Tags Posts tagged with "recipe"

recipe

The Portuguese staple inspires many different recipes.

Kale and Linguica Portuguese Soup. – Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

One of Portugal’s most recognized recipes is caldo verde, a kale-based soup that’s served all over Portugal. Whether you find yourself in a five-star hotel’s restaurant or at a neighbor’s home on the Island, this delicious soup is served with pride. Each family has its own version, each chef creating his or her own twist on the traditional dish. It’s also the best soup to ease you into spring. With a light broth and some hearty greens, it’s a great meal to welcome the new season — while we patiently wait for the winter chill to leave the Island.

Today, I’m sharing my version of this classic soup, which is not by any means traditional. This version includes tomatoes, which is not in the original recipe, but I love the sweetness it adds to the soup. Some people add white beans, as well as other variations like sausages or bacon. What’s your version? You’ll have the opportunity to share it at the upcoming Kale Throwdown event, to be hosted at the Portuguese-American Club on Sunday, April 19, from 5 to 7 pm. There, Islanders from all over will bring their four gallons (that’s the required amount for participation) of kale soup to be judged and awarded in the following categories: Best Kale Soup, Best Alternate Kale Soup, Is It Kale Soup?, and Best Professional Entry. With $10 admission for adults and $5 for children, the event will benefit the Islanders Talk Benevolent Fund, a fund created by Islanders for Islanders in need, and a popular group on Facebook where locals and wash-ashores alike come together for the latest Island news, updates, and more.

“I belong to the nearly 4,000-strong Islanders Talk Facebook page run by Lori Robinson Fisher,” says Jessica Burnham, the ringleader of this Kale Throwdown. “Just before Christmas, I came up with the idea to start a charitable fund built by the members of Islanders Talk. There were about 3,000 members at the time. I figured if every member gave $5, we’d have $15,000 to use to help other Islanders in need going into next holiday season. It seemed there was a new post every day about someone else in our community who was having a really hard time. This was my response to it. I went out and got a tax ID and a bank account, and started the fund. I asked someone from each town to be on the board, and the Islanders Talk Benevolent Fund was up and rolling. The other members include Lori Robinson Fisher, Margaret Oliveira, Debby Lobb Athearn, Laura Bryant German, Corrine Dorsey, and June Manning.”

The next Kale Throwdown planning meeting for the event is Sunday, March 29, at 1 pm at the P.A. Club, and the group is still looking for silent auction donations. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the group and the work they do, join the Islanders Talk group on Facebook.

 

Kale Linguica Soup

 

1 pound linguica (Portuguese sausage), finely chopped

3 large carrots, diced small

2 stalks celery, diced small

2 medium white or yellow onions, diced small

1 garlic clove, minced

1 bunch fresh kale, chopped

28-oz. can of peeled and diced tomatoes

2 quarts stock (vegetable, chicken, beef — your choice)

 

In a large stockpot, over medium-high heat, sauté the sausage until seared. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Sauté until it is all transparent. Add the kale and can of tomatoes, and stir until combined. Pour in the stock, and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

 

Courtesy of Island Grown Schools

There are small changes happening in the natural world around us that herald the return of spring. The buds are beginning to swell on the trees, shadows are getting longer as the light returns, and the birds are singing in the woods. In response to all of these changes, the chickens are starting to lay more eggs. With many families and farmers raising chickens on Martha’s Vineyard, we celebrate the spring and eggs as our Harvest of the Month this March.

Though $7 a dozen might seem like a lot to spend on local eggs, that equals a little over 50 cents a portion, which makes eggs the most affordable source of local protein available. Pasture-raised eggs are a great source of many nutrients and minerals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and the proof is in the yolk. Birds who are free to forage for bugs and graze on grass will have rich, orange yolks. A fresh egg will have a yolk that stands up, and a firm white that does not spread much.

Whip up this egg-drop soup to warm you on a chilly March day.

Spring Egg-Drop Soup

¼ cup olive oil

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 small scallions, chopped

4 cups vegetable stock

2½ cups mixed spring vegetables: asparagus cut into ½-inch pieces, sugar snap peas cut into ½-inch pieces, shelled peas, and chopped spinach leaves

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. mint leaves, chopped

1 Tbsp. chives, chopped

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, add carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and scallions, cook 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add chopped spring vegetables and simmer until crisp and tender, about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a small bowl. Add mint and chives. Reduce heat to low and drizzle in egg mixture. Let stand 1 minute, then gently add lemon juice. Add salt to taste.

