The Pie of the WORLD!

A little over the top but isn’t that what pie can be? While the initial thought of it might be simply a grand sweet finale for meals, a pie is much, much more. Pie traditionally is known as a baked dish made with pastry dough and various sweet or savory ingredients. However, it can take on many forms as illustrated by products from around the globe. The concept of pie is a centuries old food carrier that comes in an enclosed or open faced form. From empanadas (Spain) to Spanakopita (Greece) to quiche (France), various nationalities and cultures stake claim to a unique version of pie. That is why it fits so many different occasions and is okay to be eaten with a fork or with your hands. Below are a few versions of pie like forms to entice your taste buds and highlight ingredients from the world stage.

Chicken Empanada

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups shredded chicken
1 cup mash potatoes
⅓ cup frozen carrot & peas
⅓ cup salsa
10 empanada dough -5 inch
¾ cup cheddar & Jack shredded cheese
⅛ teaspoon cumin
⅛ teaspoon Newly Weds Foods ají amarillo pepper seasoning
⅛ teaspoon Newly Weds Foods al pastor or roasted coffee chili rub
5 teaspoon melted butter

Directions:
1. Place chicken, mash potato, vegetables, salsa, cheese, cumin and ají amarillo seasoning into a mixing bowl. Toss/mix well to evenly incorporate all ingredients
2. Place about ¼ cup of chicken mixture into center of each empanada disk
3. Lightly moisten edges with water, fold dough over to form half -moon. Pinch to seal (use fork or crimper)
4. Lightly brush dough with melted butter, then sprinkle about ⅛ teaspoon of either al pastor or roasted coffee chili rub seasoning.
5. Place finished empanada onto prepared sheet pan or cookie sheet. Place into 375°F convection oven (10-12 min) or 425°F standard oven for about (15 to 20 min)
6. You can also fry: Fill a deep saucepan with oil to a depth of 2½ inches. Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking (350°F on deep-fry thermometer). Cook empanadas in batches until crisp and golden brown, flipping once 4 – 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Lightly dust again with seasoning.
7. Serve with your favorite guacamole, sour cream, and salsa fresco

Polenta Pie

Ingredients:
1 cup instant polenta cornmeal
3 cups water
2 ½ tablespoons pesto sauce
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, small dice
(not in oil)
½ teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
⅔ cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups mozzarella & provolone cheese
blend shreds
¼ cup parsley, fresh

Directions:
1. Place polenta, pesto sauce, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper, & Asiago cheese in a small pot
2. Heat water in separate pot or in a tea kettle, when water is about 200°F -add to the pot with instant polenta mixture. Stir while adding water
3. While stirring mixture over low heat, add in 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Stir on low heat for about 5 minutes, or until all ingredients come together and the cheese is melted
4. Remove from heat, place mixture into a lightly greased springform cake pan (cheesecake pan). Use your hands or a rubber spatula to make sure the mixture is evenly spread out and lightly packed into cake pan
5. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce evenly over the top surface, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley evenly over the sauce
6. Place mozzarella cheese blend over the sauce, making sure it’s evenly spread out
7. Place cake pan into a 350°F convection oven, or a 400°F standard oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting into pie wedges

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Maple Bacon Breakfast Pie

Pie isn’t just for dessert.  Try our chefs take on a delicious breakfast pie with bacon, cheese, and a crispy maple syrup top.

Ingredients:

1 refrigerated pie crust
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup shredded savory cheese (like Gouda or cheddar)
3 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups cooked diced potatoes, drained, or frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 slices thick cut bacon
Maple syrup for brushing

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F
2. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl Add the cheese, hash browns, green onions, and crumbled bacon then stir to combine
3. Lay the pie crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish
4. Pour the egg mixture into the pie pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the quiche is firm enough to lay the bacon on. Remove the pie and increase the temperature to 450°F
5. Weave the bacon into a lattice on top of the pie. Brush each strip of bacon with maple syrup
6. Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil to prevent burning Note: The bacon will shrink a lot, so its fine that the bacon is hanging over the sides. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bacon is done. Tip pie dish carefully to drain any bacon grease. (If you like extra crispy bacon you could put the pie under the broiler for a couple of minutes, or until the bacon has reached your preferred doneness.)

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Culinary Exchange

Earlier this year several of our global culinary team members were able to gather in Chicago for an information exchange sharing trends from their respective regions. Newly Weds Chefs from Australia, Thailand, the UK, and the US all convened for a 2.5-day learning session.

The first day included a guest; Chef Freddie Bitsoie from the National Museum of the American Indian taught our chefs different cooking techniques and flavor profiles representing Native American cuisine all morning long. That afternoon the chefs applied what they learned by creating Native American dishes and exploring ways to incorporate the cooking styles and ingredients into other food types.

