What’s Cooking this Month?
Ready-to-Eat Steamed Blackeyed Peas
These small beige colored peas get their name because of the black spot on each pea, looking like an eye. They were believed to have originated in North Africa where they were a staple food for Greeks and Romans. Many years later, they appeared in the “New World,” possibly brought in by Spanish explorers. They are very popular in the Southern U.S., and even more so during New Year’s celebration, where they’ve earned a reputation for good luck and prosperity.
Most blackeyed peas are packaged dry, but Melissa’s blackeyed peas are steamed and vacuum-sealed in a ready-to-use package. They make great dips and are delicious in casseroles. Blackeyed peas are very low in fat and are an excellent source of folic acid. They have a six-month shelf life when stored in the refrigerator. Try one of our delicious holiday recipes to bring you good luck in the coming year!
Ready-to-Eat Steamed Artichokes
These delicious ready-to-eat artichokes have been steamed and prepared for your convenience. They are vacuum-sealed to keep their freshness. Perfect to use out of the package and great when you use them in recipes calling for cooked artichokes.
Both low in calories and high in vitamins, these artichokes are available all year round for last minute meals. Good for two months without refrigeration, but for best shelf life, store in the refrigerator.
Peeked & Ready-to-Eat Baby Red Beets
Melissa’s Baby Red Beets are ready to use without the trouble of trimming, peeling and steaming. We have taken all the mess out and left only the good stuff in! These delicious baby red beets taste so fresh because of our innovative packaging to keep the freshness in. No one will ever know these beets came out of a package! These tasty beets come from France; a country well known for beets. We don’t add any additives or preservatives; they are all-natural to keep that great tasting flavor until you’re ready to use them.
Baby red beets should be kept in the refrigerator until opening. Beets are very nutritious, a great source of fiber, have no cholesterol and are low calorie. They will add color and flavor to your main dish, salad or side dish.
Pearl Onions are available in three colors: white, red and gold. They are available all year round and Melissa’s offers them packaged several ways. Pearl onions are a mild onion, about one inch in diameter. They have a papery skin and look like a miniature regular onion. Pearl Onions are very popular around the holidays. They are generally used in vegetable sautés, casseroles or creamed in a side dish. Pearl onions are great on skewers or in sauces too.
To peel pearl onions, blanch them in boiling water, and then plunge them into cold water. Cut off the root end, and squeeze the onion out of the skin. It is very simple and easy for such a delicious treat. Pearls should be stored in a cool dry place, just as you would a large onion. They are very low calorie, and very low sodium with some iron and vitamin C.
Boiler Onions are available in white, red and gold. These versatile onions are about one inch in diameter and impart a sweet, pungent flavor. They can be cooked as a side dish and are preferred for use in pickling and stews. Boiler onions are available year-round. They are perfect for summer grilling and holiday dishes. Delicious in salads, soups, main dishes or barbecued on skewers…
Melissa’s Boiler Onions should be firm, with dry, papery skins. Store whole dry onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for up to two months. Once cut, tightly wrap any unused onion in plastic, refrigerate and use within a few days.
Shallots are tender in texture, mild in flavor (less pungent than the onion), and quick to cook. Thought to have originated from an ancient Palestinian city, shallots are now widely used in France. Covered with a thin, paper-like skin, shallots are an excellent way to enhance flavor without adding sodium or other salty seasonings. The skin color of a shallot can range from pale brown or gray to a soft rose. Once exposed, the ivory flesh is usually marked by a pale green or purple color.
Shallots should be stored in a cool, dark place. They are low calorie, contain no cholesterol and have very minimal sodium (12mg per 3 oz.). Use shallots in sauces, sautés, casseroles, as a condiment, or any way you would use an onion. You will love them!
Organic Baby Yams
Yams are the perfect vegetable to add vitamins and color to your meal. Candied yams make a tasty side dish, especially during the holidays. Their skin is edible, with a short cooking time due to their petite size. They are available in several varieties, and can be used to bake with or for delicious side dishes.
Melissa’s variety winter squash will bring color and warmth to your dinner table, adding flavor, variety and health. With over 20 different squash varieties to choose from, you won’t have any problem finding one you’ll love. Hard squash is extremely rich in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium. Squash can be easily prepared by halving and baking in the oven until tender.
This light beige colored squash is best when it is about 8 to 12 inches long. Butternut squash is a sweet tasting squash that is great when cooked and cubed as a side dish. The high carotene content of butternut squash makes its flesh a deep orange color.
Pumpkins are extremely popular this time of the year; not just because of Halloween, but also because the weather is getting colder and squash makes a great meal! Pumpkins can be used for desserts, breads, soups and decorations. You can substitute a pumpkin into just about any hard squash recipe. Pumpkins, like most squash, are low calorie with about 45 calories per ½ cup, cooked. They are a good source of fiber and an excellent source of potassium and vitamin A.
baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes
Grown year round in nutrient-rich volcanic soils where the days are warm and the nights are cool, Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes are produced under ideal conditions to create an irresistibly flavorful potato. Our Baby Dutch Yellow® has a distinct, yellow flesh with a subtle flavor and a creamy texture. These are one of the best tasting potatoes on the market today. An excellent source of fiber and potassium, they are great when baked, roasted, mashed or sautéed. They are also delicious in potato salad. Be sure to check out our DYP® cookbook, too!
Chile peppers have been cultivated for more than 7,000 years and today they are used by many ethnic groups in their daily cooking. There are many varieties of fresh chile peppers: Yellow (or Caribe), Pasilla (or Poblano), Fresno-red and green, Habanero-assorted colors, Jalapeño, Anaheim-red and green, and Serrano, to name a few. Chile peppers get their heat from capsaicin, an oil in them that can burn your eyes and mouth. The hottest of these mentioned is the habanero chile, which is off the heat scale in comparison to the others. Generally, the smaller the chile, the hotter the bite. Also, when preparing chiles, if you remove the seeds, the chile will be milder. We also suggest wearing gloves and use caution not to touch your eyes.
Chile peppers add a delightful flavor to any dish they are added to. Try them in eggs, soups, stir-fries, sauces or even bread. They are very versatile...and you can use more or less, according to your liking. Chiles should be refrigerated and used immediately for best flavor. They are low calorie and are a great substitute for salty seasonings.
The Great Pepper Cookbook
This is one of our most popular books, highlighting all kinds of peppers from mild peppers to the hottest peppers around. Melissa’s is also the source for any kind of pepper you may need. This cookbook has great simple and unusual recipes for everyone. It also offers nutrition, heat levels and basic info on peppers. Available in hard copy through Melissa’s only.