Recipes @ Cooking Basics: Freezing Fresh Herbs and How to Peel and Pit a Mango

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cooking Basics: Freezing Fresh Herbs and How to Peel and Pit a Mango

Freezing Fresh Herbs
Here's a technique for preserving the flavor of fresh herbs from your garden. Simply wash and pat dry fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, removing all the stems. Chop the herb leaves in the bowl of a food processor until they are finely chopped. Slowly add olive oil until the mixture becomes a paste. Once a paste forms, spoon the mixture into the shells of a clean ice-cube tray and place the tray in the freezer. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer to resealable plastic freezer bags. You can use these frozen cubes in tomato sauces, soups or stews.

How to Peel and Pit a Mango
A fresh mango is a delicious treat. The only problem is figuring out how to cut one open. The process can be challenging, since the edible flesh of the fruit is usually firmly attached to the hard seed in the middle (similar to the seed of an avocado).

One way I've discovered to open a mango is to make a straight cut with a sharp, stainless-steel knife down either side of the middle of the mango. Remove as much flesh as possible from the middle of the mango (the part that holds the seed). To remove the flesh from the peel, you can slide a stainless-steel spoon under the flesh to loosen it from the peel. Another way to remove the flesh is to take a sharp knife and make vertical cuts in one direction through the flesh of the mango. Your cuts should go straight down through the flesh to the peel, but not through the peel. Then, make horizontal cuts in the opposite direction through the flesh. Fold the peel back and use a stainless-steel spoon to pry the flesh from the peel.

 *NOTE: Always use stainless-steel knives and utensils when cutting fruit in the kitchen. Carbon-steel knives tend to discolor the flesh.

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