Thanksgiving

Sweet Potatoes

November 14, 2020

Sweet potatoes are available year-round, but their true seasons are fall and winter.

When selecting choose firm, unblemished sweet potatoes without any breaks in their thin skin.

Preparing: To bake whole sweet potatoes, scrub them well first and prick their skins in a few places with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet to catch their juices, and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. They may then be peeled and sliced or cut into chunks for glazing, or puréed. You can also peel uncooked sweet potatoes and cook them in salted boiling water until tender before glazing or pureeing.

Sweet potatoes do not keep well. Store them in a cool, dark place, but plan to use them within a week or so.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Holiday Baking

December 4, 2019

Some people are natural bakers and some people learn as they go. I’m guessing that most people are the “learn as you go” types. Here are some little things that, are not giant revelations, but are useful tips to help you through your holiday baking.

Unwrap Butter Before Bringing To Room Temperature
Many recipes call for softened butter and if you’re using it, here’s a trick. Instructions for softening butter usually directs one to leave the butter on the counter until it reaches room temperature. It’s much better to unwrap the butter straight from the refrigerator and let it soften in the mixing bowl. When butter is cold, it lifts cleanly off the wrapper as opposed to much of it sticking to the paper and the mess it makes.

Use Butter Paper To Grease Pans
If you don’t unwrap your butter when cold and you have butter-globbed butter wrappers, use them to grease pans.

Use A Large Slotted Spoon To Separate Eggs
For separating eggs, break the whole egg into a small-size bowl. Grab the yolk with a metal slotted spoon. Use the wall of the bowl to help and let the white slink off the edge of the spoon, jiggling if the white is stubborn. The white doesn’t actually go through the wholes of the spoon, but the holes somehow seem to facilitate their departure. Do one at a time and transfer each one after so as not to taint the batch should a yolk break. If you are using just the whites and don’t need the yolks right away, stick them in the freezer for later use.

Use The Right Kind Of Measuring Cup
Use spouted cups for the measuring of wet ingredients. Use the scoop/cup type for dry ingredients. It’s hard to get an accurate amount of flour or sugar in a big glass measuring cup, and it’s hard not to spill oil or water when it’s filled to the brim in a scoop measuring cup. For wet ingredients, get to the eye level with the quantity marks and make sure they are even. For dry ingredients, spoon ingredients into the cup and then level it off with a knife.

Better Yet, Use A Scale
Unlike the rest of the world, American recipes use cups for measuring. Baking can be an exact science and as long as the recipe includes weights the scale is the most accurate way to measure.

Don’t Measure Over The Bowl
If you measure your ingredients over the bowl you just may get more in the bowl than you intended. Measure to the side of the bowl, even if it means having to wipe up a few grains of salt from the counter.

Know Your Oven’s Moods
Each oven heats differently. Ovens have hot and cool spots, which might explain uneven baking. Get into the habit of moving shelves around (middle rack is a good bet) and setting a timer to rotate pans halfway through baking. Test your oven by turning your oven to 350 F degrees, line the racks with slices of white bread and cook until they start to toast; remove them and analyze the results for a pattern. Are they even? Are the ones from the back darker than the rest?

Use An Oven Thermometer
Your oven dial may not be giving you an accurate read. The best way to avoid this is by purchasing an oven thermometer that sits inside the oven. Many bakers do this and having the ability to monitor the temperature in real-time allows you to adjust as needed.

Candy Thermometers
All candy thermometers are not created equally. Here’s how to calibrate your candy thermometer: Put the candy thermometer in a pot of water and bring it to a rolling boil, with constant and vigorous bubbles. The boiling point for water is 212 F (100 C), which is what your thermometer should read (if you are at sea level). You can leave it in there for a few minutes to make sure the reading is accurate.

Dark And Light Pans Are Not Perfectly Interchangeable
Are your cookies always overdone on the bottom? Are your roasted vegetables not getting browned enough? This one makes perfect sense. Dark pans absorb heat, light pans reflect it. Use light pans for cookies and cakes that don’t want a brown crust. Use dark pans for roasting vegetables, making pizza, or baking anything in which you want more of a crust.

Swapping Pan Sizes And Shapes
You might now want to use the pan that the recipe calls for. Pick up a copy of, Joy of Baking, and use the Baking Pan Sizes page. It has a list of every pan and its capacity, so that you can switch things around and swap pans with compatible capacities or adjust if needed.

Wear An Apron
Your apron will take a beating, but it will save your clothes!

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Sugared Cranberries

November 18, 2019

Serve sugared cranberries in place of nuts or use as a garnish for cakes, pies, or cocktails. If you don’t have superfine sugar then make your own by pulsing granulated sugar in a food processor for about a minute.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Baked Mini Doughnuts

November 14, 2019

This holiday season make these little no-fry doughnuts. They are an easy to make treat that can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert.

Autumn Fruit

November 8, 2019

The fruit that is available in the autumn isn’t nearly as abundant as the fruit that’s available in the summer, but there are actually some delicious seasonal autumn fruits that you can look forward to eating. Delicious, tasty, and healthy seasonal autumn fruit is also a refreshing alternative to the heavier food we tend to eat in the colder months. If you love fruit and have been missing summer’s bounty, there are plenty of autumn fruits that will satisfy your craving.

Apples are one of the quintessential autumn fruits. Every fall you will see crates full of apples at farmers’ markets. Try venturing out and get some of the lesser known varieties of apples. Each variety tastes very different and autumn is the perfect time to try all of the different varieties.