The second day was all about American Barbecue. Chef Hayden from Australia was particularly interested in the presentation given by our Chef Mat, a Chicago based chef and true pit master. Australian barbecue is what we would call grilling, high heat with short cook times. But there is a growing interest down under in how the Americans make it, low (heat) and slow (cook times).

On the final day, each chef gave a quick presentation about some of their more successful products. This cross pollination of ideas provides our culinary group with a lot of inspiration, helping in new product development to create relevant and in demand concepts for Newly Weds Foods and our customers. A few of the items shown were a slow cooker pineapple upside down cake, a zaatar flatbread and chocolate chicken. Indigenous ingredients from Australia were also introduced including lemon myrtle and Tasmanian pepper.

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Pie 4 Breakfast

Breakfast continues to grow and expand as a day part. From QSR’s offering “breakfast all day” to consumers enjoying brinner (breakfast for dinner), it is only fitting that pie has a place in this occasion. According to Datassential, 34% of menus have more unique, on-trend breakfast dishes and 28% will expand to include portable items in that mix. Highlighting pie type breakfast items at the start of the day can help meet the market interest for offerings a little outside the box. Breakfast pie can be anything from fruity to full of protein with eggs, meats, cheeses and more. They can come with crusts like quiche or without as in a frittata. They can be handheld versions on the go like
an empanada to something sweet like our Pancake Pie recipe below.

Pancake Pie

1. Make you favorite Cheesecake recipe
2. Allow it to cool
3. Use your favorite pancake recipe to prepare a pancake the size of your cheesecake
4. Allow it to cool
5. Place the pancake on top of the cheesecake
6. Slice and garnish with fresh berries and whip cream

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Pie Is A Constant

This post is from our publication that was released on March 1, 2017

March 14th otherwise known as Pi Day (3.14) is upon us. It’s the day set aside to pay homage to the mathematical constant (π). In a chef’s world pie takes on a whole different meaning, and is a constant in a little different sense. Pie inspired creations are an everyday occurrence in our food lives, delivering all kinds of delicious pleasures across a broad spectrum of eating occasions.

With that, this Tasteology issue will be honoring Pi Day 2017 in a tastier fashion. As you will read, pie is not just a sweet treat. We will expand your knowledge of pies from sweet to savory and handheld to eaten with a fork. Our chefs have developed recipes so you can enjoy a host of varieties from pizza pie to meat pie to sweet pies. This is just a brief snapshot of the plethora of pies that the culinary world has to offer. Enjoy, and sorry for the increased hunger cravings in advance.

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Taking Sour to Sweetness… What Is The Miracle Berry

Can it be? A little berry powerhouse that can change a flavor of an off tasting food and make it palatable? Why yes! This is miraculin, otherwise known as “the miracle berry.” According to Mintel, despite the exciting science and story behind the miracle berry as a sugar replacement, it has not achieved significant growth in commercial use. Contributing to this are some highly regulated restrictions on use. Currently, there are only four food products listed with it in Mintel’s Global GNPD as the berry has been more often used in fine-dining restaurants to provide a “flavor-tripping” experience. Newly Weds Foods will continue to monitor application and growth of this unique ingredient and share our insights into the latest and greatest opportunities for this berry.

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The Evolution of Snacking

It’s no surprise that snacking is taking over the traditional “three square meals a day” routine. Busy lifestyles, tight schedules and dietary restrictions all lend themselves to eating on the go. Snacking has evolved to not only satiate the hunger pangs and give a burst of energy to keep moving but, to give us an indulgent and memorable reward when need be.

Newly Weds Foods recognizes the opportunities in this snacking trend and has developed market reviews and actionable approaches to take advantage of them. This library of information covers all snacks, from salty, to sweet, to savory. Perhaps you are working on a new product to add to your portfolio, or maybe you are reworking an existing line. See how Newly Weds Foods can assist you with strong and relevant data to support a rationalized and strategic direction.

Please contact your Newly Weds Foods sales representative to inquire about this valuable resource. Other categories covered in our library consist of Global BBQ, Chicken, Red Meat, Seafood and Prepared Foods.

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Spiced Banana and Pumpkin Bread

Our chefs came up with this as an example of how to stimulate that trigeminal nerve of yours.  It’s a simple, classic treat we think you will love to try out at home.

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup roasted pumpkin puree
3 to 4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
¾ cup cashews

Method of Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and slightly pale in color.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed. Add the pumpkin, bananas and vanilla extract and mix well at medium speed.
  • In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, and cardamom.
  • Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients over low speed until well combined. Add in the cashews and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture evenly into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before removing from loaf pan and slicing.

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Kokumi – The Sixth Taste?

For all our sophistication in the kitchen, the scientific understanding of how we taste food could still use some time in the oven. Dating back to ancient Greece and China, the sensation of taste has historically been described as the combination of a handful of distinct perceptions. Western food research has long been dominated by the four “basic tastes” of sweet, bitter, sour and salty.

