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Sit Down With Produce Pete

 

NBC's ' Produce Pete'  sits down to talk about food access issues, the New York Green Cart Initiative and his own beginnings as a street vendor.  He appears in the film THE APPLE PUSHERS (www.applepushers.com).

 

Produce Pete at Hunts Point Market, Bronx NY

 

Produce Pete NBC food contributor, talks produce with Hank Zona at the Hunts Point produce market

Pat & Pete at Eden Garden, South Orange

Pat and Produce Pete out for a fun day at Eden Garden Marketplace.  Pat's getting better at picking fresh fruits and vegetables then i am.

Produce Pete With Hank Zona At Katzman Produce

Produce Pete and Hank inside the refrigerator at Katzman Produce at the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx talking vegetables.

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THANKSGIVING SHOW 11/18/17

For the next week Produce Pete will be talking about an abundance of produce for your holiday tables. There is nothing like fresh produce for your Thanksgiving table. Knowing good produce, how to pick and what to do with it, we'll make your holiday special. Food and family; family and food; what could be better. 


Artichokes

Artichokes are actually the giant, unopened buds of a flowering plant - an edible relative of the thistle. They've been a favorite in Spain, Italy, and other Mediterranean countries for hundreds of years, but many people here still think of them as fairly exotic. Although they take a little time to eat - there's no way you can wolf down an artichoke - they're actually fun to dismantle; and the tender flesh at the base of the leaves and especially at the heart has a distinctive sweet, nutty taste that's absolutely delicious. Artichokes can be prepared in dozens of ways, and I like all of them. The largest crop of artichokes is still produced in Mediterranean countries, but California is the biggest supplier in the U.S. Castroville, located near San Francisco, calls itself the Artichoke Capital of the World; and the whole economy of the place revolve around the vegetable - there's even a statue of an artichoke in the middle of town. With its cool, humid, foggy weather, the area is perfect for growing good artichokes. There are three basic types of artichokes, plus a new "thorn less" variety that's beginning to appear on the market. The globe type is the most common, with a large fairly round shape and smallish barb on the tips of the leaves. The oval artichoke is very thorny, with a longer, more pointed leaf. The taste of both is identical and they can be cooked in the same way, but I find that globe artichokes are usually more-tender. The third type is the small, loose baby artichoke, which is often marinated whole in vinegar and oil after it has been washed and the thorns cut off. Most baby artichokes don't have many thorns in the first place, and they can be eaten whole, without removing the "choke". Thorn-less artichokes are also available. I find them to be excellent if they're from California but unreliable if they've been imported from Mexico or Chile. The imports are difficult to cook properly because it's hard to get the timing right - some cook fast and tender, others take an hour and either stay raw or suddenly turn to mush. The imports are usually a paler green than the California crop, but it you're in doubt, ask your produce manager. 


Season

The peak of the season is in March, April, and May, when California producers ship nearly half the annual crop, but artichokes often show up in the fall. The worst time for artichokes is in the dead of summer (July and August) when growing conditions are too hot and dry for good artichokes. However, they are available year round.


 

Selecting

Look for fat, firm-looking buds with dense, tightly packed leaves of a uniform dusty green. Lots of black spots, tired color, or opened leaves indicate an older artichoke that will have a woody taste. An artichoke with one or two black spots, on the other hand, isn't always a bad risk. Don't worry if the artichoke is discolored on the stem end - you're going to cut that part off. When selecting an artichoke, gently pull back the central leaves, taking care not to prick yourself on the thorns, and look into the heart. If there is no black showing inside, the artichoke is good. At home you can be more aggressive - turn the artichoke upside down and give it a good whack or two on the counter to make the leaves open out more easily. Artichokes that have developed a purple color on the leaves, have been exposed to too much hot sun and will be much less tender. An artichoke that shows some bronzing and peeling has had a touch of frost, which won't hurt the flavor and may in fact improve it. If you're unsure about what kind of discoloration is okay and what kind is not a good rule of thumb is not to buy discolored artichokes in the summer. 


