belVita Breakfast Biscuits: Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Honey Oat

Cookies for breakfast! No, your inner nine-year old didn’t mishear you. And we’re not talking about the Hollywood Cookie Diet, either. These are honest-to-goodness cookies…probably the ones your inner child would make a face at, but still. Cookies. You win some, you lose some. Already a hit in the UK, much like One Generation, Nutella, and the Royal Wedding, people are crazy about belVita. Although “belVita fever” does actually sound like some sort of jungle-based disease straight out of Conrad.
Kraft sent these over in the three varieties currently available- apple cinnamon, blueberry, and honey oat. A few logistical issues presented themselves immediately after opening the box. For starters, while the UK is clearly a very educated and clever place in close proximity to France, where the name’s double entendre invokes whimsical thoughts of a “good life.” Here, it just rhymes with Velveeta, an association nobody really wants to have when they think of breakfast or cookies. In the packaging department, while belVita markets itself as an on-the-go supplementary alternative to less healthy foods, it lacks the structural support of a granola bar to just toss in a purse or bag and forget about. Even before we tried transporting these, they were crumbled out of the box and broken in many places. Trying to bring them somewhere would likely reduce these to crumbs.
So, the flavors. Unquestionably, blueberry was our favorite out of the three. It tasted like a buttery cross between a Lorna Doone cookie and a muffin, complete with chewy dehydrated blueberries in each cookie. The combination of the crispy, dense oats and the fruit was delicious and it made a great addition to oatmeal as well as a fine stand-alone snack. Honey oat was more basic and would likely be good in the morning as a bland, easy snack before your taste buds wake up and demand real food. The only one that we really disliked was apple cinnamon. It had a fake, synthetic flavor that seemed more like the aftermath of chewing green apple bubble gum and then eating a cookie than a flavor unto its own. It was far too sweet and had a grittier texture than the rest. All were sweet, but could have used a little more salt to enhance the buttery cookie base.
While I like the concept of belVita- eating a few different things for breakfast to mix up the selection, I don’t think it’s a very healthy way to start the day. Its fiber is really the chief appeal- it adds an extra 280 calories and 8 grams of fat to whatever you eat. Although I’ve never been much of a breakfast person and prefer to nurse a cup of coffee, I still think that this is counterproductive if one is trying to eat better. That being said, one of these made a wonderful topping for my salted molasses oatmeal.

Delicious Eagle Confection Tomato White Chocolate Candies

Unless you’re one of those 75% off candy hounds, you’re probably sick of Valentine’s Day offerings at this point. I’ve never just celebrated Valentine’s Day on its own. I’m pretty sure everyone else is in the same boat where the first two weeks of February basically comprise a slow incline to the grand bash. In the days leading up, I’ve tried to keep my intake light but always fall prey to the special candies and baked goods everyone’s grandma seems to churn out. And you know I’m a sucker for limited edition snacks! So to change up the game, I figure you could all use a break. Here’s a product that will swear you off Valentine’s candy, and all candy, forever.
This is yet another quirky Japanese candy that, like New Girl, pushes and pushes and never knows when to quit in its relentless search for your validation of its quirkiness. Yes, Japan, thank you for the adorable mascots. And the candy equation below detailing exactly how this two-part confection works. Oh, and the brightly colored package. I can deal with that because typically when this happens, the inside product is delightful as well as strange. But this is a new low, Japan.The strangely patriotic Eagle Confection Company, which may or may not actually exist outside of this package, brings us this creepy combination of tomatoes and white chocolate today in a fit of amateur science pairing the “harmony of sweet and sour tomato and white chocolate” per the package’s explanation. And yes, just in case you looked at the large tomato in chocolate on the package and thought, “I bet this is actually gooseberries in ranch dressing!” there are not one, and nor two, but four different representations of this combination on the front of the package, including but not limited to a soothing tomato pattern that could just as easily double as a Windows 7 default background. Did I mention these were found in a subway station?
Out of the bag, they look relatively innocuous, like something you’d buy on etsy from some homemaker in Indiana. To their credit, they look exactly as they are presented on the bag. However, in actuality, they are some of the strangest, least appealing things I have consumed in the history of this blog. They have a cloying scent that tricks the brain into thinking they’re actually sweet, but the low quality of the white chocolate and the tomatoes inside display a disappointing savory flavor with a salty, jammy aftertaste and a lingering fishiness on the tongue. They taste like chalk, salt, flour, and soy sauce, in that order. The coating crumbles easily and doesn’t melt but dissolves, leaving behind a chalky texture difficult to wash away with a glass of water.
While these were certainly different than the standard snacks one would find in the US or even in Japan, they lacked the proper execution of flavors that makes their whackier counterparts so desirable. Eating these was a bit tricky, like accidentally pouring sugar on sundried tomatoes instead of salt, and didn’t feel even remotely pleasurable or fun outside of the novelty of eating chocolate-covered vegetables.

