Fresh Berry

The lowdown on food, drink and cooking
from Southeast Michigan

Fresh Berry
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Mike Harris


"Hand selecting the best produce to bring back to Nino's each morning."

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Winter Treats!

March 21, 2017
(8) Comments on this post

Wow, what a mild winter we have been having here in Michigan, right!? Well, it’s not quite over yet! There is a bit of a misconception about the amount of fresh produce this time of year. Despite the grey days and colder temperatures, winter has plenty of seasonal delights. What qualifies as “winter produce,” you may ask. Things such as:

  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Winter Squashes
  • Citrus Fruits: Blood Oranges, Clementines Grapefruit, Tangerines
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Bananas

Quite a list, yay for winter! I want to give you some amazing and unique recipes for enjoying your winter fruits and veggies, so I asked Chef Pete to put some together, and he exceeded my expectations. I hope you enjoy these and leave a comment about how they turn out below.


Savory Cabbage Strudel
(Makes approximately 4 Strudels)

1 Head                       Green Cabbage, Shredded
1 Medium                   Sweet Onion, Finely Sliced
1 cup                          Carrots, Julienned
6 Strips                       Bacon, Cut in ¼ pieces
To Taste                    Salt & Pepper
8 Sheets                    Filo Dough (Typical Sheet Size is Approximately 10” x 12
2 Sticks                      Butter, Melted
2 cups                        Marinara or Pasta Sauce of Choice

  1. In a medium size sauce pot or large skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp.
  2. Add onions to bacon and the resulting grease and continue to cook while stirring until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the carrots and cabbage to the mixture and cook while stirring until the cabbage is tender.
  4. Turn out the cooked vegetable mixture into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and allow it to cool.
  5. Pre-heat an oven to 400°F.
  6. Melt butter.
  7. Unfold filo sheets onto a flat working surface.
  8. Lightly brush butter on one sheet then place a second sheet on top. Butter the second sheet also.
  9. Strain off any excess juices from the cooled cabbage mixture then place ¼ of the cabbage mixture in a tube like shape along the bottom edge of the narrow end of the buttered filo sheets.
  10. Fold the bottom edge of the filo dough over the cabbage and roll forward and away from you to create a large egg roll tube-like strudel shape.
  11. Repeat for the remaining mixture and strudel dough sheets and place each (seam side down) on a non-stick baking sheet.
  12. Brush the tops of each strudel with the remaining melted butter and bake in a 400°F oven until medium brown (approximately 20 minutes).
  13. Serve the strudels with heated Marinara or Pasta Sauce.

Honey & Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs with Red Skin Potatoes & Root Vegetables
(This recipe serves approximately 4 persons.)

4  Lbs                Beef, Short Ribs
2 TBSP             Vegetable Oil
1 cup                 Sweet Onion, Cut 1” Dice
½ cup                Carrot, Cut 1” Dice
½ cup                Celery, Cut 1″ Dice
1  ea.                 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
1 ½ cups           Beef Broth
¼ cup                Honey
½ cup                Soy Sauce, Low Sodium
2 TBSP             Kitchen Bouquet® Liquid Seasoning
Pinch                 Oregano, Dry Crushed
Pinch                 Basil, Dry
To Taste           Salt & Pepper
1 cup                 Rutabaga (Cut in 1” Pieces)
1 cup                 Carrots (Cut in 1” Pieces)
1 cup                 Red Skin Potatoes (Cut in 1” Pieces)

Roux:        (Cook together over medium heat approximately 3 to 5 minutes)

