Apples

Bouley

August 19, 2015

Last night I had the pleasure of going to David Bouley’s Tribeca restaurant,Bouley. I have to say that it is one of the most beautiful dining rooms that I’ve seen in a very long time. Here is a photo that I took of the entrance. A wonderful display of fresh apples greet you when entering the restaurant. The aroma was ridiculously intoxicating.

Passover Menu Ideas

April 3, 2015

Passover Menu Ideas

If you’re wondering what to serve for Passover here are some handy menu ideas.

Soups & Appetizers
Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo Balls
Chopped Chicken Liver

Side Dishes
Quinoa Salad (Avocado, Mandarin Oranges, Toasted Walnuts, Citrus Vinaigrette)
Spiced Applesauce
Potato Kugel
Potato, Carrot & Prune Tzimmes
Walnut, Fig & Apple Haroset
Potato Latkes
Haricots Verts With Wild Mushrooms
Mélange Of Asparagus, English Peas, Carrots & Pearl Onions
Honey Roasted Baby Carrots

Main Courses
Black Angus Brisket With Caramelized Pearl Onions & Dried Apricots
Roasted Salmon With Mango Pineapple Salsa
Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast With Peach Cranberry Chutney
Roasted Chicken Breast With Apricot Ginger Glaze

Desserts
Baked Apples Stuffed With Walnuts & Dried Cranberries
Individual Pavlovas (Flourless Meringue Shells Filled With Lemon Curd & Fresh Berries)
Chocolate Truffle Cake
Apple Walnut Honey Cake With Matzo Crust
Chocolate Covered Matzos
Flourless Assorted Macarons (Lemon, Raspberry & Peach)

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

Brown Sugar

December 2, 2014

Brown Sugar

Most brown sugars are made of white granulated sugar to which a dark syrup has been added. Dark brown sugar has a mild molasses, and light brown sugar has a milder, lighter syrup, which may also be molasses. Dark brown has a slightly stronger flavor, but they may be used interchangeably.

You can easily make your own brown sugar, as you need it by blending together 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with 2 tablespoons of unsulphured molasses. The yield is equivalent to 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Brown sugar is moist and if it dries out it will harden. It should be stored airtight at room temperature.  If it has small lumps in it they should be strained out. With your fingertips press the sugar through a large strainer over a large bowl. If your brown sugar has been left open and becomes hard, place a dampened (not wet) paper towel inside the airtight container for 12 hours or more. A slice of apple can be used in place of the dampened towel.

"Work With What You Got!"

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

An Apple A Day

September 30, 2014

We've all heard the saying, "An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away." Well it's the truth! A large apple contains 5 grams of fiber, which maintains healthy glucose levels, reduces the risk of heart disease, and promotes good digestion. Furthermore, an apple is fat and cholesterol-free, and low in sodium and calories, which helps one maintain a healthy weight. 

Did You Know?

September 14, 2014

36 Apples = 1 Gallon Of Cider

Not Sure How Many Apples You Need?

September 12, 2014

Not sure how many apples you need to make an apple pie? One pound of apples is roughly 4 small, 3 medium, or 2 large apples. When you're making a 10 inch apple pie and the recipe calls for 2 1/2 pounds, then you will need 9 small, 7 medium, or 5 large apples. 

Keep Apples Crisp

September 10, 2014

While fruit bowls are pretty to look at, store apples in the refrigerator to keep them crisp longer. When they are kept cold, apples can stay nice and crunchy for weeks. Keep them away from aromatic foods like onions, as apples tend to absorb odor. 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Menu Guide

November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Menu Guide

In the spirit of getting organized here is a Thanksgiving Menu guide that can help you plan according.  Print this list out and add your own notes.  Remember that the key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner is organization. 

