Gingerly Ginger

by Joanne on February 10, 2009

I was looking at the week ahead, specifically Thursday when I will be using fresh ginger in Ted’s dinner.  I got  a little curious about this not so pretty root that I picked up in my produce section of the super market. So I went on line to various sites and found out some interesting tidbits. 

1.  The longer the length of the root, the hotter and more fibrous it will be. The length is a sign that it is a more mature root.

2.  You should store it unpeeled, wrapped in paper towel, in a plastic bag, refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months (wrapped up well).  Whoops! I just tossed my little critter in the fridge!

Check out this chart on the different kinds of ginger:

(fresh ginger graphic) Fresh Ginger
Available in in two forms: young and mature. Young roots, also called green or spring ginger, has a pale, thin skin that requires no peeling, is very tender and has a milder flavor. It can be grated, chopped, or julienned for use. Mature ginger root has a tough skin that must be peeled away to get to the fibrous flesh and is usually grated, chopped or ground for use.
(dried ginger graphic) Dried Ginger
This form is usually found in whole fingers and also in slices. It is usually soaked in recipe liquid before using.
(pickled ginger graphic) Pickled Ginger
Called gari or beni shoga in Japan, this form is pickled in sweet vinegar and is usually colored bright red or pink. It is a familiar accompaniment to sushi and is also eaten to refresh the breath. Available at Asian markets, it should be kept refrigerated in its container.
(preserved ginger graphic) Preserved Ginger
Also available in Asian and specialty markets, this form has been preserved in a sugar-salt mixture. It is generally used as a confection or added to desserts, and it is especially good with melons.
(crystallized ginger graphic) Crystallized Ginger
Also known as candied ginger, this form has been cooked in a sugar syrup until tender and then coated with granulated sugar. It is commonly used in desserts and can easily be made at home.
(ground ginger graphic) Ground Ginger
Also referred to as powdered, this dried, ground form is quite different than fresh. It is readily available in standard supermarkets, and is used primarily in sweets and curry mixes.

You can find out more at:  http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodstorage/a/gingerstorage.htm

But.. what about tonight?  I was thinking of a recipe from VG email for Honey Baked Lentils.  You can find the recipe at http://www.recipezaar.com.  The lentil dinner didn’t happen because AMAZINGLY, I was out of lentils. I saw a “loaf” of GimmeLean Sausage  in the fridge.

gimmeleansausage It was taking up too much room so it had to be cooked. 

I also bought extra spinach this past weekend. That was hoarding the crisper and needed to be removed. 

There was a can of Black beans making a fuss in the cupboard (actually there were 4 cans and one had to go!) so I shut them up quick.

Here’s what happened when everything got together… first, there are a few more participants in this little dinner show:

  • 1 14 oz pkg GIMMELEAN sausage
  •  1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 15 oz can Black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 clove minced garlic
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Put a little EVOO in a pan and sauteed the onions for 3 minutes over medium heat, added the “sausage” and cooked about 8 minutes.  Added garlic and spinach just until wilted. Poured on the tomatoes, – undrained, added the beans, salt and pepper and let cook at a simmer for about 20 minutes.

Served on top of mashed butternut squash.

The result:  It was over salted. The flavor wasn’t exactly to my liking.  However – it was quick, easy and, as with most casserole type dinners, will most likely taste better tomorrow.

dscn0146

No plans tonight. Take it easy and hope for another wide eyed Wednesday.  Tomorrow I’m taking an early morning trip to Syracuse. Terry and I are meeting with a vendor to discuss some methods used which are just not acceptable.  Another task I don’t really enjoy doing but hey… someone has to do it.

Have a great night!

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2 Comments

  • At 2009.02.11 09:34, Danielle said:

    I need to try those “sausages” I’m just starting to try meat alternatives and I’m excited there are so many different kinds.

    • At 2009.02.11 12:21, applec said:

      I seem to enjoy them all. But my husband, who is a meat eater is very picky about the ones he likes. It’s more of a texture thing with him than a taste.

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