Storing

Artichokes are quite perishable. Use them as soon as possible. Refrigerate for one week only if necessary. 


Preparing

There are a thousand ways to cook artichokes, but one thing to avoid is to cook them in an aluminum pot since they will turn a gray-green color. To prepare them for the pot, rinse the artichokes in cold water, handling them carefully so that you don't prick yourself on the pointed barbs at the end of each leaf. The barbs are softer and easier to handle after the artichoke is cooked, but many people prefer to remove them beforehand by snipping off the tips of the leaves with kitchen shears or scissors. Remove the thorns from the baby artichokes that you intend to eat whole.

                 


 

 

   

THANKSGIVING SHOW 11/18/17

  

Broccoli

Kids who call broccoli "trees" are imitating the Romans, who called it brachium, meaning "strong branch or arm." Their nickname for it was "the five green fingers of Jupiter," and they ate a lot of it. Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables--in the cabbage family--that is packed with beta-carotene; the precursor to vitamin A that researchers believe has anticarcinogenic properties. Thomas Jefferson first brought broccoli seeds form Italy to Monticello. Although broccoli flourished there, Jefferson wasn't fond of it--probably because it was cooked to death. Broccoli didn't really catch on in the U.S. until the twentieth century; as Italian immigration increased, Italian farmers started growing it in California. They knew how to cook it, and by the mid - 1920's broccoli was becoming more popular. Although broccoli is grown almost everywhere, the bulk of the crop is still grown in California. 

Season

A cool - weather crop planted in the spring and fall, broccoli is available year round, but the peak of the season is March through November. It's usually very consistently priced, but when the price jumps up 30 to 40 percent, you know it's out of season and in short supply. 

Selecting

Look for a firm, clean stalk with tight, bluish-green florets. Check the stalks to make sure they're not too thick and hard--they will be a bit woody. Most important, the florets should be tightly closed and the broccoli should have little or no fragrance. Broccoli is eaten at an immature stage; left to grow in the field, the buds will open into yellow flowers. Buds that are starting to open and look yellowish will be mushy and have a strong cabbage taste. Use your nose when you're selecting broccoli: if a head has an odor, it's not good. 

Storing

Broccoli will keep up to seven days if refrigerated and kept moist. You can break apart the stalks and put them in ice water or spread crushed ice on top or wrap broccoli in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel and place in the crisper. 

Did you know?

Cup for cup, broccoli has as much Vitamin C as oranges and as much Calcium as milk.

Preparing

The less you do to broccoli, the more it will do for you. Broccoli will lose up to 30 percent of its vitamins and minerals when it's cooked, so for nutritional reasons as well as good flavor, never overcook it. Broccoli is also very good raw on a platter of crudités, added to other vegetables in a salad, or served with dips. At certain times of the year, broccoli may harbor a bug or worm or both. When cleaning, soak the head in salted water about fifteen minutes, and the critters will float to the top. Broccoli can be prepared in countless ways. Sauté it with a little garlic and onion. Add it to pasta, or serve it blanched and cooled in vinaigrette. It's excellent simply steamed for a few minutes and serve with a dab of butter or squeeze of lemon--or both. To steam, put it in about half an inch of salted water, stem ends down. Don't let the buds touch the water--they'll cook very quickly and will get mushy and disintegrate. Cover and cook over low to medium heat for not more than four to five minutes--just until its fork tender. Check the pot once or twice to make sure there is adequate liquid in the bottom to keep from burning, and add a few tablespoons of water as needed. Properly cooked, broccoli has a delicate flavor and arrives at the table tender-crisp and bright green. if you're going to add lemon or vinegar, do it at the last minute because they tend to drab the color.
  At my house, we also eat broccoli in a stir -fry, with snow peas and pork. And in the winter time i love Bette's Cream of Broccoli Soup. It's rich and Good !!

