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Archive for Vegetables-Salads-Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: Potato Peel Chips

Don’t send those potato peels to the trash bin.

Turn them into chips!

You can make this recipe with the peels from just two potatoes. Or, for a large lot, freeze the peels until you’re ready to defrost and bake.

Sweet potato peels work, too, as do carrot and other root vegetable peels.

RECIPE: POTATO PEEL CHIPS

Ingredients

  • Peelings from 4 potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper or 1 teaspoon barbecue rub
  • Optional garnishes: shredded cheddar and chopped scallions, grated parmesan
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

    2. TOSS the potatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

    3. SEASON with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with garnishes and serve immediately.
     
     
    MORE WAYS TO USE KITCHEN SCRAPS

    Here’s more inspiration from Cooktop Cove on how to re-use what you’d normally throw away:

  • Bread Heels
  • Broccoli Stalks
  • Chicken Bones
  • Scallion Root Ends
  •  
    Ideas From Life Hacker | Australia include

  • Apple Peel Chips
  • Carrot & Potato Peel Chips
  • Cucumber Peel Spread
  • Parmesan Rind Bites
  •  
    Plus

  • Carrot Greens Chimichurri
  • Greek Broccoli Stalk Salad
  • Sesame-Ginger Radish Greens
  •  

    Potato Peel Chips
    [1] Turn peels into chips (photo courtesy Covetop Cook).

    Sweet Potato Peel Chips
    [2] Sweet potato peel chips (photo courtesy What’s Gaby Cooking).

    Carrot Peel Chips

    [3] Potato and carrot peel chips (photo courtesy Life Hacker | Australia.

     
    Keep an eye out, and you’ll find many ways to use kitchen scraps that are fun to make and eat, and a contribution to a better environment.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Chanterelle Mushrooms and Chanterelle Tacos

    Chanterelle mushrooms are found year-round, but their peak season—highest yield, lowest price—is autumn (September is National Mushroom Month).

    Meaty wild mushrooms that range in color from orange to yellow-gold, the unusual color is due to the presence of carotenoids, antioxidant pigments that also give color to bell peppers, cantaloupe, carrots, papaya, mangos, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.

    In addition to their color, it’s easy to recognize chanterelles from their wavy caps with ruffled gills that flare upward along the stem—forming a trumpet shape.

    They’re prized because they’re different, and not just for their looks. They have an aroma resembling apricots or peaches, and a nutty flavor. They can’t be cultivated but must be gathered by hand. This can make them more expensive, but wild mushrooms are invariably more flavorful than cultivated ones.

    Cantharellus cibarius, commonly known as the chanterelle or golden chanterelle, grows wild on the forest floor, in old, deep, “leaf litter.” It grows in quantity along the Pacific Coast of North America, and in temperate forests around the world. (Note: Don’t gather your own in the forest, unless you have had expert training in how to identify them, or can get expert advice prior to consuming them.)

    These meaty mushrooms also contain significant amounts of protein, plus chromium, iron, eight essential amino acids, potassium and vitamins A and D2 (the latter helps the body absorb calcium).
     
     
    USING CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS

    Chanterelles love to be paired with with pasta, risotto, anything with a butter or cream sauce, and in a ragout with other wild mushrooms.

    As with all mushrooms, they shine with garlic and onions, and cow’s milk cheeses like Parmesan (the difference between Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano).

  • Add them to just about any savory course.
  • Sauté or roast them, and serve them as a side with grilled or roasted meats and seafood; or a first course, with grated Parmesan. The simplest preparation: Sauté in butter and garnish with parsley.
  • The latter preparation makes an easy sauce. Don’t hesitate to add a spoonful of Cognac.
  • Roast them and toss with a bit of olive oil, lemon zest, crushed pepper and optional parsley.
  • Have too many chanterelles and not enough time to cook them all? Cook and purée them into soup with a bit of milk, cream or broth; or pickle them.
  •    

    Chanterelle Mushrooms
    [1] Ready to clean and cook (photo courtesy Quinciple).

    Chanterelles

    [2] A simple sauté with salt, pepper and herbs provides a wealth of taste (photo courtesy D’Artagnan).

  • For a first course or brunch, spoon sautéed chanterelles over polenta or eggs (think of Chanterelle Eggs Benedict).
  • For a main course or side, use fresh chanterelles. For soups and sauces, you can reconstitute dry chanterelles.
  •  
    Chanterelles can garnish an elegant protein such as filet mignon or turbot; or it can fill tortillas, as in the Chanterelle Tacos recipe below.
     
