Beer

Cooking With Beer

March 18, 2020

Beer isn’t just for drinking. It’s also the secret ingredient in some of Tiny New York Kitchen’s favorite recipes, from stews to pasta sauce.

Depending on which brew you choose, you can add richness to stews and braises, a bright zing to sauces, and make baked goods extra tender and tasty. It’s great with chocolate. You can also pair it with your meals, just like wine, to make your dishes taste even better.

LAGER
Lager is the most popular beer for drinking. Smooth, light-bodied, and slightly floral, it goes with just about any dish, especially cheese. It’s also great to bake with. The bubbles in this beer add extra lightness and tenderness to all sorts of baked goods.

PILSNER
Clean, crisp, and slightly citrusy, this beer is refreshing on its own. Serve it with seafood or a simple tomato and basil pizza. Use it for quickly simmering shrimp because it won’t overwhelm the delicate, sweet flavor of the seafood.

STOUT
This rich dark beer has notes of coffee and caramel, great for sipping in colder weather. Pair it with heartier dishes like chili or steak and potatoes. In baking and cooking, stout makes chocolate cupcakes taste even more chocolaty and slow-cooked meats even richer.

AMBER ALE
You will know this beer by its reddish-brown color. It has a smooth, malty flavor that makes it a crowd-pleasing choice for your next party. Try this beer with grilled or roasted meats and barbecue. For cooking, it’s great in a glaze for pork or in a cheese sauce.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Seven Ways To Cook Fish & Seafood

March 4, 2020

Hungry for halibut or craving clams? There’s an easy way to prepare fish and seafood to perfections. Fish is ready when you can flake it easily with a fork. Shrimp and shellfish are done when they are opaque in color.

Bake: Best for fish fillets. Baking or roasting fish is an easy, hands-off method, especially good if you have a crowd to feed. As with any fish cooking technique, follow the recipe to avoid overcooking.

Wrap: Best for any fish fillet and shellfish. Cooking fish in foil is one of the most versatile ways to prepare fish, resulting in moist, flavor-packed dishes. And because you can load up on tasty ingredients, like herbs, citrus and spices, it’s a great way to cut back on fat and sodium without sacrificing flavor. Plus, cleanup is a breeze.

Poach: Best for any fish fillet and shellfish. Poaching simply means gently cooking the fish in liquid, such as water, broth, beer, or wine. It ads subtle flavor without drying out the fillets or adding any extra fat. To poach, simply cover the fish or seafood with liquid and bring to a simmer, just don’t let the liquid boil. You’ll only need a few minutes for your fish or seafood to be ready. You can also use the poaching liquid as a base for a sauce when you’re done.

Broil: Best for thick and meaty fish fillets, shrimp, and lobster tails. This method is especially good when you want to quickly bake fish and seafood. This is also a good method when you don’t have access to a grill or you’re adding a glaze. To make sure it doesn’t cook or brown too quickly, cook the fish at least 6 inches away from the broiler and watch carefully.

Steam: Best for clams and mussels. The traditional cooking method for clams and mussels, steaming is an easy way to add delicate flavor quickly without overcooking. Just add the seafood to a lidded saucepan with a little liquid like beer, wine, or broth, cover and bring to a simmer until the shells open up. Discard any that don’t open. You can also steam lobster, but it’s worth checking to see if your store’s fish department will steam lobsters for you.

Sear: Best for scallops, shrimp, and fish fillets. Use this cooking method for fish with a crisp, browned crust and a tender interior. Use a non-stick pan if possible and add a little oil before adding your fish, in batches if necessary, Don’t crowd the pan. Cook without stirring or turning for 2 to 3 minutes to brown the fish and crisp up any breading.

