Fruit In Skills
Page 8
Tip: Save the Beet Greens!
Beets are in season right now, and all the produce markets are proudly displaying beets of all colors. Here’s a tip: when you’re washing and peeling the beets, and you trim off the green leafy tops, don’t toss them away! The greens and the stems are edible, and make a great substitute for any green such as spinach, swiss chard, and bok choy. They can be steamed, sauteed, braised, added to soups, and eaten raw. They’re yummy and full of vitamins, so don’t waste them!
Dec 8, 2009
Look! Pimento Peppers
At the farmer’s market in San Rafael a few weeks ago, I was delighted to make an unique discovery. These might look like red bell peppers at first glance, but look closely at the bottoms; they’re pointy, giving the pepper a heart shape. These are pimento peppers.Yes, these are the same peppers that are used to stuff olives with. It’s not common to find them in raw form in the US, but the seeds are readily available through garden catalogs if you’d like to grow your own.
Nov 17, 2009
Have You Ever Tried a Pawpaw? Here’s How They Taste
Have you ever tried a pawpaw? They’re right at the end of their growing season, but in some parts of the Midwest you can still find them at farmers markets. They are a fruit native to the United States, but they don’t ship well and they’re quite different than the more familiar Midwest crops of apples and pumpkins. We have been so curious about these Ohio fruits, hidden in plain sight, so we finally tracked some down. The pawpaw is a rather ugly fruit.
Oct 29, 2009
Ingredient Spotlight: Chokecherries
We took a nature walk in the small Southern California town of Oak Glen last weekend. The scenic area is known for its apple orchards, but we stumbled upon something quite different: chokecherries!Along the trail, we noticed two boys gathering plump purple berries from the branches of some tall shrubs. When asked whether the berries were edible, one of them cheerfully responded, “These are poison berries! My grandpa likes them.
Oct 20, 2009
A Roundup Of Some Japanese Citrus Fruit
For such a small island nation, Japan has a surprisingly wide variety of citrus fruit. I saw some of them when I traveled in Japan last winter. Sadly, we don’t get most of them here in the US, and I wish we did! It’s so interesting to see such variety. Some of these varieties are used in flavoring tea and alcohol, others are used in marmalades, and some are eaten raw. I just love the green-skinned, orange-fleshed aomikan tangerine – it’s so pretty!
Oct 14, 2009
8 Tips for Blueberry Picking
Last weekend, I took a drive to the Indiana/Michigan border along the southern tip of Lake Michigan in search of blueberries. This is serious fruit country. In addition to 15 pounds of blueberries, I picked up a few tips. Call ahead – Make sure the farm you plan to visit has blueberries (or whatever fruit you’re looking for) available for picking. If you call multiple farms, you can also compare prices.
Jul 29, 2009
Miracle Fruit Revisited: Are You Still Taste Tripping?
The strangest thing I’ve ever eaten is a miracle fruit. Well, that’s not entirely true. I should say that the strangest thing I’ve ever eaten is a tablet of freeze-dried miracle fruit-derived miraculin — and all the foods I tasted while under its influence.But that just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Jul 28, 2009
How to Cut Cauliflower
Cauliflower was one of the first vegetables we actually liked as kids, and we’re still eating them today! Despite their rather impenetrable-seeming appearance, cauliflowers are actually pretty easy to break down into bite-sized florets. Here’s how we do it:First of all, we usually wash cauliflower after cutting it. There are so many nooks and crannies that we think it’s easier to get any grit washed out once it’s broken into pieces.
Jul 9, 2009
Food Science: Why Mashed Potatoes and Blenders Don’t Mix
When we’re making a big batch of mashed potatoes, it’s awfully tempting to just throw them in the blender instead of going to the trouble of mashing them by hand. If you’ve ever actually done this, you’re probably jumping out of your seat and waving your hands in alarm right now. What’s the fuss? Well, here’s the scoop:Pureeing your potatoes in a blender or food processor seems like a good idea at first.
