As you know, I’m a stickler when it comes to certain food and drinks. I can be a bit of a brand snob, I guess, but I can live with that. It can’t be helped, I’ve learned (after years of cooking) that certain food is worth paying more for. Cheese, coffee, vanilla, chocolate – they’re at the top of the list.
If you’ve been buying the bargains, off brands, and (AUGH!!) store brands for any of these, splurge a little bit the next time you’re at the store and see what you’ve been missing. While I’m in full nag mode, I’ll just go ahead and ask you to start buying “Cage Free” eggs as well. They’re only a little bit more and it’s the humane thing to do.
Stepping down off of the soap box…
You noticed that vanilla was on my list of foods that thy mustn’t scrimp on. Believe me, whether you’re baking or cooking, you’ll notice a HUGE difference with quality vanilla. You think you’re desserts are divine now with off brand vanilla – honey, just wait till you try them with quality vanilla!
A high-quality quality vanilla you may want to try first is from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. Below is why tailgating season may be the ideal time to do so:
Grills are fired up and ready to go in parking lots across the nation for the great American sports tradition: tailgating. Every year, thousands faithfully don their team’s colors and venture out, rain or shine, to cheer home a winner. Sports fans and home cooks alike can be the reigning champions of parking-lots with tailgating recipes from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas.
Since 1907, Nielsen-Massey has been dedicated to creating the finest vanilla in the world. The vanilla beans are hand-picked for perfection and go through an exclusive cold extraction process, which slowly, gently draws the delicate, distinctive flavor from the vanilla beans.
Nielsen-Massey products compliment both sweet and savory dishes, so hungry football fans can be fed this season with hamburgers and chicken wings dressed with Smoky Vanilla BBQ Sauce or Apricot Mango BBQ Sauce from Nielsen-Massey.
Smoky Vanilla BBQ Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon canned chipotle chilies with sauce, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup catsup
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract or Paste
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add garlic and sauté until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45-60 minutes. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.
Apricot Mango BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup medium diced canned apricots, drained
1/2 cup medium diced fresh or jarred mangoes, drained
1 (4-ounce) can mild chipotle chilies
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 whole garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract or Paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Combine the apricots, mangoes, chipotle chiles, brown sugar, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, vanilla extract, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper in a blender container and purée. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups.
From daybreak to overtime, hearty finger-foods flavored with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas can provide an extra kick to fans’ favorite tailgating cuisines.
About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Beans.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also has a line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
The image at the top of the post is A Century of Flavors, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla’s cookbook – available on Amazon.