Emily Armstrong is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school nonprofit. For more information, visit islandgrownschools.org.

What’s the difference?

Warm up with some hot chocolate, or hot cocoa, while the weather still warrants it. – Photo courtesy of chocablog.com

During these cold winter months, I’m going to bet, your hot beverage consumption has gone up. Whether it’s tea, hot chocolate, coffee, or hot cocoa — we’re drinking gallons more of it. Did you notice how I mentioned both hot chocolate and hot cocoa? It’s not a typo; they are two distinct things. These two recipes are not the same, and we’re going to dive into the world of their differences.

Legally, there is no difference, and brands can label their products interchangeably, but historically and methodically, there are definite distinctions.

Hot cocoa is a thin, chocolate-flavored drink that’s made with cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. Some hot cocoa mixes have dried milk powder integrated, so they can also be made with hot water: Think Swiss Miss (even though the box says “hot chocolate,” hence my earlier point about labeling).

Unlike hot cocoa, however, hot chocolate (also referred to as sipping or drinking chocolate), is traditionally made from actual chocolate. Whether using a chopped chocolate bar, ground-up chocolate, or chocolate shavings, it results in a thicker beverage. Much richer than hot cocoa, due to the high fat content of chocolate, hot chocolate is a creamy, almost decadent beverage. Both hot cocoa and hot chocolate can be flavored in a variety of ways, such as with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or vanilla extract.

Hot Cocoa

Serves 2

2 cups milk

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cinnamon stick

Simmer milk until hot and then quickly whisk in the cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and cinnamon stick. Turn down heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until everything is dissolved and incorporated. Serve immediately.

Rich Hot Chocolate

Serves 2

2 cups milk

1 8 oz. chocolate bar, or ¾ cup chocolate chips

2 Tbsps. granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. cornstarch whisked into 2 Tbsps. hot water*

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Simmer the milk until warm, and add the chocolate and sugar. Whisk until chocolate is melted, then quickly whisk in cornstarch mixture, vanilla, and cinnamon. Turn heat to high, and quickly bring to a boil. Serve immediately.

* Note: Adding cornstarch thickens the hot chocolate even more, making for a decadent winter treat!

On-Island, Mocha Motts makes a delicious hot cocoa with whipped cream; Black Dog Bakery creates its own housemade cocoa mix; and Espresso Love has a hot chocolate all its own, with Monin USA dark chocolate sauce and steamed milk. Go forth and conquer those hot chocolates and hot cocoas of the Island and beyond, before the snow melts and we’re back to craving the cold, refreshing goodness of a chocolate shock from Slice of Life.

It’s six o’clock. Do you know where your dinner is?

John Robert Hill shows off his favorite beef stroganoff recipe. – Photo by Michael Cummo

Even in the slow season, many of us have frantic days where eating is almost an afterthought. If we have more than ourselves to feed, it can become a source of stress in itself. So how do we provide healthy meals for ourselves and our families in limited time, without sacrificing health benefits, eye appeal, and flavor? In this ongoing series, Islanders share their quick, go-to recipes. If you have one you’d like to share, please send it to us at calendar@mvtimes.com.

There’s one in every family — a gluten-free, a vegan, a vegetarian, a salt-free, a carb-free. So what do you do for dinner guests with special dietary restrictions? You could make sure that there is at least one dish that suits them. You could invite them to bring their own food. Or you could leave them out altogether.

John Robert Hill, general manager of The Newes From America in Edgartown, accommodates. He has a vegetarian niece who is a valued part of the weekly dinners that have become almost ritual in John’s extended family.

His go-to recipe, Simple Beef Stroganoff, can be doctored. He explains, “I make a vegan version with fake meat and fake sour cream. I use rice instead of egg noodles.” And because they are quick and easy, both versions are ideal for him to pull together in the small window between work and the gathering.

