vodka, white wineCaramel, chocolate, coffee, grenadine, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla
PapayaBanana, coconut, grapefruit, kiwi, kumquat, lemon, lime, mango, nectarine, orange, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, raspberry, strawberryCilantro, cinnamon, ginger, mintCashew, macadamia, peanutPortCaramel, honey, vanilla, white chocolate
Passion fruitBanana, coconut, kiwi, lemon, lime, mango, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, strawberryCilantro, gingerAlmond, cashew, macadamiaChampagne, Cointreau, ice wine, rum, tequilaCaramel, chocolate, vanilla
PeachApple, apricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, coconut, lemon, lime, nectarines, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, plum, raspberry, strawberryAllspice, basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, saffron, star anise, tarragon, thymeAlmond, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnutBourbon, brandy, Calvados, Cassis, champagne, cognac, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, Madeira, port, red wine, rum, Vin Santo, whiskey, white wineBrown sugar, caramel, chocolate, crème fraîche, grenadine, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, molasses, vanilla
PearApple, apricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, date, lemon, orange, passion fruit, prune, quince, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberryAllspice, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, parsley, rosemary, star aniseAlmond, chestnut, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, walnutBourbon, brandy, Calvados, crème de cassis, champagne, Grand Marnier, kirsch, pear brandy, port, red wine, rum, whiskeyCaramel, chocolate, crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla
PersimmonApple, avocado, grape, kiwi, kumquat, lemon, orange, pear, pomegranateCinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, nutmegAlmond, cashew, hazelnut, pecan, walnutBourbon, brandy, cognac, Kirsch, sweet wineCaramel, coffee, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, white chocolate
PineappleApricot, avocado, banana, coconut, grapefruit, kiwi, kumquat, lemon, lime, mango, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberryAllspice, basil, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mint, rosemary, saffron, star aniseCashew, macadamia, pistachio, walnutBrandy, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, orange liqueur, rum, sweet wineCaramel, chocolate, honey, maple syrup, vanilla
PlumApricot, cherry, lemon, nectarine, orange, peach, raspberry, strawberryAllspice, almond, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, sage, thymeHazelnut, pecan, walnutBrandy, gin, Kirsch, rum, whiskey, red wine, sweet wineCaramel, crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, vanilla
PomegranateApple, avocado, banana, coconut, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, orangeAllspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mint, nutmeg, parsley, turmericAlmond, hazelnut, pine nut, walnutPort, tequila, vodkaHoney, white chocolate
PumpkinApple, coconut, cranberry, kumquat, lemon, lime, orangeAllspice, bay leaf, cayenne, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, mace, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, thymeHazelnut, pecan, pine nut, walnutBrandy, cognac, orange liqueur, rum, white wineCaramel, crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, white chocolate
QuinceApple, cherry, cranberry, date, kumquat, lemon, orange, pear, raspberryBay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, star aniseAlmond, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, walnutArmagnac, brandy, Calvados, red wine, whiskey, white wineCaramel, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla
RaspberryApricot, blackberry, blueberry, grapefruit, grape, lemon, lime, mango, nectarine, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, quince, rhubarb, strawberryCinnamon, cloves, ginger, mint, star anise, thymeAlmond, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pine nut, pistachioBrandy, champagne, cognac, Cointreau, Framboise, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, orange liqueur, red wine, rum, tequilaCaramel, chocolate, crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla
RhubarbApple, apricot, blood orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, strawberryBay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mint, nutmegAlmond, hazelnut, pecanBrandy, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, port, white wineCaramel, crème fraîche, grenadine, honey, maple syrup, mascarpone, vanilla, white chocolate
StrawberryApple, apricot, banana, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, gooseberry, grape, grapefruit, guava, kumquat, lemon, lime, mango, melon, orange, papaya, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, raspberry, rhubarbCardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mint, nutmegAlmond, hazelnut, peanut, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, walnutAmaretto, brandy, champagne, cognac, elderflower liqueur, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, port, red wine, rosé, rum, sake, sherry, white wineCaramel, chocolate, crème fraîche, honey, vanilla

I'd love to know—what flavor combinations do you like to use in your recipes? Let me know in the comments below!


The Ultimate Blue Cheese Buffalo Wings

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

These are the Ultimate Blue Cheese Buffalo Wings with a chunky blue cheese dip. This is truly the perfect snack for the upcoming Big Game! Plus, these wings are baked, not fried and they’re super crispy!

