Tag Archives: produce

Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon

Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon
Serves 2
A mainstay of local markets in the Far East, Central and South America, Bitter Melon derives its bitter reputation from the abundance of Quinine it contains. Its flavor goes particularly well with spicy and hot dishes and is as often stuffed as used in stir fry dishes. Larger and more mature melons are less bitter. This recipe is a classic example of its use.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb. *Ground, Lean Pork
  2. 1/4 cup *Water Chestnuts, chopped
  3. 1 tsp. *Ginger, fresh, minced
  4. 2 Tbsp. *Green Onions, minced
  5. 1 tsp. *Garlic, fresh, minced
  6. 1 Tbsp. *Dry Sherry
  7. 1/2 tsp. *Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp. *Sugar
  9. 1 Tbsp. *Soy Sauce
  10. 1 large *Egg, beaten
  11. 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  12. 2 Bitter Melon
  13. 1/2 cup Basting Sauce (see below)
Instructions
  1. Trim the ends off the bitter melons and slice into 1 inch slices. Using a small paring knife carefully cut out the pulp and seeds in the center of each slice, leaving only ¼ inch of the melon wall.
  2. Rub the inside of each slice with coating of cornstarch.
  3. Combine all of the stuffing ingredients* in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Stuff the cavity of each slice with a generous spoonful of stuffing, enough to completely fill the cavity.
  5. As the slices are stuffed, arrange them on a plate and set the plate in a steamer with water coming within an inch of the plate.
  6. Cover and steam for 20 minutes.
  7. After steaming, baste each stuffed sliced piece of Bitter Melon with a heated mixture of 2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce, 1 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce, ½ tsp. Sesame Oil, 2 Tbsp. Teriyaki Sauce, 1 tsp. Chili Garlic Paste and 2 Tbsp. Hot Water.
  8. Serve with Rice.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Porcini Mushroom Cous Cous

Porcini Mushroom Cous Cous
Serves 4
Highly prized, Porcini mushrooms (or Cepes in France) are commercially sold fresh in autumn in central and southern Europe but are also dried and distributed worldwide. First described and classified in 1782 by the French botanist Pierre Bulliard, the Porcini (meaning ‘piglets’ in Italian as the young fruiting bodies resemble little piglets) are eaten and enjoyed raw, sauteed with butter, ground into pasta, in risotto, in soups, and in many other dishes. They are also featured in many cuisines, including Provencal, and Viennese & Thai. Porcini mushrooms have a chewy texture and a strong nutty-woodsy, sweet, and meaty taste. The sliced mushrooms are a rich brown color with hints of yellow. The dried Porcini mushroom’s flavors are actually enhanced when the mushrooms are dried in much the same way as sun dried tomato’s flavors are.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp. Butter
  2. 1/3 cup Sweet Onion, minced
  3. 2 tsp. Garlic, fresh, minced
  4. 1 stalk Green Onion, chopped
  5. 1/2 pkg. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  6. 2 cups Chicken Broth
  7. 1 pkg. Near East Brand Cous Cous (Original)
  8. To Taste Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Soak Dried Porcini Mushrooms in warmed chicken stock for 1 hour. Drain and reserve stock and chop the resulting Porcini mushrooms.
  2. In a saucepan with a tight fitting lid, sauté both onions and garlic until softened but not browned.
  3. Add chopped mushrooms and sauté one minute longer.
  4. Add reserved chicken/mushroom broth and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add cous cous, immediately cover and remove from the heat. Allow to stand (covered) for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove cover, lightly fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pole Bean Salad with Mushrooms