The more traditional recipe is adapted from one passed down from John’s father. “My parents had a catering company,” John says. “Essentially, I’ve been around food service all my life.” He admits, however, that he’s always been much more interested in the front-of-the-house service part than the prep. But the recipe is also very different from his father’s. “I cheat a little bit,” he admits.

“I don’t go all-out. I marinate very quickly,” he continues. “I put it all in one pan. My dad was all gung-ho crazy. He’d marinate the beef.”

John also likes this recipe because ground beef or leftovers can be substituted. “I always have something hanging around,” he says. “It’s kind of a one-pan wonder.”

Although he has inherited many of his dad’s recipes, John has little time to slog through them. “He was very labor-intensive. His sauerbraten took seven days to make. I have the recipe for it,” he says. “I wish I could make it — the gingersnaps, marinating, et cetera — but I don’t have seven days to dedicate to it.”

Besides, it probably wouldn’t translate well to vegan.

Beef stroganoff served over egg noodles is a simple and delicious meal. – Photo by Michael Cummo
Beef stroganoff served over egg noodles is a simple and delicious meal. – Photo by Michael Cummo

Simple Beef Stroganoff

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. butter

1 onion, diced

1 cup white wine

1.5 lbs. round steak cut in thin strips (or a vegan alternative)

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced thin

1½ cups sour cream (vegan alternatives available)

1 package of egg noodles

In a skillet, melt the butter and saute the diced onions until transparent.

Add the wine, sliced beef, and mushrooms. Simmer for approx. 20 minutes.

Drain and reserve the liquid.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the sour cream and a portion of the saved liquid to desired consistency while stirring on low heat.

Prepare the egg noodles per package directions.

Drain the noodles and serve the Stroganoff mixture over the noodles.

Local restaurants share go-to Super Bowl party recipes.

The Wharf's chowder fries are loaded with clam chowder, cheese, bacon and scallions, and are perfect for the big game. – Photo by Michael Cummo

There are two types of Super Bowl fans: the true sports fans, faces painted and yelling at the screen, rooting for their team; and the fans who don’t care who wins or loses, as long as there’s food at the party. Personally, I fall into the latter category, and the only way you’ll get me to attend a Super Bowl party is by rattling off the menu and letting me know what I can bring to the table. If you’re like me, you’re bound to enjoy these indulgent Super Bowl–inspired recipes. If you’re the true-sports-fan type, just sit back and mindlessly eat while the big game is on.

Nothing says football like chili, and Offshore Ale Co. has shared their famous chili with us. For a Super Bowl party, set up the chili in a Crock-Pot to keep warm, and create a chili bar by placing a variety of toppings on the table, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh herbs, and cornbread.

Offshore Ale Co. Pork and Black Bean Chili

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ tsp. dried red chilies

1 medium jalapeño, minced

1 large white onion, diced

1 pound lean pork (loin or butt shoulder), cut to ½-inch cubes

½ cup Offshore Ale Brown Ale

1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 14-oz. cans black beans

¼ cup root beer

2 Tbs. ancho chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

½ 16-oz. bag frozen corn (optional)

1 sweet red pepper, diced (optional)

2 Tbs. salt

3 Tbs. hot sauce

Preparation

In large heavy-bottom pan, heat oil, crushed dried red chilies, and jalapeño until sizzling. Add onions and cook until lightly browned.

Add pork and sear. Pour in the brown ale to deglaze the pot, stirring constantly.

Add tomatoes, beans, root beer, and dry seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low simmer. If desired, add corn and red pepper; heat through.

Adjust seasonings, if necessary; add salt and hot sauce. Simmer 10–15 minutes on low, and it’s ready to serve.

If you don’t have a lot of time, and need to bring a delicious recipe to a Super Bowl party, we’ve got you covered. Make these simple, New England–inspired Chowder Fries, just like they make them at the Wharf Pub!

Wharf Chowder Fries

1 bag of frozen fries

1 quart clam chowder

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

½ cup bacon, cooked and chopped

¼ cup fresh scallions, chopped

Preparation

Cook the fries as directed on package until crispy and golden.

Place in individual oven-safe bowls and top the fries with clam chowder, cheese, and bacon. Broil for 2–3 minutes until bubbly, and top with fresh scallions.

