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Monday, February 11, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013

February 10 marked the beginning of Chinese New Year 2013, and people across the universe will be celebrating in a variety of ways.  To read more about Chinese New Year, go to this feature from EarthSky   

Like most other holidays, food is a big part of everyone's CNY celebration.  To learn more about some of the foods associated with Chinese New Year click on this link:

In honor of Chinese New Year I decided to make another recipe that I've always wanted to make but thought was too complicated, and I was wrong, again.  Please enjoy making this hot, tasty Miso Won Ton Soup for your own celebration.

Miso Wonton Soup 
10 cups water
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup scallions, cut in thin strips 1" long
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup white miso paste
fresh ground black pepper
1 pkg. Melissa's Won Ton Wraps
1 pkg. Melissa's Organic Tofu (Hawaiian Style)
1/2 cup minced carrots
1/2 cup minced chives
1 cup chopped Napa cabbage
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 Tbsp. soy sauce (low sodium)
1 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. corn starch
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
extra corn starch for won ton staging

In a mixing bowl, mash up the 2 tofu cutlets, then add in the minced carrots, chives, fresh ginger, Napa cabbage, and spinach and stir to combine.  Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and corn starch, and mix together.  In a saute pan coated with vegetable oil, saute the filling mixture until the cabbage softens and the spinach wilts.  Set aside to cool.

Place 1 won ton wrap at a time on a plate.  Using your finger, spread a thin line of water around the edges of the won ton, and place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center.  Starting with one corner at a time, bring up all the sides to meet in the center, squeezing at the top to close.  On a sheet of parchment lightly sprinkled with corn starch, place each bundle as they are completed.

In a large soup pot, add the water, shredded carrots, scallions, and celery.  Bring to a boil.  Add the white miso and continue cooking until the miso has dissolved.  Season with fresh pepper and reduce heat to a slow boil.  Carefully place each won ton bundle into the slowly boiling broth and cook about 2-3 minutes.  The won tons will rise to the top of the pot.

Turn off the stove, serve the soup nice and hot, and get your Chinese New Year party started!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bloody Good Oranges

Tomato Marmalade with Blood Oranges
As far as I'm concerned, there hasn't been a bad year for any fruit for a very long time.  In fact, I think that every fruit I've tasted over the last few years has gotten better each year.  Case in point, the Blood Oranges from Melissa's that are currently on the scene.  The color looks fantastic, and the fruit tastes phenomenal.  Eaten out of hand is easy and quick and better than ok for eating these ruby-tinged, bright orange orbs. But since this blog usually features recipes, and since I do love to play around with jams, pickles, etc., I found this recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine for an easy Tomato  Marmalade with Blood Oranges.

R-Romas, C-Blood Orange Peels, L-Blood Orange Segments
(Slight variations I made to the recipe were using only blood oranges (3), no lemon, adding a pinch or more of ground cloves, and definitely not "letting the marmalade stand for 2 weeks" but eating it as soon as it wasn't too hot to burn the roof of my mouth.)

Mostly sweet, but slightly savory, the recipe pares this fabulous citrus with plump, juicy Roma tomatoes to create a thick, glistening concoction you'll want to slather on the nearest piece of bread.  You'll probably also want to drizzle some over yogurt or ice cream, spread some between cake layers, drop a little into a salad dressing for a touch of tart sweetness, and spoon some on top of cream or goat cheese with savory crackers on the side for a quick but very nice appetizer.

Speaking of seasonal citrus, keep your eyes out for some of these other delicious varieties from Melissa's: Pixie, Yosemite Gold, Tahoe Gold, Shasta Gold, and Kishu Tangerines; Kumquats, Sweet Limes, Variegated Calamondin, Mandarinquats, Ugli Fruit, Pummelos, Cocktail Grapefruit; Seedless and Meyer Lemons, just to name a few.

And here are some citrus prep tips:

Oh, and Citrus Man wants to say "hello" and remind you about turning citrus peels into candy -