Stews

Chives

April 23, 2020

As gardens begin to grow, one of the first perennial herbs to appear are chives. Chives are quite resilient and are particularly easy to grow both in garden beds or in pots. They can stand a bit of shade, tolerate drought, and grow well in any type of garden soil. For first time gardeners, this is an excellent plant that will yield a reliable source of flavorful nutrition.

Chives belong to the lily family and are part of a large genus of over 500 species of perennials that contain bulbs or underground stems. Known for their strong scent and distinct flavor, chives, along with garlic, onions, scallions and leeks are known as allium herbs. Allium species have been cultivated around the world for centuries and are valued both medicinally ad for their fabulous flavor.

If you grow your own chives, you can continually cut them back so the crop will continue into early fall. If you let happen to let them go you will get lovely purple-pink globe shaped chive flowers that make a beautiful garnish as well as a bright addition to spring or summer salads.

Chives are best when used fresh. Rinse and dry them well, then snip with scissors or cut with a very sharp knife. Snipped chives can be placed in freezer bags and frozen for later use, but will not maintain the texture of fresh shoots.

This is an herb that will elevate so many dishes, including soups, stews, salads, sauces, marinades, dressings, and dips. Adding a few tablespoons of chopped chives to cottage cheese will add a pleasing punch to a super simple snack. Make an easy supper of baked potatoes or sweet potatoes topped with Greek yogurt and chives. Mixing chives into cream cheese, along with lemon zest, and a grinding of black pepper will make an excellent spread for sandwiches or crackers. Omelets prepared with chives, parsley, and dill are a nice choice for any meal.

Chives contain valuable vitamin and mineral content. Vitamins K, A, and C are found in chives, as well as calcium, an important mineral. Chives also contain small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Purported to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral, eating more chives may boost your immune system and assist in maintaining superior levels of health.

If you buy your own chives at the grocery store, look for a bright green color with no sign of yellowing or wilting. Chives will keep in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for several days. Before using, rinse and dry well and trim the ends before using.

Enjoy this light and bright spring herb.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Freezing Basil

June 13, 2019

Fresh basil can be dried, but freezing holds the flavor better, and there are two easy methods.

1. Freeze Whole Leaves: Blanch basil leaves in boiling water for two seconds and immediately place in an ice bath. Dry the leaves completely, then place in a freezer-safe container, layered with parchment paper or wax paper, and freeze up to four months. For the best flavor, do not thaw before using.
2. Purée And Freeze: Remove the leaves from the stems and wash and dry them. In a food processor, purée the leaves with olive oil (use about a tablespoon of oil per cup of basil). Freeze the purée in ice cube trays, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze up to four months. To purée works best in soups, stews, and sauces.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

In Season Potatoes

March 6, 2019

I don’t know what’s more comforting than potatoes. A staple food in many parts of the world, potatoes are an integral part of much of the world’s food supply. Potatoes are the world’s fourth-largest food crop after maize, wheat, and rice.

There are currently over 1,000 different types of potatoes.

White Potatoes: These all-purpose potatoes are moderately starchy with a dense, creamy texture and can be roasted, baked, boiled, or steamed.

Russet Potatoes: Starchy and fluffy, these potatoes are ideal for mashing and baking, as well as French fries and latkes.

Fingerling Potatoes: Small, knobby fingerlings have thin, delicate skin that doesn’t need to be peeled. Their firm texture stands up to roasting, boiling, and pan-frying.

Baby Potatoes: Also known as new potatoes, these tiny potatoes come in a rainbow of colors (another reason to leave the skin on). They are best cooked whole and boiled, steamed, or roasted.

Gold Potatoes: These thin-skinned potatoes (also called yellow potatoes) are beloved for their buttery flesh. They’re fluffy enough to be smashed yet firm enough to be used in soup or stew.

Red Potatoes: Ruby skin gives these potatoes visual appeal, and their firm and waxy texture means they soak up flavor without turning too soft. They are ideal for salads and gratins.

Look for potatoes without any bruises, cuts, wrinkles, or soft spots, which can all be signs of age or poor handling. If they smell like soil, that’s typically an indication of freshness. While fresh is best, potatoes keep for quite some time. Store them in a spot that’s cool, dark, and dry. If eyes sprout, simply cut them off and use the potatoes as normal. Potatoes provide vitamins C and B6, plus iron and potassium. While the whole potato contains fiber, you will get an extra boost if you leave the skin on.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Cooking Winter Squash

October 8, 2018

How to cook rich, perfectly roasted winter squash without any prep work. This method works for winter squash of any size, so adjust the roasting time as needed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roast the whole squash on a baking sheet until the skin is papery and a fork inserted into two or three different spots reveals very tender flesh (45 minutes per pound).

Remove from oven and set aside until cool.

Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Have squash for them all!
Start by cooking a whole winter squash.

