Donna Maurillo, food for thought | Start the rooting vegetable season-Santa Cruz Sentinel

2021-11-16 21:29:00 By : Ms. Hellen Lee

Maybe it was still raining while you were reading this article. I do hope that this season will continue like this, even if I had to use up and unblock my two downpipes this morning.

This officially means that it is the end of the tomato season (oh!) and the beginning of the root vegetable season. My carrots, potatoes and arugula made a good start. Maybe I will make some broad beans to get some nitrogen back into the soil.

But for now, it's rebate time for work in the yard. On the downside, Gary and I still have to organize our home office-we have saved some money when we were trapped indoors.

The colder weather means the gift-giving season is approaching soon. What do you want in your kitchen? Or what do you think is a good idea as a gift for gourmets? Let me know and I will include the best in the next two columns.

I already have some suggestions of my own, so you might want to put them on your list:

• Countertop ice maker-I tell you, if you don't have an ice maker in your refrigerator, this is the thing. You can almost enjoy ice cubes on demand, because this gadget can be made in about five minutes. We filled several zippered bags with ice cubes and put them in the refrigerator. The starting price of the ice machine is about $100. Some models are even equipped with a cold water dispenser.

• Air fryer-I know, I know. This is not a new idea. But if you don't have one, you should. I gave my daughter an instant pot and an air fryer. She uses the air fryer much more frequently than the pan. Essentially, it is a countertop flow oven. I use mine to roast nuts, toast sandwiches, roast spiced chickpeas, use a little oil to make corn flakes, cook fish and chicken, toast bread crumbs, and make a million other things. Some models combine the advantages of air fryer and oven. Their starting price is about $35.

• Digital kitchen scales-when it comes to baking, weighing ingredients is the best way. Many dry ingredients may have different weights on rainy and dry days. When I didn't use a scale to process flour, I learned the hard way that my bread always fails. European recipes use weight measurement, which may be their secret to perfect baked goods. buy one. They are affordable, and they start at around US$15 as measured by indicators.

• Cast iron bakeware – they are rectangular, round or square. The tenderloin makes the flesh look beautiful. For steak, heat an empty pan to hot, brown the meat on both sides, then put everything in a 400F oven until it reaches your taste. It will turn into a medium rare steak in two minutes in the oven. Vegetables are also "roasted" in this way.

If you have other thoughts about "inseparable" kitchen supplies, please let me know. If you want them at Christmas, I can give a hint.

I just found some great ideas in the market. The first is frozen Mexican street corn. It has been grilled, served with sauce, and topped with a packet of cotija cheese. Now it's easy to make a side dish, not just corn kernels sprinkled with butter and salt.

No, it is not spicy. But if you like, you can add more chili powder or even some lime juice. In other words, this dish is easy to make, and you can almost make it from scratch. I have included a recipe.

Costco also offers large bags of frozen broccoli or cauliflower, which are divided into small packets. In other words, you don't have to buy a large one, use a little, and watch the rest be frozen. This makes sense when we only have two or three people.

Don't hate me because I admit that I sometimes drink sugar-free soda. In fact, Dr. Pepper is my favorite. But I never cared about the slightly harsh aftertaste of sugar-free soft drinks. Now Dr. Pepper seems to have solved this problem. I am a fan of their new version, it is mixed with cream soda, it has a cleaner, more vanilla flavor. It also has a cherry flavor. Look for their newly redesigned cans.

To clean the immersion blender, pour half a cup of hot water into the blender, then turn it on for a few seconds. If it is very greasy, add a drop or two of dish soap.

Even if the whole corn on the cob is out of season, corn is the most popular side dish. Like now. But you can make this delicious Mexican corn dish (called esquites) anytime.

Mexican gentleman, or street corn salad

3-4 ears of corn on the cob, pitted, or 3 cups of whole corn kernels

1/2 cup Cotija or feta cheese, crushed

3 green onions, chopped, green part only

2 tablespoons of seeds, chopped jalapeno

3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

1-2 medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled and grated on a micro flat surface

2-3 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream

2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh or bottled

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan or use a high temperature frying pan until it shimmers. (Use a non-stick pan instead of cast iron, otherwise the corn kernels may stick.) Add the corn kernels and salt, and stir to combine. Spread it in a reasonably uniform layer.

2. Let the corn undisturbed and cook until charred, about 2 minutes. Stir the corn again and cook for another 2 minutes to continue charring. Repeat one or two more times until all the corn is charred but not burnt. This may take 8-10 minutes in total.

3. Pour the corn into a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients. Using a spatula, stir and toss to mix everything. Adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve hot.

Mexican Corn Pasta Salad

1. Cook 8 ounces of pasta shells, macaroni or rotini according to package instructions.

2. Prepare the corn according to the above recipe. For the sauce, increase the sour cream and mayonnaise to 1/2 cup each.

3. When finished, drain the pasta and stir with the corn and sauce. Serve hot.

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