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Food Trends

The truth behind Tapas (Tapas or Tapeo)

By | Consumption, Dining, Food for thought, Food Trends, Photography, Recipes, Terminology, Travel | No Comments

Tapas are all the rage in Spain, and are the norm. A ‘tapa” small bite of free food that accompanies any beverage (alcoholic or not) consumed at any bar of the Iberian Peninsula. You heard that right, tapas are free in Spain!

Tapas are one of the most acclaimed memories from any traveler who has spent time sipping a cold “cerveza” or any Spanish “vino”. Tapa literally means “lid” or “to cover” something. Every bar in Spain has its own specialty tapas, ranging from the Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) spicy potatoes (Patatas Bravas) to stewed snails (Caracoles) or the classic serrano ham and manchego cheese.

A couple of theories indicate the origins of the famous tapa dish. The most traditional origin of tapas began with the proliferation of fruit flies around the southern vineyards during spring and sizzling summer season. Fruit flies are those magical bugs that can appear by hundreds and all disappear in a fraction of a second without a trace. They also have a “sophisticated “nose for diving in any fermented liquid, alcoholic or not.

Well, the purpose of the “tapa” was to cover the glass during conversation at the southern vineyards in the spring and summer to avoid the flying swimmers in the glass. The proprietor of one of this establishment had a genius idea……. why not placing a small plate on top of the glass?? And then they added a piece of cheese or cured meat to the lid…. This is so far, the most believe assumption about this world phenomena!

Another interesting theory of the tapas origin derived during the seasonal local festivities in Seville, located at the south-east part of the country. King Alfonso XIII was sipping a reasonable quantity of wine, when the monarch started to feel a little bit tipsy. He suddenly demanded a snack to sober up, in order to keep enjoying the vino without any symptom of intoxication. The tapa has reached incredible popularity around the world due to its simplicity in nature and ability to customize based on locality.

Let’s talk a little bit about the “Tapeo” or the tapas hopping movement, a whole entire experience that I recommend to anyone who comes to Spain! Any day is perfect for it, but one of the best days for the tapas hunt will be during the weekend, where everybody gets out of the house to enjoy the Mediterranean sun. Here’s how to master tapas hopping: Gather a small group of family or friends, find a good starting bar and keep going up or down the neighborhood streets looking for the desired specialty. Don’t forget that every glass of wine or beer will come up with a little surprise full of flavor that will continue during your gastronomical experience.

Here’s an easy tapa you can make at home and enjoy with a nice glass of white Spanish wine.

Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

YIELD 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

12 ea. Medium Size Raw Shrimp (Peeled)

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 ea. Garlic Cloves Fine Sliced

½ Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper Fine Sliced

Salt and White Pepper to taste

METHOD

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic; cook, stirring until garlic is fragrant and golden (but not brown), about 30 seconds. Add sliced cayenne pepper, cook for 10 seconds, add shrimp; raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until shrimp are opaque for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with some toasted bread on the side for dipping!

By: Chef Daniel Graban-Lopez

Buen provecho!

Thermomix, not just a blender!

By | Food Trends, Food Versatility, Product Reviews, Retail, Tools & Techniques | No Comments

By: Executive Chef Daniel Graban-Lopez

During my early years in the Spanish hospitality business, I kept hearing through family members or coworkers, about this innovative food processor called Thermomix. This futuristic kitchen electronic was created by a German company known as Vorwerk. Vorwerk also carries a line of efficient home vacuums.

This appliance was foreign to me until an aunt of mine purchased one, the TM3300 in the 90’s and that’s where my Thermomix journey began! It was very impressive to see complicated dishes being made in only a few minutes and all in the Thermomix. My aunt was bragging about not having to use multiple pots and pans to make a simple soup or sauce.

One of the most common things I always heard about this food processor, was how reliable it is and how people were not only creating recipes, but considerably improving them due the lack of effort and execution. The convenience of this item really attracted to me to trying it in my prep kitchen and even in my home kitchen.

The culinary appliance world has evolved drastically over the 20 years I have spent in the industry, and convenience is key. Home kitchen appliances have evolved from the modest home blender, to the Vitamix which pulverizes with ease. While some kitchen appliances have evolved over time to be more convenient, they are still only intended for one task …. unlike the Thermomix. The Thermomix is a one stop shop, allowing it to become a prominent piece of equipment both home and professional kitchens.

The original white and silver food processor was first created in France and was mostly intended for soup preparation. It initially reminded me of a modern artifact only used at a food lab, but after reading the manual, and having a chance to see what it is capable of creating, I personally feel that is an extremely user friendly and versatile device.