Western science now recognizes the East’s umami (savory) as a basic taste. But even the age-old concept of basic tastes is starting to unravel, as current belief is that there is no accepted definition of basic taste, and that the rules are changing as we speak.

Our ability to sense the five accepted categories comes from receptors on our taste buds. These tiny sensory organs appear mostly on the tongue, the roof of the mouth and in the back of the throat. In the mouth itself, though food scientists continue to discover new receptors and new pathways for gustatory impressions to reach our brain, and there are some new taste sensations vying for a place at the table as a sixth basic taste.

The latest “sixth taste candidate,” kokumi, a taste impression identified in an amino acid that interacts with our tongue’s calcium receptors. Widely accepted in Japan since 2010, it’s beginning to gain traction in the Western hemisphere as well. It has been the subject of scientific inquiry in Japan since the 1980s, recently propagated by researchers from the same Japanese food company, Ajinomoto, who helped convince the taste world of the fifth basic taste, umami, a decade ago.

Best described as “rich” and “taste” or “mouthfulness” and “heartiness”; it is almost as much a feeling as a taste. This results in enhancement of flavors already in the mouth, providing a sensation of richness. Braised, aged or slowcooked foods supposedly contain greater natural levels of kokumi, as do foods like garlic, onions, and scallops.

As a contender for “the sixth taste” it is ahead of other concepts, but the verdict is still out — for now it remains a concept in its infancy that is worth exploring.

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The Five Basic Tastes

When someone asks you how something tastes, your answer could be “good” or “delicious.” But if you really want to get specific, that answer could be broken down in a number of ways: five in fact. There are five universally accepted basic tastes that stimulate and are perceived by our taste buds: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. Let’s take a closer look at each of these tastes, and how they can help make your holiday recipes even more memorable.

Sweet

You probably have or know someone who has a “sweet tooth.” It has a nicer ring to it than sweet tongue, doesn’t it? Sweetness is often described as the pleasure taste, signaling the presence of sugar, which is a core source of energy and hence, desirable to the human body. It is no wonder that this is a taste that even babies gravitate to.

Furthermore, when used in a combination, sweet complements well with the other basic tastes. Adding sweetness such as a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze to a traditionally salty vegetable dish like roasted brussel sprouts would take it to the next level.

Salty

The simplest taste receptor in the mouth is the sodium chloride receptor. Salt is a necessary component to the human diet and enhances the flavor of foods. However, the average American tends to consume way more than needed (about 2-3 times above the FDA’s recommended daily limit), and our palates adapt to crave more salt. Interestingly enough, when people cut back on salt in their diets, taste buds can adjust again and adapt to be satisfied with less.

As a flavor enhancer, adding salt to traditionally sweet dishes is necessary to amplify the sweet notes. A pinch of salt is core to most baked dessert recipes. Even if it is not listed in the ingredients, sprinkling some sea salt flakes or smoked salt over holiday ginger bread cookies brings out the sweetness of the sugar and enhances the ginger flavor.

Sour

Sourness is a taste that detects acidity. These taste buds detect hydrogen ions from organic acids found in foods. The mouth puckering sensation is common in citric fruits such as lemons and oranges, as well as tamarind and some leafy greens. The sour taste can also be obtained from foods soured through fermentation such as sauerkraut and yogurt, or through the addition of vinegar.

Many salad dressings feature vinegar as a key ingredient, which is a perfect way to add sour notes. You could also try adding lemon or orange zest to vinegar or even cream based dressings. Or, simply zest the top of your salad to help drive this craveable flavor sensation.

Bitter

Bitter is the most sensitive of the five tastes. A large number of bitter compounds are known to be toxic, which is why many perceive bitter
flavors to be unpleasant. Hundreds of substances, mostly found in plants, taste bitter. However, a little bitterness can make food more interesting and have become beloved, like the hoppy taste in beer. Furthermore, there are cases where some bitterness could be healthy. Antioxidants, which aid in metabolism, account for the bitter taste in dark chocolate and coffee.

Dark chocolate shavings on top of your favorite holiday dessert could be a great addition to create a fun bitter flavor party.

Umami

Umami is an appetitive taste, sometimes described as savory or meaty. It is the most recently identified and accepted of the basic tastes. In the early part of the 20th century, a Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikeda attempted to identify this taste common to asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat. But, not one of the four well-known tastes could describe it adequately. What he pinpointed was the presence of glutamic acid, which he renamed “umami”, Japanese for “good flavor”. Though one of the core flavors of Eastern cuisine imparted by soy sauce and MSG (monosodium glutamate), it wasn’t accepted as a basic taste in the West until 1985.

Why not add some savory umami flavors to your traditional holiday stuffing recipe this year by adding mushrooms into the mix?

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