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Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: Try These 2017 Food Trends

What’s trending in 2017? Every expert has an opinion, but here are some from the James Beard House.

CAULIFLOWER IS THE NEW KALE

Hmmm…we thought kale was the new cauliflower, back in 2013.

But we’re so over kale and still in love with cauliflower, that we won’t fight this one! Cauliflower is so much more versatile. It can be mashed, instead of potatoes; it can be riced; it can be grilled like a steak. Each of these recipes is a treat:

  • Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
  • Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
  • Cauliflower Risotto
  • Cauliflower “Steak”
  • Crispy Fried Cauliflower, Indian-style
  • Masala Cauliflower: Spiced Cauliflower & Cauliflower Salad
  • Riced Cauliflower/Cauliflower Rice
  • Whole Roasted Cauliflower
  •  
    SO ARE KALETTES!

    What do you get when you cross kale with Brussels sprouts?

    Kalettes, a dual cruciferous powerhouse. Combining the best flavors of both “parents” results in a fusion of sweet and nutty, which can be prepared in endless ways.

    It’s the first new vegetable to hit the market since broccolini.

    They grow on tall stalks like Brussels sprout, but have leafy heads—as if that solid Brussels sprout turned into feathery kale.

    And they’re much more tender than kale, which is so much more appealing in salads. Here’s more about kalettes.

    Recipes:

  • 16 Kale Recipes, from breakfast through dinner
  • Colorful Kalette Skewers
  • Crispy Roasted Kalettes With Parmesan Dip
  • Kalette, Tomato & Onion Frittata
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Kalettes
  • Sesame Chili Sautéed Kalettes with Berkshire Pork and Jasmine Rice
  • Thai-Spiced Kalettes
  •  
    WHEY TO GO

    Whey is a by-product of cheese-making. In fact, after centuries of feeding it to the farm animals, a clever cheesemaker figured out how to re-cook it into ricotta (which means “recooked”).

    Why is a byproduct of yogurt-making, too. In Greece, the acidic and delicious whey is used to marinate lamb; in the U.S., it is sold as whey powder in health food stores. But much domestic whey is discarded.

    At last: Bottles of whey for drinking and cooking have been spotted at health food stores and natural foods chains like Whole Foods. In 2017, look to say “Way!” to whey.
     
    SORGHUM: THE ANCIENT NEW “IT” GRAIN

    Sorghum is an ancient grain and a nutritious whole grain; but for the last century or so in the U.S., which is the world’s largest grower, it has mostly been grown for animal feed.

    Made into a syrup, was the most popular sweetener in 19th century America. On-trend chefs have been using it to glaze and braise.

    But until recently, we had no idea that it was sold in grain form. Now, it’s poised to become the latest “new” gluten-free grain of the moment.

    Sorghum resembles Israeli couscous in shape, but is sweet, not earthy. We had our first bite recently, and it is delicious!

    Sorghum can cooked in any grain recipe; it can be popped like popcorn. You can bake with sorghum flour (it’s often part of GF flour mixes).

    Start with Bon Appétit’s delicious recipe for Roast Chicken with Sorghum and Squash.

    Here’s more about sorghum, plus two (of the soon to be numerous) dedicated sorghum cookbooks:

  • Sorghum’s Savor
  • Sorghum Treasures: A Compilation of Recipes Old and New
  •    

    Kalettes Hybrid

    Kalettes

    Spiced Kalettes

    Sorghum Grains

    Roast Chicken & Sorghum

    [1] The newest vegetable in years, kalettes (center) are a cross between kale (left) and brussels sprouts (right—photo courtesy Modern Farmer). [2] Look for packaged qualities (photo courtesy Ocean Mist). [3] Turn them into salads or delicious dishes like Thai Spiced Kalettes (here’s the recipe from One Tomato Two Tomato). [4] Make sorghum your new grain. You can buy it at Whole Foods and other natural foods markets, or online (photo courtesy Easy Me World | Blogspot). [5] Roast chicken with sorghum. Here’s the recipe from Bon Appetít.

     
    WHERE’S THE BEEF?

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the consumption of red meat peaked in the 1970s.

    But until recently, at restaurants around the country, it was rare to find a menu that didn’t offer a juicy steak or other red meat.

    With increased costs, more concern about sustainability (forests are cut down for grazing land, steers generate tons of methane, and both contribute to greenhouse gas), or a change in tastes due to international cuisines that don’t focus on red meat, restaurants and homes alike are using less beef.

    Except for the ubiquitous burger.

    Vying to take beef’s place: duck, lamb, venison, pork, and more vegetarian and grain mains.

    Do your part: Instead of beef, choose something else—preferably a nice veggie burger. Pick up a book on vegetarian entrées.

     

    Tuna Tataki

    Pickled Watermelon Rind

    Waste Free Kitchen Book

    [1] Make this beautiful tuna tataki recipe from Just One Cookbook. [2] Alton Brown’s watermelon pickles, a.k.a. pickled watermelon rinds. Here’s the recipe. [3] Start the year with a mission to stop wasting food, with this wonderful book (photo courtesy Chronicle Books).

     

    VEGETABLES TAKE CENTER STAGE

    For nutrition, weight control, sustainability, easy of clean-up and for flavor, vegetables are becoming the star of the show for non-vegetarians. Vegan restaurants are gaining popularity with mainstream eaters.

    Perhaps this is the year to re-think Meatless Monday, which sounds like abstinence, to Voluptuous Veggie Day.

    And have fun doing it!

    FERMENT YOUR WAY TO HEALH

    Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha are very healthful.

    And fermentation has fascinated chefs for years, as they’ve tried to uncover new ways to create naturally complex flavors, nuanced textures, and other gastronomic excitement.

    The new magazine Cured focuses on aging and fermenting food, and cookbooks like Bar Tartine give explicit instructions about how to ferment your own condiments.

    Fermented foods have been made for millennia. So before you think new, think old: older, bubbling, cultured and fermented. And check out this book.

     
    TIME FOR TATAKI

    Move over crudo and carpaccio. From fish to beef, toro to kobe, tataki is an appetizer expected to sweep the nation.

    The protein is quickly seared, then thinly sliced, brushed with a bright vinegar, and presented with a host of east-meets-west accompaniments.

    Recipes are beautiful, healthful, and very tasty. Start with these:

  • Tuna Tataki
  • Beef Tataki
  •  
    With beef, the benefit with tataki is that with thins trips of red meat, you eat less of it—and spend less on it.

    Never had tataki? Head to the nearest Japanese restaurant for a starter of tuna tataki. Then, pick up some tuna or salmon and make your own at home.
     
    Finally, but perhaps most important:

    WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

    With nearly half of all food produced in the U.S. going to waste, concerned restaurants, professional chefs and even home cooks are learning to create delicious dishes with parts of the animal, fruit, or vegetable that would normally end up in the trash.

    Top chefs are focusing on it; Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and others are speaking out about how we can all reduce waste in our kitchens. Introductory recipes for waste-less cooking are popping up everywhere.

    It’s not hard: Instead of throwing out watermelon rinds, pickle them! Here’s a recipe.

    Start with this book.

    Seattle is the city pioneer in waste not, want not: In 2014, it began to impose fines on households and restaurants. Here’s the scoop.

    For the health of our planet and our legacy to our grandchildren, this is a trend we hope will have staying power.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Potato Latkes & Beyond

    Classic Latkes

    Potato Pancakes

    Potato Cauliflower Latkes

    Latke Smoked Salmon Caviar

    [1] Nana’s latkes, served with applesauce and sour cream (photo courtesy Melissa’s).[2] A more elegant presentation (from Anne Fruart via Vermont Creamery. [3] Mix it up: potato latkes with cauliflower from Idaho Potatoes (recipe at right). [4] Our personal heaven: latkes with smoked salmon, caviar, filled sour cream and a bit of chive (photo courtesy Diva Eats World).

     

    You might prefer the parting of the Red Sea, the when God delivered the 10 Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai, or Passover, when 10 plagues passed over the households of the children of Israel and wreaked havoc on all others, culminating in the Exodus, freedom from slavery.