Breakfast
Add cooked cubes of butternut squash, grated Gruyere cheese and chopped sage to a frittata mixture.

Lunch
Meal-prep lunches by layering cooked spaghetti squash, marinara sauce and meatballs or shredded chicken.

Dinner
Add thick slices of cooked acorn squash (you can keep the skin on) to soup or stew during the last few minutes of cooking.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Soup Weather

January 10, 2018

One of the great things about winter is soup weather. I make all sorts of soups and stews. If I make a Sunday roast then the next week I usually make a stew. Soups and stews are a perfect way to use leftovers and they make great next day lunches. Be creative and make up different soups with what you have on hand. Remember “Work With What You Got!”

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Pumpkins

October 28, 2017

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

Freezing Herbs

April 26, 2017

Make prep a snap with herb ice cubes, ready to toss in the pan.

Freezing herbs is an excellent way of preserving fresh delicate herbs that cannot be successfully dried. They will lose their fresh appearance and texture, but are still suitable for use in cooking. They should keep for up to 3 months.

To freeze chopped herbs, half-fill ice cube trays with chopped herbs and top up with water. Freeze, and then remove the cubes from the tray and place in freezer bags.

To use, add the appropriate number of frozen cubes to soups, stews, and stocks. Heat until melted. A standard sized ice cube tray will hold about 1 tablespoon chopped herbs.

Alternately, pack chopped herbs in plastic containers and freeze. Sprinkle them directly into soups and stews.

To freeze whole sprigs or leaves, place in freezer bags, expel any air, tightly seal and freeze.

Alternately, open freeze whole sprigs or leaves on trays. When the herbs are frozen, transfer them carefully to freezer bags, expel any air, seal tightly and return to the freezer until ready to use.

Delicate herbs that cannot be dried successfully, but that are suitable for freezing, include: basil, chives, tarragon, chervil, coriander (cilantro), dill and parsley.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

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

Citrus

February 9, 2017

Oranges and lemons were first brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers. Today the United States is among the world’s top citrus growers and consumers. To choose the best citrus select fruit that is heavy and not too soft. When selecting oranges don’t worry about the color, as it is not a good indicator of how tasty the orange will be. For lemons and limes the juiciest fruit gives a little when you gently squeeze them. I like to roll lemons and limes around on the counter with the palm of my hand to loosen up the juice before cutting into them.

Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are the most commonly found citrus fruits. Lemons, limes, and oranges come into season just when we need them the most, when days are short and the weather is cold. Rich in vitamin C and fiber, they add a zesty boost to almost any meal. During the winter months, look for other varieties, such as blood oranges, Key limes, and Meyer lemons, as well as grapefruit-like pomelos and tiny kumquats.

We need vitamin C to stay healthy and citrus fruit is a delicious way to add lots of this vital nutrient to your diet. Start the day with orange juice, add a squeeze of lemon to warm water later in the day, or pack grapefruit sections to enjoy as a snack at work or school.

Citrus stars in everything from sweet and savory dishes to non-food uses. Simmer slices of lemons, limes, and oranges in water to use as a natural air freshener, use lemon juice as a gentle alternative to laundry bleach, or combine lemon juice with olive oil to use as furniture polish.

Much of the citrus flavor is in the zest. Finely grate the peel and add to anything that needs a punch of citrus flavor. To get perfectly grated zest without bitter white pith, use a fine zester.

Make your own flavored salt by processing coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and citrus zest in a food processor. Add this mix to soups, stews, meats and pasta dishes.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove large strips of peel and add to hot tea, mulled wine, soups, and stews to add bold flavor.

To segment citrus like a pro cut a thin slice from either end of the fruit to make a base. Pare away the peel and white part of the rind. Cut into the fruit center between one section and the membrane. Cut along the other side, between section and membrane. Repeat.

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“Work With What You Got!”

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

Add More Greens To Your Life

February 3, 2017

Dark Leafy Greens Give You More Nutritional Bang For Your Buck. Add More Greens To Your Diet And Most Likely You’ll Feel Much Better.

Add Cooked Greens To Frittatas, Breakfast Tacos And Poached Eggs.

Stir Greens Into Soups And Stews During The Last Few Minutes Of Cooking.

Start Your Day With A Smoothie Packed With Kale.

Add Greens To Grain dishes Or Serve Grains Over A Bed Of Steamed Chard.

Add Sautéed Greens To Cooked Whole Wheat Pasta Or Stir Into Pasta Sauces.

Make Sure To Wash Dark Leafy Greens In A Sink Full Of Water To Remove Dirt And Sand. Dry Well.

Store Your Greens In A Bag Along With A Paper Towel In The Crisping Drawer Of Your Refrigerator, Or Quickly Blanch And Freeze Greens To Use For Quick Sides And Easy Meal Prep Later.

“Work With What You Got!”

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

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