Jul 7, 2009
18 Kinds of Watermelon Saveur
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) Earlier today, Sarah showed us how watermelons get to be square. You may not find those in your local market, but you might find some of these: Golden Midget, Mickylee, and Cream of Saskatchewan. Yes, Saskatchewan. Saveur has 18 different varieties picture on their site right now—go take a look.We love watermelon in the summer. It’s a crowd-pleasing dessert that requires no effort (other than hauling it outside), and it rarely disappoints.
Jul 1, 2009
Basic Technique: How to Prepare Chard (Or Any Other Leafy Green!)
Facing a big pile of leafy green chard and knowing you have to somehow get it sliced it into bite-sized ribbons can feel a bit daunting. But it’s really a lot easier than you might think! Here’s how we do it:First things first, give your chard a good rinse in the sink. Even greens bought at the grocery store can carry a lot of grit and dirt in the leaves. We usually fill up the sink with warm (not hot) water and give the chard a good swish.
Jun 10, 2009
Word of Mouth: Macerate
macerate: v. To soften and infuse food (usually fruit) with flavor by steeping in liquid.This is a technique we talk about more often in the summer, since berries are one of the most common ingredients to macerate…Fruit compotes or pie fillings often call for macerating; the goal is to get soft, smushy fruit that’s broken down a bit and released a little liquid.
May 27, 2009
What’s the Deal with Truffles?
They’re a kind of dense fungus that grows underground. They can only be found by specially trained dogs and pigs. They look like…well, not something you’d necessarily think of eating. And they’re wildly expensive. Do you think truffles are really worth all the hype?Truffles have always been highly valued for their heady aroma and culinary value, but they weren’t always so rare.
May 8, 2009
Quick Tip: How to Clean Morel Mushrooms
Morels are one of our favorite mushrooms of all time, and they’re in season right now! Since they’re harvested from the wild, morels come with a fair amount of grit and all those little nooks and crannies can be hard to clean. Here’s how we do it…There’s a lot of debate about whether morels should be rinsed under water, dry-brushed with a paper towel, or soaked in salted water remove the grit.
Apr 21, 2009
Good Question: What Can I Do With Loquats?
Look at the beautiful loquats in this photo from reader Camilla. She is wondering what to do with all this fruit on her tree. What do I do with loquats? I just moved to Southern California, and while I love the other fruit trees in my yard which I could identify, I spent a few weeks just trying to find out what the loquats were and now I’ve no idea what to do with them besides watching the squirrels and birds fight over the fallen fruit. Camilla, lucky you!
Apr 21, 2009
Blanching Veggies with the Lid On or Off: Does It Make a Difference?
In culinary school, it was drilled into us that the lid must be left off to avoid mushy, brown vegetables. Their explanation that acids trapped in the covered pot would turn the vegetables brown made enough scientific sense that we never thought to question it. Well, it’s a good thing we have Cook’s Illustrated…Never ones to accept a kitchen myth at face value, the team at Cook’s Illustrated blanched a series of vegetables with the lid both on an off.
Apr 8, 2009
Food Science: Artichokes and Sweetness
Did you know that artichokes can make other foods taste sweet? We’ve never noticed this ourselves, but an article in the March issue of Saveur Magazine mentioned the fact in relation to pairing artichokes and wine. Now we can’t wait to get our hands on some fresh spring artichokes to see for ourselves!The article explains that artichokes naturally contain an acid called cynarin.
Mar 31, 2009
Good Question: What To Do With This Bag of Lemons?
This photo and question come from Courtnay, who was recently on the receiving end of big, beautiful bushel of lemons: Yesterday my patient brought me a giant bag of something. He said they are lemons (possible Meyer) but they look like tangerines. They are sour. What can I do with them?? I would like to preserve at least some of them. Is there any way to freeze them or make something out of them that could be frozen? What about jam/ curd?
