Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Broccoli fritters

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Broccoli fritters

I never liked deep-frying. It always seemed like a huge production. So much oil. Such a mess. Having to clean the stove after it was over. I avoided it for years.

But then there was that day a few years ago when I made onion pakora according to instructions from Rashmi of YumKid. Such sizzle! So crispy! And I remembered: Fried food is downright delicious.

These broccoli fritters are worth the spent oil and the mess. Use leftover cooked broccoli or take a shortcut with frozen chopped broccoli. Either way, you'll be glad you did.

By the way, these broccoli fritters would be perfect for Hanukkah, also known as The Festival of Fried Food. I served them with Not Ketchup, but a lemony aioli would work too.

Note: If you really don't want to deep-fry, use a skillet and form the batter into pancakes, using about 2 Tablespoons of oil in the skillet and 1 Tablespoon of batter for each pancake. 

Broccoli fritters


  • 1 cup all-purpose baking mix (I use Bisquick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • A few dashes hot sauce (I use Tabasco)
  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped (or use 2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, steamed, cooled and chopped)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Oil, for deep-frying (I use grapeseed or canola oil)
  • Not Ketchup, for dipping
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the baking mix, egg, milk, garlic salt, pepper and hot sauce; the batter will be thick. Fold in the broccoli and green onions.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep medium-sized saucepan until the surface shimmers. Using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two spoons, drop about 1 teaspoon of batter into the oil for each fritter. Fry until golden brown; drain on a rack set over a sheet pan or on a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Serve warm with your favorite flavor of Not Ketchup for dipping.
30 minutes | 8 servings

Monday, November 3, 2014

My gift to you: The Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook

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Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe Ebook

I've been experimenting with my Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauces for more than a year now. One of the things I discovered last Thanksgiving and Christmas is that Not Ketchup added a ton of flavor - with very little corresponding work - to my holiday menus.

I've compiled some of my favorite holiday recipes into The Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook, a free ebook that I'm delighted to share with you. It includes six delicious, gorgeous, ultra-simple recipes:

  • Smoky Date Sweet Potato Fritters - light, smoky puffs that work equally well as a pre-meal snack or an unusual side dish
  • Cherry Chipotle Roast Turkey - an easy, flavorful roast turkey lacquered with Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup
  • Spiced Fig Glazed Ham - one spiral-cut ham plus one bottle of Spiced Fig Not Ketchup equals one fantastic centerpiece for your holiday meal
  • Blueberry White Pepper Stuffing Muffins - single-serving cornbread dressing studded with dried blueberries and drizzled with Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • Smoky Date Brussels Sprouts - with bacon, slivered dates, pistachios and Smoky Date Not Ketchup, these are Brussels sprouts even a vegetable hater will adore
  • Cherry Chipotle Turkey Tostadas - leftover turkey turned into a post-holiday lunch

I hope you enjoy this free ebook as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I'm already making notes for next year's edition!

Click here to download the Not Ketchup Holiday Recipe eBook

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Falafel stuffed mushrooms and the joy of unexpected visitors

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Falafel stuffed mushrooms from In Erika's Kitchen

We live in a drop-in house.

I know some people hate drop-in visits. I love them. They remind me of college, four happy years of back-to-back unexpected visitors.

It helps that I'm not embarrassed by the mess that is my house. I assume friends will understand the Not Ketchup chaos. I'll clean up when I'm a millionaire.

This past Saturday morning our friends G and N popped in during their morning walk around the neighborhood. We chatted over coffee and pomegranates until I had to rush out to a meeting. What would I have done with that half-hour had they not stopped by? Nothing as interesting as visiting with them, I'm sure.

My neighbor S comes by with her toddlers, too. The last time they came down to my office, unfortunately, I was on a call and couldn't stop to play. But most of the time I am delighted for a few minutes of kid time.

I feed people when they drop in. These falafel stuffed mushrooms are the perfect snack for drop-in visitors: They're easy, quick, healthy and delicious.

Note: Look for prepared falafel mix in the ethnic section of major grocery stores or in Middle Eastern markets. The recipe states 55 minutes total, but the first half hour is mostly waiting for the falafel mix to be ready to scoop and the rest is baking time, so you have plenty of time to visit with your guests.

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Falafel stuffed mushrooms
This vegan snack is easy, fast, healthy and delicious. Using boxed falafel mix makes preparation even quicker.
  • 1 cup boxed prepared falafel mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 12 large white mushrooms
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tahini (prepared, from the jar; optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.In a small mixing bowl, combine the falafel mix and water. Stir to combine, then let rest at room temperature 30-60 minutes.While the falafel mixture is resting, wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Pat the mushroom caps dry with paper towels.Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into a baking dish and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the mushrooms to the dish and turn them over with your hands, making sure the mushrooms are coated with the oil. Sprinkle the mushroom caps with salt.Using a small spoon, scoop out about 1 Tablespoon of the falafel mixture and mound it into a mushroom cap, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon or your fingers. Repeat with the remaining falafel mixture and mushroom caps. Drizzle the remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil over the tops of the stuffed mushrooms.Bake the mushrooms about 25 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the falafel is cooked through and golden brown on top. Drizzle with the tahini if desired and serve warm.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A giveaway from the Women Food Entrepreneurs

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When I started Not Ketchup at the beginning of this year, I never imagined I would find so many creative, generous people willing to help me on my entrepreneurial journey.

I've been lucky to fall in with a group of other women building natural food businesses. We call ourselves the Women Food Entrepreneurs and we "meet" in a private group on Facebook. Over the past few months we've shared failures and successes, cheered each other on, and (most important) traded practical business information about everything from packaging to vendors to product development to sales.

Keep an eye on us. We are going to be a Very Big Deal.

This week, to celebrate the kids being back in school and the end of summer and the beginning of every food business's incredibly intense holiday season, we're doing a joint giveaway. Enter below for a chance to taste all my fellow Women Food Entrepreneurs' products:

Good luck and thanks for supporting us!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to dress up rotisserie chicken, and big news about Not Ketchup

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Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauce at Sam's Club Fountain Valley with CEO Erika Kerekes
Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup on the floor at Sam's Club - yes, that's right, Sam's Club

I haven't had a lot of time to cook lately, and the photo above is one reason why.

This summer has been all about Not Ketchup, my new food business. While my kids were away at camp, I made cold calls, met with new retailers, spoke at a conference, did store demos, and generally ran around trying to get Not Ketchup into the hands and mouths of food lovers around the country.

Last week marked a big day for Not Ketchup: After half a year of negotiating and paperwork, Sam's Club in Fountain Valley, about 45 minutes south of my home, started selling a two-pack of Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup. I went down there to offer samples to Sam's Club members a few days ago and the response was great, from both customers and the people who work there. I was nervous but the day went really well. And I can't tell you how proud I was to see my product featured in the food section next to brands that have been around for decades.

Rotisserie chicken glazed with Not Ketchup fruit ketchup sauce
Store-bought rotisserie chicken gets a glam makeover with a Not Ketchup glaze

Ironically, the more involved I get in building my food business, the less time I spend in the kitchen. One of my favorite shortcuts is to pick up a store-bought rotisserie chicken and glam it up with Not Ketchup. Two minutes of work, 10 minutes in the oven, and you end up with a delicious, juicy bird glazed with a tangy, fruity sauce. Serve a little more Not Ketchup on the side for dipping, throw together a salad or steam some vegetables, and dinner is done.

I promise to get back to a more normal blogging schedule with real recipes soon...someday...well, if I'm being honest, probably not that soon. Que sera, sera. Apologies and thanks for bearing with me.

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Rotisserie Chicken with Not Ketchup
Dress up a store-bought rotisserie chicken by brushing it with any flavor of Not Ketchup fruit "ketchup" sauce. Two minutes of work, 10 minutes in the oven, and dinner is ready.
  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup Not Ketchup sauce, any flavor, plus more for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.Put the rotisserie chicken in a baking dish. Pour the Not Ketchup over the chicken and spread into all the crevices with your hands or the back of a spoon.Warm the chicken in the oven 10-15 minutes, until the Not Ketchup glaze is bubbling and looks glossy and sticky. Take the chicken out of the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately with more Not Ketchup on the side for dipping.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Erika's ultimate chicken burger, no grill required

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I know you're supposed to grill burgers.

But for chicken burgers - even when the ground chicken mixture includes plenty of dark meat - I find the grill too aggressive. There's nothing worse than a dry chicken burger. And that's what I get when I cook chicken burgers on the grill.