Grill: Best for any fish fillet or shellfish. Once grilling season rolls around don’t forget to add fish, shrimp, and even clams and mussels to your summer menus. Fish fillets take well to grilling and are easy to flip. Use a grilling basket for anything that might slip through the grate. Don’t forget skewers, which are the perfect way to grill shrimp.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Making The Most Out Of The Restaurant Experience

March 22, 2018

Whether you’re a frequent or an occasional restaurant diner it’s nice to know a few inside tips on how to maximize your experience.

If you’re health conscious, don’t buy into claims that the food you order will meet your needs. Most restaurants don’t make food that’s healthy. They’re job is to make it taste good. Restaurants put so much butter on everything they serve. It’s difficult to find a healthy option today.

Always ask your server if there is anything on the menu you should steer away from. If your server say, “That would be the last thing I’d choose,” there is a good reason.

Rib eye is the best steak to order. It’s more flavorful and very tender. Don’t just say “medium rare.” Give your server a description of what the middle of the steak looks like – “all pink from edge to edge” or “I like it all red.” Everyone has a different idea of what the middle should be.

If you drink alcohol, the best bang for your buck is either beer or wine. Hard liquor is the most expensive, for what you’re getting.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

100 Years Ago In America

February 17, 2017

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years old.
Americans spent 1/3 of their income on food.
Children remained under their parents’ roofs until they were married.
Fuel for cars was only sold in drug stores.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
Ten percent of infants died in their first year.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Men wore blue serge suits at work.
The tallest structure in the world was not in the U.S., but was France’s Eiffel Tower.
The average U.S. wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year.
A dentist could make $2,500 per year.
A veterinarian could make between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.
A mechanical engineer could make about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all doctors had no college education. Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as “substandard.”
Sugar cost 4 cents per pound.
Eggs were 14 cents per dozen.
Coffee was 15 cents per pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month. They used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death were: Pneumonia and Influenza, Tuberculosis, Diarrhea, Heart Disease, and Stroke.
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population in Law Vegas, Nevada was only 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 adults could not read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at local drug stores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a guardian of health.”
18 percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE United States.

It’s amazing how fast everything has changed and it’s impossible to imagine what it will be like in another 100 years!

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Turkey

November 22, 2016

The turkey came originally from America and was first domesticated by the Aztecs in Mexico. The Spanish introduced turkeys into Europe and they soon became a popular choice in France, Italy and Britain.

When early settlers from Britain, France and Holland crossed the Atlantic to North America, the vast flocks of turkey that roamed wild provided them with sustenance. They were plentiful and so easy to trap or shoot that the older children of the family were given the responsibility of catching them. The Native Americans meanwhile taught the new settlers the rudiments of farming, and in November 1621, on the first anniversary of their arrival, the Pilgrims entertained the locals to a feast, at the center of which was the turkey. Ever since, this has been the traditional bird served at Thanksgiving.

Turkeys are available fresh, chilled, or frozen all year round. When buying a whole bird, look for a plump well-rounded breast and legs and clear, soft and evenly colored skin. Avoid birds that are bruised, with blemishes or torn skin or any that have been badly or unevenly plucked. Turkeys vary enormously in weight.

When you’re ready to purchase your turkey it’s easy to get confused on what size to get. A good guild to go by is to figure approximately 1 1/4 pounds per person. This makes enough for the meal and provides a decent amount of leftovers.

To store your turkey place it in a large, deep dish and cover it completely with plastic wrap. Store it in the coolest part of the refrigerator; making sure that it does not come in contact with other foods.

Thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 days. Estimate 24 hours for every 5 pounds, so 2 days for a 10 pounder, 3 days for a 15 pounder, etc.

And then there is always the frozen turkey emergency that goes like this, “Help, help, it’s Wednesday, and my turkey is still frozen!!!” It’s been a long time, but I’ve been in this predicament. What you do is leave the turkey in its wrapper and put it in a large-size container. A lobster pot works well. Fill the container with cold tap water and let it sit for 30 minutes. Dump out the water and refill. Let it sit another 30 minutes. Repeat until the turkey is thawed, then roast immediately or transfer to the refrigerator.

