Real Time Seasonality Calendar

Real Time Seasonality | Chef Network and Keeling's Select

FEBRUARY 2020


Find out what's in Season!

Chef Network in partnership with Keeling's Select are working to give you updates every month on the latest and freshest fruit & veg coming into season so you can make the best of the seasonal produce on your menu.

Update your menu and utilise the ingredients that will give you the freshest flavour, inspire your team and delight your customers!


CHESTNUT & BUTTON MUSHROOMS

Basic but never boring

Button and Chestnut mushrooms are the same species of Agaricus bisporus, one simply immature and white, while the other immature and brown. And the Portobello variety is a mature chestnut mushroom.

Fungi of many varieties have been consumed over thousands of years ago, however, mushrooms only began being grown commercially in 1650, when a melon farmer in France decided to sell the mushrooms that were growing on his fertiliser. This caused a frenzy for mushrooms as they became an ‘it’ food within French haute cuisine, prior to this in the Western world mushrooms were generally avoided due to their deadly counterparts. Eventually, it was discovered how to cultivate large quantities of mushrooms and the mushroom as we know it today became more widely available and less exclusive.

Without a doubt, mushrooms are the meatiest of vegetables and oft appear in dishes in place of meat. For example, it is quite common to enjoy a burger where the meat patty has instead been replaced with a portobello. Both chestnut and white mushrooms are best sautéed with a little butter. However, a favoured way of cooking mushrooms is adding cream, herbs and garlic, this goes well with hot buttered toast or used as a silky creamy pasta sauce. Not to mention, portobellos can be stuffed and baked as a plant-based starter. Not to mention the speed with which you can blend up a mushroom soup.

Mushrooms are an incredibly healthy source of protein. Button mushrooms are also one of the few non-animal sources of Vitamin D. Mushrooms are also rich in selenium which reinforces the immune system and prevents damage to cells and tissues. Mushrooms also contain phytonutrients that prevent plaque build-up in veins and arteries and thusly reduce high blood pressure and the risk of death.


This month's Chestnut & Button Mushrooms from Keeling's Select comes from Leslie Codd from Codd Mushrooms, County Carlow

Chestnut & Button Mushrooms - Chef Network Real Time Seasonality with Keeling's

TURNIPS

Has any other vegetable as many names as the humble Turnip?


What we call a turnip is called a swede in England, rutabaga in the US and neep in Scotland.

The turnip was first documented in Scandinavia and that is where the name Swede comes from. As turnip is a root vegetable during the Middle Ages, it was reviled by society as it was thought vegetables that grow underground are associated with the realm of the underworld and demons. Attitudes change and during the Renaissance turnip became widely cultivated around Europe, eventually being brought to Britain and Ireland.

Turnip though it goes by many names in various regions is almost universally cooked in similar ways across every cuisine. In Scandinavia, the rutabaga as they call it is mashed with butter and other root vegetables. Similarly, turnip is mashed in Scotland and eaten as a side dish along with haggis, and mashed potatoes, ‘neeps and tatties’, or the Scots call turnip that is mashed with potato, clapshot. Less traditional methods of cooking swede/turnip include roasting or baking small diced turnips seasoned with honey, chilli and some cumin. Turnip also makes a welcome addition to a stew, casserole or pie, it’s well known as an ingredient in a Cornish pasty. A modern and innovative use of the turnip is using it as the base of gnocchi dough in addition to some mashed potatoes. It adds greater depth to the flavour of the gnocchi and pairs well with sage and butter.

Turnip is quite high in Vitamin C, which means that not only is it vital for your immune system, but it also aids in the absorption of iron. Turnips also have a really high level of potassium, increasing your intake of potassium can lower risk of stroke, heart diseases and other cardiovascular issues. These root veggies are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. They are also a good source of folate and provide small amounts of phosphorus and selenium




This month's Turnip at Keeling's Select comes from Alan and Mark Taylor from Lusk, County Dublin.

Turnip - Chef Network Real Time Seasonality with Keeling's

PINK RHUBARB

Pink to make you wink


Pink Rhubarb that is in season at the start of the year is forced rhubarb, grown inside in warm moist environments by candlelight. They’re more tender and brighter than more mature rhubarb.

Rhubarb was first cultivated in 2700BC in Siberia and China. It was recognised more for it’s healing properties than it’s flavour then, with Marco Polo transporting it along the Silk Road. In the 1620s, the vegetable arrived in England where it was used once again by physicians. It was only by chance that a group of London scientists discovered the sweet and tender stems that can be forced up by covering up leftover stems with soil. The stems shoot up in the dark, towards the candlelight they even say you can hear the stems crack through the soil in search of light.

In cooking, there is not a huge difference in the flavour of pink rhubarb versus maincrop rhubarb, with the more mature stem requiring a touch more sugar. However, the tenderness and fragrant nature of the forced rhubarb makes it perfect for a compote. Should you cook it gently on low heat, the rhubarb will hardly need water or any liquid added due to the juice it releases itself. This rhubarb, of course, will go well in the classic combination with custard. Rhubarb can also be turned into a curd, similar to thick creamy lemon curd. Or pink rhubarb with its aromatic notes can be a delicious infusion into spirits, a sweetened rhubarb left to infuse into vodka is a rich pink colour and a refreshing drink when topped up with soda water.

While the leaves of rhubarb should not be consumed, the stem itself has many health benefits. Studies suggest that the polyphenol level in rhubarb might actually be higher than Kale, this means that rhubarb is loaded with antioxidants. Rhubarb is also a fantastic source of fibre that aids in reducing bad cholesterol and maintaining a healthy digestive system.



This month's Pink Rhubarb from Keeling's Select comes from Derek Ryan from Lime Farm produce in County Dublin.


Pink Rhubarb - Chef Network Real Time Seasonality with Keeling's



SEE WHAT WAS IN SEASON LAST MONTH

JANUARY 2020

MARCH 2020

COMING SOON


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Keeling's Select

In Partnership with Keeling's SELECT


Keeling's Select are one of Ireland’s fastest-growing foodservice suppliers. Our philosophy is simple, to add value to every customer's business by supplying the best possible locally sourced produce, dairy and ambient goods. We always try to grow and source local produce. We know this is important to our customers. While farming is in our blood, service is in our nature.
Our Passion for achievement is evident in our teamwork, dedication to our customers and our integrity…. Because people matter. We are always growing, so come on the journey with us. Demanding kitchens rightly demand the best. No one knows how to select better than Keelings.