Zesty Cheese Balls

finished

Cheese Balls

Elegant Entertaining Made Easy! Our selection of crowd pleasing favorites will have you creating tasty appetizers with little or no effort; so you can enjoy the party too! Three ingredients…Three delectable flavors… |Toasted Onion n’ Chive | Bleu Cheese Peppercorn | Chipotle Herb n’ Cheddar.
Toasted Onion n’ Chive
2 T. Zesty Moose Toasted Onion n’ Chive Blend
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. pistachios, coarsely chopped or (substitute with your favorite nut)
2 sheets of wax paper

Method:

ingrediants

Measure out 2 Tablespoons of The Zesty Moose Toasted Onion n’ Chive Blend. Place 8 oz. cream cheese into a bowl and add the Toasted onion n’ Chive, blend well.

mixed-on-wax

Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up.

rolled-after-cooled

Using two pieces of wax paper; form the cheese into a round ball.

adding-nuts-1adding-nuts-2

Place the chopped pistachios onto the wax paper and roll the cheese ball in the nut mixture until fully coated. Refrigerate again for 1 hour before serving.

finished

Serve with assorted crackers.

Bleu Cheese Peppercorn

2 T. Zesty Moose Bleu Cheese Peppercorn Blend
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. walnuts, coarsely chopped or (substitute fresh parsley)
2 sheets of wax paper

Method:

Measure out 2 Tablespoons of The Zesty Moose Bleu Cheese Peppercorn Blend. Place 8 oz. cream cheese into a bowl and add the Bleu Cheese Peppercorn, blend well. Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up. Using two pieces of wax paper; form the cheese into a round ball. Place the chopped walnuts or chopped fresh parsley onto the wax paper and roll the cheese ball until fully coated.
Refrigerate again for 1 hour before serving. Serve with assorted crackers.

Chipotle Herb n’ Cheddar

4 tsp. Zesty Moose Chipotle Herb n’ Cheddar Blend
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 T. pecans, coarsely chopped or (substitute with your favorite nut)
2 sheets of wax paper

Method:

Measure out 4 teaspoons of The Zesty Moose Chipotle Herb n’ Cheddar Blend. Place 8 oz. cream cheese into a bowl and add the Chipotle Herb n’ Cheddar, blend well. Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up. Using two pieces of wax paper; form the cheese into a round ball. Place the chopped pecans onto the wax paper and roll the cheese ball until fully coated. Refrigerate again for 1 hour before serving. Serve with assorted crackers.

NOTE: Our Cheese Ball Blends can also be made into tasty dips by adding sour cream. All of our Dip/Cheese Ball Packages Make 3 Recipes or More. Recipes are included on each package.

 

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Cajun Shrimp Scampi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Shrimp Scampi

Who doesn’t love Shrimp Scampi! Technically Scampi are tiny lobster like crustaceans with pale pink shells also called langoustines. Typically, most restaurants in the United States serve shrimp in place of the scampi, but the name of the dish remains the same. The secret ingredient that really elevates this dish is the slow roasted tomatoes. The intense and concentrated flavors from this technique give this dish its robust flavor. Have you ever tried using an Infused Olive Oil? These come in handy when you want that quick burst of flavor! I simply tossed the tomatoes with our Basil Infused Olive Oil for that garden fresh basil aroma. We then created a classic sauce using cream, white wine, fresh garden herbs, and then seasoned the dish with our Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning…The perfect flavor profile for shrimp! Pairs perfectly with our Lemon Pepper Fettuccini Pasta!
Cajun Shrimp Scampi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roasted Tomato Ingredients

Roasted Tomato Ingredeints
1 ½ T. Zesty Moose Basil Infused Olive Oil
• 1 lb. cherry tomatoes whole
• 1 tsp. salt
• ½ tsp. black pepper
Scampi Ingredients

Scampi Ingredients
• 4 T. olive oil, divided
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 shallots, minced
• 1 T. Zesty Moose Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning Blend
• 1 C. white wine
• 1 C. heavy cream
• 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• ¼ C. chopped fresh chives
• 3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 Package Zesty Moose Lemon Pepper Fettuccini Pasta
Method:
Cook the pasta to al dente 3-4 minutes in boiling salted water drain and set aside.

Season with Oil and s&p

Toss the cherry tomatoes with the Basil Infused Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper.

