Cooking

How To Buy Pork Chops

September 17, 2021

Look for thicker pork chops (about 1/2-inch-thick) for roasting as they are less likely to dry out in the oven. Save cutlets and thin cut chops for searing and stir fries.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Fennel

April 6, 2021

Fennel is a member of the carrot family, though it is not a root vegetable. The base of its long stalk weaves together to form a thick and crisp bulb that grows above ground. Fennel’s leaves, seeds, and stems all have a sweet, faintly anise like flavor. The stems of fennel swell and overlap at the base of the plant to form a bulb with white to pale green ribbed layers that are similar to celery in appearance and texture. Light and feathery, the pretty green leaves slightly resemble fresh dill. Use them as a bed for steaming fish or in small amounts as a garnish.

Originating in the Mediterranean, the fennel bulb appears often in Italian and Scandinavian cuisines. It can be eaten raw, grilled, baked, braised, or sautéed. While grilling, you can toss a handful of dried or fresh fennel stems onto the charcoal to infuse meat or fish with a light anise flavor.

When selecting fennel choose fresh bulbs that are smooth and tightly layered with cracks or bruises. Fat, rounded bulbs with white and pale green color will tend to be more succulent than thin or yellow ones. Avoid any with wilted leaves or dried layers. Now available year-round, fennel is at its peak from late fall through winter. Grocers sometimes incorrectly liable fennel as sweet anise.

When storing, keep fennel bulbs in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If kept too long, they will lose their flavor and toughen.

When preparing, remove the green stems and leaves, saving them to flavor or garnish other dishes such as soups or fish. Discard the outer layer of the bulb if it is tough and cut away any discolored areas. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and remove the base of the core as it is thick and solid. Gently separate the layers with your hands and rinse well to remove any grit between them. Slice or cut as your recipe directs.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Spring Onions

March 30, 2021

One of the wonderful things about spring is access to spring onions. Spring onions are typically planted at the end of summer so that they grow over the winter months, ready for harvesting in the spring.

Spring onions are more mature than both scallions and green onions, but are still a type of young onion, which are picked before they have a chance to grow larger. You can identify a spring onion by the small, round, white bulb at its base. While it appears similar to scallions and green onions, its rounded bulb gives it way.

Spring onions are also slightly stronger in flavor than scallions and green onions due to their maturity. They still have a gentler flavor than regular onions, which have been left in the ground much longer and grow much larger.

To prepare spring onions wash them under running water to free them of any dirt and grit. Trim the root end, but only the very, very end. Every last bit of white packs a lot of flavor. If you’re braising or grilling them whole just trim off the top most inch of the greens and you’re done.

If you are using spring onions where you would use scallions the prep is nearly the same. Slice them thinly crosswise for adding to a salad or a vinaigrette. If you’re using them in a stir-fry, cut them on the bias.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Build An Affordable Cheese Board

December 3, 2020

Cheese Boards are a no-cook, sure-to-please option for any holiday celebration. Build a cheeseboard that’s affordable yet special. Then toast the season with festive cocktails.

A few inexpensive ingredients and simple homemade touches are all you need for a spectacular, special occasion-worthy spread. Here are some smart tips to deck your board with festivity and flavor without breaking the bank.

For a classic, colorful centerpiece, make your own cranberry and herb cheeseball. Start with a container of spreadable cheese and form into a ball. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to avoid messy hands. Roll the ball in a combination of finely chopped dried cranberries, parsley, and chives until thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

No need to buy expensive cheeses. Inexpensive cheddar is always a crowd pleaser. Skip the pre-cut cubes and cut the block yourself. Orange or white, mild or extra sharp. Cheddar is always a favorite.

Upgrade affordable goat cheese by rolling the log in herbs and spices, like dried thyme, dried oregano, or crushed rainbow peppercorns for a beautiful, flavorful crust. You could also keep it plain and top with jarred pepper jelly or mango chutney.

Instead of mixed nuts, opt for crunchy snack mixes, which are often less expensive and just as delicious. For the board, look for one with little or no seasoning.