Komforte Chockolates: Savory Ramen and Apple Pie + Graham

Things that go well with chocolate: peanut butter, cookie dough, strawberries, human flesh, spoons, ice cream. Note that neither expensive shirts nor ramen noodles are on that list, yet both seem to come in contact with chocolate, at least in my case, on a regular basis. Featured for your viewing pleasure today is the newest bar from Komforte Chocolates, the company that brought you regular ramen noodle chocolate, tortilla and lime chocolate, French toast chocolate, and the letter K: Savory ramen chocolate bars and apple pie ‘n’ graham chocolate. College students with significant others, eat your goddamned hearts out. It is now appropriate to give your girlfriend ramen noodles as a gift.
Savory ramen is different from regular ramen in that, like you occasionally add a snazzy tie or ascot to your already dashing wardrobe, savory ramen adds soy sauce, onion, and garlic to its noodle-packed bar. Okay, maybe “snazzy” isn’t the right comparison. Eating this bar is more like wearing a pilled, smelly Christmas sweater to a black tie charity ball. It’s both weird and entirely inappropriate. What I am thankful for is that Komforte used dark chocolate as the base for this bar. What attempts to be quirky just comes off as gimmicky, and the end result, while not too sweet, just tastes like an everything bagel covered in chocolate, leaving an uncomfortable ambiguity to the bar’s classification: are you savory or sweet? The soy sauce is barely detectable but the garlic and onion are extremely forward in both the scent and the flavor, which makes for a strange set of textures and tastes when combined with the crunchy noodle pieces.
Following the trend of covering everything in chocolate like a deranged Will Wonka is the apple pie and graham bar. The tamer option of the two, this bar features my favorite pie base and my fifth-favorite pie filling. Together, the combination is a little strange. For whatever reason, the chocolatiers opted to not use graham crackers, but graham biscotti, but neither aspect of this cookie hybrid felt adequately represented in the texture. The graham was instead reduced to a mere whisp of cinnamon in the layers in the bar, lacking the grittiness I so relish when I bite into a cookie, and the apple subdued within the overall context of the bite. It was a bar primarily dominated by white chocolate- good if you’re a fan, disappointing if not.
After adoring some of their earlier selection, I hope the company continues to introduce new flavors. At the very least, it’s a low-risk way to spice up your standard milk ‘n’ dark chocolate routine.

Antidote 77% Cacao Almond + Fennel Bar

I must say that pursuing my, ughhh, lifestyle choices here in Western Mass is about as close as I’ll probably ever get to riding a lollipop train. Perhaps Artemis herself has blessed me with the good fortune to be in love with a wonderful woman. But sometimes just getting through the day requires a meditative Sarah McLachlan sesh and a nightly dose of organic, free-range, Goddess-endorsed, paper-sheathed, raw, adorably designed, empowering chocolate like Antidote, made by incredibly gorgeous chocolatier Red Thalhammer. Am I right, ladies?
These visually appealing bars have features more PC than Chastity Bono and a considerably slimmer profile. No word on if they can dance or not, but they’d sure look good slathered all over Lacey Schwimmer. Nevertheless, nonchalantly sporting Antidote Chocolate’s quirky and health/psyche-conscious flavors at the dog park will cause heads to turn faster than a chick with a Justin Bieber haircut. With flavors like mango + juniper and banana + cayenne, it definitely seemed like the type of product that I could not only enjoy for its weirdness, but tout as the ultimate liberal status symbol.
One of these bars, almond + fennel, showcased two of my favorite savory ingredients in a sweet application, with a backside like a work of art. Named after Artemis, the Greek goddess best known for boys-free power, hunting, and acoustic guitar YouTube tributes by girls with crew cuts, the bar features a 77% dark chocolate base with crushed almonds and pieces of dried fennel. The bar imparted a fairly dry texture overall, but had a much smoother mouthfeel than other raw chocolates I’ve tried.
The dark chocolate was some of the nicest raw chocolates I’ve had, with an incredibly concentrated flavor of smoke and berries, leaving the Fine and Raw in the dust. However, I found that the main flavor I tasted was the single origin Ecuador chocolate, and it was a challenge to distinguish the flavors of the almonds or fennel.
It’s more often the other way around in some embellished chocolate bars, and I was disappointed to see such a beautiful landscape of nuts and spices disappear into the miasma of powerful dark cacao. If raw or vegan chocolate is your thing, you may find this one of the tastiest and beautifully designed bars on the market. Thanks to Aunt Linda for tipping us off!

