Pumpkins range in size from small, creamy white specimens to giant orange globes. Ever so useful as autumnal décor, pumpkins are a versatile and vital source of healthy nutrition.
This festive fall fruit offers a rich source of vitamin C and potassium, both of which may be effective at lowering the risk of heart disease, as well as normalizing blood pressure. The brilliant orange hue of many pumpkin varieties is the result of an abundance of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that transforms into vitamin A in the body. This vitamin may have an effect on boosting the efficiency of immune systems, as well as helping to repair free radical damage to cells.
Pumpkin adds a fabulous, smooth, silky texture and unique flavor to risotto, soup, muffins, cakes, breads, stews, chili, pasta, shakes and so much more. Fresh pumpkin is delightfully delicious and contains an added bonus; pumpkin seeds! Also known as pepitas, roasted pumpkin seeds are lightly crunchy, little gems that are a potent source of zinc, which may be helpful in promoting prostate health.
Pumpkin seeds also offer a significant amount of magnesium, phosphorous, copper, iron, manganese, and omega-3 fatty acids, which may help relieve symptoms of high cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved
Whether roasted, mashed, raw or added to pasta dishes, there’s something so comforting about cauliflower’s mild, creamy flavor. Plus, it’s one of the most nutritious vegetables around. What’s not to love?
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family, along with broccoli, cabbage, and kale. These vegetables are an important part of a heart-healthy lifestyle, high in nutrients and fiber and very low in calories.
It’s easier than you might think to separate a whole cauliflower into florets, but if you’re really pressed for time, take advantage of prepared fresh or frozen cauliflower.
To prep cauliflower you will need to first remove the cauliflower’s leaves and cut out the core. Then break into evenly sized florets, cutting any very large ones. Add to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Rinse with cold water if you plan on using it later.
Cauliflower works great as a replacement for higher starch foods like rice, couscous, and potatoes. Steam and mash it to replace potatoes or pulse it in a food processor to create cauliflower “rice” that can be sautéed or steamed and served with curry or chili.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Many people ask me how long they can keep fresh meat and poultry. You can refrigerate whole meat cuts for 2 to 3 days and raw ground meats for 1 to 2 days. Raw poultry for 1 to 2 days. If you’re not cooking your meat or poultry within these time frames, freeze it. We never want to risk getting food poisoning.
How do you know when your particular meat is done cooking? The safest way is to use a meat thermometer, inserting into the thickest part of the meat, but never touching bone.
Meat Cooking Terms
Braise: Moist cooking in a pot with a lid and a small amount of liquid. This method works well either on the stove top or in the oven, rendering tougher cuts moist and extremely tender by melting the tough collagen between fibers, but allowing the fibers themselves to retain moisture. Examples: Pot Roast, Boeuf Bourguignon, Cacciatore, Most Curries.
Brine: Similar to marinating, meat or poultry is soaked in a salt-water mixture prior to cooking to enhance flavor, moisture and tenderness. Examples: Brined Turkey, Chicken or Pork.
Broil: Dry cooking under intense direct heat, sort of like grilling from the top down. Great for tender steaks and chops, boneless chicken, kabobs. Example: London Broil.
Deep Fry: Cooking pieces of meat, often coated with batter or crumbs, submerged in very hot oil. Example: Southern Fried Chicken.
Grill: Cooking over direct heat, usually outdoors. Grill pans and electric grills don’t require much additional oil, and create nice looking char marks, but lack the crust and smoky flavor of outdoor grilling. Grilling can be fast or slow. Examples: Grilled Steaks, Barbecued Chicken, You Name It!
Pan-Roast or Pan-Fry: A technique that begins on the stove top and often ends under the broiler or in the oven. Combination cooking creates a flavorful browned exterior and allows for finer control of doneness. Great for thick chops and steaks or larger pieces of poultry. Examples: Filet Mignon, Pork Tenderloin, Pan-Roasted Veal Chops.
Poach: Simmer at a point less than boiling to produce just a slight movement in the liquid. Examples: Poached Chicken Breasts.
Roast: Dry cooking in ambient oven heat. Creates a flavorful, browned outside and a tender, juicy interior. Ideal for larger tender roasts, whole poultry, most stuffed roasts. Examples: Roast Beef, Thanksgiving Turkey, Crown Roast.
Sauté: Quick stove-top cooking in a skim of oil in a heavy, low-sided skillet, frying pan or sauté pan. Great for tender steakhouse cuts and chops, chicken or duck breast, boneless cutlets. Examples: Sandwich Steaks, Wiener Schnitzel, Chicken Cutlets.
Smoke: Food is cooked or flavored before cooking by exposure to smoldering wood, herbs or tea. Examples: Tea-Smoked Chicken, Mesquite-Smoked Pork Chops.
Stir Fry: An Asian technique of cooking small pieces of food over very high heat, usually with oil, using constant stirring and tossing motion to prevent burning. Examples: A Profusion of Meat, Seafood and Poultry Dishes From China, Thailand and Vietnam.
Simmer: See Braise & Also See Stew
Stew: Slow cooking, Submerged in flavorful liquid, usually after browning on the surface. Stewing is similar to braising except that stews usually have more liquid, which is an important part of the finished dish. Best for cubes coming from tougher cuts. Examples: Beef Stew, Chili, Gumbo.
Sous-vide: A method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times (72 hours in some cases). The temperature is regulated and much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 55° F to 60° F for meats. The intention is to cook the item evenly, and not to overcook the outside while still keeping the inside at the same doneness, keeping the food juicier. Examples: Beef Brisket and Short Ribs.
Summer is here and why pay top dollar going out when you can make delicious hot dogs at home? Here is a guide to the different ways Americans make their frankfurters around the country. I had the Sonoran style hot dogs while I was in Tucson in February and absolutely loved them.
New York Style
Served with brown or German mustard and sauerkraut or onions cooked in tomato paste.
Served on a poppy seed bun with mustard, pickle relish, sport peppers, onions, tomatoes, dill pickles and celery salt. Pepperoncini can be substituted for sport peppers.
Kansas City Style
Served on a sesame seed bun with brown or German mustard, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.
Atlanta “Dragged Through The Garden” Style
Serve topped with coleslaw.
Detroit “Coney” Style
Served with chili, onions, mustard and cheddar cheese.
Served with cream cheese and grilled onions.
Phoenix/Tucson “Sonoran” Style
Served as a bacon-wrapped hot dog with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, mustard, mayo, jalapeno peppers and cheese.
Austin “Tex-Mex” Style
Served with queso, guacamole and crushed tortilla chips.
San Francisco “Wine Country” Style
Served with red wine caramelized onions and goat cheese.
Miami “Cuban” Style
Served with mustard, pickles and Swiss cheese.