At first glance, flavored salt might strike you as a “why bother?” type of project. Who has time to make their own flavored salt when you can just grab a jar of seasoning salt from the spice aisle at the grocery store? But the arguments for making your own seasonings are much stronger than the lazy argument against.
Servings: 1 to 2 cups
Time in the Kitchen: 10 to 20 minutes
You don’t need a recipe for coconut butter. After all, coconut butter only contains one ingredient: coconut. And to make coconut butter, you only do one thing: blend. What you do need, are these 10 no-fail tips for making the best coconut butter ever.
Tip #1: Buy unsweetened, dried coconut, either shredded or flakes. The flakes often turn into a smoother butter than shredded coconut does. Do not use desiccated, sweetened, reduced fat or fresh coconut.
Tip #2: Both a food processor and a high-powdered blender (like a Vitamix) can make coconut butter.
Tomato. Garlic. Butter. Three simple ingredients, all good on their own, but when blended together they meld into something magical.
Tomato-Garlic Butter is a simple spread that adds unique flavor to meat, seafood and vegetables. The combination of the roasted tomatoes and butter is sweet and deliciously rich. The garlic and sea salt lend a savory kick that makes this butter a little, okay, really addictive. You can take the flavor completely over the top by also adding fresh herbs, chopped olives, red pepper flakes or smoked paprika.
This stuff is good enough to eat with a spoon. But you can also grill a steak, bake a fillet of salmon or sauté scallops and then top all three with a generous pat of Tomato-Garlic Butter. Once you start using tomato-flavored butter, you’re not going to want to stop there. Put it on vegetables, shrimp, eggs…pretty much anything.
When preparing a meal from stinging nettles, you can’t help but wonder who was brave (or crazy) enough to discover that this invasive, weed-like plant covered with stinging hairs was edible in the first place. At first glance nettles look innocent enough, with a deep green color and delicate, serrated leaves. If you look closely, though, you’ll also see hundreds of tiny hairs that can prick your skin and inject histamine, causing a painful stinging sensation. The sting can last for hours or days and is highly unpleasant. Nettles are exactly the type of plant you want to steer clear of when walking in the woods, so how nettles ended up in someone’s cooking pot is hard to understand. It’s a good thing they did, however, because nettles are an incredibly nutritious plant with a mild, likeable flavor.
Behold the cranberry, a beautiful little berry that beckons with its deep red color, petite shape and merry, seasonal presence. It’s hard not to end up with a bag of cranberries in your cart when they’re displayed on every corner of the supermarket. But once you get fresh cranberries home, what the heck do you do with them?
Cranberries are a challenging fruit. On one hand, they’re loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese and are good for urinary tract and gastrointestinal health. On the other hand, the word “tart” is an understatement. But instead of considering this a drawback, think of cranberries as the ultimate palate cleanser. The tangy, tart flavor is a refreshing break when you’re eating heavy holiday food. If you accept cranberries for what they are and stop trying to change them by dumping tons sugar on top, you might be surprised by how addictive they become.
© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple