Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dried Things - Winter Harvest

What else winter brings to a table? Dried foods of all kinds, full of concentrated flavor and nourishment, just as they must be to fill the need for good food when it is cold and dark outside. 

No sugar or salt needed; no excessive processing - and ready to eat in most instances. Left to right are dried apricots, boletes (porchini) mushrooms, apples, cherry tomatoes and peaches. Though many fruits and veggies can be dried, I find that the list of those that taste great is not too long. For our climate, the food on the picture above plus home-grown herbal teas really are just about all there is. I use an electrical dryer, though I know there are solar dryers out there. Solar dryers don't use the light of the sun to dry food, as many think, but use the heat - food is best placed in the dark place to be dried, to preserve light-sensitive nutrients. So when designing your own solar dryer, or shopping for one, keep that in mind.

1 comment:

Lee the Permie said...

Other traditional dried things -

Green chiles - roasted and peeled green chiles can be strung up five at a time and hung on long ristras to dry.

Chicos- Sweet corn and maiz concha are traditionally roasted in an horno (wood-fired adobe oven) and then dried on the cob. The dried corn is reconstituted and cooked either with green chile and pork (typical of the Espanola area) or with beans (estilo Las Vegas!)