Pole Bean Salad with Mushrooms
Serves 4
Pole Beans are not a specific variety of bean but rather a distinction of growth characteristic in which the bean plant itself grows vertically on trellises or poles rather than in a bush like form. Many different bean varieties can actually be grown as either “Pole Beans” or Bush Beans including many types of snap beans, lima beans and runner type “string beans”. Beans contain fiber and a lot of protein, including the essential amino acid lysine. (Most grains lack lysine; combine them with beans, however, and they form a complete protein.) Pole Beans also provide folacin (folic acid) and some minerals. All together, beans are a healthful vegetable, and they taste delicious.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups Green Pole Beans, cut 2"
  2. 2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced 1/4"
  3. 1/2 Red Onion, cut in thin slivers
  4. 2 cups White Mushrooms, sliced 1/4"
  5. 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  6. 2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
  7. 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  8. 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  9. 1 Tbsp. Tarragon, fresh, chopped
  10. To Taste Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Blanch beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking and preserve color. Drain, chill and place in a bowl with tomatoes, onion and mushrooms.
  3. In a small bowl, place mustard, garlic and tarragon. With a whip, whisk in olive oil and vinegar in a slow drizzle to create an emulsion.
  4. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour dressing over salad, toss and serve.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pluot Tart with Almonds

Pluot Tart with Almonds
Serves 4
Pluots have gone from obscurity with their first introduction in 1989 to gaining a premium image in the U.S. tree fruit market. So you ask “what is a pluot”? Here’s a breakdown of how the pluot (a trade name) was created by Floyd Zaiger. A cross between a plum and an apricot is called a plumcot, and the resulting hybrid is 50% plum and 50% apricot. Cross the plumcot with yet another plum and the result is a pluot: 75% plum, 25% apricot. If you cross a plumcot with an apricot the result is an aprium, which is 75% apricot and 25% plum, also created by Floyd Zaiger. The exterior of a pluot resembles a plum fairly closely; shiny smooth skin, round shape. However the skin isn’t as bitter as that of a true plum. Pluots are noted for their sweetness (due to a very high sugar content) and their intense flavor tends of course, to be more plum like than apricot. Although mostly eaten out of hand, Pluots can be used in just about any recipe that calls for plums.
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Ingredients
  1. As Needed - All Purpose Flour for dusting
  2. 1 Refrigerator Pie Crust
  3. 1/2 cup Almond Paste
  4. 1/4 cup Butter
  5. 2 Large Eggs
  6. 2 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  7. 2 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  8. 4-6 Pluots, halved, pitted
  9. 2 Tbsp. Sliced Almonds
  10. 1/4 cup Apricot Preserves, melted, strained
Instructions
  1. With flour, dust 9 inch square tart pan with removable bottom (spring form pan).
  2. Press dough over bottom and sides. Prick bottom with fork; freeze 15 minutes.
  3. Place oven rack in bottom position; preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Crumble paste into food processor, add butter, eggs, flour and sugar. Process until smooth; pour into shell.
  5. Arrange cut Pluots over filling, in alternating rows; sprinkle with almonds.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  8. To serve, remove sides of tart pan; place tart on serving plate (you can leave tart-pan bottom on for support).
  9. Brush top of tart with melted & strained preserves. (Optionally, lightly sprinkle with ground cinnamon.)
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Twice Baked Yukon Gold Mashed with Crispy Onions

Twice Baked Yukon Gold Mashed with Crispy Onions
Serves 8
If you love the taste of twice baked potatoes in their skins but don't want to go through all the trouble of baking the potatoes, then scooping them out, this casserole version is just the recipe for you!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled, Large Dice
  2. As Needed Water
  3. 1/4 cup Egg Yolks (approximately 5)
  4. 8 Strips Bacon, Cut ¼” Pieces Across Width
  5. ½ cup Green Onions, Chopped
  6. 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  7. ½ cup Sour Cream
  8. To Taste Salt & Pepper
  9. 2 cups French’s® Crispy Onions
Instructions
  1. Sauté bacon until crisp and reserve with its resulting grease.
  2. Cook potatoes in gently simmering water until softened. Drain and keep warm.
  3. Beat together potatoes, bacon (and grease), egg yolks, green onions, cheese and sour cream.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spray a 9” x 13” casserole dish with vegetable spray and fill with potato mixture.
  6. Bake at 400 F until top is lightly browned and mixture is heated through.
  7. Sprinkle crispy onions over top and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Maple Roasted Baby Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon, Green Onions & Fresh Thyme

