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Monday, April 29, 2013

Tips on Monday

Good Monday Morning!  Great weekend, I hope!  I thought I would post some tips about vegetables today.  I hope you get some use from them.  Take a look.

"To blanch (cook) vegetables, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add vegetables and cook until tender-crisp. Immediately transfer vegetables to a bowl of ice water to cool.

Revive limp celery by trimming the ends and sticking the stalks in a jar of cold water. Place the jar in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until the stalks are crisp.

Trim the woody ends off fresh asparagus then arrange in a tall vase or glass with a little water in the bottom. Loosely tent with a plastic bag and refrigerate until needed, refreshing the water every couple of days.

To clean leeks, cut them as instructed in the recipe, then place in a bowl of cold water and swish around until the sand falls to the bottom of the bowl. Drain carefully, then rinse again to remove any traces of grit.

Quick-thaw frozen spinach by placing it in a colander and running cool water over it until thawed. Squeeze out as much excess water as possible before using in recipes.

Peeling cucumbers is simple—just use a standard vegetable peeler to remove some or all of the green skin. You can also use the tines of a fork to make decorative "stripes" down the length of the cucumber.

When tomato season is in full swing and you can't use tomatoes up fast enough, freeze them whole in resealable plastic freezer bags. Pop a few frozen tomatoes into a pot of soup or sauce and simmer, breaking up with a spoon as they thaw.

Ripen hard avocados or green tomatoes by placing in a paper bag with an apple. The apple emits a gas that helps speed ripening.

Freeze extra tomato paste or chipotle chiles in a small resealable plastic bag, pressing the paste flat before freezing. When a recipe calls for a little paste or chile, just break off a chunk from the frozen block and refreeze the remainder for later.

When making guacamole, use a potato ricer to mash the ripe avocados. If you don't have one, mash the avocados in a bowl with a hand-held pastry blender."   Campbell's Kitchen

Have a great day!  I am off to a flea market.

Meanwhile .... keep it simple and make it real.