Thanksgiving Show 11/11/17

 

Thanksgiving Holiday Table by Produce Pete

For the next 2 weeks Produce Pete will be talking about an abundance of produce for your holiday tables. There is nothing like fresh produce for your Thanksgiving table. Knowing good produce, how to pick and what to do with it, we'll make your holiday special. Food and family, family and food - what could be better! 

Yams - Sweet Potato

Ninety percent of what you see in the stores marked "yams" is actually a variety of sweet potato. The true yam is a tuber that can get as large as 100 pounds and grows primarily in the tropical zones of Africa. The potato with the sweet orange-red flesh that grows in the American South was dubbed a yam by the african people and the name stuck. American sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. The rich orange-fleshed variety is harvested beginning in August; the fresh ones that show up on the market then have not been cured. The bulk of the crop is held in a heated, humidity-controlled environment for about a week. This "cures" the potato and converts much of its starch to dextrin and sugar. A cured sweet potato is actually much sweeter than an uncured one and is what usually shows up on the Thanksgiving table. There are two other varieties of sweet potato that are much less frequently seen these days than the one that masquerades as a yam. The red sweet potato has a yellow flesh that's a bit sweeter than the white sweet potato, which has a white, more fibrous flesh. The red sweet potato has a dark, reddish skin and is in season about the same time as the yam type - starting in September. It keeps better than the white sweet potato, which has a very short season - usually the last couple of weeks in August. 

Season

Avoid buying sweet potatoes in June and July, by then most of them have been stored for nearly a year. Uncured sweet potatoes start showing up on the market in late August; cured sweet potatoes arrive around the end of October. By Thanksgiving almost all that are on the market have been cured. The less common white and red sweet potatoes have a much shorter season at the end of the summer. 

Selecting

Look for bright-colored, un-bruised skin with no soft spots. Look at the ends of the potatoes, which should be firm. Most sweet potatoes have some fibrous roots on them; these are not a problem.

Rutabaga - Yellow Turnip

Each year Americans consume greater quantities of almost every sort of fresh vegetable except rutabagas. This neglected vegetable deserves better. Rutabagas can be cooked like potatoes, and if they're prepared right, they have a creamy, potato like texture and a distinctive taste. They've been a must on my family's Thanksgiving table for years, thanks to my Irish mother. Sure, the rutabaga is homely, but this inexpensive vegetable has a long shelf life, can be cooked in a number of ways, is very nutritious and is generally a terrific, hearty winter vegetable. Large and squat, a rutabaga looks a lot like a big darkened white turnip with the top and tail cut off. The skin is purple at the top, yellowish below, and the whole root is heavily waxed to prevent it from losing moisture and shriveling. Rutabagas are grown in cooler climates everywhere, but for the U.S. market, Canada grows the best. 

Season

Rutabagas are in season from October through early summer. 

Selecting

Choose roots that are heavy in the hand for their size, more rounded than pointed; and hard as a rock - with no soft spots. The tops should be purple and bright looking, and the wax should have a good shine on it. You can tell right away if a rutabaga is old, the wax will look dull, and the rutabaga will feel light. 

Storing

If you can, store rutabagas in a cool, dark place like a root cellar. Even at normal room temperature, however, rutabagas in good condition will keep for a couple of months. 

Preparing

Prepare rutabagas as you would potatoes, or as if they were acorn squash, with a little sweetening (they aren't stringy like acorn squash). We mash them just like potatoes, peel, cube, boil, and mash; add butter, salt and pepper. Or combine with potatoes before mashing for a milder flavor. I love mashed rutabagas straight, they've got a distinctive taste and they really stick to your ribs. They're excellent as a side dish with turkey, roast chicken, pork roast, pork chops, or ham.  

