Tag Archives: flavor

bouquet garni

11 Jan

333027318_4410ff1af9Bouquet garni in French means “garnished bouquet,” a bundle of herbs tied together with string, or added to a small sachet made of cheesecloth. The bouquet is then added to various dishes, notably soups, stews and sauces. It’s then removed right before serving.

Making your own bouquet is a fun and creative way to flavor your meals. There are endless combinations, but the most popular mix is parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Additional ingredients like citrus peels, peppercorns, tarragon, basil, rosemary, and even veggies like leeks, celery, carrots, onions make for a real pop in flavor!

Here’s a savory and wintry beef stew recipe, from food.com that uses a bouquet garni.

Inspiration for dinner tonight?

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 slices orange rind, each about 2 inches or 1 teaspoon grated dried orange peel
  • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, rosemary, and bay leaf)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  • Brown beef in oil in a skillet or pressure cooker over medium-high heat.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Reduce heat and add onion, garlic, and 2 T of the broth.
  • Cook, stirring, about 1 minute.
  • And remaining ingredients (except the beef).
  • Stir well to dissolve the tomato paste.
  • Add beef.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or so, until beef is tender.
  • Remove bouquet garni.
  • Serve!

Photo courtesy of salimfadhely

flora’s seasonal recipe: pondering persimmons

7 Jan

6290086996_8e25c56234Sitting on the train one day, a father, mother and their two daughters entered my car toting orange shopping bags filled with fresh produce. They were caught up in lively conversations, while each one of them was biting into a ripe persimmon.

It was inspiring to watch a family all enjoying a fresh and unique fruit together on their train ride. The sheer happiness emanating from their faces was a true testament to the importance of sharing family meals and moments.

What also stood out to me was their conscious decision to pick persimmons as their snack. Perhaps the persimmons brought back childhood memories for their parents, and they wanted to share those memories with their children? Maybe their children chose the fruit and enlightened them on how delicious they are? Or maybe they all walked into the store never having tried persimmons, and the shop keeper was giving out tastings?

Whichever way the persimmons made it onto the train with this sweet family, they were in my car for a reason. While I watched them, I was able to reflect on the value of food memories, the ways in which food connects us to place, grounds us in flavor and promotes health and wellness.

Hopefully this sweet family has inspired you to pick up a persimmon or two, and share the experience with someone you love on your very own road to making food memories together.

46422626_c4691b75e5How to eat a persimmon? There are two main types: Fuyu (tomato shaped – eat with peel on) and Hachiya (acorn shaped – remove peel).

Fuyu:

  • Wash it first.
  • Once ripe (should feel soft, not squishy), cut in half then cut into wedges, like you would a tomato.
  • Or simply bite into one like an apple!

Hachiya:

  • Wash it first.
  • Once ripe (should feel squishy in your hand) cut open the top, and spoon out the fruit.
  • Eat with abandon!

For more persimmon recipes and inspirations click here.

Photos courtesy of sleepyneko and Beyond Forgetting