     
    CHANTERELLE TIPS

  • Like most vegetables, mushrooms do not ripen further after picking. They’re ready to eat: Use them within a week.
  • Keep the unwashed mushrooms dry in the fridge, in a brown paper bag. If you purchased them in a plastic bag, discard it when you get the ‘shrooms home and place them in a Tupperware-type container on paper towels.
  • Like most mushrooms, chanterelles absorb liquids like a sponge. Be careful to wipe with a damp cloth, but don’t soak them.
  • Chanterelles should only be eaten cooked.
  • All mushrooms should be cooked over low heat.
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    CHANTERELLE TRIVIA

  • The name chanterelle comes from the Greek word kantharos, meaning vase.
  • The Pacific Golden Chanterelle (C. formosus) is the state mushroom of Oregon.
  •  

     

    Chanterelle Tacos

    [3] Chanterelle tacos (photo courtesy Ten Speed Press | Crown Publishers).

     

    RECIPE: CHANTEARELLE TACOS

    This recipe, sent to us by Good Eggs, is from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, by Heidi Swanson.

     
    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeño chile, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • 12 ounces chanterelles, sliced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (substitute regular oregano)
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream, parsley
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, chile, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions are translucent, a few minutes.

    2. INCREASE the heat to high, add the mushrooms, stir well, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid. Then brown, about 5 minutes more. Stir just a few times along the way; with excessive stirring, the mushrooms won’t brown deeply.

    3. REMOVE from the heat. Rub the oregano between your palms and let it rain down into the mushroom mixture. Taste and add a bit more salt, as desired.

    4. WARM the tortillas. Wrap the stack in a barely damp kitchen towel. Place in a heavy pot over very low heat, cover, and let warm for a few minutes, or until you are ready to use them. If you want char on the tortillas, toast them directly over the flame of the stove.

    5. SPOON the mixture into the warmed tortillas and sprinkle the Parmesan over all of the tacos. Serve with the sour cream and parsley.

      

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    RECIPE: Chopped Fennel & Apple Salad

    This crunchy chopped salad is a smooth transition from summer to heartier winter salads.

    It’s based on what we think is an under-used vegetable, fennel, which is in season from early fall to early spring.

    Crisp fennel and crisp apple combine with crunchy pomegranate arils, which add a festive touch.

    (Don’t like arils? Try this fennel and arugula salad with apple and orange.

    We’re also fond of these fennel pickles.)

    This recipe comes to us from Beth Warren Nutrition. Beth is the author of two books, Living a Real Life with Real Food (2014) and Kosher Girl, due in spring 2018. Her focus is health-conscious kosher meals; but you don’t have to be kosher to enjoy every bite.

    Beth likes this recipe for Rosh Hashanah. It goes splendidly with yesterday’s recipe for Buttermilk Roast Chicken.

    Also take a look at this Orange Fennel Salad recipe, this Shaved Salad With Pear & Fennel, and these Fennel Pickles.
     
     
    RECIPE: FALL FENNEL SALAD

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 2 bulbs fennel, chopped
  • ½ thinly sliced green apple
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients in glass mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
     
     
    FENNEL FACTS

    Fennel looks like the offspring of a peeled white onion and a bunch of dill. It’s crunchy like celery, with a slight anise taste.

     

    Fennel Apple Salad
    [1] A fall chopped salad: fennel salad, with apples and pomegranate arils (photo courtesy Beth Warren Nutrition).

    Fennel Bulb

    [2] A bulb of fennel. All parts can (and should!) be eaten (photo courtesy Good Eggs).

     
    You can use every part of it.

  • If you only want to use the bulb, turn the stalks into pickled fennel, a.k.a. fennel pickles.
  • The fronds make a lovely food or plate garnish for any savory food, and can be dried and used as herbs.
  •  
    The History Of Fennel

    Fennel is highly aromatic and flavorful, with a long history of both culinary and medicinal uses. The bulb and stalks resemble celery, the leaves look like dill (Anethum graveolens, also of the same order and family), and the aroma and flavor resemble sweet licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabraa, a totally different order [Fabales] and family [Fabaceae]).

    A member of the parsley family* (Apiaceae), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and celery (Petroselinum crispum) are botanical cousins, members of the same order* (Apiales) and family* (Apiaceae). Both are believed to be indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, growing wild before they were cultivated thousands of years ago.

    Records of fennel’s use date back to about 1500 B.C.E, although its use far precedes the records.

    Fennel was likely first cultivated in Greece, and was used for both medicinal† and culinary purposes. The ancient Greeks and Romans ate the entire plant: the bulb, the the seeds, blossoms and the fronds.

    Theirs was a more bitter variety. Florence fennel, also called sweet anise and finocchio in Italian, the variety eaten as a vegetable, wasn’t developed until the 17th century, in the area of Florence, Italy [source].

    Although many recipes make reference to fennel “root,” it is actually the stalk, swollen into a bulb-like shape at the plant’s base, which is consumed (the same is true with kohlrabi).

    Uses For Fennel

    Fennel can be substituted for celery in recipes when an additional nuance of flavor is desired. We also enjoy it as part of a crudités plate.