Mar 23, 2009
Plant Spotlight: Ponderosa Lemons
We spotted these giant ponderosa lemons at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show last weekend and nearly squealed with delight.A lemon tree? That can grow in Chicago? Well maybe, maybe not.Ponderosa lemons are considered a lemon-citron hybrid and average 2 to 4 pounds, although they’re sometimes called “5 Pound Lemons.” The peel is thick, bumpy and round, with no pointed tip.They are less hardy than other lemon varieties but grow well in containers.
Mar 11, 2009
Good Question: What Can I Do With Morello Cherries?
Katherine has a jar of cherries and needs some help using them up! Want to help?I was at Trader Joe’s this weekend and on impulse I bought a jar of Dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup. What do I do with these? The ingredients are: cherries, water, sugar and glucose syrup. Maybe in a sauce for meat or tempeh? Could I flambé them? Help!Katherine, these cherries are very easy to use. First of all, you can eat them straight out of the jar with a spoon; we highly recommend that.
Jan 23, 2009
Seasonal Spotlight: Rangpur Limes
No, that’s not an orange; it’s a lime. An orange-colored lime! It’s a rangpur lime, which is a hybrid of a mandarin orange and a lemon.While not a true lime, the Rangpur lime is highly acidic and is a wonderful substitute for regular limes due to its lime-like zestiness and its orange-like juiciness. The flavor of the lime is said to taste a little bit smoky.Originally from India, the Rangpur lime found its way to the US in the 19th century.
Jan 6, 2009
Quick Tip: The Best Way to Store Mushrooms
Mushrooms aren’t exactly the hardiest of ingredients! Once home, they can become slimy and develop brown spots within just a few days. If we can’t use them all right away, we try to do whatever we can to eek out just a little more life from our mushrooms. Here’s how…Lots of theories seem to exist about the best way to store mushrooms: in a paper bag, wrapped in damp paper towels, in a sealed container… And we’ve tried them all at one time or another!
Dec 8, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Buddha’s Hand
Resembling something that belongs under the sea or in a cabinet of curiosities, the Buddha’s Hand citron is in season now and appearing at farmers’ markets, Asian groceries, and other specialty produce sellers.This striking citron is native to China (possibly via India), where it is offered at temples, prized as a symbol of luck and longevity, and eaten in sweet and savory dishes. In Japan, it is used as a decorative ornament and to perfume rooms and clothing.
Nov 13, 2008
How Do You Slice an Apple?
We’re not going to claim there’s a right way and a wrong way. But we’re all slicing a lot of apples these days (and will be for months), so we’re wondering how our method compares to yours. See step-by-step photos, below…First we slice it in half, then into quarters.Then, to get out the core, we slice diagonally along the inside of each quarter.
Nov 11, 2008
Twist on Tradition: Hand Pies
There are going to be a lot of pies making their debuts on the Kitchn soon, given the holidays and our own pie baking contest that’s coming up. Just to get your creative juices flowing, we thought we’d mention the diminutive hand pie—perfect for crust-lovers…Hand pies (also called turnovers in our family) usually remind us of summer.
Oct 27, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Prickly Pear Fruit
The fruit of the prickly pear cactus, also called tuna in Spanish, has been a staple of Native American and Central American cuisine for centuries. The plant has been introduced to southern Europe as well, where it is also considered a delicacy.Prickly pear cactus fruits ripen in the late summer and early fall. Pears with reddish orange to purple skin are considered to be the sweetest. Green and white pears can be eaten too.
Oct 10, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Asian Pears
With their crisp, juicy texture, Asian pears must be some of the most refreshing fruits on earth. They’re a fitting pome to bridge the transition from summer to fall, when we haven’t completely let go of warm days but are ready to embrace the next season’s flavors. Depending on where you live, the harvest season for Asian pears may begin as early as July and last until winter. In many places, they reach their peak in September and October.
Sep 23, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Kyoho Grapes
Around the end of summer and into the early Fall, farmer’s markets and Asian food stores have these wonderful dark purple/black grapes called kyoho grapes. Why should you buy them?Well, because they’re absolutely delicious, that’s why!! My partner and I call them “grape grape grape grape” because they have such an intense sweet grape flavor.