    But our favorite Hebrew miracle is the Chanukah lamp oil. resulting in the Festival of Lights. It commemorates the miracle of a temple lamp (menorah) which had enough purified the oil for one day. It would take a week to make more purified oil. But a miracle occurred: After the the menorah was lit, the flames burned for eight days—by which time new vats of purified oil were ready.

    Why is it our favorite Jewish holiday? It comes with fried food, commemorating the lamp oil. That includes latkes, fried potato pancakes.

    THE HISTORY OF LATKES

    The popular potato latkes of European Jewish cuisine descend from Sicilian ricotta pancakes that appeared in the Middle Ages. They traveled north to Roman, where the Jewry called them cassola. Here’s a recipe for ricotta latkes. Traditionally sweetened, you can make a savory version with herbs instead of sugar.

    Potato latkes (meaning “fried cakes” in Yiddish) are an Ashkenazi invention that gained popularity in Eastern Europe during the mid 1800s.

    While the ricotta pancakes, a cousin to cheese blintzes are delicious, our bet is that most people would rather have fried potatoes!

    Here’s a longer history of latkes in Idaho Potato (photo #3).

    RECIPE #1: POTATO, ONION & CAULIFLOWER LATKES

    In addition to varying the latke ingredients, you can try different condiments. We made a curry-yogurt dip for these.

    Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 4 Idaho baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Topping (see below)
     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the cauliflower florets in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times until it resembles a rice texture. Pour into a large mixing bowl.

    2. ADD the onion to the food processor and pulse a few times until it is very finely chopped; add to the mixing bowl.

    3. REPLACE the steel blade with a shredding blade or attachment and feed the potato pieces through the tube until all are shredded. Add to the mixing bowl.

    4. ADD the eggs, flour, salt, pepper and parsley to the bowl and combine thoroughly. If liquid begins to accumulate at the bottom, remove with a spoon.

    5. HEAT the oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan and add scoopfuls of the mixture to form pancakes. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream, Greek yogurt or other garnish of choice.

  •  

    FOR THE TOPPING

    You can serve more than one topping. Our mom always served sour cream and her homemade applesauce (as did her mom); but this is another century. Try fusion seasonings, go crazy (within reason) with toppings like cardamom applesauce, curried Greek yogurt or 3-herb sour cream.

  • Dairy: crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, sour cream
  • Fruit sauce: apple sauce, cranberry sauce
  • Salsa (corn, corn and bean or tomato)
  • Poached egg (for a main course)
  • Gourmet: smoked salmon and salmon caviar (or other roe)
  •  
    Plus

  • Chopped fresh herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, thyme
  • Mesclun salad
  • Grilled or roasted vegetables, ratatouille or other vegetable medley
  • Pesto
  • Asian slaw (no mayo), cucumber salad, carrot-raisin salad, etc.
  •  

    BEYOND POTATO LATKES

    And here’s an even more veg-centric recipe from Good Eggs: the classic potato-onion combination with parsnips, carrots and leeks.

    And for beet lovers, there are (drum roll) beet latkes. Try them now or save them for Valentine’s Day. Serve them Russian style with fresh dill and sour cream.

    You can also make parsnip-centric latkes, carrot and raisin latkes: Go wherever your palate takes you.

    Want cheese with your latkes? Start with this recipe for Ginger Pancakes With Herbed Goat Cheese by Najwa Kronfel of Delicious Shots.

    RECIPE #2: VEGETABLE LATKES

    In photo #5, these latkes are paired with a crunchy Asian slaw.

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 white onion, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • ¾ pounds parsnip, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 leeks, white and pale green parts cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Canola oil
  • Coarse salt
  •  
    Toppings

  • Arugula pesto
  • Apple sauce
  • Crème fraîche
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the peeled potatoes and onions in a big bowl; mix with your hands. In another bowl, combine the peeled parsnips, leeks and carrots.

