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Archive for St. Patrick’s Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Horseradish Sauce

Pork With Horseradish Sauce

Salmon & Horseradish Sauce

Steak & Horseradish Sauce

Fresh Horseradish Roots

Horseradish Root

Horseradish sauce on: (1) roast pork sandwich (from National Pork Board), (2) poached salmon with dill-horseradish sauce (Sysco), (3) steak salad (Good Eggs); (4) horseradish root, freshly dug (North Fork Horseradish Festival) and (5) horseradish root as it often looks in the market (Markon.com).

 

In the U.K., horseradish sauce has long been paired with roast beef. But its zinginess enhances other beef preparations from filet mignon to steak, brisket and corned beef; other meat dishes (pork, lamb, smoked chicken) including sandwiches; assertive seafood like mackerel, salmon and smoked fish; even veggies.

To make horseradish sauce, you can use a base of sour cream or heavy cream, or substitute fat-free Greek yogurt. Made with fat-free yogurt, it’s a low-calorie sauce.

You can add other flavor accents, from capers to herbs to Dijon mustard to lemon zest, all with negligible caloric impact.

The sauce can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 
RECIPE #1: HORSERADISH SAUCE WITH HERBED WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients

  • 1 horseradish root, peeled
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herb: chervil, dill, parsley or chervil (or capers or lemon zest)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. GRATE the horseradish root finely with a microplane into a small bowl. Mix it with a splash of white wine vinegar to prevent browning.

    2. WHIP the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the whipped cream with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix in the herb as desired.

    3. PLACE in the fridge for 2-4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

     
    RECIPE #2: HORSERADISH SAUCE WITH DIJON SOUR CREAM

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or grainy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. GRATE the horseradish root finely with a microplane into a small bowl. Mix it with a splash of white wine vinegar to prevent browning.

    2. PLACE all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and creamy.

    3. PLACE in the fridge for 2-4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
     
    WHAT IS HORSERADISH?

    Believed to be native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, horseradish has been cultivated for some 3,000 years, prized for its culinary uses as well as for homeopathy.

    A pungent root, horseradish is a perennial plant in the Brassicaceae family* of cruciferous vegetables, known for their antioxidant, cancer-fighting properties. It is a root vegetable that is used as a spice.

     
    Like mustard, the raw plant is not pungent. The heat and aroma only appear when the appropriate part of the plant is crushed (mustard seeds), cut or grated (horseradish root), creating a chemical reaction. Once exposed to air or heat, the pungency begins to erode. Prepared horseradish is grated root that adds vinegar to preserve the pungency (and needs to be refrigerated).
     
    Why is it a “horse” radish?

    In German, the root is called meerrettich, sea radish, because it grows by the sea. It is believed that the English mispronounced the German word “meer” as “mare,” and began calling it mare radish, which evolved to horseradish. “Radish” comes from the Latin radix, meaning root.

    While horseradish and conventional radishes are both members of the Brassicacae family (“Brassica” in English), they are from different geniuses. The horseradish genus and species is Amoracia rustincana, and the radish is Raphanus sativus.

    During the Renaissance, horseradish consumption spread northward from Central Europe to England and Scandinavia. While it was used medicinally, it wasn’t until 1640 that the British began to eat horseradish, and then only by the rural people who grew it.

    But by the late 1600s, horseradish had become the standard English accompaniment for both beef and oysters. The English, in fact, grew the pungent root at inns and coach stations, to make cordials to revive exhausted travelers.

    Early settlers to the American Colonies brought horseradish to cultivate. It was common in the northeast by 1806.

    In the U.S., commercial cultivation began in the mid 1850s, when immigrants started horseradish farms in the Midwest. After World War II, horseradish was planted commercially in Northern California and other areas in the country. Today, approximately 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish are produced annually in the U.S., with a much smaller amount of fresh root sales.

    While the root gets all the press, horseradish leaves are also edible: raw or cooked, in pestos, salads, sautés and stir fries. They have a sharp, bitter, peppery taste similar to arugula and kale, their Brassica cousins.

