Tips/Tricks

If there’s a recipe for success, it starts with selecting the perfect ingredients!

Drying Chili Peppers

September 17, 2015

Drying Chili Peppers

As I sit here, on vacation, looking out at the ocean I’m thinking about chili peppers. I tend to think about all sorts of random things, most especially when I have an opportunity to block out the noise of the outside world. Chili peppers…my first REAL exposure to a wide variety of chili peppers was years ago spending time in New Mexico and then later in Arizona. I love the Southwest and very much appreciate the importance of chili peppers. One way to preserve chili peppers for future use is by drying them. There are two basic ways to dry them.

Wash the peppers with warm water and dry thoroughly with a cloth towel. You may want to remove the stems from your peppers. If you’re drying them in the oven or food dehydrator you may wish to slice the peppers length-wise as this will allow them to dry faster. It’s usually a good idea to wear gloves when handling peppers, especially if you are a contact wearer.

If you are in a time crunch, using a dehydrator is the fastest method. I like to let my chili peppers dry on their own for a week to 2 weeks BEFORE putting them in the dehydrator. Lay the peppers out on metal mesh racks and dry them whole. After 10 days slice them open and remove their seeds and stems. You may save the seeds for next year’s planting. Removing the seeds also cuts down on their spiciness. They are then dried in the dehydrator until crisp. This saves energy, as they only need about 12 hours in the dehydrator compared to almost a full day with freshly picked peppers.

Another way to dry chili peppers is by stringing them through the base of their stems with a needle and fishing line and hanging them to dry inside. It will take weeks for the peppers to dry out completely, but in the meantime you get to enjoy the aroma of the peppers. Whole dried chili peppers can last for up to two years for culinary purposes and up to 10 years for decoration. The peppers can be rehydrated and used for blended salsas and mole, used in brines for poultry and pork, or ground into a fine powder for seasoning. Dried chili powder can be used alongside salt and pepper for cooking most foods.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

ROSH HASHANAH

September 12, 2015

ROSH HASHANAH

SUNDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 13-15, 2015.

The Jewish New Year is nearly here, which is the beginning of the High Holy Days.
Rosh Hashanah meals typically include apples and honey, to symbolize a sweet new year. Other symbolic foods that may be served, depending on local custom, dates, pomegranates, black-eyed peas, pumpkin-filled pastries called rodanchas, leek fritters, beets, and a whole fish with the head intact. It is also common to eat stuffed vegetables called legumbres yaprakes.

If you’re cooking for Rosh Hashanah you may want to prepare these dishes to serve your family and friends.

Appetizers: Gefilte Fish Platter With Horseradish; Chopped Liver Platter; Potato Latkes; Sweet Potato Latkes

Soups: Matzo Ball Soup; Sweet Potato & Apple Soup; Chicken Soup

Entrées: Slow-Roasted Brisket With Gravy; Braised Short Ribs; Roasted Turkey Breast, Herb Roasted Chicken; Poached Chicken Breast With Dried Fruit; Salmon With Chickpeas, Peppers & Tomatoes; Poached Whole Salmon With Cucumber Dill Sauce

Sides: Potato Kugel; Green Beans With Shallots; Vegetable Tzimmes; Roasted Vegetables; Moroccan Quinoa; Garlic & Herb Roasted Beets; Rosemary Roasted Potatoes; Potato Latkes With Apple Sauce; Chunky Applesauce

Desserts: Honey Cake; Mini Tarts; Babka; Chocolate & Cinnamon Babka Slices; Rainbow Rugelach; Brownies; Seasonal Fresh Fruit; Apple Cake; Marble Cake; Apple Raisin Strudel

Happy New Year From Tiny New York Kitchen!

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Ways To Use Your Roasted Chicken

September 10, 2015

Ways To Use Your Roasted Chicken

Summer is over, the kids are back in school, and it’s back to busy life as usual. Already cooked chicken is a perfect way to save time in the kitchen. Here are some great ways to use roasted chicken for easy weeknight dinners.

