WBEZ | Shelley Young http://www.wbez.org/tags/shelley-young Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Q&amp;A: Freeze, fry, repeat: How to cook through the recession http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/03/freeze-fry-repeat-how-to-cook-through-the-recession/7274 <p><p class="MsoNormal">Cheap recipes are one good way to save money, but how should you approach recession cooking in general? Shelley Young, owner of <a href="http://www.thechoppingblock.net/" target="_blank">The Chopping Block</a> and a <a href="../2009/03/09/the-downturn-dish-our-blog-launches-a-new-weekly-recipe-feature/" target="_blank">Monday conbtributor</a> to our blog, answers some questions about money- and time-saving strategies to help you through.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>1. In tight-budget times, what foods are best to stock the kitchen with?</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Counter to what most people might think, fresh and frozen products can be more economical. Prepared, canned and processed foods can be less nutritionally dense and more expensive due to the packaging and processing costs.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are many selections to be made in the produce aisle that are reasonably priced and keep for weeks or even months: potatoes of all kinds, butternut squash or any hard skinned squash, parsnips, turnips, beets, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, celery root, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes. Certain herbs such as rosemary and thyme last longer; try working with those more than, say, basil.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Buying fresh meats, poultry and seafood when they are on sale and freezing them is a great way to save money and enjoy high-quality meats. Meat freezes beautifully for months. If properly thawed in the refrigerator and cooked well, most people would notice very little difference.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you have some meat in the freezer you can pull it out when needed throughout the week. If you purchase produce that lasts for weeks it will still be there and fresh when you need it. Supplement your shopping lists with a smaller amount of produce that expires quickly such as lettuce or fruit. Lastly, stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store where you will find the deals and nutrient dense foods!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>2. I don't want to break the bank over fresh produce, but I'd also hate to eat canned beans the rest of my life</strong> -- <strong>what are some approaches?</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here is produce that doesn't break the bank: squash, parsnips, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, turnips, carrots, and beets (really most everything except exotic peppers, tomatoes, lettuce). Frozen peas, spinach, corn, and artichokes can also be great.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>3. Meat can tend toward expensive</strong> -- <strong>what are the best good and tasty substitutes?</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Short ribs, chicken thighs, chuck roast, whole turkey, ground meats and sausages work well. A whole chicken will also be very economical.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I also suggest that you try quinoa as a protein choice. It is the perfect grain as it is a complete protein and inexpensive and quick to cook.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>4. If I have some vegetables that are still edible but on the edge of going bad, and hate to waste money throwing them away, what catch-all dish is a safe bet?</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Any one pot dishes such as soups, sauces, stews, pasta dishes and casseroles are a great way to utilize aging produce. Also, don't forget about egg dishes! You can add all those veggies in an omelet.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>5. What are your top recommendations for how people can save money?</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">"¢Cook! Cooking at home is less expensive, healthier and better on the calories than eating out. Learn how to braise, for example. Less expensive cuts of meat lend themselves to braising and are delicious, so learn how to do it. They also tend to be great leftovers.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">"¢Buy things that have a long shelf life, see produce above.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">"¢Plan ahead, cook for the week on the weekends and take your lunch to work. This takes planning, but will make a world of difference.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">"¢Spend any extra cash you have on a good quality olive oils and vinegars, fresh cracked black pepper and good quality stock instead of bouillon cubes. Use your whole chicken or turkey to make stock and keep it in your freezer. It is worth every penny and elevates your cooking to the next level with no effort.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">"¢Grate your own cheese, it tastes way better and you will need less and ultimately save cash and lose pounds!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>What are some of your strategies? Leave a comment and help out other readers!</em></p></p> Wed, 11 Mar 2009 08:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/03/freeze-fry-repeat-how-to-cook-through-the-recession/7274 Downturn Dish: Our blog launches a new weekly recipe feature http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/03/the-downturn-dish-our-blog-launches-a-new-weekly-recipe-feature/7270 <p>Today we introduce a new feature of our blog: The Downturn Dish. Every Monday we will post inexpensive, recession-friendly recipes from local chefs and culinary entrepreneurs as well as friends, family and Hard Working contributors. In addition to these weekly posts, we will maintain a separate Downturn Dish page complete with resources. We believe that, as the crisis deepens and you aim to save more money, you should not have to sacrifice in the kitchen . So please enjoy Monday's inaugural post, care of Chicago's own The Chopping Block. Bon appƒ©tit! When Shelley Young, founder and owner of <a href="http://www.thechoppingblock.net/" target="_blank">The Chopping Block</a>--a cooking school and retail store--opened her business, she had