Sep 12, 2008
In Season: Italian Prune Plums
What are those little baby-fist-sized plums that have been in the markets for the last month? They’re called Italian Prune Plums and I adore them. Sometimes also called Empress Plums, they are the European-style plum (Prunica domestica) – small, dense, egg-shaped fruit with blue or purple skin, freestone pits (they separate easily from the flesh) and yellow flesh. These are the plums that are made into prunes.
Sep 10, 2008
Help! Our Jam is Too Hard!
We’ve been in a confessional mood lately, offering up photos of our inedible cooking disasters… Here’s another misstep, although the problem this time isn’t with the taste. This jam is absolutely delicious — just not quite right in its consistency. What did we do wrong? We had some almost-overripe fruit to use up — peaches and yellow plums, specifically — and decided to cook it down with some sugar and minced ginger to make refrigerator jam.
Aug 6, 2008
Tip: Drying Fruits And Vegetables In The Car
Summer’s full bounty of fruits and vegetables is peaking and we can’t eat everything fast enough. We’ve been canning and pickling so we can preserve these wonderful flavors and nutrients to enjoy in the winter months ahead. We’re also drying.Drying fruits and vegetables is incredibly easy. It can be done with a dehydrator which you can purchase from Amazon or other kitchen supply stores, but we lack the counter space for yet another appliance.
Jul 25, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Fresh Garbanzo Beans
A friend of ours who purchases supplies for a culinary school slipped us a few of these fresh, green beauties the other day. We felt like we were “in” on some clandestine culinary transaction!Breaking open the pod revealed two perfect garbanzo beans nestled snugly against each other. We ate them right there, popping one and then the other into our mouth with glee.They have a clean grassy taste, very similar to fresh peas.
May 9, 2008
Tip: How To Use Frozen Edamame
A reader emailed us to ask about using up frozen edamame. Her dilemma? What to do with them besides making a puréed dip. We have several ideas, and most of them start with the microwave… Frozen, shelled edamame are becoming easier to find at the average grocery store, which is good — they are so healthy and versatile. We do often purée them into a hummus made with edamame instead of chickpeas, but they work well in any dish where you might normally use beans or peas.
Apr 16, 2008
Loving: Homemade Lemon Curd
Look what we had for breakfast…For a long time, we shrugged off making lemon curd because it seemed labor intensive. We’re not sure where we got that notion, but separating and heating egg yolks to just the right temperature sounded hard.Let us assure you, it’s not. Lemon curd is fantastically easy to make and uses ingredients — eggs, sugar, lemons, and butter — that we’ll bet are sitting in your fridge right now.
Apr 9, 2008
Simple Pleasures: Ricotta with Honey and Fruit
On the morning of Easter Sunday, there won’t be any slaving over a hot stove. There’ll be no worrying about whether the eggs will poach properly, or how to have half-a-dozen omelets hot at once. Instead, there’ll be a room full of happy people, dipping their spoons again and again into rich bowls of creamy, smooth, nourishing ricotta, made slightly sweeter with a drizzle of wildflower honey, and some beautifully plump dried fruit.
Mar 19, 2008
What’s the Deal With: Pepino Melons
Pepino melons are not really melons; they are the fruit of a South American evergreen and actually related to the tomato and the eggplant. Sometimes they are called tree melons, or melon pears. They have been cropping up in the grocery store lately and we were intrigued by the beautiful stripes and teardrop shape. The melon is about the size of a hand, almond-shaped and firm. It will usually have beautiful purple streaks on a yellow skin.
Nov 5, 2007
What’s the Deal With: Cape Gooseberries
The first time we saw a Cape gooseberry, it was on someone’s blog, and it looked like a perfect yellow egg yolk encased in paper leaves. We really thought someone took a photo of an egg yolk. It wasn’t, of course – it was a Cape gooseberry. Cape gooseberries are native to South America, and they’re closely related to the tomatilla – which makes sense, since they look like tiny tomatillas, swaddled in tissue leaves.
Oct 22, 2007