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Ingredient Feature

Ingredient Feature

I like ______ on toast

January 21, 2015


Photo credit: Food Republic Photo credit: Food Republic

“I’d move to California for avocados,” said everyone ever. 

We’re aware that avocados are not local everywhere. They are in fact grown in California and native trees of Mexico and Central America. However, with their supreme health benefits, versatile texture, and comforting flavor, avocados make a favored staple in food-loving kitchens across the country.

With that in mind, avocados are not always easy to store. An enzyme in avocados causes the flesh to oxidize when exposed to air, turning it a brown color. Avid food bloggers have found that the best way to keep a cut avocado green is to place it in a airtight container with a piece of cut up onion and refrigerate — suspecting that it has to do with sulfur compounds that the onion releases. 

Avocados make a solid creme brulee

Photo Credit: Food Republic Photo Credit: Food Republic

Why can’t your favorite dessert be made with your favorite vegetable-like fruit? Avocados are afterall are “superfoods” for their nutrient dense, healthy fat, and vitamin heavy properties. Cookbook author Leticia Schwartz of The Brazilian Kitchen knows this and loves their deep green color. She appreciates their buttery texture, which provides the perfect creaminess in this reinvented crème brûlée.

Ingredients: 1 c sweetened condensed milk, 2 medium-firm ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks, 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 c sugar, for topping. (You’ll also need a mini kitchen torch and ramekins)

Method: Place the condensed milk and avocados into a food processor until the mixture is velvety smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add lemon juice slowly, and pulse for a few seconds after each addition. Taste the avocado cream to check if the lemon juice is giving the right balance. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into four ramekins, making sure it is nice and flat inside the ramekin. Chill for 4 hours in the refrigerator. Before serving, spread a thin layer of sugar evenly over the top of each custard. Ignite the torch to medium. Melt the sugar by moving the flame back and forth across the custard while maintaining a distance of 2 inches between the flame and the surface. The sugar will melt, bubble, then turn into a golden caramel. In less than a minute, it will harden to a delicious crust. Allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Do not brûlée the dessert more than 20 minutes in advance of serving.

Adapted from Food Republic

A twist on your avocado toast

Photo Credit: Alaska from Scratch Photo Credit: Alaska from Scratch

The avocado toast is the pancake of our generation. It is a staple at any up-and-coming brunch place. Actually, let me rephrase. You can’t call yourself brunch in NYC if you dont have some version of this delicious combo on your menu. We love the classic one at Cafe Gitane. Below is a modern twist on the classic dish. 

Ingredients: 2 slices italian or french bread, toasted, 1 ripe avocado, 2 eggs, coarse salt and pepper, Sriracha

Method: Place a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Crack the eggs into the pan, season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook until the whites are cooked through and yolk is still runny. Meanwhile, mash half of the avocado with a fork. Season with salt. Spread half of the avocado mash onto each slice of toast. Then, place the eggs on top of each slice of toast. Drizzle each egg with Sriracha to taste. Serve.

Adapted from Alaska from Scratch

Avocados seen around Foodstand

Ingredient Feature

EGGS – All up in here

December 30, 2014

Eggs! What does it all mean?

If eggs are a part of your diet, they are popping up in everything this time of year – breakfasts, midnight snacks, sweets, stews, drinks, face masks, and more. Buying eggs can be one of the most confusing experiences, so we thought it was about time we tried to make sense of it all. A few tips from our team:

#1: If available, get eggs from the farmers market. You can ask all your questions to the person who raises the birds.

#2: Eggs from birds that are treated humanely, have space, and have access to the outside, tend to be better for eaters as well as for the birds. Look for these labels:

  • Cage free: No cages, live inside
  • Free-range / Free-roaming: No cages, mostly live inside, with some access to the outside
  • Pasture-raised: No cages, live inside and outside every day, living a pretty natural life.
  • Look for these certifications: Food Alliance CertifiedCertified HumaneAnimal Welfare Approved

#3 When birds are well-nourished, the eggs will also be better. Look for these labels:

  • Organic: no cages, live mostly inside, and are fed all-vegetarian, organic diet, no antibiotics
  • Antibiotic-free: generally it means no unnecessary antibiotics are administered. Look for “antibiotic-free” paired with “USDA Process Certified” to know the claim is verified.