Maple Roasted Baby Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon, Green Onions & Fresh Thyme
Serves 4
One of my go-to potato side dishes, I love the taste of maple, bacon & potatoes. Feel free to substitute red skin potatoes if you wish.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Lb. Fingerling Potatoes
  2. 6 Strips Bacon, cut in ¼” pieces across the width
  3. ¼ Cup Green Onions, Cut ¼” on the Bias
  4. 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves, Chopped
  5. 2 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  6. To Taste Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Roast fingerling potatoes in a 400 F approximately 20 minutes or until softened to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp then remove all but 2 TBSP of bacon grease leaving the bacon pieces in the pan.
  3. Add potatoes and maple syrup and sauté 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and sauté 3 minutes to cook green onions and thyme.
  5. Season to taste and serve.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Tempura Batter

Tempura Batter
Serves 2
Tempura originated in Japan, but it’s said that Europeans actually introduced the idea to the Japanese, who adopted it and refined it into a style of cooking. Typically, a tempura meal is one of fish, shrimp, and vegetables served with a dipping sauce.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Flour / Flour Mixture (see Notes below)
  2. 1 Extra-Large Egg White
  3. ¾ cup Soda / Seltzer Water
  4. ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  5. 2-3 cups Oil for frying (of your choice), see notes below
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oil to 350 F. Be sure your pot has sufficient room to accept your batter-dipped foods and cook them without the boiling oil spilling over the edge. That would NOT be good.
  2. Have a second bowl with another cup of your flour mixture to pre-flour your products before dipping in your tempura batter.
  3. Pre-cut fish into 1” x 2” pieces and not too thick (about ½” to ¾” at best). Vegetables (all raw) such as green beans should be whole; broccoli and cauliflower should be 1” florets; and sweet potato and eggplant should be cut in small wedges or sticks. Shrimp should be peeled and deveined, with the tail on.
  4. Now, in a small bowl, beat the cold egg white until frothy and add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Mix with a fork or chopsticks until generally mixed with small lumps. DO NOT OVERMIX. Depending on your preference, a thicker batter (like the consistency of a pancake batter) will coat easier but be chewier when fried. A thinner batter (almost like heavy cream or egg nog) will give you a lighter, crispier final product.
  6. Flour each product and then place it in the tempura batter. Briefly shake off excess and place them (carefully) in the hot oil. Avoid crowding the products or placing them one on top of another.
  7. Fry about (3 to 5 minutes) or until crispy and light golden in color. Then remove with a skimmer and drain excess oil off of the products by placing them on absorbent paper towels.
  8. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce of choice.
To make the BEST tempura, you want to do this
  1. 1. Use ICE cold water (or soda/seltzer water) and keep the batter cold.
  2. 2. Don’t mix it too much. Leave small lumps. The purists use chopsticks to mix.
  3. 3. Make your tempura batter JUST before you use it.
  4. 4. Fry in 350 F oil.
  5. 5. Serve immediately.
As for the ingredients, to make the BEST tempura, use these
  1. 1. Cake flour or all-purpose flour (low-gluten flour) — I also like rice flour, and sometimes I mix it in ½ and ½ with either of the above flours. You can also use a tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of flour to lighten the batter and add crispness.
  2. 2. Soda or seltzer water instead of tap water — The carbonation will make the batter lighter and lacy-like (which is good).
  3. 3. Sea salt (avoid using iodized salt) — It tastes better.
  4. Use neutral oil. Either canola or vegetable is fine. If you’re looking for something even MORE authentic, my recommendation would be peanut oil with a splash of sesame oil (about 1 TBSP sesame oil per cup of peanut oil).
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Spartan Potato Salad

