Patriotic Potatoes

July 2, 2012

How about a red, white and blue potato salad for your 4th of July barbecue? Use a combination of red, white and purple potatoes to show off your patriotic culinary side. Frieda’s Specialty Produce offers a 2-pound bag of this colorful medley called Star Spangled Spuds.

Frieda’s Star Spangled Spuds are delicious baked, roasted or boiled and tossed with butter and herbs to let their beautiful colors show, or great for creating a tri-color potato salad, such as Frieda’s Red, White and Blue Potato salad.

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
1 2-pound bag Frieda’s Star Spangled Spuds (or red, white and purple potatoes)
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 to 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Put potatoes in a large pot and add enough salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil potatoes until fork tender – about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and cool.

While potatoes cool, prepare the dressing. In a medium bowl, blend half of the green onions with the sour cream, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

Slice the potatoes into 1/2-inch slices or chunky quarters and place into large bowl. Add chilled dressing, blue cheese and remaining green onions; toss gently to coat potato pieces. (Add additional blue cheese, if desired.) Cover and chill for at least two hours, or up to one day. Flavors will continue to blend as the salad chills. Makes about 6 to 8 cups.

Source: Frieda’s Specialty Produce Co.

Cheer for Cherimoya!

April 2, 2012

 The scaly-green skin covering this strange heart-shaped fruit acts as an unfortunate deterrent to the delightfully sweet and ambrosia-like fruit within. The Cherimoya has been cultivated and loved for centuries in South America, but this sub-tropical delight is only beginning to make an appearance in U.S. produce markets.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce currently distributes the cheerful Cherimoya to grocery stores around the country, and the company recommends looking beyond its strange appearance and sinking your teeth into one of the most delicious fruits you’ve ever tasted!

Inside the Armadillo-like skin is a creamy-white flesh with large, black seeds. When ripe, the flesh gives slightly to the touch – much like a ripe avocado. The taste is often described as a familiar and fragrant combination of pineapple, banana and vanilla with a custard-like texture. (In fact, another name for the fruit is “custard apple.”) Once ripe, the Cherimoya is excellent when chilled, enjoyed in wedges or scooped with a spoon. The soft flesh is also a nice addition to fresh fruit smoothies, blended drinks and a variety of fruit-based desserts.

Here’s one delicious way to enjoy this tropical specialty from Frieda’s:

CHERIMOYA CUSTARD PIE

This pie turns deep golden brown and puffs up when it bakes, then settles upon cooling. The texture is light and airy, and the flavor is like nothing you’ve ever tasted!

1 10-inch unbaked deep-dish pie shell
1 1-lb. ripe Frieda’s Cherimoya, peeled, seeded and diced
3 eggs, separated
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 450 F. Bake pie shell 5 minutes; set aside. Reduce oven to 375 F. In blender or food processor, puree cherimoya chunks until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until blended. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites (electric mixer on high) just until soft peaks form. Fold whites into cherimoya mixture until no streaks of white remain (do not stir). Pour filling into crust. Place in oven; bake 35-40 minutes or until filling is set, and knife inserted halfway between center and edge of filling comes out clean. Cool; refrigerate. Serve wedges topped with sweetened whipped cream. Makes one 10-inch deep-dish pie.

Source: Frieda’s, Inc.

CHERIMOYA VIDEO!

Ahh. The warm scent of cloves, allspice and cinnamon. Cooking with these spices fills up a room with a lovely, comforting aroma that always reminds me of the holidays. There’s no better time to brew up some hot mulled cider!

To make mulled cider or mulled wine, you can use any blend of spices you like, but typically, mulling spices include cloves, allspice, cinnamon and orange peel. Frieda’s has a 3-ounce bag of mulling spices ready to go. It contains whole dried allspice berries, big chunks of cassia cinnamon, whole cloves and pieces of dried orange peel.

The ratio of spice to juice is about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of spice to a half-gallon of juice. I used Litehouse Gala Apple Cider.

 I didn’t have cheesecloth handy to make a spice sachet, so I just put the loose spices right into the pot with the juice.

 I heated the cider in my slow cooker for 2 hours on low. The house smelled fabulous!

