Desserts

Grapes

August 29, 2017

From Concord to Emperor, there are so many delicious grape varieties available.

Whether tossed in a salad, baked into a dessert, or straight off the vine, these bite-size globes are packed with flavor.

Bursting with fiber, vitamin C, and loads of antioxidants, this fruit packs a nutritional punch as big as flavor. Grapes make an ideal portable snack in less than 100 calories per cup.

Look for firm grapes that are brightly colored and securely attached to their stems. Avoid bundles with wrinkled, dull skin or packages that have a lot of fruit floating at the bottom of the bag. When all else fails, try one.

Although there are thousands of varieties of grapes, the most popular are Thompson and Emperor seedless. Thompson grapes are sweet and crisp with vibrant green skin, amazing for snacking. Emperor red grapes have a sweet and tart flavor and are super juicy, making them great for baking.

Emperor or Flame: With their sweet flavor and long shelf life, these large seedless grapes are one of the most popular varieties.

Thompson Green: In America, 90% of these classic green grapes are produced in California. They are used for snacking, making wine, and raisins.

Concord: Created in Concord, Massachusetts, these grapes are known for their thick, blush skin and sweet candy-like flavor.

Freeze Them: Pick grapes off the vine and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Freeze overnight for a healthy, frosty treat.

Bake Them: To make raisins at home, cook grapes for 30 seconds in boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and place grapes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until they have dried out completely. Toss grapes halfway through to prevent sticking.

Blend Them: Blend grapes with a bit of water and pour through a fine mesh strainer for a fresh glass of grape juice.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Make The Most Of Cherries

July 17, 2017

I’ve been making the most of cherry season these days and sometimes have to get a bit inventive to use them to the fullest. Here are some ways to make the most of beautiful summer cherries.

Breakfast: Make quinoa and top with almond milk and cherries for a nourishing hot cereal bowl.

Lunch: Pick your favorite whole grain to make a salad with cherries, arugula, almonds, and tarragon.

Snacks: Blend almond milk, creamy almond butter, and cherries to make a delicious smoothie.

Dinner: Grill salmon and serve with couscous combined with cherries, green onions, and toasted almonds.

Dessert: Make a cherry crisp. You may want to throw in some dates or figs to give it a little extra heartiness.

Preserve: Make cherry jam, cherry syrup, or pickled cherries.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Making The Most Of Seasonal Berries

May 6, 2017

Just a few fresh berries add color and nutrients to a salad, cocktail, or mocktail.

Stock up on fresh berries, wash and freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Then transfer to a freezer bag for future smoothies and baked goods.

Add a handful of berries to a parfait, with yogurt for breakfast or ice cream for dessert.

Gently fold berries into muffin and pancake batter. Cook a big batch and freeze some for easy breakfasts later.

Make into a savory salsa and serve as a dip or over grilled chicken or wild-caught salmon.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Chocolate

April 17, 2017

The labels of many chocolate brands now state the amount of cacao (which means cocoa beans or any part of the beans, including cocoa butter) in their chocolate. The higher the cacao content, the less sugar the chocolate contains. You will also see chocolate described as bittersweet or semisweet. The USDA puts all sweetened dark chocolate, with cacao with a minimum of 35 percent chocolate liquor (ground cocoa beans without any additives), in the same category. These designations vary from brand to brand: one manufacturer’s bittersweet chocolate can be another manufacturer’s semisweet.

The average supermarket chocolate has 55 to 60 percent cacao. Chocolate with more than 60 percent cacao has what is considered a high cacao percentage. You may appreciate its bracing bitterness for eating, but because it contains so much more cacao than traditional chocolate, it can cause problems in cooking. Some contemporary cookbooks include the desired cacao percentage for the chocolate called for in their recipes, a plus for users. Unless a recipe specifically calls for a high-percentage chocolate, you are safest with a chocolate labeled 55 to 60 percent cacao.

Unsweetened chocolate is 99 to 100 percent cacao with no added sugar (some brands add a miniscule amount of vanilla and the emulsifier lecithin).

Milk chocolate has a minimum 10 percent chocolate liquor and includes dry milk solids and additional sugar to make it extra creamy and sweet. The latest trend is toward a higher percentage of chocolate liquor than in the past.