Soups & Starters

Italian Wedding Soup (Tiny Meatballs, Tortellini & Escarole)

Creamy Mushroom Soup (Rich Mushroom Broth With Sliced Mushrooms)

Sweet Potato Kale Soup (Sweet Potatoes, Corn & Peppers Simmered in Broth, Topped With Kale)

Butternut Squash Soup (Sweet Butternut Squash Simmered in a Light Vegetable Broth With Ginger & Mace)

Chicken Stock (Chicken Bones & Fresh Vegetables Simmered For Hours)

Wild Mushroom Strudel (Portabello, Shitake & Button Mushrooms Cooked With Garlic & Herbs Finished With a Mix of Goat, Mozzarella, Gruyere & Cream Cheese Wrapped In a Crispy Puff Pastry Shell

Bacon Wrapped Scallops (Sea Scallops Wrapped in Smoked Bacon)

Sides

Garlicky Greens (Steamed Kale & Chard Seasoned with Roasted Garlic)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Roasted Brings Out Their Natural Sweetness)

Green Beans With Almonds (Fresh Green Beans With Sliced Crisp Almonds With a Touch of Tarragon)

Creamed Spinach With Roasted Garlic (Spinach Seasoned With Nutmeg & Tossed With Cream & Garlic)

Roasted Corn Pudding (A Savory American Classic)

Roasted Butternut Squash With Dried Cranberries (Squash, Roasted With Onions & Herbs)

Cornbread Stuffing With Sausage & Spinach (Sausage In Rustic Stuffing)

Traditional New England Stuffing (Moist Bread Stuffing With Herbs & Spices)

Classic Mashed Potatoes (Velvety Smooth Made With Cream & Butter)

Maple Bourbon Sweet Potatoes (Mashed Sweet Potatoes Sweetened With a Bourbon Maple Syrup

Home-style Green Beans (Fresh Green Beans With Cherry Tomatoes)

Apple Fennel Slaw (Granny Smith Apples, Horseradish & Fennel)

Green Salad (Mixed Green Salad With Cider Dressing)

Sweet & Sour Cabbage (Red Cabbage Braised in Duck Fat)

Peas With Pearl Onions (3 Types of Peas With Pearl Onions)

Autumn Vegetable Ragout With Soft Polenta (Vegetables & Polenta)

Roasted Beets With Orange Vinaigrette (Warm Roasted Beets With Orange Dressing)

Celery Root Salad

Warm Spinach Salad With Goat Cheese & Apples

Sweet Potato & Banana Puree

Apple Bacon Cornbread Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes And Parsnips With Crisp Root Vegetable Strips

Roasted Cauliflower And Shallots With Chard & Dukkah

Brussels Sprouts and Wheat Berry Slaw With Smoked Paprika Dressing

Rich Turkey Gravy (Smooth With Deep Roasted Flavor)

Vegan Wild Mushroom Gravy (Deep, Robust Flavor From Wild Mushrooms and a Splash of White Wine)

Organic Cranberry Orange Relish (Organic Whole Berry Relish With Orange & a Touch of Cinnamon)

Brandied Cranberry Sauce With Pecans (Whole Cranberries Cooked With Pecans, Brandy & Sugar)

Main Attraction

Organic Whole Turkey (Brined or Un-brined)

Roast Turkey With Sage Butter

Cherry Glazed Turkey

Turkey Breast

Orange Pecan Cornish Hens

Vegetarian Eggplant Parmesan

Breads

Family Style Cornbread

Parker House Rolls

Boston Brown Bread

Parmesan Garlic Biscuits

Popovers

Desserts

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie

Blueberry Pie

Cherry Pie

Pecan Pie

Apple Crumb Pie

Carrot Cake

Pumpkin Cake

Maple Bread Pudding

Cranberry Pear Crisp

Black Mission Fig Tart

Assorted Cookies

Make Ahead Items

Many Thanksgiving dishes or parts of dishes can be made in advance which is a big help. After writing out your menu and shopping lists look to see what can be done ahead of time. 

Most soups can be made 1 or 2 days before serving.

Most appetizers (or parts of them) can be made 1 day before serving.

Roux for gravy can be made several hours before using.  Just mix butter and flour together, reheat and add stock and pan drippings when time to make gravy.

Vegetables can be chopped 1 or 2 days before using.

Grate cheese or spices 1 to 2 days before using.

Wash, dry, and wrap lettuce in paper towels, and store in a ziplock bag. Place in the refrigerator until ready to toss 1 day before serving. 

Most salad dressings can be made 1 to 2 days before serving.

Have turkey as prepped as possible (salted, spiced and rubbed with butter, in its pan) and ready to go in the oven.