Spread on Sheet

Spread tomatoes evenly onto a baking sheet sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray and roast in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes slightly collapse.

Roasted

Remove from oven, and set aside.

Season Shrimp
Season the shrimp lightly with a little Cajun Seasoning.

Saute ShrimpCooked Shrimp

In a skillet over medium heat, add 2 T. of olive oil and sauté the shrimp for 3 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Shallots & Tomato

In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 T. of olive oil and sauté the garlic and shallots until onions are translucent. Add in the tomatoes and remainder of Cajun Seasoning and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Add Wine

Pour in the wine and loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer.

Add Cream

Add the cream and return to a simmer for 1 minute.

Add Shrimp

Add the shrimp, chives and parsley. Serve over Lemon Pepper Fettuccini.

Shrimp Scampi

Total Time: 1 Hour
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Serves 4-6

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Sundried Tomato and Berry Caprese Salad

Salad

Typically, Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad, named after the island of Capri and consists of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. It was made to resemble the colors of the Italian flag: red, white, and green. I have reinvented the classic Italian appetizer by adding a few new flavor twists to this seasonal summertime sensation! The base uses a healthy bed of greens layered with creamy mozzarella, fresh garden tomatoes and ribbons of basil. A touch of natural sweetness comes from the added fruit and this starter literally becomes a light and healthy meal all in one dish. The vinaigrette is made with our Sundried Tomato and Basil Bread Dipping Blend and a splash of good quality balsamic lends a nice finish to the dish. Your guests will be coming back for more!

Sundried Tomato and Berry Caprese Salad

Igredients
• 2-4 C. leafy greens
• 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced or 1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
• 16 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced
• 1 C. blueberries or raspberries, (whole) or strawberries, sliced
• ¼ C. pistachio nuts, chopped
• 3-4 fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette
• 6 T. olive oil
• 2 T. balsamic vinegar
• 4 tsp. Zesty Moose Sundried Tomato Basil Blend

Method:
Prepare the vinaigrette and set aside. Roughly cut the leafy greens for the salad base. Slice tomatoes or if using cherry tomatoes cut in half. Slice the cheese into ¼ inch thick rounds then, cut each round like a pizza to form the triangle cuts. If using strawberries, I suggest slicing them; blueberries and raspberries leave whole. Slice the fresh basil into thin ribbons and chop the pistachios.

Assemble the Salad: Place leafy greens onto a serving platter. Add the tomatoes, cheese, berries and fresh basil by creating layers on top. Finish with pistachio nuts. Drizzle prepared vinaigrette over top right before serving.

Serves: 4-6

Total Time: 35 Minutes
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Assemble Time: 5 Minutes

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Filed under On The Side, Salad Dressing/Viniagrettes

Asian Inspired Fried Rice

Plated (2)

Everyone Loves Fried Rice! This easy-to-follow quick recipe has an Asian inspired flare and flavor as compared to many other traditional style recipes. We are using our Hair Raisin’ Asian Seasoning Blend for this recipe. This can be served as a healthy main course or side with other Chinese or Asian dishes. You can easily add chicken, pork, shrimp or other protein to this dish. White rice may be substituted over the brown and the versatility of this dish means you can substitute a variety of other vegetables such as snow peas, bell peppers, broccoli, squash or bok choy. Here are some basic cooking tips you will want to make note of here to achieve the perfect Fried Rice.
Cooking Tips for Fried Rice:
• Use a high temp cooking oil. I prefer Grape Seed Oil
• Use a wok, as the cooking technique here is stir-fry. You’re doing this using a very hot pan with hot oil, while cooking in constant motion. The shape of the wok facilitates that action.
• The rice needs to be cooked properly. It should not be a sticky mess and you should be able to separate and fluff the rice easily by using a fork.

 

Asian Inspired Fried Rice

Ingredients (2)
• 2 C. cooked whole grain brown rice
• 1 C. mixed vegetables, thawed & uncooked
(Corn, carrots, peas, green beans)
• 2 T. grape seed oil or other high temp cooking oil
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 1 C. yellow onion, chopped
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• ¼ C. soy sauce
1 T. Zesty Moose Hair Raisin’ Asian Seasoning Blend

Method:

Rice
Cook the rice according to the package directions, set aside.

Oiled Wok

Preheat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the grape seed oil and heat.

Onion and Veg

Add in the yellow onion and the vegetables

Onion and Veg Mixed

and cook until tender.