Every Thermomix has evolved and improved since its initial creation. The first models were very simple. However after the adjustable heat setting was incorporated to the blender in 1971, other features such as a timer, speed programs, attachments and a very functional weight scale made this piece not only convenient but very reliable.

I personally have had the opportunity to experiment with the TM21 and I own the TM31 model at home. Both are very similar but the TM31 has a larger bowl and a screen to visualize set ups for temperature and timer. The blades in this food processor are powerful enough from crushing ice to chopping nuts, herbs and vegetables.

The variety of attachments like the butterfly are very helpful when whipping some sort of creams or purees. The Varoma steamer attachment is designed for healthy cooking, fitting any type of vegetable or protein along with the small basket that allows you cook pasta or separate solid from liquids when making certain soup or stews.

Let’s talk about food and heat combinations! Who wants to make grandmas tomato sauce and then end up throwing it away because somebody forgot to stir it 3 hours after was on the stove? Well, Thermomix has the ability of lowering the blade speed to a point that it will be constantly stirred, while also cooking for the desired length, avoiding unnecessary burnt flavors…How about making a butternut squash soup in 45 minutes using a cutting board a knife and the Thermomix? Simply, clean and practical!

Due to the heating capability asset these are the basic uses for Thermomix:

Cook pasta and rice.

Steam fruit and vegetables, meat and fish.

Stew meat, vegetables and fruit.

Boil and simmer liquids like sauces, soups and maintain specific temperatures.

Chop and mince meat, nuts, herbs and vegetables.

Crush ice and frozen fruit.

Blend fruits, frostings, soups, sauces, smoothies and milkshakes.

The cost is a little higher than most high-performance blenders, with the many added features list above… the price is around $1500 US dollars. They are not sold in retail stores. The philosophy of the company is to advertise by word of mouth and have a professional come to your location to set up a live demo in order to meet the potential customers satisfaction.

A worthwhile upfront investment, the Thermomix is made to last, is durable and it can change the way you cook by eliminating extra cooking utensils, kitchen space and efficiency introducing you to a new world of recipes and methods of cooking!

I hope you enjoy it!

Follow this link to shop the Thermomix

 

 

 

 

Spicy Holiday Sliders

By | Consumption, Dining, Food for thought, Food Styling, Food Trends, Holidays, Photography, Recipes | No Comments

Yes, it’s here, the wonderful and magical holiday season! This year, don’t let that scare you when it comes to cooking…everything else…maybe. It’s cold outside so spice up your holidays with this awesome recipe coming to you straight from the KOR Kitchen!
We suggest an awesome pork slider, like no other, to serve as an appetizer while everyone is waiting for his or her big meal. Give those pork tenderloins a good rub and prepare for your house to smell like deliciousness. Pair with any of your favorite toppings; we suggest using arugula instead of lettuce for that peppery bite!
Check out UnKORked on Friday for a wonderful sweet pairing to this spicy slider.

Chipotle Pork Sliders- Serves four adults / 12 Sliders

Ingredients

1 ea.                     Pork Tenderloin Trimmed (16 oz. approx.)
½ Tbsp.                Chipotle seasoning, dry
½ Tbsp.                Onion Powder
½ Tbsp.                 Garlic Powder
1 tsp.                     Salt
2 tsp.                     Canola or Olive Oil for rubbing the tenderloin
1 cup                     Arugula, washed and spun dry
12 ea.                    Slider Buns
24 ea.                    Dill Pickle Slices (Optional for garnish)

Directions

Rub the tenderloin with the oil. Combine the chipotle seasoning, salt, onion powder and season the tenderloin evenly. Marinate for one hour or overnight for more intense flavor.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the skillet over medium-high flame. Place the tenderloin in the skillet; cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, rotate the tenderloin 1/4 turn; cook until well browned, 45 to 60 seconds. Repeat until all sides are browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the tenderloin to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven; roast until the internal temperature registers 135 to 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, around 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and let it rest 8 to 10 minutes. Cut the tenderloins crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Assemble the sliders with the buns,arugula and dill pickle slices.

Let us know if you try our recipe and how it goes. Enjoy!

 

Does Your Menu Have a Pulse?

By | Food Trends, Nutrition | No Comments

PulsesNo, not that kind of pulse. And don’t worry, we aren’t going to ask you if your refrigerator is running. From chickpeas to lentils to the good ole pea, “pulses” are poised to dominate menus in 2016. Named the International Year of the Pulses by the United Nations, 2016 is sure to showcase the many uses and benefits of pulses.

But what is a pulse?

Although some may categorize a pulse and a legume as the same, that is not the case. Pulses are a subcategory of legume that only includes the dried seed of the plant. The most commonly known pulses are chickpeas, lentils, and peas. Nutritionally speaking, the power of the pulse is often overlooked. Pulses offer a great source of protein, which is especially important in societies where diets do not include animal protein or animal protein is scarce.

