Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sapodilla

Sapodilla

Image

The sapodilla, (manikara zapota) is a Central American fruit.  It is from areas such as Mexico, Belize, and north-east Guatemala.  It is also known as chico, chico sapote, zapotillo, chicla, sapodilla plum, and naseberry.  The sapodilla is related to sapotes, and is in the sapotaceae family.  It got its name from the Aztecs:  tzapotle. The Spanish then named it sapodilla.

The sapodilla was spread throughout the world by the Spanish. Its first stop was the Philippines.  The sapodilla tree is an evergreen tree.  It grows very tall, about 100 feet.  It is a slow growing tree that lives a long time.  The tree secrets white latex called chicle.  Chicle is what is used to make chewing gum.  The sapodilla tree produces about 2000- 3000 fruit a year.  The wood of the tree is also used to make incense.

The sapodilla fruit is egg shaped and size. It is approximately 2 to 3 inches in diameter.  It has grayish/ brown skin.  The flesh is a translucent brownish yellow or reddish yellow.  The flesh is slightly granular, similar to a pear’s flesh.  It is very juicy and very fragrant.

Image

                Sapodillas taste like honey, apricots, crunchy brown sugar, or pears.  In side there are 2 to 10 flat, rectangular seeds that are shiny black.  Sometimes they are seedless.  The sapodilla should be eaten when it is very ripe, if not, it is high in tannic acid.

Sapodillas like areas that are sunny and warm that does not frost.  They are okay with a salt spray and high winds.  They are in season from February to June.  The sapodilla is very perishable, and does not ship well.  Sapodillas contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, sodium, and iron.

Sapodilla Pie

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cloves

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup mashed ripe sapodilla

1 cup milk

1 cup yogurt

3 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 unbaked 9” deep-dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Mix sugar, salt and cloves in small dish. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in sapodilla and sugar/clove mixture. Gradually stir in milk, yogurt, honey and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes; turn temperature down to 350°F and bake 20 to 30 minutes more or until firm. Serve with whipped cream.

Tropical Brandied Sapodilla Sherbet

1/2 cup milk

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp brandy

1/2 cup sapodilla flesh

4 cups ice

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.   Serves 1.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

Please contact me if you wish to receive “Food For Thought” in your mailbox.

Advertisements

Parsley

Parsley

Image

Parsley is a biennial plant that is commonly used as a garnish in today’s kitchen.    There are two main types of parsley, curly (Petroselinum crispum),  and Italian or flat leaf (P. crispum var. neapolitanum).  Curly parsley has small curly leaves that are bright green.  Italian flat leaf parsley has flat, broad leaves that are dark green in color.  Hamburger parsley (P. crispum var. tuberosum), or turnip rooted parsley is mainly used for its white roots.  There are more than 30 varieties of parsley grown today.

Image

Parsley is native to Southern Europe.  It is the main staple in many kitchens and the basis of any herb blend.  It can be used as a garnish, or anything else.  It is very refreshing.  It can be used in any dishes, except sweet dishes.  Parsley contains vitamins A and C.  It is high in vitamin K.  It also contains essential oils that have anti-inflammatory properties.  There is research being done on the breast cancer fighting abilities of parsley as well.

The way the flavor of parsley is described is “fresh”.  It contains a high amount of chlorophyll, which gives it a cleansing ability on the palat and the ability to neutralize odors.  It also pairs well with many foods.  It is the “parent” of carrots, anise, caraway, cumin, celery, cilantro, chervil, fennel and dill.  (That is why these foods taste so well with parsley)

In ancient times, parsley wreaths were used to ward off drunkenness.  In ancient Greece, parsley represented joy and festivity. Pliny the elder praised parsley. Parsley was first used as a seasoning in the middle ages.

In America, parsley seems to be used mainly as a garnish or accent to other foods.  However, around the world, parsley holds its own.  In the Middle East a dish mainly consisting of parsley called Tabbouleah is popular.  In France, parsley stems are used as a fortifying flavor of dishes, and in Italy the Parsley stems represent well wishes for the chef.

Gremolata

  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Toss to combine well.

Tabbouleah

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

  • 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 stalks green onions, finely sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, small diced
  • ½ cucumber, small diced
  • 1 tsp microplaned lemon zest
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 4 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  1.  Pour boiling water over bulgur wheat and a large pinch of salt.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand until all water has been absorbed, and grain is tender.
  2. Fluff the grains, and then add parsley, mint, green onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Toss thoroughly to combine.
  3. Mix together the lemon zest, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Toss over salad and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Best served at room temperature

Things that go well with Parsley

chicken

eggplant

eggs

fish

game

lentils

mushrooms

mussels

pasta

peas

potatoes

poultry

rice

seafood

snails

tomatoes

zucchini

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

Please contact me if you wish to receive “Food For Thought” in your mailbox.

 

Chard

Chard
Image

 

Chard, also called Swiss Chard, ( beta vulgaris, var. cida) is a green that is a member of the spinach family and the cruciferous family.
The chard is a biennial plant.  In Greek writings, dating back to the 4th century AD, there are descriptions of chard.  The Greeks and Romans used chard for medicinal properties.
The chard plant has crinkly green leaves.  Swiss chard has white stalks, whereas rhubarb chard has reddish stalks.  Ruby chard has bright red stalks and deep red and green leaves.  There is even a variety that has a yellow stalk.  The Chard plant can grow up to 6 feet across.
Prepare chard leaves as you would spinach, the stalks, like asparagus.
Chard contains vitamins A, C, iron, magnesium, potassium.  It is a laxative and a diuretic.  Chard is available year round.

Image

Chard’s Flavors

 chiles
garlic
lemon
tarragon
tomatoes
vinegar

Swiss Chard With Lemon and Pine Nuts

2 lb Swiss chard, trimmed, stems and leaves separated
1 pint water
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 oz pine nuts, toasted and chopped

            Cut the chard into 1 to 2 inch strips on a diagonal.

            Combine the chard, water, and 1 ounce lemon juice in a non reactive pan.  Simmer until tender, stirring frequently, approximately 10-15 minutes.

Drain.  Toss with remaining lemon juice, and the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and arrange on plates.  Garnish with the pine nuts.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved

Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

Please contact me if you wish to receive “Food For Thought” in your mailbox.