    2. SQUEEZE the excess liquid out of the potato-onion mixture, using your hands, a clean kitchen towel, cheesecloth or your hands. (We use a large strainer and press down the mixture.). Place in a separate bowl and add the eggs, a few big pinches of salt and flour—again mixing with your hands. Form patties about 3 inches in diameter and just shy of an inch thick. Do the same for the parsnip mixture.

    3. ADD oil to a large skillet, until it’s about ¼-inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the first batch of latkes, leaving plenty of room between each of them. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until they’re a deep golden brown on each side, and fully cooked through.

    4. DRAIN: Place the latkes on a platter or in a baking sheet/dish covered in paper towels and sprinkle with flakey salt immediately. Keep the latkes warm in an oven set to very low. Repeat until you’ve cooked all of the latkes.

     

    Latkes With Slaw

    Beet Latkes

    Carrot Latkes

    [5] Latkes with four different veggies and a side of Asian slaw, from Good Eggs (recipe at left). [6] Beet latkes from Williams-Sonoma. Here’s the recipe. [7] Carrot latkes from Elana’s Pantry.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Christmas Salads

    As we close in on Christmas, we like to “Christmas-ize” our food, adding red and green garnishes to everything from scrambled eggs (green and red bell peppers or jalapeños) to desserts (mint leaves and raspberries).

    We have fun looking for a different red and green combination at every meal.

  • For sandwiches, we add a plate garnish of lettuce, baby spinach or baby arugula and cherry tomatoes*, which can easily be moved onto the sandwich.
  • For an olive garnish, we use the bright green Castelvetrano olives and bright red peppadews.
  •  
    Last year’s red and green food recipes include:

  • Christmas tartare: salmon or tuna
  • Christmas scallop crudo
  • Christmas sushi
  • Goat cheese rolled in dried cranberries and pistachio nuts
  • Pinwheel sandwiches
  • With cocktails,red and green pinwheel sandwiches
  •  
    Today, we suggest a red and green “Christmas salad.”

    The popular Caprese Salad is certainly red and green enough, but in the winter, when conventional tomatoes are out of season, you need to substitute: cherry or grape tomatoes, marinated sundried tomatoes, peppadews, pimientos (jarred red peppers), red bell peppers, etc.

    You can serve something as simple as a beet and avocado salad. No prep is required, beyond slicing the avocado. The peeled, cooked ready-to-eat beets from Love Beets and other brands are terrific.

    Then, just assemble the first three ingredients and drizzle the dressing (or place the dressing on the plate first).

  • Beets
  • Avocado
  • Mozzarella balls (ciliegine, perilii or other size
  • Balsamic vinegar and good olive oil (you can blend them into a vinaigrette)
  • Optional garnish: microgreens
  •  
    Or, make a green salad from:

  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, whole or cut in hale
  • Radicchio or red endive
  • Radishes
  • Red bell pepper, sliced horizontally (we also use the mini bell peppers, bagged in mixed colors)
  • Red chile slices:
  • Red lettuce, chard, mustard greens
  • Red chile slices, from mild to hot
  •  
    Whatever salad you choose, take this tip from KBlog: cut slices of toast into star shapes with a cookie cutter, and top your salad with a big star. Starfruit (carambola) also works.
     
    SALAD HISTORY: WHY IS IT CALLED “SALAD” IF THERE ARE NO SALAD GREENS?

    The original meaning of salad in European cuisine referred to a cold dish consisting of vegetables—lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers—topped with a dressing. Sometimes it containing seafood, meat, or eggs (think egg salad, tuna salad, etc.).

    The modern word, which entered Middle English around 1350-1400, derives from the French salade, which dates back to the Latin salata, salty. Since Roman times, vegetables were seasoned with brine or salty oil-and-vinegar dressings.

    The ancient Greeks and Romans alike ate mixed greens with dressing. Salads, both layered and dressed, were made popular in Europe by Roman imperial expansion (27 B.C.E. to 284 C.E.)

    In the 1699 book, Acetaria: A Discourse on Sallets, John Evelyn attempted with little success to encourage his fellow Britons to eat fresh salad greens. (You can still find reprints in hardcover and digital versions.

       

    Beet Salad

    beets-avocado-ricotta-radish-marsalareduction-bar-eolo-230sq

    Star Crouton On Salad

    Christmas Salad

    [1] Beet salad with red pickled onions and green accents (photo Sarsmis | IST). [2] Another beet salad, green with avocado and a balsamic reduction (photo courtesy Bar Eolo | NYC). [3] Kathy Patalsky of KBlog.LunchboxBunch.com tops her Christmas Tree Salad with a star-shaped toast crouton. Here’s her recipe. [4] Red endive and leafy lettuce with candied walnuts, from Gordon Ramsay.

     
     
    MODERN SALADS

    In the U.S. and Europe, salads of mixed greens salads (“green salads”) became popular in the late 19th century, and the concept expanded to Asia and other regions of the world.

    The term “salad bar,” referring to a buffet laid out with salad-making ingredients so customers could make their own, seems to date to the 1960s. Restaurants in different parts of the country lay claim to its invention, including New York City’s Steak & Ale and Hawaii’s Chuck’’s Steak House. The attraction was the ability to customize one’s salad—and eat as much as you wanted (more history).

    In truth, for centuries inns and boarding houses placed the food on a buffet for guests to help themselves (the “board” from “room and board”).

    ________________
    *When tomatoes are out of season, cherry and grape tomatoes, raised in hothouses, have the best flavor. You can Substitute marinated sundried tomatoes, pimiento, red bell pepper, etc.

    †The phrase is found in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra at the end of Act 1, when Cleopatra regrets her youthful dalliances with Julius Caesar: “…My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood…”.

     

    Red Mustard Greens

    Peppadews

    Castelvetrano Olives

    [5] Look for specialty salad greens like red mustard greens and chard (photo courtesy Good Eggs | SF). [6] Peppadews (photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese). [7] Castelvetrano olives (photo courtesy The Maiden Lane | NYC).

     

    Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) enjoyed salads of boiled celery root over greens. covered with creamy mustard dressing, truffles, chervil, and slices of hard-boiled eggs.

    The phrase “salad days,” meaning a “time of youthful inexperience,” i.e. a young person who is “green,” was coined by Shakespeare†, in 1606.

    Today, salads range far beyond the green salads (garden salads) of the 20th century—a concept so prevalent that in the U.S., the word salad unmodified (i.e., corn salad) refers to a green salad with torn, bite-size lettuce and other ingredients cut into small pieces.

    But there other options that are rightfully called “salad”:

  • Various dishes made with beans and legumes, bread, cheese, eggs, fruit, meat, pasta, seafood, vegetables and starches (green beans, potatoes, grains) and more; in any combination; tossed, topped or “bottomed‡” with a dressing and served cold.
  • Ingredients cut in different shapes: sliced, diced, chopped, shredded, etc.
  • Dressings range from vinaigrettes and creamy dressings, seasoned with everything from mustard to sriracha.
  •  
    Most salads are served cold, although warm vegetable salads are not uncommon, and classics such as German potato salad have always been served warm.
     
    Salads can be served at any point during a meal:

  • Appetizer salads: Light salads that stimulate the appetite serve as the first course of the meal.
  • Side salads: These can accompany the main course as a side dish, or be served after it as the “salad course.”
  • Main course salads: Served for lunch or a light dinner, these containing a protein: cheese, hard-boiled egg, sliced beef, chicken breast, ham, or a combination, like Chef’s Salad or Cobb Salad.
  • Palate cleansing salads: Refreshing ingredients lime citrus segments, herbs or a combination can be used to “settle the stomach” after a heavy main course. Sorbet is another effective palate cleanser.
  • Dessert salads: Mixed fruits, gelatin with fruit, whipped cream or mascarpone and other ingredients can be garnished with cacao nibs, fruit coulis (a light purée), pomegranate arils, sweet dressing (e.g. honey-based, lemon poppyseed), sweet herbs (basil, lavender, mint, rosemary, star anise), toasted coconut, etc.).
  •  
    MORE CHRISTMAS SALAD IDEAS

    Salad Snack Tree

    Christmas Stuffed Avocado

     
    ________________
    ‡Instead of topping the salad with dressing, it’s trendy to cover the plate with dressing and place the salad on top of it.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Ways To Use Fresh Sage, From Cocktails Through Dessert

    We love fresh sage, but seem to use it mostly in the fall. We use it in stuffing, flash-fried as a garnish, and with cocktails.