Cranberries

Cranberries have been a part of the American holiday scene for many years. Raw berries are pretty strung with popcorn to make old-fashioned garlands for the Christmas tree. They're also used during the Jewish high holy days to construct little houses used in the celebration of Succoth. And although a lot of people have become accustomed to using canned cranberry sauce, it's quick and easy to make a delicious sauce from whole fresh berries. People are also starting to discover how useful cranberries are beyond Thanksgiving and Christmas. These festive, very firm red berries add great flavor to a lot of foods. Generally a half inch to an inch in diameter, cranberries are oval in shape, with a smooth, glossy, red to deep red skin, and contain tiny, soft, edible seeds. They are too tart for most people and require some sweetening. Cranberries are a member of the health family (Encaceae), which also includes blueberries, loganberries, and huckleberries. Their natural habitat is a swamp or bog in temperate climates, such as Wisconsin, Cape Cod, and Long Island. Native Americans used cranberries for dyes, medicines, and food, including a dish made of cranberries and dried meat. The various Indians names for cranberries translate as "sour berries" but settlers called them crane berries, possibly because they were favored by cranes or because the plant and flower look like one of these elegant birds. By the nineteenth century, American sailors and loggers were using cranberries to make a drink to prevent scurvy. Today cranberries are cultivated in shallow bogs that are flooded with water at appropriate times during the season. They are important crops in Massachusetts and New Jersey and are also cultivated in Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington State, British Columbia, and Quebec. 

Season and Selecting

Fresh cranberries are available from September to January. They're usually packaged in twelve-ounce cello bags, which yield about three cups. Packaged cranberries are always sold in good condition unless there has been a problem with refrigeration. Their high acid content gives them a long shelf life. 

Storing

Packaged unwashed fresh cranberries will stay fresh up to four weeks in the refrigerator. You can freeze unwashed berries in doubled, well-sealed plastic bags, and they'll keep for as long as a year. Rinse them briefly, pick out the stems and use directly in recipes without thawing - they collapse when thawed. 

Preparing

Wash well just before using, discarding the stems and any soft, wilted or bruised berries. Cranberries need to be sweetened with sugar, honey, maple syrup or other fruit juices. The high pectin content in cranberries makes them an ideal fruit for jellies or fruit chutney. Besides the popular cooked sauce and jelly used to accompany poultry and meats, cranberries can be made into an equally delicious uncooked relish. Grind or mince one package of cleaned berries with the grated zest and chopped pulp of one orange. Mix with 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar, add cinnamon if desired, and let the mixture stand overnight in the refrigerator. Cranberries are excellent mixed with apples or pears in pies and tarts. Apples are delicious stuffed with sweetened cranberry sauce, or try stuffing pears with cranberry sauce, sprinkling them with orange juice and cinnamon, and baking in a 325º F oven for twenty minutes. Cranberry muffins are understandably popular, but your family will also enjoy cranberry nut loaf, cranberry upside-down cake, and cranberry cheesecake. Cranberry juice is delicious mixed with apple juice or lemonade, and cranberry sorbet is a refreshing treat.
 

It's Apple Season!!!!!

Apple Country

  I love apple season. There are few things better than a good apple eaten out of hand. Whether the flesh is mild and sweet or tart and winey, when you bite into it, a fresh-picked apple will make a crisp cracking sound and you’ll get a spurt of juice.  There’s a season for everything and the main season for American apples starts the last half of October. I’ve probably said this a thousand times, but our problem in the United States is that we try to buy produce out of season. Many varieties will keep well late into winter, but by summer most apples have been stored for seven or eight months. No wonder they are soft, mealy, and without juice. When peaches and melons come in, stay away from apples. Come back when there’s a snap in the air, and you’ll remember what makes apples so good. Apples are one of the most esteemed fruits in the northern Hemisphere in part because they’re so versatile. They’re delicious raw, baked, dried, or made into apple sauce. They make great pies, apple butter, apple jelly, chutney, cider, and cider vinegar, and they’re a welcome addition to dozens of other dishes. A member of the rose family, apples have been known since ancient times and were cultivated by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Many places grow wonderful apples now, but overall, the United States produces the finest apple crops in the world. The Northwest, the East Coast, and parts of the Midwest, regions where the seasons change, grow the best apples. They’re not a fruit for hot climates. Only a few of the thousands of varieties of apples grown today are mass marketed, but there are many more out there than Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Macs. There are very old and very new varieties you may never have heard of. If you’re north of the Mason-Dixon Line, you’re going to find the best apples at local farm markets and stands, where they’re fresh-picked, and you’re likely to find great varieties you’d never see at the supermarket.   