We all know you can’t have a Super Bowl party without wings, so to help us make the crispiest, most delicious wings, Chef Tony Saccoccia of The Grill on Main in Edgartown offered some great tips and tricks. Seriously, try these wings — they’re amazing. Also, Chef Saccoccia recommends that everyone own a FryDaddy, an electric deep fryer that will make your life a crispy heaven!

Chef Tony Saccoccia of the Grill on Main in Edgartown shares his recipe for Louisiana-Style Fried Chicken Wings. – Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray
Chef Tony Saccoccia of the Grill on Main in Edgartown shares his recipe for Louisiana-Style Fried Chicken Wings. – Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

Louisiana-Style Fried Chicken Wings

2 pounds chicken wings

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups Louisiana hot sauce

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Preparation

The evening before, mix the chicken wings with the buttermilk and hot sauce. Let marinate overnight.

Preheat your fryer oil to 350ºF.

Drain the buttermilk/hot sauce mixture from wings, and make a dredging flour by whisking together the flour, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.

Focus on coating every area of the wing — commit to the dredging, it’s essential to the crispy coating.

Shake excess off, and fry until golden brown.

And instead of the usual bruschetta, make The Newes from America’s Roquefort Stilettos: warm, toasted French bread with bacon and a blue cheese spread that will knock your socks off!

The Newes from America’s Roquefort Stilettos make an easy and delicious Super Bowl snack. – Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray
The Newes from America’s Roquefort Stilettos make an easy and delicious Super Bowl snack. – Photo by Elizabeth Cecil

Roquefort Stilettos

1½ pounds cream cheese

1½ pounds blue cheese

½ oz. Dijon mustard

½ oz. Cholula Hot Sauce

2 French baguettes, sliced lengthwise and slightly toasted

1 cup bacon, crispy and chopped

Preparation

Whip together the cream cheese, blue cheese, Dijon mustard, and hot sauce.

Slather on baguettes, and broil until bubbly and golden brown.

Sprinkle with chopped bacon and serve.

 

Uncovering tricks of the trade in advance of the Big Chili Contest.

A closeup of Official Chili's big pot at a past Big Chili Contest. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Big Chili Contest is coming up this weekend, Jan. 24, at the Portuguese-American Club, and in light of the famous event, we wanted to prepare you with some chili history, rules, and recipes.

Before we dive into the world of chili, fair warning: Chili is one of the most controversial recipes in American history. There have probably been wars about chili, friendships dissolved over the meaning of true chili, and marriages terminated on terms of what makes a real chili. And with that fair warning, there’s one true fact we can state: True chili has no beans. There, we said it. You can discuss all you want, but after careful research, we found this statement to be true, and plan to stick by it.

If you’re outraged and want to fight about it, you can take it up with the International Chili Society (ICS), a nonprofit organization that sanctions chili cook-offs with judging, and has an entire set of rules and regulations in place, one of which is shared below:

Traditional Red Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat or combination of meats,cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of beans and pasta which are strictly forbidden. No garnish is allowed.

In this history that’s difficult to pinpoint with accuracy, stories from the Texan cattle trails are heard often: how range cooks would plant herb gardens along the trails to use in future travels for cooking their chili. Slowly, chili moved into San Antonio, under the aegis of the “chili queens,” a group of dozens of Mexican women who cooked chili at home and sold it from small carts in the Military Plaza of San Antonio, each with her own blend of spices, trying to one-up the others. For 200 years they sold their chili, until the 1930s, when the health department shut down their operation.

Background of fresh red hot chili peppers, or cayenne chillis, a pungent strong flavoured spice used in cooking. — freefoodphotos.com
Background of fresh red hot chili peppers, or cayenne chillis, a pungent strong flavoured spice used in cooking. — freefoodphotos.com

Here, a basic recipe of chili from the ICS via the range cooks: Cut up as much meat as you think you will need (any kind will do, but beef is probably best) in pieces about the size of a pecan. Put it in a pot, along with some suet (enough so as the meat won’t stick to the sides of the pot), and cook it with about the same amount of wild onions, garlic, oregano, and chiles as you have got meat. Put in some salt. Stir it from time to time and cook it until the meat is as tender as you think it’s going to get.

