Quick and Easy Garbanzo Madness

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Oct 312011

•       12 ounces chorizo, cut into coins and then halved
•       12 ounces ham, cut into cubes
•       2 tablespoons regular olive oil
•       2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
•       Salt and pepper
•       Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve, optional
The Best Part Ingredients:
•       2 cups fresh cilantro chopped finely, firmly packed (about 2 bunches)
•       3-6 cloves of garlic
•       2 tablespoons chopped onion
•       1/2 cup olive oil
•       1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
•       Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste


Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed skillet (I prefer a stir-fry) on a medium heat add chorizo and ham and sauté for 10 minutes. I like mine a little crispy so yours may take less time. Add the Garbanzo beans and cook for another 10 minutes. Don’t forget to add the cilantro paste. The garlic is not cooked so be prepared for a little bit.

Oct 272011

Summer squash, like zucchini, and winter squash are versatile vegetables to use in cooking. Summer squash have thin, soft skin, while winter squash have hard skin and inedible seeds that have to be scooped out. Winter squash, such as butternut and acorn squash, can last up to a month in a cool storage area. Otherwise, they should be used within 2 weeks so warmer room temperatures won’t dry the squash out. This vegetable is high in fiber and vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium. If you’re wondering how to bake squash, it’s easy. Cut lengthwise and remove the seeds before baking at 350°, about 45 minutes. There are other methods for cooking with squash too. Follow the same preparation steps – cut lengthwise and remove the seeds before cooking a squash in the broiler or steaming it on the stove.

Jun 282011

Want to know the secret to keeping onions fresh for future use? Your freezer! Frozen onions are easy to prepare. Just chop and place the minced onion on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about an hour.  Transfer the frozen onions to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to a year. Frozen onions are best used in soups, sauces and casseroles and should not be defrosted before use. Keep reading to see how to remove the onion odor.

Storing Onions:

Sweet onions are high in water and sugar content so they require more care when storing; treat them gently to avoid bruising. Store away from potatoes because they’ll absorb water. Generally, sweet onions will keep for 4 to 6 weeks or longer. Cut onions should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated. Favorite ways to store “sweets”:

In the refrigerator: Store in a single layer in the vegetable bin on paper towels. Or, for longer storage, wrap in foil.

In pantyhose: Take a leg from a pair of clean, sheer pantyhose, drop an onion into the foot, tie a knot and repeat as necessary. Hang in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Cut above the knot when ready to use.

On racks or screens: Place on elevated racks or screens, not touching, in a cool area.

In the freezer: For long-term storage, sweet onions can be frozen, but their texture changes so frozen onions should be used only for cooking. Chop and place on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When frozen, place in freezer containers or bags. To store whole onions, peel, wash, core and freeze in a freezer-proof container or bag.

Drying: Chop and dry in the oven, using the lowest setting. Remove when thoroughly dry but not brown. Store at room temperature in airtight containers.

One large onion = about one (1) cup chopped onion.

One medium onion = about 3/4 cup chopped onion.

It is so hard to remove the smell of onions, garlic or fish from your hands. One household tip for removing the blade of a stainless steel knife. Well I prefer to use a spoon or the stainless steel faucet. In fact, you can even buy stainless steel ‘soaps’, which are just hunks of stainless steel that are about the same shape and size as a bar of normal soap. See stainless soap