Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Brining the meat, as you can read the details of here, is a process that infuses the meat with flavor and helps it retain natural (and added) juices during cooking. Like a marinade, you can add any number of desired flavorings to the brine solution, such as herbs and spices, fruits or vegetables, and other seasonings such as liquid smoke or chili-garlic sauce. The possibilities are endless, but you can also opt for a plain and simple sugar-salt solution. The linked page above gives you the techniques, so I won't reiterate them here, but only emphasize how beneficial it is to follow this process to producing a high-quality slab of grilled meat. Once your chicken has been brined, you can slather on a desired BBQ (or other) sauce if desired before you grill it.
The other lesson I'm quickly learning about BBQ is that a low, low temperature is essential when cooking chicken on the grill. I have a thermometer on my grill, and shoot for around 250-300 degrees Farenheit. Too high of heat obviously burns the outside of the chicken before the inside is done, especially if you are cooking on-the-bone chicken.
I hope these tips help! Happy Grilling!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The list below was conceived after receiving a CSA share that consisted exclusively of various green, leafy vegetables. The ideas/recipes below are intended to help give anyone looking for inspiration some new ways to prepare these bounteous vegetables. Some things I had in mind as I was compiling and updating the list:
- I have not included any recipes for salad greens primarily because I don’t think people have too much trouble coming up with what to do with them (greens + veggies/fruit + nuts/cheese + dressing = salad), and have instead focused on the other leafy vegetables we often get.
- By-and-large, I have also not included recipes for stir-fries or soups unless they struck me as somewhat unique, primarily because soups and stir-fries are standard fare that just about everyone has in their repertoire already when it comes to these veggies. As a result, I have also not included recipes exclusively for bok choy or cabbage.
- While some of the recipes below call for spinach, I attempted to locate recipes that did not (but keep in mind that any recipe that calls for spinach can safely substitute any of the “mild” greens, and sometimes even “bitter” greens or kale).
- This list is organized by type of green most suitable for the dish, but you can also often mix different kinds together or experiment by swapping something completely different altogether.
K = Kale: There are several types of kale, all of which are primarily interchangeable, and some recipes in this category may also be suited to Collard Greens since they are sturdy like Kale
B = Bitter Greens: Mustard greens, Turnip greens, Radish greens, Rapini/Broccoli Rabe, Arugula/Rocket (though it is recommended to include this only in part), Dandelion greens, Sorrel, Endive/Chicory, Watercress, Escarole, Quelites/Lamb’s Quarters, Nettles
M = Mild Greens: Spinach, Swiss Chard, Beet greens, Amaranth, Tat soi, Kohlrabi greens
|1||Ugali and Sukuma (Kenyan grits and greens)||K||B||M|
|2||Greens prepared as for Sukuma served over mashed beans, potatoes or sweet potatoes||K||B||M|
|3||Good ol'fashioned greens and salt pork with or without cornmeal dumplings (can also be prepared with bacon or ham hock)||B||M|
|4||Korean style greens (blanched and tossed with garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sesame seeds, served warm or cold)||B||M|
|5||Cooked or raw as a filling for sushi (plain or seasoned as above)||K||B||M|
|6||As an addition to Egg Foo Yung||K||B||M|
|7||Gormeh Sabzi (Persian vegetable stew with beans and lamb)||K||B||M|
|8||Pesto-style Pizza/Pasta sauce||B||M|
|9||Pumpkin-Greens Pasta sauce||B||M|
|10||Saag Paneer (Indian style curried greens with cottage cheese)||B||M|
|11||Middle Eastern Greens Soup||B||M|
|12||Crispy sweet and salty Kale chips; for variety, slice into wide ribbons before baking or crumble on top of soup, pasta, etc.||K|
|14||Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan-style potato-kale soup; sub garbanzos for a vegetarian version, but be sure to add some crushed fennel seeds for extra flavor!)||K||B||M|
|16||Braised Greens with Pinenuts and Raisins||K||M|
|17||Braised Greens with Bulgur and Dates (or substitute quinoa and other dried fruit like cranberries or apricots)||K||M|
|18||As part of a quiche or frittata (or try this variation for something different)||K||B||M|
|19||Stir-fried with sesame oil, lots of ginger and garlic, and sweet soy sauce or oyster sauce||K||B||M|
|20||Braised or blanched and served over soba noodles with Thai peanut sauce||K||B||M|
|21||Butternut Squash and Kale Tart||K||M|
|22||Kale and Ricotta Salad (or sub feta for ricotta salata)||K|
|23||Kale with Shrimp and Pomegranate Pasta||K||M|
|24||Sauté greens with onion and ham/bacon, stir in some sour cream and mustard and spoon over poached eggs & toast, pasta, rice or potatoes||K||B||M|
|25||Stracciatella (Italian greens and egg soup)||B||M|
|27||Mchicha (East African stewed greens with curry, coconut milk and peanut butter)||K||B||M|
|28||Baked into a Collard Greens Cake||M|
|29||Thai-style greens in coconut milk (sub shrimp, crab or tofu for eggs) or coconut milk soup||K||B||M|
|30||In Miso Soup (with tofu and shitakes)||K||B||M|
|31||Braised with chiles, garlic and cumin as a filling for tacos, enchiladas or burritos (coupled with sweet potatoes and beans or zucchini for a lighter version)||K||B||M|
|32||Braised with mushrooms or toasted nuts, dill weed, lemon zest and garlic or leek as a filling for baked chicken or fish fillets||K||B||M|
|34||Green crepes (add finely minced cooked greens to crepe batter and fill with mushroom, seafood, or other filling)||K||B||M|
|35||Koftas (Indian fried "meatballs")||K||B||M|
|36||Mixed into meatloaf with feta and sun-dried tomatoes||K||B||M|
|37||Chopped, sautéed and mixed with bacon and crushed red pepper into cornbread batter||K||B||M|
|38||Sautéed with lemon, basil, garlic and butternut squash over pasta, topped with romano or feta||K||B||M|
|39||Blanched and tossed with carrots and radiccio and honey vinaigrette||K||B||M|
|40||Sautéed and tossed with spaghetti squash, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese OR tossed with spaghetti squash, bacon, sunflower seeds and vinaigrette, served cold or warm||K||B||M|
|41||Pickled or fermented as a condiment for curries and other Southeast Asian foods||K||B||M|
|42||Raw greens, chopped, tossed with garlic mayonnaise||K||B||M|
|43||Shredded with carrots, potatoes, rutabagas or other veggies, mixed with egg and bread crumbs for veggie pancakes||K||B||M|
|44||Sautéed with beans and lots of garlic (easily made into a soup)||K||B||M|
|45||Finely minced with beans and seasonings for bruschetta/relish||K||B||M|
|46||Made into pesto and mixed with mayonnaise for sandwich spread||B||M|
|47||Chopped and added (cooked or raw) to tuna or chicken salad||K||B||M|
|48||Large leaves can be blanched or steamed and stuffed as for cabbage rolls, spring rolls, dolmas etc. (best with chard, collards, kale)||K||B||M|
|49||In French-style lamb stew with turnips and carrots||K||B||M|
|50||Braised with lots of garlic, olive oil, lemon, mint and garbanzo, fava or navy beans and served over cous-cous or polenta||K||B||M|
|51||Stewed with turnips and Indian-style spices||K||B||M|
|52||Mustard greens slaw with cabbage and vinaigrette||K||B||M|
|53||Chopped and cooked and mixed with mashed potatoes, sharp cheddar cheese and garlic or chives||K||B||M|
|54||Pureed with garlic, onions, potatoes and zucchini into a creamy green soup||K||B||M|
|55||Dutch-style hashed kale with potatoes and sausage||K||B||M|
|56||Cheese-Egg-Greens mixture layered with phyllo sheets like lasagne||B||M|
|57||Stuffed into wraps or "Skinny Omelets"||K||B||M|
|58||Spanish style tortilla with potatoes and greens||K||B||M|
|59||Kugel-style with pasta and eggs (but I would put cottage cheese in it too!)||K||B||M|
|60||Hazelnut and Chard Ravioli Salad||K||M|
|61||Mixed with Pancetta or Bacon and used as a stuffing for mushrooms||K||B||M|
|62||Pizzocheri (traditionally made with cabbage, can also be tasty made with leafy greens)||K||B||M|
|63||Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon||K||B||M|
|64||Rapini Panini with provolone and red pepper paste||K||B||M|
|65||Corn, Chard, and Quince Soup (substitute apples or pears for the quince)||K||B||M|
|66||Greens with Sour Cherries||K||B||M|
|67||Blanched Greens with Lemon and Olive Oil (served cold)||K||B||M|
|68||Braised Greens with Red Wine||K||B||M|
|69||Greek Greens Pie (similar to Spanikopita)||K||B||M|
|70||Stewed with Mushrooms and Pancetta, served over Polenta||K||B||M|
|71||Gratin with vegan Bechamel Sauce or with Kale, or with Sweet Potatoes||K||B||M|
|72||Empanadas filled with beets, goat cheese and greens||K||B||M|
|73||Greens, Cheese & Wheat Berry Pie||K||B||M|
|74||Kale with Hazelnut Gremolata||K||B|
|75||Eggs Florentine (substitute Chard, Arugula, or other greens for the spinach or make it into a casserole)||K||B||M|
|77||Toss washed, slivered greens with minced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper--especially good with young (tender) Kale||K||B||M|
