Herbs

Poultry

April 4, 2017

Have you ever reached into the cavity of a fresh chicken and found it frozen inside? Poultry can be chilled to 26 degrees and still be considered fresh. Water may freeze at 32 degrees, but poultry flesh doesn’t freeze solid until it reaches 25 degrees. The extra few degrees will lengthen the shelf life of the chicken.

While many cooks are in the habit of rinsing poultry before cooking, it really isn’t necessary. You always cook poultry to a temperature that kills any harmful bacteria. In fact, it could be more dangerous to rinse the poultry, as you can end up splashing contaminated water all over the sink and kitchen counter.

After preparing poultry, reduce the chance of bacteria contamination by washing the cutting board, prep utensils, and your hands with hot, soapy water. It’s a good idea to reserve one cutting board for raw meat and poultry and a second board for other ingredients.

Broiler-fryer chickens are the all-purpose chicken, but you usually see them labeled simply as whole chicken. They used to average 3 1/2 pounds, but these days, you’ll find them up to 5 pounds, which means you get more servings per chicken. Roaster chickens tip the scales at 5 to 7 pounds, and are usually cooked whole in the oven. Even if you are serving a small group, it is worth roasting one of the larger chickens so you have leftovers for other meals.

The standard supermarket chicken is grown according to USDA standards, which allow antibiotics in the feed. Hormones and growth stimulants have been outlawed in poultry production since the 1950s.

Free-range chickens have access to the outdoors, which does not mean they live outdoors. The standards for organic chickens vary from state to state. In general, these birds, which are often also free range, must be fed organically grown feed and raised without antibiotics. Many cooks believe the flavor of free-range or organic birds is superior to that of supermarket chickens.

If you need to roast a chicken in record time, then butterfly it and roast it at a high temperature. With its entire surface exposed to the oven heat, the skin will be crisp and golden brown.

Be sure that whatever vessel you use for roasting a chicken can also be used on the stove top, so you can deglaze the drippings and turn them into a pan sauce. Enameled cast-iron baking dishes are a good choice.

You’ve paid for the entire chicken, so don’t throw anything away. The neck, heart, kidneys, and fat can be turned into quick chicken stock that will make just enough for many recipes, including a sauce for serving with the chicken. Don’t use the liver, as it will make the stock bitter. If you have butterflied the chicken, chop up the backbone and add the pieces to the stock, too. The stock won’t be as rich as a long simmered one, but it’s just fine when combined with pan juices.

Herbs are a wonderful flavoring for roast chicken, but they can burn if simply rubbed onto the skin. Combine the herbs with softened butter, and carefully slip the herb butter under the chicken skin, spreading it evenly. Roast away without worrying about singed herbs.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Keep It Light

January 7, 2017

Generally animal products are higher in fat than plant foods, but it’s not necessary to cut out all meat and dairy products to keep your fat intake reasonable. Low-fat dairy foods, lean and well trimmed meat, and skinless poultry provide the same amounts of vitamins and minerals as their fattier counterparts. Skinless poultry, fish, dry beans, and split peas are the “slimmest” foods in this category. By removing the skin from poultry, you reduce the fat by almost one half. Most seafood is low in fat and also contains beneficial omega-3 oils, which have been linked to lowering blood cholesterol. Dry beans also provide the body with fiber, which is necessary for digestion.

You can enjoy red meat if you choose lean cuts and trim away all the visible fat (marbled fat cannot be trimmed away). Here are some good choices:

*Beef eye round, top round, tenderloin, top sirloin, flank steak, top loin, and ground beef. Choose ground sirloin; it’s 90 to 93 percent lean.

*Veal cutlets (from the leg) and loin chops.

*Pork tenderloin, boneless top loin roast, loin chops, and boneless sirloin chops.

*Lamb, boneless leg (shank portions), loin roast, loin chops, and leg cubes for kabobs.

Here are some suggestions to make trimming excess fat from your diet easier:

*Choose lean cuts of meat and trim off all the visible fat before cooking. Remove skin from poultry before or after cooking.

*Broil meat on a rack so the fat can drop away.

*Substitute ground chicken or ground turkey for ground beef. Look for ground turkey breast or chicken breast; otherwise, it may contain skin and therefore have as much fat as ground beef.