Stuffing items such as onions, celery, mushrooms, etc can be cooked 1 day before combining with bread and stuffed into the turkey.

Bread for stuffing can be cut up the day ahead and stored in a paper bag. Dried out bread is the best for stuffing.

Desserts or parts of desserts can often be made 1 to 2 days ahead such as sauces, crusts, pie filings or toppings.

 

 

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part V

September 21, 2013

 

Constitution Week

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part V

In her food preparation and preservation, the early American housewife was tied tightly to the calendar and the clock – much more tightly than today’s homemaker is.  Local availability of foodstuffs and the limitations of existing food preservation techniques meant that nature largely called the shots on timing.  Fruits and vegetables had to be picked at the right moment and processed quickly.  Animals had to be slaughtered at their peak to keep best, and the peak varied from animal to animal.  Even cheese and butter had a better likelihood of successful preservation depending on the season of the year in which they were processed. 

Weather conditions played a major role: herbs had to be picked on a dry day to retain color and flavor; slaughter had to be done in cold weather to allow the carcass to cool rapidly; milk winters produced little ice for the following summer.

Also, once begun, preservation techniques sometimes had to be carried uninterruptedly through a long and tedious series of steps.  There was no turning back – or time for vacations.  Hams being cured had to be turned regularly, fish being dried had to be restacked four times a day, pickles had to have their brine skimmed and changed – or the product would be lost. 

The labor involved in such food preservation was frequently heavy, but the routine of the rest of the house went on as usual.  Organizational ability and endurance were essential, and woe betide the housewife who didn’t “keep up appearances” with her neighbors. 

Just as the make-up of the early American’s diet varied with his geographic location, so did his needs – and abilities – in food preservation. 

For example, the southern areas had access to a more varied food supply over the course of the year and consequently had less need to provide stores for the hard winter.  At the same time, it was more difficult and expensive to get ice for short-term protection against the warmer climate. Ice was actually shipped from Massachusetts to the Southern states and to Cuba and Jamaica in the early 19th century, but it was obviously only available to the wealthier residents.  The ice-box itself didn’t become popular until the mid 1800’s.

The shorter growing season in the North reduced the variety of produce available, but it also made cold storage in root cellars practical in small towns and rural areas.  Above-ground ice houses and ice-saws, invented in the mid-nineteenth century, drastically reduced the cost of storing ice into the summer, and simplified storage of dairy products, fish and meat. 

In many respects, the northern colonies had the greatest difficulty in providing a nutritious, varied diet throughout the year.  Although fruits, berries, and summer vegetables were plentiful from the midsummer to early fall, proving vitamin-rich foodstuffs, during the winter and spring took special care. Many food items, of course, could be stored in relatively simple root cellars – where winter temperatures hovered between 30 and 40 degrees.  In especially cold weather, a large tub of water was placed on the floor.  This water gave off heat as it froze, which kept the vegetables safe.  Turnips, beets and squash were kept in the driest areas.  Carrots would keep anywhere.  Cabbages and celery were buried in sand, cauliflower was set in holes and covered with straw, while cranberries were floated in water in a tub.  Other crops were arranged loosely on slatted shelves for free air circulation, sometimes lying on straw. 

Some vegetables, such as summer squash and potatoes, kept better at somewhat higher temperatures, and these were usually stored in the dark basement of the home.  Temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees were ideal. 

Eggs could also be stored in the root cellar, or in the basement of the house.  Two methods were common.  In one, the eggs (which the housewife was instructed to collect “in fine weather”) were dipped in boiling water for 20 seconds, then coated all over with butter or “sweet oil” (glycerin) and packed in sawdust.  They would keep this way for some two to three weeks.  Other housewives kept their eggs in crocks, submerged in “water glass” (sodium silicate).  In this technique, it was important not to wash the eggs first, since their shells possess a natural coating which prevented the water glass from penetrating through the shell and ruining the egg.  Even stored at room temperature, such eggs would keep for several months, while the hens sulked through the dark winter days. 

If a family didn’t have room for a root cellar, it could accomplish somewhat the same effect with a pit, with the vegetables in layers separated by straw, and the whole covered with earth.  Obviously, retrieving vegetables thus buried was a messy chore, and needed careful planning. 

