The topic of this month’s article is getting the most out of your food budget by keeping food fresher longer. Good storing practices can extend the ‘fresh’ life of many foods which can concicuently extend your food budget.
The first rule is ‘the fresher you buy, the longer it will last’.
If you can buy vegetables and eggs direct from a farm, a farmer’s market or local produce market do so. Produce purchased direct from the source can extend freshness for up to a week or more. We’ve prepared the following storage guide below to help you get the most out of some of the food items you buy.
Eggs: Buy from a farm or farmer’s market. Turn eggs stored in the refrigerator every couple of days which will prevent the air sac inside the shell from settling. You can simply turn the whole egg carton upside down
Apples: Tart apples stay fresh longer than sweet apples. Do not store apples alongside citrus fruits which will cause them to bruise and over ripen
Citrus: Don’t store with apples
Potatoes: Store with apples, this will retard sprouting. Do not store with onions which will encourage sprouting
Onions: Store uncovered and keep dry
Garlic: Buy garlic heads that are completely white. Any green or mold spots signal sprouting
Cucumbers: English cucumbers wrapped in plastic will last longer than regular cucumbers
Carrots: Store without the green tops
Broccoli: Wilted broccoli can be restored by soaking the bottom of stalks in water
Lettuce: Separate and wash leaves then spin or dry with paper towel and wrap in damp paper towels. Place in plastic bag and refrigerate. This will keep the lettuce fresh for twice the typical time
There are many other ‘freshness’ techniques that will help you make your food last longer, but the key is to buy a fresh from harvest as possible.
For this issues recipe, I’d like to suggest a wonderful recipe that won’t break the bank, ‘Braised Curry Chicken Thighs.
Braised Curry Chicken Thighs
- 8 chicken thighs, washed and trimmed of fat
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chopped ginger
- 2 Tablespoons curry
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups gf chicken stock
Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over high heat and add oil. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, add chicken and brown on both sides, about 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan and pour off all but about 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute until soft. Add curry and toss and cook just until fragrant. Add chicken, bay leaves and stock. Adjust seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until chicken is very done.
- Chef Yvonne