a mantra: "Food is a catalyst for friendship." As the country faces dire economic times, it's important to remember that cooking is an excellent way to keep your friends and family close. But Young knows it's not easy for many families to maintain their pre-recession eating and food shopping habits. For that reason, she chose to share three hardy recipes, which she calls "Fast and Frugal," that are great for family dinners. With ingredients such as steak and chicken, these recipes do fall on the more expensive end of our recession recipes spectrum, so be sure to stay tuned for cheaper veggie and grains dishes in weeks to come. Below, Young provides the cooking blow-by-blow. If you'd prefer a live, in-person demonstration of these recipes, there is a <a href="http://www.thechoppingblock.net/classes.html" target="_blank">"Fabulous and Frugal" class</a> at The Chopping Block's Lincoln Square location on March 25 at 7pm (cost of $75)! <em>If you have a recipe you'd like to share--send it our way: hardworking at chicagopublicradio dot org </em> <strong>Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Pears and Blue Cheese </strong> <em>For the pizza dough:</em> <em>1 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast </em> <em>1 tablespoon honey</em> <em>2 tablespoons warm water </em> <em>1/2 cups warm water (110-115‚º)</em> <em>1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil</em> <em>1 3/4 - 2 cups whole wheat flour</em> <em>Pinch sea salt </em> In a medium sized bowl, combine yeast, honey and water. Allow to sit for about five minutes or until yeast becomes foamy. Add remaining water, olive oil, flour, and salt. Work with your hands until the dough forms a ball that comes away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double in bulk. Preheat the oven to 425‚°. Punch down the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface for one minute. Roll the dough very thin into a circle or a rectangle. Place dough on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal or on a cornmeal dusted baking sheet. Prick with a fork to prevent bubbles, and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake until the dough is mostly crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread with the caramelized onion and sprinkle with the pears and blue cheese. Continue to bake until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted, about 5-6 minutes. Cut into slices and serve. <a name="0.3_graphic04"></a><em>For the caramelized onions and other toppings:</em> <em>2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil</em> <em>2 tablespoons butter</em> <em>2 red onions, sliced thin</em> <em>1/2 cup sherry wine</em> <em>1 teaspoon thyme, rough chopped</em> <em>Salt and pepper to taste</em> <em>1/2 cup blue cheese</em> <em>2 ripe pears, medium dice </em> Heat a sautƒ© pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Sautƒ© the onions until they are nicely caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. If browned bits of fond build up on the bottom of the pan while caramelizing, deglaze with a touch of water. Once the onions are caramelized, add the sherry and reduce until dry. Stir in the thyme and season to taste, with salt and pepper. <!--break--> <strong>Chicken Pan Roast with Artichokes and Peas </strong> <em>2 tablespoons grapeseed oil</em> <em>4 chicken thighs</em> <em>Sarah's sea salt and pepper to taste</em> <em>2 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds</em> <em>Zest of 1/2 lemon</em> <em>1 onion, sliced thin</em> <em>1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled</em> <em>1 teaspoon herbs de Provence</em> <em>1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika</em> <em>1 cup artichokes, quartered</em> <em>1/2 cup peas </em> Heat a heavy wide pot over medium high heat and add the oil. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper and sear them, skin side down, until golden brown and crisp. Flip them over and repeat. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and layer the potatoes, overlapping slightly, on the bottom of the pan until it's covered. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper. Scatter the sliced onions, garlic cloves, herbs and paprika on top of the potatoes and place the seared chicken on top. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the chicken until the meat is tender and no longer pink, about 40 minutes. Uncover the pot and scatter in the artichokes and peas. Cover the pot and cook until they are warmed through. <strong>Grilled Skirt Steak with Balsamic Glaze and Warm Cous Cous and Raisin Salad </strong> <em></em><em>For the marinade:</em> <em>1/4 cup fresh lime juice </em> <em>1 orange, juiced </em> <em>3 garlic cloves, sliced </em> <em>3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar </em> <em>1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil </em> <em>Salt and pepper to taste </em> <em>2 pounds skirt steak, excess fat trimmed</em> <em>Lime wedges as needed </em> Mix together the lime juice, orange, juice, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Marinate the skirt steak for about 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and season each side with additional salt and pepper. Grill the first side until caramelized, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and repeat. Continue to cook until the steak is done to your liking. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into very thin slices against the grain. Serve with the lime wedges and couscous salad. <em>For the couscous salad:</em> <em>2 cups couscous</em> <em>2 cups boiling water</em> <em>Salt and pepper to taste</em> <em>1/2 cup raisins</em> <em>1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted</em> <em>1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled</em> <em>1/4 cup parsley, rough chopped </em> Place the couscous in a heat proof bowl and pour in the boiling water. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and allow the couscous to steam until all of the water has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Mix in the raisins, pine nuts, feta cheese and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. <p class="MsoNormalCxSpFirst" style="line-height:normal;"></p> <p class="MsoNormalCxSpMiddle" style="line-height:normal;"></p></p> Mon, 09 Mar 2009 15:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/03/the-downturn-dish-our-blog-launches-a-new-weekly-recipe-feature/7270