The best white chocolate has a base of cocoa butter, with sugar and milk solids added. Inferior brands substitute other plant fats, such as hydrogenated palm oil, for the cocoa butter, and are labeled white confectionary coating.

Traditionally, chocolatiers wanting a tiny, delicate chocolate coating for their creations would use couverture chocolate, which has a minimum of 32 percent cocoa butter to help it melt more smoothly and increase its fluidity. This extra measure of cocoa butter separated it from regular eating chocolate. However, the standard of today’s chocolate has improved to the point where virtually all chocolate has enough cocoa butter to be considered couverture, so the term is falling out of use.

Use a serrated knife to chop chocolate. Actually, think of shaving the chocolate from the block rather than hacking at it. Start at the corner of the bar and work backward, moving the knife about 1/4 inch after each cut. When you’ve lost the point of the corner, turn the bar around and start at another corner.

It may sound like a time-saver, but don’t use a food processor to chop chocolate. The chocolate can melt from the heat generated by the friction.

Small chunks of high-quality chocolate (pistoles) are a great time-saver if you need to melt chocolate and want to skip the chopping step. Semisweet chocolate chips may look similar, but they aren’t a good substitute. They contain a high percentage of lecithin, which helps them keep their shape during baking, so they don’t melt.

Chocolate has two enemies, heat and water. Use gentle heat when melting dark chocolate, as it scorches above 120 degrees F (milk and white chocolates scorch at 110 degrees F and need extra attention). Keep all surfaces and utensils dry. If you use a double boiler to melt chocolate, never allow the water to boil. The resulting steam can get into the chocolate and thicken it irretrievably, which is known as seizing.

The traditional method for melting chocolate is in a double boiler. It melts at below body temperature, so very hot water works fine. Just bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in the lower pan of the double boiler, then remove it from the heat. Place the top pan with the chopped chocolate over the low pan, making sure the top pan doesn’t touch the water. Chocolate holds its shape even when warm, so stir the chocolate frequently with a rubber or silicone spatula while it melts to check its progress. Be careful not to overheat chocolate, as it can scorch easily.

A variation on the double boiler method is good for large amounts of chocolate. Put the chopped chocolate in a wide stainless-steel bowl. Now place the bowl in a large skillet of very hot water, taking care not to splash any water in the chocolate. With a larger surface area of the chocolate exposed to heat, the chocolate will melt more quickly than in a double boiler.

You can melt chocolate in a microwave oven, but you must be careful not to overheat it. Use medium (50 percent) power for 40 seconds, and then check the chocolate. If it has not melted, continue to melt it, checking it at 20-second intervals. When you take it out of the microwave, the chocolate may not look melted, but sometimes brief stirring will push all or most of it to the melted stage. If all the chocolate has not melted, return it to the microwave for about 15 seconds at medium power. Because of the wide variability in the power put off by microwave ovens, you will have to learn to judge how quickly your microwave melts chocolate.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Using Up Every Ingredient

March 22, 2017

I grew up in the Midwest where it was considered a mortal sin to waste food. The motto was “waste nothing and make the most of every ingredient.” Here are some ways for you and your family to make the most of ingredients that otherwise may make their way into the trash bin.

Stewed Fruit does double duty as a topping for pancakes, waffles and ice cream while giving you a serving of fruit. Get started with apples and dried fruits.

Super Stems. Don’t waste the nutrients in stems of greens like collards and kale, or vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Use them in longer cooking soups and stews.

Save The Soft. Baked desserts are a great way to use up slightly overripe fruit.

Use It, Don’t Lose It. When you by a special ingredient for a recipe, don’t waste what’s left. Get creative and add them to some of your favorite recipes.

