Fish

Jicama

April 22, 2021

Crunchy, juicy, nutrient packed jicama is an unsung hero of the produce aisle. Technically a cousin to green beans, jicama is a root vegetable from Mexico available year-round that is delicious cooked or raw. With a mild, earthy, slightly sweet flavor and an apple like consistency. It’s a great addition to salads, salsas, slaws, and grazing boards. Jicama also works as lighter swap for potatoes in baked and air fried recipes, and it’s delicious sautéed or boiled, too.

If you’ve never tried jicama, don’t be intimidated. Start by choosing one with a smooth, unblemished surface and thin brown skin. The skin should be thin enough to scrape with your thumbnail to reveal the white flesh inside. Avoid thick skinned, bruised, or shriveled jicama, which are signs of aging.

Once you’re ready to prep, start by trimming off the ends of the jicama and slice in half. Then, use a knife to gently peel away the skin.

For Jicama Sticks:
Step 1: Carefully slice off the rounded parts of the jicama, creating a flat surface.
Step 2: Cut each half into 1/4-inch slices.
Step 3: Stack slices and cut evenly into sticks.

Fresh, raw jicama sticks are a great addition to lunchboxes or served on a vegetable platter with your favorite dip. They can also add unexpected, satisfying crunch to cooked dishes, like a noodle salad with jicama and a miso vinaigrette.

Jicama sticks are delicious roasted, too. Their firm texture can withstand the heat, while the edges get golden brown and tender. Toss together with sweet peppers and spices for a simple, satisfying sheet pan side that pairs well with all kinds of meat and fish.

For Diced Jicama:
Step 1: Follow the steps above to create jicama sticks
Step 2: Line up sticks or stack into a pile, then evenly cut into cubes.

Diced jicama is a vitamin and fiber-rich way to add bulk to all kinds of green, grain, and protein-based salads. I love the combination of crunchy jicama with creamy avocado served with grilled chicken.

Moist and mild flavored jicama also plays well with fruit, especially melon. A refreshing combination of watermelon, jicama, and fresh mint falls somewhere between salad and salsa, delicious scooped onto tortilla chips or just spooned straight from the bowl.

Next time you’re at your local grocery store or market pick up jicama and experiment with ways to incorporate it into your recipes.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Fennel

April 6, 2021

Fennel is a member of the carrot family, though it is not a root vegetable. The base of its long stalk weaves together to form a thick and crisp bulb that grows above ground. Fennel’s leaves, seeds, and stems all have a sweet, faintly anise like flavor. The stems of fennel swell and overlap at the base of the plant to form a bulb with white to pale green ribbed layers that are similar to celery in appearance and texture. Light and feathery, the pretty green leaves slightly resemble fresh dill. Use them as a bed for steaming fish or in small amounts as a garnish.

Originating in the Mediterranean, the fennel bulb appears often in Italian and Scandinavian cuisines. It can be eaten raw, grilled, baked, braised, or sautéed. While grilling, you can toss a handful of dried or fresh fennel stems onto the charcoal to infuse meat or fish with a light anise flavor.

When selecting fennel choose fresh bulbs that are smooth and tightly layered with cracks or bruises. Fat, rounded bulbs with white and pale green color will tend to be more succulent than thin or yellow ones. Avoid any with wilted leaves or dried layers. Now available year-round, fennel is at its peak from late fall through winter. Grocers sometimes incorrectly liable fennel as sweet anise.

When storing, keep fennel bulbs in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If kept too long, they will lose their flavor and toughen.

When preparing, remove the green stems and leaves, saving them to flavor or garnish other dishes such as soups or fish. Discard the outer layer of the bulb if it is tough and cut away any discolored areas. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and remove the base of the core as it is thick and solid. Gently separate the layers with your hands and rinse well to remove any grit between them. Slice or cut as your recipe directs.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

How To Roast Almost Anything

February 8, 2021

Roasting refers to proteins and vegetables cooked mostly at high temperatures in the oven. Baking uses a lower temperature to cook breads, baked goods, and casseroles.