Thanks to the magic of social media, a simple Facebook status turned into a chance to chat with Steve Jordan, local award-winning chili maker and creator of the hottest chili recipe in the past 20 years. Mr. Jordan has been even granted a lifetime achievement award, and is judging this year’s hottest chili category at the Big Chili Contest. Of course, I had to ask him his insider tips and secrets to great and spicy chili.

When I inquired about his recipe, he replied,

Ingredients include ground beef and chopped steak tips that are browned with onions and garlic, as well as chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and paprika. Chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, dark beer, and corn masa flour are added, letting it simmer until ready. You might be wondering why it’s the hottest, right? Well, I grow my own habanero, jalapeño, cayenne, and ghost peppers. Those are all processed, seeds and all, and then slowly cooked in oil. That mixture is added to the simmering chili — hottest chili ever!

Another local favorite is the delicious White Chicken Chili at Mocha Motts, made by Erica McCarron. Her recipe:

White Chicken Chili

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

4 tsp. cumin

1 Tbs. chili powder

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

4 cups shredded/cubed cooked chicken

2 (4 oz.) cans chopped green chiles

4 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth

4 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans

2 cups corn kernels

½ cup half-and-half

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Shredded Monterey jack cheese and tortilla strips, for serving (optional)

Preparation

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and sauté until soft. Add the minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne. Cook one minute longer. Stir in cooked chicken and chopped green chiles.

Add 3 cans of chicken broth, and 2 cans of cannellini beans. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add corn.

In a food processor or using an immersion blender, combine ½ cup half-and-half, remaining 1 can chicken broth, and remaining 2 cans of cannellini beans, and purée until smooth. Add to the soup and simmer 10 min. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Serve with optional shredded cheese and tortilla strips.

Big Chili Contest tickets are available at Shirley’s True Value in Vineyard Haven and at Trader Fred’s in Edgartown for $35 each. The annual event is this Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, and is hosted by MVY Radio, benefiting the Red Stocking Fund, and is a 21-plus event. Free bus transportation is provided from the Steamship Authority in Vineyard Haven to the Chili Contest, and will return you there at the end of the event. For more information, visit mvyradio.com.

Making dinner a family affair.

MVRHS Culinary Arts teacher Jack O'Malley shares one of his favorite go-to recipes. – Photo by Michael Cummo

If you have a last-minute, go-to dish for a Fast Supper story you’d like to share, please send it to us at calendar@mvtimes.com.

It seems almost a requirement for developing chefs to have had a grandmother who was a fabulous cook to provide inspiration. That prerequisite is present in spades with the high school’s longtime culinary arts teacher, Jack O’Malley. “She was always trying new recipes, new ethnic cuisine,” Jack recalls. “She lived in Boston, so she had access to different ethnic markets.” And he cooked with her, although he’s not certain when he began; “I just always remember being involved,” he says.

In sixth grade, he won a blue ribbon for his construction of a bombe or bombe glacée(a molded ice cream, whipped cream, and fruit dessert) from her recipe. He began cooking in a diner while he was still in high school, and was running small family restaurants by the time he was 20. After finishing culinary arts school, he returned to his grandmother to cook her a dinner. He used her hand-cranked pasta machine to make angel-hair linguine for her. “At the end of the meal, she gave me her pasta machine,” he relates with pride. He later inherited her “cookbook,” a collection of 3 by 5 cards: “One of my aunts found them. It’s a huge binding.” He was paging through it recently, and rediscovered his blue-ribbon recipe.

Now, Jack’s own kids — twin 15-year-old boys and an 11-year-old girl (another boy, 20, is away at college) — cook along with him and his wife at home. “All three love to cook,” he says. “We divide up the prep.”

Because the kids are also active in extracurricular activities like horseback riding and basketball, dinnertime is hectic at the O’Malley house. “I have to round them up, feed them dinner, and get them started on homework,” Jack explains. The following recipe, Shrimp Vittorio, fills the bill for quick and easy. “Except for the shrimp, I usually have all the ingredients on hand,” Jack says. “And you can now buy the shrimp already peeled and deveined.”

This recipe also has sentimental value. “When my wife and I were first married, we’d go to this restaurant and it was on the menu. I adapted it. It kind of reminds me of when we were first married, didn’t have kids, and were able to go out to eat.”