Make Soup with leftovers. Vegetables, grains, and meats make wonderful soups. If you don’t have time to make soup right away, freeze the leftovers until you have a good cooking day. Don’t forget to label and date what you’re freezing for later.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Cooking With Coffee

February 23, 2017

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly brewed morning coffee whether it’s perked, dripped or pressed, it’s the most favorite part of my day. Coffee is my morning ritual, but coffee is not just for mornings. If you have a bit of extra brewed coffee or grounds lying around then you can “perk” up the flavor of pretty much anything. The earthy flavor works in everything from meat marinades, sweet syrups, and many savory and sweet recipes using coffee as an ingredient, from tangy sauces for a tender filet mignon to a few teaspoons flavoring your favorite cakes or cookies. When added to a chocolate cake or a cookie, coffee brings out the flavor especially in chocolate. When the recipe calls for water just use what’s leftover in the pot. In many recipes you can just add a teaspoon of instant coffee or even espresso powder.

Add flavor fast to a roast by using that leftover coffee in your marinade, which also helps tenderize the meat. You can also use it to the braising liquid for beef short ribs. As the liquid cooks down, the coffee caramelized adds a delicious bittersweet dimension to the dish. I also like to stir a bit of coffee into barbecue sauce for grilled chicken or add some to homemade chili to round out the flavor.

Add coffee grounds to your spice shelf! The combination of ground coffee, kosher salt, and paprika will add flavor to your dishes. Use it to make a crusted pork or brisket dish. Rub the coffee ground spice combination to burgers before grilling them.

I like using instant espresso powder in my desserts. Unlike coffee grounds, espresso powder dissolves completely in hot water, eliminating grittiness that you may not want in most baked goods. Keep in mind that it packs a powerful punch, so a little goes a long way. Add a small amount to brownies or cakes. Freeze it with sugar for an easy granita or reduce it with sugar and cream to create a rich glaze.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Holiday Menu Ideas

December 20, 2016

Everyone who’s cooking for the holidays wonders what he or she should make for the holidays. I like to keep it simple and typically follow the “don’t experiment on your guests” rule.

Hors D’oeuvres
Mini Crab Cakes With Remoulade Sauce
Cold Seafood Platter (Lobster Tails, Jumbo Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat)
Stuffed Mushrooms (Crab, Sausage, Cheese Stuffing)
Chicken Tenders With Honey Mustard Sauce
Chicken & Beef Satay With Asian Dipping Sauces
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail Platter With Cocktail Sauce
Grilled Shrimp With Aioli
Mini Southwest Chicken Quesadillas With Salsa
Beef Franks In a Blanket With Whole Grain Mustard Sauce
Antipasto Platter With Imported Meats, Cheese, Peppers, And Olives
Assorted Mini Quiche
Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops
Grilled Citrus Shrimp With Mango Aioli
Tenderloin Of Beef On Crostini With Horseradish Sauce

Salads
Mesclun Salad With Goat Cheese, Maple Candied Walnuts, Dried Cranberries And Balsamic Vinaigrette
Traditional Caesar Salad With Croutons & Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Traditional Caesar Salad With Shrimp Or Chicken

Dinner
Chicken Or Veal Marsala (Sautéed With Fresh Mushrooms & Red Roasted Peppers With Marsala Wine)
Chicken Or Veal Francese (Bathed In Light Egg Batter & Sautéed With White Wine & Lemon Sauce)
Chicken Or Veal Picata (Sautéed With Artichoke Hearts With Lemon Caper & White Wine Sauce)
Chicken Or Veal Parmigiana (Breaded & Sautéed Crispy, Topped With Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella & Parmesan Cheese)
Poached Salmon With Dijon Dill Sauce
Stuffed Filet Of Sole (Stuffed With Crabmeat & Baked With Lemon, Butter & White Wine)
Roasted Tenderloin Of Beef (Serve With Mushroom Sauce Or Creamy Horseradish Sauce & Oven Roasted Potatoes)
Roasted Turkey Breast (Serve With Traditional Stuffing, Gravy & Mashed Potatoes)
Smoked Country Ham (Serve With Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Whole Grain Mustard)
Cheese Ravioli With Marinara Or Bolognese Sauce
Manicotti Stuffed With Ricotta Cheese, Spices & Parmesan Cheese (Topped With Marinara Or Bolognese Sauce)
Stuffed Shells With Ricotta & Parmesan Cheese (Topped With Marinara Or Bolognese Sauce)
Baked Rigatoni With Herb Ricotta & Topped With Mozzarella Cheese
Classic Meat Lasagna
Vegetarian Lasagna
Flour Cheese Lasagna (Ricotta, Parmesan, Romano & Mozzarella)
Eggplant Parmigiana
Eggplant Rollatini
Sausage & Peppers In Tomato Sauce
Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Sautéed In Olive Oil & Garlic
Tuscan Sausage Cook With Broccoli Rabe & Cannelloni Beans In Creamy Tomato Sauce