Pulses are nutritionally similar to each other in that they have between 120 and 160 calories per 100 grams. They have around 10% of one’s daily value of potassium, 32% of fiber, 18% of iron, and 10 grams of protein. Comparing that to 100g of chicken which has around 170 calories, no fiber, and a high percentage of cholesterol, pulses have the upper hand. However, chicken will provide more protein, 31 grams per 100 grams.

Because pulses offer such a great source of fiber, they are important in diets of those who are looking to maintain a healthy weight. Fiber helps in regulating blood sugar levels and decreasing the “bad” cholesterol levels in someone’s blood. Getting enough fiber in one’s diet has been linked with a reduction in the risk of being diagnosed with type II diabetes and heart disease.

Pulses are not only healthier for the people consuming them, but also the soil that they are growing in. As nitrogen-fixers, pulses replenish the nitrogen in the soil: something that conventional crops deplete out of the soil. Nitrogen-rich soil is crucial in having high yields in the crop rotation in that field. Adding a pulse crop every couple of years would ensure that our soils will remain fertile and able to sustain future crops. A final environmental benefit of pulses is that the carbon and water footprint left by growing pulses is five times less that of animal proteins.

In their natural forms, pulses can appear to be unexciting or boring. However, with new innovations in the food industry, the same peas that grandma puts in her pot pie can be harvested for their protein or fiber. These pea proteins and fibers can be found in powders that consumers or food companies can put into a variety of products or recipes to up the nutritional ante. Additionally, lentils and chickpeas can be ground to form a flour that can be used in many culinary applications, such as snack foods, breads, and cereals. Pulses have a real advantage in bakery applications because they are gluten-free, which is a major concern in today’s society. So instead of using generic all-purpose flour to make bread, lentil or chickpea flour can be partially substituted to increase the nutrient content of the bread.

So what does it all mean? Pulses are commonly overlooked food sources that provide a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and potassium. Pulses can be utilized in their whole forms in soups, salads, and entrees or in their powdered and ground forms in baked good, smoothies, and sauces. Pulses are gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and a great tool for those looking to manage their health. The power of the pulse is being explored in the International Year of the Pulses in 2016, but should continue long into the future.

Cultivated Cocktails

By | Beverages, Food Trends | No Comments

Fresh juice mix fruit, healthy drinks on wooden table.

You can blame the success of fresh-pressed juices and smoothies or the ever-growing focus on organic vegetables and vegetarian lifestyles. Either way, it looks like vegetables are officially jumping from your plate and into your highball glass. Expert mixologists are getting crafty with your favorite cocktail recipes and making room on the menu for vegetable purees and pastes, muddled greens, and more. Read More

Small, but Mighty Sweet

By | Food Trends | No Comments

Bottle of coca-cola with sugar, soda with sugar, unhealthyDriven by demand from consumers and health organizations (like DGAC and WHO), the American CPG industry faces pressure to combat obesity through improvements to daily nutritional values. In response, it looks like even the largest food and beverage manufacturers are thinking small — or more specifically, small portions. Read More

Better Breakfast On-the-Go

By | Food Trends, Nutrition | No Comments

Raw Organic Granola BarsMany consumers today do not eat breakfast at the table — or even at home. Instead, our grab-and-go society relies heavily on portable breakfast items to fuel our busy morning commutes.

For insight into this trend, simply compare the nutritional and cereal bar market (portable meals) to standard cereal offerings. According to Packaged Facts, from 2004 to 2014, the number of households using cereal bars increased 50%, whereas cold cereal only increased 4%. Read More

Latitudinal Cuisine™: Greek Tacos

By | Food Trends, Latitudinal Cuisine(TM), Photography, Recipes | No Comments

LatCuisine_TacoCollageTo provide you with an example of Latitudinal Cuisine™, the KOR team spent a Friday afternoon crafting Greek Tacos at the studio! Simply read below for more information about the ingredients we used, and refer to our procedure for general guidelines. We recommend that you adjust this recipe as desired, and hope you enjoy the combination of cuisines as much as we did! Read More

Camu Camu

By | Food Trends | No Comments

camu fruit powderWhile you may be familiar with today’s super foods like açaí and kale, there is a new star coming to light. Camu camu, a fruit grown in Brazil, has become popular for its antioxidant and anti-viral properties. Similar in size to a lemon, camu camu is orange in color and mostly grown in the flooded area of the Amazon rainforest. Although limited research exists, those whom have studied this miracle fruit have noted the potential advantages of consumption. Below are three reasons we believe the camu camu berry could benefit your overall health. Read More