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Pickling Workshop!

In Community, Events, How To on August 16, 2010 at 7:21 PM


TriBeCa CSA’s first cooking workshop was a huge success! Tricia Williams, member and chef/owner of Food Matters, taught the group the basics of pickling and its probiotic health benefits. Pickling is a great way to use vegetables that may go bad before you can cook and eat them and a delicious accompaniment to many dishes. Not to mention that pickles make a great healthy snack!

Adding home made pickled veggies to your diet introduces healthy bacteria (probiotics) in the most natural way, by eating them!

Here are some of the helpful tips we learned:

For ingredients think Kirby cucumbers, green or yellow string beans, carrots, beets, artichokes, or almost anything.

When toasting spices don’t overdo it! As soon as you start smelling the aroma it’s probably done. If the spices turn brown they’re burned and will not taste good.

Use cider vinegar and sea salt whenever possible for their added health benefits.

In the workshop we learned 3 types of pickling: Cold picking, hot pickling, and salt-only pickling (meaning no vinegar was used).

Cold and hot pickling are basically the same technique, the only difference is that the pickling brine is put over the vegetable when it’s cold or hot, respectively. Cold pickling takes longer to achieve the same results as hot pickling, but it is gentler on the ingredients. Delicate, softer items like string beans and tomatoes should be cold pickled so as to avoid turning them into mush, but harder, denser ingredients such as beets and carrots benefit from the speed of hot pickling.

As for salt-only pickles, their lack of vinegar allows for “good” bacteria to flourish, leading to a pickle rich in pro-biotics. Eat a few pickled carrots instead of taking that supplement every day!

Hot Sauce Mixer!

In How To, Recipes on October 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM

P1040515Thanks to Gina for hosting our amazingly spicy “Hot Sauce Get Together”! We’ve managed to come up with FIVE different recipes using up several pounds of Serranos and Cayannes. We HIGHLY recommend handling the peppers with disposable rubber gloves and occasionally goggles to avoid injuries. With so many taste tests, everyone felt the HEAT!!! Hope this inspires you to try it at home. Here are some highlights:

Vietnamese Hot Pepper Sauce = Extra spicy! Use in noodle soups, any recipe that calls for heat or as dipping sauce(perfect with summer rolls)!
Sliced Serrano Peppers
Minced Garlic
Distilled white vinegar
Fish Sauce
Sugar

Yemenite Zhug = Spicy! Use with Middle Eastern foods, sandwiches, on scrambled eggs and anything else that asks for a spicy green paste.
1 pound Serrano peppers
5 heads Garlic, peeled
1 bunch coriander, washed
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
Salt to taste
Olive oil to cover

Cayenne Hot Sauce = Not too spicy because we removed seeds. Great in Mexican dishes, pasta or any recipe that asks for sweet heat.

10 large fresh red cayenne chiles
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
3/4 cup white vinegar Salt

Cut stems off peppers and cut peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds 
and ribs. Preheat broiler. Place peppers, cut side down, on rack in 
broiler pan. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the skin blisters and 
blackens. Transfer peppers to a plastic bag for about 10 minutes. When 
cool, peel off skins(we actually left them on!).

Place chile pulp and garlic in a blender or food processor. With 
machine running, slowly add the vinegar until the mixture is well 
blended. Add salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep in the 
refrigerator for weeks. Makes about 1 cup.

spicey

Most of the recipes we found called for vinegar and garlic beyond that there is a million ways to mix and match and get creative with hot peppers!!! Try adding apple sauce, tomatillos or corn…Have fun and send in your creations to tribeca-csa@googlegroups.com!

CSA “back-up buddy” and more crucial tips

In How To on August 7, 2009 at 11:45 PM

Here’s a link to an article that has suggestions on how to deal with the abundance of veggies that we build up in our fridge….Read full article at noteatingoutinny.

Freezing herbs and Parsley facts

In How To on August 1, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Check out this post on A Way to Garden to learn more than you ever wanted to know about parsley and more importantly, for awesome tips on how to freeze fresh herbs!

Storage: Fresh Herbs

In How To on July 12, 2009 at 10:17 PM

Thanks to Annouchka from topicalife.com, for providing us with this VERY useful information:

How to Store(or Revive) Fresh Herbs

1 Snip off the bottom of the stems.

2 Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Better to hold off rinsing them until you’re about to use them.

3 Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar.

4 If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Cilantro loves cool temperatures and should be stored in the refrigerator. Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. According to Harold McGee, basil is ideally stored at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, because it is susceptible to damage from cold.

5 Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor.

Fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.

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