Posts tagged ‘snack’

Fresh Ground Cherry Salsa

Ground cherries

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Pennsylvania, autumn came trouncing in on a very chilly rain and seems to have decided to stay.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first person to roll out the welcome mat for sweater-weather and the golden hues of a sun low in the sky.  But this particular autumn isn’t so well behaved so far – it’s cold and rainy and leaves little room for those wonderful culinary creations that shine as bridges between the bounty of summer and the selectiveness of fall. 

Salsa ingredients all fresh and local

I was looking forward to offering up this recipe for bright fresh ground cherry and tomato salsa as a tasty way to take advantage of those last sweet little tomatoes and tomato-counterparts still left on the vine.  But now, with this drastic change in the weather, you may very well be only in the mood for soups and hunks of warm bread, not chilled chunks of vegetables and chips. 

Fresh Ground Cherry Salsa

There’s always still the chance that gorgeous and elusive event we call an Indian summer around here will happen.  I picked up a wooly worm (I don’t know what their propere name is) in my garden yesterday and it had black tips and a brown middle.  According to my oh-so-scientific-farm-kids-lore, that means winter will be harsh at the beginning and end, but mild in the middle.  Perhaps that will apply to this autumn as well.  You know you’re in the midst of an Indian summer when the air stills sings with the buzz of insect wings and the grass is warm and inviting to bare toes, but the sky is crystal blue and the nights require an extra blanket on the bed.   Indian summers are perfect for a sweet tangy salsa like this. 


October 4, 2008 at 9:46 am 14 comments

Parsnip Chips

very thin slice of parsnip against the light 
a thin slice of parsnip held up to the light

Port Wine and Pastries:  Yes, my dear readers, I am currently away from my desk/computer, hiking around the steep hills of Lisbon and rural sections of the northern Minho region of pint-sized Portugal.  I can’t wait to get back and tell you all about the rich old-world culture of this unique little country oft forgotten by European travelers intent on getting to Italy and Spain.  In the meantime, enjoy this post for Parsnip Chips (a knock off of Terra brand chips), and please have patience with my delay in responding to comments. 

Obrigada e adeus (thank you and farewell)!

Slices of parsnip for chips
Ready to put in the oil
Fry, baby, fry!


To make parsnip chips, slice parsnip into rounds as uniformly and thinly as possible. If using a mandoline, apply almost no pressure to the mandoline when running the parsnip over the blade.

For microwaving:  Lay parsnip slices out in one layer on parchment paper, being careful not to overlap the slices.  Spray slices with butter spray and sprinkle with salt.  Place another sheet of parchment paper over parsnip slices.  Cook on high for 3 minutes.  Check to see if slices are crisp.  If not, cook for 30 seconds more and check again.  Continue with this method until you’ve established the correct time needed to produce crisp, but not blackened, chips.  Repeat process for all the slices, being careful to reduce time as necessary as your microwave heats up and gets more moisture in it with multiple batches.

Microwaved parsnip chips
parsnip chips made in the microwave

For frying:  Heat 2 cups of vegetable or peanut oil in a deep pot until piping hot (test oil with a pinch of flour – if it sizzles, it’s ready).  Add about 6 or 7 parsnip slices at a time, using a slotted spoon to lay them into the oil so you don’t get splattered.  Fry for about a minute until darkening around the edges.  Flip them over with the spoon and fry until deep brown.  Parsnips need to get very dark before they’ll get crisp – don’t worry, you’re not burning them.  Remove with slotted spoon and drain on parchment or paper towel and sprinkle with salt.  Repeat process for remaining parsnip. 

With either method, one large parsnip will yield about 1 cup of chips.

Fried parsnip chips
parsnip chips fried in oil

March 7, 2008 at 12:30 pm 5 comments

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