Birthday Cake Oreos

Oreo is celebrating their 100th birthday this year, and they sent me these a week before they hit grocery store shelves to help pump you up for the celebration. And like a DJ at a lackluster Bar Mitzvah, I never fail to get the party started. (Except when the chicken dance is on.)
Oreo has knocked it out of the park with this one, folks. This isn’t some chintzy special packaging or colored deal. This is a brand new flavor, vanilla birthday cake with sprinkles, with a special pattern on the cookies and a limited run. Oh, and they’re Double Stuf, which you know is some serious business. Featuring a new resealable package format and a limited edition seal of approval, I’m pleased to report that these are some of the tastiest new members of the Oreo family since freaking peanut butter.
I’ll admit, I was a little worried when I first opened the package. It smelled a hair artificial, like one of those flavored candles at Walmart that looks edible, but will definitely get you dragged out of the store for biting into. However, those fears were assuaged the moment I cracked one of those bad boys open. Funfetti, you’ve met your match. These are crammed with rainbow-colored sprinkles. Eating these is like a party in my mouth where everyone has their own cake.
Where these succeeded the most was in the impeccable flavor juxtaposition. The Oreo cookies, never too sweet, provided an excellent contrast to the sugary center. The filling provides a rush of nostalgic flavors with its creamy texture and Betty Crocker-esque frosting taste. A wonderful new cookie to celebrate an amazing landmark in Oreo history.
From three generations of Oreo lovers, I would like to cordially wish Oreo a happy, happy birthday, with the hopes that the brand lasts another 100- and then some!
You can get these Oreos starting March 6th, Oreo’s official 100th birthday. They’ll be available for a limited time only, so if you’re a fan, stock up while you can!

Herr’s Buffalo Blue Cheese Flavored Cheese Curls

I’m in college, but I’m not Van Wilder, so now is the time when the academic system starts anxiously tapping her toes, looking at the clock on the wall and asking the perpetually unanswered question: so, what are you going to do for the rest of your life? I’ve mentioned here that I want to study law. As a result of the relentless eyes of the system on my back, I’ve been face-deep in the LSAT instead of face-deep in cupcakes and puppies as I would personally have it and have started applying all the LSAT theories to the meaningless details of my life. Believe me, you know you’re not making any friends when you start accusing your own grandmother of denying the premise fallacy every time she draws a connection between Clinton and the aliens. In the arguments section of the LSAT, there is a tool called the transitive property, which basically gives the conclusion that if A is true in relation to B, and that B is true in relation to C, we can conclude that because A is true, C is also true.
This crossed my mind while I was eating these cheese poofs from Herr’s today. I know, I’m a freaking savant. A large box of these came in the mail a while ago and I’ve been whittling down my supply in moments of sheer anxiety, because nothing says professional like a sweating hand covered in cheese dust. While eating the delicious tubes, the following occurred to me: Out of the 889 posts I’ve written in the past few years, there has been a trend. If I review a food that supposedly imitates another food, I am judging it based on its successful resemblance to both products. If it successfully resembles both products, I will give it a good rating. But what if a product resembles neither of its two forms yet is still freaking awesome? The moral of the story, of course, is that it’s incredibly silly to presuppose a working theory onto a freaking cheese puff review.
Regardless, this product scientifically contains all of the components that are designed and curved to tickle my pleasure enhancers. Buffalo sauce diluted to a powdery, sticky form, the flavor of blue cheese without the nasty texture and moldiness of blue cheese, and an incredibly soft, yielding texture like a crunchy memory foam pillow. I quite enjoyed these. With an addictive texture and crammable shape, they made for a unique twist on a traditional snack that could accompany a sandwich without taking away the attention.
However, I didn’t feel like the buffalo flavor was distinct enough to pick it out of a lineup of other generic sauces. The blue cheese was softened in flavor enough to take some of the harsh tanginess out, also a good sign. Although one package contains 10 grams of fat and 15% of your daily sodium, I can’t resist eating a few now and then and saving the rest for later. Their front and forward saltiness makes it satisfying to just eat a few.
Did it remind me of buffalo wings? Not at all. Did it remind me of cheese curls? Barely. By all definitions, it was a failure of my transitive property argument. It was still a spectacular snack, though, and one that I’d get again if I just wanted something a little strange. Besides, it beats studying for the LSAT at a crowded bar, over a plate of questionable chicken wings.