Give a budget-friendly feta or mini mozzarella balls a flavor boost by marinating cubes in olive oil with herbs like parsley, oregano, or rosemary, and other seasonings like sliced chilis, crushed garlic, or lemon zest. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

Round out your cheese board with other delicious items like fresh or dried fruit (dried apricots, figs, grapes, and sliced pears), pitted olives, and plain crackers.

Pair your cheese board with a festive holiday beverage and enjoy!

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

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

Autumn

October 16, 2020

With the multicolored cascades of leaves redecorating the landscape, autumn brings family gatherings and get-togethers with friends. At the center of many warm memories is time spent around the table, sharing in the delights of dishes so delicious that they are sure to be requested again and again for seasons to come.

As you ready your home for hospitality, I encourage you to select the freshest ingredients before donning your apron. I hope that you enjoy creating this autumn!

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Basic Ingredient Swaps

April 30, 2020

Have you ever found yourself making a recipe and realize that you don’t have an ingredient that it’s calling for? Here are a few ingredient alternatives that you might have on hand instead.

Mayonnaise
For 1 cup of mayonnaise use 1 cup sour cream or 1 cup plain yogurt with a pinch of salt.

Honey
For 1/4 cup of honey use 1/4 cup maple syrup or light corn syrup.

Buttermilk
For 1 cup of buttermilk use 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice mixed with enough milk or plant-based milk to reach 1 cup.

Butter
If butter is used for baking or in a solid form, solid coconut oil is a good 1 to 1 substitution. If it’s melted or for cooking use olive oil.

Oil
When it comes to oil for baking, applesauce is a great substitute. For 1 cup of oil, use 3/4 cup applesauce mixed with 1/4 cup melted butter. In cooking, any neutral refined oils like canola, olive, vegetable, corn, and peanut oils are interchangeable.

Breadcrumbs
For 1 cup of breadcrumbs use 1 cup of cracker crumbs, finely crushed potato chips, tortilla chips, or pretzels pulsed in your food processor.

Brown Sugar
For 1 cup of light brown sugar, use 1 cup white sugar plus 1 tablespoon molasses. For 1 cup of dark brown sugar, use 2 tablespoons molasses. The sugar and molasses should be mixed together thoroughly.

Baking Powder
For 1 teaspoon baking powder, stir or sift together 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

The Best Way To Clean Leeks

April 18, 2020

Because leeks grow deep in the soil the fine layers inside can be difficult to clean. When using leeks in a recipe, trim and slice the leeks first, then add to a bowl of water and stir. The dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Cooking With Beer

March 18, 2020

Beer isn’t just for drinking. It’s also the secret ingredient in some of Tiny New York Kitchen’s favorite recipes, from stews to pasta sauce.

Depending on which brew you choose, you can add richness to stews and braises, a bright zing to sauces, and make baked goods extra tender and tasty. It’s great with chocolate. You can also pair it with your meals, just like wine, to make your dishes taste even better.

LAGER
Lager is the most popular beer for drinking. Smooth, light-bodied, and slightly floral, it goes with just about any dish, especially cheese. It’s also great to bake with. The bubbles in this beer add extra lightness and tenderness to all sorts of baked goods.

PILSNER
Clean, crisp, and slightly citrusy, this beer is refreshing on its own. Serve it with seafood or a simple tomato and basil pizza. Use it for quickly simmering shrimp because it won’t overwhelm the delicate, sweet flavor of the seafood.

STOUT
This rich dark beer has notes of coffee and caramel, great for sipping in colder weather. Pair it with heartier dishes like chili or steak and potatoes. In baking and cooking, stout makes chocolate cupcakes taste even more chocolaty and slow-cooked meats even richer.

AMBER ALE
You will know this beer by its reddish-brown color. It has a smooth, malty flavor that makes it a crowd-pleasing choice for your next party. Try this beer with grilled or roasted meats and barbecue. For cooking, it’s great in a glaze for pork or in a cheese sauce.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

101 Simple Cooking Tips

November 1, 2019

Tips to make every experience in the kitchen successful!

