Oregano

Build An Affordable Cheese Board

December 3, 2020

Cheese Boards are a no-cook, sure-to-please option for any holiday celebration. Build a cheeseboard that’s affordable yet special. Then toast the season with festive cocktails.

A few inexpensive ingredients and simple homemade touches are all you need for a spectacular, special occasion-worthy spread. Here are some smart tips to deck your board with festivity and flavor without breaking the bank.

For a classic, colorful centerpiece, make your own cranberry and herb cheeseball. Start with a container of spreadable cheese and form into a ball. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to avoid messy hands. Roll the ball in a combination of finely chopped dried cranberries, parsley, and chives until thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

No need to buy expensive cheeses. Inexpensive cheddar is always a crowd pleaser. Skip the pre-cut cubes and cut the block yourself. Orange or white, mild or extra sharp. Cheddar is always a favorite.

Upgrade affordable goat cheese by rolling the log in herbs and spices, like dried thyme, dried oregano, or crushed rainbow peppercorns for a beautiful, flavorful crust. You could also keep it plain and top with jarred pepper jelly or mango chutney.

Instead of mixed nuts, opt for crunchy snack mixes, which are often less expensive and just as delicious. For the board, look for one with little or no seasoning.

Give a budget-friendly feta or mini mozzarella balls a flavor boost by marinating cubes in olive oil with herbs like parsley, oregano, or rosemary, and other seasonings like sliced chilis, crushed garlic, or lemon zest. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

Round out your cheese board with other delicious items like fresh or dried fruit (dried apricots, figs, grapes, and sliced pears), pitted olives, and plain crackers.

Pair your cheese board with a festive holiday beverage and enjoy!

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Seasoning Suggestions

January 6, 2019

To flavor your food reach for herbs and spices rather than high-sodium table salt. Make sure to read the labels of seasoning mixes because many of them contain salt.

Seasoning Suggestions

Pasta: Basil, Fennel, Garlic, Paprika, Parsley, Sage
Potatoes: Chives, Garlic, Paprika, Parsley, Rosemary
Rice: Cumin, Marjoram, Parsley, Saffron, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric
Seafood: Chervil, Dill, Fennel, Tarragon, Parsley
Vegetables: Basil, Caraway, Chives, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

How To Roast Chicken

April 19, 2018

Pulling a tender, juicy roast chicken with crisp, golden brown skin out of the oven is so rewarding. For a simple side, roast a pan of in-season produce like spring onions, ramps, new potatoes or carrots during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

INGREDIENTS
1 Whole Chicken (4 Pound)
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove neck and giblets from chicken. Trim off any excess fat from neck and tail end of chicken. Rinse bird with cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels, and season all over with salt and pepper.

Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a small-size roasting pan or a 9×13 inch-baking dish. Tuck wings back and behind bird to hold them in place. Roast, basting once or twice with pan juices, until skin is deep golden brown and juices run clear, about 1 1/2 hours.

An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees. Let chicken rest for 15 minutes and then carve.

To add fragrant flavor, stuff the cavity with a halved lemon or orange and a handful of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

Serve with an easy salad of greens topped with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 90 Minutes
Total Time: 110 Minutes

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Reducing Sodium In Your Diet

April 5, 2018

Let’s face it; most of us eat way too much salt. A high-sodium diet can increase risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), which can lead to cardiovascular and kidney disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of salt. The good news is that reducing the amount of salt you use will retrain your taste buds to sense other flavors. You won’t even miss it.

Bland food is such a bore, but how can we keep sodium in check without sacrificing flavor?

Here are some suggestions to reduce salt in your diet:

Remove the salt shaker from the table when you eat.

Limit process foods, including cured, pickled, salted, or brined products.

Focus on fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauces or seasonings.

When choosing canned options, look for “no salt added” or “low sodium.”

Cook at home so you have control over how much salt you add.

Flavored vinegar, onions, garlic, and citrus also add tons of flavor without the sodium.

Herbs and spices are the key to flavor. Add dried varieties during cooking and fresh herbs at the end of cooking or when plating a dish. Thyme, mint, lemongrass, dill, basil, oregano, chives, and parsley are great herbs to use. Spices like pepper, ginger, chili powder, and cinnamon are excellent spices to flavor your food.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 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

Substitution Guide

November 21, 2014

Substitution Guide

Ingredient

Substitution

Allspice (1 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/4 tsp. nutmeg + 1/4 tsp. ground clove

Baking Powder (1 tsp.)

