Friday, November 19, 2010

Ginger: Insider Baking Tips from Paula Fein

Paula Fein, loyal Reading Terminal Shopper since 1992 (pictures don't lie) is our go-to-girl on all things ginger. She is a former apprentice pastry chef at Le Bec Fin,  a serious foodie, baker extraordinaire, and ginger aficionado.

"Ginger is one of my favorite ingredients.  I use it to spice up dessert.  It adds heat and an interesting depth to sweets, which after a while can become one-dimensional and a bit boring.   I generally include various types of ginger in one recipe:  crystallized, fresh, powdered and stem ginger in syrup."  I use ginger in many savory dishes, too.   Ginger, soy and garlic form the basis of my family's dinner several times a week.  Because it is a flavor combo that everyone enjoys and no one calls "gross" (or worse), the ginger/soy/garlic theme is a repeat performer in the Fein household.  (Watch  for future post featuring Fein's Friday Night Flank Steak.)

Paula suggests the following ginger-centric, quite impressive, seriously no-fuss dessert:  chop a few pieces of  Stem Ginger in syrup, sprinkle over vanilla ice cream, drizzle some syrup from jar, stick a wafer cookie in the side.  Delicious and deceptively simple. Paula confesses to swiping the oh-so-irresistible pieces of stem ginger straight from the jar when she needs an indulgent pick-me-up in the midst of a trying day.  Personally, I go for a spoonful of Nutella. 

What's your guilty secret food vice when no one is looking?

For a ginger-tastic selection of ginger in all its various guises, stop by speciality grocer, Jonathan Best, at the Reading Terminal today.

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