Season The vast majority of apples are picked from September through November and either sold immediately or put into cold storage, where some keep well – some don’t. The peak of the season for domestic varieties – when most stored apples still retain their snap – is generally over by December. A few will last through the early spring, but by March it’s hard even to find a good Winesap.   

Selecting In most cases look for very firm, bright-colored fruit with no bruises and with the stem still on – a good indication that you’ve got an apple that’s not overripe. The apple should feel heavy in the hand for its size and have a good shine on it. A dull look usually means the fruit has been in storage too long, although some excellent varieties like Winesaps and eastern Golden Delicious have relatively rough skin with little or no sheen. As always, use your nose. An apple that smells great is going to taste great.  

 Varieties 

Honeycrisp: Sometimes the name of an apple says it all. Honeycrisp apples are honey sweet (with a touch of tart) and amazingly crisp, some say “explosively crisp.” It’s easy to see why this new variety continues to grow in popularity since its 1991 introduction in Minnesota. Supplies are limited for now but more Honeycrisp trees are being planted every year.    

  Empire: With the popular Red Delicious and McIntosh for parents, Empire apples were destined to be a hit. It’s a sweet-tart combination that’s great for everything. The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva Introduced this new variety in 1966.  

  McIntosh: Nothing evokes Fall better than the aromatic fragrance of McIntosh apples. People have enjoyed this apple since 1811 when John McIntosh discovered the first seedling. McIntosh apples grow particularly well in New York’s cool climate!       

  Macoun: Want a perfect no-fat dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth? Macoun may just be your apple, but, hurry, these special apples are only available in the Fall. Macoun was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1932. It’s named for a famous Canadian fruit breeder.  


CHRISTMAS PEARS 11/25/17 SHOW

COMICE AND OTHER CHRISTMAS PEARS



          Cultivated for nearly four thousand years, pears have been known to man since ancient times. They originated in Asia and spread throughout Europe during the Roman Empire. Until the sixteenth century pears were tough and always eaten cooked, but in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, gardeners for European noblemen began to crossbreed varieties, competing with each other to get a pear with a soft, buttery flesh. Most of the pears we know today are derived from those cultivars.  Pears are grown throughout the United States and Europe and are now being introduced as commercial crops in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Chile. In the United States, Oregon, Washington, and California produce particularly excellent pears.  This is one fruit you do not want tree-ripened. Pears have a characteristically gritty texture caused by cells in the flesh called stone cells. Although more and more of these have been bred out, all varieties still contain them. Picking pears before the fruit has matured and holding them under controlled conditions prevents the formation of too many stone cells.  Pears are delicate even when they're hard and green, so they're always picked by hand. Most markets don't sell really ripe pears because they bruise so easily, but it's very easy to ripen them at home.  

Varieties

Because they crossbred so easily, there are somewhere between four thousand and five thousand cultivated varieties. Three of those are commonly available to shoppers here.  COMICE PEARS : A very large, round, short-necked pear, the Comice is my personal favorite. Of all the pears, I think it's the sweetest and most fragrant. Comice pears have a greenish yellow skin, sometimes with a red blush. Originally a French variety, they have been grown in North  America for more than one hundred years. Because they scar very easily, they're sometimes hard to sell here. Ethnic groups buy them, but a lot of Americans just don't like the way they look. With a peak season in November and December, they're one of the best things going around the holiday season. As the demand for them grows, producers are starting to grow more of them, but Comices are still not as commonly available as Bartlett’s and Anjou’s, so they're still relatively expensive. Comice pears are available from August to March.  ANJOU PEARS : Anjou pears are almost always oval, with a very short neck. Immature Anjou’s are pale green and turn yellowish green as they ripen. They have a very juicy, spicy flesh that's a bit firmer than the Bartlett. Anjou’s are available from October through May.  BOSC PEARS : Although similar in appearance to the European Conference pear, the Bosc is much juicer and less granular in texture. It is relatively long and slender; of all the pears, it probably has the longest neck. An unripe Bosc has a brown skin that changes to a golden russet, becoming lighter and brighter in color as it ripens. A ripe Bosc can get almost golden yellow, but it will still retain shades of russet. The Bosc has a yellow flesh that's buttery, sweet, and juicy. It has a very long season - August through May.  