Egg in

Slide the onion and vegetables to one side and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side.

Scrambled

Using a spatula, scramble the eggs.

Egg Mixed In

Once cooked, mix the egg in with the onion and vegetables.

Rice and Seasoning

Add in the pre-cooked rice, soy sauce and Hair Raisin’ Asian Seasoning Blend.

Rice Mixed

Mix until heated through and combined.

Green Onion

Add in the green onions, serve with your favorite dipping sauce

Plated (2)

Yields: 4
Prep Time: 20 Min.
Cook Time: 15 Min.
Total Time: 35 Min.

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Lemon Thyme Balsamic Roasted Asparagus Spears

Plated

Roasting vegetables is really the ultimate way of bringing out the best flavor in your garden favorites in the healthiest way. The oven method brings out the sweet notes of the vegetables naturally; using a cooking technique referred to as caramelized. The result is a golden crisp outside with a tenderness on the inside. There are a few tips to keep in mind when roasting: Chop or trim your vegetables equally in size. Next, arrange your vegetables evenly in a single layer onto a baking sheet so they roast evenly. For this recipe I am using olive oil and a good quality balsamic vinegar. Infused olive oils are also a good choice to use as you can pair a variety of flavors with different vegetables. Our Lemon-Thyme Finishing Salt gives a light and delicate flavor to the dish and pairs nicely with any green vegetable.

Lemon Thyme Balsamic Roasted Asparagus Spears

Ingredients
• 1 lb. Asparagus
• 1 T. olive oil
• 1 T. balsamic vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 tsp. Zesty Moose Lemon Thyme Finishing Salt

Prepare the Asparagus:

Snap1
To remove the woody ends, gently bend the end of one asparagus spear

Snap2

until it snaps.

Cut

Line up the entire bunch on a cutting board and using the snapped piece as a guide, cut off remaining woody stems and discard. Gently wash under cold water and drain thoroughly.
Method:

Suace Before
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the minced garlic clove. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray using a non-stick cooking spray.

Sauce After

Place asparagus into a bowl and toss with the olive oil, vinegar and garlic, until fully coated. Season the spears with the Zesty Moose Lemon Thyme Finishing Salt.

Sheeted

Place asparagus in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, turning the spears one time.

Plated

Plate and serve.

Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes

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Filed under On The Side, Vegetables

Stuffed Meat Loaf

Plated

Meat Loaf Again….Honestly, I was never really a big fan of meat loaf. We had it quite often when I was growing up as it’s relatively easy to make and serves as an economical meal. Traditional meat loaf is basically hamburgers, formed into a loaf verses a patty and then slathered in a sweet sauce otherwise known as, Ketchup! Over time, recipes have evolved for this All-American comfort food by adding some innovative cooking techniques such as grilling and smoking it. Some recipes call for wrapping it in bacon which adds loads of flavor and extra calories. My new sentimental favorite way to prepare it is by stuffing it! We need to flavor the meat, so for this recipe we are using the No Moosteak Grill n’ Rub Seasoning Blend. It’s great for burgers, and even better for meat loaf! The sautéed mushroom stuffing gives it that comfort feel and adds an elegant touch to the dish. The Lemon Thyme Finishing Salt really enhances that next layer of flavor, while the soft bread keeps it moist.

Stuffed Meat Loaf

Igredients
• 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 2 T. whipping cream or milk
• ¼ C. tomato sauce
• 2 T. Zesty Moose No Moosteak Grill n’ Rub Seasoning Blend
Stuffing:
• ½ lb. (8 oz.) Mushrooms, sliced
• 1 C. white onion
• 2 T. unsalted butter
• 2 C. soft fresh bread cut into cubes
• 2 T. fresh parsley
• 1 tsp. Zesty Moose Lemon Thyme Finishing Salt

 

Method:

Mix Together
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, cream or milk, tomato sauce and the No Moosteak Grill n’ Rub.

Finished Mix
Add beef and mix well.

Fill Bottom of Pan

Pat half of the meat mixture into a greased 9-in. x 3-in. loaf pan; set aside.

Mushroom and Onions
For stuffing, saute` the mushrooms and onion in butter over medium heat for 3 min.

Add Bread

Add the bread pieces, parsley and the Lemon Thyme Finishing Salt.

Reduced Down

Saute` until the bread crumbs are lightly brown.

Half Stuffed

Stuffing

Spoon the stuffing over the bottom layer of meat;

Topping

cover with remaining meat mixture and gently press down. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, drain fat as needed.

Out of the Oven

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 Min.
Cook Time: 1 Hr.
Total Time: 1 Hr. 30 Min.

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Food and Flavor Forecast 2015

Fancy Food

My recent trip to the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco showcased over 1,400 exhibitors  from across the US and 35 Countries and regions specializing in some of the most amazing and exotic foods and trends for 2015. Snack foods and bars have gone to new levels which include seaweed to unexpected ways to elevate veggies. Exotic teas and drinks are gaining in popularity. Bitter, fermented foods and drinks are on the rise. Smoked and grilled foods remain popular. Incorporating ingredients into foods that offer health benefits is a huge plus. Consumers are paying even closer attention to food labels. According to Mintel, ¾ of American Adults consider themselves foodies. One of the trends for this year has consumers wanting an adventurous culinary experience in addition to simplicity.

I had the opportunity to get a firsthand look at some of this year’s top food and flavor trends.

Flavor and Food Trends for 2015

  1. Spicier Complex New Regional Style Foods

Consumers are acquiring a more sophisticated palate for spicier and more complex flavors such as Asian and new regional style foods that include exotic dishes from other regions like Thai Japanese, Filipino and Vietnamese.

  1. New Flavors and Ingredients Offering Health Benefits

Seaweed showed up in a multitude of snack foods such as chips, hummus and popcorn. Seaweed also has its health benefits and is chocked full of thyroid-supporting iodine and vitamin B-12. Food Artisans have managed to turn vegetable haters into lovers by making them the star ingredient in a convenient and healthy snack food. For starters we have Broccoli Chips with White Cheddar, Brussel Bytes; how clever is that? If you are really adventurous; give the Arugula Cabbage Veggie Crunch a try!

  1. New Twists on Sweet and Salty Snack Foods

Companies are getting innovative when it comes to snack food and health bars. Consumers are embracing the unusual combinations of ingredients and flavors in their favorite snacks and bars. Savory flavors like Roasted Jalapeno, Sweet chili and even honey-smoked barbeque top the list. Sweeter combinations include Orange Honey or Cherry Pistachio. How about Sundried Tomato with Basil or Olive with Walnuts for a new twist on flavor!

  1. Bitter Foods and Beverages

Consumers are looking for bold flavor food experiences. Craft Beers, Dark Chocolate, Coffee and Arugula have maintained their popularity. Consumers want to try even stronger and more intense flavors with darker coffees and chocolates, hoppy beers, cocktails with bitters and vegetables such as kale and collard greens.

  1. Sodium and Sugar Reduction Solutions

Public health debates continue about added processed sugars and high levels of sodium being put into our foods. Consumers are on the lookout for ways in which to reduce sodium and replace processed sugar with alternative sweeteners. Diabetes and obesity are on the rise, and the attention towards food labels continues to grow. The FDA has recently issued a recommendation for companies to display information about added sugars on food labels. This will be a top priority for consumers and food manufacturers. Sweeteners that are gaining in popularity are, Stevia, Maguey Syrup, Honey, Agave and Maple Syrup. The newest introduction to the all-natural sweetener trend is the use of Monk Fruit.

  1. Turmeric: The Exotic Superfood

Turmeric is a culinary spice native to Southeast India. It is a plant of the Ginger Family. Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger. It is best known as one of the main ingredients used to make curry. Because of its deep yellow-orange color, Turmeric was traditionally called, “Indian Saffron.” Turmeric, the bright yellow of the spice rainbow has long been used as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent to treat a variety of conditions.

  1. Food Packaging Trends

Consumer’s expectations demand sustainable earth-friendly products with a transparency about what they are consuming, where the product is made and clarity about what they, the company stand for. Labels will move from clean to clear with simpler claims and packaging. Biodegradable and reusable are likely to expand. Food manufacturers will undergo a similar transformation as companies are taking it upon themselves to align with the shifting expectations of the consumer along with the FDA Label Overhaul.


Resources:

http://www.solutionstalk.com/home/2015/01/23/foodie-friday-6-flavor-trends-from-the-fancy-food-show/

https://cargillsaltinperspective.com/2015-whats-next/

https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/trend-forecast-10-predictions-specialty-foods-2015/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

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