Produce News for the Week of November 8, 2010
Brussels Sprouts (Monday, November 8): All right, today happens to be Cook Something Bold Day, so there’s nothing bolder to cook…than Brussels sprouts. Oh, my goodness. These are my little friends. If I can get you to fall in love with these all over again…I know most of you or many of you have learned to hate Brussels Sprouts mainly because Mom or Grandma probably overcooked them to death. The keys in great tasting Brussels Sprouts are a couple things. Number one, learn what the French learned about Brussels Sprouts – seven minutes. That’s the longest that you should cook Brussels Sprouts if you’re steaming them or if you’re boiling them. Beyond seven minutes, that’s when you double the amount of that awful aroma that has made you hate Brussels Sprouts. Or you can bake these beautiful Brussels Sprouts. Secondly, when you’re picking out the best Brussels Sprouts this time of year, find the smaller ones. Make sure there’s no yellow on the leaves. Those are going to be some really nice, sweet, mild Brussels Sprouts.
NAVEL ORANGES (Tuesday, November 9): Well, here’s a fruit that has year round appeal. I’ll just give you a second to get that little pun. Okay. Navel oranges. New crop navel oranges are coming into the supermarket. I know we have navel oranges from the Southern Hemisphere, primarily Australia and South Africa, but now the California crop is finally kicking in. Now one of the things I want to point out to you, they are going to be a little bit lighter in color. The skin is going to be lighter in color. You might still find actually a little bit more greening on them. That’s very typical for this time of year. I know all you care about – what’s it look like inside? Well, go ahead and cut one. I’ve cut a few, and they are actually looking pretty good. Still a little light in color, but great juice content and very good flavor for being first of the season. Actually this year’s crop in California is 10% larger than last year, so that means great prices, and they are going to be so super sweet and juicy - sunshine in every bite!
GREEN ONIONS (Wednesday, November 10): All right, I’ve got some green onions out of the refrigerator. My mom used to put green onions in like everything. You know, in her recipes, her sandwiches, her soups, her salads. My mom loved green onions. She probably knew the secret of green onions. There is a taste for every taste bud in green onions. Let me tell you what I mean. You see, the green part of the Green Onion, that is mild flavored onion. So if you like the flavor of onions but you like it a little bit mild, then simply use the nice green part of the Green Onion. Nice and mild. If you find the middle part of the Green Onion, well, this is a little bit hotter in flavor. So between the white and the green part, that part right in the middle, a little bite to it, but still very nice. Well, on the Green Onion, the white part, that’s the hot part. So in one Green Onion, you have mild, you have medium, and then you have a little bit of heat with your onion. A taste for every taste bud. By the way, make sure when you buy these, get them in the refrigerator right away. That’s right, refrigerate them.
MANGOES (Thursday, November 11): It was a record crop of mangoes from Mexico this year, and I was just reading the latest studies also. There’s still 40% of you who have never ever tried a mango. Please, it is the most popular fruit eaten in the world today. That’s right. More than apples. More than bananas. The mango is the most popular fruit in the world today, and still 40% of you have not even tried one. So this time of year we’re finished with Mexico Mangoes and we’re actually going to South America. These are actually coming out of Brazil. Now when you pick out a mango, the one place I want you to look is the stem. If you notice that the stem kind of sits up on a hill, this mango will not ripen. This is an immature mango. If you notice that the stem sits down in a little valley, well, that’s a mango that will ripen perfectly for you, even though it’s green when you buy it. As it ripens, it will turn a beautiful golden yellow color. Heh, get out a lime and the cayenne pepper.
KIWIFRUIT (Friday, November 12): Have you noticed that the kiwi fruit are hard as a rock. Well, it’s very normal actually this time of year because we are ending our Southern Hemisphere kiwi fruit from places like New Zealand and Chile, and we’re starting new crop kiwi fruit from California. Well, the new crop of any fruit is always going to be a little bit more firm, not nearly as mature or ripe. So here’s what I want you to take away from this – not that it’s rock hard! I want you to take away that you need to give it a little extra time to ripen. Please be patient with your Kiwifruit. Don’t expect to buy your kiwi fruit today and have it tomorrow. So what you need to do, buy your kiwi fruit several days in advance. Make sure you keep them out in the warm air of your kitchen. Keep them covered, either in a brown paper bag or shoebox does really well too, and make sure you give them time to ripen. Then they’ll taste great.