Foods in Season: April

april produce

Some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season for April include:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula (Rocket)
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Chicory
  • Chives
  • Dandelion greens
  • Fava Beans
  • Fiddlehead Fern
  • Horseradish
  • Leeks (end of season)
  • Lettuce (leaf and head)
  • Limes
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Peas
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Shallots
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Onions
  • Turnips
  • Watercress

Vietnamese Beet & Pork Soup

Try Cathy Ha‘s easy to make Vietnamese Beet & Pork soup.

beet soup

RECIPE for 6 servings.

1 lb of red beets, cut into 1×1 cubes
1 carrots, cut into 1×1 cubes
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1.5 lb pork bones, should already be cut to 3-inch pieces by the butcher
1 lb pork ribs, cut into 2×2 pieces
8 cups of water
1 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar
3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Wash pork pieces with salt and cold water, until water runs clear. Drain.
Toss in minced garlic to the pork.
Set on high heat, add 1 tbs of cooking oil to pot. Add in pork pieces.
Sear for 5-7 mins until the outer edges of the pork rib has a slight golden color. The pork bones can stay put without tossing them.
Add in the beets and carrots. Add salt, sugar and black pepper. Then the water.
Cook on med-high heat for 25-30 mins, or until vegetables are tender.
Taste the soup and add more salt to your liking. Add in chopped cilantro at the very end and turn off heat.

Serve by itself as a hearty soup or with steamed rice for a more Vietnamese-style meal.

Best Tomato Soup Ever

Try this recipe for what the Food Network calls the best tomato soup ever!

tomato soup

Ingredients
1 medium white or yellow onion
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
One 46-ounce bottle or can tomato juice
3 to 6 tablespoons sugar
1 or 2 tablespoons chicken base, or 3 chicken bouillon cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sherry, optional
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

To begin, dice the onion. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Throw in the onion and cook until translucent.

Now dump in the diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the tomato juice.

Next – and this is important – in order to combat the acidity of the tomatoes add 3 to 6 tablespoons of sugar. Now, you’ll want to start on the low side, then taste and add more as needed. Some tomatoes and juice have more of an acidic bite than others. (For what it’s worth, and I realize it’s not worth much, I use 6 tablespoons of sugar.)

Next, add 1 or 2 tablespoons chicken base to the pot. I added 3, and it wound up being a little too much.

Now you can add lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, then heat almost to a boil. Then turn off the heat.

Add in the sherry if desired. Stir in the cream. Add the basil and parsley and stir.

Serve the soup warm!

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Grapefruit Basics

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Martha Stewart tells us just how to pick and store grapefruits to get the best we can out of them!

Seasonal Foods: October

Photo via IStockPhoto

Photo via IStockPhoto

Woman’s Day shows us which foods to eat in the month of October.

Grocery shopping is already a pretty time consuming task, but not knowing what to buy when you get there can be overwhelming and pricey. However, purchasing seasonal foods is a healthy and cost effective way to approach food shopping. Grocery stores tend to stock up on these items in bulk because they are plentiful, making them less expensive for you—especially when they go on sale. So at the beginning of each month, WomansDay.com will let you know which seasonal foods should be on your grocery list—making your weekly trip to the store easier on you (and your wallet).

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables for October:

Apples
Beets
Blackberries
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Butter lettuce
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chicory
Collard greens
Corn
Cranberries
Cucumbers
Dates
Eggplant
Figs
Grapes
Kale
Melon
Peaches
Pears
Peppers
Persimmons
Plums
Pomegranates
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Raspberries
Sweet potatoes
Tangerines
Tomatillos
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Winter squash

Home Garden: edition 3

Plants3

 

Chives

Chives are a beginner gardener’s best friend. These hardy perennials are tasty and very easy to grow. Impress your guests in the spring and summer by using the chives’ flowers as edible garnish. Besides bringing bold flavor to various dishes, they also contain vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants.

Though you can add chives to any of your favorite dishes, give this Scallops Beurre Blanc recipe a try.

Spinach

Another super easy plant to grow because it is forgiving and it matures rather quickly. Fresh spinach’s taste cannot compare to store bought. By now, you should know spinach is a super food and offers various health benefits. Here are some health benefits you may not have heard before:

  1. Cooking spinach increases its health benefits.
  2. Juicing spinach is the best way to get the most nutrients from the plant.
  3. Always buy organic spinach because the leaf tends to be sprayed heavily with pesticides that don’t come off with normal washing (or grow your own)!
  4. Spinach is great for curing digestion issues.
  5. Spinach is great for your skin and can offer relief from dry or itchy skin.

Give this Banana, Chia, and Spinach smoothie a try using your tasty fresh spinach.

Dill

Though dill may be more tricky to grow at home than the previous two plants, it is worth the effort because of the wide array of uses for fresh dill. From pickling to soups to salads and breads to party dips and fish dishes, the opportunities are endless with access to fresh dill. The health benefits of dill are underplayed and quiet surprising. Dill has the ability to support digestive health, oral care, bone health, immunity health, and relieve insomnia, hiccups, diarrhea, dysentery, menstrual disorders, respiratory disorders. Incorporate dill into your spring/summer diet for an overall healthier lifestyle.

This Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Cucumbers, Lemon, Dill, & Feta is the perfect lunch for a warm spring day.

Happy gardening!

 

Home Garden: edition 2

Produce2

Arugula

Arugula is home garden friendly. Growing fresh arugula will offer a zest to your home recipes that could not be achieved with the store bought variety. There are many helth benefits to incorporating more arugula into your diet, with high in folic acid, vitamin A, C, and K, and rich in iron and copper, your body will thank you!

Give this Arugula Pesto recipe a try to spice up sandwiches and pastas this spring.

Rosemary

Rosemary grows similar to a weed and will require little effort and a great supply. Rosemary stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, improves digestion, contains anti-inflammatory compounds, and  increase the blood flow to the brain, improving concentration. Chicken, lamb, pork, salmon, and tuna dishes will benefit from this aromatic sprig.

Add a fresh pop of flavor into dessert with this Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Pistachio and Rosemary.

Spearmint

Having access to fresh mint year round is a great resource. Within a garden, the mint plant is a bit invasive. It is best to plant mint in a large half-barrel or plastic pot and leave it outdoors year-round. Simple as that! Spearmint is packed with minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

Cool down with this Spearmint Juleps recipe.

Enjoy!

Pictures do not belong to Relish Caterers.