    But of course, you can enjoy it year-round. It’s a standard herb blend with parsley, rosemary and thyme, a key component of poultry and sausage seasonings. Our mom put fresh sage under the skin of a chicken prior to roasting.
     
    WHAT IS SAGE?

    Salvia officinalis, common sage, is a membr of the Lamiaceae family of flowering plants, also called the mint family.

    Members are frequently aromatic in all parts* and include many widely used culinary herbs: basil, hyssop, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, perilla, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme. Some are shrubs, some are trees; in rare instances, some members are vines.
     
    USES FOR SAGE

  • Beverages: sage tea (herbal), crush into vegetable juices, make sage ice cubes for Bloody Marys and other savory drinks
  • Breads: biscuits, rustic loaves, stuffing/dressing
  • Condiments: pestle-ground and mixed with mustard, sage-infused honey,
  • Eggs: frittatas, omelets, quiches, scrambles
  • Desserts: apple pie and other apple dishes, custards (infuse the cream), olive oil cakes, pear crisps, savory ice cream
  • Garnishes: serve fresh, flash-fried or deep-fried with fish and seafood, meats and poultry, polenta, potatoes, poultry, salads, soups, vegetable juices and cocktails, winter squash
  • Grains & Vegetables: barley, beans, rice and risotto
  • Sauces: tomato sauce, pesto (combine with the traditional basil and/or other herbs)
  • Proteins: calves’ liver, chicken, lamb
  • Sandwiches & Burgers: garnish, fresh or fried
  • Sage Butter: a sauce for fish and pasta, especially with gnocchi, pumpkin pasta and ravioli; a compound butter for duck, lamb, seafood
  •  
    Search for sage recipes and you’ll find favorites like butternut squash soup, creamed onions with sage, pork chops and loin, roast chicken, roasted vegetables, and saltimbocca (a rolled main of steak, prosciutto and provolone with sage).
     
    COCKTAILS & HORS D’OEUVRE

    On this lovely fall weekend, relax with a sage-garnished cocktail and complementary hors d’oeuvre.

    The Side Ride cocktail, created by blogger Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provincial, combines Cognac, Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur, sweet and sour mix (ideally homemade) and Sprite (or 7-Up) lemon-lime soda, both to taste.

    It’s similar to a Side Car, but substitutes gin for the Cognac. Carey took this sophisticated approach with a recipe she created for Vermont Creamery, served with hors d’oeuvre made with Vermont Creamery’s Bijou, an award-winning aged goat cheese in the style of the French crottin.

    Carey uses barrel-aged gin, a recently-revived practice that ages gin, like tequila—in bourbon barrels that generate more richness and spice.

    Wood aging also adds color, so barrel-aged gins are the color of whiskey.

    You can use regular gin, or use this as an occasion to try barrel aged gin.

    And, since this is the season for sage, the cocktail has a fresh sage leaf garnish.

       

    Fresh Sage

    Fried Sage Leaves

    Butternut Squash Soup

    Cranberry Sage Cocktail

    [1] Fresh sage (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [2] Fried sage leaves. Here’s the recipe from Saveur. [3] Butternut soup with a garnish of creme fraiche and a sage leaf. Here’s the recipe from Bon Appetit.[4] Sage as a cocktail garnish in everything from Martinis to this Cranbery Sage Holiday Cocktail (here’s the recipe from Creative Culinary).