    Fennel seeds are a popular spice, for baking, bean dishes, brines, fish, pork, sausages and much more. We especially like them in cole slaw and cucumber salad.

    Plain and sugar-coated fennel seeds are used as a spice and an after-meal mint in India and Pakistan. If you don’t see a dish of them as you leave, ask for them at restaurants.
    ___________________________________________
     
    *We love this family, which also includes angelica, anise, asafoetida, caraway, carrot, celery, chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, lovage, cow parsley, parsley, parsnip and lesser known edible plants (sea holly, giant hogweed). It also includes the poisonous hemlock.

    In case you don’t remember plant taxonomy from high school biology, here’s a refresher.

    †Pliny The Elder mentions fennel as a treatment for stomachache, the “stings of serpents,” uterus health and other maladies. Those ancient homeopaths got it right: According to Web MD, modern uses include various digestive problems, such as heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite and colic in infants. It is also used for upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis, cholera, backache, bedwetting, and visual problems. Some women use fennel for increasing the flow of breast milk, promoting menstruation, easing the birthing process, and increasing sex drive. And yes, fennel powder is used as a poultice for snakebites.

      

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    FOOD 101: Why Onions Make You Cry…And How To Stop It

    Sliced Onion

    Cutting an onion releases the “tear” chemicals (photo Flagstaff Fotos).

     

    An onion is a thing of beauty—until you slice into it and the fumes assault your eyes. But that doesn’t need to be. Here are some tips to minimize the impact of the acrid gas that’s released when you slice into an onion.

    WHY DO ONION VAPORS BURN YOUR EYES?

    Simply peeling an onion does not make your eyes water.

    But once you chop, cut, crush or smash the onion, the onion’s cells break open, creating a chemical reaction. Enzymes called alliinases break down the amino acids (sulfoxides)in the onion and generate sulfenic acids.

    These further react to produce a volatile gas known as the onion lachrymatory factor, or LF. LF diffuses through the air and activates sensory neurons in eye, causing that burning, stinging sensation.

    It’s not dissimilar to the effects of tear gas. Tear glands come to the defense, producing tears to dilute and flush out the irritant. If you slice onions a lot, your eyes will become more tolerant (they may build up a tolerance to the LF).

     
    The amount of LF differs among onion varieties. That’s why some onions are real “burners” and others are milder. Sweet onions, for example, grow in soils that are low in sulphur and don’t produce much alliinase.

    NO-STING & LESS-STING SOLUTIONS

    Our personal technique: For no sting whatsoever, wear swimming goggles (or any goggles). It works like a charm.

    No goggles? These will help:

  • Slice the onion vertically, through the root end. The onion base has a higher concentration of sulphur compounds than the rest of the bulb. Even better, avoid the root altogether. Use only the top 80% of the onion.
  • Slice under running water. Place your cutting board in the sink and cut the onions under running water. The water whisks the fumes away. Submerge the onions in a basin of water, if you have a basin large enough!
  • Refrigerate the onions before cutting. This reduces the enzyme reaction rate.
  • Turn on a fan. Position it to blow the gas away from your eyes.
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Replace Croutons With Fried Potato Cubes (Gluten Free!)

    Potato Croutons
    [1] Potato croutons plus bread croutons garnish this wedge salad. Photo and recipe courtesy Idaho Potato Commission.

    Sweet Potato Croutons

    [2] For other salads, you can make sweet potato croutons. Here’s the recipe and salad ideas from Eating Bird Food.

     

    If you like croutons on your salad (and how many of us do not), here’s an idea from the Idaho Potato Commission:

    Substitute crispy, fried potato “croutons” instead of bread. They’re gluten-free, but can be combined with conventional bread croutons for a layered texture-flavor approach.

    If you reach for the most well-done french fries, this recipe is for you!

    In this recipe the Idaho folks used the retro wedge salad. This one is loaded with bacon, cheese, potatoes, croutons (both bread and potato).

    The recipe was created by Jonathan Melendez of The Candid Appetite. He uses feta instead of the conventional blue cheese (we love either).

    Time-Saving Tip: The different salad components can be made and prepped the day before and assembled on the next day.

    RECIPE: WEDGE SALAD WITH POTATO CROUTONS

    Ingredients for 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 medium Idaho russet potatoes, rinsed and thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large iceberg lettuce, quartered
  • ¾ cup buttermilk ranch dressing (recipe—we also like blue cheese dressing)
  • 8 slices crispy bacon, chopped
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup croutons
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (substitute blue cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SET a large skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Once hot, add the potatoes and cook until crispy, browned and softened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir them occasionally so that they cook and brown evenly.

    2. SEASON with salt, pepper and rosemary.

    3. ASSEMBLE the salads: Arrange the iceberg quarters on a platter. Drizzle each wedge with dressing, and top with potatoes, bacon, tomatoes, red onion, croutons feta cheese and chives. Serve immediately and enjoy!

     

     
      

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