Turnips

Root Vegetables

October 31, 2018

This fall Tiny New York Kitchen celebrates sweet parsnips, earthy beets, and mild turnips. These root vegetables offer flavor, nutrition, and versatility.

Look for root vegetables that are firm to the touch with smooth, blemish-free skin. If there are any greens attached, make sure they look fresh, not wilted.

Before storing parsnips, beets, and turnips, remove any greens and brush off any dirt. Wrap in a damp paper towel, place in a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator crisper; most roots will last up to two weeks.

Root vegetables absorb nutrients from the soil they grow in, including antioxidants, iron, and vitamins A, B, and C. They also provide fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer. To maximize your fiber intake, leave the skin on and give parsnips and carrots a good scrub instead.

Parsnips: These pale, carrot-like root vegetables are sweet and earthy. They can be roasted, sautéed, mashed, and puréed. Choose small to medium parsnips, since larger ones can be woody.

Beets: Beets can be red, golden, or striped. Whether roasted, boiled, or steamed, they’re slow to cook, but packaged precooked versions are also an option. You can even enjoy beets raw. Simply peel and grate or thinly slice.

Turnips: Creamy white with pinkish-purple tops, turnips turn mellow and tender when cooked. Try them roasted, sautéed, mashed, or added to soups and stews.

Greens: If you’re lucky, your beets and turnips will have greens attached. These edible, nutritious, and delicious greens should always be removed for storage, as they pull moisture from the root ends. Wash the greens and use to make pesto, or sauté with garlic and oil for a quick side dish or simple pasta.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Beautiful Autumn

October 16, 2018

Beautiful autumn! The tapestry of autumn is tinged with splendor, as nature sheds its robe of green and garbs itself in the richly textured colors of fall. As leaves begin to turn deep shades of burnt orange, russet, gold, umber burgundy, cooks seek out lavish and luscious seasonal ingredients.

Apples
Pears
Cranberries
Persimmons
Pomegranates
Cabbage
Rutabaga
Turnips
Cauliflower
Beets
Sweet potatoes
Pumpkins
Squash

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Winter Produce

February 8, 2018

The colder months are when a rainbow of fruits and vegetables reach their peak, from dark green kale to sunny citrus.

Jicama
Pronounced hee-cah-ma, this winter vegetable is crunchy and refreshing. Its mild flavor makes it perfect for salads, salsa, or as crudités for your favorite dip. Use a vegetable peeler to remove its tough skin. When chopping, pick the ones with taut skin and firm flesh.

Turnips
This phytonutrient-rich root vegetable becomes sweeter as you cook it, shedding any bitterness along the way. The greens are particularly good for you and make an easy side sautéed with some garlic in olive oil.

Beets
Putt off by the long cooking time for beets? Reach for conveniently precooked packages in the produce section, or enjoy them raw. Peel them and grate them into salads or smoothies.

Parsnips
Earthy, sweet parsnips are loaded with fiber and minerals like folate and potassium. Older parsnips can have a somewhat fibrous core, which you can cut out before cooking if you prefer a softer texture.

Red Cabbage
High In antioxidants, red cabbage is great for slaws, but unlock a whole new world of flavor by sautéing, roasting or even grilling it.

Citrus
This category of fruit is at its peak right now, so take full advantage. The beauty of citrus is that it can swing from sweet to savory. These fruits stay fresh for weeks in the fridge, so keep a variety on hand to brighten up breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Lemons, limes, and grapefruit are easy-to-find mainstays, but don’t be afraid to experiment with blood oranges, key limes, Meyer lemons, kumquats, pomelos, and clementines.

Brussels Sprouts
Full of fiber and vitamins K and C, this once-maligned cruciferous vegetable (from the same family as cauliflower and cabbage) is way more versatile than you think. Try it raw, roasted, fried, steamed, or sautéed.

Kale
This leafy green has gone from tossed-aside garnish to hot trend to salad staple. Whether you choose the curly or lacinato type, kale is high in vitamins K, C, and A, as well as carotenoids like lutein to promote eye health.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part V

September 21, 2013

 

Constitution Week

Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part V

In her food preparation and preservation, the early American housewife was tied tightly to the calendar and the clock – much more tightly than today’s homemaker is.  Local availability of foodstuffs and the limitations of existing food preservation techniques meant that nature largely called the shots on timing.  Fruits and vegetables had to be picked at the right moment and processed quickly.  Animals had to be slaughtered at their peak to keep best, and the peak varied from animal to animal.  Even cheese and butter had a better likelihood of successful preservation depending on the season of the year in which they were processed. 

Weather conditions played a major role: herbs had to be picked on a dry day to retain color and flavor; slaughter had to be done in cold weather to allow the carcass to cool rapidly; milk winters produced little ice for the following summer.

Also, once begun, preservation techniques sometimes had to be carried uninterruptedly through a long and tedious series of steps.  There was no turning back – or time for vacations.  Hams being cured had to be turned regularly, fish being dried had to be restacked four times a day, pickles had to have their brine skimmed and changed – or the product would be lost. 

The labor involved in such food preservation was frequently heavy, but the routine of the rest of the house went on as usual.  Organizational ability and endurance were essential, and woe betide the housewife who didn’t “keep up appearances” with her neighbors. 

Just as the make-up of the early American’s diet varied with his geographic location, so did his needs – and abilities – in food preservation. 