I just strained the juice to serve. I also strained the remaining cider and refrigerated it for later enjoyment.

Yum! If I had cinnamon sticks handy, they would have been perfect in these glasses with a wedge of orange or lemon. The perfect warming winter drink! (If you are feeling more naughty than nice, you can always add a splash of brandy to your mulled cider for a little extra warmth…)

Cheers,
Hazel

Coconuts are getting pretty trendy these days, especially the fresh juice or “coconut water” stored inside the shells of these tropical delicacies. Now, you don’t have to be in a tropical location to enjoy the water out of a fresh coconut: Frieda’s Specialty Produce distributes fresh, whole Young Coconuts to supermarkets around the country.

Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is the clear, sweet, crisp and refreshing liquid known for its amazing hydrating abilities. Coconut water is naturally fat-free and contains an excellent balance of potassium and salt that can replenish your electrolytes during a sweltering day or strenuous work-out. Several brands now manufacture coconut water as a health and sports beverage, but fresh is always best.

Young Coconuts are harvested immature while the skin is still green. For shipping, the green outer skin is pared away to a white cylindrical husk with a pointy, pencil-like tip. Inside the thick, white husk is the familiar round coconut with its hard, fibrous shell. Inside the shell is a cavity filled with sweet, refreshing water and a thin layer of soft, jelly-like flesh.

To open a Young Coconut, you will need a strong, large knife — maybe a meat cleaver. Make 4 deep, straight cuts around the pointed top (about 2 inches from the point) in a square shape. Then pry off the tip. Click here to see an example of what it looks like.

Once you’ve enjoyed your fill of fresh coconut water, scoop out the soft flesh that clings to the inside of the shell. Enjoy this sweet, creamy, rich meat out of hand, or use it in a variety of ways: dice it into fruit salads, blend into shakes and smoothies, or use to make your own coconut milk from scratch. Many like to blend the water and flesh together into a refreshing beverage. Here’s our Pineapple Coconut Smoothie recipe.

Choose heavy coconuts with no cracks, mold or soft wet spots. If you give the Young Coconut a shake, it should be full of liquid with no air inside, so it shouldn’t slosh too much. Keep refrigerated, wrapped in plastic to retain moisture, and use within five days.

Nothing takes you on a tropical escape like drinking the delicious, refreshing water out of a fresh Young Coconut!

Read CEO Karen Caplan’s blog post on coconuts: http://whatsonkarensplate.blogspot.com/2010/03/cuckoo-for-coconuts.html

What’s a Hatch Chile? These long green chiles are exclusively grown in the Mesilla Valley near Hatch, New Mexico. Their robust, spicy flavor makes them a beloved pepper for chile fans, who go nuts for the zesty aroma as they are roasted over an open flame. Because of the Hatch Chile’s limited season — late summer/early fall – pepper aficionados all over the country flock to New Mexico’s famous Hatch Chile Festival each year over Labor Day weekend. Luckily, Los Angeles and Orange County residents can get their Hatch Chile fix at a local Ralphs supermarket.

This month, Frieda’s Specialty Produce, Orange County-based distributor of exotic fruits and gourmet vegetables, is supplying select Ralphs Grocery stores with loads of the authentic extra hot Hatch variety. And for three Saturdays in August, Ralphs is holding live Hatch Chile roasting events at 6 stores in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

Buy a 10 lb. or 30 lb. sack of fresh Hatch Chiles at Ralphs and have them tumble roasted outside the store in a flash. Then head to your kitchen to get Hatch happy with salsas, chile rellenos, enchiladas, chili and more. You can also freeze the roasted chiles to extend your Hatch happiness throughout the winter.

Ralphs Hatch Roasting Event Schedule:
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (or until supplies run out!)

Saturday, Aug. 13
Ralphs – Costa Mesa, 380 E. 17th St. (949) 645-8283
Ralphs – La Canada, 521 W. Foothill Blvd. (818) 790-0584

Saturday, Aug. 20
Ralphs – Los Angeles, 11727 Olympic Blvd., (310) 473-5238
Ralphs – Huntington Beach, 5241 Warner Ave. (714) 377-0024

Saturday, Aug. 27
Ralphs – Tustin, 13321 Jamboree Rd. (714) 544-0491
Ralphs – Pasadena, 3601 E. Foothill Blvd. Pasadena (626) 351-6572

• 10 lb. boxes and 30 lb. sacks available (roasting included)
• Extra Hot Hatch Green Chile variety
• Meet the Frieda’s Street Team at the events for more info and coupons!