     

    Side Ride Cocktail

    Beefeater Barrel Aged Gin

    Bijou Crottins Vermont Creamery

    Caramelized Apples

    Sarabeth's Chunky Apple Jam

    [1] The Side Ride, a Side Car with gin instead of cognac (photo courtesy Reclaiming Provincial). [2] Beefeater Barrel Aged Gin (photo courtesy Pernod Ricard). Aged gin is a great gift for a gin lover. [3] Bijou, a Loire-style goat cheese crottin (photo courtesy Vermont Creamery). [4] Caramelized apples (photo courtesy All Clad). [5] Sarabeth’s Chunky Apple Jam (photo courtesy SBK Preserves).

      ________________
    *Beyond leaves and stems, these can include the herb’s bark, flowers, roots and seeds.
     
    RECIPE #1: SIDE RIDE COCKTAIL

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1.5 ounces barrel-aged gin (substitute conventional gin)
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • .5 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 dash Angostora or other bitters
  • Garnish: sage leaf and lemon or orange peel
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the gin, Grand Marnier, lemon juice and bitters in a shaker with ice. Stir 8-12 seconds and strain into chilled coupe glass.

    2. RUB the rub sage leaf lightly on the rim of coupe and float the leaf in the drink along with lemon or orange peel.
     
    RECIPE #2: GOAT CHEESE HORS D’OEUVRE

    Carey created this hors d’oeuvre to go with the Side Ride cocktail. Slices of Bijou aged goat cheese (from Vermont Creamery) are topped with smoked salmon and a dollop of crème fraiche for a festive bite.

    We had a jar of Sarabeth’s Chunky Apple Jam, and found that we preferred apple jam/preserves to the caramelized apples she specifies. It’s also a lot easier to open a jar, rather than than peeling, slice and caramelize the apples.

    If you have another jam or chutney, that can work, too.

    And if you want to use caramelized apples, Carey’s recipe is below.
     
    Ingredients

  • Vermont Creamery Bijou goat cheese or substitute
  • Good crackers (like La Panzanella)
  • Caramelized apples (recipe below), apple preserves or apple jelly
  • Smoked salmon slices
  • Crème Fraîche (buy Vermont Creamery’s or make your own)
  • Garnish: Fresh dill (substitute sage)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE the Bijou into rounds and place on top of crackers. Top the cheese with the caramelized apples or preserves, and a piece of smoked salmon that’s size-appropriate for the cracker.

    2. TOP with a dollop of crème fraîche and garnish with a small sprig of fresh dill or a piece of sage.

    RECIPE#3: CARAMELIZED APPLES

    Caramelizing is the process of converting sugar into caramel. This type of caramel is not thick like caramel sauce or caramel candies. Rather, the sugar and butter combine to create a light, caramel finish to the apples.

    You can use caramelized apples with everything from pancakes to pork loin. Carey uses a dab to add a sweetness counterpoint to the salty smoked salmon in the recipe above.

    Ingredients

  • 2 firm apples, such as Gala or Granny Smith
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PEEL the apples and cut them into thin slices, as if for apple pie. First cut them into quarters, then slice each quarter into 4 pieces.

    2. MELT the butter over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar, stir to combine, and add the apples. Toss the apples a few times until they are softened and caramelized.
     
    WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SAGE RECIPES?

    Let us know how you use them: for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts.

     

      

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    RECIPE: Lobster Mashed Potatoes

    There are numerous ways to make that American favorite, mashed potatoes, even better.

    A topping of butter-sauteed lobster might be the most exciting preparation for a special occasion. It’s a perennial favorite at Ocean Prime, a fine steak and seafood restaurant with 12 locations from coast to coast.

    We obtained the recipe from Chef Brian Hinshaw of Ocean Prime (thanks)! and adjusted it as noted, starting with much more lobster topping. With our family of foodies, you can’t start a war over who didn’t get enough lobster!

    We also used Yukon Gold potatoes, which are renowned for their creamy, buttery flesh. Whatever potato you choose, plan on 1/2 pound of raw potatoes per adult.

    You’ll also need a stand or hand-held electric mixer, with a wire whip attachment. If you don’t have a whip attachment, see if you can buy a set to fit your mixer; they’re very useful attachments. Otherwise, use the regular beaters and then whip the potatoes into smoothness with a whisk.