1. Set up your workspace by gathering clean tools, bowls, and utensils. Make sure to keep a trashcan within reach.
2. To create an egg wash, whisk together a large egg with one tablespoon of water until smooth. Use as a glue to seal pastries, then brush on top for a glossy appearance.
3. Peel tomatoes with ease by cutting an X in the top, and then simmer in a pot of hot water for 15 to 30 seconds. Cool down and the skin will fall right off.
4. Get comfortable. Wear comfortable clothes and an apron when you work in the kitchen and you won’t have to worry about getting dirty.
5. Invest in a baking scale. Scales are not only an accurate way to measure your cooking ingredients, but they streamline the entire process.
6. Always read and re-read your recipes before you start cooking.
7. Clean as you go.
8. Use 2 skewers instead of 1 when grilling or roasting to prevent your food from spinning.
9. Learn to practice the rule of thumb to check the readiness of steak.
10. To prevent butter from over-browning in your pan, add a little bit of lemon juice.
11. Embrace salt. Don’t be afraid to use salt. It pulls the flavors out of your dishes. Cook with kosher salt and season with sea salt.
12. No luck finding shallots? Replace with a combination of onions and garlic.
13. After handling garlic, rub your fingers on stainless steel, like your skink, to get rid of the odor.
14. Ovens can lie. Place a second thermometer in your oven to ensure proper preheating temperatures.
15. Ignore cooking times. Check your dishes by using your own senses (smell, taste, touch) to decide when they are done.
16. The most versatile and important tool is a sharp chef’s knife.
17. Learn all the different ways to cook an egg.
18. When poaching an egg, add a teaspoon of white vinegar to simmering water to help keep the yolk from breaking.
19. For a great hardboiled egg every time, bring your pot to a boil and then turn off the heat. Let your eggs sit in the heated pot for 12 minutes and then transfer to cold water.
20. Crack eggs on a paper towel on the counter (no shells and makes for easy cleanup.
21. Make an ideal sunny-side egg by covering your pan with a lid and letting the steam cook your egg. No flipping required.
22. Always taste your food before seasoning.
23. Anchor your cutting board to the counter with a damp paper towel to keep things steady and safe. You could also use a dish towel instead of a paper towel.
24. Hold a knife properly. Pinch the blade instead of gripping the handle.
25. Don’t rinse pasta.
26. Substitute half a lemon and half an orange as a replacement for a Meyer lemon.
27. When sautéing garlic, use sliced garlic instead of minced to prevent burning.
28. Invest in a seasoned cast iron skillet. This kitchen staple distributes heat evenly and is easy to clean.
29. Remove tough stems on leafy greens by pinching the stem and gently pulling off the leaves with your other hand.
30. If your recipe calls for buttermilk, you can use regular milk with lemon juice.
31. Prepping salad before serving is a huge time saver. Layer all the ingredients in a bowl and don’t add the dressing when it’s time to serve.
32. Keep your spices away from sources of heat like the stove or lights. Herbs and spices can lose their flavor when exposed to humidity and heat.
33. Save old, stale bread to make breadcrumbs in a food processor. You can freeze them for up to 6 months.
34. Let steaks come to room temperature before seasoning and grilling.
35. Store fresh herbs in a glass of water in your refrigerator.
36. To prevent tears, cut off the root of the onion before you slice.
37. For crispy fries or chips; slice the potato, then remove the starch by soaking in water for one hour before baking.
38. Celery getting floppy? Try wrapping it in aluminum foil before storing in the refrigerator.
39. Soften hard brown sugar by placing a piece of dry bread in the bag overnight.
40. Roll citrus on the counter using the palm of your hand to help release all of the juice pockets.
41. -50. Kitchen Pantry Essentials: Olive Oil, Flour, Broth, Salt, Brown Rice or Pasta, Beans, Vinegar, Sugar, Eggs, and Soy Sauce.
51. Increase the shelf life of a halved avocado by keeping the pit intact and placing it in your refrigerator.
52. To prevent sliced apples from browning, lightly squeeze lemon or lime juice on the pieces.
53. You can store butter in the freezer for up to 6 months.
54. Honey is a natural preservative and will never spoil.
55. To last longer, opened flour bags can be stored in the freezer.
56. Mushrooms should be kept dry, as they can easily soak and store water.