Selecting

Green pears should be free from blemishes. Ripe pears - especially tender varieties like the Comice - are going to show a few scars. Avoid bruised or too-soft fruit, but don't be afraid to bring home pears that are still green. That's the way you're going to find most of them.  

Ripening and Storing

Place unripe pears in a bowl or paper bag, leave them at room temperature, and they'll ripen in a few days to a week, depending on how green they are when you buy them.  Most pears show a subtle change in color as they ripen, and some develop a sweet fragrance. You can test a pear for ripeness by applying gentle pressure to the stem end with your thumb - it should yield a bit. You can hold off the ripening process by refrigerating them, and they'll hold for a long time - as long as three to four weeks. A few days before you want to eat them, bring them out to ripen. You can refrigerate a ripe pear too, but at that point it's only going to last a couple days.  

Preparing

There are lots of ways to eat pears. They're good with prosciutto. You can use them in any recipe that calls for apples. Use several different varieties, all on the green side, to make a terrific pie. My aunt used to make pear pies just like apple pies, mixing in one or two quinces. You can poach pears and serve them with strawberry sauce for a simple, very pretty dessert that tastes great.  During the holidays, line a basket with napkins, pile up Comices or Forelles or a mix, tuck in sprigs of holly and maybe a few ornaments, and you'll have a pretty centerpiece that's also a good way to ripen the fruit.     
















BETTE'S HOMEMADE RECIPES

GRANDMA ALBERTELLI'S

  

Broccoli Rabe Pie

Ingredients


  • ½ pound broccoli rabe 
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 1 garlic clove, diced 
  • ¼  pound sausage, no casing 
  • ½  pound ricotta cheese (whole milk) 
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheese 
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pie crusts for bottom and top
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 

Preparing

Sauté garlic and oil until lightly browned and add broccoli rabe; sauté until tender. Strain the broccoli rabe and garlic mixture to remove the excess liquid. Chop the mixture finely, and set aside for later use. Cook the sausage meat and the diced onions until the mixture is fully cooked.  Drain the sausage mixture of any excess liquid.  Make sure the sausage and onion mixture is chopped, without any large pieces of meat. Add sausage mixture to the broccoli rabe mixture.  Blend well.  Next, add the ricotta, mozzarella, grated cheese and egg.   Stir until mixed well.  Add broccoli rabe and sausage mixture to the pie crust, and distribute evenly.  Add pie crust over the top.  Cut a vent hole in the center of the pie. Pinch the edges of the two crusts together. Brush the top of the pie and the edges with a beaten egg yolk.    Place pie on a cookie sheet, and bake at 375° for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden brown. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.  

BETTE' BROCCOLI SALAD

  

Broccoli Salad

Yield: 8 servings

Salad Ingredients


  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries      
  • 1/2 small onion, red or white, diced     
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled     
  • 3/4 cup of cashew nuts

Dressing Ingredients


  • 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise 
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine or balsamic  vinegar     
  • 1/3 cup sugar 

Preparing

In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over broccoli and stir until well coated.  Chill and serve.     

MOM'S BEST

  

Mama Louise’s Escarole n' Beans

Ingredients


  • 2 heads escarole 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 2 cans Cannellini beans 
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red crushed pepper   
  • Salt & pepper to taste 

Preparing

Cut bottom core off escarole and rinse leaves well.  In a large pot, put in escarole leaves and add 4 cups of water; steam until leaves are tender.  Drain in colander and set aside. Place olive oil and garlic in the same pot and sauté garlic until golden brown. Add escarole and the remaining ingredients into the pot and stir. Heat thoroughly.     