    Horseradish.org, which supplied some of this information, has dozens of horseradish-related recipes from the expected (dips and sauces) to the intriguing (cream of horseradish soup with peas and bacon).

    Two of our favorite recipes are horseradish compound butter for steak, and horseradish mashed potatoes.
     
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    *The Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, called Brassicaceae in the Latin-based taxonomy system, includes bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes and turnips, among others.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Corned Beef & Cabbage Sandwich

    Sliced Corned Beef

    Top: A Corned Beef & Cabbage panini sandwich from Dietz & Watson. Bottom: Sliced corned beef. Photo courtesy Cascal Soda.

     

    You may look forward to Corned Beef & Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? How about a Corned Beef & Cabbage Sandwich?

    If it sounds strange, remember that cole slaw is simply sliced cabbage with dressing, and that the Reuben is a grilled or toasted sandwich on rye or pumpernickel with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian Dressing.

    In this recipe from Dietz & Watson, they cabbage is simply steamed, but nothing’s stopping you from serving the sandwich with a side of slaw. Or a cold beer.

    This photo shows the sandwich made on a panini press, but you can make a conventional sandwich as you prefer.

    This sandwich is a relative of
    In addition to corned beef hash, this is one of our favorite uses for leftover corned beef.

    RECIPE: CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE SANDWICH

    Ingredients Per Sandwich

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup green cabbage, julienned finely
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 slices rye bread or substitute
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or grainy mustard
  • 6 thin slices corned beef
  • 2 ounces Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional garnish: pickles
  •  
    Preparation  

    1. BRING 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon oil to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add the cabbage and reduce the heat to low. Steam the cabbage for 15 minutes but do not overcook; the cabbage should still remain crisp. Drain and pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    2. LAY two slices of bread on a flat work surface. Spread 1 teaspoon of mustard on each slice. Pile the corned beef, Cheddar and cabbage on one slice. Add the top slice of bread. Grill on a panini press or serve as is.

     

     
    WHAT IS CORNED BEEF?

    Corning refers to curing or pickling the meat in a seasoned brine. The word refers to the “corns” or grains of rock salt (today, kosher salt) that is mixed with water to make the brine.

    Typically, brisket is used to make corned beef; the dish has many regional variations and seasonings. Smoking a corned beef, and adding extra spices, produces pastrami.

    Corned beef was a staple in middle-European Jewish cuisine. Irish immigrants learned about corned beef on New York’s Lower East Side from their Jewish neighbors, and adopted it as a cheaper alternative to Irish bacon. Bacon and cabbage is a popular Irish dish. (Irish bacon is a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon. Here are the different types of bacon.)

    Cattle in Ireland were not used for meat but for dairy products. Pork, an inexpensive meat in Ireland, was a dinner table staple.

    But in the U.S., pork was much more expensive than the American staple meat, beef; and brisket, which required several hours of cooking to tenderize, was an affordable cut. Irish-Americans substituted corned beef for the bacon, and and Corned Beef & Cabbage was born.

     
      

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    RECIPE: Stuffed Cucumber Hors d’Oeuvre

    You don’t need to train as a sushi chef to make these hors d’oeuvre suggested by Sunset Products, growers of Sunset One Sweet Cucumbers. The mini cucumbers easily turn into a crunchy base.

    They’re green enough—and elegant enough—to serve with St. Patrick’s Day cocktails.

    The first recipe is a twist on the traditional California roll.

    RECIPE #1: CUCUMBER, SHRIMP & WASABI BITES

    Ingredients For 48 Bites

  • 8 seedless cucumbers
  • 2-3 teaspoons wasabi paste
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced pink pickled ginger (sushi style)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked shrimp or crab meat, drained well
  • Garnish: minced fresh chives or tobiko
  •    

    Shrimp & Wasabi Cucumber Appetizers

    Cucumber, Shrimp & Wasabi Bites from Sunset Products.