There’s a smile in his voice. “My wife really liked it then, and now, too.”

Shrimp Vittorio

1 lb. penne pasta

1 Tbs.  canola oil

1 1b., or approximately 21–25, jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 Tbs. sundried tomatoes sliced in thin strips (packed in oil is easier)

2 oz. vodka

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 oz. Parmesan cheese

2 Tbs. basil chiffonade (sliced in thin strips)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil: add penne and cook until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta, reserving one cup of water.
  3. In large sauté pan heat oil; place in shrimp (do not overcrowd; if necessary, sauté in two batches).
  4. Cook shrimp on first side until they release from the pan; turn over; cook again for one minute. Do not overcook shrimp — they will finish in the sauce.
  5. Remove shrimp from pan; return pan to heat; add garlic and sundried tomatoes; continue to cook for another minute.
  6. Remove pan from heat; deglaze with vodka (carefully put back on heat or it will ignite).
  7. Reduce liquid by half; add cream and crushed red pepper; return shrimp to pan.
  8. Cook for another minute; add cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese. Return to heat, then add reserved pasta water to achieve desired sauce consistency. Plate individual pasta bowls and garnish with basil.

What’s healthier?

A Simple Green Smoothie includes nut milk, spinach, banana, strawberries, avocado, and honey. – Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

Once the new year kicks off, most of us are scrambling to jot down a couple of resolutions. Whether we make it to February with our resolutions still intact is another story, but let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt and believe that a healthier you is one of the resolutions you’ll actually keep this year.

We’ve all heard of green juices and green smoothies as part of a healthier lifestyle. We know they’re packed with vibrant ingredients that provide our bodies with needed nutrients. We know we should be chugging back the green juices on a daily basis as an addition to our diets. But we also know how tedious it is to clean that pesky juicer/blender that stands on your counter, smirking at you. Fear no more — I’ve got a couple of easy-to-clean juicer and blender recommendations, as well as an insight on juicing vs. blending.

Let’s talk about the main difference between a green juice and a green smoothie: fiber! When juicing, you’re extracting all those nutrients and vitamins from the produce, leaving behind the fiber. When you’re blending, you throw everything in the blender and go! So you’d instantly assume that blending is healthier, right? Not so fast.

Fresh ingredients for Healthy Green Detox Juice. Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray
Fresh ingredients for Healthy Green Detox Juice. Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

Juicing is great for those of us that can’t digest fiber as well as others, and it’s also fantastic for people who want a quick nutrient boost. Since you don’t have to handle fiber, nutrients rush directly into the bloodstream and give you that quick fix. Just be sure to have a good balance of fruit and vegetables — too much fruit means you’ll get a sugar rush and ultimately crash.

Blending is great on occasions when your green smoothie is your only breakfast. Because of the added fiber from fruit peels and vegetable skins, you’ll be satisfied for a longer period of time, and might even make it until lunchtime without mindless snacking. Blending is also a more inexpensive option, because you’ll need less produce per serving.

So it’s up to you to decide what your body needs: a quick, nutritious boost to get the morning started with a green juice, or a heartier green smoothie that will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

Healthy Green Detox Juice

Makes 2 servings

2 small apples, quartered

3 stalks celery

2 stalks rainbow chard

1 cup baby carrots (or 2 medium carrots)

1 inch fresh ginger root

1 large orange, quartered (not peeled!)

2 small cucumbers

Make sure to wash everything.

Run everything through the juicer and drink immediately.

Simple Green Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

1½ cups nut milk

1 handful fresh spinach leaves

1 banana, chopped

½ cup chopped strawberries

½ avocado, peeled

1 tablespoon raw local honey

Blend the nut milk and spinach leaves until fully mixed.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

For moderately priced juicers, check out the Waring Pro JEX328 Health Juice Extractor or the Hamilton Beach 67650A Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor. For moderately priced blenders, look at the Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Multi-Function Blender or the Ninja Professional Blender 1000. Be sure to stop by LeRoux in Vineyard Haven to check out their juicer and blender offerings!

Leslie Hewson gives dinner ingredients a second chance.