The good news is that you can brine or dry cure your turkey while it defrosts in the refrigerator. What a Godsend that is! Use a lighter brine solution, which is about 1/2 cup kosher salt per gallon of water, plus sugar and spices). If you’re dry curing, use the standard recipe. You’re turkey should stay below 40 degrees while brining. You don’t need to brine or cure a kosher or butterball type supermarket frozen turkey. These come pre-brined. If you want to be able to put your own flavor stamp on your meal, then get a natural or untreated bird and do it yourself. If you plan on brining for 2 days use the weaker solution that I just mentioned. If you plan to brine for 24 hours or less, then bump it up to 1 cup kosher salt per gallon of water. Then add an equal amount of sugar. I don’t always brine, but when I do I’ve been known to throw an assortment of flavorings in the brine. Flavorings that you could add to your brine could be: apples, lemons, oranges, onions, garlic, shallots, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, juniper berries, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, rosemary, sage, thyme, savory, parsley, or oregano. You can also replace half the water with sweet cider, hard cider, vegetable stock, turkey stock, chicken stock, beer, white wine, or red wine. If you want to dry cure then use about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt for every pound of turkey. Then add spices to your taste.

Stuffing your turkey is a personal preference. I always stuff the bird because I love how it tastes when cooked inside the turkey. It does slow down the cooking process, however. Never stuff the turkey in advance of cooking. The stuffing can be made in advance, but the turkey should not be stuffed until just before it is placed in the oven. Weigh the stuffing and add this to the weight of the bird before calculating the cooking time. Thoroughly rinse the body cavity of the bird under cold running water, and then drain it well. Wipe the turkey, inside and out, with paper towels. Press the stuffing inside the shallow neck cavity. Make sure not to pack it in too tightly. Turn the bird over and pull the neck skin over the stuffing. Now it’s time for a little turkey bondage and truss the bird (tuck the wing tips under the breast and tie the legs together) and then cook for the calculated time. Never shorten the cooking time because although the meat may appear cooked, extra time must be allowed for cooking the stuffing thoroughly.

If you choose not to stuff your turkey then place aromatics in the body cavity of the bird. Cut a large onion in half and stud each half with 4 to 6 cloves. Place this in the body cavity of the bird. Cut an orange and a lemon into quarters and add these, together with 3 or 4 bay leaves, 4 to 6 fresh sage sprigs, and 2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs. Add 1 cinnamon stick or 1 blade of mace for a festive hint of warm spice.

Turkeys are super easy to roast, but require a little more attention than smaller birds. Check to make sure the oven shelves are in the correct position before heating the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the prepared bird on a rack in a large-size roasting pan. Smear the turkey breast generously with butter, season with salt & pepper and place in the oven. Baste the turkey from time to time during cooking. When the breast has browned, cover with foil to protect it and continue cooking. Remove the covering foil for the final 20 minutes of cooking. To check if the meat is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear and the meat is white, it is cooked. If the juices are pink and the meat is soft and pink, the turkey is not ready. Return it to the oven and check again after 20 minutes. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh. Remember to add more time if you’re turkey is stuffed. You should have an instant-read thermometer in your kitchen drawer. Insert the thermometer into the breast (all the way to the bone) and if it reads 160 degrees you’re good to go. You may also measure the thigh by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part, but not touching the bone, and it should read 165 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the oven and cover it closely with foil. Leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes. This will even out the temperature and make it easier to carve. I know some chefs who let it rest for 2 hours, but I don’t think that one needs to wait that long. If you wish to make gravy in the roasting pan, transfer the bird to a carving plate.