     
    Preparation

    1. CUT the ends off the cucumbers, then cut each cucumber into 1” slices (6 pieces per cucumber). You should end up with about 48 slices. Using a small melon-baller, scoop out the center of each bite to 3/4 of the way down, leaving the bottom intact. Set aside.

    2. MASH together the wasabi, cream cheese, soy sauce and pickled ginger ith a fork in a small bowl, until smooth and combined. Then mix in the shrimp to thoroughly combine.

    3. TRANSFER the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag (substitute a food storage bag) with a plain round tip. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each cucumber bite. Sprinkle with chives or tobiko before serving.

     

    Curried Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe

    Curried Goat Cheese Bites from Sunset Products.

     

    RECIPE #2: CURRIED GOAT CHEESE, APRICOT & PISTACHIO BITES

    For the holidays, you can garnish these bites with finely minced dried cranberries for a red-and-green theme.

    Ingredients For 48 Bites

  • 8 mini cucumbers
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup finely minced dried apricots
  • Garnish: chopped pistachios and dried cranberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT the ends off the cucumbers, then cut each cucumber into 1” slices (6 pieces per cucumber). You should end up with about 48 slices. Using a small melon-baller, scoop out the center of each bite to 3/4 of the way down, leaving the bottom intact. Set aside.

    2. MASH together the cream cheese, goat cheese, curry powder and salt with a fork in a small bowl, until smooth and combined. Then mix in the shrimp to thoroughly combine.

    3. TRANSFER the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag (substitute a food storage bag) with a plain round tip. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each cucumber bite. Sprinkle with pistachios and dried cranberries before serving.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Turn Any Soup Into St. Patrick’s Day Soup

    There are plenty of green soups to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. For starters, consider avocado; Caldo Verde (kale, potato, sausage); cream of asparagus, broccoli or spinach; cucumber; green pea; herb; and nettle soups.

    There are also classic Irish soups like Irish Bacon & Cabbage, Potato & Leek and Irish Potato Soup.

    But you can also take your family’s favorite soup and add a green topping, starting with diced avocado.

    Add a sprinkle of freshly chopped green herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley.

    Don’t like avocado? Dice the tops of green onions, or use a chiffonade of basil. If you like, you can toss them on top of a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

    If you’d prefer a cheese garnish, hit a cheese store for Sage Derby, a Cheddar-style cheese from England; or Basiron Pesto, a Gouda turned green with added pesto.

    Now, commence to the eatin’ of the green.
     
    FOOD TRIVIA: WHAT ARE HERBS?

     

    Bean Soup Avocado Garnish

    Instant St. Patrick’s Day food: soup with an avocado and herb garnish. Photo courtesy Quinciple.com.

  • Herbs refer to the leafy green parts of a plant. They can be used fresh or dried.
  • Spices are obtained from other parts of a plant: bark, berries, fruits, roots or seeds. They are usually dried.
  • The word “herb”” is pronounced with the “h” in most English-speaking countries, identical to the man’s name, Herb. In North America, the “h” is dropped, so the word sounds like “erb.”
  • There are culinary herbs and medicinal herbs. Culinary herbs are simply called “herbs,” as distinguished from “medicinal herbs.”
  • The difference between herbs and vegetables in that herbs are used in small amounts to enhance flavor (like spices), rather than used as a substantial ingredient.
  •   

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    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    A St. Pat’s special: green mint chocolate chip cookies. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    A tip from McCormick: Use green food color to tint minty chocolate chip cookies for your favorite leprechauns. If you don’t like mint, you can substitute vanilla extract.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 10-12 minutes.

    RECIPE: GREEN MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

    Ingredients For 3 Dozen Cookies

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons green food color
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, food color and peppermint extract; mix well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    3. DROP by heaping tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.

    4. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookie edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
     
    TIP FOR GROWN-UPS

    Add some Crème De Menthe or Irish Cream Liqueur to that chocolate milk!

     
      

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