The Hewsons' last-minute meal calls for leftovers plus rice, garlic, salsa, cheese, jalapeño, sour cream, and tortillas. – Photo by Michael Cummo

If you have a last-minute, go-to dish for a Fast Supper story you’d like to share, please send it to us at calendar@mvtimes.com.

Leslie and Douglas Hewson’s secret for a quick and satisfying dinner is leftovers. “If you want to put together a meal in five or 10 minutes, you have to know what you have to work with,” Leslie explains. “You have to look at what you have. We always have leftover rice or a piece of sirloin or a chicken breast or the carcass of a roast chicken.”

Leslie and Douglas Hewson are the parents of two daughters, Haley, 21 years old and living on her own, and Emily, 15. Leslie discovered the recipe for Arroz con Carne or Pollo about nine years ago, and was taken by its appeal to her girls. “It’s an old recipe,” she says. “They like all those [ingredients], so why not put it together? It’s easy, and it’s a one-pot deal.” She likes to supplement it with a salad or one of their girls’ favorite vegetables.

Leslie laughs as she recounts her daughters’ differing relationships with the dish. “[Haley’s] taken this recipe to her apartment, and she’s like ‘Oh! I can cook now!’ which I find hilarious. She doesn’t really cook. The little one seems to be more kitcheny. She has a recipe book. The first recipe she put in the book was rice. The second is the rice dish.” In fact, Emily ungrudgingly helps out in the kitchen. Leslie knows that if she has to dash out to the store, she can depend on Emily to start the potatoes or rice. “She’s really good at sides,” Leslie boasts.

Leslie and Douglas Hewson, along with their daughter Emily, enjoy their favorite last-minute meal of Arroz con Pollo. – Photo by Michael Cummo
Leslie and Douglas Hewson, along with their daughter Emily, enjoy their favorite last-minute meal of Arroz con Pollo. – Photo by Michael Cummo

The Hewsons have been in the food business for 30 years, starting in their teens. On-Island since 1998, Douglas came here to work for the Black Dog, and Leslie eventually joined the staff. He is currently executive chef at Offshore Ale. Leslie is the seasonal pastry chef for L’Etoile and Offshore Ale.

The winter presents some culinary challenges for the couple. Leslie explains, “In the fall and winter, I’ve got a minimal amount of time to feed [Emily]. She has to be picked up at the high school at 5:30. You get out of work at 5:00. It’s a small amount of time — the night’s already slipping away. You know she’s going to be hungry, and if you don’t feed them, how do you get them to do their homework? You don’t want to feed your kids at eight — which we were doing in the summertime. I know she’ll eat [the Arroz]. If she had her way, she’d put it on the schedule every week.”

But Leslie seems a bit embarrassed about the simplicity of the dish. “I know that my culinary skills have been reduced,” she says with a chuckle, “but there’s something noble about just making sure your kids have proper nutrition.”

Arroz con Carne or Pollo

Serves 4

4 cups fresh or leftover rice (use less water if making fresh, to allow for salsa liquid)

¼ onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Oil

1 cup leftover protein:  sirloin, chicken breast, roast chicken

Pinch red pepper flake (optional)

1 jar favorite salsa

1 cup loosely-packed mixed cheese: jack, cheddar, muenster, mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Optional:

Minced jalapeño

Sour cream

Black beans

Diced squash

Tortilla chips

Preparation

Look in fridge. See what you have. Proceed.

Retrieve a big pan.

Prepare protein by cutting or pulling bite-size pieces. If the protein is already cold, follow directions. If it is fresh, add at the end just before cheese step.

On medium-high heat, sauté onion and garlic in oil (pepper flake optional) until soft and golden. Add protein and stir 2 minutes. Add rice, salsa, and any optional items. This is where the big pan comes in. … Stir the rice mixture till salsa is evenly distributed. Add more salsa if not wet enough. Add ⅔ cup cheese. Stir. Turn off heat. Top with remaining ⅓ cup cheese, cover with a lid or place entire pan under broiler and melt cheese.

“It’s OK to eat out of the pan, says my 15-year-old.”

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with local cocktail recipes.

Pomegranate-Grapefruit Holiday Crush with Snow. Photo by Allison Shaw.