My favorite chicken burger is moist, well seasoned, studded with chopped green onions, and cooked in a skillet on the stove. Three ingredients, not counting the bun, the garnish, and the sauce. You'll have dinner on the table in less than half an hour.

About the sauce: My favorite for chicken burgers is Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup. The combination of sweet, tangy, peppery and savory brings a lot of zest to the delicate chicken. In fact, when I was first working on the recipes for my Not Ketchup sauces, I tested the blueberry prototype on chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken tenders, and roast chicken. Blueberries and chicken...who knew?

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Erika's Ultimate Chicken Burger
A moist chicken burger that's well seasoned, studded with green onions, and served with Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup.
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 burger buns or rolls
  • 1 cup Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • 2 cups baby lettuce mix or arugula
In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken, green onions, and garlic salt with your hands until well combined. Divide the chicken mixture into four equal parts, then shape into four patties.Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then place the chicken burgers in the pan. Cook about 10 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook until the burgers are cooked all the way through, about 8 minutes more. Put the burgers on a plate, cover with foil, and let rest 5 minutes.To serve, spread some Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup on the bottom half of each bun and place a chicken burger on it. Drizzle with more Not Ketchup, add a handful of lettuce or arugula to each burger, and place the other half of each bun on top. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Not Ketchup fruit ketchup #giveaway to celebrate the Not Ketchup Tour O' Texas

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I just flew back from the Not Ketchup Tour O' Texas, and boy, are my arms tired.

{ba-dum bum}

Seriously though...my arms are tired. As are my legs, my feet, my back, and my brain.

My 12-year-old son and I went to Texas to demo Not Ketchup, my new line of artisan fruit ketchups, at all nine Central Market gourmet superstores. Nine stores in five cities in 12 days. At each six-hour demo, we gave out between 500 and 800 samples.

I'm not great at math, but I'm pretty sure that adds up to four aching feet, 12 hours of staring into space and babbling incoherently, and three or four well-deserved naps this coming weekend.

The trip was a huge success. Central Market's customers loved Not Ketchup and bought a ton of it. My son Weston was the best sales associate ever - he charmed the pants off every customer we met. We got comments on Facebook from Central Market customers like this:

And this:

Now we're home and I'm catching up on client work, Not Ketchup work, and blogging. While I'm getting some great new recipes ready for you, I thought I'd share the Not Ketchup love with a little giveaway. There are a bunch of ways to enter - see the entry form below.

The lucky winner gets:

  • A Not Ketchup 4-Pack Sampler, including one bottle each of Cherry Chipotle, Smoky Date, Blueberry White Pepper and Spiced Fig Not Ketchup (retail value $36)
  • A Not Ketchup t-shirt (the same one the kids are wearing in the photo above, size XL)
  • A nifty Not Ketchup squeeze bottle, good for squirting Not Ketchup decoratively onto your burgers, steak, chicken, sandwiches, sausages, cheese plates and more
Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pulled pork baked taquitos

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If it were January, I'd be making some New Year's resolutions.

Work less. Pay more attention to the kids. Stop multitasking. Breathe. Exercise. Cook dinner. Blog more!

But it's June. I can't work less or important things won't get done. My kids are busy themselves, thank goodness, too busy to realize just how distracted I've been. Multitasking feels essential. I'm breathing and occasionally exercising. Cooking dinner? A few times a week, better than nothing.

But hey, at least I'm here writing this post.

On Memorial Day, for the first time in months, we had friends over for dinner. I made pulled pork and (of course) served it with a Not Ketchup bar. Guess what? All four flavors taste great when mixed with slow-cooked shredded pork shoulder. My favorite for pulled pork is Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup, with Spiced Fig Not Ketchup a close second. Blueberry Not Ketchup always has its fans. And Smoky Date Not Ketchup is a good all-around choice too, especially for kids who might not like the spices in the other flavors.

The next day I mixed the leftover pulled pork with shredded Mexican blend cheese and rolled it up in flour tortillas, then baked them until crispy. It was one of those forehead-smacking moments: Why haven't I ever thought to do this before? They were tasty and so much fun to eat - especially when we dipped them into guacamole and more Not Ketchup.

Of course, you can put just about anything inside a tortilla and roll it up. Beans, cooked vegetables, leftover rice, chopped rotisserie chicken. Just mix it with some shredded cheese before rolling and baking. And serve a delicious dip on the side.

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Pulled pork baked taquitos
Mix pulled pork with shredded cheese, roll it up in flour tortillas, and bake in the oven until crispy. Serve with a fun dip on the side, like guacamole, salsa, or Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.In a medium-sized mixing bowl, blend the pulled pork with the shredded cheese with a large spoon.Lay one tortilla on a cutting board and spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling lengthwise on the bottom third of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up tightly around the filling. Lay the taquito on the baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.Bake the taquitos until golden brown and crisp, 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately with guacamole and Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup on the side.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 taquitos

Monday, May 5, 2014

Arianna Trading Company organic tomatoes: A "good news, bad news" story

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GOOD NEWS: Last week I got to see my friend George Menzelos of Arianna Trading Company. George has been importing the most beautiful single-estate organic olive oil from Greece for a few years now, and this year he's also bringing in organic tomatoes, currants, and a sesame herb salt. George left me samples of all his products to inspire my cooking and, we hoped, a blog post or two.

BAD NEWS: After George's visit, I got buried in work, both for a new client and for Not Ketchup. A few days after I saw George, I was stuck in my home office until after 10pm. I didn't even have time to make dinner for my family.

GOOD NEWS: My 15-year-old son Emery decided to make dinner. He cooked up penne pasta with a rich tomato meat sauce. Emery even brought a bowl down to the office for me.

GOOD NEWS: That was the most delicious bowl of pasta I've ever eaten - not only because my child made it for me (what mother could resist the charms of that?) but because the tomato sauce was sweet, thick, and intense.

BAD NEWS: A few hours later I realized that I might have heard Emery say something like "I decided to make pasta because you had all these tomato products." I went to the refrigerator. George's tomatoes were gone. And on the drying rack I found this:

BAD NEWS: I hadn't taken any pictures and we'd eaten all the pasta. Hard to write a blog post without pictures.

GOOD NEWS: I found some leftover sauce in the refrigerator, so I photographed that instead. It was so delicious that I ate it the next day straight from the plastic container with a spoon. Cold.

GOOD NEWS: See the line above about "the most delicious bowl of pasta I've ever eaten."

Arianna's organic strained tomatoes will be available very soon - and when they are, I suggest you run right out and get some (keep an eye on the Arianna website to find out where to buy them). Here's what George says about his organic strained tomatoes:
Our organic heirloom tomatoes are hand-picked ripe from the vine, then peeled, seeded, and strained by mechanical means in an allergan-free facility. These GMO-free "true breed" tomatoes have been cultivated by the Gousiaris family in the village of Ilias in central Greece for over 100 years. It takes 5 kilos of tomatoes to produce about 1 kilo of our strained tomatoes, which are pasteurized in the jar the old-fashioned way. They are tomatoes your grandmother would love.
CONCLUSION: Emery's pasta was indeed a happy accident. I'm thrilled that I'm no longer the only cook in the family, but clearly I need to get better about labeling the food in the refrigerator if I need to keep it for blogging!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Passover matzoh kugel with bananas and chocolate chips

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I can't seem to escape the combination of bananas and chocolate. Not even at Passover.

Then again - why would I want to?

Banana chocolate chip bread pudding is a favorite in our house. (By the way, there's a reason I named it Better Than Make-Up Sex Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. Because it is.)

The matzoh left over from last night's Passover seder got me thinking: Could I make a Passover dessert with bananas and chocolate chips?

Here you go. You can thank me later.

P.S. I made this version dairy, but if you wante a pareve dessert kugel to serve after your seder meal, substitute coconut milk or almond milk for the half-and-half.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Passover Matzoh Kugel
Just like our favorite banana chocolate chip bread pudding - but made with matzoh for Passover. This delicious Passover dessert will get you through a week without bread with no problem at all.
  • 4 squares matzoh
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • whipped cream (optional)
In a large bowl, crush the matzoh into little pieces with your fingers. Warm the half-and-half in a measuring cup in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove until hot but not boiling. Pour over the matzoh pieces. Let sit 30 minutes.To the bowl, add the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the bananas, either slicing them or crushing them with your fingers as you put them in the bowl. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir again.Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.Spray a medium-sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the matzoh mixture and smooth the top. Let sit in the pan another 15 minutes.Bake the matzoh kugel for 45 minutes, until the edges and top are golden brown and the center is set. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if you like.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

California Sunshine breakfast sandwich with pesto and peppers

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For many years I made my boys a hot breakfast every single day.