*Substitute protein-packed dried legumes, like beans and lentils, for meat in casseroles.

*Chill soups and stews overnight so you can remove all the hardened fat from the surface.

*Be skimpy with fat. Use nonstick pans and nonstick cooking spray, or sauté in a small amount of broth or water. Don’t just pour oil into a skillet; it’s easy to add too much. Measure or use a pastry brush to coat pans with a thin layer of oil. When baking, coat pans with a spritz of nonstick cooking spray instead of oils or fats. Kitchenware shops carry oil sprayers you can fill with your favorite oil.

*Experiment with low fat or skim milk, low fat sour cream and cheese, and nonfat yogurt. They provide the same amounts of calcium and protein as the whole milk varieties, but with less fat or none at all.

*When making dips, substitute nonfat plain yogurt for sour cream.

*Use fresh herbs and zesty seasonings literally.

*Choose angel food cake instead of pound cake, especially when making cake-based desserts like trifle.

*To reduce fat and cholesterol, you can substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg in recipes, but don’t substitute egg whites for all the whole eggs when baking. The dessert will have better texture and flavor if you retain a cold or two.

*Replace sour cream with buttermilk or yogurt in recipes for baked goods.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Parmesan Cheese Rinds

October 24, 2016

Parmesan Cheese Rinds

I tend to use a lot of good quality Parmesan cheese that I grate myself all the way down to the rind. I used to just toss the rinds until one day a chef friend told me all of the ways to use them. I think of them as the bay leaves of the cheese world. Add them when you’re cooking a dish and make sure to remove them at the end of cooking. Seriously, you’ll discover a while new world of flavor.

Throw into sauces, stews, and soups. Adding a Parmesan rind to sauces, stews, and soups will definitely add a nice rich flavor. Add to Italian dishes (both red and white pasta sauces).

Put them in a jar and pour olive oil over them. This makes Parmesan infused olive oil. You could add garlic cloves as well. This is excellent for dipping bread.

Grill them if your rinds are pure cheese with no waxy coating. They’ll become soft and chewy that is delicious on crusty bread.

Make Parmesan broth for cooking with. It’s so easy. Just add a few rinds with some herbs to a pot of water. Simmer for a couple of hours and after the broth has reduced some strain it and use to cook with.

Use them when you’re cooking vegetables.

Put a rind in the pot when you’re cooking rice or risotto.

The great news is that Parmesan rinds freeze well. You don’t need to use them right away and keep for a few months in the refrigerator. They keep for years in the freezer, however. If you don’t have any rinds on hand you may also purchase them from high-end grocers and cheese shops, where they’re super inexpensive.

www.tinynewyorkkitchen.com

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Growing Herbs

September 17, 2016

Growing herbs make cooking so much better. When the weather turns cold I bring them inside to my kitchen so they don’t freeze. Tonight I’m making grilled rosemary bone-in pork chops.

September

September 16, 2016

September

September is a wonderful time for enjoying the beautiful array at local farmers’ markets. September is a delightful time for gathering ingredients that will showcase fleeting flavors of summer. A walk among colorful baskets filled with fresh produce is incredibly inspiration.

Blazing scarlet tomatoes, sun-sweetened and fattened from their time on the vine, are joined by zesty green, bright yellow, and almost purple-colored varieties. Turn this beautiful rainbow into a final summer tomato salad by simply cutting thick slices of each colorful variety of tomato, and arranging them on a big platter. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, and finish the dish with finely minced basil.

Fill your shopping cart with crisp cucumbers, glossy purple or creamy white eggplant, pale green or buttery yellow summer squashes, string or wax beans, spicy jalapeno peppers, fragrant peaches, lush melons, sugary corn on the cob and great bunches of finely scented fresh herbs.

As September evenings grow quietly cooler, take pleasure in preparing dishes that feature these ingredients, such as nutmeg-scented roasted peaches, a delectable eggplant parmesan, velvety corn soup, garlic string beans or summer squash stuffed with ground lamb or turkey, breadcrumbs, fresh basil, oregano and parsley, cinnamon and bit of cheese. Cucumbers can be turned into simple refrigerator pickles, jalapeños can be roasted on the grill and packed away in the freezer, ensuring that a bit of summer will still be served as the season marches on.

