Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘Cook’

Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

In Recipes on October 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Yield: 2 cups

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

2 cups hulled (green) pumpkin seeds

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

preparation

Heat 2 tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring constantly until slightly puffed and golden brown. About 5-7 minutes.

Transfer to mixing bowl and toss with remaining canola oil, kosher salt, cumin, cayenne pepper.  Serve warm.

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Spring Produce Spotlight: Sorrel

In Product Spotlight on May 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Sorrel, also known as garden sorrel or spinach dock is a beautiful tender, arrow-shaped green with a delicate lemon flavor.  This spring time delight adds the perfect punch to salads, sauces, or soups.

Look for the Best

Choose smaller, bright green leaves as opposed to larger ones to fully capture the beautiful fruity and less acidic flavor. To make the most of sorrel use shortly after purchase.  The delicate leaves tend to wilt quickly.  If you do need to store for later use, wrap in a moist paper towel and tuck into a plastic bag.  They should keep fresh for up to three days.

Prepping Sorrel

Wash well and make sure to remove all traces of sand or dirt.  Dry in between paper towels.  If the center ribs seem tough, pull the tender leaves off in wide ribbons. Once clean, add fresh sorrel to salads or on sandwiches.  You can also purée and add to sauces or soups.

Add Sorrel to Your Next Meal

  • The lemony flavor pairs wonderfully with salmon, quickly sauté sorrel with a little garlic and serve as you would spinach.
  • Make a sorrel compound butter by adding equal parts chopped sorrel leaves and chives to softened butter.  Serve on top of grilled fish or chicken.
  • Take a classic pesto and elevate it by using replacing half of the basil with sorrel.  Toss with warm pasta or use on a grilled chicken sandwich.

Want Sorrel all Year Long?

Puree sorrel with a little water and pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray.  Add the frozen cubes to sauces, dressings or soups.  Even turn it into Sorrel pesto.  This works best if you use the frozen sorrel with in a few months.

Spring Produce Spotlight: Fava Beans

In Product Spotlight on April 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Fava Beans are large, light green and sometimes called Broad Beans.  They have a nutty, sweet and slightly bitter flavor.  Fava’s grow in pods just like classic peas and when cooked turn beautifully buttery.  This versatile little bean can be added to soups, salads, pastas, braised as a side dish, pureed as  dip, or eaten plain like edamame. You can find them year around in the freezer section of the grocery, but there’s nothing better than grabbing them fresh from the market, and shucking yourself.  They are a true spring delicacy!

Prepping your Fava’s 

When picking these guys out at the market, look for pods that feel heavy and medium sized.  The larger ones tend to be starchy.  Pop the beans out of the fleshy pods and blanch in a pot of boiling water from 30 second to 1 minute.  Drain and run under cold water.  Take each bean in between your fingers and carefully remove the outer skin.  You might want to use a pairing knife for this.  Depending on how you are planning on using the favas you can blanch the skinless beans again until tender or simmer in warm water with butter and oil and braise.

Add Fava Beans to Your Next Meal

  • As a riff on a classic white bean dip, replace the white beans with blanched favas.  Throw into a blender with garlic, olive oil, salt, lemon and a little rosemary and serve over some crispy toast points or with crudités.
  • Saute with some proscuitto, mint and garlic and serve as an accompaniment to a pan seared white fish like cod or halibut.
  • Add fava’s to an antipasto platter.  Boil until tender, drain and run cold water over them.  Serve with a little salt and olive oil drizzled over.  Tastes delicious with thin slices of salami, cured ham, good cheese and crusty bread.

Spring Produce Spotlight: Fiddleheads

In Product Spotlight on April 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Fiddleheads? Yes, that is what they’re called.  These tightly spiraled green guys grow from fern fronds and have a similar taste to asparagus.  You have to catch these uncultivated forest delights quickly, they’re only available for a few weeks in early spring.

How to Cook

When you pick them up from the farmers market or grocery store, rub off the brown, papery thin skin and trim the stalks within 1 inch of the spiraled head.  Wash in several batches of clean, cold water.  Since these are wild greens you MUST cook fiddleheads before eating.  Not throughly cooking can lead to food-bourne illness. Steam or boil the clean fiddleheads for 10-12 minutes.  After boiling, shock in cold water and sauté if desired.  You want them cooked but to still maintain their crunch.

Add Fiddleheads to your Next Meal

  • Sauté blanched fiddleheads with thin strips of pancetta or prosciutto.  Add a little olive oil and finish with tarragon and chives.
  • Blanch fiddleheads and then simmer in some heavy cream.  Once the cream has reduces by half fold in some fresh goat cheese.  Season with fresh herbs.
  • Sauté blanched fiddleheads with a variety of wild mushrooms like morels, trumpets, chanterelle, etc.  Finish with a little butter and fresh herbs.
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