Under either type of storage, frequent examination was necessary, in order to detect spoilage and eliminate those items of fruit or vegetables which had gone rotten.  The proverb about “one rotten apple spoiling the barrel” was not taken lightly!  In fact, many housewives wouldn’t put apples in barrels, but spread them out, in order to “pick them over” more easily as the winter progressed.  Spoiling apples were cut up, and the good parts made into applesauce as the winter progressed.  Early cookbooks instructed the housewife to add a teaspoon of tartaric acid to the apples when making sauce late in the winter, as the apples lost their flavor.  New Englanders even had a name for the period after the vegetables had spoiled or been used up, but before the dandelion greens appeared.  They called it “the six weeks want.”

In the South, storage of this sort was less necessary, and the typical New England vegetables such as Hubbard squash and turnips were rarely seen on Southern menus. 

To Be Continued…

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part III

September 19, 2013

MayflowerConstitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part III

The abundance of meat in America was a major change in the diet of the early settlers.  Rabbits and squirrels were available year-round nearly everywhere, plus deer and other large game in many regions.  As settlers moved west, buffalo gained importance in the diet.  Fish, shellfish and wild fowl became common food, and they were all essentially “free.”  The existence of these various forms of game was a literal life saver in times of uncertain crops and unbroken land.  The game gradually diminished, of course, as the population expanded and settlers pushed west, but it provided a large share of the diet in early and frontier days. 

Ham, of course, appeared on almost every settler’s table, rich or poor.  It might be the only meat served at a meal or it might appear in company with more exotic roasts and fowl, but it was always there – breakfast, dinner and supper. 

Corn was also a staple of the colonists, either fresh in summer, or as hominy or corn meal all year.  Corn was also put to another use by an early Virginian, Captain George Thorpe, who may have been the first food technologist in America as he invented Bourbon whiskey shortly before he was massacred by the Indians in 1622.

Meal patterns for working people in rural early America were very different from those common today.  Breakfast was usually early and light which consisted of bread, hominy grits, and sometimes fruit in season.  Coffee, which was a new beverage at the time, was popular that is if it was available.  A drink made from caramelized grain was sometimes substituted.  Chicory was popular in the South, either alone or used to stretch the coffee.  Tea was often made from local leaves such as sage, raspberry or dittany.  Alcohol in some form was often served. 

Breakfast in more elegant homes or large plantations might be later in the morning, and include thinly sliced roast and ham. 

Dinner was served somewhere between midday and midafternoon, depending on the family’s circumstances, and was the big meal of the day.  There was almost always ham, as well as greens (called sallat), cabbage and other vegetables.  In the proper season, special dainties would appear – fresh fruits and berries, or fresh meat at appropriate butchering times. 

Desserts could be simple such as a scooped out pumpkin, baked until done and then filled with milk, to be eaten right out of the shell.  Or dessert could be more complex such as ice cream or other fruit flavored frozen pudding or a blanc mange.  Blanc mange was prepared from milk and loaf sugar, flavored with a tablespoon or two of rosewater, thickened with a solution of isinglass (derived from fish bladder, soaked overnight in boiling water).  This mixture was boiled for 15 to 20 minutes, then poured into molds to set. 

If isinglass was not available (most was imported from England), homemade calves foot jelly could be substituted, but eh dessert was not as fine. 

Various alcoholic beverages, including wines, applejack, “perry” (hard cider made from pears), or beer were commonly consumed. 

In winter, peaches and other fruit disappeared from the dinner table, to be replaced by dishes made from stored apples and dried fruit of various sorts.  Soups or broths also took their place.  Milk grew scarce as cows “dried up” in the short days.  Vegetables gradually decreased in variety as stored crops wilted. 

Apples quickly became a staple in early America.  Orchards were easy to start, required a minimum of care, and apples stored well.  Housewives devised a multitude of “receipts,” including sauces and butters for off-season, as well as many using dried apples. 

Supper was late and a light bread and butter, some of the left-over roast from dinner, fruit (fresh if in season, pickled and spiced otherwise), and coffee or tea.  

To Be Continued…

 

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