Best if Used By 04/29/14
Eat This Now for the week of April 22nd, 2014 features
Florida Sweet Corn, Hothouse Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Sweet Mini Peppers, and Honeydew
Florida Sweet Corn
PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED | BEST FLAVOR
What is Sunshine Sweet Corn? It is spring crop Corn grown in Florida, supersweet varieties designed for great flavor using traditional breeding techniques – not GMO (genetic modification). With an excellent crop so far this Spring, retailers are able to begin promoting Sweet Corn with in store and advertised specials. Fire up the grill! White, Yellow or Bi-Color varieties which are all eating good – nice flavor, good sweetness and a juicy and tender texture. You’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between them in a blind taste-test.
RECIPE: Grill-steamed Sweet Corn with Dill-Butter
Boiling Sweet Corn is fine, but those pesky strings of silk are so much easier to remove when it’s been steamed in the husk. The husk will look burnt, but when you let the Corn cool for a couple minutes so it is able to be handled – you’ll find husking it is a breeze. Plus the Corn will be perfectly steamed and have a hint of smoky flavor.
- Allow 4 tbsp of Salted Butter to soften a room temperature
- Finely chop a handful of fresh Dill
- Smash chopped Dill into Butter with a fork
- Pre-heat Grill to high
- Remove loose outer leaves of 6-10 ears of Sweet Corn
- Rinse the husks with water to add some moisture
- Grill for 8-11 minutes, flipping 1-2 times.
- Remove from heat and husk it just before serving
- Spread Dill-Butter onto husked Corn or serve it as a condiment
SWEET CORN TIPS:
- SELECTING: Choose Sweet Corn that feels full up and down the cob and has green husks.
- STORAGE: Sweet Corn will last in your fridge for over a week, but will dehydrate and lose flavor every day it sits – so try to use it right away.
- BOIL: Over-cooking Sweet Corn can lead to toughness and less flavor. 3-5 minutes in boiling water is really all it takes for perfect Sweet Corn on the Cob.
- MICROWAVE: Microwave on high in the husk for 4-6 minutes. If fresh corn is already husked, wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 5 minutes.
- RECIPES: Get a broad spectrum of mouth-watering Sweet Corn recipes here.
VALUE PRICED | PEAK SEASON
Big, broad-shouldered Hothouse Tomatoes (sometimes called Greenhouse, Beefsteak or Hydroponic Tomatoes) are in a peak season harvest flourish from greenhouses in Canada. This flush of high quality, large-sized fruit is creating deals for many retailers to pass along in the form of ads or in-store specials on high quality Tomatoes during late April and early May. Grown in the optimal conditions of these sophisticated greenhouses, Hothouse Tomatoes look beautiful! The taste? The taste doesn’t match that of a home-grown summer Tomato, but they do have some flavor and the texture is juicy yet firm for slicing – certainly enough to top that BLT, sandwich or salad!
- Do NOT refrigerate your tomatoes (unless you’ve sliced them already) because temperatures under the mid-50s make the texture mushy and zaps flavor.
- You’ll know you’re buying a true Greenhouse-grown Tomato (aka Hothouse, Beefsteak) when the stem end still has the calyx attached and the PLU sticker has the number 4799 on it.
- Hothouse Tomatoes are best for slicing purposes.
PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR
Green salsa or salsa verde is not made from Green Tomatoes – it is made from flavorful Tomatillos! Tomatillos look like medium-sized green Tomatoes with a thin, papery husk on them. Peel the husk back and you can feel a sticky texture on smooth skin. Tomatillos are typically boiled or roasted then blended or mixed in whole as part of the recipe preparation. Roasting takes more time, but intensifies the flavor.
Right now Tomatillos are in peak season from Mexico. Perhaps you can try using some for your Cinco de Mayo fun next week. One of my favorite things is to blend ripe Hass Avocados with Salsa Verde to make a creamy Tomatillo Guacamole. Here is a collection of delicious Tomatillo recipes.
Sweet Mini Peppers
BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED
Have you tried these yet? Organic and Conventional Sweet Mini Peppers from Mexico continue to be in peak season production here in late April and early May. Try some! What are they? Sweet Mini Peppers are like the “Baby Carrots” of the Pepper category. These lil’ babies are awesome, convenient and versatile! Sweet Mini Peppers are in fact sweet, plus they’re crunchy, bite-sized and delicious. One to four inches long and a mix of Red, Yellow and Orange colors, Sweet Mini Peppers typically come packed in 8oz pint containers or 1lb bags.
- Simply rinse them with water and they’re ready to snack on raw.
- Slice the top off and pull out the easy-to-remove seed core and you’re ready to stuff, grill or roast them!
3 BEST things to do with Sweet Mini Peppers:
- Raw for a crunchy, Vitamin C-rich snack – they’re quite sweet!
- Roast or grill with oil-salt-pepper for a savory side
- Stuff them with guacamole, hummus or seasoned cream cheese for a fun raw or cooked appetizer.
- Fiesta Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Pesto Shrimp Stuffed Sweet Baby Peppers
- Sweet Pepper Poppers Appetizer
- Easy Roasted Sweet Mini Peppers
Jumbo, heavy Honeydew are plentiful this week from large harvests in Central America. You can get a lot of melon for the money. How do they taste? The big Guatemalan fruit has been decent but is definitely not summer-time Honeydew, though they taste better than a cucumber – mild melon flavor and nice sweetness when allowed to ripen a couple days out of refrigeration. Actually, the ones I’ve eaten recently are a pleasant addition to fruit salad. And the new crop Organic Honeydew that are now in season from Mexico, while small, are tasty.
- Ripe Honeydew will have a waxy feel and good ones begin to emit a tropical aroma as they ripen and soften at room temperature. Honeydew should give slightly to firm thumb pressure when it is ready to cut.
- To get the most out of the melon: Slice the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, peel on a cutting board, chunk the flesh and store cut melon in the fridge.
- Honeydew is good by itself as a snack, to mix into fresh fruit salads, to pair with cheese and add to smoothie recipes like this one.
- Ever have Spa Water? It is basically flavoring your own water with fruit – a great way to stay deliciously hydrated. Honeydew and Watermelon is great for this! Find Spa Water Recipes here.
What is in-season in Organic Produce right now? Find out HERE.
Eat in-season. Choose fresh. Enjoy good, wholesome food.
The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy