Seen on Sunday morning: March 16th

March 28, 2008 9:40:39 AM PDT
ROAD TEST SAUCES, EMPOWERING YOUR HEALTH, MASTER SWISS CHOCOLATE, ST PATRICK'S DISH and EASTER BASKETS-----ROAD TEST SAUCES-----

When you need that extra little kick to enjoy your next meal, we have some sauces for you. Staffers from Real Simple magazine sampled 101 varieties of sauces and found just a few that taste as if they were made from scratch.

Joining us this morning with those at the top of the list is Julee Wilson, an editor with Real Simple Magazine.

JUST WHAT IS A REAL SIMPLE ROAD TEST?
It's a process in which real people try real products in real situations (think kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms-without a lab coat in sight). The result? Recommended products that satisfy the testers and, most important, you.

Saucy Little Things: When that ho-hum fillet cries out for something special but you're too rushed to get creative in the kitchen, try a premade cooking sauce. Just brown the meat and simmer. Real Simple staffers sampled 101 varieties (more than half of them Indian-inspired) and found eight that taste as if they were made from scratch. Go ahead and pour it on thick.

1) Best cacciatore - GOOD CLEAN FOOD CACCIATORE
Cacciatore is Italian for "hunter" - so this sauce is a little more rustic. Tasters gushed that this classic, chock-full of onions, yellow peppers, herbs, and chunky mushrooms, had "the perfect balance of spiciness and sweetness." The fresh tomato flavor "would be killer with turkey meatballs," said a fan. Try simmering it with browned chicken or baking it in pasta. Look for this sauce in a refrigerator case.
TO BUY: $7 for 12.5 ounces.

2) Best braising sauce - WILLIAMS-SONOMA IRISH STOUT BRAISING BASE
Stout-a very dark, full-bodied beer-gives this blend its unique, slightly tangy kick. "Superb," said one tester of the pricey-but-worth-it mix. "It has a nice zing." Try using it to bake lamb shanks, brisket, or short ribs-or as a base for beef stew.
TO BUY: $16 for 24.5 ounces.

3) Best ginger sauce - THE GINGER PEOPLE GINGER LIME MARINADE & COOKING SAUCE
This potent mixture, made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lime juice, and a hint of chili pepper, reminded one tester of "a great Asian barbecue sauce. I'd sear some salmon, shrimp, or pork, add the sauce, and let it simmer." Or just use it as a dip for spring rolls.
TO BUY: $5 for 12.7 ounces.

4) Best tomato-based curry - GEETA'S MUMBAI
This spicy tamarind-spiked sauce was a hit with testers. "The amazing tomato flavor comes at you right away, followed by coriander, curry, and cumin," one enthused. "And the hearty texture is great." Simmer it with browned meat or fish, then add vegetables toward the end. Stir in yogurt at the table if you want a milder sauce.
TO BUY: $4.50 for 12.2 ounces.

5) Best coconut curry - MAYA KAIMAL TAMARIND COCONUT CURRY
The "mildly spicy flavor" of this South Indian sauce was universally adored. Seasoned with tart tamarind juice, it is a savory match for shrimp, chicken, or vegetables. "The coconut tasted smoky and was oddly comforting," said one admirer. "The curry packed a small punch at the end." Look for it in a refrigerator case.
TO BUY: $12.50 for 16 ounces.

6) Best korma - TIGER TIGER KASHMIRI MILD KORMA
Almost everyone loved this "extra-rich" mild curry. And no wonder: The thick blend is made with not only coconut milk but also creamed coconut and double cream. (Whoa!) Ginger, onions, and red chilies add just enough spark to temper the sauce's natural sweetness. Pair it with lamb, pork, or beef if you're tired of chicken. Try browning the meat first.
TO BUY: $5 for 14.8 ounces.

For more information, go to www.realsimple.com

-----MASTER SWISS CHOCOLATE-----

With Easter a week away, folks in our area are already thinking about how to fill their Easter basket. You've already seen those chocolate bunnies in your local stores, but not all chocolate is equal.

Here with some tips is Ann Czaja, Lindt master Swiss chocolatier.

First of all, what is a Master Swiss Chocolatier?
A Lindt Master Swiss Chocolatier is an expert in the art of chocolate.

  • All of Lindt's Master Swiss Chocolatiers are European-trained in rigorous programs that take several years to complete. We bring the passion for gourmet chocolate to life.
  • My role as a Lindt Master Swiss Chocolatier is to educate consumers about tasting and identifying premium chocolate and develop and test new recipe and product innovations.

    There are so many chocolate and candy choices available at Easter. What makes fine chocolate a good choice?
    American palates are becoming more sophisticated and people are looking for higher-quality chocolate products - Easter chocolate is no exception.

  • Iconic favorites like the beautiful foil-wrapped bunnies, eggs and spring figures are a popular and classic selection year after year.
  • Your friends and family deserve the best!

    What are your tips for infusing chocolate into spring and Easter traditions?
    There are many ways to add an elegant touch to your Easter traditions with fine chocolate.

  • Start your own family tradition with an annual Easter Egg Hunt. Incorporating premium chocolate will make the experience memorable and deliciously rewarding. In fact, we're hosting a Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt for children at The Palace Hotel in NYC on Saturday, March 22nd.
  • Or, design your Easter basket with premium flare this year, from the basket, to the grass filling, to the finest chocolate bunny and eggs inside.

    What is the one must-have treat in an Easter basket?
    When selecting treats for an Easter basket, the key is to choose the very best chocolate for your loved ones. The best and most anticipated treat in an Easter basket is the chocolate bunny - no basket is complete without one.

    Many families are also planning weekend celebrations and brunches. What chocolate tips can you offer?
    For your Easter or springtime brunch, incorporate premium chocolate into your favorite recipe or dessert for a premium flare. You don't have to spend a lot of time creating a complicated dessert to impress guests. The success of any chocolate recipe depends on the ingredients.

  • You can elevate your Easter and spring celebrations with playful centerpieces and place settings that are also delicious

    Can you tell us about the different kinds of chocolate?
    There are many delicious variations of chocolate.

  • Milk chocolate is the type that everyone knows and loves - it is a mixture of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and milk.
  • White chocolate is also a popular favorite, but it is technically not a chocolate because it does not contain cocoa solids.
  • Dark chocolate is becoming increasingly popular here in the US. Premium dark chocolate is for those who truly appreciate fine craftsmanship - dark chocolate has cocoa liquor content of 35% or higher. With dark chocolate, I would recommend you progressively work your way up to higher content bars; there are 70% bars, 85% bars, even 99% bars.

    For more information, go to www.lindtgoldbunny.com

    -----ST PATRICK'S DISH-----

    We're less than 24 hours away from St. Patrick's Day and the luck of the Irish. Joining us this morning with a "magically delicious" easy Irish recipe is Chef Phil Andriano of chefs diet.

    "Magically Delicious"

    Corned Beef Cabbage and Boiled Potatoes with Horseradish Cream

    Protein: 4 Slices Lean Corn Beef (1 oz each) (Cooked)

    Carbohydrate:

  • 1 cp. Chopped Green Cabbage
  • 1 cp. Red Bliss Potatoes (Lg. Dice)
  • 1 cp. Beef Broth
  • 1/2 cp. Baby Carrots
  • 1/2 cp. Onions (Lg. Dice)
  • 1/2 tsp. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated Horseradish

    Fat: 1 Tbsp. Sour Cream

    Method:

  • Cook the potatoes, onions, carrots and caraway seeds in the beef broth until all is tender. Add the cooked corned beef slices.
  • Combine the sour cream and horseradish to make dressing.
  • Serve Horseradish Dressing on the side.
  • Yield 1 Serving

    For more information, go to www.chefsdiet.com

    -----EASTER BASKETS-----

    The tradition of sending Easter baskets to loved ones goes back a long way, just a reminder, easter is next week.

    Joining us this morning with ideas for baskets for both children and adults is lifestyle expert Mar Jennings, author of "Life on Mar's."

    Eco-friendly Easter Baskets Plastic pail and shovel set Picnic basket Canvas bag Shredded paper for basket grass rather than plastic A watering can, plant, and seeds to start a garden Cardboard egg carton for coloring eggs

    Items for Kid's Baskets (using the plastic pail and shovel set) A fun toothbrush Beatrix Potter books A stuffed animal Math flash cards Fun stickers A watercolor set Legos

    Items for Adult / Tween (using picnic basket and canvas bag) Grocery store gift cards Blank note cards Specialty Coffees & Teas Subscriptions to a paper or magazine Gum Starbucks gift card Scented candles (must be naturally scented) Journal

    For more information, go to www.marjennings.com.


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