One Frittata Recipe, Two Appliances (Steam and Convection)

standard February 17, 2016 Leave a response
fritatta

Wow, what a difference. Take the same recipe and cook it in two appliances. The results taste like completely different methods.

The frittata in the JennAir convection oven is golden brown and a bit crunchy on the edges. The same recipe cooked in the JennAir combo steam convection oven yields a fluffy, creamy concoction. If you want to give it that golden-brown hue, you need to finish it  in the convection setting. Just follow the manufacturer directions. Read More

Pressure Cooker Minestrone Recipe

standard February 2, 2016 Leave a response
Minestrone in the Pressure Cooker

Here is a soup recipe I made for my pressure cooker cooking class at the Lawrence Public Library.

I like this soup on the stewy side, so I only added two cups of water. If you like yours thinner, add more water (up to 4 cups total).

Pressure cookers don’t explode these days if you follow the manufuctorer’s instructions. So it’s imperative that you carefully read the pressure cooker manual before you start using it. Read More

8 Steps to Flash Freeze Fruit (and Other Local Food)

standard June 24, 2015 Leave a response
NewJerseyBlueberries

Blueberries are one of the fruity highlights of the summer, and as the New Jersey State Fruit, we are fortunate to have them in abundance and in close proximity at the numerous local farms in Mercer County. Thankfully, there is a way to preserve the juicy flavor of in-season New Jersey blueberries and enjoy them in the dead of winter. The method is simple: Flash Freeze them. 

8 Steps to Flash Freezing Fruit (and Other Local Food)  | Mrs. G's Appliance Chef #flashfreeze #NewJerseyBlueberries #JerseyFresh
Source: JerseyFresh.nj.gov on Facebook

Flash freezing  extends the life of our local summer berries (as well as many other foods).

In food-industry terms, flash freezing means freezing foods “in a flash”  at extremely low temperatures. This method prevents the water molecules inside food from forming large crystals. Small crystals do a better job preserving nutrients and flavors. They also help the food keep its moisture when thawed. 

In home-cook terms, flash freezing means freezing individual morsels of food separately. This allows the food to freeze faster and keeps the pieces from clumping together. It also enables you to thaw and use just the amount you need.  (Please scroll down to the “how”).

Most good flash freezers are too cumbersome for the home. But the German manufacturer Liebherr offers a freezer with a “superfrost” option. The “SuperFrost” drops the temperature to a frosty -30. The operation is simple: Just push the button on the control panel. (it takes about six hours to drop to this temperature. So please plan in advance). Watch Debbie introducing the Liebherr flash freezers

You can flash freeze at home no matter what kind of freezer you have. You will need 2 items:

       1. A tray that fits your freezer, and 

       2. Freezer bags.

How to flash freeze: 

       1. Gently rinse the berries and pat them dry;

       2. Divide them into small, individual portions;

       3. Line the tray with parchment paper or plastic wrap;

       4. Place berries on the sheet or tray in one layer. Make sure the edges of the berries don’t touch. If they touch, they fuse
            together as they freeze;

       5. When the berries are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet;

       6. Transfer to resealable freezer bags or freezer-safe containers with tight-fitting lids;

       7. Label the package with the name of the item, and the date it was frozen;

       8. Return the food to your regular freezer (not to the flash freezer if you used it).

 And now to the million dollar question: How long can I keep my flash-frozen food?

According to the USDA, food stored continuously at temperatures of 0°F or below is safe to eat.  Yet over time, frozen foods might lose flavor, texture, and quality.

 So I’d say you should use your berries within a year. That is to say, until a new batch of Jersey Fresh berries is ready for flash-freezing.

For a complete list of Jersey Fresh availability and season forecast, visit JerseyFresh.nj.gov’s weekly guide at http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/find/JFAvailReport.pdf. For a complete list lot what’s in season and when, visit http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/find/availability.html

Grilled Guacamole

standard June 19, 2015 1 response
grilledguac_featured

Grilled Guacamole | Mrs G's Appliance Chef

Before my kids were born, I could easily spend a whole day just cooking dinner. I would hop from farm to farm in search of meticulous ingredients. Then I would spend hours in the kitchen creating elaborate chef dinners. I loathed people who made mayonnaise in a blender rather than whipping it by hand, let alone bought it at the store.

When my first child was born, I (stressfully) held on to this practice. But when my second and third ones arrived, I had no choice but to cave  in. And I started to cut corners.

Sixteen years later, I’ve developed a whole repertoire of shortcuts. Sure,  my occupational pride is hurt. But dinners are made with ease and nonchalance.

One of my favorite shortcuts is that of guacamole. In this particular recipe, we first grilled the avocado and lime on the Big Green Egg after being inspired by local blogger Amanda Biddle of StripedSpatula. Guacamole is so simple that there is no need for a recipe:

     1.Grill cut sides down on medium-high direct heat for about 5 minutes;

     2. Scoop out the flesh of three ripe avocados;

     3. Drizzle some lime and sprinkle with salt; 

     4. Mash with a fork and then stir in about half cup of fresh, store-bought salsa.

     5. That’s all!

Grilled Guacamole | Mrs G's Appliance Chef

 

 

Grilled Guacamole | Mrs G's Appliance Chef

 

Grilled Guacamole | Mrs G's Appliance Chef

People who’ve tasted this guacamole said that it tasted like the “real thing” from a restaurant.  So let me tell you a secret: restaurants cut corners, too. 

Brain-Frienldy No-Bake Power Bars

standard June 12, 2015 Leave a response
barsready

Finals are upon us, and our kids are cramming. We can’t take the tests for them, but we can help them think more clearly.

As every parent knows, there are many ways to do that (or are there?). Here I’d like to offer a recipe that may keep their blood sugar stable, and provide just enough carbs to appease them. It combines protein and good-for-you fats with some brain clearing, mood lifting substances.

And, believe it or not, all that goodness is wrapped up as chocolate peanut bars.

Boost Your Brain Function with No-Bake Power Bars

This recipe plays up the beloved peanut-butter-and-chocolate combination. If you wish, replace the peanut butter with any other nut or seeds butter.

It is important to use butter from grass-fed cows. Grass-raised foods have a higher level of Omega-3 fats in them. Omega-3′s have been known to help with learning, concentration and brain development.

In case you were wondering, the omega-3 finds its way into the food from the grass. The grass also gives it a beautiful gold color, great flavor, and vital nutrients. You can find local grass-fed butter at some farmers markets.

Use high-quality chocolate with at least 70% cacao. In my opinion, the coconut and raisins provide just enough sweetness, so I use 99% cocoa with no sugar at all.

Boost Your Brain Function with No-Bake Power Bars  | Mrs. G's Appliance Chef

Boost Your Brain Function with No-Bake Power Bars  | Mrs. G's Appliance Chef Boost Your Brain Function with No-Bake Power Bars  | Mrs. G's Appliance Chef

Boost Your Brain Function with No-Bake Power Bars  | Mrs. G's Appliance Chef

barsready

 

Brain-Boosting Power Bars
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Ingredients
  1. • Four tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter.
  2. • 11/4 cups peanut or almond butter (make fresh in your Wolf Gourmet blender!)
  3. • 1 cup high-quality dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao, chopped
  4. • 1 cup raisins
  5. • 1 cup ground hemp seeds or flax seeds
  6. • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  7. • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  8. • ¼ cup sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. 1. Melt the butter, chocolate, and nut butter in a saucepan. Work over medium heat (or the lower heat on a dual stacked burner).
  2. 2. Combine the other ingredients in a medium bowl. Drizzle with the melted butter mixture and mix well with a silicon spatula.
  3. 3. Spread mixture onto an 8X12-inch pan. Chill until it's firm and cut into 1-inch squares. A tiny piece goes a very long way.
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