This post is brought to you in partnership with Litehouse, Inc.! Although I’ve been compensated for my time, all opinions are 100% my own.

Chicken wings are the ultimate party food which is why they’re so perfect for the Big Game. I made these wings extra special by brushing them with some Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese dressing to give them extra blue cheese flavor, then I served these with my special baked blue cheese dip. While there may be some friendly competition when it comes to the preferred wing dip (ranch vs blue cheese), I’m more of a blue cheese fan for my wings. What’s your favorite dip?

I can never make enough chicken wings, they go way too fast, so you might want to double this recipe. And double the dip too because it’s also great with carrots, celery sticks or some tortilla chips.

A long time ago, I used to never make wings at home because I hated the idea of frying them, but then I baked them and realized how easy they are to make. If you line your baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper, you don’t even have any dishes to wash. If you’re worried about them not being crispy, don’t, because they come out perfectly crispy every single time.

If you’re like me, you won’t need a special occasion like the Big Game to make these blue cheese buffalo wings, so make this your project this weekend and enjoy them.

Check out the store locator at Litehousefoods.com to see where you can buy Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese dressing. If you prefer ranch with your wings, look for Litehouse Homestyle Ranch dressing.

I hope you give Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese dressing a try because it’s so delicious on salads, dips, hamburgers or sandwiches, and it has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Leave a comment below and rate this recipe or take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!


Can You Freeze Pie Crust Dough?

Yes! And you have a couple of options depending on what you’re making.

  1. Flatten the pie crust dough into a dish, wrap tightly with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil for added protection, write the date on it and freeze it until you’re ready to use it. When you’re ready to use it simply let it thaw at room temp then roll it out as your recipe instructs.
  2. You can also freeze the pie crust right in the pie, tart or quiche pan. Roll out the crust, fit it in your pie plate, wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and stick the whole thing in the freezer. Then when you’re ready to bake your pie you can put it directly into the oven, no need to thaw first. You’ll just increase the baking time by about 3-4 minutes.

The pastry dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


Protein swaps—our guidelines and recipes

Replace tender cuts of meat with other tender cuts such as a beef filet or tenderloin with a similar cut of lamb, pork, or chicken. Thicker, less tender cuts such as roasts, may need to cook longer, so be sure to substitute accordingly, such as a pork roast for a beef or lamb roast or adjust cooking times.

The chart below provides a quick reference for meats that are easy to swap for each other. Be sure to consider fat content, cook times, and the size of various cuts when selecting substitutes.

Here are some common swaps that you can make with the vegetables you prefer or that you have available.

  • Lamb — use beef or pork.
  • Seafood — use poultry.
  • Pork — use poultry or beef.
  • Beef — use lamb, poultry or pork.
  • Poultry — use seafood or pork.

Lamb and beef substitutions

Lamb can be expensive or difficult to source in some areas, but don’t let that stop you from trying delicious lamb recipes with a different meat.

The Keto lamb stew with dill sauce and green beans would be equally delicious with stew beef and would need a similar cook time. No green beans? Some Butter fried broccoli would make an excellent substitute.

Beef substitutions

Depending on the recipe you’re making, chicken, lamb, or pork are often easy substitutes for ground beef. Consider the flavor profile, texture, and cook time to determine which might be best.

Our highly popular Keto Tex-Mex casserole calls for ground beef, but both ground chicken or ground pork sausages with the casings removed would be just as tasty.

In fact, crumbled ground pork sausages (casings removed) would be an excellent choice for the Keto Italian cabbage stir fry. Plain sausage or ground chicken would work as well. You may need to adjust the seasoning if you decide to use sausages that are already seasoned.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, a Dutch oven or large pot with a lid on the stovetop will work. Just simmer the meat on low for 2-3 hours and keep it covered. Check every 20-30 minutes to make sure it doesn’t simmer dry. Add water or broth if needed.

Last, if lamb is easy to source or if you simply love the flavor, try using ground lamb in Keto hamburger patties with tomato sauce and fried cabbage. The tomato gravy in this recipe is just magical and would really taste delicious with lamb.

Pork substitutions

Avoiding pork? While pork is technically white meat, most cuts of pork are mild in flavor and can be replaced with chicken, seafood, beef, or lamb.

