Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to store fresh herbs

Ok... I know, I know.  There are lots of ways to store fresh herbs and I've tried them all.  I've always ended up having to toss the last bits of herbs because they have gotten brown/black and soggy... and very gross.

Some of the methods that sort of worked are: 

  • Wrap them in a paper towel and then place them in a Ziploc and store in the fridge.  This worked well enough but the last bits always dried out, if I remembered to keep changing the paper towel.  If I forgot, well, then I got a sticky, gross, green paper towel.
  • Put  a little bit of water in a glass or bowl and place a plastic bag over them and place in the fridge.   It also worked well enough as long as I remembered to change the water... otherwise I was going to end up with green sludge in the glass/bowl (way gross!) and it was STINKY!
Ok.... as you can see ... there is a theme... I do not remember to do anything.  And, I don't always use the herbs right away.  So, I'll do up some cilantro and not use it for a week.  When I go back to get the cilantro - poof - no usable herbs.  So sad.

So... I decided to do a experiment that worked.  The cilantro in the pictures are both over 3 weeks old!  And, it still tasted fresh and cilantro-y.  Yea!!

Ok.  So the way to do this is....

- take a bowl or glass  (the glass works better) and put a wet paper towel in.  Not drippy, but a bit more than damp. 
- put your herb in the glass (do not mix them up or you end with with a weird smelling / tasting herb blend.  I did this with cilantro and parsley ... and well, I don't know what it was at the end of the 1st week. *grin*)
- put a Ziploc freezer bag on top, so that it covers all the way down to the base of the glass.  You can use a regular plastic bag but the freezer bag works best --- perhaps because it protects from the fridge smells?  Or keeps the humidity constant?  I know that the herbs lasted longer and smelled more like a herb.

Anyway.. that's it.  Use your herbs need to keep adding water, or change paper towels or any other random work.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yay! Browntrout, Mixteco Grill and La Creperie

I feel like such a foodie. LOL.  I've actually been to quite a few of the restaurants on  Michelin's Bib Gourmand winner's list.    Here is the article from Chicago Tribune.

Apparently Michelin's little elves go ... "Under cover of darkness Tuesday night, ... stealthily sprayed the image of Bibendum (the formal name of the Michelin Man, from a Latin phrase meaning, "Now, let's drink") on the sidewalks in front of 46 Chicago restaurants."  

 So of course, I had to run over and take a picture!   Who knew that the Michelin Man had a name?

My all time favorite restaurant, Browntrout,  uses sustainable foods and even grows their own herbs.  And we were just there last Friday to celebrate my birthday! 

La Creperie is a crepe place... of course!  And, I celebrated my birthday on Thursday with a friend there.   It is a bit of a no-no for me since ....well, crepe's are usually made of wheat.  They do have a buckwheat option which is quite good and I usually do that. (at least it's gluten free and non-grain.) 

The trifecta would have been complete if we had gone to Mixteco at any point last week...does it count that I talked about it on Saturday in Indiana? ;)

I'm just so happy that restaurants I love are getting recognized.  I hope this doesn't mean that I won't be able to go there again because they will be too busy.