#4: Watch out for these labels that don’t mean much. They are marketing fluff.

  • Natural – no meaning or regulation
  • Farm fresh – no meaning or regulation
  • United Egg Producers Certified – this just means they are eggs, and nothing more.
  • Hormone free – It’s illegal to give hormones to egg-laying birds

Looking for egg substitutes this holiday season? Here are our favorite replacements for 1 Egg

  • 1/2 Mashed banana
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp water, blended
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 1/3 c water, mix and let sit for 15 minutes
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce

What to do with eggs #1: Shakshuka – Skillet Sensation

Photo Credit: Green Kitchen Stories

We love this dish, as do a lot of you because it’s hearty, savory, nearly impossible to screw up, and great for sharing… or not.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 red bell pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 chili, 2 cups kale, 1 handful basil, 2 cans plum tomatoes, 6 free-range eggs

Method: Heat oil in a skillet and add chopped onion and garlic and cook for 5 min. Add chopped bell pepper, chili, cumin, and paprika and cook or 2 minutes. Blend kale and tomatoes in food processor and pour mixture in skillet; cook for 15 min. Salt & pepper to taste. Create divots in sauce for eggs and carefully crack each one into the sauce. Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes. Top with basil and serve.

Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories

Eggnog – It’s Better Than You Remembered

Photo Credit: Food52

Either you love it or you hated it when you were a kid, but eggnog is here to stay. It’s even popping up on menus at some of our favorite NYC spots, including Bubby’s and Maialino.

Ingredients: 2 oz rum, brandy, or bourbon, 3/4 oz cream, 3/4 oz sugar syrup, 1 egg yolk

Method: Combine everything in a shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Add ice, and shake again. Strain into a class and top it with freshly grated cinnamon or nutmeg.

Adapted from Food52

Eggs seen around Foodstand

Dark molten lava cake
Egg, Butter, Dark Chocolate, Granulated Sugar, Self-raising flour

Made by @retard_likeme


The sugar caramelization is still toasty. The custard is silky and creamy in a sense that the egg flavor has never been overpowering.
Egg Yolk, Granulated Sugar, Heavy Whipping Cream, Vanilla bean, egg, Custard

Spotted by Spotthefood at Paul Lafayet in Hong Kong.

Baked butternut squash with avo and egg sprinkled a little sea salt and paprika 🙂
Avocado, Egg, Winter butternut squash

Made by SimplySeema.

Ingredient Feature

I Yam What I Yam

December 11, 2014

Sweet Potatoes!

Photo Credit: Morning Ag Clips Photo Credit: Morning Ag Clips

Sweet potatoes are a fall and winter root. This starchy and sweet vegetable is most classically used in purees, soups, or holiday meals to warm us up. The most simple ways to prepare sweet potatoes include baked, candied, roasted, and mashed with maple syrup or brown sugar, and fresh herbs of your choice.

How to Buy + Store: The best potatoes are firm, with unblemished skin. Sweet potatoes do not last as long as potatoes on a shelf. Store sweet potatoes in a cool and dark place, and plan to use within a week.

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

Photo Credit: Smitten Kitchen Photo Credit: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients: 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/3 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes, 1 tsp kosher salt, 2 lbs medium sweet potatoes, 3 tbsp vegetable oil
Method: Preheat oven to 425°F. Coarsely grind coriander, fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Stir together spices and salt. Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges. Toss wedges with oil and spices in a large roasting pan and roast in middle of oven 20 minutes. Turn wedges over with a spatula and roast until tender and slightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Photo Credit: Mommy Noire Photo Credit: Mommy Noire

Ingredients: 1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed, 1/2 c cooked black beans, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1 tsp chopped green chilies, 1/2 c shredded cabot cheddar cheese, 4 medium flour tortillas, olive oil to grease.
Method: Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine sweet potatoes and beans in a bowl. Grease sheet with olive oil and place two tortillas on it. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1/4 c of cheese. Divide sweet potato mixture in half and spread on each tortilla. Cover with the remaining tortillas, press to spread sweet potato mixture evenly to the edges, and brush with olive oil. Cook quesadillas in oven for 12-14 minutes and remove when tops are lightly browned. Serve with homemade guacamole, sour cream, or your other favorite toppings.

