Ah ! Its flu season. If you feel the sniffles coming on or are trying to shake a winter cold then try adding Ginger to your dishes. Ginger is the wunderkind of medicinal plants and has been used for 1000’s of years in traditional Asian foods. It adds flavor and dimension to foods but is also a huge source for anti inflammatory, antibacterial and vitamin richness

Ginger comes fresh, dried, preserved, pickled, candied, and powdered. In any form, ginger brings with it a subtle warmth rather than heat, with Its peppery, slightly sweet flavor and spicy aroma. Unpeeled Ginger can be stored in the fridge for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months. Ginger is crucial member of the holy quintet of spices , cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. Its wonderful in both sweet and savory dishes. Sliced or shredded to use in a stir fry, or you can grate it, including it in a marinade for chicken or pork that is to be grilled or roasted. Try finishing a dish by cutting off a small square of ginger, squash it in a garlic press and squeeze hard and use the small amount of juice to brighten up a piece of chicken or fish before serving.

Recently I was so excited to find Fresh Ginger for sale at Sweet Beets Market , can you believe ,grown right here in NH . So I decided to make the most of it and try out these recipes , I soon found myself adding ginger to almost every dish I was making. No need anymore to have that neglected hunk of ginger at the back of the fridge.

Ginger Tea- Just add boiling water to a mug with a slice or two of orange or clementine , squeeze of fresh lemon and few slices of fresh ginger. Just the steam alone feels like it will heal a cold.

Honey, Lemon & Ginger Cough Drops .

Ingredients : ½ cup honey, 2 TBLS fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp fresh grated ginger.

Instructions : Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized, deep saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent burning. The mixture will foam up the sides of pan, so take pan off heat briefly to allow foam to subside, then place pan back on heat to continue cooking. You may have to turn heat down to low to prevent honey from burning. Use a candy thermometer and heat to 300F degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple for minutes until thickens slightly. Put teaspoons of the mixture onto parchment paper . Allow to cool until drops are hard .

Ginger Snap Cookies.

Ingredients : 8 oz unsalted butter (softened), 6 oz white sugar, 6 oz dark brown sugar, 1 egg, 12 oz All Purpose flour, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cloves, 2 tsp cinnamon, 3 tsp ground ginger,

Instructions : In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and creamy .While constantly whisking, slowly add the beaten egg just a little bit at a time. Sift together the flour, baking powder ,salt and spices into another bowl then carefully stir these ingredients into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Roll out the mixture to the thickness of a quarter, between two sheets of greaseproof paper, then place the whole lot in to the fridge and rest for a couple of hours. When you are ready to cook the cookies, heat the oven to 350° and grease a baking sheet with a little butter. Cut the dough with a small round cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the baking sheet leaving plenty of space around each biscuit as they will spread. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Once cooked, remove from the oven. As the biscuits will be soft at this point, carefully remove from the baking sheet and leave to cool on a wire cooling tray. Miraculously, the biscuits will harden up. and when completely cold have a perfect snap. Eat when cold.

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