Baby Berk’s Specialty Tacos

UMass Amherst. I’m embarrassed at you for a few things- really, a Super Bowl riot? 14 arrests? But sometimes you do something that, like a delinquent child with beaming parents, makes me so utterly pleased that I can’t help but forgive you for your previous misdemeanors. Baby Berk, UMass Amherst’s first-ever food truck, took the campus by storm with its squat, colorful mobile food delivery and its rotating menu of specialty burgers. Recently, they’ve switched up the menu to bring chilly Amherst a south-of-the-border flavor with funky tacos made to order.
Last semester’s slew of kimchi-coated, egg topped burgers wowed students looking for an easy lunch. This week, Baby Berk introduced their taco menu, where diners can buy each taco for $1.75 or three for $4.75. There are five tacos on the menu, four specialty and one classic. I had a $5 gift card toward the truck and a buck in my pocket, so I was only able to try four. My food was prepared quickly and was handed to me in a little under five minutes, record time for freshly made food.
The first thing I noticed was how small the container was that the tacos were housed in. While I certainly wasn’t expecting burrito-sized tacos, I definitely didn’t expect them to be in a container small enough to hold a side of fries, either. Each was a little larger than my cell phone and about half as thick. I did appreciate the fact that they were individually wrapped, but for their small size, they are tremendously overpriced.
My first selection was the vegetarian bok choy and tofu taco, filled with sauteed jalapeno and garlic, bok choy, scallions, tofu, and julienned carrots with a sesame ginger dressing. This taco was the first that I tried and really set the bar low for the others. Sparsely filled with a deluge of dressing that soaked into the flour tortilla, one bite was enough for me to toss it into the nearest trash can. The dressing was tasty and coated the vegetables well, making it into a small portable salad, but I was disappointed that none of the heat from the jalapenos came through and that there was very little of the two titular ingredients, bok choy and tofu. The taco was definitely dominated by carrots and scallion, which made for a savory but one-noted flavor. I also would have preferred to see double-layered corn tortillas in lieu of the flour ones, which, though fluffier, tended to crumble around the edges.
Luckily, my experience went up from there. Moving back to my native cuisine, bread and meat, I went on to try the pork nước chấm taco. Nước chấm is a type of common Vietnamese fish sauce, although this one lacked fish sauce but instead had a kimchi-like slaw, marinated pork, the same sesame ginger dressing as the vegetarian taco, and sour cream. While much better than the vegetarian, this taco had a strangely sweet flavor to it that the latter did not. Baby Berk certainly does pork right, this being a tender and moist specimen that would make even the most seasoned food truck chef shed a tear. Their toppings, however, need work. The pork didn’t taste like pork as it did sweet apples and the dressing combined with the sour cream left a greasy feeling in my mouth. The slaw was delicious, but sparse.
The green curry chicken taco was easily my favorite of the evening, and the only one that I finished in its entirety. With a hearty serving of soft shredded chicken soaked in a flavorful green curry sauce, it was both savory and sweet with more than a touch of spice. I think the lack of fish sauce in the pork taco may have been replaced in this one- it was almost too salty and had a distinctly fishy aftertaste, though not unpleasant. I loved how spicy this one was, and the fact that it had fresh pieces of cilantro mixed in was also a definite plus.
The last taco I sampled was the steak wasabi, also the taco I was most looking forward to. Covered with fresh tomatoes and loaded with chunks of hot, medium-rare (WHAT?!) carne asada pieces and wasabi sauce was a dream to behold. While I was hoping this would clear my sinuses, it only registered as a blip of heat on my palate and tasted mainly of mayo and salt, which cleared away all the glorious, steak-y flavors and even overwhelmed the generous topping of fresh tomatoes. More wasabi flavor or even a wasabi marinade would have been appreciated.
While I was hoping all of these would be muy bueno, unfortunately, there’s still clearly work to be done on the UMass taco front. I immensely appreciate the fact that Baby Berk went out on a limb to offer taco varieties other than chicken, pork, and steak with the same bland hot sauce and cold shredded cheese, but wish that they had executed their quirkier varieties with a little more precision. Nevertheless, I have faith in the little truck that could and am excited to see what else they’ll churn out in semesters to come. Beep beep!