Spartan Potato Salad
Serves 4
White Potatoes & lots of Green Beans, Onion & Celery make this Potato Salad perfect for M.S.U. Tailgating!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. Baby White Potatoes
  2. 1 cup Green Beans, Cut in 1” Lengths
  3. ¼ cup Green Onion, Cut ¼” on Bias
  4. ¼ cup Celery, Chopped
  5. ½ cup Mayonnaise
  6. 2 Tbsp. Basil Pesto
  7. To Taste Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook potatoes whole until done, chill, then cut in halves or quarters depending on size. (Pieces should be approximately ½” to ¾” in size.
  2. Simmer green beans until tender, rinse in cold water, pat dry.
  3. Combine all ingredients and season to taste.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Go Blue Potato Salad

Go Blue Potato Salad
Serves 4
Purple (blue fleshed) potatoes, partnered with the maize color of Yukon Gold Potatoes and prepared mustard makes this colorful potato salad a MUST for University of Michigan tailgaters!
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Ingredients
  1. ½ lb. Blue Potatoes
  2. ½ lb. Yukon Gold Potatoes
  3. ¼ cup Celery, Chopped
  4. ½ cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
  5. ½ cup Mayonnaise
  6. 3 Tbsp. Prepared Mustard
  7. To Taste Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook potatoes whole until done, chill, then cut in halves or quarters depending on size. (Pieces should be approximately ½” to ¾” in size.
  2. Combine all ingredients and season to taste.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Baked Stuffed Peppers

Baked Stuffed Peppers
Serves 6
Below is the basic recipe for this classic dish and then, below that, check out some of the modern adaptations you might want to try.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 Medium Size Bell Peppers, Any Color
  2. 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  3. 1 Medium Sweet Onion, Chopped
  4. 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
  5. 2 tsp. Garlic, Chopped
  6. 1 Cup Roma Tomato, Diced
  7. 1 – 24 oz. Jar Salvaggio's Marinara Sauce
  8. 1 tsp. Oregano, Dry, Crushed
  9. 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  10. 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  11. 1 Ex. Large Egg, Beaten
  12. 1 ½ Lbs. Ground Beef
  13. 1 ½ Cups Cooked Rice
  14. Optional: 1 Cup Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella or other)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut tops off of the bell peppers then remove the seeds and membranes.
  3. Chop edible part of tops and set aside.
  4. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. (NOTE: for a stronger pepper flavor, this step can be omitted and you can stuff the peppers while still raw.)
  5. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped bell pepper (from tops), chopped onion, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  6. Add the Roma tomatoes, Marinara, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg with the ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the Marinara mixture. Mix well.
  8. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers.
  9. Cover the baking dish lightly with tin foil. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until peppers are tender and the meat mixture is fully cooked and firm.
  10. Optional: Top stuffed peppers with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before they are done; bake or broil until cheese is melted.
Notes
  1. If you’d like to try your hand at some NEW Stuffed Pepper ideas, here are some to try. Without going into individual, lengthy recipes for each one, I think you can quickly see the possibilities.
  2. Cajun Style - Instead of ground beef, substitute: Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, Chicken and add a bit of hot chili powder to both the rice and Marinara sauce.
  3. Mexican Style - Use cooked chicken, or Taco Seasoned Beef, then use Crushed Tortilla Chips instead of the rice and use canned Enchilada Sauce instead of Marinara. Lastly, smother the finished stuffed peppers with a Monterey Jack Cheddar Cheese blend.
  4. Greek Style - Use ½ Ground Beef ½ Ground Lamb and to the rice mixture add chopped Kalamata Olives, roasted Garlic, Oregano, Rosemary, Feta Cheese and use Vodka Sauce instead of Marinara.
  5. Turkey or Chicken - Substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef.
  6. Stroganoff Style - Use pre-seared, thin strips of beef with sautéed mushrooms in place of the ground beef and wide egg noodles instead of the rice. Cook the stuffed peppers in beef gravy instead of the Marinara then afterwards, stir in a dollop or two of sour cream to the gravy to make it Stroganoff style.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/