3 TBSP             Butter
5 TBSP             All Purpose Flour

  1. Heat oil in skillet then sear the short ribs on all sides until well browned then place the short ribs into a deep, oven safe pot, with a tight fitting lid of the appropriate size to hold all the short ribs.
  2. In that same skillet, sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic cloves for a few moments to soften and then add to the beef.
  3. Pour beef stock, honey and soy sauce over beef. The pan size should be selected so that the liquids just cover the meat.
  4. Add Kitchen Bouquet® and seasonings to the liquids and cover the pan tightly.
  5. Cook in a 325°F oven for 3 hours or until the largest piece of meat is fork tender being careful NOT to break apart the meat pieces.
  6. After meat is tender, carefully remove meat from the cooking liquids being careful not to break apart meat pieces. Carefully trim the meat away from the rib bones and place all the meat pieces in deep sided service dish, Cover and keep warm.
  7. Strain the resulting cooking liquids into a sauce pot and add vegetable and potatoes. Cover and simmer until vegetable are tender (approximately 20 to 30 minutes),
  8. With a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove vegetable and add them to the reserved beef then skim off ALL the resulting fat from the surface of the remaining liquid and whisk in the prepared roux a little at a time, until the liquid is JUST thickened slightly.
  9. Strain sauce once more, adjust the sauce’s seasonings with salt and pepper and ladle the sauce over the meat and vegetables to coat.
  10. Reserve additional sauce for those who would like more sauce.

*Additionally, if you love mushrooms, sear large diced white mushrooms and serve over the ribs or stir them into the sauce.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

In the last few years, Brussels Sprouts have become one of the most fashionable vegetables on restaurant menus all over America. The recipe below can be garnished with a number of additional items including crisp bacon, toasted almonds, crisp fried sweet onions or sun-dried fruits.

2 Lbs                          Brussels Sprouts
¼ cup                         Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBSPS                   Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBSP                      Lt. Brown Sugar
½ tsp                           Chili Powder
1 tsp                            Sea Salt
½ tsp                           Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to roast at 375°F.
  2. Peel the outer layers off of the sprouts, trim off the ends, then cut brussels sprouts in half.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together ALL of the ingredients.
  4. Lightly oil a non-stick sheet pan, then spread out the brussels sprouts, cut side down.
  5. Roast in oven for 15 min., flip the sprouts to cut side up, then roast for another 10-15 minutes or until gently browned.
  6. Serve warm.

 Arugula, Orange, and Fresh Fennel Salad
(Serves 6)

The pleasant sourness of fresh arugula, the sweetness of oranges, and the hint of licorice in fresh fennel are perfect partners for this classic vinaigrette.

1                                  Fennel Bulb, shaved fine
1                                  Red Onion, medium, sliced fine
2 cups                        Orange Segments, fresh
6 Bunches                 Fresh Arugula, trimmed & torn
3/4 cup                       Slivered Almonds, toasted
1/2 cup                       Red Bell Pepper, julienned
1/4 cup                       Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup                          Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp.                       Dijon Mustard
1 tsp.                           Kosher Salt
1 tsp.                           Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp.                       Ground Black Pepper

  1. Trim off stem and bottom ½ inch of fresh fennel bulb, cut in half through the core and shave very finely.
  2. Place in a mixing bowl with red onion, orange segments, arugula, almonds and red bell pepper.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, sugar and black pepper and pour this dressing over salad mixture.
  4. Toss, chill and serve.

Winter Citrus Fruits and Spring Greens Salad with Maple Teriyaki Dressing
(Serves 4)

This recipe may entice you to try a couple of new ways to enjoy Michigan’s “winter-time” citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, clementine’s) other than at breakfast.

1       pkg.           Nino’s Spring Mix Greens
1      cup            Citrus Fruits, peeled and segmented (save the juices).
1⁄4    cup            Teriyaki Sauce
1⁄4    cup            Pure Michigan Maple Syrup
2       Tbsp.        Sesame Oil
1                         Green Onion, chopped
1⁄4    cup            Red Bell Pepper, cut in 1″ matchsticks
1       Tbsp.        Fresh Ginger, finely mashed or pureed
2       Tbsp.        Cilantro Leaves, chopped (Optional)
To Taste           Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

  1. Segment the citrus fruits (your choice) and reserve the resulting juices separately in a medium size bowl. Hopefully you’ll have about a quarter cup of juices to help make your dressing.
  2. To the citrus juices add the teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, green onion, red bell pepper, ginger and cilantro leaves. Whisk together well & season with salt & pepper.
  3. In a larger serving bowl, toss together the Spring Greens and the citrus segments then dress with your Maple Teriyaki Dressing.


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