When you’ve let your bird rest awhile remove the trussing string. Hold the bird steady in position with a carving fork. Cut off the legs, then cut these in half or carve the meat from the bones. Make a horizontal cut across the breast above the wing. Carve neat and even vertical slices off the breast. Repeat on the other side of the bird. Arrange slices on a warmed platter. Add the turkey legs or sliced meat to the platter or set them aside for serving separately. Scoop out the stuffing and serve with the meat.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Soaking Wood Chips In Beer For Grilling

July 9, 2015

Soaking Wood Chips In Beer For Grilling

Here is a secret. You can turn your gas or charcoal grill into a smoker by just using beer. Soak wood chips in beer before you fire up the grill. The beer will be imparted into your smoked food.

Soak wood chips in beer for at least 30 minutes. The wet wood chips will produce more smoke and flavor. Drain wood chips and sprinkle a handful of soaked chips over the hot coals when they are ready and covered with a white ash. Put the lid on the grill and wait for the smoke to start to pour out of the grill. Then place the food on the cooking grate.

For charcoal grills, position it so that the vent is on the side of the grill opposite the charcoal. This will draw the heat and smoke over the food and out of the vent.

For gas grills, when using wood chips with a gas grill, follow the smoker box instructions for best results.

A couple of handfuls of wood chips will provide 10 to 20 minutes of smoke, depending on how hot the fire is.

Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible to allow the smoke to fully permeate the food.

Always use heat-resistant barbecue mitts or gloves when operating your grill.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part II

September 18, 2013

Patriots

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part II

The standard grains included wheat, barley, oats and rye.  Finely ground wheat flour, “boulted” or sieved through a fine cloth, was used to make white bread for the rich early in the fifteenth century.  Most of the gentry ate what we would call cracked or whole wheat bread.  The poor ate bread of coarse-ground wheat flour mixed with oats, ground peas or lentils. 

During the ocean crossing to the New World, immigrants subsisted on an even more monotonous diet for weeks.  The Mayflower provisions were typical – brown biscuits and hard white crackers, oatmeal, and black-eyed peas, plus bacon, dried salted codfish and smoked herring for animal protein.  The only vegetables on the trip were parsnips, turnips, onions and cabbages.  Beer was the beverage. 

As pilgrims set foot on their new homeland, they hardly knew what to expect.  Each brought a stock of basic foods to get them through the first year, as well as a variety of basic utensils and kitchen tools.  Also included were the essential accompaniments for whatever they found or could raise when they arrived – a bushel of coarse salt, 2 gallons of vinegar, a gallon of “oyle” and a gallon of aquavite. 

Nothing they had been told, however, prepared them for the staggering variety of totally unfamiliar plants that were being used as food by the Indians – corn, sweet potatoes, peppers, pumpkins, squash, sunflower seeds and cranberries were examples.  In addition to the strange food, there were strange ways of cooking.  In Europe, meat was boiled; the Indians, lacking iron pots, roasted theirs on a spit over a fire.  The Indians also had a long, slow cooking process that yielded what we now call Boston baked beans, and they used a fire-heated, rock-lined pit for what we would now call a clam-bake.  Where the pilgrims were accustomed to raised wheat bread, the Indians introduced them to corn based spoon bread.  Corn also provided hominy, used as a vegetable, and later, of course, as grits.  For sweetening, the Indians used maple syrup and honey, as sugar was unknown. 

Although many of the food the Pilgrims and other colonists found were totally strange, others had travelled the route before them.  The Spanish had brought pigs, which thrived especially in areas where peanuts grew.  Peaches and oranges were also native which spread throughout climatically suitable areas in a short time. 

Even the white potato was an early migrant to the New World, following a zig-zag route, from its original home in Peru to Spain in 1520, from Spain to Florida forty years later, from Florida to England in 1565, always being treated as a culinary curiosity.  By the 1600’s they had become a popular food staple in Ireland, and were carried by Colonists both to New England and Virginia, where they quickly established themselves.  There they served as a valuable source of vitamin C, protein and trace minerals, in addition to the starch. 