    Or better yet, since Christmas is coming, ask Santa for a stand mixer with all the attachments.

    RECIPE: LOBSTER MASHED POTATOES

    This recipe preparation actually makes whipped or pureéd potatoes. The difference: Mashed potatoes can be made with any texture, from lumpy to pureé. Whipping the potatoes adds air volume, and whipping them into smootheness is a pureé.

    Ingredients For A Crowd

  • 8 cups Idaho potatoes (we used Yukon Gold)
  • 12 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 tablespoon white pepper* (we used black pepper)
  •  
    For The Lobster Topping

    For 12 ounces of mashed potatoes, you’ll need:

  • 3 ounces lobster meat, or more to taste (we tripled it to please our family)
  • 3 tablespoons paprika butter (1 stick soft butter whipped in a mixer with ½ tablespoon paprika)
  • 12 ounces whipped mashed potatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • Garnish: minced chives, optional paprika
  •  
    ________________
    *Peppercorns are the fruit of a vine, Piper nigrum. White pepper is a conventional peppercorn with the black husk removed. While much of the piperine—the compound that gives pungency to the peppercorn—is in the husk, French chefs of yore chose to remove it to avoid black specks in pure white dishes like white sauces and puréed potatoes. Frankly, we like the specks and the extra flavor from the husk, and use black peppercorns universally. Here are the different types of pepper, including pink peppercorns, green peppercorns and dozens of others, none of which is Piper nigrum.
    ________________
     
    Preparation

     

    Lobster Mashed Potatoes

    Lobster Meat For Lobster Mashed Potatoes

    Frozen Lobster Meat

    Chopped Chives

    Lobster Mashed Potatoes: How can you resist? (Photo courtesy Ocean Prime). [2] We purchased cooked lobster meat (photo courtesy Celtic Crab Products). [3] Frozen-cooked lobster meat is less expensive (photo courtesy GCastd.org). [4] We love fresh herbs, so added extra chopped chives and some parsley (photo courtesy A Way To Garden).

     
    1. MAKE the lobster topping: Sauté the lobster meat in 2 tablespoons of the paprika butter. Cover to keep warm and set aside (you can do this while the potatoes are cooking).

    2. PEEL the potatoes; then cut in half and slice into 1/2 inch pieces (if using Idaho russets, you can just halve the potatoes). Place in pot and cover with cold water and a pinch of salt.

    3. BRING to a boil, then immediately turn down to simmer. Never boil potatoes; they will become waterlogged. Cook until fork tender.

    4. DRAIN the potatoes in a colander, then put them back in the hot pot for 3 minutes to steam (dry out). This allows the cream and butter to be absorbed into the flesh. While the potatoes are steaming…

    5. HEAT the butter and cream in a small pan until the butter has melted. Add the potatoes to the mixing bowl and whip for 30 seconds; then add 3/4 of the butter mixture and continue to whip—slowly at first, then adding the salt and pepper and increasing the speed to whip more air (volume) into the potatoes. Use the remaining butter mixture only if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    6. SERVE the mashed potatoes in a dish, topped with lobster meat and extra. Garnish with the chives and more paprika as desired.

     
    MORE SPECIAL MASHED POTATO RECIPES

  • Beet Mashed Potatoes
  • Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
  • Lowfat Mashed Potatoes
  • Flavored Mashed Potatoes: Substitute infused olive oil for the butter–basil oil, chile oil, garlic oil, rosemary oil, wasabi, etc.
  • Holiday Mashed Potatoes: Mix-in theme-colored vegetable bits–chives or scallion stems for St. Patrick’s Day, crushed red pepper flakes or pimento for Valentine’s Day, etc.
  • Mashed Potato Martini
  • Purple Mashed Potatoes
  •  
    Plus some food fun, mashed potatoes with a cup of coffee: Mashed Potato Donuts.
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPE OF POTATOES

    How many different types of potatoes are there? Thousands, worldwide; but check out the dozens of varieties you can find in the U.S.

      

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