1/4 tsp. baking soda + 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Baking Soda (1 tsp.)

2 tsp double-acting baking powder + replace acidic liquid ingredient in recipe with non-acidic liquid

Balsamic Vinegar

Equal amount of sherry or cidar vinegar

Bread Crumbs (1 cup)

3/4 cup cracker crumbs

Brown Sugar (1 cup)

1 Tbsp. light molasses + enough sugar to fill 1 dry measure cup or 1 cup raw sugar

Butter, salted (1 cup

or 2 sticks)

1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp. salt or 1 cup margarine or 7/8 cup lard or vegetable shortening

Buttermilk (1 cup)

Place 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measure. Fill to 1 cup with room temp whole or 2% milk and let stand for 5 minutes or 1 cup milk + 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar or 1 cup plain yogurt

Canola, Sunflower and Vegetable Oils

Substitute one for one

Chocolate, Bittersweet or Semi-Sweet (1 oz.)

1/2 oz. Unsweetened chocolate + 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Cocoa Powder (3 Tbsp. Dutch-processed)

1 oz. Unsweetened chocolate + 1/8 tsp. baking soda + reduce fat in recipe by 1 Tbsp. or 3 Tbsp. natural cocoa powder + 1/8 tsp. baking soda

Corn Starch

(as a thickener)

Equal amounts of Minute Tapioca for cornstarch, use slightly less for flour

Cream of Tartar (1/2 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice

Egg (1 whole large egg)

3-1/2 Tbsp. thawed frozen egg or egg substitute or 2 egg whites

Garlic (1 fresh clove)

1 tsp. Garlic Salt or 1/8 tsp. Garlic Powder or 1/4 tsp. dried minced garlic

Gingerroot (1 Tbsp. minced)

1/8 tsp. ground ginger powder or 1 Tbsp. rinsed and chopped candied ginger

Half & Half (1 cup)

for cooking or baking

1-1/2 Tbsp. butter or margarine + enough milk to equal 1 cup

Heavy Cream (1 cup)

for cooking or baking

3/4 cup milk + 1/3 cup butter or margarine

Herbs, Fresh (1 Tbsp.)

1 tsp. dried herbs

Honey (1 cup)

for cooking or baking

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar + 1/4 cup of liquid appropriate for recipe

Italian Seasoning (1 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. dried basil + 1/4 tsp. dried oregano + 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Molasses (1 cup)

1 cup honey or 1 cup dark corn syrup or 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup liquid

Mushrooms, fresh

(1 cup sliced and cooked)

1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained

Mustard, Prepared

(1 Tbsp.)

1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder + 2 tsp. white vinegar

Onion (1 small minced)

1/2 tsp. onion powder

Poultry Seasoning (1 tsp.)

1/4 tsp. ground thyme + 3/4 tsp. ground sage

Pumpkin Pie Spice (1 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp. ground ginger + 1/8 tsp. allspice + 1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Sour Cream (1 cup)

1 cup plain yogurt or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and enough evaporated milk to equal 1 cup

Tomato Juice (1 cup)

for cooking

1/2 cup tomato sauce + 1/2 cup water

Tomato Sauce (1 cup)

for cooking

1/2 cup tomato paste + 1/2 cup water

Wine, Red (1 cup)

1 cup nonalcoholic wine, apple cider, beef broth or water

Wine, White (1 cup)

1 cup nonalcoholic wine, white grape juice, apple juice, chicken broth or water

Yogurt (1 cup)

1 cup buttermilk or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and enough milk to equal 1 cup or 1 cup sour cream

"Work With What You Got!"

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

 

Roast Beef Tenderloin 3 Ways

September 10, 2013

Tenderloin

Roast Beef Tenderloin 3 Ways

Here are three different ways to cook Beef Tenderloin.  Remember to let your roast rest for a bit after removing from the oven because it will continue to cook. 

Classic

1 Two to Six Pound Beef Tenderloin

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

3 Tablespoons Rosemary

2 Tablespoons Thyme

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

2 Tablespoons Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  With 2 tablespoons olive oil lightly oil a roasting pan.  Position the oven rack on center rack.  In a small-size bowl combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, and pepper.  Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of tenderloin. Place into roasting pan and place into oven.  Cook for about 35 to 55 minutes depending on target temperature.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving. Serves 2 to 6 depending on size of tenderloin. 

