Tag Archives: Specialty 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/

Ponderosa Lemon Granite (Pink Snow)

Ponderosa Lemon Granite (Pink Snow)
Serves 6
First propagated under the name “American Wonder Lemon”. The Ponderosa Lemon resembles a common lemon except that they are much, much larger. They are grown primarily for their curious size and shape, but also make excellent juice and are great for cooking. The fruits are very juicy and have many seeds. The tree is small, (about 10 feet) and fairly thorny. It is thought to be a natural cross between another type of citrus and a lemon, possibly Citron. The flavor is excellent and fruits can reach the unbelievable size of a football.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Ponderosa Lemon Juice
  2. 2 cups Water
  3. 1 Egg, Extra Large (in shell)
  4. As Required Granulated Sugar
  5. 1 Tbsp. Grenadine Syrup
  6. 1 Tbsp. Mint, fresh, minced
Instructions
  1. Place lemon juice, ROOM TEMPERATURE water and grenadine in a deep bowl.
  2. Have 1 fresh egg (in the shell) at the ready. It will be used as a flotation device to test the density of the lemon and water solution as you add the sugar to it (there is an air pocket inside each fresh egg).
  3. Slowly whisk in the granulated sugar into water sugar mixture. After 1 cup of sugar, carefully place the egg into the solution (still within the shell). If the egg sinks, remove the egg and keep adding more sugar until the egg floats and until the exposed shell of the egg is the size of a U.S. Quarter.
  4. Add minced mint and place the solution in a shallow pan in your freezer.
  5. After 30 minutes, check the solution and scrape with a fork to create a slush. Repeat every 30 minutes until the mixture is a light pink, snow like, frozen “Pink Snow”.
  6. Serve frozen.
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/

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/

Pineapple & Cilantro Salad

Pineapple & Cilantro Salad
Serves 4
This member of the carrot family is also referred to as Chinese Parsley, Coriander and Dhania (in the Indian subcontinent, and increasingly in Britain) and is actually the leaves (and stems) of the Coriander plant. Cilantro (from the Spanish name for the plant) has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The Cilantro leaves look a bit like flat Italian parsley and in fact are related. The leaves, and especially the stems, have a very different taste from the seeds, similar to parsley but “juicier” and with citrus-like overtones. Some people instead perceive a spicy or “soapy” taste. This taste is believed to be a result of an enzyme that changes the way some people’s taste buds perceive the flavor of coriander leaves. Cilantro leaves and stems are best if chopped and added to a dish just before finishing to take full advantage of their unique flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Fresh Pineapple, peeled, cored
  2. 1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  3. 1/2 Red Onion, sliced 1/4"
  4. 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  6. 1 Tbsp. Jalapeno, with seeds, minced
  7. 1 Lime, juiced
  8. 2 Tbsp. Honey
  9. 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  10. 1 tsp. Black Sesame Seeds
  11. To Taste - Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop pineapple into small bite size pieces and place in a non-reactive bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients.
  3. Cover and chill.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pink Lady Apple “Skillet Pancakes”

Pink Lady Apple "Skillet Pancakes"
Serves 2
A natural cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams varieties. Pink Lady Apples have a beautiful pink blush and a refreshing and sweet, champagne-like taste – making them perfect for eating out of hand and excellent for fresh salads, pies, in sauces and overall baking. This puffy pancake, a cousin of the Dutch Baby pancake, is a signature item at many pancake houses. The Pink Lady® Brand Cripps Pink Variety apples keep their shape and texture so you have distinct slices to enjoy with the spicy pancake.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tbsp. Butter
  2. 3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  3. 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  4. 1 Pink Lady Brand Cripps Pink Variety Apple
  5. 4 Eggs
  6. 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  7. 1/2 cup Milk
  8. 1/2 tsp. Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Measure butter, brown sugar and cinnamon into 10-inch skillet with ovenproof handle* and heat in oven, stirring occasionally until very hot and bubbly, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, core and slice the apple.
  4. When butter mixture is bubbly, carefully remove pan from oven and arrange apple slices in circle in pan.
  5. Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes while preparing batter.
  6. In mixing bowl or blender, combine eggs, milk, flour and salt and beat or blend until smooth.
  7. Slowly pour batter over apples in skillet, distributing evenly.
  8. Return to oven until puffy and well-browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Invert serving plate on top of skillet, then turn over and lift skillet off to serve hot, apple-side up.
Notes
  1. *To ovenproof skillet handle, wrap well with aluminum foil.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers

Pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers
Serves 4
The Hungarian Yellow Wax Pepper, ‘Capsicum annuum’, is an Old World favorite that is the perfect pick for pickled peppers and pepper jelly. This pepper is also known as the Hot Banana Pepper which it is not but it is closely related. The Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper was developed in Hungary and has a waxy color that resembles bees’ wax. The Wax peppers are actually orange-red when ripe, but are usually pickled while still yellow. Hungarian Yellow Wax peppers have thin walls and the peppers are usually used fresh in salads, pickled, fried, canned or roasted. Hungarian wax peppers are medium hot, with heat scores that range between 5,000 and 15,000 Scoville heat units.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 lbs. Hungarian Wax Peppers
  2. 3 lbs. Red & Green Bell Peppers, mixed
  3. 5 cups Cider Vinegar (5% acidity)
  4. 1 cup Water
  5. 4 tsp. Canning or Pickling Salt (or Kosher)
  6. 3 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  7. 2 cloves Garlic, fresh
  8. 1 cup Sweet Onions
Instructions
  1. Wash peppers. If small peppers are left whole, slash two to four slits in each; quarter large peppers.
  2. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute, then shock in ice water and peel off skins. Flatten small peppers.
  3. Fill sterilized jars, leaving a ½ inch headspace.
  4. Combine and heat other ingredients to boiling and simmer 10 minutes.
  5. Remove garlic and onion.
  6. Add hot pickling solution over peppers, leaving ½ inch headspace.
  7. Adjust lids and process pints or half-pints for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath at an altitude of less than 1000 feet or for 15 minutes at an altitude of 1001 to 3000 feet.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pear & Horseradish Sauce

Pear & Horseradish Sauce
Cultivated for over 3 thousand years and believed to be native of Central Europe, Horseradish is related to the mustard family, hence its biting flavor and aroma. The “horse” in horseradish refers to the size of the root (up to 6 feet) and its pungency. Thus the name was adopted so as to distinguish it from other radishes. Horseradish has found its way into the Cuisine of many cultures, particularly Jewish, and on the European Continent. Additionally, since real wassabi is very expensive, even in Japan, most Japanese restaurants around the world actually serve a horseradish mixture that’s been dyed green. In fact, the Japanese botanical name for horseradish is seiyōwasabi (セイヨウワサビ, seiyōwasabi?), or “Western wasabi”. Commercial cultivation in America began in the mid 1850’s, when immigrants started horseradish farms in the Midwest. By the late 1890’s, a thriving horseradish industry had developed in an area of fertile soil on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. Today, approximately 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish are produced annually in the U.S. – enough to generously season sandwiches to reach 12 times around the world.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Pears, ripe
  2. 1/3 cup Horseradish, fresh, grated
  3. 2 Tbsp. Honey
  4. 1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
  5. 1/3 cup Golden Raisins
  6. 1/4 cup Pecan Pieces, toasted
Instructions
  1. Grate horseradish and immediately mix with the vinegar.
  2. Peel, core and shred pears and add to grated horseradish with honey, golden raisins and toasted pecans.
  3. Serve as a sauce with roasted meats & it goes particularly well with pork.
Notes
  1. Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/