Roasting makes any vegetable taste better. It brings out their flavor, caramelizes their natural sugars, and adds crunch. If your family doesn’t love certain vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, roasting is a great way to change their mind. Double what you’re roasting and then turn extra servings into quick meals later in the week. Cooking a little extra with one meal lets you make the most of value-sized packages of proteins and other store sales. With leftover already planned, you won’t need to lean on takeout.

Why we love to roast:

It’s Affordable! Inexpensive ingredients are tastiest when roasted. Root vegetables are browned and crisp, tomatoes and grapes are extra juicy and sweet, and tough cuts of beef are fall-apart tender. You also don’t need any special equipment to roast.

Roasting Is Healthful! Roasted foods need very little fat to cook compared to frying or sautéing. Roasting also intensifies flavors without added salt, sugar, or other ingredients.

It’s Easy! Roasted foods need little prep before they cook. And once the oven door closes, you can walk away. Fewer pans and utensils are needed, making cleanup easier too.

Essential Tools For Roasting:

Rimmed Sheet Pan: The rim keeps vegetables from falling off the sides and catches any juices from meats and fish.

Oven-Save Skillet: Go from stovetop to oven and back. Sear meats before roasting or make a pan sauce with the meat drippings after roasting.

Roasting Pan: Best for large roasts, hams, and turkeys. An inner rack lifts the meat so it can brown and crisp underneath.

Parchment Paper: Line pans to keep foods from burning and sticking, then toss for easy cleanup. If roasting at a higher temp or broiling use foil.

Metal Tongs: Flip and stir foods on a hot pan with ease. Look for tongs with a heat resistant grip.

Silicone Brush: Brush on a sticky glaze or baste foods with sauce. The silicone bristles are easy to clean.

Tips For Sheet Pan Roasting:

Jump Start Browning by preheating your sheet pan before adding vegetables.

Pat foods very dry with paper towels so the outside browns while the inside cooks through.

Cut foods to the same size and thickness so smaller pieces don’t burn.

Space out foods on the sheet pan so they have room to crisp and brown.

Let sheet pans cool before rinsing to keep the metal from warping.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Lucky Foods For New Year’s Day

December 28, 2020

Lucky Foods For New Year’s Day

This New Year’s make a resolution to bring yourself a heaping helping of good luck. It’s as easy as just making dinner.

In cultures around the world, the new year is celebrated with particular foods and recipes thought to bring good fortune. Symbolizing wealth, long life, and prosperity, lucky foods are an auspicious and delicious way to celebrate the holiday and welcome good things in the coming year.

Pork & Sauerkraut
Tender braised pork, along with other forms of pork (like sausages and roasts) is a symbol of abundance in Celtic and Chinese cultures, and is popular amongst the Pennsylvania Dutch on New Year’s Day. Paired with the cabbage in sauerkraut, a Chinese symbol of wealth and prosperity, this easy braise with apples and onions is one tasty pot of good luck.

Black Eyed Peas, Greens & Cornbread
Traditionally eaten in the South on New Year’s Day, this trifecta of ingredients represents three different types of money. Leafy greens represent dollar bills, the round peas symbolize coins and cornbread is the color of gold.

Grapes
According to Spanish lore, eating 12 grapes as the clock chimes midnight on New Year’s Eve will bring you 12 months of good luck. Incorporate this tasty tradition by adding grapes to your holiday cheese board or dessert platter. Or try a delicious side dish with savory sautéed Brussels sprouts, grapes, and crunchy walnuts.

Pomegranates
In Greece, smashing a pomegranate on the floor to release the seeds is a surefire way to bring good luck. The seeds represent abundance and fertility. The more seeds you see, the luckier you’ll be. Instead of smashing, sprinkle that good fortune over peak season oranges, mixed greens, and prosciutto for a colorful celebration of a salad.