Visit www.friedas.com/Hatch for at-home chile roasting and handling tips, recipes and more.

Here’s a quick video to see how the Hatch Chiles are roasted:

Angelcots(r) – very special white apricots

Have you ever really tasted a perfect apricot? Oftentimes, the flavor might be good, but the texture might be dry and mealy. Sometimes, the fruit is juicy, but the flavor is weak. However, Frieda’s Specialty Produce wants fruit lovers to know that the perfect apricot does exist, and it’s called an Angelcot®.

This elusive white-flesh apricot is grown in Central California and has a limited season, but those who have the opportunity to taste the Angelcot® will tell you that no other apricot compares. We are shipping these beauties to select supermarkets around the country this week.

Angelcots® are a specialty hybrid of Moroccan and Iranian apricot varieties. There are only a few acres of this special fruit in the world. They have a very pale yellow skin color with a pale peach blush and a very fine velvety fuzz. The inside flesh is extremely juicy with the texture of a perfectly ripe nectarine with the delicate yet intense sweet flavor of an apricot.

These tree-ripened, hand-packed fruits are as close to divine as a fruit can be. Angelcots® are much juicier than a typical apricot and possess a beautiful balance of acid and sugar with a buttery, tropical, perfume-like sweetness.

You haven’t tasted an apricot until you sink your teeth into a heavenly Angelcot®!

Check out Karen Caplan’s (CEO of Frieda’s) blog post about the story of Angelcots: http://whatsonkarensplate.blogspot.com/2010/06/taste-of-heaven.html

Fresh Angelcot® Tart
This simple no-bake tart is a great way to showcase the natural sweetness and juicy texture of white-fleshed apricots.

6 to 8 Angelcots® (peeled if desired), pitted and sliced (3 cups)
1 block (8 oz) nonfat cream cheese, sliced
½ cup raspberries
¼ cup sugar
1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (or pre-baked tart shell of your choice)
½ cup seedless raspberry jam

Mix the cream cheese, raspberries and sugar in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until smooth. Spread over the pie crust and arrange the Angelcot® slices decoratively over the top.

Melt the raspberry jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Spoon over the peaches. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Adapted from “Peaches and Other Juicy Fruits” by Olwen Woodier (Storey Publishing: 2004)

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to find out if a market in your area will have the Angelcots(r). But act fast, because the season is short!

Mini Sweet Peppers are made for the grill! Their bright colors and cute little size are irresistible! But don’t worry, although they look a lot like spicy hot chile peppers, Mini Sweets are mild and sweet like bell peppers, and just as versatile.

These baby bell peppers come in mixed containers of red, orange and vibrant yellow, and are so crisp and sweet and delicious. 

Toss these babies in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and throw them straight onto your grill until just blistered to get that lovely roasted pepper flavor. Here’s a tasty recipe from the Food Network Magazine.
Seeking Hot Grill-Friend:
Get over to our Facebook page this week and post your ideas for grilling peppers (any kind) to be entered into our Grill-Friend giveaway. Winner gets a Frieda’s Grill-Friend Apron from Williams-Sonoma, plus other goodies.
Here are a few more ideas for putting these babies to use:
* Slice into rings and use as a pizza topping or in sandwiches
* Slice in half lengthwise and stuff with cheese and herbs
(Our friend, Chef Gregg Denter, recently combined Frieda’s Soyrizo with cream cheese to fill these little pepper “boats.” He topped them with roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds))
* Roast them on the grill, then slice and add to salads and burgers
* Thread on skewers for colorful veggie kebabs
* Serve on veggie platters with hummus and other healthy dips
* Stuff with ground meat and rice mixtures, then bake for bit-size appetizers
* Chop and combine with vinaigrette dressing for a colorful pepper salad


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