The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


April 24, 2013

Reboot your pantry

TARBORO — The best meals offer loads of fresh flavor and are best served with a side of originality. Let your pantry serve as your starting point for creating memorable meals the family will love.

Proper Pantry Practices

Before letting those creative culinary juices flow, take inventory of your pantry. If you find items that are too old, that have never been touched, or that you hardly ever use - get rid of them.

Look closely at the ingredient list to decide which items to keep. Get rid of items filled with corn syrup and artificial sweeteners and colors. Foods with fewer ingredients and pronounceable words tend to be more natural or "whole." Made from four ingredients, Kikkoman's Soy Sauce is brewed naturally, using a traditional process that goes back hundreds of years. Other "keepers" include honey, canned beans, whole grain pastas or rice, raw nuts and olive oil.

Once your pantry is in order, you can incorporate these healthy staples into meals using the freshest vegetables, poultry, fish and beef. By keeping your pantry stocked with the most wholesome ingredients, you can be sure you are giving the very best to your family.

For additional recipes and information, visit

Savory Chicken Brine

Servings: 6

    1    chicken (5 to 6 pounds)

    1     gallon cold water

    1     tablespoon dried sage

    1     tablespoon dried celery seed

    1/2     tablespoon dried thyme

    3/4     cup kosher salt

    3/4     cup sugar

    3/4     cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce

    2     tablespoons of seasoned salt

Remove giblets from chicken cavity, rinse chicken inside and out. In large stock pot or container, mix water, sage, celery seed, thyme, salt, sugar and soy sauce to create brine. Stir well until sugar and salt are dissolved. Place chicken in brine, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400?F. Remove chicken from brine and rinse well inside and out. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of seasoned salt. Bake chicken at 400?F for 45 minutes.

Brining 101

What exactly is brining? Much like a marinade, meat and poultry is soaked in flavorful liquid, such as an all-purpose seasoning like Kikkoman Soy Sauce. This adds a tremendous amount of flavor and also breaks down proteins, thus, tenderizing the meat or poultry.

The only real rule to brining is that the meat must be kept cold throughout the entire process. Use a large container, cooler or brining bag that can fit into a refrigerator because the protein and brine solution has to be kept below 40 degrees at all times.

Text Only
  • SANDWICH.jpg Culinary Creations by (and for) Families

    Encouraging kids to get creative in the kitchen is a fun way to make great memories, meals and moments together. And for more than 10 years, Jif(r) has inspired parents to creatively collaborate with their kids in the Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest(tm) for the chance to win a $25,000 college fund. Last year's top entries ranged from a sweet and spicy sandwich to satisfying snacks and dreamy desserts. Inspire your family with these delicious recipes or check out for even more creative options.

    September 11, 2013 4 Photos

  • GB-Main.jpg Snappy Beans

    Green beans are no longer a plain side dish for dinner. Here are some fun, kid-friendly recipes to try at home to help encourage your kids to eat a healthy serving of green beans.
    "Florida green beans are great with a dip. Try them with hummus, ranch or any of your favorite dressings," suggested Justin Timineri, Executive Chef and Culinary Ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

    September 4, 2013 4 Photos

  • Cooking with leftovers a challenge

    August 28, 2013

  • Wings.jpg Fresh Tips for Game Day Dips

    When family and friends gather together to watch the game, loading up the table with a variety of easy-to-grab, flavorful appetizers is a winning plan. After all, casual food and good times are what game day is all about.
    In the world of appetizers, dip is king. From savory to sweet, this simple tailgating party addition can take on flavors that span the globe, or that are as American and as beloved as the gridiron game itself.

    August 21, 2013 3 Photos

  • FOOD-1.jpg Raising the Bar on Healthy Smiles

    Sports drinks, energy drinks and those must-have morning coffees all have one thing in common - they typically contain an abundance of sugar or sugar-alternatives that are harmful to the health of those pearly whites. Another beverage, whose ingredients can also wreak havoc on your smile, is always the life of the party - the cocktail.
    "Selecting healthy, natural superfoods with specific functions improves the ability of our body to create that beautiful smile we all desire," said Dr. Ken Banks, AACD cosmetic dentist and contributor to the recipe collection.
    According to recent studies, cocktails infused with wholesome ingredients can improve immunity and offer a tasty tonic for teeth. The next time you are looking for refreshment, seek beverages that use fruits, vegetables, grains, and other superfood ingredients.

    August 14, 2013 2 Photos

  • FOOD-1.jpg Kitchen Confections

    There are few things more enjoyable than biting into a rich and delicious chocolate dessert. By using a more robust flavor like that of dark chocolate, show-stopping desserts can be crafted right from your own kitchen - and it is easier than you think.

    August 7, 2013 2 Photos

  • FOOD-1.jpg Breakfast Bounty

    Getting kids back to school each morning can be exhausting and feeding them a good, hot breakfast often gets put on the back burner. Start them out right with easy, wholesome meals full of the protein necessary to fuel their day.
    A protein-rich breakfast - one that includes lean ham or pork sausage - reduces daily hunger, increases daily fullness, improves morning blood sugar control and leads to less latter-day snacking, according to a recent study by the University of Missouri. That means teenage boys and girls who chronically skip breakfast have a new, tasty weapon in the fight against obesity. Studies show as many as 20 to 30 percent of adolescents in the United States skip breakfast, which is a habit associated with excess body weight.

    July 31, 2013 3 Photos

  • Food-1.jpg Spicy, Sweet or Zesty

    Spicy, sweet or zesty, it's never been easier to enjoy the crisp, tangy taste of homemade pickles. And with recipes like these you can preserve perfect pickles for any palate.
    Here are a few tips from the pickling pros at Mrs. Wages to help you give your cukes a kick of great homemade flavor:

    July 24, 2013 2 Photos

  • Chicken.jpg Master Mediterranean Grilling

    Abundant plates of fresh vegetables, delicate fish from the nearby sea and splashes of olive oil are all hallmarks of traditional meals found in the Mediterranean.
    The Mediterranean diet has been embraced for thousands of years by those living along the Mediterranean Sea, and is now followed around the world as consumers discover its delicious flavor components and researchers uncover its countless health benefits, including helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes according to a study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine.

    July 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • chicken.jpg Grill Up Flavor

    Every big, juicy steak deserves to be seasoned with an equally big, bold flavor. Next time you fire up the grill, layer on savory goodness with spices and marinades. They bring out the natural flavor of steaks, ribs, roasts, burgers, chicken and fajitas.

    July 10, 2013 3 Photos