57. Never overcrowd your skillet with food. The heat will not distribute evenly.
58. Use an egg slicer to cut small fruits like kiwis.
59. Recipes are only a guideline. Feel free to substitute items that cater to your personal preferences.
60. To rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes, soak them in hot water or stock for about 20 minutes.
61. The basic ratio to make a classic vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
62. To keep garlic from going rancid, always store it at room temperature.
63. Keep knives sharp by using a sharpening tool frequently. A sharp knife is important for safety and efficiency.
64. Purchasing and preparing a whole chicken is cost-effective and resourceful.
65. Honey stuck in a jar? Place the container in hot water for about 5 minutes to loosen up the sticky residue.
66. Safely chop odd-shaped vegetables by cutting off both ends for an even surface.
67. Create simple syrup by simmering 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a medium heated pot until the sugar dissolves. Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
68. Freeze leftover tomato paste in small ice cube containers.
69. To soften butter, cut slices into a bowl and let sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
70. When serving ice cream to large groups, ditch the ice cream scoop. Break oven the whole container and slice the ice cream into portions.
71. If you need to grate soft cheeses, freeze the cheese for 30 minutes for a cleaner slice.
72. A cutting tool called a mandolin can be your best friend. It allows you to perfectly julienne, slice, and dice vegetables every time. Always slice slowly and use the safety guard to prevent you from cutting your finger.
73. When sautéing, it is important to first heat the pan, then heat the oil, then add the ingredients.
74. Moisturize dried coconut by adding a sprinkle of milk and letting it sit for 10 minutes.
75. Prevent bacteria growth by cooling hot food in a shallow dish.
76. Make stock in large quantities and freeze in plastic bags for later use.
77. Use Greek yogurt as a healthy substitute for mayo, sour cream, heavy cream and more.
78. Before baking, remove butter and eggs from the refrigerator and let them reach room temperature.
79. Invest in high-quality extra virgin olive oil for special meals or to drizzle over dishes to accent flavors.
80. Let cooked or grilled meat rest at room temperature before serving.
81. Plunge vegetables in ice water after blanching to help maintain a bright color.
82. For easy clean-up, line baking sheets with parchment paper.
83. Save money by purchasing in-season fruit and vegetables. You can freeze and store in airtight containers to save for later.
84. Always taste your dishes before serving.
85. Never over-season seafood. You want to still be able to taste the flavor of the fish. Simply use lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
86. Look for ground beef that has been freshly ground.
87. To preserve flavor and prevent burning, it’s important to cook slow and keep your heat low.
88. Always measure when baking. Baking is a science and any wrong measurements can be disastrous.
89. Rice Cookers can be your personal kitchen assistants. Let them do all the tedious work and you will never worry about monitory and watching boil.
90. To make leafy greens last longer, wrap them in damp paper towels and place in a sealable plastic bag before storing.
91. Test oil in a pan before adding all of your ingredients. Throw a small piece in and make sure it sizzles before adding the rest.
92. When cooking with chile peppers, protect your hands and eyes by wearing rubber gloves. Or coat your hands in vegetable oil and wash them with soap and water immediately after handling.
93. Homemade meals are good for the heart and soul. Cook often and cook with others.
94. To prevent sogginess, do not dress salads for large parties. Serve, then allow guests to add their own dressing.
95. Seafood should never smell overwhelmingly fishy; that’s a sure sign that it’s starting to go bad.
96. Chill cookie dough before putting it on a baking sheet. This will help prevent your butter from flattening and losing its fluffy texture.
97. Remove seeds from chile peppers to help reduce heat.
98. Keep key kitchen appliances, like a blender, on your countertop to encourage frequent use.
99. Overcooked vegetables lose important enzymes and nutrients.
100. Disinfect wood cutting boards by hand washing with vinegar.
101. Always keep it simple and work with what you got!

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved

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