Weekly food rail, with a review of Edwards Singles Hot Fudge Brownie with Creamy Ice Cream, an easy recipe for Potatoes O'Brien, tips on picking out beef, and more.

Critic’s Cupboard: Edwards Singles Hot Fudge Brownie with Creamy Ice Cream

OMG. Talk about instant lusciousness.

Take a boxed dessert out of the freezer, and stick the contents in the microwave for 45 seconds. Then dig into rich chocolatey fudge atop a warm brownie, all melted to a nice gooey consistency, with ice cream still cold and solid.

All in 45 seconds. The only problem is, it’s so tasty you’ll be tempted to wolf it down in about the same time.

-- Jennifer Mastroianni, The Repository

Easy Recipe: Potatoes O’Brien

The “O’Brien” might indicate an Irish influence, but these potatoes have no certain pedigree. They first appeared in Boston and Manhattan in the early 1900s and are colorful to serve.

Ingredients
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup pimientos, chopped

Directions:
Fry the potatoes in butter about 20 minutes, add pimientos and onions and cook another 10 minutes, stirring often. The potatoes should be browned and crispy. Sweet red or green peppers may be subbed for the pimientos. Serves 2.

-- The Repository (Canton, Ohio)

Tip of the Week: How to pick the best beef

Beef tells a lot about itself right in the package. Select a cut that is cold and has no holes or tears in the plastic. Excessive liquid indicates it might be past optimum shelf life. The meat should be firm to the touch with no softness.

Avoid beef with grayish or brown blotches. Packaged beef has a dark-red color that changes to bright red when exposed to air.

-- The Repository (Canton, Ohio)

Did You Know?

A 222.5-pound meatball made in Concord, N.H., has been confirmed by Guinness officials as being the world’s largest.

Food Quiz

Native to Mexico and Central America, which vegetable is also known as the Mexican potato or the Mexican turnip?

A. Eggplant
B. Sweet potato
C. Jicama
D. Arracacha

(www.funtrivia.com)

Answer is at bottom of column

Wise to the Word: Brown butter

Used to impact a warm, complex, nutty flavor to food, brown butter is made by melting unsalted butter until the milk solids sink to the bottom of a pan and begin to brown.

If done correctly, the butter will be a faint golden-brown color. If it turns a dark brown, it is burned.

Number to Know: 21

Grams of protein in 3 ounces of cooked ground lamb. – calorielab.com

The Dish On …

“Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities” by Nigella Lawson

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for tradition and treats. But when the pressure to feed and entertain builds up, the festive season can start to lose its sparkle.

With Nigella Lawson’s no-nonsense approach, her inspirational ideas, and her empathy for the practical realities of the season -- combined here with reliable, easy-to-follow recipes and reassuring advice about planning and cooking ahead – “Nigella Christmas” is guaranteed to bring comfort and joy and make sure the season of good will stays that way.

There are mouth-watering recipes with a seasonal twist, and simple menus for feeding friends and family over the extended holiday season with minimum stress and maximum enjoyment.

From the Beer Nut’s Blog: New beers in Magic Hat 12 pack

Magic Hat’s new Feast of Fools Variety 12 pack will feature two new beers in under-represented styles this year.

Howl: Black-As-Night Winter Lager is a black lager, one of my favorite lager styles. It has a nice roasty flavor and is an easy drinking beer.

Winter ‘09 Odd Notion: American Sour Ale is not bad. It’s not a top-of-the-line sour beer that will make you stand up and take notice, but it is certainly drinkable. It would make a great introductory beer to those who are interested in exploring sour beers. It won’t make your face pucker due to the sourness.

To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/

Food Quiz Answer

C. Jicama. Crunchy, juicy and a bit sweet, jicama can be eaten raw, added to salads or mixed with fruits.

GateHouse News Service