Fish
Fish are thought to represent progress and abundance because they constantly swim forward and group together in schools. In Czech culture, the scales of the fish are considered lucky because they resemble silver coins and if you carry a silver coin in your wallet it is said that your money will never run out. Celebrate the new year abundantly with a fish dish that everyone will enjoy.

Noodles
No Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, celebration is complete without a bowl of noodles. Symbolizing longevity and health, noodles are always left whole. Breaking or cutting a long strand of noodles is considered bad luck. Nourish a long life with a longevity noodles dish.

Cake
Ring shaped cakes, like Bundt cakes, are a sweet way to celebrate coming full circle from the previous year. In cultures around the Mediterranean, a coin is baked into the cake and thought to bring wealth and good fortune to the lucky recipient who finds it. Bake a delicious ring-shaped cake and be sure to warn your guests if you decide to bake it with a coin hidden inside.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Enjoying Summer’s Abundance

July 6, 2020

July has given us bright sunny days, low humidity and cool evening temperatures and a great way to capture summer’s splendor is with a picnic. Whether you find respite under the shade of a magnificent tree, spread a blanket on a sandy beach or enjoy your own patio or yard, dining “en plein air” is a delightful diversion to current world conditions.

Simplicity is key for a pleasant picnic. With farm markets opening, stock up on fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables for the picnic basket. Luscious, seasonal asparagus can be lightly grilled, steamed or roasted, then spritzed with fresh lemon juice and adorned with fresh parmesan cheese shavings for a light and lovely picnic lunch that packs easily. Freshly picked asparagus can also be served raw. Shave each stalk using a vegetable peeler, into long strips and dress with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Embellish at will with goat or feta cheese, pine nuts or almonds and plenty of minced herbs.

Fresh herbs perk up picnic recipes and eliminate the need for excess sodium. Chives will add a slightly sharp bite to potato, egg or pasta salads, as well as a nice little nip of flavor to deviled eggs. Poach a nice piece of salmon and dot it with creamy dill sauce for an elegant picnic entrée. Cilantro and Thai basil elevate rice noodle salads, and the snappy tang of fresh parsley is just the right addition to grain bowls. Fresh basil with ripe tomatoes is a classic combination. For something sweet, pack fresh berries, such as native strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey.

If your picnic involves grilling use sturdy rosemary to imbue vegetables, meat, and fish with Mediterranean flavor and flair. Marinate chunks of lamb, beef or chicken with fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Let rest for several hours, then grill as desired.

Have picnic supplies at the ready to take advantage of gorgeous weather. Stash a small roll of garbage bags, hand sanitizer, salt and pepper packets, a small cutting board and knife, bug spray, sunscreen, and a blanket in your picnic basket. Keep small ice packs in the freezer. Gather your food and drink and enjoy the healthy benefits of picnicking all summer long.

“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

Shop The Peripheries Of The Supermarket And Stay Out Of The Middle

August 5, 2019

Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle. Most supermarkets are laid out the same way. Processed food products dominate the center aisles of the store, while the cases of mostly fresh food (produce, meat, fish, dairy) line the walls, Keep to the edges of the store and you’ll be much more likely to wind up with real food in your shopping cart. This strategy is not foolproof, however, since things like high-fructose corn syrup have crept into the dairy case under the cover of flavored yogurts and the like.

Hot Sauce

May 17, 2019

Fire things up with popular hot sauces. Whether you’re just starting to heat things up or you’re looking for new options there’s a sauce to spice up any meal.

HARISSA
This thick North African sauce combines hot peppers with garlic and other seasonings. It’s traditionally served with couscous, but harissa can also add flavor and fire to everything from meat and fish to vegetables and eggs.

SRIRACHA
While there is sriracha from Thailand (it’s named after the town where it was created in the 1930s), the wildly popular one used in everything from wings to Bloody Marys is produced in Southern California. Both feature fresh red chilies, sugar, salt, garlic, and vinegar.