Adapted from Mommy Noire

Whipped Sweet Potato Spread

Photo Credit: Whole Foods Photo Credit: Whole Foods

Ingredients: 12 cloves garlic, 1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1 c chopped onion, 1/4 cup low-sodium broth, 1/4 cup milk (any), 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley, 3 tbsp minced fresh basil, 2 tbsp minced fresh chives
Method: Preheat oven to 375°F. Roast garlic in foil about 40 minutes or until cloves are soft. Cool slightly, then cut open cloves and squeeze out roasted garlic. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potato and cook 8 minutes or until tender. Drain. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 5 mins. Stir in broth and continue to cook 3 minutes. In bowl of a food processor, purée roasted garlic, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked onion, milk, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in basil, parsley and chives.

Adapted from Whole Foods Market

Foodstanders celebrate Sweet Potatoes

Ingredient Feature

The Winter (Radish) Has Arrived

November 20, 2014

The Winter (Radish) Has Arrived

Photo Credit: Farm and Fork Society Photo Credit: Farm and Fork Society

Winter Radishes are known for their creamy white exteriors and tender yet crisp bite. The most famous of varietals is the watermelon radish, whose flavor is mild and slightly peppery with sweet notes. Winter radishes can be served fresh or cooked, hot or cold. They pair well with fennel, apple, cheeses such as feta and chèvre, especially butter.

How to Buy: Look for radishes that are smooth, brightly colored, with tops that are green and fresh looking. (You can cook with the tops, makes a great pesto!) Avoid radishes that are soft, have white or brown scars, cracked, or black spots. If the radish tops are yellow, limp or slimy, the radishes are old or have not been stored properly.

How to Store: Winter radishes store well in the refrigerator once the tops have been removed. The radish leaves cause moisture and nutrient loss during storage. Winter radish varieties can be stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Watermelon Radish Chips with Cumin Salt

Photo Credit: Jane's Spice  Photo Credit: Jane’s Spice

Ingredients: 4-6 watermelon radishes, 1 tsp coarse salt, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 2 c vegetable oil for frying
Method: Peel the watermelon radish and thinly slice. If you have a mandolin, use it. Heat the oil in small pot on medium heat. When hot, toss a handful of radish, making sure that you don’t crowd the pot. Fry for approximately 8-10 minutes until really brown. You’ll be tempted to take them out earlier, but you need them to crisp up. They do take longer to crisp than potato chips. Place fried watermelon chips on a paper towel. Season with cumin salt (mix above ingredients in a small bowl).

Adapted from Jane’s Spice

Watermelon Radish Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

Ingredients: 1 shallot, finely diced, 1 1/2 tbsps fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbsps white wine vinegar, Salt to taste, 1 avocado, diced, 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil, 2 heads romaine lettuce, dark outer leaves cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced, 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
Method: In a small bowl, stir together the shallot, 1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Gently stir in the avocado, season with salt and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the olive oil to make a vinaigrette. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, radish and cilantro. Stir in the vinaigrette and drizzle over the salad. Toss gently and season with salt and more lemon juice, if needed. Transfer the salad to individual plates and serve immediately. 

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Foodstanders celebrate Winter Radishes

Spotted: Radishes at the Farmers Market (top left!):

Foodstander Sarah posts ” I love biodynamic and organic farming at Hawthorne Valley Farm at Union Square’s Greenmarket! Do you?” 

Restaurants serving seasonal radishes:

Foodstander Simran posts “Beautiful amuse-bouche at Gramercy Tavern by Chef and Foodstander MikeAnthony” in NYC

Ingredient Feature

Next Stop: Brussels

November 13, 2014

Next Stop: Brussels Sprouts!

Brussel Sprouts (Photo Credit: KCRW Good Food)

Brussel Sprouts (Photo Credit: KCRW Good Food)

Members of the cabbage family, dating as early as the 13th century, Brussels sprouts grow on long, curving stalks that resemble tiny cabbages. They were first seen in Belgium, but lucky for us, they’ve made their way to farmer’s markets in the US. If you haven’t seen these sprouts on the stem, head over to your local market because they’re in season.

