There is a marshmallow plant, and marshmallows used to be made from the extract of its roots, but today it is concocted of corn syrup, gelatin, gum arabic and flavorings. They look like little airy pillows of sugar. Marshmallow creme is a thick, whipped mixture of the stuff sold in jars.
MAHRSH-mehl-oh plural: marshmallows food
Season: available year-round
How to select: Marshmallows come in various shapes, sizes and colors.
How to prepare: Used frequently as a topping for hot cocoa and mixed in fudge, ice cream and candies.
Substitutions: marshmallow creme = marshmallow fluff = Gently heat 16 ounces of marshmallows plus 1/4 cup corn syrup in a double boiler, stirring constantly; 10 large marshmallows = 1 C miniature marshmallows.
Commercial sour cream has 18-20 percent fat and has been treated with a lactic acid culture to add its characteristic tang. Light sour cream has 40 percent less fat because it is made from half-and-half. Nonfat sour cream is thickened with stabilizers.
sour cream food
Season: available year-round
How to store: Refrigerate up to one week after date stamped on container. Discard if mold forms on the cream's surface.
Matches well with: caviar, fruit, potatoes
Substitutions: 1 cup plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt (in cooked recipes, + 1 tbsp cornstarch) = 1 cup low-fat sour cream; For a slimmer version of it with only 0.5g fat then use 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese 1 cup plain low fat yogurt 1 tbsp lemon juice freshly groung black pepper pinch salt Combine ingredients throughly in a food processor. Keep refrigerated You can also make your own sour cream by adding one teaspoon of lemon juice to each 5 fluid ounces of fresh single cream (table cream).
Named for its resemblance to a pine cone in English, this tropical fruit was originally discovered and domesticated in South America. Now cultivated in many tropical regions throughout the world, he pineapple plant is a member of a group of plants called bromeliads, or air plants. Their modified leaves and stems catch and store water, which the plant can then use as a resource. Pineapples can weigh up to 20 pounds, but average 2-5 pounds.
pineapple plural: pineapples food
Season: March - July
How to select: Available year round at larger markets, but peak season is Spring. Pineapples cannot be picked until they are ripe on the tree, because their starch does not convert to sugar once picked. Thus, you want a pineapple free of green, with strong color and slightly soft to the touch (they can continue to ripen at home, but they will not get any sweeter). Leaves should be crisp and green, without browning. Pineapples past their prime will be too soft with dark spots on the skin. Pineapple can be found canned in its own juice or sugar syrup in ring slices, chunks or bits, as well as frozen or candied.
How to store: At room temperature for up to 2 days away from light, or in perforated plastic in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How to prepare: Pineapple is delicious fresh in salads or desserts, as well as sauteed, grilled or broiled. It cannot be used fresh in gelatin mixtures because its natural enzymes will prevent the gelatin from setting (though canned is okay). The enzyme in pineapple is terrific at tenderizing meats, so use it as a marinade, but don't leave meat next to pineapple more than 10 minutes before serving or it will turn it mushy. It will also digest proteins in milk products, so again add to cottage cheese or yogurt just before serving. To prepare a fresh pineapple, cut a slice off the top and bottom, then cut the rind off the sides in wide strokes trying to leave as much flesh as possible while removing all of the "eyes." Then cut lengthwise and remove the core from each half.
Matches well with: apricots, avocados, bacon, bananas, brandy, coconut, cucumbers, grapefruits, hazelnuts, liqueurs, lime, mangoes, lemon, mint, oranges, papayas, raspberries, rum, strawberries, sugar, vanilla
A loose-skinned orange category that includes both sweet and tart, small and large, seeded and seedless varieties: including the clementine, dancy, satsuma and tangerine. Most of the canned mandarin oranges n the market are satsumas.
MAN-duh-rihn plural: Mandarin oranges food
Season: November - June
The fruit harvested from the coconut tree, which lives for 70 years, producing thousands of coconuts. The white flesh of the fruit is the coconut meat. The center contains a watery liquid coconut juice which is often sipped straight from the coconut. Coconut milk is made by simmering equal parts water and shredded coconut meat, then squeezing and straining the thick liquid remaining. Coconut cream is the same as coconut milk with a richer proportion of coconut to water (4 to 1)
coconut plural: coconuts food
Season: October - December
How to select: Fresh coconut is available year round but October through December is their peak season. Packaged coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, shredded or flaked, dry or moist) can be found with baking ingredients in the store and need to be refrigerated once opened.
How to store: Grated fresh coconut should be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to a week and in the freezer for 6 months. Whole coconuts can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months.
How to prepare: One medium coconut will yield 3 to 4 cups of grated meat. To extract the juice of the coconut (not to be confused with coconut milk), pierce two of the three indentations, or eyes, at one end with an icepick.
Matches well with: apricots, bananas, chicken, chocolate, custard, fruits, nuts, oranges, pineapples, shellfish