There is also a hint of fall to be found at the farmers’ market. While all of the summer crops are still available to be savored, the new season is sneaking in. Freshly dug potatoes, dark purple plums, crisp early apples, succulent pears, Brussels sprouts, earthy mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower and kale will provide culinary creativity for weeks to come.

Cooking and eating with the seasons is the most excellent and efficient way to introduce high quality nutrients into the body. When we enjoy what nature has prepared for us, we are giving our bodies the gift of exceptionally luscious flavor, along with important healing properties. I can’t think of a better way to prepare a delicious life.

www.tinynewyorkkitchen.com

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Freezing Fresh Herbs

May 14, 2016

Freezing Fresh Herbs

Spring is here and it’s time to grow a variety of herbs, but what do you do when you have an abundance that you don’t want to go to waste? The answer is to freeze them. To freeze hardy herbs like thyme or rosemary, chop the leaves and put them in an ice cube tray. Cover with olive oil and freeze them for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to use them just melt as many as you need in a skillet and use for sautéing.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Pantry & Freezer Staples

February 3, 2016

Pantry & Freezer Staples

How long do pantry and freezer staples last? Staple items are known for their long shelf life, but they don’t stay fresh forever! Use this handy list to determine how long you should keep them on hand.

Freezer

Hamburger & Stew Meats: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 3 to 4 Months

Ground Turkey, Veal, Pork, Lamb: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 3 to 4 Months

Bacon: Shelf Life: 7 Days Storage: 1 Month

Sausage (Raw From Pork, Beef, Chicken or Turkey): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 1 to 2 Months

Fresh Steaks: Shelf Life: 3 to 5 Days Storage: 6 to 12 Months

Fresh Roasts: Shelf Life: 3 to 5 Days Storage: 4 to 12 Months

Chicken or Turkey (Whole): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 1 Year

Chicken or Turkey (Cut Up): Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 9 Months

Lean Fish: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 6 Months

Fatty Fish: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage: 2 to 3 Months

Fresh Shrimp, Scallops, Crawfish, Squid: Shelf Life: 1 to 2 Days Storage 3 to 6 Months

Pantry

Baking Powder: Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Keep In Dry Place In Airtight Container

Beans (Dried & Uncooked): Shelf Life: 1 Year Storage: Store In Cool & Dry Place

Chocolate (Semisweet & Unsweetened): Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Keep In Cool Place

Cocoa: Shelf Life: 1 Year Storage: Keep In Cool Place

Cornstarch: Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Store In Airtight Container

Flour (White or Whole Wheat): Shelf Life: 6 to 8 Months Storage: Store In Airtight Container or Freeze To Extend Shelf Life

Nuts (In Shell & Unopened): Shelf Life: 4 Months Storage: Freeze to Extend Shelf Life

Spices & Herbs (Ground): Shelf Life: 6 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Containers In Dry Areas Away From Sunlight & Heat. Before Using, Check Aroma – If Faint Replace.

Sugar (Brown): Shelf Life: 4 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Container

Sugar (Confectioners’): Shelf Life: 18 Months Storage: Store in Airtight Container

Sugar (Granulated): Shelf Life: 2 Years Storage: Store in Airtight Container

Vinegar (Unopened): Shelf Life: 2 Years

“Work With What You Got!”

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

Shopping a For More Kitchen Herbs!

June 9, 2015

Shopping a For More Kitchen Herbs!

Spring Ravioli

May 14, 2015

Spring Ravioli

Capture springtime on the plate with fresh ravioli enveloping a purée of sweet English peas that is bolstered with a touch of cheese and herbs. Simmer these ravioli for just a few minutes, drain (but not too thoroughly) and add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the pan. Once the butter melts, return the ravioli to the pan, add a bright toss of lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Some grated Parmesan and slivers of fresh mint or a handful of pea shoots are worthy embellishments.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Lentils

March 13, 2015

Lentils

The lentil is a Eurasian herb grown for its small, flat, edible seeds and are considered a legume. They are lens shaped (the word comes from the Latin lens, “lentil”), variously colored on the outside, and yellow/orange on the inside. The earliest written mention of lentils is in the book of Genesis: Esau sold his birthright in exchange for a dish of lentils. Lentils are high in fiber, vegetable proteins, and complex carbohydrates and fairly rich in iron and protein; they are low in sodium and fat-free.

Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

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