Pears are best in autumn even though you can get them year-round. In fall they make a great snack. Like apples, there are many different varieties of pears. Try as many different varieties as you can.

Pomegranates are so delicious because they’re the right combination of tart and sweet. The best pomegranates start being available in late October and early November, which means you must wait for most of autumn for them to be available.

Cranberries are not a fruit that most people think of eating. In fact, cranberries usually only make an appearance as cranberry sauce or jelly. However, there are actually other uses for this tart fruit. They make excellent smoothies when blended with oranges and bananas. Cranberries also taste great when roasted along with vegetables because they add a nice tart bite.

Grapes are a fruit that people eat by the handful. They’re delicious, and they make a nice healthy snack that children and adults love. If you have a chance, try some concord grapes this fall. They are a nice treat and a change from the globe grapes that we always find in the market.

Figs start making an appearance in grocery stores in early fall. They can be expensive, but they’re worth it. They have a wonderful sweet flavor that’s not too intense. Figs do have delicate skin so if you do buy them, make sure you plan on eating them right away.

Persimmons are a sweet fruit, but when you get persimmons you should make sure they’re fully ripe before eating them. Unripe persimmons are very astringent. Make sure they are plump and juicy before taking a bite.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

November 4, 2019

Turkey is the center of attention at the Thanksgiving table, but the sides are just as important.

Thanksgiving 2018

November 22, 2018

Tiny New York Kitchen Wishes You & Your Family A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Basics

November 19, 2018

Choosing A Bird
How big should you buy? If you don’t want leftovers then estimate 1 pound of turkey per person. If you do want leftovers then estimate 1 1/2 pounds per person.

Fresh Or Frozen
Should you buy fresh or frozen? Fresh will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator. There is no need to thaw it and some believe that fresh is more flavorful. Frozen is often more affordable, can be purchased weeks in advance, but requires thawing time.

Defrosting
There are two ways to defrost your frozen turkey. 1. In the refrigerator; if you have more time, allow the bird to thaw in the refrigerator in its original packaging. Allow 24 hours of thawing for every 5 pounds of turkey. 2. Cold water bath; if you’re short on time submerge the turkey in a cold water bath. Change the water every 30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes of thawing for every pound of turkey.

Roasting
Remove the giblets. The giblets typically include the heart, liver, and gizzard (often gathered in a bag), plus the neck. You can throw them away or simmer them in stock or water to make your own broth to use in gravy or stuffing.

Tie The Legs
For even roasting, use butcher’s twine to loosely tie the turkey legs together, and then tuck the wings under the shoulders. Don’t wash the bird. Washing can easily spread bacteria. To kill any bacteria, roast the turkey until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.

Brush With Melted Butter
Bump up the flavor by adding herbs, spices, and citrus zest to the butter.

Take The Temperature
Ignore the pop-up timer, they’re unreliable. Instead use an instant read thermometer and take the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh (it takes the longest to cook) and make sure the thermometer isn’t touching any bone. 165 degrees is the magic number.

Let It Rest
Once the turkey comes out of the oven, cover loosely with foil and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. This allows the juices to reabsorb for moist and delicious meat.

Storing
Leftovers should be put away right when you’re done serving. If anything is left out for more than 2 hours, throw it away. Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat to 165 degrees and cover to preserve moisture and texture.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Pumpkin Pie

November 15, 2018

Pumpkins earned their name because of their round shape. The English called them “pompons,” which came from the French word “pompom.”

Like many early American dishes, pumpkin pie is a product of indigenous ingredients and English culinary tradition. First cultivated in Central America around 5500 B.C., pumpkins were one of the first foods settlers brought back from the New World. The English quickly added pumpkin to their pie-making tradition, so by 1620, when the Mayflower sailed to the New World, it’s likely some of the Pilgrims were already familiar with these orange gourds.

There’s a very good chance that when the first Thanksgiving was held a year later, pumpkin was on the table in some form. By the early 18th century, Thanksgiving was a well-established holiday throughout New England, and pumpkin pie was part of the feast.

In 1705, Colchester, Connecticut, postponed Thanksgiving for a week, because there wasn’t enough molasses, their sweetener of choice, to make the pies.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Planning Your Thanksgiving

November 6, 2018

Whether you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving or you’ve been making the family feast for decades, refer to our Thanksgiving timeline checklist to keep your prepping, shopping, and cooking on track for the big day.

1 TO 2 WEEKS BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Confirm the number of guests and plan your menu
Order your turkey
Plan your table setting, serving dishes, and decorations
Read through all your recipes to determine the food and cooking equipment you will need
Make your shopping and to-do lists
Shop for nonperishable food items, plus any cooks’ tools, cooking equipment and tableware you need

A FEW DAYS BEFORE
Prepare the turkey brine, but do not add the turkey, cover and refrigerate
Prepare food that can be made several days ahead of time, such as pie pastry and cranberry sauce

THE DAY BEFORE
Complete your food shopping
If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up or have it delivered
If you are brining the turkey, place it in the brine and refrigerate
Prepare dishes that can be made in advance such as soups and pies
Chop vegetables for side dishes; refrigerate in covered bowls or sealable plastic bags
Peel and cut the potatoes, place in cold water and refrigerate
Set the table

THANKSGIVING DAY
Refrigerate wines that need chilling
Prepare the stuffing and other side dishes
Prepare the turkey for roasting and put in the oven at the determined time
If you plan to stuff the turkey, do not stuff it until just before you put it in the oven
While the turkey is roasting, make the mashed potatoes
While the turkey is resting, make the gravy and cook or reheat the side dishes
Carve the turkey and serve your guests
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

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