Potatoes, incidentally were significant in another, later migration to America: the climate in Ireland proved so amenable to their culture, and their nutrient content was so high, that many poor Irish farmers grew only potatoes on their small farms.  In fact, as fathers subdivided farms for their sons, many found themselves supporting whole families on the potatoes grown on less than an acre of ground, while the family itself lived in a roofed-over ditch.  When blight struck in 1845, the sole food source of millions of people literally withered away before their eyes.  A half-million of the 8 1/2 million population died of starvation or disease, and 1 1/2 million emigrated to England or America – following the “Irish potatoe.”

Spices were in short supply in America’s earliest days.  The English pretty well monopolized the trade with the New World.  Within a few years, however, settlers had planted the seeds they had brought or imported, and most had adapted to the climate and were flourishing in orderly rows and patterns in kitchen gardens all along the Atlantic Coast.  There were a few – ginger, pepper, cloves, mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice – that simply couldn’t cope with the weather or soil – and were scarce.  Olive oil, lime juice, prunes and saffron were available, but only at high prices. 

To Be Continued…

 

Labor Day Weekend Picnic

August 31, 2013

Picnic 3Labor Day Weekend Picnic

Labor Day Weekend is the perfect weekend for a picnic.  To celebrate the end of summer I’ve organized a feast of some of America’s favorites – from fried chicken to chocolate cake, cheeseburgers to homemade strawberry ice cream. 

 

Parsley Potato Salad

Mushroom Artichoke Salad

Chile-Spiced Bean Salad

Crusty Parmesan Chicken Breasts

Deviled Eggs

Pickled Beets

Barbecued Cheeseburgers

Tomatoes

Radishes

Lettuce

Red Onions

Pickles

Olives

Chocolate Buttercream Cake

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberries

Beer

Lemonade

Coffee

Packing the picnic:  The salads can be prepared a day in advance.  It’s probably not necessary to double the recipes unless you have a large crowd to feed.  Be sure to include a serving spoon for each salad.  The Crusty Parmesan Chicken Breasts can be served either cold or warm.  Either bake it a day ahead, refrigerate it, and carry it in a cooler; or pop it in the oven about an hour before you leave and transport it hot.  The deviled eggs can be made from your favorite recipes or one from Tiny New York Kitchen.  They will need several hours to chill and must be packed in a cooler, along with the assortment of vegetables (each in a plastic container).  Take along a basket or platter for the chicken, a tray for the eggs, and serving forks. 

All of the barbecue equipment can travel in a sturdy cardboard box, if there’s room, lay the buns and cheese on top so they don’t get squished.  The hamburgers and condiments should be packed in a cooler. 

You can bake the cake and prepare the frosting well in advance; both can be stored in the freezer.  After thawing, the frosting should be beaten for a few minutes with an electric mixer.  A round plastic serving plate with a high, tight-fitting cover is ideal for transporting the cake; remember to carry along a knife and a cake server. 

In a cooler, pack the ice cream custard, berry mixture, and ice, each in its own container.  Take a hammer and large, heavy dishtowel for crushing the ice cubes, and rock salt for the ice cream freezer (which would be a non-electric one).  Pack the fragile ice cream cones and berries for garnish last. 

Keep the beer in the cooler.  For the lemonade and coffee, you will need a couple of thermoses.  Preheat the one for the coffee; don’t forget to take cream (kept cold) and sugar.  Pre-chill the other thermos and fill it with cold lemonade. 

At the site: Assemble the ice cream freezer and begin hand-cranking, taking turns so that everyone can participate.  If the ice cream is ready before it’s time for dessert, remove the dasher, cover the container, and let it stay in the freezer to ripen; don’t forget to dump out the salty water and pack the freezer with fresh ice. 

Fire up the barbecue about 30 minutes before you want to begin cooking.  Grill the cheeseburgers when the coals are gray.  Arrange the chicken in a basket, set out the rest of the food, and dig in.  

 

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