Monday, February 23, 2009

Seasonal Foods (Updated)

Source: The Miami Herald Business, 2.13.09

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services new website lists fruits, vegetables, seafood harvested in Florida and which are in season. Also, there are tips about how to choose, store and prepare fresh seafood.

Currently, celery, radishes, tomatoes, spiny lobster and stone crab.

Fry it, you'll like it...

I love Ralph's(my hubby) phrase, it never gets old.

Now you know what's seasonal in veggies and seafood, it's easy to make tasty dishes with them. I've listed many Organic Farms and Markets in S. Florida as well as out of state. Mark Bittman, The Minimalist, New York Times columnist wrote a great article about "Eating Food that's Better for You, Organic or Not" that reflects so much of the same philosophy I have - "that the organic question is a secondary one" when we don't eat enough vegetables in the first place!

Light stir frying keeps the veggies crispy, crunchy and with just a dash of tamari and medium drinking sherry, you're good to go.

Here's a potluck veggies dish of Curly Kale with Bell Peppers I made for my Movie Club buddies recently. The main course was Ina's delicious mahi mahi with cream sauce done two ways, one with spinach and other with dill. Stephan, a professional chef made an exquisite warm salsa verde appetizer. Unfortunately, I was so eager to eat, I forgot to take photos, sorry. I think everyone was relieved because they're sick of me saying, "don't eat yet, gotta take photos!" Anje kept asking for the recipe, so here it is.

So Frugalicious, it's my favorite new word...

what you'll need
1 whole bag of ready washed and cut curly kale (easy and convenient)
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
handful of cooked quinoa (I love this nutty grain, so light, great replacement to rice)

dash canola oil
smash 2 cloves garlic
shred 2 thin slices ginger
dash tamari
dash medium drinking sherry or white wine

cast iron wok or skillet (failing that, stainless steel, NO non-stick pans please)
Serving platter
(you can see my wonderful silver turin (that Kyra of Theine tea salon gave me). It's perfect for potluck, it's lightweight with a slot for serving spoon and a lid and it looks beautiful and exotic, thanks Kyra! I think you can get at Thai markets, I know Thai restaurants usually serve their rice from this).

Heat your cast iron wok or skillet to high.
The minute you see wisp of smoke, add oil, add garlic and ginger (g&g).
Add whole bag of kale, quickly stir fry around and cover with lid. This will immediately shrink down. It will be quick, so get ready to dish out to platter.

Next, do same process, add oil, add g&g, add orange and yellow bell peppers and fry till the texture you like. Add kale back in and the quinoa, add dash of tamari and sherry to taste and PRESTO!

Cool the dish in the wok prior to adding to turin. Eaten at room temperature. Perfect with any main course. Try it with tons of different veggie combinations, just keep it simple with not too many veggies in one dish. More about this topic in Stir Frying without recipes.

Many have tasted my simple veggie stir frys in classes or at presentations. It really takes just a good wok, high heat and fresh ingredients with a dash of tamari and sherry to bring out the flavors of your veggies. Even if you do not have my preseasoned, lightweight cast iron wok yet, I'd rather you use a stainless steel than non-stick to fry. You will really notice the texture and flavor.

Non-stick is the kiss of death for stir frys, read my comments and join this hot topic on Green Living's forum. Beware bird owners...
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