Monday, October 22, 2007

Recipe: Steamed Swiss Chard with Candied Citrus Zest

Approx time (including preparation and cooking): 45 minutes
Citrus zester
Tea strainer/fork
Large pot with lid
Cutting board
Stirring spoon (nylon or wood)
Steamer rack
Aluminum foil

1 lemon
1 orange
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
About 2 pounds chard (any color)
1" cube of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon juice to taste

Preparation for Swiss chard: Remove any dried, slippery, or yellow leaves. Dunk chard in a sink filled with tepid water and swish around. Lift out gently so debris sinks. Repeat until clean. Unless chard is baby-size, slice leaves from stalks by running a knife along the stalk held with the curled edges of the leaf upturned. Or snip with scissors to neatly trim the fine upper midrib. If stalks are unusually heavy, zip off "strings" as you would from celery. If stalks are wider than 1 inch (which is desirable), halve lengthwise. Trim bases, and then slice to suit the recipe.

Nota bene: Feel free to do the prep work of 3 during the cooking time of 2.

1. Follow directions under Preparation for washing and trimming chard. Slice chard stems into 1/2-inch diagonals (if wider than 1 inch, first halve lengthwise).
2. Arrange stems on steamer rack over boiling water. Cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes (check often - time varies). Add leaves and steamand until tender, 5-10 minutes.
3. With a citrus zester, shave thin strips from the lemon and the orange. (Alternatively, remove zest with peeler or knife, then cut into finejulienne of 1/2- to 1-inch lengths.) Drop into small heavy pot of boiling water; drain.
4. Combine sugar and 1 cup water in the same pot and bring to a boil. Add zest, smashed ginger, reduce heat and simmer until it is tender and syrupthickens, 10-15 minutes. With tea strainer (or fork), transfer zest and ginger (you may discard the ginger at this point if you choose) to sheet off oil. Halve and squeeze the lemon. Add juice to syrup; reserve.
5. Transfer chard to serving dish. Gradually add lemon syrup to taste, tossing. Add salt and pepper, oil and additional lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with the zest.

From: Cooking Demonstrator Adrienne Posner via Gina (In case you didn't get to try it, it wasDELICIOUS!)

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