But as they've gotten older and I've gotten busier, I've left them to their own devices in the mornings more and more.

They're pretty self-sufficient on school days. Neither kid loves cereal, but between leftovers, toast, smoked salmon (the elder), Nutella (the younger), and the Keurig, they do pretty well.

One morning not long ago, I saw my older son rummaging dejectedly through the refrigerator and took pity on him. While he got his stuff together, I threw together a quick open-faced breakfast sandwich: a Stonefire Mediterranean Pocket Pita with pesto, a fried egg, and a quick saute of colored bell peppers. It tasted great and looked even better.

Every time I see this photo it reminds me of mornings in our Santa Monica kitchen: sunny, bright, warm, and cheerful, with a pure golden light that slants in through the southeast windows. Thus the name: California Sunshine Breakfast Sandwich. May it bring sunlight and warmth to all of your kitchens too.

Disclosure: Stonefire sent me their flatbreads to try. I have to tell you - they're fantastic. The pita bread is soft, pillowy, with just the right amount of chew, and it's not dry at all. We also enjoyed the naan and pizza crust, but the pita was the hands-down winner. Other than the free bread, for which my family was very grateful, I got no compensation for this post. We ate the samples faster than I could photograph them. Luckily, Stonefire pita is now available at my local Costco, and possibly at yours too. 

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California Sunshine Breakfast Sandwich
Pesto, a fried egg, and sauteed tri-color bell peppers top a soft pita bread for this delicious breakfast sandwich that looks like California sunshine.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mixed color bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 pita bread round
  • 1 Tablespoon basil pesto sauce
  • 1 egg
  • chives, for garnish
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers; cook until wilted and starting to brown around the edges, 3-4 minutes. Put the pepper mixture on a plate.While the peppers are cooking, put the pita in the toaster. Toast until warm and soft. Spread the pita with the pesto sauce.In the same skillet in which you cooked the peppers, crack the egg. Fry the egg until it is done to your liking.To assemble the sandwich, slide the fried egg onto the pita and top with the pepper mixture. Garnish with the chives and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 sandwich

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blueberry Not Ketchup lamb chops

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Lamb chops take a bath in Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
Photo: Karen Ard/ FarmToTableLA.com

How do you like your lamb chops? I always want a little sweetness with my lamb, but I've never understood mint jelly. It always makes me think of toothpaste - definitely not what I want with a nice meaty lamb chop.

Lately I've been pairing lamb chops with Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup. Lamb with blueberries may seem unexpected, but trust me: It's a winning combination. The Not Ketchup has plenty of tang (that's the apple cider vinegar, plus the natural acids in the blueberries), which cuts neatly through the fatty mouthfeel of the lamb. And the dusky warmth of the white pepper finishes each bite with a little assertive pinch.

You can use either lamb loin chops or lamb rib chops. Either way, the method is the same: Salt and pepper the meat, brown it on the stove in an ovenproof skillet, brush on a healthy layer of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup, and stick it in the oven to finish cooking. It's a quick, elegant dinner your family and friends will learn to crave.

Learn more about Not Ketchup, my new line of gourmet fruit ketchups, and order online at http://www.notketchup.com. Thanks to fellow food blogger and pro photographer Karen Ard of FarmToTableLA.com for the amazing photos in this post.

Photo: Karen Ard/FarmToTableLA.com

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Blueberry Not Ketchup lamb chops
Seared lamb chops take a bath in tangy Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup, then finish cooking in a hot oven. A quick, easy and elegant main course for your next family meal or dinner party.
  • 8 lamb loin or lamb rib chops
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup, plus more for serving
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Heat a large ovenproof skillet over med-high heat until very hot. Season both sides of lamb chops generously with salt and pepper.Add the oil to the hot skillet and add the lamb chops, with space between. Brown without disturbing for 4 minutes. Turn and brown the other side for 4 more minutes.Remove the skillet from the heat. Using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush, liberally coat the chops with Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. The chops should be cooked through but still slightly pink inside. Note: Lamb rib chops will probably take less time depending on how thickly they're cut, so use your judgment.To serve, remove the chops to a serving plate, spoon a little more Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup over each chop, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sausage sauerkraut pancakes with Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Jimmy Dean, and I am being compensated for creating this recipe. The sauerkraut obsession, however, is mine - for now. I'm warning you, the combination of sausage and sauerkraut may be contagious and highly addictive.