GREEN HOT SAUCE
Most hot sauces are red because they’re made with red peppers, but there are green versions, which are typically made with jalapeños and/or poblanos and sometimes tomatillos. Green sauces can be milder or more herbal, but heat levels vary from sauce to sauce.

LOUISIANA STYLE
Most hot sauces are based on the Louisiana style formula of chilies, vinegar, and salt, and puréed into a thin red liquid. Which peppers are used, how they’re processed, and additional ingredients make for endless variety.

MEXICAN HOT SAUCE
South-of-the-border sauces tend to use the same Louisiana style combination of chilies, vinegar, and salt, and have a similar flavor, but if you’re eating tacos, why not reach for a bottle from Mexico? Many include chipotles, which are dried and smoked jalapeños, and add smoky flavor.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Fresh Herbs

September 7, 2018

Fresh herbs have delighted the senses and tantalized the taste buds for centuries. In medieval times great bundles of herbs were strewn on castle floors as a natural air purifier. Brides often chose to wear delicate crowns of flowers interwoven with herbs upon their heads, and both Western and Eastern medical practitioners may employ herbal remedies for their patients.

Many cooks are quite passionate about utilizing herbs in their favorite recipes. Especially bountiful herbs, which perfume our summer and fall gardens with beautiful scents and enhance the plate with their wonderful array of flavors. Using fresh herbs allows cooks to cut back on unnecessary salt, fat, and sugars, while naturally elevating main ingredients.

Brimming with health benefits, each herb plays a special role in beautifying and fortifying the body. Rosemary, for example, may improve memory. Parsley is packed with apigenin, which could potentially reduce the chances of cancerous growths and tumors. Oregano, like all other herbs, has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce joint inflammation. Oregano is also particularly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and can contribute to flawless skin and glossy hair. The calcium content in basil and parsley can help maintain healthy teeth. Mint is calming and soothing and can be a digestive aid. The heady aroma of fresh herbs may help relieve any effects of nausea, as well as soothing and reviving the senses.

Basil’s affinity with tomatoes is a most engaging taste combination. Serve sun warmed tomatoes sprinkled with shards of fresh basil leaves and drizzled with olive oil. The slightly sharp bite of chives enlivens potatoes, eggs and salad dressings. Cilantro is a must for Mexican and Asian dishes. Dill adds a light, lovely layer to fish, while the snappy tang of parsley is delightful in tabouli, potato salad, and pasta. Mint is essential for tall glasses of cold ices tea or lemonade and also for embellishing summer fruit platters. Transport your taste buds by making a salad with a bounty of vegetables and a large handful of freshly minced oregano, basil, parsley, and dill. Or scent your grill with the woody stalks of rosemary. They make great skewers, infusing meat, fish, and vegetables with bright, strong flavors.

Clean herbs by soaking in a bowl of cool water, changing the water several times, or until you no longer see any dirt in the bottom of the bowl. Spin dry in a salad spinner or on layers of paper towels. For hot dishes, add herbs at the end of cooking time to avoid diluting their essence.

“An herb is the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.” – Charlemagne

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“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Grilling Fish

June 12, 2018

Grilling season is upon us and many want to grill fish, but have questions on the best way to do it. Here are some easy tips to help you get the most out of your fish grilling experience.

Ask Your Fishmonger. Fishmongers are knowledgeable and can recommend the best fish for dinner. They will clean your fish for you as well.

Take It Easy. Leave the fish head and tail on for easier handling, and try grilling a small 1 to 1 1/2 pound fish if you’re a first-timer.

Work With A Clean Grill. Scrub the grates clean with a wire brush to reduce sticking, and rub the exterior of the fish with oil before placing it on the grill.

Get Cooking And Don’t Be A Flipper. Grill over a medium-high heat for about 8 minutes total cooking time per inch of thickness. Most fish will cook best if turned only once, so wait at least 3 minutes for the fish to form a crust on the outside before flipping. Don’t risk the fish falling apart by trying to flip multiple times.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

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