|78||Pork and Pumpkin Stew with Greens||K||B||M|
|79||Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken with Greens and Peanuts||K||B||M|
|80||Greens Soup with Ginger||K||B||M|
|81||Arugula Pesto with Wheat Berries||K||B||M|
|82||Ali Baba's Muffins (a savory treat using stinging nettles which are easily substituted by other greens)||K||B||M|
|83||Greek style chard fritters with cinnamon (Scroll down to find recipe)||K||B||M|
|84||Greens and Artichoke Stew||K||B||M|
|85||Greens and Gruyere Panade (similar to bread stuffing)||K||B||M|
|86||Creamy Sorrel Sauce for topping meat, seafood or vegies) (scroll down)||B|
|87||Greens and Goat Cheese Egg Tart (scroll down)||K||B||M|
|88||Cold Sorrel Soup||B||M|
|89||Curried Red Lentil, Garbanzo Bean and Greens Stew or this version with sweet potatoes||K||B||M|
|90||Green gnocchi with greens||B||M|
|91||Honey-Curried Kale and Onions||K|
|92||Ragout with Pumpkin, Beans and Kale||K||B||M|
|93||Egg Strata of Cornbread and Greens||K||B||M|
|94||Creamed eggs (or tofu) with greens||B||M|
|95||Savory bread pudding with squash and greens||K||B||M|
|96||Braised greens with lime, dill and beans||K||B||M|
|97||Baked with pasta, squash, and olives||K||B||M|
|98||In regular or barley or squash or shitake risotto||K||B||M|
|99||Sautéed with potatoes and bleu cheese||K||B||M|
|100||Sautéed with grapefruit vinaigrette and figs||K||B||M|
|101||Raw greens and cranberries turn into a fascinating “Santa Salsa”||M|
Tips for cooking with greens:
- More often than not, or unless you’re cooking greens until they fall apart, it’s better to err on the side of chopping/slicing the greens thinly. The more work the knife does, the less your teeth have to!
- To remove the stems from greens like chard, kale or collards, two methods work the best:
- Fold the leaf along the rib/stem and carefully slice the rib out.
- Hold the leaf by the rib/stem and with a sharp paring knife held flat along the stem, cut the leaf away from the stem (similar to a “whittling” action as if you’re sharpening a stick with a knife)
- To keep greens vibrant in color, do not overcook, and it also helps to add a pinch of baking soda while cooking.
- If you cook in cast iron, be aware that the oxalic acid in the greens will react with the iron and may turn your greens a darker than desirable color; it can also make them a bit more bitter, so the best solution is a hot pan and a quick sauté whenever possible.
- If your greens are extra bitter to begin with, you can blanch them in salted water, drain, rinse and gently squeeze to expel the water before you prepare it as directed in the recipe.
- Young, tender greens are better suited to raw or lightly-cooked uses and stems can also be eaten. Larger stems should be removed and either discarded or cooked separately (a longer time is needed to make them tender, but beware some stems are simply too woody/fibrous to be eaten at all)
- Collard greens, kale and other sturdy varieties hold up well to long cooking times, and if they’re particularly mature may require extensive simmering.
- If baking with greens (casseroles, lasagna, bread, etc) it’s usually recommended to cook them first and squeeze as much liquid out as you can, otherwise it can affect the consistency of the final product.
Washing and Storing:
- It is recommended NOT to wash greens before storing them as it contributes to quicker spoilage and vitamin loss. I have read, however, that you can add a capful of hydrogen peroxide to your wash basin to help offset this.
- The best method for washing greens is to fill your sink with water and soak the leaves briefly. Make sure they are separated from each other as much as possible, not all bunched together, and swish them around gently to loosen any dirt, etc. Some greens may take two or more washings depending on the amount of dirt. If there are a lot of bugs/aphids, sometimes the sink sprayer is a good tool to use, but be careful not to bruise your greens.
- Store greens in plastic bags, loosely sealed, or in fabric bags. If washing greens (including salad greens) or using them raw, wash the greens in clear water and use a fabric bag (a cotton pillowcase works well) to “drain” them: load up the bag with loosely packed greens and take it outside and spin it or “fling” it rapidly so as to drive the water off of the leaves. This is a great substitute for a salad spinner and takes up virtually no room in your cupboards! Then you can use the same bag for storing them. If you keep the bag damp, the greens will last a long time; I use a terrycloth bag as it retains moisture longer. This method works for fresh herbs as well.