In a flavorful dish like Keto pork and green pepper stir fry, chicken or shrimp would be ideal substitutes. You aren’t likely to have to adjust cooking times if you use small pieces of chicken. However, if you substitute shrimp, add these at the very end after the veggies are just tender. Most shrimp cooks through in less than 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Dishes with much richer sauces or seasonings can be paired with beef, lamb, or chicken. For example, serve the blue cheese sauce from our Keto pork chops with blue cheese sauce recipe over a thick, tender steak or lamb chop.

Seafood substitutions

Do you need substitutes for seafood? For those who are landlocked, seafood dishes may be out of reach or you might simply prefer shellfish to fish or vice versa.

In many recipes, chicken will work well as a substitute for fish. Try frying up small fillets of chicken to use instead of fish in our Creamy keto fish casserole. Shellfish would also be fantastic in the fish casserole.

In the absence of fresh seafood, try using canned seafood, like the seafood used to make a Keto seafood omelet. Cooked, shredded chicken or pork would also be tasty with the creamy sauce, which includes garlic, cumin, and pepper sauce.

Chicken substitutions

No poultry on your menu? Although chicken seems to be universally embraced, it can be replaced by a variety of meats when warranted. Consider the texture of the finished recipe as well as the cooking time when selecting substitutes.

Chicken has very little flavor when tossed into a stew or casserole, making it relatively easy to replace with beef or pork. In the Keto pesto and feta chicken casserole much of the flavor comes from feta cheese and olives, which makes ground beef or pork a perfect substitute for chicken.

Similarly, the sauce in Keto garlic mushroom chicken thighs is what makes the dish so delicious. Those same flavors of garlic, rosemary, and thyme would taste yummy with pork. Alternately, make the sauce per the recipe, omit the chicken, and serve the sauce over shrimp or a baked white fish.

The Keto fajita chicken casserole blends southwest flavors, chicken, and cheese, but you can just as easily use strips of beef and use a similar cooking time. Leftover shredded pork would also be tasty in this flavorful dish since beef and pork both cozy up well with southwestern flavors.

Canned meat

Using canned meats? If fresh meat isn’t readily available, or if you need to use shelf-stable meats or seafood, you might substitute canned meats for fresh.

Canned chicken, salmon, tuna, shrimp, pork, or beef are generally available in most grocers or online. Since the meats are already cooked, an added bonus is the reduced overall prep and cooking time.

Try using canned meats in cold salads such as the Keto beef salad with mozzarella and tomato. The dressing is made with parsley, basil, and oregano, which goes well with chicken or salmon, both of which are easy to find in tins.

In a warm dish such as Keto Latino chicken with zucchini rice, save time by skipping the need to brown the chicken. Start with preparing the vegetables and then add canned chicken near the end, heating just until warmed.

Vegetable substitutions

Eat your veggies, but only eat low-carb veggies that you like. When swapping vegetables in recipes, start by using the Diet Doctor vegetable guide to determine which vegetables are lowest in carbs and are the best choices for keto or low carb.

Next, consider vegetable substitutions not only based on carbs, but also consider texture, flavor, and cooking time.

Tender greens like spinach can replace hardier greens such as kale, but the cooking time must be reduced. For example, make Keto fried eggs with kale using spinach. Instead of cooking the spinach first as you would the kale, add fresh spinach at the very end of the recipe when you add the cranberries and nuts.

In fresh salads, substitute greens that have similar flavors and textures such as using arugula for endive which are both somewhat bitter. Endive would be excellent instead of arugula in Low-carb zucchini walnut salad.

Texture in vegetables

Some vegetables add texture as much as flavor. Mushrooms are one example. In some dishes, they can simply be omitted, but in other recipes, you may need to replace them with a similar texture and mild flavor.

Chicken skillet with mushrooms and parmesan is one example. In place of mushrooms, chopped cabbage, sauteed until tender, would add a similar texture with a neutral flavor.

Broccoli spears also have a unique texture, especially when tossed into salads. Cauliflower provides a similar texture with a flavor that often integrates well as a substitute.

If you have broccoli on hand, but you don’t want the texture, use broccoli stems instead of tips. The stems can be used in place of zucchini, cabbage, or even radishes. You might grate some broccoli stems into Low-carb cauliflower hash browns if you don’t have enough cauliflower on hand.

Common vegetable swaps

The cooking time for most low-carb vegetables is often similar, making the most important consideration the texture and taste.

Here are some common swaps that you can make with the vegetables you prefer or that you have available.

