Garlic

GarlicKnown as the stinking rose. The edible bulb is made up of sections called cloves, that are encased in a parchmentlike membrane. Three major varieties are available in the US: the white-skinned strongly flavored American garlic; Mexican and Italian garlic, which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor; and the white-skinned, mild flavored elephant garlic, which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek. Green garlic, is young garlic before it begins to form cloves; resembling a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb. Garlic's essential oils remain in the body long after consumption, affecting breath and even skin odor.

Ingredient

Season: available year-round

How to select: Choose firm, plump bulbs with dry skins. Avoid soft or shriveled cloves and garlic stored in the refrigerated section of the produce department.

How to store: Store fresh garlic in an open container in a cool, dark place. Unbroken bulbs can be stored up to 8 weeks. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep 3-10 days.

How to prepare: Crushed, chopped, pressed, pureed, minced or roasted

Matches well with: beans, beef, beets, cabbage, chicken, eggplant, fish, lamb, lentils, mushrooms, pasta, pork, potatoes, rice, shellfish, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini

Substitutions: 1 clove = 1 teaspoon chopped garlic = 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes = 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic = 1/2 teaspoon garlic juice

Zest

Zest is the colored portion of the rind of the orange, lemon, or other citrus fruits. It is NOT the underlying white, pith portion of the peel. Usually removed from the fruit by use of a grater or specially designed zester. To zest, is to remove this part of the fruit.

Ingredient

Season: available year-round

Black Pepper

 

Black Pepper

The world's most popular spice, a berry grown in grapelike clusters on the pepper plant (a climbing vine native to India and Indonesia. The berry is processed to produce three basic types: black, white, and green. Black is the most common; when picken the berry is not quite ripe, then dried until it shrivels and the skin turns dark brown to black. Black is the strongest (slightly hot with a hint of sweetness) flavor of the three. Tellicherry and Lampong are among the best black peppercorns. White peppercorn, less pungent, has been allowed to ripen, then the skin is removed and the berry dried. White peppercorns are smaller, have a smoother skin and a light-tan color with a milder flavor. The green peppercon is the soft, underripe berry that is usually preserved in brine. It has a fresh flavor that is less pungent than the berry in its other forms.

Ethnicity: India, Indonesia Ingredient

Season: available year-round

How to select: Black and white are available whole, cracked, and ground. Green peppercorns are packed in brine and are available in jars and cans.

How to store: Whole: store in a cool, dark place for about a year. Ground will keep its flavor for about four months. Green peppercorns packed in brine should be refrigerated once opened and will keep for 1 month; packed in water will keep for a week.

How to prepare: Whole peppercorns freshly ground with a pepper mill deliver more flavor than preground.

Matches well with: cheese, eggs, fish, game, lamb, pork, poultry, salad, sausages, soup, steaks, strawberries, tomatoes, veal

Broth

broth

The liquid resulting from cooking vegetables, meat or fish in water.

Ingredient

Season: available year-round

How to prepare: To make low-fat chicken broth, freeze broth and scoop off the fat that rises to the top -- Chef #811507

Substitutions: 1 bouillon cube = 1 tsp bouillon granules dissolved in 1 cup boiling water = 1 cup canned broth; 1 cup beef broth = 1 tsp beef extract + 1 cup boiling water; 1 cup fish broth = 1 cup bottled clam juice = 1/2 cup chicken broth + 1/2 cup water