Cheez-It Duoz Caramel Corn
[1] Bet you can’t eat just one box (photo courtesy Cheez-It | Kellogg’s)!

Pacific Organics Creme Fraiche Butternut Squash Soup
[2] Rich and creamy. Enjoy a bowl or just a mini-cup (photo courtesy Pacific Foods).

 

Last week’s product tastings yielded these favorites: snacks, soups and condiments.

1. CHEEZ-IT DUOZ

Can you resist the sweet and salty combination of caramel popcorn with Cheez-It Cheddar crackers? We can’t.

If you’re not a caramel corn fan, try the iconic cheese crackers mixed with pretzel squares.

These two new products have very long names:

  • Cheez-It Duoz caramel popcorn and Cheddar cracker
  • Cheez-It Duoz Cheddar Jack Cracker and sharp cheddar pretzel.
  •  
    We love them both, with this warning: You may not be able to stop eating them.

    Discover more at Cheez-It.com.
     
     
    2. PACIFIC FOODS ORGANIC CRÈME FRAÎCHE SOUPS

    We’re always fans of Pacific Foods soups and stocks, and had the opportunity to try two very different items for meal times and snacking.

    How to make a cream soup richer? Add crème fraîche.

    These ready-to-heat, organic soups from Pacific Organic are made with creme fraiche and nonfat milk. They’re creamy and indulgent, yet they pack 10 grams of protein per serving.

    Vegetarian and gluten free, these nicely seasoned soups are available in:

  • Organic Crème Butternut Squash Soup
  • Organic Crème Fraïche Roasted Red Pepper Soup
  • Organic Crème Fraïche Tomato Soup
  •  
    Here’s a tip: Get out your espresso cups and serve a little cup of soup as a starter for lunch or dinner. A few sips are a nice comfort food starter.

    The line is certified USDA Organic. Discover more at PacificFoods.com.

     

    3. PACIFIC FOODS ORGANIC VEGAN STOCKS

    No slouch, Pacific Foods has also turned out two tomato stocks one-cup single serve sizes. We like them for both cooking and a low-calorie pick-me-up drink.

    Stepping away from the cream in the previous variety, these tomato-based vegan stocks have just 40 calories per eight ounces:

  • Organic Tomato & Red Pepper Stock Single Serve
  • Organic Tomato Stock Unsalted Single Serve
  •  
    Use them to add flavor and depth to your rice, grains, or soups. Or, instead of a cup of coffee, heat the contents in the microwave for a cup of veggie broth.

    We especially like drinking the Tomato & Red Pepper Stock, a blend of tomatoes, red bell peppers, roasted red bell peppers, garlic and onion. The Tomato Stock Unsalted is simply tomatoes and water.

    What will Pacific Foods launch next? Whatever it may be, we look forward to it.
     
    Stock & Broth: The Difference

    The difference between a stock and a broth is the seasoning. Stock is not seasoned; it’s an unfinished product that is used an ingredient in another dish. For example, stock is used to make gravy (beef stock is use used for au jus), marinades, risotto, sauces and other soups.

    So, if you’re using stock, you’ll need to add salt to your desired level. Broth already contains salt (however, Pacific’s Tomato & Red Pepper Stock does have some sea salt).

    Broth is a thin soup is made from a clear stock foundation. The terms bouillon and broth are used interchangeably. However, a bouillon is always served plain (with an optional garnish), whereas broth can be made more substantive with the addition of a grain (corn, barley, rice) and vegetables.

    Here are the related types of soups, including consommé and velouté.
     
     
    3. P. F. CHANG’S MONGOLIAN-STYLE BARBECUE SAUCE

    We’re not fans of most barbecue sauces: too sweet, not complex enough.

    But P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Style BBQ Sauce is deep and flavorful, made with smoked black pepper and soy sauce, in addition to conventional BBQ sauce ingredients like molasses and garlic.

    You can use it for everything from marinades to a finishing sauce.

     

    Pacific Foods Tomato Red Pepper Stock
    [3] Light and delicate but flavorful: Tomato & Red Bell Pepper Stock for cooking or drinking (photo courtesy Pacific Foods).

    P F Changs Mongolian BBQ Sauce
    [4] A delicious new barbecue-style sauce from P.F. Chang’s. Photo courtesy Ruchi’s Kitchen. Here’s her recipe for Grilled Mongolian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

     
    Fans of Mongolian Beef love sliced flank steak, and chopped scallions (other vegetables such as onions and bell peppers can also be included), in a sauce consisting of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chilies and sugar.

    You can make a stir-fry of Mongolian Beef with garlic, button mushrooms, the sauce, and a garnish of sliced scallions. Here’s the recipe.

    You can also use the sauce in grilled beef or chicken wraps, and anywhere else you like a sweet-and-tangy sauce. Check out these recipes from Ruchi’s Kitchen.

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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