How to Buy: Look for sprouts that are heavy for their size and bright green, with leaves clinging tightly to the heads. Avoid any with yellowing leaves, which indicate aging. Check that the stem ends are freshly cut. Small heads, about 1 inch in diameter, are usually preferable to large ones, unless the large heads are dark green and firm.

How to Store: Store in plastic bags or the original packaging in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but try to eat as soon as possible after purchase. To freeze, blanch for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on size. Then refresh in cold water, drain and freeze in sturdy freezer bags.

Momofuku's Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Photo Credit: Crepes of Wrath)

Momofuku’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Photo Credit: Crepes of Wrath)

Momofuku’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients: 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved, grapeseed oil, ⅓ cup fish sauce, ¼ cup water, 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar, juice of 1 lime, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 garlic clove minced, 2 red bird’s-eye chiles, thinly sliced with seeds
Method: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a cast iron pan, then add in the sprouts, cut side down. When the cut side of the sprouts begin to brown, about 5-8 minutes, place the pan in the oven to finish cooking for 15 minutes or so. While the sprouts roast, make your sauce. Simply pulse together the fish sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chiles/peppers in a food processor. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. If it’s too salty, add more water or lime juice. Once the Brussels sprouts are ready, remove them from the oven and toss with about half of the vinaigrette. Taste, and add more vinaigrette until the flavor is where you want.

Adapted from Crepes of Wrath

Grilled Brussels sprouts (Photo Credit: Food Network)

Grilled Brussels sprouts (Photo Credit: Food Network)

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients: 1 lb Brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper
Method: Heat a grill to medium heat. Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and remove any yellowing outer leaves. Place the sprouts into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. Add the olive oil, garlic, mustard, paprika and salt and toss to combine. Allow the sprouts to cool until you can handle them. Skewer 4 to 5 Brussels sprouts onto each metal skewer with the stem ends facing in the same direction, leaving 1/2-inch in between each sprout. Place the skewers onto the grill with stem end closest to the flame. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the skewers over and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve as is.

Adapted from Food Network’s Alton Brown

Foodstanders celebrate Brussels sprouts

Cooking with Brussels sprouts Foodstander Alexa posts 

Cooking with Brussels sprouts Foodstander Alexa posts “Last nights Farmigo vegetables!”

Brussels sprouts in the Farmers Market Foodstander Casadelacargill posts 

Brussels sprouts in the Farmers Market Foodstander Casadelacargill posts “Farmers market goodies! #buylocal #locavore #farmersmarket” 

Ingredient Feature

The Natural Candy Most of Us Have Never Tasted

November 5, 2014


As seen above, a persimmon looks like a cross between an orange and a tomato. But if you’ve ever tasted a persimmon, you’d know it taste nothing like either. Persimmons are one of the most unique fruits out there, with a candy-like bite, sweet juice, incredible color, and floral aftertastes. While these fruits are not grown-locally in the Northeast, they originate from China and have been cultivated more recently in California and North Carolina.

How to Buy: Look for persimmons that are smooth, brightly colored, plump, glossy, well-rounded and still have their leaf attached. Avoid persimmons that have bruises or yellow patches indicating an unripe fruit.
How to Store: At room temperature until soft and ripe. Refrigerate ripe persimmons up to 3 days

Spiced Persimmon Butter

Ingredients8 cloves, 8 allspice, 2 three-inch cinnamons, 4 lbs fuyu persimmons, zest and juice of 1 lemon1 c water, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp salt. 
MethodCrack all spices and secure in a cheese cloth tied with string. Add this spice bundle, persimmons, zest, juice and water to a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cover for 30 – 45 minutes. Set aside spice bundle, remove zest, pass the persimmons and their liquid through a food mill. Return spice bundle, persimmon pulp and liquid to the pot and simmer on medium heat. Continue for 2 hours or until the mixture appears thicker and darker in color.  Take off heat, remove the spice bundle and stir in maple syrup and salt. Transfer all to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to a month, or follow proper canning instructions to keep for up to a year.

Adapted from We Golden

Pro-Tips for Entertaining Season

Persimmon and Bresaola Cradle wedges of honey-sweet Fuyu persimmon in paper-thin slices of bresaola (spiced air-dried beef) for a new take on prosciutto and melon. No recipe required!