Just because you’re the kind of person to stay home on New Year’s Eve, you’re still entitled to a good cocktail. Some of us prefer to stay home, host a party, or ring in the new year in our pajamas. Whatever your case, why not serve up some of these deliciously local cocktails in the comfort of your own home? Plan to ring in the new year with one of these new drinks.

If you’re hosting a party and plan on serving one of these local favorites also make sure to stock your bar with a variety of mixers, syrups, and garnishes so your guests can customize their own drinks. Stop by Le Roux in Vineyard Haven  — they’re stocked with a fun selection of cocktail ingredients! Freshly sliced citrus fruit, along with pomegranate seeds, frozen grapes, and natural juices make for a fun and colorful bar.

Pomegranate-Grapefruit Holiday Crush with Snow

Source: Cathy Walthers

About the drink: Keep your head during the holiday season by sipping a drink laced with rosemary, a member of the mint family that’s said to improve memory. This is a celebratory drink with holiday hues, flashing red pomegranates, evergreen rosemary branches, and a glass rimmed in snow (coconut, salt and sugar). It can easily be made ahead of time for a crowd.

“Snow” for garnishing rim:

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons sugar

Cocktail:

1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1 1/2 ounces Pom pomegranate juice

2 small sprigs rosemary (one for garnish)

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup*

1 1/2 ounces vodka or tequila

Pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)

Combine the coconut, salt and sugar in a shallow, wide bowl. Wet the rim of a martini or rocks glass with a lime wedge and dip the glass into the snow mixture.

In a cocktail shaker, add the grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, lime juice, one rosemary sprig, simple syrup and vodka. Fill halfway with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into the rimmed glass, filled with a few ice cubes. Garnish with the other rosemary sprig and a few pomegranate seeds, if available.

*Simple Syrup:  Add 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of boiling water and stir until dissolved. Store in a Mason jar.

Pear Bubbly

Bar: Rockfish

Source: Adam Rebello

About the drink: Crisp and refreshing, a true holiday crowd pleaser!

2 ounces Grey Goose Pear Vodka

splash of St. Germaine (elderflower liqueur)

splash of simple syrup

sparkling wine, to taste

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker and pour into a martini glass. Top with sparkling wine.

Fireball Winter Warmer

Bar: Rockfish

Source: Gavin Smith

About the drink: Beer cocktails are an up and coming culinary trend!

2 ounces Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey

Allagash White Beer, to serve

Guinness Beer, to serve

Pour the Fireball into a pint glass. Fill the glass halfway with the Allagash White beer and then gently fill the rest of the glass with the Guinness. (If poured correctly, this will create a Black and Tan effect.)

Citrus Hibiscus Fizz. Photo courtesy of  www.cookingwithbooks.net
Citrus Hibiscus Fizz. Photo courtesy of www.cookingwithbooks.net

Citrus Hibiscus Fizz

Source:www.cookingwithbooks.net

About the drink: A light cocktail with citrus and floral notes of orange blossom liqueur.

2 ounces orange juice

1 ounce Pavan liqueur (orange blossom liqueur)

1 ounces prosecco

1 tablespoon hibiscus syrup

Stir all ingredients together except the prosecco, and pour into a champagne glass. Top with Prosecco and serve.

Midnight Kiss

Bar: Henry’s Hotel Bar at the Harbor View Hotel

Source: Greg Fournier & David A. Martinello

About the drink: Slightly sweet, this drink is the perfect way to ring in the new year!

¾ ounce homemade pomegranate grenadine (Classically, grenadine is simply pomegranate juice mixed with sugar and boiled until it becomes a syrup)

5 ¼ ounces of prosecco

orange twist

Pour the grenadine into the bottom of a sparkling wine glass and top with prosecco and an orange twist.

Copperwok's Wok of Shame - an individual sake scorpion bowl. Photo courtesy Copperwok.
Copperwok’s Wok of Shame – an individual sake scorpion bowl. Photo courtesy Copperwok.

Wok of Shame

Bar: Copper Wok

Source: JB Blau

About the drink: An individual sake scorpion bowl, for those that don’t want to share!

chilled sake

pineapple juice

cranberry juice

orange juice

splash of cream of coconut

Mix together the sake and juices, along with cream of coconut. Serve over ice with an orange wedge and cherry. Measurements are up to you: depending on your preference, just add a splash of this and a dash of that!