Tips for Cooking With Citrus

Tips for Cooking With Citrus

With Spring finally, here it’s the perfect time to infuse all your dishes with citrus! As most of my cooking is Mediterranean based, I use citrus in most all my dishes. I think by know many of you have the handy lemon/lime citrus squeezer.  If not, here is a link https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Citrus-Squeezer-Color/dp/B0002BFZ16.

Here’s a tip I learned working in restaurants, purchase a bag of lemons and process most of bag into a measuring cup and either store in a glass jar or squeeze bottle. This way you can easily make vinaigrettes, use in soups, deserts or top your favorite protein hassle free. Save a few for zesting. On that note, don’t ignore the zest! There is so much flavor in the rind, just a few teaspoons in a recipe can really amp up the flavor.

One other amazing item I can’t live without is olive oil infused with citrus. I even have one infused with blood orange! Once you start using these in your cooking, you will never look back. Check out this Bon Appetit link for more citrus tips https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/citrus-common-mistakes.

Below is a recipe for Toasted Lemon Breadcrumb Gremolata. It really adds that extra something and cuts through the heaviness when I use it to top my casseroles. *Note when used to top casseroles, I don’t toast them. I use the toasting method for topping salads, vegetables and proteins.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs *I use rosemary bread
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat a small skillet, either stainless steel or cast iron over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the pan is very hot, add the olive oil and immediately add the breadcrumbs.
  3. Toast the breadcrumbs while stirring continuously until the crumbs have turned golden brown and begin to get a little crunchy, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool. The breadcrumbs will continue to crisp while cooling.
  5. Once the crumbs have cooled, add the Parmesan cheese, parsley and lemon zest.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Set aside until ready to serve.
  8. Leftover Breadcrumb Gremolata will store nicely refrigerated in an air-tight container.
Eat to Beat Inflammation

Eat to Beat Inflammation

With so much information out there on what to eat and what not to eat it can be really confusing to make good choices! As a Vegetarian I struggle to get enough Protein in my diet while managing Anti-Inflammatory issues. Ongoing inflammation is problematic and can cause several chronic conditions. Food plays a pivotal role and filling your plate with more anti-inflammatory foods while dialing back on the ones that cause inflammation will improve your body’s ability to ward off future diseases and slow down the aging process.

Check out Dr. Weil’s Food Pyramid very informative.

As mentioned last month I use Fresh Juice as a way to get the majority of my daily requirement of Fruits and Vegetables. I recently tried an Anti-Inflammatory Elixir from http://www.mountainjuicery.com and by the time I arrived home the swelling in my hands had gone down dramatically!

Ashley Covington co-owner of Mountain Juicery was nice enough to share the below recipe give it a try:

Inflammation and Skin Elixir

1 oz liquid Turmeric

Drizzle of honey

1 /2 Lemon squeeze

Dash of Water

Sprinkle Black Pepper

Orange Wedge (Eat after you finish)

Organic Produce Tips

Organic Produce Tips

Eating more Fruits and Vegetables -Organic or not is better than eating none at all! Most of us would love to buy Organic Produce all the time, but availability and expense often make it hard. There is a guide to shopping smarter by buying conventional produce that’s the least likely to contain pesticide residues and save your organic dollars for produce that tends to have the highest amounts of pesticide residue.

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, releases a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides that identifies Fruits and Vegetables with the highest and lowest pesticide residues. The article is very informative but lengthy so below is a list of the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen.

Bottom line for me is do the very best you can! Even if you can’t buy all Organic when you purchase your Produce bring it home and process it in a mild Vinegar and Water Solution. https://happyhealthymama.com/how-to-remove-pesticides-from-fruits-and-vegetables.html

 

The Clean Fifteen is the list of foods that are least likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues, so if budget is a concern, you can feel good about buying these 15 Fruits and Vegetables.

The Dirty Dozen is a list of Fruits and Vegetables with the most pesticides.

The Clean Fifteen                                                  The Dirty Dozen                                                   

Pineapple                                                                    Apples

Cabbage                                                                       Grapes

Frozen Peas                                                               Peaches

Papayas                                                                        Cherries

Asparagus                                                                   Pears

Mangoes                                                                      Tomatoes

Eggplant                                                                       Celery

Honeydew Melon                                                  Potatoes

Cantaloupe                                                                Sweet Bell Peppers

Kiwi                                                                                Strawberries

Cauliflower                                                                Spinach

Broccoli                                                                       Nectarines

Sweet Corn

Avocado

Onions

Fresh Food Inspired by Austin!

Fresh Food Inspired by Austin!

January Newsletter –

Fresh Food Inspired by a recent trip to Austin!

Having just returned from Austin, Texas I am on a Fresh Food high! It was so amazing to experience a city that is so immersed in Meat yet on the cutting edge of all things Plant Based. I spent my first day working privately with Executive Chef Ben of Miraval Austin Resort and Spa. Chef Ben is also head consultant to their partner, Williams and Sonoma, to develop more Plant Based meals globally. We made Vegan Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meatballs and spent a lot of time talking about how to make Meatless meals as tasty as Meat based dishes. The balance of the trip was spent getting a real education on several cuisines including Mediterranean, Cali Mex, Italian and more using the Chipotle model. This formula utilizes all local organic ingredients, ordering and paying for your food at the counter then having it delivered straight from the kitchen to your table. From these adventures I found another Super Grain called Heirloom Rice, check out this link and look for it it on upcoming Menus.

Lastly, I have never offered Fresh Juice as part of my services as it is extremely time consuming to prepare and very expensive! I have been trying to find a source for years not only for myself but for my clients with health issues. With 2 locations Mountain Juicery is the real deal. The recipes are exceptional and the staff is not only friendly but knowledgeable. If you haven’t had freshly made juice check out this article on all the benefits: 9 Health Benefits of Juicing That You May Not Be Aware Of.

Mountain Juicery

 

More to come…

Happy New Year

Patty

Chef Tips for a Perfect Holiday Celebration

Chef Tips for a Perfect Holiday Celebration

Food Tips for the Perfect Holiday Celebration

holidayparty

With a little planning this just might be your best holiday yet!

Tip #1: For a successful celebration – “Keep it Simple.”

Here is a formula that works: 2-2-2. It works this way, I like to offer six items: two that are store bought, two that are semi-homemade and two homemade. That lets you take time to focus on your special recipes while keeping the other prep easy. Next you want to make sure you have something for everyone in the mix. These days that can be challenging. So many people are gluten-free, vegan, aren’t eating dairy and such so make sure you have that information when crafting the menu. In a perfect world offer vegetarian, seafood and meat options so it feels like a meal. People are moving more towards tapas so the basic crudité, meat and cheese board doesn’t cut it anymore. There is no shortage for ideas on the internet so menu planning is just a click away! If you find yourself stumped just take a look at my catering options and I am happy to help.

Tip #2: Focus on the Platters and Decorations and keep the dishes in the cupboard! Select nice napkins, small paper plates, if needed, and plastic cups rather than creating extra work that comes with lots of dishes.They are perfectly fine for these holiday gatherings. You can then put some thought and design into your selection of platters and decorations to create a lovely setting. I have yet to hear anyone complain, especially when the food is tasty.

Tip #3: A Simple Self-Serve Bar – Provide a selection of beverages that includes sparkling water, craft beer, red wine and maybe a signature cocktail like an Aperol spritzer.

Tip #4: Bites per Person – People always ask me this and its the larger groups that can be challenging. The rule of thumb is 4-6 bites if a meal is being served and 8-10 bites without a meal. Having gourmet nuts, chips and olives and maybe a dip like pimento cheese with crackers staged in several areas will always help to fill people up!

Tip #5: Deserts- This is the time of year when people splurge! Either make your favorite holiday deserts or save yourself time and go to the local bakery and pick up a few unusual items. Consider placing a special order ahead of time to make sure you are covered. Actually, this is where fruit and cheese can also work well. A beautiful platter of warm brie drizzled with honey surrounded by dried and fresh fruit and chocolate covered almonds it’s just enough to finish off the evening!

Tip #5: One Bunch of Flowers Will Do – There is no need to spend lots on elaborate flower arrangements. You can save a bundle by picking up a loose bunch of flowers from the grocery or florist and add to it with simple greens and berries from the yard or local garden center. With this inexpensive combination you can create stunning and memorable decorations without breaking the bank.

Tip #6: Cooks Tip: No need to feel overwhelmed this holiday season. Look to your closest grocery store, like Ingles. They can make stunning holiday platters with just 24-hours notice. By delegating those labor intensive items like tea sandwiches and deviled eggs you will have more time to do the holiday prep that you find the most fun.

 

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Learn more …

Chef-Patricia-Gift-Certificate-2

 

Sept ’18

Sept ’18

Doesn’t the hint of fall in the air make you think of soups?

Having worked at both the Purple Onion and Side Street I have a bit of a following with my Soups. I have spent countless hours in my Test Kitchen perfecting each and every one of my recipes! Many of my Soups are a version of a favorite comfort food and several have an International theme! Remember the key to a great Soup is the Stock. If you would like any of the Recipes please let
me know and requests are always welcome.

Soups

Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Noodle or Rice
Chicken Vegetable
Chicken Tortilla
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Ala King
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Chicken Florentine
Stuffed Cabbage and Peppers with Organic Chicken Meatballs
Thai Chicken and Rice
Italian Wedding with Orzo and Lemony Kale
Clam Chowder New England or Manhattan
Old Bay Shrimp Corn Chowder
Brazilian Shrimp Stew
Shrimp Bisque
Cream of Mushroom
Velvet Cauliflower
Broccoli Cheddar
Mac N Cheese
Roasted Vegetable
Roasted Red Pepper with Smoked Gouda
Sausage Lentil (Vegetarian Available)

More Soups

Black Bean (Can add Chorizo or Smoked Turkey)
Cheddar Corn Cheddar
Minestrone (Vegetarian Available)
Brunswick Stew
Split Pea (Vegetarian Available)
Roasted Pork Vegetable
Pork Mexican Pozole
Tuscan White Bean and Rosemary Crusted Ham
Velvet Tomato Basil
Potato Leek
Tuscan Sausage White Bean served over Baby Kale (Vegetarian Available)
Organic Chicken and Chorizo Chili
Beef Barley
Texas Chili
Pepper Steak
Beef Bourguignon
Beef Stroganoff
Beef Shepherd’s Pie
Beef Goulash