Salads: Add to mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, shredded carrots, and sliced red onions. Toss with your favorite low-fat or fat-free dressing.

Lettuce Wraps: Add 2 cups of chopped chicken to shredded carrots, green onions, and bean sprouts. Toss with teriyaki sauce. Spoon onto lettuce leaves and sprinkle with almonds. Fold sides of lettuce over filling and roll up.

Sandwiches & Wraps: Make a chicken salad filling with crunchy celery and apples. Use plain low-fat yogurt and add a touch of curry powder or cumin for dressing. Stuff into a pita pocket or spoon into a wrap and roll up.

Soups: Add 2 cups chopped chicken, your favorite chopped vegetables and 1 cup of uncooked rice or noodles to 6 cups of fat-free chicken broth.

Quesadillas: Combine shredded chicken with a pinch of cumin. Spoon on one half of a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese and fold tortilla in half. Cook on a nonstick skillet for 3 minutes on both sides.

Burritos, Enchiladas, Fajitas & Tacos: Add shredded chicken to salsa, beans, sour cream and cheese. Or combine with sautéed onions & sweet peppers, shredded lettuce & chopped tomatoes, or mix with green chiles, spices, green onions and enchilada sauce. Serve on flour or corn tortillas.

Pasta Dishes: Use shredded chicken instead of ground beef in your favorite lasagna recipe.

Skillet Meals: Add 1 1/2 cups of chopped chicken to sautéed onions, broccoli, mushrooms, and rice. Cook in low-fat broth. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese before serving.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Coconut Oil

September 1, 2015

5 Reasons To Love Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and is resistant to spoiling.

1. Butter Replacement. Coconut oil can replace butter, which is great for vegans, who up until now have had few good choices when converting non-vegan recipes that contain butter.

2. Great For Athletes. Coconut oil is great for athletes because it converts to energy faster than many other fats, making it a smart addition to workout snacks.

3. Weight Loss. Coconut oil may help you slim down. A study undertaken a few years ago suggests that coconut oil may help you lose weight, when consumed in small quantities instead of other fats.
4. Sautéing. Coconut oil is great for sautéing. Use coconut oil occasionally instead of olive oil to add a subtle flavor that is delicious in tropical or Indian recipes.

5. Good Cholesterol. Coconut oil boosts good cholesterol. While coconut oil is full of saturated fat, about half is medium-chain fatty acids, which seem to help raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Coconut oil is still high in fat, however, so consume in moderation.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Watermelon

August 21, 2015

Watermelon

Watermelon is the ultimate summer snack. As a kid growing up in Nebraska, my favorite way to eat watermelon was outside, with the juice running down my face and arms. Here is how I’m eating watermelon this summer.

Treat It Like A Steak
Cut watermelon into 2 inch slabs and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and red pepper flakes. Eat with a steak knife.

Make A BLW
Forget the tomato and use a few thin slices of watermelon on your sandwich instead. Add some cheese for good measure.

Blitz It
Purée watermelon (seeds and all), strain, then add honey, and lime juice. Serve on ice with a mint sprig. Add rum or tequila if you want to be naughty.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Nebraska Corn

August 2, 2015

Nebraska Corn

Growing up in Nebraska corn was a nightly summer menu item. The corn plant is Native American in origin and Nebraska is corn country. Driving through the state, one will see endless fields of sweet corn, feed corn, and pop corn. Small plot gardeners know that corn takes up a lot of space as it is greedy for soil nutrients, prone to weeds and disease, destroyed by small animals, wind and frost. So then why do we go through all the trouble of growing corn? Because no corn is as fresh and sweet as the corn you grow yourself.

The period of peak freshness for sweet corn is measured in minutes, not hours or days. The best corn is simply the freshest corn. Proper timing for harvest is crucial to the quality of sweet corn. Harvest sweet corn when the ears are full and blunt at the tip. The husks should be tightly folded and green. Using your thumbnail, poke and end kernel. It should squirt a milky white sap. Under ripe corn will contain a watery liquid. Overripe corn will have a tough skinned kernel with doughy interiors. Also look at the silk, which should be turning brown and dry on the end.

