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THE BAXTER BULLETIN, Mountain Home, Ark.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Food & Dining McCormick offers its 2010 flavor forecast

HUNT VALLEY, Md. — The flavor experts at McCormick have teamed up with leading chefs, food bloggers and other culinary authorities to identify the top 10 flavor pairings and key trends that are poised to shape the way we eat in the year ahead. “The year in flavor will be heavily influenced by bitter, warm and earthy notes,” said Kevan Vetter, McCormick executive chef. “We see America’s palates embracing stronger flavors — high-impact combinations that are anything but subtle. For example, bold bitter greens will be appreciated for their assertiveness, tamed with the licorice-like addition of caraway — one of the 10 pairings in this year’s report. The warm and earthy duo of roasted cumin and chickpeas is another expression of the year’s big flavors.” “‘Always in season,” one of the key trends identified, recognizes the increased availability of high-quality canned, pickled, preserved, frozen and dried ingredients. “This means yearround flavor is always at the ready — quicker and more accessible than ever before,” Vetter said. The McCormick Flavor Forecast 2010 top 10 flavor pairings are: • Roasted ginger and rhubarb — exciting layers of spicy and sour, with warming notes and a powerful tang • Thai basil and watermelon — a colorful study in contrasts offers a sweet, refreshing balance • Caraway and bitter greens — an unmistakable spice tames the bitter bite of bold greens • Bay leaves and preserved lemon — slowly coaxed flavor worth the wait, an aromatic mix of bitter, salty-tart and bright • Almond and ale — bittersweet character of both ingredients makes a congenial, cozy and hearty match

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• Turmeric and vineripened tomatoes — earthy and naturally sweet, this colorful, healthful blend is always in season • Pumpkin pie spice and coconut milk — a lush, warm pairing reconnects with its tropical roots • Roasted cumin and chickpeas — a globetrotting Mediterranean duet delivers warm, earthy flavor harmonies • Creole mustard and shellfish — a vibrant pair that brings Gulf Coast gusto to any part of the country • Chives and fish sauce — savory fusion of French and Asian cuisines. Leading trends in the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2010 include: • “In” is the new “out” — big flavors and new definitions of “dinner party” bring the best of restaurant meals home • Always in season — preserving the peak of ripeness for year-round enjoyment, fresh at the ready • Meatless on the menu — mixing up the center of the plate • Ethnic sizzle — tastes of the global grill, appearing in a backyard near you • New comfort cuisine — a renewed appreciation for the integrity of ingredients and cooking techniques • Where the cocktail meets the kitchen — shaken or stirred, tasteful inspiration takes on new forms. Mini desserts are a great way to offer variety — and a little taste of luxury without overindulging. Use this easy spiced mousse to make four different mini desserts.

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Photo by McCormick

Mix-and-Match Spiced Mousse Minis pair pumpkin pie spice with coconut milk to create 2-ounce-sized glasses of dessert delight.

softened 2 teaspoons McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice 1/2 cup sugar, divided 1/2 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk 1 cup heavy cream Beat cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 cup of the sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add coconut milk; beat until well blended. Beat cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 of the whipped cream to cream cheese mixture; stir until well blended. Gently stir in remaining whipped cream. Makes mousse for 12 mini desserts. • Fudge Brownie Mini Mousse — Divide 1 1/2 cups brownie pieces (1/2inch cubes) evenly among each of 12 (2-ounce) shot glasses. Using 2/3 cup hot fudge sauce, layer each glass with fudge sauce and Spiced Mousse. Garnish with almonds, if desired. Makes 12. • Banana Cream Mini Mousse — Spoon 1 tablespoon of coarsely crushed vanilla wafer cookies into each of 12 (2-ounce) shot glasses. Using 2/3 cup caramel sauce and 1 baMix-and-Match Spiced nana, sliced, layer each Mousse Minis glass with caramel sauce, Prep time: 20 minutes 4 ounces cream cheese, banana slices and Spiced

Mousse. Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired. Makes 12. • Strawberry Shortcake Mini Mousse — Spoon 2 teaspoons of coarsely crushed shortbread cookies into each of 12 (2-ounce) shot glasses. Using 6 strawberries, sliced, divide strawberry slices evenly among glasses. Layer each glass with Spiced Mousse and additional 1 teaspoon crushed cookies. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired. Makes 12. • Piña Colada Mini Mousse — Mix 1/2 cup each coarsely crushed shortbread cookies, coarsely chopped toasted macadamia nuts and toasted flaked coconut. Spoon 1 tablespoon cookie mixture into each of 12 (2-ounce) shot glasses. Using 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits, drained, divide pineapple evenly among glasses. Layer each glass with Spiced Mousse and remaining cookie mixture. Garnish as desired. Makes 12. Linda Masters is The Bulletin online editor and coordinates community news, food features and food styling. Read more about her on her blog, “Etc. and More,” at www.baxterbulletin.com or follow BBnewsroom on Twitter or Bulletin Newsroom on Facebook. E-mail her at lmasters@baxterbulletin.com

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