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It’s hot, hot, hot. The new big thing. Trendy.
It was all over the Fancy Food Show last month.
What am I talking about?
Smoked food.
Smoked cheese, smoked meat, all sorts of jerky (dried smoked meat). Smoked caramel chocolates. Smoked vegetables. Even smoked sea salt.
I don’t like any of it.
Okay, maybe the smoked salt is good. And it’s true, I use a smoked turkey neck or wing when I make split pea soup.
But I really really dislike smoked mozzarella, liquid smoke-infused barbecue sauce, smoked turkey breast. Don’t give me smoked brisket or smoked pecan ice cream. Please, please NO smoked pizza. I don’t even like Lapsang Souchong Tea.
And yet — 
Smoked Salmon is another whole thing. Gaspe Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon to be specific. The fancier stuff — Scottish, Irish, Norwegian and so on — is too dry and smoky for my tastes.
Give me Gaspe Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon. Soft, moist, glossy slices over a crispy potato pancake. Chopped and mixed with seasonings for Smoked Salmon Tartare. Pureed into Smoked Salmon Pate. Smeared with cream cheese and wrapped around asparagus as a quickie hors d’ouevre.
Or as a component of tea sandwiches, for some of the simplest, easiest party food nibbles there are. You can make these in minutes (okay, you will need some egg salad for starters). I don’t buy the expensive sliced salmon for these — the much cheaper “ends,” which many stores sell, is just fine.

Smoked Salmon and Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

16 slices loaf type bread (whole wheat, multigrain, white)
1 cup egg salad
1 cup finely chopped smoked salmon
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or dill, or 1/2 cup each

Place 8 slices of bread on a board and spread about 2 tablespoons of egg salad on each slice, evenly covering the entire surface up to the crust. Top each egg salad layer with chopped smoked salmon, using about 2 tablespoons for each piece. Spread half the mayonnaise on the remaining 8 slices of bread. Place these slices on top of the smoked salmon, press down lightly. Trim the crusts. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally, then cut each half in half diagonally. Use the remaining mayonnaise to spread on the cut surfaces of each triangle sandwich. Press the edges into the chopped herb to garnish the edges.
Makes 32 pieces

Here’s how I make egg salad: 3 large hard-cooked eggs — peel and grate into a bowl. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise, a small amount of Dijon mustard (optional) and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Makes one cup)


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It’s hot, hot, hot. The new big thing. Trendy.

It was all over the Fancy Food Show last month.

What am I talking about?

Smoked food.

Smoked cheese, smoked meat, all sorts of jerky (dried smoked meat). Smoked caramel chocolates. Smoked vegetables. Even smoked sea salt.

I don’t like any of it.

Okay, maybe the smoked salt is good. And it’s true, I use a smoked turkey neck or wing when I make split pea soup.

But I really really dislike smoked mozzarella, liquid smoke-infused barbecue sauce, smoked turkey breast. Don’t give me smoked brisket or smoked pecan ice cream. Please, please NO smoked pizza. I don’t even like Lapsang Souchong Tea.

And yet —

Smoked Salmon is another whole thing. Gaspe Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon to be specific. The fancier stuff — Scottish, Irish, Norwegian and so on — is too dry and smoky for my tastes.

Give me Gaspe Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon. Soft, moist, glossy slices over a crispy potato pancake. Chopped and mixed with seasonings for Smoked Salmon Tartare. Pureed into Smoked Salmon Pate. Smeared with cream cheese and wrapped around asparagus as a quickie hors d’ouevre.

Or as a component of tea sandwiches, for some of the simplest, easiest party food nibbles there are. You can make these in minutes (okay, you will need some egg salad for starters). I don’t buy the expensive sliced salmon for these — the much cheaper “ends,” which many stores sell, is just fine.

Smoked Salmon and Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

16 slices loaf type bread (whole wheat, multigrain, white)

1 cup egg salad

1 cup finely chopped smoked salmon

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or dill, or 1/2 cup each

Place 8 slices of bread on a board and spread about 2 tablespoons of egg salad on each slice, evenly covering the entire surface up to the crust. Top each egg salad layer with chopped smoked salmon, using about 2 tablespoons for each piece. Spread half the mayonnaise on the remaining 8 slices of bread. Place these slices on top of the smoked salmon, press down lightly. Trim the crusts. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally, then cut each half in half diagonally. Use the remaining mayonnaise to spread on the cut surfaces of each triangle sandwich. Press the edges into the chopped herb to garnish the edges.

Makes 32 pieces

Here’s how I make egg salad: 3 large hard-cooked eggs — peel and grate into a bowl. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise, a small amount of Dijon mustard (optional) and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Makes one cup)

A few days ago I posted a recipe for gluten free blueberry muffins made with almond flour and oat bran.
But a gluten free diet is not for everyone, so if you’re like me and can’t resist the tons of blueberries available now and buy them by the six-pack as I do, and you also love blueberry muffins in the summer when the berries are so fat and sweet, here’s a really simple recipe for traditional blueberry muffins.
These are plain, vanilla-y flavored. You can add a teaspoon of grated fresh lemon peel or orange peel for a more citrusy taste. You can also add a half cupful of chopped nuts.

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups. Melt the butter and set it aside. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine the yogurt, egg and vanilla extract and blend them thoroughly. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just to bend ingredients. Fold in the blueberries. Drop into the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Makes 10

A few days ago I posted a recipe for gluten free blueberry muffins made with almond flour and oat bran.

But a gluten free diet is not for everyone, so if you’re like me and can’t resist the tons of blueberries available now and buy them by the six-pack as I do, and you also love blueberry muffins in the summer when the berries are so fat and sweet, here’s a really simple recipe for traditional blueberry muffins.

These are plain, vanilla-y flavored. You can add a teaspoon of grated fresh lemon peel or orange peel for a more citrusy taste. You can also add a half cupful of chopped nuts.

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup plain yogurt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups. Melt the butter and set it aside. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine the yogurt, egg and vanilla extract and blend them thoroughly. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just to bend ingredients. Fold in the blueberries. Drop into the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 10

It’s easy to spot new trends at the Fancy Food Show. The sales pitches are so obvious that it’s almost comical.
This year at the Javits Center it was “Hey, get your gluten-free stuff here!”
There were signs and setups everywhere I looked for everything “gluten-free” — from grains to cereals to, of course, all sorts of cakes, pastries, candies, cookies and even meat products and, not to be forgotten, every kind of chip in the food world: fava bean, quinoa, falafel and so on.
Btw, it’s also easy to notice the lack of once-fashionable-now-has-beens (at least as far as marketing is concerned). This year I only saw one itty-bitty new product with kale!
Only time will tell whether the ingredients and products of the moment will show themselves to be mere fads or enduring and valuable additions to the culinary coffers of our age. I think people will continue to eat kale because it has proven its worth. But we probably won’t see dozens more kale products in the future because our manufacturers have shifted their focus onto current trends. Like gluten-free.
I believe we will see more and more gluten-free products, a boon for people who actually require gluten-free food. Life can be difficult when you have a health problem, so making it easier to mitigate that problem is a good thing. 
I tried out almond flour, which is gluten-free and very tasty, in a couple of recipes and these muffins, which include oat bran too, were among the winning recipes. They’re easy to bake and don’t require xanthan or guar gum to keep them from crumbling apart.


Gluten-Free Oat and Yogurt Muffins
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup almond flour
1 cup oat bran
2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin tin cups. Heat the coconut oil and honey together in a small saucepan for about one minute or until the coconut oil has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside. In a bowl, combine the almond flour, oat bran, orange peel, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well and set aside. Place the yogurt, egg and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add the coconut oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and blend the ingredients thoroughly. Spoon this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and gently combine the ingredients into a batter. Fold in the raisins. Spoon equal amounts of the batter into the muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Makes 10

It’s easy to spot new trends at the Fancy Food Show. The sales pitches are so obvious that it’s almost comical.

This year at the Javits Center it was “Hey, get your gluten-free stuff here!”

There were signs and setups everywhere I looked for everything “gluten-free” — from grains to cereals to, of course, all sorts of cakes, pastries, candies, cookies and even meat products and, not to be forgotten, every kind of chip in the food world: fava bean, quinoa, falafel and so on.

Btw, it’s also easy to notice the lack of once-fashionable-now-has-beens (at least as far as marketing is concerned). This year I only saw one itty-bitty new product with kale!

Only time will tell whether the ingredients and products of the moment will show themselves to be mere fads or enduring and valuable additions to the culinary coffers of our age. I think people will continue to eat kale because it has proven its worth. But we probably won’t see dozens more kale products in the future because our manufacturers have shifted their focus onto current trends. Like gluten-free.

I believe we will see more and more gluten-free products, a boon for people who actually require gluten-free food. Life can be difficult when you have a health problem, so making it easier to mitigate that problem is a good thing. 

I tried out almond flour, which is gluten-free and very tasty, in a couple of recipes and these muffins, which include oat bran too, were among the winning recipes. They’re easy to bake and don’t require xanthan or guar gum to keep them from crumbling apart.

Gluten-Free Oat and Yogurt Muffins

1/4 cup coconut oil

3 tablespoons honey

1 cup almond flour

1 cup oat bran

2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain yogurt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 10 muffin tin cups. Heat the coconut oil and honey together in a small saucepan for about one minute or until the coconut oil has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside. In a bowl, combine the almond flour, oat bran, orange peel, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well and set aside. Place the yogurt, egg and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add the coconut oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and blend the ingredients thoroughly. Spoon this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and gently combine the ingredients into a batter. Fold in the raisins. Spoon equal amounts of the batter into the muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 10