Hot Squeeze Sweet Heat Chipotle Sauce

Like Junk Food Guy, I need to start unsubscribing from junk email. It’s really wreaking havoc on my dopamine receptors. I’ll open my iPod in ecstasy and see that I have seven new emails- ooh! Is it a book offer? A modeling contract? Does someone finally want to buy my third kidney off of craigslist? Oh, wait, nope, it’s a desperate promotional coupon for everything percent off from Radio Shack, when I was gullible enough to not give the haggard employee a fake email address. And a monthly newsletter from Krystal, the closest location a cool 643 miles away, or a now defunct film festival whose creepy emails contain no body, just a sad title.
Lately the biggest offender has been Hot Squeeze, the hot sauce/slather that I might have checked out on Amazon in mid-2006, my sixteen year old self giggling mindlessly at the euphemistic name before clicking off to Neopets and AIM. For whatever reason, I ended up on the mailing list for this sauce and since then have received no less than three emails a month in spam-like proportions, with titles ranging from the downright non sequitur, like “how about a Hot Squeeze of summer” to subjects that would make Howard Stern blush. Today, I decided to buck up and try the damned sauce, if only to satisfy my boundless curiosity and unsubscribe from that mailing list once and for all.
It’s an aromatic hybrid between a chipotle barbecue marinade and a smoky hot sauce. Loaded with red pepper flakes and boasting an almost malted scent from all the sugars, it seemed like it would go well with the raspberry jalapeno shredded chicken I’d made earlier that day. Eaten plain, it’s a bit overwhelming. It has an intensely umami-laden nose and flavor, with a base Worcestershire edge and a mild spiciness. Unfortunately, the “sweet” in sweet heat was a lie. It wasn’t sweet at all, but it did paired well with our nachos, lending a smoky flavor to the mild cheese and enhancing the fruit in the chicken.
However, if sauces were woman, this would be the quintessential fat girl who hangs out with all the other attractive ladies in the refrigerator and makes them look gourmet in comparison. Somehow, that analogy serves to make me look even creepier. While I love a full-bodied sauce with a sassy, bold flavor, the texture of this is an absolute trainwreck. It’s chunky and viscous, with a property similar to mucous in that regardless of how you poured it, it seemed to want to shrink back to its original shape and adhere stickily to the chip or bowl. Très clingy. It left sticky, gummy trails of its sauce wherever we put it. The texture was a real turn-off for me. It’s a sauce that would be absolutely embarrassing to serve to guests, as it’s impossible to dip food in without having your dish turn into an interactive Sarlacc pit.
Hot Squeeze says it has hundreds of uses, but I believe that to be an insufficient claim as its limiting flavor profile confines it to only neutral and bland selections. While the flavor was excellent, I can’t see any other practical applications for it outside of using it as a cooking sauce as its stickiness would ruin everything else.

Saffron, Yuzu, and Pepper Crème Brûlée Shooters

I don’t want this blog to veer too far into the direction of cooking blogs. God knows the world needs another cooking blogger, but I need to tell you that I am smugger than a dog with a raw steak right now. And not because I’ve learned how to use the manual setting on my camera. Yes, triggered by the birthday of my sweet partner in crime, I have successfully wrestled crème brûlée to the ground, tackled it into submission and crowned myself the ultimate victor of the eternal battle of man versus flame.
I love my new toy.
As a result of a few rather irrelevant things, I had an awful evening last night. Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: nothing solves problems like a butane torch. Simply figuring out how the torch worked and experimenting with it worked wonders on my mood. I’m not saying you have to do something bad with it, but just having the ability to turn on a bright blue flame and torch the heck out of a jiggling, creamy dessert brings a little peace of mind in itself.
For Miss Love’s birthday dinner tomorrow, we decided to keep the menu simple: pasta carbonara (topped with lox, thank ya) and salted rose crème brûlée. As I’d never made it before, it was a daunting, yet fun project for me to tackle. Never one to stumble blindly into pyrotechnics, I decided to start practicing (as one girlfriend can never enjoy too many imperfect tester desserts) a few days early and fooled around with the flavors and the recipe. Without further ado, I must confess to you that I have decided that crème brûlée is totally my new thing. I’m utterly obsessed.
With such a versatile and pleasant base, one can almost put anything into crème brûlée. Had I more time and weren’t planning for a special event, I would have been jazzed to try upping the salt in this recipe, decreasing the sugar, and plopping a few pieces of lobster tail into the mix for a savory treat. I experimented with a few flavors and receptacles, settling on the crème you’ll see in a few days, but wanted to showcase these adorable saffron, yuzu, and pepper shooters I tinkered with in the process. The yuzu was a gift from Miss Love that I thought would be a blast to incorporate into the dessert.
Saffron, Yuzu, and Pepper Crème Brûlée Shooters (loosely adapted from here)
Ingredients (makes six shooters)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste/extract or 1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
A few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper (I used the flower pepper from Trader Joe’s…amazing!)
2 tablespoons of honey
A few strands of saffron- enough to color the mix, but not too many
4 pieces of chopped candied yuzu
Superfine sugar for the top