  • Kale — use spinach.
  • Broccoli — use cauliflower or cabbage.
  • Zucchini — use squash.
  • Tomatoes — use sundried tomatoes.
  • Pumpkin — use winter squash.
  • Brussels sprouts — use cabbage or bok choy.
  • Peppers — use jalapeno or assorted peppers.
  • Mushrooms — use cabbage or zucchini.
  • Onions — use dried onions or shallots.

Frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables are a great way to keep your favorite vegetables on hand. When using frozen vegetables in recipes, remember that they’ve been cooked or blanched and will take less overall cooking time. Also, when thawed, frozen vegetables are likely to have a higher moisture content. Before using frozen vegetables in a recipe, thaw or lightly cook the vegetables and then remove as much water as possible.

To remove the water, let the vegetables drain in a colander and/or use a clean towel to squeeze out any remaining water before adding them to a casserole, stir fry, frittata, or other dry-heat method of cooking like baking, roasting, grilling, or frying. For example, frozen broccoli could be used to make Low-carb butter-fried broccoli, but the broccoli needs to be thawed and dried as much as possible before frying.

As always, check frozen food ingredient lists for food starches. Products such as cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash are most likely to have added carbs that you may want to avoid.

Vegetarian and vegan substitutions

If you’re looking for vegetarian options, please read the substitution guidelines outlined in How to follow a healthy vegetarian diet.

In most recipes, you can use eggs instead of meat and/or add cheese or dairy to provide additional protein. Halloumi, goat cheese, or paneer are fairly versatile cheeses that can be added to recipes traditionally made with meats.

Look for simple swaps such as adding sliced boiled eggs and additional cheese to a Low-carb pickle sandwich and omit the turkey.

Remember that tofu absorbs most flavors, which makes it an excellent option for most meat substitutes, including curries and stir-fries. Use it in place of chicken in Low-carb curry chicken with cauliflower rice. Tofu can also be used in a fresh salad like the Keto cheeseburger salad. Omit the cheese and use a vegan mayonnaise to make the salad dressing.

Cheese substitutions

With such a wide variety of cheese, many of us are spoilt for choice, but it also makes it easier to find substitutes when a recipe might call for a particular type of cheese. In general, it’s typically safe to substitute any cheddar cheese for another, keeping in mind that mild cheddar won’t overpower a recipe like a very sharp cheddar might.

You can also typically substitute an Italian cheese for any other, such as asiago for parmesan, or mozzarella for provolone, even though the flavors are different. Try to substitute hard cheeses for hard cheese. Pecorino, asiago, and Manchego are all aged, firm cheeses, and can be used interchangeably. Semisoft or semi-firm cheeses like Edam, mozzarella, Swiss, muenster, or fontina are also pretty easy to exchange in recipes even though the flavors vary.

Feta and blue cheese

Some cheeses have very strong and distinctive flavors. Feta is one of those. If you want to avoid the salty, tangy flavor of feta, try using goat cheese instead.

While it isn’t as firm as feta, goat cheese can be used in most recipes like Low-carb feta cheese stuffed bell peppers. Creamy goat cheese would be an excellent substitute and would taste great with the mint, eggs, and hot sauce.

Blue cheese is another strong-flavored salty cheese. It has a velvety texture, which makes a wonderful sauce for meats and cheeses. For a milder sauce, use cheddar cheese. The Keto blue cheese cabbage stir fry can easily be made with goat cheese, cheddar, or even pepper jack cheese for an added kick of heat. If you want a stronger flavor, try using feta cheese in a recipe that calls for blue cheese.


Van Gogh Acai Blueberry Vodka Review

Van Gogh Vodka continues to produce some of the best flavored vodkas available. The good news is that Van Gogh is a popular brand and one that can be found almost anywhere. The great news is that they have recently released a vodka with the elusive blueberry.

I put blueberry in alcohol in the same category as cherry, lemon, and grape. It is with these particular fruit flavors that the taste of the vodka (or other spirit) can easily go medicinal and become reminiscent of cough syrups. Yet, Van Gogh has struck gold with the Acai-Blueberry - or maybe they struck blue.


The Ultimate Crab Dip

William Hereford

Known as chupe de centolla, this Chilean crab gratin borders on a cheesy crab dip. While similar South American chupe are always prepared with milk-soaked bread and any combination of shrimp, scallops, shellfish, meats, and cheeses, Patagonia’s version relies solely on the massive local king crabs, the hallmark of fishermen’s kitchens along Chile’s southernmost coast.

The Ultimate Crab Dip William Hereford

The Ultimate Crab Dip

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