February 15, 2012 § 5 Comments
One of my favorite things about winter is the small, delicious citrus fruit that comes into season at this time. It’s beautiful. In the middle of a long dark winter, tangerines of all kinds are like small little doses of sunshine. At the store near my house, you can often find 5 lb bags of these tangerines on sale for the same price as a jug of orange juice. It’s the best preventative health care I can think of.
After I’m done devouring my tangerines, I’ll sometimes dry out the peels in the oven to use for later. What do I use them for? Any number of things. I’ll throw them in with some rice to give it a nice, fresh fragrance. I’ll add them to a nice cup of mint tea. Put them into a chicken brine. Use them to make the Chinese classic, orange chicken. « Read the rest of this entry »
January 3, 2012 § 3 Comments
As you will no doubt here me say over and over again, fresh herbs make everything better. If there’s a way to use them, use them. Use a lot of them! After all, they’re free flavor! In the spring and summer, when our herb garden is out of control, I can’t use them fast enough. Additionally, hearty herbs such as rosemary and thyme can last well in to the winter. As we all know, winter is soup making time, and these herbs make a great addition to almost any soup.
As great as herbs in soup are, fishing loose stems of thyme out of your soup or picking those tiny, tiny leaves off those delicate little stems both suck. So, what do you do? You make a sachet. Here’s my simple step-by-step guide to making a sachet: « Read the rest of this entry »
January 2, 2012 § 3 Comments
Do you ever find yourself using a particular mixture of spices regularly? Maybe you’re the kind of person that adds garlic powder and cumin to everything. In situations like these, I like to make my own spice blends. I’ve made several from recipes in books, but occasionally, I’ll just throw together some things I like.
One of the blends that I came up with is this 3 pepper blend. It’s a mixture of paprika, white pepper and black pepper. By layering these flavors, you get the spice and sweetness of paprika, the garlicky quality of white pepper, and the depth of black pepper. And with only 6 calories per teaspoon, this definitely qualifies as free flavor!* « Read the rest of this entry »