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the cream and the vanilla bean paste/extract together in a small saucepan, simmering over a low heat until warm.
2. While the cream mixture is heating, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until frothy and smooth.
3. Turn off the burner and drizzle a small amount of cream into the egg mixture to temper. Don’t use too much or your mixture will seize up and scramble, but add a little at a time while stirring until it is fully incorporated.
4. Once the mixture is smooth, add your pepper, saffron, honey, and yuzu. Mix thoroughly and pour into shot glasses. The yuzu generally sinks to the bottom. I advise mixing it in and putting a few pieces into the shot glasses or sticking it in after you’ve mixed.
5. Place the shot glasses in a shallow pan filled with water and bake for 25-30 minutes. Make sure the tops don’t get brown. When they don’t quiver when shaken and are slightly porous on top, you’re good to go. Take them out and chill them for 1-2 hours.
6. Take the shooters out of the fridge and lightly sprinkly with superfine sugar. When the time comes to give them their crispy tops, don’t fear the butane. Holding the torch at an angle, lightly torch the sugar, moving from side to side so that you are not focusing the flame in one place. When the granules are gone and the sugar has bubbled and hardened, they’re done.
Would you not want to hoard these at a party? Or just eat one for breakfast? I did- twice.

Blue Corn and Pistachio Chicken Tenders

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a chicken tender wizard. I have literally perfected my recipe for creating amazing, crispy nuggets and tenders to a science. While I could eat plain nuggets and sauces for the rest of my days and die happy, I decided to fool around with some of the ingredients Target sent over as part of our giveaway (details here) and review.
Although we don’t have a television at home, I love turning on the TV at the gym or at my dorm to watch Chopped. It’s my equivalent of Sunday night football or watching a particularly rousing game of Wheel of Fortune. Once I see a contestant fumbling around with a Buddha’s hand or staring blankly at a langoustine, my triggers are set off and I’m screaming at the television- “Are you freaking nuts?! Use the cumin! How effing hard is it to make a hibiscus foam? Jesus!” So I thought it would be fun to see how many components from the Target selection I could use in my nuggets.
Granted, it wasn’t too difficult- let’s be honest, I wasn’t working with whole branzino or gummy bears, but I still had a ton of fun with it. Taking a leaf from the pages of Dude Foods, who also received a similar selection of products and made cheese ball chicken tenders with it, I also went for a funky approach and ground up the blue corn and flax seed tortilla chips along with some pistachio nuts as a crust. I marinated the chicken in a mixture of the salsa as well as some orange zest and harissa for a little zing.
The verdict? Freaking awesome. Served with some of the orange harissa salsa, they made a great and easy meal. Using nuts in chicken feels like an underrated technique that I’ll definitely try again. It’s a healthy and unique twist on traditional football food and gave the tenders a tremendous burst of protein. Thanks again to Archer Farms and Target for providing the goods, and don’t forget to enter our contest so you can make these, too!
Blue Corn and Pistachio Chicken Tenders
Ingredients (makes twelve tenders)
2 large chicken breasts, pounded to roughly 3/4 inches thick
Orange zest
1/2 teaspoon of Moroccan harissa
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup pistachios
1 cups blue corn chips
Oil or cooking spray
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut your chicken breasts up into twelve strips, roughly the same size. Toss with salsa, orange zest, orange juice, and harissa and marinate for fifteen minutes.
2. Grind your tortilla chips and pistachios (shelled, of course) in a food processor until finely ground. Pour into a bowl and coat chicken strips in the crumbs.
3. Bake in the oven for ten minutes on 425 degrees, and then turn up the oven and let them crisp at 475 degrees for five more minutes. Let cool briefly and eat with salsa or dip of your choice!
Superbowl Sunday has never been so…fab!