Tag Archives: grapes

Napa Cabbage and Grape Slaw

I could extole the virtues of this recipe. I could sing its praises from atop a crest, with the sunrise behind me, and doves and squirrels dance about as I take a spoonful of this salad.

I think that would be overselling it a tad. After all, it’s only slaw.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good slaw, with a nice Asian inspired dressing that gives it a sweet and savory base. As a side dish, it is worth the effort to put it on your menu.

But I think I’ve come to realized my own writing limitations…poetry and slaw do not mix.

  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1 lb. Napa Cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

In a medium glass mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, sesame oils, ginger, sugar, pepper and water. Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

In a large glass bowl, mix together the cabbage, onion, carrot, and grapes. Pour over the soy sauce mixture and toss.

When you serve the slaw, top with sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6

Technorati Tags: Food, Recipes, Salad, Slaw, Grapes

Reference:
Nicole Routhier’s Fruit Cookbook


Grape Hints and Tips

And now, another episode in our regularly scheduled publication of our “Things that are worth remembering when buying food” series.

  • Grapes do not continue to ripen after being picked.
  • Choose Grapes that are plump, full colored and still attached to the stem.
  • Green grapes are ripe when they have a pale yellow hue.
  • Red or Dark Grapes should have little or no greening (depending upon the variety).
  • Avoid grapes with bruises,soft spots or discoloration.
  • Avoid grape bunches that have several grapes that fall off when you pick up the bunch.
  • The stem of the grapes should be green and pliable.
  • Grapes can be stored at room temperature for 1 week.
  • Grapes can be stored in the refrigerator for 10 days.
  • Many varieties of grapes have a white powder coating known as a ‘bloom’, which helps to keep the grapes moist. Avoid washing off until just before using.
  • Thoroughly wash grapes before using.
  • The ideal serving temperature for grapes is 60 degrees F.
  • When cooking with grapes, choose the red varietals over the greens, as they tend to hold their shape better.

Technorati Tags: Food, Grapes, Food Hints, Food Tips


My Grape Ignorance: An ‘Eat Local’ Admission

When it comes to varieties of various fruits and vegetables, I feel that my knowledge is severely lacking. Part of me thinks that I should know which grapes are grown and available in the here in the United States, but then there’s the other part of me that feels that the produce department is a dark, scary place that mocks my lack of food knowledge.

I’ve never been a fan of being intimidated by my own ignorance. That’s partially why the posts where I list out each variety of the food I’m researching. They’re fairly easy to write and I’m able to get up to speed on what is what in the produce section, and when it should be there.

The down side to this is that, with my new knowledge, I’m confronted by examples of things I often suspected, but never had enough information to prove. For example:

Current American grapes available at 3 of my local grocery stores here in Seattle? Zero.

Oh, we have loads of Chilean grapes. Logically, this makes sense as there’s a limited growing season for grapes, regardless of where they’re grown. If there are American grapes currently available, there’s probably an extended cost in producing them and transporting them to the Pacific Northwest. Whereas the Chilean grapes are clearly in season, and are cheaper to get to my market, even if they have to travel 10,000 miles to get here.

I, not being a regular purchaser of grapes, never took the time to figure this little logical fact of nature out. As recently as two years ago, I would have walked through the supermarket in Mid-january, seen grapes on sale, and thought to myself “Sheesh…California can grow anything!!” and then move on to the cheese table. I would have never thought to find out that Chile provides 24% of the global supply of fresh table grapes, second only to Italy.

Now that we’re moving into May, the Chilean grape season is coming to an end, the grapes in my neck of the woods will become from closer sources. But that still doesn’t make me feel that much more grape-savvy. In this month where we’re supposed to “Eat Local”, I wonder how many of us know where the foods we don’t eat on a regular basis come from. I wonder how many people can say, without looking at a label, where the apple, pear or banana came from. Or how about the less popular produce such as asparagus, brussel sprouts or kale – how many people out there can point to the state or even country of origin for these veggies that have limited commercial appeal?

For the foods I don’t purchase on a regular basis, I don’t think I can answer those questions.