Persimmon and Bresaola Cradle wedges of honey-sweet Fuyu persimmon in paper-thin slices of bresaola (spiced air-dried beef) for a new take on prosciutto and melon. No recipe required!

Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone Ripe persimmons become candy-sweet and custardy when broiled. The fruit is drizzled with a simple topping of honey and lime juice, and served with vanilla-perfumed mascarpone cheese.

Broiled Persimmons with Mascarpone Ripe persimmons become candy-sweet and custardy when broiled. The fruit is drizzled with a simple topping of honey and lime juice, and served with vanilla-perfumed mascarpone cheese.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Seasonal Guides

Ingredient Feature

Daal Dhokli – The Delicious Dish You Won’t Find at Most Indian Restaurants

July 2, 2014

My baby brother was a very finicky eater and liked to play with his food. The only dish he would enjoy eating was daal dhokli, a staple Gujarati (region in India) dish, and one you’ll rarely find in a restaurant.

Daal Dhokli is made of 2 components:

1. Daal – a traditional lentil stew

2. Dhokli – diamond-shaped steamed wheat tortilla (roti) pieces

I got really excited when Rachna invited me over for a Foodstand daal dhokli dinner party. It had been a long time since I had this special dish. It was a wonderful evening reminiscing childhood memories with new friends and good conversations. She shared with me her mother’s recipe for this one-pot-wonder,  and I’m sharing it with you below. Double the recipe and make a big pot for a dinner party to save leftovers for a hearty lunch the next day.

Daal Dhokli (serves 4 to 5)

Time: 40-60 minutes

What you need:

Ingredients for the Daal (lentils)

  • 1 cup Toovar Daal (aka  arhar dal, tuvar dal, yellow split peas, tur dal and split pigeon pea)
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or oil of your choice)
  • 1-2 chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp fresh green chili
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • few fresh sprigs of cilantro (coriander)

Ingredients for the Dhokli (whole-wheat roti)

  • 2 cups of whole-wheat flour (flour of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil room temp (oil of your choice)
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • Salt
  • Water

Spices for Vaghaar (Tempering):

  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 red chilies


  • Steam cooker or rice cooker
  • Wooden board
  • Rolling pin
  • Large pot
  • Tiny pot
  • Pizza knife

Making the meal (You’ll be multitasking!)

Start by steaming the daal:

  • Wash and soak daal with peanuts (at least 20 minutes, up to overnight)

  • Put daal and peanuts into a steam cooker or rice cooker with ~2 cups of water plus some salt

  • Steam (~30 minutes in rice cooker) until the daal is cooked and mushy

While the daal is steaming, prepare the dough for the dhokli:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl

  • Add a little water and knead so that the dough feels like putty (not too soft or hard)

  • Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes to ensure is mixed thoroughly, cover it and set aside

While the dough is resting, start boiling the daal:

  • Transfer the steamed daal and peanuts into a big pot

  • Add at least 2 parts water to 1 part daal and start boiling on high heat

  • Add tomatoes, green chili, ginger, and all spices (except garam masala)

  • Keep the daal boiling (stir occasionally), for approximately 10 minutes

Make the dhokli, while the daal is boiling:

  • Roll the dough into several munchkin-sized balls

  • Roll the ball into a circle using your rolling pin (sprinkle flour on the board and dough to make sure the dough doesn’t stick)

  • Keep it thicker than a tortilla or roti

  • Cut squares or diamond-shapes with your pizza knife

  • Drop the cut up roti into the boiling daal pot as you make each one

  • Let the dhokli cook, stir every 2-3 minutes for 15 minutes

  • Add lemon juice and garam masala when the dhokli is nearly cooked (you’ll know the dhokli is cooked in the same way you know pasta is cooked)

Top off your daal dhokli pot with a vaghaar

  • In a small pot add a little oil of your choice to high heat

  • Add vaghaar spices except the hing

  • Let the spices make a popping noise, then quickly add the hing

  • Immediately pour the contents of the pot on top of the daal dhokli pot

  • Stir for a bit and serve

Enjoy this wonderful Gujarati dish garnished with a bit of cilantro (coriander) leaves!