I am obsessed with making sauerkraut.

Do you know how easy it is to make homemade sauerkraut? Cabbage. Salt. Pressure. Time. That's it.

Whether homemade or store-bought, sauerkraut is good, and, many believe, good for you. Google "health benefits fermented foods" and you'll see a long list of articles suggesting that eating naturally fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut help the digestive and immune systems. (Take a look at this method if you're interested in making your own, although store-bought works perfectly well in this recipe.)

When the nice people at Jimmy Dean asked if I'd be interested in trying their new Sausage Crumbles, my mind went immediately to the perfect combination: sausage and sauerkraut. The spices in the sausage play off the acidic tang of the fermented cabbage. (Think of sauerkraut on a hot dog or a grilled link sausage.)

I've always loved savory pancakes and was inspired by a picture of sauerkraut pancakes from Bon Appetit. I chose Jimmy Dean's Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles for this recipe, but you could easily use their other varieties: Hearty Original Sausage Crumbles or Hearty Hot & Spicy Sausage Crumbles. They're sold in the refrigerated section of major supermarkets and I found them extremely flavorful and easy to use - you get to skip the extra step of browning the meat, and there's no messy fat to drain.

Serve these sausage sauerkraut pancakes as a light lunch or dinner. I ate them for breakfast, but that's me. Oh, and that sauce drizzled on top? Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup, one of my new fruit ketchups, of course. Not too sweet, a little spicy, lots of tang - it matched the flavors of the sausage and sauerkraut perfectly.

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Sausage Sauerkraut Pancakes
Savory pancakes studded with chunks of Jimmy Dean fully cooked Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles and loaded with tangy fermented sauerkraut. Making your own sauerkraut is easy, but store-bought sauerkraut works fine in this recipe.
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, liquid drained, tightly packed before measuring (homemade or jarred)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose baking mix (I use Bisquick)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 bag Jimmy Dean Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles (9.6 ounces)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, for frying (use more as needed)
  • Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup, for serving
Put the sauerkraut in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Let drain, then squeeze the sauerkraut to get out as much of the excess liquid as possible. To a large bowl, add the sauerkraut and eggs. Whisk lightly with a fork to break up the eggs. Add the baking mix and milk and mix again until everything is combined. Stir in the Jimmy Dean Hearty Turkey Sausage Crumbles, then season the mixture generously with freshly ground black pepper.Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil, then spoon 4 pancakes into the skillet, using about 3 Tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Cook until golden brown, then turn the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the second side. Remove the cooked pancakes to a plate, or to a rack set over a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining oil and pancake batter until all the pancakes are made.Serve warm with Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: about 16 4-inch pancakes
#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Jimmy Dean. This could include Jimmy Dean providing us with content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup tofu steaks

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The men in my household probably could live on meat alone. But sometimes I need a lighter option and a meat-free meal. They go out for burgers. I eat tofu.

I love a good tofu steak. Searing the tofu gets it crispy on the outside, but the interior stays nice and creamy. But you still need some flavor - which is where the Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup came in. Sweet, tangy and just a little spicy, the Not Ketchup proved the perfect sauce for my seared tofu steaks.

Serve these with brown rice, farro, quinoa, or another healthy grain for a hearty, delicious vegetarian meal.

Want to know more about Not Ketchup, my new line of gourmet fruit ketchups? Click here

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Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup Tofu Steaks
Seared tofu steaks take a bath in Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup in this sweet, tangy, slightly spicy vegetarian entree. Don't worry about the exact size of your tofu blocks - as long as they're the right thickness, it doesn't matter how big they are.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Cut the tofu in half horizontally, so you have 4 pieces, each of which is approximately 4"x4"x1". Put several layers of paper towels on a cutting board and lay the tofu squares on top in a single layer. Cover with more paper towels, then put a sheet pan or another cutting board on top. Weight down the top of the pile with a large can of tomatoes or beans. (This will help draw some of the extra water out of the tofu.) Leave to drain for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then lay the tofu steaks in the pan. Cook without moving the tofu for about 2 minutes, until the underside is golden brown and crusty.Flip the tofu steaks and pour over the Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup, spreading the Not Ketchup with the back of a spoon so the tofu steaks are completely covered. Put the skillet in the oven and bake 15 minutes.Remove the tofu steaks from the oven. Serve hot with additional Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup if desired.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings