Click the link to go to the weekly Food for Thought, with tips on getting fresh seasonal produce, an easy recipe for chicken tacos and a review of new cookbook "Modernist Cuisine at Home." Or check out these other links.
Tip of the Week: Become a produce professional
Local. That's the buzzword when it comes to healthy eats these days. Here's the trick to getting it done: learn the facts and become a produce professional.
"You'll get the highest nutritional value foods by buying in season," says chef Lynn Krause, culinary academic director of The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of St. Louis.
If that's not enough to get your juices flowing, consider this: "Purchasing crops from various community farmers boosts local economies and enhances sustainability practices by keeping food import/export needs down," says chef Linda Trakselis, culinary instructor at The International Culinary School at The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago.
A convenient way to secure the season's freshest crops is to order produce boxes from community supported agriculture programs. Boxes offer a variety of the season's crops straight from the farm on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis.
"The problem may be that you're getting something in the box you're unfamiliar with, but that's not such a bad deal. You learn how to incorporate new vegetables into your meals and can ask for the farmer's cooking tips," says Trakselis.
Your bounty will vary by season as crops are harvested for the market. As the season shifts to fall, you'll score root veggies, Swiss chard, kale and the last crop of sweet corn and melons. Winter brings citrus and hearty vegetables like beets, turnips, winter squashes, Brussels sprouts and leafy greens to your market. Stock up on more bitter veggies during this time as the hard winter frost releases sugars in the produce and sweetens up your goods.
Easy recipe: Chicken Tinga Tacos
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings (2 tacos each)
2 1/2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken (from 2 pound chicken)
1 can (10 ounces) Old El Paso red enchilada sauce
1 can (4.5 ounces) Old El Paso chopped green chiles, drained
8 Old El Paso(r) Stand 'N Stuff Taco shells
1 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
In 10-inch skillet, heat shredded chicken, enchilada sauce and green chiles to simmering over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook about 5 minutes or until heated through and chicken begins to fall apart in sauce. Remove from heat.
Spoon chicken mixture into taco shells; top with onion and cheese.
-- Old El Paso/Family Features
Did You Know?
According to FoodSafety.gov, since 1996 there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli.
American bacon comes from what part of the pig?
Wise to the Word: Streusel
Not to be confused with the similar-sounding strudel (a famous Viennese pastry), streusel is a crumbly, crunchy dessert topping that's common in Central Europe. A mixture of flour, butter and sugar — plus optional flavorings like cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon zest or nuts — it's sprinkled atop coffee cakes, muffins, fruit-based crumbles and other sweets before baking.
Number to Know
4: CalorieKing.com lists Butterfinger fun-size bars as the candy with the least amount of fat per serving among mini candy bars, with 4 grams. Each bar also has 100 calories and 15 grams of carbs.
The Dish On …
"Modernist Cuisine at Home," by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet
The culinary revolution that has transformed restaurant menus around the world is also making its way into home kitchens. The Cooking Lab, publisher of the encyclopedic six-volume set Modernist Cuisine, which immediately became the definitive reference for this revolution, has now produced a lavishly illustrated guide for home cooks, complete with all-new recipes tailored for cooking enthusiasts of all skill levels. The authors have collected in this 456-page volume all the essential information that any cook needs to stock a modern kitchen, to master Modernist techniques, and to make hundreds of stunning recipes. The book includes a spiral-bound Kitchen Manual that reprints all of the recipes and reference tables on waterproof, tear-resistant paper.
Food Quiz Answer
B. Belly. According to the National Pork Board, American bacon is a cut of pork that comes from the belly of a pig (as does English and Italian bacon), whereas Irish and Canadian bacon comes from the back.
GateHouse News Service