MY FAVORITE

  

Bette's Apple Crumb Pie

Ingredients

  • 6 Honey Crisp, Empire or Mac apples, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 2 teaspoons instant tapioca 
  • 1 - 9 inch pie shell 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 


Crumb Topping


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter 

Preparing

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Peel, core, and slice the apples and place in a large bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and tapioca and stir together until the apples are well coated. Spoon the apple mixture into the pie shell. Dot with butter and set aside.  Topping  Place the flour, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture has the texture of coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the apples. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.     

BETTE'S THANKSGIVING RECIPIES

BRUSSEL SPROUTS


 Mama Louise’s Brussel Sprouts


Vegetable oil

 1 pound brussel sprouts

 Salt & Pepper

 3 tablespoons butter

 ½ cup chicken stock


In a large skillet, heat oil medium to high.  Add brussel sprouts and stir slowly until lightly browned.  Add butter and chicken stock, cover and reduce to medium-low.  Let simmer until fork tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Do not overcook.
 
































ARTICHOKES

Bette's Artichokes


4 medium-sized artichokes

 2 cups breadcrumbs

 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

 1 tablespoon garlic powder

 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

 ¼ cup water

3/4 cup olive oil

 2 tablespoons parsley flakes

Preparing

Rinse the artichokes well, remove the small outer leaves from the bottom row around artichoke, cut off the stem and slice about 1 inch off of the top. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. Add the melted butter, water and oil and mix well.  If needed, add more water or oil to make stuffing very moist.Turn the artichokes upside down and press firmly to spread the leaves. Turn right side up and stand the artichokes in a large pot with about 1 ½ inches of water in the bottom. Cover and steam over medium-high heat about 20-25 minutes or until the artichokes are tender, checking the water level occasionally and adding more water as needed.  Stuff the breadcrumb mixture into the center and inside surrounding layers of leaves.  Put onto microwavable plate and microwave for approximately 3-4 minutes or before serving put into pan covered tightly with foil and place in 350° oven for approximately 20 minutes.
 

CRANBERRIES

 Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce


½ cup orange juice

 ½ cup water

 1 -cup sugar

 1- 12 ounce package of fresh cranberries


Rinse cranberries.  In a medium saucepan pour in orange juice, water and sugar stir until sugar dissolves and bring to a boil.  Add cranberries and again bring to a boil.  Reduce head and simmer for 15 minutes or until cranberries burst.  
Optional:  If you desire, you can add chopped nuts, diced apples, raisins or whatever you prefer to add.
Remove from heat.  Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator.  Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
 


RICOTTA COOKIES

.
 Lemon Ricotta Cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups  all purpose flower
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container  whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.Glaze:Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and

lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container. 

CRANBERRY BREAD

 Cranberry Nut Bread


2 cups flour 

1 cup sugar 

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

 ½ teaspoon baking soda

 1 teaspoon salt

 ¾ cup orange juice 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon grated orange peel (optional)

1 egg, well beaten 

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries

 ½ cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and lightly flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in orange juice, oil, orange peel and egg.  Mix until well blended.  Stir in cranberries and nuts.  Spread evenly in loaf pan.  Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on rack for 20 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely.
 

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole



    

Broccoli & Cheese

Ingredients


  • 2 heads broccoli 
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 
  • 1 pound Velveeta cheese, melted  
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions 
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 

Preparing

In a large saucepan, steam broccoli until fork tender. In small saucepan, melt the Velveeta cheese on low head and add milk and onions. Stir until well blended.  Preheat oven to 375°. Layer the ingredients in a large casserole, beginning with the melted cheese, then adding the broccoli and sprinkling with the cracker crumbs. Dot the crumb layer with butter and repeat. Sprinkle the final layer with additional cracker crumbs. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and let stand in oven for an additional 5 minutes.     