For example, the southern areas had access to a more varied food supply over the course of the year and consequently had less need to provide stores for the hard winter.  At the same time, it was more difficult and expensive to get ice for short-term protection against the warmer climate. Ice was actually shipped from Massachusetts to the Southern states and to Cuba and Jamaica in the early 19th century, but it was obviously only available to the wealthier residents.  The ice-box itself didn’t become popular until the mid 1800’s.

The shorter growing season in the North reduced the variety of produce available, but it also made cold storage in root cellars practical in small towns and rural areas.  Above-ground ice houses and ice-saws, invented in the mid-nineteenth century, drastically reduced the cost of storing ice into the summer, and simplified storage of dairy products, fish and meat. 

In many respects, the northern colonies had the greatest difficulty in providing a nutritious, varied diet throughout the year.  Although fruits, berries, and summer vegetables were plentiful from the midsummer to early fall, proving vitamin-rich foodstuffs, during the winter and spring took special care. Many food items, of course, could be stored in relatively simple root cellars – where winter temperatures hovered between 30 and 40 degrees.  In especially cold weather, a large tub of water was placed on the floor.  This water gave off heat as it froze, which kept the vegetables safe.  Turnips, beets and squash were kept in the driest areas.  Carrots would keep anywhere.  Cabbages and celery were buried in sand, cauliflower was set in holes and covered with straw, while cranberries were floated in water in a tub.  Other crops were arranged loosely on slatted shelves for free air circulation, sometimes lying on straw. 

Some vegetables, such as summer squash and potatoes, kept better at somewhat higher temperatures, and these were usually stored in the dark basement of the home.  Temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees were ideal. 

Eggs could also be stored in the root cellar, or in the basement of the house.  Two methods were common.  In one, the eggs (which the housewife was instructed to collect “in fine weather”) were dipped in boiling water for 20 seconds, then coated all over with butter or “sweet oil” (glycerin) and packed in sawdust.  They would keep this way for some two to three weeks.  Other housewives kept their eggs in crocks, submerged in “water glass” (sodium silicate).  In this technique, it was important not to wash the eggs first, since their shells possess a natural coating which prevented the water glass from penetrating through the shell and ruining the egg.  Even stored at room temperature, such eggs would keep for several months, while the hens sulked through the dark winter days. 

If a family didn’t have room for a root cellar, it could accomplish somewhat the same effect with a pit, with the vegetables in layers separated by straw, and the whole covered with earth.  Obviously, retrieving vegetables thus buried was a messy chore, and needed careful planning. 

Under either type of storage, frequent examination was necessary, in order to detect spoilage and eliminate those items of fruit or vegetables which had gone rotten.  The proverb about “one rotten apple spoiling the barrel” was not taken lightly!  In fact, many housewives wouldn’t put apples in barrels, but spread them out, in order to “pick them over” more easily as the winter progressed.  Spoiling apples were cut up, and the good parts made into applesauce as the winter progressed.  Early cookbooks instructed the housewife to add a teaspoon of tartaric acid to the apples when making sauce late in the winter, as the apples lost their flavor.  New Englanders even had a name for the period after the vegetables had spoiled or been used up, but before the dandelion greens appeared.  They called it “the six weeks want.”

In the South, storage of this sort was less necessary, and the typical New England vegetables such as Hubbard squash and turnips were rarely seen on Southern menus. 

To Be Continued…

Passover Menu Ideas

March 24, 2013

Passover Menu Ideas

March 25 to April 2

There can be something wonderfully reassuring about sitting down to a dinner so traditional that you will know exactly what to expect.  Each family has their own traditions and favorites.  They’ve stood the test of time and families look forward to them year after year.

Seder Plate:

Hard Boiled Egg

Shank Bone

Horseradish

Haroset

Parsley Bouquet

 

Matzoh

Apple & Walnut Haroset

Persian Haroset

Gefilte Fish With Horseradish

Traditional Gefilte Fish With Carrots & Aspic Served With Matzoh

Traditional Chopped Liver

Pickled Herring In Onion & Sour Cream Sauce

Smoked Whitefish Salad

Herring Salad

Crudité of Fresh Raw Vegetables With Dip

Imported Cheese Board Garnished With Fresh Fruit

Chicken Soup With Matzoh Balls

Roasted Salmon

Traditional Brisket With Gravy

Filet of Beef

Roasted Whole Capon With Rosemary & Shallots

Roast Chicken

Free Range Turkey

Whole Boneless Fresh Turkey Breast

Rolled Spit Roasted Turkey Breast

Smoked Fish Platters With Olives, Capers & Lemons

Smoked Salmon Platter

Whole Boneless Large Whitefish

Matzoh Stuffing With Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions

Tzimmes of Sweet Potatoes, Carrots & Butternut Squash

Potato Pancakes With Applesauce

Potato Kugel

Spinach Kugel

Steamed Spring Vegetables With Dill

Herb Roasted Beets

Sautéed Root Vegetables (Turnips, Parsnips, Carrots, Haricots Vert & Wild Mushrooms)

Steamed Asparagus

Glazed Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions

Green Beans With Roasted Garlic

Lemon Meringue Cake

Chocolate Torte

Chocolate Almond Cake

Chocolate Glazed Orange Cake

Walnut Date Torte

Cheesecake

Raspberry Filled Yellow Cake

Orange & Lemon Sponge Cake

Sliced Fruit Platter

Fruit Salad

French Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Almond Macaroons

Meringue Clouds

Brownies

NOTE:  For Baking Desserts Use Almond Flour, Kosher Potato Starch, Matzo Cake Meal or Matzo Meal As Substitutions.  Check Recipes To Determine Which Are The Best Substitutions.

 

 

 

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