Technorati Tags: Food, Eat Local


Grape Pie

Grape Pie

Granted that this is not my best piccie ever. My apologies for that, as I’ve been a smidgen under the weather of late, and my patience for setting up a good shot ran in direct opposition to my desire to get back into bed with my laptop while watching Cartoon Network (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is now my favorite bit of background noise). I vow to try harder once I’m feeling up to snuff.

Excuses aside, this is pie that many people haven’t heard of, and neither did I until doing some reading upon grapes and the various recipes that were at my disposal. It’s a bit of a labor intensive pie, especially if your grapes have an excessive amount of seeds within.

Once done, you get a very nice pie, sort of a subdued cherry pie, tho’ not as tart. Your mileage on tartness will vary depending upon the grape you choose to use. I ended up using a nice, middle ground, muscat grape which probably had a great amount of influence on the lack of the “pucker factor”.

Filling:

  • 4 cups muscat grapes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 9 inch pie shell

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced into 1/8″ bits

Remove the skins from the grapes (Heating the grapes will help facilitate this, but don’t over heat, as the grapes will be difficult to hold). Set the skins aside, as you will use them again.

Place the pulp from the grapes in a medium sauce pan placed over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer (185 degrees) and cook for 5-7 minutes. Place the heated pulp into a food mill or sieve and press through into a large glass mixing bowl, separating the seeds from the rest of the grapes. Discard the seeds. Add the grapes skins into the glass bowl and mix together with the grape pulp.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt with the lemon juice and melted butter. Pour into the grape mixture and stir well. Pour into pie shell and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour (giving the grapes some time to cool).

Pre-heat your oven to 400 Degrees F.

Take pie from out of the refrigerator. In another small bowl, mix together all of the topping ingredients. Sprinkle liberally on top of the pie. Place in the over and cook for 40 minutes.

When done, allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing to serve.

Serves 6-8

Technorati Tags: recipes, pies, grapes, grape pie


Grape and Avocado Salad

Grape and Avocado Salad

Oh avocados, is there anything you can’t do? *loving sigh*

Here’s a short but sweet recipe that fits perfect as a side salad for your mexican recipes, or even as a salsa for chips if you wish. The tartness of the grapes works nicely with the creamy goodness of avocados. It’s worth the ten minutes it will take for you to put together.

It’s also the perfect vegetarian recipe, as there is no meat products within, although I did slaughter several veggies. Let your own ethics guide you.

  • 3 cups red seedles grapes, chopped
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, diced
  • 3 tblspn cilantro, chopped
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Bean sprouts, to garnish

Mix all (except the bean sprouts) of the ingredients in a medium sized glass bowl. Cover with Saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hours, allowing the flavors to maserate.

Remove and serve, topping with aforementioned bean sprouts.

Serves 4

Technorati Tags: recipes, salad, salsa, grapes, avocado


Grapes

Phew… after all that work on Dairy (milk and yogurt) and then salt, I’m glad to be moving on to a sweeter project…grapes! They are nature’s bite sized morsels and the passion of many an oenophile. You don’t see raspberries getting such attention.

Now one may ask oneself, “which came first, domesticated grapes, or the production of wine?” Archaeologists are fairly certain that wine making came first, as it was quite easy to go out into the woods, and pick grapes without planting and harvesting. That it took nearly 2000 years between the time wine production is first reputed to have taken place (6000BC) and the time that grape domestication took place (4000BC) strikes me as a bit unlikely. One of the several motivating factors in innovation is the desire for mankind to find a more efficient means of altering our state of sobriety. But this is only my take on it.

Regardless, we know that viticulture was taking place in the in the Tigris-Euphrates region around 4000BC. Grapes were also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, recognized as one of the first recorded pieces of literature. It’s been around for a while.

The grape is the most widely planted fruit crop in the world. It is produced into dried fruits such as raisins, currants and sultanas, and beverages such as wine, brandy and good ol’ reliable grape juice. Every continent, save one, produce some variety of the fruit. Not many plants get that kind of exposure, including many of the grains that we take for granted.

So in the next few weeks, expect several posts and three, count ‘em, three recipes based off of grapes. I may include extra recipes for raisins and currants, but I haven’t decided fully as yet.

As always, comments, suggests and requests are welcome.

Technorati Tags: Foods, Grapes