Storing sweet corn for long periods of time will destroy it. The sugar quickly turns to starch, losing flavor, quality, and most of all sweetness. If you must store sweet corn, use perforated plastic bags and get it into the refrigerator as soon as possible. Warm temperatures hasten the conversion process. Try to use the corn within 1 to 2 days and DO NOT husk until just prior to cooking.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Eggplant Know-How

July 21, 2015

Eggplant Know-How

Italian eggplant is the natural choice for classics like ratatouille and eggplant Parmesan, but varieties in different colors and shapes can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Prized for its dense, hearty texture and the ability to soak up flavor (it’s ideal for grilling), this vegetable can take the starring role in your next meal.

Selecting: If an eggplant is smooth and shiny and its skin bounces back when pressed, it’s a good one. Plus, it should feel heavy for it’s size.

Peak Season: July to October

Price: $1 to $5 per pound

Keeping It Fresh: Store in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Use it within two days or five days if refrigerated.

Pairs Well With: Tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, chickpeas, mint, and basil.

Creative Uses: Add Japanese eggplant to Thai coconut curry. Or Chop and stir-fry with baby bok choy and bell peppers.

Nutrition: Eggplant is rich in chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant compound that may aid in weight loss and regulation of lipid metabolism, as well as the anthocyanin phytonutrient, nasunin, which safeguards brain cell membranes.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Making Coffee Ice Cream

July 19, 2015

For those of you who prefer an electric model ice cream machine, there are machines that can be had for under $50 that make a quart. The drum will need to be frozen before starting a batch. Larger machines range from $125 to $300. Cuisinart makes a model that produces two quarts in about 30 minutes, which is the ice cream maker that I used in this video.

Stores such as Williams-Sonoma sell ice cream starters that require a few simple added ingredients put into the machine to create ice cream. Personally, I don’t think that you need these starters.

There are endless combinations of ingredients that can be added to a batch of your homemade ice cream. Have fun experimenting with different flavors and add-ins. Enjoy summer with homemade ice cream that fits your personality.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

5 Ways To Make The Most Of Plums

July 14, 2015

5 Ways To Make The Most Of Plums

RAW
Pit and thinly slice for Spinach Salad with Plums and Goat Cheese

BAKED
Stone fruit crumbles, cobblers and crisps are hallmarks of late summer. Swap in plums for other stone fruits in your favorite recipes.

ROASTED/GRILLED
Roasting and grilling fruit brings out its inherent sweetness. Serve with crème fraiche, ice cream, or yogurt.

CANNED
Preserve plums by making jam, chutney, salsa, or a spicy sauce to enjoy the taste of summer year round.

DRIED
Dry slices in a low temperature oven for a sweet, chewy on the go snack, which are perfect for packed lunches.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Soaking Wood Chips In Beer For Grilling

July 9, 2015

Soaking Wood Chips In Beer For Grilling

Here is a secret. You can turn your gas or charcoal grill into a smoker by just using beer. Soak wood chips in beer before you fire up the grill. The beer will be imparted into your smoked food.

Soak wood chips in beer for at least 30 minutes. The wet wood chips will produce more smoke and flavor. Drain wood chips and sprinkle a handful of soaked chips over the hot coals when they are ready and covered with a white ash. Put the lid on the grill and wait for the smoke to start to pour out of the grill. Then place the food on the cooking grate.

For charcoal grills, position it so that the vent is on the side of the grill opposite the charcoal. This will draw the heat and smoke over the food and out of the vent.

For gas grills, when using wood chips with a gas grill, follow the smoker box instructions for best results.

A couple of handfuls of wood chips will provide 10 to 20 minutes of smoke, depending on how hot the fire is.

Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible to allow the smoke to fully permeate the food.

Always use heat-resistant barbecue mitts or gloves when operating your grill.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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