Desserts
Pies
Cakes
Cookies
Zabaglione

www.tinynewyorkkitchen.com

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

Saffron

October 29, 2016

Saffron

Highly prized as a dye, medication and culinary spice since Greek and Roman times, saffron is the stigma of a type of crocus, Crocus sativus, which was once grown all over Europe, including in England. It has a distinctive and lasting aroma, and a pleasant pungency if used sparingly. Because of its striking color, as well as its distinctive flavor, saffron is frequently added to celebration dishes; for example, pilaus from India, Spanish paella and Italian risotto Milanese. Bouillabaisse, the famous French fish and shellfish soup-stew, is flavored with saffron. The spice is also widely used in sweet recipes, including milky rice and sweet custard-like desserts. Baked goods flavored with saffron include breads and cakes.

Saffron threads can be infused (steeped) in a little warm water or milk until the color of the liquid is even. Add the liquid and the threads to the dish, usually towards the end of the cooking process. Saffron powder can be added to food without soaking, but not to hot oil.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Ways To Make The Most Of Seasonal Citrus

January 31, 2016

Ways To Make The Most Of Seasonal Citrus

Zest It
Add zip to baked goods, stir-fries or stews. Make citrus salt!

Juice It
Lemons juice helps keep sliced fruits and root vegetables from turning brown. Finish savory dishes with a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavors.

Freeze It
Freeze citrus juice or zest until you’re ready to use it.

Dry It
Bake peels on the lowest possible heat until dry, but still pliable. Use to flavor black tea, roasted chicken or braised meats.

Candy It
Garnish desserts and cocktails with candied peels or enjoy them as a sweet snack.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Paleo Diet

January 18, 2016

Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet (short for Paleolithic) is fashioned around the eating habits and available foods of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. These ancestors had to nourish themselves with the meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fats available to them in nature. With the benefit of large supermarkets, it’s easy today to mimic these foods in wider variety. Specific recommendations for eating Paleo will vary; however, the main ideas are the same: Reduce the risk of debilitating diseases and optimize health by eating whole, fresh, unprocessed foods and avoid foods that were not available prior to the advent of modern agriculture.

Research studies looking at the Paleo Diet have noted that eating a Paleo Diet for a short term improved the glucose control and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes, compared to eating a diet containing low-fat dairy, moderate salt intake, whole grains, and legumes. Additional research indicates similar results may be possible in people without type 2 diabetes as well. The Paleo diet may result in higher levels of satiety (fullness) throughout the day when compared with a low-fat, low-calorie diet.

Paleo Do’s
Eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables and fruits.

Make fresh meat, poultry, fish, and seafood your primary sources calories.

Avoid highly processed meats that contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and sugar, such as some sausages, bacon, deli meats, and smoked fish products.

Consume nuts and seeds.

Use coconut oil, grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado oil, nut and seed oils, and animal fats, such as goose fat or duck fat, for cooking and eating.

Balance the intake of acid-producing foods (meats, fish, salt, and cheese) with base-producing foods (fruits and vegetables) for optimal health.

Use sea salt to season foods, but try to decrease sodium intake in general.

Paleo Don’ts
Consume highly processed packaged foods.

Get heavy handed with the salt shaker.

Eat grains of any kinds. Quinoa, bulgur, rice, wheat, bread, pasta, etc., are all out.

Consume sugar (including honey and maple syrup), sweets, candy, or desserts.

Use artificial sweeteners, such as monk fruit extract, stevia, NutraSweet or Equal (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), or sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, sorbitol, or maltitol.

Eat legumes, beans, peas, lentils, or soy, or foods make from soybeans.

Use canola or soybean oils or consume hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

Consume dairy, with the exception of fermented dairy or raw milk cheese on occasion.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

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