I’m a sucker for kids’ lemonade stands by the side of the road, which I’m physically incapable of passing up. As a result, I spend most of my summer politely choking down some of the worst lemonade on the planet in support of my littlest neighbors (it’s their childlike entrepreneurship that I find so refreshing).
Long before Dan Barber led the charge on the food-waste crusade, line cooks have been scrappy about using every last scrap (hello, profit margin). Now it’s time you stopped throwing away half of what’s in your vegetable drawer. We asked Abra Berens, the chef at Stock in Chicago (a café that, because of its location inside a produce market, specializes in making deliciousness from on-the-verge ingredients), to teach you how to make something lovely from the wilty, frosty depths of your fridge and freezer. Below, Berens shares more ways to save.
FYI: Organic milk is ultra-pasteurized, giving it a longer shelf life (because it tends to stay on the shelf longer). The only reason I know this is because the ultra pasteurization means you can’t make cheese with it.
On a new-year-new-you kick and all about that clean-eating life? God knows I’m not, but I’m all about experimenting in the kitchen and looking into ways to cut out any unnecessary added sugar and preservatives. Enter these technicolor “sprinkles,” made from at-home dehydrated citrus zest and unsweetened, freeze-dried fruit.
Because there’s no sugar, the flavour will be sour/bitter.
This would be perfect for those that like to buy plain yogurt because they want to avoid added sugars and other ingredients. You could make your own fruit powders using a dehydrator, or your oven on its lowest setting, and then just toss the dust into a salt shaker with some rice to help keep the moisture out and increase its shelf life (but you would probably want to store it in the fridge when not in use).
Citrus fruits, like all the orange varieties, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, truly are winter’s shining stars. With varying degrees of sweetness, tart, tang, and bitterness, these bright fruits have a knack for brightening winter’s coldest days.
Of course, you can eat them out of hand, or turn them into cocktails, vinaigrettes, and baked goods, but one of the very best ways to put that citrus to work right now is by making a sweet and tangy curd.
… “Take your dish to the next level simply by finishing it off with one, two, or three of the following: citrus zest, fresh herbs, and lightly toasted nuts or seeds.” If you always have these basic, relatively inexpensive, and easy to find ingredients on hand, you can upgrade any dish instantly. “You can do one, two, or all three things at once. All three is really going to flavortown,” she says. Ready to head to flavortown? Here how
A couple of months back, someone had a surplus of lemons so they asked what could be done. One of the more interesting suggestions was limoncello, a lemon liqueur made by infusing neutral alcohol (like vodka or Everclear) using lemon zest. The cost is largely time – the process takes about three months.
As with any recipe, there’s ideal ingredients: Meyer lemons. Meyers can be grown year round in warm climates, but ones from California don’t tend to show up on shelves until December. So I had time to learn about zest (including how to store it) and practice getting zest without reaching into the pith on cheaper, more readily available citrus.
I allotted two of the smallest lemons for being first to be zested, and that zest to be for the lemon bars in case I needed to perfect my zesting technique. I had my doubts about freezing zest in a ziplock bag, but it didn’t take long for the zest to thaw. I could smell the zest through the unopened bag. So I’m now confident about the limoncello. 😀
Meyers appeared at the local grocery about two weeks ago. The limoncello recipe called for 17 lemons to combine with 1.5 L of alcohol… I zested the lemons, and figured… hoped… that a recipe that called for 0.75 of a cup of lemon juice would put a dent in the number of lemons I had. As of writing this, I have 19.5 lemons left. In my defense, I’d rather have too many than too few. 😉
I haven’t juiced Meyers before, but my impression of the zested ones was they don’t stand up to juicing well. What has left of the rind was giving out before some of the endocarp could release juice. The pith is thinner than lemons I typically use when cooking cod in the oven.
Zest is the colourful part; peel and rind are the same thing. Peel/rind is both the colour and the white pith.
Zest appears as an ingredient in recipes for adding the flavour of the fruit. When eating citrus, don’t let things go to waste – use a grater and do the whole thing. You can store the zest in airtight bags in the freezer. Being so small, thawing takes no time if you want to use zest in dressing, soup, sauce, sorbet, etc.
However there is a caveat for those of us on medications. Citrus zest has been found to have furanocoumarins, the class of chemical compound that can play havoc with your medication (known as The Grapefruit Effect).