Monday, October 27, 2008

No.31: Patty pan Squash

Being so cute & colorful makes patty pan squashes big hits
with children!

1. Brightly colored, this little squash comes in numerous varieties: white, bright yellow or orange, and ends in a thick green tail.
The pattypan is about the size of a pepper, semi-spherical in shape with
a scalloped border.

2. The French name pâtisson comes from the Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mould. It also bears the French nicknames of "Israel artichoke" and
"Priest's bonnet."

3. In fine cuisine, its tender flesh is sometimes scooped out and mixed with flavorings such as garlic prior to reinsertion; the scooped-out husk of a pattypan also is sometimes used as a decorative container for other foods.

4. Choose the smallest ones available if you want the best taste and texture as once it gets older, its flesh whitens and toughens. Since pattypans are picked when immature, they should be eaten as soon as possible.

5. Mini pattypans are best used raw, since high heat can turn their flesh floury and slightly sour. Or you could always preserve them in vinegar!

Reference: Wikipedia, Nation Master, Ezine Articles, The Worldwide Gourmet, Wisegeek

Sunday, October 5, 2008

No.30: Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are your one of your best sources of Vitamins K & C!

1. The Brussels sprout is a cultivar group of Wild Cabbage cultivated for its small (typically 2.5 - 4cm, 1 - 1.5 inches diameter) leafy green heads, which resemble miniature cabbages.

2. Brussels sprouts grow in bunches of 20 to 40 on the stem of a plant that grows from two to three feet tall.

3. The sprouts are usually cooked whole. To allow the heat to permeate throughout all of the leaves and better ensure an even texture, cut an "X" in the bottom of the stem before cooking.

4. Overcooking releases sulphur compounds in the vegetables that give it a distinctive smell commonly found unpleasant.

5. Don't overcook sprouts or they'll taste bland. Steaming, rather than boiling, helps to preserve their sweet flavour.

Reference: Wikipedia, Cabbage Lore & Trivia, BBC, WHFoods,