About Us

 Managed and operated a family owned farm/produce business for retail, wholesale, and fruit baskets. Pete has been in the produce business his whole life, and started out selling produce off the back of a truck at auctions and at his parents' roadside stand. Pete's family has been in business since 1953 at the same location in Bergenfield, New Jersey. From 1971 - 1997 Pete owned and operated this family "seasonal" business that includes at Christmas - Christmas trees, wreaths, and fruit baskets. During Easter we sell various plants, gourmet baskets and fruit baskets - Mother's Day - plants, fresh cut flowers, fruit baskets. At Halloween - pumpkins, corn stalks, etc. The produce store is open between April and December with retail, wholesale, and fruit baskets.

"KNOW A LITTLE ABOUT A LOT". JACK OF ALL TRADES MASTER OF NONE.....

In January 1998 he turned over the business to his son Peter Charles making him the 3rd generation to own Napolitano's Produce. In April of 2006, Napolitano's Produce closed it's doors after 53 years, a sad day but everything comes to an end. I would like to thank all the faithful customers who shopped my family store over the past 53 years. It was a privilege serving you. In June 2000 - he started as a Fruit & Vegetable Buyer for S. Katzman Produce at Hunts Point Market, Bronx, New York.Pete comes from a large family with his father being the 20th child - "That's why we are in the food business".

  • In April 1989, with the Chilean grape scare, he was hired by "People Are Talking" WORTV Channel 9, super station - nationwide - 150 markets - 24 million viewers and became "Pete Your Produce Pal" on daily five days a week.
  • In December 1990 hired by NBC for "House Party" as "Pete the Prince of Produce". Group W
  • In September 1991 hired by WORTV Channel 9 for "Nine Broadcast Plaza" as "Pete Your Produce Pal".
  • In September 1992 hired by WNBC Channel 4 "Weekend Today in New York" show with 52 week contract as "Produce Pete" / "Pete Your Produce Pal". (Been there ever since)
  • In 1994 he wrote a book about produce tips called "Produce Pete's Farmacopeia" - William Morrow, publisher
  • In September 1995 Discovery Channel - "Home Matters"
  • In January 1997 CNBC - "Steals and Deals"
  • In January 1998 Bionova Produce / Masters Touch Spokesperson
  • In January 2000 NBC - Ainsley Harriot Show (National - Buena Vista)
  • In February 2000 Woman's Home Network with Joan Lunden
  • In September 2000 hired by WCAU Philadelphia 10 as Produce Pete (Sunday & Wednesday Segments)
  • In February 2001 - Pathmark Supermarkets - Spokesperson
  • Guest on numerous Radio and Television shows.
  • In February 2001 "Produce Pete's Farmacopeia"- Republished by iuniverse.com
  • In July 2004 - The View (ABC 7)
  • In February 2005- Bella Vita Spokesperson (In Italy)
  • In July 2006 - NBC Today Show (Nationally)
  • In August 2007 Italian American Network (Produce Pete picks of the week)
  • Numerous Weekend Farmers Market Appearances throughout new jersey
  • 2011 New York State Farm Aid 
  • 2012 Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Event
  • 2013 Paramus Farmers Market, Ramsey Farmers Market, Nutley Farmers Market
  • 2013 Horizon BlueCross , Moorestown NJ
  • 2013-2017 NBC Health Fair New York Giants Health And Fitness Exbo
  • 2014-2015  Dr Oz Show Appearance
  • 2014-2015 Northern New Jersey Farmers Markets
  • 2016 Business Expo"Taste of the Gold Coast' 
  • 2017 Sparta Farmers Market
  • 2016-2017 Meet and Greet Donaldsons Farm Hackettstown 
  • 2013-2017 Chester Harvest Celebration Meet and Greet
  • 2017 Westchester Food Bank An Evening Of Good Taste
  • Appeared at D'Agostino, King's Culinary Arts Cooking Schools, Macy's and Bloomingdale's Cooking Classes.
  • Because of obesity and fast foods in schools Pete has been asked to speak at numerous grammer and high schools about healthy eating and his love for produce.



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