Risotto

Pumpkins

October 28, 2017

Pumpkins range in size from small, creamy white specimens to giant orange globes. Ever so useful as autumnal décor, pumpkins are a versatile and vital source of healthy nutrition.

This festive fall fruit offers a rich source of vitamin C and potassium, both of which may be effective at lowering the risk of heart disease, as well as normalizing blood pressure. The brilliant orange hue of many pumpkin varieties is the result of an abundance of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that transforms into vitamin A in the body. This vitamin may have an effect on boosting the efficiency of immune systems, as well as helping to repair free radical damage to cells.

Pumpkin adds a fabulous, smooth, silky texture and unique flavor to risotto, soup, muffins, cakes, breads, stews, chili, pasta, shakes and so much more. Fresh pumpkin is delightfully delicious and contains an added bonus; pumpkin seeds! Also known as pepitas, roasted pumpkin seeds are lightly crunchy, little gems that are a potent source of zinc, which may be helpful in promoting prostate health.

Pumpkin seeds also offer a significant amount of magnesium, phosphorous, copper, iron, manganese, and omega-3 fatty acids, which may help relieve symptoms of high cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure, and arthritis.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Parmesan Cheese Rinds

October 24, 2016

Parmesan Cheese Rinds

I tend to use a lot of good quality Parmesan cheese that I grate myself all the way down to the rind. I used to just toss the rinds until one day a chef friend told me all of the ways to use them. I think of them as the bay leaves of the cheese world. Add them when you’re cooking a dish and make sure to remove them at the end of cooking. Seriously, you’ll discover a while new world of flavor.

Throw into sauces, stews, and soups. Adding a Parmesan rind to sauces, stews, and soups will definitely add a nice rich flavor. Add to Italian dishes (both red and white pasta sauces).

Put them in a jar and pour olive oil over them. This makes Parmesan infused olive oil. You could add garlic cloves as well. This is excellent for dipping bread.

Grill them if your rinds are pure cheese with no waxy coating. They’ll become soft and chewy that is delicious on crusty bread.

Make Parmesan broth for cooking with. It’s so easy. Just add a few rinds with some herbs to a pot of water. Simmer for a couple of hours and after the broth has reduced some strain it and use to cook with.

Use them when you’re cooking vegetables.

Put a rind in the pot when you’re cooking rice or risotto.

The great news is that Parmesan rinds freeze well. You don’t need to use them right away and keep for a few months in the refrigerator. They keep for years in the freezer, however. If you don’t have any rinds on hand you may also purchase them from high-end grocers and cheese shops, where they’re super inexpensive.

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“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Black Garlic

April 12, 2016

Black Garlic

Black Garlic has been around for quite awhile and is an ingredient that chefs have been using across the country. Think of it as “sweet meets savory.” Black garlic is made when heads of garlic are aged under very specialized conditions until the cloves turn black and have a sticky date-like texture. The taste is delicious and unique with a sweet and earthy umami flavor that intensifies nearly any dish you’re creating.

Garlic bulbs are kept for weeks at low temperatures in a humid environment. The enzymes that give fresh garlic its sharpness break down. These conditions also facilitate the Maillard reaction, the chemical process that produces wild new flavor compounds responsible for the deep taste of seared meat and fried onions.

Black garlic’s flavor is described as tasting like aged balsamic, prunes, licorice, molasses, caramel, and tamarind. Use the cloves as you would roasted garlic. Purée with olive oil for a dense and sweet flavor all its own that compliments steaks, chicken, fish and seafood. Smear the paste on crostini or incorporate it into dressings. Use in a braise to intensify the umami-rich flavor of spare ribs. Add to soups, risotto, noodle and rice dishes, and cheese dips. Black garlic also pairs well with blue cheese.

Black garlic also comes in a dehydrated powder that is considered an umami pixie dust. Just sprinkle a bit of it on anything that begs for depth and earthiness.

Most likely you won’t find black garlic at your local neighborhood market, but some Whole Foods will carry it. I’m lucky enough to get mine at Kalustyan’s in New York City. You can certainly get it online at Amazon or other specialty online food sources.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

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