Smoked Paprika

1 Two to Six Pound Beef Tenderloin

5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika

1 Teaspoon Oregano

Zest of 1 Lemon

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  With 2 tablespoons olive oil lightly oil a roasting pan.  Position the oven rack on center rack.  In a small-size bowl combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, smoked paprika, oregano, zest & juice of lemon, kosher salt, and pepper.  Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of tenderloin. Place into roasting pan and place into oven.  Cook for about 35 to 55 minutes depending on target temperature.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving. Serves 2 to 6 depending on size of tenderloin. 

Cajun Style

1 Two to Six Pound Beef Tenderloin

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning

1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  With 2 tablespoons olive oil lightly oil a roasting pan.  Position the oven rack on center rack.  In a small-size bowl combine Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and pepper.  Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of tenderloin. Place into roasting pan and place into oven.  Cook for about 35 to 55 minutes depending on target temperature.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving. Serves 2 to 6 depending on size of tenderloin.  

A Note About Grilled Steaks

July 1, 2012

A Note About Grilled Steaks

Steak is perfect for the grill.  A well marbled, cut thin and flat steak is made for searing over a bed of hot coals.  A grilled steak is mouthwatering if it is brown and crisp on the outside and pink & juicy on the inside.  There really isn’t an easier and less complicated dinner than a grilled steak with a green salad on the side.  Plus, the cleanup is practically effortless.  Most any cut of steak is great for grilling.  The classics are rib eye, New York, filet, tenderloin and porterhouse.  The lesser cuts are cheaper and usually every bit as tasty if they are marinated.  A flatiron, chuck, skirt steak, hangar steak, top sirloin or tri-tip are lesser cuts of steak that I tend to marinate overnight.  Steaks can be grilled as a single portion or larger steaks can be grilled whole and sliced for more than one.  A steak is best cut 1 to 2 inches thick.  If a steak is thinner, then the inside will be overdone before the outside is properly seared.  If a steak is thicker then the outside, it will start to char before the inside is ready.  Trim off all but a fourth of an inch layer of fat.  The less dripping fat means fewer flare-ups. 

 

Seasoning a steak is simple.  All you really need is kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Some people like an herb crust.  Chopping fresh herbs together in any combination is great.  You can combine thyme, rosemary, oregano and/or oregano; however, you should always use rosemary.  Mix the fresh herbs with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Rub onto the steak with some olive oil an hour or so before grilling.  You should take the steaks out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before grilling to allow the steaks to come to room temperature.

 

Clean your grill with a wire brush and then prepare a hot fire.  Oil the grill and put on the steaks. Your grill should be so hot that you shouldn’t be able to tolerate the heat for more than a couple seconds.   Cook for 5 to 6 minutes.  Turn the steaks over and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.  If your steak has a border of fat then turn this onto the grill by holding the steak up with your tongs.  Sear the fat for 1 to 2 minutes.  After you flip your steaks you should start checking for doneness after about 2 minutes.  Press the back of your tongs into the steak.  If it is rare it will be soft.  If it springs a bit then it is medium rare.  If it is resilient then it is well done.  Keep testing by using the “back of the tong” method.  You can check by cutting into the steaks, but I really think that it is better not to cut into the steaks.  Keep working on the “back of the tong” method and you will become a good judge pretty quickly.  I think that it is a good idea to take the steaks off of the grill when they are a little less done than you want them to be.  They will continue to cook while they rest.  A 1 inch steak will be grilled rare in about 8 minutes and for medium it should take about 12 minutes.  Check your fire while the steaks are cooking.  Move the coals as needed to make the fire hotter or cooler.  If your fire flares up then move the steaks out of the flames right away or the fire will burn up your steak.  This will form a black and acrid crust.  When you remove your steaks from the grill let them take a little rest for a few minutes before serving.  Resting stabilizes the internal juices so that they don’t run out excessively when you cut into the steaks.  If you are not going to serve right away, make sure to cover loosely with aluminum foil to help keep warm.  Don’t seal tightly or they will continue to cook. 

Happy Grilling!

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